Subscribe in a reader
Note from Liza:
Paul Volponi is one of the most extraordinary YA authors in the US today. Many of the bloggers and authors I know don’t know about him. This shocks me. He’s had 11 books published and many have received top awards! He has been addressing issues of race, sexually for years and years and years, doing so in a way that is honest, real, painful, and respectful. Years ago, I dubbed him the King of Urban Fiction. I hope anyone who is interested in diversity will not only read his books, but promote them.
Best friends Mackey and J.R. have waited their whole lives to win the basketball tournament at Rucker Park, where their favorite pro ballers squared off against street legends. But the day of their big game, J.R. is fatally stabbed—and it’s Mackey’s fault, even though he didn’t wield the knife. Now Mackey has a score to settle, but the killer is watching his every move.
Rucker Park Setup by Paul Volponi
Couldn’t stop turning the pages with this eye-opening book into the world of schoolyard basketball in NYC. Another masterpiece by “The King of YA Urban Fiction,” Paul Volponi. True-to-life lessons on how one word, even a nod can impact a person’s life irreparably! The choices we make and with whom we interact can have a long lasting impact – Who are our role models and what do they stand for? Who are the people deserving of our respect? What truly counts if we’re going to live as moral and responsible human beings? And finally, when any sport – whether basketball or football etc. – is the ticket out of poverty – what the price and to whom are you willing to pay it?
Another heartbreaking wow!
View all my reviews
For the past three years, Wisconsin and Illinois authors/bloggers/librarians have gotten together for a luncheon inspired by foods mentioned in various novels. This may have been our best year yet! Though people are still talking about the Dragon Risotto from The Fault in Our Stars, which we had two years ago.
There is no way this event could be done without my awesome co-host Heidi Zweifel of YA Bibliophile. We had a blast cooking together, laughing and occasionally tasting. It was a lot of fun and time flew by.
If you are a book club or just a group of people like us who love getting together, I highly recommend hosting a Novel Cuisine Luncheon. It really is a blast. We talked favorite books, books that surprised us, and books we rave about to others. Author Lori Lee told us about her YA debut GATES OF THREAD AND STONE (It sounds amazing!) and author Liz Czukas also attended. She wrote ASK AGAIN LATER & Amazon’s best pick for December, TOP TEN CLUES YOUR CLUELESS. Jaime and Erin Arkin from Fiction Fare, Rachel Kinnard, Andrea Payan of Mrs. Payan Reads, Krista Hutley, and Monica Fumarolo.
A photo posted by Liza Wiemer (@wiemerliza) on Dec 12, 2014 at 4:24pm PST
A photo posted by Liza Wiemer (@wiemerliza) on Dec 12, 2014 at 4:24pm PST
Everyone who attended received an ARC of Elizabeth Eulberg’s WE CAN WORK IT OUT – Thank you so much Scholastic, an ARC of COLD WAR ON MAPLEWOOD STREET by Gayle Rosengren – Thank you so much Putnam, and bookmarks, necklaces, and swag other awesome swag from author Martina Boone for COMPULSION! Lori Lee brought bookmarks from GATES OF THREAD AND STONE! So, one lucky winner will receive all of the above ARCs and swag – plus – our gag gift fun that relates to our favorite cake: Whoopie Pie Cake from COMPULSION! You’ll just have to wait to see what it is. (No, it is not a cushion.)
A photo posted by Liza Wiemer (@wiemerliza) on Dec 12, 2014 at 4:22pm PST
A photo posted by Liza Wiemer (@wiemerliza) on Dec 12, 2014 at 4:22pm PST
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Abby and Luke chat online. They’ve never met. But they are going to. Soon.
Abby is starting high school–it should be exciting, so why doesn’t she care? Everyone tells her to “make an effort,” but why can’t she just be herself? Abby quickly feels like she’s losing a grip on her once-happy life. The only thing she cares about anymore is talking to Luke, a guy she met online, who understands. It feels dangerous and yet good to chat with Luke–he is her secret, and she’s his. Then Luke asks her to meet him, and she does. But Luke isn’t who he says he is. When Abby goes missing, everyone is left to put together the pieces. If they don’t, they’ll never see Abby again.
Want to Go Private? by Sarah Darer Littman
This is an extremely important YA novel that will leave you absolutely terrified because you’ll realize how vulnerable our children can be to online predators. This novel doesn’t mince words, doesn’t try to be gentle. This novel is blatantly honest. Every parent, teacher needs to read this as a cautionary tale. I would much prefer younger YA read this simultaneously with a parent. WANT TO GO PRIVATE is an important book. Brace yourself – but read it! This book could save a person’s life.
When I was first writing Pushing the Limits, Echo’s name was originally Sarah.
I love the name Sarah. Depending upon where you look, the name Sarah means princess or lady. I’ve also seen that it can mean happy. Sarah’s a great name, but it wasn’t working for the character I was writing—it wasn’t working for who we’ve come to know as Echo.
I was looking at the naming of my character wrong. I was trying to name her, when it was my character’s mother who would named her and that person was obsessed with Greek mythology.
I poured through the Greek myths, attempting to find the perfect name for my main character and when I came across the myth for Echo, I knew I had found her name.
Echo was a wood nymph who was cursed to lose her own voice and only repeat what others said as a punishment. If that wasn’t bad enough, she fell in love with a guy who was so self-absorbed that he never noticed her. She was so heartbroken that her physical body faded away into nothing, leaving behind her voice that is doomed to repeat what everyone else said.
To me, Echo was the girl who lost her voice. I’m very proud that Echo found her voice at the end of Pushing the Limits.
In Breaking the Rules, Echo has to work to maintain that voice that she had lost and then rediscovered. She has to forge her path in a very cruel world, but she also has to deal with something she’s never allowed herself to face—her grief over the loss of her brother Aires.
There are two major revelations in Breaking the Rules and both of them involve names. Once you read Breaking the Rules, you’ll find out why I gave Noah and Aires their names and you’ll also learn how deeply those names are involved in Echo and Noah’s story.
Katie was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.
Katie is the author of the full-length Young Adult novels PUSHING THE LIMITS and DARE YOU TO, and the e-novella CROSSING THE LINE. Her debut novel, PUSHING THE LIMITS, is a 2012 Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction and an RT Book Reviews 2012 Reviewer’s Choice Awards Nominee for Young Adult Contemporary Novel.
Writing has given Katie an excuse to pursue her passions. Research for her books has provided her with the amazing opportunity to train with baseball players, ride along in a drag car at ninety-six miles per hour and experience boxing and mixed martial arts. The most memorable moments for Katie are when she speaks to groups of teenagers about her research, writing and the truth that no dream is out of reach. Katie would love to hear from her readers.
Contact her via her website, katielmcgarry.com, at Twitter @KatieMcGarry, or become a fan on Facebook and Goodreads.
Summary from Goodreads:
Three plantations. Two gifts. One ancient curse.
All her life, Barrie Watson has been a virtual prisoner in the house where she lives with her shut-in mother. When her mother dies, Barrie promises to put some mileage on her stiletto heels. But she finds a new kind of prison at her aunt’s South Carolina plantation instead–a prison guarded by an ancient spirit who long ago cursed one of the three founding families of Watson Island and gave the others magical gifts that became compulsions.
Stuck with the ghosts of a generations-old feud and hunted by forces she cannot see, Barrie must find a way to break free of the family legacy. With the help of sun-kissed Eight Beaufort, who somehow seems to know what Barrie wants before she knows herself, the last Watson heir starts to unravel her family’s twisted secrets. What she finds is dangerous: a love she never expected, a river that turns to fire at midnight, a gorgeous cousin who isn’t what she seems, and very real enemies who want both Eight and Barrie dead.
Add to Goodreads
Compulsion is available anywhere books are sold. Signed copies are available from One More Page Books. You can also order with the special “I have a Compulsion for reading” bookplate from Eight Cousins.
IndieBound | Barnes & Noble | Amazon | Walmart | Target | Book Depository (free worldwide shipping)
Martina Boone was born in Prague and spoke several languages before learning English. She fell in love with words and never stopped delighting in them.
She’s the founder of AdventuresInYAPublishing.com, a Writer’s Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers site, and YASeriesInsiders.com, a Tumblr site devoted to news, giveaways, and insider secrets of much-loved and up-and-coming YA series.
From her home in Virginia, where she lives with her husband, children, and Auggie the wonder dog, she enjoys writing contemporary fantasy set in the kinds of magical places she’d love to visit. When she isn’t writing, she’s addicted to travel, horses, skiing, chocolate flavored tea, and anything with Nutella on it.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
He was attractive, talented…and way off limits.
Heather Gadway may have been a world-class college pitcher and a top university coach, but she’s a rank amateur when it comes to managing the Falcons, her father’s struggling minor league team. And when it comes to managing her aggravating attraction to Garrett Wolf, their talented new pitcher. It’s going to be difficult enough to make it as the first female manager in the league and prove to her overly critical father she’s worthy. No distractions. No missteps. And certainly no romances with players. Everything stands between them—including their troubled pasts—even as Heather’s world falls apart and Garrett’s the one who’s there to catch her…
Romance, Baseball, Rivals to Lovers, Contemporary Romance.
A League of Her Own by Karen Rock
How does the past influence your present? In A League of Her Own Karen Rock brings Heather and Garrett together — two deeply wounded people scarred from their past.
Heather’s father owns a minor league team. When he needs Heather (a former superstar pitcher of her own right and a pitching coach at a college), she drops everything to take over for her dad, managing the boys.
Garrett is a potential star pitcher, but his sketchy past haunts him in the present. For Heather, it’s a reminder of her worst childhood nightmares. Yet, her attraction to Garrett and vise versa is so palatable that it hurts. On so many levels this relationship is wrong. Heather’s Garrett’s boss, he has issues that cut her to the core, and she can’t move past them, even though he’s trying the best he can.
Can they resolve issues from the past and find a way to love and cherish one another?
With baseball as the backdrop, Karen Rock fuels readers attention for America’s pastime and interjects sweet, tender romance appropriate for anyone at any age.
Things I loved about this story:
1. The lesson that our past shouldn’t always influence our present and future.
2. That we’re not all doomed to repeat past mistakes if we work hard to change.
3. That love is the most powerful weapon/gift of all.
4. Sometimes healing the past can be done by helping someone in the present.
5. Personal dreams can change.
6. Appreciate the NOW because in an instant what we know can vanish.
7. What we believe isn’t always the truth, so hear others out.
This is a romance novel for anyone who seeks something deeper and more meaningful, for anyone who has experienced difficulties and has had a hard time moving past them. This is a story of love and ultimately hope. Enjoy!
Thank you to the publisher for the NetGalley copy.
Star basketball player Chelsea “Nitro” Keyes had the promise of a full ride to college–and everyone’s admiration in her hometown. But everything changed senior year, when she took a horrible fall during a game. Now a metal plate holds her together and she feels like a stranger in her own family.
As a graduation present, Chelsea’s dad springs for a three-week summer “boot camp” program at a northern Minnesota lake resort. There, she’s immediately drawn to her trainer, Clint, a nineteen-year-old ex-hockey player who’s haunted by his own traumatic past. As they grow close, Chelsea is torn between her feelings for Clint and her loyalty to her devoted boyfriend back home. Will an unexpected romance just end up causing Chelsea and Clint more pain–or finally heal their heartbreak?
Praise: “PLAYING HURT is a delicious, tantalizing love story that will captivate you until the final, satisfying sigh.”–Kristin Walker, author of A MATCH MADE IN HIGH SCHOOL
Playing Hurt by Holly Schindler (March 2011)
Fans of Simone Elkeles MUST read Playing Hurt! It’s a beautifully written, emotional YA romance. You won’t be able to put it down. Holly’s writing is masterful––setting scenes you can see in your mind. She creates tension and desire in a realistic, honest manner, and the characters are so relatable! I have a feeling Playing Hurt will go on a lot of people’s lists of favorite YA novels for 2011! Is already is on mine!
Holly Schindler is an author to watch! (Well, I did say this back in 2011, and I was right. Holly has had several more awesome books published since PLAYING HURT. Make sure to check her out on the sites posted above. )
My impression of the first novel in the series, Boomerang.
I’m thrilled to be involved in this cover reveal for Noelle August’s second book in the Boomerang Series. I read Boomerang last week. Unfortunately, I haven’t had a chance to write a full review. Here’s a quick impression: The characters and story were fresh, interesting, engaging, sweet, and romantic. Loved that the two main characters were interning at the same company and were vying for the same full-time position. I also loved that they were forced apart because of company policy forbidding office romances. Lots of tension and swoony moments! The series is perfect for those looking for contemporary NA novels.
At Boomerang, one night can change everything…
Adam Blackwood has it all. At twenty-two, he’s fabulously wealthy, Ryan Gosling-hot and at the top of his game in the business world. His life is perfect, until a scandal from his past resurfaces and threatens to knock the tech wunderkind down and throw his company, Boomerang, a hook-up site for millennials, into chaos.
Alison Quick, the twenty-one-year-old daughter of a business tycoon—and the very ex-girlfriend of Boomerang’s former intern, Ethan—has a problem of her own. After nearly flunking out in her senior year of college, she has one chance to redeem herself to her father by proving that she deserves a place in his corporate empire. That means spearheading her father’s plan to sink big money into Adam’s company and launch it into the stratosphere—provided Adam has no skeletons in his closet.
When the two meet, their sizzling chemistry makes it tough to keep things strictly professional. But when Alison discovers Adam’s secret, she knows she should bring it right to her father, who’ll leverage it for his own gain and use it to ruin Adam. The only problem: she’s falling for Adam—hard.
Will earning her father’s approval come at the price of losing her first real love? Or can Adam and Alison leave behind past mistakes and conquer the world—together?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Question: What do you get when friends pen a story with heart, plenty of laughs, and toe-curling kissing scenes? Answer: Noelle August, the pseudonym for renowned editor and award-winning writer Lorin Oberweger and New York Times bestselling YA author Veronica Rossi, the masterminds behind Boomerang. You can visit them at NoelleAugust.com, @Noelle_August,
It all begins with a stupid question:
Are you a Global Vagabond?
No, but 18-year-old Bria Sandoval wants to be. In a quest for independence, her neglected art, and no-strings-attached hookups, she signs up for a guided tour of Central America—the wrong one. Middle-aged tourists with fanny packs are hardly the key to self-rediscovery. When Bria meets Rowan, devoted backpacker and dive instructor, and his outspokenly humanitarian sister Starling, she seizes the chance to ditch her group and join them off the beaten path.
Bria’s a good girl trying to go bad. Rowan’s a bad boy trying to stay good. As they travel across a panorama of Mayan villages, remote Belizean islands, and hostels plagued with jungle beasties, they discover what they’ve got in common: both seek to leave behind the old versions of themselves. And the secret to escaping the past, Rowan’s found, is to keep moving forward.
But Bria comes to realize she can’t run forever, no matter what Rowan says. If she ever wants the courage to fall for someone worthwhile, she has to start looking back.
Kirsten Hubbard lends her artistry to this ultimate backpacker novel, weaving her drawings into the text. Her career as a travel writer and her experiences as a real-life vagabond backpacking Central America are deeply seeded in this inspiring story.
Catch the travel bug with Wanderlove!
Any young adult who is thinking about taking a trip after high school, but isn’t sure about it should absolutely read Wanderlove. Bria Sandoval takes a trip to Central America and finds herself on a tour with people over three times her age. It’s hardly the tour she thought she had signed up for. When a backpacker named Rowan asks her to come to an island for dinner, it’s the beginning of a new adventure for Bria. She goes through many challenges, both physically and emotionally. It’s a time of great discovery and an opportunity to reconnect with drawing, something she loves to do but gave up because of a painful breakup. As she rediscovers her passion, she begins to realize how much she wishes she hadn’t allowed a guy to keep her from pursuing her dreams. Her revelation is quite insightful. I loved Bria’s journey of discovery. I loved traveling with her and learning more about her life. I loved finding out about Rowen and appreciated how he decided to turn his life around. I loved Wanderlove. It’s another YA novel I highly recommend.
Be careful what you wish for…
Lyra has always been ahead of the curve. Top of her class in school, a budding astronomer, and with a best friend like Darren she barely has time to miss the mother who abandoned her family years ago. She’s too busy planning to follow in her father’s footsteps, and to become the youngest astronomer at Space Exploration and Discovery.
When a star goes missing Lyra is determined to get to the bottom of it only to discover her braniac dad is the mastermind of a top-secret government experiment. They promise to build a perfect world, one galaxy at a time, but with every tweak of the present, a bit more of the future starts to crumble.
Lyra has to go undercover to reveal the truth and let humanity decide if the consequences are worth more than wishing on a star.
ONE WISH AWAY is a wonderful addition to novels that feed into our passion for wish making. Readers will see in a very real way how wishes can have a global impact. Kelley Lynn weaves science and a bit of wish making magic into this story, which I believe with hold the interest of late middle school and young adult readers.
What I liked:
1. The scientific setting.
2. Lyra’s strong moral compass and her curiosity.
3. Darren, a supportive boy who is definitely swoony.
4. The description of SEAD – short for Space Exploration and Discovery, the place where Lyra interns and her father is the lead scientist.
5. The family dynamics were realistic and painful.
6. The consequences of the wishes and how they impacted situations.
The novel ends with many questions for readers to ponder: What happens to Lyra? What happens to Darren? Who was the mystery man? Will there be a sequel? Will Lyra’s father do anything to protect her? If there won’t be a sequel, it’s definitely fun for readers to come up with their own answers.
The biggest question of all might be: What would YOU wish for? And what might the consequences be?
If you are a stargazer, into science, or just love the idea of making wishes, then you’ll enjoy ONE WISH AWAY!
Thank you to Bloomsbury Spark for the review copy on NetGalley.
Eventually the day came when the voices in Kelley Lynn’s head were more insistent then her engineering professor’s. So instead of turning to her Thermodynamics book, Kelley brought up a blank page on her computer screen and wrote. Somewhere along the way she became a Young Adult author.
Kelley was born and raised a Midwestern girl. She’s not afraid to sweat and fills her free time with softball, soccer and volleyball. (Though you probably don’t want her on your volleyball team.) She occasionally makes guest appearances as a female vocalist for area bands. Music plays a large role in her writing process as well as the characters and plot lines within her stories.
You can find Kelley hanging out at her blog, titled in her name, as well as the group blog she shares with her fellow critique partners, Falling for Fiction. Kelley is a member of the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators.