Today we have the lovely Elizabeth Norris on the blog! Let's welcome her, yes?
It's hard to think about the holidays without thinking of family. Mine is...interesting. I think it's my dad's love for all things Christmas, but my parents tend to go all out. Christmas music played almost six months a year and sometimes our Christmas lights were up until March.
When I was a kid, I dreaded the lead up because the "preparation" was so intense. We had to pull huge boxes of decorations out of the attic and spend at least an entire weekend setting up the house. Putting up the tree meant going to the tree farm and picking out the right one (not too tall but tall enough and full enough and one that looked like it would last). Decorating it meant stringing the lights, and wrapping the musical bells around the trunk of the tree, and hanging all the ornaments in just the right position that the reflective ones would the lights.
What I had the most love/hate relationship with though was my mom's Snow Village collection.
I think it started because they were cool decorations. My dad got her a little cottage that was on our kitchen table: a cute snowy house that lit up on the inside. She liked it so the next year on Christmas morning, she opened up a group of three kids building a snowman and the following year it was a snow house that looked a lot like ours.
Somewhere along the line, we ended up with a bookstore and a hotel and even a police station. Then family members caught on. They noticed my mother was collecting a Snow Village. They knew exactly what to get her for Christmas. It didn't take long before we had our own little cul-de-sac of Snow Village houses. The cottage was surrounded by a Queen Anne Victorian, an Oak Grove Tudor, a Southern Colonial and even a Gothic Farm House. Our Snow Village Main Street had a costume shop, a barber shop, a post office, a fire station, and even a Starbucks. (Really, I couldn't make this up).
Picture taken from here. Not actually Elizabeth's family Snow Village.
And the collection just kept getting bigger. We ended up with special edition pieces like the Snow Carnival Ice Palace and an ice skating rink with several moving skaters. We couldn't even keep them set up in the room of the house. They were on the top of the piano, in the living room picture window, on the hutch in the kitchen, and on top of bookshelves. One year, they even took over our dining room table.
On one hand, they were really cool miniature house (and other things) and when they were all set up, they were certainly a conversations started for anyone who came over. But they were taking over our house. It took days to set them all up and we didn't have room for them, and why did we really need to display an Armed Forces Recruiting Station around the holidays?
At some point, my mom admitted that she didn't think we needed anymore Snow Village pieces but she didn't know how to tell all of our relatives to stop buying them. So a few years ago, my parents decided to downsize and moved into a smaller house. My mother started rotating which Snow Village streets she was going to display each year, and last year when I opened my own presents, there was a distinctly cube shaped box among my packages. The tag read: "Now that you have your own place..."
I knew two things before opening it: inside would be something Snow Village and if this became a thing, I would be needing a bigger apartment.
Huge thanks to Elizabeth for taking the time! Make sure you're following her on Twitter, liking her Facebook page, subscribing to her blog and adding all of her books on your GoodReads shelves.
And now for the giveaway!!
Reminiscent of Before I Fall, Elizabeth Norris's Unraveling blends realistic coming-of-age issues and heart-stopping romance with something just a little bit more. In this case, a gripping science fiction world.and
Unraveling's heroine, seventeen-year-old Janelle Tenner, is used to having a lot of responsibility. She balances working as a lifeguard in San Diego with an intense academic schedule. Janelle's mother is bipolar, and her dad is a workaholic FBI agent, which means Janelle also has to look out for her younger brother.
And that was before she died...and is brought back to life by Ben Michaels, a mysterious, alluring loner from her high school. The more Janelle tries to figure him out, the more she starts to believe he's connected to a case her father is working on. The one where people are dying of radiation poisoning and the body count is rising. The one that involves a strange clock that seems to be counting down to the earth's destruction. If Janelle wants to stop the clock and save the world, she has twenty-four days to uncover Ben's secrets--and keep from falling in love with him.
From debut author Elizabeth Norris, comes this shattering novel of one girl's fight to save herself, her world, and the boy she never saw coming.
Unbreakable, the sequel to Elizabeth Norris’s Unraveling, blends science fiction, mystery, and romance into a thrilling story YA readers won’t be able to put down.That's right, I have copies of Unraveling and Unbreakable up for grabs. Rules for the giveaway are under "terms and conditions" on the Rafflecopter widget. This contest is international and books will be coming from The Book Depository. Oh, and don't forget that Ben is mine, I have proof.
It’s been four months since Janelle Tenner stopped the earth’s destruction with the help of Ben, the boy who resurrected her after she died. Ben is gone now—disappeared through a portal to his home world.
Even though Ben broke her heart, Janelle refuses to believe it when Interverse Agent Taylor Barclay tells her Ben is suspected of running a human-trafficking ring across several universes. She vows to uncover the true culprit and rescue the people who have been sold into slavery on alternate earths—not to mention find Ben and prove his innocence.
In addition to Ben, Barclay, and Janelle, Unbreakable brings back fan favorite characters Elijah and Cecily in this action-packed thriller.