The Unicorn Quest Blog Tour and Giveaway!

Today we’re part of The Unicorn Quest Blog Tour!

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On this stop of the tour we have a special guest post of the author Kamilla Benko. But first let’s take a look at the book The Unicorn Quest!


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Claire Martinson still worries about her older sister Sophie, who battled a mysterious illness last year. But things are back to normal as they move into Windermere Manor… until the sisters climb a strange ladder in a fireplace and enter the magical land of Arden.  There, they find a world in turmoil. The four guilds of magic no longer trust each other. The beloved unicorns have gone, and terrible wraiths roam freely. Scared, the girls return home. But when Sophie vanishes, it will take all of Claire’s courage to climb back up the ladder, find her sister, and uncover the unicorns’ greatest secret.

Order your book! Amazon * BN



Now to Kamilla’s Guest Post!


5 Fantastical Beasts and Where to Find Them (in Books)

I’ve been talking a lot about unicorns the last couple of weeks. And it makes sense, as there is a big, beautiful unicorn on my cover, and of course, in the title of my debut: THE UNICORN QUEST. But there are more than just unicorns in my book—there are also wraiths, chimeras, wyverns and more that populate the magical world of Arden.

When I was a kid, I longed for a magical creature. A daemon from His Dark Materials, Buckbeak the hippogriff from Harry Potter, even one of the centaurs from Ella Enchanted—really, any one would do. Now, as an adult, I have a perfect plump cat, (who I am sometimes convinced is actually an Animagus), but I still dream of the magical creatures I grew up with. That’s why today I wanted to share my five favorite fantastical creatures, each paired with one of my favorite magical books.


1. Dragons

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When you hear dragon, you might first think of the fire-breathing, winged kind, that fly and possibly fought against St. George. But dragons don’t exist just in England—they can be found all over the world, taking many forms and shapes, from the water dragons of Asia to the strange human-bodied beasts with multiple lizard-heads of Hungarian folktales. Though different versions of the creatures greatly very, we share a cross-cultural understanding that they are all the same mythical beast. And that is truly magic.

Favorite Dragon Book: Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede.  When a headstrong princess runs away to work for the dragon king, adventure and hilarity ensue. This book is such a delightful romp starring a nontraditional princess and some very nontraditional, traditional dragons who enjoy cherries jubilee and keep very unorganized treasure troves.


2. Fairies

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Like dragons, fairies also come in many varieties. There’s the silliness of the fairies in Harry Potter, the terrifying Celtic-inspired faeries of Holly Black’s The Cruel Prince, and, possibly the most famous example, Tinker Belle from Peter Pan. With Celtic fairies, we live in terror switching out our family members for changelings, while in Peter Pan we clap for Tinkerbelle to be resurrected, chanting over and over “We do believe in fairies! We do!” That moment in the play—with the entire audience earnestly declaring their belief in childhood magic—is a reminder that there is a little bit of magic remaining the world, we just have to be willing to see it.

Favorite Fairy Book: Two Princess of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine. In this tale of sisterly love, a mysterious plague overcomes the kingdom of Bamarre. Addie, a young princess, must set out on a quest to find the fairies’ invisible mountain in order to find the cure that will save her dying sister. Gail Carson Levine’s fairies are an original take on the classic creatures, both brave and daring, but also tricky and distant.


3. Mermaids

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At the word, “mermaid” a certain red-headed one might come to mind, but mermaids are more than just Ariel. They are representations of strong, powerful women who can use their voices to accomplish great (and sometimes terrible) things. From the Sirens of The Odyssey to the Merrows of Irish folklore (similar to selkies, but with capes instead of seal skins), they show stories of women taking control of their own lives.

Favorite Mermaid Book: Rise of the Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste. We see so many Eurocentric mermaids in popular culture, but these books show mermaids (or jumbies) in a magical Caribbean world filled with West African mythology and fairy tales. When local children start to go missing, Corinne LaMer must venture into the depths of the sea and meet with these powerful, magical creatures. Baptiste breaths life into these mysterious, powerful women, making them just the right amount of scary.


 4. Rakkhosh (also known as Rakshasa or Rakshas)

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These are a recent addition to my favorite magical creatures after reading The Serpent’s Secret by Sayantani DasGupta. I admit I knew little about them before reading her book, but once I finished her wonderful book, I’ve been trying to learn more! Rakkhosh are ravenous creatures that can be found both in Hindi and Buddhist stories, and they are always, always hungry and ready to eat you! But they are not necessarily bad. While many are villains, some came to be heroes. They often have the power to create illusions and shape-change.


Favorite Rakkhosh Book: The Serpent’s Secret by Sayantani DasGupta (of course!). On Kiranmala’s twelfth birthday she is suddenly swept into a world of danger and magic (as we all hoped would happen to us a twelve), when her parents disappear and a rakkhosh demon appears in her kitchen, determined to gobble her up (and there’s nothing worse than an evil creature trying to eat you while spitting up all over you at the same time. This story is filled with magic, winged horses, enchanted maps, slaying demons, and most terrifying of all…a few cute boys.


5. Unicorns

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And of course, I have to include unicorns! Unicorns are one of the most recognizable symbols of magical mythology, and show up in written history as early as 400 B.C. but the first image appears even earlier than that, in some seals dating back to the Indus Valley Civilization which lasted from c. 3300 – c. 1300 BC.  They are elusive creatures, always just out of reach They’ve historically been associated with femininity, and though some depictions are of fragile, delicate creatures, unicorns can also symbolize the magic of women as fierce, powerful, and wild. Just take a look at the famous Unicorn Tapestries at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. The creatures in this series are untamable beings, and their magic seems to shine through these tapestries, beckoning for you to join their magical world.

Favorite Unicorn Book: The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge. I initially read this book as a child because J.K. Rowling said it was her favorite book. The Little White Horse begins with a young orphaned girl moving into a mysterious old manor in the countryside. As Maria settles into her new home, she comes to discover that this place is might more enchanted than she’d thought, and that it might even be home to…a unicorn!


Thank you Kamilla for joining us today!

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About the author:


Kamilla Benko spent most of her childhood climbing into wardrobes, trying to step through mirrors, and plotting to run away to an art museum. Now, she visits other worlds as a children’s book editor. Originally from Indiana, she currently lives in New York with her bookshelves, teapot, and hiking boots.


Giveaway Time!


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Win a finished copy of The Unicorn Quest!

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Just comment below on your favorite fantastical beast!

I love dragons!

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Follow the rest of the tour!



Pinnacle Blog Tour: Spotlight and Giveaway


It’s Kristen and today we’re part of the blog tour Pinnacle spotlighting the book!

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Not only are we spotlighting the book but there is also a giveaway!

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Let’s take a look at Pinnacle.



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About The Book:

Title: PINNACLE (The Core Series Book #1)

Author: Lynn Veevers

Pub. Date: February 6, 2018

Publisher: Clean Reads

Pages: 298

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, B&N


Identifying her parents was the hardest thing ever, until Kaya learned she was the killer’s next target. Moving had thrown the ancient predator off her trail temporarily but with magical abilities manifesting, Kaya’s scent grows stronger and the attempts on her life become constant. Narrowly surviving each encounter, Kaya is desperate to stop her potential assassin, but it’s hard to kill a creature that changes its appearance and disappears without a trace. Kaya finds the support she needs to succeed in her small group of friends and her boyfriend Kenneth. Like so many things, they’re more than what they seem and with the killer having unsettling similarities to Kenneth and his family…Kaya can’t help but wonder if there’s a connection.


About Lynn: Lynn

Lynn Veevers is originally from Washington State. With her mother being from Christchurch, New Zealand and her father being a well-traveled retired Navy Chief, Lynn has always had a fascination with different cultures around the world. An avid reader, she prefers books that take her to a place she’s never been and teach her something new at the same time. The Young Adult Genre is her absolute favorite to read, so it comes as no surprise that it is also her favorite to write. Lynn, on average, pens two to three novels a year with the sequel to Pinnacle in the publishing process now!

Today Lynn lives with her husband and kids in Southeast Oklahoma. Her young adult and adolescent children are supportive and avid beta readers of her work and give her a straightforward and honest point of view about how authentic her characters voices and personalities are for their age group. What better reference than someone close to the same age as the main character. Her kids always have and always will be her greatest inspiration.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads


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Giveaway Details: International

1 winner will receive a $25 Gift Card to the book retailer of their choice, International.

Ends on February 13th at Midnight EST!

Enter here!

Follow the rest of the Pinnacle Blog Tour!

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Tour Schedule:

Week One:

1/29/2018- Books at Dawn– Deleted Scene

1/29/2018- Confessions of a YA Reader– Spotlight

1/30/2018- BookHounds YA– Interview

1/30/2018- Am Kinda Busy Reading– Review

1/31/2018- Lattes & Paperbacks– Review

1/31/2018- Book Sniffers Anonymous– Deleted Scene

2/1/2018- Infinite Lives, Infinite Stories– Review

2/1/2018- Wishful Endings– Excerpt

2/2/2018- Twinning for Books– Review

2/2/2018- Wonder Struck– Review

Week Two:

2/5/2018- Captivated Reading– Excerpt

2/5/2018- Flyleaf Chronicles– Review

2/6/2018- The Book Recluse Review– Excerpt

2/6/2018- Arkham Reviews– Review

2/7/2018- The Desert Bibliophie– Review

2/7/2018- The Cover Contessa– Deleted Scene

2/8/2018- Jrsbookreviews– Review

2/8/2018- Daily Waffle– Excerpt

2/9/2018- CINDY’S LOVE OF BOOKS– Review

2/9/2018- A Gingerly Review– Review






Reign of the Fallen Blog Tour: Q & A with Author Sarah Glenn Marsh


We are excited to be part of the Reign of the Fallen Blog Tour! Today we have author Sarah Glenn Marsh answering some fun questions! But first let’s take a look at Reign of the Fallen.




“This edgy fantasy doesn’t just blur boundaries of genre, of gender, of past and present, life and death–it explodes them.” –Cinda Williams Chima, New York Timesbestselling author of The Seven Realms and The Shattered Realms.

Without the dead, she’d be no one.

Odessa is one of Karthia’s master necromancers, catering to the kingdom’s ruling Dead. Whenever a noble dies, it’s Odessa’s job to raise them by retrieving their soul from a dreamy and dangerous shadow world called the Deadlands. But there is a cost to being raised: the Dead must remain shrouded. If even a hint of flesh is exposed, a grotesque transformation begins, turning the Dead into terrifying, bloodthirsty Shades.

A dramatic uptick in Shade attacks raises suspicions and fears around the kingdom. Soon, a crushing loss of one of her closest companions leaves Odessa shattered, and reveals a disturbing conspiracy in Karthia: Someone is intentionally creating Shades by tearing shrouds from the Dead–and training them to attack. Odessa is forced to contemplate a terrifying question: What if her magic is the weapon that brings the kingdom to its knees?

Fighting alongside her fellow mages–and a powerful girl as enthralling as she is infuriating–Odessa must untangle the gruesome plot to destroy Karthia before the Shades take everything she loves.

Order the book here!


Now to the Q & A with Sarah Glenn Marsh!


1. How did you come up with the idea for Reign of the Fallen?

The idea for Reign of the Fallen was inspired by my grandmother’s stay in the hospital; thankfully, she’s fine now, but the situation got me thinking: how far would someone be willing to go to bring a loved one back from the dead? What sort of sacrifices would someone make in order to bring an important person back into their lives, and what consequences might that decision have? Those questions led me to the Greek mythical hero Orpheus, who attempts to rescue his wife from the underworld and is told by Hades that he can take her back to the living world as long as he doesn’t look at her until they’re both out of his realm.


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Spoiler alert: he takes a peek and loses her forever. Drawing from that mythology and others, as well as researching various rituals surrounding death from all over the world, helped me to start building the world of Reign of the Fallen, where the Dead must wear shrouds in the living world or else become monsters; where change of even the smallest sort is outlawed because the Dead fear it; where entering the spirit world demands a painful sacrifice of any living person who dares to go there.


 2. I see you like to water color, have you ever water colored your characters or settings?

I love watercolor painting because it gives me a chance to recharge creatively. It’s an activity where, unlike with writing, I walk away from a single session with a finished piece of art in hand! It’s a fun and creatively satisfying change of pace when I need a writing break.

I can’t paint people yet (not even close- I’d need more lessons first!), but I’ve dabbled in painting some settings; I love playing with colors, and letting them all mix together while the canvas paper is still wet. Once, I painted Lysander for my agent—that’s the pet grizzly bear you’ll meet in Reign of the Fallen. But don’t let the ‘pet’ part fool you—Lysander could just as easily hug someone as rip their face off. 😉 I’ve also painted other Reign-inspired things, like a sparrow, which I gave to my editor!


3. What advice can you give aspiring writers?

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  1. Get others to critique your work, but more importantly, offer to critique for others! Critique as much and often as you can. There’s nothing like finding the strengths and weaknesses in a variety of different authors’ work to teach you about how to edit your own stories.
  2. Read voraciously in the genre/category in which you want to publish. When you’re doing that, and you have a strong response to something- love it, or not so much- try to identify what it is you’re enjoying, or what’s not working for you about the story you’re reading. You’ll pick up things you might like to try in your own writing this way (for instance, maybe you’ll be inspired to try a new POV!), and will also identify things you may want to avoid (the things that don’t work for you as a reader).
  3. Seek community. In the online writing community, I’ve found like-minded people, learned more than I ever would have imagined possible, and made life-changing connections with wonderful authors and bloggers who I’m so happy to call friends. You have everything to gain by interacting with other book lovers online!


4. Do you have a writing habit? Such as drinking coffee or listening to music while you write?

I’m one of those people who can’t write to music (instead I listen first, to set the mood for certain scenes), but I do have certain writing habits. For one, I almost always have green tea nearby. For another, I always write in our dining room because our large fish tank is in there; my husband and I are freshwater aquarium hobbyists.

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Of course, sometimes the fish distract me anyway- especially Salazar Slytherin, aka Big Murder Eel, our huge dinosaur bichir who occasionally likes to put other fish in his mouth—or at least see if they can fit! …It’s no wonder I write about hungry, corpse-devouring monsters in Reign of the Fallen, huh? 😉


5. Tell us something crazy about you?!

Let’s see! I was an extra in the movie Evan Almighty, sequel to Bruce Almighty! Steve Carell walked back with us from set sometimes, which was super cool. When they brought in the animals for the flood scenes, it was surreal to see creatures like baboons (which admittedly scare me a little) standing against the backdrop of the mountains around my hometown!

Hm. That didn’t sound too wild, so how’s this: I have webbed toes. Everyone on my mom’s side of the family has them. I like to say I’m part mermaid. I also have one pointed ear, so I guess I’m some kind of half elf, half mermaid magical creature! That’s why I like to color my hair pink or purple or blue- so my inside and outside can properly match!

Thank you Sarah for joining us!


About the author:

 Sarah Glenn Marsh_credit Stephanie Dennehy
Sarah Glenn Marsh
 has been an avid fantasy reader from the day her dad handed her a copy of The Hobbit and promised it would change her life; she’s been making up words and worlds ever since. When she’s not writing, Sarah enjoys painting, ghost hunting, traveling, and all things nerdy.

She lives in Richmond, Virginia, with her husband and their menagerie: four rescued greyhounds, a bird, and many fish. She is the author of Fear the Drowning Deep and Reign of the Fallen.



Follow the Tour!

January 8 – A New Look on Books – Interview
January 9 – YA Books Central – A List of “Top 5″ of her choice (Potential Topic Ideas: movies she loves, things a reader would need, what a reader would need to survive in her book’s world)
January 10 – The Fandom – “Meet the Characters” Breakdown with pictures
January 11Twinning for Books – Q&A
January 12Becca’s Book Realm – Q&A
January 15Reader Rewind – Mini Review and Q&A on Instagram Page
January 16The Quirky Book Nerd – Review
January 17Once Upon a Twilight – Review + Q&A
January 18BookCrushin – Review
January 19BigScreenBooks – Review and included in your “Most Anticipated January Release” video.
January 22The Novel Knight – Review
January 23Across the Word – Q&A
January 24The Lovely Books – Review
January 25Adventures in YA Publishing – Interview (already done)
January 26The Royal Polar Bear Reads – Author Interview Spot
January 29Tales of the Ravenous Reader – Review
January 30Good Choice Reading – Excerpt (and Review)
January 31 – Queership – Author Guest Post: The Reimagining of zombies and necromancy and what reading something that reinvisioned death in this way would have meant to her as a teen?
February 1Megan Write Now – Interview
February 2 –   The Life of a Booknerd Addict – Review and Banners with quotes
February 3Nocturnal Reads – Short Q&A


Thank you for stopping by!

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She Myself and I Review

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams (September 5, 2017)
  • Language: English


Ever since Rosa’s nerve disease rendered her quadriplegic, she’s depended on her handsome, confident older brother to be her rock and her mirror. But when a doctor from Boston chooses her to be a candidate for an experimental brain transplant, she and her family move from London in search of a miracle. Sylvia—a girl from a small town in Massachusetts—is brain dead, and her parents have agreed to donate her body to give Rosa a new life. But when Rosa wakes from surgery, she can’t help but wonder, with increasing obsession, who Sylvia was and what her life was like. Her fascination with her new body and her desire to understand Sylvia prompt a road trip based on self-discovery… and a surprising new romance. But will Rosa be able to solve the dilemma of her identity?

Order the book here!


The subject of this book was very unique and intriguing. A medical condition that is deteriorating Rose’s body but a brain transplant that could save her? You have my attention.

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Rose had a short childhood before her disease took control of her life. She is completely immobile and confined to a wheelchair. Her brother is always at her side but it doesn’t help the loneliness of companionship for friends.

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In Boston Rose’s dreams of having a normal life could be achieved by getting a new body, by means through a brain transplant. Rose goes for the surgery and wakes up in her body. But as her life moves forward without any ailments, she wonders who the person was that had this body before her?

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Thus begins Rose’s adventure of finding information on her donor. The book was very interesting and well informed on the science aspect. Young did a wonderful job at the psychological part of  having a brain transplant and the surgery itself.  I didn’t feel like I was being led astray, it felt genuinely real.

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Rose was a strong character who didn’t hesitate to live longer, even if it meant a risky surgery. She jumped right into her new life after the surgery with no hesitation. Her brother was a great side character as was Joe. It was heartbreaking seeing everything Rose’s parents would do to let their daughter live a normal life. It was well written but I was wanting more closure at the end.

Should you read it? An enjoyable unique story that takes the impossible to reality.


Pre-Pub Adventure: December Part 1

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

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Every month we follow authors on their publishing adventure. Have you ever wondered 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? What is publishing like? Find out on Pre-Pub Adventure as we follow authors to publishing their books!

Today we have a new author joining us! Welcome Mae Respicio!

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Mae Respicio

1. Introduce yourself! 

Yay! Thanks so much for having me, Tawney. My name is Mae Respicio and my middle grade novel is called THE HOUSE THAT LOU BUILT—it hits stores on June 12, 2018 from Random House Kids and Wendy Lamb Books. I live with my family in the Bay Area not far from the Golden Gate Bridge, and my favorite thing to have in arm’s reach while writing is iced coffee (which all of the local baristas know by now!).

2. Tell us a little about your book and how it came to be?

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My book is about a 12-year-old Filipina American girl named Lou (short for Lucinda), whose greatest dream is to build a tiny house for herself. But of course, building one isn’t as easy as she thinks it’s going to be. Along the way Lou gets into all kinds of adventures with her friends and cousins and in the end, she learns what makes a true home. The book revolves around Lou and her big, extended Filipino American family. Growing up, I had the best time with my cousins creating these really elaborate forts—we’d sit inside and dream of having our own space (what kid doesn’t want her own little house?). Those memories served as a very small spark for the book’s premise, as did my experiences as a kid straddling two cultures and eventually I found Lou’s unique, rich story.

 3. Any plans for the holidays?

Even though they can be hectic, I love the holidays. For me it’s about reconnecting. I get to hang out with family I haven’t seen in a while, and I spend lots of time with my kids hiking and enjoying non-crowded beaches (my favorite part of California during the holiday season!), plus other traditions. I also have a goofy personal tradition of swapping my normal middle-of-the-night revising time for a glass of wine while wrapping presents and watching Love, Actually (don’t knock it ‘til you try it!). I also usually plan on getting some writing done. Publishing seems to slow down during these months so I feel like I can focus on projects without the pressure of deadlines, and surprisingly I accomplish a lot with that mindset—it’s a lovely way to ring in the New Year.

Follow Mae on: Twitter * Instagram Blog


Dana Mele



1.What have you been up to since last we checked in?

I’ve been working on a few different possibilities for my second book. I wrote People Like Us very quickly, so the process for book two has been comparatively long and drawn out. Everyone says that the second book is harder (and often the hardest) and I fully endorse this idea. It’s really tough following up that first one! I may finally be onto something, but only time will tell!

2.Your book People Like Us releases in February, how are you preparing for that?

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At the moment, I’m sitting tight. I’ve gotten together some fun preorder gifts that I’ll announce as soon as I have time to take pretty pictures of them, but until then, I’m reading the reviews as they roll in and just getting excited as the big day gets closer and closer!

3.What are you currently reading?

At the moment I’m reading an ARC of Kaitlyn Sage Patterson’s The Diminished, a wonderful, heart-pounding fantasy out this April! I’ve been reading mostly ARCs this year and it’s been so cool to have had the opportunity to read so many amazing books before they hit the shelves. I can’t wait until they’re out and everyone is talking about them!

Follow Dana: Twitter * Facebook * Blog


Rachel Lynn Solomon

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1.What have you been up to since last we checked in?

I’ve been hard at work on my 2019 book! It’s dual POV, like my debut, and currently untitled. It’s about the aftermath of a kidney transplant between best friends, complicated by the fact that the donor is in love with the recipient. It’s about friendship codependency and unrequited love and discovering who you are without the person who’s defined you your whole life. 

2. Your book You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone releases next month! Yay! How are you preparing for that?

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I can’t believe it’s almost out in the world!! I’ve been busy making connections with local bookstores, writing guest posts, planning giveaways, and reaching out to media organizations. I’m also planning my book launch! I was on the fence about having one, but I’m so glad I decided to — my best friend is flying out from Boston to be there (her first time in Seattle!) and it’ll be a blast to see all my friends together and hopefully meet some new ones :). For Seattle-area folks, the event is Saturday, January 6 at 3 p.m. at the University Book Store in the U-District

3. What are you currently reading?

I’m reading Shea Ernshaw’s THE WICKED DEEP, another 2018 Simon Pulse debut! Shea’s writing is so atmospheric, and the book is witchy and captivating. 

Follow Rachel: Twitter * Instagram * Snapchat * Blog


A.M. Rose

A.M. Rose    Road to Eugenica (Eugenica Chronicles) by [Rose, A.M.]

1. What have you been up to since last we checked in?

Since my last check in I had surgery on my ankle so I am playing catch up. Luckily the surgery went well, but I will be off my foot for the next 3 weeks. I do have a single leg crutch to get around that makes me feel like a pirate.

2. Your book ROAD TO EUGENICA releases in February, how are you preparing for that?

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To get ready for my release in February, (from my couch) I am putting together some fun preorder gifts that I am really excited to share. (Soon – very soon.)

3. What are you currently reading?

Also, since the surgery I am taking a little break from my WIP and catching up on my reading which is really nice. I just finished Afterward by Jennifer Mathieu, and am currently reading The Third Kiss by Kat Colmer and The Breathless by Tara Goedjen.

Follow A.M. Rose: Twitter, Facebook, Blog


Kelly deVos

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1. What have you been up to since last we checked in?

Well, I once again tried and pretty much abjectly failed at Nanowrimo. But I did get a lot of outlining and project planning done and I was able to check in with all my Nano buddies, so overall, I consider it time well-spent. In our house, November is birthday month. Both my daughter and I have November birthdays as do a few important friends (like my favorite twins from this very blog), so we’ve been doing a lot of celebrating!

2. How does it feel seeing the ARC of your book in reader’s hands?

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It’s awesome and scary! On one hand, the idea that people might actually be reading my book is a dream come true. Since I started writing Trixie Belden fan fiction in the 5th grade, I’ve been dreaming of getting a real book published. On the other hand, people might actually be reading my book! What if they hate it? What if they DNF me? What if they give me 1 star on Goodreads? I’m excited but also filled with mortal terror.

3. What are you currently reading?

I recently read Amy Trueblood’s NOTHING BUT SKY, which is a beautiful YA historical that I was lucky to read in early draft form and then again as a finished book. Brenda Rufener’s WHERE I LIVE, a really poignant book that tackles young adult homelessness, is another recent read. Right now, I’ve got my hot little hands on Tara Sim’s CHAINBREAKER and I can’t wait to see where this series goes!

Follow Kelly: Twitter * Facebook * Instagram * Blog


Amy Trueblood


Amy TrulyThankful 🍂air


 1.What have you been up to since last we checked in?

Since we last talked I’ve been outlining two new books. One is YA Historical – 1930s San Francisco. The other is YA Paranormal – which is a huge leap for me, but I’m super excited by the idea!

2. How did it feel to hold the ARC of your book for the first time?

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Honestly, I sobbed when I held my ARC for the first time. NOTHING BUT SKY was five years in the making and it felt surreal to actually be holding it as a book in my hand!

3.What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading an ARC of Kim Chance’s KEEPER and loving it.

 Follow Amy: Facebook * Instagram * Twitter *Blog


Don Zolidis

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1. What have you been up to since last we checked in?

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I’ve been plugging away at my second novel, “SPEECHGEEK,” which is about a girl who joins the greatest high school speech team in the country – in order to destroy it from the inside out. I didn’t quite win #nanowrimo, but I’m about 170 pages into the book now and it’s starting to come together. There are many more drafts to come, of course, but I’m hoping to make it through to the end of the novel before Christmas. I’ve also just premiered a new Christmas play, “THE ELF ON A SHELF MUST DIE” which is a dark comedic adaptation of Pupl Fiction – (two boys accidentally murder their elf of a shelf and have to find a way to dispose of its body before Santa discovers it’s missing.)

2. You write plays as well, how different was it to writing your book The Seven Torments of Craig and Amy from a play?

There are Sooo many differences between writing a play and writing a novel. For starters, there’s length. The play version of the book weighs in at about 12,000 words, where the novel is just over 70,000. So it feels so much bigger. Mostly, though, a play is meant to be performed, so you’re essentially writing a blueprint for a performance by real people. You don’t need to describe what the characters look like, or even what the scenery looks like. In the book, one character is described as very blonde, but a dark-haired actress played her in the play. In real life, you’re using the people who show up to be in the show, so you can’t have any pre-conceived notions of what the characters look like even when you’re writing it. It’s a very different process in a novel – you have to imagine and picture everything.

3. What are you currently reading?

I just finished THE GOLDEN COMPASS – I know, I’m an extreme latecomer to this series! Next up, I’m reading BINTI, by Nnedi Okorafor and ALWAYS NEVER YOURS, a debut title from Austin Siegumund-Broka and Emily Wibberley. One of the great joys of this author journey has been the chance to read so many books of writers who are new to publishing this year.

Follow Don: Twitter * Facebook * Blog


Maxine Kaplan


1. What have you been up to since last we checked in?

What I have been up to since we last checked in is mainly worrying about things I can’t control 🙂 This is because, in so far as what I can do, THE ACCIDENTAL BAD GIRL is done! No more copy edits, no more changes–it is in the can…the terrifying, final can. So what I’ve been working on instead is my next project, a YA fantasy that hopefully subverts the genre tropes of the tavern wench and the wicked queen. The first draft of that is done, so I’ve been working on making it what I call “less awful” before sending it to my wonderful agent Ali for her notes. I’m also starting to coalesce my pitch for the companion to BAD GIRL. And just livin’ life, man. Reading the news and railing about it.

2. Your book The Accidental Bad Girl got a new cover and it’s gorgeous. Did you have any input on it?

See the source image

Thank you so much! I think it’s great, too. The overall design change was done without my input, but I’m thrilled with it. But generally Abrams has been great about letting me contribute my two cents. The full jacket (stay tuned!) has these doodles all over the back and the flap, and my editor Maggie was awesome about letting me come up with the ideas for them. They’re a bunch of little Easter eggs for the mystery in the book. That was a lot of fun.

 3. What are you currently reading? 

I have been reading so many good 2018 debuts! Readers next years are in for a serious treat if they seek out the work coming out of the Electrics. I just finished OUT OF THE BLUE by Sophie Cameron, which is beautiful. And I finally have had the emotional wherewithal to crack open HRC’s WHAT HAPPENED. My love for her continues unabated.

Follow Maxine: Blog * Twitter


Until Part 2 of the next December Pre-Pub Adventure!

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Moxie Review

This book spoke to me.

Let’s take a look at the book Moxie.



  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Roaring Brook Press (September 19, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1626726353


Vivian Carter is fed up. Fed up with an administration at her high school that thinks the football team can do no wrong. Fed up with sexist dress codes, hallway harassment, and gross comments from guys during class. But most of all, Viv Carter is fed up with always following the rules.

Viv’s mom was a tough-as-nails, punk rock Riot Grrrl in the ’90s, and now Viv takes a page from her mother’s past and creates a feminist zine that she distributes anonymously to her classmates. She’s just blowing off steam, but other girls respond. As Viv forges friendships with other young women across the divides of cliques and popularity rankings, she realizes that what she has started is nothing short of a girl revolution.

Moxie is a book about high school life that will make you wanna riot!

Order here!

Tawney’s Review:

This was a fantastic read that just had girl power all over it.

Vivian was a strong character fed up with all the sexist crap that goes on in high school regarding the football team, because they can do no wrong… and that’s what made this book rock!  She took matters into her own hand and made a feminist movement within her high school called Moxie.

Vivian started off as a character who wanted to stay under the radar but boy when she’s fired up she’s not one to contend with.  She stood up for what she believed in even if it could damage her social and academic life.

Should you read it? Yes! A powerful book that empowers female liberties and what it means to stand up for what’s right.


About the author:


Hi! I’m young adult author Jennifer Mathieu (pronounced Muh-two, but if you speak French you can pronounce it better than that. Sadly, I don’t speak French.) I’m a writer and English teacher who lives in Texas with my family. A native of the East Coast and a former journalist, I enjoy writing contemporary young adult fiction that treats teenagers like real people. I love to eat and hate to cook. For more fun facts, read on!

Interview with Kelly deVos, Author of Fat Girl On A Plane

Today I’m excited to interview my friend and author Kelly deVos.

I’ve known Kelly for a long time and have watched her writing career take off, so today’s post is special for me. Because today I get to interview her about her book and its cover! I’m so excited Kelly’s book cover was just released by Harlequin Teen. Let’s check out Fat Girl On A Plane!


High school senior Cookie Vonn’s post-graduation dreams include getting out of Phoenix, attending Parsons and becoming the next great fashion designer. But in the world of fashion, being fat is a cardinal sin. It doesn’t help that she’s constantly compared to her supermodel mother—and named after a dessert.

Thanks to her job at a fashion blog, Cookie scores a trip to New York to pitch her portfolio and appeal for a scholarship, but her plans are put on standby when she’s declared too fat too fly. Forced to turn to her BFF for cash, Cookie buys a second seat on the plane. She arrives in the city to find that she’s been replaced by the boss’s daughter, a girl who’s everything she’s not—ultrathin and superrich. Bowing to society’s pressure, she vows to lose weight, get out of the friend zone with her crush, and put her life on track.


Cookie expected sunshine and rainbows, but nothing about her new life is turning out like she planned. When the fashion designer of the moment offers her what she’s always wanted—an opportunity to live and study in New York—she finds herself in a world full of people more interested in putting women down than dressing them up. Her designs make waves, but her real dream of creating great clothes for people of all sizes seems to grow more distant by the day.

Will she realize that she’s always had the power to make her own dreams come true?

Now to the interview!

Your cover is gorgeous! Did you have any input for it and what was the process like?

Thank you! I love it. I think the designer at Harlequin Teen did such an amazing job and I feel lucky that I was able to have some design input. I suggested taking an illustrated approach. I really wanted to have a plus-size figure on the cover but I know it can be really tough to source images of plus-size teens. There just aren’t as many images as there ought to be!

One thing they did change is the color palette. My suggestion was kind of a raspberry and sherbet orange color scheme. I like the teal and yellow that they chose much better.

What’s Fat Girl on a Plane about?

The book follows aspiring fashion designer and high school senior, Cookie Vonn, across two timelines, before and after a major weight loss that she falsely believes will solve all her problems. It’s a story about pursuing your dreams and learning to love yourself!

How did you come up with the idea?

It was initially inspired by a couple of real experiences. First, like my main character, I was forced to purchase two seats on an airplane. I also worked as a graphic designer for an Italian-based eyewear company that dealt with many luxury fashion brands. I noticed, over time, that some of these brands were fairly hostile to plus-size girls and women and I wanted to discuss that issue.

What have you done to get ready for publication?

At this point, I’m mainly networking with other writers, trying to collect a lot of information to help me prepare for the book’s release next year. I’m a member of Class of 2K18 books, a group of 20 writers working together to promote their 2018 debuts. There are so many great books in the class!! 2018 will be a busy reading year!

I have made a couple of things, like a custom shipping envelope and some custom packing tape to prepare for when I have ARCs and can send them out into the world.

Any advice for aspiring authors?

Keep going! Keep writing new things, making writer friends and above all read as much as you can – especially in the genre that you’re writing. For me, reading, more than any single thing, helps me improve my craft.

Thank you Kelly! I’m so proud of you. There was always something special about your writing that took hold of me and I knew you were meant for the publishing world. I’m so excited for Fat Girl On A Plane. 

About Kelly:


I am a Young Adult writer living in Gilbert, Arizona, represented by Kathleen Rushall of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency. I have a degree in Creative Writing from Arizona State University and am a contributor to Adventures in YA Publishing. My debut novel, FAT GIRL ON A PLANE, will be published in 2018 by Harlequin Teen.

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