Monday, December 8, 2014

YA Scavenger Hunt

It's YA Scavenger Hunt time, but you don't have to be a Khaki Scout (re: Moonrise Kingdom reference) to figure out how to win all the great prizes!

RayKay Books has broken the hunt into four categories (listed below) in which fabulous YA authors give video hints along the way. You can find yours truly in the Thriller/Mystery link. Each author has his/her individual giveaways as well as a grand prize for the entire hunt that will end January 7th. 
My prize pack includes signed copies of Fat Angie by E.E. Charlton-Trujillo, Maid of Secrets by Jennifer McGowan & My Last Kiss by moi!
Category links:
Dystopian/Thriller/Mystery: http://youtu.be/PtvG9BBKrdA
Contemporary/Historical: http://youtu.be/LpFImZR76yE
Adult Romance/New Adult: http://youtu.be/L5IlzGmPY-U
Fantasy/Sci-Fi: http://youtu.be/Y5UfgXlOZgA
Happy hunting and good luck!
B*

Friday, October 3, 2014

Booktober Author Events

Booktober has arrived! Which means I'm getting ready for the following:

1) Exclusively reading horror novels the entire month (sorry The Fever. You'll have to wait till November Wyclef-style).
2) Eating my weight in fun size Twix.
3) Watching Hocus Pocus on ABC Family approximately 37 times.
4) Transforming into my true form a.k.a. Maleficent on the 31st (pictures to follow).
5) Not one, not two, but THREE upcoming author events!!!

That's right, kiddies. I will be attending three crazy exciting multi-YA author events this month!

Check out where I'll be on the list below. I can't wait to meet all of you and sign your copies of My Last Kiss...and show off my obligatory spooky manicures.


OCTOBER EVENTS

Books by the Banks

When
Saturday, October 11, 2014
10:00am - 4:00pm
Where
Duke Energy Convention Center 
525 Elm Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202 
Details
Click here for more info and a list of all the authors attending this massive event!

Con-troll, YA! (Young Adult Lit Conference)

When
Saturday, October 18, 2014
10:30am - 2:00pm  
Where Adrian Public Library
143 E. Maumee St.
Adrian, MI 49221  

Details
Visit Con-Troll, YA's Tumblr for details on this FREE event!


YA Author Panel & Signing

When
Saturday, October 25, 2014
7:00pm
Where
Barnes & Noble
2800 S. Rochester Rd. 
Rochester Hills, MI 48307
Details  
Seven local Michigan authors will be signings their newest books, and discussing Teen topics and books at the Barnes & Noble on Rochester Road in Michigan.

Andrea Hannah - Of Scars and Stardust
Bethany Neal - My Last Kiss
Rebekah Purdy - The Winter People
Kate Bassett - Words and Their Meanings
David James - Between the Stars and Sky
M.G. Buehrlen - The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare
Carrie Harris - Demon Derby

This will be a perfect event for teens and adults alike, though the event itself will be geared for the teen audience with writerly questions about the writing process and books. If you're a teacher, bring your class!


B*

Friday, September 26, 2014

Live Chat + Giveaway Today!

Quick update/awesomeness alert: I'll be live chatting about My Last Kiss, writing, and possibly Pretty Little Liars if you're lucky today at 6pm with Rachel Silberman of the YouTube channel RayKayBooks!

Tweet your questions with #BethanyLiveChat and click here  at 6 o'clock tonight to hear/watch me gush about R.L. Stine, Degrassi, Ben Affleck...and other more relevant things like my book and stuff. Can't wait to answer all your questions!

B*

UPDATE: Watch my live chat on YouTube right now and find out how to enter to win a signed copy of My Last Kiss! Click here and enjoy. Contest ends October 3rd.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

If I Swoon

Still recovering from ODing on the feels after watching the supremely swoony movie adaptation of rockstar author Gayle Forman's If I Stay? Well, I've got just the medicine for you in the form of 25 YA Books For Fans Of IF I STAY (including My Last Kiss!!!) that will strum your heart strings as exquisitely as Mia plays that cello. 

Which book (besides mine, of course) is your favorite?


Happy swooning!
B*

Friday, July 25, 2014

Signings & Swag & Marvel

Hello, hello my lovelies! With summer (sadly) winding down, I'm sending July out the breezy porch door with a bang and not one but two crazy-cool-fun ways for you to see moi and get your copies of My Last Kiss signed.


First up, the newest most fabulous indie in downtown Ann Arbor, MI Literati Bookstore is hosting their first ever Teen Book Club this coming Monday, July 28th at 7pm! And since they're reading my book and all, I thought I'd drop by to chat and fangirl a little with everyone. There will be a short Q & A with me followed by a discussion where you get to debate Team Ethan vs Team Caleb.

Click here to register and get your copy of MLK at 15% off!

Get your Wolverine claws ready for this next one. Saturday, August 2nd at 3pm I'll be at Barnes & Noble in Saginaw, MI as part of their nationwide "Get Pop-Cultured" event celebrating "Marvel Day" with a reading/signing for My Last Kiss. Come help me crash this fanboy fest with fangirl YAness!

Bonus: Anyone dressed in Marvel gear will be entered to win a huge swag bag including sweets and My Last Kiss-themed goodies. So paint yourself blue like Mystique (or wear a Spidey tee like us shy folk) and get thee to Marvel Day! Click here for more details and info on other GPC events. 

Where to meet me
Stop #1: Monday, July 28 at 7pm
Literati Bookstore
124 E. Washington St.
Ann Arbor, MI 40104

Stop #2: Saturday, August 2 at 3pm
Barnes & Noble
3311 Tittabawassee Rd.
Saginaw, MI 48604


Hope to see you all there!
B*

Monday, July 14, 2014

Who rules the crush quota in YA: guys or girls?

Hello my lovelies. Thought I'd take a moment to heat up your summer metaphorically (and physically depending on how intense of a reader you are--no judgement) with two Huffington Post pieces that I recently wrote. What started out as a swoon session on the 10 Most Crushworthy Men In YA has now morphed into a battle royale of the sexes.

Check out both top 10 lists here for the GUYS and here for the GIRLS and let your opinions be heard across the interwebs. Who rules the crush quota in YA: the men or the women?

Let me know what you think on Twitter @BethDazzled and Facebook with #CrushworthyYA. May the best man OR woman win!

B*

Monday, June 16, 2014

Guest Post on Jessica Brody's Unremembered Monday

We all have days we wish we could erase from our memories, right? Well, the fabulous Jessica Brody (author of Unremembered trilogy) has made a hobby out of collecting these cringe-worthy moments from other authors and posting them on her blog. And today is my turn.

Click here to see what I would choose to unremember if I could. (Get how that plays off Jessica's book title? She's so clever!)

Also fresh today, be sure to check out my interview at YA Series Insiders. I talk spin-off stories and Sour Patch Kids, naturally.
B*

Friday, June 13, 2014

Guest Post on Lauren Oliver's Blog

Happy Friday the 13th everyone!!! 

In honor of this spooky day, I've written a guest blog post about the Ghosts of Future Past for the fabulously generous and super talented author Lauren Oliver's (Before I Fall, Delirium trilogy) site.

Since My Last Kiss is about a ghost and Lauren has an adult novel titled Rooms coming out soon that's about several ghosts, I thought it appropriate--and fun!--to write on the topic of being haunted, not only by creepy crawlies in horror movies, but by the choices we make. (Kinda like Cassidy is literally haunted by her bad choices in MLK. Get the connection? Real cleaver, right?)

Check out the full post here!
B*

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Guest Post on Brittany Geragotelis's Blog

The MY LAST KISS blog tour may be over (*tear*), but the guest posts bonanza keeps on a rollin'. Today the Book Slayer herself, YA author Brittany Geragotelis, graciously hosts me on her site where I discuss why we love to hate Fictional Frenemies oh so much.

From Pretty Little Liars to Mean Girls, pop culture is choked full of backstabbing besties, and I get down to the bottom (or attempt to) of our obsession with them.

Read the post here! And make sure to check out Brittany's witchy series Life's A Witch and her newest novel Kiss & Tell!

B*

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Guest Post on Jay Asher's Blog

In case you missed it yesterday, for my first ever Guest Post on another author's blog, I "bump into" NYT Bestselling author of Thirteen Reasons Why Jay Asher for an unnecessarily silly/awesome Q & A.
(Oh, look, there's Jay now!)

Click here to join in the laughs! 

B*

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

MY LAST KISS RELEASE DAY!!!

Well, dear readers, the day has finally come. MY LAST KISS has been released into the wild of bookstores everywhere! Let us take this time to raise a glass to all the super fabulous, beyond dedicated people at my publisher, FSG Books for Young Readers/Macmillan, for being rockstars to work with (minus the hotel trashing aspect...as far as I know).
To Janine O'Malley, Ksenia Winnicki, Stephanie McKinley, Angie Chen, Elizabeth Clark, and all the other wonderful people that I didn't get the pleasure to know by name thank you from the very bottom (and top and middle!) of my heart.

And to my lovely agent Stacey Glick for being the Ari Gold to my Vinny Chase.

And to the newest members of my team (I can't help feeling like a celeb when I say that even though I'm writing this in my PJs!) the phenomenally hard working and creative ladies at BookSparksPR. You are my Shauna. (Pardon the back-to-back Entourage references.)

On the MLK Blog Tour I will be celebrating with a straight up hilarious Q & A on NYT Bestselling author of Thirteen Reasons Why Jay Asher's website. No big deal except that I did this when I found out.

The next stop on tour today is The Best Books Ever where I reveal the Origin Story of where I got the idea for my debut novel. I'm also taking over the Macteen Books blog today with a post about Finding Out Who You Are By Finding Out Who You Aren't.

After you're done reading all these amazing blog posts, I implore thee to get thyself to the bookstore to buy My Last Kiss.This isn't a threat or anything, but I know some guys with lightsabers if you need some persuading...

But seriously, if you do buy your copy this week, email/message me and I'll mail you a signed bookmark! Thank you all for your support and come back tomorrow for the next stop on the blog tour.

Read full posts here, here, and here respectively.
B*

P.S. There's also a sweet Goodreads Giveaway going on now through June 17th. Click here for you chance to win a FREE copy of MLK!

Monday, June 9, 2014

MY LAST KISS Blog Tour: Day 15

Sweet mother of all that is bookly, there is only 1 day until My Last Kiss officially hits books shelves (though they've already been spotted at Barnes & Noble stores)! Let's all take a moment to...

FREAK OUT WITH JOY!!!!!!!!!!!


And we're back. Today on the MY LAST KISS Blog Tour I divulge my Top 10 Fictional Crushes at YA Sisterhood. Then I reveal details about my Road to Publication and more with Literary Rambles. Literary Rambles is also giving away a signed copy of MLK in addition to the mondo giveaway for the tour, so make sure to enter here.

Read both full posts here and here.
B*

Sunday, June 8, 2014

MY LAST KISS Blog Tour: Day 14

Well, today is Day 14 of the MY LAST KISS Blog Tour and the book will officially be out in 2 days (!!!!!), BUT last night I happened upon a stack of them on the Teen shelves at Barnes & Noble, which means each and every one of you can go buy your copy right now (if you so choose, of course. No pressure or anything)!!!
*Insert squealy celebration here*

Okay, after you're done doing a Snoopy dance with me, the tour stops today include a super fun Podcast Interview with the fabulous ladies at Girls in the Stacks and I reveal Character Theme Songs for the cast of My Last Kiss over at Proud Book Nerd.

Read (and listen to!) both posts here and here.

B*

Saturday, June 7, 2014

MY LAST KISS Blog Tour: Day 13

Lots going on on lucky Day 13 of the MY LAST KISS Blog Tour including a shiny new giveaway in addition to the big fantastic tour giveaway!

First, I will be chatting with Books as You Know It (as myself) and then with The Book Rat as a medium of sorts for Cassidy, My Last Kiss's leading ghost-lady, in an extremely awkward/hilarious Character Interview. Don't miss this one guys!

Finally, Free Book Friday (which is my new obsession because they literally give away free books every Friday. I know, right!) is giving away 3 autographed copies of My Last Kiss! The winners will be announce on (lucky) Friday, June 13th, so click here to enter to win now!

Read full interview posts here and here.
B*

Friday, June 6, 2014

MY LAST KISS Blog Tour: Day 12

Once your eyes recover from the 126 minute The Fault in Our Stars movie-induced crying jag, prepare yourself for the biggest stop yet on the MY LAST KISS Blog Tour. I am (finally!) revealing the My Last Kiss Playlist!!! (Note: If you are still suffering from Augustus Cryialus, scroll down and let your ears to the work for you.)

Music is such a huge part of my writing process. Song lyrics are notorious for triggering ideas for my next book and for helping set the right mood for the scene I'm working on or to get into the head of a character and connect with his/her emotions.

Before I roll out the playlist, I must encourage you all to BUY THE MUSIC!!! I've included a playlist widget so you can enjoy the songs here on my site, but I can't stress enough that if you love the songs please please slap down the $1.25 on iTunes for the real deal.

I've also included links to music videos for each song. I decided upon the most obscured, sometimes acoustic, versions to highlight how talented the musicians are (which is why you should buy their music!) and how powerful the songs are.

Okay, without further ado, I give you...
The My Last Kiss Playlist

My Last Kiss A side by BethDazzled on Grooveshark

Metric - Help, I'm Alive link
The Band Perry - If I Die Young link
Biffy Clyro - Many of Horror (Ethan's theme song) link
Eisley - Ambulance link
All-American Rejects - The Cigarette Song link
Ingrid Michaelson - Ghost link
Broken Social Scene - Love Will Tear Us Apart link
Orelia - Suggestions (Cassidy & Caleb) link
Tonight Alive - Amelia link
Regina Spektor - Eet link
Imperial Mammoth - Requiem on Water link
Dashboard Confessionals - Ghost of a Good Thing link
The Wealthy West - Give Me Resurrection link
Taylor Swift - Last Kiss link
Radiohead - Videotape (Cassidy & Ethan's song) link

Enjoy the jams!
B*

Thursday, June 5, 2014

MY LAST KISS Blog Tour: Day 11

Today on the MY LAST KISS Blog Tour I chat with Brittany over at Book Addicts Guide (where we gush about the band Metric, The Princess Bride, and Patrick Swayze amongst other things), and I reveal my first ever Fictional Crush at Anna Reads!

Can you guess who it is? Big hint: it's 80s-tastic!


Read both full posts here and here.
B*

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

MY LAST KISS Blog Tour: Day 10

Day 10 of the My Last Kiss Blog Tour starts off with a fun Q & A with my fellow Michigander The Hiding Spot and ends at Reader Girls where I explain the Ghostly Rules that challenge--and sometimes cause a sparkle or two--the main character, Cassidy.

Read both full posts here and here.
B*

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

MY LAST KISS Blog Tour: Day 9

In honor of it being exactly 1 week(!!) before My Last Kiss comes out, today's stop of the MLK Blog Tour gets personal with a Guest Post on the absolutely fabulous Amy Plum's blog. We both recorded video clips telling the Stories of our First Kisses. Amy's also giving away a signed copy of My Last Kiss and her latest novel After the End. Go, enter now!
(Puppies kissing = eat face)
There's also a Character Interview at Supernatural Snark with Cassidy's boyfriend Ethan. Find out his side of the story here

Read both full posts here and here.
B*

Monday, June 2, 2014

MY LAST KISS Blog Tour: Day 8

Today on the MY LAST KISS Blog Tour  I share an exclusive look inside My Last Kiss with Miss Page-Turner and discuss what my inspirations were for the main character's Ghostly Appearance.

Then I talk about the bands that serve as my Musical Inspirations over at Michelle & Leslie's Book Picks.

Read both full posts here and here. And don't forget to enter the My Last Kiss giveaway here to win a signed book and lots of other goodies!

B*

Sunday, June 1, 2014

MY LAST KISS Blog Tour: Day 7

Day 7 of the MY LAST KISS Blog Tour is a double dose of behind the pages insider info revealed! 


First visit Tales of a Ravenous Reader to see the My Last Kiss Pinspiration Board on Pinterest. Then go on an "Easter egg" Hunt at YAreads where I reveal the meaning behind never before shared hidden goodies in the novel.

Read full posts here and here.
B*

Saturday, May 31, 2014

MY LAST KISS Blog Tour: Day 6

Today's stop on the MY LAST KISS Blog Tour is spooktacular! 

(Note: Ghost Busters is not on the list, but I couldn't bear leaving Slimmer out!)
Visit The Broke and the Bookish to see my list of Top 7 Ghost Stories. Some will haunt, some will chill, and some will make you wish Patrick Swayze was in your pottery class.

Click here for full post.

Also, there have been a few stops added to the tour that include a few NYT bestselling authors, but whatever. No big thing. Check out the updated schedule here.

B*

Friday, May 30, 2014

MY LAST KISS Blog Tour: Day 5

Today on the MY LAST KISS Blog Tour I share with BlogLovingMom my real life Story Inspirations (and a semi-embarrassing picture from my teen years) for My Last Kiss. All that angst turned out to be good for something after all! Cheers to the good old days!

Click here to read full post.
B*

Thursday, May 29, 2014

MY LAST KISS Blog Tour: Day 4

Welcome to Day 4 of the MY LAST KISS Blog Tour. Today I will be counting down a super steamy list of Bad Boys (who aren't that bad) in fiction over at YAdult Review. Click here and join me in a swoony sigh. They make being bad feel so good!
Click here to read full post.
B*

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

MY LAST KISS Blog Tour: Day 3

And on the third day advice was bestowed. 
Day 3 of the MY LAST KISS Blog Tour is all about Writing Advice from moi. Visit YA Love for my post. And check back tomorrow for my list of the Top Bad Boys (who aren't so bad) in fiction.

Click here to read the full post.

B*

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

MY LAST KISS Blog Tour: Day 2

Day 2 of the MY LAST KISS Blog Tour is kissalicous! 

Visit Word Spelunking to see the first half of my Top 10 List of Epic Kisses throughout books, movies, and TV. Then head over to ReadingTeen to check out what my number one pick is. I'll give you a hint. There's a vampire (and Ryan gosling!) involved, but not the one you probably expect. 

Click here & here to read both full posts.
B*

Monday, May 26, 2014

MY LAST KISS Blog Tour: DAY 1

Hello and welcome to Day 1 of the epic 2 week MY LAST KISS Blog Tour!!!

Visit A Reading Nurse's blog here to find out all sorts of goodies about me like my favorite books and what I can't help fangirling over. Also My Last Kiss casting pics!!! Oh, and did I mention there's a super sweet giveaway with MLK swag? 'Cause there totally is. Enjoy!

Click here to read full post.
B*

Sunday, May 25, 2014

MY LAST KISS Blog Tour Starts Tomorrow!!!

Hello my lovelies and happy Memorial Day! Just a reminder that the MY LAST KISS Blog Tour begins tomorrow (Monday, May 26).

The rockstars over at The Fantastic flying Book Club & A Reading Nurse will be updating links for posts as they go live over the next couple weeks leading up to the June 10th release date, so be sure to visit their site for a complete list and other info. I'll be linking to posts as they go live here too, but they'll have a comprehensive list so you can binge blog after the tour is done if you so choose.

Also, don't forget to enter to win this sweet swag pack(!!!) that includes a signed hardcover copy of MY LAST KISS. Feel free to fangirl squeal about that for a moment--I won't judge--then click here to enter!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Only 16 days to go before my first ever book hits bookstores and the release party to end all release  parties goes down at Nicola's Books in Ann Arbor, MI (2513 Jackson Ave., June 10 at 7pm)!!!! So surreal. I hope to see each and every one of you there.

B*

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Magical Mystery (Blog) Tour

In honor of this happening today...
My first ever hardcover copy of MY LAST KISS came today!!! She's ALIVE!

...I thought it about time to announce the MY LAST KISS Blog Tour dates May 26 - June 11. Get ready for some top 10 lists both of the hot boy and scary ghost story variety, behind the scenes goodies, and learn who my first ever fictional crush was. Plus, I'll finally be revealing the MLK playlist!



UPDATED SCHEDULE
May 26:          A Reading Nurse, Welcome post
May 27:          Word Spelunking, Top 10 Kisses (numbers 10-6)
                        Reading Teen, Top 10 Kisses (numbers 5-1)
May 28:          YA Love, Writing Advice
May 29:          YAdult Review, Top 6 Bad Boys (Who Aren't So Bad)
May 30:          BookLoving Mom, Story Inspiration From Real Life
May 31:          The Broke & the Bookish, Top 7 Ghost Stories
June 1:           Proud Book Nerd, Review 
                       Tales of a Ravenous Reader, Pinterest Inspiration Board
                        YAReads, Easter Egg Hunt
June 2:           Michelle& Leslie’s Book Picks, Musical Inspiration
                        Miss-PageTurner's City ofBooks, Behind the Pages
June 3:           SupernaturalSnark, Character Interview w/Ethan
            Guest Video Post on Amy Plum's Blog, First Kiss Stories
June 4:           TheHiding Spot, Q&A  
                        Reader Girls, Ghostly "Rules"
June 5:           BookAddicts Guide, Open Interview
            Anna Reads, My First Fictional Crush
June 6:           LadyReader's BookStuff, Playlist Reveal
June 7:           Free Book Friday, Giveaway
                        Book Rat, Character Interview w/Cassidy  
June 8:           Proud Book Nerd, Characters Theme Songs  
                       Girls in theStacks, Podcast
June 9:           LiteraryRambles, Interview & Review with a Giveaway on the side!
                       YA Sisterhood, Top 10 Fictional Crushes
June 10:        Q & A with author Jay Asher (Thirteen Reasons Why, The Future of Us)

                       Guest Post on MacTeen Books blog, Figuring Out Who You Are By Figuring  Out Who You Aren't
                       The Best Books Ever, Origin Story
June 11:       
The Fantastic Flying BookClub, Swag Giveaway & Review
June 12:        Guest Post with author Brittany Geragotelis (Life's a Witch series)
June 13:        Guest Post with author Lauren Oliver (Delirium trilogy)  
June 14:        Girls With Books, Author Spotlight
June 16:        Unremembered Monday Guest Post with author Jessica Brody
                      YA Series Insider, Interview

(Links to posts will be updated as they post.)

B*



Friday, March 21, 2014

Cover Reveal 2.0

Happy Friday my little lovelies! In celebration of sleeping in and all things pajamas-wearing for the next two days, I'm giving you all a looksy at the wonderful treat I got in my inbox this week.

Hint: It has my name on it and it's oh so shiny. Ready...

...

Behold the new and improved cover for My Last Kiss!

It's still not a flesh-and-blood book just yet, but much like the ultrasound pictures all my friends have been shopping around lately, I love her as if she were already here.

T-minus 79 days till launch day! Who's doing excited cartwheels with me? *listens for crickets*

B*

Friday, March 7, 2014

MY LAST KISS Sneak Peek

Last week I challenged all you Goodreaders to round up 1,000 entries on the My Last Kiss giveaway the fabulous people at MacKids were running on Goodreads. Well, color me humbled because you blew my expectations out of the water by doubling that goal with more than 2,000 entries at closing!!!

Go ahead, give yourself a moment for a well deserved Nailed it! dance.

Okay, back to business: your reward. I promised a sneak peek inside My Last Kiss, and I was planning on teasing you with a couple paragraphs, but since you so epically rose to the occasion, I am bestowing upon you an exclusive look at a FULL CHAPTER. 

I think that calls for another dance moment. 
Yes, that is Mario Lopez & Tiffani Amber Thiessen circa Saved By The Bell days. You're welcome.


Okay, okay, for reals this time, here is your sneak peek! I hope you enjoy it as much as Elizabeth Berkley is enjoying those high-waisted mom jeans and bedazzled sportsbra because she can get so excited. This delicious morsel is a flashback chapter that occurs early on in the book. It's the first piece of memory Cassidy (the protagonist) gains about the night she died. Happy reading!

BREAKUP

“Did you hear they’re breaking up?”
Sugary grape vodka goodness slid down my throat, warming my chilled bones as I straightened the Birthday Princess tiara that Madison bought for me (and I really didn’t want to wear since my birthday technically already happened two days before), half-heartedly eavesdropping on the girls behind me. It was warm for this early in March, but it was still March. The heat from the bonfire couldn’t reach me at the drinks table, so I took another sip to warm up.
“Who?” The other girl asked.
Girl number one lowered her voice. “Birthday girl and E.”
My head reflexively jerked toward them so fast that my tiara flew off my head into the snow about a foot away. I dropped to my hands and knees half looking for it, half hiding so they wouldn’t see me.
“Omigod, Carly, you can’t call him E.”
“His friends do.”
“And you’re not his friend.”
“Friend of a friend then.”
“You aren’t that either.”
“Could be real soon. He’d make a certain non-friend so jealous,” Carly said with a giggle that made grape-flavored bile clog my throat.
“Can you please get over Mica already? Besides, Ethan seems so sweet. He would never cheat.”
“I heard that’s why they’re breaking up. She had some meltdown and he cheated or she cheated—something. Anyway, point is, there’s trouble in Paradise, which means he’s soon-to-be available.”
“Happy birthday,” Madison singsonged as she walked up beside me with Aimee. I sprung to my feet so fast I almost spilled my drink on Madison’s furry white boots. She jumped back with a yelp, and Carly and the other girl stared at me in stunned horror.
“Someone’s jittery.” Aimee reached out to steady my drink then slid her hand into my coat pocket to borrow my watermelon lip gloss the same way she did at least six times a day. I didn’t bother playfully swatting at her hand like usual. “Isn’t this surprise snowfall so festive?”
“Who are those girls?” I pointed an accusing finger at Carly and friend as they skittered away into the crowd around the bonfire.   
Madison brushed her long bangs down so they shaded her eyes, sipping her green apple jolly vodie through a bendy straw. “Dunno. Why?”
“You made the guest list,” Aimee reminded Madison while she returned my lip gloss and zipped my pocket.
Madison fluttered a hand at me and Aimee. “I’m sure they’re just freshmen tag-a-longs. What’s the big?”
“Never mind.” I looked around me. “Have you guys seen Ethan?”
Aimee started to motion toward the bonfire, but Madison interrupted her. “Just saw him go inside with Drew. Ice or something.”
I pushed past them without another word and made a beeline for the house.
Aimee called after me, “We made you a birthday s'more. There’s a candle in it and everything.” I didn’t answer, didn’t even really hear her. She added, “Stay with your girls!”
I twisted to give her an apologetic wave and saw Caleb Turner and his stoner crew huddled in the back corner of the yard. They were not invited guests. Without thinking, I changed course and marched up to him.
“What are you doing here?” It came out sounding a lot more get-out-of-here than I meant, but considering what I overheard from those girls, it was merited.
“Hi,” he replied with his standard laid back smile. 
Three weeks ago I would’ve rolled my eyes, three days ago I would’ve laughed, now I wanted to forget he existed. “Seriously? Hi? That’s what you say after I specifically asked you not to come?”
He shrugged. “It’s rude not to say hello to the host, don’t you agree?”
I glared at him. “I’m not the host, Aimee is.”
“That should be interesting, but okay. Where is she?”
I stopped him from walking toward the drinks table with a hand on his chest. “What have you been telling people?” I must have looked as enraged as I felt because his circle of guys quickly dispersed, snatching up their twelve pack of cheap beer on the way.
Caleb answered, “That the Beatles are bigger than Jesus?”
I glanced over my shoulder to make sure no one was watching, then pulled him behind a thick oak tree and crossed my arms. “Get serious, Caleb.”
“Y’know I don’t do serious.” He flashed a coy grin at me.
“What about Thursday at your house?”
His cool exterior faltered for a second. He looked away from me then reset his expression. “That wasn’t serious, that was inebriated.” 
A ball of rage burned in my belly. “I’m surprised you can pronounce a word with so many syllables,” I spit at him. He looked at me like I’d trampled over his second grade crepe paper piƱata (which I had, accidentally, back when he was my seat partner in Ms. Peterson’s class), and his eyes glazed over with visible resignation. An apology started to rise up my throat. I swallowed it down.
“People are going to believe what they want, Cassidy.”
“Especially if you give them a reason to talk,” I accused.
“What do you want from me?” He held his hands out, palms up.
“The truth!”
He pulled his stupid smile back up. “That’s not what they pay me for.”
“Can you be serious for one minute? You might not care what people are saying about me, but I could lose everything.”
Dees?” I peeked around the tree and saw Madison standing with her head tilted to one side like a confused, drunken puppy. She thrust a red plastic cup into my hand. “Twinsies photo op—you and me.” She tucked my hair behind one ear so our hair matched not only in color, but in style too, then snapped a picture with her camera. When she spotted Caleb, her head tilted further to the side, asking a million silent questions. 

Fabulous. Now I’d have to think of a lie for why I was being anti-social at my own party. For a brief moment, I thought about telling her everything. Then she opened her mouth.


Excerpt from My Last Kiss © 2014 by Bethany Neal. Used with permission from FSG Books for Young Readers.

B*

Monday, February 24, 2014

Massive Goodreads Giveaway!

Now that it's February I'd like to think winter is winding down, but I live in Michigan so I know better. While I don't have a magical weather wand to wave to stop the subzero temps (it's in the shop), I do have another way to warm you up... Books! Free, advance copy, full of steamy kissalicious scenes to turn you from cold to hot in 358 pages or less books!

That's right. My fantabulous publisher is giving away 50 copies of My Last Kiss on Goodreads now through March 4th. Yes, 5-0! Click here to reap the benefits of their awesomeness. And make sure to add MLK to your to-read list while you're on the site.

B*

Note: Credit for kissalicious is due to Ksenia Winnicki.Couldn't claim that one as my own in good conscience.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

And the winner is...

First off, thank you to everyone who entered to win an ARC of My Last Kiss in my inaugural ARC giveaway. You guys seriously blew me away with your descriptions of what you hoped your last kisses would be like (in 140 characters or less!).

Phrases like "under an infinity of stars" (@Alyssa_Susanna) and "storm-tossed sea ... Calm. Clinging, gripping. Salvation." (MPTsCityofBooks) were thrown around, making it impossible for me to pick based on the level of swooniness.

I spent hours like this...
 ...before I came to the realization that I needed to pick at random.

So without further GIFs and excuses, the winner of the #MyLastKiss giveaway is _kierra8 !!!!! And I swear it isn't because she mentioned Zac Efron in her entry. Although there is this
and this
annnnd this

What? It was random, people. Stop looking at me like that!

Congrats, Kierra, and make sure to email your address to bethanyneal@aol.com so I can send you your shiny new prize. 

B*