Pre-Pub Adventure: February

It’s that time of month where we check in with our authors to see where they our on their publishing adventure!

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Every 3rd Wed of the month we follow authors on their publishing adventure. Have you ever wonder how authors prepare for a book release or what they are working on while also getting ready to publish a new book? How do they multitask? Find out on Pre-Pub Adventure as we follow authors to publishing their books.

Let’s check on our authors to see what they have been up too!


Nic Stone

egoo5qze_400x400           marting

 1. Dear Martin’s cover had just recently been revealed and it’s gorgeous! Did you have any say on what the cover would look like?

Eek! Thanks! I had quite a bit of say: the image of the boy was taken by my husband in our living room! The concept wasn’t mine (though I loved it), and the designer went through a couple of iterations before deciding to put an actual human on the cover, but once that decision was made, I chose the model, and my photographer husband took the images. I even got to pick the exact photo they used. (This is a DREAM scenario, by the way.)

2 . Dear Martin is receiving fabulous reviews! How does it feel that readers are loving your book?

I’ll be honest: I haven’t read literally any reviews. I’m… not ready. Lol! Lovely to hear people are loving it though!

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3. What are you currently reading?

Lots of Middle Grade! Right now it’s The Girl Who Drank The Moon by Kelly Barnhill (this year’s Newberry winner) and Bloomability by Sharon Creech. I’m in edits on my 2018 release, so I have to read stuff that isn’t YA contemporary.

Follow Nic: Twitter * Instagram * YouTube

Kayla Olson

kayla      pre-pub-4

The Sandcastle Empire is almost 4 months away from being published, what are you doing to get ready for it?

It’s *less* than 4 months away, at this point—how is that even possible?! Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the events I want to do when the book comes out—my launch party, for example, in addition to some details-still-to-be-determined events at a handful of bookstores around Texas, at the very least! I also just placed an order for a limited batch of special TSE-related items, since I have some fun giveaways coming up over the next few months. (Watch my Twitter/Instagram for info about those!) Speaking of Instagram, I’ve been really loving it lately—I did the #igauthorlifejan challenge last month, and for February, I’m participating in #authorlifemonth; it’s been really fun to post on a daily basis, and to get to know other authors through those hashtags. I’m @authorkaylaolson there, if we’re not already connected!

Eden has only 3 possessions to her name, what would you have if you were stranded on an island? 

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Oh, man. Great (but difficult!) question! The practical side of me wants to say obvious survival-y things like a knife, some flint for starting fire, and a water bottle like Eden has in the book (it has a special desalinating/sanitizing filter built right in)! I’d also wish for my family, but if I’m stranded there, I’m guessing that means I’d have to be alone? Let’s see. For now, I’ll go the comforts-I’d-miss-terribly route: the hair products that keep my curls from freaking out; a giant stockpile of dark chocolate (chocolate that is also somehow melt-proof, since it might be hot and sunny on said island); and…a crate loaded up with my French press/lots of coffee/a pot to boil water in/my favorite mug, a glass one with gold sparkles on it. (How tragic would it be to have all the stuff to make coffee, but not a mug to drink it in, now that I’m thinking about it? I’d have to, like, repurpose a giant shell, or something. I would not be above that.)

What are you reading? 

I’m reading Carlie Sorosiak’s next book, which won’t be out until next year—it’s fantastic so far, though, which is utterly unsurprising. Carlie’s debut IF BIRDS FLY BACK comes out in June, a few weeks after mine, and is still one of my favorites out of all the 2017 debuts I’ve read so far!

Follow Kayla: Twitter * Instagram * Tumblr * Blog


J.C. Welker

jc     jc-2

1. What have you been working on this month?

Going through copy edits for THE WISHING HEART while in between working on finishing drafting my WIP. Then I will sleep for a month. Well, until May when TWH releases!

2. What are you currently reading?

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Just finished OF FIRE & STARS and I’m so appreciative of having more YA fantasy with queer rep to choose from. That HAVE happy endings.

3. What is your greatest wish for The Wishing Heart when it reaches readers hands?

This story is very special to me on so many levels. In it’s simplest form it is about an unloved girl looking for it through wishes. It is a reflection of my own experiences growing up, at a time where I felt invisible, depressed, hiding who I was, and going through a period of feeling unloved, where I looked to stories to fill that hole. So my greatest wish is that THE WISHING HEART will reach the hearts who need it. Stories can be healing. They are for me, including writing this one. And if I had a book like TWH back then it might have made life more bearable, reassuring me that I mattered.

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There are so many marginalized writers and my hope is that more of us are given the opportunity to tell our stories, and reach those who need them. Because diverse stories aren’t a fad, and WE aren’t going anywhere.

Follow J.C.: Twitter * Facebook * Tumblr * Instagram


Abby Reed

pre-2                 pre-pub4

1. What have you been working on?

The last week and a half, I’ve been working on edits on a novella for the series. I got comments back from a beta reader and am fixing things. I’m hoping to send it to another beta reader by the end of the week. I’ve also been dealing with real life–I got to visit two of my best friends for a long weekend. And one of my puppies sprained her leg. Which means I have to constantly monitor her to make sure she’s not making it worse. It’s harder and more time consuming than you’d think!

Since I don’t have a deadline on my back right now, I’ve also been trying to prioritize taking care of my body by sleeping more when I need it, taking baths, going to yoga classes, not aggravating migraines. Trying to let myself heal and recover from December’s whirlwind 🙂

When Planets Fall comes out in April, that’s almost here! What have you been doing to prepare for the release? 

 

Here’s the bad news: I found out the print release got pushed back until May. *enter the saddest emoji possible* Which is a huge bummer but also part of publishing you can’t control.
On the positive side–having a later release date gives me more time to market. So it works out 🙂

In the meantime, I’ve been marketing, marketing, and more marketing. I’ve made bookmarks, postcards, ordered tea and other sundries, put together giveaway packs, pre-order prizes, and been organizing a tea tour! I found out I might be speaking at two other events this year. I’ve been coordinating and brainstorming for that.

3. What are you currently reading?

spy     glitter  green

 

I’ve been researching a little for this novella by turning to some of my favorite YA sci-fi reads. But I’ve also been on an epic fantasy kick. I read 4 Robin Hobb novels in the last month as well as 2-3 of Brandon Sanderson’s. I’ve read Spy Ski School by Stuart Gibbs and Glitter and An Abundance of Katherines. I also finally buckled down to read Ursula’s Le Guin’s book on writing and The Story Genius.

 

Follow Abby: Twitter * Facebook * Pinterest * Instagram

Amanda Foody

pre-pub-3       pre-4

 

 

1. Daughter of the Burning City has a new release date of July 25th! How does that feel to have it being released sooner?

 

It feels pretty good! I was pleasantly surprised when my publisher emailed me, as the date is now extremely close to my birthday. I’ll get to celebrate an extra lot in one week! Plus, the date is weirdly close to the exact time frame when Daughter takes place–high and late summer.

 

2. Are you doing anything special to prepare for it?
Yes! The past few weeks have been full of talk about the cover reveal, giveaways, advanced reader copies, events, the launch party, a tour, and more. Nothing is set yet. For all I know, the ARCs could arrive or the cover could launch before this post is published! It’s a whirlwind, really. All I have for certain on my calendar is Children’s Institute in early April and BEA at the end of May.

 

3. What are you currently reading?

 

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I’m currently in the midst of editing my second YA fantasy novel, Ace of Shades, as well as working on its sequel and several other projects, so I haven’t had much time for reading his month! However, I am treating myself to The Little Book of Hygge, which is all about tips on achieving Danish-style happiness, like investing in good lighting and creating cozy, positive spaces. I read a little before bed each night and feel empowered the next day to browse Pinterest for inspiration on candles and lighting fixtures.

Follow Amanda: Twitter * Tumblr * Pinterest * Instagram


Rosalyn Eves

pre-pu          pre-pub

 

1. You have 1 more month until Blood Rose Rebellion releases! How are you preparing for it?

 I’m currently scheduling launch parties (yes, plural!) for the week my book comes out, sending out pre-order giveaways (http://www.rosalyneves.com/blood-rose-rebellion-preorders/), working on edits for book 2 and trying not to panic too much.

2. What are you currently reading?

 I’m currently reading Stacey Lee’s THE SECRET OF A HEART NOTE, which is a lovely contemporary departure from her previous historical fiction. I just finished Jared Reck’s A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE GIRL NEXT DOOR, which comes out this fall from Knopf, and made me cry and laugh–a rare combination.

3. You’re a #Pitchwars mentor, any advice for newbie writers out there?
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Oh, this is a good question! I think persistence is a big one (in writing and in life). Writing can be hard, and often we have little control over things that matter a lot to us–whether or not an agent likes our work, whether a publisher loves it enough to pick it up, whether the book finds readers, etc. But we can control the time we invest in the stories we tell. Success, however we define it, may not happen on our timeline, but it definitely will not happen if we don’t persist. Also, write because you love it! Because so much is out of your control, if you write for any other reason, you’ll find yourself disappointed. So write because you can’t not write, and savor the chance to put words on the page.

Follow Rosalyn: Twitter * Tumblr * Pinterest * Facebook


Katie Bayerl

pre-3         apsalmforlostgirlscover

1. You have 1 more month until A Psalm For Lost Girls comes out! How have you been preparing? 

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I’m keeping cool (mostly). I had a long wait to my pub date—the book sold back in April 2015—so got a lot of things out of the way early. (Have you heard of precrastinators? Those are the weirdos who get things done early because deadlines freak us out. I am one!)

These past couple of weeks, I’ve been able to focus on the fun stuff: pairing up with author/visual artist Dana Walrath to create a saint card with an original psalm (by me, of course). Everyone who preorders from my local indie will get a gorgeous limited-edition print. I’ll be announcing a giveaway soon too, so watch for details in Twitter and Instagram!

Also in the works: a whole bunch of readings, festivals, and writing workshops for teens. I’m excited to be teaming up with authors I adore (including Marianna BaerJulie Berry, and Jandy Nelson) for a couple of events… and to be leading teen workshops in communities close to my heart, including the mall where I had my first job and my old high school! It’s turning into quite the tour. (Here’s a sneak peek. I’ll be announcing the full list soon.)

2. How do you feel that it is so close for your book to be in readers hands?

Can I confess something really strange? It wasn’t until this past summer that it occurred to me that people other than my editor would be reading my book. I mean, I’ve been pursuing publication for a while. Getting a book deal with Putnam Books for Young Readers was groovy and all that, but…I somehow hadn’t made the leap to that fact that total strangers—and people I know!—would be meeting these characters I’d lived with so long. And that they’d get to read Psalm whenever they felt like it, without my permission. I basically had a melt down when that realization hit.

And then… I started to get love notes from members of my debut group, and sweet little tweets from bloggers and booksellers I’ve never met, and really nice reviews, including a star in Publishers Weekly! My dad cried when he read the final book. (My sister has the photo evidence.) Each of these moments chipped away at my fear. I started to realize that Callie and Tess had qualities—and struggles—other people could genuinely appreciate. And now? I’m feeling excited to send Psalm out into the world so that more readers can get to know the sweet, salty girls I love so much. They don’t even have to ask my permission!

3. What have you been currently reading?

I just finished two amazing debuts: American Street by Ibi Zoboi and Maud by Melanie Fishbane. The first is set in contemporary Detroit from the point of view of a newly arrived Haitian immigrant teen; the second is an historical novel based on the life of author Lucy Maud Montgomery, who came of age in Canada in the 1890s. Both of these books felt like home to me—I contain multitudes, ok?—and both are brilliantly written.

Follow Katie: Twitter * Facebook *


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See you for the next adventure!

Denton Little’s Still Not Dead Blog Tour Review

Today I’m excited to be part of Denton Little’s Still Not Dead blog tour! This was a hilarious sequel to Denton Little’s Deathdate.

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Denton Little lives in a wdentonorld exactly like our own except that everyone knows the day on which they will die. The good news: Denton has lived through his deathdate. Yay! The bad news: He’s being chased by the DIA (Death Investigation Agency), he can never see his family again, and he may now die anytime. Huh. Cheating death isn’t quite as awesome as Denton would have thought. . . .

Lance Rubin’s debut novel, Denton Little’s Deathdate, showed readers just how funny and poignant imminent death could be. Now in this sequel, he takes on the big questions about life. How do we cope, knowing we could die at any time? Would you save someone from dying even if they were a horrible person? Is it wrong to kiss the girl your best friend is crushing on if she’s really into you instead? What if she’s wearing bacon lip gloss?


Tawney’s Review:  This book was over the top funny which made me laugh and read until I finished the last page. All the characters are back from the first book especially Dento and Paolo! Their bromance and antics together just makes sense and add realism to this humorous book.

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Denton had grown from the first book…he isn’t dead either! In the first book everyone knows when they are going to die. So Denton knew that he was going to die. We were left at a cliffhanger in the first book and the second book picks everything back up. Denton learning about death date, trying to save his friends and so on.

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The topics are somewhat heavy dealing with death but with the humor this book handles it well. It’s a great Sci-Fi series that really isn’t Sci-Fi if that makes sense? This book is action packed with humor and wacky plot lines. The book ends wonderfully that left me satisfied.

Should you read it? Yes! With entertaining characters and humor you won’t want to put this down until you finish it.

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City of Saints & Thieves Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway!

 

The Girl with thcity2e Dragon Tattoo meets Gone Girl in this enthralling YA murder mystery set in Kenya.

In the shadows of Sangui City, there lives a girl who doesn’t exist. After fleeing the Congo as refugees, Tina and her mother arr
ived in Kenya looking for the chance to build a new life and home. Her mother quickly found work as a maid for a prominent family, headed by Roland Greyhill, one of the city’s most respected business leaders. But Tina soon learns that the Greyhill fortune was made from a life of corruption and crime. So when her mother is found shot to death in Mr. Greyhill’s personal study, she knows exactly who’s behind it.

With revenge always on her mind, Tina spends the next four years surviving on the streets alone, working as a master thief for the Goondas, Sangui City’s local gang. It’s a job for the Goondas that finally brings Tina back to the Greyhill estate, giving her the chance for vengeance she’s been waiting for. But as soon as she steps inside the lavish home, she’s overtaken by the pain of old wounds and the pull of past friendships, setting into motion a dangerous cascade of events that could, at any moment, cost Tina her life. But finally uncovering the incredible truth about who killed her mother—and why—keeps her holding on in this fast-paced nail-biting thriller.


My Review:
Sometimes a book comes along that really moves you. That was how I felt with Anderson’s City of Saints and Thieves. Tina was a strong character who wanted justice and the reader followed her through that journey with passion and intense hope that she survived. I truly connected with her. She was strong and determined with such strength and bravery. I just rooted for her all the way.
Having lived on the streets for five years after fleeing the Congo, Tina was part of the Goondas, a street gang led by Mr. Omoko, and not only that, she also had become a master thief. I loved how Anderson put Tina into harrowing situations and you couldn’t put the book down until the outcome was finished.
I loved the setting in Kenya. Not many books take us to that world of where the poor and rich coincide with each other. Even though this was set in a fictional city you still had the real life problems Africa faces. It was a nice changed to have a book delve into that world, a world more readers needed to see. Each character felt real and my emotions played with me for each one of them. Wishing for them a better life and outcome.

Should you read this? Yes! it’s a beautiful exciting story that takes the reader into the heart of Kenya. A wonderful debut by Natalie Anderson.

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About the author:

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Natalie C. Anderson is an American writer and international development professional living in Geneva, Switzerland. She has spent the last decade working with nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and the United Nations on refugee relief and development, mainly in Africa. She was selected as the 2014-2015 Associates of the Boston Public Library Children’s Writer-in-Residence, where she wrote her debut novel, City of Saints & Thieves.

 

 

 


Check out my Pinterest Board!


Giveaway

Enter for a chance to win one of five (5) finished copies of City of Saints and Thieves by Natalie Anderson (ARV: $18.99).
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on January 16, 2017 and 11:59 PM on February 3, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about November 21, 2016. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.
Enter HERE!

Follow the blog tour!

Week One:
1/16 – Margie’s Must Reads – Review
1/17 – Children’s Book Review – Guest Post
1/18 – YA Wednesdays – Favorite Quotes
1/19 – Here’s to Happy Endings – Interview
1/20 – The Moral of our Stories – Review
Week Two:
1/23 – Oh the Book Feels – Review
1/24 – Bibliophile Gathering –Guest Post
1/25 – A Page with a View – Interview
1/26 – Icey Books – Quote Candy
1/27 – Reading Nook Reviews – Review
Week Three: 
1/30 – Twinning for Books – Review and Pinterest Board
1/31 – Dark Faerie Tales – Interview
2/1 – Reading is Better with Cupcakes – Review
2/2 – ButterMyBooks – Guest Post
2/3 – Folded Pages Distillery – Review
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Dark Days Pact Review and Giveaway

I’m very excited today to be the next tour stop on The Dark Days Pact blog tour!

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I loved The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman and was thrilled to be part of the second book’s blog tour. Let’s take a look at The Dark Days Pact.

 


Summer, 1812.
After the scandalous events at her presentation ball in London, Lady Helen has taken refuge at the fashionable seaside resort of Brighton, banished from her family and training as a Reclaimer with the covert Dark Days Club. She must learn to fight the dangerous energy-wielding Deceivers and prepare to face their master, the elusive Grand Deceiver.

 

As she struggles to put aside her genteel upbringing, Helen realizes that her mentor, Lord Carlston, is fighting his own inner battle.  Has the foul Deceiver energy poisoned his soul, or is something else driving him towards violent bouts of madness? Either way, Helen is desperate to help the man with whom she shares a deep but forbidden connection.

 

When Mr. Pike, the hard bureaucratic heart of the Dark Days Club, arrives in Brighton, he has a secret mission for Helen: find the journal left by a mad rogue Reclaimer, before it falls into the hands of the Deceivers. Coerced by Pike, Helen has no choice but to do as ordered, knowing that the search for the journal may bring about Lord Carlston’s annihilation.


 Review: Lady Helen is back and as fantastic as ever. Last we saw her she had been disowned by her Uncle and staying with Lady Margaret and Mr. Hammond while training with the ever hot Lord Carlston to transform into her role as a Reclaimer.

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Helen is now studying the ways to be a man so she can masquerade herself as one to train as a Reclaimer. Most of the story is with Helen trying to retrieve Benchley’s journal and incognito as a man. The powers Helen has are exceptional with speed, strength and and the ability to heal quickly…she’s like Wolverine!
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Goodwin does an excellent job as describing the vivd environment and clothing of Regency England. Her words flow with such epic creativity in a delicious world full historical fantasy. You won’t stop until you’re finished.
Should you read this? Yes! This was a suburb sequel that leaves me wanting more. When an ending hurts you know the book was good.
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Here’s my Pinterest board for The Dark Days Pact! Check it out by scrolling through the board below. 😉


 

About the Author: 

Alison Goodman (www.alisongoodman.com.au) is the author of the internationally bestselling and award-winning Eon/Eo
na
 duology, as well as a YASF thriller, Singing the Dogstar Blues, and the adult novel A New Kind of Death (originally titled Killing the Rabbit). She was a D.J. O’Hearn Memorial Fellow at Melbourne University, holds a Master of Arts, and teaches creative writing at the postgraduate level.

Giveaway!

Enter here for a chance to win to win either one (1) grand prize set of Lady Helen books, including a paperback of The Dark Days Club and a hardcover of The Dark Days Pact by Alison Goodman (ARV: $28.98), or to be one of five (5) second prize winners to receive paperback copies of The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman (ARV: $10.99).

 

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Follow the tour with these blogs!
Week One:
1/23 – A Page With a View – Like/Try/Why
1/24 – Tales of a Ravenous Reader – Interview
1/25 – Twinning for Books – Review + Mood Board
1/26 – My Friends Are Fiction – Guest Post
1/27 – In Wonderland – Review
Week Two
1/30 – Alexa Loves Books – Bookish Style File
1/31 – The Reading Nook Reviews – Interview
2/1 – Xpresso Reads – Playlist
2/2 – The YA Book Traveler – They Did What?!
2/3 – Icey Books – Guest Post
Week Three:
2/6 – YA Book Central – Excerpt
2/7 – Fiction Fare – Guest Post
2/8 – Forever Young Adult – Coming-Out Ball Mishaps
2/9 – Dark Faerie Tales – Interview
2/10 – Adventures of a Book Junkie – Reasons to Read

Pre-Pub Adventure: January 2017

Today I am excited to introduce our new monthly post Pre-Pub Adventure!

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Every 3rd Wed of the month we will be following authors on their publishing adventure. Have you ever wonder how authors prepare for a book release or what they are working on while also getting ready to publish a new book? How do they multitask? Find out on Pre-Pub Adventure as we follow authors to publishing their books.

Today we check in with authors

Let’s welcome our authors on their Publishing adventure!

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egoo5qze_400x400       nic

1. Welcome Nic! Please tell us a little about yourself? 

Hiiii! You can read the boring stuff here or here, but to spice things up a bit, here are three fun facts:

1. One of my hidden talents? Balloon animals. No lie.
2. In high school, I was both head cheerleader, and the mascot: a very masculine blue devil. (Definitely almost got my ass kicked a few times because I had NO chill inside that costume. #GoBigBlue)
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3. My favorite food is bacon. But not just any bacon, no no. Black Forest smoked bacon SOLELY from the Whole Foods deli.
2. Tell us about your book? How did you come up with Dear Martin? 
DEAR MARTIN follows a 17-year-old African American kid who gets racially profiled one night, and decides he’s going to try and live according to Dr. King’s teachings and keep a journal of letters *to* Dr. King to record his experiences.
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I really wrote it an attempt to process the string of shooting deaths of unarmed black boys, the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, and the frequent misinterpretation of Dr. King’s teachings relative to both. I just wanted to get a better understanding of the structures and attitudes in this country that contributed to the deaths of these boys, and I wanted to know how Dr. King’s teachings would REALLY be applied in light of how they were applied/received (spoiler alert: MLK might be a hero to us in retrospect, but he was NOT adored by all during his time. Quite the opposite most of the time).

 

Follow Nic: Twitter * Instagram * YouTube
Add Dear Martin to Goodreads!  Check out Nic’s blog for more information on the book and news!

Kayla Olson

kayla                         pre-pub-4

1. Welcome Kayla! Please tell us a little about yourself?
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Hi, and thanks for having me! Let’s see…so. Things I love: black coffee, the darkest chocolate, rainy days, Moleskine notebooks, the ocean, making lists and crossing things off, writing books, singing and playing piano + guitar, cats, as many serranos as the restaurant will bring me, Christopher Guest movies, breakfast tacos, the hike and bike trail in Austin, and—of course—my husband and our little guy. Things I don’t at all love: words misspelled on purpose, mayonnaise, bubble tea, aggressive drivers, haircuts, being in the car for too long. (I’ve definitely left things off of both these lists, I’m sure.) I started writing back in 2009 after working a series of customer service jobs and realizing I wasn’t creatively fulfilled—much more on that here, on my website, if you’re interested in the longer version of that story. There are also a lot of really random facts on that same website page, like how I once attempted to knit my cat a turtleneck sweater for Christmas.
2. Tell us about your book? How did you come up with The Sandcastle Empire?

 

THE SANDCASTLE EMPIRE—a near-future sci-fi thriller about a global war that erupts in the wake of environmental change—will be out June 6, 2017 from HarperTeen. When main character Eden escapes to the only neutral ground left in the world, Sanctuary Island, she quickly discovers the island might be deadlier than the world she left behind—but surviving it is the only thing that stands between her and freedom.
As for how I got the idea: it seems like “the idea hit me while taking a shower one night” might not be the most original of answers, but in this case…it’s true.
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 I was having a moment of missing LOST, the TV show, and simultaneously had a bit of a craving for the beach on Disney’s island, Castaway Cay, when I thought, Hey! What if I wrote a book set on an island? The ideas started bombarding me from there—What if I had four girls as main characters? What if they were searching for the island because they thought it would be a safe place, but it turned out to be just the opposite? I thumb-typed paragraphs of notes on my iPhone as soon as I hopped out of the shower—I still have that note saved on my phone, and think it’s sort of amazing that the initial seeds of that idea are still present in the final version that’ll hit shelves in June. I’d show you a screenshot, buuuut then I’d spoil the book. 😉

Follow Kayla: Twitter * Instagram * Tumblr * Blog

For more on THE SANDCASTLE EMPIRE, check out www.kaylaolson.com to find full jacket copy, pre-order links, contact info, film news, and details about where the book will be translated/published outside of the U.S.


J.C. Welkerjc        jc-2

1. Welcome J.C. Welker! Please tell us a little about yourself? 

Well to start I am a YA author who’s been, among other things, a fashion designer, a filmmaker and a kickboxer (seriously). A few of my short documentaries which focused on LGBTQ issues in the military have been featured on CURRENT TV, and my recent novel THE WISHING HEART won first place in the paranormal category of the 2016 YARWA Rosemary Awards. When I was growing I wasn’t surrounded by positive images of queer people, so to be able to write stories for other LGBTQ+ young adults and show them they deserve to be the heroes and deserve a happy ending is a dream come true.

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When not writing, I like to do archery or kickboxing. Because punching something helps me deal with everything happening in our country right now.

2. How did you come up with The Wishing Heart? 

I wanted to write a story about an unloved girl who was searching for it through wishes, and eventually it blossomed into THE WISHING HEART. It’s F/F Young Adult Fantasy that follows a seven-teen-year old thief wishing to fix her defective heart, who steals a vase containing an enslaved jinni. Lots of magical mobsters, girls kissing, and heists.

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And it will be debuting with Entangled Teen May 2017!  Goodreads

Follow J.C.: Twitter * Facebook * Tumblr * Instagram

Add The Wishing Heart to Goodreads! Check out J.C. blog for more information on the book and news!


Abby Reed

 

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1. Welcome Abby! Please tell us a little about yourself? 

Hi everyone! I’m Abby. My YA sci-fi debut novel, WHEN PLANETS FALL, is coming out April 12th. *enter obnoxious squeal and soundtrack music*
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Let’s see…what else about me…

I have Chronic Migraine, which is a neurological and brain disorder and can be really disabling. I love to paint. I started in watercolor, but have slowly transitioned to working mostly in mixed media. I’m 26 and have an unhealthy obsession for tea (loose leaf) and popcorn (sea salt, lightly salted).

I have a husband and two dogs. One is a fluffy Irishdoodle and basically sleeps at my while I’m working, so he often wakes up with paint in his fur. The other is a goldendoodle who is obsessed with bringing in the largest stick she can find. The last, my husband, ha, is pretty studly and my college souvenir 🙂

Random fun fact: Growing up, I used to get so nauseous whenever I saw the color orange. I literally could not look at anything orange without almost puking for about 3 years. Now it’s one of my favorite colors!

2. Here’s the official synopsis for it:
Breaker’s home is cleaved by blood. The three tribes on the planet Scarlatti, whose only difference is their blood color, each want to exploit Breaker’s valley for themselves. The feudal tension has already claimed red-blood Breaker’s leg and his older brother. Now all this 18-year old wants is to maintain the tenuous peace in order to keep his little ‘stroid of a brother alive. Malani, a red-blood raised blue, is a kidnapped POW and only wants to return to her adoptive home with her dangerous blue secrets. Luka, a red-blood stewing for trouble, wants to right wrongs done to his family and bath his home in justice.

All three intersect when Breaker discovers a wrecked starship and is given seven days by the green-bloods to fix and hand it over as a weapon. Breaker must decide if aiding his enemies is worth the home he knows and his family’s life. War is coming. And war respects no boundaries. And war leaves no survivors.

It’s about brothers/siblinghood, home, and sacrifice. Maybe a touch of romance 🙂

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I actually melded a couple ideas I had. One was a camp I attended in high school. The theme was around the idea of being “strangers in a strange land.” I’m pretty sure it’s from the Old Testament, though I’m not sure where. In college, I had to write a short story for school. I came back to this idea and wrote a 10 page story from it. Then, after querying a different novel that didn’t go anywhere, this short story kept coming back to mind. I played with it and it grew into WHEN PLANETS FALL.

I actually wrote a blog post about it here! (included some embarrassing photos of myself at that camp!)

Breaker’s amputation (and Luka’s migraines) were originally inspired by my own experiences with Chronic Migraine. I wanted characters that had to deal with body limitations to reach their goals, like I do everyday. The ending…let’s just say there’s a twist that was also inspired by my experiences with CM 😉

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Add When Planets Fall on Goodreads! Check out Abby’s blog for more information on the book and news!


Amanda Foody

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1. Welcome Amanda! Please tell us a little about yourself? 
Of course! Thanks for following me in my Pre-Pub Adventure! I’m 22, living that post-grad life of getting my accounting masters and beginning a career while also spending my free time writing books. As both total geek and total girly-girl, I could spend an entire day talking about my favorite anime ships and then the next discussing the pros and cons of liquid lipstick. I currently live in Philadelphia.
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2. How did you come up with Daughter of the Burning City? 
I took a Writing Children’s Literature class my sophomore year of college. At the time, I was working on ACE OF SHADES with my agent (now my second novel), so when I wrote a chapter of DAUGHTER for the YA assignment in my class, I was too busy to return to it immediately afterwards. About a year later, I picked it back up and figured out what happened after that first chapter.
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The idea itself…I’m not positive. I get a lot of my ideas from simply free-writing. I write some sentence, then another, then another. Eventually, I have a feel for what might become a full story. DAUGHTER was sort of spontaneous in that way. I was never setting out to write a murder mystery or a carnival book, but it just kind of happened. The first several pages are still nearly identical to the ones I submitted for class, several years later. The heart of the story has never changed.
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Add Daughter of the Burning City to Goodreads! Check out Amanda’s blog for more information on the book and news.

Rosalyn Eves

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1. Welcome Rosalyn! Please tell us a little about yourself? 
It’s funny how I can write a 100k word story, no problem, but ask me to talk about myself and suddenly I struggle to find words . . . I’ve always been a big reader and I’ve wanted to be a writer since a fifth grade teacher in Montana told me I might be good at it. But it’s taken me a long time to get to this point–I had a few detours: graduate school (I studied English), then starting a family. I’m married to a chemistry professor, and we have three kids. We live in Southern Utah, surrounded by some pretty spectacular mountains. When I’m not writing or parenting, I teach composition classes at the local university. As for hobbies, I don’t have nearly as much time for those as I’d like, but I love drawing, watching period movies, hiking, and bird-watching (something that comes out in Blood Rose Rebellion in Anna’s fascination with birds).
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2. Tell us about your book? How did you come up with Blood Rose Rebellion? 

BRR is a historical fantasy–basically, mid 19th century Europe with magic. The slightly longer version is that it’s the story of a girl without magic who’s born into a society where magic defines the powerful bloodlines, making her an outcast. But while she can’t cast spells, she can break them–and a broken spell at her sister’s debut leads her to Hungary (where her mother’s family is from), where she begins to learn that her world’s magic isn’t what she thought it was and has to make a difficult choice: cling to the society she’s always wanted to join, or break a spell, trigger a revolution, and change her world’s magic.

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The main idea came when I was playing with the idea of a chosen one. We’ve seen lots of stories about someone who is unusually gifted in their world’s magic–I wanted to know what would happen to someone who wasn’t powerful in typical ways. Once I had that basic idea, I tried to find a setting for it. I lived in Hungary for a year or so in my twenties and fell in love with the country, the culture, and the language, and I wanted to return to it in a story. I’d already thought of the story as a Victorian-era one, so once I knew the location, it made sense to weave the story around the tumultuous 1848 Hungarian revolution (though I cheated a little and moved the revolution forward to the end of 1847 for story reasons).
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Add Blood Rose Rebellion to Goodreads! Check out Rosalyn’s blog for more information on the book and news!

Katie Bayerl

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1. Welcome Katie! Please tell us a little about yourself? 

I fell in love with books before I can remember and with teaching when I was just a teen. The writing books for teens part came a bit later. I jumped right in and haven’t looked back. These days when I’m not penning my own stories, I coach teens and nonprofits to tell theirs. In my free time (ha! what’s that?), I’m an explorer. I’ve been to six out of seven continents and I can just as easily get caught up in an adventure in my own city or kitchen. Like most writers, I get obsessively interested in things. Some of those interests–history, politics, social justice, art–are fairly normal. Others–saints, old-school music, murder–are a little more strange.

2. tell us about your book? How did you come up with A Psalm for Lost Girls?

A PSALM FOR LOST GIRLS centers on an abduction that forever alters the fates of three girls–one who’s been missing, one who is grieving, and one who is dead and rumored to be a saint. You can read a far better description from my publisher here, but at the core of the novel are two sisters: Tess, who struggles to understand a mysterious voice and her community’s belief that she is their savior, and younger sister Callie, who is determined to prove that Tess was far more than a saint–she was her best friend and a real girl.

The first seed for this story was planted during a trip to Portugal. I dragged myself away from Lisbon one afternoon on a bus headed to the Basilica of Our Lady Fátima. This little pilgrimage made no sense—I was no longer a practicing Catholic, and Lisbon is heaven (the music! the food!)—but a friend had sent me an article about the soon-to-be-beatified Lúcia dos Santos and the story triggered something in me. Sister Lúcia was the last surviving child saint of Fátima; in 1917, she and her two cousins saw apparitions of the Virgin Mary. Both cousins passed away quite young, leaving Lúcia to carry their story. She joined a convent as a young woman and remained a nun until her death at age 95.

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I couldn’t stop asking myself what it would be like to be in her position, on track to sainthood at such a young age. What if, at age 16, she had a change of heart? What if all she wanted to live a normal life, make mistakes, fall in love, be a regular girl?

So many stories begin with that type of “what if” question—one that moves us from real events to imagination. In this case, the question spoke to something personal. You see, I was a labeled academically gifted at a very young age, and that became my main identifier. It was a label that weighed heavy at times and one I struggled to live up to at others. Sometimes, it felt like that was all I was. But, of course, no person can ever be reduced to one thing. I think that’s why Lúcia dos Santos’ story evoked something in me, something that gave birth to a fictional girl named Tess (still Portuguese, but struggling with the burden of sainthood in present-day Massachusetts). Here was a girl who would be forever remembered for her piety, but what if there was more to her than that? There was a lot in that question that I felt compelled to explore.

Follow Katie: Twitter * Facebook *

Add A Psalm for Lost Girls on Goodreads! Check out Katie’s blog for more information on the book and news!


ROSEBLOOD Release Day Blitz!

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I am so excited that ROSEBLOOD by A.G. Howard has released and that I get to share the news!

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If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author A.G. Howard, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a giveaway for a signed ROSEBLOOD poster and a mask courtesy of A.G. and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.


 

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About The Book:

Title: ROSEBLOOD
Author: A.G. Howard

Pub. Date: January 10, 2016

Publisher: Amulet Books

Pages: 432

Formats: Hardcover, paperback, eBook

Find it: Amazon, B&N, iBooks, Audible, Goodreads

 

In this modern day spin on Leroux’s gothic tale of unrequited love turned to madness, seventeen-year-old Rune Germain has a mysterious affliction linked to her operatic talent, and a horrifying mistake she’s trying to hide. Hoping creative direction will help her, Rune’s mother sends her to a French arts conservatory for her senior year, located in an opera house rumored to have ties to The Phantom of the Opera.

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At RoseBlood, Rune secretly befriends the masked Thorn—an elusive violinist who not only guides her musical transformation through dreams that seem more real than reality itself, but somehow knows who she is behind her own masks. As the two discover an otherworldly connection and a soul-deep romance blossoms, Thorn’s dark agenda comes to light and he’s forced to make a deadly choice: lead Rune to her destruction, or face the wrath of the phantom who has haunted the opera house for a century, and is the only father he’s ever known.

 

Book Trailer:


 

 

About A.G. Horosebloodward

A.G. Howard was inspired to write SPLINTERED while working at a school library. She always wond
ered what would’ve happened had the subtle creepiness of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland taken center stage, and she hopes her darker and funkier tribute to Carroll will inspire readers to seek out the stories that won her heart as a child.

When she’s not writing, A.G.’s pastimes are reading, rollerblading, gardening, and family vacations which often include impromptu side trips to 18th century graveyards or condemned schoolhouses to appease her overactive muse.

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | Pinterest | Goodreads


 

Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a signed ROSEBLOOD poster and a Mask. US Only.

Ends on January 17th at Midnight EST!

Enter here!

 

My Top 5 Books of 2016

2016 had its ups and a lot of downs. I can’t say this year was fabulous but what did come out of it were fantastic reads!

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Here are my top 5 books I read in 2016. I love reading all genres, especially YA, so you will see a variety of different books. Books are a way to escape reality and this year I needed a lot of escaping. So to my top 5!

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1.  Dark Matter

I didn’t know what to expect from this book.  I just couldn’t put it down. It was a fun thriller with mind boggling science full of multiverses with numerous different possible universes with the same version of yourself inhabiting them, except on different paths chosen by fate. Like I said mind boggling!  This is now opted for a movie so I can’t wait to see what they do with it!

The Book:

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Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious.

Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurne
y, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits.

Before a man Jason’s
never met smiles down at him and says, “Welcome back, my friend.”In this world he’s woken up to, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor, but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable. Something impossible.

Is it this  or the other that’s the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could’ve imagined—one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe.

Dark Matter is a brilliantly plotted tale that is at once sweeping and intimate, mind-bendingly strange and profoundly human—a relentlessly surprising science-fiction thriller about choices, paths not taken, and how far we’ll go to claim the lives we dream of.


2.  This Is Where It Ends

What an emotional roller coaster! This book sucked me in on the first page. The concept intrigued me since I remember the horrific outcome of Columbine. This is a subject that sadly is too common but Marieke brings it to life in a moving story that took me through so many emotions with wonderful characters.

The Book:
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10:00 a.m.

The principal of Opportunity, Alabama’s high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and e
ncouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m.
The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

10:03
The auditorium doors won’t open.

10:05
Someone starts shooting.

Told over the span of 54 harrowing minutes from four different perspectives, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.


3. Outrun the Moon

I’m a huge fan of author Stacey Lee’s Under a Painted Sky. It was such a wonderfully written book about friendship in the wild west. Her second book is heartbreakingly beautiful. It’s full of vivid scenes and emotional characters. Outrun the Moon is a book all readers will connect with and love. Make sure you have tissues. This one is emotional in such a good way.

The Book:

9780399175411_OutrunTheMoon_BOM.inddSan Francisco, 1906: Fifteen-year-old Mercy Wong is determined to break from the poverty in Chinatown, and an education at St. Clare’s School for Girls is her best hope. Although St. Clare’s is off-limits to all but the
wealthiest white girls, Mercy gains admittance through a mix of cunning and a little bribery, only to discover that getting in was the easiest part. Not to be undone by a bunch of spoiled heiresses, Mercy stands strong—until disaster strikes.

On April 18, a historic earthquake rocks San Francisco, destroying Mercy’s home and school. Now she’s forced to wait w
ith her classmates for their families in a temporary park encampment. Though fires might rage, and the city may be in shambles, Mercy can’t sit by while they wait for the army to bring help—she still has the “bossy” cheeks that mark her as someone who gets things done. But what can one teenage girl do to heal so many suffering in her broken city?

Breakout author Stacey Lee masterfully crafts another remarkable novel set against a unique historical backdrop. Strong-willed Mercy Wong leads a cast of diverse characters in this extraordinary tale of survival.


4: My Name is Leon

This book was well written and beautifully done. Throughout the book you follow a 9 year old boy named Leon who is looking for his brother. You can’t help but root for him all the way. Every heartache of his you feel. Every joy you feel. You want Leon to succeed and find his happy place.

The Book

1970s about a young bpathlack boy’s quest to reunite with his beloved white half-brother after they are separated in foster care.
Leon loves chocolate bars, Saturday morning cartoons, and his beautiful, golden-haired baby brother. When Jake is born, Leon pokes his head in the crib and says, “I’m your brother. Big brother. My. Name. Is. Leon. I a
m eight and three quarters. I am a boy.” Jake will play with no one but Leon, and Leon is determined to save him from any pain and earn that sparkling baby laugh every chance he can.
But Leon isn’t in control of this world where adults say one thing and mean another, and try as he might he can’t protect his little family from everything. When their mother falls victim to her inner demons, strangers suddenly take Jake away; after all, a white baby is easy to adopt, while a half-black nine-year-old faces a less certain fate. Vowing to get Jake back by any means necessary, Leon’s own journey—on his brand-new BMX bike—will carry him through the lives of a doting but ailing foster mother, Maureen; Maureen’s cranky and hilarious sister, Sylvia; a social worker Leon knows only as “The Zebra”; and a colorful community of local gardeners and West Indian political activists.

Told through the perspective of nine-year-old Leon, too innocent to entirely understand what has happened to him and baby Jake, but determined to do what he can to make things right, he stubbornly, endearingly struggles his way through a system much larger than he can tackle on his own. My Name Is Leon is a vivid, gorgeous, and uplifting story about the power of love, the unbreakable bond between brothers, and the truth about what, in the end, ultimately makes a family.


5. A Court of Mist and Fury

The second book to the A Court of Thorn and Roses series surpassed my expectation. It was steamy and hot. Who couldn’t help but fall in love with Rhysand and the night court? This girl did! The characters are wonderful and the description vivid. I had a hard time putting this book down.

The Book:

Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court–butbook at a stee
p cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human,
and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms–and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future–and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas’s masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.