HarperCollins giveaway: ‘Forbidden’ by Kimberley Griffiths Little

October 29, 2014 No comments

On November 4th, HarperCollins unveils Forbidden, a seductive YA debut from award-winning middle grade author Kimberley Griffiths Little. Forbidden transports readers back in time to the deadly deserts and sweltering heat of Ancient Mesopotamia for a tale of danger, duty, and forbidden love. Jayden is on the brink of womanhood and betrothed to her tribe’s prince, cold-hearted Horeb. But when tragedy strikes, Jayden meets Kadesh, a mysterious visitor from the south who makes Jayden doubt everything she knows. Torn between loyalty to her tribe and the chance to escape her fate, Jayden must make a choice that will change her life forever.


Kimberley is also offering a HUGE preorder giveaway from October 6th to November 4th (release day!) to celebrate. See below for full details on how to enter.
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Categories: giveaways

Shannon, Dean Hale introduce readers to a ‘Princess in Black’

October 28, 2014 No comments

princess in blackThe Princess in Black,” by Shannon Hale, Dean Hale and LeUyen Pham, Candlewick Press, Oct. 14, 2014, Hardcover, $14.99 (ages 5-8)

Once upon a time there was a princess named Magnolia who was prim and perfect and hiding a huge secret. Magnolia wasn’t just a princess; she was the Princess in Black — a secret superhero who sent monsters packing back through the hole to Monster Land.

The idea for “The Princess in Black” came to Shannon Hale (“Goose Girl,” “Princess Academy”) after her daughter told her that pink, purple and yellow were girl colors, but not black. So, of course, Shannon Hale being Shannon Hale, began thinking about a princess who did wear black.

“The Princess in Black” is one of those books you know you’re going to like from the start. Magnolia is smart and independent, and she is presented in a snappy, fresh light that young readers will immediately be drawn to. LeUyen Pham’s accompanying illustrations build on Shannon and husband Dean’s text. She gives Magnolia just a hint of sass and a lot of spunk.

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Karen Akins imagines the future, and the past, in ‘Loop’

October 27, 2014 1 comment

Loop Karen AkinsIf Karen Akins could travel back in time it would be to the Regency Period. “I’m kind of a stickler for accuracy, so it always bugs me that in every representation of Jane Austen’s England, the portrayals are vastly different,” she said. “I’d like to go back and see what an actual dinner party was like for her. In some adaptations of her books, the parties are raucous and loud, others prim and poised. Which was it?”

Karen is the author of “Loop,” a time-traveling romance that she calls a more upbeat version of the future than its dystopian contemporaries.

“A lot of books set in the future are pretty dreary. “(They don’t call it dystopian for nothing),” she told Cracking the Cover. “LOOP is more positive and lighthearted. I had a lot of fun writing it, and that’s the word I’ve heard a lot of people use to describe it: fun.”

The idea for “Loop” came to Karen as the result of a dream that she had when she fell asleep watching her husband play video games. “I’ve had one other book idea come to me that way,” she said. “More than dreaming the plot, it’s more like I dreamt the feelings I want to evoke, if that makes sense.”

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© 2014, Cracking the Cover. All rights reserved.

Categories: YA interview, young adult

BabyLit ‘Frankenstein’ book, app perfect for Halloween

October 26, 2014 No comments

Frankenstein BabyLit CoverWhen you think babies, you think classic literature, right? No? That doesn’t even come to mind? It should.

Welcome to the world of BabyLit. Created by Suzanne Gibbs Taylor, authored by Jennifer Adams and illustrated by Alison Oliver, this series of board books introduces little ones to classic literature on a level they can understand.

The series features books, playsets, totes, buttons, characters, prints, and now, just in time for Halloween, a new app.

Frankenstein Build and Play” is a companion to “Frankenstein: A BabyLit Anatomy Primer.” Both the book and app both focus on different parts of the body, with the book being simpler and geared slightly younger. The app is intended for children 3 and up and serves as an enhancement to the board book rather than a replacement.

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© 2014, Cracking the Cover. All rights reserved.

‘Spiritglass Charade’ author pairs vampires, Sherlock Holmes

October 13, 2014 No comments

Spiritglass Charade_Front CoverColleen Gleason doesn’t like being branded as a YA author. The author of “The Clockwork Scarab” and “The Spiritglass Charade” hopes her audience isn’t limited to teens.

“I actually hope to be writing for everyone who is capable of reading my book, and that the audience isn’t limited to teens,” Colleen told Cracking the Cover. “I try to make my stories about issues and covering themes that both the youth and adults can relate to, and therefore my audience is very flexible and fluid and vast. My hope is that the topics in my stories — loyalty, friendship, sacrifice, responsibility, love — not only resonate with teens, who are at the stage in their lives where they are experiencing all sorts of growth and challenge and identity crises — but that adults find these themes compelling as well.”

Colleen writes YA because there are fewer restrictions and genre expectations. Books aren’t necessarily categorized by genre and Colleen can write a story that crosses over, mixing mystery with science fiction and romance, adding in fantasy and adventure, without having the book be pigeonholed into a specific section of the bookstore.

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© 2014, Cracking the Cover. All rights reserved.

Categories: YA review, young adult