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1. 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.


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

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2. 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

*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. 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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4. 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."

0 Comments on By the Stars by Lindsay B. Ferguson as of 4/16/2016 5:47:00 PM
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5. 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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6. 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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7. 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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8. #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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9. 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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10. Monday Mishmash 4/4/16


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. Up In Flames Cover Reveal  Up In Flames is having a cover reveal today! And the book is already up for preorder on Amazon. You can preorder your copy here
    Seventeen-year-old Cara Tillman’s worst nightmare has come true… 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    She can plunge into the darkness of her treacherous fate, or use her Phoenix instincts to once again rise Out of The Ashes.
  2. Editing  I'm editing for clients this week.
  3. Mystery of Majestic Cave  Book two in the Curse of the Granville Fortune series will be ready early! Yes, early! I'm expecting it to be up for sale sometime this month. :)
  4. Packed Month  April is crazy for me. I have a bunch of editing projects on my plate, the Monroe County Book Expo on the 16th, the Scholastic Book Fair at my daughter's school is next week, and Up In Flames releases on the 12th!
  5. The Haunted Stepsister Cover Reveal  Want to sign up for Medeia Sharif's cover reveal for The Haunted Stepsister? Of course you do! I can tell you the cover is awesome since this is a Leap title I had the pleasure of editing. :) Sign up here
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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11. Video Sunday: Favorite Poem Project (ages 10 and up)

The Favorite Poem Project is dedicated to celebrating, documenting and encouraging poetry’s role in Americans’ lives. Founded by Robert Pinsky shortly after he was appointed the 39th Poet Laureate of the United States in 1997, this project has become a wonderful resource and inspiration.

Favorite Poem Project
It began as an initiative to create an audio and visual archive of 1,000 Americans reading aloud their favorite poems. Americans from every state and from all ages have submitted their favorite poems. I have loved exploring the resources available online, both video and audio recordings of Americans young and old sharing their favorite poems. Today, I'd like to share two favorite videos that particularly spoke to me.

Pov Chin, a student from Stockton, California, shares Langston Hughes' "Minstrel Man". I love how she connects to this poem, how it helps her express her own experience as a teen.

You can find the full text of the poem at PBS NewsHour, along with a transcript of Pov's reflections.
"I like it (Langston Hughes' poem) because it describes me. Like, I walk around with a smile on my face all the time at school and with friends and stuff, but I still have different thoughts running through my head. It’s never stable. It’s always going."
"We Real Cool" by Gwendolyn Brooks, is a poem that's often shared in middle school--I think that kids will respond to the way John Ulrich, a student in South Boston, Massachusetts, reads it and talks about it.

John speaks about the "cluster of death" that has surrounded his neighborhood, from young people's deaths due to drug overdoses and depression. He also shares the program he started "South Boston Survivors", to help young people find creative sparks to redirect them from depression.
"When I first heard 'We Real Cool', ...it just made sense to me, how things started out so innocent and got so drastic so quick."
Yina Liang, a student in Decatur, Georgia, shows how she connects to Emily Dickinson's poem "I'm nobody! Who are you?" I particularly like the way that Yina shows how she has to juggle all of the expectations she feels, all of the demands--and how sometimes, she just wants to escape and be nobody.

"I think I discovered this poem in 7th grade... Every year, as life gets busier, the poem keeps coming back to me and it connects so much better every time that I think, in time, it discovered me instead."
There are many more Favorite Poem Project videos that spoke to me as an adult, but today I wanted to share the ones that I think will particularly resonate with kids. I hope you enjoy exploring these resources as much as I have.

©2016 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books

0 Comments on Video Sunday: Favorite Poem Project (ages 10 and up) as of 4/3/2016 1:38:00 PM
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12. Friday Feature: Under A Purple Moon

*If you are looking for the YA Scavenger Hunt, click here.

Today I'm excited to share Beverly Stowe McClure's new young adult novel, Under A Purple Moon.



Eden Rose has learned to deal with her mother’s criticism that she can do nothing right. What she can’t deal with are the arguments between her parents. To escape their angry words, she finds refuge in an old abandoned house. She always returns home, however, hoping her mother will love her one day, even though Eden’s not sure what the word love means.

Three other teens with problems also hang out at the Old House. Meeting Murphy, Toby, and Josh changes Eden’s world, and she begins to have faith in herself. Perhaps she can do something right, after all.

Thanks to the boys, she begins to understand the meaning of love. But will it be enough to save her broken home life?

Grab the book at these locations:


Barnes and Noble:  http://tinyurl.com/hy63vn4


Purple has always been one of my favorite colors so I'm loving this cover!

Most of the time you’ll find Beverly Stowe McClure at her computer, typing stories little voices whisper in her ear. When she’s not writing, she enjoys taking long walks and snapping pictures of wildlife, flowers, and clouds. To relax, she plays the piano. Her fur babies don’t appreciate good music and hide when she tickles the ivories. She’s sometimes known as the “Bug Lady.” She’s not telling why.

Find Beverly online:


*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. ‘An Introduction to the IBBY Collection for Young People with Disabilities’ by Leigh Turner

Leigh Turina, Lead Librarian for the IBBY Collection for Young People with Disabilities, held at Toronto Public LibraryLeigh Turina is Lead Librarian for the IBBY Collection for Young People with Disabilities, which is held at Toronto Public Library in … Continue reading ...

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14. YA Scavenger Hunt!

Post Title:  YA Scavenger Hunt

Welcome to YA Scavenger Hunt! This bi-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors...and a chance to win some awesome prizes! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize--one lucky winner will receive one signed book from each author on the hunt in my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 72 hours!



Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are SIX contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the RED TEAM--but there are a bunch of other teams as well for more chances to win different sets of signed books!

If you'd like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page.


SCAVENGER HUNT PUZZLE

Directions: Below, you'll notice that I've listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the red team, and then add them up (don't worry, you can use a calculator!). 

Entry Form: Once you've added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.

Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian's permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by DATE, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.

Here are the books up for grabs from the Red Team!


Is that Into the Fire I see there? Yes, I think it is!

Today, I am hosting T.A. Maclagan for the YA Scavenger Hunt!



T.A. Maclagan is a Kansas girl by birth but now lives in the bush-clad hills of Wellington, New Zealand with her Kiwi husband, son and four pampered cats. With a bachelor’s degree in biology and a Ph.D. in anthropology, she’s studied poison dart frogs in the rainforests of Costa Rica, howler monkeys in Panama and the very exotic and always elusive American farmer. It was as she was writing her ‘just the facts’ dissertation that T.A.felt the call to pursue something more imaginative and discovered a passion for creative writing.


Before T.A. tells you about her new book, check out book one.

When your life is a lie, how do you know what’s real? Alexandra Gastone has a simple plan: graduate high school, get into Princeton, work for the CIA, and serve her great nation. She was told the plan back when her name was Milena Rokva, back before the real Alexandra and her family were killed in a car crash.

Milena was trained to be a sleeper agent by Perun, a clandestine organization from her true homeland of Olissa. There, Milena learned everything she needed to infiltrate the life of CIA analyst Albert Gastone, Alexandra’s grandfather, and the ranks of America’s top intelligence agency. For seven years, “Alexandra” has been on standby and life’s been good. Grandpa Albert loves her, and her strategically chosen boyfriend, Grant, is amazing. But things are about to change. Perun no longer needs her at the CIA in five years’ time. They need her active now. Between her cover as a high-school girl—juggling a homecoming dance, history reports, and an increasingly suspicious boyfriend—and her mission in this high-stakes spy game, the boundaries of her two lives are beginning to blur. Will she stay true to the country she barely remembers, or has her loyalty shattered along with her identity? 
 
EXCLUSIVE CONTENT

My Name is Milena Rokva, book 2 of the Alexandra Gastone Duology, is coming this summer!

Before then, grab They Call Me Alexandra Gastone, $1.99 for a limited time at all major ebook retailers! Booklist called Alexandra Gastone “an intricate, debut spy thriller” and Publisher’s Weekly said “…the intersection of action, espionage, and drama makes for solid…entertainment.”

Worried you’ll win YASH and end up with 2 copies? Don’t be. Should you purchase Alexandra Gastone and then win YASH, I’ll send you an ARC of Book 2, instead!

Now to reveal the cover for book 2…
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Grab book one here.


And don't forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of signed books by me, T.A. Maclagan, and more! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 8. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the red team and you'll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!


CONTINUE THE HUNT

To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author LH Nicole!

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15. Seven Questions Over Breakfast with Gareth Hinds

  If you like the artwork of Gareth Hinds, pictured right, you’re in for a treat today. In this, his breakfast visit to 7-Imp, he shares a whole heapin’ lot of artwork, and it’s my pleasure to feature it. You may have already heard a lot this year about Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of […]

1 Comments on Seven Questions Over Breakfast with Gareth Hinds, last added: 3/29/2016
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16. Monday Mishmash 3/28/16


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. YA Scavenger Hunt  I'm on Team Red for the YA Scavenger, which begins tomorrow! Stop back and join in the fun. Here are the books you could win:
2.  Allergies  My allergies have been awful! I'm coughing, sneezing, and feeling downright icky. :(
3.  Editing  I'm editing for clients this week. Nothing new there, though.
4.  Successful School Visit  Last week I visited Blairstown Elementary School. I'll be posting about the visit next Wednesday, complete with pictures and why school visits should be part of your promotional efforts if you write for kids.
5.  Seismic Crimes Cover Reveal  Check out the cover of Chrys Fey's Seismic Crimes, Disaster Crimes book two: 

An Internal Affairs Investigator was murdered and his brother, Donovan Goldwyn, was framed. Now Donovan is desperate to prove his innocence. And the one person who can do that is the woman who saved him from a deadly hurricane—Beth Kennedy. From the moment their fates intertwined, passion consumed him. He wants her in his arms. More, he wants her by his side in his darkest moments.
Beth Kennedy may not know everything about Donovan, but she can’t deny what she feels for him. It’s her love for him that pushes her to do whatever she has to do to help him get justice, including putting herself in a criminal’s crosshairs.
When a tip reveals the killer's location, they travel to California, but then an earthquake of catastrophic proportions separates them. As aftershocks roll the land, Beth and Donovan have to endure dangerous conditions while trying to find their way back to one another. Will they reunite and find the killer, or will they lose everything?

DIGITAL PRE-ORDER LINKS:


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

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17. Best Young Adult Books with Deirdre Riordan Hall, Author of Pearl

During her teens, Deirdre Riordan Hall, author of PEARL, traveled throughout the United States and Europe, developing a love for stories and a desire to connect with worlds imagined or real on the page.

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18. Out of the Ashes Is Here!

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Grab it on Amazon.


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19. Friday Feature: Frog Hollow


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


It's a sign. No one is safe.

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

Death, mayhem, and The Haunted...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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20. A First Second Graphic Novel Preview,Featuring Art from Mike Cavallaro, Joe Flood,Faith Erin Hicks, Bryan Konietzko, George O’Connor,Alex Puvilland, and Maris Wicks

From Bryan Konietzko’s Threadworlds,coming in 2017   Last week I spoke here at Kirkus with First Second’s Editorial Director, Mark Siegel, about graphic novels and ten years of First Second Books. Today, I’m following up with art — a sneak peek at some upcoming graphic novels from First Second. Enjoy!   — From Adam Rapp’s […]

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21. Friday Feature: Cheerleading Can Be Murder Cover Reveal


|||||| COVER REVEAL ||||||
CHEERLEADING CAN BE MURDER
Horror High Series #1 by Carissa Ann Lynch
Coming April 5th from Limitless Publishing!

||| SYNOPSIS |||
Getting on the cheerleading squad is hard enough without a psycho on the loose…

For Harrow High freshman Dakota Densford, life should be easy. All she has to worry about is talking to cute boys and remembering her locker combination. But when cheerleading tryouts draw near, she learns the cards are stacked against her—spots on the varsity team are limited. Dakota faces her competition head-on, but when her life is threatened, that takes the competition to a whole new level.

High school is never easy, and freshman year is off to a rough start…

Between Dakota’s uniform being ripped up and masked vandals trashing another girl’s house, everyone is suspect. To complicate matters further, Dakota has a thing for Andy McGraw, but she finds him locking lips with another girl.

The harassment continues, and when Dakota finds suspicious flyers inside her best friend’s locker, she doesn’t know what to think. The principal’s unfeeling, overachiever daughter, Brittani Barlow, will do anything to secure her place on the team. But Dakota’s neighbor, on the other hand, definitely fits the profile of a sociopath.

Cheerleading has become a game of life and death.

 ||| COVER DESIGNER |||


||| CARISSA ANN LYNCH |||
Besides my family, my greatest love in life is books. Reading them, writing them, holding them, smelling them…well, you get the idea. I’ve always loved to read, and some of my earliest childhood memories are me, tucked away in my room, lost in a good book. I received a five dollar allowance each week, and I always — always — spent it on books. My love affair with writing started early, but it mostly involved journaling and writing silly poems. Several years ago, I didn’t have a book to read so I decided on a whim to write my own story, something I’d like to read. It turned out to be harder than I thought, but from that point on I was hooked. My first and second books were released by Sarah Book Publishing: This Is Not About Love and Grayson’s Ridge. I’m a total genre-hopper. Basically, I like to write what I like to read: a little bit of everything! I reside in Floyds Knobs, Indiana with my husband, three children, and massive collection of books. I have a degree in psychology and worked as a counselor.

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/1MFqBf9

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

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22. Ontario Teen Book Fest - Spotlight on Elana K. Arnold

We are just under a week away from the sixth annual Ontario Teen Book Fest! Today, I'm spotlighting young adult and middle grade author Elana K. Arnold. Make sure you read on for a Q&A as well as a giveaway for a signed poster.

Before we get to that, here's the important stuff to know about the festival so you can plan and find your way there. 

Important Stuff

When: Saturday March 12th, 9 am to 5 pm

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

The Ontario Teen Book Fest Website: http://www.ontariotbf.org/

FREE -- No tickets necessary!

Side note, if you attend, you will be fed. Panera sandwiches and water/sodas are provided for attendees (since it's kind of hard to leave campus real quick to get some food--you might miss a panel!). I usually bring snacks anyway (and sandwiches are verboten on the anti-inflammatory diet I am currently on, so I do have to bring my own grub this time).

Books will be sold by Once Upon a Time. There will be t-shirts and posters as well.

At the end of the post, make sure you enter on the Rafflecopter for a poster signed by all of the authors!

Also, please share details about the fest on social media, and use the hashtag #OntarioTBF

Last but not least, show the event bloggers some love by heading over to their websites, reading their posts, and leaving a comment! Not mandatory but it would be super nice of you. And you can see by the schedule who this year's authors are!

Blog Tour Schedule

February 22nd - Spotlight on Andrew Smith - What A Nerd Girl Says

February 23rd - Spotlight on Alexandra Monir - The Consummate Reader

February 24th - Spotlight on April Tucholke - Adventures of a Book Junkie

February 25th - Spotlight on Alexis Bass - A Traveling Book

February 26th - Spotlight on Marissa Meyer - Read Now Sleep Later

February 27th - Spotlight on Sara Elizabeth Santana - Movies, Shows and Books

February 28th - Spotlight on Robin Reul Recently Acquired Obsessions 

February 29th - Spotlight on Katherine Kottaras - iFandoms Collide

March 1st - Spotlight on Stephanie Diaz - My Fangirl Chronicles

March 2nd - Spotlight on Virginia Boecker - The Reader's Antidote

March 3rd - Spotlight on Mary McCoy - Book You Very Much

March 4th - Spotlight on Brad Gottfred - Seeking Bazinga

March 5th - Spotlight on Michelle Levy - My Fangirl Chronicles

March 6th - Spotlight on Elana K. Arnold - Read Now Sleep Later

March 7th - Spotlight on Kristin Halbrook - What A Nerd Girl Says

March 8th - Spotlight on Jessica Brody - The Windy Pages

March 9th - Spotlight on Nicole Maggi - Nite Lite Book Reviews

March 10th - Spotlight on Jay Asher - A Bookish Escape

Now that that's all squared away, here's Elana!

Spotlight on Elana K. Arnold

Elana K. Arnold is a Southern California native, and author of Sacred (RH/Delacorte, 2012), Splendor (RH/Delacorte, 2013), and Burning (RH/Delacorte, 2013). Her latest book about young adults, Infandous, was released by Carolrhoda Books in March 2015. She holds an M.A. in Creative Writing/Fiction from the University of California, Davis. 

Click on the book covers to find out more about them at shoponceuponatime.com

Click on the book covers to find out more about them at shoponceuponatime.com

About Infandous:

"Once there was a mermaid who dared to love a wolf. Her love for him was so sudden and so fierce that it tore her tail into legs."

Sephora Golding lives in the shadow of her unbelievably beautiful mother. Even though they scrape by in the seedier part of Venice Beach, she's always felt lucky. As a child, she imagined she was a minor but beloved character in her mother's fairy tale. But now, at sixteen, the fairy tale is less Disney and more Grimm. And she wants the story to be her own. Then she meets Felix, and the fairy tale takes a turn she never imagined.

"Things don't really turn out the way they do in fairy tales. I'm telling you that right up front, so you're not disappointed later."

Sometimes, a story is just a way to hide the unspeakable in plain sight.

More books by Elana K. Arnold:

Sacred
Splendor
Burning
The Question of Miracles
Far from Fair

Q&A with Elana K. Arnold

Read Now Sleep Later: What was the seed that grew into your latest YA novel, Infandous

Elana K. Arnold: When I began working on the book that grew into Infandous, the first thing that came to me was Sephora’s voice. She was the loudest, clearest character I had ever heard. And it was clear from her art and her obsession with the goriest, most awful fairy tales and myths that she had a secret. I, however, literally had no idea what that secret might be. So I wrote to find out. About fifty pages into the book’s first draft, I was fooling around online and came across a list of 26 real words that we don't use anymore; “I” was for “Infandous,” which, I learned, means “that which is too terrible to be spoken of aloud.” At once, like a sickening wave, I was overwhelmed by the truth of Sephora’s secret. In that moment, I had found a title and direction... and a terrible sense of dread.

RNSL: In Infandous, Sephora is seeing "beyond the veil" that some popular fairytales wear (i.e. Disneyfication). I assume you had a revelation about this at some point, since you wrote a character with this point of view. What did you think when you first came to realize that fairytales aren't the euphemistic, sanitized versions served up in the mainstream? 

EKA: I was fortunate to have been raised in households full of books, with no restrictions prescribed because of our age. If we found it and picked it up, and if we were capable of decoding the information, the book belonged in our hands. We had both at home and at my grandparents’ house (where I spent a lot of time) collections of fairy tales, fables, and mythology—the original stuff. I actually met a lot of the characters that star in Disney movies first in their source material. When I later re-met them, sanitized for the screen, I was put off by their transformations. 

RNSL: Why do you write for young people? Did you choose the audience, or did it choose you?

EKA: Adolescence for me was terrifying, often lonely, and overwhelming. But sometimes it was also ecstatically free and dangerously exciting. I don’t write books for teens, particularly; I’m firmly in the “about, not for” camp, more and more as my career progresses. It’s up for publishers to decide if my books are YA… and, honestly, with both Infandous and my forthcoming YA, What Girls Are Made Of, I was pleasantly surprised that they found homes as such.

RNSL: Were you a writer and/or a reader as a child? If not, when did your road to becoming an author begin? Do you have a particular author, relative, or teacher who helped you on this path?

EKA: I was a myopic, dreamy, constant reader. My dad was a huge reader, too, as is my paternal grandmother who has a “real” library in her home—a room dedicated entirely to books. I spent long swaths of time there, happily following the patch of sunlight on carpet, reading indiscriminately and eating bowls of fruit. 

RNSL: In general, people think of fiction as made-up stories, tales about things that are not real--however, fiction often exposes greater truths. For you, does the truth come first and have the story grow into being around it, or does the story lead you there?

EKA: For me, truth and fiction are always tightly paired, sometimes in ways that, when I’ve gotten some distance, shock and embarrass me. It’s most often in unconscious ways that truth seeps into my fiction, forming the emotional landscape of the book. The events may be fictional, but the heart is real. 

RNSL: Do you write on schedule, or do you find that you have to carve bits and pieces of time out to write in the midst of your day-to-day activities? 

EKA: I tend to write in big chunks sometimes, and in bits and pieces other times, and also, sometimes, not at all. Growing up, well-meaning adults loved to tell me that “writers write,” and yes, sometimes this is true. But writing is only part of the craft of being a storyteller. Living, and loving, and failing and hurting and all the other mess of life counts, too. When I finally released myself from the “butt in the chair every day” prescription, the stories began to demand space and time. Different approaches work for different writers, but as someone who struggled with eating disorders, I find that an all-or-none dictum usually leaves me self-flagellating and miserable. Which leads me to your next question…

RNSL: Do you have a favorite piece of writing advice you've received from or given to someone else? What is it?

EKA: Be gentle with yourself. There is time.

“Be gentle with yourself. There is time.”

Elana K. Arnold lives in Huntington Beach, California, with her husband, two children, and a menagerie of animals. Her latest middle grade novel, Far from Fair, will be out this week, and if you're lucky enough to be in Long Beach, California, check out Gatsby Books at 7 pm on Tuesday, March 8 for her launch party! Her next YA novel, What Girls Are Made Of, is due out in Spring 2017 from Carolrhoda Books. You can find more information about her and all of her books at elanakarnold.com/home.html and tweet her @elanakarnold


Giveaway

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23. Friday Feature: Secrets of Artemis


Today I'd like to introduce you to C.K. Brooke and her novel, Secrets of Artemis.


Not even the god of gods could command my heart not to love...

In Ancient Greece, the goddess Artemis was venerated as a maiden huntress, swift with her bow and arrows, and eternally chaste. But could there be more to her story? Perhaps Lady Artemis had envisioned quite a different destiny than the one her father, Zeus, had chosen for her. What if she hadn't merely pined after the giant huntsman, Orion, but had secretly partaken of a forbidden romance with him?

From prolific fantasy writer C.K. Brooke comes an original divine novel, in which Artemis's classic myths are retold as never before, in her own voice, as the young goddess sets the record straight and reveals the true account of her immortal life - and love. 

Grab the book on Amazon.




C.K. Brooke is the author of multiple fantasy, romance and women's adventure novels. She lives in Washington, Michigan with her husband and young son. For news about upcoming releases, follow her on Facebook and Twitter, and visit her at www.CKBrooke.com.







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

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24. Trunked manuscripts . . . after you’re already published

Years ago, a friend told me that getting published was the easy part. It was staying published that was difficult.

I laughed a little. I died inside.

I was still trying to get published the first time, let alone a second or third time, and I wasn’t having a whole lot of success.

But perseverance won, and eventually I did get published. And because I was one of those annoying overachievers, I’d already written first drafts of the second and third books in my trilogy by the time I turned in my first book, which meant that I had some free time.

I wrote another — unrelated — book, revised it a bit, shared it with a few critique partners and my agent, and when I had another stretch of free time, I went back to it to make the manuscript shine.

But something was wrong. There were huge parts of the book that I loved, but I knew it had problems, and I wasn’t sure how to fix them. I knew the book wasn’t strong enough to give to my publisher, so I put it aside to wait for a spark of brilliance to tell me how to fix it.

That book is still waiting. I had to move on. So I finished writing my first series (again), and I wrote another new book. I gave it to critique partners. I gave it to my agent. I revised the snot out of it. And I thought it was ready, so I gave it to my publisher. They said they didn’t think this was the very best followup to my first series.

Crushed.

I started thinking about that thing my friend had said years before. I started wondering if maybe she was right. I’d been published! People liked my book! But I’d put one new book aside because I knew it wasn’t ready, and I’d had to put the other new book aside because my career wasn’t ready.

But because I had no desire to starve to death and a very strong desire to keep my career in motion, I wrote yet another new thing (while finishing working on my first trilogy). All the necessary people liked it and approved it, and that book became my second series. (For those wondering if that pattern continued, it did not. There were no books between that one and what will be my third series.)

I’m sharing all this because I think a lot of writers believe that once you’re published, you can hand in new books and a couple of years later, they appear on shelves. Not true! New books must go through the same rigorous acquisitions process as the first one, but this time with sales records of your previous books as a key factor in what the publisher decides to do.

I know a lot of authors who’ve written new things after they’ve been published, and for one reason another, had to trunk them. Maybe they knew from the start it wasn’t ready. Maybe their agent said it wasn’t ready. Maybe their publisher said it wasn’t ready.

And you know, there’s no shame in that. Trunked manuscripts — no matter what stage of your career they were written — are still useful creatures. There are no wasted words in writing, even if those words never make it to the bookshelves. All that experiences goes into the next new thing, which will be even stronger than the last ones.

We all have trunked manuscripts. Lots come before getting published the first time, but they happen after, too. For a lot of writers.

And it’s totally okay. Just keep writing. Keep looking forward. (And hopefully one day, you can resurrect the trunked manuscripts you particularly love. That is my plan!)

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25. Friday Feature: Waking Up Blank



¸.•*´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•`Waking up Blank`*)
                                                          *  
 Author: Sara Schoen
Publisher: Limitless Publishing
Release date: June 17th 2015

Chelsea Lerman wakes from a sixteen-week coma with a shattered memory.

Following the brutal attack that left her life in tatters, Chelsea learns her best friend Maddie Gray was murdered. Left with only fragments of memory—and none at all about the crime—she is certain she wouldn’t kill Maddie.
But the police aren’t looking for who did it, because they already have a prime suspect…Chelsea. The only way to prove her innocence is to figure out who she is, explore her faded past, and unlock her blocked memories.
The truth she seeks might be deadly.
Chelsea realizes if she didn’t kill Maddie, someone else did. If she has any hope of reclaiming her life, she has to find out who did it…and why. However, her friends, family, and the police aren’t convinced her memory loss is genuine, so she’s forced to undertake the dangerous search alone.
Plagued by a sense of being watched and a series of mysterious “accidents,” and unsure who to trust, Chelsea is running out of time. Can she unmask Maddie’s murderer before she becomes the next victim?

GET IN NOW

 AMAZON / B&N •*¨*•*´¨)
¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•`
 FOLLOW SARA

About This Author

My name is Sara, I’m twenty years old, and I was born and raised in Northern Virginia. I have always been interested in writing, even started a book in elementary school, but it wasn’t until high school that my friend, and writing partner, more or less forced me to join an amateur writing site. After some convincing from her, I plucked up the courage and posted one of my stories. While it wasn’t popular at first, I was shocked and overwhelmed by the support of readers on Wattpad, and they gave me the support and confidence to get where I am today. I continued to write religiously for the next three years I was on the website, starting countless stories and deleting a few others. It wasn’t until I was nineteen that I was given the opportunity to work with a publisher, and I’m excited that I now get to share my work with countless other people as well as continue to write for the fans that supported me to continue working toward telling the world a remarkable story.


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

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