Book Giveaway: THROUGH TO YOU by Emily Hainsworth

This contest is now closed! The winner is… Jessica! Thanks to all who entered, and stay tuned for new giveaways!

The weekend is almost here, and what better way to spend a weekend than curling up with a good book? Winning a good book, of course! To kick off Friday reads tomorrow, I’m giving away an autographed copy of Emily Hainsworth’s THROUGH TO YOU, an intriguing YA novel about the choices we make and the ones we leave behind.

Summary from Goodreads:

Camden Pike has been grief-stricken since his girlfriend, Viv, died. Viv was the last good thing in his life: helping him rebuild his identity after a career-ending football injury, picking up the pieces when his home life shattered, and healing his pain long after the meds wore off. And now, he’d give anything for one more glimpse of her. But when Cam makes a visit to the site of Viv’s deadly car accident, he sees some kind of apparition. And it isn’t Viv.

The apparition’s name is Nina, and she’s not a ghost. She’s a girl from a parallel world, and in this world, Viv is still alive. Cam can’t believe his wildest dreams have come true. All he can focus on is getting his girlfriend back, no matter the cost. But things are different in this other world: Viv and Cam have both made very different choices, things between them have changed in unexpected ways, and Viv isn’t the same girl he remembers. Nina is keeping some dangerous secrets, too, and the window between the worlds is shrinking every day. As Cam comes to terms with who this Viv has become and the part Nina played in his parallel story, he’s forced to choose—stay with Viv or let her go—before the window closes between them once and for all.

If you’d like to win an autographed copy (U.S. mailing address only please), simply leave a note in the comments here telling us what you’d say to your other self if you crossed paths in a parallel world. I’ll select a winner at random tomorrow!

Holly Schindler on Censorship, Missouri, & Stereotypes

Holly Schindler is the author of novels A BLUE SO DARK and the soon-to-be released PLAYING HURT. As a lifelong resident of Springfield, Missouri (she’s totally legit because she pronounces it like “Ma-zur-ah” instead of “Misery”), she had quite a lot to say during that whole Wesley Crazypants Filthy Book Banning thing last fall (considering Mr. Crazypants was sooo inaccurately representing the good people of her homeland) (which crazypants people often do) (because they are crazy).

I’m not sure whatever happened to Mr. Scroggins, but Holly’s gearing up for the launch of her second YA novel, PLAYING HURT, which hits the shelves on March 8 (and is definitely not something Mr. Scroggins will enjoy, because there’s smoochin’ in it and stuff!). She stopped by on her virtual tour this week to share her thoughts on book banning in the Show-Me State and to tell us a bit about her latest book.

She’s also giving away a signed copy of PLAYING HURT — read on to find out how!

Barefoot in the Bible Belt
By Holly Schindler

Holly SchindlerWull, gaaaw-lee, shore is a might cold ‘round these here parts. It’s Feb’rary, after all. Where’m I gon’ get a little heat? Think I’ll jes’ burn these here books. Ain’t nothin’ but a bunch ‘a smut in ‘em, anyhowse.

Come on—that’s the picture you get, isn’t it? All I have to say is “Midwest” or “Ozarks,” and you get that image: a barefoot hillbilly who’s never used a be-verb correctly in his entire life.

And as soon as I think of that stereotype, I get a full-body cringe.

I’m a lifer myself—born and raised in Springfield, Missouri. And when the Scroggins debacle ensued in the fall of 2010, and the works of Sarah Ockler and Laurie Halse Anderson were unfairly targeted in one man’s narrow-minded banning attempt, all I could think was, “Here we go again.”

But I’m not talking about banning—not entirely. I’m also talking about that ridiculous, awful, barefoot hillbilly stereotype. Because in addition to attacking the work of two incredible young adult authors, I feared Scroggins’s complaint was also about to add to the unfair stereotyping of Missouri .

In the months since the story broke, the headline continues to pop up here and there in the blogosphere. And just as I feared, instead of identifying Scroggins as the source of the banning attempt… Yep, you guessed it—the headlines or quotes or discussions that pop up indicate MISSOURI wants to ban books. MISSOURI stands for censorship.

Actually, the majority of us don’t.

I could go blue in the face pointing to a myriad of dry facts proving my point. I could talk about the slew of local bloggers who put up posts expressing disdain for Scroggins’ attempt. I could talk about the fact that MSU students convened to protest book banning.

But more important than these overt, published examples of fellow Ozarkers’ disgust over book banning is that which can’t be quoted or measured or recorded. It’s the open-mindedness that has lived in the blood of so many Ozarkers for generations. A traits that stands in direct opposition to the goals of Wesley Scroggins.

Just as much as I feel the work of my fellow YA authors was completely miscategorized, I also feel that much of my own Missouri’s opinions have been unfairly categorized. And just as an author’s work can’t be judged by lifting a stray line out of context, neither should an entire region be judged by one man—or even one school district—that attempts to pull a book from library shelves.

To me, Missouri has always been a place of strength—and, yes, of open-mindedness. A place that I’m proud to call my home—and to showcase in my writing.

–Holly Schindler

About Playing Hurt

Playing HurtStar basketball player Chelsea “Nitro” Keyes had the promise of a full ride to college—and everyone’s admiration in her hometown. But everything changed senior year, when she took a horrible fall during a game. Now a metal plate holds her together and she feels like a stranger in her own family.

As a graduation present, Chelsea ’s dad springs for a three-week summer “boot camp” program at a northern Minnesota lake resort. There, she’s immediately drawn to her trainer, Clint, a nineteen-year-old ex-hockey player who’s haunted by his own traumatic past. As they grow close, Chelsea is torn between her feelings for Clint and her loyalty to her devoted boyfriend back home. Will an unexpected romance just end up causing Chelsea and Clint more pain—or finally heal their heartbreak?

Holly’s giving away a signed copy of PLAYING HURT to one lucky reader! Check out all the details here!


Holly Schindler dove headfirst into her writing pursuits after obtaining her MA from Missouri (“Ma-zur-AH”) State University in 2001. Having penned a pile of drafts that literally stretches to the ceiling of her office, she was thrilled to release her debut novel, A Blue So Dark, with Flux in 2010. A Blue So Dark received a starred review in Booklist, and was named one of Booklist’s Top 10 First Novels for Youth. Her second novel, Playing Hurt, will be released March 8, 2011. Visit her online at www.HollySchindler.com.

Boob-Grazing, Not Navel-Gazing

Thanks to my wicked and borderline-unethical viral (spam) marketing skills, most of you already know about this from my email, MySpace, and the full page ad I took out in today’s Times. But in case you missed it, rather than having me drive down your street to throw a rock through your window…

Larry Doyle, Simpsons’ writer and author of I Love You Beth Cooper, has selected my most embarrassing high school story, Wonderful, My Ass!, as a finalist winner in his Agony & Ecstacy essay contest. For a laugh at my expense (and who doesn’t love a good mockery of their personal pain, right Micque?), check out this true tale of utter humiliation from 1989. Sadly, I’ve yet to learn how not to be an insecure, stalkeresque psychopath (how do you think I got Mr. Bims to marry me?), but I’ve had lots of fun trying and then writing about it.

Check out my tale of woe via the link below, and don’t forget to leave a few comments (or touch someone’s boob) on the story page if you’re so inspired!

11/04/08: Edited to add: Larry Doyle has since updated his blog and, sadly, removed the essays. You’ll have to take my word for it until I can post the essay elsewhere!

P.A.R.P. Update

Mom delivers. Okay, so Spiderman is a little scrawnier than I remember, and shorter, but he is holding what appear to be certificates for those who did the most reading. Say, for example, me.


I’m still not sure why or how the PTA associated Spiderman with reading, but hey, look at the long-lasting memories. Plus, I did learn how to read. That oughta count for something.