Tuesday, May 30, 2017

4 Writer's Life: On Threats Against Authors, Kindness, Stress, Taking Care of Yourself, and Appreciation

In case you are not on Twitter, you may have missed today's latest kerfuffle.

Here it is:

How in the world has this become acceptable? But the saddest thing to me is that we see this not only from teens, but also from authors and bloggers who hate read other books, who feel it's okay to step over civil boundaries. We see it from the President of the United States and those who run for Congress.

I feel as though we are stepping into a rabbit hole from which there may be no returning.

Whatever our differences, however deeply we feel our grievances, however much others have hurt us, can we not aspire to do better? I'm not suggesting that we turn the other cheek. I'm suggesting there are more effective ways of getting the result we want.

Evan Williams, the co-founder of Twitter, recently said "the internet is obviously broken because it rewards extremes." He "also says he was wrong in thinking that the world would be a better place if there was a platform for everyone to freely speak and exchange ideas."

I have to say that I agree, despite the fact that my parents and I left a communist country to come here--for the express purpose of having the right to speak and express ourselves. At some point, we need to stack up where one person's right to freedom of expression stacks up against the right to the pursuit of happiness for many others. We have to decide, fundamentally, whether we want to be a society that teaches our children to be dysfunctionally angry, hate reading, threatening to beat people up because plot lines don't go our way, or whether we want to teach kindness, appreciation, tolerance, and patience.

Don't get me wrong. There are very real things wrong in the world. Things that desperately need to be addressed. We need not to be disregarding science. We need more diversity, in books and everything else. We need to represent the society that we have, and we need to keep our public officials in check so that they serve us and not themselves. We need to preserve our freedoms, not contract them. We need to maintain our position on the global stage, as a partner for other like-minded nations, and as responsible members of the human race.

All of that's a given.

But we do need kindness. To ourselves and each other. Especially in the book community, because books are how we derive empathy. If we aren't fostering empathy through reading fiction, then what are we doing? Shaming people, guilting people, lecturing people, doesn't change minds and hearts. Changing hearts requires conversation and understanding. Empathy.

I've mostly been off Twitter the last months, off most social media, because I've been writing up a storm. That's been utterly fabulous, and LAKE OF DESTINY is going well, so I'm incredibly grateful. But I lost my hearing in my right ear about ten days ago, suddenly and completely, and it turns out that I actually have a congenital defect in my left that has left me with very limited hearing overall. The specialist I saw on Friday has told me that this is likely due to a virus resulting from suppression of my autoimmune system, triggered by stress.

I don't feel particularly stressed. I frankly don't feel entitled to feel stressed. But if I am responding physically to the stress of what's going on in my life and in the world, I can only imagine how others must be feeling.

We can all do better. We need to try to find ways to live with grace, charity, and kindness.

Love you guys. Sorry for the rant.



Monday, May 29, 2017

11 New Releases this week 05/29-06/04

Happy Monday! This week, we have another four awesome giveaways to feature, including one of my favourites, WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI! We're also shining a spotlight on a few more awesome books so don't forget to check out all of them below.

Happy Reading,

Shelly, Sam, Jocelyn, Martina, Erin, Susan, Kelly, Laura, Emily, Anisaa, and Lori Ann


* * * *

Kale, My Ex, and Other Things to Toss in a Blender
by Lisa Greenwald
Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

Random House Books for Young Readers
Released 5/30/2017

When Mia's summer starts with an epic breakup, she's sure the rest of the vacation will be miserable. But her best friend, Justine, would never let that happen. Their plan has two parts. One: use their summer job driving a snow cone truck to keep tabs on Mia's ex in person. Two: create a fake persona to connect with Mia's ex online.

Soon both plans have morphed into something so much bigger. Add some kale to a snow cone and they've got the hottest smoothie in town . . . and more money than they could have imagined. And when Mia's ex starts falling for the online girl, there s a revenge plot just waiting to be born. A guy who dumps a girl because he thinks her thighs are too thick deserves to have his heart broken by a fake girlfriend, right? All's fair in love and smoothies. . . .

Well-known for My Life in Pink & Green, Lisa Greenwald has written a hilarious and refreshing take on getting over a breakup. Readers who love contemporary romance with lots of laughs will down this novel in one gulp!

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Kale, My Ex, and Other Things to Toss in a Blender?

My favorite thing is the friendship between Mia and Justine. I really see this book as an ode to girl friendships and I hope that comes through.

Purchase Kale, My Ex, and Other Things to Toss in a Blender at Amazon
Purchase Kale, My Ex, and Other Things to Toss in a Blender at IndieBound
View Kale, My Ex, and Other Things to Toss in a Blender on Goodreads

* * * *

by Thomas E. Sniegoski
Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

Simon Pulse
Released 5/30/2017

Sidney and her friends might have survived the storm that came to the small island of Benediction, but now the storm has reached Boston, and the city isn’t prepared for what’s coming in this sequel to the “unpredictable” (VOYA) and “fast-paced” (School Library Journal) Savage from New York Times bestselling author Thomas E. Sniegoski.

The horrors that began in Savage continue in Boston as Sydney and her friends work to protect the city from the newly crazed rampage of animals and try to figure out the origin of the storm and its power.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Monstrous?

Great question! MONSTROUS is a sequel to my novel from last year, SAVAGE. My favorite thing about MONSTROUS is the fact that it is, indeed a sequel. That I was given the opportunity to continue to play is this extremely exciting, and quite frightening universe that I've created. Also, to play with the characters (who survived!) the events of SAVAGE again, and to bring them to the next level of their development . . . as well as introducing new characters to the horrific situations going on in the world first seen in SAVAGE. In MONSTROUS I get to turn the volume up to 11.

Purchase Monstrous at Amazon
Purchase Monstrous at IndieBound
View Monstrous on Goodreads

* * * *

Washed Ashore
by Kerr Thomson
Advance Reader Copy Giveaway
U.S. Only

Chicken House
Released 5/30/2017

On a wild Scottish island, a tragedy washes up on the storm-beaten shore: the bodies of a whale and a man. Fraser, desperate for adventure, and Hayley, visiting from Texas, become tangled in the mystery.

But Fraser's younger brother Dunny is distraught by the discovery. He hasn't spoken in years, and lately he's been acting more strangely than ever.

Together, the three meet a man living in the abandoned caves nearby. They start to wonder if he might lie at the center of something darker than they had previously thought. For the whispering sea conceals a terrible secret, and to discover the truth, one of them must learn to listen...

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Washed Ashore?

My favorite thing about Washed Ashore is the connection the young people have in the story with the world around them. The island boys in the story have a real feeling for and understanding of the sky above them and the cliffs that reach up into the sky and the beach that shelters beneath the cliff and the ocean that rolls relentlessly up that beach. And the boys love the wildlife that teems within the ocean, especially the whales. As the story progresses the young American visitor to the island comes to love this new and amazing landscape just as much. Washed Ashore is a call to young people everywhere to explore their own world, to find their own adventures wherever they are, be it a remote island or a city park or even their own backyard.

Purchase Washed Ashore at Amazon
Purchase Washed Ashore at IndieBound
View Washed Ashore on Goodreads

* * * *

When Dimple Met Rishi
by Sandhya Menon
Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

Simon Pulse
Released 5/30/2017

A laugh-out-loud, heartfelt YA romantic comedy, told in alternating perspectives, about two Indian-American teens whose parents have arranged for them to be married.

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about When Dimple Met Rishi?

My favorite thing about WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI is that it provides marginalized readers the opportunity to see themselves in a book about everyday teenagers doing everyday teenage things! It's not an Issue Book (although it does address racism, misogyny, and microaggressions). It shows brown teens living their lives and having the happy endings they deserve, which is such a powerful thing to be able to do, especially in today's political climate.

Purchase When Dimple Met Rishi at Amazon
Purchase When Dimple Met Rishi at IndieBound
View When Dimple Met Rishi on Goodreads


In a Perfect World by Trish Doller: Moriah C.
Refuge for Masterminds by Kathleen Baldwin: Aisha F.
The Fashion Committee by Susan Juby: Anne Marie C.
Wishbones by Virginia Macgregor: Austine D.


* * * *

Royal Bastards
by Andrew Shvarts
Released 5/30/2017

Being a bastard blows. Tilla would know. Her father, Lord Kent of the Western Province, loved her as a child, but cast her aside as soon as he had trueborn children.

At sixteen, Tilla spends her days exploring long-forgotten tunnels beneath the castle with her stablehand half brother, Jax, and her nights drinking with the servants, passing out on Jax’s floor while her castle bedroom collects dust. Tilla secretly longs to sit by her father’s side, resplendent in a sparkling gown, enjoying feasts with the rest of the family. Instead, she sits with the other bastards, like Miles of House Hampstedt, an awkward scholar who’s been in love with Tilla since they were children.

Then, at a feast honoring the visiting princess Lyriana, the royal shocks everyone by choosing to sit at the Bastards’ Table. Before she knows it, Tilla is leading the sheltered princess on a late-night escapade. Along with Jax, Miles, and fellow bastard Zell, a Zitochi warrior from the north, they stumble upon a crime they were never meant to witness.

Rebellion is brewing in the west, and a brutal coup leaves Lyriana’s uncle, the Royal Archmagus, dead—with Lyriana next on the list. The group flees for their lives, relentlessly pursued by murderous mercenaries; their own parents have put a price on their heads to prevent the king and his powerful Royal Mages from discovering their treachery.

The bastards band together, realizing they alone have the power to prevent a civil war that will tear their kingdom apart—if they can warn the king in time. And if they can survive the journey . . .

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Royal Bastards?

My favorite thing about ROYAL BASTARDS is the ensemble cast, and the scenes where the five main characters really shine as a group. I've always loved that type of story, the 'ragged team of misfits forced together by circumstance", and I ended up totally falling in love with my motley bastard crew: Jax the big-hearted stablehand, Zell the thoughtful disgraced warrior, Lyriana the idealistic princess, Miles the heartsick pining scholar, and of course, Tilla, the rebellious, snarky, spirited bastard who sets off the whole chain of events. As much fun it was to write big action setpieces, the scenes where the gang bonds and banters, gets to know each other, are the ones I really loved most.

Purchase Royal Bastards at Amazon
Purchase Royal Bastards at IndieBound
View Royal Bastards on Goodreads


* * * *

Crossing Ebenezer Creek
by Tonya Bolden
Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Released 5/30/2017

Award-winning author Tonya Bolden sheds light on a tragic moment of the Civil War in a searing, poetic novel about hope and freedom.

When Mariah and her young brother Zeke are suddenly freed from slavery, they set out on Sherman’s long march through Georgia during the Civil War. Mariah wants to believe that the brutalities of slavery are behind them forever and that freedom lies ahead. When she meets Caleb, an enigmatic young black man also on the march, Mariah soon finds herself dreaming not only of a new life, but of true love as well. But even hope comes at a cost, and as the treacherous march continues toward the churning waters of Ebenezer Creek, Mariah’s dreams are as vulnerable as ever.

In this powerful exploration of a little-known tragedy perfect for fans of Ruta Sepetys, readers will never forget the souls of Ebenezer Creek.

Purchase Crossing Ebenezer Creek at Amazon
Purchase Crossing Ebenezer Creek at IndieBound
View Crossing Ebenezer Creek on Goodreads

* * * *

Dark Breaks the Dawn
by Sara B. Larson
Scholastic Press
Released 5/30/2017

On her eighteenth birthday, Princess Evelayn of Eadrolan, the Light Kingdom, can finally access the full range of her magical powers. The light looks brighter, the air is sharper, and the energy she can draw when fighting feels almost limitless.

But while her mother, the queen, remains busy at the war front, in the Dark Kingdom of Dorjhalon, the corrupt king is plotting. King Bain wants control of both kingdoms, and his plan will fling Evelayn into the throne much sooner than she expected.

In order to defeat Bain and his sons, Evelayn will quickly have to come into her ability to shapeshift, and rely on the alluring Lord Tanvir. But not everyone is what they seem, and the balance between the Light and Dark comes at a steep price.

In the first book of a remarkable duology, Sara B. Larson sets the stage for her reimagining of Swan Lake -- a lush romance packed with betrayal, intrigue, magic, and adventure.

Purchase Dark Breaks the Dawn at Amazon
Purchase Dark Breaks the Dawn at IndieBound
View Dark Breaks the Dawn on Goodreads

* * * *

Eliza and Her Monsters
by Francesca Zappia
Greenwillow Books
Released 5/30/2017

In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and friendless. Online, Eliza is LadyConstellation, anonymous creator of the wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves her digital community, and has no desire to try.

Then Wallace Warland, Monstrous Sea's biggest fanfiction writer, transfers to her school. Wallace thinks Eliza is just another fan, and Eliza begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile. But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built—her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity—begins to fall apart.

With illustrations from Eliza’s webcomic, as well as screenshots from Eliza’s online forums and snippets of Wallace's fanfiction, this uniquely formatted book will appeal to fans of Noelle Stevenson’s Nimona and Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl.

Purchase Eliza and Her Monsters at Amazon
Purchase Eliza and Her Monsters at IndieBound
View Eliza and Her Monsters on Goodreads

* * * *

Empire of Dust
by Eleanor Herman
Harlequin Teen
Released 5/30/2017

In Macedon, war rises like smoke, forbidden romance blooms and ancient magic tempered with rage threatens to turn an empire to dust.

After winning his first battle, Prince Alexander fights to become the ruler his kingdom demands—but the line between leader and tyrant blurs with each new threat.

Meanwhile, Hephaestion, cast aside by Alexander for killing the wrong man, must conceal the devastating secret of a divine prophecy from Katerina even as the two of them are thrust together on a dangerous mission to Egypt.

The warrior, Jacob, determined to forget his first love, vows to eradicate the ancient Blood Magics and believes that royal prisoner Cynane holds the key to Macedon’s undoing.

And in chains, the Persian princess Zofia still longs to find the Spirit Eaters, but first must grapple with the secrets of her handsome—and deadly—captor.

Purchase Empire of Dust at Amazon
Purchase Empire of Dust at IndieBound
View Empire of Dust on Goodreads

* * * *

House of Furies
by Madeleine Roux
Released 5/30/2017

An all-new gothic horror series from the New York Times bestselling author of Asylum.

After escaping a harsh school where punishment was the lesson of the day, seventeen-year-old Louisa Ditton is thrilled to find employment as a maid at a boarding house. But soon after her arrival at Coldthistle House, Louisa begins to realize that the house’s mysterious owner, Mr. Morningside, is providing much more than lodging for his guests. Far from a place of rest, the house is a place of judgment, and Mr. Morningside and his unusual staff are meant to execute their own justice on those who are past being saved.

Louisa begins to fear for a young man named Lee who is not like the other guests. He is charismatic and kind, and Louisa knows that it may be up to her to save him from an untimely judgment. But in this house of distortions and lies, how can Louisa be sure whom to trust?

Featuring stunning interior illustrations from artist Iris Compiet, plus photo-collages that bring Coldthistle House to chilling life, House of Furies invites readers to a world where the line between monsters and men is ghostly thin.

Purchase House of Furies at Amazon
Purchase House of Furies at IndieBound
View House of Furies on Goodreads

* * * *

I Believe in a Thing Called Love
by Maurene Goo
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Released 5/30/2017

Desi Lee knows how carburetors work. She learned CPR at the age of five. As a high school senior, she has never missed a day of school and has never had a B in her entire life. She's for sure going to Stanford. But she’s never had a boyfriend. In fact, she’s a disaster in romance, a clumsy, stammering humiliation-magnet whose botched attempts at flirting have become legendary with her friends.

So when the hottest human specimen to have ever lived walks into her life one day, Desi decides to tackle her flirting failures with the same zest she’s applied to everything else in her life. She finds her answer in the Korean dramas her father has been obsessively watching for years—where the hapless heroine always seems to end up in the arms of her true love by episode ten. It's a simple formula, and Desi is a quick study.

Armed with her “K Drama Rules for True Love,” Desi goes after the moody, elusive artist Luca Drakos—and boat rescues, love triangles, and fake car crashes ensue. But when the fun and games turn to true feels, Desi finds out that real love is about way more than just drama.

Purchase I Believe in a Thing Called Love at Amazon
Purchase I Believe in a Thing Called Love at IndieBound
View I Believe in a Thing Called Love on Goodreads

* * * *

Juniper Lemon's Happiness Index
by Julie Israel
Kathy Dawson Books
Released 5/30/2017

It’s been sixty-five days since the accident that killed Juniper’s sister, and ripped Juniper’s world apart.

Then she finds the love letter: written by Camilla on the day of the accident, addressed mysteriously to “You,” but never sent. Desperate to learn You’s identity and deliver the message, Juniper starts to investigate.

Until she loses something. A card from her Happiness Index: a ritual started by sunny Camie for logging positives each day. It’s what’s been holding Juniper together since her death – but a lost card only widens the hole she left behind. And this particular card contains Juniper’s own dark secret: a memory she can't let anyone else find out.

The search for You and her card take Juniper to even less expected places, and as she connects with those whose secrets she upturns in the effort, she may just find the means to make peace with her own.

This is a smart, funny, poignant book guaranteed to make you laugh and cry – and maybe even take notes.

Purchase Juniper Lemon's Happiness Index at Amazon
Purchase Juniper Lemon's Happiness Index at IndieBound
View Juniper Lemon's Happiness Index on Goodreads

* * * *

Night Magic
by Jenna Black
Tor Teen
Released 5/30/2017

Jenna Black returns to the quarantined city of Philadelphia, where an unsuspecting seventeen-year-old has unknowingly unleashed a dark power that transforms the city into a monstrous hellscape in Night Magic.

Philadelphia is locked in the grip of an evil magic that transforms its streets into a nightmare the minute the sun sets each night. While most of the city hunkers down and hopes to survive the long winter nights, Becket Walker is roaming the darkened streets having the time of her life.

Once, the guilt of having inadvertently let the night magic into the city―and of having killed her onetime best friend―had threatened to destroy her. But now she’s been Nightstruck, and all her grief and guilt and terror have been swept away―along with her conscience. So what if she’s lost her friends, her family, and her home? And so what if her hot new boyfriend is super-controlling and downright malevolent? Mesmerized by the power and freedom of not having to care about anyone but herself, Becket is sinking ever deeper into the night magic’s grasp.

But those who love her refuse to give up on her―even if she’s given up on them. If they can’t find a way to help Becket break the night magic’s hold, the entire city might soon find itself shrouded in perpetual night. But the last thing Becket wants is to be “rescued” from her brand new life, and she will fight tooth and claw to stay exactly where she is.

Purchase Night Magic at Amazon
Purchase Night Magic at IndieBound
View Night Magic on Goodreads

* * * *

No Good Deed
by Goldy Moldavsky
Released 5/30/2017

He's not asking for much. All Gregor Maravilla wants to do is feed all of the starving children on the planet. So when he's selected to join Camp Save the World, a special summer program for teenage activists from all over the country to champion their cause, Gregor's sure he's on the path to becoming Someone Great.

But then a prize is announced. It will be awarded at the end of summer to the activist who shows the most promise in their campaign. Gregor's sure he has the prize in the bag, especially compared to some of the other campers' campaigns. Like Eat Dirt, a preposterous campaign started by Ashley Woodstone, a famous young actor who most likely doesn't even deserve to be at the camp.

But everywhere Gregor goes, Ashley seems to show up ready to ruin things. Plus, the prize has an unforeseen side effect, turning a quiet summer into cutthroat warfare where campers stop focusing on their own campaigns and start sabotaging everyone else's.

Purchase No Good Deed at Amazon
Purchase No Good Deed at IndieBound
View No Good Deed on Goodreads

* * * *

One of Us Is Lying
by Karen M. McManus
Delacorte Press
Released 5/30/2017

The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars, One of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.

Pay close attention and you might solve this.

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.

Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.

Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.

Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.

Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.

And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High's notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. And according to investigators, his death wasn't an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder.

Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who's still on the loose?

Purchase One of Us Is Lying at Amazon
Purchase One of Us Is Lying at IndieBound
View One of Us Is Lying on Goodreads

* * * *

Romancing the Throne
by Nadine Jolie Courtney
Katherine Tegen Books
Released 5/30/2017

Scandal, secrets, and heartbreak abound in this juicy, modern girl-meets-prince story—perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Jennifer E. Smith.

For the first time ever, the Weston sisters are at the same boarding school. After an administration scandal at Libby’s all-girls school threatens her chances at a top university, she decides to join Charlotte at posh and picturesque Sussex Park. Social-climbing Charlotte considers it her sisterly duty to bring Libby into her circle: Britain’s young elites, glamorous teens who vacation in Hong Kong and the South of France and are just as comfortable at a polo match as they are at a party.

It’s a social circle that just so happens to include handsome seventeen-year-old Prince Edward, heir to Britain’s throne.

If there are any rules of sisterhood, “Don’t fall for the same guy” should be one of them. But sometimes chemistry—even love—grows where you least expect it. In the end, there may be a price to pay for romancing the throne...and more than one path to happily ever after.

Purchase Romancing the Throne at Amazon
Purchase Romancing the Throne at IndieBound
View Romancing the Throne on Goodreads

* * * *

When It's Real
by Erin Watt
Harlequin Teen
Released 5/30/2017

From #1 New York Times bestselling author duo Erin Watt comes the addictive contemporary tale of a teen rock star in need of an image makeover and the teen girl hired to be his fake girlfriend.

Meet Oakley Ford--teen celebrity, renowned pop star, child of famous movie stars, hottie with millions of fangirls… and restless troublemaker. On the surface he has it all, but with his home life disintegrating, his music well suddenly running dry, and the tabloids having a field day over his outrageous exploits, Oakley's team decides it's time for an intervention. The result: an image overhaul, complete with a fake girlfriend meant to show the world he's settled down.

Enter seventeen-year-old Vaughn Bennett--devoted sister, part-time waitress, the definition of "normal." Under ordinary circumstances she'd never have taken this gig, but with her family strapped for cash, she doesn't have much of a choice. And for the money Oakley's team is paying her, she figures she can put up with outlandish Hollywood parties and a team of publicists watching her every move. So what if she thinks Oakley's a shallow, self-centered jerk? It's not like they're going to fall for each other in real life…right?

Purchase When It's Real at Amazon
Purchase When It's Real at IndieBound
View When It's Real on Goodreads

Sunday, May 28, 2017

0 YA Sunday Morning News: This Week for Writers 5/28/17

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! I hope you enjoy this week’s links for writers.

Writing for Publication—Before the Sale:

Writing for Publication—Book Marketing and Social Media:

Author Interviews:

Adventures in YA Publishing Author Interviews:

Literary Agent News and Interviews:

Writing Craft:

Writing Inspiration:

Publishing News & Trends:

New YA E-Book Deals:

New YA Book Giveaways:

YA Book Awards and Congratulations:

YA New Book Deals and Releases:

If there’s a news story or blog post you found particularly interesting, please share it in the comments!

Saturday, May 27, 2017

0 Virginia Macgregor, author of WISHBONES, on writing with courage

Our wish was granted to be joined by Virginia Macgregor, who shares more about her latest novel, WISHBONES.

Virginia, what was your inspiration for writing WISHBONES?

It started with me reading a news story about a woman who was so obese that when she died she had to be lifted through her bedroom window by crane. This image really stayed with me and got my imagination whirring: I wondered who she was and what had happened to make her start eating – and keep eating, to the extent that she couldn’t leave her house. I wondered whether she had any friends or family and how they felt about her situation. I then started to craft the character of Feather and realized that the story should be told from her point of view: the view of a daughter who loves and cares for but is beginning to question who her mother really is.

0 Kathleen Baldwin, author of REFUGE FOR MASTERMINDS, on being surprised how a character resonates with readers

We are pleased to have Kathleen Baldwin here to tell us more about the third book in her Stranje House series, REFUGE FOR MASTERMINDS.

Kathleen, what was your inspiration for writing REFUGE FOR MASTERMINDS?

It surprised me to learn that Lady Jane is the character out of all five girls at Stranje House that the most readers told me they identify with. At a signing two girls approached and one stood directly in front of me. Her friend said, "She is Lady Jane."

Confused I asked, "Do you mean her name is Jane?"

"No. She IS Lady Jane. She's so much like her, they could be twins." The other young lady nodded, affirming her friend's assessment.

This and similar experiences surprised me, because while Jane is extremely capable, I'd also made her a bit bossy, kind of like me. Apparently a lot of readers relate to that trait. Who knew?

My daughter is brilliant, a mastermind in her own right. She's able to juggle multiple projects at her architectural firm and still do an amazing job. So she was a key resource as I wrote Lady Jane's story.

0 Susan Juby, author of THE FASHION COMMITTEE, on finding creative outlets that make the world disappear

We are thrilled to be here with Susan Juby, who lets us become a part of the committee and gain some insight into her latest novel, THE FASHION COMMITTEE.

Susan, what was your inspiration for writing THE FASHION COMMITTEE?

I dropped out of fashion design college after six months and this book was a way for me to relive some parts of that wasted opportunity. Also, the book examines how some kids get every opportunity and others barely stand a chance. Our education system reflects the inequality at the heart of our economic system. I was also inspired by the kids with incredibly difficult home lives who try to overcome those deficits through sheer force of will. Their resilience and resourcefulness is a reminder of how heroic kids can be. On the other hand, I wish so many young people didn’t have to be quite so heroic.

0 Trish Doller, author of IN A PERFECT WORLD, on a bumpy road to publication

We have entered a perfect world, where we are lucky to be joined by Trish Doller to chat about her latest novel, IN A PERFECT WORLD.

Trish, what do you hope readers will take away from IN A PERFECT WORLD?

I hope readers will fall in love with the historically dense, frenetic, smelly, wonderful city of Cairo. I hope they swoon for the charming boy whose dream is to work in a world-famous kitchen someday. And I hope they gain a respect for the differences and an appreciation for the similarities between Islam and Christianity.

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

I think people who enjoy travel romances like ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS or LOVE AND GELATO will enjoy the kissing, kushary, and kindness of IN A PERFECT WORLD.

0 Free 1st 5 Pages Writing Workshop Opens in 1 Week!

Our June workshop will open for submissions on Saturday, June 3rd at noon, EST. In addition to our wonderful permanent mentors, we have Becky Wallace  as our author mentor and Connor Eck as our agent mentor! (See below for Connor's background and query preferences!)

The workshop is designed to help writers struggling to find the right opening for their novel or for those looking to perfect the all important first five pages before submitting for publication. Why the first five pages? Because if these aren't perfect, no agent, editor, or reader will continue reading to find out how great the rest of your story really is!

Why is the First Five Pages Workshop a GREAT Opportunity?

  • You are mentored by at least two traditionally-published published or agented authors for the duration of the workshop. These authors have been through the trenches and know what it takes to get a book deal, solid reviews, and sales.
  • In addition, you receive feedback from the four other workshop participants.
  • Feedback is given not just on your initial submission, but on two subsequent opportunities to revise your manuscript based on the previous feedback so that you know you've got it right!
  • The final revision will also be reviewed by a literary agent, who will also give you feedback on the pitch for your story--the one that may eventually become your query letter or cover copy.
  • The best entry from among the workshop participants will receive a critique of the full first chapter or first ten pages from the mentoring agent, which may, in some cases, lead to requests for additional material.

How It Works

Please see the complete rules before entering the workshop, but in a nutshell, we'll take the first five Middle Grade or Young Adult entries that meet all guidelines and formatting requirements. (Double check the formatting - each month we have to disqualify entries because of formatting.) Click here to get the rules. We will post when the workshop opens and closes on Adventures in YA Publishing and on twitter (@etcashman, @MelissWritesNow), with the hashtag #1st5pages. In addition to the rotating team of our wonderful permanent author mentors, the final entry for each workshop participant will be critiqued by our agent mentor.

June Guest Literary Agent Mentor
Connor Eck joined Lucinda Literary in 2016. He brings a multifaceted literary skill-set, having experience in both the editorial and marketing spheres—for GOLF Magazine, CBS Television Studios, and The Weinstein Company, among others. Connor graduated with a B.A. in English from Union College in Schenectady, NY, where he was quarterback and captain of the football team. His thesis, a feature-length screenplay, was selected in 2016 as a finalist for the 25th Woods Hole Film Festival. Connor has a passion for writing, nurturing literary talent, and for bolstering the careers of fellow writers. He most enjoys reading fiction, for all age ranges. To query Connor directly, email connor@lucindaliterary.com.

June Guest Literary Author Mentor
In second grade, BECKY WALLACE had to sit in the corner because she refused to write anything besides princess stories and fairy tales (and because she talked too much). Her time in isolation gave her plenty of opportunities to dream up the fantasy worlds she's been dabbling with ever since. She was lucky enough to find her own, real-life prince charming. They have four munchkins and live in a happy little town outside Houston, Texas.

Johanna and Rafi are in a race against time to save their country before a power-mad Keeper destroys everything they hold dear in the “enthralling magical world” (Cinda Williams Chima, author of The Heir Chronicles) introduced in The Storyspinner.

As the last of the royal line, Johanna is the only person who can heal a magical breach in the wall that separates her kingdom of Santarem from the land of the Keepers, legendary men and women who wield elemental magic. The barrier protects Santarem from those Keepers who might try to take power over mere humans…Keepers who are determined to stop Johanna and seize the wall’s power for themselves.

And they’re not the only ones. As the duchys of Santarem descend into war over the throne, Johanna relies more than ever on the advice of her handsome companion, Lord Rafael DeSilva. But Rafi is a duke too, and his people come first. As their friendship progresses into the beginnings of a tender relationship, Johanna must wonder: is Rafi looking out for her happiness, or does he want the throne for himself?

With war on the horizon, Johanna and Rafi dodge treacherous dukes and Keeper assassins as they race to through the countryside, determined to strengthen the wall before it’s too late…even if it means sacrificing their happiness for the sake of their world.

Where To Buy:
Amazon Barnes & Noble Indigo

Add It On Goodreads!

Friday, May 26, 2017

0 How to Use Your Character's POV to Inform Your Setting by Kim Culbertson

Have you ever read (or written?) a long passage of boring setting description eager to get to the good parts about the character? Well, author Kim Culbertson is here to share with us today some of the best advice for avoiding this stumbling block. She's also celebrating the release of her newest novel, The Wonder of Us. So be sure to check it out below her WONDERful post!

The View from Where She’s Standing: Using POV to Inform Setting

by Kim Culbertson

I’ve always loved the immediate quality of Point of View in YA novels. In much of the young adult writing work I do, I use a first person narrator and often write in the present tense. This gives the story a sharp, candid lens through which to see this character’s world. It also creates a focus for the setting – whatever sense of place I develop in a work must be funneled through this specific character’s sensibilities.

When I was writing my first novel Songs for a Teenage Nomad, a critique partner noticed that my main character Calle described a landscape in a way that he felt didn’t fit her voice. She was using words and experiences to describe something that didn’t ring true for what he already knew of her character. He pointed out that this type of description was the author (me) creeping in and it popped him out of the story. He was right, and I tweaked the particular description to be more “Calle-esque.” I’ve taken that advice to heart with each new character I develop. In Instructions for a Broken Heart, Jessa is a heartbroken drama kid traveling in Italy with a school drama group, so what she notices about Italy and about the people she interacts with there must ultimately be channeled through this lens. It will be a bit more maudlin and more sensitive to dramatic elements than a character viewing Italy as a chef or as someone in a more upbeat emotional space.

The lens of the POV changes the shape of the storytelling.

0 Thank You to the Participants and Mentors of the 1st 5 Pages Workshop!

Congratulations to all of the participants who worked so hard during our May1st 5 Pages Writing Workshop! And a big thanks to our wonderful guest mentors, Kit Alloway as our author mentor and Hillary Jacobson as our agent mentor! They both provided terrific critiques. And as always, thank you to our talented and fabulous permanent mentors, who read, comment, and cheer on our participants every month!

The June writing workshop will open on Saturday, June 3, at noon EST. The workshop is designed to help writers struggling to find the right opening for their novel or for those looking to perfect the all important first five pages before submitting for publication. Why the first five pages? Because if these aren't perfect, no agent, editor, or reader will continue reading to find out how great the rest of your story really is!

Why is the First Five Pages Workshop a GREAT Opportunity?
  • You are mentored by at least two traditionally-published published or agented authors for the duration of the workshop. These authors have been through the trenches and know what it takes to get a book deal, solid reviews, and sales. 
  • In addition, you receive feedback from the four other workshop participants. 
  • Feedback is given not just on your initial submission, but on two subsequent opportunities to revise your manuscript based on the previous feedback so that you know you've got it right! 
  • The final revision will also be reviewed by a literary agent, who will also give you feedback on the pitch for your story--the one that may eventually become your query letter or cover copy. 
  • The best entry from among the workshop participants will receive a critique of the full first chapter or first ten pages from the mentoring agent, which may, in some cases, lead to requests for additional material.

How It Works
Please see the complete rules before entering the workshop, but in a nutshell, we'll take the first five Middle Grade or Young Adult entries that meet all guidelines and formatting requirements. (Double check the formatting - each month we have to disqualify entries because of formatting.) Click here to get the rules. I will post when the workshop opens and closes on Adventures in YA Publishing and on twitter (@etcashman), with the hashtag #1st5pages. In addition to the rotating team of our wonderful permanent author mentors, the final entry for each workshop participant will be critiqued by our agent mentor.

So get those pages ready, we usually fill up in under a minute!

Happy Writing (and revising!)


About the Author

Erin Cashman is AYAP's  1st 5 Pages Workshop coordinator, and a permanent mentor. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband, three kids, and an energetic rescue dog.

Her YA fantasy debut, THE EXCEPTIONALS, was named a Bank Street College of Education best book of the year. For up to date information about the workshop, you can follow Erin on twitter here

Thursday, May 25, 2017

0 Writing 101: Surviving the Query Trenches

**This post is part of the Writing 101: From Concept to Query (and Beyond!) series. For an overview of planned posts, take a look at the series introduction. Previous posts have explored the drafting processnovel revisions, why you may or may not want to query literary agentshow to write a query letter, and how to spot a shmagent**

We’ve come a long way from first drafts. You’ve diligently revised, done your research on agents, and you’re ready to query.

Stop. Take a breath. You wrote a book, and you’re amazing.

Alright. Let’s talk querying.

There are two keys to keeping your querying experience as simple as stress-free as possible. They are



In order to keep track of your queries, you’ll need work out an organizational system, otherwise you’ll end up getting muddled and querying the same agents over again (which is a definite querying no-no). Your system can be as simple or as complex as you like. Some people love spreadsheets, I personally don’t, and just used a Word doc with color-coded text to keep myself organized. Here are some of the things you may want to note down when querying.

Agent and agency’s names
The date your query was sent
Expected response time (or when you can assume you won’t be hearing back)

Many agents have a “no response means no” policy, to reduce their workload. Noting the expected time frame before you can assume a rejection from them will streamline your querying process, particularly if they belong to an agency where you can query multiple agents consecutively (NOTE: agencies tend not to allow overlapping queries—meaning you can’t query more than one agent at a time. Some do, however, let you query another agent within the agency after receiving a rejection. Others only allow one query for the entire agency, though, so choose your agents wisely and keep track of this sort of information).

Once you start receiving rejections (which I’m sorry to say you’re very likely to) keep track of those as well, particularly if they include feedback. If several agents give you the same piece of feedback, it’s a good idea to revise your manuscript or query accordingly before sending new queries.

When you receive a request for additional pages, first REJOICE! Secondly, make note of any pertinent information. Was it a partial or a full request? Did the agent indicate how long it might be before you can expect a response?

If an agent reads your full manuscript and wants to see changes made which they provide notes on, but they haven’t yet offered representation, congratulations! You’ve received a revise & resubmit, or an R&R. An R&R means an agent sees great potential in your work and is seriously considering making you an offer, but also needs to see a few major changes made to your book before they’re comfortable offering. Whether you carry out an R&R is up to you—if you’re excited about the direction it would take your book in, then go for it! If you hate the suggestions, you’re under no obligation to carry out the R&R, but do think carefully about it before rejecting it out of hand. Either way, let the agent know how you plan to proceed.


All this organizing and querying will come along with a steaming pile of rejection. It’s never fun, and it’s a difficult part of the writing journey. Comfort yourself with the fact that all readers respond differently to a book, and that the rejections you’re receiving are based on very subjective tastes. And surround yourself with sympathetic friends, who’ve either been there before, or who are in the trenches right along with you. If you’ve already found CPs, as recommended when we talked about revision, they may provide literary shoulders to cry on. Non-writer friends may also be willing to provide a listening ear. Whoever you add to your querying trenches support network, make sure you keep your querying woes between you and your trench buddies. It’s considered unprofessional to spend too much time bemoaning the fate of the querying author on public social media profiles, and may serve as a red flag to agents who might consider making you an offer of representation.

Next week, we’ll talk about the light at the end of the querying tunnel: receiving an offer of representation!

About the Author

Laura Weymouth is AYAP's contest coordinator, working to create opportunities for you to get samples of your work in front of agents right here on Adventures in YA Publishing.

Laura lives on the edge of the woods in western New York, along with her husband, two wild-hearted daughters, a spoiled cat, and an indeterminate number of chickens. Her YA fantasy debut, THE WEIGHT OF WORLDS, is forthcoming from HarperTeen in the fall of 2018.

You can follow Laura on Twitter and add her book on Goodreads.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

5 Agent Spotlight: Q & A with Connor Eck of Lucinda Literary

Today, I’m excited to talk with literary agent Connor Eck of Lucinda Literary!

Connor Eck joined Lucinda Literary in 2016. He brings a multifaceted literary skill-set, having experience in both the editorial and marketing spheres—for GOLF Magazine, CBS Television Studios, and The Weinstein Company, among others. Connor graduated with a B.A. in English from Union College in Schenectady, NY, where he was quarterback and captain of the football team. His thesis, a feature-length screenplay, was selected in 2016 as a finalist for the 25th Woods Hole Film Festival. Connor has a passion for writing, nurturing literary talent, and for bolstering the careers of fellow writers. He most enjoys reading fiction, for all age ranges.

Hi Connor! Thanks so much for joining us at AYAP! Can you share with us how you began your career in agenting?

I always knew I wanted to work in a creative field, though I was never quite sure what that would be. Around the time you’re supposed to have a legitimate answer for the question what do you want to be when you grow up? I found a word that felt right: writer. So I declared English as my major, very knowingly cementing a precarious fate for myself, and vowed to let hard work and the universe carry me somewhere great. My first internship was at a startup magazine company writing about the band One Direction (go ahead, laugh). For a semi-macho football player, it was awful, hysterical, and fulfilling all at once. Next was The Weinstein Company where I worked in distribution and really began to hone my passion for film. Then I found myself running around as a production assistant for CBS Television Studios, which was fun and crazy, though ultimately it left me editorially unfulfilled. I had to get myself back behind a desk doing writerly things. 

Soon after voicing my displeasure to the universe, coupled with many rounds of feverish networking, I landed an internship at GOLF Magazine (Thanks, John Cooney!) and another at Lucinda Literary (Thanks, bookjobs.com!). Professionally, that was without a doubt the best summer I’ve ever had. Working under Lucinda Blumenfeld, founder of Lucinda Literary, I discovered that my writerly niche is working with authors, so I was thrilled when she offered me a full-time position last summer. I’m very grateful to have such a brilliant and conscientious mentor. So here I am building my list! Hard work and the universe have been wonderful companions to me.

All of your previous experience sounds pretty fascinating, but it's great that you've found your passion. And this is an exciting time for you as an agent since you’re moving into representing fiction. As an agent who is building their client list, we’d love to know more about the types of fiction you’re looking for within adult, MG, and YA. Are there certain genres in these categories you’re really excited to receive?

As a kid I was really into Captain Underpants, so I definitely have a soft spot for original fiction that is silly and endearing, and whenever an author can weave in important human values, you know you have a worthwhile book in your hands. I remember Dan Gutman’s Honus & Me having a profound impact as well, an underdog baseball story driven by magical realism but more so by the desire for solidarity, acceptance, and achievement. A Wrinkle in Time sits on my nightstand, and I’m also sure to keep Harry Potter close by of course, and also Hunger Games is another example of the type of fiction I’m drawn to. 

I’m particularly keen on eccentric characters with depth and idiosyncrasies, those with a burning desire or some type of trauma ailing them, like Margo Roth Spiegelman and Alaska Young. (I'm a big John Green fan.) Male characters that chase the girl never cease to compel me either, and I’m a sucker for a good romance or family drama. I think in any work, fiction or nonfiction, regardless of age range, it's the human underpinnings of a story, and of course good writing, that create valuable, powerful reading experiences. I just want to be moved, really, and it's not the genre that determines that for me. Plus I enjoy exposing myself to every kind of literature. You never know where inspiration and a good story might lie. I’m also excited to represent nonfiction, as well!

And specifically for YA, can you expand on what submissions you’d love to see?

Oops, I think I got a little carried away and answered this in the previous question! To put it plainly, in YA I look for authenticity and heart. I err away from anything that feels diluted or that harps too closely on stereotypes or cliches. I’m open to anything and everything!

What types of fiction are you not interested in?

Apologies for being repetitive, but it's true! I'm not interested in stories and characters that are cliche, stereotypical, or predictable, and writing that is diluted or melodramatic.

No problem! It’s great to have a clear idea of what you are and aren’t drawn to.
When reviewing query letters, are there any pet peeves that turn you off immediately?

I always try to give every query a chance no matter its flaws, because I recognize how difficult the query process is for writers. The way I see it, there’s possibility that behind a bad query letter lies a promising talent, so I do my best to give each submission the attention it deserves. I personally like queries that are short and sweet: author bio, story synopsis, and why you’d like me to represent you—that’s pretty much all I’d hope for. The best query letter however, includes a compelling manuscript.

Do you like a personalized introduction to know why a writer queried you, or do you prefer to get right into the pitch?

I think any time a writer acknowledges why he or she has queried me, the submission immediately stands out. A personalized touch shows thought and effort, that a writer is serious about finding a true partner for his or her work. That being said, don’t spend too much time on it, keep the query short and sweet.

Would you consider yourself an editorial agent, where you work with your client to edit their manuscript before going on submission?

Yes. I love working with authors from the raw editorial phase. Here I feel my personal literary passions and greatest ability are most realized.

Can you describe your perfect client?

My perfect client deeply respects the art of writing, takes constructive criticism graciously, is honest, hardworking, friendly, writes from the heart, and communicates efficiently.

And now for our lightening round of questions! Ready, set…go!

Please tell us your:

Favorite TV show (current or past): The Office, for comedy, definitely—every character is so memorable; I can’t help but smile just thinking of them. Breaking Bad, for drama. Walter White gave me so much wonderful anxiety watching that show for the first time.

Favorite YA novel: I can’t pick a favorite! I’d feel too bad for the ones I didn’t pick. Here are a few: Looking for Alaska, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, 13 Reasons Why, If I Stay, Paper Towns, Holes, Touching Spirit Bear. The list of favorites only grows!

E-book or hardcover: Easily hardcover. Books are trophies; they’re meant to be held and appreciated. They belong on shelves.

Coffee or tea: That’s like choosing Mom or Dad. I’d say both. At separate times, please.

Animal you'd love to be for a day: Koala. They seem like some pretty chill dudes, and I bet they give the best hugs in all of the animal kingdom.

There is suddenly only one sport left on Earth—which one do you choose to exist: The obvious choice is underwater basket weaving—not only does it build up the lungs, but it builds character. Only kidding. I’m going to go with golf, because you can play golf into your elder years, it helps you harness your nerves, it builds concentration, it’s harmonious with nature, it can be social or solitary, you rarely get concussions from it or break your bones (unlike football), and it’s a heck of a lot of fun to whack a ball long distances in the air over immaculately manicured grass.

Thanks so much, Connor! It's been a pleasure getting to know you!

If you’d like to learn more about Connor, you can connect with him on Twitter (@connoreck11), and be sure to visit Lucinda Literary as well.

Monday, May 22, 2017

6 New Releases this week 5/22-5/28 plus 4 Giveaways

Happy Monday! This week, we have four awesome giveaways to feature! We're also shining a spotlight on a few more awesome books so don't forget to check out all of them below.

Happy Reading,

Shelly, Sam, Jocelyn, Martina, Erin, Susan, Kelly, Laura, Emily, Anisaa, and Lori Ann


* * * *

In a Perfect World
by Trish Doller
Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

Simon Pulse
Released 5/23/2017

Caroline Kelly is excited to be spending her summer vacation working at the local amusement park with her best friend, exploring weird Ohio with her boyfriend, and attending soccer camp with the hope she’ll be her team’s captain in the fall.

But when Caroline’s mother is hired to open an eye clinic in Cairo, Egypt, Caroline’s plans are upended. Caroline is now expected to spend her summer and her senior year in a foreign country, away from her friends, her home, and everything she’s ever known.

With this move, Caroline predicts she’ll spend her time navigating crowded streets, eating unfamiliar food, and having terrible bouts of homesickness. But when she finds instead is a culture that surprises her, a city that astounds her, and a charming, unpredictable boy who challenges everything she thought she knew about life, love, and privilege.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about In a Perfect World?

It's hard to narrow down my favorite thing because Caroline's dad is a stand-out character and so many mouthwatering foods to read about, but in the end, I'd probably say Adam Elhadad. He is sweet, kind of shy, and utterly charming, and I really can't wait for readers to meet him.

Purchase In a Perfect World at Amazon
Purchase In a Perfect World at IndieBound
View In a Perfect World on Goodreads

* * * *

Refuge for Masterminds
by Kathleen Baldwin
Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

Tor Teen
Released 5/23/2017

Lady Jane Moore has a secret that must be kept buried. If anyone discovers the truth, her life at Stranje House will crumble. And with Napoleon Bonaparte’s invasion of England underway, everyone at Stranje House is already in mortal danger.

Jane knows it. She may not be like Tess, who has the advantage of prophetic dreams. Nor is she like Sera, who notices every detail no matter how miniscule and draws conclusions based on the smallest thread of evidence. She doesn’t possess Maya’s ability to soothe the tempers around her with a few well-spoken words. Neither is she a brilliant scientist like Georgie.

According to Miss Stranje, Lady Jane Moore is a mastermind.

But Jane believes herself to be an ordinary young lady. She only has an excessive bent toward the practical, grasping the facts of a situation quickly then, devising and implementing a sensible course of action. It's a trait that comes in handy in a world full of spies, sabotage, and double-dealing. Especially when Lady Jane and Sera have rooted out the truth: There's a traitor at Stranje House.

Someone is sneaking information to Lady Daneska and Ghost, Napoleon’s spies. Jane is determined to find out who it is before the bonds of friendship at Stranje House are ripped apart. Her desperate hunt for the traitor ensnares Robert Fulton’s nephew, Alexander Sinclair, a brash American inventor, in an ambush that puts his life in danger. Sinclair may be the most maddening man in all of Christendom, a wicked-tongued rascal with boorish manners, but Lady Jane cannot bear the thought of the golden-haired genius being harmed.

Is Jane enough of a mastermind to save Alexander, her friends at Stranje House, and possibly England itself?

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Refuge for Masterminds?

I loved watching Lady Jane struggle to find her emotional balance. She's so smart. Much smarter than I am, so it was a challenge to write her, but delightful at the same time. I especially loved watching her battle her fiercely protective nature, and learn to be a little more trusting of others' capabilities. alexander is a perfect foil for her. He is so easy going and laid back compared to Jane. The way he teases her was pure fun to write.

Purchase Refuge for Masterminds at Amazon
Purchase Refuge for Masterminds at IndieBound
View Refuge for Masterminds on Goodreads

* * * *

The Fashion Committee
by Susan Juby
Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

Viking Books for Young Readers
Released 5/23/2017

Project Runway meets I'll Give You the Sun in the story of a girl, a boy, and the fashion competition that could change both of their lives.

Charlie Dean is a style-obsessed girl who eats, sleeps, and breathes fashion. John Thomas-Smith is a boy who forges metal sculptures in his garage and couldn't care less about clothes. Both are gunning for a scholarship to the private art high school that could make all their dreams come true. Whoever wins the fashion competition will win the scholarship--and only one can win.

Told in the alternating voices of Charlie's and John's journals, this hilarious and poignant YA novel perfectly captures what it's like to have an artistic drive so fierce that nothing--not your dad's girlfriend's drug-addicted ex-boyfriend, a soul-crushing job at Salad Stop, or being charged with a teensy bit of kidnapping--can stand in your way.

With black and white art custom-created by fashion and beauty illustrator Soleil Ignacio, the book is a collector's item, perfect for anyone with a passion for fashion.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about The Fashion Committee?

The book gave me a chance to write about what is great about fashion and what is deeply problematic about it. The adventures of Charlie and John allowed me to explore fashion as an art form and as a means to create identity. The book combines a lot of my obsessions and for that I'm grateful.

Purchase The Fashion Committee at Amazon
Purchase The Fashion Committee at IndieBound
View The Fashion Committee on Goodreads

* * * *

by Virginia Macgregor
Paperback Giveaway
U.S. Only

Harlequin Teen
Released 5/23/2017

Feather Tucker has two wishes:

1)To get her mum healthy again

2) To win the Junior UK swimming championships

When Feather comes home on New Year’s Eve to find her mother – one of Britain’s most obese women- in a diabetic coma, she realises something has to be done to save her mum’s life. But when her Mum refuses to co-operate Feather realises that the problem run deeper than just her mum’s unhealthy appetite.

Over time, Feather’s mission to help her Mum becomes an investigation. With the help of friends old and new, and the hindrance of runaway pet goat Houdini, Feather’s starting to uncover when her mum’s life began to spiral out of control and why. But can Feather fix it in time for her mum to watch her swim to victory? And can she save her family for good?

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Wishbones?

That's easy: Feather Tucker, my protagonist. As soon as I found her voice and spent some time getting to know her, I knew that she'd be the perfect character to carry my story. She's courageous, passionate and idealistic - and has some flaws too (she thinks she can save her mum and the world all by herself!). She's also quirky - I have a weakness for those kind of people both in life and in fiction. Above all she's loveable: I loved writing her and recognise her character traits in so many of the amazing young people I know. I hope that readers, young and old, will fall in love with her too. Oh, and a close second favourite (if I'm allowed) is Houdini, her pet goat. They kind of go together.

Purchase Wishbones at Amazon
Purchase Wishbones at IndieBound
View Wishbones on Goodreads


The Best Kind of Magic by Crystal Cestari: Erika C.
The Truth About Happily Ever After by Karole Cozzo: Patricia M.



* * * *

Crazy House
by James Patterson
jimmy patterson
Released 5/22/2017

A thrilling new YA novel from master of suspense James Patterson, who's created a frightening new future: a world where teens are taken, imprisoned, and forced to fight for their survival. Where 17-year-old Cass will do whatever it takes to save her twin sister from Death Row.

There were no charges. There was no trial. There will be no escape.

Seventeen-year-old Becca Greenfield was snatched from her small hometown. She was thrown into a maximum-security prison and put on Death Row with other kids her age. Until her execution, Becca's told to fit in and shut her mouth... but Becca's never been very good at either. Her sister Cassie was always the perfect twin.

Becca's only hope is that her twin sister will find her. That perfect little priss Cassie will stop following the rules and start breaking them, before it's too late. Because her jailers made a mistake that could get them both killed:

They took the wrong twin.

Purchase Crazy House at Amazon
Purchase Crazy House at IndieBound
View Crazy House on Goodreads

* * * *

Dove Alight
by Karen Bao
Viking Books for Young Readers
Released 5/23/2017

The action-packed finale of this explosive sci-fi series for fans of Ender’s Game and Star Wars.

Shy, introverted Phaet Theta has gone from being a top student to an interplanetary fugitive to the reluctant but fierce leader of a revolution. With the Earthbound on their side, she and her friends finally have a chance at toppling the evil leaders who’ve held the Moon captive for decades. But as the death tolls rise, the cost of the war weighs heavily on Phaet, even as she’s forced to lead her siblings and Wes, the love of her life, into terrible danger.

Phaet started this war because she lost someone she loved. Will she have to lose another to end it?

Purchase Dove Alight at Amazon
Purchase Dove Alight at IndieBound
View Dove Alight on Goodreads

* * * *

Lord of Shadows
by Cassandra Clare
Margaret K. McElderry Books
Released 5/23/2017

Sunny Los Angeles can be a dark place indeed in Cassandra Clare’s Lord of Shadows, the sequel to the #1 New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling Lady Midnight.

Emma Carstairs has finally avenged her parents. She thought she’d be at peace. But she is anything but calm. Torn between her desire for her parabatai Julian and her desire to protect him from the brutal consequences of parabatai relationships, she has begun dating his brother, Mark. But Mark has spent the past five years trapped in Faerie; can he ever truly be a Shadowhunter again?

And the faerie courts are not silent. The Unseelie King is tired of the Cold Peace, and will no longer concede to the Shadowhunters’ demands. Caught between the demands of faerie and the laws of the Clave, Emma, Julian, and Mark must find a way to come together to defend everything they hold dear—before it’s too late.

Purchase Lord of Shadows at Amazon
Purchase Lord of Shadows at IndieBound
View Lord of Shadows on Goodreads

* * * *

The Gauntlet
by Megan Shepherd
Balzer + Bray
Released 5/23/2017

The Maze Runner meets Scott Westerfeld in the final novel in the gripping and romantic Cage series, about teens abducted from Earth by an otherworldly race.

Cora and her friends have escaped the Kindred station and landed at Armstrong—a supposed safe haven on a small moon—where they plan to regroup and figure out how to win the Gauntlet, the challenging competition to prove humanity’s intelligence and set them free. But Armstrong is no paradise; ruled by a power-hungry sheriff, it’s a violent world where the teens are enslaved and put to work in mines. As Nok’s due date grows closer, and Mali and Leon journey across space to rescue Cassian, the former inhabitants of the cage are up against impossible odds.

With the whole universe at stake, Cora will do whatever it takes, including pushing her body and mind to the breaking point, to escape Armstrong and run the Gauntlet. But it isn’t just a deranged sheriff she has to overcome: the other intelligent species—the Axion, Kindred, Gatherers, and Mosca—all have their own reasons to stop her. Not knowing who to trust, Cora must rely on her own instincts to win the competition, which could change the world—though it might destroy her in the process.

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