Friday, April 12, 2013

8 New Releases 4/12-4/19, a Pitch+250 Announcement, and Four 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. Stay tuned! We'll be announcing the judges in the next few days!


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The Kissing Booth
by Beth Reekles
Paperback Giveaway
Ebook released 4/9/2013
Paperback released 5/14/2013

A cool, sexy romance novel,written by seventeen-year-old British sensation Beth Reekles.

Meet Rochelle "Elle" Evans: pretty, popular, and never been kissed. Meet Noah Flynn: badass, volatile, and a total player.

When Elle decides to run a kissing booth at her school's Spring Carnival, she locks lips with Noah and her life is turned upside down. Her head says to keep away, but her heart wants to draw closer. This romance seems far from a fairy tale.

Is Elle headed for heartbreak or will she get her happily ever after?

Purchase The Kissing Booth at Amazon
Purchase The Kissing Booth at IndieBound
View The Kissing Booth on Goodreads

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The Grass Is Always Greener
by Jen Calonita
Signed Hardcover Giveaway
Released 4/16/2013

How many secrets can one family keep?

Amid preparations for Emerald Cove's extravagant Founders Day celebration and their own shared sweet sixteen, Isabelle Scott and Mirabelle Monroe are longing to break free from the tight constraints that come with being the daughters of a prominent public figure. When Izzie's estranged aunt, Zoe, breezes into town, the already uneasy family dynamic is turned on its head.

Izzie's finally found her footing in Emerald Cove by leading the Social Butterflies, her school's prestigious club, and she has no interest in getting to know yet another long-lost family member. But Mira, who's on a mission to try new things and make new friends, is drawn to Izzie's artsy aunt. And when Mira meets a handsome, brooding painter, her entire perspective on life begins to shift.

As tensions mount in Emerald Cove, Zoe's laid-back attitude appeals to both girls. But when she offers Izzie the chance of a lifetime, it's time to make a tough decision. What's more important: family or freedom?

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about The Grass Is Always Greener?

For me, BELLES has always been a series about family and what makes one--is it the one you're born into or is the one you make along the way? Izzie's never had a family...till now and when a new and unexpected person shows up on her doorstep at the end of WINTER WHITE, Izzie has no idea what an impact this person will have on her new life with the Monroes. I love seeing how Izzie and Mira have grown and changed over the three books--learning to rely on each other, making new friends, but keeping the old (to steal from an old Girl Scouts song!), and figuring out who you want to let into your heart. I also love spending time in their world and exploring cotillion and sixteenth birthdays! The girls will be having a party of their own and as you can imagine, it will be quite interesting when it comes to planning with Mira a major party girl and Izzie hating the whole tradition. I invite you to share your own sweet sixteen birthday or year experiences with me on Twitter with the hashtag #thegrassisalwaysgreener. I'll be retweeting every single one I find and I'll also be sharing my own sweet sixteen photo. Boy is it a doozy!

Purchase The Grass Is Always Greener at Amazon
Purchase The Grass Is Always Greener at IndieBound
View The Grass Is Always Greener on Goodreads

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Dead Silence: A Body Finder Novel
by Kimberly Derting
Signed Hardcover Giveaway
Released 4/16/2013

Violet thought she'd made peace with her unique ability to sense the echoes of the dead and the imprints that cling to their killers, that is until she acquired an imprint of her own. Forced to carry a reminder of the horrible events of her kidnapping, Violet is more determined than ever to lead a normal life. However, the people who run the special investigative team Violet works for have no intention of letting her go.

When someone close to Violet becomes a suspect in a horrific murder, she finds herself pulled into a deadly hunt for a madman with an army of devoted followers. Violet has survived dangerous situations before, but she quickly discovers that protecting those closest to her is far more difficult than protecting herself.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Dead Silence: A Body Finder Novel?

When I was trying to come up with titles for the fourth Body Finder novel, I was brainstorming with my family when one of my nephews suggested "Death in Bloom." Even though the title didn't make the final cut, I liked it so much I decided to use the line in the book, and as it turns out, it's one of my favorite lines because it worked so perfectly for the scene!

As weird at this may sound, one of my favorite things about DEAD SILENCE is that it's darker than the other books in the series, and also gorier. I know, right??? I also feel like this book was a good way to end to the series, without necessarily tying everything up with a perfect little bow. It definitely leaves some wiggle room for readers to ponder what might happen to these characters in the future.

Purchase Dead Silence: A Body Finder Novel at Amazon
Purchase Dead Silence: A Body Finder Novel at IndieBound
View Dead Silence: A Body Finder Novel on Goodreads

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The Symptoms of My Insanity
by Mindy Raf
Advance Reader Copy Giveaway
Released 4/18/2013

A laugh-out-loud, bittersweet debut full of wit, wisdom, heart, and a hilarious, unforgettable heroine.

When you're a hypochondriac, there are a million different things that could be wrong with you, but for Izzy, focusing on what could be wrong might be keeping her from dealing with what's really wrong.

I almost raised my hand, but what would I say? "Mr. Bayer, may I please be excused? I'm not totally positive, but I think I might have cancer." No way. Then everyone at school would know, and they would treat me differently, and I would be known as "Izzy, that poor girl who diagnosed herself with breast cancer during biology."

But Izzy's sense of humor can only get her so far when suddenly her best friend appears to have undergone a personality transplant, her mother's health takes a turn for the worse, and her beautiful maybe-boyfriend is going all hot and cold. Izzy thinks she's preparing for the worst-case scenario, but when the worst-case scenario actually hits, it's a different story altogether--and there's no tidy list of symptoms to help her through the insanity.

Purchase The Symptoms of My Insanity at Amazon
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View The Symptoms of My Insanity on Goodreads


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Revenge of a Not-So-Pretty Girl
by Carolita Blythe
Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Released 4/9/2013

Winner: Victoria Z.

Faye doesn't mean to hit the old lady she and her friends are mugging. But she does. The old lady isn't moving, but Faye has no reason to feel guilty for leaving her there. The old lady might be ancient and wrinkly now. But back in the day, she was as beautiful as they come, a famous movie star. And everyone knows that pretty and mean always go together. But Faye does feel guilty. So she comes back. Slowly, Faye and the old lady form an unlikely friendship, one that pulls Faye out of her life with her abusive mother and destructive "friends" and allows the old lady relief from her loneliness. But in an unfair world in which the pretty girls, no matter how mean, always seem to get everything, while Faye gets nothing, will Faye be able to keep from slipping back to her old ways? Will her mother ever be happy? Will her father ever come home to stay? And what if Faye goes her whole life without Michael Jackson ever loving her back? Faye is an honest, straightforward narrator who is likable even in her most flawed moments and will be cheered on by readers of every age and from every walk of life.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Revenge of a Not-So-Pretty Girl?

My favorite thing about Revenge Of A Not-So-Pretty Girl? I have to cheat a little on this because I actually have two favorite things, which I rank equally. The first is Faye's (my protagonist) voice. Although she's only fourteen, Faye has had a pretty complicated life. She's not had a lot of friends, or support, or kind words come her way. It would be easy for her to look at the world through jaded, pessimistic eyes. And while she doesn't hold back from pointing out certain negatives, she does it in a dry, part-humorous way. I think the humor is what keeps her afloat and keeps her from giving up completely on the possibility of one day being happy and having a good life.

My other favorite part of the book is the idea that we all have the ability to change our lives. It's definitely not easy to do, but it's not impossible. We have to be able to recognize and admit that there might be something keeping us down, keeping us from being the person we should and could be. We have to be able to look into ourselves and say, "I've not been generous," or "I've been mean to a particular person," or "I need to exercise and get better about my health." Once the issue is identified, we can begin working on it. Faye sees her faults, admits to them, and slowly begins to change what's in her control, despite the cards she has been dealt. I think that's pretty inspirational.

Purchase Revenge of a Not-So-Pretty Girl at Amazon
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Dead River
by Cyn Balog
Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Released 4/9/2013

Winner: Lysette L.

My friends and I are spending prom weekend at a remote wooded cabin on the Dead. The Dead River.

I thought it was going to be just us.

I was wrong.

Nothing is what it seems in this creepy paranormal thriller by Cyn Balog.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Dead River?

When I was just starting out after college, I had a great job in marketing
and was really living the dream-- I was making good money and successful,
but I was feeling unfulfilled. When my husband had the opportunity to move
to a remote part of the country for his job, people thought I was crazy to
let him accept, because it would be impossible for me to work as a marketing
manager out there. But I kept thinking, I'd have all this time to write! And
I could experience different parts of the country and THAT would give me
things to write about! So I tendered my resignation and we moved to the
desert of California, and a year later, up to Maine. It was a roller
coaster ride, which often led me to wonder if it was worth all the work, or
if I might have been happier and more successful had I just stayed the
course in my boring marketing career.

But even though I moved a few times and traveled a lot as well, trying to
accumulate "life experience" to write about, until now, the only place I'd
ever written about has been where I grew up-- New Jersey. It's been my rut,
the place I just normally fall into whenever I start writing. When I started
Dead River, though, I realized it was my first time writing based on an
experience that happened during those travels after I left my job. Although
so many people thought I was crazy and it was a risky move, I feel like Dead
River is a product of those years-- something that never could have happened
if we hadn't taken that risk.

Purchase Dead River at Amazon
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View Dead River on Goodreads

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Zom-B City
by Darren Shan
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Released 4/9/2013

Winner of 3 books: Krystal C.

After escaping a secret military complex amid the zombie apocalypse, B roams the streets of a very changed London, dirty and dangerous and eerily quiet, except for the shuffling of the undead. Once again, B must find a way to survive against brain-eating zombies --and now also against those who have seized control of the city. With danger lurking around every corner and no one to trust, B must decide whether to join the creepy Mr. Dowling in exchange for his protection. When everyone around you is dead, where do you turn for help?

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Zom-B City?

Although Zom-B City is the third book of the series, it is the first not to revolve around a confined location. Much of Zom-B was set in a school under attack from zombies, while all of Zom-B Underground was set in an underground prison complex where soldiers and scientists were conducting experiments on teenagers. In Zom-B City the action opens up, as our main character wanders the streets of London in the wake of a zombie apocalypse.

This was the first chance I had to show the consequences of a living dead uprising, and I loved exploring the deserted streets of a ghost city. We get to meet some survivors, who have all been understandably shaken up and severely disturbed by their encounters with the undead. And we get to meet some creatures who are neither human nor zombie, as it begins to become clear that this will be a zombie series quite unlike any other...

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View Zom-B City on Goodreads

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Nine Days
by Fred Hiatt
Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Released 4/9/2013

Winner: Rosi H.

A fast-paced contemporary thriller in the vein of James Patterson and Anthony Horowitz set against the bustling backdrop of Hong Kong, Vietnam, and the border of China. This heart-pounding adventure takes place as two teens, an American teenage boy and his friend, a Chinese girl from his Washington, DC-area high school, must find her father who has been kidnapped, and they only have nine days. Although the characters in the novel are fictionalized, they are based on a real Chinese family who were part of the Chinese Democracy Movement and inspired this story.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Nine Days?

I think my favorite part of Nine Days is the friendship between the two main characters and how it evolves over the course of their adventures. Originally I thought the book would be mostly about Ethan, the narrator. But as I worked on the manuscript, his friend Ti-Anna, whose character is inspired in part by a real young woman, Ti-Anna Wang, became a more and more important part of the story. The two of them, tenth-grade classmates, set off from Washington, DC, to Hong Kong, without parental permission, of course, after her father disappears there. He is an exile from China, a fighter for democracy, and Ethan and Ti-Anna fear that his activities have somehow gotten him into big trouble. Over nine days, they get drawn deeper and deeper into worlds they don't totally understand, facing unexpected dangers and having to decide whom they can trust and who is leading them into harm.

All along the way, the adventures test their friendship. Sometimes Ethan has to protect Ti-Anna; sometimes she has to rescue him. Under unimaginable pressure, they anger each other, exasperate each other, amuse each other. They are in many ways an unlikely pair from the start. But when it matters, they stand by each other in ways that surprise even them. I like that.

Purchase Nine Days at Amazon
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View Nine Days on Goodreads

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The Stone Demon (Iron Witch)
by Karen Mahoney
Released 4/8/2013

Winner: Jill F.

The stunning conclusion to the international mega-hit series
The just-unleashed demon hordes have delivered an impossible ultimatum to the Order of the Crow: produce the Philosopher's Stone, or suffer a reaper storm of demonic tribulation. If alchemist's apprentice Donna Underwood can't recreate the mythical artifact, the world will be plunged into a devastating modern-day Dark Age. Pitting her dangerously unpredictable powers against a vengeful demon king, two maleficent faery queens, and an immortal magus with his own shadowy agenda, Donna must be willing to make the ultimate sacrifice, but this time, even death may not be enough.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about The Stone Demon (Iron Witch)?

This is difficult to answer because The Stone Demon is the final book of my trilogy - the culmination of an idea that first took root in my mind way back in 2007. The books, and the characters, are very special to me. But if I had to say just ONE thing that's my favorite, I would have to say how cool it has been to put Donna in so many different locations. The first two books are set pretty firmly in Ironbridge, Massachusetts (the town I created for the ongoing battle between alchemists and fey), but The Stone Demon opens in my own city of London. Donna also travels to more than one kingdom ruled by the demons (I won't spoil any of the details!), as well as returning to Ironbridge for the epic showdown. Oh, and there's one other realm she visits, but again... I'd better not say any more. You'll have to read the book to find out what I'm talking about, but I definitely had a lot of fun coming up with my own vision of some classic folkloric locations. I hope you enjoy traveling alongside Donna, Navin and Xan as we bring The Iron Witch trilogy to a conclusion!

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by Sherrilyn Kenyon
St. Martin''s Griffin; First Edition edition
Released 4/9/2013

Winner: Lily C.

The heat is on, and a new threat to humanity has risen . . .

Nick has his driver's license and he's not afraid to use it. But turning sixteen isn't what he thought it would be. While other boys his age are worried about prom dates and applying for college, Nick is neck deep in enemies out to stop him from living another day. No longer sure if he can trust anyone, his only ally seems to be the one person he's been told will ultimately kill him.

But life spent serving the undead is anything except ordinary. And those out to get him have summoned an ancient force so powerful even the gods fear it. As Nick learns to command and control the elements, the one he must master in order to combat his latest foe is the one most likely to destroy him. As the old proverb goes, fire knows nothing of mercy, and if Nick is to survive this latest round, he will have to sacrifice a part of himself. However, the best sacrifice is seldom the sanest move. Sometimes it's the one that leaves your enemies confused.

And sometimes, you have to trust your enemy to save your friends. But what do you do when that enemy is you?

Purchase Inferno at Amazon
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by Barry Lyga
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Released 4/16/2013

Billy grinned. "Oh, New York," he whispered. "We're gonna have so much fun."

I Hunt Killers introduced the world to Jazz, the son of history's most infamous serial killer, Billy Dent.

In an effort to prove murder didn't run in the family, Jazz teamed with the police in the small town of Lobo's Nod to solve a deadly case. And now, when a determined New York City detective comes knocking on Jazz's door asking for help, he can't say no. The Hat-Dog Killer has the Big Apple, and its police force, running scared. So Jazz and his girlfriend, Connie, hop on a plane to the big city and get swept up in a killer's murderous game.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Game?

It's tough to talk about my absolute favorite thing in GAME because it has to do with the ending. And I feel like talking about it even obliquely might give something away. (I admit I live in a constant state of spoiler paranoia.) So let me say a little bit about my second favorite
thing about the book: The multiple POVs. In I HUNT KILLERS, we saw primarily through Jazz's eyes, with a few brief interludes from the POV
of the Impressionist. For the second book, I knew that I wanted a more complicated story, and one thing I really wanted to play with was point of view. I really liked characters like Connie and Howie (and, yeah, even Billy!), so I decided that it would add some fun, complex layers to the
story to see the world through their eyes for a change. I think it makes for a deeper, richer story, but made the story so much fun to
write! I loved diving into their souls (or, in Billy's case, the dark abyss where his soul should be) and I hope readers enjoy the trip.

Purchase Game at Amazon
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View Game on Goodreads

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by Erin Bowman
Released 4/16/2013

There are no men in Claysoot. There are boys, but every one of them vanishes at midnight on his eighteenth birthday. The ground shakes, the wind howls, a blinding light descends, and he's gone.

They call it the Heist.

Gray Weathersby's eighteenth birthday is mere months away, and he's prepared to meet his fate, until he finds a strange note from his mother and starts to question everything he's been raised to accept: the Council leaders and their obvious secrets. The Heist itself. And what lies beyond the Wall that surrounds Claysoot: a structure that no one can cross and survive.

Climbing the Wall is suicide, but what comes after the Heist could be worse. Should he sit back and wait to be taken, or risk everything on the hope of the other side?

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Taken?

The twists and turns! TAKEN is packed with them, and they were a blast to write--carefully dropping hints, pulling back the layers to reveal truths at just the right moment. I'm also pretty fond of Gray, TAKEN's protagonist. He's a difficult character at times--impulsive, flawed, reckless--but his heart is in the right place and his love for his family is something I never tire of writing. It's going to be hard for me to say goodbye to him when the series comes to a close.

Purchase Taken at Amazon
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by Jill Wolfson
Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Released 4/16/2013

We were only three angry high school girls, to begin with. Alix, the hot-tempered surfer chick; Stephanie, the tree-hugging activist; and me, Meg, the quiet foster kid, the one who never quite fit in. We hardly knew each other, but each of us nurtured a burning anger: at the jerks in our class, at our disappointing parents, at the whole flawed, unjust world.
We were only three angry girls, simmering uselessly in our ocean-side California town, until one day a mysterious, beautiful classmate named Ambrosia taught us what else we could be: Powerful. Deadly. Furious.
Yes, that's us. The three Greek Furies, come to life, ready to take our revenge on everyone who deserves it. And who doesn't deserve it, really? We're done with chances. We are angry. The Furies have come to town.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Furious?

There is so much that I loved about writing this book: learning about Greek mythology; inventing three troubled, but fabulous young women who are passionate about doing good things in the world; writing fantasy for the first time in my life.
But what I like best about Furious are the deeper questions that it raises. Beneath an exciting story about gods, revenge, anger, injustice and high school love are questions that I ask myself all the time, age-old questions that I bet you have asked yourself, too:
Why is life so unfair?
Why do some people get away with being cruel, selfish and hateful?
What would you do about injustice if you had unlimited power? Can you imagine that? How would you make things right?
And once you had the power, would you use it wisely? Or would you go out of control and let the power use you?
That's what the characters - Meg, Stephanie and Alix, three girls with a lot to be pissed off about - get to figure out. And through them, maybe you will discover the answers for yourself.

Purchase Furious at Amazon
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True: An Elixir Novel
by Hilary Duff
Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Released 4/16/2013

The epic love story of Clea and Sage comes to its thrilling conclusion in the final book in the Elixir series by multitalented star Hilary Duff.
Following the harrowing events of Elixir and Devoted—and the ceremony that almost killed Sage—Clea faces a new reality: With Sage’s soul in Nico’s body, the love of her life looks an awful lot like her best friend’s boyfriend. Can Clea and Sage really be happy under these circumstances?

Clea wants to try to enjoy their new life together, but Sage is acting different—angry—and she struggles to keep her friends from finding out what has happened to him. Something is clearly haunting Sage, and Clea is losing control. Can she trust her friends with the dangerous truth, or will she have to risk losing Sage to madness?

Purchase True: An Elixir Novel at Amazon
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Nobody''s Secret
by Michaela MacColl
Chronicle Books
Released 4/16/2013

One day, fifteen-year-old Emily Dickinson meets a mysterious, handsome young man. Surprisingly, he doesn't seem to know who she or her family is. And even more surprisingly, he playfully refuses to divulge his name. Emily enjoys her secret flirtation with Mr. "Nobody" until he turns up dead in her family's pond. She's stricken with guilt. Only Emily can discover who this enigmatic stranger was before he's condemned to be buried in an anonymous grave. Her investigation takes her deep into town secrets, blossoming romance, and deadly danger. Exquisitely written and meticulously researched, this novel celebrates Emily Dickinson's intellect and spunk in a page-turner of a book that will excite fans of mystery, romance, and poetry alike.

Purchase Nobody''s Secret at Amazon
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The Milk of Birds
by Sylvia Whitman
Atheneum Books for Young Reade
Released 4/16/2013

This timely, heartrending novel tells the moving story of a friendship between two girls: one an American teen, one a victim of the crisis in Darfur.Know that there are many words behind the few on this paper.

Fifteen-year-old Nawra lives in Darfur, Sudan, in a camp for refugees displaced by the Janjaweed's trail of murder and destruction. Nawra cannot read or write, but when a nonprofit organization called Save the Girls pairs her with an American donor, Nawra dictates her thank-you letters. Putting her experiences into words begins to free her from her devastating past, and to brighten the path to her future.

K. C. is an American teenager from Richmond, Virginia, who hates reading and writing, or anything that smacks of school. But as Nawra pours grief and joy into her letters, she inspires K. C. to see beyond her own struggles. And as K. C. opens her heart in her responses to Nawra, she becomes both a dedicated friend and a passionate activist for Darfur.

In this poetic tale of unlikely sisterhood, debut author Sylvia Whitman captures the friendship between two girls who teach each other compassion and share a remarkable bond that bridges two continents.

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  1. Jen Calonita's covers are beautiful!!

    Heard awesome things about The Symptoms of my Insanity:) Like the collage-ish look of the cover. Very nice way of representing a theme.

    Thank you:)

    Twitter follower @christinafiorio

    GFC Christina Kit.

  2. Yay for Taken! I've heard great things about it.

  3. I wondered when the sequel to I Hunt Killers is coming out. My son and I loved the book. I'll have to order it with Dead Silence.

    Ps. Did you know your posts from Friday to today are only showing up now in my Blogger dashboard? And that means they will all come this afternoon in my inbox. I used to get them the same day you posted them. Wonder what's going on.

  4. There are so many great looking books out there, I don't know how I'm ever going to catch up with them all. Thanks for showcasing these!

  5. So many good books this week!!! I'm really excited for Game by Barry Lyga.

  6. I love the sound of Taken. So many great books to read. Thanks for the giveaway.

  7. So many good books. I really want to read Taken. :D


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