Wednesday, May 18, 2016

SCBWI Summer Reading List!

Summer is the perfect time to enjoy some new books and authors!

​I have a number of books I will recommend in a future post, but for now, I want to give you a list of recommended books put together by the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. There are many middle grade and YA options listed, as well as a great collection of picture books.  You can search by region if you are looking for local authors or just look at each YA section if you only want YA.  

Mer-Charmer is in the International-Other section, because I'm living in Germany right now and that's the division Germany is included in for SCBWI's regions.  I'm delighted to be included in the list!

So scroll through these books (link on image below) and think about which ones you want to take with you to the pool, to the beach, or on your camping trip.  Many of these will be perfect to enjoy on a rainy Monday afternoon, too, just curled up on your couch with your favorite treat to eat.

And if you have any book recommendations for others, please feel free to share in the comments!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Cover Reveal of A TASTE OF DEATH AND HONEY, by Sharon Bayliss

Today, Monday the 9th, is not just a special day for me, with the release of my second book.  It's also a special day for author Sharon Bayliss, who is revealing her cover for A TASTE OF DEATH AND HONEY, which is Book 3 of the December People series.  I'm going to let her share with you in her own words, but I will add that I got to read an ARC of this beauty of a book, and if you are interested in doing the same, definitely contact Sharon! She mentions how below.  This cover, guys!  SO GORGEOUS!!  All of her covers are beautiful, but I think this one might be my favorite.

Without further ado...Here's Sharon!

The time has come!! I'm happy to present the cover of book three in The December People Series, A Taste of Death and Honey. I'm so thankful to Curiosity Quills Press for their amazing work. I think it's stunning! And just the right amount of creepy. What do you think?

This book will grab you by the throat, challenge your mind, and turn your heart inside out. Sharon Bayliss delivers a powerful, emotional punch with her third book in the December People series. - Amy Bearce, author of  The World of Aluvia Series
When Samantha’s parents died, she lost everything. Her home. Her friends. Her hope. Then a life-loving spring witch at the children’s shelter fills her life with light and joy once again.

But like the springtime, Samantha’s happiness doesn’t last forever. Her friend dies violently in front of her, the victim of a mysterious killing spell. Furious and grief-stricken, Samantha resents her own weak spring magic. She doesn’t need life and renewal. She wants revenge…and death.

Homeless and alone, Samantha seeks shelter with her old friends, the Vandergraff family, and finds an unexpected ally in the powerful winter solstice witch, Evangeline. The girls’ anger and eagerness lead them to cast a killing spell before knowing the truth behind Samantha’s friend’s death or the identity of her killer. 

Once the spell is cast, they can’t take it back, and they must fight to stop their own curse before it takes away everyone they love.

A Taste of Death and Honey comes out on 6/9/16!! If you're interested in reading it early and writing a review, please sign up here. And if you're new to the series, you can get caught up by reading Destruction (Book One) and Watch Me Burn (Book Two), both available on Amazon and Audible. 

Thank you for your support!


Sunday, May 8, 2016

Release day for MER-Charmer!

It's here!  Today is the day that Mer-Charmer goes out into the world.  I hope you all enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

About Mer-Charmer

Phoebe’s power lies/lay at the heart of the ocean, but the power of the ocean might just break her heart.

To save her beloved merfolk from an ancient sea beast, 14-year-old Phoebe dives into the ocean and discovers her own magic. But when the beast decides she is the tastiest prey in the ocean, she must learn to control her wayward sea magic, earned at a shocking cost, or lose the very people she loves the most.

"Magic, adventure, romance, and a wonderfully creepy villain--The Little Mermaid wishes it was this book!"--Heidi Schulz, New York Times Bestselling author of Hook's Revenge, Hook's Revenge: The Pirate Code, and Giraffes Ruin Everything. "Bearce creates a vivid, colorful underwater world filled with the beautiful and terrifying in equal measure. You won’t be able to look away."-- Sharon Bayliss, bestselling author of The December People series

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Mer-Charmer is now on NetGalley for review!

If you are a NetGalley member who enjoys upper middle grade fantasy, I'd love for you to consider reading and reviewing Mer-Charmer via NetGalley.  You can follow the link to Mer-Charmer on NetGalley here.  It's the second book in the World of Aluvia series, but it can stand alone, so don't feel that you must read book one first (Fairy Keeper), though it will give you a richer understanding of the world and the characters.

This is also a great moment to remind readers that reviews make a huge difference to all authors.  Word of mouth matters.  I think it's pretty fantastic that in today's super savvy online media world, that every single reader can make such an impact by leaving feedback on Amazon, Goodreads, and Barnes and Noble, not to mention all the social media options.

You really make a difference. Thank you for taking the time to read our books, but also for taking the time to share about them with your friends!


Anna and the Swallows- A beautiful literary novel, YA and up

Most recent Goodreads Review, for those not on Goodreads...

Anna and the Swallow ManAnna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4.5 I had written a long review and my computer didn't save it. So this will be shorter. First of all, this is a literary novel. It is beautiful and deep and wandering and not at all a direct, plot-driven story. If you can make peace with that, you'll enjoy it much more. Secondly, my library had this in the MG section, marked Juvenile Fiction. It is not. This is grade 8 and up, certainly above age 12-- there are some things in here I wouldn't have chosen to share with my ten year old (we were listening to the audio version, so I couldn't skim ahead and see what was coming) and I'm very liberal about what I think kids can handle (ie-- a lot.) But though Anna is 7, the narrator is ominiscient and I think some might make the mistake as I did of thinking this was a MG book. It's YA, at the minimum, and I think many of the deeper themes and allegories will speak most profoundly to adults. School Library Journal recommends this book for ages 14 and up, and the publisher lists it as 12 and up, so please keep that in mind.

The writing is absolutely beautiful. The characters are interesting... I do think Anna forgot about her own father too quickly but other than that, I found her attachment to the Swallow Man to be a beautiful thing and when another man joins their travels, it creates a rich opportunity to talk about what way someone might choose to approach life. I am glad I listened to the book with my child. First because it was unexpectedly rough in a few places, so I was there to help her process some of the harder things, and secondly, we had many great discussions.

The audio narration was fantastic and probably helped us keep going through the whole book, which does indeed meander much like the rivers that the Swallow Man uses as a metaphor. But it's the kind of book that will stick with you, if you will stick with it to the end.

View all my reviews