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Saturday, September 5, 2009

Guest Post: Laurie Stolarz

Laurie Faria Stolarz grew up in Salem, MA, attended Merrimack College, and received an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College in Boston. She is currently working on a new series, also for young adults. Laurie has also written some of my favorite series. Today I'll be highlighting BLACK IS FOR BEGINNINGS from her BLUE IS FOR NIGHTMARES Series. BLACK IS FOR BEGINNINGS - the 5th book in this series was released September 1, 2009.

Please welcome Laurie everyone!

Hi FantasticBookReview!

Thanks so much for inviting me to talk here about my newest release, BLACK IS FOR BEGINNINGS and to announce a very exciting contest that I have going on.

“Black” is a companion book (and a graphic novel) to accompany the bestselling BLUE IS FOR NIGHTMARES series, which has sold over 500K copies worldwide.

I’m really excited about “Black’s” release. It was an absolute thrill to write. I have a background in screenwriting and wrote the book in screenplay format, adding in ideas for illustrations and sidebars, really visualizing it like a movie (since there isn't one yet).

I’m launching the release with a really exciting contest, the winner of which could get a creative writing critique from Brian Farrey, my editor at Flux/Llewellyn (the publisher of the BLUE IS FOR NIGHTMARES series). Be sure to check out those details below.

Many thanks again for this opportunity to chat! I’m including some random facts about me as well as some reasons to go snag yourself a copy of “Black.” Also, be sure to visit my website, where you’ll find more contests under NEWS.

All best,

Laurie Stolarz

1. Cool new contest (see above).
2. Never before seen backstory of Jacob.
3. Find out the secret that he's been keeping from Stacey.
4. Find out the secret that Stacey has yet to share with anyone.
5. See if Jacob ever fully recovers his memory.
6. Learn why Stacey's having nightmares again.
7. Get the candle colors with their meanings, as well as the meanings of a whole list of flowers.
8. See all your favorite characters in action: Stacey, Amber, Drea, PJ, Jacob, Tim, Maura, and more.
9. See some of your favorite scenes played out, including the trust spell that Stacey and Jacob do with henna, the white magic spell at the end of WHITE IS FOR MAGIC, the scene where Maura (whilst haunting Stacey) is jumping rope and singing the "Miss Mary Mack" jingle, and many more.
10. Find out if there's room for Stacey in Jacob's life back in Colorado. And if she even wants there to be.


1. I love what I do, and feel very grateful to be able to have this as a career.
2. I love dark chocolate, Starbucks coffee, Bertucci’s cheeseless pizza, popcorn, and Indian food (though not necessarily in one meal).
3. I watch an embarrassing amount of reality TV (it’s research after all).
4. I’m very deadline driven, giving myself weekly deadlines and agendas, so that everything gets done on time.
5. I have a background in marketing and French.
6. My first job was as a piano teacher (I was 9). I’ve also been a waitress, a supermarket cashier, worked in a ceramics studio, worked as a tour guide for international exchange students, been a teacher, a script reader, an editor, and written obituaries for a newspaper.
7. I’m a vegetarian. If I were to try my hand at a different career, it would be holistic nutritionist.
8. I love yoga, dance/aerobics classes, cooking, tennis, and power walks.
9. I often shop online, fill my basket, and then empty it all out. Does anyone else do this?
10. My readers mean the world to me.


1. Go get yourself a copy of BLACK IS FOR BEGINNINGS.
2. Read it.
3. Come up with a playlist of at least 10 songs based on BLACK IS FOR BEGINNINGS. The songs can be of any music genre and of any time period you feel is most suitable (feel free to mix things up). Send the list, along with a brief explanation for each song, as to why you think it's a good fit for the book, to: Winning entries will reflect an understanding of the book's themes, characters, issues, scenes, and overall story. The winning playlist will appear on my site, along with your first name.

FORMAT: Your entries should appear like this: "Name of Song" by "Artist." I chose this song because it reminds me of the scene where Stacey blah, blah, blah...
DEADLINE: Midnight, EST, October 15, 2009.
NOTIFICATION: Winners will be notified no later than November 1st, 2009.
The winner of the contest will get to have up to ten pages of his or her creative writing, (12-point font, double-spaced, standard margins), critiqued by Brian Farrey, my amazing and talented acquisitions editor at Llewellyn/Flux Publications (the publisher of my BLUE IS FOR NIGHTMARES series).

ALTERNATE PRIZE: If you are not a creative writer and would prefer an alternate prize, my publisher is having some BLACK IS FOR BEGINNINGS apparel made up (we're thinking it might be a T-shirt or sweatshirt - details coming soon). It'll have a graphic from "BLACK" on there, and if you'd like I can autograph it for you.

Thanks so much for stopping by Laurie!

For more information about Laurie Stolarz and her books, please visit her website here.

You can also purchase a copy of BLACK IS FOR BEGINNINGS @ Amazon , B & N & Borders.


  1. I haven't read this series yet but I did read Deadly Little Secret and devoured it, now Im reading the Deadly Little Lies Arc and loving it! Ill have to give the Black is for...series a try next.

  2. I gotta say i loved the series but am scared of buying black is for begginings because everybody always has their own images of the characters in their heads.but i am curious so i guess i will go buy it.

  3. I thought the name sounded familiar. I read deadly little secret and enjoyed it, I will have to add these too!

  4. I just have to comment, because I'm totally a shopping cart loader and then ignorer! I always feel a moment of sadness when I click away, knowing my cart will be empty when I come back.

  5. What great info! I just bought Black is for Beginnings last week and am really looking forward to reading it shortly. What a great series of books.


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