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Tuesday, October 29, 2013


I went to my trusted source for debut YA releases last night and found NOTHING.  Not even non-debut authors are releasing today. Do people not want to compete with Halloween or something?  Who knows!

Anyway, so as not to miss my once-a-week posting day, I thought I'd share a pic of me being Fan Girl with Joshua Radin (his music inspired lots of my writing) and my hubby playing along.  Hope you have a beautiful week and delightfully frightening Halloween!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Debut YA Book Birthdays ~ Week of October 22

Again this week, I found only 1 debut YA novel.  But boy, does this sound different?  What do you think... TBR pile or not so much?

FREAKBOY by Kristin Elizabeth Clark

From the outside, Brendan Chase seems to have it pretty easy. He’s a star wrestler, a video game aficionado, and a loving boyfriend to his seemingly perfect match, Vanessa. But on the inside, Brendan struggles to understand why his body feels so wrong—why he sometimes fantasizes having long hair, soft skin, and gentle curves. Is there even a name for guys like him? Guys who sometimes want to be girls? Or is Brendan just a freak?

In Freakboy's razor-sharp verse, Kristin Clark folds three narratives into one powerful story: Brendan trying to understand his sexual identity, Vanessa fighting to keep her and Brendan’s relationship alive, and Angel struggling to confront her demons.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Debut YA Book Birthdays ~ Week of October 15th

I could only find one debut novel this week, but it sounds pretty intense.  What do you guys think???

ANYWHERE BUT HERE by Tanya Lloyd Kyi
Cole’s small town is a trap he’s determined to escape in this fresh and moving debut novel that balances loss with humor.

Ever since his mom died, Cole just feels stuck. His dad acts like a stranger, and Lauren, his picture-perfect girlfriend of two years, doesn’t understand him anymore. He can’t ditch his dad, so Cole breaks up with Lauren. She doesn’t take the news very well, and Cole’s best friend won’t get off his case about it.

Now more than ever, Cole wants to graduate and leave his small, suffocating town. And everything is going according to plan—until Cole discovers the one secret that could keep him there…forever.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Review: SIDELINED by Kendra Highley

Sidelined by Kendra Highley

After being pushed to excel her entire life, high school basketball star Genna Pierce is finally where she wants to be. University scouts are taking notice, her team is on its way to the state tourney, and Jake Butler, the hot boy she's daydreamed about since ninth grade, is showing some definite interest. When he asks her out and their relationship takes off, Genna believes things can't get better.

Then, it's over.

A freak accident ends her career before it's even begun. Her parents are fighting more than ever, her friends don't understand what she's going through, and she's not sure who she is without basketball. And while he tries to be there for her, Genna doesn't understand how Jake could ever want the broken version of the girl he fell for.

Her life in a tailspin, Genna turns to the only solace that eases her pain: Vicodin.

Amazon | B&N | Kobo


This book hooked me from the beginning.  Genna's voice is realistic and engaging.  I loved her drive and what a kick-butt girl she was in a very real way (no kicking monster butt, but she could tear it up on the basketball court).  She's got an amazing best friend who isn't the so-bubbly-you-want-to-scream variety and her new boy friend is pretty much a typical guy.  In short, the characters are so real you could touch them and entirely three dimensional.

As you can tell from the blurb, reading this book is like watching a train wreck happen in really slow motion.  Genna starts with the Vicodin to drown out the emotional pain more than the physical pain from breaking her leg: the loss of basketball, her mother's betrayal, the embarrassment and feelings of inadequacy.  At first, it doesn't seem like her prescription use is all that bad, which is exactly what Genna is thinking.  But the more Genna starts to react like an addict, the more we can see what a hold it has on her life.

I'm not going to say that this was a feel-good read.  It did end well, but there were painful moments along the way.  I think an errant tear even escaped my eye toward the end.  As an "issue" book, however, I'd say it's first rate.  I think it's important for teens dealing with addiction to see that things are not hopeless and it will get better. But it will take hard work and you've got to accept the support of the people trying to help.

If you or a teen you know could benefit from this book, it's definitely worth a read.  The writing to top-notch and the characters compelling.  You'll even get to meet some LGBT characters in this one too.  Bonus "issue" points!

Thanks to Entangled Teen for providing me with a review copy in exchange for my honest review.  This did not have any effect on my opinions.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Debut YA Book Birthdays ~ Week of October 8th

Wow - there are A LOT (and I mean a lot) of YA books coming out this week, and three are by debut YA novelists.  Check them out and see if any of these very different books catches your interest.


A young seamstress and a royal nursemaid find themselves at the center of an epic power struggle in this stunning young-adult debut.

On the eve of Princess Sophia’s wedding, the Scandinavian city of Skyggehavn prepares to fete the occasion with a sumptuous display of riches: brocade and satin and jewels, feasts of sugar fruit and sweet spiced wine. Yet beneath the veneer of celebration, a shiver of darkness creeps through the palace halls. A mysterious illness plagues the royal family, threatening the lives of the throne’s heirs, and a courtier’s wolfish hunger for the king’s favors sets a devious plot in motion. Here in the palace at Skyggehavn, things are seldom as they seem — and when a single errant prick of a needle sets off a series of events that will alter the course of history, the fates of seamstress Ava Bingen and mute nursemaid Midi Sorte become irrevocably intertwined with that of mad Queen Isabel. As they navigate a tangled web of palace intrigue, power-lust, and deception, Ava and Midi must carve out their own survival any way they can.

RED by Allison Cherry

Felicity St. John has it all: loyal best friends, a hot guy, and artistic talent. And she’s right on track to win the Miss Scarlet pageant. Her perfect life is possible because of just one thing: her long, wavy, coppery red hair.

Having red hair is all that matters in Scarletville. Redheads hold all the power—and everybody knows it. That’s why Felicity is scared down to her roots when she receives an anonymous note:
I know your secret.

Because Felicity is a big fake. Her hair color comes straight out of a bottle. And if anyone discovered the truth, she’d be a social outcast faster than she could say strawberry blond. Her mother would disown her, her friends would shun her, and her boyfriend would dump her. And forget about winning that pageant crown and the prize money that comes with it—money that would allow her to fulfill her dream of going to art school.

Felicity isn’t about to let someone blackmail her life away. But just how far is she willing to go to protect her red cred?

MUCKERS by Sandra Neil Wallace

Former ESPN sportscaster Sandra Neil Wallace (wife to Knopf author Rich Wallace) makes her young adult novel debut with a historical fiction story that is equal partsHoosiers and October Sky. Felix O'Sullivan's world is crumbling around him: the mine that employs most of town is on the brink of closing, threatening to shutter the entire town. And Felix, or Red, after his fire-colored hair, will be one of 24 students in the final graduating class of his local high school. But Red's got his own burdens to bear: his older brother, Bobby, died in the war, and he's been struggling to follow in his footsteps ever since. That means assuming Bobby's old position as quarterback, and leading the last-ever Muckers team to the championship. Maybe then his angry, broken-hearted father will acknowledge him, and they'll be able to put Bobby's death behind them. 

But the only way for the hardscrabble Muckers team to win State is to go undefeated, and tackle their biggest rival, Phoenix United, which would be something of a miracle. Luckily, miracles can happen all the time on the field. Fans of Friday Night Lights and Tim Tharp's Knights of the Hill Country will take to this enthralling story of a town rallying together to turn a tragedy into a triumph. 

I thinking The Kingdom of Little Wounds sounds the most intriguing to me, but Red also sounds like fun.  Which books do you like?

Thursday, October 3, 2013

MOONLESS Cover Reveal

I'm excited to show you the cover for fellow #yalitchat author, Crystal Collier, and her debut YA, MOONLESS.

Title: Moonless 
Author: Crystal Collier 
Series: Maiden of Time #1 
Publication: November 13th, 2013 
Category: Young Adult (YA) 
Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance 

Alexia’s nightmares become reality: a dead baron, red-eyed wraiths, and forbidden love with a man hunted by these creatures. After an attack close to home, Alexia realizes she cannot keep one foot in her old life and one in this new world. To protect her family she must either be sold into a loveless marriage, or escape with her beloved and risk becoming one of the Soulless. MOONLESS is Jane Eyre meets Supernatural. 

Stay tuned for the blog tour November 11-30.  I'll be a stop along the way on November 23rd, when I will post an excerpt.  So excited!  In the meantime, you can find Crystal in these places around the web...

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