Category Archives: Featured Book

Contest: Win a copy of Deadly Delicious by K.L. Kincy

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As we wrap up our week-long feature on the magical middle grade novel Deadly Delicious by K.L. Kincy, we want to give some of you lucky readers a chance to win your own copy!

Deadly Delicious - ebook coverThe Prizes:

One winner (U.S. only) will receive a signed paperback of Deadly Delicious

One winner (Int’l) will receive an e-book of Deadly Delicious

(All prizes courtesy K.L. Kincy)

How to Enter:

To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form here. You can gain add’l entries by following Novel Novice & K.L. Kincy on various social media, and by commenting below.

Just tell us in the comments below … what is one magical ingredient you’d add to your own baking!

The Deadline:

This contest will run through midnight (PT) on Friday, August 1st.

Questions? Leave ‘em in the comments & we’ll reply!

Exclusive Excerpt from Deadly Delicious by K.L. Kincy

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Today we have an exclusive excerpt from Deadly Delicious by K.L. Kincy:

Deadly Delicious - ebook coverI bound up the crooked stairs and slip into the kitchen. “Mama?” I call.

No reply.

Cooling on top of Mama’s prized pink appliances, her secret-recipe DeLune DeLuxe doughnuts perfume the air with the aromas of happiness, confidence, and good luck. My head gets all whirly as I breathe in deep.

These doughnuts are pretty enough to be hanging on a Christmas tree. They’re all twinkly with sprinkles, and plump enough that I’m just itching to squeeze them. Oh, look, chocolate filling leaking from the good luck doughnut. I glance around the kitchen. The coast’s clear, so I dip my pinkie into the chocolate.

A stinging blow lands on my knuckles. Mama’s choice walnut-wood spatula.

Even though she can’t actually poof from a cloud of smoke, it still scares the bejesus out of me when she pounces like that. She’s wearing her favorite coral pink suit and pillbox hat, her hair all glossy—she must have just drove up.

“For customers only,” Mama says.

Like I don’t have any wishes of my own.

Check out more & order your copy of Deadly Delicious here!

Exclusive Q&A with Deadly Delicious author K.L. Kincy

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As part of our week-long feature on Deadly Delicious,today we bring you an exclusive Q&A with the author, K.L. Kincy!

Karen - author photo2DEADLY DELICIOUS was your first foray into middle grade. Did anything surprise you while writing MG?

Deadly Delicious was supposed to be a young adult book, actually! When I started writing it, I realized that Josephine was younger than I’d thought. Then I revised the book to make Josephine officially 12 years old. Everything started to click after that. The sweet romance, the friendship drama, and the growing pains of a witch.

I love the idea of mixing magic with cooking … I mean, a good recipe really CAN taste like magic! If you had powers like Josephine and her mom, what sort of conjure would you cook up for yourself? 

I would totally bake some DeLune DeLuxe doughnuts. Who wouldn’t want happiness, confidence, and good luck in a delicious doughnut?

The setting for DEADLY DELICIOUS is really great, and your descriptions of it are so vivid. Have you traveled to those areas? Did you research the locations? How did you bring them to life? 

My grandparents live in Sikeston, Missouri, and I know the Kincy family has lived in the area for over a hundred years. When I was a kid, I was fascinated by all the katydids, Osage oranges, stick insects, and magnolias. While writing Deadly Delicious, I also collected inspirations on a Pinterest board.

Deadly Delicious - ebook coverI adore your cover. How did you get such an awesome cover? 

My cover artist, Kirbi Fagan, did an awesome job. You can see some of the earlier drafts of the cover on her website.

What are you working on now? 

I’m writing dieselpunk romance for adults, and I’m also drafting a young adult regency that involves ladies with a tendency to transform into cats.

FLASH QUESTIONS:

Favorite decade?

I’d say the 1950s, for writing this book. ;)

Must-have writing snack?

Cherry cream cheese danishes at a local cafe, but sparingly!

Favorite Disney movie? 

Aladdin. I loved that movie when I was a kid, and watched the old VHS tape almost to death.

The beach or the mountains? 

Beach! Mountains involve climbing and panting for breath.

Song that can always get you dancing? 

“Lose Yourself to Dance” by Daft Punk, with Pharrell. Once I was getting ready to run a 5K race and the song came on, so my whole running group started skipping to the song.

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

I have my writing notebooks by my computer and a few toys. The hedgehog came from a Japanese bookstore in Seattle. The stingray came from the aquarium in Denver. I got to pet and feed real stingrays there, and they felt like wet mushrooms!

 Karen's writing stuff

Book Review: Deadly Delicious by K.L. Kincy

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One spunky heroine. A dash of romance. A sprinkle of magic. And one horde of cake-craving zombies. Those are the winning ingredients to K.L. Kincy’s charming and delightful new middle grade novel, Deadly Delicious.

Deadly Delicious - ebook coverTwelve-year-old Josephine DeLune can’t take the heat this sweltering summer of 1955, and she was out of the kitchen long ago.

An awful cook, she ruins recipes left and right, and she certainly can’t compete with her family’s reputation for extraordinary food. Her daddy’s parents ran one of the best restaurants in all of Paris, but Josephine lives in Paris, Missouri. On her mama’s side, she’s up against a long tradition of sinfully delicious soul food. Rumor has it, her Creole ancestors cooked up some voodoo to make tasty even tastier. Josephine knows the secret ingredient: she comes from a long line of conjure witches with spellbinding culinary skills.

Disenchanted, Josephine works as a carhop at Carl and Earl’s Drive-In. Just plain old hamburgers, hot dogs, and curly fries, nothing magical about them. She’s got bigger fish to fry, though, when a grease fire erupts into a devilish creature who hisses her name with desire. Turns out he’s the Ravenous One, the granddaddy of all voodoo spirits, and he’s hungry for her soul. Josephine thinks he’s got the wrong girl—she’s no witch—but a gorgeous, dangerous night-skinned lady named Shaula sets her straight. Josephine is one of the most powerful witches alive, so overflowing with conjure that her out-of-control cooking simply catches fire.

Josephine would love to laugh this off, but Shaula warns her that she must learn to master her magic before the Ravenous One devours her soul. Spurred into action, Josephine breaks out her grandma’s old conjure cookbook and starts cooking. Nothing grand, just the usual recipes for undying friendship and revenge. But soon Josephine can’t escape the consequences of her conjure. When the people of Paris start turning into zombies with a strange fondness for cake, Josephine looks pretty responsible for their undead reawakening…

I was charmed right away by Kincy’s voice in Deadly Delicious – with a slow drawl inside my head as I read the narrative of young Josephine. I was transported to the South — hearing the cadence and rhythm of people’s speech, feeling the clammy heat, and soaking up the atmosphere. Every time I picked up this book to continue reading, I found myself happily whisked away to Josephine’s world.

The whimsical storyline is also equally enchanting, and it’s fun to see how Kincy has crafted this particular brand of magic — using recipes to conjure spells. A colorful cast of supporting characters add to the magic of Deadly Delicious, and really bring Josephine’s story to life.

At first, I wasn’t 100% sure the romance was necessary to the story — and it certainly takes a backseat to the main plot, and Josephine’s growth as a character. But the blossoms of first love, as Kincy has so lovingly captured them here, add a nice finishing touch — like the frosting to the cake that is the rest of the story. And while younger readers may not connect to this aspect of the story, there’s nothing that will stop them from enjoying Deadly Delicious on the whole.

Deadly Delicious is available now.

Introducing Deadly Delicious by K.L. Kincy

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Today, we’re kicking off a week-long feature for the fun middle grade fantasy, Deadly Delicious by K.L. Kincy. All week, we’ll share our thoughts on the book, a sneak peek, a Q&A with Karen, plus give you a chance to win your own copy! But for now,we’re starting today off with all the basics. Here’s what the book is about:

Deadly Delicious - ebook coverTwelve-year-old Josephine DeLune can’t take the heat this sweltering summer of 1955, and she was out of the kitchen long ago.

An awful cook, she ruins recipes left and right, and she certainly can’t compete with her family’s reputation for extraordinary food. Her daddy’s parents ran one of the best restaurants in all of Paris, but Josephine lives in Paris, Missouri. On her mama’s side, she’s up against a long tradition of sinfully delicious soul food. Rumor has it, her Creole ancestors cooked up some voodoo to make tasty even tastier. Josephine knows the secret ingredient: she comes from a long line of conjure witches with spellbinding culinary skills.

Disenchanted, Josephine works as a carhop at Carl and Earl’s Drive-In. Just plain old hamburgers, hot dogs, and curly fries, nothing magical about them. She’s got bigger fish to fry, though, when a grease fire erupts into a devilish creature who hisses her name with desire. Turns out he’s the Ravenous One, the granddaddy of all voodoo spirits, and he’s hungry for her soul. Josephine thinks he’s got the wrong girl—she’s no witch—but a gorgeous, dangerous night-skinned lady named Shaula sets her straight. Josephine is one of the most powerful witches alive, so overflowing with conjure that her out-of-control cooking simply catches fire.

Josephine would love to laugh this off, but Shaula warns her that she must learn to master her magic before the Ravenous One devours her soul. Spurred into action, Josephine breaks out her grandma’s old conjure cookbook and starts cooking. Nothing grand, just the usual recipes for undying friendship and revenge. But soon Josephine can’t escape the consequences of her conjure. When the people of Paris start turning into zombies with a strange fondness for cake, Josephine looks pretty responsible for their undead reawakening…

Karen - author photo2About the Author:

K. L. Kincy (Kirkland, Washington) loves zombies, though she hopes to meet only the cake-eating kind. Deadly Delicious is her first book for children. She has a BA in Linguistics and Literature from The Evergreen State College.
K. L. Kincy also writes for teens and adults as Karen Kincy.
Find her online at:

The Sound of Letting Go by Stasia Ward Kehoe: Summer Blog Tour – Hitting the Road

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After our week of guest blogs from The Sound of Letting Go author Stasia Ward Kehoe, it’s time for this summer blog tour to hit the road! Here’s Stasia with more:

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swknovelnoviceroadtrippicTAKING IT ON THE ROAD…Like a summer road trip, a blog tour is nothing without fun stops along the way. Sara at Novel Novice has lined up some awesome destinations for THE SOUND OF LETTING GO adventures. But the other essential part of road tripping, like writing life, is THE PEOPLE YOU BRING ON THE JOURNEY. The book business is scary and full of heartbreak. Lots of things are out of your control. And, frankly, the money ain’t great. But, if you’re looking for incredible friends—folks who are really your tribe, who love books and writing and reading and the whole crazy world of it—then you’re exactly where you need to be and every stop along the way is kind of amazing.

So, as summer swelters along, you can find follow THE SOUND OF LETTING GO blog tour to…

July 14th – Hypable

July 21st – Reading Teen

July 28th – Page Turners

August 4th – Novels, News & Notes

August 11th – Icey Books

August 18th – Book Chic

August 25th – Candace’s Book Blog

At each stop, I’ll be interviewing a writer friend (Who, you ask? It’s a surprise!) about the business and the their lives beyond the pages. I hope you’ll follow along!

And, oh yeah, don’t forget to enter for THE PRIZE of PRIZEY GOODNESS! Enter the Rafflecopter HERE!

 

The Sound of Letting Go by Stasia Ward Kehoe: Summer Blog Tour – My Pinterest Problem

TSLOG blog tour
Today, we continue our summer-long blog tour with The Sound of Letting Go author Stasia Ward Kehoe.

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I’m a word person. Not super visual. In fact, I’ve tried using index cards and other visual methods for plotting my novels and have, well, failed. Here’s an example of one failed attempt for my current work in progresss:

plotting

That said, I LOVE PINTEREST! While visual aids don’t help me plot novels, I’ve had great luck finding inspiring images such as the perfect-looking dog for my new main character (a brindle Great Dane) and I’ve had lots of fun doing things like decorating rooms for my characters and imagining who might play them on the big screen (hey, a girl can dream, right?).

Check out DAISY’S MUSIC ROOM and my FANTASY CAST boards for THE SOUND OF LETTING GO. Or give me some feedback on my style choices at the DRESSING LIKE AN AUTHOR board.

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For more ways to win my books and summer swag, visit www.stasiawardkehoe.com.

The Sound of Letting Go by Stasia Ward Kehoe: Summer Blog Tour – YA with Great Shape

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Today, we continue our summer-long blog tour with The Sound of Letting Go author Stasia Ward Kehoe.

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Who needs a perfect beach body when you have these YA novels with great shapes?

I started seriously reading YA in my twenties as newly-employed as a Library Marketing Associate at Random House Books for Young Readers. My job gave me access to a remarkable library, including two particularly memorable YA’s: Philip Pullman’s GOLDEN COMPASS and Suzanne Fisher Staples SHABANU: DAUGHTER OF THE WIND. Those were the books that started me wanting not just to read but to write teen fiction.

Over the next decades, my marketing career took me from publishing house to publishing house and I kept reading. Sarah Dessen, M. T. Anderson, Pete Hautman, Libba Bray, Judy Blundell, Holly Black, J.K. Rowling…I devoured thousands of pages. But I still hadn’t found my own voice as a writer. Who finally led me there? Ellen Hopkins, Sharon Creech and Karen Hesse. In their verse novels, I first saw the synthesis of my love for poetry, the cadence of dance (my first creative love), and the emotional immediacy of verse. Their work changed way I read, the way I think about creating a novel…it set me free.

Since then, I’ve realized that I have a particular taste for prose and poem-based novels that break the mold by taking unusual approaches to shaping language into a narrative form. Here are a few uniquely structured novels that, to me, FEEL LIKE POETRY, inspiring readers and writers alike to realize the power of form in storytelling.

wintergirlsWINTERGIRLS by Laurie Halse Anderson

The story: Lia did not answer one of the 33 calls her estranged best friend Cassie made the night she died. Cassie was her “secret sister” in the shadow community of girls with eating disorders. Now, Lia is alone in the wake of Cassie’s death, battling guilt, struggling to stay thin, and risking her own death as loved ones around her try to help her heal herself.

The shape: Dark, intense, present-tense narrative is peppered with overstrikes, italics, numbers, varying fonts, repetitions, and even stretches of blank page that make the experience of Lia’s anxiety, grief and illness palpable to the reader. The novel is a breathless and terrifying emotional journey, its fearless form taking it to a place of utter realism far beyond the reach of standard paragraphs.

graveyard bookTHE GRAVEYARD BOOK by Neil Gaiman

The story: Toddler Nobody Owens (“Bod”) escapes being murdered with the rest of his family by wandering into a graveyard where he is raised and protected by the dead until reaching young adulthood and eagerly stepping out into the “real” world to live his life.

The shape: Names and naming are critical to this novel’s unique structure. Gaiman’s protagonist, “Nobody” is also “Bod”–the only living, embodied denizen of his graveyard home. Bod’s many dead friends are identified by both name and headstone inscription (this is actually quite amusing at times) which both date and characterize them. Bod’s enemy is “the man Jack.” Elegant, organic interweaving of illustrations into the book’s format and design complete Gaiman’s rendering of a fantastical world through which the reader, and Bod, journey, realizing beauty in wounds that can’t be healed and hope in places that will never be perfect.

flora and ulyssesFLORA & ULYSSES by Kate DiCamillo

The story: A lonely girl name Flora Belle Buckman meets a remarkable, magical squirrel (who is also a poet) who helps her on her journey to rediscover love and family.

The shape: An elegant amalgam of short, uniquely titled chapters, paper-and-pencil style cartoon storyboard illustrations, GIANT vocabulary words, multiple references to a comic book series featuring THE AMAZING INCANDESTO and snips of poetry. On so many levels—the text, the titles, the cadence of the chapters, and the poignant final poem itself-DiCamillo creates an unforgettable exploration of the parent-child bond, the glory of hope, and the redemptive power of words.

book thiefTHE BOOK THIEF by Markus Zusak

The story: In the dark, book-burning, Nazi-overrun world of 1939 Germany, Liesel Meminger lives with her foster family near Munich. Overcome by her yearning for books, Liesel steals, learns to read, and finds herself helping to hide a wounded Jewish man.

The shape: First, the novel is narrated by Death. But don’t let that put you off. This musing on life found, preserved and lost features chapter titles made of imagistic word collages, bullet-point lists, bold-faced musings, translations, transcriptions and definitions. This book is a modern classic: An homage to language, words, communication and what is most human inside all of us.

For more ways to win my books and summer swag, visit www.stasiawardkehoe.com.

The Sound of Letting Go by Stasia Ward Kehoe: Summer Blog Tour – A Writing Tip & Tumblr Trip

TSLOG blog tour
Today, we continue our summer-long blog tour with The Sound of Letting Go author Stasia Ward Kehoe.

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A Writing Tip and a Tumblr Trip

Summer is time for fun. It’s time to relax, regroup and reinvigorate. How to do this while also trying to write a new novel? THE WRITING EXERCISE (no weights required)! These are just fun ways to loosing up those writing muscles. You won’t necessarily keep the results in your manuscript but hopefully you’ll make a character discovery or at least add a bit of fun to your process. REMEMBER: No word is wasted in the writing process. Every step has value.

Here are three quick ones:

  1. Open a work of fiction (favorite, current read, random bookshelf choice) to somewhere near the middle. Read until you find the first line of dialogue. Incorporate that line of dialogue into your wip (changing names as necessary).
  2. Rewrite a scene from your manuscript in daytime (if it’s nighttime) or vice versa.
  3. In the next chapter you write, have your protagonist HIDE SOMETHING and/or have your antagonist REVEAL or GIVE SOMETHING away.

I’ve also been having some summer fun getting to know Tumblr. This week, I’ll be adding “art quotes” from both of my novels. Just for kicks!

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For more ways to win my books and summer swag, visit www.stasiawardkehoe.com.

The Sound of Letting Go by Stasia Ward Kehoe: Summer Blog Tour – Five YA Novels to Applaud

TSLOG blog tour
Today, we continue our summer-long blog tour with The Sound of Letting Go author Stasia Ward Kehoe.

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From rock bands to stage plays, here are five great reads for arts-loving teens and adults. Performing, expression emotion through script or movement or sound, is a fitting metaphor for the teen years when we try on so many identities in search of the deepest truth of ourselves. Perhaps it’s not surprising that, after writing my ballet novel, AUDITION, many YA novelists I met confessed that they, too, had spent their childhoods onstage. Ask a few writers you know!

brandycolbertBallet: POINTE by Brandy Colbert

Theo almost has her eating disorder, her ballet future—and her life—back in balance until her friend Donovan returns after being held by a kidnapper for four years and everything spins out of control again.

if_i_stayClassical Music: IF I STAY by Gayle Forman

After a car accident, talented cellist Mia is hospitalized in a coma. Hovering between life and death, she reflects on love, dreams and the reasons to try to keep living.

this is what happy looks likeCelebrity/Fame: THIS IS WHAT HAPPY LOOKS LIKE by Jennifer E. Smith

A mistyped email begins teen movie star Graham’s anonymous virtual relationship with small-town Ellie. But will the chance to meet in real life only prove that fame can destroy anything?

jumped inPerformed Poetry: JUMPED IN by Patrick Flores Scott

Sam has tried to be invisible since his mom left. But when his English teacher pairs him with gang-member Luis for a slam poetry unit, disappearing is no longer possible.

ninalacourRock Music: THE DISENCHANTMENTS by Nina LaCoeur

The novel follows Colby, reeling after his best friend Bev announces that after this final tour with him and their band-mates Meg and Alexa, she’s going off to college and life turns off key.

For more ways to win my books and summer swag, visit www.stasiawardkehoe.com.