June TBR

I’m trying to hold myself accountable because, I’ll be real here, I’ve been seriously slacking on my reading and reviewing. I’ve been super busy with life and whatever, but not reading feels weird. There’s a big black hole where books should be and I feel it, every single day when I don’t real. I hate it. It’s the WORST. So I’ve decided to do what I do best and make a list. I’m a to do list addict. If I make a list and something is on there, I WILL accomplish it. So here’s my June TBR list! Tell me what you’re reading, what you’re excited about, and what your plans are for June!

Note: These are the bare minimum for June. I’m sure there will be more.

What are you reading? What was your last FIVE STAR read?

Jordan

Guest Post: On Writing Strong Female Characters and Other Musings by Jennifer Siddoway

2 - Author Logo

As Rory Gilmore once said, “I live in two worlds, one is a world of books.” I have never felt more connected to a character than in that moment, because I too, have lived a hundred different lives through the beautifully crafted pages of a novel. An author’s ability to paint a world with words is something that amazes me to this day, and will continue to do so for years to come.

I never thought that I would become an author, not even in my wildest dreams. Sometimes it still feels like I’m an imposter who has infiltrated this community and has not yet been discovered for the fraud she is. Yet, here I am about to release book two in the Earthwalker Trillogy and it finally feels like I’m treading water.

The heroine in this series, Wynn Hendricks, is a headstrong, fiery redhead who desperately wants to finish high school when a Demon Lord shows up in her bedroom and declares her soul his property. To regain her freedom, she must conquer the seven deadly sins. In doing so, she finds herself caught between the realms of Heaven, Hell, and Earth, with the angel Caleb as her only ally.

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I’m a big fan of strong female characters, and in Wynn’s story I really wanted to show her rising above this terrible situation and coming out on top. She doesn’t need a knight in shining armor to protect her, but would rather have someone love and support her while she rescues herself. Her journey covers a three-book arc that I’m hoping will show growth and depth of character over time. Each of the Demon Lords are unique and come at her in different ways, which I found fascinating to write about. I didn’t want the straightforward, hand over fist, showdown that you’d expect. They’re clever and come at her sideways, hoping that Wynn will become overconfident or make some fatal mistake. One of the things I like about them is that they do not make idle threats. Aidan and the other Demon Lords follow through on what they promise and that is terrifying, especially when they don’t play by the rules – nothing is off the table.

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After tragedy strikes the Hendricks family, Wynn leaves for college, hoping the Demon Lords follow her. She is reunited with Caleb after his fall from grace. Now, they no longer have to hide their feelings for one another. Together, they prepare for Wynn’s three remaining trials and encounter another demon who has infiltrated the Mortal Realm. Charlene is strong and beautiful, with complete control of her demonic powers – everything Wynn hopes to achieve one day.

The Demon Lords aren’t holding back, but they’re not the only ones who are conspiring against her. Maya is on the warpath and blames Wynn for Caleb’s decision to leave. Wynn learns that to defeat Aidan once and for all will come at a terrible price, taking her away from the ones she loves most.

With the help of some unlikely allies, can Wynn defeat the Demon Lords and finally make Aidan pay?

ExcerptHis lips broke from mine and left a trail of kisses down my neck, sending a jolt of hot confusion coursing through my body. Electric tingles ran up and down along my spine in a delicious need to hold him and have his body pressed against me. I tilted my head to give him better access and let out an involuntary sigh. “Caleb …” l breathed out dreamily.

“I love you.”

He cradled my face in his hands and pulled away briefly so that he could whisper, “You have no idea how long I’ve been waiting to hear you say that.”

I breathed out a ragged laugh before kissing him again and losing myself completely in his touch. My body ignited beneath his hands and I all I could think about was this magnificent creature had pledged himself to me. His lips were on me once again, and I wrapped myself around him like a snake in another one of his passionate kisses. A moment later, I felt myself being lifted off the ground as he carried me back into the apartment.

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authorJennifer SiddowayWebsite/Facebook/Instagram/Twitter

Jennifer is an author from Tallahassee, Florida who writes paranormal romance and fantasy novels for young adults. She is a member of both Gulf Coast Authors and the Florida Writers Association.

After receiving a degree in theatre and working as a scenic artist for twelve years, she changed careers to do what she really loves—writing. Jennifer believes that part of her job as an artist and story teller is to create a narrative that explores a fresh perspective and leaves the audience thinking.

Even as a child, she has always been intrigued by Grimm’s Fairy Tales and particularly enjoys a twist on an established plot. When she’s not busy writing or burying her nose in a book, Jennifer enjoys doing medieval reenactment with her husband and two children.

 

 

Guest Post: Querying for Dummies by V.E. Hust

They say (although who they are exactly is a mystery) that everyone has a novel in them. Recently I’ve been informed by a fairly trusted source that some of those books should not in fact come out. However, for the brave few who do put fingers to keyboard and finish a novel there will come a time that you must query.

Now, there are a few hard and fast rules of the query:

  • It should be three paragraphs in length and not over 300 words.
  • It should be written in the third person.
  • It should cover the first half of your story arc and end with your mid-plot inciting incident and STAKES.
  • It should be professional, proof read, and contain more information about the plot than your credentials.
  • Please, dear god, spell the agent’s name right.

magikarp-169-envia Pokemon.com

Querying is kind of like being the best magikarp jumper in Magikarp Jump. You have to write(catch) a query(magikarp) and send it on its rounds to your beta readers (train it) all the while stressing over it’s perfect name something punchy and eye-catching (like dinosaur erotica).

Magikarp-Jump-is-the-addictive-new-Pokemon-mobile-game-thats-sweeping-the-globevia Daily Mirror

Once you’ve edited (leveled up) your query (magikarp) by taking criticism and applying it (feeding it berries) you have to send it out to your first round of agents (aka to battle.)

magikarp-jump-4via Time Magazine

Now, on the way your query (magikarp) might get destroyed by a critique (pidgeotto) this just means it wasn’t ready for agents to see (to battle) and you need to start fresh with a new query (magikarp) and maybe a new name (like plz no die).

trainingvia Google Play

Once you have a successful query you should make a list of agents who represent your genre and with whom you would like to be signed. Querytracker.com and Absolutewrite.com are super useful when building your list. Then you send your query, make sure to personalize it to the specific agent’s specifications. READ the entire submission page twice before sending so as not to miss anything important.

It’s generally considered prudent to send your queries out in batches of no more than ten but no less than five. If you have a particularly well received query you could perhaps stretch that to fifteen. A well-received query is one that garners a request rate of more than twenty percent. A good query will garner fifteen, a serviceable one will bring in ten and anything under ten should be sent back to training.

I’m going to go in depth here for a moment about query structure. Technically there are no hard and fast rules about where most information should be, but in general your query should look something like this:

1st paragraph – Includes pertinent background and setting information, includes the main character’s name and their first problem – in YA it includes the character’s age.

2nd paragraph – Includes love interest and inciting incident, keep this fast paced and don’t bog it down with adjectives.

3rd paragraph – make us feel for the main character what is going to happen to her if she isn’t accepted to college/ doesn’t escape from her magical prison/can’t be with her true love. Make it personal and relatable.

After that there should be a small paragraph about the manuscript stats; word count (not page count), genre, comp titles, and sub-genre. Followed by a sentence or two about who you are and any credits you might have.

Close it out with a thank you for your time and attention, your name, e-mail address and any social media that’s applicable.

That’s it, don’t try to wow them with presents, don’t rave out how your book is the next Harry Potter, DON’T threaten/harass/be mean to the agent. I know most people would never but apparently there are enough crazies out there that this is becoming a trend.

So now there’s another how to query article out there, filled with tried and true approaches and some awesome Pokémon references. Hopefully it was helpful and at least a little amusing. Go, query, you are amazing!

magikarp-jump3via Forbes

Happy query writing and if you have questions, feel free to ask!

Open Forum/Guest Post Free For All

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Are you a writer? Reader? Author? Blogger? Maybe you’re in the process of or want to become an author?

For the month of June, I am hosting an open forum/ free for all. If you have something YA that you want to talk about, anything having to do with writing, the publishing world, this industry, something you’d love to see in YA, something you’d like to see less of, you name it, I am giving you the opportunity to voice your thoughts. HERE. On the blog. For free. 

I’m giving you an open mic in blog form. 

You want to be heard, you have something to say, feel free to schedule a date. Just keep it PG-13 because some young kids read this blog. 

I want to hear from you. I would love for you to share your thoughts and put your opinions out there. 

If you’re interested in a spot, feel free to shoot an email to yabookmadness@gmail.com and we’ll schedule you a date!!!

Tell everyone. Let’s make this happen.

As always, keep reading,

Jordan

100+ YA Books of 2017

Updated count! Have you read any of January’s books? What did you think? What is your most anticipated for Feb? And of course, if you have anything to add to the list comment 🙂

Young Adult Book Madness

I’ve set out to compile a definitive list of every highly anticipated YA release coming this year. I will update as I hear about them. If you have anything you’re super excited about that’s not on the list, please comment and I will add!!!

Because my Goodreads goal was a fail last year, I’ve decided to tackle this list PLUS my 2017 challenge. So far that’s 165 books and counting. 

I’ve included Goodreads links and their release month. 

***Once I’ve read and reviewed them, I will include the link to said review and put a star next to the title. 

  1. 10 Things I Can See From Here by Carrie Mac (Feb)
  2. 27 Hours by Tristina Wright (Oct)
  3. #famous by Jilly Gagnon (Feb)
  4. A Tragic Kind of Wonderful by Eric Lindstrom (Feb)
  5. After the Fall by Kate Hart (Jan)
  6. Aftercare Instructions by Bonnie Pipkin (Jun)
  7. Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson (Jan)
  8. Always and…

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Calling All #Tampa Area #YA #Writers

WANTED

Are you a writer? An aspiring writer? Do you write YA or New Adult? Do you live in the Tampa region? 

Would you like to be part of a writing group designed specifically for those genres? 

Are you curious about the ins and outs of the publishing process? From drafting to querying to publication and everything that comes between?

If you answered yes to these questions, we would love to meet you! 

For those of you who follow this blog, you know that I’m a reader, and a writer. I’ve been working hard on my WIP and intend to query next month. 

My friend, Ginger, and I are looking for fellow writers who are focused and aim to go through the whole hellish process with the ultimate goal of publication. 

We’d love to sprint, critique, hang out, and embrace all things writing. If you’re in the region and looking to get serious about your writing goals, we would love to motivate and cheer you on. 

If you’re interested, please comment or shoot me an email at yabookmadness@gmail.com

Looking forward to talking to you,

Jordan

100+ YA Books of 2017

I’ve set out to compile a definitive list of every highly anticipated YA release coming this year. I will update as I hear about them. If you have anything you’re super excited about that’s not on the list, please comment and I will add!!!

Because my Goodreads goal was a fail last year, I’ve decided to tackle this list PLUS my 2017 challenge. So far that’s 165 books and counting. 

I’ve included Goodreads links and their release month. 

***Once I’ve read and reviewed them, I will include the link to said review and put a star next to the title. 

 

  1. 10 Things I Can See From Here by Carrie Mac (Feb)
  2. 27 Hours by Tristina Wright (Oct)
  3. #famous by Jilly Gagnon (Feb)
  4. A Tragic Kind of Wonderful by Eric Lindstrom (Feb)* Review
  5. After the Fall by Kate Hart (Jan)* Review
  6. Aftercare Instructions by Bonnie Pipkin (Jun)*
  7. Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson (Jan)
  8. Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han (Jun)
  9. Ashgrave by S.M. Boyce (Sept)
  10. At the Edge of the Universe by Shaun David Hutchinson (Feb)*
  11. Bang by Barry Lyga (Apr)* Review
  12. The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden (Jan)* Review
  13. Because of the Sun by Jenny Torres Sanchez  (Jan)* Review
  14. Beautiful Broken Girls by Kim Savage  (Feb)* Review
  15. Before She Ignites by Jodi Meadows (Sept)
  16. The Black Tides of Heaven by J.Y. Yang (Aug) 
  17. The Black Witch by Laurie Forest  (May)
  18. The Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves (Mar)* Review

  19. The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco (Mar)*
  20. The Book Jumper by Mechthild Glaser (Jan)
  21. Brave New Girl by Rachel Vincent  (May)
  22. By Your Side by Kasie West (Jan)
  23. Caraval by Stephanie Garber (Jan)
  24. The Careful Undressing of Love by Corey Ann Haydu (Jan)* Review
  25. Carlos’ Peace by Melissa Haag (Feb)

  26. Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth (Jan)
  27. Charmsprings by S.M. Boyce (Oct)
  28. Cheating Death by April White (Jan)

  29. City of Saints & Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson (Jan)*
  30. A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas (May)
  31. The Crown’s Fate by Evelyn Skye (May)
  32. A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi (Mar)
  33. The Cruelty by Scott Bergstrom (Feb)* Review
  34. Curiosity and the Sentient’s Oblation by Zachary Paul Chopchinski (Feb)* Review
  35. The Cursed Queen by Sarah Fine (Jan)
  36. Dark Breaks the Dawn by Sara B. Larson  (May)
  37. The Dark Days Pact by Allison Goodman (Jan)
  38. Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller (Feb)
  39. Dear Reader by Mary O’Connell  (May)
  40. Deathdread by S.M. Boyce (Oct)
  41. Definitions of Indefinable Things by Whitney Taylor (Apr)
  42. Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray  (Apr)
  43. Done Dirt Cheap by Sarah Nicole Lemon (Feb)
  44. Dreadnought by April Daniels (Jan)* Review
  45. Dreamfall by Amy Plum (May)
  46. Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham (Feb)
  47. Duels & Deception by Cindy Anstey (Apr)
  48. The Edge of the Abyss by Emily Skrutskie (Apr)
  49. The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles (Jan)
  50. The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera (Feb)*
  51. Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza (Feb)* Review
  52. The Ends of the World by Maggie Hall (Jul)
  53. Even the Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcett (Sept)
  54. Exo by Fonda Lee (Jan)
  55. Fire Color One by Jenny Valentine (Jan)* Review
  56. The Five Daughters of the Moon by Leena Likitalo (Jul)
  57. Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh (May)
  58. Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao (Oct)
  59. Freeks by Amanda Hocking (Jan)* Review
  60. Frostblood by Elly Blake (Jan)* Review
  61. The Gatlon School for Vigilantes by Marissa Meyer  (Nov)
  62. Gem & Dixie by Sara Zarr (Apr)
  63. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee (Jun)
  64. Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart (Sept)
  65. Get it Together, Delilah by Erin Gough (Apr)
  66. Gilded Cage by Vic James (Feb)* Review
  67. Girl on the Verge by Pintip Dunn  (Jun)
  68. Girl Out of Water by Laura Silverman (May)
  69. Give Me a K-I-L-L by R. L. Stine (Apr)
  70. Given to the Sea by Mindy McGinnis (Apr)

  71. A Good Idea by Cristina Moracho (Feb)
  72. Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner (Mar)
  73. The Grave Keepers by Elizabeth Byrne (Sept)
  74. Grit by Gillian French (May)
  75. Happily Ever After by Kelly Oram (Feb)

  76. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (Feb)
  77. Haven by Karen Lynch (May)

  78. The Heartbeats of Wing Jones by Katherine Webber (Jan)
  79. The Hearts We Sold by Emily Lloyd Jones (Aug)
  80. History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera (Jan)
  81. Honestly Ben by Bill Konigsberg (Mar)
  82. House of Furies by Madeleine Roux  (May)
  83. How to Break a Boy by Laurie Devore (Jan)
  84. How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake (May)
  85. The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz (Mar)
  86. Heartstone by Elle Katharine White (Jan)
  87. The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett by Chelsea Sedoti (Jan)
  88. Hunted by Meagan Spooner (Mar)
  89. I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo (May)
  90. If Birds Fly Back by Carlie Sorosiak (Jun)
  91. In a Perfect World by Trish Doller  (May)
  92. It’s Not Like It’s a Secret by Misa Sugiura (May)
  93. Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index by Julie Israel  (Jun)
  94. Kill All Happies by Rachel Cohn (May)
  95. King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard (Feb)
  96. The Last Harvest by Kim Liggett (Jan)
  97. The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell (Jul)

  98. The Last of August by Brittany Cavallaro (Feb)
  99. Legion by Julie Kagawa (Apr)
  100. Lessons in Falling by Diana Gallagher  (Feb)
  101. The Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana (July)
  102. Life in a Fishbowl by Len Vlahos (Jan)* DNF
  103. Lifers by M.A. Griffin (Apr)

  104. A List of Cages by Robin Roe (Jan)* Review
  105. Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert (Aug)
  106. Lois Lane: Triple Threat by Gwenda Bond (May)
  107. Long May She Reign by Rhiannon Thomas  (Feb)
  108. Looking for Group by Rory Harrison (Apr)
  109. Love and First Sight by Josh Sundquist (Jan)* Review
  110. Love Interest by Cale Dietrich (May) 
  111. Mad Miss Mimic by Sarah Henstra (May)
  112. Madness by Zac Brewer  (Sept)
  113. Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller (Sept)
  114. Meg & Linus by Hanna Nowinski (Apr)
  115. A Million Junes by Emily Henry (May)
  116. The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord (May)
  117. Noteworthy by Riley Redgate (May)
  118. Now I Rise by Kiersten White  (Jun)
  119. Obsidian and Stars by Julie Eshbaugh (Jun)
  120. Once and for All by Sarah Dessen (Jun)
  121. One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake (Sept)
  122. The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr (Jan)
  123. One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus (May)
  124. Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab (Jun)
  125. Our Own Private Universe by Robin Talley (Jan)
  126. Perfect 10 by L. Philips (Jun)
  127. Poison’s Kiss by Breeana Shields (Jan)* Review
  128. Pretty Fierce by Kieran Scott (Apr)
  129. A Psalm for Lost Girls by Katie Bayerl (Mar)
  130. Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde (Mar)
  131. Radio Silence by Alice Oseman (Feb)
  132. The Radius of Us by Marie Marquardt (Jan)* Review
  133. Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy (May)
  134. Renegade Red by Lauren Bird Horowitz (Mar)
  135. Roar by Cora Carmack (June)
  136. Ronit & Jamil by Pamela L. Laskin (Feb)
  137. RoseBlood by A.G. Howard (Jan)* Review
  138. Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts (Jun)
  139. Saints, Misfits, Monsters, Mayhem by S. K. Ali (Jun)
  140. Seeking Mansfield by Kate Watson (May)
  141. Shimmer and Burn by Mary Taranta (Aug)
  142. The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig (Feb)
  143. Song of the Current by Sarah Tolcser (Jun)
  144. Speak Easy, Speak Love by McKelle George (Sept)
  145. Speak of Me As I Am by Sonia Belasco (Apr)
  146. Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer (Apr)
  147. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor (Mar)
  148. Stranger Than Fanfiction by Chris Colfer (Mar)
  149. The Suffering Tree by Elle Cosimano  (Jun)
  150. Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee (Jun)
  151. There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins (Aug)
  152. They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera (Sept)
  153. This Beats Perfect by Rebecca Denton (Feb)
  154. The Tiger’s Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera  (Oct)
  155. Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton (Mar)
  156. Traitor’s Kiss by Erin Beaty (May)
  157. Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall (Jan)* Review
  158. The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli (Apr)
  159. The Valiant by Lesley Livingston (Feb)
  160. Vigilante by Kady Cross (Mar)
  161. Warcross by Marie Lu 
  162. Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken (Jan)
  163. We Are Okay by Nina LaCour (Feb)* DNF
  164. When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon (May)
  165. Wicked Like a Wildfire by Lana Popovic (Aug)
  166. Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore (Sept)
  167. Wildman by J. C. Geiger (Jun)
  168. Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith (May)
  169. Windwitch by Susan Dennard (Jan)
  170. Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones (Feb)*
  171. Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer (Jan)
  172. Wispvine by S.M. Boyce (Sept)
  173. Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo (Aug)
  174. The X-Files Origins: Agent of Chaos by Kami Garcia (Jan)* Review
  175. The X-Files Origins: Devil’s Advocate by Jonathan Maberry (Jan)* Review
  176. You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins (Sept)
  177. The You I’ve Never Known by Ellen Hopkins (Jan)

Number completed: 32/177

Enjoy and as always, happy reading!

Jordan