Thursday, December 26, 2013

Happy Book-Birthday to CONTROL!

The very last book of 2013 to release from the Lucky 13s! 

I've been so honored to be in this class of talented, kind, and supportive authors. What I can I say? I'm very, very lucky, indeed. :) Thank you all for helping me celebrate the birthday for CONTROL!

When a crash kills their father and leaves them orphaned, Zel knows she needs to protect her sister, Dyl. But before Zel has a plan, Dyl is taken by strangers using bizarre sensory weapons, and Zel finds herself in a safe house for teens who aren’t like any she’s ever seen before—teens who shouldn't even exist. Using broken-down technology, her new friends’ peculiar gifts, and her own grit, Zel must find a way to get her sister back from the kidnappers who think a powerful secret is encoded in Dyl’s DNA.A spiraling, intense, romantic story set in 2150—in a world of automatic cars, nightclubs with auditory ecstasy drugs, and guys with four arms—this is about the human genetic “mistakes” that society wants to forget, and the way that outcasts can turn out to be heroes.

 “A sweet, edgy romance rounds out this smart, futuristic medical thriller.” Publishers Weekly

“Control, with its mix of legitimate science and inventive fantasy, is unforgettable for all the right reasons.”—VOYA

“Surprising twists, tender romance, and a fierce, smart protagonist make for a winning formula in Kang’s debut. CONTROL is tautly woven and breathlessly delivered—a thrilling read!”  — Jessica Khoury, author of Origin

“Control successfully integrates science, adventure, and romance into one unforgettable read. [It] will keep you wanting more until the jaw-dropping ending.” —RT Book Reviews, Top Pick

“CONTROL is a masterful debut, filled with everything I love in a novel: mystery, danger, and romance. Kang has crafted a world readers can easily fall into and won’t want to leave, complete with flawed yet lovable characters. I couldn’t put it down!”   — Elana Johnson, author of Possession

Available on Amazon IndieBound Books A Million / 
Lydia Kang is a writer, physician, and salt-addicted gal with a near-pathological need to doodle. Her YA sci-fi book, CONTROL, is finally here from Dial Books for Young Readers (Penguin).

Find her on Twitter, her blog The Word Is My OysterGoodreads, Facebook, and Tumblr

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The first line of our books: 2014 edition

A year ago, we posted the first line of our debut books-- of books we each had coming out in 2013. It was such a hit, we decided to do it again for books we have coming out in 2014!

So here you have it: The opening sentence from 49 kidlit books, in a wide variety of genres. I don't know about you, but reading so many great lines makes me hunger for these books!

photo credit: Patrick Hoesly via photopin cc

Revenge finds me on the bridge.
July 8, 2014

My dead grandmother Freddie once told me that the Devil created all the fear in the world.
April Genevieve Tucholke -- BETWEEN THE SPARK AND THE BURN
Aug. 14, 2014

The air in my crumbling attic chamber smelled of roses and formaldehyde.
Megan Shepherd -- HER DARK CURIOSITY (Madman's Daughter #2)
January 28, 2014

There would be no tears on my wedding day--I would not allow it.
Jennifer McGowan -- MAID OF DECEPTION (Maids of Honor #2)
Aug. 26, 2014

I found a foothold on the rough bark of a tree trunk and climbed up in search of Ameiphus.
Peggy Eddleman -- THE FORBIDDEN FLATS (Sky Jumpers #2)
September 23, 2014

There was only pain, at first -- the pain of my magic breaking me into a collection of atoms, getting ready to make me into something new.
Lindsay Ribar -- THE FOURTH WISH (Art of Wishing #2)
July 31, 2014

There's something you should know about me: I've spent my whole life leaping tall buildings in a single bound.
July 22,2014

"Can you teach me how to shoot a gun?"
May 20, 2014

The Metropolitan Theatre broiled with the heat of over a thousand bodies packed together in red velvet chairs.
Fall 2014

I wish I could say the day Donovan came home was extraordinary from the start, that I woke up knowing something special would happen that Thursday evening in October.
Brandy Colbert -- POINTE
April 10, 2014

When I woke in the morning, it was spring.
Bethany Hagen -- LANDRY PARK
February 4, 2014

Winning: Cara Sweeney had made it her business, and business was good.
Melissa Landers -- ALIENATED
February 4, 2014

It’s been a month since the world was supposed to end.
Amy Christine Parker -- ASTRAY
August 2014

I was seventeen when death crossed my path; before that, I'd only dreamt of twisted limbs and blood as bright as poppies.
Chelsea Pitcher -- THE LAST CHANGELING
Fall 2014

When I was ten, the world ended.
April 24, 2014

It was a bizarre May Day parade at midnight instead of midday.
Kate Karyus Quinn -- (DON'T YOU) FORGET ABOUT ME
June 10, 2014

“If you don’t watch my every move, you’re going to die,” I say to the girl at the end of my sword.
Elsie Chapman -- DIVIDED
May 27, 2014

My phone is ringing.
Stephanie Kuehn -- COMPLICIT
June 24, 2014

Hitting the ground is the hardest part.
Karen Akins -- LOOP
Fall 2014

I don't know much, but I do know people like to stop and look at unusual things.
August 2014

Being the good daughter wasn’t easy.
Liz Fichera -- PLAYED
May 27, 2014

We have been walking for two weeks.
Erin Bowman -- FROZEN (Taken #2)
April 15, 2014

This old band ten through one...
Tamera Will Wissinger -- THIS OLD BAND
June 3, 2014

My mother drives right past the New Horizons sign.
Jessica Verdi -- THE SUMMER I WASN'T ME
April 1, 2014

"You know that moment when you spot a gorgeous girl across a room and just as you’re working out your opening line you realize she’s checking you out and it’s like every atom in the universe has lined up to create this one perfect connection?"
March 11, 2014

My name is Lacey Unger-Ware, and I can't make your dreams come true.
Barbara Brauner and James Iver Mattson -- THE MAGIC MISTAKE (Oh My Godmother #2)
February 4, 2014

I long for the comfort of night.
Demitria Lunetta -- IN THE END (In the After Series #2)
June 24, 2014

There are three rules of survival in the Walled City: run fast, trust no one, always carry your knife.
Ryan Graudin -- THE WALLED CITY
November 2014

I couldn't help myself.
Lenore Appelhans -- CHASING BEFORE (The Memory Chronicles #2)
August 26, 2014

It didn't feel like coming home.
Imogen Howson -- UNRAVEL
Summer 2014

Not even the producers of the show could've predicted it would end with the biggest reality-show bitch-fight in history.
Febuary 4, 2014

I move my shovel, pushing the mud back and forth at a glacial pace.
Justina Ireland -- PROMISE OF SHADOWS
March 11, 2014

"So, you wanna go?"
June 2014

The Renegade arrived just after breakfast.

Weird stuff was going down in Oakville, and this time I was definitely—well, fairly sure—I had nothing to do with it.
J.R. Johansson -- PARANOIA
June 8, 2014

Stillness fills the empty stage as I press the horn bow to my body and notch an arrow.
Christina Farley --GILDED
March 1, 2014

She ran, her long red hair billowing out behind her.
Helen Douglas --CHASING STARS
June 5, 2014

I wasn't invited, but I showed up to the party anyway so I could talk to Ellie Chen and find out why she dumped me two weeks ago.
Sarah Skilton -- HIGH AND DRY
April 15, 2014

Raim snatched at a long blade of grass and released the seeds from their cluster at the top of the stem.
Amy McCulloch -- THE SHADOW'S CURSE (The Knot's Duology, book 2)
July 3, 2014 (UK)/ May 2014 (Canada)

There is something kind of spooky about a school on a Saturday.
May 1, 2014

Jacqueline Green -- SECRETS AND LIES
May 6, 2014

This is how you get your ass kicked.
Lamar Giles -- FAKE ID 
January 21, 2014

The girl with no name reached the steps of the building a little before Darkfall.
Miriam Forster -- EMPIRE OF SHADOWS
Fall 2014

“Hold still,” Yuki said, threading the thick obi ribbon through the back of the bow.
Amanda Sun -- RAIN (The Paper Gods #2)
June 24, 2014

The COOLEST thing about sixth grade . . . The Pom Pom Squad!!!!!
Nancy J. Cavanaugh -- ALWAYS, ABIGAIL
October 2014

On the tiny screen of my phone, I watch Jayden Montoya grill grubs over a campfire.
Alison Cherry -- FOR REAL
December 2014

I’ve memorized their every accusation: Murderess. She did it. She was crouched over her mother’s body, covered in blood.
Elizabeth May -- THE FALCONER
May 2014

Stealing a spaceship shouldn't be this easy.
Mindee Arnett -- AVALON
Jan 2014

The mermaid was lying on the hospital bed, looking distinctly un-mermaidish.
Mar 2014

*Note: The opening lines of novels that are still undergoing the editing process are subject to change.

This list was compiled by Peggy Eddleman, author of the middle grade action / adventure novel SKY JUMPERS (Random House Children's Books) and the forthcoming THE FORBIDDEN FLATS (September 2014). You can visit her online at, Twitter, Facebook, or her blog.

Monday, December 16, 2013

MEANWHILE ... MIDDLE GRADE: All They Want for Christmas

Our middle-grade characters all yearn for something, and as writers, we usually throw roadblocks in their way. But just for today, in honor of the holiday season, we're letting our characters voice their deepest wishes. Maybe Santa will be kind to them this year.

Holly Shepard started out the year yearning for adventure, and now that she's had a taste of it, her ordinary American life seems more mundane than ever. Holly is dying to get back to Anglielle to drive back its ruthless king and (maybe!) sail the high seas. She'll get her chance in The Wand & the Sea (Margaret K. McElderry, spring 2015).
--Claire M. Caterer (The Key & the Flame, Margaret K. McElderry Books) Facebook  Twitter

Genie Haddock Kunkle (aka Genie Wishes) would most like to navigate her fifth-grade year on her own terms, not those of the class's boy-crazy new girl. If that means letting go of the best friend she's had since kindergarten, so be it.
--Elisabeth Dahl (Genie Wishes, Amulet Books) Facebook  Twitter

At the top of Hope's wish list is the ability to invent. Since all technology was wiped out, inventing is what her town values most. It's also what she's the worst at. Not only is it affecting the way her town treats her, but it's keeping her dad from running for Council Head. She knows it's important, so she plans to get it through sheer determination and hard work. (But she's not going to get it wrapped up in a pretty package the way she hopes, because sometimes you just plain stink at things, and that's all there is to it. ;))
--Peggy Eddleman (Sky Jumpers, Random House) Facebook  Twitter  blog

Main character Jemma has two burning desires, one short term, the other longer term. Short term, she wants to celebrate . . . well, not to be spoilerish, I'll just say, celebrate the outcome she's brought about. Why? She's had enough of shadows! Long term, she wants to wipe out any lingering effects of the Agromond rulers' cruelty. For example, sixteen-year-old Caleb is still crippled by a curse put on him as an infant by Nox Agromond. Having herself suffered at the hands of the Agromonds, she's fired by Caleb’s plight and is determined to help him and others like him. She intends to travel around the country and work her burgeoning magical healing powers in whatever way she can.
--Kit Grindstaff (The Flame in the Mist, Delacorte) Facebook  Twitter

My main character is Fortuna Dalliance. She has just befriended a boy who is really a bird and she wants two things more than anything: She wants him to teach her how to fly; and she wants him to remain a boy and not get changed back.
--Judy Hoffman (The Art of Flying, Disney Hyperion)

 My heroine Nere Hanson is very happy that Disney Hyperion just gave her a sequel (The Neptune Challenge) in which she can continue to have more exciting undersea adventures. She would like to settle into her new home at Safety Harbor with her dolphins and find out more about her gorgeous and mysterious friend Dai.

--Polly Holyoke (The Neptune Project, Disney Hyperion)

More than anything, Masha Sweet wishes for a horse! She has been dreaming of her very own horse forever. Masha's dream may be coming true because her father has announced that he is taking Masha and her little sister, Sunny, to a Dude Ranch and that he has a surprise for them. But Sunny doesn't like she plans a surprise of her own.
--Jennifer Ann Mann (Sunny Sweet Is So Not Sorry, Bloomsbury Children's Books) Facebook  Twitter

Friday, December 13, 2013

The 13th Day: Super-Awesome-Bomb-Diggity News

Some people may think that the number 13 is unlucky, but not those of us at The Lucky 13s! In fact, we're celebrating the 13th day of each month by featuring all the fabulous stuff that's been happening to The Lucky 13s.

Please raise a glass to our super-awesome-bomb-diggity news.... 

SKY JUMPERS by Peggy Eddleman was named to the Winter 2013 – 2014 Kids’ Indie Next List, and they had this to say about it: 

“Sky Jumpers is an absolutely thrilling, seat-of-your-pants adventure for middle school readers. Fans of The Emerald Atlas and Percy Jackson will rush to this tale about a village that, after WWIII, is one of only a few remaining on what is left of Earth, as ‘green bombs’ have devastated the planet. Sky jumpers plunge into a rarified air pocket that protects and shields the village but that has deadly consequences if one is unaware of the invisible danger. Led by 12-year-old Hope, a group of friends is on a dangerous mission to save their village. This perfect book for younger fans of The Hunger Games is truly fun, inventive, and exciting!” 
—Maureen Palacios, Once Upon a Time, Montrose, CA 

Liesl Shurtliff's RUMP: THE TRUE STORY OF RUMPLESTILTSKIN and Peggy Eddleman's SKY JUMPERS were both chosen as Atlanta Parent's Best Books of 2013. 

PARCHED by Melanie Crowder was named to the Best Kids Books of 2013 list compiled by the Children's Book Review. 

SURE SIGNS OF CRAZY by Karen Harrington is a Kirkus Best Children's Book of 2013. 

GILDED got another blurb: 
“Farley brings South Korea’s fascinating culture and mythology into vivid detail in this shining debut, and Jae is a compelling heroine. An exotic, thrilling read, GILDED had me utterly entranced!” ~from Jessica Khoury, author of ORIGIN and VITRO 

BROTHERHOOD made YALSA's list of nominations for the Best Fiction for YA.  Check out the list here.

CONTROL by Lydia Kang is a Top Pick by RT book Reviews! And VOYA had this to say: 
“Control, with its mix of legitimate science and inventive fantasy, is unforgettable for all the right reasons." 

CHICK-O-SAURUS REX by Lenore and Daniel Jennewein has sold Korean rights! 

Four Lucky 13s novels were named 2014 William C. Morris YA Debut Award Finalists: 
CHARM & STRANGE by Stephanie Kuehn 
BELLE EPOQUE by Elizabeth Ross 

Peggy Eddleman's SKY JUMPERS and Tim Federle's BETTER NATE THAN EVER both made the list of the New York Public Library's 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing! 

Tamera Will Wissinger's book GONE FISHING is a Nerdy Book Club 2013 Nerdy Award Finalist. 

Ryan Graudin's THE WALLED CITY has been picked up by France (Jean Claude Lattes), Germany (Rowolht Verlag), Norway (Cappelen Damm) and Brazil (Editora Schwarcz). 

German rights to Lindsay Ribar's THE ART OF WISHING have been sold to Piper Verlag! 

April Genevieve Tucholke, Megan Shepherd, and Cat Winters will be contributors to the just-announced YA horror anthology SLASHER GIRLS & MONSTER BOYS, coming Fall 2015 from Dial.  Read about the deal here.

C J Flood's INFINITE SKY has been shortlisted for the 2014 James Reckitt Hull Children's Book Award, and was a Love Reading for Kids Best Book of 2013!

Woo-hoo, Lucky 13s!

Rachele Alpine's young adult comtemporary novel CANARY is available now. She blogs, or you can find her onFacebookTwitter, and her website.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Cover Reveal: COURAGE FOR BEGINNERS by Karen Harrington

I'm excited to reveal the cover for my next middle-grade novel, COURAGE FOR BEGINNERS, out August 2014 from Little Brown Books for Young Readers.

It must be said that I'm crazy for this cover. The colors. The font. The intriguing heart-shaped balloon. The little cloud that reads 'a novel' lest someone think I've penned a guide on how to be courageous. Tee hee!

However, this fictional story does indeed tell the tale of a seventh-grade girl who is right at a coming-of-age intersection, asking herself: "Do I believe certain things in life because my parents' example taught me to believe them; or do I believe them in my own heart?" I love that time in the life of a young person. The heart of a person is really and truly forged and made solid during those moments of tweendom.

This novel is, in part, about that time in our young lives when we challenge the belief system of our own household and start forming our own belief systems. It's also about friendship, rejection, heartbreak, withstanding bullies by finding your own middle-school tribe of friends, holding tight to the dreams of your future and carrying a frozen turkey in the rain.

From the jacket flap copy: Twelve-year-old Mysti Murphy wishes she were a character in a book. If her life was fictional, she'd magically know how to deal with the fact that her best friend, Anibal Gomez, no longer wants to talk to her during school hours. She'd be able to take care of her family when her dad has to spend time in the hospital. And she'd certainly be able to change the secret fact about her family: her mother is agoraphobic and never leaves the house. Never. This is the year Mysti will need to be bravest of all, and with the help of new friends and her Texas History teacher, it just might be possible.

Thanks so much for letting me share my happy news!

Karen Harrington
author, Sure Signs of Crazy, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2013

 -- Visit me at and on Twitter : @KA_Harrington

Monday, November 25, 2013

Being There: The Adventures and Misadventures Middle Grade Book Tour

In mid-November, seven MG Luckies traveled from Richmond, Virginia to Jersey City, New Jersey in an old-fashioned book tour: Caroline Carlson (Magic Marks the Spot, HarperCollins), Melanie Crowder (Parched, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), Elisabeth Dahl (Genie Wishes, Amulet), Kit Grindstaff (The Flame in the Mist, Delacorte), Kristen Kittscher (The Wig in the Window, HarperCollins), Jennifer Ann Mann (Sunny Sweet Is So Not Sorry, Bloomsbury), and A.B. Westrick (Brotherhood, Viking)

We could have stayed home and Skyped with the schools and libraries, and easily mailed out our author-signed bookplates to the bookstores. But no…we showed up. And by no means am I putting down technology that connects us to readers across the United States and beyond. These technologies offer us extraordinary opportunities to meet with children, teachers, librarians, and booksellers. What I am saying is that nothing beats being there when it comes to connecting with other humans. I’m even willing to take it one step further: Meaningful relationships require our actual physical presence.

So what do you get for the price of physical connection? Everything!

There were so many lovely interactions that the tour made possible, but one of my favorites was after our Ridley Middle School event. Because we wrapped up our event at dismissal time, we all--authors and students both--poured out of the building at once. Suddenly we weren't authors on an elevated stage anymore--we were just people like them, walking down the sidewalk to our cars and buses, energized by the bright, warm November day. As we walked, we chatted a little, here and there, until fanning out into the city again. I like thinking that in moments like these, students saw us as real people doing regular jobs--jobs that they too could have someday.” –Elisabeth Dahl

For me, the highlights are talking with kids who love to read, kids who love stories, and kids who think they might want to be writers some day. At bbgb bookstore in Richmond, one family drove an hour and fifteen minutes to see us, and when we did the Q&A time, one of the kids (upper-elementary age) asked us what inspired us to become writers or to write the stories that we'd written. I loved that -- it was a reminder that kids as young as elementary school are already looking for inspiration!” –Anne Westrick

My favorite moment of the tour was sitting down with a group of kids at Cockeysville Library near Baltimore, Maryland and helping them develop their own characters for stories. Sitting elbow to elbow, writing together, laughing at some of the silliness we came up with sure beats long solitary days in front of the computer wrestling with self-doubt. It's always fun to share The Wig in the Window with kids, but helping them ignite their own imaginations right there in person? That's the best of all." –Kristen Kittscher

I love doing school visits and bookstore events, and creating what I hope are fun and memorable experiences for the kids. On our Luckies tour, having seven authors present ramped up the energy and fun factor exponentially. To me, the two high spots in that regard were our Cockeysville Public Library tween/teen writing workshop and our Ridley Middle School visit. You could feel the excitement in the air; the kids' enthusiasm to participate and ask questions was palpable. Those events will stay with me a long time - and I hope with the kids, too. And the thought that we might have fueled even one student's inspiration is icing on the cake - or actually, that is the cake!” –Kit Grindstaff

After addressing a huge crowd of Sixth Graders in a school outside of Philadelphia, they lined up with slips of papers in their hand in front of us (their pre-orders). The first little girl on my line walked up to me and said in the quietest voice ever, “I bought your book.” It took everything in me not to sob like a freak! She could have no idea how long I’d waited to hear that or just how stinkin’ happy I was that she’d bought my book.” –Jennifer Ann Mann

And here we are…being there.

Jennifer Ann Mann
October 1, 2013 Bloomsbury Publishing
May 1, 2014 Bloomsbury Publishing

Monday, November 18, 2013

Meanwhile Middle Grade Luckies Are Thankful For...

As our 2013 debut author year draws to a close, we thought it would be appropriate to pause, take stock and look back. Here are, mostly in thirteen words or less, some of the people and things we are so very grateful for.

Love, support, and laughs from family, friends, and readers. Also: wine, cheese, chocolate!

Caroline Carlson, author of MAGIC MARKS THE SPOT

I am so grateful for my writing community--VCFA, EMLA, Lucky 13s--especially my beta readers and writing partners. I couldn't do this without them!

Melanie Crowder, author of PARCHED

I'm grateful to longtime friends who have quietly tolerated this period of self-promotion.

Elisabeth Dahl, author of GENIE WISHES

I am most grateful for my husband. I adore his daily reminder that, “It’s not always about your book.”

Jennifer Ann Mann, author of SUNNY SWEET IS SO NOT SORRY

I’m grateful to be able to type, “I had a debut author year.”

James Iver Mattson, author of OH MY GODMOTHER: THE GLITTER TRAP

I am so grateful / for a whole plateful / of Lucky 13 writer friends.

Barbara Brauner, author of OH MY GODMOTHER: THE GLITTER TRAP

Tis cliché, but I’m grateful for seeing writing dreams come true this year.

Karen Harrington, author of SURE SIGNS OF CRAZY

Publishers, editors, writers, reviews,
The Lucky 13s and our Lucky debuts,
Teachers, librarians, booksellers, too,
Parents and children, book lovers and you!

Tamera Will Wissinger, author of GONE FISHING

Family, friends, Bluebonnet Committee Librarians, teachers, readers, Lucky 13ers, editors, agent and readers!

Polly Holyoke, author of THE NEPTUNE PROJECT

I’m grateful for my awesome readers. They’ve made it a wonderful debut year!

Claire M. Caterer, author of THE KEY & THE FLAME

I'm most thankful for Sourcebooks my publisher - they've done amazing things with RATCHET.

Nancy J. Cavanaugh, author of THIS JOURNAL BELONGS TO RATCHET

Supportive family, book finally released, pumpkin pie almonds, & a warm house.

Peggy Eddleman, author of SKYJUMPERS

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The 13th Day: Super-Awesome-Bomb-Diggity News

Some people may think that the number 13 is unlucky, but not those of us at The Lucky 13s! In fact, we're celebrating the 13th day of each month by featuring all the fabulous stuff that's been happening to The Lucky 13s.

Please raise a glass to our super-awesome-bomb-diggity news.... 
Translation rights for Brandy Colbert's POINTE have been sold to French publisher MSK. 

AFTER EDEN by Helen Douglas publishes in the US on 5th November and UK on 7th November. SLJ says "Time travel, love, and destiny combine to create a thrilling sci-fi love story."

Karen Chaplin at HarperTeen has pre-empted a YA novel by Kelly Fiore, author of Taste Test and the forthcoming Just Like the Movies. Her new book, The People vs. Cecelia Price, was pitched as Sara Zarr meets Breaking Bad; it features a teenage girl accused of murdering her drug-addicted brother, though the truth is a lot more complicated. It will be published in fall 2015; Suzie Townsend of New Leaf Literary and Media was the agent. 

Also...translation rights for Kelly Fiore's THE PEOPLE VS. CECELIA PRICE were sold to German publisher Coppenwrath. 

Elizabeth May's THE FALCONER got two lovely blurbs:  
“Simply put, my favorite YA paranormal this year. A must read!” And a review from Starburst Magazine calling it, "a memorable bit of fun, and one that you’re likely to want to re-read immediately. A stunning debut and very firmly recommended."
-Jennifer L. Armentrout

"A riveting world, a fierce heroine, and electrifying action--I burned through this sparkling debut!" 
-Sarah J. Maas 

Reviews of CONTROL by Lydia Kang are coming in! 
“A sweet, edgy romance rounds out this smart, futuristic medical thriller.”
-Publishers Weekly. 

“Steamy, romantic. . .scrupulous attention to scientific detail adds authenticity." 
-Kirkus Reviews 

April Tucholke's BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA got its 3rd starred review. Booklist said: 
“People die; children stalk the cemetery with stakes; and strange, alluring River delights and frightens Violet in equal measure... Moments of horror nestle against warm, dreamy kisses." 

FAKE ID got a glowing review from Kirkus: 
"Fast action, judicious plot twists, and sufficiently evil teens and adults should keep thrill-seeking readers awake long into the night." 

And his second Harper Children's book was announced in PM: "Lamar Giles's ENDANGERED, a teen photographer exposes the secrets of her cruel classmates on the web and unwittingly inspires a killer who gets closer with every shutter click, pitched as Veronica Mars meets Rear window, to Karen Chaplin at Harper Children's, for publication in January 2015, by Jamie Weiss Chilton at Andrea Brown Literary Agency (World)" 

NEARLY GONE has a new website.  Check it out here!

Four Luckies have been nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal: 
Emily Murdoch with IF YOU FIND ME
Steph Kuehn with CHARM AND STRANGE 
Emma Pass with ACID

Demitria Lunetta's IN THE AFTER made Amazon's 2013 Best Books for Teens top twenty! 

Emily Murdoch's F YOU FIND ME: 
*Has been nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal! 

*Will have the original, twenty page epilogue included as bonus material in the March/May 2014 paperback editions in the US and UK, with a new, gorgeous cover for the UK edition (and in the UK ... there will be ... shhh ... ARCs.) 

*Sold to Spain, Italy and Korea 

*Has been named a Goodreads Choice Awards Best Books of 2013 nominee in two categories: Best Debut Goodreads Author and Best Young Adult Fiction, so everyone go vote for your favorite books! 

MAGIC MARKS THE SPOT got a lovely review in this Sunday's New York Times! The reviewer says:
"The book is deliciously feminist but wears its politics lightly. Relationships are sweet and beautifully drawn, there is at least one laugh per page, and I quite enjoyed the notion of entrenched pirate bureaucracy." 

GONE FISHING: A Novel in Verse by Tamera Wissinger was nominated for a CYBILS Award.

Amie Kaufman (co-author of THESE BROKEN STARS) and Jay Kristoff (author of STORMDANCER) sold their new trilogy to Melanie Cecka at Knopf Children's in a major pre-empt. Book one, ILLUMINAE, is a found-footage style story pitched as Battlestar Galactica meets Ten Things I Hate About You, due out in 2015. 

And some great new cover reveals!!!!

Woo-hoo, Lucky 13s!

Rachele Alpine's young adult comtemporary novel CANARY is available now. She blogs, or you can find her onFacebookTwitter, and her website.

Monday, November 11, 2013


Book tours. Who does them these days? Only the lucky ones. But you know what they say about making your own luck, and the Lucky 13s are nothing if not Lucky, right? So seven of the twenty middle grade authors among us decided to organize our own mini East Coast tour. And it hits the road this week!
The idea was born back in August when Elisabeth Dahl emailed the other nineteen of us middle grade Luckies. The gist: How about we organize an event together? Or better yet, events? Seven of us were In. We Doodle-polled and Google-doc’d our way to pinning down a time frame and prospective itinerary. Those of us who lived near or had connections in our chosen locations contacted bookstores. Dates were firmed up. Not all of us could make every one, but most of us could make most. We were on our way.
And now, after months of planning, our VENTURES AND MISADVENTURES tour starts this Thursday, 11/14! We're revved up and ready to go, and hugely grateful to the store and library event organizers who so generously and enthusiastically opened their doors to us.   
So, who are “we”, what are our books, and where will we be? Read on!
 “There’s merriment and intrigue on the high seas in this debut novel… Carlson’s characters are as memorable as they are entertaining.”Publisher’s Weekly, *starred review*



The writing, especially the descriptions of the drought conditions and extreme thirst, is excellent.” —School Library Journal 

"Compassionate, optimistic, and creative, Genie overcomes conflicts with bullies and gossipers with grace and learns that she can find happiness just by being herself. Anxious upper elementary school readers will relate to Genie’s social conflicts and comfort in the book’s uncomplicated, speedy resolutions." Publisher’s Weekly

This fast-paced, action-packed romp has all the ingredients of a great mystery, and it does not leave out the angst felt by so many middle schoolers. Readers will see themselves and their friends in Sophie and her classmates, and they will have a difficult time tearing themselves away”—School Library Journal, *starred review*

JENNIFER ANN MANNSunny Sweet is So NOT Sorry

"If you love Beezus and Ramona...You know that having a little sister whose purpose in life is to annoy you is hard... and hilarious. ...Jennifer Ann Mann balances the characters' worries (being new at school, their parents' divorce) with humor."Redbook 


“Great historical fiction always feels like a gift… All the characters, dialogue, and action support each other deftly and with no filler.”VOYA Magazine *starred review*


"Richly atmospheric, this first novel paints a vivid picture of a heroine strong in her convictions and determination in the face of a centuries-old adversarial power."—Booklist


Thursday, November 14:  Richmond, VA. 
School visit, followed by event at bbgb Books, 3100 Kensington Ave, Richmond. 4 – 5 pm.
With Anne Westrick, Elisabeth Dahl, Kristen Kittscher and Melanie Crowder.

Friday, November 15:  Alexandria, VA. 
Event at Hooray for Books, 1555 King St., Alexandria. 6:30 – 8:00 pm.
With Anne Westrick, Elisabeth Dahl, Kristen Kittscher, Melanie Crowder and Kit Grindstaff.

Saturday, November 16:  Near Baltimore, MD. 
Tween writers’ workshop and Q&A at Cockeysville Public Library, 9833 Greenside Dr, Cockeysville, MD. 2:00 – 3:30 pm.
With Elisabeth Dahl, Caroline Carlson, Kristen Kittscher, Melanie Crowder, Kit Grindstaff and Anne Westrick. Book sales provided by the Ivy Bookshop.

Sunday, November 17: Doylestown, PA. 
Panel Q&A, fun and games at The Doylestown Bookshop, 16, S. Main St., Doylestown. 2:004:00 pm.  
With all seven authors: Kit Grindstaff, Elisabeth Dahl, Caroline Carlson, Kristen Kittscher, Melanie Crowder, Anne Westrick and Jennifer Ann Mann

Monday, November 18: Havertown, PA. School visit, followed by panel and public meet and greet at the Haverford Township Free Library, 1601 Darby Rd., Havertown, PA. 4:00 pm.  
With all seven of us again.
Event organized and book sales provided by Children’s Book World, Haverford, PA.

Tuesday, November 19: In conjunction with Word Bookstore in Jersey City. Word is currently in mid-move, so details and location tbc. Probably evening, and it’s sure to be somewhere!
Watch this space…
With Kristen Kittscher, Elisabeth Dahl, Kit Grindstaff, and Jennifer Ann Mann.

Needless to say, we'll be available to sign our books at all of the above locations.

And that’s it! If you, or anyone you know, lives in any of the areas and are fans of a variety of middle grade fiction, and/or has children who are, we’d love to see you. And we'll be back on the blog for a post-tour round up by Jennifer in a couple of weeks. 

Kit Grindstaff is the author of The Flame in the Mist, a spooky, magical fantasy for lovers of middle grade fiction ages 9 to 90. A longtime professional pop song writer, Kit, who is English, lives with her husband in Pennsylvania. You can connect with her via her website, and pretty much tempt her to go anywhere there's great sushi and/or puppies.