The Girl Next Door Blog Tour -  A Book and a Latte PR

I’m thrilled to kick-off Selene Castrovilla’s blog tour for The Girl Next DoorSelene is stopping by today to share a scene from The Girl Next Door, along with her thoughts. Check it out below, then be sure to enter for a chance to win a Kindle Fire! Also, buy THE GIRL NEXT DOOR for yourself during the tour, and Selene will donate $1 for every copy sold to help young adults fight against their cancer! And if you donate to AVMF, Selene will send you a signed copy! More details below…

The Girl Next Door by Selene CastrovillaThe Girl Next Door

by Selene Castrovilla

Ebook Publication Date: May 24, 2013

Two teens are forced to make some very grown-up decisions when one of them is diagnosed with terminal cancer, twisting them into an unpredictable nightmare. Best friends since toddlerhood, Samantha and Jesse grapple with the realization that they are actually in love. What now? Beautifully written while handling a very heavy topic, Castrovilla addresses the universal question: In a world where the worst can strike at any time, how can we ever feel safe?

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The Central Park Scene from THE GIRL NEXT DOOR

by Selene Castrovilla

In this scene, Samantha and Jesse are in Central Park. It’s the night of Jesse’s prom, but he won’t go because he has trouble with body coordination, and he doesn’t want everyone to see him like that. He also doesn’t want their pity. So, Sam has created a private prom in their special spot in the park, with stringed lights, picnic basket and blanket.

It’s hard for Sam to get Jesse into the park. He never wants to get out of bed. By bringing Jesse here – the place where they shared so much happiness growing up – she hopes she can trigger his spirit enough to fight for his life.

I chose this scene for several reasons:

  • It showcases the sweet relationship between Sam and Jesse.
  • It reveals Sam’s insecurities and jealousies, because she was only Jesse’s best friend and not his girl friend all these years, even though she secretly loved him.
  • It shows them in their refuge, away from the hustle and noise of Manhattan. They even listen to their special music – ABBA – which they discovered at a Broadway show years earlier.
  • There are lots of sensory details, which I worked my butt off to incorporate!
  • It’s magical, like a fairy­tale romance, despite the horror going on in their lives.
  • It rings true to me, capturing emotions so many teens carry.

But the number one reason I chose this scene is because even though I wrote it years ago,  I still burst into tears reading it.

Let me know what you think!

                        We sat on the blanket and ate. It was a beautiful, clear night. The kind where you couldn’t imagine anything being wrong in the world.

“Oh, I almost forgot,” I said, swooshing taffeta as I got up.

I hit play on the Ipod, and Abba sang to us “Does your mother know that you’re out?”

He hoisted himself up. “Care to dance?” he asked, putting his arms around me. I nestled into his chest, tucking my head under his chin and holding him tight. It felt so good, his body pitched against me. I could stay there always. I listened to his heart beat: Thump. Thump. Thump.

Abba was warning me to take it easy. Easy to say, wasn’t it. But taking it easy didn’t seem within my capacity these days. Tears welled in my eyes; I sniffled.

He looked at me. “What’s wrong?”

“I feel so bad,” I said, tears rubbing into his white shirt. Guilt prickled through my body, goading my tears. How could I be so happy, when Jess shouldn’t have been there at all? “You belong somewhere else,” I told him.

“No I don’t.”

“You do.” He would have been king of the prom–I was sure. “If you could take any girl to the prom tonight, who would it be? Cindy Evans, I bet.” That was an almost sure thing. Other girls who’d been hot for Jess paraded through my mind. “Or Elyse Carmichael. Or Jamie Suthouser. Or Valerie Daniels…”

I had no right, but I felt jealous just then; jealous of the girl who would’ve been in Jesse’s arms if he hadn’t gotten sick. I couldn’t be sure who it would’ve been, but it wouldn’t have been me. I could picture them in silhouette, dancing under a dazzling rainbow of swirling spotlights while the band played Dido. I could see him pulling her closer, closer. I could see their mouths touching…

Jess pressed his finger on my cheek and stared into me, yanking me from my solitary spot by the punch bowl at Tavern on the Green.

God. Those eyes.

Those eyes–they looked right inside.

“I’d take the girl next door.” Jess’s voice was hushed, sincere. He inhaled air in deep bursts, like he was making up for the breath he took from me.

The sky seemed magnified through all my tears. The stars flickered wildly, like the lights on Broadway. Please, I begged them silently, squeezing my eyes shut. Please don’t take Jesse away.

His lips dug into mine, wet and desperate.

Selene Castrovilla

About Selene Castrovilla

Website | Facebook | Twitter | TumblrGoodreads

Selene Castrovilla is an award-winning teen and children’s author who believes that through all trends, humanity remains at the core of literature. She is the author of Saved By the Music and The Girl Next Door, teen novels originally published by WestSide Books and now available digitally through ASD Publishing. Her third children’s book with Calkins Creek Books, Revolutionary Friends, was released in April. She is also a contributing author to UncommonYA. Selene holds an MFA in creative writing from New School University and a BA in English from New York University. She lives on Long Island with her two sons. Visit her website for book excerpts and more information!

Selene Castrovilla and AVM Foundation

Selene is pleased to team with the Anthony V. Mannino Foundation helping young adults in their fight against cancer. She will donate $1 for each book ordered during THE GIRL NEXT DOOR’s Blog Tour! Selene will also send a free autographed copy of THE GIRL NEXT DOOR to anyone who donates $25 or more to the foundation (click here to donate!). For your purchase to count and/or to show proof of donation, just send a screenshot or receipt of your order or donation, along with your shipping address if necessary, through “Drop me a line” in the “Latest News” section of her website,

The AVM Foundation Mission

The Mission of The Anthony V. Mannino Foundation is to financially assist young adults in the age group of 18-28 while they are undergoing their cancer treatment.  They also want to help development support programs to aid this unique age group, with their special needs, as they battle cancer.

AVMF found that Anthony’s age group of 18 plus, doesn’t have the emotional or financial support that other age groups do. They are also aware of the unique situations that this age group faces and want to help those adolescents and their families.


Grand prize is a Kindle Fire + THE GIRL NEXT DOOR ebook (US only), and 10 second prize winners will receive an ebook copy of THE GIRL NEXT DOOR (International).
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule

September 9th
Katie’s Books (Interview & Review)
A Book and a Latte (Excerpt)

September 10th
Books Over Boys (Feature)
Happy Book Lovers (Review)

September 11th
Dear Teen Me (Feature)
Read For Your Future (Review)

September 12th
Books, Authors, Blogs (Guest Post )
Musings From An Addicted Reader (Review)

September 13th
Books and Needlepoint (Review)
alwaysjoart (Review)

September 16th
Writer’s Alley (Interview)
Oops! I Read A Book Again (Review)

September 17th
The Storyteller’s Scroll (Guest Post)
Dana’s YA Bookpile (Review)

September 18th
YaReads (Interview)
My Library in the Making (Review)

September 19th
Once Upon a Twilight (Review)
Total Teen Fiction (Review)

September 20th
The Unconventional Librarian (Guest Post)
Mythical Books (Review)

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8 Responses to Excerpt/Giveaway: The Girl Next Door by Selene Castrovilla

  1. Tammy says:

    Sounds like a tear jerker but a book worth reading. Terminal illnesses are never easy to read about but seeing how the characters handle everything makes it interesting.

    • Jen
      Twitter: bookandlatte

      Yes, it’s definitely a tear jerker, but a beautiful story. I was worried about reading it at first, because I knew it would be sad but it’s so beautifully done, I’m so glad I read it. I recommend it!

  2. Meghan Stith says:

    I have a question for the author: Do you have any actors or actresses in mind if this book were to ever go to film? I know that when I read a book, I immediately cast the roles.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  3. Shannon S. says:

    It sounds like a tear-jerker, the only other book I’ve read about a couple with one person having cancer I believe was A Walk to Remember by Nicholas. The excerpt was touching I hope I get a chance to read this book soon.

  4. Mary Preston says:

    It is a very heavy topic. I can see my heart being broken with this story.

  5. Rena B says:

    Thank you so much for taking the time to do this!

  6. Claira says:

    Aww, I really like seeing the sweet relationship between Sam and Jesse. Looks like a great read, albeit one that will leave me sobbing!!

    Also think the donations to the Anthony V. Mannino Foundation are a great idea. 🙂

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