Monday, February 11, 2019

0 New Releases this week 02/11 - 02/17

Happy Monday! We're so excited to be featuring so many new releases this week. Don't forget to check them all out below!

Happy Reading,

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

YA BOOK GIVEAWAYS LAST WEEK: WINNERS

The Antidote by Shelley Sackier: Ellie M.
The Deceivers by Kristen Simmons: Michelle M.

MORE YOUNG ADULT FICTION IN STORES NEXT WEEK WITH AUTHOR INTERVIEWS


* * * *


The Blood Spell
by C. J. Redwine
Hardcover
Balzer + Bray
Released 2/12/2019

Blue de la Cour has her life planned: hide the magic in her blood and continue trying to turn metal into gold so she can help her city’s homeless. But when her father is murdered and a cruel but powerful woman claims custody of Blue and her property, one wrong move could expose her—and doom her once and for all. The only one who can help? The boy she’s loathed since childhood: Prince Kellan.

Kellan Renard, crown prince of Balavata, is walking a thin line between political success and devastating violence. Newly returned from boarding school, he must find a bride among the kingdom’s head families and announce his betrothal—but escalating violence among the families makes the search nearly impossible. He’s surprised to discover that the one person who makes him feel like he can breathe is Blue, the girl who once ruined all his best adventures.

When mysterious forces lead to disappearances throughout Balavata, Blue and Kellan must work together to find the truth. What they discover will lead them to the darkest reaches of the kingdom, and to the most painful moments of their pasts.

When romance is forbidden and evil is rising, can Blue save those she loves, even if it costs her everything?

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about The Blood Spell?

Hmm ... that's a tough question. I love the swoony enemies-to-lovers romance because that's always one of my favorites, and of course I love the terrifying blood wraith who is making a bid for ultimate power, but I think my favorite has to be Princess Nessa, the hero's younger sister. She's twelve, sparkles with joy and wit, is full of energy and courage, and speaks with sign language. I based her entirely off my six-year-old daughter, who has the same diagnosis Nessa has and who uses the beautiful language of ASL to communicate. I've never seen a character like my daughter in fiction, and I really wanted to give her someone who has as much courage, intelligence, and joy as she does.

Purchase The Blood Spell at Amazon
Purchase The Blood Spell at IndieBound
View The Blood Spell on Goodreads


MORE YOUNG ADULT NOVELS NEW IN STORES NEXT WEEK


* * * *


Awake in the World
by Jason Gurley
Hardcover
Roaring Brook Press
Released 2/12/2019

When all was lost, they found each other.

As the sun sets off the coast of the small California town of Orilla del Cielo, the silhouettes of oil rigs loom. Their shadows mar the serene backdrop, their sharpness a reminder of unfulfilled promises. To Zach, they are also a reminder of loss―his father, an oil worker, drowned years earlier. With his family struggling to make ends meet, Zach feels he’s destined for a bleak future.

Until he meets Vanessa. She's an optimistic girl from a wealthy family whose sights are literally set on the stars. Inspired by her idol, Carl Sagan, she plans on studying astronomy at Cornell. But as oil prospectors in search of black gold know, the future is uncertain . . . and fortunes can always be flipped.

Purchase Awake in the World at Amazon
Purchase Awake in the World at IndieBound
View Awake in the World on Goodreads

* * * *


Bloodwitch: A Witchlands Novel
by Susan Dennard
Hardcover
Tor Teen
Released 2/12/2019

Aeduan has teamed up with the Threadwitch Iseult and the magical girl Owl to stop a bloodthirsty horde of raiders preparing to destroy a monastery that holds more than just faith. But to do so, he must confront his own father, and his past.

Purchase Bloodwitch: A Witchlands Novel at Amazon
Purchase Bloodwitch: A Witchlands Novel at IndieBound
View Bloodwitch: A Witchlands Novel on Goodreads

* * * *


Comics Will Break Your Heart: A Novel
by Faith Erin Hicks
Hardcover
Roaring Brook Press
Released 2/12/2019

Miriam's family should be rich. After all, her grandfather was the co-creator of smash-hit comics series The TomorrowMen. But he sold his rights to the series to his co-creator in the 1960s for practically nothing, and now that's what Miriam has: practically nothing. And practically nothing to look forward to either-how can she afford college when her family can barely keep a roof above their heads? As if she didn't have enough to worry about, Miriam's life gets much more complicated when a cute boy shows up in town . . . and turns out to be the grandson of the man who defrauded Miriam's grandfather, and heir to the TomorrowMen fortune.

Purchase Comics Will Break Your Heart: A Novel at Amazon
Purchase Comics Will Break Your Heart: A Novel at IndieBound
View Comics Will Break Your Heart: A Novel on Goodreads

* * * *


Corpse & Crown
by Alisa Kwitney
Hardcover
Inkyard Press
Released 2/12/2019

Agatha DeLacey’s family isn’t rich or titled, so studying nursing at Ingold’s East End hospital in London is a rare opportunity for her. Despite the school’s focus on the innovative Bio-Mechanical program, Aggie cares more about the desperately poor human patients who flood the hospital, even if that means providing unauthorized treatment after-hours…and trusting a charming, endlessly resourceful thief.

But the Artful Dodger is barely a step ahead of his underworld rivals, the menacing Bill Sykes and mercurial Oliver Twist, and Aggie’s association with him soon leads her into danger. When a brutal attack leaves her blind, she and the Dodger find themselves at the mercy of an experimental Bio-Mech surgery. Though the procedure restores Aggie’s sight, her new eyes come at an unnerving cost, and the changes in Dodger are even more alarming—instead of seeing Aggie as the girl he fancies, he now views her as a potential threat.

As war between England and Germany brews on the horizon and a sinister medical conspiracy threatens to shatter the uneasy peace in Europe, Aggie and the Dodger must find a way to work together so they can protect their friends and expose the truth…even if it means risking their own survival.

Purchase Corpse & Crown at Amazon
Purchase Corpse & Crown at IndieBound
View Corpse & Crown on Goodreads

* * * *


Feminism Is...
by DK, Roxane Gay
Paperback
Penguin Publishing Group
Released 2/12/2019

What is feminism? Combining insightful text with graphic illustrations, this engaging book introduces young adult readers to a subject that should matter to everyone. Feminism Is... tackles the most intriguing and relevant topics, such as intersectionality, the right to an equal education, and the gender pay gap. Find out what equality for women really means, get a short history of feminism, and take a look at the issues that affect women at work, in the home, and around sex and identity. Meet, too, some great women, such as Gloria Steinem, Frida Kahlo, and Malala Yousafzai, "rebel girls" who refused to accept the status quo of their day and blazed a trail for others to follow.

Addressing ongoing feminist concerns and including an original foreword by Roxane Gay, Feminism Is... takes on the issues in informative, thought-provoking ways.

Purchase Feminism Is... at Amazon
Purchase Feminism Is... at IndieBound
View Feminism Is... on Goodreads

* * * *


Spectacle
by Jodie Lynn Zdrok
Hardcover
Tor Teen
Released 2/12/2019

Paris, 1887.

Sixteen-year-old Nathalie Baudin writes the daily morgue column for Le Petit Journal. Her job is to summarize each day’s new arrivals, a task she finds both fascinating and routine. That is, until the day she has a vision of the newest body, a young woman, being murdered―from the perspective of the murderer himself.

When the body of another woman is retrieved from the Seine days later, Paris begins to buzz with rumors that this victim may not be the last. Nathalie's search for answers sends her down a long, twisty road involving her mentally ill aunt, a brilliant but deluded scientist, and eventually into the Parisian Catacombs. As the killer continues to haunt the streets of Paris, it becomes clear that Nathalie's strange new ability may make her the only one who can discover the killer’s identity--and she'll have to do it before she becomes a target herself.

Purchase Spectacle at Amazon
Purchase Spectacle at IndieBound
View Spectacle on Goodreads

* * * *


The Black Coats
by Colleen Oakes
Hardcover
HarperTeen
Released 2/12/2019

The enigmatic Black Coats have been exacting vengeance on men who have hurt girls and women for years. The killer of Thea's cousin went free, and Thea has just received an invitation to join the Black Coats' balancings—acts of revenge meant to teach a lesson. Justice for Natalie has never felt so close.

But as the balancings escalate in brutality, Thea’s clear-cut mission begins to unravel and she must decide just how far she is willing to go for justice.

Because when the line between justice and revenge is paper thin, it’s hard not to get cut.

Purchase The Black Coats at Amazon
Purchase The Black Coats at IndieBound
View The Black Coats on Goodreads

* * * *


The Triumphant
by Lesley Livingston
Hardcover
Razorbill
Released 2/12/2019

In the wake of their victorious fight to win back the Ludus Achillea, Fallon and her gladiatrix sisters have become the toast of the Republic. However, as a consequence of his actions during the Ludus uprising, Fallon's love Cai has been stripped of his Decurion rank and cast down to serve as one of Caesar's gladiators.

Amid fighting for Cai's freedom, Fallon soon learns that Caesar's enemies are plotting against him and planning to get revenge on his fearsome gladiatrices. When Caesar is murdered by these conspirators, Fallon and the girls lose any sort of protection they once had. Fallon also realizes that the foreign queen Cleopatra is now in grave danger.

Fallon rallies her war band and Cai's friends to get Cleopatra out of the city, and the group heads to the safety of Cleo's homeland, Alexandria, Egypt. Once there, the gladiatrices are promised a place of honor in the queen's elite guard, but is that what any of them really want?

Purchase The Triumphant at Amazon
Purchase The Triumphant at IndieBound
View The Triumphant on Goodreads

* * * *


The Truth and Lies of Ella Black
by Emily Barr
Hardcover
Philomel Books
Released 2/12/2019

Ella Black has always had dark inclinations. She's successfully hidden her evil alter ego from her family and friends, but Bella is always there, ready to take control and force Ella to do bad things. When Ella's parents drag her out of school one afternoon and fly across the globe to Rio de Janeiro with no believable explanation, Bella longs to break free--and so does Ella. Because for all that her parents claim to be doing what's best for her, Ella knows there is something going on that they're not divulging, and she is determined to find out what.

Once in Rio, Ella learns a shocking truth about her family that gives way to a mission through the streets and beaches of Brazil in search of her authentic self. But the truth has many layers, and as Ella uncovers more and more about her own history, she struggles to come to terms with just where it is that she came from.

Purchase The Truth and Lies of Ella Black at Amazon
Purchase The Truth and Lies of Ella Black at IndieBound
View The Truth and Lies of Ella Black on Goodreads

* * * *


Watch Us Rise
by Renée Watson
Hardcover
Bloomsbury YA
Released 2/12/2019

Jasmine and Chelsea are best friends on a mission--they're sick of the way women are treated even at their progressive NYC high school, so they decide to start a Women's Rights Club. They post their work online--poems, essays, videos of Chelsea performing her poetry, and Jasmine's response to the racial microaggressions she experiences--and soon they go viral. But with such positive support, the club is also targeted by trolls. When things escalate in real life, the principal shuts the club down. Not willing to be silenced, Jasmine and Chelsea will risk everything for their voices--and those of other young women--to be heard.
These two dynamic, creative young women stand up and speak out in a novel that features their compelling art and poetry along with powerful personal journeys that will inspire readers and budding poets, feminists, and activists.

Purchase Watch Us Rise at Amazon
Purchase Watch Us Rise at IndieBound
View Watch Us Rise on Goodreads

* * * *


What Every Girl Should Know: Margaret Sanger's Journey
by J. Albert Mann
Hardcover
Atheneum Books for Young Reade
Released 2/12/2019

This compelling historical novel spans the early and very formative years of feminist and women’s health activist Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, as she struggles to find her way amidst the harsh realities of poverty.

Margaret was determined to get out. She didn’t want to clean the dirty dishes and soiled diapers that piled up day in and day out in her large family’s small home. She didn’t want to disappoint her ailing mother, who cared tirelessly for an ever-growing number of children despite her incessant cough. And Margaret certainly didn’t want to be labeled a girl of “promise,” destined to become either a teacher or a mother—which seemed to be a woman’s only options.

As a feisty and opinionated young woman, Margaret Higgins Sanger witnessed and experienced incredible hardships, which led to her groundbreaking work as an advocate for women’s rights and the founder of Planned Parenthood. This fiery novel of Margaret’s early life paints the portrait of a young woman with the passion and courage to change the world.

Purchase What Every Girl Should Know: Margaret Sanger's Journey at Amazon
Purchase What Every Girl Should Know: Margaret Sanger's Journey at IndieBound
View What Every Girl Should Know: Margaret Sanger's Journey on Goodreads

* * * *


When Light Left Us
by Leah Thomas
Hardcover
Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Released 2/12/2019

When the Vasquez siblings' father left, it seemed nothing could remedy the absence in their lives . . . until a shimmering figure named Luz appeared in the canyon behind their house.

Luz filled the void. He shot hoops with seventeen-year-old Hank's hands. He showed fourteen-year-old Ana cinematic beauty behind her eyelids. He spoke kindly to eight-year-old Milo. But then Luz left, too, and he took something from each of them. As a new school year begins, Hank, Ana, and Milo must carry on as if an alien presence never altered them. But how can they ever feel close to other people again when Luz changed everything about how they see the world and themselves?

Purchase When Light Left Us at Amazon
Purchase When Light Left Us at IndieBound
View When Light Left Us on Goodreads


Saturday, February 9, 2019

0 Shelley Sackier, author of THE ANTIDOTE, on sticking your neck out

We're thrilled to have Shelley Sackier stop by to chat about her latest novel, THE ANTIDOTE.

Shelley, what was your inspiration for writing THE ANTIDOTE?

This is an uncomfortable question I’m often asked, and depending upon the audience, I usually answer, I come from a family full of women who have an uncanny sixth sense. Then, in my head, I add, and have ample conversations with relatives who are long dead and buried.

But it was this hushed up, joked about, slightly shocking, and totally confusing history of the women in my family that niggled away at me for years and finally tethered itself into a yarn worthy of spinning itself into a tale.

As I believe it is the things we don’t understand that fill us with most angst, I’m also firmly convinced that the only way to understand and overcome one’s lifelong fear is to march right up to its front door and bang on its gothic knocker.

Although it has always been a cryptic enigma as to why my aunties and grannies used to tell me I was an angel, or an old soul reincarnated, or a practicing hedge witch and just didn’t know it, it was intriguing to hear nonetheless. But it was also frightening, as they still burned witches in my little neighborhood. Each time they pulled me aside to reveal either their most recent prophetical dreams, the latest charting of my astrological life maps, or what some dead relative whispered to them as they chatted on the edge of their bed last night, they were all conversations I wished they’d keep locked up tight inside of them. I wasn’t ready to hear about their spine-tingling insight.

But eventually, I was ready to write about them.

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 think goodbye scenes are torturous for me. As in—the final goodbye—the ‘so long life, I’ll catch you in the next one’ kind. They are purely agonizing. I’m often writing while crying—just an embarrassing, slobbering mess. My hound is usually at my side, head on my lap, and all the cats are walking across my keyboard taking turns head-bumping me. I’m sure their message is, “Seriously, this work is making you miserable. Leave it and come spread out in this patch of sun on the floor with us.”

I’m so much better at hello than goodbye. But … it had to be done.

What book or books would most resonate with readers who love your book--or visa versa?

I find it impossibly hard to compare my book to others, and I’m sure other authors suffer the same malady, but—I adore giving readers recommendations of books that have moved me, influenced me, and obviously touched me in ways that surely have seeped into my own writing. So, that said, I’ve literally just finished reviewing my top favorite thirty books—yes THIRTY—in great juicy detail on BookBub. You can find those recommendations right here.

How long did you work on THE ANTIDOTE?

This was a quickie. Six or seven months, I think. Usually, I’m up to my earballs in research for a book that spans years and years’ worth of time. This one felt like the amount of time it takes to make a sandwich.

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

Firstly, that I can write under pressure with a great sense of urgency, and secondly, that laundry isn’t nearly as important as I once thought it was.

What do you hope readers will take away from THE ANTIDOTE?

I hope they’re left with a sense of hope—one that evolves from the knowledge that things are not always as they appear to us when we first see them. People are not always as we judge them. All true heroes have shadows. And all real villains have grace. Their depth of multiplicity is what makes them human, but more important, relatable.

How long or hard was your road to publication? How many books did you write before this one, and how many never got published?


It’s. Been. Bumpy. That road has been filled with potholes, divots, ruts, and quicksand. It’s been awful and trying, dizzying and empowering. It has been a million sleepless nights, a thousand second guesses, a stomach full of butterflies, and an endless education. The takeaway? Don’t fall after the first hurdle.

I’ve written full books that have been shrugged off with rejection, loved but rejected, and repeatedly revised but still rejected. It’s part of the game board. Not every move is going to get you where your checker piece gets kinged. But if you don’t stick your neck out, you’ll never wear that crown.

Was there an AHA! moment along your road to publication where something suddenly sank in and you felt you had the key to writing a novel? What was it?

My AHA! moments are truly disguised by the universe in one specific way and are revealed in a rather cruel and unsporting-like manner. When I find myself struggling with a plot line, and the threads cry to be untangled, I hike down the mountain I live on top of and march about, breathing deeply like one of the Von Trapp children in Austria. It never fails. The moment of clarity and inspiration pops into my head as soon as I am as far from the house as is possible. Sprinting one mile uphill, for one thousand painful feet upward to get back to my keyboard is apparently the only way the universe believes I will get in some daily exercise. It happens with great—and frustrating—regularity.

What do you most wish you had learned sooner in the writing process, something that you could reach back to the beginning of your writing journey and tell yourself?

“The higher the price you pay for something, the dearer it becomes to you.” That was a little pearl from my grandmother, who was a pioneer in the world of smart, ambitious, working women. Her mindset was that the world is full of obstacles—your self-confidence shouldn’t be one of them.

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

With every book I write, I am overly involved (read obsessed) in the research process. One YA historical novel I wrote took over ten years to complete, as I crisscrossed three countries, scoured through library stacks, and hunted through castles in order to nail as much of the detail as possible.

With The Antidote, some of that castle trespassing was inordinately helpful. But the research was more akin to visiting old bookstores to forage antiquated medical textbooks, spending hours with herbalists in dusty apothecary shops, and booking appointments with chemists and druggists who patiently mapped out all emetics of ancient remedies—aka, all the plants that can make you puke.

So much fun. (Apart from that last little bit.)

Once the research is done and the writing begins, I’m holed up all on my own for months, surrounded by fairy lights, candles, fluffy scarves, and wooly socks. I listen to music mostly absent of words—atmospheric, heady, and soporific. Anonymous 4 are my go to albums. Those women are my muses.

And there is tea. So much tea. Okay, and chocolate. So sooo much chocolate.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?

You cannot write about life if you do not have a life to write about. Go. Out. And. Live. Make an exciting life. One filled with chances taken, unforgettable memories made, and eyebrow-raising relatives whose shocking words you finally begin to mull over. Take it all in. As much as you possibly can. Don’t just ponder. DO!

And then make soup for friends and strangers. For it is only the warmest, soul-soothing food that will loosen the tongues of others enough to share their wildest days and dreams with you too. Take care of people, and the stories will spill out like threads unspooled.

What are you working on now?

It’s all just pen to paper, pen to paper, pen to paper. More YA fantasy, contemporary humor, and imaginative fiction. Oftentimes, in the end, I leave the decision up to my hound. He’s a fabulous beta reader. If it passes his smell test, it moves forward up the chain of command.

Oh, and of course … laundry.

Bonus Content: The Antidote Playlist - Google Play or The Antidote Playlist - Spotify (both just music) and The Antidote Playlist Details (with spoilers!—song descriptions for where they fall within the book).

ABOUT THE BOOK

The Antidote
by Shelley Sackier
Hardcover
HarperTeen
Released 2/5/2019

In the world of healers, there is no room for magic.

Fee knows this, just as certainly as she knows that her magic must be kept secret.

But the crown prince Xavi, Fee’s best friend and only source of comfort, is sick. So sick, that Fee can barely contain the magic lying dormant inside her. She could use it, just a little, to heal him. But magic comes at a deadly cost—and attracts those who would seek to snuff it out forever.

A wisp of a spell later, Fee finds herself caught in a whirl of secret motivations and dark pasts, where no one is who—or what—they appear to be. And saving her best friend means delving deeper into the tempting and treacherous world whose call she’s long resisted—uncovering a secret that will change everything.

Purchase The Antidote at Amazon
Purchase The Antidote at IndieBound
View The Antidote on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shelley Sackier is the author of The Antidote, The Freemason's Daughter, and Dear Opl. She blogs at www.shelleysackier.com about food, family, and the folly that is life while living atop a mountain in the Blue Ridge. She also gives school presentations to illuminate the merits of embracing failure (just like NASA) and to further her campaign to erect monuments to all librarians.

---

Have you had a chance to read THE ANTIDOTE yet? Have any of your stories been inspired by family secrets? Are you making an exciting life so you have something to write about? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!

Happy Reading,

Jocelyn, Halli, Martina, Erin, Shelly, and Kelly

Thursday, February 7, 2019

3 Django Wexler, author of SHIP OF SMOKE AND STEEL, on treating writing advice as a recipe book

We're excited to have Django Wexler here to share more about his latest novel, SHIP OF SMOKE AND STEEL.

Django, what is your favorite thing about SHIP OF SMOKE AND STEEL?

I had a lot of fun with Isoka’s voice in this story. It’s written in a very tight first person, which means we’re very closely in her head, and it gives me a chance to let people see how she sees the world: very calculating, sometimes brutal, a bit of cynicism and humor. Her journey in the novel is towards a greater empathy, and I wanted to make people feel how difficult that is for her, how it’s counter to how she thinks of her identity.

It also just led to a lot of fun language stuff! She has these little verbal tics that turn up in the narration, swear words particular to her culture, and so on. I always have a blast working all that stuff out.

How long or hard was your road to publication? How many books did you write before this one, and how many never got published?

It depends on how you count, specifically if you count unfinished work. If we only include finished, full-length novels, this is book number seventeen. (Yikes! Can that really be right? *counts on fingers*) The tally runs, in roughly chronological order:
  • my first novel ever, now buried in a dark dungeon far from prying eyes.
  • three fanfiction novels
  • two novels that saw small-press publication (Memories of Empire and Shinigami)
  • one novel (Gaze Into Shadow) that was supposed to be the start of a massive multi-volume epic that ended up never really getting off the ground
  • five novels in The Shadow Campaigns (adult military fantasy)
  • four novels in The Forbidden Library series (middle-grade fantasy)
And now Ship of Smoke and Steel! Interestingly, the original idea for SSS was part of the massive project I started with Gaze Into Shadow, and I rescued it (a decade later) after that didn’t go anywhere to be its own thing.

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

When I was still working software development (prior to about 2012) I mostly wrote in the early mornings, before work. I’m not naturally a morning person, though, so once I started doing this full-time my work hours migrated to mid-afternoon. In my office I have my main computers (where I do e-mail, social media, games, etc) and then a laptop, and for actual writing I like to sit on the couch with it. I have a playlist of music that’s so familiar I barely hear it, which acts as a kind of white noise.

I’ve never been able to write in public, though I know many people who do!

Sometimes my writing assistants come to help me, though.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?

Here is the first thing I always say when I’m on panels about writing: process is personal. Books and the internet are absolutely full of people, mostly well-meaning, who will tell you tips and tricks for how to write. The important things to remember are a) no tip or trick is going to make writing easy, because fundamentally it’s not easy, and b) all that matters is whether a particular technique works for your process. 

So you don’t have to write your novels with a fountain pen because Neil Gaiman does. You don’t have to write every day, or only once a week, or outline, or not outline, or use the snowflake method or the diamond method or the hydrostatic shock method. You should view all writing advice, tips, and techniques as a kind of recipe book, from which you can try things, mix and match, and modify to your liking. It’s not that none of these things are helpful; it’s that they’re all helpful, but often to different people at different times.

What matters is that you find a process that works for you – if your goal is to write novels, that it lets you produce novels, and so on. If your goal is to write novels and you aren’t producing novels, then maybe you should think about tweaking your process; buy a fountain pen, sit in a coffeeshop, stop outlining, whatever, and see if you can find something that fits. But no need to be devoted to one particular thing just because your hero or a best-seller does it!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Ship of Smoke and Steel
by Django Wexler
Hardcover
Tor Teen
Released 1/22/2019

In the lower wards of Kahnzoka, the great port city of the Blessed Empire, eighteen-year-old ward boss Isoka enforces the will of her criminal masters with the power of Melos, the Well of Combat. The money she collects goes to keep her little sister living in comfort, far from the bloody streets they grew up on.

When Isoka's magic is discovered by the government, she's arrested and brought to the Emperor's spymaster, who sends her on an impossible mission: steal Soliton, a legendary ghost ship―a ship from which no one has ever returned. If she fails, her sister’s life is forfeit.

On board Soliton, nothing is as simple as it seems. Isoka tries to get close to the ship's mysterious captain, but to do it she must become part of the brutal crew and join their endless battles against twisted creatures. She doesn't expect to have to contend with feelings for a charismatic fighter who shares her combat magic, or for a fearless princess who wields an even darker power.

Purchase Ship of Smoke and Steel at Amazon
Purchase Ship of Smoke and Steel at IndieBound
View Ship of Smoke and Steel on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Django Wexler graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with degrees in creative writing and computer science, worked in artificial intelligence research and as a programmer/writer for Microsoft, and is now a full-time fantasy writer. Django is the author of The Shadow Campaigns, an epic fantasy series for adults, and The Forbidden Library, a classic fantasy series for middle-grade readers. You can find him online at www.djangowexler.com and on Twitter as @DjangoWexler.

---

Have you had a chance to read SHIP OF SMOKE AND STEEL yet? Have you tried different writing tips and techniques? What is one that works for you? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!

Happy Reading,

Jocelyn, Halli, Martina, Erin, Shelly, and Kelly

Monday, February 4, 2019

6 New Releases this week 02/04 - 02/10 Plus 2 Giveaways

Happy Monday! We're so excited to be featuring so many new releases this week. Don't forget to check them all out below and enter to win!

Happy Reading,

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

YA BOOK GIVEAWAYS THIS WEEK


* * * *


The Antidote
by Shelley Sackier
Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

HarperTeen
Released 2/5/2019

In the world of healers, there is no room for magic.

Fee knows this, just as certainly as she knows that her magic must be kept secret.

But the crown prince Xavi, Fee’s best friend and only source of comfort, is sick. So sick, that Fee can barely contain the magic lying dormant inside her. She could use it, just a little, to heal him. But magic comes at a deadly cost—and attracts those who would seek to snuff it out forever.

A wisp of a spell later, Fee finds herself caught in a whirl of secret motivations and dark pasts, where no one is who—or what—they appear to be. And saving her best friend means delving deeper into the tempting and treacherous world whose call she’s long resisted—uncovering a secret that will change everything.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about The Antidote?

A massively big chunk of me wants to scream out, “THE COVER!” because, really … the cover. Artist Lisa Perrin is so masterful, and I can’t believe The Antidote was fortunate enough to draw such a lucky straw, but I think ultimately, what her artwork does is act as a catalyst. It pulls me deeply into the realm of these characters where beliefs are tested--where a hazy veil is drawn back. One that separates that which we know to be true and that which we believe to be true.

There’s a difference.

I like books that try to change your mind—not in a manipulative kind of way—but through drips and drabs of new information and the repeated experience of seeing the same thing from a new perspective. I love that this book reminds me to challenge myself to think beyond the borders of just me.


Purchase The Antidote at Amazon
Purchase The Antidote at IndieBound
View The Antidote on Goodreads

* * * *


The Deceivers
by Kristen Simmons
Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

Tor Teen
Released 2/5/2019

Welcome to Vale Hall, the school for aspiring con artists.

When Brynn Hilder is recruited to Vale, it seems like the elite academy is her chance to start over, away from her mom’s loser boyfriend and her rundown neighborhood. But she soon learns that Vale chooses students not so much for their scholastic talent as for their extracurricular activities, such as her time spent conning rich North Shore kids out of their extravagant allowances.

At first, Brynn jumps at the chance to help the school in its mission to rid the city of corrupt officials―because what could be better than giving entitled jerks what they deserve? But that’s before she meets her mark―a senator’s son―and before she discovers the school’s headmaster has secrets he’ll stop at nothing to protect. As the lines between right and wrong blur, Brynn begins to realize she’s in way over head.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about The Deceivers?

I loved writing THE DECEIVERS from start to finish - in fact, it was so much fun I wrote all three books back to back to back! I love Brynn and her adventures at the school for con artists, I loved arranging the twists and turns, and I love the high-tension plots of thrillers. But my favorite thing about the books, and the series as a whole, is her connection to the friends she makes at Vale Hall. Found family stories are my favorite, and Brynn, who has never quite fit in with anyone, finds herself deeply connected to her fellow classmates.

In Charlotte, Henry, Sam, and Caleb, Brynn finds support and love she never knew she needed. But how much can you really trust a con artist? Each of her friends has a secret they're guarding - one which won't only put their relationships at risk, but their lives. And as she gets closer to Caleb, she begins to wonder if the guy who always has her back, may have a bigger purpose for getting close. That tension between Brynn and Caleb - between Brynn and all of them - is what had me on the edge of my seat while I was writing. I hope it has readers turning pages, too!


Purchase The Deceivers at Amazon
Purchase The Deceivers at IndieBound
View The Deceivers on Goodreads


YA BOOK GIVEAWAYS LAST WEEK: WINNERS

The Cerulean by Amy Ewing: Alexa N.
The Lonely Dead by April Henry: Chris S.

MORE YOUNG ADULT NOVELS NEW IN STORES NEXT WEEK


* * * *


A Danger to Herself and Others
by Alyssa B. Sheinmel
Hardcover
Sourcebooks Fire
Released 2/5/2019

Four walls. One window. No way to escape.

Hannah knows there's been a mistake, She doesn't need to be institutionalized. What happened to her roommate at that summer program was an accident. As soon as the doctor and judge figure out that she isn't a danger to herself or others, she can go home to start her senior year. Those college applications aren't going to write themselves. Until then, she's determined to win over the staff and earn some privileges so she doesn't lose her mind to boredom.

Then Lucy arrives. Lucy has her own baggage, and she's the perfect project to keep Hannah's focus off all she is missing at home. But Lucy may be the one person who can get Hannah to confront the secrets she's avoiding-and the dangerous games that landed her in confinement in the first place.

Purchase A Danger to Herself and Others at Amazon
Purchase A Danger to Herself and Others at IndieBound
View A Danger to Herself and Others on Goodreads

* * * *


Dark of the West
by Joanna Hathaway
Hardcover
Tor Teen
Released 2/5/2019

Aurelia Isendare is a princess of a small kingdom in the North, raised in privilege but shielded from politics as her brother prepares to step up to the throne. Halfway around the world, Athan Dakar, the youngest son of a ruthless general, is a fighter pilot longing for a life away from the front lines. When Athan’s mother is shot and killed, his father is convinced it’s the work of his old rival, the Queen of Etania―Aurelia’s mother. Determined to avenge his wife’s murder, he devises a plot to overthrow the Queen, a plot which sends Athan undercover to Etania to gain intel from her children.

Athan’s mission becomes complicated when he finds himself falling for the girl he’s been tasked with spying upon. Aurelia feels the same attraction, all the while desperately seeking to stop the war threatening to break between the Southern territory and the old Northern kingdoms that control it―a war in which Athan’s father is determined to play a role. As diplomatic ties manage to just barely hold, the two teens struggle to remain loyal to their families and each other as they learn that war is not as black and white as they’ve been raised to believe.

Purchase Dark of the West at Amazon
Purchase Dark of the West at IndieBound
View Dark of the West on Goodreads

* * * *


Enchantée
by Gita Trelease
Hardcover
Flatiron Books
Released 2/5/2019

Paris is a labryinth of twisted streets filled with beggars and thieves, revolutionaries and magicians. Camille Durbonne is one of them. She wishes she weren’t...

When smallpox kills her parents, Camille must find a way to provide for her younger sister while managing her volatile brother. Relying on magic, Camille painstakingly transforms scraps of metal into money to buy food and medicine they need. But when the coins won’t hold their shape and her brother disappears with the family’s savings, Camille pursues a richer, more dangerous mark: the glittering court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

Using dark magic forbidden by her mother, Camille transforms herself into a baroness and is swept up into life at the Palace of Versailles, where aristocrats both fear and hunger for magic. As she struggles to reconcile her resentment of the rich with the allure of glamour and excess, Camille meets a handsome younge inventor, and begins to believe that love and liberty may both be possible.

But magic has its costs, and soon Camille loses control of her secrets. And when revolution erupts, Camille must choose―love or loyalty, democracy or aristocracy, reality of magic―before Paris burns.

Purchase Enchantée at Amazon
Purchase Enchantée at IndieBound
View Enchantée on Goodreads

* * * *


Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss
by Kasie West
Hardcover
HarperTeen
Released 2/5/2019

Lacey Barnes has dreamed of being an actress for as long as she can remember. So when she gets the opportunity to star in a movie alongside one of Hollywood’s hottest actors, she doesn’t hesitate to accept the part.

But Lacey quickly learns that life in the spotlight isn’t as picture perfect as she imagined. She’s having trouble bonding with her costars, her father has hired the definition of a choir boy, Donavan Lake, to tutor her, and somewhere along the way she’s lost her acting mojo. And just when it seems like things couldn’t get any worse, it looks like someone on set is deliberately trying to sabotage her.

As Lacey’s world spins out of control, it feels like the only person she can count on—whether it’s helping her try to unravel the mystery of who is out to get her or snap her out of her acting funk—is Donavan. But what she doesn’t count on is this straight-laced boy becoming another distraction.

With her entire future riding on this movie, Lacey knows she can’t afford to get sidetracked by a crush. But for the first time in her life Lacey wonders if it’s true that the best stories really do happen when you go off script.

Purchase Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss at Amazon
Purchase Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss at IndieBound
View Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss on Goodreads

* * * *


Following
by Jeffry W. Johnston
Paperback
Sourcebooks Fire
Released 2/5/2019

Alden likes to follow people. He's not trying to be a creep, he just wants to be an investigator someday, and it's good practice.

But spying on people comes with risks, like when Alden sees popular Greg Matthes seemingly murder his girlfriend, Amy, one night in the bad part of town.

But the facts aren't adding up, especially because Amy may be alive. Now Alden has to figure what he could have seen... and what secrets Greg is hiding.

Purchase Following at Amazon
Purchase Following at IndieBound
View Following on Goodreads

* * * *


Lady Smoke
by Laura Sebastian
Hardcover
Delacorte Press
Released 2/5/2019

The Kaiser murdered Theodosia's mother, the Fire Queen, when Theo was only six. He took Theo's country and kept her prisoner, crowning her Ash Princess--a pet to toy with and humiliate for ten long years. That era has ended. The Kaiser thought his prisoner weak and defenseless. He didn't realize that a sharp mind is the deadliest weapon.

Theo no longer wears a crown of ashes. She has taken back her rightful title, and a hostage--Prinz Soren. But her people remain enslaved under the Kaiser's rule, and now she is thousands of miles away from them and her throne.

To get them back, she will need an army. Only, securing an army means she must trust her aunt, the dreaded pirate Dragonsbane. And according to Dragonsbane, an army can only be produced if Theo takes a husband. Something an Astrean Queen has never done.

Theo knows that freedom comes at a price, but she is determined to find a way to save her country without losing herself.


Purchase Lady Smoke at Amazon
Purchase Lady Smoke at IndieBound
View Lady Smoke on Goodreads

* * * *


Leave. Me. Alone.: A Place to Drop Your Drama
by Dylan Smith-Mitchell
Paperback
Macmillan
Released 2/5/2019

A journal for teens who know adults just don’t understand, this full-color book offers guided prompts to help teens express their negative feelings and lead them toward positive ones. Whether it’s social anxiety caused by far too much Instagram, academic pressure, or the realization your crush just isn’t that into you, this book is the place to process the hard feelings of adolescence and learn how to control your emotions rather than letting them control you.

Purchase Leave. Me. Alone.: A Place to Drop Your Drama at Amazon
Purchase Leave. Me. Alone.: A Place to Drop Your Drama at IndieBound
View Leave. Me. Alone.: A Place to Drop Your Drama on Goodreads

* * * *


Look Closer
by Stewart Lewis
Paperback
Sourcebooks Fire
Released 2/5/2019

Ever since Tegan's father died while serving overseas, she's been numb. She quit the swim team, and without her best friend around to distract her, the weight of her father's death feels like it will crush her.

Then one morning random letters are circled on her cereal box, letters which spell a name. Teagan doesn't know what to make of it, but tracks down that boy―only to witness him commit suicide. Teagan is devastated. But when she meets Edge, a friend of the dead boy, at least someone seems to understand how she feels.

Except she sees another name...and another. And a pattern forms.

Together, Teagan and Edge set out to find those people, to try to save them from their fate. With a renewed purpose, Tegan is determined to save lives that summer, just like her father used to. But can she save herself?

Purchase Look Closer at Amazon
Purchase Look Closer at IndieBound
View Look Closer on Goodreads

* * * *


No One Here Is Lonely
by Sarah Everett
Hardcover
Knopf Books for Young Readers
Released 2/5/2019

Eden has always had two loves: her best friend, Lacey, and her crush, Will. And then, almost simultaneously, she loses them both. Will to a car accident and Lacey to the inevitable growing up and growing apart.

Devastated by the holes they have left in her life, Eden finds solace in an unlikely place. Before he died, Will set up an account with In Good Company, a service that uploads voices and emails and creates a digital companion that can be called anytime, day or night. It couldn't come at a better time because, after losing Lacey--the hardest thing Eden has had to deal with--who else can she confide all her secrets to? Who is Eden without Lacey?

As Eden falls deeper into her relationship with "Will," she hardly notices as her real life blooms around her. There is a new job, new friends. Then there is Oliver. He's Lacey's twin, so has always been off-limits to her, until now. He may be real, but to have him, will Eden be able to say goodbye to Will?

Purchase No One Here Is Lonely at Amazon
Purchase No One Here Is Lonely at IndieBound
View No One Here Is Lonely on Goodreads

* * * *


On the Come Up
by Angie Thomas
Hardcover
Balzer + Bray
Released 2/5/2019

Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least win her first battle. As the daughter of an underground hip hop legend who died right before he hit big, Bri’s got massive shoes to fill.

But it’s hard to get your come up when you’re labeled a hoodlum at school, and your fridge at home is empty after your mom loses her job. So Bri pours her anger and frustration into her first song, which goes viral…for all the wrong reasons.

Bri soon finds herself at the center of a controversy, portrayed by the media as more menace than MC. But with an eviction notice staring her family down, Bri doesn’t just want to make it—she has to. Even if it means becoming the very thing the public has made her out to be.

Purchase On the Come Up at Amazon
Purchase On the Come Up at IndieBound
View On the Come Up on Goodreads

* * * *


Stolen Time
by Danielle Rollins
Hardcover
HarperTeen
Released 2/5/2019

Seattle, 1913

Dorothy spent her life learning the art of the con. But after meeting a stranger and stowing away on his peculiar aircraft, she wakes up in a chilling version of the world she left behind—and for the first time in her life, realizes she’s in way over her head.

New Seattle, 2077

If there was ever a girl who was trouble, it was one who snuck on board Ash’s time machine wearing a wedding gown—and the last thing he needs is trouble if he wants to prevent his terrifying visions of the future from coming true.

Purchase Stolen Time at Amazon
Purchase Stolen Time at IndieBound
View Stolen Time on Goodreads

* * * *


We Told Six Lies
by Victoria Scott
Hardcover
Entangled: Teen
Released 2/5/2019

Remember how many lies we told, Molly? It’s enough to make my head spin. You were wild when I met you, and I was mad for you. But then something happened. And now you’re gone.

But don’t worry. I’ll find you. I just need to sift through the story of us to get to where you might be. I’ve got places to look, and a list of names.

The police have a list of names, too. See now? There’s another lie. There is only one person they’re really looking at, Molly.

And that’s yours truly.

Purchase We Told Six Lies at Amazon
Purchase We Told Six Lies at IndieBound
View We Told Six Lies on Goodreads

* * * *


Ye
by Guilherme Petreca
Paperback
Top Shelf Productions
Released 2/5/2019

Ye is a curious young man, named after the only sound he knows how to make. His voice must have been stolen by the Colorless King, the source of all the world's sorrows -- terrifying, unrelenting, all-taking and never-giving. Now, Ye has no choice but to embark on a long voyage over land and sea, past grizzled pirates, a drunken clown, and more, to find the famous witch who can help him defeat the Colorless King. What he discovers may be a lesson for us all.

Purchase Ye at Amazon
Purchase Ye at IndieBound
View Ye on Goodreads


Saturday, February 2, 2019

0 Free #1st5pages Writing Workshop is Now Open!

Our February workshop is now open! In addition to our wonderful permanent mentors, we have Jordan Hamessley of New Leaf Literary as our agent mentor and Carrie Ann DiRisio as our author mentor! Click here to get the rules.

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!

So get those pages ready - we fill up fast!

Happy Writing and Revising!

Erin


Erin Cashman is AYAP's 1st 5 Pages Workshop coordinator, and a permanent mentor. She writes YA fantasy. UNCHARTED was published in fall 2018, and THE EXCEPTIONALS, a Bank Street College of Education best book of the year, is available now. For up to date information about the workshop, you can follow Erin on twitter here

0 Caleb Roehrig, author of DEATH PREFERS BLONDES, on learning to trust yourself

We're thrilled to have Caleb Roehrig with us to chat about his latest novel, DEATH PREFERS BLONDES.

Caleb, how long did you work on DEATH PREFERS BLONDES?

The answer to this is complicated. I got the first spark of inspiration for this story when I was about nineteen, envisioning a rebel heiress character who drove a convertible and fought with her dad a lot; I didn’t know anything about her story, but I knew who she was. Later, I was watching a movie that opened with a woman robbing a jewelry store, dressed in a platinum wig and huge sunglasses and this black Stetson, and omg, the drama of it all! Just like that, I saw this band of jewel thief drag queens, all dressed in corresponding outfits with these brightly colored wigs—and somehow, in my head, I connected that image with the rebel heiress. For several years, that’s really as far I went with it, but eventually I decided to tell myself the whole story. I sketched it as an outline, and then wrote a version of it that was admittedly pretty terrible, and then trunked it completely. But it was always there, begging for a new life; and when I published my debut, I mentioned it to my editor, and she FLIPPED over the concept of jewel thief drag queens. So I dusted it off, completely revised the outline, and started over. I wrote the first half of the book in the summer of 2017, and the second half at the top of 2018—about six months of writing/revising all together—and now here we are.

What do you hope readers will take away from DEATH PREFERS BLONDES?

I explore a lot of themes in Death Prefers Blondes, but the the two I most hope readers take away with them are the importance of found family, and of learning to trust yourself. Found families have always been a huge and significant part of the queer community, and especially in the world of drag, so I really wanted this book to stand as a tribute to the support network of intimate friends. I also really wanted to depict characters who experience guilt and self-doubt and insecurity, but who persevere, and who manage to fix what’s wrong in their lives. Coincidentally, there were many, many times in the writing of this book where I was sure I was making a huge mistake; but I eventually decided to trust my judgment, and I absolutely could not be happier with the results.

What do you most wish you had learned sooner in the writing process, something that you could reach back to the beginning of your writing journey and tell yourself?

I definitely wish that the Caleb at the beginning of his writing journey had been capable of more objectivity when it came to his work. Completing my first full-length novel took me probably two years, writing on weekends and between classes in college, and when it was done I was so overwhelmed with what I’d accomplished (and, frankly, so impressed by the finished product) that I wasn’t able to see where I’d made mistakes. And I mean, for one thing, the manuscript was about 160,000 words long; it needed some considerable editing. I’m happy to report that I’ve gotten much better about killing my darlings, these days. I cut about 25,000 words out of the zero draft of Death Prefers Blondes before I submitted it to my editor, and it’s far sharper and more satisfying as a result.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Death Prefers Blondes
by Caleb Roehrig
Hardcover
Feiwel & Friends
Released 1/29/2019

Teenage socialite Margo Manning leads a dangerous double life. By day, she dodges the paparazzi while soaking up California sunshine. By night, however, she dodges security cameras and armed guards, pulling off high-stakes cat burglaries with a team of flamboyant young men. In and out of disguise, she’s in all the headlines.

But then Margo’s personal life takes a sudden, dark turn, and a job to end all jobs lands her crew in deadly peril. Overnight, everything she’s ever counted on is put at risk. Backs against the wall, the resourceful thieves must draw on their special skills to survive. But can one rebel heiress and four kickboxing drag queens withstand the slings and arrows of truly outrageous fortune? Or will a mounting sea of troubles end them―for good?

Purchase Death Prefers Blondes at Amazon
Purchase Death Prefers Blondes at IndieBound
View Death Prefers Blondes on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Caleb Roehrig is a writer and television producer originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan. Having also lived in Chicago, Los Angeles, and Helsinki, Finland, he has a chronic case of wanderlust, and can recommend the best sights to see on a shoestring budget in over thirty countries. A former actor, Roehrig has experience on both sides of the camera, with a résumé that includes appearances on film and TV—as well as seven years in the stranger-than-fiction salt mines of reality television. In the name of earning a paycheck, he has: hung around a frozen cornfield in his underwear, partied with an actual rock-star, chatted with a scandal-plagued politician, and been menaced by a disgruntled ostrich.
---

Have you had a chance to read DEATH PREFERS BLONDES yet? Are you able to see your mistakes when revising? Are you able to kill your darlings? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!

Happy Reading,

Jocelyn, Halli, Martina, Erin, Susan, Shelly, and Kelly

0 Free #1st5pages Writing Workshop Opens Today!

Our February workshop will open for submissions today at noon, EST. In addition to our wonderful permanent mentors, we have Jordan Hamessley of New Leaf Literary as our agent mentor and Carrie Ann DiRisio as our author mentor!

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 the guest author as well as least one and usually two traditionally-published published or agented authors from among our permanent mentors 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 is reviewed by our mentoring literary agent, who will also give you feedback on the pitch for your story--the pitch 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. We will post when the workshop opens and closes on Adventures in YA Publishing and on twitter (@etcashman@MelissWritesNow@charlotteclg ), 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.

February Guest Literary Agent Mentor: Jordan Hamessley

Jordan is actively building a list of diverse children’s fiction from picture books through YA and select adult science fiction and horror authors. Jordan has a deep affection for contemporary middle grade and YA with heart and humor. She is always looking to find stories that bring the queer experience to the children’s space across all age ranges. In terms of genre, she is interested science fiction and horror. She is also looking for quirky, non-fiction picture books with a STEM focus.

Jordan lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family and sings show tunes and tap dances in her spare time.


For Query Guidelines and to submit, please visit: Submissions 



February Guest Literary Author Mentor: Carrie Ann DiRisio

Carrie Ann DiRisio is a YA Author and creator of @BroodingYAHero. She lives in Pittsburgh, PA with one large fluffy cat, and is currently pursuing her masters in Digital Marketing, although her true dream is to become a Disney Villainess, complete with a really snazzy gown. Her novel, Brooding YA Hero: Becoming a Main Character as Awesome as Me is destined to open up more conversations about YA books and how they’re written, all while delighting audiences.

In addition to writing and plans for world domination, she also enjoys running, coffee, Krav Maga, and knitting.









Have you ever wished you could receive a little guidance from your favorite book boyfriend? Ever dreamed of being the Chosen One in a YA novel? Want to know all the secrets of surviving the dreaded plot twist?

Well, popular Twitter personality @broodingYAhero is here to help as he tackles the final frontier in his media dominance: writing a book. Join Broody McHottiepants as he attempts to pen Brooding YA Hero: Becoming a Main Character (Almost) as Awesome as Me, a "self-help" guide (with activities--you always need activities) that lovingly pokes fun at the YA tropes that we roll our eyes at, but secretly love. 


Where to Buy:

Add it on GOODREADS!

Friday, February 1, 2019

0 Free #1st5pages Writing Workshop Opens Tomorrow!

Our February workshop will open for submissions on Saturday, February 2nd at noon, EST. In addition to our wonderful permanent mentors, we have Jordan Hamessley of New Leaf Literary as our agent mentor and Carrie Ann DiRisio as our author mentor!

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 the guest author as well as least one and usually two traditionally-published published or agented authors from among our permanent mentors 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 is reviewed by our mentoring literary agent, who will also give you feedback on the pitch for your story--the pitch 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. We will post when the workshop opens and closes on Adventures in YA Publishing and on twitter (@etcashman@MelissWritesNow@charlotteclg ), 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.

February Guest Literary Agent Mentor: Jordan Hamessley

Jordan is actively building a list of diverse children’s fiction from picture books through YA and select adult science fiction and horror authors. Jordan has a deep affection for contemporary middle grade and YA with heart and humor. She is always looking to find stories that bring the queer experience to the children’s space across all age ranges. In terms of genre, she is interested science fiction and horror. She is also looking for quirky, non-fiction picture books with a STEM focus.

Jordan lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family and sings show tunes and tap dances in her spare time.


For Query Guidelines and to submit, please visit: Submissions 



February Guest Literary Author Mentor: Carrie Ann DiRisio

Carrie Ann DiRisio is a YA Author and creator of @BroodingYAHero. She lives in Pittsburgh, PA with one large fluffy cat, and is currently pursuing her masters in Digital Marketing, although her true dream is to become a Disney Villainess, complete with a really snazzy gown. Her novel, Brooding YA Hero: Becoming a Main Character as Awesome as Me is destined to open up more conversations about YA books and how they’re written, all while delighting audiences.

In addition to writing and plans for world domination, she also enjoys running, coffee, Krav Maga, and knitting.









Have you ever wished you could receive a little guidance from your favorite book boyfriend? Ever dreamed of being the Chosen One in a YA novel? Want to know all the secrets of surviving the dreaded plot twist?

Well, popular Twitter personality @broodingYAhero is here to help as he tackles the final frontier in his media dominance: writing a book. Join Broody McHottiepants as he attempts to pen Brooding YA Hero: Becoming a Main Character (Almost) as Awesome as Me, a "self-help" guide (with activities--you always need activities) that lovingly pokes fun at the YA tropes that we roll our eyes at, but secretly love. 


Where to Buy:

Add it on GOODREADS!