Monday, June 15, 2015

11 FOUR Giveaways plus New YALit Releases 6/15 - 6/21 with Author Interviews

It is a small but mighty group of novels releasing this week. There are eight new books for your perusing pleasure, and we have giveaways for four of them and interviews from five of the authors. We also have ten winners from last week's huge giveaway, so check below to see if you're one of the lucky winners. Then leave a comment and let us know which of the new releases have caught your fancy.

Happy reading,

Jocelyn, Martina, Susan, Lisa, Erin, Shelly, Jen, Sandra, Lindsey, and Samantha


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Between the Notes
by Sharon Huss Roat
Signed Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

Released 6/16/2015

When Ivy Emerson’s family loses their house—complete with her beloved piano—the fear of what’s to come seizes her like a bad case of stage fright. Only this isn’t one of her single, terrifying performances. It’s her life.

And it isn’t pretty.

Ivy is forced to move with her family out of their affluent neighborhood to Lakeside, also known as “the wrong side of the tracks.” Hiding the truth from her friends—and the cute new guy in school, who may have secrets of his own—seems like a good idea at first. But when a bad boy next door threatens to ruin everything, Ivy’s carefully crafted lies begin to unravel . . . and there is no way to stop them.

As things get to the breaking point, Ivy turns to her music, some unlikely new friends, and the trusting heart of her disabled little brother. She may be surprised that not everyone is who she thought they were . . . including herself.

Debut author Sharon Huss Roat crafts a charming and timely story of what happens when life as you know it flips completely upside down.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Between the Notes?

My favorite thing about this novel is a who: Brady, Ivy’s little brother, who is a special needs child. While I was revising this manuscript, I met a family with twins—one of whom has an intellectual disability. He was a lot like the Brady I had written. So I spoke to his mother and further explored what his life was like, and how his disability affected his parents and sibling. Ivy’s story became so much more meaningful with him in it! An advance reader contacted me recently to let me know how much it reminded her of life with her own special needs brother. That meant the world to me. If no one else reads or enjoys this novel, I’ll be happy knowing I reached this one reader who related to Ivy and her brother.

Purchase Between the Notes at Amazon
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View Between the Notes on Goodreads

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Blood Will Tell
by April Henry
Signed Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

Henry Holt and Co.
Released 6/16/2015

When a woman's body is found in a Portland park, suspicion falls on an awkward kid who lives only a few blocks away, a teen who collects knives, loves first-person shooter video games, and obsessively doodles violent scenes in his school notebooks. Nick Walker goes from being a member of Portland's Search and Rescue team to the prime suspect in a murder, his very interest in SAR seen as proof of his fascination with violence. How is this even possible? And can Alexis and Ruby find a way to help clear Nick's name before it's too late?

April Henry weaves another page-turning, high stakes mystery in Blood Will Tell, Book 2 of the Point Last Seen series.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Blood Will Tell?

My favorite thing about Blood Will Tell is its real-life roots. It was inspired by two real cases. In one, a 15 year old boy became the prime suspect in a woman’s murder. He was a loner who lived near the vacant lot where her body was found, and he liked to draw violent scenes in his notebooks. I’ve seen some video of the 10-hour interrogation (without a lawyer or present) and it’s chilling. He’s a scrawny, soft-spoken kid with hair hanging in his eyes, while adult after adult tells him they know he did it. He was ultimately convicted and spent years in prison until he was finally freed based on DNA evidence. In another case, the DNA of a criminal with a long criminal history was found on a murder victim - and the story of how it got there was fascinating.

Purchase Blood Will Tell at Amazon
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View Blood Will Tell on Goodreads

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Glittering Shadows
by Jaclyn Dolamore
Signed Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

Released 6/16/2015

The revolution is here.

Bodies line the streets of Urobrun; a great pyre burns in Republic Square. The rebels grow anxious behind closed doors while Marlis watches as the politicians search for answers—and excuses—inside the Chancellery.

Thea, Freddy, Nan, and Sigi are caught in the crossfire, taking refuge with a vibrant, young revolutionary and a mysterious healer from Irminau. As the battle lines are drawn, a greater threat casts a dark shadow over the land. Magic might be lost—forever.

This action-packed sequel to Dark Metropolis weaves political intrigue, haunting magic, and heartbreaking romance into an unforgettable narrative. Dolamore's lyrical writing and masterfully crafted plot deliver a powerful conclusion.

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

My favorite things about this book were also the most difficult things. First, the scope of this book is much, much bigger than anything I have attempted before. It has a lot of political intrigue and three battles, with like, strategy and stuff. When I came up with the plot of the book I felt like, no way can I actually write this! Prior to this I have always written rather domestic fantasy, with perhaps a one-on-one sorcerer battle or two. I had to ask my partner, who is way into military and political history, for a lot of help. But still, he couldn't write the actual words. It was so intimidating to me that some days I literally crawled under my desk in despair before I started writing for the day! But now that it's over, I've learned so, so much.

The other thing that was hard is that a girl in this book loses a hand. I didn't originally intend for this to happen, but Plot Happened, and I realized I had read quite a few books where a guy loses a hand, but never a girl. There have since been a couple that I'm aware of, but I still don't know of any where the girl has to use a hook prosthetic (which was and is a very standard prosthetic for a lost hand, despite all the super-cool wowie-zowie prosthetic hands in many stories). At first I had a gut aversion to doing this to my character, and then I wondered why. Quite a few fan favorite male characters have a hook prosthetic, like Eugenides and Once Upon a Time's version of Captain Hook. But girls...don't have hook hands in stories. (Like, seriously, if you look at "Hook Hand" on there is hardly a lady among them.) At that point, I decided, okay, I'm rolling with this plot twist, for all the real girls with a hook prosthetic. But yes, I did still have to fight an ingrained sense that it wasn't "pretty". (I also had to do a lot of research, and as with most writing-of-diversity things, I am still nervous I might have made a mistake.) In the end it made me love that character a whole lot more.

Purchase Glittering Shadows at Amazon
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View Glittering Shadows on Goodreads

* * * *

After Hours
by Claire Kennedy
Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

Simon Pulse
Released 6/16/2015

Scandals and hook-ups abound in a summertime restaurant drama where four teens are all willing to do whatever it takes to make it through the workday…and hopefully to win the money in the after-hours dare-based game of Tips.

Isa, Xavi, Peter, and Finn know that a job at the high-end Waterside CafĂ© isn’t just about waiting tables. It’s about the gossip, the hook-ups, the after-hours parties, and, most of all, it’s about Tips.

Tips—the high-stakes game based on dares. Whoever completes the most dares wins the collected money. A sum that could change a wasted summer into a Summer to Remember.

Isa is the new girl with an embarrassing secret, and as long as she stays on top of her game, she sees no reason why anyone could ever find out.

Xavi will do anything for the money…absolutely anything.

Peter, Xavi’s stepbrother, has been in love with her for years, and he thinks the game is the perfect time to confess his feelings.

Finn is in the game just for the thrill. He has enough tips coming in to keep him happy…even if those tips come with some conditions.

From seduction to stealing to threats, the dares are a complete free-for-all, and only the best can win.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about After Hours?

I think my favorite thing about After Hours is that I gave my characters permission to be human and make mistakes. And when I when mean mistakes, I mean big ones! If you’ve the read the book, you know exactly what I’m talking about!

I think it’s easy to look for role models in books, and that’s wonderful—but it’s also good to have real people who sometimes make big, selfish decisions that don’t turn out well.

I love exploring all aspects of characters—bad aspects of good people and good aspects of bad people—and I think this book was a fun opportunity to do that.

Purchase After Hours at Amazon
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View After Hours on Goodreads


* * * *

by Chandler Baker
Released 6/9/2015

Winner - Misti S.

Stella Cross's heart is poisoned.

After years on the transplant waiting list, she's running out of hope that she'll ever see her eighteenth birthday. Then, miraculously, Stella receives the transplant she needs to survive.

Determined to embrace everything she came so close to losing, Stella throws herself into her new life. But her recovery is marred by strange side effects: Nightmares. Hallucinations. A recurring pain that flares every day at the exact same moment. Then Stella meets Levi Zin, the new boy on everyone's radar at her Seattle prep school. Stella has never felt more drawn to anyone in her life, and soon she and Levi are inseparable.

Stella is convinced that Levi is her soul mate. Why else would she literally ache for him when they are apart?

After all, the heart never lies...does it?

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Alive?

Confession: My gut response was totally something along the lines of: "...that it's finished!" Of course, I'm half-kidding, but as I struggle through drafting my third to-be-published book, it's easy to think that of all my book children, my favorite thing about ALIVE is that it's ready for the world. However, the truth is that my favorite thing about ALIVE is actually what took the most blood, sweat and coffee-riddled tears to finesse from each subsequent draft. ALIVE started out as what some might call sick kid lit turned scary. But under the watchful eye of my editor, I think Stella's story developed into so much more than that. I was able to use the horror lens to take fresh looks at chronic illness and destructive relationships both with the self and with others. Hearing early readers pick up on those elements has been the biggest joy of my publication experience so far.

Purchase Alive at Amazon
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View Alive on Goodreads

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Even When You Lie to Me
by Jessica Alcott
Crown Books for Young Readers
Released 6/9/2015

Winners - Adriyanna Z. and Jill L.

Fans of John Green's Looking for Alaska as well as Lauren Oliver and Sarah Dessen will embrace this provocative debut novel, an exploration of taboo love set against the backdrop of a suburban high school.

Charlie, a senior, isn’t looking forward to her last year of high school. Another year of living in the shadow of her best friend, Lila. Another year of hiding behind the covers of her favorite novels. Another year of navigating her tense relationship with her perfectionist mom.

But everything changes when she meets her new English teacher. Mr. Drummond is smart. Irreverent. Funny. Hot. Everyone loves him. And Charlie thinks he’s the only one who gets her.

She also thinks she might not be the only one with a crush.

In this stunning debut, Jessica Alcott explores relationships—and their boundaries—in a way that is both searingly honest and sympathetic.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Even When You Lie to Me?

I promise this isn't a dodge, but getting it published so that people outside of my immediate family and friends I could force it on can read it is my favorite thing. Not to say that the prospect isn't also scary – it's downright terrifying – but I wrote the book I would've wanted to read when I was a teenager, so all I can hope is that other people connect with it too. And I got to put in jokes about Weird Al.

Purchase Even When You Lie to Me at Amazon
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View Even When You Lie to Me on Goodreads

* * * *

I Am the Traitor
by Allen Zadoff
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Released 6/9/2015

Winner - Leah H.

The Program has sent Boy Nobody on countless missions, instructed to kill whichever target he was given. But now, after going rogue, he is on his own mission to rescue his friend Howard, who was captured by The Program.

Boy Nobody manages to free Howard as well as Tanya, a mysterious girl who was being held with him. Putting their skills to the test, Howard and Tanya help Boy Nobody collect information about his father, eventually revealing a dangerous secret that teaches Boy Nobody a valuable lesson -- he can't trust anyone.

On the run from The Program, Boy Nobody must face his past, as he's forced to decide where his loyalties lie.

Allen Zadoff packs the final installment in the Unknown Assassin trilogy with even more action, higher stakes, and mind-blowing reveals that will leave readers riveted.

Purchase I Am the Traitor at Amazon
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View I Am the Traitor on Goodreads

* * * *

Last Year's Mistake
by Gina Ciocca
Simon Pulse
Released 6/9/2015

Winner - Nicole S.

Is there anything that electric chemistry can’t overcome? The past may be gone, but love has a way of holding on in this romantic debut novel told in alternating Before and After chapters.

The summer before freshman year, Kelsey and David became inseparable best friends—until the night a misunderstanding turned Kelsey into the school joke and everything around her crumbled, including her friendship with David. So when Kelsey’s parents decide to move away, she can’t wait to start over and leave the past behind. But David’s not quite ready to be left.

Now it’s senior year and Kelsey has a new group of friends, genuine popularity, and a hot boyfriend. Her life is perfect. That is, until David’s family moves to town. Old feelings bubble to the surface and threaten to destroy Kelsey’s second chance at happiness. The more time she spends with David, the more she realizes she never let him go. And maybe she never wants to…

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Last Year's Mistake?

My favorite part of LAST YEAR’S MISTAKE is the different facets of David and Kelsey’s relationship. They’re a classic case of opposites attracting and balancing each other out: he’s outgoing and everyone’s friend, she’s introverted and shies away from people. Still, they click. And even when they’re only friends, there’s something just beneath the surface that they’re both hesitant to acknowledge. They find themselves in so many situations that could turn the tables either way, and that will they/won’t they aspect is something I live for in novels.

Purchase Last Year's Mistake at Amazon
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View Last Year's Mistake on Goodreads

* * * *

Those Girls
by Lauren Saft
Released 6/9/2015

Winners - Shannon M, Holly B, Madelyn B, Patricia L, Sarah K

Junior year, the suburbs of Philadelphia. Alex, Mollie and Veronica are those girls: they're the best of friends and the party girls of the school. But how well does everybody know them--and really, how well do they know one another? Alex is secretly in love with the boy next door and has joined a band--without telling anyone. Mollie suffers from a popular (and possibly sociopathic) boyfriend, as well as a serious mean streak. And Veronica just wants to be loved--literally, figuratively, physically....she's not particular. Will this be the year that bonds them forever....or tears them apart for good?

Lauren Saft masterfully conveys what goes on in the mind of a teenage girl, and her debut novel is raw, honest, hilarious, and thought-provoking, with a healthy dose of heart.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Those Girls?

Oh man. That’s like asking your favorite thing about your child—its entirety, its completeness, the fact that I actually finished it and that it is a complete bound book available for sale is my favorite thing. Other than that? The jokes. I still laugh at some of my own jokes in there.

Purchase Those Girls at Amazon
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View Those Girls on Goodreads


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The Night We Said Yes
by Lauren Gibaldi
Released 6/16/2015

A fun, romantic read, perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen and Susane Colasanti!

Before Matt, Ella had a plan. Get over a no-good ex-boyfriend. Graduate from high school without any more distractions. Move away from Orlando, Florida, where she’s lived her entire life.

But Matt—the cute, shy, bespectacled bass player who just moved to town—was never part of that plan.

And neither was attending a party that was crashed by the cops just minutes after they arrived. Or spending an entire night saying “yes” to every crazy, fun thing they could think of.

Then Matt abruptly left town, and he broke not only Ella’s heart but those of their best friends, too. So when he shows up a year later with a plan of his own—to relive the night that brought them together—Ella isn’t sure whether Matt’s worth a second chance. Or if re-creating the past can help them create a different future.

In alternating then and now chapters, debut author Lauren Gibaldi crafts a charming, romantic story of first loves, lifelong friendships, uncovered secrets, and, ultimately, finding out how to be brave.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about The Night We Said Yes?

I wrote THE NIGHT WE SAID YES as a love letter to my younger self, I suppose, as a way to say that I can do it. I can do anything I set my mind to. (Or, as the book says--I can say yes.) I love that other people saw something in the manuscript and turned it into a book. I love that the book is now here--a real, physical thing that I can hold. I love that people are going to read it (though that scares me, too). I love that Ella and Meg and Matt and Jake have a chance for people to meet them and hear their story. I love that people might mention my book in conversation, just as I talk about countless books. But what is my favorite thing? I suppose knowing I did it. Knowing that I actually made this dream come true. And I will again, when my second book comes out. And again after that. Because, from my book, I learned that I can say yes, I can do anything that I set my mind to. And that's a really cool feeling.

Purchase The Night We Said Yes at Amazon
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View The Night We Said Yes on Goodreads


* * * *

by Anna Carey
Released 6/16/2015

In the compelling sequel to Blackbird, Anna Carey delivers a gritty and adrenaline-filled story of a girl desperate to escape her mysterious and terrifying assailants. Told in second person, this heart-pounding thriller puts the reader in front of the target.

A week ago, you woke up in Los Angeles with no memory of who you are. The only thing you knew: people are trying to kill you. You put your trust in Ben, but he betrayed you and broke your heart. Now you've escaped to New York City with a boy named Rafe, who says he remembers you from before. But the two of you are not safe. The same people who are after you are tailing Rafe as well. As the chase heats up, your memory starts to return, but your past cannot save you from the terrifying circumstances of your present, or the fact that one wrong move could end this game forever.

With enemies on every side, and not a reprieve in sight, Deadfall will grab readers and refuse to let go. Perfect for fans of the Maze Runner series and the Legend series.

Purchase Deadfall at Amazon
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View Deadfall on Goodreads

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Every Last Word
by Tamara Ireland Stone
Released 6/16/2015

If you could read my mind, you wouldn't be smiling.

Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and expertly applied makeup is a secret that her friends would never understand: Sam has Purely-Obsessional OCD and is consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can't turn off.

Second-guessing every move, thought, and word makes daily life a struggle, and it doesn't help that her lifelong friends will turn toxic at the first sign of a wrong outfit, wrong lunch, or wrong crush. Yet Sam knows she'd be truly crazy to leave the protection of the most popular girls in school. So when Sam meets Caroline, she has to keep her new friend with a refreshing sense of humor and no style a secret, right up there with Sam's weekly visits to her psychiatrist.

Caroline introduces Sam to Poet's Corner, a hidden room and a tight-knit group of misfits who have been ignored by the school at large. Sam is drawn to them immediately, especially a guitar-playing guy with a talent for verse, and starts to discover a whole new side of herself. Slowly, she begins to feel more "normal" than she ever has as part of the popular crowd . . . until she finds a new reason to question her sanity and all she holds dear.

Purchase Every Last Word at Amazon
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* * * *

The Last of the Spirits
by Chris Priestley
Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Released 6/16/2015

Sam and Lizzie are freezing and hungry on the streets of Victorian London. When Sam asks a wealthy man for some coins, he is rudely turned away. Months of struggle suddenly find their focus, and Sam resolves to kill the man. Huddling in a graveyard for warmth, Sam and Lizzie are horrified to see the earth around one of the tombs begin to shift, shortly followed by the wraithlike figure of a ghostly man. He warns Sam about the future which awaits such a bitter heart, and so begins Sam's journey led by terrifying spirits through the past, present and future, after which Sam must decide whether to take the man, Scrooge's, life or not.

A perfectly layered, tense and supremely satisfying twist on one of Dickens' most popular books, cleverly reinvented to entice a younger readership.

Purchase The Last of the Spirits at Amazon
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  1. Awesome concepts!!!

    thank you so very much :)

  2. Congrats to all the winners! And thanks for sharing more awesome books this week.

  3. So many great new releases! Can't wait to read "Every Last Word"!

    Carolina M on rafflecopter

  4. Thank you so much for the new release notification and the awesome giveaway!

  5. I love this blog! Lets me know about upcoming releases weekly and gives me a chance to win one! Thanks! :)

  6. Thanks for the cool giveaway!!

  7. I would love to read After Hours by Claire Kennedy. I haven't heard of it until now, but I love discovering new authors! I can't wait to read about this Tips game and I love all of the drama that always follows the gossip. I love how Kennedy is emphasizing their humanity because I feel that not enough books focus on the mistakes that we make. I think this makes these stories more relatable because they are realistic. And these are the kinds of stories I enjoy.

  8. Between the Notes & After Hours both sound good!


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