Saturday, October 10, 2009

Blogtoberfest Day 8 - Lauren Baratz-Logsted

The winner of the ARC of 13 to Life by Shannon Reinbold-Gee (who now has an official pseudonym of...drum roll...Shannon Delany) is Lauren! Congrats! Lauren, please send your mailing address to jeri AT jerismithready DOT com.

Today's Blogtoberguest is Lauren Baratz-Logsted, author of, among many other books, Crazy Beautiful, which was just released. It just so happens that I got my copy yesterday and after reading the first page, it mysteriously vaulted over several (dozen) books to the top of the pile. Okay, technically it's not on the pile, because I'm reading it--and it's compulsively FANTASTIC!

In an explosion of his own making, Lucius blew his arms off. Now he has hooks. He chose hooks because they were cheaper. He chose hooks because he wouldn’t outgrow them so quickly. He chose hooks so that everyone would know he was different, so he would scare even himself.

Then he meets Aurora. The hooks don’t scare her. They don’t keep her away. In fact, they don’t make any difference at all to her.

But to Lucius, they mean everything. They remind him of the beast he is inside. Perhaps Aurora is his Beauty, destined to set his soul free from its suffering.

Or maybe she’s just a girl who needs love just like he does.


by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Halloween can be tough when no one knows what you’re supposed to be.

Two years ago, my daughter went as Wednesday Addams from The Addams Family. People kept guessing, “Are you a Colonial girl?” “You’re supposed to be a little Puritan, right?” She became frustrated. She wasn’t trying to look like someone who’d settled America or someone who preached a strict moral code – not that she’d put it quite like that; she was trying to look like a girl whose favorite doll’s name was Marie Antoinette and whose favorite game to play with that doll was Guillotine. Like I say, frustrating. Out of over a hundred homes visited that night, only maybe half a dozen adults guessed she was Wednesday Addams. We decided those half dozen were highly intelligent beings. The rest? Not so much.

I suppose my daughter comes by her propensity for tough-to-guess costumes from her mother. I have a history of people not knowing what I’m supposed to be…and not just on Halloween!

Probably my most difficult-to-guess costume was senior year in college. I’d taken a course where we read dramatic plays and I decided I would be The Lady in Black from August Strindberg’s Ghost Sonata. My costume consisted of a retro sleeveless black dress, black opera gloves and black stockings. Since I didn’t have any black shoes that I felt would fit the costume, I went shoeless, figuring we were only going to the party in our dorm anyway.

I lived on a coed floor that year and my companions that night were a trio of guys I was friends with, whom we’ll call B, C, and D to protect their real identities. (We’d call them A, B, and C, but then, whenever I referred to A you might think I’m starting a new sentence.) We were an easily bored foursome back in those days and it didn’t take us long to decide the dorm party was lame. I, in particular, found it dreary, because people kept asking me what my costume was and when I’d tell them, they’d inevitably go, “Huh?” I’m here to tell you, “Huh?” is not a satisfying response under such circumstances.

One of the guys – I can’t remember now if it was B, C, or D – knew of a party off campus, so off we went. Even though the party was at least five miles away. Even though none of us had a car. Even though I had no shoes.

We figured we would hitchhike. What could be easier? Surely, there would be loads of people just dying to pick up four hitchhikers at once!

Not. We soon learned the error of our ways. So then it was suggested – I can’t remember now if B, C, or D made the suggestion – that I should do the hitchhiking part, attract a car while my three cohorts hid behind a bush, then once I’d secured a ride, they’d jump out and I’d ask the driver to take my friends too. What could be easier?

Actually, a lot. The first car that stopped, as soon as my friends jumped out the driver peeled off with the passenger door still open, said passenger door clocking me in the ribs.


So we started walking.

And walking.

And walking.

By the time we got to the party, my stockings had deteriorated to footless tights with ragged edges and my ribs were so sore, I knew I wasn’t going want to look in the mirror the next morning to see the damage. Still, we’d made it. We were feeling extraordinarily pleased with ourselves, even C, who tended to be a little grumpy. It’s amazing how happy, no matter how absurd or idiotic the goal, it can make a person to achieve that goal.

And surely, having struggled so hard to achieve it, this party would be far superior to the one we’d left behind. No?

Well, no and yes.

No, because right away it started in again with this whole new group of people.

Them: “Who are you supposed to be?”

Me: “The Lady in Black from August Strindberg’s Ghost Sonata.”

Them: “Huh?”

So unsatisfying.

But then yes because there was this one guy, this really cute guy, in a striped black shirt, white tie and fedora – I was sure he was dressed as a gangster.

Him: “Who are you supposed to be?”

Me: “The Lady in Black from August Strindberg’s Ghost Sonata.”

Him: (slow smile, revealing terrific orthodontia) “Cool.”

So satisfying.

We danced and played the night away never sleeping and the next day Fedora Boy and me had breakfast and went to see a soccer game.

I didn’t even care anymore that I still had no shoes and almost no one knew who I was supposed to be. At least one person did. Sometimes that’s all you need.

* * * *

To enter to win Crazy Beautiful, leave a comment below. For complete rules, read the introductory post.

Deadline for entry: Saturday, October 17, 11:59pm Eastern. NOTE: THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. The winner is alanajoli!

Other open Blogtoberfest giveaways:
Saundra Mitchell and Shadowed Summer
Sarah Beth Durst and Ice
Megan Crewe and Give Up the Ghost
Nancy Holder and her 5-pack of novels
Kelly Parra and Invisible Touch

Thanks again to Lauren for sharing her hilarious Halloween tale. I can totally relate!

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I din't think I've ever heard of a boy that has hooks for arms. It's got to change a man. I''m interested.

Posted by: Blogger Carrie Clevenger at 10/10/2009 8:35 AM

Jeri - you're killing me!! I'm going to have another 30 or so books added to my list by the end of the month to read :-)

This one sounds great!!


Posted by: Blogger Karen at 10/10/2009 9:29 AM

Great story! I've never tried hitchiking before...sounds painful. :)

Please enter me!

Posted by: Blogger Brooke Reviews at 10/10/2009 10:03 AM

I love The Adams Family! So sad how people didn't know who she was though. haha. Anyway, crazy beautiful sounds gooood.

Posted by: Blogger I Judge Books By Their Covers at 10/10/2009 12:22 PM

I've only dressed up for Halloween once, last year, and I went a little generic rather than going for specific. I can definitely see how that would be frustrating.

Posted by: Blogger Melanie at 10/10/2009 12:42 PM

Sounds like another one to add to the pile! Thanks for sharing it sounds really interesting.

Posted by: Blogger Sara C at 10/10/2009 12:51 PM

This one sounds interesting, count me in!

Posted by: Blogger tetewa at 10/10/2009 1:58 PM

another book I have to have!! Please enter me in the contest!!

A Blog with Bite!

Posted by: Blogger Froggy at 10/10/2009 3:31 PM

Sounds like a great book!

Posted by: Blogger Poppy at 10/10/2009 4:23 PM

This book sounds so interesting! One of my favorite costumes (I've used it 4 times or so) is Pippi Longstocking. The key element is the braids that stick out straight from the sides of my head. Well, I wore this costume to my Latin class, and the teacher didn't know who I was, and when I told her I was Pippi, she still didn't! However, she thought it looked pretty! I had to walk through the doors sideways because my hair was so wide, but at least I looked pretty doing it!

Posted by: Blogger Kimberly B. at 10/10/2009 4:26 PM

Hi Lauren~

This sounds really interesting and I am very much looking forward to reading it.

I bet your daughter was frustrated that no-one knew who she was. I do love the Adams Family.

Hi Jeri~

You have had an amazing line up and my to be bought list is just growing and growing. Thanks for having such a great contest.

Posted by: Blogger Lori T at 10/10/2009 10:40 PM

Ooo, I've been wanting to read this one since I first heard about it. Would love the chance to win a copy! :0)

Heh. I've never had much luck with Halloween costumes. No one ever knew who I was either. But I think that had more to do with bad costumes on my part than anything else. Last year, I wrote it on my shirt and they still didn't get it. LOL!

librarygrinch at gmail dot com

Posted by: Blogger Dawn M. at 10/11/2009 12:51 AM

Congrats Lauren! I am SOOO jealous that you won 13 to life. You have no idea lol.
My super hot LUUURVE (I say that to butter him up) is not loving the blogtoberfest because he is already imagining the credit card bill when I order all these books and pre-orders. *grins* Its so not my fault, I have no book self-control.

Posted by: Blogger Casse AKA Catholic Kittie at 10/11/2009 2:54 AM

Beauty and Beast retellings are my favorite! This one sounds intriguing :)

Posted by: Blogger Jennifer at 10/12/2009 4:46 AM

When I worked at a bookstore, you had to dress as a character from a book to be allowed to wear a costume. I always think it's more fun to be a specific character than a random witch, wizard, pirate, or princess. But the "huh?" syndrome does make it frustrating sometimes.

Posted by: Blogger alanajoli at 10/12/2009 9:53 AM

That reminds me, I still need to find a costume for my son this Halloween. He wants to be Thomas the Train, though. haha. That story about your costume in college pretty much cracked me up. It reminds me of some goofy times I had a few years ago. That blurb from your book sounds quite interesting, count me in!

Posted by: Blogger Unknown at 10/12/2009 11:02 AM

I love it! What a great story and I'm sure the driver that drove off only freaked because 3 people jumped out of the

Posted by: Anonymous Brittany Littlepage at 10/12/2009 12:13 PM

Hi Lauren, welcome.. CrazyBeautiful sounds very interesting... Thanks for sharing about your book and you halloween adventure! lol I think Im going to have to agree with the driver probably being just a bit freaked out by 3 other people jumping out of the bushes for a ride... I think I probably would have had the same impulse! yikes! lol Glad someone finally "got it" for you though!! (your costume)

Thank you Jeri as well!!
Debbie in NY

Posted by: Blogger WriterWannaB_NY at 10/12/2009 1:57 PM

I love the idea of a boy with hooks for hands, which reminds me of Edward Scissorhands.
Also, the urban legend about the hook....I love that one.


Posted by: Blogger Asylumgirl at 10/12/2009 9:41 PM

I've never had the nerve to hitchhike! On the bright side, that also means I was never whacked by a car door like that... :-)

Though I have had plenty of costumes that no one could recognize... Eventually, I just started going as generic types, e.g. hippie, or New Waver, which are a little easier to guess...


Posted by: Blogger Cara King at 10/13/2009 5:37 PM

All these great books! All's well if one person understands, especially if it's the right person.

Posted by: Blogger Sheila Deeth at 10/14/2009 7:21 PM

I've never had a problem with people not knowing who I was for Halloween, but man I decided I wanted to be some way crazy things growing up. I think my weirdest was a bottle of purple nail polish (I had a crepe paper hat). Thank goodness my mom was always very supportive of me and made my costumes!

I would LOVE to read this book...its on my WL!


Posted by: Blogger Andrea at 10/14/2009 9:12 PM

I've dressed up as many the literary figure and no one understands who I'm supposed to be. *sighs* hitchhiking can be frightening depending on where you live.

Posted by: Blogger Brittany at 10/14/2009 10:23 PM

This comment has been removed by the author.

Posted by: Blogger pepsivanilla at 10/15/2009 12:11 AM

There is nothing more frustrating than no one knowing what you are dressed up as! Well, at least there isn't on Halloween. This book sounds awesome :)


Posted by: Blogger pepsivanilla at 10/15/2009 12:12 AM

I know one year I dressed up as something that *I* wasn't quite sure what I was but everywhere we went people seemed to know exactly what I was--even if they didn't have the same idea (made for some fun for me)...


Posted by: Blogger Book Sp(l)ot at 10/15/2009 3:22 PM

Now I'm tempted to wear a Halloween costume that is specific and somewhat obscure, and to see if anyone figures it out. Hmmm.... :)

Posted by: Blogger Ken at 10/15/2009 3:41 PM

Please count me in. Great Post!

cindyc725 at gmail dot com

Posted by: Blogger I ♥ Book Gossip at 10/16/2009 9:51 PM

would love to win :)

Posted by: Blogger Amy at 10/17/2009 3:41 PM

The winner of Lauren Baratz-Logsted's Crazy Beautiful is...alanajoli! Thanks to everyone who commented, and thanks again to Lauren for her wonderful post.

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 10/18/2009 11:16 PM


This Side of Salvation

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Jeri Smith-Ready is a Maryland author of books for teens and adults.

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