Monday, January 11, 2016

{Tour Stop} SHADE ME by Jennifer Brown—Author Interview + Giveaway

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Shade Me
by Jennifer Brown

Nikki Kill does not see the world like everyone else. In her eyes, happiness is pink, sadness is a mixture of brown and green, and lies are gray. Thanks to a rare phenomenon called synesthesia, Nikki’s senses overlap, in a way that both comforts and overwhelms her.

Always an outsider, just one ‘D’ shy of flunking out, Nikki’s life is on the fast track to nowhere until the night a mysterious call lights her phone up bright orange—the color of emergencies. It’s the local hospital. They need Nikki to identify a Jane Doe who is barely hanging on to life after a horrible attack.

The victim is Peyton Hollis, a popular girl from Nikki’s school who Nikki hardly knows. One thing is clear: Someone wants Peyton dead. But why? And why was Nikki’s cell the only number in Peyton’s phone?

As she tries to decipher the strange kaleidoscope of clues, Nikki finds herself thrust into the dark, glittering world of the ultra-rich Hollis family, and drawn towards Peyton’s handsome, never-do-well older brother Dru. While Nikki’s colors seem to help her unravel the puzzle, what she can’t see is that she may be falling into a trap. The only truth she can be sure of is that death is a deep, pulsing crimson.

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Age Group/Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery
 Publication: January 19, 2016
 Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins
Purchase: Amazon • B&N • Books-a-Million • KoboIndieBound

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with Jennifer Brown


LM: What inspired you to write Shade Me?

Jennifer: I was looking for a new challenge, and Nikki’s synesthesia intrigued me. I wanted to link her emotions to colors, because that seemed like something that would be both handy and maddening. Handy, because you could get a read of what you’re really picking up on when you feel awkwardness in a room—maybe you suspect someone is hiding something from you or is giving off a vibe that’s scaring you, etc. Maddening, because emotions can lie, and are constantly changing. I wanted to create this character who is a bit cynical, a bit jaded, a bit tortured, but has deep convictions that she doesn’t even know about yet. And I wanted her to be a badass who can take care of herself when things get hairy.

LM: How does Shade Me differ from other books you've written in the Young Adult genre?

Jennifer: There’s a mystery/suspense element to it, which doesn’t appear in any of my other YA novels. And there is no big social issue message or statement, which all of my other YA’s have had. Where they are similar, however, is in characterization. Nikki is suffering on the inside, just like Valerie (Hate List) or Alex (Bitter End) or Jersey (Torn Away), and has to push through her own dark stuff to do what needs to be done, just like they did.

LM: Describe Nikki, the protagonist, in just three words.

Jennifer: Tough. Smart. Sexy.

LM: What was your favorite part of writing Shade Me?

Jennifer: The fight scenes. I’d never done anything like that before, and writing them was exciting—like watching a movie in my head. Also, there is some sexual/romantic energy in Shade Me (and even more in book 2!)—another thing I’d never really written before. I guess I most enjoyed the things that were outside of what I normally write, probably because they were a challenge and I love being challenged.

LM: Give us a little behind-the-scenes story/fact about Shade Me!

Jennifer: I had a couple of black belts help me out with choreographing the fight scenes. We would stage the scenes, they would put me in various holds and show various kicks and punches, and I would stop to write down what we’d just done, and then repeat. They would show me several different options for how to achieve what Nikki needed to achieve and I would choose the one that I thought best fit her character and situation.

LM: Can you share with us one of your favorite quotes/scenes from Shade Me?

Jennifer: My favorite scene is one where Nikki is alone with Peyton in the hospital room, because that’s when she really understands how deep she is into this thing, whether she wants to be or not.

LM: Tell us what you enjoy doing when you aren't writing!

Jennifer: Reading! And traveling. And anything to do with Disney.

LM: Thank you so much for answering my questions today! Is there anything you'd like to add; anything you'd like to say to your reads?

Jennifer: Thank you so much for reading! I hope you enjoy going along for Nikki Kill’s ride!

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Jennifer Brown is the author of acclaimed young adult novels, Hate List, Bitter End, Perfect Escape, Thousand Words, and Torn Away. Her debut novel, Hate List, received three starred reviews and was selected as an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, a VOYA "Perfect Ten," and a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year. Bitter End received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and VOYA and is listed on the YALSA 2012 Best Fiction for Young Adults list. Her debut middle grade novel, Life on Mars, was released in 2014, and her second middle grade novel, How Lunchbox Jones Saved Me from Robots, Traitors, and Missy the Cruel will be released in summer 2015. She also writes women's fiction under the name Jennifer Scott. Jennifer writes and lives in the Kansas City, Missouri area, with her husband and three children.

WEBSITE • GOODREADS • FACEBOOK • TWITTER

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Big thanks to Jennifer Brown for answering my interview questions today! ^-^

Readers, please continue on for giveaway details! ~


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Thanks so much for stopping by! Happy Reading!

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