Friday, August 31, 2012

Blog Tour & Giveaway~My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century

Alright guys, I am STOKED to host a guest post on the
 My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century Blog Tour!
This book is amazing and you can read my full review here. Enjoy the blurb and the amazing guest post by Cat!

Blurb: On the precipice of her
sixteenth birthday, the last thing lone wolf Cat Crawford wants is an
extravagant gala thrown by her bubbly stepmother and well-meaning father. So
even though Cat knows the family’s trip to Florence, Italy, is a peace
offering, she embraces the magical city and all it offers. But when her
curiosity leads her to an unusual gypsy tent, she exits . . . right into

Thrust into the sixteenth century armed with only a backpack full of contraband
future items, Cat joins up with her ancestors, the sweet Alessandra and
protective Cipriano, and soon falls for the gorgeous aspiring artist Lorenzo.
But when the much-older Niccolo starts sniffing around, Cat realizes that an
unwanted birthday party is nothing compared to an unwanted suitor full of

Can she find her way back to modern times before her Italian adventure turns
into an Italian forever?

And now....In Cat's own words:

A Lesson in Renaissance Social Graces….From the very UN-Graceful Cat Crawford

Okay, I admit it. I’m not exactly an expert on the subject.
In fact, I turned screwing up during my Renaissance vacay into an art form.
But the upside is I learned from my one or two (okay, maybe more like a bazillion) mistakes, and I’m here today to share my wealth of knowledge in the hopes I’ll spare you the drama I went through… you know, just in case you find yourself breezing through the flaps of a certain green gypsy tent.
So here my compiled list of handy-dandy tips—with possibly the world’s longest title ever:
Cat Crawford’s List of Traits Any Self-Respecting 16th Century Chica Should Know to NOT Look Like A Cultural Ignoramus:
·         Sharpen That Tongue. Get your mind out of the gutter, people… I’m talking speech. Turns out, the art of flinging the right word or taunt at just the right time was a skill peeps respected back in the day. (Explains why Antonia thought she was all that.) They also liked cleverness, wit, good story-telling, and clever jokes, so maybe I don’t totally fail in this category—I have been told I’m quite humorous at times.

·         Study Up. Did you know that the upper class actually had books they studied on how to act, what clothes to wear, and even how to stand properly? Yeah, me neither. And you better believe they used the info they gained to scrutinize everyone around them—even time-traveling chicas not exactly up on the latest intel. Just one example of a book to grab during your own adventure through time is The Book of the Courtier by Baldassare Castiglione, but there’s several out there. It’s almost too bad we don’t use these today. Like, How to NOT Act Like Snookie. Oh, and while you’re studying,  be sure to brush up on your art and music knowledge. There may be a quiz later.

·         Unleash The Voice. Christina Aguilera you may not be, but that won’t matter. Without the modern conveniences of television, radio, or video games, people amused themselves by entertaining others, and that includes singing. If the very thought of singing in front of more than your favorite stuffed animal or toothbrush terrifies you, I’m right there with you...but there’s no getting out of this one. YIKES! All I can suggest is close your eyes, think a happy thought (such as a sexy pair of chocolate eyes), and belt it out, sister.

·         Lose That Tan. Yep, it’s true. Those paintings you’ve seen with the uber-white faces are for real. People believed that pale skin made women look more prestigious because women with tanned skin often worked lowly jobs outdoors. The upper class women stayed inside all day. Can you imagine all the money we’d save if this was still the trend? Goodbye spray-tans and tanning beds, hello Snow White.

·         Embrace Your Inner Rhythm. Dancing was a big thing back then, and we’re not talking those ‘drop it like it’s hot’ or grope and sway moves so popular on the dance floors today. These things had steps, lots of them, and everyone knew them. Luckily, the steps repeat after a while so you can pick it up pretty quickly. Or you can always make a break for it with a certain hottie and teach him a modern-day dance like me… (*grin*)

And finally,

·         Get Your Swoon On. This one is really just for fun and is all about the boys, but it’s good to know what sixteenth-century women want. Chivalry and knowledge of hunting, horses, and fighting were all very important qualities in any suitor, as well as knowing how to work a sword. Don’t believe me? Think about Heath Ledger in A Knight’s Tale. Yeah, it’s the wrong century, but still H-O-T. And hey, it’s an excuse to watch a movie with a cute boy. Enough said.

So there you have it, my quick list of must-know traits to blend in with the well-to-do of Renaissance society. Of course, there’s more to it then this short list, but if you can manage these things, you’re well ahead of where I was. Oh, and don’t forget to pack this handy-dandy list in your extra handy-dandy backpack, and keep that baby with you at all times. Trust me, it’ll be worth it.

So how do YOU measure up on this list? Are you a natural Sixteenth-Century Chica, or a Cultural Ignoramus like me? Let us know in the comments! And thank you, Staci!

{sigh} {rolls eyes back to the front of her face and wakes from a dreamy stupor}

No, Cat....thank you! I am sure every teenage girl can relate to your (ahem) mess ups. I know I had many myself during my teenage years. Thank you for sharing your hilarious insights and knowledge. I feel completely prepared to enter that gypsy tent.....just as soon as I find Reyna ;)

Thank you, Shane, at Itching for Books for hosting this awesome blog tour.
Follow the rest of the tour by clicking on the banner below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the author:  Rachel Harris

As a teen, I threw raging parties that shook my parents’ walls and created embarrassing fodder for future YA novels.

As an adult, I read and write obsessively, rehash said embarrassing fodder, and dream up characters who become my imaginary friends.

When I'm not typing furiously or flipping pages in an enthralling romance, you can find me homeschooling my two beautiful princesses, hanging out with my amazing husband, or taking a hot bubble bath…next to a pile of chocolate.

MY SUPER SWEET SIXTEENTH CENTURY is my first novel. I did have my own fantabulous Sweet Sixteen in high school. Sadly, it wasn’t televised.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Flirt Squad!!!

Are YOU ready to Unmask Your Inner Flirt??

My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century is about to be unleashed on the world, and my team of highly trained (and frankly awesome) publicists and I would love your help!

We've created an ultra fantabulous (and super secret) street team, THE FLIRT SQUAD, and I'd love for you to be a part of it.

Why Should You Join?

Besides being propelled to the status of my favorite person ever, you'll win awesome prizes and get special perks!


Exclusive contests and prizes just for Flirt Squad members
Teaser chapters and special snippets from future books, including My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century, and the sequel, A Tale of Two Centuries, along with my current project, Rearview Mirror
Your name in the acknowledgements of A Tale of Two Centuries
A special note from me with secret tidbits
A chance to become a character in a future book
And the ultimate Sweet Sixteen prize, a sparkly tiara (for becoming the official Sweet Sixteen diva) and a necklace with the Super Sweet cover as a charm
What will the Flirt Squad actually DO?

There's several different levels based on point totals, and at each new level you win some of those awesome prizes. The more points you have, the bigger the prizes. As you earn points, you can always email me at or tweet me at @RachelHarrisYA, but the main way that point totals will be kept is on the Flirt Squad Google doc (we're very official here, peeps). Once you sign up in the comments below, I'll send you a link to the form so you can begin!

Don't forget to tell her Staci sent you!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Review~My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century~by Rachel Harris

My Super Sweet Sixteenth CenturyMy Super Sweet Sixteenth Century by Rachel Harris
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Stars to infinity! How on earth would you rate such a whimsical and amazing work of complete art such as this? Rachel Harris created a character that, in my mind, will become a literary classic. I've always been in love with time travel historical fiction novels and this addition to the genre is a welcome one.

Cat is by no means a typical teenage girl. Most girls spend their evenings with friends, hanging out, getting in trouble, and going on dates. Not so much, for Cat. She is the daughter of a scandalous actress who deserted her and Cat's father when Cat was young. Her scandals are constantly being thrown into Cat's face on the covers of tabloids all over the world. As if that isn't enough for any teenage girl to handle, Cat's father is a well known film director. Although he strives for Cat to live a normal life as much as possible, it simply isn't easy when the paparazzi are always following you, just knowing you will mess up just like your mom.

To make matters worse is Cat's over the top, future stepmother. Miss I-Can't-Wait-To-Use-My Fiance-To-Better-My-Own-Career Jenna. Cat wants to stay out of the media yet party planner Jenna wants to throw her an extravagant sweet sixteen bash. Sounds innocent right? Not! If done correctly, this extravaganza will be broadcast on Mtv and will be the ticket to Jenna's success. Selfish much?

It's no wonder Cat's Dad has agreed to take her on a trip to Italy. He's totally trying to butter her up. Cat has always been in love with Italy and their art. She aspires to be an artist one day, herself. In her spare time, she studies everything she can about Renaissance Artists.

Knowing she will eventually have to give an answer about this dreaded birthday bash, she decides she needs a bit of time for herself in Italy. After assuring her dad she would return for dinner with him and Jenna, he reluctantly agrees. While exploring, Cat stumbles upon a gypsy tent. Very curious and with time to spare, she enters. After what seems to be some normal gypsy mumbo jumbo, Cat feels something unusual happening around her and soon realizes she has been transported back to Renaissance Italy.

Cat finds herself thrown into a conundrum of events. She must pretend to be someone she is not. Perhaps, however, this new person is who she needed to be all along. Is this where she was meant to be, with the chance of love or must she find a way back to her father and her own time?

Thank you, Rachel, for creating a masterpiece I am sure I will reread many times. I'm already looking forward to sharing it with my daughter. Looking forward to the next installment in this captivating series. You rock, girl! Congrats on your debut. You can only go up from here!

View all my reviews