Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The COLOR ME SWOON Giveaway!

To kick off our first giveaway of the school year, we're offering up something special that caught our eye...


Part coloring book, part activity book and with all hot male celebs, it's called COLOR ME SWOON by Mel Elliott, and releasing by Penguin Publishing on September 3rd.  (Yes, we have an advanced copy!)  Each page has fill-in-the-blank activities like Bradley Cooper anagrams, an imaginary wedding registry with Ryan Reynolds and Jude Law limericks, in addition to color-inside-the-lines (or outside?) sketches to go at with your markers, gel pens and colored pencils. 

I can't help thinking how much fun this might be in study hall or waiting for nails to or half-watching TV...or something... 

All you have to do to be entered is to tell us in the comments which male celeb you'd like to see in the book!  (Doesn't matter if he's in there or not...)  Then check back next Monday, September 2nd to find out if YOU are the winner!  

Friday, August 23, 2013

We're Back with What's Fresh with Amanda Ashby!

Hellllllllloooo, YA Freshers! Did you all have a great summer? I think mine zoomed by, but I did enjoy myself. So read any good books lately? Talking about books, we're kicking it off with our dear author friend, Amanda Ashby! Amanda is chatting about her latest young adult novel, DEMONOSITY!

The Black Rose–a powerful ancient force–has been let loose and has taken up residence in Celeste Gibson, popular girl at Cassidy Carter-Lewis’ high school. Thomas Delacroix is the spirit of a fourteenth-century knight who is devoted to protecting the Black Rose, but he needs a contemporary living being to take on the challenge. That’s where Cassidy comes in.

She’s a quirky high school junior who just wants to dress in her vintage clothes, hang out with her best friend, and take care of her father, who is recovering from surgery. She’s the last person who would ever volunteer for such a task, but no one actually asked her. Now, like it or not, she finds herself training before dawn and battling demons at parties, the mall, and even at school. But hey, no one ever said high school was going to be easy.

So super-duper cool to have you back with us, Amanda! Let's start off by asking what was the main inspiration for DEMONOSITY?

Amanda: I’d accidently stumbled across an article about Rosicrucians—a secret society that was interested in philosophy and alchemy and I was intrigued. I’m also notoriously bad at doing lots of research so I took what I wanted from the society and then started making my own up!

Hey, we writers do like to make stuff up! Could you describe your perfect writing day...

Amanda: My perfect writing day is when I’m right in the middle of the story and the words are flowing (and absolutely no children come to ask for food, a referee or whether they can drink their body weight in Pepsi.)

About how long do you let a story idea marinate before you dive in and start writing it?

Amanda: I find plotting a real struggle because I’m an Aries and I like everything NOW. However, trying to have instant gratification with a new book idea doesn’t always work so what happens is that I get an idea and then when I discover it’s not working, I throw it away in a huff and start on something else. I then repeat this for four or five different projects until I work my way back around to the first idea, by which time I normally have a better way of moving it forward! And yes, if it does sound crazy, I agree wholeheartedly. It’s a ridiculous way to work!

So, Amanda, have you always wanted to be a writer?

Amanda: No, I was a late bloomer and spent most of my youth and early twenties wanting to sit on the couch watching television and reading books. Unfortunately, that didn’t pay very well and one day it suddenly occurred to me that I could still sit on the couch if I was the one writing the stories!

Thanks, Amanda! Good luck with DEMONOSITY!

Amanda Ashby was born in Australia and after spending the last sixteen years dividing her time between England and New Zealand, she’s finally returned home for some sunshine. When she’s not moving country, she likes to write books (okay, she also likes to eat chocolate, watch television and sit around doing not much, but let’s just keep that amongst ourselves, shall we?)

She has a degree in English and Journalism from the University of Queensland and is married with two children. Her debut book, You Had Me at Halo was nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice award. Zombie Queen of Newbury High was listed by the New York Public Library’s Stuff for the Teen Age 2010. Fairy Bad Day was selected by Voya as one of their Top Shelf Fiction for Middle School Readers 2012 and was a SCBWI Crystal Kite Award finalist for the Australia/NZ region. Visit her website,