Monday, April 24, 2017

2 New Releases this week 4/24-2/30 plus 3 Giveaways

Happy Monday! This week, we have three different books up for giveaway, THE WONDER OF US, LOOKING FOR GROUP and THE WHOLE THING TOGETHER. We're also featuring a few more awesome books so don't forget to check out all of them below.

Happy Reading,

Shelly, Sam, Jocelyn, Martina, Erin, Susan, Kelly, Laura, Emily, Anisaa, and Lori Ann


* * * *

The Wonder of Us
by Kim Culbertson
Signed Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

Released 4/25/2017

Riya and Abby are:
Best friends.
Complete opposites.
Living on different continents.
Currently mad at each other.
About to travel around Europe.

Riya moved to Berlin, Germany, with her family for junior year, while Abby stayed behind in their small California town. They thought it would be easy to keep up their friendship--it's only a year and they've been best friends since preschool. But instead, they ended up fighting and not being there for the other. So Riya proposes an epic adventure to fix their friendship. Two weeks, six countries, unimaginable fun. But two small catches:

They haven't talked in weeks.
They've both been keeping secrets.

Can Riya and Abby find their way back to each other among lush countrysides and dazzling cities, or does growing up mean growing apart?

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about The Wonder of Us?

I knew that I wanted my next book to be about friendship. Every book I write is a love story in some way, and I think for many young people, the friends in their lives become their first great loves outside of their own family. I wanted to explore what happened when one such friendship, a deep and long-lasting childhood friendship, suddenly found itself disintegrating. The book explores how a friendship must evolve and change if it wants to survive. The book is also very much about how travel takes us outside ourselves and forces us to hold up our own problems and heartbreaks against the backdrop of an enormous world full of problems and heartbreaks.

Purchase The Wonder of Us at Amazon
Purchase The Wonder of Us at IndieBound
View The Wonder of Us on Goodreads

* * * *

Looking for Group
by Rory Harrison
Hardcover Giveaway (2 Copies)
U.S. Only

Released 4/25/2017

Thelma & Louise meets Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda in a brave, timely YA about two teens who embark on a cross-country road trip.

Dylan doesn’t have a lot of experience with comfort. His room in the falling-down Village Estates can generously be categorized as “squalid,” and he sure as hell isn’t getting any love from his mother, who seemed to—no, definitely did—enjoy the perks that went along with being the parent of a “cancer kid.”

His only escape has been in the form of his favorite video game—World of Warcraft—and the one true friend who makes him feel understood, even if it is just online: Nuba. And now that Dylan is suddenly in remission, he wants to take Nuba on a real mission, one he never thought he’d live to set out on: a journey to a mysterious ship in the middle of the Salton Sea.

But Nuba—real-life name Arden—is fighting her own battles, ones that Dylan can’t always help her win. As they navigate their way west, they grapple with Nuba’s father (who refuses to recognize his daughter’s true gender), Dylan’s addiction, and the messy, complicated romance fighting so hard to blossom through the cracks of their battle-hardened hearts.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Looking for Group?

I love that Dylan and Arden can be emotionally open with each other. I think we spend a lot of time being polite and trying not to make others uncomfortable. That means so many people are lost and hurting and confused and feel alone even in a crowd. Dylan and Arden may struggle to make conversation sometimes, but their fear and joy, anger and curiosity are all on the surface for each other. Together, they can surrender their polite lies-- and find out who they really are.

Purchase Looking for Group at Amazon
Purchase Looking for Group at IndieBound
View Looking for Group on Goodreads

* * * *

The Whole Thing Together
by Ann Brashares
Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

Delacorte Press
Released 4/25/2017

Summer for Sasha and Ray means the sprawling old house on Long Island. Since they were children, they’ve shared almost everything—reading the same books, running down the same sandy footpaths to the beach, eating peaches from the same market, laughing around the same sun-soaked dining table. Even sleeping in the same bed, on the very same worn cotton sheets. But they’ve never met.

Sasha’s dad was once married to Ray’s mom, and together they had three daughters: Emma, the perfectionist; Mattie, the beauty; and Quinn, the favorite. But the marriage crumbled and the bitterness lingered. Now there are two new families—and neither one will give up the beach house that holds the memories, happy and sad, of summers past.

The choices we make come back to haunt us; the effect on our destinies ripples out of our control…or does it? This summer, the lives of Sasha, Ray, and their siblings intersect in ways none of them ever dreamed, in a novel about family relationships, keeping secrets, and most of all, love.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about The Whole Thing Together?

I like that it's a story about a family. It's an unconventional family and it's also an unconventional YA in that it involves characters of all ages. I really enjoyed writing all those people. Every family has its own unique ecosystem, and it was an intriguing challenge to discover the particular feel of this domestic sprawl.

Purchase The Whole Thing Together at Amazon
Purchase The Whole Thing Together at IndieBound
View The Whole Thing Together on Goodreads


Missing by Kelley Armstrong: Catherine C.
The Adjustment by Suzanne Young: Danielle G.


* * * *

Maud: A Novel Inspired by the Life of L.M. Montgomery
by Melanie Fishbane
Penguin Teen
Released 4/25/2017

For the first time ever, a young adult novel about the teen years of L.M. Montgomery, the author who brought us ANNE OF GREEN GABLES.

Fourteen-year-old Lucy Maud Montgomery — Maud to her friends — has a dream: to go to college and become a writer, just like her idol, Louisa May Alcott. But living with her grandparents on Prince Edward Island, she worries that this dream will never come true. Her grandfather has strong opinions about a woman's place in the world, and they do not include spending good money on college. Luckily, she has a teacher to believe in her, and good friends to support her, including Nate, the Baptist minister's stepson and the smartest boy in the class. If only he weren't a Baptist; her Presbyterian grandparents would never approve. Then again, Maud isn't sure she wants to settle down with a boy — her dreams of being a writer are much more important.

But life changes for Maud when she goes out West to live with her father and his new wife and daughter. Her new home offers her another chance at love, as well as attending school, but tensions increase as Maud discovers her stepmother's plans for her, which threaten Maud's future — and her happiness forever.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Maud: A Novel Inspired by the Life of L.M. Montgomery?

That is a very interesting question! Probably that it exists in this world and not in my head. ☺

I would also say that the book design is just beautiful. Lisa Jager did a fantastic job. A lovely touch is how she put leafs under the dedication to my grandfather. That meant a lot.

Purchase Maud: A Novel Inspired by the Life of L.M. Montgomery at Amazon
Purchase Maud: A Novel Inspired by the Life of L.M. Montgomery at IndieBound
View Maud: A Novel Inspired by the Life of L.M. Montgomery on Goodreads


* * * *

Lucky Girl
by Amanda Maciel
Balzer + Bray
Released 4/25/2017

Lucky Girl is an unflinching exploration of beauty, sexual assault, and self-worth, from the author of the acclaimed novel Tease. Perfect for readers of Sara Zarr and Courtney Summers.

Being a pretty girl is who Rosie is, but it’s the start of a new school year and she wants to be more. Namely, she’s determined to be better to her best friend, Maddie, who’s just back from a summer program abroad having totally blossomed into her own looks. Rosie isn’t thrilled when Maddie connects with a football player who Rosie was hooking up with—but if it makes her friend happy, she’s prepared to move on. Plus someone even more interesting has moved to town: Alex, who recently garnered public attention after he stopped a classmate from carrying out a shooting rampage at his old high school. Rosie is drawn to Alex in a way she’s never really experienced for a boy before—and she is surprised to discover that, unlike every other guy, he seems to see more to her than her beauty.

Then one night, in the midst of a devastating storm, Rosie suffers an assault that tears apart her life and friendship with Maddie. Forced to face uncomfortable truths about beauty, reputation, and what it really means to be a friend, Rosie realizes that change doesn’t always happen the way you want it to—every disaster has consequences. But with a lot of help and the right people around you, there might also be a way forward.

Purchase Lucky Girl at Amazon
Purchase Lucky Girl at IndieBound
View Lucky Girl on Goodreads

* * * *

Saint Death
by Marcus Sedgwick
Roaring Brook Press
Released 4/25/2017

A propulsive, compelling, and unsparing novel set in the grimly violent world of the human and drug trade on the US-Mexican border.

On the outskirts of Juarez, Arturo scrapes together a living working odd jobs and staying out of sight. But his friend Faustino is in trouble: he's stolen money from the narcos to smuggle his girlfriend and her baby into the US, and needs Arturo's help to get it back. To help his friend, Arturo must face the remorseless world of drug and human traffickers that surrounds him, and contend with a murky past.

Hovering over his story is the unsparing divinity Santa Muerte, Saint Death--and the relentless economic and social inequalities that haunt the border between Mexico and its rich northern neighbor. Crafted with poetry and cinematic pace and narrated with cold fury, Saint Death is a provocative tour de force from three-time Printz Award honoree Marcus Sedgwick.

Purchase Saint Death at Amazon
Purchase Saint Death at IndieBound
View Saint Death on Goodreads

* * * *

by Jenny McLachlan
Feiwel & Friends
Released 4/25/2017

Kat can't believe her family is sending her to Sweden for the summer. But without her friends Bea and Betty, or even a phone signal, can Kat make it on her own?

In a land of saunas and summer sun, Kat soon realizes she has nowhere to hide. It's time to let go of what she thinks people want her to be, so she can embrace who she really is. Especially if she's going to win the heart of the cute Swede Leo.

Kat soon finds that when you're surrounded by phosphorescence and wonder it's easy to sparkle. Or maybe you only shine when you're true to yourself.

Purchase Sunkissed at Amazon
Purchase Sunkissed at IndieBound
View Sunkissed on Goodreads

Sunday, April 23, 2017

0 YA Sunday Morning News: This Week for Writers 4/23/17

Happy Sunday!

In your YA Sunday Morning News this week, I have a ton of YA book to movie updates, and some truly great articles on writing craft.


Writing for Publication—Before the Sale:

Writing for Publication—Book Marketing and Social Media:

Author Interviews:

Adventures in YA Publishing Author Interviews:

Literary Agent News and Interviews:

Writing and Pitch Contests:

Writing Craft:

Writing Inspiration:

Publishing News & Trends:

New YA E-Book Deals:

New YA Book Giveaways:

YA New Book Deals and Releases:
Just for Fun:

If there’s a news story or blog post you found particularly interesting, please share it in the comments!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

0 Ann Brashares, author of THE WHOLE THING TOGETHER, on building a book in layers

We're thrilled to have Ann Brashares here to tell us more about her latest novel THE WHOLE THING TOGETHER.

How long did you work on THE WHOLE THING TOGETHER? 

I started thinking about it three years ago. It took me a little over two years and a lot of drafts to get the story down.

What did this book teach you about writing or about yourself? 

In the past I thought you had to get the essential story down in the first draft, and if you didn't, you probably never would. Sure you could fix a book up in subsequent drafts, I thought, but you couldn't build it that way. I don't think that anymore. This book came to exist in layers.

What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc? 

I typically work at the library until I get a feel for a book and start to enjoy it. Once I am underway I can write almost anywhere. Sometimes at the beginning of a work day I listen to music to establish a certain kind of feeling or tone in my head, but once the characters start talking I stop hearing it.

0 Hanna Nowinski, author of MEG & LINUS, on the first draft not being meant to be pretty

We are excited to be joined by Hanna Nowinski to get the inside scoop on her debut novel MEG & LINUS.

Hanna, how long did you work on MEG & LINUS?

The initial draft didn't take that long - between six and eight weeks. I took a couple more weeks after that to edit. Once I start a project I try to focus on it entirely and take very little time off, so I go through those initial stages pretty fast. After my work with the first draft is done, I have to wait for my beta readers to get a chance to look it over. Beta readers are great and can really speed up the editing process because you get a fresh perspective and a faster idea of what works and what you have to cut. I had several friends reading it over, but they were all really fast, too, so I didn't have to wait more than another four weeks at most until I'd heard back from all of them. I needed about another month after that to go over their suggestions and fix everything up before I submitted it. So all in all it took me less than half a year between starting the project and submitting it. I don't always work that fast, but I jumped right into this story and just kept going until it was done. Of course the editing process after I'd signed my contract took longer than that.

0 Kelley Armstrong, author of MISSING, on refusing her editor's suggestion

We're glad we didn't miss the opportunity to chat with Kelley Armstrong, where we learned more about her latest novel MISSING. 

Kelley, what was your inspiration for writing MISSING?

I love Southern gothics, and within a short space of time, I read an article on small town Appalachia and saw a blurb for a movie about a boy being found in a forest. Those three things coalesced into an idea for a story, about a girl growing up in one of those towns, who finds a boy in the forest and starts unraveling deep, dark family secrets.

What scene was really hard for you to write and why, and is that the one of which you are most proud?

One of the toughest scenes wasn’t emotionally difficult but just very, very tricky to get right (or to a point that I was comfortable with it.) When Winter first meets Jude, he holds her captive, demanding answers about his missing brother. But Jude is the male lead, not the villain, so I had to walk a very fine line with that scene. Winter is justifiably furious, and it must be clear that Jude thinks she’s involved in his brother’s disappearance and that he’d never do this otherwise. I edited and finessed that scene a lot to get it where I wanted it.

Friday, April 21, 2017

0 On Writing Lessons and the Power of Failure Learned from NASA by Shelley Sackier

Here's a fabulous, and inspirational!, post for all of us writers from Shelley Sackier to
keep us focused on our goals even while we embrace our failures. What great insight she has! Please be sure to check out her new release, The Freemason's Daughter, at the end of her post!

How to Botch a Rocket Launch by Shelley Sackier

(And other super important writing lessons from NASA)

Yeah, you read that right. NASA. I’ve learned more about craft of writing from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration than I have from the one gazillion how to books lining my workspace shelves. And that’s not meant as a dig to any of the fine titles filled with sage words and collected wisdom I refer to on a daily basis, because those guys have been there for me too. They’ve become dependable, trustworthy, dog-eared old friends I repeatedly turn to for advice and guidance. But ultimately? Yep. NASA, hands down, gets the gold.

Except it’s not just writing skills I’ve learned from the pile of scientists and engineers all pulling levers and pushing buttons behind the great big curtains at any of their national space centers. They’ve passed on Life Skills. Life Lessons. A guide entitled Here’s the map to finding your dreams.

And never once have they asked for a thank you.

Let me explain.

0 Thank You to the Participants and Mentors of April's 1st 5 Pages Workshop!

Congratulations to all of the participants who worked so hard during our April 1st 5 Pages Writing Workshop! And a big thanks to our wonderful guest mentors, Jennifer Longo as our author mentor and Justin Wells as our agent mentor! They both provided terrific critiques. And as always, thank you to our talented and fabulous permanent mentors, who read, comment, and cheer on our participants every month!

The May writing workshop will open on Saturday, May 6, at noon EST. The workshop is designed to help writers struggling to find the right opening for their novel or for those looking to perfect the all important first five pages before submitting for publication. Why the first five pages? Because if these aren't perfect, no agent, editor, or reader will continue reading to find out how great the rest of your story really is!

Why is the First Five Pages Workshop a GREAT Opportunity?
  • You are mentored by at least two traditionally-published published or agented authors for the duration of the workshop. These authors have been through the trenches and know what it takes to get a book deal, solid reviews, and sales. 
  • In addition, you receive feedback from the four other workshop participants. 
  • Feedback is given not just on your initial submission, but on two subsequent opportunities to revise your manuscript based on the previous feedback so that you know you've got it right! 
  • The final revision will also be reviewed by a literary agent, who will also give you feedback on the pitch for your story--the one that may eventually become your query letter or cover copy. 
  • The best entry from among the workshop participants will receive a critique of the full first chapter or first ten pages from the mentoring agent, which may, in some cases, lead to requests for additional material.

How It Works
Please see the complete rules before entering the workshop, but in a nutshell, we'll take the first five Middle Grade or Young Adult entries that meet all guidelines and formatting requirements. (Double check the formatting - each month we have to disqualify entries because of formatting.) Click here to get the rules. I will post when the workshop opens and closes on Adventures in YA Publishing and on twitter (@etcashman), with the hashtag #1st5pages. In addition to the rotating team of our wonderful permanent author mentors, the final entry for each workshop participant will be critiqued by our agent mentor.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

0 Writing 101: Can You Feel a Draft?

**This post is part of the Writing 101: From Concept to Query (and Beyond!) series. For an overview of planned posts, take a look at the series introduction**

So you want to write a novel. 

Congratulations! You're about to embark on a journey that is equal parts exhilaration, frustration, and desperation. Many begin, fewer finish, but I'm here today to provide you with some tools for success. We'll look at some of the methods authors use when drafting, and talk about the one thing every writer who both starts a book and--more importantly--finishes it, learns at some point. 

Plotting versus Pantsing

To start with, let's talk plotting versus pantsing. 

Plotting is the process of planning out your story structure prior to beginning the drafting process. It can be as elaborate as detailed scene by scene descriptions written out on cue cards that cover an entire wall (making you look, to your unenlightened friends, like a budding serial killer). It can be as simple as a one page outline listing the main points of your plot. Pantsing, conversely, is a term derived from the phrase "flying by the seat of their pants" and is the process of writing without an established story structure. Those who really, truly pants their way through a novel have no idea what the story will hold, instead choosing to watch it unfold like a flower before them. 

Both methods have their advantages and disadvantages. Plotting thoroughly can greatly reduce the amount of time you spend in revisions (because, repeat after me, I WILL REVISE MY NOVEL BEFORE SENDING IT INTO THE WORLD). Plotting also provides a useful reference if you can't remember off the top of your head what comes next or where you've been before. Pantsing, on the other hand, allows for more spontaneity. If you decide to change a major plot point partway through drafting, no sweat. You have no established plot to mess up, anyway. 

Many writers fall somewhere in between being a dedicated plotter or a die hard pantser. I myself am one of them. My process is generally to sort out the beginning, the end, and a few major plot points in between. I may write them down, or I may not, because they're all subject to change if I feel the story needs to move in a different direction. As I write and figure out where subplots or smaller story arcs will take me, I leave brief notes in my draft highlighting what will happen in the next two or three chapters. As always, those notes are used or ignored as needed. So while my plotting is very rudimentary, fluid, and changes frequently, I'm not a true pantser in that I do go into my first drafts with a rough idea of where I'm headed. True pantsers often write something called a zero draft initially--the draft in which they sort out the shape of the story as they go. From that zero draft, they write a more cohesive first draft. 

If you think pantsing is the route for you, go forth and make a gorgeous, creative mess! If, however, you want to try your hand at plotting, whether it be to make a simple outline like I do, or to go really in depth, this post lists some of the most common plotting methods. Give it a read, take a look at different ways writers plot, and try one that seems like a good fit for you. 

I will warn you that if this is your first time attempting to draft a novel, it may take awhile to figure out your process. Keep calm, carry on, and try different things to see what works. 

Wisdom for the Road

Now that you've learned a bit about pantsing versus plotting and are considering which approach to use while writing your novel, I have a crucial piece of drafting advice to give you. In fact, this is the most vital piece of drafting advice any writer can ever receive. 

Your initial draft will suck. 

This is just the way of first drafts. No matter how much you plot or pants, they always, ALWAYS, require revision. What you want to walk away from the drafting process with isn't a polished book. You want to walk away with potential. You want to walk away with raw material that you can shape into a beautiful end product through diligent editing. So on days when it's hard, on days when the words won't flow, on days when you're certain that what you're putting down on the page is complete and unadulterated drivel, press on. So what if it is drivel? That's what edits are for. Diamonds don't spring out of the earth flawless and multi-faceted--you have to dig deep to reach them, and once they've been brought to light they need to be cut and polished. 

Your book is the same. Dig deep, and don't look for perfection. 

At least not to start with. 

Next week, we'll talk about cutting and polishing your diamonds in the rough, aka the revision process. As always, if you have any questions or dazzling insights into the literary process, leave them in the comments below!

About the Author

Laura Weymouth is AYAP's contest coordinator, working to create opportunities for you to get samples of your work in front of agents right here on Adventures in YA Publishing.

Laura lives on the edge of the woods in western New York, along with her husband, two wild-hearted daughters, a spoiled cat, and an indeterminate number of chickens. Her YA fantasy debut, THE WEIGHT OF WORLDS, is forthcoming from HarperTeen in the fall of 2018.

You can follow Laura on Twitter and add her book on Goodreads.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

2 WoW Wednesday: Cyndy Etler on Karma and how to keep trying

Today, we're thrilled to welcome Cyndy Etler to WoW Wednesdays with a special guest post on Karma and the writing waiting game. After the post, there's a bit of info about Cyndy and her bestselling book, THE DEAD INSIDE. But now, here's Cyndy!

My Tip for Publishing Success: Try, Try…and Try and Try and Try
WOW Wednesday Guest Post by Cyndy Etler

            Because I believe in karma, I was sure I had this on lock. I’m the girl who gives paper money to panhandlers. I’m the one painstakingly refolding Gap t-shirts ‘till they’re perfect, so Gap store workers don’t have to do work. I rescue dogs, eat vegetarian, and move squirming pavement worms back to the grass. Plus my whole early life was torture. Plus my one single dream is to be a New York Times bestselling author. So, karma. It was bound to happen, just, automatically: my self-published book would fly to the top of the bestseller list. Right? Wrong.
            My book walked, but it didn’t fly. It went places, but not to the top of the bestseller list. And the movement it made wasn’t thanks to karma. It was thanks to hard frigging work on my part. It moved because I never quit trying, even when trying seemed stupid and embarrassing and impossible.
            Let me jump to the good part first: my book is now a #1 new release on Amazon. Let me throw the bad news at you next: it took ten years to get there. Let me put a Band-aid on that cut: I can tell you what it takes to jump from there to here: trying, nonstop.
            In 2012 my first book was a completed, polished manuscript, and it was good. So good, my literary hero read and blurbed it. She even recommended it to her literary agent. I was in like Flynn! Lookout, y’all: karma at work! Except…no. It wasn’t a right fit for her agent’s list.
            Cue the sad trombone.
            But…I kept trying.
            I went to a writing conference, and an agent I met there asked for a partial! She asked for a full! She told me she loved it! Karma, the comeback kid! Or…not. She ended up regretfully declining.
            Call the therapist.
            But…I kept trying.
            After a hundred queries, and a hundred nice no-thank-yous, I take my sad butt to the woods. To the trail I’ve hiked a trillion times. To the trail I know better than my own toilet seat. I start walking, and I ask the trees, in agony-voice, “What am I supposed to do? Should I quit querying agents and self-publish?”
            I look down and notice something’s different: the path. It’s clear. No leaves, no pine straw. For the first time in six years of hiking on this trail, it’s plain dirt. So…someone swept all six miles of this trail this morning?!
            “The path is clear,” I tell the trees. “Wait—the path is clear!  I need to self-publish!” Karma speaks!
            So I try in a new direction. I hire a killer cover designer. I take a book publicity course. I make bookmarks with my giveaway details—“Write an Amazon review; win an Amazon giftcard!”—and tuck ‘em into every copy ordered. I rack up reviews. I get media coverage. I’m selling books. It’s enough.
            So I kind of quit trying. For, like, years.
            Until an author friend, who hit lit-fame in the 1990s, then dropped out of the game due to a B.S. allergy, sent me an email: “I’m querying some agents in Europe, where they understand sunshine and daisies aren’t the only thing that sells.”
            And what the hell, I think. I’ll throw a few queries out there, too.
            And bang! I have three partial-requests in three days.
            And bang! I have a full request a week later.
            And bang! my badass agent is Fed Ex-ing me a contract.
            And bang! I’m signing with the 10th-biggest publisher in the U.S.
            The Dead Inside, the revised version of my first young adult memoir, was released 11 days ago….and it’s Amazon’s #1 new release in the Teen and Young Adult Depression and Mental Health category. And it’s in the top five of the Teens-Personal Health-Drug and Alcohol Abuse category. And I’m getting messages from friends across the country, across the world, that their local bookstore is sold out, and that their library bought multiple copies, and that there’s already a waiting list for them. Shoot, it’s on the shelf at the Barnes and Noble five miles from your house. Right this very second. It’s there. It’s not on The New York Times bestseller list—not yet anyway—but it’s moving. It’s going places. It’s not walking now, it’s hustling.

            So I guess karma does work. Just…maybe it takes its own sweet time. So if you want my advice, I’m gonna say this: keep working. Keep trying. Try everything. And then try something else. Because trying + time + karma=win.

Byline: Cyndy Etler (@cdetler) is the author of Amazon-bestselling YA memoir The Dead Inside (Sourcebooks Fire). The Dead Inside takes readers into Straight Inc., a treatment program described by the ACLU as “a concentration camp for throwaway teens.”
Twitter: @cdetler | Website:

For readers of Girl Interrupted and Tweak, Cyndy Etler's gripping memoir gives readers a glimpse into the harrowing reality of her sixteen months in the notorious "tough love" program the ACLU called "a concentration camp for throwaway kids."

I never was a badass. Or a slut, a junkie, a stoner, like they told me I was. I was just a kid looking for something good, something that felt like love. I was a wannabe in a Levi's jean jacket. Anybody could see that. Except my mother. And the professionals at Straight.

From the outside, Straight Inc. was a drug rehab. But on the inside it was...well, it was something else.

All Cyndy wanted was to be loved and accepted. By age fourteen, she had escaped from her violent home, only to be reported as a runaway and sent to a "drug rehabilitation" facility that changed her world.

To the public, Straight Inc. was a place of recovery. But behind closed doors, the program used bizarre and intimidating methods to "treat" its patients. In her raw and fearless memoir, Cyndy Etler recounts her sixteen months in the living nightmare that Straight Inc. considered "healing."