Two Teen Events on Cape Cod July 16, 2015

Join the following Young Adult authors on Cape Cod for a day of wicked good books and wild storytelling.

More details at the bottom of the page, but the quick and dirty about these two free events is as follows:

EVENT 1: BITE INTO READING at The Bourne Library, 19 Sandwich Rd, Bourne, MA. 1:00pm to 3:00 PM

Phone: (508) 759-0644 – ask for Terry Johnson (Children’s Librarian)

or email tjohnson@bournelibrary.org

Ten authors (listed below) will be signing books and talking to teens and parents from 1-3pm, There are also six massive beach totes as part of the library’s fundraiser that will be raffled off. This is a great way to simply pop in, grab some books for summer reading, take some selfies, and then head to the beach. Books will be for sale for signing courtesy of Titcombs BookShop. Click HERE for their store link.

EVENT 2: WRECK A BOOK at The Marstons Mills Library, 2160 Main Street, Marstons Mills MA. 6:00 PM to 8:00PM

Phone: (508) 428-5175 – ask for Lindsay Hughes (Children’s Librarian)

 or email lhughes@clamsnet.org

Ten authors (listed below) will take turns reading from their books while participants get to wreck some of their books and turn the pieces into art. This is a rare chance to hang out with the authors in a casual setting while enjoying a wacky arts and crafts story time for teens. Plus the authors will be in PJs!  Books will be for sale for signing courtesy of Titcombs BookShop. Click HERE for their store link.

#WreckABook #BiteABook

Meet the Authors:

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K.R. Conway – I have been a professional writer since 1999, dipping my toes in the world of novel writing in 2013 with Undertow (Barnes and Noble Teen Summer Selection for 2015 – WOOT!). I am also a member of the SCBWI, which is a fun way to connect with other writers who are as devious as I am. During the school year I drive a 16-ton school bus because I’m obviously out of my mind. In addition to working jobs that should come with a warning label , I hold a BA in dangerous weirdos (Forensic Psych), torment the tourists about Jaws, and occasionally jump from the Town Neck bridge in an attempt to reclaim my youth. I live on Cape Cod with two smallish humans who apparently are my kids, my fishing-obsessed husband, a mutant dog, and a cage-defiant lovebird that sleeps in a miniature tent. Nope – that’s not a type-o. The bird is quite the indoor camper. Tweet to her @Sharkprose

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Trisha Leaver – Trisha Leaver lives on Cape Cod with her husband, three children, and one rather irreverent black lab.  She is a chronic daydreamer who prefers the cozy confines of her own imagination to the mundane routine of everyday life.  She writes Young Adult Contemporary fiction, Psychological Horror and Science Fiction and is published with FSG/ Macmillan, Flux/Llewellyn and Merit Press. Tweets to her @trishaleaver

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Hillary Monahan: Talking about myself isn’t nearly as much fun as I thought it’d be, so I’ll try to keep it simple.  I’m in my thirties and I live in a lovely little suburb just south of Boston with my horror dork husband. We have three basset hounds and three cats. We’re suckers for punishment. At least, I am. The husband just gives me what I want because listening to me piss and moan is no fun. At night, when the lights are dim and the creepy crawlies scuttle around in the dark, I throw words at my computer.  Sometimes they’re even good words. My YA horror MARY: The Summoning was published 9/2/2014 by Disney Hyperion. My lit agent is Miriam Kriss of the Irene Goodman Agency. I tend to blog about writing. And horror movies. And whatever other random thing is on my brain at the moment because I have the attention span of a goldfish. Tweet to her @HillaryMonahan

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Jen Malone: Jen Malone writes books for tweens and teens, including At Your Service and the You’re Invited series with Simon & Schuster, and Map to the Stars and the forthcomingWanderlost with HarperCollins. She is a former Hollywood publicisit who once spent a year traveling the world solo, met her husband on the highway (literally), and went into labor with her identical twins while on a rock star’s tour bus. These days she saves the drama for her books. Tweet to her at @jenmalonewrites


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Jen Brooks: Jen has a habit of being deeply moved by profound ideas, and her writing reflects her interest in exploring human goodness, relationships, and the feeling of being a part of something greater than oneself. She loves the science fiction and fantasy genres because of their dazzling possibilities for portraying characters and ideas. She credits her undergraduate experience at Dartmouth College, her MFA at Seton Hill University, and her fourteen years of English teaching with shaping her writing.  She is grateful to her family, friends, and students for inspiring her to write. Tweet to her @jenbrookswriter

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Reade Scott Whinnem: As a child, Reade Scott Whinnem spent his summers in the earthquake-ridden, ghost-infested woods of East Haddam, Connecticut. From an early age, his father instilled in him a love of Star Trek, comic books, and monster movies, thereby condemning him to a life of incurable geekiness. In addition to being a writer, he is also an avid gardener, cook, and photographer. Both he and his wife are proud public school teachers. They live on Cape Cod with their son, Charlie, where they dig clams, correct essays, and, when necessary, reassure their overweight cat that she is a devastatingly attractive feline. Tweet to him @ReadeSWhinnem

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Skylar Dorset: Skylar’s first story was a tale of romantic intrigue involving two feuding factions of squirrels. Think “Romeo & Juliet” but with bushy tails and added espionage. She was seven. Since that time, Skylar’s head has been filled with lots of characters and lots of drama. She is delighted to be able to share some of it with all of you now, because, honestly, it was getting pretty loud and crowded in there. Skylar is a born-and-bred New Englander, which is why Boston was a natural setting for her debut novel, THE GIRL WHO NEVER WAS. Skylar shares her home with a cardboard cutout of the Tenth Doctor, lots of Mardi Gras beads from the time she spent living in New Orleans, and a harp she’s supposed to be teaching herself to play. She’d like to get a dog. Tweet to her @SkylarDorset

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Katie O’Sullivan: I’m an author, editor, magazine columnist, wife, and mother to three kids and two big dogs… not necessarily in that same order each day. I try to write every day and read a book a week, but life often gets in the way. I write romance and adventure for young adults and the young at heart, and living next to the Atlantic Ocean influences everything I write… Tweet to her @OkatieO

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Kristine Carlson Asselin:  I’ve always been a writer–first with short stories in elementary school and then as a tragic poet in high school.  I wrote for both my high school newspaper and my college literary journal. I have a BS from  Fitchburg State University, in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. I wrote a lot of bad scripts for my film classes and loved every minute of it. My MA is from the University of Connecticut. I spent about twelve years as a student activities professional–for most of my career I was the director of student activities at Brandeis University.  I had a blast every day.  I’ve had the pleasure of working on Fourteen books for Capstone (with thirteen already published), and hope to continue my relationship with them. I love books–mostly middle grade and YA.  I’m a sucker for a good love song.  And I can’t resist an invitation for Chinese Food or Ice Cream.  But not together. Tweet to her @KristineAsselin

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Lori Goldstein: Born into an Italian-Irish family (hence the short temper and the freckles), Lori grew up on the Jersey Shore and now makes her home outside of Boston in a place close enough to the ocean that on the right day, she can smell the sea from her back deck, and yet it still takes an hour to get to the beach. With a journalism degree from Lehigh University, she worked as a writer, editor, and graphic designer before embracing her love of fictional people. As a young girl, Lori would make a tent with her bed sheet and clasp a flashlight in one hand and a book in the other. She’d read into the wee hours, way past her bedtime. Today, she not only reads past her bedtime, she writes too. (And waking up tired has never felt so good). Like Julia Child, her idol and fellow Massachusetts resident who also found success in a second career, Lori shares a love of traveling, cooking, and eating great food—the weirder, the better—with her husband. When not writing or reading (preferably from a sandy locale), Lori can be found chatting books, obsessing over The Vampire Diaries, and perfecting the art of efficient writing through Twitter. Tweet to her @loriagoldstein

BOURNE LIBRARY: WEBSITE

MARSTONS MILLS LIBRARY: WEBSITE

TITCOMBS BOOKSHOP: WEBSITE

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Author Palooza #capecod

I’m on the Cape today, signing the UNDERTOW series at the Osterville Library with 24 other authors. Details below! HAPPY SUMMER!

 

A vintage style tourist poster, with ocean beach and parasols.

A vintage style tourist poster, with ocean beach and parasols.

Tourist Season Beach Reads

The weather on ol’ Cape Cod has been terrific and I’ve been parking my sandy butt at the beach nearly every day after work. In honor of summer and the beachside paradise I adore, I’ve dropped UNDERTOW and CRUEL SUMMER to $.99 on Amazon’s Kindle. ENJOY! Click a title name below and be teleported to the right amazon page . . . like magic!

UNDERTOW

CRUEL SUMMER

beach reads sale

Book Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Maas

77113_originalA Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah Maas

So, I’m gonna preface this by saying that I would not put this book ANYWHERE near a teen shelf. This is solidly New Adult, which is  17 / 18+   –  basically a heavy duty (HEAVY DUTY) PG-13, more likely soft R rating.

But here’s the thing – Sarah Maas writes one of my all time favorite young adult series (Throne of Glass), so when I saw she wrote something for an older crowd, I was intrigued.

As a reviewer (and author) you should know two things about me: I’m a character Nazi AND I’m not into high fantasy . . . with the major exception of Ms. Maas and Leigh Bardugo. And the only reason I’m a mad fan of both ladies is because their prose rides the line with poetry, their world building is flawless and dark, but (most critically) their characters MAKE SENSE.

In A Court of Thorns and Roses, Maas builds spectacular, fall-off-the-page characters, with fully drawn motivations, personalities, voice, and quirks and then drops them into a high fantasy world of warring faeries who would feel more at home in The Walking Dead than Pixie Hollow.

Summed up quickly, A Court of Thorns and Roses is a terrifying R-rated re-twisting of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST meets GAME OF THRONES and it is spectacular.

Set against a brutal, festering war between Fae kingdoms, Maas weaves a delicate, tenuous chemistry between huntress Feyre and the beast, Tamlin, who demands she lives in his stunning land known as The Spring Court – payment, as it were, for her murdering a comrade of his when she was hunting in the human world.

Lucien, best friend and comrade to Tamlin, also lives in the Summer Court and the three form a slow friendship, with Lucien’s sharp tongue and snide remarks making him a true scene-stealer.

Then there is a host of truly nightmare worthy creatures who are slipping into Tamlin’s kingdom from a dark, hateful place ruled by an iron Queen with a lethal agenda. She dwells Under the Mountain alongside her morally questionable boy toy – a High Fae named Rhysand who is self-centered, but darkly funny and flawed.

I dare you to go Under the Mountain with Feyre to save the life of a beast.

I dare you to put this one down.

GOODREADS

SARAH MAAS

LEIGH BARDUGO

Mashpee High School visit

YA Spring Reads Tour

I will be at Mashpee High School on May 8th, 2015 with the following fabulous (if not a tad weird) authors. We will also appear at the Sandwich library in the evening from 6-8pm for a panel – ask us questions, eat food, and get books signed!

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Trisha Leaver:

Bio: Trisha Leaver lives on Cape Cod with her husband, three children, and one rather irreverent black lab.  She is a chronic daydreamer who prefers the cozy confines of her own imagination to the mundane routine of everyday life.  She writes Young Adult Contemporary fiction, Psychological Horror and Science Fiction and is published with FSG/ Macmillan, Flux/Llewellyn and Merit Press.

 

 

 

 

Trisha Leaver’s Books:

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Jen-Brooks-close-up-cropped-212x300Jen Brooks

BIO: I write young adult literature that’s part fantasy/science fiction, part romance, part mystery. My most recent projects are contemporaries, but they also contain history. Mostly I enjoy writing whatever my characters suggest, and I hope you enjoy reading about them in whatever genre mix they’ve chosen to have their hearts broken, their certainties challenged, and their lives changed forever.

 

Jen Brooks’ Book

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Lori-Goldstein-Author-2-682x1024Lori Goldstein

BIO: Born into an Italian-Irish family (hence the short temper and the freckles), Lori grew up on the Jersey Shore and now makes her home outside of Boston in a place close enough to the ocean that on the right day, she can smell the sea from her back deck, and yet it still takes an hour to get to the beach.

With a journalism degree from Lehigh University, she worked as a writer, editor, and graphic designer before embracing her love of fictional people. As a young girl, Lori would make a tent with her bed sheet and clasp a flashlight in one hand and a book in the other. She’d read into the wee hours, way past her bedtime. Today, she not only reads past her bedtime, she writes too. (And waking up tired has never felt so good.)

Like Julia Child, her idol and fellow Massachusetts resident who also found success in a second career, Lori shares a love of traveling, cooking, and eating great food—the weirder, the better—with her husband.

When not writing or reading (preferably from a sandy locale), Lori can be found chatting books, obsessing over The Vampire Diaries, and perfecting the art of efficient writing through Twitter. Find her at @loriagoldstein.

 

Lori Goldstein’s Book

 

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d730e4_045e7dae3c2d4e5c955010c52130a36a.jpg_srz_p_338_333_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srzJen Malone

BIO: Sure, I could give you my business resume (and my formal bio and media kit are below if you just want to skip there), but where’s the fun in that? Wouldn’t it be more enjoyable for all of us if I told you a few random things about, well, me? Thought so. Here ya go:

1. My college boyfriend wanted to go to Europe with me the summer after graduation. Then he broke up with me (don’t worry- we’re now friends on Facebook). I decided to get revenge on him by one-upping his trip plans, so I saved for a loooong time until I could finance a solo round-the-world trip that took me to forty-three countries over ten months on approximately $23 a day (free advice: do not try to save money by sleeping in an ATM kiosk during Spain’s annual Running of the Bulls). My favorites were Nepal and Prague. Somewhere in here is a lesson about revenge and boys, but who cares, because NEPAL!!!!!

2. I met my husband on the highway. Literally. He passed my car and I made a face at him (I was with my BFF and we sometimes- fine, often- did silly stuff like make faces at total strangers). Then HE made a face back at me the next time we passed, which was both nerdy and cool. I happen to like nerdy and cool. So I wrote my BFF’s cell phone number (because this was the Dark Ages and I didn’t own a cell phone yet) on a piece of paper and held it up to the window. He called. We married. There was some dating in between. 

3. My twin boys are soooo identical that they won second place in the Most Identical contest at the International Twin Festival. You should definitely check out the International Twin Festival sometime. Best people watching around.

4. I also have a daughter. Despite having won no medals, she’s more of a diva than both boys combined. I completely applaud this. Until she’s a teenager and then I am in So. Much. Trouble.

5. For a bunch of years I worked as a publicist for 20th Century Fox. It was super tough work. I “had to” walk the red carpet alongside George Clooney, hang in a hotel room with a shirtless Mark Wahlberg (so what if his wife was there too) and sleep in Oprah’s hotel room at The Four Seasons (she’d checked out early and, I mean, we’d already paid for the room, so…).

6. Many, many, MANY years ago (when the longest thing I’d written was a grocery list) a psychic told me I would write a book with a purple cover and live in a big white house by the water. Imagine my surprise when I first laid eyes on the cover Simon & Schuster designed for AT YOUR SERVICE. Beach house, here I come! 

 7. I have a teeny tiny, make that HUGE, thing for hedgehogs.

Still can’t get enough of me? I believe I hear my children snorting. Anyhoo… you can visit FUN STUFF for an interview, a list of online musings, and links to my blog(s).

Jen Malone’s Books

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10251955_10203235770473024_6295124689546582503_nK.R. Conway (dude, seriously? This is MY blog and you have no clue who I am? Sheesh . . . LOL)

BIO: Young Adult novelist, K.R. (Kate) Conway, has been a professional journalist since 1999. She is also an editor, graphic designer, and critique partner for other writers. She was named “Writer in Residence” of the award winning Sturgis West high school in Massachusetts. She is also a member of the SCBWI.

Her debut, self-pubbed novels Undertow and Stormfront frequent the Amazon bestseller lists and were added to high school summer reading lists and teen book clubs. The series has spawned fan fiction, won top-pick awards from reviewers and librarians, and drawn reluctant readers into a twisted tale of murder and mayhem set on Cape Cod.

Conway, who holds a BA in dangerous weirdos (forensic psych) from Mount Holyoke College, also drives a 16-ton school bus filled with her iPod-toting target audience simply because she likes the torture. She lives on Cape Cod with two opinionated kids, a fishing-obsessed husband, and an assortment of mismatched pets. Her website offers a peek into her twisted psyche: http://www.capecodscribe.com

K.R. Conway’s Books

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Writer Confessional NESCBWI15

10153879_10203150798668782_624292731_nAs I get ready to head to NESCBWI 2015 in Springfield and teach a few classes, I thought I should update my blog to reflect a few truths of who I am as a weirdo:

#1: I love to play hide and seek with my kids, but due to my warped nature, it has been renamed “Dark House” as I turn off all the lights and hide in the shadows. I try not to laugh as I listen to my kids try and nervously convince one another to “go find Ma!” The game involves loads of screaming – I’m surprised the neighbors haven’t called the cops.

#2. I hate soda. Actually, anything “fizzy” in general is horrid. I once mistook my friend’s Sprite as water and chugged a few mouthfuls. I freaked out, howling that I was going to die. My friend wanted to die as well, probably because we were in the movies at the time and the cute boys behind us thought we were on crack.

#3. I can roller skate, but I can’t rollerblade. Okay, that’s not entirely true – I CAN rollerblade, I just can’t stop. At all. No seriously, there is a tennis court fence at my alma mater with a permanent indent of my screaming face pressed into it.

#4. My teenaged daughter, after reading CRUEL SUMMER, said to me with an accusing finger, “Ya know, Ma. You do realize that I’m going to base on my future relationships on YOUR books!” I simply replied, “Honey, I write fiction and my stuff is a TOTAL fantasy.”

#5. I tend to juggle too many things at once – literally. I once tried to carry a crockpot full of sweet and sour meatballs up my second floor stairs and slipped. Do you have any idea what a white stairwell looks like after dousing it in red, spicy sauce? Two words: Crime Scene.

#6. I’ve been a journalist for, like, ever. Grabbed right out of college to work for the magazines and newspapers, I was often given the craziest assignment, including freezing my a** off at the Hyannis docks to interview the Frostbite Fleet. I’m pretty sure that young = sucker in the eyes of my editors.

#7. My upbringing consisted of crazy inventions (my father) and crazier characters (my mother). While most kids listened to their mom read them Judy Blume and the Box Car Children, I listened to my mother practice lines for whatever upcoming play she was in. Her version of a drunken Virginia Woolf was quite, uh, colorful. My dad even played with my dollhouse with me, though he did make my dinosaurs rip the people though the windows and eat them . . . it was awesome. No wonder Jurassic Park was one of my favorite novels in high school.

#8. My Undertow Series of books contains little shout-outs to my beloved Cape Cod, with a few lines here and there that only the natives will catch fully. It was a blast to do it – like Carol Burnett, who’d tug her ear to let her kids know she was headed home soon.

#9. I was born and raised on Cape Cod and if there was ever a place where everyone knows everyone, it’s the Cape. I love that about the area, though you have to be careful of gossip as it flies faster that ET’s ship and everybody knows everybody.

#10. It is my hope to someday be a hybrid author, with Undertow in my indie pocket, and one of my WIPs in the hands of a great agent with a killer sense of humor. I mean, seriously, whoever reps me better be able to laugh because my life is one wild ride to Nutville.

AND LASTLY . . . I drive a 16 ton school bus during the school year, with a mini Toothless stuck to the dash (he is my guard-dragon – don’t screw with him). Undeniable proof that I am far from normal. Run. Run now.

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Music as Author Muse

itunesI’ve begun sharing my playlist with my husband. It was probably a mistake, because now he thinks I have a split personality based on my music choices.

For kicks and giggles, I scrolled through my playlist for the past Undertow books and, well, yes – it appears I’m musically bi-polar. My musical preferences range wildly, but my daughter, who also shares my playlist, loves most of the songs. I introduce her to my teenhood with girl bands like Hole, and she shows me Elle King. It works.

The truth is we, as people, are never just one musical genre, but a smash up of many depending on our mood. The same goes for me as a writer. The vibe and feel of a character or a given scene is driven by the music I listen to in my car or when I’m working out. It’s my inspiration.

My muse.

Basically, I’d be screwed without my music and, at this rate, I’ll need to build iTunes into my will.

Sometimes my playlist is also built by my fans, who toss out suggestions they think fit the series or a character. Often, I go and check out what they suggested because it shows me how THEY see the story through THEIR eyes. It tells me if my vision of the story comes through to the reader.

So, without further nonsense, below is my current running playlist for TRUE NORTH (well, part of it at least). Enjoy! And yes . . . I’m a rocker at heart.

 

Are you a writer? Do you play it loud and often? Share your #musicmuse and #authorplaylist with me on Twitter and tag me – @sharkprose. Let’s throw some love to those who tell their stories through the thrum of an electric guitar and the beat of a base drum :)

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Saying Farewell

Depositphotos_27246731_originalSomeone once said that, to say goodbye to a character that has been part of you for years, is like bidding farewell to a piece of you. As I write the last book in Eila’s story, I know it’s true.

I have no doubt that when I’m done with the final book in the UNDERTOW series, I will be both thrilled and heartbroken. Because for me, the characters in my books do not live just inside the pages, but inside me as well.

I see them, feel them, hear them.

I owe the start of my novel-writting career to five unlikely friends who are entirely imaginary, and I can never thank them enough. I can’t tell them how much they meant to readers, or how many times they were re-read, or how I tortured myself over their fate.

And their fate has always been set.

I’ve known the end of the series, since the beginning.

I’ve known the last scene, since the first.

My goal has always been to offer a war story, hidden inside a love story, wrapped up in a supernatural spin that is different from anything else out there. I believe that if I can do TRUE NORTH justice, the series will be known as a mind freak – a twisted, wild ride from hell that makes the reader bawl hysterically or laugh out loud.

If I do it justice, I will cry when its done. I will hug my characters tightly, whisper thank you over and over, and tell them I’ve given them all I can.

I’ll tell them that they can live on, in the hearts of those readers who love them, and as the years slip by, new readers will find them. Will fall for them. Will love them as I have.

I’ll tell them I will never ever forget them or what they’ve done for me, and that I leave them, safe in the hands of future readers.

And I’ll tell them I’ll miss them . . . forever.

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Cover Reveal for Sweet Madness by Leaver and Currie

SWEET MADNESS
Coming September 18, 2015 from
Merit Press


Lizzie Borden took an axe,
And gave her mother forty whacks.
When she saw what she had done,
She gave her father forty one.
 
 
BLURB: 
Who was Lizzie Borden? A confused young woman, or a cold-hearted killer? For generations, people all over the world have wondered how Andrew Borden and his second wife, Abby, met their gruesome deaths. Lizzie, Andrew’s younger daughter, was charged, but a jury took only 90 minutes to find her not guilty.
In this retelling, the family maid, Bridget Sullivan, shines a compassionate light on a young woman oppressed by her cheap father and her ambitious stepmother. Was Lizzie mad, or was she driven to madness?










Mark
it to read on Goodreads
Preorder Sweet Madness:
 
ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
 
Trisha Leaver lives on Cape Cod with her
husband, three children, and one rather irreverent black lab. She is
a chronic daydreamer who prefers the cozy confines of her own imagination
to the mundane routine of everyday life.  She writes Young Adult Contemporary
fiction, Psychological Horror and Science Fiction and is published with FSG/
Macmillan, Flux/Llewellyn and Merit Press. To can learn more about Trisha’s
books, upcoming shenanigans, and her quest to reel in the perfect tuna, please visit
her website: 
www.trishaleaver.com
 
 
 
 
Lindsay Currie lives in Chicago with her
three awesome children, husband, and a one hundred and sixty pound lap dog
named Sam. She has an unnatural fondness for coffee, chocolate and things that
go bump in the night. She spends her days curled up in the comfortable confines
of her writing nook, penning young adult psychological horror, contemporary
fiction and science-fiction and is published with Flux/Llewellyn, Merit Press
and Spencer Hill Contemporary. Learn more about her at www.lindsaycurrie.com

To celebrate, we are giving away four AMAZING books from our publisher Merit Press. 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Scarlet Trilogy by A.C. Gaughen

ScarletUS.inddI have a bit of a confession to make: I owned Scarlet for over a year before I pulled it off my bookshelf and set to reading it. And I bought Lady Thief  before I ever read Scarlet because I was a sucker for the idea behind the story and the breathtaking covers.

But I still didn’t read them.

I know, I know – I’m an idiot.

I had met the fabulous A.C. Gaughen a few times and we got along well, plus we were set to be on a Girl Power Panel together and, quite honestly, the book kept tempting me to read it – not an easy feat, considering I have a TON of books in my office.

Scarlet whispered over the demands of The Coldest Girl in Cold Town, The Raven Boys, Afterworlds, The Winner’s Curse, The Red Queen, and Heir of Fire.

16181630I figured that I could read Scarlet in stages, because, after all, I needed to put my nose to the keyboard and get cracking on my own manuscript before my fans came at me with pitchforks.

Yeah . . . that didn’t pan out. BIGGEST FREAKIN’ MISTAKE EVER.

Scarlet, Lady Thief, and yes, Lion Heart, quickly jumped to the top of my all time favorite book lists, and if you know one thing about me, I’m picky. Really, I’m a total story snob. I demand that a great novel will take over my life and wash away reality. It will scream to be read, anywhere and at anytime, stealing my sleep and starving my body.

That was A.C. Gaughen’s trilogy for me.

I read Scarlet in one day, Lady Thief in an afternoon, and Lion Heart kept me company through midnight until dawn broke. I was invested in the characters, their plight, and the world itself.

I could feel the ash that cloaked Major Oak, the grand tree that held the heart of rebellion for Robin’s gang, and the biting cold of Scarlet’s soaked feet as she was forced into the castle alongside a brutal Gisbourne.

16181625A.C. Gaughen paints an intense, unyielding world of vicious power and violence set against the backdrop of sweeping forests and grime-covered cobblestone. I loved how Gaughen didn’t cut her characters any slack, forcing them into the crossfire and challenging their very souls by running through their agony and joy with the razor sharpness of a story built on both history and legend. Do not be lured by the beautiful covers into thinking this is some soft, romantic notion of Robin Hood. This series is a dark, brutal, spectacular retelling of the legend, with Will Scarlet as a fearless but damaged female rebel, known as Scar.

The Scarlet trilogy is what great storytelling is about – vivid worlds that become their own characters, heroes and villains that demand both respect and hatred in equal measure, and a storyline that haunts the mind far beyond the final page.

A brilliant grab for teens, both male and female, and the ultimate historical novel for reluctant readers, I highly, HIGHLY recommend the entire series for both home and school.

English teachers take heed: bring Scarlet into the classroom and watch your students become obsessed with a world of outlaws, corrupted crowns, and the glory of an England entrenched in treason. A spectacular find for the Common Core thanks to all the historical facets that can be unearthed in this rich, fabulous series.

I’m heartbroken it is over, though I will no doubt read the entire series again.

Simply unforgettable.

 

 

 

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