Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Guest Post & Giveaway with Danielle Sibarium, author of For Always

Today I have the great pleasure of sharing with you a spook-tastic guest post by Danielle Sibarium, the author of For Always. In her post, Danielle tells us what inspired the bonus Halloween scene she wrote from Jordan's POV! Don't know which scene we're talking about? No worries, you can find it right below the guest post! :) And just for the record, if you haven't read For Always yet, you should do it ASAP! :) It's really awesome!

I also have the pleasure of hosting an awesome giveaway sponsored by Danielle, so be sure to scroll all the way down and enter! :)

Confession time!

     Growing up in Brooklyn at the time I did, Halloween was a big deal. Not because it was a time to get dressed as ghouls or goblins. Not because we looked forward to mischief night to toilet paper someone’s house. (I never even heard of that until I moved to NJ.) But because it was a time to either bomb or get bombed. No actual explosives were used in this process. Instead, the “bombing” was an assault of raw eggs and shaving cream. 

     The Halloween scene, like many of the scenes in For Always was inspired by a true life event. It was a day when my friends and I decided to go bombing. I was in 8th grade and had a massive crush on an older boy. I didn’t talk much and sort of faded into the background whenever my best friend was around. At that age, she was much like Maria, a true extrovert, where I was much like Stephanie, a true introvert. Add a healthy dose of insecurity in the mix, and there I was. 

     For the sake of simplicity, I’ll call my best friend Maria, the girl I viewed as my rival Beth, and the guy I liked Jordan. Maria invited two girls I didn’t know to go with us. It was her first year in High school, and she was branching out. I was a year behind. I didn’t know the new girls, and they weren’t particularly friendly. I decided early on I didn’t like them. I tried my hardest to ignore them, but that was hard since there were only four of us. We straggled down the street, laughing and acting silly, like thirteen and fourteen year old girls covered in eggs and shaving cream would. Until I realized where we were headed.Straight to Jordan’s house. I heard Maria mention his name and my ears perked up. Beth whispered something, all I heard was “so cute.”

     My heart raced. I didn’t know what to do. I wanted to stop the group dead in our tracks. I didn’t want Jordan to see me looking the way I did with goop oozing off my head and clothes. I didn’t know what to do, and I didn’t want to see Beth flirt with him. I guessed they knew each other from high school and didn’t want to witness the budding of a new relationship between them. But I couldn’t say anything. No one knew I liked him, especially not Maria. If she knew I liked him, the rest of the world would know too. 

     Maria rang his doorbell. As we waited, my eyes were glued to the ground. I didn’t want him to see in my eyes how excited I was to see him. But Maria returned alone. He wasn’t home from school yet. (That meant they went to different high schools.) I wanted to do cartwheels, too bad I didn’t know how. And neither was his brother.

     Now I listened to the conversation with an open mind. It wasn’t Jordan Beth was interested in, it was his older brother. Just as I let the relief of what I misunderstood sink in, I saw him. He was dressed nice, and I couldn’t take my eyes off him. As he approached his house, he acknowledged us with a smile and promised to be right out. I didn’t know what to do, we couldn’t leave. He already saw us. And if we stayed, I was afraid Beth would set her sights on him and he’d reciprocate her interest. And then it happened. 

     Just like in the book. I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned around to see Jordan standing in front of me, a huge smile on his face. I couldn’t believe he came over to me. To me! I was so happy. Butterflies fluttered like mad in my stomach. And then I saw it. The plate filled with shaving cream in his hand. I had no time to duck or move. All I could do was look from the plate to the smile on his face. And then it hit me. He took his time mushing it in my face before pulling away and laughing. 

     While I couldn’t see, and acted shocked and outraged at what he’d done, I felt good. Because out of the four grungy girls waiting outside his house, he came to me. He went inside for a towel and spent the next half an hour helping clean me up. And when his brother did get home, the other girls surrounded him, leaving Jordan and I to each other. Unlike Beth or Maria, or the other girl I can’t quite remember, I left there knowing the guy I liked, liked me.

Bonus Halloween Scene:

            I hated the stupid fume filled bus. It snaked through the streets of my neighborhood slower than a turtle in quick sand. Stupid smelly bus. Of all the days my car had to give me a
problem it had to be today. It wasn’t bad enough I had to stay after school for a meeting on how we can improve the reach of the school’s paper to the student body, or that Angela had been waiting at my locker to try and convince me we should “Work things out.” It was her idea to break up in the first place. No these weren’t the main reasons I was out-of-this-realm-annoyed with taking the bus home. The main reason, it was Halloween.
            Every year kids would drive through the neighborhood throwing socks filled with dissected frogs and worms from a high school lab. Probably some biology teacher's kid swiped and sold them. Busses were popular targets though. The last thing I needed was a distracted driver.
            I hadn't taken the bus since I got my car and hated it even more today than I did six months ago. Each stop seemed to take a ridiculous amount of time. First the people took forever getting on, then as soon as the driver would close the doors and pull away we'd have to stop at a red light. I looked around at the other riders. A group of them in the back were dressed to impress as zombies and vampires. Didn't they know they looked ridiculous? I couldn't wait to be done with this crowded hunk of metal.
            Finally, we approached my stop. I signaled to the driver I wanted to get off. With screeching brakes and the belching of exhaust fumes the bus stopped. At first I didn’t notice the group running amuck in front of my house, but as the driver pulled away the screaming and squealing of the girls had my full focus.  Five girls, and they looked gross! I watched them as I crossed the street, covering each other with shaving cream and eggs. A mess I'd no doubt be cleaning. So help them if one comes my way . . . I thought as I passed them.   
            “See, he doesn’t want to hang out with us.” 
The voice caught my attention. I knew it, though I hadn't heard much of it. She had to be there covered under all that shaving cream. I took a closer look as they turned their attention from one another to me, Maria, Beth, Kylie, Paige and Stephanie. Stephanie was the one I had been looking for. I didn't want to get caught up in conversation, but I had to acknowledge them somehow. I smiled, gave a quick wave and walked into my house.
“Yes he does. You’ll see.”  I heard Beth snap at Stephanie in her snotty know-it-all tone as I closed the door behind me. I thought of opening it and yelling out, no Beth I don't. I really, really don't! Ooh Beth could get under my skin.
"Hey Jordan," my mother called to me. "Did you see those girls outside?" She snickered amused.
"Yeah," I groaned.
"They've been waiting for you."
As if my day hadn't been bad enough now I had more fun to contend with. A bunch of freshman girls jumping up and down for me to notice them covered in sticky, slimy goo.  Who thought that was cool?
"Hey, go outside, get your mind off things and we'll get your car after dinner."
Maybe she was right, maybe I should just go out there and blow off some steam. On the upside, there were five of them and only one of me. That had to prove entertaining. It would've been better though if the girls were mud fighting instead. That I could get into, watching a bunch of barely dressed girls throwing it down in the mud wearing little more than panties and wet tee shirts.
I let that thought run wild in my mind as I changed into some grungier clothes. Before I went back out I peeked out the window to make sure they were still there. They were, and Stephanie, quiet, shy Steph unload on Beth. I smiled. She deserved it the way she snapped at Stephanie. Good for her!
The rest of the group turned on Beth as well. She became the main dish in a cream and egg banquet. I heard her yell and shriek. I wondered why it made me so happy watching her get doused. Was it because Stephanie did it? I shook that idea off. Stephanie was sweet and pretty, but way too young. And way too innocent. Yet here I was  thinking of her like that covered in mud.
I continued to watch Stephanie looking triumphant and happy. I never saw her look so carefree. She looked beautiful, even in her current state. Watching her inspired me. I dashed into the kitchen, grabbed a paper plate, and filled the entire dish with shaving cream so it looked like a pie. Now I was ready! 
Amidst the craziness, the girls didn't notice me sneak out. Once I got behind her I knew my mission was accomplished, the element of surprise was on my side. I caught her mid-laugh as I tapped her shoulder. I felt a thrill rising up, from my stomach to my chest.
I couldn't help the smirk that covered my face.  Our eyes met and she stood there smiling, frozen. I saw so much communicated in that smile; friendship, trust, and desire. It was the first time I saw that in her eyes.  She was so focused on me she didn't notice my hand or what was in it. Not until it was too late. She had no time to duck or move.

I pulled the plate away from Stephanie's face and laughed. Everyone laughed. I couldn't stop. I leaned over and held my stomach. I watched her eyes change from surprise to shock to anger, but her eyes never left me. And just like that my day got a whole lot better!

Goodreads |Amazon Barnes & Noble
For Always by Danielle Sibarium

ebook, 280 pages
Published October 27th 2011

You never really get over your first love. Such is the case for fourteen-year-old Stephanie Barrano, self-proclaimed misfit and death magnet. A freshman in high school, Stephanie is befriended by Jordan Brewer, a hot, in-demand senior, who pulls her from the outer circle of obscurity into the realm of acceptance. Jordan quickly works his way into Stephanie’s heart. He’s her everything. And the only person she trusts with the truth about her father’s death. But he won’t act on the strong feelings he has for her. Stephanie vows to wait for him, knowing in time she’ll win his heart.

Two months before her eighteenth birthday, Jordan serves as an impromptu prom date. After sharing a magical evening, Jordan leaves Stephanie with the promise of a future together. Then tragedy strikes. Jordan not only shuts Stephanie out, he also blames her for what happened. Feeling broken and beaten, will she try one last time to get through to Jordan or will she lose him forever?

- if the winner is in the US - paperback copy of For Always
- if the winner is International - ebook copy of For Always

ENDS: November 14th
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About the author:

Danielle Sibarium grew up as an only child of divorced parents in Brooklyn, New York. Her imagination was developed at an early age. Surrounded by stuffed animals and imaginary friends, she transported herself into a fantasy world full of magic and wonder. Books were the gateway between her play world and reality. On any given summer afternoon she became Snow White sweeping and cooking for the dwarfs, or Cinderella waiting for the prince.

Danielle always loved dialogue and in elementary school began writing plays and short stories. This is when she began to understand she could not only bring her fantastical world to life for herself, but she could enchant others as well. And so she wrote. She wrote and wrote and wrote.

Sadly the first piece she ever sent out for publication of any sort was a letter to the editor of The Home News Tribune. It was a piece thanking the first responders for their bravery and selflessness on Sept 11th. It was chosen as letter of the week.

In 2007 Danielle collaborated with Charlotte Doreen Small to write songs for her CD More. Danielle wrote the lyrics for Take My Hand, and Goodbye, while Charlotte contributed the melody.
In October 2011 Danielle’s debut novel For Always was released. She Has since released Heart Waves and the second book in the Heart Waves series, Breaking Waves.

Danielle graduated from Farleigh Dickinson University with honors, and currently lives in New Jersey with her husband and three children.

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