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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: young adult, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 2,136
1. Through the Woods: Review Haiku

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

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

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



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


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

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


Buy the book:

Multi-published author Sandra Cox writes YA Fantasy, Paranormal and Historical Romance, and Metaphysical Nonfiction. She lives in sunny North Carolina with her husband, a brood of critters and an occasional foster cat. Although shopping is high on the list, her greatest pleasure is sitting on her screened in porch, listening to the birds, sipping coffee and enjoying a good book. She's a vegetarian and a Muay Thai enthusiast.



Find Sandra online:
Blog

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

A Piper-approved bracelet
Enter on the rafflecopter form:


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

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3. Spotlight and Giveaway: Breaking Sky by Cori McCarthy

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

Meet the Elite Teen Fighter Pilots of the United Star Academy

  Full Name: GARRET POWERS

Call Sign: RIOT

Position: RIO (radar intercept officer)

Height: 6’1

Hair Color: Brown

Eye Color: Blue

Age: 18

Originally from: St. Paul, Minnesota

Plane name and description: PEGASUS, Streaker Jet Prototype 2

Years in the service: 4

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

Personality weaknesses: Punching mirrors, loudmouth

A Teaser:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Breaking Sky

Sourcebooks Fire

March 2015 ? ISBN: 9781492601418

Hardcover/$16.99 ? Ages 14+

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

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

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

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

Praise for Breaking Sky:

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

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

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

Buy Links:

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

Amazon

Apple

BAM

B&N

Chapters

Indiebound

Kobo

Rafflecoptor Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

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4. Gaijin: Review Haiku

A different story
of internment, with
complicated characters.

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

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5. The Harlem Hellfighters: Review Haiku

A story of wartime
bravery, tainted by
shameful racism.

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

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

A turtle for our time:

the classic superhero
tale writ anew.

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

0 Comments on The Shadow Hero: Review Haiku as of 2/20/2015 7:05:00 AM
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7. Friday Feature: Super Bad by Kai Strand




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

Excerpt from Super Bad:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


About the author:

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

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8. IRL: Review Haiku

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

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

0 Comments on IRL: Review Haiku as of 2/16/2015 6:39:00 AM
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9. It's Cybils Day!

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

0 Comments on It's Cybils Day! as of 2/14/2015 7:47:00 AM
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10. Friday Feature: Elemental Series by Elana Johnson



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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Buy Links:

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

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

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

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

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

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


Buy Links:

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

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

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


Buy Links:


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

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

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


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

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

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11. The Monster Within is the Kindle Daily Deal!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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12. It's the most wonderful MONTH of the year - Eve Ainsworth



Usually I hate February. It’s a dark, bleak little month. Rain dances through the days and frost greets every morning. You have no money and little motivation. Additional weight gained at Christmas still hangs from your waist like a guilty secret and the resolution to take regular jogs feels like a long forgotten joke.

Yep, it’s usually a month I enter with fear and loathing. It’s usually the month I put a big black cross through, before rushing back to bed and reading myself through it.
 Except this year! This year was different.
February 2015 would be significant for me in many ways.
1    
      1.  I would leave my job
      2.   I would run my first Author visit
      3.  7 Days would finally be published.

Leaving my job was the first positive more. It was a tiring and stressful job that was no good for me in the long term. A job where I would go home and feel mentally and physically exhausted, barely able to think, let alone type. Resigning was like a strange release and I already know it’s the best thing I could’ve done. Yeah ok, we’re poorer. But I’m calmer and that has to be a good thing, right?
Next was a thing that filled me with fear. What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger right? That’s exactly how I felt about stepping out of my comfort zone and entering a brand new school as an author.

I’d done events at my own schools, but this was new and alien. I walked into the building, clutching my bag and trying to ignore the gnawing feeling in the pit of my tummy. BUT it ended up being the best. The students I met were so lovely and engaged and so interested in both 7 Days and my work as an author. I left feeling both inspired and accepted. I realised the buzz I’d gained was a totally new and refreshing experience. This was good for me.

And finally, February was when 7 Days was let out into the big bad world.

And it was a lovely day. I had cake mid-morning (why not). I treated myself to a dress. I received lots of wonderful tweets from supportive followers everywhere. I chatted on-line to other fabulous authors who were being published on the same day. We were all doing different things, but we all felt the same mixture of excitement and anticipation.


Then in the afternoon, I received a wonderful bouquet of flowers from my publisher that so far I have managed not to kill (a new record I feel). 



Later, I went for a meal with my husband. I had a lovely cocktail and a delicious Caribbean curry and toasted the start of an amazing year.

Because it will be an amazing year. This will be the first year I can actually admit to myself that I have ‘done it’, I have accomplished a dream. And whatever life throws at me, whatever the new ups and downs – I need to remind myself of this one moment.

The moment when I became a published author.


The moment when I finally felt like me.


0 Comments on It's the most wonderful MONTH of the year - Eve Ainsworth as of 2/10/2015 2:06:00 AM
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13. Sway, by Kat Spears | Book Review

Kat Spears debut novel is, quite simply, a delight. It has all the ingredients for an engaging and witty read, laced with honesty and insight that’s refreshingly real.

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14. Monday Mishmash 2/9/15


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

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. Editing  Still working on client edits. My clients are keeping me busy.
  2. Looking For Love Cover Reveal  This Friday is the cover reveal! If you requested an ARC, you'll also receive that on Friday. Want to take part in the reveal and/or sign up for an ARC? Click here.
  3. Reading  With all the editing I'm doing, my reading is taking a hit. Yes, I know I'm technically reading in order to edit, but I have a ton of books staring at me from my shelf wanting to be read.
  4. Castle of Sighs Cover Reveal Countdown  I've seen the cover already and I can tell you it's amazing. I'm helping Jennifer Murgia countdown to reveal day. 
  5. The Darkness Within Trailer Reveal March 6th  Along with Spencer Hill Press, I'll be revealing the trailer for The Darkness Within on March 6th. Want to participate? Sign up on the form here:

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

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15. Twilight Special Edition Giveaway

Do I even really need to explain this? Special edition hardcovers of Twilight, New Moon, and Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer are up for grabs! Happy Valentine's Day, loyal followers! We love you.

US only (sorry, they're heavy!) Winner will be announced on February 14, 2015.

Giveaway Rules:

  1. Open to US residents only. Ends 02/13/2015.
  2. We are not responsible for items lost, stolen, or damaged in the mail. 
  3. One set of entries per household please. 
  4. 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. 
  5. Winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter widget a day or two after the contest ends. 
  6. 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 us. You can review our full contest policy here
  8. 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. Thanks!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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16. Friday Feature: Wishing For You Cover Reveal



Check out the cover of book two in the I Wish series by Elizabeth Langston!


Paperback: 320 pages
Expected publication: October 13, 2015 by Spencer Hill Press
ISBN13:  9781633920279

With high school graduation only months away, Kimberley Rey is eager to discover what her future holds. The next big decision is rapidly approaching--where to apply to college. But this choice is complicated by a memory disability. How will her struggles to remember affect her once she moves away from home?

Help arrives through an unexpected and supernatural gift. Grant is a “genie” with rules. He can give her thirty wishes (one per day for a month) as long as the tasks are humanly possible. Kimberley knows just what to ask for—lessons in how to live on her own.

But her wishes change when she discovers that a good friend has been diagnosed with a devastating illness. As she joins forces with Grant to help her friend, Kimberley learns that the ability to live in the moment—to forget—may be more valuable than she ever knew.

Through Valentine's Day I Wish (book one) is on sale on AmazonB&N, and iBooks.  


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

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17. The Crossover: Review Haiku

Briefly confused by
narration, but I loved these
guys and loved their game.

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander. HMH, 2014, 240 pages.

ETA: OMG I TOTALLY SCHEDULED THIS ONE PRESCIENTLY, EH?

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18. #WaitingonWednesday: Breaking Sky by Cori McCarthy Trailer and Giveaway

I love science fiction, so I’m excited that Breaking Sky by Cori McCarthy will be released in March. Today, I have a trailer and a giveaway for you to enter. You have a chance to win one of five (5!!) advance reading copies of Breaking Sky!

Breaking Sky

Sourcebooks Fire

March 2015 ? ISBN: 9781492601418

Hardcover/$16.99 ? Ages 14+

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

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

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

 

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

Praise for Breaking Sky:

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

“The author’s storytelling is incredibly cinematic, equally adept at capturing extended flight sequences and Chase’s interpersonal struggles. Emotions run high toward the novel’s end, and the author isn’t afraid to play a bit rough, making this feel less like a novel capitalizing on current trends and more like a great story being told in a very cool way. Smart, exciting, confident—and quite possibly the next Big Thing.”Kirkus Reviews

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

Breaking Sky ticks all the boxes: Love, war, friendship, action and danger – I was left wanting more, more, more!” —Jessica Shirvington, author of One Past Midnight

“A non-stop thrill ride… will keep you reading at the speed of sound. Breaking Sky is one of the most exciting reads of the year.” —Thomas E. Sniegoski, New York Times bestselling author of The Fallen series

Rafflecopter giveaway

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

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19. FERAL PRIDE by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Feral Pride is the third book in Cynthia Leitich Smith's Feral series. She is Muscogee Creek. Books in the series consists of a series of chapters, each one told from the point of view of one of the characters.

Prior to this and her Tantalize series, Leitich Smith wrote three books I highly recommend: her picture book Jingle Dancer, the early reader chapter book Indian Shoes, and her young adult novel Rain is Not My Indian Name. Each one is a terrific story featuring Native kids and their families. All three are set in the present day.

Feral Curse, the second book in the Feral series, introduces a Native character. Her name is Jess. She is Osage. Kayla, one of the main characters in Feral Curse, is a shapeshifter. Kayla and Jess grew up together and are good friends. In her early teens when Kayla realized she is a shapeshifter, she started to keep to herself, afraid of what people and friends will think about her, and afraid that she might inadvertently hurt or frighten them.

Some people in the world Leitich Smith creates are fine with shapeshifters; others aren't. It is that facet of the story that stands out to me as a Native women. The world Leitich Smith creates--and the attitudes of people in it--reflect the real world. Here on AICL, I've written about U.S. assimilation policies. Some of those laws and policies took land from Native peoples as a means to destroy our nationhood, and others sought to "kill the Indian and save the man." Those laws and policies were driven by attitudes held by people who did not want 'other' in the U.S.

That history is in my head as I read Feral Pride, or any book. It doesn't matter what I read. I see gaps. And misrepresentations. But as I read Feral Pride, I see Leitich Smith filling those gaps, meeting them head on.

Here's an example from early in Feral Pride. It picks up where Feral Curse left off. Feral Pride opens with Clyde. Like Kayla, he is a shapeshifter. Clyde, Yoshi, and Kayla are on the run. Both Clyde and Yoshi have more experience with being hunted than Kayla does. Jess is driving them in her dad's squad car. He's a sheriff in the small town in Texas where Kayla and Jess are from. They're headed to the Osage reservation. Here's their conversation (p. 3):*
"None of this makes sense," Kayla says from the backseat of the squad car. "It's not illegal to be what we are. Why would federal agents be gunning for us?"
"Why wouldn't they?" answers Yoshi, who's beside her.

Clyde thinks:
They're both right. It's not illegal to be what we are. But whenever anything goes wrong, anything bloody and brutal, shape-shifters are presumed guilty.
As I read "It's not illegal to be what we are" I thought about all the young people in the US today who some segments of society think of as "illegal." I thought about them being hunted, living in fear of being deported. I thought about how they are unfairly blamed for one social ill after another. Those who aren't branded "illegal" may not notice the work this particular part of Feral Pride is doing, but you can be sure that those who are considered "illegal" will note that passage. It speaks to them, as does Jess, on page 9, when she says:
"Shifters are people. There are terrific people. There are terrible people. Most fall in between."
I keep reading Jess's words. The list of peoples in the world that have been dehumanized and demonized by terrible people is astounding. Feral Pride pushes us--if we're willing--to think about that and why it happens.

Weighty topic, I know, but Leitich Smith lightens that weight with the banter the teens engage in as they drive. They're into superheroes and science fiction characters.

And! The parts of the story where characters shift or are talking about clothes? Well, I find those parts exquisite and they make me wish I could see all of this on a movie screen. And the parts where characters from the Tantalize series join the characters in the Pride series? Well done!

There are other tensions throughout the novel that provide opportunities to think about, for example, relationships across race. Characters who experience these tensions reflect on the ways that their own flaws and experiences shape what they say, do, and think. Their reflections and conversations give them space to revisit what they think, say, and do--and of course, provide those opportunities to us, too.

Elsewhere, reviewers note some of what I did above, and they call Feral Pride compelling, action-packed, sexy, campy, and wickedly funny. I agree with all that, and am happy to recommend it.

Feral Pride is due out this year (2015) from Candlewick.

*I read an advanced reader copy of Feral Pride. Page numbers I noted above may not correspond to the book when it is published.



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20. HOUSE OF PURPLE CEDAR selected by International Reading Association


Tim Tingle's exquisite House of Purple Cedar is among the books the Children's Literature/Reading group of the International Reading Association selected for inclusion in its list of Notable Books for a Global Society. (Note: I did two screen captures from their pdf to make the image above.)

Here's a bit of info about the Notable Books list, from their website:
The Notable Books for a Global Society (NBGS) list was developed to help students, teachers, and families identify books that promote understanding of and appreciation for the world's full range of diverse cultures and ethnic and racial groups. Although advances in technology allow us to communicate quickly with people around the world and the growth of world trade brings us increasingly into contact with far-flung members of the "global village," today's society is rife with tension, conflict and ignorance of others different from us. If we hope to meet the many challenges that face us in the 21st century, we must recognize the similarities and celebrate the differences among all races, cultures, religions, and sexual orientations, and appreciate that people can hold a wide range of equally legitimate values.
I'm thrilled to see House of Purple Cedar receive this recognition. It is on American Indians in Children's Literature's list of Best Books of 2014, too, and I hope you'll add it to your shelves. Book talk it if you're a librarian. Assign it if you're a teacher. And if you're a bookseller, hand sell it to people who come in to your store.

Tingle was at the National Book Festival last year. Though the audio isn't great in this video, you won't regret taking time to listen to what Tingle has to say. He starts out with a great bit of humor. Do watch at least the first few minutes.




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21. Fifteen Diverse Authors You Should Resolve to Read in 2015

A new year means a new chance to get to all the things you didn’t get to last year. And by “things,” what we really mean is BOOKS. We also know that reading diversely doesn’t happen by accident; it takes a concerted effort to read a wide range of books.

So, we thought we’d help on both counts by offering up a list of the diverse authors we’re resolving to read in 2015. Some are new, and some have just been on our list for years. This is the year we plan to get to them – perhaps this will be your year, too?

1. Valynne E. Maetani, Ink and Ashes

INK AND ASHES coverInk and Ashes is Tu Books’ first New Visions Award winner! This debut novel follows a Japanese American teen named Claire Takata. After finding a letter from her deceased father, she opens a door to the past that she should have left closed.

2. Joseph Bruchac, Killer of Enemies and Rose Eagle 

The award-winning Killer of Enemies follows seventeen-year-old Apache monster hunter Lozen in a post-apocalyptic world.

The prequel, Rose Eagle, follows seventeen-year-old Rose of the Lakota tribe.  After her aunt has a vision, Rose goes on a quest to the Black Hills and finds healing for her people.

3. Jacqueline Woodson, Brown Girl Dreaming

Everyone’s talking about Brown Girl Dreaming, Jacqueline Woodson’s memoir in verse about her childhood in the American South and in Brooklyn that recently won the 2014 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. But have you read it yet?

Her other novels include Miracle’s Boys and If You Come Softly.

4. Junot Diaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

 Junot Diaz’s Pulitzer-prize winning novel follows Oscar, an overweight, ghetto Dominican American nerd as he dreams of becoming the next J.R.R. Tolkein. This book is filled with Dominican history, magical realism, science-fiction and comic book references.

5. I.W. Gregorio, None of the Above 

In this debut novel, Kristen, has a seemingly ideal life. She’s just been voted homecoming queen and is a champion hurdler with a full scholarship to college. Everything unravels when Kristen and her boyfriend decide to take it to the next level, and Kristen finds out she’s intersex. Somehow her secret is leaked to the whole school.

6. Edwidge Danticat, The Farming of Bones

This novel covers the Parsley Massacre of 1937 in Dominican Republic. Anabelle Desir and her lover Sebastien, decide they will get married at the end of the cane season and return to Haiti. When the Generalissimo Trujillo calls for an ethnic cleansing of the country’s Haitians, Anabelle and Sebastien struggle to survive.

 7. Eric Gansworth, If I Ever Get Out of Here

Lewis “Shoe” Blake, a boy growing in the Tuscarora Indian Reservation in upsate New York in 1975, isn’t used to white people like George Haddonfield being nice to him. Lewis is also the target of the bully Eddie Reininger. Will George still be Lewis’s friend when he finds out the truth of how Lewis actually lives?

8. Alex Sanchez, Rainbow Boys

Alex Sanchez’s debut novel follows three boys, Jason Carrillo, Kyle Meeks, and Nelson Glassman, as they struggle with their sexualities and their friendships.

9. Natsuo Kirino, Out

Masako Katori lives with her dead-beat husband in the suburbs of Tokyo, where she makes boxed lunches in a factory. After violently strangling her husband, she uses the help of coworkers to cover her crime.

10. Guadalupe Garcia McCall, Summer of the Mariposas and Under the Mesquite

Summer of the Mariposas is a retelling of the Odyssey set in Mexico. When Odilia and her sisters find the body of a dead man in the Rio Grande, they decide to take his body back to Mexico.

In Under the Mesquite Lupita is an aspiring actress and poet, and the oldest of 8 siblings. When Lupita’s mother is diagnosed with cancer, Lupita struggles to keep her family together.

11. Naoko Uehashi, Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit

Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit, which is set in a fantasy Asian-inspired world, inspired an anime of the same name. Balsa is a body guard who is hired by  Prince Chagum’s mother to protect him from his father, the emperor, who wants him dead. A strange spirit possesses Prince Chagum that may be a threat to the kingdom.

12. Nnendi Okorafor, Akata Witch

American-born Sunny is an albino girl living in Nigeria. Although she doesn’t seem to fit in anywhere, Sunny discovers her latent magical abilities and joins 3 other students to learn how to control her powers. Sunny and her friends have to capture a career criminal who uses magic as well.

13. Zadie Smith, White Teeth

White Teeth focuses on the intertwining stories of two wartime buddies living in London with their families, and addresses topics such as assimilation and immigration in the U.K.’s cultural hub.

14. Aisha Saeed, Written in the Stars

Naila’s conservative immigrant parents say that they will let her wear her hair how she wants, choose what she will study and be when she grows up, but they will choose her husband. When Naila breaks this rule by falling in love with a boy named Saif, her parents take her to Pakistan to reconnect her with her roots. But Naila’s parents’ plans have changed, and they’ve arranged a marriage for her.

15. Alex Gino, George

Everyone thinks George is a boy, but George knows that she’s a girl. After her teacher announces that the class play is Charlotte’s Web, George hatches a plan with her best Kelly, so that everyone can know who she is once and for all.

1 Comments on Fifteen Diverse Authors You Should Resolve to Read in 2015, last added: 1/29/2015
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22. Friday Feature: Crow's Rest by Angelica Jackson





Avery Flynn arrives for a visit at her Uncle Tam's, eager to rekindle her summertime romance with her crush-next-door, Daniel.

But Daniel’s not the sweet, neurotic guy she remembers--and she wonders if this is her Daniel at all. Or if someone--or something--has taken his place.

Her quest to find the real Daniel--and get him back--plunges Avery into a world of Fae and changelings, where creatures swap bodies like humans change their socks, and magic lives much closer to home than she ever imagined.

Coming out May 12 through Spencer Hill Press.

Check out the trailer!



Find the book on Amazon, B&N, and Goodreads.

In keeping with her scattered Gemini nature, Angelica R. Jackson has far too many interests to list here.
She has an obsession with creating more writing nooks in the home she shares with her husband and two corpulent cats in California's Gold Country. Fortunately, the writing nooks serve for reading and cat cuddling too.
Other pastimes include cooking for food allergies (not necessarily by choice, but she’s come to terms with it), photography, and volunteering at a local no-kill cat sanctuary.

Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Goodreads  |  Photo Galleries  |  Blog  |  Website

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

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23. Monday Mishmash 2/2/15


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

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. Editing  I'm booked with edits again this month. The end of 2014 must have been very busy for a lot of writers because I'm editing book after book. :)
  2. Scholastic Book Fair  It's still going on thanks to all the snow days last week. I was a little sad because books I was looking forward to weren't there. My daughter's school only goes to fifth grade so some of the MG books weren't at our fair. :(
  3. Making Book Trailers  I'm working on the trailer for The Darkness Within. This one is proving to be tough! Wish me luck, please.
  4. Busy Month  With Looking For Love (Ashelyn Drake NA romance title) releasing March 17th, I'm busy getting everything ready. Look for a cover reveal on February 13th.
  5. Free Monthly Newsletter  My free monthly newsletter goes out today. If you aren't signed up but would like to receive one, click here.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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24. The Right Book at the Right Age - Heather Dyer

One reason that new writers have their books rejected is because their writing style doesn't match the content: either the language is too sophisticated for such a simple storyline - or the story is too long or complicated for the target readership. 

Admittedly, it's difficult to categorize books into specific age categories. Children are individuals, after all. Some advanced readers might not be very worldly-wise, and won't yet be ready for 'grittier' stories. Meanwhile, some of their peers may be ready for 'older' content but can't handle more sophisticated language.

But to give your story the best chance of publication, the content needs to match the writing style for that particular age category.


The publishing and bookselling industry tries to help buyers by dividing books into four main groups: picture books, young or early readers, middle grade readers (an American term) and young adult novels. As part of a new course I'm teaching in Writing for Children, I’ve started trying to identify qualities common to books in each age category. Boundaries will be blurred - but I'd love to know what you think of this chart. Am I right?
 
Picture books
Age 0-5
Early readers
5-7
Middle grade
7-11
YA fiction
12+
 
     0 - 200 words
24,32 or 40 pages.
 
500-1,500
 
10-20,000
 
          50,000+
Full colour illustrations
Black and white line drawings every other page
Black and white line drawings every few pages.
 
No illustrations
Domestic or fantasy settings
 
Usually domestic settings.
Domestic magic and high fantasy. Realistic settings with parental supervision unless there’s a good reason (fantasy)
The wider world. High fantasy.
 
 
 
 
Larger font size, restricted vocabulary. Dialogue.
 
Large proportion of dialogue, more complex.
 
 
 
Shorter sentences
More sophisticated sentences.
Lots of interior monologue, reflection, longer speeches.
Text works with illustrations.
Very short paragraphs.
Paragraphs a bit longer.
 
 
Nearly no description
Minimal description, but a few sparkling details true to a young reader’s perception of the world.  
Detailed setting and character description.
 
Detailed setting and character description.
 
Usually in third person
Usually in third person. Some character development possible.
Usually in third person.
Rounded characters. Character development more obvious.
Often in first person, and present tense. It’s all about me.
Anthropomorphism, inanimate objects made animate. Familiar roles, settings, objects.
A talking animal almost always points to an early reader. Children in comic or adventure situations, usually having a good time, nothing too awful happens.
Children in danger, frightening situations, facing fears and fighting good and evil. But the real world isn’t too real.
Can be very dark and realistic. Dystopian futures, tragedy, abuse, drugs, etc. Also comedy sex/romance.
 
No sex or romance.
Romance is light and about friendships. Or subliminal.
Anything goes.
For the youngest bracket, not necessarily stories with problems solved, but simply an exploration of the world.
Often deal with smaller problems resolved in a shorter time frame. Stakes are lower.
Children with flaws, interactions with peers. Children save the day or resolve things themselves. Growing understanding of the world and their place in it.
Young adults dealing with finding their own way in the world, changing the world or making a name for themselves; asserting themselves; finding own values.
Can be present tense.
Past tense, no leaping around in time or flashbacks.
Still rarely using flashbacks unless short recollections by a character.
Can play with chronology; transitions, flashbacks etc.
Happy endings or comforting closure.
 
Happy endings.
 
 Happy or at least hopeful endings.
Usually at least hopeful, but recently have been a few with bleak endings.

 




Listen to RLF Fellows talk on the subject 'Why I Write' 
 

 

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25. Best Selling Young Adult Books | February 2015

With so many strong novels on this list, all but one young adult novel, John Green's Paper Towns, remains the same on our hand-picked list from the Best Selling Young Adult list.

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