Saturday, April 30, 2011

In My Mailbox: April 25 - May 1, 2011

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren.


For Review:


Moonglass by Jessi Kirby

Thanks to Chelsy at Big Honcho Media!

Coming May 3, 2011!

From Jessi Kirby, a debut novel about confronting the past in order to move ahead.

I read once that water is a symbol for emotions. And for a while now, I've thought maybe my mother drowned in both.

Anna's life is upended when her father accepts a job transfer the summer before her junior year. It's bad enough that she has to leave her friends and her life behind, but her dad is moving them to the beach where her parents first met and fell in love- a place awash in memories that Anna would just as soon leave under the surface.

While life on the beach is pretty great, with ocean views and one adorable lifeguard in particular, there are also family secrets that were buried along the shore years ago. And the ebb and flow of the ocean's tide means that nothing- not the sea glass that she collects on the sand and not the truths behind Anna's mother's death- stays buried forever.


Blood Red Road by Moira Young

Thanks to Simon and Schuster!

Coming June 7, 2011!

Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That's fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when a monster sandstorm arrives, along with four cloaked horsemen, Saba's world is shattered. Lugh is captured, and Saba embarks on an epic quest to get him back.

Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the world outside of desolate Silverlake, Saba is lost without Lugh to guide her. So perhaps the most surprising thing of all is what Saba learns about herself: she's a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. And she has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization.

Blood Red Road has a searing pace, a poetically minimal writing style, violent action, and an epic love story. Moira Young is one of the most promising and startling new voices in teen fiction.


Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

Thanks to Simon & Schuster!

Coming June 28, 2011!

Sixteen-year-old Maya and seventeen-year-old Lochan have never had the chance to be 'normal' teenagers. Having pulled together for years to take care of their younger siblings while their wayward, drunken mother leaves them to fend alone, they have become much more than brother and sister. And now, they have fallen in love. But this is a love that can never be allowed, a love that will have devastating consequences ...

How can something so wrong feel so right?


Witch Song by Amber Argyle

Thanks to Rhemalda Publishing!

Coming September 1, 2011!

The world is changing.

For thousands of years, witch song has controlled everything from the winds to the shifting of the seasons. But not anymore. All the Witches are gone, taken captive by the dark Witch, Espen.

As the last echoes of witch song fade, Espen grows stronger as winter and summer come within the space of a day. Now she’s coming for the one she missed—a shy, untrained girl of fifteen named Brusenna.

Somehow, Brusenna has to succeed where every other Witch has failed. Find Espen. Fight her. Defeat her.

Or there won’t be anything left to save.

To read the first chapter, click here.


Won:


The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller

Thanks to Misha at My Love Affair with Books!

Haven Moore can't control her visions of a past with a boy called Ethan, and a life in New York that ended in fiery tragedy. In our present, she designs beautiful dresses for her classmates with her best friend Beau. Dressmaking keeps her sane, since she lives with her widowed and heartbroken mother in her tyrannical grandmother's house in Snope City, a tiny town in Tennessee. Then an impossible group of coincidences conspire to force her to flee to New York, to discover who she is, and who she was.

In New York, Haven meets Iain Morrow and is swept into an epic love affair that feels both deeply fated and terribly dangerous. Iain is suspected of murdering a rock star and Haven wonders, could he have murdered her in a past life? She visits the Ouroboros Society and discovers a murky world of reincarnation that stretches across millennia. Haven must discover the secrets hidden in her past lives, and loves¸ before all is lost and the cycle begins again.


I am SO excited this week! I WoWed both Blood Red Road and Witch Song recently, and have been dying to read them! I cannot wait for this semester to end so I can dive in! I'm also really excited to be reviewing and giving away Moonglass on May 9! It's blurbed by Sarah Dessen, so it automatically gets brownie points from me. And the cover is pretty and shiny =) I've heard AMAZING things about Forbidden from Lindsi over at BSAOT, so I'm eager (and a little nervous) to check out that one. Finally, I've been excited to read The Eternal Ones since it came out last year, so I'm thrilled to win a copy! I didn't notice till I saw it in person that the circle on the cover is a snake -- love it! So fitting. I'm a sucker for reincarnation stories. The concept fascinates me. Have you guys read it? What did you think?

What's in your mailbox this week?

Friday, April 29, 2011

Cover Art Revealed: Summer's Crossing (Iron Fey #3.5) by Julie Kagawa

Julie Kagawa recently revealed the cover art and blurb for the upcoming Iron Fey novella, Summer's Crossing! Check it out:


A Midsummer's Nightmare? Robin Goodfellow. Puck. Summer Court prankster, King Oberon's right hand, bane of many a faery queen's existence—and secret friend to Prince Ash of the Winter Court. Until one girl's death came between them, and another girl stole both their hearts.

Now Ash has granted one favor too many and someone's come to collect, forcing the prince to a place he cannot go without Puck's help—into the heart of the Summer Court. And Puck faces the ultimate choice—betray Ash and possibly win the girl they both love, or help his former friend turned bitter enemy pull off a deception that no true faery prankster could possibly resist.

An ebook exclusive novella from Julie Kagawa's Iron Fey series.


Honestly, I don't know whether I love the cover or the blurb more -- they're both so awesome! Green is my favorite color, so I think this cover is beautiful, especially with the different tones. The vines look like they shine! It just screams "Puck" with the green and the leaves and the giant raven at the top! And that synopsis? What kind of favor does Ash owe? Why does he have to venture into Summer? I suspect that Grim has something to do with all this (at least I hope so!) I can't wait to see the friends-turned-enemies-turned-allies working together, and from Puck's point-of-view! Yay Team Puck! ;-)

Starting June 1st you'll be able to download the novella for FREE for a limited time! Keep an eye out for more details!

So, what do you think? Would Puck approve?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Author Interview: Jackie Gamber, author of Redheart & Giveaway


Enter the lands of Leland Province, where dragon and human societies have long dwelled side by side. Superstitions rise sharply, as a severe drought strips the land of its bounty, providing fertile ground for the darker ambitions of Fordon Blackclaw, Dragon Council Leader, who seeks to subdue humans or wipe them off the face of the land.

As the shadow of danger creeps across Leland Province, a young dragon named Kallon Redheart, who has turned his back on dragons and humans alike, comes into an unexpected friendship. Riza Diantus is a young woman whose dreams can no longer be contained by the narrow confines of her village, and when she finds herself in peril, Kallon is the only one with the power to save her. Yet to do so means he must confront his past, and embrace a future he stopped believing in.

A tale of friendship, courage, and ultimate destiny, Redheart invites readers to a wondrous journey through the Leland Dragon Series.



How did you go about building the world of Leland?

I started with the characters. As I envisioned Kallon and the challenges he needed to face, I began to see his environment as a direct impact on his emotional development. Why has he chosen to isolate himself? Why would a human need his help? And the world grew from there.


What was the first scene you wrote for this novel? How has it changed over the course of the publishing process?

Wow, let’s see. I believe one of the first scenes I wrote is the scene where Kallon must find the Gold dragon, and risk his own safety to do it. It’s a pivotal scene, and one way I challenged myself to “write toward” it, with a Kallon that wouldn’t even consider such a risk in the beginning, but becoming someone who does. I think most of the changes came throughout the writing process itself, as I tweaked and re-tweaked – but the scene is still there after publishing as I envisioned it beforehand. Which is very cool.


Could you describe the Leland dragons for us? Why did you envision them this way? What inspired your interest in this mythical creature?

I’ve always seen the Leland dragons as fully developed, emoting creatures, with all the complications of the human experience. It’s certainly easier to identify with a character who shares one’s own qualities, but more than that, I wanted to explore motivation. As sentient, speaking animals, couldn’t there be more to them than hoarding gold and eating maidens?

Pondering the stereotypes drew me to dragons as fascinating characters to interpret. The mythology is the inspiration. I wanted to shatter it.


Kallon Redheart

Tensions are high between the dragons and the humans in Redheart, and it seems that humans are often scorned by supernatural creatures in fantasy novels more generally. Why do you think humans are so often envisioned as lesser beings in fantasy works?

In Leland, there was a time when humans and dragons worked together. Mutual respect was key. But generations of emotional erosion have created the tense atmosphere when the story takes place. Blackclaw, the leader of the Dragon Council, certainly sees humans as inferior.

But I imagine the theme of humans as lesser beings in fantasy works is in relation to the nature of fantasy itself. In a world of supernatural powers, magic, and otherwise extraordinary talents, a plain ol’ human being can seem pretty disadvantaged. But some of my favorite fantasy stories are those involving plain ol’ humans doing some awfully impressive stuff, strictly from determination and smarts.


What was the most challenging aspect of writing Redheart?

I’d say it was keeping the dragons real. I mean, yes, I want them human-esque, but they are still fierce creatures of enormous power. They don’t process, think or react the way humans do, instinctively. They need their own reasons for their choices, and I wanted to make that believable.


The illustrations by Matthew Perry are a unique addition to your novel. What was the process like for that collaboration? What do you think the illustrations add to the novel?

Was that ever exciting! I loved the process of talking with Matthew, hearing his perspective and vision, sharing my own, and then seeing the characters drawn to life.

The illustrations add a very sensory layer to Redheart. As an artist who uses words as her medium, it’s my job to make the story world real, but my work is all done behind the eyes. With Matthew’s talent and medium, the reader is given another chance to see a part of the world with their eyes.


What do you think are the key components of a compelling epic fantasy?

For me, it’s about overcoming difficulties in a world of fantastical proportion. The fantasy elements are what make a world unique, but shouldn’t make it effortless. When a character meets challenges to his capabilities, however magical or other-worldly they may be, that’s compelling to me.


Fordon Blackclaw

What book have you re-read the most? How many times have you read it? What is it about this story that keeps bringing you back for more?

Oh, that’s a tough one! I treasure several, and make my kids read them, too. Shelley, Bradbury, Donaldson…let’s see. If I had to choose the most re-read it would very likely be Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. I’ve lost track of the times I’ve re-read it, but at least once a year for the last several years. And not just at Christmas! I’m an utterly hopeless romantic for redemption stories, and in the hands of a master writer like Dickens, I’m enamored.


What is a random fact that readers probably don’t know about you?

Readers probably don’t know my Native American heritage has passed on to me a couple of toes on each foot that are webbed. I missed out completely on the toe-sock fashion craze of the 80’s. And have you seen those Vibram “barefoot” shoes with the five toes? I’d love to try them, but, alas. I can’t.


What can you tell us about upcoming installments in the Redheart series?

Fun stuff! More unique challenges for my troubled characters. Book Two will see a new generation of dragon dangers, and more of my wizards, Orman Thistleby and Layce Phelcher (possibly a little romance for the old coot?). Book Three brings the reader into the mysterious and feared Murk Forest, with an entirely new culture we haven’t met yet, and finds our dragon hunter, Jastin Armitage, hunted himself.


For more about this author, please visit:


Also, Seventh Star Press is currently having an ongoing sale where you can purchase the Redheart eBook for only $1.99! Check it out!



As an award winning author, Jackie writes stories ranging from ultra-short to novel-length, varieties of which have appeared in anthologies such as Tales of Fantasy and Dragons Composed, as well as numerous periodical publications, including Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, The Binnacle, Mindflights Magazine, Necrotic Tissue, and Shroud. She is the author of the fantasy novel Redheart, and writing an alternate history time travel novel. She blogs professionally for English Tea Store.com, where she reviews classic science fiction and fantasy novels and pairs them with the ideal tea-sipping companion. Jackie is a member of the professional organizations Science Fiction Writers of America and Horror Writers Association. She was named honorable mention in L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future Award, and received a 2008 Darrell Award for best short story by a Mid-South author. She is the winner of the 2009 Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Award for Imaginative Fiction for her story The Freak Museum, a post-apocalyptic tale that looks closely at perceptions and outward appearances and how they affect the way we see ourselves.

Jackie Gamber is co-founder and Executive Editor of Meadowhawk Press, a speculative fiction publisher based in Memphis. One of their novels, Terminal Mind by David Walton, won the Philip K. Dick Memorial Award in 2009. Jackie also edited the award winning benefit anthology, Touched By Wonder. She has been a guest lecturer at Memphis Options High Schools, and is a speaker at writers’ conferences from Michigan to Florida. Jackie is also the visionary behind the MidSouthCon Writers’ Conference, now in it’s third year.


GIVEAWAY


Thanks to C.C. at Seventh Star Press, TWO lucky winners will receive a copy of Redheart by Jackie Gamber, a set of 4 5X7 glossy prints with cover art and illustrations from Redheart, a Redheart magnet, and Redheart bookmarks!

Rules:
  • There will be TWO (2) winners!
  • US Only -- prize will be shipped from the publisher
  • Ends 5/5/11 at 11:59 pm EST
  • Winners will be chosen via Random.org
  • Please review my giveaway policy

To Enter:
  • Leave a meaningful comment on anything in this interview (i.e. prove to me you read it)
  • Include an email address where I can reach you if you win
  • Extra entries are available
  • Add up your total number of entries (including the original entry!) -- entries without a total will not be counted
  • Following is not required, but is greatly appreciated

Extra Entries: (MUST leave direct links to count)
  • +1 for tweeting this interview/giveaway
  • +1 for posting this interview/giveaway on Facebook
  • +1 for adding this giveaway to your sidebar

Good luck!

Thanks so much to Jackie for taking the time to answer my questions, and to C.C. for arranging the interview and giveaway!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Love Story by Jennifer Echols

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine to highlight upcoming releases we're anxiously awaiting!

Coming July 19, 2011!


Love Story by Jennifer Echols

Add on Goodreads

Erin Blackwell is headed to college in New York City to study creative writing and earn a living as a romance novelist. Her grandmother has other plans: she approves of the college, but she wants Erin to major in business and then come back home to Kentucky to run the family’s famous racehorse farm. There is no way Erin will agree. Studying in New York and writing her way into a career is her escape from the farm and the family tragedy that happened there. So Erin’s grandmother decides Erin really will live life as a starving artist. She takes Erin’s future job running the farm, her inheritance, even her college tuition, and gives them all to Hunter Allen.

Hunter has lived on the farm for years. He’s Erin’s age, he’s the stable boy, and he’s the romantic dream of every girl in her high school. But he was involved in the family tragedy. Erin has always given him a wide berth. And he’s a slick opportunist. She’s furious that he fooled her grandmother into giving him Erin’s birthright and sending him to Erin’s college.

At least she’s free of him in her creative writing class. So she pens a story that has haunted her lately, in which the horse farm heiress at the very first Kentucky Derby starts a forbidden affair with the lowly stable boy. Unfortunately for her, the day she’s sharing this story with her New York classmates, Hunter walks in. He’s switching to her class. And after reading about himself in Erin’s story, he writes his own sexy assignments that lure Erin into dangerous fantasies about what could have been between them, and what might be.


I've been thinking that I should read more contemporary -- after all, it was the prolific Sarah Dessen who got me into YA in the first place. This sounds like such an epic love story. I love the idea that she's been disinherited for following her dreams. How many of us have faced family pressure about how we want to live our lives? Plus, I've become more involved in my own writing lately, so the story of an aspiring author is definitely relatable. I'm intrigued by this mysterious tragedy that haunts Erin's past, and the role the sultry stable boy plays in it all. The premise of the "horse farm heiress" and her "forbidden affair with the lowly stable boy" kind of reminds me of The Princess Bride (which is one of my favorite books), and I can't wait to read what sexy stories Hunter writes for their class ;) I can just imagine the subtextual tension in the classroom scenes when Hunter and Erin are reading their stories aloud and no one else knows they're speaking directly to one another. This story sounds seductive, don't you think?

What upcoming release are you eagerly awaiting this week?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Author Interview: Graham Parke, author of No Hope for Gomez

Graham Parke is responsible for a number of technical publications and has recently patented a self-folding map. He has been described as both a humanitarian and a pathological liar. Convincing evidence to support either allegation has yet to be produced.




When you sat down to write the novel, was this how you envisioned it? Did it evolve into something new or surprising as you wrote?

I knew bits of the plot when I started, and I had a good idea of the kind of feel I wanted the novel to have. I wanted to write something fresh, something that was fast paced but at the same time highly personable. I wanted readers to be able to spend a whole afternoon reading, or just five minutes. Basically the kind of novel you can read while you’re on a plane and the kids in front of you are making faces at you. The way the novel is structured, you can read for five minutes and still get a juicy bite of story.

While I was writing, though, Gomez sort of took over. As he became more defined as a character, he started taking the story into new directions. He has a very strange way of looking at the world – one that somehow makes sense when he explains it – and I decided to follow to see what would happen. At that time, I hadn’t really decided whether it should be a novel or not. I was writing Gomez purely for my own amusement. To this day it continues to surprise me how many people are ‘getting’ Gomez. He is such a strange character, I expected him to alienate at least 90% of his readers. Luckily he didn’t.


In the novel, Gomez’s dad names him after the man in front of him in line at town hall. How did you choose the name of your main character when you began writing?

Part of the novel was written before Gomez had a name. I think this is a good idea because it’s better to have an evolving character define its own name, than to have a name pre-define a character. It’s just another way of not getting your subconscious bogged down on a preconceived notion. Once I had a good feel for the kind of person Gomez was, the hunt was on to find a name that would fit. I think Gomez is perfect, but it took a few days of going through lists of names on the net to find it.


Blog posts are a very timely medium for telling the story. What inspired you to structure the novel this way?

The blog-post thing came about quite late. Gomez wasn’t written in a linear fashion, I had stacks of ideas and scenes that kept growing and falling into place like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. Some of the earliest scenes didn’t make sense until the novel was almost done, and then they just clicked into place as if they had been meant to go there all along.

I had the pacing the way I wanted it, and the writing was nice and personable, but I still needed a structure to explain that. I had a feeling it would turn out to be some kind of journal, but I wasn’t sure exactly what kind of journal until the plot actually called for something very specific. Yet another one of those things that really just clicked into place.


Gomez worries that he might have an archaic knack he will never discover because he lives in the wrong time. What do you think your “knack” might be?

Ultimately I don’t suppose I will ever know for sure. That’s part of the fun, every day you can discover something new and wonderful that you really ‘suck’ at (or, if you’re more lucky than I tend to be, ‘that you turn out to be really great at’.) The point is to keep searching.


Did you ever have trouble getting into Gomez’s somewhat quirky mind? If so, how did you overcome the writer’s block?

Very early on I made it a point to never sit down and try to think of something quirky to put in the novel. Things like that don’t really work, I think. Whatever quirkiness occurred to me while I was writing (and more frequently, while I was trying to concentrate on something else) I made grateful use of, but the rest of the time I just concentrated on telling the story and letting the characters develop.


Warren is a hilarious parody of an aspiring novelist. Were you interested in satirizing your own publishing journey? Something you saw around you in the business?

Warren did start out that way, but he quickly took on characteristics of his own. Just like the other characters in the novel, he continuously pushed me to go to places I hadn’t gone before, consider things I had hadn’t considered before.

Warren is one of those characters that I feel might warrant some further examination, maybe in a short story or some kind of online journal. There was also a lot of back story to his character that never made it into the novel. On final review, it wasn’t really necessary and it would have upset the balance and pacing of the overall story. It hurt to cut those bits out, and I had to remind myself that every cut made it a better novel.


What is a random fact that readers probably don’t know about you?

I know what the appendix is actually for.

Is there any hope for Gomez?

There is more Gomez-related writing in the works and it looks promising, so I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see.


Thanks so much to Graham for taking the time to answer my questions!

Have a question for the author? Leave it in the comments! Graham has kindly offered to stop by and field reader comments today.


For more about this author, please visit:


It's the age-old tale:
Boy meets girl.
Boy stalks girl.
Girl already has a stalker.
Boy becomes her stalker-stalker.

We've seen it all before, many times, but this time it's different. If only slightly. When Gomez Porter becomes a test subject in an experimental drug trial, he is asked to keep track of any strange experiences through a blog. What Gomez isn't ready for, is so many of his experiences suddenly seeming strange; the antiques dealer trying to buy his old tax papers, his neighbor boiling salamanders on his balcony at midnight, the super sexy lab assistant who falls for him but is unable to express herself in terms outside the realm of science. But when one of the trial participants turns up dead and another goes missing, Gomez begins to fear for his life. No longer sure who he can trust and which of his experiences are real and which merely drug induced illusions, he decides it%u2019s time to go underground and work out a devious plan.

Now, years later, his blogs have been recovered from a defunct server. For the first time we can find out firsthand what happened to Gomez as he takes us on a wild ride of discovery.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Review: No Hope for Gomez by Graham Parke

Gomez Porter is just a typical guy, but when he becomes a participant in an experimental drug trial things take a turn for the bizarre. First of all, there's the aspiring novelist next door, who demands that Gomez read his manuscript -- or he'll drill tiny holes in his floor and boil salamanders on the balcony in the middle of the night. Then there's the strange man in the sombrero who has an unhealthy interest in the old tax forms of his struggling antiques store, and his agoraphobic assistant who will only agree to sweep the already pristine floor. As if that isn't bad enough, when one of the trial participants turns up dead, Gomez begins to suspect a conspiracy. Can he solve the mystery before he winds up dead himself -- or is it all just part of his drug-induced hallucinations?

No Hope for Gomez is a truly one-of-a-kind novel. The story moves along at a brisk pace, with the blog entry format lending itself nicely to short and snappy sentences. Graham Parke's narrative voice is dryly witty, and perfectly suited to the tongue-in-cheek narrative. The novel bizarrely blends absurd scenarios with intriguing philosophical questions, sucking readers into Gomez's unusual mind until the illogical seems plausible. Parke cleverly constructs his story so that readers are drawn deeper into the conspiracy, until even they are uncertain where reality ends and madness begins.

Despite the seemingly random stream-of-consciousness in Gomez's mind, he makes some resonant points that will pique readers' curiosity and make them think about the world in imaginative new ways. There is also a surprising mystery element -- about the true nature of the drug trials and the identity of his girlfriend's stalker -- that will keep readers in suspense until the final page. It's impossible to know what's coming next in this topsy-turvy world. No Hope for Gomez is populated by quirky characters and laugh-out-loud scenarios that will keep readers entertained from beginning to end.

Rating: 

Disclosure: I received a complimentary review copy from the author for an honest review. This did not affect my review in any way.

Click here to purchase No Hope for Gomez by Graham Parke.


Come back tomorrow to see my author interview with Graham Parke!

Affiliate Updates (7)


I've decided to start a feature in which I spread the word about exciting things going on over at my affiliates' websites! You may have noticed my "Affiliates" section over in the sidebar -- I definitely recommend checking out those wonderful sites.



Books, Sweets and other Treats







The lovely Lindsi over at Books, Sweets and Other Treats is giving away a copy of Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready + a signed bookplate to TWO lucky winners! I've heard this book is awesome, so head over to BSAOT to enter by April 30!








If anyone else is interested in affiliating, email me!

Affiliates -- if there is something you would like me to include in next week's post, send it to me by Sunday night!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

New Release Roundup: April 24 - 30, 2011

A weekly feature I started to showcase the exciting new releases hitting shelves this week.


April 25


The Twisted Tale of Stormy Gale by Christine Bell

I'm a time pirate—born in 1810, now a 21st-century woman. I travel through time trying to right wrongs without disrupting the fragile balance between what is and what can never be.

That's why it's vital that I go to 1836 and find the man who conned my brother out of his Time Travel Mechanism as quickly as possible. If the technology falls into the wrong hands, it could change the world as we know it. The notorious Duke of Leister definitely qualifies as the wrong hands. An amateur scientist of the slightly mad variety, he's bound to figure out how to use the TTM sooner rather than later.

I knew this wouldn't be easy. But I wasn't counting on him being as sexy as hell. Or winding up chained to his bed…


April 26


Bumped by Megan McCafferty

My Review

When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents are forced to pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society.

Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and had never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody’s doorstep. Until now, the twins have followed completely opposite paths. Melody has scored an enviable conception contract with a couple called the Jaydens. While they are searching for the perfect partner for Melody to bump with, she is fighting her attraction to her best friend Zen, who is way too short for the job.

Harmony has spent her whole life in religious Goodside, preparing to be a wife and mother. She believes her calling is to bring Melody back to Goodside and convince her that “pregging” for profit is a sin. But Harmony has secrets of her own that she is running from.

When Melody is finally matched with the world-famous, genetically flawless Jondoe, both girls’ lives are changed forever. A case of mistaken identity takes them on a journey neither could have ever imagined, one that makes Melody and Harmony realize they have so much more than just DNA in common.


Future Imperfect by K. Ryer Breese

Ade Patience can see the future and it's destroying his life. When the seventeen-year-old Mantlo High School student knocks himself unconscious, he can see days and decades into his own future. Ade's the best of Denver's "divination" underground and eager to join the heralded Mantlo Diviners, a group of similarly enabled teens. Yet, unlike the Diviners, Ade Patience doesn't see the future out of curiosity or good will; Ade gives himself concussions because he's addicted to the high, the Buzz, he gets when he breaks the laws of physics. And while there have been visions he's wanted to change, Ade knows the Rule: You can't change the future, no matter how hard you try.

His memory is failing, his grades are in a death spiral, and both Ade's best friend and his shrink are begging him to stop before he kills himself. Ade knows he needs to straighten-out. Luckily, the stunning Vauxhall Rodolfo has just transferred to Mantlo and, as Ade has seen her in a vision two years previously, they're going to fall in love. It's just the motivation Ade needs to kick his habit. Only things are a bit more complicated. Vauxhall has an addiction of her own, and, after a a vision in which he sees Vauxhall's close friend, Jimmy, drown while he looks on seemingly too wasted to move, Ade realizes that he must break the one rule he's been told he can't.

The pair must overcome their addictions and embrace their love for each other in order to do the impossible: change the future.


Family by Micol Ostow

i have always been broken.
i could have. died.
and maybe it would have been better if i had.

It is a day like any other when seventeen-year-old Melinda Jensen hits the road for San Francisco, leaving behind her fractured home life and a constant assault on her self-esteem. Henry is the handsome, charismatic man who comes upon her, collapsed on a park bench, and offers love, a bright new consciousness, and—best of all—a family. One that will embrace her and give her love. Because family is what Mel has never really had. And this new family, Henry’s family, shares everything. They share the chores, their bodies, and their beliefs. And if Mel truly wants to belong, she will share in everything they do. No matter what the family does, or how far they go.

Told in episodic verse, family is a fictionalized exploration of cult dynamics, loosely based on the Manson Family murders of 1969. It is an unflinching look at people who are born broken, and the lengths they’ll go to to make themselves “whole” again.


Summer and the City (Carrie Diaries #2) by Candace Bushnell

Summer is a magical time in New York City and Carrie is in love with all of it—the crazy characters in her neighborhood, the vintage-clothing boutiques, the wild parties, and the glamorous man who has swept her off her feet. Best of all, she's finally in a real writing class, taking her first steps toward fulfilling her dream.

This sequel to The Carrie Diaries brings surprising revelations as Carrie learns to navigate her way around the Big Apple, going from being a country "sparrow"—as Samantha Jones dubs her— to the person she always wanted to be. But as it becomes increasingly difficult to reconcile her past with her future, Carrie realizes that making it in New York is much more complicated than she ever imagined.

With her signature wit and sparkling humor, Candace Bushnell reveals the irresistible story of how Carrie met Samantha and Miranda, and what turned a small-town girl into one of New York City's most unforgettable icons, Carrie Bradshaw.


The Silver Bowl by Diane Stanley

Unwanted at home, Molly goes to work for the king of Westria as a humble scullery maid. She arrives at the castle with no education, no manners, and a very disturbing secret: She sees visions, and those visions always come true.

One day, while she's working in the king's great hall, young Prince Alaric passes by. Molly finds him unbearably handsome—but also unbearably rude. But what does it really matter? She'll probably never see him again.

In time Molly is promoted to polishing silver and is given a priceless royal treasure to work on: the king's great ceremonial hand basin. But there's something odd about it. The silver warms to her touch, a voice commands her to watch and listen, and then the visions appear. They tell the story of a dreaded curse that has stalked the royal family for years. There have already been deaths; soon there will be more.

As tragedy after tragedy strikes the royal family, Molly can't help but wonder: Will the beautiful Alaric be next? Together with her friends Tobias and Winifred, Molly must protect the prince and destroy the curse. Could a less likely champion be found to save the kingdom of Westria?


Abandon by Meg Cabot

New from #1 New York Times bestselling author Meg Cabot, a dark, fantastical story about this world . . . and the underworld.

Though she tries returning to the life she knew before the accident, Pierce can't help but feel at once a part of this world, and apart from it. Yet she's never alone . . . because someone is always watching her. Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back.

But now she's moved to a new town. Maybe at her new school, she can start fresh. Maybe she can stop feeling so afraid.

Only she can't. Because even here, he finds her. That's how desperately he wants her back. She knows he's no guardian angel, and his dark world isn't exactly heaven, yet she can't stay away...especially since he always appears when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most.

But if she lets herself fall any further, she may just find herself back in the one place she most fears: the Underworld.


We’ll Always Have Summer (Summer #3) by Jenny Han

It's been two years since Conrad told Belly to go with Jeremiah. She and Jeremiah have been inseparable ever since, even attending the same college-- only, their relationship hasn't exactly been the happily ever after Belly had hoped it would be. And when Jeremiah makes the worst mistake a boy can make, Belly is forced to question what she thought was true love. Does she really have a future with Jeremiah? Has she ever gotten over Conrad? It's time for Belly to decide, once and for all, who has her heart forever.


The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson

Ginny Blackstone thought that the biggest adventure of her life was behind her. She spent last summer traveling around Europe, following the tasks her aunt Peg laid out in a series of letters before she died. When someone stole Ginny's backpack—and the last little blue envelope inside—she resigned herself to never knowing how it was supposed to end.

Months later, a mysterious boy contacts Ginny from London, saying he's found her bag. Finally, Ginny can finish what she started. But instead of ending her journey, the last letter starts a new adventure—one filled with old friends, new loves, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Ginny finds she must hold on to her wits . . . and her heart. This time, there are no instructions.


The Summer of May by Cecilia Galante

The Summer of May is a moving new novel from the author ofWillowood and Patron Saint of Butterflies, Cecilia Galante.




April 28


Savannah Grey by Cliff McNish

15 year old Savannah Grey has never felt she's belonged. She keeps her distance, so she's surprised by her attraction to the new boy Reece. Then strange things begin to happen: nature, it seems, is exerting an overpowering force on the world. Birds behave strangely; gusts of wind blow leaves so fiercely they seem to lure people away. And Savannah learns she has supernatural powers. Nature has a purpose for Savannah and her friends. For they are on course to meet the vile and evil Orcrassa, who wants to destroy the world by corrupting nature. And it wants Savannah Grey to help realise its savage intent.


Crystal Bones by C. Aubrey Hall

A YA fantasy trilogy about a twin boy and girl, the children of a Fae mother and a human father, who discover a new destiny when their parents are murdered.





I definitely recommend picking up Bumped this week -- it's a mind-blowing read. I'm also really excited for Abandon. Meg Cabot is fantastic, and I'm a huge fan of anything involving Greek mythology.

What new release are you most excited for this week?

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