Romance

Congrats to Don Zolidis on his debut deal!

From Publishers Weekly:

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Laura Schreiber at Disney-Hyperion has acquired playwright Don Zolidis‘s debut YA novel, The Seven Torments of Amy and Craig (A Love Story) , in a preempt. It’s a coming-of-age story set in 1994 Wisconsin, chronicling the on-again-off-again relationship of Amy and Craig, who come to understand each other better through multiple disastrous breakups. Publication date is projected for fall 2018; John M. Cusick of Folio Jr./Folio Literary Management brokered the six-figure, two-book deal for North American rights.

 

 

Not only is Don an incredible playwright (if you were a teen theater-geek in the past ten years, chances are you read one of his monologues), SEVEN TORMENTS is one of the straight up funniest things I’ve read in ages. Congrats Don!

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Happy Pub Day Michelle Modesto, REVENGE AND THE WILD!

Happy Book Birthday to Michelle Modesto’s totally, mind-blowingly awesome and unique, REVENGE AND THE WILD!

“This strong debut will delight fans of the genre” (Kirkus Reviews)

“Modesto’s genre-bending novel offers full-bodied romance and electrifying twists.” (Publishers Weekly)

“A page-turning, steampunk-esque Wild West adventure crawling with supernatural creatures.” (School Library Journal)

“A good match for reader who like their fights bloody and heroes unapologetically brash (Booklist)

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True Grit meets True Blood in this delightfully dark and fantastical Western perfect for fans of Gail Carriger, Cassandra Clare, and Holly Black. This thrilling novel is a remarkable tale of danger and discovery, from debut author Michelle Modesto.

The two-bit town of Rogue City is a lawless place, full of dark magic and saloon brawls, monsters and six-shooters. But it’s just perfect for seventeen-year-old Westie, the notorious adopted daughter of local inventor Nigel Butler.

Westie was only a child when she lost her arm and her family to cannibals on the wagon trail. Seven years later, Westie may seem fearsome with her foul-mouthed tough exterior and the powerful mechanical arm built for her by Nigel, but the memory of her past still haunts her. She’s determined to make the killers pay for their crimes—and there’s nothing to stop her except her own reckless ways.

But Westie’s search ceases when a wealthy family comes to town looking to invest in Nigel’s latest invention, a machine that can harvest magic from gold—which Rogue City desperately needs as the magic wards that surround the city start to fail. There’s only one problem: the investors look exactly like the family who murdered Westie’s kin. With the help of Nigel’s handsome but scarred young assistant, Alistair, Westie sets out to prove their guilt. But if she’s not careful, her desire for revenge could cost her the family she has now.

You can order REVENGE AND THE WILD (Balzer & Bray) at B&N, Amazon, and Indiebound, and review on Goodreads. You can also find Michelle on her website and on twitter.

Congrats to Sharon Biggs Waller on her Starred Publishers Weekly Review!

Following Kirkus’s sterling review, here’s Publishers Weekly on THE FORBIDDEN ORCHID:

ForbiddenOrchid_ForFinal_LR“Once Elodie arrives in China, Waller (A Mad, Wicked Folly) creates a vivid portrait of the country’s landscape and history—and the restrictions women faced there, too—through Elodie’s observations and via her new friend, Ching Lan. The discordant relationship between England’s fascination with China’s many unfamiliar treasures and the Victorian desire to conquer is also front and center. Elodie and Ching Lan are feminists of their era, refusing to bend to the rules and limits placed before them.”

 

Read the full review here.

You can pre-order THE FORBIDDEN ORCHID (which is coming from Viking this March) on Amazon, and Barnes & Noble, or check it out on Goodreads.

You can also find Sharon at her website, on Facebook, and on twitter.

Excellent review of THE FORBIDDEN ORCHID in Kirkus

Congrats to Sharon Biggs Waller on this fabulous Kirkus review.

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“Elodie narrates in a formal, 19th-century voice that manages to be witty and smart without calling undue attention to itself. A pragmatic young woman, Elodie’s struggle with the uncomfortable weather and terrain is as convincingly rendered as the conflict between her growing love for Alex and loyalty to her family. Historical details, including the liberal prescription of morphine and Britain’s patriarchal economy, lend rich, textural background.

Well-researched and filled with adventure, romance, and lots of tension—this work of historical fiction has all the elements of an intriguing read. (Historical fiction. 12 & up)”

You can pre-order THE FORBIDDEN ORCHID (which is coming from Viking this March) on Amazon, and Barnes & Noble, or check it out on Goodreads.

You can also find Sharon at her website, on Facebook, and on twitter.

THE FORBIDDEN ORCHID Cover Reveal!

Just look at this gorgeous cover for Sharon Biggs Waller’s follow-up to A MAD WICKED FOLLY:

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THE FORBIDDEN ORCHID:

Staid, responsible Elodie Buchanan is the eldest of ten sisters living in a small English market town in 1861. The girls’ father is a plant hunter, usually off adventuring through the jungles of China.

Then disaster strikes: Mr. Buchanan fails to collect an extremely rare and valuable orchid, meaning that he will be thrown into debtors’ prison and the girls will be sent to the orphanage or the poorhouse. Elodie’s father has one last chance to return to China, find the orchid, and save the family–and this time, thanks to an unforeseen twist of fate, Elodie is going with him. Elodie has never before left her village, but what starts as fear turns to wonder as she adapts to seafaring life aboard the tea clipper The Osprey, and later to the new sights, dangers, and romance of China.

But even if she can find the orchid, how can she find herself now that staid, responsible Elodie has seen how much the world has to offer?

You can pre-order THE FORBIDDEN ORCHID (which is coming from Viking this February) on Amazon, and Barnes & Noble, or check it out on Goodreads.

You can also find Sharon at her website, on Facebook, and on twitter.

Happy Pub Day to Last Year’s Mistake!

A huge congrats to Gina Ciocca on the publication of her debut y.a., LAST YEAR’S MISTAKE! Called one of the most-anticipated debuts of the year by Barnes & Noble and Epic Reads…

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What people are saying:

“A fresh and raw love story about knowing when to hold on and when to let go. Ciocca’s voice is true and captivating, the perfect blend of angst and hope.” (Lindsey Leavitt, author of PRINCESS FOR HIRE and GOING VINTAGE)

Last Year’s Mistake hooked me from the beginning and left me with a smile at the end.” (Nicole Williams, New York Times bestselling author of the Crash series)

“A solid, thoughtful romance with plenty of angst.” (School Library Journal)

Before:
Kelsey and David became best friends the summer before freshman year and were inseparable ever after. Until the night a misunderstanding turned Kelsey into the school joke, and everything around her crumbled—including her friendship with David. So when Kelsey’s parents decided to move away, she couldn’t wait to start over and leave the past behind. Except, David wasn’t ready to let her go…

After:
Now it’s senior year and Kelsey has a new group of friends, genuine popularity, and a hot boyfriend. Her life is perfect. That is, until David’s family moves to town and he shakes up everything. Soon old feelings bubble to the surface and threaten to destroy Kelsey’s second chance at happiness. The more time she spends with David, the more she realizes she never truly let him go. And maybe she never wants to.

Told in alternating sections, LAST YEAR’S MISTAKE is a charming and romantic debut about loving, leaving, and letting go.

GinaCiocca_thumbJMC: When and how did you start writing?

Gina Ciocca:I’ve literally been writing since I knew how. In second and third grade, my friend Bridget and I would write stories about each other as the love interests to celebrity offspring during class and then swap notebooks to read them. They were long-winded and plotless, but so much fun! I can’t ever remember a time when I didn’t love books and the imaginary worlds they can take you to.

Can you remember the first book that made an impact on you? Who were your childhood storytelling heroes?

I absolutely can. It was Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson. My school used to give us a half an hour or so for quiet reading time, but when I read this book I was so absorbed in the imaginary forest kingdom that thirty minutes felt more like two. I can still remember blinking and looking around as the teacher told us to close our books. It had felt so real to me – the golden trees, the rope swinging over the creek – that I was actually disoriented upon finding myself back in a sterile, fluorescently lit classroom. It was the first time I realized words could create magic.

My other childhood storytelling heroes are probably very common for my generation: Ann M. Martin’s BABYSITTERS CLUB Series (I was totally Mary Anne), Francine Pascal’s SWEET VALLEY TWINS series, Lucy Maude Montgomery’s ANNE OF GREEN GABLES, and anything by Christopher Pike.

Can you talk us through the writing of your first book? What were the key moments?

I wanted to be an author my entire life, but I didn’t write my first book until I was almost 30, despite all my bookish obsessions and the fact that I had a BA in English. The latter was probably part of the problem – I had no idea what to do with my degree, and writing so much for school sort of burned me out. Once I graduated, I took an office job that had absolutely nothing to do with what I’d studied – or loved. I didn’t read or write for ages. As a result, I was pretty miserable, but it took me a long time to make the connection. I thought I was unhappy because I worked long hours for terrible pay in a place where I was over-utilized and underappreciated (which didn’t help!). Things got a little easier when I changed jobs in 2004, but it wasn’t until I suffered a miscarriage in 2009 that I took a step back and reevaluated my life a bit. Then a light bulb went off: I’d abandoned my outlet, and I needed to get back to doing what made me happy. I decided I was finally going to write a novel.

When I did, it was truly a rookie mess. 96,000 words, and at least 25,000 of them completely unnecessary. But I had no clue; I was just so proud of myself for finally seeing a concept through from beginning to end. Unsurprisingly, this was not the novel that got my foot in the door. But it *was* the one that broke me in, that introduced me to the online writing community, and that helped me find friends and critique partners that I treasure to this day.

Was it hard to get an agent? Can you talk us through the process?

It was hard, though due in large part to how green I was when I started querying, and the fact that I was querying a novel that didn’t fit in anywhere. It was about college-age girls, which I had no idea was not considered YA when I wrote it, and New Adult was not yet a thing. It was also paranormal in the post-Twilight era, which meant most agents ran screaming from it.

Querying LAST YEAR’S MISTAKE was totally different. I was older and wiser, had a lot more research and experience under my belt, and knew I had a marketable story. Agent responses started off slow, but once I revised my query and started entering contests, the requests really poured in. I think I had 14 or 15 agents request material, and two offers of representation. I chose John Cusick because I loved his editorial suggestions and felt they’d make the story stronger, and because he was so genuinely enthusiastic about the manuscript. The rest is history.

Describe your writing day. Where do you write? How do you organize your time? Where do you look for inspiration?

I used to write in my down time at work, but since I had my son in August 2013, I’m now a stay-at-home mom. Some people might think this makes it easier to write. They are wrong. My son cried constantly when he was first born, and I didn’t have time to shower, let alone write. Now, thank goodness, he’s mellowed out enough that I can write during his naps and after he goes to bed. Early morning and post-sunset are my time for my other kids – my stories.

Inspiration comes from everywhere: dreams, memories, people, places, songs. If one of those things makes me feel a certain way, I live for the challenge of trying to replicate it in a novel.

Can you tell us about your next book?

I have two finished manuscripts, the newest of which is a YA Contemporary that was ridiculously fun to write. The other is a YA psychological thriller that I’m currently revising, and I’m also converting a YA romance novella into a full-length novel. My writing cup runneth over, and I love it!

Which favorite authors would you invite to a dinner party? What fictional character do you wish you’d invented?

I would kill to have dinner with V.C. Andrews. She passed away in the 80’s, but I bow to her ability to write the dark and twisted. One of these days I’m going to get brave and do a re-imagining of FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC. And as I serve her wine at my dinner party, I’ll ask her to tell me on DL if she despised the ghost writer they hired after her death as much as I did.

Are there any tips you could give aspiring writers who are looking to get published?

I have several. Do your research, don’t be afraid of critique, surround yourself with topnotch CP’s, and write even if you’re not totally feeling the love for what you’re putting on the page. To quote myself, Let Your Suck Flow. http://writersblog-gina.blogspot.com/2011/12/just-let-your-suck-flow.html

Check out Gina’s awesome blog and follow her on twitter.

LAST YEAR’S MISTAKE on Goodreads and order at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and Indiebound.

LAST YEAR’S MISTAKE an Epic Reads “Most-Anticipated”

Well hello there…

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From Epic Reads: “Is there anything that electric chemistry can’t overcome? The past may be gone, but love has a way of holding on in this romantic debut novel told in alternating Before and After chapters.”

See the full list here.

Check out Gina’s awesome blog and follow her on twitter.

LAST YEAR’S MISTAKE on Goodreads and pre-order at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and Indiebound.

A MAD WICKED FOLLY on YALSA’s 2015 Best Fiction for Young Adults List

MWF Paperback CoverI’m so excited to announce that Sharon Biggs Waller’s A MAD WICKED FOLLY has been chosen by the Young Adult Library Services Association for its 2015 Best Fiction for Young Adults List!

FOLLY’s already received some great acclaim, featured on *three* of Booklist’s Top Tens. And on the heels of the YALSA Best FIc announcement, Sharon’s debut novel has made the 2015 Amelia Bloomer list as well!

Sharon has a pretty rad “how’d you find your agent?” story, which you can read here. (We had internet kismet.) Her next novel, a y.a. historical from Viking Books, is due out next winter.

Meanwhile, you can find Sharon at her website, on Facebook, and on twitter.

Check out the critically acclaimed A MAD WICKED FOLLY on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indiebound, and Goodreads.

Congrats Sharon!

A MAD WICKED PAPERBACK REVEAL

10.25.14 Update: MAD WICKED FOLLY just made its *third* Booklist Top Ten List!

Congrats to Sharon Biggs Waller on her new paperback cover!

MWF Paperback Cover

Welcome to the world of the fabulously wealthy in London, 1909, where dresses and houses are overwhelmingly opulent, social class means everything, and women are taught to be nothing more than wives and mothers. Into this world comes seventeen-year-old Victoria Darling, who wants only to be an artist—a nearly impossible dream for a girl.

            After Vicky poses nude for her illicit art class, she is expelled from her French finishing school. Shamed and scandalized, her parents try to marry her off to the wealthy Edmund Carrick-Humphrey. But Vicky has other things on her mind: her clandestine application to the Royal College of Art; her participation in the suffragette movement; and her growing attraction to a working-class boy who may be her muse—or may be the love of her life. As the world of debutante balls, corsets, and high society obligations closes in around her, Vicky must figure out: just how much is she willing to sacrifice to pursue her dreams?

A MAD WICKED FOLLY on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indiebound, Goodreads