IAM Excerpt…As You Wake by Amy Martin

 

Guest Feature

Guest Feature

One of our favourite YA books in 2012 was Amy Martin’s debut, In Your Dreams. Today she joins us for a feature on the sequel As You Wake, which is out now! You can check out an exclusive excerpt right here, and enter our grand prize competition to bag a copy of your own!

As You Wake - Cover

Zara “Zip” McKee and Kieran Lanier thought they had put the threats from Kieran’s past behind them in the first installment of the In Your Dreams series. But when danger comes for them once again, Zip, Kieran, and their families find themselves on separate summer road trips that none of them had anticipated. When all paths converge in North Carolina, the two families are forced to deal with each other and the secrets they’ve kept out of love and fear.

But Kieran is keeping the biggest secret of all from everyone but Zip. He hasn’t had a dream—about the future, about anything—for months. And while Zip and Kieran are grappling with what the new twist in Kieran’s sleeping disorder might mean, a mysterious stranger reveals information that could change Kieran’s life–or end it.

Excerpt from As You Wake: 

I grab the section of chain link fence that’s rusted away from the pole and hold it aside just enough for Kieran to crawl through to the grassy area under the press box. As I follow him, the fence snaps back into place, scraping my skin through my shirt.
“You okay?” Kieran asks after he turns just in time to see the fence smack against me. He helps me to my feet, and I lean back against one of the metal pillars hidden away in the shadows.
“Yeah. I’m good,” I assure him before changing the subject. “You probably shouldn’t have rushed through your chem final.”
His arms circle my waist, strands of hair falling into his face as he looks down at me. “It was worth it,” he whispers, the smile I give him quickly swallowed by a wave of kisses. My hands wander up underneath his plain white t-shirt, my thumbs grazing the base of his rib cage on either side. Once we finally come up for air, my head foggy and my fingers nearly stuck to his skin with sweat, Kieran takes my face in his hands and looks at me dead on. “I love you,” he says, my ears ringing on hearing him say those words to me for the first time. “I couldn’t let you leave for Chicago without telling you that.”
I don’t hesitate. “I love you, too.”
“And I’m not just saying it because we’re going to be apart for a while,” he goes on, and I hold myself back from saying Or forever in my head or out loud. “I’m saying it because I’ve known all along.” He must see the question in my eyes, because he continues with “But not because I dreamed something beforehand. I’m talking about after we met…I just…I’ve always known somehow. And I kept telling myself, ‘Kieran, you need to stop being such a wimp and tell her. If she doesn’t say it back, then she doesn’t say it back, but at least you’ve told her—‘”
“You’re babbling,” I point out, and he gives me the goofy grin that endeared him to me the day we met.
“Yeah. Little nervous, I guess.”
I put my hand to his cheek. “Don’t be. I love you, Kieran.” My mouth enjoys saying the words, words I’ve never said to anyone outside my family. “I love you. I’ll say it as many times as you need to hear it, because it’s the truth.”

He doesn’t make me say it again. We merge once more, the now-familiar ache of desire in my stomach and the early afternoon heat building up under the press box conspiring to make me weak. I just want to lie down with him in the scrubby grass so we can kiss until all thoughts of Frank Dozier or anything else become a distant memory, but after a few minutes, Kieran pulls away, my lips straining to stay on his.

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Author Biography

Amy Martin wrote and illustrated her first book at the age of ten and gave it to her fourth grade teacher, who hopefully lost it in her house somewhere and didn’t share it with anyone else. Not counting that early experiment in self-publishing, In Your Dreams is Amy Martin’s first Young Adult novel.

A native of St. Charles, MO, Amy currently lives in Lexington, KY with her husband and a ferocious attack tabby named Cleo. When not writing or reading, she can usually be found watching sports, drinking coffee, or indulging her crippling Twitter habit (and, sometimes, doing all three at once). You can follow her on Twitter at @ThatAmyMartin.

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You can read our 2012 review of In Your Dreams here and an interview with Amy here

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Want to know more? Check out the links!

http://www.theamymartin.com
http://www.facebook.com/amy.martin.writer
Twitter: @ThatAmyMartin

Cover Reveal…In Your Dreams by Amy Martin

One of our favourite YA books in 2012 was Amy Martin’s debut, In Your Dreams. Today it launches with a new cover and we’re revealing it here…now! 

CoverImage - InYour Dreams

Sixteen-year-old Zara “Zip” McKee lives for three things: basketball, books, and bailing out of tiny Titusville, Illinois, where the junior high and high school are in the same building and everyone’s known everyone else since birth. But when Kieran Lanier moves to town and passes out on her desk on his first day at school, Zip’s life gets complicated in a way she never dreamed.

Kieran has narcolepsy, and although he sometimes struggles to stay awake, he has no trouble capturing Zip’s heart and trusting her with his most guarded secret–he sees bits and pieces of the future in his dreams.

But just when Zip thinks that maybe she can handle having a boyfriend who sees things before they happen, her budding relationship with Kieran gets a jolt when Kieran’s parents reveal that his sleeping disorder is not what it seems and may be putting them in harm’s way. And when Zip begins to have unsettling dreams, she must decide if she can live with knowing the future in advance when she’s afraid of what might happen.

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Author Biography

Amy Martin wrote and illustrated her first book at the age of ten and gave it to her fourth grade teacher, who hopefully lost it in her house somewhere and didn’t share it with anyone else. Not counting that early experiment in self-publishing, In Your Dreams is Amy Martin’s first Young Adult novel.

A native of St. Charles, MO, Amy currently lives in Lexington, KY with her husband and a ferocious attack tabby named Cleo. When not writing or reading, she can usually be found watching sports, drinking coffee, or indulging her crippling Twitter habit (and, sometimes, doing all three at once). You can follow her on Twitter at @ThatAmyMartin.

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You can read our 2012 review of In Your Dreams here and an interview with Amy here

——————————————————————–

Want to know more? Check out the links!

Twitter: @ThatAmyMartin

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6472261.Amy_Martin

Interview with…author Amy Martin

Following our review of her debut novel, In Your Dreams, today we’re welcoming author Amy Martin for an interview…

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Author Biography

Amy Martin wrote and illustrated her first book at the age of ten and gave it to her fourth grade teacher, who hopefully lost it in her house somewhere and didn’t share it with anyone else. Not counting that early experiment in self-publishing, In Your Dreams is Amy Martin’s first Young Adult novel.

A native of St. Charles, MO, Amy currently lives in Lexington, KY with her husband and a ferocious attack tabby named Cleo. When not writing or reading, she can usually be found watching sports, drinking coffee, or indulging her crippling Twitter habit (and, sometimes, doing all three at once). You can follow her on Twitter at @ThatAmyMartin.

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1. One of the main characters in your book, Kieran, suffers with narcolepsy. What made you want to write about someone with this condition and what kind of research did you do to make him realistic? 

I’ve always been fascinated by sleeping, dreams, and how the brain functions in general, so having a character with narcolepsy who can dream parts of the future seemed like a good way to explore some of the themes I wanted to delve into in In Your Dreams. Kieran turns out to have something more complicated than just simple narcolepsy, but I didn’t want to take too many fictional liberties with what is a very real condition. For research, I read some pretty dense medical articles on the subject, along with reading books and personal testimonials from people with narcolepsy. Once I understood the common symptoms and behaviors, I felt comfortable enough to incorporate those qualities into Kieran’s character. My hope is that I’ve represented people with this disorder accurately and fairly.

 

2. Titusville – where you set In Your Dreams – sounds like text-book small-town living, American-style to a Brit like me – is this the world you grew up in? And what did you like most about the setting that made it fit with your story? 

I actually grew up in suburban St. Louis, MO, but my parents grew up in a small town, and my husband’s family is from a small town. Years ago, I worked as an admissions counselor for a college in Illinois, and I would travel around to high schools speaking to students—I’ve probably visited every small town in northern and central Illinois, and Titusville is a mash-up of those places. What really stood out to me about those towns is how everything revolves around the high school, whether the citizens were high school students, adults, or little kids—the high school is really the center of the social universe in a way that it isn’t in larger towns or cities. The small-town setting fit with the story because Zip is a small-town girl who realizes that there’s life after high school, and she can’t wait to get started on it. And the Laniers, who have always lived in cities, move to Titusville because they think they’ll be safe living in the middle of nowhere, not realizing that in small towns, everyone’s business in everyone else’s business as well.

 

3. There’s a strong ‘jock’ edge to Zip’s character in your book – do you play basketball yourself, or have an interest in the sport you wanted to see developed in a character? 

I always wanted to play basketball, but unfortunately, I’ve been cursed with a horrible lack of coordination. But I’ve been a basketball fan all my life and have a fairly good understanding of the game. Basketball, particularly at the point guard position (Zip’s position), involves being in control—running the offense, being able to see what’s happening on the entire floor rather than just a portion of it, and anticipating what the other team is going to do. I thought those themes of control and trying to anticipate what’s going to happen fit in with some of the larger themes in the book. And I wanted Zip to be a strong, goal-oriented female character, and having her be an athlete gave me a way to infuse that into her.

 

4. If you could have any superpower what would you choose?   Flying, probably. I have a mild fear of heights and flying on airplanes, so I’d love to know I could just take off of and be up high and be safe.

 

5. Skittles or M&Ms?   I love both, but I seem to reach for the Skittles most of the time

 

6. Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.  You should read In Your Dreams because it’s an original, twist-filled ride with a strong heroine and a great love story.

 

7. Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects? 

I conceived In Your Dreams as a three-book series, so I’m currently working on the second and third books (I’m hoping to have the second book out in early 2013). I’d love to do something in the future along the lines (tone and character-wise) of the Veronica Mars TV series, one of my all-time favorites.

 

8. What inspired you to want to become a writer?

I’m an only child, so I’ve always been used to spending time alone, making up stories to amuse myself. Around nine or ten years old, I started reading Judy Blume’s books and was blown away by the fact that there was an adult out there who seemed to understand everything I was going through as a kid. I wanted to one day be able to impact someone with my writing in the way that she impacted me.

 

9. Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.

Having readers tell me that they love the book and they love Zip and Kieran’s relationship is really gratifying. Writing and publishing is like giving birth and then sending your children out alone into the world, so I really worried how people would respond. Knowing that there are readers who “get” Zip and Kieran and love them is so rewarding.

 

10. What was your favorite book when you were a child/teen? 

Probably Judy Blume’s Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret. I read that book when I was just entering puberty myself, so all of Margaret’s concerns about maturing and becoming a woman were my concerns. I felt a little less alone and weird after reading that book.

 

11. What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?   Read a wide variety of works and write often. I probably have several novels’ worth of writing on my computer that will never see the light of day, but I needed that practice in order to learn the craft.

 

12. When you were little, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?

I saw an architect on Sesame Street, and so I wanted to be that for a while, until I discovered I was no good at math. Then I wanted to be the first female to pitch in the Major Leagues, because I was huge baseball fan. Once I grew out of that, I wanted to be a writer.

 

13. If a movie was made about your life, who would you want to play the lead role and why?

I don’t know who would play me as a young woman, but Lauren Graham (Gilmore Girls, Parenthood) could probably play me now. I’ve had several students in the past when Gilmore Girls was still on tell me “Oh, my God—you are sooo Lorelai Gilmore.” Maybe Alexis Bledel should play young me since she was Rory Gilmore. Somehow, I doubt I’m ever going to have to worry about this. J

 

14. Cats or Dog?   I’ve never had a dog, so I’ll go with cats. My cat is my constant companion when I write.

 

15. Facebook or Twitter?   Twitter.

 

16. Text or Talk?   Text. When I talk, sometimes I get myself into trouble. 🙂 With text, I have to think about what I’m saying before I hit “send.”

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Want to know more? Check out the links!

Twitter: @ThatAmyMartin

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6472261.Amy_Martin

Just Finished…In Your Dreams by Amy Martin

This book is great: from the well-rounded characters, to the interesting twist-filled, but believable plot I went for this hook, line and sinker.

Told from Zip’s (Zara ‘Zip’ McKee) point of view – a heroine with a nice combination of self-depreciation, sporting ability, brains and maturity (that doesn’t seem like a 30-year-old in a 17-year-old!) – the story unfolds in traditional YA territory of high school. But the gorgeous new guy, with pale skin thankfully doesn’t turn out to be a vampire (or anything else otherworldly), but someone who suffers with narcolepsy.

The treatment of Kieran’s condition was very interesting – I’d never really thought about how people with narcolepsy deal with various situations and seeing Zip having to work these out as their relationship develops gave an added layer of interest for me and also showed a good deal of Zip’s character and outlook on life. It was nice to read about realistic characters dealing with real world issues, that can be just as problematic as dealing with being a YA in the first place! Hormones and high school are tough enough without passing out on a regular basis :)

All the key characters: Kayla, the parents, Kieran, Zip’s team mates… are all well-drawn and as you work through some of the twists and turns I think hold up well with their behaviour and motivation. I loved the dialogue and scene-setting in this book: Zip and Kieran bounce off one another so well that you could be watching them bantering away; and Zip is similar with her mother and Kayla over time. I had a few ‘awwww’ moments in their relationship – they are very cute and believable, without being cheesy. I also found that I really wanted to know what happened next – I read the book in a couple of days which is quick for me – all credit to the author, whose style of writing is engaging, fun and balances plot/drama with regular characters extremely well.

Overall: 4.5* A great debut and I was very pleased to see that this was ‘The End of Book One’ as I reached the last page – I would certainly look out for anything Amy Martin writes in the future and definitely want to hear more from the lovely Zip!

PS – Thanks to author Amy Martin for providing me a copy of this to read / review – love it from the minute I started reading it in the hairdressers! :)