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1. Monday Mishmash 10/10/16

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. Thank You!  I want to thank everyone who grabbed a copy of After Loving You during its release week last week. It was such a great release day, and I love you all for it. If you haven't gotten a copy yet, but would like to, you can grab the book on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Kobo.
  2. After Loving You Blog Tour  This week is the blog tour for After Loving You, hosted by Inkslinger PR. Love them.
  3. Editing  October is a packed month with edits, but I'm loving every second of it. My eyes...not so much.
  4. Walking And Editing  I'm so in love with editing while walking on my treadmill. Why didn't I discover this sooner? I walk three times a day (for a half hour at a time), which keeps me focused and energized to work.
  5. Motley Education Release Day!  Happy release day to S.A. Larsen! Motley Education releases today! Seriously, guys, go grab this book. It's a fantastic middle grade read. I fell in love with it on page one. It's that good, and you can't support an author sweeter than Sheri. Grab your copy here
    Forget having a lively after school social life, Ebony Charmed is fighting to keep the entire afterlife alive.

    Ebony’s less-than-average spirit tracking abilities are ruining more than sixth grade at Motley Junior High: School for the Psychically and Celestially Gifted. Her parents argue so much her dad's moved out. And, even though he’s scared of his own shadow and insists on bringing his slimy, legless lizard everywhere they go, Ebony wouldn’t survive without her best friend, Fleishman.

    When Ebony’s Deadly Creatures & Relics’ project goes missing she learns her missing project is one of the keys to saving the spirit world.

    Now Ebony and Fleishman must battle beasts from Norse mythology to retrieve her project before spirits are lost, the Well of Urd dries up, and Ebony loses all hope of reuniting her family. But someone lies in wait, and he has other plans…including creating a new world of spirits without them in it.

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

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2. Monday Mishmash 10/3/16

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. After Loving You Release Day!  It's finally here! After Loving You is officially out in the world today. You can grab a copy on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or wherever you prefer to buy your books. 
  2. YA Fest  I'm happy to announce I'll be at YA Fest on March 18, 2017! I'm so excited to be part of this event again. 
  3. Editing  I have a lot of edits on my plate this month. Luckily I really enjoy my clients' work.
  4. October  My favorite month is here. I love the smell of October. Sorry to all you pumpkin lovers, though. I'm not a fan of pumpkin anything, unless it's a pumpkin to put out on display. But hey, that means more for you guys. ;)
  5. Allergies  While I love fall, it doesn't love me. The allergy headaches have begun.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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3. Friday Feature: Lizzie & McKenzie's Fabulous Adventures

Today I'm happy to share a book I've had the pleasure of reading. The story is fun and has a great message. Check out Lizzie & McKenzie's Fabulous Adventures: Mayhem in Madrid by Dina Tate!

Imagine if all the little girls of the world looked alike. If the Same Glam Goddess gets her way, it can surely happen. McKenzie Rivers, the pint-sized daredevil, and Lizzie Sanders, who loves all things frilly, aren’t afraid of being different. And that’s exactly why Princess Lovina of Exquisite City calls upon them to stop the Same Glam Goddess from making all the little girls of the world look the same. With the aid of their magical lovely lockets and fierce diva weaponry, Lizzie and McKenzie will travel the world to find the Seven Crystals of Sisterhood. Their first stop is the magical city of Madrid. Lizzie and McKenzie will need help to obtain the crystals before the Same Glam Goddess gets her hands on them. If the crystals are not found, little girls all over the world will remain under the spell of the Same Glam Goddess and will lose their identities forever! Will Lizzie and McKenzie be able to find the crystals, break the spell, and stop the Same Glam Goddess?

http://amzn.to/2cLG1VR - Soft/Hardcover

Barnes & Noble
http://bit.ly/2d3atWs Soft/ Hardcover

You can also check out Dina's website at lizzieandmckenzie.com to read the 1st chapter!

Dina Cherice Tate spent her childhood reading, writing short stories, climbing stuff with her six older brothers and becoming a cartoon fanatic, which became the perfect groundwork for writing a chapter book series. Today she is an amateur photographer, traveler and has taken her love of Japanese animation and comics to another level. Dina is an Adjunct Instructor at New York University School of Professional Studies. While fine-tuning her writing skills, she won the Andrea Davis Pinkney Chapter Book Writing Scholarship; The Chapter Book Alchemist - Children’s Book Academy.

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

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4. Friday Feature: Sundials and White Cats

Thanks so much for hosting me, Kelly.  I appreciate the opportunity to visit with you and the folks that follow your blog.  Some of whom I know, some who I look forward to getting to know.

Today, I’d like to mention a few brief facts about white cats.

White cats are unique in the fact that they’re prone to deafness, especially if they’re blue-eyed.  They’re also prone to skin cancer.  In some cultures white cats are considered good luck.

But what do white cats have to do with sundials?   In general nothing, in this particular story it’s the pet that leads the protagonist, Sarah Miles, to discover the sundial.   

He came through time to find her.

As Sarah Miles drives down Eighteenth Street a stranger materializes in front of her car. She throws on her brakes, braces for impact and...drives straight through him. For a brief moment, his voice echoes in her head, "Saura." Then he's gone. Later that day, she discovers the SUNDIAL and her incredible journey through time begins.

“Meghan, don’t try to come through this, you’ll get scratched. I’m getting the pesky cat and coming out.”

When in trouble, Monet was the pesky cat, the damn cat, or the bad cat.

She walkedover and bent down to pick him up. A flash of color blinded her. She blinked then squinted. For the first time, she saw that Monet had plopped down beside an old sundial.

“Meghan, come here. You’ve got to see this,” she called out.

Meghan gave an exaggerated sigh. “You said not to come in.”

“I’ve found an old sundial. Or rather Monet has.”

“A real one? The rustling began again as Meghan started pushing her way through.

Appears so.” She squatted down to study it. “Looks to be a hundred years old. I bet it’s valuable. You should see the intricate detail. This will make a great piece to paint!”

Words embossed the face of the dial. “There’s writing on it. She read aloud, “Fate cannot be...drat, moss has grown over the rest of the words.”

A wave of superstitious terror washed over Meghan. Suddenly, the pieces all fell into place. And as the old woman prophesied, she believed.

“Sarah, don’t. Get out of there now. Please, Sarah, please,” she cried, her teeth chattering.

What’s wrong with you?

“There’s actuallyheat radiating from it. Surprising, it’s not that warm out.”

“Sarah, please, don’t you remember what the old lady said?” She fought her way throughthe overgrowth, barely feeling the scratches a thorny branch left on her face or the warm blood trickling down her cheek. The thicket conspired to keep her out.

Tears streamed down her face as she pushed at the bracken separating herself and her aunt.

She broke through just as Sarah reached down to brush the moss from the sundial.

“No, Sarah, no,” she screamed.

Later her mind would play the scene over again in slow motion: Sarah’s hand as it reachedout; Monet jumping playfully at her fingers,bringing them both in touch with the sundial; the boom; the jagged streak of white; and then nothing. They were gone, leaving Meghan alone in the clearing with the sundial.

Sundial is on sale for .99 September 19-25 at Amazon.
Sandra writes YA Fantasy, Romance, and Metaphysical Nonfiction. She lives in sunny North Carolina with her husband, a brood of critters and an occasional foster cat. The last animal member of the family, a kitten, came hurtling out of the woods in southern Illinois to land at her feet. He made the trek back to North Carolina, with her and her husband, and wasted no time settling into the household.

Although shopping is high on the list, her greatest pleasure is sitting on her porch, listening to the birds, sipping coffee or a latte and enjoying a good book. She's a vegetarian and a Muay Thai enthusiast.

*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. Friday Feature: Tangled Lines

Today I'm happy to share a Leap Books, Seek title I had the pleasure of editing. Take a look at Tangled Lines by Bonnie Doerr.

A string of islands, a knot of criminals, and two teens to untie it. 

High school changes everything for Kenzie Ryan and Angelo Sanchez—especially their relationship. After spending all summer cracking crimes against endangered wildlife in Big Pine Key, Florida, now they barely see each other. Angelo hangs out with a Porsche-driving quarterback and a stunning local “Conch princess” and Kenzie struggles with being a newbie among the Key West cliques. 

But high school drama gets overshadowed when horrific numbers of pelicans are found tortured near the islands where they live. Kenzie begs Angelo to help stop the slaughter, but he refuses until a stunning family secret is revealed. 

When a Sanchez Fish House employee falls under suspicion, the list of suspects explodes, and the discovery of illegal activity exposes Angelo and Kenzie to the same deadly risk faced by the pelicans they are trying to save... 

Bonnie J. Doerr, nature lover and gardener, grew up in western Maryland. Since leaving home, she has lived in eight of the United States. Degrees in reading education, combined with a brief post as a science teacher, led her to write ecological adventure/mysteries. Years of teaching and living in the Florida Keys provided irresistible material. Her books celebrate caring, involved, "green" teens who take action with attitude and a touch of romance. Her work has been honored by NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) with a grant for its use in environmental education and has been included in Milkweed Editions literary field guides. She now lives in a log cabin in North Carolina. Island Sting, was released in January 2010 by Leap Books,LLC and was EPIC's 2011 eBook Award winner for outstanding children's book. Stakeout, second in her ecological adventure/mystery series, was a 2011 summer release and one of six finalists for the 2012 YA Green Earth award. Tangled Lines, third in the series, was released August of 2016.

Website: http://www.bonniedoerrbooks.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorbonniejdoerr

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

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6. Friday Feature: Piper Morgan (And Some Great Advice By Stephanie Faris)

When Piper Morgan has to move to a new town, she is sad to leave behind her friends, but excited for a new adventure. She is determined to have fun, be brave and find new friends.

In Piper Morgan Joins the Circus, Piper learns her mom’s new job will be with the Big Top Circus. She can’t wait to learn all about life under the big top, see all the cool animals, and meet the Little Explorers, the other kids who travel with the show. She’s even more excited to learn that she gets to be a part of the Little Explorers and help them end each show with a routine to get the audience on their feet and dancing along!

In Piper Morgan in Charge, Piper’s mom takes a job in the local elementary school principal’s office. Piper is excited for a new school and new friends—and is thrilled when she is made an “office helper.” But there is one girl who seems determined to prove she is a better helper—and she just so happens to be the principal’s daughter. Can Piper figure out how to handle being the new girl in town once more?

Stephanie Faris is here to talk to you all about a topic that I think is brilliant and extremely helpful for all writers. So sit back and enjoy!

Why Reading Outside Your Genre Can Make Your Writing Stronger
by Stephanie Faris
I love my blog friends. Among us there are those who write children’s, middle-grade, YA, paranormal, adventure, horror, and romance, just to name a few genres. That means when I read my friends’ books, I often get to take a break from girly children’s fiction and read a wide variety of other things.
When I was younger, I thought that would hurt me but I’ve come to realize it only helps. Fiction, at its very foundation, is made up of similar elements. The conflict in a mystery novel may be different from what you’d find in a fantasy novel, but there are similar emotions, challenges, and resolutions. By reading these other books, you learn more about what you want to write.
What do I mean by this? Let’s take Kelly’s Into the Fire as an example. Her main character, Cara, is on the verge of transforming into a Phoenix. Knowing the end of her time as herself is near, she feels conflicted about the feelings she’s developing for the new guy in town.
I’ve never written a book with a character who is on the verge of becoming a Phoenix. I have, however, written romances where a couple is kept apart through extenuating circumstances. In the type of fiction I write, though, that conflict would likely be in the form of protecting a career or not wanting to hurt a loved one.
Even in the tween books I write, romance is a no-no. However, many of the conflicts I read about in romance novels can translate to the trauma friendships suffer in sixth and seventh grade. The girls in my characters may have crushes, even though they never develop into a real romance. Conflict can exist there, as well.
Reading anything can also help improve your own prose. I love Harlan Coben’s mysteries and even though they’re completely different from the books I write, he makes me want to be a better writer. He has a way of phrasing things that is just so beautiful that you can’t help but want to push yourself to be that good. And that, in my opinion, is what becoming a better writer is all about.

Because Stephanie is so awesome, she is hosting a giveaway for a $25 Amazon gift card and autographed copies of her books. Enter here:

Stephanie Faris knew she wanted to be an author from a very young age. In fact, her mother often told her to stop reading so much and go outside and play with the other kids. After graduating from Middle Tennessee State University with a Bachelor of Science in broadcast journalism, she somehow found herself working in information technology. But she never stopped writing.

Stephanie is the Simon & Schuster author of 30 Days of No Gossip and 25 Roses. When she isn’t crafting fiction, she writes for a variety of online websites on the topics of business, technology, and her favorite subject of all—fashion. She lives in Nashville with her husband, a sales executive. 

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

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7. Introducing Author Ayla Hashway

I couldn't be happier to post today. My daughter, Ayla, received her paperback proof of her first book, The Secret Sister, yesterday and it's gorgeous! I'm so proud of all the hard work she put into this book. She spent her summer writing and reading as much as she could, and she really learned a lot—including how to overcome writer's block.

Together, we decided that she's going to keep her amateur status and make the ebook free. Print copies will be made for family and friends, but she won't make any money from them. This experience is about learning to write well, sharing her love of stories, and being proud of the accomplishment of writing a book. And that's a HUGE accomplishment. Did I mention she's only nine?

And yes, she's my new favorite author.

So without further ado, check out the gorgeous cover of The Secret Sister!

And here are some pictures of the paperback.

The ebook is already up on Smashwords and ready for download. And once again, it's FREE, so grab your copy here.

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8. Friday Feature: Sign of the Green Dragon

Three plucky sleuths. A crumbling skeleton. A buried treasure.

After six months in a new school, Sam's finally fitting in. He's the one kid with enough talent to hit the winning home run and bring the baseball trophy back to Haggarty Elementary. But Sam's guardian is shipping him off to boarding school before that can happen.

When teammates, Joey and Roger, hear his bad news, they plot to hide him until the big game. Their secret cave is a perfect place until an earthquake shatters a wall and reveals a wooden chest with a red-eyed dragon carved into its top. Inside, a bony hand clutches a map with a note, promising treasure.

With Joey and Roger, Sam sets off to track down the clues and hopefully discover treasure.

Just as some puzzle pieces start to make sense, the boys become lost in a labyrinth of underground tunnels, trapped by dangerous thieves and sealed inside an airless tomb. 

Sign of the Green Dragon gets a high five for fantasy, fun and some fearsome adventure. If you like intrepid would-be knights on impossible and dangerous quests, you'll love this story. As one reader says, this book, "has more twists than a dragon's tail."

Buy now to jump into the adventure.

Grab it on Amazon.

C. Lee McKenzie has a background in Linguistics and Inter-Cultural Communication. Her greatest passion is writing for young readers. Sign of the Green Dragon is her third Middle Grade novel. Alligators Overhead and the sequel, The Great Time Lock Disaster were her first two. She has traditionally published four young adult novels: Sliding on the Edge, The Princess of Las Pulgas, Double Negative and Sudden Secrets.

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

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9. MAMÁ THE ALIEN/Mamá la extraterrestre Blog Tour with René Colato Laínez

To celebrate the release of Mamá the Alien/Mamá la extraterrestreauthor René Colato Laínez will be stopping by the following blogs from August 15th to the 24th! Follow along as René Colato Laínez discusses his writing process, his thoughts on diversity in kidlit, and the recent debate over the term “illegal alien.”Below is the schedule of the Mamá the Alien/Mamá la extraterrestre Blog Tour:René Colato Laínez BLOG TOUR

August 15: The Latina Book Club

August 17: Mommy Maestra

August 19: Latinaish

August 22: Pragmatic Mom

August 23: Reading Authors

August 24: The Logonauts

And in case you missed it, here’s René Colato Laínez’s post about his experience being called an “illegal alien” when he was young.

To find out more about René Colato Laínez and Mamá the Alien/Mamá la extraterrestre, check out his blog and follow him on Twitter. And if you are a blogger interested in being included on this or future blog tours, please reach out to us at publicity [at] leeandlow [dot] com.

1 Comments on MAMÁ THE ALIEN/Mamá la extraterrestre Blog Tour with René Colato Laínez, last added: 8/25/2016
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10. Friday Feature: Flashpoint by Adam Quinn

Today I'm happy to share Adam Quinn's new release Flashpoint!

What is the cost of peace?

Guilt-ridden over her role in the cataclysmic Order War, Taylor Ghatzi

decided to retire from galactic politics and dedicate her life to the

Emergency Service---until a deadly terror attack strikes her home world,

and she may be the only one able to unravel the mystery behind it. 
Meanwhile, Cherran DeGuavra, the son of the most important statesman in 
the past century, gave up on trying to reunite the galaxy frayed by his late 
father's greatest mistake, but now must call upon all of his diplomatic 
powers to prevent it from tearing itself even further apart. 
With the galaxy's powers on a war footing and their own government
obstructing them, Taylor and Cherran may need to start a fight to prevent one. 

Grab it on Amazon.

Sign up for Adam's newsletter here and win a free story in the Drive Maker universe.
Adam Quinn is a Chicago-based author of science fiction and space opera. When he’s not writing about the technology of the future, he’s studying engineering so that one day he can help create it.

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

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11. Marisol Celebration: Lee & Low Staff Share Their Fears

Marisol McDonald and the Monster coverIn the latest installment of the Marisol McDonald series, Marisol McDonald and the Monster/Marisol McDonald y el monstruo, Marisol McDonald is confronted with her greatest fear: monsters! In celebration of Marisol McDonald and the Monster/Marisol McDonald y el monstruo, released last month, Lee & Low Staff share the scary things that keep them up at night.

Louise May, Editorial Director

“Having to sing in public. I don’t have a great voice and I can’t carry a tune.”

Kandace Coston, Editorial Assistant

“I’m arachnophobic.”

Pia Ceres, Marketing & Publicity Intern

“Not having the courage to speak up when it counts. Also, since I was a kid, I’ve had this fear that someone living in the mirror would reach through the threshold and grab me while I’m brushing my teeth, which is a very vulnerable position if you think about it.”

Randy Eng, Operations Coordinator

“Stage fright.”

 Keilin Huang, Marketing & Publicity Associate

“I have a huge fear of clowns. I think it’s because I watched Stephen King’s “It” when I was young with my cousins and it scarred me for life.”

Marisol McDonald and the Monster spread
from Marisol McDonald and the Monster

Jalissa Corrie, Marketing & Publicity Assistant

“I have a fear of ghosts. I think there is one (or more) that lives in my parent’s house in the Hudson Valley. They tend to make themselves known when I’m home by myself.”

 Hannah Ehrlich, Director of Marketing & Publicity

“I actually had a very strange phobia when I was growing up: I was afraid of buttons. I would not let my parents dress me in any clothes with buttons, did not like to touch buttons myself, hated sitting on chairs with buttons, and even avoided hugging people who were wearing button-down shirts. For most of my childhood, I thought it was just a weird thing that only I had. But thanks to the Internet, I’ve actually learned that there is a name for this phobia: Koumpounophobia. It’s pretty rare, but it’s estimated that nearly one in every 75,000 people experiences it. Most famously, Steve Jobs admitted that he has koumpounophobia and some speculate that his fear of buttons may have led to the invention of the iPhone and other buttonless devices. My phobia is fairly mild now but I still hate wearing button-down shirts, avoid button-up duvet covers, and prefer not to touch buttons (especially the small plastic ones) if I don’t have to!”

Hsu Hnin, Operations Assistant

“My greatest fear is the darkness; especially when I have to sleep in a place where there’s absolutely no light.”

John Man, Director of Operations

“My biggest fear is running out of poke balls during a hunt.”

You can purchase a copy of Marisol McDonald and the Monster/Marisol McDonald y el monstruo here.

Don’t miss the first two books in the Marisol McDonald series:

Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match

Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match / Marisol McDonald no combina

Marisol McDonald and the Clash Bash

Marisol McDonald and the Clash Bash / Marisol McDonald y la fiesta sin igual

Share with us in the comments! What’s your biggest fear? You can win a chance to win signed copies of our Marisol McDonald series!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

6 Comments on Marisol Celebration: Lee & Low Staff Share Their Fears, last added: 8/11/2016
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12. Friday Feature: More

Today I'm happy to share More, the latest release by Keren Hughes, who happens to be a great author and a total sweetheart. If you haven't read her books yet, you need to.

Drake Anderson is all the man Annalise Duncan ever wanted… 

Annalise has it all. The perfect husband. The perfect son. The perfect life. After the father of her son Ayden abandoned her to be a single parent, she finally felt like she hit the romance jackpot. Her boss, Drake Anderson, turned out to be more than just a friend. He’s the love of her life, and an amazing stepfather to her son. 

But the picture perfect marriage is merely an illusion… 

After seven wonderful years, Drake leaves. He doesn’t give her a reason, or even the courtesy of a return phone call. Six months go by without even a single acknowledgement. Annalise is devastated. Her heart and soul belonged to Drake, and he was the only father Ayden ever knew. She’d dedicated her life to him and the family they built together, and she isn’t willing to let that dream go easily. 

When Annalise spots Drake out at a café with a woman, her heart shatters all over again. But it’s not what Annalise thinks. He isn’t cheating on her. There are things about leaving that Drake just can’t or won’t explain. Some things should remain a secret. 

He wants his old life back, but Annalise won’t accept anything but the truth… 

Drake has to find a way to convince his wife, his Cariad, to take him back, but it may mean facing a truth he wanted to keep hidden. He must prove to Annalise that despite his past, he wants her… 

Grab it on Amazon.
Keren lives in the UK and is an avid bookworm. She fondly remembers the days where she would lie in her bedroom away from distraction and get lost in the world of make believe. Her first real memory of reading something she fell in love with was The Hobbit. In her teenage years, she became addicted to Point Horror books like RL Stine's The Boyfriend, but she also enjoyed light Summer reads like What Katy Did and What Katy Did Next. 

Over the years she has come to realise that she is a bit of an OCD freak about books. They have to be in perfect condition without the slightest bit of damage. 
She has been a book reviewer for the last few years and a book hoarder for a LOT longer. You can NEVER have too many books! Her shelves are bulging and overflowing but she always wants "just one more book".

Keren had her first book published by Limitless Publishing in November 2013. It's a YA Paranormal Romance novel called Stolen. Her second book was published with LP in May 2014. This time, an NA Contemporary Romance called Nothing Like The First Time. 
She couldn't have been more surprised when NLTFT appeared on the Amazon Best Seller list. That was a dream come true. 

Keren is currently working on more NA Contemporary Romances for you to fall in love with. 

Keren loves hearing from her readers.

You can reach her by email at kerentshughes@gmail.com 
Visit her author blog here: www.authorkerentshughes.wordpress.com
Facebook Profile: www.facebook.com/keren.hughes.92 or 
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/kerentshughes

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

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13. Meet the Newest Cute Animal of 2016!

Red pandas? Done. Quokkas? Yawn. Pikas? Boooring. Here are six reasons why you need to know about the olinguito.

Smithsonian / Via insider.si.edu

1. The discovery of the olinguito was only just announced in 2013, meaning this cutie is ready to take over the internet!

Smithsonian / Via insider.si.edu

2. It looks like a cross between a cat and a teddy bear. ‘Nuff said.

CNN / Via cnn.com

3. It is an adept jumper that can leap from tree to tree in the forest canopy. Skillzzz!

Smithsonian Magazine / Via smithsonianmag.com

4. Scientists hope that the olinguito might serve as a charismatic ambassador for the conservation of dwindling Andean cloud forest habitats. How can anyone say no to that face?

Apex Expeditions / Via apex-expeditions.com

5. As Kristofer Helgen, curator of mammals at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, says, “The discovery of the olinguito shows us that the world is not yet completely explored, its most basic secrets not yet revealed. If new carnivores can still be found, what other surprises await us? So many of the world’s species are not yet known to science. Documenting them is the first step toward understanding the full richness and diversity of life on Earth.”

olinguito cover image
LEE & LOW BOOKS, illus. by Lulu Delacre / Via leeandlow.com

6. Learn even more about the olinguito and its habitat in ¡Olinguito, de la A a la Z! Descubriendo el bosque nublado /Olinguito, from A to Z! Unveiling the Cloud Forest, a new bilingual alphabet book from LEE & LOW BOOKS.

Award-winning author and illustrator Lulu Delacre uses lyrical text in both Spanish and English to take readers to the magical world of a cloud forest in the Andes of Ecuador. Discover the bounty of plants, animals, and other organisms that live there, and of course help a zoologist look for the elusive olinguito!

Purchase a copy of the book here.

You can also see this post on Buzzfeed.

0 Comments on Meet the Newest Cute Animal of 2016! as of 7/19/2016 11:23:00 AM
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14. Friday Feature: Curse of Stone by Jen McConnel

Some curses aren't meant to be broken. 

Julia is depressed. Ever since her mom died, it's been hard for Julia to enjoy life, even when she's spending a year studying in Rome. But when an ancient curse attaches itself to her, Julia realizes that she isn't ready to give up. With the help of Fernando, a too-charming-for-words guy from her art history class (and the heir to a black market antiquities business), Julia feels like she might have a second chance at everything. But time is running out, and the curse makes it a matter of life or death. Can Julia and Nando break the curse, or is it already too late?
Grab it here for only $.99!

And keep an eye out for Curse of Gold coming August 2, 2016!

Some curses aren’t meant to be broken… 

When Riley moved to London to get her graduate degree, she never thought of herself as dangerous. But when a guy she loves drops dead, Riley starts to believe in the family curse. Her eccentric grandmother insists that it’s up to Riley to break the centuries-old curse that has plagued the family, but all Riley has to go on are Gran’s cryptic remarks and a little bit of mostly awful luck. 

Her luck changes for the better when she meets Tom, a scholar with a treasure-hunting hobby who knows more about Riley’s curse than either of them realize. Despite the risks, Riley is drawn to Tom, but her curse prevents her from acting on the growing attraction. Will their combined love of esoteric history be enough to break the curse, or will Riley remain deadly to anyone who falls for her?

Preorder it here.

Jen McConnel is an award winning author. She writes Young Adult and New Adult fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. When she isn’t writing, she can be found on her yoga mat, teaching, or wandering off on another adventure. She grew up in mid-Michigan, attending Western Michigan University, and now lives with her family in North Carolina. She holds a MS in Library Science from Clarion University of Pennsylvania, and she is currently working on her MFA in Children’s Literature at Hollins University.

Visit http://www.jenmcconnel.com to learn more.

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

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15. Friday Feature: A Love That Disturbs

Evernight Teen, June 17, 2016
Purchase from Amazon (merchant sites will be updated on the author's site)

Maysa Mazari is alarmed by her mother’s talk about arranged marriage. As a hijab-wearing Pakistani-American, she wants to find love on her own. Her judgmental Muslim clique has protected her from racist taunts, although the leader is turning on her as Maysa strays from the group because of her attraction to Haydee.

Haydee Gomez is a former gang member and juvenile detention student. Now living with a clean-cut aunt, she wants to turn her life around, even though one person will never let her forget her roots—Rafe, her abusive pimp. Haydee attempts to pull away from a life of prostitution when she develops feelings for Maysa, although Rafe isn’t willing to give her up too easily.

Finding themselves in danger from Maysa’s friends and Haydee’s pimp, it’s apparent their love disturbs everyone around them as they fight to stay together.

Find Medeia – YA and MG Author

Blog   |   Twitter   |   Goodreads   |   Instagram   |   Amazon

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

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16. Friday Feature: Cover Reveal for At First Blush

Today I'm happy to share the cover of At First Blush by Beth Ellyn Summer!

Lacey Robbins has one goal for the summer: hit one million subscribers on her YouTube beauty channel. Working as an On Trend magazine video blogger is just the platform she needs to get there, but falling for the cover boy, rock star Tyler Lance, was not part of her plan--especially since his dating history is longer than her Sephora wish list.

She can't avoid him for long though, not when it's her job to film vlogs with him. As Lacey and Tyler grow closer on and off camera, her channel becomes popular for all the wrong reasons, and the two YouTubers she's working with officially hate her. Lacey's only solace is spending time with Kendall Wynn, On Trend'sresident makeup artist. Kendall's scattered, carefree approach to makeup reminds Lacey why she ever picked up a tube of lipstick in the first place.

Nothing about this summer is going according to Lacey's perfect plan, and pretty soon she learns that filming makeup tutorials is easy. It's real life that could use some editing.

Beth Ellyn Summer writes contemporary young adult fiction that somehow always includes the following elements: fame, makeup, and television. She graduated from Long Island University with a degree in Print and Electronic Journalism. Interning for Conan O'Brien and Jimmy Fallon was the highlight of her college years. When she's not writing, Beth can be found swatching eyeshadows, solving Wheel of Fortune puzzles, and playing with her adorable cat, Penny Belle. Beth lives on Long Island in a cookie cutter town that, in an ironic twist of fate, doesn't have a single decent bakery.


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

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17. New May Releases from LEE & LOW and TU BOOKS

We can hardly believe how fast the year is flying by! Memorial Day weekend is just around the corner, which means summer is officially here. We’re looking forward to nice weather, beaches, and of course, our new titles out this month!

We’re very excited to introduce our new May releases – there’s sure to be something for everyone!

A Morning with Grandpa

a morning with grandpa cover

By Sylvia Liu, illus. by Christina Forshay
$17.95, 978-1-62014-192-2
Hardcover, 32 pages
Ages 5 to 8

A curious and active Chinese American girl spends the day learning tai chi from her grandfather, and in turn tries to teach him how to do yoga. Winner of our New Voices Award.

“Debut author Liu scores with a sweet story about the joys of intergenerational relationships. The love between the two shines through in both text and illustrations. A fine example of contemporary multicultural literature.” —Kirkus Reviews

Buy the book here.

Tiny Stitches: The Life of Medical Pioneer Vivien Thomas

tiny stitches cover

By Gwendolyn Hooks, illus. by Colin Bootman
$17.95, 978-1-62014-156-4
Hardcover, 32 pages
Ages 7 to 12

The life story of Vivien Thomas, an African American surgical technician who developed the first procedure used to perform open-heart surgery on children.

“Beyond the crucial message of perseverance and spotlight on prejudiced attitudes that still resonate today, this middle-grade picture book illuminates the life of little-known man whose innovations continue to be essential to modern medicine.”                       —Booklist, starred review

Out next week! More information here.

Perfect Liars

perfect liars cover

By Kimberly Reid
$19.95, 978-1-62014-273-8
Hardcover, 384 pages
Ages 12 and up

Andrea Faraday, a society girl with a sketchy past, leads a crew of juvie kids in using their criminal skills for good.

“Crime, intrigue, and deceit abound in this novel about a biracial teen embracing her criminal instincts in order to thwart a treacherous plot. Gripping, suspenseful, and refreshingly diverse.”     —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Buy the book here.

What are you looking forward to reading in the coming month?

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18. Friday Feature: The Haunted Stepsister

Today, I'm excited to share a book I acquired and edited for Leap Books Seek. I feel in love with The Haunted Stepsister immediately for several reasons. First, Medeia's writing is great. Second, it's about a haunted bathroom! Third, this is a diverse book.

If you haven't checked out The Haunted Stepsister yet, give it a try. You won't be disappointed.

Sixth grade isn’t easy for Jesenya Moradi, especially since her father's recent remarriage and tension with her new stepsister, Kammy. After an incident at school that nearly destroyed Kammy's life, Jess has been desperate to get on Kammy’s good side. But a fateful trip to an allegedly haunted bathroom changes both girls’ lives forever. 

The rumors about the bathroom are true, and now Jess is convinced a demon's possessing Kammy. Eerie things happen whenever she's around – flying objects, flickering lights, not to mention the fact that something, or someone, is making people into its puppets. 

Worse, the demon seems fixated on making Jess confess her part in ruining Kammy's reputation. Sticking to her Muslim faith, Jess enlists the help of an imam to exorcise the demon from Kammy. But can they get rid of the demon before it destroys her new family?

Find it on:
Medeia Sharif was born in New York City and presently calls Miami her home. She received her master's degree in psychology from Florida Atlantic University. Published through various presses, she writes middle grade and young adult short stories and novels. In addition to being a writer, she's a public school teacher.

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

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19. Into the Fire Cover Reveal!

You know when you see a book cover and it brings tears to your eyes because it's just so perfect? Well, that's how I felt when Limitless Publishing sent me the cover of Into the Fire. Deranged Doctor blew me away. I mean this is Cara. Right down to the freaky red streaks she has in her hair and her sapphire eyes. And that Phoenix emblem! Oh wait…you haven't seen it yet! ;)

Okay, check out the GORGEOUS new cover!

In one month’s time, seventeen-year-old Cara Tillman will die and be reborn from her own ashes…

Her life of secrecy has never been easy. She’s watched her younger brother, Jeremy, burn and rise again in a coming-of-age process called rebirth. And just like her brother, when her time comes, she won’t remember anything from her first life other than she’s a Phoenix—a member of a small group of people descended from the mythical Phoenix bird.

The last thing she needs to worry about is falling for the new guy in town—Logan Schmidt.

Cara is drawn to Logan in a way she can’t explain, but she’s not exactly complaining. Everything is perfect…except it’s not. Once she’s reborn, she’ll forget Logan. And to make things worse, a Phoenix Hunter is on the loose, and Cara’s involvement with Logan is bringing out her Phoenix qualities—the very qualities that will draw the Hunter right to her.

Desperate times call for desperate measures…

Afraid of hurting Logan, Cara breaks it off for good. But her attraction to him runs deeper than a typical high school crush. She wants him—needs him. And if he proves willing to stay by her side, their love might destroy them both.

Can Cara hide from the Phoenix Hunters long enough to survive her rebirth? And if so, will it mean a new beginning with Logan—or the beginning of the end?

So, what do you think? I can't tell you how much time I've spent staring at this cover. The book is now up on Goodreads, so you can add it to your shelf here. Want the book to arrive on your Kindle on release day? Preorder it here NOW.

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20. New Release Giveaway, Interview, and Round Up for 2/8-2/14

It's a quiet week in YA Fiction, but that doesn't mean that the books that are releasing are any less great. This week, we're giving away a copy of Nicole Castroman's BLACKHEARTS for our US readers.

Happy reading,

Jocelyn, Martina, Lindsey, Erin, Susan, Sam, Shelly, Sarah, Sandra, Kristin, and Anisaa


by Nicole Castroman
Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

Simon Pulse
Released 2/9/2016

Blackbeard the pirate was known for striking fear in the hearts of the bravest of sailors. But once he was just a young man who dreamed of leaving his rigid life behind to chase adventure in faraway lands. Nothing could stop him—until he met the one girl who would change everything.

Edward "Teach" Drummond, son of one of Bristol's richest merchants, has just returned from a year-long journey on the high seas to find his life in shambles. Betrothed to a girl he doesn’t love and sick of the high society he was born into, Teach dreams only of returning to the vast ocean he’d begun to call home. There's just one problem: convincing his father to let him leave and never come back.

Following her parents' deaths, Anne Barrett is left penniless and soon to be homeless. Though she’s barely worked a day in her life, Anne is forced to take a job as a maid in the home of Master Drummond. Lonely days stretch into weeks, and Anne longs for escape. How will she ever realize her dream of sailing to Curaçao—where her mother was born—when she's stuck in England?

From the moment Teach and Anne meet, they set the world ablaze. Drawn to each other, they’re trapped by society and their own circumstances. Faced with an impossible choice, they must decide to chase their dreams and go, or follow their hearts and stay.

Purchase Blackhearts at Amazon
Purchase Blackhearts at IndieBound
View Blackhearts on Goodreads


Almost Midnight by C.C. Hunter - Ellie M.
Banished by Kimberley Griffiths Little - Kimberly V.
Games Wizards Play by Diane Duane - Caitlin O.
Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell - Stephanie H.


Red Ink
by Julie Mayhew
Released 2/9/2016

A sharp-witted teenager discovers surprising truths after her mother’s death in a wry and heartrending novel touching on denial, identity, and family lore.

When her mother is knocked down and killed by a London bus, fifteen-year-old Melon Fouraki is left with no family worth mentioning. Her mother, Maria, never did introduce her to a living, breathing father. The indomitable Auntie Aphrodite, meanwhile, is hundreds of miles away on a farm in Crete, and she is not likely to jump on a plane to come to East Finchley anytime soon. But at least Melon has The Story. The Story is the Fouraki family fairy tale. A story is something.

Balanced with tenderness and humor, this time-shifting novel offers a narrator by turns angry and vulnerable, hurt and defiant as she struggles with sudden grief—and the unfolding process of finding out who she really is.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Red Ink?

I am endlessly intrigued by the stories we tell and, in particular, the stories we tell ourselves to make life feel achievable and bearable, and sometimes to make it magical. So this is the part of Red Ink I love the most, the story that Maria tells and also the story that Melon tells herself. I’m fascinated by what happens when people realise the stories they have told themselves are not true. Many of the characters I write in my books and plays are emerging from denial and are forced to make change. It can feel like a disaster when it’s happening to you but it’s actually a brilliant beginning. A butterfly moment. The other reason I love this aspect of the book is because I enjoy hearing other people’s family anecdotes. You know they’ve been embellished over the years to make them bigger and funnier, but I don’t care. That it’s a good story is what matters.

Purchase Red Ink at Amazon
Purchase Red Ink at IndieBound
View Red Ink on Goodreads


Glass Sword
by Victoria Aveyard
Released 2/9/2016

Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.

Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

Purchase Glass Sword at Amazon
Purchase Glass Sword at IndieBound
View Glass Sword on Goodreads

* * * *

Little White Lies
by Brianna Baker and F. Bowman Hastie
Soho Teen
Released 2/9/2016

Seventeen-year-old honors student Coretta White's Tumblr, Little White Lies--a witty commentary on race and current events, as well as an exposé of her brilliant-yet-clueless parents--has just gone viral. She's got hundreds of thousands of followers; she's even been offered a TV deal. But Coretta has a confession: she hasn't been writing her own posts. Overwhelmed with the stress of keeping up with her schoolwork and applying for colleges, she has secretly hired a forty-one-year-old ghostwriter named Karl Ristoff to help her with the Tumblr. His contributions have helped make it a sensation, but unable to bear the guilt, Coretta eventually confesses the scandalous truth to a select few to free herself of the burden.

The fallout is almost instantaneous. Before she knows it, her reputation has been destroyed. The media deal disappears. Even her boyfriend breaks up with her. Then Karl is thrust into the limelight, only to suffer a precipitous fall himself. Ultimately, the two join forces to find out who is responsible for ruining both of their lives . . . someone who might even have had the power to fuel their success in the first place. And to exact justice and a clever revenge, they must truly come clean to each other.

Purchase Little White Lies at Amazon
Purchase Little White Lies at IndieBound
View Little White Lies on Goodreads

* * * *

Peas and Carrots
by Tanita S. Davis
Knopf Books for Young Readers
Released 2/9/2016

A rich and memorable story from a Coretta Scott King honor award-winning author about a teenage foster girl looking for a place to call home.

Dess knows that nothing good in life lasts: her mother’s sobriety will inevitably fade, her abusive father’s absence is never long enough, and her brother Austin—the one bright spot in their family—was put into foster care when he was still a baby. Disappointment is never far away, and that’s a truth that Dess has learned to live with.

Dess’s mother’s arrest is just the latest in a long line of disappointments, but this one lands the teen with Austin’s foster family. Dess doesn’t exactly fit in with the Carters. They’re so happy, so comfortable, so normal, and Hope, their teenage daughter, is so hopelessly naïve to the harsh realities of the world. Dess and Hope couldn’t be more unlike each other, but Austin loves them both like sisters. Over time their differences, insurmountable at first, fall away to reveal two girls who want the same thing: to belong.

Purchase Peas and Carrots at Amazon
Purchase Peas and Carrots at IndieBound
View Peas and Carrots on Goodreads

* * * *

Reign of Shadows
by Sophie Jordan
Released 2/9/2016

Seventeen years ago, an eclipse cloaked the kingdom of Relhok in perpetual darkness. In the chaos, an evil chancellor murdered the king and queen and seized their throne. Luna, Relhok’s lost princess, has been hiding in a tower ever since. Luna’s survival depends on the world believing she is dead.

But that doesn’t stop Luna from wanting more. When she meets Fowler, a mysterious archer braving the woods outside her tower, Luna is drawn to him despite the risk. When the tower is attacked, Luna and Fowler escape together. But this world of darkness is more treacherous than Luna ever realized.

With every threat stacked against them, Luna and Fowler find solace in each other. But with secrets still unspoken between them, falling in love might be their most dangerous journey yet.

Purchase Reign of Shadows at Amazon
Purchase Reign of Shadows at IndieBound
View Reign of Shadows on Goodreads

* * * *

Where Futures End
by Parker Peevyhouse
Kathy Dawson Books
Released 2/9/2016

Five teens.
Five futures.
Two worlds.
One ending.

One year from now, Dylan develops a sixth sense that allows him to glimpse another world.

Ten years from now, Brixney must get more hits on her social media feed or risk being stuck in a debtors' colony.

Thirty years from now, Epony scrubs her entire online profile from the web and goes “High Concept.”

Sixty years from now, Reef struggles to survive in a city turned virtual gameboard.

And more than a hundred years from now, Quinn uncovers the alarming secret that links them all.

Five people, divided by time, will determine the fate of us all. These are stories of a world bent on destroying itself, and of the alternate world that might be its savior--unless it's too late.

Purchase Where Futures End at Amazon
Purchase Where Futures End at IndieBound
View Where Futures End on Goodreads

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21. Friday Feature: Frog Hollow

I'm really happy to feature my fellow Limitless author, Savannah Blevins. First, look how gorgeous the cover of Frog Hollow is!

It's a sign. No one is safe.

At just twenty-two years old, Wilhelmina Daniels inherits a house, a family of eclectic witches, and a death sentence on the same day. As revealed by Reid Thomas, her shy but smoldering neighbor, Wilhelmina is a descendent of the Innocent--a line of gifted women who are to be admired, feared, and above all else, protected. 

Death, mayhem, and The Haunted...

The murder of Wilhelmina's mother--the family matriarch--sends the small town's rumor-mill into a frenzy. Suspicions fall on The Haunted, a rival force with dual personalities, one of them being Julien Cote.It's difficult to believe the charming boy has a sexual deviant with a hankering for violence lurking inside.Rumor has it Julien can seduce an angel out of her wings. Wilhelmina doesn't have wings, but if he calls her cheri d'amour one more time, she's liable to lose something of equal importance--her heart. But with Reid hailing from her clan, will she stay close to her own, or venture into the unknown?
Even a powerful spell can't seal Julien's fate

Julien knows an incantation that just might help Wilhelmina to solve her mother's death, but when an unidentified stalker is spotted spying in her house, her family is certain it's Julien's dangerous alter ego come out to play.Wilhelmina must decide--is risking her life worth the possible heartbreak of discovering the truth about Julien's fate and her mother's death? Or will she cast aside her desire for Julien and vow her love to Reid. 

Leaving her past forever buried in the murky depth of...Frog Hollow

And doesn't the book sound amazing? I need to read this one. Grab your copy hereOh, and if you have Kindle Unlimited, you can grab this book for FREE! 

Savannah was born in Hyden, Kentucky. She received her M.S in Speech Language Pathology from The University of Mississippi in 2009. She's been writing since the early age of nine when she begged her parents for a type writer for Christmas.

She now lives in Corbin, Ky with her husband of eight years, John, and their two wonderful daughters, Delilah and Gracie.

When she isn't working, or running after her kids, she spends her free time traveling the country with her husband. There is nothing better than a day of football in the grove, a late night of basketball at Rupp Arena or slapping the glass to celebrate another Washington Capitals goal.

She is a strong believer that with enough hard work and determination you can accomplish anything.

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

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22. Out of the Ashes Is Here!

It's here! I think I'm even more excited for the release of this book than I was for the rerelease of Into the Fire because this one is new to everyone. This trilogy just gets better as it goes along in my opinion. Don't take my word for it though. Read it and decide for yourself.

Seventeen-year-old Cara Tillman’s worst nightmare has come true… 

She’s been reborn as a Phoenix and has forgotten everything from her first life—including Logan Schmidt. He’s handsome and protective, but with no recollection, he can’t be trusted. 

Accused of being a Hunter, Logan’s mortality is put to the test… 

Logan isn’t willing to admit he and Cara are over—not even after he watches her rise from her own ashes. 

While the other Phoenixes are convinced Logan is a sworn enemy, a group of deadly Hunters are sure he is a Phoenix. Only being guilty of loving Cara, he must prove them all wrong—and convince Cara she loves him. 

However, a magical link may be the demise of Logan’s devotion… 

With the Hunters hot on their heels, it’s up to Logan to save Cara. But when the dagger calls out, Logan is drawn to its power. 

Cara’s missing memories may not be the only obstacle standing between her and Logan. Their relationship isn’t just complicated—it’s deadly. And when Cara finds herself at a crossroad, she is forced to choose… 

She can plunge into the darkness of her treacherous fate, or use her Phoenix instincts to once again rise Out of The Ashes.

Grab it on Amazon.

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23. Cover Reveal: SHAME THE STARS

Shame the Stars by Pura Belpré Award-winning author Guadalupe Garcia McCall (Summer of the Mariposas, Under the Mesquite) is a reimagining of Romeo and Juliet set against the Mexican Revolution in 1915 Texas.

Shame the Stars is set to be released Fall 2016! We’re excited to share a first look at the cover with you today.

Eighteen-year-old Joaquín del Toro’s future looks bright. With his older brother in the priesthood, he’s set to inherit his family’s Texas ranch. He’s in love with Dulceña—and she’s in love with him. But it’s 1915, and trouble has been brewing along the US-Mexico border. On one side, the Mexican Revolution is taking hold; on the other, Texas Rangers fight Tejano insurgents, and ordinary citizens are caught in the middle.

As tensions grow, Joaquín is torn away from Dulceña, whose father’s critical reporting on the Rangers in the local newspaper has driven a wedge between their families. Joaquín’s own father insists that the Rangers are their friends, and refuses to take sides in the conflict. But when their family ranch becomes a target, Joaquín must decide how he will stand up for what’s right.

Shame the Stars is a rich reimagining of Romeo and Juliet set in Texas during the explosive years of Mexico’s revolution. Filled with period detail, captivating romance, and political intrigue, it brings Shakespeare’s classic to life in an entirely new way.

shame the stars cover small

Thanks to YA Interrobang for hosting the cover reveal! We can’t wait to hear what you think of the cover.


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24. Friday Feature: One Smoking Hot Fairy Tail

Today, I'm happy to share One Smoking Hot Fairy Tail by my fellow Corvisiero author, Kevin James Breaux. I have to say I love this cover.

America’s population is slowly dying due to an epidemic, and Alexander, an ancient, immortal shaman, has medicine that can heal people. It has one small side effect—Alexander’s able to control the minds of anyone taking the drug, nicknamed “dust.”
Alexander plans to take over the country once dust is released to the general public, crushing anyone who stands in the way. He needs just a little bit more of a certain magical ingredient to make the medication work properly: fairy wings.
An intelligent, stunning fairy, Sabrina was also America’s sweetheart—until a video of a crime she was involved in surfaces, nearly destroying her. A year later, she’s finally ready to step back into the spotlight. Together with her bodyguard, Mira, a water spirit in human form, Sabrina’s prepared to start over.
Things are starting to look up until she meets Alexander in a club and goes from social outcast to tortured captive in the blink of an eye. Will she be able to escape the evil shaman and his mind-controlled slaves in time to save herself and everyone she cares about?

Grab the book in paperback or on Kindle.

Kevin James Breaux is an award-winning author and artist. He has over eight years of professional writing credit, including short stories and novels and has completed seven books.

He is a member of the Horror Writers Association, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, and the Erotic Authors Association.

Breaux has a growing fan base, including foreign markets in Great Britain and other parts of Europe, and has never stopped striving to better himself as an author as well as to encourage his fellow writers. His motto is Write Makes Might! He is passionate about his craft, while understanding that writing is his business.

Breaux is represented by Marisa A. Corvisiero, the founder of the Corvisiero Literary Agency.

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

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25. Friday Feature: The May Queen Murders

Today, I'm excited to share Sarah Jude's latest book, which just released on Tuesday. Sarah is awesome and her book looks amazing! Check out The May Queen Murders.

Stay on the roads. Don’t enter the woods. Never go out at night.  

Those are the rules in Rowan’s Glen, a remote farming community in the Missouri Ozarks where Ivy Templeton’s family has lived for centuries. It’s an old-fashioned way of life, full of superstition and traditions, and sixteen-year-old Ivy loves it. The other kids at school may think the Glen kids are weird, but Ivy doesn’t care—she has her cousin Heather as her best friend. The two girls share everything with each other—or so Ivy thinks. When Heather goes missing after a May Day celebration, Ivy discovers that both her best friend and her beloved hometown are as full of secrets as the woods that surround them. 

Kerosene slopped from the rusty pail and splashed against the abandoned stable. Fumes burned my eyes but didn’t blur my father’s silhouette as he faced the building, bucket in hand. It would burn and, with it, the body inside.

     “Go to hell!”

     Papa’s shoulders twisted as he wheeled back, shouting, sweeping the pail around. More kerosene rained against the wood while bile scorched my throat. I was too tired to get sick on the hay, my body wasted from screaming. I wiped my hand over my mouth and something snagged my lip. My fingernail was missing, a ragged root jutting from the bloody bed. Bitten off and swallowed by someone who wanted me dead.

     This ain’t real.

     Yet I smelled the kerosene and felt the spring air and the dust in my nose, my feet firm on the ground. No matter how my mind ached to fly away, it tethered to a stark truth. This was real.

     “Ivy, stay back,” Papa warned, and then looked to Mama, close by with an antique lantern shedding dim light. The night sky swelled with clouds like spiders’ egg sacs ready to burst, but the storm would miss Rowan’s Glen. The hay, the ground, the stable were kindling-dry, and every movement kicked up brown clouds. Mama pulled me until we were safely away. The clink of her silver bracelets racked together as she eased her arm around my shoulder.

     “Don’t worry.” Mama’s still-thick Mexican accent lilted her voice, but her expression was stoic except for a pinch around her eyes. That blankness scared me.

     “This must be done,” she whispered.

     I wadded my fingers into my long skirt. The blue patchwork was smeared with blood and dirt. Last summer, my cousin Heather and I sewed peasant skirts together. They flared when I spun, round and round, always with Heather.

     The last time I saw Heather, she was wearing a skirt with red ruffles.

     Papa trailed kerosene on the ground and retreated from the stable before tossing the pail inside. I couldn’t see into the shadows. The body lying on the stone floor might yet have a pulse. A shiver tugged at my neck, my chest rising and falling with shallow breaths. One clear thought pierced my mind’s muddle, and it sickened me.

     I wanted that body to burn.

     “Timothy.” Mama fished a book of matches from a pocket in her apron and gave them to Papa. He took the matches and stretched one hand to hold mine. He was strong. My throat ached when I swallowed, from being choked in an attempt to silence me. Now I said nothing as Papa struck the match.

     The fire didn’t whoosh to life. First, the match hit the ground and breathed. Then a blue worm of flames emerged from the earth and devoured one blot of fuel before moving to the next. Upon reaching the stable, the worm bloated into a dragon that blazed yellow and orange. The wood planks hammered by my great-great-grandfather when he was young crackled, bone-dry from drought. Fire twisted through the stable while coils of smoke erupted from the windows. The pulse of the body inside thump-thumped in my head. Frantic. Dying.

     “Mama?” I whimpered.

     “It’s only fair,” she said.

Papa didn’t speak. Rage had made him do the unspeakable. For me, even though I’d survived. But also for those who hadn’t. Fire was cleansing. Fire was vengeance. The flames burned red, as red as the ruffles of Heather’s skirt. As red as Heather’s hair.
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SARAH JUDE lives by the woods and has an owl that lands on her chimney every night. She grew up believing you had to hold your breath when passing a graveyard. Now she writes about cemeteries, murder, and folklore. She resides in Missouri with her husband, three children, and two dogs. When she's not writing, she can be found volunteering at a stable for disabled riders. Visit her website at www.sarahjude.com.

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