Friday, January 29, 2010

The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin

Continuing in our series of presenting Fresh Teasers about 2010 releases we are excited to read is a glimpse at a funny debut book, The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin from a funny debut author, Josh Berk!

Here's the blurb:

Being a hefty, deaf newcomer almost makes Will Halpin the least popular guy at Coaler High. But when he befriends the only guy less popular than him, the dork-namic duo has the smarts and guts to figure out who knocked off the star quarterback. Will can’t hear what’s going on, but he’s a great observer. So, who did it? And why does that guy talk to his fingers? And will the beautiful girl ever notice him? (Okay, so Will’s interested in more than just murder...) Those who prefer their heroes to be not-so-usual and with a side of wiseguy will gobble up this witty, geeks-rule debut.

Sounds great, huh?

And one last thing about The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin: it releases February 9th!

And one last thing about Josh Berk: he’s a fantastic Facebook Scrabble player (and has beaten me in every game)!

Our best to Josh on his debut and hope you, too, will check out his fun first book!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Yeah, so did you hear about Carrie Jones's Mom?

Yeah, Carrie Jones, the author. The one who wrote Tips on Having a Gay (Ex) Boyfriend, and Love (and Other Uses for Duct Tape), Girl, Hero, and her cool pixie series??

Okay, so you know who I'm talking about. You see Carrie recently hit the New York Times Bestseller's List. Yeah, THAT LIST. Because her books Need and Captivate are just too cool not to read, you know? In fact just to show you how cool the series is I'm going to share the blurb of her latest novel Captivate:

Zara and her friends knew they hadn't solved the pixie problem for good. Far from it. The king's needs grow deeper every day he's stuck in captivity, while his control over his people gets weaker. It's made him vulnerable. And now there's a new king in town.

A turf war is imminent, since the new pixie king, Astley, is moving in quickly. Nick nearly killed him in the woods on day one, but Zara came to his rescue. Astley swears that he and Zara are destined to be together, that he's one of the good guys. Nick isn't buying it, though Zara isn't as sure -- despite herself, she wants to trust the new king. But it's a lot more than her relationship with Nick that is at stake. It's her life -- and his.

Cool, right?

Anyway, well making the THE LIST and having a fresh release are not the biggest news. The BIG NEWS is what happened to Carrie Jones's Mom. In fact it's so big, I got a little teary as I read it. Because how sweet and cute is her mom?

Here is a little excerpt from Carrie's blog. You'll just have to go and read the entire post because Carrie Jones's Mom is just the sweetest.
"And when she called me after hearing the news about the whole New York Times thing she screamed into the phone, "Oh my gosh. Ohmygosh. Oh God, Carrie. I'm hyper. I'm hyperventilating. I'm hyperventilating I'm so excited. Oh my gosh, I'm hyperventilating. I am so proud of you. Oh I am so very very proud of you."

I'm talking teary stuff. Go and read.

And of course, you can congratulate Carrie for making THE LIST too...just don't forget about Carrie Jones's mom while you're at it.

Just saying.

Monday, January 25, 2010

What's Baking in the YA Fresh Kitchen!

I've enjoyed baking for almost as long as I could remember, but as my writing career has taken off, I've had less and less time for it, and now it seems that baking has become something "I used to do..."

But winter slammed into southern California last week with wild storms that brought record rainfall, lightning, thunder, snow, and even tornadoes. And as I waited to find out if my house in the burn area of the Station Fire was going to be evacuated, I found myself in the kitchen...anxiously baking chocolate chip cookie bars.

And pondering that while some people bake simply for the love of it, others pull out the pans when they're bored, and others--apparently like me--use it for a stress relief.

How about you? Is baking part of your regular routine? Or do you grab the flour and sugar containers for reasons other than the end result of a yummy dessert? And do you have something special that you like most to make? Something with chocolate in it, perhaps???

Friday, January 22, 2010

What's What With Wendy Toliver!

Author Wendy Toliver has a June 8th release, Lifted, that we're anxiously looking forward to, and are presenting as today's Fresh Teaser!

Here's the blurb:

Poppy Browne is none too thrilled to be the new girl in Pleasant Acres, Texas--especially after her mother enrolls her in a private Baptist school. But to her delight, Poppy is pulled into the cool clique on her first day at Calvary High, and her new friends, Mary Jane and Whitney, are as genuinely nice as they are gorgeous and rich. The catch? Her new pals have a nasty shoplifting habit, and before long Poppy is also a theft enthusiast. But when the girls' addictions get out of hand and friendships are threatened, it's up to Poppy to set things right...

Sounds like another wonderful Wendy read!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Check out Tina on Story Secrets!

Check out Holly Cupala's blog for her cool "Story Secrets" interviews. Today she features our Tina Ferraro's The ABC's of Kissing Boys with a chance to win an autographed copy of ABC's!!

Read Tina's secrets behind the book and comment with your best or worst kiss ever to enter for a chance to win!!

Happy commenting!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Coming Soon: The Alpha Bet

Continuing with our Fresh Teaser series of 2010 releases we are excited about, today we are featuring Stephanie Hale's The Alpha Bet:

I was prepared to do just about anything to go from geek to Greek.

Some teenagers use drugs or sex to escape overbearing parents. I used books. All my life my mother has been hovering over me, afraid to let me experience ANYTHING. So I got really good grades, graduated from high school when I was sixteen, and escaped to a new life—my own life—at college.

To jump-start my social life, I decided to rush the Alphas, the most exclusive sorority on campus. And that's when things started to get complicated.

One of the Alphas invoked the Alpha Bet, a super-secret set of alphabetical tasks that have to be completed for a sister's bid to become active. Now, completing the tasks of the Alpha Bet has taken over my life. And one of the tasks involves deceiving my roommate and only real friend, Jentry.

Can you spell B-E-T-R-A-Y-A-L?

Sounds great, huh? I loved Steph's whole Aspen Book series, and can't wait to get my hands on this one. Look for it in April!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Tell Me a Secret!

We're especially excited to give you a sneak preview (or a Fresh Teaser, as we like to call it!) of a debut book from a friend we first met as a reader here on YA Fresh. The author is Holly Cupala:

and the book, releasing from Harper-Collins in June of this year, is, Tell Me a Secret:

Advance praise includes blurbs from these notable YA authors:

“A powerful story of self-discovery, and a brilliant debut novel.” ~Ellen Hopkins, New York Times bestselling author of CRANK

“A gripping, emotional story about a young girl with a tragic past and an uncertain future. I dare you to set it down during its last hundred pages. I dare you.” ~Deb Caletti, National Book Award Finalist, author of HONEY, BABY, SWEETHEART

Wow, huh? And Holly's been kind enough to provide us with a blurb so we can read a bit about it ourselves:

It’s tough, living in the shadow of a dead girl…

In the five years since her bad-girl sister Xanda’s death, Miranda Mathison has wondered about the secret her sister took to the grave, and what really happened the night she died. Now, just as Miranda is on the cusp of her dreams — a best friend to unlock her sister’s world, a ticket to art school, and a boyfriend to fly her away from it all — Miranda has a secret.

Then two lines on a pregnancy test confirm her worst fears. Stripped of her former life, Miranda must make a choice with tremendous consequences and finally face her sister’s demons and her own...

So now Holly's secret is out...she's got a fantastic book that we can all look forward to right before summer!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

New Year, Need a Web Makeover ;)

It's the New Year and it's time to revamp my site with some fresh info. I've chatted about this topic before but I'm always interested in what readers look for in an author's website.

writer idea

Here are a few things that are must for me on an author's website:

~ Book cover and description (as well as where I can buy the book.)
~ Excerpt! Yes, yes! Sometimes I visit sites and there isn't an excerpt on the book. Luckily Amazon and B&N help me out with that. A glimpse into a book allows me to decide if the author is right for me. Even if it's only a short scene.
~ I like to know a little about the author. Maybe why/when they started writing, a few snapshots are nice.
~ Easy navigation. If I don't know where to find things it's a little tough to keep browsing.

So those are my top picks to be included in an author website. Any other suggestions? Or if you know an author website that is totally fresh--please share!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Forgive My Fins

Continuing with our occasional series of books we're looking forward to in 2010, we present the next release from Tera Lynn Childs, Forgive My Fins.

Lily Sanderson has a secret, and it’s not that she has a huge crush on gorgeous swimming god Brody Bennett, who makes her heart beat flipper-fast. Unrequited love is hard enough when you’re a normal teenage girl, but when you’re half human, half mermaid like Lily, there’s no such thing as a simple crush.

Lily’s mermaid identity is a secret that can’t get out, since she’s not just any mermaid – she’s a Thalassinian princess. When Lily found out three years ago that her mother was actually a human, she finally realized why she didn’t feel quite at home in Thalassinia, and she’s been living on land and going to Seaview high school ever since, hoping to find where she truly belongs. Sure, land has its problems – like her obnoxious, biker boy neighbor Quince Fletcher – but it has that one major perk – Brody. The problem is, mermaids aren’t really the casual dating type – when they “bond,” it’s for life.

When Lily’s attempt to win Brody’s love leads to a tsunami-sized case of mistaken identity, she is in for a tidal wave of relationship drama, and she finds out, quick as a tailfin flick, that happily-ever-after never sails quite as smoothly as you planned.

Tera was kind enough to provide us with a sneak peak, too:

Water calms me. It’s like chocolate or hot tea or dulce de leche ice cream. After a rotten day, I lock the bathroom door, fill Aunt Rachel’s old-timey tub with steaming water and bath salts, and then sink into a world where my problems all melt away.

Some days it’s not enough.

FORGIVE MY FINS (great title, huh?) releases on June 1st, but is available for pre-orders now!

Thursday, January 07, 2010

What's Fresh with Eileen Cook's Getting Revenge with Lauren Wood

Popularity is the best revenge.

In the final weeks of eighth grade, Lauren Wood made a choice. She betrayed her best friend, Helen, in a manner so publicly humiliating that Helen had to move to a new town just to save face. Ditching Helen was worth it, though, because Lauren started high school as one of the It Girls--and now, at the start of her senior year, she's the cheerleading captain, the quarterback's girlfriend, and the undisputed queen bee. Lauren has everything she's ever wanted, and she has forgotten all about her ex-best friend.

But Helen could never forget Lauren. After three years of obsessing, she's moving back to her old town. She has a new name and a new look, but she hasn't dropped her old grudges. She has a detailed plan to bring down her former BFF by taking away everything that's ever been important to Lauren—starting with her boyfriend.

Watch out, Lauren Wood. Things are about to get bitchy.

Hello Eileen, it's great to have you back on YA Fresh! Please tell us about your latest novel Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood and what we can expect.

Eileen: Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood, Simon Pulse, January 5, 2010

Readers can expect, humor, mayhem, hidden identities, best friends, secrets and a love for classic movies.

What's up next? Do you have another project in the works? If so, please tell us about it.

Eileen: I am doing a middle grade series about a girl who comes from a long line of fairy godmothers. All she wants is to be normal, but that is harder for her than you might imagine.

I’m also starting another YA book, but it is still in the idea forming stage and far too ugly to share.

Thanks so much for sharing, Eileen, I wish you the best with Revenge. Would you like to close with a writing tip?

Eileen: READ! Read a lot. Read books you like and even books that you don’t. Books and other writers are the best teachers.

Eileen Cook spent most of her teen years wishing she were someone else or somewhere else, which is great training for a writer. When she was unable to find any job postings for world famous author, she went to Michigan State University and became a counselor so she could at least afford her book buying habit. But real people have real problems, so she returned to writing because she liked having the ability to control the ending. Which is much harder with humans.

You can read more about Eileen, her books, and the things that strike her as funny at Eileen lives in Vancouver with her husband and dogs and no longer wishes to be anyone or anywhere else.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Fresh Teasers!

Kelly and I are starting a new occasional series this year called "Fresh Teasers," in which we're going to talk about 2010 young adult releases that we're excited to read.

We're kicking it off with GONE, the final book in Lisa McMann's mega-popular WAKE trilogy, due out on February 9th. Our readers may remember that Lisa visited with us when WAKE was first released, and we've recommended her whole series in a gift giving post.

Here's the blurb for GONE:

Janie thought she knew what her future held. And she thought she’d made her peace with it. But she can’t handle dragging Caleb down with her.

She knows he will stay with her, despite what she sees in his dreams. He’s amazing. And he’s a train wreck. Janie sees only one way to give him the life he deserves—she has to disappear. And its’ going to kill them both.

Then a stranger enters her life—and everything unravels. The future Janie once faced now has an ominous twist, and her choices are more dire than she ever thought possible. She alone must decide between the lesser of two evils. And time is running out…

Sounds great, huh? Anyone else excited about this book? And/or have others you're anxiously awaiting?