Monday, October 7, 2013

Blog Tour: Six Months Later by Natalie D. Richards from Sourcebooks Fire - Guest Post, Review

Six Months Later
by Natalie Richards
Published:  October 1, 2013
Publisher:  Sourcebooks Fire
Source:  Publisher/NetGalley

Chloe didn't think about it much when she nodded off in study hall on that sleepy summer day. But when she wakes up, snow is on the ground and she can't remember the last six months of her life. Before, she'd been a mediocre student. Now, she's on track for valedictorian and being recruited by Ivy League schools. Before, she never had a chance with super jock Blake. Now he's her boyfriend. Before, she and Maggie were inseparable. Now her best friend won't speak to her.

What happened to her? 
And why can't she remember? 

Praise for Six Months Later
“As tension rises among these sharply observed characters, this smart, edgy thriller taps into the college-angst zeitgeist, where the price of high achievement might just be your soul.”
Kirkus Reviews

"Filled with tension and heart-in-your-throat suspense that kept me guessing to the very end. I predict readers will want more and more from her. I know I do!" — Jennifer Brownauthor of Hate List and Thousand Words

Guest Post: 10 Things I wish I knew about being an author that I didn't know before.

First off, thank you so much for having me today!  I'm thrilled to be here!  So, I had a tremendous prompt for this post that kept me scratching my head and thinking hard.  Well done, Always YA at Heart!  Ellen, you completely rock!!
So....I'm going to go David Letterman style, with a countdown to my number one thing.  Oooh, the anticipation!
So, here we go! 
10.  You will expect a call for several days after selling with some sort of "book-deal-take-back" speech or some awful version of "Punk'd" where you learn the whole thing was a terrible prank.
9.  You will still have lots of questions about writing books.  Even more than you did before you were published.
8.  You will be pinion wildly between being scared to death, giddy with gratitude and overcome with excitement.  Sometimes it will happen in the same hour.  Carbs help.  Chocolate, especially.
 7.  You will need to write a bio and an acknowledgements page.  Sure, you expected that, but it's ten times harder than you thought it would be.
6.  You will have lots of people reading and talking about your book long before it hits bookshelves. And these advance readers, bloggers, and reviewers play a more critical role in this whole industry than you dreamed.
5.  You will need to know way more about social media than you thought you did.  Whether you're a fan or a hater, being online will be a big deal.
4.  You will be struck with the paralyzing, terror-inducing reality that you are clueless about loads of writer things.  What's a galley?  Where do I buy promo material?  How do reviews work?  How do I talk to bookstores?  What kind of pen should I use when I sign a book?
3.   You will fortunately connect with writers, many of whom will have great answers to all the questions you're asking.
2.  You will cry, swear, worry, chew your nails to the quick, and mainline caffeine until you're pretty sure you've probably paid for your own franchise with all the Starbucks you've consumed.  Because writing is hard.  Harder than you ever dreamed it would be.  Hard enough to sometimes feel impossible.
1.  You will be able to honestly say that it is also one-thousand percent worth it.  Because you wouldn't trade one minute of this journey for anything.

Thanks so much for having me!  I’m thrilled to be here!

About the Author:
Double RWA Golden Heart Finalist Natalie D. Richards won her first writing competition in the second grade with her short story about Barbara Frances Bizzlefishes (who wouldn't dare do the dishes). After getting lost in maze of cubicles, Natalie found her way back to storytelling, following the genre of her heart, teen fiction. Natalie lives in Ohio with her amazing husband, their three children, and a giant dust-mop who swears he’s the family dog.

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter

My Thoughts:  I really enjoyed Six Months Later.  Imagine a row of books that are all in similar shades of pastel, nothing wrong with pastel mind you, but then imagine one that just pops out like a neon light....well that is what Six Months Later was like for me.  It just stood out among the many books I have read lately providing such a refreshing and much needed change of pace.  Six Months Later is a YA thriller that had the feel of reading a movie to me.  One day in study hall, Chloe falls asleep.  When she awakens, it is no longer May, but wintertime. There is snow on the ground, it's cold, and it's dark outside.  Chloe has a major WTH has happened moment, knowing something is terribly wrong.  She has dirt under her fingernails, she isn't wearing the same clothes, and when she checks her cell phone she finds that it is November, six months later than the last thing she remembers.  To say she is freaked out is putting it mildly.  When she fell asleep, she was your average student, not really too popular, but not in the unpopular crowd either.  Now, she finds that not only is she in the popular crowd, she's aced her SAT, her best friend Maggie won't even speak to her, and she's supposedly dating the high school jock Blake, who she has crushed on what seems like forever.  Yet when she is around Blake, when he touches her, she can't understand why it totally creeps her out, and why when she sees or is around hottie bad boy Adam Reed, she wants to just melt in a puddle, and feels like he is the only one she can trust.   

Desperate to find out what has happened, but not wanting to give too much away for fear of being labeled totally nuts and wind up institutionalized, she reveals just enough to her parents to let them know she's having a "memory issue," and begins to try to find out what's happened to her, tries to figure out who she can trust, and also who she can't.  As she digs deeper into this mystery it seems that for every answer she finds, she has just as many if not more questions.  Chloe knows something is terribly wrong, even dangerous, as she gets closer to finding the truth she seeks.  

Six Months Later is filled with mystery, suspense, and yes, romance.  I totally loved Chloe's character.  She is snarky, determined, and her inner dialogue had me laughing so many times.  I also really liked hottie bad boy Adam.  There was a lot more to him that meets the eye, and the chemistry between him and Chloe was electric.  Maggie, Chloe's best friend was really great to, but Blake definitely had the creeper vibe going on.  The story is fast paced and kept me turning the pages to see what happened next.  I don't want to give too much away, because the mystery is what makes the story so good.  I was able to figure out some things, and other things were surprising, as the truth began to unravel.  Six Months Later is filled with mystery, suspense, danger, romance, just the right amount of humor, and has that thriller feel that keeps you on the edge of your seat.  I thoroughly enjoyed it and most definitely would recommend it.  
Favorite Quotes:
"We're late for English," Blake says, pointing me toward a door at the end of the hallway.  I guess that's one mystery solved.  Only eight billion or so to go.  

My parents look up from the news when I come in.  Mom's been crying.  Again.  It's getting seriously melodramatic in this house.  I'm half-expecting a mournful instrumental score to play every time I leave a room.

I scroll over the list, feeling my face curdle like day-old milk.  It's like I've been possessed by an academic pep rally.  When the hell did I start saying crap like "for sure?"

The men's room door swings shut with a yellow "Restroom Being Cleaned" sign dangling from the handle.  It's like a silent dare.  Yeah.  Well, there's a reason I streaked Clementine Drive in my undies in the middle of February.  I'm not the kind of girl who turns down a dare.  I push the door open and slide into the world of urinals and general male restroom ickyness.  

"You and mom aren't fighting are you?" I ask.  He lifts his fingers from the steering wheel, halfheartedly waving that off.  "No, Mom's deep cleaning.  I'm looking for excuses."  He's a bad liar, but I didn't expect anything about him would be different.  It took him a year to get used to the idea of a weeping cherry tree in the front flower bed.  The guy's not big on change.  He's kind of like a glacier with hair.  

I fold the papers and tuck them into my purse and head inside.  I've got government next, which is almost as interesting as watching paint dry. 

"So do I actually get to eat with you, or is this a drive-by flirt."

Oh, God, she figured it out, and I'm about to be busted. Again.  I'm going to be grounded until I have grandchildren.


  1. I love that she did this Letterman style!
    I really loved this book and I can't wait to read more from this author in the future.

    1. Ellen, this is such a lovely review...thank you SO much. And I have to admit, it is SO much fun to see quotes people enjoyed. Absolutely one of the best parts of this job! :)

      Thanks so much for the list idea -- I'm glad you guys are enjoying it and I had a load of fun putting it together. YAY for creative blog ideas!! :-)

  2. I recently read this one as well and really enjoyed it! It was very 'edge of your seat' which I loved.
    Even though I'm not an author, I have thought about all those things she mentioned quite a lot. Maybe it's because I'm friends with people who have become authors and have been with them as they go through that whole freak out thing, but I would be the same way, wondering if I'm doing things right or not.

  3. What a great post! I read this recently and really enjoyed it too. Great review, Ellen!

  4. This book sounds really good definitely want to read it!!

  5. Yay!!! I just added this to my tbr pile a couple days ago, after reading your review I will DEFINITELY be picking this up soon!! Great review hun! This sounds fantastic (:

  6. I love the sound of the mystery and suspense, this is on my wishlist and I am so happy you enjoyed it! Lovely review Ellen, and I enjoyed the guest post too :)


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