One week from now is the 14th of August. Which means: in one week, Fiendish will take flight and land on shelves—weird and spooky and full of monsters, full of teeth and claws and tangled thickets and wind chimes. Which also means: now it’s time for a CONTEST!
I wrote this book because there are fireflies in Arkansas and none here. Because when you’re little, the world is big and the middle of the creek is over your head, and Little Sister Yovanoff was born without any propensity for angst. Her mind is astute, her appetite for stories is voracious, but her attitude toward melodrama has always been one of frank bemusement: “I liked the [generic spoiler for the story of your choice] and how they solved the [shocking plot point],” she said to me once. “But why are the people in books always So Upsetting?”
Clementine DeVore—main character of Fiendish—is not upsetting, and that’s the truth.
Clementine is the kind of person who gets things done. The kind of person you can depend on to sally forth. To want to do the right thing. There’s a special version of dramatic tension inherent in a character who wants to do the right thing. A person who loves everything and everyone, and just wants to do right by the world.
So. We come to the part that concerns you: I arrived back home from the highly entertaining, slightly chaotic excitement of Comic Con and Maggie’s Sharp Teeth road trip and three weeks away, to find … a big box of finished books!
Which means, it’s time for me to figure out how to use rafflecopter again.
Today my contest is about a very certain kind of joy. I want to know about summer pastimes. What is that very particular thing that means summer to you—the thing you think of wistfully sometimes when it’s gray and sloppy out?
The prizes are as follows: two finished copies up for grabs for US residents, one copy for international.
I take the internationalness of this contest very seriously, since I’m never allowed to give you guys ARCs, so we’re going to try a thing. I know that automatically makes this whole endeavor about fifty times more complicated, but bear with me:
If you live in the US this link is for you:
a Rafflecopter giveaway for US residents
If you DO NOT live in the US this link is for you:
a Rafflecopter giveaway for international residents
You can get points by commenting here and sharing your most quintessentially-summer pastime, and also by tweeting the message that’s included in the rafflecopter. Contest ends next Wednesday at midnight Eastern.
Any chance that you’re signing in Denver/Colorado?
Christina R. in the rafflecopter
What I always think of as quintessentially summer is sneaking off to the swimming hole in the middle of the night, wearing flip flops and jeans shorts despite the mosquitoes, with a cooler full of popsicles, with my best friend ;)
thank you so very much :)
Nothing says summer to me like a good old fashioned barbeque. Food, friends, and fun under a big blue Texas sky :)
I think my favorite thing to do in the summer is go the beach with my family. I spend a lot of time on the beach at night. There’s something incredibly eerie and wonderful about a full moon over the ocean.
My favorite Colorado summer thing is hiking along woodland paths very slowly to soak up all of nature and to revel in just how mystical forests are. My favorite Georgia summer thing (because that is where I am from) is to spend the day floating down the local river in inner tubes that smell like asphalt and sunscreen.
My favorite thing about summer was spending it with my aunt and her family. I used to go to her house in L.A. every summer for weeks and we would always do a lot of different things.
My sister and I used to ride our bikes to the pool every day during the summer. We were both nut brown from the sun after a couple of weeks. I can still smell the chlorine of the water and hear the shrieks of laughter from the other kids. We’d race home after and gulp Kool-Aid in front of a fan, sticky from sweat and the sugar.
Since I live in Wisconsin, good beaches are hard to find. Luckily, Wisconsin is home to the Wisconsin Dells.
Music thumping from nearly every shop, hundreds of people walking down the main strip, the screams that carry in the wind from the roller coasters just down the road. The scent of at least 30 different restaurants and shops all mingling together until you can’t tell where they’re coming from or even what you smell at all only that it’s delicious.
That’s what speaks summer to me.
For me summer has always been about theatre.
Every summer the “Reagle Music Theatre of Greater Boston” (which operates out of my high school) puts on 3 productions of classic Broadway shows. Almost my whole life I’ve been going to their shows.
I was in the Children’s Chorus of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream” coat a few summers ago I was an elf in their Christmas show when I was little.
I was also a part of their summer camp for many years. Throughout it all I’ve met some incredible people and created long lasting friendships.
Tomorrow night I am going to see Reagle’s Production of “Singing in the Rain”!
Growing up in a major tourist destination meant that going to the beach was always something that we put off until September/October, after the tourists had packed up and gone home. It also meant that summertime was instead a time for exploring, wandering along the power lines for miles and discovering wild blackberry bushes, turtles, and hidden cranberry bogs.
Shhh…it’s dark, there’s a mild breeze rustling the leaves in the trees. Can you hear the crickets? They are singing their songs and waiting for a love interest to appear to them. Now what appears is what embodies summer to me. A blink here, a blink there. Like little lighthouses flying through the air. The fireflies, bobbing, landing and taking off again. That, to me, is what a perfect summer is for me. Calm that is pulsating with life and a sense of carefree trust in the warmth of the summer night.
I spent the majority of my childhood in a treehouse/space ship that was actually just a giant bush. My best summer memories are of just sitting in the cool dirt and peering between the leaves as I sucked on a Flintstone push-pop and pretended to cast spells on the people who drove by. Can you tell I was an only child?
The beach, running thru the waves, footsteps in the sand, collecting shells, and exploring the board walk.
Camping, campfires, samores, fishing, catching cradads, chasing butterflies and feeding hummingbirds.
Monsoon storms, dancing in the rain, splashing thru the puddles, chasing rainbows
swimming, splashing, diving, cannonballs, marco polo, potato chips and lemonade.
slumber parties, dancing, singing, games, staying up late, Best friends
Summer camp, horseback riding, singing songs around the campfire, sleeping in the woods, smell of pine, and making friends,
These are the memories of Summer, memories to hold onto and share with friends and family
Summer for me is driving around late at night with my brother, blasting music, and doing things with our family friends. Sometimes we sit at their house and play Swiss Uno, sometimes we go to an 11:30 movie, sometimes we go to the diner for midnight snacks, sometimes we go night swimming. The thrill of hanging out and doing things when most of the town is quiet and knowing that I have no responsibilities the next day, that means summer to me.
For me, it’s hiking/camping trips in the mountains–in the Sierra Nevadas and Tahoe, or in Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton. (Going up in elevation means less heat.) Sitting around campfires with my family with mosquito netting over our heads, eating lunch on the rocks above a very cold, very clear lake cupped in sheer granite, falling asleep under stars that aren’t dimmed by light pollution and waking up in the middle of the night to see how far they’ve rotated. Eating ramen noodles dry out of the package while hiking through a pine forest and hiding under a canoe from the rain while trees get exploded by lightning higher up on the mountain.
(It was great meeting you in Denver in July, by the way! I hear you encountered my crazy family in Nevada as well, they were very excited…)
When I was younger, I was a wild, dreamy sort of child, who never really cared whether I was barefoot or whether the lines in my palms were traced with dirt. Summer was a time when my wild imagination was wilder, when my blonde hair was bleached whiter, when my face was covered in constellations of freckles. And since I lived in Arkansas, it was accompanied by an army of fireflies who kept watch under cover of night and marched to the beat of stars. As I was a summer-born child, it was also a time of cake and candles and icing that’s too sweet and ice cream that melts onto your toes. Summer is a time to be whatever you’re not. The rest of the year, you can be who you have to be. In summer, you are who you want.
Going to Myrtle Beach over 4th of July, wandering on the beach as the fireworks go off directly overhead.
Yay for international! Since I have summer almost all year long, my fav thing to do is having a picnic with family and then afterwards exploring the park trails.
When the summer day bleeds into night. I still stop, look up and smile. I think back to intense discussions during my childhood with friends about when was it true dark. We all had to be home by dark and didn’t want the summer day to end.
For me, summer is watching tomatoes grow in the garden, and sitting on the big rocks under the willow trees on the waterfront looking out over the cityscape—both of which, I’m glad to say, I’ve done :)
For me summer will always be waking up to sounds of cicadas and looking out my window to beautiful and unique pattern the leaves make as the sun shines behind them. Also going out and reading in my pajamas and knowing that for now the world has slowed down and I can just lay back and feel the the sun across my face.
Summer is about beaches, but not the Miami kind. The briny, rustic, historical, nautical, unmatchable New England kind. I spent so much time bopping around coastal hotspots–Cape Cod, Nantucket, Jamestown, Newport, and so on. This, of course, meant: bike rides through cobbled streets, candy stores and fresh fudge, an overcast sky as inclement as the ocean, and family family family.
And also Shark Week, cause duh.
Summer is Monsoon season. It is puddles of unknown depth hiding in the crab grass. It’s frogs screaming outside the window so you’ll run out and join them in the torrential rain, because even though it’s unbelievably wet, it’s still warm. It’s rain that’s so heavy the mosquito stay inside. But you don’t have to.
When I think of summer I think of Lake Havasu. Not the spring-break, party-hardy, pasties and beer bongs version of Havasu (though, I admit I did enjoy that version quite a bit the summer I turned 21). The Havasu I am talking about is the dirt lot full of RVs, BBQs and white lights Havasu. It’s the week long family vacation that I’ve taken every year for as long as I’ve been alive. It’s dancing in the hot rain of a beautiful July thunderstorm. It’s inner tube battles behind my dad’s boat, screaming and laughing so hard that I lose grip of the handles and get tossed across the lake’s surface like a skipping stone. It’s the slushie shack, and the quarter operated showers and the pink and blue zink that gets baked onto your face after hours in the sun. It’s having to cut two inches off my hair when I get home because I refused to allow a hairbrush interrupt my mermaid make-believe. Oh, it’s wonderful.
For me, summer is extremely hot desert weather where all you want to do is skip immediately to winter so it will cool down. But because one cannot simply skip into a different season, one must find other ventures to cool off. My main summer pastime would be just hanging outside in the swimming pool with my family and friends, drinking some refreshing drinks and just having a great time, cooling down from the regular heat of summer.
Summer for me warm mornings where the light is soft but the heat bakes the pastures. The horses nicker as they see me coming with breakfast.
Summer is afternoons galloping through the field, bugs humming, the only wind made by trying to outrun the sun in horseback.
Summer is blistering sunburns, bronzed farmers tans and freckles, sweat sliding down my spine and creasing in my elbows, endless bug bites, wasp stings, hair a frizzy halo that defies ensnarement.
Summer is languid inky nights on porches, full of stars, wine, friends that know me better than I know myself, crickets a peaceful soundtrack in the humid darkness.
This summer I hiked with my family down into the Grand Canyon, and yes the view was amazing, but I also loved finding lizards and crows with my younger brother (he lost one of his teeth on the hike!)
Being from New Zealand and living in Australia, summer is Christmas! Getting together with family and playing cricket on the back lawn after Christmas dinner – everyone from the youngest to my Nana. Although with some of the high temperatures we get here, summer becomes “How many days until winter?”
going to the beach
Summer for me is outdoor concerts, farmers markets, state fairs, camping, campfires, and my absolute favorite: driving around with friends late at night in the mountains with the windows down and the radio blasting.
When I think of summer, I think of the library. I spend almost every day there. I think of going there in the afternoons to read to children, or clean up finger paints. I think of standing outside in the beating sun at the annual end of summer carnival.
Living in the south, my favorite summer activity has always been riding/training horses, which is something I’ve done since I was a small child. No matter how humidly hot it gets, or how many bugs stick to every part of you (the worst is the face!), being with my horses has always been the most fun. Of course, there are the inevitable injuries that I try to forget about (concussion, bruises galore, feet stepped on, bites, etc.) I’ve loved my horse training summers more than anything else and it’s almost always where I can be found during the day (that or reading a new book!)
But I’d love to get rid of the bugs. Seriously. They’re terrible in the humidity! ;-)
When I was a kid I lived near San Diego and we had a big yard full of lots of exotic but mostly dying (due to drought) fruit trees–avocado, loquat, six different kinds of plums, asian pears, sapote, all kinds of oranges. It was my job to water them, and I usually had a book with me, and we had waist-high weeds from spring rains that sprouted the whole garden, grew in a week and died. So my summer was usually that–standing in a tank top and shorts among dry, fire-tinder weeds, gnats buzzing around my face, trying to keep fruit trees alive when probably the water was just sinking into the gopher holes instead. Because my dad loved the fruit trees, and I loved my dad. And I loved the fruit trees.
As a kid, it was officially summer when my parents took my brother and I to Coneheads to get ice cream. It was a tiny store, with maybe two tables inside and a window to sell ice cream to everyone who walked up. Next door there was a big open lot, and so all of the kids would get their ice cream and then run around, trying to catch fireflies, while the adults stood back and chatted. Sometimes we didn’t go out for ice cream until mid-July, but it never felt like summer until we’d been there at least once (and sometimes we would go in May, when school was still going on, which felt like the most wonderful treat).
Congrats on the new book – I can’t wait to read it!
For me, one of the highlights of summer is sitting on the front porch with a good book. I love being out in the warm breeze, and while I love reading books regardless, reading them that way has always been my favorite. :) It’s one of the first things that comes to mind when I think of summer.
For me, summer is staying at my grandparents’ house with all my cousins, talking about everything and nothing with them, swimming in the pool, reading, doing really nothing all day long, and then lying in the field next to the house at night and looking for falling stars. We’ve all been doing this at least two weeks every summer since we were born, and I can’t really imagine spending a summer without doing it.
So far, what I consider a good summer is enjoying the late night breeze, surrounded by friends, and either watching an episode of In The Flesh or reading whatever novel currently has my attention. The surrounding of friends especially.