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1. My Thoughts: We Know it Was You by Maggie Thrash

4 yummy frosted ginger cookies

Cover Love:  I'm not sure.  I don't hate it, but I don't love it.
I just don't feel it is very eye catching nor does it fit the tone of the book, however, I like it as a cover.  I like the font and the huge, accusatory title.

Why I Wanted to Read This:  I was in the mood for a suspense book and this one sounded like it fit the bill.  Here's the synopsis from GoodReads:

It’s better to know the truth. At least sometimes.

Halfway through Friday night’s football game, beautiful cheerleader Brittany Montague—dressed as the giant Winship Wildcat mascot—hurls herself off a bridge into Atlanta’s surging Chattahoochee River.

Just like that, she’s gone.

Eight days later, Benny Flax and Virginia Leeds will be the only ones who know why.
Romance?: Not really. There are a lot of romances that happen or were already happening in the book (it's set at a high school), there just isn't any romance for or between our main characters.

My Thoughts:
I really liked this book for several reasons.  First off, it takes place at a boarding/prep type school.  Although there is a dorm, there aren't a lot of "boarders" and they are kind of looked down upon by the local kids who attend the school.  I like this reversal for a prep school type setting.  Normally, the local kids are the ones looked down upon, rather than the boarders.  Because of this setting the population of kids is pretty small, everyone knows everyone and the class lines area kind of blurred.  Seniors are friends with lower class men and pretty much everyone knows everyone else!

The author writes from several different points of view during the course of this book, with Benny and Virginia being the main two characters.  One thing I loved was how the author wrote about the perceptions each character had of the others.  Benny constantly was devaluing Virginia in his head and she was constantly thinking about what a nerd Benny was.  Neither of them truly saw what was going on with each other, nor were these perceptions easily changed.  It just felt really true to teenagers and high school because sometimes its so hard to change your reputation.  People don't want you to change who you are!

The mystery was also really well done, a lot of red herrings.  I found the "who done it" to be a little implausible, but overall was keep interested the whole book.  I also liked all the little kernels the author threw out there that didn't get answered.  This book is titled "Strange Truth #1" so I am looking forward to learning more about Benny and Virginia in upcoming books.  There is a mystery involving Virginia that is alluded to several times in the book that I am especially looking forward to learning more about.  I really liked Virginia!

Overall, I liked the setting of a small. elite school and  the mystery.  The smallest thing that kind of bothered me was the ages of Benny and Virginia, they seemed a bit older and more mature than 15.

To Sum Up:  Even though Benny and Virginia are 15 year olds, I feel that there were a few things in this book that make it too mature for my library.  However, it's a great mystery and a fun read so I will recommend our high school librarians buy it for their collections.

Thanks to Simon & Schuster for the review copy!

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2. Friday Feature: Sundials and White Cats


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

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



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

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




He came through time to find her.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What’s wrong with you?

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

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

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

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

“No, Sarah, no,” she screamed.

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


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

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


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

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3. Friday Feature: Timeless Cover Reveal


TIMELESS (#3 Maiden of Time) by Crystal Collier #CoverReveal



Book Title: TIMELESS (Maiden of Time #3)
Author: Crystal Collier
Genre: YA Paranormal Historical
Release Date: November 1, 2016



TIME IS THE ENEMY

In 1771, Alexia had everything: the man of her dreams, reconciliation with her father, even a child on the way. But she was never meant to stay. It broke her heart, but Alexia heeded destiny and traveled five hundred years back to stop the Soulless from becoming.

In the thirteenth century, the Holy Roman Church has ordered the Knights Templar to exterminate the Passionate, her bloodline. As Alexia fights this new threat—along with an unfathomable evil and her own heart—the Soulless genesis nears. But none of her hard-won battles may matter if she dies in childbirth before completing her mission.

Can Alexia escape her own clock?



a Rafflecopter giveaway


Crystal Collier is an eclectic author who pens clean fantasy/sci-fi, historical, and romance stories with the occasional touch of humor, horror, or inspiration. She practices her brother-induced ninja skills while teaching children or madly typing about fantastic and impossible creatures. She has lived from coast to coast and now calls Florida home with her creative husband, four littles, and “friend” (a.k.a. the zombie locked in her closet). Secretly, she dreams of world domination and a bottomless supply of cheese. You can find her on her Blog, FacebookGoodreads, or follow her on Twitter.

Want the first chapter free? Sign up HERE.



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4. Monday Mishmash 9/12/16


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

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. Into the Fire Boxset Preorder Only $.99!  My publisher has put the Into the Fire trilogy into a boxset. It's set to release September 20th, but if you preorder it, you can get all three books for only $.99! You have to grab it before September 20th though, so grab it now here
  2. Into the Fire FREE on September 13th!  The deals don't stop! If you aren't sure about spending $.99 for the boxset, you can try Into the Fire absolutely FREE on Tuesday, September 13. Grab it here.
  3. Scholastic Book Fair  I'll be working the Scholastic Book Fair at my daughter's school this week. You know what that means. Books!!!
  4. School Visit  I'm visiting my daughter's fourth grade class on Wednesday to talk about writing. Hopefully I don't embarrass her. ;)
  5. Editing  In addition to the book fair and school visit this week, I have a client edit to work on.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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5. YA Book Release: Pirate Summer by HL Carpenter...

The creative genius of HL Carpenter shines in their latest book. Pirate Summer is the story of a sister and brother who discover the importance of each other and the consequences of lying. Enter the handsome privateer who steals Josey’s heart and commandeers her on the adventure of her life and you now have the perfect summer read for all ages.

Fifteen year old Josey is a liar. She’d like to stop. But after Mom left, the lies started popping out, like the time Josey left her little brother at the library and told Dad he’d run away.

Then Josey meets a boy who tells bigger whoppers than she does. He says he’s the son of a privateer who’s been dead two centuries. He’s so convincing Josey’s brother believes every word and sets off to find the privateer’s hidden treasure.

When her brother disappears, Josey is sure she knows where he's gone. But everyone thinks she's lying again. Everyone, that is, except the so-called privateer’s son. He knows she’s telling the truth because jeweled riches are only part of his tale. There’s also the snooperscope, a device that makes time leaps possible, like the one that brought him to the present.

The story is fantastical...and yet Josey will do anything to save her brother, including traveling back in time two hundred years with a boy she can’t trust.
EXCERPT

The basic tale hadn’t changed since the first time I’d heard it, though Gran had added a few embellishments. I wondered who she’d been practicing on, then remembered she was on call as a substitute teacher for the Sea Cove school system. Thanks to her, generations of Sea Cove residents knew the legend of Alastair Morgan, a pirate who’d haunted the Florida coast during the early 1800s. Andy jiggled on the seat. He had a vivid imagination, a by-product of his oversize I.Q., and he was caught up in the midst of the hurricane Gran was describing. The huge storm had blown the Morgan pirate ship off course and into Sea Cove.

“Alastair Morgan was familiar with Sea Cove,” Gran said. “He sought refuge in the harbor. When the skies lightened, the rain slowed. He rowed to shore with his son, some of his crew and seven trunks of gold and jewels. They had buried the treasure and were rowing back to their ship when the storm started again.”

“Didn’t he realize the calm was only the eye of the hurricane?” Andy asked.

“Good question, and no, he didn’t. He was surprised when the winds and rain picked up, only from the opposite direction.” 

“Silly of him. He should have known. Being a sailor and all.”

Gran met my gaze over Andy’s head. Her lips twitched.

I grinned, forgetting for a moment how annoyed I was. By the time I remembered, Gran had looked away, out the front windshield.

She gasped. “Brake, Josey!”

I jerked my head around. I’d only been distracted for a second—exactly enough time for the truck to drift to the right side of the road. A skinny teenage boy walked there, his back to us.

“We’re going to hit him!” Andy shouted.

I leaned on the horn, smashed the brake, and yanked the wheel to the left. The tires screeched. The seatbelt dug into my hips. Andy shouted again as an invisible force shoved him back, then forward. Gran shot out her arm to hold him in place.

In front of us, the boy whirled. He yelled and raised his palms toward us as if he could ward off the truck with his bare hands. At the last moment, he flung himself onto the dirty sand beyond the edge of the black pavement.

I lost sight of him as the pickup jolted to a shuddering, shaking stop, sideways across the highway.

 Amazon Buy Link

Florida-based mother/daughter author duo HL Carpenter write sweet, clean fiction that is suitable for everyone in your family. The Carpenters write from their studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. When they’re not writing, they enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity. Visit their website to enjoy gift reads and excerpts and to find out what’s happening in Carpenter Country.

Stay connected on Pinterest, Linkedin, Google+, and their Amazon Author Page.

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6. The 2016 Golden Kite Award-Winner For Fiction: Neal Shusterman for Challenge Deep


Neal accepting his Golden Kite Award


Neal Shusterman is the New York Times best-selling author of the National Book Award-winning Challenger Deep; Bruiser, which was a Cooperative Children’s Book Center choice, a YALSA Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults pick, and on twelve state lists; The Schwa Was Here; and the Unwind dystology, among many other books. He lives in California with his four children. Visit: www.storyman.com



Neal's "Challenger Deep" is the winner of this year's 2016 Golden Kite Award for Fiction.

Neal tells us about where "Challenger Deep" came from. About his son's mental illness and struggle and ultimately rising above it. Not a story about his son, but inspired by thing things his son went through. He took the artwork his son had created while he was in the emotional depths, the mental depths, and built a story from that.

"Challenger Deep frightened me. ...I wanted it to be emotionally honest," and something that his son would be proud of. It took him four years to write. How he was so nervous about his editor's response, and how gratified he was by her response that it was "a masterpiece." And then he gets a great laugh when he says that praise was followed by a ten-page editorial letter!


"Challenger Deep is a call to action. To talk openly about mental illness."





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7. Little Black Dresses, Little White Lies Blog Tour

Hey Everyone, welcome to my blog tour post for Little Black Dresses, Little White Lies by Laura Stampler. I've been so excited about her debut YA novel hitting the shelves (as it officially will do on July 19)! For more about the tour itself, click on the banner above or go straight to www.rockstarbooktours.com.

Read more about the book and the author below, as well as enter the Rafflecopter giveaway! We also have a guest post and links to the rest of the tour. Please stop by each one as they open up in the next three weeks to find more guest posts, character interviews, and reviews.


You can pre-order a personalized, signed copy of LITTLE BLACK DRESSES, LITTLE WHITE LIES at Oblong Books through July 9th. Details can be found HERE


About the book

Title: LITTLE BLACK DRESSES, LITTLE WHITE LIES

Author: Laura Stampler

Release Date: July 19, 2016

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Pages: 352

Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Description:

The Devil Wears Prada meets Sex and the City in a wickedly funny debut novel about a girl who lands a dream internship at a magazine in New York City. If only she hadn’t lied about being a dating expert on her resume . . .

Harper Anderson has always thought she should have been born somewhere more glamorous than her sleepy Northern California suburb. After all, how many water polo matches and lame parties in Bobby McKittrick’s backyard can one girl take?

Already resigned to working at a Skinny B’s Juice Press for the summer, Harper is shocked when the ultra-prestigious teen magazine, Shift, calls to say they want her to be their teen dating blogger for the summer. All she needs to do is get her butt to New York in two days.

There’s just one teeny, tiny problem: Apart from some dance floor make-outs, Harper doesn’t have a whole lot of dating experience. So when Shift’s application asked for an “edgy” personal essay, Harper might have misappropriated her best friend’s experiences for her own. But she can just learn on the job...right? Will the house of lies Harper has built around her dream job collapse all around her, or will she be able to fake it until she makes it in the big city?

Find it

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | SIMON & SCHUSTER | GOODREADS


Guest Post

 

Five Things You Should NEVER Apologize For

by Harper Anderson

When I started my internship at Shift magazines, one of the first things I learned on the job was: Shift Girls Don’t Say Sorry. Ever.

Not because it’s cool to be catty (although, off-the-record, a ton of the Shift Girls totally are) but because women tend to apologize way too much for things that they absolutely shouldn’t be sorry for. Like, asking a question. Or having a bad phone signal.

Only after I started weeding the S-Word out of my vocabulary, did I realize that I’d being using it so much the word had started to lose its meaning!

So here are five things that I promise to never say “sorry” about again:

1. Crying

I can’t count the number of times I’ve apologized for crying after a teacher or mean girl said something, well, mean. I also can’t count the number of times I’ve apologized for crying at my internship because a BuzzFeed listicle was JUST TOO SAD. But there’s nothing to be sorry about! Human beings are allowed to have feelings! (And God gave us tear ducts for a reason.)

2. Having to go to the bathroom on an airplane

What should you do when you’re feeling the effects of all that free Ginger Ale but seriously want to avoid side eye from the grumbly, armrest hoarding person sitting in the aisle seat? Go to the bathroom without any remorse! Just as humans are entitled to have feelings, humans are entitled to pee! So go forth and go to the bathroom. This isn’t worth embarrassment or getting a UTI over.

3. Sending back the wrong order at a restaurant

While you definitely shouldn’t be a jerk when your server brings you a side salad instead of fries, you also don’t need to apologize for politely pointing out the error so that you can get what you asked (and paid) for.

4. Someone else bumping into me

I once apologized when some dude stepped on my toe on the subway.

5. Needing some “me” time.

No matter what your friends (or FOMO) are telling you, you don’t have to be social all the time. I’m not saying you should blow off your bestie’s birthday with zero warning to take a bubble bath, but don’t feel bad about opting for spending the night in instead of crashing some dude’s party. You’re allowed to put your needs (and sanity) first.

 

Sorry not sorry.

<3 Harper


About the Author

Laura Stampler is a Californian turned New Yorker. After graduating from Stanford University, she became a journalist, interning—and then worked on staff—at various newspapers and magazines. Laura has written about everything from dating to social media stars to social justice issues at Time magazine, Business Insider, Huffington Post, The Nation, The New Republic, and The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. When she isn’t writing, she’s probably looking at pug GIFs on the Internet.

Find the Author

TWITTER | TUMBLR | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS


Giveaway

There is a tour-wide giveaway for a hardcover copy of LITTLE BLACK DRESSES, LITTLE WHITE LIES to TWO (2) winners – US only

Must be 13 or older to enter. Giveaway is US only. Giveaway ends July 26th at 11:59 PM Pacific. Book will be ordered from Amazon. Prizing courtesy of Rockstar Book Tours.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Tour Schedule

Week One

July 6th – Please Feed the Bookworm – Review

July 6th – Read Now Sleep Later – Guest Post (you're here!)

July 7th – Worth Reading It? – Review

July 7th – YA Book Madness – Review

July 8th – Awkwordly Emma – Review

July 8th – YA Reads – Character Interview

Week Two

July 11th – Fictional Fox – Review

July 11th – Curling Up With A Good Book – Author Interview

July 12th – Fiktshun – Review

July 12th – The Anatomy of a Bookworm – Review

July 13th – The Phantom Paragrapher – Review

July 13th – Whatever You Can Still Betray – Guest Post

July 14th – Creatyvebooks – Review

July 14th – Latte Nights Reviews – Review

July 15th – Here’s to Happy Endings – Review

July 15th – Books & Beauti – Guest Post

Week Three

July 18th – Swoony Boys Podcast – Review & Character Interview

July 19th – Book Briefs – Review

July 19th – A Dream Within A Dream – Guest Post

July 19th – All The Crannies – Review

July 20th – The Mind of a Book Dragon – Review

July 20th – Dazzled by Books – Author Interview

July 21st – Vibin With Books – Review

July 21st – The Recipe Fairy – Guest Post

July 21st – Oh, For The Love Of Stories - Review

July 22nd – Books and Bindings – Review

July 22nd – Underneath the Covers – Guest Post

 

Congratulations on your debut, Laura! 

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8. Friday Feature: A Love That Disturbs


A LOVE THAT DISTURBS by Medeia Sharif
Evernight Teen, June 17, 2016
Purchase from Amazon (merchant sites will be updated on the author's site)

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

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

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



Find Medeia – YA and MG Author

Blog   |   Twitter   |   Goodreads   |   Instagram   |   Amazon

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

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9. How To Be A Model Moderator

Hi all! Stacey here with my buddy and fellow PubCrawler Stephanie Garber. There may come a time in your life where you will be asked to moderate a panel or facilitate a discussion. Here are our ten hot tips for moderating success.

1) Read the panelists’ books. The best panels in my opinion are the ones in which the moderator asks questions tailored to the author’s works. Obviously, this isn’t always possible, but at least be familiar with the book’s main ideas and stand out points. Don’t be afraid to ask your panelists’ publicists for books. It’s in the publishers’ interests for you to be informed about their author’s works. My secret weapon is to listen to the panelists’ audiobooks, when available. You can make your commute go by faster, and you can listen to them at 3x speed.

2) Send questions ahead of time. Some panelists can answer questions easily on the fly; others would rather visit the dentist than be unprepared. The more you can make your panelists comfortable, the easier time you will have facilitating a conversation.

3) Introduce your authors using the same tone and length. Often moderators will simply read an author’s bio for the introduction, but this invites problems. I recently participated in a panel where the moderator relied on our bios. My own is short and humorous, and doesn’t mention awards or distinctions, whereas the bio of the woman next to me mentioned every degree and award she had received. By contrast, I couldn’t help feeling like the village idiot. This might take a little work on your part to make your intros ‘match,’ but you’ll come across as more polished, and your authors will thank you.

(Note: I have encountered diva/divo panelists who want to be introduced a certain way. I tell them I will do my best, but make no promises. I firmly believe in treating every panelist with dignity and respect, and that means not putting one above the other).

I have spoken on panels where the moderator asks each author to introduce herself, which I find awkward and painful. Not everyone is comfortable talking about herself, and on the flip side, some authors can run at the mouth, viewing the intro as a way to self promote. You can avoid potential awkwardness by doing the honors.

4) Help your audience distinguish between panelists by presenting them as individuals. I have used labels such as, “a rising star,” “a thrilling new voice in contemporary fiction,” “a living legend,” “a NYT bestselling author.” Obviously, make sure your descriptions are complimentary.

5) Go with the flow. A recent panel I moderated featured two authors who were good friends and pros at public speaking. They had great chemistry, and meandered from topic to topic without much prompting from me. I had prepared questions in advance, but found myself needing to replace them with ones that were more natural to the conversation at hand. An additional challenge was to include the third panelist in the discussion as much as possible. This is where a good working knowledge of the authors and their books is essential, because sometimes you have to improvise, and the best way to improvise is to come prepared.

6) Resist letting authors read from their books. I personally find this a waste of time. The audience is there to learn something they can’t learn by merely picking up the book. Plus, not every author is good at, or comfortable with, reading out loud.

7) Remember, it’s not about you. As the moderator, your job is to guide conversations so that the panelists shine. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t bring yourself into the discussion by using examples from your own life to illustrate a particular question. And if you’re asking panelists individual questions, they love it when you’re able to sincerely mention how much something in their writing resonated with you.

8) The moderator sets the tone for the panel, so be personable and engaging. Think of yourself as the first sentence of a novel, the thing that pulls readers into the story. It’s the job of the moderator to engage the attention of every guest in the room.

9) Repeat questions asked by the audience. Just because you can hear a question doesn’t mean the entire room can hear it. Repeating the question also gives your panelists a little more time to think about their answers.

10) Try to have a little fun! Everyone appreciates humor, so if at all possible, weave some into your questions and your introductions—as long as your humor is respectful to the panelists.

Swati Avasthi does a brilliant job moderating a panel at the Multnomah Library that includes myself, Tess Sharpe and Isabel Quintero.

Swati Avasthi does a brilliant job moderating a panel at the Multnomah Library that includes myself, Tess Sharpe and Isabel Quintero.

In the comments, let us know if you’ve seen a good moderator recently. Why was s/he good? What things could the moderator have improved upon?

 

 

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10. How to Disappear Blog Tour

Hello everyone! I seem to be a day late and a dollar short on everything this year. In any case, I'm glad you're reading this--our blog tour post spotlighting Ann Redisch Stampler's new YA suspense novel, How to Disappear! Make sure you read through to the end to enter to win a prize pack that I put together just for this tour.

About the Book

This electric cross-country thriller follows the game of cat and mouse between a girl on the run from a murder she witnessed—or committed?—and the boy who’s sent to kill her.

Nicolette Holland is the girl everyone likes. Up for adventure. Loyal to a fault. And she’s pretty sure she can get away with anything...until a young woman is brutally murdered in the woods near Nicolette’s house. Which is why she has to disappear.

Jack Manx has always been the stand-up guy with the killer last name. But straight A’s and athletic trophies can’t make people forget that his father was a hit man and his brother is doing time for armed assault. Just when Jack is about to graduate from his Las Vegas high school and head east for college, his brother pulls him into the family business with inescapable instructions: find this ruthless Nicolette Holland and get rid of her. Or else Jack and everyone he loves will pay the price.

As Nicolette and Jack race to outsmart each other, tensions—and attractions—run high. Told in alternating voices, this tightly plotted mystery and tense love story challenges our assumptions about right and wrong, guilt and innocence, truth and lies.

About the Author

Ann Redisch Stampler is the author of the young adult novels Afterparty and Where It Began as well as half a dozen picture books. Her work has garnered an Aesop accolade, the National Jewish Book Award, Sydney Taylor honors, the Middle East Book Award, and Bank Street Best Books of the Year mentions. How to Disappear (Simon Pulse, 2016), her first young adult thriller, will be released on June 14, 2016. Ann lives in Los Angeles, California, with her husband Rick.

Preorder Promo Giveaway

Order a signed copy of HOW TO DISAPPEAR before June 14th, 2016 and you’ll receive a swag pack with your book order.

With your signed book, you’ll receive a bookmark; the tiny flashlight from Nicolette’s escape kit; Nicolette Holland and Cat Davis’ (fake!!!) ID's; and one skeleton key in a pretty tulle bag (there are lots of different kinds of keys) that Nicolette used to unlock the doors at the Bluebonnet.

To receive your swag, order your copy of HOW TO DISAPPEAR online at shoponceuponatime.com and in the Order Comments field, enter a name if you would like to have the autograph personalized, or "signature only" if no name is required.

If you pre-order an electronic copy of HOW TO DISAPPEAR, forward your receipt or proof of purchase to HowToDisappearBook@gmail.com with the name & address where you’d like your goodies sent.

Offer valid in the only in the United States.


To find out more about Ann at annstampler.com, follow her on Facebook and on Twitter @annstampler. Please tweet with the hashtag #howtodisappearblogtour!

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Preorder the book from Once Upon a Time to receive the special swag pack pictured above. To enter to win the blog tour giveaway, scroll down and use the Rafflecopter widget to record your entries.


Pre-Release Blog Tour Schedule

May 30 - The Consummate Reader

May 31 - Fiktshun

June 2 - Movies, Shows, ‘n’ Books

June 5 - Charting by the Stars

June 6 - Recently Acquired Obsessions

June 7 - Read Now Sleep Later

June 8 - Once Upon a Twilight

Pre-release Blog Tour Giveaway

Enter to win a signed copy of HOW TO DISAPPEAR by Ann Redisch Stampler, as well as a special swag bag of stuff! (Sorry, not everything is in the photo--the book and a special surprise item are not pictured.)

  1. US only, giveaway ends June 11, 2016.
  2. No purchase is necessary. Void where prohibited.
  3. One set of entries per household.
  4. The blogs/author/publisher are not responsible for items lost or damaged in the mail.
  5. If you are under 13, please get a parent or guardian's permission to enter, as you will be sharing personal info such as an email address.
  6. One winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter widget a day or two after the contest ends. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to to the email, otherwise we will pick a new winner.
  7. If you have any questions, feel free to email readnowsleeplater@gmail.com.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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11. This Is the Story of You - Interview and Giveaway

Hi everyone! I goofed up and missed my date for the blog tour for Beth Kephart's This Is the Story of You. Sorry about that! Here it is: make sure you read through to the end and enter the giveaway (open to US & Canada, ends 6/14/2016).

FTC Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. The publisher also provided the blog tour giveaway prize. 

This is the Story of You
By Beth Kephart

YA Fiction

“A masterful exploration of nature’s power to shake human foundations, literal and figurative.””
Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“This beautifully written book works on many levels and is rich in its characterization, emotion, language, and hint of mystery.”
School Library Journal, starred review
“We fall in love with Kephart more and more every year.”
Bookpage
“An exploration of the unrelenting power of nature and a reminder of the one thing in the world that is irreplaceable: family.”
Booklist

About the Book

On Haven, a six-mile long, half-mile-wide stretch of barrier island, Mira Banul and her Year-Rounder friends have proudly risen to every challenge. But then a superstorm defies all predictions and devastates the island, upending all logic and stranding Mira’s mother and brother on the mainland. Nothing will ever be the same. A stranger appears in the wreck of Mira’s home. A friend obsessed with vanishing disappears. As the mysteries deepen, Mira must find the strength to carry on—to somehow hold her memories in place while learning to trust a radically reinvented future. Gripping and poetic, This Is the Story of You is about the beauty of nature and the power of family, about finding hope in the wake of tragedy and recovery in the face of overwhelming loss.

About the Author

Beth Kephart is the award-winning author of nineteen books, including Going Over, Handling the Truth: On the Writing of Memoir, and Small Damages. A National Book Award finalist, Kephart is also a winner of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts fiction grant, a National Endowment for the Arts grant, a Leeway grant, a Pew Fellowships in the Arts grant, and the Speakeasy Poetry Prize. Kephart teaches workshops at many institutions, to all ages and creative nonfiction workshops at the University of Pennsylvania. She is a popular keynote speaker and frequent contributor to the Chicago Tribune, Philadelphia Inquirer, and many national journals. She blogs daily at beth-kephart.blogspot.com

Q&A with Beth Kephart

Beth Kephart: Hello, Read Now Sleep Later (Such a GREAT blog name; I’m there; I get it; do I sound sleepy?)

RNSL: :D

Q: Did you have a "Project Flow" in school? If yes, what was it; if not, what do you think it would have been if required?

BK: I did not have a Project Flow, but I have a book named FLOW, an autobiography of one of Philadelphia’s rivers. I’ve been out there teaching FLOW and natural history and environmental empathy to young people for a long time—a program that is actually called FLOW under the care of the Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center. So these Project Flows come from a very real place in my life, and I thank you for noticing.

RNSL: The style of THIS IS THE STORY OF YOU leans toward more poetry than prose. How much of that was intentional as the writing unfolded? How much of it just develops organically because of how you create your work?

BK: I hang my head. I confess. I can’t help it. I write language as I hear language. Language as mood, passion, need.

RNSL: When you write, are you often influenced by real life, or are more of your ideas born in your mind and on your page? For example, the way Jasper Lee puts words together or collects sand, or the rituals of the Year-Rounders?

BK: I am very interested in studying the real world and projecting it back onto the page. I have written of the Berlin wall (Going Over), Florence and neuroscience (One Thing Stolen), Centennial Philadelphia (Dangerous Neighbors), Juarez (The Heart Is Not a Size), etc. All of my books—fiction or nonfiction—are deeply researched. Jasper Lee’s words erupted; I’m not sure from where. The rituals of the Year-Rounders were both observed and researched.

RNSL: This novel is very lean, all the excess trimmed away. Was there anything "left on the cutting room floor", so to speak, that you wish you had kept in?

BK: Well, much was edited, but the edits were what I felt to be the edits required by the excesses of my own language. I had a very particular story I wanted to tell. I saw no need to clog it up with tangents. There is a storm. It had an impact. A mystery emerges in the aftermath. There are best friends and a brother-sister, and sisters, and a daughter-mom, and an old woman, and teachers… There’s a whole community here. No one gets short shrift. But I’m not interested in false, novel-extending plot tangents. I guess I never am.

(I hang my head again.)

RNSL: Did you have to do any research for this book? For what elements, and how did you go about it?

BK: Of course. We’ve all lived storms. But how well do we know anything until we really study it? So I read all about storms. All about rising seas and vanishing cities and sea monsters and dolphins and survival. And then I talked to people who had survived Storm Sandy. And of course I did more research on Hunter syndrome.

RNSL: Names are very significant to Mira. Can you tell us about some of the names you chose for characters, like why you chose them?

BK: I am LOVING your questions, by the way. Mira’s last name, Banul, is the last name of a student I’d had at Penn—a young man who taught me so much about courage. Nearly every survivor we meet on the beach has the name, and a characteristic, of a friend (reading the acknowledgments provides a tip to some of that). Deni Norfleet’s last name is the last name of a very solid minister friend. And, etc.

RNSL: What's your preferred weather?

BK: Autumn.

RNSL: Do you have a favorite poet, and if you do, who is it, and why?

BK: Many, many, many poets to love. Mary Oliver. Jack Gilbert. Gerald Stern. Stanley Kunitz.

RNSL: What's the most memorable piece of writing advice you have ever received?

BK: I was never taught writing. Which is odd, since now I teach it myself at the University of Pennsylvania and at workshops across the country—and even wrote a book on the craft of memoir (Handling the Truth: On the Writing of Memoir). I think less about advice, I’d have to say, and more about the impact of books I read. Can I be as urgently poetic as Michael Ondaatje or Colum McCann, say? As precise as Sallie Tisdale? As elegiac as Patricia McCormick? As wise as Ali Benjamin? As clear as Mary Oliver? I read across all genres. I ask myself what is working and why. And then I go back to my own pages.

RNSL: My co-blogger Thuy always asks: Cake or pie? (Or both? And why/what flavor?)

BK: Cake cake cake never pie. And my mother’s chocolate chip cheesecake with a graham cracker crust, which I miss so much and have missed so much, ever since she passed away.

RNSL: Thank you so much, Beth! Readers, I loved this book. Full review to come. I hope you'll love it, too.


Discussion Guide Order The Book Author Website

Giveaway Time!

Enter to win a copy of Beth Kephart's This Is the Story of You. The prize will be provided by Chronicle Books.

  1. Open to the US/Canada only, ends 6/14/2016.
  2. No purchase is necessary to enter the giveaway. Void where prohibited.
  3. We and the publisher/publicity department are not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged items.
  4. One set of entries per household please.
  5. If you are under 13, please get a parent or guardian's permission to enter, as you will be sharing personal info such as an email address.
  6. Winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter widget a day or two after the contest ends.
  7. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to to the email, otherwise we will pick a new winner.
  8. If you have any questions, feel free to email us at readnowsleeplater@gmail.com
  9. PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE ANY PERSONAL INFO IN THE COMMENTS. Sorry for the caps, but we always get people leaving their email in the comments. Rafflecopter will collect all that without having personal info in the comments for all the world (and spambots) to find.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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12. Friday Feature: Tempting Death



The truck should have turned Libbi Piper into a Libbi pancake, but a mysterious boy named Aaron saved her life instead. The problem? Aaron’s the local Grim Reaper. The bigger problem? He saved her life so she can take over his job. 

Libbi has just days to choose between dying like she was supposed to or living a lonely life as Death Incarnate. The choice only gets harder when she learns Aaron’s reasons for wanting out of the whole morbid business. Basically, his job sucks. 

Still, when Aaron looks at her, there’s something more in his eyes. Something dark and secret. Something he’s hiding. Libbi will be damned if she’ll die without figuring it out. And she’ll be damned if she lets him go. 

Excerpt:

The creep is back.

I may not be able to see him, but I know he’s here, somewhere. Call it intuition. Or maybe it’s just the eerie memory of when the guy stared me down last night. I don’t know, but I’m not taking any chances.

I hunch over my history final and release my thick hair from behind my ears. It swings forward like a dark-brown curtain and hides my face.

Show’s over, buddy.

I can’t look around, not with Mr. Winkler on “cheater duty.” Hopefully, the guy will get bored and go wherever the hell he went last night when he took off.

The final is what’s important. I need to focus on this test.

I read the next question on the page, but the loser’s gaze bores through my dark shield of hair and my arms erupt in gooseflesh. Before I can skim the multiple choice answers, my eyes betray me and shoot up to scan the classroom.

Mr. Winkler sits at his desk scratching at some poor schlub’s paper with his red pen of doom. His bald head gleams in the harsh fluorescent light. God, I hope it’s not my paper he’s destroying. I can’t afford another bad grade in this class.
I quickly scan the rest of the classroom through the part in my hair, but everyone is working. Eerie feeling or not, nobody’s looking at me.

But I know someone is watching. Just like last night, I can feel his stalker stare.

This is ridiculous. I shake my head and rub my arms to dispel the goose bumps. This guy has freaked me out so much I’m imagining his eyes on me now. I don’t have time for this. I have an exam to finish.

The tip of my pencil hovers over the letter C, and something in my peripheral vision shifts. I snap my head up and finally see him.

The guy I caught staring at me at the art show last night, the guy who warned me something bad was going to happen to me today, stands at the tiny rectangular window in the door. He tilts his head and his ice-blue eyes lock on mine, sending a shiver through my body.

Shake it off, Libbi, I tell myself. He’s just a crazy boy with a crush.

Actually, with his tousled black hair and his nose pressed against the glass like that, he looks a little like a lost puppy. If he wasn’t so creepy, I’d almost feel sorry for him. But couldn’t he choose a better time than the middle of my history final to eyeball me? Plus, he said he wanted to talk to me alone, and this is most certainly not alone.

I point to my partially finished test and mouth, “Final exam.”

He nods. A half-smile lifts the corners of his lips.

“Bye.” I wave my hand.

“I need to talk to you,” he mouths.

“No,” I reply, but he continues to stand at the door.

Dude, catch a clue already. I spin away from the door, sneak a peek at Mr. Winkler, and shove the eraser of my pencil between my teeth. I yank the eraser out of its metal holder and flick it at the back of Haley’s head. Her chair squeaks as she jumps and whips around to glare at me.

“What?” she whispers.

“Look.” I point over my shoulder with my pencil to the classroom door. “That crazy guy I told you about is at the window.”

We turn to the door together, but the window’s empty. He must be a shy creeper.

“Where?” Haley says.

“Never mind. He’s gone.” I slump back in my chair. At least I can finish my test in peace.

Grab a copy on Amazon.

Elizabeth Holloway is a maternity nurse, an avid reader, an artist, a karaoke singer, a music lover, and a kick-ass Pictionary player. She lives in Hanover, Pennsylvania.

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

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13. Interview: Sita Brahmachari

MWD interview with author Sita BrahmachariAuthor Sita Brahmachari‘s latest book is Car Wash Wish, her second novella for Barrington Stoke, a UK publisher who specialise in making books accessible to struggling readers, with a special emphasis on dyslexia. It’s an inter-generational story … Continue reading ...

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14. SWEET Paperback Giveaway

FTC Disclosure: Sweet by Emmy Laybourne giveaway prize is provided by the publisher for promotional purposes.

Hey gang! Just popping in really quick (still in recovery mode after putting on the Tots, Tweens, & Teens Book Festival) to let you know you can enter to win a paperback copy of Emmy Laybourne's SWEET from Macmillan. Ends 6/6/2016, US/Canada only please.

Hint: You can find the link to read the story behind the redesigned cover if you go to Emmy's Facebook page.

About the book

The luxurious celebrity cruise launching the trendy new diet sweetener Solu should be the vacation of a lifetime. But Laurel is starting to regret accepting her friend Viv's invitation. She's already completely embarrassed herself in front of celebrity host Tom Forelli—the hottest guy ever!—and she's too sick to even try the sweetener. And that's before Viv and all the other passengers start acting really strange. 

Tom knows that he should be grateful for this job and the chance to shed his former-child-star image. His publicists have even set up a 'romance' with a sexy reality star. But as things on the ship start to get wild, he finds himself drawn to a different girl. And when the hosting gig turns into an expose on the shocking side effects of Solu, it's Laurel that he's determined to save. 
Emmy Laybourne, author of the Monument 14 trilogy, takes readers on a dream vacation in Sweet that goes first comically, then tragically, then horrifyingly, wrong!

Sweet comes out in paperback on June 7, 2016. You can pre-order the book at:

Amazon Barnes & Noble IndieBound

Giveaway Time!

  1. Open to the US/Canada only, ends 6/6/2016.
  2. No purchase is necessary to enter the giveaway. Void where prohibited.
  3. We and the publisher/publicity department are not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged items.
  4. One set of entries per household please.
  5. If you are under 13, please get a parent or guardian's permission to enter, as you will be sharing personal info such as an email address.
  6. Winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter widget a day or two after the contest ends.
  7. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to to the email, otherwise we will pick a new winner.
  8. If you have any questions, feel free to email us at readnowsleeplater@gmail.com
  9. PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE ANY PERSONAL INFO IN THE COMMENTS. Sorry for the caps, but we always get people leaving their email in the comments. Rafflecopter will collect all that without having personal info in the comments for all the world (and spambots) to find.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

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15. Friday Feature: Shadowed Eden



High school senior Avery Miles is ready to spread her wings and prove her worth on a mission trip to Iraq, but when their entourage gets blown off course in a dust storm in the desert, the group finds themselves lost in an inexplicable garden oasis. Along with the luscious fruits and crystal springs, Avery and her friends find poisonous snakes, deadly sink holes, and a group of natives that are almost unearthly—but that’s not their biggest problem. No matter which way they trek, they can’t seem to leave. Avery steps up and takes charge to keep the group safe, but it isn’t long before she begins suspecting things aren’t as they seem. She isn’t the only one seeing the mysterious boy named Rae, and after following her father’s path in the jungle she’s pretty sure he’s sabotaging her rescue efforts. Gathering her courage, Avery must decide what’s most important to her—finally winning her father’s approval, or getting out of the jungle for good.


What others are saying about Shadowed Eden:
"A truly original premise…filled with danger, redemption, and a cast of teenaged characters that I grew to love. I enjoyed Clark's story and look forward to seeing what she comes up with next." ~Jill Williamson, Award-winning author of By Darkness Hid andCaptives

"Shadowed Eden is a unique and intriguing tale that will keep the reader turning pages…and the suspense doesn't stop until its surprising end! I highly recommend it." ~Melanie Dickerson, Carol Award-winning author of The Merchant's Daughter



KATIE CLARK started reading fantastical stories in grade school and her love for books never died. Today she reads in all genres; her only requirement is an awesome story! She writes young adult speculative fiction, including her YA supernatural novel, Shadowed Eden, as well as The Enslaved Series. You can connect with her at her website, on Facebook, or on Twitter.

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


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16. Discount of the day: Daughter of the Sun (Cult of the Cat series, Book 1) only $.99!



Title: Daughter of the Sun (Cult of the Cat series, Book 1)
Author: Zoe Kalo
Genre: YA mythological fantasy/paranormal
Word count: 93,000 words / 330 pages
Official Launch: May 1, 2016

Only $.99 until Wednesday May 11th(regular price $4.99)

Get your copy on Kindle today!

Daughter of the Sun, Book 1 - blurb

Sixteen-year-old Trinity was born during a solar eclipse and left at the doorsteps of a convent along with a torn piece of papyrus covered with ancient symbols. Raised by nuns in the English countryside, she leads a quiet life until she’s whisked away to the Island of Cats and a grandmother she never knew.

But before they can get to know each other, her grandmother dies. All that Trinity has left is a mysterious eye-shaped ring. And a thousand grieving cats. As Trinity tries to solve the enigma of the torn papyrus, she discovers a world of bloody sacrifices and evil curses, and a prophecy that points to her and her new feline abilities.

Unwilling to believe that any of the Egyptian gods could still be alive, Trinity turns to eighteen-year-old Seth and is instantly pulled into a vortex of sensations that forces her to confront her true self—and a horrifying destiny.

What readers are saying….

“This was an amazing story!” –Hot Off the Shelves

“This book was so super good! Great writing, great characters, great plot. Very immersive reading experience.” –Awesome Book Assessment

“Wow- this book was a stunning, magnificent adventure! Very well written and full of intricate details, I was immediately drawn in and just absolutely did not want to put this one down... The intrigue just leaves you racing through the pages to find out what will happen next! I absolutely, completely enjoyed this book and can't wait to see what happens in the next one!” –The Recipe Fairy

“The way [Zoe Kalo] writes cats into the book is astounding. Every little quirk, mew and lick is incredibly authentic. I love it when a writer is skilled at writing about the animals in the character’s story, it makes it more warm and fuzzy, no pun intended.” –Samantha Writes

“Daughter of the Sun is an intriguing young adult mythology read full of mystery, magic, action, and history… [it] kept me flipping pages like an addict.” –Fishing for Books

“Oh my God. This is definitely a ‘something.’ This concept and the plot is soooo unique and weird and fascinating that I did not want to put this down. I literally breezed through this one…. This book was an overdose of kitty love.” –Grape Fruit Books

“If you are looking for a Young Adult Fantasy book that is different from the norm, then look no further. Daughter of the Sun is full of Egyptian mythology, with layer upon layer of mystery just waiting to be uncovered.” –Archaeolibrarian

About the Author
A certified bookworm, Zoe Kalo has always been obsessed with books and reading. Reading led to writing—compulsively. No surprise that at 16, she wrote her first novel, which her classmates read and passed around secretly. The pleasure of writing and sharing her fantasy worlds has stayed with her, so now she wants to pass her stories to you with no secrecy—but with lots of mystery…
A daughter of adventurous expats, she’s had the good fortune of living on 3 continents, learning 4 languages, and experiencing a multicultural life. Currently, she’s working on a Master’s degree in Comparative Literature, which she balances between writing, taking care of her clowder of cats, and searching for the perfect bottle of pinot noir.
Connect with Zoe Kalo on the web: www.ZoeKalo.com /Facebook / Twitter

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17. Friday Feature: The May Queen Murders


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


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

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

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

     “Go to hell!”

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

     This ain’t real.

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

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

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

     “This must be done,” she whispered.

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

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

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

     I wanted that body to burn.

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

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

     “Mama?” I whimpered.

     “It’s only fair,” she said.

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


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18. Friday Feature: A Love That Disturbs Cover Reveal


A LOVE THAT DISTURBS by Medeia Sharif
Evernight Teen, June 17, 2016

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

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

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

Find Medeia – YA and MG Author

Blog   |   Twitter   |   Goodreads   |   Instagram   |   Amazon

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19. #AWTeen Twitter Chat


Join 10 YA authors from AW Teen on Wednesday, April 6th at 8 pm CST for a Twitter chat and giveaway! You can tweet your questions and follow along using the hashtag #AWTeen.

Authors:

Susan Moger (@SusanMoger), Of Better Blood (2/1) 
Anne Greenwood Brown (@AnneGBrown), Girl Last Seen (3/1)
Heather Anastasiu (@h_anastasiu), Girl Last Seen (3/1)
Laura Hurwitz (@hurwitzlaura), Disappear Home (paperback 3/1) 
Amy Allgeyer (@amy7a), Dig Too Deep (4/1)
Elizabeth Briggs (@lizwrites), Future Shock (4/1)
Dana Elmendorf (@DanaElmendorf), South of Sunshine (4/1)
S.A. Harazin (@SAHarazin), Painless (paperback 5/1)
Derek E. Sullivan (@DerekESullivan), Biggie (paperback 5/1)
Deborah Blumenthal (@deborahblu), Hurricane Kiss (5/1)

Prize: 5 participants will be randomly selected to receive an AW Teen book of their choice!

Hope to see you there!

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20. Best Selling Young Adult Books | April 2016

This is a solid list that we're not budging on from last month! Our hand-picked list from the Best Selling Young Adult books listed on The New York Times includes both Glass Sword and Red Queen, by Victoria Aveyard.

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21. Cover Reveal: SHAME THE STARS

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

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

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

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

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

shame the stars cover small

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

 

2 Comments on Cover Reveal: SHAME THE STARS, last added: 4/14/2016
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22. IBBY review: The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B by Teresa Toten

The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B, by Teresa Toten (Doubleday (Canada), 2013 / Delacorte Press (US), 2015) - IBBY 2015 Outstanding Books For and About Young People with Disabilities

I Am Not My Disability:
Outstanding Books For and About Young People with Disabilities

Continue reading ...

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23. By the Stars by Lindsay B. Ferguson




By the Stars by Lindsay B. Ferguson

Over the years, I have been asked to review many, many, many books. Because I haven't blogged often in the last couple years, I have mostly ignored email requests for reviews. When Lindsay B. Ferguson emailed me, I had to chuckle. She is my neighbor, and I was aware of her upcoming debut novel, but she didn't realize who I was. :) I told her that I'm a blogging slacker, and we decided not to have my blog be part of her big blog tour. You see...It gets sticky reviewing books for people you know. What if you hate it?

But...I bought the book on my Kindle the day it was released, and I wasn't just pleasantly surprised, I LOVED IT. I love that it is based on a true story, and I can't wait to talk to Lindsay about what exactly is history and what she created. I love the characters. I love the romance. I love it all. And you know what it really made me want to do? Like big time? Go dancing! Can we resurrect dance halls, please?

I know that among my friends, Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson, was extremely well-liked. Edenbrooke was the first in a collection of "Proper Romances". For friends who love Edenbrooke and other clean romance novels, By the Stars should be your next read!

From Amazon: "When Cal finally gets a chance with Kate, the girl he's loved since grade school, their easy friendship quickly blossoms into a meaningful romance. Spirited and independent, Kate keeps a guarded heart due to a painful past, and Cal wants nothing more than to gain her trust. But World War II soon cuts their time far too short, and Cal prepares to part from her - possibly for good. After he's gone, what Kate does next changes everything. 

In the suffocating jungles of the Philippines Cal encounters the chilling life of a soldier and deadly battles of war. With Kate's memory willing him on, Cal must put his trust in God to survive if he hopes to ever return to her. Inspired by a true story, By the Stars is a love story that stands the test of time and the most intense obstacles."

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24. Best Young Adult Books with Rachel Caine, Author of Midnight Bites

We're living in a golden age of great fiction ... so many beautiful works being published every month, and it's become a real paradise for readers, whatever they like to read.

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25. Monday Mishmash 4/18/16


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

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. Editing  I'm continuing to work my way through my editing schedule, which is out of control this month. 9 edits? 9? My eyes hate me right now.
  2. Book Order  The school I visited last month just placed a large book order. Yay! Once the books come in, I get to go back and sign them all for the kids. :)
  3. New Book Display  This past week I bought a display stand for my books, and good thing too because when I got to the book expo on Saturday I was told I had a 3X3 table even though I asked for a 3X6 table. I never would have fit my books without this display.
  4. Basketball Pains  We got a basketball hoop last week because my nine-year-old daughter loves basketball. Well, needless to say I haven't played in a while. ;) I'm sore! It's fun though.
  5. Catalyst Cover Reveal  Happy cover reveal day to Kristin Smith! Check out Catalyst, a YA near-future thriller coming out November 21st through Clean Teen publishing.

Too pretty.
Too smart.
Too perfect.

In a crumbling, futuristic Las Vegas where the wealthy choose the characteristics of their children like ordering off a drive-thru menu, seventeen-year-old Sienna Preston doesnt fit in. As a normal girl surrounded by genetically modified teens, all of her imperfections are on display. But after the death of her father, everything she's ever known and loved changes in an instant.

With little skills to help provide for her family, Sienna clings to the two things that come easily—lying and stealing. But not all thief-for-hire assignments go as planned. When a covert exchange of a stolen computer chip is intercepted, she becomes entangled with a corrupt government official who uses her thieving past as leverage, her mother as collateral, and the genetically modified poster boy shes falling for as bait.

In order to rescue her mother, there may only be one option—joining forces with the Fringe, an extremist group, and their young leader whos too hot to be bad. Problem is, these revolutionaries arent what they seem, and the secrets theyre hiding could be more dangerous than Sienna is prepared for. In the end, she must be willing to risk everything to save the one thing that matters most.

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

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