Wednesday, June 8, 2011

PJ Hoover's new book Solstice totally rocks - Plus a Giveaway

Yes, dear readers, another giveaway. Just go with it. I have no idea what’s making me so delightfully generous. Possibly I’ve just lost it with this crazy hot weather we’ve been having. Even for Houston (where we’ve basically got just two seasons – summer and February), this has been a bit extreme. We hit 100 in late May and seem to have skipped right over June and July and gotten stuck in August. Okay, it’s dipped back into the mid 90’s this week, but seriously, it’s hot. Where is Al Gore with that power point when you need him?

And speaking of global warming – which we just were, in case you didn’t catch on – I’ve got a really hot treat for you today, gentle readers! My pal PJ Hoover – Texas Sweetheart, Austin writer, all around cool chick who does hip things like appear at Dallas Comic Con – has written a new book called Solstice. Our mutual literary agency, the fabulous Andrea Brown Literary, has published it as their first front list ebook, which is also way cool. (note how I’m throwing in the word cool to juxtapose with the hot? I am just that good of a writer)

Here’s the Amazon blurb:

Piper's world is dying. Global warming kills every living thing on Earth, and each day brings hotter temperatures and heat bubbles which threaten to destroy humanity. Amid this Global Heating Crisis, Piper lives with her mother who suffocates her more than the chaotic climate. When her mother is called away to meet the father Piper has been running from her entire life, Piper seizes an opportunity for freedom.

But when Piper discovers a world of mythology she never knew existed, she realizes her world is not the only one in crisis. While Gods battle for control of the Underworld, Piper's life spirals into turmoil, and she struggles to find answers to secrets kept from her since birth. And though she's drawn to her classmate Shayne, he may be more than he claims. Piper has to choose whom she can trust and how she can save the people she loves even if it means the end of everything she's ever known.
So in honor of the Solstice release, PJ and I thought we’d something different.

First – our giveaway. If you want to win some Solstice trading cards, comment on this post and let us know your favorite things to do when it’s hot outside. (remember this is a family blog!) I’ll leave the contest open until Monday 6/13. And just for good measure, I’ll send the winner an autographed copy of Haunted, too!But before you post, here’s our surprise. It’s too hot for me to come up with questions, so I asked my character Anne Michaelson – the feisty hero of Dreaming Anastasia and Haunted – to have a little chat with Solstice’s Piper. Seems they have a lot in common, these two. Check it out below! And don’t forget to enter the contest!

Anne: When I met Ethan I thought he was totally hot, but honestly? He was sort of stalkerish and intense. It took me a while to realize that what I felt for him was way different than I’ve ever felt for anyone else. And then he went away and I started going out with Ben because I wanted someone normal and uncomplicated - which complicated things even more. Mr. Danger vs. Mr. Normal – but they’re both really awesome people. How about you and the whole Shayne/Reese thing? How did you end up with two guys in the picture?

Piper: Hey Anne, thanks for asking! Like you know, it is a bit of a challenge dealing with two guys, especially when they’re both pulling me in opposite directions. I mean, before I met Reese and Shayne, my mom controlled every single thing I did, and Reese was such a rule breaker; it was kind of awesome. Sure, I knew I was doing things I shouldn’t, but for once, it felt nice to be in charge of my own life. And then there was Shayne. Everything about him made me feel more secure except for the fact that he would never tell me the truth about anything. That, and he was a little overprotective.
So there I was with two guys, and they were both pretty hot. And the best part: they were both in love with me. Are you curious what I did about them? I hope so!

Anne: More than curious. We’ll have to talk later. Seriously. But first, another question, and let me just preface by saying I see where you’re coming from. My life has turned into one huge Russian fairy tale these days – and a happy ending is not necessarily guaranteed! I’ve made this bargain with Baba Yaga, who’s a totally unpredictable witch with iron teeth and removable hands. I’ve discovered that I’m related to a pretty cranky Russian mermaid called a rusalka. And in book three, I’m going to face off with a guy named Koschei the Deathless who basically can’t be killed. How about you? What’s up with all the Greek mythology?

Piper: This girl I know, Melina, she gave me a birthday present when my mom wasn’t around. My mom would have freaked if she found out. She’s so overbearing. Anyway, after Melina left, I opened the present, and it was this gorgeous, ancient, Greek box. You can probably guess where this is going. Yep. Like Pandora, I opened the box. Sigh. Maybe I shouldn’t have, because the next thing I knew, my whole world divided. All of a sudden Greek gods started showing up at the most unexpected places and paying all this attention to me. Who knew? I thought global warming was our biggest issue, not mythological domination.

Anne: And I thought I was the only one on the wacky life train. Possibly Baba Yaga isn’t the only scary thing out there. And I’m sorry your mom keeps freaking. I get that, you know. Family stuff is pretty harsh for me lately. Since my brother David died, my parents haven’t been getting along real well. I think my mother’s developed an eating disorder. And now that my mom knows some of my secrets, well, I think it’s making her even more freaked out. Plus if she had to pick, she’d definitely want me with Ben and not Ethan which is totally not her business, by the way! I know you and your mom are having some issues, too. Any suggestions for how to work it all out?

Piper: I have this total love/hate thing going on with my mom. I mean, on the one hand, she’s really awesome in that she loves me more than anything. On the other hand, her love is so intense, it’s pretty much an obsession. I can hardly go to the bathroom without my mom watching. It’s so bad that back when I was 13, I actually ran away and refused to come home unless she let me go to public school. Which she did. But she calls me every day to make sure I’m still alive. So you want advice on how to deal with a family situation? Unless you want to run away, too, I don’t have anything useful to offer.

Anne: Nope. Not gonna run away. So let’s change the subject to something, um, lighter. What's on your ipod right now?

Piper: Well, in my world here in Solstice, we all actually have something called a FON (functional operating node). So on my FON is DON’T FEAR THE REAPER by Blue Oyster Cult

Anne: Your perfect day?

Piper: It has to be hot, and the sun has to be shining, and it’s best if my mom is out of town and a gorgeous guy asks me out. Oooh, you have to read about it in Solstice! It’s totally hot!

Anne: I think I’ll do that. Then I’ll loan the book to Tess. Speaking of my bff – she and I just had like, an hour long debate - peanut butter or chocolate?

Piper: Peanut butter because with global warming and all that, chocolate melts too fast.

Anne: You’ve the quite the global warming obsession, right? But maybe for good reason

Piper: It was great talking to you, Anne! I hope we can do this again sometime!

Anne: Ditto.

PJ Hoover’s Bio:P. J. Hoover first fell in love with Greek mythology in sixth grade thanks to the book Mythology by Edith Hamilton. After a fifteen year bout as an electrical engineer designing computer chips for a living, P. J. decided to take her own stab at mythology and started writing books for kids and teens. P. J. is also a member of THE TEXAS SWEETHEARTS & SCOUNDRELS. When not writing, P. J. spends time with her husband and two kids and enjoys practicing Kung Fu, solving Rubik's cubes, and watching Star Trek.
Her first novel for teens, Solstice, takes place in a Global Warming future and explores the parallel world of mythology beside our own. Her middle grade fantasy novels, The Emerald Tablet, The Navel of the World, and The Necropolis, chronicle the adventures of a boy who discovers he’s part of two feuding worlds hidden beneath the sea.


Natascha De Marco said...

My favorite activity for when its hot outside is to stay INSIDE with the AC cracked down to 60 while playing Final Fantasy 13 on one hand, on the other hand is my laptop with Blogger, Hotmal, Facebook and any other page open, plus on my OTHER hand (where did I get that one you ask? Excellent question) I have my most recent read.

How do I manage all this? I am a multitasker borderlining on ADD, nooo kidding... Oh look a kitty.

Jim Danielson said...

I like to stand barefoot on the A/C vent on the floor of our family room. Even if the air isn't quite keeping up with the 93 degree days like today, it's instant cooling. Ahhhhhhh. Or, in the case of Chicago weather I can wait for tomorrow--high of 72 predicted--or think back two weeks when the high was 42. Chicago weather is cRaZy!
Jim Danielson

Perla said...

On a hot day, I enjoy staying inside, wearing my pajamas, and OF COURSE leaving the A/C on at full blast. :D I read all day and crave ice cream (which there never is). It's too hot here in LA! :O

bookaholic said...

You'd think I would lose a few pounds on a very hot day due to teh excessive sweating...but NO! What do I do on a hot day? Gorge on sodas and lots and lots and lots of ice creams and pastries. Magically,my craving for chocolates also increase on a hot summer day! Strange,right? and of course,laze around all day in the A/C with a book! So much for some natural sauna ideas! *sighs*
Lastly,I beg to differ. For me,it's chocolate for all seasons!

Vivien said...

Going to some sort of body of water.

deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

summer just end recently where I am now. but I'd rather pick summer than rainy season. I don't like being wet in the rain. Anyway, as for my favorite things to do when it's hot outside that would be going to beach. I love beach and that's why I love summer. I love walking in the sand barefoot while inhaling the fresh air and listening to the music of waves.

Anonymous said...

oops I forgot my contact details
email add:

Laura Morales said...

Agreed! Staying inside with the ACseems the best option.

TheGirlOnFire said...

Head to the pool and lay out with a book.

thegirlonfire27 at gmail dot com

heykiddego said...

I mostly like to stay inside when it's hot. I know, boring. But that boring often includes a book and a lime juice bar.

When I was in high school, my neighbors and I would lay on the floor in their hallway under the swamp cooler (man those things are terrible!), just hoping to cool off a degree or two. Mostly it didn't work.


Unknown said...

I tend to melt in the heat but I love to swim! The pool was the only thing that saved me when I had to spend 2 months in southern California during mid-summer. :)


Bidisha said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bidisha said...

Oh, I'd head straight for the shower (hoping that the water's all chilled)! When I'm done, though, I'd have to settle with any sort of an iced drink (although it does have to have mint leaves), in the AC-ed room, with a book or a movie.

Giada M. said...

Great post! I loved the interview! :D
My favorite thing to do when it's hot outside is to go to the beach with a book and read. That is my idea of relax. :)
Please enter me in the contest only if it is international. Thank you! :D

Giada M.

fabgiada (at) gmail (dot) com

ArtemisG said...

Great post and interview! My favorite thing to do when it’s hot outside is to spend my day in a beach with a book and ice water.
Thanks for the giveaway and count me if it is international.

artgiote at gmail dot com

Margay Leah Justice said...

When it's hot outside, I stay inside with a cool book!


Lyssa Anne said...

When it's hot out, I like to be inside in the air conditioning watching a movie or reading a book. If I have to be outside, I'd like to be poolside.


Tore923 said...

When it is really hot outside, I like to stay in the house in the airconditioning with cool clothes on either reading or watching movies. Please enter me in contest and thanks for the great giveaway.

Library Lady said...

I agree with most everyone else...inside with the A/C on full blast. Add a good book and an ice cold drink and I am good to go! :)
Thanks for the contest!
adsanders77 at gmail dot com

Cielo Azul said...

Well, here where I live is very hot all year, so it's hard to think I do when this hot ... is an everyday thing. But what I do very much, and since it is a huge addiction, serve a huge cup of coffee, a time feel very hot, but gradually leveled temperature.

April X said...

Cool interview :) And thanks for the giveaway! When it's hot outside I stay inside like a freaking vampire lol and just read/sleep/watch tv/indoor activities.

Deserae McGlothen said...

My favorite thing to do when it's hot outside is grab my notebook and find a comfortable spot under a large, shady tree. When it's hot, I'm typically unable to think straight if I'm just concentrating on how hot I am. So I like to write. Pulling myself out of my own bubble into another world is almost as refreshing as a bottle of ice-cold water.

Thanks for this opportunity,
~Deserae McGlothen

Kari said...

I like to pull a random book off my shelf, grab my favorite raft, and float in the pool while reading. I've become very good at not flipping the raft over, and can spend all day just floating. Of course, I never tan, so that has stopped being the main point of doing this.

Mary Preston said...

When it is hot, the beach beckons. I take some shade, drinks, snacks & books.


Amy @ bookgoonie said...

By the pool with a margarita & a good book. Which is why I can never lose wait during the summer. It is right toasty up her in NTX. Please keep all the humidity down there in Houston. Amy @
bookgoonie at

Tasnim said...

When it's hot I like to drive around (newly passed driver) in my car, with windows down, AC on, and the music blasting cause I'm a geek like that ha!

Thanks so much for the giveaway!!

Tasnim xx

Book Flame said...

When it's hot outside my fave thing is to go hit up water theme parks we have two of them near where I live. But if it's in the 100's you can find me inside with the AC full blast and a good book in my hand.

Thank you for the giveaway!

Kristina said...

I favorite thing to do on a hot day is go get a massage and get of the heat and into an AC room. Relax and than go home and sitting in the pool and relax some more :)

myworldofbooks18 at hotmail dot com

Regina said...

My favorite thing on a hot day is to take my kiddo to the pool. First I catch some rays and then he wants to race me across the pool so many times I am exhausted. By the time I get home it is time to curl up and relax with a great book, cause he's tired too!! :D

Anonymous said...

My favorite thing to do outside when it's hot is garden and then swim. First I garden for a few hours, and then when I'm really tired, I jump into the pool. The water rejuvenates me. I swim around for a few hours and then go inside for a smoothie and book break before I do anything else.

Mary Preston said...

When it is hot outside I head to the beach with my own shade, drinks, snacks & books. It's wonderful.


donnas said...

My favorite thing to do when its hot outside is stay inside where it is cool and read. Then when the sun starts to set, go outside and watch it while it cools down out there.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

hernameisavril said...

My favorite things to do when it's hot is going swimming. I could swim all day especially if it's incredibly hot out. Or I stay inside listen to music while I read a good book and try to stay cool by the air conditioner :D
Thanks for the giveaway