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Guest Post with Author Denise Kiernan (Giving Thanks: How Thanksgiving Became a National Holiday)

November 21st, 2022 by

Today we are excited to share a guest post from author Denise Kiernan,

Giving Thanks: How Thanksgiving Became a National Holiday!

Read on for more about Denise and Giving Thanks!

 

 

 

Meet Denise Kiernan!

Denise Kiernan (she/her) is an American journalist, producer and New York Times bestselling author. She has written several history books, including We Gather TogetherThe Last Castle, and The Girls of Atomic City. When not writing, she likes playing tennis, watching soccer, working in her garden, and cooking tasty treats at her home in North Carolina. Visit her online at denisekiernan.com. Follow her on Instagram (@iamdenisekiernan) and on Twitter (@DeniseKiernan).

Website * Twitter * Instagram

 

 

 

About Giving Thanks: How Thanksgiving Became a National Holiday:

The beautifully illustrated true story of how Thanksgiving became a national holiday in America, of Sarah Josepha Hale, the woman who made the holiday happen, and of the role of gratitude the world over. Marvelously brought to life by the New York Times bestselling author Denise Kiernan.

All across the world, among hundreds of cultures and across centuries, people have come together to give thanks. But Americans didn’t have an official Thanksgiving holiday until the 1800s. The holiday Americans know today exists because of a woman named Sarah Josepha Hale, a spirited letter-writing campaign, a sympathetic president, and a civil war.

This beautifully illustrated picture book shares the true story of how Thanksgiving became a national American holiday and offers a look at the timeless and global power of gratitude.

 

 

 

~ Guest Post ~

 

She was an influencer more than 150 years before the first post appeared on Instagram…. She told people across the country how to host and entertain more than a century before Martha Stewart was born. And she accomplished all this while living in the 19th century as a widowed mother of five with no formal education.

Sarah Josepha Hale hardly had time to do much of anything, let alone write. Yet she became one of the most important magazine and book editors of her time—and changed the course of American culture along the way.

 

Giving Thanks is the true story of how Sarah Josepha Hale fought to make Thanksgiving an American tradition. It tells the story of how Abraham Lincoln help Hale’s dream become a reality. More importantly, the story is a reminder of the importance of living a life steeped in gratitude.

Sarah Josepha Hale’s magazine, Godey’s Lady’s Book, had one of the largest readerships in the United States. Her publication told readers what to wear, how to cook, whose books to read… As the magazine’s “editress”—as she called herself—Hale wielded a unique kind of power at a point in history when she didn’t even have the right to vote.

But her work was more than just a way to sell copies of her magazine. She promoted the writing of other women and shared their talents. She used her media pulpit to raise funds for libraries, military veterans, their widows, monuments to their memory, and more.

Despite the limits society placed on her because of her gender, Hale’s influence has carried through to the present day. She’s the one who encouraged young brides to wear white dresses on their wedding days. She’s the one who first encouraged Americans to decorate their homes each December with Christmas trees—a novel idea imported from Europe.

Hale had petitioned president after president before Abraham Lincoln to proclaim a day of thanksgiving for all the nation. All the earlier presidents said no. But Lincoln agreed. At the end of November 1863, Hale and Lincoln, through their combined efforts, helped establish the annual Thanksgiving tradition Americans continue to this day.

When Lincoln issued his first national Thanksgiving proclamation on October 3, 1863, his message landed in the midst of the Civil War. It was difficult for citizens to hear and absorb his message that “[t] he year that is drawing to its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies…” Despite the war, Lincoln saw that the nation teemed with bounties and gracious gifts, and advances in industry. He invited citizens “in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands,” to join him in thanksgiving the last Thursday of November. Not every one agreed, and certainly not everyone participated, but an annual tradition began to take hold.

The mind-blowing thing about this story is that neither Hale nor Lincoln were thinking about Pilgrims or the event that took place in 1621 when they invented the holiday that we feel we know so well. They were thinking instead of a way to unite a divided nation. In fact, the power of embracing gratitude during trying times—from the Civil War and World War I through the Spanish Flu—is a thread that runs often through my mind and my stories. The importance of gratitude is something that is now also supported by modern scientific research. Yes, it is true: gratitude heals.

No wonder I wanted to write about Thanksgiving, not just for adults, but for kids as well. (My adult title is called We Gather Together.) I see this as a story of thanks that matters to all. An inspirational message for both grown-ups and kids. The books are a new way to look at American history through the lens of gratitude.

That said, how could we—and how do some of us—follow Sarah Josepha Hale’s lead today?

Hale worked for decades on something that mattered to her. She didn’t live long enough to see Congress pass a law to make Thanksgiving an official holiday, but she’s the reason it happened. She had no idea that her efforts would change the course of American culture, but they did.

You never know the positive impact you can have on the world around you.

Stay true to your values, and act on what you believe in. Never give up.

 

Book’s Title: Giving Thanks: How Thanksgiving Became a National Holiday

 Author: Denise Kiernan

Illustrator: Jamey Christoph

 Release Date: September 27th, 2022

Publisher: PHILOMEL BOOKS

 ISBN-10: 9780593404416

Genre: Juvenile Nonfiction – Holidays & Celebrations – Thanksgiving; Juvenile Nonfiction – History – United States; Juvenile Nonfiction – People & Places – United States

Age Range: 4-8 years

Guest Post with Author Carol Dines (The Take-Over Friend)

September 19th, 2022 by

Today we are excited to share a guest post from author Carol Dines,

The Take-Over Friend!

Read on for more about Carol and The Take-Over Friend!

 

 

 

Meet Carol Dines!

Carol Dines writes novels and short stories for adults and young adults.

Her latest YA novel, THE TAKE-OVER FRIEND, will be published by Fitzroy Books in October 2022. She’s also written two additional YA novels: Best Friends Tell the Best Lies (Delacorte) and The Queen’s Soprano (Harcourt), as well as a collection of YA short stories, Talk to Me (Delacorte.)

Her collection of short stories for adults, This Distance We Call Love, was published by Orison Books in 2021. Additionally, her fiction has appeared in numerous literary journals including Ploughshares, Narrative, Colorado Review, Salamander, Nimrod, as well as anthologies Someone Speaks My Language, Love and Lust, and Voices of the Land.

Carol Dines is a recipient of the SWCA’s Judy Blume award and the Eric Hoffer Award, as well as Minnesota and Wisconsin State Artist Fellowships. She’s a graduate of Stanford University and has an M.A. from Colorado State University.  She was born in Rochester, Minnesota and currently resides in Minneapolis with her husband and standard poodle.

About The Take-Over Friend:

On the second day of ninth grade, introverted Frances meets Sonja, a wildly funny newcomer from France, and the girls form a fast friendship. Frances adores Sonja’s worldliness, and Sonja adores Frances’s family, especially her older brother, Will. Frances and Sonja immediately declare themselves “The Poets” and rally their homeroom to enter the homecoming parade with a poetry-mobile built from Frances’s father’s old band bus. But respective family crises begin to escalate, and tensions come to a head when Sonja temporarily moves in with Frances’s family – forcing each friend to decide how close is too close. Alternatingly funny and poignant, The Take-Over Friend is a smart page-turner that focuses on the importance of finding your own voice in relationships.

 

 

 

~ Guest Post ~

 

Most teenagers are lonely. Even if they have friends, they are lonely. Even if they are part of a group, they are lonely. I would go even further and say, especially if they are part of a group. I have no research to support my theory, but I still believe it to be true. I was lonely. My daughter was lonely. I know many of my former students were lonely. Not isolated, but lonely. Lonely in a way they have trouble understanding themselves. Their inner and outer lives don’t necessarily match up. To others, they seem fine. But inside, their emotional landscapes are tumultuous. Whether teens are “popular” or “loners,” many young people experience strong feelings of loneliness. And what we rarely talk about is how loneliness is an essential part of growing up.

Maybe most teens don’t call it loneliness. Especially if they have a best friend, or a group of friends, or they are part of a team, or go to a school where they’ve established themselves and achieved a certain visibility. But when you are a teen and growing in new ways, new feelings arise. You may feel no one knows who you really are, the real you—not even your best friend or coach or favorite teacher. That’s lonely. Sometimes it’s hard to identify your new feelings and their source. But often it is an existential understanding that arises during adolescence, when you realize your life is your life, not your family’s, not your friends’, and not your classmates’. That existential loneliness is part of growing up, and it will accompany most of us throughout our lives.

This period of self-discovery is why adolescence has long been called a period of “finding yourself.” Most teens are excited to make new friends, but as they enter junior high and then high school, they meet new people, and are exposed to more diverse communities, which force them to look at the belief systems with which they’ve been raised in their families and communities. Some of those beliefs fall away, and that is lonely too. They learn new material in their classes that challenges their religions, cultures, identities, beliefs. Again, lonely. Sometimes the wider world eclipses their family’s world, and that is the loneliest feeling of all.

And yet, most young people carry the burden of these feelings alone, hoping to find a friend who shares them, and that is the subject of my new novel, The Take-Over Friend.

On the second day of 9th grade, Sonja, a new student from France, seeks out a friendship with Frances. The novel begins with Frances narrating, “Maybe it only happens once. You meet someone who sees right into you. Sees the very things you’ve been waiting for someone to see.

Sonja was that person for me. Right from the moment we met, I recognized myself in her words. Recognized who I wanted to be.” The novel follows the evolution of their friendship, from the initial thrill of finding each other and nurturing a close, all-consuming friendship, to the pain and grief that comes when the boundaries of their friendship collide with their own individual needs, forcing them to decide if they can stay friends.

I wrote this novel because I don’t think we talk enough about why and how friendships end, as well as the lingering pain of broken friendships. And yet, in the real world most friendships end. A recent study by Florida Atlantic University found that only one percent of friendships lasted five years. Most friendships end within the first year. What contributes to the peril of friendship? Researchers found that when friends differ in gender, peer acceptance, school competence, and physical aggressiveness, the friendships are much more likely to end. The all-too-common dramas in teen friendships and subsequent break-ups can be highly disruptive, so much so that many parents and educators encourage students to have lots of friends, not a best friend.

And yet teenagers want a best friend, someone to confide in, hang out with. So, how are teens to forge lasting friendships? First, don’t expect a single friendship to bear all the burdens of your own loneliness. Putting all your trust, time, and energy into one friendship can create exceedingly high expectations of each other. And high expectations inevitably lead to disappointment. Most teens need to understand that periods of disappointment are common in friendship, and sometimes you just need to give your close friends some space. Moreover, no friendship is immune from changing. When Frances and Sonja go through a period of not speaking to each other, Frances’s mother tells her, “I actually think what you and Sonja are going through is normal. People change, grow in different ways. You’ve grown a lot this year, Fran. And I’m sure Sonja has too. Sometimes you have to create a bigger container for the friendship.”

Guest Post with Author Nina LaCour (Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle), Plus Giveaway! ~US Only

March 31st, 2022 by

Today we are excited to share a guest post from author Nina LaCour,

Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle!

Read on for more about Nina, Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle, plus a giveaway!

Meet Nina LaCour!

Nina LaCour is the award-winning author of several books for young adults, including We Are Okay, which won the Michael L. Printz Award, and Hold Still, which was a William C. Morris Debut Award finalist and won the Northern California Book Award. Nina LaCour lives in California with her wife and daughter.

Author: Nina’s Website * Twitter * Instagram 

Illustrator: Kaylani’s Website * Twitter * Instagram

 

 

About Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle:

A little girl stays home with Mama when Mommy goes off on a work trip in this tender, inviting story that will resonate with every child who has missed a parent.

For one little girl, there’s no place she’d rather be than sitting between Mama and Mommy. So when Mommy goes away on a work trip, it’s tricky to find a good place at the table. As the days go by, Mama brings her to the library, they watch movies, and all of them talk on the phone, but she still misses Mommy as deep as the ocean and as high as an astronaut up in the stars. As they pass by a beautiful garden, the girl gets an idea . . . but when Mommy finally comes home, it takes a minute to shake off the empty feeling she felt all week before leaning in for a kiss. Michael L. Printz Award winner Nina LaCour thoughtfully renders a familiar, touching story of a child who misses a parent, illustrated by Kaylani Juanita, whose distinctive style brings charm and playfulness to this delightful family of three.

 

B&N * Bookshop.org * Indiebound* Amazon * Books-A-Million

 

~ Guest Post ~

 

YA BOOKS CENTRAL: GUEST POST

The story behind my first picture book: Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle

A guest post from Printz Award-winning author Nina LaCour

When my daughter was three, I was offered a job teaching in a graduate program that allowed me to work from home year-round—with an exception. Each January, I would travel to take part in a residency devoted to the study of children’s literature. The trip would last ten days, during which my colleagues and I would lead workshops and give lectures and get to know our students, and then we’d all say goodbye and fly back to where we came from. I knew that being away would be difficult, but I wanted the job and trusted that it would get easier with time, so I said yes.

I’m from the San Francisco area and have lived here all my life, so packing for Saint Paul, Minnesota, in January was no easy task. But more pressing than the question of heavy coats was the question of how to say goodbye to my sweet kiddo for so long. How do you help a three-year-old understand what a span of ten days will feel like? Or is it better not to? Should I make it sound fun—like a novelty—or let her know how terribly I’d miss her? It was uncharted territory. My wife told me about the fun plans she was making for the two of them. Usually she was the one who traveled for work. It was a reversal of our roles, and we both knew it would be good for everyone. We were navigating family life as two working mothers. We were figuring it out.

Still, after they dropped me off, I sobbed at the airport.

As the days passed in Minnesota, I remembered what it was like to be a writer out in the world with other writers. My favorite job perk was sitting in on my colleagues’ lectures. I’d published a few YA novels at that point, and though I loved the idea of writing picture books, I had no clue where to begin. Still, I scrawled pages of notes on the emotional life of the child and the interplay between text and art, hopeful that I’d find a story to tell. All the while, I missed my wife and daughter terribly.

And one day, I realized that the story I wanted to write was already unfolding.

One thing I love about picture books is how honest they can be, and how beautifully simple. Here is mine: I went away for my job. My wife took time off of hers. Our daughter missed me sometimes, and had fun without me, and got her mama all to herself. They played and snuggled and made big plans. And then I came home, and we were all together again.

Kaylani Juanita’s gentle and vivid and joyful illustrations bring such tenderness and whimsy and delight to the text. I couldn’t have dreamed up a more beautiful visual language for it. I hope this book will help children who are missing someone they love feel seen and understood. Thank you for reading it.

 

Book’s Title: Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle

Author/Illustrator: Nina LaCour/Kaylani Juanita

Release Date: March 29, 2022

Publisher: Candlewick Press

ISBN-10: 1536211516

ISBN-13: 9781536211511

Genre: Picture Book

Age Range: 3-7

 

 

 

*Giveaway Details*

Three winners will receive a fridge magnet and a finished copy of the book Mamma and Mommy and Me in the Middle (Nina LaCour) ~US Only

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

 

 

 

 

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Behind the Scenes of Indie Publishing

January 16th, 2017 by

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The Best of Being Indie

By Michelle Lynn, Staff Reviewer and Indie Author

I’m not going to lie, being an indie author can be disheartening, stressful. Much of the time, we don’t believe we’re good enough. So much hangs on the opinions of others. Our sales might struggle and it can take years to truly get off the ground – if it ever happens at all.

We’ve chosen to do something that scares us. We put ourselves out there, our hearts on the line. The books we write are a part of us and it hurts when they aren’t appreciated as much as we’d hoped. There are a lot of hard parts to this business we call show – okay, maybe a bit different than show business, but I just wanted to say that. Speaking for myself, I want to quit at least once a week. I’d save a lot of time and money if I did.

But, I don’t. I can’t. I’m too far gone. The world of an Indie writer isn’t all darkness and gloom, it’s actually pretty great a lot of the time. Soul crushing, but still great. I like to think I’m a positive person, so here are my favorite reasons for living with the pain of indie publishing.  Now, I’ve never been a non-indie so I don’t know what these things are like on that side. I’m not comparing, only sharing my experiences.

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The community – You expected me to say control, didn’t you? That’s what everyone says is the best thing about being indie. You control your work. For me, the people are the best part. Indie writers stand together through thick and thin. On every social media platform, you will find them forming small groups to get to know one another and help promote each other’s work. They understand that the best thing for all indies is for indie publishing to succeed.

Writer’s spend a lot of time alone with only their characters for company. Not a lot of people truly understand, but other writers do. I call them my internet friends, but I consider them good friends even though we’ve never met. I talk to many of them every single day. We give advice, beta read books, and talk about everything. You won’t find a better group of people. They’ll be your cheerleaders, your confidants, and yes – your critics.

Schedule – there are no deadlines except for the ones you set yourself. You decide how many books you want to write in a year. I usually go for a minimum of three and then more depending on how life works out. There’s no stress to be productive. I can mold my writing time around everything else I have going on. I can take two days a week to watch my two-year-old niece or spend weekends with my family. When all is said and done, I won’t regret the time I didn’t spend writing, but I’ll be wishing for the days my niece was so young. Writing is my job, but it doesn’t have to be my life. I love it immensely, but there are things I love more and setting my own schedule allows me to do it all without the added pressure.

Topics – as an indie, I can’t write about anything I want to. In the YA contemporary genre, sometimes you must deal with hard topics. My newest book deals with something no one wants to talk about until it’s on the news. I have to handle it with care, but I have to freedom to do it my way, a way I think will resonate with readers.

Price – “The indies have devalued literature”.  We hear it all the time as if it’s the worst thing in the world. Indies have had to try everything to find a foothold in the world of price collusion and other such practices. Here’s the real deal, e-books should NOT be even close to paperbacks or hardcovers in price. I’m sorry, but they shouldn’t. The real issue isn’t that indies are selling books too cheaply, it’s that big publishing houses are overcharging. Pew Research Center has found that more Americans are buying books than ever before. Millennials are out-reading the older generation and they are buying books rather than visiting libraries. Being able to set your own price and to experiment with different prices is one of the biggest advantages to being indie. You want to set it free for a promotion? Go ahead.

 

As indies, we start out operating with a bit of a handicap. We have a bigger hill to climb that someone with a big publishing machine behind them. But, why then do people go indie? The prevailing thinking is that most indies are people who could never find an agent or were turned down for publishing contracts. Ten years ago, that may have been true. Now, authors are going indie without first trying traditional. There have to be reasons for that, right? See above <;  

 

 

Indie Superstars with Giveaway!

January 9th, 2017 by

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Welcome to YA Books Central’s

“Indie Superstars” column.

This monthly event will spotlight the best and brightest of the indie community.

You don’t want tomiss these talented authors

This week, Staff Reviewer, Kelly St Clare has interviewed Internationally bestselling author, Siobhan Davis!

INDIE SUPERSTAR

YABC: Welcome, Siobhan! You are joining us all the way from Ireland! …Word on the street is you make the best Sunday roast around. What does an Irish Sunday roast include? And when should the staff of YA Books Central come over?

SIOBHAN: I’m totally claiming bragging rights on this one! A roast in my house consists of roast potatoes, carrots, glazed parsnips, mushy peas, meat (could be a stuffed chicken, turkey & ham, beef, roast stuffed pork) and lashings of gravy. Yum, I’m making myself hungry writing this! And my door is always open any time you want to cross the water to join us J

YABC: How many books do you currently have out? Tell us a bit about them.

SIOBHAN: I have eleven published titles with my latest book just releasing yesterday (Finding Kyler) and the final book in my Saven series will be published next month. I have written two YA sci-fi romance series – True Calling and Saven. True Calling is set between a dystopian world on Earth and a utopian society on Planet Novo and Saven is an alien sci-fi romance with tons of action adventure, an alien invasion, lots of different alien planets, and a unique time travel twist. Finding Kyler is book one in my new upper YA contemporary romance series and I’m super excited to release my new baby into the world! The one thing all my books have in common is swoon worthy romance, tons of mystery/intrigue, and plenty of angsty drama. I’ve also been known to use a cliff hanger or two J

YABC: Your worst ugly cry while reading – go!

SIOBHAN:

This is hard because I’m a very emotional reader, and I’ve cried over so many books. However, the one that sticks in my mind is Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma. I sobbed for a solid twenty minutes at the end of that one, and it really felt like my heart was being ripped from my chest. It is a superb book, and I would challenge anyone to read it and not fall apart.

YABC: I had the pleasure of reading Saven Deception and Saven Disclosure. A few things that struck me were the vividness of your settings, the little complexities you developed into your worlds, and [fans face] the tension between your main characters. What kind of writing process do you go through to ensure you bring all of these aspects to the reader?

SIOBHAN:

Thank you for those lovely comments! I’m a hybrid pantser/plotter so I start every new book with a chapter-by-chapter outline and an updated character bible. I always know, at a high level, where the story is going before I start to write. What I love is how it develops in tangents I hadn’t predicted and I let the story flow organically. I’m a detail-orientated person, and I always map out the finer points to ensure I have a good idea of how they are going to develop from book to book. I spent years reading crime novels/thrillers and I definitely think it has stood to me with my own work. I like to plant tons of subtle clues that build up over the progression of a series until all is revealed!

YABC: You “tripped and fell down the steps of the infamous ‘Bewleys Café’ in Grafton Street Dublin” when you were nineteen [snigger]. Three words to summarise that experience, please.

SIOBHAN: Still completely cringeworthy!

YABC: Your new series, The Kennedy Boys released yesterday! Congratulations! I understand that you are branching into a bit of YA contemporary romance. How hard is it to turn off the fantasy switch?

SIOBHAN:

Thank you! It actually wasn’t hard at all, and while I adore writing fantasy and sci-fi I’ve really enjoyed creating a story in a contemporary environment where I can focus more on the relationships and the drama. The world building in Saven is complex with different alien planets and races and it takes time to plot out all the varied components. It was nice to take a breather from that for a little bit, although I will be returning to a fantasy world in the second half of 2017 when I start writing my new urban fantasy romance series, The Mortal Kingdom.

YABC: If you suddenly found yourself on a luxury space island in a parallel galaxy and could pick five authors to join you there, who would you choose?

SIOBHAN:

Jennifer L. Armentrout, Sarah J. Maas, Jay McLean, Elisa S. Amore, and Stephenie Meyer because they are all authors I adore.

YABC: Book one in the series is called Finding Kyler, how many swoon-worthy Kennedy Boys can we expect?

SIOBHAN: There are seven Kennedy boys in total! Yes – seven!! I’ve initially planned three books focused on Faye and Kyler, however, if the series is popular I will write some of the other boys stories as well. Their backstories are already plotted, and the early feedback has been amazing so far so I think this series will be ongoing for quite some time J

YABC: …Do you have a beloved book of the bunch? We promise not to tell your characters and hurt their feelings…

SIOBHAN:

You’re really putting me through the mill here, Kelly!  I honestly cannot choose a favorite as they all mean so much to me in different ways.

YABC: My favorite setting in your Saven series (so far) is the underwater experimental facility – so unique! What inspired this?

SIOBHAN:

My True Calling series was the initial inspiration for the underwater city in Saven. In TC, the new world is underpopulated and the government are worried about continuation of the human race so they introduce a forced marriage/mating policy to address their concerns. One day I sat down and thought what if I flipped that notion on its head? What if we have a world that is overpopulated? What type of issues would arise? How would the government address the crisis and how can I tie this into the plans for my new alien series? The idea just popped into my head then – the government would build a new underwater colony with the aim of relocating some of the population there and attempting to solve the housing crisis.

YABC: What is in store for your readers in 2017?

SIOBHAN:

Saven Deliverance releases next month, closely followed by Losing Kyler in March/April, and Keeping Kyler in June/July. In the latter half of 2017 I will be releasing Curse of Gods and Angels (book one in The Mortal Kingdom series) Lily’s Redemption which is a NA spin-off to my True Calling series (can be read as a standalone) and a couple of optional Saven novellas. I am also hoping to squeeze in a fourth Kennedy Boys novel, which will most likely be Kalvin’s story.

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Siobhan Davis writes emotionally intense young adult fiction with swoon-worthy romance, complex characters, and tons of unexpected plot twists and turns that will have you flipping the pages beyond bedtime! She is the author of the Amazon bestselling True Calling and Saven series.

Siobhan’s family will tell you she’s a little bit obsessive when it comes to reading and writing, and they aren’t wrong. She can rarely be found without her trusty Kindle, a paperback book, or her laptop somewhere close at hand.

Prior to becoming a full-time writer, Siobhan forged a successful corporate career in human resource management.

She resides in the Garden County of Ireland with her husband and two sons.

 

Siobhan’s website | Twitter | Facebook |Instagram

Finding Kyler | Saven Deception | True Calling

 

Saven     True Calling     Finding Kyler

Finding Kyler:

Two fractured hearts and a forbidden love they can’t deny.

You shouldn’t want what you can’t have…

Faye Donovan has lost everything. After her parent’s tragic death, she’s whisked away from her home in Ireland when an unknown uncle surfaces as her new guardian.

Dropped smack-dab into the All-American dream, Faye should feel grateful. Except living with her wealthy uncle, his fashion-empire-owning wife, and their seven screwed-up sons is quickly turning into a nightmare—especially when certain inappropriate feelings arise.

Kyler Kennedy makes her head hurt and her heart race, but he’s her cousin.

He’s off limits.

And he’s not exactly welcoming—Kyler is ignorant, moody, and downright cruel at times—but Faye sees behind the mask he wears, recognizing a kindred spirit.

Kyler has sworn off girls, yet Faye gets under his skin. The more he pushes her away, the more he’s drawn to her, but acting on those feelings risks a crap-ton of prejudice, and any whiff of scandal could damage the precious Kennedy brand.

Concealing their feelings seems like the only choice.

But when everyone has something to hide, a secret is a very dangerous thing.

 

Saven Deception:

THE TRUTH DOESN’T ALWAYS SET YOU FREE

I’ve fallen hard for an alien, but he’s harboring secrets.

Massive secrets that threaten the very essence of humanity.

How can I give him my heart when his race plans on taking my future?

Sadie Owens has been slowly dying inside. Bit by bit, piece by piece, day by day. Trapped in a life she hates, she relies on only one person—herself.

Despised by her family and betrayed by an unscrupulous government, Sadie dreams of a different life. When she is chosen to participate in the government’s new social experiment, she is ecstatic at the prospect of spending six months in Thalassic City, the shiny new city under the sea.

Immediately drawn to Logan Chandler, Sadie is captivated by the beautiful boy with the ocean-blue eyes. Logan seems to embody everything that has been forbidden, but he isn’t all he appears to be.

Confused over Logan’s true intentions and concerned when best friend Jenna starts transforming in front of her eyes, Sadie partners with newcomer Jarod in a bid to uncover the government’s real agenda. The truth is more shocking than anything she could ever have imagined.

When Sadie finally understands why the Saven walk among us, will it be too late to save her heart and the human race?

 

 

True Calling:

Welcome to Novo: Your new home in Space

For Ariana Skyee, Planet Novo was everything it promised to be until the authorities introduced “The Calling” as their response to repopulation. Now, all seventeen-year-olds are to participate in this Bachelor-style pageant to find their perfect match, marry, and have children.

But that’s not Ariana’s only concern. Thanks to the government-sanctioned memory erase, she has no recollection of Zane, the mystery boy who haunts her dreams. Things are further complicated when the pageant commences and her feelings for fellow Cadet Cal Remus intensify. Together, they start to realize not everything about their new home is as it seems.


Entangled in a dangerous web of deceit, Ariana sets out to identify the truth. Conflicted over warnings that Cal isn’t trustworthy and alarmed at the government’s increasing interest in her, she doesn’t know where to turn. But her search for the truth comes at a high personal price. When her world implodes, discovering the past shapes her future with devastating consequences.

 

Get Siobhan’s books on Amazon

*GIVEAWAY DETAILS* 

One winner will receive signed copies of Saven Deception: The Saven Series Book 1, True Calling AND Finding Kyler (Siobhan Davis)

~ (Open Internationally) ~

*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*

A Rafflecopter giveaway

 

**Interview contributed by Kelly St Clare, Staff Reviewer**

YABC Favorite Covers of The Month ~ December 2016

January 2nd, 2017 by

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Hey everyone! Welcome to YABC’s Favorite Covers of the Month poll and giveaway!!

 

Each month we will be featuring the covers from all the new releases for the current month and will be offering a giveaway from our prize shelf! Everyone who participates in the poll can enter the giveaway.

 

Check out the choices below, pick your favorite, and enter the amazing giveaway!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click HERE to vote for your favorites!!

 

 

 

*GIVEAWAY*

 

After participating in the poll for Favorite Cover Of The Month for December 2016,

click below and enter the giveaway for a chance at a book from our amazing prize shelf!!! 

 

 

*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Diversify Your Shelves–“Half Empty, Half Full”

January 2nd, 2017 by

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I write my books in halves.
It’s easy to see now, looking back, how I’ve always lived my life in halves. Like night side versus day side, there’s a clear distinction between these two parts of me that sometimes don’t line up, but are ever shifting, fluid, as routine and certain as sunset and moonrise.
I still check in with my first main character once in a while. I wrote him when I was 15, when I had absolutely no idea how to relate to the world. He was typical fantasy fare: a white guy with an impressive sword and two lady love interests. Although I certainly couldn’t relate to him in most senses, there was still something compelling about him, something specific to me I couldn’t put my finger on.
It was this: he was torn into halves. The gods chose him to be a savior, and the villain chose him to be destroyer. He struggled with these two sides, uncertain how he could live with both.
Now, sitting in front of my computer several years later, I’m laughing and saying “Of course.”
Writing about yourself takes courage. I started with characters like this—white, straight, able-bodied—because it was all I had read. It was prevalent in the fantasy books I devoured, those thick, doorjamb-esque ones with enormous worlds and so many characters they needed dramatis personae in the backs. Those books usually had some sort of POC culture in the background, something to help the hero along on his journey. But they were never the heroes themselves. Similarly, I hardly saw any queer heroes, or even secondary characters who were out and proud.
But I continued to read, and I continued to write books. Each of my main characters had something that divided them: a queen with a missing twin, a thief who was two people in one, a boy who belonged to two opposing magical castes, a healer who held both life and death in his hands.
A clock mechanic who lives between overwhelming anxiety and devastating hope.
They weren’t me. They weren’t mirrors. But like my first, they all tugged on the thread that keeps the two halves of me sewn together.
Leading up to Timekeeper, I slowly discovered what it was I wanted to write. How I wanted to challenge traditional fantasy by bringing overlooked characters to the forefront, making their stories the priority, giving them the tools to destroy or save the world. The cast of Timekeeper is dear to me because it’s a collection of what I know and what I’ve learned, a window into a broader world—the world as I’ve seen it, and lived it, in halves.
There is a girl in Timekeeper who is particularly dear to me, a girl who is both British and Indian. Like me, she is pale. Like me, people look at her and don’t see what she is. Perhaps out of everyone I understand her the most, because her struggle is as fluid and shifting as mine, invisible and dividing and a constant tap on the shoulder.
Like I said, it takes courage to find your truth in your writing. It might take years to find it, to slowly work yourself up to it, one character at a time. And that’s fine. Nothing is purely day or night—things can be twilight and dusk and dawn, mixed and blended to how you see the world, and how it sits within you.
I will likely continue to write my books in halves. To paint these worlds as I see my own, maybe shifting my focus from time to time, but always aware of that tapping on my shoulder.
Don’t forget me, one half of me says to the other. I’m here too.
 

*This post originally appeared at Diversity in YAand has been 

brought to you thanks to our partner, Cindy Pon!*

 

 

Tara Sim is the author of Timekeeper (Sky Pony Press, Nov. 8, 2016) and can typically be found wandering the wilds of the Bay Area, California. When she’s not chasing cats or lurking in bookstores, she writes books about magic, clocks, and explosives. Follow her on Twitter at @EachStarAWorld, and check out her website at tarasim.com.


Cindy Pon is the author of Silver Phoenix (Greenwillow, 2009), which was named one of the Top Ten Fantasy and Science Fiction Books for Youth by the American Library Association’s Booklist, and one of 2009′s best Fantasy, Science Fiction and Horror by VOYA. Her most recent novel, Serpentine (Month9Books, 2015), is a Junior Library Guild Selection and received starred reviews from School Library Journal and VOYA. The sequel, Sacrifice, releases this September. WANT, a near-future thriller set in Taipei, will be published by Simon Pulse in summer 2017. She is the co-founder of Diversity in YA with Malinda Lo and on the advisory board of We Need Diverse Books. Cindy is also a Chinese brush painting student of over a decade. Learn more about her books and art http://cindypon.com.

Indie Superstars: An Interview with Ednah Walters + Giveaway! (US Only)

December 12th, 2016 by

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Welcome to YA Books Central’s “Indie Superstars” column. This monthly event will spotlight the best and brightest of the indie community.

You don’t want to miss out on these

talented authors

 

INDIE SUPERSTAR 

This week we’re interviewing Ednah Walters, USA Today best selling author of the Runes Series

 

YABC: Tell us a little bit about each of your series

Ednah: Well, where to begin.

Runes series, which is based on Norse mythology, is about Immortal soul reapers and how they meet their soul mates. Unfortunately, there are rules that these Immortals are supposed to follow if they want their identity and existence kept a secret, yet they are willing to break them for their love interest, who tend to be Mortal/humans. I wove Norse mythology in each story, blending in contemporary elements. The series focuses on three friends, Raine, Cora, and Eirik, who are raised in a small town in Oregon, and how they fall in love and discover their true destiny.

Guardian Legacy, based on the children of the fallen angels, focuses on Guardians who watch over humans, and their demonic counterparts, who want to enslave humans and turn them evil. Like Runes series, the groups are both Immortal. The series focuses on the love story of Lil, a girl who didn’t know she was a Guardian and how she falls in love with a half demon while she trains to become the most powerful of all the Guardians.

 

YABC: What was the hardest scene in the Runes Series to write and why?

Ednah:  Most fight scenes are hard for me to write, because I’m a visual person. I have to visualize every move my character makes and what she sees and feels, but the gut-wrenching scenes are even harder to write because I cry while doing it. The end of Runes was hard for me to write. I cried with Raine.

 

YABC: Where did the concept for Runes come to you?

Ednah: I’m not going to sugar coat this. I read Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instrument book, City of Bones and read about runes for the first time, so I decided to do a little research. The more I learned about runes, their origin, how Odin acquired them and taught them to the gods before giving them to the worthy humans, the more I was intrigued. Along the way, I got into Norse mythology, especially Valkyries. So I put my spin on it and decided to make Valkyries interact with humans and fall in love with them. And since I couldn’t only focus on soul reapers for Odin and Freya, I had to do stories on reapers for Goddess Hel. It’s been a fun ride.

 

YABC: Your story centers on Norse mythology, what kind of research did you need to do to prepare for Runes?

Ednah: I’ve read so many books on Norse mythology. I probably have more people on the mythology than all the others. I did online research. Since most of the reapers are Immortal and have been around for centuries, and I have them coming from various civilizations, from Vikings and Gaul societies, Roman and Greek, ancient Egypt and Nubia, Native American, and feudal Japan. I had to read on all these ancient civilizations. Also, since Valkyries recruit humans who are spiritual, they tend to be witches and high priests. It was interesting to see that in every society, there are always high priests, from Druids in Gaul society (Echo in Cora’s story is a Druid) to Native American Shamans (Hawk, an Immortal friend of Raine’s family)

 

YABC: How many books have you written? Which are your favorites?

Ednah: I write adult romance under E. B. Walters and have 9 books. These are contemporary. Under Ednah Walters, I have 4 Guardian Legacy books and 9 Runes series books. I just finished the 10th Runes book and the first book of Phantom Islanders, my shifter NA book. So that’s a total of 24 books. My favorite series is Runes series. But I have a feeling the Phantom Islanders series might knock her off the pedestal.

 

YABC: You have such interesting character names.  Do you have a process for selecting names?

I suck at naming my characters. I tend to name them according to their background and character. If he is a Druid, I’ll find Druid names and the meaning behind the name, but most often I ask my Valkyries Reader Group to list names and I choose from their list, then I research the name. I’m anal.

 

YABC: What other Indie authors do you recommend?

Ednah: So many YA authors whose work I love. Anything by Melissa Haag, Karen Lynch, and Quinn Loftis., but like I said, there are a lot I love. Kelly Oram’s contemporary works are amazing too. Rebecca Ethington’s Imalind series and then there are newer authors like Raye Wagner, Char Webster, and Stephany Wallace. Oooh, I recently discovered JL Weil’s books.

 

YABC: What’s up next for you?

Ednah: A NA shifter romance with piracy thrown in there and a dose of Celtic/Irish/Scottish Mythology. Since I want my YA readers to enjoy the book, I’ll have a clean version with a different cover. I hope to release the book in March 2017.

And my big announcement, I’m working with Amazon Publishing to launch Runes Kindle World in April 2017. Present YA Kindle worlds are mainly based on popular TV series targeting teen viewers like The 100, Vampire Diaries, Veronica Mars, Pretty Little Liars to name a few. To date, there are only adult books-based kindle worlds out there, so I hope Runes Kindle World opens doors to more YA-books-based KW. I have a list of amazing authors participating (announcement in January). If you haven’t heard of Kindle Worlds, it is an imprint of Amazon Publishing that teams with authors of established fictional world and allows other authors to write books in that established world. Think of it as publishing a fan fiction and getting paid for it.

 

 

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Seventeen-year-old Raine Cooper has enough on her plate dealing with her father’s disappearance, her mother’s erratic behavior and the possibility of her boyfriend relocating. The last thing she needs is Torin St. James—a mysterious new neighbor with a wicked smile and uncanny way of reading her. 

Raine is drawn to Torin’s dark sexiness against her better judgment, until he saves her life with weird marks and she realizes he is different. But by healing her, Torin changes something inside Raine. Now she can’t stop thinking about him. Half the time, she’s not sure whether to fall into his arms or run.

Scared, she sets out to find out what Torin is. But the closer she gets to the truth the more she uncovers something sinister about him. What Torin is goes back to an ancient mythology and Raine is somehow part of it. Not only is she and her friends in danger, she must choose a side, but the wrong choice will cost Raine her life

FREE On Amazon

 

*GIVEAWAY DETAILS* 

One winner will receive a copy of Runes #1 (Ednah Walters)

~ (US Only) ~

*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Diversify Your Shelves–“No Miracles Cures”

December 5th, 2016 by

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Back in 2011 when I first started drafting Skid, it never occurred to me that my main character Gabrielle would be considered unusual. All I remember from that the time was wanting to tell a story that combined some of my favorite elements—romance and ghost stories and murder mysteries and crows that might really be servants of the underworld coming to steal your soul. Oh, and it would be set in an apple orchard, which struck me as the kind of almost mystical place where these various elements would naturally converge.

It would also star the sort of main character who I never saw in YA books, a girl that would be completely normal within the banality of my own existence. A girl living with an injured back and chronic pain.

See, my mother has been living with back problems since I was a child. My husband does too, thanks to being hit by a car (while he was on a bike) only a couple years after we met in college. And my own back pain issues began just a few years after that when I was in grad school. Pain was part of my life. A character dealing with those issues on top of falling in love and struggling with school and life and the collapse of her dreams—that was just how the world worked and the story I needed to write. I hadn’t read it before, and I just knew I couldn’t be the only one who could relate. 

To paraphrase The Princess Bride, life is pain, or at least it is for many people. Studies vary, but approximately 15% of adolescents and teens report living with chronic pain of some sort. That’s part of the reason why the U.S. is facing an epidemic of addiction and overdoses caused by narcotic pain relievers. (While many people abusing these drugs may not need them, data suggests that most people who abuse painkillers started out taking the  drugs for legitimate pain issues.) Modern medicine is capable of amazing feats, but its ability to address pain is woefully inadequate. It’s not just drug dependency that goes along with chronic pain either; it’s depression and suicide and an overall reduced quality of life.

Reading has always been one of those things that’s helped me cope, whether with pain or daily life stressors, and there’s a reason why I gravitate toward reading escapist stories. But even purely escapist stories can—and do—show us possibilities for real life. So long before I figured out the details of the orchard and its mystery (or the cute farm boy who lives there), I knew one thing about Gabrielle’s story. It had to be honestly hopeful. That is, I wanted Gabrielle’s story to be true to my experiences and to not trivialize what she goes through because there are no miracle cures in real life, not even love. In fact, I tend to believe in the opposite—we must heal ourselves in order to find love. But within that context, I didn’t want Skid to be a sad story because living with pain doesn’t need to be sad.

As Gabrielle figures out in Skid, we always have choices. Or as she puts it, as a former swimmer with shattered with Olympic dreams, we can either keep swimming or we can let ourselves sink. Some days, that choice is harder to make than others, but ultimately, I hope we all find ways to cope and to work around whatever it is in our lives that’s trying to hold us back. I want everyone to choose to forge ahead, grasping the precious moments of life with both hands—the ones that remind us that life is, in fact, more than pain. It’s the fluttery feeling of first love, the sweet crispness of fresh apples, and the mysteries of the past and awe of the unknown. 

And it’s there for all of us.

 

 

*This post originally appeared at Diversity in YAand has been 

brought to you thanks to our partner, Cindy Pon!*

 

Tracey Martin wanted to be an astronaut, a doctor, and an actor, possibly all at once. Instead, she studied psychology, and that led her to have an epiphany–imaginary people are way more fun than real ones. And so she became a writer.

She likes her coffee simple, her music epic, and her movies to contain explosions. A city girl at heart, she doesn’t understand how she and her husband ended up living in New Hampshire, but writing keeps her off the mean, small town streets.

Skid is available for purchase.


Cindy Pon is the author of Silver Phoenix (Greenwillow, 2009), which was named one of the Top Ten Fantasy and Science Fiction Books for Youth by the American Library Association’s Booklist, and one of 2009′s best Fantasy, Science Fiction and Horror by VOYA. Her most recent novel, Serpentine (Month9Books, 2015), is a Junior Library Guild Selection and received starred reviews from School Library Journal and VOYA. The sequel, Sacrifice, releases this September. WANT, a near-future thriller set in Taipei, will be published by Simon Pulse in summer 2017. She is the co-founder of Diversity in YA with Malinda Lo and on the advisory board of We Need Diverse Books. Cindy is also a Chinese brush painting student of over a decade. Learn more about her books and art http://cindypon.com.

YABC Favorite Covers of The Month ~ November 2016

December 5th, 2016 by

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Hey everyone! Welcome to YABC’s Favorite Covers of the Month poll and giveaway!!

 

Each month we will be featuring the covers from all the new releases for the current month and will be offering a giveaway from our prize shelf! Everyone who participates in the poll can enter the giveaway.

 

Check out the choices below, pick your favorite, and enter the amazing giveaway!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click HERE to vote for your favorites!!

 

 

 

 

*GIVEAWAY*

 

After participating in the poll for Favorite Cover Of The Month for November 2016,

click below and enter the giveaway for a chance at a book from our amazing prize shelf!!! 

 

 

 

*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*

 

 

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

You are here: YABC Favorite Covers of The Month ~ November 2016