Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Venom Readalong Week 4


Did Luca's choices and the complexity of his character surprise you?
I think Luca surprised me quite a bit. Cass seemed to have such mixed feelings about him especially early on when she was ignoring his notes and such that when he actually came around and rescued Cass I was a bit surprised. He seemed more like the chivalrous type but I like that he's also a romantic.
Did you trust Falco the whole time?
Surprisingly yes. I know he wasn't perfect but there was something about him that made me want to believe he was mostly good, and turns out he was. Aside from that whole stealing dead bodies thing ;)

As a whole, did you feel this book was sufficiently creepy and mysterious?
I thought the book was pretty mysterious and creepy. I was constantly asking questions and struggling to figure out what was going on. The whole stealing corpses thing was definitely creepy. Although I thought Belladonna was even more so.
Were you surprised by the ending?
Yes, I was a bit surprised by the end. I loved seeing how everything came together.
Do you think Cass made the right decision concerning the boys in the end? Would you do what she did (answer without spoiling!)
Considering her background and the time she lived in, I think she made the right choice. 
Were you right about the murderer? If not were you surprised?
No. I honestly had no clue who the killer was. I thought it might have been the man in the Falcon mask but as to who that person was, I had no idea. I was quite surprised with how everything turned out. Then again I'm horrible at figuring out who dunits.
Now that you've met both, what Team are you?
After Venom I was all Team Falco, but after Belladonna, I was totally team Luca.
What were your immediate thoughts after finishing? 
Wow, who knew I'd love historical YA so much, and man was Falco a great character, very sexy!


Were you surprised when Luca returned to Venice? Why or why not?
Not really. I kept waiting for Cass to read the letter and the longer she went without reading it, I knew Luca had to come into play at some point.
Did you find Luca to be more protective or controlling of Cass? Why do you feel that way? 
Controlling no, protective most definitely. I think Luca has been in love with Cass a lot longer than she knows which is why Luca is so protective of her.
What secrets did you initially think he was keeping?
I wasn't quite sure what Luca was up to. I thought he might be spying on Cass to see if she was being unfaithful to him.
Why do you think Falco sent his roommate to deliver his message to Cass instead of coming himself? 
He was either up to something, or he didn't think Cass would see him, or both.
How did you feel about Cass essentially skipping her best friend's wedding to go look for Falco? Understandable? Unforgivable? How did you feel about her obligating Siena to cover for her?
I though Cass was crazy. She should have been there for her friend. I know she wanted answers but I don't think she went about it the right way or at the right time. Siena is very loyal to cover for her. She's a good friend, even if she did it because she felt obligated.
How did you feel about Luca's reveal of his secret? Would you have been angry at him if you were Cass? Why do you think he felt he couldn't confide in her?
No I wouldn't have been angry at Cass. At least not for very long. He probably should have let her know, but I think Luca was doing what he thought he needed to do in order to protect Cass.
I initially wanted a different ending regarding "the boys," but came to realize that Cass's decision is kind of the ultimate girl-power choice. How did you feel about her decision?
I think she made the right decision for herself at the time. She showed a lot of maturity and growth in her decision.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Venom Readalong Week 3

This post is part of the Venom Readalong. If you haven't checked out Venom I highly recommend it. There's mystery, mischievousness, surprises, fancy dresses, sexy artists, wealthy fiances, gondolas and a whole bunch more set in the beautiful Renaissance Venice.


Cass rarely goes anywhere without her dutiful handmaid Siena in tow. Would you like to have your own handmaid? Why or why not?
I'm not sure I'd like to have a handmaid. While having someone wait on you and help you would come in handy, I enjoy my privacy and alone time, so I don't think I'd want someone with me all the time.
It was very unusual for noblewomen in 1600 to be allowed to study, and later in the trilogy we will find out information about Agnese that explains why she allowed Cass this luxury. What subjects would you study if you were allowed to pick anything you liked?
Astronomy, I'm and aerospace enginerd, enough said ;)
Several readers have brought up that Falco is kind of mean to Cass, teasing her about being rich and essentially calling her a coward. Did you find this as mean? If there is a balance between challenging another person to be better and accepting them for who they are, where do you think Falco falls on this?
I didn't find him too mean in Venom. I thought he was trying to flirt and make the best of the fact that they come from two very different worlds. I don't think he was intentionally trying to be mean, I think Falco was trying to get a rise out of Cass. I think Falco falls more on the side of challenging Cass to see outside her world, but there are times he takes it a bit too far.
If there's a balance between brave and stupid, where does Cass fall when she sneaks out of the house to go investigate the chapel at San Giuda by herself? Have you ever wanted to know something so badly that you put yourself in danger to get your answers? do you think it is all right to expect more from book characters than from real people?
I think there is most certainly a balance between brave and stupid and I think Cass for the most part is brave. I think when Cass went to explore the chapel she was being mostly brave. She had no way of knowing what she would find there. I think she got out at the right time. 

As for myself, there have been times when I've wanted to know things that I did things that would have probably made others made if they found out what I was doing, but I never put myself in danger. I think to an extent we do expect more from book characters but it still needs to feel plausible.
What was your initial thought when you saw what Falco was doing in the graveyard attached to San Giuda? Did it seem horrible to you or not that big of a deal? Do you think your age or culture or religious beliefs affect how you felt?
When I found out what Falco was doing in the graveyard my heart sank. I knew it couldn't be anything good and I thought he was stealing from he bodies. It felt like a huge betrayal to Cass and I definitely don't agree with digging up dead bodies. I don't think my age, culture or religious beliefs factored into to how I felt. I thought Falco was up to something that wasn't good.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Belladonna Review

Belladonna is the second of three books in the Secrets of the Eternal Rose series written by Fiona Paul. If you haven't read the first book, Venom, I recommend you grab it and read it ASAP. It's amazing! Go on, read it. I'll wait for you to come back ;)

And for those who need a little refresher

Venom by Fiona Paul
Cassandra Caravello is one of Renaissance Venice’s lucky elite: with elegant gowns, sparkling jewels, her own lady’s maid, and a wealthy fiancé, she has everything a girl could desire. Yet ever since her parents’ death, Cassandra has felt trapped, alone in a city of water, where the dark and labyrinthine canals whisper of escape.

When Cass stumbles upon a murdered woman—practically in her own backyard—she’s drawn into a dangerous world of courtesans, killers, and secret societies. Soon, she finds herself falling for Falco, a mysterious artist with a mischievous grin... and a spectacular skill for trouble. Can Cassandra find the murderer, before he finds her? And will she stay true to her fiancé, or succumb to her uncontrollable feelings for Falco?

Beauty, love, romance, and mystery weave together in a stunning novel that’s as seductive and surprising as the city of Venice itself.*

Belladonna by Fiona Paul
In Renaissance Italy, love, lust, intrigue and secret societies converge to stunning results!
In the second in the stunning Secrets of the Eternal Rose series, Cassandra Caravello is trying to forget Falco, the wild artist who ran off with her heart, as she grows closer to her strong, steady fiancé, Luca. But Luca seems to have his own secrets. When he’s arrested by soldiers in the middle of the night, Cass’s life is once again thrown into chaos. She must save Luca, and that means finding the Book of the Eternal Rose—the only evidence that will prove he’s innocent.

So begins her journey to Florence, a city haunted by whispers of vampirism, secret soirees and clandestine meetings of the Order of the Eternal Rose. And home to Falco, who is working for the Order’s eerily stunning leader, the Belladonna herself.

Can Cass trust her heart to lead her to the truth this time?
Nothing is as it seems in this seductive thriller, where the truth may be the deadliest poison of all.*

 My Review
Belladonna picks up a short while after the completion of Venom. We continue to follow Cass through her adventures that often lead her into dark and mysterious places. Cass is quickly thrust into a dangerous plot to try and save Luca from being wrongfully accused. As Luca rots in jail, Cass sets out to Florence, to try and find the mysterious Book of the Eternal Rose to clear Luca's name. With her trip to Florence, brings talk of vampires, the stunningly beautiful and young Belladonna, and Falco who is now working under her employ. Cass must determine who she can trust to help her discover the truth of the Order of the Eternal Rose, so ultimately she can be reunited with Luca, assuming she doesn't fall for Falco's charms again.

Despite all the crazy, Cass is by far one of the strongest women of her time, and I love that. A lot of the things she does would be considered improper but she does them anyways because she does what she thinks is right. Despite the danger presented, Cass is determined to uncover the the truth and she won't let anyone stand in her way.

The story not only continues with the beautiful backdrop of Venice, but we also get to see the contrast of Florence enter into the story as well. Although the two cities have their similarities, it's interesting to watch how the threat of vampirism affects Florence while Venice is seemingly unaware. As Cass struggles with whether or not vampires really exist, she is thrown into numerous uncomfortable situations that require her to continue to find strength and carrying on.

I have to say I lost some of my love for Falco in this book. He seemed very stubborn and opinionated, and without some of the mystery from the first book surrounding him, he felt like a guy who was rough around the edges. And despite that, I still really enjoyed his character because it fit the story and his new position as artist working for the Belladonna. His new life changed him but he still maintained his love for Cass, and I loved watching her wrestle between wanting Falco and wanting to help Luca.

On the other side, I grew to love Luca more in this book. He has a sense of maturity and nurturing quality that Falco sometimes lacks. Luca wants whats best for Cass and you can tell that even though he doesn't have the fiery passion Falco carries, Luca truly loves Cass in the deepest sense of the word. And although he spent large chunks of the book in a cell, he always tried to protect Cass and was with her throughout her journey.

This sequel did not disappoint. I enjoyed the many surprises and twists that supported the faster pace of the second book. Throughout the story there were many reminders of things that happened in Venom. I felt some of them slowed the pace a little, but this might have been because I read Venom and Belladonna back to back. Had I waited until it's actual release, I would have found the reminders refreshing and helpful. There were so many wonderful things that kept me turning the pages and wanting to see what came next. I loved following Cass and she learned more and more about the Order of the Eternal Rose. I enjoyed the mystery surrounding the group and how integral to the plot it became. My one complaint, if you can even call it that, is I now have to wait so long to find out how Cass's adventures come to a close. 

5 stars for Belladonna!

*synopsis taken from www.goodreads.com

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Fine Art of Critiquing

Critiquing is a fine art and a balancing act. Writing is so subjective that it's often difficult to give constructive feedback, especially if you don't like what you are critiquing. But it's extremely important to realize that there are ways to point our problems in someone's writing or story without being rude and/or completely crushing their spirit. Do you need thick skin as a writer? Most certainly! There are times where someone will critique your work and it will make you angry, and odds are it's because they are dead on in their feedback. But as a writer you should never feel like you are being attacked or even worse be the person doing the attacking.

I'm one of those writers that loves when people tear my manuscript to shreds so that I can put it back together and let it really shine. That said, I don't enjoy feedback that attacks me or my writing, or is just generally rude and unprofessional sounding. I think a lot of writers have had a horribly mean critique at some point, so I've developed a list of tips on how to provide positive and negative feedback without crippling your fellow writers.

1.) Always start with a positive
All writers have their strengths and weaknesses. Even in the most horrible piece of writing, there is something the writer does well. It could be any number of things from dialogue, to descriptions, to concept, to good grammar etc, but make sure you start with pointing out the good. It's important to build up your critique partners, not shut them down.

2.) Ease into the parts that need work, if possible
Similar to how you should start your critique with something positive, try to start the negative with something that is on the positive side. This is where you almost have to use those hanging.... buts.

Statements like:
While I see what you were trying to do here, I don't think it's working because...
I think this is okay, but if you add x, this scene would affect the reader more deeply.
This sentence is good, but if you use a more powerful verb it would have a larger impact.

are good ways to "break" the bad news.

Do you have to sugar coat your feedback? Definitely not, but you should try to keep it upbeat.

3.) Focus on one problem at a time
Each comment should focus on a single issue. If you start lumping multiple problems together, not only does it quickly become confusing but it also feels like an attack. If you focus on one thing at a time, it gives the writer time to digest the issue and then move onto the next one.

4.)  Be suggestive, don't attack
The quickest way to shut a person down is to give a laundry list of every possible thing they did wrong. This is where giving constructive feedback is really important. You should be honest but you should do it in a way that isn't ordering the person around. When you make abrupt statements you come off as blunt and rude. This makes people uncomfortable and tends to put them on the defensive. So rather than saying fix this, you did that wrong, and this sucks, make suggestions like maybe if you do X, Y will be much better or clearer.

5.) Give reasons
It's really easy to say this is awkward or this isn't working, however if you can say that and explain why, that's infinitely more valuable to a writer. Not only does it help the writer visualize the problem, but it also helps ease the pain of the negative. Giving reasons helps to put the writer one step closer to the solution which makes the bad not seem, well, as bad. Do not however, give a long list of reasons something isn't working. This can quickly tread back into the attacking side of things. But a quick example or two can often really help a writer see the issue more clearly.

6.) Offer possible fixes
It's very helpful to your fellow critique partners if you not only point out what you think needs work, but also point out possible suggestions on how to fix it. Sometimes a writer knows there's something wrong but doesn't know how to make it better. By offering a possible fix this can help the writer even if it merely sparks another idea. You don't however, always have to offer fixes, in fact you shouldn't offer a fix for everything you see, especially if this is a common issue. But do occasionally give an example here and there how to possibly improve on things. Help your critique partners learn.

7.) Remind your critique partner that your advice is just that, ADVICE
It's really important for your critique partner to know that what you are offering is suggestions and advice. They are under no obligation to use everything you tell them, if anything at all. This is an especially important reminder if you are working with new a critique partner.

8.) End on a high note
Just as it's important to start with a positive, it's equally important to end the same way. Leave the writer with something positive because this is the last thing that will stick with them. So even if they are upset with the feedback you wrote, they will still know that you care and think they have strengths because everyone does.

As you critique it's important to remember that not every critique partner is right for you. If you aren't resonating with their feedback or aren't finding it helpful, it's okay to break things off. Do realize that just like dating, you can grow apart from a critique partner. If this is happening, it's okay to end the trading of work. But as always remember to be polite and thank them for the journey.

So how do you like to give your critiques? Do you have any additional advice for providing constructive critiques? Have you ever received some particularly harsh feedback? If so how did you react to it and move forward?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Venom Readalong Week 2

This post is part of the Venom Readalong. If you haven't checked out Venom I highly recommend it. There's mystery, mischievousness, surprises, fancy dresses, sexy artists, wealthy fiances, gondolas and a whole bunch more set in the beautiful Renaissance Venice.


How do you think Cass felt so out of her element in Chapter 9?
Because Cass is out running around at night with a guy she barely knows headed to a place in the city she's probably never been. She's seeing the other side of life in Venice with Falco as her tour guide. This is a part of the city that she probably never would have been to if it hadn't been for Falco and their investigation. And to top it off she doesn't know how the other side acts, which is evident when she sits in the back of the felze in the gondola when Falco steers. Then it gets worse when she starts seeing the nightlife around Venice and how the women are scantily dressed. At their final destination, Falco leaves her alone in a place that is so outside her comfort zone that she is completely out of her element and everyone else is completely aware, which makes her even more insecure.

Do you think Cristian rescuing Cass was a coincidence?
No, when I read this I didn't think anything of the rescue.

Do you think the tossing of her stays symbolizes anything? Or is it just a fun scene (that totally made me grin!)?
I think it was both a fun scene and a symbolic one. It shows Cass letting go and finally allowing herself to be free, and who she truly is.

Who do you think was behind the falcon mask?
There was a good chunk of the book that I thought it might be Luca.

What do you think of the whispered conversation between Falco and his friends?

It seemed like Falco was up to something but I wasn't really sure what. Some of it just seemed like boys being boys, and not having a conversation fitting of a lady especially one of status.

What do you think of this twist of events at the end of this section? (Remember no spoilers!)

I actually thought Cass might be hallucinating again.

In this chapter, Cass comes across prostitutes up close for the first time and finds herself enthrall by the strangeness of it. How would you, as a sheltered high-class girl, have reacted?
I was quite naive at Cass's age and in her situation I probably would have had a very similar reaction. Wide eyed, and astounded. And when I got caught I would have run from the room.

It's obvious Falco is keeping secrets. What do you think they are? Why do you think he's hiding the truth from Cass?
I wasn't sure what Falco was keeping from her but I knew it had to be something bad otherwise he would have just talked to her about it.

What do you think of the found painting? Does it seem important or irrelevant?
I didn't think anything of it.

When Cass asks Falco, "Why should I trust you?" he responds, "Because you want to." Is that a good reason for trust? Why or why not?
It's not a great reason, but it's the truth. They both realize that they are unexplicably drawn to each other and sometimes you have to just trust your gut and ignore what your head is saying.

In general, what do you think of the names used in Venom?
I love the names in Venom. They are unique and fit the time and setting well.


Venom has been (rightfully) accused of having dialogue and syntax that is too modern for its period. This was intentional, though I did try my best not to use anachronistic words. I messed up a couple of times at least--words like "okay" and "creepy" did not exist in the 1600s. Did you find the less formal dialogue helpful or distracting? Did it detract from the reading experience? Did you catch any other anachronistic words?
This is actually one of the things I loved about the book. I usually stray away from historical books. I struggle with them, especially because of the language. Despite Venom taking place in a very historical setting, the dialogue helped ease me into something that I've struggled with and hated for years. I realized that historical definitely doesn't have to mean boring!

Cass is obviously a virgin, as all proper noblewomen were back then, and a subplot of Venom is her coming to terms with her first sexual feelings. Do you think the book would have been stronger in conveying that idea without the brothel scene? (Obviously some people found it scandalous, which is fine, but the inclusion of it was to use it sort of as a touchstone for Cass's increasing attraction to Falco).
I think the brothel scene was perfect. It did a lot of things. It showed how out of her element Cass was, but it also showed how curious she was about her developing maturity. Going from girl to women is a huge transitions and the idea of sex for the first time is scary and people don't always talk about it, especially in that time. So I think it was important for her to experience that even if it was raw and scandalous. It showed another side of the times.

What do you think about Cass's interactions with the man in the falcon mask? Does he seem crazy or just mysterious? What do you think about his statement that war can be beautiful?
I thought he was mysterious with a small side of potential creeper. The falcon masked man did raise a lot of mystery, but he also raised some red flags. And his statement about war being beautiful was a bit suspicious. While people can often find beauty in anything, war is one of those things that is terrifying and largely negative. There is some beauty in the "dance" of the soldiers and how they clash and interact. However, by and large, war is ugly, and the fact that the man in the falcon mask thought otherwise, was definite cause for concern.

Why does Cass wait so dang long to read Luca's latest letter, even though she takes notice of it almost every time she passes?
This was one of the things that annoyed me with the book and I mean that in a good way. I wanted to know so badly what was in Luca's letter, but the fact that she continued to ignore it really said something. She wouldn't have ignored the letter for so long if she felt confident in her arrangement with Luca, and the fact that she noted the letter every time she passed means she felt guilty about it.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Venom Readalong Week 1

This post is part of the Venom Readalong. If you haven't checked out Venom I highly recommend it. There's mystery, mischievousness, surprises, fancy dresses, sexy artists, wealthy fiances, gondolas and a whole bunch more set in the beautiful Renaissance Venice.

What do you think of Falco so far? Do you trust him?
I loved Falco almost right off the bat. He was mysterious, handsome, (dare I say sexy?) and quite smooth.

Thoughts on Siena?
I didn't have many thoughts on Siena early on. She seemed loyal to Cass and almost more like a friend than one of her servants.

If you were in Cass's place, would you sneak out and try to solve it or try your best to shake it off?
If I was Cass, I can't say I wouldn't be curious about what happened. But I don't think I'd be sneaking off in the middle of the night to investigate. Then again I may not have found the body in the first place because I often don't spend time in graveyards and I especially don't do it at night. But if I knew something was up I'd cautiously investigate during the day.

Do you have any suspects so far? Answer this ONLY if you haven't read the book!
I've read the book but at this point I didn't have any suspects.

Is it stupid of Cass to trust Falco so much? Would you, in her place?
I think Cass was a bit too trusting this early on but they did seem to have an instant connection and sometimes you have to go with your gut.

Do you think Cass' Aunt Agnese is smothering her?
I think Cass' Aunt is doing what she can to try and turn Cass into a respectable women in her time. Cass is a bit of a rebel and poor Aunt Agnese is at her wits end with what to do with her. So while from Cass' perspective it is a bit smothering, I think Aunt Agnese was just trying to do the right thing and turn Cass into the women her parents would have been proud of.

Did anything seem off about the funeral to you?
No not really. Then again funerals by their nature are uncomfortable, and that's exactly how it felt.

Do you think that Cass is too accepting or not accepting enough of her position in society, or do you feel she is just accepting enough?
I don't think this is really the right question. I think Cass is trying to find out who she is as a person and in doing so she looks like a rebel to the life she was brought up in. I don't think she is ungrateful but I think sometimes in her quest to find who she is she pushes her position in society aside.

Have you noticed any foreshadowing? If so, what? (You don't have to be right, just say what you think!)
Again I've read the book but at this point I didn't see any foreshadowing. I'm really bad at picking up on that stuff.

What do you think about Cass' childhood so far from what we've heard?
At this point, I didn't have too many thoughts about her childhood. It seemed a little more difficult than some in her current position but she was lucky to have family like Aunt Agnese to take her in and care for her.

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Saggy Draggy Middle

Ever feel like you are dragging the saggy underbelly of your novel around? Yeah that's totally me right now. I'm so far from the start and so far from the end, that I can't see the light at either end of the tunnel. The 'shiny new idea' syndrome has worn off and the end just isn't close enough in sight. So I'm stuck in the middle looking for motivation.

It's not that the story has gotten less exciting, in fact it's more exciting than the start. So what is the problem?

The middle of the story is where "stuff" starts to happen. You've already introduced the main players and you know their problems but now you have to make it happen. The trouble is, the middle is the important part, maybe the most important part because it's where the story arc takes that upward turn towards the climax. Emotions, tensions, and problems all should be building in the middle until things finally explode. If you don't get it right, the story starts to bloat and retain water. Then you are stuck with saving a sinking ship.

Which is exactly how I feel right now, like I'm riding a sinking ship into the swirly abyss of the toilet bowl. Not that my draft is bad, and not that I can't fix it later, but I want to make sure I lay a good foundation for the manuscript. Otherwise I'm sucked in the proverbial plot corner with no way out!

So how do you move past the feelings and keep going? You grab your flotation device (aka your outline) and you grab your bucket (aka your brain) and you bail out the ship (aka your manuscript). You keep going and you don't stop, because if you do, you will sink. And if you're really crafty you have your handy dandy paddle, aka your critique partner who is shoving you along by asking for more pages, which is by far the best motivation ever. If you keep paddling, eventually you will pull out of the tumultuous waters and see that beautiful sunset. The light is there, you just have to find it.

Somewhere in your subconscious is the rest of the draft and it's just waiting to come out. The middle is where you find out who your characters really are and what they are made of. It's where you discover your true message and it's where you often learn something about yourself. So take a deep breath, plant your butt in the chair, and let the words flow through your fingertips. You never know where the journey will take you. Before you know it, you'll see the light at the end of the tunnel. It looks a lot like THE END.

Does anyone else struggle with writing the middle? If so, how do you power on?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Bringing YA to the LOU!

Have you ever wished that a big YA book tour would make a stop in your hometown? Well, here's your chance for that wish to come true! YA2U is a program that features five award-winning and best-selling authors who are holding a contest to see what city they should visit in an exclusive tour stop!

The authors are collecting votes from January 1 to February 15, and any city in the continental US or any Canadian city that has an international airport can win an exclusive visit from all five authors, including an author panel and book signing! Entering is super easy--and if you help spread the word about the contest, you can also enter win a signed copy of all of their books (TEN signed books in total!)--and the book contest is open internationally!

The authors in the program are:

And they want to have an event in your home town! To participate, just got to the YA2U website and let them know what city you want them to come to. And while you're there, help spread the word about the contest and you can be entered to win all of their books--TEN signed books in total! 

Here's why the YA2U Team should come to the Lou! 
St. Louis is an awesome mecca of YA. Not only is St. Louis home to such awesome YA authors as Heather Brewer, Antony John, Cole Gibsen, and Fiona Paul but we are also home to some of the best local bookstores and libraries both in the county and the newly reopened city library. We also hosted the awesome YALSA YA lit symposium back in November, which brought even more YA amazingness (quiet that is totally a word!) to St. Louis.

And if that's not enough book awesomeness then consider voting for St. Louis for it's amazing attractions, many of which are free. Play with the animals at the St. Louis Zoo, feed the goats at Grant's Farm, or climb the giant jungle gym and whip down the ten-story slide at the City Museum. Speaking of museums, there's the Art Museum, the History Museum, and even a Transportation Museum. And if you are a geek like me you will love the Science Center with is giant Omnimax Theater. We even make our own root beer!

But really what it all boils down to is, no other city can boast that they have a giant magnet. It doesn't get any better than that.

So go vote for St. Louis and bring these amazing authors here!

Why should the YA2U Team come to your hometown? Why not join in the fun today and share with others about this program and your hometown. The more votes your town gets, the closer you are to having your very own personal tour stop! Vote for YOUR town here!

And if you help spread the word, you can also participate in the book giveaway. Tell them that you learned about YA2U from me and we both get extra entries in the contest! 
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