What is JacketFlap

  • JacketFlap connects you to the work of more than 200,000 authors, illustrators, publishers and other creators of books for Children and Young Adults. The site is updated daily with information about every book, author, illustrator, and publisher in the children's / young adult book industry. Members include published authors and illustrators, librarians, agents, editors, publicists, booksellers, publishers and fans.
    Join now (it's free).

Sort Blog Posts

Sort Posts by:

  • in
    from   

Suggest a Blog

Enter a Blog's Feed URL below and click Submit:

Most Commented Posts

In the past 7 days

Recent Posts

(tagged with 'young adult')

Recent Comments

JacketFlap Sponsors

Spread the word about books.
Put this Widget on your blog!
  • Powered by JacketFlap.com

Are you a book Publisher?
Learn about Widgets now!

Advertise on JacketFlap

MyJacketFlap Blogs

  • Login or Register for free to create your own customized page of blog posts from your favorite blogs. You can also add blogs by clicking the "Add to MyJacketFlap" links next to the blog name in each post.

Blog Posts by Date

Click days in this calendar to see posts by day or month
<<November 2014>>
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
      01
02030405060708
09101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30      
new posts in all blogs
Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: young adult, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 2,076
1. Archimede Fusillo talks about Dead Dog In The Still Of The Night

Award-winning Australian author, Archimede Fusillo delves deep into what it is to be a man in his latest coming-of-age novel for young adults, Dead Dog In The Still Of The Night.  The story follows the journey of Primo as he attempts to navigate his way though his final year of school with an emotionally brittle […]

Add a Comment
2. Friday Feature: Grunge Gods and Graveyards



Parted by death. Tethered by love.

Lainey Bloom’s high school senior year is a complete disaster. The popular clique, led by mean girl Wynter Woods, bullies her constantly. The principal threatens not to let her graduate with the class of 1997 unless she completes a major research project. And everyone blames her for the death of Wynter’s boyfriend, Danny Obregon.

Danny, a gorgeous musician, stole Lainey’s heart when he stole a kiss at a concert. But a week later, he was run down on a dangerous stretch of road. When he dies in her arms, she fears she’ll never know if he really would have broken up with Wynter to be with her.

Then his ghost shows up, begging her to solve his murder. Horrified by the dismal fate that awaits him if he never crosses over, Lainey seeks the dark truth amidst small town secrets, family strife, and divided loyalties. But every step she takes toward discovering what really happened the night Danny died pulls her further away from the beautiful boy she can never touch again.

Excerpt

*In this scene Lainey runs into Danny at a party at her best friend's house.*

I headed up the narrow staircase just as Danny descended. We did that weird dance where we moved to the side in order to let the other person go by, except we kept moving to the same side. Danny laughed and made a grand gesture with his hand. “After you, chiquita.” I laughed and shimmied past him. As I slid past, my boobs grazed the buttons on his shirt. I felt embarrassed and tingly. Danny coughed and sputtered. “See you later, right?”
“Right.” I hurried upstairs to Wilder’s bedroom. I didn’t want him to see my blush.
I darted inside Wilder’s messy room, shut the door, and leaned against it. The bras were gone, presumably flung inside her closet. Wilder opened a bag of potato chips and offered me one, but I shook my head. I climbed onto her bed and pressed my face into a pillow. “Why didn’t you tell me?” I groaned.
“I had no freakin’ clue she was throwing a party. She had been all secretive, but I thought it had more to do with this senior soccer player she’s been sweating.”
“No. She likes Danny. Did you see how she looked at me when he helped me with my bag?”
Potato chip crumbs sprinkled Wilder’s chest, and she brushed them off, not even caring if crumbs got inside her bed sheets. “I try to pay as little attention to her as possible. Besides, you’re not her competition. Why would she be jealous?”
“Thanks.”
“You know what I mean. She shouldn’t be threatened by you.”
“Again. Thank you.” I knew I wasn’t pretty enough to compete with Wynter, but having Wilder imply the same sentiment kind of hurt.
“Uh...” She shoved another chip in her mouth.
“Good call.”
Wilder swallowed. “So, how’s your mom?”
“The same. Awful. Liz barely lets me in to see her.”
“How come?”
I shrugged. “I think she wants Mom all to herself while she’s still ali—you know what? Let’s talk about something else.”
Wilder stood up and wiped her greasy hands on her jeans. “I don’t feel like The Real World tonight. How about an X-Files marathon?”
“That sounds awesome.”
Before she could dig out our favorite tape and pop it in the VCR, someone knocked on the door. “Enter.”
Danny poked his head inside. “Are you girls holing up in here the whole night? You should come down.”
Wilder waved him off. “Hell, no. I don’t want to deal with a bunch of drunken douches in my house. No offense.”
“None taken. I don’t often become a drunken douche.” He smiled, and I felt a rush of warmth spread through my body. “Would you be willing to lend us some tunes? Craig’s threatening to play some horrendous country songs, and your sister has an inexhaustible amount of 80s dance music.”
Before Wilder could answer him, I jumped from the bed and opened my duffel bag. “Here.” I handed him a stack of CDs and cassettes.
“Whoa. Just so you know, I’m totally going to judge you by your taste in music.”
I flipped my hair over my shoulder, a move I had seen Wynter do countless times in gym class. “Well, in that case, you’re going to think very highly of me. I have awesome taste in music.”
He laughed as he juggled the music in his hands. “Tori Amos. Green Day. Radiohead.” He lowered his voice. “You pass.” He looked at me, and without meaning to, I bit my bottom lip. “There’s this band you should listen to called—”
“Danny!” Wynter’s shrill voice cut the air. I deflated.
Danny held up the music. “Thanks for this.” He walked backward and stumbled on Wilder’s boots next to the door. His cheeks reddened. “I brought my guitar. Nutley and I are going to play later. At least come down for that.”
I smiled at Wilder. “Sure. Absolutely.”
“Yeah, totally,” said Wilder.
“Great.” He left and closed the door.

Buy links:
Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/1oSpw8w


Links for Kimberly:
Twitter: @KGGiarratano
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KGGiarratanoAuthor


One winner will be randomly selected from the comment section to receive a signed copy of Grunge Gods and Graveyards. Comment to enter!


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

Add a Comment
3. Skink: No Surrender, by Carl Hiaasen | Book Giveaway

Enter to win a hardcover copy of Skink—No Surrender, by New York Times bestselling author Carl Hiassen. Giveaway begins November 19, 2014, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends December 18, 2014, at 11:59 P.M. PST.

Add a Comment
4. Goodbye, YALSA! Hello, ILF and B&N!

There’s nothing better than a crowd of librarians and authors to remind me how lucky I am to be in this line of work, and to inspire me to keep on writing and earning my place among this bunch.

This past weekend, Austin hosted the annual YA symposium of the Young Adult Library Services Association. I participated in the Saturday evening Book Blitz — in which authors seated behind stacks of publisher-donated books get blitzed by librarians snagging their share of signed copies — as well as a Sunday-morning panel discussion including (left-to-right in Paula Gallagher’s photo above) Jonathan Auxier, Lisa Yee, Andrew Smith, moderator/organizer/wrangler Kelly Milner Halls, Bruce Coville, and Laurie Ann Thompson.

It’s going to be a full week, as I’ll also be speaking at the Indiana Library Federation’s annual conferenceShark Vs. Train is a winner of the Young Hoosier Book Award — and then reading Attack! Boss! Cheat Code! at a Barnes & Noble back here in Austin.

If you’re interested in hearing me talk for, oh, 27 minutes and 59 seconds, but won’t be making it to either of those events, I’m happy to offer a third option: this podcast interview that author Jason Henderson recorded with me last week. Enjoy!

0 Comments on Goodbye, YALSA! Hello, ILF and B&N! as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
5. 100 Sideways Miles: Review Haiku

Similarities to
Grasshopper Jungle
do not go unnoticed.

100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith. S&S, 2014, 288 pages.

0 Comments on 100 Sideways Miles: Review Haiku as of 11/17/2014 8:35:00 AM
Add a Comment
6. I'll Give You the Sun, by Jandy Nelson (ages 14 and up) -- oh wow...

Oh my… I just finished reading Jandy Nelson’s I’ll Give You the Sun, an incredible new YA novel, and I just have to talk with someone about it. I’m sitting on an airplane, all by myself, and my mind, my heart is bursting. This post is NOT what I normally write here, but life must be about taking chances. That I know.
I’ll Give You the Sun
by Jandy Nelson
Dial / Penguin, 2014
your local library
Amazon
Google Books preview
ages 14 and up
*best new book*
My family and friends know that I come alive when I can talk about books with friends who live and breathe stories the same way as I do—I sparkle in a way that I rarely do in my real world. I’m heading home from a terrific book conference (YALSA’s YA Lit Symposium) where I spent time with a new friend, Rob Bittner.

As soon as I mentioned I’ll Give You the Sun, he lit up with joy (honestly, it was a little more like a yelp and jump of excitement that someone is reading a book you love). So today I just need to write Rob about all the thoughts swimming around inside of me. [Sprinkled throughout are quotes from the book. Because, you know, I’m that sort of ex-English teacher nerd.]
“Because who knows? Who knows anything? Who knows who’s pulling the strings? Or what it is? Or how? Who knows if destiny is just how you tell yourself the story of your life?”—Jude, age 16 (chapter 8)
Nelson tells the story of Noah-and-Jude, twins who are incredibly close yet pull apart—each hiding, wrapped in their own secrets that they’re sure no one will understand. Brother and sister, Noah and Jude grapple with their relationships with their mother and father as well as with each other—so there are many times I reflected on how each responded as a boy and as a girl. And yet both are fully nuanced characters, never reduced to gendered reactions.

Chapters alternate from each twin’s perspective, and Nelson carefully draws the reader inside each person. Both teens are artists, and it was fascinating hearing, feeling, seeing, thinking the world through their eyes.

Nelson not only crafts the story from two points of view, she tells it from two points in time. Noah’s chapters take place when the twins are thirteen and fourteen. Jude, his twin sister, is an integral part of his story, but it is all from Noah’s perspective. Jude’s chapters take place when they are sixteen, by which point the twins have become completely estranged, an invisible wall dividing them. But they have started building the wall long before.
“She’s trying to get in my mind, so I close the shutters… This secret is like having hot burning coals under my bare feet all the time. I rise up from the couch to get away from any potential telepathy—when the yelling reaches us.”—Noah, ages 13 (chapter 1)
As a teen, I totally understood that idea of building walls, of closing the shutters so that my family stayed out of my thoughts. Yep, my mom may read this (Hi, Mom!), and I’m guessing she remembers oh too well how there were about two years where we basically didn’t talk. I’m guessing that as a teen, there were times when I just had to pull inside myself to try to figure things out, to feel the intense feelings, to wrestle with my own uncertainties. I was stunned by the way Nelson made me think about this.

But then—oh wow, how Nelson brings so much more into this story. I did not grapple with physical feelings as a teen the way that Noah does—I just wasn’t as aware of them, and couldn’t process them until I was much older. But I could relate to his confusion, his passion, his intensity. But then, perhaps it’s that I don’t hold onto those physical memories the same way…

Jandy Nelson writes about both Noah and Jude’s physical, sexual feelings with incredible sensitivity, passion and honesty. I raved to Rob how much I loved the way she described Brian through Noah’s eyes—both how Brian looked, but also how it made Noah feel.
“Our eyes lock and electricity rides up my spine.”—Noah, age 13 ½ (chapter 3)
But I’m fascinated, now that I’m rereading it (plane ride, remember?), how slowly their connection developed. I mean, right from the beginning Noah had this electric reaction, but as I reread it, I see that they’re just stumbling through those early conversations as their friendship develops. It isn’t until Noah sees two guys passionately kissing at a party that everything started clicking in place for me as a reader.

Jude’s struggles especially resonated with me. She meets a guy (English, yep) who makes her feel, intensely feel—even though she’s doing everything she can to close herself down from her feelings.
“This guy makes me feel like I’m actually here, unhidden, seen. And this is not just because of his camera. I do not know what this is because of.”—Jude, age 16 (chapter 4)
And I think that’s an essential part of what I remember about intense friendships from my teen years and from falling in love. That sense that someone sees you for you, someone gets you. But I also had such a visceral reaction to Jude’s description of Oscar.
“There’s something in his (Oscar’s) voice, in his gaze, in his whole being, something hungry and insistent and it’s untethering me.”—Jude, age 16 (chapter 2)
Okay, Rob, so full confession time here. I’ve just spent the last hour (plane ride, right?) rereading Jude’s chapter when she starts working in Guillermo’s studio and falling head over heals for Oscar. Highlighting every description of Oscar. In pink. And I’m pretty sure that I’ve been transported back to my 20 year old self when I first met Ed. English? Check. Banter? Check. Tall, muscular? Check. Irresistable? Check. So I can’t include all the parts that I’ve highlighted (definitely TMI), but I can tell you that Jandy Nelson captured Oscar exactly right.

And then the ending… which I won’t say too much about. Except that it’s filled with hope and family and so many layered ideas that I’ll be thinking about it for weeks to come. I’ll be thinking about how people I love still live inside of me, even though they have passed away (Molly, Nana, GrandTom). And how important it is to take a chance.

So I’ll quickly put on my librarian shoes to say hand this book to a teen who loves realistic fiction, likes complicated stories because life is complicated. And when I say teen, I really mean teen – I would not put this in an 8th grader’s classroom. Some 8th graders might connect, but most will get much more out of it in a few years.

Are you looking for more professional, library-type reviews? Check out these:


I know this post has gone on forever. But maybe, kind readers, your interest has been piqued. So here's a preview of I'll Give You the Sun from Google Books.

I purchased the review copy through iBooks (plane ride, remember?). I can assure you that I'll be purchasing several more copies to give to friends. If you're dying for a copy, leave a comment. Persuade me, and I might just purchase an extra one for you. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion goes to Great Kid Books. Thank you for your support.

©2014 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books

0 Comments on I'll Give You the Sun, by Jandy Nelson (ages 14 and up) -- oh wow... as of 11/17/2014 2:09:00 AM
Add a Comment
7. Best Young Adult Books with Mary Amato, Author of Get Happy

I’m putting the following books on my to-read list. I chose these particular books of the many the above authors have written because either these particular characters or the genres (fantasy, adventure, and historical fiction) are the most different from my own work.

Add a Comment
8. Giveaway: Win Eternal (Shadow Falls: After Dark) by C C Hunter!

This morning I have a giveaway for C. C. Hunter’s Eternal (Shadow Falls: After Dark)!  Open to US addresses only, please.

From Amazon:

Just when Della feels like she’s starting to figure out her life, she finds herself

reborn…and her new existence comes with a whole different rulebook.

Della’s secret powers always made her feel like an outsider in the human world. Now, just when she’s starting to feel like she belongs—at Shadow Falls, a camp for teens with paranormal powers—her life is turned upside down all over again. Attacked by a deadly virus, she must make the difficult choice to be reborn. It’s her only chance at survival, but it comes with a price: It irreparably bonds her to Chase, a tall, dark and mesmerizing vampire who makes her laugh one minute and infuriates her the next.

Chase already knows too many of Della’s secrets, and being eternally bonded to him is the last thing she wants. Even worse, she doesn’t fully understand what their bond means. Is the attraction she’s started feeling for Chase real—or does fate have something else in store? And what does that mean for Steve, the hot shapeshifter whose kisses make her weak in the knees? Now Della’s battered heart is about to take another hit. While investigating her latest case, she discovers shocking evidence about her father’s dark past, making her question everything she believes to be true…and her place in the world she loves.

Open to US addresses only, please

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The post Giveaway: Win Eternal (Shadow Falls: After Dark) by C C Hunter! appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

Add a Comment
9. Friday Feature: Wicked Path by Eliza Tilton





Wicked Path, by Eliza Tilton

Genre: young-adult, fantasy

Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press

Date of Release­­: October 6, 2014

Series: Daath Chronicles (#2)

Cover Artist: Michelle Johnson at Blue Sky Design(https://www.facebook.com/pages/Blue-Sky-Design/1401031006827361?sk=timeline)

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22452354-wicked-path?from_search=true

Description:
In Wicked Path: Book Two of the Daath Chronicles brother and sister are forced to opposite sides of Tarrtainya on a fast-paced adventure where the wildlife isn’t the only thing trying to kill them.

Three months have passed since Avikar defeated the Reptilian Prince, and he still can’t remember his battle with Lucino. On the hunt for answers, he returns to the scene of the fight and discovers a strange connection between his family’s dagger and the mysterious kingdom of Daath, and it seems only his distant father can reveal the truth behind it all.

Before Avikar can travel back home, Lucy assaults him in the market and forces him to flee to Nod Mountains—a place few dare to enter, and even less return from. With Raven and her childhood friend by his side, they must survive the treacherous journey through the pass with a vengeful Lucy hunting them. If they don’t, they’ll never see home again.

Jeslyn’s new life in Luna Harbor is the perfect remedy for her confused and broken heart. But when a group of mercenaries kidnap her beloved Grandfather, interrupting her daily routine as his jewelry apprentice, she's forced to join forces with the one person from her past she tried to forget.


And his assistance comes with a price.

About The Author:

Eliza graduated from Dowling College with a BS in Visual Communications. When she’s not arguing with excel at her day job, or playing Dragon Age 2, again, she’s writing.

Her YA stories hold a bit of the fantastical and there’s always a hot romance. She resides on Long Island with her husband, two kids and one very snuggly pit bull.

Find Eliza Tilton Online:


Website (http://elizatilton.com/)| Facebook(https://www.facebook.com/pages/Eliza-Tilton-YA-Author/245765852217133) | Twitter (https://twitter.com/ElizaTilton)| Goodreads(https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7047768.Eliza_Tilton)

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

Add a Comment
10. The Port Chicago 50: Review Haiku

A infuriating story,
masterfully told.
Justice not served.

The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights by Steve Sheinkin. Roaring Brook, 2014, 208 pages.

0 Comments on The Port Chicago 50: Review Haiku as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
11. Review: A Little Something Different

A Little Something Different: Fourteen Viewpoints, One Love Story by Sandy Hall. Swoon Reads, an imprint of Feiwel and Friends. 2014. Review copy from publisher.

The Plot: Lea and Gabe meet in creative writing class. It's going to take more than sharing a college class to get these two together, even though they sit side by side.

What's keeping them apart? And what will it take to get them together? Well, Lea and Gabe won't tell you, but their friends, family, and others around them, from the bus drive to the waitress, will.

The Good: I just loved the narrative device of fourteen people (including those who don't like Lea and Gabe, as well as a squirrel and a bench) telling the romance of Lea and Gabe.

I loved this -- both because I've always been a fan of large casts and multiple viewpoints, and because it strengthens this particular story. While we don't see what Lea sees or Gabe sees, we see what those around them do, and it's like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. We see more of their world than they do.

Admittedly, fourteen voices is a lot to keep track of, as a reader, even when some are as unique as 'Squirrel!" The book design helps make this easier for those who, unlike me, don't keep a notebook with a running list of characters as they read. Instead of simply saying "Casey" or "Danny" or "Bob," it always says "Casey (Gabe's friend)" or "Danny (Lea's friend)" or "Bob (a bus driver)". It's just that little bit extra to help keep track of who is who.

I've written before (both when talking about New Adult and just in general) that when I was in high school I looked for books set in college out of curiosity about what college would be like; and when I was in college, I wanted books with a college setting to reflect the reality I was living. A Little Something Different meets that reading need, because it's not just about Lea and Gabe's slow road to romance; it's also about the things, small and big, that make up college life: parties, cafeteria food, overlapping friends, ordering take-out.

I would call this New Adult; but -- in part because of who is telling the story, and because it does take a while for Lea and Gabe together -- this isn't a sexytimes romance. What it is a sweet, funny glimpse into the lives of Lea and Gabe and those around them. This is more for those whose search for New Adult is more about setting than romance -- but the romance is so great! It's just not a hot and heavy romance, it's a slow burn of missed opportunities by two of the shyest people on the planet.

Another thing I liked about A Little Something Different is how Hall wove in diversity into the narrative. For example, Lea's friend Danny is gay; the creative writing professor is a woman married to another woman; Lea is Chinese-American. Gabe had been in a car accident the year before, and it -- and the physical after effects of the accident -- are something he doesn't easily share (it's a bit of a spoiler even saying that here), and those things have an effect on how he interacts with others and how others see him.

Note: Sandy Hall is a fellow New Jersey librarian.

Other reviews: Wondrous Reads reviews; Good Books & Good Wine

Amazon Affiliate. If you click from here to Amazon and buy something, I receive a percentage of the purchase price.

© Elizabeth Burns of A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy

0 Comments on Review: A Little Something Different as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
12. Monday Mishmash: 11/10/14


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. The Attic of Sand and Secrets by Medeia Sharif  I'm reading this right now!
THE ATTIC OF SAND AND SECRETS 
by Medeia Sharif

Vendor links will be updated on Medeia’s site.

Middle Grade Historical and Fantasy, Featherweight Press, November 2014

Lily, a learning disabled girl, attempts to unravel the mystery of her abducted mother using supernatural clues from an ancient stranger, even when it means posing a danger to herself.

Learning-disabled Lily desires to prove herself, although her mind freezes when presented with big problems - such as her mother's abduction. With a French father and Egyptian mother, Lily worries that her mother hid her ethnicity from her French in-laws. However, there's something deeper going on. Lily finds a way into an attic that's normally locked and encounters a mysterious, moonlit Egyptian night world. There she finds Khadijah, an ancient stranger who guides her to finding clues about her mother's whereabouts. Lily becomes a sleuth in both the real world and magical desert, endangering herself as she gets closer to the kidnapper.

Find Medeia – Multi-published YA and MG Author

Blog   |   Twitter   |   Goodreads   |   Instagram   |   Amazon

a Rafflecopter giveaway

2. Revisions  This week I'm revising one of my manuscripts I put aside for a while. It's always fun to go back and read a first draft I've stepped away from.

3. Some Fine Day by Kat Ross  Kat Ross has a new release and a giveaway for you.
What if everything you've been taught is a lie?

Sixteen-year-old Jansin Nordqvist knows that when the world flooded and civilization retreated deep underground, there was no one left on the surface.

She knows that the only species to thrive there is the toads, a primate/amphibian hybrid with a serious mean streak.

Most of all, she knows there's no place where you can hide from the hypercanes, continent-sized storms that have raged for decades.

Turns out Jansin was wrong. On all counts…


Enter here to win a Kindle Paperwhite pre-loaded with Some Fine Day, plus other awesome YA audiobook giveaways!

4.  Reading/Reviewing  I'm reading a bunch of books that I need to review. It's nice to have to find time to read. Usually reading gets pushed aside for other things, but when I promise to review, I can't do that. ;)

5. Promo  My crazy month of events every week (some weeks more than one event) is over, but I do still have a signing set up for this month and two school visits coming up. This week I'll be trying to book another signing for the holidays.

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

Add a Comment
13. 100 Sideways Miles Blog Tour

I'm so thrilled to be on the 100 Sideways Miles blog tour for Andrew Smith! Read on for more about the book, my review, and a giveaway. Check out the tour schedule for more reviews.

  100-Sideways-Miles-BANNER - sidebar.jpg  

About the book

100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 277
Published: 2 Sept, 2014

Finn Easton sees the world through miles instead of minutes. It’s how he makes sense of the world, and how he tries to convince himself that he’s a real boy and not just a character in his father’s bestselling cult-classic book. Finn has two things going for him: his best friend, the possibly-insane-but-definitely-excellent Cade Hernandez, and Julia Bishop, the first girl he’s ever loved.
Then Julia moves away, and Finn is heartbroken. Feeling restless and trapped in the book, Finn embarks on a road trip with Cade to visit their college of choice in Oklahoma. When an unexpected accident happens and the boys become unlikely heroes, they take an eye-opening detour away from everything they thought they had planned—and learn how to write their own destiny.

Where to find it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Goodreads | Free Preview

About the author

Andrew Smith is the award-winning author of several Young Adult novels, including the critically acclaimed Winger (Starred reviews in Publishers WeeklyKirkus, Booklist, and Shelf Awareness—an Amazon “Best of the Year”) and The Marbury Lens (A YALSA BFYA, and Starred reviews and Best of the Year in both Publishers Weekly and Booklist).

Smith is a native-born Californian who spent most of his formative years traveling the world. His university studies focused on Political Science, Journalism, and Literature. He has published numerous short stories and articles. Stand Off, the sequel to Winger, coming in January 2015, is his ninth novel. He lives in Southern California.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Events | Goodreads


Alethea's Review

To begin, I should tell you I know Andrew Smith. I met him in 2011, right after a Wall Street Journal article on YA books basically shat all over him and a few other terrific authors for writing children's literature that was "too dark". He's a great guy and an amazing writer. While the content of his novels are usually brutal, violent, darkly and scatologically humorous, which might make you think the author is some rough, tough ne'er-do-well, he's actually quite sensitive. Anyone who understands his writing understands that, just as he understands us and our feelings. (All the feels!)

While it would probably behoove me to tell you that I am giving the book an honest review regardless of how I think of Andrew, that wouldn't be quite true. I would be even less truthful to say I'm giving it a good review because I like him a lot, and want to spare his feelings. I want you to know I'm giving 100 Sideways Miles the most honest review that I can, given that I already presupposed it to be brilliant because it's written by Andrew Smith. I'm not sugar-coating it, because I don't have to.

It's brilliant.

Finn Easton's view of life, from his stance as an epileptic, uncertain, eventually heart-broken teenaged boy tilts the reader's perspective in unexpected ways. Whenever Finn has a seizure, all is beauty, and words cease to have meaning as the connections between them unravel in his brain. He marks time in miles instead of minutes, thinks of people in terms of their molecules, and how much or how little the microscopic bits of matter want to stay together or rejoin the universe. His best friend Cade, crass and a little insane, makes a great foil. Finn's crush, Julia Bishop, is a girl I'd fall in love with, myself. She's forthright and real. Their story unfolds like history rather than fiction.

Strange plot and lovable characters aside--I won't spoil anything for you--the real star of the show is Smith's prose. He has a penchant for taking normal, everyday words and stringing them together in unforgettable ways, like "the planet of humans and dogs", or "the knackery never shuts down", simple but lyrical to the point where I find myself thinking them throughout the day, when I think about politics and people, when I am planting seeds in the garden, when I'm shampooing my hair. "Twenty miles. Twenty miles." It's how many miles the earth travels per second. When he's not busy blowing your mind, Smith sneaks in relevant tidbits of history, like carrots in the meatloaf. I probably knew, but didn't remember, anything about the St. Francis dam disaster of 1928, and now I feel like I'll never forget it.

People who don't like Andrew Smith point and pick at his use of profanity as weakness. To me, they're the weak ones. His frank voice helps me feel understood; it echoes the way I think, speak, and feel. It makes us, his readers, feel like we're not alone. Not just that, but Smith's detractors are missing the point; they're missing the words and ideas that matter. "Twenty miles. Twenty miles." Every moment we stand still, we're moving. 

100 Sideways Miles is darkly funny, deeply thoughtful, and a worthy addition to Andrew Smith's bildungsroman novels.

  alethea_signs_nl2014.png  

Tour Schedule

November 3rd ~ The Pirate Tree – Review
November 3rd ~ Roof Beam Reader – Review
November 3rd ~ Cabin Goddess – Mom & Son Review with a Recipe
November 3rd ~ Bookish – Review
November 3rd ~ Lookandseebeanazed – Review
November 4th ~ The Reader and the Chef – Review
November 4th ~ The Bookish Confections – Review
November 4th ~ Fangirlish – Review
November 4th ~ Reads All The Books – Review
November 5th ~ Word Spelunking – Review
November 5th ~ Debbie Bookish – Review
November 5th ~ Books and Bling – Review
November 5th ~ Falling For YA – Review
November 5th ~ I Read Banned Books  – Review
November 5th ~ Ringo The Cat – Review
November 5th ~ A Leisure Moment – Review
November 6th ~ Reading on the Farm – Review
November 6th ~ Blogging Between the Lines – Review
November 6th ~ Bookhounds YA – Review
November 6th ~ What A Nerd Girl Says – Review
November 6th ~ Movies, Shows & Books – Review
November 6th ~ Deal Sharing Aunt  – Review
November 7th ~ Pixie Vixen Book Reviews – Review
November 7th ~ roro is Reading – Review
November 7th ~ The Reader and the Chef – Review
November 7th ~ Cabin Goddess – Review
November 7th ~ Reads All The Books – Review
November 7th ~ Laura Kreitzer, Bestselling Author  – Review
November 7th ~ LRB - Karin Baker  – Review
November 7th ~ Read Now Sleep Later – Review


Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

0 Comments on 100 Sideways Miles Blog Tour as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
14. Friday DOUBLE Feature: Vanquished and Catch Me When I Fall




I have a treat for you today. I've read this debut YA series and it's great. I'm so happy to welcome Katie Clark to my blog!

The Making of Vanquished

Thank you for having me today! I’m thrilled to introduce your readers to my debut novel, Vanquished. People are always asking me how I got the idea for Vanquished, and since it’s a story I love telling I am happy to share it.

This wasn’t an easy idea. It came to me in bits and pieces over the course of a few years. It started with the main character, Hana. I was always thinking about this girl. This strong but vulnerable girl. She wanted to believe in the life she’d been led to live. She wanted to follow the rules. Except she couldn’t.

At that time, I had no idea what brought about her unhappiness or dissatisfaction, I only knew she needed to work toward something more.

Fast forward a year or two, I was given the idea to write a story set in a world where there was no God. No Bible. No religion. Would this world be better? Worse? And how? I had no idea how to make this story happen, but the idea stuck in my head and percolated.

Finally, the two halves came together to make a whole. One day I was sitting in church (yes, I admit I was daydreaming), and it hit me. These two stories were the same story. Hana was dissatisfied because she suspected there was more than met the eye in her city, and she set out to find it. Her mom was sick, and she needed answers. What she uncovered went way beyond hidden medications and technology—what she found was the truth that the God she’d been told was myth might not be myth at all. The story just flew from there, and it didn’t end for three books!

I hope you all enjoy it, and to celebrate I’m giving away an e-copy of Vanquished! I’ll choose one lucky commenter at random, so leave your name and email address below for a chance to win. Thanks for stopping by!



About Vanquished:
When Hana’s mom is diagnosed with the mutation, she is denied the medication that might save her life.  Fischer, a medic at the hospital, implies there are people who can help—except Hana’s not sure she can trust him; Fischer is involved in a religious group, and religion has been outlawed for the last hundred years.  Hana embarks on a dangerous journey, seeking the answers Fischer insists are available. When the truth is uncovered does Hana stick to what she knows?  Or does she join the rebellion, taking a stand against an untrustworthy society?


KATIE CLARK writes young adult speculative fiction, including her dystopian Enslaved Series, made up of Vanquished, Deliverance, and Redeemer. You can connect with her at her website, on Facebook, or on Twitter.

Thank you, Katie!

Make sure you comment below for a chance to win an ebook of Vanquished!

That's not all. My agency sister, Vicki Leigh, is also have a blog tour for her new release, Catch Me When I Fall.



Catch Me When I Fall, by Vicki Leigh

Genre: young-adult, urban-fantasy, paranormal-romance

Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press

Date of Release­­: October 23, 2014



Recruited at his death to be a Protector of the Night, seventeen-year-old Daniel Graham has spent two-hundred years fighting Nightmares and guarding humans from the clawed, red-eyed creatures that feed off people’s fears. Each night, he risks his eternal life, having given up his chance at an afterlife when he chose to become a Protector. That doesn’t stop a burnt-out Daniel from risking daring maneuvers during each battle. He’s become one of the best, but he wants nothing more than to stop.

Then he’s given an assignment to watch over sixteen-year-old Kayla Bartlett, a clinically depressed patient in a psychiatric ward. Nightmares love a human with a tortured past. Yet, when they take a deep interest in her, appearing in unprecedented numbers, the job becomes more dangerous than any Daniel’s ever experienced. He fights ruthlessly to keep the Nightmares from overwhelming his team and Kayla. Soon, Daniel finds himself watching over Kayla during the day, drawn to why she’s different, and what it is about her that attracts the Nightmares. And him.

A vicious attack on Kayla forces Daniel to break the first Law and reveal his identity. Driven by his growing feelings for her, he whisks her away to Rome where others like him can keep her safe. Under their roof, the Protectors discover what Kayla is and why someone who can manipulate Nightmares has her in his sights. But before they can make a move, the Protectors are betrayed and Kayla is kidnapped. Daniel will stop at nothing to save her. Even if it means giving up his immortality.

Excerpt:
We followed Kayla to her dining hall for lunch. The room was large with white walls and a white, tiled floor. Steel tables and chairs were bolted to the ground. Kayla sat near a window in the far corner of the room with one other boy, a red-haired, freckle-faced kid with glasses that covered the top half of his face. He spoke with a bit of a lisp, and he rocked back and forth as he conversed with Kayla. Still, he appeared to be quite intelligent.
“Did you ever read Charles Darwin’s theory on evolution? Maybe we’re not crazy at all, but instead, we’re fundamentally different from the rest of the universe because we can see things and hear things. Maybe we’re supposed to be part of this super army that protects other people like us when the zombie apocalypse takes over the world and destroys all the people who haven’t mutated like us.”
Okay, maybe he was crazy.
Kayla smiled. “So, we’re going to be like X-Men during a zombie apocalypse?” She listened with intensity, as if she was truly interested in hearing what he had to say, and although his idea was absolutely idiotic, she had replied with a level of kindness I never would have managed. Impressive.
“Exactly! Ooh, I know. You could be Rogue, and I’ll be Cyclops.”
Kayla’s head tipped backward as she exploded with genuine laughter. “Why Rogue? I mean, maybe I want to be Storm. She’s badass, you know.”
“Yeah, but you’re pretty, like Rogue.”
Kayla blushed as if she hadn’t gotten those kinds of comments a million times. “Well, thank you.” She patted his hand.
He smiled and looked down at where her fingertips touched the back of his hand. Then he looked over his shoulder and glared. Kayla’s instant frown made me spring up on the balls of my feet.
“No, you’re wrong!” He yelled at an empty spot in the room.
Kayla grabbed his wrist. “Marcus, calm down.”
He snatched his wrist out of her grasp and turned in his chair toward whatever invisible person he screamed at. “No! I don’t have to listen to you! She’s my friend.” He stood up and marched over to the empty space, swinging like he was backhanding someone.
Kayla jumped from her seat and stood in front of him. She placed her hands on his upper arms. “Marcus, they aren’t going to hurt you.”
“Get off me!” He shoved her away from him, hard. Not weighing much, Kayla flew into the chair behind her. Bolted to the floor, the chair didn’t budge. She yelped in pain and crashed to the ground.
I took a step toward her, every fiber in me wanting to make sure she was okay. But then I remembered what I was and ground my teeth.
Seeing the violence, the nurses rushed in. Two of the bigger men grabbed Marcus as he fought them, eventually having to resort to a tranquilizer to calm him down. Two others jogged to Kayla where she sat on the ground, her eyes wet with tears. She clutched her side where her ribs had hit the metal chair. I balled my hands into fists, angry that I could do nothing but watch as the nurses helped her to her feet and led her out of the cafeteria.



Find Catch Me When I Fall Online:


--


About The Author:
Adopted at three-days-old by a construction worker and a stay-at-home mom, Vicki Leigh grew up in a small suburb of Akron, Ohio where she learned to read by the age of four and considered being sent to her room for punishment as an opportunity to dive into another book. By the sixth grade, Vicki penned her first, full-length screenplay. If she couldn’t be a writer, Vicki would be a Hunter (think Dean and Sam Winchester) or a Jedi. Her favorite place on earth is Hogwarts (she refuses to believe it doesn’t exist), and her favorite dreams include solving cases alongside Sherlock Holmes.

Vicki is an editor for Curiosity Quills Press and is represented by Sarah Negovetich of Corvisiero Literary Agency.

Find Vicki Leigh Online:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Add a Comment
15. Beverly Slapin's review of RABBIT STORIES by Kim Shuck

Shuck, Kim (Tsalagi, Sauk/Fox, Polish), Rabbit Stories. Poetic Matrix Press,2013, high school-up

Rabbit (the Being) has awesome responsibilities. He weighs and measures leaves so they can exist. He sings to bring the flowers into bloom. He dances to turn the seasons. He cradles subatomic particles and powwow dancers in his sight—whispers, “beautiful, happy”—and they dance, dance, dance, dance. All these things (and more) he has been given to do, else the world—or at least this corner of the cosmos—will get bent. No small feats and no small responsibilities, those. Rabbit is also a mentor (in his magical way) to Rabbit Food, the human girl he’s named for a wild rose, the human girl he brings to maturity as a smart, loving, responsible, talented Indian woman; a quantum physicist who knows who she is and what she comes from. Under Rabbit’s auspices (and, of course, those of her Aunties and Grandmas), Rabbit Food is a “child of multiple cultures, of Tsalagi and Polish and fantasy and sci-fi, she knows that around any corner there may be a paradigm shift… (And) she will be prepared if stuck in an alternate reality.”

The two—(or three if you count the polyvalent reality of Robin and Fox)—trickster-mentor and quantum physicist, naturally acknowledge each other without actually speaking or touching. Since Rabbit Food was a child, it has never occurred to her to mention him to anyone. Rather, she tosses him a cookie now and then, or lets the cilantro stolen from the fridge go unnoticed, or hides a cashew where he will find it, and she “keeps learning the things she needs.” And Rabbit “loves Rabbit Food, loves her…with the completeness that only someone thoroughly self-absorbed can achieve, and only then for small moments.” 

The stories—of Rabbit Food’s lifetime as girl, young woman, new mother and mature artist, and, of course, ever the student of trickster-cum-life coach Rabbit—weave up, down, around and through. They’re brilliantly crafted and lovingly told, semi-autobiographical stories that take place in parallel worlds full of spirit and magic and wonder and grace; intertwined like the tight stitches of a Tsalagi double-woven basket.

Indian students will appreciate these stories for their many cultural and historical references, their nuances and word plays, their multiple layers of dream and memory, and their fast-paced, wise cracking humor—everything that makes Rabbit Stories Indian. They will also probably appreciate that the author did not, as non-Native authors often do with “Indian” material, turn the stories into mind-numbing ethnographic expositions. Students who are from outside the community may not “get” everything, but will appreciate the stories as well. I encourage teachers to allow these appealing stories to resonate with their students and not to ruin the experience by attempting to analyze or interpret them.

Rabbit Stories, as is Kim’s first book of poetry, Smuggling Cherokee, is amazing; and Kim—an accomplished artist and master storyteller, poet, and educator—is an international treasure. Not one eagle feather dropped here, no pickup dance necessary.

—Beverly Slapin



0 Comments on Beverly Slapin's review of RABBIT STORIES by Kim Shuck as of 11/6/2014 8:31:00 AM
Add a Comment
16. Guest Post: CC Hunter, Author of Eternal

Please welcome CC Hunter to the virtual offices this morning!

Top 5 things Della Won’t Leave Home Without by CC Hunter

  1. Her bra. Not for the support, but for the extra padding.

“You finally got some boobs, young lady,” her aunt said.

“It’s a padded bra.” Della tried to tease back, but the humor fell short when she realized how much she’d missed her aunt. How much she missed her old life.

  1. Water proof mascara. Della hates looking weak. In Eternal she’s driven to tears more than she wants to admit. Yet even if she cries, she doesn’t want the evidence hanging around.

She stepped to the side, out of his embrace, and swatted at the tears on her face. “We should go see if anyone is home,” she said, working to keep her voice from shaking.

He nodded, stepping closer, and with one finger, he wiped away a tear she must have missed. “It’s going to be okay. Believe me.”

She turned and started walking. Then a realization hit.

Hit hard.

Hit fast.

She did believe him. But she didn’t know what “okay” was, or what it meant. Because everything in her life was changing.  Again. And she hated change

  1. Her sense of humor even when she’s upset.

“You’re giving me the silent treatment. So let’s just talk about it,” Chase said.

She hadn’t purposely not spoken to him. She went back to reading.

“Did you hear me?” he asked.

“Yes and no.”

“What?” he asked, confused.

“Yes, I heard you, and no, I don’t want to talk about . . . ‘it.’”

“You can’t be pissed at me about that.”

“Sure I can,” she seethed in a low voice.

“You’re not being fair.”

“Where did you get the idea I was fair?”

  1. Her kickbutt attitude.

“You show up in the middle of the night, at our graveyard, with your girl toy there and expect us to believe you’re on official business?” The redheaded were said.

The girl toy comment just about did her in. Della growled and her canines came out to play.

“She’s not a toy.” Burnett’s eyes now glowed a lime green. “Show me your registration papers and tell your mouthy friend to back down.”

“Do as he says.” The head of the pack pulled out his wallet. Della saw the redhead pull something out of his pocket. She spotted the tiny little problem immediately. It wasn’t a wallet.

With a speed she didn’t know possible, she bolted forward. Before he could say “uncle,” or even think to say “uncle,” she’d knocked him down to his knees.

She snatched the knife from the were’s hand then pushed him face down on the grass.

The were raised his head back. Della saw the bright orange color of his eyes reflected on the ground. “I had to get my knife out to get to my card,” he growled.

“Yeah, and Girl Toy had to take it away from you,” Della snapped back.

  1. Her sharp tongue and her sassy way with words.

Chase kicked at a rock on the ground. The pebble soared through the air and hit a tree with a dead thump. “So I’m the bad guy for wanting to save your life?”

She leaned in. “You’re the bad guy for not being up-front. And you’re still doing it.”

His mouth tightened, and he crossed his arms over his chest. “Okay. I didn’t tell you everything. Be mad at me for that. But you can’t just ignore me or the fact that we’re bonded. You feel it. I feel it. You can’t deny it.”

“Watch me. I’m good at denying shit!” She seethed and darted around him to start back.

“God, you’re stubborn!” he called out then again appeared in front of her.

She came to an abrupt stop, slamming her hands on his chest to stop from falling face forward. He caught her by the waist. Gently. His touch sent her heart racing this time.

“Either tell me the truth or leave,” she said, stepping out of his embrace. It was her last ultimatum. “Who are you working with besides the Vampire Council, and don’t tell me no one, because my bullshit detector goes off every time you tell me that.”

Thank you for the opportunity to blog. I hope you all enjoy Eternal.

“Spectacular! I love Della’s sarcastic and yet deeply sensitive perspective and can’t wait to see how things unfold for her.”—Fresh Fiction

Just when Della feels like she’s starting to figure out her life, she finds herself

reborn…and her new existence comes with a whole different rulebook.

Della’s secret powers always made her feel like an outsider in the human world. Now, just when she’s starting to feel like she belongs—at Shadow Falls, a camp for teens with paranormal powers—her life is turned upside down all over again. Attacked by a deadly virus, she must make the difficult choice to be reborn. It’s her only chance at survival, but it comes with a price: It irreparably bonds her to Chase, a tall, dark and mesmerizing vampire who makes her laugh one minute and infuriates her the next.

Chase already knows too many of Della’s secrets, and being eternally bonded to him is the last thing she wants. Even worse, she doesn’t fully understand what their bond means. Is the attraction she’s started feeling for Chase real—or does fate have something else in store? And what does that mean for Steve, the hot shapeshifter whose kisses make her weak in the knees? Now Della’s battered heart is about to take another hit. While investigating her latest case, she discovers shocking evidence about her father’s dark past, making her question everything she believes to be true…and her place in the world she loves.

The post Guest Post: CC Hunter, Author of Eternal appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

Add a Comment
17. Best Selling Young Adult Books | November 2014

This month, everything remains the same on our hand-picked list from the Best Selling Young Adult list—including The Children's Book Review's number one best selling young adult book is The Children's Homer: The Adventures of Odysseus and the Tale of Troy.

Add a Comment
18. Monday Mishmash 11/3/14


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. Absence of Light by Meradeth Houston  Congrats to Meradeth on the release of her newest book! It's on my Kindle right now!

Leah’s always seen the shadow creatures. She thought she was immune to their evil—until now.

She’s walked into a massacre, stolen a BMW, and is running from the law for a crime she didn’t commit. Nineteen-year-old Leah’s life just went from mildly abnormal to totally crazy at lightning speed. But no one will believe that the shadow creatures are framing her for the murder, because she’s the only one that can see them. At least that’s what she thought.

When Leah stumbled across a group who share her ability, she discovers they have something she doesn’t: a way to fight back. When the group offers to teach her how to kill the shadow creatures, Leah jumps at the chance. But something is brewing with the creatures. They’re tracking down the hunters like there’s no tomorrow. Leah suspects that maybe there won’t be, and it’s up to her to make sure tomorrow comes. Because she’ll do anything to stop the shadows, including risking her life—and the life of the one she loves—to keep the world from being lost to darkness forever. 



Check it out on Amazon: Barnes and Noble: Evernight TeenGoodreads.

    2. Riven and Prodigal Double Cover Reveal  The very awesome Sherry Ficklin and Tyler Jolley have two gorgeous new covers to reveal. Check out Riven and Prodigal in the Lost Imperials Series.



    Release Date: May 5, 2015
    Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing

    What should be a routine mission leaves Ethan with a serious problem. He’s fractured—a break between mind and body that leaves him at the mercy of his Rifter abilities, which are quickly tearing him apart. He will have to trust the only person who might know how to fix him, a mysterious Rifter named Stewart Stills, who seems to have a special connection with the time stream.

    Forced to face his dark past and a decision he may never forgive himself for, he will be trained unlike any of the others, to become a true guardian for time. If he accepts, it will mean leaving everyone he loves behind. If he refuses, time itself could unravel. After a glimpse of the dark future awaiting them all, he will have to choose between destiny and desire. Will he rise up and take his place as a defender of the natural order, or will he watch as all of time burns at the hands of the girl he loves?

    Welcome to the time war.



    Release Date: May 5, 2015
    Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing

    Stein has been with the Hollows for as long as she can remember. Taken as a child, she has no memories of her past—and that’s always been fine by her. Until the day she stumbles across a hidden journal containing the devastating truth about her paternity. Now everything she thought she knew—and everyone she thought she could trust—has changed. The truth about who she is and where she came from is a secret so deep, it will rock the Hollows and the Tesla Institute alike.

    During a test to verify her bloodlines, Stein makes a terrible discovery. She is carrying a rare genetic mutation that is slowly killing her. Unsure who to turn to and running out of time, she has no choice but to turn to Tesla—her most hated enemy—for help. But can she trust the man who she’s been fighting against her whole life, or will she end up another piece in his deadly game of cat and mouse with the people who betrayed her so long ago?

    3. Rite of Rejection by Sarah Negovetich  I couldn't be happier for my agent! Her upcoming release looks amazing. Check it out.

    http://www.sarahnegovetich.com/p/author.html

    Releasing December 4th, 2014
    Straight-laced, sixteen-year-old Rebecca can’t wait for her Acceptance. A fancy ball, eligible bachelors, and her debut as an official member of society. Instead, the Machine rejects Rebecca. Labeled as a future criminal, she’s shipped off to a life sentence in a lawless penal colony.
    A life behind barbed wire fences with the world’s most dangerous people terrifies Rebecca. She reluctantly joins a band of misfit teens in a risky escape plan, complete with an accidental fiancé she’s almost certain she can learn to love.
    But freedom comes with a price. To escape a doomed future and prove her innocence Rebecca must embrace the criminal within.
    Pre-order Available now at Amazon, B&N, Kobo &; iTunes
    4. Editing  November is packed with client edits for me. That means no NaNoWriMo yet again. I've never actually participated though I have unofficially joined the fun in the past. Still, I finished a draft in October so I'm okay with missing out. Good luck to all who are fast drafting this month.

    5.  Into the Fire Challenge Winner Announced!  On November 1st, I announced the winner of the #IntotheFireChallenge. Congrats to Sherry Alexander! She will appear as a phoenix in the third and final book in the Birth of the Phoenix series.

    6.  Promo Like a Mad Woman!  I've had a lot of author events lately, and while I'm busy and I got sick, I'm having a blast. Here are some recent photos from my events.
    Family Reading Festival in the Fairlane Village Mall in Pottsville, PA

    Moravian Book Shop in Bethlehem, PA with Cyn Balog, Kristi Cook, Molly Cochran, and Jennifer Murgia

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

    *My FREE monthly newsletter goes out this evening. If you aren't signed up, you can do so here.*

    Add a Comment
    19. Monday Mishmash 10/27/14


    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. Monster Madness Blog Hop Join Vicki Leigh and I on Halloween for the Monster Madness Blog Hop. We'll be talking about what monsters scare us and you can join in. There's a giveaway too. Sign up here
    2. The Monster Within Book Tour  My book tour for The Monster Within is in full swing. I've had book signings the past two weekends and have two more this Saturday and another planned for the Saturday after Thanksgiving. I'm having a blast! I'll be at the Family Reading Festival in Pottsville, PA from 10am-1pm and then I'm heading to Moravian Book Shop from 5pm-7pm. If you are in either area, stop by and see me!
    3. Drafting Again  I have a rare moment between editing jobs, so I'm fast drafting again! This is the fourth book I'm drafting this year, and since three books was my goal, I'm happy.
    4. The Walking Dead Twitter Party  I'm hosting a Twitter Viewing Party during this weekends episode of The Walking Dead. Why? I love the show and my Touch of Death series was pitched as The Walking Dead meets Shatter Me, so yeah, I kind of love zombies. And maybe Daryl, too. ;) Join me! I'm giving away lots of prizes, including signed books and SWAG!
    5. The Darkness Within Cover Reveal  So there was a glitch with my cover reveal for The Darkness Within and the bloggers never got the info. But I'm so in love with this cover. Check it out. 
    After dying of cancer at seventeen and being brought back to life by an evil witch who turned her into a monster, Samantha Thompson thinks she's finally gotten past all the tragedy in her life. Now she's part of a coven of good witches who are helping her and her boyfriend, Ethan Anderson, learn to use the powers they received from other witches. Aside from the fact that Sam and Ethan are still in hiding from their old lives--the ones they had before Sam was brought back to life--things couldn't be better. Sam and Ethan are inseparable. What could go wrong? 

    Magic. 

    Ethan's magic came from a witch who'd turned as evil as possible, and though his coven thought he'd be fine, the more he uses his magic, the stranger he starts acting. The magic inside him is changing who he is. One minute he's Sam's sweet, perfect Ethan and the next, he's a complete stranger. Even with all her witchy power, Sam is helpless against the magic corrupting Ethan. Can Sam find out what's wrong with him before she loses him to dark magic forever?

    Add it on Goodreads. Pre-order on Amazon.

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

    Add a Comment
    20. Two Girls Staring at the Ceiling: Review Haiku

    Innovative and
    effective take on
    unmentionable disease.

    Two Girls Staring at the Ceiling by Lucy Frank. Schwartz + Wade, 2014, 272 pages.

    0 Comments on Two Girls Staring at the Ceiling: Review Haiku as of 10/27/2014 7:47:00 AM
    Add a Comment
    21. Guest Post and Giveaway: Robin Talley, Author of Lies We Tell Ourselves

     

    Robin Talley hijacked the virtual dashboard this morning to chat about her research for Lies We Tell Ourselves.

    Top 5 most surprising facts I learned while conducting research for Lies We Tell Ourselves:

    I had to do a lot of research to write Lies We Tell Ourselves.

    Since the story follows the relationship between a black girl and a white girl during the Virginia school integration crisis in 1959, I read memoirs, oral histories, and news articles about the desegregation process, trying to learn everything I could about what life was like for the students on the front lines of the battle.

    But I also needed to know more run-of-the-mill facts about life for high school students in the late 1950s. So I spent a lot of time pouring over vintage yearbooks and reading up on day-to-day life at the time.

    Here are a few eyebrow-raising tidbits about life in the 1950s:

    1. You didn’t wash your hair every day.

    Today’s routine of showering and shampooing daily would’ve sounded crazy in 1959. How often teenage girls actually washed their hair varied, but this vintage hair-care video suggests washing “with a mild soap” every two weeks:

    By the way, in 1959, you basically had one hairstyle option if you were a teenage girl. Long hair and straight hair were both unthinkable. Your hair didn’t fall past your chin, and it was curly, and that was that. If your hair wasn’t naturally curly, you got a perm or you set it up in rollers every night. Presumably using the time you saved by only washing it every two weeks.

    2. School dress codes were no joke.

    No one ever wore jeans to school. Boys would wear khakis with belts and solid-colored Oxford shirts with socks to match. Girls, meanwhile, would never think of wearing pants to school at all. Everyone wore loafers, saddle shoes, or flats, since high heels were forbidden, except for dances. Skirts were long ? well below the knee ? and tights hadn’t been invented yet, so to stay warm in the winter, you either wore knee socks or you just shivered. This yearbook photo shows girls wearing thick coats over bare legs ? and somehow smiling in spite of it.

    3. Relationships were no joke, either.

    The rules for dating and romance were formal for high school students in the fifties. Boys asked girls on dates ? never the other way around, except for Sadie Hawkins dances ? and, after a sufficient number of outings to movies or football games, a boy might ask a girl to go steady. To do this, he’d give her something of his to wear ? an identity bracelet, a class ring, a football pin, a letter sweater ? and whatever it was, she’d wear that thing every day of her life until they broke up. Going-steady couples walked down the school hallways together with the boys carrying the girls’ books. My mother told me about a trend she remembered where girls would wear blouses that had loops of fabric at the back of the collar. She remembered one going-steady couple at her school who walked down the hall together with the boy’s finger looped through the fabric at the back of her blouse collar. It sounds like nothing short of a leash.

    4. Double standards for girls were the norm.

    As I mentioned up in #3, the decision of who dated whom and who went steady with whom was almost entirely up to boys ? they were the only ones who could suggest a date or a relationship. After that, though, it was up to girls to keep the boys in check. It was considered normal for boys to want to hook up, but girls were supposed to stop them, or else. Even if you were going steady, girls were still supposed to rein their boyfriends in when they got “carried away.” A girl who kissed on a first date was “easy.” So was a girl who wore a skirt that was deemed too tight. My aunt told me about one classmate she remembered who was known for routinely too far with boys ? meaning she and the boys she dated would engage in extended kissing sessions. The other girls at their school referred to this girl in whispered voices as a “make out.”

    5. Air raid drills were part of life.

    The 1950s were near the height of the Cold War. During classes, it was routine for a practice air-raid siren to go off. Students were expected to duck down under their desks or go out into the hallway and kneel against the wall with their arms over their heads. These tactics wouldn’t have helped in the slightest if there had been an actual nuclear attack, of course ? nuclear weapons do far too much damage for it to make a difference what position you’re in ? but they did a great job of freaking out the students who went through the drills, and of reminding them of the Communist threat that loomed over everyone’s heads.

    About the book:

    In 1959 Virginia, the lives of two girls on opposite sides of the battle for civil rights will be changed forever. 

    Sarah Dunbar is one of the first black students to attend the previously all-white Jefferson High School. An honors student at her old school, she is put into remedial classes, spit on and tormented daily. 

    Linda Hairston is the daughter of one of the town’s most vocal opponents of school integration. She has been taught all her life that the races should be kept “separate but equal.” 

    Forced to work together on a school project, Sarah and Linda must confront harsh truths about race, power and how they really feel about one another. 

    Boldly realistic and emotionally compelling, Lies We Tell Ourselves is a brave and stunning novel about finding truth amid the lies, and finding your voice even when others are determined to silence it.

    US addresses only, please

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    The post Guest Post and Giveaway: Robin Talley, Author of Lies We Tell Ourselves appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

    Add a Comment
    22. In the Afterlight releases today!

    Happy Hour banner

    featuring

    Alexandra Bracken

    in the afterlightI am so incredibly excited that the final installment in Alex Bracken’s Darkest Mind series releases today. These books are special and dark and moving in a way I (Sooz) can’t even begin to describe.

    Commence the gushing.

    And the freaking out because I’ve been waiting a YEAR for this last book! And finally–finally–it’s here!

    That’s right: In the Afterlight hits stores TODAY. And oh my gosh, if you haven’t seen the trailer for it, then prepare for CHILLS.

    Wow, right? If you haven’t read the series yet (and you SHOULD), then you can learn a bit more about it below.

    The Darkest Minds

    When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that gets her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that’s killed most of America’s children, but she and the others have emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control.

    Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones. When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. Now she’s on the run, desperate to find the one safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents. When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader.

    But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at a life worth living.

    Never FadeRuby never asked for the abilities that almost cost her her life. Now she must call upon them on a daily basis, leading dangerous missions to bring down a corrupt government and breaking into the minds of her enemies. Other kids in the Children”s League call Ruby ‘Leader’, but she knows what she really is: a monster.

    When Ruby is entrusted with an explosive secret, she must embark on her most dangerous mission yet: leaving the Children”s League behind. Crucial information about the disease that killed most of America”s children—and turned Ruby and the others who lived into feared and hated outcasts—has survived every attempt to destroy it. But the truth is only saved in one place: a flashdrive in the hands of Liam Stewart, the boy Ruby once believed was her future—and who now wouldn”t recognize her. As Ruby sets out across a desperate, lawless country to find Liam—and answers about the catastrophe that has ripped both her life and America apart—she is torn between old friends and the promise she made to serve the League. Ruby will do anything to protect the people she loves.

    But what if winning the war means losing herself?

    in the afterlightRuby can’t look back. Fractured by an unbearable loss, she and the kids who survived the government’s attack on Los Angeles travel north to regroup. With them is a prisoner: Clancy Gray, son of the president, and one of the few people Ruby has encountered with abilities like hers. Only Ruby has any power over him, and just one slip could lead to Clancy wreaking havoc on their minds.

    They are armed only with a volatile secret: proof of a government conspiracy to cover up the real cause of IAAN, the disease that has killed most of America’s children and left Ruby and others like her with powers the government will kill to keep contained. But internal strife may destroy their only chance to free the “rehabilitation camps” housing thousands of other Psi kids.

    Meanwhile, reunited with Liam, the boy she would-and did-sacrifice everything for to keep alive, Ruby must face the painful repercussions of having tampered with his memories of her. She turns to Cole, his older brother, to provide the intense training she knows she will need to take down Gray and the government. But Cole has demons of his own, and one fatal mistake may be the spark that sets the world on fire.

    To celebrate the release of In the Afterlight (and the completion of a whole series! GO ALEX!), we’re giving away a copy of the book. You can choose from any book in the series, actually, and we’ll pick a winner in a week! (This giveaway is open internationally!)

    <a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Alex lives in New York City where she writes like a fiend and lives in a charming apartment overflowing with books. She is the New York Times bestselling author of The Darkest Minds and Never Fade. You can visit her online at her website, Tumblr, or Twitter.

    Add a Comment
    23. H2O by Virginia Bergin




    From the Jacket Blurb:

    .27 is a number Ruby hates.
    It's a number that marks the percentage of the population that has survived. It's a number that means she's one of the "lucky" few still standing. And it's a number that says her father is probably dead.
    Against all odds, Ruby has survived the catastrophic onset of the killer rain. Two weeks after the radio started broadcasting the warning, "It's in the rain. It's fatal and there's no cure," the drinkable water is running out. Ruby's left with two options: persevere on her own, or embark on a treacherous journey across the country to find her father-if he's even still alive.

    "It's in the rain...and just one drop will kill you."

    15 year-old Ruby Morris is obnoxious. In fact, she's possibly if not definitely the most annoying narrator of any YA book I've ever encountered. And just about all reader reviews of the book agree with this assessment.  She's an image and status obsessed snobby teenage brat, at times more concerned with putting on a sparkly top and makeup than smartly surviving the apocalyptic killer rain that has wiped out all but .27% of the world's population. You often find yourself thinking "UGH, what is wrong with you, Ruby? How can you still be THIS annoying? How could YOU of all people have survived when so many more likeable, clever, responsible people were dead within the first few days?" These questions are surprisingly, fascinatingly, the very reason why I enjoyed this book.

    Let's face it: the world is full of annoying, frustrating people. People with different priorities and values and personalities than yourself. Ultimately harmless people that you just don't, well...like. And in the event of an apocalypse, these people don't just magically go away. Killer rain doesn't kill with discrimination. Many of the survivors of this story just got lucky. Ruby is a fault-filled person just like you or I (albeit far more immature), and catastrophe doesn't automatically change people into deeper people. At least not immediately, and not always in obvious ways...

    Even if Ruby is as shallow as a puddle of the alien killer rain from which she's running...she's still human. And like it or not, being human means that we are (as a species) a mix of good and bad, complex and simple, deep thinkers and painfully, mind-numbingly shallow idiots. We don't get to pick from only our best qualities to define what being human means. We can't control the behaviors and decisions of others. We can't force them to abandon who they are, who they've been, to suddenly become our version of a "better", more-likeable person.

    Accepting that others are others, that they think and act differently and that this is OK---is a worthwhile (although sometimes very challenging) exercise in becoming better people ourselves. Ruby doesn't deserve to die just because I don't like her. And she doesn't deserve NOT to be the main character of a book just because I wouldn't want to be her friend in real life. Because in real life, there are countless Rubys in the world. Imperfect, immature, infuriating kids naively stumbling through the world---just trying to live to see another day. We may want Ruby to grow up (fast!) and prove her worth to us as a narrator we can be proud of, but really, she doesn't owe us a darn thing. She is who she is. Peoples is peoples.

    In the end, it's not the differences that matter but the ways in which even VERY different people are the same.

    "Please don't leave me."

    Throughout the story, Ruby finds herself thinking these words. Silently imploring whoever happens to be around her to hang around a little longer. These tiny glimmers of desperation, of fear and desire not to be alone, let us see through to her deeper humanity. This is the Ruby that I understand and that I pity. No one wants to be alone. Ruby has lost just about everyone she knows and cares for. She's completely on her own. She's going through hell and yet she keeps going. Who am I to deny her the things that make her happy? The little things that add a bit of sparkle to an otherwise gray, dead (and deadly) world---even if her happiness does come in the form of an impractical, shimmering sequined top?

    I hope to see more of Ruby. I hope that her story doesn't end here. I hope there is a sequel and I hope to get the chance to see her evolve into better version of herself.

    I have to hope, because even in the face of unlikely odds, to hope is to be human.
    Well, it's part of it, anyway.




    A Note on the Book's Design:

    I quite like what Sourcebooks Fire has done with the book jacket and cover. Yellowish green acid-rain like droplets seem to have burned holes into the cover, revealing two key words in the raindrop shaped text block on the hard cover: "drop" and "scream" are very clearly highlighted by the cutouts which ominously sets the stage for the events that unfold. An effective cover, I love that it doesn't resort to the hideous trend in YA covers of overly Photoshopped imagery. I like that it's purely graphic. Simple, clean, and intriguing. No people. Only drops of killer rain, daring you to touch it with your bare hands.

    0 Comments on H2O by Virginia Bergin as of 1/1/1900
    Add a Comment
    24. Monster Madness Blog Hop


    Happy Halloween, guys and ghouls! Welcome to the Monster Madness Blog Hop hosted by Vicki Leigh and me. Since Vicki and I both released monster books this year (The Monster Within and Catch Me When I Fall), we thought it would be fun to have a blog hop dedicated to the monsters we love so much. So have some candy corn and enjoy this post as Vicki and I interview each other.

    Okay, Vicki, time to fess up. What monster scares you the most?

    I’m pretty hard to scare, to be honest. But there is one monster who gives me the creeps: Freddy Krueger. In a way, he was kind of the inspiration behind the Nightmares in my series, because the thought of someone being able to kill you in your dreams terrifies me. I’ve never actually seen the Nightmare on Elm Street movies, but, man, that dude creeps me out.

    I love Freddy! My sister loved the Nightmare on Elm Street movies so I saw them much younger than I should have. ;)

    How about you, Kelly? You have to be afraid of someone or something, too!

    Growing up, I was terrified of the monster under the bed. I even wrote a short story about it called “The Monster of All Monsters.” Anyway, if I had to get up in the middle of the night for water or to use the bathroom, I’d stand on my bed and try to jump to the doorway. Thankfully, I’ve gotten over that fear. Now the thing that freaks me out is ghosts. I tried to write a book about a haunting once, and the research totally scared me away from the idea.

    Oh, man. I love ghosts. Like, I legitimately want to spend the night in a true haunted house. I think it’d be awesome. (Yet, a fictional guy creeps me out. I’m weird; I know. J)

    All right, Vicki, you have to create a NEW monster. What does it look like, and what kind of terrifying things can it do?

    Hmm…I think a monster who takes the shape of whatever form you find most attractive would be pretty terrifying—especially when he/she sucks out your soul during a smexy scene and leaves you a comatose patient for the rest of your life. That may have been done before. I don’t know. But I’ve heard freaky stories about what it feels like to be in a coma. I never want that experience. Or being found comatose on my bed in my birthday suit.

    All right. So, my monster sucked. You create one, Kelly. I’m positive you can do better!

    I’m feeling the pressure now. I’m sort of stealing from Harry Potter here, but I think a monster that can transform into whatever it is a person fears the most would be just awful because no one would be safe from it. No wait! Better yet, the monster becomes ALL of your fears rolled into one! So if you are afraid of snakes, ghosts, and realistic looking dolls with eyelids that open and close (not that I’m being that specific because those are my top three fears or anything), the monster would turn into a doll possessed by a ghost who can charm poisonous snakes to attack on command. *shivers*

    Back to you, Vicki. We’ve all been inside haunted houses or mazes at Halloween time, right? What monster got the best of you inside one of those?

    I actually have a good story for this, because I really am super hard to scare. I’ve been in haunted houses and mazes, and usually when things jump out at me, I giggle. So, last year, I went to a haunted cornfield with a few friends. We walked through a LOT of really tall corn, and a trailer that was pitch black. None of the actors really got me, even when I had to feel the walls because it was so dark I couldn’t see. And then we exited the cornfield, and I was like, “well, that was fun,” thinking it was over.

    Then, out of nowhere, came a dude with a chainsaw. Good lord; I jumped out of my skin! I screamed and then tipped my head back and guffawed. That dude got me. It was the chainsaw noise that did it, and his perfect position: I thought the maze was over.

    How about you, Kelly? Do you have a good haunted house story?

    Ooh, sneaky little chainsaw-wielding devil! ;) 

    Okay, well I have to say I startle easily, not scare easily. I went through a haunted dormin college. I give the people who ran it credit because it was pretty good. There was a funeral in one room, and we all thought the dead body was going to get up. It was really a distraction for something that snuck up on us. Still, I wasn’t scared. Nor was I scared when they turned out all the lights and we had to find out way out in complete darkness. Then at the end, there was a guy in a gorilla suit. That made me laugh, but it also distracted me from the hands reaching out from under the stairs I was climbing. I admit I jumped when I looked down and saw what I’m assuming was a zombie gripping my leg.

    Time to change gears. What monster is your all-time favorite, Vicki?

    Am I okay to say Cookie Monster? J For real, though, my favorite is probably Dracula.

    How about you? You have to have a favorite!

    I think I’m going to have to go with a zombie. Something about a reanimated corpse is both disgusting and terrifying, considering it wants to eat your brains. Got to love that! ;)

    Now it's your turn! Choose 3 questions below to answer either in the comments or on your own blog.


    1. What monster terrifies you the most?
    2. Do you have a good haunted house story?
    3. What's your favorite monster?
    4. Is there a monster book that terrified you as a child?
    5. Have any book recommendations for stories that include monsters?
    6. Finally, create your own monster! What does it look like, and what scary things can it do?
    Then tag FIVE of your friends to share in the Monster Madness!
    And be sure to enter our giveaway to win books and SWAG from Vicki and me.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Add a Comment
    25. The Kiss of Deception, by Mary E. Pearson | Book Review

    THE KISS OF DECEPTION, by Mary E. Pearson, is an exciting, quest-filled story that will please more traditional magical fantasy fans.

    Add a Comment

    View Next 25 Posts