Friday, September 04, 2009

FREEBE FRIDAY with Lauren Baratz-Logsted!

Happy Friday! Today I'm excited to bring you a special pre-launch freebie with Lauren Baratz-Logsted, whose book CRAZY BEAUTIFUL hits the shelves on MONDAY! I have wanted this book ever since I heard about the premise and then saw the sensational cover. My copy just arrived on pre-order from Amazon! Yay! (But I can't read it until I get this next round of edits done and to my editor. Boo!)

Here is the blurb for the book:

In an explosion of his own making, Lucius blew his arms off. Now he has hooks. He chose hooks because they were cheaper. He chose hooks because he wouldn’t outgrow them so quickly. He chose hooks so that everyone would know he was different, so he would scare even himself.

Then he meets Aurora. The hooks don’t scare her. They don’t keep her away. In fact, they don’t make any difference at all to her. But to Lucius, they mean everything. They remind him of the beast he is inside. Perhaps Aurora is his Beauty, destined to set his soul free from its suffering.

Or maybe she’s just a girl who needs love just like he does.

Le sigh.

Love it.

For those of you who don't know Lauren yet (or at least know of her,) she is the crazy busy author of over a dozen books, including Angel's Choice, Secrets of My Suburban Life, The Sisters Eight series and four new releases (yes, four) in the upcoming year. Check out the descriptions below. More love! You find out more about Lauren on her website, myspace, facebook, or follow her on twitter!

Now for the interview:

What inspired you to write CRAZY BEAUTIFUL?
I've always liked Beauty & the Beast best of all the Disney-fied fairy tales and, after seeing it on Broadway, concluded the reason it's so successful is that it's the only one where the male lead is more than just mere window dressing to make the female look good; if anything, he's by far the more compelling character. So I decided I wanted to do my own version, focusing on how surface values - Aurora's beauty, distinctive physical features like Lucius's hooks, even rumors - affect how others perceive and treat us, thereby affecting how we perceive and treat the world in return.

Are any of your characters based on real people that you know?
In the interest of not getting sued: no. In the interest of telling the truth: no. I don't know anyone as stunningly perfect as Aurora or as gorgeously flawed as Lucius.

What excites you?
My daughter. Reading. Good TV. Good food. I'm easy to excite. Really, I'm practically stir-happy here.

What turns you off?
Close-minded, judgy people.

If you could invite anyone you wanted - living or dead - to hang out with you at a weekend retreat, who would you invite and why?
It'll change tomorrow, but since Little Women is on my mind today I'll say Louisa May Alcott. I'd like to grill her on a question that's been bothering me and countless others for decades: How can Laurie not end up with Jo??? Then I'll pour Louisa a glass of Prosecco and we can watch the sunset together.

What's one thing most people don't know about you?
That I have a secret desire to be Mayor of Danbury.

What's your favorite quote?
Ack! I did *not* see that one coming! OK, let's see... "Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds..." I'm a closet romantic. Come to think of it, I'm ditching Louisa May Alcott on that weekend retreat. I'm taking Shakespeare with me instead.

What are you working on now?
I've got four new books coming out in 2010. Two more YA: The Education of Bet, due out in April, is set in the Victorian era and is about a 16-year-old girl who impersonates a boy in order to get a proper education; and The Twin's Daughter, due out in the fall and also set in the Victorian era, about a girl whose life is changed forever when she discovers that her gorgeous and wealthy mother has an identical twin who was raised in the poorhouse. (Linda's note: Oooooh!) The other two books are Books 5 and 6 from The Sisters 8 series for young readers which I created with my novelist husband Greg Logsted ( and our nine-year-old daughter Jackie. Phew!

What is an interesting writing quirk of yours?
I use "that" too much and (some people think) I use "and" too little. It's a tone and weight-of-sentence thing. OK, I'm weird.

What songs would make the playlist for CRAZY BEAUTIFUL?
I wouldn't normally be able to answer this question quickly but since someone else just asked me... Rob Thomas's "Lonely No More" - I love the moody sound of it - and "Chasing Cars" by Snow Patrol. I'd also add Howie Day's "Collide" and "Listen to Your Heart" by Dht.

Milk Chocolate or Dark?

OK, now for the freebie. Lauren has graciously donated a signed copy of CRAZY BEAUTIFUL for this week's lucky winner. We're going to do it a little differently this week. You can earn one drawing entry each for the following:

*Refer someone to this pre-release celebration blog post. (Just have them say you sent them.)
*Post about the CRAZY BEAUTIFUL release on your blog, facebook or myspace (or whatever.)
*Send Lauren a Happy Release Day message on Monday.
(Send me the links to the last three.)

This drawing will remain open until Wednesday, September 9.