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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Happy Debut YA Book Birthday

Happy Tuesday -- let's celebrate the release of these debut YA novels!
Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz
What's a girl to do when meeting The One means she's cursed to die a horrible death?
Life hasn't been easy on sixteen-year-old Emma Conner, so a new start in New York may be just the change she needs. But the posh Upper East Side prep school she has to attend? Not so much. Friendly faces are few and far between, except for one that she's irresistibly drawn to—Brendan Salinger, the guy with the rock-star good looks and the richest kid in school, who might just be her very own white knight.
But even when Brendan inexplicably turns cold, Emma can't stop staring. Ever since she laid eyes on him, strange things have been happening. Streetlamps go out wherever she walks, and Emma's been having the oddest dreams: visions of herself in past lives—visions that warn her to stay away from Brendan. Or else.

Coming on the 30th:

Luminous by Dawn Metcalf

As reality slips and time stands still, Consuela finds herself thrust into the world of the Flow. Removed from all she loves into this shifting world overlapping our own, Consuela quickly discovers she has the power to step out of her earthly skin and cloak herself in new ones-skins made from the world around her, crafted from water, fire, air. She is joined by other teens with extraordinary abilities, bound together to safeguard a world they can affect, but where they no longer belong.

When murder threatens to undo the Flow, the Watcher charges Consuela and elusive, attractive V to stop the killer. But the psychopath who threatens her new world may also hold the only key to Consuela's way home.

Coming on Friday, July 1:

For anyone who's ever survived a rite of passage or performed a mating dance at Prom . . .
The Japanese hold a Mogi ceremony for young women coming of age. Latina teenagers get quinceaneras. And Janice Wills of Melva, NC ... has to compete in the Miss Livermush pageant.
Janice loves anthropology--the study of human cultures--and her observations help her identify useful rules in the chaotic world of high school. For instance: Dancing is an effective mating ritual--but only if you're good at it; Hot Theatre Guys will never speak to Unremarkable Smart Girls like Janice and her best friend, Margo; and a Beautiful Rich Girl will always win Melva's annual Miss Livermush pageant.
But when a Hot Theatre Guy named Jimmy Denton takes an interest in Janice, all her scientific certainties explode. For the first time, she has to be part of the culture that she's always observed; and all the charts in the world can't prove how tough--and how sweet--real participation and a real romance can be.
Funny, biting, and full of wisdom, this marks the debut of a writer to watch.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Winner of Blog Hop

I always think blog hops are remarkably interesting just because of the cross-section of entrants.  This tie, I offered an international giveaway for Gayle Forman's WHERE SHE WENT.  I had 192 entries and the winner was Jana from the Czech Republic.

I really just love the internet for connecting me to people far and wide.  Congrats, Jana!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Happy Debut YA Book Birthday

It's Tuesday again... ready for the line up?

Dead Rules by Randy Russell

Jana Webster and Michael Haynes were in love. They were destined to be together forever.

But Jana's destiny was fatally flawed. And now she's in Dead School, where Mars Dreamcote lurks in the back of the classroom, with his beguiling blue eyes, mysterious smile, and irresistibly warm touch.

Michael and Jana were incomplete without each other. There was no room for Mars in Jana's life—or death—story. Jana was sure Michael would rush to her side soon.

But things aren't going according to Jana's plan. So Jana decides to do whatever it takes to make her dreams come true—no matter what rules she has to break.

A Need So Beautiful by Suzanne Young
We all want to be remembered. Charlotte's destiny is to be forgotten.

Charlotte's best friend thinks Charlotte might be psychic. Her boyfriend thinks she's cheating on him. But Charlotte knows what's really wrong: She is one of the Forgotten, a kind of angel on earth who feels the Need—a powerful, uncontrollable draw to help someone, usually a stranger.

But Charlotte never wanted this responsibility. What she wants is to help her best friend, whose life is spiraling out of control. She wants to lie in her boyfriend's arms forever. But as the Need grows stronger, it begins to take a dangerous toll on Charlotte. And who she was, is, and will become—her mark on this earth, her very existence—is in jeopardy of disappearing completely.

Charlotte will be forced to choose: Should she embrace her fate as a Forgotten, a fate that promises to rip her from the lives of those she loves forever? Or is she willing to fight against her destiny—no matter how dark the consequences?

Vicious Little Darlings by Katherine Easer

Sarah Weaver wasn't looking forward to starting at an all-girls school. But that was before she met Maddy. Maddy and her best friend, Agnes, are fun and rich and interesting-and for some reason, they seem to really like Sarah. Before long, Maddy and Agnes have moved Sarah into a big house off campus, where they cook together, buy each other presents, and share each other's secrets. So why does Sarah feel like something's bizarrely wrong? As more and more cracks start to show in Maddy's and Agnes's perfect veneers, Sarah notices some strange and disturbing things: Maddy's compulsive lying, Agnes's obsession with Maddy, and the deterioration of their friendship. And just when Sarah begins to question her own sanity, things turns deadly. Fans of
 Pretty Little Liars will devour this juicy debut novel.

Breath of Angel by Karyn Henley
The stranger’s cloak had fallen back, and with it, a long, white, blood-stained wing. 
When Melaia, a young priestess, witnesses the gruesome murder of a stranger in the temple courtyard, age-old legends recited in song suddenly come to life. She discovers wings on the stranger, and the murderer takes the shape of both a hawk and a man. 
Angels. Shape-shifters. Myths and stories—until now.
Melaia finds herself in the middle of a blood feud between two immortal brothers who destroyed the stairway to heaven, stranding angels in the earthly realm. When Melaia becomes a target, she finds refuge with a band of angels attempting to restore the stairway. But the restoration is impossible without settling an ancient debt—the “breath of angel, blood of man,” a payment that involves Melaia’s heart, soul, and destiny.

And there you have it. More debut authors will see their babies born into the world today. Enjoy!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Midsummer's Eve Giveaway Hop

 Welcome to hop-stop #30.  So glad you could come by.  Here at the Daily Harrell, I talk, read, write & love all things YA (that's young adult if you're not up on the lingo).  If you read anything OTHER than YA, well, you'll probably want to hop along. 

For all of you cool people still here, I'm offering a chance to win a copy of Gayle Forman's WHERE SHE WENT.  This has by far been my favorite book this year.

You can read my gushing review of the novel here.

To be eligible to enter, just be a follower and leave a comment including your e-mail address. The contest is open until midnight EST on June 24th.  I will use to select one winner.  If the winner does not respond to my e-mail within 72 hours, I will pick a new winner.  And that's it -- the contest is open internationally to wherever Book Depository Ships.  If you're not sure, check the country locator here.

Once you're done, be sure to hop back to the rest of the really cool blogs participating in the hop.  Happy Summer!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Too Giddy for my Own Good

So, I've got news and I can't stand to keep it a secret any more. I'm only slightly better than my 5 year old daughter, who informed hubby last night, "We went to the store and got you a grill for Father's Day, but I'm not going to tell you it's a grill." That gets you a #facepalm kid. 

Anyway, I'm a super-excited, giddy, sqealing ball of energy because I'm publishing my novel, DESTINED, and the cover is beyond anything I could've dreamed of.  And because I can't stand it anymore, I'm revealing it.
Like it? 

My release date is November 17th - happy 34th birthday to me!  I hope to have ARC copies (paper & ebook) available by September -- if you want to be considered for one, drop me a line.

Thanks, everyone.  I'm going to try really hard not to be obnoxious about my excitement, but y'all have to promise you'll tell me to zipp it if I get out of hand, deal?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Happy Debut YA Book Birthdays!!

OMG - there is something for everyone coming out this week!  Seriously.  Take a look at the line-up below and let's wish these authors a very happy debut birthday!  (You can click on the title link to go directly to the author's Amazon page... isn't that handy?)

Hourglass by Myra McEntire
For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn't there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents' death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She's tried everything, but the visions keep coming back.So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson's willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may change her past.

Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he's around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should have happened?

Paper Covers Rock by Jenny Hubbard
At the beginning of his junior year at a boys' boarding school, 16-year-old Alex is devastated when he fails to save a drowning friend. When questioned, Alex and his friend Glenn, who was also at the river, begin weaving their web of lies. Plagued by guilt, Alex takes refuge in the library, telling his tale in a journal he hides behind Moby-Dick. Caught in the web with Alex and Glenn is their English teacher, Miss Dovecott, fresh out of Princeton, who suspects there's more to what happened at the river when she perceives guilt in Alex's writing for class. She also sees poetic talent in Alex, which she encourages. As Alex responds to her attention, he discovers his true voice, one that goes against the boarding school bravado that Glenn embraces. When Glenn becomes convinced that Miss Dovecott is out to get them, Alex must choose between them.

My Misadventures as a Teenage Rock Star by Joyce Raskin
Rock ’n’ roll isn’t just about sex and drugs. It’s about self-expression, lasting friendships, and self-empowerment. That’s what Alex learns after she starts playing bass for a rock band in this almost true story. Joyce Raskin, author and musician, culls from her memories to create this funny, touching, and honest look at what it’s like to be a teenager, a girl, and a rock star all at the same time. 

The Revenant by Sonia Gensler
When Willie arrives in Indian Territory, she knows only one thing: no one can find out who she really is. To escape a home she doesn't belong in anymore, she assumes the name of a former classmate and accepts a teaching job at the Cherokee Female Seminary.

Nothing prepares her for what she finds there. Her pupils are the daughters of the Cherokee elite—educated and more wealthy than she, and the school is cloaked in mystery. A student drowned in the river last year, and the girls whisper that she was killed by a jealous lover. Willie's room is the very room the dead girl slept in. The students say her spirit haunts it.

Willie doesn't believe in ghosts, but when strange things start happening at the school, she isn't sure anymore. She's also not sure what to make of a boy from the nearby boys' school who has taken an interest in her—his past is cloaked in secrets. Soon, even she has to admit that the revenant may be trying to tell her something. . . .

Never Sit Down in a Hoop Skirt and Other Things I Learned in Southern Belle Hell by Crickett Rumley
Expelled from thirteen boarding schools in the past five years, seventeen-year-old Jane Fontaine Ventouras is returning to her Southern roots, and the small town of Bienville, Alabama, where ladies always wear pearls, nothing says hospitality like sweet tea
and pimento cheese sandwiches, and competing in the annual Magnolia Maid Pageant is every girl’s dream.

But Jane is what you might call an anti-belle—more fishnets and tattoos than sugar and spice. The last thing on her mind is joining the Magnolia Maid brigade and parading around town in
a dress so big she can’t even fi t through doors. So when she finds herself up to her ears in ruffl es and etiquette lessons, she’s got one mission: Escape.
What’s a hipster to do? Will Jane survive Bienville boot camp intact or will they—gasp!—make a Southern belle out of her yet?

Countess Nobody by Sonia Gensler
When Sophie and Samuel Delorme’s parents sit them down for a talk, the nearly sixteen-year-old twins expect to hear something major—just not their father’s declaration that they come from a long line of French nobility. Suddenly Sophie’s lost in dreams of life as a countess. She’ll no longer be an invisible suburban teen, and just maybe the unattainable Spencer Kavanaugh will finally notice her.
But wait . . . Dad’s not done. The title is only passed down to the males in the family. Sam is a count. Sophie is a big nothing. 
Frustrated, she starts a blog about the mysterious Count S who’s just arrived in America and is breaking hearts left and right. But when the posts are picked up by a major celebrity gossip site, and people start demanding proof of the noble’s existence, how will Sophie keep her cover as Mademoiselle Blogger a secret, and stop her reputation from being destroyed?

Mistress of the Storm by M.L. Welsh
Verity Gallant is a lonely little girl who doesn't quite fit in. But when a mysterious stranger hands her an ancient book, everything changes. Suddenly it's up to her to solve the riddle of an ancient pledge and protect her family from the evil Mistress of the Storm. What hope does she have against a witch so powerful she can control the wind and create storms at will? Luckily, Verity does not have to face her enemy alone. As events begin to spiral out of control, she finds two loyal and steadfast friends to stand by her side.

The Storm is coming. And it will change Verity's life forever.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Writer's Brain = Sleepless Nights

**Image Snatched from DeviantArt**

I'm tired. Another night with a two-hour chunk of time removed.  1:30-3:30.  I spiraled out of this dream and straight into my mss and was thinking about issues before I even realized I was awake.  Why am I awake? my brain screamed at me when I figured it out.

Excited? Maybe. There's lot of fun stuff going on with DESTINED right now that I can't wait to share with you.

Nervous? That too. There's so still so much to learn. And I want my writing to be perfect, but there's no such thing as perfect (except for Where She Went, that was pretty darn perfect). And what if I can't figure it out?

I'm entitled to all of those emotions, I think. They're good. Normal. Mean I'm alive.  The question is, how do I bottle them up and get back to sleep?  I got up, read my CP's mss for an hour, and then sang "Winter" by Joshua Radin in my head so there wasn't room for any other thoughts.  It was the lyrics and the music only.

I need a better answer though. Exercise? Meditation? Lunesta?

Does your brain ever get so fired up you just can't sleep?  What do you do?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Happy Debut YA Book Birthday

Got some good ones being born this week.  Let's send happy birthday wishes to these brand-spanking new authors:

Hereafter by Tara Hudson
Can there truly be love after death?
Drifting in the dark waters of a mysterious river, the only thing Amelia knows for sure is that she's dead. With no recollection of her past life—or her actual death—she's trapped alone in a nightmarish existence. All of this changes when she tries to rescue a boy, Joshua, from drowning in her river. As a ghost, she can do nothing but will him to live. Yet in an unforgettable moment of connection, she helps him survive.
     Amelia and Joshua grow ever closer as they begin to uncover the strange circumstances of her death and the secrets of the dark river that held her captive for so long. But even while they struggle to keep their bond hidden from the living world, a frightening spirit named Eli is doing everything in his power to destroy their newfound happiness and drag Amelia back into the ghost world . . . forever.

Possession by Elana Johnson
Vi knows the Rule: Girls don’t walk with boys, and they never even think about kissing them. But no one makes Vi want to break the Rules more than Zenn…and since the Thinkers have chosen him as Vi’s future match, how much trouble can one kiss cause? The Thinkers may have brainwashed the rest of the population, but Vi is determined to think for herself.
     But the Thinkers are unusually persuasive, and they’re set on convincing Vi to become one of them….starting by brainwashed Zenn. Vi can’t leave Zenn in the Thinkers’ hands, but she’s wary of joining the rebellion, especially since that means teaming up with Jag. Jag is egotistical, charismatic, and dangerous: everything Zenn’s not. Vi can’t quite trust Jag and can’t quite resist him, but she also can’t give up on Zenn.
     This is a game of control or be controlled. And Vi has no choice but to play.

Blood Red Road by Moira Young
Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That's fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when a monster sandstorm arrives, along with four cloaked horsemen, Saba's world is shattered. Lugh is captured, and Saba embarks on an epic quest to get him back.
     Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the world outside of desolate Silverlake, Saba is lost without Lugh to guide her. So perhaps the most surprising thing of all is what Saba learns about herself: she's a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. And she has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization.

Forgotten by Cat Patrick
Each night at precisely 4:33 am, while sixteen-year-old London Lane is asleep, her memory of that day is erased. In the morning, all she can "remember" are events from her future. London is used to relying on reminder notes and a trusted friend to get through the day, but things get complicated when a new boy at school enters the picture. Luke Henry is not someone you'd easily forget, yet try as she might, London can't find him in her memories of things to come. 
     When London starts experiencing disturbing flashbacks, or flash-forwards, as the case may be, she realizes it's time to learn about the past she keeps forgetting-before it destroys her future.

June 8th releases:
What We Keep is Not Always What Will Stay by Amanda Cockrell

Fifteen-year-old Angie never used to think much about God—until things started getting weird. Like the statue of St. Felix, her secret confidante, suddenly coming off his pedestal and talking to her. And Angie's mother, who's busting up her third marriage for no apparent reason. Then there's Jesse Francis, sent home from Afghanistan at age nineteen with his leg blown off. Now he's expected to finish high school and fit right back in. Is God even paying attention to any of this?
     Against the advice of an increasingly vocal St. Felix (who knows a thing or two about war), Angie falls for Jesse—who's a lot deeper than most high school guys. But Jesse is battling some major demons. As his rages start to become more frequent and unpredictable, Angie finds herself losing control of the situation. And she's starting to wonder: can one person ever make things right for someone else?

Sirenz by Charlotte Benardo and Natalie Zaman

Bickering frenemies Meg and Shar are doing some serious damage at a midnight sample sale when the fashionistas find themselves arguing over a pair of shoes-with fatal consequences. One innocent bystander later, the girls are suddenly at the mercy of Hades, Lord of the Underworld himself. To make them atone for what they've done, Hades forces the teens to become special-assignment Sirens, luring to the Underworld an individual whose unholy contract is up.
     Finding that delicate balance between their fashion addiction and their new part-time job in the eternal hellfire biz turns out to be harder than Meg and Shar expected, especially when an entire pantheon of Greek deities decides to get involved. Then there's the matter of the fine print in their own contracts...

There you have it.  Which debuts look the best to you this week?

Friday, June 3, 2011

Lucky Me!

I'm just so excited, I had to squee a bit.  I've recently won THREE blog contests for three tremendously awesome books.  It just goes to show you, if you enter enough contests, eventually you are bound to win.  Apparently May was my month.

Want to know what's coming my way -- ergo, what reviews you have to look forward to?

 Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

Shade by Jerry Smith-Ready

Tell me, which one should I read first??