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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Debut YA Book Birthdays

We are back on schedule this week and it's time to celebrate these debut YA authors as their book babies make their way into the world...

The Demon Catchers of Milan by Kat Beyer
Mia's ordinary life is disrupted in the most horrifying way possible when she is possessed by a hungry and powerful demon--and only saved by the arrival of relatives from Italy, the country her grandfather fled many decades ago. Now her cousins Emilio and Giuliano say the only way to keep her safe is for her to come back with them to Milan, to live, to learn Italian, to fall in and out of love, and to master the family trade: fighting all demons with the lore of bell, book, and candle. Milan is not what Mia expected, but it will change her forever, in this stunningly well-written novel about an American girl who, fleeing an ancient evil, finds her only salvation in her ancestral home.

The Dark Light by Sara Walsh
Mia is torn between two worlds in this epic, romantic fantasy.

Mysterious lights have flickered above Crownsville for as long as Mia can remember. And as far as she’s concerned, that’s about the only interesting thing to happen in her small town.

That is, until Sol arrives. Mia’s not one to fall for just any guy, but she can’t get Sol—or the brilliant tattoo on his back—out of her mind.

Then Mia’s brother goes missing, and Mia’s convinced that Sol knows more than he’s sharing. But getting closer to Sol means reevaluating everything Mia once believed to be true. Because Sol’s not who Mia thought he was—and neither is she.

Defiance by C.J. Redwine
Within the walls of Baalboden, beneath the shadow of the city’s brutal leader, Rachel Adams has a secret. While other girls sew dresses, host dinner parties, and obey their male Protectors, Rachel knows how to survive in the wilderness and deftly wield a sword. When her father, Jared, fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector, her father’s apprentice, Logan—the same boy Rachel declared her love for two years ago, and the same boy who handed her heart right back to her. Left with nothing but fierce belief in her father’s survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself. But treason against the Commander carries a heavy price, and what awaits her in the Wasteland could destroy her.

At nineteen, Logan McEntire is many things. Orphan. Outcast. Inventor. As apprentice to the city’s top courier, Logan is focused on learning his trade so he can escape the tyranny of Baalboden. But his plan never included being responsible for his mentor’s impulsive daughter. Logan is determined to protect her, but when his escape plan goes wrong and Rachel pays the price, he realizes he has more at stake than disappointing Jared.

As Rachel and Logan battle their way through the Wasteland, stalked by a monster that can’t be killed and an army of assassins out for blood, they discover romance, heartbreak, and a truth that will incite a war decades in the making.

The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna
Eva’s life is not her own. She is a creation, an abomination—an echo. Made by the Weavers as a copy of someone else, she is expected to replace a girl named Amarra, her “other”, if she ever died. Eva studies what Amarra does, what she eats, what it’s like to kiss her boyfriend, Ray. So when Amarra is killed in a car crash, Eva should be ready.

But fifteen years of studying never prepared her for this.

Now she must abandon everything she’s ever known—the guardians who raised her, the boy she’s forbidden to love—to move to India and convince the world that Amarra is still alive.

What Eva finds is a grief-stricken family; parents unsure how to handle this echo they thought they wanted; and Ray, who knew every detail, every contour of Amarra. And when Eva is unexpectedly dealt a fatal blow that will change her existence forever, she is forced to choose: Stay and live out her years as a copy or leave and risk it all for the freedom to be an original. To be Eva.

From debut novelist Sangu Mandanna comes the dazzling story of a girl who was always told what she had to be—until she found the strength to decide for herself.

September 1

The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano by Sonia Manzano
One of America’s most influential Hispanics -- 'Maria' on Sesame Street -- presents a powerful novel set in New York's El Barrio in 1969

There are two secrets Evelyn Serrano is keeping from her Mami and stepfather. Her true feelings about growing up in her Spanish Harlem neighborhood, and her attitude about Abuela, her sassy grandmother who's come from Puerto Rico to live with them. Then, like an urgent ticking clock, events erupt that change everything. The Young Lords, a Puerto Rican activist group, dump garbage in the street and set it on fire, igniting a powerful protest. When Abuela steps in to take charge, Evelyn is thrust into the action. Tempers flare, loyalties are tested. Through it all, Evelyn learns important truths about her Latino heritage and the history makers who shaped a nation. Infused with actual news accounts from the time period, Sonia Manzano has crafted a gripping work of fiction based on her own life growing up during a fiery, unforgettable time in America, when young Latinos took control of their destinies.

The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron
A spine-tingling tale of steampunk and spies, intrigue and heart-racing romance!

When Katharine Tulman's inheritance is called into question by the rumor that her eccentric uncle is squandering away the family fortune, she is sent to his estate to have him committed to an asylum. But instead of a lunatic, Katharine discovers a genius inventor with his own set of rules, who employs a village of nine hundred people rescued from the workhouses of London.

Katharine is now torn between protecting her own inheritance and preserving the peculiar community she grows to care for deeply. And her choices are made even more complicated by a handsome apprentice, a secretive student, and fears for her own sanity.

As the mysteries of the estate begin to unravel, it is clear that not only is her uncle's world at stake, but also the state of England as Katharine knows it. With twists and turns at every corner, this heart-racing adventure will captivate readers with its intrigue, thrills, and romance.

Amber House by Kelly Moore, Tucker Reed, Larkin Reed
"I was sixteen the first time my grandmother died . . ."

Sarah Parsons has never seen Amber House, the grand Maryland estate that's been in her family for three centuries. She's never walked its hedge maze nor found its secret chambers; she's never glimpsed the shades that haunt it, nor hunted for lost diamonds in its walls.

But all of that is about to change. After her grandmother passes away, Sarah and her friend Jackson decide to search for the diamonds--and the house comes alive. She discovers that she can see visions of the house's past, like the eighteenth-century sea captain who hid the jewels, or the glamorous great-grandmother driven mad by grief. She grows closer to both Jackson and a young man named Richard Hathaway, whose family histories are each deeply entwined with her own. But when the visions start to threaten the person she holds most dear, Sarah must do everything she can to get to the bottom of the house's secrets, and stop the course of history before it is cemented forever.

Well, that's quite a list, isn't it?  I'm excited about a lot of these. What about you?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Looking for Great Books at Great Prices??

Readers! Eight award winners in the 2012 eFestival of Words "Best of the Independent eBook Awards" have grouped together to offer you an amazing opportunity. They've reduced the prices of their award-winning novels to 99 cents for August 27 and 28th!

Whether you like to read mysteries, romance, horror, young adult, women's fiction, or fantasy, this group has it. Are you a writer yourself? Do you want to learn all about digitally publishing your next masterpiece? They've got you covered there too.

Get all eight award-winning ebooks for the price of one single paperback!

Award Winners

Best Mystery/Suspense: Dead is the New Black by Christine DeMaio-Rice
Best Non-Fiction: DIY/Self-Help: Let's Get Digital by David Gaughran
Best Horror: 61 A.D. by David McAfee
Best Romance: Deadly Obsession by Kristine Cayne
Best Young Adult: The Book of Lost Souls by Michelle Muto
Best Fantasy/Urban Fantasy and Best NovelThe Black God's War by Moses Siregar III
Best Chick Lit/Women's LitCarpe Bead'em by Tonya Kappes
Award for Best Twist ("I've Been Shyamalaned"): The Survival of Thomas Ford by John A.A. Logan

Here's a one-stop shopping link for your convenience:

Book Blurbs

Dead is the New Black by Christine DeMaio-Rice
Laura Carnegie gave up on the man of her dreams a long time ago. He's fashion designer Jeremy St. James, and not only is he her boss, everyone knows he's gay.

When the woman who holds the company purse strings is found dead in the office, and Jeremy's arrested for the murder, everything changes. If Laura can just solve this crime, keep the cops off her tail, break up a counterfeiting ring, and get the show on the runway by Friday, she might stop being Seventh Avenue's perpetual loser.

If you love Project Runway, or enjoyed The Devil Wears Prada, try Dead Is the New Black.

Let's Get Digital by David Gaughran
This guide contains over 60,000 words of essays, articles, and how-to guides, as well as contributions from 33 bestselling indie authors including J Carson Black, Bob Mayer, Victorine Lieske, Mark Edwards, and many more.

It covers everything from how the disruptive power of the internet has changed the publishing business forever to the opportunities this has created for writers. It gives you practical advice on editing, cover design, formatting, and pricing. And it reveals marketing tips from blogging and social networking right through to competitions, discounts, reviews, and giveaways.

If you are considering self-publishing, if you need to breathe life into your flagging sales, or if you want to understand why it's a great time to be a writer, Let's Get Digital: How To Self-Publish, And Why You Should will explain it all.

61 A.D. by David McAfee
61 A.D. For ten years, Taras has lived in the young city of Londinium, feeding off the cityís underbelly. But now Theron, his old enemy, has come looking for revenge, and Tarasí nights of living in relative peace are about to end.

Yet not even Theron can slip into town unnoticed, and the Council of Thirteen sends Ramah to deal with the two renegades once and for all. But unknown to the Council, a much older enemy is also in Londinium, and this time even the great Ramah might not be safe.

Set against the backdrop of the Iceni uprising in Roman-era Britannia, 61 A.D. continues the story of Taras, Theron, and Ramah, as they fight their way through history.

Deadly Obsession by Kristine Cayne
Nic Lamoureux's perfect movie star life is shattered by a stalker who threatens any woman close to him. When he meets photographer Lauren James, the attraction is instant--and mutual. She's exactly the sort of woman he craves, but the stalker makes deadly clear Lauren is the competition.
And the competition must be eliminated.

"Stock up on ice cubes because this is definitely one sizzling debut. Readers will be hooked from the first sentence- on the book and on Nic! As rich as a white chocolate cheesecake, Cayne's entrance into the suspense genre is invigorating, explosive and simply intoxicating." ~ RT Book Reviews Top Pick

The Book of Lost Souls by Michelle Muto
When teen witch Ivy MacTavish changes a lizard into her date for a Halloween dance, everything turns to chaos. And when no one is powerful enough to transform him back except Ivy, it sparks the rumor: Like father, like daughter. Worse, someone has used an evil spell book to bring back two of history's most nefarious killers.

Ivy's got a simple plan to set things right: find the real dark spell caster, steal the book, and reverse the spell. No problem! But first, sheíll have to deal with something more dangerous than murderous spirits: the schoolís hotter-than-brimstone demon bad boy, Nick Marcelli. Demons are about as hard to handle as black magic, and Ivy soon discovers itís going to take more than a lot of luck and a little charm if she wants to clear her status as a dark witch, get a warm-blooded boyfriend, and have her former date back to eating meal worms before the weekís end

The Black God's War by Moses Siregar III
Against the backdrop of epic warfare and the powers of ten mysterious gods, Lucia struggles to understand The Black One.

Her father-king wants war.
Her messianic brother wants peace.
The black god wants his due.
She suffers all the consequences.

"Moses is a fine writer deserving of success, and I think that it will follow ... I really enjoyed Moses's work." - David Farland, NYT Bestselling Author of The Runelords

Carpe Bead'em by Tonya Kappes
Hallie Mediate was raised by her (slightly) crazy Great Aunt Grace on the wrong side of the tracks in Cincinnati. Hallie escapes her hometown and never looks back.

That is, until sheís transferred back to the hometown. Not wanting her past to cross paths with her future, Hallie puts her life on hold.

Aunt Grace is still up to her old tricks, but Hallie finds some sanity at a local jewelry-making class where she uncovers a hidden talent for beading.

Will she keep searching for the happiness she may already have found?

The Survival of Thomas Ford by John A.A. Logan

Thomas Ford is the only survivor of the car crash which killed his wife. He is also the only witness who would be willing to identify the young, reckless driver who caused the crash. But the driver would sooner see Thomas Ford dead than ever let that happen.

Happy Reading!

Cover Reveal ~ Heather McCorkle's Rise of a Rector

It's finally here, the cover reveal for Heather McCorkle's Rise of a Rector, the final novel in her channeler series (due out this October). To celebrate Heather is giving away two copies of her historical fantasy novel, To Ride A Puca. Before we get to that though, here is the cover:

To add it to your Goodreads lists click here. If you'd like to check out the rest of the channeler series (her novella Born of Fire is now FREE on Amazon & B&N!) you can do so on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. To win an eBook of To Ride A Puca, all you have to do is help Heather spread the word. There will be two winners! To enter fill out the form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Belated Book Birthdays...

Since I celebrated back-to-back cover reveals on Monday and Tuesday, I decided the book birthdays could wait a day... so now that you're DYING to know which debut YA authors celebrated book birthdays yesterday (or will tomorrow), here we go...

Smashed by Lisa Leudeke
A field hockey star grapples with addiction in this riveting debut that will appeal to fans of Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak.
Stay out of trouble for one more year, and Katie Martin can leave her small town loneliness behind forever. She is a field hockey star on the fast track to a college scholarship, but her relationship with alcohol has always been a little questionable. Then trouble finds her. Alec is the most popular guy in school, and also the biggest bully—with his sights set firmly on Katie. When Alec turns on the charm, Katie thinks she must have been wrong about him.
     Except that she wasn’t. On a rain-soaked, alcohol-drenched night, one impulsive decision leaves Katie indebted to Alec in the worst possible way. This debut novel is a fast-paced and compelling story of addiction, heartbreak, and redemption.

The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy by Nikki Loftin
Lorelei is bowled over by Splendid Academy--Principal Trapp encourages the students to run in the hallways, the classrooms are stocked with candy dishes, and the cafeteria serves lavish meals featuring all Lorelei's favorite foods. But the more time she spends at school, the more suspicious she becomes. Why are her classmates growing so chubby? And why do the teachers seem so sinister?

It's up to Lorelei and her new friend Andrew to figure out what secret this supposedly splendid school is hiding. What they discover chills their bones--and might even pick them clean!

Mix one part magic, one part mystery, and just a dash of Grimm, and you've got the recipe for a cozy-creepy read that kids will gobble up like candy.

Two or Three Things I Forgot to Tell You by Joyce Carol Oates (not her first novel, but her first YA)

It wasn't like she had not warned us.
It wasn't like she had not prepared us.
We'd known that something was wrong those last several months.
But then, Tink hasn't actually vanished. Tink is gone, and yet—she is here somewhere, even if we can't see her.
Tink? Are you—here?

Joyce Carol Oates masterfully captures the unique experience of being a teenage girl in this provocative and poignant new novel in the vein of Wintergirls and Thirteen Reasons Why.

Well, any of these going on your TBR list?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Cover Reveal: The Burning of Isobel Key

This book is not YA -- but it sounds very NA -- and awesome!
When Lou travels to Scotland, she’s a mess.  She’s twenty-six, unemployed, and unsure of herself.  It doesn’t help that she’s traveling with Tammy, her best friend, who is everything Lou is not.

At first, the trip pushes Lou towards the brink of depression, but then she meets Brian, a handsome local tour guide.  When Brian tells the tourists about the countless witches burned in Scotland, Lou starts to listen.  And when she discovers information about Isobel Key, one of the victims of the seventeenth century, Lou finds renewed purpose.

She sets out to learn the truth of the condemned witch, but she isn’t prepared for the knowledge that waits for her.  Lou must face her demons if she has any hope of righting the wrongs of the past.

About the Author:

Jen McConnel first began writing poetry as a child.  Since then, her words have appeared in a variety of magazines and journals, including Sagewoman, PanGaia, and The Storyteller (where she won the people’s choice 3rd place award for her poem, “Luna”).

She is also an active reviewer for Voices of Youth Advocates (VOYA), and proud member of SCBWI, NCWN, and SCWW.

The Burning of Isobel Key
 is her first novel.  She also writes YA fantasy.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Cover Reveal: CONJURE by Lea Nolan

Be careful what you search for…

Emma Guthrie expects this summer to be like any other in the South Carolina Lowcountry--hot and steamy with plenty of beach time alongside her best friend and secret crush, Cooper Beaumont, and Emma’s ever-present twin brother, Jack. But then a mysterious eighteenth-century message in a bottle surfaces, revealing a hidden pirate bounty. Lured by the adventure, the trio discovers the treasure and unwittingly unleashes an ancient Gullah curse that attacks Jack with the wicked flesh-eating Creep and promises to steal Cooper’s soul on his approaching sixteenth birthday.
When a strange girl appears, bent on revenge; demon dogs become a threat; and Jack turns into a walking skeleton; Emma has no choice but to learn hoodoo magic to undo the hex, all before summer—and her friends--are lost forever.

I don't know about you, but I think that sounds pretty awesome.  And I LOVE the lettering on the cover.

To add CONJURE to your Goodreads lists or find Lea on the Interwebs, follow these other links ~ and then be sure to enter Lea's fabulous contest.

Lea's website: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, August 18, 2012

So much going on! (With links to it all)

I know I've been a little MIA lately.  Honestly, work has been stressful and exhausting and getting the kiddo ready to go to 2 different schools has me a bit overwhelmed.  But, there is also a lot going on in my writing life this week too and I wanted to make sure none of you missed the highlights while I'm focused on other things!
(btw, check out the new buttons!!)

Review of Destined from The Reading Cafe.
This was one of the highlights of my week. Here's a snippet from the review.
"It’s a must read, and even it you aren’t a fan of Greek Mythology you’ll find yourself swept away by the magic and beauty Ms.Harrell creates in this story. You’ll be a Greek Mythology fan by the time you’re done Destined."
Deleted Scene and Giveaway at Paranormal Indulgence.
In an early version of Destined, I had a scene explaining how Aphrodite won the golden apple by promising Paris of Troy the love of the most beautiful woman in the world.  I ended up not needing it, so I reworked it to be a tongue-and-cheek account of the contest, playing homage to modern-day gossip magazines.

At the end of the post, you'll find a chance to win some Destined SWAG, including autographed bookmarks, the coveted new Destined button, and a Destined bumper sticker.

* Facebook Fan Page Giveaway.
I can't believe there are 800 of you who "like" me.  I feel so humbled and honored, that I'm celebrating with a contest.  Find the post that begins with "OK - I've decided on the prize pack."  Just leave a comment there to enter the contest for a chance of winning THREE Indelibles e-books (your pick), an e-copy of Destined (assuming you don't already have it), the button, and three autographed bookmarks (for you and your friends).

* Interview at The Reading Cafe.
If you're not sick of me yet, The Reading Cafe was also sweet enough to post an interview. Want to know my biggest challenges or my favorite flower?  This is the place to find out...

So there you have it -- this is why I say it's been a busy week.  Thank you to everyone who has shown me love and support.  Destined may be 9 months old already (which makes it practically ancient), but I appreciate those who continue to believe in me and my story!!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Cover Reveal!

Lee Strauss has a new cover!

Seventeen year old Zoe Vanderveen is a GAP—a genetically altered person. She lives in the security of a walled city on prime water-front property along side other equally beautiful people with extended life spans. Her brother Liam is missing. Noah Brody is a natural who lives on the outside. He leads protests against the GAPs and detests the widening chasm they’ve created between those who have and those who don’t. He doesn’t like girls like Zoe and he has good reason not to like her specifically. Zoe’s carefree life takes a traumatic turn. She’s in trouble and it turns out that Noah, the last guy on earth she should trust, is the only one who can help her.

 PERCEPTION is a ( SF/mystery/romance) Young Adult novel that takes place in the not too distant future in a world changed by climate extremes, natural disasters and impending wars, and where scientific breakthroughs cause class divisions—both financially and philosophically. It explores the clash between faith and science and how differences can separate us as enemies or alliance us together. And in some cases, even in the midst of betrayal and personal crisis, there’s room to fall in love. This is the first book in a planned three book series.

 You can "like" Lee Strauss on facebook and mark Perception to read on goodreads.

Lee Strauss is also known as Elle Strauss (for her lighter, lower YA titles) You can find her at

PERCEPTION will be for sale on Amazon and at other e-retailer stores SEPTEMBER 12!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Debut YA Book Birthdays!

It's that time of week,
When the world falls in love,
Every book you meet seems to say,
Come and buy me,
It's my debut YA birthday!
Ok, sometimes I amaze myself with my own dorkiness.  But seriously, it's time to celebrate again.  You ready for the line up?

Kissing Shakespeare by Pamela Mingle (how have I not seen this cover yet?)
Miranda has Shakespeare in her blood: she hopes one day to become a Shakespearean actor like her famous parents. At least, she does until her disastrous performance in her school's staging of The Taming of the Shrew. Humiliated, Miranda skips the opening-night party. All she wants to do is hide. 

Fellow cast member, Stephen Langford, has other plans for Miranda. When he steps out of the backstage shadows and asks if she'd like to meet Shakespeare, Miranda thinks he's a total nutcase. But before she can object, Stephen whisks her back to 16th century England--the world Stephen's really from. He wants Miranda to use her acting talents and modern-day charms on the young Will Shakespeare. Without her help, Stephen claims, the world will lose its greatest playwright. 

Miranda isn't convinced she's the girl for the job. Why would Shakespeare care about her? And just who is this infuriating time traveler, Stephen Langford? Reluctantly, she agrees to help, knowing that it's her only chance of getting back to the present and her "real" life. What Miranda doesn't bargain for is finding true love . . . with no acting required.

Counting Backwards by Laura Lascarso
In this haunting and hopeful debut novel, a teen’s court-mandated psychiatric residency prompts a change in perspective from which there is no looking back.
Taylor Truwell is a sixteen-year-old girl from Florida with a troubled past, a neglectful mother, a seemingly callous father, and an urge to flee. When Taylor is caught with a stolen car, her violent reaction lands her in court for resisting arrest. Her father convinces the judge of an alternative to punishment: treatment in a juvenile psychiatric correctional facility. And so Taylor arrives at Sunny Meadows.
     Sunny Meadows is anything but the easy way out, and Taylor has to fight hard just to hold on to her sanity as she battles her parents, an intrusive therapist, and a group of particularly nasty fellow patients. But even as Taylor clings to her stubborn former self, she gradually relents to new friendships—and to unexpected romance. Sunny Meadows goes against everything Taylor stands for. But could it be the place that saves her?
     In this striking debut, Laura Lascarso weaves together a powerful story of anger and self-destruction, hope and love, and the complicated way that it all comes together.

Intentions by Deborah Heiligman (not her published book, but her first YA)
Rachel thought she was grown up enough to accept that no one is perfect. Her parents argue, her grandmother has been acting strangely, and her best friend doesn't want to talk to her. But none of that could have prepared her for what she overheard in her synagogue's sanctuary.

Now Rachel's trust in the people she loves is shattered, and her newfound cynicism leads to reckless rebellion. Her friends and family hardly recognize her, and worse, she can hardly recognize herself. But how can the adults in her life lecture her about acting with kavanah, intention, when they are constantly making such horribly wrong decisions themselves? This is a witty, honest account of navigating the daunting line between losing innocence and entering adulthood—all while figuring out who you really want to be.

My Sister Lives on the Mantlepiece by Annabel Pitcher
My sister Rose lives on the mantelpiece.
Well, some of her does.
A collarbone, two ribs, a bit of skull, and a little toe.

To ten-year-old Jamie, his family has fallen apart because of the loss of someone he barely remembers: his sister Rose, who died five years ago in a terrorist bombing. To his father, life is impossible to make sense of when he lives in a world that could so cruelly take away a ten-year-old girl. To Rose's surviving fifteen year old twin, Jas, everyday she lives in Rose's ever present shadow, forever feeling the loss like a limb, but unable to be seen for herself alone.

Told with warmth and humor, this powerful novel is a sophisticated take on one family's struggle to make sense of the loss that's torn them apart... and their discovery of what it means to stay together. 

False Memory by Dan Krokos

Miranda wakes up alone on a park bench with no memory. In her panic, she releases a mysterious energy that incites pure terror in everyone around her. Except Peter, a boy who isn’t at all surprised by Miranda’s shocking ability.
Left with no choice but to trust this stranger, Miranda discovers she was trained to be a weapon and is part of an elite force of genetically-altered teens who possess flawless combat skills and powers strong enough to destroy a city. But adjusting to her old life isn’t easy—especially with Noah, the boyfriend she can't remember loving.
Then Miranda uncovers a dark truth that sets her team on the run. Suddenly her past doesn’t seem to matter...when there may not be a future.
Dan Krokos' debut is a tour-de-force of non-stop action that will leave readers begging for the next book in this bold and powerful new series.

Coming on the 16th~

In the UK: Earth Girl by  Janet Edwards
2788. Only the handicapped live on Earth. While everyone else portals between worlds, 18-year-old Jarra is among the one in a thousand people born with an immune system that cannot survive on other planets. Sent to Earth at birth to save her life, she has been abandoned by her parents. She can’t travel to other worlds, but she can watch their vids, and she knows all the jokes they make. She’s an ‘ape’, a ‘throwback’, but this is one ape girl who won’t give in.

Jarra invents a fake background for herself – as a normal child of Military parents – and joins a class of norms that is on Earth to excavate the ruins of the old cities. When an ancient skyscraper collapses, burying another research team, Jarra’s role in their rescue puts her in the spotlight. No hiding at back of class now. To make life more complicated, she finds herself falling in love with one of her classmates – a norm from another planet. Somehow, she has to keep the deception going.

A freak solar storm strikes the atmosphere, and the class is ordered to portal off-world for safety – no problem for a real child of military parents, but fatal for Jarra. The storm is so bad that the crews of the orbiting solar arrays have to escape to planet below: the first landing from space in 600 years. And one is on collision course with their shelter.

The Treachery of Beautiful Things by Ruth Long
A darkly compelling mix of romance, fairy tale, and suspense from a new voice in teen fiction.

The trees swallowed her brother whole, and Jenny was there to see it. Now seventeen, she revisits the woods where Tom was taken, resolving to say good-bye at last. Instead, she's lured into the trees, where she finds strange and dangerous creatures who seem to consider her the threat. Among them is Jack, mercurial and magnetic, with secrets of his own. Determined to find her brother, with or without Jack's help, Jenny struggles to navigate a faerie world where stunning beauty masks some of the most treacherous evils, and she's faced with a choice between salvation or sacrifice--and not just her own.

Spookygirl by Jill Baguchinsky
Violet Addison can chat with the dead, but what really frightens her is starting her sophomore year at a new school. Still reeling from the loss of her mother, Violet is about find herself in the company of ghosts . . . both playful and deadly evil. Standing at the threshold to an unseen world with newfound friends at her side, only Violet can uncover the truth behind her mother’s death and save the family business--paranormal investigation.

Wow - that's a lot for one week!  What say you, readers?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


Don't you just love this cover?  It grabbed me immediately, and then I say the MC's last name is Dalton (my maiden name) and I was like, yeah, I've gotta read this one.  Before I get into my review though, let me tell you about the contest going on ...

BLOGGER PRIZE - Change your Facebook or Twitter profile picture to the cover of Back to Bataan and be entered for a $50 cash drawing. It could be anytime between June 26, 2012 and September 30, 2012, and must be up for at least a 24 hour period. In order to be eligible, please email that your profile picture has been changed so that we can confirm it.

Back to Bataan Summary
New York City, 1943. War is raging in Europe and the Pacific, while Jack Dalton is stuck attending Dutch Masters Day School. What Jack really wants is to enlist in the army, to fight...

Everything changes when Coco, Jack's "fiancee," throws him over for one of his classmates. Jack sees red and does something drastic. Then he runs away. Hiding out in a nearby park, Jack joins ranks with a group of vagrants and is soon under the sway of a man called the Leader, an ex-convict who is as articulate and charismatic as he is dangerous. The Leader turns Jack's world upside down. To put things right, Jack must prove himself a braver soldier than he ever imagined.

My Review:  *Note* The publisher provided me with an e-copy of the novel in exchange for my honest review.

I've got to say that I feel a bit misled about this book.  First of all, the cover is clearly YA.  The description of a boy who has a "fiancee" and wants to fight in the war is YA.  The main character, however, is ELEVEN.  For those of you listening, eleven is not YA.  Eleven is MG and so my expectations did not match up with the reality of this book.

Which is not to say that Back to Bataan is a bad book.  It's just not what I expected.  The whole time I read it, I felt like I was back in high school, reading some classic like Catcher in the Rye.  It was a nice, short little novel and had a character who found redemption in a very interesting way (and with some unlikely allies).  

It was one of those novels that I liked more as I read it, but ultimately, it just wasn't my style of book.  When I read, I'm looking for a fun outlet, not the next classic in the making.  If you, however, have more sophisticated tastes when it comes to reading, then by all means, check it out.  Just know what to expect going in, because it's not YA, and (despite the couple on the cover), there's no romance either.

Jerome Charyn's Bio:
Jerome Charyn (born May 13, 1937) is an award-winning American author. With nearly 50 published works, Charyn has earned a long-standing reputation as an inventive and prolific chronicler of real and imagined American life. Michael Chabon calls him “one of the most important writers in American literature.”

New York Newsday hailed Charyn as “a contemporary American Balzac,” and the Los Angeles Times described him as “absolutely unique among American writers.”

Since 1964, he has published 30 novels, three memoirs, eight graphic novels, two books about film, short stories, plays and works of non-fiction. Two of his memoirs were named New York Times Book of the Year. Charyn has been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. He received the Rosenthal Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and has been named Commander of Arts and Letters by the French Minister of Culture.

Charyn lives in Paris and New York City.

ISBN: 9780985792206
ISBN: 9781476119076
Pages: 98
Release: July 1, 2012

Young Adult Giveaway Hop

Hello all and welcome.  Since YA is my passion, it seems only natural that I'd participate in the YA Giveaway Hop hosted by I am a Reader, Not a Writer and Reading Teen.
Lots of blog are going to let offer you some popular new releases, but I want to offer you some of my favorite YA books that stayed largely under the radar.  After all, just because their publishers haven't given them the full court press on publicity doesn't mean these books aren't worthy of your love.  So I'm letting you pick from any of the titles below -- you can have an e-copy or a paper copy if The Book Depository ships free to your country.

 The Pace by Shelena Shorts
Weston Wilson is not immortal and he is of this world. But, aging is not part of his existence, and eighteen-year-old Sophie Slone is determined to find out why. In doing so, she could also uncover something about her own life expectancy that she may not want to know. Suddenly, immortality will mean everything and nothing all at the same time. Intensely fascinating and rich with determination, The Pace brings together romance, mystery, and suspense in a compelling bond that is sure to have readers asking for more.

Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard

"Are you a Global Vagabond? " No, but 18-year-old Bria wants to be. In a quest for independence, her neglected art, and no-strings-attached hookups, she signs up for a tour of Central America--the wrong one. Middle-aged tourists are hardly the key to self-rediscovery. So when Bria meets Rowan, devoted backpacker and dive instructor, and his outspoken sister Starling, she seizes the chance to ditch her group and join them off the beaten path. Bria's a good girl trying to go bad. Rowan's a bad boy trying to stay good. As they travel through Mayan villages and remote Belizean islands, they discover they're both seeking to leave behind the old versions of themselves. The secret to escaping the past, Rowan's found, is to keep moving forward. But Bria realizes she can't run forever. At some point, you have to look back.

Chime by Franny Billingsley
Before Briony's stepmother died, she made sure Briony blamed herself for all the family's hardships. Now Briony has worn her guilt for so long it's become a second skin. She often escapes to the swamp, where she tells stories to the Old Ones, the spirits who haunt the marshes. But only witches can see the Old Ones, and in her village, witches are sentenced to death. Briony lives in fear her secret will be found out, even as she believes she deserves the worst kind of punishment. Then Eldric comes along with his golden lion eyes and mane of tawny hair. He's as natural as the sun, and treats her as if she's extraordinary. And everything starts to change. As many secrets as Briony has been holding, there are secrets even she doesn't know.

The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab
"The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children. " " " "If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company. " " " "And there are no strangers in the town of Near." These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life. But when an actual stranger--a boy who seems to fade like smoke--appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true. The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. Still, he insists on helping Lexi search for them. Something tells her she can trust him. As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi's need to know--about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy. Part fairy tale, part love story, Victoria Schwab's debut novel is entirely original yet achingly familiar: a song you heard long ago, a whisper carried by the wind, and a dream you won't soon forget.

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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Debut YA Book Birthdays

My hubby and I celebrated 11 fabulous years together this past weekend. We got away for a night (leaving the girls behind) and enjoyed ourselves in St. Augustine. The only thing that could've made it better is if I'd slipped in a little reading time by the pool.  Not that these books were out yet, but they sound like they would've done the trick.  So happy debut YA book birthday to this week's birthday crop!

Fingerprints of You by Kristen-Paige Madonia
A teen embarks on the road trip of a lifetime in this authentic, beautifully written debut novel.
Lemon grew up with Stella, a single mom who wasn’t exactly maternal. Stella always had a drink in her hand and a new boyfriend every few months, and when things got out of hand, she would whisk Lemon off to a new town for a fresh beginning. Now, just as they are moving yet again, Lemon discovers that she is pregnant from a reckless encounter—with a guy Stella had been flirting with.
     On the verge of revisiting her mother’s mistakes, Lemon struggles to cope with the idea of herself as a young unmarried mother, as well as the fact that she’s never met her own father. Determined to have at least one big adventure before she has the baby, Lemon sets off on a cross-country road trip, intending not only to meet her father, but to figure out who she wants to be.
     Lyrical and moving prose from an original voice whose writing Judy Blume calls “luminous” deftly depicts the nuanced conflicts of early motherhood and the search for identity.

Auracle by Gina Rosati

Trapped outside her body, Anna sees and hears but cannot touch the one she longs to hold.
Anna has a secret: she can astrally project out of her body. But when there's an accident and her classmate Taylor gets into Anna's body, what was an exhilarating gift threatens to become a terrifying reality. Anna and her best friend Rei form a plan to set things right, but they don't anticipate the feelings that are beginning to grow between them. Auracle by Gina Rosati is an exciting, sensual novel that explores the relationship between body and soul and the power of a single touch.

Between You & Me by Marisa Calin
Phyre knows there is something life-changing about her new drama teacher, Mia, from the moment they meet. As Phyre rehearses for the school play, she comes to realize that the unrequited feelings she has for Mia go deeper than she's ever experienced. Especially with a teacher. Or a woman. All the while, Phyre's best friend-addressed throughout the story in the second person, as "you"-stands by, ready to help Phyre make sense of her feelings. But just as Mia doesn't understand what Phyre feels, Phyre can't fathom the depth of her best friend's feelings...until it's almost too late for a happy ending. Characters come to life through the innovative screenplay format of this dazzling debut, and unanswered questions-is "you" male or female?-will have readers talking.

And last, but certainly not least ...
Innocent Darkness by Suzanne Lazear

A hoverboard appeared in her rearview mirror. “This is the Los Angeles Air Patrol,” a voice boomed. “I command you to land your vehicle  in the name of the law.”
Noli Braddock and her best friend V’s incident with a flying auto have landed them in a heap of trouble. And when Noli is sent to a spirit-squelching reform school in San Francisco, she’s sure that her rebellious adventures are over.
Meanwhile, Kevighn Silver has been ordered by the Faerie Queen to bring a mortal girl back to the Otherworld. The magic requires a blood sacrifice every seven years, and only a mortal girl who shines with the Spark—a girl like Noli—will keep the Otherworld from complete destruction.
When an ill-timed wish sends Noli tumbling into the Otherworld, she’s more homesick than ever . . . until V arrives to save her from an untimely demise. But who exactly is V? And if he helps Noli escape, who will save the realm of Faerie from utter annihilation?

So, what do you think?  Any of these going on your ever-growing TBR list?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Debut YA Book Birthdays

So here I was, thinking I was going to be horribly belated with this post, and it turns out no debut YA authors had birthdays yesterday. Phew.  But there is one today and one tomorrow.  Huh?  I know, weird.  So anyway, let's raise a glass for these debut YA novels.

Someday Dancer by Sarah Rubin
A ballerina tale with a thoroughly modern twist!

Casey Quinn has got more grace in her pinkie toe than all those prissy ballet-school girls put together, even if you'd never guess it from the looks of her too-long legs and dirty high-top sneakers. It's 1959, and freckle-faced Casey lives in the red-dust countryside of South Carolina. She's a farm girl: Her family can't afford ballet lessons. But Casey's dream is to dance in New York City. And if anyone tries to stand in her way, she's going to pirouette and jeté right over them!

Casey's got the grit, and Casey's got the grace: Is that enough to make it in Manhattan someday? Or might the Big Apple have something even better in mind? When she meets a visionary choreographer she calls "Miss Martha," Casey's ballerina dream takes a thoroughly, thrillingly modern twist!

Survive by Alex Morel
Hatchet meets Lost in this modern-day adventure tale of one girl's reawakening

Jane is on a plane on her way home to Montclair, New Jersey, from a mental hospital. She is about to kill herself. Just before she can swallow a lethal dose of pills, the plane hits turbulence and everything goes black. Jane wakes up amidst piles of wreckage and charred bodies on a snowy mountaintop. There is only one other survivor: a boy named Paul, who inspires Jane to want to fight for her life for the first time.

Jane and Paul scale icy slopes and huddle together for warmth at night, forging an intense emotional bond. But the wilderness is a vast and lethal force, and only one of them will survive.