Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Beauty Queens Extravaganza!

My critique partners and I thoroughly enjoyed Beauty Queens, by Libba Bray, and have joined together to do a Beauty Queens extravaganza! Be sure to stop by Lisa Green's and Leslie Rose's blogs for fun facts about them, and for another chance to win a signed copy of this awesome book.

First, the writing lessons I learned from Beauty Queens (I had total writer envy while reading this book, but that's a subject for another post--or a therapist):
  • Brilliant covers help sell books. Seriously, look at that cover. A bathing suit criss-crossed with a sash and a lipstick bandolier? Totally awesome.
  • Crazy, seemingly unrelated storylines intersect to create a unique and clever plot. Beauty queens crash land on a deserted island. Pirates arrive. The girls uncover a conspiracy involving an Elvis-loving dictator. Bray's mind must be a fun, scary, brilliant, intimidating place to visit.
  • Fun footnotes are a cool diversion. John Green did it in An Abundance of Katherines, and Bray did it with Beauty Queens. For me, the footnotes didn't slow down the story. They added more hilarity, and again I marveled at the author's cleverness.
  • Campy, fun books can have teeth. Sure, this book might seem like it's only about self-centered beauty queens, but it carried strong messages about self-esteem, tolerance, and inner beauty.
Throughout the book, readers were treated to the contestants' Miss Teen Dream Fun Facts Pages. In an effort to either entertain you or embarrass ourselves, Lisa, Leslie and I are sharing our own fun facts pages. Here we go!

Miss Teen Dream Fun Facts Page

Name: Julie Musil (although if you visited my home, you'd think it's "Mom, do you know where my ___ is?")
State: California, where you're never too rich or too thin, and everyone has an agent or sells real estate.
Age: Are you trying to be funny? Is The Corporation selling anti-aging pills or something? I should totally sue them. *checks wrinkles in mirror*
Height: I haven't grown an inch since middle school. What does that tell ya?
Weight: See answer to "age". *checks rear view in mirror*
Hair: Are we talking roots? Or after I've seen the colorist? Just checking.
Eyes: Fine--like Elizabeth Bennett's (Mr. Darcy, call me!)
Best Feature: It depends on the day--either my positive attitude or my well-shaped feet.

Fun Facts About Me
  1. At a whopping 5' 1", I'm the tallest female in my family. Seriously. One sister is 4' 9", another is 4' 11", and our mom is just under 5' 1". At least we never had to worry about wearing high heels around guys (Sorry, Nicole Kidman. That had to be rough)
  2. I won't eat meat off the bone, and won't touch any seafood. Like, never. I'm actually squirming right now just thinking about it.
  3. I forget serious, important information, and yet I remember useless stuff. Like Seinfeld-isms (yada yada yada, soup nazi, close talker), the Gilligan's Island theme song (Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale...), and commercials (Remember this chant? Big Mac, filet-of-fish, quarter pounder, french fries. Icy Cokes, thick shakes, sundaes, and apple pies).
Ok guys, it's your turn. We're giving away a SIGNED copy of Beauty Queens! Please tell us at least one fun fact about yourself in order to be entered into our book giveaway. U.S. addresses only, and the deadline is Monday, October 24th, at midnight EST. Good luck!


  1. Ha, what fun. The only fun fact I can share is that I can tie a cherry stem into a knot with my teeth.

  2. You guys are soooo funny! I'm loving these posts! Okay, another fun fact...I took Argentine Tango lessons for 6 months after my 2nd child was born. I still can't tango, but I have the really cool shoes!

  3. Let's see - my fun fact is that I used to love running outside, even ran a marathon a few years ago, but now I'm a treadmill-aholic. Most runners I know think that's crazy, but on my treadmill I get to watch movies.

  4. Hi Julie...I am just two inches taller than you. My friends call me a puny 5 feet 3 inches. I always thought you were tall (from your picture). A fun fact about me: my singing makes a donkey sound musical.

  5. Those storylines are all over the map! Not entering to win, but wanted to point out that there is nothing wrong short women.

  6. LOL, I love this idea. I can touch my elbows together behind my back. Talent competition, here I come!

    Thanks for an awesome contest. I've haven't read anything of Bray's since The Sweet Far Thing.

  7. I'm not entering, just wanted to say that for some reason I'm craving a McDonalds now...

    I love this cover. The book is on my tbr list :-)

  8. I'd LOVE to win this book. What a kick--there are actually footnotes in it? LOL And I had fun reading your fun facts (I noticed how you answered the questions w/o actually ANSWERING the questions--you're tricky).

    My fun fact: In college I got the singer Harry Chapin's autograph (anyone remember him?), and he gave me a kiss along with it. Aw!

  9. Hi guys, thanks so much for sharing your fun facts! You guys are tricky AND cool :D

  10. Wow, Julie! I tower over you at a whopping 5'6." This makes total sense to me. Some of my closest friends are 5'! You'll have to see my wedding pictures...me and three 5' tall bridesmaids. I looked like an Amazon. And my mil was 4'9' at about 80 lbs. I use to be afraid I'd crush her if I hugged too hard! Hmmm, fun fact about me? I used to work for a company that did huge balloon releases. We'd spend hours with our fingers taped filling and tying off balloons. After they were all in a net, we'd cut the lines at the signal and let them go. Try spending hours and hours doing that for minimum wage! *pets laptop* I love writing.

  11. Julie you rock! Loved the fun facts page and your lessons from Libba. There is no height requirement for Divas. ;D

  12. I am 5'6" but never have to worry about heels either because my hubby is 6'5''.
    I am also a fan of hilarious contests.

  13. Hilarious post! One fun fact about me is my best feature: hands down, it's my butt. Everyone says so. I don't get it. I think it's big and flabby, but thanks to Kim Kardashian and Beyonce, my butt is in style. Now if someone would just tell that to the people who make jeans, I'd be all set!

  14. You guys are cracking me up with your fun facts. Keep 'em coming!

  15. love this post!I love all these fun facts you've shared about yourself, Julie!I can totally relate to the height thing. We Filipinos aren't exactly known for being tall. :D


  16. Hey there! What an awesome contest! I've loved Libba Bray since I read "A Great and Terrible Beauty" back in high school.

    My Fun fact: I have a specific meeting place with my friends and family just in case of a zombie invasion. ;)


  17. I'm so excited to read this! (No need to enter me in the contest - I already have a copy waiting to be consumed) :)

  18. One fun fact? Hmmm... I just ate a can of spinach with a tilapia filet for lunch -- and loved every single bite!

  19. one fun fact? I totally remember that McDonald's rap! :D And I haven't grown since middle school either! That must be when it all happens...

    I've been staring at this book a while... hmmm. Maybe if I win it. :D <3

  20. Fun Fact: Since we're doing height I'm 5'11"! I could step over all of you :)
    Alternate Fun Fact : My Mom was in a study for women whose immune systems attacked the fetus during pregnancy. I was the first baby in the study to make it, creating a cure for the disorder. That's more of a cool fact about my Mom than about me, but I am literally a miracle. A tall miracle :)

  21. I saw this on Lisa's blog too! And I said I loved Going Bovine, and that I want to read this book too! :D

    Anyway, I'm not in the U.S. so I'm not participating. But I think it's a wonderful idea! <3

    And I *think* I'm 5'1'' too--though I'm not sure since we measure in centimeters. :)

  22. I used to be 5'2", but now I'm 5'1" too. It's a weird world...

    Now the Gilligan song is running through me head... the Professor & Mary Ann, here on Gilligan's Isle! :)

    Good luck to my US buddies :)

  23. I feel like a giantess at 5'4". So Jules, I'm guessing Lisa and I will never convert you to a sushi eater.

  24. I loved the writing lessons... Thank you!
    Fun fact about me: I gave up bubbles for my bath and now take baths with a scoop of coconut in it. Yummy.

  25. Book covers are essential, especially to self pubbed writers. My nephew, who designed Breakthrough, is also working on something for my next book.

  26. That does sound a funny book, Julie. I share a fun fact with you. My parents always complained I forget useful info and remember useless stuff :) Have a great week!

  27. Oh ho...Miss Julie. (And Michelle Shaw <3) I am 6'1" and can't play a lick of basketball. AND...my best friend is 5'. AND! She's 8 years younger than me. In her wedding, in which she singled me out by adorning me in a big red dress, I looked like a big red Amazonian bulls eye. Seriously. There wasn't a girl in that line of bridesmaids over 5'3", 24 years of age, and 90lbs. LOL...Heels are just a mere dream ;)And I really want this book!

  28. Hehe.. great fun facts! I think I'm 5'2" annnnd a half??

  29. That's funny, I always pictured you very tall!

    And hey, I still remember all the old McD's jingles, like this one: You start off with an English muffin then add cheese & eggs & something really good Canadian bacon, yes that's how we go 'bout makin' breakfast it's a morning treat hotcakes & sausage can't be beat. Made with batter they taste better topped with butter yes indeed it's breakfast, McDonald's breakfast. Made from the very best ingredients we do it all for you. At McDonald's, we do it all for you!

    Okay that's enough! I typed this all out on my iPhone!

  30. I'm snort laughing at this stuff, guys. You're awesome!

  31. Sounds like a fabulous fun book! I'm with you on the useless facts. "Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun. All fifteen words never get said before it's... gone." I can also recite the preamble to the constitution and all the books of the old testament. Sadly, I can't tell you what's on my calendar for tomorrow or what, exactly, it is that I'm supposed to go to WalMart for today.

  32. Okay, so is this is a YA book right? Or adult? Either way, I just wrote a post about MG books that, I quote you because you say it better than I did: have "Crazy, seemingly unrelated storylines intersect to create a unique and clever plot." and was wondering why I haven't seen this technique in YA?

    Funny thing I did (yes, I changed the questions): okay, I revealed one thing I did to my husband that I, at least, thought was funny on Leslie's post. so here's something funny I did to my kids. Based on some MG book I loved when I was a kid (but can't remember the name!!! help!!!) I once tried to convince my kids that you can tell who a real witch is because they don't have toes and you'll never see them take their shoes off. So they spent the rest of the day trying to pry my shoes off.

  33. Wow, I NEVER noticed that was lipstick on the cover. Weird.

    Your #2 and #3 fun facts could mirror mine. But I'm only a shade shorter than Nicole Kidman. I'm six inches taller than my mom (and have been since sixth grade), which makes for very awkward hugs.

  34. Yay, we can be short together! I'm 5'1" too. :)

    This book sounds like so much fun. I love when authors can bring in crazy storylines and make them all work together.

  35. Hello Julie,

    What an exciting contest! My daughter got me into reading the Gemma Doyle Trilogy.

    My fun fact: My dream is to someday become a romance writer. I have four books I've written, but I've never sent them out to publishers yet.

    Megan - LeFemmeDeShalott@aol.com
    Pennsylvania, USA

  36. I remember all of those "useless" things you remember too! Funny.

    I haven't read Beauty Queens yet, but I LOVED Going Bovine!