Monday, June 18, 2018

2 New Releases this Week 06/18 - 06/24 plus 2 Giveaways

Happy Monday! This week is jam packed with new releases (that all sound perfect for summer) and two giveaways! Don't forget to check out all the books below and enter to win.

Happy Reading,

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

YA BOOK GIVEAWAYS THIS WEEK


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Dive Smack
by Demetra Brodsky
Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

Tor Teen
Released 6/19/2018

Theo Mackey only remembers one thing for certain about the fire that destroyed his home: he lit the match.

Sure, it was an accident. But the blaze killed his mom and set his dad on a path to self-destruction. Everything else about that fateful night is full of gaping holes in Theo’s mind, for good reason. Maybe it’s better that way. As captain of the Ellis Hollow Diving Team, with straight A's and solid friends, he's only one semester away from securing a scholarship, and leaving his past behind.

But when a family history project gets assigned at school, new memories come rushing to the surface, memories that make Theo question what he really knows about his family, the night of the fire, and if he can trust anyone―including himself.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Dive Smack?

One of my favorite elements in Dive Smack is the springboard diving I used as both Theo’s skill and a metaphor to illustrate the main character’s life spiraling out of control. I have a friend who was a U.S.A. springboard diver in the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, who was kind enough to proofread all the diving in my book. When she blurbed my debut novel and called it “…a perfect 10” I was ecstatic. When an Olympic springboard diver says you nailed it, you kind of have a moment of stomach swooping pride.

Purchase Dive Smack at Amazon
Purchase Dive Smack at IndieBound
View Dive Smack on Goodreads

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Phoebe Will Destroy You
by Blake Nelson
Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

Simon Pulse
Released 6/19/2018

The summer I was seventeen I met this girl…

Nick has the best of moms and the worst of moms. On the upside, she’s a distinguished professor and bestselling author. On the downside, she’s a serious alcoholic, with no clue how to relate to her son or husband.

Nick, meanwhile, has finished his junior year and needs a break from his stressful home life. What better place to spend the summer than Seaside, Oregon, a sleepy beach town where he can chill out, meet girls, and work at his Uncle’s car wash.

Enter local legend, Phoebe Garnet. She’s funny, sexy, but dangerously self-destructive. Suddenly Nick is more in love, more obsessed, more heartsick than he’s ever been in his life.

Why does Nick love her so much? Will he survive this obsession? And who can he turn to for help?

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Phoebe Will Destroy You?

Being seventeen. It's tough. Lots of stress from a lot of different places. Also girls. They're so amazing. And they're all around you. But somehow …. being with them, talking to them. NOT EASY. And the world. Telling you all these things. None of which are exactly true. And all the time, you feel this spark inside you. This strength. You can do anything. And then you meet a girl, and it finally works, the girl thing, it actually WORKS. It's all so confusing and weird and super fun and wtf! And you feel all this stuff. And all this stuff happens. And you know this is it. You only get to be seventeen for one year. There's nothing like it. Life will never feel like this again.

Purchase Phoebe Will Destroy You at Amazon
Purchase Phoebe Will Destroy You at IndieBound
View Phoebe Will Destroy You on Goodreads


YA BOOK GIVEAWAYS LAST WEEK: WINNERS

The Fall of Innocence by Jenny Torres Sanchez: Catherine C.


MORE YOUNG ADULT FICTION IN STORES NEXT WEEK WITH AUTHOR INTERVIEWS


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Not the Girls You're Looking For
by Aminah Mae Safi
Hardcover
Feiwel & Friends
Released 6/19/2018

Lulu Saad doesn't need your advice, thank you very much. She's got her three best friends and nothing can stop her from conquering the known world. Sure, for half a minute she thought she’d nearly drowned a cute guy at a party, but he was totally faking it. And fine, yes, she caused a scene during Ramadan. It's all under control. Ish.

Except maybe this time she’s done a little more damage than she realizes. And if Lulu can't find her way out of this mess soon, she'll have to do more than repair friendships, family alliances, and wet clothing. She'll have to go looking for herself.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Not the Girls You're Looking For?

The friendships! I love the complexity of friendships when you’re a teenager— there’s an intensity to those relationships that is honestly so magical to me. The dynamic between Lulu and her three best friends was constantly shifting and it was a fun puzzle to get to work out where everyone was emotionally at any given moment in the story.

Purchase Not the Girls You're Looking For at Amazon
Purchase Not the Girls You're Looking For at IndieBound
View Not the Girls You're Looking For on Goodreads


MORE YOUNG ADULT NOVELS NEW IN STORES NEXT WEEK


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Almost Impossible
by Nicole Williams
Paperback
Crown Books for Young Readers
Released 6/19/2018

When Jade decided to spend the summer with her aunt in California, she thought she knew what she was getting into. But nothing could have prepared her for Quentin. Jade hasn't been in suburbia long and even she knows her annoying (and annoyingly cute) next-door neighbor spells T-R-O-U-B-L-E.

And when Quentin learns Jade plans to spend her first American summer hiding out reading books, he refuses to be ignored. Sneaking out, staying up, and even a midnight swim, Quentin is determined to give Jade days--and nights--worth remembering.

But despite their storybook-perfect romance, every time Jade moves closer, Quentin pulls away. And when rumors of a jilted ex-girlfriend come to light, Jade knows Quentin is hiding a secret--and she's determined to find out what it is.

Purchase Almost Impossible at Amazon
Purchase Almost Impossible at IndieBound
View Almost Impossible on Goodreads

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I Think I Love You
by Patricia Lyfoung
Hardcover
Macmillan
Released 6/19/2018

Maud and Guilhem are still on the trail of the evil Baron and his acolytes. With her father’s diary and a continuing sense of deja vu at every new place they go to, Maud and Guilhem grow closer in spite of his best intentions. They leave Venice for Istanbul where crossing the desert is full of surprises. When Maud goes missing, Guilhem fears the worst, but Maud is rediscovering her ancestors. Meanwhile the Huet brothers must be stopped in a fight to end all fights with the Scarlet Rose and the Fox!

Purchase I Think I Love You at Amazon
Purchase I Think I Love You at IndieBound
View I Think I Love You on Goodreads

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Love Me, Love Me Not
by SM Koz
Hardcover
Swoon Reads
Released 6/19/2018

When Hailey Brown is removed from her home and put into foster care, all she wants is a safe, comfortable place where she can finish school and move on with her life. It’s not easy adjusting to a new school and a new life, but Mr. and Mrs. Campbell and their teenage son, Brad, welcome Hailey with open arms.

As Hailey begins to adjust to her new life, she and Brad grow closer. For the first time, Hailey feels like she might have a real shot at a future. Soon, however, Hailey realizes her relationship with Brad has crossed the line from friendship into something more. But being with Brad would mean giving up the perfect life that Hailey has waited so long to have.

Can Hailey and Brad resist the feelings that are developing between them―or will they risk it all to be together?

Purchase Love Me, Love Me Not at Amazon
Purchase Love Me, Love Me Not at IndieBound
View Love Me, Love Me Not on Goodreads

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The Boyfriend Bracket
by Kate Evangelista
Hardcover
Swoon Reads
Released 6/19/2018

Stella has had a hopeless crush on Will, her older brother's best friend FOREVER, but now that Cam and Will have graduated and are going off to college, this year is her chance to really strike out on her own. Without her overprotective brother and his sidekick around to distract her, she can focus on having all the typical high school experiences that she's always dreamed of―starting with finding a boyfriend! With the help of her best friend, Franklin, she comes up with the perfect plan to have a boyfriend by Christmas: The Boyfriend Bracket.

Or it seems like the perfect plan . . . right up until Will starts showing up again. How is she supposed to find the perfect boyfriend when none of her dates measure up to the one boy she can never have?

Purchase The Boyfriend Bracket at Amazon
Purchase The Boyfriend Bracket at IndieBound
View The Boyfriend Bracket on Goodreads

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Thief of Happy Endings
by Kristen Chandler
Hardcover
Viking Books for Young Readers
Released 6/19/2018

Wild mustangs, irresistible wranglers, and lovesick teens abound over the course of one beautifully crazy summer at a Wyoming Ranch Camp.

Ever since her father moved out, Cassidy feels like her life has been falling apart. So a summer of riding horses at a ranch camp in Wyoming sounds like just what she needs--never mind the fact that she has a paralyzing fear of horses. She's determined to move past her fear, even if that means taking lessons from the insufferable (yet irresistible) junior wrangler Justin and embarrassing herself in front of the other campers. What follows is a summer of rodeos, complicated friendships, and a wild mustang thief on the loose.

Purchase Thief of Happy Endings at Amazon
Purchase Thief of Happy Endings at IndieBound
View Thief of Happy Endings on Goodreads

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Saturday, June 16, 2018

0 Amy McNamara, author of A FLICKER IN THE CLARITY, on really loving your characters

We're delighted to have Amy McNamara join us to share more about her latest novel, A FLICKER IN THE CLARITY.

Amy, what was your inspiration for writing A FLICKER IN THE CLARITY?

Many years ago my daughter struggled with a needy, domineering and self-destructive friend. It made me think of my own attraction to a glamorous mess when I was her age. It took me far longer than it took my daughter to realise there is a vast difference between caretaking and genuine friendship and that real friendship is an ongoing balance between give and take.

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

This book taught me that you have to really love your characters in order for them to breathe on the page. When I started out I had too much of myself tangled up with Evie and Emma. I was annoyed/disappointed/mad at them for acting the way they did until I realized the level of frustration I felt toward them was mixed up with disappointment I’d hung onto about myself—that it took so long for me to learn certain things about life and love and real friendship. Until I could feel compassion toward my younger self, I wasn’t able to feel compassionate toward my characters and they stayed stuck on the page. It was a good but tangled lesson to learn.

What do you hope readers will take away from A FLICKER IN THE CLARITY?

What reading is so good for: time spent in the skin or the world or the dream of another person. I hope readers who see themselves in Evie will feel challenged to look inward and ask themselves why they’re more invested in the problems of a friend than they are in their own lives. Sometimes the hardest friend to boost is the one in the mirror, and, of course, once you get your act together you have more to offer as a friend.

ABOUT THE BOOK

A Flicker in the Clarity
by Amy McNamara
Hardcover
HarperTeen
Released 6/12/2018

Evie and Emma are inseparable. Two halves of a whole, they balance each other until Evie makes a flip decision that gets Emma in serious trouble.

Feeling the sting of betrayal, Emma freezes Evie out. Evie is full of regret, desperately sorry, sad, and—for the first time in her life—entirely alone.

Then Evie meets Theo, a boy who offers her a view of the world through a different lens. Just as she lets herself fall for Theo, Emma resurfaces—but not without consequence.

Emma’s erratic behavior, drunken mishaps, and panicked phone calls leave Evie afraid there’s something deeper going on. Evie wants to help Emma, but Emma is bent on self-destruction.

All Evie wanted was her friend back—but can you help someone who doesn’t want to be saved?

Purchase A Flicker in the Clarity at Amazon
Purchase A Flicker in the Clarity at IndieBound
View A Flicker in the Clarity on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Amy McNamara learned to read at three and hasn't put the book down since. She holds a BA in French literature and an MFA in poetry. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals and have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her manuscript of poetry THE NEW HEAD CHRONOMETRIST has been a finalist for many book awards but still needs a home. She is the author of LOVELY, DARK AND DEEP and A FLICKER IN THE CLARITY (summer 2018). When she’s not reading stories, telling stories, or thinking about stories or poems, she can be spotted, camera in hand, for pay and for pleasure, documenting the incredible city she calls home. She lives in NYC with her honey and their two kids.

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Have you had a chance to read A FLICKER IN THE CLARITY yet? Are you able to love your characters in order for them to breathe on the page? Are you able to keep yourself from becoming too tangled up with your characters? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!

Happy Reading,

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

Thursday, June 14, 2018

0 Lucy Ivison and Tom Ellen, authors of FRESHMEN, on using funny stories from their time together at university

We're thrilled to have Lucy Ivison and Tom Ellen join us to share more about their latest novel, FRESHMEN.

Lucy and Tom, what was your inspiration for writing FRESHMEN?

We were at university together (in York, in the north of England), so we had lots of funny stories from our time there. We also felt there weren't that many realistic, funny British YA novels about the first year of university which seemed odd to us as so many YA readers are either at university or preparing to go!

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?

TOM: There's a scene that Lucy wrote most of, involving a condom, that is DEFINITELY my favorite scene of the book. Still makes me laugh every time I read it. I am also quite proud of the scene where Luke - the male protagonist - goes to the college's awful sport initiation ceremony, as I feel it's a pretty realistic look at that kind of awful, toxic masculinity. I was never in the football team myself, but a lot of my friends were, and they told me horror stories about these 'hazing' events, so it was good to be able to show that stuff to make people realize how grim it often is.

LUCY: FRESHMEN explores toxic masculinity amongst college aged guys. Without giving too much away - there is a scene in the book where Phoebe has to confront a guy who has treated her badly. We thought a lot about how to do that in a way that was both realistic, as well as empowering.

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

There are lots of great UK YA authors writing funny, awkward, realistic teen novels - any book by Holly Bourne, Non Pratt, Lisa Williamson or Juno Dawson is definitely worth checking out!

How long did you work on FRESHMEN?

It probably took us a year in total to write it, over the course of three different drafts. But we had talked about writing a university-set novel for years before we started, so lots of the ideas had been knocking about for a while!

What do you hope readers will take away from FRESHMEN?

First and foremost it's a comedy, so we hope they'll get some laughs! But aside from that, we both felt that there was an immense amount of pressure in the first year college/university - to have fun, to make friends, to fit in - so I guess we hope that readers might relate to our portrayal of how chaotic and crazy and difficult that period actually is.

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

We've published two YA novels before FRESHMEN, and we are very lucky in that the first novel we wrote got published. We entered it into the Sunday Times/Chicken House competition in the UK; it got shortlisted, and although it didn't win, Chicken House chose to publish it anyway. We'd really recommend writing competitions to any aspiring authors - obviously it's great if you get shortlisted or win, but either way, they provide you with a concrete deadline which will help give you the push you need to actually finish your MS!

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?

Lucy was working as a teacher while we were writing our first novel, and her students (girls aged 16 and 17) would always complain to her that there were no funny books for older teens. That was definitely an AHA! moment, as we suddenly thought: "Well, why don't we try and write one, then?"

ABOUT THE BOOK

Freshmen
by Lucy Ivison and Tom Ellen
Hardcover
Delacorte Press
Released 6/12/2018

Getting in is just the beginning.

Phoebe can't wait to get to college. On her own, discovering new things, no curfew . . . she'll be free. And she'll be totally different: cooler, prettier, smarter . . . the perfect potential girlfriend. Convenient: the only person from her high school also going to York is her longtime crush, Luke.

Luke didn't set out to redefine himself, but as soon as he arrives on campus, he finds himself dumping his long-term long-distance girlfriend. And the changes don't stop there. In fact, being on a soccer team is the only thing that stays the same.

Just when things start looking up (and Phoebe and Luke start hooking up), drama looms on the horizon. Rumors swirl about the Wall of Shame, a secret text chain run by Luke's soccer team, filled with compromising photos of girls. As the women on campus determine to expose the team and shut down the account, Luke and Phoebe find themselves grappling with confusing feelings and wondering how they'll ever make it through freshman year.

Purchase Freshmen at Amazon
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View Freshmen on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHORS  

Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison met at the end of high school and quickly became sweethearts. Though they broke up in college, they remain best friends. Lucy runs the online teen magazine Whatever After and teaches in girls’ schools across London, specializing in building confidence and creativity. Tom is a journalist and has written for Time Out, Vice, ESPN, Glamour, and many other publications. They cowrote A Totally Awkward Love Story, which was partially inspired by their own high school relationship. 

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Have you had a chance to read FRESHMEN yet? Do you enter writing competitions? Do you find that concrete deadlines give you the push you need to finish writing? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!

Happy Reading,

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

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

0 WoW: L. E. Sterling on Using a Pen Name

From Mark Twain to Dr. Seuss, I've always been interested in pen names. From those who choose to identify with their initials, to writers who develop brand new identities to use when sharing their fictional worlds with readers, I'm so curious to know how and why authors develop their nom de plumes. So today, I'm super excited to welcome L. E. Sterling, author of the True Born Trilogy, who de-mystifies the process! Stay tuned after the guest post for a bit more about L.E. and her latest book TRUE STORM.

Why I use a pen name (and why you should consider it)
by L. E. Sterling
When I was ten I braved a forty-minute hike to West Edmonton Mall. “The Mall,” as it was known to us West Enders, was a monster –– but unlike other kids, I didn’t go in for the stores bursting with cool clothes for girls, or to hang out with the boys at the arcade or roller coaster.

I went to the bookstore.

I wandered through the store before coming to my real destination: the science fiction and fantasy shelves. I stood there, maybe for an hour, and just stared at the titles of the books and their authors. Jack Vance. Ursula K. LeGuin. Sherri S. Tepper. Guy Gavriel Kay.

I think that was the first day I realized that writing was a business, and that to be successful, I needed to think like those who were succeeding.

First, you need to understand that at the time, YA was relegated to the (totally awesome but completely maligned) Sweet Valley High series …. Which I totally recommend, by the way. The stories were about proms and part-time jobs and how to get that boy to kiss you at the carnival. There were no books about girls who save planets in the YA section.

I made a few other striking observations that day: the first was that there were very few women writers on those shelves. Oh sure, there was Anne McCaffrey and Marion Zimmer Bradley. Still, the shelves were overwhelmingly stocked with male authors.

There were also a few notable books that fell into a no-man’s land. Literally. And by that I mean these were books written by names, by literary initials. I picked up one, a pocket paperback by one C.J. Cherryh. And more than the book’s description, it was the bio that had me hooked.

C. J. Cherryh was a woman.

Back then, the only women writers I could identify with had pen names with initials. One of my favorites, for instance, was S. E. Hinton.

I had known at least since I was seven that I was going to be a writer. But that morning, as I staggered away from the bookstore feeling like a bell had tolled, I learned something more. I was going to write not ordinary stories, but science fiction and fantasy.

And I was going to use a pen name to do it. I was going to write books under the name L.E. Vollick, comprising my initials and my last name. Like C.J. Cherryh. Like S.E. Hinton.

I published a fairly substantial body of work under the pen name of my childhood: poetry, essays, short stories, and yes, my first novel, The Originals. None of these early publications fell under the speculative fiction rubric.

After the publication of my first novel, The Originals, though, I saw that I was stuck. You see, I’d gone through two creative writing degrees and was finally learning “the biz,” and “the biz” had made it clear that once you started making a name for yourself it was very difficult to change your trajectory. But I still wanted to dabble in urban fantasy, in dystopian lit. I didn’t think my past body of work would allow for that kind of change.

So when it came time to publish my second novel, the urban fantasy Pluto’s Gate, I decided to keep the first part of my name but change my last name. I became L.E. Sterling.

A few considerations went into this decision. First and foremost, it gave me some creative space to write and think in new and bolder ways. Many of my fellow writers often have a different name for their different audiences or genres (for instance, my writer friend Mary Lindsay (YA) / Marissa Clarke (romance/thriller, adult)). This allows them the freedom to jump genres and market their work to completely different audiences.

Sterling was also a last name well-suited to the male-dominated science fiction and fantasy markets (Rod Sirling, Bruce Sterling, S.M.Sterling). And finally — finally! — I would get away from the problem of the V’s.

In bookstores and for most catalogues, books are ordered alphabetically by an author’s last name. My first book was sandwiched in the shelves beside Voltaire. And while there’s a certain pride with that, it wasn’t where I wanted to be. People cruising a bookstore almost never make it to the end of the alphabet.

With the last name Sterling, I crept up in the alphabet game and sat beside some of those genre giants. In fact, now that I’m properly categorized as a YA author, my works are shelved beside an author I truly admire: bestselling author Maggie Stievater.

There is also a familiarity to the Sterling surname. People will recall it, and be able to spell it, much more easily than Vollick.

Does it work? It does have some drawbacks, particularly on websites like Goodreads, which doesn't have the functionality to attribute my first novel, The Originals, to me. But I still enjoy my writing name. And even in this era of YA (scifi/fantasy) being dominated by women authors, I don’t regret the use of my initials in place of my first name.

Here’s a little secret: the “L.” and the “E.” of my pen names are stand-ins for my real names. My parents always called me by my middle name (Erin), so I have always kept the L. as a placeholder for the name I’m never called and don’t answer to. But don’t ask me to tell you what it is….



About L.E. Sterling
L.E. Sterling had an early obsession with sci-fi, fantasy and romance, to which she remained faithful through an M.A. in creative writing and a PhD in English literature, where she completed a thesis on magical representation.

She is the author of cult hit YA novel The Originals (under pen name L.E. Vollick) and the Urban Fantasy Pluto’s Gate, and the True Born Trilogy. True Born, first in the series, won the 2017 Athena Award® from the Young Adult chapter of the RWA. Originally hailing from Parry Sound, Ontario, L.E. spent most of her summers roaming across Canada in a van, inspiring her writing career. She currently lives in Toronto, Canada.



About TRUE STORM (True Born #3)
Lucy’s twin sister, Margot, may be safely back with her—but all is not well in Plague-ravaged Dominion City. The Watchers have come out of hiding, spreading chaos and death throughout the city, and suddenly Lucy finds herself under pressure to choose her future: does it lie with her handsome new friend, Alastair; her guardian, the enigmatic True Born leader Nolan Storm; or the man who makes her heart trip, her savage True Born bodyguard Jared Price?

But while Lucy ponders her path, fate has other plans. Betrayal is a cruel lesson, and the Fox sisters can hardly believe who is behind the plot against them. To survive this deadly game of politics, Lucy is forced to agree to a marriage of convenience. But is the DNA of her will stronger than the forces opposing her? Can she turn the tide against the oncoming storm??

As they say in Dominion, can rogue genes ever have a happy ending?

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

0 H. A. Swain, author of SUPERMOON, on wrenching drama out of a story with a wall of color-coded post-it notes

We're delighted to have H. A. Swain join us to chat about her latest novel, SUPERMOON.

Heather, what was your inspiration for writing SUPERMOON?

When I discovered that NASA will send you a text every time the International Space Station flies over your location, I completed nerded out! (You can sign up here.) My kids and I would run outside, jump up and down and wave like maniacs (as if they could see us?) whenever the ISS zoomed by. I became fascinated with the idea of life beyond Earth. I started reading about colonizing the Moon and thinking about what that will mean for the humans who stay on Earth.

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?

The scene in which Uma (the Moonling runaway) gets scooped up by security drones and carried away from Talitha (her Earthling friend) was particularly challenging and rewarding. I wanted the reader to connect to the physicality of being lifted into the air and struggling to get free but also understand that getting free would mean plummeting to her death. I researched the logistics of how Uma could be picked up, what the landscape below her would look like, and whether she could free herself without dying. That scene took many, many rewrites, but in the end, I think it’s one of the most exciting and emotionally heart-wrenching scenes in the book.

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

For readers who want more intergalactic love from a feminist perspective try The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin

For a chilling take on a dystopian futuristic Earth and the girl who might be about to save it, check out Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler.

For what might happen if the Earth and the Moon collide, read the Susan Beth Pfeffer series Life As We Knew It.

How long did you work on SUPERMOON?

I wrote for about 18 months. I had several false starts because it took me a long time to understand what I was trying to say about AlphaZonia—the post-tsunami, privatized version of Los Angeles inhabited by the most privileged Earthlings. I wanted that world to be a commentary on vapid on-line culture and a look at what could happen if corporate power goes unchecked. At the same time, I wanted AlphaZonia to be fantastic and enticing so that it was fun to read about. Once I hit upon the character of RayNay DeShoppingCart (my favorite portmanteau of all time) I understood how I could make that all happen and the book clicked into place.

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

I spent more time plotting this book than I have with other manuscripts. I had an entire wall of color-coded post-it notes with scenes that I would constantly rearrange until I felt I had wrenched the most drama and excitement out of the story as I could.

What do you hope readers will take away from SUPERMOON?

The message of SUPERMOON is the same message as my other two futuristic thrillers, HUNGRY and GIFTED. If we are going to survive as a species on this planet we have to do a better job at taking care of the Earth and of one another. The division between haves and have-nots is too great and we are plundering resources at an alarming rate—all in the name of greed and profit. I’m a fundamentally optimistic person, but I worry about the long-term future if we don’t consider how political, economic, and environmental choices will affect our survival as a species.

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

I am incredibly grateful to have a relationship with my editor (Liz Szabla) at Feiwel & Friends. SUPERMOON is the third young adult novel we’ve done together (and the tenth book I’ve had published), so in that sense, the publishing road for this book was smooth. However, like most authors, the path to this point has been long, circuitous, full of rejection, and sometimes heart-breaking. I STILL have book ideas rejected * sigh * but that’s just part of publishing. All writers who want to publish will be rejected. The trick is picking yourself up after the heart break of rejection and writing something else.

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?

I have to admit, this question made me laugh out loud! As if I knew?!? Every single time I start working on a new book, I panic and feel certain that I have no idea what I’m doing. Once I’m done with a book, I marvel at it and wonder how on Earth I did it. Then I am 100% convinced that I will never, ever write another book. But somehow, I do. I guess the answer to the question then is this: The key to writing a novel is persevering through the panic of not knowing what you’re doing and writing until you get it done.

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

I am an anytime-anywhere writer. I’m not remotely precious about it. My writing life has always been a balancing act with working and raising children. I didn’t start writing until I was in my late twenties when I was already out of grad school, married, and teaching full time, then soon after that I had two kids, so I’ve never had the experience (er, um luxury) of writing being my sole focus.

When I taught full-time, I would get up at 5am and write for 90 minutes before I had to be at school. Once I had kids, I’d peck out scenes with one hand on my lap top while nursing a baby or I’d grab fifteen minutes to write while my kids napped. I’ve always shoe-horned writing time into my day. Because of that, I’ve trained myself to block out all distraction and get straight to work.

One trick I use—I always finish writing in the middle of a scene that way my brain keeps working while I’m away from my computer and the next time I sit down to work, I have a lot of material to spill.

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

Write because writing makes you happy. I think we tend to get caught up in pedigree and publication. Wonderful writers who create beautiful work feel unqualified to call themselves writers if they don’t have an MFA or a big book deal. Publishing is a business over which you have very little control. Writing and publishing are different things. You are a writer if you write. End of story.

What are you working on now?

I have a project I’m very excited about, but it’s in the early stages and I’m superstitious so I won’t talk about it yet.

ABOUT THE BOOK

SuperMoon
by H. A. Swain
Hardcover
Feiwel & Friends
Released 6/12/2018

Sol is the month between June and July on the thirteen-month Moon calendar. It's the only time teenagers have to themselves between rigorous scientific training and their ultimate lab assignments in their colony on the Moon. Their families emigrated from Earth to build better lives; but life on the Moon is far from perfect, as Uma learns on the eve of Sol.

Uma meets an Earthen girl who becomes a fast friend, and much more. What Uma doesn't know is that the girl is assigned to infect Uma with a plague that a rogue faction of Earthen scientists hope will wipe out Moon soldiers. Will Uma be the cause of a pandemic? Whom can she trust, and moreover, whom does she love?

Purchase SuperMoon at Amazon
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View SuperMoon on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Heather Swain lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband, two children, a dog, and two cats. She is the author of five novels for young adults, two kids craft books, two illustrated children's books, two novels for grown ups, and numerous short stories, personal essays, and non-fiction articles.

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Have you had a chance to read SUPERMOON yet? Are you able to pick yourself up after the heart break of rejection and write something else? Do you write because it makes you happy? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!

Happy Reading,

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

Monday, June 11, 2018

2 New Releases this week 06/11 - 06/17 plus Giveaway of THE FALL OF INNOCENCE

Happy Monday! This week is jam packed with new releases and a giveaway of THE FALL OF INNOCENCE! Don't forget to check out all the books below and enter to win.

Happy Reading,

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


YA BOOK GIVEAWAYS THIS WEEK


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The Fall of Innocence
by Jenny Torres Sanchez
Signed Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

Philomel Books
Released 6/12/2018

For the past eight years, sixteen-year-old Emilia DeJesus has done her best to move on from the traumatic attack she suffered in the woods behind her elementary school. She's forced down the memories--the feeling of the twigs cracking beneath her, choking on her own blood, unable to scream. Most of all, she's tried to forget about Jeremy Lance, the boy responsible, the boy who caused her such pain. Emilia believes that the crows who watched over her that day, who helped her survive, are still on her side, encouraging her to live fully. And with the love and support of her mother, brother, and her caring boyfriend, Emilia is doing just that.

But when a startling discovery about her attacker's identity comes to light, and the memories of that day break through the mental box in which she'd shut them away, Emilia is forced to confront her new reality and make sense of shifting truths about her past, her family, and herself.

A compulsively-readable tragedy that reminds us of the fragility of human nature.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about The Fall of Innocence?

My favorite thing about this book is the multiple points of view from which it’s told. It’s third person, but it’s close third person. And the reader intimately gets to know not only Emilia, but also the key people in her life. Her mother, her father, her brother, her boyfriend, her community are all deeply affected by the trauma Emilia has suffered and the story delves into how, even years later, they all continue to be affected by it. We see how this event in Emilia’s life fundamentally changes her and those around her. Because that’s how big trauma can be. Like a mushroom cloud spreading over so many people, over so many years.

Sometimes, as we scroll through news story after news story, consume tragedy after tragedy, it’s easy to forget the after of it all. So this book slows the story down, gives the reader time to get to know everyone, makes them, their stories, more personal. That’s what I hope anyway.


Purchase The Fall of Innocence at Amazon
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View The Fall of Innocence on Goodreads


YA BOOK GIVEAWAYS LAST WEEK: WINNERS

Bring Me Their Hearts by Sara Wolf: Alena S, Kathryn L. F, Kelly M.
Dear Rachel Maddow by Adrienne Kisner: Ellie M.
Tell Me No Lies by A.V. Geiger: Molly M.

MORE YOUNG ADULT FICTION IN STORES NEXT WEEK WITH AUTHOR INTERVIEWS


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A Flicker in the Clarity
by Amy McNamara
Hardcover
HarperTeen
Released 6/12/2018

Evie and Emma are inseparable. Two halves of a whole, they balance each other until Evie makes a flip decision that gets Emma in serious trouble.

Feeling the sting of betrayal, Emma freezes Evie out. Evie is full of regret, desperately sorry, sad, and—for the first time in her life—entirely alone.

Then Evie meets Theo, a boy who offers her a view of the world through a different lens. Just as she lets herself fall for Theo, Emma resurfaces—but not without consequence.

Emma’s erratic behavior, drunken mishaps, and panicked phone calls leave Evie afraid there’s something deeper going on. Evie wants to help Emma, but Emma is bent on self-destruction.

All Evie wanted was her friend back—but can you help someone who doesn’t want to be saved?

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about A Flicker in the Clarity?

I have many favorite things about A FLICKER IN THE CLARITY—among them were writing about Evie Ramsey, a girl on the edge of figuring out how to be true to herself and her romance with Theo—a kid who is doing that for himself—along the way. I loved writing a book set in New York City, as well as a story with links to some of the places (The Bly School) and characters who appeared in my first novel, LOVELY, DARK AND DEEP.

I loved writing about where Theo works—the Emily Roebling House—an interactive museum I based on the real-life Tenement Museum in Manhattan. There is a Roebling Museum in New Jersey dedicated to the entire Roebling family, but my fictional Emily Roebling House sits at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge, and is named for Emily Warren Roebling, the woman who stepped up and acted as chief engineer, completing the construction of the bridge in place of her husband Washington Roebling who had fallen ill. She did this in the face of intense criticism and skepticism about the bridge itself, and in a nation that had yet to give women the right to vote. The Brooklyn Bridge was such a bold marriage of imagination and engineering, and it remains an icon to New Yorkers as well one for the countless tourists who visit daily from around the world. Imagining a museum at the foot of it dedicated to Emily Warren Roebling and in the honor of the many, many immigrants who helped build it was a dream to write.


Purchase A Flicker in the Clarity at Amazon
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View A Flicker in the Clarity on Goodreads

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Freshmen
by Lucy Ivison and Tom Ellen
Hardcover
Delacorte Press
Released 6/12/2018

Getting in is just the beginning.

Phoebe can't wait to get to college. On her own, discovering new things, no curfew . . . she'll be free. And she'll be totally different: cooler, prettier, smarter . . . the perfect potential girlfriend. Convenient: the only person from her high school also going to York is her longtime crush, Luke.

Luke didn't set out to redefine himself, but as soon as he arrives on campus, he finds himself dumping his long-term long-distance girlfriend. And the changes don't stop there. In fact, being on a soccer team is the only thing that stays the same.

Just when things start looking up (and Phoebe and Luke start hooking up), drama looms on the horizon. Rumors swirl about the Wall of Shame, a secret text chain run by Luke's soccer team, filled with compromising photos of girls. As the women on campus determine to expose the team and shut down the account, Luke and Phoebe find themselves grappling with confusing feelings and wondering how they'll ever make it through freshman year.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Freshmen?

TOM: My favorite thing is just that it's a (hopefully) realistic and funny and at times extremely awkward look at what the first year of university is like. It's such a crazy, intense period - you're living away from home for the first time, you're surrounded by new people, you're trying desperately to fit in - so the whole thing can be quite overwhelming, and obviously that makes a great foundation for a novel!

LUCY: I like that it gives a voice to that age group and that experience. Going to college is massive life change, and it doesn't get its fair share of YA airtime I don't think...


Purchase Freshmen at Amazon
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View Freshmen on Goodreads


MORE YOUNG ADULT NOVELS NEW IN STORES NEXT WEEK


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A Reaper at the Gates
by Sabaa Tahir
Hardcover
Razorbill
Released 6/12/2018

Beyond the Martial Empire and within it, the threat of war looms ever larger.

Helene Aquilla, the Blood Shrike, is desperate to protect her sister's life and the lives of everyone in the Empire. But she knows that danger lurks on all sides: Emperor Marcus, haunted by his past, grows increasingly unstable and violent, while Keris Veturia, the ruthless Commandant, capitalizes on the Emperor's volatility to grow her own power--regardless of the carnage she leaves in her path.

Far to the east, Laia of Serra knows the fate of the world lies not in the machinations of the Martial court, but in stopping the Nightbringer. But in the hunt to bring him down, Laia faces unexpected threats from those she hoped would help her, and is drawn into a battle she never thought she'd have to fight.

And in the land between the living and the dead, Elias Veturius has given up his freedom to serve as Soul Catcher. But in doing so, he has vowed himself to an ancient power that demands his complete surrender--even if that means abandoning the woman he loves.

Purchase A Reaper at the Gates at Amazon
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View A Reaper at the Gates on Goodreads

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Crossing the Line
by Simone Elkeles
Hardcover
HarperTeen
Released 6/12/2018

To escape his abusive stepdad, bad boy Ryan Hess runs from his tiny Texas border town to Mexico. But his plans to keep his head down and stay out of trouble are shattered the minute he meets the beautiful and totally out of his league Dalila Sandoval.

Dalila Sandoval shouldn’t even know someone like Ryan Hess. The daughter of one of the wealthiest lawyers in Mexico, Dalila is focused on studying and planning for her bright future. Ryan is only a distraction from her dreams, but she’s never felt more alive than when she’s by his side.

Ryan and Dalila are wrong for each other in every way. And yet they can’t resist the sparks that fly when they’re together. But their love is like a flame burning too close to the fuse.

Something is going to explode. Will their love be strong enough to survive? Or will it burn them both?

Purchase Crossing the Line at Amazon
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View Crossing the Line on Goodreads

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Guardian
by A. J. Hartley
Hardcover
Tor Teen
Released 6/12/2018

This is what Ang knows:

A dear friend is accused of murdering the Prime Minister of Bar-Selehm.

A mysterious but fatal illness is infecting the poor.

A fanatical politician seizes power, unleashing a wave of violent repression over the city.

This is what Ang must do:

Protect her family.

Solve a murder.

RESIST, no matter what, before it’s too late.

Purchase Guardian at Amazon
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View Guardian on Goodreads

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Love Scene, Take Two
by Alex Evansley
Hardcover
Swoon Reads
Released 6/12/2018

Teddy Sharpe is kind of famous. He might actually be on his way to being really famous, especially if he'd nailed an audition for the lead role in the movie adaption of the newest bestselling young adult book series. There's just one problem: He totally blew the audition. And he's stuck in a tiny North Carolina airport. And his maybe-ex-girlfriend kind of just broke up with him.

The weekend isn't exactly looking good until Bennett Caldwell, author of the very book series he just auditioned for, takes pity on him and invites him to her family's lake house. Away from the glitz and glam of Hollywood for a few days, Teddy starts to relax . . . and somehow he and Bennett just click. But dating is hard enough when you aren't the subject of several dozen fanblogs, and the Internet is full of juicy gossip about Teddy and Bennett . . . gossip that Bennett might not be prepared to handle.

Purchase Love Scene, Take Two at Amazon
Purchase Love Scene, Take Two at IndieBound
View Love Scene, Take Two on Goodreads

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Sometime After Midnight
by L. Philips
Hardcover
Viking Books for Young Readers
Released 6/12/2018

Late one night in a dingy Los Angeles club, Nate and Cameron meet and discover they have much more in common than their love of an obscure indie band. But when Nate learns that Cameron is the heir to a soul-sucking record label—the very one that destroyed his father’s life—he runs away as fast as he can. The only evidence of their brief but intense connection is the blurry photo Cameron snaps of Nate’s Sharpied Chuck Taylors.

When Cameron’s sister Tess—a famous model and socialite—posts the photo on Instagram for her legions of fans, the internet just about breaks with the news of this modern fairy tale. “Anyone know the owner of these shoes?” she writes. “My Prince Charming brother is looking for his Cinderfella!” But while the viral sensation begins to bring the pair back together, their own demons and pasts might get in the way of any happily ever afters . . .

Purchase Sometime After Midnight at Amazon
Purchase Sometime After Midnight at IndieBound
View Sometime After Midnight on Goodreads

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SuperMoon
by H. A. Swain
Hardcover
Feiwel & Friends
Released 6/12/2018

Sol is the month between June and July on the thirteen-month Moon calendar. It's the only time teenagers have to themselves between rigorous scientific training and their ultimate lab assignments in their colony on the Moon. Their families emigrated from Earth to build better lives; but life on the Moon is far from perfect, as Uma learns on the eve of Sol.

Uma meets an Earthen girl who becomes a fast friend, and much more. What Uma doesn't know is that the girl is assigned to infect Uma with a plague that a rogue faction of Earthen scientists hope will wipe out Moon soldiers. Will Uma be the cause of a pandemic? Whom can she trust, and moreover, whom does she love?

Purchase SuperMoon at Amazon
Purchase SuperMoon at IndieBound
View SuperMoon on Goodreads

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The Merciless IV: Last Rites
by Danielle Vega
Hardcover
Razorbill
Released 6/12/2018

The ropes tighten on Berkley Hubbard's wrists. Blood drips down her fingers and lands with a smack on the cold floor of the church basement. She's trapped, bound, and petrified by fear. A knife punctures her fragile skin as Berkley's captors search for the mark of the devil on her body. They say they want to save her--drive the devil away and cleanse her soul--but will she make it out alive?

When Berkley arrived in Italy a week ago, the last thing she expected was that she'd end up fighting for her life. After spending six months at the Institute, confined to a room with the dangerous-yet-alluring Sofia Flores, Berkley was certain that a vacation in Italy with her two best friends would be the perfect getaway. But Berkley is hiding a terrible secret, one that threatens to undo everything. As she's forced to face her wicked past, she learns that the devil is always watching, and no one is coming to save her.

Purchase The Merciless IV: Last Rites at Amazon
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View The Merciless IV: Last Rites on Goodreads


Sunday, June 10, 2018

0 Andrew Shvarts, author of CITY OF BASTARDS, on tying himself into plot knots

CITY OF BASTARDS is the second book in the Royal Bastards series, and we're thrilled to have Andrew Shvarts here to tell us more about it.

Andrew, what was your inspiration for writing CITY OF BASTARDS?

My three-book deal! No, seriously, when I set out to write a sequel to Royal Bastards, I knew I wanted it to feel really different, to take the characters but put them in a wildly different kind of story. There were a few different elements I really wanted to tackle: a murder mystery, a political thriller, a story that’s all about the inner working of a single city, and a narrative that captures the experience of struggling to fit in in a very new world.

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?

Without spoilers, there’s a few twists that happen towards the climax that are particularly devastating and awful, that proved harder to write than I’d thought! I’m very proud of the book’s ending, which I think hits a certain hopeful high even in the midst of darkness, but my secret favorite is a scene near the three-quarters mark, where an escape through some catacombs takes an unexpected turn into cosmic horror.

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

That mysteries are really really hard! I ended up having to do a massive rewrite about 50% of the way through, the biggest I’ve ever done, because I tied myself into plot knots I just couldn’t unravel. I’m the definition of a pantser, and it turns out that’s a very hard way to approach a cohesive complex mystery with a lot of scheming factions!

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

I think my road was fairly average in terms of length and difficulty? Which is to say, long and hard. I graduated college convinced I would be the next Stephen King, writing short stories that… never went anywhere. Then I got a game in videogame writing and put fiction aside for a few years to hone that craft. When I picked up again, I knew I wanted to do YA novels. My first one languished and went nowhere. My second got me an agent and some incredibly close calls, but didn’t sell. And my third was Royal Bastards!

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

I work at home, with a glass of whiskey, or occasionally in a hotel room when I really want to dive deep. I’m a very twitchy, fidgety person, so writing often involves pacing around the room, acting out dialogues, jumping around when an idea hits me. Let’s just say I can’t work in coffee shops!

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

To experiment and diversify, both in terms of what you read and what you write. Don’t limit yourself to one genre or story. The best thing that ever happened to me as a writer was my game-writing job, which forced me to forget all the tropes and shortcuts I’d come to rely on, and to discover the heart of what makes a good story. The best way to learn to write is to master unfamiliar terrain.

What are you working on now?

The third book in the series, the exciting conclusion! I can’t say too much, but let’s just say there’s a lot of game-changing twists, shocking reveals and a trip to one of the most remote and unexpected parts of the Kingdom.

ABOUT THE BOOK

City of Bastards
by Andrew Shvarts
Hardcover
Disney-Hyperion
Released 6/5/2018

Tilla, bastard of House Kent, has it made. Safe from her murderous father in the dazzling capital of Lightspire, she lives a life of luxury under the protection of the Volaris King, alongside her boyfriend, Zell, and best friend, Princess Lyriana.

So why isn't she happy? Maybe it's the whispers and stares that follow her wherever she goes, as the daughter of the traitor waging war against Lightspire. Or maybe it's the memories of her beloved brother, Jax, who lies cold in his grave even as she tries to settle into a life in the city's prestigious University.

Then Tilla stumbles upon the body of a classmate-a friend. The authorities are quick to rule it a suicide and sweep it under the rug, but when Tilla herself is attacked by a mysterious man with terrifying powers, she's convinced of a conspiracy. Her friends beg her to stay silent; what she's suggesting is impossible . . . and treasonous.

But Tilla can't-won't-let it go. And the deeper she digs, the more questions she uncovers. How is the West beating the supposedly invincible Lightspire mages in battle? Is it connected to the shadowy cult wreaking havoc in Lightspire? Nothing is as it seems in the glorious capital, and Tilla's presence might just be the spark that sets the Kingdom aflame.

Purchase City of Bastards at Amazon
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View City of Bastards on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Andrew Shvarts is an author of novels and video games. He has a BA in English Literature and Russian from Vassar College. He works for Pixelberry Studios as a designer, making mobile games like High School Story, Choices, and more. Andrew lives in San Jose, California, with his wife, toddler, and two kittens. Visit him online at andrewshvarts.com and on Twitter @Shvartacus.

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Have you had a chance to read CITY OF BASTARDS yet? Do you act out scenes and jump around when you write? Do you experiment and diversify with what you read and write? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!

Happy Reading,

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

Saturday, June 9, 2018

0 A.V. Geiger, author of TELL ME NO LIES, on deciding to make a standalone a duology

TELL ME NO LIES is second book in the Follow Me Back series, and we're excited to have A.V. Geiger stop by to chat about it.

A.V., what was your inspiration for writing TELL ME NO LIES?

TELL ME NO LIES is the second installment of a duology, and it was not a book I initially planned to write. When I first signed with my agent, Follow Me Back (Book 1) was intended as a standalone novel. However, when Follow Me Back went out on sub to publishers, I needed something to take my mind off of the grinding uncertainty of the submission process. I began spinning out a messy, somewhat ridiculous first draft of a sequel, purely as a distraction for myself. Little did I know that my editor at Sourcebooks would eventually suggest changing the end of Follow Me Back into a cliffhanger, with my weird little sequel serving as the basis for a published second book!

How long did you work on TELL ME NO LIES?

The first draft wrote itself in a matter of weeks, but it needed a lot of revision. I spent several months on the first round of structural editing, with substantial rewrites and plot changes. Then came several rounds of beta reads and more editing. When all was said and done, it took nearly three years from first draft to publication.

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

For the most part, I need silence and solitude to write. I tend to whisper the words out loud to myself as I type them, and I’m too self-conscious to do that within earshot of another human being. I’ll completely freeze up in mid-sentence and lose my train of thought at the sound of anyone approaching. As you can imagine, coffee shops and libraries are out. I have a small home office, and I’ve trained my family to tiptoe outside the door whenever I’m under deadline or in the throes of a particularly difficult scene.

What are you working on now?

TELL ME NO LIES serves as the conclusion to the Follow Me Back duology, but I have one more book under contract with Sourcebooks. I’m currently putting the final touches on the first draft of a brand new standalone YA thriller. This is the first book that I’m writing start-to-finish as a published author, with both the encouragement from fans and the criticism from naysayers ringing in my ears. I’m finding it both challenging and refreshing to bring a totally new set of characters and voices to life.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Tell Me No Lies
by A.V. Geiger
Paperback
Sourcebooks Fire
Released 6/5/2018

No one knows what happened to pop icon Eric Thorn. His Twitter account? Frozen. His cell phone? Cracked and bloody, buried in the snow.

Agoraphobic fangirl Tessa Hart knows the truth, but she's finally left her #EricThornObsessed days behind. She has no intention of ever touching her Twitter app again. But Snapchat... That's safer, right?

After months of living under the radar, Tessa emerges from hiding, forced to face the deadly consequences of her past. But in the interrogation room, answers only lead to more questions in the jaw-dropping conclusion to the Follow Me Back duology.

Purchase Tell Me No Lies at Amazon
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View Tell Me No Lies on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A.V. Geiger is an epidemiologist who spends far too much spare time on social media. By day, she studies women’s psychiatric and reproductive health. By night, she can be found fangirling, following people back, and photoshopping the heads of band members onto the bodies of unicorns. Her writing career began with celebrity fan fiction, and her work draws extensively on her own experiences with online fan culture. Her original teen fiction has received millions of hits on the story-sharing website Wattpad, ranking as high as #1 in the mystery-thriller genre. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and twin boys.

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Have you had a chance to read TELL ME NO LIES yet? Do you distract yourself from waiting on publishing by writing a new book? Do you whisper out loud as you write? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!

Happy Reading,

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

0 Kristina Pérez, author of SWEET BLACK WAVES, on drawing on medieval legends

We're delighted to have Kristina Pérez join us to share more about her YA debut, SWEET BLACK WAVES.

Kristina, what book or books would most resonate with readers who love your book--or visa versa?

I would be remiss as a medievalist if I didn’t send readers who connected with SWEET BLACK WAVES to some of the legends that I drew on. Check out Marie de France’s collection of twelfth-century Old French, Lais (poems)––including one about Tristan and Iseult––and the Old Irish epic, Táin Bó Cúailnge (“The Cattle Raid of Cooley”).

Amazon link for Marie de France

Amazon link for Tain

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

I always have to have my tunes. Currently listening to London Grammar’s new album on repeat. I try to write new material from 8am-noon and then edit in the afternoon. If the weather is nice, I write outside. But I do live in England and it rains a lot!

What are you working on now?

Two projects, actually! The sequel to SWEET BLACK WAVES and my first YA Sci-Fi, THE TESLA LEGACY, which is coming March 2019 from Tor Teen.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Sweet Black Waves
by Kristina Perez
Hardcover
Imprint
Released 6/5/2018

Two proud kingdoms stand on opposite shores, with only a bloody history between them.

As best friend and lady-in-waiting to the princess, Branwen is guided by two principles: devotion to her homeland and hatred for the raiders who killed her parents. When she unknowingly saves the life of her enemy, he awakens her ancient healing magic and opens her heart. Branwen begins to dream of peace, but the princess she serves is not so easily convinced. Fighting for what's right, even as her powers grow beyond her control, will set Branwen against both her closest confidant and the only man she's ever loved.

Purchase Sweet Black Waves at Amazon
Purchase Sweet Black Waves at IndieBound
View Sweet Black Waves on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A native New Yorker, I’m half-Argentine and half-Norwegian, and I’ve spent the past two decades living in Europe and Asia. I have a penchant for non-defanged vampires, fringe science, ice skating, and dulce de leche.

I also hold a PhD in Medieval Literature from the University of Cambridge and have taught at the National University of Singapore and the University of Hong Kong. As a journalist, I’ve written for many international news outlets covering primarily travel, culture and fine art.

These days I live in London where I write both fiction and non-fiction for adults, young adults, and the young at heart!

Top tip: keep chocolate out of my reach––especially bittersweet.

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Have you had a chance to read SWEET BLACK WAVES yet? Do you need music to write? Do you divide your day into writing and editing? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!

Happy Reading,

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