Monday, June 30, 2014

22 Win Your Choice of This Week's New YALit Releases 6/30-7/6

Hi, everyone,

Here we are with another roundup of books coming out this week. This week, we're offering a giveaway of your choice of any of the great releases this week! Don't forget to stop by every Monday for more giveaways and another round-up. And please, tell us what you're excited about this week! What are you reading? What can't you wait to get your hands on?

The ladies of AYAP,

Martina, Alyssa, Jan, Clara, and Lisa


* * * *

by Maggie Stiefvater
Scholastic Press
Released 7/1/2014

A standalone companion book to the internationally bestselling Shiver Trilogy.

Sinner follows Cole St. Clair, a pivotal character from the #1 New York Times bestselling Shiver Trilogy. Everybody thinks they know Cole's story. Stardom. Addiction. Downfall. Disappearance. But only a few people know Cole's darkest secret -- his ability to shift into a wolf. One of these people is Isabel. At one point, they may have even loved each other. But that feels like a lifetime ago. Now Cole is back. Back in the spotlight. Back in the danger zone. Back in Isabel's life. Can this sinner be saved?

Purchase Sinner at Amazon
Purchase Sinner at IndieBound
View Sinner on Goodreads

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by Katherine Howe
Putnam Juvenile
Released 7/1/2014

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane comes a chilling mystery—Prep meets The Crucible.

It’s senior year at St. Joan’s Academy, and school is a pressure cooker. College applications, the battle for valedictorian, deciphering boys’ texts: Through it all, Colleen Rowley and her friends are expected to keep it together. Until they can’t.

First it’s the school’s queen bee, Clara Rutherford, who suddenly falls into uncontrollable tics in the middle of class. Her mystery illness quickly spreads to her closest clique of friends, then more students and symptoms follow: seizures, hair loss, violent coughing fits. St. Joan’s buzzes with rumor; rumor blossoms into full-blown panic.

Soon the media descends on Danvers, Massachusetts, as everyone scrambles to find something, or someone, to blame. Pollution? Stress? Or are the girls faking? Only Colleen—who’s been reading The Crucible for extra credit—comes to realize what nobody else has: Danvers was once Salem Village, where another group of girls suffered from a similarly bizarre epidemic three centuries ago . . .

Inspired by true events—from seventeenth-century colonial life to the halls of a modern-day high school—Conversion casts a spell. With her signature wit and passion, New York Times bestselling author Katherine Howe delivers an exciting and suspenseful novel, a chilling mystery that raises the question, what’s really happening to the girls at St. Joan’s?

Purchase Conversion at Amazon
Purchase Conversion at IndieBound
View Conversion on Goodreads

* * * *

Find Me Where The Water Ends
by Rachel Carter
Released 7/1/2014

Lydia has been trained into a person she might have once feared: focused, fierce, deadly. Although she never wanted the life of a Montauk Project recruit, the Project has captured someone she loves-someone she'll do anything to save.

Then Lydia glimpses a world in which the Montauk Project never existed. The Project has taken so much from Lydia already, but she knows that she will sacrifice everything to make her vision of a world without the Project a reality.

Publishers Weekly said that "readers will be hooked" by Rachel Carter's plot-twisting So Close to You series. The conspiracy theories, romance, and compelling "what if?" questions build to a satisfying series end, making Find Me Where the Water Ends the perfect fit for the teen fans of light science fiction like The Time Traveler's Wife.

Purchase Find Me Where The Water Ends at Amazon
Purchase Find Me Where The Water Ends at IndieBound
View Find Me Where The Water Ends on Goodreads

* * * *

No Dawn Without Darkness
by Dayna Lorentz
Kathy Dawson Books
Released 7/1/2014

Perfect for fans of Life As We Knew It and Michael Grant's Gone--this conclusion to the No Safety in Numbers trilogy will make your heart race, your palms sweat, and will leave you wondering exactly what you'd be willing to sacrifice in order to survive.

First--a bomb released a deadly flu virus and the entire mall was quarantined.

Next--the medical teams evacuated and the windows were boarded up just before the virus mutated.

Now--the power is out and the mall is thrown into darkness. Shay, Marco, Lexi, Ryan, and Ginger aren't the same people they were two weeks ago. Just like the virus, they've had to change in order to survive. And not all for the better. When no one can see your face, you can be anyone you want to be, and, when the doors finally open, they may not like what they've become.

If you think it's silly to be afraid of the dark, you're wrong.
Very wrong.

Purchase No Dawn Without Darkness at Amazon
Purchase No Dawn Without Darkness at IndieBound
View No Dawn Without Darkness on Goodreads

* * * *

by Kate Jarvik Birch
Entangled: Teen
Released 7/1/2014

I was bred to be the perfect pet. I was bred for my beauty and grace, to be a showpiece, an ornament to sit upon the couch, to sing, to dance, to play the piano and paint. I was bred to willingly put my owner's happiness before my own.

Until Penn. The handsome and rebellious son of the congressman who owns me, he's the only person who's seen past my perfect exterior to the girl underneath. Falling for him is forbidden. Falling for him is freeing.

But there's a dark underworld lurking beneath my pampered life. The only thing more dangerous than staying with Penn's family is escaping it, because if I fail, I face a fate far worse than death...

For fans of Kiera Cass's Selection series and Lauren DeStefano's Chemical Garden series, Perfected is a chilling look at what it means to be human, as well as a stunning celebration of the power of love to set us free, wrapped in a glamorous—and dangerous—bow.

Purchase Perfected at Amazon
Purchase Perfected at IndieBound
View Perfected on Goodreads

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The Vanishing Season
by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Released 7/1/2014

Girls started vanishing in the fall, and now winter's come to lay a white sheet over the horror. Door County, it seems, is swallowing the young, right into its very dirt. From beneath the house on Water Street, I've watched the danger swell.

The residents know me as the noises in the house at night, the creaking on the stairs. I'm the reflection behind them in the glass, the feeling of fear in the cellar. I'm tied—it seems—to this house, this street, this town.

I'm tied to Maggie and Pauline, though I don't know why. I think it's because death is coming for one of them, or both.

All I know is that the present and the past are piling up, and I am here to dig.I am looking for the things that are buried.

From bestselling author Jodi Lynn Anderson comes a friendship story bound in snow and starlight, a haunting mystery of love, betrayal, redemption, and the moments that we leave behind.

Purchase The Vanishing Season at Amazon
Purchase The Vanishing Season at IndieBound
View The Vanishing Season on Goodreads


* * * *

by Susanne Winnacker
Released 6/26/2014

Winner - Tania Malheiro

Praise for Susanne Winnacker's Impostor:

"An unpredictable page turner with shades of terror reminiscent of a Stephen King novel."—VOYA

"Fresh and inventive. . . . the strongly-written mystery component takes center stage."—BCCB


Tessa has finally made peace with her life as a Variant. She and longtime love Alec are officially a couple, and for the first time, she has everything she wants.

But the air is tense at FEA headquarters. An agent has disappeared, and rogue Variant organization Abel's Army is likely the culprit.

When Tessa is summoned for her second mission, she is unexpectedly launched into a massive conspiracy. Her best friend Holly is kidnapped, and Tessa knows it was meant to be her. But who is after her? And more importantly, why?

When the FEA's efforts to rescue Holly don't yield results, Tessa takes matters into her own hands. Desperate to save her friend and uncover the mystery behind Abel's Army, Tessa launches her own investigation—but nothing could prepare her for what she finds.

Finding the truth will take her out on the road and out of her comfort zone, with danger lurking at every turn. Summoning all of her courage and strength, Tessa must decide who can be trusted and what is worth fighting for. Her final decision will leave readers breathless.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Defector?

The revelations. Tessa discovers the truth about many things, some of which she later wishes she hadn’t. It was fun writing her reactions to those discoveries. I think the truth forces Tessa to grow as a character.

Purchase Defector at Amazon
Purchase Defector at IndieBound
View Defector on Goodreads

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, June 27, 2014

4 Craft of Writing: How to Write a Bestselling YA Novel by Allen Zadoff

Allen Zadoff is the bestselling YA author of a lot of books. His debut FOOD, GIRLS AND OTHER THINGS I CAN'T HAVE won the Sid Fleischman Humor Award and was a YALSA selection for Most Popular Paperbacks of 2012. His newest series, previously titled Boy Nobody has a revamped name and look. It is now called The Unknown Assasin, the first book of which is called I AM THE WEAPON and the newest I AM THE MISSION, which came out June 17th!

How to Write a Bestselling YA Novel by Allen Zadoff

Stop trying.

This is my best advice. If you want to write a bestselling young adult novel, stop trying to write one. Don’t follow trends, don’t do what others think you should do, don’t emulate what’s already successful, don’t even write what you think you should write.

Go deeper.

Write the other story, the one you must write, the one that scares you.

Understand what I mean when I say “scares you”. I don’t mean you have to write a gut-wrenching novel of terror. I mean you should write the story that scares you personally. The one where you say, “I want to write a comedy, but I’m afraid I’m not funny enough. I want to tell the truth, but I’m not sure I have the guts to do it. I want to talk about real life as I experience it, but I’m afraid people won’t be interested. Or I want to write a vampire book, but there are already twelve billion vampire books.”

That last one is tricky because there really are twelve billion vampire books, and it’s tough to sell a vampire book. But remember what I said earlier. Write the one you must write.

If you have an absolutely personal and unusual idea for a vampire novel that you must write and you’re sure you can’t move forward in life without writing it, then I support you in doing it. But if you’re writing it because you know the genre is popular, because you hope to catch the trend, because you think you’re guaranteed to have a hit book, then I suggest you dump it.

Go deeper. Write the one you must write.

Three years ago, I was known as a funny, contemporary fiction writer. I’d written three YA novels, all in a similar style. My debut, FOOD, GIRLS, AND OTHER THINGS I CAN’T HAVE, won a number of awards, received fantastic reviews, and was widely read. But after three books with quirky, neurotic, and all-too-human protagonists, I was inspired to write something different. One day I heard the voice of new kind of hero in my head, a sixteen-year-old assassin for the government whose job was to befriend the children of his targets so he could get close to and assassinate their parents. I knew it was a thriller, and I had a very strong sense that it was going to be more than one book.

I wasn’t trying to write a bestseller. I was simply writing the next one, the one that scared me. I risked it all, betting on my inspiration rather than my reputation, doing what I was moved to do rather than what I thought I should do or what people were expecting from me.

It was the birth of THE UNKNOWN ASSASSIN series.

And guess what? It’s been my most successful work by far. The first book, I AM THE WEAPON, earned starred reviews, has been translated into over a dozen languages, and was optioned by a major movie studio. Now it’s a finalist for best YA novel in the International Thriller Awards.

All great stuff. And all more or less beside the point.

More important is the fact that I did what scared me, and I’m a better writer for it. I grew, I stretched, and now I get to do it again.

There are no guarantees of success. I can’t promise you that if you go deeper, write what you must, and write what scares you that you will have a bestseller at the end of the day. But I promise you this. You will feel like a real writer. You will get better every time you do it. And eventually you will find your voice, and your audience will find you.

That’s my wish for us both.

About The Author

Allen Zadoff is the author of the THE UNKNOWN ASSASSIN series as well as several acclaimed novels including FOOD, GIRLS, AND OTHER THINGS I CAN'T HAVE, winner of the Sid Fleischman Humor Award and a YALSA Popular Paperback for Young Adults. Allen's action-packed series debut, I AM THE WEAPON (formerly BOY NOBODY), is a page-turning thriller about a teenage assassin that has already been optioned for film by Sony Pictures & Overbrook Entertainment. The book was featured in the Los Angeles Times' Summer Reading guide and has received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and VOYA. Kirkus Reviews called I AM THE WEAPON "fast, furious, and fun." Look for the sequel, I AM THE MISSION, beginning in June 2014. Allen is a graduate of Cornell University and the Harvard University Institute for Advanced Theatre Training. His training as a super spy, however, has yet to be verified.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads

About The Book

He was the perfect assassin. No name. No past. No remorse. Perfect, that is, until he began to ask questions and challenge his orders. Now The Program is worried that their valuable soldier has become a liability.

And so Boy Nobody is given a new mission. A test of sorts. A chance to prove his loyalty.

His objective: Take out Eugene Moore, the owner of an extremist military training camp for teenagers. It sounds like a simple task, but a previous operative couldn't do it. He lost the mission and is presumed dead. Now Boy Nobody is confident he can finish the job. Quickly.

But when things go awry, Boy Nobody finds himself lost in a mission where nothing is as it seems: not The Program, his allegiances, nor the truth.

The riveting second book in Allen Zadoff's Boy Nobody series delivers heart-pounding action and a shocking new twist that makes Boy Nobody question everything he has believed.

Amazon | IndieBound | Goodreads

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

9 WOW Wednesday: Don't Lose Yourself by Paula Stokes

Paula Stokes is the kind of author who can do it all. Under her pseudenom Fiona Paul, she writes historical YA novels set in Rennaisance Venice. And under her real name she is a writing machine! With The Art of Lainey out this past May 2014, Paula has 5 more books coming out in the next few years and they all sound fantastic. Based on how amazing her Secrets of The Eternal Rose series and Lainey were, there is no doubt in my mind that Paula is going to take the YA world in a storm.

Don't Lose Yourself by Paula Stokes

I spent a fair amount of time writing stories and poems throughout high school and college, but it wasn’t until I went to a conference and a couple of industry people told me I was “good enough” to get published that I really got hooked. Now I have four books out (three writing under a pen name) and another five on the way. Plus a novella. Plus I’ve been thinking about going hybrid, or writing an adult book, or doing a collaboration with a friend. Or all three. Yeah, these days I’m pretty sure I’m addicted to writing.

No big deal, right? There are way worse things to be addicted to. Except that writing will eat your whole soul, if you let it. It will consume you from the inside out. Your writing highs will become the best moments of your life. Your rejections will become your crushing lows. And then, without even realizing it, you might lose the ability to separate yourself from your work.

Let me remind you of a few things:

There was joy in your life before there was writing. I don’t care if you started cranking out stories at age five, right after you started reading. Chances are you did a lot of other things too. High school me didn’t just write—she worked, played tennis, went to concerts, went to parties, made questionable romantic choices, and somehow managed to get all her homework done too. Present day me is still struggling to find work-life balance.

There is joy in your life besides writing. If you’re one of those writers who has achieved work-life balance either because you’re able to set boundaries or you have kids/a spouse who set them for you, this might feel like a no-brainer. But I’ve spent the past couple of years treating writing like an Olympic sport. No time for dating, no time for hobbies, no time for TV, skimping on sleep and exercise to crank out a few more pages. I don’t regret this because now I’m at the place where I want to be, but I’m fighting the urge to set the bar higher and get sucked back under. Why stop at two books a year if I can go for three? Maybe because two books a year is enough work to keep me feeling productive and happy, but three books would require me to sacrifice all of my free time. I know this. Logically I know this, but there is still this drive to write more, more, MORE. I have to physically pull myself away sometimes and go outside in order to remember there are other things I want to do besides write.

No matter what, you are not a failure. Writing failure, like writing success, is very subjective. I would argue that a book isn’t a failure just because it doesn’t get an agent or editor or big sales numbers or starred reviews. But if for whatever reason you decide one of your books has “failed”, that does not mean YOU have failed. If you wrote a book and you did your absolute best and you hung in there through all the revisions and never just gave up and were like “Whatever. I don’t care anymore” then how can you possibly be a failure? That’s like saying an architect who designs a safe, sturdy house that burns down in a forest fire is a failure. It’s hard to even think about this, but as writers we have very little control over the success of our books. Publishing is terrifying like that—authors can give 110% effort and write excellent books and promote the heck out of them, and they still might not sell. Control the things you can and stop taking the blame for the things you can’t.

In fact, you are already a success. None of this post is meant to dissuade you from committing completely to your writing. I still treat it like an Olympic sport. I “train” when I don’t feel like it. I pride myself on my accomplishments. If I have a “bad performance” I try to learn from it and do better. Once I achieve a goal, I aim for a new one. But one of the major things I’m trying to do differently is to acknowledge the successes that happen along the way. If you’ve published a book, gotten an agent, gotten a personal rejection, gotten a form rejection, finished writing a book, or even just seriously committed to the idea of finishing a book someday, that’s HUGE. All of those are things most people—even people who want to be writers—haven’t done. You shouldn’t just sweep them under the rug because you haven’t accomplished your major goal of bestsellerdom or whatever.

You are not your books. Sure, you probably put some of yourself into your books so they’re partly you. But it’s like some math class I dropped out of in college where p -> q is not equal to q -> p. At most, your books are a tiny subset of you, a whole person. Don’t let writing overshadow all the other parts of you. Don’t get confused and think that a negative review or rejection of your book is a negative review or rejection of YOU. You are not your books. You are not your reviews. You are not your sales numbers. You are not your rejections.

Don’t forget to live. I know what it’s like to want it so badly that the rest of the world just fades into the background. I know what it’s like to be in the mindset of “I will never be happy until I am published.” But take it from me, once you meet that first “I will never be happy until” goal, your brain will just make new, harder goals. And it will never stop, and you will never be happy, unless you can escape that mind frame long enough to remember there are all sorts of other things already making you happy! Everyone has a different threshold for how much they’re willing to sacrifice in the name of becoming (and staying!) a published author, but no matter where you fall, don’t forget to live a little along the way.

I’m going to end this by quoting a movie that came out when I was way too young to get it. Yeah, this will date me, but what can I say? Some advice is timeless:

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
--Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, 1986

About The Author

Paula Stokes writes stories about flawed characters with good hearts who sometimes make bad decisions. In addition to writing, she enjoys kayaking, hiking, reading, and seeking out new adventures in faraway lands. Paula loves interacting with readers. Find her online or on twitter as @pstokesbooks.

About The Book

Soccer-star Lainey Mitchell is gearing up to spend an epic summer with her amazing boyfriend, Jason, when he suddenly breaks up with her—no reasons, no warning, and in public no less! Lainey is more than crushed, but with help from her friend Bianca, she resolves to do whatever it takes to get Jason back.

And that’s when the girls stumble across a copy of The Art of War. With just one glance, they're sure they can use the book to lure Jason back into Lainey’s arms. So Lainey channels her inner warlord, recruiting spies to gather intel and persuading her coworker Micah to pose as her new boyfriend to make Jason jealous. After a few "dates", it looks like her plan is going to work!  But now her relationship with Micah is starting to feel like more than just a game.
What's a girl to do when what she wants is totally different from what she needs? How do you figure out the person you're meant to be with, if you're still figuring out the person you're meant to be?

Amazon | IndieBound | Goodreads

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

21 The Real Meaning of Show Don't Tell -- And a Giveaway of Lauren Oliver's BEFORE I FALL

Yesterday, I sent Book Two to my editor. (Cue confetti and panic!) Have I mentioned that I've never written a sequel before? Trust me, it's its own peculiar form of torture.

After sending the draft to my agent last week, he called the next day and gave me the 'speed things up at the beginning news.' I knew it was dialogue-heavy, so I was expecting that, and I'd been making notes to myself about how to do that for weeks. But that didn't change the fact that now I had to massively reconstruct the first few chapters because I'd lapsed into what I'd like to call sequel syndrome. I recapped way too much of Book One, in the beginning of Book Two. Ugh.

Fixing the problem involved writing four new scenes and deleting enough word count from the others to make it come out a wash. That gave me a chance to think about the real meaning of the advice we writers hear so often,  'show don't tell.'

And I had an epiphany. Total V-8 moment!

Show over tell begins at the scene level--not at the sentence or paragraph level.

To show a piece of information to our readers, we need to:

  • Choose the action that would best demonstrate the information. I have ghost-hunters trespassing on the plantation. Now, I can have someone tell my main character they are there and why it's a problem. My character can be surprised and irate--and all of that can happen in dialogue and make readers yawn. On the other hand, if I let my character see the ghost-hunters, she can react to them more organically. But that means that I have to build a scene that puts her in a position to see them, at the time in the story when it will most matter to her.
  • Make the action result in change. Seeing the ghost-hunters can leave my main character mad, but it must also create an effect. If she sees the ghost hunters, but also sees the hand-lettered sign on yellow legal paper that says the plantation is closed to the public until further notice, seeing the ghost-hunters matters more to her and to the reader. 
  • Make the information matter. Saying the information matters doesn't make it matter, not to the character or the reader. Why does it matter? Having the plantation closed to the public matters because it interferes with my characters goals. It prevents her her from accomplishing what she needs to accomplish, and so now she isn't reacting just to the information, but to something deeper and more meaningful. The more meaningful I can make that, the more I can demonstrate a connection between the character and the information, the more the reader will care. 
  • Make the character interact with the information to generate emotion. That's key to storytelling--every action needs a reaction. But the reaction should be direct. If the character is troubled by what appears to be a ghost-hunter, she can snap at the person delivering the news, and that can be interesting. But what if she confronts the supposed ghost-hunter instead? Or goes out of her way to avoid him? Or does something to get rid of him? The possibilities are endless, but each of those reaction says something different about who my character is and how she feels. Whatever her reaction, even if it's a small part of the story, I want to choose the scenario that most vividly displays my character's feelings.
Obviously, creating a scene around a revelation or piece of information isn't going to work in every instance. As writers though, it's our job to try to make it work as frequently as possible. If that doesn't deserve a whole scene, then we need to spend time thinking how we can make the information as interesting as possible.
  • Make it visual. If the character has a headache, I can have her rub her head and fumble for aspirin. 
  • Check the timing. If the character realizes something, I can have her act on that information at the most inconvenient time possible.  
  • Tell it in the most interesting way. I can reveal character emotion and generate reader response by using deep point of view to put the reader inside the character's head, describing what they hear, see, smell, touch in a way that makes the reaction visible and visceral.
A Common Misconception

It's easy to mistake dialogue for showing, simply because we can visualize the people talking. But visualizing and experiencing are two different things.

We experience an activity. We witness a dialogue.

Choose Carefully

My aha! moment yesterday was the idea that for every piece of information I need to reveal, I need to create the most meaningful way and time and place to show it.

Between now and when I get my manuscript back from my editor, I plan to think about how I can dig show my book unfolding at an even deeper level.

What about you? Can you think of a scene you've read or written that revealed something in a truly memorable way?


Before I Fall

Paperback Giveaway
With this stunning debut novel, New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver emerged as one of today's foremost authors of young adult fiction. Like Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why and Gayle Forman's If I Stay, Before I Fall raises thought-provoking questions about love, death, and how one person's life can affect so many others.

For popular high school senior Samantha Kingston, February 12—"Cupid Day"—should be one big party, a day of valentines and roses and the privileges that come with being at the top of the social pyramid. And it is…until she dies in a terrible accident that night.

However, she still wakes up the next morning. In fact, Sam lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she ever imagined.


Winner C. Condomaros 

If I Stay

by Gayle Forman


Speak; Reprint edition

Released 6/10/2014

The critically acclaimed, bestselling novel from Gayle Forman, author of Where She WentJust One Day, and the forthcoming Just One Year

On a day that started like any other,

Mia had everything: a loving family, a gorgeous, admiring boyfriend, and a bright future full of music and full of choices. In an instant, almost all of that is taken from her. Caught between life and death, between a happy past and an unknowable future, Mia spends one critical day contemplating the only decision she has left. It is the most important decision she'll ever make.

Simultaneously tragic and hopeful, this is a romantic, riveting, and ultimately uplifting story about memory, music, living, dying, loving.

Purchase If I Stay at Amazon

Purchase If I Stay at IndieBound

View If I Stay on Goodreads

* * * *

Where She Went

by Gayle Forman


Speak; Reprint edition

Released 6/15/2014

It's been three years since the devastating accident . . . three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever.
Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Juilliard's rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia's home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future - and each other.

Told from Adam's point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I StayWhere She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.

Purchase Where She Went at Amazon

Purchase Where She Went at IndieBound

View Where She Went on Goodreads

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, June 23, 2014

10 Giveaway of DEFECTOR by Susanne Winnacker plus New YALit Releases 6/23-6/29

Hi, everyone,

Here we are with another roundup of books coming out this week. We've got an international giveaway of DEFECTOR by Susanne Winnacker and some wonderful author interviews--plus of course last week's winners. Don't forget to stop by every Monday for more giveaways and another round-up. And please, tell us what you're excited about this week! What are you reading? What can't you wait to get your hands on?

The ladies of AYAP,

Martina, Alyssa, Jan, Clara, and Lisa


* * * *

by Susanne Winnacker
Advance Reader Copy Giveaway
International Giveaway

Released 6/26/2014

Praise for Susanne Winnacker's Impostor:

"An unpredictable page turner with shades of terror reminiscent of a Stephen King novel."—VOYA

"Fresh and inventive. . . . the strongly-written mystery component takes center stage."—BCCB


Tessa has finally made peace with her life as a Variant. She and longtime love Alec are officially a couple, and for the first time, she has everything she wants.

But the air is tense at FEA headquarters. An agent has disappeared, and rogue Variant organization Abel's Army is likely the culprit.

When Tessa is summoned for her second mission, she is unexpectedly launched into a massive conspiracy. Her best friend Holly is kidnapped, and Tessa knows it was meant to be her. But who is after her? And more importantly, why?

When the FEA's efforts to rescue Holly don't yield results, Tessa takes matters into her own hands. Desperate to save her friend and uncover the mystery behind Abel's Army, Tessa launches her own investigation—but nothing could prepare her for what she finds.

Finding the truth will take her out on the road and out of her comfort zone, with danger lurking at every turn. Summoning all of her courage and strength, Tessa must decide who can be trusted and what is worth fighting for. Her final decision will leave readers breathless.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Defector?

The revelations. Tessa discovers the truth about many things, some of which she later wishes she hadn’t. It was fun writing her reactions to those discoveries. I think the truth forces Tessa to grow as a character.

Purchase Defector at Amazon
Purchase Defector at IndieBound
View Defector on Goodreads


* * * *

by Sarah Ockler
Simon Pulse
Released 6/17/2014

Winner - Grace Zhuang

Lucy’s learned some important lessons from tabloid darling Jayla Heart’s all-too-public blunders: Avoid the spotlight, don’t feed the Internet trolls, and keep your secrets secret. The policy has served Lucy well all through high school, so when her best friend Ellie gets sick before prom and begs her to step in as Cole’s date, she accepts with a smile, silencing about ten different reservations. Like the one where she’d rather stay home shredding online zombies. And the one where she hates playing dress-up. And especially the one where she’s been secretly in love with Cole since the dawn of time.

When Cole surprises her at the after party with a kiss under the stars, it’s everything Lucy has ever dreamed of… and the biggest BFF deal-breaker ever. Despite Cole’s lingering sweetness, Lucy knows they’ll have to ’fess up to Ellie. But before they get the chance, Lucy’s own Facebook profile mysteriously explodes with compromising pics of her and Cole, along with tons of other students’ party indiscretions. Tagged. Liked. And furiously viral.

By Monday morning, Lucy’s been branded a slut, a backstabber, and a narc, mired in a tabloid-worthy scandal just weeks before graduation.

Lucy’s been battling undead masses online long enough to know there’s only one way to survive a disaster of this magnitude: Stand up and fight. Game plan? Uncover and expose the Facebook hacker, win back her best friend’s trust, and graduate with a clean slate.

There’s just one snag—Cole. Turns out Lucy’s not the only one who’s been harboring unrequited love...

Purchase #Scandal at Amazon
Purchase #Scandal at IndieBound
View #Scandal on Goodreads

* * * *

by Jason Myers
Simon Pulse
Released 6/17/2014

Winner - Danielle Hammelef

Jamie uncovers life-changing secrets from his past when he’s sent to live with a father he’s never met in this gritty novel from the author of Exit Here. and Run the Game.

Jamie is invincible when he is high. His anger, his isolation, his mom’s manic mood swings—nothing can shatter his glass castle. But one brutal night upends everything, leaving his mom broken and Jamie betrayed.

Sent to live with a father he’s never met, Jamie is determined to hate the man he blames for his mother’s ruin. And he blocks out the pain with drugs, fierce music, and sweet, sweet Dominique. Except the more time Jamie spends at his dad’s, the more his mother’s scathing stories start to unravel. Who is he supposed to believe? And how much will he have to sacrifice to uncover the truth?

Purchase Blazed at Amazon
Purchase Blazed at IndieBound
View Blazed on Goodreads

* * * *

Summer of Yesterday
by Gaby Triana
Simon Pulse
Released 6/17/2014

Winner - Traci Troutman

Back to the Future meets Fast Times at Ridgemont High when Haley’s summer vacation takes a turn for the retro in this totally rad romantic fantasy.

Summer officially sucks. Thanks to a stupid seizure she had a few months earlier, Haley’s stuck going on vacation with her dad and his new family to Disney’s Fort Wilderness instead of enjoying the last session of summer camp back home with her friends. Fort Wilderness holds lots of childhood memories for her father, but surely nothing for Haley. But then a new seizure triggers something she’s never before experienced—time travel—and she ends up in River Country, the campground’s long-abandoned water park, during its heyday.

The year? 1982.

And there—with its amusing fashion, “oldies” music, and primitive technology—she runs into familiar faces: teenage Dad and Mom before they’d even met. Somehow, Haley must find her way back to the twenty-first century before her present-day parents anguish over her disappearance, a difficult feat now that she’s met Jason, one of the park’s summer residents and employees, who takes the strangely dressed stowaway under his wing.

Seizures aside, Haley’s used to controlling her life, and she has no idea how to deal with this dilemma. How can she be falling for a boy whose future she can’t share?

Purchase Summer of Yesterday at Amazon
Purchase Summer of Yesterday at IndieBound
View Summer of Yesterday on Goodreads


* * * *

by Stephanie Kuehn
St. Martin's Griffin
Released 6/24/2014

Two years ago, sixteen-year-old Jamie Henry breathed a sigh of relief when a judge sentenced his older sister to juvenile detention for burning down their neighbor’s fancy horse barn. The whole town did. Because Crazy Cate Henry used to be a nice girl. Until she did a lot of bad things. Like drinking. And stealing. And lying. Like playing weird mind games in the woods with other children. Like making sure she always got her way. Or else.

But today Cate got out. And now she’s coming back for Jamie.

Because more than anything, Cate Henry needs her little brother to know the truth about their past. A truth she’s kept hidden for years. A truth she’s not supposed to tell.

Trust nothing and no one as you race toward the explosive conclusion of this gripping psychological thriller from the William C. Morris Award-winning author of Charm & Strange.

Purchase Complicit at Amazon
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View Complicit on Goodreads

* * * *

In The End
by Demetria Lunetta
Released 6/24/2014

The thrilling conclusion to In the After, the survival story of Amy and Baby, set in a near future where Earth has been overrun by vicious, predatory creatures.

It’s been three months since Amy escaped New Hope, and she’s been surviving on her own, like she did in the After. Until one day, her former fellow Guardian’s voice rings out in her earpiece. And in a desperate tone, Kay utters the four words Amy had hoped she would never hear: Dr. Reynolds has Baby.

Now it’s a race against time, for Baby is in imminent danger, her life threatened by the malevolent doctor who had helped start the end of the world. In order to save Baby, Amy must make her way to Fort Black, a prison-turned-survivor-colony, where she will need to find Ken, Kay’s brother. He alone holds the key to Baby’s survival.

One small slip-up on this quest could spark a downward spiral that would not only cost Baby and Amy their lives, but threaten the very survival of the people in the After.

Purchase In The End at Amazon
Purchase In The End at IndieBound
View In The End on Goodreads

* * * *

License To Spill
by Lisi Harrison
Released 6/24/2014

Three girls, two guys, five secret journals.

The five most popular students at Noble High have secrets to hide; secrets they wrote down in their journals. Now one of their own exposes the private entries...

When our parents were growing up they were encouraged to make mistakes. That's how they learned. But us? Our mistakes go viral. There is no delete button on the Internet. What kind of future do we have if we can't escape our embarrassing pasts? I must come off as quite the hypocrite; complaining about our overexposed lives in a book of secret journals I have leaked. But these pages hold proof of how this pressure affects the "best" of us... so until the heat's turned down, keep reading.

Purchase License To Spill at Amazon
Purchase License To Spill at IndieBound
View License To Spill on Goodreads

* * * *

The Garden of Darkness
by Gillian Murray Kendall
Released 6/25/2014

The Garden of Darkness explores the journey of four children who, after surviving a disease that seems to infect all but one adult, hope to find meaning by joining forces with this sole remaining grownup who says he possesses a cure. These children discover, however, that the greatest meaning of all lies in the friendships they forge during the journey itself. This groundbreaking Young Adult novel shaded with despair like that in The Road and hope and renewal like that found in The Hunger Games shows the courage, tenacity and, finally, love necessary to create a new world from the ashes of the old.

Their families dead from the pandemic SitkaAZ13, known as Pest, 15-year-old cheerleader Clare and 13-year-old chess club member Jem, an unlikely pair, are thrown together and realize that, if either of them wishes to reach adulthood, they must find a cure.A shadowy adult broadcasting on the radio to all orphaned children promises just that — to cure children once they grow into Pest, then to feed them and to care for them.
Or does this adult have something else in mind?

Against a hostile landscape of rotting cities and of a countryside infected by corpses and roamed by voracious diseased survivors, Jem and Clare make their bid for life and, with their group of fellow child-travelers growing, embark on a journey to find the grownup they believe holds the cure. Their only weapon is Clare’s dog, Bear.
But Clare and Jem, as well as their followers, are hampered by the knowledge that everything in this new child-led world had become suspect—the love of diseased adults, alliances, trust, hope. As Clare and Jem learn to stitch wounds, skin deer and survive in the ashes of the old world perhaps it is no surprise that they begin to find that friendship is as redemptive as anything they seek—that friendship has its own kind of healing power. And, at the end of their journey, in the face of the ultimate betrayal, they discover that out of friendship can come love.

Purchase The Garden of Darkness at Amazon
Purchase The Garden of Darkness at IndieBound
View The Garden of Darkness on Goodreads

* * * *

The Things You Kiss Goodbye
by Leslie Connor
Katherine Tegen Books
Released 6/24/2014

Bettina Vasilis can hardly believe it when basketball star Brady Cullen asks her out, and she just about faints when her strict father actually approves of him.

But when school starts up again, Brady changes. What happened to the sweet boy she fell in love with? Then she meets a smoldering guy in his twenties, and this “cowboy” is everything Brady is not—gentle, caring, and interested in getting to know the real Bettina.

Bettina knows that breaking up with Brady would mean giving up her freedom—and that it would be inappropriate for anything to happen between her and Cowboy. Still, she can’t help that she longs for the scent of his auto shop whenever she’s anywhere else.

When tragedy strikes, Bettina must tell her family the truth—and kiss goodbye the things she thought she knew about herself and the men in her life.

Leslie Connor has written a lyrical, heartbreaking, and ultimately hopeful story about family, romance, and the immense power of love.

Purchase The Things You Kiss Goodbye at Amazon
Purchase The Things You Kiss Goodbye at IndieBound
View The Things You Kiss Goodbye on Goodreads

* * * *

by Chris Van Etten
Scholastic Inc.
Released 6/24/2014

It's the return of Point Horror for the Internet generation! Don't open the door. Don't answer your phone. And whatever you do, DON'T turn on your computer. . . .

Cole and Greg love playing practical jokes through Wikipedia. They edit key articles and watch their classmates crash and burn giving oral reports on historical figures like Genghis Khan, the first female astronaut on Jupiter. So after the star soccer player steals Cole's girlfriend, the boys take their revenge by creating a Wikipedia page for him, an entry full of outlandish information including details about his bizarre death on the soccer field.

It's all in good fun, until the soccer player is killed in a freak accident . . . just as Cole and Greg predicted. The uneasy boys vow to leave Wikipedia alone but someone continues to edit articles about classmates dying in gruesome ways . . . and those entries start to come true as well.

To his horror, Cole soon discovers that someone has created a Wikipedia page for him, and included a date of death. He has one week to figure out who's behind the murders, or else he's set to meet a pretty grisly end.

Purchase Wickedpedia at Amazon
Purchase Wickedpedia at IndieBound
View Wickedpedia on Goodreads

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Sunday, June 22, 2014

7 Question of the Week: Where is Your Favorite Place to Read?

Hey everyone! Clara Kensie here. A few times a month at Adventures in YA Publishing, I post a question for you and the Adventures in YA team to answer. The questions cover all topics important to writers and book lovers: craft, career, reading, books, and more. Join the discussion!

Question of the Week:

Where is your favorite place to read?
photo credit: sidewalk flying via photopin cc

Alyssa Hamilton: I would love to say my room, because it's a beautiful sea foam green colour with white furniture and accents. It's all very serene and gorgeous but I hate reading on my bed during the day because it just makes me sleepy, so when I'm home I tend to sit in my armchair in the living room right by the window for some good natural lighting. My backyard would have to easily be my favourite place though. We just redid the patio last summer and it's just amazing. I have big outdoor furniture out there and it's private and there are wind chimes and it's the perfect place to read in the summer!

Martina Boone: I have a great chair in my office, or a couch in the living room. But I also love to read on the deck where I feel like I’m outside and can soak up the sun and the words at the same time. Where I really end up reading mostly is in bed. I can’t sleep until I’ve read for a while.

Jan Lewis: In the bed, I guess. That's the only place I ever read.

Lisa Gail Green: I like reading in my bed. I don’t always get to, because the light bothers DH, but that’s why I love my Kindle Paper White. :D Lately though, with the toddler, I fall asleep when my head hits the pillow, and she has a habit of stealing my books out of my hand because she doesn’t want my attention elsewhere, so it’s been a little tougher to find time. So I guess currently my favorite place to read is anywhere I get the opportunity!

Clara Kensie: My favorite place to read is outside, on a not-too-hot not-too-cool sunny day, in the shade. But between the Chicago weather and my busy schedule, those days are hard to come by! When the weather isn’t cooperating, my favorite place to read is on my bed.

YOUR TURN: Where is your favorite place to read?

Saturday, June 21, 2014

4 Author Interviews: Jaclyn Dolamore and Allen Zadoff!

Jaclyn Dolamore, Dark Metropolis

What was your inspiration for writing this book?

The 1927 silent film "Metropolis".

How long did you work on the book?

I wrote the first draft that sold in about 4-5 months, and then did several fairly grueling rounds of revisions that each took between three weeks and a couple months. So all told, about a year.

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

Dark Metropolis is my fourth book on the shelves. Before selling my debut, Magic Under Glass, I had written two other novels that didn't sell, as well as having rewritten Magic Under Glass completely from scratch twice. It took me three years and over a hundred agent queries before I sold a book.

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

I work at home in my office or the dining room, surrounded by snacks and interrupting cats. I also make playlists for all my books and listen to them while I write. For Dark Metropolis, I listened to a lot of music from the 1920s as well as stuff like Kraftwerk.

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

Embrace the revision process! I think a lot of getting published is learning how to truly revise. The word "revision" is truly accurate--it's immensely helpful to be able to re-vision your book in lots of different directions if something isn't working.


Jaclyn Dolamore is the author of the Magic Under series, with her next novel Dark Metropolis hitting shelves June 17th. Amazon | IndieBound | Goodreads


Allen Zadoff, I Am The Mission

What was your inspiration for writing this book?

The idea for The Unknown Assassin came like many of my books, when the voice of the main character started speaking to me during a writing session. He told me he was a teen soldier who traveled from place to place carrying out missions. He said he had no home and worked for a shadow organization called The Program. His job was to befriend the children of high value targets so he could get to their parents. When you’re a writer and a character like that starts speaking to you, you are wise to listen.

How long did you work on the book?

The initial inspiration came on fast and furiously. The book was writing itself and I was struggling to keep up with it. The first draft of the novel I AM THE WEAPON took about six months. But that was followed by another six months of rewriting and working with my editor to improve the story.

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

As it turns out, what often looks like a rocket to success to the outside world is a much longer process when you know the details. That’s true for writers, actors, artists of all sorts as well as entrepreneurs. In my case, I started writing TV and film scripts about ten years before I ever sold a book. That’s ten year with nobody much caring about anything I wrote. I typed and drank a lot of coffee. Before I started on The Unknown Assassin series, I had four books published (including my favorite, the award-winning FOOD, GIRLS, AND OTHER THINGS I CAN’T HAVE) . I want young writers to know the truth, because I want them to understand it’s a long journey to become a writer, and there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact I’m grateful for the slow trajectory because it’s given me time to learn my craft and gain confidence. Also when we write, we share our thoughts and perspectives on the world. If you haven’t lived a little, what do you have to write about?

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

I find staying at home alone all day makes me feel crazy. So I split my writing shifts, one half in a local coffee shop, one half in my office at home. Some people can’t imagine writing in coffee shops, but that’s why I’m a big fan of noise-cancelling headphones. I listen to music constantly. It’s my main inspiration as an author. I have eclectic taste, so I’m a hardcore Pandora user, and I have mixes based on Black Keys, The Strokes, Ed Sheeran, as well as country, classical, jazz and hip hop music. As I write this interview, I’m sitting in an outdoor cafĂ©, looking at palm trees swaying in the wind, while listening to the great jazz saxophonist Dexter Gordon.


Allen Zadoff is the author of the YA thriller series, The Unknown Assasin. The second book, I Am The Mission came out on June 17th. Visit his website here | Amazon | IndieBound | Goodreads

Friday, June 20, 2014

8 Craft of Writing: Write What You Love and Stay True To Your Passion by Katherine Longshore

Katherine Longshore has been a regular author we've had on the blog for a few years now. She's full of brilliant advice, and is unbelievably sweet. Her last post with us was around the release of MANOR OF SECRETS and has talked about her creativity drug. Today she is here for the release of BRAZEN, which hit shelves on the 12th!

Write What You Love and Stay True To Your Passion by Katherine Longshore

One of the questions I get most frequently is, “What advice do you have for other writers?”

I think the implication behind the question is “What advice do you have for unpublished writers?” Writers who are looking for agents, looking for publishers, looking for the name on the bookstore shelf. But my answer—I hope—applies to all writers.

Write what you love.

I know it sounds facile, and it’s so easy to argue with. I love vampires and no one is buying vampire books anymore. But that doesn’t mean they never will. In 2008, everywhere I looked in the industry, I saw someone saying, “Historicals don’t sell.” In 2009, I attended a conference where an editor said, “Don’t send me any historical fiction.” In 2010, GILT sold at auction in a three-book (all historical) deal to that editor.

This taught me two things: Never say never. And it can pay off to write what you love.

You see, I think that love shows through. If the writer is passionate about his work, the reader will usually be, too. But over the years of uttering that compact little phrase, I’ve come to realize that it doesn’t offer much in terms of actual craft—functional, applicable reference points. I recently had a crisis of confidence during which I wondered if I would ever come up with another idea for a book. Everything I mulled over felt a little flat. So I started thinking about what goes into fiction—the pieces that make up a novel—and came up with the following things that might help:

  • Character. For me, character comes first. I’m not going to get into a debate of plot-driven vs. character-driven novels, because plot doesn’t work without character (and vice versa). It feels like a chicken vs. egg argument, and I just want to get down to what’s important—the writing. One way to write what you love is to identify and create a character you can love—your readers will likely follow suit. What kind of character do you fall in love with? Perfect? Handsome? Heroic? Great. All inspiring things. But what else? The craft books all tell us to give the protagonist a flaw. What flaws do you find compelling? Perfectionism? Vanity? Rebelliousness? Write those in, too. Then find other things—tiny details that maybe only you will notice. In BRAZEN, Mary Howard gets claustrophobic in crowds. Not an easy thing to deal with in the Tudor court, which was notoriously overpopulated. What else can be compelling? A desire to try every kind of ice cream? The need to visit the beach once a day? Neatness in all things except the school locker? These little details will help you fall in love with your characters, but also add depth and dimensionality that your readers will fall in love with as well.

  • Plot. What do you love about your story? The premise? The major climactic turning point? The end? Great. You need to find something to love about it—something that will carry you and your readers all the way through. Writing a book is a massive time commitment, and you have to love your story before your readers can. And for longer. But what if you’re like me? I often don’t know what my story is until I write it. How can I sustain the love of a story for eighty thousand words when I don’t even really know what it’s about? I find the one thing. In TARNISH, it was the final image. I wanted to get Anne Boleyn to the point where she would choose Henry VIII rather than the man that she loved—and walk from light into blinding darkness. In BRAZEN, my desire was a little less tangible. I wanted to follow the story of Mary Howard as she fell in love—discovering along the way the subtle little shifts in emotion and relationship that lead a person to that discovery. Find the one thing. And follow it through. If you make that one thing shine with the love you have for it, it will become the thing your readers focus on, too.

  • Setting. I fell in love with my setting long before I even considered writing a novel. I read many histories of Henry VIII and his wives, visited the palaces and watched biographical documentaries. I loved not just the costumes and lavish places, but the very atmosphere of it. One of fear and extravagance and Machiavellian machinations. What is it about your setting that you love? The beauty of it? The horror? The vibrancy? Let that be seen through your characters’ eyes. What if you have two narrating characters and they each see it differently? How can you make the setting almost become a character?

  • Theme. One of the reasons I was not an English major was because I never wanted to answer questions about theme in relation to a work of literature. The very question, What is the theme of this work? seized my heart in fear. But theme is important when writing. It can be one of the things that puts the most passion into your work. What is it you are really trying to say with this book? You don’t have to know before you start writing. Heck, you don’t even have to know while doing the first revision. But as you go over your manuscript again—and again—you will see things popping out at you. Tell the truth. Dreams matter. Work together. Listen to your own heart. Those are the things that make us fall in love with literature. Once you begin to notice these repetitions (or if you know what you want to say from the start) the real fun begins, because you begin to see all kinds of beautiful ways to make it evident. Symbolism and dialogue and imagery. Even the story itself. I am definitely not advocating getting onto a soapbox and cramming propaganda down your readers’ throats. What I am saying is what do you love about what your story means? How can you highlight that? How do you make that love evident? The best way, of course, is through what your characters say and do. But there are other ways as well. You’ll find them.

  • Voice. One of the hardest aspects of fiction to pin down. But one of the first things agents and editors mention when asked what they’re looking for. A great voice. But they can’t fall in love with it until you have. Writing is easier if you have the voice in your head (and your writing) from the very beginning. But sometimes you have to work it in with revision (I did with BRAZEN). Find the things you love in the voice—attitude, perception, diction. Play with them. Write a scene that takes that particular aspect to extreme. You can always bring it back down again if you need to, but you probably won’t.

I know it’s all very well and good talking about writing what you love—even after breaking it down. Many of us keep asking the question, “Yes, but will it sell?” “What if I write an entire novel and love every minute of it but no one wants it? What if I don’t get an agent? What if I don’t get a contract?” Or even harder, “I already wrote a book I love and it didn’t go anywhere. Now I just want to write a book someone will buy.”

I’ve said all of those things. And yes, I’m lucky. I didn’t know anything about the market when I started writing GILT. It was only after I fell in love and couldn’t not write it that I heard that “historicals don’t sell.” But when I finished my contract, I struggled with a proposal for the next book. Because I’m a pantser, I don’t have a clear idea of the story before I write it. It was only when I “met” a group of characters in a setting I already found intriguing that I discovered another book that I couldn’t not write. I don’t know if it will sell. I don’t know that it matters.

Because there are a lot of other jobs out there that you can do without loving them. We’ve all done a few of them. I haven’t ever hated any of my jobs, but I’ve never had another job that woke me up in the middle of the night with inspiration. That I thought about constantly during a six-hour drive—having to stop frequently to write down ideas. That I wanted to do on days off and weekends and even Christmas. That I love, even when it’s so difficult it makes me cry.

Find something to love that will keep you going, even with those multiple little disappointments. Plot, character, theme, whatever. Even if it doesn’t sell, it will make your work—and your life—so much richer.

About The Author

Katherine Longshore is the author of several historical novels for teens, including Gilt, Tarnish, and the upcoming Brazen, three interconnected stories set in the court of Henry VIII, as well as the YA Downton Abbey-esqu Manor of Secrets.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads

About The Book

Mary Howard has always lived in the shadow of her powerful family. But when she’s married off to Henry Fitzroy, King Henry VIII’s illegitimate son, she rockets into the Tudor court’s inner circle. Mary and “Fitz” join a tight clique of rebels who test the boundaries of court’s strict rules with their games, dares, and flirtations. The more Mary gets to know Fitz, the harder she falls for him, but is forbidden from seeing him alone. The rules of court were made to be pushed…but pushing them too far means certain death. Is true love worth dying for?

Amazon | IndieBound | Goodreads

Thursday, June 19, 2014

3 Agent Interview: Denise Barone

Lisa here with the second in our Agent Interview Series. I'm happy to introduce you all to Denise Barone of the Barone Literary Agency!

Let's jump right in, shall we?

What is it about a manuscript that excites you?

Good, clean writing that has been well edited.

What are some things you love to see in a query?

If I know you’ve been published elsewhere—it can be anything, a university press, a small e-press, a magazine article, etc.—it helps me a lot, because it tells me you’re serious and that you know what you’re doing. Unfortunately, I may still end up having to turn you down, but I will hold onto your query long after I’ve told others no, to give your query more consideration, and to possibly change my mind and say yes.

What are some of the worst things you’ve seen in a query?

I don’t need to hear about your platform, what a wonderful film/TV series/Miniseries/sitcom/dotcom/romcom/dopecom your story will, make; I don’t need you to tell me the relentless efforts you will undergo to make sure you flog every person you meet into making them buy your book—I don’t want to read any of that nonsense, although in a way it does help me, because it tells me you do NOT know what you’re doing. All I care about is the writing. If you can’t write, you can flog away, but nobody’s going to buy your book.

Are you an editorial agent? 

Yes, most certainly, I am an editorial agent. I’ve learned a tremendous amount about writing and editing in the years that I’ve also been writing, and I like to share my knowledge with my writers. I wish I had more time to edit their work, but I will take a client’s story to a certain point, and then tell the writer to go and edit some more along the lines I’ve pointed out to her. If a writer is making a certain kind of editing/writing mistake on page 10, she’s still making it on page 100, and it isn’t a good use of my time to edit all the way to page 100, because my writers are smart and can edit themselves. For every minute that I work on a client’s manuscript, I expect that client will end up working an hour on edits. If I spend an hour with your manuscript, it’s going to take you at least ten hours to do a thorough pass-through, taking your time and fixing the story and making it good.

Really good info! Thank you, Denise.

You can stalk find Denise on

Publisher's Marketplace



Wednesday, June 18, 2014

7 Plotting Can Be For You by Susanne Winnacker

Susanne Winnacker is the author of The Other Life series as well as the Variants series, the second book of which, DEFECTOR, comes out June 26th! The first book in the series, IMPOSTER has been optioned for a TV series by Warner Brothers.

Plotting Can Be For You by Susanne Winnacker

Today I’d like to talk about what I learned about my writing process and writing tips in general. As most aspiring authors do, I read tons of blog posts about writing habits and writing tips when I first started writing; I searched author blogs for their writing process. I wanted to find the one true way to write a book. As if there was one right way…

I’m an organized person. I don’t like surprises. I like plans, so it seems only natural that I would be a plotter. When I first started playing around with a book idea, however, I thought I had to be a pantser. I’d read on so many blogs and in countless author interviews that outlining, plotting, planning took the joy out of writing. Many writers said that. At the time it almost felt as if every writer felt that way. So despite the fact that I hated going into things without a plan, I tried to write my book without an outline. It would be fun, right?

It was the way to do it. Other writers said so (not to me personally obviously, but I’d gathered that from their comments).

But for me it wasn’t fun. I stumbled over words. I hated working on the book because I didn’t know what happened next. I wrote at a snail’s pace and eventually I grew frustrated. I decided to follow my instincts and plan the book. Back then I didn’t do extensive outlines as I do them today, but I wrote a short 2 page synopsis and a query letter for the book, and suddenly the words started flowing. And it was fun, even though I knew how it would end. For me, plotting was the right way, even if it isn’t for many other writers out there. You have to find your own way. Once I found an agent and publisher, I quickly discovered that it was an advantage to like outlining because in the publishing industry detailed outlines are often a necessary evil if you want to sell books.

But even after discovering this and after having published my first book, I hadn’t yet learned everything there was about the perfect way for me to write a book.

I still wondered if I was doing it right. Should I create extensive Pinterest boards for inspiration before I began a book? I love to browse through Pinterest boards of other writers, love to see how they visualize their characters, their landscapes and more, and I tried it, but it didn’t help with research or with writing. It took away time from the actual writing and felt like a necessary chore more than anything else, so I dropped it. I don’t need images of actors that resemble my characters or photos of scenery. It can be fun to find them but it’s not necessary for my writing process.

So ask yourself, do images help you develop the plot, do they make your creative juices flow? If that’s the case, then maybe a Pinterest board for your book is the right way for you, but if it feels forced and like one more way to procrastinate, then maybe it’s not worth it.

It also took me a long time to figure out the right way to outline. As I mentioned above, I used to write short 2 page synopses. They were okay to give my agent a taste of what I had planned, but they didn’t really help me all that much. Of course, the synopsis told me the major plot points, but I still struggled with my writing whenever I hit points where I needed to fill in the many scenes that happened between one major plot point and the next, and that bugged me.

So I tried to write a more detailed outline, but as I wrote the outline I kept adding new scenes and rearranged others until I lost track in the word document. I know some writers solve this problem with Scrivener, but I tried it once and couldn’t figure it out. I’m not a person with a lot of patience so I gave up. And then I asked myself: why not do it the old-fashioned way? There’s nothing better than the feeling of real paper in your hands. I rummaged through our drawers for note cards and then I wrote down every scene that came to my mind. One notecard = one scene. And afterward, I sat down on the ground and lined them up in the right order, then rearranged them again, added new scenes on fresh notecards, and so on. It was fun and in no time, I had written a 30-page outline. That was the right way for me. And it felt wonderful.

You have to find the right way for you. I’m not saying that it’s not worth your time to read posts about writing tips. Reading about other people’s writing process helped me figure out my own, even though it took a few detours to get there. But there’s no right or wrong when it comes to writing habits. The most important thing is that you get started. If you don’t write, you can’t find out what works for you.

About The Author

Susanne Winnacker studied law before she became a full-time writer. She lives with her husband, a dog that looks like a sheep and three bunnies that have destroyed every piece of furniture she's ever owned in Germany. She loves coffee (in every shape and form), traveling and animals. When she isn't writing, you can usually find her in the kitchen, experimenting with new vegan dishes.
She blogs for The League of Extraordinary Writers.

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About The Book

Tessa has finally made peace with her life as a Variant. She and long-time love Alec are officially a couple, and for the first time, she has everything she wants.

But the air is tense at FEA headquarters. An agent has disappeared, and rogue variant organization Abel’s Army is likely the culprit.

When Tessa is summoned for her second mission, she is unexpectedly launched into a massive conspiracy. Her best friend Holly is kidnapped and Tessa knows it was meant to be her. But who is after her? And more importantly, why?

When the FEA’s efforts to rescue Holly don’t yield any results, Tessa takes matters into her own hands. Desperate to save her friend and uncover the mystery behind Abel’s Army, Tessa launches her own investigation—but nothing could prepare her for what she finds. Everyone in her life is harboring secrets: Alec, her estranged mother, even the father she never knew.

The truth will take her out on the road and out of her comfort zone, with danger lurking everywhere. Summoning all of her courage and strength, Tessa must decide who can be trusted and what is worth fighting for—even if it means going against the life she thought she wanted. Her final decision will leave readers breathless.

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