Friday, January 31, 2014

19 Four Giveaways plus New YALit Releases 1/31 - 2/6

YA BOOK GIVEAWAYS THIS WEEK


* * * *


Rise of the Arcane Fire
by Kristin Bailey
Hardcover Giveaway
Simon Pulse
Released 2/4/2014

After her parents died in a fire and her grandfather disappeared, Meg Whitlock thought her life had come to a standstill. But when she learned that the pocket watch her grandfather left her was really an intricate key, Meg, with the help of a stable hand named Will, uncovered the Amusementists: members of an elite secret society dedicated to discovery and shrouded in mystery.

Now the Amusementists are convening in London, and Meg is determined to join their ranks. But being the first girl in the Order has its difficulties, and with Will away in Scotland Meg fears she can’t trust anyone but herself. Her worries are only supported by the sabotage happening at the academy, with each altered invention being more harmful than the last.

With threats lurking around every corner, and while trying to prove her worth as the first female Amusementist, Meg must uncover the identity of the academy’s saboteur before the botched devices become deadly. And after she finds evidence of a sinister and forbidden invention, Meg must stop it - or risk the entire future of the Amusementists.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Rise of the Arcane Fire?

My favorite thing about RISE OF THE ARCANE FIRE is how much Meg grows and matures in this story. She still has a little way to go to truly come into her own skin, but there's a third book for that. In this book she goes from an impulsive young teen into a more thoughtful girl who considers her options more carefully. She also learns a thing or two about love and comes to realize that love is something more than an overpowering crush on someone. I also love that she begins to bloom as an inventor and an engineer. I'm so proud of RISE OF THE ARCANE FIRE because it takes all the mystery and adventure of LEGACY OF THE CLOCKWORK KEY and brings it up to the next level. I enjoyed writing it, and I hope readers will enjoy it as well.

Purchase Rise of the Arcane Fire at Amazon
Purchase Rise of the Arcane Fire at IndieBound
View Rise of the Arcane Fire on Goodreads


* * * *


Tin Star
by Cecil Castellucci
ARC Giveaway
Roaring Brook Press
Released 2/25/2014

On their way to start a new life, Tula and her family travel on the Prairie Rose, a colony ship headed to a planet in the outer reaches of the galaxy. All is going well until the ship makes a stop at a remote space station, the Yertina Feray, and the colonist's leader, Brother Blue, beats Tula within an inch of her life. An alien, Heckleck, saves her and teaches her the ways of life on the space station.

When three humans crash land onto the station, Tula's desire for escape becomes irresistible, and her desire for companionship becomes unavoidable. But just as Tula begins to concoct a plan to get off the space station and kill Brother Blue, everything goes awry, and suddenly romance is the farthest thing from her mind.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Tin Star?

I love Tula Bane. She is a human girl who is abandoned on an alien space station. She's the only human and when she first arrives she's only fourteen. It's a hard road for her to survive and I love her scrappiness. In a way, she has to become an alien in order to live on the Yertina Feray space station. I was interested in trying to figure out how to strip her down to her most basic survival skills and then to have her regain her humanity when she's faced with meeting humans again. That was a favorite thing. Through that, of course, it was so much fun to come up with the various aliens that make up her day to day world. Filling up a space station with different aliens was complicated but rewarding. I think that Tournour and Heckleck are alien and yet relatable and I love them.

Purchase Tin Star at Amazon
Purchase Tin Star at IndieBound
View Tin Star on Goodreads


* * * *


The Real Prom Queens of Westfield High
by Laurie Boyle Crompton
Hardcover Giveaway
Sourcebooks Fire
Released 2/4/2014

Shannon’s ‘clique’ is just her and her best friend and she has a super-embarrassing nickname that won’t go away. It is no huge shock when her classmates vote her least likely to be crowned Prom Queen. What is shocking is the new hidden camera reality show she finds herself starring in, titled The Prom Queen Wannabes! Shannon and two other Wannabes must battle to be elected Prom Queen and snag the One! Million! Dollar! prize. After a summer of makeovers and training at Prom Queen Camp, the hidden cameras watch the three of them enter their senior year equipped with secret skills to help wage war on the popular set. Things at Westfield High are about to get ugly, and Shannon must decide how much she's willing to give up for a shot at winning that tiara.

Purchase The Real Prom Queens of Westfield High at Amazon
Purchase The Real Prom Queens of Westfield High at IndieBound
View The Real Prom Queens of Westfield High on Goodreads


* * * *


Run to You: First Sight
by Clara Kensie
Digital Giveaway
Harlequin Teen
Released 2/1/2014

Part One in the riveting romantic thriller about a family on the run from a deadly past and a first love that will transcend secrets, lies and danger…

Sarah Spencer has a secret: her real name is Tessa Carson, and to stay alive, she can tell no one the truth about her psychically gifted family and the danger they are running from. As the new girl in the latest of countless schools, she also runs from her attraction to Tristan Walker—after all, she can’t even tell him her real name. But Tristan won’t be put off by a few secrets. Not even dangerous ones that might rip Tessa from his arms before they even kiss…

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Run to You: First Sight?

Besides the romance, my favorite thing about RUN TO YOU is seeing people's reactions to the huge plot twists.

Purchase Run to You: First Sight at Amazon
Purchase Run to You: First Sight at IndieBound
View Run to You: First Sight on Goodreads



YA BOOK GIVEAWAYS LAST WEEK: WINNERS


* * * *


Manor of Secrets
by Katherine Longshore
Signed Hardcover Giveaway
Point
Released 1/28/2014

Winner - Liya Pia

The year is 1911. And at The Manor, nothing is as it seems . . .

Lady Charlotte Edmonds: Beautiful, wealthy, and sheltered, Charlotte feels suffocated by the strictures of upper-crust society. She longs to see the world beyond The Manor, to seek out high adventure. And most of all, romance.

Janie Seward: Fiery, hardworking, and clever, Janie knows she can be more than just a kitchen maid. But she isn't sure she possesses the courage -- or the means -- to break free and follow her passions.

Both Charlotte and Janie are ready for change. As their paths overlap in the gilded hallways and dark corridors of The Manor, rules are broken and secrets are revealed. Secrets that will alter the course of their lives. . . forever.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Manor of Secrets?

My favorite thing about MANOR OF SECRETS is the upstairs/downstairs dual points of view. I loved the challenge of writing from two perspectives and keeping an eye on two distinct character arcs while trying to wrangle them into a compelling and cohesive story arc. It gave me fresh insight and renewed admiration for authors like Veronica Rossi (UNDER THE NEVER SKY) and Rainbow Rowell (ELEANOR & PARK) who do this so seamlessly and beautifully.

But more than the writing challenge, I appreciated the opportunity to be able to look at the setting, the events and the historical time period from the perspectives of two very different girls who lived two very different lives. Having written mostly about the historically elite in my Tudor novels, I relished the chance to be able to look at the other side of life through the eyes of Janie the kitchen maid, knowing that if I had been alive in Edwardian England, I probably would have been in her shoes and not the kidskin boots of Charlotte upstairs.


Purchase Manor of Secrets at Amazon
Purchase Manor of Secrets at IndieBound
View Manor of Secrets on Goodreads

* * * *


No Place
by Todd Strasser
Signed ARC Giveaway
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Released 1/28/2014

Winner - Amy Mays

When Dan and his family go from middle class to homeless, issues of injustice rise to the forefront in this relatable, timely novel from Todd Strasser.

It seems like Dan has it all. He’s a baseball star who hangs with the popular crowd and dates the hottest girl in school. Then his family loses their home.

Forced to move into the town’s Tent City, Dan feels his world shifting. His friends try to pretend that everything’s cool, but they’re not the ones living among the homeless. As Dan struggles to adjust to his new life, he gets involved with the people who are fighting for better conditions and services for the residents of Tent City. But someone wants Tent City gone, and will stop at nothing until it’s destroyed...

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about No Place?

Somewhat sadly, I suppose my favorite thing about NO PLACE is its timeliness. When I started working on the book nearly three years ago, I had no way of knowing what the state of homelessness would be in early 2014. Now here we are just a month from pub date and this week the New York Times is running a big front-page series about homelessness while the most recent statistics indicate that there are more homeless children here than at any time since the Great Depression. I’ve always felt that books like these – including GIVE A BOY A GUN and IF I GROW UP – present something of a moral dilemma. The worse the situation is, the more I, the author, stands to gain. And yet I strongly believe these topics need to be addressed.

To give an example of why I feel NO PLACE is an important book for today’s young adults, I recall doing a Skype with a class from a suburban school in Florida back when I was just beginning my research. When I asked the students if there were any homeless children attending their school, they all said no. But when the Skype session ended and the students were leaving the room, the teacher came up to the camera and said in a low voice that there were indeed a number of children in the school whose parents were homeless. The other students had no idea.


Purchase No Place at Amazon
Purchase No Place at IndieBound
View No Place on Goodreads



* * * *


Uninvited
by Sophie Jordan
Hardcover Giveaway
HarperTeen
Released 1/28/2014

Winner - Marie Oliva

The Scarlet Letter meets Minority Report in bestselling author Sophie Jordan's chilling new novel about a teenage girl who is ostracized when her genetic test proves she's destined to become a murderer.

When Davy Hamilton's tests come back positive for Homicidal Tendency Syndrome (HTS)-aka the kill gene-she loses everything. Her boyfriend ditches her, her parents are scared of her, and she can forget about her bright future at Juilliard. Davy doesn't feel any different, but genes don't lie. One day she will kill someone.

Only Sean, a fellow HTS carrier, can relate to her new life. Davy wants to trust him; maybe he's not as dangerous as he seems. Or maybe Davy is just as deadly.

The first in a two-book series, Uninvited tackles intriguing questions about free will, identity, and human nature. Steeped in New York Times bestselling author Sophie Jordan's trademark mix of gripping action and breathless romance, this suspenseful tale is perfect for fans of James Patterson, Michelle Hodkin, and Lisa McMann.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Uninvited?

I think one of my favorite things about UNINVITED is that it’s genre-defying. Other than belonging in the YA genre, it can’t really strictly be called paranormal, post-apocalyptic, dystopian, sci-fi, horror or romance.

It’s set in the near-future, with shades of sci-fi, but not enough in my opinion to be called straight-up sci-fi. Nor is it dystopian, although many times it is mistakenly referred to as such.

UNINVITED is unique in premise and unlike anything I’ve ever written. As an author, it’s always exciting when you write something wholly new. And UNINVITED was that for me.


Purchase Uninvited at Amazon
Purchase Uninvited at IndieBound
View Uninvited on Goodreads



* * * *


Road Rash
by Mark Parsons
ARC Giveaway
Knopf Books for Young Readers
Released 2/11/2014

Winner - Elizabeth Weibley

A teenage drummer finds out what life is really like on tour with a rock band in this funny, funky, bittersweet debut YA novel. For anyone who loved Almost Famous or This Is Spinal Tap.

After being dropped from one band, 17-year-old drummer Zach gets a chance to go on tour with a much better band. It feels like sweet redemption, but this is one rocky road trip. . . .

Zach's in control on the drums, driving the band, keeping things moving at the right pace. But when the show is over, his timing is all off. The jealousies and rivalries within his new group keep him off-balance. The awesome original song he recorded backfires. And the girl he left back home is suddenly talking about this other guy . . .

 Mark Parsons has written a fast-paced, feel-good novel about a boy finding his place in the world, in a band, and in the music. Zach is a character teens will stand up and cheer for as he lands the perfect gig, and the perfect girl.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Road Rash?

Wow… good question. There were several things about the writing of ROAD RASH that I found wonderful, or enlightening, or humbling. (Or frequently all three.) But my favorite thing about the book itself is that now there is (or very soon will be) a book out there that “Gives the drummer some!” I mean, he/she is the dude in the back, sweating it out, laying it down, holding it together, all while driving that damn bus down the road every night. And what do they get for it? Uh… drummer jokes? The chance to haul more gear than the rest of the band combined? Blisters and a bad back? A stunning lack of respect/attention from the media, the crowd, and the world at large? (All of whom seem to fixate on the lead singer or occasionally the lead guitarist. But never the drummer.) Even the second-best rock ‘n roll film of all time—“This is Spinal Tap”—had the drummer as nothing but the butt of a running (umm… exploding) joke.
So yeah, among many other things that I’m thankful for, I’m pretty stoked to have a book out there that gives a little love to the people who’re the true heartbeat of the music.


Purchase Road Rash at Amazon
Purchase Road Rash at IndieBound
View Road Rash on Goodreads



* * * *


The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender
by Leslye Walton
ARC Giveaway
Candlewick
Released 3/25/2014

Winner - Rachel Edmundson

Magical realism, lyrical prose, and the pain and passion of human love haunt this hypnotic generational saga.

Foolish love appears to be the Roux family birthright, an ominous forecast for its most recent progeny, Ava Lavender. Ava—in all other ways a normal girl—is born with the wings of a bird. In a quest to understand her peculiar disposition and a growing desire to fit in with her peers, sixteen-year old Ava ventures into the wider world, ill-prepared for what she might discover and naïve to the twisted motives of others. Others like the pious Nathaniel Sorrows, who mistakes Ava for an angel and whose obsession with her grows until the night of the Summer Solstice celebration. That night, the skies open up, rain and feathers fill the air, and Ava’s quest and her family’s saga build to a devastating crescendo. First-time author Leslye Walton has constructed a layered and unforgettable mythology of what it means to be born with hearts that are tragically, exquisitely human.

Purchase The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender at Amazon
Purchase The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender at IndieBound
View The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender on Goodreads


MORE YOUNG ADULT FICTION IN STORES NEXT WEEK WITH AUTHOR INTERVIEWS


* * * *


Landry Park
by Bethany Hagen
Hardcover
Dial
Released 2/4/2014

Downton Abbey meets The Selection in this dystopian tale of love and betrayal

In a fragmented future United States ruled by the lavish gentry, seventeen-year-old Madeline Landry dreams of going to the university. Unfortunately, gentry decorum and her domineering father won't allow that. Madeline must marry, like a good Landry woman, and run the family estate. But her world is turned upside down when she discovers the devastating consequences her lifestyle is having on those less fortunate. As Madeline begins to question everything she has ever learned, she finds herself increasingly drawn to handsome, beguiling David Dana. Soon, rumors of war and rebellion start to spread, and Madeline finds herself and David at the center of it all. Ultimately, she must make a choice between duty - her family and the estate she loves dearly - and desire.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Landry Park?

Absolutely it's the world. I'm kind of in love with the idea of juxtaposition, and so the idea of having a future littered with signifiers of the past--giant sprawling estates, an emphasis on family and inheritance, a permanent underclass--seemed like a natural landscape in which to set a story. I love the idea of having these lavish parties and gorgeous dresses contrasted by the Cherenkov lanterns and the specter of nuclear radiation. (And, if we are being perfectly honest, I enjoyed writing the kissing scenes a lot too.)

Purchase Landry Park at Amazon
Purchase Landry Park at IndieBound
View Landry Park on Goodreads


* * * *


Scintillate
by Tracy Clark
Paperback
Entangled Teen
Released 2/4/2014

A mighty flame follows a tiny spark.

Cora Sandoval’s mother disappeared when she was five and they were living in Ireland. Since then, her dad has been more than overprotective, and Cora is beginning to chafe under his confines. But even more troubling is the colorful light she suddenly sees around people. Everyone, that is, except herself—instead, she glows a brilliant, sparkling silver.

As she realizes the danger associated with these strange auras, Cora is inexplicably drawn to Finn, a gorgeous Irish exchange student who makes her feel safe. Their attraction is instant, magnetic, and primal—but her father disapproves, and Finn’s mother orders him home to Ireland upon hearing he’s fallen in love. After a fight with her father, Cora flees to Ireland, both to follow Finn and to look for her missing mother.

There she meets another silver-haloed person and discovers the meaning of her newfound powers and their role in a conspiracy spanning centuries—one that could change mankind forever…and end her life.

Scintillate is the first book in this lush and exciting new trilogy, full of romance, adventure and metaphysical mystery.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Scintillate?

What personally fires me up about SCINTILLATE is what excited me to write this story in the first place. I created a mythology to explain something we experience in real life when certain people “drain” us or “uplift” us. It’s energy. A vibe. The metaphysical element of this story is what I love best. If people, especially teens, read it and start thinking about how certain people make them feel, or even how their own energy affects others, then it’s a win. We are all transmitting and receiving. What are we getting? What are we giving? That’s the driving heart of the series for me.

Purchase Scintillate at Amazon
Purchase Scintillate at IndieBound
View Scintillate on Goodreads
* * * *


Mistwalker
by Saundra Mitchell
Hardcover
HMH Books for Young Readers
Released 2/4/2014

When Willa Dixon’s brother dies on the family lobster boat, her father forbids Willa from stepping foot on the deck again. With her family suffering, she’ll do anything to help out—even visiting the Grey Man.

Everyone in her small Maine town knows of this legendary spirit who haunts the lighthouse, controlling the fog and the fate of any vessel within his reach. But what Willa finds in the lighthouse isn’t a spirit at all, but a young man trapped inside until he collects one thousand souls.

Desperate to escape his cursed existence, Grey tries to seduce Willa to take his place. With her life on land in shambles, will she sacrifice herself?

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Mistwalker?

MISTWALKER is a very special book to me, and what I love best about it is that it's not about romantic love. It's all about Willa, who's an irresistible force, crashing up against the Grey Man, an immovable mountain. They both have their ambitions and their desires laid bare, and they both need something from each other. But it's not love-- and it was so exciting to me to figure out how they could both get what they needed, when what they both need is diametrically opposed. It was exciting to write a book about ambition and determination that has nothing to do with traditionally competitive subjects like arts, sports... Plus, I got to write about Maine: my favorite place in the whole world. My best friend and I believe that when we die, we'll get on a ferry and go to Maine. That'll be our heaven. :)

Purchase Mistwalker at Amazon
Purchase Mistwalker at IndieBound
View Mistwalker on Goodreads

* * * *


The Sound of Letting Go
by Stacia Ward Kehoe
Hardcover
Viking Juvenile
Released 2/6/2014

For sixteen years, Daisy has been good. A good daughter, helping out with her autistic younger brother uncomplainingly. A good friend, even when her best friend makes her feel like a third wheel. When her parents announce they’re sending her brother to an institution—without consulting her—Daisy’s furious, and decides the best way to be a good sister is to start being bad. She quits jazz band and orchestra, slacks in school, and falls for bad-boy Dave.

But one person won’t let Daisy forget who she used to be: Irish exchange student and brilliant musician Cal. Does she want the bad boy or the prodigy? Should she side with her parents or protect her brother? How can she know when to hold on and when—and how—to let go?

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about The Sound of Letting Go?

My favorite thing about this book is probably the way I discovered, through the writing process, the importance of exploring the different sorts of communities to which Daisy belongs--her family, her jazz band, her small town--and how they influenced the way she expressed herself. The book evolved and grew as I wrote scenes in the local coffee shop, lines about baking a pie for the neighbors, and Daisy's sense of the rumor mill swirling around her family life. Since finishing TSoLG, I feel that I have paid more attention to community as I build my stories My other favorite thing is Dave Miller. I loved writing Dave!

Purchase The Sound of Letting Go at Amazon
Purchase The Sound of Letting Go at IndieBound
View The Sound of Letting Go on Goodreads


MORE YOUNG ADULT NOVELS NEW IN STORES NEXT WEEK


* * * *


Alienated
by Melissa Landers
Hardcover
Disney-Hyperion
Released 2/4/2014

Two years ago, the aliens made contact. Now Cara Sweeney is going to be sharing a bathroom with one of them.

Handpicked to host the first-ever L’eihr exchange student, Cara thinks her future is set. Not only does she get a free ride to her dream college, she’ll have inside information about the mysterious L’eihrs that every journalist would kill for. Cara’s blog following is about to skyrocket.

Still, Cara isn’t sure what to think when she meets Aelyx. Humans and L’eihrs have nearly identical DNA, but cold, infuriatingly brilliant Aelyx couldn’t seem more alien. She’s certain about one thing, though: no human boy is this good-looking.

But when Cara's classmates get swept up by anti-L'eihr paranoia, Midtown High School suddenly isn't safe anymore. Threatening notes appear in Cara's locker, and a police officer has to escort her and Aelyx to class.

Cara finds support in the last person she expected. She realizes that Aelyx isn’t just her only friend; she's fallen hard for him. But Aelyx has been hiding the truth about the purpose of his exchange, and its potentially deadly consequences. Soon Cara will be in for the fight of her life—not just for herself and the boy she loves, but for the future of her planet.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Alienated?

What's my favorite thing about ALIENATED? That's easy! It's the romance that slowly builds between Aelyx--a cold, unfeeling alien exchange student--and Cara, his human host. Their progress from strangers to friends to...more than friends is a slow burn, which is my favorite kind of romantic relationship. I especially enjoyed showing Aelyx's gradual transformation on the page. At the beginning of the book, he'd rather die than partner with a human, but Cara eventually brings him to his knees. That was fun to write!

Purchase Alienated at Amazon
Purchase Alienated at IndieBound
View Alienated on Goodreads

* * * *


Cress
by Marissa Meyer
Hardcover
Feiwel & Friends
Released 2/4/2014

Rapunzel’s tower is a satellite. She can’t let down her hair—or her guard.

In this third book in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, who has been trapped on a satellite since childhood with only her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker—unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing stop her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only ones who can.

Purchase Cress at Amazon
Purchase Cress at IndieBound
View Cress on Goodreads

* * * *


Ignite Me
by Tahereh Mafi
Hardcover
HarperCollins
Released 2/4/2014

The heart-stopping conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Shatter Me series, which Ransom Riggs, bestselling author of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, called "a thrilling, high-stakes saga of self-discovery and forbidden love"

Juliette now knows she may be the only one who can stop the Reestablishment. But to take them down, she'll need the help of the one person she never thought she could trust: Warner. And as they work together, Juliette will discover that everything she thought she knew-about Warner, her abilities, and even Adam-was wrong.

In Shatter Me, Tahereh Mafi created a captivating and original story that combined the best of dystopian and paranormal and was praised by Publishers Weekly as "a gripping read from an author who's not afraid to take risks." The sequel, Unravel Me, blew readers away with heart-racing twists and turns, and New York Times bestselling author Kami Garcia said it was "dangerous, sexy, romantic, and intense." Now this final book brings the series to a shocking and climactic end.

Praise for the Shatter Me series:

"Dangerous, sexy, romantic, and intense. I dare you to stop reading."-Kami Garcia, #1 New York Times bestselling coauthor of the Beautiful Creatures series

"Tahereh Mafi's bold, inventive prose crackles with raw emotion. A thrilling, high-stakes saga of self-discovery and forbidden love, the Shatter Me series is a must-read for fans of dystopian young adult literature-or any literature!"-Ransom Riggs, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

"Addictive, intense, and oozing with romance. I'm envious. I couldn't put it down."-Lauren Kate, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Fallen series

Purchase Ignite Me at Amazon
Purchase Ignite Me at IndieBound
View Ignite Me on Goodreads



* * * *


Something Real
by Heather Demetrios
Hardcover
Henry Holt and Co.
Released 2/4/2014

Seventeen-year-old Bonnie™ Baker has grown up on TV—she and her twelve siblings are the stars of one-time hit reality show Baker’s Dozen. Since the show's cancellation, Bonnie™ has tried to live a normal life, under the radar and out of the spotlight. But it's about to fall apart . . . because Baker’s Dozen is going back on the air. Bonnie™'s mom and the show's producers won't let her quit and soon the life that she has so carefully built for herself, with real friends (and maybe even a real boyfriend), is in danger of being destroyed by the show. Bonnie™ needs to do something drastic if her life is ever going to be her own—even if it means being more exposed than ever before.

Heather Demetrios' Something Real is the winner of the Susan P. Bloom PEN New England Discovery Award.

Purchase Something Real at Amazon
Purchase Something Real at IndieBound
View Something Real on Goodreads

* * * *


Teen Spirit
by Francesca Lia Block
Hardcover
HarperTeen
Released 2/4/2014

Francesca Lia Block, critically acclaimed author of Weetzie Bat, brings this eerie and redemptive ghost story to life with her signature, poetic prose. It's perfect for fans of supernatural stories with a touch of romance like the Beautiful Creatures series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.

After Julie's grandmother passes away, she is forced to move across town to the not-so-fancy end of Beverly Hills and start over at a new school. The only silver lining to the perpetual dark cloud that seems to be following her? Clark—a die-hard fan of Buffy and all things Joss Whedon, who is just as awkward and damaged as she is. Her kindred spirit.

When the two try to contact Julie's grandmother with a Ouija board, they make contact with a different spirit altogether. The real kind. And this ghost will do whatever it takes to come back to the world of the living.

Francesca Lia Block's latest young adult novel is a haunting work about family, loss, love, and redemption.

Purchase Teen Spirit at Amazon
Purchase Teen Spirit at IndieBound
View Teen Spirit on Goodreads


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, January 30, 2014

7 Agent-judged Pitch+Page Contest Starts 2/15/14 -- Get Your MG/YA/NA Manuscripts Ready!



Hi, everyone! I'm interrupting this regularly scheduled Wish I'd Written Post to announce a . . .


CONTEST!

Yep. An honest-to-gosh pitch contest. We haven't done one in a few months, because I've been frazzled and Jan Lewis, our contest coordinator extraordinaire, started a new business which has taken her away from the blog a bit. Which is awesome. (See AuthorSidekick.com, for deets, if you're curious!) Eh. Hem.

But back to our announcement.

Since Jan and I couldn't do contests without additional help, we're thrilled to announce that Lisa Gail Green is going to be taking over as contest coordinator and agent wrangler on the blog. (See here for Lisa's bio!) And to kick things off, we're going to jump right into a Pitch+Page Contest, which will begin at noon on 2/15/14. We've created a whole new blog (Adventures in YA Contests) just for contest entries, so things will run much more smoothly. But don't let the name fool you. The contest will be open to MG, YA, and NA as well--in the sense of NA as a great book with college age or slightly older protagonists in any genre.

Here are the rules.

  • We will take the first 100 Middle Grade/Young Adult/New Adult entries submitted after noon on 2/15. Please remember that we have many teen readers on this blog who are under 18, so keep the first pages rated PG. (I'm the last person to suggest any kind of censorship for ANY reason, but there is a level of expectation based on what readers are used to seeing here at AYAP.)
  • Entries will consist of a pitch of no more than 150 words and the first sentence of a COMPLETED manuscript.
  • The entries will all be posted on AdventuresInYAContests.blogspot.com.
  • We will invite reading, comments, love, and voting for a favorite — from anyone who wants to participate — until 6:00 AM ET on 2/22. At noon on 2/22 we announce the top 50 entries.
  • The top 50 entries will be judged by a group of respected bloggers, who will score the entries according to a standard scale with two bloggers reading each entry and a third blogger serving as a discrepancy judge if there is a wide disparity in scores.
  • The top 25 entries will be invited to send in their first page in addition to their pitch. These full entries will be scored by a group of authors according to a standard scale — two authors per manuscript with a discrepancy judge available.
  • The top 10 will move on to the agent round
  • Winners will be announced on 3/15/14.
  • All feedback, from the public, bloggers, authors, and agents will be posted as comments on the entry, but the identity of the judge making the comment will not be revealed. You'll just see Judge 1, or Judge 2, etc. You will, however, have a bio for all of the judges involved in that round.

This will give all participants the opportunity to receive feedback that they can apply immediately to their work, and give anyone who is inclined to watch the process the ability to learn vicariously.

Want to participate?

Here (again) is what you need:

  • A completed MG, YA, or NA manuscript.
  • A 150-word pitch for the above.
  • A kickbutt first sentence. (Or at least one that doesn't suck.) Trust me, I KNOW how hard that is!)
  • A fabulous first page. (Or at least one that introduces voice, a story question, and a character doing something.)
  • An iron suit to wear over your prickly skin. Suck it up, Buttercup. Publishing is tough, but if you get good, hard, thoughtful feedback, you can apply it to make your manuscript stand out.)
  • The desire to improve.

That's it.

Now, a word of caution, and I am speaking here from having queried two manuscripts before I sold COMPULSION. Are you listening?

  • You don't need to do a contest to get an agent.
  • You don't need to jump through hoops to court agents online.
  • You don't need prayer beads and voodoo dolls.

Agents want good manuscripts. Publishers want good manuscripts.

If your writing is solid, your query letter makes sense, your approach is professional, and your concept is marketable--and your timing isn't horribly bad--you can query any agent who is open to new clients, and he or she will read at least the pitch and probably a few pages, too.

Although we have agents judging this contest, this contest isn't about just getting your manuscript in front of an agent. It's about getting your manuscript READY for an agent. It's about developing the kind of analytical ability that will let you survive the hard work of the publishing process and hopefully be ready for reviews. It's about giving your manuscript the best possible chance to succeed.

And yes, there will be prizes. An agent critique of your first chapter or first three chapters. And books. GREAT books. Like Stephen King on Writing and some fun things.

So get ready. Are you ready?

See you on 2/15 at noon!

Oh, and P.S. -- Don't forget our Free February First Five Pages Workshop starts at noon on Saturday, February 1. The guest mentor this month is Edgar Award nominated author Todd Strasser, who has 140 books, two feature films, and several TV shows to his credit--among many other things. And we have an incredible new cast of permanent mentors to help us out since Lisa and I were overwhelmed at the end of last year.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

20 WOW Wednesday: Don't Quit Before The Miracle by Robin Constantine

Robin Constantine's debut YA Contemporary came out on the brink of the new year, and so far, people are falling in love with Wren and Grayson's love story. Go read THE PROMISE OF AMAZING. It is adorable people. We are SO happy to have Robin with us today!

Don’t Quit Before the Miracle by Robin Constantine


We’ve all heard publishing fairy tales, correct? You know, the ones that go something like this: writer has brilliant idea for a story, writes novel in two months, subs novel and within a week has five offers of representation, signs with dream agent, manuscript then sells at auction for a six figure advance and multi-book deal. All of this and the author is like, fifteen. Right? Okay, maybe that’s a bit of exaggeration, but there are many less glamorous variants to this story – your crit partner signed with an agent after three queries, that guy in your SCBWI workshop who only joined a year ago landed a multi-book deal on proposal alone or your friend is fielding movie offers and you just received your fiftieth rejection on your X-Men meets Romeo + Juliet dystopian paranormal. You get the picture.

On my journey to publication I usually had two ways of responding to such stories:

“Wow, that’s incredible! That makes this crazy pipe dream of getting published that much more accessible. If I work hard, that could be me!”

OR on my less enlightened days…

“I wonder if I still have the LivingSocial coupon for that “Skeet Shooting and Brewery Tour Adventure” in my inbox?”

The reality of publishing is simple. It’s hard. Yes, there are a handful of people who it appears to have come easy to but for the vast majority of us, breaking into publishing takes years.

So how to survive those moments when you’re on the brink of “I can’t do this anymore?”


Find Live Support
I’ve met some awesome people via social media but I’ve noticed when I spend too much time on Twitter or Facebook or surfing the blogosphere, I get grumpy and scattered. I rarely feel like this when I have coffee with real, live writer buds. Even lunch with a (gasp) non-writer friend or a phone call home is enough to make me realize there is more to life than a computer screen and a blinking cursor. Face time with real people can help you put things in perspective so that when you go back to that behemoth of a manuscript, you can see it with fresh eyes.

Quit
Nope, I’m not being funny here. If you’ve hit that brick wall of frustration more times than you can take, see if you can quit for a week, a month, even a year. Do something else entirely. Sometimes that feeling of “I can’t do this anymore” is just the need to take a break and let your subconscious do its thing. I took a break from writing when my daughter was born because I wanted to fully experience those early years without feeling guilty that I wasn’t spending enough time with her or conversely, that I wasn’t actively working to further my writing career. I didn’t stray far. I still critiqued other people’s work, read extensively and went to conferences. I just treated writing as more of a passionate hobby than the Holy Grail. I knew I’d made the right decision because when she was finally old enough to attend half day preschool, the first thing I did (after I wiped the OMG-my-baby’s-growing-up tears from my eyes) was open up a new Word document and start the manuscript that eventually connected me with my agent.


Focus on the upside of rejection
One of the most critical blurbs that’s still in my mental ‘you stink’ loop reel is from a rejection letter that I received on my birthday one year. Yes, really. My birthday. 365 days in a year and it had to come on that one.

“The writing is just not there.”

Ouch. It hurt. Tears were shed. Teeth were gnashed. I quit. I went to the beach. Ate dinner at a Mexican restaurant and got serenaded by the staff. I slept. I thought about that letter again. I read my manuscript. Darn it. Said editor had a point. Maybe my opening paragraph was a little lazy, the story too predictable, my heroine not interesting enough. I wanted to crumble with this one. Seriously. To this day, it’s still a phrase that my inner bully throws at me when my writing mojo is on the fritz, but I’ve learned to use it to my advantage. It made me determined to put my best on the page, to consistently improve, to do everything in my power to make my writing sing. In short, it made me a fighter.


Surround yourself with Inspiration
My tattered copy of Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird is usually within reach when I’m working at my desk. If I’m feeling particularly low, I can open to a random page and find some writing wisdom that makes me see things from a different perspective. Sometimes, it just makes me laugh. (In particular the chapter titled Radio Station KFKD). Maybe you find your inspiration in a song, or a long walk, or a quote from one of your favorite writers. It may feel hokey, but having a mantra even as simple as “I can power through this” can help you get back on track if you’ve lost your way. A favorite of mine is “Don’t quit before the miracle.” – I can’t really attribute the quote to any one person because I’ve heard it used so many times in sports and inspirational venues, but it’s a good one and can be applied to the very looooooong waiting game that is trying to break into publishing.


Understand that it Takes Years
This is different for everyone. I’m on the higher end of the “how long did it take” spectrum. I joined SCBWI in 1996, so you do the math. At one of the many conferences I’ve attended over the years, I heard someone say the average time for a writer to break into publishing is seven years. I know someone who took about three. Guess what? It’s not a contest and less time certainly doesn’t mean less work. Publishing is a notoriously glacial business. Understanding that is half the battle. Selling a book or getting a book deal doesn’t mean you’re done. You’ve only just begun. You are in it for the long haul, no? Cultivate patience.


Accept that it Might Not Happen for You
This is a hard one, and I know it sounds harsh and counterproductive, but real talk time: you can do everything right and still not land an agent or a publishing contract. Just think about it for a moment. Let it wash over you. In a weird way, realizing this, made me feel less pressured to ‘make it happen’. And while sometimes pressure is a good thing, living your life under constant pressure of “If I don’t do this, my life will amount to bupkis” is an unhealthy way to go through the day. Undaunted? Congratulations. If you can accept this and still want to write that story…I truly believe with a deep well of determination, a wish or two on the right star and a little thing called luck…you’ll find your spot on the shelves.

About The Author


Robin Constantine is a born and bred Jersey girl who moved down South so she could wear flip-flops year round. She spends her days dreaming up stories where love conquers all, well, eventually but not without a lot of peril, angst and the occasional kissing scene.

Her YA debut, THE PROMISE OF AMAZING, will be released in 2014 by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads








About The Book


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.

Amazon | IndieBound | Goodreads

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

9 Craft of Writing: Crafting A Series by Mindee Arnett

Mindee Arnett is the author of best selling YA Fantasy series The Arkwell Academy, the second book called THE NIGHTMARE DILEMMA is coming in March, and the first book in a new series, AVALON, which came out January 21st. Avalon is an amazing sci/fi book full of twisty turns and creepy space goodness.

Crafting A Series by Mindee Arnett


It’s no secret that I am not a plotter. I’ve never so much as pretended to do an outline. I’m just not made that way. Instead, I consider myself a “pantser who likes to stop for directions.” I write my stories primarily on instinct, but I take the time to question those instincts, to give them a sort of sanity check, before letting them enter the story. These sanity checks help me keep the story in line and they also help me do a little planning ahead. The farther along I get in the story, the clearer the end becomes.

Given this approach, I often find myself doing a double-take at the notion that I tend to write series more than standalone. I currently have two series at present—one almost finished (Avalon—the sequel is in first draft stage) and one still a book away from being done (The Arkwell Academy series). Although I do have an idea of where my series are going, they are fairly vague and general ideas, along the lines of “I think the good guy will win and the bad guy will lose.” As with the individual books, the farther along I get in the series the more I can sense the ending.

Of course, given the fact that the early books are already in print by the time I’m writing the later ones, this presents all kinds of challenges in creating a cohesive story arc. If I get some kind of brilliant idea in book 3 that’s completely left field, there’s no going back to book 1 to put in any foreshadowing. If it wasn’t already there, too bad. Imagine for a moment if JK Rowling initially had decided to give Harry and Voldemort wands that shared a dragonheart string core instead of phoenix feathers in Sorcerer’s Stone. It wouldn’t have been a show-stopper, but the lovely cohesion and symbolism we get with Fawkes wouldn’t exist. I suppose she could’ve made Fawkes a dragon instead, but that would’ve been problematic given what we saw with Norbert (again in book 1).

One way around this problem if you’re a pantser is to write the whole series at once. Then you can go back to book 1 and make those necessary changes. But if you’re a writer still at the querying stages, the last thing you should do is spend oodles of time and energy writing a series that might never sell. For me, I never dared let myself consider the possibility that The Nightmare Affair or Avalon would be more than a single book until after I had an agent and a book deal on the table. Too much heartbreak in investing in a dead end series. But if you are writing a book that you think/hope will become a series, don’t fret. I’ve been there, and I’m here to share some techniques that I found immensely helpful when you’re a pantser working on a series.

Treat Each Detail As Possible Foreshadowing
In your first book (and in the second if there’s a third and so on), treat each detail you add as something more than what it appears. Don’t treat your details lightly, in other words. Be deliberate. In the first chapter of The Nightmare Affair, my main character visits a cemetery. One of the mausoleums she sees has the name “Kirkwood” on it. It’s a detail dropped in a single sentence and never referenced again. Except, of course, that one of the characters she meets later on has the last name of Kirkwood. I could’ve used any old name for this mausoleum, or not have named it at all. But I did name it and I used it again later on. I even used the mausoleum again in book 2. Whenever you have an opportunity to name something or to get specific about a seemingly random detail in your story, do it. Don’t settle for anything vague or halfway. Be concrete. You never know when one of these details might come in handy later. They’re like tiny threads that you leave hanging out of the tapestry of story just to weave them back in again later.

Add Unimportant Details
I know that sounds strange to purposely add things that are unimportant, but I’m not talking about entire scenes here. I’m talking about a sentence there, an observation here. Little things. Things that most readers will regard as a world building details. Pepper your story with little moments that aren’t related to the plot of the current story. Maybe your heroine is daydreaming in class and notices the student in front of her has a brand new tattoo shaped like a skull. Does that tattoo have any meaning? Probably not. In this first story it’s just part of the description but later...

Which leads me to my final bit of advice:

Mine Your Story For Ideas
Before starting your sequel, go back to the prior book (or books) and read them. Read them thoroughly, slowly, taking notes as you go along. Can you use that random character who played a prank on someone in book 1 as a victim in book 2? Was revenge for the prank part of the motivation for the crime? Does your MC come across a skull-related clue and remember that she saw a tattoo of one not so long ago? The more you can draw on these small details from the prior books, the tighter your series arc will feel for the reader. And for you, the writer, the more it will seem less like flying by the seat of your pants and more like divine inspiration. Stephen King believes that stories are found things, like fossils in the ground. He’s right, of course, and mining for details is the best way to discover it.

About The Author


YA Author of THE NIGHTMARE AFFAIR, a contemporary fantasy coming March 5, 2013 from Tor Teen (Macmillan) and AVALON, a YA sci-fi thriller coming Winter 2014 from Balzer+Bray (HarperCollins). Represented by the fabulous Suzie Townsend of New Leaf Literary. Addicted to jumping horses and telling tales of magic, the macabre, and outer space.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads

About The Book


A ragtag group of teenage mercenaries who crew the spaceship Avalon stumble upon a conspiracy that could threaten the entire galaxy in this fascinating and fast-paced sci-fi adventure from author Mindee Arnett.

Of the various star systems that make up the Confederation, most lie thousands of light-years from First Earth-and out here, no one is free. The agencies that govern the Confederation are as corrupt as the crime bosses who patrol it, and power is held by anyone with enough greed and ruthlessness to claim it. That power is derived from one thing: metatech, the devices that allow people to travel great distances faster than the speed of light.

Jeth Seagrave and his crew of teenage mercenaries have survived in this world by stealing unsecured metatech, and they're damn good at it. Jeth doesn't care about the politics or the law; all he cares about is earning enough money to buy back his parents' ship, Avalon, from his crime-boss employer and getting himself and his sister, Lizzie, the heck out of Dodge. But when Jeth finds himself in possession of information that both the crime bosses and the government are willing to kill for, he is going to have to ask himself how far he'll go to get the freedom he's wanted for so long.

Avalon is the perfect fit for teens new to sci-fi as well as seasoned sci-fi readers looking for more books in the YA space-and a great match for fans of Joss Whedon's cult hit show Firefly.

Amazon | IndieBound | Goodreads

Monday, January 27, 2014

7 The Serialized Novel: An Interview with Harlequin TEEN Executive Editor Natashya Wilson

Clara Kensie is the author of RUN TO YOU, the first serialized novel from Harlequin TEEN. She is also a regular contributor to this blog! Today Clara interviews her editor, Natashya Wilson, about why serials are becoming popular with both readers and writers.

CK: Hi Natashya, thank you for joining me today! Can you tell me what led Harlequin Teen to pursue serialization?

NW: The publishing marketplace is constantly changing. One style of storytelling that has become popular in the digital space is the story serial. Harlequin has a long history of success with releasing books in connected series both as full-length novels and as online daily and weekly serials, and it makes sense for us to release the right book as an ebook serial for Harlequin TEEN.


CK: Why did you choose RUN TO YOU for Harlequin Teen’s first serial?

NW: From the moment I entered Clara Kensie’s thrilling and romantic world, I was hooked by the Carson family and their mix of unique abilities, vulnerabilities and strengths. Clara has a gift for creating a strong family dynamic and unique character voices and combining that with intriguing twists to create arcs within the story that worked well for natural serial breaks. She has a strong sense of timing and how to develop the highs and lows that bring characters and plot to a new level, but still leave more to do and learn, giving the reader a breathing point yet leaving them wanting to see what happens next. RUN TO YOU’s layered romance also works quite well—romance is very popular in the digital space. Clara’s story was the perfect choice for our first serial.


CK: Serials are a relatively new format for the YA audience. Why will readers of young adult fiction enjoy serialized novels?

NW: Serials may be a resurging format for written stories and still relatively new to young adult fiction, but millions of readers are TV watchers and are used to returning weekly for new episodes of their favorite shows. A book serial offers the same experience—a shorter, limited “episode” of reading that brings characters and situations to a new place, and a chance to continue reading about those characters in a new episode week over week. Readers can enjoy the story as each new part releases, or, with our short 3-week release timeframe, stockpile the parts until all are available and read them all at once. If you don’t like the first “episode”, you aren’t committed to buying the whole thing. If you enjoy it, the rest will soon be available. It gives readers a choice and, in our very busy lifestyles, places to take a break that make sense and invite readers to continue later at their convenience.


CK: Charles Dickens. Harriet Beecher Stowe. Leo Tolstoy. Many respected authors of the past published their works as serials. Why should today’s authors consider serializing their novels?

NW: One of the challenges in today’s crowded marketplace is building a new author’s profile and audience. In the digital space, multiple releases in a short timeframe can help to get an author’s name out faster with consistent exposure week over week (or month over month, or whatever timeframe works for the author). The serials of yesteryear came out in a different age, when things moved slowly and print was the option for publication. Today readers have many choices and find reading material in so many different ways. A serial novel offers an author and publisher multiple opportunities to communicate with a growing and potential audience in a short timeframe. It offers more opportunities for reviews. As a rather lovely bonus, you get multiple covers to post, which can be extra eye-catching. There are drawbacks and challenges, and there are also many potential benefits.



CK: What are you doing differently to promote and market RUN TO YOU?

NW: We are working with three parts instead of just one, and we will use that to the serial’s advantage. We were careful to create covers that stand alone but also work together, to communicate both the separate parts and the connected story. All communications about the story—cover copy, online connections, reviews—will carry the messaging that it is a serial. We are releasing the parts one week apart, allowing more opportunities to highlight and reintroduce Clara Kensie and Run to You, but also satisfying the digital reader’s desire to read more of what they are enjoying quickly. We’ll be posting about the serial on our social media on or near the on-sale day for each part of the serial, and contacting bloggers we believe would enjoy the story to share the book with them and encourage unique reviews of each part as it releases. Our digital commerce team is always seeking opportunities to highlight our digital releases, and we’ll be quick to respond to any promotional opportunity. We will be doing all we can to create that crucial world-of-mouth buzz, and will support the author’s own promotional efforts through our properties.


CK: Thanks, Natashya! I’d like to add that a nice thing about serials is that is appeals to all kinds of readers. Voracious readers will be satisfied with the novella-sized length of each episode, and reluctant or occasional readers who are intimidated by longer tomes will find the shorter length to be less daunting.

For me, one of the best things about serials is that it adds a social aspect to the reading experience. Similar to the way we discuss our favorite TV series each week with our friends, we can discuss the latest installment of the serialized novel with other readers, and have fun anticipating the next installment together. With RUN TO YOU’s weekly releases, we won’t have long to wait!

I’m honored that Harlequin Teen has enough faith in RUN TO YOU to make it their first serial, and I’m thrilled to be a trail-blazer in the format.


About the author


Clara Kensie grew up near Chicago, reading every book she could find and using her diary to write stories about a girl with psychic powers who solved mysteries. She purposely did not hide her diary, hoping someone would read it and assume she was writing about herself. Since then, she’s swapped her diary for a computer and admits her characters are fictional, but otherwise she hasn’t changed one bit.


About the book

RUN TO YOU
Part One: First Sight
RUN TO YOU PART ONE: FIRST SIGHT (available February 1, 2014)
Part One in the riveting romantic thriller about a family on the run from a deadly past and a first love that will transcend secrets, lies and danger…
Sarah Spencer has a secret: her real name is Tessa Carson, and to stay alive, she can tell no one the truth about her psychically gifted family and the danger they are running from. As the new girl in the latest of countless schools, she also runs from her attraction to Tristan Walker—after all, she can’t even tell him her real name. But Tristan won’t be put off by a few secrets. Not even dangerous ones that might rip Tessa from his arms before they even kiss…






RUN TO YOU
Part Two: Second Glance
RUN TO YOU PART TWO: SECOND GLANCE (available February 8, 2014)
Part Two in the riveting romantic thriller about a family on the run from a deadly past and a first love that will transcend secrets, lies and danger…
Tessa Carson has unlocked her heart and her secrets to Tristan Walker—but Tristan has secrets of his own, and his might just mean the end of Tessa’s family. Unaware, Tessa embraces falling in love and being herself for the first time since she was attacked when she was only eight years old. But secrets can’t be run from forever, and sometimes love is too good to be true…







RUN TO YOU
Part Three: Third Charm
RUN TO YOU PART THREE: THIRD CHARM (available February 15, 2014)
Part Three in the riveting romantic thriller about a family on the run from a deadly past and a first love that will transcend secrets, lies and danger…
Betrayed, heartbroken, and determined to save her family, Tessa Carson refuses to give in to Tristan Walker’s pleas for forgiveness. But her own awakening psychic gift won’t let her rest until she uncovers the truth about her family and her past. And Tristan is the only one who can help her sift through the secrets to find the truth hidden in all the lies…






Watch for the exciting sequel to RUN TO YOU, also a three-part serial, in June 2014!

Find RUN TO YOU at your favorite e-tailers, including:

Find Clara online:


        

Sunday, January 26, 2014

70 Celebration Giveaway THESE BROKEN STARS, WHITE HOT KISS, FATES, INFINITE, CRUEL BEAUTY and more...

You guys! I'm so excited to be able to finally shout some things from the rooftops. This is going to be an amazing year in publishing, and a lot of people I love and respect are being published for the first time. Some of those were people I learned from when this blog was brand new, back when I was an even bigger bumbling idiot than I am now. Others are people who were learning along with me from the wonderful authors who were kind enough to share their knowledge here on Adventures. Still others are folks I am just now meeting on OneFour Kidlit as I start my "debut" year. I am thrilled to be able to share this year with each and every one of them.

To celebrate, I'm going to do a monthly list of all the YA debs on OneFour and my friends and inspirations who are being pubbed in the coming month. Because of edits and life, I'm late to the party this month, and the following post will include both January and February releases. And of course, there are giveaways to celebrate. 

Ready?

ADVENTURES ALUMS AND FRIENDS GIVEAWAYS

       
It's such a pleasure to giveaway books by friends I've met on this blog. MEAGEN SPOONER and JENNIFER ARMENTROUT were finalists in one of our very first contests and Meagan wrote a fabulous blog post for us when her first novel, SKYLARK, came out. They have both gone on to have spectacular writing careers. Meagan and her writing partner AMIE KAUFMAN just announced a television show for THESE BROKEN STARS, and Jennifer is one of my YASeriesInsiders.com sisters, and of course, she is also a #1 New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author.

     
These Broken Stars
by Meagan Spooner & Amie Kaufman
Hardcover Giveaway
Disney-Hyperion

It's a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone.

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.

Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other’s arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder—would they be better off staying here forever?

Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won’t be the same people who landed on it.

A timeless love story, THESE BROKEN STARS sets into motion a sweeping science fiction series of companion novels. The Starbound Trilogy: Three worlds. Three love stories. One enemy.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about These Broken Stars?

Meg: I'd have to say my favorite thing about THESE BROKEN STARS is the alternating points of view. It was my favorite part of writing it, definitely. I loved opening up the document to see what Amie had written, because sometimes she'd go places I didn't expect. And often, I'd get to see Tarver's perspective on something I'd just written from Lilac's point of view, which was tremendous fun. I think the dual POV is also my favorite thing about it as a finished book, from a reader's perspective. I love that you get to see both sides of this tense relationship as it changes and develops over the course of the book, and that you can understand where both characters are coming from. I think it makes their relationship all the more hard-won, and satisfying.

Purchase These Broken Stars at Amazon
Purchase These Broken Stars at IndieBound
View These Broken Stars on Goodreads

* * *


White Hot Kiss
by Jennifer L Armentrout
Paperback Giveaway
Harlequin Teen
Released 2/25/2014

One kiss could be the last

Seventeen-year-old Layla just wants to be normal. But with a kiss that kills anything with a soul, she's anything but normal. Half demon, half gargoyle, Layla has abilities no one else possesses.

Raised among the Wardens—a race of gargoyles tasked with hunting demons and keeping humanity safe—Layla tries to fit in, but that means hiding her own dark side from those she loves the most. Especially Zayne, the swoon-worthy, incredibly gorgeous and completely off-limits Warden she's crushed on since forever.

Then she meets Roth—a tattooed, sinfully hot demon who claims to know all her secrets. Layla knows she should stay away, but she's not sure she wants to—especially when that whole no-kissing thing isn't an issue, considering Roth has no soul.

But when Layla discovers she's the reason for the violent demon uprising, trusting Roth could not only ruin her chances with Zayne…it could brand her a traitor to her family. Worse yet, it could become a one-way ticket to the end of the world.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about White Hot Kiss?

Roth has a tattoo of a snake that comes off his snake. The snake is named Bambi. :)

Purchase White Hot Kiss at Amazon
Purchase White Hot Kiss at IndieBound
View White Hot Kiss on Goodreads


* * * *


CLARA KENSIE and I met on Adventures when we were both trying to figure out what the heck a query letter was. We became critique partners and friends, and even discovered a possible family connection. She has been one of my partners in crime here on the blog for a long time now, and I'm BEYOND thrilled to introduce her trend-setting new release, which is going to be the very first serialized book released by Harlequin Teen. You will be hearing a LOT about this book. A LOT.


Run to You: First Sight
by Clara Kensie
Digital Giveaway
Harlequin Teen
Released 2/1/2014

Part One in the riveting romantic thriller about a family on the run from a deadly past and a first love that will transcend secrets, lies and danger…

Sarah Spencer has a secret: her real name is Tessa Carson, and to stay alive, she can tell no one the truth about her psychically gifted family and the danger they are running from. As the new girl in the latest of countless schools, she also runs from her attraction to Tristan Walker—after all, she can’t even tell him her real name. But Tristan won’t be put off by a few secrets. Not even dangerous ones that might rip Tessa from his arms before they even kiss…

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Run to You: First Sight?

Besides the romance, my favorite thing about RUN TO YOU is seeing people's reactions to the huge plot twists.

Purchase Run to You: First Sight at Amazon
Purchase Run to You: First Sight at IndieBound
View Run to You: First Sight on Goodreads

* * * *

Run to You: Second Glance
by Clara Kensie
Digital Giveaway
Harlequin Teen
Released 2/8/2014

Part Two in the riveting romantic thriller about a family on the run from a deadly past and a first love that will transcend secrets, lies and danger…

Tessa Carson has unlocked her heart and her secrets to Tristan Walker—but Tristan has secrets of his own, and his might just mean the end of Tessa’s family. Unaware, Tessa embraces falling in love and being herself for the first time since she was attacked when she was only eight years old. But secrets can’t be run from forever, and sometimes love is too good to be true…

Purchase Second Glance at Amazon
Purchase Second Glance at IndieBound
View Second Glance on Goodreads


* * * *




Run to You: Third Charm
by Clara Kensie
Giveaway
Harlequin Teen
Released 2/15/2014

Part Three in the riveting romantic thriller about a family on the run from a deadly past and a first love that will transcend secrets, lies and danger…

Betrayed, heartbroken, and determined to save her family, Tessa Carson refuses to give in to Tristan Walker’s pleas for forgiveness. But her own awakening psychic gift won’t let her rest until she uncovers the truth about her family and her past. And Tristan is the only one who can help her sift through the secrets to find the truth hidden in all the lies…

Purchase Third Charm at Amazon
Purchase Third Charm at IndieBound
View Third Charm on Goodreads





* * * *




JODI MEADOWS has been a staple with us here at Adventures. I've followed her on Twitter for years and fell in love with her books the moment they came out. (She is also Jan's all-time most squeeworthy author.) Jan and I have both been thrilled to have Jodi join us to judge contests and write one of our first Wish I'd Written posts. I'm so sad to see her series come to a close!




Infinite
by Jodi Meadows
Hardcover Giveaway
Katherine Tegen Books
Released 1/28/2014

DESTRUCTION
The Year of Souls begins with an earthquake—an alarming rumble from deep within the earth—and it’s only the first of greater dangers to come. The Range caldera is preparing to erupt. Ana knows that as Soul Night approaches, everything near Heart will be at risk.

FLIGHT
Ana’s exile is frightening, but it may also be fortuitous, especially if she can convince her friends to flee Heart and Range with her. They’ll go north, seeking answers and allies to stop Janan’s ascension. And with any luck, the newsouls will be safe from harm’s reach.

CHOICE
The oldsouls might have forgotten the choice they made to give themselves limitless lifetimes, but Ana knows the true cost of reincarnation. What she doesn’t know is whether she’ll have the chance to finish this one sweet life with Sam, especially if she returns to Heart to stop Janan once and for all.

With gorgeous romance and thrilling action, the final book in the Incarnate trilogy offers a brilliant conclusion to the compelling questions of this fascinating world, where one new girl is the key to the lives of millions.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Infinite?

I love the the relationship (romantic and friendship) between Ana and Sam. They have so much to learn from each other, and they treat each other with respect and compassion.


* * * *


TRACY CLARK did one of our first WOW Wednesday posts, and she's been a good friend ever since. In fact, shortly after my book deal was announced, she and I did a post together on The Road to Publication. She and I are now working together on our YASeriesInsiders.com project. I'm jumping up and down to realize that the first book in her sizzling new series is pubbing in just a few days!

Scintillate
by Tracy Clark
Paperback Giveaway
Entangled Teen
Released 2/4/2014

A mighty flame follows a tiny spark.

Cora Sandoval’s mother disappeared when she was five and they were living in Ireland. Since then, her dad has been more than overprotective, and Cora is beginning to chafe under his confines. But even more troubling is the colorful light she suddenly sees around people. Everyone, that is, except herself—instead, she glows a brilliant, sparkling silver.

As she realizes the danger associated with these strange auras, Cora is inexplicably drawn to Finn, a gorgeous Irish exchange student who makes her feel safe. Their attraction is instant, magnetic, and primal—but her father disapproves, and Finn’s mother orders him home to Ireland upon hearing he’s fallen in love. After a fight with her father, Cora flees to Ireland, both to follow Finn and to look for her missing mother.

There she meets another silver-haloed person and discovers the meaning of her newfound powers and their role in a conspiracy spanning centuries—one that could change mankind forever…and end her life.

Scintillate is the first book in this lush and exciting new trilogy, full of romance, adventure and metaphysical mystery.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Scintillate?

What personally fires me up about SCINTILLATE is what excited me to write this story in the first place. I created a mythology to explain something we experience in real life when certain people “drain” us or “uplift” us. It’s energy. A vibe. The metaphysical element of this story is what I love best. If people, especially teens, read it and start thinking about how certain people make them feel, or even how their own energy affects others, then it’s a win. We are all transmitting and receiving. What are we getting? What are we giving? That’s the driving heart of the series for me.


* * * *

JULIE MUSIL is one of the most respected KidLit bloggers. Whatever you need in terms of advice, she'll have it on her blog. Her knowledge of craft comes from meticulous analysis and sheer hard work, and at the same time, I know of no one who is genuinely kinder and more inclusive of everyone in the writing community. I have been waiting for her book to come out for years, and I'm delighted to have the opportunity to introduce it to you. Ta da!



The Boy Who Loved Fire
by Julie Musil
Paperback
Create Space
Released 1/22/2014

Manny O’Donnell revels in his status at the top of his high school food chain. He and his friends party in the mountains on a blustery night, sharing liquor and lame ghost stories around a campfire. The next morning, as a wild fire rages in those same mountains, Manny experiences doubt. He was the last of the drunken crew to leave the cave, and he’s uncertain if he extinguished the flames. Within hours, he becomes the number one arson suspect.

Santa Ana winds + matches = disaster. You’d think he would've learned that the first time he started a fire.

As he evades a determined arson investigator, Manny, a modern-day Scrooge, is visited by ghosts of the past, present, and future. He’s forced to witness the fate of his inadvertent victims, including Abigail, the scarred beauty who softens his heart. Manny must choose between turning around his callous, self-centered attitude, or protecting his own skin at the expense of anyone who gets in his way.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about THE BOY WHO LOVED FIRE?

The love story. Manny, the main character, falls for a burn victim. He and Abigail connect because they're both scarred in different ways. Abigail's scars are in full view, but she's fought hard for the peace she feels inside. Manny's outward appearance is enviable, but his internal scars run deep. I love the idea that scars can be seen or hidden, raw or faded with time, but when you truly care for someone, those scars become endearing.



* * * *


LEE BROSS (aka Lanie Bross) is a relatively new friend, but I've followed her at YAHighway.com just about forever. It's been one of my goto blogs since the beginning. I am excited to have her as part of our little band over at YASeriesInsiders.com, and I'm looking forward to having EVERYONE read FATES, her new book. I'm even more excited to have her other series pub next year. :) She is one busy, busy woman!



Fates
by Lanie Bross
Hardcover Giveaway
Delacorte Press
Released 2/11/2014

Lanie Bross's debut FATES is perfect for fans of Jennifer Armentrout, Julie Kagawa, Rachel Vincent, and Sarah J. Maas, and for girls who love all things pretty, romantic and inspirational.

One moment. One foolish desire. One mistake. And Corinthe lost everything.

She fell from her tranquil life in Pyralis Terra and found herself exiled to the human world. Her punishment? To make sure people's fates unfold according to plan. Now, years later, Corinthe has one last assignment: kill Lucas Kaller. His death will be her ticket home.

But for the first time, Corinthe feels a tingle of doubt. It begins as a lump in her throat, then grows toward her heart, and suddenly she feels like she is falling all over again--this time for a boy she knows she can never have. Because it is written: one of them must live, and one of them must die. In a universe where every moment, every second, every fate has already been decided, where does love fit in?

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Fates?

I think what I love most about Fates most is that at it core, its about a girl who starts to question everything she knows, everything she's been raised to believe. She's told to do things without explanation, and she has done them her whole life, but a boy makes her finally wonder if things have to be a certain way. She wants to trust that her beliefs are real, but could there be more? Could she really have a choice in all of it? As a questioner of everything, thats what I like the most in this book.


* * * 

LISA GAIL GREEN really needs no introduction around here, but I'm going to give her one anyway. She has been a fixture here ever since we started blogging, and she and I have run the First Five Pages Workshops together for years. Since we are both getting busier, we've been lucky to bring in new mentors like Julie Musil, Stasia Ward Kehoe, Mariam Forester, Kimberly Sabatini, Susan Dennard, and a host of others who will form a permanent support system for writers to back up our stellar cast of guest mentors. Lisa has been a trusted first reader for me, a great friend, and someone whose dedication, kindness, knowledge, and incredible creativity has always left me awed. This is kind of cheating, because her book came out last year, but I love it so much I have to share it again. (And isn't Lisa Amowitz's cover GORGEOUS?)




The Binding Stone 
(The Djinn Series Book 1)
by Lisa Gail Green
Paperback
Fuzzbom Publishing

Tricked into slavery by the man she loved, the Djinni Leela has an eternity to regret her choices.

Awakened in the prison of her adolescent body, she finds a new master in possession of the opal that binds her. But seventeen-year-old Jered is unlike any she’s seen. His kindness makes Leela yearn to trust again, to allow herself a glimmer of hope.

Could Jered be strong enough to free her from the curse of the Binding Stone?

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about The Binding Stone?

I loved creating a powerful character who was at the same time vulnerable and all too human.







INTRODUCING YOUNG ADULT DEBUTS FROM OneFour Kidlit


ROSAMUND HODGE is a new acquaintance from OneFour Kidlit, and while I've been very remiss at meeting all those wonderful people while I've been in my editing cave and traveling, I'm going to go ahead and use Rosamund as a guinea pig to introduce you all to the fabulousness and talent that you have in store for you this year. One lucky winner will get to take home her amazing book. 


Cruel Beauty
by Rosamund Hodge
Hardcover Giveaway
Balzer + Bray
Released 1/28/2014

Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast in this sweeping fantasy about one girl's journey to fulfill her destiny and the monster who gets in her way-by stealing her heart.

Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex's secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Cruel Beauty?

My favorite part of Cruel Beauty is that the heroine, Nyx, is not a nice person. She’s angry. She’s jealous. And though she tries to do the right thing, sometimes she’s honestly cruel.

When I was a teenager, I struggled a lot with my temper. So I sympathized with every Mean Girl character I ever read about, even the really awful ones you were supposed to hate, because I felt like I was pretty awful too sometimes. And I was desperate for stories about girls like me. When I started writing Cruel Beauty, I was determined to create a heroine who was genuinely ugly inside—who would sometimes say or do awful things—and who still got to fall in love, and tell her own story, and become a hero.


Purchase Cruel Beauty at Amazon
Purchase Cruel Beauty at IndieBound
View Cruel Beauty on Goodreads

* * * *


MORE YOUNG ADULT OneFour Kidlit NOVELS



The rest of these novels are coming out in January and February from debut authors. The list is incredible and varied, so there's something here for everyone. Check them out! And come back on the last Sunday each month to check out the next installment of upcoming books!





No Surrender Soldier
by Christine Kohler
Hardcover
Merit Press
Released 1/1/2014

A young man, an old soldier , and a terrible injustice. Should the punishment be death?

Growing up on Guam in 1972, fifteen-year-old Kiko is beset by worries: He’s never kissed a girl, and he thinks it’s possible he never will. The popular guys get all the attention, but the worst part is that Kiko has serious problems at home. His older brother is missing in Vietnam; his grandfather is losing it to dementia; he just learned that his mother was raped in World War II by a Japanese soldier. It all comes together when he discovers an old man, a Japanese soldier, hiding in the jungle behind his house. It’s not the same man who raped his mother, but, in his rage, Kiko cares only about protecting his family and avenging his mom – no matter what it takes. And so, a shy, peaceable boy begins to plan a murder. But how far will Kiko go to prove to himself that he’s a man ? Based on a historical incident, No Surrender Soldier is the story of a boy grappling with ancient questions of courage and manhood before he can move on.

Purchase No Surrender Soldier at Amazon
Purchase No Surrender Soldier at IndieBound
View No Surrender Soldier on Goodreads

* * * *





Salt
by Danielle Ellison
Kindle Edition
Entangled: Teen
Released 1/1/2014

Penelope is a witch, part of a secret society protecting humans from demon attacks. But when she was a child, a demon killed her parents—and stole her magic. Since then, she’s been pretending to be something she’s not, using her sister’s magic to hide her own loss, to prevent being sent away.

When she’s finally given the chance to join the elite demon-hunting force, Penelope thinks that will finally change. With her sister’s help, she can squeeze through the tests and get access to the information she needs to find "her" demon. To take back what was stolen.

Then she meets Carter. He’s cute, smart, and she can borrow his magic, too. He knows her secret—but he also has one of his own.

Suddenly, Penelope’s impossible quest becomes far more complicated. Because Carter’s not telling her everything, and it’s starting to seem like the demons have their own agenda…and they’re far too interested in her.

Purchase Salt at Amazon
Purchase Salt at IndieBound
View Salt on Goodreads

* * * *


Where You'll Find Me
by Erin Fletcher
Kindle Edition
Entangled: Teen
Released 1/1/2014

When Hanley Helton discovers a boy living in her garage, she knows she should kick him out. But Nate is too charming to be dangerous. He just needs a place to get away, which Hanley understands. Her own escape methods (vodka, black hair dye, and pretending the past didn't happen) are more traditional, but who is she to judge?

Nate doesn't tell her why he's in her garage, and she doesn't tell him what she's running from. Soon, Hanley's trading her late-night escapades for all-night conversations and stolen kisses. But when Nate's recognized as the missing teen from the news, Hanley isn't sure which is worse: that she's harboring a fugitive, or that she's in love with one.

Purchase Where You'll Find Me at Amazon
Purchase Where You'll Find Me at IndieBound
View Where You'll Find Me on Goodreads



* * * *



The Promise of Amazing
by Robin Constantine
Hardcover
Balzer + Bray
Released 1/2/2014

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.

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


* * * *


Phoenix Island
by John Dixon
Hardcover
Gallery Books
Released 1/7/2014

The judge told Carl that one day he'd have to decide exactly what kind of person he would become. But on Phoenix Island, the choice will be made for him.

A champion boxer with a sharp hook and a short temper, sixteen-year-old Carl Freeman has been shuffled from foster home to foster home. He can't seem to stay out of trouble, using his fists to defend weaker classmates from bullies. His latest incident sends his opponent to the emergency room, and now the court is sending Carl to the worst place on earth: Phoenix Island.

Classified as a terminal facility, it's the end of the line for delinquents who have no home, no family, and no future. Located somewhere far off the coast of the United States and immune to its laws, the island is a grueling Spartan-style boot camp run by sadistic drill sergeants who show no mercy to their young, orphan trainees. Sentenced to stay until his eighteenth birthday, Carl plans to play by the rules, so he makes friends with his wisecracking bunkmate, Ross, and a mysterious gray-eyed girl named Octavia. But he makes enemies, too, and after a few rough scrapes, he earns himself the nickname "Hollywood" as well as a string of punishments, including a brutal night in the sweatbox. But that's nothing compared to what awaits him in the Chop Shop: a secret government lab where Carl is given something he never dreamed of.

A new life. . . .

A new body. A new brain.

Gifts from the fatherly Old Man, who wants to transform Carl into something he's not sure he wants to become.

For this is no ordinary government project. Phoenix Island is ground zero for the future of combat intelligence.

And for Carl, it's just the beginning. . .

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about PHOENIX ISLAND?
My favorite thing about PHOENIX ISLAND is that Simon & Schuster / Gallery books didn't force any revision to dovetail with INTELLIGENCE, the CBS TV series it inspired. The book and series have diverged -- a good thing, with books and television being such different mediums -- and while had fun, working on that transformation, I'm thankful that I could also preserve the characters, plot, and tone of the story I set out to tell.

* * * *


Fake ID
by Lamar Giles
Hardcover
Amistad
Released 1/21/2014

Nick Pearson is hiding in plain sight…

My name isn’t really Nick Pearson.

I shouldn’t tell you where I’m from or why my family moved to Stepton, Virginia.

I shouldn’t tell you who I really am, or my hair, eye, and skin color.

And I definitely shouldn’t tell you about my friend Eli Cruz and the major conspiracy he was about to uncover when he died—right after I moved to town. About how I had to choose between solving his murder with his hot sister, Reya, and “staying low-key” like the Program has taught me. About how moving to Stepon changed my life forever.

But I’m going to.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about FAKE ID?
  
My favorite thing about FAKE ID are the two leads, Nick and Reya. An African-American boy and a Latina girl teaming up to solve a mystery. They appeal to me so much because they are like the people I grew up with. They represent a world I'm used to seeing (multi-colored/cultural) in real life, but have rarely seen in the pages of books (or on TV and movie screens) throughout the years. There's a certain homogeny in YA fiction (or maybe just fiction) that tends to exclude people who aren't the default, widely accepted protagonist. Growing up among the excluded, and wondering quite frequently and painfully why only certain people--those who looked nothing like me--could be heroes in the tales I loved, well, it sucked.

So, I'm super excited to present characters who don't fit the mold. If somewhere there's a kid who picks up my book, and breathes easy because he or she gets to read a story about people who seem a little more familiar than what they're used to in other books, then my dreams have come true. And further, should I have children one day, and they get to read books that are more diverse and inclusive than what has been the norm, I can proudly say I (with some help from Nick and Reya) did my part to change the status quo, so they wouldn't know the pain of exclusivity I felt growing up.


Purchase Fake ID at Amazon
Purchase Fake ID at IndieBound
View Fake ID on Goodreads



* * * 

A Mad, Wicked Folly
by Sharon Biggs Waller
Hardcover
Viking Juvenile
Released 1/23/2014

Welcome to the world of the fabulously wealthy in London, 1909, where dresses and houses are overwhelmingly opulent, social class means everything, and women are taught to be nothing more than wives and mothers. Into this world comes seventeen-year-old Victoria Darling, who wants only to be an artist—a nearly impossible dream for a girl.
    
After Vicky poses nude for her illicit art class, she is expelled from her French finishing school. Shamed and scandalized, her parents try to marry her off to the wealthy Edmund Carrick-Humphrey. But Vicky has other things on her mind: her clandestine application to the Royal College of Art; her participation in the suffragette movement; and her growing attraction to a working-class boy who may be her muse—or may be the love of her life. As the world of debutante balls, corsets, and high society obligations closes in around her, Vicky must figure out: just how much is she willing to sacrifice to pursue her dreams?

Purchase A Mad, Wicked Folly at Amazon
Purchase A Mad, Wicked Folly at IndieBound
View A Mad, Wicked Folly on Goodreads

* * * *


Faking Normal
by Courtney C. Stevens
Hardcover
HarperTeen
Released 2/25/2014

An edgy, realistic, and utterly captivating novel from an exciting new voice in teen fiction.

Alexi Littrell hasn't told anyone what happened to her over the summer. Ashamed and embarrassed, she hides in her closet and compulsively scratches the back of her neck, trying to make the outside hurt more than the inside does.

When Bodee Lennox, the quiet and awkward boy next door, comes to live with the Littrells, Alexi discovers an unlikely friend in "the Kool-Aid Kid," who has secrets of his own. As they lean on each other for support, Alexi gives him the strength to deal with his past, and Bodee helps her find the courage to finally face the truth.

A searing, poignant book, Faking Normal is the extraordinary debut novel from an exciting new author-Courtney C. Stevens.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Faking Normal?

Hmm. That’s a tough question because Faking Normal hits on so many levels for me. I believe it’s the book I was meant to write, and there’s some triumph in the fact that I ever wrote the first sentence. But my favorite part is the character of Bodee.

He’s very real to me, and I’m thankful for him. I suppose that sounds funny or a little crazy to anyone who isn’t an author. When I was writing Faking Normal, I re-experienced so much personal healing through his character. Characters, while they obviously come from the writer’s brain, don’t often manifest like a personal creation, but rather as their own entity. Bodee waltz into my life, and as he reintroduced himself, I wrote down everything he told me, everything he said that was true about me and others who have experienced pain.

Faking Normal is fiction, but I tried to be true to pain, but also to hope. Bodee is dressed in hope and speaks with healing. And I believe for every pain in the world, there is a Bodee. He will always be the boy who loved Alexi anyway, and that’s a powerful message in my own life.

One of my favorite musicians (Andrew Peterson) has a line in his song Lay Me Down that I come back to all the time. He says,
“And all of the death that ever was,
if you set it next to life
Well, I believe it would barely fill a cup.”

Pain is the common denominator of the human experience. See, the tricky thing about pain is that we all have it, but we rarely share it. What if we did? What if we chose vulnerability over shame? What if we chose honesty over secrets? What if we chose to channel our brave instead of letting fear rule us? That’s what Bodee does. He decides to tell Alexi his story, his pain, and that makes all the difference.

I’d like to be a Bodee.

And if you have pain, I hope you find your Bodee.

(If you’re interested in how Bodee became Bodee, check out The Blue-Haired Boy, a Harper Impulse story that releases 3/4/14.)


Purchase Faking Normal at Amazon
Purchase Faking Normal at IndieBound
View Faking Normal on Goodreads

* * * *

a Rafflecopter giveaway