Monday 12 May 2014

Blitz Tour + Interview + Giveaway - Nantucket Red by Leila Howland

Find the tour schedule here.

Series: Nantucket #2
Release date: May 13th 2014
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion


Cricket Thompson's lifetime of overachieving has paid off: she's headed to Brown University in the fall, with a spot on the lacrosse team and a scholarship that covers almost everything. Who knew living in the dorm cost money? An Ivy League education seems to mean living at home for the next four years.

When Cricket is offered the chance to earn enough cash to afford a real college experience, she heads back to Nantucket for the summer. But the faraway island challenges Cricket in ways she hadn't anticipated. It's hard to focus on earning money for next year, when she finds her world opening up in entirely new ways-to art, to travel, and, most unexpectedly, to a future completely different from the one she has been working toward her whole life. A friendship blossoms with Ben, the gorgeous surfer and bartender who encourages Cricket to be free, even as she smarts at the pain of seeing Zack, her first love, falling for her worst enemy.

But one night, when Cricket finally lets herself break all her own rules, she realizes she may have ruined her carefully constructed future with one impulsive decision. Cricket must dig deep to fight for her future, discovering that success isn't just about reaching goals, but also about listening to what she's been trying to ignore-her own heart.


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Leila Howland was born and raised in Providence, Rhode Island. A graduate of Georgetown University, Leila spent five years acting in New York where she was a company member of the award-winning Flea Theater in Tribeca.  Nantucket Blue, for which she was named a Publisher's Weekly Flying Start Author,  was her first novel. Leila now lives in Los Angeles with her husband and dogs. 
Visit her online at and at


When did you start writing?

I knew I wanted to be writer when was I very young. I had a wonderful writing teacher, Mrs. Shipp, in elementary school, and I feel like it all started with her. I wanted to write professionally at age 24, but it took me more than a few years to figure out what the heck I wanted to write (film? plays? books? I tried it all!) and to find my voice.  

What makes you want to write?

It's very hard to define. I have a lot of feelings and it can be very confusing. Writing is a way to try to make some sense of things, I think.

Do you ever get writer's block and what do you do to get over it?

I haven't ever been totally paralyzed by writer's block, but I've certainly been stuck. My trick is to lower my standards. I tell myself to keep going, no matter how bad it has to be because I'm afraid if I stop, I'll get too comfortable not writing.

Do you have a special way of going about writing?

I don't. I like to switch it up to keep things fresh. However, by nature I'm more of a planner than a seat-of-my-pantster. I can only get so far "just writing" before I want to imagine a bigger picture and work backwards.

What are your hobbies? 

Yoga and Googling vacation possibilities. I tried gardening, but I only lasted about six weeks. Maybe I will try again!

How did you choose the character names for Nantucket Red?

"Cricket" came to me very early on when I was trying to get a handle on this character. I could kind of see her in my mind, but it wasn't until I stumbled on her name that she really came into focus - the blond ponytail, the sunny smile, the lively and intelligent eyes. I don't know where exactly it came from. "Jules" felt cool and sophisticated and a little distant somehow, and I've just always liked the name Zack.

Who is your favorite character in Nantucket Red?

I heart Liz!

Where did you get the idea for Nantucket Red?

In Nantucket Blue, Cricket's world is turned upside down when she falls in love. I wanted to shake up her universe again, but in a different way.  One of her defining characteristics is being an overachiever, so I thought that if I could endanger the result of her hard work, I could find a good story.

What was your favourite part of writing Nantucket Red?

I really enjoyed discovering what Cricket's relationship with Ben was all about.

Do you have any works in progress?

Oh yes. I have about three I'm rotating.

What are you currently reading? 

Where'd You Go, Bernadette? It's awesome.

What is your favorite book? 

This changes all the time. My recent favorite books are Winger, Hostage Three, and I'm going to go ahead and say Where'd You Go, Bernadette? even though I haven't finished it. This book makes me laugh like crazy! I love the voice.

Who is your favorite author? 

This changes all the time, too!  My latest obsession is Andrew Smith.

What is your favourite film?

Back to the Future.

What is your favourite TV show?

I've just discovered Veronica Mars and I'm in love!

Quick-fire questions:

Chocolate or ice cream? Ice cream.
Paperback or ebook? Paperback.
Dogs or cats? Dogs!
Go out or stay in? I'd like to say go out, but the truth is stay in.
Summer or winter? Summer.  Isn't that obvious? :)

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