Posts Tagged ‘young adult’

I was privileged to be interviewed at Pinellas Comic and Maker Con by Scott Ertz and Marissa Schiereck at Plughitzlive.com, and I’m pleased to present it here!  The new book I mention in the interview, releasing November 15th, is FAULTLINES. It’s very near and dear to my heart, and I suspect you’ll be hearing a lot about it in the coming weeks, at least from me!

http://plughitzlive.com/player/episode.php?EpisodeId=1447

Amy Christine Parker is doing a really fun thing for the release of her new young adult novel SMASH & GRAB, which, as you might expect from the name, is a heist novel. She’s asking people who they’d have on their heist crew, and people are tweeting and otherwise posting, using the hashtags #Smash&Grab and #MyHeistCrew. As some of you may know, tweeting is a challenge for me. I’m voluble. I want to reason and give supporting arguments and all that jazz. Thus, I’ve decided on an entire blog post.

So, here’s my heist crew (if they’d have me)!

Ramez Naam: he can plot like a sumbitch, and keep multiple complex threads weaving in and out of each other in a way that would make my head spin. Plus, he’s able to see and present all sides of an issue. Invaluable when it comes to planning a heist, I should think! Also, R.S. Belcher, because I’ve just read his new Golgotha novel QUEEN OF SWORDS (which will knock everyone’s socks off!) and he writes an amazing Anne Bonny. Anyone who’s had Anne Bonny in his head for so long can no doubt pull of a heist almost single-handedly! In fact, it would be incredible to have all of my authors in on the plotting/planning stages. What a think tank that would be!

Big Brian: Full name left out to protect the, uh, innocent. Yes, it’s true, I might have a friend who might once in his misspent youth have been a computer hacker and who would absolutely be part of any crew I’d assemble. Although, he’d have to stay in the background because at six foot six he might be a little conspicuous otherwise!

Amy herself would, of course, need to be part of the crew. I can only assume that having extensively researched SMASH & GRAB she’s learned a thing or two.

As for feet on the ground? Egads, I’m forty-mumble years old. I’m certainly not in any shape for ducking, dodging or outrunning anyone. Let’s see…ah ha! My authors Christina Henry and Chloe Neill (and probably others) run marathons, which blows me away. They’d be fleet on their feet. And there’s Keith R.A. DeCandido, who is a second degree black belt in karate, so he might be able to handle a heist. Oh, and I’d have to have my friend Sal Torres on the team, even if I had to ask him the specifics of his martial art, which it turns out is advanced level wushu…think Jet Li!

Peter Wheeler (aka my husband): Several reasons here. First, I think I’d be divorced if I left him off the list! Second, he’s amazing. He loves puzzles and has a brilliant mind for them. He’s all but an Eagle Scout (finished all the requirements, just never the paperwork) and so he knows an awful lot of MacGyvering. (It’s my blog and I’ll make up words as I please.) In a pinch he’s the first person I’d expect to do something with nothing. A paperclip, some chewing gum and a few wadded up napkins and viola, miracles!

There you have it. Who’s on your heist crew? Comment below, do your own blog, Facebook, Tweet or whathaveyou. Just share in the fun!

And grab SMASH & GRAB when it hits shelves tomorrow.

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SMASH & GRAB by Amy Christine Parker (B&N, Amazon, Books-a-million, Random House Children’s Books)

Ocean’s Eleven meets the star-crossed lovers of West Side Story. Grab some popcorn and get ready for an adrenaline-filled heist!

LEXI is a rich girl who loves a good rush. Whether it’s motorcycle racing or BASE jumping off a building in downtown Los Angeles, the only times she feels alive are when she and her friends are executing one of their dares. After her father’s arrest, Lexi doesn’t think twice about going undercover at his bank to steal the evidence that might clear his name. She enlists her hacker brother and her daredevil friends to plan a clever heist.

CHRISTIAN is a boy from the wrong side of the tracks. The local gang has blackmailed him and his friends into robbing banks, and he is desperate for a way out. When the boss promises that one really big job will be the last he ever has to do, Christian jumps at the chance for freedom. In fact, he’s just met a girl at the bank who might even prove useful…

Two heists. One score. The only thing standing in their way is each other.

Told in alternating points of view, this caper is full of romance and fast-paced fun. Hand to fans of Perfect Chemistry, The Conspiracy of Us, and Heist Society.

Quotes:

“This is an action-packed book that will leave you guessing until the very end. Highly recommended.” —Christina Farley, author of the best-selling GILDED series

“This book has a little bit of everything: mystery, love, diverse (and deep) characters, and a lot of heart.” —Raquel Henry, editor, Black Fox Literary Magazine

“What a delightfully fun summer read. Smash and Grab has tons of heisty goodness.” —Boundtoloveya.com

“A fun, adrenaline-filled story full of suspense, blackmail and characters who can’t help but fall for each other along the way!” —Fictionfare.com

“Absolutely one of the most enjoyable reads of the summer! Pure and simple: it’s a heap of fun! Run, don’t walk, to snag yourself a copy!” —Caitlin Bauer, RoyalSocialMedia.com

“Smash and Grab is a unique story about heists…I would recommend this to fans of books like Heist Society by Ally Carter.” —The Candid Cover

“There were many points where I was biting my nails wondering what was going to happen and if they were going to get caught…I really enjoyed this book.” —Once Upon A Twilight

“Entertaining, nicely paced and spiced with romance.” —Ratedreads.com

I have three very different but all awesome new releases coming out next week.  Since it’s a holiday weekend coming up, I wanted to spread the word early (often is good too!).

All to be found in the wild on July 5th:

 PAPER AND FIRE by Rachel Caine (US, UK), sequel to INK AND BONE, which was one of Barnes & Nobles’ Best Science Fiction and Fantasy novels of 2015

In Ink and Bone, New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine introduced a world where knowledge is power, and power corrupts absolutely. Now, she continues the story of those who dare to defy the Great Library—and rewrite history…  

With an iron fist, The Great Library controls the knowledge of the world, ruthlessly stamping out all rebellion, forbidding the personal ownership of books in the name of the greater good.   Jess Brightwell has survived his introduction to the sinister, seductive world of the Library, but serving in its army is nothing like he envisioned. His life and the lives of those he cares for have been altered forever. His best friend is lost, and Morgan, the girl he loves, is locked away in the Iron Tower and doomed to a life apart.   Embarking on a mission to save one of their own, Jess and his band of allies make one wrong move and suddenly find themselves hunted by the Library’s deadly automata and forced to flee Alexandria, all the way to London.   But Jess’s home isn’t safe anymore. The Welsh army is coming, London is burning, and soon, Jess must choose between his friends, his family, or the Library willing to sacrifice anything and anyone in the search for ultimate control…

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MIDNIGHT SERENADE by Alli Sinclair (Called LUNA TANGO in Australia, where it won 2014 Book of the Year in the AusRom Today Readers’ Choice Awards and the author won Best New Romance Author at the Australian Romance Readers Association Convention)

On the sultry streets of Buenos Aires, the daughter of a world class tango diva searches for answers about the mother who abandoned her-and uncovers decades of lies and deception… After twenty years of wondering why her mother chose the tango over her, Dani McKenna finally travels to Argentina. What was it about this beautiful, mysterious land that enticed one woman away from her own child-and broke another’s heart? As a journalist, Dani may have the opportunity to find out. And an enigmatic tango dancer may hold the key to her quest-if she can break down his defensive walls. Carlos Escudero had been Dani’s mother’s protege. Tragedy ended his career and he refuses to be interviewed. But he will give Dani some insights, on one condition: she must agree to his tango lessons. As the two begin the intricate dance of passion, Dani’s quiet, logical world is exchanged for one of music, motion-and mystery. For the clues to a tango legend’s murder may lead Dani to the truth about the past and its impact on her family-and free her to move toward a future she can claim as her own at last…”

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TEMPTING THE DRAGON by Karen Whiddon

Investigative reporter Rance Sleighter had promised to prove the mythical Lake Creature existed. But its protector had already given him a heap of trouble, as well as inspired one too many hot fantasies. If Rance was going to get some answers, he’d have to get on the gorgeous Jade Burnett’s good side…and keep her away from his bed!

For generations, Jade’s shape-shifting pack had kept the Creature safe. Now Rance’s appearance had her rethinking all her vows. She’d seen him in her dreams, knew he was a shifter and that they possibly shared a life-changing bond. Yet could she find the courage to trust the dragon with the truth…and her own fragile heart?

This is technically the third installment of How I Met My Client, since these posts were inspired by one of our Knight Agency newsletters where I talked about the story of meeting Lynn Flewelling for the first time and had her share the story from her perspective as well.  Not long ago, Christie Golden kicked off the theme here on my blog.  Today I’m very excited to talk about How I Met My Client Amy Christine Parker and to have her talk about how she met her agent (spoiler alert: me)!

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How I Met My Client Amy Christine Parker

I met Amy when I came out to talk with her writers group and subsequently when I attended a meeting of her critique group out here in Florida (where you may or may not know I work from a home office after spending 15 years in Manhattan). Her critique group shared work, and I was impressed with Amy’s writing, particularly her ability to make an impact with her sentences. She had a natural sense of when to use one word sentences or a one sentence paragraph, a natural way with flow and immediacy that really impressed me. But her first idea wasn’t one that I thought would fly.

As Amy mentions in her blog post below, we kept in touch. One day, as I remember it, I asked what she was working on currently. When she told me, I got goosebumps. The story she laid out was about a girl who’d grown up in a cult. The End Times were coming, according to their prophet, and Lyla can’t bring herself to do some of the things he says must be done, like killing others who would threaten their way of life. And as Lyla starts to discover pieces that don’t fit with what the prophet tells them is true, she has reason to fear for her own survival. If Lyla is wrong about the prophet, she might doom herself and everyone she loves, but if she’s right…

You see, chills. I asked her to send it to me when she finished, already dying to read it.

My e-mail archive doesn’t go back far enough for me to check and be sure, but I believe I began reading the complete on a Wednesday night and that by mid-day Thursday I e-mailed Amy asking whether she wanted to meet Friday for coffee to discuss. See, I was halfway through and already knew I had something special here. I strongly suspected that I would take this on, but I had to finish first, just in case things fell apart at the end. I was so enamored, though, that I knew that even if we hit that worst-case scenario, we could discuss revisions and brainstorm fixes and I’d ask for a revise and resubmit. Well, I’m happy to say that things did not fall apart and I absolutely fell in love with the novel. (Although I did, of course, have some thoughts on how to make it even stronger.)

We met for coffee that Friday and discussed the book, at the time called THE SILO, and by the time the ice was melting in our drinks (latte for me, black tea lemonade for Amy), I had a new client and Amy had an agent.

Next came the revision and the submissions and the waiting, which is always the worst part of the job. However, in this case my enthusiasm for the book was so contagious we received some really quick reads and almost instant interest. One auction later, we’d sold the book and a sequel to Random House Children’s Books, where they came to be called GATED and ASTRAY. Plus, Amy’s got a third suspenseful YA novel, SMASH & GRAB coming July 19th.

I’m so pleased at the way it’s all worked out!

And now, here’s our story from Amy’s perspective:

How I Met My Agent

By Amy Christine Parker

Have you ever met someone and just known that you were meant to meet them? I am a pretty pragmatic person, but the moment I was introduced to Lucienne that’s exactly how I felt. In my gut I knew she would play some part in my writer’s journey. I had no premonition that she would one day be my agent—that seemed like way too much to hope for at the time given where I was in terms of skill—but I did feel like our paths crossing was not accidental.

I was fairly new to writing and was attending a local writers group. All I knew about publishing I had literally Googled. Green doesn’t even begin to describe me! But, I had an overwhelming desire to write and to one day see my work on book shelves. Getting the chance to meet a real live agent—in Florida no less—was a dream come true!

Lucienne had been invited to my writers group by one of the other members. I was so nervous I could barely think straight, but Lucienne was warm and engaging. It was easy to feel comfortable around her. She read some of our work, made comments then shared some of her own writing. I was blown away by what she brought to read and by the advice she gave. That night I left feeling inspired to work harder than ever to hone my craft.

Afterwards, I began following Lucienne on social media and regularly read this blog, commenting when I enjoyed something she said or wrote. Because we live relatively close to each other, she visited my writers group several more times. Gradually, we became friends. What impressed me most was how passionate she is about agenting, her clients, and books. She loves what she does and it shows. The more I got to know her, the more I became convinced that I would be very, very fortunate to have her one day offer me representation.

When it came time to query my first novel, she was at the top of my list. That first novel wasn’t ready for publication and was rejected by every agent I queried including Lucienne, but she took the time to let me know that she thought I had potential. She even offered to look at my next novel when it was ready. Seven months later it was and I queried her first, exclusively. I knew I’d benefit from waiting to query anyone else until she weighed in. Luckily for me, she made an offer! I’ve never said yes to someone so fast in my entire life (not even my husband, but don’t tell him that).

We’ve worked together for about four years now and she’s closed deals for the book she offered on and three more since. I couldn’t be happier. I am keenly aware of how blessed I am to have met her the way I did. Most writers never have the opportunity to get to know their prospective agents so thoroughly before they agree to representation. I am thankful to work with her and to be able to call her my friend.

I love book birthdays, don’t you?  I only wish they came with cake.  But I suppose with the sedentary reading lifestyle, it’s probably a good thing they don’t.  Still and all, these new releases are absolutely worth curling up with a good cup of tea (or, in my case, coffee), even if you leave off the biscuits!

inkandbone_FINAL INK AND BONE by Rachel Caine (paperback edition)

In an exhilarating new series, New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine rewrites history, creating a dangerous world where the Great Library of Alexandria has survived the test of time.…

Ruthless and supremely powerful, the Great Library is now a presence in every major city, governing the flow of knowledge to the masses. Alchemy allows the Library to deliver the content of the greatest works of history instantly—but the personal ownership of books is expressly forbidden.

Jess Brightwell believes in the value of the Library, but the majority of his knowledge comes from illegal books obtained by his family. Jess has been sent to be his family’s spy, but his loyalties are tested in the final months of his training to enter the Library’s service.

When his friend inadvertently commits heresy by creating a device that could change the world, Jess discovers that those who control the Great Library believe knowledge is more valuable than any human life—and soon both heretics and books will burn.…

shadow-rites SHADOW RITES by Faith Hunter (mass market)

Slaying vampires is child s play for skinwalker Jane Yellowrock. But handling the complicated politics of New Orleans supernatural players is another story…

Jane is keeping the peace between visiting groups of witches and vamps in the city, but then trouble comes knocking on her doorstep. When her house is magically attacked, the wild chase to find her assailants unearths a mystery that has literally been buried deep.
A missing master vampire, presumed long deceased, is found chained in a pit…undead, raving mad, and in the company of two human bodies. Now it s up to Jane to find out who kept the vampire hidden for so long and why, because the incident could tip already high supernatural tensions to an all-out arcane war.

red flags.jpg RED FLAGS by Tammy Kaehler (hardcover & paperback)

When Kate Reilly arrives in Long Beach, California, a week ahead of the Grand Prix, she’s immediately plunged into a new social scene—as well as a murder investigation. Her cousin Billy is found dead, with Kate’s card in his pocket. The cops want to know why, and sponsors and race organizers—anxious to keep racing’s image clean—want Kate to investigate. Doubting she can solve another murder, especially that of a relative she despised, Kate reluctantly agrees.
At the same time, coaching a gorgeous and talented actress for a celebrity race brings Kate into the orbit of Hollywood’s hottest bachelor. And then a local FBI agent takes notice of more than her driving and sleuthing skills. She goes from Sony Studios to Venice Beach and from Rodeo Drive to the Hollywood Hills, attending parties, power-shopping, and dodging unwelcome paparazzi. Kate’s ballooning media exposure generates national commentary, testing her composure and forcing her to get ahead of the stories—whether critical or flattering.
Kate’s professional dreams are also coming true. The upcoming Grand Prix is her first race with a new sponsor that’s also funding an IndyCar test drive and a ride in next year’s Indy 500—along with future possibilities in NASCAR. The downside? New sponsor Frame Savings is owned by her family, and its management, outside of her long-estranged father, is unfriendly to her…even rivalrous.
Kate must stay on her toes as the Long Beach race weekend begins. She’s negotiating the next steps in her career, driving two racecars and coaching a third, discovering more about the disreputable members of her father’s family than she wanted to know, and juggling questions and suspects. On track, red flags fly to warn her of danger. Off track, Kate struggles to interpret warning signs and stay out of a killer’s grasp.

 

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Even with all of the fabulous news hitting in December, I was so burnt out by the end of the year that I never even posted my badge for VAMPED! I’m so thrilled and honored that it was chosen as a finalist in BTS’s 2015 Readers Choice Awards in the young adult category! Excited enough that I’m in danger of depleting my year’s allotment of exclamation points? You bet!!!!

Gina, my fashionista of the fanged, things this earns her a new pair of shoes…at the least.  I’m hiding the credit cards!

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Summer is about to begin! 

But just because it’s summer doesn’t mean we should stop reading and writing. I’ve teamed up with the YA Chicks and many participating authors (Rachel Caine, Amy Christine Parker, Rosemary Clement-Moore, Christina Farley, Vivi Barnes, Janice Gable Bashman, Tamsin Silver just to name a few!) on a global campaign to encourage readers, writers, students, and teachers to share pictures all of the places—both ordinary and extraordinary—where they are reading and writing. This is open to all readers/writers of both middle grade and young adult books!

You can also take part in…

A MONSTER GIVEAWAY! 

Vamped I’ll be giving away a copy of my first young adult novel, VAMPED, and also a Skype visit.

And there’s more! Every author participating in this campaign is giving away books, critiques, swag and/or Skype visits.

THIS GIVEAWAY WILL RUN FROM 9:00am, Friday, May 22nd – 11:00pm, Sunday, May 31st

So are you ready?

Drum roll….

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Can you guess where I am?  Here are some clues:

1- It’s a Southern thing.

2- Where Shopping is a Pleasure®

3- (Really, you need more?)

4- It really is super.

5- When I visit I throw caution to the wind and put all my eggs in one basket.

Once you’ve figured out where I’m writing, head over to the YA Chicks site and:

  • Officially enter the giveaway by inputting each author’s name and your guesses about our locations. Every author location you guess correctly increases your chances to win.
  • For even more chances, post a picture of yourself reading or writing on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #ReadOrWriteAnywhere (must have the hashtag).

For writer prize packs:

  • Post pictures of yourself writing in a fun location on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #ReadOrWriteAnywhere. Then follow the directions on the Rafflecopter giveaway to let us know you did it.
  • For even more chances, gather your writer friends together and post a group shot with the hashtag #ReadOrWriteAnywhere (must have the hashtag). And hey, since you’re already together, why not host a write-a-thon?

For teacher prize packs:

  • Post pictures of your class reading or writing on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #ReadOrWriteAnywhere (must have the hashtag).
  • Then let us know you did it when you enter the Rafflecopter. If you don’t have a Twitter or Instagram, you can email your picture directly with the picture pasted directly into the email (no attachments–we won’t open them) AND the subject, “Read or Write Anywhere.”
  • You can also check out the YA Chicks Read or Write Anywhere lesson plan, available on their site.

Now, what are you waiting for? Get out there and READ OR WRITE ANYWHERE!