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Monday, April 30, 2012

Closed Hearts COVER REVEAL

You probably all remember the super-duper awesome cover for OPEN MINDS by Susan Kaye Quinn, which was a fantastic story.  Well, the sequel, CLOSED HEARTS (Book Two in the Mindjack Trilogy), is coming May 23rd and today we have the cover reveal.  Ready??

When you control minds, only your heart can be used against you.

Eight months ago, Kira Moore revealed to the mindreading world that mindjackers like herself were hidden in their midst. Now she wonders if telling the truth was the right choice after all. As wild rumors spread, a powerful anti-jacker politician capitalizes on mindreaders’ fears and strips jackers of their rights. While some jackers flee to Jackertown—a slum rife with jackworkers who trade mind control favors for cash—Kira and her family hide from the readers who fear her and jackers who hate her. But when a jacker Clan member makes Kira’s boyfriend Raf collapse in her arms, Kira is forced to save the people she loves by facing the thing she fears most: FBI agent Kestrel and his experimental torture chamber for jackers.

Sounds awesome, right?  Well, here's some more details:

Click Here to sign up for the Virtual Launch Party on May 23rd! There will be prizes, reviews, bonus content, did I mention prizes? Come join the fun!
PRAISE FOR Open Minds (Book One of the Mindjack Trilogy)
Being a fan of dystopian and sci-fi in young adult books this was exactly the type of book I was hoping to fall in love with and absolutely did ...YA readers who love authors like Ally Condie, Veronica Roth, Lauren Oliver and others would be missing out if they failed to pick up Open Minds by Susan Kaye Quinn. Join Kira on her journey to save her fellow mindjackers and potentially change the landscape of her world forever.”
Danielle Smith, book blogger at There’s a Book
Susan plunges readers into a compelling and frightening world where nearly everyone can read minds when they come of age. The very idea makes me shudder. This is easily one of the best books I've read not only this year, but in recent years.”
Heather McCorkle, author of The Secret of Spruce Knoll

Open Minds $2.99 on Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes&Noble, and iTunes
Susan Kaye Quinn, Author
 Susan Kaye Quinn grew up in California, where she wrote snippets of stories and passed them to her friends during class. She pursued a bunch of engineering degrees and worked a lot of geeky jobs, including turns at GE Aircraft Engines, NASA, and NCAR. Now that she writes novels, her business card says "Author and Rocket Scientist" and she doesn't have to sneak her notes anymore. All that engineering comes in handy when dreaming up paranormal powers in future worlds or mixing science with fantasy to conjure slightly plausible inventions. Susan writes from the Chicago suburbs with her three boys, two cats, and one husband. Which, it turns out, is exactly as much as she can handle.
Way too often, you can find Susan on her blog, facebook, and twitter.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Debut YA Book Birthday

Today as you're reading this celebratory post, I'm in Daytona Beach.  But not in a spring break, hit-the-beach sort of way, but in a going-to-court, working sort of way.  The upside is that I'll get to have lunch with my dad.  Sort of our own little tradition now that it's the third time we've met up after one of my oral arguments.  (Sweet daddy!)

Anyway, you probably want to know what this week has in store for you in the debut YA book birthday department, right?  IMHO, there's some pretty good stuff this week, starting with ...

The Selection by Kiera Cass
For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.
But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.
Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself—and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

Breaking Beautiful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf
Allie lost everything the night her boyfriend, Trip, died in a horrible car accident—including her memory of the event. As their small town mourns his death, Allie is afraid to remember because doing so means delving into what she’s kept hidden for so long: the horrible reality of their abusive relationship.
When the police reopen the investigation, it casts suspicion on Allie and her best friend, Blake, especially as their budding romance raises eyebrows around town. Allie knows she must tell the truth. Can she reach deep enough to remember that night so she can finally break free? Debut writer Jennifer Shaw Wolf takes readers on an emotional ride through the murky waters of love, shame, and, ultimately, forgiveness.

Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris
Two days before the start of her junior year, seventeen-year-old Janelle Tenner is hit by a pickup truck and killed—as in blinding light, scenes of her life flashing before her, and then nothing. Except the next thing she knows, she's opening her eyes to find Ben Michaels, a loner from her high school whom Janelle has never talked to, leaning over her. And even though it isn't possible, she knows—with every fiber of her being—that Ben has somehow brought her back to life.
But her revival, and Ben's possible role in it, is only the first of the puzzles that Janelle must solve. While snooping in her FBI agent father's files for clues about her accident, she uncovers a clock that seems to be counting down to something—but to what? And when someone close to Janelle is killed, she can no longer deny what's right in front of her: Everything that's happened—the accident, the murder, the countdown clock, Ben's sudden appearance in her life—points to the end of life as she knows it. And as the clock ticks down, she realizes that if she wants to put a stop to the end of the world, she's going to need to uncover Ben's secrets—and keep from falling in love with him in the process.
From debut author Elizabeth Norris comes this shattering novel of one girl's fight to save herself, her world, and the boy she never saw coming.

Whatcha think about this week's debut YA authors?  I told you it was good...

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Indie Author Spotlight (+contest) - Devon Ashley

Today, I'm really excited to be shining the Indie Author Spotlight on Devon Ashley.  I just finished reading her upper YA novel, Falling in Between, and really enjoyed it, so I wanted you to get a chance to meet Devon too. So without further ado, I give you Devon.

1. Give us the twitter synopsis of Falling in Between (that means you only have 140 characters to work with). 

Real-world hunk or dream-world hunk? Duh, both! Whoever thought drowning in your undies could be so rewarding? You'll <3 Falling In Between. 

[okay - I'm going to cheat now and give you the full-length description. The rest of the interview may make more sense with it...

Finally! A private conversation. And all I had to do was throw myself off a cliff, drown in a pond in my undies and let him put his hands on my breasts to bring me back to life. Yay me! (yeah, that’s sarcasm) 

Yep, that pretty much sums up the most craptastic night of Jenna Baker’s life. She drowns after jumping off a cliff, meets a hotty named Chance in the pearlescent in-between and is brought back to life by her soon-to-be boyfriend Robert.

Just when things start to move forward with Robert, the guy she'd been crushing on for a year now, in walks the man of her dreams – literally. Chance suddenly appears in her dream every time she closes her eyes. So it's Robert by day and Chance by night. One in the real world and one in the dream world. What could possibly go wrong?

Absolutely nothing – until she comes face to face with the guy she met in the in-between, and realizes her romantic rendezvous with Chance may be more than just her imagination.
2. Are your dreams as vivid as Jenna's, cause she has a pretty active dream life... 

Actually, yes. I know there aren’t too many of us out there, but I’m actually aware that I’m dreaming. Not always, but there’s usually something that tips me off that makes me go “Oh, this is another dream.” Sometimes I play along for fun, sometimes I walk away and hope to enter another dream. As for Jenna’s dream life [ahem], yeah, I’ve had some similar dreams of which I didn’t bail on for obvious reasons. Who would?!! [See the postings for some of my crazy dreams here.]
3. Team Robert or Team Chance?  

Team Robert all the way! All right…I’m biased cause he looks like my husband…but that doesn’t necessarily mean Robert will prevail over Chance in the books.
4. What actor would you pick to play each of these hotties? Who would play Jenna? 

How about I show you? This is probably as close as I’ll get to what I see in my head.

Michael Anthony Trevino - Robert
AnnaSophia Robb – Jenna

Robbie Amell - Chance

Abbie Cornish – Sophie
Chase Crawford - Jhett

5. Can you give us a preview of what's to come in Falling Away

It's two years into the future and Jenna’s trying to figure out where her life goes from there. She knows she loves Robert but when Chance makes an abrupt appearance in her dream, she begins to wonder if something happened to him, seeing as how he was only able to do it when he was comatose. When Jenna goes back home to find out, Chance puts on the charm and she ends up falling for him all over again. Question is, which guy is the best fit for our little Jenna? (I’m still deciding on who wins her heart in the end)
6. You have another series started too, the Immortal Archives. What sets this series apart? 

I have four main characters that all get a point of view, which I think is sort of different. Lately it seems you only get two. Abby is a hunter/witch turned pure vampire by her husband Noel, Emily is a hunter and Valerie is a clairvoyant. All four are filled with secrets that’ll come to light through the series and test the group’s vulnerabilities. Abby in particular is different in that she has an inner evil fighting hard to regain control of her body and actions, like it did before. It’s not easy fighting demons when your inner self prefers joining them over killing them.

Awesome -- thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions.  And now, for all of you, Devon has a special gift -- she'll gift an e-copy of Falling in Between through Amazon or B&N to one lucky winner.  Just fill out the Rafflecopter and then get reading!

To get your copy now, visit Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Debut YA Book Birthday

Can it really be possible that we're only celebrating two debut YA book birthdays this week?  Looks like everyone's shaving up for next week...

In the meantime, let's hear it for:
The Wicked and the Just by J. Anderson Coats
Cecily’s father has ruined her life. He’s moving them to occupied Wales, where the
king needs good strong Englishmen to keep down the vicious Welshmen. At least
Cecily will finally be the lady of the house.

Gwenhwyfar knows all about that house. Once she dreamed of being the lady there
herself, until the English destroyed the lives of everyone she knows. Now she must
wait hand and foot on this bratty English girl.

While Cecily struggles to find her place amongst the snobby English landowners,
Gwenhwyfar struggles just to survive. And outside the city walls, tensions are rising
ever higher—until finally they must reach the breaking point.

172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad (making his American YA debut)
It's been decades since anyone set foot on the moon. Now three ordinary teenagers, the winners of NASA's unprecedented, worldwide lottery, are about to become the first young people in space--and change their lives forever.

Mia, from Norway, hopes this will be her punk band's ticket to fame and fortune.

Midori believes it's her way out of her restrained life in Japan.

Antoine, from France, just wants to get as far away from his ex-girlfriend as possible.

It's the opportunity of a lifetime, but little do the teenagers know that something sinister is waiting for them on the desolate surface of the moon. And in the black vacuum of space... no one is coming to save them.

In this chilling adventure set in the most brutal landscape known to man, highly acclaimed Norwegian novelist Johan Harstad creates a vivid and frightening world of possibilities we can only hope never come true.

Do either of these novel pique your interest??

Sunday, April 15, 2012

RETURN TO EDEN ~ Blog Tour with G.P. Ching (+ contest)

Welcome to my stop on G.P. Ching's RETURN TO EDEN blog tour. Today, G.P. is going to give us an EXCLUSIVE look at her dream cast for her series.

Thanks, Jessie, for having me here today and for your question about my dream cast if The Soulkeepers is ever made into a movie. I get this question all the time and often I avoid answering because I don't want to ruin the image created by the reader's mind as they interpret my words. But just this once, I'm going to share my personal opinion. If you haven't read the books yet, you may want to skip this one.
Jacob and Malini are the obvious place to start, but the hardest to cast. They are supposed to be fifteen going on sixteen in the first book. If there was a popular actor that age now, they would be too old by the time the movie was made. But since this is a dream cast, I'm going to bend the rules of nature. I've always pictured Jacob as a young Keanu Reeves and Malini as a young Parminder Nagra.
 Abigail is easy. One actor lives and breathes the balance between good and evil all wrapped up in a beautiful package that is as alluring as it is deadly. Angelina Jolie.
For Gideon, only one red headed actor will do for me. Look closely. He has some cat-like qualities doesn't he? No one in the world looks like Kris Holden-Reid.
In my head, Mara is played by Ksenia Solo. I think she's one of the most beautiful women in the world but not in a conventional way. When you look at her, you believe she might hold the hand of death.

Which brings us to Henry. In Weaving Destiny, Henry's looks are compared to Justin Bieber's but in a "you could be brothers" kind of way.  Since I'm dreaming and Henry is supposed to be English, I choose Danielle Radcliffe because he is all kinds of awesome.

Alexander Ludwig would serve Dane's character well. Bully turned sweetheart, the role would be a suitable challenge for this noteworthy actor.

Katrina? Leighton Meester

I have a clear picture of Lillian and she looks a lot like ZiYi Zhang.
And finally, for Mr. and Mrs. Laudner, Ed O'Neil and Paula Deen are my picks.

What do you think? Did any of my choices surprise you? If you've read the books, I'd love to know who your dream cast is. Comment below.  

ENTER TO WIN:  G.P. Ching is going to be giving away 3 $10 gift cards during the course of her blog tour as well as some stellar other prizes.  All you have to do to enter is use the Rafflecopter form below.
BTW - is that not the coolest VISA card you've ever seen???

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, April 13, 2012

Two and Twenty Dark Tales

Did you see it?  I love the cover for this upcoming charity anthology, of which I am one of the contributing authors. *pinches self*

Read more details here.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Happy Debut YA Book Birthday

I hope everyone had a great Easter and is fully gorged on chocolate bunnies and jelly beans. It's now time to break out the cake for some more debut YA book birthday celebrations! And while we're at it, let's eat some MORE cake, because today is my beautiful momma's birthday. Happy Birthday, Mommy!
Spectral by Shannon Duffy (I'm reading this right now!)

Convinced she’s a part of the witness protection program, sixteen-year-old Jewel Rose is shuffled around the globe with her family like a pack of traveling gypsies. After arriving at lucky home twenty-seven, she stumbles upon a mysterious boy with magical powers claiming to be her guardian . . . and warning of imminent danger. Despite the obvious sparks between them, Jewel discovers a relationship is forbidden, and the more she learns about dark, brooding Roman, she begins to question who she can even believe — the family who raised her, or the supposed sworn protector who claims they’ve been lying to her all along.

As she struggles to uncover who her family has really been running from, she is forced to hide her birthmark that reveals who she is. With new realities surfacing, unexplained powers appearing, and two tempting boys vying for her heart, Jewel battles to learn who she can trust in an ever growing sea of lies, hoping she’ll make it through her seventeenth birthday alive.

The White Oak by Kim White

In The White Oak, the first book in the Imperfect Darkness series, Cora Alexander falls through a sinkhole and enters the underworld still alive. Her living presence threatens the tyrannical rule of Minos and the infernal judges who have hijacked the afterlife and rebuilt it, trapping human souls in a mechanical, computer-controlled city that lies at the core of the earth. To survive, Cora must rely on her untrustworthy guide, Minotaur, an artificial intelligence built by Minos. She is helped by a mysterious voice, and by Sybil, underworld librarian and author of each person's book of life. Sybil's collection holds the key to humankind's intertwined life stories. When Cora's own book is destroyed, Sybil gives her a magical golden pen and sends her to the underworld city to write her own destiny. Along the way, Cora finds the ghost of her dead brother, Lucas, a genius programmer who alone is capable of finding the chink in Minos's armor. But will he be able to get Cora out alive, or will they both succumb to the seemingly inescapable underworld trap?

Ripper by Amy Carol Reeves

“I felt hot breath on my neck, and, horrified, I knew that he stood behind me . . .”

It’s 1888, and after her mother’s sudden death, Abbie is sent to live with her grandmother in a posh London neighborhood. When she begins volunteering at Whitechapel Hospital, Abbie finds she has a passion for helping the abused and sickly women there.

But within days, patients begin turning up murdered at the hands of Jack the Ripper. As more women are murdered, Abbie realizes that she and the Ripper share a strange connection: she has visions showing the Ripper luring his future victims to their deaths—moments before he turns his knife upon them. Her desperation to stop the massacres leads Abbie on a perilous hunt for the killer. And her search leads to a mysterious brotherhood whose link to the Ripper threatens not just London but all of mankind.

Emerald City by Alicia K. Leppert
Olivia Tate is a broken shell of a girl haunted by the tragic events that fill her past. She has closed herself off from the world, each day grasping at something—anything—to live for. Convinced there will never be a way out, she seeks solace in the depths of her medicine cabinet. When she wakes up days later in the hospital she is introduced to Jude, the quiet stranger responsible for saving her life. She never could have guessed then that her mysterious rescuer would end up saving her life a second time, while simultaneously turning her world upside down.

Child of the Mountains by Mary Sue Shank
It's about keeping the faith.
Growing up poor in 1953 in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia doesn't bother Lydia Hawkins. She treasures her tight-knit family. There's her loving mama, now widowed; her whip-smart younger brother, BJ, who has cystic fibrosis; and wise old Gran. But everything falls apart after Gran and BJ die and mama is jailed unjustly. Suddenly Lydia has lost all those dearest to her. 

Moving to a coal camp to live with her uncle William and aunt Ethel Mae only makes Lydia feel more alone. She is  ridiculed at her new school for her outgrown homemade clothes and the way she talks, and for what the kids believe her mama did. And to make matters worse, she discovers that her uncle has been keeping a family secret—about her.
If only Lydia, with her resilient spirit and determination, could find a way to clear her mother's name. . . .

Remarkable by Lizzie K. Foley (April 12th)
A wonderfully whimsical debut that proves ordinary people can do extraordinary things

In the mountain town of Remarkable, everyone is extraordinarily talented, extraordinarily gifted, or just plain extraordinary. Everyone, that is, except Jane Doe, the most average ten-year-old who ever lived. But everything changes when the mischievous, downright criminal Grimlet twins enroll in Jane's school and a strange pirate captain appears in town.

Thus begins a series of adventures that put some of Remarkable's most infamous inhabitants and their long-held secrets in danger. It's up to Jane, in her own modest style, to come to the rescue and prove that she is capable of some rather exceptional things.

With a page-turning mystery and larger-than-life cast of characters, Lizzie K. Foley's debut is nothing short of remarkable.

I hadn't heard of any of these (except Spectral, of course) before I did my post, but I gotta say, I'm intrigued. How about you?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Cindy Hogan Shares Her Dream Cast for WATCHED

If you haven't heard of Cindy Hogan and her novels, today's your lucky day.  Cindy came by to tell us about her debut YA novel, WATCHED, and share her "dream cast" of characters.  After the character's names, Cindy provides a 1-sentence description of each, which just adds to my desire to read this book!
First, a little about WATCHED ~

It takes more than a school trip to Washington, D.C. to change fifteen-year-old Christy's life. It takes murder. 
A witness to the brutal slaying of a Senator's aide, Christy finds herself watched not only by the killers and the FBI, but also by two hot boys. 
She discovers that if she can't help the FBI, who want to protect her, it will cost her and her new friends their lives.

Christy (Ashley Benson) - Reserved main character who's forced to be stronger than she ever thought possible after witnessing a political murder
Rick (Drew Roy) -  Sincere and steady guy who would make the ideal boyfriend. And he wants Christy.
Alex (Robbie Amel) - Ultra hot guy, who's charisma forces all girls to worship him, including Christy
Marybeth (Isla Fisher) - Christy's loyal friend and roommate, who almost loses her mind after witnessing the brutal murder.
 Kira (Lindsey Lohan) - sassy, boy-crazy, fickle girl that pretends to be your friend when really, she's only looking out for herself.
Eugene (Kevin McHale) - The super brain of the group.The male counterpart of Christy.
Summer (Blake Lively) -  Beautiful girl who always gets what she wants and she doesn't want Christy to be a part of her group
Josh (Liam Hemsworth) -  The group's meat-head super jock that falls hard for Summer
Mrs. J (Juliette Binoche or Annette Benning) - Resourceful and yet stretched-too-thin head chaperon of the student political tour 
Senator Randolph (Peter Sarsgaard) -  Senator of Iowa who gets messed up with the terrorists and watches his aide "lose" his head
Jeremy (Channing Tatum) - good-looking FBI special agent that is the primary protector of Christy
Nathan (Jesse Metcalf) - Jeremy's loyal partner
Iceman (Jared Leto) - The terrorist assigned to follow Christy and discover what she saw
Leader (Faran Tahir) - The man that orders the execution of the senator's aide

Yeah, I'd say that's a pretty nice-looking cast.  Can't wait to embark on this far-from-normal field trip with Christy and the rest of her class.  And right now, WATCHED is only $.99!! Cindy's second novel in the series, PROTECTED, just released.  You can get them both at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.  You can also find Cindy online at her blog or on Twitter.

To continue on with Cindy's blog tour, please check out her post on How to Launch a YA Print Novel.

What would you do if you had to work with the FBI to save your life and the life of your friends? Would you think it was cool or would you be scared out of your minds?