What book should you read next? What words should you write next? Whether you're a reader, a writer, or both, you need look no further for ideas and pointers to help you make up your mind. You might even get your next book for free--and signed by the author!

Sometimes I even give away my own novels. My Inspirational romances and devotionals are pictured below and are detailed on my Books page. You can always count on a trace of humor in my novels and nonfiction. Whether you're a teen or a woman mature in years, I think these stories will ring true.

Read on, and discover some of today's most appealing Christian novelists, their latest books, and their words of wisdom and imagination. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Stephanie Morrill and Free Books!

A teen writer takes secret revenge on her ex-friends by writing them into her novel, and when they find out about it, she suffers the consequences of using her pen as her sword.

This bonus weekend post features novelist, Stephanie Morrill author of The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet, (Playlist Young Adult Fiction, May 2013).

 photo StephanieMorrillLowRes_zps17b4fae7.jpgStephanie Morrill lives in Overland Park, Kansas with her husband and two kids. Her only talents are reading, writing, and drinking coffee, so career options were somewhat limited. Fortunately she discovered a passion for young adult novels and has been writing them ever since.

Stephanie is the author of The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt series and The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet. She enjoys encouraging and teaching teen writers on her blog.

Please tell us three random things we might not know about you.

-- I love historical fiction, but I have no desire to write it. I tried once. I wrote 500 words and had a list of about 500 things I needed to research. I gave up then.

-- I’m obsessed with argyle. Not sure what it is about that pattern, but I love it.

-- I have a collection of giraffes in my office, and I’m really not sure how I started collecting them. They all have author’s names because when my brother-in-law gave me my first giraffe, he put a nametag on it that said, “Hemingway” and the theme stuck.

I'm like that with frogs, Stephanie. I have no idea how that happened. I've also developed an odd collection of various animals that have big bodies and tiny, stupid eyes (a chicken, a cow, a duck, and a pig so far). It takes so little to make us happy, doesn't it?

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet.

Ellie Sweet is a lot of things—good girl, novelist, silent adorer of the new boy at school, Palmer. But when “outcast” gets added to the list, she decides it’s time to take reality into her own hands … and tweak it as needed.

In the pages of her book, she’s Lady Gabrielle, favorite of the medieval Italian court. Her once-friends are reduced to catty ladies-in-waiting, and the too-charming Palmer—who in real life never spares her a second word—gets to be nothing more than a rake wracked by unrequited love for her. She even has a perfect real-life villain in the brooding Chase, who hails from the wrong side of town.

But just when she’s getting along great in her fictional world, the real one throws her a few curves. With Chase pursuing her, Palmer wanting to date her—but in secret—and the details of her manuscript going public, Ellie suddenly receives more attention than she ever really wanted. And when her former-friends discover what she’s been writing, they’re determined to teach Ellie a lesson about the severe consequences of using her pen as her sword.

This sounds like such a fun novel!

What is it about Ellie that will make your readers care about her?

Ellie is a junior in high school, and she feels very trapped in her life and alienated from the girls she grew up hanging out with. I think most people have experienced circumstances where they think, “I’m stuck. This isn’t going to change, and there’s nothing I can do about it.” And I know I’ve had friends move into phases into life that makes me feel left behind.

Oh, that hurts just remembering. Yes, I think many people have experienced that at some point in their young years.

If you were the casting director for the film version of your novel, who would play your lead roles?

 photo tumblr_memwxqy6bj1rlif9vo1_500_zpsc885333b.jpgEllie would be very tricky to cast because she’s cute, but not gorgeous, and that’s hard to find in an actress! If it were possible to turn Zooey Deschanel back into a teenager and make her not quite so beautiful, then she could be a good fit.

This is actually Zooey as a young teen.

 photo 894d71bf1e9d0e1b3daafed599de99a1_zps52432acd.jpgWe’d have to young up this actor too, but I think Chris Pine would be an excellent Palmer.

This was the youngest Chris Pine I could find. I think he got cuter with age.

I still can’t figure out who would play Chase. Maybe a 17-year-old version of Dwayne Johnson?

If the wording on the photo is to be believed, this is our man as a young man....

Let’s fantasize that your publisher is sending you to explore the setting for a new novel. Where are they sending you. Why there?

Visalia, California which is in the valley of California, pretty close to Fresno. Not an dream vacation spot, but I spent a few years of my childhood there, and when I first started working on Ellie’s story, that was just where I pictured her.

What is the last novel you read that you would recommend?

Glass Girl by Laura Anderson Kurk, who’s one of my fellow authors at Playlist Young Adult Fiction. The main character is a teenage girl whose brother was killed in a school shooting, who sacrificed himself to save her. Laura has a poetic way with words, and the story is beautiful.

What are you working on now?

Right now I’m editing The Unlikely Debut of Ellie Sweet, the sequel to Ellie’s story, which releases in November. I love the editing process, so this is a fun time for me!

Where else can readers find you online?

My author site is www.StephanieMorrill.com, and I have samples of all my books there. You can also find me at www.GoTeenWriters.com which is a place of community and encouragement for teen writers.

The book can be purchased in fine book stores and online via the following buttons:

Finally, what question would you like to ask my readers?

When you were a teenager, what did you want to be when you grew up? (Or if you ARE a teenager, what do you want to be when you grow up?)

Thanks, Stephanie, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Stephanie has offered to give a signed copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Monday, June 4. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Stephanie's question, above. "Please enter me" won't get you entered. Leave your email address, in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com.

Be sure to check out my interview with Deborah Raney, below. Leave an appropriate comment at the bottom of the post to enter the drawing for a signed copy of the book.

Finally, I'd love it if you'd connect with me on Facebook. Just click on my name at the right of today's post.

Annoying legal disclaimer: drawings void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents; the odds of winning depend upon the number of participants. See full disclaimer HERE.


bonton said...

When I was a teenager, the goal for my life was to be a wife and mother.

Would love to win this book for my granddaughter! Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!


Veronica Sternberg said...

I wanted to be a librarian or a novelist. This book looks so funny! shopgirl152nykiki(at)yahoo(dot)com

squiresj said...

Please enter me to win. I collect Raggedy Ann's and Andy's.
jrs362 at hotmail dot com

lgm52 said...

From about the third grade on, I always wanted to either be an English Teacher or a Librarian. I was one of the lucky few who saw her dream come true. I was the head librarian at our Public Library for 23 years, before retiring!

Merry said...

I wanted to be an interior designer. I still love decorating and enjoy watching design or makeover shows.
worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

Rosie Wilson said...

Oh dear, Stephanie. If Chris Pine represented Palmer I may just have a crisis. I like Chase so much better but... it's Chris Pine... LOL :D

What do I want to be when I grow up? Very easy. I'm a writer. I want to be published one day very much like Ellie. :-)

Great interview! Thanks for the giveaway!


Tonya said...

I want to be a writer or an artist, one day. Can I be both?? :)

tonyaj_725 (a) yahoo (.) com

Heather Manning said...

I want to be an author and stage actor. :D

HbroadwayphanN (at) gmail (dot) com

Laura Pol said...

For the longest I wanted to be a veterinarian, but then I found out you have to go put your finger in a dog's butt and decided I didn't want to do that. I think after that it changed to an interior designer then an elementary teacher!

I absolutely love the interview! So awesome to find out more about authors, especially about the giraffes with name tags! They are my favorite animal!


Anna Schaeffer said...

When I was a teenager, I wanted to be a published author. I'm working toward it!

4readin said...

Thanks so much for the interview and giveaway! Mrs. Morrill, I learned some fun things about your book today. Thanks for doing it!

I am hoping to become an editor one day. I think an editor for a publishing house, but maybe for a newpaper or magazine. I'm not exactly sure yet.


Erin said...

I want to be an author or an editor.
I can't wait to read this book!

Adriana Gabrielle said...

I want to be an Author/Stay at home mom/ and an English teacher

Adriana Gabrielle said...

Specifically teach English in a High School. ^_^

Beth Steury said...

At times I wanted to be a teacher, a social worker, a mom, possibly a writer. I taught high school Sunday School for 20 years and often felt like a social worker! I have 2 children and 1 grandson. So NOW I'm getting serious about the writer part!

Ashley said...

I want to be a youth minister, marriage/family therapist, and an author.

Arlette Geuf said...

When I was younger I had so many different jobs I wanted to do, and now at the age of 21 I am still not sure. I love writing, that's for sur, but Marketing holds a great interest of mine as well. So maybe those together (marketing for a publishing company) might be where the end goal will lay eventually


Lindsey Rae said...

Well, I've always wanted to be a superhero, but if that's out of the question then I'd say I want to be one of those emergency pet trainers with their own TV show like It's Me Or the Dog, because I have no ambition whatsoever :)

Summer said...

I want to be an English teacher/ Author. Hopfully the author thing will come for me someday! Super-de-dooper@live.co.uk

Tima Murrell said...

I wanted to be a librarian or bookstore owner. Owned a bookstore for several years before the kids came along. From reading the other comments it sounds like I wasn't the only one. =)

Emily Rachelle said...
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Emily Rachelle said...

I'm a teenager and I plan to be an elementary teacher. That may or may not have started out as an excuse to buy and read kids' chapter books that sort of took over my vision for my future.


Anonymous said...

What I want to be when I grow up is a writer. :)


Ellyn said...

I want to be a:
- Homeschooling mother
- Writer /author
- Artist
- Farmer
- Space pirate
For real, there's so many things I wanna do! (:

ellyn (at) gibbscorner (dot) com

Anonymous said...

I want to be a history teacher, a mother, and a writer, because I love them all :)


Caitlin Hensley said...

I've always wanted to own a cute little bookstore. Then I could spend lots of time writing, surrounded by books. :)


Nettie said...

What I wanted to be when I grew up always changed. It went from being a teacher to owning a pet store, to being a writer. I'm still not sure what I want to be when I grow up :P

Anna Schaeffer said...

Oops. I posted earlier, but forgot to leave my email address. It's aschae92[at]gmail[dot]com

Margaret said...

I want to be a published author and I want to be a wife and homeschooling mom. Not quite sure how that fits with my dream of wanting to cook as little as possible, but you can't have everything. :) I also wouldn't mind designing book covers...

Zoe said...

My dream job is a mountaineer that studies the science and trends in the environment and the ways in which mankind and nature can live in harmony. Realistically though, I want to be a Forest Ranger.


Anonymous said...

Wanted to be a nurse and a mother. momtr3@yahoo.com Bonnie Traher

Aidyl Ewoh said...

Nice interview.
What did I want to be when I grew up? A writer of course. And now at age twenty, my first book is about to be released! (June 14th to be exact.) So I'm pretty excited.

J Smith said...

I always wanted to be a teacher when I was a student. Now as an adult, I find myself working as an engineer and getting to teach Sunday school. A win-win!

Selah said...

I am a teenager, and I have many goals and dreams. I want to be an author, and write books that make a difference in people's lives. I want to be a singer and make people cry from listening to my voice. I want to be a wife and a Mum, so I can lead my kids to Christ. :)

The Magic Violinist said...

I turned thirteen a month ago, but I've known what I wanted to be since I was six and finished my first story with my best friend: a writer. More specifically, an author. I'm always in the middle of a book, whether I'm writing or editing it, and whenever people asked me what I wanted to be when I grow up, I immediately answer, "An author." Then I started to realize that I don't have to wait until I grow up to be an author. I should start now, early, and while I still have years ahead of me. I've been working hard to connect myself with other writers and authors and I've already sent out my edited manuscript to a few agents.

I guess I'm saying, I want to be a published author when I grow up, but I don't necessarily have to wait that long to get started.


I really enjoyed reading this interview! :D

ashley tahg said...

well, I'd simply love to be a Star Fleet officer (however, Star Fleet hasn't begun yet), or a Consulting Detective (or maybe not...), Or a Steampunk Pirate (....so much stands between me and that particular goal), or at the very least, can I be an Elvish Ranger? Oh right. I'm not Elvish...

That leaves Authoring, and stage drama. ^_^

godsforlife at gmail dot com.

Stephanie Morrill said...

It's SO fun reading what everyone wants/wanted to be!

I always wanted to be a writer, but I went through a few other phases too - detective, veterinarian, and kennel owner (once I figured I needed to know, like, science and stuff to be a vet.)

Stephanie Morrill said...

Oh, Ashley, "steampunk pirate," made me laugh like crazy. The good news is as a writer, you can be everything on your list :)

Anonymous said...

Ever since I was a young teen (ahem: two years ago), I've wanted to be a published author. I also think being a librarian, English teacher, or doing something sciencey would be really cool.

Allison said...

I'm a teenager, and I'm seriously thinking about being a fiction editor when I grow up ... that would be amazing... and so would winning this book. I've been dying to read it. Thank you so much! :)

Tierney said...

As boring as this may sound, my dream is to be a writer! From the age of eight I have wanted to have a book with my name on the spine, and have been typing little "novels" ever since! Of course, now as a teen these novels are getting bigger. I love to read (don't say "Harry Potter" around me unless you want to be talked to death), and always thought that being a librarian would be a cool career too! So...that's about all I have ever dreamed to be in this world. Oh, except for the ballerina thing. But then I was four years old.
Thank you so much for this comeptition; I have been desperate to read this book ever since Stephanie first mentioned it on Go Teen Writers!


Jenna Blake Morris said...

I'm officially dying to read this.

As for the career thing, I know I want to always write books, but I also know that I need some kind of day job. And I want that to involve storytelling somehow too--working for movies or TV or maybe even comics. But I'm not completely sure which direction that'd take. So basically, I'm going to starve. Under a bridge. If none of that pans out, I'd also be happy as a creative writing professor.


Out Of This World said...

I was brought up in a house, where books were stuffed in sagging book cases and piles of them were stacked on the floor up to waist height and scattered the carpet and bedroom floors. Whenever I went to the library, I would leave with bulging bags stuffed and overflowing and random people would look at me, with shocked expressions, probably having never seen anything like it. So it was no surprise, that from a young age I had a love for reading and demolished books whenever I could.
I always had a book on me. Always. Still do. It's amazing how quickly you can lose yourself in a book. And it was around then, I started thinking how wonderful it would be to have a book that had MY name on the cover. And it had been written by ME. And that's how my journey as a writer began.
I started dreaming up stories, and poems, and little by little I have travelled on my writing journey. And I know, I will NEVER look back.
My writing might not be very good, rubbish even, but every time I write, I'm practising aren't I?
Slowly, making myself better and better. And that's what being a writer is all about.
And some day, I hope to become a published author. And I can say to people, "I wrote that book." And hopefully, they will read and enjoy it.
And that will make all my hard work worth it.


Out Of This World said...

Out Of This World is my Mum's blog, by the way, not mine. And I share my Mum's e-mail address as well. :)

- Ella.

Out Of This World said...

Oh, dear. I didn't realize that you had to live in the U.S. to enter this competition.
Forget my entry, as I live in NZ. Sorry!

Stephanie Morrill said...

Ella, if an international participant wins, I would happily send an ebook instead.

Shadow said...
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Lexi Snow said...

I'm 15 and I want to be a published author! I collect AmericanGirl catalogues. I have almost all of them for the past 3 years saved in a box in my bedroom.
As you might be able to tell from my email address, I also like to draw :)

Velma said...

From the time I was a very little girl, I wanted to be a teacher. I just finished my 15th year teaching middle school.



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