Saturday, June 16, 2018

0 Amy McNamara, author of A FLICKER IN THE CLARITY, on really loving your characters

We're delighted to have Amy McNamara join us to share more about her latest novel, A FLICKER IN THE CLARITY.

Amy, what was your inspiration for writing A FLICKER IN THE CLARITY?

Many years ago my daughter struggled with a needy, domineering and self-destructive friend. It made me think of my own attraction to a glamorous mess when I was her age. It took me far longer than it took my daughter to realise there is a vast difference between caretaking and genuine friendship and that real friendship is an ongoing balance between give and take.

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

This book taught me that you have to really love your characters in order for them to breathe on the page. When I started out I had too much of myself tangled up with Evie and Emma. I was annoyed/disappointed/mad at them for acting the way they did until I realized the level of frustration I felt toward them was mixed up with disappointment I’d hung onto about myself—that it took so long for me to learn certain things about life and love and real friendship. Until I could feel compassion toward my younger self, I wasn’t able to feel compassionate toward my characters and they stayed stuck on the page. It was a good but tangled lesson to learn.

What do you hope readers will take away from A FLICKER IN THE CLARITY?

What reading is so good for: time spent in the skin or the world or the dream of another person. I hope readers who see themselves in Evie will feel challenged to look inward and ask themselves why they’re more invested in the problems of a friend than they are in their own lives. Sometimes the hardest friend to boost is the one in the mirror, and, of course, once you get your act together you have more to offer as a friend.

ABOUT THE BOOK

A Flicker in the Clarity
by Amy McNamara
Hardcover
HarperTeen
Released 6/12/2018

Evie and Emma are inseparable. Two halves of a whole, they balance each other until Evie makes a flip decision that gets Emma in serious trouble.

Feeling the sting of betrayal, Emma freezes Evie out. Evie is full of regret, desperately sorry, sad, and—for the first time in her life—entirely alone.

Then Evie meets Theo, a boy who offers her a view of the world through a different lens. Just as she lets herself fall for Theo, Emma resurfaces—but not without consequence.

Emma’s erratic behavior, drunken mishaps, and panicked phone calls leave Evie afraid there’s something deeper going on. Evie wants to help Emma, but Emma is bent on self-destruction.

All Evie wanted was her friend back—but can you help someone who doesn’t want to be saved?

Purchase A Flicker in the Clarity at Amazon
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View A Flicker in the Clarity on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Amy McNamara learned to read at three and hasn't put the book down since. She holds a BA in French literature and an MFA in poetry. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals and have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her manuscript of poetry THE NEW HEAD CHRONOMETRIST has been a finalist for many book awards but still needs a home. She is the author of LOVELY, DARK AND DEEP and A FLICKER IN THE CLARITY (summer 2018). When she’s not reading stories, telling stories, or thinking about stories or poems, she can be spotted, camera in hand, for pay and for pleasure, documenting the incredible city she calls home. She lives in NYC with her honey and their two kids.

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Have you had a chance to read A FLICKER IN THE CLARITY yet? Are you able to love your characters in order for them to breathe on the page? Are you able to keep yourself from becoming too tangled up with your characters? 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, June 14, 2018

0 Lucy Ivison and Tom Ellen, authors of FRESHMEN, on using funny stories from their time together at university

We're thrilled to have Lucy Ivison and Tom Ellen join us to share more about their latest novel, FRESHMEN.

Lucy and Tom, what was your inspiration for writing FRESHMEN?

We were at university together (in York, in the north of England), so we had lots of funny stories from our time there. We also felt there weren't that many realistic, funny British YA novels about the first year of university which seemed odd to us as so many YA readers are either at university or preparing to go!

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?

TOM: There's a scene that Lucy wrote most of, involving a condom, that is DEFINITELY my favorite scene of the book. Still makes me laugh every time I read it. I am also quite proud of the scene where Luke - the male protagonist - goes to the college's awful sport initiation ceremony, as I feel it's a pretty realistic look at that kind of awful, toxic masculinity. I was never in the football team myself, but a lot of my friends were, and they told me horror stories about these 'hazing' events, so it was good to be able to show that stuff to make people realize how grim it often is.

LUCY: FRESHMEN explores toxic masculinity amongst college aged guys. Without giving too much away - there is a scene in the book where Phoebe has to confront a guy who has treated her badly. We thought a lot about how to do that in a way that was both realistic, as well as empowering.

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

There are lots of great UK YA authors writing funny, awkward, realistic teen novels - any book by Holly Bourne, Non Pratt, Lisa Williamson or Juno Dawson is definitely worth checking out!

How long did you work on FRESHMEN?

It probably took us a year in total to write it, over the course of three different drafts. But we had talked about writing a university-set novel for years before we started, so lots of the ideas had been knocking about for a while!

What do you hope readers will take away from FRESHMEN?

First and foremost it's a comedy, so we hope they'll get some laughs! But aside from that, we both felt that there was an immense amount of pressure in the first year college/university - to have fun, to make friends, to fit in - so I guess we hope that readers might relate to our portrayal of how chaotic and crazy and difficult that period actually is.

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

We've published two YA novels before FRESHMEN, and we are very lucky in that the first novel we wrote got published. We entered it into the Sunday Times/Chicken House competition in the UK; it got shortlisted, and although it didn't win, Chicken House chose to publish it anyway. We'd really recommend writing competitions to any aspiring authors - obviously it's great if you get shortlisted or win, but either way, they provide you with a concrete deadline which will help give you the push you need to actually finish your MS!

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?

Lucy was working as a teacher while we were writing our first novel, and her students (girls aged 16 and 17) would always complain to her that there were no funny books for older teens. That was definitely an AHA! moment, as we suddenly thought: "Well, why don't we try and write one, then?"

ABOUT THE BOOK

Freshmen
by Lucy Ivison and Tom Ellen
Hardcover
Delacorte Press
Released 6/12/2018

Getting in is just the beginning.

Phoebe can't wait to get to college. On her own, discovering new things, no curfew . . . she'll be free. And she'll be totally different: cooler, prettier, smarter . . . the perfect potential girlfriend. Convenient: the only person from her high school also going to York is her longtime crush, Luke.

Luke didn't set out to redefine himself, but as soon as he arrives on campus, he finds himself dumping his long-term long-distance girlfriend. And the changes don't stop there. In fact, being on a soccer team is the only thing that stays the same.

Just when things start looking up (and Phoebe and Luke start hooking up), drama looms on the horizon. Rumors swirl about the Wall of Shame, a secret text chain run by Luke's soccer team, filled with compromising photos of girls. As the women on campus determine to expose the team and shut down the account, Luke and Phoebe find themselves grappling with confusing feelings and wondering how they'll ever make it through freshman year.

Purchase Freshmen at Amazon
Purchase Freshmen at IndieBound
View Freshmen on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHORS  

Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison met at the end of high school and quickly became sweethearts. Though they broke up in college, they remain best friends. Lucy runs the online teen magazine Whatever After and teaches in girls’ schools across London, specializing in building confidence and creativity. Tom is a journalist and has written for Time Out, Vice, ESPN, Glamour, and many other publications. They cowrote A Totally Awkward Love Story, which was partially inspired by their own high school relationship. 

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Have you had a chance to read FRESHMEN yet? Do you enter writing competitions? Do you find that concrete deadlines give you the push you need to finish writing? 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, June 13, 2018

0 WoW: L. E. Sterling on Using a Pen Name

From Mark Twain to Dr. Seuss, I've always been interested in pen names. From those who choose to identify with their initials, to writers who develop brand new identities to use when sharing their fictional worlds with readers, I'm so curious to know how and why authors develop their nom de plumes. So today, I'm super excited to welcome L. E. Sterling, author of the True Born Trilogy, who de-mystifies the process! Stay tuned after the guest post for a bit more about L.E. and her latest book TRUE STORM.

Why I use a pen name (and why you should consider it)
by L. E. Sterling
When I was ten I braved a forty-minute hike to West Edmonton Mall. “The Mall,” as it was known to us West Enders, was a monster –– but unlike other kids, I didn’t go in for the stores bursting with cool clothes for girls, or to hang out with the boys at the arcade or roller coaster.

I went to the bookstore.

I wandered through the store before coming to my real destination: the science fiction and fantasy shelves. I stood there, maybe for an hour, and just stared at the titles of the books and their authors. Jack Vance. Ursula K. LeGuin. Sherri S. Tepper. Guy Gavriel Kay.

I think that was the first day I realized that writing was a business, and that to be successful, I needed to think like those who were succeeding.

First, you need to understand that at the time, YA was relegated to the (totally awesome but completely maligned) Sweet Valley High series …. Which I totally recommend, by the way. The stories were about proms and part-time jobs and how to get that boy to kiss you at the carnival. There were no books about girls who save planets in the YA section.

I made a few other striking observations that day: the first was that there were very few women writers on those shelves. Oh sure, there was Anne McCaffrey and Marion Zimmer Bradley. Still, the shelves were overwhelmingly stocked with male authors.

There were also a few notable books that fell into a no-man’s land. Literally. And by that I mean these were books written by names, by literary initials. I picked up one, a pocket paperback by one C.J. Cherryh. And more than the book’s description, it was the bio that had me hooked.

C. J. Cherryh was a woman.

Back then, the only women writers I could identify with had pen names with initials. One of my favorites, for instance, was S. E. Hinton.

I had known at least since I was seven that I was going to be a writer. But that morning, as I staggered away from the bookstore feeling like a bell had tolled, I learned something more. I was going to write not ordinary stories, but science fiction and fantasy.

And I was going to use a pen name to do it. I was going to write books under the name L.E. Vollick, comprising my initials and my last name. Like C.J. Cherryh. Like S.E. Hinton.

I published a fairly substantial body of work under the pen name of my childhood: poetry, essays, short stories, and yes, my first novel, The Originals. None of these early publications fell under the speculative fiction rubric.

After the publication of my first novel, The Originals, though, I saw that I was stuck. You see, I’d gone through two creative writing degrees and was finally learning “the biz,” and “the biz” had made it clear that once you started making a name for yourself it was very difficult to change your trajectory. But I still wanted to dabble in urban fantasy, in dystopian lit. I didn’t think my past body of work would allow for that kind of change.

So when it came time to publish my second novel, the urban fantasy Pluto’s Gate, I decided to keep the first part of my name but change my last name. I became L.E. Sterling.

A few considerations went into this decision. First and foremost, it gave me some creative space to write and think in new and bolder ways. Many of my fellow writers often have a different name for their different audiences or genres (for instance, my writer friend Mary Lindsay (YA) / Marissa Clarke (romance/thriller, adult)). This allows them the freedom to jump genres and market their work to completely different audiences.

Sterling was also a last name well-suited to the male-dominated science fiction and fantasy markets (Rod Sirling, Bruce Sterling, S.M.Sterling). And finally — finally! — I would get away from the problem of the V’s.

In bookstores and for most catalogues, books are ordered alphabetically by an author’s last name. My first book was sandwiched in the shelves beside Voltaire. And while there’s a certain pride with that, it wasn’t where I wanted to be. People cruising a bookstore almost never make it to the end of the alphabet.

With the last name Sterling, I crept up in the alphabet game and sat beside some of those genre giants. In fact, now that I’m properly categorized as a YA author, my works are shelved beside an author I truly admire: bestselling author Maggie Stievater.

There is also a familiarity to the Sterling surname. People will recall it, and be able to spell it, much more easily than Vollick.

Does it work? It does have some drawbacks, particularly on websites like Goodreads, which doesn't have the functionality to attribute my first novel, The Originals, to me. But I still enjoy my writing name. And even in this era of YA (scifi/fantasy) being dominated by women authors, I don’t regret the use of my initials in place of my first name.

Here’s a little secret: the “L.” and the “E.” of my pen names are stand-ins for my real names. My parents always called me by my middle name (Erin), so I have always kept the L. as a placeholder for the name I’m never called and don’t answer to. But don’t ask me to tell you what it is….



About L.E. Sterling
L.E. Sterling had an early obsession with sci-fi, fantasy and romance, to which she remained faithful through an M.A. in creative writing and a PhD in English literature, where she completed a thesis on magical representation.

She is the author of cult hit YA novel The Originals (under pen name L.E. Vollick) and the Urban Fantasy Pluto’s Gate, and the True Born Trilogy. True Born, first in the series, won the 2017 Athena Award® from the Young Adult chapter of the RWA. Originally hailing from Parry Sound, Ontario, L.E. spent most of her summers roaming across Canada in a van, inspiring her writing career. She currently lives in Toronto, Canada.



About TRUE STORM (True Born #3)
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 under pressure to choose her future: does it lie with her handsome new friend, Alastair; her guardian, the enigmatic True Born leader Nolan Storm; or the man who makes her heart trip, her savage True Born bodyguard Jared Price?

But while Lucy ponders her path, fate has other plans. 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 is the DNA of her will stronger than the forces opposing her? Can she turn the tide against the oncoming storm??

As they say in Dominion, can rogue genes ever have a happy ending?

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

0 H. A. Swain, author of SUPERMOON, on wrenching drama out of a story with a wall of color-coded post-it notes

We're delighted to have H. A. Swain join us to chat about her latest novel, SUPERMOON.

Heather, what was your inspiration for writing SUPERMOON?

When I discovered that NASA will send you a text every time the International Space Station flies over your location, I completed nerded out! (You can sign up here.) My kids and I would run outside, jump up and down and wave like maniacs (as if they could see us?) whenever the ISS zoomed by. I became fascinated with the idea of life beyond Earth. I started reading about colonizing the Moon and thinking about what that will mean for the humans who stay on Earth.

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 scene in which Uma (the Moonling runaway) gets scooped up by security drones and carried away from Talitha (her Earthling friend) was particularly challenging and rewarding. I wanted the reader to connect to the physicality of being lifted into the air and struggling to get free but also understand that getting free would mean plummeting to her death. I researched the logistics of how Uma could be picked up, what the landscape below her would look like, and whether she could free herself without dying. That scene took many, many rewrites, but in the end, I think it’s one of the most exciting and emotionally heart-wrenching scenes in the book.

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

For readers who want more intergalactic love from a feminist perspective try The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin

For a chilling take on a dystopian futuristic Earth and the girl who might be about to save it, check out Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler.

For what might happen if the Earth and the Moon collide, read the Susan Beth Pfeffer series Life As We Knew It.

How long did you work on SUPERMOON?

I wrote for about 18 months. I had several false starts because it took me a long time to understand what I was trying to say about AlphaZonia—the post-tsunami, privatized version of Los Angeles inhabited by the most privileged Earthlings. I wanted that world to be a commentary on vapid on-line culture and a look at what could happen if corporate power goes unchecked. At the same time, I wanted AlphaZonia to be fantastic and enticing so that it was fun to read about. Once I hit upon the character of RayNay DeShoppingCart (my favorite portmanteau of all time) I understood how I could make that all happen and the book clicked into place.

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

I spent more time plotting this book than I have with other manuscripts. I had an entire wall of color-coded post-it notes with scenes that I would constantly rearrange until I felt I had wrenched the most drama and excitement out of the story as I could.

What do you hope readers will take away from SUPERMOON?

The message of SUPERMOON is the same message as my other two futuristic thrillers, HUNGRY and GIFTED. If we are going to survive as a species on this planet we have to do a better job at taking care of the Earth and of one another. The division between haves and have-nots is too great and we are plundering resources at an alarming rate—all in the name of greed and profit. I’m a fundamentally optimistic person, but I worry about the long-term future if we don’t consider how political, economic, and environmental choices will affect our survival as a species.

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

I am incredibly grateful to have a relationship with my editor (Liz Szabla) at Feiwel & Friends. SUPERMOON is the third young adult novel we’ve done together (and the tenth book I’ve had published), so in that sense, the publishing road for this book was smooth. However, like most authors, the path to this point has been long, circuitous, full of rejection, and sometimes heart-breaking. I STILL have book ideas rejected * sigh * but that’s just part of publishing. All writers who want to publish will be rejected. The trick is picking yourself up after the heart break of rejection and writing something else.

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 have to admit, this question made me laugh out loud! As if I knew?!? Every single time I start working on a new book, I panic and feel certain that I have no idea what I’m doing. Once I’m done with a book, I marvel at it and wonder how on Earth I did it. Then I am 100% convinced that I will never, ever write another book. But somehow, I do. I guess the answer to the question then is this: The key to writing a novel is persevering through the panic of not knowing what you’re doing and writing until you get it done.

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

I am an anytime-anywhere writer. I’m not remotely precious about it. My writing life has always been a balancing act with working and raising children. I didn’t start writing until I was in my late twenties when I was already out of grad school, married, and teaching full time, then soon after that I had two kids, so I’ve never had the experience (er, um luxury) of writing being my sole focus.

When I taught full-time, I would get up at 5am and write for 90 minutes before I had to be at school. Once I had kids, I’d peck out scenes with one hand on my lap top while nursing a baby or I’d grab fifteen minutes to write while my kids napped. I’ve always shoe-horned writing time into my day. Because of that, I’ve trained myself to block out all distraction and get straight to work.

One trick I use—I always finish writing in the middle of a scene that way my brain keeps working while I’m away from my computer and the next time I sit down to work, I have a lot of material to spill.

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

Write because writing makes you happy. I think we tend to get caught up in pedigree and publication. Wonderful writers who create beautiful work feel unqualified to call themselves writers if they don’t have an MFA or a big book deal. Publishing is a business over which you have very little control. Writing and publishing are different things. You are a writer if you write. End of story.

What are you working on now?

I have a project I’m very excited about, but it’s in the early stages and I’m superstitious so I won’t talk about it yet.

ABOUT THE BOOK

SuperMoon
by H. A. Swain
Hardcover
Feiwel & Friends
Released 6/12/2018

Sol is the month between June and July on the thirteen-month Moon calendar. It's the only time teenagers have to themselves between rigorous scientific training and their ultimate lab assignments in their colony on the Moon. Their families emigrated from Earth to build better lives; but life on the Moon is far from perfect, as Uma learns on the eve of Sol.

Uma meets an Earthen girl who becomes a fast friend, and much more. What Uma doesn't know is that the girl is assigned to infect Uma with a plague that a rogue faction of Earthen scientists hope will wipe out Moon soldiers. Will Uma be the cause of a pandemic? Whom can she trust, and moreover, whom does she love?

Purchase SuperMoon at Amazon
Purchase SuperMoon at IndieBound
View SuperMoon on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Heather Swain lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband, two children, a dog, and two cats. She is the author of five novels for young adults, two kids craft books, two illustrated children's books, two novels for grown ups, and numerous short stories, personal essays, and non-fiction articles.

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Have you had a chance to read SUPERMOON yet? Are you able to pick yourself up after the heart break of rejection and write something else? Do you write because it makes you happy? 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, June 11, 2018

2 New Releases this week 06/11 - 06/17 plus Giveaway of THE FALL OF INNOCENCE

Happy Monday! This week is jam packed with new releases and a giveaway of THE FALL OF INNOCENCE! 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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The Fall of Innocence
by Jenny Torres Sanchez
Signed Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

Philomel Books
Released 6/12/2018

For the past eight years, sixteen-year-old Emilia DeJesus has done her best to move on from the traumatic attack she suffered in the woods behind her elementary school. She's forced down the memories--the feeling of the twigs cracking beneath her, choking on her own blood, unable to scream. Most of all, she's tried to forget about Jeremy Lance, the boy responsible, the boy who caused her such pain. Emilia believes that the crows who watched over her that day, who helped her survive, are still on her side, encouraging her to live fully. And with the love and support of her mother, brother, and her caring boyfriend, Emilia is doing just that.

But when a startling discovery about her attacker's identity comes to light, and the memories of that day break through the mental box in which she'd shut them away, Emilia is forced to confront her new reality and make sense of shifting truths about her past, her family, and herself.

A compulsively-readable tragedy that reminds us of the fragility of human nature.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about The Fall of Innocence?

My favorite thing about this book is the multiple points of view from which it’s told. It’s third person, but it’s close third person. And the reader intimately gets to know not only Emilia, but also the key people in her life. Her mother, her father, her brother, her boyfriend, her community are all deeply affected by the trauma Emilia has suffered and the story delves into how, even years later, they all continue to be affected by it. We see how this event in Emilia’s life fundamentally changes her and those around her. Because that’s how big trauma can be. Like a mushroom cloud spreading over so many people, over so many years.

Sometimes, as we scroll through news story after news story, consume tragedy after tragedy, it’s easy to forget the after of it all. So this book slows the story down, gives the reader time to get to know everyone, makes them, their stories, more personal. That’s what I hope anyway.


Purchase The Fall of Innocence at Amazon
Purchase The Fall of Innocence at IndieBound
View The Fall of Innocence on Goodreads


YA BOOK GIVEAWAYS LAST WEEK: WINNERS

Bring Me Their Hearts by Sara Wolf: Alena S, Kathryn L. F, Kelly M.
Dear Rachel Maddow by Adrienne Kisner: Ellie M.
Tell Me No Lies by A.V. Geiger: Molly M.

MORE YOUNG ADULT FICTION IN STORES NEXT WEEK WITH AUTHOR INTERVIEWS


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A Flicker in the Clarity
by Amy McNamara
Hardcover
HarperTeen
Released 6/12/2018

Evie and Emma are inseparable. Two halves of a whole, they balance each other until Evie makes a flip decision that gets Emma in serious trouble.

Feeling the sting of betrayal, Emma freezes Evie out. Evie is full of regret, desperately sorry, sad, and—for the first time in her life—entirely alone.

Then Evie meets Theo, a boy who offers her a view of the world through a different lens. Just as she lets herself fall for Theo, Emma resurfaces—but not without consequence.

Emma’s erratic behavior, drunken mishaps, and panicked phone calls leave Evie afraid there’s something deeper going on. Evie wants to help Emma, but Emma is bent on self-destruction.

All Evie wanted was her friend back—but can you help someone who doesn’t want to be saved?

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about A Flicker in the Clarity?

I have many favorite things about A FLICKER IN THE CLARITY—among them were writing about Evie Ramsey, a girl on the edge of figuring out how to be true to herself and her romance with Theo—a kid who is doing that for himself—along the way. I loved writing a book set in New York City, as well as a story with links to some of the places (The Bly School) and characters who appeared in my first novel, LOVELY, DARK AND DEEP.

I loved writing about where Theo works—the Emily Roebling House—an interactive museum I based on the real-life Tenement Museum in Manhattan. There is a Roebling Museum in New Jersey dedicated to the entire Roebling family, but my fictional Emily Roebling House sits at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge, and is named for Emily Warren Roebling, the woman who stepped up and acted as chief engineer, completing the construction of the bridge in place of her husband Washington Roebling who had fallen ill. She did this in the face of intense criticism and skepticism about the bridge itself, and in a nation that had yet to give women the right to vote. The Brooklyn Bridge was such a bold marriage of imagination and engineering, and it remains an icon to New Yorkers as well one for the countless tourists who visit daily from around the world. Imagining a museum at the foot of it dedicated to Emily Warren Roebling and in the honor of the many, many immigrants who helped build it was a dream to write.


Purchase A Flicker in the Clarity at Amazon
Purchase A Flicker in the Clarity at IndieBound
View A Flicker in the Clarity on Goodreads

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Freshmen
by Lucy Ivison and Tom Ellen
Hardcover
Delacorte Press
Released 6/12/2018

Getting in is just the beginning.

Phoebe can't wait to get to college. On her own, discovering new things, no curfew . . . she'll be free. And she'll be totally different: cooler, prettier, smarter . . . the perfect potential girlfriend. Convenient: the only person from her high school also going to York is her longtime crush, Luke.

Luke didn't set out to redefine himself, but as soon as he arrives on campus, he finds himself dumping his long-term long-distance girlfriend. And the changes don't stop there. In fact, being on a soccer team is the only thing that stays the same.

Just when things start looking up (and Phoebe and Luke start hooking up), drama looms on the horizon. Rumors swirl about the Wall of Shame, a secret text chain run by Luke's soccer team, filled with compromising photos of girls. As the women on campus determine to expose the team and shut down the account, Luke and Phoebe find themselves grappling with confusing feelings and wondering how they'll ever make it through freshman year.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Freshmen?

TOM: My favorite thing is just that it's a (hopefully) realistic and funny and at times extremely awkward look at what the first year of university is like. It's such a crazy, intense period - you're living away from home for the first time, you're surrounded by new people, you're trying desperately to fit in - so the whole thing can be quite overwhelming, and obviously that makes a great foundation for a novel!

LUCY: I like that it gives a voice to that age group and that experience. Going to college is massive life change, and it doesn't get its fair share of YA airtime I don't think...


Purchase Freshmen at Amazon
Purchase Freshmen at IndieBound
View Freshmen on Goodreads


MORE YOUNG ADULT NOVELS NEW IN STORES NEXT WEEK


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A Reaper at the Gates
by Sabaa Tahir
Hardcover
Razorbill
Released 6/12/2018

Beyond the Martial Empire and within it, the threat of war looms ever larger.

Helene Aquilla, the Blood Shrike, is desperate to protect her sister's life and the lives of everyone in the Empire. But she knows that danger lurks on all sides: Emperor Marcus, haunted by his past, grows increasingly unstable and violent, while Keris Veturia, the ruthless Commandant, capitalizes on the Emperor's volatility to grow her own power--regardless of the carnage she leaves in her path.

Far to the east, Laia of Serra knows the fate of the world lies not in the machinations of the Martial court, but in stopping the Nightbringer. But in the hunt to bring him down, Laia faces unexpected threats from those she hoped would help her, and is drawn into a battle she never thought she'd have to fight.

And in the land between the living and the dead, Elias Veturius has given up his freedom to serve as Soul Catcher. But in doing so, he has vowed himself to an ancient power that demands his complete surrender--even if that means abandoning the woman he loves.

Purchase A Reaper at the Gates at Amazon
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Crossing the Line
by Simone Elkeles
Hardcover
HarperTeen
Released 6/12/2018

To escape his abusive stepdad, bad boy Ryan Hess runs from his tiny Texas border town to Mexico. But his plans to keep his head down and stay out of trouble are shattered the minute he meets the beautiful and totally out of his league Dalila Sandoval.

Dalila Sandoval shouldn’t even know someone like Ryan Hess. The daughter of one of the wealthiest lawyers in Mexico, Dalila is focused on studying and planning for her bright future. Ryan is only a distraction from her dreams, but she’s never felt more alive than when she’s by his side.

Ryan and Dalila are wrong for each other in every way. And yet they can’t resist the sparks that fly when they’re together. But their love is like a flame burning too close to the fuse.

Something is going to explode. Will their love be strong enough to survive? Or will it burn them both?

Purchase Crossing the Line at Amazon
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View Crossing the Line on Goodreads

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Guardian
by A. J. Hartley
Hardcover
Tor Teen
Released 6/12/2018

This is what Ang knows:

A dear friend is accused of murdering the Prime Minister of Bar-Selehm.

A mysterious but fatal illness is infecting the poor.

A fanatical politician seizes power, unleashing a wave of violent repression over the city.

This is what Ang must do:

Protect her family.

Solve a murder.

RESIST, no matter what, before it’s too late.

Purchase Guardian at Amazon
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Love Scene, Take Two
by Alex Evansley
Hardcover
Swoon Reads
Released 6/12/2018

Teddy Sharpe is kind of famous. He might actually be on his way to being really famous, especially if he'd nailed an audition for the lead role in the movie adaption of the newest bestselling young adult book series. There's just one problem: He totally blew the audition. And he's stuck in a tiny North Carolina airport. And his maybe-ex-girlfriend kind of just broke up with him.

The weekend isn't exactly looking good until Bennett Caldwell, author of the very book series he just auditioned for, takes pity on him and invites him to her family's lake house. Away from the glitz and glam of Hollywood for a few days, Teddy starts to relax . . . and somehow he and Bennett just click. But dating is hard enough when you aren't the subject of several dozen fanblogs, and the Internet is full of juicy gossip about Teddy and Bennett . . . gossip that Bennett might not be prepared to handle.

Purchase Love Scene, Take Two at Amazon
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View Love Scene, Take Two on Goodreads

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Sometime After Midnight
by L. Philips
Hardcover
Viking Books for Young Readers
Released 6/12/2018

Late one night in a dingy Los Angeles club, Nate and Cameron meet and discover they have much more in common than their love of an obscure indie band. But when Nate learns that Cameron is the heir to a soul-sucking record label—the very one that destroyed his father’s life—he runs away as fast as he can. The only evidence of their brief but intense connection is the blurry photo Cameron snaps of Nate’s Sharpied Chuck Taylors.

When Cameron’s sister Tess—a famous model and socialite—posts the photo on Instagram for her legions of fans, the internet just about breaks with the news of this modern fairy tale. “Anyone know the owner of these shoes?” she writes. “My Prince Charming brother is looking for his Cinderfella!” But while the viral sensation begins to bring the pair back together, their own demons and pasts might get in the way of any happily ever afters . . .

Purchase Sometime After Midnight at Amazon
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View Sometime After Midnight on Goodreads

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SuperMoon
by H. A. Swain
Hardcover
Feiwel & Friends
Released 6/12/2018

Sol is the month between June and July on the thirteen-month Moon calendar. It's the only time teenagers have to themselves between rigorous scientific training and their ultimate lab assignments in their colony on the Moon. Their families emigrated from Earth to build better lives; but life on the Moon is far from perfect, as Uma learns on the eve of Sol.

Uma meets an Earthen girl who becomes a fast friend, and much more. What Uma doesn't know is that the girl is assigned to infect Uma with a plague that a rogue faction of Earthen scientists hope will wipe out Moon soldiers. Will Uma be the cause of a pandemic? Whom can she trust, and moreover, whom does she love?

Purchase SuperMoon at Amazon
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The Merciless IV: Last Rites
by Danielle Vega
Hardcover
Razorbill
Released 6/12/2018

The ropes tighten on Berkley Hubbard's wrists. Blood drips down her fingers and lands with a smack on the cold floor of the church basement. She's trapped, bound, and petrified by fear. A knife punctures her fragile skin as Berkley's captors search for the mark of the devil on her body. They say they want to save her--drive the devil away and cleanse her soul--but will she make it out alive?

When Berkley arrived in Italy a week ago, the last thing she expected was that she'd end up fighting for her life. After spending six months at the Institute, confined to a room with the dangerous-yet-alluring Sofia Flores, Berkley was certain that a vacation in Italy with her two best friends would be the perfect getaway. But Berkley is hiding a terrible secret, one that threatens to undo everything. As she's forced to face her wicked past, she learns that the devil is always watching, and no one is coming to save her.

Purchase The Merciless IV: Last Rites at Amazon
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Sunday, June 10, 2018

0 Andrew Shvarts, author of CITY OF BASTARDS, on tying himself into plot knots

CITY OF BASTARDS is the second book in the Royal Bastards series, and we're thrilled to have Andrew Shvarts here to tell us more about it.

Andrew, what was your inspiration for writing CITY OF BASTARDS?

My three-book deal! No, seriously, when I set out to write a sequel to Royal Bastards, I knew I wanted it to feel really different, to take the characters but put them in a wildly different kind of story. There were a few different elements I really wanted to tackle: a murder mystery, a political thriller, a story that’s all about the inner working of a single city, and a narrative that captures the experience of struggling to fit in in a very new world.

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?

Without spoilers, there’s a few twists that happen towards the climax that are particularly devastating and awful, that proved harder to write than I’d thought! I’m very proud of the book’s ending, which I think hits a certain hopeful high even in the midst of darkness, but my secret favorite is a scene near the three-quarters mark, where an escape through some catacombs takes an unexpected turn into cosmic horror.

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

That mysteries are really really hard! I ended up having to do a massive rewrite about 50% of the way through, the biggest I’ve ever done, because I tied myself into plot knots I just couldn’t unravel. I’m the definition of a pantser, and it turns out that’s a very hard way to approach a cohesive complex mystery with a lot of scheming factions!

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

I think my road was fairly average in terms of length and difficulty? Which is to say, long and hard. I graduated college convinced I would be the next Stephen King, writing short stories that… never went anywhere. Then I got a game in videogame writing and put fiction aside for a few years to hone that craft. When I picked up again, I knew I wanted to do YA novels. My first one languished and went nowhere. My second got me an agent and some incredibly close calls, but didn’t sell. And my third was Royal Bastards!

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, with a glass of whiskey, or occasionally in a hotel room when I really want to dive deep. I’m a very twitchy, fidgety person, so writing often involves pacing around the room, acting out dialogues, jumping around when an idea hits me. Let’s just say I can’t work in coffee shops!

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

To experiment and diversify, both in terms of what you read and what you write. Don’t limit yourself to one genre or story. The best thing that ever happened to me as a writer was my game-writing job, which forced me to forget all the tropes and shortcuts I’d come to rely on, and to discover the heart of what makes a good story. The best way to learn to write is to master unfamiliar terrain.

What are you working on now?

The third book in the series, the exciting conclusion! I can’t say too much, but let’s just say there’s a lot of game-changing twists, shocking reveals and a trip to one of the most remote and unexpected parts of the Kingdom.

ABOUT THE BOOK

City of Bastards
by Andrew Shvarts
Hardcover
Disney-Hyperion
Released 6/5/2018

Tilla, bastard of House Kent, has it made. Safe from her murderous father in the dazzling capital of Lightspire, she lives a life of luxury under the protection of the Volaris King, alongside her boyfriend, Zell, and best friend, Princess Lyriana.

So why isn't she happy? Maybe it's the whispers and stares that follow her wherever she goes, as the daughter of the traitor waging war against Lightspire. Or maybe it's the memories of her beloved brother, Jax, who lies cold in his grave even as she tries to settle into a life in the city's prestigious University.

Then Tilla stumbles upon the body of a classmate-a friend. The authorities are quick to rule it a suicide and sweep it under the rug, but when Tilla herself is attacked by a mysterious man with terrifying powers, she's convinced of a conspiracy. Her friends beg her to stay silent; what she's suggesting is impossible . . . and treasonous.

But Tilla can't-won't-let it go. And the deeper she digs, the more questions she uncovers. How is the West beating the supposedly invincible Lightspire mages in battle? Is it connected to the shadowy cult wreaking havoc in Lightspire? Nothing is as it seems in the glorious capital, and Tilla's presence might just be the spark that sets the Kingdom aflame.

Purchase City of Bastards at Amazon
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Andrew Shvarts is an author of novels and video games. He has a BA in English Literature and Russian from Vassar College. He works for Pixelberry Studios as a designer, making mobile games like High School Story, Choices, and more. Andrew lives in San Jose, California, with his wife, toddler, and two kittens. Visit him online at andrewshvarts.com and on Twitter @Shvartacus.

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Have you had a chance to read CITY OF BASTARDS yet? Do you act out scenes and jump around when you write? Do you experiment and diversify with what you read and write? 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

Saturday, June 9, 2018

0 A.V. Geiger, author of TELL ME NO LIES, on deciding to make a standalone a duology

TELL ME NO LIES is second book in the Follow Me Back series, and we're excited to have A.V. Geiger stop by to chat about it.

A.V., what was your inspiration for writing TELL ME NO LIES?

TELL ME NO LIES is the second installment of a duology, and it was not a book I initially planned to write. When I first signed with my agent, Follow Me Back (Book 1) was intended as a standalone novel. However, when Follow Me Back went out on sub to publishers, I needed something to take my mind off of the grinding uncertainty of the submission process. I began spinning out a messy, somewhat ridiculous first draft of a sequel, purely as a distraction for myself. Little did I know that my editor at Sourcebooks would eventually suggest changing the end of Follow Me Back into a cliffhanger, with my weird little sequel serving as the basis for a published second book!

How long did you work on TELL ME NO LIES?

The first draft wrote itself in a matter of weeks, but it needed a lot of revision. I spent several months on the first round of structural editing, with substantial rewrites and plot changes. Then came several rounds of beta reads and more editing. When all was said and done, it took nearly three years from first draft to publication.

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

For the most part, I need silence and solitude to write. I tend to whisper the words out loud to myself as I type them, and I’m too self-conscious to do that within earshot of another human being. I’ll completely freeze up in mid-sentence and lose my train of thought at the sound of anyone approaching. As you can imagine, coffee shops and libraries are out. I have a small home office, and I’ve trained my family to tiptoe outside the door whenever I’m under deadline or in the throes of a particularly difficult scene.

What are you working on now?

TELL ME NO LIES serves as the conclusion to the Follow Me Back duology, but I have one more book under contract with Sourcebooks. I’m currently putting the final touches on the first draft of a brand new standalone YA thriller. This is the first book that I’m writing start-to-finish as a published author, with both the encouragement from fans and the criticism from naysayers ringing in my ears. I’m finding it both challenging and refreshing to bring a totally new set of characters and voices to life.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Tell Me No Lies
by A.V. Geiger
Paperback
Sourcebooks Fire
Released 6/5/2018

No one knows what happened to pop icon Eric Thorn. His Twitter account? Frozen. His cell phone? Cracked and bloody, buried in the snow.

Agoraphobic fangirl Tessa Hart knows the truth, but she's finally left her #EricThornObsessed days behind. She has no intention of ever touching her Twitter app again. But Snapchat... That's safer, right?

After months of living under the radar, Tessa emerges from hiding, forced to face the deadly consequences of her past. But in the interrogation room, answers only lead to more questions in the jaw-dropping conclusion to the Follow Me Back duology.

Purchase Tell Me No Lies at Amazon
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A.V. Geiger is an epidemiologist who spends far too much spare time on social media. By day, she studies women’s psychiatric and reproductive health. By night, she can be found fangirling, following people back, and photoshopping the heads of band members onto the bodies of unicorns. Her writing career began with celebrity fan fiction, and her work draws extensively on her own experiences with online fan culture. Her original teen fiction has received millions of hits on the story-sharing website Wattpad, ranking as high as #1 in the mystery-thriller genre. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and twin boys.

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Have you had a chance to read TELL ME NO LIES yet? Do you distract yourself from waiting on publishing by writing a new book? Do you whisper out loud as you write? 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

0 Kristina Pérez, author of SWEET BLACK WAVES, on drawing on medieval legends

We're delighted to have Kristina Pérez join us to share more about her YA debut, SWEET BLACK WAVES.

Kristina, what book or books would most resonate with readers who love your book--or visa versa?

I would be remiss as a medievalist if I didn’t send readers who connected with SWEET BLACK WAVES to some of the legends that I drew on. Check out Marie de France’s collection of twelfth-century Old French, Lais (poems)––including one about Tristan and Iseult––and the Old Irish epic, Táin Bó Cúailnge (“The Cattle Raid of Cooley”).

Amazon link for Marie de France

Amazon link for Tain

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

I always have to have my tunes. Currently listening to London Grammar’s new album on repeat. I try to write new material from 8am-noon and then edit in the afternoon. If the weather is nice, I write outside. But I do live in England and it rains a lot!

What are you working on now?

Two projects, actually! The sequel to SWEET BLACK WAVES and my first YA Sci-Fi, THE TESLA LEGACY, which is coming March 2019 from Tor Teen.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Sweet Black Waves
by Kristina Perez
Hardcover
Imprint
Released 6/5/2018

Two proud kingdoms stand on opposite shores, with only a bloody history between them.

As best friend and lady-in-waiting to the princess, Branwen is guided by two principles: devotion to her homeland and hatred for the raiders who killed her parents. When she unknowingly saves the life of her enemy, he awakens her ancient healing magic and opens her heart. Branwen begins to dream of peace, but the princess she serves is not so easily convinced. Fighting for what's right, even as her powers grow beyond her control, will set Branwen against both her closest confidant and the only man she's ever loved.

Purchase Sweet Black Waves at Amazon
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A native New Yorker, I’m half-Argentine and half-Norwegian, and I’ve spent the past two decades living in Europe and Asia. I have a penchant for non-defanged vampires, fringe science, ice skating, and dulce de leche.

I also hold a PhD in Medieval Literature from the University of Cambridge and have taught at the National University of Singapore and the University of Hong Kong. As a journalist, I’ve written for many international news outlets covering primarily travel, culture and fine art.

These days I live in London where I write both fiction and non-fiction for adults, young adults, and the young at heart!

Top tip: keep chocolate out of my reach––especially bittersweet.

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Have you had a chance to read SWEET BLACK WAVES yet? Do you need music to write? Do you divide your day into writing and editing? 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, June 8, 2018

0 Zoraida Córdova, author of BRUJA BORN, on it being okay to take breaks

BRUJA BORN is the second book in the Brooklyn Brujas series and, we're thrilled to have Zoraida Córdova here to tell us more about it.

Zoraida, what did this book teach you about writing or about yourself?

This book taught me that it was okay to take breaks and let the story go for a period of time before coming back to it. Writing can be lonely, and paired with constant deadlines, it's easy to lose yourself and lose your story along the way. Bruja Born taught me to be kind to myself through the character of Lula. She has a lot of weight on her shoulder and she has to be reminded to take care of herself.

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

I sent my first query letter when I was 17 so I'm going on 13 years! My career officially started in 2012 with The Vicious Deep. Before that, I have 2 novels that never got published. Don't worry they're terrible and in a secret compartment in my writing cave. Bruja Born is my seventh published novel.

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

Whether I'm home or visiting a new place, I like to find a comfortable quiet nook. April and May of this year brought me to Ecuador, Spain, and France. It was interesting that even though I was in wildly different locations, my writing process remained the same. I found a place-- a coffee shop, a spot in my hotel room or hostel, had my coffee close by, my travel porg named Leia Porgana is always with me (see photo), and then I just start writing. I like being surrounded by chaos because it helps me focus.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Bruja Born
by Zoraida Córdova
Hardcover
Sourcebooks Fire
Released 6/5/2018

Three sisters. One spell. Countless dead.

Lula Mortiz feels like an outsider. Her sister's newfound Encantrix powers have wounded her in ways that Lula's bruja healing powers can't fix, and she longs for the comfort her family once brought her. Thank the Deos for Maks, her sweet, steady boyfriend who sees the beauty within her and brings light to her life.

Then a bus crash turns Lula's world upside down. Her classmates are all dead, including Maks. But Lula was born to heal, to fix. She can bring Maks back, even if it means seeking help from her sisters and defying Death herself. But magic that defies the laws of the deos is dangerous. Unpredictable. And when the dust settles, Maks isn't the only one who's been brought back...

Purchase Bruja Born at Amazon
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 
Zoraida Córdova is the award-winning author of The Vicious Deep trilogy and the Brooklyn Brujas series. Her short fiction has appeared in the New York Times bestselling anthology, Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View, and Toil & Trouble: 16 Tales of Women and Witchcraft. She is a New Yorker at heart and is currently working on her next novel. Send her a tweet @Zlikeinzorro.

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Have you had a chance to read BRUJA BORN yet? Are you able to let the story go for a period of time before coming back to it? Does being surrounded by chaos help you focus? 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, June 7, 2018

0 Greg Howard, author of SOCIAL INTERCOURSE, on growing up being a universal experience

We're excited to have Greg Howard with us to share more about his YA debut, SOCIAL INTERCOURSE.

Greg, what was your inspiration for writing SOCIAL INTERCOURSE?

SOCIAL INTERCOURSE was my YA debut and I got the idea to write it after reading several other popular YA books with gay main characters. All those books had such different points of views and perspectives that it made me realize that I have a unique point of view as well—everyone does. So while I had never considered writing YA before, I jumped in and gave it a try. Also, I just wanted to to write a funny book. YA readers who like a more serious tone have plenty to choose from, but those who just want to laugh and have a great time with LGBTQ stories and characters, don’t have quite as much to choose from.

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

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda and Will Grayson, Will Grayson, are two that I used as comps for SOCIAL INTERCOURSE when querying agents.

How long did you work on SOCIAL INTERCOURSE?

I wrote SOCIAL INTERCOURSE as my NaNoWriMo project, so it was the fastest book I’ve ever written. I finished it in about five weeks, before I started editing and querying it. Granted I'd never written YA and was flying by the seat of my pants, but I think that actually helped.

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

I’d always thought I was “too old” to write YA, but writing SOCIAL INTERCOURSE taught me that growing up is a universal experience (duh!). And that though the world has changed and the way people communicate has changed drastically, there are many teens today going through the very same issues that I went through at their age.

What do you hope readers will take away from SOCIAL INTERCOURSE?

To be yourself, no matter what. Even if some people don’t get you, you WILL find your audience (and your tribe).

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

Long. Hard. Rough. That about sums up my road to publication. I wrote one adult paranormal book called BLOOD DIVINE before I wrote SOCIAL INTERCOURSE and no agents or even small publishers were interested in it. Actually, I did find one small publisher who published it and then promptly went out of business less than a year later. It’s okay though - I was able to get my rights back and self-publish that book. It was my first book and took me five years to write, so it’s not perfect. But I learned a ton while writing BLOOD DIVINE and I’m very proud of it.

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

I have a full time day job, so for the last four to five years my schedule as been to write from 4AM to 6AM Monday through Friday and then several hours on Saturday and Sunday. It’s not easy, but I learned very quickly that big part of finding success as a published author is simply showing up to do the work.

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

Find the publishing path that works for you, whether that is self publishing, small press publishing or traditional agent/large press publishing. It’s all valid. And secondly, rejection is hard for everyone, but no matter how many times someone says no, remind yourself that it only takes one yes. I received dozens and dozens of no’s before I found my yes.

What are you working on now?

I just turned in my edits to my publisher for my first middle grade book called The Whispers coming out Spring of 2019. Other than having a gay main character, as well, The Whispers couldn’t be more different from Social Intercourse. It’s exciting to write in two different genres. It keeps things interesting and fresh!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Social Intercourse
by Greg Howard
Hardcover
Simon & Schuster Books for You
Released 6/5/2018

Beckett Gaines, a gay teen living in South Carolina, has his world turned upside-down by a jock in this laugh-out-loud novel that’s Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda meets The Parent Trap.

Beck:
The Golden Girls-loving, out-and-proud choir nerd growing up in the “ass-crack of the Bible belt.”

Jax:
The Golden Boy, star quarterback with a slick veneer facing uncomfortable truths about himself and his past.

When Beck’s emotionally fragile dad starts dating the recently single (and supposedly lesbian) mom of former bully, Jaxon Parker, Beck is not having it. Jax isn’t happy about the situation either, holding out hope that his moms will reunite and restore the only stable home he’s ever known. Putting aside past differences, the boys plot to derail the budding romance between their parents at their conservative hometown’s first-ever Rainbow Prom. Hearts will be broken, new romance will bloom, but nothing will go down the way Beck and Jax have planned.

Purchase Social Intercourse at Amazon
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View Social Intercourse on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Greg Howard grew up on the coast of South Carolina in a strict, conservative Christian environment. Greg escaped into the arts: singing, playing piano, acting, writing songs, and making up stories. After running away to the bright lights and big city of Nashville, Tennessee after college he eventually got serious about writing books. He writes young adult and middle grade fiction usually centering on LGBTQ characters and issues. Greg’s debut young adult novel, SOCIAL INTERCOURSE from Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers has been described as provocative and hilarious and his debut middle grade book, THE WHISPERS, will be published by Putnam/Penguin - Spring 2019.

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Have you had a chance to read SOCIAL INTERCOURSE yet? Do you show up to do the work? Do you remind yourself that it only takes one yes? 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

0 Adrienne Kisner, author of DEAR RACHEL MADDOW, on writing the book she wanted to see in the world

We're delighted to have Adrienne Kisner stop by to chat about her debut novel, DEAR RACHEL MADDOW.

Adrienne, what was your inspiration for writing DEAR RACHEL MADDOW?

For years I thought a YA version of DEAR MR. HENSHAW would be cool, particularly written to a journalist. When The Rachel Maddow show debuted I thought, YAAAAASSSS someone write a book to this woman! But no one wrote the book I wanted so I figured I might as well do it myself.

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?

Main character Brynn suffers a lot of heartbreak. She reflects on what each loss means and spirals into herself. I felt like such a jerk doing that to her. I burst into tears in the middle of the Boston Public Library writing a scene near the end. But Brynn’s also really funny. In my daily life I’m not really one to swear (SEE MOM, I’M A PROFESSIONAL), but Brynn just lets every vulgar thought in her head fly. That was a lot of fun to write.

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

Hmmm. Well, I can tell you books that resonated with me, and that I would like to proselytize as much as possible. Nic Stone’s DEAR MARTIN is brilliant, and I shove it into my students’ hands whenever any of them stand still long enough. Jennifer Mathieu’s MOXIE is great for its civically involved, creative girls. Amy Spalding’s THE SUMMER OF JORDI PEREZ (AND THE BEST BURGER IN LOS ANGELES) is funny with tremendous heart. And Britta Lundin’s SHIP IT is a love letter to fandom and happy, hopeful endings everywhere. These books span topics and genre, maybe, but they all include characters I loved.

What are you working on now?

A book about queer girl birdwatchers/nature photographers who reluctantly become environmental activists. For fans of kissing and bird-related puns.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Dear Rachel Maddow
by Adrienne Kisner
Hardcover
Feiwel & Friends
Released 6/5/2018

Brynn Haper's life has one steadying force--Rachel Maddow.

She watches her daily, and after writing to Rachel for a school project--and actually getting a response--Brynn starts drafting e-mails to Rachel but never sending them. Brynn tells Rachel about breaking up with her first serious girlfriend, about her brother Nick's death, about her passive mother and even worse stepfather, about how she's stuck in remedial courses at school and is considering dropping out.

Then Brynn is confronted with a moral dilemma. One student representative will be allowed to have a voice among the administration in the selection of a new school superintendent. Brynn's archnemesis, Adam, and ex-girlfriend, Sarah, believe only Honors students are worthy of the selection committee seat. Brynn feels all students deserve a voice. When she runs for the position, the knives are out. So she begins to ask herself: What Would Rachel Maddow Do?

Purchase Dear Rachel Maddow at Amazon
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View Dear Rachel Maddow on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Adrienne Kisner lives in a dorm that is better and likely bigger than yours. She prefers the term "dormitory" to "residence hall." Her opinions are built out of cinder block. She went to school for a long time and has several degrees that have afforded her the professional opportunity to routinely opine to college students about the merits of subverting grammar. Her coolest degree is an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. In her spare time, Adrienne enjoys killing plants and zombies. Her current home is in Boston, but she will always be a Pennsylvanian at heart. Visit her at www.adriennekisner.com

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Have you had a chance to read DEAR RACHEL MADDOW yet? Are you a jerk to your characters? Have you ever made yourself cry in a public place while writing? 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, June 6, 2018

0 Preston Norton, NEANDERTHAL OPENS THE DOOR TO THE UNIVERSE, on being "the best you can be" as a state of progression

We're thrilled to have Preston Norton stop in to chat more about his latest novel, NEANDERTHAL OPENS THE DOOR TO THE UNIVERSE.

Preston, 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 god, are you ready for this? TEN BOOKS. I wrote ten f***ing books before this one. Now, three of them were published technically (numbers 5, 7, and 8 respectively), but they were all from extremely small publishing houses, practically the equivalent of self-publishing. But believe it or not, I'm actually glad it turned out this way. I'm glad I didn't catch a break before I really pushed myself as an aspiring writer. I think all that rejection really formed me and forced me to become the very best I can be. (LIKE NARUTO!!) Of course, being "the best you can be" should be a state of progression and never really stop. I hope I can look back on NEANDERTHAL and think, "Man, that was trash." Okay, I'm kidding, but you know what I mean!

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

It's not so much emotional, but when it comes to humor and pop-culture, Jesse Andrews is the man. He is a cornucopia of pop-culture! (And way funnier about it than, say, Ernest Cline.) I'm sure you've already read or seen ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL. (If you haven't, go and correct the error of your ways.) But have you read THE HATERS? You will laugh. Maybe you will cry. But if you do, it will be because of how hard you are laughing.

What are you working on now?

A very weird, ambitious project that I'm not sure I will finish! Which, some might claim, is a waste of time. For me, however, it's hardly. The only thing I consider a waste of time is not writing. (Also, watching The Walking Dead. Like, will that show ever end??) Anyway, this particular project demands to be written in third person, which I've grown rusty in, so hopefully I'll relearn how to not suck at that. Wish me luck. I feel like I'm attempting to play a sport left-handed.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe
by Preston Norton
Hardcover
Disney-Hyperion
Released 6/5/2018

Cliff Hubbard is a huge loser. Literally. His nickname at Happy Valley High School is Neanderthal because he's so enormous-6'6" and 250 pounds to be exact. He has nobody at school, and life in his trailer-park home has gone from bad to worse ever since his older brother's suicide.

There's no one Cliff hates more than the nauseatingly cool quarterback, Aaron Zimmerman. Then Aaron returns to school after a near-death experience with a bizarre claim: while he was unconscious he saw God, who gave him a list of things to do to make Happy Valley High suck less. And God said there's only one person who can help: Neanderthal.

To his own surprise, Cliff says he's in. As he and Aaron make their way through the List, which involves a vindictive English teacher, a mysterious computer hacker, a decidedly unchristian cult of Jesus Teens, the local drug dealers, and the meanest bully at HVHS, Cliff feels like he's part of something for the first time since losing his brother. But fixing a broken school isn't as simple as it seems, and just when Cliff thinks they've completed the List, he realizes their mission hits closer to home than he ever imagined.

Purchase Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe at Amazon
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Preston Norton is: bisexual, slightly genderqueer, married. His partner, Erin, is trying to put him on a diet, and he’s revolting (both contexts apply). He has taught seventh grade and ninth grade English, mentored drug addicts, and mowed lawns (in no particular order). He is obsessed with 2001: A Space Odyssey and Quentin Tarantino. Visit him online at http://prestonnorton.wixsite.com/prestonnorton and on Twitter at @PrestonSNorton.

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Have you had a chance to read NEANDERTHAL OPENS THE DOOR TO THE UNIVERSE yet? How hard do you strive to make each project better? What do you do to keep moving forward in the face of rejection? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!

Happy Reading,

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

Monday, June 4, 2018

8 New Releases this week 06/04 - 06/10 plus 3 Giveaways

Happy Monday! This week is jam packed with new releases and a few giveaways, including 3 copies of BRING ME THEIR HEARTS! Don't forget to check out all the books below and enter to win.

We're extra excited about this release week because it features one of our AYAP members. Kelly deVos, our Writers on Writing guest post coordinator, is debuting her fabulous novel FAT GIRL ON A PLANE. We're so thrilled for her! Congrats, Kelly!

Happy Reading,

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


YA BOOK GIVEAWAYS THIS WEEK


Dear Rachel Maddow
by Adrienne Kisner
Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

Feiwel & Friends
Released 6/5/2018

Brynn Haper's life has one steadying force--Rachel Maddow.

She watches her daily, and after writing to Rachel for a school project--and actually getting a response--Brynn starts drafting e-mails to Rachel but never sending them. Brynn tells Rachel about breaking up with her first serious girlfriend, about her brother Nick's death, about her passive mother and even worse stepfather, about how she's stuck in remedial courses at school and is considering dropping out.

Then Brynn is confronted with a moral dilemma. One student representative will be allowed to have a voice among the administration in the selection of a new school superintendent. Brynn's archnemesis, Adam, and ex-girlfriend, Sarah, believe only Honors students are worthy of the selection committee seat. Brynn feels all students deserve a voice. When she runs for the position, the knives are out. So she begins to ask herself: What Would Rachel Maddow Do?

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Dear Rachel Maddow?

My favorite thing about DEAR RACHEL MADDOW is probably my main character, Brynn. Things don’t come easy for her, there are a million reasons for her to give up or disengage, and it’s not like there are a lot of opportunities for her to improve her situation. But she loves what she loves to her core, and can’t stop hoping in something better. She is fearless in speaking her mind. She is comfortable in her own skin. Of course Brynn watches The Rachel Maddow Show. Even on its less optimistic days, this program retains a kind of civility and integrity that drive its dedication to truth. I know not everyone believes that. But I do. Brynn does even more so. The idea of the free press nourishes a part of her that nothing else does. Brynn and I would have baffled one another if we’d known each other in high school, but only because she’s a much cooler person than I ever was.

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Tell Me No Lies
by A.V. Geiger
Paperback Giveaway
U.S. Only

Sourcebooks Fire
Released 6/5/2018

No one knows what happened to pop icon Eric Thorn. His Twitter account? Frozen. His cell phone? Cracked and bloody, buried in the snow.

Agoraphobic fangirl Tessa Hart knows the truth, but she's finally left her #EricThornObsessed days behind. She has no intention of ever touching her Twitter app again. But Snapchat... That's safer, right?

After months of living under the radar, Tessa emerges from hiding, forced to face the deadly consequences of her past. But in the interrogation room, answers only lead to more questions in the jaw-dropping conclusion to the Follow Me Back duology.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Tell Me No Lies?

I adore the mixed format elements in TELL ME NO LIES above all else. For the life of me, I don't know how to tell a story in a straightforward fashion. The first book of this duology, FOLLOW ME BACK, amped up the suspense by weaving together tweets, direct messages, and fragments from a mysterious police interrogation transcript, alongside the main dual-POV narrative. In TELL ME NO LIES (Follow Me Back #2), I had so much fun pushing the mixed elements even further. In addition to Twitter, the main character Tessa migrates onto Snapchat, and readers get to explore a new social media platform through her eyes. Meanwhile, the police interrogation transcripts continue to frame the main narrative, driving the slow buildup of tension from the first page of the book to the final resolution.

Purchase Tell Me No Lies at Amazon
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View Tell Me No Lies on Goodreads



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Bring Me Their Hearts
by Sara Wolf
Advance Reader Copy Giveaway (3 Copies)
U.S. Only

Entangled: Teen
Released 6/5/2018

Zera is a Heartless―the immortal, unaging soldier of a witch. Bound to the witch Nightsinger, Zera longs for freedom from the woods they hide in. With her heart in a jar under Nightsinger's control, she serves the witch unquestioningly.

Until Nightsinger asks Zera for a prince's heart in exchange for her own, with one addendum: if she's discovered infiltrating the court, Nightsinger will destroy Zera's heart rather than see her tortured by the witch-hating nobles.

Crown Prince Lucien d'Malvane hates the royal court as much as it loves him―every tutor too afraid to correct him and every girl jockeying for a place at his darkly handsome side. No one can challenge him―until the arrival of Lady Zera. She's inelegant, smart-mouthed, carefree, and out for his blood. The prince's honor has him quickly aiming for her throat.

So begins a game of cat and mouse between a girl with nothing to lose and a boy who has it all.

Winner takes the loser's heart.

Literally.

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YA BOOK GIVEAWAYS LAST WEEK: WINNERS

Cross Fire by Fonda Lee: Charlotte O.
Questions I Want to Ask You by Michelle Falkoff: Jo R.


MORE YOUNG ADULT FICTION IN STORES NEXT WEEK WITH AUTHOR INTERVIEWS



Fat Girl on a Plane
by Kelly deVos
Hardcover
Harlequin Teen
Released 6/5/2018

High school senior Cookie Vonn’s post-graduation dreams include getting out of Phoenix, attending Parsons and becoming the next great fashion designer. But in the world of fashion, being fat is a cardinal sin. It doesn’t help that she’s constantly compared to her supermodel mother—and named after a dessert.

Thanks to her job at a fashion blog, Cookie scores a trip to New York to pitch her portfolio and appeal for a scholarship, but her plans are put on standby when she’s declared too fat too fly. Forced to turn to her BFF for cash, Cookie buys a second seat on the plane. She arrives in the city to find that she’s been replaced by the boss’s daughter, a girl who’s everything she’s not—ultrathin and superrich. Bowing to society’s pressure, she vows to lose weight, get out of the friend zone with her crush, and put her life on track.

Cookie expected sunshine and rainbows, but nothing about her new life is turning out like she planned. When the fashion designer of the moment offers her what she’s always wanted—an opportunity to live and study in New York—she finds herself in a world full of people more interested in putting women down than dressing them up. Her designs make waves, but her real dream of creating great clothes for people of all sizes seems to grow more distant by the day.

Will she realize that she’s always had the power to make her own dreams come true?

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Fat Girl on a Plane?

My personal favorite thing about the book is the relationship my main character, Cookie Vonn, has with her grandmother, Edna. I try not to really directly base my characters on anyone I encounter in my real life, but Cookie’s grandma is an exception. She is really inspired by my own grandma who was creative, fun, incredibly enterprising and a major source of inspiration for me. Losing her was such a blow, but in a way, during the writing process, I feel like I kind of got her back.

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Bruja Born
by Zoraida Córdova
Hardcover
Sourcebooks Fire
Released 6/5/2018

Three sisters. One spell. Countless dead.

Lula Mortiz feels like an outsider. Her sister's newfound Encantrix powers have wounded her in ways that Lula's bruja healing powers can't fix, and she longs for the comfort her family once brought her. Thank the Deos for Maks, her sweet, steady boyfriend who sees the beauty within her and brings light to her life.

Then a bus crash turns Lula's world upside down. Her classmates are all dead, including Maks. But Lula was born to heal, to fix. She can bring Maks back, even if it means seeking help from her sisters and defying Death herself. But magic that defies the laws of the deos is dangerous. Unpredictable. And when the dust settles, Maks isn't the only one who's been brought back...

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Bruja Born?

The main thing I wanted to accomplish with the Brooklyn Brujas series was a strong sisterly bond. That is the heart of this series, and it's also the heart of this book in particular. Writing Lula Mortiz was difficult for different reasons. She starts off in a bad headspace with the whole getting dumped and then starting an undead invasion in her city. But finding her courage and her love of life again was absolutely wonderful. She gets to stretch outside of her comfort zone and has to deal with her family, her community, and also a cute supernatural hunter.

This book definitely put me through the ringer, but I had amazing friends who talked scenes out with me and encouraged me to stop being so hard on myself. Of course, I have to shout out Dhonielle Clayton for always setting me straight when I got down on myself. She reminded me to be kind to my little brujas! We're going on tour together in June for a little project we're calling The Belles and Brujas Tour (https://thebellesandbrujastour.com). Having people who *get* you makes writing that much more worth it because suddenly you're not alone. I was reminded that my books are magic, my girls are magic. BRUJA BORN and I came out stronger for it. I hope readers feel the same.


Purchase Bruja Born at Amazon
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Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe
by Preston Norton
Hardcover
Disney-Hyperion
Released 6/5/2018

Cliff Hubbard is a huge loser. Literally. His nickname at Happy Valley High School is Neanderthal because he's so enormous-6'6" and 250 pounds to be exact. He has nobody at school, and life in his trailer-park home has gone from bad to worse ever since his older brother's suicide.

There's no one Cliff hates more than the nauseatingly cool quarterback, Aaron Zimmerman. Then Aaron returns to school after a near-death experience with a bizarre claim: while he was unconscious he saw God, who gave him a list of things to do to make Happy Valley High suck less. And God said there's only one person who can help: Neanderthal.

To his own surprise, Cliff says he's in. As he and Aaron make their way through the List, which involves a vindictive English teacher, a mysterious computer hacker, a decidedly unchristian cult of Jesus Teens, the local drug dealers, and the meanest bully at HVHS, Cliff feels like he's part of something for the first time since losing his brother. But fixing a broken school isn't as simple as it seems, and just when Cliff thinks they've completed the List, he realizes their mission hits closer to home than he ever imagined.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe?

If you were to metaphorically cut me open and spill out all of my contents, amidst the blood and gore and entrails, you would find bits and pieces everywhere that essentially form the entirety of NEANDERTHAL OPENS THE DOOR TO THE UNIVERSE. That is to say, this book is culmination of me. It's personal on almost every level. In many ways, writing it was a healing, therapeutic experience. I also cried a whole f***ing lot. But I like to think that crying is healthy.

My second favorite thing is Tegan f***ing Robertson. She's a side character who kind of exploded onto the page, and got way out of control, and became everyone's favorite character (mine included) of her own volition. I had no say over it.


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Social Intercourse
by Greg Howard
Hardcover
Simon & Schuster Books for You
Released 6/5/2018

Beckett Gaines, a gay teen living in South Carolina, has his world turned upside-down by a jock in this laugh-out-loud novel that’s Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda meets The Parent Trap.

Beck:
The Golden Girls-loving, out-and-proud choir nerd growing up in the “ass-crack of the Bible belt.”

Jax:
The Golden Boy, star quarterback with a slick veneer facing uncomfortable truths about himself and his past.

When Beck’s emotionally fragile dad starts dating the recently single (and supposedly lesbian) mom of former bully, Jaxon Parker, Beck is not having it. Jax isn’t happy about the situation either, holding out hope that his moms will reunite and restore the only stable home he’s ever known. Putting aside past differences, the boys plot to derail the budding romance between their parents at their conservative hometown’s first-ever Rainbow Prom. Hearts will be broken, new romance will bloom, but nothing will go down the way Beck and Jax have planned.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Social Intercourse?

SOCIAL INTERCOURSE is set in the small Southern town where I went to middle school and high school, and I love that one of the two main characters is so comfortable being openly gay. People ask me if I was like the character of Beck in high school and my answer is always "no, but I wish I had been.” I was very closeted in high school and Beck is not in the least. He's out and proud and wears any resulting emotional scars from teasing or bullying as a badge of honor. But for the same reason Beck has built up walls to protect himself and therefore has to learn not to paint everyone with the broad strokes of bigotry and hate that are exhibited by a few. So I love that he thinks he has the world (and other people) all figured out, but in some cases, he couldn’t be more wrong. That was fun to write.

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Sweet Black Waves
by Kristina Perez
Hardcover
Imprint
Released 6/5/2018

Two proud kingdoms stand on opposite shores, with only a bloody history between them.

As best friend and lady-in-waiting to the princess, Branwen is guided by two principles: devotion to her homeland and hatred for the raiders who killed her parents. When she unknowingly saves the life of her enemy, he awakens her ancient healing magic and opens her heart. Branwen begins to dream of peace, but the princess she serves is not so easily convinced. Fighting for what's right, even as her powers grow beyond her control, will set Branwen against both her closest confidant and the only man she's ever loved.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Sweet Black Waves?

Gosh, this is a tough question! I guess I would have to say the journey that Branwen is on. At its core, this is a coming of age story. It’s about Branwen finding her own power––both in terms of magic and as a political player––and learning to trust herself. Sometimes we all only have ourselves to rely on and that’s actually empowering.

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MORE YOUNG ADULT NOVELS NEW IN STORES NEXT WEEK


Always Forever Maybe
by Anica Mrose Rissi
Hardcover
HarperTeen
Released 6/5/2018

When Betts meets Aiden at the candy store where she works, their connection is like a sugar rush to the heart. Betts already knows the two of them are infinite. Inevitable. Destined to become an us.

Betts has only ever kept one secret from her best friend, Jo, but suddenly there’s a long list of things she won’t tell her, things Jo wouldn’t understand. Because Jo doesn’t see how good Aiden is for Betts. She finds him needy. Possessive. Controlling.

She’s wrong. With a love like this, nothing else matters.

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* * * *


Blood Will Out
by Jo Treggiari
Hardcover
Penguin Teen
Released 6/5/2018

Ari Sullivan is alive--for now.
She wakes at the bottom of a cistern, confused, injured and alone, with only the shadowy recollection of a low-pitched voice and a gloved hand. No one can hear her screams. And the person who put her there is coming back. The killer is planning a gruesome masterpiece, a fairytale tableau of innocence and blood, meticulously designed.
Until now, Ari was happy to spend her days pining for handsome, recent-arrival Stroud Bellows, fantasizing about their two-point-four-kids-future together. Safe in her small hometown of Dempsey Hollow. But now her community has turned very dangerous -- and Ari may not be the only intended victim.
Told in alternating perspectives of predator and prey, Blood Will Out is a gripping and terrifying read.

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City of Bastards
by Andrew Shvarts
Hardcover
Disney-Hyperion
Released 6/5/2018

Tilla, bastard of House Kent, has it made. Safe from her murderous father in the dazzling capital of Lightspire, she lives a life of luxury under the protection of the Volaris King, alongside her boyfriend, Zell, and best friend, Princess Lyriana.

So why isn't she happy? Maybe it's the whispers and stares that follow her wherever she goes, as the daughter of the traitor waging war against Lightspire. Or maybe it's the memories of her beloved brother, Jax, who lies cold in his grave even as she tries to settle into a life in the city's prestigious University.

Then Tilla stumbles upon the body of a classmate-a friend. The authorities are quick to rule it a suicide and sweep it under the rug, but when Tilla herself is attacked by a mysterious man with terrifying powers, she's convinced of a conspiracy. Her friends beg her to stay silent; what she's suggesting is impossible . . . and treasonous.

But Tilla can't-won't-let it go. And the deeper she digs, the more questions she uncovers. How is the West beating the supposedly invincible Lightspire mages in battle? Is it connected to the shadowy cult wreaking havoc in Lightspire? Nothing is as it seems in the glorious capital, and Tilla's presence might just be the spark that sets the Kingdom aflame.

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How We Roll
by Natasha Friend
Hardcover
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Released 6/5/2018

Quinn is a teen who loves her family, skateboarding, basketball, and her friends, but after she's diagnosed with a condition called alopecia which causes her to lose all of her hair, her friends abandon her. Jake was once a star football player, but because of a freak accident―caused by his brother―he loses both of his legs. Quinn and Jake meet and find the confidence to believe in themselves again, and maybe even love.

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Invisible Ghosts
by Robyn Schneider
Hardcover
Katherine Tegen Books
Released 6/5/2018

Rose Asher believes in ghosts. She should, since she has one for a best friend: Logan, her annoying, Netflix-addicted brother, who is forever stuck at fifteen. But Rose is growing up, and when an old friend moves back to Laguna Canyon and appears in her drama class, things get complicated.

Jamie Aldridge is charming, confident, and a painful reminder of the life Rose has been missing out on since her brother’s death. She watches as Jamie easily rejoins their former friends—a group of magnificently silly theater nerds—while avoiding her so intensely that it must be deliberate.

Yet when the two of them unexpectedly cross paths, Rose learns that Jamie has a secret of his own, one that changes everything. Rose finds herself drawn back into her old life—and to Jamie. But she quickly starts to suspect that he isn’t telling her the whole truth.

All Rose knows is that it’s becoming harder to choose between the boy who makes her feel alive and the brother she isn’t ready to lose.

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Kissing Games
by Tara Eglington
Hardcover
Wednesday Books
Released 6/5/2018

After a perfect first kiss, Aurora's second kiss lands her boyfriend in the hospital, and her matchmaking strategies start to backfire in this sequel to Tara Eglington's How to Keep a Boy from Kissing You.

For a girl who shares her name with a princess (aka Sleeping Beauty), Aurora Skye’s romantic life seems fathoms away from a fairy tale. Sure, she’s landed her prince charming, Hayden Paris. And she got her wish―one first kiss with all the knee-trembling, butterfly-inducing gloriousness she’d hoped for. But instead of happily ever after, their second kiss landed Hayden in the emergency room. If that’s not mortifying enough, the whole school is now referring to her as "Lethal Lips."

When Aurora's best friend decides to run for class president and offers up Aurora's matchmaking service as one of her campaign initiatives, the kissing games begin. Aurora has to convince everyone that her program works―but that might be hard to do when it seems like her own love life might be falling apart.

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Little Do We Know
by Tamara Ireland Stone
Hardcover
Disney-Hyperion
Released 6/5/2018

Next-door neighbors and ex-best friends Hannah and Emory haven't spoken in months. Not since the fight-the one where they said things they couldn't take back.

Now, Emory is fine-tuning her UCLA performing arts application and trying to make the most of the months she has left with her boyfriend, Luke, before they head off to separate colleges. Meanwhile, Hannah's strong faith is shaken when her family's financial problems come to light, and she finds herself turning to unexpected places-and people-for answers to the difficult questions she's suddenly facing.

No matter how much Hannah and Emory desperately want to bridge the thirty-six steps between their bedroom windows, they can't. Not anymore.

Until their paths cross unexpectedly when, one night, Hannah finds Luke doubled over in his car outside her house. In the aftermath of the accident, all three struggle to understand what happened in their own ways. But when a devastating secret about Hannah and Emory's argument ultimately comes to light, they must all reexamine the things they hold true.


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Mariam Sharma Hits the Road
by Sheba Karim
Hardcover
HarperTeen
Released 6/5/2018

Three Pakistani-American teenagers, on a trip through the land of pork ribs, mechanical bulls, and Confederate flags. It’s going to be quite an adventure.

The summer after her freshman year of college, Mariam is looking forward to working and hanging out with her best friends: irrepressible and beautiful Ghazala, and religious but closeted Umar.

But when a scandalous photo of Ghaz appears on a billboard in Times Square, Mariam and Umar come up with a plan to rescue her from her furious parents. And what could be a better escape than a spontaneous road trip down to New Orleans?

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Pregnant at 17
by Christine Conradt
Hardcover
HarperTeen
Released 6/5/2018

In this action-packed and romantic thriller based on the “can’t pull your eyes away” series on Lifetime, one girl discovers that your life can change in an instant.

Seventeen-year-old Chelsea doesn’t go looking for trouble, but somehow it always manages to find her. Not only is her father taking off to work on a dangerous crab boat, the man she testified against is getting out of prison, and she's just discovered she's pregnant.

So when help comes in the most unlikely of forms—Sonia, an odd but generous woman who comes into the shop where she works—Chelsea isn’t sure how to react. As the two women begin to form a friendship, though, Chelsea begins to believe she's finally found someone she can trust.

But Chelsea should know better than anyone that people aren’t always what they seem, and when she discovers Sonia’s true identity she’s left reeling.

Faced with a difficult decision at the same time her past comes back to haunt her, Chelsea must do what she's never had the courage to do before—fight for herself. And now, fight for her baby as well.

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Save the Date
by Morgan Matson
Hardcover
Simon & Schuster Books for You
Released 6/5/2018

Charlie Grant’s older sister is getting married this weekend at their family home, and Charlie can’t wait—for the first time in years, all four of her older siblings will be under one roof. Charlie is desperate for one last perfect weekend, before the house is sold and everything changes. The house will be filled with jokes and games and laughs again. Making decisions about things like what college to attend and reuniting with longstanding crush Jesse Foster—all that can wait. She wants to focus on making the weekend perfect.

The only problem? The weekend is shaping up to be an absolute disaster.

There’s the unexpected dog with a penchant for howling, house alarm that won’t stop going off, and a papergirl with a grudge.

There are the relatives who aren’t speaking, the (awful) girl her favorite brother brought home unannounced, and a missing tuxedo.

Not to mention the neighbor who seems to be bent on sabotage and a storm that is bent on drenching everything. The justice of the peace is missing. The band will only play covers. The guests are all crazy. And the wedding planner’s nephew is unexpectedly, distractingly…cute.

Over the course of three ridiculously chaotic days, Charlie will learn more than she ever expected about the family she thought she knew by heart. And she’ll realize that sometimes, trying to keep everything like it was in the past means missing out on the future.

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Smoke in the Sun
by Renée Ahdieh
Hardcover
G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Y
Released 6/5/2018

After Okami is captured in the Jukai forest, Mariko has no choice--to rescue him, she must return to Inako and face the dangers that have been waiting for her in the Heian Castle. She tricks her brother, Kenshin, and betrothed, Raiden, into thinking she was being held by the Black Clan against her will, playing the part of the dutiful bride-to-be to infiltrate the emperor's ranks and uncover the truth behind the betrayal that almost left her dead.

With the wedding plans already underway, Mariko pretends to be consumed with her upcoming nuptials, all the while using her royal standing to peel back the layers of lies and deception surrounding the imperial court. But each secret she unfurls gives way to the next, ensnaring Mariko and Okami in a political scheme that threatens their honor, their love and the very safety of the empire.

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Summer of Salt
by Katrina Leno
Hardcover
HarperTeen
Released 6/5/2018

Georgina Fernweh waits impatiently for the tingle of magic in her fingers—magic that has touched every woman in her family. But with her eighteenth birthday looming at the end of this summer, Georgina fears her gift will never come.

Over the course of her last summer on the island—a summer of storms, falling in love, and the mystery behind one rare three-hundred-year-old bird—Georgina will learn the truth about magic, in all its many forms.

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The Bird and the Blade
by Megan Bannen
Hardcover
Balzer + Bray
Released 6/5/2018

Enslaved in Kipchak Khanate, Jinghua has lost everything: her home, her family, her freedom . . . until the kingdom is conquered by enemy forces and she finds herself an unlikely conspirator in the escape of Prince Khalaf and his irascible father across the vast Mongol Empire.

On the run, with adversaries on all sides and an endless journey ahead, Jinghua hatches a scheme to use the Kipchaks’ exile to return home, a plan that becomes increasingly fraught as her feelings for Khalaf evolve into an impossible love.

Jinghua’s already dicey prospects take a downward turn when Khalaf seeks to restore his kingdom by forging a marriage alliance with Turandokht, the daughter of the Great Khan. As beautiful as she is cunning, Turandokht requires all potential suitors to solve three impossible riddles to win her hand—and if they fail, they die.

Jinghua has kept her own counsel well, but with Khalaf’s kingdom—and his very life—on the line, she must reconcile the hard truth of her past with her love for a boy who has no idea what she’s capable of . . . even if it means losing him to the girl who’d sooner take his life than his heart.

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The History of Jane Doe
by Michael Belanger
Hardcover
Dial Books
Released 6/5/2018

History buff Ray knows everything about the peculiar legends and lore of his rural Connecticut hometown. Burgerville's past is riddled with green cow sightings and witches' curses, but the most interesting thing about the present is the new girl--we'll call her Jane Doe.

Inscrutable, cool, and above all mysterious, Jane seems as determined to hide her past as Ray is to uncover it. As fascination turns to friendship and then to something more, Ray is certain he knows Jane's darkest, most painful secrets and Jane herself--from past to present. But when the unthinkable happens, Ray is forced to acknowledge that perhaps history can only tell us so much.

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The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls
by Jessica Spotswood
Paperback
Sourcebooks Fire
Released 6/5/2018

As the oldest, Des shoulders a lot of responsibility for her family and their independent bookstore. Except it's hard to dream big when she's so busy taking care of everyone else.

Vi has a crush on the girl next door. It makes her happy and nervous, but Cece has a boyfriend...so it's not like her feelings could ever be reciprocated, right?

Kat lands the lead in the community theater's summer play, but the drama spills offstage when her ex and his new girlfriend are cast too. Can she get revenge by staging a new romance of her own?

Bea and her boyfriend are heading off to college together in the fall, just like they planned when they started dating. But Bea isn't sure she wants the same things as when she was thirteen...

Told through four alternating points of view, readers will laugh, cry, and fall in love alongside the Garrett girls.

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The Summer of Us
by Cecilia Vinesse
Hardcover
Poppy
Released 6/5/2018

American expat Aubrey has only two weeks left in Europe before she leaves for college, and she's nowhere near ready. Good thing she and her best friend, Rae, have planned one last group trip across the continent. From Paris to Prague, they're going to explore famous museums, sip champagne in fancy restaurants, and eat as many croissants as possible with their friends Clara, Jonah, and Gabe.

But when old secrets come to light, Aubrey and Rae's trip goes from a carefree adventure to a complete disaster. For starters, there's Aubrey and Gabe's unresolved history, complicated by the fact that Aubrey is dating Jonah, Gabe's best friend. And then there's Rae's hopeless crush on the effortlessly cool Clara. How is Rae supposed to admit her feelings to someone so perfect when they're moving to different sides of the world in just a few weeks?


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What You Left Me
by Bridget Morrissey
Paperback
Sourcebooks Fire
Released 6/5/2018

Martin and Petra meet for the first time at graduation, and though they've shared the halls of their high school for four years without crossing paths, there's an instant connection the moment they're seated next to each other at the commencement ceremony.

Then a car accident puts Martin into a coma; and Petra is somehow left picking up the pieces, using friends, family, and shared dreams to keep their surprise connection going.

Together they must unlock the truth of his situation, and with time running out, their bond becomes Martin's best shot at waking back up to the life he's left behind.

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