Monday, July 16, 2012

Author Spotlight: Colleen Hoover - Slammed & Point of Retreat Book Give-away (Signed by the Author)


Well many of you know by now what a huge fan I am of Colleen Hoover. I read her books Slammed and Point of Retreat last April 2012, and they just blew me away! LOVED. THEM. TO. PIECES!!

It’s been awesome to witness Ms. Hoover’s books gather momentum and traction from fellow YA readers because frankly, they shouldn’t be overlooked. Well, I’m excited to get a chance to chat with her to learn more about the author behind these fantastic books.

So Colleen, tell me how you got into writing? Has this always been a passion of yours?
I have always loved to write. I’ve never tried writing a book before. Usually I would just write short stories for friends that were always sarcastic and funny. Slammed was my first attempt at writing a novel, and definitely my first attempt at writing something emotional or romantic.

What inspired you to write Slammed and the sequel Point of Retreat?
My 8-year-old wanted to audition for a local play at the community theater. When he got the part, I would get off work every night and take him to practice for three hours. I had a lot of downtime at the theater so I would read books or browse youtube on my ipad. After watching a few youtube videos of Slam Poetry, I thought it would be cool to read a book where one of the characters Slammed. After searching the internet and coming up empty, I decided I would just try to write one. I’d always wanted to write a book and it would give me something to do the following month during play rehearsals. Once I started writing it, I couldn’t stop. I wrote every second I wasn’t sleeping or working until it was finished.

It was great to read Layken’s story in Slammed and an even bigger treat to experience Will’s perspective in Point of Retreat. How difficult was it to switch narratives from Layken to Will and write an entire story in a guy’s POV? Which perspective felt most comfortable to you?
I actually began Point of Retreat from Layken’s perspective, but it wasn’t flowing like it should. Once I made some chapter notes, I realized it wasn’t flowing because she wasn’t supposed to be the one telling the story this time around. When I got re-started it from Will’s perspective, it just fit. I would have to say I found it easier to write from his perspective because I wasn’t putting myself in his shoes. During Slammed, I would catch myself writing Layken’s reactions in a way that I would react, not how an eighteen year old would react. I kept having to remind myself that what I would do and what Lake would do were two different things, and I would have to re-write the scene. Being in a guy’s head was sort of fun.

There seems to be a ton of Will fans out there that would love to hear more through his narrative. Surprised? :)  Do you have any plans to continue with Will’s story or has he shared all he cares to share with his fans for the moment?I honestly didn’t intend to write Will’s Story. I know a lot of fans want more of them, but they’ve been through enough. To me, the best part of love stories are when they fall in love. After a couple gets married, it isn’t that interesting to read about their day to day lives, so I was really hesitant about doing a third book. However, once I started getting requests from readers to hear Will’s side of the story in Slammed, I thought it was a good idea. I already had a lot of the scenes written, so it helped. I’m halfway finished and hope to have his story out in the next few months. I’ve got a lot more going on now than I did when I wrote Slammed and Point of Retreat, so I think the days of completing novels in 30 days is over. But I’m trying my best! 

I have to point out… what a great response your books have gotten from fellow readers. The ratings and reactions are consistently glowing and rightly so. What has been the biggest surprise to you since these books have been made available to the public? Do you have more on the horizon?
I think the biggest surprise is that people are actually reading them. I started Slammed because I was bored and it would make for a good Christmas present for my mother. I had no intentions of trying to actually have the book published and made available to the public. Once my friends and family started to read it, I looked into getting it onto Amazon and using my free days so more people I knew could read them. I had no idea what marketing machines my sisters were!!! They pimped the books hard and the first month I ended up selling about 200 copies and getting great reviews. I was floored! I couldn’t believe people I didn’t know were even reading them. Things really picked up by April thanks to word of mouth, and every day since has been surreal. I wake up every day thinking it’s all going to stop any second, but it just keeps getting better. I was able to switch careers in June and become a full-time writer. I think that has been the biggest change, actually getting to do what I love and make a living off of it.

And yes, I’m currently trying to finish up Will’s Story so that I can start on my fourth book, Fall Together. I’m really excited about that one, but I can’t say much since I haven’t written it yet. But as long as people keep reading, I’ll keep writing. Heck…even if people stop reading, I’ll keep writing. It’s what I love to do.

Well thank you for taking the time to chat with WinterHaven Books. We can’t wait to experience the next adventure you have in store for us. Keep it coming!
Follow Colleen Hoover:
Goodreads      Blog        Twitter

Title: Slammed
Author: Colleen Hoover
Release Date: January 1, 2012
Publisher: Atria Books
Link to Purchase: Amazon

Top Rank for my 2012 Favorite
 Push your boundaries…that’s what they’re there for.

There’s no way you can convince me that Slammed is Colleen Hoover’s debut novel. Impossible! This book is amazing, incredible and just dripping with emotional power that a rookie author launching this as her first novel is absolutely awe-inspiring. It’s no secret, with the exception of a select few books, I’m slipping away from mainstream fiction. Looking for something creative, unique and different just doesn’t seem likely with the hugely hyped releases out there as of late. So I’ve resorted to self-published, not so widely known releases to get my fix and Slammed is a perfect reason why.

In this captivating novel, we meet Layken who is forced to move cross country after the death of her dad, so her mom can find some way to survive in the aftermath of his absence. Lake meets Will and these two form a strong connection. They have a few things in common, but most of all they just get each other in all the right ways. Just when the move begins to prove a possibility of new and exciting beginnings, Layken soon finds out that what she hoped for most is the one thing she has the least possibility of obtaining. What ensues is a constant emotional pull in just about every direction imaginable.

I loved.loved.loved Hoover’s writing! I mean to the level where I think I might have a crush on this book. I never thought poetry and heartbreak could be so perfectly blended to send me on an emotional ride that left me absolutely worthless for the hours this book held me captive. I read it from eCover to eCover and was pretty much entranced until I finished this story. Why this book wasn’t picked up by a well known publisher? I have no clue, but I’m glad it’s picking up traction from readers that know gems are among the self-published crowd. Great story!
So keep your ocean. I’ll take the Lake…
5 Stars
Title: Point of Retreat (Slammed #2)
Author: Colleen Hoover
Release Date: February 25, 2012
Publisher: Atria Books
Link to Purchase: Amazon

BUTTERFLYINGLY BEMAZING!
And all around my memories, you dance...

Colleen Hoover has done it again. She’s managed to steal my concentration captive and render me worthless until I read her story of Layken and Will in Point of Retreat from eCover to eCover. This book was the perfect sequel to Slammed that left me in that contemplative zone just thinking about the story and the characters and finding myself unwilling to let go. Doesn’t happen often, but it surely happened here. Loved this book!

These next chapters in Will and Layken’s life are told from the perspective of Will, and I just have to say, what a treat! It was like book candy that sent me on a sugar high. I’ve experienced this a select few times in stories like Where She Went and The Piper's Son, where the guy takes the stage and gives us his POV about the girl he loves. I really enjoyed getting into his mind and journeying with Will as he struggles to prove that their love goes beyond the common bond of tragedy that brought them together.

Point of Retreat continues to carry the concept of Slamming and never have I ever thought I would love poetry as much as I did - actually probably even more than I did in the first book. In fact, I have a few of them highlighted in my eReader for future reference because it’s truly a thing of beauty. Just like lyrics to music those phrases that represent your soul are sometimes best expressed in few words. Powerful!

There was a perfect character addition in this book that really stole the show, and I enjoyed every single one of her appearances. Kirsten was such a breath of fresh air to this cast with her surprisingly insightful wit and intuition. I loved her! Even more so, I came to adore how Caulder and Kel protect this little spit fire from some of the hurt she experienced as the new kid in school. Hoover carefully appended the concept of bullying with such a subtle sleight of hand to create an additional layer of depth to this story. About Kiersten’s slam at the end… well done sweetheart!

As with the first book, Will is just too good to be true. I like coming across male characters similar to him every now and again because of their ability to express their emotions so honestly and deeply. How far he was willing to go to prove to Layken that their relationship was deeper than the hardships they’ve had to overcome at such a young age tossed my emotional compass all over the map. Kisses on the forehead will never be the same… thank you very much.

Overall, this book is filled to the brim with humor and heart. A sure fire combination to win me over. I can’t wait to see what Hoover shares with us next. I’m a fan… that I am…
Points are not the point; the point is poetry.
5 Stars

Slammed & Point of Retreat Book Give-away - Signed by the Author!!
Colleen Hoover has graciously offered to autograph and send a copy of her two books Slammed and Point of Retreat to one lucky winner. All entries must be posted before August 4, 2012. The winner will be notified immediately and be asked to respond within 72 hours with a mailing address before a subsequent winner is selected. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

77 comments:

  1. Heard great things about this author. I need to check her out!

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    1. Oh these books are so so good. I hope you give them a try. I love them! XD

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  2. I absolutely LOVED these books. They are phenomenal! Colleen is BEMAZING!

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  3. I would like to thank you for an apsolutely fantastic book giveaway, being something that i would love to have the oportunity of reading & reviewing! Both 'Point of retreat' and 'slammed' sound utterly facinating & intreguing, and thank you for a most insightful interview. x

    Email: lfountain1(at)hotmail(dot)co(dot)uk

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    1. You're more than welcome Miss Lucinda Fountain. Good luck on the give-away! :)

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  4. I read both books in a span of two days... I couldn't put them down. I butterflying loved them!

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    1. I couldn't put them down either! :) I was worthless for a few days. :P

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  5. I am currently reading Slammed and I'm in love. I would love to get the hard copy AND the next books <3 Love their story :)

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    1. Slammed is awesome! Oh and Point of Retreat is oh so good as well. Good luck on the give-away! :)

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  6. LOVE both Slammed and Point of Retreat! Colleen Hoover is butterflying amazing! :)

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  7. Maryann BuchananJuly 16, 2012 at 9:35 AM

    I loved everything about the books and the strength and depth of the characters was amazing! Praying for a 3rd!

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    1. Oh I'm hoping for a third too Maryann!! ~crosses fingers~ >.<

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  8. I loved the Slammed series! Can't wait for Will's POV:)

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    1. You are going to LOVE Will's POV HMitch76. So so good! :)

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  9. I LOVED the Slammed series!! It is a book that I can read over & over. Thank you Colleen for writing such amazing book. I can't wait for Will's POV. I also look forward to reading more of your books.

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    1. I just wrote this comment but it didnt put my name. I dont what to click on the profle part.:( My name is Tosha Powers & I'm a big fan!!

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    2. Thanks for posting Tosha!! :)

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    1. So glad to hear that!! They are such great books!

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  11. COOLEEN IS BEEEEEMAZING, AND I HAVE NEVER HERD OR SEEN OF AN AUTHOR THAT DOES WHAT SHE DOES AND TREAT HER FANS THE WAY SHE DOES, WHICH MAKES HER EVEN MORE BEEEEMAZING, SHE DESERVES ALL THE FAME THAT SHE IS GETTING NOW, AND WILL RECIEVE IN THE FUTURE, I HAVE NO DOUBT THAT ALL HER DREAMS WILL COME TRUE :) :) Kayla May-Smith

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    1. Thank you for the beautiful post Kayla. I agree with you... Colleen Hoover is great! I've had such a great experience with her. She is super sweet and deserves nothing but success with her wonderful stories. Thanks for stopping by!! :)

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  12. I love love love the Slammed Series. Can hardly get enough of it. Thanks for the giveaway. Can't wait for Will's POV of Slammed :D

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    1. You're welcome! Good luck with the give-away. You'll love Will's POV!! XD

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  13. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Slammed and Point of Retreat!!! I have to admit I have read them but they are so good they are definitely re-reading material on my keeper shelf. I would love to win signed copies. The story is so real and full of in depth characters that make you laugh and cry along with them. ;)

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    1. I completely understand Jody!! Good luck with the give-away. ~whispers~ I own the eBooks and the paperbacks, so I get ya! :D

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  14. I'm a new follower. Both books are good. Thanks for the giveaway!

    My blog - http://bookbloggermom.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you for stopping by!! You're welcome for the give-away! I'll be stopping by your blog next. :)

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  15. I stayed up for 24 hours to read these books. It was so worth it. BEMAZING!!!!!!! Colleen you ROCK!!!!!!

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    1. :D I stayed up late too. Completely know what you mean. XD

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  16. These books sound so good!! I really need to read them.
    Thank you for the awesome giveaway! :D

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    1. They are really good AJ! I hope you read them soon. Good luck with the give-away!

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  17. These books are so real and so beautifully crafted!! They are instantly favorites of mine. <3

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    1. I feel the same way! They shot up to my faves for 2012. :)

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  18. Thanks so much for this awesome giveaway! I just purchashed a print copy of Slammed about a week ago and just finished it! I'm dying to have a print copy of Point of Retreat!!! x

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    1. You're welcome! Good luck with the give-away!

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  19. I loved these books! Colleen is so butterflying amazing!!!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Reese! I agree! :)

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  20. I love these books and only have the ebook version so I would love to have to signed copies!!

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    1. So glad to hear you liked them. Yes, a signed copy would be a great addition to any bookshelf. :D

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  21. I love Slammed so much! I bought an e-copy so would loved a signed book and I need the sequel!! This story and her writing style are simply amazing. Slammed blew me away-one of the best books I've ever read! (I follow on Twitter under @javalotta)

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    1. Very much agree with everything you said. So glad to hear you loved them too! Thanks for stopping by and good luck on the give-away! XD

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  22. I love discovering new authors! These books seem rioght up my street! Another author/series to add to my To Read list LOL

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    1. I hope you get a chance to read her books Nayab. They are really good! Thanks for stopping by! :)

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  23. I couldn't agree more about the reviews! I loveeeeeed Slammed and Point of Retreat. I was able to laugh and shed tears.
    I have to ask, is this U.S. only giveaway?
    Anyway, thanks!

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    1. Hi Karen. Oh I loved them too. Totally get ya. :) Yes, it is US only. Colleen Hoover has agreed to sign and ship the books, so I didn't make it international. I'm so sorry! Thanks for posting your luvs!! :)

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    2. aww..Is that so. Thanks for replying! ^^

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  24. Thanks for the awesome giveaway Arlene! I've heard to so many awesome things about these two books already! I honestly can't wait to pick them up! Thanks for the giveaway! :)

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    1. You're welcome Jasprit! Colleen Hoover was nice enough to offer. I think she's fab! :D They are really good! I hope you get to read them soon. :)

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  25. these books sound so amazing! cannot wait to read them.

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    1. They are amazing Ryan. I love them a lot. I hope you enjoy them too when you read them. :)

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  26. I can't wait to read these, I have heard some awesome things about them!

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    1. I hope you get to read them soon Wendy. I think you'll really like them. :)

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  27. Read both books on my Kindle, they're amazing!

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    1. Glad you liked them too! Good luck!

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  28. Oh my goodness, I just loved these books so hard! I would love to have my very own signed print copies to touch and hug!! Awesome interview Arlene and Colleen! I can't wait for Will's POV and honestly, anything else Colleen decides to write. Thank you for the amazing giveaway! :)

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    1. I love the interview that Arlene and Colleen did too!! You are so welcome Rachel and good luck!!! I hope you win so you can hug them =D

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  29. This is the first I've seen of these books but they sound so good!! They will definitely be on my tbr list and hopefully I'll get to read them soon : )

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    1. Everybody I know has loved them so you definitely can't go wrong adding them to you tbr =) Good luck!

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  30. Heard some really good things about these books. Looking forward to reading them.

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  31. They both sound amazing I just wish that the covers went along better together.

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    1. They really are amazing books. I hope you like them. :)

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  32. I've heard so many great things about these books and I can't wait to read them!!

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    1. I hope you get to read them soon Nicole! Good luck! :)

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  33. Man, I have been seeing these two everywhere lately!

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    1. It's really good Jillyn. I hope you get a chance to read it soon.:)

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  34. Never heard of them, but look awesome! Hope I win so I can get to them ;)

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    1. They're so good! I hope you get a chance to read them soon Kathleen. :)

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  35. i need to read these , i've never heard of them but they sound really good :)
    thanks for the giveaway !!

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    1. These books are awesome karissa! You're welcome! :)

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  36. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with some pics to drive the message home a bit, but other than that, this is great blog. A great read. Liga Italia

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