Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The I-Got-These-Books-At-BEA-And-Loved-Them Giveaway!

THANK YOU so much for entering, everybody!! The winner, by random draw, is....


Congratulations, Kristie!! I'll email you today.


It's been a busy couple of months! With vacation, and launching the Fearless Fifteeners, and crazy Sparkle Girl after-school activities...whew.

But writing-wise, it's been a little slow. I'm still waiting on feedback for two different books, so I took some time off to read. (And while I've started writing a new book now, I'm taking it slowly, so still reading too.)

And lo and behold, I had this pile of ARCs from BEA to occupy me!


I've now read a good chunk of these--and you guys, they were ALL SO GOOD. I loved them, in different ways!! I want to share the fabulousness with you. 

But I am NOT giving you my signed ARCs, sorry. I love you, but not that much.

Instead, I am going to *buy* one of you lovelies a copy of one of these books, which are all out now. Hardcover and everything. All you have to do is reply to this post and tell me which one you would want! (and an email address or way to get ahold of you, used only for contacting you if you're a winner) I'll do a random draw and the winner will get the book of their choice.

Here are your choices, in alphabetical order:

ACROSS A STAR-SWEPT SEA by Diana Peterfreund

 From GoodreadsCenturies after wars nearly destroyed civilization, the two islands of New Pacifica stand alone, a terraformed paradise where even the Reduction—the devastating brain disorder that sparked the wars—is a distant memory. Yet on the isle of Galatea, an uprising against the ruling aristocrats has turned deadly. The revolutionaries’ weapon is a drug that damages their enemies’ brains, and the only hope is rescue by a mysterious spy known as the Wild Poppy.

On the neighboring island of Albion, no one suspects that the Wild Poppy is actually famously frivolous aristocrat Persis Blake. The teenager uses her shallow, socialite trappings to hide her true purpose: her gossipy flutternotes are encrypted plans, her pampered sea mink is genetically engineered for spying, and her well-publicized new romance with handsome Galatean medic Justen Helo… is her most dangerous mission ever.

Though Persis is falling for Justen, she can’t risk showing him her true self, especially once she learns he’s hiding far more than simply his disenchantment with his country’s revolution and his undeniable attraction to the silly socialite he’s pretending to love. His darkest secret could plunge both islands into a new dark age, and Persis realizes that when it comes to Justen Helo, she’s not only risking her heart, she’s risking the world she’s sworn to protect.

In this thrilling adventure inspired by The Scarlet Pimpernel
, Diana Peterfreund creates an exquisitely rendered world where nothing is as it seems and two teens with very different pasts fight for a future only they dare to imagine.

It's THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL, reimagined. So very well done--I devoured it.

ANTI-GODDESS by Kendare Blake

From Goodreads: Old Gods never die…

Or so Athena thought. But then the feathers started sprouting beneath her skin, invading her lungs like a strange cancer, and Hermes showed up with a fever eating away his flesh. So much for living a quiet eternity in perpetual health.

Desperately seeking the cause of their slow, miserable deaths, Athena and Hermes travel the world, gathering allies and discovering enemies both new and old. Their search leads them to Cassandra—an ordinary girl who was once an extraordinary prophetess, protected and loved by a god. 

These days, Cassandra doesn’t involve herself in the business of gods—in fact, she doesn’t even know they exist. But she could be the key in a war that is only just beginning. 

Because Hera, the queen of the gods, has aligned herself with other of the ancient Olympians, who are killing off rivals in an attempt to prolong their own lives. But these anti-gods have become corrupted in their desperation to survive, horrific caricatures of their former glory. Athena will need every advantage she can get, because immortals don’t just flicker out. 

Every one of them dies in their own way. Some choke on feathers. Others become monsters. All of them rage against their last breath.

The Goddess War is about to begin.

I absolutely loved ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD, and this first book in a new series lived up to it. The characterization is amazing.

FANGIRL by Rainbow Rowell

From GoodreadsFrom the author of the New York Times bestseller Eleanor & Park.

A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love. 

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan . . .

But for Cath, being a fan is her life — and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

For something completely different...not fantasy, not alternative universe, not thriller. A thoughtful, wonderfully drawn contemporary that I related to tremendously, even though I never wrote fan fiction.

ROSE UNDER FIRE by Elizabeth Wein

From Goodreads: While flying an Allied fighter plane from Paris to England, American ATA pilot and amateur poet, Rose Justice, is captured by the Nazis and sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious women's concentration camp. Trapped in horrific circumstances, Rose finds hope in the impossible through the loyalty, bravery and friendship of her fellow prisoners. But will that be enough to endure the fate that’s in store for her?

Elizabeth Wein, author of the critically-acclaimed and best-selling Code Name Verity, delivers another stunning WWII thriller. The unforgettable story of Rose Justice is forged from heart-wrenching courage, resolve, and the slim, bright chance of survival.

 Yes, it's as good and wrenching as CODE NAME VERITY. That's all I knew going in, and that's all I'm going to say.

VICIOUS by Victoria Schwab

Note: this isn't a YA book, it's an adult book. Though I'm not sure ROSE UNDER FIRE is a YA book either.

From GoodreadsA masterful, twisted tale of ambition, jealousy, betrayal, and superpowers, set in a near-future world.

Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.

Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?

In Vicious, V. E. Schwab brings to life a gritty comic-book-style world in vivid prose: a world where gaining superpowers doesn’t automatically lead to heroism, and a time when allegiances are called into question.

It's tremendously different, and darkly delicious. You'll be surprised who you find yourself rooting for.

Okay, that's it! Five books to choose from. This is a fast giveaway, so you only have until tomorrow at 5 pm Mountain Time to enter. Spread the word far and wide, please!!*

--You must comment on this post with which book you choose (only one!) and your email address, or other way to contact you if you win.
--North American entries only. Sorry!
--Entries must be received by 5 pm Mountain Time October 30th. I'll do a random drawing after that, and contact the winner to mail the prize.
--If the winner doesn't contact me back by Friday, I'll draw again.

*Hidden super-secret extra: if I get more than 50 entries, I'll draw TWO winners. Tell your friends!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Fearless Fifteeners are LIVE!


The Fearless Fifteeners, the inclusive group for 2015 debut MG and YA authors, is OPEN for applications!

I am so, so thrilled about this. We have a fantastic group of admins, all handling various aspect of the group, such as Twitter, Facebook, ARC tours, interviews of the OneFours...you name it. We've all been working hard together to make sure everything is ready for new members to hang out together, commiserate, support each other, and promote each other.

So what can you do?

Follow our wordpress site, here: http://fearlessfifteeners.wordpress.com/
     There's a blog there, where we will be doing all sorts of things, including interviews and special features.

Follow us on Twitter, here: https://twitter.com/Fearless15ers

Like us on Facebook, here: https://www.facebook.com/fearlessfifteeners

And, if you are a debut author with a book coming out in 2015, check out our membership requirements and apply HERE: http://fearlessfifteeners.wordpress.com/becoming-a-member/
   And then JOIN US!

If you're an editor or an agent, please send your 2015 YA and MG debuts our way. We promise to be a great source of support behind the scenes, in the community, and to readers!

Be Fearless.

Friday, October 04, 2013

How Writing is like Candy Crush

Like probably a few of you, I've become addicted to a certain game on my phone, Candy Crush. I tried to resist it, but the call was too strong. It's not unhealthy. Really.

No, really. I lunge for the phone a couple minutes after the lives come back. I only dream about it a few times a week.


Anyway, I realized this morning that my current favorite game has a lot in common with my other favorite pastime career obsession, writing. Here are a few ways, in no particular order:


--There are always more levels.*
No matter how far you get--having an agent, getting a book contract, getting a starred review--there are ALWAYS MORE LEVELS. You can pound on one of those levels for weeks in Candy Crush (hello, level 65) or years in writing, and then you finally, finally get it! You dance and pound your fist! And then you hit "Next." It's never over, and you're never satisfied with your progress for long. Who gets level 65 and stops?
Especially if you're like me. I get a level, woot, and immediately move to the next one before I even take a break. Yes, I do this in writing too.
*There probably is an actual limit to Candy Crush levels. I wouldn't know. I'm on 108.

--The obstacles change, and get harder as you go.
When I hit chocolate, I was like WTH IS THIS I WILL NEVER GET PAST THIS, and kind of despaired. Just like when I got all those piled-up agent rejections, long ago. But I figured it out, and got past that part. And then I hit the bombs. (Leaving my past agent, I guess, would count as the bombs...or when I quit temporarily.) I figured that out too, eventually. With a lot of swearing and wanting to cry. (argh bombs!) Now I am juggling bombs and chocolate and licorice on one screen and still getting past. Now I have a book deal, and keep reaching for more, keep writing more, keep improving. I have no idea what the next obstacles are, in Candy Crush or writing. But I guess I'm going to have to figure out how to get past them. So are you.

--It requires both skill and luck to get past the tough levels.
Yes, that's right. I'm saying sometimes you need to have all the striped candies and round ball thingies (what are those called?) fall in the right places to win. Sometimes you need to land in someone's inbox at the right time, be on the right edge of a trend, talk to the right person. Sometimes you need luck too. Oh, and sometimes you need help. I have looked at those cheat sites, on occasion, for tips. I have certainly asked fellow writers what to do next. A lot.

--Candy and chocolate are involved.
C'mon, you get this one. We're WRITERS. Sugar is fuel for the brain.

--There are forced waiting periods.
One thing I find soooo frustrating about Candy Crush is the life expiry...and even more, the forced 24-hour breaks for quest levels. I don't like waiting. I want to keep moving forward.
Writing has forced waiting periods too. LOTS. Once you get into the publishing part, more forced waiting periods than you could have imagined. I still don't like them. But I understand them. I have to wait until it's my turn again.

--Despite how difficult it is, and frustrating, it's also fun. And you just keep going back.
This. Exactly, mostly, this. I can't stop. I can't quit. I have to push, and try, and hit Next. Even knowing there is no "end".* I will make it past level 108, eventually. I will make it to the next level of writing. And the next.

Now if you'll excuse me, for just a couple minutes. My lives just came back.