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1. GET A PORTRAIT!

You can now commission me for portraits, as long as you're happy to be an animal in it.



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2. Giveaway: Paperweight by Meg Haston (US Only)

PAPERWEIGHT

by Meg Haston
 
Release Date: July 7, 2015

 

About the Book


In the vein of Laurie Halse Anderson's Wintergirls, this emotionally haunting and beautifully written young adult debut delves into the devastating impact of trauma and loss.

Seventeen-year-old Stevie is trapped. In her life. In her body. And now in an eating-disorder treatment center on the dusty outskirts of the New Mexico desert. Life in the center is regimented and intrusive, a nightmare come true. Nurses and therapists watch Stevie at meal time, accompany her to the bathroom, and challenge her to eat the foods she's worked so hard to avoid. Her dad has signed her up for sixty days of treatment. But what no one knows is that Stevie doesn't plan to stay that long. There are only twenty-seven days until the anniversary of her brother Josh's death—the death she caused. And if Stevie gets her way, there are only twenty-seven days until she, too, will end her life.

Paperweight follows Stevie's journey as she struggles not only with this life-threatening eating disorder, but with the question of whether she can ever find absolution for the mistakes of her past…and whether she truly deserves to.


To learn more about this book and see our review, go HERE.
 

Pre-order Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound


b2ap3_thumbnail_MegHaston_by-Carolyn-Roberts.jpgAbout the Author

Meg Haston is the author of How to Rock Braces and Glasses and How to Rock Best Friends and Frenemies. She lives in Jacksonville, Florida, where she writes and works as a counselor in an independent school. Paperweight is her first young adult novel.

Learn more Twitter | Goodreads
 

 

 

 

 

Guest Post

Top Five Ways to Survive a Tough Time

In my novel PAPERWEIGHT, Stevie’s eating disorder requires intensive treatment. While not everyone experiences the struggle of eating disorders or mental illness, we all go through difficult times. Here are my top five ways to survive a tough time.

1.    Take a look in the (metaphorical) mirror.

Moving through a difficult time means having to take a long, hard, look at yourself—and the situation you want to change. Get honest about what you’re struggling with. This is so much harder than it sounds, but it’s a crucial first step. If you can’t get real, things can’t get better.

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2.    Decide what you want to (and can) change.

Once you’ve gotten real with yourself, decide what you want to change. What do you want for yourself? How to do you want things to be different? Set small, realistic goals and you’ll see your situation start to change.

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3.    Get by with a little help from your friends.

Make sure to lean on your friends. Having strong friendships makes it easier to get through the hard stuff, because you don’t have to carry the burden alone. Just make sure you’re leaning on people you can trust.

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4.    Treat yourself.

When you’re having a hard time, make sure to take time for fun. Do something to take your mind off of your problems. In short, Treat Yo Self.

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5.    Know when to ask for help.

Sometimes, all of the above isn’t enough, and you need a little something extra to make it through. That might be counseling, or it might be another kind of support. There’s no shame in asking for what you need, so speak up.
 

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Giveaway Details


3 winners will each receive a copy of PAPERWEIGHT. US only.

Entering is simple, just fill out the entry form below. Winners will be announced on this site and in our monthly newsletter (sign up now!) within 30 days after the giveaway ends.

During each giveaway, we ask entrants a question pertaining to the book. Here is the question they'll be answering in the comments below for extra entries: What do you think of the cover & synopsis?

*Click the Rafflecopter link to enter the giveaway*

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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3. Procrastination Tip: The Illusion of Autonomy


I'm back home in Colorado, after a delightful two-day drive along Route 36, which I greatly prefer over I-70. I passed through Springfield, IL (site of the Lincoln home and law office), Hannibal, MO (where I strolled by the Mississippi and helped to whitewash a fence), St. Joseph, MO (jumping-off point for the Pony Express), and many tiny towns across the northern edge of Kansas, where I listened to radio stations announcing hog futures for July and soybean futures for August.

After a weekend of easing myself back into my Colorado life by attending the Juan Miro exhibit at the Denver Art Museum, opening night of Othello in the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, and Singin' in the Rain at the Candlelight Dinner Theater (directed by my church friend Don Berlin), it was time for me to face my long to-do list for July.

I decided to wait until July 1 to tackle the month's tasks. How eager I was at the prospect of waking up extra early on that Wednesday morning ready to leap into a new life of dazzling productivity! And yet, as so often happens, when that morning actually arrived, my keenness to toil was suddenly . . . less keen. I felt more like beginning my new life of dazzling productivity on July 2. Or July 3.

This could not be allowed to happen! So here is what I did.

I made a list of the fifteen main projects I have to do in July, ranging from writing guest blog posts to revising two books, from reading manuscripts for mentees and critique partners to preparing for my work on the Children's Literature Association Phoenix Award Committee. Then I gave this order to myself: every day I have to work for two hours on two of these things - that is to say, one hour on each one - but . . .and this is the key . . . I get to pick which two.

If any of you have raised toddlers, you will remember how important it is to give them the illusion of autonomy. You don't say, "Brush your teeth!" You say, "Would you like to brush your teeth with the red toothbrush or the green one?" You don't say, "You have to wear your jacket!" You say, "Would you like to put on your jacket yourself or would you like Mommy to do it for you?"

Now, for better or worse, I have to be my own mommy, and I've given my balking self not two options, but a full fifteen from which to choose. I can pick anything from the list - anything! - but I have to pick something, in fact, two somethings, ever single day.

On July 1, I picked writing one  blog post, and then writing another. Inspired by this promising start, I actually did a third thing and read a friend's manuscript and sent her comments.

On July 2, I did part of another blog post (clearly I prefer writing blog posts over any other option on my list) and faced the Phoenix Award work (which was huge, as the hardest part of any task, always, is just facing it for the first time).

Today is July 3. I'm writing this blog post, natch, but that doesn't count as one of the possibilities. So I have to do two other things, but I can pick which two. Okay. I'll make more progress on yesterday's blog post (it's an extra challenging one), and then do one more stint of Phoenix work. Or maybe start reviewing possible readings for a course I'm scheduled to teach.

I get to pick! So I will pick! And I will do my two things! And little by little, day by day, the whole list will be crossed off, or at least most of it will be. So I'll go start now. Well, after I brush my teeth with the purple toothbrush.

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4. Giveaway: Becoming Darkness by Lindsay Brambles (US & Canada Only)

Becoming Darkness

by Lindsay Brambles

Release Date: October 1, 2015

 

 

About the Book


Becoming Darkness is a dark, action-filled tale set in an alternate twenty-first century in which Hitler won World War II, our modern technologies never evolved, and the Nazis’ terrifying reign still continues.

A genre mash up of alternate history, dystopian, mystery, romance and gothic fiction, this story of a young woman coming into her own in a world of secrets, betrayals and conspiracies will appeal to readers looking for a fresh hybrid to sweep them away.

Like everyone else living in Haven, 17-year-old Sophie Harkness is an Immune in a world ruled by vampires. She is a carrier of the genetic mutation that protects her from the virus Hitler unleashed upon the world more than half a century ago. That virus wiped out most of humanity and turned 200 million people into vampires. After her best friend is brutally murdered and several attempts are made on her own life, Sophie becomes determined to find answers to what seems to be a conspiracy running generations deep. And when she questions the peace treaty that keeps her small community protected, Sophie begins to discover terrible truths about herself and what it means to be human in a world ruled by darkness.


To learn more about this book and see our review, go HERE.
 


About the Author


Lindsay Brambles was born in Ottawa, Canada, and spent a large part of his childhood and youth living and traveling overseas in countries such as Pakistan, Iran, Kenya, and Tanzania. Although he occasionally attended traditional schools, most of his education was gained through correspondence courses and the life experience of living amidst other cultures. As a child in Iran, Lindsay produced a weekly newspaper, which kindled what would become a lifelong interest in writing. In 1989, he won first prize in the Pine Cone II Science Fiction Convention writing contest for his novella Zero-Option. He has worked in a variety of fields, from construction to childcare while pursuing a vocation as an artist and writer. Lindsay is currently hard at work on several new projects, including the next book in the Becoming Darkness trilogy. www.lindsaybrambles.com/ or on Twitter at @LBrambles.


Learn more Publisher Facebook | Publisher Twitter | Goodreads | Author Twitter | Publisher Pinterest



Giveaway Details


4 winners will each receive an advanced reader copy of BECOMING DARKNESS. US and Canada only.

Entering is simple, just fill out the entry form below. Winners will be announced on this site and in our monthly newsletter (sign up now!) within 30 days after the giveaway ends.

During each giveaway, we ask entrants a question pertaining to the book. Here is the question they'll be answering in the comments below for extra entries: Where does Sophie Harkness live?

*Click the Rafflecopter link to enter the giveaway*

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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5. Poetry Friday: To love thee, year by year by Emily Dickinson

To love thee, year by year,
May less appear
Than sacrifice and cease.
However, Dear,
Forever might be short
I thought, to show,
And so I pieced it with a flower now.

- Emily Dickinson

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

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6. Giveaway: Alive by Chandler Baker (US Only)

ALIVE  

by Chandler Baker

Release Date: June 9, 2015

 

 

About the Book


Stella Cross's heart is poisoned. After years on the transplant waiting list, she's running out of hope that she'll ever see her eighteenth birthday. Then, miraculously, Stella receives the transplant she needs to survive.

Determined to embrace everything she came so close to losing, Stella throws herself into her new life. But her recovery is marred with strange side effects: Nightmares. Hallucinations. A recurring pain that flares every day at the exact same moment. Then Stella meets Levi Zin, the new boy on everyone's radar at her Seattle prep school. Stella has never felt more drawn to anyone in her life, and soon she and Levi can barely stand to be apart.

Stella is convinced that Levi is her soul mate. Why else would she literally ache for him when they are apart?

After all, the heart never lies...does it?


To learn more about this book and see our review, go HERE.
 


b2ap3_thumbnail_Chandler-author-photo.jpgAbout the Author

Chandler Baker got her start ghostwriting novels for teens and tweens before turning to her own stories. She grew up in Florida, went to college in Pennsylvania, and studied law in Texas where she now lives with her husband. Although she loves spinning tales with a touch of horror, she is a much bigger scaredy-cat than her stories would lead you to believe. You can visit her online atwww.chandlerbaker.com.

Learn more Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Youtube
 

 


Giveaway Details


One winner will receive a copy of ALIVE. US only.

Entering is simple, just fill out the entry form below. Winners will be announced on this site and in our monthly newsletter (sign up now!) within 30 days after the giveaway ends.

During each giveaway, we ask entrants a question pertaining to the book. Here is the question they'll be answering in the comments below for extra entries: What do you think of the cover & synopsis?

*Click the Rafflecopter link to enter the giveaway*

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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7. Sargent's Portraits of Artists and Friends

John Singer Sargent, Ambrogio Raffele, 1904
An exhibition of John Singer Sargent's portraits of artists friends has opened at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, and will be on view through October 4.
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Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends

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8. Giveaway: Wanted Series by Erin Johnson (US Only)

About the Books

 

WANTED: Grace and the Guiltless (Book 1)

by Erin Johnson

Release Date: August 1, 2014



As the first book in the new young-adult series Wanted, Grace and the Guiltless is an edge-of-your-seat, gripping thrill ride. Set in the Wild West, the book piggybacks on the success of the strong female character in “True Grit,” and presents Grace Milton, a character whose once-peaceful life on a horse ranch outside Tombstone, Arizona, is shattered in one devastating night.

Her family is brutally murdered by the notorious Guiltless Gang, leaving Grace the only survivor. Trekking into the wilderness on her stallion, Grace falls ill from the elements. A young man named Joe saves her life by taking her to an Apache camp where she learns about their way of life and begins to fall for Joe. When Grace encounters one of the Guiltless Gang, her strength will be tested. Can she survive as a bounty hunter, or will she fall into darkness again? This Western revenge epic will captivate teen readers with its ruthless spirit of suspense and adventure and a powerful central romance.

 

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WANTED: Her Cold Revenge (Book 2)     

by Erin Johnson

Release Date: August 1, 2015



The second book in the gripping Wanted series, this Western revenge epic is a must-read for teen readers who are fans of relentless action, wild horses and heart-wrenching romance.

Grace Milton has only one goal: bring to justice the Guiltless Gang, the outlaws who slaughtered her parents and siblings. That’s why she had to abandoned Joe and her Apache friends. She couldn’t afford any distractions. Now, she’s on her own making her living in Arizona as one of the only female bounty hunters in the Wild West, despite the doubts and protests of others. But when Joe shows up in town, Grace is torn. Feelings she thought she had left behind are rekindled, and the passion threatens to pull her away from her mission. But soon rumors surface that two members of the Guiltless Gang are nearby, planning a daring train robbery, and now Grace is faced with an impossible choice. Will she stay with Joe and forget her vendetta, or risk everything – her love, her life – to fulfill her all-consuming need for vengeance?


To learn more about these books and see our reviews, go HERE and HERE.
 


b2ap3_thumbnail_Erin_Johnson.jpgAbout the Author

Erin Johnson grew up watching classic western movies with her father, which fueled her lifelong love of horseback riding. She's always dreamed of being a fierce-talking cowgirl, but writing about one seemed like the next best thing. She loves to travel, paint, ride motorcycles and teach, and lives in North Carolina.


Learn more Publisher Facebook | Publisher Twitter | Book 1 on Goodreads | Order the Book | Book 2 on Goodreads | Order the Book | Wattpad
 


Giveaway Details


4 winners will each receive a finished copy of GRACE AND THE GUILTLESS & HER COLD REVENGE. US only.

Entering is simple, just fill out the entry form below. Winners will be announced on this site and in our monthly newsletter (sign up now!) within 30 days after the giveaway ends.

During each giveaway, we ask entrants a question pertaining to the book. Here is the question they'll be answering in the comments below for extra entries: What is Grace Milton’s chosen career?

*Click the Rafflecopter link to enter the giveaway*

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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9. Picture Book Secrets

Here are some suggestions (no magic secrets, unfortunately) about how to write picture books.

http://www.underdown.org/mf-picture-book-secrets.htm

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10. So You Want an Illustrator for your book....

There are a few times a week that I will get an email or phone call about my rates or availability for children's book illustrations.  Sometimes these come from publishers and sometimes they come from those who wish to self publish.


Each time I need to craft a personal reply to the person and each time I find myself answering the same questions over and over but in different ways.  So here are some things that will help those who are planning to hire an illustrator for their book.

1. If you have a finished, edited, and great manuscript, by all means, submit it to a trade book
   publisher. They will pay you in some form, hire and pay the best printers and help you market
   your book.  You do NOT need any illustrations to submit your manuscript unless you are also the
   illustrator.

2. To find out who might be the best publisher for your book, get a copy of the Children's Writer's           and Illustrator's Market.  It is published each year and always available on Amazon.com.
    This volume lists all interested publishers, their contacts, their terms and what they are looking for.
    It also includes international markets, magazines, contests, agents and wonderful articles from             artists and authors as well as publishers and editors.

3. If you have been through the process and months have gone by with rejections or no responses
    and you feel your work is so good that it must be seen, then you may choose to self publish.
    This is a leap of faith.  You will be choosing your illustrator, paying a fair market price for the
    artwork, paying to have the book  printed, paying for design and book layout, paying for  
    distribution, paying for any marketing and doing your own sales wherever you can find a venue.         Your indie bookstore may or may not, host a signing. You may market your books at the outdoor       market places, or at events that you set up. Some schools have book nights where you can sell
    your books.

4. When you hire an illustrator remember that you are hiring a professional. You need to be
    prepared to pay a fair market price. Depending upon the length of time it will take to illustrate
    your book, the amount of research needed, and any unusual requests you may have you will
    pay a rate that could be several thousand dollars or many thousands of dollars.



5. My illustration costs for self publishers are shared with them after I have seen either the
whole finished and properly edited manuscript or at least a detailed outline of the work.
I ask that so I can determine if my skills will match the content of the work, and if I can do my best work for the client.  Because I can also do the layout, create the PDF for the printer and provide full color cover and interior artwork my rates are based on those factors.

6. A contract is issued with payment dates, artwork dates, copyright restrictions for both the author and the illustrator. Work can take from 3 to 6 or 7 months to complete.
Stages of the work are paid for in sections as the work is completed and approved.

7.) Any artwork that has been finished and approved by the author is final. However, if changes are made after the final approval a fee per                                                      hour for any changes will apply.

8.) Getting a trade book publisher to acquire your book is a long process but will be to your best
     advantage.

9.)  Should you decide to self publish your work contact the illustrator of your choice and together           create a contract that is fair for both parties.

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11. Grammar Editing Software

Question: Is there a free link or software I can use that helps editing my grammar for my writing? Answer: Plenty of websites and companies offer grammar

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12. Writing Links

ATT_1431797079340_20150501_140127

Why Failing is Good for Us :: Elana Johnson

24 Things No One Tells You About Book Publishing :: BuzzFeed

Magical Places by Nikki Loftin :: The Nerdy Book Club

Hollins University Establishes Margaret Wise Brown Prize in Children’s Literature :: Tara Lazar

Why We Write in GIF Form :: Nathan Bransford

Writing Life: The Reality :: Kristi Holl’s Writer’s First Aid

The post Writing Links appeared first on Caroline Starr Rose.

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13. How to make it seem like a lot of time has gone by

Question: My character fell into a coma. How do I make it seem in the next 5 chapters that a lot of time has gone by? Answer: I would suggest you brainstorm

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14. Dicas de sobrevivência no mar (de lama) que é o Facebook.

Acho que o que vou dizer vai parecer algo incrível para alguns, mas é perfeitamente possível debater online SEM:
– agredir verbalmente o colega;
– usar falácias relacionando coisa alguma com coisa nenhuma;
– usar expressões vagas como "sementes do mal" , "defensores dos manos", "bandido bom é bandido morto", "coxinha", "esquerdopata", "feminazi";
– fazer ameaças, revelando a própria maldade, tipo: "espero que matem alguém de sua família", "espero que lhe estuprem", "torço pra que aconteça com você";
– usar referências de baixa credibilidade como Olavo de Carvalho, revista Veja, pregacões de pastores-vindilhões;
– usar argumentos religiosos como se todo mundo fosse obrigado a seguir a mesma religião (que, aliás, tampouco seguem de fato);
– ser preguiçoso e responder com memes prontos quando não sabe o que dizer;
– GRITAR (tira o dedo do capslock);
Ou sentar o dedo no potássio (kkkkk) – como diria o Leandro Karnal.
Dito isso, podem entrar de cabeça!

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15. 48 days, day 19-20: field trip, unwrinkling

{{ I am chronicling 48 days of writing before my July 31 travel. If you are chronicling your summer writing/days and would like to share, please link or comment so we can all cheer one another through. Strength to your sword arm! }}



















Two days off. I'm took my Fourth vacation early. Jim and I plan to work through the July Fourth weekend. We often do this sort of thing in order to avoid crowds, and because it often works better with our schedules, the writer and the musician. I've always told my kids that I'm not particular about celebrating holidays on a pre-arranged culturally-approved day (although I do love birthdays!), and I like making my own holidays.

Although I must say, I loved all the Fourths we spent at Antietam Battlefield with the National Symphony Orchestra, and the Fourths we spent at Baker Park in Frederick, MD., and even the Fourth I spent with Lisa and Jason on the George Washington Parkway in 1976, with thousands of other stranded motorists hoping to get downtown on the National Mall for the Bicentennial Fourth. We did go to the Mall for years, for concerts, for Fourths, when my first two kids were little and we lived closer to D.C. Oh-so-many years ago.

On Wednesday (day 19) we said goodbye to Roger, who has worked here -- off and on -- for almost a year, doing odd jobs and necessary jobs and major foundation work and much-needed water management on our little property. We worked with Roger on Wednesday as he finished a brick walkway so we could get from the front to back yards with a wheelbarrow (and on foot), and we moved mulch and bricks.

There's still a lot to do here, but Roger got us started, the trees are down (still plenty up), sun shines on the yard, the water flows away from the house, and we can keep going with the edible landscape project now. We'll see Roger again this fall.

Yesterday we went out out OUT. My mind needed a rest. So after we put our bodies to work on Wednesday in the yard, we took off on Thursday and went berry picking and then swimming at Hard Labor Creek State Park. We've been to Hard Labor Creek before, and remembered it as a sandy-bottomed lake with good floating. Still is.

The heavens opened up as we slid into the cool lake water, and we got drenched as we ran out and gathered our things, waited out the storm in the van, and then, when the skies were sunny again, got back in the lake for a long float and chat and swim and silence. Almost no one else was there.

We took back roads on our trip, so it took us a long time to wend our way home. We had a good meal at the Blue Willow Inn in Social Circle before our blueberry picking at Hard Labor Creek Blueberry Farm, and we had breakfast for supper on the way home at a diner that caught our eye. We got lost in Jersey, Georgia, in the middle of nowhere, where our Waze app took us down dirt roads. But I got that great capture of "Final Draft" that's on the masthead now -- whatever this place is... there are winches and contraptions out front that make it look like a construction or equipment repair place. I've been looking for a new photo for the blog, FB, and Twitter, now that REVOLUTION is well-launched, so getting lost was a plus.

Today, day 21, I'm back at work on Rachel, mind rested, words on the page. Let's see if I can get to the end of a revision. I'll bet I can. Sometimes you just need to get away, to unwrinkle your mind. And this is our favorite way: pick a place and go. Field trip!

Happy Independence Day to all! xoxo

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16. Friday Linky List - July 3, 2015

At Jane Friedman.com (via SCBWI British Isles): The 4 Hidden Dangers of Writing Groups (good advice!)

At Notes from the Slushpile (via SCBWI British Isles): There's a Ghost in my House

From the Scottish Book Trust: 21 Literary Tees To Wear This Summer

Click Here to read Dan Santat's Caldecott acceptance speech - really great!

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17. image today

patience friends - I'm doing a demo with students...

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18. Two too many?

Question: I've been working on a story for a while when I got the thought that the main character (Brooklynn) should die at the end. At first I thought

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19. Giveaway: Made You Up by Francesca Zappia (US & Canada Only)

Made You Up

by Francesca Zappia

Release Date: May 19, 2015

 

 

About the Book


Reality, it turns out, is often not what you perceive it to be—sometimes, there really is someone out to get you. Made You Up tells the story of Alex, a high school senior unable to tell the difference between real life and delusion. This is a compelling and provoking literary debut that will appeal to fans of Wes Anderson, Silver Linings Playbook, and Liar.

Alex fights a daily battle to figure out the difference between reality and delusion. Armed with a take-no-prisoners attitude, her camera, a Magic 8-Ball, and her only ally (her little sister), Alex wages a war against her schizophrenia, determined to stay sane long enough to get into college. She’s pretty optimistic about her chances until classes begin, and she runs into Miles. Didn't she imagine him? Before she knows it, Alex is making friends, going to parties, falling in love, and experiencing all the usual rites of passage for teenagers. But Alex is used to being crazy. She’s not prepared for normal.

Funny, provoking, and ultimately moving, this debut novel featuring the quintessential unreliable narrator will have readers turning the pages and trying to figure out what is real and what is made up.


To learn more about this book and see our review, go HERE.
 


b2ap3_thumbnail_fran.jpgAbout the Author

Francesca Zappia lives in Indiana, graduated from the University of Indianapolis with a degree in Computer Science, and still isn't sure exactly how that happened. She spends most of her time writing, reading, drawing, watching anime, and playing way too much Pokémon.


Learn more Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Tumblr | Pinterest
 

 


Giveaway Details


One winner will receive one finished hardback copy of the book. US & Canada only.

Entering is simple, just fill out the entry form below. Winners will be announced on this site and in our monthly newsletter (sign up now!) within 30 days after the giveaway ends.

During each giveaway, we ask entrants a question pertaining to the book. Here is the question they'll be answering in the comments below for extra entries: What would you do if you couldn’t tell reality from delusion?

*Click the Rafflecopter link to enter the giveaway*

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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20. Free 1st 5 Pages Writing Workshop Mentored by Author Ava Jae and Literary Agent Patrica Nelson -- Opens Tomorrow!

Our July workshop will open for entries at noon, EST, on Saturday July 4, 2015. We'll take the first five Middle Grade, Young Adult, or New Adult entries that meet all guidelines and formatting requirements. Click here to get the rules. I will post when it opens and closes on Adventures in YA Publishing and on twitter (@etcashman), with the hashtag #1st5pages.

And we have some exciting news here at the workshop! We have four fabulous new permanent mentors:  Brenda Drake, Janet B. Taylor, Stephanie Scott and Wendy Spinale.  All have wonderful books coming out in the next several months that I can't wait to read! (And if you want a chance to win one - make sure to add them to your shelf on Goodreads!) Also, the workshop will now run for 4 weeks.

  • Week One: Your two assigned permanent mentors plus Ava Jae provide feedback on your original entry, and you receive additional feedback from other workshop participants. You revise based on their comments.
  • Week Two: Permanent mentors and the guest mentor review and critique your 1st revision. You do another revision.
  • Week Three: Permanent mentors, the guest mentor, and the literary agent mentor review and critique your 2nd revision. 
  • Week Four: You provide a pitch (up to 200 words) that would be the core of a query letter and describes what your manuscript is about. Mentors and the agent mentor review it, consider whether it matches up to your first five pages, and recommend changes to make sure it matches up with your manuscript and answers questions while sounding enticing and marketable.

Another new feature we're introducing this month is that the guest agent will chose a workshop "winner" -- but, of course, you win just by joining the workshop, accepting the feedback, and working hard on revising your pages! The guest agent will review and comment on a partial of the winner's manuscript or work-in-progress!

In addition to our talented permanent mentors, we have Ava Jae, author of the forthcoming BEYOND THE RED, and Patricia Nelson of the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. So get those pages ready!

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21. Giveaway: Delicate Monsters by Stephanie Kuehn (US & Canada Only)

Delicate Monsters

by Stephanie Kuehn

Release Date: June 9, 2015

 

About the Book


From the Morris-Award winning author of Charm & Strange, comes a twisted and haunting tale about three teens uncovering dark secrets and even darker truths about themselves.

When nearly killing a classmate gets seventeen-year-old Sadie Su kicked out of her third boarding school in four years, she returns to her family's California vineyard estate. Here, she's meant to stay out of trouble. Here, she's meant to do a lot of things. But it's hard. She's bored. And when Sadie's bored, the only thing she likes is trouble.

Emerson Tate's a poor boy living in a rich town, with his widowed mother and strange, haunted little brother. All he wants his senior year is to play basketball and make something happen with the girl of his dreams. That's why Emerson's not happy Sadie's back. An old childhood friend, she knows his worst secrets. The things he longs to forget. The things she won't ever let him.

Haunted is a good word for fifteen-year-old Miles Tate. Miles can see the future, after all. And he knows his vision of tragic violence at his school will come true, because his visions always do. That's what he tells the new girl in town. The one who listens to him. The one who recognizes the darkness in his past.

But can Miles stop the violence? Or has the future already been written? Maybe tragedy is his destiny. Maybe it's all of theirs.


To learn more about this book and see our review, go HERE.
 


b2ap3_thumbnail_Kuehn-Stephanie---author-photo-bw.jpgAbout the Author

Stephanie Kuehn is the William C. Morris Award-winning author of Charm & Strange. She holds degrees in linguistics and sport psychology, and is currently working toward a doctorate in clinical psychology. She lives in Northern California with her husband, their three children, and a joyful abundance of pets. When she's not writing, she's running. Or reading. Or dreaming.

Learn more Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Tumblr | Pinterest
St. Martin's Griffin Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr

 

 


Giveaway Details


One winner will receive a finished copy of the book. US & Canada only.

Entering is simple, just fill out the entry form below. Winners will be announced on this site and in our monthly newsletter (sign up now!) within 30 days after the giveaway ends.

During each giveaway, we ask entrants a question pertaining to the book. Here is the question they'll be answering in the comments below for extra entries: What do you think of the cover & synopsis?

*Click the Rafflecopter link to enter the giveaway*

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22. Dung Beetles

For the last week I keep watching this video about a dung beetle trying to push a turd ball up a blazing hot sand dune. You think Sisyphus had a hard time of it? He has nothing on this uncomplaining scarab.

http://www.discovery.com/embed?page=68740

I’ve considered before the heroic efforts of the tiniest things, and more recently been particularly interested in these industrious recyclers. I am sure an idea is brewing but I don’t know what it is: nonfiction, perhaps, or a picture book, or a novel. “Watership Down with dung beetles!” I ventured yesterday on Facebook, to a rousing lack of enthusiasm.

I guess people think dung beetles are gross because dung, but… well, without them, things would be a lot grosser. They consume some feces and bury more, effectively aerating and fertilizing the land they use. I have come to appreciate nature more, in my middle-ages, and the wonderful integration of the world’s species to function as a whole. Imagine the prairie three hundred years ago: buffalo gobbling up the long hoary grass and leaving these tremendous buffets for the hordes of dung beetles that followed, who repurposed the poop and fed the small birds and prairie dogs, which in turn fed the ferrets and hawks and coyotes…. Without the beetles, none of it is possible. And dung beetles serve a similar role across the globe, in various ecosystems, and are rarely appreciated (though the ancient Egyptians wisely thought they were sacred).

Few people can claim what the dung beetle can, which is that their mere existence makes the world an unarguably better place.  Dung beetles are also the only animal besides humans known to observe the stars, and I think this single idea is what makes them especially fascinating to me. The humblest creature on earth will climb upon its dung ball, orient itself by the milky way, and — I like to believe — make a fervent wish before it continues on its journey.

I think this will fuel a book but I don’t know what it is yet. I hope you will give it, and its heroes, a chance, despite their diet.


Filed under: Miscellaneous Tagged: dung beetles

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23. Jiggety jig

Oh, guys, I have GOT to get caught up. Here I’ve been back from the Deep Valley Homecoming since TUESDAY and haven’t written about it. And now Comic-Con is peering around the corner in the most alarming way! Next week! Good heavens! Or O di immortales, I should say—not yet having mentally emerged from Betsy-Tacy land.

I had such a wonderful time visiting the houses and connecting with members of the B-T crowd. (The Crowd, capital C, you say if you’ve read the books.) I thoroughly enjoyed the children’s author panel on Sunday, answering questions with fellow writers Pat Bauer and Eileen Beha; and my talk about the Betsy-Tacy publishing history went very well. Plus I got to hear the inestimable Kathy Baxter speak—she’s captivating.

This is how I feel whenever I'm with Kathy. Photo by Margaret Berns.

This is how I feel whenever I’m with Kathy. Photo by Margaret Berns in 2010.

Of course I had to reread as many of the Tomes as possible before and during the trip. Began with the high-school books this time around and made it through Betsy’s Wedding. Actually, I read Wedding twice—I always skip ahead to it straight from Betsy and Joe. I read Betsy and the Great World on the plane ride home and then tore through Betsy’s Wedding a second time that evening, happily back in my own bed.

I swear my children gained multiple inches during the three nights I was away.

Our author panel made the front page of the Minnesota Free Press:

mnfreepress

I have yet to see a panel photo of myself in which I’m not making a goofy face. And if you tied my hands I’m not sure I could speak…

Discussing our writing processes at Deep Valley Homecoming. Photo swiped from Nancy Piccone, with thanks!

Discussing our writing processes at Deep Valley Homecoming. Photo swiped from Nancy Piccione, with thanks!

I’m not doing justice to the Homecoming with this hasty post—I so enjoyed all the other talks and made some wonderful new friends. And on my first evening in Mankato, of course I had to walk all over town past Betsy and Tacy’s bench and Tib’s chocolate-colored house and Carney’s sleeping porch and Lincoln Park and the Carnegie Library, trying not to make a whole nother series of goofy faces. I am 100% fangirl at heart.

Major props to Julie Schrader and the rest of the organizers for hosting a perfectly marvelous event.

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24. ‘Maggie’ is No. 1 Athlete Girl Book!

1 Comments on ‘Maggie’ is No. 1 Athlete Girl Book!, last added: 7/3/2015
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25. Giveaway: Minus Me by Ingelin Rossland (US Only)

MINUS ME

by Ingelin Røssland, translated by Deborah Dawkin

Release Date: July 13, 2015

 

 

About the Book


During a diving competition Linda discovers that she has a rare heart condition and is told that her only hope of surviving is a heart transplant. Sensitive, introspective, and intelligent, Linda refuses to be coddled, despite her parent’s wishes. Determined to experience everything a 13-year-old girl should, Linda starts to work her way through a list of all the things she and her best friend wish to do: have a first kiss, go to a pop concert, travel without parents . . . But as Linda starts to tick these off, a mysterious emo boy called Njal appears — and always at the most unexpected moments. And he is happy to accompany her on daring escapades, particularly those that her timid best friend refuses to go on. But is Njal good or bad? And why is he the only one that Linda can share her fears with?

Minus Me is a gripping, addictive novel — written with heart-stopping emotional honesty — from one of Norway’s most acclaimed young adult writers.


To learn more about this book and see our review, go HERE.
 


b2ap3_thumbnail_ingelin.jpgAbout the Author


Born in 1976, Ingelin Røssland is an award-winning and critically acclaimed Norwegian author, actor, and journalist. She debuted as a writer in 1998 with the YA novel If You Will, which received a number of awards and has been translated into several languages. Her fourth book, Handgranateple, was awarded the Røssland Sunnmørsprisen Prize and was listed in the 2008 IBBY Honours List; in 2007 she was awarded the Sigmund Skardbotn scholarship and Guro Sand Valley's Literature Prize. She lives in Stockholm.

Deborah Dawkin was born in London in 1961. She worked in the theatre and in marketing before becoming a literary translator. In 2009 she completed an MA in Social and Cultural History.



Learn more Facebook | Author Twitter | Publisher Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest
 


Giveaway Details


5 winners will each receive a finished copy of the paperback original book. US only.

Entering is simple, just fill out the entry form below. Winners will be announced on this site and in our monthly newsletter (sign up now!) within 30 days after the giveaway ends.

During each giveaway, we ask entrants a question pertaining to the book. Here is the question they'll be answering in the comments below for extra entries: What do you think of the cover & synopsis?

*Click the Rafflecopter link to enter the giveaway*

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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