Friday, April 29, 2011

Caption It!

We haven't had a Caption It! contest in a while, and I was thinking with a number of us crazy tired from being up all hours to watch the royal wedding, this might be the perfect weekend to get silly! (And if you didn't watch it, you'll have a heads-up on the rest of us!)

So here we go:

I'll start with, "This is my imitation of the Cat and the Hat."

Who's next? Leave a caption--or captions, no limit to tries--and then check back on Monday to learn the winner's name. A random winner will get a $10.00 gift card to!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Little Bits of Goodness

So I was doing my daily blog stroll yesterday and stumbled upon Holly Cupala's cover reveal for her next book DON'T BREATHE A WORD, coming October 2011.

Here's a little about the book:

Joy Delamere is suffocating.

From asthma, which has nearly claimed her life. From her parents, who will do anything to keep that from happening. From delectably dangerous Asher, who is smothering her from the inside out.

Joy can take his words—tender words, cruel words—until the night they go too far.

Now, Joy will leave everything behind to find the one who has offered his help, a homeless boy called Creed. She will become someone else. She will learn to survive. She will breathe…if only she can get to Creed before it’s too late.

Set against the gritty backdrop of Seattle’s streets and a cast of characters with secrets of their own, Holly Cupala’s powerful new novel explores the subtleties of abuse, the meaning of love, and how far a girl will go to discover her own strength.

Holly had some fun with the cover release and shared pieces of her cover on specific YA blogs. It was like leaving little bits of goodness all over the web for readers to follow!

I haven't asked permission to share her cover, but run over to Holly's blog and follow the links to her full cover. It's really BREATHTAKING. *wink*

Congrats, Holly! Looking forward to reading it!


Saturday, April 23, 2011


Thanks to all who entered this past weekend's contest to win a copy of HAVEN by Kristi Cook! The winner is:


So if Diana would please contact me at, we will get that book winging its way to you!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Haven Giveaway!

We welcome today Kristi Cook to talk to us about her debut YA novel,
Haven! Be sure to leave a comment to be entered to win a copy!

Hi, Kristi, could you please tell us a little about your writing background and how you made your first sale?

Kristi: I've been writing adult historical romance for a while now, with my first sale in 1994, but over the past five or six years, I've mostly been reading YA, so I started a YA manuscript "for fun" between my contracted books. I finally got up the nerve to show the first few chapters to my agent a few years ago, and she was really excited about the project. It took me a long time to finish it--again, working between contracted books--but when I did, my agent finally started subbing it, and I was beyond thrilled when it sold to Simon Pulse!

Wonderful! Readers and writers often like to get a behind the scenes peek of an author's writing routine. It would be great if you could please share your typical writing day schedule.

Kristi: Oh, man...I *wish* I had a typical writing day. I've got two elementary-school aged kids, and in theory I want to write while they're off at school, but more often than not, I'm just not in a writing mood until nighttime. So for me, it's a little writing here, a little writing there, a lot of running kids back and forth to activities, and some really late nights!

Please tell us about your novel, HAVEN, and what we can expect from your characters.

Kristi: HAVEN is set at the Winterhaven School, a fictional boarding school in New York's Hudson Valley where all the students and faculty possess psychic gifts. Violet McKenna transfers to the Winterhaven School hoping to hide her gift of precognition from the world, like she's always done, but is pleasantly surprised to find that she fits right in at her new school, psychic powers and all. She's quickly welcomed into a tight-knit group of friends, and is immediately intrigued by Aidan Gray, a mind reader whose secrets go far deeper than she realizes. But soon she starts having visions of Aidan's death--and realizes that she's the one who kills him. As their attraction grows, things grow more complicated...and lots of secrets come out!

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

Kristi: Right now I'm working on the sequel to HAVEN, which is still untitled--it will probably be out late spring 2012!

Would you like to close with a writing tip?

Kristi: The best writing tip I can pass on to anyone is to keep writing--that no effort is wasted. Writing is like any skill; it takes lots and lots of practice, and the more you write, the better you get at the craft. Also, don't expect your path to publication to be like anyone else's--everyone's journey is different, and there's no "right" way. I know writers whose very first manuscript sold, and I know writers who wrote a dozen manuscripts before they sold. There are pros and cons to both, believe it or not.

Thanks so much!

Now for our readers. To win a signed copy of HAVEN, simply leave us a comment telling us this: if you were a student at the Winterhaven School, what psychic gift would you like to have?

Best of luck and check back to learn the winner on Monday, April 25th.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Did You Rock The Drop?

Yesterday, Readergirlz supported Teen Lit Day with with Rock The Drop!

"Rock the Drop is an annual event that draws love and attention to YA lit as rgz around the world surreptitiously drop/donate novels in their communities."

Rock the Drop Photo Ops have been posted on the blog with all the Rockin' Book Drops! Visit Readergirlz to see all the fantastic participants and photos, and support their awesome efforts!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Our Winner!

The winner of the Manga book, AVALON HIGH CORONATION by Meg Cabot is...


So Krystal, please contact me at and I'll get that in the mail to you!

Thanks to all who entered!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Avalon High Coronation--Giveaway

I spent most of last week at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles, attending the Romantic Times Bookseller's Convention. Saturday was Teen Day, and upwards of 500 teen readers came to visit all the teen authors!

We had a mega book signing, face-to-face chats and talks, ending with a grand teen party, where the readers were all given a cool backpack full of books. The authors got their own bags, and among my goodies was a Manga book I thought would be just perfect for YA Fresh giveaway:

Avalon High Coronation, Volume l: The Merlin Prophecy.

The contest runs until midnight on Wednesday, April 13th, with the winner announced on the 14th. To be entered, simply tell us the name of any Meg Cabot book. (And for those who need a hint, remember a certain movie with Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews about a girl who found out she was a princess...)

Good luck!

Friday, April 08, 2011

Let's Talk!

As many YA readers know, when you visit a bookstore in the YA section there is a prominent display. For example when I visit my Borders store, the first colors I see are black. Black and red. Black and purple. Black and white. You guessed it, paranormal covers!

Yes, I LOVE paranormal. I love the suspense. The visual creativity. The unique storylines.

But I fooled you. Today, let’s talk YA contemporaries!

I would love to hear from you, YA Freshers. I want to know what type of YA contemporaries you like to read.

Edgy suspense?

And which YA contemporary books are sitting cozy on your bed stand RIGHT NOW, or on your kindle, or tucked into your backpack or purse?

Inquiring minds want to know!

Pretty please?


Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Rachel Vincent's The Reaper

Some time ago I downloaded a free novella to my Kindle: The Reaper by Rachel Vincent. I had certainly heard of Ms. Vincent's Soul Screamers series, but as someone who doesn't generally lean toward paranormal stories, had not actually read any of them. The fact that this book was FREE was incentive enough for me to try it.

And was I glad I did! It's beautifully written, sharp, edgy, and a real page turner. So if you have a Kindle, follow that link and download it too. (As of this writing, it is still listed as FREE.) And I'll bet you'll do as I did: suddenly have to buy the rest of the books, as well!

And tell us, if you will, have FREE e-books enticed you towards books you might not normally have picked up, as well?

Friday, April 01, 2011

What's Fresh with Keren David's Almost True!

Ty and his mum think they are safe at last after the witness protection programme moves them and Ty becomes Jake instead of Joe. But a horrific attack and the death of a close friend prove otherwise. Ty's family decide that they have had enough of incompetent police protection and his aunt takes him to hide with the grandparents he's never met, his long absent father's family. There he slowly learns the truth about his own family and meets his feckless father.

But Ty can't forget Claire, the girl he met while he was Joe, and eventually he escapes to meet her while she is on a class trip. But Claire has changed and Ty's identity becomes more and more exposed. This brilliant exploration of teen identity is shot through with drama and suspense, keeping readers on the edge of their seat from start to finish.

Hello Keren, thank you for chatting with us! Could you please tell us a little about your writing background and how you made your first sale?

Keren: I've been a journalist for what seems like forever - I started out as a messenger girl when I was 18 and have worked for local and national papers as a reporter, a feature writer and an editor. In 2008 I decided to try and write a book for children. I signed up for a course of evening classes at City University in London and started writing the book which became When I Was Joe, helped and supported by the class tutor and the other students. I wrote the bulk of the book during the course, and then once I'd finished my first draft, began to query agents. I had some rejections, carried on working on the book, and a few months later had offers from three agents. Then the book was sent out to publishers, and I ended up with a two-book deal from Frances Lincoln Children's Books. It may sound quick and easy, but you have to remember that I had more than 25 years of experience as a journalist...and there were quite a few rejections before I got the deal!

Please tell us about your novel, Almost True, and what we can expect from your characters.

Keren: When I Was Joe tells the story of Ty who sees a boy stabbed to death and has to go into witness protection - which is not very well established in the UK. It's about how you cope with taking on a false identity, and whether you can ever really escape who you are. Almost True, the sequel, picks up Ty's story as his family decide that police protection isn't keeping him safe enough, so he goes into hiding with some strangers who seem to know a lot about him. In Almost True, Ty finds out a lot of secrets about his past.

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

Keren: I'm writing a third book about Ty, provisionally called "Another Life." And I have another book coming out in August 2011 in the UK and in Spring 2012 in the US called Lia's Guide to Winning the Lottery. It's about a 16 year old girl who wins a £8million jackpot and all the turmoil that causes, particularly as she fancies a boy who may be a vampire.

Thank you again, Keren! Would you like to close with a writing tip?

Keren: My writing tip would be that 'write what you know' need not mean veiled autobiography. Tell the story you want to tell, and then draw on your own experience to make the characters real.

Keren David began her career in journalism as a teenager, starting out as messenger girl and then becoming a junior reporter at the Jewish Chronicle. She worked as a reporter for the Sunday Times and the Daily Express in Scotland and then as a news editor at the Independent, later becoming a commissioning editor on the Comment pages. She lived and worked in Amsterdam for eight years, returning to London in 2007. Since then Keren has written two books for teenagers, the contemporary thrillers When I Was Joe and Almost True both published in 2010. Drawing on her background in news, they tell the story of a boy taken into police protection after witnessing a murder. When I was Joe has been nominated for the Carnegie Medal and last week won the North East Teenage Book Award 2010. Keren's next book, Lia's Guide to Winning the Lottery will be published in August 2011 (Spring 2012 in the US). Keren lives in north London with her husband, two children and two very greedy guinea pigs.