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Apr 2, 2013

Picture Perfect Blog Tour: Guest Post + Giveaway

Welcome to my stop on the Picture Perfect Blog Tour hosted by Inkslinger PR. I'm stoked to have all of you here today because the super awesome Alessandra Thomas wrote up a blog post that I'm dying for all of you to read!

As if that wasn't intriguing enough, Inkslinger PR is sponsoring a tour wide giveaway where you'll get the chance to enter and win one of the two signed copies and two e-book copies of Picture Perfect. How awesome is that? So, make sure that you stick around because there's loads of fun to be had!

About the book:

Title: Picture Perfect (Picturing Perfect, #1)
Author: Alessandra Thomas
Publisher: Self
Release date: March 26, 2013
Age group: New Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Fashion design major Cat Mitchell has a closet full of gorgeous clothes - and not a single thing fits. After two years of runway modeling for easy cash, an accident shattered her lower leg bone and her self-esteem in just one swift fall. Ten months of no exercise, prescription steroids, comfort eating and yoga pants meant returning to campus as a size twelve instead of her former size two.

When her gorgeous long-time friend with benefits sees her for the first time after her accident and snubs her in front of all her friends, Cat’s self-image hits rock bottom. Her sorority sisters all insist that she looks gorgeous, but all Cat sees is the roll of her stomach when she sits down, or the dimpling at the back of her thighs that wasn't there last year. Cat’s therapist prescribes something radical to stop the downward spiral - nude modeling for a nearby college's human form drawing classes. When Cat faces her fears and bares it all for the class, she realizes that she's posing naked in front the most gorgeous, buffest guy she's ever seen in her life. He asks her out after the class, and after one steamy night together, Cat's absolutely smitten.

Nate’s pretty close to perfect – he takes Cat rock climbing when he discovers that it makes her feel strong and becomes a great chef after he learns that the perfect pesto sauce makes her swoon. Cat starts to feel like her old self again - confident and beautiful - as long as Nate's around. Even when he discourages her from entering the Real Woman Project, a design competition for plus-sized apparel, she reasons that he's just trying to prevent old body image wounds from splitting wide open again.

But when Cat goes home with Nate for Thanksgiving, she discovers something shocking from his recent past that proves that he hasn’t always been so encouraging of women of all shapes and sizes. Cat has no idea what to think, but she does know one thing - this might destroy their relationship before it's even had a chance to get off the ground.

Before Cat can figure out whether the real Nate is the sensitive, adoring guy she fell in love with, or an undercover asshole, she'll have to finally feel comfortable in her own skin - even if it means leaving him forever.
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Smashwords

Guest post: New Adult and Sex

Aless: Hi Momo! Thanks so much for having me to the blog today. I’m very passionate about the topic you’ve asked me to write about, and I hope I don’t talk your ear off!

Okay, so do you have some questions for me?

Q. There’s a rise in the New Adult genre. What are your thoughts on that?

Aless: I think that it’s nothing but positive. First of all, to me, it means that more people are reading fiction during college, and that those people want to read about people their own age. They’re looking for their own life experience in fiction, and the fact that New Adult fiction is becoming more available and relatable for these readers is so awesome. I’ve talked to a lot of college students who don’t like reading Young Adult, because that phase of life - lockers and school dances and first kisses – is so far behind them that they just don’t find the characters and stories relatable. At the same time, adult fiction also fails to represent their experience - college-aged readers don’t have 9-5 jobs, spouses, and children. New Adult is a perfect genre for people who are at this exciting and interesting phase of life – not to mention, who probably have the most free time for reading!

Second, I’m so happy that this genre is becoming more and more popular for upper high school readers. One of the ways people prepare and set their expectations for the next stage of their life is by reading books that detail the experience. Think about it – little girls read Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret, before they are at that stage of life – I know I did. It helped me prepare for the changes that were about to come in my life, and as a little girl, I remember being really relieved that that book was available. A reader who’s a junior or senior in high school is going to be wondering what college will be like. Books set there can help her learn what to expect from the completely different type of freedom and lifestyle of college, and give her role models for how to deal with some of the tough situations that can come up.

Q. What's the difference between YA/NA/Adult books and how they tackle sexual situations?

Aless: I want to start out by first saying that New Adult really is under the “adult” heading. College-aged people are adults. But New Adult is its OWN genre because it’s like Adults: Level 1. Everything happening in these books is Adult, but it’s like the first experience of Adult, which makes it fundamentally different.

So. In Young Adult, we know that sometimes the characters have sex. Sometimes, teens have sex, and so if there was never sex in YA books we’d call foul. It wouldn’t be true to the teen experience, and if fiction should be anything, it should be, in some way, true.

In Young Adult, the vast majority of characters represented are going to be sexually inexperienced. This is due to age. If my main character is sixteen years old, she (PROBABLY) has not been sexually active for that many years or with that many partners, if ever. The experiences will be new to her. She might be nervous, she might be worried or confused about the basic mechanics of the whole thing. She might know well enough to talk about safe sex, and she might be so freaked out she forgets.

Then, of course it’s an industry standard that graphic sex does not appear in fiction for children, which teens (TECHNICALLY) are. So the sex in YA is usually glossed over, fade-to-black, or behind closed doors.

In New Adult, however, we’re getting to the age where the vast majority of people have their first sexual experience – college. They’re away from home, so privacy is more readily available, and there are no house rules – their space is their own. They may have had some experience with sex either back in high school or earlier in college – regardless, their college peers have almost certainly had that experience. Sex is more of a given in college, and less of a shocker.

And, since New Adult is technically adult, the standard is very different from YA – we can describe every single moment of sex. And we do! *wink* Of course, it’s fun to read and write, but I do think that there are some solid reasons that it’s very important to do so in New Adult:

Describing the sexual experience in full promotes sex positivity. Simply put, sex positivity means being comfortable with the full range of one’s sexuality, with an emphasis on safe sex and informed consent. If we describe our characters having – and enjoying - sex without guilt or shame, while taking charge over their own bodies, it lays the ground work for a great sexual role model for our readers.

Writing about orgasms is actually really important in this philosophy. Not only does the moment of climax make our readers fan themselves, but it tells our readers that the enjoyment of sex, and sexual pleasure, is something that they deserve, something they should strive for. It communicates that sex is as much about you, your body, and your emotions, as it is your partner’s. (So, NA writers, keep those orgasms coming! You know, for public health purposes. *wink*)

I know I got pretty long-winded here, Momo, and I hope you’ll forgive me. It’s just that, while I enjoy reading and writing a good sex scene as much as the next girl, it’s also really important to me to do so in a way that’s healthy for my reading audience.

Whew! This post was longer than I intended, but it just sort of wrote itself. What a great topic! Thank you so much for having me, Momo. It’s been an absolute pleasure to be with you today.

<3 Aless

ERMAHGERD. I loved everything about this post! So informative, eh? Thank you so very much for being here on Books Over Boys, Alessandra!

About the author:

Alessandra Thomas is a New Adult writer who swears she was in her twenties yesterday. Since she's not, she spends her time looking back on her college years fondly, and writing sexy stories about guys and girls falling in love and really living life for the first time. When she's not writing, you can find her with a spoonful of ice cream in one hand and the newest New Adult release in the other.

Connect with Alessandra Thomas: Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

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  1. I got interested in Picture Perfect as soon as I read the blurb. It doesn't sound like anything that I have read before.

    - Ellie at The Selkie Reads Stories

  2. I want to read Picture Perfect because it sounds interesting and because some of the bloggers I follow have recommended it.

  3. I've seen a lot of hype about this book, it's all over the place. And I will admit, that tweet got my attention to. I need to read this one for myself. Thank you!

  4. It doesn't sound like anything that I have read.

  5. I love stories about becoming comfortable in your own skin and positive body images so I'm very excited about Picture Perfect.

  6. Picture Perfect sounds really interesting. I really like the New Adult books that have been coming out recently, so I usually read most of them. This doesn't sound like anything I have read before, but it is definitely something I am interested in.

  7. Sounds really good and i love to get the experience of a new story!

  8. I like the sound of it. I know what it's like to be skinny, then fat, then skinny, then fat - it's a constant battle.

  9. I think this story sounds great! I love NA and I haven't read a story along this line before - model turns normal sized and deals with it - I think it sounds truly interesting and like a really great story

  10. What a great story! I'm new to the New Adult genre and am looking forward to reading Picture Perfect as the perfect introduction! Since my book club is doing it- it's perfect!(Did I say "perfect" three times in one comment???)

  11. The synopsis was so intriguing. I've never read anything quite like this. Such a great topic and I cannot wait to read this!

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. Thanks for the post. The book sounds intriguing and it's not the usual I read, :)

    - Diana @amalia_chartres


Thanks so much for stopping by Books Over Boys! You're a fun little lollipop triple dipped in awesomesauce. ;p