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Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Goals

My new year's goals.  I don't want to call them resolutions -- that makes my goals too predictably broken.  I mean, when have I ever stuck my exercise plan or done anything else I "resolved" to do?  Probably never.  But I'm a goal-oriented person by nature, so I figure if I set some goals for myself, I'll have something to go after.

And if I write them down and share them, now I'm accountable for meeting those goals.  So here goes:
1.  Do a complete and thorough edit of my co-written manuscript.
2.  Work with Nikki to find a home for said manuscript.
3.  Write that companion novel to Destined I've been talking about.
4.  Exercise at least once a week.
5.  Try to be a better teacher to my daughters (i.e., get some patience).
6.  Read, read, read.

Now, I know the last one I'm going to do anyway, but now I've built in a fail-safe.  At the end of 2012 I can guarantee that at least 1 of my goals will have been reached.  LOL!

What are your goals this new year?

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Winners Announced

I've now been on contact with both winners from the Midwinters Eve Blog Hop and thought I'd share their selections with you.

Leslie from Illinois picked Clarity
 Mai from the Philippines picked Wither

Congratulations to both ladies and THANK YOU to all who entered and joined the blog.  I hope to see many of you back here in 2012.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Happy Debut YA Book Birthday

Just in time to spend your gift cards or give your new e-readers a work out, we have some debut YA book birthdays this week.
Living Violet by Jaime Reed
Book 1 of The Cambion Chronicles
He's persuasive, charming, and way too mysterious. And for Samara Marshall, her co-worker is everything she wants most--and everything she most fears. . .
Samara Marshall is determined to make the summer before her senior year the best ever. Her plan: enjoy downtime with friends and work to save up cash for her dream car. Summer romance is not on her to-do list, but uncovering the truth about her flirtatious co-worker, Caleb Baker, is. From the peculiar glow to his eyes to the unfortunate events that befall the girls who pine after him, Samara is the only one to sense danger behind his smile.
But Caleb's secrets are drawing Samara into a world where the laws of attraction are a means of survival. And as a sinister power closes in on those she loves, Samara must take a risk that will change her life forever. . .or consume it.

Archon by Sabrina Benulis
There are some things worse than death . . .
For years, Angela Mathers has been plagued by visions of a supernatural being—an angel with beguiling eyes and magnificent wings who haunts her thoughts and seduces her dreams. Newly freed from a mental institution where she had been locked away for two years, Angela hopes that attending Westwood Academy, the Vatican’s exclusive university, will bring her peace and a semblance of normality.
But Angela isn’t normal. With her stain of dark red hair and alabaster skin, she is a blood head—a freak, a monster, and the possible fulfillment of a terrifying prophecy. Blessed with strange, mystical powers, blood heads hold a special place in the Academy. Among them, one special blood head is more powerful than them all: the Archon, the human reincarnation of the dead angel Raziel. And when the Archon arises as foretold, it will rule the supernatural universe.
Barely in control of her own life, Angela has no ambition to conquer an entire universe, not when she’s suddenly contending with a dangerous enemy who is determined to destroy her and a magnetic novitiate who wants to save her. But the choice might not be her own . . .
Torn between mortal love and angelic obsession, the young blood head must soon face the truth about herself and her world. It is she who holds the key to Heaven and Hell—and both will stop at nothing to possess her.

Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler
I'm telling you why we broke up, Ed. I'm writing it in this letter, the whole truth of why it happened.

Min Green and Ed Slaterton are breaking up, so Min is writing Ed a letter and giving him a box. Inside the box is why they broke up. Two bottle caps, a movie ticket, a folded note, a box of matches, a protractor, books, a toy truck, a pair of ugly earrings, a comb from a motel room, and every other item collected over the course of a giddy, intimate, heartbreaking relationship. Item after item is illustrated and accounted for, and then the box, like a girlfriend, will be dumped.

My friend, co-author and Bookanista, Nikki Katz, has been talking up this one, so I know it's going to be good!

Friday, December 23, 2011


I met a new author on twitter the other day and her debut YA novel is coming out soon.  She just released her cover today & it's BEAUTIFUL!  So without further ado, I give you ~ OPPRESSION by Jessica Therrien

There are others like her. Many of them. 
And they have been waiting for her for a long time.

 OPPRESSION tells the story of a young woman who discovers that she belongs to a secret society of individuals with extraordinarily long life spans and unusual abilities. Fearful of prophecies about their only daughter, her parents kept her hidden from the world – and the society – for as long as they could. But when their own untimely deaths leave her to fend for herself, the truth of her origins and the fateful prophecy find her at last. Joining the ranks of such widely popular works as the Twilight Saga, The Hunger Games, and the Mortal Instruments series, Mrs. Therrien's paranormal romance/adventure promises to be the next fan-favorite in its genre.

*Note: The above blurb is not what will be printed on the back cover. ZOVA is still working on that, but what I've seen of it looks awesome. Can't wait to share that with you when it's ready.

Here's an excerpt from the novel:
When I left Cearno’s in a state of half sleep, I found the door to my apartment ajar. I grabbed the knob and pushed it open with caution, assuming I had forgotten to close it all the way.
“Hello?” I asked, just in case.
No answer. I shut the door behind me.
It wasn’t until I reached the top of the stairs that I felt something wet on my palm and realized I had blood on my hand. I made my way to the sink, looking for where I’d cut myself when I heard her.
“It’s not your blood,” Kara said from behind me, making me jump a foot in the air.
“What are you doing here, Kara?” I asked, callous and guarded. The last time I’d seen her, she’d stabbed me in the leg.
She was slumped down in the corner, sitting on the floor of my kitchen, a bloody mess.
My face registered with shock. “What happened to you?” 
I waited for an answer, but she only glanced at me briefly, annoyed by the question, and continued staring off into the distance.
“Are you hurt?” 
If she wasn’t going to talk to me I would find out for myself. I knelt down in front of her, looking over her blood stained hands, arms and face. She seemed fine.
“It’s not my blood either,” she said, her eyes finally meeting mine.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Cover Reveal ~ CHOSEN ONES by Tiffany Truitt

My thanks to Entangled Publishing for allowing me to be part of the big cover reveal for Tiffany Truitt's debut YA novel, CHOSEN ONES.  This cover is fabulous and I know you dystopian lovers out there are going to be salivating!  Ready?
And here's the book blurb:

       What if you were mankind’s last chance at survival?
Sixteen-year-old Tess lives in a compound in what was once the Western United States, now decimated after a devastating fourth World War. But long before that, life as we knew it had been irrevocably changed, as women mysteriously lost the ability to bring forth life. Faced with the extinction of the human race, the government began the Council of Creators, meant to search out alternative methods of creating life. The resulting artificial human beings, or Chosen Ones, were extraordinarily beautiful, unbelievably strong, and unabashedly deadly. 
Life is bleak, but uncomplicated for Tess as she follows the rigid rules of her dystopian society, until the day she begins work at Templeton, the training facility for newly created Chosen Ones. There, she meets James, a Chosen One whose odd love of music and reading rivals only her own. The attraction between the two is immediate in its intensity—and overwhelming in its danger. 
But there is more to the goings-on at Templeton than Tess ever knew, and as the veil is lifted from her eyes, she uncovers a dark underground movement bent not on taking down the Chosen Ones, but the Council itself. Will Tess be able to stand up to those who would oppress her, even if it means giving up the only happiness in her life?

Be sure to add it to your TBR pile on Goodreads and keep your eyes peeled for it come April 2012.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Mid-Winter's Eve Giveaway Hop

Woot! I'm thrilled to be participating in the mid-winter's eve blog hop! I'm also feeling very fortunate because Kathy at I am a Reader, Not a Writer, has allowed Oasis for YA to co-host the hop with us.  This hop-stop is International if the Book Depository ships to your country.

I'm using Rafflecopter and the only mandatory entry is to follow this blog. You can get an additional 2 points for following me via twitter or following my author fan page on Facebook.  Comments are not mandatory, but are loved. <3

Up for grabs is your choice of ONE of the following YA novels that I loved this year ~ the winner will just have to notify me which ONE they select.  (Note: I will send the paperback version if it is available.)

Where She Went ~ Gayle Forman
Spellbound ~ Cara Lynn Shultz
Falling Under ~ Gwen Hayes
Wither ~ Lauren DeStenfano
Clarity ~ Kim Harrington
Starcrossed ~ Josephine Angelini

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Happy Debut YA Book Birthday

Guess what?  There's a debut novelist celebrating her book birthday this week.
Please help me congratulate Helen Landalf on her debut novel, Flyaway.

Stevie Calhoun knows how to take care of herself. It’s not like her mom hasn’t disappeared before. So why is Aunt Mindy making such a big deal of it now? It’s not like Mom’s really doing meth. Stevie makes sure of that. Whatever. She’ll go home with Aunt Mindy if it will keep her from calling Child Protective Services—but it doesn’t mean she’ll stay. Mom will come back. Mom always comes back. And Stevie will be there when she does.
But when Stevie meets Alan—frustrating and fascinating and so-different-from-everyone-she-knows Alan—and she starts helping out at the bird rehab center, things begin to look different. Even the tutoring and the ridiculous outfits Aunt Mindy’s forcing her into might not be so bad. Not that Stevie would say it out loud. She can’t. Because how can anything be good if it doesn’t include Mom?

Sounds pretty good, right? Kirkus reviewed it by saying it's realistic teen fiction without the dark elements of Ellen Hopkins.

Anyway, if for some reason I don't make it back on the blog before the holidays (other than my upcoming giveaway hop), let me just wish you all A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Cover Reveal

Don't you love seeing new covers, all sparkly and shiny and fresh?  Well, I know I do, and I've got a great one to share with you today ~ Sleepers by Megg Jensen.

To celebrate the re-launch of SLEEPERS in January of 2012, Megg is giving it a new cover with artwork from the incredible PhatPuppy.
Synopsis: An adoptee raised in a foreign land, sixteen-year-old Lianne was content with her life as handmaiden to the queen, until a spell cast on her at birth activated. Now she's filled with uncontrollable rage and access to magic she thought had been bled from her people years ago. Even her years of secret training in elite hand-to-hand combat and meditation can’t calm the fires raging inside her.
Her heart is torn between two boys, the one she’s always loved and the one who always ignored her. But when the kingdom threatens to tear itself apart due to rumors surrounding the queen’s alleged affair, who will Lianne protect and who will she destroy?

On sale now for only 99 cents!

Sales outlets for SLEEPERS:
Megg on the web:

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Debut Author Challenge 2012

Since I couldn't find any debut YA book birthdays today, I figured I'd bring you up to speed on my 2012 debut author challenge goals... The debut author challenge is hosted by The Story Siren each year and encourages readers to try out books by new authors.  I LOVE THIS!


To read & review a minimum of twelve young adult or middle grade debut novels between the dates of January 1st 2012 - January 31st 2013.


You must have a Blog to post your reviews or be a member of Goodreads.
Your blog must be written in English.
Deadline to join is May 31, 2012.


Must be a young adult or middle grade title.
Must be the author’s YA or MG debut, released in 2012.
If an author has a previous novel published for adults or children, they can still qualify for the challenge.
If an author has a previous YA or MG title, they do not qualify for the challenge.

So far, I've read 21 debuts in 2011.  Not too bad... Here's a list of some YA books that I hope to read in 2012:
Everneath - Brodi Ashton
Touching the Surface - Kim Sabatini
Renegade - J.A. Souders
Incarnate - Jodi Meadows
Sweet Evil - Wendy Higgins
Auracle - Gina Rosati
Of Poseidon - Anna Banks
Harbinger - Sara Wilson Bienne
Elemental - Emily White
Illusminate - Aimee Agresti
Slide - Jill Hathaway
Fracture - Megan Miranda
Born Wicked - Jessica Spotswood
When the Sea is Rising Red - Cat Hellisen
Grace Mercy - Robin LaFevers
A Witch in Winter - Ruth Warburton
The Demon Catchers of Milan  - Kay Beyer

Sure, it's ambitious, but I'm sure I can do it. Plus, these all look SO GOOD.  2012 is shaping up to be a great year and I personally can't wait.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Happy Book Birthday to Getting Sideways by Lisa Nowak

Getting Sideways: Book 2 in the Full Throttle Series

Getting shipped off to live with his uncle Race was the best thing that ever happened to fifteen-year-old Cody. Then a wreck at the speedway nearly ruined everything. Cody's making every effort to get his life back on track-writing for the school paper, searching for the perfect girlfriend, and counting the days until he gets his drivers' license-but there's no escaping the nightmares that haunt him.

A chance to build his own car seems like the perfect distraction. Until Cody realizes he'll have to live up to Race's legendary status. But that's the least of his worries, considering he doesn't have his dad's permission. All he has to do is the impossible: keep Race from discovering his lie until he can convince his dad that racing's safe.

Yeah, sure. That'll be easy.
Haven't read the first book? Running Wide Open is on sale now for 99 cents.

Running Wide Open: Book 1 in the Full Throttle Series

Cody Everett has a temper as hot as the flashpoint of racing fuel, and it's landed him at his uncle's trailer, a last-chance home before military school. But how can he take the guy seriously when he calls himself Race, eats Twinkies for breakfast, and pals around with rednecks who drive in circles every Saturday night?

What Cody doesn't expect is for the arrangement to work. Or for Race to become the friend and mentor he's been looking for all his life. But just as Cody begins to settle in and get a handle on his supercharged temper, a crisis sends his life spinning out of control. Everything he's come to care about is threatened, and he has to choose between falling back on his old, familiar anger or stepping up to prove his loyalty to the only person he's ever dared to trust.

Praise for Running Wide Open:

"It doesn't matter if you are a racing fan or not, Running Wide Open will captivate you and capture your heart." - Cari J, Amazon reviewer

"The roar of engines practically explodes off the page in this compelling, heart-thumping debut. Cody Everett is a straight-shooter with attitude, smarts, and whip-cracking wit; he doesn't pull any punches, and neither does author Lisa Nowak. The collision of Cody and the world of stock car racing makes for a great story, one of the best I've read in a long time. Running Wide Open is a book not to be missed." - Christine Fletcher, author of Tallulah Falls and Ten Cents a Dance

"The racing is easy to understand and does not get in the way of a rattling good story. I still couldn't put it down on a re-read." - Elisabeth Miles, Amazon reviewer

"We race stock cars during the summer and even though this is a recommended read for Young Adults, we are seniors and enjoyed every page. We can hardly wait for the sequel to come out. MUST READING!" - Maxci Jermann, Barnes and Noble reviewer

"I say read this book, it's fun, it's beautiful, it's a very cool read that will give you a feel-good state of mind. Awesome read." - L.E.Olteano, Butterfly-o-meter Books

Author Bio:

In addition to being a YA author, Lisa Nowak is a retired amateur stock car racer, an accomplished cat whisperer, and a professional smartass. She writes coming-of-age books about kids in hard luck situations who learn to appreciate their own value after finding mentors who love them for who they are. She enjoys dark chocolate and stout beer and constantly works toward employing wei wu wei in her life, all the while realizing that the struggle itself is an oxymoron.

Lisa has no spare time, but if she did she'd use it to tend to her expansive perennial garden, watch medical dramas, take long walks after dark, and teach her cats to play poker. For those of you who might be wondering, she is not, and has never been, a diaper-wearing astronaut. She lives in Milwaukie, Oregon, with her husband, four feline companions, and two giant sequoias.

Connect with Lisa online:

Friday, December 9, 2011

An Author's 12 Days of Christmas

I'll save you the build up and just give you the 12 most-wished-for items on any authors' list. Go ahead, you know the tune, sing along!

On the 12th day of Christmas, the book gods gave to me:
12 awesome reviews
11 interview posts
10 twitter RTs
9 new Facebook followers
8 plus Ks on Klout
7 adoring new fans
6 new story ideas
5 million sales!
4 foreign offers
3 newspaper stories
2 TV newscasts and
my book under every Christmas tree!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Join a Mid-Winter Giveaway Hop

What could be better than all the holiday festivities we've already got going on? How about getting more blog followers and winning books?!?!
Join I Am a Reader, Not a Writer and Oasis for YA for the Mid-Winter's Eve Giveaway Hop. It's December 21-27th and you can offer up any reading or book-related prize you like.  (The one limitation is that you not have more than 3 entries per person so they can hop on to the next stop.)

If you'd like to join us, go here to read the full rules and sign up.  You can schedule your blog post in advance (i.e. NOW), so you don't forget.  Then, sit back and watch as fellow hoppers come to your site, quite literally from all around the world.  It's an amazing thing!

Until then, I hope everyone is staying warm and enjoying your families.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Happy Debut YA Book Birthday

So, I dropped off the planet there for a minute. Sorry about that. But I'm back again and I'm ready to wish these debut YA novelists a belated (or early) book birthday -- whichever the case may be.
On the 8th, Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey joins the ranks of the published.
A thrilling debut story of death, love, destiny and danger

Lenzi hears voices and has visions - gravestones, floods, a boy with steel gray eyes. Her boyfriend, Zak, can't help, and everything keeps getting louder and more intense. Then Lenzi meets Alden, the boy from her dreams, who reveals that she's a reincarnated Speaker - someone who can talk to and help lost souls - and that he has been her Protector for centuries.

Now Lenzi must choose between her life with Zak and the life she is destined to lead with Alden. But time is running out: a malevolent spirit is out to destroy Lenzi, and he will kill her if she doesn't make a decision soon.

Also, we have The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder
Dry, sarcastic, sixteen-year-old Cam Cooper has spent the last seven years in and out hospitals. The last thing she wants to do in the short life she has left is move 1,500 miles away to Promise, Maine - a place known for the miraculous events that occur there. But it's undeniable that strange things happen in Promise: everlasting sunsets; purple dandelions; flamingoes in the frigid Atlantic; an elusive boy named Asher; and finally, a mysterious envelope containing a list of things for Cam to do before she dies. As Cam checks each item off the list, she finally learns to believe - in love, in herself, and even in miracles.

A debut novel from an immensely talented new writer, The Probability of Miracles crackles with wit, romance and humor and will leave readers laughing and crying with each turn of the page..

Earlier this week saw the debut of KaSonndra Leigh's When Copper Suns Fall
In fifteen-year-old Chela Prizeon’s city, alchemy is forbidden and angels hide among the mortal. With a deadly virus ravaging the globe, Chela’s nightmarish memories compels her to experience a past riddled with gloom, and now her brother is infected. 

Chela’s only hope is the Caduceans, slayers sworn to protect the last seven Light Keepers and the ancient memories they share. A group led by the sometimes elusive, sometimes infuriating boy who intrigues Chela. But can she trust this boy with the mysterious past, someone who can influence her memories? 

With the Caduceans aid, Chela races to defeat her rivals, to unearth dark family secrets, desperate to find a cure…only to discover the glutovirus is far more than a simple disease. 

In this haunting debut, KaSonndra Leigh offers an escape into a world as intriguing as The Mortal Instruments and a story as chilling as Enclave. Full of celestial creatures, fascinating villainy, high-stake choices, and a secret romance, When Copper Suns Fall, is a fresh and original urban fantasy—with a dystopian twist—that will take readers on an unforgettable adventure.

Ooops - I almost forgot HUSHED by Kelly York.  You can read my review here.
He’s saved her. He’s loved her. He’s killed for her. 

Eighteen-year-old Archer couldn’t protect his best friend, Vivian, from what happened when they were kids, so he’s never stopped trying to protect her from everything else. It doesn’t matter that Vivian only uses him when hopping from one toxic relationship to another—Archer is always there, waiting to be noticed. 

Then along comes Evan, the only person who’s ever cared about Archer without a single string attached. The harder he falls for Evan, the more Archer sees Vivian for the manipulative hot-mess she really is. 

But Viv has her hooks in deep, and when she finds out about the murders Archer’s committed and his relationship with Evan, she threatens to turn him in if she doesn’t get what she wants… And what she wants is Evan’s death, and for Archer to forfeit his last chance at redemption.

What a fantastic line up of debut authors, huh?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Read a Book -- Help Endangered Species!

Today I'm honored to be hosting Heather McCorkle and her novel, The Secret of Spruce Knoll.  A special edition of Heather’s The Secret Of Spruce Knoll is releasing from Compass Press this month and she’s doing a special tour to go along with it. The special part, a percentage of the proceeds from every special edition sold (in every format) between its release date and 12-12-2012, will go toward Heather’s favorite charity that protects endangered species. Her goal is to make at least $10,000 for the charity.

Here's what you need to know about the novel:

Following the death of her parents, Eren Donovan moves to Spruce Knoll to live with an aunt she’s never met. Little does Eren know, the entire population are channelers—magical people who immigrated there when they were driven out of their homelands. Channelers are tied to the fate of the world, and as it slowly dies, they are going extinct—and they alone have the power to save the earth. Soon, Eren learns she not only lives among them, but she is one. When she meets local boy Aiden, his charm convinces her that being a channeler may not be all bad though.

As Eren and Aiden’s relationship develops, so too does a mystery in Spruce Knoll. The town holds many secrets—and many dangers. It soon becomes apparent that the untimely death of Eren’s parents was no accident and that her life might be in danger too. Only time will tell if Eren can embrace her unwanted power and protect the only family she has left.

So, I'm sure you're salivating now already, but if that description alone doesn't make you want to read it, there's free stuff involved too! That's right, there are prizes during the tour, which goes from December 1st through the 17th. Prizes include a symbolic endangered species adoption of the winner’s choice (a $50 donation by Heather to the charity for the endangered species of the winner’s choice, and cute stuffed animal for the winner!), signed copies of her novels and great swag. For full details, and to enter, go here.

BONUS: For the tour Heather has asked each blog host to pick their favorite endangered species and she will tell us a fun or interesting fact about that animal. I picked the dolphin, cause they're the coolest.  And here's the very interesting fact ~ 

As a highly intelligent marine mammal that loves to play and socialize, dolphins share a lot in common with people. The name dolphin literally means a fish with a womb~though of course they aren’t really fish, but whose to argue with the ancient Greeks who named them?!

To get your copy of The Secret of Spruce Knoll, click the links below:
Barnes and Noble

Now, can you think of a better gift for that special someone on your list??

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cover Reveal

My friend and one-time CP, Kimblery Sabantini, had her cover reveal today and it's so AMAZING that I wanted to share it too.
Come on -- you don't even need the book description to know you want this!  So go -- add it to your TBR pile on Goodreads pronto.  And in case you're still here, I present the Goodreads synopsis:

Life-altering mistakes are meant to alter lives.

At seventeen, Elliot Turner feels like she’s a failure in life and in the afterlife. She’s died for the third time and until she can remember her past and figure out the growth plan for her soul, she’s stuck at the Obmil Center for Progression. Elliot’s not surprised that her third stay in limbo guarantees her a rocky road to enlightenment, but she never expected her best friend, Julia to be mad at her. Things get even worse when Elliot meets Oliver and Trevor. One guy is as radiant as the sun and the other is dark and snarky and hates her for no reason at all. It doesn’t take long for Elliot to realize that the deeper she delves into her past, the more complicated it gets--she’s only touched the surface.

Awesome right?  It's coming September 14, 2011 from Simon Pulse.  Until then, stalk Kim on twitter, because she's WAY cool.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Happy Debut YA Book Birthday!

Let's hear it for Tuesday and the birthday of some fabulous new debut YA novels!
First up today is my friend and fellow Indelible author, S. R. Johannes with Untraceable (The Nature of Grace #1):
Grace has lived in the Smokies all her life, patrolling with her forest ranger father who taught her about wildlife, tracking, and wilderness survival. When her dad goes missing on a routine patrol, Grace refuses to believe he’s dead and fights the town authorities, tribal officials, and nature to find him. One day, while out tracking clues, Grace is rescued from danger by Mo, a hot guy with an intoxicating accent and a secret. As her feelings between him and her ex-boyfriend get muddled, Grace travels deep into the wilderness to escape and find her father. Along the way, Grace learns terrible secrets that sever relationships and lives. Soon she’s enmeshed in a web of conspiracy, deception, and murder. And it’s going to take a lot more than a compass and a motorcycle (named Lucifer) for this kick-butting heroine to save everything she loves.

Now, if you haven't heard the news yet, Shelli got a great review from Kirkus. WOOT, WOOT!  And if you still aren't convinced, check out the praise from Kimberly Derting and follow Shelli for a bit.
"Grace is a spunky, independent, nature girl who doesn't need a boy to save her. With wilderness survival, a juicy love triangle, and more twists and turns than a roller coaster, this fast-paced novel had me holding my breath until the very last page—and still begging for more!" 

-Kimberly Derting, author of the The Body Finder series (Harper Teen) and The Pledge series (S&S)
Contact information:

Check out Shelli's blog today -- she'll be giving away LOADS of books as part of her launch party (including Destined).

The next debut novel with a birthday today is Legend by Marie Lu:

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths - until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills.

So, are either of these books going into your TBR pile?

Advance Review: HUSHED by Kelley York

If you're looking for dark and edgy, look no further than Entangled Publishing's new upper YA thriller, HUSHED by Kelley York.  Coming December 6, 2011.  I thank Entangled for the opportunity to read this ARC in exchange for my honest review.
He’s saved her. He’s loved her. He’s killed for her. 

Eighteen-year-old Archer couldn’t protect his best friend, Vivian, from what happened when they were kids, so he’s never stopped trying to protect her from everything else. It doesn’t matter that Vivian only uses him when hopping from one toxic relationship to another—Archer is always there, waiting to be noticed. 

Then along comes Evan, the only person who’s ever cared about Archer without a single string attached. The harder he falls for Evan, the more Archer sees Vivian for the manipulative hot-mess she really is. 

But Viv has her hooks in deep, and when she finds out about the murders Archer’s committed and his relationship with Evan, she threatens to turn him in if she doesn’t get what she wants… And what she wants is Evan’s death, and for Archer to forfeit his last chance at redemption.

I was intrigued from the synopsis, but wasn't entirely sure what to expect going in.  I shouldn't have been confused. The book was every bit as dark as the synopsis led me to believe, and more.  The book opens with a scene where Archer is forcing one of the many people who harmed Vivian to write his own suicide note.  Opening line of the novel: 
“I feel that suicide notes lose their zing when they drag on too long.” 

Now just try to tell me that the line doesn't get your attention.  But here's what's really remarkable about the novel.  As much as we should hate Archer for being a murdering sociopath, we don't, because he's been hurt so badly, and is just doing what will help his best friend heal from her emotional wounds.  And I love that he's vulnerable, and shy, and was Vivian's perfect little abused puppy dog, always lagging at her heals no matter how many times she kicked him.  Bottom line, Archer was a real, three-dimensional character.

And then comes Evan.  Now, Archer has ALWAYS been in love with Vivian, but his feelings start to shift when Evan enters the picture.  The change is subtle and the way we see that relationship develop feels very real.  I admired how this wasn't an "issue" novel - certainly Archer's exploration into his sexuality wasn't the focus of the novel - and yet it was portrayed in an acceptable and positive light.  I really admired York's skill in making me root for Evan and Archer's budding relationship.

Finally, you shouldn't think that this novel is all touchy-feely Archer's relationships with Vivian and Evan.  People die. Quite a few people, actually.  The cops knock more than once on Archer's door.  And the tension is thick when Vivian starts coming unglued and demanding Archer pick her over Evan.  You won't want to stop turning the pages right to the very end, as you demand to know: will he get caught? will Vivian rat him out if she gets caught? what's going to happen to sweet Evan?

All will be answered in a satisfying, yet far-from-perfect ending.  

This is unquestionably an upper YA novel (not for those MG readers who "read up") and will appeal to adults as well.  But, you've got to be prepared for DARK themes and to look at homosexuality from an open-minded perspective.  Overall, I give the novel 4 Greek coins -- an OMG! rating.  I highly recommend it to anyone who is willing to embrace the twisted, yet hopeful, story HUSHED has to tell.

To get your own copy of HUSHED, check out Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

As my family gathers around the table to Thanksgiving, here are a few of the many blessings I will be counting:
1. An amazing husband
2. Two beautiful and independent daughters
3. Supportive and loving parents
4. Friends & family who give of themselves and their time
5. An amazing job
6. A cozy home I love 
7. Creative outlets
8. More than enough food on the table
9. The good fortune to be able to self-publish
10. All of you AMAZING people who have supported me and cheered for Destined!

I can only pray that 2012 will hold as many blessings in store for me & my family as 2011 has held. And from the bottom of my heart, I wish all of these blessings for you as well.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

New Author Blog Hop

This is a really exciting hop for me because I actually get to put myself out there as an AUTHOR.  Somebody pinch me!  I can't thank Saba at Of Thoughts and Words and Michelle at Oh! For the Love of Books enough for putting this hop together so that we newbie authors can get to meet each other and share our books with other book lovers.

So, for those who have come to get to know me and/or Destined better, here's the scoop:
* I majored in classical studies but somehow ended up as a lawyer
* I'm blessed with an amazing husband and two beautiful little girls
* Destined is my debut novel and is a YA retelling of the ancient myth of Cupid & Psyche

The back of the book description:

When Psyche receives a prophecy gone horribly wrong, she learns that even the most beautiful girl in Greece can have a hideous future. Her fate? Fall in love with the one creature even the gods fear. 

As she feels herself slipping closer into the arms of the prophecy, Psyche must choose between the terrifyingly tender touch she feels almost powerless to resist and the one constant she's come to expect out of life: you cannot escape what is destined. 

Destined is a fresh and heartachingly romantic retelling of the Cupid & Psyche myth from debut novelist, Jessie Harrell.

You can find it at any of these places:
Amazon (paperback) or (Kindle)
Book Depository
Barnes & Noble (Nook)

And there you have it -- that's me and my novel in a nutshell.  I can't wait to hop around and meet all the rest of you.

BONUS: If you leave me a comment (through the close of the hop on Nov. 30th), you'll be entered to win an e-copy of Destined.  Just be sure to leave me your e-mail address too so I know how to contact you!  Thanks for stopping by and happy hopping!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Happy Debut YA Book Birthday

I don't know about you all, but after all the fun and excitement I had last week, I could curl up and nap for about 2 days.  What?  You didn't celebrate the release of Destined like I did?  Oh well.  To each their own. For those of you looking to celebrate some new releases this week, check out these debut YA titles by my fellow Indelibles authors. CONGRATS, ladies!

YESTERDAY was the birthday for the print release of Clockwise by Elle Strauss
A teen time traveler accidentally takes her secret crush back in time. Awkward. Boy watching with her best friend would be enough excitement for fifteen year old Casey Donavan. She doesn't even mind life at the bottom of the Cambridge High social ladder, if only she didn't have this other much bigger problem. Unscheduled trips to the nineteenth century! When Casey gets talked into going to the Fall Dance, the unthinkable happens--she accidentally takes Nate Mackenzie, the cutest boy in the school, back in time. Protocol pressures her to tell their 1860 hosts that he is her brother and when Casey finds she has a handsome, wealthy (and unwanted) suitor, something changes in Nate. Are those romantic sparks or is it just 'brotherly' protectiveness? When they return to the present things go back to the way they were before: Casey at the bottom of the social totem pole and Nate practically the flag flying from the top. Except this time her heart is broken. Plus, her best friend is mad, her parents are split up, and her little brother gets escorted home by the police. The only thing that could make life worse is if, by some strange twist of fate, she took Nate back to the past again. Which, of course, she does.

FRIDAY is the debut of Tangled Tides (The Sea Monster Memoirs #1) by Karen Amanda Hooper
Yara Jones doesn't believe in sea monsters-until she becomes one.

When a hurricane hits her island home and she wakes up with fins, Yara finds herself tangled up in an underwater world of mysterious merfolk and secretive selkies. Both sides believe Yara can save them by fulfilling a broken promise and opening the sealed gateway to their realm, but they are battling over how it should be done. The selkies want to take her life. The merfolk want something far more precious.

Treygan, the stormy-eyed merman who turned Yara mer, will stop at nothing and sacrifice everything to protect his people-until he falls for Yara. The tides turn as Yara fights to save herself, hundreds of sea creatures, and the merman who has her heart. She could lose her soul in the process-or she might open the gateway to a love that's deeper than the oceans.

“...adventure, family secrets, and sizzling romance. I couldn't put it down!" ~Rae Carson, THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS

What say you? Will you be picking up either of these intriguing new Indie reads?