Monday, September 30, 2013

"Purple Moon" by Tessa Emily Hall Blog Tour: Excerpt + Review

It brings me great pleasure to introduce you to Tessa Emily Hall, the author of Purple Moon.

Tessa is the kind of writer who captivates you in the first chapter. A connection is immediately gained between Selena and yourself. You become intrigued by the struggles she has endured and will withstand throughout the course of the book. If it had not been for being discovered by my parents, I would have pulled an all-nighter simply to reach the end of this enthralling novel.

This is without a doubt the best Christian novel I have read in a very long time. It is common to assume that it will be mundane and "preachy" because it has the label of Christian, but after reading the first few pages, you know that this will not be the case with Purple Moon. Tessa does a terrific job with keeping the action rolling and providing a great message while not letting it seem like you are listening to a sermon. I do not have enough words to praise this book.

As soon as I had finished reading the last page, I wanted to go share Purple Moon with everyone I met. I feel like it is a novel that could really change a person's life. It definitely provided me with a new perspective of myself and those around me. I advice everyone to retrieve their own copy as soon as you are able. It is an investment worth making.


Enough of my rambling, let's get on to the Blog Tour! :)

Selena's life isn't turning out to be the fairy tale she imagined as a kid. That hope seemed to vanish long ago when her dad kicked her and her mom out of the house. This summer might finally hold the chance of a new beginning for Selena ... but having to live with her snobby cousin in Lake Lure, NC while waiting for her mom to get out of rehab wasn't how Selena was planning on spending her summer. She soon begins to wonder why she committed to give up her "bad habits" for this.

Things don't seem too bad, though. Especially when Selena gains the attention of the cute neighbor next door. But when her best friend back home in Brooklyn desperately needs her, a secret that's been hidden from Selena for years is revealed, and when she becomes a target for one of her cousin's nasty pranks, she finds herself having to face the scars from her past and the memories that come along with them. Will she follow her mom's example in running away, or trust that God still has a fairy tale life written just for her?

Purple Moon Excerpt: Wooden Swings
(The previous fact or fiction was TRUE.)
Here’s an excerpt from my debut YA novel, PURPLE MOON. (Be sure to read behind the scenes snippets about this excerpt below):

“Wait.” His hand on my elbow keeps me from moving toward the door. “It’s still early. Come outside with me so we can play. I mean—not play.” A corner of his mouth rises slowly. “I have a surprise.”
I laugh. “Play? Sounds very mature.”
The urge for Austin’s hand to remain on my elbow surprises me.
“It’s because I remember us as kids playing games outside during the summertime. Follow me, I’ll show you.” (1)
Since I seem to have no choice, I follow as he leads me through the familiar trees in his backyard and into a more wooded area along the lake. My legs weaken with each step.
Didn't we already go on a hike today?”
I focus on the ground and carefully decide where to step, just in case there’s a snake hiding in the leaves. Something stops me from moving forward. I look down at my shirt: it’s snagged on a tree branch.
“We’re here,” Austin says as I detach the shirt from the branch.
He stands between two trees a few yards from the lake. Hanging from both trees are wooden swings.
I take a few steps closer, struggling to figure out why they look so familiar. It seems as if I’ve dreamed about them before, because I remember being afraid of falling into the water as I would swing over the lake. (2)
“Don’t you remember?” Austin asks, anticipating a surprised reaction.
The sound of a croaking toad seems magnified in the silence.
“My dad built these for Audrey and me when I was six,” he finally says at my lack of response.
“Oh, yeah!” A door to my childhood opens as several images of my past reel through my mind. I grab the ropes of one of the swings and carefully sit onto the wooden seat. “How could I forget? Whitney and I used to make you push us.” (3)
“Not funny.” Austin crouches down to snap a picture of the empty swing with the lake in the background. “That was torture, getting a tiny kid like me to push two spoiled brats like you girls.”
My feet kick the dirt as I push off. “Hey, I wasn’t the spoiled brat. I was just the spoiled brat’s servant.”
The fact that these swings probably haven’t been swung on in years doesn’t scare me a bit. I allow the sudden rush of wind to take me all the way back to childhood as the swing flies over the edge of the lake.

(1)   I had two close guy friends when I was little, which is why I chose for Selena and Austin to have been friends when they were kids as well.
(2)  I first had the idea to include wooden swings in this scene after I attended a family reunion. This reunion was held at one of my relatives’ houses, and in the backyard was a wooden swing above a pond, much like the one in Purple Moon. When I was at family reunion, I could vaguely remember swinging on the wooden swing from when I was a kid. (Click here for a picture of my cousin on the swing.)
(3)  The swings in this scene was originally an old swing set in Austin’s backyard. However, after attending the reunion, I decided to change the swing set to a pair of wooden swings above the lake.
(4)  This was one of the funnest scenes to write (yes, that is a word!)
(5)  Later in this scene is when the reader finds out why a purple moon is so significant to Selena.

Fact or Fiction?:
Guess this fact or fiction, and be sure to stop by the next blog tour stop to see if you guessed correctly! (You’ll also receive one extra entry for the “Purple Moon” Prize Pack if you send me your guess.)

“Purple Moon” Prize Pack!

Two people will receive the below prizes--however, I will also be giving away one more prize pack (as well as two signed copies of my book) at my virtual launch party on Sept. 24th. RSVP by clicking here!

“Purple Moon” Blog Tour Stops:
Wednesday, September 18th: Purple Moon Blog Tour Launch: The Story Behind the Story: Christ is Write
Thursday, September 19th: 5 Facts about Purple Moon: Kim Vandel
Friday, September 20th: Character Sketches + Character Cast Contest: Who YA Reading?
Monday, September 23rd: Behind the Scenes: Why I Chose Lake Lure: Words to Dreams
Tuesday, September 24th: Release Day! Selena’s Diary Entry + Creative Photo Contest: Writing for Young Adults
Wednesday, September 25th: Austin’s Diary Entry: Amy’s Book Blog
Thursday, September 26th: Q & A: Notebook Sisters
 Friday, September 27th: Purple Moon Playlist: Ashley Carr  
Monday, September 30th: Purple Moon Excerpt: Wooden Swings: Heather Brice   
Tuesday, October 1st: Dealing With Anxiety—The Spiritual IV: The Destiny of One  
Wednesday, October 2nd: Q & A: Saved by Grace
Thursday, October 3rd: Behind the Scenes: Name Meanings: Labor Not In Vain
Friday, October 4th: Is It Okay To Be An Introvert?: Alex Inks It  
Monday, October 7th: Story Behind the Cover Art: Candy Apple Books
Tuesday, October 8th: Purple Moon Excerpt: Cherishing the Sunrise: Author Casey Bond
Wednesday, October 9th: Q & A: Writing While the Rice Boils
Thursday, October 10th: Behind the Scenes: Christian Human Videos: Writing in Wonderland  
Friday, October 11th: Teenage Substance Abuse: Emily Rachelle  
Monday, October 14th: Behind the Scenes: Lake Lure Academy of the Arts: Worthy 2 Read
Tuesday, October 15th: My Middle & High School Experience: Hello Highlights  
Wednesday, October 16th: Purple Moon Excerpt: Meatless Turkey Sandwich: Diane Estrella 
Thursday, October 17th: Body Image Laurel’s Leaves
Friday, October 18th: Behind the Scenes: Brewer’s Coffee: A Splash of Ink
Monday, October 21st: Purple Moon Excerpt: Farkle at the Park: A Slightly Nerdy Bookworm
Tuesday, October 22nd: Teenage Dating: Tell The World
Wednesday, October 23rd: Q & A: The YA Book Stack
 Thursday, October 24th: How Much of My Personal Life Did I Put Into “Purple Moon”?: Read For Your Future
Friday, October 25th: Fairy tales & Happy Endings + Contest Winners!: Inspiring Daring

Tessa Emily Hall is a 19-year-old author of Purple Moon, her YA Christian fiction novel to be published September 2013 by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. She is also the editor over the faith department for Temperance Magazine, a column writer for Whole Magazine, a contributing writer for More To Be, as well as the PR for God of Moses Entertainment. Other than writing, Tessa enjoys acting, music, Starbucks, and her Teacup Shih Tzu—who is named Brewer after a character in her book, as well as her love for coffee.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Smile a Little Mondays {32}

It has been far too long since I have made one of these posts. 

Enjoy your Monday!

Forever and Always a JesusChick ♥

Friday, September 13, 2013

Ups & Downs

My buddy Molly started these Ups & Downs posts a few weeks back. I hope she doesn't mind if I borrow her idea...

-Thumbs Up-
Just finished watching a Tinkerbell movie with my sisters.
I have been chosen to be a part of Tessa Emily Hall's blog tour for her book Purple Moon. Be on a look out for her post appearing here soon.
Teen Night is being hosted at my house tomorrow which means all of our buddies will spend time swimming in the pool and being complete dorks. That's the definition of a good time.
I sold all of my merchandise on etsy and am having to restock. *mega fist pump*
Rock the Universe at Universal was an absolute BLAST. Casting Crowns was definitely the best band of the night.

-Thumbs Down-
Momma is off with my grandfather in the hospital again. He seems to enjoy visiting there.
The release of Allegiant is still over one month away. I cannot handle this wait.
No one is actually sorry when you play "Sorry!"
The minions from Despicable Me are apparently not real which means my plan to have one as a pet will never work out.

My internet friends need to be my real-life friends.
I keep forgetting to post here on my blog. Whoops.

Forever and Always a JesusChick ♥