2016 – A great year for 16 debut novels (with one extra to grow on)


I am so looking forward to 2016, for it is this new year when my debut novel, IN THE SHADOW OF THE DRAGON KING, will find its way into the world.

September 6 to be exact, so mark your calendars because it’s going to be an awesome day.  I’m already planning to take that day off from work. I’m going to celebrate. I’m going to have a party and maybe even a book signing. Don’t know. Haven’t gotten that far yet, but whatever happens, it’s going to be a glorious day. After so many years and what seems like hundreds of edits, my words will be in the hands of readers everywhere!!  Maybe, if I’m lucky, maybe it will be in a bookstore here and there. Squeeee!!!! Just the thought makes me all giddy.

What’s it about you ask? Well, I suppose now would be a good time to share a bit.  Unfortunately, I can’t release the cover yet but I can give you the official blurb.

In the Shadow of the Dragon King

Seventeen-year-old, Eric, is a kick-butt squire to the most revered knight in Fallhollow. Well he would be if Sir Trogsdill allowed him to do anything even remotely awesome. Determined to prove his worth, Eric sets out to find the mythical paladin summoned to protect the realm from the evil lurking nearby.

Sixteen-year-old, David, spends his days collecting school honors, winning archery tournaments, and trying not to fall in love with his scrappy best friend, Charlotte.

Right when things start to get interesting, he is whisked away to the magical realm of Fallhollow where everyone thinks he’s some sort of paladin destined to fulfill a two-hundred-year-old prophecy. He’s supposed to help kill a dragon with some sort of magic key. The same key that happens to adorn the neck of an annoying squire who’s too wrapped up in proving himself to be much help to anyone.

With egos as big as the dragon they need to destroy, Eric and David must get over themselves, or watch everything they know and love, burn.

Doesn’t it sound awesome!!!  Nod your head. Yes.  Yes it does. You will add it to your Goodreads list and purchase one or many copies (can you feel me using my Jedi mind-trick on you?)  Trust me. This is the book you’re looking for. 🙂

I also have some tips on some other books you’ll be looking for.  15 of them are debut novels and come out in 2016. One is the 2nd book of a series that has teens and young adult fans waiting with baited breath. Are you ready? Here they are in order of release:

FIRSTS by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
Thomas Dunne Books/St Martin’s Press
January 5, 2016

Laurie’s Website
Mark as to-read on Goodreads

(I’ve read an ARC of this one and it is fantabulous! Not kidding!)

 


UNDERWATER by Marisa Reichardt
Macmillan/Farrar, Straus, & Giroux
January 12, 2016

Marisa’s Website
Mark as to-read on Goodreads

 

 


THE GIRL WHO FELL by Shannon M. Parker
Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse
March 1, 2016

Shannon’s Website
Mark as to-read on Goodreads

 

 


INTO THE DIM by Janet B. Taylor
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
March 1, 2016

Janet’s Website
Mark as to-read on Goodreads

(Just finished the ARC of this. OMGosh!! Amazing!!)

 


MY SENIOR YEAR OF AWESOME
by Jennifer DiGiovanni
Georgia McBride Media Group/Swoon Romance YA
March 2016

Jennifer’s Website
Mark as to-read on Goodreads

 


ASHES IN THE SKY by Jennifer M. Eaton
Month9Books
March 15, 2016

Jennifer’s Website
Mark as to-read on Goodreads

 

 


CROSSING THE LINE by Meghan Rogers
Penguin/Philomel
April 12, 2016

Meghan’s Website
Mark as to-read on Goodreads

 

 


SUMMER OF SLOANE by Erin L. Schneider
Disney-Hyperion
May 3, 2016

Erin’s Website
Mark as to-read on Goodreads

 

 


SUFFER LOVE by Ashley Herring Blake
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
May 3, 2016

Ashley’s Website
Mark as to-read on Goodreads

(Read the ARC. It’s a must read for fans of contemporary YA)

 


THE WAY BACK TO YOU by Michelle Andreani
(co-written by Mindi Scott)
HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books
May 3, 2016

Michelle’s Website
Mark as to-read on Goodreads

 

 


SUMMER OF SUPERNOVAS by Darcy Woods
Random House/Crown BFYR
May 10, 2016

Darcy’s Website
Mark as to-read on Goodreads

 


 

 

HOW IT ENDS by Catherine Lo
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
June 7, 2016

Catherine’s Website
Mark as to-read on Goodreads

(I’ve read the ARC of this one.  Incredible YA contemporary!)

 


GEMINI by Sonya Mukherjee
Simon & Schuster
July 26, 2016

Sonya’s Website
Mark as to-read on Goodreads

 

 


POPPY MAYBERRY, THE MONDAY
by Jennie K. Brown
Month9Books/Tantrum Books
September 13, 2016

Jennie’s Website
Mark as to-read on Goodreads

 


FEAR THE DROWNING DEEP by Sarah Glenn Marsh
Skyhorse/Sky Pony
September 2016

Sarah’s Website
Mark as to-read on Goodreads

 


GENESIS GIRL by Jennifer Bardsley
Georgia McBride Media Group/Month9Books
September 27, 2016

Jennifer’s Website
Mark as to-read on Goodreads

Be yourself. It’s all that really matters.


I have to tell you, this social media stuff blows my mind.

Have you ever noticed how one person can shout all over social media “The sky is purple” and (s)he gets a thousand followers, but if you say the same thing, you’re ignored or laughed at? What the heck is that all about?  I’ve got a couple of friends who can shout out, “Life is awesome!” and they’ll get 1000 people to comment and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.. However, if I said the same thing, hardly anyone would ever notice.

I don’t get it.  The experts tell you to socialize with others. Do things for others. Be kind and it will come back to you ten fold.

The experts lied.

I talk to people. I mean, I genuinely talk to people. I ask them about themselves, what they love, what they dislike. I talk to them about their pets. We share pics of our pets. I post pictures of books I’m reading. I comment on books they’re reading. I do everything my fellow successful socialites do, and while they continue to get 2k followers a month, I remain at 200 after a year or more.

I’m not exaggerating.

So, what’s the scoop?

My 17-year-old inner Gollum says:

Sometimes, I think he’s right.

Even as a kid, I’ve never been the one to catch the attention of others. You know how some people can walk in a room and everyone gravitates to them? Or someone speaks and everyone listens? Yeah, that’s not me. I was always the speck in the corner that was lost in the shadows of the silk plants. I was and am the one who gets passed over in a conversation. It happened twice this Christmas. I was telling a story and someone else butted in with whatever he wanted to talk about, focusing everyone’s attention on him, and I was left standing there, thinking What the hell? Did this person not see or hear me? The second time, I retreated to the kitchen and washed dishes while blinking back the tears.  The sad thing was, it was my husband who interrupted me twice. And never once did he apologize or even recognize he hurt me. When I told him later he hurt me, he waved me off and said the same thing my mom always said: “You’re being overly sensitive. You need to get over it.”

I shrank further in my shell, and another small part of me died. That’s what happens to someone who has been verbally abused all his or her life.

Remember that old saying, sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me? Yeah, that ‘s a lie. Words do hurt people, and every time a person is beaten down with words, the more that person retracts into a hole where (s)he can’t get hurt. A place where other people can’t come in. A sad, lonely place where tears are frequent and praises are too few to count. A place where self-image is clobbered until there is no self-image left. People like me find socializing a horrible chore. We feel and believe that we have nothing of value to say or any words worth listening to. So, to keep from being hurt, we say nothing at all, or as little as possible. We nod and smile. We make pleasant talk when out with others. We might even take a Xanax to keep the anxiety to a minimum. But to those of us who have been and continues to be verbally abused/ignored, and then told we are being over-sensitive when we expose our feelings, we never learn to Grow up and get over it. We learn to keep our feelings inside because no one cares to hear them.

One of my favorite songs when I was a teenager was At Seventeen by Janis Ian. The words echoed everything I believed about myself.

I can’t tell you how many times I contemplated suicide as a teen. Even tried it once, and grew angry at myself because it was one more thing I failed at. Of course, now that I’m older and have kids of my own, I’m glad I didn’t succeed, but at seventeen, eighteen, all I wanted to do was die so I didn’t have to feel the pain anymore.

Why am I telling you this now on the heals of Christmas and the start of a new year? Because maybe someone who feels the way I did as a teen (and sometimes now as an adult) will find my words, and maybe my experience and words will have some sort of impact. A new year brings new beginnings, and for someone suffering from verbal scars, every day needs to be viewed as a new beginning.

What advice can I give to a teen who is hurting from bullying or verbal abuse?

  1. Seek help if you can from someone you trust. It could be a friend’s parent, a dear friend, a counselor at school, a teacher. Maybe even a certified counselor if you can convince your parent(s) to take you. These feelings are real, they hurt, and they shouldn’t be ignored.
  2. Try to find something about yourself that you love and focus on that. Do you have pretty eyes? A contagious smile? Are you an artist? Do you like to write? Focus on those things that are wonderful and  unique to you and immerse yourself in those things. It helps to push the negativity away and develop some self-esteem.
  3. Create a mantra and say it to yourself every day. Put notes around your room, inside your books, on your mirror, notes that will remind you of how wonderful you are when you think no one else can see it.
  4. Be yourself, no matter what. I know how much you want to fit in and be like others, but if you have to be something you’re not so you can “fit in”, then that’s not the crowd you want to be a part of . Find those who love you for you. They are out there. They are who you need to be around.
  5. If you are a teen and suicide seems to be the only way out, please contact any of the following:

Teen Line

Teen Suicide/Youth Suicide 

Teen Health and Wellness Hotline

If you are an adult, please call:

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Take it from someone who has been there, suicide is not the answer. There is a beautiful, new world waiting for you, a world that is willing to embrace you. Life is not as bad as it seems. You also don’t have to go through the pain alone. There is help out there.  Never give up. You do matter to someone, even if you don’t think you do. And try to remember, you may be like me. You may never be the one who gets all the dates, or the accolades or even all the raises and praises at work. Sometimes, it may feel like the entire world is against you. You may not be Mr. or Miss Popular, you  may never be GQ handsome or Vogue beautiful, but you are you, and that is something no one else can be. Take pride in your individuality. Hold your head high and face the new year with hope. There is always hope, even beneath the darkest cloud.  Life may not be perfect, but it is a wonderful adventure.

Trust me, if I can get through the dark days, so can you.  All you have to do is believe.

 

Star Wars: The Force Awakens – was it worth the wait?


I was one of the lucky ones who got to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens on December 17, a day before the official release date.  Like millions of us, I’d waited patiently, and anticipation was high when I walked into the theater and made my way to my leather recliner seat with a soda in one hand and popcorn in the other.  The murmuring around me was intense. There were wookies and jedi in the audience, along with a Princess Leia and a young Anikan Skywalker. There were cloaked figures, and one man who kept telling everyone he wasn’t the droid we were looking for.  The theater personnel was nice enough to start the film after almost everyone had left the concession stands and were seated in five of the eight theaters showing the film.  My version was in 3D, which, both sad and wonderful to say, was my first 3D movie I’d ever seen.

I thought it was great that there were no previews. Not a one.  The lights dimmed, the music started playing, the film started rolling amidst wild, crazy clapping and whistling … and then it stopped. In the beginning of the text scrolling as if floating in space, the screen went black, as if snuffed out by the dark side.  Of course the boos began and someone pulled out a light saber and shouted to the dude in the ‘film box’ “You can do it! Let the force be with you!” This, of course, solicited laughter, and in a matter of seconds, the movie began again.

“In a galaxy far, far away…”

I gotta tell you folks. I got the chills.  Star Wars 6 – Return of the Jedi released in 1983.  32 years I’ve waited for the saga to continue, and no, I did not think Episodes 1, 2 and 3 counted. They were afterthoughts, fillers, and did little to quell the hunger for a real Star Wars movie.  I mean, how does one top Hans Solo?

But it’s been 32 years. Hans, Princess Leia and Luke are getting old. Darth Vader, Obi Wan Kenobi, and Yoda are dead (I think they’re actually in Jedi heaven, but whatev). Who could possibly step in to fill their shoes?

Well, we have the next best pilot in the galaxy, Poe Dameron (played by Oscar Issac ), and damn is he good!!  See photo here

The beautiful, scrappy, Rey (played by Daisy Ridley), who discovers she’s not only a junk collector, but also a kick-ass female Gandalf. I mean, the chick can wield a staff!  See photo here,

Finn (played by John Boyega), the best stormtrooper ever! I mean, this dude rocks his part, and the brief scene between him and Kylo Ren on the planet Jakku (which reminds me a lot of Tatooine minus an extra sun) was spine-tingling. see photo here,

and last but not least,

the amazing villain, Kylo Ren (played by Adam Driver).  see photo here. Ahh!  Heart be still.  Darth Vader would be proud, young Kylo.

(NOTE:  I’m not posting pics here due to copyright issues. Don’t want to get in trouble with the big guys, know what I mean?)

In my opinion, these new characters ARE the next Hans, Leia and Luke. I fell in love with them right away. The old, snarky humor of the original movies is there, and the new, young actors pull it off well.  Of course we see our favorite characters from long ago: Hans Solo (Harrison Ford), Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), and Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), as well as Chewbacca, C3PO, R2D2. We are also introduced to a great new little bot named BB8.  You will fall in love with this little rolling double-ball of circuitry, make no mistake.

I do have some issues with the film such as plotting and explanation.  There are too many unanswered questions for those of us who never read a Star Wars book ever, such as Who is Rey? Who is Poe Dameron? Where did they come from? Who are they related to, if anyone? How did Kylo Ren become who he is and who in the hell is that big, I mean massively huge alien dude in the chair who thinks he’s all that?

I thought the film was predictable, but it’s Star Wars. It wouldn’t be the story we have all come to know and love without X-wing fighters, blasters, light sabers and the force.  Still I think there should have been a bit more revelation. And I wish the ending had been different. I wanted a follow through on a decisive moment, but it never came. Everyone in the theater was yelling, “Do it! Take it!”  Let me tell you, I wasn’t the only one who let out a “You’ve got to be kidding me! No freaking way!” comment. Argh!! I still want to ‘fix it’.

Overall, I was pleased with the film. I’m glad J.J. Abrams went back to the old-style Star Wars and not regurgitate another pathetic piece like the films my kids grew up with. I hope the trend continues with the next installment in the saga.

If you’ve seen the film, I would love to hear your thoughts, but please, no spoilers. Peeps have waited a long time to see this film so please don’t ruin it for them. If you haven’t seen it, I would love to hear what you’re excited to see and what you expect. Until then…

always be kind, tell those close to you that you love them, and may the force be with you.

Bonus Video – the making of Star Wars

M9B Friday Reveal: Cover Reveal – Emerge by Tobie Easton with Giveaway #M9BFridayReveals


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Welcome to this week’s M9B Friday Reveal!

This week, we are revealing the cover for

Emerge by Tobie Easton

an upcoming Month9Books Title!

Author, Tobie Easton, also shares her thoughts on the cover.

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

 

It’s finally here, and you finally get to see it!! Sharing the cover of my debut novel, Emerge, with you means so much to me. When I saw it for the first time, my jaw dropped—it’s just that beautiful. I love how the main character, Lia, blends so seamlessly into the ocean, like she’s one with the water, which is so thematically perfect for the book. While everything seems calm and beautiful on the surface, there’s something deeper, more alluring, and perhaps more sinister hidden just below.
The call of the ocean is an important part of the novel, so it’s mesmerizing the way Lia is being drawn toward the sea—and taking the reader with her.

Want to know my favorite detail? It’s the way the bottom of Lia’s gown billows like ocean waves (I’m a sucker for a gorgeous gown!). And the sparkles behind the title hint at the magic within. I could gush all day, but I really want to know what you think! Come tell me on Twitter, Goodreads, IG, orFacebook! I’m SO excited for you to read the first book of the Mer Chronicles this April!

xo Tobie

 

Emerge_1800x2700

 

Lia Nautilus may be a Mermaid but she’s never lived in the ocean. War has ravaged the seven seas ever since the infamous Little Mermaid unleashed a curse that stripped Mer of their immortality. Lia has grown up in a secret community of land-dwelling Mer hidden among Malibu’s seaside mansions. Her biggest problems are surviving P.E. and keeping her feelings for Clay Ericson in check. Sure, he’s gorgeous in that cocky, leather jacket sort of way and makes her feel like there’s a school of fish swimming in her stomach, but getting involved with a human could put Lia’s entire community at risk.

So it’s for the best that he’s dating that new girl, right? That is, until Lia finds out she isn’t the only one at school keeping a potentially deadly secret. And this new girl? Her eyes are dead set on Clay, who doesn’t realize the danger he’s in. If Lia hopes to save him, she’ll have to get closer to Clay. Lia’s parents would totally flip if they found out she was falling for a human boy, but the more time she spends with him, the harder it is for her to deny her feelings. After making a horrible mistake, Lia will risk everything to stop Clay from falling in love with the wrong girl.

add to goodreads

Emerge by Tobie Easton
Publication Date: April 19, 2016
Publisher: Month9Books

Available for Pre-order:
Amazon | B&N | Chapters | TBD

 

About-the-Author

 

Tobie Easton

Tobie Easton was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, where she’s grown from a little girl who dreamed about magic to a twenty-something who writes about it. A summa cum laude graduate of the University of Southern California, Tobie hosts book clubs for tweens and teens. She and her very kissable boyfriend enjoy traveling the globe and fostering packs of rescue puppies. Tobie loves chocolate chip cookies and Oxford commas.

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

 

Giveaway

Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win.
Title will be sent upon its release.

 

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It’s a Cover Reveal and Giveaway for FACSIMILE by Vicki Weavil


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 Welcome to this week’s M9B Friday Reveal!

This week, we are revealing the cover for

Facsimile by Vicki L. Weavil

an upcoming Month9Books Title!

Author, Vicki L. Weavil, also shares her thoughts on the cover.

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

I love this cover because it reflects the book so well. The image of a girl standing alone on a desolate world is a perfect depiction of my protagonist, Ann, as well as her “sand over stone” world, Eco. But it’s also symbolic, because although Ann isn’t really alone, she often feels isolated on her frontier planet. The addition of the image of the Earth is also appropriately symbolic. Ann can’t actually see the Earth from Eco, but since her goal is to live on Earth it’s always on her mind, so the inclusion of the Earth image is a wonderful metaphor for her hopes and dreams.

facsimile ebook final

 For a ticket to Earth, seventeen-year-old Anna-Maria “Ann” Solano is willing to jettison her birth planet, best friend, and the boy who loves her. Especially since all she’s required to do is escort Dace Keeling, a young naturalist, through the wilderness of the partially terraformed planet Eco. Ann‘s determination to escape the limitations of her small, frontier colony never falters, until Dace’s expeditions uncover three secrets. One offers riches, one shatters Ann’s perceptions of herself, and one reveals that the humans stranded on Eco are not its only inhabitants.

Ann’s willing to sacrifice friendship and love for a new life on Earth. But when an entire species is placed in jeopardy by her actions, she must make a choice – fulfill the dream that’s always sustained her, or save the planet she’s never considered home.

add to goodreads

Facsimile (Facsimile #1)
by Vicki L. Weavil
Publication Date: March 8, 2015
Publisher: Month9Books

Available for Pre-order:
Amazon | B&N

 About-the-Author

 

Vicki Weavil 11

Vicki L. Weavil is represented by Fran Black of Literary Counsel. Her Young Adult Fantasy, CROWN OF ICE — a dark YA retelling of H.C. Andersen’s “The Snow Queen” — is published by Month9Books. Two companion books to CROWN OF ICE — SCEPTER OF FIRE and ORB OF LIGHT — will be published in 2016 and 2017.
Her YA SciFi — FACSIMILE — will be published by Month9Books in 2016, with a sequel, DERIVATION, to follow.
A new YA Fantasy, THE DIAMOND THIMBLE, will be published by Month9Books in 2018.
She also writes adult SciFi.

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Tumbler

 

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