Thursday, June 26, 2014

Guest Post by Anna Staniszewski!

I'm super excited to welcome Anna Staniszewski back to the blog to celebrate her new book THE PRANK LIST (available from Sourcebooks July 1)!

Anna has once again put together a wonderful guest post. Take it away, Anna!

Keeping Your Protagonists Distinct

 The great thing about writing multiple series is that you get to explore different main characters’ stories. The bad thing about writing multiple series is that sometimes you wind up having to jump back and forth between projects, meaning that the protagonists’ voices can get a little muddled. Here are a few tricks I use to keep my characters distinct from one another:

1. Give characters unique voices and quirks. I try to give my protagonists specific ways of speaking, unusual habits, etc. that are integral to their characters. Jenny from my UnFairy Tale Life series, for example, is a total go-getter whereas Rachel from the Dirt Diary series is much more reserved and cautious. Both characters have wacky senses of humor, but they come across in different ways.

2. Dig into your characters’ motivations. If you know what’s driving your characters, then it will be easier to keep their stories distinct. If both of your characters want to be accepted, for example, then your stories might feel too similar.

3. Make your characters’ actions/reactions unique. If you locked two of your main characters in the same room, they should be drawn to different elements of the room and use different tactics to try to escape. If their actions/reaction are too similar, that’s a sign that you have more work to do.

4. Don’t make your characters too much like you. It’s inevitable that your characters will be like you in some ways, but make sure that different characters are reflecting different elements of your personality. Jenny, for example, is the kind of girl I wish I could have been in middle school whereas Rachel is an exaggeration of the insecure person I was back then.

5. Create an unexpected supporting cast. Your secondary characters should also be distinct in each book so that they can bring out interesting and unique elements in your protagonist. Filling your story with a variety of minor characters will also help ensure that your stories don’t feel repetitive.

Still not sure if your characters are distinct enough? Try putting them in a scene together! I did this with Jenny and Rachel in order to make sure that I hadn’t accidentally recycled a character. I purposely wrote a scene without any dialogue tags so that it forced the two characters’ voices to be identifiable on their own, and I made sure that the girls’ actions, motivations, and attitudes were completely different.

How do you keep your protagonists distinct from one another?

About Anna:

Born in Poland and raised in the United States, Anna Staniszewski grew up loving stories in both Polish and English. Currently, she lives outside Boston with her husband and their crazy dog. When she’s not writing, Anna spends her time reading, daydreaming, and challenging unicorns to games of hopscotch. She is the author of the My Very UnFairy Tale Life series and the Dirt Diary series. Her newest book, The Prank List, releases on July 1st from Sourcebooks. You can visit Anna at

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

By Jove by Marissa Doyle and a friend's re-release

My friend and amazing author Marissa Doyle's newest book is out today, and it's FANTASTIC! This is her first foray into adult romance, and I LOVED this book. Read on to find out more!

Book description from Goodreads:
For Theodora Fairchild, returning to graduate school after three years of teaching Latin to unenthusiastic middle schoolers is a dream come true. The professors in the Classics Department at John Winthrop University in Boston are the best in their field; the classes are varied and intellectually stimulating…and she meets brilliant, sweetly nerdy post-doc Grant Proctor. 

 As she gives in to her feelings for Grant, someone seems determined to keep them apart—no matter the consequences. Things are not quite what they seem in the Classics Department, and someone there has plans for Theo that don’t include Grant. When Grant disappears, surviving the semester becomes only one of Theo’s worries; her wits and wisdom may be the only things that can save the man she loves.

Get it at Amazon, B&N, or links to other retailers at Entangled's page. (It's on sale for $.99 for the first five days, so you have no excuse not to!)

My Review:
Theo is a graduate student excited to get her advanced degree in classical studies so she can stop teaching Latin to kids, and start teaching to students who actually want to learn it. At the university, she meets Grant Proctor, an intriguing new teaching fellow.

I just LOVED the nerdy atmosphere of this novel. The university setting, the characters who were all as obsessed with and knowledgeable about Classic Greek and Roman history, languages, and literature, it was like coming home even though the classics aren't my nerddom of choice.

Marissa Doyle has a way of pulling you into a novel and not letting go. I gasped at a particular plot twist, and stayed up way past my bedtime to finish this book.

Theo is a fun, nerdy character, and I loved her relationship with Grant. Even when I was frustrated with his behavior, I felt for him and rooted for their relationship.

I highly recommend this book. Marissa Doyle has officially taken her place as one of my favorite authors. I look forward to reading more from her.

5 stars.

About Marissa Doyle:
I was born and raised in a family of readers (big surprise there) not far from the ocean. Okay, in Massachusetts it’s hard to not be far from the ocean. But on or near the water is where I’m happiest. It took me a long time as a toddler to figure out that I couldn’t breathe water as well as I do air. I did, mostly, and still live in Massachusetts, still spend a lot of time in and on the waters of Cape Cod, and hope to never leave.

Living in a place where history is everywhere might also have a lot to do with my love of the past. I majored in history and archaeology in college and still read a lot of non-fiction on those subjects. Doing so has taught me that, quite often, real life is far stranger than any fiction.

My other great love beyond the water and history is making things. I love to sew and do needlepoint, and most particularly, make quilts. Writing fits in there as a creative endeavor, too, but has the added benefit of not leaving threads all over the carpet.

In addition to writing, my other full time career is being a wife, mom to my terrific kids, and adoring slave to this handsome guy.

Also, re-releasing today is my friend Kell Andrews's MG DEADWOOD. To find out more about Deadwood and Kell's story of how she's releasing it for a second time, head over to her blog here.

YAY for friends' new releases! Now go out and snatch them up!

Monday, June 9, 2014

New Release: DECENT by Kallie Ross! + Giveaway!

Descent RDL Banner  

We are extremely excited to bring you the Release Day Launch for Kallie Ross' DESCENT!! DESCENT is an amazing young adult fantasy adventure that is out today!!

  Descent Cover  




  Descent Teaser   ABOUT DESCENT: Seventeen year old Ollie Miller is ready to leave all of her hurt feelings behind, but moving on seems impossible while living next door to her ex-best friend, Mateo. When curious earthquakes begin to shake and rip open the foundation of her small town, the ground becomes as unsteady as her feelings for him. When they fall, they fall hard… Ollie’s disastrous attempt to save Mateo’s brother from falling into a curious chasm results in their descent into a cavernous wonderland. Ollie, Mateo, Jesse, and Alexis search for a way back home, and encounter a mysterious tribe of natives. Gabriel, the next in line to lead his people, is granted permission to guide them to the surface. On their treacherous journey, an overzealous elder threatens all of their lives, because he can’t risk them exposing his people, or the power he wields. The group discovers ancient secrets, unexpected truths, and uncharted feelings. Ollie must find a way out or risk being stuck in the caves forever—or worse, dead. “Descent is a gripping debut that takes you on a roller coaster - a page turner that has you asking - what happens next. I loved every single word of it.” Descent Teaser 2

Add DESCENT on Goodreads and Facebook!

  Author PhotoAbout Kallie Ross: Over time my love for learning gravitated toward studying conspiracy theories and contradictions in our culture. My conclusions have ignited a passion to write compelling young adult fiction that incorporates legend, conjecture, fantasy, and conviction. I love being a wife, mother, friend, writer, and teacher. I began teaching high school English in 2002 and started blogging and podcasting in 2008. I have a brilliant husband, two redheads, and never imagined my life would ever be this fun!    

Find Kallie Ross

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Jennifer Armentrout's LUX Series Release Day!

It's here! Today is the day you can get the beautiful new bindups of Jennifer L. Armentrout's LUX Series! Are you as excited as we are?

LUX Special edition RDL Banner
Doesn't it look amazing? You don't want to miss these or the bonus content included in each bindup! We have all the information for you below, and a fabulous giveaway for you. Make sure you check it all out and enter for your chance to win!

LUX: Beginnings

LUX: Consequences

Lux Series
ABOUT LUX: Beginnings: Now available together for the first time, don't miss Obsidian and Onyx, the first two books in Jennifer L. Armentrout's bestselling Lux series. Also includes bonus content exclusive to the print edition! "A thrilling ride from start to finish," says RT Book Reviews. Starting over sucks. When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring…. until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up. And then he opened his mouth. Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something…unexpected happens. The hot alien living next door marks me. You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades. If I don’t kill him first, that is. ABOUT LUX: Consequences: Now available together for the first time, don't miss Opal and Origin, the third and fourth books in Jennifer L. Armentrout's bestselling Lux series. Also includes bonus content exclusive to the print edition! "A thrilling ride from start to finish," says RT Book Reviews. No one is like Daemon Black. When he set out to prove his feelings for me, he wasn’t fooling around. Doubting him isn’t something I’ll do again, and now that we’ve made it through the rough patches, well... There’s a lot of spontaneous combustion going on. But even he can’t protect his family from the danger of trying to free those they love. After everything, I’m no longer the same Katy. I’m different... And I’m not sure what that will mean in the end. When each step we take in discovering the truth puts us in the path of the secret organization responsible for torturing and testing hybrids, the more I realize there is no end to what I’m capable. The death of someone close still lingers, help comes from the most unlikely source, and friends will become the deadliest of enemies, but we won’t turn back. Even if the outcome will shatter our worlds forever. Together we’re stronger...and they know it.

OPPOSITION Comes out August 5th! Pre-Order It Now!

Author-photoAbout Jennifer L. Armentrout: # 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki. Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

Find Jennifer L. Armentrout

Add the LUX Series on Goodreads!

Find Entangled Publishing

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Cover Reveal: MIRROR X

Today Karri Thompson and Entangled Teen are revealing the cover for MIRROR X, releasing in June 30,2014! Check out the gorgeous cover, exclusive excerpt, and enter to win an eARC!

On to the reveal!

Author: Karri Thompson
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Pub. Date: June 30, 2014

I was born more than a thousand years ago.

Put into a cryogenic tube at age seventeen, forgotten during a holocaust that decimated the world, I've finally been awakened to a more serene and peaceful future.

But things at the hospital are new and strange. And it’s starting to scare me.

Everyone is young. Everyone is banded and tracked. And everyone is keeping secrets. 

The cute geneticist Michael Bennett might be the only good thing in this crazy new world where “life is precious” but no one seems free to live it. The problem is, I don’t think he’s being totally honest with me, either.

When I’m told only I can save the human race from extinction, it’s clear my freeze didn’t avoid a dreadful fate. It only delayed the horror…

Exclusive Excerpt!
Michael took a seat on the edge of my bed, rocking me toward him. When the side of my thigh met his knee, my heart rate doubled, and I drew in a deep breath.
“Before you were awakened I spent hours at your bedside imaging what you were like, how your voice would sound, how you looked when you smiled. When your red lips pulsed, when your chest heaved, and you took your first breath, I kept my emotions in check. But now, now that you’ve ‘awakened,’ everything is different. I can’t sleep. I can’t stop thinking about you.”
I ignored the pain and tilted closer until the space between our faces was less than a foot. My heart, my mind, my soul—everything yearned for his affection at that moment. 
“I feel the same way, too.”
I closed my eyes, wanting this handsome, earnest guy to take me into his arms and tell me he’d make them let me go. My lungs expanded with his warm breath and spicy scent. When his lips met mine, every atom in my body danced, urging me to pull him closer and tighten my grip upon his back.
His kissing became more fiery and I reacted by kissing him harder. It wasn’t until his mouth moved to my neck, that I came to my senses and drew away.
“Not yet,” I said, scooting away.
“I know,” he said between breaths, rising from the bed. His wiped his forehead with the sleeve of his uniform and returned to the chair. “I can’t…we can’t. We can never…,” he said abruptly. “It’s against protocol. I-I should go.”

About Karri:
Karri’s debut YA novel, Amateur Angel, was released May 1, 2012. The next book in that series, Hollywood Angels, came out September 1, 2013. The first book in her upcoming dystopian trilogy, The Van Winkle Chronicles, will be released by Entangled Publishing Spring 2014.

Giveaway Details:

1 eGalley of MIRROR X International

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