#BIR2010 – Book Giveaway Secondhand Charm by Julie Berry + Author Interview

Julie Berry is the author of young adult book The Amaranth Enchantment & The Splurch Academy series for middle grade readers.  In 2010 Julie released the book Secondhand Charm.  I was lucky to receive an ARC of this fabulous book for review.  Today I’m grateful to have Julie here for an interview & book giveaway.


If you could travel in a Time Machine would you go back to the past or into the future?

I’d stay the heck away from that thing if I had a time machine. In every book I’ve ever read, time travel always turns out to be a baaaaaad idea. I’d choose the past if I had to choose, but with my luck I’d accidentally kill my great-grandmother. No thanks!

If you were stranded on a desert island what 3 things would you want with you?
Food, shelter, and a water supply. If I had that, then, a knife, a gun, and a first aid kit. If I had those, then, flares, a 2-way radio, and batteries. And I would definitely need sunblock. I’m guessing you want me to say things like bonbons, Pride & Prejudice, and my favorite bubble bath, but I’m all about survival.

If you were a superhero what would your name be?

If you could have any superpower what would you choose?
The ability to stay fit.

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Sweet cream ice cream from Coldstone Creamery. In other words, ice cream that is only flavored by sugar. Then I add pecans to it. Yum.

What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?
Really good for you whole grain cereals. I’m a horse food junkie. Currently in my pantry: Kashi Cinnamon Harvest and Nature’s Path Organic Heritage cereals. Good stuff.

Is there anything you need in order to write? (ie Chocolate, quiet, music)
Quiet helps, but I don’t always get that. A good night’s sleep the night before is a real plus, as are a laptop, a spiral notebook, and several sharpened pencils.

Night owl, or early bird?
I used to be a night owl, but the older I get, the harder it is for me to be productive when I’m tired. I’m shifting toward early bird.

One food you would never eat?
Bugs, I think. I know they’re the nutritional wave of the future but I haven’t found the courage yet. I also dislike beef liver. Blaugh.

Who is your favorite author?
No one favorite, but how about: Charles Dickens Jane Austen The Bronte Sisters C.S. Lewis Terry Pratchett P.G. Wodehouse Shakespeare Barbara Pym Agatha Christie Madeleine L’Engle Jonathan Stroud J.K. Rowling Garth Nix Martine Leavitt Carol Lynch Williams Elizabeth Pope Robin McKinley David Almond.

How do you react to a bad review?
I react much better to them now than I first did when my first book came out and the first blog reviews began to appear. One blogger was particularly disparaging, and I felt mortified. It was as if every self-doubt I’d ever felt was proven true by that review. Since then I’ve really learned what I only knew intellectually before – that books aren’t supposed to please everyone, they simply need to find their audience. Being on the receiving end of such reviews has made me much less prone to publicly criticize someone else’s writing. Even books I dislike are the fruit of someone’s hard work and care. If I don’t like a book, I just keep my thoughts to myself.

If you were a bird, which one would you be?
A pigeon. They live in upscale cities, they’re never lonely, they’re not afraid, and they know how to survive. And they’re pretty, in a mottled sort of way.

If you could trade your life for that of a fictional character, who would that character be?
I wouldn’t trade my life for anyone else’s. Everything that’s uniquely mine is dearest to me – my husband, my children, the family I grew up in, my friends. Not even Pemberley is worth that.

If you could go back in time and meet one author, who would it be and why?
C.S. Lewis, because I love him, and because he has shaped my life and thinking profoundly.

What was the first book you read?
The first book I remember reading by myself was Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina. It probably wasn’t the first book I actually read by myself, but it’s my earliest memory of independent reading.

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
If you enjoy smart, loyal heroines who pursue their dreams and solve their own problems, and if you like a nice dollop of romance, fantasy, and adventure in a novel – in short, if your tastes align perfectly with my own – then you should race to your nearest bookstore to pick up Secondhand Charm. 😉

What is on your mousepad?
An advertisement for a local computer store called “Geek Boutique.” It feels oddly fitting, since I work in the software industry, along with my husband, and I live in a household full of techies.
What is your favorite quote?
Psalm 23.

If you were a super hero what would your kryptonite be?
IRS Forms.

You have won one million dollars what is the first thing that you would buy?
I’d buy a big sushi dinner for me and my husband to celebrate. But I’ll never win a million dollars since I don’t play the lotto. J

If someone wrote a book about your life, what would the title be?
What Was She Thinking?

What is your guilty pleasure?
Snacking, and playing “Angry Birds” on my phone.

How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?
We held a release party at the local library, and then held a small party afterwards with friends and sushi. I’m seeing a theme emerge here …

Thank you Julie for taking the time to answer so many of my questions!!

Secondhand Charm
By Julie Berry
Published by Bloomsbury
Released October 12, 2010

In a secluded village, magic sparkles on the edges of the forest. There, a young girl named Evie possesses unusually strong powers as a healer. A gypsy’s charms—no more than trinkets when worn by others—are remarkably potent when Evie ties them around her neck. Her talents, and charms, have not escaped the notice of the shy stonemason’s apprentice. But Evie wants more than a quiet village and the boy next-door. When the young king’s carriage arrives one day, and his footman has fallen ill, Evie might just get her chance after all . . .

Berry’s debut novel garnered glowing reviews and strong sales—and now she’s done it again with a beautifully woven tale to keep all readers, young and old, absolutely charmed.

Giveaway Details:
ARC of Secondhand Charm by Julie Berry
Giveaway open to US only
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Ends 12/16/10
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