Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Girlfriend Cyber Circuit Presents: Jenny O'Connell and a cool contest!

For those who are dying to know (*grins* Keri, I'm talking to you), I did get tattooed this weekend. It was just the first sitting and it won't be complete 'til after my tour, but I'll tell you about it tomorrow. Today I'm really excited to have Jenny O'Connell here today on her Girlfriend Cyber Circuit tour. Jenny's one of my fellow MTV Books authors and she has two books coming out, LOCAL GIRLS and RICH BOYS, that are kicking off her Island Summer series. Check out how totally summery these books look! Makes me want to go hang out on Martha's Vineyard where the books take place:Here's the scoop on these books:

There are two kinds of people on the island— those who leave at summer’s end… and those who are left behind.

Bestselling author Jenny O’Connell presents a sizzling new series for summer. Her first two Island Summer novels, LOCAL GIRLS and RICH BOYS (MTV/Pocket Books; June 2008; $9.95 each) highlight the lives of the summering visitors, the year-round locals living in the beach towns of Martha’s Vineyard, and the fireworks that explode when they combine for three steamy months.

In LOCAL GIRLS, friendships are in danger of ending with the summer. Kendra and Mona are best friends, local girls who spend their summers catering to rich tourists and the rest of the year chafing against small-town life. Then Mona's mom marries one of the island's rich summer visitors, and Mona joins the world of the Boston elite, leaving Kendra and Martha's Vineyard behind. When Mona returns the following summer, everything is different.

Unlike his sister, Mona's twin brother Henry hasn't changed. He's spending his summer the way he always has: with long, quiet hours fishing. Early mornings before work become special for Kendra as she starts sharing them with Henry, hoping he can help her figure Mona out. Then Kendra hatches a plan to prove she's Mona's one true friend: uncover the identity of the twins' birth father, a question that has always obsessed Mona. And so she begins to unravel the seventeen-year-old mystery of the summer boy who charmed Mona's mother. But it may prove to be a puzzle better left unsolved--as what she is about to discover will change their lives forever...

In RICH BOYS, Winnie jumps at the chance to babysit for a wealthy summer family and earn some extra money—but soon learns that life in the Barclay’s beautiful vacation home isn’t as perfect as it appears. And what was supposed to be a carefree summer quickly becomes more complicated than she ever thought possible.

As for Jenny O'Connell, here's the basics on her: She received her BA from Smith College and her MBA from the University of Chicago. The author of PLAN B and BOOK OF LUKE, she lives outside of Boston with her family.

Of course, I've gotten a little bit more in depth with her and her books by doing my usual music-themed interview:

Please list five songs that would be on the soundtrack to your book and explain how they relate to your story or characters.

Jenny: Actually, for the Island Summer series I didn’t think about music so much as the sound of the island – the waves, the wind rustling the trees, the sound of shoppers on Main Street in Edgartown. I never thought of music playing because there was so much “noise” made by the island itself. It’s also a pretty timeless place that feels immune to trends – I pretty much just picture someone on the beach playing an acoustic guitar around a bonfire.

Name some of your main character's favorite musicians or bands.

Jenny: I can honestly say I’ve never thought about the music my characters listen to (although one of my books OFF THE RECORD has music at its very core and reason for existing – in that one music plays a huge role). But I always imagine them listening to women singers/songwriters.

Who are some of your favorite musicians or bands?

Jenny: Alanis Morissette, Toni Childs, Indigo Girls, Melissa Etheridge, Pink Floyd.
I’m a big fan of the tormented woman song-writing.

Even though music plays in so heavily into my storytelling, I rarely can actually listen to it while I'm writing. Can you? How does music fit into your writing process?

Jenny: I love to go running while listening to my iPod. It lets me really listen to lyrics and the story the musician is telling. It totally inspires me. One of my books was heavily influenced by an Alanis Morissette album – that woman can write!

While music is my muse, I know other writers find their muse in theater, sports, art, the great outdoors, etc. What is your main muse?

Jenny: Bad experiences. I think back on ex-boyfriends, dumb things I did, dumb things my friends did. I have a great memory for horrifying stuff.

Personally I love the idea of those island sounds as the soundtrack to this book and it really makes me want to read it on the beach. And bad experiences are definitely one of my muses, too!

If you are as excited as I am about this fun series for summer, learn how you can win an Island Summer t-shirt – just in time for the beach. Go to http://jennyoconnell.blogspot.com and enter to win today! And learn more about LOCAL GIRLS and RICH BOYS at www.jennyoconnell.com.

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