All the latest book giveaway news on YABC.

Author Chat with Ashley Iman (RUBY RENÉ HAD SO MUCH TO SAY), Plus Giveaway! ~ US ONLY!

May 17th, 2024 by

Today we are very excited to share an interview with author Ashley Iman!

Read on to learn more about the author, the book, and a giveaway!




Meet the Author: Ashley Iman

Ashley Iman is a former teacher and lifelong learner. She currently serves as the director of a teacher residency program in Washington, DC. When she’s not coaching new teachers, you can find her exploring a national park or working in her garden.

Website * Instagram




Meet the Illustrator: Gladys Jose

Gladys Jose is an illustrator, storyteller, and master to-do list maker. She earned a bachelor in fine arts degree with a specialization in graphic design from the University of Central Florida and has worked with several clients to perfect their brands. She lives in the sunny state of Florida with her husband and daughter. And her favorite drink is coffee; she’s always drinking coffee. You can visit her at

Website * Instagram





A debut picture book about a curious student who finds herself in trouble for talking in class—even though she just wants to share all that she’s learned.


“Did you know that flamingos don’t have teeth?” Questions, facts, and dreams—Ruby René could talk for hours. Once she got going, it was hard for her to stop. It didn’t matter if it was history, science, or the lunch menu—Ruby René had so much to say! But when her teacher called home because she found her sharing distracting, Ruby vowed to keep quiet. Until . . . she finds the perfect outlet for her gift of gab.

With charming text by debut author/educator Ashley Iman and colorful illustrations by Gladys Jose, Ruby René Had So Much to Say is a celebration of owning your voice, honing your skills, and turning challenges into opportunities.

Purchase * Goodreads




~Author Chat~


YABC:  What gave you the inspiration to write this book?

I’ve always had a lot to say and unfortunately this wasn’t always celebrated. I distinctly remember a classmate nicknaming me, “loquacious,” after we learned the word in a vocabulary lesson. In addition to it accurately describing my talkative personality, he thought it sounded like a “Black” name and I was one of very few Black students in my school. I was so embarrassed and stopped talking in class for years. I wanted little girls to know that their voice is valuable.


YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?

Ruby is such a funny and curious character, and I loved writing her, but my favorite character is actually Ms. Gale. I love how present and thoughtful she is. I think 8-year-old Ashley really relates to Ruby but as an educator, I see myself in Ms. Gale. I’ve always looked for ways to make my students feel seen and celebrated. Ms. Gale is the educator I needed as a kid, and I made it my mission to be her for my students.


YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?

The title came first. I had been thinking about writing this book for years but didn’t know how to get started. I was taking a walk when the main character’s name just came to me. The rest of the book flowed once I had the character.  I think I was hyper focused on the lesson I wanted children to walk away with but once I had the character, I could see the story.


YABC: What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
Definitely, the dodgeball scene – Ruby is dealing with some pretty heavy topics, and I appreciate the levity this scene brings to the book. It’s also based on real events. Ruby is loosely based on my own experience in elementary school and let’s just say, I’m not a fan of dodgeball.

YABC: What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2024?

I’ve been dying to read the third installment in Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone series, Children of Anguish and Anarchy. I don’t think I’ve ever been so invested in a series. I preordered the book over a year ago and when it’s finally released my phone will be on DND until I finish it.


YABC: What’s a book you’ve recently read and loved?

The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store by James McBride was remarkable. I love when a book is so descriptive that I can see the characters in my head. It’s definitely the kind of book that I’ll revisit.


YABC:   What’s up next for you?

My first love is teaching, and I am so grateful that I get to train new teachers every day. We have 65 new resident teachers joining us this summer at the Capital Teaching Residency and I cannot wait to start working with them. I’m still writing though and I’d love to do something that celebrates my family in Gee’s Bend, Alabama. We’re known for our intricate quilts, but I think there’s so much more to share with the world.


YABC:    What is the main message or lesson you would like your reader to remember from this book?

Your gifts can seem like a burden in the wrong context. Ruby is a brilliant little girl and she just needed to find the right venue to share it.




Author: Ashley Iman

Illustrator: Gladys Jose

Release Date: May 14, 2024

Publisher:  Kokila

ISBN-10: 0593618890

ISBN-13: 9780593618899

Genre: Hardcover Picture Book

Age Range: 4-8




*Giveaway Details*

Three (3) winners will receive a hardcover copy of RUBY RENÉ HAD SO MUCH TO SAY (Ashley Iman) ~ US Only!


*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway!*


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Giveaway: TALES FROM CABIN 23: THE BOO HAG FLEX (Justina Ireland)~ US ONLY!

May 17th, 2024 by

We are excited to share a giveaway for THE BOO HAG FLEX!




Meet the Author: Justina Ireland

Justina Ireland is the New York Times bestselling author of Dread Nation, Deathless Divide, Rust in the Root, and Ophie’s Ghosts as well as the Star Wars High Republic novels A Test of Courage, Out of the Shadows, and Mission to Disaster. She is also the cocreator of the middle grade horror series The Tales from Cabin 23 and the author of the series’ first book, The Boo Hag Flex. She lives with her family in Maryland, where she enjoys dark chocolate and dark humor and is not too proud to admit that she’s still afraid of the dark. You can visit her online at

Website * Instagram




About the Book:  THE BOO HAG FLEX 

Few campers at Camp Apple Hill Farm have found the mysterious cabin rumored to be hidden deep in the woods—but those who have whisper of a mysterious woman who tells tales of horrors beyond imagination. Are you brave enough to visit Cabin 23?

The last thing Tasha Washington wants is to move from her home in Savannah to a trailer park in Middle-of-Nowhere, Georgia. But when her mother dies and Tasha is taken in by her father—a man she’s never met, who abandoned her mom when Tasha was just a baby—she doesn’t have much of a choice. At least, she thinks, she won’t have to spend much time with him—something that becomes clear when he dumps Tasha with her grandmother and disappears to be with his new girlfriend.

The Shady Pines trailer park seems like a miserable place to spend a summer, even before an elderly neighbor suddenly passes away. But then Tasha meets a girl named Ellie who says she knows what really killed old Mr. Harold: a terrifying creature that stalks the trailer park at night, sucking the life from its victims. Tasha doesn’t believe it, but when she discovers a book of hoodoo legends in her grandmother’s trailer, and more people around Shady Pines start to appear unwell, she begins to fear the stories are true—and that danger is much closer than she thinks.

Purchase * Goodreads





Author: Justina Ireland

Release Date: May 14, 2024

Publisher: HarperCollins

ISBN-10: 006328782X

ISBN-13: 978-0063287822

Genre: Middle Grade

Age Range: 8-12





Three (3) winners will receive a hardcover copy of TALES FROM CABIN 23: THE BOO HAG FLEX (Justina Ireland) ~US Only!


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Guest Post: Author Dallas Woodburn (Before and After You and Me), Plus Giveaway ~ US Only!

May 16th, 2024 by

Today we are excited to share a guest post from author Dallas Woodburn (Before and After You and Me) !

Read on for more about Dallas, the book, and a giveaway!




About the Author: Dallas Woodburn

Dallas Woodburn is the author of the new YA novel Before & After You & Me. Her debut novel The Best Week That Never Happened was the Grand Prize Winner of the Dante Rossetti Book Award for Young Adult Fiction. She is also the author of the novel Thanks, Carissa, For Ruining My Life; the short story collections Woman, Running Late, in a Dress and How to Make Paper When the World is Ending; and the inspirational guide Your Book Matters: 52 love notes from my creative heart to yours
A former John Steinbeck Fellow in Creative Writing, her writing has been honored with the Cypress & Pine Short Fiction Award, the international Glass Woman Prize, and four Pushcart Prize nominations. When she’s not writing, Dallas hosts the Thriving Authors Podcast, teaches writing classes for teens and adults, and unapologetically bakes pumpkin-spice everything all year round. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and young daughters. You can connect with her on Instagram, Facebook and at her website. 
About the Book: Before and After You and Me

For fans of Sarah Dessen and Jennifer Niven comes a breathtakingly original contemporary YA novel about love, grief, art, and the tiny choices that change our lives.


Emma blames herself when a freak accident at a pool party leaves Hunter, the town’s rising track star and her former boyfriend, paralyzed from the waist down. As she struggles with anxiety, loneliness and regret, she begins to obsessively paint portraits of legs and feet—Hunter’s legs and feet—and for the first time receives critical acclaim and notice for her artwork.


But what started as therapeutic for Emma ends up deepening her guilt. Does creating meaningful art require retreating inward toward self-expression, or striving outward toward recognition—or can it somehow be both?


Searching for one whole, authentic identity, Emma grapples with love, ambition, grief, homecoming, and—ultimately—redemption. 

~Guest Post by Dallas Woodburn~

“My problem,” I told my therapist, “is that I have spent my whole life honing my imagination.”

“Why is that a problem?” she asked, peering at me intently with kind eyes.

“Because I can imagine, so vividly, terrible things happening.”

It was four months after the birth of my first child, and every corner of the world seemed full of terrible danger. I agonized over decisions, imagining that I would make one tiny, seemingly meaningless choice—turning left instead of right out of a shopping center; dressing her in the onesie with the long sleeves instead of the sleeveless; going to the park instead of the library—that would somehow lead to utter tragedy. Any decision felt weighted with the possibility that I could regret it forever.

During my postpartum days, this anxious channeling of my imagination reached a fever pitch. Even in my sleep-deprived state, I recognized a shift and reached out for help from a therapist.

But the truth is, worry was my companion long before I became a mother.

My new novel Before & After You & Me centers around a teenage girl, Emma, who makes one innocent, impulsive decision at a party. She yells out, “Let’s go skinny-dipping!” and jumps into the pool. Others follow suit—including her ex-boyfriend, Hunter—and tragedy ensues. Emma blames herself for the accident, and we journey with her as she wrestles with her guilt, grief and regret.

While Before & After You & Me was just recently published, I began writing the first draft of the story twelve years ago, when I was in graduate school pursuing my MFA degree in Fiction Writing. Like Emma in the novel, who moves from California to Indiana to attend an exclusive arts-magnet boarding school, I was living thousands of miles away from my hometown, friends and family. I felt more alone than ever before. Emma became a vessel for my own feelings of loneliness, homesickness, and self-doubt.

Looking back, I can see the guilt and grief I was battling as I wrote the first draft. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was girding myself to leave an unhealthy relationship—much as Emma gradually comes to the decision to break up with Hunter. In the many subsequent years of revising, reshaping, and expanding, this novel took on additional layers of meaning thanks to the twists and turns of my own life. For example, Kevin—a character completely absent from the first draft—is loosely based on the man who became my husband. As my own world broadened and deepened, so too did the novel.

Back to that therapist’s office. She gently suggested that my imagination was not to blame, then said something that changed my life.

“I believe your imagination is actually your superpower. But you get to decide how to use it.”

My brow crinkled in confusion. “What do you mean?”

“What if instead of imagining terrible things happening… you imagine good things happening instead?”

It sounds so simple. But, for me, this tiny shift worked wonders. I began to imagine driving home from the grocery store, my precious baby buckled snugly into her carseat, and parking in our driveway safe and sound. I imagined my baby waking up from her nap rested and cheerful, calling for me and giggling when I entered her bedroom. I imagined her continuing to grow, healthy and strong, and me there beside her, caring for her and delighting in her day by day by day.

In Before & After You & Me, Emma learns that she is worthy of love and forgiveness—not just from others, but most of all from herself. Writing her story revealed a truth that I needed to learn myself: that life is not about being perfect or never having regrets. It is about doing the best we can to live bravely and fully; accepting the whims and fancies of fate; and trusting that we are enough, even (especially) in our messy imperfections.

I hope Emma gives readers permission to let go of emotional weight or reproach or self-criticism they have been carrying around, perhaps without even realizing it. As Emma finds her way back to freedom and hope, I hope the reader finishes the book feeling lighter, too.





Title: Before and After You and Me

Author: Dallas Woodburn

Cover Designer: Jen Marie Hawkins)

Release Date: May 7, 2024

Publisher: Owl Hollow Press

ISBN-10: ‎ 1958109487

ISBN-13: ‎ 978-1958109489

Genre: Contemporary YA

Age Range: 14+




*Giveaway Details*


Five (5) winners will receive a copy of Before and After You and Me (Dallas Woodburn) ~ US ONLY


*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway!*


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Author Chat with Cambria Gordon (Trajectory), Plus Giveaway! ~ US ONLY!

May 16th, 2024 by

Today we are very excited to share an interview with author Cambria Gordon!

Read on to learn more about the author, the book, and a giveaway!




Meet the Author: Cambria Gordon

Cambria Gordon is the author of The Poetry of Secrets, which Ruta Sepetys called an “epic, poetic journey,” and coauthor of the award-winning The Down-to-Earth Guide to Global Warming, winner of the National Green Earth Book Award. Cambria has written for Los Angeles Times MagazineBoys’ LifeParent Guide News, and The Jewish Journal of Los Angeles. She lives in LA with her husband and youngest son, and as close as possible to her two adult children, without annoying them.

Website * Instagram * X * Facebook * TikTok




About the Book: Trajectory

Perfect for fans of Kristin Hannah and Sharon Cameron, this is the stirring and dramatic story of one young woman who must find a way to overcome her deepest fears in order to unlock the secret that will help America and the Allies to victory as World War II rages on.

Seventeen-year-old Eleanor is nothing like her hero Eleanor Roosevelt. She is timid and all together uncertain that she has much to offer the world. And as World War II rages overseas, Eleanor is consumed with worry for her Jewish relatives in Europe. When a chance encounter proves her to be a one-in-a-generation math whiz–a fact she has worked hard all her life to hide–Eleanor gets recruited by the US Army and entrusted with the ultimate challenge: to fine-tune a top-secret weapon that will help America defeat its enemies in World War II and secure the world’s freedom. This could be her chance to help save her family in Poland.

Soon, she’s swept from the basement of an Ivy League engineering school, to the desert of California, to an Army Air Corps base at Pearl Harbor, and finally she takes to the skies above the South Pacific. But before she can solve this complicated problem, she must learn to unlock a bigger mystery: herself.

Critically acclaimed author of The Poetry of Secrets, Cambria Gordon weaves an extraordinary story of remarkable courage and the will to unearth our deepest secrets, based on previously undiscovered true events.





~Author Chat~


YABC:  What gave you the inspiration to write this book?

I’m a history geek and I love WWII stories. But I realized there haven’t been very many told from the home front. I imagined that people in America, certainly Jewish people, felt helpless in the face of what was going on in Europe to their families. I came across a little-known PBS video, entitled “Top Secret Rosies” about young women who calculated ballistics tables in a secret math lab in the basement of University of Pennsylvania. I thought, what if one of the recruits is Jewish and desperately wants to help her cousins in Poland, but can’t let anyone know she’s a math whiz because of a family tragedy that happened when she was young? The only way she’ll accept the job is if no one finds out.

YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?

Sky was my favorite character to write dialogue for. He’s kind of a puppy dog, but also a wolf when he needs to be. He supports Eleanor and is ahead of his time in terms of not feeling threatened by a smart woman. Then, when we find out his secret, we doubly realize how cool he is.

YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?

The novel came first, but I did have a working title, The Numbers Girl. Scholastic thought that was kind of general and wanted something more adventurous to reflect the risk Eleanor goes through. I love the title we chose. Trajectory has two meanings. The path your life can take and the path of a ballistic as it flies through the air.

YABC: What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?

This is a spoiler alert, dear Readers. Feel free to skip this question. The scene when Eleanor is in the B-17 and getting attacked by the Japanese fighter planes is something I’m pretty proud of. I’ve never been in combat and I know no one living who has. I watched a re-release of the film, “Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress”, which William Wyler directed in 1944. I’m friends with his grandson and he got me a copy. In documentary style, Wyler and his camera crew accompanied the Memphis Belle aircraft on their bomber missions and experienced the same dangers. I think the scene in the book turned out quite believable and realistic. I hope readers feel the fear Eleanor feels and also sees how scary war can be and the high price our soldiers paid to defend America’s freedom.

YABC:  What research did you do to write this book?

I’m terrible at math! I only went as far as Algebra II. I consulted with phD candidates and other mathematicians for the math and physics portions. I looked through high school yearbooks of family friends who grew up in Philadelphia in the 1940’s. I interviewed the head of the Aviation Museum at Pearl Harbor and spoke to a WWII buff about the Norden bombsight. I also drove out to the Mojave desert and combed through the archives at Edwards Air Force Bace (formerly Muroc).

YABC: What’s a book you’ve recently read and loved?

I just read Sharon Cameron’s Artifice.  It’s about art forgery in Holland during WWII. I loved how she uses color as metaphor throughout the book. And Cameron throws everything at her main character. With each chapter, you wonder how will she ever get out of this predicament. It’s a tense page-turner and there’s a great love story as well.

YABC:   What’s up next for you?

I’m working on a multi-generational story that connects the Holocaust to the events of October 7th in Los Angeles. I can’t say more because it’s not official yet. But I’m excited to bring two little-known real Christian heroes to light, recognized as Righteous Among the Nations for their work in saving Jewish lives during WWII.

YABC:   Which was the most difficult or emotional scene to narrate?

The scene where the PCS girls are hanging out at the frat house and the conversation turns racist. Getting into the mindset of hate that Marjorie must have felt toward Alyce, a Black girl and then later, toward Eleanor, a Jewish girl was painful for me. I wanted that moment to feel like a scene out of “Mean Girls” only where someone actually speaks up on behalf of the one being bullied. That happened to me when I was in high school and no one stood up for me. I guess Eleanor became my alter-ego. It’s ironic because she’s shy and I never was. But when you’re a victim, it’s hard to find your power in the moment.

YABC:      What would you say is your superpower?

I can name any Taylor Swift song from the first few bars.

YABC:   What advice do you have for new writers? 

Don’t give up hope! I published my first historical fiction YA when I was in my fifties! Be like Eleanor and find that inner strength to follow your passion.



Title: Trajectory

Author: Cambria Gordon

Release Date: April 2, 2024

Publisher: Scholastic

ISBN-10: 1338853821

ISBN-13: 9781338853827


Young Adult Fiction / Historical / Holocaust

Young Adult Fiction / Historical / Military & Wars

Young Adult Fiction / Historical / United States / 20th Century

Age Range: 12 And Up




*Giveaway Details*

Five (5) winners will receive an ARC copy of Trajectory (Cambria Gordon) ~ US Only!


*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway!*


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Rockstar Tours: DON’T (Gabriella Batel), Author Q&A plus Giveaway!~US ONLY

May 16th, 2024 by

I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the DON’T by Gabriella Batel Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!


About The Book:

Title: DON’T

Author: Gabriella Batel

Pub. Date: October 31, 2022

Publisher: Crown of
Thorns and Roses Press

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Pages: 326

Find it: Goodreads 


A heart-pounding debut ready for fans of Cory Anderson’s What
Beauty There Is 
and Marieke Nijkamp’s This Is Where It Ends.

“This ambitious debut novel…marks this young author as one to
watch.” —Corinna Turner, author of the Carnegie Nominated I Am

Don’t play. I saw you.

Paityn’s awake. Her near-terminal lupus keeps her that way. That’s how she
crosses Tony Suarez again. That’s how she becomes the only witness to something
she wasn’t supposed to see.

The first time, Tony shot Paityn’s stepfather. Now he wants Paityn. He wants to
keep her quiet about what she saw. And the best way to keep Paityn quiet is to
silence her family.

But Paityn’s not going to let Tony touch her family—not while she’s still
alive. And she’s not dead yet.






  1. What gave you the inspiration to write this book?


The running joke among my family is that every time I have an issue or question about life, I wind up writing a book. It’s true, though, and that’s how Don’t got started. Originally, it was because of a far different issue than when it started. I think it was first inspired because I felt like I didn’t fit in, but as the story developed, I realized I was more interested in the topic that Don’t tackles: why is there pain in the world? And what do we do when everything doesn’t turn out okay, when things just keep getting harder? I translated that question into a medium I would enjoy and connect with (high-stakes thriller) and just started exploring, and that’s how my book was born.


  1. Who is your favorite character in the book?


Ooh, that’s a tricky one. They’re all my babies! That said, I think my favorite character is Paityn. She’s so strong but that doesn’t make her hard. I love how she can simultaneously be so stoic and commanding but have the most intensely loving, tender heart inside, and I think that’s what I love the most about her: she feels so much so strongly, and so I get to, too.


  1. Which came first, the title or the novel?


Easily the novel. I am notorious for having the hardest time coming up with titles. I went through over one hundred options before settling on Don’t.


  1. What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?


I’m most proud of the scene in Chapter 63 with the snowy forest and the man from the cemetery. First, I got to pull out all the stops with creating the atmosphere and setting, and I took a risk doing something a bit genre-bending. Most of all, though, this is where the point of the whole book finally came to a peak. It was a pivotal moment that I could either do right or make way to explanatory and “in your face,” and I feel like I wrote a moment that will leave readers with a satisfied, moved exhale. (And maybe a few happy tears.)


  1. Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned as a writer from then to now?


I’ve learned a lot, so it’s hard to pin down what’s the most important, but I’d say it’s probably this: it’s not enough to just have characters, you have to live and breathe them. You have to know and love these people like they actually exist. You have to know their favorite podcast, flavor of gum, and member of BlackPink. You have to know the first time they skinned their knee, that time they messed up a line in their high school senior play but they were so smooth no one could even tell, and that day their mom had a close call in a car accident. When they despise or fear or love someone, so do you, as deeply and immensely as them. And most of all, you have to let them lead. Let them tell you that they like Jisoo and which line they fouled up and who they’re in love with. I know that might sound abstract, but what I’m trying to say is that you can’t steamroll a personality that you decide onto them and make it work. The personality will come to you out of mulling over this person and spending time in your imagination’s scenario. Become friends with them. The plot (a much better lot) will follow.

And then when you feel them, so will the audience.


  1. What do you like most about the cover of the book?


First, that gorgeous gradient of red that my designer put on the glass. Second, the FROST! Third, that freakishly cool way that we are seeing part of the title through the glass.


  1. What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2024?


The Storm We Made by Vanessa Chan just came out in January, and I haven’t gotten to it yet, but it sounds mind blowing. It’s about “a Malayan mother who becomes an unlikely spy for the invading Japanese forces during WWII”; the stakes are through the roof, and I know the emotional impact is going to gut me.


On a lighter note, I’m also wildly excited for Serpent Sea by Maiya Ibrahim, the sequel to Spice Road. I loved every single piece of the setting and magic system, every single character relationship, and every single artful word in the first book, so I’m thrilled that the sequel’s finally coming out!



  1. What was your favorite book in 2023?


The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He. And I generally don’t even like sci-fi and tropical settings, but this one—oh my goodness, the atmosphere of impending doom, the drive for survival, the betrayal, and the immense sister bond left me starstruck.


  1. What’s up next for you?


A sequel! Don’t is a standalone, but I also thought a couple of these characters (and my readers!) deserved an extra chapter, so the second in the series, Done, follows Mercedes and Luiz a couple of years later, when everything is not quite as finished as they think!

And in case you thought the story would be done then, I’ve got two more in the works: one is Don’t through Tristan’s eyes, and the other is an alternate version of Don’t where a few of the characters make a single different decision, and the rest of the story turns out very different.


  1. Is there anything that you would like to add?


To all my artists and storytellers (which are basically the same thing) out there:

Have. Fun.

Don’t just stick only to what you’re good at or what you think you’re supposed to be doing. Dip into it all if you want! Write. Draw fanart. Make animations. Go for photography. Try acting. Write some music. Dance. Is it going to be any good the first time? Probably not. I wasn’t. (Have you seen my earliest fanart?) Do it anyway. Do whatever sparks joy, make what you’re passionate about real, create something you wish you could see or hear, and don’t do it for anyone’s approval. Just do it because there’s something bursting inside you and it needs every venue possible to come out.

It’s not going to be pretty the first time, and if it doesn’t do much for you, drop it and try something else. But if you love it, keep going. Learn. Practice. Keep having fun. Keep making what you love. Just do it for the sake of doing it.

Your audience will thank you for it.


  1. Which was the most difficult or emotional scene to narrate?


The most emotional scenes were also the most difficult ones—Chapter 55 and Chapter 59, both between Paityn and Tristan—because there is so much raw emotion in them, and I had to work and rework them so many times so that I didn’t waste a single drop of it. Imagine an actor: a scene can inherently be so touching, but if the actor either undersells it or overdoes it to the point of melodrama, you lose the audience and any potential, and then it’s just annoying. So I had to be the actor here, writing each line so that it hit so hard but didn’t feel sappy.


  1. Which character gave you the most trouble when writing your latest book?


My boy Luiz in the sequel, Done! I’m always walking a tightrope, striking some kind of tenuous balance with him. I want audiences to love him but not forget that he’s absolutely flawed and made some bad choices in Don’t.  I want him to work through guilt, but not seem self-pitying (or, worse yet, make the audience pity him!). I want him to express emotion but not to the point where it contradicts his naturally hard, stoic personality. And I find that I keep leaning toward writing him like a cinnamon roll, when that’s NOT what I’m going for. He’s got me practicing my balancing act hard!


  1. Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?


Revising. It’s easier for me, takes less time per round (even though I might go through six or seven rounds), and it’s more fun to be almost a spectator,  enjoying the completed story, and sometimes roaster. Every once in a while, get the pleasant surprise of reading a line that I love but don’t remember writing, and I’ll get to squeal over it or cheer. And, more often, I’ll read something that makes me actively cringe, and then I’ll laugh, fix it, and wind up with something much better.


  1. What would you say is your superpower?


I have this thing called hyperphantasia where, when I imagine something, I see it so clearly, a crisp, detailed picture in my mind. And then, when I’m trying to create, I am relentless until I can hammer that picture into reality. I guess those two combined are my superpower.



  1. Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?


Pro-life activism! I love every beautiful baby, and defending the most vulnerable among us, protecting their rights and their precious lives, is SO close to my heart! And with that, empowering women as mothers for that beautiful heartbeat their amazing body made, and supporting those same women who may feel alone. There are a bunch of organizations who work for this, but a couple I know best are Students for Life and Marisol Health.



About Gabriella Batel:


Batel is a vibrant young Catholic woman with an adrenaline craving and a
passion for God, her family, movies, and all things YA fiction. Don’t is her
debut novel, and she’s already working on the next thrill ride.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | TikTok | YouTube | Goodreads | Amazon






Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a signed finished copy of DON’T, US Only.

Ends May 31st, midnight EST.

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Tour Schedule:

Week One:


Two Chicks on Books

Playlist/IG Post



Top 5 Scenes


Writer of Wrongs

Top 5 Books



IG Post



IG Post


Brandi Danielle Davis

IG Post


YA Books Central

Interview/IG Post



IG Post/TikTok Post



IG Review



IG Review

Week Two:


Review Thick And Thin

Review/Top 5 Movies/IG Post


Country Mamas With Kids

Review/Fan Cast/IG Post



IG Review


The Book Critic

Review/IG Post



IG Review



IG Review


Kim’s Book Reviews and Writing Aha’s

Review/IG Post



IG Review



IG Review/TikTok Post


A Blue Box Full of Books

IG Review/LFL Drop Pic/TikTok Post


Giveaway: BABA’S PEACH TREE (Marie Tang)~ US ONLY!

May 15th, 2024 by

We are excited to share a giveaway for BABA’S PEACH TREE (Marie Tang)!




Meet the Author: Marie Tang

Marie Tang was born in Hong Kong, raised in New York City, and was a resident of Shanghai for over a decade. The unique characters and neon lights of the “Big City” have been an ever-present source of inspiration for her. She proudly tells tales of the grit, tenacity, and compassion of the Asian people. She is also the author of Yuna’s Cardboard Castles.

Website * Instagram




About the Book: BABA’S PEACH TREE

In this moving picture book, a migrant worker and his daughter, find good fortune in the form of a peach tree growing behind their house in rural China. Filled with stunning illustrations, this is a unique and poignant story about love, perseverance, and family.

Behind their old stone house, Tao Hua and her father, Baba, discover good fortune: a peach tree. Baba prunes and tends to the tree. He calls it a blessing, like good shoes, hot rice, and books. And for a long time, the peach tree offers them fruit and hope for a better life. But time passes, and so do the seasons, and, one day, the tree does not blossom.

But life blossoms in a different way when Baba comes home and announces that he got a job in the Big City, where there are good schools and opportunities. And so the seasons pass, and, one day, when Baba is very old, he and his daughter return to their old home and to new peach trees–to old memories and new beginnings.

Baba’s Peach Tree is a story of the dreams we dream and the sacrifices we make as seen through the lens of a migrant family.






Author: Marie Tang

Illustrator: Seo Kim

Release Date: 5/14/24

Publisher: Random House Studio

ISBN-10: 059356507X

ISBN-13: 9780593565070

Genre: Picture Book/Fiction

Age Range: Ages 4-8





Three (3) winners will receive a hardcover copy of Baba’s Peach Tree (Marie Tang) ~US Only!


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Giveaway: Homeland Insecurity (Shawn M. Warner) ~ International!

May 15th, 2024 by

We are excited to share a giveaway for Homeland Insecurity (Shawn M. Warner)!




Meet the Author: Shawn M. Warner

Shawn’s an adventure lover whose wildest and most rewarding journey is being a husband and father — followed closely by inventing Young Adult characters and concocting outlandish adventures for them.

In Homeland Insecurity, a fast-paced action-adventure, Shawn crafted a tale readers will fall in love with. Leigh Howard and the Ghosts of Simmons-Pierce Manor, his debut, became Amazon’s #1 Best Seller around the globe and is available in multiple languages as well as on audio.

Website * Instagram * X * Facebook




About the Book: Homeland Insecurity

Secret agents are all Jack and his friends ever wanted to be. Spy adventures were the movies they watched, the books they read, even the games they played.

Playtime is over!


Kelly, a political refugee and freind of Jack’s sister, is targeted for revenge by the man her father sent to prison. Armed with nothing but heroic courage and skills born from their childhood dreams, Jack and his friends fight a battle against an enemy who uses fear, torture and murder to get what they want. If they are to survive, they must work together.

Purchase * Goodreads




Title: Homeland Insecurity

Author: Shawn M. Warner

Illustrator:  Cover = Black Rose Writing; Inside art = Brian Brinlee

Release Date: June 4, 2024

Publisher: Black Rose Writing

ISBN-13: 9781685134709 | 9781685134280

Genre: Young Adult

Age Range: 13+




*Giveaway Details*


Two (2) winners will receive an Advanced Reader Edition of Homeland Insecurity (Shawn M. Warner) ~ US Only!


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Eight (8) winners will receive an epub edition of Homeland Insecurity (Shawn M. Warner) ~ International!


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Author Chat with FELICIA FARBER (FAKE OUT), Plus Giveaway! ~ International!

May 15th, 2024 by

Today we are very excited to share an interview with author Felicia Farber!

Read on to learn more about the author, the book, and an international giveaway!




Meet the Author: Felicia Farber

Felicia Farber is an author and attorney in New Jersey who writes contemporary young adult novels about the impact of technology on today’s teens. With a unique background in electrical/computer engineering and law, she loves to highlight the social, emotional, and legal challenges the latest technological advancements have on our younger generations. Her debut novel Ice Queen, a modern-day Mean Girls tale about sexting and cyberbullying, has won 11 awards including First Place in YA fiction and is popular for high school summer reading. Felicia regularly presents to schools, libraries, book clubs, and legal organizations, and enjoys sharing her expertise on blogs and podcasts.

Website * Instagram * X




About the Book: Fake Out


FAKE OUT is a romantic mystery novel about a high school couple whose love and loyalty are put to the test when artificial intelligence is used to destroy their relationship.

Someone is manipulating images of David Woods to make it look like he’s engaging in illegal acts and spreading them all over social media. Since the images seem real he gets in trouble with his school and faces suspension. But when a graphic video of David in a sexual encounter with his ex is circulated, no one believes it’s a fake, especially not his current girlfriend, Blair Evans.

Blair desperately wants to trust David, but she’s seen the evidence with her own eyes. The school has no tolerance for David’s indiscretions either, increasing his punishment to expulsion.

How can Blair figure out if their whole relationship is built on lies or if David is really telling the truth? Could it be a deepfake, as he claims? And if he is sincere, then who is trying to destroy his life . . . and why?

FAKE OUT is a stand-alone sequel to the award-winning novel ICE QUEEN, a contemporary Mean Girls tale about sexting, cyberbullying, and dating in the digital age.

Purchase * Goodreads




~Author Chat~


YABC:  What gave you the inspiration to write this book?

A couple of years ago I was fascinated by the advent of deepfakes and synthetic media. I couldn’t resist immersing my characters from ICE QUEEN into a story arc that takes cyberbullying and its consequences to a whole new level. After facing a sexting scandal and making it out the other side, could Blair and David survive this too? If I could create an exciting, fast-paced story to show the adverse impact that manipulated media and artificial intelligence could have on typical teenagers, then I thought that would be the best way to convey how easily this could happen to any of us.

YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?

I typically have a soft spot for the underdog and that holds true here, so I’d have to say David. This poor guy is getting blindsided by new technology, unknown enemies, and a devious and unpredictable ex-girlfriend that leave him distraught and ultra-vulnerable. I enjoyed developing his character in a way that showed his many layers as he tried to dig his way out of the messes heaped upon him.

YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?

The novel came first but I knew the word “fake” was going to have be in the title!

YABC: What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?

Hard question, but if I had to choose a scene it would be the one where the school is holding a hearing to expel David. As much as I needed to demonstrate the devastation David and Blair were each feeling at the hearing, I also needed to fairly portray the school’s standpoint and concerns when faced with a novel situation like this.

YABC:  Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned as a writer from then to now?

I’ve learned to cut out material that I may like but that slows down the story. There are countless styles of writing, but for me it’s really important that my plot moves along quickly, so I’ve developed my own style which cuts the fluff, so to speak.

YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?

I love the use of the vibrant colors on my cover that really make my characters Blair and David pop out, along with the way the bolt of ice shoots down between them, symbolizing the relentless forces at play in the story that seek to break them apart.

YABC:    What is the main message or lesson you would like your reader to remember from this book?

We’re living through a technological revolution where the digital tools available to us are constantly evolving and presenting new challenges to our norms and privacy. This new technology doesn’t come with a moral or ethical handbook and if it’s used inappropriately, it can wreak havoc on the lives of innocent people. Both teens and adults need to stay on top of the latest technological developments to avoid becoming unwitting victims.

YABC:      What would you say is your superpower?

I LOVE writing dialogue because that’s where I can make my characters the most real and relatable. I try to tap into their minds and let them take over to the point where I’m merely the conduit jotting their words and emotions onto the page. From what my readers tell me, dialogue is one of my superpowers.

YABC:     Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?

Any organization that helps animals is close to my heart. I support local, national, and global charities that rescue and protect animals of every kind, from domesticated cats, dogs, and horses to wild rhinos, primates, and pandas.






Release Date: 5/15/2024



ISBN-13: 978-0-9964708-6-5

Genre: Contemporary Romantic Mystery YA

Age Range: 12 -18+




*Giveaway Details*



One (1) winner will receive a signed copy of both Ice Queen and Fake Out (Felicia Farber) ~ US/CAN Only!


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Two (2) winners will receive a digital copy of both Ice Queen and Fake Out (Felicia Farber) ~ International!


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Bundled Giveaway: Mother’s Day Kids Books from Penguin Random House! ~ US ONLY

May 14th, 2024 by

Thank you so much for joining YABC as we team up with Penguin Random House to share books celebrating  Mothers with a fantastic giveaway!

Check out the books being offered and enter the amazing giveaway down below!


“We are born of love, love is our mother.” -Rumi


Title: Mamá’s Panza

Author: Isabel Quintero; Illustrated by Iliana Galvez

Publisher: Kokila and imprint of Penguin Young Readers

Release Date: 3/26/2024

Order link


Title: Mother’s Day, Here I Come!

Author: D.J. Steinberg; Illustrated by Emanuel Wiemans

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap and imprint of Penguin Young Readers

Release Date: 3/12/2024

Celebrate Mother’s Day with this collection of sweet and funny poems from the author of the hugely popular Kindergarten, Here I Come!

It’s time to start prepping breakfast in bed and calling up grandma too, because Mother’s Day is here! From treating Mom to an at-home spa day to crafting the perfect card, these clever and heartwarming poems – plus a page of stickers! – are the best way to embrace the joy and fun of Mom’s special day!

Order link


Title: Mamas and Babies

Author: Christie Matheson; Illustrated by Christie Matheson

Publisher:  Rise x Penguin Workshop an imprint of Penguin Young Readers

Release Date: 2/20/2024

A collection of nonfiction anecdotes about the love between animal mothers and their babies.

Thirteen pairs of animal mothers and their babies are presented in this loving nonfiction picture book. From polar bears to alligators to orangutans, this unexpected and deeply tender book reflects the fierce love and natural connection between a mother and her baby. Each animal mother shows a uniquely protective characteristic, providing a snapshot of motherhood and childhood in nature that invites personal connection and reflection. The watercolor portraits mirror the soft text and bring the affection and love to life, further connecting us to our fellow animals. This is the perfect lap-time, bedtime, or snuggle-time read-aloud for mother and child.

Order link


Title: Hope is a Rainbow

Author: Hoda Kotb; Illustrated by Chloe Dominique

Publisher: Flamingo Books an imprint of Penguin Young Readers

Release Date: 3/5/2024

What do you hope for? What do you dream?

Hoda Kotb’s new book is a lyrical celebration of hope in children and teaching the youngest readers how to reach for their dreams–whether they are as big as the night sky or as small as a bowl of purple ice cream. It’s a lesson in optimism and what a positive outlook can bring.

With beautiful and timeless illustrations by Chloe Dominique, Hope Is a Rainbow is a can’t-miss book for any child who dares to dream. It’s a story that honors the childlike wonder and curiosity that exists in all of us, young and old.

Order link




One (1) winner will receive a bundle of Mother’s Day themed books from Penguin Random House: Mama’s Panza (Isabel Quintero), Mother’s Day, Here I Come (D.J. Steinberg), Mamas and Babies (Christie Matheson), and Hope is a Rainbow (Hoda Kotb) ~ US ONLY


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Giveaway: A Cloud Called Bhura (Bijal Vachharajani) ~ US/CAN Only!

May 14th, 2024 by

We are excited to share a giveaway for A Cloud Called Bhura (Bijal Vachharajani)!




Meet the Author: Bijal Vachharajani

Bijal Vachharajani has a habit of hugging strange trees whom she meets on her travels. When not hugging trees and talking to caterpillars who live on those trees, she’s either reading or writing or editing a children’s book. She is the winner of the AutHer Award for the Best Children’s Book in 2020 and 2022, the former editor of Time Out Bengaluru, and is currently a commissioning editor at Pratham Books. She has a master’s in environment security and peace from the University for Peace. Part of the Abhiyan Library movement, she is now a certified climate worrier.

Website * Instagram * X * Facebook




About the Book: A Cloud Called Bhura

From award-winning author Bijal Vachharajani, A Cloud Called Bhura is a delightful middle-grade novel that tackles climate change through an inspiring lens of friendship, trust, and community. When a toxic brown cloud suddenly appears over Mumbai, a wily crew of tweens take charge to lead the city back to sunshine and sanity.

Purchase * Goodreads




Title: A Cloud Called Bhura

Author: Bijal Vachharajani

Illustrator: Aindri C

Release Date: 5/14/24

Publisher: Blackstone Publishing

ISBN-10: 8212323178

ISBN-13: 9798212323178

Genre: Juvenile Fiction/Social Themes/Environment

Age Range: 8-12





Ten (10) winners will receive a copy of A Cloud Called Bhura (Bijal Vachharajani) ~US/CAN Only!


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