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Aeicha @ Word Spelunking

Friday, May 22, 2015

Three Day Summer Blog Tour {review, guest post, giveaway}

I'm thrilled to have the Three Day Summer Blog Tour stopping by today...

Three Day Summer
by Sarvenaz Tash
May 19, 2105
Simon & Schuster BFYR
Michael is unsure about most things. Go to college? Enlist in the military? Break up with his girlfriend? All big question marks. He is living for the moment and all he wants is a few days at the biggest concert of the summer.

Cora lives in the town hosting the music festival. She's volunteering in the medical tent. She's like that, always the good girl. But there is something in the air at this concert and suddenly Cora finds herself wanting to push her own boundaries.

When Michael and Cora meet, sparks fly, hearts race, and all the things songs are written about come true. And all the while, three days of the most epic summer await them...

Praise for Three Day Summer

"A positive portrait of a much-maligned era, this optimistic, exuberant tale is recommended for readers who've wondered why the '60s were so great." - Kirkus Reviews *Starred Review*

"Extremely charming...This sure-to-be-popular, mesmerizing novel...[is] a real page-turner for fans of romance, music, and the swinging 1960s." - School Library Journal

"Three Day Summer will transport you back in time to Woodstock, drown you in incredible music, and introduce you to a couple you'll never forget. It's the perfect summer getaway." - Tamara Ireland Stone, author of Time Between Us and Every Last Word

"Three Day Summer is not just a book—it’s an experience! It made me feel like I was at Woodstock surrounded by free love, music, and mud. I loved it—I couldn’t stop reading!" - Miranda Kenneally,bestselling author of Catching Jordan and Jesse's Girl

Michael, the guy who has no idea what he wants to do with his life. Cora, the good girl who knows her future includes college and working in medicine. These very different teens are brought together by the epic music festival, Woodstock. Cora, who lives in the town hosting the festival, is a volunteer at the med. tent, while Michael, with his girlfriend (who he may or may not want to dump) and friends, is there to witness all the musical greats he loves. Thanks to some trippy brown acid, Cora and Michael’s lives and futures collide during three unforgettable days.

The wild 60’s + epic music + sweet romance = one super groovy reading experience. Sarvenaz Tash’s Three Day Summer is such a fun, feel-good YA book. Drugs, rock and roll, sex, music, peace, and love...this is what Woodstock is famous for and Tash brings it to life in all its psychedelic, tie-dye glory! From the physical layout of the festival and town to the awesome musical acts, memorable moments, the volatile atmosphere surrounding the war, clothing, and dialogue, Tash does such a great job of transporting readers to 1969 and capturing this complex, fascinating time in history. You can tell that the author clearly did her research and did everything possible to make this setting and time feel authentic and real.

While the festival itself is so fun to read about, it is Michael and Cora’s stories that take center stage. I really like these two, both as individuals and as a pair. They’re both witty, charming, and interesting in their own ways. And I thoroughly enjoyed watching their sweet, addicting love story unfold. This is a romance that readers will root and fall for.

my final thoughts: With its vivid setting, excellent world-building, likable characters, and fun romance, Three Day Summer easily charmed me. This is the perfect read for anyone crazy about Woodstock or simply in the mood for a light, entertaining read.

4/5 yummy cupcakes

So You Wanna Live in the ‘60s…A ‘Three Day Summer’ Bonus Post
By Sarvenaz Tash

If you liked Three Day Summer and want to learn more about the 1960s, here are some of my recommendations for things to watch, read, and do! (I used a lot of these as reference material for the book).

Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
The site of the original festival is now a gorgeous and very fun interactive museum that features a lot of footage, music and even a psychedelic VW van to sit in. I visited this museum several times in preparation for the book. It was research that I did not mind one bit!

Woodstock Revisited, by Susan Reynolds
This book features first-person accounts from a slew of people who were actually at the festival—from the hilarious to the profound, it’s a great non-fiction snapshot of what it actually felt like to be there.

Woodstock: Three Days That Rocked the World, by Mike Evans and Paul Kingsbury
I admit I mostly used this book for its gorgeous full-page photos that helped give me a real sense of the fashion and looks of the festival, but it also has a lot of nice details about each day and each artist.

Linda McCartney’s Sixties
This beautiful book features the late, great photographer’s portraits of some of the biggest rock stars of the 1960s. It really helped me to visualize the looks and styles of the artists up on stage.

Taking Woodstock: This superbly fun Ang Lee film is about how the festival organizers came to descend upon the small farm town of Bethel, New York for the biggest music festival the world has ever seen. It stars Demetri Martin, Jonathan Groff and—my favorite bit of casting—Eugene Levy as Max Yasgur.

Woodstock: This famous documentary, released in 1970, was actually filmed at the festival and is responsible for a lot of the archival footage that exists today. Bonus fun fact: Martin Scorsese was an assistant director and editor on this film (and attended the festival as such!). Also, Joni Mitchell wrote a well-known song called “Woodstock” that appeared on this film’s soundtrack even though she did not actually perform at the festival.

There are a few compilation albums that feature some of the festival’s best highlights as well as complete setlist albums for some of the biggest acts at Woodstock including Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and Jefferson Airplane. You can also find a decent amount of the performances on YouTube and Spotify. One of my very favorite performances? Joe Cocker’s take on “With a Little Help From My Friends” which helped to launch his career and which you can find here:

Sarvenaz Tash was born in Tehran, Iran, and grew up on Long Island, NY. She received her BFA in Film and Television from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. She has dabbled in all sorts of writing including screenwriting, copywriting, and professional tweeting. Sarvenaz currently lives in Brooklyn, NY

Win a copy of Three Day Summer!
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Wednesday, May 20, 2015



I'm thrilled to be working with Dial Books to organize a release day blitz for Cassie Beasley's much anticipated and fantastic new middle-grade novel, CIRCUS MIRANDUS, releasing on June 2, 2015! The blitz will, of course, be taking place on June 2nd, with bloggers posting after midnight on release day, and will feature an incredible giveaway. 

On June 1st, bloggers who sign-up to participate will receive, from me, a word document containing all information and all images needed to create their release day blitz post...this way, you can simply and quickly put together a post to share on June 2nd. 

Plus, the first 30 people to sign up will get a complimentary copy of CIRCUS MIRANDUS from Dial Books!

If you'd like to participate in this blitz

by Cassie Beasley
June 2, 2015
Dial Books
Micah Tuttle believes in magic, even though his awful Great-Aunt Gertrudis doesn’t approve. Micah believes in the stories his dying Grandpa Ephraim tells him of the magical Circus Mirandus: the invisible tiger guarding the gates, the beautiful flying birdwoman, and the magician more powerful than any other—the Man Who Bends Light. Finally, Grandpa Ephraim offers proof. The Circus is real—and the Lightbender owes Ephraim a miracle. With his friend Jenny Mendoza in tow, Micah sets out to find the Circus and the man he believes will save his grandfather. The only problem is, the Lightbender doesn't want to keep his promise. And now it's up to Micah to get the miracle he came for. Readers will fall in love with CIRCUS MIRANDUS, which celebrates the power of seeing magic in the world.

About Cassie Beasley:
CASSIE BEASLEY is from rural Georgia, where, when she's not writing, she helps out on the family pecan farm. She earned her MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. CIRCUS MIRANDUS is her first novel.


★ “On one level, the book is a fantastical circus romp… On another, it's both serious and thick with longing… A delicious confection and much more: it shows that the human heart is delicate, that it matters, and that it must be handled with care.”       Kirkus Reviews, starred review

★ “Circus Mirandus is not a simple story, but readers will be rewarded for delving into its intricacies. This gripping fantasy tale will have readers hooked from the opening scene to the breathtaking—and unexpected—conclusion.”                 School Library Journal, starred review

★ “Beasley’s debut is a bit of its own three-ring circus, masterfully diverting readers’ attention among the pressing matter of Ephraim’s illness, the inventive descriptions of Circus Mirandus in Ephraim’s flashbacks and Micah’s visits, and the larger, more serious tragedy of those who refuse to believe…Readers will be left with…the hope…that those who still believe will always have magic in their lives.”       Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Debut author Beasley has built an imaginative world in evocative, painterly prose, particularly the circus, and she’s filled it with compellingly multifaceted characters.”     —Booklist

Circus Mirandus blooms before the reader’s eyes…This lighthearted middle-grade fantasy is an ideal pick for those who want to be immersed in an imaginative world where there is no limit on creativity and adventure.”         —VOYA

#1 on the Summer Kids’ Indie Next List!

Inspired Recommendations for Kids from Indie Booksellers

Circus Mirandus is magical and real—if you believe. This is one of my favorites on the list without a doubt.”                     —Arna Lewis, Buttonwood Books & Toys (Cohasset, MA)

“Every now and again a book comes along that completely captures my heart and imaginationCircus Mirandus is one of those books.”                Laura Donohoe, Malaprops (Asheville, NC)

“Magic, like hope and dreams, comes in many forms… A charming, tender, a hold-your-breath kind of book.” —Margaret Brennan Neville, The King's English (Salt Lake City, UT)

“This book is chock full of magic and love. Great storytelling, delightful characters—and that cover!”                            —Francine Lucidon, The Voracious Reader (Larchmont, NY)

“I knew I was going to love this barely a page into it. The characters are dynamic, the illustrations delightful and the story is filled to the brim with tenderness, magic, adventure and a story so brilliant that adults will want to find a child to curl up and read this aloud to.”                                        
      — Jesica DeHart, BookPeople (Moscow, ID)

Kids Comics Q&A Blog Tour

I'm super excited to have the Kids Comics Q&A Blog Tour, organized by Macmillan, stopping by today!

Celebrate kids comics with Q&As with fantastic children’s cartoonists for Children’s Book Week! Join us as great authors talk about their own creative work and the graphic novel industry throughout April and May. Comics for kids are reaching a time of unprecedented acceptance in the American literary scene, and it’s now true that there are comics for everyone. All interviews are conducted by Jorge Aguirre and Rafael Rosado.

I'm honored to share the interview with the Adventures In Cartooning team, with y'all...

QUESTION:  Do you think of your books as a campaign to train future cartoonists? What are you hoping readers take away from your books?

James: In the future everyone will be a cartoonist—and I'm not saying that facetiously. One day all elementary schools will be teaching visual literacy —and cartooning is like the ABCs of visual literacy. Adventures in Cartooning is a text book disguised as an adventure.

Andrew: Most definitely! It's my hope that any kid (or adult, for that matter!) who wants to tell a story with comics—no matter his/her drawing "level"—believes that he/she can do so.

Alexis: The Adventure in Cartooning books encourage readers to tell stories using the skills they already have. Our books don't set out a prescribed method for making comics which I think is antithetical to the creative process. Instead, they seek empower young artists who, hopefully, discover a tool they can use to help process the world around them. The goal is less about training cartoonists than validating a young readers creative impulse. So, if the Adventures in Cartooning books were part of a campaign the slogan would be "Yes, you, can, DRAW!"

QUESTION:  Andrew and Alexis, if we understand correctly, you both met James while students at the Center  for Cartoon Studies where James teaches.  What are some of the things your study at the CCS prepared you for in your lives as working cartoonists?

Andrew: This is true! Alexis and I were members of the school's first graduating class. Looking back, I think one of the most important things I learned from CCS is the process of editing one's own work. Creating comics is a strenuous and time-consuming process, but being patient with your work is one of the only ways it will get better!

Alexis: Two important lessons I learned were, "Watch out for James' elbows in the low post," and "Wearing a sweater during the summer is totally normal in Vermont." But in all seriousness, the school's focus on teaching students about the entire process of creating a comic, from developing an initial concept, through writing and drawing the story, to preparing the final document for printing, is invaluable for any aspiring cartoonist. Additionally, during the first year, students are expected to create at least one complete comic weekly. This heavy work load helped prepare me for the amount of effort that goes into producing a graphic novel for print

QUESTION: James [Sturm], we really enjoyed the 12 Panel Pitch series you curated with Slate Magazine awhile back.  They were funny, weird - in the finest way possible - and we could see some of them as actual movies.  Did you get much response from them?  Are any of the pitches going to become time-traveling-pirate spring-break sports-comedy movies?   Are you going to do it again? 

James: 12 Panel Pitch grew out of a classroon exercise that explored genre structure and tropes and narrative compression. No movie deals signed yet! Will I do it again? Well, I do it every year with students at The Center for Cartoon Studies.

QUESTION:  For someone with a kid who loves your books and wants to read even more about cartooning who or what would you recommend?

James: There are so many great comics out there now. How about chek out some classics like Little Lulu, Moomin, Tintin and Scrooge McDuck? These comics are beloved by generations for good reason.

Andrew: Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud, to my mind, is the best overall book out there when it comes to talking about the art of comics. But it's not only a wonderful tool—it's just an overall great read, and I'd recommend reading and re-reading it whenever you can.

Alexis: For older kids, Scott McCloud's "Understanding Comics" is probably the best book there is about the mechanics of narrative storytelling. "Drawing Words and Writing Pictures" by Jessica Abel and Matt Madden is also great. But, I would agree with James, one of the best ways to learn how to draw comics is to read lots of comics. For example, reading through the Calvin and Hobbes box set is like getting a master class in cartooning.

QUESTION:  What's next for each of you?  More books in the Adventures in Cartooning series?  Or are you working on individual projects?

James: After the four AIC Jr. books are done we'll take a deep breath and hudddle with the :01 crew and figure out if we want to keep it rolling. 

I hope to have two solo childrens books coming out next year. One was inspired by Kamishibai (a Japanese storytelling tradition) and another one is about a sensitive Ape and an Armadillo who doesn't play so well with others. This fall marks CCS's 10-year anniversary so I plan on celebrating.

Andrew: I've got a few projects that I'm working on and hope to flesh out once we've wrapped up the final book in the picture book series. They're in the early stages, so I'd rather not elaborate on them too much because you never know how much something might change from idea to book!

Alexis: We're really excited about the four Adventures in Cartooning Jr. of books that are coming out starting in April. These are unique books that use visual narrative storytelling in a traditional picture book format. I guess the future of the AIC gang depends on how this mash-up is received. I am working on some solo projects during the time I have between drawing the Adventures in Cartooning books but they are still very much works in progress.

Sponsored by the Children’s Book Council with Every Child a Reader and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund in celebration of Children’s Book Week.