Friday, September 30, 2011

Enthralled Anthology!

Here's a a new paranormal anthology to sink your teeth into you! Our friend Jeri Smith-Ready wanted to let us know she is part of this great group of paranormal authors sharing their cool YA paranormal stories.

A journey may take hundreds of miles, or it may cover the distance between duty and desire.

Sixteen of today’s hottest writers of paranormal tales weave stories on a common theme of journeying. Authors such as Kelley Armstrong, Rachel Caine, and Melissa Marr return to the beloved worlds of their bestselling series, while others, like Claudia Gray, Kami Garcia, and Margaret Stohl, create new land-scapes and characters. But whether they’re writing about vampires, faeries, angels, or other magical beings, each author explores the strength and resilience of the human heart.

Suspenseful, funny, or romantic, the stories in Enthralled will leave you moved.

And here's a sneak peek into Jeri's story "Bridge":

In the world of the SHADE novels, everyone seventeen and under can see and hear ghosts, but no one else can. So when Logan Keeley dies and his eighteen-year-old brother Mickey blames himself, they can’t ease each other’s pain or reconcile their rage. Over the course of SHADE and SHIFT, Mickey sinks into a near-suicidal depression over Logan’s death.

“Bridge” is the story, told in free verse, of how two brothers, with the help of a stranger, forge the chasm between them to find a lasting peace.

Sounds like another fantastic anthology! Be sure to check it out!

Jeri Smith-Ready has been writing fiction since the night she had her first double espresso. Her nine published books include two series for adults and the SHADE trilogy for teens, about a world of ghosts only the young can see, which concludes May 2012 with SHINE. Like many of her characters, Jeri enjoys music, movies, and staying up very, very late. Visit her at, or on Facebook ( or Twitter (, where she spends way too much time. Logan himself can be found on Twitter @keeley_logan, as can his rival/”brother-in-pulp,” Zachary Moore (@moore_zachary). The boys love to chat with each other and with their real-life fans.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

It's Fall!

It's officially fall, which happens to be my favorite season. I love hauling the jeans and jackets out of the closets and my socks from the far reaches of the drawer. I adore seeing the leaves change and hearing them crunch under my feet as I cross them on sidewalks and in the street. And I usually cannot resist treating myself to pumpkin and chai lattes in ongoing celebration.

I hope all of our readers enjoy this glimpse of fall in my (southern California) neck of the woods. And tell us: do you like fall, too? If so, what are your favorite sights and sounds and tastes and scents of the season?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Banned Books Week!

YA Freshers, it's ALA's Banned Book Week!

Yes, YA Fresh supports ALA in the cause to read Banned Books.

And as we've done in previous years, here is ALA's list of top ten challenged books in 2010:

1) And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson;
2) The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie;
3) Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley;
4) Crank, by Ellen Hopkins;
5) The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins;
6) Lush, by Natasha Friend;
7) What My Mother Doesn't Know, by Sonya Sones;
8) Nickel and Dimed, by Barbara Ehrenreich;
9) Revolutionary Voices, edited by Amy Sonnie;
10) Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Dear Bully...

Dear Bully is here and this awesome collaboration is making waves! In case you haven't heard this is how Dear Bully all began...

"Megan Kelley Hall and Carrie Jones formed the group YAAAB (Young Adult Authors Against Bullying) in April 2010 when they both coincidentally blogged about the Phoebe Prince case on the same day. Megan reached out to Carrie expressing her frustration with this case and the fact that bullying that seemed to be growing at a ridiculously fast rate. As a Massachusetts resident and having already spoken about bullying in schools, Megan was horrified after hearing about the bullying that took place in the Phoebe Prince case. While writing her books, SISTERS OF MISERY and THE LOST SISTER, she had to dig deep to make “mean girls as evil as she possibly could. When she heard about all the bullying and bullycide stories in the news, she felt like the bullies had jumped off the pages of her book and into real life. She was also disheartened by the numerous times she’d done book signings and would say to readers, “I hope you never meet girls as mean as the ones in my book.” Shockingly, they almost always said, “We already have.” Carrie Jones was also moved to do something, as she was the target of bullying as a young child due to a speech impediment. Together, they felt that they owed it to teen readers to discourage bullying -- to make it "uncool." Megan Kelley Hall started by creating a Facebook page that kicked off an entire "movement" to end bullying. This was the day that Megan, Carrie and other authors decided to use their platform as Young Adult authors to actually facilitate change and to be a voice for those kids who cannot speak out or are too afraid to be heard."

"Right away, a large number of authors jumped on board of this cause -- wanting to be involved in any way possible. The Facebook group jumped from 5 to 1500 members in one weekend and is now closing in on nearly 5,000 members. Carrie and Megan were thrilled when HarperTeen offered to put all of the stories into an anthology. The thought of having 70 authors – well-known, highly successful writers – sharing their personal bullying stories with their fans was something beyond what they had ever hoped for.

The stories in DEAR BULLY come from all angles: from the point of view of the victim, the mother, the friend, the sibling, the classmate – even a few from the actual bully. Some of the stories are light-hearted, while others are raw and emotional. All of them drive home the point that bullying is something that almost everyone has experienced. And while that is a sad fact, they want to prove that it's not a rite of passage. It doesn't make you stronger, wiser, or better. But it is something that can be overcome, something that can be changed, something that is relatable, and something that one should never be ashamed of. Through these stories, the authors want to show that they understand what teens are going through today. It is important to encourage bystanders to speak up and make bullying unacceptable. Parents and adults must get involved. Bullying is something that people no longer have to endure--at least, not by themselves.

Though quite a lofty mission, the goal of DEAR BULLY is to help just one person get through a difficult time, and hopefully make bullying a thing of the past."

Don't forget to join the Facebook page at, visit the website at, or follow DEAR BULLY on Twitter at

Monday, September 19, 2011

We Have a Winner...

Thanks to all who "talked snakes" and participated in this past weekend's giveaway of a signed copy of SWEET VENOM by Tera Lynn Childs!

Our winner is...


So, Pokadots1121, please contact me at and we'll get the book in the mail to you!

Thanks again to Tera Lynn Childs--TLC--for visiting with us and donating a copy of her book!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Sweet Venom Giveaway!

We are happy to welcome Tera Lynn Childs back to YA Fresh, this time to talk about her newest release, Sweet Venom.

She's been kind enough to donate a signed copy of the book to one of our readers, so be sure to leave a comment below to be entered.

Hi, Tera! Tell us about your book in ten words or less.

Triplet monster-hunting descendants of Medusa reunite and embrace their fate.

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

I'd have to say enigmatic charmer Nick. He's cute (duh) and he knows how to push tough girl Gretchen's buttons like no other. I always love a guy who can take it as well as he can dish it out, and with Gretchen that's a necessary skill.

Tell us something fun about SWEET VENOM. It can be a character detail, something that inspired the story, or a behind the scenes story from the writing process.

The initial spark for what would become Sweet Venom came from a magazine spread on snake-themed accessories. I hate all things snaky, but I was intrigued and started brainstorming how to grow that into a novel. The snakes led to Medusa and the premise was born.

What is a favorite comment you've ever received from a fan?

My favorites are the ones from readers and/or their moms saying how mine was the first book they ever read. Especially when they say it made them want to read more books. You can't buy that feeling.

What are you working on now?

The second book in the trilogy, Sweet Shadows, is turned in and getting copyedits. My next official deadline isn't until next June, when I have to turn in the final book in the trilogy. So right now I have some free time to work on other fun projects.

Sounds great! Thanks, Tera!

And now for our readers! In order to be entered to win a signed copy of SWEET VENOM, please leave a comment that somehow has to do with snakes. It could be how you feel about them, one you've had as a pet, clothing you have or like from their skin, the sounds they make...whatever, uh, strikes out at you!

And be sure to check back on Monday, September 20th, to learn the winner's name!

Monday, September 12, 2011

YA Fresh's New Look!

If you haven't noticed, things have changed around here!

We decided to sparkle things up a bit at YA Fresh with a new layout and colors. Sadly our links were deleted so I'll be searching for our past link partners.

We're also brainstorming on a new monthly author feature that we'll announce once we iron out the details, but it will definitely feature a fresh monthly guest. :) :)

So thanks again for visiting us at YA Fresh and we hope you like the new look!

Thursday, September 08, 2011


I got a pleasant surprise the other day while browsing I discovered that the paperback edition of THE ABC'S OF KISSING BOYS is on sale for $3.42, which is less than half price!

Hurry if you are interested because I am not sure how long this sale will last!

Now, whenever I autograph a copy of this book, I almost always sign it "XOXO," being all alphabet-related and of course, X meaning kiss and O meaning hug. But I've often wondered WHY it means what it does, and the story behind it.

And then the other day, voila! Someone gave me this answer:

In the Middle Ages, when many people were unable to read or write, documents were often signed using an X. Kissing the X represented an oath to fulfill obligations specified in the document. The X and the kiss eventually became synonymous.

While I cannot, of course, attest to its validity, it was presented as authority, and sure works for me.

So how about you...going with this X-planation? Or do you know another story? And how about the O? Have any ideas how that came to be?

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Our Winner!

The winner of a signed copy of POPULAR by Alissa Grasso...


So, Smilie Girlie, please contact me at and we'll get the book in the mail to you!

Thanks to all who entered, and Alissa for donating this prize!

Thursday, September 01, 2011

POPULAR Interview & Giveaway!

You know how people always say that word-of-mouth is the best advertising? Well, a month or so back, someone told me that Alissa Grosso’s debut novel, Popular, had a stunning twist, and I needed to check it out. So I did...

And I was so astonished by the book that I walked around talking to people about it for days! So I simply had to invite Alissa to visit us at YA Fresh for an interview! She was happy to join us, and to offer up a signed copy of POPULAR to one of our commenters!

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

I had written and even published a few short stories before, but POPULAR was the first decent novel I ever finished. I do, however, possess a very large collection of unfinished novels. POPULAR was a slush pile rescue. I submitted it directly to Flux back when they accepted unagented submissions.

You are one of the lucky ones who sold through the slush pile! Good for you!

Now, 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.

Ha! There is no such thing as a typical writing day. At least not in my life! I still have a day job. So, writing tends to get fit in when I can find the time. I do a lot of my writing at night because this tends to be my peak creativity time, and there tends to be less distractions at night. The phone doesn't ring. The UPS man doesn't ring the doorbell. Even the neighbors tend to be quieter at night.

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

This is always a bit tricky. I would have to say, expect the unexpected. It's a story that tells the downfall of a very unconventional high school clique, but there's a twist.

Indeed there is! So what’s up next? Do you have another project in the works?

My next book is called FEROCITY SUMMER. It tells the story of one summer in the life of a teenage girl trying to cope with her friend's drug addiction, her own legal troubles, an on again off again romantic relationship and an essay she is supposed to write on General Sherman and his infamous march to the sea. It's set in the New Jersey town where I spent my teen years and it's due out in 2012 from Flux.

Would you like to close with a writing tip?

Write a book that you would want to read, and if it is at all possible write only one book at a time. I've learned from experience that one finished book is worth a lot more than a hundred unfinished ones.

Great, and thank you, Alissa!

Okay, now to all our readers: Alissa tells us she mostly likes to write at night. In order to be entered in our contest to win a signed copy of POPULAR, tell us in the comments when you most like to read!

Check back on Tuesday, September 6th to see the winner’s name!