Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Guest Post with Joy Preble

Photo Credit: Toppel Photography

Joy Preble is a Texas girl who was born and raised in Chicago and a former high school teacher who now writes full time, which means she gets paid for making up stuff. She earned an English degree from Northwestern University and speaks and teaches widely on writing and literacy at libraries and schools, as well as SCBWI, NCTE, AWP, and other conferences.

Joy is the author of THE SWEET DEAD LIFE and its sequel, THE A WORD(May 2014), both from Soho Press. Kirkus hailed THE SWEET DEAD LIFE with "Hallelujah! A paranormal tale of angels…that breaks the mold."

She is also the author of the DREAMING ANASTASIA series (Sourcebooks) that combines paranormal romance with Russian folklore. DREAMING ANASTASIA was nominated for a Cybil Award in the Teen Sci-Fi/Fantasy Category in 2009. It was named an ABC Best Book for Children, Teen Category in 2009, and was featured in Justine Magazine.

Joy also has a contemporary mystery/romance on the way: FINDING PARISwill be out April 21, 2015 from Balzer and Bray/Harper Collins. Another paranormal mystery/romance, IT WASN'T ALWAYS LIKE THIS, pitched as Tuck Everlasting meets Veronica Mars, arrives from Soho Press in Spring 2016.

In no particular order, Joy loves guacamole, pizza, banana bread, red wine, books, boots of all shapes and sizes, TV, movies, and crazy road trips so she can see the world. She is also fond her family and her dog, in case you were wondering.

Series: A Sweet Dead Life Novel (Book 2)
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Soho Teen; Reprint edition (September 15, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1616954892
ISBN-13: 978-1616954895

Praise for THE A-WORD

“Light, snarky, and heartfelt... The A-Word rolls along cheerfully through Halloween pranks, high school football, investigative reporting, angel-powered action, and a very realistic amount of aimless driving around.” —School Library Journal

“Sassy, smart-mouthed, cowboy-boot fan Jenna Samuels is back once again, fighting evildoers with the aid of her angelic cohorts..... has many of the elements that made its predecessor, [The Sweet Dead Life], so much fun.” —Kirkus Reviews

"[The Sweet Dead Life series] presents a fresh and humorous look at angels, sibling relationships, romance and the paranormal." —The Woodlands Online

“The earthbound angels are as authentic as the down-to-earth people in The A-Word, but where the book really spreads its wings is in the interaction between the two. Resourceful teens and heavenly beings team up to get to the roots of a very modern mystery, and the big questions of the universe share space with first dates and football games. The result: a smart, original (and slightly celestial) mystery with a distinctly Texan flavor.” —Michael Northrop, author of Trapped and Surrounded by Sharks

"Joy Preble gives it all! Humor, wit, emotion, and romance! Fabulous fun!" —New York Times bestselling author Sophie Jordan

“Romance, sassy humor, and a pain-in-the-rear brother … Who knew having a guardian angel could be so hard and so much fun to read?”  —New York Times Bestselling Author C.C. Hunter

Last year when THE SWEET DEAD LIFE came out, one of my favorite review quotes was from Kirkus, who said, “Hallelujah! A paranormal tale of angels that’s not a romance, making it a novel that breaks the mold.” I danced happily over that line for weeks!

I appreciate that Kirkus ‘got it,’ that they knew there could be an angel story that was a sibling book and a main character who didn’t have any special powers at all, who in fact wasn’t the angel. I, too, love the tension that comes from Jenna being wholly human and having to navigate the world of angels, especially when she catches her brother Casey trying to research the word on Google, which doesn’t give her much hope for whoever Upstairs is running the show.

Still. It’s a year later when THE A-WORD opens up. Jenna is turning 15. And her mild but mentioned interest in one Ryan Sloboda from book 1 has developed into a full-blown crush. Which I for one had very much been looking forward to writing and hope that you all are very much looking forward to reading!

I don’t want to give away too many details, but let’s just say that Jenna has met her match in Ryan Sloboda. He’s athletic and sweet and she delights in the small, goofy things, like how he spells out all the words when he texts her. She thinks there’s something special in the fact that he TAKES HIS TIME about things. She thinks he’s smart and funny and loyal and cute as can be. Of course the problem is: Jenna’s got this huge A-Word secret hanging over her head and driving her to school every day and still sharing the bathroom with her. Her lunkhead brother Casey. And it’s kinda hard to have your first real boyfriend when you can’t tell him the most basic of truths about your life.

I hope everyone enjoys the Ryan/Jenna romance. I also love that I get to spin it out in contrast with all the book’s other not so good or doomed relationships—and there a bunch of them! Makes it that much sweeter, I think, knowing that not everyone is lucky in love, at least not all the time.

I’ll leave you with one of my favorite, not too spoiler-y Jenna quotes in regards to Ryan: “A million thoughts had been dancing in my brain: Did he like me? Was my breath fresh? Was that really Axe he’d spritzed on himself?”

Jenna Samuels is about to turn fifteen. It's been almost a year since her stoner brother, Casey, bit the dust. Almost a year since he returned as her guardian angel, along with his "angel boss," Amber Velasco, the hot twenty-something former EMT. Almost a year since Casey and Amber used up their one-time-only angel power of flight to save Jenna from the evil Dr. Renfroe, swooping down to catch her as she tumbled off the balcony at the Houston Galleria. In short, a lot of A-word shenanigans and a mostly happy ending.

Except now Casey's begun to wonder why he's still hanging around—not that he minds protecting Jenna. She's a handful, but there's got to be a bigger picture, right? Something to distract him from his on again/off again, doomed relationship with cheerleader Lanie Phelps, who has no idea her boyfriend is, well, dead. After all, he can't use his angel wings anymore. Neither can Amber.

Enter Bo Shivers, Amber's "angel boss"—a mysterious A-word guy Jenna and Casey didn't even know existed. Whiskey-guzzling. Handsome in a grizzled way. Unpredictable. Okay, make that crazy. Bo lost his angel wings in an earthly flight a long, long, long time back—and he's been a thorn in Angel Management's side ever since. But Bo knows something is coming. Something big. Something that was worth forfeiting wings for Jenna... something that might just change everything for everyone.

Although Jenna Samuels has her share of normal teenage issues, the past year of her life has been anything but normal. Her brother came back to her life as her guardian angel and used his one-time only power of flight to save her. But that was a year ago. Although Casey is enjoying playing the ultimate protective brother role, he is puzzled as to why he is still here. Along with his “angel boss” Amber, the two may just find out from Amber’s “angel boss”, Bo Shivers. He foresees an event that will ultimately change everything. Joy Preble’s The A-Word is the second book in the Sweet Dead Life series where she takes the angel world into an entirely different aspect.

Fifteen-year-old Jenna may be young but she’s already been through a lot. On top of the fact that her family is broken and her brother came back as her guardian angel, she can’t vent out her problems to her best friend. She tries to live a normal life and pursues a relationship with Ryan. Written in her POV, she has definitely grown since the last book and has developed more self-confidence. She’s more aware of what is stake and is more willing to stand up for herself and say what’s on her mind.

Preble’s storytelling is absolutely wonderful. The amazing character building enhances the story as she brilliantly takes you into a familiar world laced with unique twists of her own. The writing delivered a steady pace and never ran into a dull moment. The excellent buildup to the climax will have readers on the edge. As answers are delivered, more questions will arise. The A-Word is a unique twist in the angel world with tremendous excitement, fun, and heart-stopping adventure. 
You can purchase The A-Word at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you JOY PREBLE for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a The A-Word by Joy Preble.


  1. Nope, not me. I know people who had imaginary friends but mine were all actual people. Thanks.

  2. yes although got teased and forgot about her

  3. I actually didn't have an imaginary friend :)

  4. Yes, she use to play Lego with me but she didn't have a name.

  5. I don't remember having one. I had a huge imagination, but it went more into artwork and building stuff.

  6. never had any imaginary friend :)