Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Win a Critique from an Award-winning Author


Selene is an award-winning teen and children’s author who believes that through all trends, humanity remains at the core of literature. She is the author of Saved By the Music and The Girl Next Door, teen novels originally published by WestSide Books and now available digitally through ASD Publishing. Her third children’s book with Calkins Creek Books, Revolutionary Friends, was released in April. Selene holds an MFA in creative writing from New School University and a BA in English from New York University. She lives on Long Island with her two sons. Visit her website www.SeleneCastrovilla.com for book excerpts and more information!
Author links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr | Goodreads

She is the author of The Girl Next Door.   
Book Cover
Her virtual blog tour runs from September 9th until September 20th.

Ms. Castrovilla has agreed to play a game with you all. The game is Two Truths and a Lie. She has listed three situations as related to her novel. Two of them are true. One is not.

Please leave your comments on the blog and you may be a winner of a critique of your manuscript!

So here she is..... Selene Castrovilla!

Hello everyone!

I’m excited to be a guest on Gayle’s blog, because I get to test my lying abilities. I rarely lie in real life, so it was a challenge to write this. But then, how often do you get to find out if you’re a good liar? Without facing consequences or hurting anyone, that is.

Some people say writing fiction is concocting lies, but I say au contraire. There’s a deep truth in fiction that we all relate to – it’s what makes it compelling, and what makes us care.

Out of the correct guesses, I will give three winners a critique of their work (up to three chapters.) I also write picture books (my latest one is Revolutionary Friends, a Booklist Top Ten Biography for Youth, 2013) so feel free to send me one if you’re a lucky winner!

Here’s a brief synopsis of The Girl Next Door:

Originally published: April 25, 2010, eBook Publication Date: May 22, 2013
Two teens are forced to make some very grown-up decisions when one of them is diagnosed with terminal cancer, twisting them into an unpredictable nightmare. Best friends since toddlerhood, Samantha and Jesse grapple with the realization that they are actually in love. What now? Beautifully written while handling a very heavy topic, Castrovilla addresses the universal question: In a world where the worst can strike at any time, how can we ever feel safe?
The Girl Next Door: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes

And here are my three “confessions”:
In The Girl Next Door, Jesse made his mom a stuffed pillow in his third grade art class, which she gives back to him to help him cope with cancer:

                        “I gave it to my mom for Mother’s Day. It’s a ‘feel better’ pillow. It was supposed to make her happy when she was sad. She was always crying after my dad left,” Jesse said.
                        “Your mom cried?” I was shocked. “I don’t remember that.”
                        “Yeah, she never did it during the day. In the middle of the night, I’d come into her room and find her like that--” He stopped, pulled the pillow from his lap and examined it. It was real raggy, but actually not bad for a third-grader. There was a decent cat face drawn on it with markers, and a tail glued to its back. It was the stitching that needed help; there were big gaps, and white fluff stuck out between them.

I, too, made a pillow in school – a dog. But I never got to bring it home because someone took it when I put it down to open my locker. The hall got so crowded...then it was gone. I was so upset, because I wasn’t good at sewing and it had been a huge effort. Plus, I’d grown attached. I’ve never sewn again.

#2  The book opens with this stark diagnosis:
            Jesse’s dying.
            The doctors are 96 percent sure of it.
            They even have a time-line: seven months. They give him seven months, tops. I try to hold on to hope, but 4 percent is a weak reed to cling to while you’re thrashing to keep your head above water.

            In real life, my boyfriend also had cancer. But it was stomach cancer, and once he had an operation to remove the tumor (the size of a baseball), the doctor said he would be okay. He had chemo as a precaution, though, which made him very weak and sick.

#3 In the book, Sam and Jesse share their own special spot in Central Park, away from the noise of Manhattan and the rest of the world:

                        It was where we used to play tag, and hide-and-seek, and other kid games. It was where Jesse tackled me, making me taste dirt through my laughter. It was where we made up stories about what we were going do when we grew up; it was where we learned to dream.

I also had a special spot in a park near my house, where I would go by myself and read. I didn’t have the easiest childhood, and having a place to head off where no one could find me helped clear my head, and separate myself from the madness. It was like a self-imposed time-out: a saving grace. Sometimes I got in trouble for being gone so long, but it was worth being yelled at.

So there you have my two truths and a lie. Can you spy the lie?
Thanks for reading and thanks for playing along with me on my big, lying adventure!


And thank you for stopping by, Selene. I'm sure everyone will enjoy your new novel, I know I did. You can catch my review of The Girl Next Door on Amazon and Goodreads. :

So lets start playing.  If you guess correctly, you could be the winner of her critiques.


PS. Selene is pleased to team with the Anthony V. Mannino Foundation helping young adults in their fight against cancer. She will donate $1 for each book ordered during THE GIRL NEXT DOOR's Blog Tour!

Selene will send a free autographed copy of THE GIRL NEXT DOOR to anyone who donates $25 or more to the foundation (click here to donate!). For your purchase to count and/or to show proof of donation, just send a screenshot or receipt of your order or donation, along with your shipping address if necessary, through "Drop me a line" in the "Latest News" section of her website, selenecastrovilla.com.

The AVM Foundation Mission:
The Mission of The Anthony V. Mannino Foundation is to financially assist young adults in the age group of 18-28 while they are undergoing their cancer treatment.  We also want to help development support programs to aid this unique age group, with their special needs, as they battle cancer. 

We found that Anthony's age group of 18 plus, doesn't have the emotional or financial support that other age groups do. We are also aware of the unique situations that this age group faces and want to help those adolescents and their families. 


Grand prize is a  Kindle Fire + THE GIRL NEXT DOOR ebook (US only), and 10 second prize winners will receive an ebook copy of THE GIRL NEXT DOOR (International). 

Rafflecopter link: 


September 9th
Katie's Books (Interview & Review)
A Book and a Latte (Excerpt)

September 10th
Books Over Boys (Feature) 

September 11th
Dear Teen Me (Feature)

September 12th
Books, Authors, Blogs (Guest Post )

September 13th
alwaysjoart (Review)

September 16th
Writer's Alley (Interview)

September 17th 

September 18th
YA Reads (Interview) 

September 19th

September 20th
Mythical Books (Review)

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