Saturday, September 28, 2013

20 YA Fiction Pick and Mix 9/28/13 Edition with Giveaways of BLYTHEWOOD, STEELHEART, and UNTOLD

The Princess Bride Tweet Party #TPBTweetParty

Join me, Laini Taylor, Kat Zhang, Claudia Gray, and as many more Tweeps as we can round up for a Twitter party as we all watch The Princess Bride next Friday night 10/4 at midnight (ET/9:00 pm Pacific). It's a great movie, and we'll all live Tweet our thoughts and favorite parts at hashtag #TPBTweetParty. Don't forget!

Free October First Five Pages Workshop 

Starts taking submissions at noon next Saturday. Our guest mentor will be Maureen Lipinski, author of Cleopatra Ascending, Shadow's Edge, and more. Get the rules here. And we have another success story coming up. (But shhhh, the news hasn't broken yet!)

My Workshop Last Week

I love writers. I love how giving everyone is toward each other, and how the inspiration and creativity feeds on itself when writers get together. I heard so many fantastic ideas for books from the attendees of the Breakout Novel Intensive I did last week. And I ran into a couple of people I knew from this blog.

Amy Dominy and Terry Lynn Johnson have both been guest bloggers here, and it was so much fun to meet them in person. It was also great to see Jackie Garlick-Pynaert and Jen Pun, who I know from previous workshops and conferences. Terry read an excerpt from the opening for her new book that BLEW ME AWAY. I'm talking Newbery medal incredible. (Write that down, and we'll see if I'm right. :))

Book Cover News!

On a personal note, I have something to share! Would you like to see some covers done by Regina Flath, my lovely, lovely cover designer? No, I haven't seen my actual cover yet, but I have heard rumors about how fabulous it is going to be. And having seen Regina's portfolio, I know I'm going to be thrilled. Not only is she extremely talented, but she has also read my whole book. She was kind enough to say she loved it, and she loved the same things about it that I love. That tells me a lot about my cover right there!

Ready? Here's the link: You can scroll through the various projects by moving over the thumbnails on the bottom. Aren't they beautiful?

Have a great week, everyone!


Thought for the Week

via Figment

Young Adult Novel Giveaway This Week

by Sarah Rees Brennan
Random House
Released 9/24/2013

Free from bonds, but not each other

It’s time to choose sides… On the surface, Sorry-in-the-Vale is a sleepy English town. But Kami Glass knows the truth. Sorry-in-the-Vale is full of magic. In the old days, the Lynburn family ruled with fear, terrifying the people into submission in order to kill for blood and power. Now the Lynburns are back, and Rob Lynburn is gathering sorcerers so that the town can return to the old ways.

But Rob and his followers aren’t the only sorcerers in town. A decision must be made: pay the blood sacrifice, or fight. For Kami, this means more than just choosing between good and evil. With her link to Jared Lynburn severed, she’s now free to love anyone she chooses. But who should that be?’

Purchase Untold at Amazon
Purchase Untold at IndieBound
View Untold on Goodreads

* * * *

by Brandon Sanderson
Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Released 9/24/2013

Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics.

But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his wills.

Nobody fights the Epics... nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them.

And David wants in. He wants Steelheart—the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David's father. For years, like the Reckoners, David's been studying, and planning—and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience.

He's seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Steelheart?

The pacing. There are certain things that I was able to do with a single first-person viewpoint in a fast-paced action-oriented story that I haven't been able to do in any other story that I've written. I feel like the awesome pacing just tears you through the book and reads like a really fun action movie. I'm quite proud of how that worked.

Purchase Steelheart at Amazon
Purchase Steelheart at IndieBound
View Steelheart on Goodreads

* * * *

by Carol Goodman
Advance Reader Copy Giveaway
Viking Juvenile
Released 10/8/2013

Welcome to Blythewood.

At seventeen, Avaline Hall has already buried her mother, survived a horrific factory fire, and escaped from an insane asylum. Now she’s on her way to Blythewood Academy, the elite boarding school in New York’s mist-shrouded Hudson Valley that her mother attended—and was expelled from. Though she’s afraid her high society classmates won’t accept a factory girl in their midst, Ava is desperate to unravel her family’s murky past, discover the identity of the father she’s never known, and perhaps finally understand her mother’s abrupt suicide. She’s also on the hunt for the identity of the mysterious boy who rescued her from the fire. And she suspects the answers she seeks lie at Blythewood.   

But nothing could have prepared her for the dark secret of what Blythewood is, and what its students are being trained to do. Haunted by dreams of a winged boy and pursued by visions of a sinister man who breathes smoke, Ava isn’t sure if she’s losing her mind or getting closer to the truth. And the more rigorously Ava digs into the past, the more dangerous her present becomes.   

Vivid and atmospheric, full of mystery and magic, this romantic page-turner by bestselling author Carol Goodman tells the story of a world on the brink of change and the girl who is the catalyst for it all.

Purchase Blythewood at Amazon
Purchase Blythewood at IndieBound
View Blythewood on Goodreads


Young Adult Novel Giveaway Last  Week 

Winner: Heather Raglin

MORE THAN THIS by Patrick Ness
Candlewick, 9/10/13

From two-time Carnegie Medal winner Patrick Ness comes an enthralling and provocative new novel chronicling the life — or perhaps afterlife — of a teen trapped in a crumbling, abandoned world.

A boy named Seth drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments, losing his life as the pounding sea claims him. But then he wakes. He is naked, thirsty, starving. But alive. How is that possible? He remembers dying, his bones breaking, his skull dashed upon the rocks. So how is he here? And where is this place? It looks like the suburban English town where he lived as a child, before an unthinkable tragedy happened and his family moved to America. But the neighborhood around his old house is overgrown, covered in dust, and completely abandoned. What’s going on? And why is it that whenever he closes his eyes, he falls prey to vivid, agonizing memories that seem more real than the world around him? Seth begins a search for answers, hoping that he might not be alone, that this might not be the hell he fears it to be, that there might be more than just this. . . .


Something to Watch

Have you seen this Harry Potter proposal? 

"After All This Time... Always" - A Harry Potter Themed Engagement Proposal from NightOwls Media on Vimeo.

Books, Books, Books

If you're a fan of Marissa Meyer (as I am), you'll be happy to know she has a new book deal!

In perhaps the ultimate of oops moments, copies of Veronica Roth's Allegiant were accidentally shipped to a few lucky readers. The rest of us still need to wait until October 22nd. 

J.K. Rowling will be a writer for the "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" movies! :) 

The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson came out this week. I was lucky to get an ARC of that, and I can tell you how much I adored it. What a spectacular series.

Mundie Moms had a great playlist for Kami Garcia's Unbreakable. And yes, I read the ARC of that, too, and ohmygosh are you in for a treat!

Young Adult Reader of the Week:

My Photo

Melody Valadez

She writes romantic and suspenseful stories for young adults and frequently blurs the lines between Christian and secular fiction. She is also a physics major at the University of Texas, where she blurs the lines between art and math. Come to think of it, she just likes blurring lines.

* Want to be the reader of the week next week? Leave a comment on our Thursday or Friday posts! 


Blogger of the Week: 

My Photo 
Mary from  "Twisted Insanity, Fallen Humanity."

She loves buffalo wings, boy bands, and slasher movies. Oh, and she writes books sometimes.

Read this post of hers on Finding Your Voice. It's about speaking out in general, and I love it!

* Want to be the blogger of the week next week? To be honest, this is pretty much the only way I have time to discover new blogs, so it's a great way to get into my twitter feed and into these round-up posts if you have great content to share. Leave a comment. I'll pick from among the bloggers who leave comments here on the blog today through Wednesday.

Writing Tip of the Week 

“E.L. Doctorow said once said that 'Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.' You don't have to see where you're going, you don't have to see your destination or everything you will pass along the way. You just have to see two or three feet ahead of you. This is right up there with the best advice on writing, or life, I have ever heard.” 


Another Writing Tip

"There is, in any great opening line, a mini-conflict or tension that is strong enough to carry the reader to the next step in the narrative."


Writing Brain Fuel     

via Writer's Digest (Click to see larger version)


  1. So awesome you met Terry at the conference. I can't wait to read her new book.

    And so many new good books out. And the book deal news is awesome too.

    1. Terry is so much fun. The excerpt was for something new that will come out after ICE DOGS. But ICE DOGS looks so fabulous. I can't wait until it comes out in February!

  2. Aww, that video was so cute. :) And that's crazy about Allegiant being shipped early! I'm not sure I would've been able to wait until October 22 to read it. ;P

  3. Really awkward situation about Allegiant. Hopefully the people who've gotten books already can stay quiet!

  4. The book covers look wonderful. I recognized several of them. And that Allegiant moment...well, things happen but October 22 is coming soon.

  5. It's always disappointing when books get released early. They have a release date for a specific purpose. Hopefully we won't get spoiled!

  6. Hi, Martina,

    FIRST, let me congratulate you! HOW EXCITING!!!!!! I am sooooo happy for your! ALL THE BEST! You so deserve it! I can't wait to see your new cover.

    I have been looking at amazing cover throughout the blogosphere lately, and I a few months ago I have started a new service that does include cover design and original illustrations...

    I have a reveal on Monday, so I hope you can drop by. I was also hired by this author to write the blurb.... Loving my new business...

    You are featuring some GORGEOUS covers here! Truly beautiful!!!

    Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!

    1. Hi Michael! I will definitely try to stop by on Monday--it sounds like an exciting new venture, and it really sounds up your alley.
      Your clients will be very lucky!

  7. Unfortunately, I was not among the few who got a copy of Allegiant early. That would have been kind of awesome:) I can wait though. I'm going to enter into the first five pages workshop. I'm so nervous!!!

  8. Too many good books to choose from. I would love to go to a book conference. Thanks for the giveaway.

  9. That is so great that you found out who your cover artist is, and wow, her work is incredible!!! And I love that chart, it was hilarious. And so true. And thank you SO much for the 3 great giveaways - all awesome books I am dying to read!

    1. Isn't Regina's work wonderful? And I laughed so hard when I read that chart. It looks so straight-forward until you look at the details. :) Way too familiar, right?

  10. Always an interesting read. Thanks.

  11. So exciting about your cover designer! I know so few designer names but that's one I definitely recognize because I *love* the covers for WHERE THE STARS STILL SHINE and OPEN ROAD SUMMER, and I'm sure yours will be fabulous as well!

    1. Those are two of my favorites, too, Dahlia! I also love DANCE OF SHADOWS and WILD CARDS. Heck, there are so many that are wonderful. It's interesting that she has a very recognizable style even though the covers are all so different.

      I can't wait to see YOUR cover! Have you had a peek yet? The story sounds so fantastic.

  12. Allegiant. I KNOW, right? It has to be so heartbreaking for Veronica Roth. She has spent all this time building toward the end moment, the big reveal, and suddenly oops. I really hope no one posts any spoilers! What's the visual equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ears and going LA LA LA LA? Because that will be me until October 22nd!

  13. I really liked the chart you guys made. ;)

  14. Those are awesome covers Regina has designed! Congrats--should be exciting to see what your cover looks like, Martina. :o) Ha, love the chart too. I'm practicing that "butt-in-chair" thing right now (hey, my document with my new ms is open, anyway...)

  15. That's crazy about the Allegiant news! I wish it did but also don't that I got one early cause then like Veronica said we could all experience it together! And STEELHEART it sounds sooo good! Thank you so much for the giveaway and love your blog. <3 :)


Tell us what you think. We'd love to hear from you! :)