Wednesday, June 15, 2016

THE SOUND OF US Blog Tour: Interview with Julie Hammerle

The Sound of Us
by Julie Hammerle
Release Date: June 7th 2016
Entangled Teen


Kiki Nichols might not survive music camp.

 She’s put her TV-loving, nerdy self aside for one summer to prove she’s got what it takes: she can be cool enough to make friends, she can earn that music scholarship, and she can get into Krause University’s music program.

 Except camp has rigid conduct rules—which means her thrilling late-night jam session with the hot drummer can’t happen again, even though they love all the same TV shows, and fifteen minutes making music with him meant more than every aria she’s ever sung.

But when someone starts snitching on rule breakers and getting them kicked out, music camp turns into survival of the fittest. If Kiki’s going to get that scholarship, her chance to make true friends—and her chance with the drummer guy—might cost her the future she wants more than anything.

About the Author
Julie Hammerle is the author of The Sound of Us, which will be published by Entangled Teen in the summer of 2016. Before settling down to write "for real," she studied opera, taught Latin, and held her real estate license for one hot minute. Currently, she writes about TV on her blog Hammervision, ropes people into conversations about Game of Thrones, and makes excuses to avoid the gym. Her favorite YA-centric TV shows include 90210 (original spice), Felicity, and Freaks and Geeks. Her iPod reads like a 1997 Lilith Fair set list. She lives in Chicago with her husband, two kids, and a dog. They named the dog Indiana.

Author Links:

Doesn't this sound fabulous?! Julie Hammerle was nice enough to answer a few questions and I'm excited to share with you. 

L.S. Mooney: I'm in love with this premise so I'm dying to know - Did you ever go to opera camp yourself?

Julie Hammerle: Thank you so much! And, no, I’ve never been to opera camp. I studied voice in college; but, as far as I know, the whole “opera camp as a way for students to earn scholarships” is something I made up for the book. However, I’d love to know if anyone did go to a real opera camp!

LSM: Very cool - I was always so jealous of music majors in college, they seemed THE COOLEST. 

Since your book is steeped in music, I have to ask - What is your main character's theme song? Why?

JH: I love this question. While working on the book I had quite the soundtrack for Kiki, and there’s a song for almost every scene. I think her theme song would be “Superhero” by Ani DiFranco, because pre-camp Kiki was a lone wolf who didn’t think she needed anyone. But then she meets Jack, and all that changes. He’s her kryptonite.

LSM: Great song! As a Buffalo girl, we love our Ani DiFranco :) 

Can you tell us a little bit about your writing process? Are you a plotter or a pantser?

JH: Team plotter! Actually, now that I say that, I totally pantsed the first draft of this novel. And that might be why not a single scene remains from that original version J

LSM: Yikes - a total overhaul! But I do find that pantsing a first draft can definitely help you get words on the paper... even if they're ugly. 

Everyone's publishing experience is so unique - Do you have any crazy, silly, or just cool stories from your own writing and publishing journey?

JH: Probably the silliest thing is that I started writing this book at maybe the most ridiculous time possible. I was at home with a one-year-old and I had just started babysitting my two-month-old niece. I wrote whenever they were sleeping, and I kept thinking about the story while we were out walking or driving or while they were watching Sesame Street

LSM: That sounds intense! But it also sounds like you were productive even in a crazy situation! 

What are you working on now?

JH: I’m currently working on two very different, but very fun, romance-filled YA novels. 

THE SOUND OF US is now available! 

Buy Links:

GIVEAWAY: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour Organized by: YA Bound Book Tours

Thursday, June 2, 2016


Emma will always be a New Yorker at heart, even though she has a perfect life in Seattle. She has a prestigious job fundraising for the Seattle Symphony, a handsome boyfriend who adores her, and a Belltown apartment with views of the Sound. It should be more than enough to keep her pain from not playing the piano, and her 9/11 nightmares, away. But when her old college crush, Owen, comes back into her life, it’s more than just spending time with him that’s causing cracks in her picture-perfect life. As she steps back on stage, and back into the spotlight, her connection with Owen and his world, dredges up old memories that Emma worked hard to forget. Emma’s past comes back to haunt her, forcing her to face the truth about more than just her fears of returning back to New York. As her once perfect life begins to burn down, Emma is forced to figure out what she really wants: her fundraiser and cocktail party-filled life with her boyfriend, or forging a new future with the one thing, and one person, she’s ever loved–even if it means returning to New York. Without Benefits is a beautiful and moving exploration of modern relationships and family written in the vein of Taylor Jenkins Reid and Renee Carlino.

About the author:

 Nicole Tone is a freelance editor, MFA student, traveler, pet collector, binge-watcher, and a self- proclaimed coffee snob. She lives in Buffalo, NY with her husband, three cats, and two very large dogs, but spends as much of her time in Seattle as possible. You can like her page on Facebook, @ her on Twitter, swoon over dream houses together on Pinterest, and add Without Benefits on Goodreads.

The Review:  I read the first chapter of WITHOUT BENEFITS a while back when Nicole Tone asked for a reader on Twitter. After I finished, I knew I needed this book. When I got my ARC, I was not disappointed. 

I have never played a musical instrument, I have never been a relationship for a decade, and I have never lived in the Pacific-Northwest but Emma's story still felt like my own. She was incredibly easy to empathize with and relate to. Her oscillating feelings of happiness, discontent,, confidence, uncertainty, self-reliance, and dependency felt like the defining characteristics of my own mid-twenties existence. Her journey to rediscover her art, find closure with a college crush and contentment with a seemingly perfect boyfriend, and make a home in a city on the opposite side of the country spoke to me on a universal level. I didn't want to put the book down unless it was to call up Emma herself and schedule a coffee date to commiserate about our confusing lives. Although there are distinctive events that push the story forward, Emma's arc is self-motivated. She realizes she is not living the life she imagined and she might not be as okay with that as she originally thought.  Tone's exploration of interpersonal relationships was superb and couched in her soft prose that drew me farther in with each sentence.

I cannot wait to read this book again when my paperback arrives!

To reread or not to reread? That is the question.

I don't reread books that often. Sure, I've read the entire Harry Potter series too many times to count and a few others have snuck ...