Happy Book Birthday to The Light Fantastic!

Fellow Candlewick author Sarah Combs is one of my favorite writers and people in the world. Her debut, Breakfast Served Anytime, got me teary because it was so beautifully written and so full of love and hope and feels. So obviously I’ve been way excited for her next book, and I am thrilled to say that The Light Fantastic is out today! A little about the book:

Delaware, the morning of April 19. Senior Skip Day, and April Donovan’s eighteenth birthday. Four days after the Boston Marathon bombing, the country is still reeling, and April’s rare memory condition has her recounting all the tragedies that have cursed her birth month. And just what was that mysterious gathering under the bleachers about? Meanwhile, in Nebraska, Lincoln Evans struggles to pay attention in Honors English, distracted by the enigmatic presence of Laura Echols, capturer of his heart. His teacher tries to hold her class’s interest, but she can t keep her mind off what Adrian George told her earlier. Over in Idaho, Phoebe is having second thoughts about the Plan mere hours before the start of a cross-country ploy led by an Internet savant known as the Mastermind. Is all her heartache worth the cost of the Assassins machinations? The Light Fantastic is a tense, shocking, and beautifully wrought exploration of the pain and pathos of a generation of teenagers on the brink and the hope of moving from shame and isolation into the light of redemption.

I’m so excited to see how Sarah brings together these viewpoints to craft a sensitive and thoughtful story of grief and anger and pain and hope.

In case that all sounds awesome to you, too, friend and fantastic book blogger Ginger is celebrating The Light Fantastic‘s release with a giveaway! Inspired by one of the book’s associated discussion questions, Sarah and Ginger are sharing their lists of five good things/things that matter. Check out their lists and sign up to win a copy of the book!

Even though I’ve already ordered my copy, I want to share my list of five good, real things. In no particular order:

  • The smell of bread baking, the magic of seeing how such simple ingredients can become something so delicious.
  • When a song comes on the radio and you have to turn it up and sing along and make ridiculous emotive hand gestures.
  • The first sip of coffee.
  • Jokes you have with loved ones that go so far back, you don’t even remember exactly when or how they started.
  • When you’re watching a movie, sneaking a glance at the rest of the audience and seeing them engrossed in the story.

Head over to Ginger’s to share your five, enter her giveaway, and most importantly, get yourself a copy of The Light Fantastic by Sarah Combs!

Giveaway Winners and the Notorious RBG

Thanks to everyone who entered my International Women’s Day giveaway! I had such a great time hearing about your favorite women from history and sharing a few of my own that I ended up picking two winners. They are:

Emily and Jen!

You guys each get a signed copy of The Chance You Won’t Return! Keep an eye out for an email from me about shipping info.

Thank you to all who entered, and if you didn’t win this time, don’t worry–I’ll be having future giveaways and conversations about awesome ladies in history.

And speaking of awesome ladies, today is Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s 83rd birthday. Happy birthday, Justice Ginsburg! Here’s to many more years of you being an inspiration to all.

Last Day for Giveaway!

Earhart Maps Hawaii - 1935
Today’s the last day to enter my International Women’s Day giveaway! Share your favorite awesome woman from history, and enter to win a signed copy of The Chance You Won’t Return.

Having a hard time narrowing it down? A few of my favorites (along with Amelia Earhart, of course), are Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Frida KahloCoretta Scott KingSally Ride, Julia ChildHarriet TubmanKathrine SwitzerJane Austen, Eartha Kitt, and pretty much anyone Mackenzi Lee has mentioned in her #BadassLadiesofHistoryYouShouldKnow series. So if you’re like me and like talking about awesome women in history, get yourself over to the giveaway and enter to win!

Drum Roll Please…The Chance You Won’t Return ARC Giveaway Winner!

Thanks so much to everyone who commented on/tweeted about/shared the giveaway post! Reading all of your spring favorites made me feel:

I put all the entries into a random number generator/particle collider and the winner is…

Rachel Lynn Solomon!

Congratulations, Rachel! I really hope you enjoy The Chance You Won’t Return, and sending lots of good farewell-rain boots vibes your way. I’ll be in contact about mailing stuff.

Thanks again to everyone who entered. This was my first blog giveaway and it was a lot of fun! Look for others in the future, and happy (almost, really!) spring to all!

The Chance You Won’t Return ARC Giveaway!

It’s March, which means that when I’m ready for spring and flowers and greenery, the weather is usually more like:

But March also means that The Chance You Won’t Return hits shelves next month. Holy cow, guys, just one calendar page turn away!

And since my book’s going to be out in the world soon, this sounds like the perfect time to have an ARC giveaway! The details:

  • To enter, leave a comment on this post about why you’re excited for spring.
  • Extra points for tweets with the hashtag #TCYWRgiveaway
  • Extra points for sharing on Facebook (Make sure to tag me so I can see your share.)
  • US and Canada residents only. (Sorry, other international readers!)

The giveaway is open until Wednesday, March 12 at 11:59 pm EST. After that I’ll compile the entries into a random number generator/particle collider and post the winner on Friday, March 14. (Pi Day! That’s totally a reason to look forward to spring.)

Start commenting/tweeting/sharing and soon you could have a signed ARC of The Chance You Won’t Return in your hands!

Or, you know, paws.

Cover Reveal and Giveaway at the Fourteenery!

I’ve been waiting all weekend to share today’s post with you all. Starting today, the Fourteenery is hosting a cover reveal/ARC giveaway for two 2014 YA debut novels, including The Chance You Won’t Return! For a sneak peak:


When I saw the cover for the first time, I literally jumped away from my desk I was so excited. I’m big into colors connecting with emotions, and the team at Candlewick has totally captured the vibe of the novel with this cover. I seriously cannot wait to see it out in the world.

And if that’s not cool enough, the Fourteenery is also giving away the amazing Far From You by Tess Sharpe. Tess’s writing is stunning, and I’m pretty sure this is going to be the big YA thriller of 2014.

Head on over to the Fourteenery blog for more info on the books and how to win. Winners will be announced at the end of the week, so get reblogging!

Golden Boy is Coming!

One reason I love children’s literature is that it introduces kids to very real problems in the world, many of which are far from readers’ everyday experiences. Rich, compelling characters can deeply connect a reader with global problems and injustices.

So I’m thrilled that Golden Boy by Tara Sullivan is about to hit the shelves in Spring 2013. Tara is a friend and critique group member, so I can totally vouch for the book’s awesomeness. The synopsis:

“A shocking human rights tragedy brought to light in a story of heartbreak and triumph.

Thirteen-year-old Habo has always been different— light eyes, yellow hair and white skin. Not the good brown skin his family has and not the white skin of tourists. Habo is strange and alone. His father, unable to accept Habo, abandons the family; his mother can scarcely look at him. His brothers are cruel and the other children never invite him to play. Only his sister Asu loves him well. But even Asu can’t take the sting away when the family is forced from their small Tanzanian village, and Habo knows he is to blame.

Seeking refuge in Mwanza, Habo and his family journey across the Serengeti. His aunt is glad to open her home until she sees Habo for the first time, and then she is only afraid. Suddenly, Habo has a new word for himself: Albino. But they hunt Albinos in Mwanza because Albino body parts are thought to bring good luck. And soon Habo is being hunted by a fearsome man with a machete. To survive, Habo must not only run but find a way to love and accept himself.”

This book makes me wish I had a middle school class so I could share the story with them. So good, guys.

If you’re intrigued, head over to IceyBooks for Golden Boy’s cover reveal and your chance to win an ARC!

Neither Unnatural Nor Disastrous Giveaway

The First Novels Club is giving away a copy of Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zeitlin. From the FNC review:

“My favorite, favorite part of FRESHMAN YEAR was Kelsey’s group of friends. First off, the ups and downs of their relationship far overshadowed any boy drama in the book (for this alone, I want to hug Meredith Zeitlin). They’re unique without being stereotypically quirky, and I loved the realistic, ever-changing dynamic of the girls as they grew up and apart and together again. Plus, how they argued and got mad at each other was hilariously spot-on with how girls fight in high school.”

Really like the sound of this. I think it’s easy to create one best friend for your main character, or perhaps a small group with very distinct personalities (the SATC effect), but real life friendships are way more fluid, especially at the beginning of high school.

Also, I dig contemporary YA with a sense of humor. Not everyone has to brood! Click through to enter the giveaway.