Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Jeannie Mobley Takes the Dare

Jeannette Mobley is the author of KATERINA'S WISH:
Katerina has a dream. It’s her papa’s dream, too. Her family came to America to buy their own farm. But a year later, Papa is still working in the dangerous coal mine. Each day, the farm seems farther away.

Then Katerina is reminded of the carp that granted three wishes in an old folktale. When her younger sisters hear the story, they immediately make wishes. Trina doesn’t believe in such silliness—but what is she to think when her sisters’ wishes come true?

A farm is still too big to wish for. But, with the help of the neighbor’s handsome son, Trina starts building her dream with hard work and good sense. Then tragedy strikes, and it seems that nothing Trina wishes for will ever come true again.

With warmth and gentle humor, Jeannie Mobley tells the story of a girl whose determination is as inspiring as her dreams.

Jeannie decided to take this dare: dress in a Halloween costume and read from your book using an accent. Enjoy.

Thanks so much for playing, Jeannie!

Friday, October 26, 2012


It's time for another cover reveal! TRANSPARENT by Natalie Whipple.

Isn't it amazing!? The thirteeners think so too. The colors, the setting, the tagline, the invisible GIRL!  This is seriously an awesome cover. HarperTeen did a great job. I mean, with the premise of an invisible girl, we had no idea how they were going to pull it off, but they did in a big way! Congratulations on a perfect cover, Natalie! And I can tell you that the story behind the cover is every bit as amazing! I love this book. Adore it. Here's the official summary in case you don't know what it's about:

          Plenty of teenagers feel invisible. Fiona McClean actually is.

An invisible girl is a priceless weapon. Fiona's own father has been forcing her to do his dirty work for years—everything from spying on people to stealing cars to breaking into bank vaults.

After sixteen years, Fiona's had enough. She and her mother flee to a small town, and for the first time in her life, Fiona feels like a normal life is within reach. But Fiona's father isn't giving up that easily. 

Of course, he should know better than anyone: never underestimate an invisible girl.

So yeah, that! And in case you don't believe me, how about a blurb:
“Debut author Natalie Whipple deftly explores painfully real teen experience through delightfully unreal stories. Transparent is a smart, funny, tense gem of a book, and Fiona claims a spot as one of my favorite heroines.” Kiersten White, New York Times bestselling author of the Paranormalcy trilogy

And Natalie's pretty amazing herself.

She's a YA writer and self proclaimed card-carrying nerd. Her favorite areas of the nerd realm include anime, Korean dramas, good cheese, and playing mmorpgs with her family. She takes pride in writing the weirdest books she can think of.

And I'd like to add a bit to her bio: She's an amazing cook, an awesome mother, and a great friend. I've known Natalie for several years now and always love to brag about how I get to beta for her. I've read several of her books and I can say that she's one of my very favorite authors and people. Congrats again, Natalie! I, and the rest of the thirteeners, are so excited for this book!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Betsy Cornwell Takes the Dare!

Today's guest poster is the fabulous Besty Cornwell, whose debut novel TIDES will be published by Clarion/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on June 4, 2013. That's a long time to wait for Betsy's novel, but here's a little description to tide you over (pun totally intended) until then:  

When high school senior Noah Gallagher and his adopted teenage sister, Lo, go to live with their grandmother in her island cottage for the summer, they don't expect much in the way of adventure. Noah has landed a marine biology internship, and Lo wants to draw and paint, perhaps even to vanquish her struggles with bulimia. 

But then things take a dramatic turn for both of them when Noah mistakenly tries to save a mysterious girl from drowning. This dreamlike, suspenseful story--deftly told from multiple points of view--dives deeply into selkie folklore while examining the fluid nature of love and family.

Sounds fantastic, right?

Betsy chose to do an interpretive dance to a reading of her novel and while I would call it a raging success, check out the video below to witness this dare in all its glory:

Thanks so much for playing, Betsy!


Debut author Betsy Cornwell wrote TIDES as a student at Smith College, where she graduated in 2010. She was a columnist and editor at Teen Ink before receiving an MFA in creative writing at the University of Notre Dame, where she also taught fiction writing as well as film and television studies. She is currently writing and traveling in Europe. For more about Betsy, please visit her website at www.betsycornwell.com.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Dare: Natalie Whipple + High School Crush + Letter

This dare was sent a long time ago by Elodie, and I thought it was time to bring it out to the light. She dared one of us to "write a letter to our high school crush." Oh yes, here goes nothing. You are about to get a lovely window into my teen angst.

Letter To My High School Crush

First of all, I just want you to know that I didn’t plan on liking you. We were friends for a long time, and then I suddenly wished it’d be a lot more than that. I don’t know why, but I guess that’s how crushes work, don’t they? They flare up for inexplicable reasons and have a talent for making things awkward.

And, oh, it was awkward, wasn’t it? Though I never told you how I felt, sometimes I thought you knew. There were moments I’m sure it was painfully obvious, what with the staring or leaning on your shoulder or pathetic attempts at flirting. I think occasionally you avoided me because of it, which was fair. I also imagine that you never said anything because you wanted to spare my feelings.

I’m still not sure if I should be grateful for that “sparing of feelings” or not. If you’d told me you didn’t like me, I probably would have cried and felt stupid and avoided you for awhile. Okay, let’s be honest, probably I’d avoid you forever. But you know what? I still cried and felt stupid for liking you. Worse than that, I hoped. I held out. I didn’t move on until after high school because I always hoped that one day things would change between us. Holding a torch for you meant I missed out on other boys who might have liked me (and I actually did turn down a boy because of you, which is totally lame and regrettable because he was very sweet and actually pretty cute).

So I don’t think you did me any favors, though at the same time I’m sure you meant well. You were my friend, after all. It was an impossible situation. There was only one way to win and a million ways to lose.

It was all for the best, though, right? I think so. Sometimes it’s okay to lose. Sometimes it takes us where we need to be. I ended up right where I always wanted, and I hope you have, too.

Much now-totally-platonic love,


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA Cover Reveal and Epic DEVIL Starter Kit Giveaway!

We Friday the Thirteeners couldn't be more excited to reveal the cover for our own April Tucholke's YA debut BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA! A cover is a huge milestone in the publication journey, so it's always a big deal regardless. But when you get a cover that is absolutely perfect, it just makes it that much better. So today we are madly celebrating being able to finally have DEVIL up on our blog!

Drum roll, please....

You stop fearing the devil when you’re holding his hand…

Nothing much exciting rolls through Violet White’s sleepy, seaside town…until River West comes along. River rents the guesthouse behind Violet’s crumbling estate, and as eerie, grim things start to happen, Violet begins to wonder about the boy living in her backyard. Is River just a crooked-smiling liar with pretty eyes and a mysterious past? Or could he be something more? Violet’s grandmother always warned her about the Devil, but she never said he could be a dark-haired boy who takes naps in the sun, who likes coffee, who kisses you in a cemetery...who makes you want to kiss back. Violet’s already so knee-deep in love, she can’t see straight. And that’s just how River likes it.

Blending faded decadence and the thrilling dread of gothic horror, April Genevieve Tucholke weaves a dreamy, twisting contemporary romance, as gorgeously told as it is terrifying—a debut to watch.

Damn, that is one gorgeous cover for one incredible book! Not only that, the fantastic Kendare Blake, author of ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD and GIRL OF NIGHTMARES, has this to say about DEVIL:

"Tucholke's story of devils, innocence, and family secrets is lush, and rhythmic as a song. Seductive with a capital 'S'."

All of us Thirteeners couldn't agree more! For your very own chance to win an ARC of DEVIL and a one-of-a-kind DEVIL Starter Kit put together by April herself, make sure to visit Young Adult Books Central right away!

BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA will be published by Dial/Penguin on August 15th, 2013. Add DEVIL to your Goodreads, and you can also pre-order it at Amazon!

About our girl: April Genevieve Tucholke digs classic movies, redheaded villains, big kitchens, and discussing murder at the dinner table. She lives in Oregon at the edge of a forest.

April, congratulations again on BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA! Your talent blows us away, and we're so looking forward to seeing DEVIL hit the shelves next year. We're all very, very proud of you!

A.G. Howard Takes The Dare

Today's guest is A.G. Howard, author of SPLINTERED, coming January 2013 from Amulet Books. Anita decided to show us that she can tell a story in pictures just as well as she can using words.

You may have guessed that Anita's talents overflow on the page as well. Here's a glimpse of what SPLINTERED has in store for you:

This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence. Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.

When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.

Anita Grace Howard is most at home weaving the melancholy and macabre into settings and scenes, twisting the expected into the unexpected. She’s inspired by all things flawed, utilizing the complex loveliness of human conditions and raw emotions to give her characters life, then turning their world upside down so the reader’s blood will race.

Be sure to drop by her blog, A Still and Quiet Madness, as well herTwitter or Facebook Author Page and say "Hi." She's always up for meeting new friends!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Mindy McGinnis Tackles A Tricky Truth

by Mindy McGinnis

Today I'm going to jump in over my head and address a Truth from follower Alyssa Susanna. She asks:

All of the authors [here] have books that are being published by major publishing companies. How do you feel about the self-publishing world? Wouldn't it be easier to have your work out, by yourself? On the other hand, would it be harder to market your self-published book? Thoughts on self-publishing!

It's a great question, and one that can turn the tension factor up a notch in a room that's populated by both traditionally-published authors and self-published authors. Even internet chat rooms aren't immune to the feeling of gee-I-hope-this-goes-okay when the topic comes up.

Inevitably there's always someone who says that we all have to do what is "right for us as individuals," or what "fits our own career paths and goals." I think such phrases were probably bandied about at Hatfield and McCoy family picnics right before the six-shooters came out.

Does this mean I think that's an incorrect statement? No.

I absolutely and totally think that every author does need to do what is best for them, but I would add that every author needs to be completely and totally aware of what each path holds before they go running down it.

Alyssa asked: Wouldn't it be easier to have your work out, by yourself?

Easier in some senses, yes. There's the gratification of getting your work "out there" much faster than in the trad-pub world. And - a major selling point for self-pubs - the revenue generated by your sales are yours. Not a publishing house's. Not an agent's. Yours. And hey, that's great.

Yet it's also harder in some senses. Cover design? Up to you. Copyediting? Pay somebody. And - the big one - Marketing? That's on you, too. And that's what trips me up, bigtime. Like I landed on my face and ended up with my two front teeth down in my lower intestine.

Marketing is HARD. I mean hard like learning how to ice skate on your nose-hairs is hard. I've been blogging over at Writer, Writer Pants on Fire for two years. I do book reviews, author interviews, ARC giveaways, query critiques, agent features and offer oh-so-interesting-snippets of my real life. I blog at least five days a week. It's work of the brain-squeezing type. And I have less than 500 followers (and I love all less-than-500 of you, don't get me wrong).

I tweet. I have a Facebook author page. I'm a volunteer moderator at AgentQuery Connect. I participate in the group blogs The Lucky 13s, our own Friday the Thirteeners, From the Write Angle and Book Pregnant. I have a Pinterest board for NOT A DROP TO DRINK comprised of my own photography. I make vlogs. I do everything any socially-networking minded person can do and still have time to write.

And I'm not a household name by any stretch of the imagination. Granted - I don't have a product to actually sell at the moment. DRINK won't be releasing until Fall 2013.

But I did participate in a group anthology called SPRING FEVERS from the independent publisher The Elephant's Bookshelf. I can come off as not flattering myself when I say that it's pretty darn good, as I'm not the only author in the book. I used every avenue mentioned above to help promote SPRING FEVERS, as did my fellow authors in the collection. The e-book is even offered for free on Kindle.

I'm not going to tell you how many downloads we have, but I will say that it breaks my heart and leaves me in awe of people that succeed in self-publishing. Truly in awe.

This is why going the trad-pub route was right for me. I can't think outside the box when it comes to promotion and marketing. The sheer number of blogs, Facebook pages, Twitter accounts and self-published books available makes me want to burrow into a hole and hope for the best as opposed to standing up and proving that I'm different from them in a really new and awesome way.

With the marketing department of a traditional publishing house behind me I don't have to do that. And that's good because I can't do that. It's not what I'm made for.

I don't mind signing away the money (and yes, the rights too!) that I gave my house when we went into contract because they're offering me something I don't have - a massive built-in following, shelf space in major retailers, an art department to make my cover, and who knows what kind of marketing that I couldn't finance in a million years of working as a high-school librarian.

And I'm offering them something they don't have - my book. I look at is as win-win.

But other people cringe at exactly the same thing I welcome with open arms, and that's why self-publishing exists, and why it's very popular. It's also lucrative... for some.

I can't remember who, but awhile back an agent tweeted that self-publishing is not a guaranteed money-making success anymore than being trad-pubbed automatically means you're going to be the next Stephen King. The vast majority of trad-pubbed authors also have a day job. I'm willing to bet the same is true for self-pubs.

We're not all that different. And I really wish all of us could just go ahead and accept that. Some authors are willing to make certain sacrifices, while others would rather sacrifice something else.

And that's totally cool. We don't get to tell each other which sacrifices are the right ones.

I see a lot of polite head-butting, a lot of agreeing to disagree. What bothers me is that if we all insist that the grass is greener on our side of the fence, pretty soon the vast amount of bile that's being spread on both sides is going to kill all the grass, everywhere.

Mindy McGinnis is a YA author and librarian. Her debut dystopian, NOT A DROP TO DRINK, will be available from Katherine Tegen / Harper Collins Fall, 2013. She blogs at Writer, Writer Pants on Fire and contributes to the group blogs From the Write AngleBook PregnantFriday the Thirteeners and The Lucky 13s. You can also find her on Twitter Facebook.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Our Final Thirteener: Renee Collins!

 Credit: Darcy Case Photography

You have no idea how excited I am to introduce our FINAL Thirteener today! It is none other than one of my dearest friends—Renee Collins! This marks a very strange milestone for our little group. I can't believe we've filled all our spots, when a year ago this time we hadn't even launched our blog. It has been such a pleasure to be part of Friday The Thirteeners.

So let me tell you a little more about Ren. They really shouldn't have asked me to do this, because I LOVE humiliating my friends. First and foremost, if you need to get on her good side, all you need to do is bring her a cold Dr. Pepper. If it's on tap, even better. Second, Renee is the master of the Philosophical Journey. These basically consist of pondering upon a subject until you find some kind of meaning in all the madness. It's funner than it sounds (okay, not really).

As young as she may look, Renee is a mother to three adorable kids, and she lives with her husband in Colorado among the gorgeous red rock cliffs that partially inspired her debut novel, RELIC.

Oh, RELIC. You guys, I have so many feelings about this book. But first, the basics from the announcement:

Debut author Renee Collins' RELIC, pitched as True Grit meets The Prestige, set in a world in which the remains of long-extinct magical creatures are mined and traded on the black market in the red rock desert of the Colorado Territory for their residual magic powers, where a young girl must learn how to harness the power of relics and forge a risky alliance with a local land baron in order to survive.

This blurb only scratches the surface of how awesome this book is. Historical fantasy is becoming increasingly hot these days, with books like SHADOW AND BONE (Leigh Bardugo) and STORMDANCER (Jay Kristoff) and our own Ellen Oh's PROPHECY going outside the traditional British/European roots. Not to mention so many authors pulling from early American inspiration, such as Libba Bray's THE DIVINERS. Renee's RELIC is a perfect addition to this awesome YA genre, with its touch of magic and vibrant Old West world. Put this one on your list—it's such a fun, refreshing novel!

Okay, I think that's enough gushing. It's SO much easier to brag for my friends than for myself! So give Renee a warm welcome! We are so happy to have her, and please, leave her horrible truths/dares—she's up for her first on October 26th.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Mindi Scott Takes The Dare!

Today we have the awesome Mindi Scott, author of the highly praised FREEFALL and her newest YA, LIVE THROUGH THIS, which just came out last week. Here's some info about LTT:

From the outside, Coley Sterling’s life seems pretty normal . . . whatever that means. It’s not perfect—her best friend is seriously mad at her and her dance team captains keep giving her a hard time—but Coley’s adorable, sweet crush Reece helps distract her. Plus, she has a great family to fall back on—with a mom and stepdad who would stop at nothing to keep her siblings and her happy.

But Coley has a lot of secrets. She won’t admit—not even to herself—that her almost-perfect life is her own carefully-crafted façade. That for years she’s been burying the shame and guilt over a relationship that crossed the line. Now that Coley has the chance at her first real boyfriend, a decade’s worth of lies are on the verge of unraveling.

In this unforgettable powerhouse of a novel, Mindi Scott offers an absorbing, layered glimpse into the life of an everygirl living a nightmare that no one would suspect

Sounds amazing, doesn't it? And if you need more convincing, check out the amazing blurbs:

"Live Through This is by turns harrowing, sad, funny, and romantic. I couldn't put it down."
--Stephanie Perkins, author of Anna and the French Kiss

"Intensely emotional and beautifully crafted, I savored every word."
--Amanda Grace, author of In Too Deep

"An honest and realistic portrayal of what it is to live with secrets and shame." –Jo Knowles, author of Lessons From a Dead Girl

I gave Mindi a number of evil humiliating FUN options to choose from, and she--brave soul that she is--chose one of the hardest ones. I have watched this several times and only seem to giggle more with each one. Here she is, reading from her old diary. AND THERE'S KISSING!!!!

Isn't she too adorable for words???

*tiny correction: Mindi wanted to make it clear that she meant a WAGE of $3.61 an hour, not price*

Thank you SO MUCH Mindi for being such an awesome sport and stopping by to play our little game! And If you're an author or soon-to-be-pubbed author and want to play, go here (we're booked up for a while, but please feel free to still sign up)! 

Mindi Scott is the author of Live Through This and Freefall. She lives near Seattle, Washington, with her drummer husband. Please visit her online at mindiscott.com.

And you can order Mindi's books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Indiebound.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Megan Shepherd Takes the Dare

Happy Friday!

Today I chose a dare from Jen Klein that goes something like this:

Choose a character from your upcoming book.  Reenact his/her most dramatic moment.  Use props and costumes if necessary.  Photograph and post.

I wouldn't say this is the MOST dramatic moment in my character's life, but it's pretty darn dramatic. And it required safety goggles and live fire.

Thanks for the dare, Jen! Next up on the blog is a guest dare by Mindi Scott on Tuesday, October 9, and then our own Mindy McGinnis will answer a truth or dare on October 12.

Megan Shepherd is a young adult writer living in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Her debut novel, The Madman's Daughter, comes out January 29, 2013 from Balzer+Bray/HarperCollins, and is the first in a Gothic thriller trilogy. She’d love to hear from you at her blog, TwitterFacebook, or on Goodreads.