Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Interview & Giveaway: Nantucket Red by Leila Howland

You can see the complete tour schedule here

Series: Nantucket #2
Release date: May 13th 2014
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Purchase: Amazon | B&N

Cricket Thompson's lifetime of overachieving has paid off: she's headed to Brown University in the fall, with a spot on the lacrosse team and a scholarship that covers almost everything. Who knew living in the dorm cost money? An Ivy League education seems to mean living at home for the next four years.

When Cricket is offered the chance to earn enough cash to afford a real college experience, she heads back to Nantucket for the summer. But the faraway island challenges Cricket in ways she hadn't anticipated. It's hard to focus on earning money for next year, when she finds her world opening up in entirely new ways-to art, to travel, and, most unexpectedly, to a future completely different from the one she has been working toward her whole life. A friendship blossoms with Ben, the gorgeous surfer and bartender who encourages Cricket to be free, even as she smarts at the pain of seeing Zack, her first love, falling for her worst enemy.

But one night, when Cricket finally lets herself break all her own rules, she realizes she may have ruined her carefully constructed future with one impulsive decision. Cricket must dig deep to fight for her future, discovering that success isn't just about reaching goals, but also about listening to what she's been trying to ignore-her own heart.

1. Can you tell us one thing you're hoping the reader will take away from reading Nantucket Red.

The sense that they have just gotten lost in a great story, perhaps so much so that they can feel the sand under their feet and the Nantucket sun on their shoulders.

2. Do you think first love is important? Why or why not?

First love is so important! Most often it happens before we've been injured by the world, so our hearts are so open. It's exquisite. I'm so glad that my first love was such a wonderful person, because I wouldn't have wanted to put my most vulnerable heart in the wrong hands. Be careful with your hearts, people! (But not too careful.)

3. Where would you go for your dream vacation?

Hawaii! Not the resort-y hotels and commercial strips, but a truly authentic, off the beaten path type place. I've never been. It looks so lush. It looks like paradise!

4. Do you believe in happily ever after? Why or why not?

I believe in happily ever after, but not in a fairytale way. I certainly don't believe that one finds long term happiness through another person, though falling in love feels so good! Someone much smarter than I am said that happiness is a discipline. I believe that creating a "happily ever after" for yourself takes constant practice in gratitude, kindness and self-care. Of course, having a hottie with a great sense of humor by your side doesn't hurt!

5. What book/series do you wish you could read again for the first time?

I wish I could read The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson again for the first time. I was so invested in Lenny's journey and reading Jandy Nelson's writing is like falling in love.

About the Author:
Leila Howland was born and raised in Providence, Rhode Island. A graduate of Georgetown University, Leila spent five years acting in New York where she was a company member of the award-winning Flea Theater in Tribeca. Nantucket Blue, for which she was named a Publisher's Weekly Flying Start Author, was her first novel. Leila now lives in Los Angeles with her husband and dogs.

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