Special Feature: Notable Quotable from THE EDGE OF OVER THERE by Shawn Smucker {giveaway}




The Day the Angels Fell, Book 2
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Publisher: Revell
Date of Publication: July 3, 2018
Number of Pages: 384
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Cover Hi res Edge of Over There
The captivating sequel to the award-winning The Day the Angels Fell
Abra Miller carries a secret and a responsibility she never expected.
Before the Tree of Life, everything in Abra Miller’s life had been predictable. Safe. Normal. But after the Tree, everything has felt fragile . . . like holding a soap bubble in the palm of her hand. After years of fruitless searching for the next Tree, she begins to wonder if it was nothing more than a vivid dream.
Now sixteen, Abra finds a clue to the whereabouts of the next Tree of Life when an ominous woman—who looks exactly like a ghost from her past—compels her to travel to New Orleans where she’ll find one of seven gateways between this world and Over There. But she’s not the only one interested in finding the gateway. There’s also a young man searching for his father and sister, who escaped through it years before. As Abra enters the Edge of Over There and begins her pursuit of the Tree once more, she doesn’t know whom to fear or whom to trust.
She’s also starting to think that some doorways should never be opened.


Praise for The Edge of Over There:
“Blending Biblical elements and urban myths, Smucker creates an enthralling story of supernatural battles between the forces of good and evil.” — Publishers Weekly

“The Edge of Over There is a mesmerizing, menacing fantasy. Shawn Smucker fuses New Orleans lore, Christian themes, and dystopian landscapes in a thorough exploration of love and its unintended results.” — Foreword Reviews (Starred Review) 

Notable Quotable
TABATHA 0722 Notable Quotable

Shawn Smucker is the author of The Day the Angels Fell and The Edge of Over There. He lives with his wife and six children in the city of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. You can find him on his website, where you can also sign up for his newsletter in order to find out when and where the Tree of Life will turn up next.



GRAND PRIZE: Both Books in the The Day the Angels Fell series + Color Changing Tree Mug + $25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card
2ND PRIZE: Both Books + Tree of Life Journal
3RD PRIZE: Both Books + $10 Starbucks Gift Card

July 17-26, 2018
Author Interview
Book Trailer
Top 10 List
Notable Quotable
Author Interview
Guest Post
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Interview: Jaime Questell, Author of BY A CHARM AND A CURSE

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Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?

My family has always fostered my love of reading. I remember practically inhaling books when I was a kid, and I was never told no if I asked for more. I know that my love of reading led to my love of writing.

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing for about ten years. I didn’t always know it was what I wanted to do, but once I started, I couldn’t stop. Then my best friend found out that I had written a novel, and she knew I wanted to read her novel, so she withheld hers until I let her read mine. Best bribery ever. Because that led to me joining her writing group, and those people are not only the best influence on my writing, they’re also my closest friends.

What kind(s) of writing do you do?

At the moment, just speculative fiction. I admire and wish I could write straight up contemporary fiction, but my brain always wants to throw in magic of some sort. But that said, I don’t want to rule it out.

What do you think most characterizes your writing?

As I was writing, I kept telling myself “dark, but pretty.” I like to think everything I do has that thread of “dark, but pretty.”

Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work?  What impact have they had on your writing?

There are so many! I’d have to say Holly Black, Leigh Bardugo, Laini Taylor, Maggie Stiefvater, and Victoria Schwab. With all of them, I think they do descriptive prose paired with layers of tension layered in fantastic settings. It’s something I strive for in my own writing.

What did you find most useful in learning to write?  What was least useful or most destructive?

The most useful thing to me was learning to keep what I call a graveyard document (I am by no means saying I invented this, just that this is what I call it). If I have some prose or dialogue that I know needs to go but I just love it to pieces, it goes into the graveyard. And maybe I pull it out and use it later. Maybe I use it in another project. Maybe it never sees the light of day again. But I feel less anxious knowing I can retrieve it when I need it.

And I’d say the least useful thing was this idea that (imagine me yelling like a drill sergeant) WRITING MUST BE DONE A CERTAIN WAY. Because that’s a lie. Writing needs to be done in the way that is most productive for that particular writer. Some people do best writing every day. Some people can write thousands of words and then not touch their project for days. Get the words on the paper. That’s what matters.

Are you a full-time or part-time writer?  How does that affect your writing?

I have a full-time job with a two-hour round-trip commute, so writing time is precious. Usually, I try to write after my kids are in bed and during my lunch hour, if I can. When I have deadlines, I’ll walk over to the coffee shop next door to my apartment and camp out there while I write for a couple hours.

What do you like to read in your free time?

I love YA in pretty much all of its forms, but in particular, I love contemporary fantasy. Something grounded in the real world with enough magic to shake things up. My next project is a noir thriller, and I’m devouring everything I can find in the genre. And I even though it’s not my forte, I try to read at least a handful of non-fiction books every year.

What projects are you working on at the present?

I’m currently working on another YA contemporary fantasy set in a small Texas town I made up. There’s curanderas and a banshee, magic, and a town with more secrets than Riverdale.

What do your plans for future projects include?

I really want to write some horror. I don’t know if that’s YA or adult horror, but something scary, something that’ll make you keep all the lights on at night. And, to do a total 180, I kind of want to write something so achingly fluffy it’ll make your teeth rot just looking at it. 😀

What book do you wish you could have written?

I really, really, really wish I’d written Holly Black’s Curse Workers series. The world building is absolutely fantastic, and I love how ruthless her characters are. Nothing is black or white, and they way she layers tension and complications is amazing.

If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?

Okay, so pretend everyone is the right age and give people mental dye jobs.

Emma: Kara Hayward

Ben: Taron Egerton

Leslie & Lars: Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman (because they were the inspiration for both of those characters)

Marcel: Trevor Jackson

Duncan and Pia, fortune telling twins: Cameron Boyce and Skai Jackson

Gin and Whiskey, equestrian sisters: Dakota and Elle Fanning

Sydney: Darren Criss

Audrey: Robin Wright

What do you want your tombstone to say?

Is “GET OFF MY LAWN” appropriate? Because I think that would be hilarious. But if not that, I’ll take “Mother, Partner, Artist, Wordsmith, Excellent Karaoke-er”

Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?

I am determined to get to France. I want to eat so much cheese that I won’t be able to look at the stuff for at least six months when I get back. And Greece. I want to be somewhere overlooking the water. Living near the Gulf of Mexico, I’m a complete sucker for a place with water that’s blue and not greenish-brown.

If you were an animal in a zoo, what would you be?

An otter! I’d have a pool, and would float around on my back all day, playing around. Otters have it made.


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By A Charm and a Curse _ 500

About By a Charm and a Curse:

Le Grand’s Carnival Fantastic isn’t like other traveling circuses. It’s bound by a charm, held together by a centuries-old curse, that protects its members from ever growing older or getting hurt. Emmaline King is drawn to the circus like a moth to a flame…and unwittingly recruited into its folds by a mysterious teen boy whose kiss is as cold as ice.

Forced to travel through Texas as the new Girl in the Box, Emmaline is completely trapped. Breaking the curse seems like her only chance at freedom, but with no curse, there’s no charm, either—dooming everyone who calls the Carnival Fantastic home. Including the boy she’s afraid she’s falling for. 

Everything—including his life—could end with just one kiss. 

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Jaime Questell High-res

About Jaime Questell:

JAIME QUESTELL grew up in Houston, Texas, where she escaped the heat and humidity by diving into stacks of Baby Sitter’s Club and Sweet Valley High books. She has been a book seller (fair warning: book lovers who become book sellers will give half their paychecks right back to their employers), a professional knitter, a semi-professional baker, and now works as a graphic designer in addition to writing.


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Website: jaimequestell.com

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Excerpt: ASSASSIN OF TRUTHS by Brenda Drake


Excerpt from Assassin of Truths:

A high wizard back in medieval times had created the beasts by sewing animal parts to four slain warriors and connecting them with one soul. The beings were frightening and haunted my dreams. One creature resembled a lion with a cleft lip and claw-like hands. Another had a boar’s head with sharp tusks sticking out of its jaw. The third had two large ram horns coming out of its forehead, which pulled and distorted its face. And the final one was part lizard, with razor-sharp teeth and scales. Each could command one of the elements, but they could never separate from one another or they’d die. The creatures were a myth to me, yet I was key to their destruction.

All I had to do was find the seven Chiavi, which, when combined, would unlock the beast from its prison, buried in some elusive mountain somewhere in a world full of mystical creatures. Simple. I rolled my eyes before returning my attention to Gian’s journal.


It must be a puzzle.

There were seven letters in the clue. There were seven Chiavi.

I sat up straighter.

Which meant there were seven libraries.

We had retrieved five of the keys. I wrote down the names of the libraries where we’d found them, but none of the initials matched the letters in the acronym.

It’s not the names of the libraries. What am I missing? I stared at the page. Maybe it’s the location of the libraries. I printed them next to the libraries. No matches.


I scribbled on the page—Austria, France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland.

That has to be it. I just need two more letters. One starts with a “C” and the other an “N.”

I removed the list of libraries with artwork that could be a Chiave. Nick and I had assembled it with Uncle Philip’s help. I compared the clues for the final two Chiavi with our notes and circled the Czech Republic. Uncle Philip had suggested a painting in that library for In front of the world; he wears his honor on his chest. It was a portrait of some royal guy from the eighteenth century. He wore a uniform with a badge on his chest. It was the only library that could represent the C in the acronym.

We’d already figured out the final clue—Beneath destruction and rapine, he scribes the word, while time falls—or actually, Nick had. The thought of him made my heart tighten again.

Conemar won’t hurt him. Nick’s his son. I tried to reassure myself.

Nick believed the final clue described a mural named The Medieval Scribe in the McGraw Rotunda of the New York Public Library’s main branch. He’d gone there with his family a few years back. The image stayed with him only because he’d pretended to like it for nearly twenty minutes to impress some girl.

A smile tightened my lips as I imagined how silly he probably acted around the girl. Nick was a goofball at times. It was what I liked most about him.

But the other letters represented countries. I scanned the list of possible libraries.

A light went on in my head, illuminating the answer. He couldn’t put America down. There were too many states. He’d narrow it down to one of them. That’s what I’d do. I couldn’t explain it, but I knew that’s what he’d do, too.

So “C” for Czech Republic and “N” for New York. I had solved can figs. And I had the locations of the final Chiavi.


Assassin of Truths_500

About Assassin of Truths:

The gateways linking the great libraries of the world don’t require a library card, but they do harbor incredible dangers.

And it’s not your normal bump-in-the- night kind. The threats Gia Kearns faces are the kind with sharp teeth and knifelike claws. The kind that include an evil wizard hell-bent on taking her down.

Gia can end his devious plan, but only if she recovers seven keys hidden throughout the world’s most beautiful libraries. And then figures out exactly what to do with them.

The last thing she needs is a distraction in the form of falling in love. But when an impossible evil is unleashed, love might be the only thing left to help Gia save the world.

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Brenda Drake Author Photo3

About Brenda Drake:

Brenda Drake grew up the youngest of three children, an Air Force brat, and the continual new kid at school. Her fondest memories growing up is of her eccentric, Irish grandmother’s animated tales, which gave her a strong love for storytelling. With kids of all ages populating Brenda’s world, it was only fitting that she would choose to write stories with a bend toward the fantastical for both younger readers and the young at heart. And because she married her prince charming, there’s always a romance warming the pages. Her favorite books are The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, Kings Row by Henry Bellamann, and Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. When she’s not writing, she hosts workshops and contests for writers such as Pitch Wars and Pitch Madness on her blog, and holds Twitter pitch parties on the hashtag, #PitMad. In her free time, Brenda enjoys hanging out with her family, haunting libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops, or just reading someplace quiet and not at all exotic (much to her disappointment).

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Website: http://www.brenda-drake.com  

Twitter: https://twitter.com/brendadrake

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Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7012713.Brenda_Drake


Guest Post: Erica Cameron, author of the new YA release, SEA OF STRANGERS

How to Get the Most Out of Your Next Conference or Convention

Since I started writing in 2007, I have queried agents, gone on submission to editors, and attended dozens of conferences. Each experience has its own set of rules and expectations, and conference and conventions can be the hardest of them all to navigate if only because there’s far less information available online for them. Today, I have four points to help you make the most out of your next conference or convention.


Be aware.


There are hundreds of writing-related events all across the country. Some have particular focuses—SCBWI, for example, is a wonderful organization for those writing for children and teens—and others are going to be broader in scope and scale. Research organizations that match the genre you write in and see if they host any annual conferences. Pick the one that will help you learn and grow in your genre as much as possible. Those will also be the events that put you in contact with the people you need to meet.


Be prepared.


Once you’ve picked which conference you’re attending, start doing research on the attendees. Who’s speaking? Are any agents or editors taking pitches? What does each agent or editor specialize in? What were their recent sales or acquisitions? It doesn’t usually do much good to try selling a dark sci-fi series to someone who specializes in light-hearted women’s fiction. For agents, check out their submission guidelines and create a printout you can bring with you. If you’re meeting with editors and can’t find any submission guidelines, having one chapter and a one-page summary of your book is usually a good place to start. However, it’s expensive to travel. Agents and editors usually have to cram everything they need for the conference or convention into a small bag. It’s hard for them to carry stacks of printed pages and materials home with them again. A business card, though? That’s absolutely doable. Even if you’re coming as an aspiring author, it’s not a bad idea to have business cards. They should include your name, email address, the genre you write in, and any applicable website or social media information.


Be respectful.


Agents and editors come to conferences to find new talent. That is specifically why they’re there, so it’s okay to approach them with questions or to start a conversation. The thing to remember is respect. It’s business, yes, but they’re also people with lives outside of publishing. Don’t expect hours of attention. Try not to interrupt if they’re in conversation with someone else, though joining a conversation with a group is often fine if you have something to contribute. Whatever you do, don’t try to pitch a book in the bathroom. It sounds obvious, but it happens far more often than it should. I know this because industry professionals talk. They tell stories at events about all of the ridiculous, rude, and outlandish interactions they have had with authors in the past. Good stories won’t be passed around like office gossip, but a bad interaction absolutely will.


Be open.


Opportunity slips up beside you unexpectedly sometimes, but the only way to take advantage of the moment is to take every chance offered. In 2015, a group of young adult authors organized a lunch during RT, and I ended up sitting next to a debut author named Kate Brauning. What I didn’t realize at the time was that she was also an editor with Entangled Teen. That casual conversation sparked a second, more in-depth discussion, and eventually turned into a three-book deal for my young adult fantasy series, The Ryogan Chronicles. At the same convention, a panel appearance I did attracted interest from another publisher, and after another conversation and a proposal, I sold the Assassins duology to Riptide’s YA imprint Triton Books. The point is that you may go to an event intending to pitch to one person, but you never know who you might end up talking to. Be open to talking to those around you and ready to discuss what you’re writing, and you never know what a single conversation could bring.



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About Sea of Strangers (The Ryogan Chronicles, #2):

Know your enemy if you want to survive…

The only way for Khya to get her brother back alive is to kill Varan—the immortal ruler who can’t be killed. But not even Varan knew what he was doing when he perverted magic and humanity to become immortal.
Khya’s leading her group of friends and rebels into the mountains that hold Varan’s secrets, but if risking all their lives is going to be worth it, she has to give up everything else—breaking the spell that holds her brother captive and jeopardizing her deepening relationship with Tessen, the boy who has been by turns her rival and refuge since her brother disappeared. Immortality itself might be her only answer, but if that’s where Khya has to go, she can’t ask Tessen or her friends to follow.





About Erica Cameron:

Erica Cameron is the author of books for young adults including the Ryogan Chronicles, the Assassins duology, and The Dream War Saga. She also co-authored the Laguna Tides novels with Lani Woodland. An advocate for asexuality and emotional abuse awareness, Erica has also worked with teens at a residential rehabilitation facility in her hometown of Fort Lauderdale.


Author Links:

Author Website: ByEricaCameron.com

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Review: ONE NIGHT IN SIXES by Tex Thompson

  BNR One Night in Sixes JPG

(Children of the Drought, #1)

Tex Thompson
  Genre: Epic Western Fantasy
Publisher: Solaris
Date of Publication: July 29, 2014
Number of Pages: 464

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 Appaloosa Elim is a man who knows his place.  On a good day, he’s content with it.

Today is not a good day.

Today, his so-called “partner” – that lily-white lordling Sil Halfwick – has ridden off west for the border, hell-bent on making a name for himself in native territory.  And Elim, whose place is written in the bastard browns and whites of his cow-spotted face, doesn’t dare show up home again without him.

The border town called Sixes is quiet in the heat of the day, but Elim’s heard the stories about what wakes at sunset: gunslingers and shapeshifters and ancient animal gods whose human faces never outlast the daylight.

If he ever wants to go home again, he’d better find his missing partner fast. But if he’s caught out after dark, Elim risks succumbing to the old and sinister truth in his own flesh – and discovering just how far he’ll go to survive the night.

The first book in an epic fantasy Western series, One Night in Sixes tells the story of the fragile peace between the industrialized east and the indigenous west – and how it threatens to fall to pieces when two strangers cause a terrible accident. Recommended for fans of the Western mythos of Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, the post-war frontier dynamics of Firefly and Deep Space Nine, and the multicultural fantasy realms of Ursula K. LeGuin.


“Clearly written and engaging” – Publishers Weekly

“This author can really write. If you loved Stephen King’s Dark Tower series – or even if you’re a hardened Cormac McCarthy fan – you will find this book right inside your wheelhouse. Living, witty dialogue, and a familiar-yet-strange world inhabited by vivid characters. I loved it.” – Paul Kearney, author of The Ten Thousand, Hawkwood and the Kings, and A Different Kingdom

“Sixes is a tinderbox of a town with tensions just waiting to go off – and Sil and Elim provide the match to set the volatile town ablaze.” – GCE

“One Night in Sixes tears the covers off the Western and Fantasy genres and turns them into something that will grip you from the first page to the last.” – Rebellion




Complex. Unconventional. Fantastic.

Incredibly rich world-building, and characters that are both familiar and fantastical drive this wild ride of a story by Arianne “Tex” Thompson.  In true fashion of the masters, the traditional Western fiction genre unfolds on the pages as the author skillfully weaves it into a setting of epic fantasy proportions. Sixes is not your typical town on the Frontier.  And things are much, MUCH stranger than you could have expected from a traditional Western trope.  

Not an easy or quick read, and it takes a large chunk at the beginning of the book to get the dust stirred up, good and proper.  But lovers of mixed genres or complex and unconventional fantasies will want to give this one the patience to get past it.  The writing is brilliant.  Highly recommended.

Arianne “Tex” Thompson is a home-grown Texas success story. After earning a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s in literature, she channeled her passion for exciting, innovative, and inclusive fiction into the Children of the Drought – an internationally-published epic fantasy Western series from Solaris. Now a professional speaker and instructor for the Writers Path at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Tex is blazing a trail through writers’ conferences, workshops, and fan conventions around the country – as an endlessly energetic, relentlessly enthusiastic one-woman stampede.
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November 5-November 14, 2017
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Interview: Melissa Eastlake, Author of the new YA Fantasy Release, THE UNCROSSING

Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?

The Uncrossing is a YA fantasy novel. I love how fantasy stories put characters in extreme situations that can reveal deeply human truths, and I also love playing with fun, high-concept stories.

Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?

Like many writers, I’ve loved to read and write since before I can remember—my mom is a devoted reader, too, and brought us up reading stories every night. An important moment I remember is when my second grade teacher gave me a copy of The BFG—I think once I opened it, I didn’t close it again until I was done!

How long have you been writing?

The short answer is, for my entire life! Longer: I studied creative writing (along with communications) in college, but took a break for a couple of years after that to recover from burnout and focus on my day-job career. I ended up learning a ton about writing and editing from my marketing jobs, which informed my writing when I returned to it, about five years ago.

What cultural value do you see in writing/reading/storytelling/etc.?

I think in the largest sense, being able to share and pass down our stories is culture. Also, I’m a big believer in the way books help us learn empathy, standing inside a character’s head.

What was the hardest part of writing this book?  

I came to the book with a good amount of experience writing and revising, but this one required more grit than I’ve ever had to use, putting it through drafts and revisions, first on my own and then with my editor. Building that work ethic like a muscle was probably the hardest, though certainly also very rewarding, part of writing the book.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

The Uncrossing is a Rapunzel retelling full of fairytale tropes, and putting in all those little references was definitely fun for me!

Are there underrepresented groups or ideas featured if your book?  If so, discuss them.

The Uncrossing is a queer fairytale, an exploration of how to make that happily-ever-after in an unjust, broken world. I’m a queer woman and it was core to the premise from the beginning.

What did you find most useful in learning to write?  What was least useful or most destructive?

What was most useful to me was learning the distinction between craft and process. When we talk about “learning to write,” we have to do both, but I spent a lot of time over-focusing on other writers’ processes, or trying to build a magical process of my own. Once I set that aside and let it form more naturally, instead focusing on concrete craft elements like conflict, character development, and line editing, I found my writing grew exponentially.

Are you a full-time or part-time writer?  How does that affect your writing?

I’m a part-time writer with a day job. It’s a lot to balance and can definitely be overwhelming at times—sometimes I fantasize about how much I could get done if I didn’t have the day job! On the other hand, though, having a steady income and solid insurance has unquestionably given me the stability I need to get writing done, and I’m extremely grateful for my job’s flexibility.

What do you like to read in your free time?

I read a lot of YA, romance, and fantasy, which I write in, and I also read widely in other genres, especially queer books. Sometimes, especially when I’m revising, I’m a little too focused on my own writing to read most other books, but during those times I find comics and graphic novels perfect.

Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?

I get a lot of “writing” done while walking the dogs—which basically means I figure it all out in my head, then rush back to get it written down before I forget!

What book do you wish you could have written?

This might be a cheat answer, but: there’s this book (about dragons!) hanging out on my hard drive that I have tried so many times, in so many drafts, to get right. It keeps stalling, and I can’t really figure out why. So, real talk—that book! Maybe one day.

Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you to write?

I loved Francesca Lia Block’s books as a teen—she definitely inspired me to tell my stories, and to believe that kind of unique, contemporary magic belonged in the pages of a book.

How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?

I love playing with names! In The Uncrossing, it was important that the characters’ names fit their cultural backgrounds, as well as having a feel or connotation that fit. The main characters, Luke and Jeremy, are both biblical references, but I try not to have every character’s name have the same kind of reference or meaning.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

I would like to be able to make myself Godzilla-tall or Thumbelina-tiny at will—like the eat me-drink me in Alice in Wonderland, but without the hassle of the food and drink.



About The Uncrossing:

Luke can uncross almost any curse—they unravel themselves for him like no one else. So working for the Kovrovs, one of the families controlling all the magic in New York, is exciting and dangerous, especially when he encounters the first curse he can’t break. And it involves Jeremy, the beloved, sheltered prince of the Kovrov family—the one boy he absolutely shouldn’t be falling for.

Jeremy’s been in love with cocky, talented Luke since they were kids. But from their first kiss, something’s missing. Jeremy’s family keeps generations of deadly secrets, forcing him to choose between love and loyalty. As Luke fights to break the curse, a magical, citywide war starts crackling, and it’s tied to Jeremy.

This might be the one curse Luke can’t uncross. If true love’s kiss fails, what’s left for him and Jeremy?




Melissa Eastlake

About Melissa Eastlake:

Melissa Eastlake’s debut novel, The Uncrossing, is coming in 2017 from Entangled Teen. She is a 2017 Lambda Literary Fellow and lives in Athens, Georgia with her partner and their dogs.

Author Links:

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Guest Post: Mary Lindsay, author of the new YA PNR Release, HAVEN


Writing is my Haven (See what I did there?)

I’m so excited to be on The Librarian Talks today! It’s been a crazy week for me answering interviews and doing a couple of podcasts for my new novel, HAVEN.

(releasing TODAY, November 7, 2017 in hardcover and ebook)

One of the most common questions I receive is, “Have you always wanted to be a writer?”

Short answer: No.

I never wanted to be a writer growing up. I successfully avoided all creative writing classes and projects all the way through college, even faking sick in grade school on poetry days. Creating something original terrified me.

Becoming a writer happened unexpectedly as the result of my losing a game of “Chicken” with my eleven-year-old daughter. Losing was one of the best things to happen to me. She was complaining about how heroes in young adult books she’d read believed themselves to be evil or cursed. Her rant morphed into how she believed heroes should be written and finally, to make her feel better, I bluffed and said, “Hey, tell you what… I’ll write that book for you.” I never expected to carry through. I mean, that’s the stuff of nightmares for me. I figured she’d be satisfied and we’d forget all about it.

Nope. She called my bluff.

She looked at me with those trusting, huge eyes and said, “Really? You would really write a book for me?”

Well, crap. Busted. I had no choice but to go through with it…sort of. Surely, after a chapter of the certain garbage I’d produce, she’d beg me to stop and I’d be off the hook. Instead, she loved the first chapter and asked for more.

After that, I was hooked. Completely and totally obsessed with writing—the very thing I’d avoided my entire life. Thirty days later, I handed her the last chapter of the seven-hundred-page manuscript, which, needless to say was not my finest work. But, it was my first work and led to where I am right now, celebrating my tenth published book.

Writing, once my personal hell, became my safe haven. << Look at that blatantly obvious segue into telling you about my book.




About HAVEN:

“We all hold a beast inside. The only difference is what form it takes when freed.”

Rain Ryland has never belonged anywhere. He’s used to people judging him for his rough background, his intimidating size, and now, his orphan status. He’s always been on the outside, looking in, and he’s fine with that. Until he moves to New Wurzburg and meets Friederike Burkhart. 

Freddie isn’t like normal teen girls, though. And someone wants her dead for it. Freddie warns he’d better stay far away if he wants to stay alive, but Rain’s never been good at running from trouble. For the first time, Rain has something worth fighting for, worth living for. Worth dying for.




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All About Mary:


Mary Lindsey is a multi award-winning, RITA® nominated author of romance for adults and teens. Her books Shattered Souls and Fragile Spirits have been selected for the 2017 Spirit of Texas Reading Program. 

Mary lives on an island in the middle of a river. Seriously, she does. When not writing, she wrangles her rowdy pack of three teens, two Cairn Terriers, and one husband. Inexplicably, her favorite animal is the giant anteater and at one point, she had over 200 “pet” Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches. The roaches are a long story involving three science-crazed kids and a soft spot for rescue animals. The good news is, the “pet” roaches found a home… somewhere else.



Interview with SD Grimm, YA Author of SUMMONER

Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? I’m a geek to the core. I have fandoms. I have made a few costumes that I’ve worn to conferences. I have always loved Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. I still believe that unicorns could possibly exist. Fantasy and Science Fiction are my jam. I watch, read, write, and breathe these genres.

How long have you been writing? I started writing in grade school—a story about a lost sock that was actually an adventure story about a sock looking for his family. Since then, I really loved writing. But I started writing with the goal of getting published eight years ago.

What kind(s) of writing do you do? I write mostly fiction. I have written some articles, but by love and focus in writing is young adult fantasy and sci-fi. Mostly novels, because then I get to spend more time with my characters. But I have done a number of short stories and even flash fiction pieces.

What was the hardest part of writing this book?  To be honest, it was digging into my own emotional experiences that coincided with some of my characters’ experiences to get some raw, honest scenes. Yeah, the whole thing about writers pouring their blood, sweat, and tears into their work, it’s real. J

What did you enjoy most about writing this book? The characters. I LOVE Allie and Cody. I love their story. It was so much fun to write.

Are there underrepresented groups or ideas featured if your book?  If so, discuss them. Yeah. Cody, my main hero, is someone with a disability. It doesn’t define him, but it’s part of who he is. I got to talk to and learn from some amazing people while researching Cody’s specific disability, and one thing I took away from their openness and honesty that I wanted to make sure came through was that there’s no reason why he can’t. Yeah. Some things are harder. Some things are different. But a hero with a disability? Why not?

Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work?  What impact have they had on your writing? Maggie Stiefvater for one. I love her characters. There’s something lyrical in the way she writes. The feels. OMGsh the feels. Reading her stuff made me want to create amazing characters and emotions people could remember after closing the books. As a kid the Chronicles of Narnia by C.C. Lewis made me want to be a writer. I loved the imagination. The way he could whisk me into another world and open my eyes to things I’d never imagined existed. I wanted to be able to draw readers in like a partially opened wardrobe beckons adventurers.

What do you like to read in your free time? YA and adult fantasy and sci-fi. And I also love a good mystery as well as some horror and thrillers. I read more than one book at a time so I can pick and choose depending on my mood. I also read non-fiction if it has to do with personality psychology or animal behavior.

What projects are you working on at the present? Oooh. So many. I have two books coming out in the beginning of 2018 (book two in my Children of the Blood Moon YA fantasy series and the first book in a new YA urban fantasy trilogy). I just started plotting the start to a new magical realism series with some Greek mythology elements. I am putting finishing touches on my YA sci-fi. And I have a fairy tale retelling I’m delving into edits for. So a lot. lol

Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)? If it’s strange to write out things on paper to involve one creative area of my brain, make lists of scenes and characters, etc., to involve another, and then put those lists and notes into two other programs (aside from the physical notebook) so that I can organize it different ways, then yes. I do.

What book do you wish you could have written? The Scorpio Races. I love mythological beasts and connections to animals.

If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters? I’d pick Anna Sophia Robb for Allie and Zach Roerig for Cody.

If you had a superpower, what would it be? Reading people’s minds and emotional states.

Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before? So many! I want to go to Greece and Rome and the UK and Egypt.

If you were an animal in a zoo, what would you be? The red panda. Little, hides from view, cuddly-looking, but actually has really sharp teeth.

If you could have any accents from anywhere in the world, what would you choose? Irish or Scottish. Probably because I write out and think words like dinna and couldna but am always afraid of how they’ll sound if I were to actually say them.




S.D. Grimm’s first love in writing is young adult fantasy and science fiction, which is to be expected from someone who looks up to heroes like Captain America and Wonder Woman, has been sorted into Gryffindor, and identifies as rebel scum. Her patronus is a red Voltron lion, her spirit animal is Toothless, and her favorite meal is second breakfast.She is represented by Julie Gwinn of the Seymour Agency, her office is anywhere she can curl up with her laptop and at least one large-sized dog, and you can learn more about her upcoming novels at www.sdgrimm.com

Author Links: Website |  Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon | Entangled Publishing



When Allie’s best friend dares their group to play a game in a cemetery—something she calls “witching”—Allie never expects what it might mean for her. When she plays, she doesn’t just find bodies, she summons their souls. But one soul wants more than Allie is willing to give.

And the boy next door could be the key to saving her.

Cody Burkhart. Straight from Montana, cowboy hat wearing, and smoking hot, he’s just the thing to help Allie become “normal” again after the death of her mother. And as her newly appointed Guardian, he’s also just the thing to help Allie ward off the vengeful spirit who’s after her soul. Except Cody has his own demons to slay that keep him closed off. But as the full moon approaches, so does their only chance to break the curse, and Cody will have to make the biggest sacrifice of all.


Guest Post: Five Tips for Taming Your Muse by Kat Colmer


Five Tips for Taming Your Muse

One question frequently asked of authors is “Where do you get your inspiration?” For me, that spark of “what if?” can come at any time and from anywhere: an overheard conversation in a café, a news headline, an image on a billboard, a line in a book. Getting inspiration is the easy part. The hard part is kicking your muse into gear to do something with that initial kernel of inspiration, and if your muse is anything like mine, you’re tearing your—and possibly her—hair out almost every day to get her to cooperate.

My muse is called Mildred. Don’t let the mild mannered name fool you; she is an obstinate, fickle, and self-serving creature who, more often than not, deserts me at the drop of a hat. So I’ve come up with five strategies to keep her in line.

  • Exercise

Our characters might be rushing around in their story worlds, fighting monsters, slaying demons, or just running for a cab, but a writer’s job involves a lot of bums on seats. Well, at least your own bum on your own seat. Our work is very sedentary and Mildred is one of those twitchy, flighty, can’t sit still kind of muses. Taking her for a walk, jog, or a gym session, is a good way to help her regain focus. Even a twenty-minute stroll around the block can be enough to help her sit still and focus on the story.

  • Music

Once you’ve got your muse in her chair, a good way to channel her thoughts into a creative direction is to play her some music. Choosing something that reflects the mood of the scene you’re writing is best, otherwise you might end up with a too soppy fight scene or too aggressive dialogue during what was meant to be a romantic exchange. I listened to Two Steps From Hell—a movie trailer music production duo—while writing my debut YA paranormal romance, as it gave me a nice mix between epic, fast paced pieces and reflective, romantic tracks. Check out their music here: https://www.youtube.com/user/TwoStepsFromTheMusic

  • Reading

This is a crucial point. To keep your muse at the top of her game, she needs to see what other muses are helping their authors create. An innately proud animal, this will have her sitting up straight and pointing to the keyboard, urging you to put words on the page, so that she can show off the awesome stories she’s helped create.

  • Time with other muses

Just like it’s crucial to read other writing that inspires, it’s also good to get together with other like-minded authors. This way your muses can hang out together at the bar and bounce ideas off one another while sipping away at something bubbly. Mildred would never admit it, but she has my critique partners’ muses to thank for many of the ideas she claims as her own.

  • Chocolate

Chocolate is an excellent muse incentive! Mildred will happily help me dig myself out of a plot hole or provide an idea for a story twist if I dangle the prospect of some chocolate in front of her. Note: it’s a good idea to combine point five with point one, for obvious reasons.

If none of the above work and your muse still refuses to cooperate, tie the little blighter to a chair and force her to inspire words onto the page. After all, she lives in your head—so no one will hear her furious complaining but you!





Love curses don’t exist. At least that’s what Jonas, master of the meaningless hookup, tells himself when a letter warns him he’s an Eros Guardian cursed to endure a test of true love or forever be alone. His levelheaded longtime friend Cora figures it’s a revenge prank by an ex. The way Jonas stamps each girlfriend with a weeklong use-by date, it serves him right.

But when an impulsive kiss between the two friends reveals potential for more, Cora becomes the target of the Groth Maar: demons sent to wipe out the Eros Guardian line. And suddenly the curse becomes dangerously real.

Breaking the curse means Jonas’s biggest challenge yet. Failure guarantees Cora’s death. But success may cost him his own life…and the loss of his carefully guarded heart to the one girl far too sensible to fall for him.

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Entangled Publishing




Kat Colmer is a Sydney-based Young and New Adult author who writes coming-of-age stories with humor and heart. The recipient of several writing awards, she has won the Romance Writers of Australia First Kiss contest, as well as the Romance Writers of America On the Far Side contest for her debut Young Adult Paranormal Romance.

Kat has a Master of Education in Teacher Librarianship and loves working with teens and young adults. When not writing, teaching, or reading the latest in YA fiction, Kat spends time with her husband and two children.

Website | Instagram |  Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Entangled Publishing

Interview: Tonya Kuper, author of the YA New Release, ENIGMA

How long have you been teaching the Writing Young Adult Literature Writer’s Workshop?

I’ve taught WYAWW since spring of 2016 at a local university, so it is still relatively “new.”

What is your approach to teaching writing? How are your classes structured?

My writer’s workshop class is a little different than most offered on our campus. Instead of reading and writing short stories, my class focuses on reading current YA literature and students start writing a novel length YA manuscript. We start with defining YA lit, various methods for plot/or not plotting, and each week build on writing elements such as character development, setting, etc.

What are some special considerations for teaching how to write for a Young Adult audience?

The one thing I always remind my students of is that kids ALWAYS read up. Technically, YA is geared toward 12 years old and older. My son, like many students, was ready to start reading some YA novels in fourth and fifth grade because he needed longer books, a wider vocabulary, etc. BUT he was only 10, so he wasn’t ready for more mature content. I encourage my students to have their audience in mind when writing, younger YA versus upper YA, or even more specific than that.

Can you give us an example of YA literature that you use with your class to show good writing?

Well, students are required to about seven YA novels through a semester (and the list changes every semester), but I also use tons of examples from a plethora of authors because “good writing” looks different to everyone. One book I’ve used a couple times is A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, a younger YA story. I’ve also used An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir, Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and many, many more.

What are the main things you would like your students to take away from your class?

I want them to know Young Adult Literature is all about feelings, no matter if it’s high concept, a quiet story, a non-conventional novel, or whatever. It’s about letting young adults know that they are seen, heard, represented, not alone, loved, unique, and valuable. Craft-wise, I want them to remember GMC – Goal, Motivation, Conflict.

What two pieces of advice would you give to someone just starting out in writing for Young Adults?

Make sure you know the main conflict and make the reader feel.

Has teaching writing for YA affected your approach to writing YA?

Yes, I think I’ve become even more aware of how I write, what I caution my students about, what I encourage them to include. You know the saying, “practice what you preach?” Welp, that definitely fits. 😊

Are there underrepresented groups or ideas featured if your book?  If so, discuss them.

I try to mirror the world in my writing, so there is a diverse set of characters. The most underrepresented group/idea in Enigma is the occurrence of anxiety (anxiety attacks) in Josie. I wanted to show that even a sort of super-hero suffers from anxiety, that there doesn’t have to be stigma around mental health issues.

Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?

I fell in love with reading/books in second grade. Some of the first books I remember being addicted to was The Celery Stalks at Midnight, Bunnicula, and anything else by James Howe.

How long have you been writing?

I started writing my first manuscript the summer of 2009.

Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?

I loved all the “firsts” as a teenager and I love remembering them. Our teen years are so transformative, I was drawn to writing those characters. As far as scifi goes, I grew up reading and watching scifi and fantasy, so it’s just a part of me.

What do you think most characterizes your writing?

I think the fact that I write in a way that is approachable to anyone. The dialogue in my writing is pretty natural and relatable.

What do your plans for future projects include?

I’m starting to work on a secret YA manuscript this summer!

If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?

Katherine McNamara, the star of Shadowhunters on Freeform, would play Josie – in fact, she was my inspiration for Josie way back in 2013 – and, though he’s a bit too old, Chase Crawford would be Reid.

Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before? Ireland. (ME TOO)




Worst. Road Trip. Ever.

Escaping with Reid Wentworth should have been fun, but how can I enjoy it when I just (accidentally) killed someone, my mom and brother are in danger, and the Consortium is trying to enslave humanity? (Yeah, they aren’t fooling around.) So feeling something for Reid Wentworth was not part of the plan. Trying to help unite the Resistance against the Consortium means I can’t be distracted by hot boys.

The Resistance secret hideout isn’t exactly the rebel base of my dreams. A traitor there wants me dead, but we have no idea who it is. And with both the Resistance and the Consortium trying to control me, the only one I can trust is Reid. If we’re going to have any chance of protecting my family, controlling my unstable powers, and surviving the clash between the Oculi factions, I’m going to have to catch this traitor. By using myself as bait.



Tonya 2.jpg

Tonya Kuper writes young adult science fiction and contemporary novels. She first fell in love with reading in elementary school, which eventually lead to earning a BA in Elementary Education and a MS in Reading Education, but she never thought she’d write a novel, let alone several. When Tonya isn’t writing, she teaches Young Adult Literature Writing Workshop at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, laughs as much as possible, loves music, and nerds-out over Star Wars, Marvel, Sherlock, and all things pop-culture. She lives in Omaha, NE with her husband and two rad boys.


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