Tuesday, June 28, 2011

GCC Presents Suzanne Young and A NEED SO BEAUTIFUL!

I'm excited to share a book from another author-friend, fellow-Tenner, Suzanne Young. Her latest novel, A NEED SO BEAUTIFUL, is on sale 6/21 from Balzer & Bray/HarperCollins




Book Summary:
We all want to be remembered. Charlotte’s destiny is to be Forgotten…
Charlotte's best friend thinks Charlotte might be psychic. Her boyfriend thinks she's cheating on him. But Charlotte knows what's really wrong: She is one of the Forgotten, a kind of angel on earth who feels the Need—a powerful, uncontrollable draw to help someone, usually a stranger.
But Charlotte never wanted this responsibility. What she wants is to help her best friend, whose life is spiraling out of control. She wants to lie in her boyfriend's arms forever. But as the Need grows stronger, it begins to take a dangerous toll on Charlotte. And who she was, is, and will become—her mark on this earth, her very existence—is in jeopardy of disappearing completely.
Charlotte will be forced to choose: Should she embrace her fate as a Forgotten, a fate that promises to rip her from the lives of those she loves forever? Or is she willing to fight against her destiny—no matter how dark the consequences?


Praise for A NEED SO BEAUTIFUL:
"A clever and well-written fantasy. Whether Charlotte is an angel or a being less freighted by religious tradition is left up to the reader, but the dilemma of how we can make a lasting impression is a very human concern. Young offers an elegant solution that is well worth consideration."
— Booklist, starred review

“A gripping supernatural romance… An imaginative twist on the timeless battle between dark and light.”
— Kirkus Review


“A beautiful, poignant, and gripping tale of love and sacrifice.”
-Carrie Ryan, New York Times bestselling author of THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH


“A NEED SO BEAUTIFUL is equal parts haunting mystery, edge-of-your-seat thrill ride, and epic love story. Charlotte’s story captured me—and still hasn’t let me go!”
-Kimberly Derting, author of THE BODY FINDER

A Short Interview with Suzanne:

Tell me about your book in seven words or less.
A story about love and sacrifice.

 Other than your main character, who's a favorite character of yours in your novel and why?
I really love Onika. It was fun to explore such a sinister side of my writing. 

What's one piece of writing advice you would give to aspiring authors?
Keep writing. I thought about giving up several times in this journey. But I kept writing, and it’s what got me through the lower points.


What did you write when you were a teen?
I used to write murder mysteries starring all of my friends.

What's the last book you read that you really loved?
I adored Lisa Schroeder’s THE DAY BEFORE.


About Suzanne:


Suzanne Young currently lives in Portland, Oregon, where she uses the rainy weather as an excuse to stay inside and write obsessively. After earning her degree in creative writing, Suzanne spent several years teaching middle school language arts. Now she can be found at home chasing after her two children and poorly behaved dog and writing novels for teens. You can visit her online at www.suzanne-young.blogspot.com or follow her on Twitter @suzanne_young.






Watch the book trailer:



Huge congratulations to you, Suzanne! I can't wait to read it!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday Four

1. I am consumed in line edits. That's enough to be all four points of Friday Four today, but I have more...

2. The Contemps are accepting applications for new members. If you have a YA Contemporary book coming out between 9/2011 and 8/2012, check out this blog post to find out how you can join us! It's been a great project to get connected with teachers, librarians, and contemporary fans.

3.Things are coming together for my summer 2012 novel! I should have a title by next week, and a cover to show you very soon. Terribly excited about this!

4. I just found out I'll be teaching a Pro Series workshop for the Western Washington division of SCBWI. It's not scheduled until March, but I'm thrilled that my proposal was accepted. Many of you know about the terrible losses I've suffered recently. Well, want to hear something ironic? I submitted my proposal before most of the tragedy hit, and the topic I proposed? Grief in Fiction. Um, yeah. So I think I'll have a lot to share by March.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

GCC Presents Elana Johnson and POSSESSION!

I'm super-excited to tour this next guest on the Girlfriends Cyber Circuit! You may know her as the organizer of WriteOnCon, an amazing online writer's convention. She's also the author of FROM THE QUERY TO THE CALL, a great resource for writers, and the founding author of the QueryTrackerBlog. Besides all of that, we share the same fabulous editor at Simon Pulse! If you don't know Elana yet, here is your chance! Her debut YA novel POSSESSION just released and we're celebrating it this week on GCC!


About the book:
 Vi knows the Rule: Girls don’t walk with boys, and they never even think about kissing them. But no one makes Vi want to break the Rules more than Zenn…and since the Thinkers have chosen him as Vi’s future match, how much trouble can one kiss cause? The Thinkers may have brainwashed the rest of the population, but Vi is determined to think for herself.

But the Thinkers are unusually persuasive, and they’re set on convincing Vi to become one of them….starting by brainwashed Zenn. Vi can’t leave Zenn in the Thinkers’ hands, but she’s wary of joining the rebellion, especially since that means teaming up with Jag. Jag is egotistical, charismatic, and dangerous: everything Zenn’s not. Vi can’t quite trust Jag and can’t quite resist him, but she also can’t give up on Zenn.

This is a game of control or be controlled. And Vi has no choice but to play.

What People Are Saying:

"Possession held me completely captivated from beginning to end. And what an end! I fell in love with the characters and had countless moments of 'Wow.'"
--James Dashner, bestselling author of The Maze Runner and The Scorch Trials

"Who Should Read This: Anyone who wants a challenge: This plot is so twisty, I had to read the last chapter twice before I could believe what happened. There's also a very nice balance between badass action and romantic tension for readers who like a good mix of the two."
--MTV.com


“Most [readers] will be drawn in by the love triangle, revelations about Vi and her family, and a dark twist ending that maintains the faintest glimmer of hope.”
--Publisher's Weekly


"This debut dystopian succeeds at suspense and tension.... Revelations come hard and fast." --Kirkus

“Emotion pumps through every scene of this thriller. Given all the urgency and action, the novel’s ending may surprise readers as the heroic adventure turns into a tragic love story.” –School Library Journal


“An intriguing dystopia…A good choice for fans of Pam Bachorz and Ally Condie.” --Booklist


The Interview with Elana:

1. Tell me about your book in seven words or less.
Angry girl + brainwashing messages + cute boys = Possession

2. Other than your main character, who's a favorite character of yours in your novel and why?
I really like Pace Barque. He’s the brother of my male MC, and there’s something “quiet” about him that I love.

3. What's one piece of writing advice you would give to aspiring authors?
Allow yourself to write badly, so you can figure out how you write best.

4. What did you write when you were a teen? Did you journal? Write poetry? Write overly literary or emotional stories? Or avoid writing altogether?
Oh, I hated writing as a teen. I was a math girl. I even have a math minor! Writing didn’t come until much later in my life.

5. What's the last book you read that you really loved?
VARIANT by Robison Wells. It’s coming from HarperTeen in October.

All the very best to Elana and POSSESSION! To read the first two chapters or find out more, go to the official POSSESSION website.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Friday Four

1. I just noticed that Borders has LOSING FAITH on sale for $7.99. If you haven't had a chance to pick up a copy yet, that's the cheapest I've seen it (even cheaper than the ebook).

Teen Author Tuesday Presents Karyn Henley and BREATH OF ANGEL!

I'm happy to welcome another Elevensie to the blog today! Karyn Henley's debut novel, BREATH OF ANGEL, releases June 21, 2011 from WaterBrook/Random House. It's a YA fantasy, for ages 14 and up.



Welcome, Karyn! Please tell me about your book in seven words or less.
Angels, immortals, romance in an ancient world.

Sounds interesting. Other than your main character, who's a favorite character of yours in
your debut novel and why?

I like the warrior angel Jarrod, because his gruff nature hides a deep heart that struggles with love and grief and commitment to a cause.

Can you tell me a little bit more about yourself?
I grew up in treeless West Texas and now live in Tennessee. The trees are so tall and full in my back yard that I feel I’m living in a park. I write where I can watch the birds and squirrels and see the tops of the trees dance in the wind.

What's been the most surprising thing about your path to publication so far?

I was truly surprised at how long it took. In 2004, I got my MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, where I first began writing Breath of Angel. I began shopping it around even before I graduated. It took me four years to find a great agent and another year for her to find me a publisher. Other friends published right away, and it was hard for me not to get jealous of them and discouraged about my path. Now that my novel is soon to be released, I realize I was blind to the shortcomings of my story seven years ago. It wasn’t ready. I’ve learned a lot doing the hard work necessary to get it into shape – both before and after getting an editor.

What's one piece of writing advice you would give to aspiring authors?

If writing is really what you want to do, be persistent, keep learning, keep writing. You’ll get there.

Great advice! Are you swept up with promotion for your debut book right now or can you
give us a sentence or two about something new you're working on?

Since Breath of Angel is the first book in the Angelaeon Circle series, I’m deep into revisions of book two. Breath of Angel has a female protagonist. Book two is from the point of view of the male “romantic lead.” It has been fun to see the story from his perspective. And it looks like the promotion of book one and the editing of book two will overlap.

What did you write when you were a teen? Did you journal? Write poetry? Write overly literary or emotional stories? Or avoid writing altogether?

I read more than I wrote when I was a teen. Loved fantasy, of course, as well as historical fiction and nature-logs. When I wrote, it was poetry. Haikus mostly.

What's the last book you read that you really loved?

I recently finished Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta. I was totally enthralled.

Sounds great. Thanks so much for stopping by the blog today, Karyn, and all the best with your debut! If readers want to find out more about you and your writing, where should they look?

My website: www.breathofangel.com
My Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Karyn–Henley/140411189331787?ref=ts
My Twitter: http://twitter.com/karynhenley
My Blogger: http://maybeso.wordpress.com

My LiveJournal: www.community.livejournal.com/2011debuts

Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday Four

1. Guess what I saw in Publisher's Marketplace today?!

Author of LOSING FAITH Denise Jaden's untitled novel, exploring the fragile relationship between two teen sisters - one, a gifted photographer, and one, a dancer who struggles with bulimia, to Anica Rissi at Simon Pulse, with Annette Pollert editing, for publication in Summer 2012, by Michelle Humphrey at ICM.

2. Yay! I must admit, though, I'm a bit frustrated at not having a title. This is the book formerly known as APPETITE FOR BEAUTY. It won't quite feel like a real book that's being published until I have something to call it.

3. The brilliant folks at Simon Pulse are, however, working on a cover for this untitled novel. I've seen one mock-up (though I'm not able to show that around yet) and I love the direction they're going with it. I also have a tentative release date in July 2012.

4. I received a hefty set of line edits on the first 130 pages of this book. I was worried about whether I'd have enough mental focus to complete them, but actually it's been nice to sink myself into something else for a while.

I hope you all have a happy weekend. I know Father's Day will be difficult for my family, but hopefully the weather will hold out and we'll do something picnicky together.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

GCC Presents Amanda Ashby and FAIRY BAD DAY!

I'm excited to welcome another author from the Girlfriends Cyber Circuit, Amanda Ashby!  Amanda's latest novel FAIRY BAD DAY is out from Puffin/Speak this week.



About the book:

It’s going to be a fairy bad day

First, my rightful designation of dragon slayer is STOLEN right out from under me by Curtis Green. Sure, he’s really cute, but that doesn’t give him an excuse.

On top of that, I am assigned to slay fairies. I know what you’re thinking—how hard could it be, right? Wrong! These menacing beasts with their tiny hipster clothes and mocking sarcasm love taunting me. And they won’t STOP!

But the thing that tops my list of stuff to ruin my day? That would be the GIANT KILLER FAIRY that I have to hunt down and slay because I am the only one who can see it. There is someone who can help me. Unfortunately…it’s Curtis.

About Amanda:
Amanda Ashby was born in Australia, and has spent the last fifteen years dividing her time between England and New Zealand before finally deciding that to move home. When she's not moving country, she likes to write books (okay, she also likes to eat chocolate, watch television and sit around doing not much, but let's just keep that amongst ourselves, shall we?)
She has a degree in English and Journalism from the University of Queensland and is married with two children. As well as writing, she works part-time at the children/teen desk of her local library, which basically means that someone pays her to talk about books. Her debut book, You Had Me at Halo was nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice award, and her first young adult book Zombie Queen of Newbury High was listed by the New York Public Library's Stuff for the Teen Age 2010.



A short interview with Amanda:
1. Tell me about your book in seven words or less.
Funny, cute and full of skittles!

2. Other than your main character, who's a favorite character of yours in your novel and why?
I have some little fairies in the book that spend most of the time making Emma’s life hell and they were lots of fun to write. I tend to get a bit carried away with secondary characters and these guys are the perfect example. All they do is mock people, hang out at the mall and moon people!!!!

3. What's one piece of writing advice you would give to aspiring authors?
If you’re writing for publication then you need to keep the faith and believe in yourself. This is a tough business that is full of rejection and if you don’t have that little kernel deep down inside to push you through, it can be hard going.

4. What did you write when you were a teen? Did you journal? Write poetry? Write overly literary or emotional stories? Or avoid writing altogether?
I didn’t do any private writing at all, however I was always good at creative writing in school and the more people liked what I wrote, the more over the top I became with my writing. I then went to college and studied English and Journalism (which was a sad disappointment when I realized that I had to tell the truth and we weren’t allowed to make things up!). But it wasn’t until I was in my mid-twenties that I realized I wanted to actually write books!

5. What's the last book you read that you really loved?
Eon by Alison Goodman. She’s an Australian author but the book is out in the US now and it is extraordinary. It’s the story of a young girl who has to disguise herself as a boy to try and become a dragon warrior.

What people are saying:
"Teens with a taste for the paranormal school story and a tolerance for raucous humor will be involved with and amused by this romantic fantasy. The exciting plot, humor throughout—often provided by the little fairies—and relatively innocent romance between characters will grab readers and keep them involved. " Kirkus Reviews

"In a fun mashup of the modern and the magical, Ashby (Zombie Queen of Newbury High) creates nicely developed characters and supports them with strong plotting and zippy writing. Laced with humor, danger, and romance, this book will have readers smiling all the way to the last page." Publisher's Weekly


“Great fairy fun from page one! If Buffy and Harry Potter got together and threw a magical slayer party, it would be the world Amanda Ashby created in Fairy Bad Day. With plenty of laugh-out-loud humor, emotional depth, and cute boy romance, reading this book will guarantee your day is fairy awesome.” Tera Lynn Childs, award-winning author of Oh. My. Gods. and Forgive My Fins


"Fairy Bad Day is fairy awesome supernatural slaying fun." Stacey Jay author of You are So Undead to Me and Undead Much


"I really liked that no matter how mad Emma wanted to be at Curtis, she just couldn't stay mad—not with those beautiful brown eyes and that lopsided grin. I loved the cover design, it really drew me in. This was a very good book and I would highly recommend it."— School Library Journal Vanessa, age 12


Want to find out more about Fairy Bad Day?
http://www.amandaashby.com
http://www.amandaashby.blogspot.com/
https://twitter.com/#!/amandaashby/

Friday, June 10, 2011

Friday Four

1. I've taken the exclamation point off of my Friday Four. I'm still not feeling peppy enough to use exclamation points.

2. I'm generally doing pretty well. Still very busy with exhausting details in the aftermath of my dad's passing, but feeling a bit more like myself. I'm even going to go back to the gym today for the first time in months. I don't really care about the workout--my big challenge is to get in and out of there without crying (not that I mind crying, but really, do I have to do it at the gym?)

3. I've finally gotten back into reading. I had thought I had lost my ability to concentrate on books. It turned out I was trying to read the wrong books. I picked up WHERE SHE WENT by Gayle Forman the other day--the day before yesterday, actually--and I'm on the last chapter. I'm really enjoying this book and it's even feeling a bit cathartic to me.

4. I do that often--pick up books where the characters deal with similar hardships as I'm going through at the moment. WHERE SHE WENT is the follow up to IF I STAY, where Mia lost her whole family in a car accident. When I had recently miscarried, I read plenty of novels about pregnancy. I think a lot of people would purposely avoid these types of books that hit too close to home, but I search them out and they really help me process.

This whole topic makes me think of the whole #YAsaves topic on Twitter (there's also a funny parody hashtag - #YAkills - which is quite fun to follow) and the Wall Street Journal articles/opinion pieces that sparked it. I can see that there are two sides to the story--it's too bad that edginess is seen sometimes as a marketing tool. But as for me, personally, I'm very glad I have books that deal with the harder stuff that I can read in the midst of the harder times of my life.

I'm not going to get into a big rant one way or the other. That's all I have to say on the topic, really, but I'd love to hear other thoughts too if you have them.

Happy weekend, everyone!

Monday, June 6, 2011

GCC Presents Jessica Brody and MY LIFE UNDECIDED!

 I'm excited to welcome another guest from the Girlfriends Cyber Circuit, Jessica Brody. Her latest release MY LIFE UNDECIDED is out this week, and if you haven't heard about this book yet, this is the place to be! Scroll down to see the fabulous trailer, the summary, and an interview with Jessica.




Book Summary:

PLEASE READ THIS! MY LIFE DEPENDS ON IT!

Okay, maybe that was a bit melodramatic, but I’m sorry, I’m feeling a bit melodramatic at the moment.

Here’s the deal. My name is Brooklyn Pierce, I’m fifteen years old, and I am decisionally challenged. Seriously, I can’t remember the last good decision I made. I can remember plenty of crappy ones though. Including that party I threw when my parents were out of town that accidentally burned down a model home. Yeah, not my finest moment, for sure.

But see, that’s why I started a blog. To enlist readers to make my decisions for me. That’s right. I’m gave up. Threw in the towel. I let someone else be the one to decide which book I read for English. Or whether or not I accepted an invitation to join the debate team from that cute-in-a-dorky-sort-of-way guy who gave me the Heimlich Maneuver in the cafeteria. (Note to self: Chew the melon before swallowing it.) I even let them decide who I dated!

Well, it turns out there are some things in life you simply can’t choose or have chosen for you—like who you fall in love with. And now everything’s more screwed up than ever.

But don’t take my word for it, read the book and decide for yourself. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll scream in frustration. Or maybe that’s just me. After all, it’s my life.

Reviews:
 "Brooklyn is a sympathetic protagonist with whom teens will identify. Her journey is fun to read, and decision-challenged readers will learn an important lesson about self-acceptance along the way."
--School Library Journal

"Brody taps into a universal human desire...An amusing coming-of-age story with many funny moments...[Brooklyn's] flustered, off-the-cuff narration should keep readers as invested in her actions as her blog followers are."
--Publisher's Weekly

About the Author:
A few fun facts about Jessica Brody’s own life undecided:
•    Jessica was born in Los Angeles, moved to Colorado when she was twelve, moved back to California after college and now indecisively splits her time between both states.
•    Jessica graduated from Smith College in Massachusetts with majors in Economics and French because she was convinced she wanted to be an “important business woman.” After a brief stint as a strategic analyst for MGM Studios, she abandoned her business background to become a full-time writer. Now she uses her mad spreadsheet skills to build complicated outlines for her books.
•    Appropriately, when writing this book, Jessica couldn’t decide on a title. So she polled 50 of her closest friends to finally come up with My Life Undecided.


The Interview:
1. Welcome, Jessica! Can you tell me about your book in seven words or less?
Girl lets blog readers run her life.

2. Other than your main character, who's a favorite character of yours in your novel and why?
Ooh, toughie! I think I’m going to have to say Mrs. Moody, the cranky old lady who lives at the nursing home where Brooklyn has to do her community service hours (a direct result of one of her notorious bad decisions). Mrs. Moody was really fun to write. She’s very true to her name!

3. What's one piece of writing advice you would give to aspiring authors?
Write every day. Writing takes practice, just like a sport or musical instrument. And the more you write, the better you’ll get.

4. What did you write when you were a teen? Did you journal? Write poetry? Write overly literary or emotional stories? Or avoid writing altogether?
Actually, I was a pretty big writer when I was a teen. I was just going through a box of old school work from high school and found this Shakespearean style sonnet I was assigned to write in one of my English classes. I read it and was like, “What the heck does that mean?” Apparently I was a little more poetic back then than I am now! Haha. Or I was just a really convincing poser. But I did like to write poetry and short stories. And I even tried my hand at a few novels but never got past page 30 or so.

5. What's the last book you read that you really loved?
I just recently read RUBY RED by Kerstin Gier which was just released. It’s the first in a series and I’m now TOTALLY hooked. I’m dying for the second one. The series was originally published in Germany and I’m about this close to buying the German edition and running it through Google Translate, just so I can find out what happens! Too bad I studied French!

Thanks Jessica! Visit her online at: www.JessicaBrody.com.
And coming soon: www.MyLifeUndecided.com, where you can post your own undecided questions, poll the community, and get some answers.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Friday Four

1. I feel like I haven't blogged in forever. I'm here because I miss it. I miss having casual conversation about the smaller things in life. I'm doing pretty well, my family is slowly adjusting to the loss of my dad. Still really busy with appointments and details and stuff, but getting through it. People have been so incredibly kind, giving us everything from cyber-hugs to flowers and meals. It has all been so incredibly appreciated!

2. My cross-border friend, Angelina Hansen, told me about her wonderful library and even went online to figure out the details of how I can join it. That was a while ago, of course, but I finally got myself a Whatcom County library card this week, and Angelina was right - they do have a lot of teen new releases! I think I have ordered over 20 books to be brought in for me so far (like I don't have enough waiting for me on my shelves!)

3. Losing Faith is headed into its second printing! As an author, I think every step along this road to publication leaves you with different "wants", and that was definitely a big one of mine - that my first book would be into a second printing before it's first year was up. Many of these things are not in our control, of course, so it was a nice little surprise to get a happy email from my editor about it. Yay! We made it!

4. I think I only have 3 things this week. There's not much to talk about in my life right now, aside from the stuff that no one would want to hear about. But I did miss you all and missed blogging and really just wanted to say Hi.