Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Your Book... In A Bikini

If you follow me on Twitter you know that I've started a body sculpting class. I've always been a team sport athlete, but as I get older I've noticed that there aren't a lot of mid 30's just randomly available for me to play barnyard games with, so I'm hitting the gym now. Yes, cardio is good for your heart. Yes, I want to sleep well and have more energy without drinking something that might make my heart burst instead. But, I have all those purely egotistical reasons for working out too - it's the summer, and magazines, pop-up ads and commercials have been asking me for months if I've got my bikini body ready.

The short answer: no.

The long answer: I look pretty good with clothes on, but strip me down for the beach and we're looking at razor burn that might need medical attention and dimples in places that aren't so flattering. My fair Irish skin is pale like a post-mortem Scarlett O'Hara. To quote Kevin Spacey's disarmingly frank line from American Beauty: "I just want to look good naked."

And that's the trick of the bikini - you're not wearing much, so everything's gotta look good. You can't cover up those flabby upper arms and hope the push-up bra will be distracting enough. You can't wear waterproof mascara and assume people are looking at your face. Everything is up for dissection by the public.

Same goes for your book.

The cover and first chapter are important, like your general silhouette. You might be able to reel them in, but are they gonna get closer and go for the casual nod instead of engaging? What if Chapter Two is the equivalent of starting a conversation to find out you've got bad breath?

Too often I hear writers say, "Yeah there's a downswing here but the next scene really picks up." Or, "I know there's a huge info dump at the beginning but if you can get past that, it's totally awesome." Right. And the obese chick with a good personality gets all the guys on the beach.

Your book is going to be naked. Every page is going to be turned (hopefully). Every word will be exposed to an eyeball. And you can't very well say, "Do me a favor and read this next bit in the dark."

NOT A DROP TO DRINK will be out in the world soon, every page exposed and every word under scrutiny of reviewers, bloggers and good old-fashioned readers. I'm confident that myself, my agent, editor, copy-editor, and the entire team at Katherine Tegen can say that DRINK looks pretty good in a bikini.

Now if we could only say that about the author....
Mindy McGinnis is a YA author and librarian. Her debut, NOT A DROP TO DRINK, is a post-apocalyptic survival tale set in a world where freshwater is almost non-existent, available from Katherine Tegen / Harper Collins September 24, 2013. She blogs at Writer, Writer Pants on Fire and contributes to the group blogs Book PregnantFriday the ThirteenersFrom the Write AngleThe Class of 2k13The Lucky 13s & The League of Extraordinary Writers. You can also find her on TwitterTumblr & Facebook.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

INK and IN THE AFTER Swap Characters!

Two exciting YA books release today, IN THE AFTER by Demitria Lunetta and INK by Amanda Sun. Here’s what these two Luckies have to say about each others books…and see what happens when their MCs swap worlds!

Yay! Happy Book Birthday to Amanda Sun with her much anticipated debut novel, INK. This book has it all, an amazing MC, an exciting Japanese backdrop, and a dreamy, gorgeous, bad-boy love interest!

Ink (Paper Gods, #1)Here’s the Goodreads Summary:

I looked down at the paper, still touching the tip of my shoe. I reached for it, flipping the page over to look.

Scrawls of ink outlined a drawing of a girl lying on a bench.

A sick feeling started to twist in my stomach, like motion sickness.

And then the girl in the drawing turned her head, and her inky eyes glared straight into mine.

On the heels of a family tragedy, the last thing Katie Greene wants to do is move halfway across the world. Stuck with her aunt in Shizuoka, Japan, Katie feels lost. Alone. She doesn’t know the language, she can barely hold a pair of chopsticks, and she can’t seem to get the hang of taking her shoes off whenever she enters a building.

Then there’s gorgeous but aloof Tomohiro, star of the school’s kendo team. How did he really get the scar on his arm? Katie isn’t prepared for the answer. But when she sees the things he draws start moving, there’s no denying the truth: Tomo has a connection to the ancient gods of Japan, and being near Katie is causing his abilities to spiral out of control. If the wrong people notice, they'll both be targets.

Katie never wanted to move to Japan—now she may not make it out of the country alive.

Here’s what I have to say about INK:

This book made me want to visit Japan! The main character, Katie, is immersed in Japanese culture, and it feels like you are too. It’s great for readers unfamiliar with Japan, because you learn along with Katie. She’s such a great, relatable MC, I felt like I was in her shoes (or lack of shoes)! 

This is such a fantastic spin on the standard paranormal genre…I mean, Japanese Gods…talk about a fresh and exciting idea. Oh, and what an amazing cover!

What would Amy and Baby do if they had the power to make their drawings come to life, with the risk of them being dangerous or out of control?

First of all, if Amy ever went to Japan, she’d be set…she doesn’t wear shoes!

I think Amy would be intrigued at the idea of making her drawings come to life…who wouldn’t? That is, until the dangerous and out of control bit happens. Amy’s smart though, and would want to get to the bottom of why her drawings are coming to life, and how to stop them from hurting others, especially Baby. Don’t worry, though, Baby is highly adaptive…and fantastic at hiding, so she wouldn’t be in any danger from the wayward drawings.

Amy would probably stop drawing, unless she or Baby were in danger and she could draw something to come to their aid. Unfortunately Amy isn’t know for her art skills, so hopefully a stick-figure dragon can protect them from danger! J I think Amy might actually do better in the After with Them!

INK is available for purchase on Amazon and Barnes & Noble! And follow her on twitter @Amanda_Sun

 - Demitria Lunetta, Author of IN THE AFTER
Demitria Lunetta 

Happy Book Birthday to my launch sibling Demitria Lunetta! IN THE AFTER is available now, and you all need to go read it because it's FANTASTIC!

In the After (In the After #1)Here's the summary from Goodreads:

They hear the most silent of footsteps.
They are faster than anything you've ever seen.
And They won't stop chasing you...until you are dead.

Amy is watching TV when it happens, when the world is attacked by Them. These vile creatures are rapidly devouring mankind. Most of the population is overtaken, but Amy manages to escape—and even rescue “Baby,” a toddler left behind in the chaos. Marooned in Amy’s house, the girls do everything they can to survive—and avoid Them at all costs.

After years of hiding, they are miraculously rescued and taken to New Hope, a colony of survivors living in a former government research compound. While at first the colony seems like a dream with plenty of food, safety, and shelter, New Hope slowly reveals that it is far from ideal. And Amy soon realizes that unless things change, she’ll lose Baby—and much more.

Rebellious, courageous, and tender, this unforgettable duo will have you on the edge of your seat as you tear through the pulse-pounding narrow escapes and horrifying twists of fate in this thrilling debut from author Demitria Lunetta.

And here's what I had to say about IN THE AFTER:

What an intense story! I absolutely loved the relationship between Amy and Baby and watching how they struggled to survive in the After. It was a very special and unique relationship--I haven't read anything like it before.

IN THE AFTER is such a great post-apocalyptic book with very real characters and many interesting twists. With beautiful writing and authentic characters, it's everything you'd want in a good read!

How would Tomo and Katie survive an alien invasion?

Eep. Well, if they're like the aliens in IN THE AFTER, survival would be tough. Everything Tomohiro draws comes to life, so Tomo would sketch a wall around them to keep the aliens out. The problem is that his drawings are always sinister, which means the ink would probably leave a crack in the wall where the stone was crumbling. Katie and Tomo would use all the muscle they've built up from kendo practices to patch up the wall with stones to keep the aliens out.

After that, they'd have to stay alive. Good thing Tomo is a fantastic cook! He'd keep them going on miso soup and daikon he could grow in the garden. Too bad his drawings would be too dangerous to eat. They'd probably result in indigestion ^_^

Whenever Katie's around the ink, Tomo loses control of his dark ability, so together, they could unleash a dragon to fight against the aliens. I bet it could gobble up quite a few in that giant maw of his!
So, I think together they might stand a fighting chance--what do you think? ^_^
IN THE AFTER is available for purchase on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. And follow her on twitter @demitrialunetta
- Amanda Sun, Author of INK
Amanda Sun

Monday, June 24, 2013

Those Burning Questions: Part I

Hi! Claire Caterer and Kit Grindstaff here. We’re two Luckies whose debuts have similar titles, both featuring the word Flame. Moreover, both books are substantial, middle-grade fantasies and were released just a week apart. What are the chances? We even share similar literary tastes, and not surprisingly, loved each other’s books. Though each novel is unique, we were amused by the parallels in our pages and thought it would be fun to interview each other about them. So today we’re asking and answering Those Burning Questions!

Claire:  Kit, one of the strongest “characters” in both our novels is the setting. It’s also one of the striking similarities between the books. Yours is the fictional world of Anglavia; mine is Anglielle (besides modern-day England). Both are more or less patterned after medieval Britain. What ideas prompted your creation of that setting? And why do you think England has such a pull on writers?

Kit: Being English, a fantasy version of England was a natural choice for me. I grew up absorbing the English countryside—its winter mists and rugged moors—as well as the classic literature that personifies that environment so strongly, for example, Dickens and the Brontës. And later, as an aspiring kidlit author, the books that inspired me most were also set in England: the Harry Potter series and Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy.

Claire: I loved both of those series too. Naturally.

Kit: As to era, though it’s never defined in The Flame in the Mist, it was obvious from the start that it wasn’t going to be a tale of modern times. (Girls aren’t usually kept captive in gothic castles these days, after all.) At first I thought of it as Victorianesque, but as the story unfolded, the element of Anglavia having been frozen in time by its evil rulers shifted the feel toward medieval.

As far as England’s appeal as a setting to non-Brit authors, though, I think you’re more qualified to address that than I am, Claire! Take yourself: you’re obviously a huge Anglophile. I was so impressed by the way you captured the feel of England, as well as by your grasp of the medieval-feeling dialogue. I was sure you must have been a Brit-dweller at some time, and was astounded to learn you’ve never been there (yet…). So tell us a bit about England’s draw for you—both modern and medieval—and what made you choose it as the setting for The Key & the Flame.

Claire: I can’t tell you how relieved I was when you said I got the Brit stuff right! I am a huge Anglophile, and of course, the literary tradition is so rich. I too am a huge Dickens fan, and I spent my childhood reading all kinds of Brit lit, including the Brontës, Frances Hodgson Burnett, C.S. Lewis, and Roald Dahl. All those Arthurian legends, Celtic fairy lore, and kings and queens come together in a place that begs to be written about! I mean, where else would the body of a controversial 15th-century king be found beneath a car park?!

Kit:  Ha ha! Too true. Alas, poor Richard. Another of the similarities in our books is their heroines, Holly and Jemma. Both are plucky (of course!), destined to save their respective Angle-countries, and have special powers of which they’re ignorant at the outset. I loved your description of how Holly first “sees” the ancient castle, as well as how she becomes familiar with her wand. What were your inspirations for her magical abilities? And tell us a little about that key, and the flame, as symbols.

Claire:  I’ve always been fascinated with magic wands and how much power is inherent in the wand versus the person wielding it. One inspiration was one of those giant, multimedia books with flaps and embedded objects and fun stuff to read: It’s called The Wandmaker’s Guidebook by Ed Masessa (Scholastic). I love the idea of plants and trees being important in the making of a wand, and from there grew the idea of an Adept choosing those herbs and woods that would make her wand uniquely hers.

The ancient Celtic earth religions believed in the power of the four elements: fire, water, earth, and air (and aether, for the fifth). I decided to tell my story through those elements, beginning with fire and the festival of Midsummer, because a spark (get it?) is needed to ignite the Exiles to rebel against their dreadful king. 

As for the key, it unlocks the portal to Anglielle, and once Holly steps through the portal, her key becomes a magic wand--which will unlock some heroic qualities inside Holly herself!

Kit: Fascinating stuff. And I love that symbol of the key.

Claire: One of my favorite images in The Flame in the Mist comes from the title (and that beautiful cover): Jemma’s flaming-red hair as the beacon in the dreary, mist-clouded moors of Anglavia. How did you happen upon that idea, and did you give any thought to how redheads (“gingers”) are perceived, especially in Britain? And tell us more about Jemma’s powers and her destiny as the savior of Anglavia.

Kit: Actually, I gave no thought as to “gingers’” place in the Celtic culture! Jemma’s being a redhead appeared on my first list of her physical traits as a reflection of her fieriness, and stuck. From that, Nox Agromond’s term of endearment for her, Flamehead, emerged; and later, her being known as the Fire One of the ancient prophecy fortelling her destiny as Anglavia’s savior, hundreds of years before.

The Mist as a symbol of suppression, ignorance, and illusion came to me immediately. However, flame as a symbol of transformation, which is central to Jemma’s powers, came later. Borrowed from ancient shamanic traditions, the idea is that fire releases matter into pure energy (via the flame) which is then available to be reborn into new form.

Claire: So once that idea gelled, you had your title?

Kit: You’d think so, right? But no! We were in a last- minute scramble for the final title—neither my ed nor I loved my working one—and after much head-scratching and her saying, “How about something with Flame, and Mist, as they’re recurring images?”, my hubby came up with it in the nick of time. Phew! Now, I can’t imagine it being anything else. I love how, as writing progresses, such ideas and images morph and crystallize into something that seem, in retrospect, obvious.

Claire: Isn’t it funny how that works? When I read a book, I’m always thinking, Oh, how clever, the author must have planned it that way from the start. But so often that’s not the case.

Kit: So pray tell: Was The Key & the Flame always your book’s title?

Claire: No, I struggled with my title too. I wanted it to reflect the fire theme, and all I could come up with were one-word titles like Spark or Alight, and I really didn’t like those. My agent, Chris Richman, came up with The Key & the Flame. I liked the rhythm of the phrase and the idea of incorporating the key into the title. And it sets up the rest of the series to have parallel titles, e.g., The Wand & the Sea, which is the sequel.

 Kit: Funny, since the key is so…well, key! And here’s another weird parallel: The Flame in the Mist’s sequel also revolves around the symbol of water! (At the moment, though, it won’t be part of the title.) I love coincidences like that.

Claire: Me too! It’s obvious that we’re cosmic twins, Kit! 

Kit: Well, we were both born under Sagittarius.

Claire: True enough! So, there are a ton of other parallels we could explore in our books: sidekicks, villains ...

Kit: ... otherworldly creatures (in particular golden rats and salamanders) ...

Claire: But this is getting long. Maybe we’d better wrap for now.

Kit: We could always come back to the blog for a second round of Flaming Questions in a couple of weeks. You up for it?

Claire: You know it, flame sister! Blog readers, please join us back on the blog on July 9, when we’ll continue with Those Burning Questions: Part II. See you then!

Kit Grindstaff grew up in the rolling countryside of England. After a brief brush with pop stardom (under her maiden name, Hain), she moved to New York and embarked on her career as a song writer. Kit now lives with her husband in the rolling countryside of Pennsylvania. The Flame in the Mist is her first novel. You can find her on the web at her Website, Twitter and Facebook, add the book to your Goodreads list, or order it at Amazon.

Claire M. Caterer writes for readers of all ages, but her favorite audience are those who love middle-grade novels. Her debut novel is The Key & the Flame, available now from Margaret K. McElderry Books. You can connect with Claire on her website, Facebook, or Twitter pages, as well as on Goodreads

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

What Raising Babies and Writing Books Have in Common

When I got pregnant with my first daughter one of the first things that I did (after freaking out, weeping for joy, and telling the news to anyone who'd listen) was go out to the book store to get books on pregnancy and baby care. I was a teacher and before that a babysitter, but I'd never had my own child to take care of and I wanted to be epically good at it. Great, even. So I got WHAT TO EXPECT WHILE YOU'RE EXPECTING and THE BABY WHISPERER and so many other books that it would take me two blog posts to list them all. I read every single one. I became an expert in all things baby. I could quote from most of them...and did to both my mother and mother in law with a subtly smug look on my face that basically said, that's right ladies, I GOT THIS. But then the day came and my daughter made her debut into the world and I realized almost within the first hour that despite all of my research I wasn't completely prepared for her--heck who am I kidding--I was BLINDSIDED by her. You see my daughter has always been on the stubborn, energetic--I'm not gonna sleep and I'm gonna try biting and I'm gonna challenge you in every way possible in every situation possible--kind of kid. She once spent four hours in time out sitting on the floor in my bedroom with nothing to entertain herself (I'm not kidding. Four hours.) on Easter because she wouldn't apologize for smacking me in the face...when she was three years old. Not once did she shed a tear. Her dad and I spent many an anxious evening wringing our hands, sure that by the time she turned thirteen we'd all be on the Montel Williams show. I tried every single method I'd read about. You'd think based on all of the glowing accolades these books had that at least one would be our parenting Holy Grail, but instead most methods, followed to the letter didn't work for us. Only after I began cobbling together my own plan based on several of the books' suggested plans (and mixed it with some creativity on my part based on what I knew about my child and the way her mind worked) did I start to feel like things were coming together for me as a parent. It wasn't that the experts were wrong, it's just that every child is different and so no one plan is a panacea for all. It took me forever to get that. But by the time baby two arrived I had and my experience while still challenging was less anxious. I understood that there was no pat way to raise this little person. The best way would be completely unique to her.

Now fast forward a few years to when I began my writing career. Once again I gobbled up every available book or blog post on writing and craft and how to write a rough draft. I thought that somehow if I wrote exactly the way other published writers wrote I would ensure my own success. I tried drafting fast and dirty then drafting slow and careful. I tried setting a word count each day and logging it on an excel spreadsheet and forcing myself to make my quota. But what I found is that like parenting, no other writer's exact method for writing a novel worked for me. In fact I found that like with my children each book I've worked on has had it's own creative course to follow. Some of my stories come out quick and then take ages to revise. Others are a struggle from word one. The only thing that has really stayed consistent for me through all of them is that I make the time to write no matter what and I push through the discomfort of not knowing exactly how to get the current book to come out on the page right. Now when I read advice on writing I know that it's okay not to follow it the letter. It's okay if it doesn't work for me at all. My writing method will be unique to me and that's probably a good thing. It means that I'm trusting myself to know what's best for my stories because after all, I'm the one who's in charge of them. I still read every piece of writing advice I can get my hands on (and now that my darling daughter is a preteen, all the parenting advice again, too), but I put it through the filter of my own experience and I think my writing (and parenting) is better for it.

Amy Christine Parker's first book baby, GATED, will be published by Random House on August 6, 2013. You can find out more about it and her at

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Happy book birthday to THE WIG IN THE WINDOW!

Congratulations to Lucky 13 Kristen Kittscher, whose awesome and fun middle grade mystery THE WIG IN THE WINDOW releases today!

Fans of the humor and clever clues in the Sammy Keyes books will enjoy The Wig in the Window, first in Kristen Kittscher’s funny middle-grade mystery series.
Best friends and seventh graders Sophie Young and Grace Yang have made a game out of spying on their neighbors. On one of their midnight stakeouts, they witness a terrifying, bloody scene at the home of their bizarre middle-school counselor Dr. Charlotte Agford (also known as Dr. Awkward).
At least, they think they do. The truth is that Dr. Agford was only making her famous pickled beets. But when Dr. Agford begins acting even weirder than usual, Sophie and Grace become convinced that she’s hiding something—and they’re determined to find out what it is.
Soon the girls are breaking secret codes, being followed by a strange blue car, and tailing strangers with unibrows and Texas accents. But as their investigation heats up, Sophie and Grace start to crack under the pressure. Will solving the case destroy their friendship?

Kirkus hails The Wig in the Window as a "thrilling debut," claiming "this appealing and often spine-tingling tale will leave its audience wishing for more.” Booklist lauded it as "perceptive and wryly humorous...featuring strong, smart female characters." 

Want to see what some hilarious kids think of The Wig in the Window? Check it out here: and here

Wig is available at Amazon, your local independent bookstore, and B&N.

Kristen Kittscher was a child neighborhood spy but (allegedly) grew up to be an upstanding citizen, seventh grade English teacher, and writing tutor. A graduate of Brown University, she lives in Pasadena, California with her husband, Kai, and their hyperactive lab mix. Her debut novel The Wig in the Window, the first in a new mystery series from HarperCollins Children’s Books, comes out June 18, 2013

Visit to investigate more about her and Young & Yang's next adventure, The Tiara on the Terrace.

Monday, June 17, 2013

MEANWHILE ... MIDDLEGRADE: Schools, Visitations and Readings

Today -- on 'Meanwhile ... Middle Grade' Monday. Consider this. You finally get your middle grade book published.  At some point you (hopefully) find yourself at the front of a classroom, or maybe even in front of a whole auditorium of middle grade students.  What happens next?  

Gone Fishing
Reading and talking with students is one of my new favorite parts of being an author. The children are careful listeners, give thoughtful responses to my questions, and ask great questions of their own. At the end of one school visit, the school gave away a copy of GONE FISHING. The young boy who won stood up with a huge grin and started jumping up and down cheering. I love being around that kind of enthusiasm!        

            Tamera Wissinger, GONE FISHING

Rump: The True Story of RumpelstiltskinPresenting and reading to MG kids has been one of the highlights of releasing RUMP! The kids are so enthusiastic and bright and I've learned that presenting to middle-grade students is all about the surprises. They want to hear something they've never heard before, something their teachers and parents aren't telling them every day, and they want to feel like you're sharing something special with them that not everyone gets. That's why I think my favorite part is when I tell the kids the Hans Christian Andersen version of "The Little Mermaid" (Very different from the Disney version) and their jaws flop to the floor! Then they start cheering. The kids always have such insightful questions like, "When will I know my destiny?" or "Why did you name King Barf, King Barf?" To which I have equally insightful answers. Promise. 

Genie WishesEvery time I've presented a middle-grade audience with the option of (1) me reading more from my book, or (2) us switching to Q&A/discussion mode, they've always opted for (1). I find this both surprising and endearing. I didn't realize that weens, in general, were still so happy to be read to.  
Elisabeth Dahl, GENIE WISHES 

Oh My Godmother: The Glitter TrapSince Barbara Brauner and James Iver Mattson haven’t done any school readings yet, they’ve asked Katarina, the cantankerous fairy godmother from “O.M.G.: The Glitter Trap,” to comment: “I’ve been working with children since the Middle Ages, and I'm happy to share a few tips. They respond well to in-class demonstrations; turn a couple of them into toads, and the rest really pay attention. Constructive criticism is very helpful. Try something along the lines of, ‘Have you always been an idiot, or is this something new?’ And, finally, tell the little dears that making their dreams come true is the most important thing of all. Otherwise, I don’t get paid.”
    Barbara Brauner & James Iver Mattson,  O.M.G.: THE GLITTER TRAP

BrotherhoodI've done writing workshops with middle school groups as small as ten students, and as large as twenty-five, and one technique that worked well was to begin by asking them to read a scene from my book out loud. We went around the room, with each kid reading one line, then talked about what happened in that scene. After that, I asked the students to write their own scenes, and I required all of them to begin by titling the page, "Bad Writing." They thought I was crazy. But of course, I was trying to get them to appreciate what "the writing life" is like for professional writers. Beautiful, inspired prose rarely flows in the first draft! It's a process. So they wrote badly for me, and later we talked about polishing and revising. I've posted audio recordings of students reading their own writing on this page of my website:
My favorite question was: Are you famous? And of course, I had to laugh because my book isn't out yet. They were reading from the ARC. "I'm only famous in this classroom," I told them.
            A.B. Westrick, Brotherhood'

This Journal Belongs to RatchetI  love presenting for middle grade audiences!  I think my favorite thing to share with them is how long I had to be persistent (almost 20 years) to become the author of a children's book.  They can't believe it, and my hope is that it will inspire each of them to persevere in working toward their own dreams. 

The Path of NamesTalking to middle-grade audiences has been awesome.  I've been blown away by how curious and insightful the middle grade students who I've met have been. I keep encountering questions I've not only never heard before, but haven't even considered.   

Friday, June 14, 2013

The 13th Day: Super-Awesome-Bomb-Diggity News

Some people may think that the number 13 is unlucky, but not those of us at The Lucky 13s!

In fact, we're celebrating the 13th day of each month by featuring all the fabulous stuff that's been happening to The Lucky 13s.

Please raise a glass to our super-awesome-bomb-diggity news.... 

Rachele Alpine's CANARY was reviewed in Kirkus.  They said:
"Overall, a sophisticated, evocative portrait of a teen girl finding her place among peers and family. (Fiction. 14-18)"

Elizabeth Ross' BELLE EPOQUE released June 11th from Delacorte/Random House Children's Books and sold foreign rights in Brazil.

Amy Christine Parker (GATED), Peggy Eddleman (SKY JUMPERS), and Cristin Terrill (ALL OUR YESTERDAYS) were among ten MG / YA titles chosen by the American Booksellers Association to be promoted in independent bookstores all across the country as part of Celebrate Debut Authors with Indies program.  Read about it here.

Elizabeth Ross (BELLE EPOQUE), Laura Golden (EVERY DAY AFTER), Amy Christine Parker (GATED), Peggy Eddleman (SKY JUMPERS), and Alison Cherry (RED) were all featured in It's a First! Fresh Fiction From New Voices Fall 2013, from Random Buzzers.  Read about it here.

Chelsea Pitcher's THE S-WORD released on May 7th and got a great review from Publisher's Weekly.

Kelly Fiore's TASTE TEST got a good review in Kirkus:
"This debut about a reality show for young chefs has enough spice to keep readers feasting all the way through...Contestants may lose, but readers won’t. (recipes) (Fiction. 12 & up)"

A. B. Westrick BROTHERHOOD has been picked as a Junior Library Guild selection and got a blurb from the amazing Richard Peck, Newbery Award-winning author of A YEAR DOWN YONDER. He described BROTHERHOOD this way:
“A boy struggling to come of age in a ruined world reaches in all the wrong directions for being and belonging in this story that uncovers a trove of hidden history.” 

K.A. Barson has an exciting Publishers Marketplace Announcement:
5/21/13: 45 POUNDS (More or Less) author K.A. Barson's untitled new novel, about a high school cosmetology student who has her entire life planned and under control, until everything falls apart and she has to learn to let go, listen, and appreciate her real friends, again to Sharyn November at Viking Children's, by Sara Crowe at Harvey Klinger (world).

GONE FISHING A Novel In Verse by Tamera Wissinger is a Children’s Book Council Spring Seasonal Showcase Love to Read selection. Tamera will read from GONE FISHING in Chicago at the ALA Poetry Blast on July 1.

Melanie Crowder's PARCHED released June 4th from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and was reviewed in the Wallstreet Journal:
"The writing in "Parched" (Harcourt, 151 pages, $15.99) is as spare, dry and desolate as the landscape that Melanie Crowder depicts in this piercing debut novel for 9- to 14-year-olds ... three interlocking narratives—of girl, boy and dog—form an absorbing and strangely beautiful story of valor and survival that is all the more impressive for its restraint."

Laura Golden's EVERY DAY AFTER released June 11 from Delacorte Press/RHCB, and has been named a Girl Scouts Studio Selection.

Amanda Sun's INK is on the Indie Summer Kids' Next List, and is a Junior Library Guild selection and the prequel novella SHADOW is available here for FREE!

Karen Harrington's SURE SIGNS OF CRAZY, which recently received a starred review from Kirkus has a new release date - August 20, 2013.

J. R. Johannson's INSOMNIA released June 8th from Flux.

Amy McCulloch's The OATHBREAKER'S SHADOW released June 4th from Doubleday Canada and June 6th from Random House Children's Books UK.

Read all about Justina Ireland's new book PROMISE OF SHADOWS here on Goodreads.

School Library Journal gave Cat Winters' IN THE SHADOW OF BLACKBIRDS its third starred review: "Winters deftly combines mystery, ghost story, historical fiction, and romance...the story and setting are atmospheric and eerie."

Amy Christine Parker's School Library Journal, starred review GATED has a new release date: August 6, 2013.  Also, foreign rights sold to Turkey and Germany and it had a starred Kirkus review in the June 15, 2013 issue. They called it an "absorbing examination of a cult..." Also Publisher's Weekly called GATED a "complex, intriguing tale rooted in real-world events."

Steph Khuen's CHARM & SRANGE came out on June 11 and got an awesome SLJ Teen review.  Read it here.

Lydia Kang's CONTROL received another awesome blurb:

“CONTROL is a masterful debut, filled with everything I love in a novel: mystery, danger, and romance. Kang has crafted a world readers can easily fall into and won't want to leave, complete with flawed yet loveable characters. I couldn't put it down!" 
--Elana Johnson, author of POSSESSION

April Tucholke's BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA sold rights in Turkey - it will be Kilavuz.

Elizabeth May's THE FALCONER is in Glamour Magazine (UK) in a feature called, "So, You Love Game of Thrones?"

Kate Karyus Quinn's ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE released on June 11th and has this awesome trailer.

Woo-hoo, Lucky 13s!

Rachele Alpine's young adult comtemporary novel CANARY will be published in August of 2013 by Medallion Press. She blogs, or you can find her on Facebook, Twitter, and her website.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

LINKED releases!

It's been two years since LINKED sold, so it's weird and exciting and kind of surreal that this week is my release week!

LINKED was born after I read an article in a teen magazine about twins who had some kind of psychic link - when one had a car accident (it's okay, she survived!), the other one knew about it even though she was nowhere near at the time.

My daughters still remember me saying, "I'm going to write a book about telepathic twins."  And guess what, I did!

When Elissa learns her telepathic twin is the subject of government experiments, the girls find themselves on the run with secrets worth killing for in this futuristic, romantic thriller. 
  Elissa used to have it all: looks, popularity, and a bright future. Now, all she has is nightmarish visions and unexplained bruises. Finally, she’s promised a cure, and a surgery is scheduled. But on the eve of the procedure, she discovers the truth behind her visions: She’s seeing the world through another girl’s eyes. A world filled with pain and wires and weird machines. Elissa follows her visions, only to find a battered, broken girl on the run. A girl—Lin—who looks exactly like Elissa, down to the matching bruises. A twin she never knew existed.

Elissa helps Lin evade the government agents who are ruthlessly tracking her down, but they’re struggling to avoid capture, and soon Elissa is forced to turn to the only person who can help: Cadan, her brother’s infuriating, arrogant best friend, and new graduate of the SFI space flight academy. Cadan is their one chance at safety. But Lin is too valuable to let go, and Elissa has knowledge that is too dangerous. The government will stop at nothing to get them back.

You can buy LINKED at:
or read the reviews at Goodreads.

If you read it, let me know what you think!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Yesterday (well as I type this it is still today, which is Tuesday, but when you read this it will be tomorrow, which should be - according to my calculations - Wednesday) my young adult had its official launch day. Launch is kind of a funny word, because it makes me think that my book ought to be headed into outer space, but in reality is launching itself out of boxes and onto bookshelves (or out of the cloud and onto digital readers). Still, this relatively small change from boxes to shelves has my brain in a bit of a jumble as I adjust to becoming an almost author with a book coming out soon to an actual OMG people are buying my book RIGHT NOW author.

So how do I feel about all this? Well, I think could be best summed up by The Doors singing A Reading Rainbow, and that would sound a lot like this:

Okay, I know it's not as good as Fallon's impression of Neal Young doing Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (seriously people if you have not seen this, do yourself a favor and youtube it NOW!) and it also has nothing to do with my book launch at all.

And that's because, to be completely honest, I don't really know what to say about the launch of ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE. Right now I am feeling all the feelings and I don't really know what to say about all of it yet, except that I am so grateful to the people who have read the book and taken the time to write reviews, tweet, or otherwise share ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE with other people. I also feel super lucky to be a debut author in 2013 thus making me one of the Lucky 13s.

Oh and I know one other thing for sure: Today is my launch day, it was an awesome day but now it's time to finally sleep. I may still be in bed by the time you all read this tomorrow.

Kate Karyus Quinn is the author of ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE, a literary horror novel coming in 2013 from HarperTeen. You can find out more about her book on Goodreads, and read more about Kate on her blog or her website.