Friday, August 31, 2012

9 New YA Books in Stores 9/1 - 9/7 Plus Weekly Giveaway


We have the amazing NYTimes bestselling author, Nancy Holder, guest mentoring for the First Five Pages Workshop this month!

Nancy’s work has appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, LA Times,, LOCUS, and other bestseller lists. A five-time winner of the Bram Stoker Award from the Horror Writers Association, she has also received accolades from the American Library Association, the American Reading Association, the New York Public Library, and Romantic Times.

She and Debbie ViguiƩ co-authored the New York Times bestselling series Wicked for Simon and Schuster. They have continued their collaboration with the Crusade series, also for Simon and Schuster, and the Wolf Springs Chronicles for Delacorte (2011.) She is also the author of the young adult horror series Possessions for Razorbill. She has sold many novels and book projects set in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Saving Grace, Hellboy, and Smallville universes.

She has sold approximately two hundred short stories and essays on writing and popular culture. Her anthology, Outsiders, co-edited with Nancy Kilpatrick, was nominated for the Bram Stoker Award in 2005. Pretty Little Devils and The Watcher’s Guide Volume 1 appeared in the New York Public Library’s Books for the Teen Age, and The Watcher’s Guide Volume 1 also appeared on the Los Angeles Times Bestseller List in 1999. Saving Grace: Tough Love won the 2011 Scribe Award for General Fiction/Best Original Novel.

Nancy teaches in the Stonecoast MFA in Creative Writing Program, offered through the University of Southern Maine. She has previously taught at UCSD and has served on the Clarion Board of Directors.

Get those manuscripts prepped and ready to send. We'll start taking entries starting at noon tomorrow (Saturday, September 1, 2012).

As usual, the details on entering are here.


Please complete the form at the bottom of the post to enter!

Unleashed (Wolf Springs Chronicles #1)

Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie

Katelyn McBride’s life changed in an instant when her mother died. Uprooted from her California home, Katelyn was shipped to the middle of nowhere, Arkansas, to her only living relative, her grandfather. And now she has to start over in Wolf Springs, a tiny village in the Ozark Mountains. Like any small town, Wolf Springs has secrets. But the secrets hidden here are more sinister than Katelyn could ever imagine. It’s a town with a history that reaches back centuries, spans continents, and conceals terrifying truths. And Katelyn McBride is about to change everything.

Broken families, ageless grudges, forced alliances, and love that blooms in the darkest night—welcome to Wolf Springs.



Spirit's Princess

by Esther Friesner
WINNER: Alyssa Susanna

Himiko the beloved daughter of a chieftain in third century Japan has always been special. The day she was born there was a devastating earthquake, and the tribe's shamaness had an amazing vision revealing the young girl's future—one day this privileged child will be the spiritual and tribal leader over all of the tribes.

Book One revolves around the events of Himiko's early teen years—her shaman lessons, friendships, contact with other tribes, and journey to save her family after a series of tragic events. Once again, Esther Friesner masterfully weaves together history, myth, and mysticism in a tale of a princess whose path is far from traditional.

Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Not Reading
Tommy Greenwald
Charlie Joe Jackson may be the most reluctant reader ever born. And so far, he’s managed to get through life without ever reading an entire book from cover to cover. But now that he’s in middle school, avoiding reading isn’t as easy as it used to be. And when his friend Timmy McGibney decides that he’s tired of covering for him, Charlie Joe finds himself resorting to desperate measures to keep his perfect record intact.This is the hilarious story of an avid non-reader and the extreme lengths to which he’ll go to get out of reading a book
Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Extra Credit     
Tommy Greenwald
Charlie Joe Jackson, the most reluctant reader ever born, made ithis mission in the first book toget through middle school without reading a single book from cover to cover. Now he's back, and trying desperately to get straight A's in order to avoid going to academic camp for the summer. In order to do this, he will have to betray his friend, lose the girl of his dreams, a...more
Charlie Joe Jackson, the most reluctant reader ever born, made it his mission in the first book to get through middle school without reading a single book from cover to cover. Now he's back, and trying desperately to get straight A's in order to avoid going to academic camp for the summer. In order to do this, he will have to betray his friend, lose the girl of his dreams, and end up acting in a school play about the inventor of paper towels. Charlie Joe's not exactly the "school play kind of guy", but desperate times call for desperate measures


The Dark Unwinding

Sharon Cameron

A spine-tingling tale of steampunk and spies, intrigue and heart-racing romance!

When Katharine Tulman's inheritance is called into question by the rumor that her eccentric uncle is squandering away the family fortune, she is sent to his estate to have him committed to an asylum. But instead of a lunatic, Katharine discovers a genius inventor with his own set of rules, who employs a village of nine hundred people rescued from the workhouses of London.

Katharine is now torn between protecting her own inheritance and preserving the peculiar community she grows to care for deeply. And her choices are made even more complicated by a handsome apprentice, a secretive student, and fears for her own sanity.

As the mysteries of the estate begin to unravel, it is clear that not only is her uncle's world at stake, but also the state of England as Katharine knows it. With twists and turns at every corner, this heart-racing adventure will captivate readers with its intrigue, thrills, and romance.

The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano

Sonia Manzano

One of America’s most influential Hispanics -- 'Maria' on Sesame Street -- presents a powerful novel set in New York's El Barrio in 1969

There are two secrets Evelyn Serrano is keeping from her Mami and stepfather. Her true feelings about growing up in her Spanish Harlem neighborhood, and her attitude about Abuela, her sassy grandmother who's come from Puerto Rico to live with them. Then, like an urgent ticking clock, events erupt that change everything. The Young Lords, a Puerto Rican activist group, dump garbage in the street and set it on fire, igniting a powerful protest. When Abuela steps in to take charge, Evelyn is thrust into the action. Tempers flare, loyalties are tested. Through it all, Evelyn learns important truths about her Latino heritage and the history makers who shaped a nation. Infused with actual news accounts from the time period, Sonia Manzano has crafted a gripping work of fiction based on her own life growing up during a fiery, unforgettable time in America, when young Latinos took control of their destinies.


Kirsty McKay

Out of sight, out of their minds: It's a school-trip splatter fest and completely not cool when the other kids in her class go all braindead on new girl Bobby.
The day of the ski trip, when the bus comes to a stop at a roadside restaurant, everyone gets off and heads in for lunch. Everyone, that is, except Bobby, the new girl, who stays behind with rebel-without-a-clue Smitty.
Then hours pass. Snow piles up. Sun goes down. Bobby and Smitty start to flirt. Start to stress. Till finally they see the other kids stumbling back.
But they've changed. And not in a good way. Straight up, they're zombies. So the wheels on the bus better go round and round freakin' fast, because that's the only thing keeping Bobby and Smitty from becoming their classmates' next meal. It's kill or be killed in these hunger games, heads are gonna roll, and homework is most definitely gonna be late.
Combining the chill of THE SHINING, the thrill ride of SPEED, the humor of SHAUN OF THE DEAD, and the angst of THE BREAKFAST CLUB, Kirsty McKay's UNDEAD is a bloody mad mash-up, a school-trip splatter-fest, a funny, gory, frighteningly good debut

A Soldier's Secret: The Incredible True Story of Sarah Edmonds, a Civil War Hero

Marissa Moss

The story of Sarah Emma Edmonds, who masqueraded as a man named Frank Thompson during the Civil War. Among her many adventures, she was a nurse on the battlefield and a spy for the Union Army, and was captured by (and escaped from) the Confederates. The novel is narrated by Sarah, offering readers an in-depth look not only at the Civil War but also at her journey to self-discovery as she grapples with living a lie and falling in love with one of her fellow soldiers.

Falling Too Fast (Border Town)

Malin Alegria

In Dos Rios, Texas, things aren't always as they seem.

Alexis Garza has music in her blood. She's certain that one day, she'll be leaving the border town of Dos Rios, Texas behind for a glamorous life of singing stardom. Until then, however, she'll have to content herself with belting her heart out at voice classes, going to high school mariachi band practice, and helping out at the Graza family restaurant.

Alexis's ordinary life takes a turn for the extraordinary when she meets the swoon-worthy lead singer of a rival high school's mariachi band. His singing (and his smile) make Alexis melt. There's one small problem-- this suave singer doesn't seem to know that Alexis exists. She's determined to make herself heard-- no matter what the cost.

Dead is a Killer Tune

Marlene Perez

A diabolical pied piper comes to town in the the seventh installment of this hot paranormal mystery series. High school freshman Jessica Walsh is a virago, a woman warrior who must protect her hometown from danger. And in the unusual little town of Nightshade, California, trouble is always lurking. At Nightshade’s Battle of the Bands, Jess’s boyfriend Dominic and his band Side Effects May Vary are up against Hamlin, a band so popular that their fans follow them everywhere. Soon, Nightshade’s musicians are doing risky, illegal and even fatal things—and claiming that strange music they heard right before falling asleep told them to do it. Could a diabolical pied piper be sabotaging the Battle of the Bands? It’s up to Jessica and her friends track down the tuneful tyrant.

Viva Jacquelina!: Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, Over the Hills and Far Away (Bloody Jack Adventures)

Louis A. Meyer

The vivacious Jacky Faber returns in the tenth tale in L. A. Meyer’s Bloody Jack Adventures, a rip-roaring young-adult series applauded for its alluring combination of adventure, romance, history, and humor. Once again under the thumb of British Intelligence, Jacky is sent to Spain to spy for the Crown during the early days of the nineteenth-century Peninsular War. She finds herself in the company of guerilla freedom fighters, poses for the famous artist Goya, runs with the bulls, is kidnapped by the Spanish Inquisition, and travels with a caravan of gypsies...all while hoping to one day reunite with her beloved Jaimy Fletcher.

My Book of Life by Angel

Martine Leavitt

When sixteen-year-old Angel meets Call at the mall, he buys her meals and says he loves her, and he gives her some candy that makes her feel like she can fly. Pretty soon she's addicted to his candy, and she moves in with him. As a favor, he asks her to hook up with a couple of friends of his, and then a couple more. Now Angel is stuck working the streets at Hastings and Main, a notorious spot in Vancouver, Canada, where the girls turn tricks until they disappear without a trace, and the authorities don't care. But after her friend Serena disappears, and when Call brings home a girl who is even younger and more vulnerable than her to learn the trade, Angel knows that she and the new girl have got to find a way out.

The Edge of Nowhere

Elizabeth George

The first young adult book by a #1 New York Times bestselling author

Whidbey Island may be only a ferry ride from Seattle, but it's a world apart. When Becca King arrives there, she doesn't suspect the island will become her home for the next four years. Put at risk by her ability to hear "whispers"--the thoughts of others--Becca is on the run from her stepfather, whose criminal activities she has discovered. Stranded and alone, Becca is soon befriended by Derric, a Ugandon orphan adopted by a local family; Seth, a kindhearted musician and high school dropout; Debbie, a recovering alcoholic who takes her in; and Diana, with whom Becca shares a mysterious psychic connection.

This compelling coming-of-age story, the first of an ongoing sequence of books set on Whidbey Island, has elements of mystery, the paranormal, and romance. Elizabeth George, bestselling author of the Inspector Lynley crime novels, brings her elegant style, intricate plotting, incisive characterization, and top-notch storytelling to her first book for teens.

The Book of the Night (Libyrinth)

Pearl North

The world of the Libyrinth has experienced a series of wrenching changes. After the Libyrarians and their longtime foes the Singers discovered their common heritage, a young healer named Po found the Lion’s Bloom, an ancient and enormously powerful artifact capable of rewriting reality.

Behind the mysteries of their shrouded past has always been the legendary Book of the Night. Sought for generations, both feared and revered, it is the key to this world of wonders. When vain, grasping Queen Thela steals the Lion’s Bloom and imperils the very reality of the world, only the Book can heal what she has rent asunder. An epic journey through strange lands, a perilous encounter in a clockwork city, and the revelation of the truth beyond reality will lead those who find the Book to a moment when their world will either be saved...or cease to exist.

Sweet Shadows (Sweet Venom)

Tera Lynn Childs

Three teenage descendants of Medusa, now united, must claim their heritage to fight the monsters escaped from the abyss.

Gretchen may have known she was a descendant of Medusa long before her sisters--after all, she's spent her life fighting the monsters that escape the abyss--but that doesn't mean it will be easy to teach the other girls the ropes.

Greer has pressing social commitments on her plate and precious little time to train in her newfound powers. But that wretched second sight won't leave her alone, and her fabled heritage seems to be creeping into her fashionable life.

Grace has worries closer to home--like why her brother, Thane, has disappeared. He's hiding something. Could it possibly be related to the secret heritage the triplets share?

The Broken Lands

Kate Milford

 A crossroads can be a place of great power. So begins this deliciously spine-tingling prequel to Kate Milford’s The Boneshaker, set in the colorful world of nineteenth-century Coney Island and New York City. Few crossroads compare to the one being formed by the Brooklyn Bridge and the East River, and as the bridge’s construction progresses, forces of unimaginable evil seek to bend that power to their advantage. Only two orphans with unusual skills stand in their way. Can the teenagers Sam, a card sharp, and Jin, a fireworks expert, stop them before it’s too late? Here is a richly textured, slow-burning thriller about friendship, courage, and the age-old fight between good and evil.

Rage Within (Dark Inside)

Jeyn Roberts

In this apocalyptic sequel to Dark Inside’s “well-balanced, realistic suspense” (Kirkus Reviews), four teens continue the struggle for survival as they face a world gone mad. Aries, Clementine, Michael, and Mason have survived the first wave of the apocalypse that wiped out most of the world’s population and turned many of the rest into murderous Baggers. Now they’re hiding out in an abandoned house in Vancouver with a ragtag group of fellow teen survivors, trying to figure out their next move.

Aries is trying to lead, but it’s hard to be a leader when there are no easy answers and every move feels wrong. Clementine is desperate to find her brother Heath, but it’s impossible to know where he’d be, assuming he’s alive. Michael is haunted by the memories of his actions during his harrowing struggle to survive. And Mason is struggling with something far worse: the fear that he may be a danger to his friends.

As the Baggers begin to create a new world order, these four teens will have to trust and rely on each other in order to survive.

Envy (Fury)

Elizabeth Miles

The Furies are back in the second book of a chilling paranormal trilogy where revenge rules the day—and “sorry” isn’t going to cut it. Spring is coming, and the ice is slowly melting in Ascension…revealing the secrets buried beneath.

Emily Winters knows the Furies have roots in Ascension, Maine—but she’s about to discover that they’re deeper than she ever imagined. With the help of her new friend Drea, she vows to dig them out. But it’s hard to focus when she’s desperate to make up with JD, and to figure out why Crow, a mysterious Ascension High dropout, seems to be shadowing her.

Meanwhile, new girl Skylar McVoy is determined to leave her own dark past behind. So she’s thrilled when popular Gabby takes her under her wing, and the stunning and sophisticated Meg offers to give her a major makeover. But everyone knows what happens to the vainest girl of all…

It’s tempting to be naughty. But beware: the Furies are always watching, and their power grows stronger by the day.

Immortal Lycanthropes

Hal Johnson

"A shameful fact about humanity is that some people can be so ugly that no one will be friends with them. It is shameful that humans can be so cruel, and it is shameful that humans can be so ugly." So begins the incredible story of Myron Horowitz, a disfigured thirteen-year-old just trying to fit in at his Pennsylvania school. When a fight with a bully leaves him unconscious and naked in the wreckage of the cafeteria, Myron discovers that he is an immortal lycanthrope—a were-mammal who can transform from human to animal. He also discovers that there are others like him, and many of them want Myron dead. “People will turn into animals,” says the razor-witted narrator of this tour-de-force, “and here come ancient secrets and rivers of blood.”

I Swear

Lane Davis

Who’s to blame when bullying leads to suicide? A gripping exploration of crucial importance seeks answers in and out of the courtroom.After years of abuse from her classmates, and thinking she had no other options, Leslie took her own life. Now her abusers are dealing with the fallout. In the eyes of the accused girls, they are not to blame: Leslie chose to take her life. She chose to be the coward they always knew she was.

As criminal proceedings examine the systematic cyber bullying and harassment that occurred, the girls vow to keep their stories straight and make Leslie seem weak. But as the events leading up to her death unfold, it becomes clear that although Leslie took her own life, her bullies took everything else.

Told in alternating perspectives and through well-paced flashbacks, this timely novel sheds light on both the victims of bullying and the consequences bullies face.

34 Pieces of You

Carmen Rodrigues

A dark and moving novel—reminiscent of Thirteen Reasons Why—about the mystery surrounding a teenage girl’s fatal overdose.

There was something about Ellie... Something dangerous. Charismatic. Broken. Jake looked out for her. Sarah followed her lead. And Jess kept her distance, and kept watch.

Now Ellie’s dead, and Jake, Sarah, and Jess are left to pick up the pieces. All they have are 34 clues she left behind. 34 strips of paper hidden in a box beneath her bed. 34 secrets of a brief and painful life.

Jake, Sarah, and Jess all feel responsible for what happened to Ellie, and all three have secrets of their own. As they begin to confront the darkest truths about themselves, they will also find out what Ellie herself had been hiding all along....

Carnival of Souls

Melissa Marr

In a city of daimons, rigid class lines separate the powerful from the power-hungry. And at the heart of The City is the Carnival of Souls, where both murder and pleasure are offered up for sale. Once in a generation, the carnival hosts a deadly competition that allows every daimon a chance to join the ruling elite. Without the competition, Aya and Kaleb would both face bleak futures--if for different reasons. For each of them, fighting to the death is the only way to try to live.

All Mallory knows of The City is that her father--and every other witch there--fled it for a life in exile in the human world. Instead of a typical teenage life full of friends and maybe even a little romance, Mallory scans quiet streets for threats, hides herself away, and trains to be lethal. She knows it's only a matter of time until a daimon finds her and her father, so she readies herself for the inevitable. While Mallory possesses little knowledge of The City, every inhabitant of The City knows of her. There are plans for Mallory, and soon she, too, will be drawn into the decadence and danger that is the Carnival of Souls.

From Melissa Marr, bestselling author of the Wicked Lovely series and "Graveminder," comes a brand-new tale of lush secrets, dark love, and the struggle to forge one's own destiny.


Jessica Khoury

Pia has grown up in a secret laboratory hidden deep in the Amazon rain forest. She was raised by a team of scientists who have created her to be the start of a new immortal race. But on the night of her seventeenth birthday, Pia discovers a hole in the electric fence that surrounds her sterile home—and sneaks outside the compound for the first time in her life.

Free in the jungle, Pia meets Eio, a boy from a nearby village. Together, they embark on a race against time to discover the truth about Pia’s origin—a truth with deadly consequences that will change their lives forever.

Origin is a beautifully told, shocking new way to look at an age-old desire: to live forever, no matter the cost. This is a supremely compelling debut novel that blends the awakening romance of Matched with the mystery and jungle conspiracy of Lost.

Blink Once

Cylin Busby

West is a high school senior who has everything going for him until an accident leaves him paralyzed. Strapped down in his hospital bed, slipping in and out of consciousness, West is terrified and alone. Until he meets Olivia. She's the girl next door-sort of. A patient in the room next to his, only Olivia can tell what West is thinking, and only Olivia seems to know that the terrible dreams he's been having are not just a result of his medication. Yet as West comes to rely on Olivia-to love her, even-certain questions pull at him: Why has Olivia been in the hospital for so long? And what does it mean that she is at the center of his nightmares? But the biggest question of all comes when West begins to recover and learns that the mysterious girl he's fallen in love with has a secret he could never have seen coming.


Ann Aguirre

Deuce’s whole world has changed. Down below, she was considered an adult. Now, topside in a town called Salvation, she’s a brat in need of training in the eyes of the townsfolk. She doesn’t fit in with the other girls: Deuce only knows how to fight.

To make matters worse, her Hunter partner, Fade, keeps Deuce at a distance. Her feelings for Fade haven’t changed, but he seems not to want her around anymore. Confused and lonely, she starts looking for a way out.

Deuce signs up to serve in the summer patrols—those who make sure the planters can work the fields without danger. It should be routine, but things have been changing on the surface, just as they did below ground. The Freaks have grown smarter. They’re watching. Waiting. Planning. The monsters don’t intend to let Salvation survive, and it may take a girl like Deuce to turn back the tide.

Freaks Like Us

Susan Vaught

When Jason Milwaukee's best friend Sunshine vanishes, Jason knows that something is terribly wrong, but solving her disappearance will require pushing through all the voices in his head and then getting the world to listen to him. His schizophrenia is stopping him from remembering the events leading up to her disappearance, and often he discounts his own memories, and his own impressions. But his deep knowledge that he would never hurt his friend, plus the faith of his parents and a few others in the town bring him to the point of solving the mystery. In the end, it's Sunshine's own love for Jason (Freak) that persuades him of his own strength and goodness.By turns brilliantly witty and searingly honest, Susan Vaught's newest novel is a laugh-out-loud, tear-jerking, coming-of-age story.

Monstrous Beauty

Elizabeth Fama

Fierce, seductive mermaid Syrenka falls in love with Ezra, a young naturalist. When she abandons her life underwater for a chance at happiness on land, she is unaware that this decision comes with horrific and deadly consequences.

Almost one hundred forty years later, seventeen-year-old Hester meets a mysterious stranger named Ezra and feels overwhelmingly, inexplicably drawn to him. For generations, love has resulted in death for the women in her family. Is it an undiagnosed genetic defect . . . or a curse? With Ezra’s help, Hester investigates her family’s strange, sad history. The answers she seeks are waiting in the graveyard, the crypt, and at the bottom of the ocean—but powerful forces will do anything to keep her from uncovering her connection to Syrenka and to the tragedy of so long ago.


Jackson Pearce

Celia Reynolds is the youngest in a set of triplets and the one with the least valuable power. Anne can see the future, and Jane can see the present, but all Celia can see is the past. And the past seems so insignificant -- until Celia meets Lo.

Lo doesn't know who she is. Or who she was. Once a human, she is now almost entirely a creature of the sea -- a nymph, an ocean girl, a mermaid -- all terms too pretty for the soulless monster she knows she's becoming. Lo clings to shreds of her former self, fighting to remember her past, even as she's tempted to embrace her dark immortality.

When a handsome boy named Jude falls off a pier and into the ocean, Celia and Lo work together to rescue him from the waves. The two form a friendship, but soon they find themselves competing for Jude's affection. Lo wants more than that, though. According to the ocean girls, there's only one way for Lo to earn back her humanity. She must persuade a mortal to love her . . . and steal his soul.

Surviving High School

M. Doty

What's the secret to surviving your freshman year of high school?
Emily Kessler thinks she has it all figured out. She eats, sleeps and trains for competitive swimming. All she has to do is keep her grades high and swim times short -- short enough to live up to her sister Sara's. But walking the crowded maze of unfamiliar high school hallways is like diving headfirst into shark-infested waters. Shark #1: Dominique, her biggest competition on the swim team and all-around mean girl. Shark #2: The adorable and popular Ben Kale... Emily can't resist his smile no matter how hard she tries. When the pressure builds to the point where Emily isn't sure she can stay afloat, she begins to question the strict path her life has always followed.
Maybe there is more to life than studying and swimming. Maybe the secret to surviving high school is just to have a little fun.

The hit mobile game Surviving High School comes to life in an original novel about perfection, failure, and following your dreams.

Crimson Rising (Skyship Academy)

Nick James

Our best-selling sci-fi series continues

Following their dramatic showdown in Seattle, Jesse Fisher and Cassius Stevenson find their world’s been turned inside out. The faculty at Skyship Academy is keeping Jesse a prisoner in his own home, fearful of his influence over Pearls. And Cassius, once a loyal Pearlhound for the Unified Party, has been pushed into hiding, fearful of his government's retaliation.

When Jesse smuggles a mysterious red Pearl onboard the Academy, he sets loose a destructive chain of events, which lead him to a reunion with Cassius and a confrontation with Theo -- a bloodthirsty Pearlhound with a dangerous secret.

But a larger threat looms in the stars. An enemy is gathering, with plans to exterminate the entire human race. And Jesse and Cassius might just be the lynch pins that trigger mankind's destruction

The City's Son (The Skyscraper Throne)

Tom Pollock

Expelled from school, betrayed by her best friend and virtually ignored by her dad, who’s never recovered from the death of her mum, Beth Bradley retreats to the sanctuary of the streets, looking for a new home. What she finds is Filius Viae, the ragged and cocky crown prince of London, who opens her eyes to the place she’s never truly seen.

But the hidden London is on the brink of destruction. Reach, the King of the Cranes, is a malign god of demolition, and he wants Filius dead. In the absence of the Lady of the Streets, Filius’ goddess mother, Beth rouses Filius to raise an alleyway army, to reclaim London’s skyscraper throne for the mother he’s never known. Beth has almost forgotten her old life – until her best friend and her father come searching for her, and she must choose between the streets and the life she left behind.

Silver (A Bandia Novel)

Talia Vance

"As I step into the room, a silver flash blurs my vision. Before I can take a breath, the world falls away."

Brianna has always felt invisible. People stare right past her, including the one boy she can't resist, Blake Williams. But everything changes at a house party where Brianna's charm bracelet slips off and time stands still. In that one frozen, silver moment, Blake not only sees her, he recognizes something deep inside her she's been hiding even from herself.

Discovering she is descended from Danu, the legendary Bandia of Celtic myth, Brianna finds herself questioning the truth of who she is. And when she accidentally binds her soul to Blake, their mutual attraction becomes undeniable.

But Blake has his own secret, one that could prove deadly for them both.

Bound together by forbidden magic, Brianna and Blake find themselves at the heart of an ancient feud that threatens to destroy their lives and their love.

Henry Franks: A Novel

Peter Adam Salomon

A dark, psychological thriller about a boy's search for himself

Four thousand, three hundred and seventeen stitches, his father had told him once. All the King's horses and all the King's men had put Henry Franks back together again.

One year ago, a terrible accident robbed Henry Franks of his mother and his memories. The past sixteen years have vanished. All he has now are scars and a distant father—the only one who can tell Henry who he is.

If he could trust his father.

Can his nightmares—a sweet little girl calling him Daddy, murderous urges, dead bodies—help him remember?

While a serial killer stalks their small Georgia town, Henry unearths the bitter truth behind his mother’s death—and the terrifying secrets of his own dark past.

Sometimes, the only thing worse than forgetting is remembering.

Redemption (Hearts of Stone)

Veronique Launier

Guillaume: For five hundred years I've existed as a gargoyle. Perched atop an old Montreal church, I've watched idly as humanity wanders by. With the witch Marguerite gone, there is no one left to protect, nothing to care about. I never planned to feel again. But then a girl released me from my stone restraints, allowing me to return as a seventeen-year-old human boy. I must find out all I can about this girl's power . . .

Aude: Getting attacked twice in as many days is strange in itself, but even stranger is the intriguing guy I keep running into. There's something so familiar about him, like a primal drum rhythm from my dreams. But spending time together only raises more questions--about my heritage, a native Mohawk prophecy . . . and an unearthly magic threatening our city.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

6 WOW Wednesday: Susan Dennard on Keeping Characters True to Themselves

Today's guest, Susan Dennard, is a writer, reader, lover of animals, and eater of cookies. Her debut novel, SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY, is now available from HarperTeen. You can learn more about her on her blog or twitter.

When Characters Don't Act Like Themselves

By Susan Dennard

Shortly before I signed with my agent, I was entering into my final round of revisions for SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY. I knew this had to be the last round--I had done at least 10 revisions/rewrites on the book, and I was really starting to hate it. I hadn't yet entered into the world of querying because I knew my book wasn't There.

Of course, I didn't know where There was—only that I'd know it when I saw it.

And when I finally did get my first glimpse of There, I did know it. Instantly. You see, there was something off about my book. Something fundamental to the story that wasn't right. But it was also something I couldn't pinpoint. So, being a conscientious (read: obsessive) writer who was part of ten bazillion online writing networks, I logged into each one until I found myself a beta reader. I’d been burned with critique partners before, so I was very particular about finding a good reader. Fortunately, this gal turned out to be very good (we’re still crit partners, two years later).

This is what my CP said: Your main character is acting out of character.

It sounds so odd, right? I mean, my character isn’t real. Eleanor can do whatever she wants. Except not really. When a reader picks up a book, they’re looking to connect to a person—a three dimensional, real-as-life person. So, as writers, we must bring a character—this 2D jumble of words and descriptionw—to life. We do this by giving our characters histories and motivations, goals and fears. We latch onto what makes the character tick, and then we dig deepdeepdeep. Quite simply, we let the story evolve from who our characters are.

Sure, you can have a plot-driven book…but how the character reacts to each plot point must feel real. Character-building is just as important in a plot-driven book—possibly even more so because you don’t have as much time to explain why someone behaves a certain way. You must show us—and quickly—while making it all ring true.

I cannot emphasize this enough: everything your character does must be true to who he/she is.

The number one reason I put down books (to never pick up again) is a character behaving out of character. If you have painted Miss Jenny as a sweet, shy gal with a desire to blend into the background, I will NOT be okay when Miss Jenny suddenly stands on a table in chapter 2 and screams at the school cafeteria.

But I will believe it if you have her develop into that person. If she starts shy and keeps getting pushed around--if we see her temper rise and rise, see Miss Jenny start to hate getting stomped on and ignored—then I’ll believe it when she steps onto that table…

I’ll give you a vague example (though, spoiler alert!!). I love the TV show THE WALKING DEAD. Love it. But in season 2, one of the characters kills someone to save himself. While I knew this character wasn’t 100% good, he had never behaved that evilly. In fact—if anything—he’d been painted as a bad boy with some really redeeming qualities. When he killed the other guy just to save himself, I wasn’t convinced. Sure—it made sense for him to do that for the plot’s sake…but it didn’t fit what I knew about this guy.

And this was the problem in my very own manuscript. I had Eleanor doing something within the first 50 pages that she just wouldn’t do—she was being way too snarky and sneaky for the character I had crafted thus far. Sure, the Eleanor at the end of the book would do this, but not the Eleanor at the start.

Needless to say, my CP’s advice was a total eye-opener for me. I threw out that crappy scene and wrote a brand new one—one that made far more sense in the context of who Eleanor was. The plot needed her to be sneaky, but I could make her sneaky in a way that fit her earlier self.

And just like that, the book was ready. I knew deep in my bones that I had finished revising. It was time to query—huzzah! I sent out my first batch of letters and literally went off on vacation…only to get my first offer a few days later. Note to readers: do not start querying while on vacation with almost no internet access. Yes, the general rule is that publishing is a slow business, but SOMETIMES, things can move very, very fast. ;)

I’d like to think it was all that revising that made my journey move so quickly—I’m certain all those revisions and rewrites contributed. But so many other things can contribute to publishing success—not the least of which are luck, timing, and the alignment of Jupiter.

Yet—just as I knew when SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY was finally There—I know deep down that making my characters just right made all the difference in my success. Publishing is so competitive for the unpublished, and one tiny thing off about a book can break it. Don’t let character inconsistencies be that thing.

So now it’s your turn: dig out your manuscript. (I find the older the story, the more likely I have characters acting according to plot instead of according to character.) See if part of why that MS didn’t (or isn’t) work(ing) is because of characters behaving out of character. Really scrutinize; don’t go easy on yourself.

Or, can you think of any books you’ve read where the same thing happened?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

6 Let's Play "Is It Worth It?" (The Writer's Conference Edition)

When you receive an alert of an upcoming writer’s conference, it can be daunting to figure out whether you should go or pass. Many of us struggle with the money and time spent to attend, but we’re eager to learn and meet other people in the industry. Plus let's face it, if your writerly friends are going, it’s hard knowing you might be the only one who isn't. Maybe there aren't many conferences in your area and you're afraid to miss the chance to go.

(Disclaimer: I’m writing this post assuming you’re not intimidated to attend a conference to begin with. If you are, don’t be. They’re fabulous, welcoming, and packed with opportunity.)

Today, we’re looking at points for consideration if you’re wondering whether to register for a writer’s conference. When I received a postcard last week advertising an upcoming conference in my area, these criteria helped me figure out whether I should attend or pass.

1. Study the breadth of the professional faculty list. I’ve attended smaller conferences that were dominated by faculty from one publishing house. That doesn’t have mean it’s not worth attending. But if you find yourself in that situation, make sure that the publishing house’s list and submission wish-list match what you write. Visit their website and check that the opportunity to submit an unsolicited manuscript or art sample is worthwhile for you. Over time, I’ve learned to study the faculty list before registering to make sure diversity exists in the list of professionals in attendance.

2. Study the depth of the professional faculty list. Before conference day arrives, know your faculty. Think of it as stalking studying your targets. Familiarize yourself with the work of the agents and/or editors attending so that you know who represents work most like yours. Think about who you might want to approach based on what you find out.

3. Evaluate your manuscripts. Are they finished? Are they ready to pitch? Which ones fit specific faculty members? Is there one you’d like to submit for critique? As always, make sure your manuscript is finished in case it’s requested by an editor or agent.

4. Do you plan on making a pitch? It’s a scary question, I know. But when you spend the money to go to a conference, you are also paying for the physical presence of editors and agents. When I pitched an agent for the first time, I was pretty sure I was going to throw up in my handbag. Then I started talking to the agent and was SO thankful I did. He was down-to-earth, gave me feedback, and invited me to email him a manuscript.

5. Breakdown the breakout sessions. Many conferences feature small-group breakout sessions where you have the chance to get specialized feedback or advice. Martina and I have used the “divide and conquer” method before where we went to different sessions to maximize our time. If you go with a friend and more than one session sounds interesting, this is a great way to multiply your learning. Report back and share with each other afterward.

6. Can I afford it? If you’ve ever watched financial guru Suze Orman, you’ll know what this means. Conference fees can add up, but are typically not too expensive in isolation. SCBWI members usually enjoy a discounted attendance fee, as well. But the ca-chings of the cash register start ringing if you’re throwing in gas, air travel, hotel, food, or those tempting intensives or critiques. The same can be said for your time. Conferences usually fall on weekends and maybe that time is too precious to you to be away.

There’s no doubt that it’s hard to decide what to do when conference alerts trickle into your mailbox or email inbox. Try to focus on what makes the most sense for you. If you’ve honed in on the reasons to go or skip, you’re more likely to be content with whatever decision you make.

Tell us how you weigh your options for attending a writer's conference. Is there something that attracts you to a conference specifically, or something that makes you comfortable in passing one up? We'd love to know your thoughts.

Happy decision-making,

Monday, August 27, 2012

3 1st 5 Pages August Workshop - Rev 3 Wise

Julie K. Wise
YA Contemporary
Inside the Circle

Jillian parks her Jeep at the side of the mountain road, down a little bit from Carter’s driveway, just in case his parents look out their window. A couple of other cars are scattered and parked in the moonlight shadows. The house is set into the side of the mountain. Carter’s dad is a golf-pro and a big game hunter, and the walls of every room are filled with stuffed heads with glass eyes and shelves of trophies. British Open cups, pictures of Augusta. It is after midnight. Carter’s parents are asleep on the other side of the house, and we walk quietly through the huge, dark room, past stretched tiger skins and water buffalo heads. Out in back, groups of people lay around on lounge chairs placed on the flagstone patio that overlooks the city. The last time I was here, Jillian was with Aaron, I was with Sean, and Allison was with Carter. Same scene, same players, different night.

Jillian and I walk onto the terraced patio carved into the side of the mountain. Jillian lounges on a chaise. Carter sits down next to her, crazy black hair, eyes barely open, jeans held onto his thin body with a thick black and silver belt. He’s lost a lot of weight lately, the sure sign of a hobby turned habit. Carter slams coke, among other things.

Carter graduated from Brophy Prep last year. He was planning on going to college to study music, but the fall semester came and went, and now, as far as I can tell, he lives off his parents and spends their money on drugs. I can’t believe that they don’t see what is happening to him; everything about Carter screams junkie. His dad is on the PGA Tour, so they’re gone a lot, but still, Carter is pale, and his eyes are dead. You’d have to be blind or just not care to ignore that Carter is chasing himself into his own grave. It’s sad, but everyone keeps getting high with him anyway.

I sit alone on the lounge chair across from Jillian and Carter, looking at the city lights. He leans in to tell us about his night.

“Yeah, I was lying in my room,” Carter slurs, “and Aaron came by after seeing the movie with some girls. It’s cool. My parents went down the street earlier, so they’re wasted and sleeping. We’re just hanging out now. I think a few more people are coming by. Jimmy and Joey just left with some Xavier girls.” He pauses for a moment, and then, to Jillian, hungrily, ”Have you got it?” She opens her huge silver purse, and takes out a small package. She hands it to Carter.

“Excellent,” Carter purrs. I guess that explains why we’re here. He pulls a different clear plastic bag from the table and expertly rolls a joint in a blue paper that seems to appear out of nowhere. It shakes me to see Jillian selling to Carter. Who is she working for? She looks at me out of the corner of her eyes, and she shakes her blond hair back from her face. She offers no explanations, and she knows that I won’t ask her what’s going on. There’s no point.

Jillian takes the joint from Carter and lights it with a monogrammed silver lighter that she stole from her mom, Marilyn. I was in their kitchen on Friday and heard Marilyn ask if Jillian had seen this lighter. Jillian shrugged. I knew she must have stolen it; I’ve seen her shrug that way a thousand times. Not an actual lie, not telling the truth either.

Her mother’s initials shine on the silver surface, reflected in the moonlight as Jillian takes a long drag. She snaps the lighter closed and half-smiles as she exhales, leaning forward and passing it to me. Like usual, I pass it on without smoking to the next person, who this night happens to be Carter. Then, Aaron stands next to Carter and Jillian, and he takes the joint from Carter. He smokes, and as he exhales, he sits on my lounge. He leans back into me, and his back presses against my chest. I stiffen and look quickly at Jillian. But her eyes are closed, and Carter has his hand far up her leg. I relax a little, and Aaron sinks into me.

“So what movie did you see?” I ask Aaron. He shrugs.

“Who knows.”

“You went with Carter?” I ask, and Aaron shakes his head, then nods over at the jacuzzi down one level of the patio. Two long-legged girls with hair shining in the moonlight sit with their feet in the water. One of them lays her head on the other’s shoulder. I don’t recognize the girls, but I can imagine their story.

“You met them at court?” Aaron’s dad is a lawyer and a juvenile court judge, and Aaron has fun at juvy court, shopping for girls who are in trouble for drinking, curfew. Stuff like that. Girl de jour. Aaron is beautiful and quiet and just the taste of the bad girls’ club.

“Yeah,” he drawls lazily. He’s high, who knows how high, but his hands are still, his fingers clasped on his strong chest, settling back into the chair, into me.

“Easy, Aaron,” I whisper forward, over his shoulder. “You know how she is.” And he turns and looks me in the eyes for the first time tonight.

“Yeah, I know.” And he’s suddenly strangely intense. “Don’t leave for a while, okay?” It is well after midnight, but it doesn’t matter tonight. I’m staying at Jillian’s. No one will notice when we get home.

“I came with Jill. It isn’t up to me,” I shrug, trying to stay casual to counter Aaron’s intensity. He laughs, low and ironic.

“She’s not going anywhere,” and we both see Jillian run her manicured fingers through Carter’s crazy hair. It is a non-committal gesture, like the casual shrug to her mother. Indifferent. Still, Aaron and I both know the games she plays. Even if Jillian were really into Carter, she’d never let anyone know about it, least of all, Carter. Jillian isn’t going to let anyone know how to hurt her. Plus, junkies aren’t boyfriend material for her. Too hard to control.

“Does that bother you, Carter and Jillian?” I ask Aaron, my eyes closing, leaning into the back of the chair.

“Not tonight,” he breathes, close to my face, and I feel his words pushing me backwards. I feel like I’m falling off the edge of the patio and into the shining city lights. I quickly open my eyes to catch myself. My heart is beating fast, and suddenly, Aaron is making me nervous. I look away from him and check out the other kids on the patio.

Besides Jillian and Carter, Aaron and I, and Aaron’s two girls by the Jacuzzi, three guys and a girl are sitting by a small glass-topped table on another small level of the patio. I know the girl from school; I don’t recognize the guys. Unfamiliar faces are unusual in small gatherings like this. The world is small, and paths cross in strange ways around users like Carter.

I turn to Carter to ask who they are, but he is taking Jillian’s hand. They stand, and he chuckles something in her ear. She takes her purse, and they go through the French doors into his bedroom.

I look back at the four by the table. Aaron is still leaning into me; his hand casually touches the inside of my arm. I shiver. One of the guys, the beautiful one with dark skin and curly hair is watching us from across the patio. I can’t see his eyes, but he faces us, not paying attention to his friends. He seems removed, different from the other three, although he is sitting close to them. His clothes are less casual, almost adult looking. I can’t stop looking at him. The way he sits, the way he smokes, everything about him is so confident.

“Aaron, who’s that guy sitting over there? Does he go to Brophy?” Aaron turns and looks over his shoulder.

“No, I met him earlier. He goes to Arizona State, but he’s from some other country. He has an accent.”

“Why is he here? Who does he know?” I ask Aaron.

“Um, probably Carter,” he replies, disinterested. He rolls his head around, taking in the whole scene, then, focuses on me. “Let’s take a walk,” he says, sitting up slowly. Music plays from a stereo somewhere, and I stand up with Aaron and glance at Carter’s French doors. No lights inside, except maybe the flicker of a candle, shadows.

“Where are we going?” I ask.

“Up.” He grabs the bag of pot and leads me up a winding metal staircase at the side of the patio to the roof.

The next morning, Jillian walks into her room through the patio doors around 7am. The sun is already up. Aaron dropped me off at her house before dawn. I pretend to sleep on the futon as I hear her strip off her clothes and fall into bed. My head is pounding, and I’m already trying to figure out what to say when she wakes. I’m exhausted, so I listen to the waterfall outside, clearing my mind enough to finally sleep.

2 1st 5 Pages August Workshop - Rev 3 - Zero

Author: Chihuahua Zero
Genre: Young Adult Urban Fantasy
Title: Manifestation Files

The day Mom was going to bring the exchange student home, I invited Scout over for the first time in months.
Scout and I were sitting next to each other on my back patio, sipping Fitz’s Root Beer. Her headband, which had a stuffed chick sewn on it, looked ridiculous. She was still the same.

“Once we meet what’s-his-name,” Scout asked, “can we go over to my house?”

I kept my eyes on my ring finger, which I tapped against the rim of the bottle. “First of all, his name is Finn. Second of all, you’re going when he arrives, since you were the only one who picked up the phone.”

“C’mon Bryan.” Scout leaned into the brick wall. “You haven’t been over to my place in the longest time.”

“I still don’t trust you.”

Scout snapped the scrunchie binding her blonde ponytail and smirked. “Say…what evil plan do you have cooking up so you can have total control over your subject?”

I rolled my eyes. “He’s not my ‘subject’. Quit being a pervert all the time and I might invite you over again.”

“All right.” She looked beyond the fence. Sirens blared in a distance; a typical sound around the hospitals. “So, are you nervous?”

“Of course.” I took a long sip, smearing the frost surrounding the glass. The coldness calmed my jitteriness. “I prefer not having Mom and I host for an exchange student, but I just throw this away. Mom expects me to look after him.”

“So why did you let your mom apply?”

“I asked myself that for a while.” I took another sip. “It was after ‘The Owl’ went viral. She was in an artist high and I couldn’t be selfish.”

“Are you jealous?”

“Well, Mom’s attention is going to be split between three different things. Also, I’m probably not going to like this Finn guy. He didn’t make any effort to answer the messages I sent through the student exchange program—although it’s likely Mom lost a couple letters in her studio.”

“Did you ask her about it?”

“Once. She ignored me.” I sighed. “Any advice?”

She tilted her head to the side and gazed off to the distance. But instead of her offering anything useful, she said, “I don’t understand you. A boy is finally living with you for an entire semester, and you don’t even—?”

I blushed. “Drop it.”

“You showed me Finn’s picture. He doesn’t look too—“

“Strike two."

“Hey, speaking of baseball, do you think he would make good catcher—?”

I stood and pulled her from her seat. “Get off my porch. Now.”

Scout kept her grip on her bottle. She sighed. “All right. You’re no longer fun anyways.” She slipped her arm from my grasp and opened the yard gate to the front.

I folded my arms. “You can’t tease me like that anymore, you know.”

“Well, if you want me driving you again…” She walked through the alley. A few seconds later, I could hear her new car driving away.

I entered the house, plenty of root beer left in the bottle.

Once I heard Mom’s car outside, I took my time to get on the front porch again.

Mom exited the car, drawing pad in hand. A couple of seconds later, the passenger door opened. Finn put one foot onto the sidewalk, while dragging a rolling suitcase. He fumbled with it before placing it onto the ground with a clatter.

I had seen a picture of him before. He was pale-skinned, with mouse brown hair side-swept with a comb. Beyond that, semi-formal clothes hang off his scrawny frame, and he wore a sheepish, awkward smile. Already, I could tell he wasn’t sure of himself.

Step by step, he walked up the stairs and passed the flower-sparse dirt garden, suitcase bouncing. He kept his head aimed at his feet. Mom remained at the car, grinning at me—

Finn tripped and landed on his knees, leaving his suitcase to descend the steps like a rubber band ball.

Before Mom could move, I ran down the steps to help Finn. By the time I reached him he was already lifting himself, grimacing. When he stood, he was rubbed the back of his head with his palm, laughing nervously. “Sorry about that. I can be clumsy at times.” He was soft-spoken, with a British accent.

What a way to make a first impression.

Mom picked up his suitcase, walked up, and handed it to him. “Finn, this is my son Bryan. You guys will be getting to know each other quite well over the next few months.”

He detracted the handle, and held the case to his chest. A bandage covered his right forearm. He gazed off in the distance, his chest moving in and out. “O-okay.” He then made eye contact with me. “Okay.”

God, it was painful looking at him. Although he didn’t fit my worse-case-scenario—a surly, attitude-poisoned jerk—already I could tell he wasn’t the chatty kind. On the other hand…something about his eyes looked off. I usually didn’t notice eyes, but maybe it was the shade of gray, or the size of his irises, or that subtle absentmindedness?

Nah. I was overthinking it.

“Let’s go in.” I said. I led all three of us into the house. Another bout of sirens carried in the summer wind. It better not be an omen.

I opened the door to the guest bedroom, the one Finn was going to occupy. “You can put you suitcase in here. You can unpack later, once I show you everything.”

Finn walked in and circled aimlessly around the room. There was only a bed, an end desk with an old clock radio, and a desk and chair set recently bought in a garage sale. Finn slid opened the closet door, and gently pushed his suitcase in. He then went to the window and peeked through the curtains. He didn’t bother looking at the door to the bathroom we were going to share.

I tapped my fingers against the wall. How long he was going to take?

“Um, Finn?”

He flinched and scuttled out of the room. “Yes?”

“You’re from Oxford, right?” I asked. “The information the student exchange program gave us wasn’t clear.”

“Father had some trouble making arrangements.” Finn’s shoulder brushed against door frame.

“So you weren’t able to send e-mails or anything?”

“I don’t have an e-mail.”

“Well, my school’s going to provide you one. Use it.” I walked to the first floor. Finn followed. He rapidly tapped his fingers together.

“What’s bothering you?” Finn was acting too spacey and timid, to the point of worrying me. He better be able to look after himself in the cases where I couldn’t.

“I haven’t really been to a real school before.” Finn said.

“You were homeschooled?”

“Father was a professor at Oxford. He tested out an experimental curriculum that a colleague developed.”

Now that was something we could talk about. “How did that go?”

Finn shrugged.

“Would you say it worked?"

He lowered his head.

I tried my hardest not to huff, instead showing him the living room and the doors to the backyard. “Be sure to not touch the coffee table.” One of Mom’s pet projects, a miniature carnival with a Ferris wheel and clay people, covered the entire surface. Magazines surrounded it on the floor—including a men’s one Dad left from his last visit.

I kicked it under the table and continued on to the kitchen.

5 1st 5 Pages August Workshop - Rev 3 - Pruitt-Goddard

Author: Candyce Pruitt-Goddard
Genre: YA Dystopian
Title: Desiderium

If I had a dollar for every time I found myself wishing for more time, I might only have to work two jobs. Maybe then I'd actually have time for a life. But I can't want more time. I can't want anything. Not if I don't want to end up in jail.

The light on my bracelet is already flashing yellow. My gaze fixates on the steel band clinging to my wrist and I have to remind myself to take a deep breath. I strategically place my jacket over the bracelet to conceal the yellow light.

“Hey, Rhiley.” Across the hall a girl from the high school smiles and waves.

I force a cheery reply and carefully study her face which reveals no cognizance of what just happened. I keep the smile plastered to my face until she’s out of sight and quicken my pace. When I'm within a few steps of the classroom I sneak a peek at my wrist and heave a sigh of relief when I find no sign of the desire I almost let myself feel.

I scurry through the door and slide into an empty seat in the back. Without looking at the clock, I pull out my textbook to cram in a few extra seconds of studying. Calculus is the one class I don’t usually need to spend a lot of time studying for, which is a lifesaver considering that I’m always up until three o’clock in the morning finishing all of my homework anyway. Before I have a chance to become fully engrossed in my notes, the professor interrupts my thoughts.

“Good morning, class. Please put everything under your desks except for a pencil. For those of you who have just been added to the class, you will not be required to take the quiz but you will be responsible for the material. For everyone else, you have exactly ten minutes.”

The students at the university are always adding and dropping courses in the first couple weeks of the quarter, but I always hold out hope that I’ll see somebody from the high school. There are at least a handful of us who take advantage of the Running Start program that lets high school students take college classes for free, and having someone I know in at least one of my classes makes coming here every day a little less monotonous.

I scour the room for a familiar face and am about to give up hope when a student a couple of seats to my right catches my attention. He brushes his curly amber hair out of his face to reveal startlingly deep blue eyes. He doesn’t look much older than me, but I haven’t seen him around the high school before. I definitely would have remembered him.

His eyes catch mine and all of my blood pools in my cheeks. He raises his eyebrows, adding a sense of mystery to his subtle smile, and time seems to slow down around us. I slowly come back to my senses and chase away the silly thought. My lip twitches into a smile and I convince myself to look away just in time for someone to jab me in the shoulder and shove the stack of quizzes in my face. I slide one off the top and notice the new student doing the same. My pencil glides across the paper until all of the questions are answered. With two minutes to spare, I flip my paper over and lay my pencil on the desk. Everybody else is still scribbling away at their quizzes. Except the new student who didn’t even have to take the quiz.

He glances at the clock and his face softens. I tuck my unruly curls behind my ear and smooth the wrinkles from my shirt. His eyes meet mine and I can’t help but wonder if he sees the same green-eyed blond with tiny ears that I see when I look in the mirror. A few seconds of letting my thoughts drift is all it takes to lose control. His gaze shifts to my wrist and a suppressed smile works its way onto his face.

My bracelet blinks an annoying shade of yellow.

As soon as I realize what I’m doing, I fight to regain control of my thoughts. I force my hands into my lap where they're safely out of sight. Desperate for a distraction, I count the holes in the ceiling tiles. I only have a few seconds to squash the desire before the excess dopamine in my bloodstream turns the bracelet red. Once it’s red, it’ll only be a matter of minutes before the officials show up to arrest me. I know they’re just trying to protect us from the Desiderium, but with everything I have going on in my life, that’s the last thing I need.

I can’t wait for the day when I’m old enough to not even be tempted by desire. I won’t have to worry so much about setting off the red light on my bracelet or letting the words want and desire slip out of my mouth. For now though, I just have to deal with it.

My head whips around as the door slams open behind me. Two police officers barge into the room trailing an official in a green uniform. The official passes the professor a respectful nod.

My heart races. My leg jiggles beneath the desk. With as much subtlety as I can manage, I glance down at my wrist. Relief floods through me when I’m unable to find the light. If it had turned red, it would still be red, even if the excess dopamine was no longer in my bloodstream.

“Samantha Jones,” the official’s voice booms.

Searching glances find a girl in the front row. She moves her hand to cover her wrist, but the red glow is unmistakable.

"Yes," she stutters.

The police officer slides out a pair of handcuffs.

“The levels of dopamine in your bloodstream have exceeded the legal limit established in the Desiderium Security Act of 2002. Please come with us.”

“No, you don’t understand,” her voice shakes.

The officer crosses the room in ground-eating strides. He grabs her by the collar of her jacket and yanks her to her feet. Her pleading is met with averted eyes. Panic transforms into desperation.

Before anyone can react, she smashes her elbow into the police officer’s nose. His head snaps back and blood droplets spatter the wall. With a shove, the stunned police officer crashes into the desk and falls to the ground. She bolts to the door. The second police officer lunges after her, but slips on a spilled backpack. The official watches, his face expressionless. As she attempts to push by him, he shoves a black object against her side.

Her body convulses and she tumbles to the ground. The official slides the object back into his pocket and motions for one of the police officers to cuff her. As the cuffs snap onto her wrist, the officer jerks her up off the ground and a tear streams down her cheek.

“Sorry for the interruption,” the official passes another nod to the professor and everyone watches them lead her out of the room.

The professor nods in return. “Back to work everyone.”

4 1st 5 Pages August Workshop - Rev 3

Author: Tim Emery
Genre: Young Adult (Sci-Fantasy Thriller)
Title: The Fire-Breather's Daughter

Adam’s room was messy. Not normal teenager messy. Yes, posters hung haphazardly on the walls and there were clothes on the floor, but there was some less conventional teenage untidiness. On the window sill, there was a shoe cleanly cut into two parts. The leather, laces and sole had each been cut without leaving any indication of the method of separation. It could have been taken for abstract art, except that Adam had completed the separation and he wasn’t an artist. The corner of the top of his desk was missing, exposing a smooth, bare edge. There was a large hole in his duvet. It showed no sign of being a tear or burn. It was a clean hole that continued through the sheets and part the way into the mattress below. The deep, shag pile carpet also had several holes of varying depths, including one that showed a neat shape precisely shaved out of the floorboard.

Adam would have liked to have included his best friend and neighbour, Guy, in his experiments. Guy was at least Adam’s equal technically, but Guy wouldn’t take part without knowing what Adam knew. If Guy knew what Adam knew he would freak out; their ‘business’ partnership would be finished. Guy was just too cautious to do what Adam intended and Adam couldn’t wait.

He opened up Word and added a few lines to the notes in the Word document he was leaving for Guy. He hoped Guy would understand.

Guy, I have spent the last couple of months exploring the Global Literary Agency’s system and developing a couple of apps.

I just happened on their site while I was browsing a couple of months ago and poked my way into their system out of interest. I know you would have no interest in a Lit Agency system but Guy it’s incredible. It’s immense. It’s light years ahead of what we have been working with – but (thankfully) it has all sorts of little holes that I have been squeezing through. (Old tech rules ok!)

I know you would want to explore the technology there but that would take forever. (And there are more exciting things to do.) You will understand my attraction to a story called ‘Hackers’. It’s our story Guy! It accurately describes what we have been doing for the past couple of years. Guess where I got the idea for hacking into that Share-Dealing database last month. But that kinda creeps me out. Did we only hack into the shares system because the book said we did, or did we make a choice? Is our fate written or can we change it?

Well, I’ve read the book. You probably ought to - but I should warn you that you will see that we are going to get into trouble with a guy called Jez who owns a casino. No, I haven’t heard of him either – so perhaps the book is wrong. Whatever, it has a happy ending and that’s good enough for me.

So, now you’re confused and think I’m nuts and don’t believe any of it. Don’t blame you. That’s why I performed the stunt in front of you. If you’re reading this it must have worked - to some extent.

I reckon we can take control of our own story. We can be authors of our own lives – if that makes sense. If I’m right we can also improve other stories; other people’s lives. If I’m right, we’re not restricted to a life in Tooting in 2012 – we can go places. And armed with foresight, we can do so many things.

I know you will be horrified by the maths in the apps but the dynamic nature makes the ‘estimating’ element necessary. I challenge you to find a better way.

So, take a look at the apps and read ‘Hackers’. (Note - we don’t hack into the Agency in the book. Does that mean no recursive loop?)

If everything works ok then ‘I’ll be back’ (I wrote that in an Arnie voice – did you get that?). Otherwise … well, otherwise I hope you understand my notes!

Adam shut down his laptop. He knew he hadn’t got time to explain to Guy, and he knew would never have time because he didn’t really understand it himself; not fully. After all it needed more than just a powerful computer with unlimited virtual space – it also needed programmes far beyond even his imagination; but that was for another day. Small steps first. A demonstration was the best way to get Guy’s support.

Slinging his full backpack over his shoulder, he paused as he caught sight of the shoe. That was a lesson well learnt. Then there was the corner of the desktop. Now, that lesson had not been well learnt. He wasn’t sure where the pen and the corner of desk had gone, and more importantly why he had failed to get them back. He had deliberately omitted mentioning the pen experiment in his notes.

Adam nipped over the low wall between his mom’s house and their neighbours, and bounced up to the front door. Before knocking, he pulled his phone out of his pocket and selected the ‘Tripudio’ app. He realised he had to slow himself down. He felt like a five year old on Christmas morning and knew it. It wasn’t cool.

Slipping the phone back into his pocket, he rapped the knocker of number 42, Hikers Avenue. In his mind it was the tune from ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’. To anyone else it was a few oddly spaced raps. Through the small frosted pane he could see Laura, Guy’s 14 year old sister. He smiled. He was pleased to catch Laura before he left, just in case things … well, just in case. Recently, Laura had been regularly dropping into Guy’ room when Adam was there, even though he mostly ignored her. He felt a little awkward at having read about her feelings for him. It wasn’t as if he had read her diary, it just felt like he had. “Hey Laura. Wow, you’re looking good. You’re really errrm …”, but what he could say to his best friend’s younger sister. He settled for a clumsy kiss on the cheek and shot up the stairs before she could react.

Bursting through his bedroom door always drew Guy’s attention away from his laptop.

"Guy, I know you'll think this is nuts. I've seen the future, or a future, or maybe, maybe just ONE of our futures. One as it has been written. I'm not really sure yet, but I think this is all virtual." Adam gestured to take in the room, finishing with a thump on the wall – though that only demonstrated its solidity.

"LIFE IS VIRTUAL. Nothing is really real, if you see what I mean." Adam continued breathlessly. "But everything is as real as we want it to be, and you and I, YOU AND I can be masters of reality, or at least of virtual reality. Appealing or what?"

Guy raised his eyebrows. "Adam, slow down and give me that again in simple English."

"Guy, I can’t fully explain ‘cos there’s still loads to work out. But I have been experimenting. I'm going to disappear for a while; to help someone called Vicky. You don't know her and, well, she doesn't know me yet, but I might need you here, to help me to help her."

Friday, August 24, 2012

13 YA Books in Stores Next Week Plus Weekly Giveaway


To enter the giveaway, please complete the form at the bottom of this post. For additional giveaway opportunities, see yesterday's post here. We'll announce all winners next Friday. Have a wonderful weekend!

Spirit's Princess

by Esther Friesner

Himiko the beloved daughter of a chieftain in third century Japan has always been special. The day she was born there was a devastating earthquake, and the tribe's shamaness had an amazing vision revealing the young girl's future—one day this privileged child will be the spiritual and tribal leader over all of the tribes.

Book One revolves around the events of Himiko's early teen years—her shaman lessons, friendships, contact with other tribes, and journey to save her family after a series of tragic events. Once again, Esther Friesner masterfully weaves together history, myth, and mysticism in a tale of a princess whose path is far from traditional.


Destiny and Deception (A 13 to Life Novel)

by Shannon Delany


The sensational fourth novel in the 13 to Life series sees Jessica and the Rusakuvas fighting to overcome one of their biggest challenges yet--the possibility of a cure for lycanthropy.

With the threat of the mafia seemingly gone and the company's headquarters in Junction destroyed, Pietr Rusakova is adjusting to being a normal teen and Jess is realizing normalcy may not be what she wanted after all. But both Jess and Cat know the truth--that normal can't be taken for granted. Their precious cure isn't permanent--and when a new danger stalks into their small town, Alexi decides he must overcome his issues with the mother who abandoned him to be raised by wolves and make a brand new deal to save his adopted family.

Daughter of the Centaurs

by Kate Klimo


Malora knows what she was born to be: a horse wrangler and a hunter, just like her father. But when her people are massacred by batlike monsters called Leatherwings, Malora will need her horse skills just to survive.

The last living human, Malora roams the wilderness at the head of a band of magnificent horses, relying only on her own wits, strength, and courage. When she is captured by a group of centaurs and taken to their city, Malora must decide whether the comforts of her new home and family are worth the parts of herself she must sacrifice to keep them.

The Blood Keeper (The Blood Journals)

By Tessa Gratton

Paranormal romance fans who are looking to up the ante will be drawn to this tale of horror, fantasy, and romance. For Mab Prowd, the practice of blood magic is as natural as breathing. It's all she's ever known. Growing up on an isolated farm in Kansas with other practitioners may have kept her from making friends her own age, but it has also given her a sense of purpose—she's connected to the land and protective of the magic. And she is able to practice it proudly and happily out in the open with only the crows as her companions. Mab will do anything to keep the ancient practice alive and guard its secrets. But one morning while she is working out a particularly tricky spell she encounters Will, a local boy who is trying to exorcise some mundane personal demons. He experiences Mab's magic in a way his mind cannot comprehend and is all too happy to end their chance meeting. But secrets that were kept from Mab by the earlier generations of blood magicians have come home to roost. And she and Will are drawn back together, time again by this dangerous force looking to break free from the earth and reclaim its own dark power.
Vanquished (Crusade) Nancy Holder and Debbie ViguiƩ

The Demon Catchers of Milan

by Kat Beyer

Mia's ordinary life is disrupted in the most horrifying way possible when she is possessed by a hungry and powerful demon--and only saved by the arrival of relatives from Italy, the country her grandfather fled many decades ago. Now her cousins Emilio and Giuliano say the only way to keep her safe is for her to come back with them to Milan, to live, to learn Italian, to fall in and out of love, and to master the family trade: fighting all demons with the lore of bell, book, and candle. Milan is not what Mia expected, but it will change her forever, in this stunningly well-written novel about an American girl who, fleeing an ancient evil, finds her only salvation in her ancestral home

A Certain October

by Angela Johnson

Three-time Coretta Scott King Award–winner Angela Johnson writes a wrenching, honest book about surviving the unimaginable and finding a way to go on.Scotty compares herself to tofu: no flavor unless you add something. And it’s true that Scotty’s friends, Misha and Falcone, and her brother, Keone, make life delicious. But when a terrible accident occurs, Scotty feels responsible for the loss of someone she hardly knew, and the world goes wrong. She cannot tell what is a dream and what is real. Her friends are having a hard time getting through to her and her family is preoccupied with their own trauma. But the prospect of a boy, a dance, and the possibility that everything can fall back into place soon help Scotty realize that she is capable of adding her own flavor to life.

With artfully spare prose, acclaimed and award-winning author Angela Johnson explores the ramifications of unexpected death in this compelling coming-of-age story.

The Dark Light

by Sara Walsh

Mia is torn between two guys—and two worlds—in this epic, romantic fantasy.Mysterious lights have flickered above Crownsville for as long as Mia can remember. And as far as she’s concerned, that’s about the only interesting thing to happen in her small town.

That is, until Sol arrives. Mia’s not one to fall for just any guy, but she can’t get Sol—or the brilliant tattoo on his back—out of her mind.

Then Mia’s brother goes missing, and Mia’s convinced that Sol knows more than he’s sharing. But getting closer to Sol means reevaluating everything Mia once believed to be true. Because Sol’s not who Mia thought he was—and neither is she.

If I Lie

by Corrine Jackson

A powerful debut novel about the gray space between truth and perception.

Quinn’s done the unthinkable: she kissed a guy who is not Carey, her boyfriend. And she got caught. Being branded a cheater would be bad enough, but Quinn is deemed a traitor, and shunned by all of her friends. Because Carey’s not just any guy—he’s serving in Afghanistan and revered by everyone in their small, military town.

Quinn could clear her name, but that would mean revealing secrets that she’s vowed to keep—secrets that aren’t hers to share. And when Carey goes MIA, Quinn must decide how far she’ll go to protect her boyfriend…and her promise.

The Stone Girl

by Alyssa B. Sheinmel

She feels like a creature out of a fairy tale; a girl who discovers that her bones are really made out of stone, that her skin is really as thin as glass, that her hair is brittle as straw, that her tears have dried up so that she cries only salt. Maybe that’s why it doesn’t hurt when she presses hard enough to begin bleeding: it doesn’t hurt, because she’s not real anymore.

Sethie Weiss is hungry, a mean, angry kind of hunger that feels like a piece of glass in her belly. She’s managed to get down to 111 pounds and knows that with a little more hard work—a few more meals skipped, a few more snacks vomited away—she can force the number on the scale even lower. She will work on her body the same way she worked to get her perfect grades, to finish her college applications early, to get her first kiss from Shaw, the boy she loves, the boy who isn’t quite her boyfriend.

Sethie will not allow herself one slip, not one bad day, not one break in concentration. Her body is there for her to work on when everything and everyone else—her best friend, her schoolwork, and Shaw—are gone.

The Dragons of Winter (Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica)

by James A. Owen

The Archipelago of Dreams is no more…but the battle to save it has just begun in the penultimate book in the acclaimed Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica series.The Caretakers are at war. The Archipelago of Dreams has fallen to the Echthroi, and the link to the Summer Country has been lost. The Keep of Time must be rebuilt, and the secret lies somewhere in Deep Time at the beginnings of the World, when the Summer Country and the Archipelago were one and the same. Fortunately, there is still hope: the Grail child, Rose Dyson, and the new Cartographer Edmund McGee have learned how to map time, and through a precarious balance of travel to the past and the future, they have a chance of repairing the present.

Rife with allusions to history’s great literary figures and personalities, from Gilgamesh and Medea to Edgar Allan Poe and H.G. Wells, this absorbing adventure, the sixth in the Imaginarium Geographica series, leads its heroes to a land where all secrets may be found: Known at the beginning of time as the City of Jade, history came to call it Atlantis. And it is there that the Architect of the Keep may have trained the young angel who built the city—an angel named Samaranth.

Embers and Echoes

by Karsten Knight

Fan the flames: A teen goddess fires up her search for love and family in this sequel to Wildefire.Ashline Wilde may have needed school to learn that she is actually a reincarnated goddess, but she’s ready to move beyond books. She leaves her California boarding school behind and makes for Miami, where she meets a new group of deities and desperately seeks her sister Rose, the goddess of war. But she’s also looking for love—because even though her romance with Cole had to be snuffed, Ash is a volcano goddess—and she doesn’t get burned.

This sequel to the edgy and action-packed Wildefire continues a fiery drama on an immortal scale.

UnWholly (Unwind)

by Neal Shusterman

It’s finally here. The long-awaited sequel to the bestselling Unwind, which Publishers Weekly called a “gripping, brilliantly imagined futuristic thriller.”
Thanks to Connor, Lev, and Risa—and their high-profile revolt at Happy Jack Harvest Camp—people can no longer turn a blind eye to unwinding. Ridding society of troublesome teens while simltaneously providing much-needed tissues for transplant might be convenient, but its morality has finally been brought into question. However, unwinding has become big business, and there are powerful political and corporate interests that want to see it not only continue, but also expand to the unwinding of prisoners and the impoverished.

Cam is a product of unwinding; made entirely out of the parts of other unwinds, he is a teen who does not technically exist. A futuristic Frankenstein, Cam struggles with a search for identity and meaning and wonders if a rewound being can have a soul. And when the actions of a sadistic bounty hunter cause Cam’s fate to become inextricably bound with the fates of Connor, Risa, and Lev, he’ll have to question humanity itself.

Rife with action and suspense, this riveting companion to the perennially popular Unwind challenges assumptions about where life begins and ends—and what it means to live.

Every Day

by David Levithan

Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.

Every morning, A wakes in a different person’s body, a different person’s life. There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.
It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.

With his new novel, David Levithan has pushed himself to new creative heights. He has written a captivating story that will fascinate readers as they begin to comprehend the complexities of life and love in A’s world, as A and Rhiannon seek to discover if you can truly love someone who is destined to change every day.

Under My Hat: Tales from the Cauldron

edited by Jonathan Strahan

Neil Gaiman, Holly Black, Diana Peterfreund, Margo Lanagan, Peter S. Beagle, and Garth Nix are just a few of the authors who have toiled over their cauldrons and conjured up bewitching new creations inspired by and celebrating the might and mystery of the witch. Assembled by one of the most well-regarded anthologists in the science fiction/fantasy world, this rich, intelligent collection will enchant readers of all ages.


by C. J. Redwine

Within the walls of Baalboden, beneath the shadow of the city’s brutal leader, Rachel Adams has a secret. While other girls sew dresses, host dinner parties, and obey their male Protectors, Rachel knows how to survive in the wilderness and deftly wield a sword. When her father, Jared, fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector, her father’s apprentice, Logan—the same boy Rachel declared her love for two years ago, and the same boy who handed her heart right back to her. Left with nothing but fierce belief in her father’s survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself. But treason against the Commander carries a heavy price, and what awaits her in the Wasteland could destroy her.

At nineteen, Logan McEntire is many things. Orphan. Outcast. Inventor. As apprentice to the city’s top courier, Logan is focused on learning his trade so he can escape the tyranny of Baalboden. But his plan never included being responsible for his mentor’s impulsive daughter. Logan is determined to protect her, but when his escape plan goes wrong and Rachel pays the price, he realizes he has more at stake than disappointing Jared.

As Rachel and Logan battle their way through the Wasteland, stalked by a monster that can’t be killed and an army of assassins out for blood, they discover romance, heartbreak, and a truth that will incite a war decades in the making.

Don't Turn Around

by Michelle Gagnon

Sixteen-year-old Noa has been a victim of the system ever since her parents died. Now living off the grid and trusting no one, she uses her computer-hacking skills to stay safely anonymous and alone. But when she wakes up on a table in an empty warehouse with an IV in her arm and no memory of how she got there, Noa starts to wish she had someone on her side.

Enter Peter Gregory. A rich kid and the leader of a hacker alliance, Peter needs people with Noa’s talents on his team. Especially after a shady corporation threatens his life. But what Noa and Peter don’t realize is that Noa holds the key to a terrible secret, and there are those who’d stop at nothing to silence her for good.

Filled with action, suspense, and romance, this first book in a new trilogy offers readers nonstop thrills.


by Lesley Livingston

Love is just the beginning... of the end."

Mason Starling is a champion fencer for Gosforth Academy, but she’s never had to fight for her life. Until now. When a ferocious storm rips through Manhattan and unleashes terrifying creatures onto Gosforth’s campus, Mason barely escapes alive. Without help from the mysterious stranger who appeared in the midst of the storm, she might not have made it at all. But now, in the aftermath, Mason’s life begins to spin dramatically, mystically out of control, and the only one who seems able to help her is the stranger who can remember nothing but his name: Fennrys Wolf.

As Mason and Fenn uncover more about Fenn’s past and the strange events that surround them, they realize that Mason’s family — and its dark allegiance to the ancient Norse gods — is at the center of everything. A predetermined fate seems to be closing in on Mason, but is it possible to change one’s destiny?

Readers who fell in love with Lesley Livingston’s Wondrous Strange trilogy and those who love Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series will be captivated by the sweeping romance and pulse-pounding action of Starling.

The Lost Girl

by Sangu Mandanna

Eva’s life is not her own. She is a creation, an abomination—an echo. Made by the Weavers as a copy of someone else, she is expected to replace a girl named Amarra, her “other”, if she ever died. Eva studies what Amarra does, what she eats, what it’s like to kiss her boyfriend, Ray. So when Amarra is killed in a car crash, Eva should be ready.

But fifteen years of studying never prepared her for this.

Now she must abandon everything she’s ever known—the guardians who raised her, the boy she’s forbidden to love—to move to India and convince the world that Amarra is still alive.

What Eva finds is a grief-stricken family; parents unsure how to handle this echo they thought they wanted; and Ray, who knew every detail, every contour of Amarra. And when Eva is unexpectedly dealt a fatal blow that will change her existence forever, she is forced to choose: Stay and live out her years as a copy or leave and risk it all for the freedom to be an original. To be Eva.

From debut novelist Sangu Mandanna comes the dazzling story of a girl who was always told what she had to be—until she found the strength to decide for herself.

Erasing Time

by C. J. Hill

In this high-action and romantic futuristic adventure, there is no escape from the future for two contemporary girls pulled out of their own time.

When twins Sheridan and Taylor wake up 400 years in the future, they find a changed world: domed cities, no animals, and a language that’s so different, it barely sounds like English. And the worst news: They can’t go back home.

The twenty-fifth-century government transported the girls to their city hoping to find a famous scientist to help perfect a devastating new weapon. The moblike Dakine fights against the government, and somehow Taylor and Sheridan find themselves in the middle. The only way to elude them all is to trust Echo, a guy with secrets of his own. The trio must put their faith in the unknown to make a harrowing escape into the wilds beyond the city.

Full of adrenaline-injected chases and heartbreaking confessions, Erasing Time explores the strength of the bonds between twins, the risks and rewards of trust, and the hard road to finding the courage to fight for what you believe in.

Dangerous Boy

by Mandy Hubbard

A modern-day retelling of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde with a chilling twist

Harper has never been worried about falling in love, something she is skeptical even exists. But everything changes when Logan moves to town, and to Harper's shock, the two tumble into an intense romance. It's everything she never thought she wanted.

Then she meets Logan's twin brother, Caleb, who was expelled from his last school. True, he's a bad boy, but Harper can't shake the feeling that there's something deeply sinister about him--something dangerous. When Logan starts pulling away, Harper is convinced that Caleb's shadowy past is the wedge being driven between them. But by the time she uncovers the truth, it may be too late.

The author of Prada & Prejudice, You Wish, and Ripple delivers a modern-day retelling of a famously gothic tale, full of suspense, lies, and romance.