Friday, October 4, 2013

11 YA Fiction Pick and Mix 10/5/13 and CHASING SHADOWS by Swati Avasthi Giveaway

First Five Pages Workshop

Our Free October workshop will feature guest mentor Maureen Lipinski, author of Cleopatra Ascending and Shadow’s Edge. We will take the first five entries submitted at noon on October 5th.

Read the rules and get your pages ready!

Thought for the Week

Via Goodreads

Young Adult Novel Giveaways This Week

Chasing Shadows
by Swati Avasthi
Knopf Books for Young Readers
Released 8/6/2013

Chasing Shadows is a searing look at the impact of one random act of violence.

Before: Corey, Holly, and Savitri are one unit—fast, strong, inseparable. Together they turn Chicago concrete and asphalt into a freerunner’s jungle gym, ricocheting off walls, scaling buildings, leaping from rooftop to rooftop.

But acting like a superhero doesn’t make you bulletproof...

After: Holly and Savitri are coming unglued. Holly says she's chasing Corey's killer, chasing revenge. Savitri fears Holly's just running wild—and leaving her behind. Friends should stand by each other in times of crissi. But can you hold on too tight? Too long?

In this intense novel, told in two voices, and incorporating comic-style art sections, Swati Avasthi creates a gripping portrait of two girls teetering on the edge of grief and insanity. Two girls who will find out just how many ways there are to lose a friend . . . and how many ways to be lost.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Chasing Shadows?

One of the things I love about writing YA is how innovative you get to be -- younger readers seem more amenable to changes in form. Which allows the YA author to play. Thanks to authors like Brian Selznick, combining graphics and prose has opened up a world of possibilities. My favorite thing about CHASING SHADOWS is how the graphic pieces in the book work in relation to the prose.

Purchase Chasing Shadows at Amazon
Purchase Chasing Shadows at IndieBound
View Chasing Shadows on Goodreads

Young Adult Novel Giveaways Last Week: Winners

by Sarah Rees Brennan
Random House
Released 9/24/2013

Winner: Lori Mitchell
Free from bonds, but not each other

It’s time to choose sides… On the surface, Sorry-in-the-Vale is a sleepy English town. But Kami Glass knows the truth. Sorry-in-the-Vale is full of magic. In the old days, the Lynburn family ruled with fear, terrifying the people into submission in order to kill for blood and power. Now the Lynburns are back, and Rob Lynburn is gathering sorcerers so that the town can return to the old ways.

But Rob and his followers aren’t the only sorcerers in town. A decision must be made: pay the blood sacrifice, or fight. For Kami, this means more than just choosing between good and evil. With her link to Jared Lynburn severed, she’s now free to love anyone she chooses. But who should that be?’

Purchase Untold at Amazon
Purchase Untold at IndieBound
View Untold on Goodreads

* * * *

by Brandon Sanderson
Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Released 9/24/2013

Winner: Melinda Gray
Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics.

But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his wills.

Nobody fights the Epics... nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them.

And David wants in. He wants Steelheart—the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David's father. For years, like the Reckoners, David's been studying, and planning—and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience.

He's seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Steelheart?

The pacing. There are certain things that I was able to do with a single first-person viewpoint in a fast-paced action-oriented story that I haven't been able to do in any other story that I've written. I feel like the awesome pacing just tears you through the book and reads like a really fun action movie. I'm quite proud of how that worked.

Purchase Steelheart at Amazon
Purchase Steelheart at IndieBound
View Steelheart on Goodreads

* * * *

by Carol Goodman
Advance Reader Copy Giveaway
Viking Juvenile
Released 10/8/2013

Winner: Carol Riggs

Welcome to Blythewood.

At seventeen, Avaline Hall has already buried her mother, survived a horrific factory fire, and escaped from an insane asylum. Now she’s on her way to Blythewood Academy, the elite boarding school in New York’s mist-shrouded Hudson Valley that her mother attended—and was expelled from. Though she’s afraid her high society classmates won’t accept a factory girl in their midst, Ava is desperate to unravel her family’s murky past, discover the identity of the father she’s never known, and perhaps finally understand her mother’s abrupt suicide. She’s also on the hunt for the identity of the mysterious boy who rescued her from the fire. And she suspects the answers she seeks lie at Blythewood.   

But nothing could have prepared her for the dark secret of what Blythewood is, and what its students are being trained to do. Haunted by dreams of a winged boy and pursued by visions of a sinister man who breathes smoke, Ava isn’t sure if she’s losing her mind or getting closer to the truth. And the more rigorously Ava digs into the past, the more dangerous her present becomes.   

Vivid and atmospheric, full of mystery and magic, this romantic page-turner by bestselling author Carol Goodman tells the story of a world on the brink of change and the girl who is the catalyst for it all.

Purchase Blythewood at Amazon
Purchase Blythewood at IndieBound
View Blythewood on Goodreads


Bookish News This Week

Get your nominations ons! Head over to the Cybils to nominate your favorite books for this year's Children's and Young Adults Blogger's Literary Awards.

Jennifer Lawrence is going to star in a new adaptation of East of Eden by John Steinbeck! She'll be playing Cathy Ames and the director will be Gary Ross, director of "The Hunger Games."

Taylor Swift will be playing the Chief Elder in the movie adaptation of The Giver by Lois Lowry!

Check out these cool mugshots of banned book characters, including Harry Potter from the Harry Potter series and Alaska Young from Looking For Alaska.

The "Catching Fire" movie soundtrack has been announced, with some pretty big names contributing to it. Some singers/bands will include Christina Aguilera, Coldplay, Imagine Dragons, Of Monsters and Men, The Lumineers, Ellie Goulding, and others.

Mundie Moms revealed the new UNBREATHABLE book trailer.

Lovely Jackie Garlick-Paenert has a gorgeous new cover for her steampunk fantasy!

Lumiere by Jacqueline E. Garlick

One determined girl.
One resourceful boy.
One miracle machine that could destroy everything.

After an unexplained flash shatters her world, seventeen-year-old Eyelet Elsworth sets out to find The Illuminator, her father’s prized invention. With it, she hopes to cure herself of her debilitating seizures before Professor Smrt—her father’s arch nemesis—discovers her secret and locks her away in the asylum.

Pursued by Smrt, Eyelet locates The Illuminator only to see it whisked away. She follows the thief into the dark world of the unknown, compelled not only by her quest but by the allure of the stranger—Urlick Babbit—who harbors secrets of his own.

Together, they endure deadly Vapours and criminal-infested woods in pursuit of the same prize, only to discover the miracle machine they hoped would solve their problems may in fact be the biggest problem of all

Add to Goodreads

And speaking of phenomenal covers, check out the creepy heartbeat in my friend (and fellow Simon Pulse author!) S.E. Green's debut thriller Killer Instinct video at


She’s not evil, but she has certain... urges.

Lane is a typical teenager. Loving family. Good grades. Afterschool job at the local animal hospital. Martial arts enthusiast. But her secret obsession is studying serial killers. She understands them, knows what makes them tick.


Because she might be one herself.

Lane channels her dark impulses by hunting criminals—delivering justice when the law fails. The vigilantism stops shy of murder. But with each visceral rush the line of self-control blurs.
And then a young preschool teacher goes missing. Only to return... in parts.
When Lane excitedly gets involved in the hunt for “the Decapitator,” the vicious serial murderer that has come to her hometown, she gets dangerously caught up in a web of lies about her birth dad and her own dark past. And once the Decapitator contacts Lane directly, Lane knows she is no longer invisible or safe. Now she needs to use her unique talents to find the true killer’s identity before she—or someone she loves—becomes the next victim...

Young Adult Quote of the Week

I am powerful because of who and what I am. Not because of who I am not.
~ Margaret Stohl, Icons

Young Adult Reader of the Week:


My Photo
MSHatch, who says simply, "I write" as her introduction, also enjoys writing, reading, hiking, painting, politics, perusing the real estate section, arguing, running, taming feral cats, Miyazaki, Pixar, history, movies, scifi, fantasy, and fallout 3.

* Want to be the reader of the week next week? Leave a comment on our Thursday or Friday posts! 


Blogger of the Week: 

Rebecca at "The Creative Family"

My Photo 

Creative is right! Just the first couple posts include posts about Lord of the Rings themed birthday parties, a post on how to make marbled paper, and more!

* Want to be the blogger of the week next week? To be honest, this is pretty much the only way I have time to discover new blogs, so it's a great way to get into my twitter feed and into these round-up posts if you have great content to share. Leave a comment. I'll pick from among the bloggers who leave comments here on the blog today through Wednesday.

Writing Tip of the Week 

Your main character not only needs a goal, she needs an inner desire.

~ Jill Williamson, Go Teen Writers

Another Writing Tip

Writing (And Every Day) Brain Fuel     

What's your favorite? I dare you to use it all this week! :)
via The Write Life Magazine


  1. Smashing and splendid are my favorites. ;) They're just so . . . British!

  2. I've never read a book about parkour before! Chasing Shadows sounds so interesting!

  3. I've noticed that very thing about the word awesome. I love the word ravishing. Chasing Shadows sounds like a smashing read :p

  4. I would love to read Chasing Shadows. Sounds really good. Thanks for the giveaway.

  5. Awesome!!! I mean--how DIVINE that I won BLYTHEWOOD! It sounds fantastic. Thanks! And also thanks for the info on the other new books. Always great to read about what's new and upcoming. :)

  6. Awesome giveaway you guys! I am sooo excited about Blythewood :)

  7. Chasing Shadows and Killer Instinct are both going on my TBR list. Thanks for the reviews. Oh, and thanks for the picture of Rick Castle, one of my favorite writers!

  8. I've heard really good things about Steelheart.

  9. Extraordinary and breathtaking, two of my favorite words. I get all wistful just thinking about using those words in sentences. Ha!

  10. The mixing of prose and graphics in "Chasing Shadows" sounds like a great idea. I like comic books and graphic novels because they're so nice visually, but since they're mostly graphics, I get through them very quickly. This means I'd have to get a lot of them to keep me occupied when I need something to read--I just don't have the money or room for them! A book that's only partially graphics sounds like it'd last longer and provide the best of both text and visual worlds. :]


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