Friday, October 26, 2012

Kiss N' Tell Blog Tour + Giveaway

I'm super excited today to be a part of the promotional tour for Janet Gurtler's newest contemporary young adult novel, Who I Kissed. Janet is stopping by to give us a little extra inside information on this story by digging around in protagonist Sam's head and plucking out a few choice tidbits to share with all of us, while also providing a few details on exactly how she's able to get into the minds of her characters. I hope you guys enjoy her insight as much as I did!


"Sam, Sam, Sam. What are we going to do with you?”  

If you can’t tell, I’m using my mother voice. Also I’m talking to a fictitious character. But we’ll ignore that part. When I write teen characters I have to turn my mother voice off. (And embrace the crazy.) Truth be known, I am able to remove my mother voice pretty easily and I find it kind of natural to slip inside the head of a teenager.  

I had a tough time when I was a teenager. I had a lot of internal struggles. I majored in insecurity and angst. And I remember many of those feelings really well. Really, really well.    

So, getting inside the head of a teenager isn’t as hard for me as if should be. Of course, my characters aren’t me.  I give them different challenges and different personality quirks. And then I have to try to think the way they would think. I have to slip into their shoes.

Fortunately, I enjoy imagining getting inside a character’s head. I like to go deep inside and look at things people sometimes try to hide. From themselves and from the world. I like to go there. To places that are uncomfortable. Especially with the challenges of today’s world around them. 
Technology. Expectations. Social media.

I took Samantha to some uncomfortable places in Who I Kissed. Imagine feeling responsible for the death of someone else. How horrifying would that be? How would you possibly get over it? Especially when you’re dealing with your own issues. Sam had some things to overcome even before the accident, but the accident brought them to the surface with a rush. Ultimately, Sam has to learn to let other people in. And that’s not always an easy thing to do. To me she’s a fully formed person with a history and built in likes and dislikes. So let’s take a deeper look at Sam. Let me slide back into her skin for a moment and tell you some of her secrets.

Favorite Book - The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie.   

Favorite Song - "Tonight Tonight" by Hot Chelle Rae

Favorite Movie - The Avengers

Favorite Food - Jelly Bellies of course! But as far as real food goes, she likes Mexican. Bean burritos. Even though they give her gas. She probably wouldn’t eat them on a date.

First serious crush. Zee.  First heartache. Zee.  Best kiss ever. Zee.

Celebrity Crush -  Corbin Bleu. She is waiting for his acting career to extend beyond High School Musical.

Personal Hero -  Missy Franklin  

Secret Talent - Sam loves to dance. She practices in her room with her iPod. At some point, she’s going to try to convince her swim team to record a dance dare (dancing behind people without them knowing) for the Ellen show. She knows every dance step to "Party Rockin" by LMFAO.  

Most Embarrassing Moment - When her bathing suit split down the butt at a swim meet and she had to finish her race, which was thankfully backstroke.

Thanks for telling us a little bit more about Sam Janet! More information on Janet and her books can be found here:

Interested in meeting Janet? Well, she's going on tour with fellow authors made of win Miranda Kenneally and Lisa and Laura Roecker, so be sure and check out the full schedule HERE to see if the Get Real: Contemps on Tour is coming to a city near you starting November 1st!


She Never Thought A Kiss Could Kill. . .

Samantha is new at school and just recently joined the swim team. She’s been flirting with one of her teammates, Zee, who invites her to a party and just as quickly dumps her for another girl. Hurt, but pretending not to care, she turns to his best friend, Alex, and gives him a kiss.  And he dies—right in her arms. Alex was allergic to peanuts, and Samantha had eaten a peanut butter sandwich right before the party. She didn’t know.  Overnight, Samantha turns into the school pariah and a media sensation explodes. Consumed with guilt, abandoned by her friends, and in jeopardy of losing her swimming scholarship, she will have to find the inner-strength to forgive herself for the tragedy. Critics are already applauding the author’s insight and her ability to make her “character breathe with life” (Kirkus Reviews). Skillfully capturing the raw, honest emotions of her teen protagonists, Janet paints them into a searing portrait of a tragedy that uproots the lives of everyone it touches. 


Thanks to the fabulous team at Sourcebooks, I have one copy of Who I Kissed up for grabs on the blog today! To enter, please leave a comment with your answer to one of the items in bold in the guest post (favorite book, favorite song, favorite movie, etc.) and be sure to leave a valid email address so I can contact you if you win. This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents only and will run through midnight on Friday, November 2nd after which time a winner will be chosen and emailed. Good luck and have a great weekend everyone!


  1. Currently, my favorite book is Slammed by Colleen Hoover. I don't think any book can too that one for me. I think it has the makings of a classic, and people will be able to relate to a the emotions that come from reading this book. You experience love, loss, friendship, and many more things while reading this book. My email is

  2. Wow, horrible! Poor girl, that is one kiss that will haunt her for life

  3. I can't wait to read this book Jenny, I've had my eye on it for sometime now and now Janet's post she shared with us has gotten me even more excited! My favourite movie of course is also The Avengers, but I maybe a little bit biased because of Thor... Thanks for sharing this great post with us ladies! :)

  4. Ooohh I haven't heard of this book before, but I'm definitely going to check this out :) (It helps that I'm currently in the mood for contemporary YA!) Hahaaaa Sam sounds like a fantastic character! Can't wait to meet her :D

  5. I loved the last little bit where she answered her favorites! My stepmom loves Jelly Bellies too (we all have Jelly Belly stuff from the place in WI) :)

  6. Her bathing suit split down the back! Eeek! How mortifying. :D Great post - I've seen this book around a few times but haven't heard much about it until now. Thanks for sharing. :)

  7. Awesome post! I can not wait to read this book. I have heard great things about it.

  8. Sounds like I need to get to know Sam and Zee! Sam sounds like lots of fun. Ugh...a split bathing suit at a meet would be just awful. I like bean burritos , too! Thanks for sharing. Happy weekend!

  9. AND why wasn't he carrying his epi pen? Okay, I haven't turned off my inner mother (and I have no kids.. LOL). Sounds like a good contemp YA and I have been trying to get into more of those.

  10. Oh my embarassing to have your suit split open on you!! And how horrifying to feel responsible for someone else's death! I can't even imagine!

    (not an entry)

  11. I just read this one, and my tour date is tomorrow, and it was fantastic! I can't even imagine how horrible it would be to feel responsible for someones death. I felt so bad for her!
    I LOVED The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. SUCH a great book!

  12. Wooow! I saw the cover for this one and brushed it off a a typical contemporary romance, but it seems to be SO different! I'll definitely have to check this one out - not to mention the author loves Missy Franklin! Win! ;)

  13. My favorite movie is Twilight series. My favorite book is Twilight series. My favorite song is Amazed by Lonestar. Thanks the giveaway. Please enter me.

  14. Love that her personal hero is Missy Franklin. I was a backstroker and I have size 12 feet (Missy's are size 13) but I was nowhere near her speed!

    My favorite song is With Or Without You by U2.

  15. My favorite book is Falling Under by Gwen Hayes. Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

  16. My favorite book is Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins. It's real, with awesome but flawed characters, and full of hope. Thank you:)

    ccfioriole at gmail dot com

  17. Great post!

    My current favorite book is If I Lie. :)

    adriane dot marshall at gmail dot com

  18. This book sounds so good! I like how Janet easily slips into Sam's mind. :)

    My favorite book is Divergent by Veronica Roth, closely followed by Insurgent.


  19. My current favorite song is Treacherous from Taylor Swift's new Album, Red.
    ~cassinz10 at gmail dot com

  20. My favorite food is/are junior mints :) Thanks for the giveaway! kxw116[at]

  21. Celebrity crush: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, or Matt Bomer or... I could go on. I picked this question because I had the least answers for it, sadly. I can't even begin to pick a favourite book or movie.

  22. To date, my favorite books would be Divergent and Insurgent. I have yet to find a series that makes me feel the way reading these books made me feel.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  23. One of my favorite movie is The Notebook. I think it's time for a re-watch soon.


  24. My favorite food is Spanish steak and rice, mmm mmm! Thank you for the chance to enter.

  25. I love Jelly Bellies too! We used to have them as samples occasionally at work back when I was in high school and I'm pretty sure I had quite a significant chunk of those samples :)

  26. My favorite book is the Hunger Games! Love dystopians! Thanks for the great giveaway!
    saltsnmore at yahoo dot com