Thursday, December 26, 2013

Happy Book-Birthday to CONTROL!

The very last book of 2013 to release from the Lucky 13s! 

I've been so honored to be in this class of talented, kind, and supportive authors. What I can I say? I'm very, very lucky, indeed. :) Thank you all for helping me celebrate the birthday for CONTROL!

When a crash kills their father and leaves them orphaned, Zel knows she needs to protect her sister, Dyl. But before Zel has a plan, Dyl is taken by strangers using bizarre sensory weapons, and Zel finds herself in a safe house for teens who aren’t like any she’s ever seen before—teens who shouldn't even exist. Using broken-down technology, her new friends’ peculiar gifts, and her own grit, Zel must find a way to get her sister back from the kidnappers who think a powerful secret is encoded in Dyl’s DNA.A spiraling, intense, romantic story set in 2150—in a world of automatic cars, nightclubs with auditory ecstasy drugs, and guys with four arms—this is about the human genetic “mistakes” that society wants to forget, and the way that outcasts can turn out to be heroes.

 “A sweet, edgy romance rounds out this smart, futuristic medical thriller.” Publishers Weekly

“Control, with its mix of legitimate science and inventive fantasy, is unforgettable for all the right reasons.”—VOYA

“Surprising twists, tender romance, and a fierce, smart protagonist make for a winning formula in Kang’s debut. CONTROL is tautly woven and breathlessly delivered—a thrilling read!”  — Jessica Khoury, author of Origin

“Control successfully integrates science, adventure, and romance into one unforgettable read. [It] will keep you wanting more until the jaw-dropping ending.” —RT Book Reviews, Top Pick

“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 lovable characters. I couldn’t put it down!”   — Elana Johnson, author of Possession

Available on Amazon IndieBound Books A Million / 
Lydia Kang is a writer, physician, and salt-addicted gal with a near-pathological need to doodle. Her YA sci-fi book, CONTROL, is finally here from Dial Books for Young Readers (Penguin).

Find her on Twitter, her blog The Word Is My OysterGoodreads, Facebook, and Tumblr

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The first line of our books: 2014 edition

A year ago, we posted the first line of our debut books-- of books we each had coming out in 2013. It was such a hit, we decided to do it again for books we have coming out in 2014!

So here you have it: The opening sentence from 49 kidlit books, in a wide variety of genres. I don't know about you, but reading so many great lines makes me hunger for these books!

photo credit: Patrick Hoesly via photopin cc

Revenge finds me on the bridge.
July 8, 2014

My dead grandmother Freddie once told me that the Devil created all the fear in the world.
April Genevieve Tucholke -- BETWEEN THE SPARK AND THE BURN
Aug. 14, 2014

The air in my crumbling attic chamber smelled of roses and formaldehyde.
Megan Shepherd -- HER DARK CURIOSITY (Madman's Daughter #2)
January 28, 2014

There would be no tears on my wedding day--I would not allow it.
Jennifer McGowan -- MAID OF DECEPTION (Maids of Honor #2)
Aug. 26, 2014

I found a foothold on the rough bark of a tree trunk and climbed up in search of Ameiphus.
Peggy Eddleman -- THE FORBIDDEN FLATS (Sky Jumpers #2)
September 23, 2014

There was only pain, at first -- the pain of my magic breaking me into a collection of atoms, getting ready to make me into something new.
Lindsay Ribar -- THE FOURTH WISH (Art of Wishing #2)
July 31, 2014

There's something you should know about me: I've spent my whole life leaping tall buildings in a single bound.
July 22,2014

"Can you teach me how to shoot a gun?"
May 20, 2014

The Metropolitan Theatre broiled with the heat of over a thousand bodies packed together in red velvet chairs.
Fall 2014

I wish I could say the day Donovan came home was extraordinary from the start, that I woke up knowing something special would happen that Thursday evening in October.
Brandy Colbert -- POINTE
April 10, 2014

When I woke in the morning, it was spring.
Bethany Hagen -- LANDRY PARK
February 4, 2014

Winning: Cara Sweeney had made it her business, and business was good.
Melissa Landers -- ALIENATED
February 4, 2014

It’s been a month since the world was supposed to end.
Amy Christine Parker -- ASTRAY
August 2014

I was seventeen when death crossed my path; before that, I'd only dreamt of twisted limbs and blood as bright as poppies.
Chelsea Pitcher -- THE LAST CHANGELING
Fall 2014

When I was ten, the world ended.
April 24, 2014

It was a bizarre May Day parade at midnight instead of midday.
Kate Karyus Quinn -- (DON'T YOU) FORGET ABOUT ME
June 10, 2014

“If you don’t watch my every move, you’re going to die,” I say to the girl at the end of my sword.
Elsie Chapman -- DIVIDED
May 27, 2014

My phone is ringing.
Stephanie Kuehn -- COMPLICIT
June 24, 2014

Hitting the ground is the hardest part.
Karen Akins -- LOOP
Fall 2014

I don't know much, but I do know people like to stop and look at unusual things.
August 2014

Being the good daughter wasn’t easy.
Liz Fichera -- PLAYED
May 27, 2014

We have been walking for two weeks.
Erin Bowman -- FROZEN (Taken #2)
April 15, 2014

This old band ten through one...
Tamera Will Wissinger -- THIS OLD BAND
June 3, 2014

My mother drives right past the New Horizons sign.
Jessica Verdi -- THE SUMMER I WASN'T ME
April 1, 2014

"You know that moment when you spot a gorgeous girl across a room and just as you’re working out your opening line you realize she’s checking you out and it’s like every atom in the universe has lined up to create this one perfect connection?"
March 11, 2014

My name is Lacey Unger-Ware, and I can't make your dreams come true.
Barbara Brauner and James Iver Mattson -- THE MAGIC MISTAKE (Oh My Godmother #2)
February 4, 2014

I long for the comfort of night.
Demitria Lunetta -- IN THE END (In the After Series #2)
June 24, 2014

There are three rules of survival in the Walled City: run fast, trust no one, always carry your knife.
Ryan Graudin -- THE WALLED CITY
November 2014

I couldn't help myself.
Lenore Appelhans -- CHASING BEFORE (The Memory Chronicles #2)
August 26, 2014

It didn't feel like coming home.
Imogen Howson -- UNRAVEL
Summer 2014

Not even the producers of the show could've predicted it would end with the biggest reality-show bitch-fight in history.
Febuary 4, 2014

I move my shovel, pushing the mud back and forth at a glacial pace.
Justina Ireland -- PROMISE OF SHADOWS
March 11, 2014

"So, you wanna go?"
June 2014

The Renegade arrived just after breakfast.

Weird stuff was going down in Oakville, and this time I was definitely—well, fairly sure—I had nothing to do with it.
J.R. Johansson -- PARANOIA
June 8, 2014

Stillness fills the empty stage as I press the horn bow to my body and notch an arrow.
Christina Farley --GILDED
March 1, 2014

She ran, her long red hair billowing out behind her.
Helen Douglas --CHASING STARS
June 5, 2014

I wasn't invited, but I showed up to the party anyway so I could talk to Ellie Chen and find out why she dumped me two weeks ago.
Sarah Skilton -- HIGH AND DRY
April 15, 2014

Raim snatched at a long blade of grass and released the seeds from their cluster at the top of the stem.
Amy McCulloch -- THE SHADOW'S CURSE (The Knot's Duology, book 2)
July 3, 2014 (UK)/ May 2014 (Canada)

There is something kind of spooky about a school on a Saturday.
May 1, 2014

Jacqueline Green -- SECRETS AND LIES
May 6, 2014

This is how you get your ass kicked.
Lamar Giles -- FAKE ID 
January 21, 2014

The girl with no name reached the steps of the building a little before Darkfall.
Miriam Forster -- EMPIRE OF SHADOWS
Fall 2014

“Hold still,” Yuki said, threading the thick obi ribbon through the back of the bow.
Amanda Sun -- RAIN (The Paper Gods #2)
June 24, 2014

The COOLEST thing about sixth grade . . . The Pom Pom Squad!!!!!
Nancy J. Cavanaugh -- ALWAYS, ABIGAIL
October 2014

On the tiny screen of my phone, I watch Jayden Montoya grill grubs over a campfire.
Alison Cherry -- FOR REAL
December 2014

I’ve memorized their every accusation: Murderess. She did it. She was crouched over her mother’s body, covered in blood.
Elizabeth May -- THE FALCONER
May 2014

Stealing a spaceship shouldn't be this easy.
Mindee Arnett -- AVALON
Jan 2014

The mermaid was lying on the hospital bed, looking distinctly un-mermaidish.
Mar 2014

*Note: The opening lines of novels that are still undergoing the editing process are subject to change.

This list was compiled by Peggy Eddleman, author of the middle grade action / adventure novel SKY JUMPERS (Random House Children's Books) and the forthcoming THE FORBIDDEN FLATS (September 2014). You can visit her online at, Twitter, Facebook, or her blog.

Monday, December 16, 2013

MEANWHILE ... MIDDLE GRADE: All They Want for Christmas

Our middle-grade characters all yearn for something, and as writers, we usually throw roadblocks in their way. But just for today, in honor of the holiday season, we're letting our characters voice their deepest wishes. Maybe Santa will be kind to them this year.

Holly Shepard started out the year yearning for adventure, and now that she's had a taste of it, her ordinary American life seems more mundane than ever. Holly is dying to get back to Anglielle to drive back its ruthless king and (maybe!) sail the high seas. She'll get her chance in The Wand & the Sea (Margaret K. McElderry, spring 2015).
--Claire M. Caterer (The Key & the Flame, Margaret K. McElderry Books) Facebook  Twitter

Genie Haddock Kunkle (aka Genie Wishes) would most like to navigate her fifth-grade year on her own terms, not those of the class's boy-crazy new girl. If that means letting go of the best friend she's had since kindergarten, so be it.
--Elisabeth Dahl (Genie Wishes, Amulet Books) Facebook  Twitter

At the top of Hope's wish list is the ability to invent. Since all technology was wiped out, inventing is what her town values most. It's also what she's the worst at. Not only is it affecting the way her town treats her, but it's keeping her dad from running for Council Head. She knows it's important, so she plans to get it through sheer determination and hard work. (But she's not going to get it wrapped up in a pretty package the way she hopes, because sometimes you just plain stink at things, and that's all there is to it. ;))
--Peggy Eddleman (Sky Jumpers, Random House) Facebook  Twitter  blog

Main character Jemma has two burning desires, one short term, the other longer term. Short term, she wants to celebrate . . . well, not to be spoilerish, I'll just say, celebrate the outcome she's brought about. Why? She's had enough of shadows! Long term, she wants to wipe out any lingering effects of the Agromond rulers' cruelty. For example, sixteen-year-old Caleb is still crippled by a curse put on him as an infant by Nox Agromond. Having herself suffered at the hands of the Agromonds, she's fired by Caleb’s plight and is determined to help him and others like him. She intends to travel around the country and work her burgeoning magical healing powers in whatever way she can.
--Kit Grindstaff (The Flame in the Mist, Delacorte) Facebook  Twitter

My main character is Fortuna Dalliance. She has just befriended a boy who is really a bird and she wants two things more than anything: She wants him to teach her how to fly; and she wants him to remain a boy and not get changed back.
--Judy Hoffman (The Art of Flying, Disney Hyperion)

 My heroine Nere Hanson is very happy that Disney Hyperion just gave her a sequel (The Neptune Challenge) in which she can continue to have more exciting undersea adventures. She would like to settle into her new home at Safety Harbor with her dolphins and find out more about her gorgeous and mysterious friend Dai.

--Polly Holyoke (The Neptune Project, Disney Hyperion)

More than anything, Masha Sweet wishes for a horse! She has been dreaming of her very own horse forever. Masha's dream may be coming true because her father has announced that he is taking Masha and her little sister, Sunny, to a Dude Ranch and that he has a surprise for them. But Sunny doesn't like she plans a surprise of her own.
--Jennifer Ann Mann (Sunny Sweet Is So Not Sorry, Bloomsbury Children's Books) Facebook  Twitter

Friday, December 13, 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.... 

SKY JUMPERS by Peggy Eddleman was named to the Winter 2013 – 2014 Kids’ Indie Next List, and they had this to say about it: 

“Sky Jumpers is an absolutely thrilling, seat-of-your-pants adventure for middle school readers. Fans of The Emerald Atlas and Percy Jackson will rush to this tale about a village that, after WWIII, is one of only a few remaining on what is left of Earth, as ‘green bombs’ have devastated the planet. Sky jumpers plunge into a rarified air pocket that protects and shields the village but that has deadly consequences if one is unaware of the invisible danger. Led by 12-year-old Hope, a group of friends is on a dangerous mission to save their village. This perfect book for younger fans of The Hunger Games is truly fun, inventive, and exciting!” 
—Maureen Palacios, Once Upon a Time, Montrose, CA 

Liesl Shurtliff's RUMP: THE TRUE STORY OF RUMPLESTILTSKIN and Peggy Eddleman's SKY JUMPERS were both chosen as Atlanta Parent's Best Books of 2013. 

PARCHED by Melanie Crowder was named to the Best Kids Books of 2013 list compiled by the Children's Book Review. 

SURE SIGNS OF CRAZY by Karen Harrington is a Kirkus Best Children's Book of 2013. 

GILDED got another blurb: 
“Farley brings South Korea’s fascinating culture and mythology into vivid detail in this shining debut, and Jae is a compelling heroine. An exotic, thrilling read, GILDED had me utterly entranced!” ~from Jessica Khoury, author of ORIGIN and VITRO 

BROTHERHOOD made YALSA's list of nominations for the Best Fiction for YA.  Check out the list here.

CONTROL by Lydia Kang is a Top Pick by RT book Reviews! And VOYA had this to say: 
“Control, with its mix of legitimate science and inventive fantasy, is unforgettable for all the right reasons." 

CHICK-O-SAURUS REX by Lenore and Daniel Jennewein has sold Korean rights! 

Four Lucky 13s novels were named 2014 William C. Morris YA Debut Award Finalists: 
CHARM & STRANGE by Stephanie Kuehn 
BELLE EPOQUE by Elizabeth Ross 

Peggy Eddleman's SKY JUMPERS and Tim Federle's BETTER NATE THAN EVER both made the list of the New York Public Library's 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing! 

Tamera Will Wissinger's book GONE FISHING is a Nerdy Book Club 2013 Nerdy Award Finalist. 

Ryan Graudin's THE WALLED CITY has been picked up by France (Jean Claude Lattes), Germany (Rowolht Verlag), Norway (Cappelen Damm) and Brazil (Editora Schwarcz). 

German rights to Lindsay Ribar's THE ART OF WISHING have been sold to Piper Verlag! 

April Genevieve Tucholke, Megan Shepherd, and Cat Winters will be contributors to the just-announced YA horror anthology SLASHER GIRLS & MONSTER BOYS, coming Fall 2015 from Dial.  Read about the deal here.

C J Flood's INFINITE SKY has been shortlisted for the 2014 James Reckitt Hull Children's Book Award, and was a Love Reading for Kids Best Book of 2013!

Woo-hoo, Lucky 13s!

Rachele Alpine's young adult comtemporary novel CANARY is available now. She blogs, or you can find her onFacebookTwitter, and her website.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Cover Reveal: COURAGE FOR BEGINNERS by Karen Harrington

I'm excited to reveal the cover for my next middle-grade novel, COURAGE FOR BEGINNERS, out August 2014 from Little Brown Books for Young Readers.

It must be said that I'm crazy for this cover. The colors. The font. The intriguing heart-shaped balloon. The little cloud that reads 'a novel' lest someone think I've penned a guide on how to be courageous. Tee hee!

However, this fictional story does indeed tell the tale of a seventh-grade girl who is right at a coming-of-age intersection, asking herself: "Do I believe certain things in life because my parents' example taught me to believe them; or do I believe them in my own heart?" I love that time in the life of a young person. The heart of a person is really and truly forged and made solid during those moments of tweendom.

This novel is, in part, about that time in our young lives when we challenge the belief system of our own household and start forming our own belief systems. It's also about friendship, rejection, heartbreak, withstanding bullies by finding your own middle-school tribe of friends, holding tight to the dreams of your future and carrying a frozen turkey in the rain.

From the jacket flap copy: Twelve-year-old Mysti Murphy wishes she were a character in a book. If her life was fictional, she'd magically know how to deal with the fact that her best friend, Anibal Gomez, no longer wants to talk to her during school hours. She'd be able to take care of her family when her dad has to spend time in the hospital. And she'd certainly be able to change the secret fact about her family: her mother is agoraphobic and never leaves the house. Never. This is the year Mysti will need to be bravest of all, and with the help of new friends and her Texas History teacher, it just might be possible.

Thanks so much for letting me share my happy news!

Karen Harrington
author, Sure Signs of Crazy, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2013

 -- Visit me at and on Twitter : @KA_Harrington