Friday, October 28, 2016

1 Starting the YALLFest adventure


YALLFest is coming! YALLFest is coming!


November in Charleston is my favorite time of year. Not because the weather is the perfect kind of cool where you don't sweat but don't need a jacket. Not because the mosquitoes are finally returning to the hell from whence they came. But because it’s time for YALLFest!

YALLFest started six years ago, bringing a smorgasbord of amazing young adult authors to Charleston, SC, and since it’s just down the road from me, I’ve attended every year bouncing around like a kid in a candy store.

And it’s always amazing! The authors are both hilarious and entertaining, and seeing the sheer volume of YA fans geeking out over their favorite books is inspiring.

This year YALLFest is November 11-12th, so there’s still time to plan a trip to the beautiful Lowcountry. But if getting your Charleston on isn’t in the cards …

… don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! I’m covering YALLFest for AYAP, and I’ll be interviewing some of the YALLFest authors about their Adventures in YA Publishing and sharing what I discover.

Susan Sipal, our Craft guest post editor, has kindly allowed me to hijack her Friday slot for a while, so stayed tuned for all the YALLFest fun and excitement you can stand.

Are you attending YALLFest this year? Which authors are you most excited to see? Any particular questions you want me to ask? Let me know in the comments!

Happy reading,


0 Free 1st 5 Pages Writing Workshop opens November 5!

Our November workshop will open for entries on Saturday, November 5 at noon, EST. 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 it opens and closes on Adventures in YA Publishing and on twitter (@etcashman), with the hashtag #1st5pages. In addition to our wonderful permanent mentors, we have Nancy Ohlin as our author mentor, and Tracy Marchini as our agent mentor.

We will be taking a hiatus for December, opening again in January, 2017! So get those pages ready - we usually fill up in under a minute!

November Guest Mentor: Nancy Ohlin

Nancy was born in Tokyo and divided her childhood between there and Ohio. She received a BA in English from the University of Chicago. She is the author of the YA novels CONSENT, BEAUTY, and ALWAYS, FOREVER (Simon Pulse).  As a ghostwriter/collaborator, her credits include several New York Times-bestselling novels as well as nearly a hundred other books for children and teens. She lives in Ithaca, NY. 


In this sexy and intriguing novel, an intense—and passionate—bond between a high school senior and her music teacher becomes a public scandal that threatens the reputation of both.

Bea has a secret. Actually, she has more than one. There’s her dream for the future that she can’t tell anyone—not her father and not even her best friend, Plum.

And now there’s Dane Rossi. Dane is hot, he shares Bea’s love of piano, and he believes in her.
He’s also Bea’s teacher.

When their passion for music crosses into passion for each other, Bea finds herself falling completely for Dane. She’s never felt so wanted, so understood, so known to her core. But the risk of discovery carries unexpected surprises that could shake Bea entirely. Bea must piece together what is and isn’t true about Dane, herself, and the most intense relationship she’s ever experienced in this absorbing novel.

Get a copy!
Amazon Barnes & Noble Book Depository IndieBound

November Guest Agent Mentor: Tracy Marchini

After four years as a Literary Agents Assistant at Curtis Brown, Tracy Marchini left to pursue her own editorial business and to earn her MFA in Writing for Children from Simmons College. Her editorial clients have gone on to secure representation, sell books to traditional publishers, win awards and become bestsellers in the UK. She’s looking forward to being able to work with her BookEnds clients throughout their careers and to (hopefully!) see them grow as authors in the same way.

Tracy is looking for picture book, middle grade and young adult manuscripts across most genres, including contemporary, mysteries, thrillers, magical realism, historical fiction, and non-fiction. She is not a good fit for YA horror, true crime, hard sci-fi, or high fantasy. At this time, she is not looking for board books or early chapter books.

You can contact Tracy at or follow her on Twitter at

Thursday, October 27, 2016

0 Red Light/Green Light Round One Entries Announced!

Today's the day! I have the great pleasure of introducing our first round Red Light/Green Light contestants. This round, as we have a smaller pool of participants, you'll all start out being judged on your first and second lines. Marisa Corvisiero, our judging agent, will choose ten participants from this group to proceed to the following round, at which point you'll be judged on your three paragraph pitches. Thanks so much for sharing your words with us, and GOOD LUCK!

Alexander Gartner

"I saw you die, Lady Shaola."

His wiry frame rose to meet her, his  bony fingers probing for her straw-colored hair.

Kristi McManus

All I could feel was pain. No other senses were noticeable.

Audra McElyea

I envied her luscious, perfectly styled blonde hair as I watched her browse the store. I was regrettably having a bad hair day myself.

Kalyn Josephson

Sometimes all I could think about was fire.

I'd see it in the reflection of the sun on the gray castle walls, or in a flash of red hair flickering in the wind.

Christian Smith

I never believed in ghosts until the day I died.

The darkness, the screaming, the fires--I could replay it all as if it had happened just five minutes ago.

Sarah Aspen

My fingertips brush along well worn spines until coming to a book squeezed between Bipolar Teens and Cognitive Therapies of Schizophrenia. This is the one I'm looking for.

Robin Hall

The first time I met Jeremy Davies he didn't break my heart, but he broke my ribs, and that was close enough. Since that day in fifth grade, my ribs seem to always know when Jeremy is close by.

Taylor Rew

Sloan Pepper was losing her footing. She eyed the ground, estimated about sixty feet between herself and death, and dug her nails into the cliff.

Carla Reighard

Until she was six years old, Triana's life had been delightfully normal for a mermaid. Her parents, Tymon and Anastasia, had surrounded her with security, laughter, and love, but that had ended abruptly when they had tragically died.

Beth Wertz

The only thing Raya Steadwell could think as she stood next to her brand new locker was how much she hoped no one would have the opportunity to step on her that day. She hadn't had an episode in years, but, as her mother kept reminding her since they'd moved, her disease tended to resurface in stressful situations, and moving to a new town for her freshman year of high school probably qualified as stressful.

Jessica Ryno

She made her way down the dark tunnel, simultaneously trying to ignore and name the irritating weight in her gut. Nervousness?

Nancy Foster

"I am totally against it. The idea of taking in two children I never have met before isn't my responsibility."

Tara Lehmann

Three hours. Three impossible hours, and the only sound to be heard in the entire house was the deafening shriek of the dying.

Karen Bynum

Earthworms of anxiety knotted in Madelece's belly. She'd barely slept the night before.

Amanda Malamut

The first thing that Joan could remember was a crippling bright light. The next was that she felt absolutely exhausted.

Lana Kondryuk

When your mom is a walking lie detector, you master the art of withholding the truth.

Sitting under a shady oak, I grab the closest sack full of flowers and tie it tightly with a twine.

Kelly Barina

As I hurried down the castle's vast stone corridor to meet my half-brother for the first time, his name echoed around me, whispered like a curse: Mordred.

The vaulted doorway of the Great Hall loomed ahead, hewn from stone older than the ages.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

1 Finding Your Tribe

This week we are happy to welcome Ilima Todd, author of REMAKE, to our blog as she discusses the importance of finding your tribe!

"There are thousands of writers out there who are going through the same thing you are... You don’t have to go this route alone. So get out there and find your tribe!"

After starting my writing journey several years ago, I’m currently writing my twelfth novel. I’ve written everything from short stories to novels with six-digit word counts, middle grade adventures to young adult sci-fi and adult romance. I’m with my third literary agent, have been published by a small press and a Big 5 publisher, and have shelved several books which will probably never see anyone’s eyes but my own. Through all of the ups and downs of writing and publication, I’ve learned the importance of having a support group to help me through the inevitable bumps along the road. So today I’d like to talk about finding your tribe.

Tribe (trīb/) noun: a social division in a traditional society consisting of families or communities linked by social, economic, religious, or blood ties, with a common culture and dialect.

I can’t think of a better definition for the people who decide to join this crazy adventure of writing. We are a unique community linked by our love of stories. We have our own language, behaviors, and motivations. United by the medium we use for creating art, it’s no wonder that we can find both solace and support from others within this writing community.

When I first decided to write a book, I searched “how to write a novel” on the internet. With a love of reading but no experience writing at all, I stumbled upon a plotting method called the Snowflake Method. The process helped me go from a small, one sentence idea and expand outward slowly until I had a well-outlined story. Over the next six months, I wrote my first book in longhand in a spiral notebook. I enjoyed the writing process so much it made me giddy at times, and I grew to love my “writing time” each day.

The first time I shared my words was when I handed that book out to family and friends to read. Though I realize now that book was terrible, they said they loved it and enjoyed it, giving me the confidence to start another story. It was around this time that I first had thoughts about pursuing publishing. I only knew two writers at the time (neither published yet), and one of them told me about a local writing conference, so I signed up and took my first novel to workshop. Not only did I learn that I had a very long road of learning to write in front of me, it was the first time I was ever around other writers. 

"One of the ugly truths about writing is that it’s hard, it takes an emotional toll sometimes, and you will want to quit—probably more than once."

This was a different sort of tribe than my friends and family. These people would have long conversations about imaginary friends, authors they admired, and how to choose points of view. They’d brainstorm ways to fast draft, discuss the best plotting tools, and ask who would be doing NaNoWriMo that year. I’d never experienced anything like it before, and I felt like these people got it. They got me.

The best thing that came out of that first conference was finding my critique group. We were all a bit starry-eyed newbies with dreams of publication, and I love that we’ve experienced all our writer “firsts” together through the years as we’ve stretched and grown. Though we live all over the country, we’ve managed to stay together with daily emails, crit-group retreats, and attending more writing conferences together. I’ve come to depend on them not only for beta reads and revision feedback, but also for the cheerleading and support that carries me through the latest I-Want-To-Quit episode. They understand my struggles as a writer, and they’ve become close enough friends whom I can depend on through other life obstacles.

One of the ugly truths about writing is that it’s hard, it takes an emotional toll sometimes, and you will want to quit—probably more than once. I know that if I didn’t have a support system in place, I would have stopped writing years ago. And the times where I had to go without sleep for days to meet a deadline would have been a lot more miserable if I didn’t have the prayers and cheers of those supporters helping me.

Your tribe doesn’t have to be people you see everyday, as I can attest by my critique group. And it doesn’t have to be friends or family—especially if you’re surrounded by people who aren’t as thrilled about your writing pursuits as you are. Sometimes your tribe can be devoted readers who tweet support, or the stack of fan mail you have in a special file to read and buoy yourself on a hard day. I have several writer friends I’ve never met in real life, yet I’ve come to depend on their advice and counseling through social media writing groups or online comments. I attend and teach at several writing conferences each year and look forward to the special magic that forms wherever artists gather. I’ve even turned to books and blogposts by people I admire that keep me going when I just want to give up.

"Through all of the ups and downs of writing and publication, I’ve learned the importance of having a support group to help me through the inevitable bumps along the road."

The most important thing to remember, I think, is that you’re not alone. Sometimes writing feels like a solitary pursuit…just you and your computer in an isolated room. But there are thousands of writers out there who are going through the same thing you are. Who struggle with their current plot or character or lack of motivation to write. There are so many resources available—whether it’s for writing craft or emotional health. You don’t have to go this route alone. So get out there and find your tribe!


by Ilima Todd
Simon Pulse
Released 7/5/2016

When seventeen-year-old Nine realizes that the promised freedom of Remake Day is a lie, her courage, heart, and beliefs are put to the test as she fights to regain control of her future.

Nine is the ninth female born in her batch of ten females and ten males. But Nine isn’t like every other batcher. She is worried about her upcoming Remake Day. That’s the day when she and the others in her batch will leave Freedom Province and fly to the Remake facility. There they can choose who—and what—they want to be. Everything from hair color to name to occupation to gender is theirs to select. Sounds perfect…but is it?

When something goes terribly wrong, Nine discovers that everything she thought she knew to be true about life outside of the Freedom Providence is actually a lie. Things that she’d been told were bad can be good, and decisions that she thought were hers to make have already been made for her.

Pulled between two worlds and two lives, Nine will have to decide what’s most important for her and her future. Her decisions will test her courage, her heart, and her beliefs. Who can she trust? Who does she love? And most importantly, who will she decide to be?

Ilima Todd was born and raised on the north shore of Oahu and dives for octopus with her dad every time she visits—otherwise she’s diving into books in the Rocky Mountains where she lives with her husband and four children.

She graduated from BYU with a degree in physics and eats copious amounts of raw fish and avocados without regret. But mostly she loves being a wife and mama and wouldn’t trade that job for anything in the world.

Website  |  Goodreads  |  Twitter  |  Facebook

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

4 ILLUSION Is On Shelves Now! + A Celebration Teal Cover Giveaway!!!!

It's HERE! It's HERE!

The final book of the Heirs of Watson Island trilogy is here, and I'm so excited to finally get to unveil the full magic and mystery and share the resolution to Barrie and Eight's story and all the tangled relationships.

If you want a signed or personalized copy, with swag, for any of the books, here's your last chance to get your order in through tonight at One More Page Books in Arlington, VA. And if you're in the DC area, join us for a beach party Watson Island style!

Order Signed Books Here

— What folks are saying about Illusion —

This book was such an incredible ending to an amazing, complex, and beautiful series. I love this series, I love these characters, and I love the way this book made me think about the world and all the issues we face every day. Brilliant.
Andye Eppes, Reading Teen
The conclusion to this gothic trilogy of love and folklore goes above and beyond its predecessors to bring the reader even more magic, more family history, and — hard to believe if you’ve read the first two — more edge-of-your-seat action. Every character has more depth accompanying growth, and Boone masterfully explores family history while propelling the story forward at a healthy clip. Authors take note: when bringing a series to a powerful close, Illusion shows how it’s done.
Maureen Stinger, Bookseller
A fabulous crescendo for the Heirs of Watson Island series! Martina Boone delivers a rich, satisfying, thoughtful conclusion to the story of Barrie, Eight, Pru, and all the other characters we’ve come to love throughout this beautifully crafted Southern Gothic trilogy. I loved how she tied together all the complex aspects of history and mythology to create a story that makes you really think about the nature of perspective in history and the voices whose stories have been silenced over the years.
Lelia Nebeker, Bookseller
Wow! A beautifully written finale and the perfect ending to an amazing series! I loved every page and dreaded them at the same time since I didn’t want this book to end. And of course it made me hungry for Southern food just like the other 2 books did! I’m really going to miss this world and Barrie & Eight. Bravo Martina on a brilliant finale!
Jaime Arnold, Two Chicks on Books
Compulsion hooked me, Persuasion swept me off my feet, and Illusion reminded me of why I fell in love with this captivating series. Reading the Heirs of Watson Island series is like reading a story that has been passed down for generations. It hooks you with its Southern Gothic charm and intoxicating romance. Enchants you with its magic, history, legend and mystery. Makes you fall in love with its characters and Boone’s beautiful writing. Most importantly, it will make you ponder the history, the magic, and the real possibility of it all. The past and present collide perfectly to give readers a beautiful ending to a fantastic series!
Katie Bartow, Mundie Moms Blog
A great ending and a swoony Eight is my favorite kind of Eight… You guys – have you started reading The Heirs of Watson Island series? If you haven’t…you need to fix that immediately.
Erin Arkin, Fiction Fare Blog
Eight and Barrie continue to have that push and pull romance that I have come to adore with this series. It’s not over the top love at first sight but more of a longing and need and pull to be together because there is just no way they can be apart. Boone does a nice job of wrapping up all the story lines in this series. I wasn’t left worrying about anyone and what was happening to them. The mysteries of the island come to a head and the explanation of the Fire Carrier and the bindings is revealed. A perfect finale for this series!
Brooke DelVecchio, The Cover Contessa


Simon & Schuster, Simon Pulse
ISBN: 18732883

Three plantations. Two wishes. One ancient curse.

Three hundred years ago, an ancient spirit cursed one of the founding families of Watson Island and gave the other two magical gifts that became compulsions. Arriving for the first time at her aunt’s plantation home, Barrie Watson finds herself haunted by the ghosts of a generations-old feud and hunted by forces she can’t see. With the help of Eight Beaufort, who seems to know what she wants before she knows herself, the last Watson heir starts to unravel her family's twisted secrets. What she finds is dangerous: a love she never expected, a river that turns to fire at midnight, a gorgeous cousin who isn’t what she seems, and very real enemies who want both Eight and Barrie dead.

RT Book Reviews Top Pick & Editor’s Best ~ USA TODAY Must-Read Paranormal ~ Goodreads Best Books of the Month & YA Best Books of the Month

Simon & Schuster, Simon Pulse
ISBN: 148141125X

As reporters chasing rumors of a stolen shipment of Civil War gold descend on Watson Island, Barrie Watson discovers more is buried at Colesworth Place than treasure. A mysterious, magical man claims the key to the Watson and Beaufort gifts and the Colesworth curse also lies beneath the mansion, and Barrie has no option but to help him find it. While she and Eight Beaufort struggle to make sense of the escalating danger and their growing feelings for each other, Barrie must decide not only whom to trust, but which gift is more reliable—Eight’s or her own. With the fate of the founding families at stake, she has to choose between what she feels deep in her heart and what will keep her loved ones safe.

Simon & Schuster, Simon Pulse
ISBN: 1481411306

Caged by secrets all around her and haunted by mistakes that have estranged her from Eight Beaufort, Barrie Watson is desperate to break the curse that puts her family in danger—without breaking the beautiful magic that protects Watson’s Landing. To do that, she must heal the rifts that have split the families of the island apart for three hundred years, unravel the mystery of the Fire Carrier and the spirits he guards, and take control of forces so deadly and awe-inspiring they threaten to overwhelm her.

With the spirits that cursed Watson Island centuries ago awake and more dangerous than ever, she finds an unlikely ally in the haunting and enigmatic Obadiah, whose motivations and power she still can’t read—or trust. His help comes at a price, however, plunging Barrie into a deadly maze of magic and wonder, mystery and intrigue that leads through history to places she never imagined she could go.


Celebrate with me! 

Win a finished set of the three books of the Heirs of Watson Island trilogy, including ILLUSION plus an ARC of Wendy Higgin's delicious GREAT PURSUIT, plus an ARC of Erika Lewis' exciting GAME OF SHADOWS, plus a finished copy of Melissa de La Cruz's SOMETHING IN BETWEEN.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 24, 2016

11 New Releases this week 10/24-10/30 plus Eight Giveaways

Happy Monday! This week is another week of great new releases including ILLUSION, the conclusion to Martina Boone's Watson Island trilogy! For those of you that don't know, Martina is the lovely founder of this awesome site and creates a lot of the amazing content for us and we're all super thrilled to be able to celebrate her trilogy. Don't forget to check out all the other new releases and enter to win below!

Happy Reading,

Shelly, Sam, Jocelyn, Martina, Erin, Susan, Michelle, Laura, Anisaa, and Kristin


* * * *

The Stranger Game
by Cylin Busby
Signed Hardcover Giveaway

Balzer + Bray
Released 10/25/2016

The Stranger Game is a dark, suspenseful, and twisty young adult novel—perfect for fans of Lauren Oliver and E. Lockhart—about fifteen-year-old Nico Walker, whose sister returns home after a four-year disappearance.

When Nico Walker's older sister mysteriously disappears, her parents, family, and friends are devastated. But Nico can never admit what she herself feels: relief at finally being free of Sarah's daily cruelties.

Then the best and worst thing happens: four years later, after dozens of false leads, Sarah is found.

But this girl is much changed from the one Nico knew. She's thin and drawn, where Sarah had been golden and athletic; timid and unsure, instead of brash and competitive; and strangest of all, sweet and kind, when she had once been mean and abusive. Sarah's retrograde amnesia has caused her to forget almost everything about her life, from small things like the plots of her favorite books and her tennis game to the more critical—where she's been the last four years and what happened at the park on the fateful day she vanished. Despite the happy ending, the dark details of that day continue to haunt Nico, and it becomes clear that more than one person knows the true story of what happened to Sarah. . . .

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about The Stranger Game?

I love the cover image that the design team at HarperCollins chose for this book—the girl, floating in the water, with that dark sepia tone. It’s absolutely perfect for the story!

Purchase The Stranger Game at Amazon
Purchase The Stranger Game at IndieBound
View The Stranger Game on Goodreads

* * * *

by Suzanne Weyn
Hardcover Giveaway (5 Copies)
U.S. Only

Scholastic Press
Released 10/25/2016

Mira has always almost had it all... until it all crashes and burns. She's hurt in a horrible car accident, and the only way the doctors can help is to try experimental prosthetics and chips that are implanted directly into her brain. It's a huge risk, but after months of testing and therapy, Mira is back, and better than ever.

But soon her friends turn against her as their parents call her on unfair advantages and get her cut from lacrosse and the scholarships she was depending on for college. And with her enhanced hearing, she knows how many people in her school and her town are calling her a robot, a cyborg.

Is that true? Is Mira human, or is she somehow something other? How can she overcome the ways people see her and just be herself... especially if she's not really sure who that is anymore?

Suzanne Weyn is always at the cutting edge when it comes to new tech and the questions it raises about the world we live in.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Bionic?

One of my favorite things about BIONIC is that it isn’t theoretical. I focused on one girl, Mira, and tell her individual story. Another character might have reacted to her challenges in a very different way. When I wrote THE BAR CODE TATTOO, I learned that the only way I can handle big, world-changing topics is to explore what broad societal and scientific changes might feel like to the individual on a very personal level. I wanted to contrast Mira’s increasingly bionic existent with what it means to Mira to remain human.

Purchase Bionic at Amazon
Purchase Bionic at IndieBound
View Bionic on Goodreads

* * * *

If I Fix You
by Abigail Johnson
Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

Harlequin Teen
Released 10/25/2016

When sixteen-year-old Jill Whitaker’s mom walks out—with a sticky note as a goodbye—only Jill knows the real reason she’s gone. But how can she tell her father? Jill can hardly believe the truth herself.

Suddenly, the girl who likes to fix things—cars, relationships, romances, people—is all broken up. Used to be, her best friend, tall, blond and hot flirt Sean Addison, could make her smile in seconds. But not anymore. They don’t even talk.

With nothing making sense, Jill tries to pick up the pieces of her life. But when a new guy moves in next door, intense, seriously cute, but with scars—on the inside and out—that he thinks don’t show, Jill finds herself trying to make things better for Daniel. But over one long, hot Arizona summer, she realizes she can’t fix anyone’s life until she fixes her own. And she knows just where to start . . .

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about If I Fix You?

I loved getting to explore Jill's relationship with her dad. We don't see a ton of close father daughter relationships in YA, but I've always been a fan of them. When I was little, it was Laura Ingalls Wilder and Pa, then I fell in love with Veronica and Keith Mars, and now I get to add Jill and her dad to that list (in my mind, anyway). There are a lot of complex relationships in IF I FIX YOU, and most of them are messy, but Jill's relationship with her dad gets to be this constant source of good, comfort, and love, even when everything else is falling apart.

Purchase If I Fix You at Amazon
Purchase If I Fix You at IndieBound
View If I Fix You on Goodreads

* * * *

by Martina Boone
Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

Simon Pulse
Released 10/25/2016

Barrie must rescue her beloved and her family from evil spirits in the masterful conclusion to the Heirs of Watson Island trilogy.

Caged by secrets all around her and haunted by mistakes that have estranged her from Eight Beaufort, Barrie Watson is desperate to break the curse that puts her family in danger—without breaking the beautiful magic that protects Watson’s Landing. To do that, she must heal the rifts that have split the families of the island apart for three hundred years, unravel the mystery of the Fire Carrier and the spirits he guards, and take control of forces so deadly and awe-inspiring they threaten to overwhelm her.

With the spirits that cursed Watson Island centuries ago awake and more dangerous than ever, she finds an unlikely ally in the haunting and enigmatic Obadiah, whose motivations and power she still can’t read—or trust. His help comes at a price, however, plunging Barrie into a deadly maze of magic and wonder, mystery and intrigue that leads through history to places she never imagined she could go.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Illusion?

All the relationships coming together and the secrets unraveling to help Barrie uncover the true magic and meaning of Watson Island. The fantasy elements are front and center in ILLUSION, and I love that, but more than any of the other books in the Heirs of Watson Island trilogy, ILLUSION is a love story, not just about the romance between Barrie and Eight, but also about the love between Barrie and her Aunt Pru, about Barrie’s love of Watson Island and the responsibility she feels to take care of the small spirits that inhabit it. It’s about finding herself and loving herself, about releasing her guilt and sorrow and selfishness enough to finally trust the people who are trying so hard to care for her. About finding her voice and strength.

Purchase Illusion at Amazon
Purchase Illusion at IndieBound
View Illusion on Goodreads

* * * *

It's Not Me, It's You
by Stephanie Kate Strohm
Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

Released 10/25/2016

One high school girl's comedic examination of her dating past as told by the friends, family, and boys who were involved!

Avery Dennis is a high school senior and one of the most popular girls in her class. But a majorly public breakup with the guy she's been dating causes some disastrous waves. It is right before prom and Avery no longer has the perfect date. She runs the prom committee, how could she not show up with somebody?

Post-breakup, Avery gets to thinking about all of the guys that she has ever dated. How come none of those relationships ever worked out? Could it be her fault? Avery decides to investigate. In history class she's learning about this method of record-keeping called "oral history" and she has a report due. So Avery decides to go directly to the source. Avery tracks down all of the guys she's ever dated, and uses that information, along with thoughts from her friends, family, and teachers, to compile a total account of her dating history.

Avery discovers some surprises about herself and the guys she's spent time with -- just in time for prom night!

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about It's Not Me, It's You?

My favorite thing about IT’S NOT ME, IT’S YOU is that it’s about prom! I love prom and I’d always wanted to write a book about it. It was so much fun!

Purchase It's Not Me, It's You at Amazon
Purchase It's Not Me, It's You at IndieBound
View It's Not Me, It's You on Goodreads

* * * *

Midnight Hour
by C.C. Hunter
Paperback Giveaway
U.S. Only

St. Martin's Griffin
Released 10/25/2016

Being a dyslexic witch is a curse in itself, but Miranda Kane’s time at Shadow Falls has helped her harness her magical powers. Now, just as she’s finally mastered them and is preparing to graduate with her friends, a near-death experience threatens to ruin it all.

Miranda awakens in the hospital with a mysterious tattoo that no one can explain. As she struggles to make sense of it – and questions her feelings for a certain irresistible shape-shifter and a hot new guy – the strange markings begin to spread all over her body, leaving her desperate to find answers. But before she can solve that problem, a new one arises: her sister is missing.

Has her sister been kidnapped? Miranda will risk her life to find out. Will she live to share the day she’s worked so hard for with her friends? When the clock strikes midnight, will Miranda make it to her graduation at Shadow Falls?

C.C. Hunter brings The Shadow Falls saga to a spectacular conclusion in this thrilling finale: Midnight Hour!

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Midnight Hour?

My favorite thing? There was so much about MIDNIGHT HOUR I loved. Because this is the very last Shadow Falls book, I put a lot heart and soul in there. But I guess one thing I really liked was how MIDNIGHT HOUR wasn’t just Miranda Kane’s journey, my dyslexic witch, who is finally learning to believe in herself. It delves into the life of Perry Gomez, the funny and sexy shapeshifter who is vying for Miranda’s heart, and who is searching for truths from his parents who abandoned him as a child. It also shows Shawn Hanson, the young and oh-so-hot warlock, who carries his own torch for Miranda and is trying to figure out his own way into adulthood. While I wouldn’t even call what’s going on a love triangle, it is about investigating one’s heart and distinguishing different kinds of emotional attachments we carry for those who have touched our lives.

Purchase Midnight Hour at Amazon
Purchase Midnight Hour at IndieBound
View Midnight Hour on Goodreads

* * * *

Empire Decayed
by Daniel Kraus
Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Released 10/25/2016

A murdered teen is resurrected to walk the earth for more than a century in the second and final book in the sweeping epic that Entertainment Weekly called “utterly riveting.”

Zebulon Finch has faced more violence, lust, and heartbreak than any other seventeen-year-old in history. But nothing can prepare him for what is coming next.

Half a century has passed since Zebulon Finch was gunned down and then inexplicably resurrected to experience a second life. Picking up his tale where he left off, Zebulon heads to Nazi Germany on a top-secret mission. From there he escapes to the shiny new world of the suburbs—a tidy neighborhood hiding dark secrets. He will exchange the pains of this world for what he believes will be peace among the stars. He will march for social change all the way to Woodstock, go raving mad in the desert, and finally exit from humanity the only way he knows how. We first met Zebulon sealed in a tomb beneath the World Trade Center—might he yet crawl from the rubble to discover a different America?

Enthralling and gut-wrenching, The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch, Volume Two: Empire Decayed is the conclusion to the epic saga of one young man’s journey down the long road to redemption.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Empire Decayed?

My favorite thing, quite frankly, is that it's finished. For at least four years, I did nothing but work on the two-volume Zebulon Finch project. It took over my life like an illness -- an illness that provided me with periods of intense euphoria. I'm only beginning to understand how underwater I was for that period. I was deep, deep into it, buried under the roughly 200 research books, trapped in the 1,500 manuscript pages, sifting through my 15-foot timeline and 200-part outline. I feel like I survived something.

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Boy Robot
by Simon Curtis
Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

Simon Pulse
Released 10/25/2016

Seventeen-year-old Isaak discovers the truth about his origin and the underground forces that must come together to fight against a secret government organization formed to eradicate those like him in this high-octane science fiction debut.

There once was a boy who was made, not created.

In a single night, Isaak’s life changed forever.

His adoptive parents were killed, a mysterious girl saved him from a team of soldiers, and he learned of his own dark and destructive origin.

An origin he doesn’t want to believe, but one he cannot deny.

Isaak is a Robot: a government-made synthetic human, produced as a weapon and now hunted, marked for termination.

He and the Robots can only find asylum with the Underground—a secret network of Robots and humans working together to ensure a coexistent future.

To be protected by the Underground, Isaak will have to make it there first. But with a deadly military force tasked to find him at any cost, his odds are less than favorable.

Now Isaak must decide whether to hold on to his humanity and face possible death…or to embrace his true nature in order to survive, at the risk of becoming the weapon he was made to be.

In his debut, recording artist Simon Curtis has written a fast-paced, high-stakes novel that explores humanity, the ultimate power of empathy, and the greatest battle of all: love vs. fear.

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I'm Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl by Gretchen McNeil: Lily M
Messenger by Carol Lynch Williams: Laura I
Scarlet Moon by S. D. Grimm: Rosi H
Shutter by Laurie Faria Stolarz: Natasha D
Tattoo Atlas by Tim Floreen: Elizabeth H


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A Darkly Beating Heart
by Lindsay Smith
Roaring Brook Press
Released 10/25/2016

A time-travel story that alternates between modern day and 19th century Japan as one girl confronts the darkness lurking in her soul.

No one knows what to do with Reiko. She is full of hatred. All she can think about is how to best hurt herself and the people closest to her. After a failed suicide attempt, Reiko’s parents send her from their Seattle home to spend the summer with family in Japan to learn to control her emotions. But while visiting Kuramagi, a historic village preserved to reflect the nineteenth-century Edo period, Reiko finds herself slipping back in time into the life of Miyu, a young woman even more bent on revenge than Reiko herself. Reiko loves being Miyu, until she discovers the secret of Kuramagi village, and must face down Miyu’s demons as well as her own.

Purchase A Darkly Beating Heart at Amazon
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Blood Red Snow White
by Marcus Sedgwick
Roaring Brook Press
Released 10/25/2016

Russia wakes from a long sleep and marches to St Petersburg to claim her birthright. Her awakening will mark the end for the Romanovs, and the dawn of a new era that changed the world. Arthur Ransome, a journalist and writer, was part of it all. He left his family in England and fell in love with Russia and a Russian woman. This is his story.

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by Aprilynne Pike
Random House Books for Young Readers
Released 10/25/2016

Outside the palace of Versailles, it’s modern day. Inside, the people dress, eat, and act like it’s the eighteenth century—with the added bonus of technology to make court life lavish, privileged, and frivolous. The palace has every indulgence, but for one pretty young thing, it’s about to become a very beautiful prison.

When Danica witnesses an act of murder by the young king, her mother makes a cruel power play . . . blackmailing the king into making Dani his queen. When she turns eighteen, Dani will marry the most ruthless and dangerous man of the court. She has six months to escape her terrifying destiny. Six months to raise enough money to disappear into the real world beyond the palace gates.

Her ticket out? Glitter. A drug so powerful that a tiny pinch mixed into a pot of rouge or lip gloss can make the wearer hopelessly addicted. Addicted to a drug Dani can sell for more money than she ever dreamed.

But in Versailles, secrets are impossible to keep. And the most dangerous secret—falling for a drug dealer outside the palace walls—is one risk she has to take.

Purchase Glitter at Amazon
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How to Keep a Boy from Kissing You
by Tara Eglington
A Thomas Dunne Book for St. Martin's Griffin
Released 10/25/2016

Sweet sixteen and never been kissed—and that’s the way Aurora Skye wants it to be. She’s too busy finding guys for her two best friends, counseling her sensitive New Age dad (the NAD), and dealing with the unexpected return of her long-absent mom.

But always in the background there’s Hayden Paris, the boy next door, the bane of Aurora’s existence. Smart, funny, and always around to see her at her worst, he ‘gets’ her like no-one else... and that’s what makes him so infuriating.

When Aurora and Hayden are coerced into the lead roles in the school production of Much Ado About Nothing, things can only get worse. How is Aurora going to save her first kiss for the secret admirer who wooed her with poetry and a spectacular bunch of flowers on Valentine’s Day if she doesn’t know who he is and she’s obligated to lock lips with Hayden in the play’s final dramatic clinch?

From talented debut YA author Tara Eglington, How to Keep a Boy from Kissing You is a page-turning, funny and delicious romp of a book.

Purchase How to Keep a Boy from Kissing You at Amazon
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Pushing Perfect
by Michelle Falkoff
Released 10/25/2016

A girl’s quest for perfection results in dangerous consequences in this layered, suspenseful YA novel by the author of Playlist for the Dead.

How far would you go to be perfect?

Kara has the perfect life. She gets perfect grades. She never messes up. Until now. Because perfection is an illusion, and Kara has been struggling to maintain it for as long as she can remember. With so much pressure to succeed, it’s hard not to do whatever it takes.

But when Kara takes a new underground drug to help her ace the SATs, she doesn’t expect to get a text from a blocked sender, telling her to follow a set of mysterious instructions—or risk her dark secret getting out. Soon she finds herself part of a group of teens with secrets of their own, who are all under the thumb of the same anonymous texter. And if they don’t find a way to stop the blackmailer, their perfect futures will go up in flames.

This dark, emotionally resonant contemporary YA novel is perfect for fans of We Were Liars and The Secret History.

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The Secret Diary of Lydia Bennet
by Natasha Farrant
Chicken House
Released 10/25/2016

A fresh, funny, and spirited reimagining of Jane Austen's beloved Pride and Prejudice, The Secret Diary of Lydia Bennet brings the voice of the wildest Bennet sister to life.

Lydia is the youngest of the five Bennet girls. She's stubborn, never listens, and can't seem to keep her mouth shut -- not that she would want to anyway. She wishes her older sisters would pay her attention, or that something would happen in her boring country life.

Luckily, that something is right around the corner, and it's the handsome Wickham, who arrives at Longbourn to sweep her off her feet. Lydia's not going to let him know THAT, of course, especially since he only seems to be interested in friendship. But when they both decide to summer in the fashionable seaside town of Brighton, their paths inevitably become entangled again.

At the seaside, Lydia also finds exciting new ways of life and a pair of friends who offer her a future she would have never dreamed possible. Lydia finally understands what she really wants. But can she get it?

Purchase The Secret Diary of Lydia Bennet at Amazon
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Sunday, October 23, 2016

0 Carol Lynch Williams, author of MESSENGER, on caring about your words, story, and characters

We're delighted to have Carol Lynch Williams here to share more about her latest novel MESSENGER.

Carol, what was your inspiration for writing MESSENGER?

I remember when the idea first came to me for MESSENGER. It was, of course, just a seed, an emotion.

Okay, how many times do you go to a public restroom and have to wave your hand under a sensor to turn on the water or get paper towels out of the dispenser and nothing happens?

One day, after practically dancing in front of an automatice paper towel dispenser and getting nothing, I thought, why is it that these things never detect me? Am I a ghost? And that sparked the idea. I could see a girl trying, without success, to wash her hands. The reason? She’s dead, but doesn’t know. She was clear in my mind. That was years before I sat down to write the book, but that picture of her--at the bathroom sink--stayed in my head.

0 S. D. Grimm, author of SCARLET MOON, on acting out fight scenes with a wooden spoon

We're thrilled to have S. D. Grimm stop by to tell us more about her debut novel SCARLET MOON.

S. D., what was your inspiration for writing SCARLET MOON?

Animals. I love animals, and I always wanted to be Dr. Doolittle. I loved reading Watership Down and Redwall, and I wanted to write a story with animal characters being important to the whole story. So I thought, what if there was this race of people who could bond with and talk to certain animals? Then, what if they got certain abilities from these animals. For example, bonding to a wolf could give you really good hearing. And bonding with an eagle would give you really great eyesight. Oh! And why stop there? What if bonding to a unicorn gave you the ability to heal others? Then I built a world and a story around a few characters who bonded with certain animals and used the gifts they had to make everything unique.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

0 Gretchen McNeil, author of I'M NOT YOUR MANIC PIXIE DREAM GIRL, on writing a book without a dead body

We're thrilled to have Gretchen McNeil stop by to tell us more about her latest novel I'M NOT YOUR MANIC PIXIE DREAM GIRL.

Gretchen, what was your inspiration for writing I'M NOT YOUR MANIC PIXIE DREAM GIRL?

My deep loathing for the manic pixie dream girl trope, which I feel is demeaning, restricting, and potentially dangerous for young girls who may internalize the male idealization of a female muse.

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

I had some trouble writing the scenes where my gay character Gabe tries on the persona of a flamboyant gay stereotype. Like with the manic pixie dream girl trope, this is a stereotype that can be really harmful not only to young gay men (who may think this is the only “way” to be an out homosexual) and to the LGBTQ community in general. Like idealizing women, homosexuality doesn’t fit into a box, and the community is made up of all shapes, sizes, personalities, etc. So writing this stereotype was difficult, even though I was using it to illustrate a point.

0 Laurie Faria Stolarz, author of SHUTTER, on the benefits of joining a writers group

We're excited to have Laurie Faria Stolarz join us to chat about her latest novel SHUTTER.

Laurie, what was your inspiration for writing SHUTTER?

I love to play with perspective, looking at the same subject from different angles. In the case of SHUTTER, I wanted to explore a potential crime from different angles, rather than just painting it over in one color. By getting into the variations of shading, we can see how easily the truth can get stretched, misconceived, dismissed, and/or twisted up. In the end, Day must discover that no story is ever complete in the absence of perspective. On her quest to get to the heart of truth, Day comes to realize just how brave that quest is, because sometimes when we look that deeply, we see truths we’d rather not know.

0 Gregg Hurwitz, author of THE RAINS, on being inspired by zombie ants

We're thrilled to have Gregg Hurwitz stop by to share more about his latest novel THE RAINS.

Gregg, what was your inspiration for writing THE RAINS?

Probably a video I saw back in my high school science class that showed this:

I mean, ug, right? So it got me thinking. What if something like this happened to humans? More specifically—to adults? And what if those infected adults were even worse than zombie ants? What if they had holes bored straight through their heads in place of their eyes? What if their job was to seek out and round up kids? But we don’t know why they’re rounding up kids, so our main characters have to figure it out.

And it all exploded from there.

0 Thank You to the Mentors and Participants of the October 1st 5 Pages Workshop!

Congratulations to all of the participants who worked so hard during our October 1st 5 Pages Writing Workshop! And a big thanks to our wonderful guest mentors, Anne Pillsworth as our author mentor, and Shannon Powers as our agent mentor! And as always, thank you to our talented and fabulous permanent mentors, who read, comment, and cheer on our participants every month!

Speaking of our wonderful mentors, we have exciting mentor news!

ILLUSION by AYAP and 1st 5 Pages founder, Martina Boone, comes out on Tuesday, October 25! I loved this YA fantasy, a swoony southern gothic, so you won't want to miss it!

FEAR THE DROWNING DEEP by Sarah Glenn Marsh was published on October 11. I couldn't put down this atmospheric historical fantasy!

MOTLEY EDUCATION by S.A. Larsen is a perfect fall pick for middle grade readers. Fanatasy, mystery, and a great friendship - this book has something for everyone!

CURSING FATE, the sequel to Brenda Drake's fabulous YA fantasy, TOUCHING FATE, will be coming out in November! You can add it to your shelf on goodreads!

And check out the cover reveals for Janet B. Taylor's sequel to INTO THE DIM (which I adored!) SPARKS OF LIGHT and Stephanie Scott's YA contemporary, ALTERATIONS! I can't wait to get my hands on them!

Our November workshop will open for entries on Saturday, November 5 at noon, EST. 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 it opens and closes on Adventures in YA Publishing and on twitter (@etcashman), with the hashtag #1st5pages. In addition to our wonderful permanent mentors, we have Nancy Ohlin as our author mentor, and Tracy Marchini as our agent mentor.

We will be taking a hiatus for December, opening again in January, 2017! So get those pages ready - we usually fill up in under a minute!

Happy writing (and revising!)


Friday, October 21, 2016

3 Instagram for Authors: Reach New Readers in Ten Minutes a Day

YA author Stephanie Scott is one of our fabulous First Five Pages Writing Workshop mentors, and she JUST had a cover reveal yesterday for her brand new and gorgeous upcoming book, ALTERATIONS. Please give her a warm welcome as she reveals the secrets of Instagram for authors, and scroll down to admire the newly revealed cover!

Instagram for Authors: Reach New Readers in Ten Minutes a Day

by Stephanie Scott

As authors, pre-published or seasoned, we are always on the lookout for how to connect with readers. Did you know lots of readers, particularly young adult readers, hang out on Instagram? The bookstagram community is not only visual, but readers connect with each other through commenting and micro-blogging in photo captions.

Oh, great. Now I have to learn another social media platform?
I hear this a lot from authors. The truth is, you don’t HAVE to do any social media if you don’t like it, but how do you know you don’t like it if you don’t try? (Yes, I’m channeling all of our mothers today! Just try it!)

I started changing the focus of my own much-neglected Instagram account almost a year ago. I had no idea what I was doing, but decided to dive into a 30-day photo prompt challenge started by a popular Instagram book blogger. And … I loved it! I don’t use a fancy camera or a lighting rig—it’s just my camera’s phone and a nearby window for natural light. Since Instagram is meant to be a mobile app, I use free photo editing apps downloaded to my phone. Instagram has built-in editing features as well.

Where to start? Search Instagram’s popular book-related hashtags like #bookish #booknerd or #yalovin (for YA books). Check out the top 9 posts of popular tags to see what bloggers and readers are up to. Search a few of your favorite authors to see what they post. Book bloggers post pictures of books. As authors, we can post books, selfies, favorite writing spots, photos from book events, a pretty sunset. Use your captions to tell a story and invite readers to comment by posing a question. The idea here is personal rather than images of ads to buy your book.

Everyone’s short on time, so here are some tips!

Ten Minutes a Day Instagram
  1. Post a photo with a short caption (ideally ending with a prompt to encourage a response). Include relevant hashtags. If you skip posting for the day, go to the next step! *pro tip: you can take photos ahead of time and post later when you have time
  2. Click the heart comment icon (notifications tab along the bottom on your Instagram). Click on each person who liked your posts and like one or more of their posts. For anyone who commented on one of your posts, like and comment on their posts. This is how you engage! The comment can be brief.
  3. Click on the house icon to get to your home feed. Take 2-3 minutes to Like and/or comment on posts that interest you. You want to regularly engage with the people you follow.
  4. If your 10 mins isn't up, go to the magnifying glass search icon. The top is videos you might like and Instagram’s stories features. Look below that to suggested posts. Click on any that interest you or that relates to your author brand (books, reading, a related theme) and Like and/or comment. Follow 4 - 5 people from this list who seem like they have similar interests (ideally: readers). You can always unfollow later if their content doesn't interest you.
  5. Have fun! 

For more tips and general brainstorming of how to use Instagram as an author platform, feel free to join the free Facebook group Instagram for Authors. This group is specifically limited to writers who are pursuing publication or who are published.

About the Book:

Bloomsbury Spark
Releasing: 12/6/16

If anyone saw the prom boards Amelia Blanco makes on her favorite fashion app, they'd think Ethan Laurenti was her boyfriend. They wouldn't know that all the plans she's made for them are just dreams, and that she's the girl who watches him from the kitchen while her parents cook for his famous family.

When Amelia's abuelita enrolls her in a month-long fashion internship in NYC, Amelia can't imagine leaving Miami--and Ethan--for that long. As soon as she gets to New York, however, she finds a bigger world and new possibilities. She meets people her own age who can actually carry on a conversation about stitching and design. Her pin boards become less about prom with Ethan and more about creating her own style. By the time she returns to Miami, Amelia feels like she can accomplish anything, and surprises herself by agreeing to help Ethan's awkward, Steve-Jobs-wannabe brother, Liam, create his own fashion app.

As Liam and Amelia grow closer, Ethan realizes that this newly confident, stylish girl may be the one for him after all . . . even though he has a reality TV star girlfriend he conveniently keeps forgetting about. The "new and improved" Amelia soon finds herself in between two brothers, a whole lot of drama, and choice she never dreamed she'd have to make.

Pre-order Now:

Amazon | Barnes and Noble |  Kobo | Goodreads

About the Author

Stephanie Scott writes Young Adult stories about teens who put their passions first. She enjoys dance fitness and cat memes, and Pinterest is driving her broke. Born and raised in Kalamazoo where there are no zoos, she’s a Midwest girl at heart. She now lives outside of Chicago with her tech-of-all-trades husband. You can find her chatting about all things books on twitter and Instagram at @StephScottYA.