Tuesday, December 31, 2013

47 New Year's Looking Back, Looking Forward Giveaways

Today, we have another awesome giveaway from Martina's publisher, Simon Pulse, who has very kindly given us a number of books to share with you. This is the second of three great giveaways to celebrate the end of a great year and the start of a new one. Today's post includes some series that started in 2013 and will continue in 2014. Each book from 2013 is paired with an ARC of the next book in the series. Just fill out the form below. We'll pick winners on the 16th of January and announce them on Saturday the 18th.

Set 1 - The Secret Order series by Kristin Bailey

Legacy of the Clockwork Key plus an ARC of Rise of the Arcane Fire

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 that only Meg can use—that unlocks a series of deadly secrets and intricate clues that Meg is compelled to follow.

Together with the handsome stable hand she barely knows but hopes she can trust, Meg is swept into a hidden world of deception, betrayal, and revenge, uncovering evidence of an elite secret society and a dangerous invention that some will stop at nothing to protect.

Amazon | Goodreads

Set 2 - Let the Sky Fall series by Shannon Messenger

Let the Sky Fall plus an ARC of Let the Storm Break

Vane Weston should have died in the category-five tornado that killed his parents. Instead, he woke up in a pile of rubble with no memories of his past - except one: a beautiful, dark-haired girl standing in the winds. She swept through his dreams ever since, and he clings to the hope that she's real.

Audra is real, but she isn't human. She's a sylph, an air elemental who can walk on the wind, translate its alluring songs, even twist it into a weapon. She's also a guardian - Vane's guardian - and has sworn an oath to protect him at all costs.

When a hasty mistake reveals their location to the enemy who murdered both their families, Audra has just days to help Vane unlock his memories. And as the storm winds gather, Audra and Vane start to realize that the greatest danger might not be the warriors coming to destroy them, but the forbidden romance growing between them.

Amazon | Goodreads

Set 3 - The Program series by Suzanne Young

The Program plus an ARC of The Treatment

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.

Amazon | Goodreads

a Rafflecopter giveaway

2 Craft of Writing: Downsizing Your Novel by Carolyn Meyer

Carolyn Meyer is the much loved author of the Royal Diaries, my personal favourite of which was Anastasia when I was a little girl. Her newest young adult novel tells the story of Hermione and Helen of Troy. Please welcome Carolyn Meyer!

Downsizing Your Novel: What To keep, And What To Throw Away By Carolyn Meyer

Not long ago my husband and I decided to downsize—sell the Victorian house where we’d been accumulating stuff for years and move into a loft apartment with half the square footage, no attic and no basement.  The “stuff” included thousands of books and my mother’s antiques. Choosing what to take with us and what to sell, give away, or toss was painful. 

The process was a lot like what I go through when I’m writing a historical novel. A new idea comes to mind: a person, a time period, a place, an event. Nothing concrete yet—just browsing, thank you. Then, as the idea starts to come together and take on a shape, I begin the research, gathering countless bits and pieces from myriad sources that might go into the story—or might not. It’s much more fun than writing, especially when it involves a trip to the library, or to Paris or London or Cairo. And it’s less hard work than writing.

As a general rule, the more recent the history, the easier it is to find useful information. There's plenty of historical material about Queen Victoria, whose life in the 19th century is well documented, and she kept a diary from age thirteen until the day she died. The same is true of Marie Antoinette and the French Revolution in the 18th century. But as we move back through the centuries, the facts are harder to come by. Despite everything that’s been written about Shakespeare’s plays, details of his life remain sketchy. People didn’t keep very good records in the 16th century —we aren’t sure of Will’s exact date of birth. And by the time my interest had shifted to Cleopatra in the 1st century BC, I was relying mostly on speculation and guesswork. I should have known that writing BEAUTY’S DAUGHTER, the story of Hermione, the daughter of Helen of Troy, based on myths that go back thousands of years to Bronze Age Greece, long before the existence of written records, was a bound to be a mad idea. But it didn’t stop me from trying.

Whether the characters I’m writing about are people of the 20th century AD or 20th century BC, I begin the search for information in the same way: heading straight to Wikipedia to get a handle on basic names, places, and dates, and then scrolling to the end of the entry to check the sources of the information. I track down those references, starting at the library, borrowing the books if they’re available and later buying my own copies if they’ve turned out to be especially useful.  Making my way through those sources, I get a handle on the main character, figure out who the minor characters will be, and form a general idea of the narrative arc of the story. Once I’ve got a pretty good idea of where the story should begin, where it should end, and how I’m going to get there, I’m ready to start a tentative first draft. 

For me, the research and the writing are inseparable, simultaneous processes. As I work on that first draft with many stops and starts and detours, I realize how much I still don’t know: What does Hermione’s palace look like? Where does she sleep? How does she travel? On a boat? Why are they called “black ships” in the Iliad? What kind of a sail does it have? How does Hermione get around on land? How many men carry her carrying chair? How does she find out what’s happening in the battles? What is she eating? What’s in that bowl, on that platter on the table? How many handles on that cup she drinks from? What is she wearing? What is she weaving? What kind of loom does she use? How does she spin the wool? What instrument is she playing? How many strings on a lyre? Every chapter, every page, raises new questions.

Sometimes I’m lucky enough to find a book that answers at least some of those questions, providing the details I’m looking for, even when I don’t know I’m looking for them. But most of the time I Google endlessly, searching the internet for the tiny, critical fact. If I can’t picture the characters living their lives in intimate detail, I can’t write about them authentically.

Meanwhile, as I’m constructing the plot, I’m also searching for the right narrative voice. Most of my novels have first-person narrators, and it usually takes me several false starts and backups to settle into a voice that sounds real and convincing to my ear. Victoria made that job easier. Her diaries provided a vivid and distinct voice, at times petulant, at other times passionate, defiant, stubborn. She indulged a little too freely in CAPITAL LETTERS and multiple underlining, and those quirks capture her personality.

Cleopatra was not nearly so helpful. There are no letters, no diaries, no written records of her life more than two thousand years ago. We know that she spoke Greek, as well as Egyptian and several other languages. It was said that she wasn’t especially beautiful but had a lovely speaking voice. So, how would she sound? What kind of words might she have used? How would she have conversed with the people around her? My editor didn’t want Cleopatra to use contractions at all—too informal, she argued. I reasoned that Cleopatra would have spoken formally to her father, but surely she would have used informal speech—with contractions—with her sisters and her servants. That’s how I began to “hear” her.

Gathering all that information is only the beginning. After doing so much research, a process that continues from first draft to last, it’s hard not to fall in love with all that fascinating stuff, those wonderful details I’ve been so busy accumulating: the scenes etched on Achilles’ shield, the kind of sandals the god Hermes wore, the paintings on the walls of the megaron. I want to use it all. 

But in that final draft, before I hit Send and the manuscript flies through cyberspace to my editor, I go through it one more time and ask the same tough question over and over: Does this weigh down the story, or does it move the story forward? If that beautifully descriptive sentence and that fact-heavy paragraph don’t serve the narrative, then they have to go. Just like all those outdated books and my mother’s second-best china.

About The Author

Carolyn Meyer is as versatile a writer as you will find. Along with historical fiction and realistic novels for young adults she has written nonfiction for young adults and books for younger readers on topics as diverse as the Amish, the Irish, Japanese, Yup'ik Eskimos, a rock band, rock tumbling, bread baking, and coconuts. And ten of her books have been chosen as Best Books for Young Adults by the American Library Association. In her most recent historical novels she has dealt with the young lives of Mary Tudor, Princess Elizabeth, Anastasia, and Isabel of Castilla, Spain.

About The Book

What is it like to be the daughter of the most beautiful woman in the world?

Hermione knows . . . her mother is Helen of Troy, the famed beauty of Greek myth. Helen is not only beautiful but also impulsive, and when she falls in love with charming Prince Paris, she runs off with him to Troy, abandoning her distraught daughter. Determined to reclaim their enchanting queen, the Greek army sails for Troy. Hermione stows away in one of the thousand ships in the fleet and witnesses the start of the legendary Trojan War.
     In the rough Greek encampment outside the walls of Troy, Hermione’s life is far from that of a pampered princess. Meanwhile, her mother basks in luxury in the royal palace inside the city. Hermione desperately wishes for the gods and goddesses to intervene and end the brutal war—and to bring her love. Will she end up with the handsome archer Orestes, or the formidable Pyrrhus, leader of a tribe of fierce warriors? And will she ever forgive her mother for bringing such chaos to her life and the lives of so many others?

Monday, December 30, 2013

4 Inspired Openings: Make Your Opening Line A Juggernaut by Dyan Sheldon

Dyan Sheldon is a prolific YA writer, and wrote the much loved CONFESSIONS OF A TEENAGE DRAMA QUEEN series. ONE OR TWO THINGS I LEARNED ABOUT LOVE has been rereleased in North America and already is a big hit! Please welcome Dyan Sheldon!

Make Your Opening Line A Juggernaut by Dyan Sheldon

You can’t judge a book by its cover, but you can’t judge a book by its first line either. One of my all-time favorite novels is Mark Haddon’s THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME, and yet its opening sentence is: “It was 7 minutes after midnight.” Although informative – and although it does give you an important clue as to the nature of 
the narrator –it’s not exactly a grab-you-and-shake-you first line. You wouldn’t immediately 
think, Wow this is going to be a totally awesome reading experience. In fact, there’s a really good chance that you’d have forgotten it before you reached the third chapter. But chances are you would quickly reach the third chapter, because it is a pretty awesome reading experience and a book that’s very difficult to put down.
Nevertheless, despite the unreliability of a novel’s opening in determining what the rest of it 
will be like, I do love a great first line. The kind that makes you sit up a little straighter or feel 
that trill of excitement because you realize you’ve found something special – a book you’re really going to enjoy. The kind of first line that you never forget.
For that, you need look no further than Patrick Ness, a master of the truly brilliant opener.
This, for instance, is from THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO: “The first thing you find out 
when your dog learns to talk is that dogs don’t got nothing much to say.”  He immediately has your attention. He definitely immediately had mine. Where are we? Whose dog is it? Why is it talking? What did it say? The possibility of boredom seems very far away. In Mr Ness’ most recent novel. MORE THAN THIS, the first line is equally arresting: “Here is the boy, drowning.” Once again, attention grabbed and held onto very tightly. You have to read on because you have to find out what’s happening. Who is the boy? Why is he drowning? 
Similarly, the first sentence in Terry Pratchett’s JOHNNY AND THE DEAD is: “Johnny never knew for certain why he started seeing the dead.” He sees the dead? you think. Where? Why? Which dead?
I’m going to end with a first line that when I first read it hit me like a juggernaut. I’d 
never read anything like it before – nor as it turned out, had a ever read like the book from which it comes. And this is it, my very very favorite first line from ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE by Gabriel Garcia Marquez: “Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendia was to remember that distant afternoon when his father first took him to discover ice.” Now that’s a beginning!

About The Author

Dyan Sheldon is the author of many novels for young adult readers, including the #1 New York Times bestseller CONFESSIONS OF A TEENAGE DRAMA QUEEN, which was made into a major motion picture. American by birth, she lives in North London.

About The Book

A wise, sometimes hilarious, always witty new novel from Dyan Sheldon, in which our heroine learns that "love" is not always what it seems... 

Hildy D'Angelo is seventeen and this is the summer she falls in love for the first time. She isn't what you'd call experienced when it comes to boys, but Connor is good looking, smart, charming and sweet (with a melt-that-ice-cap smile). Hildy is a sarcastic and funny, down-to-earth girl with lots of friends, and yet she proves to be a little bit of a fool for love. When Connor uses the L word, Hildy, already half in love with the idea of falling in love, releases her hold on the Earth. And because it's all very new to her, she thinks that Connor's irrational bursts of jealousy are signs of affection. Teething pains. No big deal. She ties herself in knots trying to appease him and not let on to her suspicious friends (or herself) that there is anything wrong. Until, finally, poor tortured Connor goes a step too far - and Hildy sees the truth at last...

Sunday, December 29, 2013

8 Question of the Week: What Are Your Writerly Resolutions for 2014?

Before we start with the Question of the Week... I'm pleased to announce the winner of my RUN TO YOU Cover Reveal Celebration Giveaway of a signed hardcover of THE TESTING by Joelle Charbonneau!

Jeri Baird!

Congratulations, Jeri! I'll ship the book to you right away. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! To everyone: thanks for participating in the giveaway! 

And now, back to our regularly scheduled program:

Hey everyone! It’s Clara Kensie, back with a new Question of the Week! Pretty much the only thing writers love as much as writing is talking about writing. So each week here at Adventures in YA Publishing, I post a question for you to answer. The questions cover all topics important to writers: craft, career, writers’ life, reading and books. Together we’ll become better writers by sharing tips and discussing our habits and practices.

December 29, 2013

AYAPers, I hope you all had fun celebrating your holidays, whatever they may be! But wait--you can't relax just yet: there’s one more holiday left this season. New Years Eve! Many people use the start of a new year to set resolutions for the months ahead. I’m sure it will come as no surprise that this week’s question is:

What are your writerly (and readerly) resolutions for 2014?

Don't say, "I wish." Say, "I will."

MY ANSWER: I have two books coming out in 2014 (RUN TO YOU Book One in February, and RUN TO YOU Book Two in June, both through Harlequin Teen), and I have no idea what to expect. I am both ecstatic and terrified. So my 2014 writing resolutions are: 

*To enjoy the journey.
*To not stress about things I can't control.
*To celebrate every success, big and small.
*To stay optimistic by surrounding myself with people who are honest yet supportive, and distancing myself from toxic people who always make me feel discouraged.
*To remember that no matter what happens, that I have done my best.
*To attend at least one readers' convention.
*To continue learning and improving my craft.
*To keep producing new manuscripts.
*To dedicate more time every day to reading.
*To fully appreciate 2014 as the year I achieved my dream of becoming a published author. Wow.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? What are your writing and reading resolutions for 2014?

Happy, happy new year, my friends! I hope your 2014 is fantabulous.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

40 YA Pick and Mix 12/28 plus Awesome Giveaway from Simon Pulse!

This Week's YA Novel Giveaway

Looking Back on 2013

Simon Pulse, Martina's publisher, has very kindly given us a number of books to share with you. Between now and the first of the year, we will be doing a series of three great giveaways to celebrate the end of a great year and the start of a new one. Today's post includes a lot of great books from the past year. Just fill out the form below. We'll pick winners on the 16th of January and announce them on Saturday the 19th.

OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu

When Bea meets Beck, she knows instantly that he’s her kind of crazy. Sweet, strong, kinda-messed-up Beck understands her like no one else can. He makes her feel almost normal. He makes her feel like she could fall in love again.

But despite her feelings for Beck, Bea can’t stop thinking about someone else: a guy who is gorgeous and magnetic... and has no idea Bea even exists. But Bea knows a lot about him. She spends a lot of time watching him. She has a journal full of notes. Some might even say she’s obsessed.

Bea tells herself she’s got it all under control. But this isn’t a choice, it’s a compulsion. The truth is, she’s breaking down...and she might end up breaking her own heart.

Amazon | Goodreads

Criminal by Terra Elan McVoy

Nikki’s life is far from perfect, but at least she has Dee. Her friends tell her that Dee is no good, but Nikki can’t imagine herself without him. He’s hot, he’s dangerous, he has her initials tattooed over his heart, and she loves him more than anything. There’s nothing Nikki wouldn’t do for Dee. Absolutely nothing.

So when Dee pulls Nikki into a crime—a crime that ends in murder—Nikki tells herself that it’s all for true love. Nothing can break them apart. Not the police. Not the arrest that lands Nikki in jail. Not even the investigators who want her to testify against him.

But what if Dee had motives that Nikki knew nothing about? Nikki’s love for Dee is supposed to be unconditional…but even true love has a limit. And Nikki just might have reached hers.

Amazon | Goodreads

Crash by Lisa McMann

Jules lives with her family above their restaurant, which means she smells like pizza most of the time and drives their double-meatball-shaped food truck to school. It’s not a recipe for popularity, but she can handle that.

What she can’t handle is the recurring vision that haunts her. Over and over, Jules sees a careening truck hit a building and explode...and nine body bags in the snow.

The vision is everywhere—on billboards, television screens, windows—and she’s the only one who sees it. And the more she sees it, the more she sees. The vision is giving her clues, and soon Jules knows what she has to do. Because now she can see the face in one of the body bags, and it’s someone she knows. Someone she has been in love with for as long as she can remember.

In this riveting start to a gripping trilogy from New York Times bestselling author Lisa McMann, Jules has to act—and act fast—to keep her vision from becoming reality.

Amazon | Goodreads

Just Like Fate by Suzanne Young and Cat Patrick

Caroline is at a crossroads. Her grandmother is sick, maybe dying. Like the rest of her family, Caroline's been at Gram's bedside since her stroke. With the pressure building, all Caroline wants to do is escape--both her family and the reality of Gram's failing health. So when Caroline's best friend offers to take her to a party one fateful Friday night, she must choose: stay by Gram's side, or go to the party and live her life.

The consequence of this one decision will split Caroline's fate into two separate paths--and she's about to live them both.

Friendships are tested and family drama hits an all-new high as Caroline attempts to rebuild old relationships, and even make a few new ones. If she stays, her longtime crush, Joel, might finally notice her, but if she goes, Chris, the charming college boy, might prove to be everything she's ever wanted.

Though there are two distinct ways for her fate to unfold, there is only one happy ending...

Amazon | Goodreads

Afterparty by Ann Redisch Stampler

Emma is tired of being good. Always the dutiful daughter to an overprotective father, she is the antithesis of her mother -- whose name her dad won't even say out loud. That's why meeting Siobhan is the best thing that ever happened to her...and the most dangerous. Because Siobhan is fun and alluring and experienced and lives on the edge. In other words, she's everything Emma is not.

And it may be more than Emma can handle.

Because as intoxicating as her secret life may be, when Emma begins to make her own decisions, Siobhan starts to unravel. It's more than just Dylan, the boy who comes between them. Their high-stakes pacts are spinning out of control. Elaborate lies become second nature. Loyalties and boundaries are blurred. And it all comes to a head at the infamous Afterparty, where debauchery rages and an intense, inescapable confrontation ends in a plummet from the rooftop...

This explosive, sexy, and harrowing follow-up to Ann Redisch Stampler's spectacular teen debut, Where It Began, reveals how those who know us best can hurt us most.

Amazon | Goodreads

The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler

Jude has learned a lot from her older sisters, but the most important thing is this: The Vargas brothers are notorious heartbreakers. She’s seen the tears and disasters that dating a Vargas boy can cause, and she swore an oath—with candles and a contract and everything—to never have anything to do with one.

Now Jude is the only sister still living at home, and she’s spending the summer helping her ailing father restore his vintage motorcycle—which means hiring a mechanic to help out. Is it Jude’s fault he happens to be cute? And surprisingly sweet? And a Vargas?

Jude tells herself it’s strictly bike business with Emilio. Her sisters will never find out, and Jude can spot those flirty little Vargas tricks a mile away—no way would she fall for them. But Jude’s defenses are crumbling, and if history is destined to repeat itself, she’s speeding toward some serious heartbreak…unless her sisters were wrong?

Jude may have taken an oath, but she’s beginning to think that when it comes to love, some promises might be worth breaking.

Amazon | Goodreads

Thought For the Week

via The Berry

Books, Books, Books

2014 is coming up fast, which means books, books, books! Click HERE to see some of the most anticipated YA books coming out in January, according to Epic Reads.

With these ten book adaptations coming out next year, I can guarantee you I'll be spending a lot of time in the movie theater.

I stumbled upon this Simon and Baz fan art from Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. I think one of the best parts about the internet is finding the stuff fans make about the books they read. It's so cool!
via Pinterest

Young Adult Reader of the Week:

My Photo

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


Blogger of the Week: 

Katie at "Book Savvy"

My Photo

* 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

via Jean Oram

Writer's Inspiration

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, December 27, 2013

12 Giveaway of THE PROMISE OF AMAZING plus YALit Releases 12/27-1/2


* * * *

The Promise of Amazing
by Robin Constantine
Signed Hardcover Giveaway
Balzer + Bray
Released 12/31/2013

Wren Caswell is average. Ranked in the middle of her class at Sacred Heart, she’s not popular, but not a social misfit. Wren is the quiet, “good” girl who's always done what she's supposed to—only now in her junior year, this passive strategy is backfiring. She wants to change, but doesn’t know how.

Grayson Barrett was the king of St. Gabe’s. Star of the lacrosse team, top of his class, on a fast track to a brilliant future—until he was expelled for being a “term paper pimp.” Now Gray is in a downward spiral and needs to change, but doesn’t know how.

One fateful night their paths cross when Wren, working at her family’s Arthurian-themed catering hall, performs the Heimlich on Gray as he chokes on a cocktail weenie, saving his life literally and figuratively. What follows is the complicated, awkward, hilarious, and tender tale of two teens shedding their pasts, figuring out who they are—and falling in love.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about The Promise of Amazing?

This is such a hard question because there are so many aspects of the book I love! The stories that I’m most attracted to, both as a reader and a writer, usually revolve around casts of characters – this includes family members, co-workers, friends, teachers, etc. I think my favorite thing about The Promise of Amazing is that there are so many supporting characters in Wren and Grayson’s lives and I loved imagining the world they lived in and how they interacted with each other.
The friendships in the book are definitely inspired by the friendships I have in my own life. Some of my best friends are the girls I met in high school, so in a way The Promise of Amazing is a bit of a love letter to that time in my life. When I thought about who I was writing this book for – I pictured my sixteen year old self, and what kind of book I would have liked to have read at that time. There are so many pressures in high school – choices that feel monumental at the time – and I wanted to address those too. I think that’s why I love to write for the YA audience because everything is high stakes!

Purchase The Promise of Amazing at Amazon
Purchase The Promise of Amazing at IndieBound
View The Promise of Amazing on Goodreads


* * * *

by Nina Berry
Released 12/31/2013

Dez thought she knew who her mother was, who she was. Thought she had friends, a boy who loved her, and a school where she finally fit in.

But across the veil linking our world and the next lurks a monster which can annihilate. . .or liberate her. Now she must confront it there with help from one boy who loves her and one who can't stand the sight of her.

Dez thought she understood her tiger form, her deepest self. But in this treacherous place, she'll have to choose between the two halves of her soul--and determine which world survives.

Othersphere is the third and final installment in Nina Berry's acclaimed young adult Otherkin series, which blends romance, fantasy, and action in a powerful story of friendship and self-acceptance.

"Filled with suspense, action, friendship, and love, this book will have you on the edge of your seat until the end, when you'll cry out, 'I need more!'" - ParanormalReads.com review of Otherkin, book 1.

Purchase Othersphere at Amazon
Purchase Othersphere at IndieBound
View Othersphere on Goodreads

* * * *

by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Released 12/31/2013

It's time to meet your new roomie.

When East Coast native Elizabeth receives her freshman-year roommate assignment, she shoots off an e-mail to coordinate the basics: television, microwave, mini-fridge. That first note to San Franciscan Lauren sparks a series of e-mails that alters the landscape of each girl's summer -- and raises questions about how two girls who are so different will ever share a dorm room.

As the countdown to college begins, life at home becomes increasingly complex. With family relationships and childhood friendships strained by change, it suddenly seems that the only people Elizabeth and Lauren can rely on are the complicated new boys in their lives . . . and each other. Even though they've never met.

National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr and acclaimed author Tara Altebrando join forces for a novel about growing up, leaving home, and getting that one fateful e-mail that assigns your college roommate.

Purchase Roomies at Amazon
Purchase Roomies at IndieBound
View Roomies on Goodreads

* * * *

The Book of Love
by Lynn Weingarten
Released 12/31/2013

The Secret Sisterhood of Heartbreakers has given Lucy everything she thought she wanted. Gone is the poor, innocent girl pining away for a guy who didn’t deserve her and in her place is a fierce, fabulous Heartbreaker with glamorous sisters, an unbreakable heart, and access to magic.

The only problem is this: Lucy’s floppy-haired, blues-playing best friend Tristan is in pain. And she’s powerless to help him.

Or is she?

It’s time for the annual Heartbreaker competition — a chance for Lucy and her sisters to win The Book of Love, an ancient tome containing centuries’ worth of Heartbreaker wisdom, and maybe, just maybe, enough magic to fix Tristan’s heart for good.

Lucy will do whatever it takes; if it helps her fix her friend, she knows it’s worth it. At least she thinks she knows.

As Lucy goes deeper into the world of the sisterhood, she learns that even those closest to her have unimaginable secrets, and when it comes to magic, nothing comes without a price . . .

Purchase The Book of Love at Amazon
Purchase The Book of Love at IndieBound
View The Book of Love on Goodreads

* * * *

by Ellen Oh
Released 12/31/2013

First an outcast, now a hero.

But her fight rages on.

Kira, the yellow-eyed demon slayer who fiercely protected her kingdom—and the crown prince—has been proclaimed the Dragon Musado of the prophecy. With the defeated the evil shaman.

But it wasn’t enough.

Hansong is in chaos. The Demon Lord’s minions have infiltrated the city, treason is brewing among the military ranks, and Kira is buried by the overwhelming loss of her parents. She’s also plagued by the annoying feelings that blossom whenever she’s around Jaewon. But she is determined that nothing will stop her from finding the second treasure needed to fulfill the Dragon King’s prophecy. Not even the army of half-breed demons hot on their trail. If only she could learn to trust others…

Her father always said one person can change the world. Will it be Kira?

Purchase Warrior at Amazon
Purchase Warrior at IndieBound
View Warrior on Goodreads

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

35 Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays Giveaway!

All of us here at Adventures in YA Publishing want to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday. We hope that Santa brings you everything you wished for and of course, many amazing books!

We all know that sometimes Santa can be forgetful, so we wanted to do something to help him out. What better than a Holiday Giveaway?

Here's how to enter:
Tell us in the comments what books Santa brought you and what he forgot. On New Years Eve, we'll pick a random commenter to win a book (or two!) Santa forgot to bring them!

(Open to US and Canada only)

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

3 Our Holiday Wishlists from the Adventures in YA Publishing Team

To round up our series of Holiday Wishlist posts, we are sharing our wish lists today. More than anything, we wish all of our amazing readers a very happy holiday. Make sure you stop by tomorrow for a special giveaway!

Lisa Gail Green
That's easy!
  • Beholden by our fearless leader, Martina Boone.

Clara Kensie
I'm so far behind on my want-to-read list that my Christmas wish list includes mostly previously-released books, along with a few upcoming releases. Here are some of them, in no particular order:
  • DISSONANCE by Erica O'Rourke
  • DOCTOR SLEEP and MR. MERCEDES by Stephen King
  • DON'T LOOK BACK by Jennifer Armentrout
  • GIRL OF NIGHTMARES by Kendare Blake
  • HEARTBEAT by Elizabeth Scott
  • ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE by Kate Karyus Quinn
  • TAKE ON ME by Katie McGarry
  • FIND ME by Romily Bernard
  • BEHOLDEN by Martina Boone
  • RUN TO YOU BOOK 1 (Parts 1 - 3) and RUN TO YOU BOOK 2 (Parts 4 - 6), by Clara Kensie. Yes, this is a shameless plug, but it's true. I'm so excited to read my books as actual books, and my biggest Christmas wish (besides, you know, peace on earth and goodwill toward men) is that you will read the RUN TO YOU series too!!!
My list doesn't end here. There are so many more. MOAR BOOKS.

Warm winter wishes, everyone! May your holiday be full of joy and love and books.

Kate Foley
  • The Divergent box set by Veronica Roth
  • Beholden by Martina Boone (if it were coming out in time for me to get it). ;)
  • The Host by Stephenie Meyer (with the movie cover, because the regular one would creep me out)!
  • The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet and The Unlikely Debut of Ellie Sweet, both by Stephanie Morrill

Alyssa Hamilton
My list includes a mixture of arc's and books that are already out!

  • The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski (i've read it and loved it so much I want my own copy so badly!)
  • On The Fence by Kasie West
  • Lips Touch, 3 Times by Laini Taylor
  • Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor
  • The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
  • Looking For Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta
  • The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab
  • Wicked Little Secrets by Kara Taylor
  • Evertrue by Brodi Ashton

Jan Lewis

  • INFINITE by Jodi Meadows - Because she's my absolute favorite! Plus an incredibly generous person (Martina) pre-ordered a signed copy for me, so I'm extra excited!
  • WAYFARER: A TALE OF BEAUTY AND MADNESS by Lili St. Crow - My second favorite!
  • LUMIERE by Jacqueline Garlick - It has a gorgeous cover, so I must have a hard copy of this one.
  • WHEN THE BUTTERFLIES CAME by Kimberley Griffiths Little - I don't normally read MG, but the blurb for this sounds amazing. Must have!
  • KILLER INSTINCT by S. E. Green - Three words: Teenage Girl Dexter. That is all.
  • DREAMS OF GODS & MONSTERS by Laini Taylor - Who doesn't want this book right this instant??
  • BEHOLDEN by Martina Boone - I've had the pleasure of reading this gorgeous book, and I can't wait to have an actual hard copy in my hot little hands!

Martina Boone
The top of my Christmas wish list starts with intangibles:

  • That every teen and child have access to books that get them excited and get them reading.
  • That every library has new books and new readers, and that every bookstore has customers who come in to buy.
  • That the people who ban books actually read those books and let those books change them before they start objecting.
  • That I keep being lucky enough to share my own characters and stories with readers.
  • That Jan Lewis finishes her fabulous book and that more of my friends get published.

All the lovely, lovely upcoming books from my friends. (Write more, ladies!!!) Here are just a few:

  • RUN TO YOU by Clara Kensie (OMG paranormal powers!)
  • Book Two in Lisa Gail Green's BINDING STONE series (fabulous take on Djinn!!)
  • LUMIERE by Jacqueine E. Garlick (steampunk fantasy!)
  • SCINTILLATE by Tracy Clark (metaphysics that will make you drool while you think)
  • TELL ME WHEN by Stina Lindenblatt (talk about HOT guys!)
  • WHITE HOT KISS by Jennifer L. Armentrout (STEAM, I tell you)
  • FATES by Lanie Bross (mythology I instantly fell for)
  • PRISONER OF NIGHT AND FOG by Anne Blankman (romance and INTRIGUE)
  • THE SHADOW PRINCE by Bree Despain (stakes and destinies and music, oh my!!!)
  • A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU by Claudia Gray (a KICKASS premise!)
  • SNOW LIKE ASHES by Sara Raasch (The world and premise!)
  • KILLER INSTINCT by S.E. Green (WOW! If Dexter was a teenage girl…)
  • And last but certainly not least, FORBIDDEN by Kimberley Griffiths Little (lush, dangerous, and sexy!)

And because I am super, super greedy, here are a few more:

  • DANGEROUS CREATURES by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
  • Anything by Maggie Stiefvater, Rainbow Rowell, Veronica Rossi, Veronica Roth, Victoria Schwab, Marie Lu, Gayle Forman, Melissa de la Cruz, Ruta Sepetys, David Levithan, Sarah Ockler, Tamora Pierce, Nancy Werlin, Holly Black…

Okay, I'll stop now. But know that in my head, I'm still adding and coveting ALL THE BOOKS, for which Santa will probably bring me a lump of coal.

Monday, December 23, 2013

9 Inspired Openings: Care About Your Character by Jackie Garlick-Pynaert

Today's guest post was written by debut author Jackie Garlick-Pynaert, who's fantasy steampunk novel LUMIERE, just came out. Martina met Jackie at YALL Fest this year and fell in love with her writing, so needless to say we are super excited to have her on the blog today, and so should you! 

Care About Your Character by Jackie Garlick-Pynaert

The most important advice I received about starting a book came from my mentor, and story guru, Lorin Oberweger, as well as from the teachings of Don Maass, James Scott Bell and Christopher Vogler.

In essence, what was said is this…though author’s are encouraged to start with action, which I too would encourage you to do (Lorin and company talking…) it is essential that we care about the character and their situation first before we are willing to invest in their journeys.  As readers we need to strike a chord with them, a strong emotional chord, before we care about, or are wiling to root for them on any journey.  That last part is the most important thing, think about it…we only root for those we truly love. 

Thus, throwing our characters straight under the bus (me talking…not as eloquent but…) the character gets run over and no one cares. Literally, no one cares. 

The trick is to get the reader to care, and care deeply enough that the reader actually experiences the character’s pain. Many writers think they are on a mission to evoke empathy. That’s wrong. Empathy is an outside emotion. We want our readers inside the skin of our characters. We want our readers to experience what’s happening to our characters first hand, not just feel sorry for them, we want readers hurting, suffering, moved to the point the reader rises up out of their comfy chair and shouts…That’s it. Let’s go kick some serious ass!

How do we accomplish this, you say? I have to words for you. Back up.

As writers we often start too late. By this I mean, at the point of action (as I mentioned earlier) a high-tension moment (or shortly before) that we feel will grip the reader by the throat and keep them turning pages. What we should be doing is creating that high point of page turning tension through emotional engagement with our characters, first.

Example: I’ll use Lumière to illustrate. Originally, I started the book with a combination of current chapters one and two. Both involve action-packed, high-tension elements that negatively impact my main character, Eyelet. The super-charged meeting with her arch nemesis Professor Smrt, where we learn she is orphaned by her father, has a terrible condition for which she could be placed in an asylum, and has been pegged a social pariah among her peers and townspeople, all of which she must keep a secret. Pretty heavy stuff, right? But wait, I’m not done. The opening chapter also included the tragic, unexpected death scene of her mother, leaving her truly orphaned and on the run. Omgod, you say. Yeah…

I may have mastered high tension and had readers turning pages, but when it was all done…would they care? Would they worry for Eyelet? Would they leap into a run along with her, hearts pounding, willing to invest in her journey for 300 more pages?  The hard truth came next.

Dear, and long-time friend Veronica Rossi wrote this. “Do you really need the scene with her mother dying? I don’t think its really accomplishing the emotional goal you’re seeking here. Perhaps revisit or eliminate it.” Gulp.

What? (I gasped.) The mother dying is essential to the plot. (I railed.) Her death is pivotal! (I panicked.) Or at least it was supposed to be.

Then came this from my mentor, Lorin. “Why should we care?”

Just four little words written in the margin, couldn’t have spoken more truth. Why should a reader care? I had to admit, reading it over, I didn’t. It was then I realized, I had evoked empathy…but that was it. Big whoop.

“It is my understanding,” Lorin went on to say, “that Eyelet’s world has been physically destroyed by some strange thing that happened in her past, correct? And she’s has been left fatherless because of it, and her mother has become the focus of public scrutiny, and Eyelet now lives in fear of being discovered because of her losses…” That’s correct. “Then, wouldn’t it make sense to show us what happened? Better still, why not give readers a glimpse into Eyelet’s perfect, little, life (world) prior to the catastrophe…perhaps, on the very brink of the day of destruction???” BINGO. The lights came on…

And so the prologue was born, whereby we meet a young and vibrant Eyelet, full of hopes and dreams (and piss and vinegar) and the searing love for her parents, and then…disaster strikes…and Eyelet loses everything.

Lesson learned: It is vitally important for story openings to have a pulse—a beating heart—that by the end of that chapter (or two…no more), (sadistic) authors (like myself…and hopefully you…) can rip out, throw on the floor, and stomp, leaving our characters to bleed all over the page, and our readers to weep. Once you do, the reader is hooked and the journey can begin.

Back up people. Trust me. Works every time.

Some of my favorite opening lines that set that fictional heart a beating…

“I wake up. Immediately I have to figure out who I am.” every day, David Levithan.
“I’ve confessed to everything and I’d like to be hanged. Now if you please.” Chime, Franny Billingsley.
“I wasn’t reborn. When I was five I realized how different than made me.” Jodi Meadow, Incarnate.
“Once upon a time there was a girl that was special…(the whole first paragraph).” Ultraviolet, R.J. Anderson.

About The Author

Jacqueline was nicknamed “Little Erin” (as in Erin Brockovich) after she took on her school board over being placed in black toxic mould and, well...lost. BUT if she hadn't lost, she's still be teaching with no time for writing, which would be the real tragedy because more than anything else in the world Jacqueline loves to write. 

These days, she is affectionately referred to as the Quentin Tarantino of YA, known for her edgy, rule-breaking, Tim Burton-esque style of writing. Jacqueline likes gritty stories with beating hearts, dislikes wimpy heroines and whiny sidekicks, and loves a good tale about an irresistible underdog. 

Jacqueline is a graduate of Ellen Hopkin’s Nevada Mentoring Program, and has also studied under James Scott Bell, Christopher Vogler and Don Maass, where she was the 2012 recipient of the Don Maass Break Out Novel Intensive Scholarship. She is represented by Josh Adams of Adams Literary. 

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Pinterest

About The Book

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 an asylum. 

Pursued by Smrt, Eyelet locates the Illuminator only to see it whisked away. She follows the thief into the 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 their biggest problem of all. 

Lumière: A Steampunk Fantasy 

When darkness is safer than the light… 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

10 Question of the Week: What Writerly Things are on Your Holiday Wish List?

Hey everyone! It’s Clara Kensie, back with a new Question of the Week! Pretty much the only thing writers love as much as writing is talking about writing. So each week here at Adventures in YA Publishing, I post a question for you to answer. The questions cover all topics important to writers: craft, career, writers’ life, reading and books. Together we’ll become better writers by sharing tips and discussing our habits and practices.

December 22, 2013

Happy holidays, AYAP friends! I know everyone is super-busy with holiday celebrations, so I’ll keep the QotW short and sweet:

What writerly things are on your holiday wishlist?

photo credit: amandacphoto via photopin cc

MY ANSWER: I would love a new laptop, something lighter and faster than the heavy thing I lug around now. But the writerly thing I want most isn’t something you can wrap. I want time. Uninterrupted writing time. I constantly daydream about going away for a week, all by myself, to a comfy cabin or even a hotel room, with just my laptop. No phone, no TV, no wifi. I would wear my favorite slipper socks, pajama pants and oversized hoodies, munch on simple, yummy snacks, and have a writing marathon. I bet I could write or revise half a manuscript in that week. This is the only thing I asked my family for this year: a solitary writing retreat.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? What writerly things are on your holiday wishlist?