Beyond Anne & Henry: The Tudors in YA Lit

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If you’re like us, and you can’t get enough of Anne & Henry by Dawn Ius, then today’s post is just for you: more YA books featuring the Tudors! Here are our recommendations, and be sure to add yours in the comments:

brazenBrazen by Katherine Longshore

Mary Howard has always lived in the shadow of her powerful family. But when she’s married off to Henry Fitzroy, King Henry VIII’s illegitimate son, she rockets into the Tudor court’s inner circle. Mary and “Fitz” join a tight clique of rebels who test the boundaries of court’s strict rules with their games, dares, and flirtations. The more Mary gets to know Fitz, the harder she falls for him, but is forbidden from seeing him alone. The rules of court were made to be pushed…but pushing them too far means certain death. Is true love worth dying for?

giltGilt by Katherine Longshore

In the court of King Henry VIII, nothing is free — and love comes at the highest price of all.

When Kitty Tylney’s best friend, Catherine Howard, worms her way into King Henry VIII’s heart and brings Kitty to court, she’s thrust into a world filled with fabulous gowns, sparkling jewels, and elegant parties. No longer stuck in Cat’s shadow, Kitty’s now caught between two men–the object of her affection and the object of her desire. But court is also full of secrets, lies, and sordid affairs, and as Kitty witnesses Cat’s meteoric rise and fall as queen, she must figure out how to keep being a good friend when the price of telling the truth could literally be her head

tarnish katherine longshoreTarnish by Katherine Longshore

Anne Boleyn is the odd girl out. Newly arrived to the court of King Henry VIII, everything about her seems wrong, from her clothes to her manners to her witty but sharp tongue. So when the dashing poet Thomas Wyatt offers to coach her on how to shine at court—and to convince the whole court they’re lovers—she accepts. Before long, Anne’s popularity has soared, and even the charismatic and irresistible king takes notice. More than popularity, Anne wants a voice—but she also wants love. What began as a game becomes high stakes as Anne finds herself forced to make an impossible choice between her heart’s desire and the chance to make history.

VIIIVIII by H.M. Castor

Destined for greatness; tormented by demons… VIII is the story of Hal: a young, handsome, gifted warrior, who believes he has been chosen to lead his people. But he is tormented by the ghosts of his family’s violent past and, once he rises to power, he turns to murder and rapacious cruelty. He is Henry VIII. The Tudors have always captured the popular imagination. In VIII, Henry is presented afresh for a new generation of teenage readers.

assassinAssassin by Grace Cavendish

WHEN MARGARET CAVENDISH, one of Elizabeth I’s Gentlewomen of the Bedchamber, lost her life in a bungled attempt to kill the Queen, her daughter, Lady Grace, became a protégée to the monarch, who takes Grace under her wing. Now Grace, a spunky girl who romps through the gardens with the laundry maids and court tumblers and rolls her eyes at her fellow
ladies, chronicles the court intrigues that swirl around her. . . .

It’s the spring of 1569 and 13-year-old Lady Grace, the youngest lady-in-waiting to the Queen, finds herself at a glittering ball choosing amongst three suitors. But the Queen’s generosity turns deadly as threats, dark secrets, and even murder descend on the Tudor court. And it is up to Grace to use her intelligence, stealth, and curious nature to solve the mystery that threatens the very lifeblood of England.

mary bloody maryMary, Bloody Mary by Carolyn Meyer

The story of Mary Tudor’s childhood is a classic fairy tale: A princess who is to inherit the throne of England is separated from her mother; abused by an evil stepmother who has enchanted her father; stripped of her title; and forced to care for her baby stepsister, who inherits Mary’s rights to the throne. Believe it or not, it’s all true. Told in the voice of the young Mary, this novel explores the history and intrigue of the dramatic rule of Henry VIII, his outrageous affair with and marriage to the bewitching Anne Boleyn, and the consequences of that relationship for his firstborn daughter. Carolyn Meyer has written a compassionate historical novel about love and loss, jealousy and fear – and a girl’s struggle with forces far beyond her control.

maid of secrets pbMaid of Secrets by Jennifer McGowen

Orphan Meg Fellowes makes her living picking pockets—until she steals from the wrong nobleman. Instead of rotting in prison like she expected, she’s whisked away to the court of Queen Elizabeth and pressed into royal service, where she joins four other remarkable girls in the Maids of Honor, the Queen’s secret society of protectors.

Meg’s natural abilities as a spy prove useful in this time of unrest. The Spanish Court is visiting, and with them come devious plots and hidden political motives. As threats to the kingdom begin to mount, Meg can’t deny her growing attraction to one of the dashing Spanish courtiers. But it’s hard to trust her heart in a place where royal formalities and masked balls hide the truth: Not everyone is who they appear to be. With danger lurking around every corner, can she stay alive—and protect the crown?

other countessThe Other Countess by Eve Edwards

England, 1582

Ellie—Lady Eleanor Rodriguez, Countess of San Jaime—possesses a worthless title, but her feisty spirit captivates the elite of the Queen’s court—especially the dashing new Earl of Dorset.

William Lacey, Earl of Dorset, has inherited his father’s title—and his financial ruin. Now Will must seek a wealthy bride and restore his family’s fortune. If only he hadn’t fallen for the beautiful but penniless Ellie . . .

Sparks fly whenever Ellie and Will are together, but circumstances—and the conniving interference of others—threaten to keep them apart.

king's roseThe King’s Rose by Alisa M. Libby

Life in the court of King Henry VIII is a complex game. When fifteen-year-old Catherine Howard catches the king?s eye, she quickly transforms from pawn to queen. But even luxury beyond imagination loses its luster as young Catherine finds her life?and her heart?threatened by the needs of an aging king and a family hungry for power. Will their agendas deliver Catherine to the same fate as her infamous cousin, Anne Boleyn?sacrificed at the altar of family ambition? Engaging historical fiction with a throbbing YA heartbeat, this thrilling novel will draw readers into the intrigues and dangers of the Tudor court.

For the comments: What other YA books do you love that feature Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII, or the Tudors?

Percy Pack Sneak Peek: Magnus Chase & the Gods of Asgard

As a member of the Percy Pack — helping to celebrate the ten-year anniversary of the Percy Jackson series — we’re delighted today to be bringing you a sneak peek at Rick Riordan’s new book, Magnus Chase & the Gods of Asgard.

Though the book doesn’t come out until October 6th, you can read the first five chapters RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW!

Check out the excerpt from Magnus Chase & the Gods of Asgard here!

MagnusChaseCoverWant more? Look for the full book next week, when it hits store shelves on October 6th:

Magnus 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 . . .

Pre-order your copy here:

Tune in next week for your chance to win a copy of Magnus Chase, and get tips on a Percy Jacks0n-inspired Halloween costume!

Samples & prizing for all Percy Pack posts provided by Disney-Hyperion.

Beyond Anne & Henry by Dawn Ius: The Real Henry VIII

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In our September Book of the Month, author Dawn Ius has re-imagined England’s most infamous king as high school royalty. But what was the real Henry VIII like? We showed you more about the real Anne Boleyn earlier this week. Today, we’re bringing you the facts about the other half of this ill-fated couple.

Henry VIII: The Facts

henry viii

  • Born June 28, 1491
  • Died January 28, 1547
  • Ruled as King of England from 1509 until his death in 1547
  • Second monarch of the Tudor dynasty, after his father Henry VII
  • Most famous for his six wives & his role in breaking the Church of England away from the Catholic Church
  • Children:
    • Mary I (ruled as Queen 1553-1558; died at age 42)
    • Elizabeth I (ruled as Queen 1558-1603; died at age 69)
    • Edward VI (ruled as King 1547-1553; died at age 15)
    • Henry Fitzroy (illegitimate; died at age 17)

Unexpectedly King

Henry’s older brother Arthur was originally meant to become king after their father, but died at the age of 15, just weeks after his marriage to Catherine of Aragon. Henry was ten-years-old at the time. Their parents decided that Henry would 1491_Henry_VIIImarry his brother’s widow — although Henry did not agree at first.

Following his father’s death and Henry’s succession to the throne, he finally agreed to marry Catherine. Henry was 18 when he became King of England in 1509.

Catherine and Henry struggled to have children at first; their first child — a girl — was stillborn. Their second child, a son, died at seven weeks old. That was followed by two more stillborn sons. Finally, Catherine gave birth to a healthy baby girl — Mary, who would go on one day to rule England as Queen.

Henry also famously had many mistresses during his marriage to Catherine — despite the marriage supposedly being pretty good. One of his most significant mistresses, Elizabeth Blount, was the mother of Henry’s illegitimate son, Henry Fitzroy. Steps were made to legitimize Henry FitzRoy and put him in line for the throne, but he died at age 17 (most likely from Tuberculosis) before Parliament voted on such legislation.

Henry Meets Anne

Henry was still married to Catherine when he met Anne Boleyn — who was one of his wife’s ladies-in-waiting. At the time, Henry was growing impatient with Catherine’s “inability” anne and henry huntingto produce a male heir — and was known for his many mistresses. But his infatuation with Anne went further, especially when she refused to become one of his mistresses.

Henry’s relationship with Anne inspired him to aggressively pursue an annulment to his marriage to Catherine, even claiming that their union never should have been allowed because she had previously been married to his brother. The battle over ending their marriage took a few years — and eventually, Henry took matters into his own hands when the Catholic Church refused to make a decision quickly enough, and broke the Church of England away from the Vatican.

As discussed earlier this year, Henry’s marriage to Anne did not last long — as Anne, too, failed to give Henry a son, and charges of adultery and treason were brought against her. Eventually, Henry had Anne executed — and a few weeks later, married wife #3.

Henry’s Wives

Though we’re focusing on Anne here because she was the central figure in our Book of the Month, all of Henry’s wives have fascinating stories. Here’s a quick overview of the six wives, and the duration of their marriages to Henry:

Catherine of Aragon
Married to Henry in 1509; marriage annulled in 1533

Anne Boleyn
henry and his wivesMarried to Henry in 1533–36; marriage ended in Anne’s execution in 1536

Jane Seymour
Married to Henry in 1536; marriage ended in her death in 1937 (Jane died as a result of complications of childbirth).

Anne of Cleves
Married to Henry in January of 1940; marriage annulled in July of that same year. Though married to him for only months, Anne would go on to outlive all of Henry’s other wives.

Catherine Howard
Married to Henry in 1540; marriage ended in Catherine’s execution in 1541

Catherine Parr
Married to Henry in 1543; marriage ended in Henry’s death in 1547

Henry’s Legacy

Although Henry is most famously associated with his six wives, his most lasting legacy is probably his role in separating the Church of England from the Catholic Church. Henry still Family_of_Henry_VIII_c_1545_detailupheld many Catholic ideologies, but appointed himself the head of the Church because he just really didn’t want to listen to the Pope.

Along with the Pope, Henry is also famous for his long rivalry with the King of France and the Emperor of Spain.

During his reign, Henry oversaw the legal union of England and Wales, and made some major changes to the English Constitution — perhaps most notably the idea of “divine right,” and his expansion of royal power, including the King’s control over the Church of England.

Henry was also famous for executing advisers — as well as his wives — who fell out of his favor.




Beyond Anne & Henry by Dawn Ius: The Real Anne Boleyn

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Today we’re going beyond the pages of our September Book of the Month, Anne & Henry by Dawn Ius, to learn about one of the real people whose story inspired the book … Anne Boleyn. (And tune in on Friday for more on Henry VIII, too!)

Anne: The Facts

anne boleyn

  • Born 1501 (Probably; there’s been some dispute)
  • Died May 19th, 1536
  • Titles: Queen of England from 1533-1536
    Marquess of Pembroke
  • Daughter of Thomas Boleyn, 1st Earl of Wiltshire, and Lady Elizabeth Howard
  • Surviving Heirs: Queen Elizabeth, I

Anne Before Henry

Before she began her tumultuous relationship with King Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn was actually engaged … twice!

In 1522, there were plans for Anne to marry her cousin James Butler, but the marriage was broken up by Cardinal Wolsey — who secured her a post as maid of honor to Henry VIII’s first wife, Queen Catherine of Aragon.

She was also secretly engaged to Henry Percy, son of the Earl of Northumberland, in 1523 — but Wolsey also broke up that little arrangement and sent Anne back to Catherine’s court, where she would eventually catch the eye of the king.

Earlier in her life, Anne studied in the Netherlands and France.

Anne & Henry & the Catholic Church

anne and henry huntingHenry began pursuing Anne in 1526 — despite still being married to Catherine of Aragon. Anne’s sister Mary had already been one of Henry’s mistresses, but Anne supposedly refused — which lead Henry to vehemently pursue an annulment of his marriage to Catherine so he and Anne could get hitched and have crazy royal sex (presumably).

Henry’s determination to end his marriage to Catherine despite the Catholic Church’s refusal to do so is what began England’s break from the Vatican and the creation of the Church of England (the movement known more commonly as the English Reformation).

Queen Anne

Anne and Henry were married on January 25th, 1533 (Um, creepy … my wedding anniversary is also January 25th) — despite the church still being in a bit of upheaval.

anne and henryA few months later, Thomas Cranmer (one of the leaders of the English Reformation) declared Henry and Catherine’s marriage null and void, and that Henry’s marriage to Anne was totes legit.

(This also caused the Catholic Church to excommunicate both Cranmer and Henry, at which point the Church of England came under the King’s control … and, you know, eventually lead to a lot of bloodshed and death and violence and war. But that’s a story for another day.)

Anne was crowned Queen of England on June 1st, 1533, and she and Henry got busy trying to make babies. Baby boys, specifically.

That endeavor was not met with success, however.

Anne gave birth to her first child, the future Queen Elizabeth I, on September 7, 1533. Elizabeth was Anne’s only surviving child; her subsequent pregnancies ended in stillbirth or miscarriage.

Anne’s Downfall

anne in the towerAnne’s failure to produce a male heir marked the beginning of the end for Anne. Though this was not the only reason for strife in their marriage — historians have noted that Anne was smart, politically savvy, and outspoken, all qualities that were not desirable in a wife — the lack of a son made Anne vulnerable to the king’s anger.

By the Spring of 1536, while still married to Anne, Henry began courting the woman who would become his third wife, Jane Seymour — and had Anne arrested, held in the Tower of London, and investigated for high treason.

The charges against Anne included adultery, incest, and witchcraft. Her trial was swift, and she was quickly found guilty and beheaded … conveniently paving the way for Henry to remarry. (Which he did — just days later!)

Anne’s Legacy

Anne left a lasting legacy on England and its future. When her daughter Elizabeth was crowned Queen, Anne was called a martyr and hero of the Reformation

New YA Releases: September 22, 2015

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

Ritter_BeastlyBones_jkt_COMP.inddBeastly Bones by William Ritter

The highly anticipated follow-up to the “rich world” of the “lighthearted and assured debut,” featuring an “irresistible character” whose first thrilling and original adventure “demands sequels.”

“I’ve found very little about private detective R. F. Jackaby to be standard in the time I’ve known him. Working as his assistant tends to call for a somewhat flexible relationship with reality.”

In 1892, New Fiddleham, New England, things are never quite what they seem, especially when Abigail Rook and her eccentric employer R. F. Jackaby are called upon to investigate the supernatural.

First, a vicious species of shape-shifters disguise themselves as a litter of kittens, and a day later, their owner is found murdered with a single mysterious puncture wound. Then in nearby Gad’s Valley, now home to the exiled New Fiddleham police detective Charlie Cane, dinosaur bones from a recent dig mysteriously go missing, and an unidentifiable beast starts attacking animals and people, leaving their mangled bodies behind. Charlie calls on Abigail for help, and soon Abigail and Jackaby are on the hunt for a thief, a monster, and a murderer.

blood and saltBlood & Salt by Kim Liggett

Romeo and Juliet meets Children of the Corn in this one-of-a-kind romantic horror.

“When you fall in love, you will carve out your heart and throw it into the deepest ocean. You will be all in—blood and salt.”

These are the last words Ash Larkin hears before her mother returns to the spiritual commune she escaped long ago. But when Ash follows her to Quivira, Kansas, something sinister and ancient waits among the rustling cornstalks of this village lost to time.

Ash is plagued by memories of her ancestor, Katia, which harken back to the town’s history of unrequited love and murder, alchemy and immortality. Charming traditions soon give way to a string of gruesome deaths, and Ash feels drawn to Dane, a forbidden boy with secrets of his own.

As the community prepares for a ceremony five hundred years in the making, Ash must fight not only to save her mother, but herself—and discover the truth about Quivira before it’s too late. Before she’s all in—blood and salt.

library of soulsLibrary of Souls by Ransom Riggs

The epic conclusion to the best-selling series!

Time is running out for the Peculiar Children. With a dangerous madman on the loose and their beloved Miss Peregrine still in danger, Jacob Portman and Emma Bloom are forced to stage the most daring of rescue missions. They’ll travel through a war-torn landscape, meet new allies, and face greater dangers than ever. . . . Will Jacob come into his own as the hero his fellow Peculiars know him to be? This action-packed adventure features more than 50 all-new Peculiar photographs

scorpion rulesThe Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow

A world battered by climate shift and war turns to an ancient method of keeping peace: the exchange of hostages. The Children of Peace – sons and daughters of kings and presidents and generals – are raised together in small, isolated schools called Preceptures. There, they learn history and political theory, and are taught to gracefully accept what may well be their fate: to die if their countries declare war.

Greta Gustafsen Stuart, Duchess of Halifax and Crown Princess of the Pan-Polar Confederation, is the pride of the North American Precepture. Learned and disciplined, Greta is proud of her role in keeping the global peace, even though, with her country controlling two-thirds of the world’s most war-worthy resource — water — she has little chance of reaching adulthood alive.

Enter Elián Palnik, the Precepture’s newest hostage and biggest problem. Greta’s world begins to tilt the moment she sees Elián dragged into the school in chains. The Precepture’s insidious surveillance, its small punishments and rewards, can make no dent in Elián, who is not interested in dignity and tradition, and doesn’t even accept the right of the UN to keep hostages.

What will happen to Elián and Greta as their two nations inch closer to war?

murdstone trilogyThe Murdstone Trilogy by Mal Peet

How hard can it be to write a fantasy trilogy? From Carnegie Medalist Mal Peet comes an outrageously funny black comedy about an impoverished literary writer who makes a pact with the devil.

Award-winning YA author Philip Murdstone is in trouble. His star has waned. The world is leaving him behind. His agent, the ruthless Minerva Cinch, convinces him that his only hope is to write a sword-and-sorcery blockbuster. Unfortunately, Philip—allergic to the faintest trace of Tolkien—is utterly unsuited to the task. In a dark hour, a dwarfish stranger comes to his rescue. But the deal he makes with Pocket Wellfair turns out to have Faustian consequences. The Murdstone Trilogy is a richly dark comedy described by one U.K. reviewer as “totally insane in the best way possible.”

Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson

Lee Westfall has a secret. She can sense the presence of gold in the world around her. Veins deep beneath the earth, pebbles in the river, nuggets dug up from the forest floor. The buzz of gold means warmth and life and home—until everything is ripped away by a man who wants to control her. Left with nothing, Lee disguises herself as a boy and takes to the trail across the country. Gold was discovered in California, and where else could such a magical girl find herself, find safety?

Walk on Earth a Stranger, the first book in this new trilogy, introduces—as only Rae Carson can—a strong heroine, a perilous road, a fantastical twist, and a slow-burning romance. Includes a map and author’s note on historical research.

soundSound by Alexandra Duncan

SOUND is the stand-alone companion to Alexandra Duncan’s acclaimed novel Salvage, a debut that internationally bestselling author Stephanie Perkins called “kick-ass, brilliant, feminist science fiction.” For fans of Beth Revis, Firefly, and Battlestar Galactica.

As a child, Ava’s adopted sister Miyole watched her mother take to the stars, piloting her own ship from Earth to space making deliveries. Now a teen herself, Miyole is finally living her dream as a research assistant on her very first space voyage. If she plays her cards right, she could even be given permission to conduct her own research and experiments in her own habitat lab on the flight home. But when her ship saves a rover that has been viciously attacked by looters and kidnappers, Miyole—along with a rescued rover girl named Cassia—embarks on a mission to rescue Cassia’s abducted brother, and that changes the course of Miyole’s life forever.

ungodlyUngodly by Kendare Blake

As ancient immortals are left reeling, a modern Athena and Hermes search the world for answers in the final Goddess War novel by the acclaimed author of Anna Dressed in Blood

For the Goddess of Wisdom, what Athena didn’t know could fill a book. That’s what Ares said.

So she was wrong about some things. So the assault on Olympus left them beaten and scattered and possibly dead. So they have to fight the Fates themselves, who, it turns out, are the source of the gods’ illness. And sure, Athena is stuck in the underworld, holding the body of the only hero she has ever loved.

But Hermes is still topside, trying to power up Andie and Henry before he runs out of time and dies, or the Fates arrive to eat their faces.

And Cassandra is up there somewhere too. On a quest for death. With the god of death.

Just because things haven’t gone exactly according to plan, it doesn’t mean they’ve lost. They’ve only mostly lost. And there’s a big difference.

the unquietThe Unquiet by Mikaela Everett

For most of her life, Lirael has been training to kill—and replace—a duplicate version of herself on a parallel Earth. She is the perfect sleeper-soldier. But she’s beginning to suspect she is not a good person.

The two Earths are identical in almost every way. Two copies of every city, every building, even every person. But the people from the second Earth know something their duplicates do not—two versions of the same thing cannot exist. They—and their whole planet—are slowly disappearing. Lira has been trained mercilessly since childhood to learn everything she can about her duplicate, to be a ruthless sleeper-assassin who kills that other Lirael and steps seamlessly into her life.

An intricate, literary stand-alone from an astonishing new voice, The Unquiet takes us deep inside the psyche of a strong teenage heroine struggling with what she has been raised to be and who she really is. Fans of eerily futuristic and beautifully crafted stories such as Never Let Me Go, Orphan Black, and Fringe will find themselves haunted by this unsettling debut.

silver eveSilver Eve by Sandra Waugh

A Healer without home or purpose, seventeen-year-old Evie Carew has found the perfect place to disappear: Rood Marsh. She can easily fade into its vast wilderness of towering reeds; leave behind the growing violence that is claiming her innocent world. Leave behind the tragedy that broke her heart and sent her far from her grandmother, cousin Lark and all she once loved.

But Evie is not alone in the marsh. A seer, a Rider, and Breeders of Chaos all hunt her—for though opposed in objective, her seekers share knowledge she does not: Evie is one of the four Guardians of Tarnec, one who can help save the world from the coming destruction if she can reclaim the stolen amulet of Death. But whether she meets true love or a brutal end on such a journey is a matter of who finds her first.

i crawl through itI Crawl Through It by A.S. King

A boldly surreal novel from one of the best YA writers working today.

Four talented teenagers are traumatized-coping with grief, surviving trauma, facing the anxiety of standardized tests and the neglect of self-absorbed adults—and they’ll do anything to escape the pressure. They’ll even build an invisible helicopter, to fly far away to a place where everyone will understand them… until they learn the only way to escape reality is to fly right into it.

bits and piecesBits & Pieces by Jonathan Maberry

Return to the zombie apocalypse wasteland that is the Rot & Ruin in this short story collection from Jonathan Maberry.

Benny Imura’s zombie-infested adventures are well-chronicled in the gripping novels Rot & Ruin, Dust & Decay, Flesh & Bone, and Fire & Ash. But what else was happening while he was on his quest? Who were the others navigating the ravaged landscape full of zombies?

Bits & Pieces fills in the gaps about what we know about First Night, surviving the plague, and traveling the land of Rot & Ruin. Eleven all-new short stories from Nix’s journal and eleven previously published stories, including “Dead & Gone” and “Tooth & Nail,” are now together and in print for the first time, along with the first-ever script for the Rot & Ruin comic books.

sleeper and the spindleThe Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman

In what calls their “greatest [collaboration] to date,” New York Times bestselling and Newbery and Carnegie Medal-winning author Neil Gaiman and Kate Greenaway-winning illustrator Chris Riddell have created a thrillingly reimagined fairy tale, “told in a way only Gaiman can” and featuring “stunning metallic artwork” (

The result is a beautiful and coveted edition of The Sleeper and the Spindle that the Guardian calls “a refreshing, much-needed twist on a classic story.”In this captivating and darkly funny tale, Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell have twisted together the familiar and the new as well as the beautiful and the wicked to tell a brilliant version of Snow White’s (sort of) and Sleeping Beauty’s (almost) stories.This story was originally published (without illustrations) in Rags & Bones (Little, Brown, 2013). This is the first time it is being published as an illustrated, stand-alone edition, and the book is a beautiful work of art.

what we sawWhat We Saw by Aaron Hartzler

Kate Weston can piece together most of the bash at John Doone’s house: shots with Stacey Stallard, Ben Cody taking her keys and getting her home early—the feeling that maybe he’s becoming more than just the guy she’s known since they were kids.

But when a picture of Stacey passed out over Deacon Mills’s shoulder appears online the next morning, Kate suspects she doesn’t have all the details. When Stacey levels charges against four of Kate’s classmates, the whole town erupts into controversy. Facts that can’t be ignored begin to surface, and every answer Kate finds leads back to the same question: Where was Ben when a terrible crime was committed?

This story—inspired by real events—from debut novelist Aaron Hartzler takes an unflinching look at silence as a form of complicity. It’s a book about the high stakes of speaking up, and the razor thin line between guilt and innocence that so often gets blurred, one hundred and forty characters at a time.

tattooed heartThe Tattooed Heart by Michael Grant

The games continue in New York Times bestselling author Michael Grant’s sequel to Messenger of Fear: a haunting tale for fans of Stephen King that combines fantasy with real-world horror stories.

Mara has learned to punish the wicked as the Messenger’s apprentice. Those who act out of selfishness and greed, and others who become violent because of prejudice and hate, pay the ultimate price. But Mara is constantly reminded that Messengers are serving their own kind of punishment—for every person who is offered justice, they wear a tattoo that symbolizes the heart of the crime. As Mara delves deeper into her harsh reality, she will discover that in spite of all the terror she and Messenger inflict, caring in this world is the hardest part of all.

dreamlandDreamland by Robert L. Anderson

Odea Donahue has been able to travel through people’s dreams since she was six years old. Her mother taught her the three rules of walking: Never interfere. Never be seen. Never walk the same person’s dream more than once. Dea has never questioned her mother, not about the rules, not about the clocks or the mirrors, not about moving from place to place to be one step ahead of the unseen monsters that Dea’s mother is certain are right behind them.

Then a mysterious new boy, Connor, comes to town and Dea finally starts to feel normal. As Connor breaks down the walls that she’s had up for so long, he gets closer to learning her secret. For the first time she wonders if that’s so bad. But when Dea breaks the rules, the boundary between worlds begins to deteriorate. How can she know what’s real and what’s not?

this monstrous thingThis Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee

In 1818 Geneva, men built with clockwork parts live hidden away from society, cared for only by illegal mechanics called Shadow Boys. Two years ago, Shadow Boy Alasdair Finch’s life shattered to bits.

His brother, Oliver—dead.

His sweetheart, Mary—gone.

His chance to break free of Geneva—lost.

Heart-broken and desperate, Alasdair does the unthinkable: He brings Oliver back from the dead.

But putting back together a broken life is more difficult than mending bones and adding clockwork pieces. Oliver returns more monster than man, and Alasdair’s horror further damages the already troubled relationship.

Then comes the publication of Frankenstein and the city intensifies its search for Shadow Boys, aiming to discover the real life doctor and his monster. Alasdair finds refuge with his idol, the brilliant Dr. Geisler, who may offer him a way to escape the dangerous present and his guilt-ridden past, but at a horrible price only Oliver can pay…

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

Guest Post from Anne & Henry Author Dawn Ius: Where I Write

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Today, we have another great guest post from Anne & Henry author Dawn Ius. Today, Dawn stops by to talk about where she writes!

*          *          *

my cabin1As with most writers, I’m often found cramming in writing time during lunch breaks at the day job, first thing in the morning while I’m waiting for coffee to brew, or late into the night. I’ve written everywhere from campgrounds at picnic tables while my husband fishes, on a crowded airplane, and in line at the bank to on the steps of the local lacrosse arena.

But by far, my favorite writing spot is in the “cabin” my husband (a carpenter) Roarkebuilt for me when my agent sold ANNE & HENRY. It’s about the size of a garden shed, finished in cedar, insulated (because winters in Alberta are COLD, yo!), and plunked in our small backyard under a tree, giving me the illusion I’m out in the wilderness slaying fictional words without mercy. My English Mastiff, Roarke, lays at my feet or at the red door, until the postman walks by, shredding my illusion of tranquility.

my cabin2In my cabin, I have a small reading bench, a giant whiteboard, a comfortable chair, and a small glass desk that is almost always cluttered. My must-have items include an hourglass (to keep me off the internet), a small replica of a 1967 Shelby GT 500 Mustang (my dream car), a thesaurus, pens and pencils!, fresh flowers, and a jar of candy—usually gummy bears.

I know. I am super spoiled.


Exclusive Q&A with Anne & Henry author Dawn Ius – Part 3

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Today, we bring you part 3 of our three-part interview with Anne & Henry author Dawn Ius. Catch part 1 here if you missed it, and part 2 here.

DawnFavorite villain?

The Red Queen—but I pretty much love anything to do with Alice in Wonderland.

Pen or pencil?

Pen for writing. Pencil for revising. (Sorry, that was a cheat. I do have an impressive pen AND pencil collection though.)

Favorite piece of clothing?

My yoga pants—not because I enjoy yoga, but because it’s the most comfortable way to write.

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

Flash of Light by Parade of Lights: — I listened to this while writing ANNE & HENRY and every time I hear it, I’m reminded of the book. Fitting that it would be in my head now on release month J

Most recent vacation?

Christina Lake, BC — My family has a cabin there (for many many years) and my husband and I got married there six years ago. It’s our annual holiday.

5 things that are always in your purse

Ha. My ANNE & HENRY ARC (because I still can’t believe it’s real), an assortment of pens/pencils, my wallet, my iPad mini

Book Review: Beastly Bones by William Ritter

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Dear BBC America: If you have not yet begun production on your TV series adaptation of Jackaby by William Ritter, I implore you to do so now. If that first book was not enough to convince, then you need only look as far as its sequel, Beastly Bones, and you will surely be as convinced as I that these books are simply BEGGING to be adapted for television.


“I’ve found very little about private detective R. F. Jackaby to be standard in the time I’ve known him. Working as his assistant tends to call for a somewhat flexible relationship with reality.”

In 1892, New Fiddleham, New England, things are never quite what they seem, especially when Abigail Rook and her eccentric employer R. F. Jackaby are called upon to investigate the supernatural.

First, a vicious species of shape-shifters disguise themselves as a litter of kittens, and a day later, their owner is found murdered with a single mysterious puncture wound. Then in nearby Gad’s Valley, now home to the exiled New Fiddleham police detective Charlie Cane, dinosaur bones from a recent dig mysteriously go missing, and an unidentifiable beast starts attacking animals and people, leaving their mangled bodies behind. Charlie calls on Abigail for help, and soon Abigail and Jackaby are on the hunt for a thief, a monster, and a murderer.

Jackaby — aptly described as a mix between Sherlock and the Doctor — is in fine form with this sequel, which picks up nicely following the events of the first book. Fans will eagerly dive into his latest adventure with his assistant Abigail, as they find themselves on another mysterious and possibly magical case.

The tone and atmosphere of Ritter’s novels are immersive and delightful. The immediately transport the reader to New Fiddleham, with lush descriptive writing and engaging scenes. One of my favorite descriptive passages from Beastly Bones is such:

The black teeth of the tree line had swallowed the sun like a ripe grapefruit, and the seeping mess of red and orange had begun to spread across the sky.

How insanely gorgeous is that? The entire book is filled with similarly rich language, which evokes the perfect mood for Jackaby’s madcap — sometimes horrifying — adventures.

The characters we fell in love with in the first book are back, and we see wonderful continued development as they face new situations and challenges.

The world of Jackaby is one I could live in for a long time, and I hope Ritter is as eager to continue writing his adventures as I am eager to continue reading them. (And I do sincerely hope that BBC America could get on board with that TV series adaptation, because that would be really great, thanks.)

Beastly Bones is in stores September 22nd.

Exclusive Q&A with Anne & Henry author Dawn Ius – Part 2

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Today, we bring you part 2 of our three-part interview with Anne & Henry author Dawn Ius. Catch part 1 here if you missed it, and look for part 3 on Friday!

DawnDid you learn anything surprising during your research for ANNE & HENRY?

The enormity of Anne Boleyn’s fan club! I understand it—especially after doing so much research on her—but the sheer number of fan clubs devoted to Anne Boleyn is staggering.

What was the most important element of Anne & Henry’s story that you wanted to make sure you captured in your retelling?

anne and henryI really believe that before everything turned to chaos, Henry and Anne genuinely loved each other. A common cliché is that “love conquers all.” I believe it conquers a lot, but not always “all.” Some obstacles—whether they are external or internal—are insurmountable.

What other famous real-life story would you like to see retold (by yourself or someone else) in a modern setting?

I’m itching to write LIZZIE BORDEN’S story. What can I say—I’m drawn to controversial and challenging!

Book Review: The Murdstone Trilogy by Mal Peet

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Darkly humorous and intensely satirical, The Murdstone Trilogy by Mal Peet is a disturbingly hilarious send-up of the fanatical nature of YA fantasy — both the fans who clamor for it and the publishing industry eager to cash in on it.

murdstone trilogyHow hard can it be to write a fantasy trilogy? From Carnegie Medalist Mal Peet comes an outrageously funny black comedy about an impoverished literary writer who makes a pact with the devil.

Award-winning YA author Philip Murdstone is in trouble. His star has waned. The world is leaving him behind. His agent, the ruthless Minerva Cinch, convinces him that his only hope is to write a sword-and-sorcery blockbuster. Unfortunately, Philip—allergic to the faintest trace of Tolkien—is utterly unsuited to the task. In a dark hour, a dwarfish stranger comes to his rescue. But the deal he makes with Pocket Wellfair turns out to have Faustian consequences. The Murdstone Trilogy is a richly dark comedy described by one U.K. reviewer as “totally insane in the best way possible.”

Fans of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett will surely delight in Peet’s send-up of the fantasy genre. The Murdstone Trilogy is ruthless, as Peet offers hilarious and satirical looks at all facets of the publishing industry. The book is at once outlandishly ridiculous and steeped in reality.

Though pitched as a cross-over for both YA and adult readers, I’d argue that The Murdstone Trilogy is much more adult than young adult. Though the character is writing a YA series, his narrative and his struggles are decidedly mature. The slower paced narrative is also more likely to appeal to traditional adult readers, not YA readers.

That said, for anyone involved in the YA publishing industry even remotely — authors, agents, editors, publicists, bloggers, even just passionate fans — The Murdstone Trilogy is a ruthlessly funny examination at the more ridiculous aspects of this book world we love.