Tag Archives | young adult

World building and believability. (Another look at POSSESSION.)

I hear it all the time. World building. Details. But not just any details. Ones that are important to the story and reveal the world and play an important role in the story.

In any world, not just fantasy or dystopian, we want to make it believable.

Elana Johnson in her novel, POSSESSION, added some cool gadgets to Vi’s world that reflected the futuristic society and played an important role in the story.

Ecomms, robots, implanted tags that track people, hovercopters, tech-cuffs that leave your wrists red and inflamed, cell phones that do everything even taser people from across the room, cubes that make meals appear, healing lotion, sticker rings, walls that can listen and talk…the list goes on.

I loved these gadgets in POSSESSION. And they made Vi’s world extremely believable.

What details can you add to your character’s world, even if it’s contemporary fiction, that reflect your character and tie in with her external and internal conflict?

Tall order, I know.

What books have you read with great world building? Examples?

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What if you took your secret crush back in time with you?

CLOCKWISE  by Elle Strauss

“A teen time traveler accidentally takes her secret crush back in time. Awkward.”

CLOCKWISE is launching electronically this week and it’s only 2.99 on Amazon , £2.17 on Amazon.co.uk! To celebrate, Elle Strauss is giving away five debut books by authors that you can meet on her blog tour which is happening now.

LOSING FAITH by Denise Jaden

THE CLEARING by Anne Riley


PERILOUS by Tamara Hart Heiner

THE HATING GAME by Talli Roland

How to win? Sign up for Elle’s newsletter to enter. For extra entries just comment on any blog in the tour. The more blogs you visit and comment on the more chances you have to win.

Five books, five days, five winners!

I love it when books surprise me. When I think I have the plot all figured out. Because I’m smart like that. #notreally I didn’t see the plot twist in CLOCKWISE coming. At all!

My Review of CLOCKWISE.

Casey has a problem. A big problem. She time travels and she can’t control it. She deals with it the best anyone can, traveling back to the 1800s, until the day she brings back her crush, Nate. #agirl’sworstnightmare  #ordreamcometrue

And I’m not going to tell you what happens after that. You’ll have to read it.

I will say that I loved the development of Casey’s relationship with Nate. Traveling through time has a way of changing a person and adding perspective. They both grow as people. A secondary character, Samuel, enters the story, and I absolutely love how the author tied the subplots together.

Not going to say anything else about that either. #sorry #i’mmeanlikethat

I will say that by the end I was in tears in a moving, sentimental ending.

If you like time travel, suspense, a sweet romance – you’ll enjoy CLOCKWISE.

Plus, the cover is all sorts of awesome.

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Why tough issues need to be dealt with in MG and YA books.

A boy walked along the railroad tracks.

A boy walked along the old railroad tracks. The one with a steep rocky incline that some people use to rock climb.

I don’t know why he took a walk that night. Maybe he does every night. Maybe he knew school started the next day, and he’d be buried under homework and sports. Maybe he was meeting a friend. Maybe he scrounged up a few dollars for a soda since there was none in the fridge.

For whatever reason, he left the safety of his home, his parents, his twin brother, and took that walk, breathing in the scent of fall winging on the breeze.

The first day of school comes. Friends from a tight knit group arrive, clutching their backpacks. It’s their sophomore year. They’ve grown up together, year after year. They played soccer, basketball, and baseball together. They watched the fireworks together. They swam together over the summer. They know the good, the bad, and the goofy. They remember the bad haircuts and the ugly clothes.

One girl settles in her seat in homeroom. She has a bad feeling. Two friends, twin brothers, aren’t in school. The one brother said something weird on Facebook that morning. The night before, one of them had been late returning home from a walk. The parents had called the police. That’s the last she knew of it.

The intercom crackles. And over the intercom, the friends learn that one of their own died the night before.

On the first day of school.

Yet these kids, barely 15, have to continue going to school day after day. They have to sit through math, listen to history lectures, go to ballet, attend church on Sundays. The world didn’t stop for their grief, their confusion, their numbness, their loss. They just know their friend isn’t there beside them anymore.

Parents forget about issues like too much texting, leaving boyfriends and girlfriends alone, or whether their kid made varsity or not. Now their kids are dealing with issues that no child should have to deal with. Now they worry when the haunting look will fade from their child’s face. Now they wonder how they can possibly support and be there for their child. Now they wonder when the emotional break downs will stop and their child will smile again. When will they smile again.

Books don’t replace counseling. Books don’t replace the hug of a parent or a friend. Books can’t mend a broken heart. But for a brief moment, a hurting child or adult, can find understanding, a friend, a place where they belong and can forget about their grief.

They can find words to their emotions and not feel so alone. And that might help them get through another day.

So yes, it’s okay for middle grade and young adult books to cover the tough issues. Because there are kids out there dealing with the tough issues.

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Friday 5 – Some rockin’ new MG and YA must-read blogs!

It must the cool breeze stirring up all the awesome new websites. Who realized that other writers were plotting and planning during the summer heat while I splashed around with my kids?

Without further ado, here are the rockin’ new websites I’ve stumbled upon.

Sleuths, Spies and Alibis

A group blog of middle grade and young adult authors talk about…you guessed it….mysteries. They post every day of the week with book reviews, writing prompts, guest authors, and writing tips. Sounds terrific!

YA Curator

Ever wondered how to find the good stuff worth reading with all the self published and small press titles? This group blogs does it for you. Every Wednesday they post a review. So far they’ve reviewed THE BOYFRIEND THIEF by Shana Norris, DREAM SMASHERS by Angela Carlie, and RED by Kait Nolan. They all look great! Worth checking out every week.

Reel YA

A website where YA books and movies rule. They’ll cover hot topics/open threads, movie news, guest posts, contests and movie/book reviews. They kicked off with vampire week and a guest post by Lisa Gail Green.

YA Confidential

I know you’ve heard of this one. They had 100 followers the first day! They’ll be about everything teen including teen spies, YA books, critiques, giveaways, round tables – pretty incredible with a lot of buzz. In fact, they’ve kicked off their blog with a HUGE agent critique and arc giveaway.

Book Recs of the Rock and Famous

Ever wanted to know what the stars are reading. Don’t look any farther than this blog by the rock star expert, Kelly Polark.


Do-it-yourself degree in Creative Writing.

This blog will cover How-to tips, in depth articles, and writing prompts. It will offer a newsletter and down the road some webinars. Many of us can’t afford to get our MFA but this might help. Looks interesting. It’s just getting started but worth checking out.

Any cool new blogs that I missed?

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Confessions from the Realm of the Underworld – a giveaway!

I opened to page one of…


And found…

Okay. I found crazy voice all over the place.

Here’s an example from the chapter titles:

A Prologue of Sorts

In Which Sephie Tries to Explain How Her Crazy English Teacher Finagled Her into This Mess.

The main character Persephone (all her sisters are named after characters in Greek mythology-loved it) enters her senior year and everything changes. Her grandfather is losing his house. One of her sisters plays a starring role in the local high school scandal. Even things with her best friend Joey aren’t the same.

Sephie must deal with all the changes in her life while figuring out who and what she wants to be.

I’ll be honest. As I was reading the first quarter, I kept waiting for Sephie to figure out she was really Athena, her boyfriend was Zeus, and her teacher was Hades and they’d fall in love in some kind of weird triangle.

So not what happened. But in a wonderful and sweet way.

Laura’s natural writing style, Sephie’s voice and her complicated but real family (all present and accounted for – no mysterious disappearances or deaths – ) all drew me into this three-dimensional story. I was in tears on and off through the whole entire second half. Maybe because it was so realistic. The character could’ve been me. It could’ve been my sister. It could’ve been my friend.

I just know I loved it. And I want you to have the chance to read it too.

Comment on this post and retweet, and I’ll choose a random winner to receive the paperback from the author.

Never fear, click here to purchase from Amazon. You won’t regret it.

Head over to Laura’s website and check her out.

Have you read any good epublished books lately? Or traditionally pubbed?

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