Wednesday, January 18, 2017

1 Why You Need a "Good" Agent: 6 Questions with Melinda Braun

We're excited to welcome Melinda Braun, author of AVALANCHE and STRANDED, to the blog as she discusses, what it means to have a good agent, revision and reading negative reviews. 

1. What advice would you give to first-time writers?

My advice to first-time writers is one word. Read. Read everything. Read awesome stories, read things you don't like as well, or maybe find boring. The more you read, the more you will understand what "good" writing is! And exactly why it's good. Read all the books by your favorite author. Start to ask yourself questions like: Why do I like this? Why do I think it's good? Examine the sentences, the paragraphs, the word choice, the dialogue. You'll start to see patterns; you'll be able to articulate why something works and also why it doesn't. Read classic literature, read horror, read science fiction, read memoir and history. Practice writing a story like a particular author would. Copy it. There's nothing wrong with imitating a style you like, and as you read more and more you will unconsciously accumulate bits and pieces until you have your own style.

2. What one thing do you feel made the most difference in getting you from aspiring author to published author?

I would have to say the one thing that made the difference in getting published (at least traditionally) was getting a literary agent. A good agent has contacts to editors, understands the marketplace and what's selling, and can open doors that the rest of us can't. A good agent will negotiate a contract for you, as well as explain it! My first contract was many pages, all written in legal jargon. Even though I have a degree in English, it was incredibly helpful and necessary to have an agent go through it with me. It's imperative to know what you're signing and what rights you have. So many people are so eager to publish that they will sign all their rights away and not even realize it. A good agent is like a good coach and they definitely earn their commission! It's in their best interest to get you the best deal possible as well as further your career as an author.

3. What is your writing/revision process? Is it the same for every book, or does it change from book to book?

My writing process is very simple. I sit down in a chair at a table or desk and start scribbling! I write my rough drafts long hand in notebooks or legal pads, and I type as I go. Usually I write 5-10 pages at a time before I type them up. Sometimes I write scenes. Sometimes I write chapters. Sometimes I don't even know what I'm writing about! I try not to censor myself in a rough draft. Yeah, a lot of it might be total crap, but that's okay. You can fix crap. There are always more words you can write. I've scrapped thousands of words. Sometimes it's painful. Sometimes it's fun. Nine times out of ten, it's necessary! It's part of the process - you got to wade through the muck to get to the good stuff.
Recently, I started using a synopsis to help me plot out what needs to happen to get from beginning to end. I don't always stick to it, but I've found it helpful to have a framework to refer to, no matter how flimsy it is!

4. How do you recover from a writing slump or writer’s block?

I don't really believe in writer's block, but I do understand a slump. The best way to fight it is to establish a routine. Easier said than done, of course! Because I'm a horrible Virgo, I love order and routine and making lists and checking off boxes. I will say that if you want to having a writing career you need discipline. There will always be a million other things to distract you - cleaning, cooking, laundry, working at a day job, taking care of kids, Netflix binge watching, all the daily dross that steals your time and saps your creativity. It's up to you to MAKE time. No one will do that for you. You have to decide it's important enough, that it's what you want. If you have to get up at 5 am to write for an hour before getting ready for work, then that's what you have to do. Most published authors still have day jobs - it's only a very small percentage of authors who pay the bills with only their writing. If you want to get rich you should probably become a hedge fund manager.

5. What do you struggle with the most in writing and/or in real life?

I think the thing I struggle most with as a writer is the same thing everyone does. Time. As I get older it seems to go faster - actually, I think it's a scientific fact that some physicist proved! Days and weeks and months can slip away - it's easier for me to see it now that I have a child who is literally growing before my eyes! The book I'm reading now by Anthony Doerr titled All the Light We Cannot See reminds me of that struggle. I read that Mr. Doerr took ten years to write that book! That makes me feel both amazed and reassured. It's okay if things take a long time as long as we keep moving forward and taking steps in the right direction - keeping our eyes on the prize, so to speak. And to know that the creation of something is the important thing, no matter the final outcome. Not every book you write will get published, but that doesn't mean it was a waste of time.

6. Do you read your reviews? How do you deal with negative comments and how do they affect you?

I do read some reviews. I'm old enough now that bad reviews don't bother me; I honestly appreciate the time someone took to give a critique, and there's always something to take away and learn from. Not everyone is going to like your book and that's okay! Of course, it's hard not to take it personally. It would be like someone saying, "Hey, don't take this personally, but your kids are ugly and stupid." Uh, okay. Hmm, no problem. It's a good thing I have a sense of humor! For me, I'm more affected if someone thinks the writing is bad. I realize not everyone is going to like the characters or the story itself, and honestly, some characters are not meant to be liked, but I care very much about the technical aspect of writing, and that, thankfully, is something that can be improved with practice!


by Melinda Braun
Simon Pulse
Released 11/29/2016

Two groups of teens—those waiting to be saved and those doing the saving—are in a race against time and a battle against Mother Nature after an avalanche traps them in an isolated cabin in this chilling novel.

“I promise it’ll be a weekend you’ll never forget.”

A trip like that is exactly what Matt was hoping for—a fun adventure. A daring escape. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to go cross country skiing in a thrilling but dangerous pass through the Rocky Mountains. The perfect way for Matt to forget about his disappointing father and maybe let loose a little with his best friend and a group of carefree adrenaline junkies.

But then their guide takes them off-path…and straight into an avalanche. By the time they make it safely into an abandoned cabin, one skier is dead and another severely injured. Trapped with no heat, no water, and no radio the group decides to wait it out. Help will come. It has to.

Until it doesn’t. And Matt knows if they wait any longer they’ll be dead—just another bunch of victims in Mother Nature’s twisted games. Armed with only a handful of supplies and his fierce determination Matt decides to goes head-to-head with the elements, battling hypothermia, frostbite, and even mountain lions in order to find help and save them all. That is if Mother Nature doesn’t kill him first.


Even though her name is Melinda nobody EVER calls her that. At least, not since she was a kid and she pushed her little sister down the stairs in the clothes hamper. She is Mindy. She grew up in Wisconsin, but now lives in Minnesota. She likes long walks on the beach, coffee and donuts, both dogs and cats, but not guinea pigs because their little red eyes give her the creeps. Her favorite color is pool blue and her favorite animal is an owl.

She watched too much of The Benny Hill show and Monty Python's Flying Circus at a tender age, which explains my wrong sense of humor. 

Also, that is not her vineyard. Not yet, anyway...  

Monday, January 16, 2017

5 New Releases this week 01/16-01/22 plus Giveaway for FIGHT FOR POWER

Happy Monday! We're giving away five copies of Eric Walters novel FIGHT FOR POWER to celebrate the release of the next book in the series WILL TO SURVIVE. We're also featuring some awesome books this week like Adam Silvera's latest, HISTORY IS ALL YOU LEFT ME! Don't forget to check out all the new releases and enter below to win.

Happy Reading,

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


The Rule of Three: Will to Survive
by Eric Walters
Giveaway of five hardcovers of previous book Fight for Power
U.S. Only
Square Fish
Released 1/17/2017

Will to Survive is the gripping conclusion to the acclaimed Rule of Three trilogy from Eric Walters about one suburban neighborhood's existence after a global blackout.

Teenager Adam Daley has killed again. It had to be done, part of him knows that, but murder changes a person. It can certainly change a kid who's already grown up too quickly, too harshly, in the wake of the catastrophic global shutdown four months ago. In the name of safety and survival, Adam and his neighbors have turned their middle American community into a fortress, defending against countless enemies. But what's lurking in the dark is a greater danger than ever before: somebody who wants to destroy the neighborhood and Adam at any cost.

Soon, the hunted will have to become the hunter . . . and Adam hates himself for what he will have to do. Because sometimes even the dark is not cover enough for things that would never happen in the light.

Purchase The Rule of Three: Will to Survive at Amazon
Purchase The Rule of Three: Will to Survive at IndieBound
View The Rule of Three: Will to Survive on Goodreads


Frostblood by Elly Blake: Angel H.
The Last Harvest by Kim Liggett: Judy C.


As Red as Blood
by Salla Simukka and translated by Owen Frederick Witesman
Crown Books for Young Readers
Released 1/17/2017

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo for teens—this international bestseller is a thrilling, edge-of-your-seat Nordic noir that chills to the bone, and not just because of the bleak winter setting.

Lumikki Andersson has made it a rule to stay out of things that do not involve her. She knows all too well that trouble comes to those who stick their nose where it doesn’t belong. But Lumikki’s rule is put to the test when she uncovers thousands of washed Euro notes hung to dry in her school’s darkroom and three of her classmates with blood on their hands. Literally.

A web of lies and deception now has Lumikki on the run from those determined to get the money back—no matter the cost. At the center of the chaos: Polar Bear, the mythical drug lord who has managed to remain anonymous despite hosting lavish parties and having a notorious reputation. If Lumikki hopes to make it out alive, she’ll have to uncover the entire operation.

Even the cold Finnish winter can’t hide a culprit determined to stain the streets red.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about As Red as Blood?

My favorite thing are the little fairy tale elements you can find in this thriller if you are familiar with classical fairy tales. And also coffee. Because I think I have this in common with Lorelai Gilmore: "I believe, in former life, I WAS coffee."

Purchase As Red as Blood at Amazon
Purchase As Red as Blood at IndieBound
View As Red as Blood on Goodreads


History Is All You Left Me
by Adam Silvera
Soho Teen
Released 1/17/2017

OCD-afflicted Griffin has just lost his first love, Theo, in a drowning accident. In an attempt to hold onto every piece of the past, he forges a friendship with Theo's last boyfriend, Jackson. When Jackson begins to exhibit signs of guilt, Griffin suspects he's hiding something, and will stop at nothing to get to the truth about Theo's death. But as the grieving pair grows closer, readers will question Griffin's own version of the truth both in terms of what he's willing to hide and what true love means.

Purchase History Is All You Left Me at Amazon
Purchase History Is All You Left Me at IndieBound
View History Is All You Left Me on Goodreads

Sunday, January 15, 2017

0 Elly Blake, author of FROSTBLOOD, on not underestimating your potential

We're delighted to have Elly Blake with us to share more about her debut novel FROSTBLOOD.

Elly, what was your inspiration for writing FROSTBLOOD?

I love elemental magic, and that’s probably what led to me having a dream about my heroine, a girl with power over fire and a king with an icy heart. (I’d also watched Avatar: the Last Airbender a few months before, so I’m sure that had something to do with it.) When I started working on the concept, I knew I wanted to focus on two elements: frost and fire.

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 very first scene in the book was the hardest to write. That scene, which is when the soldiers attack the village, was actually not in the early drafts. When I was drafting, I shied away from writing that scene because it’s a painful moment to write about and, I think, to read. My agent felt that traumatic event needed to happen on the page, so I wrote it, and realized how vital it was. It’s the defining moment of Ruby’s life and motivates her later actions.

I love writing action scenes, but I’m most proud of the more intimate scenes between characters, the little emotional moments that hopefully resonate and inspire similar feelings in the reader. There’s one scene that ends with Ruby’s tears sizzling as they hit the ground, and I’m really fond of that scene.

0 Kim Liggett, author of THE LAST HARVEST, on putting together an elaborate puzzle of words and ideas

We're thrilled to have Kim Liggett stop by to chat about her latest novel THE LAST HARVEST.

Kim, what do you hope readers will take away from THE LAST HARVEST?

At its core, it’s a mystery. I hope they’ll have a lot of fun trying to unravel the strings that connect everything. It’s a dark book, and I was in a dark headspace when I wrote it, but sometimes you need a book like that. It’s pure escape. You turn the last page, you’re exhausted, but then you thank your lucky stars to be safe in your nice warm bed.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

1 Chandler Baker, author of TEEN HYDE, on being hopped up on pregnancy hormones

We're delighted to have Chandler Baker with us to share more about her latest novel TEEN HYDE.

Chandler, how long did you work on TEEN HYDE?

Writing TEEN HYDE was hands down the easiest experience I had while writing a book. There is tough material in these pages for certain and those required sensitive attention, but the plotting and the getting down of the words on the page were so much breezier than my usual tortured process. Perhaps because I had lived with the concept and the vision for this book since before we sold Teen Frankenstein, perhaps because I was hopped up on pregnancy hormones racing against my due date--I'll never know--but a true joy. I wrote the book in about 7 weeks.

0 Robin Roe, author of A LIST OF CAGES, on being kind to ourselves

We're excited to have Robin Roe stop by to tell us more about her debut novel A LIST OF CAGES.

Robin, how long did you work on A LIST OF CAGES?

Adam and Julian’s story came to me in a flood of ideas. One January, I started waking up in the middle of the night, writing everything down as quickly as I could. In a month I’d written 70,000 words, then I spent a year editing what I’d written.

What do you hope readers will take away from A LIST OF CAGES?

I hope people can release shame about experiences that weren’t their fault, and understand things may happen to you, but that doesn’t mean they are you. You can rise above your story.

0 Breeana Shields, author of POISON'S KISS, on using a playlist to daydream and plot

We're thrilled to have Breeana Shields join us to chat about her debut novel POISON'S KISS.

Breeana, 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?

This question is easier to answer in reverse because most of my scenes are hard—I’m a fairly slow, deliberate writer—but my easiest scenes are the ones with Kadru. She’s mysterious and terrifying and so much fun to write. The parts of the book that feature her felt effortless and magical.

Friday, January 13, 2017

2 Happy Make Your Dreams Come True Day!

Today is Make Your Dreams Come True Day!

Since it’s also Friday the 13th, you might be picturing this guy making your dreams come true.

Wait, no, that’s the wrong scary dude. This is the Friday the 13th guy.

But I’m not talking about the nightmare kind of dreams, I’m talking about the dreams you desperately want to come true, the ones that keep you up at night because you want them so much.

Weeelll … that’s not exactly what I meant either, but those types of dreams are pretty awesome!

I assume if you’re reading Adventures in YA Publishing, then one of your dreams is to publish a novel. So no matter where you are on your publishing journey, do something today that is an extra step toward making your dreams come true.

If you haven’t quite reached the point where you’re ready to put words on paper, then call a supportive friend or family member and tell them you’re going to write a book. 
It will make you accountable to someone other than yourself, and you’ll immediately gain a cheerleader. 

If you haven’t set a daily word count goal, set one right now and make today your first successful day of meeting that goal.

If you do have a word count goal you regularly meet, then aim to double it today.

If you’re revising, think about what your greatest weakness is as a writer (two dimensional characters, blah setting, flat dialog, a too-keen fondness for the word ‘just’) and then spend today going through your manuscript focused on fixing that weakness. 

If you’re querying, then send a query to that one agent you were too scared to query and brainstorm ideas for three new novels. 

If you’re on submission, then research three new ways to build your author platform and do them today.

If none of these feel right to you, then do something else today to make your publishing dreams come true. You’re writers – get creative about being creative!

Writing a book is hard. Getting published is even harder. It’s a process that takes a lot of work, luck, and time. But motivational speaker Earl Nightingale said, “Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use."

So quit procrastinating and work extra hard on your dreams today. Or else I’m going to send this guy after you!

May all your dreams come true!


What is your specific dream? What do you plan to do today to make it come true? Report back later to share your progress with us.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

0 Healing the Writer’s Soul

We're pleased to welcome Chandler Baker, author of TEEN HYDE, to the blog today as she discusses how to heal the writer's soul.

"I treated myself in other less machine-like ways, too. I realized that being “on deadline” wasn’t going to be a special occasion and I could no longer treat it like I was cramming for the last final of my law school career."

It’s been exactly a year since I declared to my husband that I was “soul-tired” from writing. My debut novel and my second had come out within six months of each other and I had just finished writing the next two, Teen Hyde (the book coming out now) before my first child was born, and This Is Not The End (my next standalone), just after my daughter’s birth. I had been through edits on Teen Hyde with my fabulous editor. They had gone smoothly and I was so proud of the book, but I was tired. Not physically. It didn’t even feel like I was tired mentally. I just felt emptied out creatively from producing so much so quickly. I was hollowed. Exhausted. Deep, deep in my writerly bones.

A rest would have been one excellent solution and, please, might I suggest that when time permits, allow yourself a vacation! We writers give ourselves very, very few vacation days it seems. But, of course, in this instance, I had a series schedule to attend to, another book in the High School Horror series yet to write and edits on my standalone and…and…

"So the problem was this: how to pursue a work of the heart with my whole heart when it was too exhausted to stand let alone run another marathon?"

Confession: I have always been practical in my writing and publishing life, not prone to characters “speaking to me” or “letting the story take me where it will.” Most of this attitude has been, I think, a way of protecting myself against criticism, particularly before I was published. I didn’t want friends or family to think I had strange delusions of grandeur about myself as an artist. Yuck, how mortifying. People would talk about me behind my back at dinner parties and whatnot (Okay so some delusions of grandeur if I thought anyone cared enough to discuss, but alas.) It was easier and seemed more reasonable to pursue art as a career if I approached it with the most objective, methodological terms possible. But I realized that by the end of 2015, I was starting to feel like a book-making machine. Writing wasn’t filling my soul; it was eating away at it.

"So, I decided to throw caution to the wind and embrace the cheesy. (Put that on a sweatshirt, please!)"

 Perhaps that isn’t a fair word—cheesy—but for this writer, even the word “artist” when applied to myself felt…self-indulgent, embarrassing and, yes, cheesy.

But my critique partner and I set off on a journey. We took three months to follow the Artists’ Way program, something that requires free-writing, self-reflective exercises and a lot of considering oneself an artist. It was tough! I read Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. I read plenty of other books by writers about writing. And eventually I stopped seeing myself as a book-making machine and starting seeing myself as an artist with a vision and an aesthetic that mattered.

And I treated myself in other less machine-like ways, too. I realized that being “on deadline” wasn’t going to be a special occasion and I could no longer treat it like I was cramming for the last final of my law school career. Being on deadline had become a way of life (and I’m so lucky for that, might I add), so I needed to start integrating the life part of my life back into the publishing part.

Typically, exercise had been the first to go when I was buckling down to turn in a book. Writing and my office job are both incredibly sedentary and it’s absolutely not healthy to skip movement for days on end. But it felt like a luxury that, time-wise, I simply couldn’t afford. I’m happy to say that for the most part I’ve changed that. I don’t feel guilty for exercising even if I am days away from having to turn in a draft. Because guess what? I’m almost always days or weeks a way from turning in something or other. I try to feel less guilty about spending time with friends, spending time with family, not watching the clock on social outings to make sure I guard my writing time. I try to forgive myself if I’m just too tired to write that day.

"I’m happy to report that I’ve since written two more books and my soul isn’t tired. It’s creatively inspired and I look forward to working (almost) every day."  

Here are some culprits that I do find still creeping in and trying to exhaust my spirit: writing after 10 PM, guilt over use of social media, guilt over lack of social media use, and occasionally word count goals…

But that’s what New Year’s Resolutions are for, right?


Teen Hyde
by Chandler Baker
Feiwel & FriendsReleased 1/10/2017

High school meets classic horror in this YA contemporary twist on Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Head Cheerleader Cassidy Hyde’s life should have been perfect. But it really, really wasn’t, and she’s about ready to give up and disappear. Until, the first time she takes Sunshine. This new experimental drug makes Cassidy feel like the perfect, golden girl once again. A little memory loss seems like a small price to pay to get her life back . . . at least until boys start to go missing . . . boys that Cassidy NEVER wanted to think of again . . .

Thus begins Chandler Baker's second twisty-turny retelling of a familiar tale, once again set in the town of Hollow Pines, Texas, where high school is truly horrifying.


Chandler Baker got her start ghostwriting novels for teens and tweens, including installments in a book series that has sold more than 1 million copies. 

She grew up in Florida, went to college at the University of Pennsylvania and studied law at the University of Texas. She now lives in Austin with her husband. Although she loves spinning tales with a touch of horror, she is a much bigger scaredy-cat than her stories would lead you to believe. 

Chandler is the author of ALIVE, TEEN FRANKENSTEIN and TEEN HYDE.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

0 New Blogger Opportunities at AYAP, 1st 5 Pages Writing Workshop, and

It's that time again, and we are excited to announce some wonderful opportunities for aspiring authors and passionate readers to interact with authors, publicists, literary agents, and other fans of young adult books.

Selected candidates will have the ability to devote at least one to two hours each week, bringing creativity and thoughtfulness to their tasks, and acting as supporters and ambassadors of the YA and book communities.

If interested, please send resumes via email to ayaplit at We look forward to hearing from you!

All positions could lead to permanent roles.

We are looking for the following positions:

Adventures In YA Publishing Intern: We are looking for someone to help reach out to authors and literary agents for interviews and guest posts, assist with publicity and writing contests, and to help with the coding of posts and sidebars. Training will be provided.

First Five Pages Workshop Intern: We are seeking an individual to help correspond with literary agents and upcoming author mentors, to assist with posting and formatting entries, and to help with publicity and special events.

YA Series Insiders Contributors: We are seeking a number of experienced Tumblr readers or bloggers to help us curate the best content from other sites, generate original web content about their best-loved young adult series, and participate in the YA general community on Tumblr as an Insider. Additional details here:

Monday, January 9, 2017

14 New Releases this week 01/09-01/15 plus 2 Giveaways

Happy Monday! 2017 is continuing to be bookish, with two new giveaways and many more new releases to feature! Don't forget to check out all the new releases and enter below to win.

Happy Reading,

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


* * * *

by Elly Blake
Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

Little, Brown Books for Young
Released 1/10/2017

Seventeen-year-old Ruby is a fireblood who must hide her powers of heat and flame from the cruel frostblood ruling class that wants to destroy all that are left of her kind. So when her mother is killed for protecting her and rebel frostbloods demand her help to kill their rampaging king, she agrees. But Ruby's powers are unpredictable, and she's not sure she's willing to let the rebels and an infuriating (yet irresistible) young man called Arcus use her as their weapon.

All she wants is revenge, but before they can take action, Ruby is captured and forced to take part in the king's tournaments that pit fireblood prisoners against frostblood champions. Now she has only one chance to destroy the maniacal ruler who has taken everything from her and from the icy young man she has come to love.

Fast-paced and compelling, Frostblood is the first in a page-turning new young adult three-book series about a world where flame and ice are mortal enemies—but together create a power that could change everything.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Frostblood?

My favorite aspect of FROSTBLOOD is the meeting and clashing and unexpected harmony of opposites. Firebloods and Frostbloods are complete opposites in elemental terms, but their common humanity makes their similarities greater than their differences. However, they have a history of violent conflicts, which means they don’t necessarily see things that way.

The heroine, Ruby, is a Fireblood who has lost a great deal because of a corrupt Frostblood king. She’s confronted with an opportunity early in the story, but in order to take advantage of it she has to decide to trust two Frostblood strangers. That tentative trust turns out to be the basis for her own growth and acceptance of her Fireblood powers. I also think the romantic parts of the book are made more poignant by the opposing natures of the two characters. I hope readers will think so, too!

Purchase Frostblood at Amazon
Purchase Frostblood at IndieBound
View Frostblood on Goodreads

* * * *

The Last Harvest
by Kim Liggett
Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

Tor Teen
Released 1/10/2017

“I plead the blood.”

Those were the last words seventeen-year-old golden boy quarterback Clay Tate heard rattling from his dad's throat when he discovered him dying on the barn floor of the Neely Cattle Ranch, clutching a crucifix to his chest.

Now, on the first anniversary of the slaughter, the whole town's looking at Clay like he might be next to go over the edge. Clay wants to forget the past, but the sons and daughters of the Preservation Society—a group of prominent farmers his dad accused of devil worship—won't leave him alone. Including Ali, his longtime crush, who suddenly wants to reignite their romance after a year of silence, and hated rival Tyler Neely, who’s behaving like they’re old friends.

Even as Clay tries to reassure himself, creepy glances turn to sinister stares and strange coincidences build to gruesome rituals—but when he can never prove that any of it happened, Clay worries he might be following his dad down the path to insanity...or that something far more terrifying lies in wait around the corner.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about The Last Harvest?

Clay Tate. My MC. He’s the strong silent type, caught in a horrific web of grief, deceit and devil worship. It’s nerve wracking and heartbreaking, watching him fight against forces way beyond his control.

Purchase The Last Harvest at Amazon
Purchase The Last Harvest at IndieBound
View The Last Harvest on Goodreads


Because of the Sun by Jenny Torres Sanchez: Tiffany E.
Life in a Fishbowl by Len Vlahos: Yolande B.
The Truth of Right Now by Kara Lee Corthron: Gianna J.


* * * *

A List of Cages
by Robin Roe
Released 1/10/2017

When Adam Blake lands the best elective ever in his senior year, serving as an aide to the school psychologist, he thinks he's got it made. Sure, it means a lot of sitting around, which isn't easy for a guy with ADHD, but he can't complain, since he gets to spend the period texting all his friends. Then the doctor asks him to track down the troubled freshman who keeps dodging her, and Adam discovers that the boy is Julian--the foster brother he hasn't seen in five years.

Adam is ecstatic to be reunited. At first, Julian seems like the boy he once knew. He's still kind hearted. He still writes stories and loves picture books meant for little kids. But as they spend more time together, Adam realizes that Julian is keeping secrets, like where he hides during the middle of the day, and what's really going on inside his house. Adam is determined to help him, but his involvement could cost both boys their lives.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about A List of Cages?

That would have to be the bond between Julian and Adam. As I was writing this novel, I began to understand authors who create series following the same characters. I became so attached to these boys, and they feel incredibly real for me. Writing A LIST OF CAGES felt less like generating a story and more like transcribing—as if I was tuned into their lives.

Purchase A List of Cages at Amazon
Purchase A List of Cages at IndieBound
View A List of Cages on Goodreads

* * * *

Poison's Kiss
by Breeana Shields
Random House Books
Released 1/10/2017

A teenage assassin kills with a single kiss until she is ordered to kill the one boy she loves. This commercial YA fantasy is romantic and addictive—like a poison kiss—and will thrill fans of Sarah J. Maas and Victoria Aveyard.

Marinda has kissed dozens of boys. They all die afterward. It's a miserable life, but being a visha kanya—a poison maiden—is what she was created to do. Marinda serves the Raja by dispatching his enemies with only her lips as a weapon.

Until now, the men she was ordered to kiss have been strangers, enemies of the kingdom. Then she receives orders to kiss Deven, a boy she knows too well to be convinced he needs to die. She begins to question who she's really working for. And that is a thread that, once pulled, will unravel more than she can afford to lose.

This rich, surprising, and accessible debut is based in Indian folklore and delivers a story that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Poison's Kiss?

I loved getting to explore different relationships in POISON’S KISS—not just romantic relationships (though that was a lot of fun!) —but relationships between siblings, between rivals, between friends. Marinda’s life is complicated and her interactions with the people in her life are far from straightforward. But it’s that complexity—that tension that exists when people serve two opposing roles in her life—that provides the beating heart of the book.

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Teen Hyde
by Chandler Baker
Feiwel & Friends
Released 1/10/2017

High school meets classic horror in this YA contemporary twist on Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Head Cheerleader Cassidy Hyde’s life should have been perfect. But it really, really wasn’t, and she’s about ready to give up and disappear. Until the first time she takes Sunshine. This new experimental drug makes Cassidy feel like the perfect, golden girl once again. A little memory loss seems like a small price to pay to get her life back . . . at least until boys start to go missing . . . boys that Cassidy NEVER wanted to think of again . . .

Thus begins Chandler Baker's second twisty-turny retelling of a familiar tale, once again set in the town of Hollow Pines, Texas, where high school is truly horrifying.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Teen Hyde?

I love the ending! Endings are something that I constantly worry about as a writer. I usually go back and forth throughout the process of writing a novel searching for the perfect ending, but not this time! The climax and denouement of TEEN HYDE were firmly in my head from the beginning and I was absolutely dying to write them. I find both the climax and the final few words of the book very satisfying. It's the type of ending that as a reader I adore. And I really can't say anything other than that without being spoiler-y, but YES. So. Much. Fun.

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by Alex Flinn
Released 1/10/2017

Kendra first beheld James over three hundred years ago. Since then, she’s tangled with witch hunters and wolves, helped a miller’s daughter spin straw into gold, cowered in London as bombs fell, and lived through who knows how many shipwrecks.

Being a powerful witch, she has survived it all. But immortality can be lonely. Kendra isn’t ready to stop searching for the warlock she had met centuries ago. With the help of her magic mirror, Kendra will travel the world to reconnect with her lost love—and, of course, she can’t help but play a hand in a few more stories along the way.

Featuring retellings of Little Red Riding Hood, Rumpelstiltskin, East of the Sun and West of the Moon, and The Ugly Duckling, Alex Flinn’s latest young adult novel, Beheld, is fresh fairy-tale fun from beginning to end.

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Stone Mirrors
by Jeannine Atkins
Atheneum Books
Released 1/10/2017

From critically acclaimed author Jeannine Atkins comes a gorgeous, haunting biographical novel in verse about a half Native American, half African American sculptor working in the years following the Civil War.

A sculptor of historical figures starts with givens but creates her own vision. Edmonia Lewis was just such a sculptor, but she never spoke or wrote much about her past, and the stories that have come down through time are often vague or contradictory. Some facts are known: Edmonia was the daughter of an Ojibwe woman and an African-Haitian man. She had the rare opportunity to study art at Oberlin, one of the first schools to admit women and people of color, but lost her place after being accused of poisoning and theft, despite being acquitted of both. She moved to Boston and eventually Italy, where she became a successful sculptor.

But the historical record is very thin. The open questions about Edmonia’s life seem ideally suited to verse, a form that is comfortable with mysteries. Inspired by both the facts and the gaps in history, author Jeannine Atkins imagines her way into a vision of what might have been.

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by Susan Dennard
Tor Teen
Released 1/10/2017

The follow-up to New York Times bestselling Truthwitch, next in a breathtaking YA fantasy series hailed by Alexandra Bracken as "a world you will want to inhabit forever."

On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a "witchery," a magical skill that sets them apart from others.

In this follow-up to New York Times bestselling Truthwitch, a shadow man haunts the Nubrevnan streets, leaving corpses in his wake—and then raising those corpses from the dead. Windwitch continues the tale of Merik—cunning privateer, prince, and windwitch.

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You Don't Know My Name
by Kristen Orlando
Swoon Reads
Released 1/10/2017

Fighter, Faker, Student, Spy.

Seventeen-year-old Reagan Elizabeth Hillis is used to changing identities overnight, lying to every friend she’s ever had, and pushing away anyone who gets too close. Trained in mortal combat and weaponry her entire life, Reagan is expected to follow in her parents’ footsteps and join the ranks of the most powerful top-secret agency in the world, the Black Angels. Falling in love with the boy next door was never part of the plan.

Now Reagan has to decide: Will she use her incredible talents and lead the dangerous life she was born into, or throw it all away to follow her heart and embrace the normal life she's always wanted? And does she even have a choice at all?

Find out if you are ready to join the Black Angels in the captivating and emotional page-turner, You Don't Know My Name, from debut novelist Kristen Orlando!

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