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1. TEN New Release Giveaways PLUS Author Interviews for this week of 10/5

Hello adventurers! We have a whopping TEN books to give away this week, including signed hardcovers, paperbacks, and even an ebook. And if that isn't enough to get you excited this week... how about the full blurbs and covers of the other fourteen books emerging into the world over the next seven days?

Happy reading,
Lindsey, Martina, Sam, Jocelyn, Erin, Lisa, Shelly, Susan, Elizabeth, Kristin, Jen, Sandra and Anisaa

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2. Monday Mishmash 10/5/15

Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. Our Little Secret Feature and Review Opportunity  Limitless Books is organizing a feature and review opportunity for bloggers. We're looking for people to feature the book and possibly review it on November 6th. If that's you, sign up here.
  2. Editing  I'm editing for Seek this week. I have two books on my plate and both are amazing.
  3. Revising  I have an emotional hangover from revising an Ashelyn Drake new adult title last week. Seriously all the feels! This week, I'll be revising another Ashelyn title, and it's adult. I'm still getting used to the fact that I wrote for adults.
  4. Reminder to All Readers  I want to remind everyone to please, please, pretty please review the books you read. I'm so grateful for every review that pops up on Amazon. Yes, even the not-so-stellar ones. Why? Because reviews get Amazon's attention and then Amazon makes the book more visible to readers. So please, if you love books, help the book community by posting a review.
  5. The Case of the Washed-Up Warlock  I'm so excited to announce that the first book I edited for Leap will releases today! It's a great middle grade book by Patrice Lyle and it's absolutely gorgeous too. up tomorrow. Order it here.

    That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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3. Monday Mishmash 9/21/15

Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. Revisions  This weekend I finished revisions on one of my YA titles. It was fun to revisit a book I haven't looked at in a while.
  2. Editing  I have client edits to work on this week. No surprise there. ;)
  3. School Pictures  I'm helping out with school pictures tomorrow. It's always fun to see the kids all dressed up.
  4. Leap Submissions  I'm hoping to get through some Leap submissions this week. With upcoming releases, they've been getting pushed to the back burner.
  5. Our Little Secret Blog Tour  This week is the blog tour through Inkslinger PR. So far, my little book is holding its own out there. I'm hoping the tour will help spread the word even more.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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4. Friday Feature: Our Little Secret

“Is there a difference between a secret and a lie?”

Now you can find out!

Our Little Secret released on Tuesday and is now available in both print and ebook!

“Is there a difference between a secret and a lie?”

Becca Daniels needs a passing math grade…but what she wants is to spend more time with Toby Michaels. 

The only problem is Toby is her best friend’s twin, and Tori has a very firm “no dating the brother” policy. 

But Becca’s grade has hit rock bottom and she needs a tutor. It just so happens that Toby is a math genius and more than happy to help—lucky her! Working so closely with the handsome, popular Toby, Becca can’t hide her attraction, and it soon becomes obvious he feels the same way. 

Becca doesn’t want to lose her best friend, but she isn’t willing to give up Toby either. 

At first, sneaking around is fun, stealing kisses right under Tori’s nose. But things take an ugly turn when Toby’s ex-girlfriend Meredith catches them together. Meredith demands Toby take her back and restore her reputation, or she’ll tell Tori their secret. Do they dare tell Tori the truth? Or would that just make things worse? 

Surrounded by secrets and knee-deep in deception, something has to give… 

How far is Meredith willing to go to keep Toby and Becca apart? 

And how much is Becca willing to risk to keep… 

Our Little Secret?

Add the book on Goodreads and order it on Amazon or B&N.

And to celebrate, I'm giving away an Our Little Secret SWAG pack, complete with pencils, stickers, an Our Little Secret folder, and trading cards. Enter on the rafflecopter below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Want your YA, NA, or MG book featured on my blog? Contact me here and we'll set it up.

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5. THREE New Release Giveaways, plus author interviews and what's new this week of 9/14

There's a wonderful set of new releases this week, and we have three books to giveaway! Two of these are new releases - Katherine Howe's The Appearance of Annie van Sinderen and Dawn Kirtagich's The Dead House, as well as one slightly older release, Alexandra Sirowy's The Creeping.

Happy reading,
Lindsey, Martina, Sam, Jocelyn, Erin, Lisa, Shelly, Susan, Elizabeth, Kristin, Jen, Sandra and Anisaa

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0 Comments on THREE New Release Giveaways, plus author interviews and what's new this week of 9/14 as of 9/14/2015 7:15:00 AM
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6. Monday Mishmash 9/14/15

Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. Our Little Secret Releases Tomorrow!!!  I can't believe tomorrow is release day. I'm SO excited. I love this book so much, and it's so incredibly beautiful in person. You can order it on Amazon or B&N.
  2. Scholastic Book Fair  I'll be helping out with the Scholastic Book Fair today through Thursday at my daughter's school. I always have fun doing these because…well, books!
  3. Drafting  As of last Friday, I'm officially drafting again. Woo hoo! Let me say that again. Woo hoo! I couldn't be happier after having to take a few months off due to my packed editing schedule. Writing feels so good!
  4. Back-to-School Night  My daughter's open house is Thursday night. I'm looking forward to meeting her teacher and learning more about third grade, which has already been killer as far as testing goes. Crazy!
  5. Our Little Secret Swag Giveaway  Stay tuned this Friday for a SWAG giveaway for Our Little Secret. The giveaway will also appear on my Ashelyn Drake blog tomorrow for release day.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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7. Friday Feature: Love Defined

In their final summer before graduating college, three childhood friends expect an uncomplicated transition to adulthood…but learn they all still have some growing up to do. Alex Makapulo is facing a crisis of faith. Raised a Catholic, Alex is considering becoming a member of her best friend Jack Page’s church—against her family’s wishes—but she can’t quite take the final step of baptism. Jack loves Alex and doesn’t understand her hesitation, and Alex wonders if Jack’s love is a blessing or a distraction to test her religious conviction. Lori Hanson embarks on the trip of a lifetime. For her twenty-second birthday, Lori’s grandfather presents her with a summer vacation in England. While preparing for her adventure, she meets British musician Colin Watson online and quickly falls for him. They plan to hook up when she lands in London, but her grandfather forbids it. Due to complicated family dynamics, Lori must regretfully comply with his wishes, though she vows never to forgive him. Andy Taylor is looking for love in all the wrong places. When Andy runs into an old crush, she decides she wants a more meaningful relationship with sexy Miles Webber. But when she confides in Alex, her friend warns her Miles only wants her for sex. Andy becomes angry and devises a reckless plan to distract Alex’s attention from her relationship. Things don’t go quite as she expected, though, and Andy is left facing a crushing moral dilemma. As the summer unfolds, three young women learn love and faith go hand in hand, not everything is black and white, and sometimes in a fast-paced world you have to slow down, breathe a little, and find your own definition of love.

Andy: Excerpt # 1
Alex walked in carrying groceries. “Still haven’t gotten through?” She stopped in front of her and arched an eyebrow when she saw a glass on the coffee table. It was a martini glass with an olive swimming in clear liquid. “Is that what I think it is?”
Andy stifled a groan. Alex with her rules of no-alcohol in the house was backed by the equally uptight owner, Lori. She figured that with Lori gone and Alex spending more time with Jack that she could get away with breaking a few rules.
“What do you think it is?” She asked sweetly. She lifted the glass and sipped, batting her eyelash at her.
“Alcohol,” Came the curt reply.
She lifted a shoulder before downing the rest of the drink. The warm liquid hitting her empty stomach. “It’s a martini. Want one?”
“No thanks, dear,” Alex replied with the same false saccharine tone, “I typically try not to get wasted before breakfast.” She finally ventured into the kitchen to put up her groceries. Andy followed and watched her careful put everything away.
“Alex,” she wailed, looking at the packaged sugars and processed carbs in front of her. “I told you I’m on a diet.” Her stomach lurched at the peanut butter and the jelly Alex was now putting up.
Alex frowned. “So? I’m not on your no carb, no sugar, alcohol only diet, thank you very much!” She put some goldfish crackers, Milano cookies and popcorn in the pantry. “The alcohol isn’t really helping you. It has calories, you know.”
“Beer has calories, but liquor doesn’t. What did you think of Miles?” She asked, trying to take her mind off of the foods she couldn’t have and equally cursing Alex for her genetics.
“Have you ever seen a skinny alcoholic? I took a nutrition class and one gram of alcohol equals seven calories. The fact that you’re not sleeping also damages your metabolism, thus causing weight gain,” she paused and regarded Andy. “I already told you what I thought of Miles. He’s a pothead and there’s something about him I don’t like.”
Andy stood in tiptoes to open a cabinet on top of the refrigerator. She reached and pulled her vodka bottle down, immediately scrutinizing the bottle. She frowned at the nutrition label and smiled sheepishly, “I don’t know how many grams are in a drink.”
She caught a package of red and white out of the corner of her eye. “Hey, you said you’d stop drinking coke!”
Alex opened the fridge door, causing Andy to take a step back. She put the 12 pack into the fridge and closed it. She took the vodka bottle from Andy and tried to read the label.            
“And he’s not a pothead,” Andy paused, “anymore. He just drinks occasionally.”
Alex widened her eyes at her and gave her back her bottle. “You know when I say these comments to you, sometimes they’re a joke. I don’t expect them to be real at all.”
She turned and finished putting up the rest of her groceries. “Are you sure you’re alright hanging out with these alcoholics who used to be druggies?”
“They are not alcoholics!” She pointed out. Andy hated these conversations. Anything she told them about, the self-righteous Alex would bombard her with insults and lecture her about hanging out with the ‘wrong crowd.’ You would think she still lived with her parents with all these rules she was supposedly breaking. She tuned out Alex who had turned back around to face her, opening and closing her mouth like a fish.
“Are you listening to me?” Alex demanded, shaking her briefly out of her thoughts. She just nodded, but didn’t reply. She was tired of explaining herself. Isn’t it a normal rite of passage for young twenty-something college girls to lose their good girl persona and just have fun, be wild and free? She blinked when Alex suddenly swung around and marched down to her room.
She turned when she reached her door. “I don’t like talking to someone who is clearly not paying attention to me!”
Andy rolled her eyes, “I’m sorry, but I’ve heard it all before, Alex. You give me the same speech practically every weekend.” And each one with more gusto than the last. “I just asked what you thought of Miles.”
“And I answered. You already know how I feel about him. You’ve been asking me for days now. No, I don’t think he’s right for you or that he’s changed. He’s still using you just like last time.”
“No, this time, it’s different.” The words sounded hollow, and she knew it. She needed to sit down and have another drink. She turned around and sat on the couch, opening the vodka bottle and pouring some into her martini glass.
“Have you two been on a date, yet?” Alex sat beside her, wrinkling her face as she watched Andy drink the contents. “And I don’t mean meeting at the bar, or his house or going to a party type of date. I mean having dinner and movie type of date.”
She shifted trying to look causal, but the hesitation already answered Alex’s question. “Well, that type of dating is out dated, anyway.” She flipped her blonde locks behind her back. “I’m already in a relationship with him and we don’t need to go on a date because we’re already dating.” I think.
Alex narrowed her eyes at her. “Do you know how delusional you sound right now?”
“We can’t all pray and have the perfect guy right there waiting for us the entire time. Most of us have to go find them on our own!” Andy managed to spat out.
“Well maybe that’s something you need, Andy.” Her voice softened. “Why don’t you pray about the perfect guy? You are worth it and this guy isn’t worthy of you.”

Alex: Excerpt # 2
“Do you think no matter what we do, we are still forgiven?” Somewhere between Francesca Battistelli's He Knows My Name and Casting Crown's I Will Praise You In The Storm, Andy finally spoke.  “I mean.” Andy stopped.
The last song had reached its thunderous ascent and rolled towards the finish. Alex had barely heard her and for a second, thought that perhaps she had imagined it. Almond shaped brown eyes locked briefly in the mirror with a pair of big blue eyes and Alex waited, expecting Andy to go on.   
She didn’t. Instead, Andy broke eye contact and turned her head to face the window.
“Yes.” She finally replied. Andy jerked up, and the two caught each other’s gaze again before Alex had to look back at the road again, frowning. “We can be forgiven as long as we ask for forgiveness, and repent and promise not to do it again.”
Another song began and once again replaced the gap of silence. Alex turned her head this time to see Andy’s eyes closed, headphones on, effectively dismissing her. She sighed out loud and set her sights on the horizon.
Lord, I pray this won’t be the last time she asks about forgiveness.
Skyscrapers of oil and energy giants glistened as they neared downtown Houston. After some guidance with the GPS, her car pulled up into the tightly spaced parking lot of the Women’s Clinic. The brick building was among other non-descript buildings that they could have easily passed by. A lot better than a little backroom, Alex surmised.
“How did you find this place?” Lori asked reluctantly. Alex got out of the Volkswagen and immediately wanted to retreat back inside. The thought of what took place inside started to make her stomach churn. Despite the blaring sun and Texas humidity, she shuddered.
“The internet.” Andy mumbled the answer as she was getting out of the car.
The three of them stood in the parking lot, in a small circle, looking at their surroundings, the traffic behind them, and nervously at each other.
Alex fixed her eyes on Andy. She wanted to say that ‘You have to forgive yourself and then ask for forgiveness.’But her lips couldn’t form the words. She had three hours on the drive to craft the perfect words to get through to Andy and yet, here they all were, under the Texas heat, in the middle of a parking lot, shivering with nerves and barely registering each other.
After a brief period of silence, Alex cleared her throat. “Andy, you can still change your mind.”
“I know.” Came the softest reply.
Alex’s jaw tightened, and she looked at her feet to hide her feelings once more. Again, her brain tried to tell her lips to formulate the words it wanted and she looked up to open her mouth again and frowned when no words would come. Again.  
This time, Alex searched her friend’s beautiful face and prayed that somewhere in those blue eyes, she could find the one thing for her to go ‘Aha! You’re just as scared as I am. You’re just as doubtful about this thing. Let’s get out of here.’ Her heart sank when instead of those things she hoped to find in her friend’s eyes, she found a quiet and settled determination.
She swallowed the defeat, shoulders hunched down and felt there was only one more thing left to say. “You are loved, Andrea Grace Taylor, remember that. Find your courage.”                       
Andy just nodded with the faintest smile on her lips
“Okay, you guys.” Alex said trying to keep her voice light and tried to respond to Andy’s smile. It wasn’t working. “I’ll be at the Barnes & Noble we saw on the way here. Call me when you’re done.” She was heading for the car, when she turned around and added, “Call me if you change your mind.”
A few minutes later, she maneuvered in and out of traffic, half concentrating on finding the bookstore. The other remained back at the parking lot of the clinic. A bright green Scion cut in front of her with a slew of bumper stickers. Coexist and Got Jesus, but Alex fixed on the yellow sign with black letters that read “Headed in the wrong direction? God allows for U-Turns.” Andy. Dear God, am I doing the right thing?

Lori: Excerpt # 3
Half an hour later, Pete and Lori moved into a bigger room with a tiny balcony on the sixth floor. This time the décor wasn’t as grotesque as downstairs. Its deep crimson carpet accented the beige with crimson stripped bedspread and pillows.
“It matches,” she groaned happily hugging the pillows to her chest before walking over with her luggage to a small closet to unpack. She took out a chrome folding luggage rack and lifted her suitcase on top of it, to have better access to her clothes and keep her clothes off the carpet. She was a bit of a germaphobe and had a thing about setting suitcases on hotel floors. Images of roaches, bed bugs or whatever else might crawl into the dark crevice of her luggage that would become new roommates when she got home made her shiver. She pulled two different pairs of flip-flops; one to walk around the hotel room in and the other to shower with.
“Where’s the adapter?” Pete asked, rummaging through his luggage. She shrugged and took out her phone and camera from her backpack that was on the bed. From her suitcase, she took out bath supplies and a change of clothes.
“When are we meeting your friend?” She looked up and saw him regarding her, curiously.
“I told him to meet us in an hour and a half.” She tried to find the accessories for her wardrobe that were key pieces in her first impression outfit date. She and Alex tried all sorts of outfits, but that seemed so long ago and she couldn’t remember what went with what. She ended up choosing a pale blue floral print romper and paired it chunky cobalt necklace with matching studs that brought out the color in her eyes. She laid the accessories next to her phone and camera.
“I forgot, where did you say you two met again?” He stopped looking for his adapter and settled in a small chair by the window.
For a moment, Lori thought about telling him the truth and confessing that she met Colin online, but the chances of him agreeing to meet the guy was slim to none. “He was an exchange student I met in high school.” She figured that was a borderline truth as she met a lot of exchange students in high school. It stands to reason that someone there could have been named Colin or be British. I mean, who really keeps track of these things? She thought, rifling to the bottom of the suitcase to find flats.
“What does he do?”
“Grandpa, I told you all about him a few months ago.” She was starting to get annoyed and a little worried that her story might have gotten mixed up since then. “You’ll meet him later and you can ask him yourself.” And before he could start again, she grabbed her clothes and went to the bathroom.
Fully refreshed minutes later, Lori started to feel confident about her trip. She looked around the room for an outlet to plug her curling iron in. “Grandpa, do we have any extra outlets or what?”
He was by the vanity sink brushing his teeth and washing his face. “No, just unplug my video camera. It’s over there by the desk.” He started humming a song she didn’t recognize. She went to a small desk that was flushed against the wall.
There was a mirror that was hanging over the desk that she was thankful for. She sat down on the leather desk chair and looked at the outlets just below and to the right of the mirror. A tall lamp by the desk illuminated the two used outlets. One was being occupied by the lamp, and the other, by Pete’s video camera. The video camera had been charging for a few minutes and she noticed that the battery level was at its peak. She quickly unplugged the camera and replaced it with her curling iron. The second she turned it on, she was astonished by the spark that instantly came alive in her hands. Without warning, the room went dark and the hum of the air conditioner stopped altogether.
“Christ!” she heard Pete cry in the dark. “What happened?”
Lori still had her curling iron in her hand and it dawned on her that she might have blown a fuse. She stood up slowly and everything about the past two days washed over. Without any care or thought about what it might look like, a twenty two year old woman, curling iron in one hand; Lori Hanson, who rarely cried, wept for the second time in just a thirty six hour period.
“I think I blew a fuse,” she cried between sobs. She was becoming increasingly aware of the noises outside their door. That must be the other guests wondering what happened. “This is a sign!”
Pete groped his way in the darkness and patted her shoulder. “Now, now, Lori, honey. You don’t believe in signs, remember?”
If that was an attempt to make her feel better, then he didn’t know his own granddaughter very well. She wiped her tears and tried to coherently ask, “What are you going to tell them downstairs?”
Pete thought a minute. “Well, the truth, I guess. They have lousy outlets and a cheap wiring system. I don’t know, but just calm down.” He made his way to the door and opened it. She was treated to a chorus of several foreign languages mixed with English that belonged to at least twenty people down their hall. They didn’t sound very friendly at all and Lori could only hope that Pete would tell them lies so they wouldn’t be the most hated people in London.
Lori wiped her tears. If she thought this afternoon was a sign, then she didn’t think about what her grandfather would really think about seeing London with a stranger. She tried not to think about it. You don’t believe in signs, she told herself, this is just a weird coincidence. She breathed deeply and reached over to unplug her curling iron. More sparks came her way; causing her to groan and sit back on the chair with a thud.

Twitter: @LeilaTualla

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8. FIVE New Release Giveaways, plus author interviews and what's new this week of 9/7

There are a bunch of great YA novels releasing this week, including the latest offering from our very own Lisa Gail Green: Soul Corrupted! There are also five giveaways happening, perfect to get you over that back-to-school hump. Have a great Labor Day!

Happy reading,
Lindsey, Martina, Sam, Jocelyn, Erin, Lisa, Shelly, Susan, Elizabeth, Kristin, Jen, Sandra and Anisaa

Read more »

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9. Friday Feature: Next Door to a Star by Krysten Lindsay Hager

NEXT DOOR TO A STAR by Krysten Lindsay Hager
Genre: Young Adult


Hadley Daniels is tired of feeling invisible.

After Hadley’s best friend moves away and she gets on the bad side of some girls at school, she goes to spend the summer with her grandparents in the Lake Michigan resort town of Grand Haven. Her next door neighbor is none other than teen TV star Simone Hendrickson, who is everything Hadley longs to be—pretty, popular, and famous—and she’s thrilled when Simone treats her like a friend.

Being popular is a lot harder than it looks.

It’s fun and flattering when Simone includes her in her circle, though Hadley is puzzled about why her new friend refuses to discuss her former Hollywood life. Caught up with Simone, Hadley finds herself ignoring her quiet, steadfast friend, Charlotte.

To make things even more complicated, along comes Nick Jenkins…

He’s sweet, good-looking, and Hadley can be herself around him without all the fake drama. However, the mean girls have other ideas and they fill Nick’s head with lies about Hadley, sending him running back to his ex-girlfriend and leaving Hadley heartbroken.

So when her parents decide to relocate to Grand Haven, Hadley hopes things will change when school starts…only to be disappointed once again.
Cliques. Back-stabbing. Love gone bad.

Is this really what it’s like to live…Next Door To A Star?

The school year should end right after spring break, because all anyone can focus on is summer vacation. You can’t learn anything new, because all you can think about is all the fun stuff you’re going to do once you don’t have to get up at the butt crack of dawn. Summer always seems full of possibilities.

Nothing exciting ever happens during the school year, but maybe, during summer vacation, you could run into a hot celebrity and he’d decide to put you in his next music video. Okay, it wasn’t like I knew anybody that happened to, but my grandparents did live next door to a former TV star, Simone Hendrickson, and Simone was discovered in an ice cream parlor one summer. Of course, she lived in L.A. at the time and was already doing plays and commercials, so the guy who discovered her had already seen her perform. But hey, it was summer, she got discovered, and that was all that mattered.

Amazing stuff didn’t happen to me. You know what happened to me last summer? I stepped on a bee and had to go to the emergency room. They’re not going to make an E! True Hollywood Story out of my life. I didn’t go on exotic vacations—like today, I was being dragged along with my parents to my cousin’s graduation party. Most people waited until at least the end of May before having a grad party, but Charisma was having hers early because she was leaving on a trip to Spain. I was dreading this party because I didn’t want to listen to everybody talk about how smart and talented Charisma was—making me feel like a blob in comparison—but my mom RSVP’d even though I said I’d rather die than go. My death threats meant nothing. But still, for some strange reason, I had a feeling this summer was going to be different.

Krysten Lindsay Hager is an obsessive reader and has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and humor essayist, and writes for teens, tweens, and adults. She is the author of the Landry’s True Colors Series and her work has been featured in USA Today and named as Amazon’s #1 Hot New Releases in Teen & Young Adult Values and Virtues Fiction and Amazon’s #1 Hot New Releases in Children’s Books on Values. She’s originally from Michigan and has lived in South Dakota, Portugal, and southwestern Ohio. She received her master’s degree from the University of Michigan-Flint.

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10. SIX New Release Giveaways, plus author interviews and what's new this week of 8/31

There are a whopping twenty-two new YA books releasing this week, and we have giveaways for six of them! Take a read over the week's offerings, and let us know what you're looking forward to reading in the comments!

Happy reading,
Lindsey, Martina, Sam, Jocelyn, Erin, Lisa, Shelly, Susan, Elizabeth, Kristin, Jen, Sandra and Anisaa


Paper Hearts
by Meg Wiviott
Signed Hardcover Giveaway

Margaret K. McElderry Books
Released 9/1/2015

Amid the brutality of Auschwitz during the Holocaust, a forbidden gift helps two teenage girls find hope, friendship, and the will to live in this novel in verse that’s based on a true story.

An act of defiance.
A statement of hope.
A crime punishable by death.

Making a birthday card in Auschwitz was all of those things. But that is what Zlatka did, in 1944, for her best friend, Fania. She stole and bartered for paper and scissors, secretly creating an origami heart. Then she passed it to every girl at the work tables to sign with their hopes and wishes for happiness, for love, and most of all—for freedom.

Fania knew what that heart meant, for herself and all the other girls. And she kept it hidden, through the bitter days in the camp and through the death marches. She kept it always.

This novel is based on the true story of Fania and Zlatka, the story of the bond that helped them both to hope for the best in the face of the worst.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Paper Hearts?

My most favorite thing about PAPER HEARTS is that it is true.

Purchase Paper Hearts at Amazon
Purchase Paper Hearts at IndieBound
View Paper Hearts on Goodreads

* * * *

The Body Institute
by Carol Riggs
Signed Paperback Giveaway
U.S. Only

Entangled: Teen
Released 9/1/2015

Meet Morgan Dey, one of the top teen Reducers at The Body Institute.

Thanks to cutting-edge technology, Morgan can temporarily take over another girl's body, get her in shape, and then return to her own body--leaving her client slimmer, more toned, and feeling great. Only there are a few catches...

For one, Morgan won't remember what happens in her "Loaner" body. Once she's done, she won't recall walks with her new friend Matt, conversations with the super-cute Reducer she's been text-flirting with, or the uneasy feeling she has that the director of The Body Institute is hiding something. Still, it's all worth it in the name of science. Until the glitches start...

Suddenly, residual memories from her Loaner are cropping up in Morgan's mind. She's feeling less like herself and more like someone else. And when protests from an anti-Body Institute organization threaten her safety, she'll have to decide if being a Reducer is worth the cost of her body and soul...

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about The Body Institute?

I’m extremely fascinated by thoughts of “What would it be like, being someone else?” I mean LITERALLY, walking in their shoes. Would I act more like them if I lived their lives, saw the things they did, and experienced their struggles? Often we make assumptions about other people, and it’s intriguing to wonder if those assumptions would change, given the opportunity to become another person and live inside his or her skin. My main character, Morgan Dey, has exactly that opportunity. Her “brainmap” is downloaded into another teen in order to help that girl lose weight. What she discovers is the story of THE BODY INSTITUTE.

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* * * *

by Jackie Lea Sommers
Signed Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

Katherine Tegen Books
Released 9/1/2015

Silas Hart has seriously shaken up Westlin Beck's small-town life. Brand new to town, Silas is different than the guys in Green Lake. He's curious, poetic, philosophical, maddening--and really, really cute. But Silas has a sister--and she has a secret. And West has a boyfriend. And life in Green Lake is about to change forever.

Truest is a stunning, addictive debut. Romantic, fun, tender, and satisfying, it asks as many questions as it answers.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Truest?

From beginning to end, my favorite thing about my novel has been Silas Hart—the goofy, curious, maddening young writer who moves into town and shakes up the narrator’s life. In fact, the entire story was built around him. In early 2012, I had this flash of insight that I was going about the whole writing thing wrong—so I set aside the two novels I’d been working on and started a new one by first creating a character whom I absolutely adored. That character was Silas, and that book is TRUEST. He’s the boy I wish I could have met when I was seventeen: brilliant, deep, romantic, and a total dork.

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* * * *

The Shadow Behind the Stars
by Rebecca Hahn
Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Released 9/1/2015

A girl’s dark destiny could cause the unraveling of the world in this spellbinding novel from the author of A Creature of Moonlight, which Kirkus Reviews called “cumulatively stunning” in a starred review.

Heed this warning, mortal: stay far away from the three sister Fates. For if they come to love you, they might bring about the end of the world…

Chloe is the youngest. Hers are the fingers that choose the wool, that shape the thread, that begin it. The sun smiles upon her. Men love her without knowing who she is. She has lived forever and will live forever more. She and her sisters have been on their isolated Greek island for centuries, longer than any mortal can remember. They spin, measure, and slice the countless golden threads of human life. They are the three Fates, and they have stayed separate for good reason: it is dangerous for them to become involved with the humans whose lives they shape.

So when a beautiful girl named Aglaia shows up on their doorstep, Chloe tries to make sure her sisters don’t become attached. But in seeking to protect them, Chloe discovers the dark power of Aglaia’s destiny. As her path unwinds, the three Fates find themselves pulled inextricably along—toward mortal pain, and mortal love, and a fate that could unravel the world.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about The Shadow Behind the Stars?

This is a difficult question! I feel as though I am much too close to the story to be able to pick one thing that I like better than all the other things. But since I have to choose . . . I’ll take the opportunity to discuss the main character’s (Chloe’s) relationship with the sun. In Greek mythology, the sun is a human-shaped god named Helios. THE SHADOW BEHIND THE STARS is inspired by Greek myths, but Chloe’s sun never descends to earth in human form or is even described explicitly as human-shaped. Nevertheless, he is personified in Chloe’s narration. She holds conversations with him and considers him a friend. For example, at the end of Part One, she says, “The sun reached down pale tendrils, gleaming at the ends of my hair, pulling me toward him, murmuring my name.”

I like their relationship because it shows the connection between the gods and nature: the sun in this story is absolutely a ball of fire in the sky, and he is also absolutely thinking and alive. Chloe and her sisters are the three Greek Fates, and the threads they spin form all human lives. So they are intimately connected with the mortal world and natural laws as well. Chloe loves nature, not only the sun but also the sea and the wind. Sometimes nature is beautiful and kind: warm breezes, gentle waves. But sometimes it is harsh, just as human fates can be harsh. A big question in the book is how far Chloe and her sisters can get around the laws of nature. The sun may be immortal, but he still must set every evening. There are rules to the universe that not even gods can bend.

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Violent Ends
by Shaun David Hutchinson, Neal Shusterman, Brendan Shusterman, Beth Revis, Cynthia Leitich Smith
Hardcover Giveaway
Simon Pulse
Released 9/1/2015

In a one-of-a-kind collaboration, seventeen of the most recognizable YA writers—including Shaun David Hutchinson, Neal and Brendan Shusterman, and Beth Revis—come together to share the viewpoints of a group of students affected by a school shooting.

It took only twenty-two minutes for Kirby Matheson to exit his car, march onto school grounds, enter the gymnasium, and open fire, killing six and injuring five others.

But this isn't a story about the shooting itself. This isn't about recounting that one unforgettable day.

This is about Kirby and how one boy—who had friends, enjoyed reading, played saxophone in the band, and had never been in trouble before—became a monster capable of entering his school with a loaded gun and firing on his classmates.

Each chapter is told from a different victim's viewpoint, giving insight into who Kirby was and who he'd become. Some are sweet, some are dark; some are seemingly unrelated, about fights or first kisses or late-night parties.

This is a book of perspectives—with one character and one event drawing them all together—from the minds of some of YA's most recognizable names.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Violent Ends?

From Shaun Hutchinson: My favorite thing about VIOLENT ENDS is that it offers no easy answers.

The Secret Service compiled a report after the shootings at Columbine in an attempt to create a profile of the type of person most likely to become a school shooter. According to the report (The Final Report and Findings of the Safe School Initiative: Implications For the Prevention of School Attacks in the United States, which you can and should read at: http://www.secretservice.gov/ntac/ssi_final_report.pdf) "There is no accurate or useful 'profile' of students who engaged in targeted school violence."

That was the thing that struck me the most while researching school shootings. When a violent attack happens, survivors, the media, amateur arm-chair psychoanalysts attempt to figure out why. Inevitably they find something they can blame—goth music or violent video games or mental illness or lax gun control laws—and they become so myopically focused on that one thing they lose sight of the bigger picture.

Instead of trying to offer explanations for what Kirby did by telling stories about a school shooter, VIOLENT ENDS offers a multifaceted picture of a real person. Because I strongly believe that if we want to stop school violence before it happens, we need to stop trying to profile children and viewing them as potential shooters, and start seeing them as real and whole people. And it's my sincere hope VIOLENT ENDS does that.

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Anne & Henry
by Dawn Ius
Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

Simon Pulse
Released 9/1/2015

In this wonderfully creative retelling of the infamous—and torrid—love affair between Anne Boleyn and King Henry VIII, history collides with the present when a sizzling romance ignites in a modern-day high school.

Henry Tudor’s life has been mapped out since the day he was born: student body president, valedictorian, Harvard Law School, and a stunning political career just like his father’s. But ever since the death of his brother, the pressure for Henry to be perfect has doubled. And now he’s trapped: forbidden from pursuing a life as an artist or dating any girl who isn’t Tudor-approved.

Then Anne Boleyn crashes into his life.

Wild, brash, and outspoken, Anne is everything Henry isn’t allowed to be—or want. But soon Anne is all he can think about. His mother, his friends, and even his girlfriend warn him away, but his desire for Anne consumes him.

Henry is willing to do anything to be with her, but once they’re together, will their romance destroy them both?

Inspired by the true story of Anne Boleyn and King Henry VIII, Anne & Henry beautifully reimagines the intensity, love, and betrayal between one of the most infamous couples of all time.

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Another Day by David Levithan - D S.
Code of Honor by Alan Gratz - Gloria C.
Diary of a Haunting by M. Verano - Kelly N.
Stranded by Melinda Braun - Rosie G.
Thirteen Days of Midnight by Leo Hunt - Annette
Until Friday Night by Abbi Glines - Maggie H.


Cut Both Ways
by Carrie Mesrobian
Released 9/1/2015

Will Caynes never has been good with girls. At seventeen, he’s still waiting for his first kiss. He’s certainly not expecting it to happen in a drunken make-out session with his best friend, Angus. But it does and now Will’s conflicted—he knows he likes girls, but he didn’t exactly hate kissing a guy.

Then Will meets Brandy, a cute and easy-to-talk-to sophomore. He’s totally into her too—which proves, for sure, that he’s not gay. So why does he keep hooking up with Angus on the sly?

Will knows he can’t keep seeing both of them, but besides his new job in a diner, being with Brandy and Angus are the best parts of his whole messed-up life. His divorced parents just complicate everything. His father, after many half-baked business ventures and endless house renovations, has started drinking again. And his mom is no help—unless loading him up with a bunch of stuff he doesn’t need plus sticking him with his twin half-sisters counts as parenting. He’s been bouncing between both of them for years, and neither one feels like home.

Deciding who to love, who to choose, where to live. Whichever way Will goes, someone will get hurt. Himself, probably the most.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Cut Both Ways?

My favorite thing about this book is the favorite thing about my other books, which is kind of a secret I guess: my favorite characters are not my boy narrators, but the female characters in each: Baker Trieste, in Sex & Violence; Neecie Albertson, in Perfectly Good White Boy; and Brandy Corvallis, in Cut Both Ways. I love Brandy because she is a girl who has survived bad things and has family that has come to save her from them in an unconventional way, but a loving one. She is also a girl that is watching from the periphery and is discovering she can be put in the center, instead of always looking from the edge with her camera as a cover. I love that she explores her relationship with Will in ways that involve risk, both physical and emotional. I love the way her bedroom looks. I love her hobbies, I love her clothes, I love her fondness for spending her babysitting paycheck at Target. I love how she is open about her feelings despite being hurt so badly by her mother and grandmother. I love the person she is becoming, which is something I love about my female teenaged students I teach as well. I love their vulnerability, their efforts, their mistakes, their worries, their obsessive interests. I'm proud of them, for moving bravely and continuously in this world that often hurts them, and it makes me so happy to write the beginning phase of the journey for a girl Brandy Corvallis.

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* * * *

Everything, Everything
by Nicola Yoon
Delacorte Press
Released 9/1/2015

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Everything, Everything?

Hmmm, that’s a really difficult question to answer! My favorite thing about it may be that it’s being published!

But seriously, it’s very hard to choose. For both sentimental and artistic reasons, I really love the illustrations that my husband did. When I was writing it, I did my own very terrible version of each drawing to give my husband an idea of what I was looking for. To his credit, he never laughed at how completely awful my drawings were. He took my stick figures and turned each one into something beautiful. We also had a really wonderful time collaborating on it — so much so that we’re planning to do more projects together in the future!

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* * * *

Vengeance Road
by Erin Bowman
HMH Books for Young Readers
Released 9/1/2015

When Kate Thompson’s father is killed by the notorious Rose Riders for a mysterious journal that reveals the secret location of a gold mine, the eighteen-year-old disguises herself as a boy and takes to the gritty plains looking for answers and justice. What she finds are devious strangers, dust storms, and a pair of brothers who refuse to quit riding in her shadow. But as Kate gets closer to the secrets about her family, she gets closer to the truth about herself and must decide if there's room for love in a heart so full of hate.     

In the spirit of True Grit, the cutthroat days of the Wild West come to life for a new generation.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Vengeance Road?

The genre! I know this is a broad answer, but I've wanted to write a YA western for ages and just never had the right story kernel. Kate (Vengeance Road's main character) finally appeared for me in 2013 and I got straight to work!

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* * * *

Vivian Apple Needs a Miracle
by Katie Coyle
HMH Books for Young Readers
Released 9/1/2015

“GET ANGRY. We should all be so pissed at the Church of America that we’re willing to break our hands in the metaphorical punching of its metaphorical face.” —Harpreet Janda, fugitive

The predicted Rapture by Pastor Frick’s Church of America has come and gone, and three thousand Believers are now missing or dead. Seventeen-year-old Vivian Apple and her best friend, Harpreet, are revolutionaries, determined to expose the Church’s diabolical power grab . . . and to locate Viv’s missing heartthrob, Peter Ivey. This fast-paced, entertaining sequel to Vivian Apple at the End of the World challenges readers to consider how to live with integrity in a disintegrating world.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Vivian Apple Needs a Miracle?

When I started writing about her, I didn’t consider Vivian Apple’s story to be a particularly political one. I thought it was a pretty simple coming-of-age narrative about a girl learning to define herself in opposition to her parents, whom she deeply loves. But once I began building the world of the story of VIVIAN APPLE AT THE END OF THE WORLD (which continues and concludes now in VIVIAN APPLE NEEDS A MIRACLE), I realized there was so much I wanted to say about the world in which I live—specifically, the intersection of religion, politics, media, and capitalism. These are, obviously, Big Ideas and I would be the last person to label myself a nuanced political philosopher. But my favorite thing about VIVIAN APPLE NEEDS A MIRACLE is I feel satisfied that I managed to articulate my concerns and fears about this intersection, hopefully in a way that resonates with readers. Every day, I see stories in the news that remind me of Vivian’s world (most recently and alarmingly, when ten presidential candidates were asked in an official debate whether God had spoken to them and what He’d said), and I’m proud and a little uncomfortable that VIVIAN APPLE NEEDS A MIRACLE is as relevant as it is.

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A Whole New World
by Liz Braswell
Disney Press
Released 9/1/2015

What if Aladdin had never found the lamp? This first book in the A Twisted Tale line will explore a dark and daring version of Disney's Aladdin.

When Jafar steals the Genie's lamp, he uses his first two wishes to become sultan and the most powerful sorcerer in the world. Agrabah lives in fear, waiting for his third and final wish.To stop the power-mad ruler, Aladdin and the deposed princess Jasmine must unite the people of Agrabah in rebellion. But soon their fight for freedom threatens to tear the kingdom apart in a costly civil war.

What happens next? A Street Rat becomes a leader. A princess becomes a revolutionary. And readers will never look at the story of Aladdin in the same way again.

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* * * *

by Madeleine Roux
Released 9/1/2015

Sometimes the past is better off buried.

Senior year is finally over. After all they’ve been through, Dan, Abby, and Jordan are excited to take one last road trip together, and they’re just not going to think about what will happen when the summer ends. But on their way to visit Jordan’s uncle in New Orleans, the three friends notice that they are apparently being followed. And Dan starts receiving phone messages from someone he didn’t expect to hear from again—someone who died last Halloween.

As the strange occurrences escalate, Dan is forced to accept that everything that has happened to him in the past year may not be a coincidence, but fate—a fate that ties Dan to a group called the Bone Artists, who have a sinister connection with a notorious killer from the past. Now Dan’s only hope is that he will make it out of his senior trip alive.

In this finale to the New York Times bestselling Asylum series, found photographs help tell the story of three teens who exist on the line between past and present, genius and insanity.

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* * * *

by Josephine Angelini
Feiwel & Friends
Released 9/1/2015

Worlds divide, magic slays, and love lies in the second book of Josephine Angelini’s The Worldwalker Trilogy.

"You think I’m a monster, but my choices, as ruthless as they seem, are justified."

Lily is back in her own universe, and she's ready to start a new life with Rowan by her side. True, she almost died in the Pyre that fueled their escape from New Salem, and must hide her magic for the safety of everyone she cares about, but compared to fighting the Woven, the monstrous creatures inhabiting the alternate Salem, life is looking pretty good.

Unfortunately, Lillian, ruthless ruler of the 13 Cities, is not willing to let Lily go that easily. If she can’t persuade Lily to return to her world, she will force her to come back by doing away with the ones she loves.

Picking up right where Trial By Fire left off, Firewalker is another sexy, fast-paced, heartbreaking thrill ride from internationally bestselling author Josephine Angelini!

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* * * *

Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between
by Jennifer Smith
Released 9/1/2015

On the night before they leave for college, Clare and Aidan only have one thing left to do: figure out whether they should stay together or break up. Over the course of twelve hours, they'll retrace the steps of their relationship, trying to find something in their past that might help them decide what their future should be. The night will lead them to friends and family, familiar landmarks and unexpected places, hard truths and surprising revelations. But as the clock winds down and morning approaches, so does their inevitable goodbye. The question is, will it be goodbye for now or goodbye forever?

This new must-read novel from Jennifer E. Smith, author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, explores the difficult choices that must be made when life and love lead in different directions.

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* * * *

by Mercedes Lackey
Released 9/1/2015

Centuries ago, the barriers between our world and the Otherworld were slashed open, allowing hideous fantastical monsters to wreak havoc and destroy entire cities in their wake. Now, people must live in enclosed communities, behind walls that keep them safe from the evil creatures constantly trying to break in. Only the corps of teen Hunters with lightning reflexes and magical abilities can protect the populace from the daily attacks.

Joyeaux Charmand is a mountain girl from a close-knit village who comes to the big city to join the Hunters. Joy thinks she is only there to perform her civic duty and protect the capitol Cits, or civilians, but as cameras follow her every move, she soon learns that the more successful she is in her hunts, the more famous she becomes.

With millions of fans watching her on reality TV, Joy begins to realize that Apex is not all it seems. She is forced to question everything she grew up believing about the legendary Hunters and the very world she lives in. Soon she finds that her fame may be part of a deep conspiracy that threatens to upend the protective structure built to keep dark magic out. The monsters are getting in and it is up to Joy to find out why.

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* * * *

Infinite in Between
by Carolyn Mackler
Released 9/1/2015

Printz Honor author Carolyn Mackler returns with this striking new novel that chronicles the lives of five teenagers through the thrills, heartbreaks, and joys of their four years in high school.

Zoe, Jake, Mia, Gregor, and Whitney meet at freshman orientation. At the end of that first day, they make a promise to reunite after graduation. So much can happen in those in-between years….

Zoe feels like she will live forever in her famous mother’s shadow. Jake struggles to find the right connections in friendship and in love. Mia keeps trying on new identities, looking for one that actually fits. Gregor thought he wanted to be more than just a band geek. And Whitney seems to have it all, until it’s all falling apart around her.

Echoing aspects of John Hughes’s The Breakfast Club, Carolyn Mackler skillfully brings the stories of these five disparate teens together to create a distinct and cohesive whole—a novel about how we can all affect one another’s lives in the most unexpected and amazing ways.

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* * * *

Queen of Shadows
by Sarah J Maas
Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Released 9/1/2015

Sarah J. Maas's New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series reaches new heights in this sweeping fourth volume.

Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she's at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past . . .

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die just to see her again. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen's triumphant return.

Celaena’s epic journey has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions across the globe. This fourth volume will hold readers rapt as Celaena’s story builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.

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* * * *

The Dogs
by Allan Stratton
Sourcebooks Fire
Released 9/1/2015

Cameron and his mom have been on the run for five years. His father is hunting them. At least, that’s what Cameron’s been told.

When they settle in an isolated farmhouse, Cameron starts to see and hear things that aren’t possible. Soon he’s questioning everything he thought he knew and even his sanity.

What's hiding in the night? Buried in the past? Cameron must uncover the dark secrets before they tear him apart.

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* * * *

The Fate of Ten
by Pittacus Lore
Released 9/1/2015

The sixth book in the thrilling, action-packed, New York Times bestselling I Am Number Four series! For years the Garde have fought the Mogadorians in secret. Now all of that has changed. The invasion has begun. If the Garde can't find a way to stop the Mogs, humanity will suffer the same fate as the Lorien: annihilation.

There is still hope. When the Elders sent the Garde to Earth, they had a plan—one which the Garde are finally starting to understand. In the climax of The Revenge of Seven, a group of the Garde traveled to an ancient pyramid in Mexico known to their people as the Sanctuary. There they awoke a power that had been hidden within our planet for generations. Now this power can save the world . . . or destroy it. It will all depend on who wields it.

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* * * *

The Foxglove Killings
by Tara Kelly
Entangled: Teen
Released 9/1/2015

Gramps always said that when the crickets were quiet, something bad was coming. And the crickets have been as silent as the dead. It started with the murdered deer in the playground with the unmistakable purple of a foxglove in its mouth. But in the dying boondock town of Emerald Cove, life goes on.

I work at Gramps's diner, and the cakes — the entitled rich kids who vacation here — make our lives hell. My best friend, Alex Pace, is the one person who gets me. Only Alex has changed. He's almost like a stranger now. I can't figure it out...or why I'm having distinctly more-than-friend feelings for him. Ones I shouldn't be having.

Then one of the cakes disappears.

When she turns up murdered, a foxglove in her mouth, a rumor goes around that Alex was the last person seen with her — and everyone but me believes it. Well, everyone except my worst enemy, Jenika Shaw. When Alex goes missing, it's up to us to prove his innocence and uncover the true killer. But the truth will shatter everything I've ever known about myself — and Alex.

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* * * *

The Trouble in Me
by Jack Gantos
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Released 9/1/2015

A sharp-edged misadventure for teens from the Newbery Medalist—the perfect bridge between the Norvelt novels and his Printz Honor–winning YA memoir, Hole in My Life.

This fierce black comedy from the master of turning his own true story into semi-fictional gold charts the summer at age fourteen that his alter-ego's life starts to go off the rails. In his family's new rental home on a down-at-the heels street in sun-beaten Miami—with dog-eating alligators in the canal out back, a dangerously attractive girl across the road, and the unhinged Pagoda family next door—teen Jack is adrift, losing a sense of who he is and what he's all about. Which is why he ends up trying to morph himself into someone he's not, that someone being sixteen-year-old Gary Pagoda, a.k.a. Scary Gary, just back from juvie for car theft. Following Gary's lead that first time is just the start of Jack's series of bad decisions. It goes shockingly, hilariously downhill from there.

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* * * *

by Joseph Monninger
HMH Books for Young Readers
Released 9/1/2015

Sixteen-year-old Clair Taylor has neighbors who are what locals call whippoorwills, the kind of people who fill their yards with rusty junk. Clair tries to ignore her surroundings, choosing instead to dream of a future beyond her rural New Hampshire town. But when a black dog named Wally is chained up to a pole next door, Clair can’t look the other way. Clair decides to save Wally, and the immediate connection she has with the lovable dog catches her off-guard, but even more surprising is her bond with eighteen-year-old Danny Stewart, the boy next door.

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11. Friday Feature: Summer's Sweet Embrace "Truly Paradise"

Summer's Sweet Embrace

Truly Paradise by Michelle Ziegler 

Waiting for the right one can be torture. Too bad for Hailey, impatience got the best of her. Finding Mr. Right in time for a destination wedding couldn’t happen fast enough. Instead of listening to reason, or rather her friends, she’s stuck in paradise alone, again. Nothing ruins a tropical paradise faster than catching your date with another woman.   Justin’s ready for a change. He’s been caught up in his own success for too long and is looking to finally settle down. Timing is everything and his cousins wedding is the perfect start of his new life. His luck is changing with the captivating mystery woman on the beach. Now all he has to do is find her, before he agrees to his family’s match making plot.   

Excerpt: “This is paradise, though, or so the brochure said. I’m fairly certain a woman like you could find someone better in the matter of a few hours.” He glanced back to her. His gaze sent heat coursing through her in a way she’d never experienced, let alone expected. She couldn’t be certain the sudden wriggling in her stomach was something she’d eaten, or a good thing invoked by Mr. Beach-God. A hot burn seemed to claim her neck and kiss her cheeks. There was no suppressing the grin that spread ear to ear. No one had ever made her feel like she was an object of desire. Tossing her head, she took it in. Feminism aside, it was nice to be wanted. He smiled back at her, a full smile that reached his eyes. “Then again, it isn’t exactly bad to have morals. I respect the fact you didn’t head straight for a bar to try and pick up on someone new. I know my roommate certainly could use a few morals for the love of my sanity.” Is he hitting on me? “This is Mexico. Are you implying there are a lot of desperate men here?” She leaned into him, bumping his shoulder with hers. The bit of contact sent a new sizzling flash racing over her. The stranger’s brow knit together. “What? No. That’s not at all what I meant. I suppose it’s true though, unless there are a lot of cold showers to be had around here. Men are pretty useless around woman in bathing suits.”   

About the Author: Michelle’s imagination started spilling out onto paper the second she could scribble. Her drawing never improved, but her love affair with words continued and evolved as she became infatuated with one story after another. If life could be written, Michelle would write everyone’s ending as a happily ever after. Michelle grew up in Chicago and later moved to Colorado. Her husband still makes fun of her Midwest accent. By day, she is an engineer, wife, and mother to two kids and two dogs. Her sanity survives on the pages she writes, even if her toddler is trying to drive her to the edge one temper tantrum at a time. 
Website: http://www.michellezieglerauthor.com 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MichelleZieglerAuthor 
Twitter: http://twitter.com/MZiegler_Writer  
Check out Michelle's story and the others in this anthology.

Purchase Links:

Want your YA, NA, or MG book featured on my blog? Contact me here and we'll set it up.

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12. SIX New Release Giveaways, plus author interviews and what's new this week of 8/24

As summer comes to an end, the publishing world is beginning it's last hurrah. We have six books to give away today, perfect for reading in this last month of summer. Our Red Light Green Light contest is also coming to a close: check back on Wednesday to see who your top 10 finalists are!

Happy reading,
Lindsey, Martina, Sam, Jocelyn, Erin, Lisa, Shelly, Susan, Elizabeth, Kristin, Jen, Sandra and Anisaa

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13. Monday Mishmash 8/24/15

Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. Editing  Surprise, surprise, I'm editing this week. ;) I have client edits and Seek edits to work on.
  2. Writing  I didn't get back to work on my novella last week. :( Maybe this week? Hopefully.
  3. Happy birthday to my mom!  My mom's birthday is tomorrow. It's also my cat's birthday on the same day. Happy day before your birthday, Mom! (She reads these posts, so feel free to wish her a great day.)
  4. Our Little Secret Blitz sign-up  Sign ups are open for the Our Little Secret Release blitz. No blog needed. Sign up here.
  5. First Seek Acquisitions  I acquired my first two titles for Leap Books Seek. I loved these books. Here is the announcement in Publisher's Weekly. 
  6. Fish Detectives is now available!  My newest picture book, Fish Detectives, is now available. 

When a treasure chest mysteriously shows up in the goldfish tank, it's a case for Horatio and Alexander, Fish Detectives. But a diver is guarding the treasure, and he's not talking. Horatio and Alexander will need all their comet goldfish speed and know how to crack this case. Suggested age range for readers: 4-8. Get it on Amazon.

That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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14. New Spring and Fall Releases from LEE & LOW BOOKS and Tu Books!

Summer is here in full force. It’s the perfect time to curl up pool- or beachside with a good book! Look no further than our new spring and fall releases!

Finding the Music/En pos de la música

When Reyna accidentally breaks her abuelito’s old vihuela, she travels around her neighborhood trying to figure out how to repair it. In the process, she discovers her grandfather’s legacy. Written by Jennifer Torres and illustrated by Renato Alarcão.

Sunday Shopping

Evie and her grandma go shopping every Sunday. They put on their nightgowns, open up the newspapers,  and turn on their imaginations. Written by Sally Derby and illustrated by Shadra Strickland.

Poems In The Attic Text here

A young girl finds her mother’s poems written when her mother traveled around in a military family. The young girl writes her own related poems. Written by Nikki Grimes and illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon.

Ira’s Shakespeare Dream

Ira Aldridge dreamed of acting in Shakespeare’s plays. Because of a lack of opportunity in the United States, Ira journeys to England to pursue his dream of becoming an actor. Written by Glenda Armand and illustrated by Floyd Cooper.

Maya’s Blanket

Maya has a blanket stitched by her Grandma. The blanket later becomes a dress, a skirt, a shawl, a skirt and a headband. This story is inspired by the Yiddish folk song “Hob Ikh Mir a Mantl” (“I Had a Little Coat”). Written by Monica Brown and illustrated by David Diaz.

New from the Tu Books imprint:

Ink and Ashes

Claire Takata discovers her deceased father’s connection to the yakuza, the Japanese mafia, and puts her and her family’s lives in danger. Written by Valynne E. Maetani.

Trail of the Dead

In this sequel to the award-winning Killer of Enemies, Lozen and her family, on the run from the tyrants who once held them hostage, embark on a journey along a perilous trail once followed by her ancestors, where they meet friends and foes alike. Written by Joseph Bruchac.

0 Comments on New Spring and Fall Releases from LEE & LOW BOOKS and Tu Books! as of 7/16/2015 12:18:00 PM
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15. Monday Mishmash 7/20/15

Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. Signing at Books-A-Million  I'll be at Books-A-Million in the Stroud Mall in Stroudsburg, PA on Saturday from noon to 3:00 p.m. If you're in the area, come see me. I'll be signing copies of The Monster Within and The Darkness Within.
  2. News!  I'm most likely going to have news to share with you this week. Stay tuned!
  3. Pepe Maurice Pierre, Poodle Extraordinaire  I got to see the cover and illustrations for my upcoming picture book, Pepe Maurice Pierre, Poodle Extraordinaire this past weekend. Wow! I was blown away. I can't wait to share this book with you soon. (My street team, Kelly's Coven, has already seen it.)
  4. Our Little Secret  I've been busy with edits for my upcoming Ashelyn Drake title, Our Little Secret. I love this story and can't wait for the release, which is happening in September! Tomorrow, I'll be sharing the blurb and tag line all over social media, so stay tuned for that.
  5. Hot Pink in the City Cover Reveal  Check out the cover of Medeia Sharif's upcoming YA title, Hot Pink in the City:
    HOT PINK IN THE CITY, Prizm Books, 2015
Release date: August 19, 2015

Asma Bashir wants two things: a summer fling and her favorite '80s songs. During a trip to New York City to stay with relatives, she messes up in her pursuit of both. She loses track of the hunk she met on her airplane ride, and she does the most terrible thing she could possibly do to her strict uncle…ruin his most prized possession, a rare cassette tape. A wild goose chase around Manhattan and Brooklyn to find a replacement tape yields many adventures—blackmail, theft, a chance to be a TV star, and so much more. Amid all this turmoil, Asma just might be able to find her crush in the busiest, most exciting city in the world.

Find Medeia – YA and MG Author

Blog   |   Twitter   |   Goodreads   |   Instagram   |   Amazon

That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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16. THREE Giveaways plus New YALIT Releases Week of 7/20 with Author Interviews

Eight new books are releasing this week, and we're giving away books to three winners: the full series of Torn by Avery Hastings, and two winners will get their hands on books by Laurie Faria Stolarz - one copy of Return to the Dark House, and the winner's choice of one of Laurie's other books.

Happy reading,

Lindsey, Martina, Sam, Jocelyn, Erin, Lisa, Shelly, Susan, Elizabeth, Kristin, Jen, Sandra and Anisaa


by Avery Hastings
Full Series Giveaway
U.S. Only

St. Martin's Griffin
Released 7/21/2015

In an America split into the genetically superior and inferior, a fiercely ambitious ballerina and a boy from the wrong side of the tracks must stop a deadly virus that is spreading quickly.

Determined to escape from TOR-N, a corrupt Narxis research center, Davis meets another recovered patient, Mercer, whose sweet smile and quirky sense of humor give her hope in humanity again—and a way out. As they make a perilous journey seeking clues that could lead to a cure, Davis and Mercer's friendship begins to evolve into something more... but she's still struggling to let go of her feelings for Cole, whom she believes is dead.

Meanwhile, Cole has plans to change his identity in order to compete in the Olympiads—where Imps have now been invited to compete against Priors. He begins training with Mari, the intense and rebellious daughter of a retired fighter, but through trials and tests that are both exhausting and exhilarating, he finds himself in over his head—literally.

Will both Davis and Cole have the strength to resist temptation? Will they have the courage to face the answers they're seeking? Will their love survive across the divide?

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Torn?

I love that after all the buildup in Feuds, we finally get to see the Olympiads! I also really love that this book is not all about romance. There are some steamy scenes, but we really get to see Davis come into her own as a smart, strong woman.

Purchase Torn at Amazon
Purchase Torn at IndieBound
View Torn on Goodreads

* * * *

Return to the Dark House
by Laurie Faria Stolarz
2 Giveaways: Return to the Dark House and winner's choice. 
U.S. Only
Released 7/21/2015

Ivy Jensen survived the Dark House once, but can she make it out a second time?

Two months have passed since Ivy narrowly escaped the Nightmare Elf’s grip, but the memories of Parker, Natalie, Shayla, Frankie, and Garth continue to haunt her. Their killer is still out there—somewhere. The police trail has gone cold, though, and it’s up to Ivy to piece together the clues to find him.

When a cryptic video arrives in her inbox, Ivy soon finds herself back in the spotlight, this time on a twisted scavenger hunt through the dark, ancient halls of a long-forgotten Gothic school building. Ivy’s not alone, either. Taylor Monroe has returned to the scene. But can Taylor be trusted? Or is she another pawn in the Nightmare Elf’s deadly game?

Laurie Faria Stolarz crafts a mesmerizing thriller that will leave readers looking over their shoulders.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Return to the Dark House?

My favorite aspect of RETURN TO THE DARK HOUSE is definitely Ivy’s bravery and resilience. Here’s a character whose parents were tragically murdered several years ago. Ivy was home at the time and saw the killer’s face. Ever since, she’s feared that the killer will one day come back for her. It’s become a real source of paranoia: She thinks she sees his face while walking in town; any weird phone calls or hang-ups she receives, she thinks are from him; she’s become a regular at the police station, reporting any and all irregularities in her life. She knows she can’t go on living this way, and so instead of trying to lay her fears to rest by squelching them, she faces them head on, the result of which isn’t at all what she expected. I don’t want to give too much away, but things don’t pan out the way she expects. Despite more tragedy, Ivy picks herself up – yet again – to face her fears and do the right thing. That courage and resilience is so admirable.

Purchase Return to the Dark House at Amazon
Purchase Return to the Dark House at IndieBound
View Return to the Dark House on Goodreads


Ruthless by Carolyn Lee Adams: Emily C.
What We Knew by Barbara Stewart: Jackie M.
The Blind Wish & The Fire Wish by Amber Lough: Olivia J.
About a Girl by Sarah McCarry: Sarah T.


Damage Done
by Amanda Panitch
Random House Books for Young Readers
Released 7/21/2015

22 minutes separate Julia Vann’s before and after.

Before: Julia had a twin brother, a boyfriend, and a best friend.

After: She has a new identity, a new hometown, and memories of those twenty-two minutes that refuse to come into focus. At least, that’s what she tells the police.

Now that she’s Lucy Black, she's able to begin again. She's even getting used to the empty bedroom where her brother should be. And her fresh start has attracted the attention of one of the hottest guys in school, a boy who will do anything to protect her. But when someone much more dangerous also takes notice, Lucy's forced to confront the dark secrets she thought were safely left behind.

One thing is clear: The damage done can never be erased. It’s only just beginning. . . .

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Damage Done?

My favorite thing so far about DAMAGE DONE is seeing all the reader responses and reactions. The book spent so long living inside my head and then in the heads of a few select others - agent, editor, etc. I find the breadth of reviews fascinating - some people might love a specific element, some people might hate it; some people were totally shocked by the twist ending, some people saw it coming from the beginning. It's a reminder that, even if this story started in my head, ultimately it's not for me. It's for the reader.

Purchase Damage Done at Amazon
Purchase Damage Done at IndieBound
View Damage Done on Goodreads


Model Misfit
by Holly Smale
Released 7/21/2015

You can make a geek a model, but you can't make her chic. More hilarity and high fashion await in the second book in the internationally bestselling Geek Girl series!

Harriet Manners is a model—but she feels even less popular and more awkward than she did when she was just a geek. So a summer modeling job in Japan sounds like the perfect vacation, even if she has to bring along her crazy grandma Bunty, and even if she might run into Nick, her gorgeous model ex-boyfriend. No one is going to ruin Harriet's fabulous Tokyo adventure—unless she accidentally ruins it herself. . . .

This sequel to Holly Smale's #1 bestselling debut novel, Geek Girl, is perfect for fans of Louise Rennison and the Princess Diaries.

Purchase Model Misfit at Amazon
Purchase Model Misfit at IndieBound
View Model Misfit on Goodreads

* * * *

Noble Warrior
by Alan Lawrence Sitomer
Released 7/21/2015

After placing teenage mixed martial arts phenom McCutcheon Daniels and his mother and sister in the Witness Relocation Program, the FBI comes to realize they have a unique asset on their hands. Recruited to help the FBI, McCutcheon finds himself hunting bad guys. But when he discovers that the notorious Priests have targeted Kaitlyn-the girl he loves and was forced to leave behind-as a way to seek revenge on the Daniels family, MD convinces the FBI to send him right into the belly of the beast: Jenkells State Penitentiary where the mob boss of Detroit is serving time. Yet in his universe where up is down, McCutcheon ends up disavowed by the government and left to rot in one of America's most notorious prisons. It's there he connects with his father and discovers the truth about his circumstances. McCutcheon, a trained urban warrior, escapes and sets out for revenge on those who betrayed him and his family.

Purchase Noble Warrior at Amazon
Purchase Noble Warrior at IndieBound
View Noble Warrior on Goodreads

* * * *

Pretending to Be Erica
by Michelle Painchaud
Viking Books for Young Readers
Released 7/21/2015

We Were Liars meets Heist Society in a riveting debut!

Seventeen-year-old Violet’s entire life has revolved around one thing: becoming Erica Silverman, an heiress kidnapped at age five and never seen again. Violet’s father, the best con man in Las Vegas, has a plan, chilling in its very specific precision. Violet shares a blood type with Erica; soon, thanks to surgery and blackmail, she has the same face, body, and DNA. She knows every detail of the Silvermans’ lives, as well as the PTSD she will have to fake around them. And then, when the time is right, she “reappears”—Erica Silverman, brought home by some kind of miracle. But she is also Violet, and she has a job: Stay long enough to steal the Silverman Painting, an Old Master legendary in the Vegas crime world. Walking a razor’s edge, calculating every decision, not sure sometimes who she is or what she is doing it for, Violet is an unforgettable heroine, and Pretending to be Erica is a killer debut.

Purchase Pretending to Be Erica at Amazon
Purchase Pretending to Be Erica at IndieBound
View Pretending to Be Erica on Goodreads

* * * *

by Erica O'Rourke
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Released 7/21/2015

As a Walker between worlds, Del is responsible for the love of her life—and the fate of millions—in this thrilling sequel to Dissonance.

Del risked everything to save Simon, and now he’s gone, off in another world with no way for Del to find him.

She’s back at the Consort—training to be a Walker like everyone in her family. But the Free Walkers have other plans for her. This rebel group is trying to convince Del that the Consort is evil, and that her parents are unwittingly helping the Consort kill millions of people. The Free Walkers make Del the ultimate promise: if Del joins their fight, she will be reunited with Simon.

In agreeing, Del might be endangering her family. But if she doesn’t, innocent people will die, and Simon will be lost to her forever. The fate of the multiverse depends on her choice...

Purchase Resonance at Amazon
Purchase Resonance at IndieBound
View Resonance on Goodreads

* * * *

The New Order
by Chris Weitz
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Released 7/21/2015

They thought they were the only ones left. They were wrong.

After the unexpected revelation at the end of the first book, Donna and Jefferson are separated. Jefferson returns to NYC and tries to bring a cure to the Sickness back to the Washington Square tribe, while Donna finds herself in England, facing an unimaginable new world. Can the two reunite and prevent an even greater disaster than the Sickness?

This second book in The Young World trilogy will keep you at the edge of your seat.

Purchase The New Order at Amazon
Purchase The New Order at IndieBound
View The New Order on Goodreads

Win This Week's New Releases

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17. THREE Giveaways plus New YALIT Releases Week of 7/27 with Author Interviews

There aren't too many new books releasing this week, but we have plenty of excitement coming up this week to tide you over. Have you voted in the Red Light Green Light contest? Vote now! Voting closes tonight, and the next round begins on Wednesday, so be sure to check back!

Happy reading,

Lindsey, Martina, Sam, Jocelyn, Erin, Lisa, Shelly, Susan, Elizabeth, Kristin, Jen, Sandra and Anisaa

Read more »

0 Comments on THREE Giveaways plus New YALIT Releases Week of 7/27 with Author Interviews as of 7/27/2015 7:20:00 AM
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18. Monday Mishmash 7/27/15

Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. I'm the New Acquisitions Editor For Leap Books Seek  In case you missed my announcement last week, I'm the new acquisitions editor for Leap Books' middle grade line, Seek. I'm so happy about this. I've also decided to open to unagented submissions for a brief time in August, so stay tuned for that announcement.
  2. Our Little Secret Has a Cover  I got to see the cover for Our Little Secret (releasing September 15 through Limitless Publishing). I'm SO happy with it. Can't wait to share it soon.
  3. Pepe Maurice Pierre, Poodle Extraordinaire is Now Available!  You can grab your copy of my newest picture book here
  4. Falling For You is Available and FREE!  My secret Ashelyn Drake title isn't a secret anymore, and it's doing really well on Amazon. Check this out. 
  5. Signing at Books-A-Million  I want to thank everyone who came out to see me this past Saturday for my book signing. I had an amazing time and got to see returning fans, which is always great.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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19. SEVEN Giveaways plus New YALIT Releases Week of 8/3 with Author Interviews

While we have six new release giveaways this week, we're also super excited to be giving away a copy of Compulsion by our founder, Martina Boone! Compulsion, Martina's YA debut, first came out in October 2014. Almost 10 months later, the paperback has been released, and we're giving one to you!

Happy reading,

Lindsey, Martina, Sam, Jocelyn, Erin, Lisa, Shelly, Susan, Elizabeth, Kristin, Jen, Sandra and Anisaa

Read more »

0 Comments on SEVEN Giveaways plus New YALIT Releases Week of 8/3 with Author Interviews as of 8/3/2015 7:33:00 AM
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20. Friday Feature: KR Yaddof Giveaway!

Today I'm featuring three great books by KR Yaddof. I can vouch for this series. It's amazing. And one lucky commenter will win ebooks of ALL 3 books!

About the books:

BLOOD MAGE (Book #1)
All Alexis Richmond wants is for life to be somewhat normal again. What she gets is trapped in the girls' restroom by a knife-wielding classmate, who blames her for being forced to go to school in a lovely prison-like setting for national security reasons. But Alexis can't help that her father was catapulted into the presidency when the U.S. Capitol was annihilated during the State of the Union Address. Or that he still hasn't found the terrorists responsible for blowing every major city on the planet into a post-apocalyptic state. All Alexis can do is to try to defend herself from this crazy girl. Then her late mother's locket starts glowing and sending waves of energy coursing down her arms, and she nearly launches her attacker through the puke pink wall of the school bathroom.

Fantasy becomes alarmingly real in Alexis's already shattered world when she learns from her aunt that she is descended from a family of powerful mages and warned to trust no one. Thrust into Alexis's life through school and for those annoying security reasons, the vice president's playboy son, Zachary Godard, claims to have the answers about the magical legacies their families don't want them to know. Alexis tries to fight her dangerous attraction to Zachary but knows that he understands her as only another mage can. Leaping down the rabbit hole hand in hand, together they overhear a secret society of sorcerers, the Blood Mage Order, plotting to take over the globe. As the two young mages struggle to stop the Order and save their country, they discover just how deep the world domination conspiracy goes. And Alexis will realize that nothing is black and white. Especially not magic.

Zachary Godard’s life isn’t lacking in beautiful women, fast cars, and unlimited wealth. Or in people with reasons to kill him. As the recently inherited owner of the largest oil company in the world and the sole financier of the newly formed United Countries of America, militant political activist groups and regimes bent on world domination alike would benefit from his demise. Then there is his four-minute younger brother, who fell victim to their deceased father’s old world mentality that a second son is merely the spare. And finally his mother, vice president of the United Countries of America, second only to the man who blew the world into its current post-apocalyptic state to give rise to his Blood Mage Order, destroying Zachary’s life in the process.
With bullets whizzing by at any given moment as he tries to secretly fund a rebellion against this new supernatural world order, Zachary knows his magic isn’t enough to defend himself and is forced to hire protection. Her name is Lauren Trinidad, and she hates everything for which he stands. But he doesn’t have time to prove her wrong before he must trust her to help him find out who is trying to kill him. All he can do is hope that either his charm or the fat paycheck will convince her he’s worth saving.

MAGE ASSASSIN (Book #3) Coming Tuesday, August 11th, 2015!
Lauren Trinidad is the best private security money in the League of European Nations can buy. She's been trained by her father for her entire life to protect the good guys from the bad. But when the good guys seem to be working for the mad man responsible for blowing the world into chaos and her family is suddenly the bad, she is forced to choose between what she is taught to do and what she thinks is right. 

Captain David Trinidad is the best soldier the New Republic of Texas can find to pull off a secret mission that will decide the fate of the small country. He’s been raised in his military family to do anything to help his homeland. But when he discovers he is the only chance at saving someone he loves, he has to choose between the only two things in his life that he's never doubted. 

Meagan Trinidad is the best assassin the United Countries of America has for hire. She has walked the tightrope between making her father proud and protecting those she cares about for a while. But when her work threatens to destroy her friends, she must choose between the familial loyalty that has guided her whole life and the promise of being loved for who she is and not what she does.


“I told you I was working.” Lauren tried not to snap. Zachary obviously wanted to forget their earlier fight about whether or not it was too dangerous for her to protect the new prime minister. But Zachary didn’t give up that easily. “I was doing my job.”
“I thought you only had to stay through the prime minister’s speech.”
“I did, but I saw a few suspicious characters before I left, so I stopped them from killing everyone.”
“Oh, you did, huh?” He smiled that charming grin that made her forgive him for anything.
“Yeah, because I’m smooth like that.” She couldn’t help but smile back.
“Sure you are.” He laughed and crossed the room to her. “You’re hurt.”
“It’s nothing,” she lied. Even her teeth hurt.
“Here.” He gently took her face in his hand. He blew a thick lock of her chestnut hair back. He ran his finger over the bruise and whispered, “Curatio.”
White-hot magic radiated from his thumb into the center of the pain and slowly flowed over her face, leaving cool relief in its wake. Her hand joined his as she felt her healed face. Her skin was smooth and no longer sore.
“Thanks.” She kissed him softly. His lips felt warm, soft, and familiar. His hands immediately pulled her to him. She stopped him by putting her hands on his chest. “I need a shower.”
“Shall I join you?” He cocked a platinum eyebrow.

“I could never be cold when I’m near you, Abigail.” David wanted to kiss her right then. He wanted to take her in his arms and not let her go. To carry her off into the night and never have to worry about anyone coming between them again. “You are my fire. You are my reason for livin’. You are my life.”
“Oh, David.” She blushed and looked down. “I love you, too.”
“It is more than love.” He knelt down and looked up into her surprised face. He reached into his pocket and pulled out the box. Enveloping her left hand in his, he said, “Abigail Evelyn Lattimore, will you marry me?”
“Oh, my God, David!” Her hands flew to her mouth, eyes wide. She stared down at him, tears forming in her eyes. She glanced at the ring and exclaimed, “Yes! Yes, of course, I will!”
And then she was in his arms. He spun her around in elation, only stopping to kiss her. Her hands went to his face as he held her against him, and he kissed her harder than he ever had in his life. Pure joy surrounded them, and he could feel the aquamarine in the necklace she wore warming against his chest. He pulled away only to slip the diamond ring on her finger. She admired it as it also started to glow.
“Your magic approves,” he said, kissing her again. She was a white mage and had fantastical healing powers. He could feel her happiness vibrating between them and even lighting the coral in his own boar’s head ring his father had given him when he joined the service. He sighed and added, “Even if your father doesn’t.”

“We both know you’re not going to college.” Jacob moved his mouth closer to her ear. “Why are you going to New Haven? To kill my sister?”
“What?” Meagan jerked back to see his face, but he held her too tightly.
“I know what you are, darling.” His voice was so quiet she barely could hear him. “An assassin.”
“That’s not true!” She swallowed, her head spinning. How had he figured it out? Her father was going to be pissed. “I would never hurt Kayla.”
“That may be true, but you have been hunting my brother for years.” Jacob’s hands crept up her body. They stopped on either side of her throat. He pressed harder against her. “Why do you think I’ve been keeping you so close?”
Meagan didn’t say anything. Sliding a hand behind her back, she glared at him. She went for the knife hidden in her waistband.
“I don’t think so, darling.” He grabbed her wrist and twisted it along with the other one above her head, pinning them against the door. She refused to cry out in pain. She wouldn’t give him the satisfaction. “I kept you so close I know all of your little tricks. Didn’t you wonder why I cared? You should know by now that I don’t fuck the same girl more than once. I was keeping an eye on you instead of ending you.”
She brought up her knee in a swift movement and hit him in the crotch. He grunted and doubled over in pain. She punched him in the face and pushed him off her. Spinning, she kicked him in the head and knocked him to the floor. She drove her boot into his stomach for good measure.
“Don’t ever threaten me, Jacob Godard,” she whispered in his ear, kneeling over him. “Next time I’ll slit your arrogant throat.”

KR Yaddof was lucky enough to take a few writing classes at the University of Iowa Writer's Workshop when she was there as an undergrad getting her degree in cinema. Now she lives in Denver, CO with her husband, two kids, and one fat cat.

KR is currently finds time to write while staying home with her two small children. If you want more MAGES, cross your fingers for her children to start sleeping through the night!

Learn more about Mages & KR at: http://www.kryaddof.com/

**Don't forget to comment below to enter to win ALL 3 ebooks! Winner will be chosen at random on August 14th.**

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21. THREE New Release Giveaways, plus author interviews and what's new this week of 8/10

It's a small offering this week, with only a handful of books releasing. We've got three books to give away, plus a host of winners from last week. Remember that today is the last day to vote on Round Two of the Red Light Green Light contest! Only half of the entries will be going through to the next round!

Happy reading,
Lindsey, Martina, Sam, Jocelyn, Erin, Lisa, Shelly, Susan, Elizabeth, Kristin, Jen, Sandra and Anisaa

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22. Interview: Monica Brown on Her New Book Maya’s Blanket

monica brown

Out this September from the Children’s Book Press imprint of LEE & LOW, Maya’s Blanket/La manta de Maya puts a child-focused Latino spin on the traditional Yiddish folk song “Hob Ikh Mir a Mantl” (“I Had a Little Coat”) about a piece of fabric that is made into smaller and smaller items. We interviewed author Monica Brown about how she’s been inspired by the book.

1.     What inspired you to write a children’s book based on the Yiddish folk song “Hob Ikh Mira Mantl”? 

I’ve always loved the idea song, which is as much about creativity as it is about recycling and creating something from nothing. The song has inspired several books, in fact, and still inspires me. I often draw on my cultural heritage for inspiration, and Maya’s Blanket/La manta de Maya is no exception, paying homage to different aspects of my Jewish and Latina identity. It celebrates the two languages I speak, side by side on the page, along with a history of multigenerational storytelling passed down from both sides of my family.

I love the message of the song–that an object can be transformed again and again, and ultimately into something intangible and lasting through effort, creativity, and imagination. I like the idea that we can extend the life of things we love—with our own two hands or our imagination.

2.     Did you have a favorite lullaby that your parents sang to you growing up? What about a lullaby that you sang to your daughters?

My mom sang me wonderful songs in Spanish. As a child I loved in particular Tengo una muñeca vestida de azul, which translates into I have a doll dressed in blue. When her granddaughter and namesake Isabella was born, my mother, Isabel Maria, made up a special song for her. It started with this line “Isabelita, Chiquita bonita de mi Corazon” and ended with “Corazon de melon!”  It was a silly sweet line, but I’ve forgotten the lines in between, and now my mother is gone.

As a child, my only babysitters I knew were my tías and my Nana, my paternal grandmother, who taught me to embroider and sew.  I stayed overnight at my Nana’s often and when I did, “the sandman” would visit us at night. For those who don’t know, the Sandman myth, which originates in Europe, is of a character who sprinkles sand on children’s eyes, bringing them happy dreams. My Scottish and Italian Nana would be sure the sandman visited each night. If I behaved just okay during the day the sandman would sprinkle regular sand on my forehead to help me fall asleep. If I was good, I would get silver sand, and if I was very, very good, I would get gold sand sprinkled on my forehead. I could feel the different types of sand as my Nana’s hands smoothed across my forehead, hair, and closed eyes.maya's blanket

3. Do you have an object today that’s your “Maya’s blanket,” i.e. that you are continually finding new uses for and don’t want to part with?

As an adult I have more of a subject than an object, and it is the subject of childhood memory. I think I became a children’s writer so I can go back and be in that moment of childhood innocence to remember what it feels like to be comforted by a beloved grandmother or my mother, to remember those minutes and hours, forever gone, of days spend with my Nana, who patiently taught me to embroider, and to sew and stitch or my mother, who shared story after story of her childhood in Northern Peru, and her dreams and her art.

I’ve never used an electric sewing machine, but thanks to my Nana I’ve still managed to stitch and mend and sew my daughter’s things—even a Halloween costume or two with those basic stitches my grandmother taught. I have my Nana’s sewing basket still, just as I am surrounded by my mother’s paintings each time I pick up a pen or open up my computer to write.

5. MAYA’S BLANKET provides an important message about recycling! Do you have any tips on how people can be more eco-friendly?

As a teacher, I always think the place to begin with is education and The Environmental Protection Agency has a website with lots of resources for children, parents, and especially teachers: http://www2.epa.gov/students. I also love that the Sierra Club has a student coalition for high school and college students that trains and connects young environmental activists: http://www.sierraclub.org/youth. Finally, well, I want to give a shout out to my fellow writers by highlighting Authors for Earth Day: http://www.authorsforearthday.org, a group that supports conservation through literacy.

It is my hope that children and the adults in their lives can become more aware and conscious of the challenges using our natural resources responsibly, and looking to for more creative solutions to persistent problems.

About the Book:

Maya's Blanket CoverMaya’s Blanket/ La Manta de Maya
by Monica Brown, illustrated by David Diaz
Out September 2015
Ages 5-9 ~ 32 pp. ~ bilingual
Learn more about the book here.

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23. Friday Feature: Love, Lattes and Danger

It’s a dirty job, but some mutant’s got to do it…

Joel Eisler is a mutant with special talents. He can detect an oil leak in the ocean simply by tasting the water. Because of this unique ability, he’s been purchased by a large oil company, along with his dolph sister, Amy. The upside of spending his days and nights in the ocean is that it gives him the opportunity to save the lives of his brother dolphins. The downsides are life as a closely monitored slave—and that he can’t be with Piper, the dolph-girl he loves…

To make matters worse, Joel discovers the lab he grew up in has extracted his sperm and Piper’s egg and created a baby, and his handler, Craven, is plotting to kidnap Amy for more experiments. Now Joel must rescue the infant, bring her to Piper, and find a way to save Amy. And if that’s not enough of a challenge, he needs to convince Piper she belongs with him instead of her all-too-human boyfriend—if Craven doesn’t get to them first…

Multi-published author Sandra Cox writes YA Fantasy, Paranormal and Historical Romance, and Metaphysical Nonfiction. She lives in sunny North Carolina with her husband, a brood of critters and an occasional foster cat. Although shopping is high on the list, her greatest pleasure is sitting on her screened in porch, listening to the birds, sipping coffee and enjoying a good book. She's a vegetarian and a Muay Thai enthusiast.


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24. TWO New Release Giveaways, plus author interviews and what's new this week of 8/17

It's another small offering this week, with just two new books releasing: Kate Elliot's Court of Fives and Tom Leveen's Shackled. On Wednesday, voting opens to decide the Top 10 entries to our Red Light, Green Light contest - make sure to check back and vote for your favorite!

Happy reading,
Lindsey, Martina, Sam, Jocelyn, Erin, Lisa, Shelly, Susan, Elizabeth, Kristin, Jen, Sandra and Anisaa

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25. Friday Feature: Hot Pink in the City

HOT PINK IN THE CITY, Prizm Books/Torquere Press
Release Date: August 19, 2015
Purchase from PrizmAmazon (vendor links will be updated on the author's site)

Asma Bashir wants two things: a summer fling and her favorite '80s songs. During a trip to New York City to stay with relatives, she messes up in her pursuit of both. She loses track of the hunk she met on her airplane ride, and she does the most terrible thing she could possibly do to her strict uncle... ruin his most prized possession, a rare cassette tape.

A wild goose chase around Manhattan and Brooklyn to find a replacement tape yields many adventures -- blackmail, theft, a chance to be a TV star, and so much more. Amid all this turmoil, Asma just might be able to find her crush in the busiest, most exciting city in the world.

Find Medeia – YA and MG Author

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