Monday, April 15

Spensations: Spotlight On... Camp Boyfriend

Hey Guys,
Welcome to another installment of Spensations, the feature dedicated to books published by Spencer Hill Press, Spence City and Spencer Hill Contemporary.
Today is very very special. Why you ask? Well because we are featuring the first book to be published by new imprint Spencer Hill Contemporary.
It's no surprise to anybody just how much I adore Spencer Hill Press and I am absolutely loving Contemporary books so to feature the first released from Spencer Hill Contemp is super exciting to me. Add to that the fact that both authors of Camp Boyfriend are great friends of mine.

Now let me introduce The Camp Boyfriend Series.

Camp Kiss (Camp Boyfriend #0.5)
J.K Rock

Published By: Spencer Hill Contemporary
Genre: YA - Contemporary Romance

Out Now! 
From Goodreads:
The Camp Kiss That Started It All…

Lauren Carlson, a fourteen-year-old expert on the cosmos, superheroes, and science fiction trivia has a crush on her longtime camp friend, Seth. Last summer she’d dreamed about upgrading their relationship to BF/GF status and this year she has a plan… if only her well-meaning cabin mates wouldn’t interfere before she’s ready. She hasn’t even adjusted to her new braces yet, let alone imagined kissing Seth with them. When a dare pushes her out of her comfort zone, will she and Seth rocket out of the friendzone at last? There’s only one way to find out….

This is the free prequel available to download from SHC's website (Click HERE). Check out my review by CLICKING HERE!

Camp Boyfriend (Camp Boyfriend #1)
J.K Rock

Published By: Spencer Hill Conemporary
Due For Release: July 2, 2013
Genre: YA - Contemporary
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From Goodreads:
The summer of her dreams is about to get a reality check.

They said it couldn't be done, but geeky sophomore Lauren Carlson transformed herself into a popular girl after moving to a new school halfway across the country. Amazing what losing her braces and going out for cheerleading will do. Only trouble is, the popular crowd is wearing on Lauren's nerves and she can't wait to return to summer camp where she's valued for her brain instead of her handsprings. She misses her old friends and most of all, her long time camp-only boyfriend, Seth. This year she intends to upgrade their relationship to year-round status once she's broken up with her new, jock boyfriend, Matt. He doesn't even begin to know the real her, a girl fascinated by the night sky who dreams of discovering new planets and galaxies.

But Matt isn't giving her up without a fight. As he makes his case to stay together, Lauren begins to realize his feelings run deeper than she ever would have guessed. What if the guy she thought she was meant to be with forever isn't really The One? Returning to Camp Juniper Point was supposed to ground her uprooted life, but she's more adrift than ever. Everything feels different and soon Lauren's friends are turning on her and both guys question what she really wants. As summer tensions escalate, Lauren wonders if she's changed more than she thought. Will her first big discovery be herself?

There are no words to explain just how excited I am for this book! I absolutely adored the Prequel and cannot wait to read this book! I just know it will be fantastic and I have already chosen my team #TeamSethFTW
I fell head over heels in love with the world of Camp, something I personally have never experienced since we don't really 'do' camp in England. I also fell for Joanne and Karen's writing style. It was amazing.

The Camp Boyfriend Series will look like this...

#0.5 - Camp Kiss
#1 - Camp Boyfriend
#1.5 - Camp Christmas
#2 - Camp Payback
#2.5 - Camp TBA
#3 - Camp Forget-Me-Not
^Information from

Now I am very very excited to welcome the amazing Joanne and Karen Rock to the blog:
Hi Karen and Joanne

Thank you for being here on K-Books and joining me for Spensations.

*Kayleigh, it’s such a huge pleasure to chat with you and meet your blog readers!! We are so excited to be here…

Well I am such a massive fan of Spencer Hill Press, including the new imprints Spence City and Spencer Hill Contemporary. What’s it like being a part of the amazing Spencer Hill Press family?

J – Warm, welcoming and wonderful.  Everyone at SHP- from reading interns to fellow authors- have made us feel so at home. We have been supported and encouraged from the moment we signed on.

K- Spencer Hill is a family- the quirky, fun type that gets lots of amazing stuff done without looking like we’re working at all. We laugh so much during our Skype chats with our editors, Patricia Riley and Kate Kaynak, that my husband believes we’re just fooling around- and we are- but we are also getting lots done. Who says work has to be boring? Not at Spencer Hill!  

So tell us what’s your typical writing routine?

J- I try to wait for the time of day when I know I can be most productive. That means whenever the house is most quiet and I won’t be interrupted. Ideally, that’s when the kids are at school, but when I’m on deadline, I need to write in the evenings as well. My sons are great about respecting the need to write when it’s crunch time, though.

K-Since I’m also an English teacher, my schedule isn’t as flexible as I’d like. My typical writing day is grab any free moment I can- students have an assembly- GREAT!- husband made dinner- AWESOME!- have invented some ache or pain to stop me from working out- PERFECTO!!! Basically, I write every minute I’m not doing anything else, if that makes sense J

So because you are a writing duo does one of you write more than the other? How do you do it?

J- We split the writing 50-50, passing the book back and forth so that we each write a chapter. Sometimes, if I’m busy, Karen will write two in a row, or vice versa. But for the most part, we each write one and pass it back. You’d think that would mean it’s easy to tell who wrote what. But I edit Karen’s chapter before I write mine and she does the same for me. So there’s a layer of my voice interwoven with Karen’s chapter and hers with mine. Then we revise it. And edit it, and rewrite parts until the voices are so intermingled we can’t even tell who wrote what!

K-I agree with Joanne. It’s definitely halvsies when it comes to writing, though I have to give Joanne major props for handling so much of the promotional work. She is so brilliant; I get a suntan just hanging around her.

So you have a book, Camp Boyfriend coming out with Spencer Hill Contemporary. What was the inspiration behind the story?

J- We wanted to write a “summer” story…. something that took our characters out of their day-to-day and brought them into a world where relationships are intensified and accelerated. Camp is a great setting for summer romance and drama!

K-Camp is a world onto itself. It has its own language, traditions, social mores… going to camp is like stepping out of Dorothy’s house and into Oz. Everything is more intense- friendships, relationships, experiences… only at the end, everyone wants to click their sandals and say, “There’s no place like camp” and stay instead of go home. I couldn’t wait to write a book that fused camp culture and romance. I was already working on a solo YA contemp piece (not camp related- darker) when Joanne mentioned she’d like to write YA. We immediately started throwing out ideas, and a camp romance quickly became our first choice.

Is there any particular character that you enjoyed writing more than others?

J- I always liked it when Alex came on the scene. So fun to write a character with strong opinions because you always knew just what she’d say.

K-My favorite character is Emily. You haven’t met her yet because she comes on the scene as Lauren’s new counselor in CAMP BOYFRIEND. She dresses like she’s crawled out of an 80s time capsule, reads the girls’ journals then lectures them on a little word she likes to call R-E-S-P-E-C-T, gives resident counselor hottie, Rob, hell for being a chauvinist, and must have, as Lauren thinks, “…left ‘wildly inappropriate’ off her resume.” I love an unfiltered character and Emily is exactly the kind of counselor I remember having- the kind that made us all wonder- ‘Is she for real?!’

Are there any particular scenes that you enjoy writing more than others?

J- I always like romantic scenes! But I also loved playing with some gorgeous scenes that Karen wrote initially, including some of the friend scenes with Lauren and the other girls in Munchies’ Manor. She does a fantastic job with the love-hate dynamic that can exist even between close friends.

K-Your friends are only your friends if they can tell you that you’re a crap dancer and your red dress makes you look like a bloated tomato. I do love the scenes where the girls give each other hell in the most loving way possible- lol. But that’s real and what contemporary lit should be. As an Adult Fiction Romance writer, I also adore writing love scenes. My favorites were a steamy dugout hookup that is tender and hot, a juicy midnight swim, and a rooftop make out session under the stars that made me melt.

Well first of all I just have to say how much I loved the prequel Camp Kiss… it was my first Camp book and I just adored it.
I see from Camp Boyfriend’s blurb that there is going to be a love triangle… how are you going to make us love the ‘other guy’ coz I am totally Team Seth right now… and I’m stubborn. How could you change my mind?

J-We’re so glad you love Seth! He is a worthy hero or we wouldn’t have had Lauren fall so hard for him in Camp Kiss. We do think that true love is often tested, however, and that it’s not unrealistic for a girl Lauren’s age to be faced with more than one appealing choice! Whether or not you fall for the “other guy” we have the feeling you’re going to experience that appeal, too ;-).

K-Pssst- I’m Team Seth too! But the question is… is Lauren? Matt is gorgeous, popular, a star athlete and a fierce fighter when it comes to winning Lauren’s heart. I have to respect him for that. There is definitely more to Matt than a trophy shelf and shoulder pads. On a side note- Joanne and I loved both of these characters so much that we deliberately didn’t let ourselves decide who Lauren would choose until we’d nearly finished the book!

Camp Boyfriend Series is categorized as the Contemporary Romance genre. What made you decide to write in this genre?

J- I’m a romantic and an optimist at heart. It’s how I view the world and how I try to live my life. I want love to conquer all and shape my choices, so it only makes sense that I’d be drawn to the romance genre.  As for the “contemporary” part… that just happened to fit with this particular story. I could be content penning romance for werewolves, time travelers, or medieval characters, so long as there is a happy ending.

K-I’m a buffet-style writer in that I sample all genres and love them equally. I read them all as well. Currently, I’m reading J.Lynn (AKA Jennifer Armentrout’s) amazing NA contemp romance Wait for You,  Kimberly McCreight’s incredible suspense novel Reconstructing Amelia, and Cassandra Claire’s brilliant YA fantasy/paranormal novel Clockwork Princess. I always read 2-3 books at a time because I never know what I’m in the mood for- and that’s how I write. It’s more the story than the genre that attracts me as a reader and a writer. I wanted to write Lauren’s story and it happened to be a love triangle. In another book I’m working on, my heroine is a supernatural assassin hired to exterminate the ghost she’s fallen for- so I suppose that’s a paranormal. I also have a YA historical character that wakes me up at night and tells me she’s getting very impatient with me…

So are there any inside information or sneak-peaks that you can give us?

J- Karen is so much better at intriguing sneak peeks than me!! I’m totally giving this one to her.

K- YAY! I love spilling secrets since I’m terrible at keeping them J We had so much fun writing our CAMP KISS novella that we are writing two more free ones for our fans! Each will feature different, secondary characters. The first, CAMP CHRISTMAS will focus on Lord of the Rings obsessed Julian and a very unexpected heroine from camp, the second- untitled- gives Trinity a chance at love with someone who returns to the series. It’s been so much fun creating the rich world of Camp Juniper Point and the people that live there (for the summer anyway) that we can’t write enough about them.

Camp Boyfriend is due for release in July. How excited are you about releasing the book into the world?

J- I can’t wait. A book doesn’t feel fully real until readers have stepped into the world and experienced it for themselves, so I feel like the book isn’t even *done* yet. The best part- the part where readers come to Camp Juniper Point- is still ahead and I’m so eager for that to happen.

K- This is the first of three books I have coming out this year- so suffice it to say- I’m very psyched! When I got the proof copy of CAMP BOYFRIEND, I fell asleep holding it so that I’d know, when I woke up, that it wasn’t a dream. (I still pinch myself from time to time)

Camp Boyfriend is the first in a series. What can we expect, without giving any spoilers, from the upcoming books?

J- More boys! More romance! Also some surprising twists for characters that you’ll be meeting in Camp Boyfriend. There are lots of story lines to carry over through the novellas and the books, so if you enjoy the characters in this book, you’ll have lots to look forward to in future titles.

K- Joanne said that so well. The only thing I would add is what you won’t expect- zombies, werewolves, and vampires… and that’s not a lie… nor does the series become a paranormal. I’ll leave you to figure out that riddle, brilliant Kay.

And finally what can we expect from you in the future after Camp Boyfriend?

J- Karen and I are still finding our way through the Camp Boyfriend series and it will keep us happily writing into 2014, but I guarantee you there will be more YA books from us down the road. We’re having way too much fun to stop now.

K- We have an awesome YA thriller series we can’t wait to start. But right now, we are all about camp!

Getting to Know You – Quick Fire Round

Contemporary or Paranormal?

J- Contemp. Today, at least!

K- Help! This is a Sophie’s Choice moment.

Sci-Fi or Dystopia?

J- I still love dystopia.

K- OMG who doesn’t love dystopian series like Delirium, Matched, or Divergent? Yet I have to have some Sci-Fi too. I’m a huge Ray Bradbury, Kurt Vonnegut, Isaac Asimov fan. Also loved The Host and A Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. We need more YA Sci-Fi!

Hardcopy or E-Book?

J- All of the above. The more books, the better.

K- Since I read more than one at a time, I love my Kindle. It fits in my purse and fills in every boring moment of my life. No more standing by while a cashier and customer argue, waiting for a bank teller to stop gossiping and wave me over, or staring at a nonsensical magazine while my physician flirts with pharmaceutical reps and the receptionist. Nope. With my Kindle, I’m as patient as can be. On the other hand, I also buy the hard copies of everything I own on Kindle since I’m a huge book collector. I’m especially proud of my UK first edition/first printing editions of the Harry Potter series. I have them arranged in a corner hutch I call The Shrine.  I pray to it every day so that the creative gods will bless me- lol- or perhaps some of JK Rowling will rub off on JK Rock.

Bookmark or Dog-Ear?

J- Dog Ears! I don’t like my books too mangled (don’t bend my covers!!), but then again, I feel like the best loved books are the ones that have been marked up, re-read, dog-eared and annotated on the inside.

K- I will fess up to Dog-Earring books. My sincerest apologies! But since I don’t read the one’s I buy unless they are in E-Book version, I’m not ready to turn myself in to the book police just yet. I do collect bookmarks, though. Someday I’ll make a collage of them and have a gallery show in SoHo.

Book or Movie?

J- Book. Always.

K- Tough one. I prefer to read first but sometimes that ruins the movie when it doesn’t live up to what I imagined.

Chocolate or Vanilla?

J- Chocolate. Unless Crème Brulee is on the menu.

K- Did someone say chocolate? Sorry. Didn’t hear anything after that.

Summer or Winter?

J- Long, lazy days of summer, please!

K- Since it usually rains most of the summer, I’m not sure there is much of a difference other than the outfits- and I do love a good tank top.

Ice-Cream or Cake?

J – I was hoping “ice cream cake” would be an option. That’s the best.

K- I’m with Joanne! But if I can only have one, I’ll take a pint of ice cream- preferably Ben & Jerry’s whose factory is housed just across the lake from me… coincidence? I think not.

Coffee or Tea?

J- Drink tons of both, but I can’t exist without coffee.

K-Tea all the way. Especially with scrummy treats.

Nice guy or bad boy?

J- Book boyfriends can be bad boys. In Real Life, bring on the sweetheart guys.

K- I think I’m bad enough for both of us. The yin to my yang has to be a nice guy. And good guys are still confident, smart, funny, hot, and interesting in a quirky way. Personally, I’m not interested in reforming arrogant bad boys. They can grow up on their own time.

Thank you so much for being here on K-Books with us today and I hope you’ll join me again to talk closer than the release date.

*We’d be thrilled to come back anytime! Thank you so much
*I’m planning on showing up at your door with a knapsack full of Twizzlers and all seven seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer! xo

Think they are awesome?
Well I think they are crazy crazy awesome because they are doing an exclusive giveaway especially for you guys ;)

What's up for grabs?

*$25 Amazon giftcard
*Signed Bookmark
*Friendship Bracelets

Thank you for joining me for the Camp Boyfriend feature on Spensations and don't forget to pick up your copy JULY 2ND
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  1. I can't wait for this series! It sounds like so much fun. Camp isn't something I was ever able to take part in as a child/teen so I'm anxious to experience that part of of life through your books. Your Skype sessions sound wonderful. I'll have to get my "editors" to do that with me, too!

    Good luck! I know your books are going to do great!

    Michelle :)

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  2. Great Interview! I loved learning some more about the awesome authors of the Camp Boyfriend series. I can't wait to read Camp Boyfriend and those two other free short stories also sound great!

  3. Sweet giveaway! Thanks for introducing me to a new series.

  4. I've read Camp Kiss and I can't wait to read Camp Boyfriend. I've never been to camp (we don't really have those here in the Philippines) so I'm really interested in reading a book set in that environment. :)

  5. Great interview..Loved it!! Thanks for sharing!!

  6. Thanks for the awesome giveaway! I used to make friendship bracelets all the time! ^_^

  7. Great interview..Loved it..Thanks for sharing!!

  8. wow all the surprises. Love the 'team' thing going on and especially the Christmas book. I've only read the free .5 novella and love where it's all going.

  9. I added the book to my tbb list.

  10. The peek into the writing partner process was interesting, and I loved Camp Kiss. I can't wait to read Camp Boyfriend!

  11. So excited to read these wonderful comments :) It was so much fun answering these great questions! Thank you, Kayleigh. I would love to hear if anyone has been to camp or on a camping trip and what that was like...

  12. Camp Boyfriend sounds amazing and I have to admit that already I love the sound of Emily!!! Great interview, Kayleigh :D

  13. I am honestly looking forward to this book! I have enjoyed reading all of the tweets and the introductions to these fantastic ladies! Just the idea of this series makes me want to be a teenager again and live at a camp during the summer! :)

  14. Wow...these guys are crazy awesome. Thanks for introducing me to their books.

  15. I'm so excited about this book!! I can't wait to read it!!

  16. I'm really waiting for this. The novella is sooooo good and sweet! Need more!

  17. Very interested in reading this book! Also, love the quote on the picture of them by the lake.

  18. Great interview :) I am on the list for the ARC of Camp boyfriend and I cant Wait to read it, I Think I'm going to love it

  19. This book is isn't in my preferred genre of YA, but it does look interesting.

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  22. I can't wait for Camp Boyfriend to arrive. Especially after reading Camp Kiss. :D
    Great interview, guys.

  23. The reviews got me desperate for this book.. Now tell me, how to order books online and have the series..

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