Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Guest Post & Interview with Jessica Shirvington + GIVEAWAY!

Hi, everybody! :)

Today I'm going to be a part of the long-running but still completely fun blog tour for Embrace by Jessica Shirvington! (You can read my review for it here.) And I just have to say that the main reason why this blog tour is still so much fun is because Jessica is a really sweet, genuine person. I hope you enjoy learning more about her as much as I did!

The Guest Post Falling in Love at 17
Falling in love is easy. Staying in love … more complicated.

At 17, life is about new experiences. It is about self-discovery, friends, adventure, mistakes, career and university choices. And let’s be honest, there are not many 17 year olds out there that aren’t interested in falling in love.

But how many are truly interested in falling in love with THE ONE at 17?

I’m not sure I was. In fact, I probably wasn’t. I was planning to take the world by storm – solo. So when I met Matt, well, actually … it was pretty darn amazing. But it was a little frightening too.

When we first got together, it was sweet and young and … perfect. I was head over heels. But things became complicated quickly. He was an up and coming athletic star and I was working in hospitality. So basically he worked hard in the day, and I worked hard at night. His lifestyle demanded routine and healthy living, mine … not so much. But we were determined to make it work.

Falling in love so deeply at a young age made it difficult to be as reckless as our friends. We watched them coast in and out of short, fun, but meaningless relationships and it just seemed so different to what we had.

Writing the Embrace series has been an opportunity for me to pour some of the incredibly intense emotions of young love into Violet’s story. It has been important for me as a writer, and a person, to recognize that it’s completely realistic for someone at her young age to experience the full effect and heartbreak of love. Violet is one hundred percent invested with her heart. She makes bad choices, but we have to. She regrets many of her decisions, because we all do. And she fights for what she loves, because she is compelled to. Violet’s story is unique to her, I don’t pull on parallel scenarios from my own life, but I do pull on the emotion of intense love. Love that I think adults sometimes forget that 17 and 18 years-olds are very capable of feeling.

I often find one question helps a lot of adults, who maybe disagree with this view, to be more open minded: Do you remember you first true love? Do you ever wonder what your life would’ve been like if you had stayed together? For some, the answer is a resounding NOT INTERESTED, but for others … the pause says it all.

Matt and I celebrate our 11th wedding anniversary in March - I believe jewelry is in order ;)
Am I the only girl wishing I could be as lucky and blessed as Jessica?? I've still got two years left until my seventeenth birthday, but I think I know what to wish for until then! ;) Happy belated 11th anniversary, Jessica!

The Interview of Awesome
(with an author of awesome)

1. Hi, Jessica! Hi, Mimi! Your series is about angels and it's probably one of the most original takes I've ever read! Thanks! Have you always believed in angels? Is that why you wrote this series about them? 
Angels haven't always played a big part in my belief system. I think I'm like a lot of people - I wonder about possibilities. I love mythology and often question where these stories have come from, and why some stories seem so similar and yet they come from different times and places. I also have a deep interest in the concepts of freewill and predetermined destiny. Many theories support one or the other - I wanted to explore the possibility that the two could exist together. Focusing on the existence of beings that supposedly have a governing interest over the universe, that seem to be able to influence will and circumstance was a great way to bring theses questions to the surface.

2. In
Embrace, angels are given the free will to choose dark or light to keep the balance. If you were an angel, what would you choose: to be an angel or an exile? 
I would like to think I would choose to be an angel. Exiles are not well balanced beings (to put it mildly) and I dread to think what that could do to ones mind - even those that believe in a cause when they abandon the angel realm are not able to maintain sanity once they take a human body. It would be incredibly frightening.

3. One of my favourite things about Violet and Lincoln's relationship was how real it was. They were just a running trainer and a girl who got each other when no one else did. But that aside, do you believe in love at first sight? 
I believe in a connection a first sight. Lincoln and Violet have spent the two years, before the story of Embrace even starts, getting to know one another and learning each other's quirks. I believe it is that - the quirks - that develop the foundations of love. You have to see someone at their best and worst before you can be sure you can love them in every way. But I do believe there are some people in this world we connect to more than with others, and that when we meet them we are somehow drawn to them and know they are supposed to be in our lives.

4. The cast in your book was full of amazing characters! Thanks! Which character do you think you felt most connected with while you were writing? 
Violet. Embrace is written from her point of view so I really had to get inside her head and feel things from her point of view. I don't always agree with her decisions but I understand and sympathize with her reasoning, and her confusion. I can't wait to see her develop and become the person she is meant to be. I have to remind myself of this when I am writing her, that she is seventeen and on a steep learning curve - it is this time and these lessons that will shape her into the woman she will become.
I also adore Lincoln and Phoenix. I feel that although Embrace is written from Violet's point of view, both Lincoln and Phoenix are on just as an important journey as Violet and each for their own reason. I feel so lucky that I have discovered them.

5. Is being a published author different from what you thought it would be? 
Yes and no. I love writing stories. Like, really really love it. And when something becomes that important to you - then you tend to put everything into it. So ... I'm slightly obsessive compulsive. In a good way, I hope. But when I first started out I think my view was more along the lines of - well, if I get published and they want to make changes etc to the manuscript, sure, that will be fine. But it isn't like that. I am protective of my characters and their story and I want them to be the best they can be - sometimes that means taking advice and making changes and sometimes it means standing by what you have written. Luckily, publishers actually take that approach too (and I have amazing editors) and I've yet to hit a stumbling block in this department.

6. And because we're all avid readers and would love to know: Do you like to read in your spare time? If yes, what is a book that you've fallen in love with recently? 
I read a lot (unless I'm writing a first draft of one of my books - then I tend to stay in my own world).
I just read Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi and I thought it was a great story. I am going to read The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman next, I think. I'm also really enjoying books on magic at the moment. :)

Isn't she awesome? :) And because the people of Sourcebooks match Jessica's awesomeness, they've been kind enough to offer one gorgeous finished copy for one very lucky winner! It's only open to Canada and the US (I'm really sorry, international followers!), and it will close next Friday on the 27th of April.

The Gorgeous Giveaway

Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below:



a Rafflecopter giveaway


Go Find Jessica:
Add Embrace to your TBR pile HERE

And that's all for today, folks! Have you read Embrace yet? What did you think of Jessica's interview questions? Don't you agree that she's such a lucky girl to have landed the One In A Million Teenage Love Story that everyone dreams about? ;)

Have an awesome day, you guys!

-Mimi

25 comments:

  1. Awesome interview - not entering the giveaway but just wanted to say I really want to read Jessica's books. They look amazing! Donna xoxo

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  2. This was such an awesome guest post! I know a lot of people who don't believe you can fall in love at 17, but Jessica is the living proof that you can! I loved the interview too! I'm definitely eager to read Embrace!

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  3. I love Jessica's story of falling in love! So sweet! You never know when it will happen. Thanks for the great guest post, interview, and giveaway! The cover is definitely beautiful. I love purple! I love angels too and can't wait to read it.

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  4. Holy PURPLE! I think I'm in love!! (x <3333333 That guest post had to be the most adorable thing I've ever read. Mimi, when we read as much as we do, we can't help hoping for love story miracles like that one! I've only got one more year to go 'til I'm seventeen (darn you, early birthdays!), but I'm still being optimistic that we could be just as lucky ;)

    Awesome guest post, interview, and giveaway, Mimi-Doll -- coupled with awesome purpleness, and this is like a coded trio of epic! I may not be a believe in love at first sight either, but connection at first sight sounds just about right to me (: <333

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  5. Thanks for the giveaway! I loved your interview and the guest post was so cute! And I love the cover as well! It's so PURPLE haha!

    Emily@Emily's Crammed Bookshelf

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  6. Hey Mimi! Great guest post! I think it's awesome that Jessica and Matt fell in love at 17 and they're still going strong! Not a lot of couples can do that. :)

    I've had Embrace for a while now but haven't got around to reading it yet. I saw your review on Goodreads. Great review, Mimi! I guess I need to read it soon. ;)

    Best

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  7. OoOOOOO I still want to read this book and ... I didn't have time yet! But, I am a sucker for a good Angel Story, I just love them, thee is something about Angels that makes me happy! I can't wait to finally read it :)) Thank you so much for sharing this cute Guest Posts and Interview!!
    Young Love, or the First Love is something so intense and wonderful and I think everyone of us will remember this first love!

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  8. What a lovely guest post-I am super jealous of Jessica for her love story and the commitment she and her husband have. Congrats on 11 years!

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  9. It might seem weird for me to say this but I would love to find a first love, fall hard and have my heart broken grandly. Not that I'm masochistic. It's just that I feel I'll learn so much more about myself if I have my heart smashed to pieces. And that's a great experience!

    Plus, it would be so funny to read the sucky heartbreak poems I make in ten years time. Haha =)))

    Great interview!

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  10. Oh my gosh YAY for Jessica and Matt!!!! I was hoping we'd get a little sentence like that at the end that says they're still happy and together and they made everything work for them despite all the challenges they faced:) Thanks so much for the guest post and interview ladies, they were so much fun to read!

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  11. Aw, Mimi! I wasn't really a fan of Embrace but Jessica seems super nice. I love the questions you asked, this is such a great interview. I never thought about people like to nitpick until their stories are absolutely perfect, I constantly edit my posts so it would probably be very stressful for me if I'm an author. Such a fun interview. :)

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  12. Awesome guest post and sooooo true. Teens are more than capable of feeling intense and real love just as adults. I think with teens the maturity of it all ends up coming into play a lot. But some teens can surely make it work with the right dedication.

    I also love the idea of free will and fate coexisting and believe that is totally going on. Some things just can't be explained, but we do still have a big hand in our own destinies. Lovely guest post and thanks for the interview!

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  13. I loved this post. Yes sometimes I wonder what things would be like if it had worked with my boyfriend at 17, but then On the other hand I would have missed out on some highlights and lowlights and growing experiences. A lot to think about. Mimi, I am sure your guy is out there waiting patiently for you :) I twittered for you ;)

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  14. *le sigh*

    Falling in love is the easy part, no doubt about it. Making it work is how true love it tested.

    Oh, I love real life LOVE STORIES! They make me feel like anything is possible.

    Thanks so much for the guest post, interview and giveaway!

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  15. Yep. Definitely envious of her love story. Although I'm sure it's had its ups and downs, too. I really liked Jessica's point of view in teenage love. Now THAT's something I'd like to read about, so I think I'll be picking up Embrace soon!

    Wonderful interview. Good luck for everyone participating in the giveaway~ :)

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  16. *moves to the US*
    LOL, aah, this book sounds so good, I seriously cannot WAIT to read it. o: I need to get myself a copy instead of sobbing over US giveaways. ;) LOL. And that definitely was an interview of awesomeness! It has me even more curious. o: Yes, it was apparently possible!

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  17. Awww! That was such a sweet story! Making relationships work is hard and it's so great that Jessica got to fall in love at 17 and it has lasted till now! Loved the interview, Mimi! I definitely want to give Embrace a chance :) I'm a bit picky with Angel stories but this sounds like it's for me :D

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  18. What an awesome giveaway & great interview, Mimi :)

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  19. This is so interesting!
    I love that there's an original take on angles out there for me to read, it's very comforting - I'm getting more and more tired of the same old story. If you add to that a well-developed relationship with no instalove in sight, I can't wait to get a copy and read it. I totally agree about the quirks being a major part of a long-lasting relationship. It's the small things that make a person and if you can live with those, you can live with the man. I don't believe in love at first sight either, but I do believe in that initial spark, Ann Aguirre called it recognition once.

    Absolutely wonderful post and interview, ladies.
    On a side note, Mimi, you totally make my day every single day. You're like this little ball of positive energy and enthusiasm. :) I always picture you smiling from ear to ear.

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  20. Awwwww..that's soo sweet <3 Happy belated anniversary Jessica! :) I'm 17 right now...and like many other girls out there, i AM interest in falling in love BUT, unfortunately there are more important things *cough*studying*cough* than finding THE ONE. Fantastic guest post & interview Mimi and Jessica!! I currently have a copy of Embrace sitting on my shelf and I cannot wait to read it :)

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  21. I loved this post Mimi! Cant wait to read this book. x

    Ƹ̴Ӂ̴ƷFICBOOKREVIEWSƸ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ

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  22. Oh my goodness, I LOVE what Jessica said in the bottom of her guest psot... about adults forgetting that feeling of first love, or the intensity of feeling with your first boyfriend, or even your first crush? I know we all complain about instalove (mainly because it's been done to death), but seriously, that's exactly how my first crushes and first boyfriends and kisses felt to me... kind of all consuming and overwhelming and.. you know?

    "I believe in a connection a first sight." *sigh* yessssss.

    FABULOUS interview, lovely! xx

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  23. Wait, what did I do when I was 17? Well, falling in love is not exactly the first thing on my mind at that time. College application was sort of my boyfriend, and luckily, our story ended beautifully. :P The guest post is so LOVELY, and the interview is FANTASTIC. I remember how much you love Embrace, Mimi, so it's just amazing that you get to interact with the author! Jessica sounds like a wonderful person. I love it that she's protective of her characters - that just make her more awesome! ♥

    Hopefully your wish to have a beautiful love story like Jessica will come true, Mimi! That's very cool to stay falling in love from such young age. ♥ :)

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  24. Whoa...thank u for this awesome giveaway. I loved the cover, it was great. And the story sounds great also. Hope I'll win it :)

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Thanks so much for leaving your thoughts! I love hearing what you have to say, and I always try to comment on one of your blog posts in return! :)

It's really nice to meet you!