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Thursday, October 1, 2015

Welcome to The YA Scavenger Hunt! (Team Teal!)

Greetings, intrepid travelers on the YA Scavenger Hunt! I'm Diana Renn, your hostess for this leg of your journey. Stop and rest, put your feet up, have a little water and trail mix. I write travel mysteries, so I'm always thrilled to meet fellow adventurers, whether they're trotting across the real globe or the virtual one!

At this stop I'll share a bit of info about me and my books, drop some clues about my Exclusive Bonus Content (which is hosted by someone else), introduce you to my special guest, and hopefully entice you into entering an awesome extra giveaway before I send you back on the trail.

But first, a little orientation in case you're just starting out! You are currently hunting on TEAM TEAL. (I love teal! My whole website is teal!) On this hunt, you'll learn about a whole bunch of amazing authors and their new books, and you'll have access to exclusive material from each participating author, and lots of bonus giveaways. You'll also collect some secret numbers along the way. Add them up and enter for a chance to win the grand prize!

Did you know . . . there are actually EIGHT contests going on simultaneously -- yes, eight different legs of this massive hunt! (There are blue, red, gold, orange, pink, purple and green teams!) You can enter one, some, or all legs. For a complete listing of all the teams and participating authors and the full list of prizes, you can visit the YA Scavenger Hunt Website.

Here are the OFFICIAL YA SCAVENGER HUNT PUZZLE RULES. (If you know what you're doing, veteran travelers, scroll on down. If you're new, please read!)

1. Somewhere on this blog post, I've mentioned my favorite number. It is in a slightly bigger font and written in WHITE (since my whole website is teal!) so it should be easy to spot.

2. As you progress on the hunt, you need to collect all the favorite numbers of everyone on Team Teal. Write them down and add them up when you're done with this leg.

3. Once you've added up all the numbers, you must fill out the official entry form here. You MUST fill this out by noon Pacific time, Sunday October 4, to officially qualify for the grand prize! And what is that grand prize??

4. The prize: One lucky winner will receive at least one signed book from every author on this team. And everyone has chances to enter individual authors' bonus giveaways. (Here is a picture of all the pretty books!)

5. This contest is open internationally. (How cool is that??)

6. If you're under 18, you need a parent or guardian's permission to enter.

OK, I think that's all the rules! Whew!

Before I go on an introduce you to my special guest, I'll tell you a little about myself. I'm the author of three YA mysteries featuring international settings and globetrotting teens: TOKYO HEIST (set in Japan, obviously), LATITUDE ZERO (set in Ecuador), and BLUE VOYAGE (set in Turkey), all published by Viking/Penguin. I'm also the Fiction Editor at YARN (Young Adult Review Network), an award-winning online magazine featuring short-form writing by and for teens.

Somewhere on this blog hop, I've planted my Exclusive Bonus Content about BLUE VOYAGE, my new book coming out on October 13! You'll find pictures from my own Turkish travels, and explanations of scenes and plot points they inspired. Though I confess one of the biggest inspirations for BLUE VOYAGE was a book I read way back when I was 11: a Nancy Drew book about Turkey (sort of), called The Mysterious Mannequin.

And now, I'd like you to meet my guest author! I am hosting . . . Rebekah Purdy!

Rebekah was born and raised in Michigan where she spent many late nights armed with a good book and a flashlight. She's lived in Michigan most of her life other than the few years she spent in the U.S. Army. At which time she got a chance to experience Missouri, Kansas, South Carolina, and California. Rebekah has a business degree from the University of Phoenix and currently works full time for the court system. In her free time, she writes YA stories, anything from YA Fantasy to YA Contemporary Romance. Rebekah also  has a big family (6 kids). She likes to consider her family as the modern day Brady Buch complete with crazy road trips and game nights. When not hiding at her computer, Rebekah enjoys reading, singing, soccer, swimming, football, camping, playing video games, traveling, and hanging out with her family and gazilion pets.

The book she is showcasing in this Hunt is called THE SUMMER MARKED. which was released on September 22 from Entangled. (Please note that the book she's giving away toward the grand prize is the previous one in this series, THE WINTER PEOPLE).

Here's what her brand new book, THE SUMMER MARKED is all about:

The sequel to the chilling Winter People returns to the world of Faerie, and is a romantic and enchanting follow-up. Salome left humankind behind to be with her boyfriend, Gareth, in the Kingdom of Summer. But now forces of darkness are rising. Her happily-ever-after is coming apart, and the Kingdom is on the brink of war.
Newly-single Kadie Byers is on her way home for Thanksgiving, imagining a visit filled with hot chocolate, a hot guy for a little rebound action, and some girl time with her bestie, Salome. Except she receives a message from Salome with two important words: PLEASE HURRY.
When Kadie rushes to help Salome, she’s ripped from the human world and pulled into the kingdoms of Faerie, where she's shocked to learn that Salome's monsters are real, and that she's now at the mercy of one extremely vengeful Winter Queen...

Now both Salome and Kadie must find a way to survive the deadly chaos...or lose themselves to Winter's deadly, icy grasp.

Diana here. I think both these books sound really great! I also love deleted scenes (I accumulate lots of those myself), so I'm thrilled to share one as Rebekah's EXCLUSIVE BONUS CONTENT!

After you check out her deleted scene, please enter my BONUS GIVEAWAY - I'm giving away a whole set of hardcovers of each of my books! And after that, fearless travelers? You'll get the link to the next stop on Team Teal! Ok - ready??


Rebekah says: "Here is a deleted scene between Kadie and Etienne that got cut in the last round of edits for The Summer Marked (so sad it didn’t make the cut—hahaha).  ENJOY!!!!!"

The scenery sped by as the horses darted through the woods. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I imagined what would become of me and Demetria. Etienne loosened his grip and I felt his heated breath against my cheek as he leaned forward.
“Do you still have that dagger I gave you?” he whispered.
My teeth chattered, but I managed to answer, “Yes.”
“Good. You need to listen very closely to what I’m about to say.” He slowed our horse from its death-race, type pace. “I want you to stab me with the dagger.”
“What?” I hissed, attempting to turn to look at him. He couldn’t be serious. Why the hell would I hurt him?
“Not a fatal wound, just stab me in the thigh or something. I’ve already spelled our horse, all I have to do is give him a command and he’ll bring you to a hiding spot near the mountains.”
“But the iron will kill you,” I said. The last thing I wanted to do was kill someone, well, other than Teodor or the queen. But Etienne had been kind to me. Besides, I couldn’t dissect a frog in bio class, what made me think I could hurt a person?
“I’ll only be poisoned a short time if you just stick me in the leg. Listen, the Winter Princes will have to help me before they can go after you. They hold their own kinds’ lives in higher esteem than a human’s. It will buy you time to get ahead of them. This is the only way, Kadie. We either do it now or we’ll be too close to the castle for you to make your getaway.”
“I don’t want to hurt you.”
“I know, but I promise I’ll be fine and I’ll come to you as soon as I can.” His fingers brushed against my hair.
My hand slid up the side of my dress and I glanced around at the other riders as I pulled my dagger from its scabbard. My belly churned as nausea washed over me. If I didn’t do this, I’d have to go back to face punishment from the queen. And this time, I doubted she’d let me live. Body trembling, I lifted the dagger. Shit. I really didn’t want to stab him.
Behind me, I heard Etienne chant something that sounded kind of Irish, but I couldn’t tell.
“Stab me now,” he said.
I closed my eyes and raised the blade. Then, with all my might, I slammed the sharp knife, into his thigh.
He cried out and my lids shot open, I glanced back just in time to see him fall from the saddle, nearly bringing me with him. At that moment, the horse turned then started running in the opposite direction.
“Get her,” I heard Teodor yell.
“No, help me,” Etienne screamed. “She’s stabbed me with iron.”
My horse galloped between the trees. Frantic, I peered over my shoulder to see the Fae bent over Etienne as he lay there on the ground. But it was Demetria’s form that made me cry. She was tied across Teodor’s saddle. Still a prisoner and there was nothing I could do for her now. If I went back, I’d be recaptured.
A sob raked through me as the cold air nipped at my skin. This wasn’t fair. She didn’t deserve to be stuck here. I wanted to turn around. I wanted to go back. But I couldn’t. My heart ached. We’d spent the last several days together. She’d taken a punishment from Teodor to protect me and here I was deserting her.
My hands gripped the reins as we sped into the darkness. My cloak billowed behind me like a deflated ghost trying to keep up. The sound of the horse’s hooves hitting snow was all I could hear. Moonlight spilled across the woodland, casting eerie skeletal like shadows in our path. Every tree and bush started to look like creatures jumping in our way.
My pulse soared out of control as fear settled in. Fear of what might lay in wait in the forest. Fear for Demetria and what would become of her. Fear for Etienne, hoping the wound I gave him didn’t kill him. And fear for myself, wondering if I’d truly escape this awful place.
For hours we travelled through the night, until my horse was lathered in sweat and his breathing labored. He stayed in the creek for the last hour and I could tell he was tired. If he wasn’t careful he’d ride himself to death.
“Whoa, boy, slow down,” I said, tugging on the reins. No way did I want him to fall over dead. Not only would that mean me travelling by foot, but it also meant I’d be alone.
He turned his head slightly and snorted, but kept on moving.
Water splashed up on my boots, where I had my feet secured in the stirrups. Just overhead, the sky started to lighten. Not the pretty pinks or purples of a sunrise. But rather a lighter gray than our drab surroundings. But with daylight coming, that meant we’d be easier to see and find.
My gaze darted around our surroundings. Rocks. Trees. Water. Snow. I pulled my cloak tighter, my eyes burned with fatigue. Where was the horse taking me? At last we came to an area of rocky outcroppings. The horse climbed from the water and skirted behind several large boulders. An overhang from the mountains above created a roof, while the boulders on each side created a wall of sorts. There was a big enough entrance for the horse and I to get through and get in out of the wind and snow.
I slid from the horse’s back, my legs stiff and numb from riding all night. I knew I needed to unsaddle the horse, but my problem was, if I did, I wasn’t sure if I’d know how to get it back on him if we needed to make a quick getaway.
But on the other hand, I didn’t want him to be uncomfortable since he did help save my life. My fingers worked to first unhook the saddlebags from his sides, then I unbuckled his saddle, sliding it off. I set it in the corner then went to dig through the pouches. Inside, I found a couple blankets, a bag of oats for the horse, and some dried meat and cheese.
I bit off a hunk of cheese, then went over to feed the horse.
“Good boy,” I said, petting his neck. “Rest up, I’m not sure how long we’ll be here for.”
Grabbing the blankets, I laid down on the ground, curling up next to the mountainside and as far away from the entrance as I could. I attempted to close my eyes, but every time I did, I thought I heard something outside and I’d sit upright, waiting to see if my pursuers had finally caught up.
At last I gave up trying to sleep and just sat there, listening to the gurgle of the creek and the sound of the wind sneaking through the rocks. Coldness seeped into my bones and the blankets did little to chase the chill away. As daylight drifted away, the shadows of night set in. Back home I never used to mind the dark, but ever since coming here, it frightened. Because now I’d seen what hid in it. The evilness that lurked, waiting for unsuspecting people.
Scared, I reached for a sharp rock to use as a weapon, since I was now without my dagger. The horse let out a soft nicker and I went still, listening intently.
From outside our hiding place, I heard the distinct sound of crunching snow. Footsteps. Panic cut off my breath and I stood, pressing myself tight against the side of the rocky outcropping. My fingers tightened around the knife-like stone I held. I was not going back to Winter. I didn’t care if I had to cut my own wrists out here.
My heart pounded out of control and I felt like I might wet myself as the footfalls grew closer. Please don’t let them find me.
“Kadie?” Etienne’s soft whisper echoed off the rocks.
Relief washed over me and I dropped my weapon. “Etienne, oh God, you’re alive.”
A tiny orb of light lit the hideout, just enough for me to see him stagger inside. His face was paler than I remembered, the bandages on his leg had bled through.
“I thought you said the iron wouldn’t hurt you?” I hurried to his side as he sank to his knees. His skin burned with fever.
“I didn’t have time to let the others heal me properly. Teodor wanted everyone to set off after you. But I managed to convince them to split up and cover more ground. He wants to break you so badly. And the more we deny him, the more he wants you.”
My gaze met his. “Well, he’s not going to have me. Now, tell me how to help you.”
“There should be some camphor in one of the saddlebags. We can create a salve out of it. I mainly need to get this wound cleaned out.”
I spread my blankets out on the ground and helped him lay down, while I scoured the bags. After a moment, I found a small bundle of ground herbs and flowers and pulled it out. When I had it in hand, I went to Etienne’s side so he could point out which of the ingredients was camphor. As careful as possible, I took his bandages off. The fabric on his breeches had already been cut away from the wound, making my job that much easier.
“Do you still have my dagger?” I asked.
“Yes, it’s here.” He pointed to the scabbard belted at his side.
I slid it from its sheath, then cut fabric from the end of my cloak. “I’ll be right back.” As quiet as I could, I slipped from our hideout and over to the creek. I dipped the cloth in the water then hurried back inside.
With gentle hands, I cleaned out his wound. He cried out. “I’m sorry, I’m not trying to hurt you.”
His fingers covered mine. “I know.”
Heat blazed from where our skin touched. My pulse quickened. His eyes darkened, but he laid back against the blankets once more.
After I cleaned the infected area, I took the camphor paste he’d made and covered his cut. I then cut another section of material from my cloak and rewrapped his injured leg.
“I’m so cold,” he whispered.
“Here, let me cover you up,” I said, sliding my other blanket up over his shoulders. But before I could move away, he caught my arm.
“Lay with me?”
“Etienne, I—”
“Please, I will not harm you.” He opened the covers for me.
I chewed my bottom lip, staring at his bright blue eyes and the way his blond hair stuck to his sweat slickened forehead. Without a second thought, I crawled next to him and nestled against his fevered body.

# # #

It's your host, Diana, here again!

Thanks for the scene, Rebekah!

Here's where to find Rebekah online:
Her website: http://www.rebekahlpurdy.com
Twitter: @RebekahLPurdy
Facebook: RebekahLPurdyAuthor
Pinterest: Rebekah Purdy
GoodReads: Rebekah L Purdy

Hey, before I send you guys on your way, take a moment and enter my bonus giveaway! I'm giving away one set of all three of my books, signed: TOKYO HEIST, LATITUDE ZERO, and BLUE VOYAGE. All are in hardcover, and trust me they look beautiful on a shelf as a trio. This would also make a great gift for an armchair detective with wanderlust, in case you happen to know one! (or be one!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Still with me? Yay! I hope you've saved up enough energy to continue on to your next stop, hosted by the fabulous Victoria Strauss! Thanks for stopping here, and bon voyage!


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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Author Events (and the importance of going)

Fall is upon us, and with it has come a whirlwind of author events, timed with the busy fall book release season! Summer can be a slow season for book promotion (trust me, I know, having promoted two books in the summer season) so for months I haven't emerged from my writing cave or shed my pajama-like writing uniform. But suddenly friends' books are all coming out in rapid succession, so this month I have stepped out!

Ammi-Joan Paquette launches PRINCESS JUNIPER 
I kicked off the book launch season by attending the Porter Square Books release party for Ammi-Joan Paquette's great middle-grade adventure Princess Juniper of the Hourglass. The next week I attended a party for Josh Funk's outstanding picture book, Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast. (There were pancake and French toast cookies, too, so if you missed this event, you really missed out). Days later, I went to the launch party for my very own editor, Leila Sales (also an acclaimed YA author!) who released her fourth YA novel,  Tonight the Streets Are Ours, at Brookline Booksmith. The very next day (whew!) I enjoyed an amazing talk and reading at Porter Square Books by my good friend (and writing group member) Patrick Gabridge, who was discussing his new historical novel Steering to Freedom. This Thursday I'm off to a public library event to see picture book author friend Debbie Sosin read from and talk about Charlotte and the Quiet Place, an important book for kids (well, for all of us!) about mindfulness in a busy world. (Too busy for book events? Maybe. But I'm mindfully trying to see as many as I can!)

Patrick Gabridge discusses STEERING TO FREEDOM
These were the five book events I could commit to this month, on top of the Boston Teen Author Festival last weekend, which I was working at so I'm not sure it counts. And still I have a heavy heart about missing other great book events this month, including what I heard was a phenomenal launch party for debut author Mackenzie Lee (This Monstrous Thing), an event I'd fully intended to get to -- until a monstrous traffic jam foiled my plans. Yes, sometimes life gets in the way and despite our best intentions we can't get to a live author event -- even though we've vowed on a Facebook Event Page that we would.

Every event I attended involved some effort. Getting my kid fed first. Getting through rush hour traffic. Urban parking -- so not my thing. And in the case of Leila's event? Blocked-off streets near the bookstore for the Johnny Depp movie premiere going on right across the street at the exact same time! 

No, not a book event! Johnny Depp's movie premiere!
It's much easier NOT to go to book events. It's easy to think "Oh, I want to meet that author or hear her read, but I'm exhausted from work, I'll catch her at the next event." But every time I've made the effort, I'm so glad I have. Partly because these days, there's no guarantee of a next event -- authors rarely go on a grand "tour" anymore, so if you miss someone at Newtonville Books, well, you may have missed them. Partly I'm glad I made the effort because attending events is one of the best ways to support authors and bookstores (especially LOCAL authors and bookstores). Partly I'm glad because as an author I've been on the other side of this thing. I've had well-attended events, which is great, but I've also had my share of events where the only people in attendance were my husband and a homeless man. (And sometimes not even the husband). (And sometimes nobody at all).

Mostly I go to these events because there's almost nothing more inspiring to me than hearing an author talk, in person, about the inspiration behind a book, or about their writing process. I love hearing authors read their own words and hearing about how a book came together from start to finish. I love meeting new people and seeing old friends at local events. And I always come away reminded of how important it is to be active in a reading community. I'm grateful to the bookstores like Porter Square and Booksmith that can offer up a space for community, connecting us to other readers and writers. 

This fall I'm renewing my commitment to attending as many book events as I can, striving for three a month. I'm also going to start an "Author Events Recap" series here on this blog, discussing book events I've attended.

I'd rather hang out with these book people than the movie premiere people any day!
I'd love to hear from readers who attend author events, too -- what makes you want to attend an event? (The author's name? Advertising? A chance to discover someone new?) What gets in your way of attending author events? Do you prefer panel/ group events, festivals, solo readings? What do you hope to get out of author events (either as a reader or an author), and what do you actually experience? Leave a comment here or drop me an email with your thoughts, and I may quote you in an upcoming post in this series!
A Leila Sales book event over a Johnny Depp premiere? Yes, please!

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Behind the BLUE VOYAGE book trailer!

I'm delighted to be able to share the book trailer for BLUE VOYAGE at last! Young Adult Books Center premiered it last week, and they are running a giveaway for three more weeks. (If you go to their site, you can enter to win a signed copy!)

Before you view the trailer here, though, I'd like to introduce you to the talented person who put it together! Her name is Yoshi Makishima, and she's a Boston-based filmmaker, animator and writer. She's also our Visuals Editor over at YARN (Young Adult Review Network). You can see some of her work across genres at her online portfolio, and, of course, on YARN -- pretty much every image you see there was selected or in some cases created by Yoshi.

So you may be wondering (whether you're a reader or a writer) -- why hire someone to do a book trailer? There are lots of tutorials out there for creating a trailer, and even some snazzy trailer templates available on the Mac. If you're savvy about finding (legal) stock photos and visuals, or talented enough to create your own, you can create a trailer for next to nothing or even free.

As with my last two book trailers, I chose to hire a producer, however, because I had a vision for the trailer and a lack of skill -- and spare time -- to make the product match my vision. Every time I attempted to do my own trailer, I ended up with something that looked like a bad PowerPoint presentation. I secretly wish I were a filmmaker, but I'm not. This is a job I'm happy to outsource.

But it's still my book, and I like to have some creative input. For me, working with a book trailer producer is a fun, collaborative process.

For this trailer, as with my others (produced by different people), I started out by locating music that would give the right vibe for the trailer and the book. In this case, I searched stock video files on a number of sites (pond5, iStock photo -- which has audio too) until I found a good Turkish instrumental piece with an adventurous / mysterious feel. I wrote a script. I found stock photos and videos that would match the script. Then I gave it all to Yoshi and she made it so much better.

Yoshi found additional sound effects and music to layer in. She replaced my (expensive) stock images with cheaper or free ones, which brought the overall price of the trailer way down -- and back into my budget. She came up with the pacing (based on the script and the music / sounds) the transitions, and all the graphics.

I'm thrilled with the result -- I think it accurately represents and sets the tone for the book without giving the plot away -- and hope you enjoy it too! Here it is! (Also - if you're an author looking for a book trailer producer and might be interested in working with Yoshi, send me a message and I'll put you in touch!)

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Monday, May 18, 2015

The YA Dash!

Welcome YA-Dashers!

The YA Dash is an awesome contest running May 18-20, 2015, featuring ten YA suspense authors. We’re offering a chance to win a grand prize of all our featured books on this race. PLUS, all participants in the YA Dash will receive a mini e-book with never-before-scene CLASSIFIED material (like deleted scenes and inside info about the books!)

Here’s how to play:

1. Visit the blog of each author in the DASH (you’ll find a list of links to those sites at the end of this post). Blogs can be visited in any order but you must visit all 10 to get the clues to unlock the rafflecopter giveaway.

2. Each author’s blog will feature a post about the DASH including three statements consisting of two truths and one lie. You must read through the author’s bio and book info pages in order to decipher which of the statements is the lie. The clue you’ll need to remember is included within that lie statement so jot this clue down.

3. The sum of the “lie statements” is the Y A Dash Entry Code that you will need to enter into the rafflecopter. Once you’ve visited all ten blogs and found all 10 clues, you’ll have what you need to unlock the rafflecopter!!! 

4. Once the rafflecopter is unlocked, you can gain more entries by tweeting about the DASH and checking out the DASH authors' social media accounts.

5. Last but not least, on the days of the YA DASH, all of us authors will be tweeting additional truths and lies about our books, characters, and lives, using the hashtags #yadash and #truthorlie. Please join the fun and tweet your own truths and lies and feel free to chime in when you think we’re lying!

SO…. Not to keep you in suspense any longer  . . . here are my statements, based on info you can find on my Bio page and my LATITUDE ZERO book page. Which one is the lie???

1.     I’ve known since I was ten years old that I wanted to be a writer.
2.     In LATITUDE ZERO, cycling superstar Juan Carlos is dead by 2:00.
3.     In LATITUDE ZERO, Tessa Taylor travels from New England to Ecuador to find out who’s really behind pro-cyclist Juan Carlos’s death.

Remember, the lie contains your clue to unlocking the numerical Rafflecopter giveaway code. THE SUM OF ALL TEN CLUES UNLOCKS THE CODE. Good luck!!! (and thank you, Full Fathom Five Digital, Lucinda Literary, and T.A. Maclagan for your vision and your organizational wizardry!)

Here are the other websites you need to visit to discover your clues:

Here's the Rafflecopter thingie for the giveaway; enter the numerical code put together from all the clues! (they should add up to the number you will put in to unlock the giveaway details!)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 Thank you, Full Fathom Five Digital, Lucinda Literary, and T.A. Maclagan for your vision and your organizational wizardry!

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Saturday, May 16, 2015

Get Ready for the YA Dash!

I'm very excited to be participating in the YA Dash! We're a group of 10 YA mystery/thriller/suspense authors, and we've created a fun challenge for readers! Visit our blogs between May 18-20, 2015, and find clues in our "two truths and a lie" statements about our new or forthcoming books. Use the clues to unlock a numerical entry code that will let you enter the Rafflecopter for our amazing grand prize giveaway! There are bonus prizes along the way, and all participants get a special e-book with CLASSIFIED information about us and our books!

Visit the YA Dash site for more information about all the authors and more details about how to play, and check back here Monday morning for my truths/lies and clue!

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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Cover Reveal for Blue Voyage!

I am so excited to finally share the cover of my third young adult novel, BLUE VOYAGE! The reveal is being hosted by the fantastic digital magazine YA Interrobang, which is devoted to news and articles about all things YA.

I'm delighted to have the cover up there today because it feels like coming home in the blogosphere! Or full circle. Or something. Nicole Brinkley, the magazine's founder, was the first blogger I ever worked with when I was a debut author beginning to spread the word about TOKYO HEIST back in 2011. I did a guest post for Nicole's Word for Teens blog.

In fact, I'm so delighted to be featured at Nicole's new venue that I'm giving away TWO things over at YA Interrobang this week: an ARC (galley) of BLUE VOYAGE, which should be available in about a month, and a pre-order of the book on Amazon!

Also, I'm deeply grateful to the talented Kate Renner at Viking for this fantastic cover design! I think she perfectly captured the feel of a mystery set in Turkey, and the cover feels like an invitation to adventure. I hope you like it too!

So  . . . head on over to YA Interrobang and see it for yourself!

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Little Free Libraries: Crackdown??

A Little Free Library in Seattle, WA
So as if there's not enough yucky news in the world right now . . . I just learned that some neighborhoods are cracking down on Little Free Libraries, of all things.

Little Free Libraries --tiny houses for a select number of books in public places -- have been sprouting up in neighborhoods around the U.S. since 2009. Built on the give-one-take-one principle, these miniature, uncurated libraries provide a great way to recycle or acquire used books. They are great community builders, too. They help put books in the vicinity of children and combat illiteracy. As bookstores have shuttered and regular libraries reduced their hours, the Little Free Library movement has been gaining traction.

So apparently, politicians in various towns and cities (Los Angeles, I'm looking at you . . . ) are considering these to be "illegal detached structures." They are requiring permits or threatening to tear them down.


Yep. Here's an article about it.

And another.

I'm glad to report that there is a neighborhood where Little Free Libraries are thriving and, so far, unthreatened by bureaucracy and city zoning laws! In Ballard, a neighborhood in Seattle, WA, there are NUMEROUS Little Free Libraries. On my visit there last week, my family and I went for a walk and found six within a several-block radius. Here are some pictures I took. We all found books and magazines to read and donated some of our used ones. My seven-year-old took a special delight in running to the little structures and seeing if anything new had shown up.

If you find these in a neighborhood near you, I encourage you to donate. Or why not start one yourself? The Little Free Libraries website has some great suggestions about how you can start or register a library, as well as how you can support this movement in lots of interesting ways!

What's in the Little Free Library today?