New YA Releases: November 25, 2014

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Here’s a look at today’s new YA releases:

on the edgeOn the Edge by Allison van Diepen

From Allison van Diepen, author of Snitch and Street Pharm, comes a sexy, dangerous novel about a teen who witnesses a murder and gets caught up in the seedy world of Miami’s gangs.

Maddie Diaz never should have taken that shortcut through the park. If she hadn’t, she wouldn’t have seen two members of the Reyes gang attacking a homeless man. Now, as the only witness, she knows there’s a target on her back.

But when the Reyes jump her on the street, Maddie is protected by a second gang and their secretive leader, Lobo, who is determined to take down the Reyes himself. Lobo is mysterious and passionate, and Maddie begins to fall for him. But when they live this close to the edge, can their love survive?

On the Edge is a compelling story about fighting for what’s right and figuring out where you belong. The novel showcases a gritty, realistic voice and earth–shattering romance that will intrigue readers of Simone Elkeles and Paul Griffin and captivate fans of Allison van Diepen’s other novels.

misdirectedMisdirected by Ali Berman

Misdirected is the story of fifteen-year-old Ben, who moves to a small conservative Colorado town where his atheism seems to be the only thing about him that matters to everyone. His classmates bully him for not fitting in, his teachers don’t understand him, and with his brother serving in Iraq and his sister away at college with problems of her own, Ben is left on his own to figure things out. Being a teen is tricky to navigate when you’re an outsider, and Ben struggles to find his place without compromising who he is. He rebels against his teachers, he argues with his classmates, and he rejects what others believe, bringing the reader with him on his enlightening journey as he learns the value of challenging accepted beliefs—including his own.

anomalyAnomaly by Tonya Kuper

Reality is only an illusion.
Except for those who can control it…

Worst. Birthday. Ever.

My first boyfriend dumped me – happy birthday, Josie!- my dad is who knows where, I have some weird virus that makes me want to hurl, and now my ex is licking another girl’s tonsils. Oh, and I’m officially the same age as my brother was when he died. Yeah, today is about as fun-filled as the swamps of Dagobah. But then weird things start happening…
Like I make something materialize just by thinking about it.

When hot badass Reid Wentworth shows up on a motorcycle, everything changes. Like, everything. Who I am. My family. What really happened to my brother. Existence. I am Oculi, and I have the ability to change reality with my thoughts. Now Reid, in all his hotness, is charged with guiding and protecting me as I begin learning how to bend reality. And he’s the only thing standing between me and the secret organization that wants me dead…

For the comments: Which of today’s new releases are you most excited about?

Court by Cat Patrick: Q&A + Contest

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Today, we’ve got a really cool featured book to share with you — Court by Cat Patrick, a really original novel about a hidden monarchy within the United States!

court_150[2]Here’s more:

For more than 300 years, a secret monarchy has survived and thrived within the borders of the US, hiding in plain sight as the state known as Wyoming. But when the king is shot and his seventeen-year-old son, Haakon McHale, is told he will take the throne, becoming the eleventh ruler of the Kingdom of Eurus, the community that’s survived for centuries is pushed to the limit. Told through four perspectives, Court transplants us to a world that looks like ours, but isn’t. Gwendolyn Rose, daughter of the Duke of Coal, is grudgingly betrothed to Haakon — and just wants a way out. Alexander Oxendine, son of the Duke of Wind and Haakon’s lifelong best friend, already grapples with internal struggles when he’s assigned to guard Haakon after the king dies. And commoner Mary Doyle finds whispers in the woods that may solve — or destroy — everything, depending on your bloodline.

Money. Love. Power. Community. What’s your motivation?

Order Court here!

And now, here’s a quick Q&A with Cat Patrick:

cat patrick picIs this a start of a series?

I hope to write at least one more book, yes.

Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?

I do: I definitely pick up books in the store or library with covers that appeal to me. With the male lead in Court, I felt it was really important not to do the typical girl-on-the-cover thing that happens in a lot of YA books today.

Advice for aspiring authors

From one of my six-year-old daughters: “Think of something that happened to you. Touch and tell across pages. Write a quick sketch so you don’t forget. Then write the words.”

I’m not kidding. She just said that.

For me, I think the most important thing is to just do it. I hear from people all the time: “I want to publish a book.” And they haven’t written the book yet. Also, unlike my kiddo, I purposely don’t write down book ideas—or sketch them. If I forget them before it’s time to write then you’ll forget them before it’s time to read.

If you could trade places with anyone for just one day, who would you be?

Forgetting that I have a wild imagination and am now dreaming up scenarios where I get permanently stuck in someone else’s body, I’d choose someone with a very different life from mine for a new perspective, like Coco Chanel or the head of NASA or a plumber.

Favorite holiday?

Halloween. I love dressing up and fall is my favorite time of year.

About Cat Patrick:

Raised in a house that was struck by lightning–twice–Cat Patrick is the author of young adult books ForgottenRevived, and The Originals, and the co-author of Just Like Fate.

As a child, Cat could be found making up stories like her first book, Dolly the Purple Spotted Dolphin; growing corn in the backyard; or performing with a traveling sign-language troupe. She earned a journalism degree from the University of Wyoming and a master’s degree from Boston University, and worked in public relations for fifteen years. She lives outside of Seattle with her husband and twin daughters, and is on Twitter @seecatwrite, or Facebook at authorcatpatrick.

Cat once…

  • Interrupted Warren Beatty’s lunch to snap a picture with him.
    • Appeared on a game show, but not as a competitor.
    • Climbed a 50 foot tower and rappelled back down. (At least she thinks it was 50 feet.)
    • Met Muhammad Ali.
    • Was on the high school golf team.
    • Got a tattoo.
    • Was pooped on by a dolphin.
    • Performed a high kick routine to Personal Jesus.
    • Interviewed Carmen Electra.
    • Worked as a “concessionist” at a movie theater.
    • Met the guy who created Sonic the Hedgehog.

Cat likes… Crunchy snacks, decaf nonfat lattes, mint chip ice cream, Alan Rickman, zombies from afar, traveling, reading, easy hikes, challenging plotlines, stargazing, silly hats, and boots.

Cat dislikes… Talking on the phone, socks with holes, zombies close up, the flu, mean people, touching ice, copyedits, flying, spiders, squeaky windshield wipers, black licorice, and salmon.

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Enter to win one of two sets of signed copies of ALL of Cat’s previous books (4 in all)!

Fill out the Rafflecopter form HERE to get started.

Classroom Ideas for A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

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It may be a work of science fiction, but Claudia Gray’s A Thousand Pieces of You offers plenty of jumping off points for classroom-worthy discussions. Here are some ideas for discussion or essay topics:

  • AThousandPieces_hc_cStudy the downfall of the Russian Empire and the February Revolution of 1917. Explore what might have happened differently to create the alternate universe Margueritte visits where the Russian monarchy is still thriving.
  • Research real-life theories about alternate universes, or the “multiverse.” Relate what real scientists have said to how alternate universes are explained in A Thousand Pieces of You.
  • Pick a significant decision you’ve made in your life, and think about how your life might be different if you’d made another choice. Write down the different possibilities.
  • What are other fictional portrayals of alternate universes? Discuss how this theory is explored in those works, and compare that to A Thousand Pieces of You.
  • Ethics play an important part in A Thousand Pieces of You, especially regarding the Firebird technology. Consider the ethics in question in the book, and debate these concerns. What are the pros and cons of the Firebird technology?

For the comments: Have other ideas? Share them in the comments below!

Holiday Gift Guide 2014: Ultimate Gift Ideas & Where to Shop for Book Lovers

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With the holidays upon us, it’s time to start shopping for the fellow book lovers in your life — and to pass along your wish list to loved ones, too!

We all know that it is dang-near impossible to buy books as a gift for book lovers … because you never know what’s already in their collection! But there are some fabulous, gorgeous gifts that book lovers will adore — and that make perfect gifts, too. Here’s a round-up of our favorite places to shop for book lovers & some of the goodies you’ll find at each place.

I’ve even highlighted some great stocking stuffer ideas, too!001Special Offer

Plus, keep your eyes peeled for this symbol to get special offers & discount codes just for Novel Novice readers at some of the retailers mentioned below!

GoneReading.com

We LOVE this website for shopping for fantastic book-ish goodies — from book-shaped plates, to scented candles inspired by famous authors, to reading accessories you didn’t even know you needed! We reviewed this site and some of their fantastic offerings earlier this year — and I even built my own holiday wishlist from their pages. (My husband shopped there for some of my gifts, and was VERY impressed by how quickly everything arrived!)

Plus, if you’re a new shopper, join their email list for a 10%-off coupon!

Here are some of the items from GoneReading.com that we adore for holiday gifts:

Bamboo Bathtub Caddy

bamboo bathtub caddy

Book Plates & Serving Platters

book plates(There’s even a cup & book-shaped saucer for drinking tea or coffee while you read!!!!)

Personal Library Kit

personal library kit

“Take Me to Your Reader” & Other T-Shirts

take me to your reader tshirt

Book Holder & E-Reader Stand

book and e-reader holder

stocking stuffers

001Special OfferGoneReading.com is offering one of YOU lucky readers a chance to win a $40 e-Gift Card to help with your holiday shopping. Just fill out the Rafflecopter form HERE to be entered in the drawing. Contest is open worldwide!

Novel Novice CafePress Shop

Okay, so we’re a little biased here – but we DO love the fun products in our own Novel Novice CafePress shop, each of them designed with our fellow fanatical readers in mind. Most of the items feature our signature “Book Nerd” and “Keep Calm & Read a Book” designs, which were created exclusively for Novel Novice.

Here are some of our favorite goodies:

Shirts & Hoodies

book_nerd_mens_tank_top book_nerd_racerback_tank_top book_nerd_womens_hooded_sweatshirt keep_calm_and_read_a_book_womens_tshirt keep_calm_womens_hooded_sweatshirt read_past_my_bedtime_womens_vneck_dark_tshirt

Accessories

book_nerd_clutch_bag book_nerd_flip_flops keep_calm_15quot_laptop_sleeve

Jewelry

book_nerd_earring_circle_charm novel_novice_charm_bracelet_one_charm novel_novice_silver_square_necklace_necklaces

Bags & Totes

book_nerd_messenger_bag keep_calm_novel_novice_beach_tote

PJs

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Stuff for Your House

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Drinkware

book_nerd_drinking_glass keep_calm_sigg_water_bottle_10l past_my_bedtime_mug_mugs past_my_bedtime_tea_tumbler

stocking stuffers

PosterText

Amazing poster designs created using the actual text of the books that inspired each illustration. PosterText offers these gorgeous pieces printed on high-quality paper, all of which would make beautiful, statement art for any book lovers’ home. Browse all of their designs here, and check out some of our favorites below:

24x30-Peter-Pan-old-column-SD_large 24x30---The-Great-Gatsby-BW-SD_large 24x30-Three-Musketeers--old-column-SD_large 24x36-Adventures-of-Sherlock-Holmes-2-SD_large

001Special OfferPosterText.com is offering Novel Novice readers 20% off purchases made online through the end of the year. Just enter the code NN09871 at check-out. Coupon code is good through 12/31/2014.

Litographs

Much like PosterText, Litographs features art prints with designs created using the text of a book. But Litographs has also gone beyond just prints, adding their designs to high-quality dye-sublimated t-shirts and tote bags. They’ve also just recently released a collection of adorable lit-inspired temporary tattoos — which would make fabulous stocking stuffers!

Here are some of our favorites from each category:

Posters

emma-4_1024x1024 gatsby-2_1024x1024 moby-2_1024x1024

T-Shirtseyre-tee-6_1024x1024 gatsby-tee-6_cd53e4a6-5971-48e7-aaf2-bb6a9b9a78c1_1024x1024 hamlet-tee-6_1024x1024 sherlock-tee-6_74149285-37f3-47ff-8811-27ffc7913b62_1024x1024

Tote Bags alice-tote-2_405a51ce-df5f-47bd-8113-d90eead71550_1024x1024 persuasion-tote-2_6c0c0f95-d258-44af-8a12-b43b06a23906_1024x1024 pride-tote-2_78d3e6fc-ade0-44a8-aad1-a69238d1016f_1024x1024Temporary Tattoos (Great Stocking Stuffers)
stocking stuffers

earnest-photo_4da096d4-d1c2-43a9-bcda-94e62e43817c_largepeter-photo_cb9e57c5-367e-4c0e-8fc4-9b34f6bb7702_large treasure-photo_8ffe87be-072e-45ab-a107-6ef091aa7bc5_large unicorn-photo_6e9c3f1c-b051-41f6-8109-a65fcf5adb47_large walden-photo_049faaf1-326b-4098-8765-a424142d8f6f_large

 

001Special OfferLitographs.com is offering Novel Novice readers 10% off purchases made online through the end of the year. Just enter the code NOVELNOVICE10 at check-out to receive the discount.

Storiarts

The perfect way to stay warm this winter is with a book scarf and fingerless gloves (perfect for reading) from Storiarts! This hand-crafted Etsy artist is the creator of the original Book Scarf — and I have to say, I’m a huge fan. I’ve had my Sherlock Holmes scarf for a couple years now, and it is one of my favorites. It’s very comfy and cozy, and it is super cute. (Bonus: reading material on the go!)

Storiarts offers a variety of designs from assorted authors, so there’s sure to be soemthing to suite everyone’s tastes. Beyond the scarves, also check out the coordinating fingerless gloves, headbands, and throw pillows.  Here’s a peek at some of the goodies:

il_570xN.566425827_7jl4il_570xN.643141576_ggtnil_570xN.580757747_rxk2il_570xN.478150104_rcia
001Special OfferPORTLANDERS! Look for Storiarts at Crafty Wonderland, December 13-14th. In addition to their regular products, they’ll also have an assortment of discounted items available for purchase!

Hebel Design

Love YA fantasy? Then Hebel Design has something for you to love. High-quality, hand-crafted jewelry inspired by some of the hottest YA fantasy and paranormal series around, all with the authors’ seal of approval! Featured series include The Mortal Instruments, The Grisha Trilogy, The Selection Series (JUST released!), The Lynburn Legacy, The Lux Series, and many more! Here are some of our favorites:

Morozova’s Collar (from The Grisha Trilogy)

morozova's collar

Tessa’s Clockwork Angel

clockwork angel

(On a budget? Try the replica Clockwork Angel necklace for a great bargain.)

America’s Songbird Necklace

SongbirdRebel Symbol Necklace

RebelSymbol

Golden Snitch Bracelet

golden snitch bracelet

001Special OfferUse the promotional code NovelGift at check-out to receive a 15% discount off one item on all orders through the end of the year at HebelDesign.com

Out of Print

Amazing designs and fun products abound at Out of Print Clothing, where much more than clothing is offered. Their incredible book-inspired jewelry line is brilliant and gorgeous, their t-shirt and tote bag designs are delightful, and their ever-expanding collection of accessories and other items continues to charm. Here are some of our favorites:

“So It Goes” Slaughterhouse Five Necklace

so it goes

The Great Gatsby West Egg Pennant

west egg penant

Composition Book Tote Bag

comp book bag

Library Card Pouch

library pouch

The Great Gatsby Sweater

gatsby sweater

Where the Wild Things Are Onesie

wild things onesie

Library Stamp T-Shirt

library stamp tshirt

stocking stuffers

The Literary Gift Company

The Literary Gift Company has an amazing variety of products, all suited to any book lovers tastes. Their offerings include products made from old, up-cycled books, adorable mugs for sipping tea or coffee while you read, cool book-ish jewelry, and other unique book-ish accessories you didn’t even know you wanted, but now you totally do. Then wrap-up all your gifts in their incredible literary wrapping paper! Here are some of our favorites:

Bookshelf Tie

SONY DSC

Young Banned Books Bracelet

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Book Handbags

pride-and-prejudice-book-handbag-48728-p[ekm]250x250[ekm]

Doodle & Stitch Duvet Cover

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Jane Austen Scarf

jane-austen-jersey-scarf-10592-p

Typewriter Satchel

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stocking stuffers

DFTBA

So you’re a John Green fan? You like proclaiming your love of all-things nerdy? Then check out the DFTBA shop for John Green-approved merchandise and goodies, created by an amazing group of fandom artists. There’s lots for John Green books, Harry Potter and other fandoms, even some not based on books. (Gasp!) Here are some of our favorite goodies:

Books Turn Muggles Into Wizards T-shirt
(I have this shirt & it’s one of my favorites. Super comfy & soft, plus fabulous design!)

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The Fault in Our Stars Hazel & Gus Phone Case

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Ampersand Necklace

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Could Be Buying Books Poster

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Ampersands Poster

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stocking stuffers

Black Milk Clothing

For the fashionable book nerd, Black Milk offers a few collections inspired by some of your favorite book fandoms, most notably Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, and The Lord of the Rings. Here’s a few of our favorite styles they offer:

Daily Prophet Bomber Jacket

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Marauder’s Map Dress

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Middle Earth Leggings

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Game of Thrones Skater Dress

LC-GOT-27-ClashofKingsSkater-6-WEB_grande

More Great Ideas

Still wanting to flesh out your wish list, or get other gift ideas? Here are some other products we LOVE for gifting to book lovers:

My Weekend is All Booked Sweatshirt
Also available in other styles. 

my-weekend-is-all-booked

Mini Book Necklaces
Browse a variety of mini-titles at the Miniature Literature Etsy Shop

mini book necklace

Book Shelf Phone Cases

book shelf phone case

Book-Shaped Pillows

book pillows

Daily Prophet Hobo Bag

10159708_hiI Married Adventure Book Clutch from kate spade new york

i married adventure

“Archive Your Accessories” Wall Hooks

accessory hooks

Dictionary Wallet

dictionary wallet

Katniss Everdeen Poster

katniss poster

stocking stuffers

For the comments: What’s on your wish list? Any other great ideas you’d add to this list?

Exclusive Q&A with A Thousand Pieces of You Author Claudia Gray: Part 3

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Today, we’ve got part 2 our exclusive Q&A with A Thousand Pieces of You author Claudia Gray. Thanks for taking the to chat with us, Claudia. Readers – if you missed it, check out part 1 here and part 2 here. Today, it’s time for FLASH QUESTIONS!

Claudia GrayFavorite decade?

Depends on what for? Pop music? The 1980s. The amount of fun I’m having? Toss up between the 1990s and now. For fashion? … wow, I hope we haven’t seen that decade yet. I hope that one is still to come.

Must-have writing snack?

Bananas. NOM NOM NOM.

Favorite Disney movie? 

“Tangled,” as anyone who follows my Tumblr can attest.

The beach or the mountains?

The mountains — I prefer cool weather to heat. Also, beaches tend to get crowded; you can have some privacy in the mountains.

Song that can always get you dancing? 

Oh, God, it’s “Call Me Maybe.” Tell no one.

Name 5 things currently on your desk (or in your writing space), and share a photo, if possible.

1) A lamp shaped like a pug that is more attractive than you are currently imagining it, I promise.

2) My iMac, which now functions less as a computer and more as a stereo and a Netflix-viewing device.

3) The speaker system for the iMac. (See stereo mention above.)

4) Some glass vases, which aren’t there to hold anything, just to serve as decoration. I felt sort of impractical when I bought them, but IMHO they look great. (And when you work at home, it’s important to enjoy your workspace! Otherwise, the couch gets to looking too attractive — or maybe the bed — )

5) A candle from Fandlemonium, which is Harry Potter-scented. No, really! He smells delicious!

Book Review: Paper Airplanes by Dawn O’Porter

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A witty coming-of-age story with friendship at its heart, cunning characters, and delightful prose, make Dawn O’Porter’s Paper Airplanes a real knock-out of a book.

paper airplanesIt’s the mid-1990s, and fifteen year-old Guernsey schoolgirls, Renée and Flo, are not really meant to be friends. Thoughtful, introspective and studious Flo couldn’t be more different to ambitious, extroverted and sexually curious Renée. But Renée and Flo are united by loneliness and their dysfunctional families, and an intense bond is formed. Although there are obstacles to their friendship (namely Flo’s jealous ex-best friend and Renée’s growing infatuation with Flo’s brother), fifteen is an age where anything can happen, where life stretches out before you, and when every betrayal feels like the end of the world. For Renée and Flo it is the time of their lives.

With graphic content and some scenes of a sexual nature, PAPER AEROPLANES is a gritty, poignant, often laugh-out-loud funny and powerful novel. It is an unforgettable snapshot of small-town adolescence and the heart-stopping power of female friendship.

This is the type of book every girl should read to know they are not alone in their experiences, and that every woman should read to remember what they fought through in their adolescence to become the person they are now. O’Porter’s writing is raw and emotional, and the fact that she was inspired by her own teenage journals just lends the book a real nugget of honesty that sets it apart from other books on similar subjects.

What’s lovely, as well, is the focus on a female friendship. Yes, romance is sprinkled throughout, and there are family issues that each character must cope with — but the real heart of Paper Airplanes is the bond between Renee and Flo. And this is oh-so-important for girls and women to remember: because as important as our romantic partners are, and as important as our family is — really strong, meaningful female friendships are also so critical. I don’t know where I’d be in this world with out my BFF — and Paper Airplanes just solidified her importance to me, while reading about the friendship between Renee and Flo.

Originally published in the UK last year, the U.S. edition is in stores now.

Betting Blind by Stephanie Guerra: Kindle Paperwhite Giveaway

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Today, I am SO so excited to share a really amazing contest with you — from an even more amazing author. I’ve teamed up with Stephanie Guerra to give one of you lucky readers a Kindle Paperwhite, pre-loaded with Stephanie’s amazing new YA novel, Betting Blind  (in stores now)!

First, here’s more about the book:

betting blindSome risks are worth taking…

The cards are stacking up against Gabriel James: first there’s Phil, the guy paying the bills for Gabe’s mom (but not leaving his wife). Then there’s Gabe’s new school, filled with kids competing for the Ivies, Silicon Valley, and Wall Street—while Gabe’s just trying to swing enough Cs to graduate.

Gabe’s luck seems ready to change when he meets Irina Petrova: a hot violinist who is home-schooled by her strict Russian parents. When Gabe gets her number, he impresses the top guys at his school. When he becomes the drug connection for parties, his reputation is solidified. How else is he going to afford hanging with his new crew and impressing Irina? Anyway, it’s not really dealing if you’re just hooking up friends…right?

Gabe’s never been loyal to a girl before, but he finds himself falling for Irina hard. As the stakes are raised, Gabe will have to decide how high he’s willing to bet on school, on friends, on Irina—but most of all, on himself.

About the Author:

Stephanie Guerra is the winner of the 2014 Virginia Hamilton Essay Award for her contributions to the research on multicultural literature. Her debut young adult novel, Torn, received a starred audiobook review from School Library Journal. Kirkus called her “a strong new voice” and Booklist praised her “complex characters.” Betting Blind is the first in an urban YA series dedicated to Stephanie’s writing students at King County Juvenile Detention.

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We’re giving away one Kindle Paperwhite with Betting Blind pre-loaded on it, plus a custom Betting Blind Paperwhite cover!

We want you to spread the word. Here’s all the ways you can earn entries:

  • Post about the contest on your blog, Facebook, or other social media outlet
  • Comment below & tell us why you’re excited to read Betting Blind
  • Tweet about the contest with the hashtag #BettingBlind and linking back here

Get started by filling out the Rafflecopter form here!

Contest is open to the U.S. only. Ends at midnight (PT) on Wednesday, November 26th.

For the comments: Why are you excited to read Betting Blind?

Exclusive Q&A with A Thousand Pieces of You Author Claudia Gray: Part 2

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Today, we’ve got part 2 our exclusive Q&A with A Thousand Pieces of You author Claudia Gray. Thanks for taking the to chat with us, Claudia. Readers – if you missed it, check out part 1 here. We’ll have part 3 on Friday.

Claudia GrayThe different worlds Marguerite visits are all based on the concept of “what if.” What are some of the “what ifs” you considered but ultimately did not use in ATPOY?

I’m hesitant to share too many, because I might still use them! But one alternate world was deleted — a dystopian, totalitarian state where Marguerite worked in a factory, Theo was an imprisoned rebel and Paul was one of the elite state guards. That made it all the way to the draft of the novel I turned into my editor, and I loved a lot of things about how that world worked, but in the end it was too grim to fall where it did in the story, and moving it never quite worked. Now I doubt I’ll have time to get back there again. Maybe I’ll revisit it in some stories on Wattpad …

AThousandPieces_hc_cWhat sort of research went into each of the different realities Marguerite visits?

Varying degrees. I looked up some locations in London, talked with my friend Marina the Russian oceanographer about Russia and oceans, and spent a lot of time working with the world clock. (The Firebird allows you to travel through dimensions, but not through time, so if Marguerite leaps out of, say, Madrid — into, say, Beijing — she’ll appear at the time of day in Beijing that aligns with the time of day in Madrid when she left. Does this make sense? I won’t blame you if it doesn’t, because honestly it confused me so much.)

Ironically, the dimension I had to do the most research for was “ours,” the world Marguerite leaves from. In any other world, if some details didn’t align with reality, I could always say, well, that’s how it is in that universe. Not as much leeway here at home! Marguerite’s family lives in the Bay Area of California, so I arranged a house swap with someone who lives in Oakland. That gave me a chance to see the neighborhoods Marguerite would live in and visit most often, to check out a few of the most important real-life locations, and generally soak up local color.

There are definite positives and negatives to the alternate realities that Marguerite visits. What is one of the positive things you wish would make it into our world?

I wouldn’t mind some of the holographic technology from the futuristic world. And how about those personal-defense bracelets? Cute, practical and deadly: Just how I like my accessories.

And one last question: Paul. Can I have him? Like, can I just keep him?

Some versions of Paul are unavailable — but since everything that can happen does happen, in some dimension out there, you’re in luck. :D

I’ll take him! Thanks, Claudia.

Dead of Winter by Kresley Cole – Exclusive Excerpt & Contest

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We are BIG big fans of Kresley Cole’s Arcana Chronicles here at Novel Novice, so obviously we’re super excited about the January 6th release of book 3, Dead of Winter. But if you’re like us, and you just can’t wait until January to get started, you’re in luck … because today, we have an EXCLUSIVE sneak peek at the book!

We’re part of the Dead of Winter Chapter 1 Blog Tour Reveal, and today we’ve got your look at the second excerpt. Plus, keep reading for your chance to enter an AMAZING giveaway!!!

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A wolf’s howl pierced the night.

 

I jolted awake in the saddle. The rain had dwindled to a foggy drizzle. How long had I been out?

I rubbed my gritty eyes. Almost screamed. I was surrounded by shadowy figures.

Wait, not figures. All around me were towering stacks of rocks, placed like logs for a bonfire. There were so many stacks the area resembled a forest. The stone forest.

Who would waste calories to assemble these? And why did I find them so chilling?

Matthew, are you there?

At last, I felt his presence in my mind! —Empress!—

Has Violet joined her brother yet?

—The Violet is not there.—

Oh, thank God.

—Soon.—

Shit! You told me Vincent camped within days of Death’s castle. I’ve ridden for DAYS.

—Arcana all around.—

I heard their calls, as if from a sound-out. . . .

—Eyes to the skies, lads!— Joules.

—Trapped in the palm of my hand.— Tess.

—I watch you like a hawk.— Gabriel.

—Behold the Bringer of Doubt!— Selena.

—Don’t look at this hand, look at that one.— Finn.

—Crazy like a fox.— Matthew.

—We will love you. In our own way.— The Lovers.

So many Arcana were close. Which meant I was close.

—Terror from the abyss!— Huh?

Before I could ask about the new call, my sense of being watched returned. I jerked my head around.

—Empress, you’re one stone forest and one clearing away. Some . . . obstacles between us.—

Movement. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a man skulking from one stack of rocks to the next.

Another man loped to join the first. The armed pair wore fatigues and creepy night-vision goggles. Soldiers of the Lovers’ army?

The stones were for cover, staged as if for a paint-ball course! How long had those men been lying here in wait?

Matthew, I’m in trouble! I slapped the reins against the mare. She whinnied a protest, but increased her speed. Chest heaving, she wound around the stacks.

I craned my head back. Two soldiers had become ten, all with rifles at the ready. Now they walked in plain view. Because I was already surrounded?

As the ground began to flatten, those stacks grew fewer. I raised my hand above my eyes, straining to see. Ahead—the clearing Matthew had spoken of !

My face fell. With no vegetation, it was a quagmire, water and muck pooling in huge craters.

Past that, a wall towered, must be thirty feet high. What lay behind it?

A shot rang out; a bullet whizzed by my head. My mount fled from the sound. “Go, GO!”

In my panic, my nails morphed into thorn claws. The razor-sharp edges sliced through the fingers of my gloves. My glyphs stirred, moving over my skin.

A second gunshot. The near-miss bullet pitted the mud beside the horse’s hooves. She shrieked, trotting faster.

The shooters missed on purpose. They would want me—and the horse—alive.

Women and horses were two valuable A.F. commodities.

Desperate for safety, I squinted at the wall. Men guarded a brightly lit gate.

—Head there, Empress.—

My mare would have to slog through the clearing. It was like a moat fronting that wall. The soldiers would catch me long before then.

A bright color drew my attention. Attached to a post was a handcrafted sign emblazoned with a red skull and crossbones—along with the warning: DANGER! MINES!

And that explained the craters.

Are you kidding, Matthew? Soldiers trailing me; mines ahead. How do I get past a minefield?

An agonized yell sounded behind me.

I dared a glance back. Only nine soldiers followed. They ran toward me at a faster clip. The ones at the edges aimed their guns—off to their sides.

Another horrified yell.

And another.

Open gunfire erupted. Muzzle flashes warred with fog; I couldn’t make out anything.

I turned forward. Screamed.

Three soldiers stood before me, rifles trained on my face. The mare reared, punching hooves at them.

The other gunmen had been pushing me toward these!

Yet behind them, a black beast melded with shadow. One brilliant golden eye gleamed like a lantern.

Cyclops! Had Lark sent her one-eyed wolf to protect me?

Baring dagger-size fangs, the massive beast gave a spine-chilling snarl. The men twisted around—

Cyclops launched himself at the panic-stricken soldiers, knocking them to the ground. His mighty jaws clamped down on limbs and rifles, snapping through bone and metal.

Body parts sailed into the air. Blood spurted like a mall fountain. I winced, though I should be used to seeing stuff like this.

The wolf lifted his head from the carnage and growled at the stupe­fied soldiers positioned behind me. Those bastards had driven me into a trap; Cyclops ate the trap.

Faced with the beast’s dripping maw, they fled headlong.

For me, Cyclops wagged his scarred tail. “Good damn wolf. Good boy.”

Matthew said: —Ride for the fort! You have to make it to the wall.—

What’s behind the wall? For all I knew, Matthew was sending me into the Milovnícis’ camp.

—RIDE!—

Into mines? We’re going to get blown away! Forget my self-healing powers; I couldn’t regenerate from decapitation.

—Go left.—

Directing me around the danger?

I turned to Cyclops. “I don’t know if you can understand me, or if Lark is steering her familiar. But follow my mount carefully unless you want to regrow limbs.” He was still limping from our battle with the Devil Card.

He chuffed, and bubbles of blood formed over his snout. With a swish of his tail, he defiantly snapped up a dismembered arm, carrying it like a chew toy. But he did move behind me.

I’m trusting you, Matthew. I swallowed and guided my horse left.

—MY left!—

Quick correction. Cyclops followed.

—Faster, Empress. Or the Azey will figure out our mine moat maze.—

Your what? Who are the Azey?

A.S.E. Army of the Southeast. Go right for three seconds. Then left.—

Holding my breath, I slapped the reins yet again. One thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three. I tugged the reins to my right.

—Faster!—

Soon I was galloping through a minefield, a telepathic Arcana in my mind and a giant wolf at my heels.

I could hear those same wet breaths. The wolf had been following me! If I lived through this night, I was so going to owe Lark.

The gate creaked open ahead. I spurred the mare, racing to reach the fort.

With no idea what awaited me . . .

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One lucky winner will receive an Amazon Kindle, pre-loaded with Poison Princess, Endless Knight, and an advanced e-copy of Dead of Winter.

Enter by filling out the Rafflecopter form HERE!

Contest is open to the U.S. only. Contest ends at midnight (PT) on Friday, November 21st.

See more chances to win, and get more sneak peeks from Dead of Winter by visiting all of the blog tour stops this week:

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Here’s more about Dead of Winter:

dead of winterCan Evie convince her rival loves to work together? Their survival depends on it in this third book of #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole’s Arcana Chronicles, a nonstop action tale of rescue, redemption, and a revenge most wicked.

Heartbreaking decisions
Evie was almost seduced by the life of comfort that Death offered her, until Jack was threatened by two of the most horrific Arcana, The Lovers. She will do anything to save him, even escape Death’s uncanny prison, full of beautiful objects, material comforts and stolen glances from a former love.

Uncertain victory
Despite leaving a part of her heart behind with Death, Evie sets out into a frozen and perilous post-apocalyptic wasteland to meet up with her allies and launch an attack on The Lovers and the vast army they command. Such formidable enemies require a battle plan, and the only way to kill them once and for all may mean Evie, Jack, and Death allying. Evie doesn’t know what will prove more impossible: surviving slavers, plague, Bagmen and other Arcana or convincing Jack and Death to work together.

Two heroes returned
There’s a thin line between love and hate, and Evie just doesn’t know where she stands with either Jack or Death. Will this unlikely trio be able to defeat The Lovers without killing one another first?

Pre-order Dead of Winter here and check out the official website for the Arcana Chroincles.

For the comments: Tell us why you’re excited about Dead of Winter!

Exclusive Cover Reveal: The Recovery by Suzanne Young

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So you want more from The Program and The Treatment by Suzanne Young? Her next book, The Remedy, comes out in April — and while it’s set in the same universe, it focuses on a whole new set of characters and plot twists.

But you’re still in luck. Enter … The Recovery, an original e-novella all about Michael Realm:

Six months after the fall of The Program, ex-handler Michael Realm is struggling with his guilt. After all, he was instrumental in erasing the memories of several patients—including one he claimed to love. With a lifetime of regret stretched before him, Realm vows to set things right.

Along with his friend, James Murphy, Realm will track down those he’s hurt in an attempt to give them back their lives—starting with Dallas Stone. He’s not looking for forgiveness or redemption; he’s not a hero. But Realm hopes that with each recovered past, he’ll be able to reclaim a small bit of his own.

Sounds amazing, right? It’ll be available on February 24th, and you can pre-order it HERE! — but until then, let’s marvel at this awesome cover:

The Recovery coverIsn’t it fabulous??? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!