Hope you are all enjoying the first week of YA MONTH? Today I have the wonderful Karen Gregory on my blog with a guest post on being a debut author and first author events.
Writer. Single mother. All round plate spinner. Debut COUNTLESS out now with @KidsBloomsbury. Represented by Claire Wilson at RCW.
Being a debut – the first author events
When I first got the news that Countless was going to be published, author events seemed like the haziest of distant possibilities. I’ve now attended a few and they are rapidly turning into one of the best things about being an author, but they’re not without their challenges! Here’s a quick rundown from the perspective of a very new author:
The Highs (or why book people are awesome)
It probably goes without saying, but meeting readers, bloggers and other authors and publishing people has been absolutely fantastic. It’s such an honour to be approached by someone who has read Countless and let me know it has meant something to them. The road to publication can seem so long it’s easy to think your book will never have any actual real-life readers beyond your family and friends, so I am constantly astonished and delighted whenever anyone takes the time to come and say hi or to bring a copy of Countless for signing.
I was lucky enough to attend my first ever YALC last week, and despite having laryngitis and not being to talk masses, I loved every minute! There was such a welcoming vibe as soon as the lift doors opened onto the YALC floor. Chatting to other authors, especially debuts like me, really helped me to see lots of my worries and fears were totally common. Without exception, the more experienced authors I met were kind, generous and happy to chat to a newbie and the panels I attended were really interesting and fun.
I’ve also loved doing panels with other authors. They’ve provoked some really interesting and thought-provoking questions from audiences and great discussions. It’s fascinating to hear about how other authors approach their work and it definitely confirms there is no one-size-fits-all approach to writing, or journey to publication.
The Challenging Bits
This is the big one for me. I imagine most people get at least a small amount of nerves before public speaking and I’m no exception! My first event after the Countless launch consisted of a reading and conversation with the lovely Penny Joelson, author of I Have No Secrets (which you should definitely read, because it’s brilliant). It was the first time I’d ever read from Countless in front of people and my hands and voice were definitely on the shaky side. Luckily, I remembered the advice to, ahem, clench your buttocks and it actually does work to stop shaking hands! Hopefully I wasn’t pulling too many weird faces at the time …
As I’ve done each event, the nerves have become slightly more manageable and it really helps to talk to other authors and realise most people feel the same way.
Travel (AKA looking confused and getting lost)
I’m one of those people who gets anxious about travelling to new places and I can’t stress how important it is to leave plenty of time to get to and from events so you don’t arrive in a panicked, sweaty mess. So far, I’ve had the Sat Nav conk out on me, braved the M25 (I’m a nervy motorway driver), had my train out of Paddington delayed by several hours and sat in an apocalyptically deserted tube train with only a pigeon for company. And oddly, it’s all been fine and has given me more confidence I can manage when things don’t quite go to plan. So perhaps this one isn't so much a low as a reminder that travelling to new places might be daunting, but it is also totally doable.
I genuinely can’t think of any other lows! It’s been such a privilege and pleasure so far and a real surprise for someone who thought their introvert tendencies would mean they’d struggle at book signings and events. My biggest piece of advice for anyone new to attending book events is to take a deep breath, be brave and strike up a conversation. Plenty of other people will be feeling as nervous as you and the vast majority of the time you’ll find interesting, lovely and warm people to chat to who love books as much as you do!
'Is there anything that's concerning you?' Felicity says. 'College, home, boyfriends?' Though she's more or less smiling at this last one. I don't smile. Instead, I feel my face go hot. Silence stretches as wide as an ocean. When I look up, Felicity has this expression on her face like she's just seen Elvis. Slowly, she leans forward and in a gentle voice I've never heard her use before she says, 'Have you done a pregnancy test?' When Hedda discovers she is pregnant, she doesn't believe she could ever look after a baby. The numbers just don't add up. She is young, and still in the grip of an eating disorder that controls every aspect of how she goes about her daily life. She's even given her eating disorder a name - Nia. But as the days tick by, Hedda comes to a decision: she and Nia will call a truce, just until the baby is born. 17 weeks, 119 days, 357 meals. She can do it, if she takes it one day at a time ...
Hello everyone and welcome to day 6 of YA MONTH! Today I have the wonderful Caighlan Smith, author of Children Of Icarus on my blog today with a fun guest post! Definitely give it a read and then check out her book. It is fantastic and one of my favourites from last year.
As a child, Caighlan Smith loved to build and navigate pillow mazes. An adoration of Greek mythology soon followed. Canadian born and raised, Smith studied English Literature and Classics at Memorial University of Newfoundland. Her first novel was published when she was nineteen.
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6 YA Fantasy World-Building Must-Haves According to an Author with Particular but Probably not that Uncommon Tastes which aren’t Soundly Justified Herein but Nonetheless Have Been Organized into a Checklist for You
I have just promised you a checklist, in so many irregularly capitalized words. But I also mentioned I’m an author, and we authors (are supposed to) know how to build suspense. Ergo, I am making you wait on the checklist (provided you don’t subvert my maniacal plans and skip down to said checklist). Now, let me take a moment to acquaint you with my latest novel, Children of Icarus, published summer 2016 and available at the usual places. Children of Icarus, in one sentence, is the story of a girl trapped in a labyrinth of monsters. When I say monsters, I don’t just mean the figurative “we all have our inner demons and oh-boy do survivalist settings bring them out!” I mean literal monsters. Claws, scales, wings, etc. I like monsters. Which brings me to a neat and definitely not contrived segue to the afore-promised checklist.
Any kind of monsters will do. You can snag some monstrous prototypes from mythology (as I may or may not obviously do in Children of Icarus). You can throw together some Lovecraftian horrors. Or everything could just be dragons. It is all acceptable.
Hydration is important. So is personal hygiene. (Fun Fact about water: you can put krakens in it.)
3. Not Too Much Water
Some of us are not strong swimmers.
In constructing a world, I love it when the writer has clearly paid attention to the atmosphere – a gloomy world with grey skies and Gothic architecture? Yes, please. A fluffy, lighthearted world with cloud castles, which still manages to make your skin prickle, because it turns out all the fluff is covering up a corrupt cyborg government? Sure. A starkly realistic and thought-provoking world despite the banshees in helicopters? Okay. Atmosphere – strong atmosphere – gives your world its own unique flavour. It also protects your world inhabitants from the sun.
5. World Inhabitants
It is a grave injustice to create a lovely, geologically diverse, monster-strewn world and not let anyone inhabit it but the monsters. You don’t want the monsters to eat each other, do you? No, of course not. That would be a disaster.
6. Home Base
Every story needs a solid opening location – a square one, a District 12, a Pallet Town. Somewhere our intrepid and/or incompetent and probably ridiculously attractive (whether they know it or not) young adult protagonists can (1) begin their epic quest, (2) take their first steps to unravelling the dystopian empire, (3) return to at the end of the prophesized supernatural wars, (4) abandon because it is boring and life – and, more importantly, the novel – should be exciting, or (5) attend high school. Yep. Sometimes home base is the always-and-forever-only-setting-in-this-story base. And you know what? If that forever home base is one with chimeras lurking in the dumpster behind the old diner, then I’m happy to put it on this checklist.
So there you go. That is my checklist for YA world-building must-haves. Do I always follow it in my writing? No. Unfortunately, I let myself down over and over again. For instance, many of my story ideas feature worlds without enough water. Or enough atmosphere (see: stories in space). BUT does Children of Icarus check all the boxes on this checklist? If there were boxes, it definitely does, yes. So does the sequel, Children of Daedala, which comes out spring 2018. Spoiler: There are monsters.
It's Clara who's desperate to enter the labyrinth and it's Clara who's bright, strong and fearless enough to take on any challenge. It's no surprise when she's chosen. But so is the girl who has always lived in her shadow. Together they enter. Within minutes, they are torn apart forever. Now the girl who has never left the city walls must fight to survive in a living nightmare, where one false turn with who to trust means a certain dead end.
Today on YA Month I have Carlie Sorosiak on the blog with an interview with Cora from Teapartyprincess definitely check out her wonderful blog and thank you for taking part!
Carlie has written a book called If Birds Fly Back and it is truly one of the best books I have read this year, my full review is on my review page but, it is just fantastic and I cannot wait to read it again.
Carlie Sorosiak grew up in North Carolina and holds two master's degrees: one in English from Oxford University and another in Creative Writing and Publishing from City University, London. Her life goals include travelling to all seven continents and fostering many polydactyl cats. She currently splits her time between the US and the UK, hoping to gain an accent like Madonna's.
Website - Twitter
1. If you could describe your own book in five words, what would they be?
Romance in the Florida sunshine.
Ooo! Or this:
Nerdy cuteness, astrophysical mysteries, love!
2. There are some very complicated family relationships, what were the hardest parts about writing them?
I think the hardest part was ensuring that every point of view came across and that every character (even if he or she had a somewhat difficult personality) remained sympathetic. Other than that, it came rather naturally. I have a very complicated family history, so I'm used to the complexity!
3. IBFB is a little bit nerdy, what was the most interesting fact you discovered while writing it?
Oh, so many! It's really challenging to pick just one! Okay, here it goes: the "Hairy Ball Theorem" that Sebastian references translates to the "Combed Hedgehog Theorem" in German. What are the odds?!
4. If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring writers, what would it be?
Take advice from people you trust, and everyone else's advice with a bucket of salt. Lots and lots of people will have opinions about your writing, and you have to know the voices to listen to.
Also, drop the "aspiring" in "aspiring writer"! If you're seriously putting words on paper, then you're a writer. Own it! :)
5. What are you working on next?
I'm in copyedits for my second novel, which is a standalone contemporary with snow and a dinosaur park and kissing and possibly a little bit of magic.
Linny has been living life in black and white since her sister Grace ran away, and she's scared that Grace might never come back.
When Linny witnesses the return to Miami of a cult movie star long presumed dead, she is certain it's a sign. Surely Alvaro Herrera, of all people, can tell her why people come back - and how to bring her sister home?
Sebastian has come to Miami seeking his father, a man whose name he's only just learned. An aspiring astrophysicist, he can tell Linny how many galaxies there are, how much plutonium weighs and how likely she is to be struck by a meteorite. But none of the theories he knows are enough to answer his own questions about why his father abandoned him, and why it left him in pieces.
As Sebastian and Linny converge around the mystery of Alvaro's disappearance - and return - their planets start to collide. Linny's life is about to become technicolor, but finding the answers to her questions might mean losing everything that matters.
I have the wonderful Taylor Brooke on my blog today with a wonderful blog post about own voices and mental health. She is a beautiful writer and this post shows it. Her new book is out in September and it sounds amazing!
Taylor Brooke is a traveling story teller, believer in magic and a science fiction junkie. After fleshing out a multitude of fantastical creatures as a special effects makeup professional, Taylor turned her imagination back to her true love—books. When she’s not nestled in a blanket typing away on her laptop, she can be found haunting the local bookstore with a cup of tea, planning her next adventure, and fawning over baby animals. She is the author of Fortitude Smashed (Interlude Press) and The Isolation Series.
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Is This Seat Taken?
Own Voices and Mental Health – The What If’s
But is it your own voice?
How own voices is it, exactly?
So, you actually… you know, experienced that?
You identified a lot of #OwnVoices tags for your latest book. Are you sure they’re all really your own voice? Or is it just a few of them?
I’ve been asked these questions in varying tones since I started writing from an Own Voices perspective. It’s become an unfortunate trend to question the integrity of Own Voices creators, to police their unique take on gender, sexuality, mental illness, chronic illness and so on. I know from firsthand experience that writing authentically is not only daunting, but it’s scrutinized.
So, how Own Voices did I have to be to sit at the table?
Well, to be honest, I didn’t realize I was writing an Own Voices book until it was finished. Fortitude Smashed came out of left field. It was sprung on me in the dead of my first Central Oregon winter after I’d relocated from Southern California. I didn’t know I was writing a story about mental illness until Aiden Maar stepped out of my head and onto the page. His balancing act with his mental health mirrored my own.
After stints of sleeplessness, too many cups of tea and a few hundred pages written, I re-read my manuscript from start to finish.
I didn’t know I’d been sitting at the table until I looked up from the first draft of Fortitude Smashed and recognized where I was. I remember it clearly, the first thought I had after I read the last sentence: Oh no.
Not oh no, I messed up, but oh no, what if I didn’t do dissociative dysthymia any justice? What if people think I’m doing this for attention? What if I didn’t get it right? And low and behold, the question I ask myself regularly, what if they don’t believe me?
At that point in time I hadn’t even considered placing the Own Voices stamp on it. It was a baby book, you know? I’d just written it. I needed to re-write it, polish it, query it, and then I would circle back to the cluster of questions above. All those horrible what if’s. I re-wrote, I polished, I queried and I ultimately signed with Interlude Press (heart-eyes for decades).
Then it happened, the circling back part I’d been putting off. My editor (my amazing, passionate, kind, wonderful editor) asked me how much research I’d done on dissociative dysthymia. I counted the seconds on the phone as I considered how to say it, because I had to say it.
I remember it like I remember how it felt after those few hundred pages and all that tea and too many sleepless nights. I said: Yeah, I have it, so.
And then I laughed, because laughter fixes everything. (Right?)
We talked for a while about the characterization, about what my editing schedule would look like and what I should expect. Not once did my editor back track. After I told her Fortitude Smashed was Own Voices she said okay, great and that was that. No second guessing, no are you sure’s, no show me your research. I’d told someone – the very first someone – that I struggle with my mental health, and the world kept turning.
So, to be honest, I’d been sitting at the Own Voices table the whole time. I just didn’t know it.
Which leads me to this:
You don’t have to be the hardest version of your mental illness to write about it and call it yours.
There’s no qualifier. You don’t have to explain yourself. You’re not carrying the weight of everyone else’s experience. But you do get to put your handprint on your story, and no one can take that from you.
Most of us YA authors (I write YA and NA) are just now branching out and finding our footing in the Own Voices world. I’ve been a part of countless discussions between seasoned authors who still question the authenticity of their writing. I’ve also discussed the peculiarity of putting a stamp on something we’ve been doing for years.
So, you’re at the Own Voices table, right? You’ve got this awesome book idea and you’re ready to hit the keyboard. And then it happens. Not only do you get discouraged, but you don’t know if you’ve endured enough to connect with others. What if I’m not sick enough to write this?
Stop. Full stop. Halt. You shall not pass.
Those what if’s aren’t important. They’re the tiny voices in the back of our mind that we wish we had a volume control for. But as much as everyone says to ignore them, I know I couldn’t. So, here’s what I did instead.
My what if moment came after Fortitude Smashed was in pre-production, but it happens to everyone on their writing journey, I think. At least once. I’ve had thoughts come at me from everywhere: What if I’m not bi enough? What if I don’t disassociate enough? What if, what if, what if?
I started asking myself questions to combat it. The same question with a different ending.
What if my book helps someone? What if someone sees themselves on these pages? What if this story touches someone? What if I make a difference to someone out there who is like me?
What if Fortitude Smashed gives someone a reason to keep going when they want to quit?
It’s okay to reaffirm your identity. It’s okay to say I can do this.
Say it. Say I can do this as often as you need to, because when it comes to mental illness, sometimes I can do this is a challenge all on its own.
But you can. There are plenty of seats at the table, and there are stories that need to be told – stories that only you are equipped to tell. Your unique experience. Your struggle. Your happy ending. You get to have that, if you want it.
So, how Own Voices do you have to be?
Be you. Write from your experience and write from your heart. That’s your VIP entrance, the red rope being pulled aside, your welcome hurrah. It’s okay to write for someone, whether it’s for yourself or for others, or for both.
Despite the what if’s and the policing and the road blocks: You’re allowed.
And despite that tiny voice saying you’re not enough of something, I promise you: You’re enough.
You’re worthy. You’re needed.
You have a story to tell, go tell it.
After scientists stumbled across an anomalous human hormone present during moments of emotional intimacy, further research created the ability to harness the direction of living energy and pinpoint when two lines will merge. Personalized chips are now implanted beneath the thumbnails of every infant, where glowing numbers count down to the moment they will meet their soul mate. Fate is now a calculation.
But loving someone isn’t.
When Shannon Wurther, the youngest detective in Southern California, finds himself face-to-face with Aiden Maar, the reckless art thief Shannon’s precinct has been chasing for months, they are both stunned. Their Camellia Clocks have timed out, and the men are left with a choice—love one another or defy fate.
Day 3 of YA Month is upon us and I have the wonderful Tom Ellen & Lucy Ivison on my blog with an extract from their new book Freshers. An amazing read that shows how the first year of uni goes and it is utterly hilarious and oh so wonderful! They write together so beautifully.
Co-authors of the hilariously funny novels Lobsters and Never Evers, Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison met in the sixth form and have been friends ever since. Lucy is a school librarian at a girls school in central London where she gets most of her inspiration. Tom is a journalist and has written for ShortList, Time Out, Vice, talkSPORT, ESPN and Viz.
Books - twitter
NEW CITY. NEW HOME. NEW FRIENDS. FRESH START … Uni beckons. Phoebe can’t wait, especially since her crush from school will be there. She’ll be totally different once she gets there: cooler, prettier, smarter ... the perfect potential girlfriend. She’ll reinvent herself completely. But Luke’s oblivious, still reeling from the break-up with his ex and trying to find himself along the way. Thrown head-first into a world of new friends, fall-outs, weird societies, parties and social media (and personal) disasters, can Phoebe and Luke survive the year, let alone find each other? A warm, hilarious and perfectly observed coming-of-age comedy about the first year of uni; a story of friendships and feminism, falling apart and discovering who you are, from the much-loved writing partnership of Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison.
Welcome to the second day of YA month. I am so excited about this post and I hope you all enjoy. If you follow me on Twitter you know I got some bloggers involved with this month. I had a few Q&As to do and thought it would be fun to get some bloggers to do the questions for them. So, today we have the wonderful Jenn Bennett with us today with a Q&A from Bex at Myshelfmyself and Amy at GoldenBooksGirl.
Hi Jenn, thank you so much for taking part in this interview! Can you start by telling us a bit about yourself and your novels?
I’m an American writer for both adults and teens. All of my books tend to focus on romance between unique characters (artists, geeks, and loveable weirdos), exploration of different kinds of families, an emphasis on witty banter and sex positivity, and most of them are set in Northern California.
2. What are your tips for writers block?
Talk to someone about it. A friend, family member, partner…someone with whom you feel comfortable. They don’t have to understand the process of writing, and they don’t have to be readers, even. They just need to be a good listener, because if you’re blocked, there’s a reason. And talking about it is like knocking your shoe on a curb to shake a tiny pebble loose that’s been stuck inside. You can’t walk until you get that irritating pebble out!
3. Who are your favourite YA authors?
Right now, Leigh Bardugo, Kiersten White and Stephanie Perkins.
4. You’ve written both series and standalones before – how do they compare and which do you prefer?
Both have advantages/disadvantages. In a series, you don’t have to keep rebuilding your world: your characters and setting are there, waiting for you. But it’s also restraining, because you’re forced to stay true to the world you built while also writing something that isn’t a rehash. Also, writing a character arc over several books can feel tiresome. Standalones are always fresh---new characters, new dynamics, new setting. However, you’re rebuilding the wheel every time, starting from scratch. I’m not sure which I prefer, honestly!
5. Your book, Night Owls, is called The Anatomical Shape of a Heart in America; what is the reason for this?
Night Owls was my original title, which the U.K. (and other international publishers) kept. My former U.S. publisher wanted to change the title. It’s been a source of frustration for me, mostly because readers get confused and think they are two different books. Personally, I prefer shorter titles—easier to remember, less typing for me, and it fits better within social media character limits!
6. I know it’s hard, but if you had to choose – which of your novels is your favourite?
Hmm, not sure. I’m proud of all them. They’re like children: you’re not supposed to favour one over the other!
7. Alex, Approximately published last week, and your next book, Starry Eyes, is out in 2018 – can you tell us any more about it?
Yes! Starry Eyes is about an astronomy-loving girl and a goth boy. They used to date, but something tore them apart. When they end up on a summer camping trip together, their friends abandon them in the California wilderness, and they have to hike their way out. There’s lots of conflict, an adult toy store, a scary campfire story, LGBTQ parents, and steamy kisses inside tents. Oh, and did I mention that I did some artwork for the inside of the book? I did! I’m very excited about this book!
1. Can you describe your books in 5 words for anyone who hasn't read them?
Romantic, offbeat, witty, hopeful, comforting.
2. One of my favourite things about Night Owls was its settings, which I can't remember being the main setting in any other book. What made you want to choose to set the book in San Francisco?
I adore San Francisco. All of my books (so far!) have been set in Northern California, particularly the Bay Area and the coastal area below it—Monterrey, Big Sur, Santa Cruz (which is the town that inspired the setting of Alex, Approximately). My Roaring Twenties historical romance series is set in San Francisco, which I started writing before Night Owls. I used to live in Los Angeles, in Southern California, which is a completely different vibe. I always tell people I’m going to retire in Big Sur (redwood trees, fog, craggy cliffs, stunning Pacific ocean views), where I’ll paint pictures of monsters, drink expensive tea imported from China, and do naked yoga outside my clifftop house. You know, normal stuff!
3. Do you have any preferences about where you write? Do you have any other writing habits?
I write in two places: in my office (which doubles as my paint studio), and in an old Poang IKEA chair in my living room. I need complete silence for writing, no music, as I’m easily distracted, and I write better in the morning, after a good night’s sleep. Also, I do more writing when it’s raining. I suppose I could write more if I were living in a rainier climate. So maybe I shouldn’t retire in Big Sur, after all…
Jenn has a new book out called Alex, Approximately and I can't recommend it enough!
Bailey "Mink" Rydell has met the boy of her dreams. They share a love of films and talk all day - Alex is perfect. Well, apart from the fact that they've never actually met . . . and neither of them knows the other's real name. When Bailey moves to sunny California to live with her dad, who happens to live in the same town as Alex, she decides to track him down. But finding someone based on online conversations alone proves harder than Bailey thought, and with her irritating but charismatic (and potentially attractive?) colleague Porter Roth distracting her at every turn, will she ever get to meet the mysterious Alex?
Have you ever read a book that has left you needing more? That has ended on a cliffhanger and you just need the sequel right after you finished it?
It's so hard waiting for a sequel but, it is always worth it in the end. Waiting makes you crave the sequel even more and when you get it you know you will just devour it because you need answers.
So, here is a list of sequels coming out that I cannot wait for. The first books had me needing more and I cannot wait for these books to finally be out. This book will include sequels I haven't picked up yet and ones that aren't even out. I'm so ready for all of these books. Let me know what in the comments what sequels you're excited for!
The sequel to Reign Of Shadows
Luna and Fowler have escaped the kingdom of Relhok, but they haven’t escaped the darkness. When a battle against the dark dwellers mortally injures Fowler, Luna is faced with a choice: put their fate in the hands of mysterious strangers or risk losing Fowler forever.
Desperate to keep the one bright part of her life alive, Luna accepts the help of soldiers from a nearby kingdom. Lagonia’s castle offers reprieve from the dangerous outside world—until the king discovers both Fowler's and Luna’s true ties to Relhok and their influence over the throne.
Now pawns in each kingdom’s political game, Luna and Fowler are more determined than ever to escape and build the life they’ve been dreaming of. But their own pasts have a tight hold on their hearts and their destinies. Luna must embrace the darkness and fire within her before she loses not only Fowler, but the power she was destined to inherit.
Sequel to And I Darken
Lada Dracul has no allies and no throne. After failing to seize the crown she believes is hers, Lada is out to punish anyone who dares to cross her. Filled with a white-hot rage, she storms the countryside terrorizing the land. But brute force isn't getting her what she wants. And thinking of Mehmed, the sultan she might have been in love with, brings little comfort to her thorny heart. She left him before he could leave her.
Lada needs her brother Radu's subtlety and skill. But Mehmed has sent him to Constantinople as his reluctant spy. Radu longs for his sister's fierce confidence but for the first time in his life, he rejects her unexpected plea for help. Torn between loyalties to faith, to the Ottomans, and to Mehmed, he knows he owes Lada nothing. If she dies, he could never forgive himself, but if he fails in Constantinople, will Mehmed ever forgive him?
Sequel to The Potion Diaries and The Potion Diaries: Royal Tour
Having managed to find her great-grandmother's potion diary, escape the clutches of Emilia Thoth, save her grandfather's memories AND become a Master Alchemist, surely it's time for Sam to have a good, long rest? And maybe, just maybe, a proper date with her boyfriend Zain? But now that Princess Evelyn is married to the evil Prince Stefan and showing symptoms of the Gergon illness, it looks as though Sam's adventures are just beginning. The GOOD news: there might be a cure for the virus spreading like wildfire through the city. The BAD news? It's buried in a remote village in a far-flung country next to an active volcano - and Sam's not the only one after it. With a TV crew trailing Sam's every move and time fast running out, it looks like things are about to... GO VIRAL.
Sequel to Frost Blood
Ice and fire are still at war. Ruby has defeated the tyrannous Frost King, and Arcus, the exiled warrior who captured her heart, has taken his rightful place as ruler of the Frostblood kingdom. But Ruby is the only Fireblood in a castle of frost and ice, and the courtiers will not accept her. Even worse, the dark threat released from the Frost King's melted throne is stalking the land, bent on destruction - and as the one who set it free, only Ruby can stop it. To find the knowledge she needs, she must leave Arcus and journey south to the land of the Firebloods. But the homeland Ruby's never seen is treacherous, and friend and enemy wear the same face. If she's to save both kingdoms, Ruby must figure out who she can trust - and unleash a fire powerful enough to do battle with darkness . .
Sequel to Three Dark Crowns
The battle for the crown has begun, but which of the three sisters will prevail?
With the unforgettable events of the Quickening behind them and the Ascension Year underway, all bets are off. Katharine, once the weak and feeble sister, is stronger than ever before. Arsinoe, after discovering the truth about her powers, must figure out how to make her secret talent work in her favour without anyone finding out. And Mirabella, once thought to be the strongest sister of all and the certain Queen Crowned, faces attacks like never before - ones that put those around her in danger that she can't seem to prevent.
Sequel to Replica
In the world outside of the Haven Institute, Lyra and Caelum are finding it hard to be human-and Lyra, infected at Haven with a terrible disease, finds her symptoms are growing worse. When Caelum leaves without warning, Lyra follows him, seeking a pioneering organization in Philadelphia that might have a cure. But what they uncover there is a shocking connection to their past, even as their future seems in danger of collapsing.Though Gemma just wants to go back to her normal life after Haven, she soon learns that her powerful father has other plans for the replicas-unless she and her boyfriend Pete can stop him. But they soon learn that they aren't safe either. The Haven Institute wasn't destroyed after all, and now Gemma is the one behind the walls.Bestselling author Lauren Oliver brings the Replica duology to a shocking close in Ringer, but like both Gemma and Lyra, you won't be able to leave the world of Haven behind after you've turned the last page.
(US cover as the UK one isn't out yet)
Sequel to The Diabolic
It's a new day in the Empire. Tyrus has ascended to the throne with Nemesis by his side and now they can find a new way forward - one where they don't have to hide or scheme or kill. One where creatures like Nemesis will be given worth and recognition, where science and information can be shared with everyone and not just the elite. But having power isn't the same thing as keeping it, and change isn't always welcome. The ruling class, the Grandiloquy, has held control over planets and systems for centuries- and they are plotting to stop this teenage Emperor and Nemesis, who is considered nothing more than a creature and certainly not worthy of being Empress. Nemesis will protect Tyrus at any cost. He is the love of her life, and they are partners in this new beginning. But she cannot protect him by being the killing machine she once was. She will have to prove the humanity that she's found inside herself to the whole Empire - or she and Tyrus may lose more than just the throne. But if proving her humanity means that she and Tyrus must do inhuman things, is the fight worth the cost of winning it?
Sequel to Rebel Of The Sands & Traitor To The Throne
Once, in the desert country of Miraji, there was a Sultan without an heir. The heir had been killed by his own brother, the treacherous Rebel Prince, who was consumed by jealousy and sought the throne for himself. Or so it was said by some. There were others who said that the Rebel Prince was not a traitor but a hero... In the final battle for the throne, Amani must fight for everything she believes in, but with the rebellion in pieces, and the Sultan's armies advancing across the desert plains, who will lead, who will triumph, who will live and who will die?
Today I am kicking of YA month.
Last year I did a horror month in October and it went down so well I wanted to do something different. YA books are my all time favourite books and they're the ones that got me into reading so why not have a month of celebrating! So, kicking of this month is Chloe Seager author of Editing Emma which comes out 10th August and it is so good! Really funny and has it's drama-the perfect book for any YA reader and, I have a proof copy of this book to giveaway so check out my twitter to find out how you could win.
In the age of social media, we all know the online/offline balance can be a difficult one to strike. Not just in terms of time we’re dedicating to our phones, but in terms of our own personal boundaries and what we’re choosing to share/present. It’s such a common fact of life now that even as I’m typing this, I feel a bit clichéd and boring - yeah, it’s difficult, we all know it’s difficult, what’s new? But given that I grew up on the cusp of ‘the social media age,’ the fact this has become such a common problem will probably always continue to be amazing to me, no matter how normalised it has become. So that’s why I chose to talk about internet honesty for my guest post (and why it’s such a big theme of Editing Emma.)
I thought I’d talk a bit about the different social media outlets you can find me on, and how I stress about the representation of myself differently with each of them
I suppose, by comparison, good old FB is the most ‘honest’ of all my social media accounts. It’s my only ‘closed’ one left, for one thing, so not everyone can see it. It’s also somewhat an accumulation of good photos, embarrassing photos, drunk photos, ugly photos - I choose what I share on there less, because people upload terrible, unflattering photos of me all the time.
Obviously, though, I still stress about how I’m coming off on FB. I just stress about different things, like:
How many friends said happy birthday to me on my wall? How much does it look like people like me?
Two weeks ago, I turned 25. Whilst spending the day enjoying/freaking out about this milestone age, I was also intermittently checking my FB to see who’d said ‘happy birthday.’ I’ll tell you who - mainly people I literally never, ever speak to anymore, or was barely ever friends with. Most of my actual friends sent me a personal message - but did this assuage my anxiety? No. Because they didn’t do it publicly.
Who clicked ‘attending’ on my event?
Even if I know that people are coming, and logically I know that my friends do like me, if people don’t instantly click ‘attending,’ I am still anxious because it looks like no one in the world likes me. (Party for one?)
By comparison to Insta, my Facebook feels positively comforting and homely. Damn, a lot of thought and time goes into Instagram. Here’s what I stress about:
What about this filter? Or this one? Or what about this one that looks exactly the same as the last one? This one really looks better with the photo, but should I consider my overall aesthetic?Agidgdfgjkfnbjgfbnnjbjnnn NO ONE CARES. EXCEPT ME. TRAPPED ALONE IN MY HORRIBLE INSTAGRAM PRISON.
What’s my ‘theme’? WHO AM I?
Books, obviously. Books, phew. Books are my thing. Yep. Except… obviously I don’t just want to be books, I mean I want people to see I’m having a life too so sdjsnfjkjnfdjvndfjnjfj NO ONE CARES.
How many likes did I get? Do people like me?
Yes, because everyone knows the amount of likes you get directly corresponds with how many people actually like you.
How should I balance my tweets so that I come across professional and capable but also like a relatable human being?
God, you know what, let’s not even get started on the strange blend of personal and professional that is Twitter.
In conclusion, I think it’s hard sometimes. And to make it all a little easier for ourselves, we’re obviously all guilty of the odd white lie.
The other day I saw a picture of my friend, all dressed up to go out somewhere, and she looked AMAZING. It made me - in my giant pyjamas, watching Love Island alone on a Friday night - feel quite pathetic. Another friend recently told me the person she had plans with had cancelled on her and that night she was feeling really lonely, but posted a picture anyway. I will never get over how strange it is, how TOTALLY BIZARRE, that this is normal. That this is what we all do sometimes. Of course she took a picture of her hot self when she was feeling really lonely and down and uploaded it on Instagram, making it look like she was having a great night - why wouldn’t she?
There’s so much more to talk about here than I can in a short guest post, and I don’t want to blather on so, I’ll just say that my own, sometimes fraught relationship with social media is why I wanted to write Emma; someone, who, quite literally, has no filter. I wanted to let readers in on the truth of all the insecurities that were sitting behind my screen as a teenager, and hope they might relate to it. Because in amongst the strangeness of everyone becoming celebrities within their own social groups (small scale celebrities, but celebrities nonetheless) it’s been really important for me personally, to step back now and again and laugh at the whole thing, and remind myself this isn’t the complete picture.
So, to practice as I preach, here is a picture of me ‘having a whale of a time,’ when in reality I was having an awful day and feeling incredibly insecure. I admit it: THIS LAUGH IS FAKE.
Here is the photo that got posted of my scenic rowing with my boyfriend, on Lake Bled:
Here is the sweaty, grim reality:
Here is a photo of me that I shared on a night out:
Here - in the spirit of total, COMPLETE honesty - is a drunk selfie of me on the same night, crying my eyes out because I had a massive fight with my friend.
Oh and this one JKS. Clearly I was planning on threatening her with this:
Obviously like anything, social media can be wonderful and sometimes give me a much needed boost, but I think regularly reminding myself that it’s only one aspect of life has helped me to use it in a much healthier way. And a HUGE part of that has been learning to laugh at how fake it can sometimes be, and at myself for joining in with it. Laughter has helped me in low moments, reminding me who I actually am and what I actually care about, when perhaps I’ve let the anxiety of social media take over. I’m crossing my fingers that laughing at Emma might make someone else feel (at least momentarily) less fixated on their social media profiles, too :)
According to Netflix, this is NOT how my teenage life is supposed to look.'
When Emma Nash is ghosted by love of her life Leon Naylor, she does what any girl would do - spends the summer avoiding all human contact, surrounded by the Chewit wrappers he left behind.
Seeing Leon suddenly `in a relationship' on Facebook, however, spurs Emma into action. She vows to use the internet for good (instead of stalking Leon's social media),chronicling her adventures on her new Editing Emma blog.
But life online doesn't always run smoothly.
From finding her mum's Tinder profile, to getting catfished and accidentally telling the entire world why Leon Naylor is worth no girl's virginity... Surely nothing else could go wrong?!
I'm sure you all know that YALC is this weekend and this week everyone is buzzing about how quick it has came and how excited they are.
I, on the other hand, am jealous and sad. I left it too late this year to book YALC off work and then hotel prices and train prices are just crazy expensive so, it just seemed like a no-go for me but, that doesn't mean I'm not super sad I'm not going. Especially since all the publishers are tweeting what books they are bringing and a part of me is crying inside.
So, if you are like me and not going. Here is a list of things to do during YALC -
It's okay to cry and be sad you're not going. They really go all out for YALC and it is basically one of the only YA conventions we have. Just saying, they need to bring it up North now and again.
2. Stalk tweets
Obviously everyone you know and their dog are going YALC and probably post about all online. You'll feel envious when looking at their tweets but won't be able to stop.
3 - Read
If you want to block it all, read! There are so many amazing books out in the world you could just turn off all your devices, curl up with some snacks and read the day away.
So, those are my top 3 tips for things to do if you're not going YALC* - I will be doing all 3.
*obvs not meant to be taken seriously. But still, I'm jealous.
This weekend I attended two blogger events. One in London and the other in Manchester.
The first event was held in London and I was invited to a Beauty And The Beast viewing and then afternoon tea and a book swap.
I was really excited when I got the email since it was such a surprise. The event was held in Covent Garden Hotel, which by the way is super fancy and so lovely I didn't want to leave, they had their own screening room that we all went into to watch Beauty And The Beast to celebrate the DVD release. I love the movie, I saw it when it came out so, when I got this invite I new I had to go. I was lucky enough to bring a friend. Coming from Liverpool to attend an event at 10am isn't fun. We had to get a train at 5:47am to get there early. Even though we where tired we where excited and it was such a wonderful event where I got to meet some other bloggers and people I've been talking to on Twitter.
I also have to say how lovely the staff where at Covent Garden Hotel. They were so nice and attentive and I love when we came in one of the workers, who I sadly didn't get the name off, poured us a drink and showed us in, if that isn't fancy I don't know what is.
It was rather cool watching in a small screening room that was booked just for us.
After the movie, which if you haven't seen by the way you need too it is wonderful!! We where taken into another room for afternoon tea and let me tell you, the food was wonderful. They came round with prosecco and had other drinks on the back tables.
The food was wonderful. The table was filled with scones, sandwiches and loads of little cakes and fillings for the scones. They really went all out and spoiled us. During this time we got to speak to other bloggers and do the book swap. We where all asked to bring a book with a strong female lead to swap at the afternoon tea. I brought Under Rose Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall and I Have No Secrets by Penny Joelson and the book I chose was Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman.
So a big thank you to Juliana for the invite and Sean for greeting us at the event. It was so wonderful and I was so happy that I was invited. I cannot wait to do something like this again!
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