Verb Vixen

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Thursday, April 17
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Georgetown Academy is a juicy series about the politics at D.C.’s most elite prep school. A cross between Scandal and Gossip Girl, it’s fans include Eva Longoria and nearly a million Wattpad fans.
To celebrate the series’ success, we’ve put together an amazing campaign that involves and benefits readers—the more participation, the more we’ll give. Here are the steps:
Book One is currently being featured on Wattpad. Add GTA to your public Wattpad reading list: http://www.wattpad.com/story/8095946-georgetown-academy-book-one
Share Book One’s Wattpad link via twitter (Using #GTScandal)

If GT fans hit 1k tweets by Wednesday, April 23, we will release Chapter 1 of Book 2 on Wattpad


if can hit 1.5k tweets by Sunday 4/27, we’ll release another Book 2 chapter (from the POV of a an unknown character) on Wattpad


If we hit 2k, the price of book 2, across all platforms will be dropped to $1.99

Join our Twitter Party! On Tuesday 4/22 @ 9 pm EST authors Jessica and Alyssa will answer all readers’ questions! Find out if Taryn will stand between Ellie and Gabe, and maybe their parents’ careers. Use the hashtag #GTScandal to participate. Follow us @GTownAcademy.
Other ways to participate in the campaign and spread the word:
Add the books on Goodreads! Book 1 | Book 2 | Book 3 | Book 4 
If you’ve already read and loved the books, consider posting your review on Amazon.
So will you be attending the chat? Let me know in the comments :)

[Insert Book Cover Here] About Georgetown Academy:
Synopsis:
It’s the beginning of a new political administration. That might not mean much at most high schools, but at Georgetown Academy, Washington D.C.’s most elite prep school, January 20th means new alliances, new flings, and new places to party.
While freshmen—nicknamed “interns” for their willingness to jump into bed with anyone higher on the D.C. totem pole—navigate the not-so-friendly halls of GA searching for Algebra and Bio classes, the school’s lifers have other things on their minds.
For self-proclaimed D.C. royalty Brinley Madison (of those Madisons), the first day of school is all about establishing the social hierarchy and playing the part of perfect political wife to her boyfriend, the outgoing Vice President’s son. Too bad he has a wandering eye that puts Bill Clinton’s to shame. Can she keep him, and her own secret vice, in check?
Ellie Walker, Brinley’s best friend, floats through the halls on the arm of golden boy Hunter McKnight (the JFK of GA). But when her ex-boyfriend, Gabe, returns to town and her Senator mother’s political nemesis is reelected, Ellie’s life starts to snowball out of control.
Shy, quiet Evan Hartnett is more into books than beer, and her closet is full of t-shirts and jeans instead of Jason Wu and Jimmy Choo. No one’s ever really noticed her—but she’s been noticing them. When her star rises as an intern at D.C.’s most-watched political news show, she soon finds the two worlds colliding in ways that make her question what’s secret and what’s fair game.
New girl Taryn Reyes is all laid-back, California cool; with a father who’s in line to be the first Hispanic president, she’s ready to dive into the D.C. scene with an open mind. But when her fellow students turn out to be more interested in spreading rumors than making friends, she realizes that forging a drama-free path might be a lot harder than she thinks.
With so many new friends and former flames in the mix, things are bound to get a little heated. And while diplomatic immunity might keep the cops away, there’s not much it can do about the press.
In a town where one teenage misstep can turn into a national scandal, the students at Georgetown Academy will have to be on their best behavior—or, at least, they’ll have to make the world believe that they are.
Because there’s only one rule: whatever you do, don’t get caught.
What’s Cool from Coliloquy:
As the party scene at Georgetown Academy gets under way, authors Alyssa and Jessica let readers decide which of the main girls to follow. You’ll see scandalous behavior, unexpected liaisons, and secret betrayals…all giving you a different perspective as events unfold.

Georgetown Academy is a juicy series about the politics at D.C.’s most elite prep school. A cross between Scandal and Gossip Girl, it’s fans include Eva Longoria and nearly a million Wattpad fans.

To celebrate the series’ success, we’ve put together an amazing campaign that involves and benefits readers—the more participation, the more we’ll give. Here are the steps:

Book One is currently being featured on Wattpad. Add GTA to your public Wattpad reading list: http://www.wattpad.com/story/8095946-georgetown-academy-book-one

Share Book One’s Wattpad link via twitter (Using #GTScandal)

  • If GT fans hit 1k tweets by Wednesday, April 23, we will release Chapter 1 of Book 2 on Wattpad

  • if can hit 1.5k tweets by Sunday 4/27, we’ll release another Book 2 chapter (from the POV of a an unknown character) on Wattpad

  • If we hit 2k, the price of book 2, across all platforms will be dropped to $1.99

Join our Twitter Party! On Tuesday 4/22 @ 9 pm EST authors Jessica and Alyssa will answer all readers’ questions! Find out if Taryn will stand between Ellie and Gabe, and maybe their parents’ careers. Use the hashtag #GTScandal to participate. Follow us @GTownAcademy.

Other ways to participate in the campaign and spread the word:

Add the books on Goodreads! Book 1 | Book 2 | Book 3 | Book 4 

If you’ve already read and loved the books, consider posting your review on Amazon.

So will you be attending the chat? Let me know in the comments :)

[Insert Book Cover Here] About Georgetown Academy:

Synopsis:

It’s the beginning of a new political administration. That might not mean much at most high schools, but at Georgetown Academy, Washington D.C.’s most elite prep school, January 20th means new alliances, new flings, and new places to party.

While freshmen—nicknamed “interns” for their willingness to jump into bed with anyone higher on the D.C. totem pole—navigate the not-so-friendly halls of GA searching for Algebra and Bio classes, the school’s lifers have other things on their minds.

For self-proclaimed D.C. royalty Brinley Madison (of those Madisons), the first day of school is all about establishing the social hierarchy and playing the part of perfect political wife to her boyfriend, the outgoing Vice President’s son. Too bad he has a wandering eye that puts Bill Clinton’s to shame. Can she keep him, and her own secret vice, in check?

Ellie Walker, Brinley’s best friend, floats through the halls on the arm of golden boy Hunter McKnight (the JFK of GA). But when her ex-boyfriend, Gabe, returns to town and her Senator mother’s political nemesis is reelected, Ellie’s life starts to snowball out of control.

Shy, quiet Evan Hartnett is more into books than beer, and her closet is full of t-shirts and jeans instead of Jason Wu and Jimmy Choo. No one’s ever really noticed her—but she’s been noticing them. When her star rises as an intern at D.C.’s most-watched political news show, she soon finds the two worlds colliding in ways that make her question what’s secret and what’s fair game.

New girl Taryn Reyes is all laid-back, California cool; with a father who’s in line to be the first Hispanic president, she’s ready to dive into the D.C. scene with an open mind. But when her fellow students turn out to be more interested in spreading rumors than making friends, she realizes that forging a drama-free path might be a lot harder than she thinks.

With so many new friends and former flames in the mix, things are bound to get a little heated. And while diplomatic immunity might keep the cops away, there’s not much it can do about the press.

In a town where one teenage misstep can turn into a national scandal, the students at Georgetown Academy will have to be on their best behavior—or, at least, they’ll have to make the world believe that they are.

Because there’s only one rule: whatever you do, don’t get caught.

What’s Cool from Coliloquy:

As the party scene at Georgetown Academy gets under way, authors Alyssa and Jessica let readers decide which of the main girls to follow. You’ll see scandalous behavior, unexpected liaisons, and secret betrayals…all giving you a different perspective as events unfold.

Tags:   #i read #books #ya #ya lit #young adult fiction #publishing #reading #coliloquy #georgetown academy #gta #GTScandal #politics #private school



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Tuesday, June 11
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Georgetown Academy Book 4- Alyssa Embree Schwartz and Jessica Koosed Etting
At this point, I think we all know that Georgetown Academy is my favorite guilty pleasure. I don’t read gossip columns or tabloids but GTA fills that need for me in a fictional world. Book 4 takes things to entirely new heights with the role of Vice President on the line. This plot is full of brand new scandals and an intricate web of entangling alliances. I love how different each of the girls are and yet how they are all experiencing the same issues—the pressures of the political world where one false step means a barrage of bad press, the critical juncture of growing up where you decide who you are and who you want to be, and of course the cosmic pull of first loves—and yet each of them reacts differently and changes subtlely. Over the course of four books, they have all grown so much and I think that is fascinating to watch. Etting and Schwartz keep GTA fresh and current with superb plot twists, thrilling ethical dilemmas, clothes to die for, and a fast paced writing that wills you to keep you reading. I cannot get enough!
Overall: A
Georgetown Academy Book 4 is out TODAY! Get your copy now!
e-Arc provided gratis by Coliloquy.

Georgetown Academy Book 4- Alyssa Embree Schwartz and Jessica Koosed Etting

At this point, I think we all know that Georgetown Academy is my favorite guilty pleasure. I don’t read gossip columns or tabloids but GTA fills that need for me in a fictional world. Book 4 takes things to entirely new heights with the role of Vice President on the line. This plot is full of brand new scandals and an intricate web of entangling alliances. I love how different each of the girls are and yet how they are all experiencing the same issues—the pressures of the political world where one false step means a barrage of bad press, the critical juncture of growing up where you decide who you are and who you want to be, and of course the cosmic pull of first loves—and yet each of them reacts differently and changes subtlely. Over the course of four books, they have all grown so much and I think that is fascinating to watch. Etting and Schwartz keep GTA fresh and current with superb plot twists, thrilling ethical dilemmas, clothes to die for, and a fast paced writing that wills you to keep you reading. I cannot get enough!

Overall: A

Georgetown Academy Book 4 is out TODAY! Get your copy now!

e-Arc provided gratis by Coliloquy.

Tags:   #i read #ya #young adult #ya lit #young adult fiction #coliloquy #georgetown academy #series #book 4 #jessica koosed etting #alyssa embree schwartz #d.c. #politics #contemporary #school



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Sunday, June 9
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Ten Reasons I Love Georgetown Academy

No secret here, I love the Georgetown Academy series and now Coliloquy is releasing Season One (the first four books as a single collection). If 1000 people Mark it as Want to Read on Goodreads (CLICK HERE)  by Tuesday, 6/11 then the authors will release a “lost” scene. If 2000 people do it, then we get a scene from one of the boys’ perspectives. I NEED THESE SCENES PEOPLE! So please please please add it to your shelf. Not sure if Georgetown is for you? Well here’s ten reasons I love it!

MY TOP TEN REASONS TO READ AND LOVE GEORGETOWN ACADEMY:

1. The clothes. I DIE to wear some of these outfits. No seriously, I’m writing this from the grave because I’ve died of clothes envy.
2. Four completely unique and authentic young women’s voices who are dealing with public pressure and scrutiny with the most amount of grace and no small amount of ambition. 
3. The writing. It’s quick, it’s easy, it’s accurate and it flows so well that it actually energizes your reading experience. 
4. Well the hot boys aren’t hurting things either.
5. Politics. GTA makes politics not only interesting but relevant to a generation that is just coming of age in a world where politics is more polarized than ever.
6. Voyeurism. I don’t like to support tabloids or gossip rags or the paparazzi in real life but HOT DAMN if I’m not totally into it when it’s a fictional world. 
7. Scandal. I guess this is really 6.5 but who doesn’t love a good scandal. It’s impossible to tear your eyes away from the train wrecks.
8. Parents. This is a big deal to me, but finally and thankfully we don’t have completely absentee parents, or bad parents, or evil parents. These parents genuinely care about their kids and while they may make mistakes it’s a welcome change in the YA world for me. 
9. D.C. Setting can make or break a book but D.C. with its history and monuments and power is an ideal location. I don’t ever get tired of exploring more of our nation’s capitol in GTA.
10. The Authors. They are so sweet and it’s crazy to me that they can write four young women so perfectly and seamlessly. Honestly, they have a single author voice and yet there is two of them. What witchcraft is this?
Are you convinced yet? If you need more reasons check out the Top 30 Reasons list from Coliloquy where they list a new reason every day for a month. (I hope you’ll add GTA Season 1 to your goodreads. For your sake or mine. 
xoxo,
V.V.

Tags:   #books #ya #young adult #young adult fiction #coliloquy #georgetown academy #school #d.c. #politics #contemporary #season 1 #jessica koosed etting #alyssa embree schwartz #read #i read #top ten list #contest #reading


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Wednesday, May 15
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Georgetown Academy Book Four Cover Reveal!
When the vice president resigns and Ellie and Taryn’s parents emerge as the frontrunners, the girls find themselves back in the spotlight.
Ellie could not care less about becoming the Second Daughter, but she knows how much the opportunity to make history means to her mother – and women everywhere. With her family taking center stage, Ellie must decide whether she can put her feelings for Gabe on hold - again.
Taryn, so used to captivating the hearts and minds of everyone she meets, is unbothered by the increased media scrutiny. But an inopportune screw-up has her beholden to an unlikely – and unfriendly – source for help.  
Overnight, Evan has skyrocketed from social pariah to Miss Popular. As she and her reluctant parents adjust to her new lifestyle, the last thing she needs is a front-page scandal.
Brinley can’t stop thinking about her Stowe-bound hook-up…until her father’s intern, Patrick, starts flirting. Is it time to abandon her fling now that she has a more appropriate suitor?
With the second highest office in the land up for grabs, everyone is picking sides. But where does the heart lie when duty, truth, and love collide?
Enter to Win Some SWEET Prizes from Coliloquy HERE including:
(1) $50 Amazon gift card, 
(2) $25 Amazon gift cards and 
(4) bundle sets of Georgetown Academy Ebooks 1, 2, 3 & 4. 
The winners will be selected on June 11th (which is the official release day!!)

Georgetown Academy Book Four Cover Reveal!

When the vice president resigns and Ellie and Taryn’s parents emerge as the frontrunners, the girls find themselves back in the spotlight.

Ellie could not care less about becoming the Second Daughter, but she knows how much the opportunity to make history means to her mother – and women everywhere. With her family taking center stage, Ellie must decide whether she can put her feelings for Gabe on hold - again.

Taryn, so used to captivating the hearts and minds of everyone she meets, is unbothered by the increased media scrutiny. But an inopportune screw-up has her beholden to an unlikely – and unfriendly – source for help.  

Overnight, Evan has skyrocketed from social pariah to Miss Popular. As she and her reluctant parents adjust to her new lifestyle, the last thing she needs is a front-page scandal.

Brinley can’t stop thinking about her Stowe-bound hook-up…until her father’s intern, Patrick, starts flirting. Is it time to abandon her fling now that she has a more appropriate suitor?

With the second highest office in the land up for grabs, everyone is picking sides. But where does the heart lie when duty, truth, and love collide?

Enter to Win Some SWEET Prizes from Coliloquy HERE including:

(1) $50 Amazon gift card,

(2) $25 Amazon gift cards and

(4) bundle sets of Georgetown Academy Ebooks 1, 2, 3 & 4.

The winners will be selected on June 11th (which is the official release day!!)

Tags:   #Cover reveal #books #i read #georgetown academy #cover reveal #jessica koosed etting #alyssa embree schwartz #ya #D.C. #politics #contemporary #series #Coliloquy


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Monday, January 21
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Georgetown Academy Book 3- Jessica Koosed Etting and Alyssa Embree Schwartz
It’s Inaugeration Day and what better way to celebrate than with some fictional political drama. I don’t know about you but the fictional kind is much more palatable to me than the real life political drama these days. That being said, Georgetown Academy Book Three JUST came out on January 15th and this time, we’re hitting the slopes. A few weeks have lapsed since the end of Book Two and the Follow the Stars event and there are quite a few changes to absorb. Brinley is back and practically a different person. I LOVE HER! Her growth is phenomenal. Ellie meanwhile is struggling and making some terrible decisions and at one point I wanted to shake her and say, “LOOK AT YOUR LIFE! LOOK AT YOUR CHOICES!”. We get some great twists and turns but we also get a ski lodge setting. The best part of the Georgetown Academy books—aside from the politics, relationships, fashion—is that every single character is flawed and those flaws make them real, believable, and most of all lovable. The end of Book 3 is a doozy and I NEED Book 4, like yesterday. 
Haven’t read book 1 or 2 yet? No worries! Enter to win BOTH via rafflecopter here! 
Overall: A
Georgetown Academy Book Three is out from Colilquy now. Get your copy here.
e-acr provided gratis via Coliloquy. 

Georgetown Academy Book 3- Jessica Koosed Etting and Alyssa Embree Schwartz

It’s Inaugeration Day and what better way to celebrate than with some fictional political drama. I don’t know about you but the fictional kind is much more palatable to me than the real life political drama these days. That being said, Georgetown Academy Book Three JUST came out on January 15th and this time, we’re hitting the slopes. A few weeks have lapsed since the end of Book Two and the Follow the Stars event and there are quite a few changes to absorb. Brinley is back and practically a different person. I LOVE HER! Her growth is phenomenal. Ellie meanwhile is struggling and making some terrible decisions and at one point I wanted to shake her and say, “LOOK AT YOUR LIFE! LOOK AT YOUR CHOICES!”. We get some great twists and turns but we also get a ski lodge setting. The best part of the Georgetown Academy books—aside from the politics, relationships, fashion—is that every single character is flawed and those flaws make them real, believable, and most of all lovable. The end of Book 3 is a doozy and I NEED Book 4, like yesterday. 

Haven’t read book 1 or 2 yet? No worries! Enter to win BOTH via rafflecopter here! 

Overall: A

Georgetown Academy Book Three is out from Colilquy now. Get your copy here.

e-acr provided gratis via Coliloquy. 

Tags:   #i read #books #ya #young adult #young adult lit #ya fiction #contemporary #politics #georgetown academy #book three #jessica koosed etting #alyssa embree schwartz #coliloquy



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Friday, January 18
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Georgetown Academy Book 2- Jessica Koosed Etting and Alyssa Embree Schwartz
*This review is spoiler free but if you want to read my review of Book 1 go here.
There is something about Georgetown Academy that is immersive. When I’m in the fast paced world of politics and high school with Ellie, Taryn, Brinley and Evan, nothing else matters out in “real life.” I consumed this book in record time, and who could blame me? We have relationship drama, potential romance, secrets, alliances, politics, parental problems, forbidden loves, and frenemies. There’s something for everyone!
Book Two picks up right where Book One left off—-namely in the midst of a massive scandal! And things just get more complicated and entangled here as we lead up to the Follow the Stars benefit. I am still LOVING the choose your own adventure style of Coliloquy especially because at the end point of that chapter I can with one click go back and read all the other story lines as well. Honestly, it’s the order that I chose to read those in that revealed to me who I like best (Elle) and who I find most interesting (Brinley). And frankly having to choose between Hunter and Gabe is no easy matter—-so I’m glad I don’t have to. Georgetown Academy is my new guilty pleasure! And thanks to the generous folks at Coliloquy it can be yours too!
ENTER TO WIN A SET OF DIGITAL BOOKS (Book 1 and Book 2) USING THE RAFFLECOPTER HERE.
Overall: A
Georgetown Academy Book Two is out now from Coliloquy, get your copy here or enter the raffle to win it above!
e-copy provided gratis by Coliloquy.

Georgetown Academy Book 2- Jessica Koosed Etting and Alyssa Embree Schwartz

*This review is spoiler free but if you want to read my review of Book 1 go here.

There is something about Georgetown Academy that is immersive. When I’m in the fast paced world of politics and high school with Ellie, Taryn, Brinley and Evan, nothing else matters out in “real life.” I consumed this book in record time, and who could blame me? We have relationship drama, potential romance, secrets, alliances, politics, parental problems, forbidden loves, and frenemies. There’s something for everyone!

Book Two picks up right where Book One left off—-namely in the midst of a massive scandal! And things just get more complicated and entangled here as we lead up to the Follow the Stars benefit. I am still LOVING the choose your own adventure style of Coliloquy especially because at the end point of that chapter I can with one click go back and read all the other story lines as well. Honestly, it’s the order that I chose to read those in that revealed to me who I like best (Elle) and who I find most interesting (Brinley). And frankly having to choose between Hunter and Gabe is no easy matter—-so I’m glad I don’t have to. Georgetown Academy is my new guilty pleasure! And thanks to the generous folks at Coliloquy it can be yours too!

ENTER TO WIN A SET OF DIGITAL BOOKS (Book 1 and Book 2) USING THE RAFFLECOPTER HERE.

Overall: A

Georgetown Academy Book Two is out now from Coliloquyget your copy here or enter the raffle to win it above!

e-copy provided gratis by Coliloquy.

Tags:   #i read #books #ya #young adult #ya lit #young adult fiction #coliloquy #georgetown academy #jessica koosed etting #alyssa embree schwartz #covers #politics #contemporary



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Friday, December 14
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I am ESTATIC to have Jessica Koosed Etting and Alyssa Embree Schwartz stop by the blog today to answer some questions on their unbelievably fab book, Georgetown Academy. I hope you guys love the interview, because I certainly did. And be sure to check out my review of Georgetown Academy below!
xoxo,
V.V.
1. There’s a lot of voices to keep track of in G.A. How do you break up writing them? Do you each have specific characters or do you write them jointly?
We are both very type-A, so we always start with an incredibly detailed outline for every character and chapter and then we split up the actual writing. We don’t have specific characters that we each exclusively write because we like changing it up (a lot of times we decide who gets which girl based on our moods). But our writing always ends up being cohesive because we’ve been best friends for fourteen years and we basically share a brain (yes, we finish each other’s sentences so much that it creeps people out).
2. G.A. is very political and current, did you model any of your characters or their families on real life politicians?
We pulled a lot of elements from different political families for the Madisons (the Bushes, the Kennedys – if the Kennedy’s were uber-conservative). Taryn’s father has a bit of Obama in him, in terms of the level of newness and excitement her father is generating in Congress as a first-term representative. Overall, we also like to play with a lot of the gender inequalities we’ve seen on the Hill…and unfortunately there are a lot of real-life instances to draw from on that front!
3. Scandal plays a central role in these characters lives and their motivations, what’s the most scandalous thing you’ve done?
It took a while to think of something we would admit to!
For Jessica, she secretly dated her older cousin’s best friend for months, creating elaborate cover stories and lies when discussing her love life with her family. Luckily, though, it didn’t end as scandalous as it began because she eventually ended up marrying the guy! 
For Alyssa, it was back in her freshman year days at USC. She met a guy at a bar who was a bit older and she didn’t want to admit she was an undergrad so she told him she was a 23-year-old law student. She kept up the lie for several dates, dinner parties with his friends and a million phone calls (he even wanted to introduce her to his mother who was visiting), but she finally had to end it when she ran out of law jargon she’d learned from Law & Order.
4. Within G.A, who do you relate to most and why? Which storyline is your favorite to write?
We seriously love every character and go through phases where we get attached to different characters at different times. Jessica was born and raised in Los Angeles (and Alyssa lived there for fourteen years) so it’s been fun writing California girl Taryn now transplanted in D.C. And Evan, with her perpetual worrying, is easy for both of to relate to, as well. We love the relationship between Ellie and Gabe and the constant push and pull. But it’s probably Brinley (and all the Madisons) who are the most fun to write because their perspective on everything cracks us both up.
5. G.A. isn’t your average high school and you’ve added some creative elements to make the school function around the political challenges. What is your favorite part of G.A., the school.
Definitely history class. It’s so unique to G.A. – the fact that any given discussion about a current event or past event could involve some student’s parent or grandparent. You can just imagine what it must have been like for Chelsea Clinton when her government class got to the section about her father’s impeachment trial or what it will be like for Malia Obama for the next four years when her class is discussing current events and what the President should do about certain issues. Plus, the students at G.A. are so much more opinionated about policies and government because they’re in such close proximity to it. It definitely makes for a much more heated and personally-charged history class than the typical one you’d find in any other high school.
6. Let’s talk clothes…they’re important in this world and each character has a distinct style. How did you choose their style, who/what they wear, and what is the one outfit from the book you’d love to have in your wardrobe at home?
Clearly, we’re obsessed with fashion and we have so much fun visualizing what every character is wearing in any given scene. We really wanted their clothing choices to feel like extensions of their personalities. Taryn’s style is definitely a product of living in L.A. her whole life – that mix of boho and funky. Clothes aren’t nearly as important to Evan as the rest of the characters (although they will begin to play a bigger part in later books) so we wanted her style to be easy without a lot of fuss. Ellie is still figuring out her style the same way she’s figuring out herself. And Brinely, with her old-school D.C. family, her love of British and Italian Vogue and her aversion to anything nouveau, definitely has an affinity for the more classic, polished designers (and she has a long list of things she would never be caught dead in like animal print or boyfriend jeans). 
We draw inspiration from a lot of our favorite shopping websites (Shopbop.com in particular) and we’re constantly emailing each other links of something Taryn would wear or Ellie would wear. The one outfit we both love from Book One is the Burberry dress Brinley wears to the rookie party (paired with the Bulgari bangles). But even more than just that one outfit, it’s Brinley’s closet in general (which Ellie refers to as “the vault”) that we covet. We definitely live vicariously through her when she’s browsing outfits and mulling over what to choose.
7. The Coliloquy format is unique and allows readers to help direct the story. Tell us a bit about how being a Coliloquy title have influenced G.A.
We love reading books told from different perspectives and when we set out to write Georgetown Academy, we knew we wanted to write it from multiple characters’ POV’s. By working with Coliloquy, we were able to expand on that concept even more by offering a choice point within each book where the reader can choose which girl they want to “follow”. And yes, they can go back and read all of them if they want to, which means that readers can potentially see the same even unfold in four drastically different ways.  Not only are the choice-point chapters fun to write, but we love how it gives even more insight into how different our four girls are. We grew up reading the Choose Your Own Adventure books so we were excited to get to do our own version of that.
8. Tell us something unusual about each of you.
We didn’t meet until freshman year of college and we grew up across the country from each other, but for some reason, we both have the same favorite movie from back in the day – Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. We know you’re laughing at us, but it’s seriously underrated. And just for the record, we have no problem with Kevin Costner’s British accent in the movie.

Thank you Jessica and Alyssa so much for this insider look into Georgetown Academy!

I am ESTATIC to have Jessica Koosed Etting and Alyssa Embree Schwartz stop by the blog today to answer some questions on their unbelievably fab book, Georgetown Academy. I hope you guys love the interview, because I certainly did. And be sure to check out my review of Georgetown Academy below!

xoxo,

V.V.

1. There’s a lot of voices to keep track of in G.A. How do you break up writing them? Do you each have specific characters or do you write them jointly?

We are both very type-A, so we always start with an incredibly detailed outline for every character and chapter and then we split up the actual writing. We don’t have specific characters that we each exclusively write because we like changing it up (a lot of times we decide who gets which girl based on our moods). But our writing always ends up being cohesive because we’ve been best friends for fourteen years and we basically share a brain (yes, we finish each other’s sentences so much that it creeps people out).

2. G.A. is very political and current, did you model any of your characters or their families on real life politicians?

We pulled a lot of elements from different political families for the Madisons (the Bushes, the Kennedys – if the Kennedy’s were uber-conservative). Taryn’s father has a bit of Obama in him, in terms of the level of newness and excitement her father is generating in Congress as a first-term representative. Overall, we also like to play with a lot of the gender inequalities we’ve seen on the Hill…and unfortunately there are a lot of real-life instances to draw from on that front!

3. Scandal plays a central role in these characters lives and their motivations, what’s the most scandalous thing you’ve done?

It took a while to think of something we would admit to!

For Jessica, she secretly dated her older cousin’s best friend for months, creating elaborate cover stories and lies when discussing her love life with her family. Luckily, though, it didn’t end as scandalous as it began because she eventually ended up marrying the guy! 

For Alyssa, it was back in her freshman year days at USC. She met a guy at a bar who was a bit older and she didn’t want to admit she was an undergrad so she told him she was a 23-year-old law student. She kept up the lie for several dates, dinner parties with his friends and a million phone calls (he even wanted to introduce her to his mother who was visiting), but she finally had to end it when she ran out of law jargon she’d learned from Law & Order.

4. Within G.A, who do you relate to most and why? Which storyline is your favorite to write?

We seriously love every character and go through phases where we get attached to different characters at different times. Jessica was born and raised in Los Angeles (and Alyssa lived there for fourteen years) so it’s been fun writing California girl Taryn now transplanted in D.C. And Evan, with her perpetual worrying, is easy for both of to relate to, as well. We love the relationship between Ellie and Gabe and the constant push and pull. But it’s probably Brinley (and all the Madisons) who are the most fun to write because their perspective on everything cracks us both up.

5. G.A. isn’t your average high school and you’ve added some creative elements to make the school function around the political challenges. What is your favorite part of G.A., the school.

Definitely history class. It’s so unique to G.A. – the fact that any given discussion about a current event or past event could involve some student’s parent or grandparent. You can just imagine what it must have been like for Chelsea Clinton when her government class got to the section about her father’s impeachment trial or what it will be like for Malia Obama for the next four years when her class is discussing current events and what the President should do about certain issues. Plus, the students at G.A. are so much more opinionated about policies and government because they’re in such close proximity to it. It definitely makes for a much more heated and personally-charged history class than the typical one you’d find in any other high school.

6. Let’s talk clothes…they’re important in this world and each character has a distinct style. How did you choose their style, who/what they wear, and what is the one outfit from the book you’d love to have in your wardrobe at home?

Clearly, we’re obsessed with fashion and we have so much fun visualizing what every character is wearing in any given scene. We really wanted their clothing choices to feel like extensions of their personalities. Taryn’s style is definitely a product of living in L.A. her whole life – that mix of boho and funky. Clothes aren’t nearly as important to Evan as the rest of the characters (although they will begin to play a bigger part in later books) so we wanted her style to be easy without a lot of fuss. Ellie is still figuring out her style the same way she’s figuring out herself. And Brinely, with her old-school D.C. family, her love of British and Italian Vogue and her aversion to anything nouveau, definitely has an affinity for the more classic, polished designers (and she has a long list of things she would never be caught dead in like animal print or boyfriend jeans). 

We draw inspiration from a lot of our favorite shopping websites (Shopbop.com in particular) and we’re constantly emailing each other links of something Taryn would wear or Ellie would wear. The one outfit we both love from Book One is the Burberry dress Brinley wears to the rookie party (paired with the Bulgari bangles). But even more than just that one outfit, it’s Brinley’s closet in general (which Ellie refers to as “the vault”) that we covet. We definitely live vicariously through her when she’s browsing outfits and mulling over what to choose.

7. The Coliloquy format is unique and allows readers to help direct the story. Tell us a bit about how being a Coliloquy title have influenced G.A.

We love reading books told from different perspectives and when we set out to write Georgetown Academy, we knew we wanted to write it from multiple characters’ POV’s. By working with Coliloquy, we were able to expand on that concept even more by offering a choice point within each book where the reader can choose which girl they want to “follow”. And yes, they can go back and read all of them if they want to, which means that readers can potentially see the same even unfold in four drastically different ways.  Not only are the choice-point chapters fun to write, but we love how it gives even more insight into how different our four girls are. We grew up reading the Choose Your Own Adventure books so we were excited to get to do our own version of that.

8. Tell us something unusual about each of you.

We didn’t meet until freshman year of college and we grew up across the country from each other, but for some reason, we both have the same favorite movie from back in the day – Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. We know you’re laughing at us, but it’s seriously underrated. And just for the record, we have no problem with Kevin Costner’s British accent in the movie.

Thank you Jessica and Alyssa so much for this insider look into Georgetown Academy!

Tags:   #covers #i read #books #georgetown academy #jessica koosed etting #alyssa embree schwartz #coliloquy #politics #dc #high school


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Sunday, September 26
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Newark Schools and the 100 Million Dollar Debate

As everyone knows by now, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder, just donated $100 million dollars to the Newark Public school system.  Technically, he created a non-profit foundation and the $100 million dollars is actually challenge money which means that they will receive an amount of money then if certain benchmarks are met by the school district, they will receive more money (so on and so forth).  I am particularly interested in finding out what these benchmarks are and the ways that will measure success in one of the most troubled school districts in the nation. 

With Chris Christie and Cory Booker behind the planmore publicly funded charter schools will be the result, but how they go about utilizing this money and creating those charter schools is up in the air.  With a new superintendent being installed, there could be sweeping changes even mid-year in Newark schools. What kind of changes you ask?  Well, in all likelihood they will close a bunch of schools and fire a lot of people.  The result: flooding the remaining schools and then throwing a ton of money at them.  That’s exactly what happened when Michelle Rhee took over as superintendent in D.C. 

In her first 18 months Rhee fired 270 teachers, closed 20 schools, and consolidated the district’s administrative offices.  She routinely fires teachers whose student test scores are inadequate (241 more were fired this summer and 737 more were put on probation).  And her opinion on tenure? Not great, favoring higher salaries and upfront bonuses over long term promises of work.  If the D.C. mayoral election goes a certain way, Rhee might be free after November to bring change to Newark too.  In fact, Oprah Winfrey even through her name out as a person Christie and Booker should hire.  What would this do to the economy in Newark and greater New Jersey?

Rather than reporting to school boards, school chiefs report directly to mayors .  Interesting, no?  Entwining politics and education so deeply seems sort of peculiar to me.  Not good, not bad, just odd.

It gets better, because this method of reform (the creation of charter schools) has been called into question by Nicholas Lemann, dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University. In ”Is the Education Crisis a Myth,” Rose Garrett writes:

"Lemann is right to point out that certain clear-cut “solutions”, such as the creation of more charter schools, are emotionally appealing but not empirically proven to be any better than their alternatives. His point is not that schools don’t need help. It’s that in declaring a "crisis mode" we are, in essence, relinquishing measured thought in favor of expediency, and creating villains and heroes where none exist. Slaying the dragon would be simple; real reform is going to be a lot more complicated."

I think what will happen in Newark will be VERY interesting to watch unfold over the next few years.  Hell, even over the next few months.  Now, Zuckerberg,  could you tell us what are those benchmarks for the challenge money?

xoxo

V.V.

Tags:   #i read, #charter schools, #cory booker, #newark #public schools #mark zuckerburg #chris christie #education #politics #economics



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Thursday, September 23
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My Random Thoughts for Today: Politics

How do you unregister from a political party? I woke up this morning with a serious dissatisfaction with politics in the United States. Something about this particular election year was the proverbial straw that broke camel’s back. Frankly, I think both parties behave like petulant children these days and I am sick of both of them.  I don’t even know what the Republican party stands for anymore, but I can tell you that it’s nothing like Teddy Roosevelt’s republicanism (a man whom I admire very much).  I also cannot even begin to be wrap my head around the horror that is the Tea Party.  I don’t think I’m a Democrat either.  I have always voted according to my conscious rather than party lines: SO how do I go about changing my party affiliation to independent?

xoxo

V.V.

Tags:   #politics


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Thursday, December 17
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I freely forbid…

Marginal Revolution, an econ blog by authors Cowen and Taborrock, is one of the four blogs I read every day in Google Reader, specifically because they sometimes come up with things like this: http://www.marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2009/12/nie-pozwalam.html

Whenever I dont like something, I’m just going to go around yelling Liberum Veto like it’s a Harry Potter spell.

xoxo

VV

Tags:   #economics, #Marginal Revolution #politics #Poland


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