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1. Review – First Daughter: Extreme American Makeover by Mitali Perkins

 

First Daughter: White House Rules, by Mitali Perkins (Dutton Children’s Books, 2008)

 

First Daughter: Extreme American Makeover
by Mitali Perkins
(Dutton Children’s Books, 2007)

 

Sameera, known as Sparrow, is the adopted daughter of diplomatic parents. She has lived … Continue reading ...

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2. Review – First Daughter: White House Rules by Mitali Perkins

First Daughter: White House Rules, by Mitali Perkins (Dutton Children’s Books, 2008)

 

First Daughter: White House Rules
by Mitali Perkins
(Dutton Children’s Books, 2008)

 
Following on from First Daughter: Extreme American Makeover, First Daughter: White House Rules picks up … Continue reading ...

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3. Monday Mishmash 3/30/15


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. Drafting  I'm 60K into my WIP, so that means I'll be finishing the draft this week. Yay! My street team, Kelly's Coven, also helped me decide on a title for this book, which I'm very grateful for.
  2. Different Blog Schedule This Week  The YA Scavenger Hunt is this Thursday, so that means my blog schedule will be a little off. I will still be posting my Writer Wednesday, but since the YA Scavenger Hunt needs to stay up as my main post for a few days, I will not be posting a Friday Feature this week. Make sure you stop by to join in the scavenger hunt fun and enter to win a bunch of amazing prizes.
  3. Editing  I have some openings in my editing schedule, which is rare. So if you have anything you need edited, feel free to contact me (khashway@hotmail.com) and we can discuss what you need and get your scheduled.
  4. Beta Reading  I'll also be working on a beta read for a writer friend this week. :) I always enjoy beta reading, but I've have limited time for it this year.
  5. Conventions/Conferences  I'm really bummed that I have no conventions planned. I won't be at BEA this year. :( I'm SO sad about that. I'm trying to figure out if there's another convention I can get to instead. Any suggestions? I'd love to do one where I can also sign my books.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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4. Friday Feature: YA Scavenger Hunt Spring 2015



Hello Everyone! I'm so happy to introduce to you the Spring 2015 YA Scavenger Hunt Authors! We have eight outstanding teams this season. I am going to be a part of #TeamGold! The Scavenger Hunt runs from April 2nd through April 5th beginning and ending at noon Pacific time on those days. 

If you've never been a part of the hunt before you should give it a try. It runs like a giant blog hop, introducing you to new YA authors and books along the way. There are tons of prizes including a grand prize for each team. If you win one of the grand prizes you will get a book from each author on that team! For more information and to make sure you get hunt updates, sign up for news on the #YASH website. During the hunt, I'll be sharing an exclusive never-before-revealed sneak peek of THE DARKNESS WITHIN. 

You don't want to miss out on this fabulous and fun event, but play fast because the hunt is only live for three days. And now, here are the teams! (Hint: If you click on the image you can get a close up.)

Blue Team 1 Pink TeamTeam Gold (2)Team Purple 1Team GreenTeam Red 1Team Teal (2)Team Orange  
I hope you are all as excited as I am!
THE HUNT BEGINS 4/2/15!

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5. #Zombies! Novella Review: Please Remain Calm by Courtney Summers

 

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

Please Remain Calm picks up right where This is Not a Test left off, but from Rhys’ POV.  At first I wasn’t sure how I felt about that, but I actually liked his narration better than Sloane’s.  Rhys is a straight forward kind of guy, and while he is torn up over what he had to do to his parents on the first awful night of the zombie apocalypse, he has done a fairly good job of moving past the ordeal.  While he does suffer from nightmares, he counts himself lucky to be alive, and he is determined to stay that way, so that his parents’ deaths will mean something.  Unlike Sloane, he is not suicidal, and he strives to find some sort of normal in the new horror of his existence.

Rhys and Sloane are headed to Rayfield, where a refugee camp has supposedly been established.  They make a major blunder, though, and are soon running desperately away from a group of zombies.  They are separated, and Rhys is saved by Jesse and Lisa, a couple who are making their way to their safe house in the woods.  They also have their four year old daughter with them, and Jesse is understandably suspicious of Rhys.  He doesn’t trust him, and he doesn’t want to put his small family in danger.  He warns Rhys that if he messes up, he won’t hesitate to eliminate him.

Please Remain Calm has a lot more action than This is Not a Test.  Because Rhys and his new companions are outside, with no shelter, they are tempting targets for roaming zombies.  Regardless of how careful they are, it’s inevitable that there will be encounters with the undead.  They are adrenaline fueled battles for survival, against foes that just don’t stop.  The zombies don’t ever quit, and where there is one, there are usually many more.  Every shadow, every boulder, every tree is a possible hiding place, and the tension kept me flipping the pages.  I gobbled this novella up in short order, and immediately hoped that there will be more in the future.  The ending is ambiguous, leaving everything up in the air, so be forewarned.

Grade:  B / B+

Review copy obtained from my local library

From Amazon:

In Please Remain Calm, the gripping sequel to Courtney Summers’ This is Not a Test, Rhys and Sloane are headed for a safe haven when they get separated along the way. Rhys is determined to reunite with Sloane until he discovers people who might need him more–people who offer him the closest he’ll get to everything he’s lost, if they can just hold on long enough. Rhys thinks he has what it takes to survive and find Sloane, but in a world overrun by the dead, there are no guarantees and the next leg of his journey will test him in unimaginable ways…

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6. How It Went Down: Review Haiku

Raises tons of questions,
answers almost none -- and
does so beautifully.

How It Went Down by Kekla Magoon. Holt, 2014, 352 pages.

0 Comments on How It Went Down: Review Haiku as of 3/16/2015 7:20:00 AM
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7. Monday Mishmash 3/16/15


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. Looking For Love Releases Tomorrow!  Wow! That happened quickly! I can't believe tomorrow is the day. This is a new adult romance written under my pen name, Ashelyn Drake. It is book 4 in a series, but it's a series of companion novellas and each story stands on it's own, so you don't have to read the others or read them in order. You can pre-order it or grab it on release day here for only $.99.
  2. Embarrassing Video Coming!  This week's Writer Wednesday post might be a little embarrassing—for me. I made a video for you guys and you don't want to miss it. My street team, Kelly's Coven, has already seen it since they see everything first, but I'll be unveiling it to everyone else this Wednesday. Be sure to stop back then.
  3. Writing Tips  I'm working on some writing tips for the upcoming Writer Wednesday posts. Hopefully you'll find them helpful.
  4. Editing  I'm editing for clients again this week. My editing streak continues.
  5. Revisions  I'm working on revisions based on my agent's comments, and I forgot how much I absolutely love this book! 
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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8. High School Reading List Wish List

I recently had a fairly robust mutual rant with a friend about how school reading lists desperately need an overhaul. As writers and editors, we’re huge readers. But most of our love for reading was formulated outside, and in spite, of the books we were forced to read at school. Sure, there were some classics […]

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9. What’s Your Winner’s Curse and Giveaway!

This morning I’m participating in a blog tour and giveaway for Marie Rutkoski’s The Winner’s Crime.  This is the follow up to The Winner’s Curse, and you can learn more about the books here.  You can follow the tour here.  I also have a copy of The Winner’s Crime up for grabs, so enter below!

The ‘Winner’s Curse’ is an economics term that means you’ve gotten what you wanted – but at too high a price.  What would you pay too much for?

Time.  I would pay any price for more time.  More time to spend with my family and my friends, and more time to spend with my duppers and my horses.  At the end of every day, there is one thing that I always run out of.  There are only 24 hours in a day, a finite number that limits everything about our lives.  But what if we had the ability to turn that limited resource into something a tiny bit more infinite?  Yeah, I’d pay way too much for that.

How about you? What is something you would pay too much for?

 

Following your heart can be a crime

A royal wedding is what most girls dream about. It means one celebration after another: balls, fireworks, and revelry until dawn. But to Kestrel it means living in a cage of her own making. As the wedding approaches, she aches to tell Arin the truth about her engagement: that she agreed to marry the crown prince in exchange for Arin’s freedom. But can Kestrel trust Arin? Can she even trust herself? For Kestrel is becoming very good at deception. She’s working as a spy in the court. If caught, she’ll be exposed as a traitor to her country. Yet she can’t help searching for a way to change her ruthless?world . . . and she is close to uncovering a shocking secret.?

This dazzling follow-up to The Winner’s Curse reveals the high price of dangerous lies and untrustworthy alliances. The truth will come out, and when it does, Kestrel and Arin will learn just how much their crimes will cost them.

Winning what you want may cost you everything you love

They were never meant to be together. As a general’s daughter, seventeen-year-old Kestrel enjoys an extravagant and privileged life. Arin has nothing but the clothes on his back. Then Kestrel makes an impulsive decision that binds Arin to her. Though they try to fight it, they can’t help but fall in love. In order to be together, they must betray their people . . . but to be loyal to their country, they must betray each other.

Set in a new world, The Winner’s Curse is a story of rebellion, duels, ballroom dances, wicked rumors, dirty secrets, and games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

GIVEAWAY!

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The post What’s Your Winner’s Curse and Giveaway! appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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10. Monday Mishmash 3/9/15


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  I'm still booked with edits. I've been a busy editor this year.
  2. Taxes  My taxes are finished! Yay! I hate sitting through having them done, so I'm glad this is over for the year.
  3. Looking For Love Blog Tour  This weekend I finished my posts for the Looking For Love blog tour. I can't believe this book is releasing in 8 days!
  4. Good New I Can't Share Yet  I know that's cruel, but I have good news. No, it's not a book deal. This is different, but I'm equally excited about it. I'll share as soon as I can.
  5. The Darkness Within Trailer  Last Friday, Spencer Hill Press released my new trailer for The Darkness Within. Here it is if you missed it:
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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11. Friday Feature: Don't Forget To Breathe



Sixteen-year-old Leocadia arrives home from school to find her mom’s bloody body. Unaware that the killer still lingers, she rushes to her mother’s side, only to be grabbed from behind and then everything fades to black.

After a year of retrograde amnesia and battling personal demons, Leo’s dreams are getting worse—she’s starting to remember. More bodies are discovered and they seem to be oddly linked to her mom’s unsolved homicide.

When Leo allows her friend, Henry to drag her into the haunted Lucien Mansion, misty ghosts appear, ghosts that just might lead to her mother’s murderer.

Will Leo let her memories threaten her into a relapse or, will she fight to find her mother’s killer – only to become his next victim?

Anyone else in love with this cover? I am!

Excerpt:
Moonlight played tricks with my eyes as we circumvented gravestones like an obstacle course, and pluming fog licked our legs as misty ghosts danced on marbleized stones. My breath shuddered as Henry bypassed me, leading the way. “Hurry—” he whispered and nudged my shoulder.
I picked up the pace and cranked my head to the left. Dark moving shapes appeared in the distance and moaning floated past my ears, probably the wind or just my imagination? Goose flesh pebbled my skin as I stumbled over an urn. Henry lugged me up urging me on.
“What are we running from?” I gasped quietly so not to wake the dead. 
“Them—over there.” Henry jerked his chin, the lenses of his glasses captured raining moonbeams. “I think it’s cops.”
His hand reached back, palm up. I latched hold. “Why would police be patrolling the cemetery?”
We whipped around a mammoth tombstone, a squared foundation for a glorious angel. He halted and threw me unceremoniously to solid concrete. My heartbeat migrated up my esophagus. Henry covered my mouth with his hand. “Sh-h...don’t breathe so loud.”
My pumping lungs slowed as I stabilized my swallows of air. Henry squashed his body into mine. A tad too close. His speedy heartbeat harmonizing with my own while cold leached into my back. I cringed at the discomfort of my head pressed between his chest and the stone. 

Buy it on Amazon.


You can find Cathrina here:


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. Seeds of Inspiration: Books for Children and Young Adults about Wangari Maathai

'Seeds of Inspiration: Books for Children and Young Adults about Wangari Maathai' - Mirrors Windows Doors article

Wangari Maathai - photo credit: Martin RoweWhat better way to introduce MWD’s new theme, ‘Branching Across the … Continue reading ...

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13. Ontario Teen Book Fest - Author Spotlight - Debra Driza

What: Ontario Teen Book Fest

When: Saturday March 21st , 9 am to 5 pm

Where: Colony High School, 3850 E. Riverside Drive, Ontario, CA 91761

The Ontario Teen Book Fest is a FREE AND UNTICKETED EVENT! Meet 20 YA authors, hear them speak about their books and writing, and meet other book lovers like you. Books will be available for purchase on-site from Once Upon a Time. There will also be t-shirts and posters available for purchase.

Official Blog Tour Schedule

February 28th: Spotlight on Kasie West -- Adventures of a Book Junkie

March 1st: Spotlight on Melissa Landers -- What A Nerd Girl Says

March 2nd: Spotlight on Brad Gottfred -- Recently Acquired Obsessions

March 3rd: Spotlight on Catherine Linka -- Read Now Sleep Later

March 4th: Spotlight on Debra Driza -- Read Now Sleep Later

March 5th: Spotlight on Katie Finn -- Fearless Kurt Reads YA

March 6th: Spotlight on Claudia Gray -- A Bookish Escape

March 7th: Spotlight on Shannon Messenger -- People Like Books

March 8th: Spotlight on Lauren Miller -- The Thousand Lives

March 9th: Spotlight on Elizabeth Ross -- Kid Lit Frenzy

March 10th: Spotlight on Anna Carey -- The Reader's Antidote

March 11th: Spotlight on Sherri Smith -- Movies, Shows and Books

March 12th: Spotlight on Mary Elizabeth Summer -- What A Nerd Girl Says

March 13th: Spotlight on Jessica Khoury -- The Consummate Reader

March 14th: Spotlight on Maurene Goo -- The Windy Pages

March 15th: Spotlight on Cecil Castellucci -- Nite Lite Book Reviews

March 16th: Spotlight on Jessica Brody -- The Romance Bookie

March 17th: Spotlight on Gretchen McNeil -- Movies, Shows and Books

March 18th: Spotlight on Aaron Hartzler -- Fangirl Feeels

March 19th: Spotlight on Michelle Levy -- The Consummate Reader

Spotlight on Debra Driza

Today's stop on the tour is a spotlight on Debra Driza, author of MILA 2.0 and MILA 2.0: Renegade.

About MILA 2.0

Mila 2.0 is the first book in an electrifying sci-fi thriller series about a teenage girl who discovers that she is an experiment in artificial intelligence.

Mila was never meant to learn the truth about her identity. She was a girl living with her mother in a small Minnesota town. She was supposed to forget her past—that she was built in a secret computer science lab and programmed to do things real people would never do.

Now she has no choice but to run—from the dangerous operatives who want her terminated because she knows too much and from a mysterious group that wants to capture her alive and unlock her advanced technology. However, what Mila’s becoming is beyond anyone’s imagination, including her own, and it just might save her life.

About Debra Driza

Debra Driza is a member of the teen lit blogging groups The Bookanistas and The League of Extraordinary Writers, and a former practicing physical therapist who discovered tormenting her characters was infinitely more enjoyable. These days you can find her at home in California, adding random colors to her hair and wrangling one husband, two kids, and an assortment of Rhodesian Ridgebacks (most of them naughty).

MILA 2.0 is her first YA novel in a planned trilogy from Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins. It's currently in development with Shondaland production company (Grey's Anatomy) to become a TV series for ABC.


Website Twitter Facebook

Q&A with Debra Driza

RNSL: Writing aside, what hobbies or interests take up your time?

Debra Driza: Children!  Are children a hobby?  No?  Because they sure take up a lot of time! If they don't count, then I guess I'd say working out (I like lifting weights), dogs (we own 3 Rhodesian Ridgebacks, and I occasionally entertain crowds by attempting to show them in conformation and agility myself), and reading. 

RNSL: Out of all the advice you've ever been given about getting published, what's the first piece of advice that comes to mind, and why?

DD: Never give up--often, the only difference between a published writer and an unpublished writer is perseverance.

RNSL: Are you a plotter or a pantser?

DD: Definitely a pantser by nature. The MILA books required outlining though, which was REALLY challenging for me. 

RNSL: When you were a teen, what did you like to read?

DD: Not Stephen King, like tons of my friends did--I was too much of a scaredy-cat for horror. I remember reading Dune several times, Jeffrey Archer books, thrillers, and romances "borrowed" from my mom's closet. I guess I was always more of a genre girl!

RNSL: I'm a messy purse girl too. My mother keeps pens, paper, and tools in her bag-of-doom (she's an architect). What 3 things are you most likely to pull out of your purse if you just reached in and grabbed things at random?

DD: Oh gosh, this is kind of embarrassing, but I'd have to say a crumpled, year-old receipt, a stray credit card (I seem to have a wallet phobia), and a petrified clementine (my daughter loves them, and I can't tell you how many times I've reached for a pen and instead grabbed a shriveled up little orange ball. Oops).


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0 Comments on Ontario Teen Book Fest - Author Spotlight - Debra Driza as of 1/1/1900
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14. Ontario Teen Book Fest - Author Spotlight - Catherine Linka

What: Ontario Teen Book Fest

When: Saturday March 21st , 9 am to 5 pm

Where: Colony High School, 3850 E. Riverside Drive, Ontario, CA 91761

The Ontario Teen Book Fest is a FREE AND UNTICKETED EVENT! Meet 20 YA authors, hear them speak about their books and writing, and meet other book lovers like you. Books will be available for purchase on-site from Once Upon a Time. There will also be t-shirts and posters available for purchase.

Official Blog Tour Schedule

February 28th: Spotlight on Kasie West -- Adventures of a Book Junkie

March 1st: Spotlight on Melissa Landers -- What A Nerd Girl Says

March 2nd: Spotlight on Brad Gottfred -- Recently Acquired Obsessions

March 3rd: Spotlight on Catherine Linka -- Read Now Sleep Later

March 4th: Spotlight on Debra Driza -- Read Now Sleep Later

March 5th: Spotlight on Katie Finn -- Fearless Kurt Reads YA

March 6th: Spotlight on Claudia Gray -- A Bookish Escape

March 7th: Spotlight on Shannon Messenger -- People Like Books

March 8th: Spotlight on Lauren Miller -- The Thousand Lives

March 9th: Spotlight on Elizabeth Ross -- Kid Lit Frenzy

March 10th: Spotlight on Anna Carey -- The Reader's Antidote

March 11th: Spotlight on Sherri Smith -- Movies, Shows and Books

March 12th: Spotlight on Mary Elizabeth Summer -- What A Nerd Girl Says

March 13th: Spotlight on Jessica Khoury -- The Consummate Reader

March 14th: Spotlight on Maurene Goo -- The Windy Pages

March 15th: Spotlight on Cecil Castellucci -- Nite Lite Book Reviews

March 16th: Spotlight on Jessica Brody -- The Romance Bookie

March 17th: Spotlight on Gretchen McNeil -- Movies, Shows and Books

March 18th: Spotlight on Aaron Hartzler -- Fangirl Feeels

March 19th: Spotlight on Michelle Levy -- The Consummate Reader

Spotlight on Catherine Linka

Today's stop on the tour is a spotlight on Catherine Linka, author of A Girl Called Fearless.

About A Girl Called Fearless

Avie knows her life is over when her dad “Contracts” her in marriage to millionaire Jessop Hawkins. Hawkins has bought Avie to be his first lady as he runs for governor of California on the Paternalist ticket. But Avie’s lifelong friend, Yates, believes she  has the strength to flee to freedom in Canada. As Yates draws her into the secret world of Exodus, their friendship turns to passion, and freedom means leaving Yates and hoping they can reunite over the border.

This romantic spec fiction/political thriller is set in a contemporary America upended by the deaths of millions of women from a hormone in meat. Teenage girls are a valuable and restricted commodity “protected” by guards, gates and Paternal Controls on phones, internet and media. After Avie leaves the mansions of LA and Malibu, she learns dangerous truths about who controls the US government. Pursued by federal agents as she heads for the border, Avie must find the courage Yates always believed she possessed.

About Catherine Linka

Catherine Linka was almost thrown out of boarding school for being “too verbal.” Fortunately, she learned to channel her outspokenness and creative energy into writing. She is the author of the romantic spec fiction thriller, A Girl Called Fearless. Catherine has traveled to such out of the way places as the Arctic circle, Iceland, and the Amazon and her personal goals include seeing penguins and orcas in the wild.  She doesn’t believe in fate, but she did fall in love with her husband on their first date when he laced up her boots after she broke her hand. 

Q&A with Catherine Linka

RNSL: When you started writing A Girl Called Fearless, did you think your book was going to be a YA novel, or did that develop later on the road to publication?

Catherine Linka: Avie is sixteen, almost seventeen, and she tells her story as she’s experiencing it. She’s dreaming of going to college and falling in love, and bam!--universities shut out women and her dad signs a contract for her to marry a guy twice her age. Avie has to choose whether to be fearless and run for freedom, or submit to a marriage she doesn’t want. I knew when I heard her voice in my head that this was YA, but I didn’t know that older readers would love her story, too. What’s been great is that some readers get swept away by the action and romance, while others dig deeper for the political undercurrent. 

RNSL: What project are you actively working on at the moment?

CL: We’re finishing the final copy on A Girl Undone which is the sequel and conclusion to A Girl Called Fearless, and that comes out in June. Plus, I am super excited to be working with St. Martin’s Press and Wattpad.com to feature my novella, A Girl Called Defiant: Sparrow’s Story. Everybody loved Sparrow in A Girl Called Fearless, and so I wanted to share her story. It’s sexy and tragic, and you don’t have to read A Girl Called Fearless to enjoy it, but you might want to later. 

RNSL: You have worked in the book industry apart from being an author. How has that influenced your writing life (or not)?

CL: Buying YA books for an indie bookstore is an amazing education if you want to be a writer. You’re reading all the time, seeing what books sell, and learning about different publishers. And I was really lucky I ran a teen board for 7 years because it was like watching a focus group every month about what teen readers love and hate.  The one thing I had to learn was to not let what I know about the business keep me from writing what I need to write. I have to say, “Shut up!” to my evil inner voice that tortures me by saying, “Oh, that will never sell.”

RNSL: Are you able to read other books while writing your own? Why or why not?

CL: I read every night even when I’m writing. I had to read constantly for my job at the bookstore, and it was easy, because I had tons of advance copies. When I was writing A Girl Called Fearless, I avoided reading dystopian, because I didn’t want to accidentally steal from someone else. It’s funny, but readers tell me that the characters in A Girl Called Fearless express much more emotion than they do in most spec fiction and I think that might be because I read a lot of contemporary fiction. 

RNSL: Your series is rather frightening to me in that Margaret Atwood sort of, something-like-this-could-possibly-happen-within-our-lifetimes kind of way. What makes you the most afraid? (Or are you fearless?)

CL: I wanted to write a story that when a reader put it down, they would say, “Oh my God, I could totally see that happening.” As I wrote A Girl Called Fearless, I kept thinking about how people act when a country has been through a horrible loss, and how fear or anger can be manipulated for political gain. We saw the Tea Party soar to power, and I don’t care what your political beliefs are--that was an amazing display of how emotion can be turned into political might.  One teen reviewer talked about how the rise Paternalists reminded her of the rise of Hitler--which shocked me, because that had been in the back of my mind, too.

RNSL: Cake or pie (or both)?

CL: Pie, absolutely. And when it comes to ranking pie: berry (any kind!!), lemon meringue, pecan--oh wait, did I forget chocolate pecan pie!!!


Giveaway

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15. Through the Woods: Review Haiku

CREEPY AS ALL HELL,
and wonderfully rich and
compelling to boot.

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll. McElderry/S&S, 2014, 208 pages.

0 Comments on Through the Woods: Review Haiku as of 2/27/2015 8:13:00 AM
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16. Friday Feature: Love, Lattes and Mutants by Sandra Cox



Finding love is hard, even when you aren’t a mutant.


Like most seventeen-year-olds, Piper Dunn wants to blend in with the crowd. Having a blowhole is a definite handicap. A product of a lab-engineered mother with dolphin DNA, Piper spends her school days hiding her brilliant ocean-colored eyes and sea siren voice behind baggy clothing and ugly glasses. When Tyler, the new boy in school, zeroes in on her, ignoring every other girl vying for his attention, no one, including Piper, understands why

Then Piper is captured on one of her secret missions rescuing endangered sea creatures and ends up in the same test center where her mother was engineered. There she discovers she isn’t the only one of her kind. Joel is someone she doesn’t have to hide from, and she finds herself drawn to the dolph-boy who shares her secrets. Talking to him is almost as easy as escaping from the lab. Deciding which boy has captured her heart is another story


Buy the book:

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.



Find Sandra online:
Blog

And Sandra has a giveaway with some awesome prizes:
A Piper-approved necklace and $10 Starbuck Card

A Piper-approved bracelet
Enter on the rafflecopter form:


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. Spotlight and Giveaway: Breaking Sky by Cori McCarthy

This morning I have a spotlight and giveaway for Break Sky, a new YA sci-fi by Cori McCarthy.  Check it out!

Meet the Elite Teen Fighter Pilots of the United Star Academy

  Full Name: GARRET POWERS

Call Sign: RIOT

Position: RIO (radar intercept officer)

Height: 6’1

Hair Color: Brown

Eye Color: Blue

Age: 18

Originally from: St. Paul, Minnesota

Plane name and description: PEGASUS, Streaker Jet Prototype 2

Years in the service: 4

Personality strengths: Good kisser, and that’s about it

Personality weaknesses: Punching mirrors, loudmouth

A Teaser:

“Nyx!” Riot bounded through the rec room. He leaped over the rope and wrapped Chase in a crush of a hug.

“I went to your room to catch you. Pippin said you were in Kale’s office.” His face pressed to hers in a way that made her want to pull away, but she gave him a quick squeeze instead.

“We thought you guys were going to die,” he said. “Didn’t we, Sylph?”

Chase let go. “Not even close,” she lied.

Riot was the tallest in their class but on the thin side for flight crew. He had an annoying habit of putting his chin on the top of her head, and yet he was quirky cute with kissable, full lips. “We tried to fly back out to you, but—”

Sylph elbowed him out of the way. “Keep it in your pants, Riot.”

Breaking Sky

Sourcebooks Fire

March 2015 ? ISBN: 9781492601418

Hardcover/$16.99 ? Ages 14+

Fly to the last drop of fuel. Fight to the last drop of blood.

Showoff. Reckless. Maverick. Chase Harcourt, call sign “Nyx”, isn’t one to play it safe. In the year 2048, America is locked in a cold war – and the country’s best hope is the elite teen fighter pilots of the United Star Academy. Chase is one of only two daredevil pilots chosen to fly an experimental “Streaker” jet. But few know the pain and loneliness of her past. All anyone cares about is that Chase aces the upcoming Streaker trials, proving the prototype jet can knock the enemy out of the sky.

But as the world tilts toward war, Chase cracks open a military secret. There’s a third Streaker, whose young hotshot pilot, Tristan, can match her on the ground and in the clouds. And Chase doesn’t play well with others. But to save her country, she may just have to put her life in the hands of the competition.

CORI MCCARTHY studied poetry and screenwriting before falling in love with writing for teens at Vermont College of Fine Arts. From a military family, Cori was born on Guam and lived a little bit of everywhere before she landed in Michigan. Learn more about her books at CoriMcCarthy.com.

Praise for Breaking Sky:

“Strong characterizations, action, adventure, and emotion combine to produce a sci-fi novel that is more than just the sum of its parts.” —School Library Journal STARRED Review

“Smart, exciting, confident—and quite possibly the next Big Thing.” —Kirkus Reviews

“McCarthy deploys breath-stopping depictions of high-stakes piloting with enviable ease, and the in-your-face personal confrontations are nearly as taut.” —Publishers Weekly

Buy Links:

Great Lakes Book & Supply – Cori McCarthy’s Local Indie! Pre-order here and receive a personalized signed copy.

Amazon

Apple

BAM

B&N

Chapters

Indiebound

Kobo

Rafflecoptor Giveaway:

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The post Spotlight and Giveaway: Breaking Sky by Cori McCarthy appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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18. Gaijin: Review Haiku

A different story
of internment, with
complicated characters.

Gaijin: American Prisoner of War by Matt Faulkner. Disney, 2014, 144 pages.

0 Comments on Gaijin: Review Haiku as of 1/1/1900
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19. The Monster Within is the Kindle Daily Deal!

I know I don't normally post on Tuesdays, but today is a very special day. The Monster Within is the Kindle Daily Deal!

That means that today only it's $1.99. The sequel comes out in June, so if you haven't read The Monster Within yet, get it today!

Here's the blurb to remind you what this book is about:
The moment seventeen-year-old Samantha Thompson crawls out of her grave, her second chance at life begins. She died of cancer with her long-time boyfriend, Ethan, by her side--a completely unfair shot at life. But Ethan found a way to bring her back, like he promised he would. Only Sam came back wrong. She's now a monster that drains others' lives to survive. And after she kills, she's tortured by visions--glimpses into her victims would have-been futures had she not killed them. Barely able to live with herself and trying to make things right, Sam ends up a pawn in a vicious game of payback within the local coven of witches. But when the game reveals what Ethan had to do to save Sam, she must make a choice that will change all their lives forever.

Also, if you'd like to help me spread the word (and I'd totally love you even more for that) you can share this pre-made tweet/FB post:

The Monster Within is the Kindle Daily Deal today! Get your copy for only $1.99!!! ‪#‎yalit‬ ‪#‎KindleDailyDeal‬ ‪#‎witches‬ http://www.amazon.com/Monster-Within-Kelly-Hashway-ebook/dp/B00KE4RL72

The book has already broken into 3 categories on Amazon, so thank you to everyone who has grabbed a copy at the sale price. Let's see if we can get this ranking even lower! :)

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20. Friday Feature: Elemental Series by Elana Johnson



About ELEMENTAL RUSH: Eighteen-year-old Adam Gillman has trained for twelve years to earn a coveted spot on the Supreme Elemental’s elite sentry squad. His brother, Felix, is the commander, but Adam is still thrilled when his official assignment to serve Alexander Pederson comes.

He moves into nicer quarters and can stop getting up at four a.m. to complete his mandated work out time. He still rises early though, because he needs the solitude of early morning to practice his airmaking Element—something that Adam has kept secret from everyone, even Felix, because he can’t be both an Airmaker and a sentry.

When Alex assigns him to kill a group of rogue Elementals, he balks at completing his mission for the first time. See, his only friend is Isaiah Hawking, and he’s the Earthmover on the accused Council. When faced with the prospect of killing him, Adam finds he can’t do it.

He’s well trained in assassination, but he thought he’d be murdering bad guys—not innocents.

When Alex buries the Elemental Academy—and kills over one thousand Elementals—in a fit of rage, Adam’s loyalty cracks. When he discovers that Alex is really a woman, and his brother’s lover, he defects. He hops from city to city, from Elemental school to Elemental school, always escaping only minutes before Felix can embed a knife in his heart or a tsunami can make a classroom his watery grave.

He tries to fight back, but he’s just one Airmaster with exceptional tracking skills. He does his best to warn those in danger, but as the last Elemental school goes up in flames, he knows he needs to get some real firepower on his side.

ELEMENTAL RUSH is a prequel novella to the full-length futuristic fantasy novel, ELEMENTAL HUNGER.



Buy Links:

About ELEMENTAL HUNGER: The second installment in the Elemental series, a new futuristic fantasy for young adults and new adults from acclaimed author Elana Johnson, ELEMENTAL HUNGER is a full-length novel that continues the story that began in ELEMENTAL RUSH, an Elemental novella.

Sixteen-year-old Gabriella Kilpatrick can shoot fire from her hands, which would be great if she didn’t get blamed for a blazing inferno that kills 17 schoolmates. When Gabby is commanded to Manifest her Element, everyone knows what she is: a genetic abnormality. Not to mention guilty.

So she does two logical things to survive.
1. She runs.
2. She hacks off her hair to assume a new role—that of “Gabe”, because in her world, only boys are Firemakers.

Not only does she have to act like a guy, she has to pretend to know everything a Firemaker should know. When Gabby meets Airmaster Adam Gillman, he believes her act and pledges to serve on “Gabe’s” Council. But Adam has the mark of a sentry and spent years obeying Alex, the Supreme Elemental. And Alex wants Gabby-the-genetic-freak dead and gone before she can gather the magical protection of a full Council.

With Adam’s lies that sound like truths and rumors that Alex isn’t really a Firemaker—or a man—Gabby sets out to charter a Council of her own. In order to uncover the truth, Gabby will have to learn who she can trust, how to control her own power, and most of all, how to lead a Council of Elementals, most of whom have more control over their power than she does. If she can’t, she’ll find herself just like those 17 schoolmates: burned and six feet under.

Look for the third and final installment, ELEMENTAL RELEASE, the final Elemental novella.


Buy Links:

About ELEMENTAL RELEASE: Two months after returning to the capital city of Tarpulin with a Council of his own, Airmaster Adam Gillman is ready to start repairing the relationships in his life. Up first: his Councilman and the girl he’d like to be more than friends with, Gabriella Kilpatrick.

But first, he has to figure out how to be the Airmaster his Firemaker needs. In order to do that, Adam attends Elemental training and discovers that to truly command the air, he must first be in control of his emotions. And in order to master those, he has to grieve for the loss of Hanai, make amends with his brother, and earn the trust of Gabby.

Amidst all that, Adam must also learn how to grapple with the jet stream, because a dangerous Airmaster is loose in Tarpulin. And Adam will need to find his emotional center in order to work with the atmosphere and defeat the threat.


Buy Links:


About Elana Johnson: Elana Johnson’s work, including Possession, Surrender, Abandon, and Regret, published by Simon Pulse (Simon & Schuster), is available now everywhere books are sold. Her popular ebook, From the Query to the Call, is also available for download, as well as a Possession short story, Resist

Her self-published novels include two YA contemporary novels-in-verse, Elevated and Something About Love, as well as a YA/NA futuristic fantasy series, which includes Elemental Rush, Elemental Hunger, and Elemental Release.

School teacher by day, Query Ninja by night, you can find her online at her personal blog or Twitter. She also co-founded the Query Tracker blog and WriteOnCon, and contributes to the League of Extraordinary Writers.


Social Media Links:
League of Extraordinary Writers: http://leaguewriters.blogspot.com/

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

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21. It's Cybils Day!

Hie thee over to www.cybils.com for all the good news (especially those great-looking graphic novels, eh?)

0 Comments on It's Cybils Day! as of 2/14/2015 7:47:00 AM
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22. IRL: Review Haiku

Gamer girl figures
out the rules aren't always
black-and-white. Hardcore smarts.

In Real Life/IRL by Cory Doctorow, illustrated by Jen Wang. First Second, 2014, 192 pages.

0 Comments on IRL: Review Haiku as of 2/16/2015 6:39:00 AM
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23. Friday Feature: Super Bad by Kai Strand




It's hard to be good when it's so much fun to be bad

Excerpt from Super Bad:

After sliding the card out of the envelope, she stared at it for so long Lexa finally said, “Well?”
Sandra glanced at her friend before frowning again at the card. Finally she handed it to Lexa and stared at the flowers.

Seeing you last night was as refreshing as the clean smell after a rainstorm.
—Set

Lexi’s lip curled up. “What does this mean?”
“I’m not sure.” Sandra spoke tentatively. “He obviously has a thing for weather.”
“And you,” Lexa said.
“Maybe.”
Lexa rolled her eyes. “What do you mean, maybe? He became a stalker at the party last night, and now he’s sent you your very first flowers.”
Sandra shook her head. “There’s something…I don’t know.”
A thought somewhere deep in her gray matter teased her, but kept getting overridden by images of Set’s beautiful face lowering toward hers in the dark of the hedge cave. She mentally scolded herself to focus, but then she remembered the feel of his power pulsing from him and making her skin thrum when he came within a few inches of her, and her concentration scattered.
She shook her head not wanting to relive those memories. “I don’t know. I don’t really think it’s me he wants.”
Lexa smelled an oversized rose unfurled in full bloom in the middle of a bouquet that somehow looked like a summer storm stuffed into a vase—all whites and lavenders, purples and deep blues. “It sure looks like he’s focused on you, Sand.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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24. The Shadow Hero: Review Haiku

A turtle for our time:

the classic superhero
tale writ anew.

The Shadow Hero by Gene Luen Yang and Sonny Lieuw. First Second, 2014, 176 pages.

0 Comments on The Shadow Hero: Review Haiku as of 2/20/2015 7:05:00 AM
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25. The Harlem Hellfighters: Review Haiku

A story of wartime
bravery, tainted by
shameful racism.

The Harlem Hellfighters by Max Brooks. Broadway Books, 2014, 272 pages.

0 Comments on The Harlem Hellfighters: Review Haiku as of 2/23/2015 6:11:00 AM
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