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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: young adult fiction, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 410
1. My Writing and Reading Life: Paige McKenzie, Author of The Haunting of Sunshine Girl

PAIGE MCKENZIE, the face of The Haunting of Sunshine Girl, is thrilled to have the chance to bring her unique voice to life in a book series.

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2. New YA Releases 4/13 to 4/19, FOUR Great New YA Giveaway, and Author Interviews

Ready for some great new books? We've got nineteen new YA books to share with you this week, seven author interviews, and four giveaways for hot new releases. See below and enter to win. 

Happy reading,

Martina, Jocelyn, Shelly, Jan, Lisa, Susan, and Erin


YA BOOK GIVEAWAYS THIS WEEK


Eden West
by Pete Hautman
Signed Hardcover Giveaway
Candlewick
Released 4/14/2015

Tackling faith, doubt, and transformation, National Book Award winner Pete Hautman explores a boy’s unraveling allegiance to an insular cult.

Twelve square miles of paradise, surrounded by an eight-foot-high chain-link fence: this is Nodd, the land of the Grace. It is all seventeen-year-old Jacob knows. Beyond the fence lies the World, a wicked, terrible place, doomed to destruction. When the Archangel Zerachiel descends from Heaven, only the Grace will be spared the horrors of the Apocalypse. But something is rotten in paradise. A wolf invades Nodd, slaughtering the Grace’s sheep. A new boy arrives from outside, and his scorn and disdain threaten to tarnish Jacob’s contentment. Then, while patrolling the borders of Nodd, Jacob meets Lynna, a girl from the adjoining ranch, who tempts him to sample the forbidden Worldly pleasures that lie beyond the fence. Jacob’s faith, his devotion, and his grip on reality are tested as his feelings for Lynna blossom into something greater and the End Days grow ever closer. Eden West is the story of two worlds, two hearts, the power of faith, and the resilience of the human spirit.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Eden West?

I really like the cover—the red, three-quarter jacket with the case art peeking up over the top is awesome! I love a book that still looks good after your dog eats the jacket. Candlewick publishes beautiful books.

I also like the fact that I finally finished writing it! It took twelve years. One question many authors ask themselves is, “Am I good enough to write this story?” With every new book I set out to write that question hangs over me. With Eden West it was a dark, low-hanging cloud that took years to lift. I think the main reason it took so long to write was that fog of doubt. But eventually hubris won out over apprehension, the book came together, and here we are. I am now free to fight my way through the next crisis of confidence!


Purchase Eden West at Amazon
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View Eden West on Goodreads



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Hit
by Delilah S. Dawson
Hardcover Giveaway
Simon Pulse
Released 4/14/2015
U.S. Only

NO ONE READS THE FINE PRINT.

The good news is that the USA is finally out of debt. The bad news is that we were bought out by Valor National Bank, and debtors are the new big game, thanks to a tricky little clause hidden deep in the fine print of a credit card application. Now, after a swift and silent takeover that leaves 9-1-1 calls going through to Valor voicemail, they’re unleashing a wave of anarchy across the country.

Patsy didn’t have much of a choice. When the suits showed up at her house threatening to kill her mother then and there for outstanding debt unless Patsy agreed to be an indentured assassin, what was she supposed to do? Let her own mother die?

Patsy is forced to take on a five-day mission to complete a hit list of ten names. Each name on Patsy's list has only three choices: pay the debt on the spot, agree to work as a bounty hunter, or die. And Patsy has to kill them personally, or else her mom takes a bullet of her own.

Since yarn bombing is the only rebellion in Patsy's past, she’s horrified and overwhelmed, especially as she realizes that most of the ten people on her list aren't strangers. Things get even more complicated when a moment of mercy lands her with a sidekick: a hot rich kid named Wyatt whose brother is the last name on Patsy's list. The two share an intense chemistry even as every tick of the clock draws them closer to an impossible choice.

Delilah S. Dawson offers an absorbing, frightening glimpse at a reality just steps away from ours—a taut, suspenseful thriller that absolutely mesmerizes from start to finish.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Hit?

Besides the cover, which I love? ;) My favorite thing about HIT is the hero, Patsy. She's not someone who was destined to be great. She's not royal, she doesn't command magic, she doesn't take a test and score off the charts. She's just a normal girl from the Atlanta suburbs who has to face an impossible task or die, along with her mom. She's brave enough to do what has to be done but real enough to hate it, every step of the way. I feel like a lot of the heroines we see in dystopian books are written to be special saviors, but Patsy is no one and nothing. And she stays that way. But she has to learn how to live with herself and what she's become, not to mention how to move through the world with no road map.

Purchase Hit at Amazon
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View Hit on Goodreads

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The Pretty App
by Katie Sise
Handmade earrings Giveaway
U.S. Only

Balzer + Bray
Released 4/14/2015

Poor Blake Dawkins! She's rich, she's gorgeous, and she's the queen bee of Harrison High. The girls want to be her; the boys want to—okay, enough said. But it turns out Blake’s life is not so perfect—just talk to her dad, who constantly reminds her that she's not up to par, or to her ex-bff, Audrey, who doesn't even look her in the eye.

Then Harrison—and every other high school in America—becomes obsessed with posting selfies on the ubiquitous Pretty App. Next: Leo, an adorable transfer student, arrives at Harrison and begins to show Blake that maybe being a queen bee doesn't mean being a queen bitch. And though Audrey suspects somebody’s playing foul, Blake finds herself catapulted to internet fame after being voted one of the prettiest girls in the country. She's whisked away to star in a reality show—in Hollywood, on live TV. But she doesn’t know who to trust. Because everybody on the show wants to win.

And nobody is there to make friends.

The Boyfriend App author Katie Sise spins another irresistible tale of technology, secrets, and big-time romance in this story of what it takes to be #trulybeautiful.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about The Pretty App?

My favorite thing about THE PRETTY APP is that the book balances a discussion on beauty and inner beauty without seeming too preachy. At least, I hope so! And I like that it's a feel-good read. Those are my favorite kinds of books and movies, so I'm hoping readers will feel the same way. If the book is page-turning and makes you laugh, then I'll have done my job. It was also so much fun to bring back the characters from THE BOYFRIEND APP. I loved writing from Blake's point of view, and seeing her take on the characters who'd I'd loved so much the first time around.

Purchase The Pretty App at Amazon
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The Truth Commission
by Susan Juby
Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

Viking Books for Young Readers
Released 4/14/2015

Open secrets are the heart of gossip -- the obvious things that no one is brave or tactless enough to ask. Except for Normandy Pale and her friends. They are juniors at a high school for artists, and have no fear. They are the Truth Commission. Then, one of their truth targets says to Normandy: “If you want to know about the truth, you might want to look a little closer to home.” This dryly funny, knife-sharp novel, written as "narrative nonfiction" by Normandy herself, features footnotes, illustrations and a combination mystery/love story that will capture readers from the first page.

Purchase The Truth Commission at Amazon
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YA BOOK GIVEAWAYS LAST WEEK: WINNERS




Don't Stay Up Late
by R.L. Stine
Hardcover
St. Martin's Griffin; First Edition edition
Released 4/7/2015

Winner - Alisha Sienkiel

R.L. Stine's hugely successful young adult horror series Fear Street is back after almost 2 decades. Fear Street is a worldwide phenomenon and helped to kick off the young adult craze which is still going strong today. In the second new book in this series, Don't Stay Up Late, Stine explores the unbridled terror of a damaged young lady sent on a doomed babysitting job.

Ever since a car accident killed her father and put Lisa and her mother into the hospital, Lisa can't think straight. She's plagued by nightmares and hallucinations that force her to relive the accident over and over again in vivid detail. When Lisa finds out that a neighbor is looking for a babysitter for her young son, she takes the job immediately, eager to keep busy and shake these disturbing images from her head.
But what promised to be an easy gig turns terrifying when Lisa begins to question exactly who — or what — she is babysitting.

Purchase Don't Stay Up Late at Amazon
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Empire of Night
by Kelley Armstrong
Hardcover
HarperCollins
Released 4/7/2015

Winner - Lauren Jones

Sisters Moria and Ashyn are the Keeper and Seeker of Edgewood. Or at least they were. Their village is gone. Their friends have betrayed them. And now, the emperor has sent them on a mission to rescue the captured children of Edgewood—accompanied by Prince Tyrus and a small band of imperial warriors. But the journey proves more perilous than any of them could have imagined. And with treachery and unrest mounting in the empire, the girls are running out of places to turn.

With all the pulse-pounding action and romance that have made her a #1 New York Times bestselling author, this second book in the Age of Legends trilogy will appeal to Kelley Armstrong's legions of fans around the world and win her many new ones.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Empire of Night?

When I speak to other writers who do trilogies, they often lament the middle book. To them, it’s like act 2 of a regular book, which is often the hardest part to write—you know the setup and the conclusion, but then you need to keep a story interesting for 200 or so pages between them! To me, though, book 2 of a trilogy is my favourite. I’ve established the characters, setting and situation in book 1. I don’t need to actually resolve anything major until book 3. So the second book is total play-time for me. It’s where I can get creative and add anything I want, from action to mystery to romance, and just have fun with the characters. Of course, for me “having fun” with the characters is usually “making things steadily worse for them” but that’s what makes a story interesting! EMPIRE OF NIGHT was pure rising action and rising tension, taking the characters from bad to worse, and seeing them grow and develop because of it. It’s probably my favourite book in the Age of Legends trilogy, as is THE AWAKENING in Darkest Powers and THE CALLING in Darkness Rising.

Purchase Empire of Night at Amazon
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View Empire of Night on Goodreads

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None of the Above
by I. W. Gregorio
Hardcover
Balzer + Bray
Released 4/7/2015

Winner - Rosi Hollinbeck

A groundbreaking story about a teenage girl who discovers she was born intersex . . . and what happens when her secret is revealed to the entire school. Incredibly compelling and sensitively told, None of the Above is a thought-provoking novel that explores what it means to be a boy, a girl, or something in between.

What if everything you knew about yourself changed in an instant?

When Kristin Lattimer is voted homecoming queen, it seems like another piece of her ideal life has fallen into place. She's a champion hurdler with a full scholarship to college and she's madly in love with her boyfriend. In fact, she's decided that she's ready to take things to the next level with him.

But Kristin's first time isn't the perfect moment she's planned--something is very wrong. A visit to the doctor reveals the truth: Kristin is intersex, which means that though she outwardly looks like a girl, she has male chromosomes, not to mention boy "parts."

Dealing with her body is difficult enough, but when her diagnosis is leaked to the whole school, Kristin's entire identity is thrown into question. As her world unravels, can she come to terms with her new self?

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about None of the Above?

This book will always hold a special place in my heart because of how intimately it's intertwined with my day job as a doctor. Because it was inspired by a patient I treated and I felt a deep sense of responsibility re: the subject matter, it was a tricky book to write. I felt like I was constantly walking a tightrope between explaining too much, and not enough. I didn’t want to sound didactic, so I made sure to pace the plot well, but at the same time I did want people to learn from the book. I'm sure there will be some people who think I threaded the needle, and others who don't! And it doesn’t sound very sexy, but the proudest moments of my debut year so far have been when readers say that it's opened their mind - and that they read it in one sitting.

Purchase None of the Above at Amazon
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View None of the Above on Goodreads

* * * *


One Thing Stolen
by Beth Kephart
Hardcover
Chronicle Books
Released 4/7/2015

Winner - Traci Kenworth

Something is not right with Nadia Cara. While spending a year in Florence, Italy, she's become a thief. She has secrets. And when she tries to speak, the words seem far away. Nadia finds herself trapped by her own obsessions and following the trail of an elusive Italian boy whom only she has seen. Can Nadia be rescued or will she simply lose herself altogether? Set against the backdrop of a glimmering city, One Thing Stolen is an exploration of obsession, art, and a rare neurological disorder. It is a celebration of language, beauty, imagination, and the salvation of love.

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View One Thing Stolen on Goodreads

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Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
by Becky Albertalli
Hardcover
Balzer + Bray
Released 4/7/2015

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda?

This is actually a hard question to answer, since I feel so close to the entire book. Every day, I change my mind about what I think is the heart of the story. That being said, I think my favorite moments are the emails exchanged between Simon and Blue. I loved writing them – sometimes, it almost felt like they wrote themselves. One of my favorite things about writing in that epistolary format is that it gives another character (Blue) a direct voice. He has a slightly different perspective than Simon, and I loved having the opportunity to show that. It also gave me a chance to play around with the differences between Simon’s unfiltered thoughts (in the narrative) and the way he presents himself to others (in the emails). Simon admits that he edits his emails to impress Blue, and he’s definitely, deliberately flirtatious. I loved showing those two sides of Simon, and it was interesting to explore what we do and don’t share with others, even when we think we’re being very open.

Purchase Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda at Amazon
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MORE YOUNG ADULT FICTION IN STORES NEXT WEEK WITH AUTHOR INTERVIEWS


* * * *


Forged
by Erin Bowman
Hardcover
HarperTeen
Released 4/14/2015

Gray Weathersby and his group of rebels must make their final stand in the epic conclusion to the Taken trilogy, which New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu called "an action-packed thrill ride from beginning to end."

The Order is building an unstoppable army, with every generation of Forgeries harder to detect and deadlier than the one before. It’s time for Gray and his fellow rebels to end the Order's world of lies. But when the most familiar faces—and even the girl he loves—can’t be trusted, Gray will have to tread carefully if he wants to succeed. Or survive.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Forged?

FORGED is the conclusion to the Taken trilogy, and while it is bittersweet to say goodbye to these characters and world, wrapping everything up was was my favorite part. I think I've done Gray's story justice, and I can only hope that readers agree!

Purchase Forged at Amazon
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View Forged on Goodreads

* * * *


Shredder
by Niall Leonard
Hardcover
Delacorte Press
Released 4/14/2015

In the gut-wrenching third and final novel in Niall Leonard’s Crusher series, Finn Maguire is lured back into the warring factions of the underworld by way of blackmail.

Finn “Crusher” Maguire has one simple task: to set up a meeting. But when that meeting is between the Guvnor and the Turk, two psychotic criminals vying for control of London’s underworld, Finn’s task proves to be anything but simple. As the city cracks under a blistering heatwave and the UK is rocked by a series of terrorist outrages, Crusher finds himself caught up in a gang war full of carnage, corruption and treachery. To save himself and the girl he loves from being shredded to a bloody pulp between opposing factions, Finn faces horrifying risks and impossible choices.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Shredder?

My favorite thing about Shredder must be the way it ends. It's not what even I was expecting.

Purchase Shredder at Amazon
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View Shredder on Goodreads

* * * *


The Bridge
by Jane Higgins
Paperback
Tundra Books
Released 4/14/2015

The City is divided. The bridges gated. In Southside, the hostiles live in squalor and desperation, waiting for a chance to overrun the residents of Cityside.

Nik is still in high school but is destined for a great career with the Internal Security and Intelligence Services, the brains behind the war. But when ISIS comes recruiting, everyone is shocked when he isn't chosen. There must be an explanation, but no one will talk about it. Then the school is bombed and the hostiles take the bridges. Buildings are burning, kids are dead, and the hostiles have kidnapped Sol. Now ISIS is hunting for Nik.

But Nik is on the run, with Sol's sister Fyffe and ISIS hot on their trail. They cross the bridge in search of Sol, and Nik finds answers to questions he had never dared to ask.

The Bridge is a gritty adventure set in a future world where fear of outsiders pervades everything. A heart-stopping novel about friendship, identity, and courage from an exciting new voice in young-adult fiction.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about The Bridge?

When THE BRIDGE was first published people asked me about my inspiration for it. I didn’t have an immediate answer, but then I remembered this.

In 1981/82, I was 20 years old and working at the monastic community of Taizé in France. The Berlin Wall still stood, a powerful symbol of the Cold War division between Eastern and Western Europe. This was my first experience of nations seriously engaged in readiness for war.

Just before Christmas, 1981, martial law was declared in Poland in Eastern Europe, which meant that the army was taking over that country and closing its borders: no-one in, no-one out. I remember there was a young Polish guy visiting Taizé then. He had to decide what to do and he had to decide fast – overnight, in fact. His choice was stark: go home, get there before the borders close, and perhaps be trapped there for years. Or, stay out, in relative freedom, but maybe not see his family for years. He spent the night thinking about it. Then he went home.

The choice that night was a ‘future-defining’ moment for that young guy. For me, who had never known martial law or war of any kind, it was a glimpse into the lives of people who have no choice but to deal with the realities of war. That moment stayed with me and I think it emerged in the story of THE BRIDGE in the character of Nik, who has to work out where he belongs in the midst of war.

I love that a memory like that can lie dormant and all but forgotten, and then emerge indirectly in a story years later.


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MORE YOUNG ADULT NOVELS NEW IN STORES NEXT WEEK


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All the Rage
by Courtney Summers
Hardcover
St. Martin's Griffin
Released 4/14/2015

The sheriff’s son, Kellan Turner, is not the golden boy everyone thinks he is, and Romy Grey knows that for a fact. Because no one wants to believe a girl from the wrong side of town, the truth about him has cost her everything—friends, family, and her community. Branded a liar and bullied relentlessly by a group of kids she used to hang out with, Romy’s only refuge is the diner where she works outside of town. No one knows her name or her past there; she can finally be anonymous. But when a girl with ties to both Romy and Kellan goes missing after a party, and news of him assaulting another girl in a town close by gets out, Romy must decide whether she wants to fight or carry the burden of knowing more girls could get hurt if she doesn’t speak up. Nobody believed her the first time—and they certainly won’t now — but the cost of her silence might be more than she can bear. 

With a shocking conclusion and writing that will absolutely knock you out, All the Rage examines the shame and silence inflicted upon young women after an act of sexual violence, forcing us to ask ourselves: In a culture that refuses to protect its young girls, how can they survive?

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* * * *


Andreo's Race
by Pam Withers
Paperback
Tundra Books
Released 4/14/2015

Just as sixteen-year-old Andreo, skilled in death-defying ironman events in wilderness regions, is about to compete in rugged Bolivia, he and his friend Raul (another Bolivian adoptee) begin to suspect that their adoptive parents have unwittingly acquired them illegally. Plotting to use the upcoming race to pursue the truth, they veer on an epic journey to locate Andreo's birth parents, only to find themselves hazardously entangled with a gang of baby traffickers. Never suspecting that attempting to bring down the ring would endanger their very lives, the boys plunge ahead. Compelling, poignant, and heart-stopping, Andreo's Race takes readers on a perilous quest to discover the true meaning of family.

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* * * *


Bloodkin
by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
Hardcover
Delacorte Press
Released 4/14/2015

Fans of Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone will love this second book in the Ma'evra trilogy by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes about loyalty, power, and the rules of survival.

Some lines should never be crossed.

Sixteen-year-old Kadee is proud to be a part of the Obsidian guild, whose members refuse to bow to anyone in Midnight-including the vampires who claim to rule this world and the shapeshifter royals who obey them. She knows firsthand what it's like to live with the Shantel and serpiente, and she'll never forgive these shapeshifters for taking her from her real father as a sick and frightened human child. Fortunately, Kadee is the master of her own life and decisions now, but some of the choices she's made to protect her Obsidian family-and one of her peers in the guild-have begun to haunt her.

How much is one life worth, and when is the price too much to pay?

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* * * *


Denton Little's Deathdate
by Lance Rubin
Hardcover
Knopf Books for Young Readers
Released 4/14/2015

Fans of John Green and Matthew Quick: Get ready to die laughing.

Denton Little's Deathdate takes place in a world exactly like our own except that everyone knows the day they will die. For 17-year-old Denton Little, that's tomorrow, the day of his senior prom.

Despite his early deathdate, Denton has always wanted to live a normal life, but his final days are filled with dramatic firsts. First hangover. First sex. First love triangle (as the first sex seems to have happened not with his adoring girlfriend, but with his best friend's hostile sister. Though he's not totally sure. See: first hangover.) His anxiety builds when he discovers a strange purple rash making its way up his body. Is this what will kill him? And then a strange man shows up at his funeral, claiming to have known Denton's long-deceased mother, and warning him to beware of suspicious government characters…. Suddenly Denton's life is filled with mysterious questions and precious little time to find the answers.

Debut author Lance Rubin takes us on a fast, furious, and outrageously funny ride through the last hours of a teenager's life as he searches for love, meaning, answers, and (just maybe) a way to live on.

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* * * *


Dream a Little Dream
by Kerstin Gier
Hardcover
Henry Holt and Co.
Released 4/14/2015

Mysterious doors with lizard-head knobs. Talking stone statues. A crazy girl with a hatchet. Yes, Liv’s dreams have been pretty weird lately. Especially the one where she’s in a graveyard at night, watching four boys conduct dark magic rituals.

The strangest part is that Liv recognizes the boys in her dream. They’re classmates from her new school in London, the school where she’s starting over because her mom has moved them to a new country (again). But what's really scaring Liv is that the dream boys seem to know things about her in real life, things they couldn't possibly know—unless they actually are in her dreams? Luckily, Liv never could resist a good mystery, and all four of those boys are pretty cute....

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* * * *


First There Was Forever
by Juliana Romano
Hardcover
Dial Books
Released 4/14/2015

Perfect for fans of Jenny Han’s The Summer I Turned Pretty and Huntley Fitzpatrick’s My Life Next Door, Juliana Romano's expressive debut is an absorbing and bittersweet story about first love, first loss, and the friends that carry us through it all.

Lima and Hailey have always been best friends: Lima shy and sensitive, Hailey funny and free-spirited. But Hailey abandons Lima to party with the popular kids and pursue Nate, her disinterested crush. As their friendship falters, Lima and Nate begin spending more time together. And before Lima knows what she’s feeling, she and Nate do something irreversible. Something that would hurt Hailey....if she knew it happened.

Lima thinks she’s saving her friendship by lying, but she’s only buying time. As the secrets stack up, Lima is forced to make a choice: between her best friend forever, and the boy who wasn’t meant to be hers.

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Mapmaker
by Mark Bomback and Galaxy Craze
Hardcover
Soho Teen
Released 4/14/2015

When Tanya Barrett takes an internship at MapOut, she expects emotional landmines. Her father cofounded the digital mapping company, and he died for it—on a cartographic expedition he didn’t even need to take. Her father’s business partner and his son, Connor, welcome her to the job with open arms. And being with Connor, an old childhood friend, turns out to be the only thing that makes Tanya feel normal again.

Soon she’s spending every moment she can with Connor. But when they sneak into her father’s old office late one night, they stumble across a deadly secret. The next day Connor disappears.

Tanya isn’t just bereft; she’s terrified. It’s clear that people at MapOut are willing to kill for what she and Connor discovered. Alone again—and on the run—Tanya must rely on her wits to find out what happened to him and stay a step ahead of MapOut. But in the world they envision, no one stays lost for long.

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The Fearless
by Emma Pass
Hardcover
Delacorte Press
Released 4/14/2015

For fans of The Hunger Games, Matched, Divergent, and The Fifth Wave, this fast-paced futuristic thriller tells the story of seventeen-year-old Cass and her fight to protect her younger brother from an unimaginably terrifying enemy.

The Deadliest Enemy feels no fear.

When the Fearless invaded, they injected everyone in their path with the same serum that stripped them of humanity.

Life became a waking nightmare.

Cass has the invasion seared in her memory. Seven years later, she and her brother, Jori, are living on Hope Island in a community of survivors. No one can enter, and no one can leave.

It's the only way to stay safe.

But when Hope Island's security is breeched and Jori is taken by the Fearless, Cass will risk everything to get him back.

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The Prom Goer's Interstellar Excursion
by Chris McCoy
Hardcover
Knopf Books for Young Readers
Released 4/14/2015

It's Superbad meets Spaceballs in this hilarious extraterrestrial road trip!

Just a few days before prom, Bennett pulls off something he never imagined possible: his dream girl, Sophie, agrees to be his date. Moments afterward, however, he watches Sophie get abducted by aliens in the middle of the New Mexico desert.

Faced with a dateless prom (and likely kidnapping charges), Bennett does the only thing he can think of: he catches a ride into outer space with a band of extraterrestrial musicians to bring her back.

Can he navigate alien concert venues, an extraterrestrial reality show, and the band's outlandish egos to rescue his date in time for the big dance? Fans of King Dork and Winger won't want to miss this!

Purchase The Prom Goer's Interstellar Excursion at Amazon
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The Revelation of Louisa May
by Michaela MacColl
Hardcover
Chronicle Books
Released 4/14/2015

Louisa May Alcott can't believe it—her mother is leaving for the summer to earn money for the family and Louisa is to be in charge of the household. How will she find the time to write her stories, much less have any adventures of her own? But before long, Louisa finds herself juggling her temperamental father, a mysterious murder, a fugitive seeking refuge along the Underground Railroad, and blossoming love. Intertwining fact, fiction, and quotes from Little Women, Michaela MacColl has crafted another spunky heroine whose story will keep readers turning pages until the very end.

Purchase The Revelation of Louisa May at Amazon
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The Wondrous and the Wicked
by Page Morgan
Hardcover
Delacorte Press
Released 4/14/2015

For fans of Lauren Kate's Fallen series comes the exciting conclusion to the trilogy that includes The Beautiful and the Cursed and The Lovely and the Lost. The Waverly sisters must save themselves before all is lost.

Since the Waverlys arrived in Paris, the streets have grown more fearsome by the day. As Ingrid learns to master her lectrux gift, she must watch Axia's power grow strong enough to extend beyond her Underneath hive. By all indications, the fallen angel's Harvest is near-and the timing couldn't be worse.

Targeted by vengeful gargoyles, Gabby has been exiled to London for her own protection. Meanwhile, the gargoyle castes are in disarray, divided between those who want Luc to lead them and those who resent him and his fondness for humans. The Alliance is crumbling from the inside as well, its members turning against one another, and possibly against the Waverlys, too.

Axia has promised that the world will burn. And now, unable to trust the Alliance, separated from Luc, Gabby, and her twin, Grayson, Ingrid is left to face the demon uprising alone.

Purchase The Wondrous and the Wicked at Amazon
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The World Forgot
by Martin Leicht and Isla Neal
Hardcover
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Released 4/14/2015

In this hilarious, action-packed conclusion to The Ever-Expanding Universe trilogy, teen mom Elvie Nara is on a quest across the universe to save her daughter (and maybe stop an alien race war in the process).

After dealing with killer whales, evil scientists, the return of her long-lost mother and, certainly not least of all, the challenges of breastfeeding, Elvie Nara has just about had it. And then the Jin'Kai (along with the aforementioned estranged mom) kidnap her baby.

And before she knows it, another Jin'Kai attack puts her on the run again, but not before discovering that Olivia was implanted with a genetic tracking device. So along with Cole, Ducky, and her dad, Elvie goes back out into space to follow the signal. There she finds evil Dr. Marsden up to some evil tricks and realizes that Mars may hold the secret to defeating her enemies once and for all. So, off to Mars she goes. Because alien race war aside, Elvie really wants to be back with her daughter. For a kid she wasn’t even sure she wanted, Olivia has come to mean the world to Elvie—and she’ll search the universe to be with her again.

Purchase The World Forgot at Amazon
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3. Best Selling Young Adult Books | April 2015

With so many strong novels on this list, everything remains the same on our hand-picked list from the Best Selling Young Adult list—including The Children's Book Review's number one best selling young adult book is The Children's Homer: The Adventures of Odysseus and the Tale of Troy, a classic must-read for all Greek mythology fans.

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4. Preview: The Spring 2015 YA Scavenger Hunt and a COMPULSION for Reading Giveaway

Hey, guys!

Are you ready for some fun? I'm participating in the Spring 2015 YA Scavenger Hunt from noon PACIFIC time on April 2nd to noon PACIFIC time on April 5th. 

The hunt is HUGE this year, so there will be eight different teams. I'm going to be on #TeamBlue, but you can play every team for more chances to win! 

If you've never played before, it's like a giant blog hop, introducing you to new YA authors and books at every stop. There are tons of prizes including a grand prize for each team. If you win one of the grand prizes you will get a book from each author on that team! For more information and to make sure you get hunt updates, sign up for news on the #YASH website. 

Not only will I be hiding an exclusive never-before-revealed sneak peek of COMPULSION, but I will also be giving away a signed hardcover and an ARC of PERSUASION, book two in the series for part of the Blue Team prize. 

Starting today, here on Adventures, I'll also be giving away a Tiffany-style "key" necklace like Barrie wears, an "I have a compulsion for reading" tote bag, and ten "I have a compulsion for reading" bumper stickers. You don't want to miss out on this fabulous and fun event, but play fast because the hunt is only live for three short days!

Ready? Here are the teams! (Hint: If you click on the image you can get a close up)

Blue Team 1 Pink TeamTeam Gold (2)Team Purple 1Team GreenTeam Red 1Team Teal (2)
Team Orange


I hope you are all as excited as I am!
THE HUNT BEGINS 4/2/15!

Today's Bonus Giveaway




a Rafflecopter giveaway

SOUND OFF! 

What book first started your compulsion for reading?

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5. Zodiac, by Romina Russell | Book Review

Readers looking for tension, angst, fantastical myths, well-rounded characters, and a very human tale of survival will delight in this quick and engrossing page-turner of a story, sure to inspire the inner-Zodiac in everyone.

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6. PARALLELOGRAM Omnibus Edition Now Available!

Parallelogram Omnibus

For those of you who like to read your series in one big chunk, there’s now an omnibus ebook edition of the entire PARALLELOGRAM series–and it’s incredibly cheap for the moment. All four books for only $7.99! And more important, no waiting in between cliff hangers.

Enjoy!

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7. Excerpt and Cover Reveal: 'Super Bad' by Kai Strand

Watch out. Things are about to get really bad

Excerpt from Super Bad:

The classroom door opened and Sandra glanced toward it, along with the thirty other kids in the room. She snickered and raised her eyebrows at Lexa when a young man wearing a Hermes costume, complete with wings fluttering on his heels, floated in.
“I’m not gonna lie,” Lexa leaned over to whisper. “I hope a draft lifts his skirt so we can see what’s underneath.”
Sandra giggled. “My guess is bun huggers. Gold lame to match his shiny winged cap.”
Lexa waggled her eyebrows. “Shiny gold buns. I like.”
The teacher frowned at the young man. “Can I help you?”
“I have a delivery for Sandra Tohler.”
Sandra gulped. This couldn’t be anything besides embarrassing. A tidal wave of heads turned toward her causing her cheeks to flush with heat.
Seeing where everyone’s attention settled, the Hermes guy floated between the rows of desks and came to rest near hers. “Sandra Tohler?”
Reluctantly, she nodded.
He cleared his throat before delivering a soliloquy in a clear, resonating voice that Sandra was sure the students in classrooms across campus would hear.
“Sandra, oh Sandra, my lovely, stormy vixen, hear my humble plea. Your essence has absorbed into my every thought and now I wonder how I will sit for my exams. Will I answer essay questions by describing the intense sable color of your hair, or the enticing moss of your eyes that makes me imagine us lying in each others arms in a fairy forest?”
Sandra’s forehead hit her desk with a loud thunk, her voice a mumble against the surface. “Please stop. Go away.”
But the Hermes guy continued in his orator’s voice. “I’ve relived our kiss uncountable times. Your lips were velvet soft, but demanding.”
A chorus of “Ooo,” erupted through the room.

SUPER BAD The unexpected conclusion to the Super Villain Academy series.

The world is in chaos. Violence and thievery reign. And with the supers still balanced, it’s only getting worse. Without good versus evil, the supers care less and less. In order to restore purpose, the world needs its super heroes and its super villains, but the one who balanced them in the first place is missing.

Sandra’s concern over finding her brother, Jeff, isn’t her only problem. Her pathetic excuse for super powers has left her needing a new ankle. And though she’s still very much committed to her boyfriend, Source, she’s growing unreasonably attracted to Set, the boy who double crossed Jeff by stealing his girlfriend.

When Sandra is taken and held as bait by kids who want to unbalance the super world, it becomes the inciting event that changes things for supers everywhere and forces them to answer the question, “Hero or villain?”
***
Super Bad is scheduled for release in June, but there have been whispers of it releasing sooner. Don’t miss out. Subscribe to Kai’s mailing list and be among the first to know.
***
King of Bad - Jeff Mean would rather set fires than follow rules. He wears his bad boy image like a favorite old hoodie; until he learns he has superpowers and is recruited by Super Villain Academy – where you learn to be good at being bad. Is Jeff bad enough for SVA?

Polar Opposites - Heroes and villains are balanced. After Oceanus is kidnapped, Jeff learns the supers are so balanced, they no longer care to get involved. Ironically Jeff’s superpowers are spiraling out of control. Will they find Oci before he looses it completely, and will they find her alive?
***
Win a $10 Amazon gift card or an ecopy of either King of Bad or Polar Opposites. Plenty of chances to win. Open internationally. Enter here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway


About the author:

When her children were young and the electricity winked out, Kai Strand gathered her family around the fireplace and they told stories, one sentence at a time. Her boys were rather fond of the ending, “And then everybody died. The end.” Now an award winning children’s author, Kai crafts fiction for kids and teens to provide an escape hatch from their reality. With a selection of novels for young adult and middle grade readers and short stories for the younger ones, Kai entertains children of all ages, and their adults. Learn more about Kai and her books on her website, www.kaistrand.com.

0 Comments on Excerpt and Cover Reveal: 'Super Bad' by Kai Strand as of 2/16/2015 3:59:00 AM
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8. It's the most wonderful MONTH of the year - Eve Ainsworth



Usually I hate February. It’s a dark, bleak little month. Rain dances through the days and frost greets every morning. You have no money and little motivation. Additional weight gained at Christmas still hangs from your waist like a guilty secret and the resolution to take regular jogs feels like a long forgotten joke.

Yep, it’s usually a month I enter with fear and loathing. It’s usually the month I put a big black cross through, before rushing back to bed and reading myself through it.
 Except this year! This year was different.
February 2015 would be significant for me in many ways.
1    
      1.  I would leave my job
      2.   I would run my first Author visit
      3.  7 Days would finally be published.

Leaving my job was the first positive more. It was a tiring and stressful job that was no good for me in the long term. A job where I would go home and feel mentally and physically exhausted, barely able to think, let alone type. Resigning was like a strange release and I already know it’s the best thing I could’ve done. Yeah ok, we’re poorer. But I’m calmer and that has to be a good thing, right?
Next was a thing that filled me with fear. What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger right? That’s exactly how I felt about stepping out of my comfort zone and entering a brand new school as an author.

I’d done events at my own schools, but this was new and alien. I walked into the building, clutching my bag and trying to ignore the gnawing feeling in the pit of my tummy. BUT it ended up being the best. The students I met were so lovely and engaged and so interested in both 7 Days and my work as an author. I left feeling both inspired and accepted. I realised the buzz I’d gained was a totally new and refreshing experience. This was good for me.

And finally, February was when 7 Days was let out into the big bad world.

And it was a lovely day. I had cake mid-morning (why not). I treated myself to a dress. I received lots of wonderful tweets from supportive followers everywhere. I chatted on-line to other fabulous authors who were being published on the same day. We were all doing different things, but we all felt the same mixture of excitement and anticipation.


Then in the afternoon, I received a wonderful bouquet of flowers from my publisher that so far I have managed not to kill (a new record I feel). 



Later, I went for a meal with my husband. I had a lovely cocktail and a delicious Caribbean curry and toasted the start of an amazing year.

Because it will be an amazing year. This will be the first year I can actually admit to myself that I have ‘done it’, I have accomplished a dream. And whatever life throws at me, whatever the new ups and downs – I need to remind myself of this one moment.

The moment when I became a published author.


The moment when I finally felt like me.


0 Comments on It's the most wonderful MONTH of the year - Eve Ainsworth as of 2/10/2015 2:06:00 AM
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9. Sway, by Kat Spears | Book Review

Kat Spears debut novel is, quite simply, a delight. It has all the ingredients for an engaging and witty read, laced with honesty and insight that’s refreshingly real.

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10. New YA Lit Releases This Week Plus Win POLARIS and THE FIVE STAGES OF ANDREW BRAWLEY

YA BOOK GIVEAWAYS THIS WEEK




Polaris
by Mindee Arnett
Paperback copy of AVALON Giveaway
Balzer + Bray
Released 1/20/2015

Following the events of Avalon, Jeth Seagrave and his crew are on the run. Jeth is desperate to find the resources and funding he needs to rescue his mother from an ITA’s research lab and leave this whole galaxy behind for a new life somewhere else. But the ITA is just as desperate, and soon Jeth finds himself pursued by a mysterious figure hell-bent on capturing Jeth and his crew—dead or alive. In a last-ditch effort to save everyone he holds dear, Jeth enters into a bargain with the last person he ever thought he'd see again: Dax Shepherd, the galaxy’s newest and most fearsome crime lord. And he’s not the only one: upon arriving back at Peltraz spaceport for the first time since he witnessed the death of his old employer, Jeth discovers Dax has a new partner: Jeth’s mother, Marian.

This shocking turn of events is only the first in another breathless, action-packed sci-fi adventure rife with danger, love, and betrayal, as Jeth has to once again ask himself how much he’s willing to invest in a morally bankrupt galaxy in the hopes of saving those he cares for.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Polaris?

With POLARIS I learned two critical things, both of them more affirmations than revelations. The first is that even when the writing is hard you have to push through it. That might seem self-evident, but it’s one of those things where you don’t really know what “hard” is until you’ve run smack into. The affirmation aspect of this is that I learned that I can push through it. I was in a very hard place emotionally when I started work on POLARIS, and it didn’t go away throughout the whole process. Some of it was struggles in my personal life and some of it is what I call the post publication blues. All writers get them and they are awful—the mean reds times a thousand. But the great thing is that even when it’s hard, the writing is always worth it. I’m proud of POLARIS, despite all the struggle or maybe because of it.

Secondly, I learned that it’s okay to channel your own emotions into a story. Like I said, I was in a very dark place when I wrote this book, and a lot of that darkness translates to the page. The main character Jeth struggles a lot in this book. I’m downright awful to him at times. But ultimately, I think that emotional struggle has a big payoff in the end, both for me personally and for the reader, I hope.


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The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley
by Shaun David Hutchinson
Hardcover Giveaway
Simon Pulse
Released 1/20/2015

Andrew Brawley was supposed to die that night. His parents did, and so did his sister, but he survived.

Now he lives in the hospital. He serves food in the cafeteria, he hangs out with the nurses, and he sleeps in a forgotten supply closet. Drew blends in to near invisibility, hiding from his past, his guilt, and those who are trying to find him.

Then one night Rusty is wheeled into the ER, burned on half his body by hateful classmates. His agony calls out to Drew like a beacon, pulling them both together through all their pain and grief. In Rusty, Drew sees hope, happiness, and a future for both of them. A future outside the hospital, and away from their pasts.

But Drew knows that life is never that simple. Death roams the hospital, searching for Drew, and now Rusty. Drew lost his family, but he refuses to lose Rusty, too, so he’s determined to make things right. He’s determined to bargain, and to settle his debts once and for all.

But Death is not easily placated, and Drew’s life will have to get worse before there is any chance for things to get better.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley?

Growing up as a gay teen, one of the most difficult things to deal with was always hiding who I was. I spent most of my teenage years feeling like no one really saw me, like I was invisible. We read books in order to connect to characters, to feel like someone sees us. But there aren’t a lot of YA books that feature LGBTQIA characters whose biggest problem isn’t their sexuality. That’s one of the reasons I wrote The Fives Stages of Andrew Brawley. I wanted LGBTQIA teens to know that they are more than their sexuality, I wanted them to know that they are not invisible. That’s my favorite thing about The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley. Also, there’s a freaking graphic novel inside the book!

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YA BOOK GIVEAWAYS LAST WEEK: WINNERS




Perfect Couple
by Jennifer Echols
Hardcover
Simon Pulse
Released 1/13/2015

WINNER: CLARISA RAMIREZ

In this second book in The Superlatives trilogy from Endless Summer author Jennifer Echols, Harper and Brody think they’re an unlikely match—but the senior class says they belong together.

As yearbook photographer, Harper is responsible for those candid moments that make high school memorable. But her own life is anything but picture perfect. Her parents’ bitter divorce left her wondering what a loving relationship looks like. And ever since the senior class voted her and star quarterback Brody “Perfect Couple That Never Was,” her friends have been pushing her to ask Brody out.

Brody doesn’t lack female admirers, but Harper can't see herself with him. He’s confused about the match too. Yet they find themselves drawn together—first by curiosity about why the class paired them, then by an undeniable bond.

The trouble is, though they’re attracted to each other, they have a hard time getting along or even communicating well. If they’re the perfect couple, this shouldn’t be so difficult! Soon it becomes clear their class was wrong, and they throw in the towel. But they feel so changed from making the effort, they can’t forget each other. What if this match made in hell is the perfect couple after all?

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Perfect Couple?

The Superlatives series is based around the idea that older teens are looking for their identity. And if they think they've pinned it down, they'll probably stick with it. But what if you thought you had yourself all figured out, but now you're not so sure? That's what happens to the teens in these books: the senior class selects people for "who's who" titles like Biggest Flirts and Most Likely to Succeed, but the people selected are surprised at what their classmates choose for them, which in turn causes them to question how they see themselves.

In PERFECT COUPLE, Harper and her childhood friend Brody are named Perfect Couple That Never Was. Harper is quirky and artistic. Brody is athletic and popular. It's easy to see why they've never dated. It's hard to see why a large portion of their class would say they would make a perfect couple. Of course they're curious. They can't resist going on a date to find out. And Harper realizes she's not really as controlled and cautious as she always thought.


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MORE YOUNG ADULT FICTION IN STORES NEXT WEEK WITH AUTHOR INTERVIEWS


* * * *


Fight for Power
by Eric Walters
Hardcover
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Released 1/20/2015

The world keeps getting darker in this second reality-based survival adventure in the Rule of Three trilogy

After sixty-six days of a catastrophic global blackout, life in the suburbs is not what it used to be for Adam and his fortified neighborhood of Eden Mills. Although an explosive clash has minimized one threat from outside the walls, Adam’s battle-hardened mentor, Herb, continues to make decisions in the name of security that are increasingly wrenching and questionable. Like his police chief mom and others, Adam will follow Herb’s lead. But when the next threat comes from an unexpected direction, nobody is ready for it. And someone is going to pay the price—because of Adam’s mistakes and mistaken trust.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Fight for Power?

It was such a pleasure to continue the story, to continue to move forward with my characters as they tried to survive. This story, which is actually set in my neighborhood, is rather personal.

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MORE YOUNG ADULT NOVELS NEW IN STORES NEXT WEEK


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Alex As Well
by Alyssa Brugman
Hardcover
Henry Holt and Co.
Released 1/20/2015

Alex is ready for things to change, in a big way. Everyone seems to think she’s a boy, but for Alex the whole boy/girl thing isn’t as simple as either/or, and when she decides girl is closer to the truth, no one knows how to react, least of all her parents.

Undeterred, Alex begins to create a new identity for herself: ditching one school, enrolling in another, and throwing out most of her clothes. But the other Alex—the boy Alex—has a lot to say about that.

Heartbreaking and droll in equal measures, Alex As Well is a brilliantly told story of exploring gender and sexuality, navigating friendships, and finding a place to belong.

Purchase Alex As Well at Amazon
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All Fall Down
by Ally Carter
Hardcover
Scholastic Press
Released 1/20/2015

Grace Blakely is absolutely certain of three things:

1. She is not crazy.
2. Her mother was murdered.
3. Someday she is going to find the killer and make him pay.

As certain as Grace is about these facts, nobody else believes her–so there’s no one she can completely trust. Not her grandfather, a powerful ambassador. Not her new friends, who all live on Embassy Row. Not Alexei, the Russian boy next door who is keeping an eye on Grace for reasons she neither likes nor understands.

Everybody wants Grace to put on a pretty dress and a pretty smile, blocking out all her unpretty thoughts. But they can’t control Grace–no more than Grace can control what she knows or what she needs to do.

Her past has come back to hunt her . . . and if she doesn’t stop it, Grace isn’t the only one who will get hurt. Because on Embassy Row, the countries of the world all stand like dominoes, and one wrong move can make them all fall down.

Purchase All Fall Down at Amazon
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Bad Influence
by William Sutcliffe
Paperback
Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Released 1/20/2015

When Carl moves into Ben and Olly's street, things instantly get more exciting. His games are strange, unpredictable, and thrillingly violent. But why is he so fearless? Why are they never allowed into his house? And why does it begin to feel as if he is taking control of their lives?

It isn't long before Ben wants his old friendship back, but getting free of Carl turns out to be the toughest challenge he has ever faced.

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Mutant City
by Steve Feasey
Paperback
Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Released 1/20/2015

Fifty years ago, the world was almost destroyed by a chemical war. Now the world is divided: the mutants and the pure, the broken and the privileged, the damaged and the perfect.

Thirteen years ago, a covert government experimental facility was shut down and its residents killed. The secrets it held died with them. But five extraordinary kids survived.

Today four teenagers are about to discover that their mutant blood brings with it special powers. Rush and three brothers and sisters he can't remember. Two rival factions are chasing them. One by one, they face the enemy. Together, they might just stay alive . . .

Purchase Mutant City at Amazon
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* * * *


The Prey
by Tom Isbell
Hardcover
HarperTeen
Released 1/20/2015

The Maze Runner meets The Hunger Games in this heart-pounding trilogy. Orphaned teens, soon to be hunted for sport, must flee their resettlement camps in their fight for survival and a better life. For in the Republic of the True America, it's always hunting season. Riveting action, intense romance, and gripping emotion make this fast-paced adventure a standout debut.

After a radiation blast burned most of the Earth to a crisp, the new government established settlement camps for the survivors. At one such camp, the sixteen-year-old "LTs" are eager to graduate as part of the Rite. Until they learn the dark truth: "LTs" doesn't stand for lieutenant but for Less Thans, feared by society and raised to be hunted for sport. They escape and join forces with the Sisters, twin girls who've suffered their own haunting fate. Together they seek the fabled New Territory, with sadistic hunters hot on their trail. Secrets are revealed, allegiances are made, and lives are at stake. As unlikely Book and fearless Hope lead their quest for freedom, these teens must find the best in themselves to fight the worst in their enemies.

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The Way We Bared Our Souls
by Willa Strayhorn
Hardcover
Razorbill
Released 1/22/2015

If you could trade your biggest burden for someone else’s, would you do it?

Five teenagers sit around a bonfire in the middle of the New Mexico desert. They don’t know it yet, but they are about to make the biggest sacrifice of their lives.

Lo has a family history of MS, and is starting to come down with all the symptoms.
Thomas, a former child soldier from Liberia, is plagued by traumatic memories of his war-torn past.
Kaya would do anything to feel physical pain, but a rare condition called CIP keeps her numb.
Ellen can’t remember who she was before she started doing drugs.
Kit lost his girlfriend in a car accident and now he just can’t shake his newfound fear of death.

When they trade totems as a symbol of shedding and adopting one another’s sorrows, they think it’s only an exercise.

But in the morning, they wake to find their burdens gone…and replaced with someone else’s.

As the reality of the ritual unfolds, this unlikely group of five embarks on a week of beautiful, terrifying experiences that all culminate in one perfect truth: In the end, your soul is stronger than your burdens.

Purchase The Way We Bared Our Souls at Amazon
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* * * *


Tunnel Vision
by Susan Adrian
Hardcover
St. Martin's Griffin
Released 1/20/2015

Romance and action come crashing together when a teenage boy with incredible powers is brought to the attention of the government.

Jake Lukin just turned 18. He's decent at tennis and Halo, and waiting to hear on his app to Stanford. But he's also being followed by a creep with a gun, and there's a DARPA agent waiting in his bedroom. His secret is blown.

When Jake holds a personal object, like a pet rock or a ring, he has the ability to "tunnel" into the owner. He can sense where they are, like a human GPS, and can see, hear, and feel what they do. It's an ability the government would do anything to possess: a perfect surveillance unit who could locate fugitives, spies, or terrorists with a single touch.

Jake promised his dad he’d never tell anyone about his ability. But his dad died two years ago, and Jake slipped. If he doesn't agree to help the government, his mother and sister may be in danger. Suddenly he's juggling high school, tennis tryouts, flirting with Rachel Watkins, and work as a government asset, complete with 24-hour bodyguards.

Forced to lie to his friends and family, and then to choose whether to give up everything for their safety, Jake hopes the good he's doing—finding kidnap victims and hostages, and tracking down terrorists—is worth it. But he starts to suspect the good guys may not be so good after all. With Rachel's help, Jake has to try to escape both good guys and bad guys and find a way to live his own life instead of tunneling through others.

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Twisted Fate
by Norah Olson
Hardcover
Katherine Tegen Books
Released 1/20/2015

Two sisters. One mysterious boy.

Ally and Sydney couldn't be more different—one shy, the other popular and outgoing—and when a new boy moves in next door, tensions between the sisters escalate. Graham is attractive, peculiar, and perhaps a little dangerous, and both girls are drawn to him in ways they can't quite explain. As each girl's relationship with Graham unfolds, the more complicated the truth becomes—until a shocking encounter turns their sleepy coastal town upside down and questions everything the sisters thought they knew about themselves and each other.

Told in alternating points of view by a wide cast of characters, Twisted Fate is a tensely wrought psychological thriller, perfect for fans of We Were Liars by E. Lockhart.

Purchase Twisted Fate at Amazon
Purchase Twisted Fate at IndieBound
View Twisted Fate on Goodreads

0 Comments on New YA Lit Releases This Week Plus Win POLARIS and THE FIVE STAGES OF ANDREW BRAWLEY as of 1/19/2015 7:01:00 PM
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11. Because Waiting Is So Boring

Parallelogram 4

I know I said Parallelogram 4 (Beyond the Parallel) wasn’t coming out until next Tuesday, January 20.

Weekends are for reading. It’s out now. Enjoy!

Kindle
Nook
iTunes
Kobo
Smashwords
Paperback

And the prices for the first 3 installments will still stay nice and low until next week, so if you haven’t read Parallelogram 1, 2, or 3 yet, you can scoop them up at a bargain!

0 Comments on Because Waiting Is So Boring as of 1/17/2015 8:23:00 AM
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12. Candlewick Prize Pack with 6 of TIME Magazine’s Top 100 Young Adult Books

Enter to win a prize pack with 6 of the listed Candlewick titles from TIME Magazine's Top 100 Young Adult Books. Giveaway begins January 15, 2015, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends January 31, 2015, at 11:59 P.M. PST.

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13. The Undeniable Importance of Paper -- For Writers and for Readers -- Plus a Giveaway and Special Deal

A few years ago, people speculated about the death of books. Books, many said, wouldn't survive the rising popularity of e-books. Teens, the wisdom said, would adopt e-books, and within a few years, no one would read on paper anymore.

But guess what?

A recent Neilsen survey says that teens prefer "real" books.

And there appear to be concrete advantages to reading printed books. A study suggests that digital readers remember significantly less about when events occur in a plot than people reading the same story on paper, while another study showed markedly better reading comprehension for people reading a paper book.

I admit. I made the switch. There are several reasons that e-books work well for me, but they all boil down to convenience.

Here's the thing though. I also made the switch when reading manuscripts.

I read digitally when I write:

  • I type the story on my laptop. 
  • I read the story on my laptop and edit as I go. 
  • I make changes electronically, and my beta readers read digitally. 
  • And finally, before I send the book off to my editor, I make it into an e-book, and I read it in the Kindle program on my iPad.

My editor, on the other hand, prints the book out and reads on paper.

For those of you unfamiliar with the editorial process, it works something like this:

  • I submit the first(ish) draft to my editor.
  • She reads and sends me a letter about what's working and what isn't working and makes specific notes in the manuscript. She sends me the printed file via UPS.
  • I follow the document through digitally and come up with a chapter by chapter list of changes to address her concerns.
  • We discuss those changes and make sure we're on the same page.
  • I make the changes electronically and then send her the digital file.
  • She prints it out and reads it again, marking pacing and other issues in the manuscript margins and making suggestions for specific lines that need to be reworked. 
  • I go through the line edits and submit the file--digitally.
  • I send the electronic file to my beta readers and go through their suggestions--digitally.
  • I convert the book to an e-book and read it through, highlighting places I need to go back to.

And all this time, even though the book has been printed out, I don't *read* it on paper.

Then I get the copyedited manuscript. On paper. And I have to read and review it on paper.

Oy. 

There is a real difference in the way the words read and look on paper. I see things I didn't see when I was reading digitally, even when I read the book as an e-book. Even when I read passages aloud, which I also do frequently.

The moral of this story?

This is only the second book I've worked on with an editor. I'm going to get better--all of this is a learning process. I definitely have a takeaway on process for myself though. And for book three, I'm going to do things a little differently.

I'm going to print the book out for myself several times before the copyediting stage. Not sure how I'm going to work this in with the fast deadlines that we work with in publishing, but I'm going to make time, because it's worth it.

Takeaway writing tip of the day:

Read your manuscript in as many different ways as you can:

  • As a Scrivener or word processing file.
  • As a Scrivener or word processing file with the font changed. (You'd be surprised how just this small change brings things to light.)
  • As a Scrivener or word processing file that you read aloud.
  • As an electronic book.
  • As printed pages -- bound, if possible.

What about you? Do you prefer to read digitally or on paper? Does it make a difference in how you read and what you understand and remember?

THIS WEEK'S GIVEAWAY


Rebel Belle
by Rachel Hawkins
Hardcover
Putnam Juvenile
Released 4/8/2014

Harper Price, peerless Southern belle, was born ready for a Homecoming tiara. But after a strange run-in at the dance imbues her with incredible abilities, Harper's destiny takes a turn for the seriously weird. She becomes a Paladin, one of an ancient line of guardians with agility, super strength and lethal fighting instincts.

Just when life can't get any more disastrously crazy, Harper finds out who she's charged to protect: David Stark, school reporter, subject of a mysterious prophecy and possibly Harper's least favorite person. But things get complicated when Harper starts falling for him--and discovers that David's own fate could very well be to destroy Earth.

With snappy banter, cotillion dresses, non-stop action and a touch of magic, this new young adult series from bestseller Rachel Hawkins is going to make y'all beg for more.

Purchase Rebel Belle at Amazon
Purchase Rebel Belle at IndieBound
View Rebel Belle on Goodreads


AND A SPECIAL DIGITAL DEAL! COMPULSION IS $1.99 at AMAZON


Compulsion
by Martina Boone
Hardcover
Simon Pulse
Released 10/28/2014

Beautiful Creatures meets The Body Finder in this spellbinding new trilogy.

Three plantations. Two wishes. One ancient curse.

All her life, Barrie Watson had been a virtual prisoner in the house where she lived with her shut-in mother. When her mother dies, Barrie promises to put some mileage on her stiletto heels. But she finds a new kind of prison at her aunt’s South Carolina plantation instead--a prison guarded by an ancient spirit who long ago cursed one of the three founding families of Watson Island and gave the others magical gifts that became compulsions.

Stuck with the ghosts of a generations-old feud and hunted by forces she cannot see, Barrie must find a way to break free of the family legacy. With the help of sun-kissed Eight Beaufort, who knows what Barrie wants before she knows herself, the last Watson heir starts to unravel her family's twisted secrets. What she finds is dangerous: a love she never expected, a river that turns to fire at midnight, a gorgeous cousin who isn’t what she seems, and very real enemies who want both Eight and Barrie dead.

Purchase Compulsion at Amazon for $1.99
Purchase Compulsion at IndieBound
View Compulsion on Goodreads



a Rafflecopter giveaway

0 Comments on The Undeniable Importance of Paper -- For Writers and for Readers -- Plus a Giveaway and Special Deal as of 1/9/2015 2:39:00 PM
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14. Best Selling Young Adult Books | January 2015

With so many strong novels on this list, all but one young adult novel—Gayle Forman's Where She Went—remains the same on our hand-picked list from the Best Selling Young Adult list.

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15. Parallelogram 4 Now Available for Pre-Order!

Parallelogram 4

Happy 2015! And here’s a new book for you!

Parallel universes. Time travel. And a race for teen amateur physicist Audie Masters to save her own life before it’s too late.

Enjoy the exciting, mind-bending conclusion to the PARALLELOGRAM series.

You’ll never look at your own life the same way again.

I am BEYOND ecstatic to be able to tell you that PARALLELOGRAM (Book 4: BEYOND THE PARALLEL) will be coming out January 20, 2015, and is available right now for pre-order! Yes! Finally!

This final book in the series took me a long, long time to write (as those of you who have been waiting for it can attest), but you’ll understand why once you read it. It’s full of adventure, mystery, love, some very cool science, and the return of what I hope are some of your favorite characters.

In celebration of the final book coming out, each of the first three books in the series will be a mere $2.99, and the new book will be only $4.99–but only until January 20. After that, all of them return to their regular prices.

So if you haven’t read the first three books in the series yet, now’s your chance. I’m your book nerd friend who’s saying, “Come on! Come on! Catch up so we can discuss it!”

Can’t wait to hear what you all think. I truly wrote this series for YOU!

You can pre-order Book 4 from:
Kindle
Nook
iTunes
Kobo

Thanks for being my readers! Hope you love the book!

0 Comments on Parallelogram 4 Now Available for Pre-Order! as of 1/5/2015 4:59:00 AM
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16. Wrapping up the year… 2014 best books for middle grades

Wrapping up the year… 2014 best books for middle grades | Storytime Standouts

Best Books 2014 - 1prncs shares her favorite titles for middle grade readersI always say this but I can’t believe it’s the end of another year. How? Especially since so many of the days seemed so very, very long. Trying to remember what I did yesterday is painful, but I’m going to attempt to recap the best books I’ve read in 2014.










Middle Grade/ Young Adult

2014 best books for middle grades including The Shadow ThroneThe Shadow Throne by Jennifer A. Nielsen

The final book in a trilogy that captivated not only my whole class, but me. A book I’ve recommended countless times. The main character is one that everyone can identify with in some way. The action is gripping as Sage/Jaron shows readers what being courageous really means.

The Shadow Throne: Book 3 of The Ascendance Trilogy at Amazon.com

The Shadow Throne: Book 3 of The Ascendance Trilogy at Amazon.ca

My True Love Gave to MeMidnights by Rainbow Rowell

I should be honest and tell you that this author could write a to-do list on a paper towel and I would love it. There is something about every one of her books that grabs me so strongly, I have to remind myself that, she doesn’t actually know me, but somehow, she gets me. And then I remind myself that she doesn’t actually write her books just for me. Elenor and Park is in our elementary library but I think the subject matter is above grade six. However, this is one of those reads that would delight an early middle school reader as much as it did me. It’s a beautiful and sweet short story.

It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins

A new author for me that I discovered because she edited the collection of short holiday stories in which Midnight was the first. Aimed at teens and up, it was just absolutely delightful to read.

My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories at Amazon.com

My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories at Amazon,ca

2014 best books for middle grades including Will Grayson, Will GraysonWill Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green

I can’t read Fault in Our Stars. I know my limits, I read within them. However, I’ve read just about everything else he’s published. This one is my favourite by him. It’s an excellent teen read that speaks to acceptance, diversity, adversity, and the amazing relationships that can stem from being in the same place at the same time.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson at Amazon.com

Will Grayson, Will Grayson at Amazon.ca

2014 best books for middle grades Including Are You There God? It's Me MargaretAre you there God, it’s me, Margaret by Judy Blume

I re read this for the first time in many, many years. I wanted to read it with my daughter and I was so pleased she enjoyed it as much as I did, both then and now. If there was a “what’s it like to become a teenage girl” book award, this would be it.

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret at Amazon.com

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret at Amazon.ca

2014 best books for middle grades including Hook’s Revenge by Heidi SchulzHook’s Revenge by Heidi Schulz

This is a fun book with quirky characters that made the students laugh. Determined to avenge her father’s death, Jocelyn sets out on an adventure that teaches her as much about herself as it does about her past.

Hook’s Revenge, Book 1 at Amazon.com

Hook’s Revenge, Book 1 Hook’s Revenge at Amazon.ca

2014 best books for middle grades including Dork DiariesDork Diaries by Rachel Renee Russell

I started reading these with my daughter this last year. They are laugh out loud funny and so easy to connect with. Nikki is a great character and the teen drama she faces, and how she deals with it, is authentic.

Dork Diaries Box Set (Book 1-3) at Amazon.com

Dork Diaries Box Set (Book 1-3): Dork Diaries at Amazon.ca

2014 best books for middle grades Including Sisters by Raina TelgemeierSisters by Raina Telgemeier

My 11 year old read this first and then I read it with my 8 year old. It’s funny and cute and true to life in that, it’s not always easy being a family. But, when you need them, they’re there.

Sisters at Amazon.com

Sisters at Amazon.ca

2014 best books for middle grades Including FrindleFrindle by Andrew Clements

This is an awesome book. I read it with my 8 year old and it made me laugh even as it opened the door to great conversations with her. The main character makes up a new word for what we call a “pen”. A great read about the power of words and how they impact our actions.

Frindle at Amazon.com

Frindle at Amazon.ca

2014 best books for middle grades Including Wonder Wonder by R.J. Palacio

I haven’t even finished this book but I can tell you without one tiny hint of doubt that it will be one of the best reads ever. Not just this year.

Wonder at Amazon.com

Wonder at Amazon.ca

Picture Books

(contrary to some beliefs, these are not only for small children)

2014 best books for middle grades including This Plus ThatThis plus That: Life’s little equations by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Jen Corace

A sweet and fun read with adorable pictures that highlights math vocabulary even as it shows kids how things are connected. Me+ Writing= Happy.

This Plus That: Life’s Little Equations at Amazon.com

2014 best books for middle grades Including Those ShoesThose Shoes by Maribeth Beolts

This one was read to me and I have to say, I still love being read to. This is a great one to open kids eyes to the power of empathy and giving.

Those Shoes at Amazon.com

Those Shoes at Amazon.ca

The Invisible Boy by Trudy LudwigThe Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig and Patrice Barton

This story is a little bittersweet. You feel bad for the little boy with no friends, but love the fact that he’s okay in his own little world. Also worth noting, the color comes as friendship brightens his life which is beautiful, literally and figuratively.

The Invisible Boy at Amazon.com

The Invisible Boy at Amazon.ca

Storytime Standouts suggests The Very Inappropriate Word written by Jim Tobin and illustrated by Dave CoverlyThe very inappropriate word by Jim Tobin and Dave Coverly

Full of great vocabulary, this book is funny. I’ve read it several times and it’s a great way to get kids to look at the power of words and language.

The Very Inappropriate Word at Amazon.com

The Very Inappropriate Word at Amazon.ca

What Do You Do with an Idea?What do you do with an idea? by Kobi Yamada and Mae Besom

My school librarian shared this book with me and it is such a tangible idea to show how when your brain gets locked on an idea, sometimes you have to go with it.

What Do You Do With an Idea? at Amazon.com

What Do You Do with an Idea? at Amazon.ca

Books I can’t wait to read in 2015

Fish in a TreeFish in a Tree – Linda Mullaly Hunt

The name is part of one of my favourite quotes so of course I’m drawn to it. That and the fact that her book One for the Murphys was one of my favourite reads of 2013.

Mark of the ThiefMark of the Thief – Jennifer A. Nielsen

I think I need to read this one on my own before with my class. When I read the Ascendance Trilogy, I got so hooked that we might have missed some math lessons.

 

What are some of your favorite kids reads this year? Anything you’re looking forward to? Also, in an openly shameless bid for self-promotion, I hope to one day make it onto one of your favorite lists. Either with the adult books I have coming out in 2015 or with the picture book, SWEET DREAM SISTERS, that will be available in 2016. Have a very, Happy well-read 2015.

 

Storytime Standouts - Raising Children Who Love to Read

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17. Madame Tussaud’s Apprentice, by Kathleen Benner Duble | Book Review

Madame Tussaud's Apprentice is a fascinating historical drama. The rich background of revolutionary France provides readers with a fascinating look at that terrifying time.

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18. Grave Mercy

You know those days/weeks/months that are so bad you just want to go to bed, read a book, and block the world out? I’ve had one/all of those. So, despite having more deadlines than I can actually keep in my head and the reminders of which fair nearly inspire a full-blown panic attack, I took […]

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19. First Chapter Reveal: Escape Through the Wilderness by Gary Rodriguez

Escape Through the Wilderness coverTitle:  Escape Through the Wilderness
Author: Gary Rodrgiuez
Genre: Tween/Young Adult Christian Adventure
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Tate Publishing (June 2014)
ISBN-13: 978-1-63268-201-7

Purchase at: https://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/book.php?w=9781632682017 and at http://www.amazon.com/Escape-Through-Wilderness-Gary-Rodriguez/dp/163268201X/ 

About the book:

Sixteen-year-old Savannah Evans walks with a slight limp thanks to a gymnastics’ accident that dashed her Olympic dreams, but didn’t stop her from attending an adventure camp in Idaho. At Camp Arrowhead, she quickly befriends Jade Chang and Rico Cruz, but Conner Swift taunts Savi because of her injury.

When the four are teamed together for an overnight white-water river rafting adventure, Savi refuses to get in the same raft with Conner. Unfortunately, the director will not reassign her.

A fun expedition down the river turns into a nightmare when their raft slams into a huge rock and their adult guide disappears down the river.

Without their guide and desperately trying to steer an out-of-control raft, they pass the “Last Chance” marker and enter the larger rapids. With Jade pinned between the raft and a rock, and Rico clinging to a lifeline, Savi must cut the raft free.

When the four drag themselves out of the river, they’re bruised, beaten, lost, and twenty-five miles from camp. Because of late-night campfire tales of Vexel, a vicious animal that roams the nearby woods, Savi and the others are terrified.

Savi becomes the unlikely leader who tries to guide the group back to Camp Arrowhead. Limited supplies, injuries, and the constant threat of Vexel—who Savi fears is stalking them, complicate the harrowing return trip.

Readers will enjoy dramatic survival scenes and the group working together, solving problems, and learning to overcome adversity.

First Chapter Reveal: 

Saturday, 8:14 p.m.

This is  a  KGX  Channel  7  Breaking  News Report. I’m Valerie Parker.

Four teenagers have gone missing tonight from an adventure camp in Northern Idaho. Early reports say the teens and their river guide were involved in a rafting accident sometime this afternoon. Their names are being withheld pending notification of their parents. Rescue teams are being assembled, according to local authorities. The camp earns the title, “The safest camp in Idaho” every year. Tragically, after today all that has changed forever. Stay tuned to KGX Channel 7 for more details as they develop

Thursday, two days earlier

It was a warm August afternoon and Camp Arrowhead buzzed  with  activity. New teen campers had been streaming in since mid-morning.  Savannah Evans, who had arrived earlier in the day, was heading toward the message board to check out the day’s schedule when she noticed another car pull into the drop zone.

Curious, she waited to catch a glimpse of the new camper. But before she saw the passenger, a huge commotion exploded in the arriving vehicle.

An agitated woman who appeared to be the girl’s mother started yelling from inside of the car. “Come on, Jade! Hurry up and get out of the car; we’ve got a plane to catch!”

Savannah watched in shock as the distraught girl scurried out of the backseat as fast as she could. In tow were a backpack, two suitcases, and a purse slowly winding itself around the poor girl’s arm. In an instant the auto sped off, leaving a trail of dust and the young teen in a heap. There were no hugs or even attempts at a good-bye, only a heartless door slam and the vehicle peeling off at a high rate of speed.

Staggering under the weight of her load, the devastated girl fell to the ground and began sobbing.

Savi was stunned by the dramatic scene happening in front of her.

What was THAT all about?  Was that her mom? Savannah thought to herself.

Pretty rough no matter who it was!

She felt sorry for the distraught new arrival crying on the ground.

How embarrassed I’d feel if that was me, especially with everybody watching.” She thought.

“I should go and help her.”

She hurried over to the drop off area, bent down on one knee, and did her best to comfort the frazzled stranger.

“Can I help you with some of this stuff? It looks like a lot for one person to carry.”

Startled, the girl at first tried to shake off the unwelcome intruder. “Leave me alone—I don’t need any help,” she said in a harsh tone. “Who are you, anyway?”

“My name’s Savannah, but my friends call me Savi. I…I just thought you could use some help.”

Savi waited patiently for the girl to collect herself. Slowly she lifted her tear-stained face to see who had spoken to her so kindly. The sight of her face made Savannah inhale sharply.

“What? I look stupid, right? I already know that.” The girl said even more perturbed.

“No, not at all. I wasn’t thinking anything like that.

It’s just…you’re really pretty.”

In her sixteen years of living in Oxford, Mississippi she never saw a girl as beautiful as this one. Despite the tear tracks on her face and a pair of puffy eyes, she looked like a real life sized china doll. Her milky white complexion contrasted by her long shiny black hair was stunning. When you added in her soft delicate features, she was flawless. As close to perfect as a girl her age could look.

The girl finally realized that Savi was only trying to be friendly and helpful.

“Thanks for saying that, Savi, but I don’t feel very pretty right now…My name’s Jade Chang—Sorry I snapped at you—Do you mind if I call you Savi?”

“Not at all, I’d like that,” Savi replied with a smile.

“I feel like such a fool. I can’t believe my mother did that to me,” she said shaking her head.

“Well…you’re not going to have to deal with her for a while. Come on. Let’s go see what cabin you’re in… Maybe we’re in the same one.”

Jade stood up and with Savi’s help gathered up her belongings and headed for the camp office. As they walked, Savi looked down at Jade’s Coach purse,  Tumi suitcases, and North Face backpack. All this great stuff… but she still seems so unhappy.

During their walk to the office, Savi looked over at Jade and could see she was deep in thought and that her heart was heavy. So while carrying her suitcase with her right hand, she lifted her left and patted her gently on the back. Jade was touched by the kind gesture so she glanced over at Savi and gave her a friendly smile. Savi grinned back and felt hopeful that she might have already found a new friend at camp.

“Savi, I noticed you’re limping. Did you hurt your ankle?”

“Actually, I hurt it a few years ago,” she replied.  “Oh I didn’t mean to…”

“That’s okay, it’s no big deal.”

“No, really,” Jade said apologetically, “I’m sorry for being so nosey.”

“No worries,” Savi replied. “It’s not as if you asked me how much I weigh or something,” as she rolled her eyes and gave Jade a friendly nudge with her elbow.

Both girls laughed and continued walking toward the camp office. On the way, Savi said to Jade, “How ‘bout I tell you the story about my ankle later?” Then the two of them agreed to put off the subject for another time.

When they arrived at the office, they looked for the cabin assignments posted outside the door. Savi could tell Jade was already feeling a bit more comfortable and starting to relax.

“Jade over here…Those are the boys’ cabins…Here’s the girls’. I’m sure they’d be thrilled to see you, though,” Savi joked.

Embarrassed, Jade threw her head back and then made her way over to where Savi was standing in front of the girls’ cabin assignment board.

“You said, ‘Chang,’ right?” Savi asked, running her finger down the list of names.

“That’s right,” Jade replied.

“Here you are…Oh that stinks! We’re in different cabins,” Savi noted.“Want to go inside and see if they’ll move us to the same one?”

Jade looked over at her and paused a moment… “Umm, okay. That sounds great.”

The girls did their best to convince the camp director that they should be in the same cabin. Unfortunately, he wouldn’t budge. But he told them he’d keep in mind their desire to be together when planning future events. When they left the office, the girls decided to drop off Jade’s stuff at her cabin and grab a cool drink. After leaving the snack shack, they found a shady spot on a carved log bench.

“I promised I’d tell you about my ankle. I guess this is as good a time as any.”

“You know you don’t have to,” Jade replied.

“I know, but I want you to know how I got my limp.”

“I have to admit…I am a bit curious.”

“Well, when I was eight years old, the U.S. National Gymnastics Team came to Oxford, Mississippi to put on an exhibition at Ole Miss.”

“Ole Miss?” questioned Jade.

“Oh sorry, that’s short for University of Mississippi. Anyway, my dad took me to see the competition and that event changed my life.”

Jade shrugged. “How?”

“Watching the different routines was so cool. I instantly fell in love with gymnastics, particularly the balance beam. The girls were so graceful but strong at the same time. I dreamed of becoming one of them. For the next three years I trained on the beam and competed in a bunch of events. My goal was to make the U.S. National Team.”

Suddenly, Savi stopped. “I’m not boring you, am I?”

“No, not at all! I’m really interested. Keep going.”

“In just three years, I was ranked fourth in the nation in my age category. Everybody was so proud of me. But only the top three girls went to nationals. The final cuts were a few years ago in Nashville. I was tied for second place with this girl named Julie, with only one routine to go—I was freaking out! I knew my only hope of beating her and advancing was to do a flawless routine and stick my landing. Everything was going great until my final element, an aerial summersault. It was always my most challenging move. I was hoping I could pull it off. The summersault was perfect but as I landed on the beam…” Savi paused and looked down at her ankle. “My left foot hit the beam wrong and my ankle snapped like a dry branch.”

“Oh my gosh, that’s awful! I’m so sorry.”

“Yeah, me too. Because that ended my career in gymnastics and my dream of going to the Olympics.”

“They couldn’t fix it?” Jade asked.

“They tried, but it never healed quite right, so I’ve learned to live with it. I get around just fine, though.”

“I can see that—Wow! That’s quite a story. Thanks for telling it to me.”

“Well, now you know a little about me, but I know absolutely nothing about you. Next time we meet, it’s your turn.”

“That’s a deal.”

They both finished their drinks and stood up.

“I can’t believe how tall you are! You must be at least 5’7″.”

“Actually, I’m 5’8″,” Jade said proudly.

“I knew you were up there. I’ve always been on the short side. Only 5’2″. But you know what they say, ‘good things come in small packages.’” Jade smiled and nodded in agreement. Then they said good-bye, and headed toward their separate cabins.

Savi called over her shoulder, “I’ll look for you later!”

“Okay, later!” Jade yelled back.

Savi was on the way back to her cabin when she came upon three boys leaning against a big tree, joking around with each other. She caught one of the boy’s eyes and he watched her as she walked by toward the cabins. He immediately noticed her limp and nudged his friends. “Look at that one. I didn’t know this camp was open to special needs kids!” he said in a raised voice, most likely for her to hear. Again, the same boy blurted out, “I hope they don’t match me up on some activity with ‘lame girl.’”

Savi overheard the insult but pretended she didn’t. She also heard one of the boys standing with him say, “Nice one, Conner!”

By the time Savi reached her cabin, she was red-faced and fuming. Alone, sitting on her bed, she stared out the window at Conner. She watched as he and his friends amused themselves at the expense of others walking by.

Here we go again, she thought to herself. I thought I left those bullies back at school! Then, she rose to her feet and stepped outside of the cabin. With an animated face and a loud voice she yelled in the bully’s direction, “Hey, Conner! Your mom’s on the phone and says you forgot to pack your blankie and Batman underwear!”

Instantly, a roar of laughter erupted from those within earshot of her clever retort. This time it was Conner’s turn to feel the sting of humiliation. He slinked away to his cabin not to be seen again until the dinner bell.

Savi stood in front of her cabin triumphant, though she did feel somewhat ashamed for finding the taste of revenge so sweet. Suddenly, a familiar voice shouted from across the campground, “Savi, come look! We’re paired up together for tomorrow’s rafting trip! We’re in the same raft!”

She leaped for joy and joined Jade at the message board for an energetic high five.

“And guess what? There are boys in our raft. Two of them!” Jade proclaimed excitedly. “One’s named Rico Cruz and the other is some guy named Conner Swift.”

“What?” Savi yelled. “Conner…I just met that jerk! I’m not getting in a raft with him. No way!” Savi vowed.

“Oh, yes you are, little lady!”  Savi heard Camp Director Anderson say forcefully behind her. “All raft assignments are final. What’s done is done. There will be NO changes!” the director reiterated as he walked away.

Savi stood staring blankly at the message board.

What  could  be  worse  than  being  in  a  raft  with  Conner Swift! It wouldn’t be long before she’d find out.

 

View the trailer at

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIafxxeApHoGary Rodriguez

Gary Rodriguez is president of LeaderMetrix Inc., a consulting company that specializes in senior-level executive coaching, organizational development and conflict resolution. He is the author of the new adventure novel Escape through the Wilderness scheduled for release in June 2014. 

His first book Purpose-Centered Public Speaking was an instant hit and recently republished by Tate Publishing. 

His extensive resume includes eighteen years as an executive in the radio business where he spent several years as one of the original managers of Infinity Broadcasting. He was twice nominated as medium market manager of the year by the Bobby Poe report, a national media publication. 

For over thirty-five years, Gary has spoken in public both nationally and internationally.  Gary’s resume includes a season in the U.S. Army where he was highly decorated as the youngest Drill Instructor in the Army’s history at age 18 years. He was also awarded the Silver Star (the nation’s third highest award for valor) while serving in Viet Nam. 

Visit the book’s website at http://ettw.tateauthor.com/ You can also find Gary at http://leadermetrix.com/ and http://www.leadermetrix.com/authorspeaker.  

 

Escape Through the Wilderness Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Monday, October 6

First chapter reveal at The Children’s and Teens’ Book Connection

Tuesday, October 7

Author interview at PUYB Virtual Book Club

Wednesday, October 8

Spotlight and giveaway at Inside BJ’s Head

Thursday, October 9

Guest post at Cheryl’s Christian Book Connection

Friday, October 10

Book spotlight at The Writer’s Life

Monday, October 13

Video trailer reveal at Putting Words Down on Paper

Tuesday, October 14

Book review at My Devotional Thoughts

Wednesday, October 15

Guest post at Lori’s Reading Corner

Thursday, October 16

Video trailer reveal at Stands of Thought

Friday, October 17

First chapter reveal at Rebecca’s Writing Services

First chapter reveal at FictionZeal

Monday, October 20

Book review at By the Book

Tuesday, October 21

Book review Writing and other ways into the heart

Wednesday, October 22

Author interview at Blogcritics

Thursday, October 23

Author interview at Beyond the Books

Friday, October 24

Book spotlight and giveaway at Mary’s Cup of Tea

Monday, October 27

Book spotlight and giveaway at Maureen’s Musings

Tuesday, October 28

Book review/spotlight and giveaway at Mom Loves 2 Read

Wednesday, October 29

Author interview at As the Pages Turn

Thursday, October 30

First chapter reveal at Blooming with Books

Friday, October 31

Book spotlight and giveaway at Blooming with Books

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20. MuseItUp Publishing Celebrates 4 Years with EBook Sale!

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Congratulations goes out to MuseItUp Publishing. They are currently celebrating their 4 year anniversary. During the month of October, select eBooks are 50 – 80% OFF! Here is a small sampling of the books on sale:

 

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Will Beggar Charlie and Hickory Dick be able to return to England after being lost in China? (80% OFF)

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Gemma Mayfield believes there is witchcraft going on at her middle school…can she unravel the truth about her teacher? (70% OFF)

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Friendship or love? To marry his love Princess Tuskja, Prince Darinel has to kill his best friend, Idunal, the dragon. (50% OFF)

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It’s going to take a meeting of minds to bring Nasty Nate down. (50% OFF)

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Sarah Kay follows Grandma’s ghostly clues to discover the truth. (70% OFF)

Visit MuseItUp Publishing for further details athttps://museituppublishing.com/ 


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21. …which leads to books!

Remember how I said cleaning leads to writing? Yep, I’ve been busy. And I’m still busy, because I’m not exactly done. But I thought you’d be interested in an update and some recent releases, along with the coming attractions …

First, you can get these now:

LOVE PROOF is now out in audio! I love the narration Maria Hunter Welles did for it. And I didn’t announce it at the time (see above, been busy), but there are also audio editions of THE GOOD LIE, DOGGIRL, and REPLAY. I know. It’s a lot. Take your pick and listen away!

Also, I have a new short story collection out. It’s called A FEW STRANGE MATTERS, and it is. A little odd. But sometimes my mind needs a break from longer works like novels, and when I let my mind wander, it wanders. The collection has some contemporary, some science fiction, a little fantasy, some paranormal, and a couple of strange stories from the teen world. You might have read a few of them here and there, but I guarantee there are some you’ve never seen. Possibly because I wrote them under a pen name that none of you knew about. So take a look–I’ll be interested in hearing what you all think!

Now, for the coming attractions:

YES, PARALLELOGRAM 4 WILL BE OUT THIS FALL. That’s all I can say, because I have made the mistake before of giving you a pub date which turns out not to be true. But I promise you will feel satisfied and fulfilled when you read this final book in the series. I’m still working very hard to pull all the pieces together. Thank you for your questions (“When? WHEN??”) and your patience. I hate waiting, too. I get it. It’ll be along very soon.

And to make you even happier about all the time I’ve been hiding out, I’ll also have ANOTHER NEW BOOK for you by December, I believe. It’s fantasy, it’s epic, and it involves a girl warrior. Yessssss …

That’s my report for now. I have to go back to writing. I owe you all some books.

Happy Fall! ~Robin

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22. Interview with Gary Rodriguez, Author of Escape Through The Wilderness

Gary RodriguezGary Rodriguez is president of LeaderMetrix Inc., a consulting company that specializes in senior-level executive coaching, organizational development and conflict resolution. He is the author of the new adventure novel Escape through the Wilderness scheduled for release in June 2014.  

His first book Purpose-Centered Public Speaking was an instant hit and recently republished by Tate Publishing.  

His extensive resume includes eighteen years as an executive in the radio business where he spent several years as one of the original managers of Infinity Broadcasting. He was twice nominated as medium market manager of the year by the Bobby Poe report, a national media publication.  

For over thirty-five years, Gary has spoken in public both nationally and internationally. Gary’s resume includes a season in the U.S. Army where he was highly decorated as the youngest Drill Instructor in the Army’s history at age 18 years. He was also awarded the Silver Star (the nation’s third highest award for valor) while serving in Viet Nam. 

Visit the book’s website at http://ettw.tateauthor.com/ You can also find Gary at http://leadermetrix.com/ and http://www.leadermetrix.com/authorspeaker.  

 

Can you tell us what your book is about?

Let me begin by telling you that the Idaho wilderness is the setting for the book. Here’s a brief overview of the story.

Sixteen-year-old Savannah Evans walks with a slight limp thanks to a gymnastics accident that dashed her Olympic dreams. But that doesn’t stop her from attending a summer adventure camp. At Camp Arrowhead, she quickly befriends Jade Chang and Rico Cruz, but Conner Swift acts like a bully and taunts her because of her injury.

The four are teamed together for an overnight white-water rafting adventure. What was supposed to be a fun expedition turns into a nightmare when there’s a serious incident and their adult guide disappears down the river.

Without their guide and desperately trying to steer an out-of-control raft, they pass the “Last Chance” marker and enter miles of furious rapids.

When the four drag themselves out of the river, they’re bruised, beaten, lost, and twenty-five miles from camp. Because of late-night campfire tales of Vexel, a vicious animal that roams the nearby woods, Savi and the others are terrified.

Savi becomes the unlikely leader who is forced by unexpected circumstances to try to guide the group back to Camp Arrowhead. Limited supplies, injuries, and the constant threat of Vexel—who everyone fears is stalking them, complicate the harrowing return trip.

Readers will enjoy dramatic survival scenes and the group working together, solving problems, and learning to overcome all sorts of obstacles and adversity.

Why did you write your book?

Escape Through The Wilderness is an analogy about life. Often, in today’s world, young people are faced with unexpected difficulties and forced to overcome fierce opposition. The book was written to show readers ways they can face and overcome difficulties with a measure of faith and a little help from their friends.

In our culture, we are quick to recognize and celebrate individual achievements. However, there are some obstacles in life that require the help of others to overcome.

The adventure chronicles four teens coming to terms with their own struggles in the midst of stiff opposition and complicated circumstances. Learning to overcome adversity is a part of everyday life. My goal is to highlight the value and benefits of strong faith and real friendships.

Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters?Escape Through the Wilderness cover

There are four main characters and one supporting character in the story. Savi Evans is a sixteen-year old from Oxford, Mississippi and the lead character. She’s an extraordinary person who positively impacts the lives of those around her. Rico Cruz is seventeen and lives in San Antonio, Texas. He’s the handsome tender-warrior type and a strong leader in his own right. Jade Chang is also seventeen and resides in San Francisco, California. She feels out of her comfort zone because this is her first time stepping into a wilderness setting. Conner Swift lives in Chicago, Illinois and is seventeen as well. He lives in the shadow of a successful father and has something to prove. They each have their own reasons for attending the camp. Lastly, there’s Luke. I can’t talk much about him without giving away the story. But readers will most certainly grow to love and appreciate him.

Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel or do you discover it as you write?

You are asking an interesting question. I’d have to answer it by saying, yes and yes. When I planned out the story, I started the process by beginning at the end. I asked myself what I wanted my readers to experience and learn from the book. However, I also held my plan loosely which allowed for spontaneous inspiration and ongoing creativity. I believe it’s important to have a plan but to allow room for the plot and characters to develop as they come to life.

Honestly, developing the ending was difficult for me. I got stuck for a while. So I decided to get on my knees and pray for inspiration. I believe my prayer was answered. I hope your readers agree with me once they’ve read the book.

Your book is set in northeastern Idaho. Can you tell us why you chose this setting in particular?

I chose a setting in the United States that was centrally located and yet very remote. The wilderness terrain needed to be challenging, and the river used in the whitewater rafting trip had to be dangerous. It also had to be an isolated locale without cell service to make communication with the outside world next to impossible.

Have you suffered from writer’s block and what do you do to get back on track?

Writer’s block has never been a problem for me. That’s not to say that I don’t have lulls in creativity or motivation. Of course, I do. But when that happens, I don’t consider it a “block” and I don’t try to power through it. Instead, I take it as a sign that I need a break from writing. Taking a short time away is sometimes a wise and healthy choice. I don’t panic if I lose my motivation or inspiration to write for a time. Runners don’t always run. Sometimes their body needs time to rest and recover. In the same way, putting too much pressure on yourself to always write can stifle both your creativity and your inspiration. There is nothing wrong with taking some time to chill out and focus on other activities. A short break will often revive you and rekindle your passion and desire to write once again.

After I give myself a break (it may be a couple days or even a couple weeks) I sit down again and read what I’ve written previously. That gets me right back into the flow of my work and often I find a new sense of inspiration to write. Some days I have to work a little harder at writing than other days. But I think that’s a part of the normal ebb and flow of a writer’s life. Sometimes runners feel like they can run forever. But on other days they feel like it is more of an effort. The same is true of writing.

What do you like the most about being an author?

One of the most gratifying things about writing is creating a story that others find exciting and inspirational. When I finished writing Escape Through The Wilderness and reread the manuscript, I was amazed that the story came out of me. I believe I was given this inspiring story as a gift. If I had chosen not to write and share it, the story would have died inside me and never been told. But I thank God that didn’t happen. In fact, the opposite is true. The gift he gave to me is now my gift to the world. I hope the story entertains and encourages all who read it.

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23. Get Happy, by Mary Amato | Book Giveaway

Enter to win a hardcover copy of Get Happy, by Mary Amato. Giveaway begins November 16, 2014, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends December 15, 2014, at 11:59 P.M. PST.

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24. Adelita’s Secret by Christopher Cloud

AdelitasSecret_Ecover-187x300Title: Adelita’s Secret

Author: Christopher Cloud

Publisher: Create Space Independent Publishing Platform

Genre: young adult fantasy romance

Format: paperback copy, kindle 

Lost in a superficial world of materialism and social status—and ashamed of her Latino heritage—seventeen-year-old Adelita Noé is loved by two men, two men separated by a hundred years and vastly different stations in life. One man owns little more than the shirt on his back. The other, a poet at heart, is heir to a vast fortune. Their love for Adelita serves as the backdrop for the Latino girl’s quest to better understand herself and her Mexican roots.

For More Information:

Title is available at Amazon kindle,  or paperback

Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble

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Award-winning author Christopher Cloud began writing fiction full time at the age of 66 after a long career in journalism and public relations. He writes middle-grade and young adult novels. Chris graduated from the University of Missouri in 1967 with a degree in journalism. He has worked as a reporter, editor, and columnist at newspapers in Texas, California, and Missouri. He was employed by a major oil company as a public relations executive, and later operated his own public relations agency. Chris lives in Joplin, Missouri, and enjoys golf and hiking. 

Visit Christopher Cloud’s website

Visit Cloud’s blog

More books by Christopher Cloud


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25. YALLFest 2014 | Event Recap

The heart of Young Adult Fiction descended into picturesque Charleston, SC on November 7, 2014 as 60 Young Adult authors, including 37 New York Times bestsellers, joined together for the 4th Annual Charleston Young Adult Book Festival (“YALLFest”).

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