Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Quick cover peek!

Hey YA Freshers!

Just wanted to give you a sneak peek of the cover for a YA anthology coming up in October...six authors are sharing six creepy, spooky young adult short stories in Buzz Books's SOMETHING WICKED!

Cool cover, huh? I'm excited to have one of my stories included. So if you're a book reviewer, interested in book club party, or just love wicked stories, keep tabs on the Something Wicked page at BB or the facebook page for news and fun prizes!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Help Me Load My Kindle!

I know it's not prudent to own up to an extended vacation on the internet, but since we're among friends here--and my house will be anything BUT empty and vulnerable--I feel free to admit it:  my husband and I are off to Europe for three weeks next month! 

I hope to post pictures, maybe during the trip, but certainly after. 

At this stage of planning, my mind is running to--what else?--young adult novels, and all the quality reading time I'll have for them.  I am bringing mostly e-reads for weight convenience, but have some paperbacks, too, targeted for electronically banned airplane moments and time on the Adriatic shore. 

Here's the YA paperback in my stash, a lovely book  I've had for ages and always meant to read:

And these three are sitting, ready-and-waiting on my Kindle:

I'm excited about all of them, and love to add one or two more to my e-reader.  Please call out any favorites you think I would enjoy!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The winner is...

The winner of Lisa M. Stasses's THE FORSAKEN is....


Congrats, Leeanna! Please send me your mailing addie to Kellyparra AT earthlink DOT net and Lisa will get your book out to you!
Happy reading!!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

What's Fresh with Lisa M. Stasse's The Forsaken with a Giveaway!!

A thought-provoking and exciting start to a riveting new dystopian trilogy.

As an obedient orphan of the U.N.A. (the super-country that was once Mexico, the U.S., and Canada), Alenna learned at an early age to blend in and be quiet—having your parents taken by the police will do that to a girl. But Alenna can’t help but stand out when she fails a test that all sixteen-year-olds have to take: The test says she has a high capacity for brutal violence, and so she is sent to The Wheel, an island where all would-be criminals end up.

The life expectancy of prisoners on The Wheel is just two years, but with dirty, violent, and chaotic conditions, the time seems a lot longer as Alenna is forced to deal with civil wars for land ownership and machines that snatch kids out of their makeshift homes. Desperate, she and the other prisoners concoct a potentially fatal plan to flee the island. Survival may seem impossible, but Alenna is determined to achieve it anyway.

Hello Lisa, thanks for sharing with YA Fresh! Please tell us about your debut novel The Forsaken.

Lisa: THE FORSAKEN is a dystopian novel about a 16-year-old girl named Alenna Shawcross. She's a "good girl" who has never done anything wrong. But when she inexplicably fails a mandatory government personality test (and is diagnosed with highly subversive tendencies and a capacity for brutal violence) she is immediately exiled to a harsh prison island known as "The Wheel". There, she must quickly figure out how to make friends, how to fight back, and how to escape from the island--or else she is not going to survive for very long. The Wheel is divided into different sectors, and controlled by wild tribes. There are also government machines patrolling the sky that snatch kids and take them away for secret experiments. THE FORSAKEN is kind of like a cross between The Hunger Games, the TV show LOST, and Lord of the Flies--although hopefully it's also it's own unique thing!

Wow, sounds fantastic! What was the main inspiration for this book?

Lisa: The idea came from a nightmare I had about being chased by men in black robes on a tropical prison island, as well as my dislike of standardized tests like the SAT. The two things merged, and I came up with a vision of the future in which a standardized personality test determines your entire fate. If you pass, you get to live and work as a productive member of society. If you fail, you lose everything and are banished to The Wheel. But of course, the personality test is corrupt, and a lot of innocent kids get banished and have to fight it out with the crazed and violent ones.

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

Lisa: I finished Book 2 of THE FORSAKEN trilogy a few weeks ago. It's called THE UPRISING, and is larger in scope and darker than Book 1. I'm already working on the third and final book! In addition, I'm working on a supernatural thriller set in Detroit, about identity theft.

Cool! Thanks again for visiting with us, Lisa! Would you like to close with a writer's tip?

Lisa: My advice for aspiring writers is to read as many great books as possible (in all genres) and to write something every day. It doesn't have to be anything amazing. For years, most of the writing I did was just keeping a journal. But if you read a bunch of great books, and write each day, you will definitely get better as a writer! I read about 3-5 books/week, and I try to write something each day (even if I throw it out the next day, hehe). It's a constant learning process. But it's also a lot of fun!

Okay YA Freshers, check out Lisa's awesome book trailer below! Cool, huh? Lisa has been kind enough to offer up a copy of The Forsaken to a lucky YA Fresher. Leave a comment on this blog post between now and Monday, August 20th, 2012 (USA residents only please) and a lucky winner will be chosen and announced Tuesday (August 21st). Thanks and good luck!!

Lisa M. Stasse was born in Syracuse, New York, and has since lived in Spain, Russia, Hawaii, and North Carolina. She graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Government and English literature, and is currently a digital librarian at UCLA. Lisa loves watching science fiction movies, cooking Spanish food, and dancing around her house to 80's music (when no one is watching). She lives in Santa Monica, California with her husband and their two-year-old daughter. All three of them are learning how to surf. Visit her website,

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Winner!

What fun that was, creating new "punk" words in last week's giveaway of a signed copy of Suzanne Lazear's debut novel, INNOCENT DARKNESS. 

The winner, chosen by my random number generator (hey, this is official stuff!) is:


who offered us "BalletPunk"!

Gabby, please contact me at, and we'll get the book in the mail to you.

Thanks to all who entered and check back with us again soon!

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

What's Fresh with Suzanne Lazear--Giveaway!

We welcome debut YA author Suzanne Lazear to YA Fresh today, to talk about her release, INNOCENT DARKNESS!  One lucky commenter will win a signed copy!

Hello, Suzanne!  Could you please tell us a little about your writing background and how you made your first sale?

Suzanne:  I've wanted to be a writer pretty much my entire life, but I didn't make the correlation between being published and having to actually sit down and write a whole manuscript until 2007. INNOCENT DARKNESS was manuscript #10, and the 4th I actually queried (It took quite a few manuscripts to figure out writing basics, like books need plots, not just a bunch of explosions linked together with character development). In 2010 I was querying agents with INNOCENT DARKNESS and someone in my RWA chapter told me that Flux was looking for steampunk and they took unagented submissions. So, I sent off my manuscript. At the same time, my now agent asked me for the full manuscript. A few weeks later, I sold INNOCENT DARKNESS and the sequel to flux and was signed by my agent hours later (I was in McDonald's when I got the call from my agent).
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.

Suzanne:  Between having a family and a day job I've learned to write when and where I can, I often do social media from my phone when I can, and write at lunch and after my daughter has gone to bed. Since I get maybe 1-2 hours of writing time a day (and that's if it's not gobbled by blog posts or other things authors fund themselves doing) I've learned to really focus, turn off that internal editor, and get those words down on the page (unless, of course, I'm revising).

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

Suzanne:  INNOCENT DARKNESS is what I call "fairytale steampunk" - it's a mashup of steampunk, faeries, and classic fairytale lore. It's a story of wishes, bad bargains, flying cars, huntsman, evil queens, and  (of course) cute boys. You can expect adventure, kissing, a sassy Victorianesque heroine, a brooding antihero, and a hero who likes books.

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

Suzanne:  I love steampunk and faeries, but I've also been attracted to Elfpunk, ever since I discovered it in the 90's. Elfpunk is a bit like urban fantasy only the "punk" element is played up more and you use actual mythological creatures and their established mythos. I've been dabbling in some elfpunk. I'm also fascinated by cyberpunk. Basically, I like to write things with the word "punk" in them. 

Fun!  Would you like to close with a writing tip?
Suzanne:  Write every day -- even if it's for 5 minutes, even if you don't want to (especially if you don't want to). If you want to be a writer you need to make it a habit, especially because there will be some days where you don't want to write and you have to, because you're on deadline. So, start making it a habit now. 

Thanks so much, Suzanne!  Now, to be entered to win a signed copy of INNOCENT DARKNESS, I thought we could follow her lead about loving words with "punk" in them.  Leave us a comment telling us (or making up) a word with "punk" in it.  Like steampunk, elfpunk, catpunk...  And check back on Monday to learn the winner!    

Monday, August 06, 2012

Our Winner is...

The winner of this past weekend's paranormal YA giveaway is...


So Mrs. F., please drop me a line at and we'll get those books in the mail to you.

Thanks to everyone who entered, and be sure to check back next weekend, as we are going to be hosting another cool giveaway!   

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Paranormal YA Giveaway!

I spent several fun days in Anaheim, California last week, attending the Romance Writers of America conference.  I did lots of schmoozing with lots of authors...and came home with suitcases full of books!   

Included in my haul were Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs 

and Vampire's Kiss by Veronica Wolff, both kindly donated them for YA Fresh readers.

One winner will randomly be chosen from all the comments to win both books!  In order to be entered, simply go to the comments and give us the name of a YA book you've already enjoyed reading this summer!  Then check back on Monday, August 6th to learn the lucky winner!