Friday, April 6, 2012

Friday Five -- Talia Vance

Today's Friday Five author is Talia Vance, author of SILVER (Flux, September 8, 2012) and SPIES AND PREJUDICE (Egmont, Spring 2013).  I met Talia at the Big Sur Writer's Workshop in 2009, and immediately fell in love with her tight writing and snappy dialogue.  It is my great pleasure to interview her, and to call her a friend.


1.  What is your earliest memory?

I was probably 3 or 4 years old.  I was crawling under the kitchen table.  I remember clearly my grandmother telling me that I would not remember this when I was older.  And I decided then and there that I would.  I committed that little incident to memory and never let go.  I have no idea what prompted her to say that, but it sparked a little bit of defiance in me.  It’s part of what made me believe I could do anything I set out to do.

2.  What single thing would improve the quality of your life?

Work less.  Play more.

3.  Who would play you in the film of your life?

Drew Barrymore.

4.  If you knew you would be stranded on a desert island, which book, piece of music, and snack food would you take with you?

The Time Travelers Wife, Counting Crows’ August and Everything After, and Starbucks’ Skinny Vanilla Latte

5.  What is your favorite writing motto/mantra?

Finish the book.

Talia's Books: 


Brianna Paxton has been invisible to guys since the eighth grade. She's pretty enough, it's just that no one bothers to look. There's almost nothing that can't be explained with science, and Brianna has a theory: she's missing the pheromone that attracts people to one another. Brianna's theory is shot to hell in one frozen, silver moment, when time stops and Blake Williams not only sees her, he recognizes something inside her that she's been hiding from even herself.

Before Brianna fully understands who and what she is, she accidentally binds her soul to Blake. Forced to find a way to reconcile forbidden love and her bloody heritage, Brianna discovers that there's nothing pointless about her, and Blake may be in the most danger of all.

Preorder SILVER.


At sixteen, Berry Fields knows everything she needs to know about love. It sucks. As an employee for her dad's private investigation company, she's seen it firsthand. Men lie, cheat, leave. Even Berry's dad is love's victim, having never fully recovered from the death of his wife eight years earlier.

When Tanner Halston and his brother Ryan transfer to McHenry High, Berry is not impressed. She knows the type—good looking and full of himself. And it doesn't help that Tanner always seems to catch her at her worst moments. But when Berry's best friend hits it off with Ryan, it becomes impossible to avoid Tanner.

Berry embarks on her own investigation into her mother's death, determined to discover the truth. As she gets drawn deeper into a web of lies, she finds herself fighting against everything she thought she knew, about her mother, herself, and her growing attraction to Tanner Halston.

SPIES AND PREJUDICE will be published by Egmont in the spring of 2013.

Find Talia on Twitter
And Goodreads

Monday, April 2, 2012

Why I Love Great Britain and the British -- Part 2

On Wednesday, I blogged an overview of why I'm an unrepenting Anglophile.  Today, I'm sitting in a British version of a worldwide coffee establishment, where not only can I get a mocha that tastes radically different (but equally delicious) to my neighborhood cafe, but I could also choose from a selection of scones and "toasted multi-fruit bread" to sandwiches like cheese and Branston pickle or egg mayonnaise.

As I said before, I love British food.  It used to be said that hell would be a place run by the French, entertained by the Germans and catered by the British.  (and heaven a place catered by the French, run by the Germans and entertained by the British).  The Brits are famous for overboiled cabbage, gamey roasts and flavorless cakes.  But aside from my first years here when I couldn't find a decent cup of coffee (even the fine establishments served instant.  Instant!) I've not been disappointed by the food.

Of course, fish and chips are the best.  So.  Much.  Grease.  And there is absolutely nothing like a plain scone served with homemade strawberry jam and clotted Cornish cream.  But I've also learned to love pasties (though I lean towards the cheese and onion ones, being a mostly vegetarian - fish is my downfall).

The British sometimes think of odd combinations of flavors.  Especially pizza.  Imagine a pizza with corn kernels on it.  Or a fried egg.  Or tuna.  And Branston pickle is definitely an acquired taste - a cross between what Americans know as pickle relish and a chutney.  I'm still not down with vinegar on my potato chips, and only tasted the roast beef flavor crisps once.  Ahem.

I also love British sweets.  Cadbury's is the epitome of great milk chocolate.  And Green and Black's makes a gorgeous organic and free trade dark chocolate that is to die for.  I love fruit pastilles - a chewy fruit-flavored, sugar-encrusted sweet a little like gumdrops, but much better.  And wine gums.  Yes, sweets for kids named after wine.  Desserts like banoffee pie and treacle tart and spotted dick are listed on restaurant menus along with hot apple pie with cream (or custard).  And you have not lived until you have fresh strawberries and double cream.  I always come home with ginger nuts and plain (dark) chocolate digestive biscuits in my suitcase (these are both packaged cookie-type goods.)  And I adore attending British weddings where the cake is almost always a fruit cake covered in marzipan and fondant.  Really, you can't knock it until you try it.

I could go on.  But I won't.  I think that scone over there is calling my name...