Tag Archives: YA

My Bookshelf: “Autumn in the City of Angels” by Kirby Howell


My friends just published their debut novel… AND the sequel.

Both books are now available through Amazon!

The third book is soon to follow.

I’m very impressed with their efforts to put this series together and promote it. And it’s my next book. Even better, if you have Amazon Prime, the books are “free” to borrow (the author still gets paid of course). These books are YA sci-fi—very close to my heart.

Here’s the description from Amazon:

A plague of epic proportion sweeps the globe, leaving less than one percent of the world’s population immune. Among the living is Autumn Winters, the teenage daughter of a famous actress. When Autumn’s parents don’t come home and the city is overtaken by a dangerous faction, she goes into hiding with a small group of underground survivors. They’re led by a mysterious young man who harbors an unearthly secret, and with whom Autumn feels a deep connection.

Click here to view the book on Amazon

For more information visit the author’s website

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My Bookcase: “Shadow and Bone” by Leigh Bardugo

I’m absolutely loving this book.

Yes, I’ve reached that point where I can’t put it down. But instead of tearing through it, I try to slow down and savor the last bits as they tick down on my Kindle percentage bar. SHADOW AND BONE by Leigh Bardugo is the first book in the Grisha Trilogy (a YA fantasy series).

I also tweeted with the author and discovered she lives in my neck of the woods. And we both have cute poodle mixes (you can follow her @lbardugo).

Here’s a summary from Amazon:

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha…and the secrets of her heart.

The writing is strong and vivid—and the world-building is particularly impressive too. I highly recommend this book. You can even download the first five chapters FREE on the Kindle.

Here’s the link to the book on Amazon

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And Then We Came to the End…

Only five chapters left to write.

Five. Such a tiny number in the face of what’s already been written. Five.

I’m coming to the end of the my new YA dystopian sci-fi book (the first in a series). I can’t believe that I’m almost finished after months of hard work. Of course, many revisions still lie ahead, but a first draft is a major accomplishment.

It is the blueprint from which all else will grow (blueprints play a significant role in the book, by the way).

I’ve loved writing this book and know that I will be sad when the end finally nears, but luckily is is not an end for my characters, but only a new beginning (and the book is all about new beginnings in a way). It less downtrodden dystopia, and more about being reborn from the ashes of a dead world like a fiery phoenix. It is unlike most of what is on the market now, for better or worse.

I was sitting with an agent that other day (who I shall not name, but who works at one of the big agencies) who assured me that different is what would make this book stand out. Sometimes it’s hard to feel like the only boat in a lonely sea (the sea also plays a big role in the book), but I know that she is right. I would to hate to merely write a pale cousin to THE HUNGER GAMES, or steal the characters from TWILIGHT and transform the story into a poorly written pornographic romp (even if it netted me untold riches).

I wouldn’t feel good about myself—and most importantly, the work would suffer.

At least, this is what I tell myself.

And most days, I believe it as I put fingers to keyboard to spin this story out of thin air.

I’m off to the Virginia countryside for a self-imposed writing residency. It is there that I will complete this installment of the story. It is there that I will finally type the words:



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My Bookshelf: “Legend” by Marie Lu

Having just finished the AMERICAN GODS 10th anniversary edition (by Neil Gaiman, of course), I dove right into LEGEND by Marie Lu, a YA dystopian science-fiction book. Here’s a bit about the book from Amazon:

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths – until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

So far, this is a fast-paced and enjoyable read, and Lu has crafted an interesting world. I’ll be done with it soon (not only is this book on the short side, but it also moves very quickly)…

You can check out Marie Lu’s author site by clicking here (and it’s a very nice one!).

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My Bookshelf: “Divergent” by Veronica Roth

Happy New Year—you have the flu!

That about sums up the start of my year. Luckily, I’m on the road to recovery and finally getting back to work. First, I’m doing a quick polish on my romantic comedy script and then I’m diving back into my YA dystopian sci-fi novel. I’m feeling very inspired to continue on this path!

For that reason I’ve been immersing myself in a lot of Young Adult books. Over the holidays, I read THE SCORPIO RACES by Maggie Stiefvater, a beautifully written book told from two different characters first person perspectives. She did a great job crafting the fantasy world of the book and its killer water horses, though the plot never “grabbed” me the way that I wanted, though it certainly had the potential to do so. Overall, I’d still recommend the book.

Now, I’m reading DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth. This book (which many compare to THE HUNGER GAMES) has a very interesting premise and it’s a fast read. I also like her vision of dystopian Chicago. Destined to a be a trilogy, I’m interested to see how the first book concludes.

I have a ton of books on my shelf—too many as always! So I’ll report back as I continue to make my way through my stack.

Happy New Year and Happy Reading!

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