Saturday, November 1, 2014

0 November First Five Pages Workshop Opens Today at Noon!

The First Five Pages November Workshop opens today at noon, EST. So get ready to send those pages! We'll take the first five Middle Grade, Young Adult, or New Adult entries that meet all guidelines and formatting requirements.  Click here to get the rules. In addition to our wonderful permanent mentors, we have the talented J.R. Johansson, author of INSOMNIA, PARANOIA, and the forthcoming novels MANIA and CUT ME FREE, as our guest mentor, and editor Pam Glauber will be our guest editor!

0 Martina Boone, Author of COMPULSION, on Perseverance and a Long Road to Pub

What’s your favorite thing about Compulsion?
     
It was so much fun to get to do a Gothic novel! I’ve loved seeing Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea and The Lynburn Legacy bringing Gothics to a whole new batch of readers in a fresh way. Adding the Gothic elements to a Southern setting similar to Beautiful Creatures gave me such rich material to work with in COMPULSION. I've always adored books with exotically dangerous mansions, eccentric characters, and elements of magic, mystery, and suspense. The world of Watson Island, with its equally charming and ugly history, beautiful scenery, and unique mythology is a storyteller's dream. It has all the elements I love—a haunted past, regret, anger, continuing conflict, and questions of morality galore.

My favorite thing about COMPULSION, hands down, is the setting and how it shaped (and twisted) the characters and families who live there, including my main character, Barrie, who arrives not knowing that history. The island, and especially the Watson’s Landing plantation, became an integral character in the book.

What was your inspiration for writing this book?
   
Some of the characters, setting, and history came from work I did for a short story anthology. I couldn’t let go of the ideas and my image of the plantation. Then one night I dreamed about a ball of fire drifting through the woods and setting a river aflame, which became the anchoring visual for the book. The rest all came from asking why the river was on fire and who was doing it.

Creating the mythology and history of Watson’s Landing, along with the family intrigue that resulted in the feud, the gifts, and the curse, was an absolute blast. There’s such a wealth of inspiration to draw from in the Charleston area. Early settlers, pirates, Native American tribes, slaves, and other travelers all brought their own mythologies, beliefs, magical systems and superstitions to the area, and I didn’t have to create a lot from scratch. A lot of people don't realize how some of those things connected historically in unexpected ways, and I'll be exploring that a lot more in the final two books. Getting the chance to stretch and bend that wealth of material into a trilogy was so much fun! And we’re only just touching the tip of the iceberg in COMPULSION.

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?
   
There are a lot of hard scenes in the book. I tend to write scenes where there are several things going on at once, so while there is something significant going on emotionally, for example, there may be a significant clue to the mystery going on in the background or vice versa. Every scene with Mark in it was hard on me emotionally. And the first kitchen scene with Pru and the attic scene were so hard to write that I kept going back to them. The one I probably rewrote the most was the first scene in the garden with Barrie and Eight, and the scene that I love the best is the nighttime beach scene with Barrie and Eight. But honestly? I love so many different scenes. Which doesn't mean that I feel like I nailed them all, just that I love what I see in my head. If I came close to achieving that on the page, I'll be delighted.

What book or books would most resonate with readers who love your book--or visa versa?
       
COMPULSION isn't exactly like anything else, I don't think. At its heart, it's a mystery, and it has a lot of the same kind of gothic elements and "real, not real" questions (to quote one of my favorite bookseller's) as Maggie Steifvater's The Raven Cycle and Sarah Rees Brennan's Lynburn Legacy trilogy, but it's Southern to the core, and there are a lot of strange characters, a lot of history, and a lot of questions of morality. It's both dark and hopeful, magical and about contemporary issues.

How long did you work on THE LAST CHANGELING?
    
Ha! This is the million-dollar question. I actually worked on the book for seven years. It’s the longest I’ve ever worked on a single novel (and I probably won’t be sharing the terrible early drafts any time soon!) but I’m really, really happy with how it turned out. This is definitely “the novel of my heart.” My labor of love. I put so much of myself into this book, and I’m so excited to share it with the world!

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

Write what only you can write, and make it bigger than you thought you could.

I write complicated stories. It's the way I think, and as I said, this is a gothic, so it's centered around a mystery--several mysteries, actually. Readers who skim are going to miss something important, so this is not really a book for readers who don't want to think about what they're reading. I had doubts about doing that, but at the same time, I wanted to give readers something rich to fall into.

There were moments when I thought the story was just too big for me to tell, that I didn't have the writing chops to pull off making something so big seem real.

But I think every writer gets scared by a story at some point. This story taught me to embrace the fear, to let it push me.

Does that make me any less insecure? Hell-to-the-no. But that is also part of being a writer.  We just have to keep going and do the best we can to be true to our characters and our stories.

What do you hope readers will take away from COMPULSION?
   
That we can find our true families, even if they aren't necessarily connected to us by blood. And that we don't have to take what life gives us, we can forge our own destinies. We have to forge them--we have to do our best to live life out loud.

How long did you work on the book?
 
I began it in May of 2012 and sold it in June of 2013.

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 wrote for younger children when I first started writing, then I dipped my toe into writing an adult novel that really needed to be three separate books. Looking back, I can see SO many mistakes, but my biggest was giving up when my agent dumped me after reading the first messy draft. (Okay, there’s more to that story, but it sounds more interesting to say it that way. I’m a storyteller, right? : ))

Anyway, fast forward through two kids, a business I started, and more years than I want to think about, and I always wondered ‘what if’ — then one day, my daughter was old enough to read YA books. She has a learning disability, so to encourage her reading, I read them with her. I fell in love with the creativity, the freedom, the freshness, and the issues and problems in YA novels. I wrote two YA novels and outlined a third before staring Compulsion. I plan to get back to two of those, and maybe someday, I’ll come back to the third. One of the three books has never seen the light of day, one received some great suggestions from a couple agents that I wanted to address, and the one I’m not sure I’ll ever return to is about a topic that has just been done too often to sell right now.

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 took a great writing workshop from Free Expressions Seminars and Literary Services, and literary agent Tracey Adams asked the class what characters from literature we loved the best. She listed them and then asked us to consider what they all had in common. You know what it was? All the characters drove the action--things didn't happen to them, things happened because they made them happen.

Barrie does things. Right or wrong, she charts a course of action and she follows it, because that's what she believes in. Some people may not agree with her choices, but honestly, they're the only choices she could make being who she is.

What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?
   
My writing ritual is pretty boring. I sit down with my laptop and I write. It doesn’t much matter where. I usually write for about twenty minutes, then take a five minute break, do some social media, get up and stretch, grab a refill on coffee or tea, then go back to the laptop. Rinse repeat for at least 8 hours a day, five or six days a week. I write very, very slowly. I edit even more slowly. I keep hoping that will speed up as I finally learn what the heck I'm doing.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
     
Don’t give up. I’m living proof that knowing how to string a sentence together and being dedicated will pay off. In January 2010, I finished the first manuscript of a YA novel and decided I was going to work as hard as it took to get published. If I can do it, I truly believe that with luck and determination, it can happen. Yes, it does take luck—the right manuscript to the right person at the right time. But it won’t happen if that manuscript isn’t ready, isn’t marketable, and isn’t presented professionally to the agents and editors who are looking for that kind of material.

Apart from that, I do have one surefire secret formula for success. Want to hear it? Here it is:

Read a lot. Live a lot. Write. A lot.

What are you working on now?
       
We’re finishing up edits on Persuasion, which is the sequel to Compulsion, and I’m plotting book three, which doesn’t have a title just yet. I'm also thinking very hard about a possible New Adult novel. : )


ABOUT THE BOOK


Compulsion
by Martina Boone
Hardcover
Simon Pulse
Released 10/28/2014

Beautiful Creatures meets The Body Finder in this spellbinding new trilogy.

Three plantations. Two wishes. One ancient curse.

All her life, Barrie Watson had been a virtual prisoner in the house where she lived with her shut-in mother. When her mother dies, Barrie promises to put some mileage on her stiletto heels. But she finds a new kind of prison at her aunt’s South Carolina plantation instead--a prison guarded by an ancient spirit who long ago cursed one of the three founding families of Watson Island and gave the others magical gifts that became compulsions.

Stuck with the ghosts of a generations-old feud and hunted by forces she cannot see, Barrie must find a way to break free of the family legacy. With the help of sun-kissed Eight Beaufort, who knows what Barrie wants before she knows herself, the last Watson heir starts to unravel her family's twisted secrets. What she finds is dangerous: a love she never expected, a river that turns to fire at midnight, a gorgeous cousin who isn’t what she seems, and very real enemies who want both Eight and Barrie dead.

Purchase Compulsion at Amazon
Purchase Compulsion at IndieBound
View Compulsion on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Martina Boone was born in Prague and spoke several languages before learning English. Her first teacher in the U.S. made fun of her for not pronouncing the "wh" sound right, so she set out to master "all the words”—she's still working on that! In the meantime she’s writing contemporary fantasy set in the kinds of magical places she'd love to visit.

If you like romance steeped in mystery, mayhem, Spanish moss, and a bit of magic, she hopes you'll look forward to meeting Barrie, Eight, Cassie, Pru, Seven and the other characters of Watson Island.

0 C.C. Hunter, author of ETERNAL, on becoming a sponge . . .

What is your favorite thing about ETERNAL?

My favorite thing about Eternal are the secrets that Della is unearthing and exposing. I think that every family usually has a secret they attempt to keep hidden. And Della’s family secret is a doozy. It has the potential to break her heart. Especially when she discovers that by uncovering the family secrets she could destroy someone she loves.

How long did you work on the book?

Eternal took me about four months to write. That’s a little longer than usual, but I think it was because it has so many twists and turns. There are so many different little subplots in this book: the romance, Della’s family issues, Della’s relationship with Kylie, Miranda and the other Shadow Falls campers, and the ghost who is making her life hell.

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

By rituals, do you mean like baseball players wearing the same dirty socks . . . thinking it will help their game? Well, for sure, I change my socks. I’d never get any foot massages if I didn’t. No big writing rituals here; most days it’s climb out of bed, grab coffee, lots of coffee, answer emails while I wake up (which explains some of my emails) and write. I work too many hours, about eight to twelve a day, but I love my job, so I seldom complain.

Music? I can’t listen to music with lyrics because I stop and think about those words and not the words I’m imagining in my head.

As for the place where I write . . . I’m one of those writers who can’t seem to produce much away from my office. I have writing friends who meet at Starbucks to write. If I’m at Starbucks, I’m too busy people-watching and eavesdropping on other patron’s conversations. Where else am I going to get my dialogue?

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

I have two pieces of advice for new writers. First, remain positive and focused on your goal. What works for me is to do something each and every day to achieve that goal. It can be a little thing, such as researching something you need to know before you write a scene, or it can be something bigger, such as writing X number of pages. One thing I really believe in, is that keeping a positive outlook is vital to building a career as a writer. Surround yourself with people who share your positive outlook, and try to limit your contact with those who spread negativity.

My second piece of advice goes along with my first, and that is to work hard to become a better writer every day. Take a writing class or workshop or read a how-to book. Expand your horizons and read widely. Become a sponge and soak up as much about the writing craft as you can.

What are you working on now?

Right now, I’m plotting a new novella. Guess who? Not Kylie or Della, but Miranda. I think Miranda has been jealous because I’ve written two novellas for Della, and even one for Chase, but she’s finally getting her moment in the limelight. And let’s just say, it’s going to be exciting. She’s gonna discover some family secrets and Perry, her shapeshifter boyfriend, is going to get some stiff competition.

ABOUT THE BOOK


Eternal
by C.C. Hunter
Hardcover
St. Martin's Griffin; Library Unabridged, Hardcover Edition edition
Released 10/28/2014

All her life, Della's secret powers have made her feel separated from her human family. Now, she's where she belongs, at Shadow Falls. With the help of her best friends Kylie and Miranda, she’ll try to prove herself in the paranormal world as an investigator—all the while trying to figure out her own heart. Should she chose Chase, a powerful vampire with whom she shares a special bond? Or Steve, the hot shapeshifter whose kisses make her weak in the knees? When a person with dark connection to her past shows up, it’ll help her decide which guy to choose–and make her question everything she knows about herself.

From bestselling author C.C. Hunter comes Eternal—a must-read for fans of the Shadow Falls series—and the sequel to Reborn.


Purchase Eternal at Amazon
Purchase Eternal at IndieBound
View Eternal on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

C.C. Hunter grew up in Alabama, where she caught lightning bugs, ran barefoot, and regularly rescued potential princes, in the form of Alabama bullfrogs, from her brothers. Today, she's still fascinated with lightning bugs, mostly wears shoes, but has turned her focus to rescuing mammals. She now lives in Texas with her four rescued cats, one dog, and a prince of a husband, who for the record, is so not a frog. When she's not writing, she's reading, spending time with her family, or is shooting things-with a camera, not a gun.

C.C. Hunter is a pseudonym. Her real name is Christie Craig and she also writes humorous romantic suspense romance novels for Grand Central. www.christie-craig.com

C.C. would love to hear from you. Because of deadlines, it may take her a day or so to get back with you, but she will reply.  cc@cchunterbooks.com

0 Mary Amato, author of GET HAPPY, finds plot solutions on power walks

What is your favorite thing about GET HAPPY?

I love the friendship that Minerva has with Fin. Even though she makes the mistake of letting her own problems distract her from being the best friend she could be, their history and their love is an absolute rock. Everybody should have at least one friend to count on.

As I was writing, every time Fin appeared in a scene, the room seemed to brighten. I hope that readers feel that as they’re reading. The process of creating characters and living with them for as long as it takes to write a book is an interesting one. I get attached to my favorite characters; and when the novel is done, I miss them.

Many writers will say that their characters feel “real” to them. I have that experience. I know that a character is imagined, but it also seems as if the character lives outside of my imagination.


What is your writing ritual like? Do you have one?

My writing day begins with meditation followed by a cup of tea and breakfast. Then go to my writing studio and open up all the shades and pour a few drops of eucalyptus oil into a little marble dish. I often enjoy working to music, and I have great speakers (if you can help it, never listen to music on computer speakers). I like using Pandora because it introduces me to new artists based on previous artists that I have liked. I write until lunchtime.

Before eating lunch, I grab my writer’s notebook and head out for a power walk. I walk the same path so that I don’t have to make any decisions about where to turn. This helps me to focus on my story. I just think through my story or a particular scene in my mind as I walk. During the time it takes to get from my house to the creek, I often come up with a plot solution or have an insight about a character. I stop and write down my thoughts. I never, ever trust myself to remember.

Typically, after my walk, I make my lunch and take it to my desk. I eat at my desk while I’m getting back into the writing. If I’m in a flow, I write until 4 or so. I do an afternoon meditation which sometimes morphs into a short nap. Often I get another insight or idea after this. I write until 5 or 6.If I get writer’s block, I take my notebook to the library or a coffee shop, just to get away. In those instances, I often work well in busy places. Somehow it takes the pressure off of me. I can’t quite explain it, but getting away from the desk can be helpful. I also break my routine to do skypes, school visits, or if I have appointments; but generally, I’m writing every day. The great part about this is that I love to write. That doesn’t mean it’s easy. It just means it’s rewarding.

ABOUT THE BOOK


Get Happy
by Mary Amato
Hardcover
EgmontUSA
Released 10/28/2014

In this poignant, realistic, contemporary YA by a state master list star, perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen and Gayle Forman, a young songwriter builds a substitute family with her friends in place of the broken family she grew up with.

A hip high school girl who loves music, writes songs, and is desperate for a ukelele, learns to her shock that her father did not abandon her years ago and has been trying to keep in touch. She begins to investigate him, only to discover that he has a new life with a new family, including the perfect stepdaughter, a girl who Minerva despises.

Purchase Get Happy at Amazon
Purchase Get Happy at IndieBound
View Get Happy on Goodreads


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mary Amato is an award-winning children’s book author, poet, playwright, and songwriter. Her books have been translated into foreign languages, optioned for television, produced onstage, and have won the children’s choice awards in several states.

Friday, October 31, 2014

6 Celebrate our COMPULSION for Halloween!




If there is one thing the staff here at Adventures in Young Adult Publishing loves as much as Halloween, it is our fearless leader and head spooker, Martina Boone. We couldn't think of anything better to celebrate this boo-tastic day than by sharing our favorite haunted aspects of Martina's new release COMPULSION. Her luscious and atmospheric Southern Gothic YA will most definitely put you in a spooky frame of mind.

So join us as we each share our love of Martina and our fascination with her Compulsion.




From Lisa Gail Green:

Halloween is my favorite holiday. It’s a pretty big deal at my house. I love anything and *almost* everything spooky. It’s also no secret that I absolutely LOVE Martina’s book, COMPULSION. I mean it when I say it’s one of my favorite books ever. Heck, if I could dress like Barrie for Halloween I would! I can’t because I’d never survive the heels. But I digress.

I love the gothic feel of the book, the characters, the paranormal powers and so on, but before I read it I hadn’t realized it also had GHOSTS. If ghosts are done right, I adore them. I wish I could pull them right out of COMPULSION and make them part of my house. You know, basically turn my whole house into Watson Island. That way I’d also get the Fire Carrier at midnight and so on. Maybe even have some little people to blame my messy house on…

Magic is something I believe in and so I did figure out a way to bring the book to life on Halloween. Should I share my secret? *shifty eyes* Okay. I’m going to take my brand new copy of COMPULSION, which I’ve preordered (since my signed ARC is a treasure that must be preserved for eternity, can you say, “Fan Girl”?) and I’m going to curl up and re-read it on All Hallows Eve! I. Am. So. Excited.

From Erin Cashman:

Halloween is such a magical time, it seems as if anything is possible. What better time to read COMPULSION? Magic is woven into everything at Watson Landon’s, from the ghosts, to the Fire Carrier, to the yunwi, to the characters themselves. (And let’s not forget that magical setting!) I adore the yunwi. I love how they seem like pests at first, but as the story evolves we learn that they, like magic, are there for a reason. Everything changes when our feisty young heroine, Barrie, steps onto her ancestor’s stronghold, the yunwi included. Barrie becomes the center of the magic in ways that no one expects, least of all her. I have had the honor of reading PERSUASION (I know you are so jealous! You should be!) and without giving anything away (well, maybe just a little away) I can tell you that the yunwi become more important to the story, in a way that I LOVE! So, until the Watson Landing theme park is built, in order to have this world come to life you better start reading COMPULSION!

From Alyssa Hamilton:

So for me, one of my absolute favourite things about Halloween are the haunted houses and one of the spookiest things about Compulsion was the house itself. Watson's Landing became a living, breathing character to me, and it was brilliant. The atmosphere the Martina created was magical but so so eerie. I imagined myself walking down those creaky hallways and feeling something that just wasn't quite right and being so creeped out you start getting jumpy. Some of my favourite books have included houses that absolutely come alive, and Compulsion and Watson's Landing has easily topped that list for me.

The unknown factor that comes with a large home and the stories that can evolve out of past generations living and dying in them create layers upon layers of unknown bits and pieces. Watson's Landing is like a subtle haunted house that creeps up on you throughout the entire book. Compulsion's release date being so near to Halloween was one of the best things Simon & Schuster could have done, because Martina gave me a haunted house like no other.


From Jan Lewis:

I absolutely love the little people or yunwi in COMPULSION. They are little tricksters who steal random things from Watson's Landing. I've always imagined them as adorable little shadow children who are a bit naughty but mean well. Since I have two little people of my own, I thought this would be the perfect time to share them.

Meet yunwi Grayson, who has stolen Mommy's copy of COMPULSION, and yunwi Ellery, who has stolen Daddy's screwdriver and Mommy's cell phone. What naughty little people! Luckily, if I give them a bowl of nuts and berries and a glass of milk, they will happily return our possessions.



From Susan Sipal:

One of the many aspects of Martina's Compulsion that fascinated me the most was her use of mythological spirits. The Fire Carrier is awesome and so mysterious, but I think it was the yunwi who stole my heart and caught my attention the most as I'd also used a different version of this legend in one of my own stories. Based on the little people of Cherokee legend, Martina's little spirits are quite mischievous and entertaining but also critical to the story.

Since Martina's yunwi fascinated me so much, I decided to do what I love to do and research them some more. Turns out, there are "little people" in cultures all around the world from the dwarfs, fairies, and leprechauns of Western Europe to the Ebu Gogo of Indonesia and the Menehune of Hawaii to the Domovoi of Russian heritage. All these little people wandering about in our myths makes me wonder...could they be based on experience? One thing is for sure, as part of our shared human experience, they appeal strongly. And Martina's yunwi are sure to enchant the reader.

I wonder -- if we were to visit Watson Island this Halloween, would the Fire Carrier and yunwi come magically to life at midnight? Or is that what reading is for?

And a Happy Halloween to all!


Love,
Lisa, Erin, Alyssa
Jan, and Susan

0 November First Five Pages Workshop opens on November 1!

The First Five Pages Workshop for October has ended. Thanks so much to all of our participants for their hard work!  And a big thank you to our wonderful guest mentor Paula Stokes, author of THE ART OF LAINEY, to our first guest agent, Jordy Albert, of The Booker Albert Literary Agency, and of course to all of our fabulous permanent mentors! You can check out the final revisions here:  First Five Pages October Workshop

Our November workshop will open for entries at noon, EST on November 1, 2014. We'll take the first five Middle Grade, Young Adult, or New Adult fiction entries that meet all guidelines and formatting requirements. Remember, participants must be available to comment on each other’s pages each week.  In addition to our wonderful permanent mentors, we have the talented J. R. Johansson’s, author of INSOMNIA, PARANOIA, and the forthcoming novels MANIA and CUT ME FREE, as our guest mentor, and free lance editor Pam Glauber will be our guest editor!

So get those pages ready – First Five Pages November Workshop 
opens tomorrow! Click here to get the rules! 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

1 Agent Brent Taylor of TriadaUS Literary Chats About Unconventional Relationships, Agenting Style, and What He's Wishing For

Brent Taylor is a literary agent at TriadaUS Literary Agency, Inc. Prior to joining Uwe Stender's team in 2014, Brent completed a handful of internships in publishing, most recently at The Bent Agency. For more information on what he represents and how to submit to him, visit his Publishers Marketplace pagethe TriadaUS website, or find him on Twitter.



1. Welcome, Brent! Tell me, what are some of your favorite authors/books and why do you love them?

I have so many favorite books, so how about I instead tell you about what I've been reading lately and why I liked it.

HOOK'S REVENGE by Heidi Schulz. I loved the classic middle grade voice in this one, but more importantly, the witty and whimsical punch the all-knowing narrator gave to the story. I am eagerly anticipating the second installment in this series.

SERVANTS OF THE STORM by Delilah S. Dawson. I'm a big fan of all of Delilah's books, because they're incredibly written, but this one in particular struck me with its conventional approach to crafting unconventional relationships among the characters. The friendship in this novel is an interesting one, as well as the protagonist's relationship with her mother, her peers, the villain(s)! On top of all that, the southern gothic setting and the horror elements of the story just sucked me right in.

NOT THAT KIND OF GIRL by Lena Dunham. It's Lena Dunham! Besides that, I'm the biggest sucker for coming-of-age themes and summer-before-college stories, and Lena wove some poignant stories along those lines in this book.

2. Those are some great choices. Let's talk about books-yet-to-be. What is on your wish list? 

I represent all across the board (for more info, see my Publishers Marketplace page), but I'm dying for a great middle grade fantasy and young adult contemporary.

3. Are you an editorial agent?

I don't know an agent in this day and age that doesn't work with their authors in some sort of editorial capacity, big or small, before sending the work(s) out. There are of course exceptions to this, and it's dependent on many factors.

If the client is a debut novelist, I most often do at least one round of semi-major revisions and perhaps a few rounds of line edits. Some projects come across your desk and need only very light work, though, so I do believe that it's more important to remain flexible, and willing to tailor your job to the individual needs of the client.

 Am I an "editorial" agent? Sometimes. Strategic and instinctive agent? Always.


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

5 WOW Wednesday: Lessons On Launching a Book and Becoming an "Author"

COMPULSION is out in the world as of yesterday. Literally. It's in my nearest Barnes and Noble, and Target and Walmart and all kinds of lovely, lovely, lovely indie stores. Someone even tweeted a photo of it in the Philippines.

So how do I feel about becoming an "author"?

It's hard to be coherent, but in a word, I feel grateful.

These WOW Wednesday posts are supposed to be the one tip that published authors want to pass to other writers about what most helped us make the leap from aspiring author to published author. So here's my tip:

Hundreds of incredible people make it happen.

First, there are the authors who have written the books that inspired us to read and write. As authors, we have to be readers first. We have to love the genre we're writing within, and we need to know the  current books that are being published within the genre. Going on tour with a bunch of fantastic authors, I'm spending so much time fangirling, I can't even tell you how embarrassing it it. Here's me fangirling over Melissa Marr at our event on Saturday.



Next, there are the amazing people you meet on your journey. The people who become YOUR people. I am so lucky to get to share my debut weekend with my besties Cici and Carol, two wonderful women I met at my first SCBWI conference when I was just starting to write YA.


There are critique partners who read your manuscript in the middle of the night -- all night -- and reassure you when you doubt and find all the things that you can't see for yourself.  COMPULSION wouldn't exist without Jan Lewis and Susan Sipal. And they don't just let me thank THEM, they actually send *me* flowers. How crazy and lovely is that?


And then there are all the bloggers who wrote posts and created a community where I could actually learn how to write a novel. I've been learning from people like Lisa Gail Green, Julie Musil, Natalie Aguirre, Angela Ackerman, Becca Puglisi, Stina Lindenblatt, and sites like Writer Unboxed, Pub(lishing) Crawl, and so many others for years. I continue to read them, because they constantly teach me something new.

My agent, Kent D. Wolf, and Amanda Panitch, who first read the manuscript at Lippincott Massie McQuilkin, has been amazing. Annette Pollert, who acquired the manuscript and edited it for Simon Pulse, was beyond wonderful. And there are literally not enough words to describe how smart, lovely, enthusiastic, endlessly supportive, and dedicated the team at Pulse has been. From Mara Anastas, the publisher, to Mary Marotta, the VP and Director of Sales, who with her team worked miracles in getting COMPULSION to so many places, to Carolyn Swerdloff, the Assistant Marketing Director, who worked with the incredible marketing department to create an unbelievable campaign for this book, to Teresa Ronquillo who got so much blog coverage and handled our Compulsion for Reading campaign, to my lovely, lovely editor, Sara Sargent, who is basically an orchestra director pulling the best out of me and creating a gateway to everything that is this book. There is just not enough meaning in 'thank you' to express my gratitude.

The authors I've met along the way through blogging, who have been kind enough to share their experience and expertise. Words fail here too.

There are the fabulous authors who said kind things about COMPULSION. Jennifer L. Armentrout, Wendy Higgins, Claudia Gray, Kimberly Derting, Megan Shepherd, Kendare Blake, Kat Zhang, and Leah Cypess -- you have made ALL the difference in this book. SO much gratitude, I can't even . . .


My beyond fantastic blog partners, Alyssa, Lisa, Erin, Katharyn, Susan, Jocelyn, Becca, and Shelly.   The bloggers and readers who have helped spread the word about COMPULSION are the engine behind this book. THANK you! And I can't even begin to tell you how much joy and how many tears you have given me with your kind comments.

My street team! OMG, I love you guys! You're so amazing.

The readers who have come to our events so far, you guys ROCK. Being part of the Compelling Reads Tour these past four days has been a joyous, eye-opening, and uplifting experience. I've loved every moment, and can't believe how lucky I am to get to do it for two more weeks.

Kimberley Griffiths Little, Wendy Higgins, Martina Boone (me :)),
Melissa Marr, Leah Cypess at One More Page Books in Arlington, VA 


Wendy Higgins, Kimberley Griffiths Little, Jessica Spotswood,
and me at the Bethesda Library with Politics and Prose.
Most of all, there are the people who were kind enough to buy this book and help me spread the word yesterday, before yesterday, and hopefully today and tomorrow. Everything I've done so far on COMPULSION, every word that the characters speak and the actions they take, are now turned over to you. I love hearing from you, and I love sharing this story with you.

That's my second big tip for aspiring authors: understand that what you put on the page is only a fraction of what readers bing to it and take away from it.

Whether you're a reader, or an aspiring author, or both, I hope you love COMPULSION as much as I do.

Thank you so much for sharing this journey with me!

XO,

Martina

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

17 Celebrating COMPULSION Release Day plus a Giveaway!



Cue confetti! Pop the champagne! 


It's finally arrived, and I'm so incredibly excited! So excited that I'm hijacking the post today. I did an interview with Martina and her editor at Simon Pulse, Sara Sargent. If you weren't already excited enough about COMPULSION, you will be after you read this!

I got an email today that my copy of COMPULSION shipped, and I realized that would be my fourth copy of the book. Well that made me feel a little greedy, so I decided to do a giveaway of my pre-ordered copy. Use the Rafflecopter form at the end of the post to enter.

Thanks to both Martina and Sara for the interview!

A HUGE thank you also (on behalf of Martina, because she insists!!!) to Katie at Mundie Moms and the amazing bloggers who participated for doing the incredible Compulsion for Magic blog tour!  Don't miss the fun links to interviews and guest posts from fabulous authors like Kimberly Derting, Kami Garcia, Beth Revis, Megan Shepherd, Kat Zhang and many more.

~ Jan


Martina, for those who don’t know the term, what’s a Southern Gothic?
People use that term in many ways, especially this fall when there are several novels coming out that publishers are calling Southern Gothic. The way I’ve written Compulsion, so I guess you could call it my spin on Southern Gothic, takes the classic gothic combination of romance, mild creepiness, and the supernatural from novels like Rebecca, Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre, but takes place in the American South. Instead of moldy, crumbling castles and brooding moors, it’s got crumbling mansions, a river that turns to fire at midnight, and trees dripping with Spanish moss.

What drew me to this type of novel is the permission to unabashedly put emotion and atmosphere on the page, to take plot and character and backstory to extremes in a way that stays with a reader. Gothics are books about ruins, both human and architectural, complicated histories, hereditary curses and madness, about haunted houses, and characters who mirror and reflect each other. They're about love, secrets, mystery, and often murder.

A traditional Southern Gothic, a slightly different animal than the pure Gothic, incorporates a crumbling aristocracy to go along with the decaying houses, which let me play with social structures and reality versus expectation. Southern Gothics are not only set in the South, they’re set in a place that is still dealing with the history of the South. I’ve touched on that, and there’s more of it in Persuasion, the second book of the trilogy. But what I’ve written isn’t a traditional Southern Gothic in the vein of Faulkner or Welty.

Compulsion focuses more on romance, myth, and family, with emphasis on tragedy instead of horror. The School Library Journal calls it “a little bit Gone with the Wind, a little bit Romeo and Juliet.” That’s about right. Instead of using grotesque to mean macabre, as is often the case, I’ve also gone back to the latin root of the word and incorporated a lot of hidden places. Finally, I’ve given the characters more of a “happily ever after” than you’d typically see in the classic Southern Gothic novels. Not completely, sappily HEA, but still.


Sara, is that what Compulsion is like?
Compulsion inspires me to use a lot of adjectives. You should see me in meetings. I get very carried away. In such a small space here, I’ll only use a few: sweeping, romantic, bewitching, charming, alluring. I really could go on.

Martina’s debut is one of those rare books that you are happy to read slowly, savoring every page. I don’t want to miss one kiss between Barrie and Eight or one lick of description of Watson Island. It’s more than Martina’s writing, though. It’s the plot and the coming-of-age tale that she’s recounting. There’s such depth of feeling and emotion to Barrie’s arc, and there’s also a lot of great mystery. It’s remarkable how much goodness Martina packs into these pages.


Martina, how important is the supernatural element in a Southern Gothic?
That varies. There’s only a very small element of the supernatural in To Kill a Mockingbird, for example, although you definitely get a sense of good and evil being bigger than the actions of the residents of Maycomb. Ditto with Gone with the Wind. But then there are books like Melissa Marr’s Graveminder and her recent Made for You, or Beautiful Creatures, for example, where the supernatural element becomes a driving force in the book. In Compulsion, I wanted the supernatural element to sneak up on you, to make it clear that while magic may exist in other places, on Watson Island it is part of the fabric of the place. To that extent, I began with magical realism and morphed from there.


Sara, how does the magical realism balance with the supernatural in Compulsion, and how much supernatural do you like in your favorite Southern Gothics?
I think the magical realism elements come out most strongly with the yunwi—magical spirits—that inhabit the island. That balances with certain supernatural twists, like the founding families’ gifts and the curse on the Colesworths. Together, these elements make the atmosphere come alive because you have the natural, environmental world and the human world charged with energy and power and force. It creates quite the maelstrom!

In general with my books, I love a twinge of the supernatural or a twinge of magical realism. It’s fun to play with those genres and give narratives a little extra oomph of interesting. Because, really, who didn’t want powers when they were a teenager? It’s all part of the fantasy and escapism of reading, and the fun of working with and reading YA.


Martina, where does the mythology in Compulsion come from? There’s a lot of it in there, and it isn’t anything we normally see.
The sense of historical context was one of the elements of the Southern Gothic that I wanted to keep to in writing Compulsion. Due mainly to the tragedy of slavery and the way settlers and the government mistreated Native Americans, the South became a melting pot of different cultures sharing, and in many cases, marrying not just people and folklore and traditions, but also magic.

Bottle trees, which you still see adorning people’s lawns while you’re driving from Charleston to Edisto Island, for example, came over from Africa with the slaves, but the roots are actually much older and likely have the same origin as the idea of genies in a bottle. Porch ceilings are commonly painted “haint” blue in the South, because ghosts, or “haunts” don’t like to cross water, and therefore it's believed that painting your door or porch that color will fool them into going elsewhere. There’s a lot of mythology like that in the trilogy, incorporated into the story of Watson Island. That’s not uncommon. But a lot of people don’t realize that there was a mixing of Native American magic with the magic brought over from Africa and the West Indies, or even that there was a mixing of African Americans and Native Americans at the time. That intersection of different magics is something I wanted to explore, so I incorporated some Cherokee legends with the African American folklore, added some of the pirate and plantation history, shook it all up and out popped Watson Island.


Sara, did you get that sense of history, and what’s your favorite part of that mythology?
The idea of bottle trees is something I’ve long been fascinated with. So it was certainly a treat when Martina used them in her novel and I had a chance to learn more about them! Which is true of all the history and mythology she’s exploring in the book. If I am being forced to choose, though, my favorite part of the mythology was the Native American lore and inspiration. I felt those threads came through especially strongly in the history of the island—not to mention the gifts and curses. I love a book with really strong atmosphere and sense of place, and the way Martina uses Native American history strengthened both those aspects of Compulsion. She gets in touch with the land and nature and the environment, and all of that is rendered even more vivid by the mythology itself.


Martina, what were some of the challenges writing a Southern Gothic like this?
Weaving together the history, mythology, and mysteries was definitely a challenge. Barrie comes to Watson Island knowing nothing about it, and we learn everything as she learns it. That’s a trope imposed by the Gothic genre, the arrival of the “innocent” who shakes up three-hundred years of tradition and acceptance of the status quo. It was tempting to speed through that and get to the big explosions and confrontations faster, but there’s a lot going on below the surface and the genre demands that I give that time to brew and build.

Barrie, my protagonist, was herself a challenge. She was so growing up and so desperate for family connection that she's just a wee bit stubborn. : ) Writing her while she's fighting her attraction to Eight and fighting to maintain her own identity, making her strong and often WRONG, I often had to make decisions about what I would like her to do as an author and what she, stubbornly, wants to do because of who she is.


Sara, where do you think Compulsion succeeded best? What do you love most about the book?
Always have been and always will be a sucker for romances. That, and a book that transports me to a whole other time and place so well that I lose all sense of the world around me. So, for me, Compulsion was a success on both of those levels. I fell hard for Eight and Barrie’s love story—and I was positively swoony over Eight specifically. Then the Southern setting completely captivated my senses, and all I wanted was to travel there and live there among the trees and by the river. So what I love is how strongly Martina makes me feel, about her characters and about her setting. It makes for some seriously compelling reading. Which is fortunate since now I get to work on the second and third books in the series… #luckygirl


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Don't forget the HUGE giveaway on the Compulsion for Magic Blog Tour, too! That ends TODAY!!!   You can win all the prizes below, a $100 gift card, or one of several prize packs! : )




Go here to enter and start the tour!

Monday, October 27, 2014

32 THREE Giveaways plus New YALit Releases 10/27-11/2


It's a very special week for us here at Adventures in YA Publishing.



We have been along for the ride on Martina's journey to publication, and COMPULSION is finally coming out! We are so thrilled for her that we can hardly stand it. We love you, Martina! Congratulations on your dream coming true!

YA BOOK GIVEAWAYS THIS WEEK


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Compulsion
by Martina Boone
Personalized Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. and Canada

Simon Pulse
Released 10/28/2014

Beautiful Creatures meets The Body Finder in this spellbinding new trilogy.

Three plantations. Two wishes. One ancient curse.

All her life, Barrie Watson had been a virtual prisoner in the house where she lived with her shut-in mother. When her mother dies, Barrie promises to put some mileage on her stiletto heels. But she finds a new kind of prison at her aunt’s South Carolina plantation instead--a prison guarded by an ancient spirit who long ago cursed one of the three founding families of Watson Island and gave the others magical gifts that became compulsions.

Stuck with the ghosts of a generations-old feud and hunted by forces she cannot see, Barrie must find a way to break free of the family legacy. With the help of sun-kissed Eight Beaufort, who knows what Barrie wants before she knows herself, the last Watson heir starts to unravel her family's twisted secrets. What she finds is dangerous: a love she never expected, a river that turns to fire at midnight, a gorgeous cousin who isn’t what she seems, and very real enemies who want both Eight and Barrie dead.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Compulsion?

It was so much fun to get to do a Gothic novel! I’ve loved seeing Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea and The Lynburn Legacy bringing Gothics to a whole new batch of readers in a fresh way. Adding the Gothic elements to a Southern setting similar to Beautiful Creatures gave me such rich material to work with in Compulsion. I've always adored books with exotically dangerous mansions, eccentric characters, and elements of magic, mystery, and suspense. The world of Watson Island with its equally charming and ugly history, beautiful scenery, and unique mythology is a storytellers dream. It has all the elements I love—a haunted past, regret, anger, continuing conflict, and questions of morality galore.

My favorite thing about Compulsion, hands down, is the setting and how it shaped (and twisted) the characters and families who live there. The island, and especially the Watson’s Landing plantation, became an integral character in the book.


Purchase Compulsion at Amazon
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View Compulsion on Goodreads



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Eternal
by C.C. Hunter
ARC and Shadow Falls: After Dark t-shirt Giveaway
St. Martin's Griffin; Library Unabridged, Hardcover Edition edition
Released 10/28/2014

All her life, Della's secret powers have made her feel separated from her human family. Now, she's where she belongs, at Shadow Falls. With the help of her best friends Kylie and Miranda, she’ll try to prove herself in the paranormal world as an investigator—all the while trying to figure out her own heart. Should she chose Chase, a powerful vampire with whom she shares a special bond? Or Steve, the hot shapeshifter whose kisses make her weak in the knees? When a person with dark connection to her past shows up, it’ll help her decide which guy to choose–and make her question everything she knows about herself.

From bestselling author C.C. Hunter comes Eternal—a must-read for fans of the Shadow Falls series—and the sequel to Reborn.


Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Eternal?

My favorite thing about Eternal are the secrets that Della is unearthing and exposing. I think that every family usually has a secret they attempt to keep hidden. And Della’s family secret is a doozy. It has the potential to break her heart. Especially when she discovers that by uncovering the family secrets she could destroy someone she loves.


Purchase Eternal at Amazon
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View Eternal on Goodreads

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Waterfall
by Lauren Kate
1 copy Waterfall 1 copy Teardrop Giveaway
Delacorte Press
Released 10/28/2014

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Fallen books comes WATERFALL, a novel about love, betrayal, and epic consequences—a world-altering tale told by a girl whose tears have the power to raise the lost continent of Atlantis. This second novel in the Teardrop series is intensely romantic, with strong, hot main characters caught up in a thrilling fantastical love triangle. For readers who love Lauren Kate and the worlds of Alyson Noël, P. C. Cast, Maggie Stiefvater, and Veronica Rossi.

Eureka’s tears have flooded the earth, and now Atlantis is rising, bringing with it its evil king, Atlas. Eureka is the only one who can stop him, but first she must learn how to fight. She travels across the ocean with Cat, her family, and Ander, the gorgeous and mysterious Seedbearer who promises to help her find Solon, an enigmatic lost Seedbearer who knows how to defeat Atlas.

Once on land, Eureka is taunted by gossipwitches, a group of displaced Atlantean sorceresses, and ambushed by locals struggling to survive amid the destruction her tears have wrought. And she feels no closer to facing Atlas or saving the world when Solon lets slip that love is Ander’s weakness, and that any affection he feels toward her makes him age faster.

Trying to make sense of the dark world her sorrow has created, Eureka receives startling insight from an enchanted pond. Her bewildering reflection reveals a soul-crushing secret: if she’s strong enough, Eureka can draw on this knowledge to defeat Atlas—unless her broken heart is just what he needs to fuel his rising kingdom...

In Waterfall, Eureka has the chance to save the world. But she’ll have to give up everything—even love.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Waterfall?

Waterfall is the most outrageous world-building I've ever done. I couldn't simply dip my toe into any of its scenes. It was an immersive endeavor, a place that needed to be deeply inhabited. I love the richness of its setting, the strangeness of its characters, and the shock of discovering that my heroine was actually the villain.

I'm always drawn in by love stories. With Waterfall, I found myself writing the love story of a girl who has done something so devastating, she feels herself incapable and unworthy of love. The world I had to build in Waterfall is a direct result of Eureka's mistake, so everything had to be heightened. In the end I was intrigued by how universal Eureka's experience was: No matter who we are or what we've done, letting ourselves be loved is hard. This is a book about love and redemption and sacrifice, set in an extreme world.


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YA BOOK GIVEAWAYS LAST WEEK: WINNERS


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Loop
by Karen Akins
Hardcover
St. Martin's Griffin
Released 10/21/2014

Winner - Carl Scott

At a school where Quantum Paradox 101 is a required course and history field trips are literal, sixteen year-old time traveler Bree Bennis excels…at screwing up.

After Bree botches a solo midterm to the 21st century by accidentally taking a boy hostage (a teensy snafu), she stands to lose her scholarship. But when Bree sneaks back to talk the kid into keeping his yap shut, she doesn’t go back far enough. The boy, Finn, now three years older and hot as a solar flare, is convinced he’s in love with Bree, or rather, a future version of her that doesn’t think he’s a complete pain in the arse. To make matters worse, she inadvertently transports him back to the 23rd century with her.

Once home, Bree discovers that a recent rash of accidents at her school are anything but accidental. Someone is attacking time travelers. As Bree and her temporal tagalong uncover seemingly unconnected clues—a broken bracelet, a missing data file, the art heist of the millennium—that lead to the person responsible, she alone has the knowledge to piece the puzzle together. Knowledge only one other person has. Her future self.

But when those closest to her become the next victims, Bree realizes the attacker is willing to do anything to stop her. In the past, present, or future.


Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Loop?

LOOP is about a twenty-third century time traveler named Bree who meets a boy from the past who is already in love with her future self and is keeping his own set of secrets. One of the things I love most about the story is that Finn (the boy) refuses to give up on Bree even when she's almost at the point of giving up on herself. He loves her even when she's unloveable, and that makes it a very hopeful story.

Purchase Loop at Amazon
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View Loop on Goodreads

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The Sorcerer Heir
by Cinda Williams Chima
Hardcover Giveaway plus
The Enchanter Heir and swag
Disney-Hyperion
Released 10/21/2014

Winner - Lupe Beas

The delicate peace between Wizards and the underguilds (Warriors, Seers, Enchanters, and Sorcerers) still holds by the thinnest of threads, but powerful forces inside and outside the guilds threaten to sever it completely.

Emma and Jonah are at the center of it all. Brought together by their shared history, mutual attraction, and a belief in the magic of music, they now stand to be torn apart by new wounds and old betrayals. As they struggle to rebuild their trust in each other, Emma and Jonah must also find a way to clear their names as the prime suspects in a series of vicious murders. It seems more and more likely that the answers they need lie buried in the tragedies of the past. The question is whether they can survive long enough to unearth them.

Old friends and foes return as new threats arise in this stunning and revelatory conclusion to the beloved and bestselling Heir Chronicles series.


Author Question: What is your favorite thing about The Sorcerer Heir?

The Sorcerer Heir is the final novel in a series of five contemporary fantasies revolving around five magical guilds: Warriors, Wizards, Seers, Enchanters, and Sorcerers. In this novel I was able to clear up the trouble I made for my characters in The Sorcerer Heir as well as giving two deserving minor characters some major stage time. I also got to change up the magical system a little. An appropriate tagline for these last two installments would be: This is what happens when magic goes mutant.

Purchase The Sorcerer Heir at Amazon
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View The Sorcerer Heir on Goodreads


MORE YOUNG ADULT FICTION IN STORES NEXT WEEK WITH AUTHOR INTERVIEWS


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Get Happy
by Mary Amato
Hardcover
EgmontUSA
Released 10/28/2014

In this poignant, realistic, contemporary YA by a state master list star, perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen and Gayle Forman, a young songwriter builds a substitute family with her friends in place of the broken family she grew up with.

A hip high school girl who loves music, writes songs, and is desperate for a ukelele, learns to her shock that her father did not abandon her years ago and has been trying to keep in touch. She begins to investigate him, only to discover that he has a new life with a new family, including the perfect stepdaughter, a girl who Minerva despises.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Get Happy?

love the friendship that Minerva has with Fin. Even though she makes the mistake of letting her own problems distract her from being the best friend she could be, their history and their love is an absolute rock. Everybody should have at least one friend to count on.
As I was writing, every time Fin appeared in a scene, the room seemed to brighten. I hope that readers feel that as they’re reading. The process of creating characters and living with them for as long as it takes to write a book is an interesting one. I get attached to my favorite characters; and when the novel is done, I miss them.
Many writers will say that their characters feel “real” to them. I have that experience. I know that a character is imagined, but it also seems as if the character lives outside of my imagination.


Purchase Get Happy at Amazon
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MORE YOUNG ADULT NOVELS NEW IN STORES NEXT WEEK


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Atlantia
by Ally Condie
Hardcover
Dutton Juvenile
Released 10/28/2014

Can you hear Atlantia breathing?

For as long as she can remember, Rio has dreamt of the sand and sky Above—of life beyond her underwater city of Atlantia. But in a single moment, all her plans for the future are thwarted when her twin sister, Bay, makes an unexpected decision, stranding Rio Below. Alone, ripped away from the last person who knew Rio’s true self—and the powerful siren voice she has long hidden—she has nothing left to lose.

Guided by a dangerous and unlikely mentor, Rio formulates a plan that leads to increasingly treacherous questions about her mother’s death, her own destiny, and the complex system constructed to govern the divide between land and sea. Her life and her city depend on Rio to listen to the voices of the past and to speak long-hidden truths.

Purchase Atlantia at Amazon
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View Atlantia on Goodreads

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Blue Lily, Lily Blue
by Maggie Stiefvater
Hardcover
Scholastic Press
Released 10/28/2014

The third installment in the mesmerizing series from the irrepressible, #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater.

There is danger in dreaming. But there is even more danger in waking up.

Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs.

The trick with found things though, is how easily they can be lost.

Friends can betray.
Mothers can disappear.
Visions can mislead.
Certainties can unravel.

Purchase Blue Lily, Lily Blue at Amazon
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View Blue Lily, Lily Blue on Goodreads

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Catalyst
by S.J. Kincaid
Hardcover
Katherine Tegen Books
Released 10/28/2014

The explosive conclusion to the series reviewers have likened to Ender’s Game and “Hogwarts-in-Space”

This exhilarating, explosive, and heartrending conclusion to the Insignia trilogy brings Tom and his intelligent, passionate, and brave young friends stunning tests and dangerous confrontations and through to an impossible future they could never have predicted.

Tom Raines and his friends are eager to return to the Pentagonal Spire to continue training for the elite Intrasolar Forces, but they soon discover troubling changes: strict new regulations and the revelation that the Spire is under new military control. What begins as an irritating adjustment soon reveals a dangerous shift in reality. Those now in control are aligned with corporate sponsors and their ruthless agendas. And when the military academy begins welcoming new cadets with suspicious neural processors, the first step in a plan with horrifying worldwide ramifications, Tom is desperate to stop it, even if that means keeping secrets from his closest allies.

Then a mysterious figure, the other ghost in the machine, begins fighting against the corporations, but with methods even Tom finds shocking. And when the enemy comes for Tom, how much can Tom endure in the battle to save himself? He must decide if he can still fight when the odds of success seem to be sliding from his grip.

Purchase Catalyst at Amazon
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View Catalyst on Goodreads

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Diamonds in the Rough
by Michelle Madow
Paperback
Harlequin Teen
Released 10/28/2014

All-access doesn't mean no problems.

The three Diamond sisters survived the summer in style after coming to live with their long-lost billionaire father. But making a place for themselves at their exclusive new Las Vegas private school is throwing them any number of gold-plated curves. Savannah's YouTube stardom turns into a Sweet Sixteen reality show extravaganza—with complimentary enemies on the side. Dangerous flirtations don't keep Peyton from a gamble that will risk far more than she planned to bet. And when Courtney and the sisters' archenemy, Madison, uncover two explosive secrets, it will rock even this town of glittering illusion—and turn their lives upside down all over again.

Sisterhood, first crushes, and scandalous secrets explode in book two of Michelle Madow's riveting series, The Secret Diamond Sisters.

Purchase Diamonds in the Rough at Amazon
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In the Afterlight
by Alexandra Bracken
Hardcover
Disney-Hyperion
Released 10/28/2014

Ruby can't look back. Fractured by an unbearable loss, she and the kids who survived the government's attack on Los Angeles travel north to regroup. With them is a prisoner: Clancy Gray, son of the president, and one of the few people Ruby has encountered with abilities like hers. Only Ruby has any power over him, and just one slip could lead to Clancy wreaking havoc on their minds.

They are armed only with a volatile secret: proof of a government conspiracy to cover up the real cause of IANN, the disease that has killed most of America's children and left Ruby and others like her with powers the government will kill to keep contained. But internal strife may destroy their only chance to free the "rehabilitation camps" housing thousands of other Psi kids.

Meanwhile, reunited with Liam, the boy she would-and did-sacrifice everything for to keep alive, Ruby must face the painful repercussions of having tampered with his memories of her. She turns to Cole, his older brother, to provide the intense training she knows she will need to take down Gray and the government. But Cole has demons of his own, and one fatal mistake may be the spark that sets the world on fire.

Purchase In the Afterlight at Amazon
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View In the Afterlight on Goodreads

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Resisting Ruby Rose
by Jessie Humphries
Paperback
Skyscape
Released 10/28/2014

Still reeling from the heartbreaking events that unfolded on Grissom Island, Ruby Rose is trying to come to terms with the fact that she’s gone from a vigilante in killer shoes to a stone-cold killer. Everyone from her therapist to her smoking-hot boyfriend keeps trying to convince her that she hasn’t crossed over to the dark side, but Ruby isn’t so sure. It doesn’t help that her nemesis, Detective “Mastermind” Martinez, is still out there, waiting for another chance to take her down.

When an alleged CIA agent named Skryker shows up and asks for a meeting, Ruby figures it just means more questions about her case. But he has information of an entirely different nature and a job offer: join an elite force of young assassins, including Skryker’s right-hand guy, Quinn Donovan. Quinn is distractingly charming, handsome—and deadly. Ruby resists becoming a killer again, but as she becomes more ensnared in a web of deceit, no one around her is safe.

Purchase Resisting Ruby Rose at Amazon
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View Resisting Ruby Rose on Goodreads

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Talon
by Julie Kagawa
Hardcover
Harlequin Teen
Released 10/28/2014

Long ago, dragons were hunted to near extinction by the Order of St. George, a legendary society of dragon slayers. Hiding in human form and growing their numbers in secret, the dragons of Talon have become strong and cunning, and they're positioned to take over the world with humans none the wiser.

Ember and Dante Hill are the only sister and brother known to dragonkind. Trained to infiltrate society, Ember wants to live the teen experience and enjoy a summer of freedom before taking her destined place in Talon. But destiny is a matter of perspective, and a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught. As Ember struggles to accept her future, she and her brother are hunted by the Order of St. George.

Soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian has a mission to seek and destroy all dragons, and Talon's newest recruits in particular. But he cannot kill unless he is certain he has found his prey: and nothing is certain about Ember Hill. Faced with Ember's bravery, confidence and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything that the Order has ingrained in him: and what he might be willing to give up to find the truth about dragons.

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