Saturday, February 28, 2015

4 Lisa Gail Green, author of SOUL CROSSED, on banning your inner editor

Today we're thrilled to interview one of our own. Lisa Gail Green is the Agent and Contest Coordinator here at Adventures in YA publishing. Proving that she loves to keep busy, she's currently running the Pitch Plus One contest while also releasing her latest novel SOUL CROSSED!

So, Lisa, what scene of SOUL CROSSED was really hard for you to write and why, and is that the one of which you are most proud? Or is there another scene you particularly love?

Every scene where Cam does horrible things was difficult. It felt really creepy getting into his head. I just had to remind myself that he is supposed to be the potential Anti-Christ, so, you know, he has to have the makings for being excessively evil. The scene I’m most proud of though is probably the climax. I felt the anticipation and knew what had to happen, but I also knew it had to “bring the feels” as one reviewer said.

What book or books would most resonate with readers who love your book--or visa versa?

Obviously FALLEN or HUSH HUSH, which are two awesome Angel/Demon books. But also I think PERSONAL DEMONS, which I love.

How long did you work on SOUL CROSSED?

The initial draft was only two weeks! I was in the zone. LOL But that doesn’t mean I didn’t revise. Gosh, from inception to publication it was literally years. Of course I worked on it on and off during that time, but still, that ought to give you an idea.

What did this book teach you about writing or about yourself?

That challenging yourself is the best thing you can do as a writer! Ban that inner Editor and just write it.

What do you hope readers will take away from SOUL CROSSED?

The idea that good and evil aren’t as cut and dry as one might imagine. A short answer with a big meaning.

What are you working on now?

Oh so many projects. But right now I’m finishing the first revision of the sequel to SOUL CROSSED! It’s called SOUL CORRUPTED and is slated to release July 1st! I’m a busy bee, but I LOVE it!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Soul Crossed
by Lisa Gail Green
eBook
Full Fathom Five Digital
Released 02/25/2015

One Demon.

One Angel.

One Soul.

Josh lived a reckless, selfish life, so upon his death, escaping the eternal torments of Hell by assuming the role of a powerful, soul-corrupting demon is an easy choice. His first soul assignment doesn’t seem too hard: the mortal Camden is already obsessed with weapons, pain, and torture. If only Josh wasn’t distracted by Cam’s beautiful friend, Grace.

Grace never expected to die violently at age sixteen, but now she’s an Angel, responsible for saving a soul. She can already see past Camden’s earthly flaws, so the job should be be easy. If only that handsome, playboy Josh would stop getting in the way.

It’s forbidden for an Angel to be with a Demon, so if Josh and Grace stop resisting each other, the results would be disastrous.

And only one can claim Cam’s soul..

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Picture
Lisa Gail Green lives with her husband the rocket scientist and their three junior mad scientists in Southern California. She writes books so she can have an excuse to live in the fantasy world in her head. She likes to share these with readers so she's represented by the lovely Melissa Nasson of Rubin Pfeffer Content. She has a parrot but would most definitely get a werewolf for a pet if she weren't allergic.

Lisa loves YA. She believes with all her heart that teen readers are ready and willing to experience things that some adults have closed their minds to, that books are the safest way to explore, learn, and escape, and that imagination is the key to just about everything.

0 Jennifer A. Nielsen, author of MARK OF THE THIEF, on understanding who your reader wants to be

What was your inspiration for writing MARK OF THE THIEF?

MARK OF THE THIEF started with two facts I stumbled upon. The first was that Emperor Julius Caesar used to claim he was a literal descendent of the Goddess Venus. He did this to make himself seem more powerful and invincible, but I began thinking, What if he was telling the truth? That would have made him a demigod, perhaps with some of their magic. The second fact was that ancient Roman boys used to wear a large golden amulet called a bulla, which was filled with gems in order to provide the boy good luck. So I thought, What if Caesar’s bulla was where he kept his magic? And what if that bulla became lost after Caesar’s death, only to be found nearly three hundred years later by a slave in the mines?

What do you hope readers will take away from MARK OF THE THIEF?

What an interesting question! I would love for readers to understand that there is a price for freedom. Nic wants that more than anything, but it won’t come easily or without a cost. I also think there’s a message for readers that every individual matters. Even those who society might determine are the lowest of the low.

What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?

I do most of my writing at home, but only because I’m lazy about going out! I enjoy editing to music, but the plotting and first draft needs to be in silence. That’s the time in which I really need to become absorbed in the story’s world.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?

One thing I’ve learned in publication is to understand who your reader is. Readers who love a story will read themselves into the pages, as if they are going on the adventure in that character’s shoes. So once we understand our reader, then we write, not for who they are, but for who they want to be. Let them go on an adventure with a character they want to be more like.

What are you working on now?

My goodness - it’s a crazy time! As I type this, I am in the middle of edits for MARK OF THE THIEF 2, outlining the third book in the series, doing proofs for A NIGHT DIVIDED, a Cold War era historical coming this August, and plotting for another standalone book for fall of 2016. Needless to say, I’m not sleeping a lot. But I am having a great time!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Mark of the Thief
by Jennifer A. Nielsen
Hardcover
Scholastic Press
Released 2/24/2015

Jennifer A. Nielsen, author of the NYT and USA TODAY bestselling Ascendance Trilogy, has woven an electrifying tale of greed and power, magic and destiny, and one boy's courage at the heart of it all.

When Nic, a slave in the mines outside of Rome, is forced to enter a sealed cavern containing the lost treasures of Julius Caesar, he finds much more than gold and gemstones: He discovers an ancient bulla, an amulet that belonged to the great Caesar and is filled with a magic once reserved for the Gods -- magic some Romans would kill for.

Now, with the deadly power of the bulla pulsing through his veins, Nic is determined to become free. But instead, he finds himself at the center of a ruthless conspiracy to overthrow the emperor and spark the Praetor War, a battle to destroy Rome from within. Traitors and spies lurk at every turn, each more desperate than the next to use Nic's newfound powers for their own dark purposes.

In a quest to stop the rebellion, save Rome, and secure his own freedom, Nic must harness the magic within himself and defeat the empire's most powerful and savage leaders.

Purchase Mark of the Thief at Amazon
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

JenNielsen_color_smallNew York Times Bestselling author, Jennifer Nielsen, was born and raised in northern Utah, where she still lives today with her husband, three children, and a dog that won’t play fetch. She is the author of The Ascendance trilogy, beginning with THE FALSE PRINCE; the MARK OF THE THIEF series, and the forthcoming A NIGHT DIVIDED. She loves chocolate, old books, and lazy days in the mountains.


0 Patrick Carman, author of QUAKE, on pushing through the hard days

What was your inspiration for writing QUAKE?

The PULSE series is a direct response to three stories I loved growing up: Star Wars, Spiderman, and Lord of the Rings. All three of those stories helped inspire PULSE, TREMOR, and QUAKE. The Force (from Star Wars) finds it's way into my story as the Pulse - the power to move things with your mind. Faith Daniels in particular deals with the primary lesson of Spiderman: with great power comes great responsibility. And the way a perilous journey changes characters is definitely from Lord of the Rings. Bilbo Baggins changes in many profound ways by the time he unloads that ring of power. Faith Daniels has a similar transformation in the PULSE series.

What do you hope readers will take away from QUAKE?

This trilogy is so much about transformation, so what I'm hoping readers get is that personal change is hard, but ultimately it's worth it. Faith, Dylan, and Hawk all have a lot of character work to do when the series begins. By the end, they've figured out what's holding them back and causing them pain. The journey they are on - not unlike the journey each of us is on - has the power to change them (and us) for the better.

What did this book teach you about writing or about yourself?

Trilogies are hard! I never think I'm going to end up a thousand pages into a story when I start. I just think about how excited I am to tell a story. It's a long and arduous commitment to write a big, sweeping story over three books. I learned during the process there are going to be great days and lousy days. Sometimes it's just a lot of work and I have to stay with it. Other days, it's a pure joy. So I guess the big thing I keep learning as I go is that if I push through the hard days, I will eventually make it to the end. Perseverance baby!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Quake by Patrick Carman
Hardcover
Katherine Tegen Books
Released 2/24/2015

Fans of I Am Number Four and The Maze Runner will clamor for Quake, the climactic finale to the Pulse trilogy by Patrick Carman—an epic dystopian story of love and revenge.

Faith Daniels and Dylan Gilmore have a special ability called a pulse: they can move things with their minds. They're caught in the middle of a deadly war with two other pulses: Clara and Wade Quinn, who have joined forces with Hotspur Chance, the most wanted man in the world. Outnumbered, it will take more than Faith's and Dylan's pulses to save them—it will take a miracle. 

But this isn't just about the States anymore; it is about finishing what they started. In a series of hair-raising battles, they discover an even greater strength: the power of their combined love. Together, Faith and Dylan might just be able to save the world with a quake that is big enough to change the course of history.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Patrick CarmanPatrick Carman is the award-winning author of many books for young adults and children. He grew up in Salem, Oregon, and graduated from Willamette University. His birthday is February 27th, 1966. He spent a decade living in Portland, where he worked in advertising, game design, and technology. 

Patrick Carman writes books for young adults and children for Scholastic, Harper Collins, and Little Brown Books For Young Readers. His bestselling books and series includes The Land of Elyon, Atherton, Elliot’s Park, 39 Clues, Floors, Trackers, Thirteen Days to Midnight, Dark Eden, Pulse, 3:15, and Skeleton Creek. Mr. Carman’s books have been translated into approximately two dozen languages.

 Mr. Carman spends his free time supporting literacy campaigns and community organizations, fly fishing, playing basketball, golfing badly, doing crosswords, watching movies, dabbling in video games, reading (lots), and (more than anything else) spending time with his wife and two daughters.

0 C.J. Omololu, author of THE THIRD TWIN, on listening to your story

What was your inspiration for writing THE THIRD TWIN?

When I was a kid, we had a family story about two identical twin cousins who made up a triplet in college to date boys that they wouldn't date as themselves. I took that basic story and threw in a murder mystery to make it an actual book.

What scene was really hard for you to write and why, and is that the one of which you are most proud? Or is there another scene you particularly love?

There was one scene that was a surprise to me as I was writing it - I had no idea that this particular thing was going to happen to this particular character, but in the end I knew it was the right thing to do. I had to finish writing the scene through tears and even my editor was surprised. I hope readers like it as much as I do.

How long did you work on THE THIRD TWIN?

When I finally sit down to actually write a story, I give myself a minimum word count a day - usually 1,000 words a day. THE THIRD TWIN is about 90k words, so it took about three months to actually write the draft - I write very chronologically, from front to back. Then of course, it's nowhere near done. There are probably three or four drafts before I'm ready to show it to my editor.

What do you hope readers will take away from THE THIRD TWIN?

First off, I hope they enjoy it. That's why I read - to step into someone's life for a few hours. I hope they're surprised at the twists and turns the story takes - it really wrote itself. I just dictated.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?

Listen to your story and don't try to make it something it's not. I often find that if a story isn't working its because I'm trying to force it to be one thing. Once I listen to the characters and let them do their thing, the story usually picks right up and I'm able to continue.

ABOUT THE BOOK

The Third Twin by C.J. Omololu
Hardcover
Delacorte Books for Young Readers Released 2/24/2015

Identical twins. Identical DNA. Identical suspects. It’s Pretty Little Liars meets Revenge in this edge-of-your-seat thriller with a shocking twist.

 When they were little, Lexi and her identical twin, Ava, made up a third sister, Alicia. If something broke? Alicia did it. Cookies got eaten? Alicia’s guilty. Alicia was always to blame for everything. The game is all grown up now that the girls are seniors. They use Alicia as their cover to go out with boys who are hot but not exactly dating material. Boys they’d never, ever be with in real life. Now one of the guys Alicia went out with has turned up dead, and Lexi wants to stop the game for good.

As coincidences start piling up, Ava insists that if they follow the rules for being Alicia, everything will be fine. But when another boy is killed, the DNA evidence and surveillance photos point to only one suspect—Alicia. The girl who doesn’t exist. As she runs from the cops, Lexi has to find the truth before another boy is murdered. Because either Ava is a killer . . . or Alicia is real.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Cynthia OmomoluC. J. OMOLOLU majored in English at U.C. Santa Barbara because she liked to read, not because she liked to write. She later discovered that the voices in her head often have interesting things to say. You can find out more about her on her website.

0 Cecil Castellucci, author of STONE IN THE SKY, on interviewing an astronaut

What was your inspiration for writing STONE IN THE SKY?

STONE IN THE SKY is the sequel to TIN STAR which was very loosely inspired by the film Casablanca.  For Stone, I wanted it to have a western kind of True grit / gold rush of 1849 feel.  So look to any western.

What scene was really hard for you to write and why, and is that the one of which you are most proud? Or is there another scene you particularly love?

A really hard scene for me to write I can't really talk about it, because it's a spoiler.  But it basically really shows you how horrible Brother Blue is.  I think when you are writing about the results of someone's evil, it's hard to write.  That darkness does not sit well with me, but as writers we must push through the darkness to get back to the light.  I also wrote a scene that takes place during a spacewalk.  I actually got to interview astronaut Rick Mastracchio, who is a space walking expert, about what that's like.  That was pretty cool, to get little details from a person who has actually walked in space.

What book or books would most resonate with readers who love your book--or visa versa?

I would say to check out John Christopher's The Tripod Trilogy.  That has always been a touchstone for me.  And the aliens in there are very alien, even if it's an earth based story.  I would also say that Deep Space Nine or Babylon Five are probably good watch alikes.

What do you hope readers will take away from STONE IN THE SKY?

I wanted it to be the story about a girl who sheds her humanity in order to survive and then rediscovers it.  So I hope that a reader thinks about what it means to be human.

How long or hard was your road to publication? How many books did you write before this one, and how many never got published?

I always say that it's about a ten year waiting list to be an artist of any kind.  You have to get in line, do your work, and do more work.  For me, it took about 7 years from the time I got serious about writing before I sold my first book.  That book was BOY PROOF, it's about a girl who is obsessed with a post apocalyptic film and dresses as the main character to go to school every day and how that affects her relationships when a new kid comes to school.  I wrote three full books before I sold that one.  And it came out two years after I sold it.  So, almost 10 years.  I say, just keep writing and putting stuff out there.  It's a marathon.  It's a long road.  And once you do get published, there are more roads to keep walking on.

What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?

I make a play list for every book that I write.  It's a bunch of songs that jump me straight into the vibe and emotional tone of the novel.  Here is the one I had for TIN STAR http://www.largeheartedboy.com/blog/archive/2014/02/book_notes_ceci_2.html I work at home and at coffee shops depending on where I am at in the process.  Sometimes I need to hole up in my house like a mad woman.  Become a troll, emerge a fairy.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?

Don't be afraid of making your work better by listening to good notes.  Anything that you have to cut you can always put in another project.  Nothing is ever wasted.

What are you working on now?

I am currently working on a draft of a middle grade novel.  We'll see!  It's my first!  Always experimenting, that's my motto.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Stone in the Sky
by Cecil Castellucci
Hardcover
Roaring Brook Press
Released 2/24/2015

In this thrilling follow-up to Tin Star, Tula will need to rely on more than just her wits to save her only home in the sky.

After escaping death a second time, Tula Bane is now even thirstier for revenge. She spends much of her time in the Tin Star Café on the Yertina Feray—the space station she calls home. But when it's discovered that the desolate and abandoned planet near the station has high quantities of a precious resource, the once sleepy space station becomes a major player in intergalactic politics. In the spirit of the Gold Rush, aliens from all over the galaxy race to cash in—including Tula's worst enemy.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Cecil Castellucci 2014 web_res-9382Cecil Castellucci is the author of books and graphic novels for young adults including Boy Proof, The Plain Janes, First Day on Earth, The Year of the Beasts, Tin Star and Odd Duck. Her picture book, Grandma’s Gloves, won the California Book Award Gold Medal. Her short stories have been published in Strange Horizons, YARN, Tor.com, and various anthologies including, Teeth, After and Interfictions 2. She is the YA editor of the Los Angeles Review of Books, Children’s Correspondence Coordinator for The Rumpus and a two time Macdowell Fellow. She lives in Los Angeles.

0 Lynn Carthage, author of HAUNTED, comparing ideas to ice cream sundaes

Was there an AHA! moment along your road to publication where something suddenly sank in and you felt you had the key to writing a novel? What was it?

There’s a plot twist in the book that occurs about midway through, and that was my “aha” moment. I felt all along there was something missing to the book, and it needed an extra boost: this plot development allowed me to explore deeper themes and hopefully give pleasure to those who didn’t see it coming.

As I write, Goodreads is exploding with readers who did see it coming, and are scornful that I thought anybody wouldn’t. Readers love figuring things out before characters do, and so I had hoped this would be a bit of a pleasure for savvy readers…if you haven’t read the book yet, I hope you can approach it with an open mind and enjoy the plot twist if you get it early…and please, no spoilers for those who haven’t read it yet!

What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?

My ritual is basically that I have to get out of the house. I work well in cafes so long as I’m not sitting by very loud people; I can generally tune out music and regular-volume conversations. Unfortunately, I’ve learned I cannot tune out country music, and once had to leave a café for its twangy, brain-incisoring soundtrack.

My favorite place to work, though, is the library. If I can manage to get one of those glassed-in private study rooms, I’m in heaven. All three of the libraries in driving distance for me have vistas of green trees (and in one case, a goose-adorned pond), so I look up periodically to gaze out at the fortifying view and puzzle out dialogue or “what comes next.”

I also love being surrounded by books. I let my eyes pass along the spines and occasionally get up to pull a book off the shelf and flip through it while I let my mind percolate. It’s heartening to know other writers’ words, ideas and carefully-constructed plots form my borders.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?

A writer writes. Anybody can have great ideas, anyone can describe an incredible premise…but until it’s written down, it’s not any more valuable than someone talking about the ice cream sundae they’d love to eat. Until there’s ice cream in the bowl, it’s meaningless.

We joke about the A/C ratio (ass to chair): it really is about sitting down on a regular basis ---or standing, if you have a standing desk—and putting those words on paper. I believe pretty much anyone can have a spurt in which they write about 25 awesome pages…even that is not writing a novel.

You need a sustained practice in which you pass the hundred-page mark, in which you wallow in the despair of the middle-of-book doldrums, in which you eke your way towards 200 pages, in which you finally hit “the end.” The only way that will happen is if you calendar time for it. Put it in the calendar like a dentist appointment: “3:30-5:00, work on novel.” That way, you’ve set aside sacred time for your novel to grow. You won’t get detoured and wind up eating French fries with your friends at the corner diner. If you’re realistic with the time you can carve out and stick to it, you’ll be pleased by what you can accomplish in small spurts.

Finally, we’re all so electronic these days. On a regular basis, print out your pages. You’ll feel pride at how much is there: your book is tangible and real, and you believe in it more when you see the tower rise. I also find I catch errors more readily in hard copy form. Good luck!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Haunted
by Lynn Carthage
Paperback
Kensington
Released 2/24/2015

Sixteen-year-old Phoebe Irving has traded life in San Francisco for her stepfather’s ancestral mansion in rural England. It’s supposed to be the new start her family needs. But from the moment she crosses the threshold into the ancient estate, Phoebe senses something ominous. Then again, she's a little sensitive lately—not surprising when her parents are oblivious to her, her old life is six thousand miles away, and the only guy around is completely gorgeous but giving her mixed messages.

But at least Miles doesn’t laugh at Phoebe’s growing fears. And she can trust him…maybe. The locals whisper about the manor’s infamous original owner, Madame Arnaud, and tell grim stories of missing children and vengeful spirits. Phoebe is determined to protect her loved ones—especially her little sister, Tabby. But even amidst the manor’s dark shadows, the deepest mysteries may involve Phoebe herself…

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lynn Carthage, author of HAUNTEDLynn Carthage is a novelist living in Sacramento, California, near where the Gold Rush launched. Under her real name, she was a Bram Stoker Award finalist. Born in Vermont, Lynn has lived in Maine, Ireland, and Arizona. She reads voraciously, loves anything French, gets “itchy feet” to travel on a regular basis, and finds peace in the woods, in meadows, in nature. She has always been fascinated by how history allows us to imagine how people of the past lived and breathed and felt.

HAUNTED is her first young adult novel, and will be followed by the next two books in the Arnaud Legacy trilogy.

0 Victoria Scott, author of SALT & STONE, on knowing your character's objective

What was your inspiration for writing SALT & STONE?

The Pandoras were my inspiration for this sequel. I wanted to give them ample opportunity to show just how able they are in assisting their Contenders. Until now, it's mostly been the Contenders who were challenged. In SALT & STONE, the Pandoras have to step up in a big way.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?

Know what your character's objective is, and make it crystal clear to readers within the first 30 pages. Keep that objective consistent, and remind readers of the goal a handful of times during the book. This keeps readers turning pages to find out whether the character ultimately succeeds.

What are you working on now?

I'm working on a stand-alone YA thriller called TITANS. It's about a teen girl who rides a steel, mechanical horse in a Detroit derby to win prize money to save her family's home, and keep her best friend close. The races take place at midnight in the woods, and are attended by rowdy men who place bets on the robotic horses. TITANS releases spring 2016 from Scholastic.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Salt & Stone by Victoria Scott
Hardcover
Scholastic Press
Released 2/24/2015

What would you do to save someone you love? In Fire & Flood, Tella Holloway faced a dangerous trek through the jungle and across the desert, all to remain a Contender in the Brimstone Bleed for a chance at obtaining the Cure for her brother. She can't quit--she has to win the race, save Cody, and then fight to make sure the race stops before it can claim any more lives. In the next legs of the race, across the ocean and over mountains, Tella will face frostbite, sharks, avalanche, and twisted new rules in the race. But what if the danger is deeper than that? How do you know who to trust when everyone's keeping secrets? What do you do when the person you'd relied on most suddenly isn't there for support? How do you weigh one life against another? The race is coming to an end, and Tella is running out of time, resources, and strength. At the start of the race there were one hundred twenty-two Contenders. As Tella and her remaining friends start the final part of the race, just forty-one are left--and only one can win.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Victoria Scott is a teen fiction writer represented by Sara Crowe of the Harvey-Klinger Literary Agency. She’s the author of the FIRE & FLOOD series published by Scholastic, and the DANTE WALKER trilogy published by Entangled Teen. Her first stand-alone young adult title, TITANS, will be published by Scholastic in spring 2016. Victoria’s books have been bought and translated in eleven foreign markets including the UK, Turkey, China, Poland, Israel, Germany, Australia, Brazil, Taiwan, New Zealand, and the Netherlands. She currently lives in Dallas, and hearts cotton candy something fierce.

0 Eileen Cook, author of REMEMBER, on being inspired by scientific experiments

What was your inspiration for writing REMEMBER?

I’d read an article about some scientific experiments being done with memory. The scientists were looking for a way to reduce the difficulty war veterans have with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  It occurred to me if people could get rid of very traumatic memories, there would also be a market for people who wanted to get rid of all sorts of memories.

I began to wonder what types of things might go wrong once you begin messing around with someone’s memory. It can be relatively easy to confuse what is a real memory from what someone might tell you happened. What if something you were sure was true, suddenly seemed to be uncertain, possibly a lie?

Once all these questions were swirling around in my head I knew I had a book- all I had to do is write it!

How long did you work on REMEMBER?

It takes me about a year to write a book, that includes time spent thinking about the idea before I even start writing. I find I work best when I give myself a chance to let a book sit for a period of time. When I do that the ideas really start to come.  I’m lucky in that I enjoy the actual writing process. I don’t have difficulty making myself sit down and get words on the page- for me that’s the fun part. It’s the idea formulation and revisions that can give me headaches.

Was there an AHA! moment along your road to publication where something suddenly sank in and you felt you had the key to writing a novel? What was it?

I had confessed to a writing mentor that I was nervous about sending my work out and the rejection I knew would come. She told me “Eileen, you already aren’t published. The worst thing that will happen is that you still won’t be published.”  That’s when I got it- rejection isn’t fun, but it’s not life or death either. I realized I could survive hearing No, or someone telling me I was no good. What I couldn’t survive is knowing that I never took the chance.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?

Read. Read a lot. Books are the best teachers. If it is a book you like take it apart. Look at how the author told the story, whose point of view? What scenes did she include? Who are in those scenes? How does the story unfold? Writers are making choices all the time- you can learn from how they chose to tell the story what kind of options you might have to tell yours.

What are you working on now?

I am working on a new mystery that involves friendship, lies, some betrayal and Italy!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Remember
by Eileen Cook
Hardcover
Simon Pulse
Released 2/24/2015

A thrilling tale about what a girl will do to get back a memory she lost…or remove what she wants to forget.

Harper is used to her family being hounded by protestors. Her father runs the company that trademarked the “Memtex” procedure to wipe away sad memories, and plenty of people think it shouldn’t be legal. Then a new demonstrator crosses her path, Neil, who’s as persistent as he is hot. Not that Harper’s noticing, since she already has a boyfriend.

When Harper suffers a loss, she’s shocked her father won’t allow her to get the treatment, so she finds a way to get it without his approval. Soon afterward, she’s plagued with strange symptoms, including hallucinations of a woman who is somehow both a stranger, yet incredibly familiar. Harper begins to wonder if she is delusional, or if these are somehow memories.

Together with Neil, who insists he has his own reasons for needing answers about the real dangers of Memtex, Harper begins her search for the truth. What she finds could uproot all she’s ever believed about her life…

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Head shot distanceEileen Cook is a multi-published author with her novels appearing in eight different languages. Her books have been optioned for film and TV. She spent most of her teen years wishing she were someone else or somewhere else, which is great training for a writer. Her latest release, YEAR OF MISTAKEN DISCOVERIES came out in February 2014.

You can read more about Eileen, her books, and the things that strike her as funny at www.eileencook.com. Eileen lives in Vancouver with her husband and one very naughty dog and no longer wishes to be anyone or anywhere else.

0 Darren Shan, author of ZOM-B BRIDE, on mixing various genres

What was your inspiration for writing ZOM-B BRIDE?

It was inspired by a dream scene in the very first book of the series – although, to be honest, I knew even at that stage that this book lay ahead of me, so perhaps it would be more accurate to say that the events of book 10 inspired that dream scene in book 1. While I didn’t know all the twists and turns of the main storyline when I started the series, this was one of the major arcs that I knew it would have to include. This is a key book, and one which answers a lot of questions, not least of which is why I chose to make my main character a girl as opposed to a boy...

What book or books would most resonate with readers who love your book--or visa versa?

I’ve been influenced by all sorts of books, and although my work tends to get sold under the horror banner, it’s a real mix of genres. Some of my recommendations, which I hope would appeal to fans of Zom-B, would include The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier, The Turbulent Term Of Tyke Tyler by Gene Kemp, The Stand by Stephen King, Bless The Beasts And Children by Glendon Swartout.

How long did you work on ZOM-B BRIDE?

I spent about three years at work on it, the same as I did on every other book in the series – but I juggled them around and worked on them at the same time, which is why I was able to release them so quickly.

What did this book teach you about writing or about yourself?

It taught me that I’d never make a living as an author of romance novels!

What do you hope readers will take away from ZOM-B BRIDE?

The bridal bouquet!!

What are you working on now?

I recently finished work on books 11 and 12 of the series (the last two books) and have written the first draft of what will hopefully be my next book after that. All I can say about it at the moment is that it won’t be a horror book, although it’s not a million miles removed from that field...

ABOUT THE BOOK

Zom-B Bride
by Darren Shan
Hardcover
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Released 2/24/2015

B Smith has been reunited with the murderous maniac clown, Mr. Dowling. To her shock and consternation, he's desperate to make B his partner in crime. Mr. Dowling disgusts her, but B thinks she can see a way to control him and maybe even save the world. But it will involve a sacrifice far greater and more surreal than any she has contemplated before...

Purchase Zom-B Bride at Amazon
Purchase Zom-B Bride at IndieBound
View Zom-B Bride on Goodreads





ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Darren ShanDarren Shan is the pen name of the Irish author Darren O'Shaughnessy, as well as the name of the protagonist of his book series The Saga of Darren Shan, also known as The Cirque Du Freak Series in the United States. He is the author of The Demonata series, as well as some stand-alone books, and a series of books for adults under the alternative name of D.B. Shan.

Friday, February 27, 2015

1 Stephanie Diaz Answers Questions on Ask a Pub Pro

Welcome to our monthly Ask a Pub Pro feature where a publishing professional answers readers and writers' questions regarding the stories they love or their work in progress. This month, Stephanie Diaz, author of the Extraction series,  joins us to answer questions on chapter breaks and unusual time periods.

We'd love to have you send in your questions for next month's column. Please send questions to AYAPLit AT gmail.com and put "Ask a Pub Pro Question" in the subject line. If your question is chosen, you'll get to include a link to your social media and a one to two sentence (think Tweet size) blurb of your WIP.

Come on! Get those questions in!

Ask a Pub Pro with Stephanie Diaz


From Farida Mestek:

My question about the book concerns chapters. My YA fantasy novel is divided into four more or less equal parts, each having its individual title, but there are no chapter breaks within the parts. How important are chapters in this particular genre and for this audience? Should I attempt to introduce them within the book even though I can't decide where to end one chapter and to start the next one or can I leave it like that?

Find Farida on Twitter at @FaridaMestek

Stephanie answers:

Chapters are helpful to readers because they allow for pauses in the book, places where the reader can take a breath or step away and easily come back. YA fantasies tend to be on the longer side, so not including chapters could make it hard for readers to get through the book. You don't necessarily need to have a new chapter every ten pages or even twenty, but I would recommend working some scene breaks into your novel, aside from the four parts. Look for the spots where scenes have a natural ending.

Check out some YA fantasies to get an idea of what scene breaks should read like, if you're unsure. The Shadow and Bone series by Leigh Bardugo has some great examples.

Anonymous asks:

I'm writing an historical in a very unusual time period and am not sure it will be marketable. Is there any way to sort of test the market to find out if agents/editors/readers would even consider this time and setting?

Stephanie answers:

There isn't any way to test the market other than to query your work once it's finished and see what agents have to say. However, I would highly recommend finding critique partners to share your idea with and read your manuscript before you start shopping it, so you can get a sense of whether it will appeal to readers.

There are also some really wonderful agents and editors who occasionally have #AskAgent and #AskEditor Q&As on Twitter. Keep an eye on those hashtags, and you may be able to get an answer by running the time and setting of your book by someone in the industry.

About the Author:


Twenty-two-year-old Stephanie Diaz wrote her first novel, Extraction, while studying film at San Diego State University. She is also the author of Rebellion and the forthcoming Evolution. When she isn't lost in books, she can be found singing, marveling at the night sky, or fangirling over TV shows. Visit her website at www.stephaniediazbooks.com and follow her on twitter at @StephanieEDiaz.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads



About the Book:


http://www.amazon.com/Rebellion-Stephanie-Diaz/dp/1250041252/
The uprising has begun. It's been seven days since Clementine and Logan, along with their allies, retreated into hiding on the Surface. The rebels may have won one battle against Commander Charlie, but the fight is far from finished. He has vowed to find a way to win—no matter the cost. Do the rebels have what it takes to defeat him and put an end to this war?

As Clementine and Logan enter a desperate race against time to defeat Commander Charlie—and attempt to weaken his power within his own ranks--they find themselves in a terrifying endgame that pits them against a brutal enemy, and each other. With every step, Clementine draws closer to losing Logan...and losing control of herself.

Continuing with the mesmerizing saga that started with Extraction, Stephanie Diaz blends science fiction, epic romance, and heart-stopping adventure to create a world that no reader will soon forget.

Amazon | IndieBound | Goodreads


-- posted by Susan Sipal, @HP4Writers

Thursday, February 26, 2015

1 Top 25 Pitch Plus One Entries

You've ALL been amazing and we hope you've learned from the feedback the process provided. But here are the top 25 titles you've been waiting for! Congrats. If you find yours below you should revise and get your pitch and first page back ASAP! You have until February 27th at 3PM EASTERN. Then I will begin posting the pitch and first pages for each of you. If you choose not to revise, I will post the same entry as last time with a new random number. 

If you are following along and want to read the amazing work of our contestants you can find it posted at http://adventuresinyacontests.blogspot.com


ANYTHING BUT ALIVE
CHILDREN OF TOKUA
COWARDS AND CAPES
FIGHT FOR THIS
IF ONE OF THEM IS DEAD`
LISTEN TO ME
MUSE POWERS IN DANGER
NIKITA WHITFIELD AND THE BUTTERFLY EATER
RETTA VS. MUTANTS
RIVETED
THE BATTLE OF WONDERLAND GARDENS
THE CHRONICLES OF WHAT HAPPENED, BY CAM HANSON
THE GREAT WOODS
THE HUNT FOR THE HEAVENLY HORSE
THE KIDNAPPER'S CONUNDRUM
THE LAND OF JOY AND SORROW
THE LEDGE
THE MIDNIGHT FLIGHT OF THE SALEM MAGI
THE OTHER SIDE OF NORMAL
THE SECRETS WE KEEP
THE SINNER ROSE
TRACKER 220
WHATEVER IT TAKES
WHO IS BERKLEY ADAMS?
XAVIER AND THE MYSTERIOUS BLACK SPACESHIP

0 Agent Caitie Flum of Liza Dawson Associates Talks Dynamic Characters, Diversity in YA, and Being Crafty

Caitie works at Liza Dawson Associates. Caitie graduated from Hofstra University with a BA in English with a concentration in publishing studies. Caitie interned at Hachette Book Group and Writers House and worked at Bookspan with almost every book club there, gaining valuable experience in sub rights. Caitie grew up in Ohio where she developed her love of reading everything she could get her hands on, played about every sport she could, and spent far too much time belting out showtunes with friends.



1. What advice do you have for writers getting ready to query you? 
Do your research! It is so much easier now than ever to find out more information, take your time, and don't just send to anyone. 
I specifically say many places that I do not represent science fiction and fantasy, but I still get so many queries for them. Please make sure I am the right person for the project. I am all over social media and still have my book blog up at https://caitieflum.wordpress.com/ (even though I don't post as many reviews anymore, less time to read for fun!). And don't be scared - I am a person and I want to love what authors send me!
Have other people read your query before you send it, make sure it makes sense to people who don't know your book. I reject a lot of queries because I have no idea what the book is about or what is going on. 
2. Are you an editorial agent?
Of course! Is there anyone who isn't now? I want it to have its best possible chance when we send it out to editors and work closely with authors.
3. What genres are you drawn to most?
I am really drawn to strong women's fiction. I love dynamic characters who don't always do what everyone else would do. I love stories that have strong friendships at their core. I also love a good romance with great characters.
Historical fiction is another genre I am actively looking for, especially when it is told from a perspective we often do not hear from. I would love some YA historical fiction! 
I am also all about mysteries/thrillers of almost ever kind (the big exception is drug cartels). Amateur sleuths and cozy mysteries are really up my alley! 
Finally, I adore YA contemporary books, especially when they have diversity. 
4. Which is more crucial: emotional connection or current marketability? 
It need to be a balance of both. If there is not emotional connection, it probably won't go anywhere, but if there is no market, the same can be true. I would probably lean more towards emotional connection because the market is always changing. 
5. What do you like to do for fun?
So many things! I watch so much TV, cook/bake whenever I can, I love movies and musical theater, and play board games with friends at least a couple times a month. I watch a lot of youtube too. I try to be as connected to the world as I can. I need to get back to cross stitching and other crafty things, there just doesn't seem to be as much time lately! 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

3 Cynthia Leitich Smith, author of FERAL PRIDE, on readers inspiring a new series

We are thrilled to welcome a very special guest today to Adventures in YA Publishing. NYT best-selling author Cynthia Leitich Smith hardly needs an introduction as her books are so popular with both children and YA readers and her presence online is so strong, especially with respect to her commitment to promoting diversity in literature. She joins us with an interview as well as a giveaway of a MG-YA first chapter critique! Thank you, Cynthia!

What was your inspiration for writing FERAL PRIDE?

All of my novels can stand alone, but FERAL PRIDE caps my FERAL trilogy and TANTALIZE series (both Candlewick), which are set in the same multi-creature universe and feature some overlapping characters.

The inspiration for the FERAL heroes was the prominent appearance of shape-shifters in my TANTALIZE series – most especially a Wolf named Kieren Morales and an Opossum named Clyde Gilbert.

YA readers were telling me that while they thought the heaven-hell battle had been fully realized by DIABOLICAL (Book 4 in the TANTALIZE series), there was still much to be said about the shifters. I’d left them in a perilous place, begging the question of what might happen next.

What scene was really hard for you to write and why, and is that the one of which you are most proud? Or is there another scene you particularly love?

Sensual expressions of romantic love are always challenging. Those scenes are tough to write – I have huge respect for genre romance writers.

Of the pairings in FERAL PRIDE, Yoshi and Kayla’s is the most physically charged. They’re both werecats – he’s a black-furred cougar-like Cat in animal form and she’s a dark-spotted, gold cheetah-like Cat.

They come armed animal-like instincts, against a life-and-death backdrop. The attraction is electric. But they’re also more complicated than that.

Kayla is only baby steps into recovering from the death of her first boyfriend and Yoshi, who has legendary experience with ladies, is suddenly faced with the first one with whom he could have a real relationship, a real future, if they both survive.

What book or books would most resonate with readers who love your book--or visa versa?

I’d recommend reading the TANTALIZE series (which is made up of TANTALIZE, ETERNAL, BLESSED and DIABOLICAL, plus two graphic novels TANTALIZE: KIEREN’S STORY and ETERNAL: ZACHARY’S STORY) as well as the previous books in the FERAL trilogy (FERAL NIGHTS and FERAL CURSE).

Protagonists (and fan favorite) from the TANTALIZE series return for FERAL PRIDE – Quincie Morris, Kieren Morales, the Archangel Zachary, and there’s even a mention of Miranda Shen McAllister in heaven.

There also are a few short stories set in the universe. “Cat Calls” and “Haunted Love” are available for free download from major etailers, and “Cupid’s Beaux” will appear in THINGS I’LL NEVER SAY: STORIES ABOUT OUR SECRET SELVES, edited by Ann Angel (Candlewick, 2015).

What do you hope readers will take away from FERAL PRIDE?

I hope they ask themselves what makes us human and what makes us humane. I hope they’ll be skeptical of media influences and think critically about what they believe and why.

What are you working on now?

I’m writing a YA realistic novel, HOW TO END A DATE (Candlewick). It’ll be my first novel with a Native American protagonist since my debut, RAIN IS NOT MY INDIAN NAME (HarperCollins). It’s feels both like a bit of a debut, after writing so much speculative fiction, but also like coming home again.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Feral Pride
by Cynthia Leitich Smith
Hardcover
Candlewick
Released 2/24/2015

The explosive finale to the Feral series by New York Times best-selling author Cynthia Leitich Smith.

Anti-shifter sentiment is at an all-time high when Kayla’s transformation to werecat is captured on video and uploaded for the world to see. Suddenly she becomes a symbol of the werebeast threat and—along with fellow cat Yoshi, lion-possum Clyde, and human Aimee—a hunted fugitive. Meanwhile, a self-proclaimed weresnake has kidnapped the governor of Texas and hit the airwaves with a message of war. In retaliation, werepeople are targeted by law enforcement, threatened with a shift-suppressing vaccine, terrorized by corporate conspiracy, and enslaved by a top-secret, intelligent Cryptid species. Can Clyde rally his inner lion king to lead his friends—new and old—into battle against ruthless, media-savvy foes? A rousing blend of suspense, paranormal romance, humor, and high action.

Purchase Feral Pride at Amazon
Purchase Feral Pride at IndieBound
View Feral Pride on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Cynthia Leitich Smith is the New York Times and Publishers Weekly best-selling author of the TANTALIZE series and FERAL series. Her award-winning books for younger children include JINGLE DANCER, INDIAN SHOES, RAIN IS NOT MY INDIAN NAME (all HarperCollins) and HOLLER LOUDLY (Dutton).






GIVEAWAY

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

18 5 Secrets I Learned While Waiting to Be Published Plus WIN 8 Signed Books, $25 Gift Card & More

Lisa Gail Green was one of the first and best people I met in the blogosphere. She was a badass writer, already agented by a badass agent, and I remember being so excited when she did a guest post on Adventures. We got to know each other and started exchanging manuscripts, and the very first thing I read was the book that she is releasing tomorrow. That was years ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday. I had just finished reading PARANORMALLY and PERSONAL DEMONS and Lisa's book blew me away. I loved it. I loved the humor and the romance, the originality of her story. The way her brain works humbles me--she's amazing.

And guess what? SOUL CROSSED is coming out tomorrow! Squeee!!! I'm so, so honored to turn today's post over to her to share her incredible story and insight. Also? There's a pre-order link at the bottom just above the incredible giveaway. Hint, hint! : )

Five Secrets I Learned While Waiting to Be Published 

by Lisa Gail Green

In honor of SOUL CROSSED's release tomorrow I'm doing a SUPER giveaway, including SEVEN SIGNED books by authors like Ally Condie, Jennifer Armentrout, Ellen Hopkins, Jennifer Donelly and Maggie Stiefvater. Is that enough? NO. I also am giving away a giftcard, swag, and another book! So don't forget to enter!! Am I crazy? Well, that's besides the point. The thing is I value all of YOU and I want to honor all the readers out there. Now to the post!

Tomorrow my baby is out in the big wide world, but guess what? It didn't happen overnight. Shocked? Probably not! Most of us are familiar with the torturous wait and seemingly inescapable lessons in patience associated with writing.

Five years ago I had an agent (and I mean uber agent) and had every expectation that I'd soon be hearing about an offer from one of the "big five". Ha! Lesson number one - just because you have an agent, there's no guarantee of publication. Things kind of went South from there instead North. My agent and I split amicably and I was faced with starting "all over".

Skip ahead to this past year and you will find that I signed with an agent working with my previous agent AND sold not one, but several manuscripts previously shopped to the most enthusiastic editor that I could imagine. Oh and did I mention that I'm a lead title?

What happened in between though? What the heck was I doing for those *missing* years? I'll give you a hint -- I wasn't sitting around waiting for everything to turn around. Were there ups and downs? Mostly downs! I was diagnosed with RA (rheumatoid arthritis), which made me nervous about my writing future, had a baby who stole my heart and a TON of time, and was so close to throwing in the towel it's not even funny.

BUT I also continued working on my craft and poking around social media, though I admit I let that fall behind a bit with everything else going on. And while that was happening I learned a few things. Things that made a HUGE difference in the work I do now versus the work I originally tried to sell. So have my manuscripts changed since they were shopped and then picked up by FFF? *nods* You betcha. And I'm going to share those tips with you! In an easy to follow guide that you can use right away. You're welcome. ;D


1. Connections are important.  

I already mentioned letting social media fall by the wayside. That's okay if you do it the smart way. I loved my little blog I used to post on twice a week. But when Martina mentioned the possibility of joining her here I knew it was the right move for several reasons.
A.  It was an established blog with a huge following.
B.  I could concentrate on something new and interesting that was relevant to where I was in the journey -- i.e. agents and contests.
C.  I knew I would learn a TON from Martina and everyone else here and I haven't been disappointed!
     
Not everyone has access to publishing on an amazing blog like AYAP I get that, but here's my advice to you: Don't start a blog unless you KNOW it's something you love. Same with FB and Twitter and any of the other sites out there. You WILL burn out eventually but if it's what you love then the time commitment is worth it. I concentrated on the social media that I love and used shortcuts like IFTTT to help me post across platforms. And I found as I always did in the past that when I engage others with what I truly enjoy I find followers and make real connections with people.  So by being in that somewhat humbled position I found that it was even more important to me to keep up with what meant the most to me and the interactions, in my opinion, are what it's all about.
     
2. You are never above the basics.

Think you've seen it all? The blog posts, the workshops, etc.? Not true. Sometimes all it takes is someone repeating a single thing in a unique way that give you that aha moment. It's true that we grow as writers the more we do, but do you know how many adverbs I STILL have in my gosh darned manuscripts?? Grrrr. Yes, I catch a lot of them the first time through now, but they still sneak in there.

So if you're having a tough time one of the best things you can do is go back and re-read some posts or a book that was there for you in the beginning. Sometimes something new will even leap out. You can even get something new to you, but on a subject you've seen so many times. Example? I re-read James Scott Bell's book PLOT AND STRUCTURE. I must have wanted to smack my forehead fifty times because of a simple thing I'd forgotten to pay attention to in my work.

3. The industry keeps moving, don't let it pass you by.

I went through a period where I couldn't read. That makes me very sad. I LOVE READING and that's what inspires me to write. I felt some part of me was missing. Thankfully I read again now, just a bit slower than I used to. But it's SO important! I learn through, let's call it osmosis, while reading more than anything else I do. And new books in YA come out all the time. For a short while I didn't familiarize myself with the new ones, which is bad. Bad bad bad. You have to know what's out there in your genre. You have to know what's being done and what works and why. Why did you like it? Why DIDN'T you like it?

4. Be wary but not cynical.

When you are "desperate" to get your work noticed you find all sorts of people ready to help. Do you hire an editor? Do you enter contests? Do you take any agent that offers? The answers are: Maybe, maybe, and NO.

Hiring an editor is a personal decision. It's something that has helped many of my friends, but it's also expensive. My advice? If you decide you are stuck, meaning you don't have anyone else to ask and you don't know what's wrong but you're convinced either by rejections or your gut that you're missing something important then you are at a good point to potentially hire an editor. Before you do make sure they are reputable by asking for references and exchanging a bit of work to make sure their comments resonate. Try to find someone, if you're going to splurge anyway, that has professional experience with a publishing house under his/her belt.

Contest-wise? Well, we're running Pitch Plus One right now! There are many online pitch or opening pages contests that are worth a look or a try. I myself got several requests a while back from Pitch Madness by Brenda Drake, who by the way got started on a contest here that I helped judge! Be careful. My advice? Never enter a contest that asks for money. Why? Not because they may not be reputable. Many are. Some aren't. But why do that if you don't have to? There are free resources out there if you search. Take advantage of our very own First Five Pages Workshop, for example. We never charge and have amazing mentors, including an agent, for every manuscript every month.

Agent wise? Don't just take anyone that will have you. Take your time to research and ask questions. Ask for references. You are hiring them too. Get Publisher's Marketplace (or ask someone who knows) what their recent sales are like. Make sure you feel comfortable with them and understand their policies and procedures when it comes to communication, editing and submission. The wrong agent is worse than no agent. For reals.

5.Write.

You can do all of the above, but if you are convinced your first manuscript has to be the "one" and you can't move on then you are far more likely to fail. You have to write. You have to write even if you are sad or doubtful or don't know what you're going to say. Take out an old manuscript that's been sitting for a while and read it through. Do you see errors you wouldn't make anymore? I did. Fix them. Can you think of something that would make it stronger? Add it! Do you see scenes that are superfluous? Chop 'em. Open a new document and start something new. Outline if you outline, start writing if you don't! The more you write, the better you will get. AND the more options you will have to offer a potential agent or editor. Pick what you think your weakest attribute is (writing wise, silly) and focus on it while you write or re-write a chapter.

These tips may sound simple, but they sincerely saved my writing career. They work. So DON'T GIVE UP. Focus on your craft instead. There is always more to learn and do.

* * * 

Soul Crossed 

(Of Demons and Angels #1)

by Lisa Gail Green

One Demon. 

One Angel.

One Soul.

Josh lived a reckless, selfish life, so upon his death, escaping the eternal torments of Hell by assuming the role of a powerful, soul-corrupting demon is an easy choice. His first soul assignment doesn’t seem too hard: the mortal Camden is already obsessed with weapons, pain, and torture. If only Josh wasn’t distracted by Cam's beautiful friend, Grace.

Grace never expected to die violently at age sixteen, but now she’s an Angel, responsible for saving a soul. She can already see past Camden’s earthly flaws, so the job should be be easy. If only that handsome, playboy Josh would stop getting in the way.

It’s forbidden for an Angel to be with a Demon, so if Josh and Grace stop resisting each other, the results would be disastrous. 

And only one can claim Cam’s soul.

"A wickedly romantic story that will have you cheering for Lisa Gail Green’s addictive storytelling. SOUL CROSSED is devilishly delicious!" — Martina Boone, author of COMPULSION and the Heirs of Watson Island trilogy

"Soul Crossed blurs the lines between good and evil with addictive characters and plot that will have you eagerly turning the pages." 
— Kelly Hashway, author of the Touch of Death series.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, February 23, 2015

41 NINE Giveaways plus New YALit Releases 2/23 - 3/1

We have NINE amazing giveaways for you this week! Which one are you most excited to win?

And check back tomorrow to see the GIANT giveaway from our very own Lisa Gail Green, whose delicious SOUL CROSSED releases on Wednesday!!! : ) (Squeeeeee!)

~ the Ladies of AYAP
Martina, Jocelyn, Erin, Susan, Shelly, Lisa, and Jan

YA BOOK GIVEAWAYS THIS WEEK



Unchanged
by Jessica Brody
Signed copy of Unremembered Giveaway
International

Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Released 2/24/2015

In this mesmerizing conclusion to the Unremembered trilogy, Sera will fight those who have broken her.

After returning to the Diotech compound and receiving a successful memory transplant, Seraphina is now living a happy life with another synthetically engineered human like herself, with whom she is deeply in love. She has no recollection of Zen. But the nagging feeling that something is missing from her life continues to plague her. Diotech's newest product is about to be revealed—a line of genetic modifications that will allow people to live longer, fight disease, and change any unfavorable physical attribute they desire.

As more secrets are revealed, more enemies are uncovered, and the reality of a Diotech-controlled world grows closer every day, Sera and Zen must find a way to destroy the company that created her, or they’ll be separated forever.

Purchase Unchanged at Amazon
Purchase Unchanged at IndieBound
View Unchanged on Goodreads

* * * *


Mark of the Thief
by Jennifer A. Nielsen
Signed Hardcover Giveaway
International

Scholastic Press
Released 2/24/2015

Jennifer A. Nielsen, author of the NYT and USA TODAY bestselling Ascendance Trilogy, has woven an electrifying tale of greed and power, magic and destiny, and one boy's courage at the heart of it all.

When Nic, a slave in the mines outside of Rome, is forced to enter a sealed cavern containing the lost treasures of Julius Caesar, he finds much more than gold and gemstones: He discovers an ancient bulla, an amulet that belonged to the great Caesar and is filled with a magic once reserved for the Gods -- magic some Romans would kill for.

Now, with the deadly power of the bulla pulsing through his veins, Nic is determined to become free. But instead, he finds himself at the center of a ruthless conspiracy to overthrow the emperor and spark the Praetor War, a battle to destroy Rome from within. Traitors and spies lurk at every turn, each more desperate than the next to use Nic's newfound powers for their own dark purposes.

In a quest to stop the rebellion, save Rome, and secure his own freedom, Nic must harness the magic within himself and defeat the empire's most powerful and savage leaders.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Mark of the Thief?

I love the way Nic evolves during this book. He begins the story, not only as a slave in Ancient Rome, but as the lowest form of a slave - in the mines. Because he remembers freedom, he resents his life in captivity and loathes his cruel master. But over the course of the story, he claims his life back and begins to take his first steps toward true freedom. I love watching his growing confidence and decisiveness.

Purchase Mark of the Thief at Amazon
Purchase Mark of the Thief at IndieBound
View Mark of the Thief on Goodreads

* * * *


Stone in the Sky
by Cecil Castellucci
Signed Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. and Canada only
Roaring Brook Press
Released 2/24/2015

In this thrilling follow-up to Tin Star, Tula will need to rely on more than just her wits to save her only home in the sky.

After escaping death a second time, Tula Bane is now even thirstier for revenge. She spends much of her time in the Tin Star Café on the Yertina Feray—the space station she calls home. But when it's discovered that the desolate and abandoned planet near the station has high quantities of a precious resource, the once sleepy space station becomes a major player in intergalactic politics. In the spirit of the Gold Rush, aliens from all over the galaxy race to cash in—including Tula's worst enemy.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Stone in the Sky?

It's no secret since it's right on the cover, that Tula leaves the space station. So I'm going to say that one of my favorite parts about STONE IN THE SKY was her adventure and the places that she goes to. Planets, space ships, stations, bases. It was great to get out in space and explore.

Purchase Stone in the Sky at Amazon
Purchase Stone in the Sky at IndieBound
View Stone in the Sky on Goodreads

* * * *


Zom-B Bride
by Darren Shan
Signed Hardcover Giveaway
International

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Released 2/24/2015

B Smith has been reunited with the murderous maniac clown, Mr. Dowling. To her shock and consternation, he's desperate to make B his partner in crime. Mr. Dowling disgusts her, but B thinks she can see a way to control him and maybe even save the world. But it will involve a sacrifice far greater and more surreal than any she has contemplated before...

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

The big wedding, of course! Given their grisly nature, my books don’t feature a lot of weddings, so this is something of a rarity for me. Of course it’s no ordinary wedding – it’s a strange, dark, highly dubious affair – indeed, it might very well be the weirdest wedding of the century! But, for all the twisted angles, it IS still a wedding, and I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t a tear in my eye when the Bride started up the aisle...

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Chaos
by Lanie Bross
Signed set of FATES and CHAOS Giveaway
U.S. Only

Delacorte Press
Released 2/27/2015

They kissed only once—and it was electric, like the air before a storm. But Corinthe and Luc broke the rules of the universe, and learned too late that their love would have consequences. In the dizzying aftermath, Luc refuses to accept his destiny—not if it means a life without Corinthe. As a fire rages through the Crossroads that connect worlds, Luc must find a way to turn back time and save Corinthe once and for all.

Meanwhile, Luc's 15-year-old sister Jasmine starts to realize things are not as they seem when time begins stuttering, sending her everyday life in San Francisco spinning into chaos. She’s thrown into the path of Ford, a troubled soul with a secret past, who helps her unravel the mysterious threads that connect them all.

Two breathtaking romances interweave across time in this story of what lies on the other side of Fate, as both Jas and Luc discover the incredible lengths they will go for love.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Chaos?

I think my favorite thing about CHAOS was getting to know Jasmine. I haven't made it a secret that she is my favorite character in this series and in CHAOS she has a lot of page time. If I had to choose a second thing, it would be the world building. Creating fantastical places for all of them to go throughout both books was challenging but so much fun. This is where you are limited only by your own imagination!

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Haunted
by Lynn Carthage
Signed Paperback Giveaway
U.S. and England only
Kensington
Released 2/24/2015

Sixteen-year-old Phoebe Irving has traded life in San Francisco for her stepfather’s ancestral mansion in rural England. It’s supposed to be the new start her family needs. But from the moment she crosses the threshold into the ancient estate, Phoebe senses something ominous. Then again, she's a little sensitive lately—not surprising when her parents are oblivious to her, her old life is six thousand miles away, and the only guy around is completely gorgeous but giving her mixed messages.

But at least Miles doesn’t laugh at Phoebe’s growing fears. And she can trust him…maybe. The locals whisper about the manor’s infamous original owner, Madame Arnaud, and tell grim stories of missing children and vengeful spirits. Phoebe is determined to protect her loved ones—especially her little sister, Tabby. But even amidst the manor’s dark shadows, the deepest mysteries may involve Phoebe herself…

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Haunted?

My favorite thing is Phoebe’s personality. She’s someone I’d like to be, and maybe this book is a little bit of wish fulfillment. Although Phoebe is vulnerable (she freely admits that it hurts that her sister gets more attention from their parents), she’s also really strong. I admire her for putting herself in danger to protect her sister. I come from a family of four girls, so I have lots of emotion around sisters and their bond.

I also admire Phoebe for being an athlete—a swimmer—as well as a bookish person (she jokes in the book that she can be a “literary mermaid.”) It was only after my teen years that I discovered the joy of exercise, endorphins, the sense of fulfillment for feeling my heart and lungs give their utmost and for my skin developing a sheen of sweat. Yea right: I’m going with “sheen…” I’ve always been a voracious reader and happily books have always been a part of my life; I just wish I had earlier balanced that out with putting my body through its paces.

People always say there’s something of the author in each character they create. Although I’m very different from Phoebe, she does carry something literal on her body that I used to have: a mole in her cleavage. I always loved this tiny emblem hidden by my bra or just under the edges if it was low-cut. Alas, in college it changed temperament somewhat and in the health center they carved it out. It was completely benign, thank goodness. But now there is a miniscule white scar where the saucy spot used to be, and I miss it. But I resurrected it on Phoebe’s chest, and you may see it play a role further on in the trilogy as well!


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Quake
by Patrick Carman
Signed Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

Katherine Tegen Books
Released 2/24/2015

Fans of I Am Number Four and The Maze Runner will clamor for Quake, the climactic finale to the Pulse trilogy by Patrick Carman—an epic dystopian story of love and revenge.

Faith Daniels and Dylan Gilmore have a special ability called a pulse: they can move things with their minds. They're caught in the middle of a deadly war with two other pulses: Clara and Wade Quinn, who have joined forces with Hotspur Chance, the most wanted man in the world. Outnumbered, it will take more than Faith's and Dylan's pulses to save them—it will take a miracle.

But this isn't just about the States anymore; it is about finishing what they started. In a series of hair-raising battles, they discover an even greater strength: the power of their combined love. Together, Faith and Dylan might just be able to save the world with a quake that is big enough to change the course of history.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Quake?

I always love the last book in a series, and that's particularly true of QUAKE. I've been holding on to so many secrets for so long! The last book in the PULSE series finally allowed me to pay off so many story threads and reveal things I've been thinking about for years. I also love the way these characters have grown and changed, and I'm happy to bring them to the end of a life altering journey. And we get to see one of my favorite villains - Hotspur Chance - go toe to toe with one of my favorite heroins - Faith Daniels.

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Remember
by Eileen Cook
Hardcover Giveaway
Simon Pulse
Released 2/24/2015

A thrilling tale about what a girl will do to get back a memory she lost…or remove what she wants to forget.

Harper is used to her family being hounded by protestors. Her father runs the company that trademarked the “Memtex” procedure to wipe away sad memories, and plenty of people think it shouldn’t be legal. Then a new demonstrator crosses her path, Neil, who’s as persistent as he is hot. Not that Harper’s noticing, since she already has a boyfriend.

When Harper suffers a loss, she’s shocked her father won’t allow her to get the treatment, so she finds a way to get it without his approval. Soon afterward, she’s plagued with strange symptoms, including hallucinations of a woman who is somehow both a stranger, yet incredibly familiar. Harper begins to wonder if she is delusional, or if these are somehow memories.

Together with Neil, who insists he has his own reasons for needing answers about the real dangers of Memtex, Harper begins her search for the truth. What she finds could uproot all she’s ever believed about her life…

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Remember?

I love books where you aren’t always sure what is true and what isn’t. In this book the main character, Harper, begins to have something that might be a memory, or a hallucination, or something that feels like a memory, but is actually made up. She has to figure out what is real and what isn’t and determine if it is real- what does that mean for the rest of her life?

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Vendetta
by Catherine Doyle
Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. and Canada only
Chicken House
Released 2/24/2015

Blood Will Spill, Hearts Will Break: With a fierce rivalry raging between two warring families, falling in love is the deadliest thing Sophie could do. An epic debut set outside modern-day Chicago.

For Sophie, it feels like another slow, hot summer in Cedar Hill, waitressing at her family’s diner and hanging out with her best friend Millie. But then someone moves into the long-abandoned mansion up the block--a family of five Italian brothers, each one hotter than the last. Unable to resist caramel-eyed Nicoli, Sophie finds herself falling for him -- and willfully ignoring the warning signs. Why are Nic's knuckles cut and bruised? Why does he carry an engraved switchblade? And why does his arrogant and infuriating older brother, Luca, refuse to let her see him? As the boys' dark secrets begin to come to light, Sophie is confronted with stinging truths about her own family, too. Suddenly, she's torn between two warring dynasties: the one she’s related to and the one she's now in love with. She'll have to choose between loyalty and passion. When she does, blood will spill, hearts will break. Because in this twisted underworld, dishonor can be the difference between life and death.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Vendetta?

My favourite thing about VENDETTA is the relationships between the five brothers and how they are affected by their places in the hierarchy of their criminal family. While the boys can be relaxed with each other, joking and sparring as brothers often do, the reality of their sinister professional roles is never far from their minds, which makes for darker interactions in some scenes and joviality in others. Of course this gets even more interesting after they meet Sophie, when the stakes get higher and higher.

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YA BOOK GIVEAWAYS LAST WEEK: WINNERS


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Better Than Perfect
by Melissa Kantor
Hardcover
HarperTeen
Released 2/17/2015

Winner - Karina Hernandez

Juliet Newman has it all. A picture-perfect family; a handsome, loving boyfriend; and a foolproof life plan: ace her SATs, get accepted into Harvard early decision, and live happily ever after.

But when her dad moves out and her mom loses it, Juliet begins questioning the rules she’s always lived by. And to make everything even more complicated there’s Declan, the gorgeous boy who makes her feel alive and spontaneous—and who’s totally off-limits. Torn between the life she always thought she wanted and one she never knew was possible, Juliet begins to wonder: What if perfect isn't all it’s cracked up to be?

Melissa Kantor once again delivers a tale that is equal parts surprising, humorous, heartbreaking, and romantic. Powerful and honest, Juliet’s story brilliantly portrays the highs and lows of life in high school and will resonate with any reader who has experienced either.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Better Than Perfect?

My favorite thing about Better Than Perfect is that the narrator is far (very far) from perfect. She makes a number of stupid decisions and dumb mistakes. These mistakes are painful (for her and for people around her), but they're part of a major change in how she sees the world, and in the end, she's better for having made them. I don't think I would have had the courage to do some of the things she does, and I enjoyed living vicariously through her.

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* * * *


The Bargaining
by Carly Anne West
Hardcover
Simon Pulse
Released 2/17/2015

Winner - Anne VanLoon

The fact that neither of her parents wants to deal with her is nothing new to Penny. She’s used to being discussed like a problem, a problem her mother has finally passed on to her father. What she hasn’t gotten used to is her stepmother…especially when she finds out that she’ll have to spend the summer with April in the remote woods of Washington to restore a broken-down old house.

Set deep in a dense forest, the old Carver House is filled with abandoned antique furniture, rich architectural details, and its own chilling past. The only respite Penny can find away from April’s renovations is in Miller, the young guy who runs the local general store. He’s her only chance at a normal, and enjoyable, summer.

But Miller has his own connection to the Carver House, and it’s one that goes beyond the mysterious tapping Penny hears at her window, the handprints she finds smudging the glass panes, and the visions of children who beckon Penny to follow them into the dark woods. Miller’s past just might threaten to become the terror of Penny’s future….

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about The Bargaining?

For this novel, I tried very hard to create a contemporary novel set in horror. I actually always try to do that, as literary horror is without question one of my favorite genres. In THE BARGAINING, I wanted to layer Penny's emotional journey in with the frightening setting in which she finds herself for the summer. I felt that her struggle was inextricably linked to the struggles faced by the inhabitants of Point Finney and the North Woods, which means at times, we don't know if Penny is manufacturing the evil, or if the evil really exists. It makes for a novel that's difficult to call horror or contemporary or gothic or psychological thriller, but I'm comfortable with that discomfort. I hope readers are, too.

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MORE YOUNG ADULT FICTION IN STORES NEXT WEEK WITH AUTHOR INTERVIEWS


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Salt & Stone
by Victoria Scott
Hardcover
Scholastic Press
Released 2/24/2015

What would you do to save someone you love?

In Fire & Flood, Tella Holloway faced a dangerous trek through the jungle and across the desert, all to remain a Contender in the Brimstone Bleed for a chance at obtaining the Cure for her brother. She can't quit--she has to win the race, save Cody, and then fight to make sure the race stops before it can claim any more lives. In the next legs of the race, across the ocean and over mountains, Tella will face frostbite, sharks, avalanche, and twisted new rules in the race.

But what if the danger is deeper than that? How do you know who to trust when everyone's keeping secrets? What do you do when the person you'd relied on most suddenly isn't there for support? How do you weigh one life against another?

The race is coming to an end, and Tella is running out of time, resources, and strength. At the start of the race there were one hundred twenty-two Contenders. As Tella and her remaining friends start the final part of the race, just forty-one are left--and only one can win.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Salt & Stone?

My favorite thing about SALT & STONE is how much Tella changes during this book in comparison to the first, FIRE & FLOOD. Tella is a girly-girl, and isn't cut out to compete in a dangerous race, and though she digs deep into herself in the first book in order to persevere for her brother, in SALT & STONE, Tella becomes brave, confident, and a leader. It's a gradual transition over two books, but I intended it to be that way. Because she started as a normal, everyday teen living in Boston, and we wouldn't expect a character that's never been exposed to life or death situations to not initially show fear and hesitation. But we could also assume that later, she could grow into someone almost unrecognizable.

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* * * *


The Cipher
by John C. Ford
Hardcover
Viking Juvenile
Released 2/24/2015

You think your emails are private?
Your credit card number is secure?
That stock trades, government secrets, and nuclear codes are safe?
...th1nk aga1n.

Robert “Smiles” Smylie is not a genius. He feels like he’s surrounded by them, though, from his software mogul dad to his brainy girlfriend to his oddball neighbor Ben, a math prodigy. When Ben cracks an ancient, real-life riddle central to modern data encryption systems, he suddenly holds the power to unlock every electronic secret in the world—and Smiles finally has a chance to prove his own worth.

Smiles hatches a plan to protect Ben from the government agents who will stop at nothing to get their hands on his discovery. But as he races from a Connecticut casino to the streets of Boston, enlisting the help of an alluring girl, Smiles comes to realize the most explosive secrets don’t lie between the covers of Ben’s notebook—they’re buried in his own past.

Eerily close to reality and full of shocking twists, this techno-thriller reveals how easily the private can become public, and just how dangerous it can be to encrypt our personal histories.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about The Cipher?

This is a tough one because there are so many aspects of this book that I love, if I do say so myself. One, I love that it feels so current right now. Back when I started writing this book (like, eons ago), writing a novel that touched on NSA surveillance seemed . . . well, a little esoteric. Then a guy named Edward Snowden hit the news, and suddenly the NSA, computer encryption, and electronic eavesdropping became front page news for an entire year. Now, just as The Cipher is coming out, another code-breaking story--the movie The Imitation Game--is in theaters and was just up for 8 Oscar awards. And a documentary about Edward Snowden (Citizen Four) is still around as well. So, with all this stuff going on in the news, I hope readers have worked up an appetite for a fun code-breaking story.

Second, I really enjoyed writing from multiple perspectives. In The Cipher, certain chapters come from the point of view of the main character, Smiles, and others are told from the point of view of his on-and-off girlfriend, Melanie. After writing a book in the first person from a single perspective (The Morgue and Me), the different approach of The Cipher was a fun experiment that I think worked well.

And three, the cover! It's pretty sweet guys.


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MORE YOUNG ADULT NOVELS NEW IN STORES NEXT WEEK


* * * *


A Wicked Thing
by Rhiannon Thomas
Hardcover
HarperTeen
Released 2/24/2015

Rhiannon Thomas's dazzling debut novel is a spellbinding reimagining of Sleeping Beauty and what happens after happily ever after.

One hundred years after falling asleep, Princess Aurora wakes up to the kiss of a handsome prince and a broken kingdom that has been dreaming of her return. All the books say that she should be living happily ever after. But as Aurora understands all too well, the truth is nothing like the fairy tale.

Her family is long dead. Her "true love" is a kind stranger. And her whole life has been planned out by political foes while she slept.

As Aurora struggles to make sense of her new world, she begins to fear that the curse has left its mark on her, a fiery and dangerous thing that might be as wicked as the witch who once ensnared her. With her wedding day drawing near, Aurora must make the ultimate decision on how to save her kingdom: marry the prince or run.

Rhiannon Thomas weaves together vivid scenes of action, romance, and gorgeous gowns to reveal a richly imagined world … and Sleeping Beauty as she’s never been seen before.

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All That Glitters
by Holly Smale
Hardcover
HarperTeen
Released 2/26/2015

"My name is Harriet Manners, and I am still a geek." The fourth book in the award-winning GEEK GIRL series. Harriet Manners has high hopes for the new school year: she's a Sixth Former now, and things are going to be different. But with Nat busy falling in love at college and Toby preoccupied with a Top Secret project, Harriet soon discovers that's not necessarily a good thing...

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* * * *


Breakout
by Kevin Emerson
Hardcover
Crown Books for Young Readers
Released 2/24/2015

When Anthony's angst-ridden rock 'n' roll lyrics go viral, he's unwittingly cast as the school rebel. The truth is, he's not trying to be anyone's hero.

Anthony Castillo needs a new life. His teachers are clueless autocrats except for Mr. Darren, who’s in charge of the rock band program. The girls at school are either shallow cutebots or out of his league. And his parents mean well, but they just make things worse. It’s as if Anthony is stuck on the bottom level of his favorite video game, Liberation Force 4.5. Except there is no secret escape tunnel and definitely no cheat code.

Fed up, pissed off, and feeling trapped, Anthony writes his first song for his rock band, the Rusty Soles. His only problem: Arts Night. If he exercises his right to free speech and sings his original lyrics—where his own bombs will drop—he and his band will be through.

The clock is ticking. Time for Anthony to pick his battles and decide what’s really worth fighting for.

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Dove Arising
by Karen Bao
Hardcover
Viking Juvenile
Released 2/24/2015

Phaet Theta has lived her whole life in a colony on the Moon. She’s barely spoken since her father died in an accident nine years ago. She cultivates the plants in Greenhouse 22, lets her best friend talk for her, and stays off the government’s radar.

Then her mother is arrested.

The only way to save her younger siblings from the degrading Shelter is by enlisting in the Militia, the faceless army that polices the Lunar bases and protects them from attacks by desperate Earth-dwellers. Training is brutal, but it’s where Phaet forms an uneasy but meaningful alliance with the preternaturally accomplished Wes, a fellow outsider.

Rank high, save her siblings, free her mom: that’s the plan. Until Phaet’s logically ordered world begins to crumble...

Suspenseful, intelligent, and hauntingly prescient, Dove Arising stands on the shoulders of our greatest tales of the future to tell a story that is all too relevant today.

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Dreamfire
by Kit Alloway
Hardcover
St. Martin's Griffin
Released 2/24/2015

Unlike most 17-year-olds, Joshlyn Weaver has a sacred duty. She's the celebrated daughter of the dream walkers, a secret society whose members enter the Dream universe we all share and battle nightmares. If they fail, the emotional turmoil in the Dream could boil over and release nightmares into the World.

Despite Josh's reputation as a dream walking prodigy, she's haunted by her mistakes. A lapse in judgment and the death of someone she loved have shaken her confidence. Now she's been assigned an apprentice, a boy whose steady gaze sees right through her, and she's almost as afraid of getting close to him as she is of getting him killed.

But when strangers with impossible powers begin appearing in the Dream, it isn't just Will that Josh has to protect--it's the whole World.

Experience the dangers of the dream world in Dreamfire, a riveting, young adult debut novel by Kit Alloway.

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Kalahari
by Jessica Khoury
Hardcover
Razorbill
Released 2/24/2015

Deep in the Kalahari Desert, a Corpus lab protects a dangerous secret…
But what happens when that secret takes on a life of its own?

When an educational safari goes wrong, five teens find themselves stranded in the Kalahari Desert without a guide. It’s up to Sarah, the daughter of zoologists, to keep them alive and lead them to safety, calling on survival know-how from years of growing up in remote and exotic locales. Battling dehydration, starvation and the pangs of first love, she does her best to hold it together, even as their circumstances grow increasingly desperate.

But soon a terrifying encounter makes Sarah question everything she’s ever known about the natural world. A silver lion, as though made of mercury, makes a vicious, unprovoked attack on the group. After a narrow escape, they uncover the chilling truth behind the lion’s silver sheen: a highly contagious and deadly virus that threatens to ravage the entire area—and eliminate life as they know it.

In this breathtaking new novel by the acclaimed author of Origin and Vitro, Sarah and the others must not only outrun the virus, but its creators, who will stop at nothing to wipe every trace of it.

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No Parking at the End Times
by Bryan Bliss
Hardcover
Greenwillow Books
Released 2/24/2015

Abigail's parents believed the world was going to end. And—of course—it didn't. But they've lost everything anyway. And she must decide: does she still believe in them? Or is it time to believe in herself? Fans of Sara Zarr, David Levithan, and Rainbow Rowell will connect with this moving debut.

Abigail's parents never should have made that first donation to that end-of-times preacher. Or the next, or the next. They shouldn't have sold their house. Or packed Abigail and her twin brother, Aaron, into their old van to drive across the country to San Francisco, to be there for the "end of the world." Because now they're living in their van. And Aaron is full of anger, disappearing to who-knows-where every night. Their family is falling apart. All Abigail wants is to hold them together, to get them back to the place where things were right.

But maybe it's too big a task for one teenage girl. Bryan Bliss's thoughtful debut novel is about losing everything—and about what you will do for the people you love.

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The Sin Eater's Daughter
by Melinda Salisbury
Paperback
Scholastic Press
Released 2/24/2015

Seventeen-year-old Twylla lives in the castle. But although she’s engaged to the prince, Twylla isn’t exactly a member of the court.

She’s the executioner.

As the Goddess embodied, Twylla instantly kills anyone she touches. Each month she’s taken to the prison and forced to lay her hands on those accused of treason. No one will ever love a girl with murder in her veins. Even the prince, whose royal blood supposedly makes him immune to Twylla’s fatal touch, avoids her company.

But then a new guard arrives, a boy whose easy smile belies his deadly swordsmanship. And unlike the others, he’s able to look past Twylla’s executioner robes and see the girl, not the Goddess. Yet Twylla’s been promised to the prince, and knows what happens to people who cross the queen.

However, a treasonous secret is the least of Twylla’s problems. The queen has a plan to destroy her enemies, a plan that requires a stomach-churning, unthinkable sacrifice. Will Twylla do what it takes to protect her kingdom? Or will she abandon her duty in favor of a doomed love?

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* * * *


The Third Twin
by C.J. Omololu
Hardcover
Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Released 2/24/2015

Identical twins. Identical DNA. Identical suspects. It’s Pretty Little Liars meets Revenge in this edge-of-your-seat thriller with a shocking twist.

When they were little, Lexi and her identical twin, Ava, made up a third sister, Alicia. If something broke? Alicia did it. Cookies got eaten? Alicia’s guilty. Alicia was always to blame for everything.

The game is all grown up now that the girls are seniors. They use Alicia as their cover to go out with boys who are hot but not exactly dating material. Boys they’d never, ever be with in real life.

Now one of the guys Alicia went out with has turned up dead, and Lexi wants to stop the game for good. As coincidences start piling up, Ava insists that if they follow the rules for being Alicia, everything will be fine. But when another boy is killed, the DNA evidence and surveillance photos point to only one suspect—Alicia. The girl who doesn’t exist.

As she runs from the cops, Lexi has to find the truth before another boy is murdered. Because either Ava is a killer . . . or Alicia is real.

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* * * *


Unleashed
by Sophie Jordan
Hardcover
HarperTeen
Released 2/24/2015

Unleashed, the romantic, high-stakes sequel to New York Times bestselling author Sophie Jordan's Uninvited, is perfect for fans of James Patterson's Confessions of a Murder Suspect.

Davy has spent the last few months trying to come to terms with the fact that she tested positive for the kill gene HTS (also known as Homicidal Tendency Syndrome). She swore she would not let it change her, and that her DNA did not define her . . . but then she killed a man.

Now on the run, Davy must decide whether she'll be ruled by the kill gene or if she'll follow her heart and fight for her right to live free. But with her own potential for violence lying right beneath the surface, Davy doesn't even know if she can trust herself.

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* * * *


When My Heart Was Wicked
by Tricia Stirling
Hardcover
Scholastic Press
Released 2/24/2015

"I used to be one of those girls. The kind who loved to deliver bad news. When I colored my hair, I imagined it seeping into my scalp, black dye pooling into my veins.

But that was the old Lacy. Now, when I cast spells, they are always for good."

16-year-old Lacy believes that magic and science can work side by side. She's a botanist who knows how to harness the healing power of plants. So when her father dies, Lacy tries to stay with her step-mother in Chico, where her magic is good and healing. She fears the darkness that her real mother, Cheyenne, brings out, stripping away everything that is light and kind.

Yet Cheyenne never stays away for long. Beautiful, bewitching, unstable Cheyenne who will stop at nothing, not even black magic, to keep control of her daughter's heart. She forces Lacy to accompany her to Sacramento, and before long, the "old" Lacy starts to resurface.

But when Lacy survives a traumatic encounter, she finds herself faced with a choice. Will she use her powers to exact revenge and spiral into the darkness forever? Or will she find the strength to embrace the light?

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