Monday, April 30, 2018

7 New Releases this Week 04/30 - 05/06 plus 5 Giveaway

Happy Monday! This week is jam packed with new releases and plenty of giveaways! Don't forget to check out all the books below and enter to win.

Happy Reading,

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



YA BOOK GIVEAWAYS THIS WEEK


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True Storm
by L.E. Sterling
Signed Hardcover Giveaway
Entangled: Teen
Released 5/1/2018

Lucy’s twin sister, Margot, may be safely back with her―but all is not well in Plague-ravaged Dominion City. The Watchers have come out of hiding, spreading chaos and death throughout the city, and suddenly Lucy finds herself torn between three men with secrets of their own.

Betrayal is a cruel lesson, and the Fox sisters can hardly believe who is behind the plot against them. To survive this deadly game of politics, Lucy is forced to agree to a marriage of convenience. But DNA isn't the only thing they want from Lucy...or her sister.

As they say in Dominion, rogue genes can never have a happy ending...

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about True Storm?

H! Thanks for having me back at Adventures in YA Publishing. So glad to be here! TRUE STORM is the third and final novel in the True Born Trilogy, and in this installment I lay it ALL OUT! I won’t throw out any spoilers, but I will say that, for me at least, this is the swooniest, saddest, craziest romp of the three novels. This is the book where Lucy Fox, heroine of the novels, really comes into her own. I love that she really stands out in this book: not as a helpless victim of all the plots and machinations against her and her sister, but as someone who starts pulling some of the strings in Dominion City herself.

And of course, the heat, the heat! Things get pretty steamy in this instalment between Lucy and her True Born bodyguard, Jared Price. At the same time, Lucy is romantically pursued by two other characters in the novel, which adds some interesting wrinkles to the connection between Lucy and Jared, which leads to some confusion, hilarity and discomfort. I am very interested in how readers will feel about some of these plot developments. I hope readers like this book as much as I do!


Purchase True Storm at Amazon
Purchase True Storm at IndieBound
View True Storm on Goodreads



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Spies, Lies and Allies
by Lisa Brown Roberts
Signed Paperback Giveaway
U.S. Only

Entangled Teen
Released 5/1/2018

Summers are supposed to be fun, right? Not mine. I’ve got a job at my dad’s company, which is sponsoring a college scholarship competition. I just found out that, in addition to my job assisting the competing interns, I’m supposed to vote for the winner. Totally not what I signed up for.

There’s a crazy guy running the competition like it’s an episode of Survivor. Then there’s Carlos, who is, well, very distracting –– in a good way. But I can’t even think about him that way because Crazy Guy says any fraternizing on the job means instant disqualification for the intern involved.

As if that’s not enough, an anonymous weirdo with insider intel is trying to sabotage my dad’s company on social media…and I’m afraid it’s working.

Much as I’d love to quit, I can’t. Kristoffs Never Quit is our family motto. I just hope there’s more than one survivor by the end of this summer.

Purchase Spies, Lies and Allies at Amazon
Purchase Spies, Lies and Allies at IndieBound
View Spies, Lies and Allies on Goodreads



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August and Everything After
by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
Signed Paperback
U.S. Only

Sourcebooks Fire
Released 5/1/2018

Graduation was supposed to be a relief. Except Quinn can't avoid the rumors that plagued her throughout high school or the barrage of well-intentioned questions about her college plans. How is she supposed to know what she wants to do for the next four years, let alone the rest of her life? And why does no one understand that it's hard for her to think about the future―or feel as if she even deserves one―when her best friend is dead?

Spending the summer with her aunt on the Jersey shore may just be the fresh start Quinn so desperately needs. And when she meets Malcolm, a musician with his own haunted past, she starts to believe in second chances. Can Quinn find love while finding herself?

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about August and Everything After?

My favorite thing about AUGUST AND EVERYTHING AFTER is really two things: the main character, Quinn Gallo, and the music. The novel is named for one of my all-time favorite albums by the Counting Crows, set against the backdrop of a local music scene, and sprinkled with musical references throughout. And then there’s Quinn. She is an honest, tragic, vulnerable character who plays against type and surprises me with her choices. A self-proclaimed fuck up, Quinn is blind to all the goodness inside her, and mostly directionless since the death of her best friend when they were 15. Her already-rough high school career culminates with a scandal involving her band student teacher, a freak thunderstorm, brief nudity, and the jaws of life. As Quinn says, “connect the dots anyway you want, it’s not pretty.” So after high school graduation, Quinn flees to the Jersey shore for the summer to live with her aunt and escape her past. There she meets Malcolm, a musician with his own demons and a history as tragic as her own. The two begin a musical journey infused with love, loss, addiction, and the shared goal of being in a better place when August and summer are over.

Purchase August and Everything After at Amazon
Purchase August and Everything After at IndieBound
View August and Everything After on Goodreads

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Out of Left Field
by Kris Hui Lee
Paperback Giveaway
U.S. Only

Sourcebooks Fire
Released 5/1/2018

Marnie has never had a hard time fitting in with the guys. It would take a lot more than their goofy antics to keep her from joining them at the neighborhood sandlot to do what she loves best: play ball.

An added perk of hanging out at the sandlot? Spending time with Cody Kinski, their high school's star pitcher and Marnie's best friend. Sure, he can be stubborn and annoying. He also knows how to make her laugh and respects her skills on the field. And when he gets nailed in the arm by a bone-fracturing pitch, Marnie becomes the team's best chance at making it to the playoffs. Except no one told the guys they're supposed to be on her side.

With her own team against her, Marnie begins questioning her abilities. And when fate throws her a curveball, can she play without losing the game, Cody, and her belief in herself?

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Out of Left Field?

The characters, hands down. I went through countless amount of drafts for OUT OF LEFT FIELD, but through all the changes and evolutions of the plot, Marnie and her three friends were always there, firmly in place. Their friendship is the foundation of OUT OF LEFT FIELD. The characters are so genuine and natural that it’s almost like they always existed and I just discovered them rather than created them. Most of the time it felt like I was watching them like a TV show, and someone would say something or do something, and I would just be like, Oh. Okay. I guess you’re decking that guy in the face now. (If you do decide to pick OUT OF LEFT FIELD up, you’ll know exactly what scene and character I’m talking about. I swear, he did it of his own accord.) They really came to life for me. I hope that I did them justice, and that readers will love Marnie and her friends as much as I do.

Purchase Out of Left Field at Amazon
Purchase Out of Left Field at IndieBound
View Out of Left Field on Goodreads

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The Outcast
by Taran Matharu
Hardcover Giveaway
Feiwel & Friends
Released 5/1/2018

When stable boy Arcturus accidentally summons a demon and becomes Hominum's first common summoner, he becomes the key to a secret that the powerful overlords would do anything to keep hidden.

Whisked away to Vocans Academy so he can be kept watch over, Arcturus finds himself surrounded by enemies. But he has little time to settle in before his life is turned upside down once again, for Hominum Empire is in turmoil.

Rebellious intent simmers among the masses, and it will not be long before it boils over. Arcturus must choose a side . . . or watch an Empire crumble.

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

The great thing about the Outcast is that its a new entry point to the Summoner series - you don't need to have read the other books to enjoy it. At the same time, it really helps flesh out the world, and the backstories that make the characters in the Summoner series become the people they are.

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


YA BOOK GIVEAWAYS LAST WEEK: WINNERS



Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young: Sonia P.
The Complication by Suzanne Young: Nadine S.

MORE YOUNG ADULT FICTION IN STORES NEXT WEEK WITH AUTHOR INTERVIEWS


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Tradition
by Brendan Kiely
Hardcover
Margaret K. McElderry Books
Released 5/1/2018

Prestigious. Powerful. Privileged. This is Fullbrook Academy, an elite prep school where history looms in the leafy branches over its brick walkways. But some traditions upheld in its hallowed halls are profoundly dangerous.

Jules Devereux just wants to keep her head down, avoid distractions, and get into the right college, so she can leave Fullbrook and its old-boy social codes behind. She wants freedom, but ex-boyfriends and ex-best friends are determined to keep her in place.

Jamie Baxter feels like an imposter at Fullbrook, but the hockey scholarship that got him in has given him a chance to escape his past and fulfill the dreams of his parents and coaches, whose mantra rings in his ears: Don’t disappoint us.

When Jamie and Jules meet, they recognize in each other a similar instinct for survival, but at a school where girls in the student handbook are rated by their looks, athletes stack hockey pucks in dorm room windows like notches on a bedpost, and school-sponsored dances push first year girls out into the night with senior boys, the stakes for safe sex, real love, and true friendship couldn’t be higher.

As Jules and Jamie’s lives intertwine, and the pressures to play by the rules and remain silent about the school’s secrets intensify, they see Fullbrook for what it really is. That tradition, a word Fullbrook hides behind, can be ugly, even violent. Ultimately, Jules and Jamie are faced with the difficult question: can they stand together against classmates—and an institution—who believe they can do no wrong?

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Tradition?

This is such a great question because all too often we focus primarily on the content and inspiration of the book, or maybe the research, but I'm really grateful to take a moment to talk about the writing of the book, because my favorite thing about TRADITION is that it is dual narration, one girl, Jules, and one boy, Bax, and I had both a ball and a terrible time trying to find these two distinct voices, but I was certain the dual narration was essential to the story. In a nutshell, since the book takes place at a boarding school rich with history and steeped in old-boy misogynistic traditions, I thought it was essential to look at how that affects the young women at the school and how it also affects the young men, the ones who perpetuate that misogyny, sometimes willfully and sometimes unknowingly. Finding Jules's voice was my primary concern, because as a man writing this book, I didn't want to screw it up in any way, especially since her story is all too true for so many young women. I wrote scene after scene after scene; I wrote so many scenes I threw away, until I landed on these lines: "I once heard another girl put it like this: This is a boys' school and they accept girls here too. At Fullbrook, they told us to be ready to take on the world, but then they told us to do it quietly. What if I wanted to loud? What if I needed to be?" I threw everything else out, started her narrative from scratch and followed that voice. And then, oddly, it was Bax's voice that gave me trouble. I had assumed his voice would have been easier, but then I struggled to hear his voice, to understand the emotions beneath his tough veneer. Again I wrote scene after scene after scene until I landed on this line: "Most people don't get second chances. I wasn't sure I deserved one. I wasn't even sure I wanted one. But I got one: Fullbrook Academy. This is what I did with it." And again, once I heard those lines, I felt like I really heard Bax for the first time. I threw out everything else in his narration and started from scratch again, following that voice. I followed them all the way to the very end of the book, and now, because I've become so attached, I wish I could follow them out into the wider world beyond Fullbrook too. Who knows. Maybe one day!

Purchase Tradition at Amazon
Purchase Tradition at IndieBound
View Tradition on Goodreads


MORE YOUNG ADULT NOVELS NEW IN STORES NEXT WEEK


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9 Days and 9 Nights
by Katie Cotugno
Hardcover
Balzer + Bray
Released 5/1/2018

Molly Barlow isn’t that girl anymore. A business major at her college in Boston, she’s reinvented herself after everything that went down a year ago… After all the people she hurt and the family she tore apart.

Slowly, life is getting back to normal. Molly has just said I love you to her new boyfriend, Ian, and they are off on a romantic European vacation together, starting with scenic London. But there on a tube platform, the past catches up to her in the form of Gabe, her ex, traveling on his own parallel vacation with new girlfriend Sadie.

After comparing itineraries, Ian ends up extending an invite for Gabe and Sadie to join them on the next leg of their trip, to Ireland. And Molly and Gabe can’t bring themselves to tell the truth about who they once were to each other to their new significant others.

Now Molly has to spend 9 days and 9 nights with the boy she once loved, the boy whose heart she shredded, without Ian knowing. Will she make it through as new and improved Molly, or will everything that happened between her and Gabe come rushing back?

Purchase 9 Days and 9 Nights at Amazon
Purchase 9 Days and 9 Nights at IndieBound
View 9 Days and 9 Nights on Goodreads

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Allied
by Amy Tintera
Hardcover
HarperTeen
Released 5/1/2018

Emelina Flores and her sister, Olivia, were determined to bring peace to the people of Ruina. But as the war for liberation raged on, what triumph and freedom meant to Em and Olivia slowly changed. As Olivia’s violence and thirst for vengeance became her only ambition, Em was left to pick up the pieces.

But it’s not only Em who is upset by Olivia’s increased violence. Other members of the Ruined army are beginning to see the cracks, and soon a small group of them defects from Olivia’s army and joins Em instead.

The two sisters are soon pitted against each other in an epic battle for the kingdom and the future, and only one will win.

Purchase Allied at Amazon
Purchase Allied at IndieBound
View Allied on Goodreads

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Dating Disaster of Emma Nash
by Chloe Seager
Hardcover
Harlequin Teen
Released 5/1/2018

Online, you can choose who you want to be. If only real life were so easy…

Emma Nash may be down, but after months of wallowing, stalking her ex online and avoiding showering—because, really, who’s going to care?—Emma’s ready to own her newly single status, get out with her friends and chronicle her dating adventures on her private blog.

But life online doesn’t always run smoothly. Stumbling upon her mother’s Tinder dating profile, getting catfished and accidentally telling the entire world why her ex-boyfriend Leon’s not worth any girl’s…um…time… Okay, those were disasters.

But surely nothing else can go wrong?

Purchase Dating Disaster of Emma Nash at Amazon
Purchase Dating Disaster of Emma Nash at IndieBound
View Dating Disaster of Emma Nash on Goodreads

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Fatal Throne: The Wives of Henry VIII Tell All
by Candace Fleming
Hardcover
Schwartz & Wade
Released 5/1/2018

He was King Henry VIII, a charismatic and extravagant ruler obsessed with both his power as king and with siring a male heir.

They were his queens--six ill-fated women, each bound for divorce, or beheading, or death.

Watch spellbound as each of Henry's wives attempts to survive their unpredictable king and his power-hungry court. See the sword flash as fiery Anne Boleyn is beheaded for adultery. Follow Jane Seymour as she rises from bullied court maiden to beloved queen, only to die after giving birth. Feel Catherine Howard's terror as old lovers resurface and whisper vicious rumors to Henry's influential advisors. Experience the heartache of mothers as they lose son after son, heir after heir.

Told in stirring first-person accounts, Fatal Throne is at once provocative and heartbreaking, an epic tale that is also an intimate look at the royalty of the most perilous times in English history.

Purchase Fatal Throne: The Wives of Henry VIII Tell All at Amazon
Purchase Fatal Throne: The Wives of Henry VIII Tell All at IndieBound
View Fatal Throne: The Wives of Henry VIII Tell All on Goodreads

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If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say
by Leila Sales
Hardcover
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Released 5/1/2018

Before we go any further, I want you to understand this: I am not a good person.

We all want to be seen. We all want to be heard. But what happens when we’re seen and heard saying or doing the wrong things?

When Winter Halperin―former spelling bee champion, aspiring writer, and daughter of a parenting expert―gets caught saying the wrong thing online, her life explodes. All across the world, people know what she’s done, and none of them will forgive her.

With her friends gone, her future plans cut short, and her identity in shambles, Winter is just trying to pick up the pieces without hurting anyone else. She knows she messed up, but does that mean it’s okay for people to send her hate mail and death threats? Did she deserve to lose all that she’s lost? And is “I’m sorry” ever good enough?

Decide for yourself.

First and foremost a novel about public shaming in the internet age, If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say is also an exploration of the power of words, the cumulative destructiveness of microaggressions, and the pressing need for empathy.

Purchase If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say at Amazon
Purchase If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say at IndieBound
View If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say on Goodreads

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Missing at 17
by Christine Conradt
Paperback
HarperTeen
Released 5/1/2018

For most of Candace’s life she never felt like she completely belonged. But nothing could prepare her for the shocking discovery that her parents have been concealing the truth about who she is and where she came from her entire life.

Feeling like her world has been turned upside down, and unable to trust the people she’s closest to, Candace runs away...right into the arms of an alluring stranger.

But while Candace and Toby have an undeniable connection, it's less certain what the future holds for them as Candace’s family and Toby’s less-than-legal lifestyle threaten to rip them apart.

As things start to spiral out of control, Candace must fight to understand her own identity...and who she can truly rely on.

Purchase Missing at 17 at Amazon
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View Missing at 17 on Goodreads

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Royals
by Rachel Hawkins
Hardcover
G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Y
Released 5/1/2018

Meet Daisy Winters. She's an offbeat sixteen-year-old Floridian with mermaid-red hair; a part time job at a bootleg Walmart, and a perfect older sister who's nearly engaged to the Crown Prince of Scotland. Daisy has no desire to live in the spotlight, but relentless tabloid attention forces her join Ellie at the relative seclusion of the castle across the pond.

While the dashing young Miles has been appointed to teach Daisy the ropes of being regal, the prince's roguish younger brother kicks up scandal wherever he goes, and tries his best to take Daisy along for the ride. The crown--and the intriguing Miles--might be trying to make Daisy into a lady . . . but Daisy may just rewrite the royal rulebook to suit herself.

Purchase Royals at Amazon
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View Royals on Goodreads

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The Burning Maze
by Rick Riordan
Hardcover
Disney-Hyperion
Released 5/1/2018

The formerly glorious god Apollo, cast down to earth in punishment by Zeus, is now an awkward mortal teenager named Lester Papadopoulos. In order to regain his place on Mount Olympus, Lester must restore five Oracles that have gone dark. But he has to achieve this impossible task without having any godly powers and while being duty-bound to a confounding young daughter of Demeter named Meg. Thanks a lot, Dad.

With the help of some demigod friends, Lester managed to survive his first two trials, one at Camp Half-Blood, and one in Indianapolis, where Meg received the Dark Prophecy. The words she uttered while seated on the Throne of Memory revealed that an evil triumvirate of Roman emperors plans to attack Camp Jupiter. While Leo flies ahead on Festus to warn the Roman camp, Lester and Meg must go through the Labyrinth to find the third emperor--and an Oracle who speaks in word puzzles--somewhere in the American Southwest. There is one glimmer of hope in the gloom-filled prophecy: The cloven guide alone the way does know. They will have a satyr companion, and Meg knows just who to call upon. . . .

Purchase The Burning Maze at Amazon
Purchase The Burning Maze at IndieBound
View The Burning Maze on Goodreads

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The Lies They Tell
by Gillian French
Hardcover
HarperTeen
Released 5/1/2018

Everyone in Tenney’s Harbor knows about the Garrison tragedy. How an unexplained fire ravaged their house, killing four of the five family members. But what people don’t know is who did it. All fingers point at Pearl Haskins’ father, who was the caretaker of the property, but Pearl just doesn’t believe it. Leave it to a town of rich people to blame “the help.”

With her disgraced father now trying to find work in between booze benders, Pearl’s future doesn’t hold much more than waiting tables at the local country club, where the wealthy come to flaunt their money and spread their gossip. This year, Tristan, the last surviving Garrison, and his group of affluent and arrogant friends have made a point of sitting in Pearl’s section. Though she’s repulsed by most of them, Tristan’s quiet sadness and somber demeanor have her rethinking her judgments.

Befriending the boys could mean getting closer to the truth, clearing her father’s name, and giving Tristan the closure he seems to be searching for. But it could also trap Pearl in a sinister web of secrets, lies, and betrayals that would leave no life unchanged…if it doesn’t take hers first.

Purchase The Lies They Tell at Amazon
Purchase The Lies They Tell at IndieBound
View The Lies They Tell on Goodreads

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The Smoke Thieves
by Sally Green
Hardcover
Viking Books for Young Readers
Released 5/1/2018

In a land tinged with magic and a bustling trade in an illicit supernatural substance, destiny will intertwine the fates of five players:

A visionary princess determined to forge her own path.

An idealistic solider whose heart is at odds with his duty.

A streetwise hunter tracking the most dangerous prey.

A charming thief with a powerful hidden identity.

A loyal servant on a quest to avenge his kingdom.

All are driven by ambition, honor, and desperation on the cusp of war. But who will be left standing when the smoke clears?

Purchase The Smoke Thieves at Amazon
Purchase The Smoke Thieves at IndieBound
View The Smoke Thieves on Goodreads

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Tiffany Sly Lives Here Now
by Dana L. Davis
Hardcover
Harlequin Teen
Released 5/1/2018

For sixteen-year-old Tiffany Sly, life hasn’t been safe or normal for a while. Losing her mom to cancer has her a little bit traumatized and now she has to leave her hometown of Chicago to live with the biological dad she’s never known.

Anthony Stone is a rich man with four other daughters—and rules for every second of the day. Tiffany tries to make the best of things, but she doesn’t fit into her new luxurious, but super-strict, home—or get along with her standoffish sister London. The only thing that makes her new life even remotely bearable is the strange boy across the street. Marcus McKinney has had his own experiences with death, and the unexpected friendship that blossoms between them is the only thing that makes her feel grounded.

But Tiffany has a secret. Another man claims he’s Tiffany’s real dad—and she has only seven days before he shows up to demand a paternity test and the truth comes out. With her life about to fall apart all over again, Tiffany finds herself discovering unexpected truths about her father, her mother and herself, and realizing that maybe family is in the bonds you make—and that life means sometimes taking risks.

Purchase Tiffany Sly Lives Here Now at Amazon
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View Tiffany Sly Lives Here Now on Goodreads


Saturday, April 28, 2018

0 Suzanne Young, author of THE COMPLICATION, on showing a character's rock bottom

THE COMPLICATION is the sixth book in the Program series, and we're excited to have Suzanne Young here to tell us more about it.

Suzanne, 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?

In THE COMPLICATION, the reader finally gets to see Tatum, the main character, at her darkest moment—the time just before The Program came for her. The scene was painful, vulnerable, ugly, and honest. It was difficult to write because I’ve been there. I hated revisiting it. But I also knew it was the most honest scene in the book. I had to show rock bottom.

What I truly loved writing, though, was the return of past characters. THE COMPLICATION is an ambitious final book—nearly all of the characters throughout the series appear. I got to see Sloane and James again and they become integral to the plot. I feel like I could write those two characters forever, but I knew this would be the last time. It made it all the more bitter sweet.

What do you hope readers will take away from THE COMPLICATION?

In the end, I hope my readers are happy with the series. THE COMPLICATION is like a love letter to those who’ve read all the books. Who know the characters. I took the time to do it right, even if it was difficult to go back through five books and a novella. I wanted to leave everyone with a swollen heart, tears in their eyes. And in a series that deals with suicide, I wanted to leave the readers with HOPE. That when it’s done, we may not end up where we thought we’d be, but we’ll be all right.

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?

Finding the right story. Finding the characters that I couldn’t stay away from. My first (unpublished) novel started as a short story, but ended up at over 100k words. I couldn’t stop writing it. That was when I realized I loved the storytelling. I loved creating. That was when I knew I’d pursue it as a career.

What are you working on now?

Now that The Program series is over, I’m beginning a new adventure. A new trilogy starting in 2019 with GIRLS WITH SHARP STICKS. I haven’t said much about it yet, but the story is set at an all-girl private school where the students are monitored, controlled, and put on a pedestal all at the same time. Until they realize the true intentions of the academy and start to fight back.

ABOUT THE BOOK

The Complication
by Suzanne Young
Hardcover
Simon Pulse
Released 4/24/2018

Every cure has a cost.

Tatum Masterson learned this after years of being monitored by The Program. She witnessed it when her boyfriend, Wes, came back changed, erased. And now, even the newest “cure” has a heavy cost—one she and Wes paid.

The Adjustment came into Tatum’s life just when she thought she needed it most, a promise for Wes to get back his forgotten memories. But when the procedure went wrong, a revelation shattered everything Tatum thought she knew.

Now, with no one left to trust, Tatum must find out what really happened last summer. And with the help of the boyfriend she lost, Tatum will have to dig into the past and future of The Program and its handlers.

And discover the true cost of a cure.

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

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Suzanne Young is the New York Times bestselling author of The Program series. Originally from Utica, New York, Suzanne moved to Arizona to pursue her dream of not freezing to death. She is a novelist and an English teacher, but not always in that order. Suzanne is the author of eighteen novels for teens and adults, including the critically acclaimed Program series. Visit her online at www.authorsuzanneyoung.com or follow her on Instagram @authorsuzanneyoung.

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Have you had a chance to read THE COMPLICATION yet? Have you had a story you just couldn't stop writing? When did you know you'd pursue writing as a career? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!


Happy Reading,

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

Friday, April 27, 2018

0 Thank You to the Participants and Mentors of the #1st5pages Writing Workshop!

Thank you to all of the participants who trusted us with their pages, and worked so hard during our April 1st 5 Pages Writing Workshop - and congratulations to K. Stoker, our workshop winner! And a big thanks to our wonderful guest mentors, Sheryl Scarborough  as our author mentor and Erica Bauman of Aevitas as our agent mentor! As always, thank you to our talented and fabulous permanent mentors, who read, comment, and cheer on our participants every month!

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 pages aren't compelling, no agent, editor, or reader will continue reading to find out how great the rest of your story really is! Our May workshop will open for submissions on Saturday, May 5 at noon, EST. So get those pages ready - we usually fill up in under a minute!

Happy Writing (and revising!)

Erin

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. She writes YA fantasy. UNCHARTED is coming fall of 2018, and THE EXCEPTIONALS, a Bank Street College of Education best book of the year, is available now. For up to date information about the workshop, you can follow Erin on twitter here.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

0 Caleb Roehrig, author of WHITE RABBIT, on Second Book Syndrome

We're thrilled to have Caleb Roehrig join us to share more about his latest novel, WHITE RABBIT.

Caleb, 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?

I hate writing scenes showing conflict between parents and children, because those interactions are so weighted and intense. I wrote two such scenes in WHITE RABBIT, and both took a lot of out of me. They were necessary, and I’m happy with the way they turned out, but it was rough. However, the scene I think I’m the proudest of is the one where Rufus and Sebastian finally address their past. The push and pull of their relationship is what drives a lot of Rufus’s emotional arc, and the scene where he finally gets to lay his feelings bare is a huge moment, and I’m really proud of it.

How long did you work on WHITE RABBIT?


From beginning the outline to completing the first draft, it took me maybe three months; but WHITE RABBIT was not the novel I originally envisioned being my sophomore title. I actually spent maybe six months on a totally different manuscript first, getting all the way to the end of it before deciding that it just wasn’t The One. People talk about Second Book Syndrome, and for me, it was the real deal; it was six months of absolute agony and self-doubt. Setting the project aside and starting over was really hard, but from page one, Rufus’s story flowed in a way that made me realize it had been the correct choice.

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

My rituals have changed a bit over time, but generally speaking, I always write in the evening. Once upon a time, I read a piece where dozens of creative types had been surveyed, and all of them spoke about how they got all their best work done before ten in the morning; the next day, I got up at eight a.m. and…stared at a blank Word document for two hours, because I couldn’t form coherent sentences. Never again will I make the mistake of thinking I could become a morning person! So I write in the late afternoon or evening, I make myself a pot of tea (caffeine!), and I usually put my headphones in and listen to a white noise app. (Music is too distracting—I always sing along!)

What are you working on now?

I’m working on a lot. My third novel, DEATH PREFERS BLONDES, will be released in January of 2019; and I’m contributing to an anthology of short stories inspired by the works of Edgar Allan Poe, HIS HIDEOUS HEART, which will be released the following October. I’m contributing to a second anthology, which has yet to be announced, and I’m contracted for a fourth book as well—title and date TBD. So if your readers like my words, well…there are a lot more coming!

ABOUT THE BOOK

White Rabbit
by Caleb Roehrig
Hardcover
Feiwel & Friends
Released 4/24/2018

Rufus Holt is having the worst night of his life. It begins with the reappearance of his ex-boyfriend, Sebastian―the guy who stomped his heart out like a spent cigarette. Just as Rufus is getting ready to move on, Sebastian turns up out of the blue, saying they need to "talk." Things couldn’t get worse, right?

Then Rufus gets a call from his sister April, begging for help. He and Sebastian find her, drenched in blood and holding a knife beside the dead body of her boyfriend, Fox Whitney.

April swears she didn’t kill Fox. Rufus knows her too well to believe she’s telling him the whole truth, but April has something he needs. Her price is his help. Now, with no one to trust but the boy he wants to hate yet can’t stop loving, Rufus has one night to clear his sister’s name . . . or die trying.

Purchase White Rabbit at Amazon
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Caleb Roehrig is a writer and television producer originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan. Having also lived in Chicago, Los Angeles, and Helsinki, Finland, he has a chronic case of wanderlust, and can recommend the best sights to see on a shoestring budget in over thirty countries. A former actor, Roehrig has experience on both sides of the camera, with a résumé that includes appearances on film and TV—as well as seven years in the stranger-than-fiction salt mines of reality television. In the name of earning a paycheck, he has: hung around a frozen cornfield in his underwear, partied with an actual rock-star, chatted with a scandal-plagued politician, and been menaced by a disgruntled ostrich.

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Have you had a chance to read WHITE RABBIT yet? Have you set a project aside and started over because it wasn't The One? Are you a morning writer or an evening writer? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!

Happy Reading,

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

Monday, April 23, 2018

7 New Releases this week 04/23 - 04/29 plus 2 Giveaways

Happy Monday! There are only a few books releasing this week but they all sound epic and we have a giveaway for two of them! Don't forget to check them all out below.

Happy Reading,

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

Short FYI: Next week's new releases post will be slightly delayed (it will be up by Monday afternoon instead of morning) because I will be on a short trip next weekend. Also since you're already reading this, make sure to check out White Rabbit by Caleb Roehrig this week. It's one of my favourite books of the year! - Shelly


YA BOOK GIVEAWAYS THIS WEEK


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The Complication
by Suzanne Young
Signed Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

Simon Pulse
Released 4/24/2018

Every cure has a cost.

Tatum Masterson learned this after years of being monitored by The Program. She witnessed it when her boyfriend, Wes, came back changed, erased. And now, even the newest “cure” has a heavy cost—one she and Wes paid.

The Adjustment came into Tatum’s life just when she thought she needed it most, a promise for Wes to get back his forgotten memories. But when the procedure went wrong, a revelation shattered everything Tatum thought she knew.

Now, with no one left to trust, Tatum must find out what really happened last summer. And with the help of the boyfriend she lost, Tatum will have to dig into the past and future of The Program and its handlers.

And discover the true cost of a cure.

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

I knew I wanted the last book of the series to be special—to be deep, painful, and ultimately hopeful. I was able to tie up the storylines from the other five books, but what I really, truly loved was including past characters from the series.

Although this is Tatum’s story, Sloane and James return to help finish THE COMPLICATION. We get to see nearly everyone, but the love story between Sloane and James, the possibility of losing that, is something I think fans of the series will understand, and hopefully, appreciate.

These books have been six years of my life. I poured my heart and soul into this last one, and it was done with my readers in mind. It had to be worth it. This is their series as much as mine. I hope readers will love it.


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View The Complication on Goodreads



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Sky in the Deep
by Adrienne Young
Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

Wednesday Books
Released 4/24/2018

A 2018 Most Anticipated Young Adult book that is part Wonder Woman, part Vikings―and all heart.

OND ELDR. BREATHE FIRE.

Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient, rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield―her brother, fighting with the enemy―the brother she watched die five years ago.

Faced with her brother's betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.

She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.

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

My favorite thing about Sky in the Deep is definitely its main character, Eelyn. I am endlessly inspired by her simultaneous strength and vulnerability. So often, we see strong girls with no heart or helpless girls who are "good". Eelyn gets to be both and that is really, really beautiful to me.

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YA BOOK GIVEAWAYS LAST WEEK: WINNERS


In Her Skin by Kim Savage: Michelle S. A.
Love & War by Melissa de la Cruz: Justine K.

MORE YOUNG ADULT FICTION IN STORES NEXT WEEK WITH AUTHOR INTERVIEWS


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White Rabbit
by Caleb Roehrig
Hardcover
Feiwel & Friends
Released 4/24/2018

Rufus Holt is having the worst night of his life. It begins with the reappearance of his ex-boyfriend, Sebastian―the guy who stomped his heart out like a spent cigarette. Just as Rufus is getting ready to move on, Sebastian turns up out of the blue, saying they need to "talk." Things couldn’t get worse, right?

Then Rufus gets a call from his sister April, begging for help. He and Sebastian find her, drenched in blood and holding a knife beside the dead body of her boyfriend, Fox Whitney.

April swears she didn’t kill Fox. Rufus knows her too well to believe she’s telling him the whole truth, but April has something he needs. Her price is his help. Now, with no one to trust but the boy he wants to hate yet can’t stop loving, Rufus has one night to clear his sister’s name . . . or die trying.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about White Rabbit?

WHITE RABBIT is what I like to call my homage to Agatha Christie. It begins with a murder in an isolated location and a limited pool of suspects; everyone has an alibi, but everyone is lying; and sometimes what seems obvious is in deceiving (and vice versa.) Putting together such an intricate puzzle, one that keeps the reader guessing but doesn’t rely on cheap tricks, is a real challenge. So one of my favorite things about this book is that I managed it at all!

Something else that’s really important to me about this book is that it features a gay teenager as its hero. I practically devoured thrillers in high school, and it would have meant so much to me to have one where someone like myself got to be more than just a victim. And the tension between Rufus and Sebastian—ex-boyfriends with unfinished business—was really rewarding to write.


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MORE YOUNG ADULT NOVELS NEW IN STORES NEXT WEEK


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Ash Princess
by Laura Sebastian
Hardcover
Delacorte Press
Released 4/24/2018

Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Fire Queen, was murdered before her eyes. On that day, the Kaiser took Theodosia's family, her land, and her name. Theo was crowned Ash Princess--a title of shame to bear in her new life as a prisoner.

For ten years Theo has been a captive in her own palace. She's endured the relentless abuse and ridicule of the Kaiser and his court. She is powerless, surviving in her new world only by burying the girl she was deep inside.

Then, one night, the Kaiser forces her to do the unthinkable. With blood on her hands and all hope of reclaiming her throne lost, she realizes that surviving is no longer enough. But she does have a weapon: her mind is sharper than any sword. And power isn't always won on the battlefield.

For ten years, the Ash Princess has seen her land pillaged and her people enslaved. That all ends here.

Purchase Ash Princess at Amazon
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View Ash Princess on Goodreads

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From the Earth to the Shadows
by Amanda Hocking
Paperback
Wednesday Books
Released 4/24/2018

The epic conclusion to the thrilling Valkyrie duology by New York Times bestselling YA author Amanda Hocking, From the Earth to the Shadows.

While dealing with dark revelations about her life and her world, Malin finds herself with new allies--and new enemies. Her quest for the truth leads her to places she never thought possible, and she's never been one to shy away from a fight. But for all her strength and determination, will it be enough to save the world before it's too late?

Purchase From the Earth to the Shadows at Amazon
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View From the Earth to the Shadows on Goodreads

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Inferno
by Julie Kagawa
Hardcover
Harlequin Teen
Released 4/24/2018

TODAY, WE STRIKE BACK.

WE SHOW TALON THAT WE WILL NEVER ACCEPT THEIR NEW WORLD.

Ember Hill has learned a shocking truth about herself: she is the blood of the Elder Wyrm, the ancient dragon who leads Talon and who is on the verge of world domination. With the Order of St. George destroyed, Ember, Riley and Garret journey to the Amazon jungle in search of one who might hold the key to take down the Elder Wyrm and Talon. If they can survive the encounter.

Meanwhile, Ember’s brother, Dante, will travel to China with a message for the last Eastern dragons: join Talon or die. With the stakes rising and the Elder Wyrm declaring war, time is running out for the rogues and any dragon not allied with Talon.

The final battle approaches. And if Talon is victorious, the world will burn.

Purchase Inferno at Amazon
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Leah on the Offbeat
by Becky Albertalli
Hardcover
Balzer + Bray
Released 4/24/2018

When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat—but real life isn’t always so rhythmic.

She’s an anomaly in her friend group: the only child of a young, single mom, and her life is decidedly less privileged. She loves to draw but is too self-conscious to show it. And even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friends—not even her openly gay BFF, Simon.

So Leah really doesn’t know what to do when her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways. With prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high.

It’s hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting—especially when she realizes she might love one of them more than she ever intended.

Purchase Leah on the Offbeat at Amazon
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Love Songs & Other Lies
by Jessica Pennington
Hardcover
Tor Teen
Released 4/24/2018

That’s the thing about the past…
Back-of-the-classroom anonymity is all Cam wants from the tiny Michigan town he’s calling home. A new life uninterrupted by the tragedy he left behind. Until he meets a girl who piques his interest and their relationship quickly turns into a confusing mix of friendship, musical adventure, and a love he didn’t expect…or want.

…as soon as it’s over, it can come right back
Two years after turning into the #1 Fan of the Breakup Anthem, Virginia “Vee” Miller is just looking for a fun, carefree summer. So she agrees to join a few of her old high school friends on a battling bands reality show tour bus. What she doesn’t know is that they also invited Cam. Her first love, and her first heartbreak. Between playing fake-girlfriend to one band member and faking friendship-only interest in Cam, it’s not exactly the fresh start she had in mind. Because Cam sees right through her, and his determination to win her forgiveness is causing its own TMZ-worthy problems for Vee. With cameras rolling, she’ll have to decide if her favorite breakup anthem deserves a new ending. And if she’s willing to expose her own secrets to keep Cam’s under wraps.

Purchase Love Songs & Other Lies at Amazon
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Stay Sweet
by Siobhan Vivian and Jenny Han
Hardcover
Simon & Schuster Books for You
Released 4/24/2018

Summer in Sand Lake isn’t complete without a trip to Meade Creamery—the local ice cream stand founded in 1944 by Molly Meade who started making ice cream to cheer up her lovesick girlfriends while all the boys were away at war. Since then, the stand has been owned and managed exclusively by local girls, who inevitably become the best for friends. Seventeen-year-old Amelia and her best friend Cate have worked at the stand every summer for the past three years, and Amelia is “Head Girl” at the stand this summer. When Molly passes away before Amelia even has her first day in charge, Amelia isn’t sure that stand can go on. That is, until Molly’s grandnephew Grady arrives and asks Amelia to stay on to help continue the business…but Grady’s got some changes in mind…

Purchase Stay Sweet at Amazon
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Trouble Never Sleeps
by Stephanie Tromly
Hardcover
Kathy Dawson Books
Released 4/24/2018

Digby and Zoe have been skirting around each other for so long that you might think they'd lose their magic if they ever actually hooked up. But never fear--there's all the acerbic wit, steamy chemistry, and sarcastic banter you could possibly hope for.

Now that Digby's back in town he's plunged Zoe (and their Scooby Gang of wealthy frenemy Sloane, nerd-tastic genius Felix, and aw-shucks-handsome Henry) back into the deep end on the hunt for his kidnapped sister. He's got a lead, but it involves breaking into a secret government research facility, paying a drug dealer off with a Bentley, and possibly committing treason. The schemes might be over-the-top but this Breakfast Club cast is irresistibly real as they cope with regular high school stuff from social media shaming to dating your best friend, all with a twist no one will see coming.

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Saturday, April 21, 2018

0 Kim Savage, author of IN HER SKIN, on writers having a knack for getting inside other people’s skin

We're thrilled to have Kim Savage stop by to tell us more about her latest novel, IN HER SKIN.

Kim, what was your inspiration for writing IN HER SKIN?

In Her Skin is inspired by the life of a real-life con artist named Frédéric Bourdin who impersonated a missing boy. His was the most improbable con: Bourdin looked nothing like the boy, and told a far-fetched story of having been kidnapped and held for years. Yet the parents accepted him as their missing son until the FBI proved Bourdin was a fraud. I wondered why any parents would go along with such a ruse, and from that question, my story unfolded.

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

There’s a scene where Jo discloses her trick for getting inside someone’s skin. It’s one of the only times she addresses the reader, instead of directly addressing the Lovecraft’s daughter Temple, in her narration. She says:

Every time I switched schools, to avoid getting teased for my backwater accent or my short pants, I’d pick a certain girl—the girl whose laugh could leave you bleeding, the one who moved other kids around like chess pieces, the one teachers let get away with murder. I couldn’t copy clothes, or the smell of clean scalp, or a hard little chin. But I’d get good at the cool rhythm of her speech, her shuffle walk, her nonchalance. Eventually, it wasn’t enough to be on the outside: I wanted in. So I decided things. I thought she might be a late sleeper. That she liked salty over sweet. She tanned easy, and had a stripe of white underneath the woven bracelet on her ankle. The lines around both of us dissolved until I was looking through her eyes, and those eyes were fierce slits. When one of Momma’s boyfriends would block my way, I’d push past him, sweeping my shoulder like he’d shed something bad. If Momma limped from a kidney punch, I spat into the boyfriend’s scrambled eggs and coolly watched him eat. Momma’s scams were just games, games that I played along with because I wanted to, and I could stop at any time.

Inside the girl’s ferocity, I hardened.

That scene tells you everything you need to know about Jo.

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

Either way: You and Hidden Bodies by Carolyn Kepnes; We Have Always Lived in the House by Shirley Jackson; Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh; History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund; and, After the Woods, because the urgent, first-person narration are in a similar vein, and the same readers who loved After the Woods seem to like In Her Skin.

How long did you work on IN HER SKIN?

I found Jo’s voice almost immediately, so it took me less than a year, which it had to, given deadlines. The story is set in my backyard (Boston), and the characters are plucked from people I know intimately. I don’t imagine the ease with which this story flowed will ever happen to me again, to be honest. I guess that “flow” was a gift, because shortly after I turned in the final draft of In Her Skin, my father passed, and I had to step away for a while (I actually wrote about writing through grief in this same space last year: How I Kept Writing After My Muse Died). Writing anything that wasn’t fiction helped: articles, essays and opinion pieces, mostly.

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

I’ve never experienced the wild times Jo has. Yet, at one point in the manuscript, I realized that Jo is the most autobiographical character I’ve written. While not poor, I was raised in a solidly lower middle class family, in a blue collar town, first in my family to attend college, and dependent on loans, scholarships, and tuition remission to make my way. Like Jo, I clung to the promise of an idealistic life I’d always imagined, with a large family of my own, a good education, and unlimited opportunity. And, like a lot of writers, I’ve had a knack for getting inside other people’s skin since I was very young. Jo’s idealism and skills are also mine.

What do you hope readers will take away from IN HER SKIN?

If readers are to take away one idea, it's that forgetting who you are can bring on a world of bad.

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

In Her Skin is my third book. I also wrote After the Woods (2016) and Beautiful Broken Girls (2017). All three are with the same editor at FSG/Macmillan, Janine O’Malley, which has been a blessing. After the Woods took about 4 years from writing to publication, during which I swear I wrote nearly every day, or close to it. Once FSG acquired it, it went through a major revision to excise an unnecessary subplot. It was incredibly difficult, and a learning experience I would not have traded for anything.

I don’t have an unpublished book in the drawer, as they say, but man, do I have an abundance of manuscripts in my head. It’s a library in there.

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

I used to book the crappiest, most depressing hotel I could find and lock myself in a room for a weekend, writing from Friday to Sunday. I can’t really get away with that anymore, as my childrens’ schedules are over the top (shades of Temple Lovecraft here), and ducking out for three days requires serious machinations. Since my writing ritual is dictated by my deadlines, I work whenever I can. The second the kids leave for school, I turn on Freedom for Mac, and it’s go-time.

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

There are so many distractions that can leech your gift. I found peace when, like Jo, I figured out who I am: a writer’s writer, focused on improving my craft, rather than getting glory.

What are you working on now?

I have four unfinished manuscripts in front of me. Two are psychological suspense, one is a retelling of Richard III, and the fourth is an adult thriller. Of course, I keep trying to work on all four at the same time. I’m going to have to pick a favorite soon. What would you like to see me write? Leave it in the comments!

ABOUT THE BOOK

In Her Skin
by Kim Savage
Hardcover
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Released 4/17/2018

A dark, suspenseful young adult novel about crime, identity, and two girls with everything to lose.
Fifteen-year-old con artist Jo Chastain takes on her biggest fraud yet―impersonating a missing girl. Life on the streets of Boston these past few years hasn't been easy, and she hopes to cash in on a little safety, some security. She finds her opportunity with the Lovecrafts, a wealthy family tied to the unsolved disappearance of Vivienne Weir, who vanished when she was nine.
When Jo takes on Vivi's identity and stages the girl's miraculous return, the Lovecrafts welcome her with open arms. They give her everything she could want: love, money, and proximity to their intoxicating and unpredictable daughter, Temple. But nothing is as it seems in the Lovecraft household―and some secrets refuse to stay buried. When hidden crimes come to the surface and lines of deception begin to blur, Jo must choose to either hold on to an illusion of safety or escape the danger around her before it's too late. In Her Skin is Kim Savage at her most suspenseful yet.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kim Savage is the author of three critically acclaimed young adult novels, After the Woods, Beautiful Broken Girls (named by Kirkus as one of the 10 Best YA of 2017), and In Her Skin (releasing March 27, 2018), all with Farrar, Straus, Giroux/Macmillan. Her novels have been published in Spain, Brazil, and Turkey, and have been optioned for TV. Kim presents at conferences and book festivals nationwide; has been featured on NPR, Herald Radio, and on local cable stations; and she reads from her novels at bookstores across the country. A former reporter with a Master degree in Journalism from Northeastern University, Kim's stories are based in and around Boston. She lives with her family near Boston, not far from the real Middlesex Fells Reservation of After the Woods. Kim and her husband have three children, each of whom beg to appear in her books. They shouldn't.

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Have you had a chance to read IN HER SKIN yet? Do you have an abundance of manuscripts in your head? Are you focused on improving your craft? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!

Happy Reading,

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

Thursday, April 19, 2018

0 Melissa de la Cruz, author of LOVE & WAR, on never giving up

LOVE & WAR is the sequel to ALEX & ELIZA: A LOVE STORY, and we're thrilled to have Melissa de la Cruz stop by to tell us more about it.

Melissa, what was your inspiration for writing LOVE & WAR?

It’s the sequel to Alex and Eliza, which was inspired by my daughter’s interest in Eliza Hamilton.

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?

I love the scene where Alex comes home to Eliza and realizes how lucky he is, he does this several times in the book and I love it every time.

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

I love Sarah Maclean’s historical romances, they’re not YA, but they were a huge influence on these books.

How long did you work on LOVE & WAR?

I’m not really sure. I work on a lot of books at the same time, so it’s hard to answer this question.

What do you hope readers will take away from LOVE & WAR?

I hope they are entertained, uplifted and close the book with a happy sigh.

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

Oh my goodness this is my 46th published book. My first book was published 17 years ago. Before that was published, I wrote 2 novels that were not published. I was 22 when I tried to get published and 27 when my first book sold, so it took five years. It felt like forever. I almost gave up.

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?

My first editor was very instrumental in helping me figure out craft. She was the one who suggested I outline the book when I revised it. She told me “there’s no plot. There’s a lot of voice and character and humor and great writing, but there’s no story.” I didn’t realize I needed a STORY! Duh! I thought I could just be clever and funny. But that’s not a novel. That’s a magazine article. ☺

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

I work at home, but I can literally work anywhere. Lately I’ve taken to bringing my computer to the school library when I’m between errands and near picking up my kid. I’m in the high school library in one of the cubicles, with kids all around me. It’s great.

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

Never give up!

What are you working on now?

Right at this minute, the sequel to Love and War, the third book in the Alex and Eliza series, as well as the first book in my new Disney series THE S.Q.U.A.D. which is publishing this November, my graphic novel Batman: Gotham High, and my new adult domestic suspense thriller The Birthday Girl, and a couple of books that haven’t been announced yet. As well as some TV scripts and some book proposals. I like to have a lot my plate.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Love & War
by Melissa de la Cruz
Hardcover
G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Y
Released 4/17/2018

1781. Albany, New York.

As the war for American independence rages on, Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler begin their new life as a married couple. Still, Alex is as determined as ever to prove his mettle and secure his legacy . . . even if that means leaving his beloved Eliza behind to join the front lines at the Battle of Yorktown. But when the war unexpectedly arrives on Eliza's doorstep, she must fight for a better future--for their fledgling country and for her marriage.

Yet even after the Revolution comes to its historic close, Alex and Eliza's happily-ever-after is threatened. Eliza struggles to build a home in the hustle and bustle of New York City just as Alex's burgeoning law practice brings him up against his greatest rival--the ambitious young lawyer Aaron Burr. And with Alex's star on the rise, Eliza can't help but feel neglected by a husband who seems to have time for everyone but her. Torn apart by new trials and temptations, can Alex and Eliza's epic love survive life in the big city?

Purchase Love & War at Amazon
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Melissa de la Cruz is the #1 New York Times, #1 Publisher’s Weekly and #1 IndieBound bestselling author of many critically acclaimed and award-winning novels for readers of all ages. Her more than forty-five books have also topped USA Today, Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times bestseller lists and been published in over twenty countries. She is best-known for her Blue Bloods series (with more than three million copies in print), The Descendants books based on the Disney Channel films, and the Witches of East End novels, which were turned into a two-season drama series starring Julia Ormond, Jenna Dewan-Tatum,
Rachel Boston and Mädchen Amick on Lifetime Television.

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Have you had a chance to read LOVE & WAR yet? Do you get caught up in voice and forget about plot? Do you like to have a lot on your plate? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!

Happy Reading,

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

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

0 WoW: Diana Rodriguez Wallach on Developing a Cohesive Trilogy

Today on for Writers on Writing, we're thrilled to have Diana Rodriguez Wallach, author of the Anastasia Phoenix Series, with some insight on developing the consistent elements that help bind a trilogy together. Stay tuned after the guest post for more info about Diana and her most recent book, LIES THAT BIND. Without further ado, here's Diana! 

The Super Glue that Holds a Trilogy Together
By Diana Rodriguez Wallach

A lot of glue goes into binding a trilogy. There are the giant globs, like theme and character, as well as the tiny drips applied with a toothpick, like inside jokes or literary references. For the Anastasia Phoenix series, the big smears of paste include espionage, travel, mystery and family, but one of my favorite drops of super glue is the incorporation of obscure holidays.



InProof of Lies, the book opens with Anastasia and her sister, Keira, celebrating Mother’s Day Eve. There’s no mimosa brunch, instead Keira, Anastasia’s legal guardian, throws herself a raging mother’s day eve bash full of a bit too many martinis. This celebration serves as the catalyst for the entire series—the event that leads to Keira’s disappearance.

So when writing the sequel, Lies that Bind, I again wanted to feature a holiday that most people don’t typically celebrate. I had the timeline for the event—the book had to begin in November; and a geographically huge location—it needed to be set in Europe; so I started Googling. That was when I landed on, “Remember, remember the fifth of November!”

This famous folk verse was written in honor of the day Guy Fawkes infamously tried to blow up Parliament, four hundred year ago, and was caught with a match in his hand before he could ever ignite those barrels full of gunpowder. The Brits call it Bonfire Night, and there are celebrations throughout the country honoring his capture, but there is none larger than in the tiny village of Lewes, England.

Every November 5th, locals march through the cobblestone streets past stone cottages and Tudor homes, dressed in elaborate costumes carrying torches, firecrackers, and flaming wheelbarrows. My husband and I traveled there last year, and I made it the opening scene for Lies that Bind

In these beginning pages, Anastasia is helping Marcus search for his brother, surrounded by flames.


There are vivid descriptions of parade goers enjoyinga bit (too much) alcohol and accidentally stepping on torches left lying unprotected in the road.



There are elaborate costumes.



There are culturally inappropriate themes.



And there’s even a depiction of a giant float carried through town portraying the American president riding a cactus while wearing a giant sombrero. (That float exploded intofireworks at midnight.)




It was an amazing experience that I shared through Anastasia’s point of view. It’s part of the glue that makes the trilogy feel cohesive, and of course, that means book three, End of the Lie, will feature its own obscure festival. Not to spoil too much, but I can reveal my passport will have stamps from Poland and Prague in the coming weeks…


About Lies that Bind

What do you do when you learn your entire childhood was a lie? 

Reeling from the truths uncovered while searching for her sister in Italy, Anastasia Phoenix is ready to call it quits with spies. The only way to stop being a pawn in their game is to remove herself from the board. But before she can leave her parents’ crimes behind her, tragedy strikes. No one is safe, not while Department D still exists.

Now, with help from her friends, Anastasia embarks on a dangerous plan to bring down an entire criminal empire. From a fire-filled festival in England to a lavish wedding in Rio de Janeiro, Anastasia is determined to confront the enemies who want to destroy her family. But even Marcus, the handsome bad boy who’s been there for her at every step, is connected to the deadly spy network. And the more she learns about Department D, the more she realizes the true danger might be coming from someone closer than she expects… 



About Diana Rodriguez Wallach: 
Diana Rodriguez Wallach is the author of the Anastasia Phoenix Series, three young adult spy thrillers (Entangled Publishing, 2017, ’18, ‘19). The first book in the trilogy, Proof of Lies, was named by Paste Magazine as one of the “Top 10 Best Young Adult Books for March 2017.” Bustle also listed her as one of the “Top Nine Latinx Authors to Read for Women’s History Month 2017.” Additionally, she is the author of three award-winning young adult novels: Amor and Summer Secrets, Amigas and School Scandals, and Adios to All The Drama (Kensington Books); as well as a YA short-story collection entitled Mirror, Mirror (Buzz Books, 2013).

She is an advisory board member for the Philly Spells Writing Center, a school-based Workshop Instructor for Mighty Writers in Philadelphia, and has been a Writing Instructor for Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Talented Youth since 2015. She holds a B.S. in Journalism from Boston University, and currently lives in Philadelphia.

For more about Diana, check out The Whole Story.


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