Tuesday, December 17, 2013

YA Fresh’s Series Finale.

Amazingly, it’s been seven years since I launched YA Fresh in December 2006. A month later, I asked my awesome critique partner and good friend, Tina Ferraro, to join me as we celebrated the releases of our young adult novels.
Why not start a YA blog to chat about YA books, giveaways, and just have fun with it?
Have Fun, we did!!
Hundreds of interviews and giveaways, and lots of fun chats with readers and bloggers.
Now here we are today with less YA Fresh readers to chat with and few entries for our giveaways.
Tina and I have decided to close YAF’s doors in December 2013.
We can think of YA Fresh as a book blog series that has run its final seventh season and this is our Series Finale!
Thank you for seven years of visits and chats. Thank you for sharing your favorite young adult and middle grade reads with us.
Thank you for taking the time to visit each day, and of course, we will miss you!
You can always find Tina on her Facebook page or Twitter or contact her on her website. You can chat with me on Facebook, Twitter, or contact me through Kellyparra.com.
Keep reading, writing, and having fun, YA Freshers!

Monday, December 09, 2013

Chasing Shadows--The Winner!

JILL THE OWL is the winner of a hardcover copy of CHASING SHADOWS by Swati Avasthi!  Jill, please contact me at admin@tinaferraro.com, and I'll get the book in the mail to you!

Thanks to all who entered!

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Chasing Shadows--the giveaway!

We're excited to be giving away a hardcover copy of Swati Avasthi's critically acclaimed YA novel, CHASING SHADOWS, which Kirkus Reviews named as one of the year's best teen novels, calling it "haunting, mesmerizing and intense." 

Check out the book trailer:

To be entered, simply go to our comments and tell us why you want to read this book.  The winner will be chosen randomly, and announced on Monday, December 9th.  Good luck!

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Books of 2013

Have you seen the Kirkus Reviews list of Best Teen Books of 2013?  Here's the link.

You don't have to scroll very far to see the book we're giving away here at YA Fresh this weekend:  Swati Avasthi's CHASING SHADOWS.  Check back with us on Friday to be entered to win!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

What I'm Reading...

Earlier this year we did an interview and giveaway of Sarah Skilton's debut YA release,  BRUISED.  Under the heading of "too many books, too little time," I am finally getting around to reading it now--and loving it already.

So how about you?  Getting in reading time in this holiday season?  Share with us in the comments!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Blog Love?

I think I started blogging in 2005. It was fresh and new. Anyone could post their views and voices on-line. When Twitter happened, micro-blogging became easier and faster. A quick thought or link in 140 characters or less!

Now, I read industry blogs and articles but I'm not finding that many comments. So it brings me to ask visitors here, is there still blog love?

How do you feel about blogs? Do we still have our YA Freshers checking in at YA Fresh?

We'd like to know!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Our Giveaway Winner...

The winner of WAITING FOR THE QUEEN by Joanna Higgins is...


So Cary, if you'd please e-mail me at admin@tinaferraro.com, we'll get the book in the mail to you!

Thanks to those who entered, and keep coming back for more cool giveaways!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Waiting for the Queen - Giveaway!

We're excited to be giving away a hardcover copy of WAITING FOR THE QUEEN, notable author Joanna Higgins's first middle grade novel.  In addition to a reader's private collection, this book would make a wonderful addition to a middle school classroom library, or gift for a reader from 4th grade and up.

A surprising friendship develops between Eugenie, an escapee from the French Revolution, and Hannah, a Quaker girl, when they unite in the cause against slavery in this adventuresome tale of true nobility set amidst the rugged, eighteenth-century, Pennsylvania wilderness.

Fifteen-year-old Eugenie de La Roque and her family barely escape the French Revolution with their lives. Along with several other noble families, they sail to America, where French Azilium, as the area came to be known, is being carved out of the rugged wilderness of Pennsylvania. Hannah Kimbrell is a young Quaker who has been chosen to help prepare French Azilum for the arrival of the aristocrats. In this wild place away from home and the memories they hold dear, Eugenie and Hannah find more in common than they first realize. With much to learn from each other, the girls unite to help free several slaves from their tyrannical French owner, a dangerous scheme that requires personal sacrifice in exchange for the slaves' freedom.

A story of friendship against all odds,
Waiting for the Queen is a loving portrait of the values of a young America, and a reminder that true nobility is more than a royal title.

The giveaway starts NOW, with the winner called on Monday, November 18th.  All you have to do to be entered is go to the comments and tell us something you've been known to "wait for..."  (For me it always seem to be the "brew done" beep on our coffee machine!)  Good luck!

Friday, November 08, 2013

Thanks, Scholastic!

Back in school, I loved perusing the Scholastic Book Club flyers.  Each book sounded better than the next, and my biggest challenge was narrowing the list to fit my budget.  One month I remember receiving a virtual tower of books, and my astonished teacher asking me if I was really going to read them all.  (Yep...and the good ones I'd read again and again...)

Sadly, I lost those books in a storm that flooded our house years later, but thanks to the internet, have found used versions of those original publications, and set about replacing and re-reading my favorites.  It's been fun all over again.   

So imagine my glee when I heard the following news.  Scholastic--whose very name still fills me with childish glee--has released a guide for middle school teachers to help teach creative writing.  Called Traits of Writing, it includes a section on creating narrative voice.  A suggested lesson plan includes using one of my books, Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress, as a way to explain and explore writing satire.

I'm honored and I'm thrilled and I'm floored!  I even bought a copy of the teaching guide for my personal library, and put a bookmark right there at page 175, which I plan to shove under the noses of all who enter our house.  "Look!"

But the one person I'd really like to share this news with is in memory form, a short girl named Tina who is trying to carry a tower of  books back to her desk.  "Keep reading, keep writing, keep dreaming...and believe it or not, one day, you'll get an amazing recognition from that very publisher who helped you start it all."

Thanks, Scholastic!  

Monday, November 04, 2013

What's Fresh with Sara Hantz's In The Blood

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

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

Hi Sara, so great to chat with you again! What was the main inspiration for In the Blood?

Sara: If ever I read or watched about some horrific crime committed I would always wonder how it affected the perpetrator’s family and what happened to them. The idea for my book just grew from that.

Who would you cast if your book was made into a movie?

Sara: Jed: Paul Wesley (although he’s maybe a bit too old), Summer: Ellen Page

How do you stay focused when writing?

Sara: I don’t! I have the attention span of a gnat, plus I write while working in our business which means constant phone calls and interruptions.

Best of luck, Sara! Let's close with what are you working on for us next?

Sara: My next book is Will The Real Abi Saunders Please Stand Up and is about an introverted girl who ends up being a stunt girl for a wild teen movie star.

Sara Hantz originally comes from the UK and is one of four children, having three younger brothers. Although she was an avid reader from a very early age, she didn't get the writing bug until much later in life, though English was always one of her stronger subjects. She's an avid sun chaser and now lives on the beautiful Sunshine Coast in Australia (via 10 years in New Zealand). Sara lectured for many years before deciding to devote more time to her writing and working in the family hospitality business. She has two grown-up children and when not writing, working, or online with her friends, she spends more time than most people she knows watching TV - in fact if TV watching was an Olympic sport she'd win gold. Sara’s books: In The Blood, The Second Virginity of Suzy Green and Will The Real Abi Saunders Please Stand Up (due out May 2014).Visit her website, www.sarahantz.com.