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Spiral by Jacqueline Levine

Jacqueline Levine:

A great interview by Prudence of Peace, Love, and Writing! Thanks, Prudence!

Originally posted on Peace, Love and Writing:

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Virtual Book Tour Dates: 2/27/14 – 3/27/14

Genres: Young Adult, Young Adult Contemporary Romance, Chick lit

Tour Promotional Price: $.99

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Still adjusting to life with his new stepfamily, complete with annoying twin sisters, seventeen-year-old Jack Hansen thought his Christmas Eve dinner couldn’t get any more complicated – until celebutante Cherie Belle walks into the room. The niece of Jack’s new stepfather, Jack had no idea the young starlet was even in the family. But his initial excitement quickly fades when the teen queen ruins dinner, humiliates his little brother, and storms out, leaving the blame for the night’s demise to fall squarely on Jack’s shoulders.

But then tragedy strikes for America’s tabloid princess, and Jack and his family are all Cherie has left. Suddenly, Jack finds himself riding the roller coaster that is Cherie Belle’s life: fending off the paparazzi, moving to California, and being cast in the tabloids as…

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In Memory of Paul Walker

Today, I am saddened by the news of Paul Walker’s tragic death. I’ll be the first to say I never knew him, he wasn’t in my top five favorite actors, and I begrudgingly went to see the Fast and Furious movies with my obsessed friends. But the news was difficult to read nonetheless because already I see how inundated all of the channels and websites have become with the story. I keep thinking, “His poor family must be suffering.”

Paul Walker’s death hits a little close to home, too. I had written a very similar scene in the sequel for Spiral involving Jack and his friend. I feel terrible and torn now, and I do not know if I should include the scene. My husband said, “Art imitates life,” but I don’t necessarily agree in this instance. I will have to think long and hard about using that scene because no one wants to repeat such an awful tragedy for the sake of art.

When I wrote Spiral, and now as I write Twist, the other side of a celebrity’s story is my goal. They’re people, you know, just like us. They have families and friends and, in his case, children. I want my readers to find empathy for the famous and their families because what we call “news” are stories about their lives. How painful and difficult it must be to have to live through tragedy in the public eye.

Imagine you’re Paul Walker’s 15 year old daughter, and you have to not only face the fact that your father has died in a terrible way, but you won’t be able to escape the images or the talk of it for days, maybe even weeks. Online, at the grocery store, in class, there will be whispers, pictures, gossip – constant reminders when all she will want to do is make it go away. Then there will be the careless, insensitive people who dare to say, “That’s what you get for living your life like your films.” For shame, people.

My heart goes out to Paul Walker’s family and friends at this time. My prayers are with them as they try to navigate through this tragedy and move on without him. I hope the media can give them the space and time to grieve they deserve.

XOXO

 

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New Review!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

I received something extra special to be thankful for this week – a great review by an awesome blogger named Bianca! You can read all about her experience reading Spiral here: http://www.pages-of-forbidden-love.com/2013/11/26/spiral/

The ladies of Forbidden Love have a lot of great insights into YA and romance books, so check out their reviews of other books while you’re there! Thanks, Bianca – and a happy and healthy holiday season to all!

XOXO

 

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TWIST EXCERPT!!!

Happy Friday, one and all!

I am happy to finally be able to provide a little excerpt for the upcoming sequel to Spiral, titled Twist. Jack and Cherie have new battles to face and big sacrifices to make, but the biggest sacrifice they may have to make just might be each other. Here is the working promotional text for the book: 

People make mistakes; nobody’s perfect. But when the world is watching, waiting for you to fall, expecting  you  to crack, they’re going to find what they’re looking for. They’re going to see you however they want to see you. 

I didn’t do anything terrible. I just forgot I’m a celebrity now. And guess what? There’s no such thing as secrets for celebrities; especially not me. I’m Cherie Belle’s  misogynist boyfriend. I’m the guy who got jumped by Caz Farell and Dominck Furst. I’m a loose cannon who was sent to a court-ordered anger management program. I’m a top, undecided college football recruit. I’m the face of the new Whitewater campaign.

I’m the guy who cheated on his girlfriend.  

What’s fact and what’s fiction? Who knows – doesn’t matter. I’m whoever the media says I am now. The only person I’m not is the one person I want to be more than anything: Jack Hansen.

But I don’t know who he is anymore, and I don’t think I’ll ever be him again.  

Check out the excerpt to the book now! TWIST EXCERPT Then take this poll to let me know what you think!

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Music for Inspiration

“What the hell are you listening to?” my good friend Cristin cries over the wailing Righteous Brothers tune that blasts from my iPad. It’s 6:00am, and I am getting ready for her to bring me to the train after a fun, impromptu sleepover. 

I glance up innocently from my makeup bag and look at her reflection in the mirror. “It’s Unchained Melody. It’s a classic.”

She scrunches her face. “God, do you miss Alex that much? It was one night!” She’s referring to our Girls Night, which led to me spending my first evening away from my husband in a very long time.

But that wasn’t why I was getting ready alongside this sad playlist, aptly titled “Twist” after my upcoming sequel, which is chock full of weepy love songs about broken hearts and devastation. I immediately set to explaining that, like many authors, I listen to some pretty select music to get me in the mood for writing.

“It’s the playlist for the book I’m writing. I sort of build soundtracks that map out a story,” I tell her. No kidding; I actually arrange the songs in the order of the book’s chapters because every scene I write has a song for inspiration. Think of it as a mental “Glee” episode. Nuts, right? It gets better: As an added bonus of strange, I sometimes hit ‘repeat’ on the song until I’m finished writing the chapter because no other song will do. I know…simply batshit crazy, isn’t it?

There’s more: While I get ready in the morning, or on the train on my way to work, or while I cook, I listen to this playlist so that I can stay in the mood of my characters and the story. Real life can pull you out of your characters’ heads, and it is tough to go through the motions of a normal day as yourself until that blessed hour or twenty minutes or whatever you have to sit and take the time to write as those imaginary people. Hence, I use the music to maintain a steady flow of emotion for whatever part of the story I am on.

Unfortunately for Cristin, I’m writing the brutal parts of Twist right now, and she had to endure the heartbroken ballads at an ungodly time of the morning. Staying in this frame of mind is essential, though. These chapters and scenes will suck readers into Jack and Cherie’s world and spit them back out feeling crushed and confused. Readers will feel their pain, and they might even choose sides. And there will be sides to choose, because it’s going to be an all out war for these two.

Sometimes there isn’t a right person or a wrong person but choices we have to make make that hurt the people we love, and sometimes people change, which is hard for those who know them best to accept. All these things are like daggers, and many daggers can pierce through the strong bonds of love, even if they don’t tear them apart.    

So, in case you were wondering, here are the top 10 songs from my playlist other than Unchained Melody. These are the ones that get the honor of playing on repeat because they really drive home the emotion of a scene and speak to how Jack and Cherie really feel:

The Reason – Hoobastank

Wrecking Ball – Miley Cyrus (I’m looking into buying the rights for this song so it can be music for Twist’s video trailer) 

 Against All Odds – Phil Collins

On Bended Knee – Boyz II Men

Emotion – Destiny’s Child

Everytime and Where Are You Now – Britney Spears

Bed of Roses – Bon Jovi

Come Home – OneRepublic and Sara Bareilles

Set Fire to the Rain – Adele

Blood on the Leaves – Kanye West

What’s Left of Me – Nick Lachey

Check these great songs out if you’re looking for writing inspiration, or mending a broken heart, or just need music that fits a dreary, rainy day. And don’t worry folks, these aren’t the only songs driving the book. There are plenty more songs that I’ve been using for the other important parts of the book, such as:

Seventeen – Winger

Show Me – Usher

My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark – Fall Out Boy

All of Me – John Legend

For Your Entertainment – Adam Lambert

Poison – Alice Cooper

Gorilla – Bruno Mars

#Beautiful – Mariah Carey featuring Miguel

Sweetest Sin – Jessica Simpson

What About Love – Austin Malone

I’m in Miami Bitch – LMFAO

I’d love to host a poll or a vote of some sort about book 1 to see if readers can guess which songs in my first playlist helped me write which scenes…hmmm….stay tuned!

XOXO

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So I’ve changed my mind…

Miley Cyrus Cries During iHeartRadio Music Fest Performance (VIDEO) | Global Grind.

Did you see this? I did, and I completely changed my mind about Miley. Not in the, “Oh wow, Miley’s outfits are amazing” way. More in the, “Oh, my, she’s really hurt. Poor Miley” way. I’m Team Miley now. I know, I know…I still don’t agree with the hair choices because she’t too pretty to not rock the really great locks that she used to have, but…all the other stuff? I get it now.

And anyone who has been 20 and gone through a huge metamorphosis following the demise of their first significant relationship will get it, too. The signs were all there. We thought she was screaming out for attention and trying to shrug off her Hannah Montana image, and guess what? She is doing just that, but it’s more than a publicity stunt. Who didn’t evolve dramatically after losing to heartbreak? Didn’t we all once think that, in order to recover, we had to discover a whole new person that was hiding while we spent years entertaining the notion of marrying our first love and staying the way that guy wanted us to be forever?

After my first significant break up, I did a lot of crazy things. I was the same age, living in an apartment across the street from my college in a glorious party city almost an entire coastline away from home, and the world was my oyster. I could wear next to nothing and get away with it, I could hang out with who I wanted, and do what I wanted, and my hair went through my many changes with me. I know I said and did stupid things. Now, I may never have had a punk stage, complete with a faux hawk and tattoos, but hey, everyone does it a little differently. I had my local-rock-band-groupie phase, and I developed a taste for cigarettes, Metallica and guys without real jobs.

I will say one thing, Miley: I think it’s time to put the drug stuff to rest. I get everything else, and clearly no one is going to make you stop taking drugs. But please don’t be so vocal about it. You are influencing kids – little ones as well as kids your own age. I went through my first break up alongside Britney Spears, who was just beginning her evolution in the aftermath of the Justin years. She was our spokesperson for smashing through the cookie cutter mold. She partied in Vegas and drank Starbucks like water and wore Juicy Couture everywhere, and she even got into a few random relationships with bad boys because that’s what you do when you shrug off the good girl image. Guess what? So did my friends and I. If Britney did it, we thought it was cool and became all about it. I just ask that, for the kids, you stop talking about drugs like they’re no big deal.   

For the rest of you who are still judging Miley, the moral of the blog is this: give Miley a break. She’s dealing with a hard loss and a necessary change, and instead of running from everyone, she’s doing it right out in the open. Don’t believe it? Watch the video of her sobbing through a killer performance of her song, “Wrecking Ball.” I see it as she is inviting us in to share her heartbreak and watch her come out of it on top. It’s going to be a rough, long road, so we are all going to have to just sit back and let it play out because we got to have our moments once upon a time.

You go, Miley.

XOXO

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Spiral is on 300 Goodreads bookshelves!

It’s so hard to believe and yet so incredibly exciting that 300 people are planning on reading my debut novel. This is the best way to end my week – and what a week it’s been! The kindle version has been released, I received a stellar review from a very kind fan, and now the book has exceeded my expectations for the month. Thank you to the publishing gods, thank you to my reviewers, and thank you to my future readers! I look forward to sharing all of Jack and Cherie’s adventures with you!

Get to know Cherie Belle and Jack Hansen now on your Kindle or Kindle app!

XOXO