Banned Books Week

Every year hundreds of books are challenged or banned from schools and libraries. However, it takes away a person’s freedom of choice and contradicts the freedom to speak, to publish, to read, and to express ideas.  Banned Book Week celebrates the freedom to read and draw attention to the issues around censorship. Many of the books that have been banned address real life issues that people need to be aware of. They can also provide an opportunity for young readers to find someone they can identify with and know they’re not alone.

Most recently, Jay Asher, author of Thirteen Reasons Why, which addresses bullying and has been banned due to drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, and suicide, simply stated:


Those who have pushed for his book to be banned are stripping away a person’s chance to speak up and ask for help. They’re too afraid and would rather sweep the whole thing under the rug than to deal with it. What most people don’t realize is how much Thirteen Reasons Why has changed lives by making readers aware of bullying, suicide, and the people and world around them.  Many readers have been able to connect with Hannah and realize they’ve been where she’s been. It’s even helped those who’ve thought about suicide or been bullied and given them the confidence to speak up to an adult and seek help.


The point is censorship can do more harm than good and readers should be able to read whatever they want to read.


We decided to compile a short list of some of our favorite books that have been banned/challenged at one point in the past several years. To find out more about other books that have been banned you can look at the American Library Association’s compile lists here.


Leave us your thoughts on banned/challenged books in the comments below! Let us know which banned books you’ve read that you want others to read.

P.S. I’m so overdue for a reread of Thirteen Reasons Why. – M


Musings of Anna-Marie McLemore


Read A Different Book
by Anna-Marie McLemore

We all know that to write, we have to read. And we all know that to write any genre or category or topic well, you have to read widely within that genre, category, or topic. If you want to write YA, read a lot of it. If you want to write MG, fill your TBR list with MG. And goodness, if you want to write a character with a marginalized experience that is not your own, one of your first steps is to read as many books as you can get your hands on by authors who have lived the experience you want to write about.

But right now I’m not talking about the books you read for research. If you’re a writer hoping to responsibly write a life experience that’s not your own, or write about another time period, or write anything else that might need thoughtful research, my guess is your research has its own TBR stack.

Right now I’m talking about your other TBR stack. The one that lives not on your desk but on your nightstand (or, on the nightstand and maybe also in stalagmite-like piles on the floor next to your nightstand). I’m talking about the books you read in your downtime.

Please do read widely within your category or genre. We all have to. It’s how we stay sharp, and informed, and anyway most of us who write in a particular genre love it. (I should hope so, or else why would we write it?) As is probably no surprise, I’m a huge fan of magical realism, and I read all of it I can.

But sometimes….sometimes if you’re feeling stuck in your writing, what you need is to read something totally different. Something to take you not only out of your own head but out of your own writing. If you’re writing YA fantasy, yes, you must read all the YA fantasy you can. But you should also read some completely-not- your-genre books. Because if you’re at a stuck place in your manuscript, you’re going to be reading that amazing YA fantasy and saying to yourself, “this one has sea monsters…is that the problem, I don’t have enough sea monsters?” Or “this author does such spectacular things with a fictionalized geological ice age and now I officially hate my snowstorm scene.”

Save that book for a little later, when you’re a little steadier in your drafting. Pick up a mystery. A contemporary. A biography. Get yourself out of your own category and find a few books that let you just enjoy what an author’s doing, free from judgment of your own work. Your story will wait for you. And when you come back, it might look a little different than when you left.

About Anna-Marie

Anna-Marie McLemore was born in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, raised in the same town as the world’s largest wisteria vine, and taught by her family to hear la llorona in the Santa Ana winds. Her debut novel, THE WEIGHT OF FEATHERS (out now from Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press), was a Junior Library Guild Selection, named to YALSA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults list, and a finalist for the William C. Morris Debut Award. Her second novel, WHEN THE MOON WAS OURS, will be released on October 4, 2016, and WILD BEAUTY is forthcoming in 2017. You can find Anna-Marie at or on Twitter @LaAnnaMarie.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook | Book Info

When the Moon Was Ours

When The Moon Was Ours
To Be Published October 4th, 2016

When the Moon Was Ours follows two characters through a story that has multicultural elements and magical realism, but also has central LGBT themes—a transgender boy, the best friend he’s falling in love with, and both of them deciding how they want to define themselves.

To everyone who knows them, best friends Miel and Sam are as strange as they are inseparable. Roses grow out of Miel’s wrist, and rumors say that she spilled out of a water tower when she was five. Sam is known for the moons he paints and hangs in the trees, and for how little anyone knows about his life before he and his mother moved to town.

But as odd as everyone considers Miel and Sam, even they stay away from the Bonner girls, four beautiful sisters rumored to be witches. Now they want the roses that grow from Miel’s skin, convinced that their scent can make anyone fall in love. And they’re willing to use every secret Miel has fought to protect to make sure she gives them up.

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The Weight of Feathers

The Weight Of Feathers

For twenty years, the Palomas and the Corbeaus have been rivals and enemies, locked in an escalating feud for over a generation. Both families make their living as traveling performers in competing shows—the Palomas swimming in mermaid exhibitions, the Corbeaus, former tightrope walkers, performing in the tallest trees they can find.

Lace Paloma may be new to her family’s show, but she knows as well as anyone that the Corbeaus are pure magia negra, black magic from the devil himself. Simply touching one could mean death, and she’s been taught from birth to keep away. But when disaster strikes the small town where both families are performing, it’s a Corbeau boy, Cluck, who saves Lace’s life. And his touch immerses her in the world of the Corbeaus, where falling for him could turn his own family against him, and one misstep can be just as dangerous on the ground as it is in the trees.

Beautifully written, and richly imaginative, The Weight of Feathers is an utterly captivating young adult novel by a talented new voice.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

A large thanks to Anna-Marie for writing this and being a part of this feature! I highly recommend all writers take her advice and read outside your comfort zone every once in a while. It can be life changing for both yourself and your writing. Your writing will always be there, and you may just discover the best idea you’ve had yet!

As always, a huge thank you to all of the authors who have participated or are participating in this feature. Your willingness to help proves how wonderful this community truly is. Every week, you all encourage and give strength to future writers who are waiting to join your ranks. =)

We hope you have a great rest of your week!



Waiting on Wednesday: Iron Cast


Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine



Title: Iron Cast
Author: Destiny Soria
Genre: YA, Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Page Count: 384
Release Date: October 11th, 2016
Publisher: Amulet Books


It’s Boston, 1919, and the Cast Iron club is packed. On stage, hemopaths—whose “afflicted” blood gives them the ability to create illusions through art—captivate their audience. Corinne and Ada have been best friends ever since infamous gangster Johnny Dervish recruited them into his circle. By night they perform for Johnny’s crowds, and by day they con Boston’s elite. When a job goes wrong and Ada is imprisoned, they realize how precarious their position is. After she escapes, two of the Cast Iron’s hires are shot, and Johnny disappears. With the law closing in, Corinne and Ada are forced to hunt for answers, even as betrayal faces them at every turn.


About the Author:


Destiny Soria writes Young Adult fiction. Her debut novel, IRON CAST, will be published by Abrams/Amulet in Fall 2016.

Destiny lives in Birmingham, AL, where she spends her time trying to come up with bios that make her sound kind of cool. She has yet to succeed.


TTT: What’s On Our Fall TBR

hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

Happy Fall everyone! I can’t believe the cold weather is finally upon us…



Sorry guys Fall isn’t my favorite, but at least  it’s not in last place! So for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, we are sharing our Fall To Be Read piles! This season I have many highly anticipated books releasing I plan to read right away! Also I’m excited for Kelly and Lauren to be reading in general.


Kelly’s Picks

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir
Fear the Drowning Deep by Sarah Glenn Marsh
Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas
Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs

Lauren’s Picks

Vicious by V. E. Schwab
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales
Rebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendson
The Storyspinner by Becky Wallace

Melissa’s Picks

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
Magnus Chase and the Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan
A Darkly Beating Heart by Lindsay Smith
The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore
This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills



Are any of these books on your long long Long LONG TBR??


ARROWS: Interview with Melissa Gorzelanczyk

Happy Monday everyone! Today we are thrilled to have Melissa Gorzelanczyk on the blog to talk about Arrows and her writing process.




1. What initially sparked your interest in writing a modern Greek mythology novel?

My husband’s best friend Nate had the idea of a story centered around the idea of “cupids among us.” He decided not to finish his book, and when I asked how he felt about me using the premise for a teen novel, he encouraged me to go for it.

I absolutely loved the idea of “cupids among us” working behind the scenes to influence love and relationships.

In YA, my recent favorites are contemporary, so I knew I wanted my book to be set more in the modern world than fantasy.

I’m really passionate about healthy relationships—how we treat people and our boundaries of how we want to be treated. Incorporating “love arrows” into my story added a unique challenge.

2. You don’t see too many novels addressing teen pregnancy. How did you arrive at the decision to include it in Arrows?

Great question. When I was brainstorming ways to raise the stakes in the book, Karma’s pregnancy made so much sense. (Karma is one of the main characters in my dual POV novel.)

Suddenly it wasn’t just about love gone wrong between a girl and a boy. It was about love gone wrong in a family. They had more to consider than just each other.

That said, I never wanted Nell, her baby, to be a bad thing. Babies are beautiful miracles. But in reality and fiction, they change your whole world.

3. Can you talk a little bit about your writing process? Any routine to ease you into writing? Are you a plotter or pantser?

I’ve adopted a lot of routines over the years to remind my brain that it is time to write now.

I use scented candles that envelope the mood of my current book; I make playlists; I keep a file of character photos; I make little quotes using my favorite lines as I go along.

Before anything, I need to disconnect from technology, meditate and do a little yoga.

And to answer your question about plotting—I plot! I enjoy tips from The Plot Whisperer and Alexandra Sokoloff.

4. What writing advice would you give to aspiring writer

Study the basics of plot, characters, setting, theme and revision. Buy books on the subjects and read blogs posts. Join the SCBWI and attend their conferences. In practice, write each scene so that it shows something important about your plot, characters and/or theme. And really, you just have to sit down and write.

5. Can you give us any hints to what you’re working on next?

I’d love to! It’s YA. It’s a murder mystery. It’s about the depth of sibling love. And it’s very strange and very beautiful.

About Melissa

Melissa Gorzelanczyk is a magazine editor and columnist who believes love is everything. She is a proud member of the SCBWI, The Sweet Sixteens and the Class of 2k16. Her young adult novel ARROWS is available now from Delacorte Press, a division of Penguin Random House. She is represented by agent Carrie Howland of Donadio & Olson. She lives in Green Bay, Wisconsin, with her husband and family.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads


A modern cupid story set in present-day Wisconsin combining the fantastical elements of Greek mythology with the contemporary drama of MTV’s Teen Mom.

People don’t understand love. If they did, they’d get why dance prodigy Karma Clark just can’t say goodbye to her boyfriend, Danny. No matter what he says or does or how he hurts her, she can’t stay angry with him . . . and can’t stop loving him. But there’s a reason why Karma is helpless to break things off: she’s been shot with a love arrow.
Aaryn, son of Cupid, was supposed to shoot both Karma and Danny but found out too late that the other arrow in his pack was useless. And with that, Karma’s life changed forever. One pregnancy confirmed. One ballet scholarship lost. And dream after dream tossed to the wind.

A clueless Karma doesn’t know that her toxic relationship is Aaryn’s fault . . . but he’s going to get a chance to make things right. He’s here to convince Danny to man up and be there for Karma. But what if this god from Mount Olympus finds himself falling in love with a beautiful dancer from Wisconsin who can never love him in return?

This fast-paced debut novel explores the internal & external conflicts of a girl who finds herself inexplicably drawn to a boy who seemingly doesn’t reciprocate her feelings, touching on the issues of love, sex and responsibility, with a heroine struggling to control her destiny–perfect for fans of Katie McGarry’s novels and MTV’s 16 and Pregnant.

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Thank you so much Melissa for taking the time to answer our questions!  I agree that healthy relationships important and think they are key to a happier life.  I think there were more books addressing teen pregnancy because it is a reality and teen moms should be able to find themselves in a story.  I look forward to reading this story in the future!


Musings of Heather W. Petty


Twisting Tropes
by Heather W. Petty

I am a huge fan of the Korean Drama. It’s possible some of you haven’t experienced the wonder that is South Korean television, and you definitely should. Kdramas are this amazing mix of cheesy oddness, cultural inside jokes we white folks don’t fully get, and gorgeous, cliffhanger-laden storytelling that makes you come back for more again and again. Trust me when I say that it is an addiction you will never regret.

My favorite writers in Kdrama Land are known as the Hong Sisters (because they are sisters, and their names are Hong Jung Eun and Hong Mi Ran), and I think the reason why I love them so much is that they are masters at twisting common romance story tropes.

So, what is a Trope? In storytelling, a trope is an overused theme or device—a narrative cliché. It’s the White Knight and Damsel in Distress, the Bad Boy and the Goody-Two-Shoes Girl who loves him. It’s the “Just kidding! It was all a dream!” ending. It’s a wise, older character who points our protagonist toward the right path (such as Yoda or Dumbledore). It’s the tragic hero, the star-crossed lovers, the Butler Did It; a trope is that character or storyline you’ve come to expect that can make the stories we read a little predictable and safe.

And like clichés, tropes are tropes for a reason. We are used to them. We understand how they are supposed to work. Tropes make watching or reading or listening to stories more comfortable, because we know what to expect. That is obviously why, for the writer, our #1 motto should always be:

Tropes were made to be twisted.

The familiarity of a trope is the perfect way to lure your reader into a false sense of security. Then, if you can twist that trope on its head, you can make your reader stay up until the wee hours of the morning to find out what happens. Twisting your tropes is a great way to create a tension in your work that will keep the reader guessing.

An example of this comes from my most favorite Korean Drama, The Master’s Sun. Kdramas are filled with tropes of their very own, such as the Cold Rich Mean Boy who falls for the Spunky Poor Girl, or the bitter, cold angst that is the Second Male Lead—the man who treats her so well, and loves her so much, but will never, ever get the girl (alas). The Master’s Sun has both of those and more (AMNESIA!!), but it’s the subtle way that the Hong Sisters twist the Knight and Damsel trope that amazed me.

When we start, there is a super wealthy retail conglomerate owner who only cares about money. By some accident, he ends up picking up a hitchhiker one night who is a woman who can see ghosts. Seeing ghosts has basically ruined this woman’s life of promise. She can’t hold down a job, she’s afraid of night and water and sleeping, and at any given moment, a ghost will pop out and scare her, making her a general weirdo that people avoid on the streets. But when a ghost comes at her in the car, she hangs onto our Rich Man and the ghost disappears! He’s her literal savior, in that when she’s touching him she has a moment of freedom from her horrible curse.

He could care less whether she can sleep through the night or not, but when she sees a literal ghost from his past, he decides to use her to retrieve part of his family’s fortune that went missing during a botched ransom attempt when he was kidnapped as a child.

The story goes on from there with her putting up with his ridiculously mean treatment of her because she’s so desperate for the short respite he can give her and him putting up with her eccentricities because he wants his money back. But over time we start to see her confront her curse. She starts to use her ability to talk to ghosts to help people, and that makes her start to accept who she is and what she can see. She starts to need her Male Savior less and less and trust herself more and more. And by this time we start to realize that he’s the one who needs her. That maybe she’s the one who has saved him from who he might have become without her.

I tried to do something similar with my book LOCK & MORI, though on a different scale. When I first came up with the idea of writing a book about a Sherlock and Moriarty who knew each other in high school, they were going to be best friends and rivals. But the minute I started to think about a Female Moriarty, I got super excited. It gave me the opportunity to flip the Bad Boy/Good Girl trope on its head, presenting a Bad Girl with a Good Boy instead. It was also an opportunity to have a female villain who used her intellect and not her sexuality to create her evil empire, and to make the point that not all advisers who seem wise can be trusted.

There’s honestly nothing wrong with a nice trope-laden adventure story or romance. I really do love them all. But the next time you see a trope pop up in your writing, I’d encourage you to think about how you can twist it. That just might take your story in a direction you never expected.

About Heather

Heather Petty has been obsessed with mysteries since she was twelve, which is when she decided that stories about murders in London drawing rooms and English seaside villages were far superior to all other stories. She is the author of the Lock & Mori series. She lives in Reno, Nevada, with her husband, daughter, and four hopelessly devious cats. You can visit her online at

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Lock & Mori

In modern-day London, two brilliant high school students—one Sherlock Holmes and a Miss James “Mori” Moriarty—meet. A murder will bring them together. The truth very well might drive them apart.

Before they were mortal enemies, they were much more…

FACT: Someone has been murdered in London’s Regent’s Park. The police have no leads.
FACT: Miss James “Mori” Moriarty and Sherlock “Lock” Holmes should be hitting the books on a school night. Instead, they are out crashing a crime scene.
FACT: Lock has challenged Mori to solve the case before he does. Challenge accepted.
FACT: Despite agreeing to Lock’s one rule—they must share every clue with each other—Mori is keeping secrets.
OBSERVATION: Sometimes you can’t trust the people closest to you with matters of the heart. And after this case, Mori may never trust Lock again.

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Lock & Mori: Mind Games

Sherlock Holmes and Miss James “Mori” Moriarty may have closed their first case, but the mystery is far from over in the thrilling sequel to Lock & Mori, perfect for fans of Maureen Johnson and Sherlock.

You know their names. Now discover their beginnings.

Mori’s abusive father is behind bars . . . and she has never felt less safe. Threatening letters have started appearing on her doorstep, and the police are receiving anonymous tips suggesting that Mori—not her father—is the Regent’s Park killer. To make matters worse, the police are beginning to believe them.

Through it all, Lock—frustrating, brilliant, gorgeous Lock—is by her side. The two of them set out to discover who is framing her, but in a city full of suspects, the task is easier said than done. With the clock ticking, Mori will discover just how far she is willing to go to make sure that justice is served, and no one—not even Lock—will be able to stop her.

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Thank you so much Heather for contributing to our ever growing collection of writing advice! There are so many books people would consider “too tropey” or “too cliché” and that can scare writers away. So thank you for reminding us that twisting tropes is a great way to keep a story compelling!

As always, a huge thank you to everyone who has and/or will participate in this feature. You’re helping so many writers and authors succeed and follow their dreams. We appreciate it more than you know.


Waiting on Wednesday: Spare and Found Parts


As always, Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine!



Title: Spare and Found Parts
Author: Sarah Maria Griffin
Genre: YA, Science Fiction
Page Count: 384
Release Date: October 4th, 2016


Nell Crane has always been an outsider. In a city devastated by an epidemic, where survivors are all missing parts—an arm, a leg, an eye—her father is the famed scientist who created the biomechanical limbs everyone now uses. But Nell is the only one whose mechanical piece is on the inside: her heart. Since the childhood operation, she has ticked. Like a clock, like a bomb. As her community rebuilds, everyone is expected to contribute to the society’s good . . . but how can Nell live up to her father’s revolutionary idea when she has none of her own?

Then she finds a mannequin hand while salvaging on the beach—the first boy’s hand she’s ever held—and inspiration strikes. Can Nell build her own companion in a world that fears advanced technology? The deeper she sinks into this plan, the more she learns about her city—and her father, who is hiding secret experiments of his own.


ei4ijcmnAbout Sarah

Sarah Maria Griffin lives in Dublin, Ireland, in a small red brick house by the sea, with her husband and cat. She writes about monsters, growing up, and everything those two things have in common. Spare and Found Parts is her first novel.

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Have you guys added this one to your TBR? Let us know!


TTT: Favorite Songs


For this week’s Top Ten Tuesday it’s all about Audio! Since we rarely listen to audiobooks we decided to each pick our 5 favorite songs. Well our current 5 favorite songs and they’re constantly changing.


Lauren’s Picks

Any song by Imagine Dragons
Quite a few songs by Lindsey Stirling
Peter Pan by Kelsea Ballerini
Castle by Halsey
Angel by Theory of a Deadman

Kelly’s Picks

I Found by Amber Run
Slip by Elliot Moss
Sweet Dreams by Emily Browning
Scars by Boy Epic
21 Summer by Brothers Osbourne
Heathens from Twenty One Pilots

Melissa’s Picks

All of Me by John Legend (especially the version with Lindsey Stirling)
Lost Boy by Ruth B.We Don’t Talk Anymore by Charlie Puth and Selena Gomez
Tennessee Whiskey by Chris Stapleton
Stitches by Shawn Mendes
*bonus* Can’t Stop the Feeling by Justin Timberlake (Niece & I love dancing to this one!)

What are some of your favorite songs currently? Let us know!!


Musings of Darcy Woods


The Measure of a Good Book
by Darcy Woods


The word “important” gets tossed around like a comma in many conversations about young adult lit. And rightly so. We are living in a Golden Age of YA! Never before has this genre had the freedom to explore topics of gender, sexuality, race, religion, and social issues, with the raw honesty it does today.

But what makes a book “important”? Is it the timeliness of the issue tackled? Or the sensitivity with which it’s handled? Maybe it’s that few authors have dared to go there. Fact is, we could sit here making a list of qualifiers that would easily rival the length of Rapunzel’s hair.

Personally, I think there is only ONE right answer to this question.

Before we get to that, I’d like you to consider some of your favorite books—current or past. For me, as a pre and early teen, I deeeeevoured the Nancy Drew books! Rat-holed every cent of my allowance just so I could buy a new book every other week. Because nothing compared to sinking into a story where clever girls reigned supreme, and the only true mystery was why Nancy and Ned didn’t kiss more. Little wonder how I ended up writing young adult books with strong romantic elements.

nancy drew.jpg


Flash forward *cough cough* number of years, and my passion for YA was reignited with blockbuster hits like Harry Potter and Twilight. This was then followed up by what I affectionately refer to as my Fairy Phase. My fingers couldn’t flip the pages of Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely series and Maggie Stiefvater’s Lament duology fast enough! I later segued into contemporary authors such as Jandy Nelson, Jenny Han, and Stephanie Perkins. Which is when I discovered straight contemporary stories could feel every bit as magical as any fantasy.

Okay. I haven’t even come close to scratching the surface of the teeming bookshelf that is all the novels I’ve adored. But I suspect a good chunk of them would be considered the F-word. The other F-word! That’s right, I’m talking about FLUFF. Books that might not have won esteemed literary awards. They didn’t necessarily take on a difficult issue. And probably envelopes weren’t pushed . . .

And yet, I loved them. Deeply. Unconditionally. It didn’t matter that some of these novels had the literary nutritional value of a doughnut. They were exactly the stories I needed when my world was rocked by a life-changing health diagnosis. Or when both my grandparents went into hospice care and I wondered each visit if this would be the goodbye that stuck. Or when I had that offer of publication withdrawn and watched my dreams turn to dust. These stories offered the solace I was desperately seeking. Quite simply, these books were my everything.

So what makes a book “important”?

The READER does.

Only a reader can determine the true worth of a book. And whether you measure that importance by the tears you’ve cried, the laughs you’ve had, or the number of breaths stolen—ALL of these are correct. All are valid reasons to cherish a book.

So this, my fellow writers, is my love letter to you. To thank you for having the courage to write that story, whatever it may be, that was screaming to be told. To remind you that no matter how insurmountable that publishing mountain can seem, your words matter. Keep writing them.

Because every story is important. Especially to the reader who needs to hear it most.

love letter.jpg

About Darcy

Young adult author Darcy Woods had three big loves in grade school: reading, writing, and pizza day. Some things never change. She lives in Michigan with her madly supportive husband, two tuxedo cats (who overdress for everything) and a closet full of neatly organized shoes. Once upon a time, she served in a US Army aviation unit and threw live grenades. Now she throws words. SUMMER OF SUPERNOVAS is her Golden Heart®-winning debut novel, translated in over five languages.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram | Facebook

Summer of Supernovas

Fans of Jennifer E. Smith and Jenny Han will fall in love with this heartfelt and humor-laced debut following one girl’s race to find the guy of her cosmic dreams.

When zodiac-obsessed teen Wilamena Carlisle discovers a planetary alignment that won’t repeat for a decade, she’s forced to tackle her greatest astrological fear: The Fifth House—relationships and love.

But when Wil falls for a sensitive guitar player hailing from the wrong side of the astrology chart, she must decide whether a cosmically doomed love is worth rejecting her dead mother’s legacy and the very system she’s faithfully followed through a lifetime of unfailing belief.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Powell’s | Pinterest

I think writers need all the positive motivation they can get, so thank you so much Darcy for reminding them their words matter and for providing us with such an intimate and loving post.

Also, a huge thank you to everyone who has or will be participating in this feature. It means the world to so many writers to know that they’re not alone in their struggles.


Waiting on Wednesday: Vassa in the Night


Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine


Title: Vassa in the Night

Author: Sarah Porter

Genre: YA, Fantasy

Page Count: 304

Release date: September 20th, 2016


In the enchanted kingdom of Brooklyn, the fashionable people put on cute shoes, go to parties in warehouses, drink on rooftops at sunset, and tell themselves they’ve arrived. A whole lot of Brooklyn is like that now—but not Vassa’s working-class neighborhood.

In Vassa’s neighborhood, where she lives with her stepmother and bickering stepsisters, one might stumble onto magic, but stumbling out again could become an issue. Babs Yagg, the owner of the local convenience store, has a policy of beheading shoplifters—and sometimes innocent shoppers as well. So when Vassa’s stepsister sends her out for light bulbs in the middle of night, she knows it could easily become a suicide mission.

But Vassa has a bit of luck hidden in her pocket, a gift from her dead mother. Erg is a tough-talking wooden doll with sticky fingers, a bottomless stomach, and a ferocious cunning. With Erg’s help, Vassa just might be able to break the witch’s curse and free her Brooklyn neighborhood. But Babs won’t be playing fair. . . .

Inspired by the Russian folktale Vassilissa the Beautiful and Sarah Porter’s years of experience teaching creative writing to New York City students.


About the Author:


I write stories that seem to me to be quite true enough for all practical purposes. Among them are VASSA IN THE NIGHT, THE LOST VOICES TRILOGY, and the forthcoming WHEN I CAST YOUR SHADOW and TENTACLE AND WING. Realism makes little sense to me and I experience more truth in the fantastic. I always have new novels underway, both Young Adult and Grownup/ Literary/ Speculative. When not writing my own weird stuff, I can often be found leading creative writing workshops with amazing young NYC public-school writers via Teachers & Writers Collaborative. Or I might be drawing, or gardening, or wandering wraithlike through the streets. I live in Brooklyn, land of mystery, with my awesome husband Todd and our two cats, Jub Jub and Delphine.