Monday, June 22, 2015

20 Chasing Dreams, Taking Risks, and Growing - Plus New Call for Contributors and a THE WRATH AND THE DAWN Giveaway

Last Thursday, I was honored to give a keynote for the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia at their annual recognition event. The Literacy Council is an amazing group of volunteers who provide basic reading, writing, speaking and English comprehension to empower people to participate more fully in their neighborhoods and larger communities. In addition to the speech I was privileged to give, I got to hear some of the award-winning essays written by the program's participants, and read more in the event program. And it was truly humbling and uplifting.

The event meant a lot to me, because I came to this country unable to speak English. My parents learned English at night while working and trying to raise a family, and they did it for the same reason that moved me in the essays the students shared at LCNV--because they wanted freedom, opportunity, and the hope for a better life for their children.

Working Harder

When you hear that someone who was a nurse, or a teacher for 22 years, and they give that up to start all over again, you realize the value of what we have here. It makes me count the many blessings I have, and want to dig in even harder with my writing. And it makes me want to pay it forward, because I've been so very, very lucky.

I never imagined getting to work on the Heirs of Watson Island series with Simon Pulse, and I never imagined how big this blog would get.

Paying it Forward

For five years now, Adventures blog has been a place where I've been able to share not only my thoughts about writing and insight about what I'm learning, but also insight and advice from many other authors. Because I believe you can't be a writer without being a reader, we've shared new book releases each week, author interviews, and giveaways. We've launched the First Five Pages Workshop, and spun off a new writing contest site to help writers get agented and get their work polished for submission, and I've also been fortunate to work on a separate venture called with a cast of amazing authors. As Adventures has grown, I've been lucky to find some amazing new contributors to bring in, and we now have an INCREDIBLE team.

Welcome New Arrivals

When we went hunting for one intern a few weeks ago, we received so many submissions that we ended up creating positions for a lot of people. As a result, AYAP has a brand new set of social media channels!
They're all still brand-new works-in-progress, but stay tuned! There are wonderful things coming. Want to see who's responsible for what? We're thrilled to welcome our recent arrivals: Jen Fisher, Kristin Sandoval, Elizabeth Pagel-Hogan, Sandra Held, Lindsey Hodder, Sam Taylor, and Anisaa Denise. Check out their bios and job descriptions on our About Us page!

More Intern and Contributor Opportunities

In addition to adding new people here at Adventures, we've also added contributors for Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest at, as well as a new Contributor and Interview Coordinator. And we're still interested in adding people. We're going to be tying in the content a bit more with Adventures, so that means even more great interviews and giveaways, but also lots of fun ways to express our love of books from the reader side of the equation.

If you'd like to be considered, please send your resume to yaseriesinsiders (at) gmail dot com.

This Week's Giveaway

The Wrath and the Dawn
by Renée Ahdieh
G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Released 5/12/2015

A sumptuous and epically told love story inspired by A Thousand and One Nights

Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi's wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.

She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.

Purchase The Wrath and the Dawn at Amazon
Purchase The Wrath and the Dawn at IndieBound
View The Wrath and the Dawn on Goodreads

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Great news! I adore this site and count on it to inspire and inform me! Off to check the rest!

  2. Nicole WetheringtonJune 23, 2015 at 7:51 AM

    I read every day! It is my passion and favorite thing to do. You make time for what you love!

  3. Funny, I just searched for YA on IG and was pleasantly surprised to find it's a new account. Great timing :) On another note, what experience do you like your interns to have?

  4. i make time for reading in the summer

  5. AYAP has been a touchstone for me since I first dipped at toe in this wacky world of writing. Congrats on your honor. Well deserved. XO

  6. This is a site I visit very often and find a lot of good information. Thanks! The cover of this book just knocks me out.

  7. FYI-I just clicked on the twitter link and it doesn't take a person to AYAP. Might want to check that out. Congrats on all your new arrivals!

    1. Thanks for letting us know, Carol! It's pointing to the right place now.

  8. I usually stay up until late or wake up very early, so I have time to read and to have fun with my friends!

    Carolina M on rafflecopter

  9. I make the last hour or half hour of my day my unwind time and reading helps me sleep better.

  10. I try to read or write 15-30 minutes when I wake up. Or before I go to sleep.

  11. While volunteering at the hospital, I read whenever I don't have to pick up specimens for the lab.

  12. I tend to read at night right before bed. I also bring a book with me to work in case there is any downtime :)

  13. My summer usually consists of reading.

  14. I read everyday at least a bit and try to fit in reading as much as I can in my studying schedule... Thanks for the giveaway!

  15. any little free moment is a good reading moment.

  16. I read all the time! On the bus, sitting in the grass, on breaks. Writing is another matter. I like daydreaming better.


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