Fearless Friday…now with wings: Anna-Marie McLemore

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AMfairyandtreetrunkHola, everyone!

Anna-Marie McLemore here, author of THE WEIGHT OF FEATHERS, flitting in for a winged edition of Fearless Friday.

So THE WEIGHT OF FEATHERS is a book about mermaid performers and tree-dancers who wear wings. I’ve already documented my exploits in a mermaid tail.

Mermaid Anna-Marie McLemore

Mermaid Anna-Marie

Water, swimming, wearing a mermaid tail. No problem for me. But, um, the tree-climbing thing. Never happened. I am afraid enough of heights that I managed to get through my childhood without ever having climbed a tree. Sure I’d hopped up on a low branch. But, like, climbing a tree high enough that I could actually fall out of? Forget it.

Knowing this, for TWOF, I enlisted a tree-climbing consultant. Yes, you read that right. A tree-climbing consultant. He’s about as comfortable in trees as Cluck Corbeau is, so I knew he’d be able to help with the details. What I didn’t know is that he was not going to let me get away with this never-having-climbed-a-tree business.

So he found a tree of both decent height and relatively easy climbing mechanics, and he took me up.

AMfairyandboughAll he told me was to wear comfortable shoes. The wings and fairy makeup were my idea. If I was going to plummet to my death, I thought I might as well do it in style.

I’m not going to say I wasn’t shaking or clinging to the branches, but once I was up there, I was glad I did it.

Until I realized I had to get down. This of course did not involve me clinging to a branch, telling my tree-climbing consultant, “No, I’m good, thanks, I’ll just stay here” while he tried to give me instructions on lowering myself onto the branch underneath me. Because no self-respecting, AMfairy1professional author would ever admit to something like that.

But as you probably guessed, I’m not typing this from up in the tree, so the tree-climbing consultant successfully half-talked me down, half-caught me when I made my less than graceful descent.

There you have it, friends.

AMfairybright

I have vanquished my fear!

I have climbed a tree!

I have decided I am probably never doing it again!

*slips into mermaid tail and swims away*

AMmermaidswimming

Anna-Marie McLemore writes from her Mexican-American heritage and the love for stories she learned from her family. She lives in California’s Central Valley with a boy from the other side of the Rockies. Her debut novel THE WEIGHT OF FEATHERS, a YA contemporary love story with a magical twist, is out now from Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press. You can find her on Twitter @laannamarie.
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The 15ers Happenings: October News

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Launch Days

wonderfuldeath romancingdark Infinite Number BGcvr.indd

6th: IT’S A WONDERFUL DEATH by Sarah J. Schmitt
6th: ROMANCING THE DARK IN THE CITY OF LIGHT by Ann Jacobus
16th: AN INFINITE NUMBER OF PARALLEL UNIVERSES by Randy Ribay

 

Of Interest
Watch the book trailer for AN INFINITE NUMBER OF PARALLEL UNIVERSES by Randy Ribay.

Also catch Randy Ribay on B&N’s YA Open Mic

Virginia Zimmerman has an ARC of THE ROSEMARY SPELL to giveaway on Goodreads.

 

Professional reviews
Ann Jacobus will be at the YALSA Young Adult Services Symposium Author Blitz in Portland on Saturday, Nov 7th.

Ronald Smith will present at the Louisiana Book Festival on Saturday, October 31st. Ronald also had a lovely interview with Baltimore’s NPR station.

Romancing the Dark in the City of Light by Ann Jacobus has lovely reviews from Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, and Booklist. From PW:

In her debut novel, Jacobus explores difficult topics including depression, alcoholism, death, and the reckless behavior that can accompany them. As Summer struggles with alcohol dependency and contemplates suicide, readers will grit their teeth in the hope that Moony will win the romantic tug-of-war with Kurt in time to help Summer see the light at the end of the tunnel.

AN INFINITE NUMBER OF PARALLEL UNIVERSES by Randy Ribay, and Mary Beller Paul’s UNDERNEATH EVERYTHING made Barnes & Noble Teen’s top 20 October YA releases list!

Natasha Sinel’s THE FIX was featured in VerveGirl Canada’s Books We Love section of their Back to School Fall Issue: “If you loved Looking For Alaska, check out…The Fix.” It also made Paste Magazine’s 21 of the Best New YA Books in September!

Virginia Zimmerman’s THE ROSEMARY SPELL has great reviews from Publishers Weekly (starred!), Kirkus, and Boolist. Says Kirkus:

Zimmerman invites readers into a layered and magical mystery across generations of literature. She deftly weaves the difficulty of loss into a tale of triumph, Rosemary’s strength of character keeping her buoyed through the emotional tumult she must navigate to save her friend.

Laurie McKay’s second book in her Last Dragon Charmer series, QUEST MAKER, has a lovely Kirkus review:

Zimmerman invites readers into a layered and magical mystery across generations of literature. She deftly weaves the difficulty of loss into a tale of triumph, Rosemary’s strength of character keeping her buoyed through the emotional tumult she must navigate to save her friend.

 

tessaelwoodTessa Elwood designs sites, breathes da:i, & haunts highways in her dusty baby. Her YA, INHERIT THE STARS, arrives 12/2015 from Running Press.

YA Q&A with Randy Ribay, author of An Infinite Number of Parallel Universes

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BW: You wake up one morning and, OMG, you’re a narwhal. What’s the first thing you do with your new ability?

RR: I knock over the lamp on my nightstand with my narwhal tusk as I try to return to the ocean.

BW: Dude. I knock stuff over when I don’t have my glasses on, so you’re really not starting off too badly. You’re parents, however, are less than excited about having an aquatic mammal living in their extra bedroom. What fictional character do you ask to help you get out of the bind, and how do they “fix” you?

Jason-Momoa-AquamanRR: Aquaman. Except not the lame blonde one, but the badass Jason Momoa Aquaman. (BW: *coughs* Yes, please). He reassures me that everything will be all right and carries me to the sea. He then invites me to an underwater ice cream social where I make new friends with fellow sea creatures while enjoying a tasty treat. But eventually, I morph back into human form and Badass Aquaman takes me back to shore before I drown.

BW: The next time you go anywhere with Jason Momoa Aquaman, you call me. Got that, Randy? Mmkay, good. So, back to normal, you arrive at school and literally crash into your crush. He/she asks you why you’re shaken up. What do you tell him/her?

RR: There was no hot water in the shower.

BW: That’s totes believable. He/she suggests going somewhere to talk about it more and maybe warm up. *wink* Where’s this dream date taking place?

RR: The aquarium. But having enjoyed ice cream with similar creatures not too long ago, it breaks my heart to see them imprisoned so. Shaking with rage, my narwhal powers reemerge in the form of an immense sword-like tusk sticking out of my forehead. I use it to attack the aquarium employees. Surrounded by their lifeless bodies, I call Badass Aquaman and we set the sea creatures free. But then Badass Aquaman totally steals my crush.

BW: I mean, can you really blame your crush? This is HOT Aquaman we’re talking about. Don’t worry! There’s still a Happily Ever After in your near future. As a Fearless Fifteener, your debut is out this year. Tell us about your book in 140 characters or less.

RR: Geeky & diverse teens avoid their life problems by taking a road trip. Not enough narwhals.

BW: I’m sort of depressed about the lack of narwhals, but the book totally sounds fabulous. Here’s a longer summary for the rest of you.

 

Infinite Number BGcvr.inddAs their senior year approaches, four diverse friends united by their weekly Dungeons & Dragons game struggle to figure out real life. Archie tries to cope with the lingering effects of his parents’ divorce, Mari considers an opportunity to contact her biological mother, Dante works up the courage to come out to his friends, and Sam clings to a failing relationship. When the four eventually embark on a cross-country road trip in an attempt to solve one of their problems–and to avoid the others–the journey tests their friendship and they quickly realize that real life is no game.

 

RandyR-1(1)About Randy Ribay

Randy Ribay was born in the Philippines and raised in Michigan and Colorado. He is a graduate of the University of Colorado and the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he specialized in language and literacy. He is the English Department Chair at an all-boys high school in Philadelphia and a nerd-of-all-trades. Randy lives in Camden, New Jersey with his wife and two dog-children.

Order AN INFINITE NUMBER OF PARALLEL UNIVERSES: Indie Bound, B&NAmazon

Add it on Goodreads

Or visit Randy’s website at: www.randyribay.com

Becky headshots-Becky headshots-0007Becky Wallace is the author of THE STORYSPINNER and its sequel, THE SKYLIGHTER (available March 22, 2016 from Simon & Schuster). She lives in a happy little village in Texas with her own real-life Prince Charming and their four munchkins.