FEARLESS FRIDAY with Mackenzi Lee

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I have what you might call an irrational fear. It is also an unorthodox fear. I also am, I think, the only YA author with this fear.

And today I face it.

Today, I face the dreaded writing of a kissing scene.

Mackenzi Lee is a reader, writer, bookseller, Diet Coke fanatic, unapologetic fangirl, and fast talker. Her YA reimagining of Frankenstein, THIS MONSTROUS THING, will be published by Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins on September 22. Find her on Twitter, Pinterest, or on her blog, where she talks about books, Boston, and Benedict Cumberbatch.

YA Q&A with Natasha Sinel

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Yay! Yay! YAY!!!  Did you know that Natasha Sinel’s debut novel, THE FIX, came out yesterday?  Well, it did and I’m super lucky to get to host her for YA Q&A.  If you want to know more about her favorite super powers and about her new book, then read on!

 

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

NS: Well, I want to take a test-fly immediately because…I can fly!? So I zoom around my bedroom and realize a minute too late that I have no idea how to steer or stop. I slam sideways into my dresser and everything on it falls to the floor with a loud crash. Well, at least now I know one way to stop.

BW: Turns out your parents aren’t too happy with the dent you put in the wall. What fictional character do you ask to help you get out of the bind, and how do they “fix” you?

NS: On my way to school, I run into the Green Hornet, and even though he doesn’t fly, he explains wind patterns and aerodynamics to me. He also tells me that my new power is tip-top secret, and if I tell anyone that I can fly, I will lose my ability.

BW: Green hornet, huh? He is sort of pretty to look at. Back to normal, you arrive at school and literally crash into your crush. He asks you why you’re shaken up. What do you tell him?

NS: “I can fly!” I say. He looks at me funny.

BW: He isn’t convinced you’re telling the truth — after all, it’s a pretty far fetched story. He suggests going somewhere to talk about it more. Where’s this dream date taking place?

NS: I take him to the roof to prove I can fly. I stand on the edge and just as I’m about to take off, I remember the Green Hornet’s words: “If you tell anyone, you’ll lose your ability. Poof!” Suddenly, I feel kind of wobbly, like I’m going to fall. “I fear I can no longer fly!” I shout as I jump back onto the roof. My crush gives me that funny look again. “Maybe I’ll see you around sometime,” he says and heads back into the school building.

BW:  Aww! Sad. It might not be true love yet, but there is 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.

NS: When Macy falls for Sebastian, she realizes that revealing her shameful past could ruin her family but keeping silent could destroy her.

BW: And if that isn’t enough info, here’s the full synopsis for THE FIX.

Fix-cover-finalOne conversation is all it takes to break a world wide open.

Seventeen-year-old Macy Lyons has been through something no one should ever have to experience. And she’s dealt with it entirely alone.

On the outside, she’s got it pretty good. Her family’s well-off, she’s dating the cute boy next door, she has plenty of friends, and although she long ago wrote her mother off as a superficial gym rat, she’s thankful to have allies in her loving, laid-back dad and her younger brother.

But a conversation with a boy at a party one night shakes Macy out of the carefully maintained complacency that has defined her life so far. The boy is Sebastian Ruiz, a recovering addict who recognizes that Macy is hardened by dark secrets. And as Macy falls for Sebastian, she realizes that, while revealing her secret could ruin her seemingly perfect family, keeping silent might just destroy her.

The Fix follows two good-hearted teenagers coming to terms with the cards they were dealt. It’s also about the fixes we rely on to cope with our most shameful secrets and the hope and fear that comes with meeting someone who challenges us to come clean.

2014_Natasha_Sinel_249-hi_resAbout Natasha:

 

Natasha Sinel writes YA fiction from her home on a dirt road in Northern Westchester, NY. She drives her kids around all afternoon but in her head, she’s still in high school and hopes no one near her can read minds. THE FIX is her first novel.

Becky headshots-Becky headshots-0007Becky Wallace is the author of THE KEEPERS’ CHRONICLES: THE STORYSPINNER, a magical adventure in which a case of mistaken identity exposes a young performer to a danger she could have never imagined and a secret her father died to protect. It will be available from Simon & Schuster in March 2015. When Becky’s not writing, she’s baking cupcakes and teaching her kids ’90s dance moves.

YA Q&A with Mackenzi Lee

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Oh, world.  You are in for it.  This interview with Mackenzi Lee, author of THIS MONSTROUS THING, made me snort laugh. I’m so looking forward to reading her debut on September 22. You should be too! Steampunk Frankenstein? Yes, Please!

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

ML: Wreak vengeance upon my many foes.

JK. Probably figure out how to shower without short circuiting.

BW: See what I meant about the snorting? I personally think vengeance is a great way to start any day, but your parents see things a little differently. They aren’t too happy with your change. What fictional character do you ask to help you get out of the bind, and how do they “fix” you?

ML: Imperator Furiosa, because she knows a thing or two about mechanical limbs. We load up the war rig and go cruising into desert, where she shows me how to best utilize my new cyborg parts and we totally pass the Bechdel test.


BW: 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?


ML: There was no more Diet Coke in the school vending machines—that’s what’s got me spooked.

BW: He/she isn’t convinced you’re telling the truth — after all, it’s a pretty far fetched story. No Diet Coke? What kind of school do you go to!?! He/she suggests going somewhere to talk about it more (and maybe pick up your beverage of choices). Where’s this dream date taking place?

ML: Porter Square Books, which is my favorite local independent bookstore. If you have to have an awkward conversation about your recent cyborgification with your crush, at least do it surrounded by books.

BW: Good plan!  It might not be true love yet, but there is 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.

ML: THIS MONSTROUS THING is a steampunk Frankenstein reimaginging set in 1818 Switzerland about a boy who brings his brother back from the dead.

BW: And if that wasn’t enough information, here’s the full synopsis:

ThisMonstrousThing hc c. finalJPGIn 1818 Geneva, men built with clockwork parts live hidden away from society, cared for only by illegal mechanics called Shadow Boys. Two years ago, Shadow Boy Alasdair Finch’s life shattered to bits.

His brother, Oliver—dead.

His sweetheart, Mary—gone.

His chance to break free of Geneva—lost.

Heart-broken and desperate, Alasdair does the unthinkable: He brings Oliver back from the dead.

But putting back together a broken life is more difficult than mending bones and adding clockwork pieces. Oliver returns more monster than man, and Alasdair’s horror further damages the already troubled relationship.

Then comes the publication of Frankenstein and the city intensifies its search for Shadow Boys, aiming to discover the real life doctor and his monster. Alasdair finds refuge with his idol, the brilliant Dr. Geisler, who may offer him a way to escape the dangerous present and his guilt-ridden past, but at a horrible price only Oliver can pay…

Mackenzi Lee finalMore about Mackenzi Lee: Mackenzi Lee holds a BA in history and MFA from Simmons College in writing for children and young adults.  She loves Diet Coke, sweater weather, and Star Wars. On a perfect day, she can be found enjoying all three.  She currently lives in Boston, where she works as a bookseller and almost never reanimates corpses. Almost. Find her on twitter @themackenzilee or at http://www.mackenzilee.com.

Becky headshots-Becky headshots-0007Becky Wallace is the author of THE KEEPERS’ CHRONICLES: THE STORYSPINNER, a magical adventure in which a case of mistaken identity exposes a young performer to a danger she could have never imagined and a secret her father died to protect. It will be available from Simon & Schuster in March 2015. When Becky’s not writing, she’s baking cupcakes and teaching her kids ’90s dance moves.

FEARLESS FRIDAY with Austin Aslan: Fear not your SECOND book launch…

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This past weekend I celebrated the launch of my second novel, The Girl at the Center of the World. It is the sequel to my fall 2014 debut, The Islands at the End of the World. I can’t tell you how much I FEARED–and how long I agonized over–doing a second book launch so soon after the first.

Now, this is a good problem to have as an author, to be sure. But believe it or not, for me at least, it was an issue. The first book launch was fun. It was a celebration of an accomplishment, a life long goal, a really, really difficult goal. Getting a book published deserves a party. It’s like a wedding. Or, what’s the opposite of a retirement party? Anyway, you get the idea: Victory! Let’s celebrate!

My debut book launch last August for THE ISLANDS AT THE END OF THE WORLD. Hey, everybody, look at ME! Yay!

My debut book launch last August for THE ISLANDS AT THE END OF THE WORLD. Hey, everybody, look at ME! Yay!

But I was a debut author, with zero following, except for family and friends. SOOO…guess who I dragged out to my big “Me” celebration? Everyone I knew. So many great folks, God bless them, obliged. They came out. I gave them some free food and drinks to make it worth their while. They went through the dog and pony show with me. I speechified about writing and becoming an author. I read a passage. They bought books and I signed them (weird, btw, but cool). It was a glorious day. A wonderful celebration. A big wet and warm blanket of love. For me. Yay!

Now…fast forward to exactly one year later.

The book monster industrial complex must be fed. Promotion. Publicity. Launch, launch, launch!!!

I’m supposed to do that all over again?

Yikes.

It’s not like I have a huge fan base at this point. ISLANDS has been trucking along, but I could see from a mile away that a sequel launch that didn’t have the feel of crickets chirping was going to require me having to drag all those same people out of the woodwork again. I dreaded the idea of putting everyone I knew back in that situation.

So I didn’t. Not exactly.

Instead, I dragged all of my friends and family out to something completely different.

Here’s what I did, and I think you should keep this trick in the back of your mind should you ever find yourself thrust into a similar situation:

JOINT BOOK LAUNCH!

And…

*wait for it*

…FOR CHARITY!

I partnered with another local Random House author who was fretting about the same situation. Amy K. Nichols’ While You Were Gone was also due for fall lift-off. It was very convenient that our books released on the same day, and that they were both sequels, and both YA science fiction–but I firmly believe that’s not necessary for this to work.

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Our joint event was so incredibly refreshing. We each received double the audience for the amount of work we had to do. We were able to cross-pollinate our fan bases. It was wonderful working with Amy and getting to know her better. We have a real resource in each other moving forward in this crazy industry. We were able to share the stage. It was such a relief to not be the only one up there!

And we partnered with a local literacy charity, Kids Need to Read, to conduct a raffle. The representative was given several minutes to share their charity’s mission with our audience, they were given wonderful press in the newspaper, and we raised some serious funds for them.

Check out the amazing press we got out of this idea. The Arizona Republic put out a full half page SUNDAY article the weekend before our event!

All in all, it was the perfect solution to our fears. I highly recommend doing something similar with your subsequent book launches.

Austin Aslan was inspired to write his young adult sci-fi survival eco-thrillers THE ISLANDS AT THE END OF THE WORLD and THE GIRL AT THE CENTER OF THE WORLD while living with his wife and two children on the Big Island of Hawai`i, where he earned a master’s degree in tropical conservation biology. A National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, he can often be found exploring the wilds of northern Arizona in a tent on a punctured air mattress or on Twitter at @laustinspace.

YA Q&A with Anna-Marie McLemore

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Hey y’all! Welcome to another installment of YA Q&A! I’m so excited to introduce you to the very talented Anna-Marie McLemore. Her debut novel, THE WEIGHT OF FEATHERS, will be out in one month!  Wahoo and congrats, Anna-Marie!  We’ll get to some more details about the book at the end of the post, but first let’s get to her Q&A!

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

AMM: Make an aquatic friend! I’m thinking a manatee, a sea turtle, or a dolphin.

BW: Your parents aren’t super thrilled with the slightly fishy smell and all your water usage. What fictional character do you ask to help you get out of the bind, and how do they “fix” you?

AMM: Cate, Maura, and Tess from Born Wicked. A little Cahill magic should do the trick!

BW: Three cheers for those three sisters!  They, of course, can help you out! Back to normal, you arrive at school and literally crash into your crush. He asks you why you’re shaken up. What do you tell him?

AMM: I just tell him I spent the morning as a mermaid. He comes from cultures in which far stranger things are bedtime stories.

BW: Still…it’s a pretty tall tale. He isn’t convinced you’re telling the truth. He suggests going somewhere to talk about it more. Where’s this dream date taking place?

AMM: Right by the ocean. I’ll introduce him to my new sea turtle friends.

BW: It might not be true love yet, but there is a Happily Ever After in your near future. As a Fearless Fifteener, your debut is out super soon. Tell us about your book in 140 characters or less.

Romeo and Juliet meets The Night Circus in a tale of rival traveling shows, long-standing feuds, & a romance as unlikely as it is dangerous.

BW: And if that doesn’t have you scrambling for more, here’s the full synopsis:

The weight of feathersFor twenty years, the Palomas and the Corbeaus have been rivals and enemies, locked in an escalating feud for over a generation. Both families make their living as traveling performers in competing shows—the Palomas swimming in mermaid exhibitions, the Corbeaus, former tightrope walkers, performing in the tallest trees they can find.

Lace Paloma may be new to her family’s show, but she knows as well as anyone that the Corbeaus are pure magia negra, black magic from the devil himself. Simply touching one could mean death, and she’s been taught from birth to keep away. But when disaster strikes the small town where both families are performing, it’s a Corbeau boy, Cluck, who saves Lace’s life. And his touch immerses her in the world of the Corbeaus, where falling for him could turn his own family against him, and one misstep can be just as dangerous on the ground as it is in the trees.

AMMMore about Anna-Marie: Anna-Marie McLemore writes from her Mexican-American heritage and the love for stories she learned from her family. Her work has been featured by The Portland Review, Camera Obscura, and the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West. Among her favorite things are fall leaves, Irish dancing, and lesser-known fairy tales. Her debut novel, THE WEIGHT OF FEATHERS  will be released on September 15 from Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press.

Becky headshots-Becky headshots-0007Becky Wallace is the author of THE KEEPERS’ CHRONICLES: THE STORYSPINNER, a magical adventure in which a case of mistaken identity exposes a young performer to a danger she could have never imagined and a secret her father died to protect. It will be available from Simon & Schuster in March 2015. When Becky’s not writing, she’s baking cupcakes and teaching her kids ’90s dance moves.

YA Q&A with Shannon Grogan

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Next up on Fearless Fifteeners’ YA Q&A is author, Shannon Grogan, whose creepy awesome debut, FROM WHERE I WATCH YOU, is out on August 4th! We’ve got a bio and book blurb at the end of the post but first, crazy questions!

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

SG: I go mess with the people I don’t like, naturally. Nothing dangerous, just enough to make them think they are losing it.

BW: Yes! Love the way you think. *high five* Sadly though, your parents aren’t too happy with your change. What fictional character do you ask to help you get out of the bind, and how do they “fix” you?

SG: Maybe one of the Ghostbusters. Venkman? Or maybe Ray (Dan Akroyd)

BW: 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?

SG: I think I might have died this morning so he better make a move while he still has a chance.

BW:  Good plan! Nothing like a near-death experience to get the ‘ole hormones pumping. BUT, he isn’t convinced you’re telling the truth — after all, it’s a pretty far fetched story. He suggests going somewhere to talk about it more. Where’s this dream date taking place?

SG: Definitely on a beach somewhere. Or maybe Starbucks.

BW: It might not be true love yet, but there is 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

SG: 16 yo Kara thinks winning a national baking contest will help her escape her holy roller mom, her sister’s ghost, and her stalker.

BW: Awww, yeah!  Lots of intriguing elements there! And here’s the full scoop:

From Where I Watch You Comp_Final (1)Sixteen-year-old Kara McKinley is about to realize her dream of becoming a professional baker. Beautifully designed and piped, her cookies are masterpieces, but also her ticket out of rainy Seattle—if she wins the upcoming national baking competition and its scholarship prize to culinary school in California. Kara can no longer stand the home where her family lived, laughed, and ultimately imploded after her mean-spirited big sister Kellen died in a drowning accident. Kara’s dad has since fled, and her mom has turned from a high-powered attorney into a nutty holy-rolling Christian fundamentalist peddling “Soul Soup” in the family café. All Kara has left are memories of better times.

But the past holds many secrets, and they come to light as Kara faces a secret terror. Someone is leaving her handwritten notes. Someone who knows exactly where she is and what’s she’s doing. As they lead her to piece together the events that preceded Kellen’s terrible, life-changing betrayal years before, she starts to catch glimpses of her dead sister: an unwelcome ghost in filthy Ugg boots. If Kara doesn’t figure out who her stalker is, and soon, she could lose everything. Her chance of escape. The boy she’s beginning to love and trust. Even her life.

_bea0359About Shannon:

Shannon Grogan is a second grade teacher who writes at night (and while her kids are at ballet and baseball) in a small logging town east of Seattle. When she isn’t writing, she’s baking, reading, watching scary movies, and wishing she were at the beach. You can find out more about her online at www.shannongrogan.com

More details about FROM WHERE I WATCH YOU:

Becky headshots-Becky headshots-0007Becky Wallace is the author of THE KEEPERS’ CHRONICLES: THE STORYSPINNER, a magical adventure in which a case of mistaken identity exposes a young performer to a danger she could have never imagined and a secret her father died to protect. It will be available from Simon & Schuster in March 2015. When Becky’s not writing, she’s baking cupcakes and teaching her kids ’90s dance moves.

Enter the Fearless Fifteeners Halfway Giveaway

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We’re halfway through our collective 2015 debut year, so it’s time for the FEARLESS FIFTEENERS HALFWAY GIVEAWAY!

You have the chance to win one of 33 novels that released January through July. The giveaway opens today and closes July 27. We will ship to addresses in the United States and Canada. On July 27, we will pull 33 winners–one per book until all books are given away.

To enter, all you have to do is click on the link at the bottom of this post, which will take you to Rafflecopter, and click on “Free entry.” For optional additional entries, you can submit a free entry each day during the giveaway. You can also follow any of the authors on Twitter whose name is click-able below. Here’s a look at the titles:

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Here’s a list of the individual authors and titles. If you click on the title, you will be taken to IndieBound for a description. If the author’s name is click-able, and you already follow or choose to follow any of them on Twitter, then you will earn an optional entry. The Rafflecopter link is at the very bottom…..

Emily Adrian, LIKE IT NEVER HAPPENED

Susan Adrian, TUNNEL VISION

Holly Bodger, 5 TO 1

Jen Brooks, IN A WORLD JUST RIGHT

MarcyKate Connolly, MONSTROUS

Alison DeCamp, MY NEAR DEATH ADVENTURES (99% TRUE!)

Elaine Dimopoulous, MATERIAL GIRLS

Michelle Falkoff, PLAYLIST FOR THE DEAD

David Fulk, RAISING RUFUS

Sheila Grau, DR. CRITCHLORE’S SCHOOL FOR MINIONS

Faith Harkey, GENUINE SWEET

Kathryn Holmes, THE DISTANCE BETWEEN LOST AND FOUND

Melissa Hurst, THE EDGE OF FOREVER

Angelica R. Jackson, CROW’S REST

Cordelia Jensen, SKYSCRAPING

Fonda Lee, ZEROBOXER

Maggie Lehrman, THE COST OF ALL THINGS

Stefanie Lyons, DATING DOWN

Jenny Martin, TRACKED

Mary McCoy, DEAD TO ME

Laurie McKay, THE LAST DRAGON CHARMER #1: VILLAIN KEEPER

Moriah McStay, EVERYTHING THAT MAKES YOU

Gail Nall, BREAKING THE ICE

Laura Liddell Nolen, THE ARK

Lance Rubin, DENTON LITTLE’S DEATHDATE

Sharon Huss Roat, BETWEEN THE NOTES

Cindy L. Rodriguez, WHEN REASON BREAKS

Romina Russell, ZODIAC series

Rachel Shane, ALICE IN WONDERLAND HIGH

N.K. Traver, DUPLICITY

Krista VanDolzer, THE SOUND OF LIFE AND EVERYTHING

Sandra Waugh, LARK RISING

Jen White, SURVIVAL STRATEGIES OF THE ALMOST BRAVE

AND HERE’S THE LINK……

RAFFLECOPTER LINK:

FEARLESS FIFTEENERS HALFWAY GIVEAWAY

Fearless Fridays: Gail Nall Watches Stop-Motion Animation

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I may have the weirdest fear ever – stop-motion animation.

Why?

I have no idea. There’s just something really freaky about the jerky movements the little characters make, and the fact that the clay ones seem to have no bones. Maybe it reminds me of old, bad horror films I shouldn’t have watched as a kid, or maybe I can blame it on my mom (who has some unresolved issues with Gumby). All I know is, stop-motion movies give me the heebie-jeebies, even though I can objectively acknowledge how much work goes into making them.

So today, I’m going to call up all my courage and watch 3 clips of stop-motion animation. Please, join me in this trip to Creepytown! Up first, the classic, spine-chilling Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Freakiness Rating: 9 out of 10
How long did I last? 1 minute 5 seconds (the independent eye movement!!!)
Why this one creeps me out: Holy majoly, where do I start? How about with the most nightmare-inducing part – the elf’s eyes roll INDEPENDENTLY at about 1:03. It’s the The Exorcist invading the North Pole’s. You all, I’ll see that in my dreams tonight. *shudder* Plus, the way the mouths move like they’re being operated by NASCAR drivers but everything else stays perfectly still. And they jump, almost as if they’re apparating Harry-Potter-style from one spot to the next. Creeptastic!
Would I watch more? Well, I’ve seen the whole thing, more than once. So I can suffer through it for my kid’s sake, should she ever feel the need to watch it. I can’t promise I’ll watch that independent eye-moving part again, though.

Moving on, clip number two is from Wallace and Gromit, a.k.a. The Creepiness Goes British…

Freakiness Rating: 5 out of 10
How long did I last? I watched it all! (Granted, it was only 1:34…)
Why this one creeps me out: Okay, I have to admit the dog is cute. (Also, I have no idea which is Wallace and which is Gromit, so for the sake of clarity, I will rename them The Dude and The Dog. Clever, right?) And I admit that I laughed when the robot said, “Knickers!” before exploding. But now to the more important, hide-under-the-covers things – the eyes, again. They’re like little round balls that are going to pop out and roll on the floor. Eeewww. And The Dude – he has no lips people! No lips, yet his face is frozen into a perma-smile! How? Why? Finally, I think the fact that it’s British makes it more creepy (no offense to the Brits of the world). There’s just something extra creepified about that proper accent paired with a jawless, lipless man…
Would I watch more? Ehhhh… it was funny…so, maybe? If I could keep my eyes on The Dog, anyway.

And lastly, Bert and Ernie’s Great [Disturbing] Adventures

Freakiness Rating: 8 out of 10
How long did I last? 1:29
Why this one creeps me out: Dear Sesame Street, what was wrong with normal, puppety Bert and Ernie? Why did you have to clay them out and subject me to watching this at least once a week with my three-year-old? Whyyy??? Okay, let’s start with that bed at the beginning. The bed’s legs bend. They bend, people. And if that’s not enough, they run with those bendy legs. Ernie’s strands of hair seems to move of their own volition, which sort makes me think of Medusa. And then, THEN, the eyes. Again. Little black dots that roll around in a sea of white. Thanks, Sesame Street!
Would I watch more? I don’t have a choice. My child likes it, and I try to hide my face.

Oddly, I ran across The Nightmare Before Christmas while searching for clips, and I never realized it was a stop-motion movie. It’s always been one of my favorites, so I opened a clip, and sure enough, it’s stop-motion. My unscientific conclusion on why Nightmare doesn’t bother me: it’s supposed to be all weird and Tim Burtonish. The creep-factor is negated with a movie meant to be creepy.

Well, that’s it, folks. I hope your nightmares are as lively as mine are tonight!

Gail NalGail Nalll lives in Louisville, Kentucky with her family and more cats than necessary. She spends her early mornings writing, her days writing grants for a non-profit, and her evenings trying to stay up past eight o'clock. You can visit her on her website, and chat with her on Twitter. Her debut contemporary MG novel, BREAKING THE ICE, and a co-written MG novel, YOU'RE INVITED, are both available now from Aladdin/Simon & Schuster.

YA Q&A with Holly Bodger

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In this week’s Q&A YA Wednesday, we’ve got, Holly Bodger, whose debut 5 to 1 is out May 12, 2015 (next week!) You can read the blurb and check out the cover, along with Holly’s bio and super cool pic at the end of the post—but first, check out her answers to these fearless questions.

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

Go back to bed. Well, maybe I’ll whine for some food first. Then I’ll swat at someone and knock something breakable off the counter. After that, I’m definitely going back to bed.

2. Turns out your parents aren’t happy with your change. What fictional character do you ask to help you get out of the bind, and how do they “fix” you?

I would contact Professor McGonagall. If she can turn into a cat, surely, she can help me stop being one. But I wouldn’t do this yet. Not until I have a nice, long nap.


3. 
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?

I’d say everything is fine. In fact, I’m feeling puuuurfect.

4. He/she isn’t convinced you’re telling the truth—after all, it’s a pretty far fetched story. He/she suggests going somewhere to talk about it more. Where’s this dream date taking place?

Well, I’m probably still sad that I’m no longer a cat, so I’m going to say a laundromat. There’s nothing better than a nice basket of fresh laundry (preferably something in a dark color so my fur will be really obvious!)

5. It might not be true love yet, but there is a Happily Ever After in your near future. As a Fearless Fifteener, your book is out this year. Tell us about it in 140 characters or less.

5 TO 1 is about the future effects of gender selection in India.

ABOUT HOLLY BODGER

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A long-time resident of Ottawa, Canada, Holly has been working in publishing since she graduated with an English degree from the University of Ottawa. 5 TO 1 is Holly’s debut novel.

5 TO 1

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In the year 2054, after decades of gender selection, Koyanagar–a country severed from India–now has a ratio of five boys for every girl, and women are an incredibly valuable commodity. Tired of wedding their daughters to the highest bidder and determined to finally make marriage fair, the women of Koyanagar have instituted a series of tests so that every boy has the chance to win a wife. But after fighting so hard for freedom against the old ways of gender selection, these women have become just as deluded as their male predecessors. Sudasa Singh doesn’t want to be a wife and Kiran, a boy competing to be her husband, has other plans as well. Sudasa’s family wants nothing more than for their daughter to do the right thing and pick a husband who will keep her comfortable—and caged. Kiran’s family wants him to escape by failing the tests. As the tests advance, each thwarts the other until they slowly realize that they might want the same thing.

YA Q&A with Marci Lyn Curtis

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In this week’s Q&A YA Wednesday, we’ve got, Marci Lyn Curtis, whose debut THE ONE THING is out Sept. 8, 2015. You can see the book blurb (and super cool cover), along with Marci’s bio at the end of the post—but first, check out her answers to our fearless questions.

1. You wake up one morning and, OMG, you’re Luna Lovegood! What’s the first thing you do with your new ability?

Pretty sure I’d dig out my wand and eradicate the song “Chandelier” by Sia. Because if I hear it one more time I’ll go out of my nut. 

2. Turns out your parents aren’t happy with your change. What fictional character do you ask to help you get out of the bind, and how do they “fix” you?

My neighbor, Mr.—
 
Wait. I actually don’t know his real name. In the 5 years since he moved across the street from me, I’ve only called him Gru (from Despicable Me). Not to his face, mind you, so he isn’t aware of this nickname. Ahem. Till now, anyway.
 
*Waves at Gru*
 
Moving on…
 
My neighbor—whose true name I do not know—the guy who looks, sounds, and walks exactly like Gru, stuffs me into an anti-Luna chamber and I’m ME once again.


3. 
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?

The truth, naturally: that I’ve just cured the world of a raging, infectious case of “Chandelier.” 

4. He/she isn’t convinced you’re telling the truth—after all, it’s a pretty far fetched story. He/she suggests going somewhere to talk about it more. Where’s this dream date taking place?

The very top of Mauna Kea, on the Big Island of Hawaii, where there are more stars than sky.
 
Most beautiful place ever. 

5. It might not be true love yet, but there is a Happily Ever After in your near future. As a Fearless Fifteener, your book is out this year. Tell us about it in 140 characters or less.

The One Thing is the story of a blind juvenile delinquent who discovers the tragic truth about a cherished friend.

 

ABOUT MARCI LYN CURTIS

Marci Lyn Curtis

Marci Lyn Curtis grew up in Northern California, where she went to college and met an amazing guy in a military uniform. Two college-aged kids and one dachshund later, she lives in Maryland, where she laughs too loudly and eats peanut butter off spoons. Her YA contemporary debut, The One Thing, comes out September 8th, 2015 via Disney-Hyperion. Learn more about her at Marcilyncurtis.com.

THE ONE THING

TOT final cover (2)

Maggie Sanders might be blind, but she won’t invite anyone to her pity party. Ever since losing her sight six months ago, Maggie’s rebellious streak has taken on a life of its own, culminating with an elaborate school prank. Maggie called it genius. The judge called it illegal.

Now Maggie has a probation officer. But she isn’t interested in rehabilitation, not when she’s still mourning the loss of her professional-soccer dreams, and furious at her so-called friends, who lost interest in her as soon as she could no longer lead the team to victory.

Then Maggie’s whole world is turned upside down. Somehow, incredibly, she can see again. But only one person: Ben, a precocious ten-year-old unlike anyone she’s ever met. Ben’s life isn’t easy, but he doesn’t see limits, only possibilities. After awhile, Maggie starts to realize that losing her sight doesn’t have to mean losing everything she dreamed of. Even if what she’s currently dreaming of is Mason Milton, the infuriatingly attractive lead singer of Maggie’s new favorite band, who just happens to be Ben’s brother.

But when she learns the real reason she can see Ben, Maggie must find the courage to face a once-unimaginable future…before she loses everything she has grown to love.