Monday, August 20, 2012

Giveaway: Choke and Interview with Diana Lopez

Choke by Diana Lopez
A heartfelt novel about the disturbing "choking game" trend -- and one girl's struggle for self-acceptance.
If she could -- if her parents would let her -- eighth-grader Windy would change everything about herself. She'd get highlights in her hair, a new wardrobe; she'd wear makeup. But nothing ever changes. The mean girls at school are still mean, and Windy's best friend Elena is still more interested in making up words than talking about boys.
And then one day, Windy gets the change she's been looking for. New girl Nina -- impossibly cool, confident, and not afraid of anyone -- starts hanging out with Windy! Nina even wants to be "breath sisters." Windy isn't sure what that means, exactly, but she knows she wants to find out. It sounds even better than a BFF.
Windy is right, at first. Being a breath sister gains her a whole new set of friends, girls she feels closer to and cooler with than anyone else. But her inclusion in the new crowd comes at a dangerous price. Windy wants to change everything about her life ... but is she really willing to give up everything in the process?
Diana's site:
Blkosiner's Book Blog Giveaway
-physical copy, open to US only
-Fill out Rafflecopter to enter
-Ends on 9/10
-Make sure to check out and comment on our interview below for an extra entry

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway provided by Diana, mailed by me after read and review. I will mail out probably on the 20th because I will be in Disney the weeks prior. Thanks!
interview with Blkosiner's Book Blog

--The Twitter version: tell us about your book in 140 characters or less.
Windy wants hang out with the popular kids, but in order to do so, she has to betray her best friend and play the dangerous choking game.

--How did you get the idea for the story?
I used to teach at a middle school where some students were playing this game.  I nearly forgot about it, but then the CDC published a story about how deaths from the choking game are often mistaken for suicide.  Suddenly, it was on all the news programs, but no one seemed to be addressing the kids.  I don’t know any teens who watch Dateline or CNN, so how are they going to learn about the dangers of this game?  That’s why I had to write this book.

--Which character would you most/least like to have dinner with?
I would most like to have dinner with Elena, my protagonist’s best friend.  She’s confident, funny, and probably interested in watching Star Trek reruns with me.  I would least like to have dinner with Liz.  She’s a total follower who would probably roll her eyes at everything I said.

--Do you have any other works in progress? Any teasers or release dates?
Yes, my next book is called ASK MY MOOD RING HOW I FEEL.  It also features middle school characters and will be released in Spring 2013.

--What book(s) is your book’s “cousin”? (Similar set-up or style)
I like to write books with a combination of humor and crisis and about real girls in real situations—cousins would be Judy Blume’s YA books, Heather Vogel Frederick’s Mother-Daughter Book Club series, Justina Chen Headley’s books, and on the younger side, books by Wendy Mass or Grace Lin.

--If a fairy godmother said you could be put into the world of your favorite book for 24 hours, which book would you pick and why?
I fantasize about being able to travel to other worlds, so I’d definitely pick a book from the Hainish series by Ursula K. Le Guin.  My favorites are Rocannon’s World, The Left Hand of Darkness, and The Dispossessed.  Le Guin was the best at creating vivid scenes in places that don’t really exist. 

--Do you need anything to write (music, coffee, etc)? Are there any songs on your playlist- songs that inspired you or that were playing while you wrote?
I need absolute quiet so I can hear the voices in the story.  I love writing in a room with a window and having something to drink—usually a diet Coke, tea, or water.  When I get frustrated, I take a break with a computer version of my favorite board games—Ticket to Ride, Settlers of Catan, or Puerto Rico.

--If you could have any superpower what would you choose?
The ability to speak all languages—Spanish, German, Hebrew, Japanese, even Klingon.  You can add the language that whales and cardinals speak too.  I really do mean all of them.

--Besides writing, what do you like to do in your free time?
Reading is my favorite pastime.  I also like playing European board games, going for long walks, and experimenting with my guitar and watercolors (I’m a total novice at both but they really ignite the neurons).  I like spending time with my family too.

--What is one thing you would tell your 15 year old self?
Embrace your inner geek.

--Is there anything else you want to add or say to your readers?
Please visit my website at and “like” me on Facebook at .  You can also follow me on Twitter.  My username is dianalopezbooks.
Lightning round: this or that?
Vanilla or chocolate?
Edward or Jacob?
Hockey or soccer?
Track – I don’t know anything about hockey or soccer.
Ebook or paper?
Paper – how else to enjoy the “new book” scent?
Salty or sweet?
Salty and sweet as in chocolate chip cookies with Chex mixed in.
Beach or mountains?
Phone call or email?
Early bird or night owl?
Night owl
Dog or cat?
Messy or neat?
Ninjas or pirates?
Pirates—of course—I grew up in a city that celebrates Buccaneer Days.  Fair winds! me mateys.
My question to you, my lovely readers:
Do you know of anyone who has played this game?
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  1. Amazing and quite scary the things we'll do to fit in/to find that elusive BFF. Sounds like a great book, thanks for recommending it.

  2. Thanks for posting the author interview. I'm always curious to find out things like where the book inspiration came from, what the book means to the author, who's the author's favorite character, etc.

    Choke sounds scarily sad but realistic. Can't wait to hear what you think of the book :)

  3. Awesome interview! I have not heard of this book but it seems interesting. Thanks for sharing.


  4. Thanks for the awesome giveaway. It sounds really good.

  5. This is such a scary subject. It breaks my hearts knowing that kids are doing this. Sounds like a great book!

  6. This book looks really intriguing - I have a copy and I cannot wait to read it!

  7. The story sounds very interesting. I'm glad you enjoyed it! Reviews for books that are easy to spoil are the hardest. You did a great job!

  8. Wow this story sounds quit powerful, the subject albeit a bit scary...
    Great interview--normally when I play this or that with friends, they always choose ninjas over pirates!

  9. Thanks for the giveaway , it sounds like a very interesting book


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