Monday, May 22, 2017

2 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

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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

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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

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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.

Purchase The Gauntlet at Amazon
Purchase The Gauntlet at IndieBound
View The Gauntlet on Goodreads

Sunday, May 21, 2017

0 YA Sunday Morning News: This Week for Writers 5/21/17

Happy Sunday!

This week’s links are light on news, but heavy with agent interviews. If you’re querying right now, make sure you check them out!


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 and Pitch Contests:

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:

Just for Fun:

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

Saturday, May 20, 2017

0 Crystal Cestari, author of THE BEST KIND OF MAGIC, on the intimidating blank screen

It is always a magical experience to talk to an author about their debut novel, and today Crystal Cestari shares details about THE BEST KIND OF MAGIC.

Crystal, what was your inspiration for writing THE BEST KIND OF MAGIC?

My favorite show of all time is Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and one thing I always appreciated was how Buffy was handling such a powerful responsibility while the world around her had no idea. My narrator, Amber, does not save lives, but she shares that struggle in that her matchmaking ability is not something she can control or turn off; she's fighting her own good fight everyday in the name of love. Stories with a hint of magic have always pulled me in, and I'll never turn away a good romance, so this book is a mashup of two favorite genres.

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've been writing since I was very young, and have dreamt of being an author for just as long, but this story lit me up like no other. I wouldn't say writing it was easy by any means, but the words did come together at an unprecedented pace, and I felt so connected to my narrator and her journey. Something in me said I needed to try and share this story with the world, and I've never had that feeling before.

0 Lisa Freeman, author of RIPTIDE SUMMER, on surviving riptides (both literally and metaphorically)

Lisa Freeman is back with RIPTIDE SUMMER, the second Honey Girls novel, and we couldn't be more stoked to be joined by her today.

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

For me, all writing starts with a pot of tea. English Breakfast or a variation of something strong and British so I can channel the Queen’s English.

I like working in a dark room, with a single, dim light. Windows are optional. This is not the best for one’s eyes, but it calms me down and allows me to instantly access my imagination.

A blank piece of paper and a pen are the only necessities because I’ve trained myself to be able to write anywhere. I have to write every day; I learned that from Ray Bradbury. When it comes to craft, an artist has to be flexible and prepared. I usually have something to read with me, poetry or a magazine to collect words. Usually I look for nouns and adjectives that spark a sentence. This leads me into whatever fragment of the novel I’m committed to work on that day. I move around freely in the timeline of each story, until I have a solid first draft or outline. Then, more tea.

0 Karole Cozzo, author of THE TRUTH ABOUT HAPPILY EVER AFTER, on a character originally not being in the story

The truth is we are happy to have Karole Cozzo here to share more about her latest novel, THE TRUTH ABOUT HAPPILY EVER AFTER.

Karole, how long did you work on THE TRUTH ABOUT HAPPILY EVER AFTER?

I wrote the first draft in about four months over the summer of 2015. Originally, the story was told from a different character's point of view; actually, it was a whole different story entirely. My editors thought Alyssa, who was a secondary at the time, had a more compelling story to tell. At first I was really upset, because I was attached to my characters and disappointed to hear their story wasn't 'working.' But I've definitely learned to trust my editors and I agree, 110%, that the revised version is so much better! And Miller wasn't even in the first story, which is hard for me to even fathom now. I wrote the revised version in about seven weeks - I was a woman on a mission and I turned my initial disappointment into motivation to come up with something better.

0 Zan Romanoff, GRACE AND THE FEVER, on there being no shame in having fallen in love

We are delighted to be joined by Zan Romanoff as she shares with us more about her latest novel, GRACE AND THE FEVER.

Zan, what was your inspiration for writing GRACE AND THE FEVER?

I was reading a blog post about how people could take fandom skills and translate them onto resumes-- like, most teens on Tumblr know more than I do about website coding, video editing, etc. And I thought about the people I knew who were deeply into celebrity conspiracy theories, and how they'd make great detectives-- especially if you gave them a more solvable case to pursue. GRACE didn't end up being a detective story, but it's very much about figuring out how fandom and the so-called real world intersect with one another, and whether or how it's possible to live in both.

Friday, May 19, 2017

0 On the Value of Studying Writing with Coaches by Martina Boone

For our craft of writing post today, we're revisiting some excellent insight from Martina Boone that she posted in February 2014 after completing all edits for her first book, Compulsion. Her words are still true for all of us trying to learn how to write alone. Maybe she can inspire you to tap into all the valuable resources available to learn from a mentor.

Accepting that You Can't Ever Get Your Story Perfect by Martina Boone

COMPULSION is on its way to be printed up for ARCs, and I have a little time to reflect on what I wish I could still have done better. I've probably driven my editor crazy tinkering with the opening. But unlike the talented authors who nail it with a killer sentence, the perfect opening has proven to be elusive.

So what do we, as writers, do when perfection is out of reach?

At some point, we have to trust. Trust in ourselves. Trust in our characters. Trust in our agents and our editors. In our critique partners and beta readers.

I've heard so many friends beat themselves up because they feel like failures, or they feel like they aren't "getting there" fast enough. They see some of these brilliant young writers publishing at 22, or 25, and they begin to doubt their own talent. But those young writers, many of whom started out by writing fan fiction, have something going for them. Something critical. Many of them have been writing since they were eleven or twelve. Every day.

They've also had feedback. Hours and hours of passionate, attentive feedback that helped them discover through trial and error what works and what doesn't.

Feedback, honest-to-gosh thoughtful, expert feedback from a lot of simultaneous perspectives, is beyond price when you want to understand what you are putting on the page. And that's something that the Internet, with its access to fan fiction sites, online workshops, and critique partner match-ups is able to offer.

As writers, we are the orphan stepchildren of the arts. Too often, we work in a vacuum, slogging through weeks, months, years of butt-in-chair, making the same mistakes hour after hour because we don't know any better. Violinists, ballerinas, skaters, painters . . . they all spend thousands of hours with teachers and coaches helping them learn to examine every facet and nuance of their work. Fiction writers? If we're lucky we get a handful of classes in school. Most of us have very few hours of guided exploration, or structured learning. We write, and we read. And mistakenly, we often believe that simply reading for enjoyment is sufficient to count as study.

It isn't.

You're heard about the 10,000 Hour Rule? The one that suggests you need to practice for 10,000 hours before you become proficient? It's one of the justification writers often use to explain the need for "butt in chair." Maria Popova at Brain Pickings had a brilliant post last month about Debunking the 10,000 Hour Rule that touched on the science behind the issues. In a nutshell, what the science really shows is that you need to spend those 10,000 hours in mindful application of lessons set forth by master teachers.

Can we do that ourselves by studying the work of other writers? Some of us likely can. I can't. I need help. That's why I set up the First Five Pages Workshop a couple of years ago with Lisa Gail Green, hoping that by giving other aspiring writers the kind of early input on their pages that I wished I had would give them a jump start on their careers. We've been lucky--beyond lucky--with the great authors who have pitched in to provide mentorship, and we've had a lot of success with the workshop. (In fact, our April mentor is Lori Goldstein, a First Five alum who got a fabulous deal for the book she revised through the workshop.) But I'll tell you a secret, I'm still envious of the participants every month, because they are getting the kind of feedback that I wish I could have. Yes, I have an agent and an editor and a lovely team of pros who now have my back--but helping me learn is not their job. It's my job to keep learning, to keep trying to understand why things work--or why they don't.

COMPULSION is now out of my hands. It's gone. It's done. And I don't have 10,000 hours of guided instruction behind me to give me the confidence that I've done it right. (Although I did get my first blurb the other day, and I love it. WOO HOO!) All I can do is hope COMPULSION will continue to be well-received, and go back to work on Book Two with renewed determination to keep getting better.

If you read these Inspired Opening Posts here on Adventures regularly, you probably came today hoping, as I do every Monday, that the guest of the day will divulge the one Secret that will make all the difference. Instead, I will give you the best advice I can offer.

The secret to writing the perfect opening, the perfect anything, is exploration with feedback. Take advantage of things like the First Five Pages Workshop and the agent-judged Pitch Plus First Page Contest that we put on. Take advantage of every opportunity to "learn up," by which I mean learning from writers who are further up the learning curve than you are. Participate in opportunities like Pitch Wars and Pitch Madness over at Brenda Drake's blog and the Secret Agent contests at Miss Snark's First Victim. Take craft-dedicated workshops from editors and agents like those over at Free-Expressions and Ventana Sierra. Give yourself the gift of learning, the gift of confidence in your craft. The writing never gets easier. All we can do is hope we will get more comfortable with the idea that we're likely never going to offer up something perfect.

As for me? I'm going to keep learning too. And I'm going to make a concerted effort to do more experimentation. Maybe I'll even write some fan fiction. It sounds like learning AND fun.

Now all I need is an extra few hours in the day.

What about you? Have you ever written fan fiction? Have you taken any great workshops or classes? Where do you go for feedback?

Thursday, May 18, 2017

0 Writing 101: How to Spot a Shmagent

**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 agents, and how to write a query letter**

Your novel is drafted, revised, and has gone through critique partners. You’ve written your query letter, and it’s pretty darn enticing if you do say so yourself.

You’re nearly ready.

The last step to undertake before hitting send on that nerve-wracking first batch of queries is to build a list of carefully vetted agents you’d like to submit to. Carefully vetted is the key here, because not all agents are good agents!

There are two signs that the agent you’re considering is, in point of fact, a dreaded shmagent, and you should run for the hills:

-wants money up front in exchange for representation

An honest, reputable agent will ONLY earn money when you earn money. They make a commission off of your sales (15% is the standard rate), so it is very much in their best interest to ensure your work does sell. Do NOT query any agent or agency that requires money up front, either as a reading fee, or upon signing.

-agency appears to have no sales, or very few sales, in spite of a large client list

As aforementioned, an agent only makes money if their clients make money. So if they’re not selling, either something fishy is going on, or they’re just not cut out for agent life. Note: if an individual agent at an established and reputable agency has made few sales yet, and is relatively new to the game, they may still be a safe bet. It takes time to prep manuscripts for submission and so long as a new agent has the support of a good agency, they can make a great advocate. If they’re part of an entire agency with no track record for sales, though, you may want to skip them when querying.

So where do you find GOOD agents? There are a number of resources available for researching agents, such as:

When researching agents, look for those who represent and are actively acquiring books in your category and genre. We tend to write the sort of books we love to read, so consider researching which agents represent some of your favorite authors, and querying them. Other writers are also an invaluable resource, and generally very willing to share information—if you have friends already querying work in your category and genre, ask if they’d consider sharing their query lists. I found my own agent after a critique partner read her interview on Writer’s Digest and recommended I send her a query.

Be sure that you take note of each agent’s likes, dislikes, and query requirements, and tailor your queries accordingly. While it may be tempting to send out large batches of queries at once to save time, you’ll get much better responses if agents see that you’ve taken the time to figure out what they specifically are looking for. Keep in mind that it’s not uncommon for an agent to receive hundreds of queries a month, and often to read them on their own time, after work hours. Courtesy and respect will take you far.

Stay tuned—next week we’ll look at how to survive the querying trenches once you’ve dived in!

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.

Monday, May 15, 2017

7 New Releases this week 05/15-05/21 plus 2 Giveaways

Happy Monday! This week, we have two awesome giveaways to feature, THE TRUTH ABOUT HAPPILY EVER AFTER and THE BEST KIND OF MAGIC! We're also featuring 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


* * * *

The Truth About Happily Ever After
by Karole Cozzo
Signed Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

Swoon Reads
Released 5/16/2017

Chin up, Princess, or the crown will slip.

A theme park princess must put her life back together after her happily ever after falls apart in this contemporary YA romance from Karole Cozzo, author of How to Keep Rolling After a Fall and How to Say I Love You Out Loud.

Everything was supposed to be perfect. Alyssa has a job she loves, working as Cinderella at her favorite theme park; a fantastic group of friends; and a boyfriend who will no longer be long distance. But as the summer progresses, her prince becomes less charming and more distant, and Alyssa's perfect summer falls apart.

Forced to acknowledge that life is not always a fairy tale, Alyssa starts working to pull her herself back together. Fortunately, she doesn't have to do it alone. With her friend Miller's support, she's determined to prove that she's more than just a pretty princess. And with his help, maybe she's finally ready for something better than dreams.

Maybe she's ready for something real.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about The Truth About Happily Ever After?

Welll... Miller. Miller is probably my favorite thing about the book. :)

But, on a deeper level, my favorite aspect of the book would definitely be Alyssa's character arc. Admittedly, Alyssa can be frustrating at the story's onset - her tendency to focus on the positive and ignore any negative/complicated/unhealthy aspects of her relationships and habits sometimes makes you want to shake her! But you have to trust me that when this princess opens her eyes to look at life beyond the fairy tale she's crafted in her head, when she starts getting to know herself as a person where the princess ends, when she starts reconnecting with people in a new way, she really comes far. I believe her journey is meaningful and important, and I'm excited for readers to go along for the ride.

Purchase The Truth About Happily Ever After at Amazon
Purchase The Truth About Happily Ever After at IndieBound
View The Truth About Happily Ever After on Goodreads

* * * *

The Best Kind of Magic
by Crystal Cestari
Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

Released 5/16/2017

Amber Sand is not a witch. The Sand family Wicca gene somehow leapfrogged over her. But she did get one highly specific magical talent: she can see true love. As a matchmaker, Amber's pretty far down the sorcery food chain (even birthday party magicians rank higher), but after five seconds of eye contact, she can envision anyone's soul mate.

Amber works at her mother's magic shop--Windy City Magic--in downtown Chicago, and she's confident she's seen every kind of happy ending there is: except for one--her own. (The Fates are tricky jerks that way.) So when Charlie Blitzman, the mayor's son and most-desired boy in school, comes to her for help finding his father's missing girlfriend, she's distressed to find herself falling for him. Because while she can't see her own match, she can see his--and it's not Amber. How can she, an honest peddler of true love, pursue a boy she knows full well isn't her match?

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about THE BEST KIND OF MAGIC?

My narrator, Amber Sand, a magical matchmaker who can actually see true love is my favorite thing about this story. Her voice came to me fast and furious: so fast, in fact, I was on the treadmill at the time! What I really love about Amber is her courage of conviction; she stands up for true love no matter what. Being a matchmaker means her Cupid's arrow sometimes hits unexpected targets, but she never gives up on what she believes in. Plus, her salty but sweet personality was really fun to write; Amber gets all the sassy one liners I could never say in real life!

Purchase Windy City Magic at Amazon
Purchase Windy City Magic at IndieBound
View Windy City Magic on Goodreads


* * * *

Deacon Locke Went to Prom by Brian Katcher: Amy Z.


* * * *

Grace and the Fever
by Zan Romanoff
Knopf Books for Young Readers
Released 5/16/2017

Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl meets Jenny Han's The Summer I Turned Pretty in this contemporary YA about what it means to be a fan and what it means to be a friend when your whole world is in flux.

In middle school, everyone was a Fever Dream fan. Now, a few weeks after her high school graduation, Grace Thomas sometimes feels like the only one who never moved on. She can't imagine what she d do without the community of online fans that share her obsession. Or what her IRL friends would say if they ever found out about it.

Then, one summer night, the unthinkable happens: Grace meets her idol, Jes. What starts out as an elusive glimpse of Fever Dream's world turns into an unlikely romance, and leads her to confront dark, complex truths about herself and the realities of stardom.
From the author of A Song to Take the World Apart, Grace and the Fever is a heart-clutching reminder of what it's like to fall in love whether it's with a boy or a boy band and how difficult it is to figure out who you are after you've fallen out of love again.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Grace and the Fever?

I've been writing fan fiction on and off since I was 10 years old, so getting to do a version of it as a Real Book is entirely thrilling. Fic is a well-established literary tradition, with tropes and influences and references &c., and I love the idea of GRACE and books like it acknowledging and celebrating that-- that I and others will be able to say, I grew up reading Francesca Lia Block and also fic, and both of them seriously influence the work I do now.

Purchase Grace and the Fever at Amazon
Purchase Grace and the Fever at IndieBound
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Riptide Summer
by Lisa Freeman
Sky Pony Press
Released 5/16/2017

The year is 1973, and Nani is firmly established as one of the top girls in the State Beach lineup. She’s looking forward to a long, relaxing summer of days spent in the sun with her surfer boyfriend, and to secret nights with Rox, the lineup’s queen supreme.

But when surf god Nigel breaks her heart, and Rox reveals a secret that tears their friendship—and the lineup—apart, Nani is left to pick up the pieces. If she can’t recruit new Honey Girls to the lineup, the friends will lose their reputation as the beach’s top babes.

With the summer spiraling out of control, Nani starts to question everything she’s always believed about how to rule the beach. Maybe it’s time to leave the rules behind, starting with the most important one:

Girls don’t surf.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Riptide Summer?

It’s a queer survival story with a protagonist so strong that you know, no matter what, she’ll find a way. There’s hope in Nani Nuuhiwa.

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A Million Junes
by Emily Henry
Released 5/16/2017

Romeo and Juliet meets One Hundred Years of Solitude in Emily Henry's brilliant follow-up to The Love That Split the World, about the daughter and son of two long-feuding families who fall in love while trying to uncover the truth about the strange magic and harrowing curse that has plagued their bloodlines for generations.

In their hometown of Five Fingers, Michigan, the O'Donnells and the Angerts have mythic legacies. But for all the tall tales they weave, both founding families are tight-lipped about what caused the century-old rift between them, except to say it began with a cherry tree.

Eighteen-year-old Jack “June” O’Donnell doesn't need a better reason than that. She's an O'Donnell to her core, just like her late father was, and O'Donnells stay away from Angerts. Period.

But when Saul Angert, the son of June's father's mortal enemy, returns to town after three mysterious years away, June can't seem to avoid him. Soon the unthinkable happens: She finds she doesn't exactly hate the gruff, sarcastic boy she was born to loathe.

Saul’s arrival sparks a chain reaction, and as the magic, ghosts, and coywolves of Five Fingers conspire to reveal the truth about the dark moment that started the feud, June must question everything she knows about her family and the father she adored. And she must decide whether it's finally time for her—and all of the O'Donnells before her—to let go.

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by Jillian Blake
Delacorte Press
Released 5/16/2017

Alexandria Prep is hacked in this exhilarating whodunit set in the age of social media and the cloud—Pretty Little Liars meets WikiLeaks.

Senior spring at Alexandria Prep was supposed to be for sleeping through class and partying with friends. But for Anna Soler, it’s going to be a lonely road. She’s just been dumped by her gorgeous basketball star boyfriend—with no explanation. Anna’s closest friends, the ones she abandoned while dating him, are ignoring her. And the endearing boy she’s always had a complicated friendship with is almost too sympathetic.

But suddenly Anna isn’t the only one whose life has been upended. Someone is determined to knock the kings and queens of the school off their thrones: one by one, their phones get hacked and their personal messages and photos are leaked.

At first it’s funny—people love watching the dirty private lives of those they envy become all too public. But the hacks escalate. Dark secrets are exposed, and lives are shattered. Chaos erupts at school. As Anna tries to save those she cares about most and to protect her own secrets, she begins to understand the reality of our always-connected lives: Sometimes we share too much.

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Flame in the Mist
by Renée Ahdieh
G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Released 5/16/2017

The daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has long known her place—she may be an accomplished alchemist, whose cunning rivals that of her brother Kenshin, but because she is not a boy, her future has always been out of her hands. At just seventeen years old, Mariko is promised to Minamoto Raiden, the son of the emperor's favorite consort—a political marriage that will elevate her family's standing. But en route to the imperial city of Inako, Mariko narrowly escapes a bloody ambush by a dangerous gang of bandits known as the Black Clan, who she learns has been hired to kill her before she reaches the palace.

Dressed as a peasant boy, Mariko sets out to infiltrate the ranks of the Black Clan, determined to track down the person responsible for the target on her back. But she's quickly captured and taken to the Black Clan’s secret hideout, where she meets their leader, the rebel ronin Takeda Ranmaru, and his second-in-command, his best friend Okami. Still believing her to be a boy, Ranmaru and Okami eventually warm to Mariko, impressed by her intellect and ingenuity. As Mariko gets closer to the Black Clan, she uncovers a dark history of secrets, of betrayal and murder, which will force her to question everything she's ever known.

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by Gillian French
Released 5/16/2017

Raw and moving, this contemporary realistic debut novel will leave readers of E. Lockhart and Gayle Forman breathless as it unflinchingly unfolds the tragic secrets being kept in a small, deceptively idyllic Maine town.

Seventeen-year-old Darcy Prentiss has long held the title of “town slut.” She knows how to have a good time, sure, but she isn’t doing anything all the guys haven’t done. But when you’re a girl with a reputation, every little thing that happens seems to keep people whispering—especially when your ex-best friend goes missing.

But if anyone were to look closer at Darcy, they’d realize there’s a lot more going on beneath the surface. Staying out late, hooking up, and telling lies is what Darcy does to forget. Forget about the mysterious disappearance of her friend. Forget about the dark secret she and her cousin Nell share. Forget about that hazy Fourth of July night. So when someone in town anonymously nominates Darcy to be in the running for Bay Festival Princess—a cruel act only someone with a score to settle would make—all of the things that Darcy wants to keep hidden threaten to erupt in ways she wasn’t prepared to handle…and isn’t sure if she can.

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No Second Chances
by Kate Evangelista
Swoon Reads
Released 5/16/2017

Natasha was DEVASTATED when Jackson, her first love, disappeared without a word only to pop up months later as a famous DJ. But now she's over it―over him!―and ready to move on with her life. Isn't she?

Jackson thought he was leaving Dodge Cove behind forever when he set off to LA to start his career as a DJ. But the one thing he had never been able to leave behind was the memory of his first love, Natasha, and now that he's proven his success, he's coming home to win her back...

Get ready to stop time, defy gravity and bring down the stars in this final book in Kate Evangelista's Dodge Cove Trilogy!

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by Veronica Rossi
Tor Teen
Released 5/16/2017

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Veronica Rossi's new fantasy adventure in the Rider series—Seeker.

When Daryn claimed she was seeing visions during her sophomore year of high school, no one believed the truth. She wasn't losing her mind, she was gaining the Sight the ability to see the future. If she just paid attention to the visions, they'd provide her with clues and show her how she could help people. Really help them. Daryn embraced her role as a Seeker. The work she did was important. She saved lives.

Until Sebastian.

Sebastian was her first and worst mistake.

Since the moment she inadvertently sealed him in a dark dimension with Samrael, the last surviving demon, in the Kindred, guilt has plagued her. Daryn knows Sebastian is alive and waiting for help. It's up to her to rescue him. But now that she needs the Sight more than ever to guide her, the visions have stopped.

Daryn must rely on her instincts, her intelligence, and on blind faith to lead the riders who are counting on her in search of Sebastian. As they delve into a shadowy realm where nothing is as it seems and where Samrael is steadily amassing power, Daryn faces the ultimate test. Will she have to become evil to destroy evil? The very fate of humankind rests in the answer.

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The Crown's Fate
by Evelyn Skye
Balzer + Bray
Released 5/16/2017

Perfect for fans of Shadow and Bone and Red Queen, The Crown’s Fate is the thrilling sequel to the New York Times bestselling The Crown’s Game, an atmospheric historical fantasy set in Imperial Russia.

Russia is on the brink of great change. Pasha’s coronation approaches, and Vika is now the Imperial Enchanter, but the role she once coveted may be more difficult—and dangerous—than she ever expected.

Pasha is grappling with his own problems—his legitimacy is in doubt, the girl he loves loathes him, and he believes his best friend is dead. When a challenger to the throne emerges—and with the magic in Russia growing rapidly—Pasha must do whatever it takes to keep his position and protect his kingdom.

For Nikolai, the ending of the Crown’s Game stung deeply. Although he just managed to escape death, Nikolai remains alone, a shadow hidden in a not-quite-real world of his own creation. But when he’s given a second chance at life—tied to a dark price—Nikolai must decide just how far he’s willing to go to return to the world.

With revolution on the rise, dangerous new magic rearing up, and a tsardom up for the taking, Vika, Nikolai, and Pasha must fight—or face the destruction of not only their world but also themselves.

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The Names They Gave Us
by Emery Lord
Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Released 5/16/2017

Lucy Hansson was ready for a perfect summer with her boyfriend, working at her childhood Bible camp on the lake. But when her mom’s cancer reappears, Lucy falters—in faith, in love, and in her ability to cope. When her boyfriend “pauses” their relationship and her summer job switches to a different camp—one for troubled kids—Lucy isn’t sure how much more she can handle.

Attempting to accept a new normal, Lucy slowly regains footing among her vibrant, diverse coworkers, Sundays with her mom, and a crush on a fellow counselor. But when long-hidden family secrets emerge, can Lucy set aside her problems and discover what grace really means?

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Thick as Thieves
by Megan Whalen Turner
Greenwillow Books
Released 5/16/2017

Kamet, a secretary and slave to his Mede master, has the ambition and the means to become one of the most powerful people in the Empire. But with a whispered warning the future he envisioned is wrenched away, and he is forced onto a very different path. Set in the world of the Queen’s Thief, an ordinary hero takes on an extraordinary mission. Includes two maps, a map of the world of the Queen’s Thief, and a map of Kamet’s journey.

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Sunday, May 14, 2017

0 YA Sunday Morning News: This Week for Writers 5/14/17

This week’s links for writers include a bunch of interviews with literary agents seeking YA manuscripts, and lots of news with the upcoming BookExpo and BookCon events.


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 New Book Deals and Releases:

Just for Fun:
  • The Secret Lives of YA Mean Girls via Harlequin TEEN: Mean girls are people too, and some of our favorite YA mean girls prove there is more going on than meets the eye.

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

Saturday, May 13, 2017

0 Wendy Spinale, author of UMBERLAND, on having to kill off one of her favorite characters

We are delighted to have the opportunity to chat with author Wendy Spinale about her latest novel, UMBERLAND, the second book in The Everland series.

Wendy, what was your inspiration for writing UMBERLAND? 

Like EVERLAND, my stories are inspired by my love for fairytales and my background as a former Disneyland actress.

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? 

The hardest scene to write was a death scene of one of my favorite characters. I tried really hard to wiggle out of it, but ultimately I knew his fate was set in stone. Writing the Labyrinth scenes were incredibly fun. One technique I used in creating a story is to write down every impossible thing that could happen to my characters and choose the ones I like the best. The Labyrinth was the perfect setting for that writing tool.

0 Veronica Chambers, author of THE GO-BETWEEN, on the beauty of friendship

We are thrilled to have Veronica Chambers join us to share more about her latest novel, THE GO-BETWEEN.

Veronica, what was your inspiration for writing THE GO-BETWEEN?

I really wanted to write a novel about a Latina girl who had a different experience than one we normally see in popular culture. So I thought it would be fun to write about a girl who was affluent, but when she shows up at a new school in California, everyone assumes she's poor and from East LA because she's Mexican.

A book that made a big impression on me early on was Ana Menéndez' "In Cuba I was a German Shepherd."

I always loved that line: "Here in America, I may be a short, insignificant mutt, but in Cuba I was a German shepherd."

I think anyone who has moved from one country to another knows that there's this gap between who you were back home and who you are perceived to be in this new place. And then there's sometimes another gap between who you are perceived to be as a new American and who you aspire to be.

That's what Cammi's story felt like to me -- a story about a teenage girl who's falling into these precarious gaps of identity and perception.