Monday, June 2, 2014

Blog Tour: My Last Kiss by Bethany Neal - Behind The Pages #6

My Behind The Pages post for the month of June is a special one because it is part of the MY LAST KISS blog tour by Bethany Neal. Today Bethany Neal shares two annotated pages from her debut novel with us and tells us about her inspiration for Cassidy's shimmery skin. Thanks to Bethany Neal for asking me to be a part of her MY LAST KISS blog tour and for all the work she put into this guest post! Hope you enjoy it and pick up a copy of MY LAST KISS!


What if your last kiss was with the wrong boy?

Cassidy Haines remembers her first kiss vividly. It was on the old covered bridge the summer before her freshman year with her boyfriend of three years, Ethan Keys. But her last kiss--the one she shared with someone at her seventeenth birthday party the night she died--is a blur. Cassidy is trapped in the living world, not only mourning the loss of her human body, but left with the grim suspicion that her untimely death wasn't a suicide as everyone assumes. She can't remember anything from the weeks leading up to her birthday and she's worried that she may have betrayed her boyfriend. If Cassidy is to uncover the truth about that fateful night and make amends with the only boy she'll ever love, she must face her past and all the decisions she made--good and bad--that led to her last kiss.

Bethany Neal writes YA novels with a little dark side and a lot of kissing from her Ann Arbor, Michigan home. The things she is obsessed with include, but are not limited to: nail polish, ginormous rings, pigs, dream analysis, memorizing song lyrics, pickles, dessert, predestined love, not growing up, sour gummy candies, music videos, Halloween, and fictional boys who play guitar.

MY LAST KISS is her first novel. Connect with her online at and follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @BethDazzled.


Tour Schedule

May 26 The Fantastic Flying Book Club, Welcome post

Day 1- May 27 Word Spelunking, Top 10 Kisses (t/o pop culture) numbers 6-10
Reading Teen, Top 10 Kisses (t/o pop culture) numbers 1-5

Day 2- May 28 YA Love, Writing Advice

Day 3- May 29 YAdult Review, Top 6 Bad Boys (who aren't so bad)

Day 4- May 30 Book Loving Me, Story Inspiration

 Day 5- May 31 Broke & Bookish, Top 7 Ghost Stories

Day 6- June 1 Tales of a Ravenous Reader, Pinterest Inspiration Board
YA Reads, Easter Egg Hunt

Day 7- June 2 Michelle & Leslie’s Book Picks, Musical Inspiration
Miss-Page Turner's City of Books, Behind The Pages

Day 8- June 3 Supernatural Snark, Character Interview, Ethan
GUEST POST First Kiss Stories, Amy Plum’s Blog

Day 9- June 4 The Hiding Spot, Q&A
Reader Girls, Ghostly "Rules"

Day 10- June 5 Book Addicts Guide, Open Interview
Anna Reads, My First Fictional Crush

Day 11- June 6 Lady Reader's BookStuff, Playlist Reveal

Day 12- June 7 Books As You Know It, Q&A
Book Rat, Character Interview, Cassidy

Day 13- June 8 Proud Book Nerd, Characters Theme Songs
Girls in the Stacks, Podcast

Day 14- June 9 Literary Rambles, Interview/Review & signed book giveaway
YA Sisterhood, Top 10 Fictional Crushes

Day 15- June 10 The Best Books Ever, Origin Story

Day 16 June 11 Fantastic Flying Book Club, Swag Giveaway & Review


My Last Kiss by Bethany Neal

Bethany Neal: Even though my main character is a ghost(ish), I still believe My Last Kiss is more of a contemporary story than a paranormal one. The struggles Cassidy and her friends face with friendships and loyalty, personal judgment, and self-medicating through alcohol and drugs are very much rooted in reality. However, the story element that I had the most fun with while writing was Cassidy’s ghostly appearance.

The two annotated pages are from MY LAST KISS, FSG Books for Young Readers, 2014.


The Inspiration 

 The inspiration for her pearlescent shimmery skin came from three very unrelated sources.

Inspiration #1: Edward Cullen. Isn’t he so pretty? But too pretty for a teenage ghost with amnesia. I explain below. 

My first instinct when I started exploring options for how my version of a “ghost” would look was—as with everything else good in life—it should sparkle. This inevitably led to Edward Cullen because, let’s be honest, what doesn’t lead to him in the end? But I didn’t want Cassidy’s ghostly transformation to be as overtly beautiful as aforementioned sparkly vampire. I wanted her appearance to be illusive and intangible to relate back to her circumstance. She’s lost her memory; she literally can’t get a grip on her life or what happened to her. That’s where bubbles came to mind.

Inspiration #2: Soap Bubbles

There’s a sense of nostalgia when you think of blowing bubbles or chasing them as a child. It’s such a carefree association, but you can never truly enjoy a bubble for yourself. It’s beautiful and light and it makes you smile up until it inevitably pops the second you take hold of it. Bubbles are actually quite bittersweet if you think about it. Bubbles are also iridescent, which led me to my third inspiration.

Inspiration #3: The Inside of an Oyster Shell 

At one point in the book Ethan describes Cassidy’s skin as looking like “see through pearls,” and that’s ultimately the image I clung to for her otherworldly complexion. Though I did retain the sparkles for when she dissolves into “dust” when passing through people. The dust just had to sparkle!


Signing Info

MY LAST KISS Launch Party!!!
When Tuesday, June 10, 2014 7pm
Where Nicola’s Books
2513 Jackson Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
Details Join Bethany in publication day festivities! There will be cake, swag giveaways, and the signing of many books.

Michigan Author Event  
When Saturday, June 14, 2014 2-4pm
Where Barnes & Noble
3311 Tittabawassee Rd.
Saginaw, MI 48604
Details Visit Bethany and fellow YAer Aimee Carter in the Teen section during this store wide event featuring Michigan authors from varying genres.

Up North 2-Day Event: Signing/Writing Workshop

When Friday, June 20, 2014 2-4pm
Where McLean & Eakin Bookstore
307 E. Lake St.
Petoskey, MI 49770

When Saturday, June 21, 2014 10am-12pm
Where McLean & Eakin Bookstore
307 E. Lake St.
Petoskey, MI 49770
Details Call McLean & Eakin for more information (231) 347-1180.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my Goddness how I love this post!!! And .. did she really mention sparkly Edward Cullen, well.... now I am completely sold!