Mar 16, 2017

Review: Our Own Private Universe by Robin Talley

Our Own Private Universe by Robin Talley
January 31st 2017 from Harlequin Teen

Fifteen-year-old Aki Simon has a theory. And it's mostly about sex. 

No, it isn't that kind of theory. Aki already knows she's bisexual—even if, until now, it's mostly been in the hypothetical sense. Aki has dated only guys so far, and her best friend, Lori, is the only person who knows she likes girls, too. 

Actually, Aki's theory is that she's got only one shot at living an interesting life—and that means she's got to stop sitting around and thinking so much. It's time for her to actually do something. Or at least try. 

So when Aki and Lori set off on a church youth-group trip to a small Mexican town for the summer and Aki meets Christa—slightly older, far more experienced—it seems her theory is prime for the testing. 

But it's not going to be easy. For one thing, how exactly do two girls have sex, anyway? And more important, how can you tell if you're in love? It's going to be a summer of testing theories—and the result may just be love.

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You can find Talley at her website

Our Own Private Universe is a book about a teen girl going on a mission trip to Mexico with a mission of her own. Fifteen-year-old Aki has only dated guys, but she is interested in girls. She is determined to step out of her shell and see what sparks. Things do spark - immediately - with Christa, an older girl from a different church on the mission trip. Christa goes through the angst of a new relationship and having to keep that secret, and also keep her other personal secrets under wraps. No spoilers here.

Sep 12, 2016

Guest Post: Pasadena by Sherri L. Smith #pasadena

Pasadena by Sherri L. Smith
September 13, 2016 from G.P. Putnam's Sons for Young Readers

Bad things happen everywhere. Even in the land of sun and roses. 

When Jude's best friend is found dead in a swimming pool, her family calls it an accident. Her friends call it suicide. But Jude calls it what it is: murder. And someone has to pay.

Now everyone is a suspect--family and friends alike. And Jude is digging up the past like bones from a shallow grave. Anything to get closer to the truth. But that's the thing about secrets. Once they start turning up, nothing is sacred. And Jude's got a few skeletons of her own. 

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You can find Smith at her website

Sherri is heading to TEXAS TEEN BOOK FESTIVAL next month! Be sure to stop by and pick up a signed copy of PASADENA, FLYGIRL, and ORLEANS!

Sep 8, 2016

Giveaway + Interview: The Giant (Quarantine #4) by Lex Thomas

The Giant (Quarantine #4) by Lex Thomas

In the violent early days of the quarantine, Gonzalo joins a gang of thieves who live in the ductwork of McKinley High School. There he falls in love with Sasha, but as he grows too big to fit, he is forced to leave without her. 

A year later, he scours the infected zone for her. No matter how many murderers, puncture wounds, or militia he has to survive, Gonzalo can't give up on Sasha. 

In the fourth installment of the Quarantine series, Lex Thomas delivers two intertwined stories about love and longing, which merge in a conclusion where the fate of the entire infected zone hangs in the balance. 

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You can find Lex Thomas at their website

As the series progressed, was it easier for you to collaboratively write? Was there a moment where you knew where the other was going to take a character or story since you've been writing together many years?

Aug 15, 2016

Guest Post: A Season for Fireflies by Rebecca Maizel

A Season for Fireflies by Rebecca Maizel
June 28, 2016 from HarperTeen

A year ago, Penny Berne was the star of her high school’s theater department, surrounded by a group of misfit friends and falling in love for the first time. Now her old friends won’t talk to her, her new best friend is the most popular girl in school, and her first love, Wes, ignores her. Penny is revered and hated. Then, in a flash, a near-fatal lightning strike leaves Penny with no memory of the past year—or how she went from drama nerd to queen bee. 

As a record number of fireflies light up her town and her life, Penny realizes she may be able to make things right again—and that even if she can’t change the past, she can learn to see the magic where she never could before.

This captivating new novel about first love, second chances, and the power of memory is perfect for fans of Lauren Oliver’s Before I Fall and Katie Cotugno’s How to Love.

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Find Maizel at her website

Excited to have Rebecca Maizel on the blog today talking about her Top 5 Favorite Memories!

5. Achieving my MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. 2010-2012 were some of the worst years of my life. Health wise I was not doing well and professionally, let’s say I was learning a lot! The bright spot in my life was attending Vermont College of Fine Arts. I interacted and met such brilliant writers and worked with mentors who forever changed me as a writer & teacher. VCFA is magic.

4. Rock Harbor Orleans, MA. My favorite memories here are from either this past summer or a few years ago. This is a really magical place on Cape Cod. It’s a beach/marina where trees were implanted into the sand as buoys. When it’s low tide at Rock Harbor, the sand stretches for (what seems like) miles. But you can walk out to the pine trees and swim around them. Also tons of teeny, tiny hermit crabs. The sand is purple and pink. You can bring your dog after 4pm, so it’s just a special experience, a special moment, and it might be what heaven looks like. Sorry for the hyperbole, but it’s true.

3. Guns N’Roses first row this past July 19th. For those who follow my Instagram -- you know how much I love this band. So you can imagine my insane happiness when Slash & Duff rejoined Axl Rose completing the most successful incarnation of GNR since the original line-up 25 years ago. I wish Izzy Stradlin and Steven Adler had been there but it’s not happened yet. If the original line-up reunites completely– I might freak out. I also saw them in Vegas back in April and that was incredible. Sebastian Bach joined them on “My Michelle” and I cried the entire show. Literally. I might need help.

2. The births of my niece and nephew. It’s cliché because so many people would say this, but I didn’t know how much I could love another human and so immediately. The moment I held them both, I fell in love. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for them.

1. Publishing my first book, Infinite Days. One of the most important moments in my life was getting the phone call that my book had sold. My agent, at the time, called and when he said the words, “Brazil has offered you a deal!” I was standing outside my part-time teaching job. The air was still decently cool from the late spring air and I jumped up and down on the block. My book later sold in 11 territories around the world (including the US). That phone call remains one of the happiest moments in my life.

Jun 18, 2016

Giveaway + Interview: Read Me Like a Book by Liz Kessler

Read Me Like a Book by Liz Kessler
June 14, 2016 from Candlewick Press

In her first novel for young adults, New York Times best-selling author Liz Kessler tells a story about finding a kindred spirit and becoming your true self.

Ashleigh Walker is a mediocre student with an assortment of friends, a sort-of boyfriend, and no plans for the future. Then a straight-from-college English teacher, Miss Murray, takes over Ash’s class and changes everything. Miss Murray smiles a lot. She shares poetry with curse words in it. She’s, well, cool. And she seems to really care about her students. About Ashleigh. For the first time, Ash feels an urge to try harder. To give something — someone — her best. Before she knows it, Ashleigh is in love. Intense, heart-racing, all-consuming first love. It’s strong enough to distract her from worrying about bad grades and her parents’ marriage troubles. But what will happen if Miss Murray finds out Ashleigh is in love with her?

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You can find Kessler at her website

May 30, 2016

Giveaway: Sea Spell by Jennifer Donnelly #WaterfireSaga

Sea Spell by Jennifer Donnelly
June 14th 2016 from Disney-Hyperion

At the end of Dark Tide, Book 3 in the Waterfire Saga, Astrid leaves her mermaid friends to confront her ancestor, Orfeo, the evil force behind the rise of the monster Abbadon. Orfeo possesses one of the six talismans that the merls need in order to keep the monster locked up forever. But without the ability to songcast, how will Astrid be able to defeat the most powerful mage in history?

Meanwhile, Serafina and her Black Fins train goblin troops for battle against her uncle Vallerio’s death riders. Will Sera ever see her beloved home—and her beloved Mahdi—again, or will the Volneros take over the mer realms while Orfeo takes on the gods themselves? Nothing less than the fate of the underwater world is at stake in this breathtaking finale.

Apr 28, 2016

Giveaway & Excerpt: Invision (Chronicles of Nick #7) by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Invision (Chronicles of Nick #7) by Sherrilyn Kenyon
May 3, 2016 from St. Martin's Griffin

***Please note if you haven’t read Instinct, there could be spoilers in the synopsis below.

One boy . . .Many demons.

Think there’s a lot of pressure on your shoulders? Nick Gautier was born to bring about the end of the world . . . it’s not easy being the heir of a demon overlord.

But Nick is determined to thwart his destiny and get into a good college. To be more than his genetics and prophecy foretell. No one is ever going to tell this stubborn Cajun who and what he really is. Or how to live his life.

Not even the Fates of the Universe. But now that he and his team of ancient gods and demons have claimed the Eye of Ananke and he sees the missteps of the future, he has to battle the demons within that are far deadlier and more treacherous than any he’s battled before. All the while his arch nemesis is back and determined to reclaim his place as the harbinger for Armageddon. Even if it means killing Nick and barbecuing everyone he loves to do so.