Monday, June 20, 2011

58 In Stores This Week (with Interviews & Giveaways)

Don't judge a book by it's cover-- actually, we give you permission to do exactly that. These tantilizing covers are just the prelude to the stories within. Read on to see what's hitting shelves this week, as well as author interviews and fabulous giveaways!

This Week's Interviews

Dead Rules by Randy Russell
  • From Goodreads: Till death. Jana Webster and Michael Haynes were in love. They were destined to be together forever. Do. But Jana's destiny was fatally flawed. And now she's in Dead School, where Mars Dreamcote lurks in the back of the classroom, with his beguiling blue eyes, mysterious smile, and irresistibly warm touch. Us. Michael and Jana were incomplete without each other. There was no room for Mars in Jana's life—or death—story. Jana was sure Michael would rush to her side soon. Part. But things aren't going according to Jana's plan. So Jana decides to do whatever it takes to make her dreams come true—no matter what rules she has to break.
How long did you work on this book?
I would like to say something like 2,416 daydreams later… Somewhere between 3 months and a lifetime. That’s as close as I can get.

DEAD RULES is, in truth, the book that worked on me more than I worked on it. Once I had the concept in place and introduced myself to the main character, the book took off on its own. I was done “typing” it in about 3 months. But the story I was working with began when I was 16 years old and my best friend drove his car into a fatal head-on collision on the highway one night. I’d been dreaming him off and on ever since. He decided he wanted to be in a book and, though I told him time and time again that writing a novel was a buttload of work, he became a real assdiaper about it. I could not kick him free of my thoughts and one day I just said “Okay, here goes. Hang on.”

How was your journey to publication? Long, short, how many rejections?
My journey to publication is a long one. Rejections are many. I believe for all writers, there is a time when rejection is crippling. To say otherwise would be pretending. We're damaged goods. It's like someone you don't know and will never meet turned the lights out. But the writers who get published are the ones who, leaning on a makeshift cane of hastily repaired ego, mumbling curses at the occasional pain and at being alone in the dark, swing one foot in front of the other and keep on keeping on.

That said, DEAD RULES’ journey to publication was relatively short. Unagented, I finished the manuscript on a Thursday night. I sent email queries to 15 agents on Friday and Saturday, knowing I was going to be away from my computer on Sunday. Monday morning, I had five positive responses and two agents asked me to send along the full manuscript. I stayed up till 3 a.m. that night, “proofing” the manuscript, and sent it off Tuesday morning. Wednesday morning, one of the agents called and offered representation, after saying she’d stayed up all night reading it.

When she hung up, I cried. It was clear to me that, after years of writing, DEAD RULES was a book that was meant to be. In a few weeks, we had an offer from HarperCollins.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
I don’t really have advice for other writers. If you’re writing a novel, you already know that you’re in for the long haul. And, over the long haul of one’s life, the thing that matters most to a fiction writer is, in fact, the thing that matters most to her or him. In short, it’s always best to write about what you care most about.

Heart wins. Find your heart and stay there. If you’re writing something that doesn’t effect you emotionally, it likely won’t have much of an impact on others. That said, it’s a big ol’ goofy world and any big ol goofy idea you come up with will work just about as well as any other… as long as it matters enough to you that you can dance with it every night until the music ends.

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
1. Crying. Who knew it meant that much to me?

2. The support and enthusiasm of others for my work. This part is a complete and overwhelming surprise.

A Need So Beautiful by Suzanne Young
  • From Goodreads: Charlotte’s best friend thinks Charlotte might be psychic. Her boyfriend thinks she’s cheating on him. But Charlotte knows what’s really wrong: She is one of the Forgotten, a kind of angel on earth, who feels the Need—a powerful, uncontrollable draw to help someone, usually a stranger. But Charlotte never wanted this responsibility. What she wants is to help her best friend, whose life is spiraling out of control. She wants to lie in her boyfriend's arms forever. But as the Need grows stronger, it begins to take a dangerous toll on Charlotte. And who she was, is, and will become--her mark on this earth, her very existence--is in jeopardy of disappearing completely. Charlotte will be forced to choose: Should she embrace her fate as a Forgotten, a fate that promises to rip her from the lives of those she loves forever? Or is she willing to fight against her destiny--no matter how dark the consequences.
How long did you work on this book?
I’d been thinking about A NEED SO BEAUTIFUL for about a year prior to starting. It had a few different forms, but I began writing it seriously in September and sold it in January.

How was your journey to publication? Long, short, how many rejections?
My journey was bumpy—lots of agent rejections. I’ve always been a writer, but I didn’t start writing novels until 2007. I sold my first book the next year which came out in 2010. After that, things didn’t get easier. Sometimes staying published is the tricky part.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
Keep writing. It was my 5th book that was published, and A NEED SO BEAUTIFUL is my 9th or 10th. But all those unpublished books were useful in teaching me to write—and I even borrow from those stories sometimes when writing something new. But no matter what happened—disappointments, failures—I kept writing.

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
That there is a lot more than just the writing—there are interviews and signings, blog posts and conferences. My dream of living alone in the woods, cut off from society as I draft novel after novel, won’t ever really work.

Breath of Angel: A Novel (The Angelaeon Circle) by Karyn Henley
  • From Goodreads: When Melaia, a young priestess, witnesses the gruesome murder of a stranger in the temple courtyard, age-old legends recited in song suddenly come to life. She discovers wings on the stranger, and the murderer takes the shape of both a hawk and a man. Angels. Shape-shifters. Myths and stories—until now. Melaia finds herself in the middle of a blood feud between two immortal brothers who destroyed the stairway to heaven, stranding angels in the earthly realm. When the feud turns violent and Melaia becomes a target, she finds refuge with a band of angels attempting to restore the stairway. But the restoration is impossible without the repayment of an ancient debt—the “breath of angel, blood of man,” a payment that involves Melaia’s heart, soul, and destiny. 
How long did you work on this book?
I never thought I would or could write a novel, but I took up the challenge during my MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts. Breath of Angel was the result. I began it in 2002 and worked on it intermittently for eight years. During that time I wrote two more books in the series as well. Books one and two sold in 2010.

How was your journey to publication? Long, short, how many rejections?
The journey was longer than I thought it would be. I can't say how many rejections I got, because I don't count them, but there were plenty, some from agents, some from publishers. One of the hardest tasks for me was to write a query letter that would intrigue an agent or publisher and entice them to request the manuscript. So in between rejections, I not only revised the novel, but also reworked the query letter. When I finally got agents responding positively to the query letter, I felt I was close. But finding the right agent often felt like trying to find a grain of salt in a pail of sand.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
Be willing to listen with an open mind to critique and advice from writers and readers you trust. And be willing to do the hard work to make your novel what it needs to be. When I thought I had written my final draft, one that was ready to send to agents and editors, I got some discouraging feedback from two trusted readers. Independently of each other, they both said the same thing: about a third of the way into the novel, the story took off and they couldn't put it down after that. Which meant my story started a third of the way through the manuscript, and the first third would have to be completely rewritten. I did not want to go back and rework the manuscript. But I knew my critiquers were right. I rolled up my sleeves and went through another round of rewrites – and it made all the difference in the world. The manuscript that resulted was the one that started getting attention from agents and finally sold.

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
One of the surprises has been how fast the editor wanted to start working on book two, Eye of the Sword (scheduled for release March 2012). Six months before the release of Breath of Angel (while promotion was gearing up for Breath), the editor and I were already working on revisions for Eye of the Sword. I'm beginning to understand the overlapping cycle of work that will be required if the Angelaeon Circle becomes a series. There will not be much down time.

Vicious Little Darlings by Katherine Easer
  • From Goodreads: Sarah Weaver wasn't looking forward to starting at an all-girls school. But that was before she met Maddy. Maddy and her best friend, Agnes, are fun and rich and interesting—and for some reason, they seem to really like Sarah. Before long, Maddy and Agnes have moved Sarah into a big house off campus, where they cook together, buy each other presents, and share each other's secrets. So why does Sarah feel like something's bizarrely wrong? As more and more cracks start to show in Maddy's and Agnes's perfect veneers, Sarah notices some strange and disturbing things: Maddy's compulsive lying, Agnes's obsession with Maddy, and the deterioration of their friendship. And just when Sarah begins to question her own sanity, things turns deadly.
How long did you work on this book?
It took me close to two years to write Vicious Little Darlings and then another year to revise it.
How was your journey to publication? Long, short, how many rejections?
I queried twenty-six agents over the course of ten months. The rejections kept coming and I got more and more discouraged. I had heard that it was a bad idea to query everyone since you only got one chance with each agent. While I was waiting to hear back from the last two agents (after twenty-four rejections) I made the decision to stop sending out the manuscript, to put it away for a while, and come back to it with fresh eyes. Another revision might save it, I thought, but really, at that point, I was ready to give up on the book and start writing something new. But then my dynamite agent, Rachel Orr, contacted me and offered me representation -- undoubtedly one of the most exciting moments of my life.
What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
Don't be afraid to take a risk. Allow yourself to be vulnerable in your writing. If you're embarrassed by what you've written, you're probably on the right track.
What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
The support I've received from the YA blogging community has been the biggest surprise. It has been so much fun interacting with other readers and writers. These are people who are truly passionate about YA fiction. I feel lucky to have been invited into the community.
Additional Releases
Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey
  • From Goodreads: Violet Willoughby doesn't believe in ghosts. But they believe in her. After spending years participating in her mother's elaborate ruse as a fraudulent medium, Violet is about as skeptical as they come in all matters supernatural. Now that she is being visited by a very persistent ghost, one who suffered a violent death, Violet can no longer ignore her unique ability. She must figure out what this ghost is trying to communicate, and quickly because the killer is still on the loose. Afraid of ruining her chance to escape her mother's scheming through an advantageous marriage, Violet must keep her ability secret. The only person who can help her is Colin, a friend she's known since childhood, and whom she has grown to love. He understands the true Violet, but helping her on this path means they might never be together. Can Violet find a way to help this ghost without ruining her own chance at a future free of lies?

Uncommon Criminals (A Heist Society Novel) by Ally Carter
  • From Goodreads: Katarina Bishop has worn a lot of labels in her short life: Friend. Niece. Daughter. Thief. But for the last two months she’s simply been known as the girl who ran the crew that robbed the greatest museum in the world. That’s why Kat isn’t surprised when she’s asked to steal the infamous Cleopatra Emerald so it can be returned to its rightful owners. There are only three problems. First, the gem hasn’t been seen in public in thirty years. Second, since the fall of the Egyptian empire and the suicide of Cleopatra, no one who holds the emerald keeps it for long — and in Kat’s world, history almost always repeats itself. But it’s the third problem that makes Kat’s crew the most nervous, and that is . . . the emerald is cursed. Kat might be in way over her head, but she’s not going down without a fight. After all, she has her best friend — the gorgeous Hale — and the rest of her crew with her as they chase the Cleopatra around the globe, dodging curses and realizing that the same tricks and cons her family has used for centuries are useless this time. Which means, this time, Katarina Bishop is making up her own rules.
Shadowcry (The Secrets of Wintercraft) by Jenna Burtenshaw
  • From Goodreads: Ten years ago Kate Winters' parents were taken by the High Council's wardens to help with the country's war effort. Now the wardens are back...and prisoners, including Kate's uncle Artemis, are taken south on the terrifying Night Train. Kate and her friend Edgar are hunted by a far more dangerous enemy. Silas Dane -- the High Council's most feared man -- recognises Kate as one of the Skilled; a rare group of people able to see through the veil between the living and the dead. His spirit was damaged by the High Council's experiments into the veil, and he's convinced that Kate can undo the damage and allow him to find peace. The knowledge Kate needs lies within Wintercraft -- a book thought to be hidden deep beneath the graveyard city of Fume. But the Night of Souls, when the veil between life and death is at its thinnest, is just days away and the High Council have their own sinister plans for Kate and Wintercraft. To help Artemis, Edgar and herself, Kate must honour her pact with a murderer and come face to face with the true nature of death.

Long Story Short by Siobhán Parkinson
  • From Goodreads: From Ireland's first laureate for children's literature comes a story of abuse and neglect told with sincerity, heart, and a healthy dose of humor. Jono has always been able to cope with his mother's drinking, but when she hits his little sister Julie, he decides it's time for them to run away. Told in Jono's funny, self-conscious voice, the layers of his past and the events of his escape are gradually revealed. Amusing and touching but never sentimental, Siobhan Parkinson is a well reviewed middle-grade author who now turns her considerable skill as a writer to a young adult audience.
Giveaway

You won't want to miss the chance to win A NEED SO BEAUTIFUL, DEAD RULES, VICIOUS LITTLE DARLINGS, HAUNTING VIOLET, BREATH OF ANGEL, and UNCOMMON CRIMINALS plus the first book (now in paperback) HEIST SOCIETY! U.S. residents, please leave a comment on this post and fill out the form below for a chance to win. We'll announce our winners on Thursday!

Happy reading,
The Ladies of ACP


58 comments:

  1. I always love reading what the authors say surprised them. I think it was Katherine Easer
    who said she was surprised by the support she's received from the YA blogging community. She's right about the support from fellow writers. I am enormously grateful for such an incredible community of people who are supportive and share my passion.
    Thanks again girls for another fantastic Monday post. Hope you have a great week.

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  2. that's a lot of tasty books! What a week! But I'm totally salivating for DEAD RULES. Great interview with Randy. He's so awesome!
    Unfortunately, I don't qualify to enter the contest- but it's another great one.

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  3. As usual I would like to read all of these.

    I love Randy Russell's answer on how long it took him. "I would like to say something like 2,416 daydreams later… Somewhere between 3 months and a lifetime. That’s as close as I can get." --Only because I daydream. :)

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  4. Great interviews. I have an ARC of A Need so Beautiful and can't wait to read it. I'd love to win A Breath of Angel.

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  5. Thanks so much for the interviews and giveaways. I cannot wait to read A Need So Beautiful - I've heard a lot of good things about it. Some of these other titles look really interesting as well. Thanks for this chance!

    Britta

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  6. Oh, the drooling I'm doing right now.

    A Need So Beautiful is in the mail for me. I can't wait to read it. :D

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  7. All of these gooks sound stunning! Yet another great set to look forward to. Thank you :D

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  8. So so so many great new books! I need to strike it book rich haha

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  9. A Need So Beautiful sounds awesome! So do the rest of the books this week.

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  10. Dying to read A Need So Beautiful! Thanks for this opportunity!

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  11. So many wonderful books! I've heard great things about A Need So Beautiful. I have a copy of Vicious Little Darlings, so I can't wait to start that!

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  12. Wow, there are loads of amazing books coming out! :) I'm looking forward to reading them!

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  13. Theses books sound like an exciting summer of reading!

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  14. My coffee fingers typed an extra s. --sorry.

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  15. HAUNTING VIOLET sounds fantastic, and I love love love Ally Carter's books! So exciting!

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  16. I can't wait to read Haunting Violet. I loved Harvey's Drake Chronicles so I can't wait to see what she has up her sleeve with this one.

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  17. SO many awesome books! Thanks!

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  18. Definitely looking forward to A Need so Beautiful and Haunting Violet!

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  19. Huge congrats to all these authors. I love each of these book titles, and the covers are amazing.

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  20. Amazing books this week! I'm so excited! Dead Rules, A Need So Beautiful, and some of the others, maybe!
    Thanks!

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  21. I've been dying to read A Need So Beautiful. The others sound awesome, too. Great giveaway! Thanks!

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  22. Great interviews! Lots of great books :)

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  23. Thanks for the giveaway :D So many awesome books, I need to read all of these lol!

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  24. More excellent books. Most looking forward to A Need So Beautiful :)

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  25. Is it me or are the covers getting better??

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  26. I look forward to this post every week. my to read list just keeps growing :)

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  27. I LOVED Heist Society. Can't wait to read Uncommon Criminals!

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  28. This is an awesome thing you do for readers, my friends!

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  29. I have been waiting for some of these books to come out for so long. I'm in love with the cover of A Need so Beautiful, and Haunting Violet and Vicious Little Darlings sounds fantastic.

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  30. Wonderful books!

    (screen name also writergirlrowan)

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  31. What a great collection of books! Love the covers, too, especially HAUNTING VIOLET. Great interviews, thanks!!!

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  32. Victoria ZumbrumJune 20, 2011 at 7:58 PM

    Thanks for the great giveaway. There are alot of books I want to read from this list. Tore923@aol.com

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  33. So many great books - my TBR-list just keeps growing and growing!

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  34. I love reading all the interviews. What another great crop of books coming out this week!

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  35. OMGoodness all these books have gorgeous covers! I'm so excited about the second Heist Society book!

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  36. I am always intrigued to know how long it took the writers to write their stories. Their answers serve as reminders that although we think of them as super-human authors, they still have struggles and triumphs like the rest of us. Nothing is handed to them on a silver platter. They work just as hard as we do to pay the bills and survive.

    Thank you

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  37. Haunting Violet's cover is so erie! I love it! I can't wait to read these.

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  38. Lots of great books out this week - love how you showcase them :)

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  39. ohh I would love to read ShadowCry it sounds like a new fresh read in the YA. Like it blends some character world together.

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  40. Haunting Violet intrigues me, this sounds like a really good book I would love to be counted in.
    These are some really nice covers also!

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  41. You're right - those are all terrific covers! I'd love to read them all! :)

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  42. I can't wait to read A Need So Beautiful. It sounds amazing! thanks for the chance!

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  43. Wow, what great interviews and so encouraging. It lets me know to never give up and to write what moves me no matter what and believe in it. Also, as always the books you're offering are phenomenal. I'd love to win any of them.

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  44. Ally Carter is such an amazing author, I just adore her books (especially since they have no swearing and whatnot in them). I cannot wait to read Uncommon Criminals.

    Thanks for the great giveaway. :)

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  45. Such amazing books are coming out this week, I have almost every one on my wishlist. And now, even more to add since I read this!
    Thanks for being the awesome blog you are. <3

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  46. I really want A Need So Beautiful! Thanks for the giveaway.

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  47. Thanks for hosting! these are some pretty awesome books :P

    Diana
    lovelygetaway@gmail.com

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  48. All of these books look so amazing. Thank you for introducing me to writers I didn't know. I look forward to reading their work.

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  49. Some awesome books! And I love the author stories this week! I love hearing about how a book/story is born. <3

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  50. You ladies rock. Again, keeping me up on the latest releases. And they all sound so great. *adds to TBR list*

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  51. These all sound terrific. Looks like I have my summer reading cut out for me.

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  52. Very excited about these wonderful books with beautiful covers. Definitely can't wait to read them.

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  53. So many great books. XD
    I can only hope to win one, if not there is the library. :)

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  54. So many awesome releases this week! Thank you for the great post and giveaway!

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  55. Awesome releases! I can't wait to read Dead Rules and A Need So Beautiful.

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  56. Another great week for releases! I will never be able to catch up on all of them :(

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  57. This seems to be a good week for books. There so many I want to read.

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Tell us what you think. We'd love to hear from you! :)