Tag Archive for YA

Fall 2014 YASH

THE FALL 2014 YASH IS OVER!!!

The exclusive content is down, but my bonus giveaway is still on for a few more days!

 

Welcome to this stop on the TEAM GOLD portion of the fall 2014 YA Scavenger Hunt. This year, there are six teams with a total of 125 books up for grabs!!!!

The winner for each team grouping, gets all the books by the authors in that team! There is exclusive bonus content from each author to enjoy while you’re hunting, plus tons of bonus prizes up for grabs, including my giveaway below.

 

Team

If you’ve just stumbled upon this and have never participated in a YA Scavenger Hunt, aka #YASH, read how to hunt here, and then come back to get started!

Or here are the fast and dirty directions: Below, you’ll notice that I’ve listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the gold team, and then add them up. Hint: the secret number is highlighted in GOLD.

Entry Form: Once you’ve added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.

Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian’s permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by October 5th, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.

Now that all the technical stuff is out of the way, I’ll introduce the author I am hosting.

At this stop on #YASH, I’m thrilled to be hosting author, Sherry Thomas. I might go a little fan girl all over her right now. *runs around the room jumping*

Thomas_greenSHERRY THOMAS

Sherry Thomas loves nothing more than the mix of explosive action and combustible romance. In her career so far, she has written more romance than action, but she is making up for it with a YA fantasy trilogy and a wuxia-inspired duology. Her books regularly receive starred reviews and best-of-the-year honors from trade publications, including such outlets as the New York Times and National Public Radio. She is also a two-time winner of Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA® Award.

 

And by the way, English is her second language.

 

ABOUT THE BOOK

TheHiddenBlade_1600x2400In the waning days of the last dynasty, in a quiet, beautiful corner of imperial Peking, a young girl’s blissful ignorance is shattered when she learns that she is the illegitimate daughter of an English adventurer and a Chinese courtesan. What future is there for such a girl? But a mysterious figure steps forward and offers to instruct her in the highest forms of martial arts–a path to a life of strength and independence.

Half a world away in England, a young boy’s idyllic summer on the Sussex downs implodes with the firing of a single bullet. Torn from his family, he becomes the hostage of a urbanely sadistic uncle. He dreams of escaping to find his beloved friend–but the friend is in China, ten thousand miles away.

The girl trains to be deadly. The boy flees across continents. They do not know it yet, but their lives are already inextricably bound together, and will collide one fateful night when they least expect it.

 

SHERRY’S SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

Website: www.SherryThomas.com

Twitter: @sherrythomas

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/266470.Sherry_Thomas

Buy THE HIDDEN BLADE

Amazon: http://bit.ly/amzhidden

iBooks: http://bit.ly/applehidden

Book Depository: http://www.bookdepository.com/Hidden-Blade-Sherry-Thomas/9781631280085

SHERRY’S EXCLUSIVE CONTENT

A bonus scene written especially for #YASH.

 Sorry… the YASH deadline has passed! Exclusive content… GONE! Sorry if you missed out. To make sure you get updates about the next YASH, sign up here:  http://yascavengerhunt.blogspot.ca/ 

PS. Sherry Thomas also writes fabulous adult books! Her debut historical romance, Private Arrangements, is one of my all-time favorites. I think I’ve read it at least 17 times.

But today we’re talking about Young Adults Books! And to continue on the YASH please visit Victoria Scott.

Bonus Giveaway!!!

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Good luck and happy hunting!!!

Cover Reveal == Parallel Triangles

Introducing Parallel Triangles

ParallelTrianglesFINALcover

Title: Parallel Triangles
Release date: April 28th 2015
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Formats: Paper, e-book
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20656543-parallel-triangles

Parallel Triangles

How does a cruise change your life?
By sailing through the Bermuda Triangle.
Carly Carmichael has one goal in life–to perform on Broadway. She refuses to have a Plan B because she’s never needed one–until now. When Carly’s parents send her on a cruise as a graduation present, she takes her best friend and their boyfriends along with her. Once the ship sails into the Bermuda Triangle, Carly finds herself unable to sing or walk, much less preform. And things just go downhill from there. Hoping for help from the ship’s doctor, she ends up with more questions than answers about the mystery behind the Bermuda Triangle and why her life is now unrecognizable. If Carly can’t get her real life back on track, she may end up spending the next sixty years trapped in a life the Triangle chooses for her.

Author Bio:

Kimberly Ann Miller received Bachelor’s degrees from Georgian Court University and Rutgers University and a Master’s degree from The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. She’s an avid reader and particularly enjoys true crime and young adult novels. She grew up in New Jersey and currently lives in Monmouth County with her husband and three cats. When she’s not writing, she loves to travel to sunny islands where she snorkels by day and stargazes by night. She always takes her Nook.

One More Sleep!

GLORY comes out tomorrow!

GLORY, The Dust Chronicles Book 3, comes out in one sleep! Less than one sleep if you order it for kindle, and stay up late enough tonight. :)

This trilogy has consumed much of my life over the past three and a half years. And it’s a little hard to for me to believe that the final book is coming out.

That said, I’m super excited that readers will be able to experience the final chapter in Glory’s story, soon. Like tomorrow. (And don’t worry, it’s not that kind of final chapter. I won’t promise much, but I will promise that I didn’t go all Veronica Roth on readers. Glory lives. And that’s the only spoiler I’ll offer. But I guess I just gave a huge spoiler for the Divergent trilogy. Sorry.)

To celebrate, I’m planning a huge, SUMMER OF GIVEAWAYS, with books, swag and…. 3 Kindle Paperwhites!

The details for the June giveaway will be up on this blog tomorrow!

If you  haven’t read any of my series yet, the first 2 books are on sale at amazon.com for only $1.99, and book 3 is on sale for $3.99.

Also, as of tomorrow, all 3 books will be available in paperback, with these gorgeous new covers!

What are they about?? Well…

The Dust Chronicles is a sci-fi thriller trilogy, set in a post-apocalyptic world, with elements of paranormal, dystopian, fantasy and a good dose of romance. Think X-Men meets Firefly meets Mad Max, with the pacing and high stakes of The Hunger Games, or Divergent, and the emotional intensity of The Forest of Hands and Teeth.

They are fun, fast-paced reads for teens or adults. (In fact… most of my readers are adults.)

  

The contest goes live, tomorrow!

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Sara Hantz Cover Reveal!

Today I’m revealing not one, but two covers for upcoming books by Sara Hantz. Sara’s been an on-line writer pal since — since forever — and I’m thrilled that she’s got two new books coming out!

In the Blood releases November 5 and Will the Real Abi Saunders Please Stand Up? releases May 6, 2014.

In the Blood

For seventeen years Jed Franklin’s life was normal. Then his father was charged with the abuse and murder of four young boys and normal became a nightmare.

His mom’s practically a walking zombie, he’s lost most of his friends, and the press camps out on his lawn. The only things that keep him sane are his little sis; his best friend and dream girl, Summer; and the alcohol he stashes in his room. But after Jed wakes up from a total blackout to discover a local kid has gone missing—a kid he was last seen talking to—he’s forced to face his greatest fear: that he could somehow be responsible.

In a life that’s spiraled out of control, Jed must decide if he chooses his own destiny with Summer by his side or if the violent urges that plagued his father are truly in the blood…

Excerpt

Chapter One

Pedophile: Noun

An adult who is sexually attracted to children.

Scum.

Sleazeball.

Creep.

Loser.

Lowlife.

Asswipe.

Dad.

Chapter Two

Benjamin Franklin. My Dad.

Not that Benjamin Franklin.

That Benjamin Franklin.

Pedophile and murderer.

Freaked out?

Did you even know a bastard like that could lead a regular life?

With a wife and two children. A son and a daughter. No, nor did we. Until it was too late.

Too fucking late.

The numbing shock when he was arrested. The disbelief. The conviction that the police had gotten it wrong. Way wrong. Even in the face of damning evidence, we knew that the truth would come out. That the evidence got switched. That there was a cover up, or something.

Something.

Then the police found locks of hair belonging to each of those dead boys, so well hidden in the little trinket box my dad’s mom gave him on her deathbed.

Then we knew. Really knew.

And that’s when our lives changed.

Forever.

Add In the Blood to your Goodreads shelf.

Will the Real Abi Saunders Please Stand Up?

Abi Saunders might be a kickboxing champion, but when it comes to being the center of attention, she’d rather take a roundhouse kick to the solar plexus any day. So when her trainer convinces her to audition to be the stunt double for hot teen starlet Tilly Watson, Abi is shocked—and a little freaked out—when she gets the job.

Being a stunt double is overwhelming, but once the wig and makeup are on, Abi feels like a different person. Tilly Watson, to be exact. And when Tilly’s gorgeous boyfriend, Jon, mistakes Abi for the real star, Abi’s completely smitten. In fact, she’s so in love with her new life, it isn’t long before she doesn’t have time for her old one.

But when the cameras are turned off, will she discover running with the Hollywood A-list isn’t quite the glamorous existence she thought it was?

Excerpt

“Abi, for God’s sake, concentrate,” Zak shouts. “Fairies don’t look like elephants when they fly. Legs together, arms graceful, and glide. Please.”

My cheeks are crimson and I want to die. I know he’s the director and has the right to holler, but doesn’t he understand that the louder he is the worse I am? We must have gone over this move fifty times and I still can’t get it. And I know, without even looking, the other guys have lost it with me. It’s easy for them but I’m a kick-boxer, not a freakin’ acrobat.

And now Zak’s saying something to one of the crew. Let’s all guess what it is: get rid of the silly girl. We couldn’t get anyone more incompetent if we tried. In fact a monkey could do better.

Well, he’s right, a monkey could do better. Then again, a monkey wouldn’t need to wear a harness that cuts badly into its thighs so it can fly across the room. We’re doing wire work, the one thing I was looking forward to. Ha. What a laugh that is.

At least we’re not filming yet. This is just the rehearsal or, as they say, ‘prepping’. We’re in one of the studios that’s full of equipment with pulleys and wires. I’ve no idea how it all works, except that it keeps me up in the air. I thought we’d be doing this outside but it seems they film wire work stuff indoors against a big screen, and then edit to make it look like it’s outside by dropping in a background. As Mom would say: “the wonders of modern science”.

What I’m doing is really basic stuff, nothing like the things they did on the Matrix. Which it wouldn’t be, obviously. I remember reading that those actors had months and months of kung fu training even though most of the stunts were done by stunt men.

Right. This is it. I’m going to really concentrate. I will not be beaten. I can do this. It’s not hard.

I’m a graceful fairy, 

I’m a graceful fairy, 

I’m a graceful fairy. 

“Ready,” I call, for the first time feeling confident of success.

The technician holds up his thumb so I know we’re about to go. I take a deep breath, point my toes, bring my legs together and hold out my arms at a forty-five degree angle. So far, so good. I swallow hard as I begin to move.

Yay, I’m doing it. I’m actually doing it. Please let Zak say it’s ok. 

“Hu-fucking-ray,” booms Zak’s voice. “At last, she’s got it.”

I’ve done it. I’ve actually done it. I can do wirework. And even Zak’s sarcastic tone can’t spoil it.

A loud crash, sounding like someone slamming the door, gives me a start and I jerk backwards. My legs splay and I lose all control of my body, until suddenly I’m hanging upside down.

This so isn’t happening to me. My hair flops into my eyes and my arms dangle in mid-air. And let’s not even think about how shallow my breathing is.

Crap.

After what seems like an eternity (which is probably only a few seconds) someone starts a slow handclap. And here’s me thinking it couldn’t get any worse.

I figure it’s Zak and wait for everyone to join in. Except they don’t.

The silence is deafening. Until…

“Look at that crazy bitch. You’re surely not expecting her to be my double.”

Tilly Winters in the flesh. And none too happy to see me!

Add Will the Real Abi Saunders Please Stand Up to your Goodreads shelf.

Amazon | B&N

About Sara

Sara Hantz originally comes from the UK and is one of four children, having three younger brothers. Although she was an avid reader from a very early age, she didn’t get the writing bug until much later in life, though English was always one of her stronger subjects. She’s an avid sun chaser and now lives on the beautiful Sunshine Coast in Australia (via 10 years in New Zealand). She writes young adult fiction and her debut book The Second Virginity of Suzy Green was published by Flux Books and made the prestigious list ‘New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age’. Sara has a PhD in Education and lectured for many years before deciding to devote more time to her writing and working in the family hospitality business. She has two grown-up children and w hen not writing, working or online with her friends, she spends more time than most people she knows watching TV – in fact if TV watching was an Olympic sport she’d win gold.

Website | Twitter | Facebook

Giveaway

In celebration of the reveals, Sara is giving away a $50 Amazon giftcard! Use the rafflecopter below to enter.

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Compliance release day!

Yes, my book with the business-like and/or kinky title (depending on your perspective) has been released into the wild!

Speaking of the title, I’m busy answering some FAQs for my soon to be revamped website and so I thought I might address the title one right here.

Q: The title for the second book in The Dust Chronicles is Compliance. What’s that about?

A: To be honest, we struggled to come up with a great title for Book Two. In the world of the series, the defacto police are called Compliance Officers, or Comps. In the second book *minor spoiler alert* Glory is training to be a Compliance Officer so it seemed like an apt title.
Initially, Book Two was called Shredders. Shredders are the sadistic scab-covered monsters that exist in the world, but since they don’t play a large part in the plot of Book Two (there will be more–lots more–about Shredders in Book Three) I didn’t think that Shredders would properly represent the story, even though I thought it was an awesome title.

I also like the meaning of the word Compliance and how it fits with some of the themes of the book. i.e. How long will people continue to comply, when the rules and regulations are unreasonable? When do the ends justify the means? And, to risk getting spoilerish, can someone force compliance on others?

More info or buy now!
Compliance (The Dust Chronicles #2)
June 4, 2013 (Skyscape, an imprint of Amazon Publishing)
ISBN:  978-1477816530
Spine-tingling danger, heart-pounding romance, scab-covered monsters! 
The Dust Chronicles has it all!

To celebrate the release, I’m running a Giveaway!!! Tell your friends. (Even if that might decrease your odds of winning, you’ll win karma points, which is way better.)

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DEVIANTS RELEASE DAY!

It’s here, it’s here, it’s here!

Yes, today is the official release day for DEVIANTS. And the first day people can actually post reviews at amazon.com.

Here are some places where you can find me on the interwebz today:

An interview/discussion about DEVIANTS, worldbuilding and dystopias with the fabulous and talented Diana Peterfreund here.

Interview about writing and publishing with lots of tips with the equally fabulous and talented Debbie Ridpath Ohi, aka @inkyelbows here.

An interview with, um, me here. Yes I interviewed myself. What a nerd!

And my giveaway continues! 

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In case you’d like a handy set of links… Here are some places where you can buy the book!

 

YA in Tudor England!

Today I interviewed Katherine Longshore, author of the historical YA novel, GILT.

Welcome Katherine Longshore

Today I’m happy to host Young Adult author Katherine Longshore whose debut novel, Gilt, is set in Tudor England!


ABOUT THE BOOK

In the Tudor age, ambition, power and charismatic allure are essential and Catherine Howard has plenty of all three. Not to mention her loyal best friend, Kitty Tylney, to help cover her tracks. Kitty, the abandoned youngest daughter of minor aristocracy, owes everything to Cat—where she is, what she is, even who she is. Friend, flirt, and self-proclaimed Queen of Misrule, Cat reigns supreme in a loyal court of girls under the none-too-watchful eye of the Dowager Duchess of Norfolk.

When Cat worms her way into the heart of Henry VIII and becomes Queen of England, Kitty is thrown into the intoxicating Tudor Court. It’s a world of glittering jewels and elegant costumes, of gossip and deception. As the Queen’s right-hand-woman, Kitty goes from the girl nobody noticed to being caught between two men—the object of her affection and the object of her desire.

But the atmosphere of the court turns from dazzling to deadly, and Kitty is forced to learn the difference between trust and loyalty, love and lust, secrets and treason. And to accept the consequences when some lessons are learned too late.

BUY THE eBOOK:
    Amazon | Barnes & Noble

“A substantive, sobering historical read, with just a few heaving bodices.”
   —Kirkus Reviews
 
“…royally riveting for the reader.”
   —Booklist
 
“This is an enjoyable novel to recommend to girls interested in history, love, and betrayal.”
   —VOYA

To see the interview and enter the book giveaway, click here

Is Hanna YA?

I saw Hanna last week. Definitely a story I wish I’d written. Totally up my alley in terms of the kinds of stories I’m trying to write writing right now….

But it got me thinking about what makes a book or movie Young Adult vs adult. It’s not just about the age of the protagonist. I’ve seen discussions on the topic before that made sense to me and if memory serves the differentiations had to do with the themes explored etc. but I don’t think there are any obvious answers. It might be “you know it when you see it” and it might simply be a marketing decision. Some books, like the Harry Potter series and Twilight and The Hunger Games are clearly YA in my mind, but they get read by a ton of adults. But not all YA stories appeal to adults.

And I think with this current “hot trend” in YA a lot of books/stories are being released as YA that five or so years ago would have been published as adult books, regardless of the age of the protagonist.

Some books that come to mind that have kid protagonists but feel more like adult books to me include: Room, and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night, and The Book Thief. I recently bought a new YA, Between Shades of Gray, that I’m really looking forward to reading, and I suspect it might fall into that category, too. Certainly the topic feels adult to me, even though it was on the teen shelf at Indigo. (Thanks to new writer friend, Angela Cerrito, for pointing me to this book. Angela’s debut novel The End of the Line has just been released, BTW. Angela’s book it has a thirteen y/o protagonist but an adult sounding subject. Cannot WAIT to read.)

But back to Hanna and whether it’s YA. I did a post a while back about True Grit and how I thought it was kind of crazy that it was being marketed as an adult Western, with Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon as the stars, when clearly, to me, it was a young adult story with Hailee Steinfeld as its star…

Another book and movie that just sprang to mind is The Lovely Bones. I loved that book. LOVED it. And although the main character was young (and dead) I thought of it as an adult book. But I’ll bet if it had been first released now, instead of in 2002, that it would have been released as YA. And they marketed the movie as YA, didn’t they? And it kind of bombed as a movie. I admit I haven’t seen it, which is shocking because I see a lot (a ton) of films and was really looking forward to that one, until I started hearing negative things. Did they tame it down while trying to make it more of a teen story?? Does anyone know?

And then there’s Hanna, with the same wonderful lead actress as The Lovely Bones, Saoirse Ronan. And while this story is clearly about a teen girl, and has fairy tale elements to it… To me it was completely an adult story.

Not sure I fully understand why I think this. Can’t wait to discuss.

Anyone else seen Hanna? Thoughts? We’ve been talking about this over at DWT if you want to join the discussion there.

True Grit — A Western YA

When I walked in the theatre to see True Grit last weekend I was expecting to see a Western. And given how many groups of men were in the audience, so did they. Little did they know, we were about to see one of the smartest, funniest, most tightly plotted, girl-driven young adult stories I’ve seen/read in a long time.

I’ve never been a big fan of Westerns as a genre, but I do vaguely remember seeing the 1969 version of True Grit on TV, (probably because I had a now-embarrassing crush on Glen Campbell). And I barely remembered that the story was about a young girl.

When the book was first published, I understand it was put out by as a “book for young readers”, and having just seen the new Coen brothers movie (twice), which supposedly follows the original book more closely, I understand that. And really want to read the book. It is a YA story.

I did a (tiny) bit of research before composing this post, and now understand that the original film didn’t stick to the material in the novel as well as the Coen brothers did. Plus, in the new version, the actress who plays fourteen-year-old Mattie was just thirteen during filming. The actress in the original was twenty-one. And that says a lot in itself. I was in my early teens when I saw the original on TV and likely could easily see through the adult pretending to be fourteen.

The old version also took out a lot of the comic elements and made it more about Rooster and LeBoeuf and Chaney — more of a traditional western. I think the Coen’s managed to marry the two genres. Or rather make a YA with cross-over appeal, rather than a western. :)

One of the first things that struck me after seeing this movie was what an excellent lesson in POV it is. Perhaps it was just because I’m preparing to teach a POV workshop this weekend and thinking a lot about the topic, but I couldn’t help but notice that here’s not one scene in this movie that’s not from Mattie’s POV. Even the scenes that aren’t really about her, or that she’s not directly part of, we only see through her eyes… Entirely seen through the eyes of a fourteen year old girl. How could that not be a YA?

The trailer makes it seem like an adult western, and I suppose that was smart on the studio/distributor’s part, but how little Mattie is in this trailer is misleading. As I said above, she is in every scene in the movie, even if she’s just observing a few times. Also, the trailer makes her look like a victim. They skip the important part of that scene in the river. The part where she’s incredibly brave.

A good ten or fifteen minutes of the movie goes by before we ever see (or hear) Rooster. And the first time we hear Rooster, she’s tracked him down to an outhouse. And the Coen’s don’t cheat and show Jeff Bridges’s face, or go for the potential funny moment of seeing him inside the outhouse with his pants down. Or without his pants down and simply hiding from the girl. No. We’re left to imagine what he’s doing and just see her banging on the door, saying things like, “you’ve been about your business for an awful long time, Marshall” and we only see the scene from her side. Similarly, when Rooster is testifying in a court case a few scenes later, (the first time we see his character), we don’t see or hear any part of the trial until she walks in the room. Another example is when someone approaches Rooster and Mattie in the forest, when she’s high up in a tree, we don’t hear the conversation between Rooster and the man, until she’s down out of the tree and within hearing distance. Anyone who wants to understand POV should watch this movie.

Even more, anyone who wants an example of an active, decisive, perfectly motivated protagonist should see this movie. Yes, Jeff Bridges is getting a lot of attention for his performance and he was excellent. Yes, Matt Damon is HILARIOUS as the bombastic braggart LeBoeuf (pronounced “LaBeef” in this movie — which I found hilarious in itself). Yes, Brolin is astoundingly good as Chaney and Barry Pepper is so great in the role of Ned Pepper, I can’t even imagine that Robert Duvall did it better in 1969. But the real star of this film is its protagonist, Mattie Ross, played by Hailee Steinfeld. She never misses a beat.

Mostly, I love that this is a story about a brave young girl in grown up and dangerous situations, but instead of being overwhelmed, she holds her own and doesn’t need to rely on the adults for everything. Yes, it’s true that she does need the adults. She couldn’t have gone after Chaney on her own. But she’s smart enough to know this and smart enough not to let the men take advantage of her, and even smart enough to push for her own way even when they aren’t really trying to take advantage — but thinking that they know what’s good for her better than she does. This girl doesn’t take cr%p from anyone. I particularly loved the scenes of her haggling near the beginning and how much she knows about law and how incredibly well-educated and articulate she is. Her word choices cracked me up so many times.

I think she’s one of the strongest female characters I’ve seen in a long time who didn’t have unrealistic skills or superpowers. And she’s fourteen!

I even think my twelve year old niece should see this movie. I actually went the second time mostly to remind myself of the content because I’d already told my sister that she should take my niece to see it and started to question my recommendation. Yes, men get shot. Men get hung. It is a western. And there is one scene that’s pretty gruesome, but it’s not gratuitous and (like everything) it’s shown through Mattie’s eyes, and we feel the horror of it with her. (And compared to the violence in many PG-13 movies, it’s really not that bad.)

YA is taking over the entertainment world right now — it’s even claimed the gritty western.