Category Archives: Exclusive

Exclusive Cover Reveal: The Peculiar Haunting of Thelma Bee by Erin Petti

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Today, we are delighted to be hosting the exclusive cover reveal for a really charming new middle grade book coming out in 2016 – The Peculiar Haunting of Thelma Bee by Erin Petti.

But before we show you the gorgeous cover, here’s more about the book:

Ghost-story lover and debut author Erin Petti has written a quirky story for fans of The Goonies, Goosebumps, and Coraline.

In this fantastical adventure-mystery, where science and magic intertwine, eleven-year-old Thelma Bee is never bored. In fact, she has curiosity and adventure in her blood. She spends her time running science experiments, practicing Spanish, and daydreaming about exotic landscapes. But Thelma gets more than she bargained for when a strange woman sells a jewelry box at her father’s antique shop. That night, a ghost kidnaps her father, and the only clues are the jewelry box and a word the ghost whispered in her ear: “Return.” Now it’s up to Thelma to get her dad back, and it might be harder than she thought—there’s someone wielding dark magic, and they’re coming after her next.

Publisher: | @MightyPress
For Erin Petti, visit: | @empetti

Okay, are you ready? Here is the cover:

Isn’t it beautiful??? And here’s a fun book trailer to accompany it:

And don’t miss some exclusive content during the official blog tour next summer:

Thelma tour



Turn Your Favorite Book Covers into Pumpkin Carving Patterns

halloween reads
Today we have an exclusive post from YA enthusiast & pumpkin-carving expert Christie Speich, teaching us how to turn our favorite book covers into a pattern you can carve on pumpkins. Christie is a former Novel Novice staff member, and her pumpkin carving mastery has been featured on MTV, People magazine, Lionsgate social media, and more. (Seriously, she is a PRO.)

In addition to teaching us how to create our own patterns, Christie has included some brand-new, original designs just for us featuring some of this year’s hottest books, as well as rounding up some popular favorites!

*          *          *

HungerGames_ChristieSpeich-Halloween will be here before you know it, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll be representing your favorite books in pumpkins. In fact, my obsession with carving pumpkins started thanks to my obsession with Twilight.

My first ever “advanced” pumpkin carving was a rendition of the Twilight movie poster. After that rotted away in days, I learned about foam pumpkins, and more and more involved patterns.

The great news is that pumpkin patterns for YA books are generally easy to find thanks to YA’s popularity the last several years. You can find free pumpkin patterns as well as ones for purchase (and for cheap!)

Of course, it’s usually the most popular books that have the most variety of pattern options available, and maybe your favorites aren’t out there. So I’m going to teach you a way to make a basic pumpkin carving pattern based on your favorite book. (You could use it for any design, really.)

I’m going to walk you through the steps I took to create this Percy Jackson-themed pattern, which you can download for free among several others that I created.


About Pumpkin Patterns

There are basically two types of pumpkin carving patterns: ones with just cut-outs and ones that also include shading.

Shading is when you shave off the pumpkin skin, but not cut through the flesh completely. It results in a section that is darker in color than the pieces that are cut out, but lighter than the pumpkin that remains intact. This gives the carving depth.

In pumpkin patterns, shading is usually represented with gray, while parts that are cut out are represented with black. Many websites that sell pumpkin patterns show “mockups” of the pattern so you can see what it looks like once it’s carved (like the picture above). In mockups, the shading is represented in orange, the cut outs are represented in yellow, and the pumpkin left intact is represented in black.

Tips to Remember!

tipYou’re working with 2 colors: light and dark. If you decide to include shading in your pattern, you’ll have 3 colors: light, dark, and medium.

Don’t leave any “floaters” in your pattern. That means in an area that you plan to cut out, you can’t have any non-cut out pieces within it. In this example, if you cut out the “a”, the red area would fall out.

Making the pattern

What we’re doing with this method is basically making a silhouette of the design.

  • Choose what part of the book cover you’re going to put on the pumpkin. You can either work in a graphics program like Photoshop or do it by hand.

If by hand, print out the image, and trace the outline of the object onto a fresh sheet of paper. Do not color it in.

If with software, outline the object in black and fill it in. Erase anything from the image that you don’t want in your pumpkin. Make the background white.

In the case of my example, it’s the Pegasus.


  • This shape is what will remain in the pumpkin, so you can add cutouts or shading to this shape. Draw those in.

If you are drawing by hand, color the cut outs black and the shading parts gray.

If you are using software, color the cut outs white and the shading parts gray.

In the case of my example, it’s the eye, wings, and other details.


  • Draw a circle (or square, triangle, or whatever fits the look you want) around your shape. Connect the shape to the edge of the circle in at least one place. The more or the larger the connections are, the better. The less connections, the harder to carve.


  • If you are drawing by hand, color the inside of the circle black, except where your design is.
  • If you are using software, fill in the area outside of the circle black. Then use your software’s Invert feature to reverse the image. All the parts that were black will become white, and all the parts that were white will become black. The gray parts will remain gray.

CHB-Step4As you can see, although there are multiple points the Pegasus is connected to the circle, each one is pretty narrow. This is a carve that would requires patience and careful cutting. I’d recommend doing the shading first, then cut out the circle in sections, starting with the wings and then the mane.


If you want to include letters in your design, there are three options:

  • Shade them completely. In this case, you simply shade the whole letter just how it is.


  • If you want them cut out, many of the letters will work just fine as is. However, some such as O, A, B, etc. will require a little additional work:
    1. Color in the letter with black to mark it as a cut out
    2. Add in shaded areas that will connect the middle piece to the rest of the pumpkin. Color these areas gray


  • Just cut out the letter. You won’t have the middle piece, but it might be the look you want.


Remember, this is just a basic, simple method for creating pumpkin carving patterns. Turning an image into a pumpkin carving with depth is an art form. It’s worth the small price of a pumpkin carving pattern if you can find what you want.

Pumpkin Patterns

Here are some YA-themed pumpkin patterns I’ve found over the last couple of years. Some are free and some are not. Scroll down for LOTS of options.

I’ve created several free patterns for you as well:

Dumplin by Julie Murphy

Dumplin-mockup Dumplin2-mockup dumplin-crown2-mockup dumplin-crown-mockup

The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough

Game-of-Love-and-Death2-moc Game-of-Love-and-Death-mock

Percy Jackson, Camp Half-Blood

Half-Blood-Camp-mockup Half-Blood-Camp3-mockup

More Happy than Not by Adam Silvera


Paper Towns by John Greene (movie poster)


The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh


Harry Potter







Hunger Games


Kate Hart as done several pumpkin carving patterns for YA books and she gives them away free. (Please watch for “floaters” in some of her patterns.)

About the Author

Eleanor-and-Park-cspeich-weAspiring YA author Christie Speich has been carving pumpkins since she was a kid, but it’s only been since 2008 that she’s been carving awesome pumpkins. Since then, her pumpkins have won contests and been featured by People Magazine. Christie has created step-by-step video tutorials for pumpkin carving, and offers over 40 free pumpkin carving patterns for download at her website, Carve Awesome Pumpkins.

Poet Anderson … Of Nightmares: Exclusive Flash Questions with Tom DeLonge & Suzanne Young

Poet Anderson Week
Today, we have an exclusive round of flash questions with the authors of Poet Anderson … Of Nightmares, Tom DeLonge and Suzanne Young. Thanks for stopping by, guys!

Poet Cover Sept 17 2016Take-out food of choice?

Tom: Bean, rice and cheese burrito from Sombrero’s

Suzanne: Pizza, obviously.

Flying car or hoverboard?

Tom: Hoverboard

Suzanne: Flying car.

Snack or drink you must have when writing/creating?

Tom: 3 pump iced vanilla latte

Suzanne: Diet Pepsi and spicy snack mix.

tom delongeFavorite Disney movie?

Tom: Wall-e

Suzanne: Original Cinderella

The beach or the mountains?

Tom: Beach

Suzanne: Mountains

Song that can always get you dancing?

Tom: Anything by the Descendants

Suzanne: “A-Punk” by Vampire Weekend

suzanne young bwFavorite Halloween candy?

Tom: sour patch kids

Suzanne: Still candy corn

French fries or tater tots?

Tom: Carne Asada French fries

Suzanne: Tater tots! Especially Totchos—tater tot nachos.

Favorite villain?

Tom: Darth Vader

Suzanne: He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named

Favorite piece of clothing?

Tom: G-star jacket

Suzanne: Changing Hands Bookstore T-shirt

Private concert: who’s playing? (Alive or dead.)

Tom: Fugazi

Suzanne: Hm… Probably Eddie Vedder

Thanks again to Tom and Suzanne for taking the time to answer our flash questions today!

Exclusive Cover Reveal + Contest: The Girl I Used to Be by April Henry

Today, I am SO excited to share with you the exclusive cover reveal for the newest book from author April Henry, The Girl I Used to Be. This cover is GORGEOUS, and April is also here to share a great story about the book and why it is SO special to her. Plus, keep reading for your chance to win some of April’s books!

But first … the stunning cover …

Are you ready?

Here it is:


Isn’t it so beautiful? Here’s more about the book:

17-year-old Olivia has grown up knowing her father killed her mother, but then a human bone discovered in the woods changes everything, and she sets out to find the real killer.

And here is April to tell us more about what this book means to her:

The Girl I Used to Be is a fitting title on two levels.

One is that the book is about Olivia Reinhart, born Ariel Benson, who is trying to figure out what happened to the girl she used to be.

Ariel’s parents were too young when they had her. They never married and often fought. When Ariel was three, her family went to the woods to get a Christmas tree, but didn’t come back. Meanwhile, a three-year-old was found in a Walmart several hours away. She was dirty, scratched, and too young and traumatized to say who she was or what had happened to her.

In the days after Ariel was finally identified, her mom’s body was found in the woods with 19 stab wounds, the authorities hunted for her father and Ariel went into foster care. A failed adoption at the age of nine left her with a changed name.

Now Ariel is 17, and new evidence has been discovered that changes everything she thought she knew about that terrible day in the woods. She returns to her old home town of Medford, Oregon, to try to figure out what really happened. But not everyone wants the truth to come out.

Can you go home again?

The second level on which the title works is that it’s partly about the girl I used to be.

Mom self portrait(1)

Self-portrait of April Henry’s mom

Although I’m older than Ariel, I, too, grew up in Medford. (And yes, I know she’s fictional.) A big chunk of The Girl I Used to Be was actually written in Medford during visits with my mom. I got to put all the things I love about my home town in that book. The tawny hills that hold the valley like cupped hands. The evergreens that stand like sentinels on the horizon. The historic cemetery I have walked through hundreds of times.

Most of all, I put as much of my mom in that book as I could. Ariel’s neighbor is named Nora. She wears my mom’s clothes, looks like my mom, has heart failure like my mom did, and even has the same old-fashioned turns of phrase: we’re a pair to draw to, I should hope to shout, I could wring your neck, get out of my hair. I even lifted a whole scene nearly verbatim from an encounter we had with some homeless men in the cemetery, one that showed me how differently I saw the world than my mom did.

Mom's blue necklaceIn the book, neighbor Nora gives Ariel a beautiful button necklace from around her own neck, just like my mom gave me when I told her how much I liked it. That necklace ended up playing an important role in the story, becoming a talismanic object for Ariel (almost as much as it is for me).

When my mom was on hospice exactly two years ago, I moved home to take care of her. While I was there, I got to read the first few chapters of The Girl I Used to Be to her. I think we both knew I was writing it thinking I might be able to keep part of her in this world.

I hope I have succeeded in that, and in writing a book that will draw in readers. The Girl I Used to Be will be published April 12, 2016.

To celebrate the cover reveal, we’re giving away a set of books from April’s Point Last Seen series. One winner will receive copies of both The Body in the Woods and Blood Will Tell.

body in the woods blood will tell

To enter, share the cover for April’s book on your website & social media. Show us the links using the Rafflecopter form HERE, and you’ll be entered to win.

Earn bonus points by telling us in the comments below what you think of the cover!

Become the Hero of Your Own Percy Jackson-Style Adventure!

As part of the Percy Pack, today I am thrilled to help share the exclusive news with you, fellow Percy Jackson fans, about a brand-new e-book coming from author Rick Riordan, which gives readers the chance to experience their own Percy-like adventure! Check out the deets:

The Demigods of Olympus: An Interactive Adventure

DemigodseBookPrice: $8.99 / $7.99
On-Sale: July 14, 2015

Your quest begins! Use your demigod skills in this interactive and customizable adventure story written by New York Times #1 best-selling author Rick Riordan. Combining four short stories, The Two-Headed Guidance Counselor, The Library of Deadly Weapons, My Demon Satyr Tea Party, and My Personal Zombie Apocalypse, your choices will have consequences in this first interactive demigod adventure.

Of course, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are TWO MORE books coming from Riordan later this year that Percy fans will adore. Here’s the scoop on both of them:

Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard
On-Sale: October 6, 2015

MagnusChaseCoverMagnus Chase has always been a troubled kid. Since his mother’s mysterious death, he’s lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, keeping one step ahead of the police and the truant officers. One day, he’s tracked down by an uncle he’s never met—a man his mother claimed was dangerous. His uncle tells him an impossible secret: Magnus is the son of a Norse god. The Viking myths are true. The gods of Asgard are preparing for war. Trolls, giants, and worse monsters are stirring for doomsday. To prevent Ragnarök, Magnus must search the Nine Worlds for a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years. When an attack by fire giants forces him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents, Magnus makes a fatal decision. Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die . . .

Read a sneak peek HERE!

Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes
On-Sale: August 18, 2015

GreekHeroesWho cut off Medusa’s head? Who was raised by a she-bear? Who tamed Pegasus? It takes a demigod to know, and Percy Jackson can fill you in on the all the daring deeds of Perseus, Atalanta, Bellerophon, and the rest of the major Greek heroes. Told in the funny, irreverent style readers have come to expect from Percy, ( I’ve had some bad experiences in my time, but the heroes I’m going to tell you about were the original old school hard luck cases. They boldly screwed up where no one had screwed up before. . .) and enhanced with vibrant artwork by Caldecott Honoree John Rocco, this story collection will become the new must-have classic for Rick Riordan’s legions of devoted fans–and for anyone who needs a hero. So get your flaming spear. Put on your lion skin cape. Polish your shield and make sure you’ve got arrows in your quiver. We’re going back about four thousand years to decapitate monsters, save some kingdoms, shoot a few gods in the butt, raid the Underworld, and steal loot from evil people. Then, for dessert, we’ll die painful tragic deaths. Ready? Sweet. Let’s do this.

Pre-order Greek Heroes:


Visit the Official Website

Follow Rick Riordan on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter


Thanks to Disney-Hyperion for providing all this great content — with more goodies on the way throughout the rest of this year, including more chances for you to win cool prizes!

The Good Girls by Sara Shepard: Exclusive Video & Giveaway

Today, we’re thrilled to be bringing you an exclusive video (AND a contest) for the blog tour for The Good Girls by Sara Shepard, the sequel (and conlusion) to The Perfectionists. Sara is also the author of the Pretty Little Liars series (yes, the same one the TV show is based on) and The Lying Game series, among other books.

The Good Girls picks up where The Perfectionists left off, with Mackenzie, Ava, Caitlin, Julie, and Parker trying to figure out who killed Nolan Hotchkiss — as well as the other people on their hypothetical “hit list” — and why they’d want to frame the girls for the murders.

For today’s post, we have an exclusive video Q&A with Mackenzie:

Want to see interviews with the rest of the girls? Check ’em out here:


good girls, theTHE GOOD GIRLS
The Perfectionists #2
Author: Sara Shepard
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen


From Sara Shepard, author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Pretty Little Liars series, comes the shocking sequel to The Perfectionists—with an ending you’ll have to read to believe!

Mackenzie, Ava, Caitlin, Julie, and Parker have done some not-so-perfect things. Even though they all talked about killing rich bully Nolan Hotchkiss, they didn’t actually go through with it. It’s just a coincidence that Nolan died in exactly the way they planned . . . right? Except Nolan wasn’t the only one they fantasized about killing. When someone else they named dies, the girls wonder if they’re being framed. Or are they about to become the killer’s next targets?


Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | IndieBound |

SaraShepardFor as long as she can remember, Sara Shepard has been writing. However, when she was young she also wanted to be a soap opera star, a designer for LEGO, a filmmaker, a claymation artist, a geneticist, and a fashion magazine editor when she grew up. She and her sister have been creating joint artistic and written projects for years, except they’re pretty sure they’re the only ones who find them funny.

She got her MFA at Brooklyn College and now lives outside Philadelphia, PA with her husband and dogs. Her first adult novel is called The Visibles/ All The Things We Didn’t Say.

Sara’s bestselling young adult series, Pretty Little Liars, is loosely based on her experiences growing up on Philadelphia’s Main Line…although luckily she never had any serious stalkers. The series has also inspired the ABC Family television series of the same name. | @sarabooks


One winner will get finished copies of THE PERFECTIONISTS and THE GOOD GIRLS. (Ships in US Only | Must be 13+ To Enter)

Enter by filling out the Rafflecopter form HERE.


The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler: Mermaid Monday Exclusive Quote Graphics & Contest

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Today, we’re excited to be hosting a stop on “Mermaid Monday” –– celebrating the upcoming release on June 2nd of The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler. It’s all leading up to the reveal of the first two chapters of the book later today!

For our post, we have a fantastic contest — AND some exclusive quote graphics I created with some lovely passages from the book. Much of The Summer of Chasing Mermaids takes place on the Oregon coast — and as most of you know, I live in the Portland, Oregon area — so visiting the Oregon coast is not only easy, it’s one of my favorite things to do.

So I used some of my own photos from recent trips to the Oregon coast as the backgrounds for all three of our quote graphics. Feel free to share these on various social media websites, using the hashtag #MermaidMonday:

Chasing Mermaids_Quote1 Chasing Mermaids_Quote2 Chasing Mermaids_Quote3
summer of chasing mermaidsHere’s more about The Summer of Chasing Mermaids:

The youngest of six talented sisters, Elyse d’Abreau was destined for stardom—until a boating accident took everything from her. Now, the most beautiful singer in Tobago can’t sing. She can’t even speak.

Seeking quiet solitude, Elyse accepts a friend’s invitation to Atargatis Cove. Named for the mythical first mermaid, the Oregon seaside town is everything Elyse’s home in the Caribbean isn’t: An ocean too cold for swimming, parties too tame for singing, and people too polite to pry—except for one.

Christian Kane is a notorious playboy—insolent, arrogant, and completely charming. He’s also the only person in Atargatis Cove who doesn’t treat Elyse like a glass statue. He challenges her to express herself, and he admires the way she treats his younger brother Sebastian, who believes Elyse is the legendary mermaid come to life.

When Christian needs a first mate for the Cove’s high-stakes Pirate Regatta, Elyse reluctantly stows her fear of the sea and climbs aboard. The ocean isn’t the only thing making waves, though—swept up in Christian’s seductive tide and entranced by the Cove’s charms, Elyse begins to wonder if a life of solitude isn’t what she needs. But changing course again means facing her past. It means finding her inner voice. And scariest of all, it means opening her heart to a boy who’s best known for breaking them . . .

under the sea earringsThanks to our friends at Simon & Schuster, we are giving away a finished copy of The Summer of Chasing Mermaids and a set of “Under the Sea” post earrings from Urban Outfitters (pictured, right).

Earn entries by sharing one or more of the above quote graphics on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #MermaidMonday. Submit your links & complete your entry by filling out the Rafflecopter form HERE.

You must share AT LEAST one graphic on either Twitter OR Instagram. But the more you share, the more chances you have to win!

Contest is open to the U.S. only. Runs through midnight (PT) on Tuesday, June 2nd.

Be sure to check out the other posts from Mermaid Monday throughout the day for more content, contests & a preview of the first two chapters of The Summer of Chasing Mermaids:


Exclusive Cover Reveal & Interview: The Killing Jar by Jennifer Bosworth

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Today, I’m excited to be hosting the exclusive cover reveal for The Killing Jar by Jennifer Bosworth, plus we’ve got a Q&A with Jenn to talk about her highly anticipated new book! But first, here’s more about The Killing Jar:

“I try not to think about it, what I did to that boy.”

Seventeen-year-old Kenna Marsden has a secret.

She’s haunted by a violent tragedy she can’t explain. Kenna’s past has kept people—even her own mother—at a distance for years. Just when she finds a friend who loves her and life begins to improve, she’s plunged into a new nightmare. Her mom and twin sister are attacked, and the dark powers Kenna has struggled to suppress awaken with a vengeance.

On the heels of the assault, Kenna is exiled to a nearby commune, know as Eclipse, to live with a relative she never knew she had. There, she discovers an extraordinary new way of life as she learns who she really is, and the wonders she’s capable of. For the first time, she starts to feel like she belongs somewhere. That her terrible secret makes her beautiful and strong, not dangerous. But the longer she stays at Eclipse, the more she senses there is something malign lurking underneath it all. And she begins to suspect that her new family has sinister plans for her…

Sounds amazing right? Well, wait until you see the GORGEOUS cover:

Stunning, isn’t it? And wait until you hear the VERY cool story behind it — so keep reading for our exclusive Q&A with Jenn:

Jenn BosworthWhy don’t you start by telling us a bit about THE KILLING JAR. What can readers expect?

Hippie horror, a mysterious commune, monstrous moths, and, well, a good bit of killing. There’s a reason it’s called THE KILLING JAR, after all.

The idea for TKJ didn’t come to me as an “idea” the way my stories usually do. I just sat down one day and started writing about a girl named Kenna Marsden, who sneaks in after curfew and finds that her mom and younger sister have been attacked and mortally wounded, and the man who tried to kill them is still in the house.

What does that story opening have to do with communes and hippies and moths that feed on blood? I guess you’ll have to read it and find out!

What was the original “spark” that got you started writing THE KILLING JAR?

It was a collision of two disparate elements: my love of a good horror story, and my infatuation with hippie communes. The idea of them, anyway.

THE KILLING JAR takes place on a mysterious hippie commune in Oregon. I wanted to write a book with an element of wish fulfillment, and I’ve always wanted to form my own commune. I have this idyllic version of it in my head. It would be like a Free People ad come to life, all flowing dresses and gypsy jewelry and adorable goats. I don’t know if I’ll ever start my own commune, but I’m impatient so I decided to write about one. I did visit a commune in Oregon when I was doing research for TKJ. Alas, it was quite creepy. All of the people on it looked a little too Deliverance for my taste. But the goats were cute!

Your cover is gorgeous! It’s unusual for authors to have much of a say in their cover design — but you have a pretty unique story with THE KILLING JAR. Tell us about it!

I always ask my husband, Ryan, to design a temporary book cover for whatever I’m working on, just so it feels more real when I’m in the muck. He came up with something really beautiful and eerie, which I’ve had up on Goodreads as a temp cover for a while now. The cover designer at FSG loved what he did, and so she went in and improved on it and made it even better! This doesn’t happen often, so I feel fortunate to have gotten a hand in the design.

What do you hope the cover conveys to readers?

The thing about this book is that it’s a horror novel, but it’s not what people typically think of when they think of horror, so I don’t want it to look like it belongs firmly in any one genre. I’ll be honest. It’s a weird book, and I have no idea how people will react to it. But I do hope the cover design gives people a sense of menace and dark beauty to prime their mood for what lies beyond the book jacket.

struckFor fans of your first book, STRUCK, what do you think will appeal to them in THE KILLING JAR?

I felt like I shot myself in the foot a bit with STRUCK, which dealt with apocalyptic stakes. For my follow-up, I was paralyzed by the conundrum I’d created for myself: how do you top the end of the world? The answer is, you don’t. Or I couldn’t. So, for TKJ, I decided to scale way back, but still deal with some of the same themes I dealt with in STRUCK: fanatical belief and brainwashing, balancing one’s personal capacity for darkness and light, and the way addiction helps us hide from aspects of ourselves we don’t want to deal with.

Speaking of your first book … any word on a sequel? (Goodreads is teasing us with a “2016 placeholder” release date.)

Well . . . I hate to break it to STRUCK fans, but there is actually no sequel in the works. Some hopeful person posted about a sequel on Goodreads, and then I fanned the flames a little bit by giving it a title, since STRUCK 2 wasn’t very interesting. But a lot of people have added AFTERSHOCK to their to-read lists, so now I’m considering writing a prequel novella. I’ll have to get permission from the powers that be first. Stay tuned!

And finally … some flash questions!

Favorite villain?

Randall Flagg from Stephen King’s The Stand (aka Walter o’Dim, the Walkin’ Dude, the Dark Man, the Hardcase, the Man in Black, etc . . .) He has many names and many faces, all of them delightfully bad!

Pen or pencil?

Pen! I have no problem with commitment.

Favorite piece of clothing?

Black, rock n’ roll bell bottoms. I’m not sure they fit me anymore, but I can’t bring myself to get rid of them.

Song you can’t get out of your head right now?

“I Love You, Honeybear” by Father John Misty. The whole album is stuck in my head.

Most recent vacation?

New Zealand. But that was a year ago, so I guess it’s time for another vacation, right?

5 things that are always in your purse?

Aside from my wallet and phone: A cyborg pen, my emergency asthma inhaler, rings that I’ve taken off so I can type, rum balls chapstick, and hard candy, preferably butterscotch flavored.

Look for The Killing Jar in stores in January 2016. Here’s a little bit more about Jenn & how you can connect with her online:

Jennifer Bosworth grew up in a small town where there was nothing to do but read and get into trouble. She did plenty of both, which led her to a career writing about people who get into trouble. Jennifer and her husband recently escaped from Los Angeles and are now hiding out in Portland, Oregon with a couple of long-legged dogs. In her spare time she can be found watching horror movies and dreaming of starting her own hippie commune, where there will be many goats. Learn more about her on her website or just Google her and see what happens.

Connect with Jenn: Facebook | Twitter

EXCLUSIVE: Meet debut YA novelist Brie Spangler

Today, I am SO thrilled to share an exclusive interview with upcoming debut YA novelist Brie Spangler. Brie has previously written & illustrated two adorable picture books, Peg Leg Peke and The Grumpy Dump Truck — but Yesterday, Publisher’s Marketplace announced the sale of her first YA novel, Beast, being published in Fall 2016 by Knopf:

A modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast, in which the tallest, hairiest boy in town meets and falls for his dream girl, who also happens to be transgender.

Brie is not only my best friend, but she was the maid of honor at my wedding!

Brie is not only my best friend, but she was the maid of honor at my wedding!

Brie also happens to be my best friend in the whole world, and I could not be more thrilled for her book to be making its way out into the world. I’ve read a lot of Brie’s writing — including entire books that may never see the light of day, but probably should IMHO — and a few drafts of Beast. I can’t wait to see what the final version looks like, but even the earliest versions were just so excellent. I honestly can’t wait for you guys to read it!

But since we have over a YEAR to wait, I thought I’d at least give you all a chance to get to know Brie and her debut YA novel Beast a little bit better:

Tell us a little about the premise for BEAST, and how the idea originated.

It’s a new take on Beauty and the Beast that I originally starting tapping out in 2010. The more I wrote, the more enamored I got with this weird kid for whom everything —his ugly face, his enormous body, his epic amount of body hair— is terrible. Except his brain. That’s pretty much the only thing he’s proud of. Then along comes this girl who’s as smart and funny as they come and he falls for her and falls hard. The fact that Jamie is trans is a part of her but not everything that makes her who she is. I don’t really know how the idea originated other than these two characters were great fun to write.

peg leg pekeYou’ve written and illustrated some super cute and charming children’s picture books before. What prompted the move to YA? What have been some of the new challenges you faced writing YA versus picture books? What are some of the perks?

First of all, thank you! I’m very proud of my picture books and I look forward to making more someday. It’s comforting to take an idea and create the words and pictures, something I enjoy. I went to school for art and never in a million years did I think I had the capacity to write an actual novel, until I tried. And then I fell in love. My first YA novel (which is buried in a drawer and will be forever, haha) was almost 200K words because I couldn’t stop writing. It was like I found this inner rage to WRITE I never knew I had. What I love about YA is the excitement. I had a crazy first love that made no sense and knocked me on my butt. Those years are some of my favorites from growing up, even though it ended terribly and I cried forever. But that’s the heart of being a teenager. And I realize I used the word love multiple times because that’s it in a nutshell. I love it. I love reading and writing YA, guilty as charged.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI know BEAST went through some big changes after you started working with your agent, Mackenzie Brady. What was the revision process like working with Mackenzie?

AWESOME. That’s my one word sum up right there, working with Mackenzie is seriously great. My initial submission was different from the one set to be published, but she saw the bones and sensed where the heart of the real story lay. (Or is it lied? I’m playing the art school card when it comes to grammar.) I love to work hard and she’s fantastic to work with, great listener, wonderful idea smith, and supportive partner in crime.

I love that BEAST is inspired by such a classic fairy tale. What is it about fairy tales, do you think, that makes them still so relevant today?

They’re timeless and just as we people-humans seem to fall in love one generation after another, these tales light endless fires for centuries on end and just so I don’t end this sentence with a prepositional phrase: I like cats. Fluffy ones.


Favorite villain?

Gah! So many. I wouldn’t mind being locked up in an Asgard prison with Tom Hiddleston’s Loki though. Wink face.

Must-have writing snack?


Favorite Disney movie?

Emperor’s New Groove, j’adore Kronk and Yzma.

Song that can always get you dancing?

Lovely Day by Bill Withers

Favorite member of the Avengers?

I have to choose? You’re so mean! Hmmm… Based on my character Dylan’s physique I should say The HULK, but I’ll say Spiderman.

HOWBAD5 things currently on your desk or in your writing space.

My scale model of a 1968 El Camino, postcards from all my amazing illustrator friends, a rock my mom gave me with the word IMAGINE carved into it, loads of scattered notes and scraps of thoughts, and the message I wrote to myself on post-its when my kid was a baby and writing was the hardest thing in the world after a long day of crying and hot poop. And yes, my computer sits on a box covered in Care Bear stickers because without it, I get hunchy.

Thanks so much for stopping by, Brie! And guys … be sure to put Beast on your “want to read” lists right away. You do NOT want to miss this fantastic story!!!

Connect with Brie now on Twitter and Facebook, plus check out her website here.

Exclusive Cover Reveal: Frozen Tides by Morgan Rhodes

Today, we have the honor of sharing the EXCLUSIVE cover reveal for the upcoming fourth book in Morgan Rhodes‘ best-selling Falling Kingdoms series, Frozen Tides. Before we get to the GORGEOUS cover … here’s a bit more about the book:

by Morgan Rhodes, on sale December 15, 2015

Rebels, royals, and monsters wage war over the Mytican throne in the shocking fourth book of the Falling Kingdoms series, from New York Times bestselling author Morgan Rhodes.

CLEO: Reeling after a bloody showdown in Limeros ending with Amara’s abduction of the water crystal, and a vacancy in the Mytican throne, Princess Cleo must cast aside her feelings and look toward her kingdom with the eyes of a Queen.

MAGNUS: With the kingdom in chaos, Princess Lucia still missing and quite possibly in danger, and a shocking realization about Cleo, the steely prince is once again torn between love and duty, leaving him wondering whether he’s strong enough to rule his people.

LUCIA: The young sorcercess has had her vengeance after the cruel death of her first and only love. Heartbroken and unable to trust anyone, she allies with the awoken Fire god, who also seeks revenge.

JONAS: After escaping death by the skin of his teeth, the defeated rebel—along with a mysterious stranger–leader reunites with Princess Cleo, only to find himself a mere pawn in a dangerous hunt for the elusive Kindred.

KING GAIUS: Abandoned by Melenia and betrayed by his own children, Gaius flees Mytica and sails to Kraeshia, where he attempts to ally with the famously brutal emperor across the Silver Sea.

Sounds amazing, right?

And now …

the cover …

you’ve been …

waiting …

for …

Isn’t it stunning? And think how it will look next to the other three books:

Falling Kingdoms AllCovers
And get ready, because Morgan is heading out on tour with some other great Penguin Teen authors — starting TODAY, actually! Here are details:

penguin teen tour

Tour Authors:

And here are the tour dates & locations:

Tuesday, March 3rd 7 PM–Decatur, GA
Little Shop of Stories
133 East Court Square # A
Decatur, GA 30030

Wednesday, March 4
th  6 PM – Athens, GA
Avid Bookshop
493 Prince Avenue
Athens, GA 30601

Thursday, March 5th 7 PM – Alexandria, VA
Hooray! For Books
1555 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

Friday, March 6th and Saturday, March 7th – Arlington, VA
NOVA Teen Book Festival
One More Page Books
Washington Lee High School and Arlington Central Library
Find out more about the NOVA Teen Book Festival events here!

Monday, March 9th 7 PM – Oakland, CA
A Great Good Place for Books
6120 La Salle Avenue
Oakland, CA 94611

Tuesday, March 10th 6:30 PM – Pasadena, CA
Vroman’s Bookstore
695 E. Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91101

Follow along on social media using the hashtag #PenguinTeenOnTour & learn more HERE!

And if you tweet about the Frozen Tides cover reveal, be sure to use the hashtag #FallingKingdoms

What do you think of the cover? Tell us in the comments below!