Wednesday, September 20, 2017

0 WoW: Writers and Rabbit Holes by Shelley Sackier

Today, we're thrilled to welcome Shelley Sackier, author of THE FREEMASON'S DAUGHTER, with a great post on nurturing your imagination during the writing process. Stay tuned for more about Shelley and her book after the post, but right now, check out this special guest post!

Rabbit Holes: Some Call it Daydreaming, Writers Call it Work

Aristotle argued that all objects craved their “natural place,”—the geocentric center of the universe. That would be Earth. Okay, well at the time Aristotle was sucking in air Earth was considered the be all end all.

And maybe yes, there exists a few folks who still believe this and are lagging a bit behind with their history homework, not having quite caught up to where the rest of us live—aka more than two thousand years in the future. And within the world of fairly trustworthy science.

Although, to be fair, the science we all believed one hundred—or even one thousand years ago was believed to be trustworthy too.

Until it wasn’t.

Regardless, it was explained to me that ‘Aristotle believed that a dropped rock fell to the earth because rocks belonged on earth and wanted to be there.’

This is from a book currently resting on my bedside table: But What If We’re Wrong? By Chuck Klosterman.

Often, I liken myself to Aristotle’s rock. I belong at my desk, in front of my screen, with my hands hovering over my keyboard, and my eyes effortfully scanning words across a page.

Except thankfully, there are other forces of nature at play (read friends and family) that repeatedly fight Aristotle’s idea of gravity where I am concerned, shoving me out into the world where people and ideas are in mix and at play.

I am not at all a fan of going places where you have to make eye contact with others, or exchange words that add up to more than those in a haiku, or share the same oxygen molecules. This behavior comes about just before birth when whichever deity is creating your personality profile decides you’ll be a professional recluse and switches on the genetic codes for artless, awkward, blundering bore.

But ultimately these opportunities are the catalyst that make the question WHAT IF burble up from the basement of my brain. And that is not an altogether unpleasant feeling.

It starts like indigestion but then belches out with measurable relief.

Yes, regularly I collect data to support the theory that I should simply stay home and away from crowds (read anyplace another person is already occupying), but more often than not, I am wide-eyed with surprise to discover the hidden gems of history, or art, or that people have moved on from wearing elastic waist pants and eyeglass ropes.

Except no. Turtlenecks are here to stay, dammit. (And the earth is the center of the universe! Yeah, yeah, I hear you.)

The WHAT IF question is one I have pinned up on my computer screen. It is the foundation for creative thinking. And creative thinking is the foundation for creative writing. And creative writing is the foundation for paying your bills—as people will not buy books that scream, “I’m exactly like that story you just read yesterday only my characters are Latvian!”

Yeah, not gonna fly.

But how many of us practice asking WHAT IF (insert head scratching query here) in real life? Chuck Klosterman did because he had to write a book where he asked a pile of crackerjack thinkers questions about their level of confidence on subjects like physics, and time, and whether AOL would ever come back into fashion.

And I do it because the thought of copying someone else’s ideas and simply giving them a limp and an accent is about as creatively appealing to my brain as separating all of the lint from my dryer into individual color piles.

Also because I enjoy electricity and food. Again … near carbon copies of other people’s tales do not equate to financial security. And more often than not a lawsuit.

But in real life? I’m not terribly sure I engage in this examination. Not nearly often enough anyway.

And maybe not at all ever—but that would be wholly embarrassing to admit on a public platform so let’s all pretend I didn’t, okey dokey?

This is not some sort of mid-life crisis desperate attempt to fill ever widening, fathomless gaps in my life, but rather just an everyday exercise of whim and whimsy. And okay, maybe a touch of the age thing, but hush—just follow me here.

It’s a fairly effortless task in my working realm, as the sky is the limit ergo, nothing is absurd. I can confidently lean back in my chair and ponder the impossible:

WHAT IF my main character quit his job, won the lottery, or discovered he had cancer?

WHAT IF my guy slowly starts to disappear, or can now communicate with polar bears, or wakes up with knees that can bend fully backward?

WHAT IF he can think himself anywhere, or program the earth to stop spinning, or activate himself to become any element in the periodic table?

WHAT IF every fictional character ever written about comes alive? WHAT IF we discover that our laws of physics only work this way on earth because we’re stuck on some default setting of one on a scale of ten and the answer has been printed on the last page of every IKEA instruction booklet?

Yeah … rabbit holes.

But I rarely spend time going into that warren when I and my life are the subjects for consideration. And it might be fun—if not a little necessary at times.

We’re all full of certitudes in life. We’re sure our political view is wide enough, confident we think with deep consideration, positive we’re slightly above average—at least in comparison to the other yahoos we find ourselves surrounded by.

But what if we’re wrong?

What if I’m not really meant to be Aristotle’s rock?

What if I’m meant to be Aristotle?

If we’re all going to be proven wrong one hundred or one thousand years from now, where’s the risk, right?

Think the absurd. Be the absurd. Do the absurd. Accomplish the unthinkable.

Physician, heal thyself? How about writer, imagine thyself.

ABOUT Shelley Sackier
Shelley Sackier grew up in a small farming community in Northern Wisconsin continually searching for ways to grow warm. Her first novel, DEAR OPL, is a tale about an overweight, snarky thirteen-year-old, who suffers from loss everywhere in her life except on her body. She pens a weekly humor blog with illustrator Robin Gott at You can also find her on Twitter @ShelleySackier and at Goodreads.


Saying good-bye to Scotland is the hardest thing that Jenna MacDuff has had to do—until she met Lord Pembroke. Jenna’s small clan has risked their lives traveling the countryside as masons, secretly drumming up support and arms at every stop for the exiled King James Stuart so that he may retake the British throne. But their next job brings them into enemy territory: England.

Jenna’s father repeatedly warns her to trust no one, but when the Duke of Keswick hires the clan to build a garrison on his estate, it seems she cannot hide her capable mind from the duke’s inquisitive son, Lord Alex Pembroke—nor mask her growing attraction to him.

But there’s a covert plan behind the building of the garrison--a secret that cannot be revealed. Will Jenna hide her family’s mutinous plot and assist her clan’s cause, or protect the life of the young noble she’s falling for?

In Shelley Sackier’s lush, vivid historical debut, someone will pay a deadly price no matter what Jenna chooses.
Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

0 Fox Benwell, author of KALEIDOSCOPE SONG, on writing what matters to you

We've had so many amazing authors provide interviews lately that we're spreading them out to Tuesdays and Thursdays rather than overwhelming our readers with writing wisdom on Saturdays.

We are thrilled to have Fox Benwell here to share more about his latest novel, KALEIDOSCOPE SONG.

Fox, what was your inspiration for writing KALEIDOSCOPE SONG?

It’s getting much, much better (this book took FOREVER to write) but, a lack of queer fiction on my shelves was a definite influencing factor. When I started writing Kaleidoscope Song, the way I identified aligned more closely with Neo, and a lot of the community/ first time experience stuff (although, not the location, there >_>) is familiar.

Music, too. Music is everything in this book. It colours the way Neo sees the world. If you want to feel what she feels, I wholeheartedly recommend checking out some of the music mentioned in the book.

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

I think I’m most proud of the final scenes. But weirdly, I knew exactly how they’d go, right from the start. I added a little, but they’re pretty much the same as they were in the first draft.

As for hard to write…there’s some really tough grief stuff in there which I wrote while dealing with big personal loss myself. Writing probably helped, but those hurt so much to write that I’m not sure I could read them now.

What do you hope readers will take away from KALEIDOSCOPE SONG?

That friends, community, and being yourself are all possibilities. That standing up for those things is absolutely worth doing. But also that we’re not all, always, in a position where it’s safe to do so.

And I hope – as largely Western readers – that they extrapolate, because this doesn’t just apply in other places. Plenty of marginalised folks are at risk right on your doorstep every single day. Especially in today’s climate: surviving – thriving – is a political act in and of itself.

I hope that anyone suffering will find community that they can turn to. And that anyone who can, might use their voice for good.

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?

Honestly, no. While there might be a key to writing one particular novel, I don’t think there is a key to writing a novel in the wider sense: books, like their authors, are incredibly different. And sometimes kind of temperamental. You have to figure them out as you go. Which is comforting, in a sense, because when things aren’t working it’s not necessarily you, you just haven’t nailed this particular project yet. But it can be hella frustrating when you don’t know how to make it work.

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

When I can, I like the familiarity of having my books to hand, and working at my grandad’s old desk, with the visual reminder of a wall of post-its, full of plot points and phrases and imagery that I want to use. But – out of necessity – I’ll work anywhere. I focus better when I’m comfortable; give me a big comfy chair and a supply of coffee and I’m good for hours. And music. Always music – each book has its own playlist to reflect the world I’m writing. It was a particularly big part of Kaleidoscope Song, because music is so important to the protagonist, too. You can find the full playlist and crib notes at the back of the book.

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

Write your story. Not a carbon copy of your experiences, necessarily, but what matters to you. You’ll want to spend time with the story, and that’ll show; readers will be much more likely to want to join you. And besides, books take a LOT of hours to make: do you really want to work on something that you hate for all that time?

And hey, marginalised writers especially, keep at it. My shelves need you. <3

What are you working on now?

Several things. Life’s been a bit tumultuous, so I’ve been switching back and forth to fit with where my brain’s at, and now I love them all so much that I’m juggling a few. All of them centre queer, trans and disabled characters as glorious everyday heroes.


Kaleidoscope Song
by Fox Benwell
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Released 9/19/2017

South Africa is loud. Listen. Do you hear the song and dance of it? The chorus of Khayelitsha life? Every voice is different, its pitch and tone and intonation as distinct as the words we choose and how we wrap our mouths around them. But everybody has a voice, and everybody sings…

Fifteen year old Neo loves music, it punctuates her life and shapes the way she views the world. A life in radio is all she’s ever wanted.
When Umzi Radio broadcasts live in a nearby bar Neo can’t resist. She sneaks out to see them, and she falls in love, with music, and the night, but also with a girl: Tale has a voice like coffee poured into a bright steel mug, and she commands the stage.

It isn’t normal. Isn’t right. Neo knows that she’s supposed to go to school and get a real job and find a nice young boy to settle down with. It’s written everywhere – in childhood games, and playground questions, in the textbooks, in her parents’ faces. But Tale and music are underneath her skin, and try as she might, she can’t stop thinking about them.

Purchase Kaleidoscope Song at Amazon
Purchase Kaleidoscope Song at IndieBound
View Kaleidoscope Song on Goodreads


Fox Benwell is a perpetual student of the world, a writer, adventurer, and wannabe-knight, who holds degrees in international education and writing for young people, and believes in the power of both to change the world. When he’s not writing or teaching, he sings barbershop with The Great Western Chorus; music is pretty good at changing the world, too.
He is the author of the critically acclaimed The Last Leaves Falling, and Kaleidoscope Song.


Have you had a chance to read KALEIDOSCOPE SONG yet? Have you used your writing to speak up and reach out to others? Have you read something that allowed you to connect and find your community? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!

Happy reading,

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

Monday, September 18, 2017

9 New Releases this week 09/18-09/24 plus 4 Giveaways

Happy Monday! We have a few wonderful line up of giveaways and interviews this week. Make sure to enter to win below, and check out all the other awesome books being released this week!

Happy Reading,

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


* * * *

Speak Easy, Speak Love
by McKelle George
Swag Only Giveaway
U.S. Only

Greenwillow Books
Released 9/19/2017

Six teenagers’ lives intertwine during one thrilling summer full of romantic misunderstandings and dangerous deals in this sparkling retelling of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.

After she gets kicked out of boarding school, seventeen-year-old Beatrice goes to her uncle’s estate on Long Island. But Hey Nonny Nonny is more than just a rundown old mansion. Beatrice’s cousin, Hero, runs a struggling speakeasy out of the basement—one that might not survive the summer.

Along with Prince, a poor young man determined to prove his worth; his brother, John, a dark and dangerous agent of the local mob; Benedick, a handsome trust-fund kid trying to become a writer; and Maggie, a beautiful and talented singer; Beatrice and Hero throw all their efforts into planning a massive party to save the speakeasy. Despite all their worries, the summer is beautiful, love is in the air, and Beatrice and Benedick are caught up in a romantic battle of wits that their friends might be quietly orchestrating in the background.

Hilariously clever and utterly charming, McKelle George’s debut novel is full of intrigue and 1920s charm. For fans of Jenny Han, Stephanie Perkins, and Anna Godbersen.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Speak Easy, Speak Love?

I would have to say the characters and their relationships with each other. The book has a wide cast (much like a Shakespeare play!) and I love how tangled up in each other they are. There are romantic feelings, bonds of friendship, and familial relationships, all criss-crossing with each other and making life messy and complicated, but also full of love—and all set in the fascinating time period of the 1920s!

Purchase Speak Easy, Speak Love at Amazon
Purchase Speak Easy, Speak Love at IndieBound
View Speak Easy, Speak Love on Goodreads

* * * *

Kaleidoscope Song
by Fox Benwell
Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Released 9/19/2017

South Africa is loud. Listen. Do you hear the song and dance of it? The chorus of Khayelitsha life? Every voice is different, its pitch and tone and intonation as distinct as the words we choose and how we wrap our mouths around them. But everybody has a voice, and everybody sings…

Fifteen year old Neo loves music, it punctuates her life and shapes the way she views the world. A life in radio is all she’s ever wanted.
When Umzi Radio broadcasts live in a nearby bar Neo can’t resist. She sneaks out to see them, and she falls in love, with music, and the night, but also with a girl: Tale has a voice like coffee poured into a bright steel mug, and she commands the stage.

It isn’t normal. Isn’t right. Neo knows that she’s supposed to go to school and get a real job and find a nice young boy to settle down with. It’s written everywhere – in childhood games, and playground questions, in the textbooks, in her parents’ faces. But Tale and music are underneath her skin, and try as she might, she can’t stop thinking about them.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Kaleidoscope Song?

I’m fond of a lot within this book; the music and musicality of it, the queerness and a sense of queer community, some particular descriptions and scenes, but my very, very favourite, pure joy thing is probably Jeso, and his protective-little-brother relationship with Neo. He’s cute and wild and empathetic, and he notices and understands a whole lot more than people give him credit for. Which is often the way: adults could learn a thing or two about acceptance from the younger generation.

Purchase Kaleidoscope Song at Amazon
Purchase Kaleidoscope Song at IndieBound
View Kaleidoscope Song on Goodreads

* * * *

Book of Shadows
by M. Verano
Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

Simon Pulse
Released 9/19/2017

All Melanie wants is a blank book to keep a journal of her private thoughts. One day while browsing in a used bookshop, she finds the perfect blank book—smooth black leather with strange symbols in gold embossing. But once she gets home, Melanie finds herself too intimidated by the heavy vellum pages to write her trivial thoughts on them. Her Wiccan friend Lara tells her it’s better suited to be a magical spell book, called The Book of Shadows.

Melanie doesn’t know much about that stuff, but Lara, her boyfriend Caleb, and his friend Lucas, get her started by writing their own made up spells inside the book’s tempting pages. What they didn’t expect was a new spell showing up inside the book—and in handwriting none of them recognize.

Soon they discover that the spells suggested by The Book of Shadows itself do work—but not without wreaking havoc on the lives of the four teenagers.

Purchase Book of Shadows at Amazon
Purchase Book of Shadows at IndieBound
View Book of Shadows on Goodreads

* * * *

The Victoria in My Head
by Janelle Milanes
Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

Simon Pulse
Released 9/19/2017

Victoria Cruz inhabits two worlds: In one, she is a rock star, thrashing the stage with her husky voice and purple-streaked hair. In the other, currently serving as her reality, Victoria is a shy teenager with overprotective Cuban parents, who sleepwalks through her life at the prestigious Evanston Academy. Unable to overcome the whole paralyzing-stage-fright thing, Victoria settles for living inside her fantasies, where nothing can go wrong and everything is set to her expertly crafted music playlists.

But after a chance encounter with an unattainably gorgeous boy named Strand, whose band seeks a lead singer, Victoria is tempted to turn her fevered daydreams into reality. To do that, she must confront her insecurities and break away from the treadmill that is her life. Suddenly, Victoria is faced with the choice of staying on the path she’s always known and straying off-course to find love, adventure, and danger.

From debut author Janelle Milanes comes a hilarious and heartfelt tale of the spectacular things that can happen when you go after what you really want.

Purchase The Victoria in My Head at Amazon
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View The Victoria in My Head on Goodreads


Mean Girls: A Novel by Micol Ostow (swag pack): John S.
Michael Vey 7: The Final Spark by Richard Paul Evans: Danielle H.
Too Shattered for Mending by Peter Brown Hoffmeister: Susan L, Rosi H, Michael H
Water in May by Ismée Williams: Joycedale C.
When I Cast Your Shadow by Sarah Porter: Imari H.
You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins: Brittany D.


* * * *

by Jennifer Mathieu
Roaring Brook Press
Released 9/19/2017

An unlikely teenager starts a feminist revolution at a small-town Texan high school in the new novel from Jennifer, author of The Truth About Alice.


Vivian Carter is fed up. Fed up with a school administration at her small-town Texas high school that thinks the football team can do no wrong. Fed up with sexist dress codes, hallway harassment, and gross comments from guys during class. But most of all, Viv Carter is fed up with always following the rules.

Viv's mom was a tough-as-nails, punk rock Riot Grrrl in the '90s, and now Viv takes a page from her mother's past and creates a feminist zine that she distributes anonymously to her classmates. She's just blowing off steam, but other girls respond. As Viv forges friendships with other young women across the divides of cliques and popularity rankings, she realizes that what she has started is nothing short of a girl revolution.

Moxie is a book about high school life that will make you wanna riot!

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Moxie?

My favorite thing about MOXIE...that's so hard to choose! I loved writing it. It was a very fun process to write that book. I listened to a lot of old feminist punk from my youth and had a lot of fun getting to know Vivian and the other Moxie girls. But I think my favorite thing about it is knowing that - or at least hoping that - the story gets into the hands of young women and gets them excited about feminism and gender equality. It's my hope that MOXIE functions in much the way that Riot Grrrl music functioned for me when I was young - as a sort of gateway drug to feminism!

Purchase Moxie at Amazon
Purchase Moxie at IndieBound
View Moxie on Goodreads

* * * *

Murder, Magic, and What We Wore
by Kelly Jones
Knopf Books for Young Readers
Released 9/19/2017

The year is 1818, the city is London, and 16-year-old Annis Whitworth has just learned that her father is dead and all his money is missing. And so, of course, she decides to become a spy.

Annis always suspected that her father was himself a spy, and following in his footsteps to unmask his killer makes perfect sense. Alas, it does not make sense to England’s current spymasters—not even when Annis reveals that she has the rare magical ability to sew glamours: garments that can disguise the wearer completely.

Well, if the spies are too pigheaded to take on a young woman of quality, then Annis will take them on. And so she crafts a new double life for herself. Miss Annis Whitworth will appear to live a quiet life in a country cottage with her aunt, and Annis-in-disguise as Madame Martine, glamour artist, will open a magical dressmaking shop. That way she can earn a living, maintain her social standing, and, in her spare time, follow the coded clues her father left behind and unmask his killer.

It can’t be any harder than navigating the London social season, can it?

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Murder, Magic, and What We Wore?

The characters! Annis is a sixteen-year-old girl who’s confident in her abilities (even when no one else is – and even when she has no reason to be!) It’s so much fun to write someone who sees the paths open to her, and instead tries to make new ones. Another great delight was asking other writers of Regency novels if I could give a glimpse of their characters within my book. Look for gossip about characters you might recognize, and check your findings with the list in the back!

Purchase Murder, Magic, and What We Wore at Amazon
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View Murder, Magic, and What We Wore on Goodreads


* * * *

A Poison Dark and Drowning
by Jessica Cluess
Random House Books for Young Readers
Released 9/19/2017

In this seductive and explosive second book in the Kingdom on Fire series, Jessica Cluess delivers her signature mix of magic, passion, and teen warriors fighting for survival.

Henrietta doesn't need a prophecy to know that she's in danger. She came to London to be named the chosen one, the first female sorcerer in centuries, the one who would defeat the Ancients. Instead, she discovered a city ruled by secrets. And the biggest secret of all: Henrietta is not the chosen one.

Still, she must play the role in order to keep herself and Rook, her best friend and childhood love, safe. But can she truly save him? The poison in Rook's system is transforming him into something monstrous as he begins to master dark powers of his own. So when Henrietta finds a clue to the Ancients past that could turn the tide of the war, she persuades Blackwood, the mysterious Earl of Sorrow-Fell, to travel up the coast to seek out strange new weapons. And Magnus, the brave, reckless flirt who wants to win back her favor, is assigned to their mission. Together, they will face monsters, meet powerful new allies, and uncover the most devastating weapon of all: the truth.

Purchase A Poison Dark and Drowning at Amazon
Purchase A Poison Dark and Drowning at IndieBound
View A Poison Dark and Drowning on Goodreads

* * * *

Finding You
by Lydia Albano
Swoon Reads
Released 9/19/2017

Taken from home and family, all they have is each other.

Isla is kidnapped from a train platform in broad daylight, and thrust into a nightmare when she is sold to a sadistic aristocrat. Locked in a dungeon with a dozen other girls, Isla's only comfort is a locket and the memory of the boy she loves. But as days pass and more girls disappear, she realizes that help is not coming... If they're going to survive, they'll have to escape on their own.

Swoon Reads is proud to present Lydia Albano's debut novel, a powerful story of a teen girl finding strength and hope in even the worst circumstances.

Purchase Finding You at Amazon
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View Finding You on Goodreads

* * * *

Hunting Prince Dracula
by Kerri Maniscalco
jimmy patterson; Lrg edition
Released 9/19/2017

In this hotly anticipated sequel to the haunting #1 bestseller Stalking Jack the Ripper, bizarre murders are discovered in the castle of Prince Vlad the Impaler, otherwise known as Dracula. Could it be a copycat killer...or has the depraved prince been brought back to life?

Following the grief and horror of her discovery of Jack the Ripper's true identity, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has no choice but to flee London and its memories. Together with the arrogant yet charming Thomas Cresswell, she journeys to the dark heart of Romania, home to one of Europe's best schools of forensic medicine...and to another notorious killer, Vlad the Impaler, whose thirst for blood became legend.

But her life's dream is soon tainted by blood-soaked discoveries in the halls of the school's forbidding castle, and Audrey Rose is compelled to investigate the strangely familiar murders. What she finds brings all her terrifying fears to life once again.

Purchase Hunting Prince Dracula at Amazon
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View Hunting Prince Dracula on Goodreads

* * * *

Jane, Unlimited
by Kristin Cashore
Kathy Dawson Books
Released 9/19/2017

Jane has lived an ordinary life, raised by her aunt Magnolia—an adjunct professor and deep sea photographer. Jane counted on Magnolia to make the world feel expansive and to turn life into an adventure. But Aunt Magnolia was lost a few months ago in Antarctica on one of her expeditions.

Now, with no direction, a year out of high school, and obsessed with making umbrellas that look like her own dreams (but mostly just mourning her aunt), she is easily swept away by Kiran Thrash—a glamorous, capricious acquaintance who shows up and asks Jane to accompany her to a gala at her family's island mansion called Tu Reviens.

Jane remembers her aunt telling her: "If anyone ever invites to you to Tu Reviens, promise me that you'll go." With nothing but a trunkful of umbrella parts to her name, Jane ventures out to the Thrash estate. Then her story takes a turn, or rather, five turns. What Jane doesn't know is that Tu Reviens will offer her choices that can ultimately determine the course of her untethered life. But at Tu Reviens, every choice comes with a reward, or a price.

Purchase Jane, Unlimited at Amazon
Purchase Jane, Unlimited at IndieBound
View Jane, Unlimited on Goodreads

* * * *

by Zac Brewer
Released 9/19/2017

New York Times bestselling author Zac Brewer delivers his most honest and gripping novel yet, about a girl who believes she’s beyond saving—until she realizes the only person who can save her is herself.

Brooke Danvers is pretending to be fine. She’s gotten so good at pretending that they’re letting her leave inpatient therapy. Now she just has to fake it long enough for her parents and teachers to let their guard down. This time, when she's ready to end her life, there won’t be anyone around to stop her.

Then Brooke meets Derek. Derek is the only person who really gets what Brooke is going through, because he’s going through it too. As they start spending more time together, Brooke suddenly finds herself having something to look forward to every day and maybe even happiness.

But when Derek’s feelings for her intensify, Brooke is forced to accept that the same relationship that is bringing out the best in her might be bringing out the worst in Derek—and that Derek at his worst could be capable of real darkness.

Purchase Madness at Amazon
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View Madness on Goodreads

* * * *

One Dark Throne
by Kendare Blake
Released 9/19/2017


With the unforgettable events of the Quickening behind them and the Ascension Year underway, all bets are off. Katharine, once the weak and feeble sister, is stronger than ever before. Arsinoe, after discovering the truth about her powers, must figure out how to make her secret talent work in her favor without anyone finding out. And Mirabella, once thought to be the strongest sister of all and the certain Queen Crowned, faces attacks like never before—ones that put those around her in danger she can’t seem to prevent.

In this enthralling sequel to Kendare Blake’s New York Times bestselling Three Dark Crowns, Fennbirn’s deadliest queens must face the one thing standing in their way of the crown: each other.

Purchase One Dark Throne at Amazon
Purchase One Dark Throne at IndieBound
View One Dark Throne on Goodreads

* * * *

by Patrick Ness
Released 9/19/2017

Inspired by Judy Blume’s Forever and Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, this novel by award-winning author Patrick Ness is a new classic about teenage relationships, self-acceptance—and what happens when the walls we build start coming down.

Adam Thorn doesn’t know it yet, but today will change his life.

Between his religious family, a deeply unpleasant ultimatum from his boss, and his own unrequited love for his sort-of ex, Enzo, it seems as though Adam’s life is falling apart. At least he has two people to keep him sane: his new boyfriend (he does love Linus, doesn’t he?) and his best friend, Angela.

But all day long, old memories and new heartaches come crashing together, throwing Adam’s life into chaos. The bindings of his world are coming untied one by one; yet in spite of everything he has to let go, he may also find freedom in the release.

From the New York Times-bestselling author of A Monster Calls comes a raw, darkly funny, and deeply affecting story about the courage it takes to live your truth.

Purchase Release at Amazon
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View Release on Goodreads

* * * *

The Lives of Desperate Girls
by MacKenzie Common
Penguin Teen
Released 9/19/2017

One small, northern community. Two girls gone -- one missing, the other dead. A riveting coming-of-age debut young adult novel for fans of Everything I Never Told You and All the Bright Places.

Sixteen-year-old Helen Commanda is found dead just outside Thunder Creek, Ontario. Her murder goes unremarked, except for the fact that it may shed light on the earlier disappearance of Chloe Shaughnessy. Chloe is beautiful, rich and white. Helen is plain, and from the reservation. They had nothing in common except that they were teenage girls from an unforgiving small town. Only Chloe's best friend Jenny Parker knows exactly how unforgiving, but she's keeping some dangerous secrets of her own.

Jenny begins looking for answers about Helen's life and death, trying to understand larger questions about her town and her best friend. But what can a teenage girl really accomplish where adults have failed? And how much is Jenny actually complicit in a conspiracy of silence?

Purchase The Lives of Desperate Girls at Amazon
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Sunday, September 17, 2017

0 YA Sunday Morning News: This Week for Writers 9/17/17

Happy Sunday, writers! The summer lull is officially over, and I've got tons of links to prove it...enjoy!

Writing for Publication—Queries and Submissions:

Writing for Publication—Book Marketing and Social Media:

Author Interviews:

Adventures in YA Publishing Author Interviews:

Literary Agent News and Interviews:

Writing and Pitch Contests:

Writing Craft:

Writing Inspiration:

YA Book to Screen Adaptation News:

Publishing News & Trends:

New YA E-Book Deals:

New YA Book Giveaways:

YA Book Awards and Congratulations:

YA New Book Deals and Releases:

Just for Fun: