What an awesome Teen Conference! Here is our wrap up video! See ya next year!

Cape Cod Teen Writers Conference 2018

Oh my gosh, have I been lacking on my blog. Truth be told, I’ve been slowly melting on Cape Cod this summer in the mother of all heat waves. I’ve also been busy working on people’s books, having a mild panic attack about school for my son, and enjoying book signings alongside Katie O’Sullivan and Katherine Knight.

It’s been nuts, so the blog has gotten dusty and forgotten and may be overrun by digital rodents, but fear NOT – I’m back and I’ve got some cool stuff to cover!

The Second Annual Cape Cod Teen Writers Conference has been a laugh-filled, writing bonanza this year. We more than doubled our numbers (38) and crawled out of a school building and into the Double Tree Hotel in Hyannis (which, I must say, is quite swanky).

Tomorrow is the Author Panel at the teen conference and it is OPEN TO THE PUBLIC (re: get your sand-encrusted butts off the beach and into the AC to listen to authors and buy books). We are also hopeful for donations (yes, that’s a total plea for money) as the Teen Conference is F-R-E-E for the participants. This is a pledge of mine that I never want to break – a multi-day intensive writing course for teen writers that is and will remain free. Of course, to do that, we are always seeking donations and sponsors, so if you believe in the arts and the power of the pen in the hands of the youth, please consider a donation to this awesome, not-for-profit program. More details here:


Aside from helping kids grow as writers and storytellers, the Teen Conference does something else – it builds a community of young writers. It takes that one teen, who may find themselves the odd-person-out among friends due to their love of writing, and drops them into a room FULL of people just like them. We’ve had friendships form and last years because of the CCTWC. We’ve seen connections made and held strong across the miles because of the conference.

Inside the walls of the Conference, there is this unique, creative, outrageous safe zone where imaginations are encouraged to run wild and where no one thinks your voice is useless. In storytelling, we get to form our own destiny and twist reality so that we are master and commander of Fate. In a world ruled by the demands of adults and society, the Cape Cod Teen Writers Conference offers teens a chance to not only escape to a place filled with others just like them, it also offers a chance to rule one’s own world thanks to pen and paper.

So I ask you – come and be a part of the Cape Cod Teen Writers Conference Author Panel. See what we do and what the teens have accomplished. Be amazed and inspired and think seriously about helping us continue to grow this empowering program with a tax-deductible donation. Every bit helps and every teen writers deserves a chance to be part of the Conference.







HUGE YA Author Panel on Cape Cod



Author Panel


August 8, 2018, 1-3PM – The Double Tree Hotel, Hyannis MA



Kristine Asselin is the author of sixteen works of children’s nonfiction as well as the YA novel Any Way You Slice It and co-author of the middle grade novel The Art of the Swap. She loves volunteering with the Girl Scout of Eastern Massachusetts and the New England Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, where she serves as an Assistant Regional Adviser for Massachusetts. She is a sucker for a good throwback 80’s song, and can’t resist an invitation for Chinese food or ice cream (but not at the same time). She lives in Central Massachusetts with her teen daughter and husband, and spends part of everyday looking for a TARDIS to steal. You can find Kris online at



Katie Bayerl fell in love with books before she can remember and with teaching when she was just a teen. The writing books for teens part came a bit later. She jumped right in and hasn’t looked back.

Katie has degrees in education from Brown, teaching from Tufts, and writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She has taught teens in a range of settings, worked as editor of a teen-generated magazine, led the communications efforts of a Boston nonprofit, and helped dozens of schools and nonprofits tell their stories. She currently leads the VCFA Young Writers Network and teaches classes for teens at GrubStreet. Her young adult fiction won early honors, including the PEN New England Children’s Book Discovery Award and the Flying Pig Bookstore/Vermont College Humor Award. A Psalm for Lost Girls (spring 2017, Putnam) is her first novel.



A 35 year veteran teacher, Mick Carlon’s three young adult novels—RIDING ON DUKE’S TRAIN; TRAVELS WITH LOUIS; and GIRL SINGER—are now in the curriculum of 100+ schools in the USA, France, and Spain.  He has spoken to students in New Orleans, Manhattan, Boston, Minneapolis, Dallas, Anaheim, Providence, and Los Angeles.  “Nothing like Carlon’s novels has yet been attempted in the history of Jazz,” said the late writer Nat Hentoff.  “He is introducing a new generation of fans to the glories and stories of America’s music.”



K.R. (Kate) Conway is a sarcastic bugger who likes to torment Cape Cod’s summertime tourists, taunting them about sneaky sharks and traffic-free backroads. She’s been a professional journalist since 1999 when several newspaper editors lost their minds and hired her as a feature writer. She is best known, however, for her six-book Urban Fantasy series, Undertow, which reads like a mash-up of Jaws and The Goonies. Awards, nominations, and features include Barnes and Noble’s Seven Terrifying Summer Reads for Teens (2015), Teen Ink Magazine’s Best Picks, Girl’s Life Magazine Cool Winter Reads, newspapers, magazines, and radio. Nominations include Indie Recon Live (Best New YA, Best Opening Line, Best Book Boyfriend), YALSA, Cybil, Goodreads, IRDA, and others.

The series has spawned fan fiction, fan art, jewelry, clothing, and even tattoos. Conway, who is a member of SCBWI, teaches fiction craft at writer conferences, high schools, and libraries. She lives on Cape Cod with her equally weird family and a strange assortment of critters. When not writing, Conway drives a forty-foot Loser Cruiser that smells like forgotten Pony sneakers from the 80s. She is the founder of the Teen Conference.



For Jeremy Flagg, it started with single comic book. Jeremy’s mother was determined to make a reader out of him. Shunning traditional literature at a young age, his mother placed X-Men Classic #69 in his lap and for the first time he was exposed to the phrases, “Mutants,” “BAMF,” and “SNIKT.” From that moment on, he imagined his enrollment at Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters at 1407 Graymalkin Lane.

By middle school he devoured fantasy and science fiction faster than he could check them out of the library. However, his first love remained comic books. He began writing his own comics with his best friend, and by the end of their eighth grade year, they had written over a hundred issues of the superhero series that would eventually become Children of Nostradamus. Meanwhile, he spent his Tuesday’s at the grocery store, rummaging the racks, reading any comic put on the shelf.

Working as a high school teacher provided him with an uncanny amount of great dialogue. The antics of teenagers in a suburban setting became the background of his first published book, Suburban Zombie High. Having started working at a second suburban school, the sequel, Suburban Zombie High: The Reunion was published.

Jeremy became known as a geek before it was a trend. During college Jeremy would be shortened to Remy as friends discovered his goal of reading every X-Men comic. Being able to explain the many relationships of Scott Summers and his multi-dimensional children became a badge of honor. You can find him at his website,


Natasha Friend became a writer in great thanks to her parents, who raised her in a house without a TV.  At the time, she thought this was the worst form of torture. Now she understands the method to their madness: they wanted her to be a reader.

She spent much of her childhood in the Hamilton Public Library in upstate New York, where she found her mecca, the young-adult section, and her idol, Judy Blume. Not long after discovering Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret, Natasha began dictating stories to her father, who typed them up on his 1930’s Remington typewriter. Most involved rainbows, unicorns, and poor orphan girls discovering treasure. 

​Natasha knew she was supposed to be a real writer in seventh grade, when a sweet boy wrote her a love poem and she felt compelled to correct it for syntax and rhyme scheme.  (No, she did not grade it, and she did not hand it back to him.  She kept it, and treasures it still.)

Because her spiritual age is 13, Natasha was a middle-school teacher for a while.  Then she was a camp director.  She decided to give full-time writing a shot after she got married because she knew she wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. Her first book, Perfect, was published right after her first baby arrived.  Natasha wrote a second book.  She had another baby.  Wrote two more books, had another baby.  Now, three kids and seven books later, she feel like she’s just hitting her stride.

​Natasha loves being a writing mom.  When she’s not working on her latest book, she’s building forts and making chocolate-chip pancakes.  Often, Natasha is wearing a silly hat.  Sometimes a press-on mustache.  She sings a lot.  She reads voraciously.  She eats peanut butter and banana sandwiches for breakfast.  Natasha likes a clean house, but is a horrible housekeeper.  She’d rather be having a spontaneous talent show in her dirty kitchen.  Or writing another book.



Flaming Snot Rockets! Jim Hill holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts where he learned to write books with action, heart, and gobs of humor. 

He has taught workshops and classes for the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod, the Cape Cod Writers Center, the Cotuit Center for the Arts, the New England Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators and the Highlight’s Foundation.

His upcoming middle-grade graphic novel celebrates nerd culture, cosplay, and putting bullies in their place. It hits the shelf in the latter half of 2019.

He is represented by Sara Crowe of Pippin Properties, Inc., but you can find him online at or on Twitter as @heyjimhill.



Kathryn Knight spends a great deal of time in her fictional world, where mundane chores don’t exist and daily life involves steamy romance, dangerous secrets, and spooky suspense.

Kathryn writes contemporary romance spiked with mysterious hauntings as well as YA paranormal romance filled with forbidden love. Her novels are award-winning #1 Kindle bestsellers and RomCon Reader Rated picks.

When she’s not reading or writing, Kathryn spends her time catching up on those mundane chores, driving kids around, and teaching writing classes. Two of her ghost story/romance titles, Gull Harbor and Haunted Souls, are set on beautiful Cape Cod, where she lives with her husband, their two sons, and a number of rescued pets.



Katie O’Sullivan is an award-winning writer, whose ten novels include the best selling My Kind of Crazy, Ghosts Don’t Lie, Crazy About You, and the Son of a Mermaid series for teen readers: Descent, Defiance, and Deception.

A recovering English major, she earned her degree at Colgate University and now lives on Cape Cod with her family and big dogs, drinking way too much coffee and working as an editor, magazine columnist and technical writer. Which explains all the coffee.

Find Katie online:
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Check out her website at


~ Fransisco X. Stork ~


Francisco X. Stork is the author of seven novels including Marcelo in the Real World(Schneider Book Award), The Last Summer of the Death Warriors (Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award) and The Memory of Light (Tomás Rivera Book Award). His latest novel, Disappeared, was an Honor Book for the Walter Dean Meyers Award and received starred reviews from Kirkus, Booklist, School Library Journal and The Horn Book.

Undertow This Summer



Sometimes I call UNDERTOW the Little Blue Book That Could because it keeps landing on lists years after it launched (not that I’m complaining). Of course, then my friends remind me that the sucker weighs close to a pound and is nearly 100,000 words long, so “little” ain’t so little. Pfft – details.

Anyway . . . Undertow is on Monomoy High School’s Summer Reading Celebration. If you are a high schooler at Monomoy, you can reach out to the Ms. Wheaton, the school librarian to sign up for Undertow and get a free digital copy. If you are not part of Monomoy, the Jonathan Bourne Public Library also has Undertow as one of its Beach Buddy Reads for the summer. You can sign-up through the library (from ANYWHERE in the world) and you can download ALL the books on the poster for free via BookFunnel.

Not wanting to leave anyone behind in Undertow’s Summer Tour, (and because all my fans are freakin’ epic and push Undertow out like free sparklers on the Fourth of July), I’ve set UNDERTOW to FREE across numerous digital platforms until August 1, 2018. If, however, you need print copies, the most signed editions can be found shelves at Titcomb’s Bookshop (and those ladies ALWAYS have them in stock).







Book Review: Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young



Gritty and atmospheric, Sky in the Deep is a tale of hereditary hatred, the brutality of old traditions, and the often unyielding mindset of our forefathers.

Set in a fictional realm reminiscent of the age of Vikings, Adrienne Young weaves a tale of two rival clans, both hell bent on murdering one another to honor the will of their gods. Women fight as viciously as men and are equally honored on the battlefield. I applaud the fierce females in Young’s story, but admit that the level of violence in Sky in the Deep will be offsetting to some readers. Such gore and detailed fighting was reminiscent of Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York, so I’d advise caution with the younger YA readers.

But I still loved it.

I found the relationship between MC Eelyn and enemy clan member, Fiske, to be a brilliantly done. It’s a slow-burning romance that does not forfeit the reality of who the characters are for the sake of stolen kisses or lustful thoughts. 

While this book has many bloody battle scenes, the majority of the book focuses on the day-to-day life and survival of these rough-hewn people – a fact pointed out by other reviewers as a negative, but I found to be an asset in the story. These slow moving scenes, often tipped in ice and moonlight, allow the reader to peel back the layers of prejudice and anger that the MC harbors and how she evolves.

I had some minor issues with the book (which I hope are addressed in the companion novel that I hear is coming in 2019) – mainly that the Herja are never truly explained and what was with the white eyeballs, the animal sacrifices (or rather the detail in those scenes), and the fact that I do NOT consider this fantasy. But none of those issues stole away the simple fact that I inhaled this book in a single day and loved every minute of it. I am proud to have the hardcover edition sitting on my bookshelves.

Go, buy, and OND ELDR.


Book blurb:


Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield — her brother, fighting with the enemy — the brother she watched die five years ago.

Faced with her brother’s betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.

She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.



About the Author

YA fantasy author, SKY IN THE DEEP (4.24.18) & UNTITLED (2019) from Wednesday Books. Agent: Barbara Poelle, IGLA

Adrienne Young is a born and bred Texan turned California girl. She is a foodie with a deep love of history and travel and a shameless addiction to coffee. When she’s not writing, you can find her on her yoga mat, scouring antique fairs for old books, sipping wine over long dinners, or disappearing into her favorite art museums. She lives with her documentary filmmaker husband and their four little wildlings beneath the West Coast sun.

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So, I know I’ve been AWOL, but hey – I wrote 6 books in 5 years, so my brain is a bit toasted at this point. But fear not, my storytelling brain runs in overtime and I am squeezing in writing time.

To keep you happy while I am busy writing (and to keep your inner book demon fed) I’ve compiled my list for the summer of 2018. Now, these are MY picks – stuff I think will find its way to my shelves if it isn’t already there. That said, you may love them or loathe them, but I think they are worth stalking. Click on a cover and get whisked away to the GOODREADS page for details and where to buy :)


Farewell to Undertow Part II

I’m posting a series of YouTube videos about the Undertow series. Below is the first one. Enjoy!

Undertow Series Farewell Part 1

I’m posting a series of YouTube videos about the Undertow series. Below is the first one. Enjoy!

Cute Boys, Dirty Bikes

Melanie Hooyenga drops her second book in The Rules Series with a fearless girl and some dirty boys. How fast can you fall?

Junior year’s looking up for sixteen-year old Mike. Her new BFF isn’t a sadistic control freak, her boyfriend adores her, and she’s learning to bike in the mountains without decapitating herself on a tree.

Well, almost.

When she meets a group of riders who welcome her into their pack, she feels like she’s finally found where she belongs. One particular rider—a boy with an amazing smile and an even more amazing ability to see what she’s truly capable of—gives her the confidence to go after what she wants: her own life with her own rules.

There’s only one problem—he’s not her boyfriend.

Just as things seem to be falling into place, her parents put on the pressure to figure out her future—one that doesn’t include riding. Mike soon realizes that having everything isn’t that great when she’s not the one choosing it. She needs to decide if she’s going to continue to be a follower or step out of the shadows and find her own trail.











Multi-award winning young adult author Melanie Hooyenga first started writing as a teenager and finds she still relates best to that age group. She has lived in Washington DC, Chicago, and Mexico, but has finally settled down in her home state of Michigan. When not at her day job as a Communications Director at a nonprofit, you can find Melanie attempting to wrangle her Miniature Schnauzer Owen and playing every sport imaginable with her husband Jeremy.


You can learn more about Melanie here:


Music and Magic

Texas author Jessica Bucher takes readers on a vibrant, sumptuous ride into the heart of a city filled with music and darkness.


Enchanted city. Old magic. New threat.

 Taq, a young fiddler, comes to Prague with dreams of joining the Bohemians—a band of immortal, magic-wielding street performers. With a mission to right past wrongs, things don’t go as planned when he meets the beautiful performer, Katia. Now, he must decide if revealing his secret is worth losing her heart.

 Katia has spent one hundred years chained to the city, broken-hearted and silent,

waiting for her chance to be free. But with an impending threat on Bohemia itself and a mysterious newcomer, peace is starting look farther than ever. Now she must decide if she should trust Taq or put her faith in the one who broke her heart—the tyrannical Magistrate of Bohemia.

Curses can be broken, but at what cost?





Jessica Bucher is a Young Adult author living in Texas with her husband and children. Her first book, The Hereafter, was published in 2016. When she’s not writing, editing, or chasing her kids, she can be found scrolling through Facebook or planning her next travel adventure.

Get to know Jessica more and join her Facebook launch group by clicking HERE.

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