Burn Baby Burn Baby Blog Tour Stop w/Guest Post

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Burn Baby Burn Baby, by Kevin Craig

Genre: contemporary, young-adult

Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press

Date of Release: December 11, 2014

Cover Artist: Eugene Teplitsky, https://curiosityquills.com/team/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23208375-burn-baby-burn-baby

cover1000Description:

Seventeen-year-old Francis Fripp’s confidence is practically non-existent since his abusive father drenched him in accelerant and threw a match at him eight years ago. Now badly scarred, Francis relies on his best friend Trig to protect him from the constant bullying doled out at the hands of his nemesis, Brandon Hayley—the unrelenting boy who gave him the dreaded nickname of Burn Baby.

The new girl at school, Rachel Higgins, is the first to see past Francis’s pariah-inducing scars. If Brandon’s bullying doesn’t destroy him, Francis might experience life as a normal teenager for the first time in his life. He just has to avoid Brandon and convince himself he’s worthy of Rachel’s attentions. Sounds easy enough, but Francis himself has a hard time seeing past his scars. And Brandon is getting violently frustrated, as his attempts to bully Francis are constantly thwarted. Francis is in turmoil as he simultaneously rushes toward his first kiss and a possible violent end.

KC2About The Author:
Kevin Craig is the author of three previous novels; Summer on Fire, Sebastian’s Poet, and The Reasons. He is a 4-time winner of the Muskoka Novel Marathon’s Best Novel Award. Kevin is also a playwright and has had eight 10-minute plays produced. His poetry, short stories, memoir and articles have been published internationally. Kevin was a founding member of the Ontario Writers’ Conference and a long-time member of the Writers’ Community of Durham Region (WCDR). He is represented by literary agent Stacey Donaghy of Donaghy Literary Group.
Find Kevin Craig Online:
Website: http://ktcraig.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kevin-Thomas-Craig-Author-Playwright/325130504188846?ref_type=bookmark

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KevinTCraig

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/785432.Kevin_Craig

GUEST POST

Recently I had a reader accuse me of writing broken pathetic down-on-their-luck fallible characters ALL THE TIME–without exception. As in, “ALL your characters are broken.”

It turned out to be a compliment, believe it or not. At first I was taken aback, though. In my head, you see, I was thinking all my characters were strong, courageous, together. Especially Francis Fripp, the narrator of Burn Baby Burn Baby. If anyone is courageous and strong, it’s Francis Frigging Fripp!

The reader in question had actually just finished Burn Baby. So it was my characters in general she was discussing, and Francis in particular. My first reaction was to embrace Francis and protect him from the hurt. Then I stood back and thought about it rationally. Wow! She had a point. All my characters are broken and pathetic. Without exception.

But doesn’t the arc seem that much the richer if you start from the bottom and find a way to rise above your circumstances. I guess that’s always been my pattern. My modus operandi. My characters don’t necessarily move from rags to riches, so to speak. They don’t rise up from the gutter to the penthouse. But I do try to have them come to realizations about self-worth and strength of character. It is important to me that they grow as a result of my dragging them through the mud of their unfortunate circumstances.

Truth be told, it’s kind of fun writing these characters, in a how-low-can-you-go sort of way. I love to take these hideously deformed characters and find a way to make them appreciate life.

This time, with Francis Fripp, I went one step further. I made him literally ‘hideous’. I gave Francis visible scars, where I usually write characters with emotional scars. Because of this, I suppose I saw Francis as a strong character from the get go. How hard would it be to go though life with half of your body hideously scarred by burns? I mean, you’d have to be strong, right. Courageous. A winner. Because there are people out there who are going to make your life difficult. You need strength to overcome that sort of derision.

So when my reader said this about my characters, of course I wanted to protect Francis. But you know what? An unbroken character would probably accept pity and protection. Francis? No way, no how. That’s how I know my reader is both right and wrong in her summation. My characters are broken, yes. But they are all capable of healing. We all are. We all matter and we all are capable of change and transformation. I guess that’s my true message.

If you read Francis’s story, I hope you feel his strength just as strongly as you feel his pain. I’ll tell you now, he does not want your pity. You’ll see how he deals with pity when he takes a bite out of Georgia, his best friend Trig’s girlfriend. Just trust that he is broken but not finished, down but not out. If he was finished he wouldn’t be looking for a future, right. He wouldn’t think love a possibility. People who give up don’t hope. Francis is all about hope. That’s precisely why he’s not a broken pathetic down-on-his-luck fallible character. He’s simply a work in progress. Aren’t we all?

 

 

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*Release Day Launch* Whatever Life Throws At You by Julie Cross

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We are so excited to bring you the Release Day Launch for Julie Cross’ WHATEVER LIFE THROWS AT YOU! WHATEVER LIFE THROWS AT YOU is a Young Adult Contemporary Romance, published by Entangled Teen!!

 

Whatever Life Throws at You

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About WHATEVER LIFE THROWS AT YOU:

Seventeen-year-old Annie Lucas is too young to remember her dad’s glory days as a pitcher for the Yankees. So when her father is offered a coaching position with the Kansas City Royals, Annie is intrigued to see the baseball side of her dad. Of course, knowing he’ll be a mentor to hot young rookie pitcher, Jason Brody, certainly makes it more enticing.

After an awkward first meeting with “Brody” involving very little clothing and a much-too-personal locker room interview, Annie’s convinced she knows Brody’s type: arrogant, self-involved, bossy. As her dad grows closer to the pitching phenom, the friction between Brody and Annie increases. But when opening day arrives and it looks like both her dad and Brody may lose their dream jobs, Annie steps up and offers support. She and Brody call a truce that grows into friendship—and beyond. Falling for a rising star who’s quickly reaching a level that involves rabid female fans is not what Annie would call smart, except suddenly she’s getting hints that maybe this crush isn’t one-sided after all. Could someone like Brody actually fall for a girl like her?

 

WLTAY Available Now

 

Whatever Life Throws at You by Julie Cross Excerpt:

He eyes me skeptically. “What kind of article?”

“It’s for Sports Illustrated,” I say without hesitation and then quickly realize that I don’t look nearly old enough to be a real reporter for a huge publication. “I’m an intern,” I add.

The skepticism falls from his face and he looks nervous, which gives me a boost of confidence. I walk closer and pull out the chair in front of the locker beside his, propping my feet up on the bench across from me. “Frank Steadman said you’d be willing to answer a few questions.”

His mouth falls open, and he looks down at his towel and then back at me. Water drips from his hair and off his dark shoulders. “Um…okay,” he says. “Mind if I get dressed first?”

I wave off his concerns, my face heating up, blowing my confident cover. But him getting dressed might allow enough time for Dad to return, and I’d rather not have to deal with that. I duck my head down, letting my hair hide my cheeks and flip open the first page of the notebook. “This will just take a minute… So, you’re nineteen? And you’re from Texas?”

“Chicago,” he corrects.

I had no idea where he was from but figured it sounded better if I pretended to know. I write down this information and then search my brain for some more questions. “Does the wind in Chicago affect your curveball? Do you throw into it or against it?”

He gives me a funny look. “I…well…I just throw toward home plate.”

My face gets even hotter. “Right, kidding. What’s your favorite color?”

“Orange.”

I take my time writing orange in really big loopy cursive while I think of my next question. “What are your opinions on sushi?”

His forehead wrinkles like I’ve just asked him to publicly declare a political party. “Raw fish and seaweed? I think it’s best eaten while stranded on a desert island with no other options.”

“Very diplomatic.” I scribble down his answer. “How many strikes have you thrown in your career?”

“Don’t know,” he says. “Do people actually count that stuff? Before the majors?”

“Some of them do,” I say, though I have no idea. “If you could be any magical creature in the Harry Potter series, which would you choose?”

“You said this is for Sports Illustrated, right?”

“Yeees, But it’s the…kids’ edition.”

“Oh, right.” He scratches the back of his head. “I guess maybe one of those elves.”

“A house elf? Seriously? They’re slaves.” I shake my head. “Why would you want to be an enslaved elf? They can’t even wear clothes.”

He grips his towel tighter and releases a frustrated breath. “Fine, I’ll choose an owl. That’s what I’d want to be.”

I snort back a laugh and drop my eyes to the page again.

“What? What the hell’s wrong with being an owl? They’re smart, they know geography and shit like that.”

“Owls in real life are actually pretty stupid. But no big deal, I’ll just relay that message on to the children of America. Jason Brody, temporary Royals pitcher, wants to be an owl when he grows up because they know geography and shit like that.”

Okay, I’m getting way too into this fake reporter role.

“Who says this is temporary?” he snaps.

“Your two-way contract.” Isn’t that how Dad explained it? He plays a few games then goes back to Triple-A, all without signing a real major league contract.

He yanks a pair of jeans from his locker and then grabs a bundled up orange T-shirt. “Well, I plan on kicking some ass on Opening Day and making this a permanent gig.”

“I think you need a reality check,” I say. “One game isn’t going to be enough–”

“Annie, what the hell are you doing?”

I leap off the bench and turn around to face Dad and Frank standing about five feet from me. “Introducing myself to your new pitcher.”

“Brody, what are you doing here, son?” Frank asks. “We’re off today.”

“Just getting in some cardio and weights.” His gaze darts from me to Dad to Frank. “I was just finishing up this interview for Sports Illustrated. The kids’ edition.”

“Well, we won’t keep you from getting your clothes back on, then,” Frank says, like he’s trying not to laugh. “And just for future reference, all interviews will go through the team’s publicity department so no one will be wandering in here, surprising you. Savannah will meet with you tomorrow to discuss publicity.”

Dad moves forward and extends a hand to Jason Brody. “Jim Lucas, nice to meet you, son. I’ve seen your spring training videos. You’ve got some real talent. I’m looking forward to working with you.”

Brody shakes Dad’s hand, his eyes still on me.

“And this is my daughter Annie,” Dad adds.

Brody glares at me. “Let me guess—you don’t work for Sports Illustrated?”

 

Julie Cross Author PhotoJulie Cross Bio:

Julie Cross lives in Central Illinois with her husband and three children. She’s a former gymnast and longtime gymnastics fan, coach, and former gymnastics program director with the YMCA. She’s a lover of books, devouring several novels a week, especially in the young adult and new adult genres. Outside of her reading and writing credentials, Julie is a committed—but not talented—long-distance runner, creator of imaginary beach vacations, Midwest bipolar-weather survivor, and expired CPR certification card holder, as well as a ponytail and gym-shoe addict.

 

 

 

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