Tuesday, April 30, 2013

7 Ask a Million Questions: Worldbuilding by Kristin Bailey

My favorite part of the craft of writing is building new worlds. I started out writing Science Fiction and Fantasy because there is nothing more challenging and fun that creating an entire world from scratch. I found the key to good world building is to ask a million questions. When starting from scratch, you have to question everything. What is the geography? What is the climate? Does the climate make sense for the geography? With the geography and climate, what resources are available to people who live there? How would animals adapt to this climate? Given the resources, what social structure would be most likely to develop in a society there? How does this influence the politics? How does this influence the history of the area? And on and on it goes.

I was scared at first of writing what is primarily a historical novel, because I was used to being able to mold and flex all the pieces of the puzzle in my made up worlds. Dealing with fixed historical constraints seemed daunting but as I got into the process, I found it worked the same way. I still had to ask a million questions, only now, I had to look up the answers to make all the pieces work. Some of the questions I had to address when creating my secret order of underground inventors were, why must they remain secret? What benefits come from being a part of this society? How do they distribute these benefits within the Order? How do people become a part of the Order? Where do they meet? Who leads them? Where do they get the strange parts for their machines? Why would the workers who make the parts of the machines keep secret as well? Where does the ore and raw materials for the parts of the machines come from? Would the foundry that makes these parts have access to shipping channels so they have access to these materials?

And again, the questions never stop. I remember having to actively look up what a poor girl in Victorian London might reasonably wear to bed. I also ended up discovering the volume of horse poo that was hauled out of London daily in the 1800s. It was staggering, for the record. I came across that little tidbit while trying to determine the stamina of a horse moving at a fast trot. I had to line these constraints up against historical maps, then look into the climate and geography of the new areas of England I wandered into. It takes a remarkable amount of work to do it well, and every novel, from magic-based fantasy to contemporary drama, needs this level of scrutiny in how the world of the book is created.

So, here are my overall tips.

1. Take nothing for granted. Every detail that you focus on as a point in the book deserves careful consideration to make sure it makes sense with the whole of what you are writing.

2. Research is your best friend. Start with researching the big picture, then narrow your focus down to the detail you are trying to address. Keeping an eye on the big picture of your research helps when you have to decide what details are significant, and what ones can be placed in the background.

3. Try to look ahead and determine what you are going to need from your world. This can be difficult for people who write without outlining and prefer to write in the moment, but it is hard to be in the moment if you have to stop and wonder if the pieces of your world fit together every three paragraphs. The pitfall of not looking ahead is either world building that doesn't make sense, but is convenient to the plot, or a frustrating manuscript that can't ever be wrestled into shape because the pieces don't fit.

So good luck building beautiful and fascinating societies and worlds, from the interior of high schools, to alternate history fantasy worlds set in the future.

Good world building is the foundation for all of them, so keep asking those questions.

About the Author

Kristin Bailey grew up in the middle of the San Joaquin Valley in California. As a kid she enjoyed visiting the beach, camping and skiing with her two brothers.

Now she is a military wife and mother of two young children. She is also terrible about spoiling her pets. She has one fluffy mutt, two cats who think they own the world, and a fish tank with some really plump little fish and a pair of snails who are secretly ninja assassins.

In the course of her adventures, she has worked as a zookeeper, balloon artist, and substitute teacher. Now she enjoys writing books for teens who enjoy mystery and adventure as much as she does.

Check out Kristin’s website
Follow Kristin on Twitter
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Read Kristin’s blog

About the Book  

My head swam. I couldn't move my feet. I tried to breathe. The stays of my corset gripped too tight. I just couldn't breathe.

Desperate, I ran down the lane, but the fog confused me. I found myself in a small and quiet square. There was no place to run. I turned to face my attacker.

A man in a dark coat stalked down the lane beneath the skeletal trees. His face remained hidden behind his high collar and the brim of his hat. The mist swirled around him as he slowly raised the gun.

I was going to die.

When a fire consumes Meg's home, killing her parents and destroying both her fortune and her future, all she has left is the tarnished pocket watch she rescued from the ashes. But this is no ordinary timepiece. The clock turns out to be a mechanical key—a key only Meg can use— that unlocks a series of deadly secrets and intricate clues that Meg has no choice but to follow. She has uncovered evidence of an elite secret society and a dangerous invention that some will stop at nothing to protect, and that Meg alone can destroy. Together with the handsome stable hand she barely knows but hopes she can trust, Meg will be swept into a hidden world of deception, betrayal, and revenge. The clockwork key has unlocked her destiny.

Buy Legacy of the Clockwork Key on Amazon
Buy Legacy of the Clockwork Key on Indiebound 
Find Legacy of the Clockwork Key on Goodreads

Monday, April 29, 2013

18 Memorable Openings by Cecilia Robert

Hi Everyone, I am over at the Enchanted Inkpot today with a post about free online tools and tips for plot development and getting over writer's block. Please stop by and say hello once you've finished the guest post below from Celia Robert.

Happy writing,


In most cases, our senses lead the way for us, letting us know if something is worth our attention or not. This goes for the first lines of stories as well. The key to having a great first line is to hook the reader and have him/her turn page after page. It acts as an appetizer. It can help set up the tone of the book and describe where the story is taking place. It is always a good idea to open that first line with the main character in order to familiarize the reader. The best advice I can give anyone is write a line that instantly grabs the reader, makes him/her curious, and leaves an impression. Something memorable. This doesn’t mean hitting the reader with an action scene at the beginning, and then two paragraphs later make them wonder what happened all of a sudden.

Some of my favourite first lines:

I greeted his tombstone the way I always did—with a swift kick. ~COLORS LIKE MEMORIES by Meradeth Houston

This line drew me in. I was curious to know why she kicked someone’s tombstone. The mood I found on this one was maybe the character was frustrated, but I wanted to know why.

It was the biggest night of my life, but all I could think about was my cheetah bra. ~BITTERSWEET by Sarah Ockler

I loved this one because of the contrast between it being the biggest night of the character’s life and her cheetah bra. I really wanted to know why she was looking for it. And besides, the comparison between life and bra made me smile.

It has been sixty-four years since the president and the Consortium identified love as a disease, and forty-three since the scientists perfected a cure. ~DELIRIUM by Lauren Oliver

This opening had me curious. I knew that this book was about love, but that it is declared a disease had my curiosity meter rolling. Why would love, one of the strongest emotions of all, be declared a disease?

What do you think about first lines of the novel? Do you have any memorable ones?

About the Author

Cecilia Robert lives in Vienna with her two children, has an incurable obsession with books, anything romantic, TV and medieval architecture. When not working in her full time job, catching up with her two children, writing or reading, she can be found, knitting or crocheting, taking photos of old buildings.

Cecilia's Blog
Follow Cecilia on Twitter

About the Book

17- year- old Ana Maria Tei’s life has always been perfect: loving parents, good grades, and a future so bright it outshone the sun. But now words like “separation” and “divorce” are sending her world plummeting to hell. Determined to keep her family intact, Ana plans a family-bonding trip from Vienna to Tuscany. Except fate has other plans. Ana’s parents and siblings are killed in a car accident on their way to pick Ana up from school.

Enter Grim, aka Ernest. He promises to relinquish the four souls if Ana agrees to trade her soul for theirs and serve a lifetime as his novice. In order for Ana to graduate from her Reaper’s Novice station to a Soul Collector graduate, Grim puts her to test. To her horror, she finds out becoming a Reaper’s Novice didn’t happen by chance. It was preordained, and she is forced to make a choice: save her family’s souls or come to terms with who she really is and complete the task set for her.

Buy Reaper's Novice on Amazon
Find Reaper's Novice on Goodreads

Sunday, April 28, 2013

22 Question of the Week - What are your essential writing tools?

Submissions for the next Pitch+250 Contest will be accepted starting today at 3:00pm Eastern time. The submission window will close on May 3rd at 11:00pm Eastern time, or when we receive 100 submissions, whichever comes first. The entries will consist of a pitch of no more than 100 words plus the first 250 words of your manuscript. Please note that the pitch word limit has been lowered. Think logline, not query. Click here for the contest info. Find out about our fabulous judges here!

April 28, 2013

Question of the Week
What are your essential writing tools?

We all have our favorite writing tool, whether it be a book on craft, or computer software, or index cards. An ergonomic chair, perhaps. An MP3 player loaded with motivational music. A specific mug filled with a specific tea. It’s something that, once discovered, we can’t imagine how we had ever written without it. What writing tools do you consider to be essential?

My answer: Because my family is crazybusy and sometimes I have to write wherever and whenever I can, I cannot be dependent on a specific place or certain conditions in order to write. However, one thing I can’t imagine writing without is Scrivener writing software by Literature and Latte. Coming in a close second is Freedom software, which turns off my laptop’s internet connection for a length of time so I won’t be distracted by email and Twitter. When I’m away from home, I make heavy use of my smartphone’s Evernote app. I use it to jot down ideas for both my current and future manuscripts, and sometimes I even write complete scenes on it. When I return home, all I have to do is sync my notes to my laptop. Easy peasy. My only low-tech essential tool would have to be my knit, rainbow-striped slipper socks. Because, as everyone knows, cold feet block the flow of creativity.

YOUR TURN: What are your essential writing tools?

Saturday, April 27, 2013

2 This Week for Writers 4/27/13 - Pubtips, Inspiration, Writing Craft, Industry News & More

Writing Craft

Recognizing Lazy Writing Habits
from Wordplay: Helping Writers Become Authors

Scrivener App on Sale for Half Price
from GalleyCat

Advice for Aspiring Children’s Book Authors
from GalleyCat

Writers Group Spotlight: Nth Creative Nonfiction Circle
from GalleyCat

The 7 Types of Possessive Case
from Daily Writing Tips

Stellar Writing Sells!
from Writers In The Storm Blog

The Perfect Openings
from YA Muses

Emotional Tension: Make It A Jagged Climb
from The Bookshelf Muse

Unified Theory Of Writing

What are the first steps in writing a book?
from Chip MacGregor .com

Why You Should Back Up Your Writing Right Now
from GalleyCat

Storyville: 20 Things I've Learned About Writing
from LitReactor

Questions to ask CPs, Betas, and (Friendly) Reviewers
from YA Stands

The Top 7 Reasons Why I Stop Reading a Novel
from Author, Jody Hedlund

TEST Your Writing Skills
from Artzicarol Ramblings

Writing lessons learned from BEAUTIFUL CREATURES
from Julie Musil

Give Your Character a Positive Goal
from Anna Staniszewski

How To Write A Critique: The Sandwich Method
from Karen Woodward

Fill the Container
from Write Line Blog

First Drafts in a Mobile Landscape: Five Word Processors...
from LitReactor

25 Things Writers Should Know About Traveling
from terribleminds: chuck wendig

Screenwriting Skills Translated to Book-writing
from Pub(lishing) Crawl

40 Words You Can Trace Back To William Shakespeare
from BuzzFeed - Latest

What I Might Say To You if We Were Sitting Together...
from Adventures in YA Publishing

10 Word Mix-Ups To Avoid, Presented By Bunnies
from BuzzFeed - Latest

Should I be this honest?: Reclaiming my first drafts
from YA Confidential

Don't Make It Harder Than It Is - Finding the simple...
from Babbles from Scott Eagan

Guest Author Stacy Green: Writing Close Point of View
from The Other Side of the Story

3 Things You Need for a Successful Book
from Rachelle Gardner

Time Management
from Writer Musings

Making Our Readers Care A Whole Awful Lot
from Operation Awesome

Spring Cleaning your Manuscript: Part 2

It's Okay To Slow Down
from YA Highway

How Robert J. Sawyer Writes A Novel
from Karen Woodward

Storyteller’s Rulebook #183: Every Event Must Be A...
from Cockeyed Caravan

5 Tips For Finding a Competent & Compatible Critique...
from Author, Jody Hedlund

Getting Published

May 2013 Mystery Agent Details
from Operation Awesome

What’s the role of an agent in today’s changing publishing...
from Chip MacGregor .com

10 Questions with Agent, Attorney and Author, Margaret...
from LitReactor

Art of the Query Letter Wokshop
from Frankie Diane Mallis

re: What’s the Right Tone for a Query Letter?
from DearEditor.com

Literary Agent Julie Just To Join Pippin Properties
from GalleyCat

Literary Agents: Probably Now More Than Ever
from The Passive Voice - Latest Updates

Why Do You Enter Writing Contests?
from Jami Gold, Paranormal Author

Thursday Elevenses at the Question Emporium: contests
from Janet Reid, Literary Agent

Agent Spotlight: Alyssa Reuben
from Literary Rambles

Saturday Evening Post Hosts Writing Contest to Honor...
from GalleyCat

You’ve got an offer of representation. Now what? —...
from Bent on Books

First-page critiques at TKZ
from The Kill Zone

The Silent Treatment
from Ingrid's Notes

What’s the Difference Between a Freelance Editor and...
from QueryTracker Blog

How to Correctly Format Your Book Interior Using Word:...
from BookBaby Blog

How Much Attention Should You Pay to Book Design?...
from Jane Friedman

Want Writing to be a Profession not a Hobby? The First...
from From the Write Angle

Prada Sponsors a Writing Contest
from GalleyCat

To Self-Publish or Not? A Word of Warning
from The Passive Voice - Latest Updates

Announcing the May Pitch+250 Contest
from Adventures in YA Publishing

Announcing the Judges for the May Pitch+250 Contest
from Adventures in YA Publishing

Why Unpublished Writers Should Attend Writer’s Conferences...
from Seeking the Write Life

Know Your Best Alternative
from QueryTracker Blog

Writing Life

Writers and Journals--and Online Journaling
from Mystery Writing is Murder

Rolling the dice and rejections
from Andrew Jack Writing

7 F***in' Great Ways to Build Your Writing Routine
from LitReactor

Most Popular Mind Mapping Tool: Xmind
from Lifehacker

Attorney Laura Kirwan on Contracts, Copyright, Foreign...
from Lindsay Buroker

10 Shortcuts To Defeating Writing Procrastination...
from kristin nador writes anywhere

Am I a Work-in-Progress?
from YA Author Elana Johnson

How do You Refill Your Well?
from Blood-Red Pencil

A Story About Finding Your Way
from YAtopia

Be a Better Writer: Get Organized
from Wordplay: Helping Writers Become Authors


Inspiration and Smiles

Defining Success
from Babbles from Scott Eagan

The Difference Between Writers and Wanna-Bes
from The Write Practice

Let’s Talk About Anxiety & The Creative Process
from Writer Unboxed

"We're going to need a bigger vacuum"
from Janet Reid, Literary Agent

How to write in your sleep
from Time to Write

Literary Birthday - 24 April - Sue Grafton
from Writers Write Creative Blog

Build a Better Professional Network and Transform...
from Copyblogger

What’s on My Inspiration Board #2
from Kami Garcia -- NYT Bestselling Author (The Beaut

It's a Books! Books! Books! Books! Books! World.
from Neil Gaiman's Journal

Boundaries and Burnout
from Writer Unboxed

A Concept of Goodness
from The Kindness Project

Writers: Do You Push Yourself?
from chasingthecrazies

For writers and others who make excuses (that's all...
from Time to Write

Use Your Dreams To Be Endlessly Creative
from Write to Done

Networking and Promotion

How Do You Keep Your Book Sales Momentum Going Over...
from Lindsay Buroker

Best of the Web Book Marketing Tips for the Week of...
from Author Marketing Experts, Inc. » BLOG

How to Build an Audience with Google+ Hangouts
from Copyblogger

9 Questions To Ask About Your Social Media Addiction
from 99U

Why Are You Blogging?
from Beth Revis

Five Ways to Ask Successfully
from From the Write Angle

Twitter Don'ts
from Blood-Red Pencil

5 Ways Authors Can Use Pinterest as a Marketing Tool
from Rachelle Gardner

Book Launch Tip: Name Refreshments After Characters...
from BookBaby Blog

How Secure Are Your Social Media Accounts?
from 10,000 Words

How To Create A Press Kit
from Karen Woodward

The Author Website – Keep it Simple and to the Point
from WOW! Women On Writing Blog

Do You Really Need an Author Website?
from Writers On The Move

The Myth About Introverts & Extroverts–Could You Be...
from Kristen Lamb's Blog

What Is the Best Way To Post a Twitter Correction?
from GalleyCat

Promotion Ickies
from Stina Lindenblatt

How (Not) to Write a Blog Post
from Writability

4 Most Popular Ways to Attract Readers to Your Blog
from Quips and Tips for Successful Writers

You Have To Leave The Comfort Of Your Computer
from Babbles from Scott Eagan

Readers Make A Millionty Calories
from The World According to Maggie

Pre-publication samples
from Joe Wikert's Publishing 2020 Blog

Book Reviews Matter: Thank You For Taking The Time
from The Bookshelf Muse

When writers don't play nice in real life, do readers...
from The Kill Zone

Making Social Media Work For Your Writing
from Babbles from Scott Eagan

What’s the Best Way to Backup Your WordPress Website?
from Copyblogger

Social Media: Where We Spend Our Time
from Heidi Cohen

News and Trends

How do e-book publishers stack up in sales? Big win for Hachette
from Digital Book World

Wikipedia's Sexism toward Female Novelists
from New York Times

Publishing Pulse for April 26, 2013
from QueryTracker Blog

2013 Pulitzer Winners Get Sales Spike
from PublishersWeekly.com News Articles

This Week in Books 4/26/13
from Nathan Bransford, Author

Link: How language change is turning "slash" into...
from TalkToYoUniverse

The Royal Family Goes To Hogwarts
from BuzzFeed - Latest

How To Throw A Gorgeous And Geeky "Game Of Thrones"...
from BuzzFeed - Latest

The Week in Writing: My Favorite Posts & Tips 4/26/13
from Kami Garcia -- NYT Bestselling Author (The Beaut

No, E-book Sales Are Not Declining
from Nathan Bransford, Author

Things We Love: Bess the Book Bus
from Write Line Blog

Amazon Kindle Owners’ Lending Library Counts 300,000+...
from GalleyCat

“30 Female Screenwriters to inspire you”
from Go Into The Story

Egypt’s Ibrahim Issa on Reading and Writing After...
from Publishing Perspectives

What In The Heck Is New Adult?
from christina lee

What’s the Difference Between a Freelance Editor and...
from QueryTracker Blog

Update on World Book Night
from Pub Rants

And the Winner of the Tension Contest is...
from The Other Side of the Story

Making It Work: NY Library Hosts Own ‘Project Runway’...
from School Library Journal

Why Not Give Away Ebooks on World Book Night Too?
from Publishing Perspectives

Book News: Austen’s Game Theory, Sedaris for Teens
from Page-Turner

Are children's books reinforcing materialism?
from Books news, reviews and author interviews | guar

In Memory: E.L. Konigsburg
from Cynsations

Egyptian Graphic Novelist Magdy El Shafee Arrested
from GalleyCat

What The Hell Is A “Hybrid” Author, Anyway?
from terribleminds: chuck wendig

Book News: George Saunders’s Computer, Note From M.L.K.
from Page-Turner

Who Inherits Your Copyrights?
from Writers In The Storm Blog

Story Elements

Storyteller’s Rulebook #184: Pair Your Flaws With...
from Cockeyed Caravan

Friday Round-Up: The Unintended Theme Edition
from Beyond The Margins

Explore Your Characters: Be Surprised
from Fiction Notes

Making Your Story Believable with a Real Setting
from Writers In The Storm Blog

A Simple Trick to Make Your Characters Pop
from Wordplay: Helping Writers Become Authors

10 Types of Transitions
from Daily Writing Tips

Flashback or memory?
from edittorrent

The Importance of Titles by Janet Gurtler
from Adventures in YA Publishing

TOTW: Choose Your Weapon!
from The Enchanted Inkpot

Story Structure

The Problem With "Revealing" Information That's Already...
from The Other Side of the Story

The Psychology of Story Physics
from Storyfix.com

Inciting Incident Questions
from Adventures In Writer Land

Theme And Truth In Story

First Pages
from YA Muses

Finding the Lamp-Post by David Whitley
from Adventures in YA Publishing

Where does your book begin?
from Amwriting Blog | Amwriting Blog

What Soap Operas Can Teach Us about Writing
from Jami Gold, Paranormal Author

How to Create the Final Story-Moment
from Stavros Halvatzis

What NOT to Do When Beginning Your Novel: Advice from...
from Writer Unboxed

YA Books and Giveaways

Most Frequently Challenged Books & Shakespeare Flowchart:...
from GalleyCat

Top Children’s Books by Self-Published Authors for...
from GalleyCat

Editors’ Choice
from NYT > Books

Brenda Novak Auction!
from Babbles from Scott Eagan

Beyond The Program: Suzanne Young’s Naughty List series
from Novel Novice

Cynsational News, Giveaways & Events
from Cynsations

EPIC 10K GIVEAWAY: Win an eReader (and more!) from...
from Latest blog entries

Bookanistas: Wrapping Up National Poetry Month
from Writer on the Side

Seeing, and seeing again
from CBC Diversity

Character Bucket List - Kiki Strike and Kirsten Miller
from Adventures in YA Publishing

Review: Hooked by Liz Fichera
from Candace's Book Blog

New Releases 4/26-5/3 Plus SEVEN Giveaways!
from Adventures in YA Publishing

from Literary Rambles

Reading and Reviewing
from Author Heather McCorkle

Blog Tour; Book Review / Giveaway: ICONS by Margaret...
from Mundie Moms

[GIVEAWAY!] The S-word by Chelsea Pitcher
from Reading Teen

Ten Questions About Arclight, By Josin McQuein
from terribleminds: chuck wendig

Character Bucket List: Nathaniel and Lorelei from...
from Adventures in YA Publishing

Blog Tour: TRUE by Erin McCarthy
from The Story Siren

from YA Author Elana Johnson

Waiting on Wednesday: THE PROGRAM by Suzanne Young
from Writer on the Side

Giveaway: THE 5TH WAVE by Rick Yancey
from WORD for Teens

[Guest Post & Giveaway] My Life as a Cartoonist by...
from Reading Teen

Check Out Today's Releases
from Mundie Moms

April Debut YA Novels
from Stacked

Waiting on Wednesday: Tandem by Anna Jarzab
from The Bookshelf Review

Tour: Guest Post & Giveaway - VAIN by Fisher Amelie
from Confessions of a Bookaholic

from Behler Blog

Showers of Books Giveaway Hop!
from Confessions of a YA Writer

from Literary Rambles

Waiting on Wednesday / A Giveaway: The 5th Wave by...
from Mundie Moms

Blog Tour: Unbreakable (Unraveling #2) by Elizabeth...
from Katie's Book Blog

Icons Giveaway (UK Only)
from Margaret Stohl

sarahreesbrennan: yabooknook: HAVE YOU SEE THE PRETTY...

Tour: Review & Giveaway - THE SPACE BETWEEN by Kristie...
from Confessions of a Bookaholic

E.L. Konigsburg Remembered, Celebrated for Inspiring...
from School Library Journal

On winning the LA Times Book Prize
from Here's Me Using the Word Blog in a Sentence

You Want This On Your Bookshelf: The Resurrectionist:...
from Reading Teen

Cover reveal and giveaway: ‘Sacrifice: a Fall For...
from Cassandra Page

2013 Favorite Reads - 1st Quarter
from Adventures In Writer Land

Other Weekly Roundups

Friday Roundup 4.26.13
from Write Line Blog

The Week in Writing: My Favorite Posts & Tips 4/26/13
from Kami Garcia -- NYT Bestselling Author (The Beaut

Field Trip Friday: April 26, 2013
from YA Highway

Cynsational News, Giveaways & Events
from Cynsations

from Mystery Writing is Murder

Friday, April 26, 2013

20 New Releases 4/26-5/3 Plus SEVEN Giveaways!

Submissions for the next Pitch+250 Contest will be accepted starting on Sunday, April 28th at 3:00pm Eastern time. The submission window will close on May 3rd at 11:00pm Eastern time, or when we receive 100 submissions, whichever comes first. The entries will consist of a pitch of no more than 100 words plus the first 250 words of your manuscript. Please note that the pitch word limit has been lowered. Think logline, not query. Click here for the contest info. Find out about our fabulous judges here!


* * * *

The Last Academy
by Anne Applegate
Advance Reader Copy Giveaway
Released 5/1/2013

Curtis Sittenfeld's PREP meets THE SIXTH SENSE in this spine-tingling, unforgettable debut.

Camden Fisher arrives at boarding school haunted by a falling-out with her best friend back home. But the manicured grounds of Lethe Academy are like nothing Cam has ever known. There are gorgeous, preppy boys wielding tennis rackets, and circles of girls with secrets to spare. Only . . . something is not quite right. One of Cam's new friends mysteriously disappears, but the teachers don't seem too concerned. Cam wakes up to strangers in her room, who then melt into the night. She is suddenly plagued by odd memories, and senses there might be something dark and terrible brewing. But what? The answer will leave Cam--and readers--stunned and breathless, in this thrilling debut novel.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about The Last Academy?

My favorite thing about The Last Academy is how the relationship with Camden and Mark ends up. I don't want to spoil anything, so I'll just say I like what they learn from each other, and how those lessons play out for them. I also loved the setting of the school itself. When I was fourteen, I left home for boarding school. It was interesting to go back to those memories as an adult. Especially when there were weird overlaps between my reality and theirs -- Camden and Mark meet up by a fateful old phone booth very much like one I used to frequent when I wanted to place a call and needed a little privacy.

Purchase The Last Academy at Amazon
Purchase The Last Academy at IndieBound
View The Last Academy on Goodreads

* * * *

How I Lost You
by Janet Gurtler
Paperback Giveaway
Sourcebooks Fire
Released 5/1/2013

There are a few things Grace Anderson knows for sure. One is that nothing will ever come between her and her best friend, Kya Kessler. They have a pact. Buds Before Studs. Sisters Before Misters. But in the summer before senior year, life throws out challenges they never expected. And suddenly the person who's always been there starts to need the favor returned. Grace and Kya are forced to question how much a best friend can forgive. And the answer is not what they expected.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about How I Lost You?

I love that the main character, Grace, is a really strong female lead. She's nurturing and very  protective of her best friend which gives her blinders
sometimes, but at her core, she's pretty kick butt. Like most of us, she just needs to figure that out for herself. There are twists and there are
boys, but to me, in the end it's a girl power story. From within.

Purchase How I Lost You at Amazon
Purchase How I Lost You at IndieBound
View How I Lost You on Goodreads

* * * *

The Boyfriend App
by Katie Sise
Hardcover Giveaway
Balzer + Bray
Released 4/30/2013

In The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise, super-smart, somewhat geeky Audrey McCarthy can't wait to get out of high school. Her father's death and the transformation of her one-time BFF, Blake Dawkins, into her worst nightmare have her longing for the new start college will bring.

But college takes money. So Audrey decides she has to win the competition for the best app designed by a high schooler - and the $200,000 that comes with it. She develops something she calls the Boyfriend App, and suddenly she's the talk of the school and getting kissed by the hottest boys around. But can the Boyfriend App bring Audrey true love?

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about The Boyfriend App?

I'm going to answer this one twice! :) My favorite thing about The Boyfriend App as a book is that it features a whip-smart, loyal, and kind protagonist with a tight-knit group of similarly loyal and kind friends.

My favorite thing about The Boyfriend App as a whole is that my dad loves it. He hadn't read any fiction that I wrote before this (not since I was a little kid, at least!) and he didn't know what to expect. I waited until I had a galley to show him. Getting the phone call from him after he read the book for the first time is my absolute favorite part of the process! I even wrote down what he said and taped it next to my computer to look at any time I get stuck writing the follow-up book to The Boyfriend App. At the end of the day, not everyone is going to like what you write. But if the people you love do, and if you loved the moments you spent writing it, then that's pretty awesome.

Purchase The Boyfriend App at Amazon
Purchase The Boyfriend App at IndieBound
View The Boyfriend App on Goodreads

* * * *

by Katie Williams
Hardcover Plus Swag Giveaway
Chronicle Books
Released 4/30/2013

Forever is a long time to be stuck in high school.

Seventeen-year-old Paige is dead, the victim of a freak fall from the roof during Physics class. Now she's a ghost, permanently bound to the grounds of her high school. It isn't all bad, she can find out everyone's secrets, which can be amusing - for a while. But then Paige hears something that isn't amusing at all: the
rumor spread by the most popular girl at school that her death wasn't an accident - that she supposedly jumped on purpose. Paige is desperate to stop the gossip, but what can a ghost do?
Then Paige discovers something amazing. She can possess living people when they think of her, and she can make them do almost anything. Maybe, just maybe, she can get inside the girl who's responsible for the stories. . . and have a little fun turning the tables while she's at it.

Katie Williams's second novel is a suspenseful page-turner full of eerie wit and a touch of the otherworldly

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Absent?

This is going to sound small and silly, but I love the ghost frogs in my book. The high school in ABSENT has trapped the ghosts of things that have died within its boundaries, including the frogs chloroformed for dissection in biology class. So every once in a while, Paige and her friends will come across hopping, croaking ghost frogs. ABSENT isn't a comedy; in fact, it deals with serious subject matter, which is maybe why I like the touch of grim humor the ghost frogs bring. At one point during the revision process, I thought we were going to have to cut them because my editor pointed out that frogs wouldn't have the presence of mind to walk on constructed ground--this is something the ghosts in my book have to practice--but then we figured they'd just sink through to the dirt-floor basement, a fitting place for ghost frogs to be!

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Identity Theft
by Anna Davies
Advance Reader Copy Giveaway
Released 5/1/2013

The third title in our exciting relaunch of Point Horror!

Hayley is going to have the best year ever. After years of careful planning, she's ready to serve as student council president AND editor-in-chief of the newspaper. Ivy League, here she comes!

However, just before student council elections, someone creates a fake facebook profile for Hayley and starts posting inappropriate photos and incriminating updates. It must be the work of a highly skilled Photoshopper, but the attention to detail is scary. The embarrassing photos of "Hayley" in her bathing suit reveal a birthmark on her back--a birth mark Hayley has never shown in public. . . .

The situation escalates until Hayley's mother reveals some shocking information. Hayley isn't an only child: She has a twin sister who was adopted by a different family. And that's not all. Soon, Hayley discovers that her long-lost sister isn't just playing a prank--she's plotting to take over Hayley's life . . . by any means necessary.

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I'm With Stupid
by Geoff Herbach
Paperback Giveaway
Sourcebooks Fire
Released 5/1/2013

Felton Reinstein has never been good with stress. Which is why he's seriously freaking out. 
Revealing his college choice on national TV? It's a heart attack waiting to happen. Deciding on a major for the next four years of his life? Ridiculous. 

Felton  barely even knows who he is outside of football. And so...he embarks on The Epic Quest to Be Meaningful.

Which leads to:

1. Mentoring a freshman called Pig Boy.

2. The state of Wisconsin hating him.

3. His track coach suspending him.

4. The funniest viral video the world has ever seen.

5. A whole new appreciation for his family, his friends, and what's really important in life.

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by Ruth Baron
Advance Reader Copy Giveaway
Scholastic Inc.
Released 5/1/2013

A friend request from beyond the grave . . .

Jason has met the perfect girl. OK, so maybe he hasn't actually MET Lacey yet, but they talk online all the time. Yet despite spending most nights chatting, Lacey refuses to meet up in person. Suspicious, Jason starts googling, and his cyberstalking leads to a shocking discovery: According to multiple newspapers, Lacey died a year earlier.

Soon, Jason finds himself enmeshed in a disturbing mystery. Has he found a way to iChat with the dead? Or is someone playing a dangerous trick? Either way, Jason has to discover the truth before it's too late. You can't put up away messages from beyond the grave. . . .

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Quintana of Charyn
by Melina Marchetta
Hardcover Giveaway (3 Copies)
Released 4/23/2013

Winners: Heidi Grange, The Magic Violinist, BN100

The climactic conclusion of Printz Award winner Melina Marchetta's epic fantasy trilogy!

Separated from the girl he loves and has sworn to protect, Froi and his companions travel through Charyn searching for Quintana and building an army that will secure her unborn child's right to rule. While in the valley between two kingdoms, Quintana of Charyn and Isaboe of Lumatere come face-to-face in a showdown that will result in heartbreak for one and power for the other. The complex tangle of bloodlines, politics, and love introduced in Finnikin of the Rock and Froi of the Exiles coalesce into an engrossing climax in this final volume.

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Pretty Dark Nothing
by Heather L Reid
Signed Paperback Giveaway
Month9Books, LLC
Released 4/23/2013

Winner: Zeena

It's been twenty three days since Quinn has slept for more than minutes at a time. Demons have invaded her dreams, stalking her, and whispering of her death. The lack of sleep and crippling fear are ruining her life. Energy drinks and caffeine pills don't make a dent. When Quinn dozes off in the school hallway, Aaron, an amnesiac with a psychic ability, accidentally enters her nightmare. The demons are determined to keep them apart, and Aaron from discovering the secret locked away in his memory. Together, they could banish the darkness back to the underworld for good. That is, unless the demons kill them first.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Pretty Dark Nothing?

Pretty Dark Nothing is full of demons, and I don't mean the hot fallen angel, bad boy types. These demons are the evil, hairy, sulphurous kind, bent on manipulating and destroying Quinn's life. They feed on her insecurity and magnify her fragile emotional state. She's not sure if she's going crazy or if they're real, all she knows is that she wants her old life back, to go back to being popular and in control, but the demons have other plans for her. What I loved most about Pretty Dark Nothing was writing the juxtaposition of Quinn fighting a private, frightening war with her demons while trying to navigate the reality of her contemporary high school life and keep it all together. She's gone from being popular and in control of her life to being plagued by nightmares of demons and she doesn't know why. She doesn't trust herself and fears she might be going crazy which makes her feel isolated and alone. She wants to reach out, but doesn't quite know how. While she struggles with an emotional internal battle, she still has to deal with family, friends, rivals, grades and a cheating ex-boyfriend. Throw in some romantic sparks with a mysterious psychic amnesic named Aaron, all while the demons are pushing her to the brink of madness, and I hope it's a recipe for something darkly paranormal and not quite typical. I won't give anything away, but I love the ending and can't wait to see her rising from the ashes in book 2.

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The Rules
by Stacey Kade
Hardcover Giveaway
Hyperion Book CH
Released 4/23/2013

Winner: Candice Conner

1. Never trust anyone.

2. Remember they are always searching.

3. Don't get involved.

4. Keep your head down.

5. Don't fall in love.

Five simple rules. Ariane Tucker has followed them since the night she escaped from the genetics lab where she was created, the result of combining human and extraterrestrial DNA. Ariane's survival-and that of her adoptive father-depends on her ability to blend in among the full-blooded humans in a small Wisconsin town, to hide in plain sight at her high school from those who seek to recover their lost (and expensive) "project."

But when a cruel prank at school goes awry, it puts her in the path of Zane Bradshaw, the police chief's son and someone who sees too much. Someone who really sees her. After years of trying to be invisible, Ariane finds the attention frightening-and utterly intoxicating. Suddenly, nothing is simple anymore, especially not the rules.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about The Rules?

I loved seeing the relationship develop between Ariane and Zane. I had fun with that, as neither one of them were expecting it and it certainly made things more difficult for both of them at times. I feel like people come into our lives at just the right time to shape our journey or nudge us along a slightly different path, and that's what I hope comes across through their relationship.

Also, though I know people will hate her, I had so much fun with Rachel. It is really very freeing to have the chance to unleash your worst impulses, to do things you would never do, through a fictional character. Sometimes, it feels good to be bad. ;)

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Anthem for Jackson Dawes
by Celia Bryce
Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Released 4/30/2013

When Megan arrives on the cancer ward for her first treatment, she's frustrated to be on the pediatric unit. There's only one other teen there: Jackson Dawes. He's cute, rebellious . . . and obnoxiously charming. Megan can't stand the way he meets his illness with such positive energy. But when her own friends are scared off by her illness, Megan finds she doesn't really mind Jackson's playful antics. As they begin the tentative stirrings of first love, they also start the most aggressive round of treatments on their tumors. Can the power of first love overcome the heartbreak of cancer?

Fans of Lurlene McDaniel will flock to this emotional debut.

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Our Song
by Jordanna Fraiburg
Released 5/2/2013

Olive Bell has spent her entire life in the beautiful suburb of Vista Valley, with a picture-perfect home, a loving family, and a seemingly perfect boyfriend. But after a near-fatal car accident, she's haunted by a broken heart and a melody that she cannot place.

Then Olive meets Nick. He's dark, handsome, mysterious . . . and Olive feels connected to him in a way she can't explain. Is there such a thing as fate? The two embark on a whirlwind romance - until Nick makes a troubling confession.

Heartbroken, Olive pieces together what really happened the night of her accident and arrives at a startling revelation. Only by facing the truth can she uncover the mystery behind the song and the power of what it means to love someone.

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If He Had Been With Me
by Laura Nowlin
Sourcebooks Fire
Released 5/1/2013

If he had been with me, he wouldn't have died.

Throughout their whole childhood, Finn and Autumn were inseparable - they finished each other's sentences, they knew just what to say when the other person was hurting. But one incident in middle school puts them in separate social worlds come high school, and Autumn has been happily dating James for the last 2 years. But she's always wondered what if...

The night she's about to get the answer is also one of terrible tragedy.

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by Paul Rudnick
Scholastic Press
Released 5/1/2013

Inner beauty wants out.

When eighteen-year-old Becky Randle's mother dies, she's summoned from her Missouri trailer park to meet Tom Kelly, the world's top designer. He makes her an impossible offer: He'll create three dresses to transform Becky from a nothing special girl into the most beautiful woman who ever lived.

Becky thinks Tom is a lunatic, or that he's producing a hidden camera show called World's Most Gullible Poor People. But she accepts, and she's remade as Rebecca. When Becky looks in the mirror, she sees herself - an awkward mess of split ends and cankles. But when anyone else looks at Becky, they see pure five-alarm hotness.

Soon Rebecca is on the cover of Vogue, the new Hollywood darling, and dating celebrities. Then Becky meets Prince Gregory, heir to the British throne, and everything starts to crumble. Because Rebecca aside, Becky loves him. But to love her back, Gregory would have to look past the blinding Rebecca to see the real girl inside. And Becky knows there's not enough magic in the world.

A screamingly defiant, hugely naughty, and impossibly fun free fall past the cat walks, the red carpets, and even the halls of Buckingham Palace, Gorgeous does the impossible: It makes you see yourself clearly for the first time.

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The Loop
by Shandy Lawson
Hyperion Book CH
Released 4/30/2013

Ben and Maggie have met, fallen in love, and died together countless times. Over the course of two pivotal days - both the best and worst of their lives - they struggle again and again to resist the pull of fate and the force of time itself. With each failure, they return to the beginning of their end, a wild road trip that brings them to the scene of their own murders and into the hands of the man destined to kill them.

As time circles back on itself, events become more deeply ingrained, more inescapable for the two kids trapped inside the loop. The closer they come to breaking out, the tighter fate's clutches seem to grip them. They devise a desperate plan to break free and survive the days ahead, but what if Ben and Maggie's only shot at not dying is surviving apart?

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* * * *

The Program
by Suzanne Young
Simon Pulse
Released 4/30/2013

In Sloane’s world, true feelings are forbidden, teen suicide is an epidemic, and the only solution is The Program.
Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment. Sloane’s parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they’ll do anything to keep her alive. She also knows that everyone who’s been through The Program returns as a blank slate. Because their depression is gone—but so are their memories.

Under constant surveillance at home and at school, Sloane puts on a brave face and keeps her feelings buried as deep as she can. The only person Sloane can be herself with is James. He’s promised to keep them both safe and out of treatment, and Sloane knows their love is strong enough to withstand anything. But despite the promises they made to each other, it’s getting harder to hide the truth. They are both growing weaker. Depression is setting in. And The Program is coming for them.

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1 Character Bucket List - Kiki Strike and Kirsten Miller

Kiki Strike’s first brush with mortality occurred shortly after her birth, when her entire family was poisoned by a wig-wearing, power-hungry aunt. Since then, the girl mastermind/kung-fu movie star/renegade princess has cheated death on countless occasions. So as you might imagine, Kiki Strike has given great thought to the list of things she would like to accomplish in what she fears may be a very short life.

She began keeping a bucket list at the age of ten. The version you see below is already out of date. Those of you who keep up with current events will know that many items have already been crossed off this list.

1. Eat a hamburger. (And survive.)
2. Master “The Art of the Eight Limbs.”
3. Attempt a tan.
4. Avenge parents’ deaths.
5. Renounce the throne of Pokrovia.
6. Take a cruise on a Gowanus Canal houseboat.
7. Tell Oona Wong the truth about her sister. (Break it gently!)
8. Pay a little visit to Ananka’s publisher.
9. Find the locomotive buried beneath Brooklyn.
10. Free the chinchillas.
11. Renovate Bannerman’s Castle.
12. Write the ultimate guide to chemical-free rodent removal.
13. Complete the map of the Shadow City.
14. Recruit the next generation of Irregulars.
15. Add a few entries to the Irregular Guide to New York City and blow Ananka Fishbein’s mind.

About the Author

Kirsten Miller is the author of the acclaimed Kiki Strike trilogy as well as the New York Times bestselling The Eternal Ones. Her latest novel is How to Lead a Life of Crime. She lives in Brooklyn, where it's always wise to think like a criminal.

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About the Series

Five delinquent Girl Scouts, a million hungry rats, one secret city beneath Manhattan, and a butt-kicking girl superspy- Welcome to the world of Kiki Strike.

The Kiki Strike series is a series of novels revolving about the adventures of six girls in Manhattan. Told from Ananka's point of view, these books describe the adventures of the Irregulars, a group of girls who join together to explore the underground city under Manhattan called "The Shadow City."

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