Tuesday, April 5, 2011

41 In Stores This Week (with Interviews & Giveaways) Part 2

Did you miss yesterday's post? If so, we invite you to go back and enter part one of our ginormous YA giveaway! Read on for author interviews, great books, and be sure and enter the second part of our giveaway all the way at the bottom of this post.

This Week's Interviews

The Time-Traveling Fashionista by Biana Turetsky
  • From Goodreads: When Louise Lambert receives a mysterious invitation to a traveling vintage fashion sale in the mail, her normal life in suburban Connecticut is magically transformed into a time traveling adventure. After a brief encounter with two witchy salesladies and donning an evening gown that once belonged to a beautiful silent film star, Louise suddenly finds herself onboard a luxurious cruise ship in 1912. As Alice Baxter, the silent film star, Louise enjoys her access to an extensive closet of gorgeous vintage gowns and begins to get a feel for the challenges and the glamour of life during this decadent era. Until she realizes that she's not just on any ship-- she's on the Titanic! Will Louise be able to save herself and change the course of history, or are she and her film star alter ego, destined to go down with a sinking ship in the most infamous sea disaster of the 20th century?
How long did you work on this book?
Now it seems like I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t working on this book! I got the idea over 5 years ago after visiting a vintage store and trying on a white wool jacket that belonged to a Mrs Baxter from Newport Rhode Island. I remember talking about the idea over brunch and knowing, somewhere deep inside, that this idea was going to change my life. Of course I never told that to anyone or else they’d think I was a little nuts. But I couldn’t shake the story, so I woke up every day a little earlier, and wrote for one hour before going to work. I still do that actually.

How was your journey to publication? Long, short, how many rejections?
It felt like an eternity while I was going through it, but in reality it probably is pretty typical. It took me three years to write the book and get it to a point where I could find an agent, and then one year of revising with my fabulous agent, Elisabeth Weed. I still can’t believe how patient she was with me! And then we were rejected by every single publisher before finding a home at Poppy. At the time, I was really anxious and upset about the whole process. I mean no one likes to be rejected! But one night when I was crying hysterically alone in my studio apartment (sad image there!) because I thought maybe I was wrong, maybe this won’t happen, and then I realized how wonderful the whole process was. I had actually found something I loved doing more than anything in the world. I had found my audience and my writing voice. And even if the book didn’t get published, no one would be able to take that away from me. As Oprah would say, it was my AHA moment. But luckily our last hope, Poppy, ended up buying the book soon after that tearful incident. In retrospect, I am so happy everything turned out the way it did because no one would have treated the book as well as Poppy did. My editor Cindy Eagan has been a dream to work with and became a really good friend in the process. The book would truly not be what it is today without her help and support.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
If you love what you’re doing, and can’t imagine doing anything else, keep writing. And try to do it every day, because like all muscles, you need to exercise it. Don’t get discouraged by rejection, because I don’t think there is one story out there of a writer who got a book published on the first try. And if there is, good for them, but I think you appreciate the success so much more when there’s a bit of struggle. It’s nice to imagine those other editors who passed on your book kicking themselves a bit (even if they’re not :)

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
Honestly I’m still surprised when someone I don’t know tells me they’ve read The Time-Traveling Fashionista and loved the book. Writing this novel has been such a private thing for so many years that it’s weird when your characters are out in the world and in other people’s consciousness. It’s wonderful, but it takes some getting used to!

Ocean of Blood (The Saga of Larten Crepsley) by Darren Shan
  • From Goodreads: Before Larten Crepsley was a vampire general... Before he was Darren Shan's master... Before the War of Scars... Larten Crepsley was a teenager. And he was sick of the pomp and circumstance of fusty old vampires telling him what to do. Taking off on his own with his blood brother, Wester, Larten takes off into the world to see what his newly blooded vampire status can get him in the human world. Sucking all he can out of humanity, Larten stumbles into a violent, hedonistic lifestyle, where cheats beckon, power corrupts, and enemies are waiting. This is his story.
What routines do you find helpful for you to stay actively writing?
The most important thing is to write regularly. I set myself a target of 10 pages per writing day, and I try to make myself meet that target every day when I am writing. I don’t think the target actually matters – it can be half a page a day, or a paragraph day. The vital thing is to set a realistic goal and meet that goal every time you sit down to write.

As a published writer, do you feel pressure to balance your creative writing license with what the audience wants? If so, how do you balance the two?
I try never to think about my audience. I always write stories that I think would appeal to me if I was reading them. Having said that, I certainly have become more aware of my audience as my books have grown in popularity, and I do sometimes find myself worrying if a new book will live up to expectations. The only way to combat such thoughts is to drive them from your mind as swiftly as possible!! You’ve always got to focus on writing the best stories you can, not on meeting the requirements of your fans.

What advice would you offer writers to build their platform before they become published?
The key thing is to do lots and lots of writing. Publishing eats into your writing time, as does success. You will never be as free to experiment and push yourself as you are before you start getting published. Make the most of that time by trying different types of stories and building up your skills. When no one is reading what you write, it doesn’t matter if you make mistakes, so don’t be worried of failing. Writers learn from their failures, and that’s how they build up to their successes. Make yourself busy!!!

How much do trends influence your writing?
Not in the slightest. I always spend at least 2 or 3 years working on a book – sometimes it can be even longer. A hot trend when I start a book will usually have fizzled out long before I finish work on it! So I never pay any attention to what’s happening with other books, and never worry about whether I might be seen as jumping on a badwagon. I make it my goal to try to write great stories, and a great story will always stand out regardless of whether or not it comes along during, before or after a trend.

The FitzOsbornes in Exile (The Montmaray Journals #2) by Michelle Cooper
  • From Goodreads: Sophia FitzOsborne and the royal family of Montmaray escaped their remote island home when the Germans attacked, and now find themselves in the lap of luxury. Sophie's journal fills us in on the social whirl of London's 1937 season, but even a princess in lovely new gowns finds it hard to fit in. Is there no other debutante who reads?!And while the balls and house parties go on, newspaper headlines scream of war in Spain and threats from Germany. No one wants a second world war. Especially not the Montmaravians—with all Europe under attack, who will care about the fate of their tiny island kingdom? Will the FitzOsbornes ever be able to go home again? Could Montmaray be lost forever?
How long did you work on this book?
I spent six months doing historical research and working out the plot, about a year writing the first draft, then another couple of months editing it.

How was your journey to publication? Long, short, how many rejections?
I was pretty lucky with my first novel, THE RAGE OF SHEEP. The manuscript won a mentorship competition run by the Children's Book Council of Australia, so I was fortunate enough to work on the book with Australian YA author Alyssa Brugman. She gave me lots of great advice for improving the story, then helped me find an agent and a publisher. It still took almost two years between finishing the manuscript and signing a publishing contract. In the meantime, I started work on my next book, A BRIEF HISTORY OF MONTMARAY, and that was signed up by the same publisher just before my first book came out.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
Write about what fascinates you, and don’t worry if your writing isn’t perfect. It’s never going to be as wonderful as the story you initially imagined, but your seventeenth draft will be a lot better than your first draft. Don’t show it to other people until you’re satisfied it’s as good as you can possibly make it. Don’t stress too much about being published by a certain age, and don’t think that being published will suddenly make writing easy for you (in my experience, publishers’ expectations and deadlines just make writing more difficult). Be persistent and stubborn, but don’t forget what a pleasure writing can be. Above all, don’t pay too much attention to advice from other writers! Every writer is unique, and there are no 'rules' for getting published.

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
I'm not sure I had any expectations, but I was pleased to discover how nice everyone is in the YA book community. All the publishers, writers and readers I've met so far have been smart, generous and passionate about books. Hey, my kind of people!

7 Kinds of Ordinary Catastrophes by Amber Kizer
  • From Goodreads: Okay, so here's the deal: there are books about volcanoes erupting and meteorites hitting Earth and plane crashes where the survivors have to eat people—those are extraordinary crises. That's not what this book is about. I'm more the ordinary catastrophe type. This second semester of my sophomore year, there are basically 7 KINDS OF ORDINARY CATASTROPHES: high school, boys, heartbreak, family, job, friends, and the future. Well, I guess everyone's life is full of ordinary catastrophes. These are mine. Hi, I'm Gert Garibaldi. Welcome to my crazy life.
How long did you work on this book?
The creative end of 7 KINDS OF ORDINARY CATASTROPHES took about 4 months, but then once it gets into editing and production that takes another 6 months to a year. There's a lot that goes into books before they hit the shelves for readers.

How was your journey to publication? Long, short, how many rejections?
My first novel for Delacorte Press is called ONE BUTT CHEEK AT A TIME and first was released in 2007. I wrote four books before that, two that will never see the light of day! Once I started writing OBCAAT, searching for an agent things moved very quickly for me. I think it's about finding your voice and being ready for opportunities when they come.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
Do your work. There aren't short cuts. There are as many books on how to write as there are books written by writers--read them, work them. Join organizations. Go to conferences. Read agent's and editors sites and blogs. Learn the business. If you want to be a surgeon you don't just walk into an operating room and start cutting--you learn how it works first. Getting a book published is the same thing. Learn the craft, learn the business end and realize you're signing up for two different careers--one is creative and one is strictly business and marketing. In this age you have to comfortably do both.

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
The translated editions and fan mail from other countries--to write characters and stories that cross languages and cultures is a huge honor and one I still can't quite believe.

The Year We Were Famous by Carole Estby Dagg
  • From Goodreads: With their farm in Mica Creek, Washington facing foreclosure, seventeen-year-old Clara Estby and her mother, Helga, need to find a way to raise a lot of money in a short time--no easy feat for two women in 1896. Helga wants to tackle the problem with her usual loud and flashy style, while Clara, the oldest of the eight Estby children, favors a less showy approach. Though very different in personality, mother and daughter share a determination to save their family's home, so they come up with a plan to walk the 4,600 miles from Mica Creek to New York City--and if they can do it in only eight months, a New York City publisher has agreed to give them $10,000. They set out with little more than ten dollars, two ponchos, and a gun. Along the way they go through sixteen pairs of shoes each, fend off snakes and highwaymen, and narrowly escape a flash flood. But they also meet the governor of every state they pass through and the wife of presidential-candidate, William Jennings Bryan, as well as shake hands with the new president himself, William McKinley. And with each new challenge they face, Clara and Helga come to rely on and respect one another for the very traits that make them so different.
How long did you work on this book?
I started working on The Year We Were Famous about seventeen years ago, before many of my intended audience were born. Over those seventeen years the title has changed from Clara Estby, Pedestrian to Mica Creek to New York City, One Step at a Time, and finally to The Year We Were Famous.

How was your journey to publication? Long, short, how many rejections?
My first rejection on the project was dated November 22, 1995, and I racked up twenty-nine rejections from publishers and agents over the next twelve years. I have to remember to burn the early versions of the manuscript before I die—they were embarrassingly bad. Between rejections I took more classes and workshops, experimented with difference points of view, starting points, focus and voice. I must have re-written the book at least twenty times.

My big break came when I submitted the first few chapters of the book for critique at the annual Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators conference in Los Angeles. My critiquer, Candy Moonshower, chose my chapters to enter in the Sue Alexander Award competition—and several months later discovered that I’d won!

The award had two parts: the money part paid airfare and registration for the annual winter meeting of SWBWI in New York City; the publicity part consisted of notices of the award to major publishers. After that notice went out, I had publishers contacting me to see the manuscript. I shook hands on the deal with Jennifer Wingertzahn, my acquiring editor at Clarion (an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) three months later at the American Library Association Conference in Seattle on January 20, 2007, the morning after my first grandchild was born – a day to go down in family history!

Moral of that story: attend writing and library conferences and workshops, network, and take advantage of every opportunity to submit your work for critique with other authors, editors, and agents. I’d probably still be throwing manuscripts over the transom if it hadn’t been for the Sue Alexander Award, so part of my first royalty check will go toward paying back the Sue fund so someone else can have the thrill I did when I got that call from SCBWI about the award.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
Don’t go it alone! Join SCBWI, join critique and book discussion groups.

Take classes and workshops through universities and professional organizations. Besides what you learn you’ll be building a network of writing friends.

Practice. You don’t get to Carnegie Hall by listening to records of Glenn Gould playing Bach; you have to sit at the bench and keep your fingers moving on the keys. Write even when you don’t feel like it, because the muse only visits those with pen or keyboard at hand.

Once you have a contract, join a group of debut like The Class of 2k11 or Elevensies. The friends you make over the internet will buoy you up when your book production gets delayed, prod you outside your comfort zone to promote your book, provide a forum for sharing ideas and expertise, and give you a laugh when you need it most. (Hugs, all you guys – you know who you are!)

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
How much work it is to publicize a book! I thought the hard part was over once I’d completed final edits, but in these two months leading up to launch I’ve been working seven days a week until 8 or 10 o’clock at night keeping up with 2k11 projects, planning the details of events, and making internet connections. Getting integrated into the reading community is exhausting, but it is also the most rewarding part of the process because it’s the readers we write for, isn’t it?

Then I Met My Sister by Christine Hurley Deriso
  • From Goodreads: Summer Stetson lives inside a shrine to her dead sister. Eclipsed by Shannon's greatness, Summer feels like she's a constant disappointment to her controlling, Type A momzilla and her all-too-quiet dad. Her best friend Gibson believes Summer's C average has more to do with rebelliousness than smarts, but she knows she can never measure up;academically or otherwise. On her birthday, Summer receives a secret gift from her aunt; Shannon's diary. Suddenly, the one-dimensional vision of her sister becomes all too solid. Is this love-struck, mom-bashing badass the same Shannon everyone raves about? Determined to understand her troubled sister, Summer dives headfirst down a dark rabbit hole and unearths painful family secrets. Each revelation brings Summer closer to the mysterious and liberating truth about her family,and herself.
How long did you work on this book?
It took over a year, which is a long time for me. This book kept taking me out of my comfort zone and pushing difficult truths in my face. Like the main character in THEN I MET MY SISTER, I tend to be very guarded. Stripping away the character's defenses required me to strip away my own. I'd write for a while, then have to step away. But I knew if I finished it, it would be the most honest and fulfilling thing I ever wrote ... and that's what happened. I really felt I grew with the character. It was an unbelievably exhilarating and cathartic experience.

How was your journey to publication? Long, short, how many rejections?
My agent initially pitched it to a publisher I'd worked with on other novels, and the editor didn't want to take it on unless I added a supernatural element to the plot. I didn't want to go in that direction, so it was pitched to Flux, which turned out to be, um, pardon the pun, pitch perfect. The editor loved my manuscript but saw even more potential in it, then inspired me to take it to new heights. The whole Flux staff is amazing. I'm forever grateful.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
Be honest with yourself. Be willing to dig deep and to keep pushing forward when the truths you're uncovering about yourself tempt you to turn away. The best writers never flinch.

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
That the excitement never ebbs. Each accomplishment is as thrilling, if not more so, than the one before. My books certainly haven't brought me wealth or fame, but they've brought me more fulfillment than I ever imagined. I'm living my dream, and I pinch myself every day to make sure it's really happening. I am so fortunate to be able to do what I've wanted to do for as long as I can remember: take the stories in my head and share them with others. Life is great.

Additional Releases

Monster High: The Ghoul Next Door by Lisi Harrison
  • From Goodreads: Cleopatra de Nile: - New pet snake, has Deuce--the hottest guy in school--all warapped up, Herve Leger bandage dress, strappy gold platforms. Cleo was the queen bee of the RADs, the normies, and everyone in between at Merston High. But now it's "Frankie this" and "Melody that" . . . these new girls sure know how to get her lashes in a tangle. When Cleo lands a golden Teen Vogue photo op for her friends, everything seems to be back on track . . . until they bail to be in some film . . . Frankie and Melody's film! Can't a royal get some loyal? Frankie Stein: Frankie lost her head over Brett once and vows never to do it again. Not that she has a choice: Bekka is clinging to her guy like plastic wrap. But when Brett comes up with a plan that could help the RADs live free, sparks fly, and Bekka will stop at nothing to put out the flames . . . even if it means destroying the entire monster community. Melody Carver: The clock is tick-tick-ticking. Melody has a serious deadline to save her boyfriend, Jackson, from being exposed by the vengeance-seeking Bekka. But Cleo is making it royally difficult for the normie while threatening her acceptance into the RADs' exclusive group . . . a group that Melody suspects she has more in common with than she ever thought. Fitting in is out. 
City of Fallen Angels (Mortal Instruments, Book 4) by Cassandra Clare
  • From Goodreads: “City of Fallen Angels takes place two months after the events of City of Glass. In it, a mysterious someone’s killing the Shadowhunters who used to be in Valentine’s Circle and displaying their bodies around New York City in a manner designed to provoke hostility between Downworlders and Shadowhunters, leaving tensions running high in the city and disrupting Clary’s plan to lead as normal a life as she can — training to be a Shadowhunter, and pursuing her relationship with Jace. As Jace and Clary delve into the issue of the murdered Shadowhunters, they discover a mystery that has deeply personal consequences for them — consequences that may strengthen their relationship, or rip it apart forever. Meanwhile, internecine warfare among vampires is tearing the Downworld community apart, and only Simon — the Daylighter who everyone wants on their side — can decide the outcome; too bad he wants nothing to do with Downworld politics. Love, blood, betrayal and revenge: the stakes are higher than ever in City of Fallen Angels.”
Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey
  • From Goodreads: Charlie Bucktin, a bookish thirteen year old, is startled one summer night by an urgent knock on his bedroom window. His visitor is Jasper Jones, an outcast in their small mining town, and he has come to ask for Charlie's help. Terribly afraid but desperate to impress, Charlie follows him into the night. Jasper takes him to his secret glade, where Charlie witnesses Jasper's horrible discovery. With his secret like a brick in his belly, Charlie is pushed and pulled by a town closing in on itself in fear and suspicion. He locks horns with his tempestuous mother, falls nervously in love, and battles to keep a lid on his zealous best friend. In the simmering summer where everything changes, Charlie learns why the truth of things is so hard to know, and even harder to hold in his heart.
  • From Goodreads: It's been three years since the devastating accident ... three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever. Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Julliard's rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia's home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future - and each other.
Teeth: Vampire Tales by Neil Gaiman, Melissa Marr, Cassandra Clare,  Garth Nix, and more
  • From Goodreads: Sink your teeth into these bite-sized tales exploring the intersections among the living, dead, and undead. Features stories by Neil Gaiman, Melissa Marr, Cassandra Clare, Garth Nix, and many more.
Giveaways

We're happy to announce more fantastic YA giveaways as part of our 2-part post. We have copies of THE TIME-TRAVELING FASHIONISTA, OCEAN OF BLOOD, 7 KINDS OF ORDINARY CATASTROPHES, THE YEAR WE WERE FAMOUS, THEN I MET MY SISTER, and MONSTER HIGH 2: THE GHOUL NEXT DOOR. We're also pleased to feature a copy of THE MONTMARAY JOURNALS (BOOK 1) and THE FITZOSBORNES IN EXILE (BOOK 2), which will be open to residents of Australia and New Zealand, too! That brings our 2-day giveaway total to 20 prizes! Please leave a comment on this post and fill out the form below for a chance to win one of these sparkly prizes!

Happy reading,
The Ladies of ACP


41 comments:

  1. I'm extremely excited for Where She Went and City of Fallen Angels.

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  2. Lots of great interviews and books this week. I've heard such great things about Gayle Forman's books. BTW, I'm giving away a copy of Clarity this week on Literary Rambles.

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  3. Oh wow, so many great books! So many great historicals! Thank you so much!

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  4. Thanks for the great interviews. I didn't realize so many great books where released this book.

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  5. I'm impatiently waiting for my copy of City of Fallen Angels to arrive.

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  6. Wow, what an amazing assortment of giveaways. And so many I hadn't heard of before too. Hello, expanding reading list!

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  7. I can't believe the amazing variety of awesome books you ladies are giving away!!! You are incredible! As always, the interviews are so wonderful to read :)

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  8. Awesome contest as always! most of these weren't even on my radar, but they sure are now :)

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  9. Love these interviews! Inspiring! Thanks again.

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  10. The interviews are really inspiring! :) All the books look interesting :) Great website!

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  11. the time traveling one sounds interesting!

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  12. Great historicals and they can be hard to find : ) Traveling fasionista? LOVE it!

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  13. love knowing the stories behind the books!

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  14. Wow, there are so many great books coming out this week! Great interviews, as usual :)

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  15. The last 5 look great. I have been DYING for the release of Fallen Angels! :-)

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  16. I'm so excited for these books!!! How am I going to find the time to read everything out there! Thanks for sharing, as always.

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  17. Oh there are some great books here that I had not known about!
    Seven Kinds of Ordinary sounds interesting!

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  18. ohh any of them sounds great. Fallen Angels are my #1, but the Then I Met My Sister sounds very interesting I would love to read it.

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  19. I want to read nearly every single one of these books! I'm particularly excited for City of Fallen Angels, The Year We Were Famous, Then I Met My Sister, and Jasper Jones.

    It amazes me how some authors can churn out an entire novel in 12 months, but others take years to do it. At least it happened though and the book is going to be out there.

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  20. Very cool! Thanks so much - again!

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  21. Even More Awesome books! Have I told you lately you guys rule??? lol

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  22. More fantasmic books.... You guys ROCK!

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  23. I can't wait to read Where She Went! I loved the first book.

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  24. So many great books! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  25. What a wonderful bunch of books! I'm most excited to read Where She Went! Yay!
    Lisa ~ YA Literature Lover

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  26. Monster High sounds great, thanks again for these giveaways.

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  27. So many awesome books, thanks for all these giveaways :D

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  28. Wow! Awesome books. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  29. There are so many great books coming out. Looks like my spring and summer with be packed full of entertainment. I'm especially excited that there's a 4th Mortal Instruments book coming out. I saw a poster for it at the bookstore yesterday and got a bit giddy.

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  30. There are so many amazing books coming out! I'm so happy that Where She Went is out today!
    Thanks!

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  31. Then I Met My Sister sounds very interesting...

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  32. Looking forward to a lot of these books!

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  33. I loved how Darren Shan writes mainly stories that he would like to read (I think when an author does that the book tends to be more enjoyable to me).
    I cannot wait for Ocean of Blood and City of Fallen Angels... actually most of those books sound incredible (y'all keep talking about all these great titles and my wishlist just keeps on growing). ^_^

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  34. Wow! These all sound really good. Especially can't wait for City of Fallen Angels!

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  35. Oh the Montmaray Journals look fascinating and the Fashionista looks like so much fun! So many great books featured here! Thanks for the chance!

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  36. I can't wait to read Where She Went! Jasper Jones looks really interesting, too. I hadn't heard of that one before.

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  37. The Time-Traveling Fashionista was great! Very nice and sweet, excellent middle school read.

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  38. It is inspirational to read other writer's experiences, successes, and struggles. It really helps put my experience in perspective and gives me the mental fortitude to carry on. Thank you!

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  39. WOW...such a great week for YA with all those releases! Love all the interviews too, especially Carole Dagg. I'm working on a MS and it feels like it's taken me 17 years to complete, so I can definitely understand!

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  40. The FitzOsbornes in Exile has a mesmerizing cover. I will definitely pick these two up. Thanks for bringing them to my attention!

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