Love YA Valentine's Feature - Day 3 + Giveaway

Hey everybody, first off my bad again, that this didn't really follow any kind of schedule. Over the weekend I was swamped with homework and turning in my application to the local University, and then Monday was a holiday, and then on Tuesday...well I might have been a little lazy then, but today we continue with our Valentine's Feature (despite Valentine's day having come and gone, because love is still in the air, right?)

Today's author has the most books out of all four authors, but then again that's probably because her first book was published all the way back in 2011! I actually picked up her first novel because of a blurb on it from another author I loved, and I'm SO happy that I did, because 

Miranda Kenneally 

writes the best YA sports romance books (well, most of them are sports romance books, she's deviated with a few of them), but today she's here to talk about her upcoming novel (which is a sports romance)

Defending Taylor

which I can't wait to read, because her books are so stinkin' good.

The Interview;

Once Upon A Teen Reader: DEFENDING TAYLOR will be the seventh novel in your Hundred Oaks series and you're contracted for at least one more.  All of the books are companion novels, not direct sequels, and I'm curious to know how you decide who will be your main character for each book?

Miranda Kenneally: Sometimes I choose a main character from a previous book, e.g. Kate from Things I Can't Forget was mentioned in Stealing Parker, and Annie from Breathe, Annie, Breathe was mentioned in Racing Savannah. Depending on the plot, sometimes the character is brand new! It really just depends. For my new book Defending Taylor, the main character is the younger sister of a girl that my character Jack Goodwin used to date. (yes, I know that's kind of strange!)

OUATR: Three (or as many as 5 depending on how you classify them) of your 7 books feature at least the main female character playing a sport.  Were you much of an athlete in high school?  How familiar were you with the sports you chose to feature in each one?

MK: I played soccer in high school, but I wasn't very good! I know a lot about softball, baseball, running, soccer, camping, and music, but very little about football and horse racing. I had to do a lot of research for CATCHING JORDAN and RACING SAVANNAH! 

OUATR: Taylor's love interest in this book is not only her best friend's older brother, but he's also her long-time crush.  Do you always have your character's romantic future planned out from the start or do they change as the story goes on? And how do you decide how they know the main character/their relationship with the main character to begin with?

MK: For the most part, it comes to me as I write. Only with my book Breathe, Annie, Breathe did I know how the relationship would work out before I ever started writing. With my new book Defending Taylor, I thought Taylor was going to date this hot Latino guy, but it didn't pan out because her brother's best friend Ezra showed up and took over. :) 

OUATR: One of my favorite things about your novels (apart from the amazing guys and the kick-ass girls) is that because they are companion novels we get those glimpses of the characters from previous novels after their stories have ended.  Do you as the author imagine the rest of you character's lives or do you not think much about what goes on after their books end until you peek back into their lives when writing a cameo?

MK: I definitely think about what's going on in their lives, but I also want to leave it a little open ended so readers can make their own guesses as to why their lives have turned out a certain way. I've been thinking about Jack and Savannah a lot lately, wondering what they are up to. They have a small cameo on Defending Taylor. The cameos are always a surprise to me, because I never know how characters know each other until it just happens naturally on the page.

OUATR: All of your novels work as independent stories but technically they are set in a particular order.  How do the novels fall on a time-line in relation to one another? 

MK: The way I see it, Catching Jordan, Stealing Parker, and Things I Can't Forget all took place about 5-6 years ago. Racing Savannah and Breathe, Annie, Breathe took place two years ago. Jesse's Girl took place last year. Defending Taylor is in the present day.

Fast Five:

1. What is your favorite rom-com movie (or TV show)?  That's so tough! Maybe Sweet Home Alabama with Reese Witherspoon?

2. Do you have a favorite candy to eat/receive around Valentine's day?  I always love chocolate truffles! But I prefer Peeps around Easter time.

3. If you sent Valentine's day cards this year what theme would the be or who/what would they have on them? I've really been into X-Men lately. My cards would have Magneto on them. He's the best villain. ;-)

4. What adorable YA contemporary would you recommend / are you excited to read? I just finished PS - I LIKE YOU by Kasie West and I loved it! The main character is quirky and cool, and the love interest is so sweet and not what he seems on the outside.

5.Do you have a favorite romance trope? (ie friends to lovers, opposites attract, strangers falling in love, ect. It doesn't have to be what you wrote either.)  Friends to lovers is my absolute favorite trope...and I just might be working on a book about that right now. ;-)

The Book;

Title: Defending Taylor
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Series: Hundred Oaks #7
Published July 5, 2016
Add it on Goodreads

Captain of the soccer team, president of the Debate Club, contender for valedictorian: Taylor’s always pushed herself to be perfect. After all, that’s what is expected of a senator’s daughter. But one impulsive decision—one lie to cover for her boyfriend—and Taylor’s kicked out of private school. Everything she’s worked so hard for is gone, and now she’s starting over at Hundred Oaks High.
Soccer has always been Taylor’s escape from the pressures of school and family, but it’s hard to fit in and play on a team that used to be her rival. The only person who seems to understand all that she’s going through is her older brother’s best friend, Ezra. Taylor’s had a crush on him for as long as she can remember. But it’s hard to trust after having been betrayed. Will Taylor repeat her past mistakes or can she score a fresh start?

Buy the book on Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | The Book Depository 

The Author;

Growing up in Tennessee, MIRANDA KENNEALLY dreamed of becoming an Atlanta Brave, a country singer (cliché!), or a UN interpreter. Instead she writes and works for the State Department in Washington, D.C., where George W. Bush once used her shoulder as an armrest. Miranda loves Twitter, Star Trek and her husband.

Find her on Her Website | Twitter | Facebook

The Giveaway;

I've been reading Miranda's novels since the beginning and I know for a fact that because they're from a smaller publisher they don't get as much press, which is a shame cause they're super good, so one person will win their choice of ANY of Miranda's novels currently out now, which means you get to pick from the following

All you have to do is fill out the rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I don't think I have read a romance sport novel before. But soccer would be one of my first choices since I like watching it. Though it seems there are mild spoilers if I don't read in order. Thanks for the interview.

  2. Honestly I don't really read contemporary novels but this one sound pretty good so I'm definetly willing to give it a try!

  3. Love your books and I always love catching up with Jordan Woods and Sam Henry.

  4. I just got book one and cannot wait to start :)