Thursday, December 27, 2012

Mugging for the Camera

Many of our readers known I'm a Facebook Scrabble fan.  Okay, maybe addict!  So how thrilled was I to get a Scrabble mug from my daughter for the holidays?  I have used it every morning since, and maybe best of all, when the cocoa/coffee/tea is finished, the empty mug reveals a triple word score!  

When clean, it now joins our assortment of other "signature mugs," like the ones that have pictures of our kids, our favorite college emblems, or apt little sayings.

I thought I'd shout it out to our YA Fresh readers!  Do you have any favorite mugs in your home, that represent your personality, friends/family, likes and dislikes?  If so, please share!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Happy Holidays!

To all of our celebrating YA Freshers:

Have a safe and happy holiday celebration!!

~Kelly and Tina

Monday, December 17, 2012


Thanks to all who commented on The Starter Boyfriend giveaway, naming characteristics that are important in a boyfriend--starter or otherwise.  We got some terrific feedback, including honesty, humor, loyalty, kindness, understanding...

Now time to shout out two winners!




If you two would contact me at, I will get paperback copies in the mail to you!


Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Starter Boyfriend Giveaway!

In some fun news, my latest release, THE STARTER BOYFRIEND, is now available in paperback, as well as e-book.  Just in time for the holidays!

The paperback version is not currently available in stores, but anyone interested can contact me at for purchase/mailing information.  

I invite all to enter to win one of the two paperback copies I am giving away!  All you need to do is leave a comment stating a characteristic you think is important in a boyfriend--starter or otherwise...

* * * * *

To kick off this celebration, the price of the e-book is now $1.99 (through the month of December only).  It can be purchased through these websites:

Barnes and Noble Nook

* * * * *

Good luck, and check back here Monday the 17th to learn the winners!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

YA Books as Holiday Gifts

One of the things I love most about the holiday season is buying books.  For friends, family--and even myself.  (Almost every year there’s a present at my house whose tag says “For Tina” in my own handwriting.)

I thought it would be fun to mention some great young adult book recommendations. I’ll start with what I consider a holiday classic:

Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle:

Sparkling white snowdrifts, beautiful presents wrapped in ribbons, and multicolored lights glittering in the night through the falling snow. A Christmas Eve snowstorm transforms one small town into a romantic haven, the kind you see only in movies. Well, kinda. After all, a cold and wet hike from a stranded train through the middle of nowhere would not normally end with a delicious kiss from a charming stranger. And no one would think that a trip to the Waffle House through four feet of snow would lead to love with an old friend. Or that the way back to true love begins with a painfully early morning shift at Starbucks.

And I’ll add what I’ve already shared with our readers was my favorite YA book of the year:

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Oct. 11th, 1943—A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it's barely begun.

When “Verity” is arrested by the Gestapo, she's sure she doesn’t stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she’s living a spy’s worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution.

As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage and failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy?

So now it’s your turn.  What are some YA books you’d recommend to give as gifts this year?


Tuesday, December 04, 2012

What's Fresh with Eileen Cook's The Almost Truth

From the author of Unraveling Isobel and The Education of Hailey Kendrick, a smart, romantic novel about a teenage con artist who might be in over her head.

Sadie can’t wait to get away from her backwards small town, her delusional mom, her jailbird dad, and the tiny trailer where she was raised…even though leaving those things behind also means leaving Brendan. Sadie wants a better life, and she has been working steadily toward it, one con at a time.

But when Sadie’s mother wipes out Sadie’s savings, her escape plan is suddenly gone. She needs to come up with a lot of cash—and fast—or she’ll be stuck in this town forever.

With Brendan’s help, she devises a plan—the ultimate con—to get the money. But the more lies Sadie spins, the more she starts falling for her own hoax…and perhaps for the wrong boy. Sadie wanted to change her life, but she wasn't prepared to have it flipped upside down by her own deception. With her future at stake and her heart on the line, suddenly it seems like she has a lot more than just money to lose...

Hi Eileen, great to have you back on YA Fresh! Please share with our readers what your YA novel is about.

Eileen: THE ALMOST TRUTH is about Sadie, a teen-age con artist. When she discovers she looks like the age enhanced photo on a missing child poster she decides to pull the ultimate con until she begins to suspect she might be the missing child.

What was the main inspiration for this book?

Eileen: Most often book ideas come to me as a collection of unrelated things. A bit of an idea here, another piece there, until it sticks together as one idea. This process can take months or years. This is one of the few books where I can remember the exact second I had the idea. I was on the ferry and saw a missing child poster. At the bottom there was an age-enhanced photo so you could see what the person might look like now. I had the thought "How weird would it be if I looked like the age enhanced photo?" In that instant the idea of the book dropped into my head. I ran back to my seat and wrote it down as fast as I could. I spent another week thinking over some different details, but I started writing almost right away.

What are you working on for us next?

Eileen: I am working on a new YA which is currently being called LOST TO BE FOUND, but stay tuned the title may change. It’s about a girl named Avery who decides to search for her birth mom as part of her senior project, but ends up finding out more about herself.

Please share your perfect writing day.

Eileen: The perfect writing day would mean writing in a house near the ocean. There’s something about water that I love. I’d write during the day without a single beating my head on the desk moment, and spend the evening reading by the fire.

Thanks again for sharing, Eileen, good luck with your writing! Let's close with what popular writing advice do you never follow?

Eileen: Write what you know. For me part of the fun is learning something I don’t already know.

Eileen Cook is a multi-published author with her novels appearing in six different languages. She spent most of her teen years wishing she were someone else or somewhere else, which is great training for a writer. Her latest release, Unraveling Isobel came out in Jan 2012. 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 two dogs and no longer wishes to be anyone or anywhere else.