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YA Author Rendezvous

Creativity Unleashed: Books for the young and the young at heart

City Girl, Country Boy

At the Young Adult Author Rendezvous, we believe in fostering a love for writing in young people. One of our own, LJ Higgins, had the pleasure of judging a teen writing contest in September. We’re going to showcase each of the three winners. Enjoy the first story below.

A bit about the contest:

In September, Calliope, a small town in Central Queensland, Australia, held it’s annual Country Carnival. As part of the Carnival, YAAR Author L J Higgins was invited to judge a writing competition. She was blown away by the amazing entries, and along with two other judges, they chose one winner from each age category.

City Girl, Country Boy

By: Charlie-Cherie Zorzan

“Harper!” My grandmother exclaimed as I got off the train from Perth to Kalgoorlie, a little town in WA that my grandparents call home, “Oh look at you! I can’t believe it’s been 7 years since we last saw you! How are you?”

“Great thanks, grandma, it’s good to see you too.” I smiled to see my grandparents after so long. We lost all connection after my parents divorced, but my Mum decided that it wasn’t fair to my grandparents that they never got to see me, but really, Mums always had a soft spot for my Dad’s parents.

I turned to see my grandad holding my luggage with a huge grin on his face. I ran over and wrapped my arms around him. I didn’t realize until I had finished, but I had started to cry. I couldn’t help it. I loved my grandad; I remembered when my parents used to take me down there every summer, he would read me a story every night and ride the horses with me, and take me in the tractor. That didn’t happen anymore.

“Well, how are you darling?” he said with a smile, “No boyfriends, I hope?” I laughed at that and told him that I was planning to be single for the moment.

“Good,” he grunted, “I better keep my gun on me, just in case. With a pretty face like yours, all them boys are going to be tripping over their tongues.” That little comment made my face turn tomato red. My grandmother chuckled and suggested that we head home.

As soon as we arrived at the little, yellow house I grabbed my bags and ran in, eager to see what had changed. It was mostly the same, with the exception of the spare room which had been repainted my favourite colour, aqua. I smiled, set my bags down and went back out into the kitchen, where grandma announced that dinner was already prepared and that she just needed 10 minutes to heat it up. So, I set the table for three and then poured grandmas homemade lemonade for everyone.

As I was eating my sausages, my grandmother said, “I just can’t believe you’re 17 Harper, you look so much like Conner.”

I shifted uncomfortably, my dad was a weird subject for me because I hadn’t seen him in about 6 years, after my mum won full custody of me when I was 11. It was true though, that I looked like him, we shared the same curly brown hair and bright blue eyes, as well as naturally tan skin. The only feature I shared with my mother was my smile, we both had identical smiles and dimples, with perfectly straight teeth. But the similarities ended there because my mother was fair skinned, had long, blonde hair so straight it looked like she straightened it and soft brown eyes.

“Yeah, I’m told that I look like him often.” With that, I excused myself and went to bed; I was exhausted.

I woke up at about 3 AM to sound of a truck engine roaring and a man cursing. I opened the window and found myself looking down at a muddy mess of a 17-year-old boy, trying to get his truck out of the muck.

“Hey, you!” I called out to him, come to think of it, that probably wasn’t the best decision, but I needed my beauty sleep, “What are you doing?”

“Oh, you know, just hunting elephants.”

I rolled my eyes at that one.

“What does it look like I’m doing? I’m trying to get this stupid truck to start!” He moaned, motioning to a rusted up ute.

Rolling my eyes, I called down, “Do you need a hand?”

“That would be very much appreciated.”

I quickly pulled on my boots and crept down the hall, careful not to wake my grandparents. I reached the door and in a quick motion, I was out of the house.

I made it to the ute and tapped the guy on the shoulder, he turned around, and, well, I’d be lying if I said he wasn’t attractive. He had a mop of messy black hair and navy blue eyes.

He held out his hand and I shook it, “The names Tom, and you are?”

It was at that moment that I realised I had forgotten how to breathe. As though he could read my mind, he smirked and said, “You’re checking me out.”

I turned tomato red and in a desperate attempt to regain my pride, I replied with, “Was not.”

“You were too!”

“Was not!”

“Yeah, you were.”

“I wasn’t!”

“Were.”

“Wasn’t!”

“Were.”

“WASN’T!”

“Were.”

“Was- Ugh, never mind.”

“Anyway,” He said, still smirking at me, “Are you going to keep staring at me or actually give me a hand? I can give you a minute or two to make up your mind if you want, I know it’s a hard decision.”

I blinked a few times and walked over to the back of the truck, he jumped into the drivers’ seat and started the engine. I pushed as hard as I could and we eventually managed to push his ute out of the mud.

He hoped out and smiled at me, “Thanks for that, I really appreciate it.”

“Anytime.”

We stood there in a comfortable silence for a few more minutes until I say, “Well, I should probably head inside.”

“Yeah, I wouldn’t want to disturb any more of your precious rest, I guess I’ll see you around.” And with that, he jumps back into the truck and drives away.

The next morning, I woke up to the smell of bacon on the fry-pan. I jumped out of bed and raced into the kitchen, and there, much to my surprise, was Tom talking to grandad.

“Yeah Geoff, I reckon I could get to that today and maybe I could-” but he paused when he saw me, grandad turned to see what he was looking at and smiled when he saw me, “Ah, Tom, I don’t suppose you’ve met my granddaughter Harper, I told you she was coming yesterday.”

Tom nodded and said that he remembered.

Before I could decide what to say, grandma saved me and called out that breakfast was ready. At the breakfast table, my Granddad told me that Tom helped around the farm because he was getting too old to do it by himself. Apparently, Tom just lived down the road with his parents. Then, my grandmother suggested that Tom should show me around town, I almost choked on my bacon.

“No, its fine, I’m sure Tom is busy today, right grandad?”

“He can take the day off, I’m fine with that.” My grandad was not helping.

“But I was going to work with the horses today Mr. Harris.” Thank god, Tom was actually being useful.

“Then you can take Harper out for a ride, you remember the basics, right sweetie?” Ok, couldn’t grandma tell I was trying to get out of this?

“Then it’s settled, Tom will take Harper out for a ride this morning. Perhaps she can name our new horse.” Granddad said.

That got my attention, “New horse?”

“Yeah, we picked him up at the markets a couple of days ago. He’s young, about a year old, but he’s strong, needs a good rider.” I immediately warmed up to the idea of being with Tom for the day.

So we went outside, the awkward silence following us all the way to the stable. I didn’t know why, but he seemed to relax as soon as he was around the horses.

“What do you think?” Asked tom, spreading his arms wide gesturing to the stables.

“It’s beautiful, just as I remembered,” I replied with a huge grin on my face.

He took me to the back of the stables, where he introduced me to a beautiful light brown stallion with a white nose and legs. He said that this was the new horse and that I could name him anything I want.

“Peanut Butter.” I decided.

“What?” Tom questioned with one eyebrow raised.

I rolled my eyes and replied with, “I am naming him Peanut Butter, Peanut for short. Isn’t that clear enough?”

Groaning in frustration he looked me straight in the eyes and in a really sarcastic voice, said, “I know that, but why?”

I laughed out loud, wasn’t it obvious? As though he sensed he was missing something, Tom let his shoulders sag and frowned.

After I finished laughing, I managed to give him an explanation, “Peanuts coat looks like peanut butter, so he is now known as Peanut Butter.” I smiled proudly, Tom didn’t seem to share my enthusiasm though.

“That is by far the dumbest name I have ever heard in the entire seventeen years and 3 months I have been living in this world. I honestly feel bad for the horse.”

I laughed and in-between my cackling I managed to choke out, “He is Peanut Butter now, not horse.”

“Really, Harper this is ridiculous,” he sighed.

“You’re the one who said I could name him anything I want,” I reminded him.

He groaned and said, “Yeah, but I didn’t think you’d name the poor horse something so dumb.”

“He’s Peanut Butter now. Accept it and move on,” I replied, holding my still aching sides from laughing so hard.

I continued to laugh as Tom continued to grumble as he saddled up Peanut and another horse. He ran me over the basics, just to make sure I knew what I was doing, and helped me on to Peanut. He hopped on his horse and pointed me in the direction we were riding and then we were off.

I held on tightly to the reins as I enjoyed the feeling of the breeze in my hair. I looked at the beautiful scenery as I gained speed. Peanuts hooves kicked up the red dirt, the sun was high in the sky; even the dead grass was beautiful. I rode through the gum trees, laughing uncontrollably, adrenaline running through my veins.

Finally, we stopped at the dam. We tied up the horses and wade knee deep into the water, we laughed and joked, and I honestly enjoyed just being with him. I turned to Tom to thank him for the ride, that I loved every minute of it, but before I could say anything, I realised he was already looking at me with an odd expression that I couldn’t read.

He took a few steps forward and bent down and whispered in my ear, “I had a lot of fun with you today Harper.”

And just like that, he moved away and went to get back on his horse. I followed him in a daze.

The trip back was a blur. All I could think about was the way he was looking at me. Why was he looking at me like that?

“Here,” I almost dropped the saddles Tom handed me. “Put these in the shed while I put the horses away.”

I watched him walk away and then went to the shed and hung up the saddles. Since I had nothing better to do, I went to the stables to see if Tom was done yet.

I walked into Tom brushing Peanut Butter. I come up next to him, grab a brush, and start on Peanuts left side. We worked in comfortable silence for about five minutes before I realised Tom wasn’t brushing anymore. I couldn’t see him anywhere. I turned around to look for him and found him standing in front of me.

“Breathe,” he murmured, as he started to lean forward.

His hands wrapped around my waist. I stood on my tiptoes and looked into his eyes. I swear a saw the trace of a smile on his lips as he continued to lean forward. His lips brushed against mine, ever so slightly, like a butterfly wings brush against a flower. He was about to press his lips to mine but I heard a person in the background clearing his throat.

We quickly pulled away, both our faces were bright red. There, in the entrance, stood my grandad.

He took a few steps forward, his face emotionless. He took a deep breath and finally spoke, “You know Tom, I have a fine collection of guns. Maybe I should show you them sometime.”

“Yes sir, I would very much like that.”

“I could show you now if you want, anything for a mate.”

“I would really like that sir, but I think it would be best for everyone if we went in for lunch. Harpers really hungry.”

“Yeah, I am.” I had to butt in, it was just getting too awkward to stay silent.

Grandad nodded and began walking towards the house, grumbling something about his guns.

 

A few weeks had passed, and I was with Tom nearly every day. One day, while we were eating lunch, Tom invited me to a family bonfire at his house. My grandparents let me go, so Tom went to help his parents set up, while I got ready.

He came round at about 5:00 PM to pick me up. I said goodbye to my grandparents and let Tom lead me to his rusted up ute.

When we arrived, I was full of nerves. I wondered what his parents were like. Would they like me? Why was I even worrying about this, it’s not like I was his girlfriend or anything?

He took me into the house and out onto the veranda. There, sitting in a chair, was a middle-aged woman with straight brown hair and navy blue eyes. It was clear that that was his mother, even though they didn’t share many features. He went over and gave her a hug and then introduced us.

“Ah, yes, Harper right? Tom hasn’t stopped talking about since he came back from Geoff’s the day he met you,” she said, smiling at me. “It’s great to finally meet you, I’m Ava.”

I smiled and shook her hand just as a man, a little bit older than Ava, walked up to us. He had black hair and brown eyes. Aside from the eyes, he looked exactly like Tom, that must be his dad. Once again Tom introduced us and the man said he’d heard all about me and identified himself as Toms Dad, Mick.

Overall it was a great night. I spoke to Tom and his parents by the bonfire until about 11:00 PM. I told them that I wanted to be an illustrator, and that my Mum wanted me to go to university and that I hadn’t seen my dad in 6 years. All in all, I felt more at home in front of that bonfire with these people I had just met, then I had since my parents got divorced.

At around 10:00 PM Ava and Mike went inside to grab some more drinks. It was just me and Tom in front of the fire, under the stars.

Tom took a deep breath and murmured softly in my ear, “Your eyes put all those stars in the sky to shame.”

I blushed a deep red and looked down at the ground. He gently put his hand under my chin and made me look up at him. I looked into his navy blue eyes and began to lean forward, he did the same. He pressed his lips to mine, and I’d have to say it was the best first kiss any girl could ask for.

In a few weeks, I had to go home, and I was dreading it. I didn’t want to leave Tom or my grandparents or Ava and Mike, who had become my second parents.

I was preparing myself to go to Toms and talk about what he wanted to do since I was going to have to find a way to make things work. But then, there was a knock on the door, I opened it and speak of the devil, there he was.

“Hey beautiful, listen, I know this is late notice but I’m taking you to the town fair.” He gave me that smile that just made me melt inside and grabbed my hand.

He lead me to his ute and I hopped in. He drove us all the way up to the show ground where the town held its annual fair. It was amazing. I don’t think I had ever enjoyed myself so much in my entire life. We danced and laughed and talked the whole night away. I kissed him over and over again, it was perfect, everything was perfect. But, all good things must come to an end.

“Hey, Tom, listen, I know this a topic we have been avoiding, but we need to talk about this,” I took a deep breath and continued, “The summer will be over in about a week, I am going to be leaving. And before you ask, no, I don’t want to leave, but if I stay my mum will drag me by my hair back to Brisbane.”

“You’re going to be a legal adult soon, why can’t you stay?” he asked, he was upset now.

“I just can’t, ok? I just can’t.”

“But you can!”

“Please don’t make this any harder than it has to be, we can still keep in touch we can still work this out.” I was near tears now.

“No Harper, you’re being ridiculous, you can stay if you want, just stand up to your mum!”

“I’m sorry Tom, I can’t.”

“Fine!” He exploded, “But don’t expect to see me again!”

“Tom! Wait!” But he was gone.

He didn’t come to say goodbye. His parents did, but he didn’t. I was probably for the best anyway, I wouldn’t be able to contain myself if he came, I’d be a sobbing mess on the floor.

I ended up going to university, I got in on a full scholarship. It’s not like I wasn’t smart enough. But that was when things started going wrong.

I started dating this guy called Mark. At first, he was really sweet and supportive, he made me feel beautiful. But then things took a turn for the worst. He slowly started to change me, I became depressed and insecure. He was horrible to me in public. I lost all connection with family and friends, and he embarrassed me in front of people. It hurt, a lot.

Eventually, I got out of the relationship, but it was too late. The damage had been done. I had already dropped out of university for him, I lost all my friends because of him, and my dreams had been thrown out the window.

I was a twenty-year-old girl with nothing, no friends, no plan, no love life, nothing. I packed my bags and got on a plane and flew to Perth. I got on a little train to the small town of Kalgoorlie and went to visit my grandparents. I hadn’t seen them in three years, not because I didn’t want to see them, just because there was at least a ninety-nine percent chance I would see him.

When a saw my grandma and my grandad, I just cried and cried and cried. It felt good to see them, they took me to their little house and just let me cry, they just rubbed my back and let me cry.

The next morning, I took the car and went for a drive. I needed some time to think.

As I was driving, there was a huge bump and before I knew it, I was stuck.  I got out and tried to push the car, but it wouldn’t budge. Cursing, I grabbed my phone to call someone, only to find that it was flat. I was cussing like a sailor, kicking the stupid thing and trying to get it to go. I was in tears by the time a rusted up ute pulled up next to me.

“Excuse, but do you need any hel- Harper?” That voice, it sounded so familiar, I looked up and there in front of me was Tom.

“Tom?” I couldn’t believe it.

All of a sudden his face split into a huge grin and he wrapped his arms around me and hugged me tightly, “Harper! I am so sorry, I’ve missed you so much and I was such a jerk and-”

But he didn’t get to finish his sentence because I was kissing him, and it was like falling in love all over again.

About the author:

Charlie-Cherie Zorzan placed first in the 13-17yr category in the Calliope Country Carnival Writing Competition. She is thirteen-years-old and attends senior high. She is passionate about writing and desires to become a successful author. She also loves to read and enjoys a wide range of genres including action and adventure, history, love, and fantasy. Charlie-Cherie is a very enthusiastic and excitable person and enjoys getting out and being active. She plays netball and does boxing. Acting and drama are also her passion and she has been part of a small drama group for three years.


This post was created by Michelle Lynn

The contest was judged by LJ Higgins

Don’t forget to check out more posts by the Young Adult Author Rendezvous HERE.

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An Interview In Pictures

By Michelle Lynn

This weeks interview in pictures is with Debbie Manber Kupfer!

Let’s get started, shall we?

 

  1. A picture that you think represents who you are.

    deb 1

  2. A real-life picture that could have been taken in the world of one of your books.

    deb 2

  3. If you have a writing companion (pet or child)

    deb 3

  4. Your favorite book of all time.

    debb.png

  5. Your bookshelf.

    deb 5

  6. A picture that represents something you love to do (outside of writing or reading)

    deb 6

  7. Favorite place (Beach, mountains, city, etc.)

    deb 7

  8. Something that makes you smile.

    deb 8

  9. Something that inspires you.

    deb 9

Debbie is the author of the P.A.W.S. Saga and believes with enough tea and dark chocolate you can do anything.

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See more of our interviews HERE.

August-September New Releases

What a great batch of books to close out the summer season!

 

 

heart of destiny8/7 – Heart of Destiny: Book One of The Heart of the Citadel
by Susan Faw

Magic suppressed. Magic exiled. Magic murdered. During the Great Purge, all magic was destroyed and those who could wield it were driven into exile. From that time on, the world of Gaia churned on in relative peace and prosperity.

When the emperor of the central Citadel suddenly dies, his apprentice takes his place. Benevolent and loved, the new emperor is a benign ruler, bridging the age-old conflicts between the provinces. The citadel is a symbolic as well as a physical barrier to maintaining the fragile peace. However, the brazen kidnapping of ten young women shatters the accord, and the councillors of the provinces gather at the Citadel to demand that justice be served. It is a flame dropped into dry tinder. Rife with suspicion and hatred, each province accuses its neighbour of treachery. But the emperor has other plans. He alone knows who is responsible for the kidnapping of the young women, and he has no intention of sharing that knowledge. Where magic is involved, there can only be one conqueror. The fight for ultimate control of magic has begun.

Genre: YA/Fantasy

Purchase Heart of Destiny HERE


prophecy of darkness

8/13 – Prophecy of Darkness (Legends of the Tri-Gard Volume 1)
by Michelle Bryan and Michelle Lynn

Only magic can save them from what is coming, but first, it must be reclaimed. Twenty years ago, war devastated Dreach. Bloody and cruel, it ravaged the realm and stripped magic from Dreach-Sciene. Without magic, there is no hope. No life. For Prince Trystan Renauld, there is no choice. As his people starve, his enemy prepares for a final showdown that will decide the fate of the realm. Without magical power, he and his people will lose everything. Even with it, they may fail. Against a backdrop of prophecy, curses, and forbidden love, Trystan must reunite the legendary Tri-Gard, keepers of the magic, and find the power he’s always believed was a fairy tale: magic, the very foundation of life. With both sides preparing for battle, it’s a race against time—and against the kind of darkness that can destroy them all. Prophecy of Darkness is an epic adventure to destroy evil. Do you dare to join the Prince and the people of Dreach-Sciene to fight the darkness before everything is lost? Will you help the Princess prove she is more than they think she is? Are you ready to fall in love?

Genre: YA/Fantasy

Purchase Prophecy of Darkness HERE

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second sight

8/22 – Second Sight  (Hollows Ground Book 1)
by J.A. Culican

What if you could foresee death? 

Mirela can prophesy the death of whomever she sees. At thirteen, Ela foretold the death of her best friend, only to watch it happen before her very eyes. Ela, now twenty-one, spends her days locked away in her apartment, avoiding the public and the gift she considers a curse.
Until he appears.
Luka Conway is handsome. Charming. And magical. After Ela predicts yet another death, Luka leads her to an underground city hidden beneath Atlanta, populated by empaths, telepaths, and seers. Luka is a Shade, a soldier fighting a secret war against the Wraiths, a deadly group of sorcerers who wish to take over the world. Ela is given no choice; she must prove herself a Shade, and use her powers for the light, or she will be put to death. Resolved to her fate, Ela trains as a warrior, determined to put her curse to good use.
Then Talon Michaels appears. He’s just as dashing as Luka, and even more dangerous. A Wraith, Talon warns Ela that the Shades aren’t all what they appear. Who can Ela trust, if anyone? Should her powers be used for good…or evil? Which should she choose?

Genre: YA/Paranormal

Purchase Second Sight HERE


unexpected mate

8/29 – Unexpected Mate  (Aluna Series Book 4)
by Bethany Wicker

Eden was born a hybrid wolf with both Alpha and Luna powers within her. Now that she’s seventeen, she’s expected to find a mate and prepare to take over her pack when she’s eighteen, as is tradition. But nobody expected it to be Liam.

Liam, the son of Knox and Katie, is the only werewolf born without a wolf. It was an unheard of phenomena until he was born. His twin brother got the wolf gene and Liam is just the leftover. Feeling like an outcast, he never anticipated he’d have a shot at dating Eden, let alone be her mate.

Does Eden have enough werewolf in her for the two of them to lead the pack together? To make things worse, something’s draining their livestock of their blood.

 

Genre: YA/Paranormal

Purchase Unexpected Mate HERE

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eternity begins

8/30 – Eternity Begins  (Liliana Book 3)
by Lauren Mayhew

Liliana Frye is a Custos – an immortal being with superhuman powers. It’s a life that many would love to have, and yet Liliana’s hasn’t been easy. Her powers are greatly desired by Duana, a Custos whose main aim is to steal as many powers as she can to become the greatest of all.

The Book of Custos contains the information that Duana needs to take the powers, but she doesn’t have it. Liliana’s family have the book. Duana has Liliana, along with hundreds of Custos in her crystal ball prisons. It’s only a matter of time before she figures out the ritual, and puts everyone’s lives in danger.

The action-packed final book in the Liliana Trilogy will keep you hooked until the very last page.

Genre: YA/Fantasy

Purchase Eternity Begins HERE

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immortal magic

9/12 – Immortal Magic: The Hybrid Trilogy Book 2
by G.K. DeRosa

Dying was only the beginning of Aria’s problems.

Now she must overcome the dark urges growing inside her and curb her insatiable appetite. Unfortunately, the one person who can help Aria is the one who betrayed her. Forgiving him might be the only way to get a grip on her wicked impulses.

On top of powerful volatile abilities, a slew of enemies have emerged. Aria’s new powers seem more like a curse, sparking fear and jealousy and marking a giant supernatural target on her back.

With merciless enemies closing in on Aria, one thing’s for sure—she needs to get a handle on her powers, and fast, before someone kills her for real this time.

 

Genre: YA/Fantasy

Purchase Immortal Magic HERE

 


 

queens9/22 – Queens  (The Wielders of Arantha Book 2)
by Patrick Hodges

A cosmic game of chess is underway, and the planet Elystra is the board.

Earth pilot Maeve and her son Davin have joined the Ixtrayu, hoping to avert the destruction that their leader, Kelia, has foretold. But will Maeve’s burgeoning Wielding powers be enough to thwart the machinations of Elzor and his lightning-wielding sister, Elzaria, before everything the Ixtrayu have ever known is destroyed in Elzor’s quest for ultimate power?

Queens is Part Two in the Wielders of Arantha trilogy. If you love science fiction or fantasy, then this series will thrill and enthrall you!

 

Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Purchase Queens HERE

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sunburner

9/26 – Sunburner (Moonburner Cycle Book 2)
by Claire Luana

Kai, the newly-crowned queen of Miina, finds her reign threatened by a plague of natural disasters that leave death and destruction in their wake. Are the gods truly angry at the peace between the moon and sunburners, or is something more sinister to blame? Kai’s throne and her very life may be forfeit unless she can appease the gods’ anger and her peoples’ superstitions.

Determined to find a solution, Kai and the Sunburner Prince Hiro embark on an extraordinary and dangerous journey to discover the true cause of the plagues. What they find is an ancient enemy determined to plunge their world into eternal darkness — and one desperate chance to save it.

Sunburner, the sequel to Moonburner, is a young adult fantasy that will appeal to fans of Sabaa Tahir, Sarah J. Maas, and Leigh Bardugo.

 

Genre: YA/Fantasy

Pre-order Sunburner HERE

 

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last light

9/30 – Last Light  (Undertow Book 4)
by K.R. Conway

For Eila Walker, a New Bedford night club with questionable morals may be her only safe point in the brewing war between her crew and drug-dealer Lawson Waite.

After managing to wrangle a deal with club maven Maia Moriarty, Eila begins to believe that FAUST may actually work as a solid safe house until she and her friends can figure out how best to track down Waite.

But brutality comes quickly to Faust. In the aftermath, a shocking truth about Lawson Waite is whispered during a death-bed confession on the roof of the decadent club.
The warning is simple: Lawson Waite is no mere man.

Now desperate to kill Waite and stop his time-altering Gabriel Gate, Eila and her crew push the limits of all their abilities in an attempt to finish what Elizabeth started so long ago.

Told through the eyes of three characters,
MJ, the shifter,
Eila, the Lunaterra, and
Raef, the soul thief,
Last Light is one wild ride into the heart of what
makes us human and what lies history has told.

 

Genre: YA/Fantasy

Pre-order Last Light HERE

Characters: Gay by nature or choice?

Characters: Gay by nature or choice? by Author Paul Mosier

The following is my response to an email from a woman who kindly beta-read the novel I have recently completed– the middle grade “Summer and July.” Her feedback was thoughtful, intelligent and complimentary. To my surprise she said she enjoyed it in spite of her being ethically opposed to the nature of the love presented in the story, and her worry that my story would contribute to the “normalization” of such love. Below is my response to her. I omit my opening remarks.

  •                    *                    *                    *                    *                    *                    *

Notes on your notes: The “men in gray suits” is actually one of the several colorful terms in surfer lingo for sharks. Another good one is “landlord,” which is their term for great white sharks. Those don’t appear on the beaches of Santa Monica, or they would have been a good inclusion. But since that didn’t come through to you as a reader, perhaps I need to expand on that exchange. “Noah” is another term for sharks, from the Aussie cockney rhyming scheme of “Noah’s Ark” rhyming with “shark.” Similarly Aussie surfers call Americans “seppos” because “Septic tank” rhymes with “yank.” It’s kinda bizarre.

I, too, was happy with Summer’s method of giving herself permission to feel something other than happy, enthusiastic and optimistic– putting on Juillet’s clothing and makeup. I didn’t plan it– I don’t plan anything in writing, really. I don’t think I am capable of doing something as artful or lovely as that, but as a servant of the muse, I think I do a pretty good job of staying out of her way. I don’t feel like I’m the creator of a story so much as I am the first person to experience it.

I feel the same way about characters. I don’t expect that I’ll change your mind about seeing same-sex love as being somehow wrong, but I’ll make my argument anyway. I have never designed a character, and if I did I think they’d be wooden or cliched. I feel like they are introduced to me by the universe, and I disagree with writers who think that I as an author need to know my characters completely. In fact I feel like I only know them as much as they are willing to reveal themselves to me. An interviewer once asked if I ever found myself disappointed when I finished writing a novel and realized that my characters weren’t real, and my reply was “I don’t think I agree that they aren’t real.”

But I didn’t set out to write a same-sex love story. I think that every story is a love story– the only question is what kinds of love. Summer and July was born from the sense of place of a seaside town with an ice cream shop and boogie boarding, then the characters walked into the scene. But I don’t feel like I determined their sexual orientation any more than I designed the bluebird metaphor. Which I did not design. I’m just witness to it. My understanding of Juillet and Summer, watching them act, is that they are not necessarily drawn exclusively to their own gender. It seems like their affection is specific to the individual case– for Juillet, Summer, and for Summer, Juillet. They’re probably both surprised that their first kiss was with another girl. They’re both young and figuring themselves out.

I don’t choose the sexual orientation of my characters, but if I did, I wouldn’t apologize for representing same sex loves as being as legitimate and potentially beautiful as heterosexual loves. And I would suggest that maybe instead of worrying about texts that “normalize” same sex loves, perhaps you should worry about texts that vilify or demonize love between two men or two women, which has always existed. It’s hard for me to even imagine what motivation lies behind such persecution other than some antique need for maximum regeneration of the species to swell the ranks of armies and churches. It is interesting that you use Plato to support your argument about our need to use care in what we teach our young, when Plato said that the only true type of love was that which existed between two men. Of course I disagree with Plato in this respect, as I think that the love between a man and a woman can be pretty profound, too.

I’m sure that– while gay people have appeared in previous novels of mine– Summer and July will open me to a new level of potential criticism and rejection for elements other than my ability to tell a story. I didn’t wish for this, and it doesn’t represent any kind of bravery on my part– that distinction is reserved for those who wrote about the love between members of the same sex in decades past. I’ve got a left-handed female character named Lefty in my work-in-progress, but likewise people in centuries past have fought the stigma of people who find themselves preferring using their left hands, so there is no heroism for me there, either.

Happily, though thinking ill of same sex love still exists in the world I live in, having a contract with a Big Five publisher I have learned that, generally, in the world of children’s books, publishers have moved beyond the argument. Though opposition to same sex love still exists, my editorial group does not wish to dignify such opposition with space on the page. Nobody in a middle grade book written by me and published by my publisher is going to look askance at two girls or two boys falling for each other.

For me It was easy to make the “normal” heterosexual choice. Girls and women have always been attractive and fascinating to me. Though I didn’t set out to write a story featuring a same-sex love, the idea that maybe some kid will fail to kill him or herself because I didn’t resist presenting a story in which affection and romantic love between two members of the same sex is pretty much the most adorable love story ever– I’ve got to say I like the idea of being on that side of the equation, and of history. And all I have to do is let the characters be who they are. Take them as they are, and love them as they came to me. I hope you’ll consider this position.


Want more from Paul? You can check out his books on Goodreads HERE.

Find Paul on the YA Author Rendezvous site HERE.

This was posted by Lauren Mayhew with the express permission of Paul Mosier.

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Ten Things That Help Me Write

By Bethany Wicker

Just like any other author, I have my needs while writing. It’s easy to just sit down and start writing, but these ten things help my thoughts flow and the stories progress.

The first item is my Computer. This is for the most obvious reason that all of my stories are on my computer. My biggest fear is dropping it before I’ve backed up my work, so I try to leave it in one place as often as possible. This actually happened to me once before and is the reason it took so long for me to write Dark Fire after Dark Lightning was published. I’d lost my initial copy and felt so upset that I couldn’t write on it until about a year later.

The second thing is Coffee. I don’t always have to drink it while writing as long as I’ve had my morning cup. Coffee is something I love, but sometimes if I indulge in more than one cup it keeps me up at night. For that reason, I try to limit myself (doesn’t always happen).

The third item is my Phone. I’m a compulsive email-checker and am always checking my email. I have this irrational fear that I’m going to miss out on something because I didn’t check my email in time.

The fourth thing is a Notebook. This is simply to write down ideas that I’m not ready to work on or to keep notes of things that I sometimes forget. The color of eyes or hair of minor characters for example.

The fifth item is a Pen. This is needed to jot things in my notebook. 😛 I like the way pen ink looks on paper better than pencils so it’s rare that I use pencil over pen. Extremely rare.

The sixth thing is a Movie I’ve already seen playing in the background. I do this instead of playing music like other authors. It’s my personal preference that helps me concentrate. Lately, I’ve been stuck on the new Beauty and the Beast.

The seventh item is Snacks (Yum!). Who doesn’t need that little boost of energy while doing something? No particular type of snack either because it depends on what I’m in the mood for.

The eighth thing is Water. It’s very important to drink lots of water and stay hydrated throughout the day. I avoid soft drinks and try to stick to water as much as possible. It just makes me feel better, healthier and helps my brain keep going.

The ninth item is my Planner. That way I can keep track of tasks like deadlines or promotions and can add things as they’re needed.

The tenth and final thing is Henley napping ❤ (my daughter). It is so hard to write while she’s awake since she needs so much attention, especially now that she’s teething. So, as much as I love her, I get the best writing time in while she’s sleeping.

There you have it. The ten things that help me write the most words in one sitting.


Don’t forget to check out our other posts HERE

See Bethany Wicker at the Young Adult Author Rendezvous HERE.

Posted by Michelle Lynn.

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An Interview In Pictures with Bethany Wicker

By: Michelle Lynn

Today’s interview is with the talented young adult author Bethany Wicker. She writes paranormal stories – werewolves are her jam and her next book has MERMAIDS! I’m a little excited for that one.

A picture is worth a thousand words. So, here’s the drill. I asked Bethany ten questions and she answered in only pictures. It’s a lot of fun so let’s get started.

What image best represents you?

author Bethany Wicker, paranormal romance, werewolves, time travel, writing, interview

Show me a picture that could have been taken inside the world of one of your books.

author Bethany Wicker, paranormal romance, werewolves, time travel, writing, interview

Your favorite writing spot.

Author Bethany Wicker

Writing companion.

Author Bethany Wicker

Favorite book.

Author Bethany Wicker

Your Bookshelf.

author Bethany Wicker, paranormal romance, werewolves, time travel, writing, interview

Something you love outside writing or reading.

Author Bethany Wicker

Favorite place.

author Bethany Wicker, paranormal romance, werewolves, time travel, writing, interview

Something that makes you smile.

author Bethany Wicker, paranormal romance, werewolves, time travel, writing, interview

Something that inspires you.

author Bethany Wicker, paranormal romance, werewolves, time travel, writing, interview

From Bethany:

I am a small town wife, mother, and author who loves to read and am in the process of stocking up for my own mini library.

Ways to discover your next favorite author:

Amazon author page link: https://www.amazon.com/Bethany-Wicker/e/B0164MBKQ0
Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/BethanyWickerAuthor/
Author website link: www.bethanywicker.com


See Bethany at the Young Adult Author Rendezvous HERE.

Check out more from the Young Adult Author Rendezvous HERE.

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How I Got an Agent

writing, authors, agent signing

By Christopher Mannino

I have been writing for a long time. Heck, I’ve wanted to be a writer since middle school. I’ve been writing ever since.

The very first book I wrote took ten years. It’s a mess. You’ve never heard of it. It’s shelved on a floppy disk (remember those?) among other places but was never revisited.

Then, during my time in Oxford, I was inspired to write School of Deaths. It took me a year to write, and then I began trying for agents. In publishing, if you want your book published with the big publishers, distributed widely, and making money, you need an agent. The “Big Five” publishers (all subdivisions of just five companies) only take manuscripts from agents, and even then it’s not always a guarantee of publication, much less success. Yet agents are the first gatekeepers in the business.

Getting an agent involves writing a query letter. This is a single page long- a blurb about your book, a paragraph about similar books in the marketplace, and a paragraph about you. It’s an email you send out and know you’ll probably never hear back from. Some agents ask for just this, some for your first five pages. Most agents receive hundreds of email queries a DAY. Of those they receive, they might request pages from 5%, and of those pages, maybe request a full manuscript from an even smaller number. And it’s not just based on the quality of your writing. It’s based on a lot of subjective factors, like the agent’s preferences, if they think they can sell it, does it conflict with other clients they have, and so on. In short, getting an agent is very, very difficult. It feels a bit like falling through mid-air and trying to catch (and hold onto) a single raindrop.

authors, writing, agent signing

After a year of querying, and 130 rejections, I gave up trying to find an agent for School of Deaths. Instead I began querying small presses. 30 queries of publishers later, MuseItUp said yes.

Small press is a form of traditional publishing in between the big guys and self publishing. In a way, it’s sort of like the minor league baseball league. Minor leaguers are pros, and paid to play ball, and some are amazing, but you’ve never heard of them. They’re all hoping to make it into the majors, but to do so they need that scout. With writing, you need an agent.

After Scythe Wielder’s Secret I wrote a sci fi thriller and re-entered the querying phase. Months passed. Nada. I’ve since decided to rework the project.

Then, I had an idea for a book. A series. The ideas kept coming and coming. A world that’d been in night for a thousand years, and now faced a sunrise. A man with a powerful form of magic, and a terrible price. An exciting new fantasy series called Everdawn Rising. I wrote the book, and right away knew something was different. It was without a doubt the best thing I’d written. I decided, yet again, to plunge back into querying. Querying is a SLOW process, I’ll add. Some agents have an AVERAGE response time of 115 days. That’s just to hear back, even if it’s a no. And if they request pages or your full manuscript, you have to wait months upon months.

authors, writing, agent signing

I began querying Everdawn in January. I queried and queried. I became active in the Manuscript Academy, which gave me a lot of opportunities to work with pros. I had skype sessions with agents and not only pitched my book, but got help rewriting my query. I was in a workshop to help revamp my first page and ended up a part of a writing community that’s still wonderfully supportive today. And I worked with editors from St Martins and Tor (two imprints of the “Big 5” publishers) to rewrite the beginning completely. On the advice of an agent, I began “re-querying” – contacting agents who said no months ago or who never responded. I was hopeful, but still not sure. I was ready to enter PitchWars when everything took off.

authors, writing, agent signing

First I got an offer from an agent. I then had to let my outstanding (hadn’t heard from them yet) requeries know. Within hours, I had six more full requests. I eventually got a second offer and it came down to an insane day of phone conversations, nerves, and difficult decisions. After talking to the two agents, however, I knew the original offer was the agent I wanted to stick with.

I am elated to announce that I am now represented by Will Reeve at the Virginia Kidd Literary Agency. Kidd is a smaller agency, but one with an impressive track record in SFF, launching the careers of greats like Isaac Asimov and Ursula LeGuin. This is only one stage in a longer journey. The next step is for Will to work with me editing the book, then he’ll take the manuscript to the publishers and try to sell it to them. Even then, it’s a while before it releases. However, this is a huge step for me and my career as an author.

authors, writing, agent signing


Don’t forget to check out our other posts HERE.

Find Christopher Mannino at the Young Adult Author Rendezvous HERE.

Posted by Michelle Lynn.

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Writing an Outline for Your Book

Writing an Outline for Your Book by Author Shari L. Tapscott

Outlining—you either love it or hate it. I happen to love it, and I’m going to share my approach with you today.

When I was in school, outlining felt suffocating. It was like death to creativity. Nothing irked me more than a free writing assignment that required an outline—and I usually wrote one after the fact (not exactly what my teachers had in mind, I’m sure). Years later, when I was attempting my first NaNoWriMo, I decided I needed some sort of strategy to get my word count in. I wrote the major points of my book in three paragraphs and called it good. And it was pretty good. I knew the main events and the ending, and it helped a bunch. But at the end of November, my manuscript was still a mess. I knew I could do better.

Fast-forward a couple more years, and now I proudly call myself an obsessive outliner. I use a mishmash of techniques that I’ve tweaked to fit my style. Before I begin to explain how I do it, I want to say that I don’t think there’s a right or wrong way to outline—you need to do whatever feels good to you. And if that means pantsing it (writing by the seat of your pants), then do it! This is just what works for me. I hope it’ll help you as well.

Sum up your idea

First, I start by summing up my story into one paragraph. What’s it about? Who are the characters? How does it end?

Divide the idea into four parts

After that, I divide my idea into four parts and write a summary paragraph for each section, making sure to end the first three sections in conflict. I like to have something inconvenient happen to my character at the quarter mark and halfway through the book. The climax hits about three-quarters of the way through, and then the last quarter is for overcoming the problem and wrapping up the story.

Expand the sections into chapters

There are several ways you can go from this point. You have your story’s skeleton—you can start writing, if you want. Some writers will go on to expand these paragraphs into a page or two. Others may take it a step further and begin chapter outlines. That’s what I like to do.

I decide how many words is ideal for my novel. Then I decide how many chapters I want. For an 80,000 word novel, I’ll usually shoot for thirty. I like to write in short chapters, and that puts me at just under 2,700 words in each.  You can have shorter chapters; you can longer ones. It’s completely up to you, and they’re bound to change as you’re writing.

Since I know I need my conflict at 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 of the way through the story, those are the first chapters I fill in. For example, for my 80,000 word novel, I will have the 1/4 conflict at 20,000 words, which will fall in Chapter 7.

After I have my conflict in place, I begin to fill in each chapter. These little summaries don’t have to be long. I write a paragraph for each. Often, I will find I don’t have quite enough story points to fill them all in, and I brainstorm for ideas until I have a story that flows from beginning to end.

Now, as I’m writing my book, things often change. I’ll just go back and tweak my outline as needed. Sometimes one of my chapters will end up as two chapters. Other times two chapters may merge into one. Nothing is set in stone. The outline just keeps me moving toward the conflict.

After that, I begin to write! That’s really all there is to it. During my planning stages, I also like to fill out character and setting questionnaires. They really help if you’re stuck in the development stage; you’re bound to get new ideas when you’re working on them.

Whether you choose to outline or not, I hope this was useful for you! Also, if you have your own technique, be sure to add it in the comments. I love to hear how other people tackle the pre-writing stage.


Want more from Shari? You can check out her books on Goodreads HERE.

Find Shari on the YA Author Rendezvous site HERE.

This was posted by Lauren Mayhew with the express permission of Shari L. Tapscott.

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Tools of the Trade

First posted at Young Adult Books Central.

By Michelle Lynn

A painter has their paint brush. A sculptor has their clay. What does this have to do with indie publishing? Just like that painter and that sculptor, a writer is an artist. Artists create. They create beauty, tragedy, the illusion of reality. They show us how things are and how things should be.

As creators, we must use what is available to us – tools of the trade. A lot of this can be said for both indie published authors and traditionally published ones. No matter the size of the publishing house you have behind you, there are certain things you must do for yourself. Writing, for example.

Still, there are some tools that will be used more by indies who must make their own advertising graphics, choose their own Amazon key words, and handle their own marketing. I’ve listed seven of my favorite “brushes” for our form of artistry.

  1. ScrivenerEvery author no matter their publishing path can benefit from this tool and that’s why it’s at the top of my list. It isn’t free, but it is very affordable. Scrivener is a writing program. It’s used in the same way many people use Word, but there are benefits. It’s a bit more stripped down than Word, simple and easy to use. The best part about it is the way it organizes your book. These novels we write can reach into the hundreds of word pages. Have you ever forgotten something you wrote and had to scroll through the entire document to find it? In Scrivener, documents are divided into chapters that you can name and move around at will. They also provide character building templates so you never again have to wonder what color eyes you gave a character in some previous chapter.
  2. Canva Photoshop is expensive and kind of confusing if you ask me. Canva is an online tool that allows you to import images (or buy stock photos from them) and manipulate them, changing colors and adding text, to create ads or promotional images. It’s easy to use even for an image illiterate like myself. I’d be lost without canva.
  3. KDP RocketAre you wanting to write a book that has a jump start in popularity? This is called writing to market and many indie authors are doing it. KDP Rocket is a program that helps identify trends and fads in the marketplace to allow you to jump on board. That’s only one of its many features. It can also help determine which keywords would give your book the largest boost. And have you ever wondered about the kind of money certain books are bringing in? Now you can see exactly how each book in the Amazon marketplace is doing to help you decide which genre you’d like to jump into. It can be fun. The program isn’t free, but it can be worth it for indie published/ self-published authors.
  4. Social media management programs – there are many of these including Buffer andHootsuite. As authors, we’re expected to maintain a presence on so many different platforms that if we aren’t careful, all of our valuable writing time will be sucked away. These programs streamline social media. They allow you to post the same thing across different platforms with a few clicks. You can plan ahead, down to the minute, your posts to Facebook and Twitter. I can schedule an entire month’s worth of posts in about an hour. The small fee is incredibly worth it.
  5. The Emotion Thesaurus – Really, I could put the entire series and the connected website here. The Emotion Thesaurus is a book that has a page dedicated to any emotion you can imagine and describes things like body language of feelings associated with it. The series also contains books for character traits and settings. The website connected to the books is called Writers Helping Writers and has more resources in one place than you can even imagine.
  6. Calibre A completely free ebook management program that I always find some use for. As an indie, you will most likely be sending out your own review copies. Calibre allows you to convert them to any format that is requested from you so they can be read on any device. This has been helpful to me because I also help other authors by reading their work. Many of them send it in Doc format which doesn’t read so well on my Kindle. Instead of having to read on my computer, I can easily convert it to the format I need.
  7. Bookfunnel (or Instafreebie) – Do you send out review copies to your advance team? Do you give away ebooks in large giveaways? Whenever you need to send a book, wouldn’t it be easier to just send a link and then have the reader download the book on any device they prefer? That’s what these sites allow. They also let you collect emails of the people who download your book which is invaluable if you’re focused on building a large Newsletter (which you  should be).

There are so many great resources for writers out there and with the rapidly growing indie publishing industry, more are popping up all the time. None of these replace the best resource available, though. Other authors will forever be the best source of marketing advice and support as well as critiques and cross-author promotions.

The tools are out there to make a go of it in this industry. The biggest thing I’ve learned is to never be afraid to try the new ones that come along. Experiment, see what works for you. Don’t be afraid of technology and never ever think social media is a waste of time. In the crowded market, we need to be everywhere. We must make it as easy as possible for readers to see us and get ahold of our books. As indies, we don’t have the huge teams behind us, but in today’s world, some successful authors are finding they don’t need them.


Don’t forget to check out our other posts HERE.

See Michelle at the Young Adult Author Rendezvous HERE.

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Conflict in Writing

Conflict in Writing by Author Beth Rodgers

Conflict sells. Whether you are reading a book, watching TV, or viewing a movie, if everything is happy-go-lucky all the time, there isn’t much reason to keep reading or watching as you probably aren’t wondering what will happen next. People thrive off of twists and turns. They want mystery, suspense, and indecision. They desire friction, as it escalates plotlines, enhances character development, and reinforces the age-old quest for sheer entertainment. We live in an “entertainment culture,” if I do say so myself. People seek entertainment because it stimulates their senses. It excites their emotions, and it offers something in place of predictability.

Despite the wish for a happy ending – and believe me, I ooh and aah with the best of them for one of those – trials, tribulations, and all those annoying adversaries must come out of the woodwork to make that happy ending all the more magical. If you’re a writer, spice up your stories with it. Make a young girl the object of ridicule and rejection, only to make her all the more deserving of being crowned homecoming queen. Capture the angst of a restaurant owner who can’t seem to drum up any business until a famous celebrity eats there one day and publicizes the homemade apple pie as the best he’s ever tasted. Every story you’ve read, movie you’ve seen, or TV show you’ve watched, if it is any good, has some sort of conflict in it. Even if you don’t notice it at first glance, look again – it is there. Someone may have a problem with someone else. It may be a squabble at the cash register about the price of cereal. A fight may break out as a result. There are so many options. Use them as a guide to crafting your own.

Writers seek involvement with the subject matter they are reading. So too should readers. It is important that readers know how to pinpoint what the conflict is, when it started, where it escalated, and how it ended. This will make the reading journey all that much more enjoyable and profound so that when you move on to other works, you can appreciate them all the more for the conflict that interests and fuels your reading desire.

Freshman Fourteen by Beth RodgersMy novel, ‘Freshman Fourteen,’ incorporates a lot of conflict early on especially, as I felt it quite necessary to make main character Margot’s journey through freshman year as difficult as possible at the start. In my mind, that would make her that much more worthy of going through the journey to get past all of the troubles she had. They serve to make her a stronger, more purposeful character.

Anything can be construed as conflict. Even writer’s block (or reader’s block, when you don’t know what to pick as your next read) is a conflict. Use the examples above to resolve this and master your own writing and reading techniques.


Want more from Beth? You can check out her books on Goodreads HERE.

Find Beth on the YA Author Rendezvous site HERE.

This was posted by Lauren Mayhew with the express permission of Beth Rodgers.

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Marked by Fate

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000446_00062]

Defined by Their Choices

A collection of 25 Fantasy and Science Fiction YA coming of age novels from New York Times, USA Today, International, Amazon bestselling and Award-Winning authors!!

This action-packed boxset is filled with teen warriors who encounter queens, witches, wizards, werewolves, shifters, angels, and gods. Follow genetically engineered soldiers, cyborgs, and robots discover magical hidden fantasy worlds, encounter mind-blowing dystopian lands, space stations, and galaxies they could never have dreamed existed while traveling through time into uncharted territories. Marked by Fate to complete these deadly and dangerous quests filled with nonstop action and adventure!

iBook Preorder Link Date: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1229491448

Giveaway iBooks Link: http://woobox.com/32f5tp

Marked by Fate - 3D JPG


Two members of the Young Adult Author Rendezvous have contributed to this set.

Kristin D. Van Risseghem
At the Young Adult Author Rendezvous HERE.
Her website is HERE.

Amalie Jahn
At the Young Adult Author Rendezvous HERE.
Her website is HERE.

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22 Books for $0.99

GIF File Full Cover (Twitter Google+ Websites)

Want to stock your e-reader full of fantasy books? Fire and Fantasy includes 22 full length novels, some from bestselling and award winning authors.

How great is that? 

Not only can you get all of these books for $0.99 during the July and August pre-order, but you can be sent TEN other awesome books to tide you over until it’s released.

Seriously?

Yes! AND there’s a giveaway with absolutely NO requirements to enter.

Click on the image below to find out how to purchase and get all of your free goodies.

BookFunnel Illustrations with instructions


Young Adult Author Rendezvous member, Michelle Lynn, is a part of this box set.

You can find her at the YA Author Rendezvous HERE.

See her online HERE.

Find her on Facebook HERE.

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Character Inspiration: Dreams

Character Inpiration: Dreams by Author Lauren Mayhew

Character Inspiration Dreams - Lauren Mayhew Author - YA Author RendezvousDreams are full of people, some that pop up more frequently than others, and some who you’re sure you’ve never even met before. But all of the dreams are created by you, and each of the people in them is a character in that scenario.

Throughout my trilogy, characters and certain events have all come to fruition because of my crazy dreams. My dreams are so weird, I’m surprised my mum hasn’t sent me to be sectioned yet. On the plus side, I can get some wicked storylines and characters from them.

For example, the villain in my books is called Duana. She appeared in a dream of mine from a long time ago, dressed head to toe in black, chasing me through a shopping centre. When I say chasing, I mean that dream chase, where I’m running for my life, and she’s walking ominously behind me. Anyway, she followed me into a charity shop, where I was hiding amongst some coats on a clothes rail. She couldn’t find me anywhere, and exited the shop. It was only when she was gone that I realised I was hiding behind the coats, in the reflection of a small mirror sitting in front of them. And that’s how Liliana was born too. Two characters in one dream.

The best thing to do after waking up from a dream, is to write it down immediately. You can’t trust that you’re going to remember it in the morning. Write it down while it’s fresh in your memory, and remember to laugh at it when you read it in the morning!

Even if a certain person in your dream has the face of someone that you know, you can change that when writing. That person doesn’t need to know they inspired the character from one of your crazy dreams. It’s a secret between you and your character.

I’d love to know if you’ve ever been inspired to write something based on a dream you’ve had. Comment below!


Want more from Lauren? You can check out her books on Goodreads HERE.

Find Lauren on the YA Author Rendezvous site HERE.

This was posted on the YAAR website with the express permission of Lauren Mayhew.

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An Interview in Pictures with Lauren Mayhew

An Interview in Pictures with Lauren Mayhew

By Michelle Lynn

You can learn a lot about a person through the things they see, the things they find important. Sometimes it is a bigger insight into their life than their words. 

So let’s look inside the mind, inside the life, of an author. I’ve asked them to answer each question with a single picture. No caption. Just an image. 

  1. A picture that you think represents who you are.

    lauren 1

    2. A real-life picture that could have been taken in the world of one of your books.

    lauren 2

  2. Do you have a writing companion (pet or child)?

    lauren 3

    4. Your favorite book of all time.

    lauren 4

  1. Your bookshelf.

    lauren 5

  2. A picture that represents something you love to do (outside of writing or reading).

    lauren 6

  1. Favorite place (Beach, mountains, city, etc.)

    lauren 7

  1. Something that makes you smile.

    lauren 8

  2. Something that inspires you.

    lauren 9

 

From Lauren: I’m a twenty-four year old dreamer from England, with a passion for the written word – I hope you enjoy the worlds that I have created for your enjoyment.


Lauren is a talented Young Adult author and can be found in many places:

Amazon
Facebook
Website

YA Author Rendezvous

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Character Inspiration: People You Know

Character Inpiration: People You Know by Author Lauren Mayhew

Character Inspiration People You Know - Lauren Mayhew Author - YA Author RendezvousThis one may seem obvious, but I think it’s worth writing about. You don’t have to copy someone that you know completely, as that may be a bit too obvious if they ever pick your book up, but you can take certain traits from them.

For example, my first book ‘Reality is in a Dream’ has two characters that are exaggerated forms of two of my old school friends. Certain events that take place in the book involving the main character, Liliana, actually took place during my time at school. It’s quite funny, because I once had a reviewer tell me that she thought these character’s actions were not believable, and yet it actually happened to me.

Obviously, you don’t need to take their names, you don’t want anyone to be offended, especially if the character is one of the villains, but certain things that they may have said, or small mannerisms are a great way to begin the development of a character.

“Write what you know.” – Mark Twain. In the case of characters, I feel this to be true. It’s much easier to write about someone that you know, rather than starting a character from scratch. If you’ve been bullied in the past, use that bully to write a character with an unsavoury nature. If someone has said something that made you feel happy, use it. It’s as simple as that.

Many authors take reference from people that they’ve encountered in real life, and use them to create some of the best characters ever written. For example, Hermione Granger is based on J.K. Rowling. Rowling herself admitted that she was so like Hermione in school, and so she put a little of herself into the Harry Potter world.

You’ll be surprised how quickly a character can blossom into something you didn’t expect, taking your story places you never thought it could go. You may start off being inspired by somebody that you know, or at least knew a long time ago, but they’ll usually end up being completely different by the last page.


Want more from Lauren? You can check out her books on Goodreads HERE.

Find Lauren on the YA Author Rendezvous site HERE.

This was posted on the YAAR website with the express permission of Lauren Mayhew.

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