Monday, October 15, 2018

0 New Releases this week 10/15 - 10/21

Happy Monday! While we don't have any giveaways this week, there's still so many awesome books coming out that should be on your radar. Don't forget to check out all the books coming out this week below and enter to win.

Happy Reading,

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

YA BOOK GIVEAWAYS LAST WEEK: WINNERS

Blanca & Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore: Debra B.
Odd One Out by Nic Stone: Adrianna D.

MORE YOUNG ADULT FICTION IN STORES NEXT WEEK WITH AUTHOR INTERVIEWS


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A Sorrow Fierce and Falling
by Jessica Cluess
Hardcover
Random House Books for Young Readers
Released 10/16/2018

It's time for war.

After suffering terrible losses, Henrietta and Lord Blackwood have led their warriors to Sorrow-Fell, a vast estate where only those invited by a Blackwood may enter--and the ideal place to plan a final assault against the Ancients.

It's time for a wedding.

Henrietta nervously awaits her marriage to Blackwood, but when the ritual to become his bride reveals a dark secret, she realizes that Sorrow-Fell is not a safe haven; it's a trap. Convincing the sorcerers of this, however, is not easy. So with Maria, the true chosen one, and Magnus, the young man who once stole her heart, at her side, Henrietta plots a dangerous journey straight into the enemy's lair. Some will live. Some will die. All will be tested.

In this stunning conclusion to the Kingdom on Fire series, Henrietta must choose between the love from her past, the love from her present, and a love that could define her future. While battles rage, the fate of the kingdom rests on her decision: Will she fall or rise up to become the woman who saves the realm?

It's time for Henrietta to make her stand.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about A Sorrow Fierce and Falling?

Saying goodbye, oddly enough. For me, the most emotional, painful, bittersweet, and joyful parts of a series come near the end. I know there are authors who could happily write dozens and dozens of books with a given cast of characters, but I’ve never been like that. I’ve always got a finite idea of where everyone ends up and how long it will take to get there. Every character in ASFAF—to my mind, at least—gets some kind of sendoff. Some have happy endings, others…less so. But whenever I was writing a character’s final scene, I felt intensely emotional towards them. I love everyone in this series a great deal, so it was ironic that I never loved them more than when I was putting them away for the final time.

Purchase A Sorrow Fierce and Falling at Amazon
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View A Sorrow Fierce and Falling on Goodreads

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Home and Away
by Candice Montgomery
Hardcover
Page Street Publishing
Released 10/16/2018

Tasia Quirk is young, Black, and fabulous. She's a senior, she's got great friends, and a supportive and wealthy family. She even plays football as the only girl on her private high school's team.

But when she catches her mamma trying to stuff a mysterious box in the closet, her identity is suddenly called into question. Now Tasia’s determined to unravel the lies that have overtaken her life. Along the way, she discovers what family and forgiveness really mean, and that her answers don’t come without a fee. An artsy bisexual boy from the Valley could help her find them―but only if she stops fighting who she is, beyond the color of her skin.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Home and Away?

The twist on "found family," I think. In the book, Tasia (kind of spoilery but not reaaalllly) meets her bio dad and his family (sister, mom, dad and *wink* Kai - who is something else altogether.)

I loved exploring the way Taze's new family embraced her or, as the case was, didn't embrace her.


Purchase Home and Away at Amazon
Purchase Home and Away at IndieBound
View Home and Away on Goodreads


MORE YOUNG ADULT NOVELS NEW IN STORES NEXT WEEK


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A Very Large Expanse of Sea
by Tahereh Mafi
Hardcover
HarperCollins
Released 10/16/2018

It’s 2002, a year after 9/11. It’s an extremely turbulent time politically, but especially so for someone like Shirin, a sixteen-year-old Muslim girl who’s tired of being stereotyped.

Shirin is never surprised by how horrible people can be. She’s tired of the rude stares, the degrading comments—even the physical violence—she endures as a result of her race, her religion, and the hijab she wears every day. So she’s built up protective walls and refuses to let anyone close enough to hurt her. Instead, she drowns her frustrations in music and spends her afternoons break-dancing with her brother.

But then she meets Ocean James. He’s the first person in forever who really seems to want to get to know Shirin. It terrifies her—they seem to come from two irreconcilable worlds—and Shirin has had her guard up for so long that she’s not sure she’ll ever be able to let it down.

Purchase A Very Large Expanse of Sea at Amazon
Purchase A Very Large Expanse of Sea at IndieBound
View A Very Large Expanse of Sea on Goodreads

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Crown of Thunder
by Tochi Onyebuchi
Hardcover
Razorbill
Released 10/16/2018

In the sequel to the acclaimed Beasts Made of Night, Taj has escaped Kos, but Queen Karima will go to any means necessary--including using the most deadly magic--to track him down.

Taj is headed west, but the consequences of leaving Kos behind confront him at every turn. Innocent civilians flee to refugee camps as Karima's dark magic continues to descend on the city. Taj must return, but first he needs a plan.

With Arzu's help, Taj and Aliya make it to the village of her ancestors, home of the tastahlik--sin-eaters with Taj's same ability to both battle and call forth sins. As Taj comes to terms with his new magic, he realizes there are two very different groups of tastahlik--one using their powers for good, the other for more selfish ends.

Aliya is struggling with her own unique capabilities. She's immersed in her work to uncover the secret to Karima's magic, but her health begins to mysteriously deteriorate. With the help of a local western mage, Aliya uncovers her true destiny--a future she's not sure she wants.

As Taj and Aliya explore their feelings for each other and Arzu connects with her homeland, the local westerners begin to question Taj's true identity. Karima is on his heels, sending dark warnings to the little village where he's hiding. Taj will have to go back and face her before she sends her mostly deadly weapon--Taj's former best friend, Bo.

Purchase Crown of Thunder at Amazon
Purchase Crown of Thunder at IndieBound
View Crown of Thunder on Goodreads

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Phantom Wheel: A Hackers Novel
by Tracy Deebs
Hardcover
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Released 10/16/2018

Being recruited by the CIA to join a top-secret intelligence program should be the opportunity of a lifetime. For Issa, it's a shot at creating a new and better life for herself and her siblings. For clever con artist Harper, it's a chance to bury the secrets of her troubled past and make sure that those secrets stay buried. But for Owen--honor student, star quarterback, and computer-hacking genius--it sounds like a trap.

He's right.

Owen discovers that instead of auditioning for the CIA, they've all been tricked by a multibillion-dollar tech company into creating the ultimate computer virus. It's called Phantom Wheel, and it's capable of hacking anyone on Earth, anywhere, at any time. And thanks to six teenagers, it's virtually unstoppable.

Horrified by what they've done, the hackers must team up to stop the virus before the world descends into chaos. But working together is easier said than done, especially as the lines start to blur between teammate, friend, and more than friend. Because how do you learn to trust someone when you've spent your entire life exploiting that same trust in others?

Purchase Phantom Wheel: A Hackers Novel at Amazon
Purchase Phantom Wheel: A Hackers Novel at IndieBound
View Phantom Wheel: A Hackers Novel on Goodreads

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Villain
by Michael Grant
Hardcover
Katherine Tegen Books
Released 10/16/2018

It’s been four years since the events of GONE. The Perdido Beach dome is down, but the horrors within have spread. The alien virus-infested rock that created the FAYZ is creating monsters—monsters that walk the cities and countryside, terrorizing all.

There are tanks in the street and predator drones in the sky, doomed efforts to stop the disintegration of civilization. Into this chaos comes a villain with the power to control anyone with just the sound of his voice. Dillon Poe wanted to be a comedian once…but everyone made fun of him. Dillon the loser. Dillon the freak. Now he’s sending thousands to their death. Who’s laughing now?

The only people who can stop a superpowered villain are superpowered heroes. Dekka, Shade, Cruz, Malik, Armo, and a new mutant with unmatched powers, are all that stand in Dillon’s way. But when the lines begin to blur between hero and villain—some begin to wonder who’s really the monster.

Purchase Villain at Amazon
Purchase Villain at IndieBound
View Villain on Goodreads

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Wind Rider: Tales of a New World
by P. C. Cast
Hardcover
Wednesday Books
Released 10/16/2018

Mari, Nik, and their newly formed Pack are being hunted. Thaddeus and the God of Death will stop at nothing until they are obliterated from the earth. But Mari and Nik have one goal: to reach the plains of the Wind Riders, in order to band together to stop Thaddeus from destroying all that Mari and Nik hold dear.

But will the mysterious Wind Riders accept the Pack, or will Mari and Nik and their people be rejected by the mighty Riders and be forced to flee for their lives? And what happens when a rogue Lead Stallion gets too close to the Pack, rejecting all Wind Riders and turning to a stranger for companionship instead?

In the next installment of the Tales of a New World series love and goodness are put to the ultimate test. Will the Wind Riders and the Pack be strong enough to withstand the God of Death? Will the Great Goddess of Life awaken to join the battle, and if so, will it be as Death's consort, or will the Goddess stand with Mari and her people against the great love of her eternal life?

Purchase Wind Rider: Tales of a New World at Amazon
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View Wind Rider: Tales of a New World on Goodreads


Saturday, October 13, 2018

0 Lisa Maxwell, author of THE DEVIL'S THIEF, on pulling herself out of a funk

THE DEVIL'S THIEF is the second book in the The Last Magician series, and we're delighted to have Lisa Maxwell here to tell us more about it.


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

This book was really hard to write, for some reason. Maybe it’s because sequels are always difficult, but it didn’t help that I felt kind of lost creatively after the election results. It took a long time to pull myself out of that funk, but this book taught me that I can write through pretty much anything—and I can write a ridiculous amount in a really short timespan. It also taught me that I never want to work like that again. lol.

What do you hope readers will take away from THE DEVIL'S THIEF?

At its heart, the whole LAST MAGICIAN series is about figuring out what you’re willing to do or to give up to become what you need to become. But more specifically, the books really focus on immigrants of the early 20th century, and the struggles that they had to arrive and assimilate. When I started writing the series, I never intended it to be so topically relevant to the current political climate, but I hope that if readers take away something it’s that the struggles and questions we have today aren’t anything new—they’re all part of this longer history that we tend to forget during the times that things are peaceful or calm.

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


This industry can grind you down to dust, but you have to ignore all of that. Your job is to write and create. All the other stuff—the networking and promo and becoming a brand stuff—it’s not really what’s important. Be kind to other writers, wherever they are in the process and don’t spend your time trying to climb the social ladder of publishing. Do good work and keep doing good work, because that’s all you can control.

What are you working on now?

The final book in the Last Magician trilogy.

ABOUT THE BOOK

The Devil's Thief
by Lisa Maxwell
Hardcover
Simon Pulse
Released 10/9/2018

Hunt the Stones.
Beware the Thief.
Avenge the Past.

Esta’s parents were murdered. Her life was stolen. And everything she knew about magic was a lie. She thought the Book of Mysteries held the key to freeing the Mageus from the Order’s grasp, but the danger within its pages was greater than she ever imagined.

Now the Book’s furious power lives inside Harte. If he can’t control it, it will rip apart the world to get its revenge, and it will use Esta to do it.

To bind the power, Esta and Harte must track down four elemental stones scattered across the continent. But the world outside the city is like nothing they expected. There are Mageus beyond the Brink not willing to live in the shadows—and the Order isn’t alone in its mission to crush them.

In St. Louis, the extravagant World’s Fair hides the first stone, but an old enemy is out for revenge and a new enemy is emerging. And back in New York, Viola and Jianyu must defeat a traitor in a city on the verge of chaos.

As past and future collide, time is running out to rewrite history—even for a time-traveling thief.

Purchase The Devil's Thief at Amazon
Purchase The Devil's Thief at IndieBound
View The Devil's Thief on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lisa Maxwell is the New York Times Best-Selling author of The Last Magician. The book is being translated into ten languages and has been sold in eleven territories. Her other books for Young Adults include the award-winning Unhooked, as well as the critically acclaimed Sweet Unrest and Gathering Deep. She has a PhD in English and is a professor at a community college outside of D.C. She drinks way too much coffee and has a soft spot for loud music and fast cars. When she's not teaching or writing, you can probably find her catching a live band or going on adventures with her husband and two boys.

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Have you had a chance to read THE DEVIL'S THIEF yet? Can you write a lot in a short timespan? Are you continuing to do good work? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!

Happy Reading,

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

Thursday, October 11, 2018

0 Anna-Marie McLemore, author of BLANCA & ROJA, on being a bit of a writer cliché

We're thrilled to have Anna-Marie McLemore with us to share more about her latest novel, BLANCA & ROJA.

Anna-Marie, what’s your ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?

When it comes to writing rituals, I’m a little bit of a writer cliché. I have to make a playlist before I write the first chapter, and I’m powered by small amounts of coffee and staggering amounts of tea. And fizzy water. My relatives just got my husband and me a carbonator and I’m in love.

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

There’s a scene in which Roja has debilitating menstrual cramps and the start of a brutal period. Writing that scene, I felt a little like I was ripping my own body open and showing readers, This is what so many of us live with. But it’s also one of the scenes I’m most proud of, and I hope it makes anyone who’s gone through something similar feel less alone.

Equally important to me was the character Barclay’s reaction. He doesn’t freak out. He doesn’t pick apart what might be wrong with her. He sees a friend in pain and tries to help. It was important for me to put that on the page.

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

Sometimes you will have an idea for a story, but it might not be quite the right time to write it. You might be missing a piece, some spark that will make it the book it’s meant to be. I had to wait for that spark. I knew I wanted to write a “Snow-White & Rose-Red” reimagining, I knew I was enthralled by Swan Lake, but it wasn’t until I looked deeply at what I’m expected to be as a Latina woman, as a queer woman, as a queer woman of color that BLANCA & ROJA truly came to life.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Blanca & Roja
by Anna-Marie McLemore
Hardcover
Feiwel & Friends
Released 10/9/2018

The biggest lie of all is the story you think you already know.

The del Cisne girls have never just been sisters; they’re also rivals, Blanca as obedient and graceful as Roja is vicious and manipulative. They know that, because of a generations-old spell, their family is bound to a bevy of swans deep in the woods. They know that, one day, the swans will pull them into a dangerous game that will leave one of them a girl, and trap the other in the body of a swan.

But when two local boys become drawn into the game, the swans’ spell intertwines with the strange and unpredictable magic lacing the woods, and all four of their fates depend on facing truths that could either save or destroy them. Blanca & Roja is the captivating story of sisters, friendship, love, hatred, and the price we pay to protect our hearts.

Purchase Blanca & Roja at Amazon
Purchase Blanca & Roja at IndieBound
View Blanca & Roja on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Anna-Marie McLemore was born in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains and taught by her family to hear la llorona in the Santa Ana winds. Her debut novel THE WEIGHT OF FEATHERS was a Junior Library Guild Selection, a YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults book, and a finalist for the William C. Morris Debut Award. Her second novel, WHEN THE MOON WAS OURS, was long-listed for the National Book Award in Young People's Literature, and was a 2017 Stonewall Honor Book. Her latest is WILD BEAUTY, and BLANCA & ROJA is forthcoming in fall of 2018.

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Have you had a chance to read BLANCA & ROJA yet? When writing, do you ever feel like you're ripping your own body open and showing readers? Have you ever had a story idea but known it wasn't the right time to write it? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!

Happy Reading,

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

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

0 WoW: Barbara J. Hancock talks keeping a Voice Journal

Today, Barbara J. Hancock is here with us for a great, new WoW post about keeping a Voice Journal. She suggests periodically pressing pause on our focus on craft workbooks and technique and instead honing in on the elements of our writing voice. Stay tuned for more information about Barbara and her new book AFTER ALWAYS now available from Entangled Teen. Without further ado, here's Barbara!

Voice Journals: Keeping a list of what speaks to you can help you unlock the secrets of your most powerful tool as an author… 
By Barbara J. Hancock   

We often begin something new by focusing on what we don’t know. When we first decide to write, we have so much to learn: Grammar and punctuation. Submission guidelines. Synopsis rules. We study critiques and rejections to learn and improve our craft and, later, we dissect the manuscripts that sell to understand the difference between a successful story and one that never made it off that coffee-stained flashdrive in the bottom desk drawer next to the emergency chocolate.

Before long, we’re caught in a relentless pursuit, focusing on the craft of writing while we completely forget what we wanted to write aboutin the first place. Or why we wanted to write it. Don’t get me wrong. Craft is important. Vital. But I don’t have to tell you that. I’ve never met a writer who didn’t own at least one stack of How-to books. I’ve known many writers; however, including myself, who’ve spent some time lost, wandering even, because we lost touch with our voices or couldn’t find them in the first place.

Stop reading right now and make a list of things that speak to you. They can be common objects or sounds. They can be works of art by other creatives or quotes you seemed to memorize without even trying.

For example a quick list for me would be:
1. Dandelion fluff

2. Old oak trees

3. Palette knife paintings

4. Ashes

5. Jane Eyre

6. The Madonna, mother and child

7. “As long as I’ve got a brush in front of me, I’m alright.” Folk artist Maud Lewis

8. The curves and hollows of a handcrafted instrument, especially a wooden one

After you’ve made your list, pick one item and concentrate on it. Why does it tickle your imagination or tug at your heartstrings? Can you remember when you first noticed a mailbox with its bright red flag up or spider floss glistening on an autumn breeze? For some reason, you never forgot that flag or those webs. They’ve become quiet parts of you that have been whispering for your attention while you worried about how to format a manuscript.

By all means, learn the manuscript formatting.

But take the time to stop and listen to the whispers too.

For me, dandelion fluff reminds me of the first time I read a person could make wishes on it. (Weed seeds are wishes!) After that, I always wondered why people wouldn’t want fields of wishes and I would shamelessly disperse the seeds with the idea of planting MORE wishes with no regard for anyone’s lawn maintenance efforts. If there was a war between grass and wishes, I knew which side I was on. There. It’s revealed. I’m whimsical. Sometimes, darkly so. I was wickedly planting weeds all over the neighborhood, after all. Poor gardeners. Dark whimsy is a part of my voice.

My biggest secret is that dandelion fluff got me published. Not because it granted my fondest wish in return for my devotion. Or at least I don’t think so. You find your voice by paying attention to what speaks to you, be it dandelion fluff or mailboxes. I’ve been driven by what speaks to me since I was that small child puffing dandelions to life. And the truth is that voice adds a resonance and richness to our work so that perfectly formed sentences say more than flat words on the page. Voice matters. As much or more than market research and website algorithms.

Take a look at my list again. It’s filled with art and artists. Art appreciation is a part of my voice. Some would say I most appreciate the drama and devotion—the obsession—of art and artists. The last seven books I’ve sold featured artistic obsession. Without my lists, I might never have written them because I might never have made the connection between what I wanted to say and what characters I needed to create to say it.

One short list isn’t enough to unlock your voice. (Although it might free up a story idea or two.) My best advice to writers is to pick a journal from that stack of journals I bet you already own and use it to keep a perpetual list of things that speak to you. And then find time in between word count arithmetic and analyzing plot structure to figure out why you paused during a busy commute to write something down. What caught your attention—cherry blossom petals falling like pale, pink snow or steam rising from a cup to surround the coffee drinker’s contemplative face?

Why did you care? Why did you stare? What analogies and metaphors did those moments spark in your mind? Your list will be constantly growing and changing and while it does it will begin to reveal your voice. Many people explain voice by linking it to theme, but it’s more than that. Voice is how you see the world and it’s being able to bring readers into that vision. You can’t share your vision if you don’t see it and feel it for yourself.

How many stories featuring ashes can one writer create? (A lot. The answer is a lot.) As an abuse survivor, dispersion and rebirth is important to me, a part of my voice. There’s darkness, and then there’s hope. That’s what I want to say. That’s why I write. It’s why I take my characters into the shadows and through them into well-earned happily ever afters.

We talk a lot about tropes and plots, about pitches and proposals. All of those storytelling and business tools can be powered by a good voice journal. Your voice is your fuel. It’s also your steering wheel. As a manifestation of your voice, your journal will steer you toward the stories you need to write. In all likelihood, you’ve been subconsciously keeping a list since you were born, but there’s value in putting it on the page and giving yourself permission to listen to what it has to say. And once you’re connected with your voice, your well-honed craft will come to life.



About Barbara J. Hancock
Barbara J. Hancock lives in a cabin in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains with her many rescued pets and the guy who lured her into the wilderness with promises of lots of peace and quiet for writing. To this day, the Appalachian wildwood is the best gift she’s ever been given. Her favorite pastime (besides animal rescue) is bringing darkly romantic stories to life by firefly light.

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About AFTER ALWAYS
Lydia’s life felt like it ended when Tristan died. Sure, they had their problems and he could be a little…intense at times. But he’d promised to love her forever…

When her parents propose a summer across the country with a music teacher who runs an inn, Lydia agrees. But it’s different from what she expected. There’s a presence there she can’t quite reconcile—and it feels like it’s hunting her. It seems Tristan’s promise followed her…and may have graver consequences than she could have known.

Then there’s Michael Malone, the one light spot in an otherwise dark existence. Lydia can’t help but be drawn to him, and as they try to uncover the evil plaguing the inn, they grow closer. But guilt over Tristan’s death still consumes her. Can she and Michael uncover what evil lurks in the inn before it takes another victim?

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Google Play | Entangled | Goodreads



Tuesday, October 9, 2018

0 Marit Weisenberg, author of SELECT FEW, on keeping you head down and focusing

SELECT FEW is the 2nd book in The Select series, and we're excited to have Marit Weisenberg with us to chat about it.

Marit, what was your inspiration for writing SELECT FEW?

I had a few! My inspirations were the eerie western quality of HBO’s West World which I was watching at the time, the San Francisco Bay Area where I’m from originally and where I was visiting while I wrote a portion of the book and also, road trip books and films. There is some Bonnie and Clyde in Julia and Angus!

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?


All of the scenes from John’s POV! I knew I needed his voice in book two but I wasn’t sure how I was going to layer it in until the very last minute. Once I figured out that John was going to be “talking” to Julia through short interstitials and it would come to make sense why, it was such a relief. Then the moments from John were easy to write and I was just so glad to give him a place in book two.

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


Scott Westerfield’s ZEROES in terms of regular teens with a dash of supernatural powers. Also, I loved that my agent compared David Levithan’s EVERY DAY to SELECT (the first book in the series)—both are love stories that ask the reader to accept the unusual/supernatural in a story that is otherwise very much grounded in reality.

How long did you work on SELECT FEW?

I had one year to work on SELECT FEW! Because it was a sequel, I had a pretty serious deadline. I wrote a first draft in about six months and then edited from there. It was fast and furious.

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

Definitely it taught me that I can meet a deadline. It also taught me to keep my head down and focus because if I thought about it too hard, I might get very scared and not be able to produce a second book. The first book is easier in a lot of ways because you write it without any expectations.

What do you hope readers will take away from SELECT FEW?

Self-acceptance. Acceptance of others. The knowledge that you are the only one who determines how you feel about yourself. Julia has been labeled by her family and handed a less-than identity since she can remember. The series starts with Julia worshipping her family even as she has suspicions that she’s not the person they want her to be in order for her sister to shine.

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

SELECT, book one in the series, was the first book I ever completed and I was so lucky to have it published. There were many, many, many drafts though!

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?

Definitely figuring out the stakes. For me, the tough part is figuring out the main problem of the novel that’s going to drive the story and keep it moving. I would much rather work on characters all day long! Which was what I was doing before I was gently reminded in a class that if I didn’t identify the problem, it would be a story where the characters hung around and nothing happened.

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

I wake up at 5am during the weekdays and work for about an hour and a half. Then I get the kids to school and get back to my computer. But I feel lost if I don’t have that first early morning hour—that’s when I think most clearly. Usually I work at home but about once a week I’ll meet other writers or friends who work from home at a coffee shop so I can get out of the house and see people and have a feeling of community. Writing can be a very lonely profession!

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

Just keep going and finish a draft. I struggle with that every book – I want to keep tinkering instead of charging ahead. But there is something about having a finished first draft; even if it’s so rough, you now have a whole story from beginning to end to work with. You can make sure you have the plot in place and then you can go back in and tinker with language.

What are you working on now?

I’m currently working on a stand-alone contemporary YA. There are no fantasy elements so that’s new for me! It’s more psychological and takes place mostly at night.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Select Few
by Marit Weisenberg
Hardcover
Charlesbridge Teen
Released 10/9/2018

After rejecting the cult-like influence of her father's family, Julia moves into a fancy hotel in downtown Austin. But she finds herself alone except for her boyfriend, John--and her fears. Once again she's suppressing her abilities, afraid her family will come for John when they find out he's been developing abilities of his own in her presence. The FBI is also keeping a close eye on Julia hoping she can lead them to her father, Novak, as he's wanted for questioning in his former assistant's death.

With tensions high, Julia and John agree to go separate ways for the summer, paving the way for Julia to reunite with Angus, fellow outcast. Together they set out on a road trip to California to find Julia's mom and a way into Novak's secret underground world. Along the way Julia will learn the Puri perhaps aren't the only humans evolving into something different. . . and that maybe she's the leader her people have needed all along.

Purchase Select Few at Amazon
Purchase Select Few at IndieBound
View Select Few on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Marit Weisenberg received her BA in English from Bowdoin College and her Master’s Degree from UCLA's school of Theater, Film and Television. She has worked in film and television development at Warner Brothers, Universal, and Disney. She lives in Austin with her husband and two daughters.

Marit’s debut YA novel is Select, and she worked on the first draft of the book over the course of eighteen months during Amanda Eyre Ward’s class ‘Write a Novel in a Year.’ As of now, there will be two books in The Select series. The series continues with Select Few.

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Have you had a chance to read SELECT FEW yet? Do you have trouble figuring out the stakes? Do you find it easier once you have a rough draft to work with? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!

Happy Reading,

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

Monday, October 8, 2018

7 New Releases this week 10/08 - 10/14 plus 2 Giveaways

Happy Monday and Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Canadians! We have giveaways for two amazing releases this week, ODD ONE OUT and BLANCA & ROJA! Don't forget to check out all the books coming out this week 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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Odd One Out
by Nic Stone
Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

Crown Books for Young Readers
Released 10/9/2018

Courtney "Coop" Cooper
Dumped. Again. And normally I wouldn't mind. But right now, my best friend and source of solace, Jupiter Sanchez, is ignoring me to text some girl.

Rae Evelyn Chin
I assumed "new girl" would be synonymous with "pariah," but Jupiter and Courtney make me feel like I'm right where I belong. I also want to kiss him. And her. Which is . . . perplexing.

Jupiter Charity-Sanchez
The only thing worse than losing the girl you love to a boy is losing her to your boy. That means losing him, too. I have to make a move. . .

One story.
Three sides.
No easy answers.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Odd One Out?

My favorite thing about ODD ONE OUT is that it's my love letter to teen me, who was very confused and could've used it.

Purchase Odd One Out at Amazon
Purchase Odd One Out at IndieBound
View Odd One Out on Goodreads



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Blanca & Roja
by Anna-Marie McLemore
Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

Feiwel & Friends
Released 10/9/2018

The biggest lie of all is the story you think you already know.

The del Cisne girls have never just been sisters; they’re also rivals, Blanca as obedient and graceful as Roja is vicious and manipulative. They know that, because of a generations-old spell, their family is bound to a bevy of swans deep in the woods. They know that, one day, the swans will pull them into a dangerous game that will leave one of them a girl, and trap the other in the body of a swan.

But when two local boys become drawn into the game, the swans’ spell intertwines with the strange and unpredictable magic lacing the woods, and all four of their fates depend on facing truths that could either save or destroy them. Blanca & Roja is the captivating story of sisters, friendship, love, hatred, and the price we pay to protect our hearts.

Purchase Blanca & Roja at Amazon
Purchase Blanca & Roja at IndieBound
View Blanca & Roja on Goodreads


YA BOOK GIVEAWAYS LAST WEEK: WINNERS


History vs Women: The Defiant Lives that They Don't Want You to Know by Anita Sarkeesian and Ebony Adams: Penny O.
Star-Crossed by Pintip Dunn: Cathy M.
The Chaos of Now by Erin Jade Lange: Madeline T.
The Last Wish of Sasha Cade by Cheyanne Young: Yvonne M.
What They Don’t Know by Nicole Maggi: Alisha J.

MORE YOUNG ADULT FICTION IN STORES NEXT WEEK WITH AUTHOR INTERVIEWS


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Bridge of Clay
by Markus  
Hardcover
Knopf Books for Young Readers; Signed edition
Released 10/9/2018

An unforgettable and sweeping family saga from Markus Zusak, the storyteller who gave us the extraordinary bestseller THE BOOK THIEF, lauded by the New York Times as "the kind of book that can be lifechanging." The breathtaking story of five brothers who bring each other up in a world run by their own rules. As the Dunbar boys love and fight and learn to reckon with the adult world, they discover the moving secret behind their father’s disappearance. At the center of the Dunbar family is Clay, a boy who will build a bridge—for his family, for his past, for greatness, for his sins, for a miracle. The question is, how far is Clay willing to go? And how much can he overcome? Written in powerfully inventive language and bursting with heart, BRIDGE OF CLAY is signature Zusak.

Author Question: Where was the idea for Bridge of Clay born?

The right ideas are usually buried beneath several wrong ideas first – and those wrong ideas can take months, sometimes years to get through – but in that time you accrue what you need for when the right ideas come together. In this case, I stumbled over the thought of a boy building a bridge when I was nineteen or twenty years old – but I had a lot of growing up to do, both as a person and a writer – before I was able to write it. I tried, of course. I even finished a version of BRIDGE OF CLAY that I didn’t send off to attempt publication. I was a long way from having anything published at that stage – but I knew even then that the version I’d written wasn’t the right one…I didn’t know it would be another twenty three years before I’d get there.

Purchase Bridge of Clay at Amazon
Purchase Bridge of Clay at IndieBound
View Bridge of Clay on Goodreads

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Select Few
by Marit Weisenberg
Hardcover
Charlesbridge Teen
Released 10/9/2018

After rejecting the cult-like influence of her father's family, Julia moves into a fancy hotel in downtown Austin. But she finds herself alone except for her boyfriend, John--and her fears. Once again she's suppressing her abilities, afraid her family will come for John when they find out he's been developing abilities of his own in her presence. The FBI is also keeping a close eye on Julia hoping she can lead them to her father, Novak, as he's wanted for questioning in his former assistant's death.

With tensions high, Julia and John agree to go separate ways for the summer, paving the way for Julia to reunite with Angus, fellow outcast. Together they set out on a road trip to California to find Julia's mom and a way into Novak's secret underground world. Along the way Julia will learn the Puri perhaps aren't the only humans evolving into something different. . . and that maybe she's the leader her people have needed all along.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Select Few?

I love that John’s voice made its way into SELECT FEW. I also loved writing the road trip sequence and the feeling of a sheltered girl finally breaking out of her tight bubble and seeing the world for the first time.

Purchase Select Few at Amazon
Purchase Select Few at IndieBound
View Select Few on Goodreads

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The Devil's Thief
by Lisa Maxwell
Hardcover
Simon Pulse
Released 10/9/2018

Hunt the Stones.
Beware the Thief.
Avenge the Past.

Esta’s parents were murdered. Her life was stolen. And everything she knew about magic was a lie. She thought the Book of Mysteries held the key to freeing the Mageus from the Order’s grasp, but the danger within its pages was greater than she ever imagined.

Now the Book’s furious power lives inside Harte. If he can’t control it, it will rip apart the world to get its revenge, and it will use Esta to do it.

To bind the power, Esta and Harte must track down four elemental stones scattered across the continent. But the world outside the city is like nothing they expected. There are Mageus beyond the Brink not willing to live in the shadows—and the Order isn’t alone in its mission to crush them.

In St. Louis, the extravagant World’s Fair hides the first stone, but an old enemy is out for revenge and a new enemy is emerging. And back in New York, Viola and Jianyu must defeat a traitor in a city on the verge of chaos.

As past and future collide, time is running out to rewrite history—even for a time-traveling thief.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about The Devil's Thief?

THE DEVIL’S THIEF is the sequel to THE LAST MAGICIAN, which came out in July of 17. My favorite thing about the book is the way I was able to delve more into the various characters. While TLM focused mostly on Harte and Esta, TDT gives some of the spotlight to some of the secondary characters that I fell in love with writing the first book. If readers loved Viola and Jianyu in TLM, they’re going to be really excited to see more about those two. And because the world is growing, there’s a few new characters that I can’t wait for readers to meet.

But don’t worry!! This is still Esta’s story at its core, so Esta and Harte are still a huge part of the sequel.

I’m hoping readers enjoy the chance to learn more about all of the characters as much as I have!


Purchase The Devil's Thief at Amazon
Purchase The Devil's Thief at IndieBound
View The Devil's Thief on Goodreads


MORE YOUNG ADULT NOVELS NEW IN STORES NEXT WEEK


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Carols and Chaos
by Cindy Anstey
Paperback
Swoon Reads
Released 10/9/2018

1817. The happy chaos of the Yuletide season has descended upon the country estate of Shackleford Park in full force, but lady's maid Kate Darby barely has the time to notice. Between her household duties, caring for her ailing mother, and saving up money to someday own a dress shop, her hands are quite full. Matt Harlow is also rather busy. He's performing double-duty, acting as valet for both of the Steeple brothers, two of the estate's holiday guests.

Falling in love would be a disaster for either of them. But staving off their feelings for each other becomes the least of their problems when a devious counterfeiting scheme reaches the gates of Shackleford Park, and Kate and Matt are unwittingly swept up in the intrigue.

Full of sweetness, charm, and holiday mischief, Carols and Chaos―a standalone companion novel to Suitors and Sabotage―is perfect for readers who like their historical fiction with a side of romance and danger.

Purchase Carols and Chaos at Amazon
Purchase Carols and Chaos at IndieBound
View Carols and Chaos on Goodreads

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Dagger and Coin
by Kathy MacMillan
Hardcover
HarperTeen
Released 10/9/2018

Soraya Gamo was meant to be queen of Qilara, until an Arnath slave rebellion upended the social order and destroyed the capital city. Now, improbably, she sits on the new ruling council beside Mati, Raisa, and Jonis from Book 1, and must work with her former enemies.

She finally holds the political power she always wanted—but over a nation in ruins. As she helps to rebuild Qilara, she can, at last, use what everyone once told her to hide: her brain.

But not everyone is ready to accept that the Arnathim are no longer enslaved to the Qilarites. So when a slave ship arrives in the city, full of Arnathim captured before Qilara fell, the civil unrest that has been bubbling since the rebellion erupts.

Forced to confront her own prejudices, Soraya struggles to gain the trust of the Arnath people she once disregarded and establish peace in what has become chaos. With the threat of attacks high, Gelti, a former guard captain, trains Soraya in self-defense. As the two grow close, tension within the city ramps up, with danger, betrayal, and deception meeting Soraya everywhere she turns.

Friends become foes, adversaries become companions, and the clashing of classes threatens to unravel all the good Soraya has been trying to do. Can Soraya, raised to be a submissive Qilarite lady, learn to be a true leader? Or will the sins of her past forever haunt the footsteps of her future?

Purchase Dagger and Coin at Amazon
Purchase Dagger and Coin at IndieBound
View Dagger and Coin on Goodreads

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Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel
by Val Emmich and Steven Levenson
Hardcover
Poppy
Released 10/9/2018

Dear Evan Hansen,

Today’s going to be an amazing day and here’s why…

When a letter that was never meant to be seen by anyone draws high school senior Evan Hansen into a family’s grief over the loss of their son, he is given the chance of a lifetime: to belong. He just has to stick to a lie he never meant to tell, that the notoriously troubled Connor Murphy was his secret best friend.

Suddenly, Evan isn’t invisible anymore—even to the girl of his dreams. And Connor Murphy’s parents, with their beautiful home on the other side of town, have taken him in like he was their own, desperate to know more about their enigmatic son from his closest friend. As Evan gets pulled deeper into their swirl of anger, regret, and confusion, he knows that what he’s doing can’t be right, but if he’s helping people, how wrong can it be?

No longer tangled in his once-incapacitating anxiety, this new Evan has a purpose. And a website. He’s confident. He’s a viral phenomenon. Every day is amazing. Until everything is in danger of unraveling and he comes face to face with his greatest obstacle: himself.

A simple lie leads to complicated truths in this big-hearted coming-of-age story of grief, authenticity and the struggle to belong in an age of instant connectivity and profound isolation.

Purchase Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel at Amazon
Purchase Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel at IndieBound
View Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel on Goodreads

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Dreaming Out Loud
by Baby Ariel
Hardcover
HarperCollins
Released 10/9/2018

Musically megastar and recording artist Baby Ariel tells the inspiring story behind her empire of more than 35 million fans. Full of revealing personal anecdotes, advice, doodles, and never-before-seen photos!

Ariel is all about opening up and being goofy, funny, and completely herself. In her debut book, she talks about every step of her amazing journey: from the good (like being on the cover of Billboard, filming music videos for her original songs, and meeting her amazing fans) to the bad (like overcoming anxiety, handling breakups, and dealing with haters and bullies).

Through it all, Ariel has learned one important lesson that she wants her fans to learn, too: You gotta be you, babies.

Fierce, funny, and real, Dreaming Out Loud goes behind the scenes in the life of one of today’s most popular influencers, giving you Baby Ariel like you’ve never seen her before.

Purchase Dreaming Out Loud at Amazon
Purchase Dreaming Out Loud at IndieBound
View Dreaming Out Loud on Goodreads

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Light as a Feather
by Zoe Aarsen
Hardcover
Simon Pulse
Released 10/9/2018

It was supposed to be a game…

Junior year is shaping up to be the best of McKenna Brady’s life. After a transformative summer, McKenna is welcomed into the elite group of popular girls at Weeping Willow High, led by the gorgeous Olivia Richmond. For the first time in a long time, things are looking up.

But everything changes the night of Olivia’s Sweet Sixteen sleepover. Violet, the mysterious new girl in town, suggests the girls play a game during which Violet makes up elaborate, creepily specific stories about the violent ways the friends will die. Though it unsettles McKenna, it all seems harmless at the time.

Until a week later, when Olivia dies…exactly as Violet predicted.

As Violet rises to popularity and steps into the life Olivia left unfinished, McKenna becomes convinced Olivia’s death wasn’t just a coincidence, especially when a ghost haunting her bedroom keeps leaving clues that point to Violet. With the help of her cute neighbor, Trey, McKenna pledges to get to the bottom of Violet’s secrets and true intentions before it’s too late. Because it’s only a matter of time before more lives are lost.

Purchase Light as a Feather at Amazon
Purchase Light as a Feather at IndieBound
View Light as a Feather on Goodreads

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Light Years
by Kass Morgan
Hardcover
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Released 10/9/2018

Reeling from the latest attack by a mysterious enemy, the Quatra Fleet Academy is finally admitting students from every planet in the solar system after centuries of exclusivity.

Hotshot pilot Vesper, an ambitious Tridian citizen, dreams of becoming a captain--but when she loses her spot to a brilliant, wisecracking boy from the wrong side of the asteroid belt, it makes her question everything she thought she knew. Growing up on the toxic planet Deva, Cormak will take any chance he can get to escape his dead-end life and join the Academy--even if he has to steal someone's identity to do it. Arran was always considered an outsider on icy Chetire, always dreaming of something more than a life working in the mines. Now an incoming cadet, Arran is looking for a place to belong--he just never thought that place would be in the arms of a Tridian boy. And Orelia is hiding a dark secret--she's infiltrated the Academy to complete a mission, one that threatens the security of everyone there. But if anyone finds out who she really is, it'll be her life on the line.

These cadets will have to put their differences aside and become a team if they want to defend their world from a cunning enemy--and they might even fall in love in the process.

Purchase Light Years at Amazon
Purchase Light Years at IndieBound
View Light Years on Goodreads

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The Healer
by Donna Freitas
Hardcover
HarperTeen
Released 10/9/2018

Marlena Oliveira has—mysteriously, miraculously—been given the power to heal all kinds of ailments. People around the world believe she is a saint. But it all comes at a price. Because of her power, she’ll never be able to live a normal life. And the older she gets, the more trapped she feels.

Then she meets Finn, a boy who makes her want to fall in love. For the first time, she begins to doubt her power—and herself. Is her gift worth all she must give up to keep it? And who would—or could—she be without it?

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

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What If It's Us
by Becky Albertalli
Hardcover
HarperTeen
Released 10/9/2018

Critically acclaimed and bestselling authors Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera combine their talents in this smart, funny, heartfelt collaboration about two very different boys who can’t decide if the universe is pushing them together—or pulling them apart.

ARTHUR is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it.

BEN thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn’t be on his way to the post office carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things.

But when Arthur and Ben meet-cute at the post office, what exactly does the universe have in store for them . . . ?

Maybe nothing. After all, they get separated.

Maybe everything. After all, they get reunited.

But what if they can’t nail a first date even after three do-overs?

What if Arthur tries too hard to make it work and Ben doesn’t try hard enough?

What if life really isn’t like a Broadway play?

But what if it is?

What if it’s us?

Purchase What If It's Us at Amazon
Purchase What If It's Us at IndieBound
View What If It's Us on Goodreads


Sunday, October 7, 2018

0 Erin Jade Lange, author of THE CHAOS OF NOW, on writing for the joy of it

We're thrilled to have Erin Jade Lange with us to chat about her latest novel, THE CHAOS OF NOW.

Erin, 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?

It’s tricky to answer this without spoilers, but there is a scene in which the main character, Eli, does something pretty despicable to a female classmate without her knowledge. It’s unforgivable, honestly. It was a challenge to write that scene in a way that makes Eli still relatable/likable without excusing his actions.

There is also a climactic scene in a theater was hard to write because it involved a lot of blocking and set pieces (literally!), so it took some technical work to get all the right description in place without losing pace and tension. I am proud of that scene, but I suppose it’s up to readers whether it’s a success!

What do you hope readers will take away from THE CHAOS OF NOW?

I always just aim to tell a good story, but, similar to my first book BUTTER, if readers walk away from THE CHAOS OF NOW with a little more empathy for others and the feeling that bystanders are nearly as bad as bullies… I wouldn’t mind that at all.

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

Write for the JOY of it. Publishing is a dream come true, but before you can write for others, you first have to write for yourself. If we, as writers, don’t enjoy or appreciate our own art, how can we ask others to do so?

Plus, as a mom of twin toddlers and someone with a very demanding career outside of publishing, I personally find that writing means making some serious sacrifices, so it better be something that gives me joy!

What are you working on now?

I am working on a project I started several years ago that is a little out of my lane. It may be something that never gets published and is only for me, but it’s the book that won’t leave me alone. I think it’s good for writers to avoid getting boxed into one style, one genre, and I’ve learned that magic can happen if I tune out the latest fads and just listen to my inner author voice. That’s when I find the JOY.

ABOUT THE BOOK

The Chaos of Now
by Erin Jade Lange
Hardcover
Bloomsbury YA
Released 10/2/2018

Eli is coasting through high school, spending most of his time writing code. Each day is as boring as the next--until he receives a cryptic message in binary code, leading him to Seth and Mouse. They're seeking a third member for a prestigious hacking competition, after their teammate and friend Jordan committed suicide last year. Intrigued by the challenge, Eli agrees.

But soon it becomes clear that Seth and Mouse are after more than winning a competition--they're seeking revenge for the abuse that caused Jordan's suicide. Eli is in way over his head, but he's also hiding a dangerous secret that could lead to even more trouble if he isn't careful. In a story about the shift of power from those who rule at school to those who rule online, the difference between bully and victim is blurred and Eli--whose coding skilled have taught him to make order out of chaos--will find the real world is much harder to control.

Purchase The Chaos of Now at Amazon
Purchase The Chaos of Now at IndieBound
View The Chaos of Now on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Erin Jade Lange is the award-winning author of contemporary young adult novels, Butter, Dead Ends, and Rebel Bully Geek Pariah.

She is the winner of the Friedolin Youth Book Prize in Germany and the Sakura Medal in Japan. She has also been nominated for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize (twice), the German Children’s Literature Award and multiple state book awards. Her debut novel was a 2013 Teens’ Top Ten Pick, and her books have appeared on several state reading lists. As a former journalist, Erin is inspired by current events and real-world issues and uses her writing to explore how those issues impact teenagers.

She is an only child, so she spent a lot of time entertaining herself as a kid. This required her to rely heavily on her own imagination, which is probably why she became a writer.

Erin grew up in the cornfields of northern Illinois, along the Mississippi River in one of the few places it flows east to west. She now lives in the sunshine of Arizona and will forever be torn between her love of rivers and her love of the desert.

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Have you had a chance to read THE CHAOS OF NOW yet? Are you writing for yourself? Do you listen to your inner author voice? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!

Happy Reading,

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

Saturday, October 6, 2018

1 The Free #1st5Pages Writing Workshop is Now Open!

Our October workshop is now open! In addition to our wonderful permanent mentors, we have Kaitlyn Johnson as our agent mentor and Mary Taranta as our author mentor!

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


Why is the First Five Pages Workshop a GREAT Opportunity?

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

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

October Guest Literary Agent Mentor: Kaitlyn Johnson 

After receiving a BA in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College, Kaitlyn refused to leave the concept of nightly homework behind. As well as being a junior agent for Corvisiero Literary Agency, she is also a freelance editor at her own company, K. Johnson Editorial, and has worked as a copyeditor for academic publisher codeMantra, a YA editor for Accent Press, and a Conference Assistant for GrubStreet, Boston. She has written various articles for Writer's Digest and has had a flash fiction story published in the anthology A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed.

​- YA, NA, and A are her main interests. She mostly drools for fantasy, time travel, select dystopian, romance and historical fiction if it is anything other than Henry VIII.
- Contemporary can grab her attention only if the concept is unique enough and executed well. Overplayed tropes/characters make her cringe. Same goes for upper MG.
- LGBT (as well as characters questioning their sexuality) welcome in all genres accepted above.

When querying, please follow submission guidelines.

September Guest Literary Author Mentor: Mary Taranta


Mary Taranta grew up notoriously quiet but secretly wild, playacting her favorite stories and writing some of her own in the woods behind her family's farmhouse. Her first book, SHIMMER AND BURN was released in August of 2017, with the second book in the series, SPLENDOR AND SPARK due out in November, 2018. 

She is originally from a small town in Ohio but now lives in Orlando with her family and two cats.




Faris grew up fighting to survive in the slums of Brindaigel while caring for her sister, Cadence. But when Cadence is caught trying to flee the kingdom and is sold into slavery, Faris reluctantly agrees to a lucrative scheme to buy her back, inadvertently binding herself to the power-hungry Princess Bryn, who wants to steal her father’s throne.

Now Faris must smuggle stolen magic into neighboring Avinea to incite its prince to alliance—magic that addicts in the war-torn country can sense in her blood and can steal with a touch. She and Bryn turn to a handsome traveling magician, North, who offers protection from Avinea’s many dangers.  With the fate of kingdoms at stake, Faris, Bryn, and North maneuver through a dangerous game of magical and political machinations, where lives can be destroyed—or saved—with only a touch.




Where to Buy: 

Add it on GOODREADS! 

0 Cheyanne Young, author of THE LAST WISH OF SASHA CADE, on finding your path

We're delighted to have Cheyanne Young with us to share more about her novel, THE LAST WISH OF SASHA CADE.

Cheyanne, what was your inspiration for writing THE LAST WISH OF SASHA CADE?

I knew I wanted to write a book that was specifically about two teenage best friends who were loyal to each other and didn’t fight or have any drama between them. I’d spent too much time writing strictly romance and I wanted something different. (of course there would still be romance in this book, because I love romance) I was having trouble figuring out the story for two perfect best friends, but once I realized one of the friends had to die, the whole plot just came together instantly.

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?

My two favorite scenes are the prologue and epilogue. It’s ironic because before I wrote this book, I wasn’t a fan of prologues or epilogues (and I’m still not). I never ever thought I’d write one, but this book just called for it. It taught me that every book is different, and what works for one book might not work for another. I wrote the prologue on a scrap piece of paper the moment the book idea came to me, and it is largely the same in the finished version of the book. And the epilogue just makes me cry in the best possible way. Every. Single. Time.

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

I think you’ll like my book if you’re a fan of Gayle Forman’s If I Stay, or Jay Asher’s 13 Reasons Why.

How long did you work on THE LAST WISH OF SASHA CADE?

I spent a couple days plotting the novel and then I wrote the draft in 27 days. I got my agent 2 weeks later. It sounds easy, but this came after 10 years, 35 books, and 300 rejections. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and sadly, neither was my writing career.

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


The Internet is an amazing tool for finding everything you could possibly need to know about publishing. Use it well, but remember that no one can write the book you’re meant to write. That’s all you. Take the advice that works and ditch the stuff that doesn’t. When it comes to writing your own novel, you have to turn off the noise of the world around you, stay off Twitter, and forget about whatever writing plan works for an author you admire. Do you. Find your path. Find what works for you. Don’t compare your first draft to another author’s published novel. And most importantly: Make time for writing. You deserve it.

What are you working on now?

My next book hasn’t sold yet, so I don’t want to go into too much detail, but it’s a YA retelling of one of my favorite 90’s movies. I am completely in love with it and I promise it won’t make you cry as much as The Last Wish of Sasha Cade did.

ABOUT THE BOOK

The Last Wish of Sasha Cade
by Cheyanne Young
Hardcover
Kids Can Press
Released 10/2/2018

The day Raquel has been dreading for months has finally arrived. Sasha, her best friend in the whole world, has died of cancer. Overwhelmed and brokenhearted, Raquel can't even imagine life without her.

And then a letter from Sasha arrives. Has she somehow found a way to communicate from beyond the grave?

In fact, Sasha spent her final weeks planning an elaborate scavenger hunt for the friend she would have to leave behind. When Raquel follows the instructions to return to Sasha's grave, a mysterious stranger with striking eyes is waiting for her. There's a secret attached to this boy that only Sasha --- and now Raquel --- knows.

This boy, Elijah, might be just who Raquel needs to help her move on from her terrible loss. But can Raquel remain true to herself while also honoring her friend's final wish?

Purchase The Last Wish of Sasha Cade at Amazon
Purchase The Last Wish of Sasha Cade at IndieBound
View The Last Wish of Sasha Cade on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Cheyanne Young is a native Texan with a fear of cold weather and a coffee addiction that probably needs an intervention. She loves books, sarcasm, and collecting nail polish. After nearly a decade of working in engineering, Cheyanne now writes books for young adults. She doesn’t miss a cubicle one bit.

Cheyanne lives near the beach with her daughter and husband, one spoiled rotten puppy, and a cat that is most likely plotting to take over the world. Her newest book, The Last Wish of Sasha Cade, releases October 2, 2018.

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Have you had a chance to read THE LAST WISH OF SASHA CADE yet? Where do you fall on the prologue and epilogue debate? Are you making time for your writing? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!

Happy Reading,

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