Sunday, April 19, 2015

Me, My Shelf & I Blog Tour, Review, Interview, & Giveaway: Any Way You Slice It (Kristine Carlson Asselin)

Author: Kristine Carlson Asselin
Release Date: April 21st, 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury Spark

Penelope Spaulding just can't catch a break. Between long hours at the family restaurant, homework, and her parents' plans for her future, it's hard to find a spare moment to breathe. But when she laces up her skates and steps on the ice, everything slips away...
Racing around the rink allows her to blow off steam after yet another fight with her dad about going to culinary school. So when Jake Gomes, the bad boy who lives down the street, dares her to join the Rink Rats, the local misfit hockey team, she surprises herself and joins in silent defiance of her father and his expectations.
The more she plays, the easier it is to keep lying, and soon Pen finds it impossible to come clean. She’s sneaking out to practice—and loving every minute of it. It doesn’t take long for her to fall in love with hockey…and Jake’s not half bad either. But she knows it can’t last. As soon as her dad finds out, she’ll be benched. For good.
She’s absolutely not going to tell her parents until she’s sure it will be worth the inevitable fight. Not only is she skipping shifts at Slice Pizza while a foodie reality show is on the horizon, but her lies are starting to take their toll on her game. It’s only a matter of time before everything falls apart.
With the team counting on her and with her relationship with Jake on the line, will she have to sacrifice the thing she wants most for the people she loves? Or can she step up and take her best shot?


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Kristine Carlson Asselin is the author of fourteen children’s books for the school library market. In addition to nonfiction, she writes Young Adult and Middle Grade fiction. She has a BS from Fitchburg State University and an MA from the University of Connecticut.
Her debut YA novel - ANY WAY YOU SLICE IT - will be available from Bloomsbury Spark in 2015. Her first picture book, WORST CASE OF PASKETTI-ITIS was published in June 2013.

A member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), Kristine loves attending workshops to practice her craft and meet other writers. She is currently on deck to direct the 2014 New England SCBWI Conference.

She loves books--mostly middle grade and young adult. She's a sucker for a good love song. And she can't resist an invitation for Chinese Food or Ice Cream. But not together.

She is represented by Kathleen Rushall of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.
Kristine lives with her husband and daughter in a suburb near Boston.

Find out more about Kristine at or

What gave you the inspiration to write this book?

The first novel I ever finished was also about a girl playing a nontraditional sport (golf), but golf was a tough sell at the time. I love the idea of girls being confident enough play on a boys’ team, so I decided to try a different sport. And hockey seemed to strike a nerve. The pizza shop came out of my parents owning and operating a function hall and snack bar grill attached to a golf course (natch). We did a lot of serving and catering, so the vibe at the pizza shop came naturally. I love the scenes that take place there. 

 Who is your favorite character in the book?

I love all of them for different reasons. Penelope, of course, because she's my MC. But for supporting characters, I think I might like Jimmy Flores best. He has such a small role, but he was one of my favorites to write. I also love Lori, pen's best friend. She's an awesome BFF. And Penelope's grandmother rocks. ☺

 Which came first, the title or the novel?

My editor acquired from a short pitch, and it wasn't titled at the time. We actually worked together on the title, and then I wrote the book. So actually it was a little bit of both!

What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?

My favorite scene in the book is the first one set in the restaurant, when the team comes in and Jake orders bacon on bread rather then pizza. I think it sets the tone for the whole story and the relationship between Pen and Jake.

 Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?

The most important thing I learned is that I can write a book on deadline for start to finish. As I mentioned, Meredith bought from a pitch, and then I wrote the first draft during NaNoWriMo 2013. It was terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. Because I've done so much work for hire, I knew I could do it, but none of my work for hire was more than 14k words. So this was a big jump.

 What do you like most about the cover of the book?

Ashley Poston is the designer, and she's also a fellow Bloomsbury Spark author. I absolutely adore the cover, she captured Pen perfectly. I love her eyes looking up!

 What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2015?

I can't wait for Map to the Stars from Jen Malone, who is a good friend of mine. It's a YA contemporary, which I love. I'm also looking forward to Marci Curtis's The One Thing. I read an early draft and you are going to love it!

 What was your favorite book in 2014?

Ooh, good question. I loved Loop, by Karen Akins, I'd love to write a time travel novel. In 2014, I also loved Katherine Howe’s Conversion, and S.E. Grove’s The Glass Sentence.

What’s up next for you?

My golfer girl book, THE SWEET SPOT, is still around. I'm hoping to find a home for it soon. I'm also working on a middle grade contemporary, about a girl who accidentally changes places with a pop star, in a case of mistaken identity.

Is there anything that you would like to add?

Thanks you so much for having me! I'm so excited to be sharing Any Way You Slice It with people. I hope you like Penelope and Jake!

Cute, cute story!!! Great book for teens. Penelope works for her dad at their family pizza restaurant. She loves to ice skate during her free time at the local rink. When the rec hockey team notices her one of the players decides she needs to be on their team. 

 The only problem is her dad has forbidden her to play hockey! And the player that asked her to join the team is her childhood friend that has turned into quite the cute teenager!

 How will Pen tell her parents?! Will they let her follow her heart to play hockey?! I give this book 4 stars!

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  1. My escape is to go shopping by myself!

  2. I love to go to the local pool and have a swim and then get in the hot tub

  3. My escape is writing. I love to do it and create characters and worlds that I can hide out in for awhile.

  4. My escape is to go for a nice long walk.

  5. going to the beach or anywhere there is a stream or waterfall.

  6. My escape is lounging around in the pool with a bloody mary!!

  7. Running is my escape!