Tuesday, January 22, 2019

0 A.C. Gaughen, author of IMPRISON THE SKY, on chiseling a book out of marble

IMPRISON THE SKY is book two in The Elementae series, and we're thrilled to have A.C. Gaughen here to tell us more about it.

A.C., how long did you work on IMPRISON THE SKY?

IMPRISON took me about 10 months to write before it went into the editorial pipeline, which is another few months. For a book of this size, that's pretty fast--especially in comparison to the fifteen years it took me to figure out how to write REIGN THE EARTH, the first book in the series. I think some books just come to me with a better sense of their full storyline, and some I really have to chisel out of the marble.

Interestingly, when I looked back recently, I also realized that Aspasia has an awful lot in common with Kate, a side character in LION HEART. I think part of me was dying to tell this story before I knew I would have the chance.

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

It was really an incredible reminder that sometimes, imagination can heal. There was so much joy, peace, and satisfaction in writing a book set on the ocean because that is a setting I truly, truly love, and it was a pretty powerful reminder that the things I think about, write about, surround myself with--they all have power.

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

Something I've come to realize is that I don't think I'll ever have a great answer to this question. What often works for me is writing days; I work full time for the Girl Scouts of Eastern MA (love to my Girl Scout sisters!) and I don't get writing time every day--FAR FROM IT. So I bank my time and try to get one day every two weeks to write for 8-10 hours, usually at Panera.

The story doesn't always cooperate. I've worked on stories where I might only write 200 words a day, and that's monumental (but you can see the issue with timeline if I get one day every two weeks...) and I have books that I can churn out 10k without breaking (much of a) sweat. I've learned that I can't force the book into my process, and instead I have to adapt into what works for the story.

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

It feels impossible, especially at first, when you are facing rejection and revisions and still more rejection, but have faith in yourself. There are so many moments along this journey that are designed to take away your power, agency, and sense of self, and it's not always easy to keep that away from your writing life. There will be days when you don't have words and days/months/years where you can't find the story with a keyboard and a flashlight, but have faith in yourself. Keep filling up the well of creativity in as many ways as you can--music, books, walks on the beach, Netflix. Do whatever you need to do so that you can see the world as a place full of stories again.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Imprison the Sky
by A.C. Gaughen
Hardcover
Bloomsbury YA
Released 1/22/2019

Stolen from her family as a child, Aspasia has clawed her way up the ranks of Cyrus's black market empire to captain her own trading vessel--and she risks it all every time she uses her powerful magic to free as many women, children, and Elementae from slavery as she can.

But Cyrus is close to uncovering her secrets--not only that Aspasia is a wind Elementa with the ability to sail her ship through the sky, but that she is also searching for her lost family. And if Aspasia can't find her younger siblings before Cyrus does, she will never be able to break free.

Armed with her loyal crew full of Elementae and a new recruit who controls an intriguing power, Aspasia finds herself in the center of a brewing war that spans every inch of the ocean, and her power alone may not be enough to save her friends, family, and freedom.

Purchase Imprison the Sky at Amazon
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View Imprison the Sky on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A. C. GAUGHEN is the author of the Scarlet Trilogy (Scarlet, Lady Thief and Lion Heart) and the Elementae, which will start with REIGN THE EARTH in January 2018. She serves on the board for the non-profit Boston GLOW, creating opportunities to encourage and engage teen girls in the Greater Boston area. She has a Masters in Creative Writing from St. Andrews University in Scotland and a Masters in Education from Harvard University.

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Have you had a chance to read IMPRISON THE SKY yet? Do you have a set writing process or do you adopt it per story? What kind of things do you do to fill your well of creativity? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!

Happy Reading,

Jocelyn, Halli, Martina, Erin, Susan, Shelly, and Kelly

Monday, January 21, 2019

6 New Releases this week 01/21 - 01/27 Plus 3 Giveaways

Happy Monday! We're starting off the week great with a bunch of new giveaways, including an international one. Don't forget to check out all the new releases below!

Happy Reading,

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

YA BOOK GIVEAWAYS THIS WEEK


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A Thousand Sisters: The Heroic Airwomen of the Soviet Union in World War II
by Elizabeth Wein
Hardcover Giveaway
International

Balzer + Bray
Released 1/22/2019

In the early years of World War II, Josef Stalin issued an order that made the Soviet Union the first country in the world to allow female pilots to fly in combat. Led by Marina Raskova, these three regiments, including the 588th Night Bomber Regiment—nicknamed the “night witches”—faced intense pressure and obstacles both in the sky and on the ground. Some of these young women perished in flames. Many of them were in their teens when they went to war.

This is the story of Raskova’s three regiments, women who enlisted and were deployed on the front lines of battle as navigators, pilots, and mechanics. It is the story of a thousand young women who wanted to take flight to defend their country, and the woman who brought them together in the sky.

Packed with black-and-white photographs, fascinating sidebars, and thoroughly researched details, A Thousand Sisters is the inspiring true story of a group of women who set out to change the world, and the sisterhood they formed even amid the destruction of war.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about A Thousand Sisters: The Heroic Airwomen of the Soviet Union in World War II?

What I loved best about writing A THOUSAND SISTERS is that it’s non-fiction. It’s the first non-fiction I’ve ever written for a mainstream audience. That was a real challenge in terms of getting the facts right. When you’re writing fiction, if you can’t connect two historical events, you can make up something to fill in the gaps. But when you’re sticking to facts, you can’t speculate. You can’t elaborate or make up conversations. You have to be able to back up your claims.

As a fiction writer and a storyteller, I found it a blessed relief not to have to make up anything as I wrote this book. The story was already there, and it was wonderful. All I had to do was find a way to tell it. It’s probably the most difficult book I’ve ever had to write, but it was a joy and a privilege to be able to tell this story. I’m very proud of what I’ve done.


Purchase A Thousand Sisters: The Heroic Airwomen of the Soviet Union in World War II at Amazon
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View A Thousand Sisters: The Heroic Airwomen of the Soviet Union in World War II on Goodreads

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Imprison the Sky
by A.C. Gaughen
Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

Bloomsbury YA
Released 1/22/2019

Stolen from her family as a child, Aspasia has clawed her way up the ranks of Cyrus's black market empire to captain her own trading vessel--and she risks it all every time she uses her powerful magic to free as many women, children, and Elementae from slavery as she can.

But Cyrus is close to uncovering her secrets--not only that Aspasia is a wind Elementa with the ability to sail her ship through the sky, but that she is also searching for her lost family. And if Aspasia can't find her younger siblings before Cyrus does, she will never be able to break free.

Armed with her loyal crew full of Elementae and a new recruit who controls an intriguing power, Aspasia finds herself in the center of a brewing war that spans every inch of the ocean, and her power alone may not be enough to save her friends, family, and freedom.

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

I think this whole book is a favorite thing--it is almost definitely my favorite of all the books I've written. As a little girl, my dad taught me to sail, and some of the most vivid and obsessive memories I have are of standing out on a bowsprit, crashing over the waves, feeling like I could fly. It was an immense pleasure writing a girl that is not only complicated, damaged, vulnerable and so strong, but also has the ability to crash over waves before she leaps into the air to fly. It is very much a childhood fantasy come true--you know, aside from the whole thing about slavery.

Purchase Imprison the Sky at Amazon
Purchase Imprison the Sky at IndieBound
View Imprison the Sky on Goodreads

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The Birds, the Bees, and You and Me
by Olivia Hinebaugh
Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. & Canada Only
Swoon Reads
Released 1/22/2019

Seventeen-year-old Lacey Burke feels like the last person on the planet who should be doling out sex advice. For starters, she’s never even kissed anyone, and she hates breaking the rules. Up until now, she's been a straight-A music geek that no one even notices. All she cares about is jamming out with her best friends, Theo and Evita.

But then everything changes.

When Lacey sees first-hand how much damage the abstinence-only sex-ed curriculum of her school can do, she decides to take a stand and starts doling out wisdom and contraception to anyone who seeks her out in the girls' restroom. Meanwhile, things with Theo have become complicated, and soon Lacey is not just keeping everyone else’s secrets, but her own as well.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about The Birds, the Bees, and You and Me?

I'm gonna be honest: I like the kissing (and more than kissing) scenes. I mean, the romance is fun in general, but I love how respectful of the other person the characters engaged in said kissing are. Respectful and considerate and sweet, but occasionally awkward. Hopefully it reflects a realistic and sex positive spin on kissing scenes. I hope it makes readers smile half as much as I did while writing it.

Purchase The Birds, the Bees, and You and Me at Amazon
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View The Birds, the Bees, and You and Me on Goodreads

MORE YOUNG ADULT FICTION IN STORES NEXT WEEK WITH AUTHOR INTERVIEWS


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Circle of Shadows
by Evelyn Skye
Hardcover
Balzer + Bray
Released 1/22/2019

Sora can move as silently as a ghost and hurl throwing stars with lethal accuracy. Her gemina, Daemon, can win any physical fight blindfolded and with an arm tied around his back. They are apprentice warriors of the Society of Taigas—marked by the gods to be trained in magic and the fighting arts to protect the kingdom of Kichona.

As their graduation approaches, Sora and Daemon look forward to proving themselves worthy of belonging in the elite group—but in a kingdom free of violence since the Blood Rift Rebellion many years ago, it’s been difficult to make their mark.

So when Sora and Daemon encounter a strange camp of mysterious soldiers while on a standard scouting mission, they decide the only thing to do to help their kingdom is to infiltrate the group. Taking this risk will change Sora’s life forever—and lead her on a mission of deception that may fool everyone she’s ever loved.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Circle of Shadows?

This fantasy is full of magic and mischief, and my absolute favorite thing is how Sora, Daemon, and their friends band together to wreak havoc against enemies who are a lot more powerful than they are. A lot of times, we can feel so small as individuals, but this is a story about what can be accomplished when you've got grit, your best friends, and the belief that you're fighting for the right side of history.

I also loved creating the kingdom of Kichona. It's not Japan but was certainly inspired by some aspects of Japanese landscape and culture, and I'm thrilled to give the book community a fantasy world that is both Asian-inspired and yet wholly its own magical place. As with all my stories, there is big magic and lots of playing with the landscape, as well as plenty of food. (Apologies if you get hungry while reading!)


Purchase Circle of Shadows at Amazon
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View Circle of Shadows on Goodreads

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Song of the Dead
by Sarah Glenn Marsh
Hardcover
Razorbill
Released 1/22/2019

Karthia is nothing like it used to be. The kingdom's borders are open for the first time in nearly three hundred years, and raising the dead has been outlawed. Odessa is determined to explore the world beyond Karthia's waters, hoping to heal a heart broken in more ways than she can count. But with Meredy joining the ocean voyage, vanquishing her sorrow will be a difficult task.

Despite the daily reminder of the history they share, Odessa and Meredy are fascinated when their journey takes them to a land where the Dead rule the night and dragons roam the streets. Odessa can't help being mesmerized by the new magic--and by the girl at her side. But just as she and Meredy are beginning to explore the new world, a terrifying development in Karthia summons them home at once.

Growing political unrest on top of threats from foreign invaders means Odessa and Meredy are thrust back into the lives they tried to leave behind while specters from their past haunt their tenuous relationship. Gathering a force big enough to ward off enemies seems impossible, until one of Queen Valoria's mages creates a weapon that could make them invincible. As danger continues to mount inside the palace, Odessa fears that without the Dead, even the greatest invention won't be enough to save their fates.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Song of the Dead?

It's safe to say a lot of things about SONG are my favorite, as this was my first published sequel, and it taught me so much! Still, if I had to pick one specific thing, I'd say my favorite part is the openness of the world. There are a lot of things implied by this--yes, I mean that for the first time in the series, we get a glimpse at the wider world, cultures, and beliefs outside the isolated kingdom of Karthia, as well as a look at other animals, and even other magical powers, and all of that was really exciting to me as a writer. But I also mean the way the wider world in SONG is quite open and accepting of different races of people, different sexual orientations, and different identities. Gay, straight, ace--however you identify, you can be a mage, a hero, and even befriend a dragon when you step into this story.

Purchase Song of the Dead at Amazon
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View Song of the Dead on Goodreads


MORE YOUNG ADULT NOVELS NEW IN STORES NEXT WEEK


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All Is Fair
by Dee Garretson
Hardcover
Swoon Reads
Released 1/22/2019

Lady Mina Tretheway knows she’s destined for greater things than her fancy boarding school, where she’s being taught to be a proper English lady. It’s 1918, and war is raging across Europe. Unlike her father and brother, who are able to assist in the war effort, Mina is stuck sorting out which fork should be used with which dinner course.

When Mina receives a telegram that’s written in code, she finally has her chance to do something big. She returns to her childhood home of Hallington Manor, joined by a family friend, Lord Andrew Graham, and a dashing and mysterious young American, Lucas. The three of them must band together to work on a dangerous project that could turn the tide of the war.

Thrilled that she gets to contribute to the war effort at least, Mina jumps headfirst into the world of cryptic messages, spycraft, and international intrigue. She, Lucas, and Andrew have to work quickly, because if they don’t succeed, more soldiers will disappear into the darkness of war.

Purchase All Is Fair at Amazon
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View All Is Fair on Goodreads

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Love Me or Miss Me: Hot Girl, Bad Boy
by Dream Jordan
Paperback
Wednesday Books
Released 1/22/2019

What's a Brooklyn Girl to do when her best friend is away for the whole summer? Don't ask Kate, because she has no idea. Aimless, and unhappy with her new foster mother, Kate falls into the hands of a stylish, "It Chick" who whips her into fashionable shape. Armed with new confidence, and a game plan to get her man, Kate quickly falls under her new bestie's bad influence. And she becomes reckless in her pursuits. Can Kate get her life back on the right track--or is it already too late?

One year later, Kate's fantasy life of having the perfect family comes to an abrupt end when she is suddenly forced to return to the group home, a place she's fought so hard to avoid. Alone and vulnerable, Kate falls for the ever so gorgeous Percy who treats her well at first, but soon a cycle of controlling and abusive behavior begins. Kate finds herself trapped and unable to be the strong, independent girl she's tried to be her whole life. Will she be able to escape Percy's clutches?

Purchase Love Me or Miss Me: Hot Girl, Bad Boy at Amazon
Purchase Love Me or Miss Me: Hot Girl, Bad Boy at IndieBound
View Love Me or Miss Me: Hot Girl, Bad Boy on Goodreads

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Only a Breath Apart: A Novel
by Katie McGarry
Hardcover
Tor Teen
Released 1/22/2019

They say your destiny is carved in stone. But some destinies are meant to be broken.

The only curse Jesse Lachlin believes in is his grandmother’s will: in order to inherit his family farm he must win the approval of his childhood best friend, the girl he froze out his freshman year.

A fortuneteller tells Scarlett she's psychic, but what is real is Scarlett’s father’s controlling attitude and the dark secrets at home. She may be able to escape, but only if she can rely on the one boy who broke her heart.

Each midnight meeting pushes Jesse and Scarlett to confront their secrets and their feelings, but as love blooms, the curse rears its ugly head…

Purchase Only a Breath Apart: A Novel at Amazon
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View Only a Breath Apart: A Novel on Goodreads

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Parkland Speaks: Survivors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas Share Their Stories
by Sarah Lerner
Paperback
Crown Books for Young Readers
Released 1/22/2019

The students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School share their emotional journeys that began on February 14, 2018, and continue today. This revealing and unfiltered look at teens living in the wake of tragedy is a poignant representation of grief, anger, determination, healing, and hope.

The intimate collection includes poetry, eyewitness accounts, letters, speeches, journal entries, drawings, and photographs from the events of February 14 and its aftermath. Full of heartbreaking loss, a rally cry for change, and hope for a safe future, these artistic pieces will inspire readers to reflect on their own lives and the importance of valuing and protecting the ones you love.

Purchase Parkland Speaks: Survivors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas Share Their Stories at Amazon
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View Parkland Speaks: Survivors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas Share Their Stories on Goodreads

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Ship of Smoke and Steel
by Django Wexler
Hardcover
Tor Teen
Released 1/22/2019

In the lower wards of Kahnzoka, the great port city of the Blessed Empire, eighteen-year-old ward boss Isoka enforces the will of her criminal masters with the power of Melos, the Well of Combat. The money she collects goes to keep her little sister living in comfort, far from the bloody streets they grew up on.

When Isoka's magic is discovered by the government, she's arrested and brought to the Emperor's spymaster, who sends her on an impossible mission: steal Soliton, a legendary ghost ship―a ship from which no one has ever returned. If she fails, her sister’s life is forfeit.

On board Soliton, nothing is as simple as it seems. Isoka tries to get close to the ship's mysterious captain, but to do it she must become part of the brutal crew and join their endless battles against twisted creatures. She doesn't expect to have to contend with feelings for a charismatic fighter who shares her combat magic, or for a fearless princess who wields an even darker power.

Purchase Ship of Smoke and Steel at Amazon
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View Ship of Smoke and Steel on Goodreads

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Someday We Will Fly
by Rachel DeWoskin
Hardcover
Viking Books for Young Readers
Released 1/22/2019

Warsaw, Poland. The year is 1940 and Lillia is fifteen when her mother, Alenka, disappears and her father flees with Lillia and her younger sister, Naomi, to Shanghai, one of the few places that will accept Jews without visas. There they struggle to make a life; they have no money, there is little work, no decent place to live, a culture that doesn't understand them. And always the worry about Alenka. How will she find them? Is she still alive?

Meanwhile Lillia is growing up, trying to care for Naomi, whose development is frighteningly slow, in part from malnourishment. Lillia finds an outlet for her artistic talent by making puppets, remembering the happy days in Warsaw when her family was circus performers. She attends school sporadically, makes friends with Wei, a Chinese boy, and finds work as a performer at a "gentlemen's club" without her father's knowledge.

But meanwhile the conflict grows more intense as the Americans declare war and the Japanese force the Americans in Shanghai into camps. More bombing, more death. Can they survive, caught in the crossfire?

Purchase Someday We Will Fly at Amazon
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View Someday We Will Fly on Goodreads

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The Electric War: Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, and the Race to Light the World
by Mike Winchell
Hardcover
Henry Holt and Co.
Released 1/22/2019

In the mid-to-late-nineteenth century, a burgeoning science called electricity promised to shine new light on a rousing nation. Inventive and ambitious minds were hard at work. Soon that spark was fanned, and a fiery war was under way to be the first to light―and run―the world with electricity. Thomas Alva Edison, the inventor of direct current (DC), engaged in a brutal battle with Nikola Tesla and George Westinghouse, the inventors of alternating current (AC). There would be no ties in this race―only a winner and a loser. The prize: a nationwide monopoly in electric current. Brimming with action, suspense, and rich historical and biographical information about these brilliant inventors, here is the rousing account of one of the world’s defining scientific competitions.

Purchase The Electric War: Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, and the Race to Light the World at Amazon
Purchase The Electric War: Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, and the Race to Light the World at IndieBound
View The Electric War: Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, and the Race to Light the World on Goodreads

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The Vanishing Stair
by Maureen Johnson
Hardcover
Katherine Tegen Books
Released 1/22/2019

The Truly Devious case—an unsolved kidnapping and triple murder that rocked Ellingham Academy in 1936—has consumed Stevie for years. It’s the very reason she came to the academy. But then her classmate was murdered, and her parents quickly pull her out of school. For her safety, they say. She must move past this obsession with crime.

Stevie’s willing to do anything to get back to Ellingham, be back with her friends, and solve the Truly Devious case. Even if it means making a deal with the despicable Senator Edward King. And when Stevie finally returns, she also returns to David: the guy she kissed, and the guy who lied about his identity—Edward King’s son.

But larger issues are at play. Where did the murderer hide? What’s the meaning of the riddle Albert Ellingham left behind? And what, exactly, is at stake in the Truly Devious affair? The Ellingham case isn’t just a piece of history—it’s a live wire into the present.

Purchase The Vanishing Stair at Amazon
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View The Vanishing Stair on Goodreads

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Undying (An Unearthed Novel)
by Amie Kaufman
Hardcover
Disney-Hyperion
Released 1/22/2019

Earth's fate rests in their hands. Trapped aboard the Undying's ancient spaceship and reeling from the truth they've uncovered, Mia and Jules are desperate to warn their home about what's coming.

After a perilous escape, they crash-land on Earth's surface?but Jules and Mia can hardly fathom their new predicament: No one believes them. Because the threat against Earth is hiding in plain sight.

A mounting global crisis is taking shape, starting with a mysterious illness that seems to reduce its victims to a regressed state. Jules and Mia have no choice but to take matters into their own hands, escaping custody of the International Alliance in order to reuinte Jules with his father, the disgraced expert on the alien race, whose research may be the key to saving humanity.

Purchase Undying (An Unearthed Novel) at Amazon
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View Undying (An Unearthed Novel) on Goodreads



Saturday, January 19, 2019

0 Emma Mills, author of FAMOUS IN A SMALL TOWN, on submitting to publishers while in middle school

We're delighted to have Emma Mills with us to chat about her latest novel, FAMOUS IN A SMALL TOWN.

Emma, what was your inspiration for writing FAMOUS IN A SMALL TOWN?

I grew up in a small town—though not as small as the fictional town of Acadia in FAMOUS—and I knew I wanted to tell a small town story. I started with some components that I wanted this book to include—a very close group of friends, a school marching band, a hometown celebrity. I watch the Rose Parade on TV with my family every year, and when I saw it on New Year’s Day 2017, I knew it was the element that would bring everything together.

How long did you work on FAMOUS IN A SMALL TOWN?

I wrote the first draft of FAMOUS IN A SMALL TOWN over the course of about ten months.

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

FAMOUS IN A SMALL TOWN is my fourth published novel. My first published book, FIRST & THEN, was actually my ninth completed manuscript. I started submitting my work to publishers when I was in middle school; I really, REALLY wanted to be an author! I finished FIRST & THEN in college, and it was the first book I seriously queried for a literary agent. It took two years of querying before I signed with my agent, Bridget Smith of Dunham Literary. Being published has truly been a dream come true!

What are you working on now?

I’m currently working on my next YA book, which will be out in 2020. It’s a contemporary in a similar vein to my previous books—hopefully fun and heartfelt! I’m not sure how much I can reveal about it at the moment, but I will say it involves a student-run radio station.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Famous in a Small Town
by Emma Mills
Hardcover
Henry Holt and Co.
Released 1/15/2019

For Sophie, small-town life has never felt small. She has the Yum Yum Shoppe, with its famous fourteen flavors of ice cream; her beloved marching band, the pride and joy of Acadia High (even if the football team disagrees); and her four best friends, loving and infuriating, wonderfully weird and all she could ever ask for.

Then August moves in next door. A quiet guy with a magnetic smile, August seems determined to keep everyone at arm's length. Sophie in particular.

Country stars, revenge plots, and a few fake kisses (along with some excellent real ones) await Sophie in this hilarious, heartfelt story.

Purchase Famous in a Small Town at Amazon
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View Famous in a Small Town on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Emma Mills is the author of First & Then, This Adventure Ends, and Foolish Hearts. She lives in Indianapolis, where she is currently pursuing a PhD in cell biology.

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Have you had a chance to read FAMOUS IN A SMALL TOWN yet? Do you incorporate where you grew up in your writing? Were you already thinking about being an author in middle school? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!

Happy Reading,

Jocelyn, Halli, Martina, Erin, Susan, Shelly, and Kelly

Monday, January 14, 2019

1 New Releases 01/14 - 01/20

Can you believe it's halfway through January already?! We hope the new year is treating you well and that your year will continue to be filled with great books. Don't forget to check out all the new releases below!

Happy Reading,

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


YA BOOK GIVEAWAYS LAST WEEK: WINNERS


Analiese Rising by Brenda Drake: Katlyn D
Even If I Fall by Abigail Johnson: Angel P.
Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus: Angel H.
When the Truth Unravels by RuthAnne Snow: Cordia P.

MORE YOUNG ADULT FICTION IN STORES NEXT WEEK WITH AUTHOR INTERVIEWS


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Famous in a Small Town
by Emma Mills
Hardcover
Henry Holt and Co.
Released 1/15/2019

For Sophie, small-town life has never felt small. She has the Yum Yum Shoppe, with its famous fourteen flavors of ice cream; her beloved marching band, the pride and joy of Acadia High (even if the football team disagrees); and her four best friends, loving and infuriating, wonderfully weird and all she could ever ask for.

Then August moves in next door. A quiet guy with a magnetic smile, August seems determined to keep everyone at arm's length. Sophie in particular.

Country stars, revenge plots, and a few fake kisses (along with some excellent real ones) await Sophie in this hilarious, heartfelt story.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Famous in a Small Town?

I’d say my favorite thing about FAMOUS IN A SMALL TOWN is the relationship between the protagonist, Sophie, and her group of best friends. Sophie, Brit, Terrance, Dash, and Flora have grown up together in their small rural town, and have an incredibly tight bond as a group—they’ve seen each other at their best and their worst. In my previous books, I’ve explored the idea of a protagonist opening up and bonding with new people, or creating their own found family. With FAMOUS, I really wanted to dive into a found family that already exists, and has existed for years—through ups and downs and fights and crushes and tragedies and all that comes with growing up. I really enjoyed writing a group of friends that are so familiar and so comfortable with each other, and have developed so many in-jokes and private references over their years together. I hope that readers enjoy their time with Sophie and her friends as much as I did!

Purchase Famous in a Small Town at Amazon
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View Famous in a Small Town on Goodreads


MORE YOUNG ADULT NOVELS NEW IN STORES NEXT WEEK


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96 Words for Love
by Rachel Roy and Ava Dash
Hardcover
jimmy patterson
Released 1/15/2019

Ever since her acceptance to UCLA, 17-year-old Raya Liston has been quietly freaking out. She feels simultaneously lost and trapped by a future already mapped out for her.

Then her beloved grandmother dies, and Raya jumps at the chance to spend her last free summer at the ashram in India where her grandmother met and fell in love with her grandfather. Raya hopes to find her center and her true path. But she didn't expect to fall in love... with a country of beautiful contradictions, her fiercely loyal cousin, a local girl with a passion for reading, and a boy who teaches her that in Sanskrit, there are 96 different ways to say the word "love."

A modern retelling of the classic Indian legend of Shakuntala and Dushyanta, 96 Words for Love is a coming-of-age story about finding yourself in unexpected places.

Purchase 96 Words for Love at Amazon
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View 96 Words for Love on Goodreads

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Echo North
by Joanna Ruth Meyer
Hardcover
MacMillan
Released 1/15/2019

Echo Alkaev’s safe and carefully structured world falls apart when her father leaves for the city and mysteriously disappears. Believing he is lost forever, Echo is shocked to find him half-frozen in the winter forest six months later, guarded by a strange talking wolf―the same creature who attacked her as a child. The wolf presents Echo with an ultimatum: if she lives with him for one year, he will ensure her father makes it home safely. But there is more to the wolf than Echo realizes.

In his enchanted house beneath a mountain, each room must be sewn together to keep the home from unraveling, and something new and dark and strange lies behind every door. When centuries-old secrets unfold, Echo discovers a magical library full of books- turned-mirrors, and a young man named Hal who is trapped inside of them. As the year ticks by, the rooms begin to disappear and Echo must solve the mystery of the wolf’s enchantment before her time is up otherwise Echo, the wolf, and Hal will be lost forever.

Purchase Echo North at Amazon
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View Echo North on Goodreads


Sunday, January 13, 2019

1 Karen M. McManus, author of TWO CAN KEEP A SECRET, on boiling your book down to its briefest essence

We're delighted to have Karen M. McManus with us to chat about her latest novel, TWO CAN KEEP A SECRET.

Karen, what was your inspiration for writing TWO CAN KEEP A SECRET?

The original kernel of an idea was to take a small town with a tragic past, and have characters whose families were affected become part of a new mystery.

I’ve always been interested in the power of secrets. That was one of the things I explored in One of Us Is Lying: what people will do to protect hidden parts of themselves, and what happens when those parts are exposed. There’s a similar theme in Two Can Keep a Secret, but here it’s even broader, because generations of secrets have piled up in this one small town. The two main characters both have ties to Echo Ridge’s infamous unsolved mysteries: Ellery’s aunt disappeared there years ago, and Malcolm’s brother is suspected of having killed his homecoming queen girlfriend. Then a third girl disappears, and they want answers.

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

There’s a scene in the middle of the book where the two main characters, Ellery and Malcolm, are being separately interrogated by the police about someone who’s gone missing, and they both realize at almost the exact same moment (but in separate houses) who the primary suspect in this new investigation is going to turn out to be. I won’t spoil it, other than to say that this realization is going to cause problems for both of them. That was fun to write.

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

Authors who I regularly recommend include Kara Thomas (Little Monsters, The Cheerleaders), E. Lockhart (We Were Liars, Genuine Fraud), Caleb Roehrig (Last Seen Leaving, White Rabbit), Mindy McGinness (The Female of the Species), and Tiffany D. Jackson (Allegedly and Monday’s Not Coming).

How long did you work on TWO CAN KEEP A SECRET?

I’m usually a fast drafter, but Two Can Keep a Secret took longer than usual. I had a lot of challenges with that one, starting with the fact that I hadn’t finished it when One of Us Is Lying launched. I was still working full-time then, and my precious writing hours of 9-12 at night were suddenly consumed with marketing and promotion. Plus I had that common Second Book Syndrome issue of feeling somewhat frozen by all the new voices in my head (agent, editor, reviewer, reader), even when they were positive. Ultimately, I wrote Two Can Keep a Secret three times before I was happy with it, so it took me nearly a year to finish.

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

That I need to trust my instincts! About a quarter of the way through both my discarded drafts I knew the book wasn’t working, but I kept thinking “just get the first draft out and you can fix it later.” That’s conventional wisdom that works for a lot of authors, but not for me. As it turns out, I am fully capable of writing 70,000 words of unusable garbage. What I should have done is taken a step back and returned to the fundamentals of character and plot. I did that with my third book, and it was a night and day experience. I wrote that book much faster because A) I created a detailed outline beforehand and B) any time the book started feeling off course, I’d stop and bring in CPs or my agent to help me identify what wasn’t working. Now, I typically write in 4-5 chapter bursts, and don’t move on until I’m happy both with that section, and the book as a whole.

What do you hope readers will take away from TWO CAN KEEP A SECRET?

To take care of their connections with people who are important to them, and to be their full, true selves. A lot of the problems in the book arise when characters hold information back from people they should have trusted. Of course, the flip side of that is, you have to be able to know who you can trust!

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 was one of those kids who started writing early (age 8) and told everyone I was going to be an author when I grew up. But when I got to high school I had a hard time finishing anything, and gave up trying to write for a long time. I didn’t start up again until a few years ago, when I read the Hunger Games and was very inspired by the world and the voice. I decided to give writing another shot, and finally finished a book. That book didn’t get me an agent or publisher, but I loved writing it and learned a lot, so kept going. I wrote a second (shelved) book, then got the idea for One of Us Is Lying in fall 2015. Things happened quickly once I started querying that book, but it took me three books to get there.

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 don’t know if this is a key, exactly, but I often tell people that one of the best things I ever (inadvertently) did was write a book that could be summed up in a single sentence. Whenever I told people that I was writing “The Breakfast Club, but with murder,” they instantly understood what the book was about. That simple summation helped when I was pitching the book to my agent, when my agent pitched it to editors, and along down the line as the book was introduced to new audiences. Not every book easily lends itself to a single-sentence pitch, but I think boiling your book down to its briefest essence is an incredibly useful exercise. We have to answer the “what’s your book about?” question so many times, and a quick, compelling response is gold.

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

When I had a day job I’d always write at night, and anytime I could snatch on the weekends. I wrote big chunks of One of Us Is Lying at my son’s baseball games. Now that I’m a full-time writer I have more flexibility, but I still tend to write in my home office with my earbuds in, listening the playlist I created for that book on repeat.

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

I think you have to be yourself on the page. I don’t mean be autobiographical, because that would be limiting, obviously. But be fearless about who you are as a writer, for the way your mind works, and the stories you choose to tell. You’re the only person on earth who can write like yourself, so don’t be afraid to do it.

What are you working on now?

I have four books in play: I’m still promoting One of Us Is Lying and working on a few related projects for that book. I’m launching Two Can Keep a Secret on January 8, and will be traveling in the U.S. and abroad to support that. I’m editing my third book, which will be a companion book to One of Us Is Lying featuring new main characters (Bronwyn’s sister Maeve is now a POV character), with the Bayview Four in the background as a new mystery unfolds. And I’m drafting my fourth book, which is another standalone YA mystery.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Two Can Keep a Secret
by Karen M. McManus
Hardcover
Delacorte Press
Released 1/8/2019

Echo Ridge is small-town America. Ellery's never been there, but she's heard all about it. Her aunt went missing there at age seventeen. And only five years ago, a homecoming queen put the town on the map when she was killed. Now Ellery has to move there to live with a grandmother she barely knows.

The town is picture-perfect, but it's hiding secrets. And before school even begins for Ellery, someone has declared open season on homecoming, promising to make it as dangerous as it was five years ago. Then, almost as if to prove it, another girl goes missing.

Ellery knows all about secrets. Her mother has them; her grandmother does too. And the longer she's in Echo Ridge, the clearer it becomes that everyone there is hiding something. The thing is, secrets are dangerous--and most people aren't good at keeping them. Which is why in Echo Ridge, it's safest to keep your secrets to yourself.

Purchase Two Can Keep a Secret at Amazon
Purchase Two Can Keep a Secret at IndieBound
View Two Can Keep a Secret on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Karen M. McManus is the author of the young adult thriller One of Us Is Lying, which spent more than a year on the New York Times bestseller list and has been translated into 38 languages worldwide. Her second book, Two Can Keep a Secret, will be released in January 2019.

Karen lives in Massachusetts with her son. She holds a master's degree in Journalism from Northeastern University, which she uses to draft fake news stories for her novels.

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Have you had a chance to read TWO CAN KEEP A SECRET yet? Are you able to trust your instincts while writing? When did you know you wanted to be an author? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!

Happy Reading,

Jocelyn, Halli, Martina, Erin, Susan, Shelly, and Kelly

Saturday, January 12, 2019

0 RuthAnne Snow, author of WHEN THE TRUTH UNRAVELS, on trashing a draft

We're delighted to have RuthAnne Snow join us to share more about her debut novel, WHEN THE TRUTH UNRAVELS.

RuthAnne, what was your inspiration for writing WHEN THE TRUTH UNRAVELS?

There were a lot of different elements that inspired me to start writing WHEN THE TRUTH UNRAVELS. A big one was reading THIRTEEN REASONS WHY and wishing it had focused more on mental health. I think that book is good at a lot of different things, but it doesn’t really explore the “one reason” that most people experience suicidal ideation and exhibit suicidal behaviors.

I also really wanted to write a friendship book about girls who support and love each other even when they challenge and frustrate each other. And I decided to throw in a lot of LITTLE WOMEN Easter Eggs while I was at it.

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 where Elin is found and saved. I can’t be more specific about that without spoilers, but I love it a lot.

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


My first editor, Rachel Stark, first said that my book was like THIRTEEN REASONS meets PAPER TOWNS, which I think is pretty accurate. I also think it would appeal to people who enjoy voicey, serious-funny friendship books like Jeff Zentner’s THE SERPENT KING, which I absolutely loved. I think the mystery piece of it will appeal to fans of Kit Frick’s SEE ALL THE STARS, which you should definitely read if you haven’t yet.

How long did you work on WHEN THE TRUTH UNRAVELS?

About nine months of drafting followed by 4-5 months of revising.

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

It taught me to let go of my first vision for things when it no longer works. The book has two different timelines – Elin’s senior year before her suicide attempt, and then the night of prom for her three friends. But both timelines basically proceed chronologically.

My original idea for the book was to take both timelines and basically put them in a blender—the story being told forwards and backwards and upside down. I had this really “arty” idea that this would serve to illustrate the complex nature of mental illness, but honestly it was just a disaster and confusing and it got in the way of readers connecting to the characters. So I trashed it and never looked back, which had been something that was hard for me before. I can be a bit of a stubborn writer.

What do you hope readers will take away from WHEN THE TRUTH UNRAVELS?


That it’s ok to ask for help, whatever your problems are.

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

Hmm. Are we ever supposed to talk about that? Ha. Well, WHEN THE TRUTH UNRAVELS is the fourth book I wrote and I had to wait a reaaaaally long time before announcing my deal, which was hard. I’d been trying to be published for years and I’d actually had a book deal for the third book I’d written but it ended up falling apart. I’d like to self-publish that one someday, but we will see.

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


I usually write at home, either on the couch with a laptop or in my home office. I like music playlists and tend to listen to the same 10 or so songs over and over again. I like drinking something fizzy (La Croix and Red Bull and Diet Coke are my go-tos) and eating something chewy, usually licorice.

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

Just stick with it. Everyone has a unique perspective, unique voice, and your stories are worth telling.

What are you working on now?


A few different things, but honestly, I am kind of a superstitious writer. I feel like when I talk too much about WIPs, they lose a little magic so I keep them to myself until I’m ready to share with CPs and betas.

ABOUT THE BOOK

When the Truth Unravels
by RuthAnne Snow
Hardcover
Sky Pony Press
Released 1/8/2019

Last month, Elin tried to kill herself.

She knows she's lucky that her parents found her in time. Lucky to be going to prom with her three best friends, like any other teen. Like it never happened. And if she has anything to say about it, no one but her best friends will ever know it did.

Jenna, Rosie, and Ket will do anything to keep Elin's secret--and to make sure it never happens again. That's why they're determined to make prom the perfect night. The night that convinces Elin that life is worth living.

Except, at prom, Elin goes missing.

Now it's up to her friends to find her. But each of the girls has her own demons to face. Ket is being blackmailed by an ex. Rosie is falling in love for the first time. And Jenna . . .

Jenna is falling apart.

And no one, not even her best friends, knows why.

Heart-wrenching and utterly impossible to put down, When the Truth Unravels follows four friends as they confront their greatest hopes and darkest secrets during one life-changing night.

Purchase When the Truth Unravels at Amazon
Purchase When the Truth Unravels at IndieBound
View When the Truth Unravels on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

RuthAnne Snow was born and raised in Kaysville, Utah. She was a sorority girl in college and social activities director in law school―which was a lot like being back in the sorority. She loves traveling, watching horror movies, and baking. She lives in Salt Lake City with her husband and dogs. WHEN THE TRUTH UNRAVELS is her first novel.

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Have you had a chance to read WHEN THE TRUTH UNRAVELS yet? Do you put Easter Eggs into your writing? Have you had to let go of a vision that wasn't working? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!

Happy Reading,

Jocelyn, Halli, Martina, Erin, Susan, Shelly, and Kelly

Friday, January 11, 2019

0 Brenda Drake, author of ANALIESE RISING, on staying on your path

We're excited to have Brenda Drake join us to share more about her latest novel, ANALIESE RISING.

Brenda, what was your inspiration for writing ANALIESE RISING?

The inspiration for ANALIESE RISING came while watching the American Gods series on one lazy, binge-watching, Saturday. It made me want to write gods in our world. What they’d be like today. I also wanted to have them fighting to regain power they’d lost. To pit gods against gods fighting to restore control over mortals. I’ve always loved reading about gods and goddesses and watching movies that were about them. I wanted to explore mythologies around the world that I’d never read about before. Something other than the popular ones we see used a lot in media.

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?

Other than the climax and ending, since I don’t want to give that away, I’d say a scene where Analiese and Marek are trapped in a catacomb. Writing scary-ghost stuff isn’t something I’m used to doing, but it was challenging and fun to write and a scene a really love in the book.

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

I refer to ANALIESE RISING as The Da Vinci Code meets American Gods for young adults. Fans of Half-Blood by Jennifer Armentrout and Antigoddess by Kindare Blake would enjoy this series.

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’ve been writing with the mind set of getting published for over ten years. I wrote many stories before I queried my first manuscript. It was a horrible story. It’s laughable how terrible it was. It was rejected so hard that I didn’t get any requests from agents to read more pages. When I queried agents for Thief of Lies, known as Library Jumpers at the time, the requests for partials and fulls from agents kept rolling in. But still, it took six years to publish it. I had many heartaches and missteps, had to change course a few times, but I never gave up. Everyone’s journey through publishing is different. Some will have a shorter road than others, and it’s those who stay on their path, never giving up, that will have a better chance at realizing their dreams.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Analiese Rising
by Brenda Drake
Paperback
Entangled: Teen
Released 1/8/2019

When a stranger gives Analiese Jordan a list of names before he dies, the last thing she expects to see is her own on it. Not. Cool. Her search for answers leads to the man’s grandson, Marek, who has dangerous secrets of his own. Both are determined to unlock the mystery of the list.

But the truth is deadly. Analiese is a descendant of the God of Death, known as a Riser, with the power to raise the dead and control them. Finding out she has hidden powers? Cool. Finding out she turns corpses into killers? No, thank you.

Now the trail plants her and Marek in the middle of a war between gods who apparently want to raise an army of the Risen, and Analiese must figure out how to save the world―from herself.

Purchase Analiese Rising at Amazon
Purchase Analiese Rising at IndieBound
View Analiese Rising on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brenda Drake is a New York Times bestselling author of Thief of Lies (Library Jumpers #1), Guardian of Secrets (Library Jumpers #2), Touching Fate (Fated Series #1), and Cursing Fate (Fated Series #2). She grew up the youngest of three children, an Air Force brat, and the continual new kid at school. She hosts workshops and contests for writers such as Pitch Wars and Pitch Madness on her blog, and holds Twitter pitch parties on the hashtag, #PitMad. When she’s not writing or hanging out with her family, she haunts libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops, or reads someplace quiet and not at all exotic (much to her disappointment).

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Have you had a chance to read ANALIESE RISING yet? Have any of your stories been inspired by a TV series? Are you staying on the path to realizing your publishing dream? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!

Happy Reading,

Jocelyn, Halli, Martina, Erin, Susan, Shelly, and Kelly

Thursday, January 10, 2019

0 Tiana Smith, author of MATCH ME IF YOU CAN, on not comparing yourself to others

We're delighted to have Tiana Smith with us to chat about her debut novel, MATCH ME IF YOU CAN.

Tiana, what was your inspiration for writing MATCH ME IF YOU CAN?

I've always loved rom-coms. Movies, TV shows, books, it doesn't matter which medium. So I wanted to write a book that gave readers that Happily Ever After satisfied feeling. Match Me If You Can came about because I was watching the movie She's the Man and I could not stop laughing. I loved the idea of multiple couples getting caught up in one huge comedy of errors. And that's where the idea started!

What do you hope readers will take away from MATCH ME IF YOU CAN?

I just hope readers enjoy it. It's meant to be a fluffy, fun book and I hope it leaves readers smiling after they've finished it.

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

Don't compare yourself to others. It's so easy to do in this industry, but so damaging to your sense of self. There will always be other people hitting lists, getting huge sale numbers, glowing reviews, and a host of other things. Comparing yourself to others is instinctive, almost inevitable. But all those things are outside of your control, and not worth your time. Also, read lots!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Match Me If You Can
by Tiana Smith
Hardcover
Swoon Reads
Released 1/8/2019

Mia's best friend Robyn is known for her matchmaking skills, which is perfect, because homecoming is just around the corner. But Robyn refuses to set Mia up with the guy of her dreams, which forces Mia to take matters into her own hands. She uses Robyn's matchmaking service to make sure popular Vince Demetrius falls for her.

Vince asks her out, but Mia doesn't count on Logan, the persistent school newspaper photographer who seems to like her out of the blue. Now she has to choose between Vince - the guy she knows is right for her - and Logan, who insists that she give him a chance. And she needs to make sure Robyn doesn't find out that Mia's been matchmaking behind her back.

Mia has two weeks before homecoming. Can she fix the mess she made or will she have to kiss her perfect match goodbye forever?

Purchase Match Me If You Can at Amazon
Purchase Match Me If You Can at IndieBound
View Match Me If You Can on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tiana Smith is a copywriter turned novelist who grew up in the Wild West of Montana. When she isn’t writing, she’s chasing after her ninja boy, reading, or binging the Disney Channel. She’d love to be fluent in sign language, but for now she gets by with awkward hand gestures and even more awkward French. She has double degrees in Honors and English from Westminster College but wants to go back to school to be a lion tamer.

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Have you had a chance to read MATCH ME IF YOU CAN yet? Have any of your stories been inspired by a movie? Are you able to avoid comparing yourself to others? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!

Happy Reading,

Jocelyn, Halli, Martina, Erin, Susan, Shelly, and Kelly

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

0 Kara Barbieri, author of WHITE STAG, on being a headless, typing chicken

We're thrilled to have Kara Barbieri swing by to tell us more about her debut novel, WHITE STAG.

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

I’d say White Stag would work well for those who like dark fantasy or high fantasy similar to Throne of Glass or a Court of Thorns and Roses though I could be wrong as I haven’t actually read those (yet). Obviously it’s been both compared to Game of Thrones and Twilight, so if you like either of those then it would be great for you too, I think.

How long did you work on WHITE STAG?

I started White Stag during my first stint in rehab for an eating disorder at age 18 and turned 19 while there. I was there for about a month or so. May/June-ish is probably when I started month-wise and then I finished the original rough draft in October. So it took me maybe six months.

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


Well a lot of WHITE STAG was therapy for things that I personally was going through at that time and when I wrote it a lot of my emotions came pouring to the page so as Janneke learned that you can feel pain for something but not let that pain defy you—just feel the pain and move through it to a better day—that’s what I was going through too. Like Janneke, I’m fighting an eating disorder though we express it in different ways, we both begin the story with a type of self-hatred for who we are and why, and we both deal with survivor’s guilt. Me because my father had just died and I blamed myself and her from surviving the raid on her village. So, writing WHITE STAG was at some times this deep exploration about myself and who I am.

What do you hope readers will take away from WHITE STAG?

I want them to take away more than just the cool dark fantasy action-packed story bits of WHITE STAG. If anything I hope that the various themes regarding acceptance, learning to let go of self-hatred, fear, and judgment, and of the idea that monsters aren’t always what you think they are left with the reader. There are deeper themes I’ve put into the book that I think can resonate with anyone in some way.

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

So I knew I wanted to be published at 15. Like I sent terrible, terrible queries out and everything. Soon I learned about sites like Querytracker and AgentQueryConnect and frequented their communities. Ironically I got banned from AgentQueryConnect a few years ago and I still have no clue why. But Querytracker’s community really helped with me learning the way things work in traditional publishing and how to write good queries and everything. I’m still friends with a lot of people from there—some who are also published!

I think I wrote maybe seven book-length things. I say book-length things because that’s really what they were. They weren’t good enough to be called books. Or, well, the seventh was pretty near the quality of White Stag and I did have some agent interest from that but it never got anywhere so I shelved it and used what I learned from it to begin writing WHITE STAG. I don’t think I’d have written WHITE STAG as emotionally intense and challenging as it can be seen if I hadn’t written the book before it, which was my first foray into that type of writing style.

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 don’t think I could ever claim to have the key to writing a novel. I think I’m more like a headless chicken who occasionally runs across a keyboard and types nice things.

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

Write. So often as young writers you hold yourself back. You criticize your work too harshly and feel like you need to abandon it because it’s bad. I know I went through that. But you shouldn’t abandon it because writing is the only way you’re going to improve. Every story is going to improve your skills even if it’s self-insert One Direction fanfiction. Don’t let anyone tell you what you can or can’t write, that you’re too amateur to write something big, or anything like that. Write what you want. And while you’re writing and you look at your chapter and feel bummed because you think it’s shit…realize that everyone starts out as shit. Most people who are published still have rough drafts that are, well, shit! I mean, mine was. That’s what editing is for. Don’t expect your work to be perfect or even “good” the first time around. You don’t go onto a basketball court for the first time and start playing like an NBA star. You have to learn all the skills and whatnot and you do that by playing. The same goes for writing.

What are you working on now?

Well, other than WHITE STAG’s sequel GOBLIN KING, which is with my editor right now I’m working on a new WIP that I’m serializing on Wattpad similar to how I did WHITE STAG though it’s not gotten nearly the same amount of attention. But I really love the story. It’s an apocalyptic fantasy set in a desert world where sled dog teams run from one walled city to the other across the open desert where there are monster-like beings called Chiroptera. The MC, Jericho, must deliver a cure to save one of the cities from falling to an epidemic but instead is ambushed in the desert. To save both her home and her girlfriend, she has to make a deal with a heretical prophet named Riga who believes it is her duty to end the world.

I suck at summarizing but I’d definitely say if you like WHITE STAG to check it out!

ABOUT THE BOOK

White Stag: A Novel
by Kara Barbieri
Hardcover
Wednesday Books
Released 1/8/2019

As the last child in a family of daughters, seventeen-year-old Janneke was raised to be the male heir. While her sisters were becoming wives and mothers, she was taught to hunt, track, and fight. On the day her village was burned to the ground, Janneke―as the only survivor―was taken captive by the malicious Lydian and eventually sent to work for his nephew Soren.

Janneke’s survival in the court of merciless monsters has come at the cost of her connection to the human world. And when the Goblin King’s death ignites an ancient hunt for the next king, Soren senses an opportunity for her to finally fully accept the ways of the brutal Permafrost. But every action he takes to bring her deeper into his world only shows him that a little humanity isn’t bad―especially when it comes to those you care about.

Through every battle they survive, Janneke’s loyalty to Soren deepens. After dangerous truths are revealed, Janneke must choose between holding on or letting go of her last connections to a world she no longer belongs to. She must make the right choice to save the only thing keeping both worlds from crumbling.

Purchase White Stag: A Novel at Amazon
Purchase White Stag: A Novel at IndieBound
View White Stag: A Novel on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Kara Barbieri is a writer living in the tiny town of Hayward, Wisconsin. An avid fantasy fan, she began writing White Stag at eighteen and posting it to Wattpad soon after under the name of ‘Pandean’. When she’s not writing, you can find her marathoning Buffy the Vampire Slayer, reviving gothic fashion, and jamming to synthpop.

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Have you had a chance to read WHITE STAG yet? Is your writing therapy for things you're going through? Are you able to keep writing even when you think it's bad? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!

Happy Reading,

Jocelyn, Halli, Martina, Erin, Susan, Shelly, and Kelly

0 WoW: I have the worst Writer’s FOMO and here’s how I’m dealing with it

Writers on Writing:
I have the worst Writer’s FOMO and here’s how I’m dealing with it
by Kelly deVos

Earlier this week, I was online perusing the list of prizes for KidLitForTransRights auction. This was a wonderful event designed to raise money for Trans LifeLine, The Trevor Project and other fantastic charities with many writers coming together to donate ARCs, books, manuscript reads and more.



At first, I was having fun checking out the prizes. Until I realized that I wanted ALL the prizes. All. The. Prizes. If I could afford to bid on all the prizes, everything might have been fine, but I have a teenager in need of school uniforms, braces and driving lessons so I only had a small budget to participate in the auction. I realized that I’d spent more than an hour clicking around without bidding on anything, unable to make a decision

I had auction FOMO. The fear that by bidding on one prize, I’d be missing out on another.

In daily life, I rarely experience FOMO. I tend to be pretty happy with my life and life choices. But last year, as a debut author, I felt in a constant state of FOMO, perpetually worried about doing more, getting more and being more in the world of publishing. I’m trying to make 2019 a FOMO-free zone and I’m sharing my strategies in case you are too. 

Here are the many forms of my Writer’s FOMO and what I am doing about them:

ARC FOMO
What it is: The fear of missing out on all the upcoming book releases
Everyone who knows me, knows that I’m a bit of an ARC hoarder. I love to read new and upcoming releases. Last year, I was on so many ARC tours that the post office employees and I were on a first name basis. But no one can read everything and I am not always able to secure every ARC out there.

What I am doing now: I’ve compartmentalized my reading list for 2019, making a list of things I hope I can get as an ARC, what I plan to buy and what I will borrow from the library. The simple act of acknowledging that I won’t read many books until they are released has made me feel so much better when I see the latest ARC in my Twitter timeline.

Swag FOMO
What it is:The fear of missing out on all the great marketing materials out there.
As a debut author, I didn’t make tote bags, magnets, coffee mugs, custom candles, lip glosses, nail polishes or Book Beaus, although I saw other authors with all of those things. Sometimes, I would wake up in a panic wondering, “Do I need my own custom t-shirts?”

What I am doing now: First of all, I remind myself how fortunate I am to have an amazing team at my publisher working hard on my behalf. Then I remind myself of one of the best pieces of advice that I have received. Do what’s fun.What’s not fun is driving myself nuts ogling other writers’ swag and going into debt trying to reproduce what they’ve done. For my next book (DAY ZERO coming 11/12/19), I’ve made a short list of a few items I know I can afford that that I think would be fun to have. If I start feeling worried about my swag, I’m going to take a nice walk around the block to chill out.



Event FOMO
What it is: The fear of missing out on conferences and book events
I was lucky to get to go to a few events and conferences last year and I had amazing time. But on social media, I saw pics of every event. And they all looked fun and full of opportunities to meet writers and readers and librarians and teachers. But time and money are finite resources and I can’t go to all the events, even if I feel I’d like to.

What I am doing now: I’m forcing myself to think about the reality of constantly being gone at EVERY book conference. I would miss my family. I would be exhausted. I would be behind in my work and in my life. I force myself to remember the way that my shoulder gets so sore after I’ve been dragging my laptop around for a while. Also, I’m trying to put together a small budget to go to one conference so that I have something fun to look forward to. I’m hoping that combining a realistic plan to go to somethings with a realistic assessment of the difficulties of huge amounts of travel will keep the FOMO away.

Movie FOMO
What it is: The fear of missing out on having your work adapted for the screen
The last few months feel like everyone I know has gotten a movie adaptation deal. Which is awesome! I hope some of these people remember me when!! I am available for premieres and Live Tweets! But in the meantime, I am over here living the reality of the fact that most books don’t get tapped for movie adaptations.

What I am doing now: I’m reminding myself that feeling envious is a normal human emotion. Sometimes, the necessary response to that feeling is the need to take a break from social media. I plan to take a couple of short breaks from social media throughout 2019 to relax and recharge.

Someone Else is Getting More FOMO
What it is: The fear of missing out on all the things that other people are getting
During my debut year, I got such amazing support from my publisher, other writers and my family. But there is always someone getting MORE. Someone winning more awards or doing more events or getting more attention.

What I am doing now: I’m celebrating all the little successes and remembering how much I like to write. When I first started, all I wanted to do was finish one manuscript and find at least one person willing to read it. I still vividly recall the feeling of attending my critique group’s first meeting and realizing that four people had actually read something I wrote! Combat the FOMO by remembering your love for the craft and by reflecting on what you have accomplished. Were you able to keep writing even though 2018 was a challenging year? Have you finished a manuscript? A chapter? A page? We are writers and that is something to celebrate.

Psychology Today writes, “Needs are limited. Desires are endless. Accepting the essential futility of trying to fulfill every desire we have is much wiser than indulging all of our impulses for gratification. Prioritizing certain activities enables us to let go of others.”

For me, that’s the essence of what I need to do in 2019 – spend more time appreciating what I have than thinking about what I don’t. I know this might get tough at times, but I genuinely plan to make 2019 a FOMO-free year.

Do you have Writer’s FOMO? If so, I’d love to hear what you are doing about it!


About Kelly deVos
Kelly deVos is from Gilbert, Arizona, where she lives with her high school sweetheart husband, teen daughter and superhero dog, Cocoa. She holds a BA in creative writing from Arizona State University. When not reading or writing, Kelly can typically be found with a mocha in hand, bingeing the latest TV shows and adding to her ever-growing sticker collection. Her debut novel, Fat Girl on a Plane, is available now wherever books are sold. Kelly is an AYAP Team Member.

About DAY ZERO (Coming 11/12/19 from Inkyard Press/HarperCollins)
Fans of Susan Beth Pfeffer’s Life As We Knew Itseries and Rick Yancey’s The 5th Waveseries will cheer for this fast-paced, near-future thrill ride.

If you’re going through hell…keep going.

Seventeen-year-old coder Jinx Marshall grew up spending weekends drilling with her paranoid dad for a doomsday she’s sure will never come. She’s an expert on self-heating meal rations, Krav Maga and extracting water from a barrel cactus. Now that her parents are divorced, she’s ready to relax. Her big plans include making it to level 99 in her favorite MMORPG and spending her Thanksgiving Day break in Baja with her new hunky stepbrother, Tyrell.

But all that disaster training comes in handy when an explosion traps her in a burning building. Stuck leading her headstrong stepsister, Makeeba, and her precocious little brother, Charles, to safety, Jinx gets them out alive only to discover the explosion is part of a pattern of violence erupting all over the country. Even worse, Jinx’s dad stands accused of triggering the chaos.

In a desperate attempt to evade paramilitary forces and vigilantes, Jinx and her siblings find Tyrell and make a break for Mexico. With seemingly the whole world working against them, they’ve got to get along and search for the truth about the attacks—and about each other. But if they can survive, will there be anything left worth surviving for?