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All About the Books Meme – with A E Rought

After hearing such lovely things about last week’s meme we have another author for you today – this time A E Rought, whose novel Broken is coming out in January 2013. As always, show your appreciation in the comments!

1) One Book That Changed My Life

The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien. Many books have had an affect me, but this one stands out as a major gateway book in my life. It opened my mind to the world of fantasy. It opened the gates to vast worlds of beauty and dark, struggle and triumph. It gave me an escape from teen life, and let’s admit, high school is not a fun game for everyone to play. Book world wise, other than a foray or two, I’ve never quite left the fantasy and speculative fiction world.

2) One Book I Had to Read More Than Once

This one is easy. The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff. Between my daughter and I, we’ve read it at least a dozen times. I love Mackie Doyle and Tate, the world and mythology that Brenna created. It is my go-to read. Pure escapism.

3) One Book I’d Want on a Desert Island

Just ONE?! *sniffle* Across the Universe, by Beth Revis. Such an awesome book, great tension, well-rounded characters and fabulous twisty plot with so many layers! Can I have the series, please?

4) One Book That Made me Laugh

Hm. That’s a really hard one. I don’t read ‘funny’ books usually. I did get a snort when Bella called Edward a stupid shiny Volvo driver…

5) One Book That Made me Cry

Another hard question. I can’t really think of one. I know a few books have had my throat tight, and eyes hot but I can’t think of one where tears actually fell.

6) One Book I Wish I’d Written

Another easy one. Across the Universe. The layers. The complexity. The creativity. I’m a huge, huge Revis fan.

7) One Book I am Currently Reading

Insurgent by Veronica Roth. I read Divergent and really enjoyed it. It’s one of those books where I finished it, and flipped right back to the beginning and started reading again.

8) One Book I am Intending to Read

Until I Die by Amy Plum. It’s at the top of my TBR stack. (Strange Chemistry books I’m anticipating: Poltergeeks by Sean Cummings, it’s out of my normal reading zone (humor!) and I’m looking forward to expanding my reading territory. Also Pantomime, by Laura Lam, because circuses are kind of bewitching to begin with it, add mystery and magic, and I’m drooling.)

What do you think of Ann’s choices?

Gorgeous Bookish Gifts

Having a love of books doesn’t just mean picking up books for us – it means finding all those gorgeous items that are bookishly themed! Here we’ve gathered together some of the items that have caught our eye recently.

Sherlock Holmes and Watson earrings

These can be found here.

Kitty Cat Bookends

These can be found here.

Neverending Story Kindle cover

This can be found here.

I Love Big Books… bag

This can be found here.

Twilight necklace

This can be found here.

Books to Check Out Journal

This can be found here.

Fantastic Mr Fox badges

These can be found here.

Book Stack Table

This can be found here.

US Literary Map poster

This can be found here.

Hunger Games bookmark

This can be found here.

What do you think of these gorgeous gifts? Any of them catch your eye?

All About The Books Meme – with Martha Wells

We now – unbelievably – have nine authors signed to Strange Chemistry, and we thought that you’d like to get to know them a little more through the books that they read. So we have taken an All About the Books meme that did the rounds a couple of years back through book blogs. We can’t seem to find who came up with this one and we’d like to credit them, so, if anyone knows who it was, please let us know!

First up is the lovely Martha Wells, the most recent addition to our family.

1) One Book That Changed My Life

Zelde M’Tana by F.M. Busby — I vividly remember the moment when I saw the cover faced out in our small local bookstore. It came out in 1980, when I was sixteen, and while I’m sure I had seen other covers by that point with female heroes, there was just something about this one. Zelde’s torn clothes say she has clearly been in a fight but she is looking directly into the viewer’s eyes, she has a gun in her hand, and she isn’t afraid or even angry, she is just grimly ready to take care of business. The book itself more than fulfills the promise of the cover. Zelde doesn’t have superpowers or magic to help her; she’s just an ordinary woman who starts out as a hunted runaway orphan on the streets, and ends up captain of a pirate spaceship.

2) One Book I’ve Had to Read More Than Once

I’ve read a lot of books more than once. I was one of those kids who read paperbacks until they fell apart, and checked out library books over and over again. One of my longtime favorites is Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers. I love the mix of personalities that Harriet encounters, the poison pen attacks, Harriet’s reflections on her writing, on relationships.

3) One Book I’d Want on a Desert Island

I know it’s cheating but that would be the US Army Survival Manual: FM 21-76.

4) One Book That Made me Laugh

Rivers of London (Midnight Riot) by Ben Aaronovitch — This is a great fantasy/mystery, and it’s also very funny. I also loved the second book, Moon Over Soho, and can’t wait for the third.

5) One Book That Made me Cry

A Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson — I didn’t read it until college, when it was assigned in a children’s literature class. I sobbed through the ending. I still can’t describe the plot to anyone without crying.

6) One Book I Wish I’d Written

Books that I really love aren’t generally books that I wish I’d written. I’m usually the most drawn to books that are written very differently from how I would have written them, that are unexpected and surprising and where I can’t guess which direction the plot is going to go. I guess I don’t read so much for the premise as for the author’s take on the premise.

I do wish I’d written The Da Vinci Code, because then I’d be rich.

7) One Book I Am Currently Reading

The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin — I loved her first three books and I’ve been looking forward to this one.

8) One Book I Am Looking Forward To

Cold Steel by Kate Elliott — I loved the first two books in the trilogy, Cold Magic and Cold Fire, and can’t wait to find out what happens next.

We hope you enjoyed that!

Do leave some comments for Martha below – and please feel free to link us to you “All About the Books” if you want to continue the meme.

Do You Pre-Order?

We have pre-ordered a few books in our time – books that have been highly anticipated (most recently, Insurgent by Veronica Roth) and books that offered a lower price for pre-ordering in advance. Publishers like books to be pre-ordered; it gives some indication of the interest in a book prior to release. In fact, some publishers have used the number of pre-orders made in an effective way – offering free short stories etc once each target of pre-orders was reached.

We’ve also experienced the down side of pre-ordering. A memorable occasion was pre-ordering an eBook way in advance, then promptly forgetting and buying the paper version on the day of release!

It got us wondering how many people do pre-order and the reasons for which they might. So we turned to Twitter and found some illuminating responses. Take a look and then maybe add your comments!

Depends on the book. If there’s genuinely going to be a shortage on release (as with Harry Potter), I pre-order. Otherwise nada@voxael

Depends how badly I need the book as soon as it comes out. Usually only books in a series I already ADORE HARD.@Rhube

I don’t pre-order really, I just love going into a bookshop :)@ChooseYA

Yeah, I pre-order tons of books–I get 90% of my books from @bookdepository, where pre-orders are cheaper than regular orders.@corinneduyvis

I pre-order once in a while, usually books I know I’ll want to own written by trusted, favorite authors or close friends.@ecmyers

FWIW: I wait till release day. Desire to support B&M combined with having too many books on the go at any given moment.@George_Stirling

I’m all about the instant gratification, so I head straight to the bookshop on release day (or download it for Kindle that day)@thebrainofchris

I love hitting the bookstore every Tues. I preorder if I find a good deal online bc a good deal = more $$ left for another book@sara_UFblog

I’ve taken to pre-ordering some titles after my local store failed to stock 3 of the last 4 books I asked for on pub date.@MikeRUnderwood

Pre-order. If I buy a book, I’ve usually been looking forward to it for a while. That or I fell in love with a library book.@ruthmidget

I pre-ordered John Green’s “The Fault In Our Stars” because I wanted a signed one. Only book I’ve preordered ever.@miriamjoywriter

I pre-order all the time. Then I get surprises in the mail.@categardner

Depends how much I want the book. If I really want it, I’ll preorder it. Usually for sequels, not for the first in a series@ILikeTheseBooks

What do you think?

Announcing Martha Wells!

Our family is growing once again! Today we are delighted to announce that Martha Wells, incredibly talented fantasy author, is joining the Strange Chemistry team. She has been signed in a two book deal, negotiated between Amanda Rutter and Jennifer Jackson of the Donald Maass Literary Agency. The first of these novels is called EMILIE AND THE HOLLOW WORLD and will be released in Summer 2013!

About EMILIE AND THE HOLLOW WORLD: While running away from home for reasons that are eminently defensible, Emilie’s plans to stow away on the steamship Merry Bell and reach her cousin in the big city go awry, landing her on the wrong ship and at the beginning of a fantastic adventure. Taken under the protection of Lady Marlende, Emilie learns that the crew hopes to use the aether currents and an experimental engine, and with the assistance of Lord Engal, journey to the interior of the planet in search of Marlende’s missing father. With the ship damaged on arrival, they attempt to traverse the strange lands on their quest. But when evidence points to sabotage and they encounter the treacherous Lord Ivers, along with the strange race of the sea-lands, Emilie has to make some challenging decisions and take daring action if they are ever to reach the surface world again.

EMILIE AND THE HOLLOW WORLD is an extraordinary adventure story with hints of Victoriana and steampunk. It brings to mind such classic tales as 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and The Lost World, while featuring a spunky young heroine that we know you will love.

About MARTHA WELLS: She was born in 1964 in Fort Worth, Texas, and graduated from Texas A&M University with a B.A. in Anthropology. She is the author of thirteen novels, including the Nebula-nominated The Death of the Necromancer, as well as a number of short stories and nonfiction articles. Her books have been published in seven languages, including French, Spanish, German, Russian, and Dutch.

Her first novel, The Element of Fire, was published by Tor in hardcover in July 1993 and was a finalist for the 1993 Compton Crook/Stephen Tall Award and a runner-up for the 1994 Crawford Award. The French edition, Le feu primordial, was a 2003 Imaginales Award nominee.

Her third novel The Death of the Necromancer (Avon Eos) was a 1998 Nebula Award Nominee and the French edition was a 2002 Imaginales Award nominee.

Her other books include City of Bones (Tor, 1995), Wheel of the Infinite (HarperCollins Eos, 2000), and The Fall of Ile-Rien trilogy, published by HarperCollins Eos – The Wizard Hunters (2003), The Ships of Air (2004), and The Gate of Gods (2005) – set in the same world as The Element of Fire and The Death of the Necromancer.

Her newest fantasy novels are The Cloud Roads (Night Shade Books, March 2011), and the sequels, The Serpent Sea (Night Shade Books, January 2012) and The Siren Depths (forthcoming from Night Shade Books in December 2012).

Martha can be found on her website and on Twitter.

Martha says: “I’m so glad Emilie and the Hollow World will be published by Strange Chemistry. I started writing it in July of 2009 and finished it around December of that year, so it’s had a long road to get here. I’m thrilled it’s going to be published and I think it’s found the best possible home.”

Amanda says: “I am a massive fan of Martha’s previously published work and am honoured that she has chosen Strange Chemistry to be the home of Emilie’s story. I think that this novel is fantastic fun and will bring Martha to a whole new audience.”

Book Trailers – Love or Loathe?

So, book trailers are becoming a bigger and bigger part of marketing a book. Some trailers are now so slick that they look as though they are showcasing a movie rather than a book! But do you guys actually like them or not? We decided to ask a selection of book bloggers to tell us their favourites – how about leaving a comment to say whether any of these would make you want to pick up a book?

Struck by Jennifer Bosworth

“It’s fantastic. I reminds me of a movie trailer and really makes me want to read the book. It’s very captivating and exciting!” – Siobhán @ Totally Bookalicious

Entwined by Heather Dixon

“Entwined makes good use of imagery without ever feeling cheap. It sets the atmosphere well with the music and images and gives me a good idea of what the story will be about. Plus, I think the style is pretty.” – Deni @ Small Review

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

“Ooh, I just saw this trailer yesterday for City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare. I don’t usually like books trailers but I absolutely LOVE this one!” – Maria @ Fantasy’s Ink

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

“I like that this trailer doesn’t require actual models, but the animation is attractive and very smooth. I actually prefer book trailers that don’t use models because the acting has to be excellent for it to work well; I strongly prefer something like this that still gives you the feel of a fantasy novel and gives you just enough information to make the viewer curious to learn more!” – Brenna @ Esther’s Ever After

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

“My personal favorite is the one for The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. It captured the mood of the book perfectly, and I loved the art and the music. I think it was the first time I could honestly say a book trailer sold me on a book–I bought The Scorpio Races the week it released!” – Maggie @ Maggie’s Bookshelf

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

“I want to see this movie so badly!! Wait, what? It’s a book trailer? Holy crap, get me this book.” – Britta @ I Like These Books

Matched by Ally Condie

“This one sets up the premise of the novel beautifully, and leaves the viewer hanging, wanting to know just what is going on!” – Danya @ A Tapestry of Words

Well, what do you think? Any of these appeal? Have they changed your mind on what can be achieved with a book trailer?

Atmosphere – A E Rought

I love a book with atmosphere. Y’know…where the world building is so real, you can feel it. The weight of the author’s place presses on nerves you didn’t know you had, your chest tightens, your breath catches… Heck, you check the shadows in your room before going to sleep because the book’s world has somehow bled into yours.

Something I’ve learned… there are as many correct paths to a great book with badass atmosphere as there are writers to write them.

Some writers like quiet, a cozy corner in a coffee shop and their laptop. Some writers remind me of cats, curled in a sunny spot on a deck or porch, contentedly tip-tap-tapping away. Other writers create an atmosphere they like to write in. Many use inspiration pictures, some create boards on or use music. I’m definitely—maybe a bit compulsively—one of the latter. I have a cluttered desk as the picture shows, but everything in the world falls away when I’m in my perfect writing space.

And for me, music makes it.

I hunt for just the right songs, constantly adding and taking away until the playlist creates just the right tonal ambiance where I can bury my head. Some tracks are just about the sound, some are about the lyrics, a few are for what they make me feel. One book was a crazy hodge-podge of dancehouse, old Billy Joel and groups like Godsmack. My current WIP is a total split personality, one part wistful film score, one part Chevelle, Shinedown, and Creed.

BROKEN’s playlist took a while to get right, and ended up with a couple of songs my writer friends turned me on to taking precedence.

Curious? Here’s BROKEN’s playlist:

Good to You, by Marianas Trench (J.A. Souders turned me on to MTrench)

Monster You Made, by Pop Evil
Eclipsed, by Evans Blue
Broken, by Seether, featuring Amy Lee

Somebody Like You, by Pop Evil
Sick, by Adelita’s Way

So Much, by The Spill Canvas
All Around Me, by Fly Leaf
Breaking Inside, by Shinedow
Perfect, by Burn Season (Kate Avelynn turned me on to Burn Season)
Crashed, by Chris Daughtry
Savin’ Me, by Nickelback
Dig, by Incubus
Always, by Saliva
Closer, by Burn Season
A Thousand Years, by Christina Perri
It’s Been a While, Staind
Staplegunned, by The Spill Canvas
Decode, by Paramore
You’re Not Alone, by Saosin
Fix Me, Ten Years

For overall atmosphere, I played a lot of Burn Season, The Spill Canvas, Pop Evil, Broken, by Seether, and Always, by Saliva. It made a perfect blend of moody romance for me.

I’m so neurotic about my music I will play one song over and over while writing certain scenes. While writing a scene where Alex {edited for spoilers} Josh after he {edited for spoilers} Emma, I had Sick, by Adelita’s Way on repeat. It was more about the sound, and that moment when the music kicked up a notch from the lead-in guitars—the energy and drive in the song were was just perfect.

And during the {edited for spoilers} scene, when Alex took Emma’s hand, pressed it to his chest and said {edited for spoilers}, I had Good to You, by Marianas Trench and A Thousand Years, by Christina Perri playing.

Finally, no talk about music and writing BROKEN would be complete, my beta reader insisted, without a mention of a chapter in the higher Twenties and the song Perfect, by Burn Season. Enough said.

So… Yep, I’m nuts. I play songs on repeat. (Don’t tell anyone but when the writing and the music are cosmically synced, I occasionally rock side to side like Stevie Wonder at the keyboard.) Music makes the atmosphere for me.

How about you? Do you write in silence? Do you read, or write to music?

New YA Releases for May 2012

As always, we’re a little late with this post, especially considering some of these books are already out in the stores but it’s definitely worth showcasing some of these absolutely lovelies! One day we’ll get this post out on time and you’ll all fall over with the shock *grins*

As always, give us some comment love and let us know which of the following you’re dying to get your hands on!

1) Changeling – Philippa Gregory

Italy, 1453. Seventeen-year-old Luca Vero is brilliant, gorgeous—and accused of heresy. Cast out of his religious order for using the new science to question old superstitious beliefs, Luca is recruited into a secret sect: The Order of the Dragon, commissioned by Pope Nicholas V to investigate evil and danger in its many forms, and strange occurrences across Europe, in this year—the end of days.

Isolde is a seventeen-year-old girl shut up in a nunnery so she can’t inherit any of her father’s estate. As the nuns walk in their sleep and see strange visions, Isolde is accused of witchcraft—and Luca is sent to investigate her, but finds himself plotting her escape.

Despite their vows, despite themselves, love grows between Luca and Isolde as they travel across Europe with their faithful companions, Freize and Ishraq. The four young people encounter werewolves, alchemists, witches, and death-dancers as they head toward a real-life historical figure who holds the boundaries of Christendom and the secrets of the Order of the Dragon.

2) City of Lost Souls – Cassandra Clare

The demon Lilith has been destroyed and Jace has been freed from her captivity. But when the Shadowhunters arrive to rescue him, they find only blood and broken glass. Not only is the boy Clary loves missing–but so is the boy she hates, Sebastian, the son of her father Valentine: a son determined to succeed where their father failed, and bring the Shadowhunters to their knees.

No magic the Clave can summon can locate either boy, but Jace cannot stay away—not from Clary. When they meet again Clary discovers the horror Lilith’s dying magic has wrought—Jace is no longer the boy she loved. He and Sebastian are now bound to each other, and Jace has become what he most feared: a true servant of Valentine’s evil. The Clave is determined to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. Will the Shadowhunters hesitate to kill one of their own?

Only a small band of Clary and Jace’s friends and family believe that Jace can still be saved — and that the fate of the Shadowhunters’ future may hinge on that salvation. They must defy the Clave and strike out on their own. Alec, Magnus, Simon and Isabelle must work together to save Jace: bargaining with the sinister Faerie Queen, contemplating deals with demons, and turning at last to the Iron Sisters, the reclusive and merciless weapons makers for the Shadowhunters, who tell them that no weapon on this earth can sever the bond between Sebastian and Jace. Their only chance of cutting Jace free is to challenge Heaven and Hell — a risk that could claim any, or all, of their lives.

And they must do it without Clary. For Clary has gone into the heart of darkness, to play a dangerous game utterly alone. The price of losing the game is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she even still trust him? Or is he truly lost? What price is too high to pay, even for love?

3) Bitterblue – Kristin Cashore

Eight years after Graceling, Bitterblue is now queen of Monsea. But the influence of her father, a violent psychopath with mind-altering abilities, lives on. Her advisors, who have run things since Leck died, believe in a forward-thinking plan: Pardon all who committed terrible acts under Leck’s reign, and forget anything bad ever happened. But when Bitterblue begins sneaking outside the castle—disguised and alone—to walk the streets of her own city, she starts realizing that the kingdom has been under the thirty-five-year spell of a madman, and the only way to move forward is to revisit the past.

Two thieves, who only steal what has already been stolen, change her life forever. They hold a key to the truth of Leck’s reign. And one of them, with an extreme skill called a Grace that he hasn’t yet identified, holds a key to her heart.

4) Hemlock – Kathleen Peacock

Mackenzie and Amy were best friends. Until Amy was brutally murdered.

Since then, Mac’s life has been turned upside down. She is being haunted by Amy in her dreams, and an extremist group called the Trackers has come to Mac’s hometown of Hemlock to hunt down Amy’s killer: A white werewolf.

Lupine syndrome—also known as the werewolf virus—is on the rise across the country. Many of the infected try to hide their symptoms, but bloodlust is not easy to control.

Wanting desperately to put an end to her nightmares, Mac decides to investigate Amy’s murder herself. She discovers secrets lurking in the shadows of Hemlock, secrets about Amy’s boyfriend, Jason, her good pal Kyle, and especially her late best friend. Mac is thrown into a maelstrom of violence and betrayal that puts her life at risk.

5) Railsea – China Miéville

On board the moletrain Medes, Sham Yes ap Soorap watches in awe as he witnesses his first moldywarpe hunt: the giant mole bursting from the earth, the harpoonists targeting their prey, the battle resulting in one’s death and the other’s glory. But no matter how spectacular it is, Sham can’t shake the sense that there is more to life than traveling the endless rails of the railsea–even if his captain can think only of the hunt for the ivory-coloured mole she’s been chasing since it took her arm all those years ago. When they come across a wrecked train, at first it’s a welcome distraction. But what Sham finds in the derelict—a series of pictures hinting at something, somewhere, that should be impossible—leads to considerably more than he’d bargained for. Soon he’s hunted on all sides, by pirates, trainsfolk, monsters and salvage-scrabblers. And it might not be just Sham’s life that’s about to change. It could be the whole of the railsea.

6) Dreamless – Josephine Angelini

Can true love be forgotten?

As the only scion who can descend into the Underworld, Helen Hamilton has been given a nearly impossible task. By night she wanders through Hades, trying to stop the endless cycle of revenge that has cursed her family. By day she struggles to overcome the fatigue that is rapidly eroding her sanity. Without Lucas by her side, Helen is not sure she has the strength to go on.

Just as Helen is pushed to her breaking point, a mysterious new Scion comes to her rescue. Funny and brave, Orion shields her from the dangers of the Underworld. But time is running out—a ruthless foe plots against them, and the Furies’ cry for blood is growing louder.

As the ancient Greek world collides with the mortal one, Helen’s sheltered life on Nantucket descends into chaos. But the hardest task of all will be forgetting Lucas Delos.

7) Struck – Jennifer Bosworth

Mia Price is a lightning addict. She’s survived countless strikes, but her craving to connect to the energy in storms endangers her life and the lives of those around her.

Los Angeles, where lightning rarely strikes, is one of the few places Mia feels safe from her addiction. But when an earthquake devastates the city, her haven is transformed into a minefield of chaos and danger. The beaches become massive tent cities. Downtown is a crumbling wasteland, where a traveling party moves to a different empty building each night, the revelers drawn to the destruction by a force they cannot deny. Two warring cults rise to power, and both see Mia as the key to their opposing doomsday prophecies. They believe she has a connection to the freak electrical storm that caused the quake, and to the far more devastating storm that is yet to come.

Mia wants to trust the enigmatic and alluring Jeremy when he promises to protect her, but she fears he isn’t who he claims to be. In the end, the passion and power that brought them together could be their downfall. When the final disaster strikes, Mia must risk unleashing the full horror of her strength to save the people she loves, or lose everything.

8) A Confusion of Princes – Garth Nix

I have died three times, and three times been reborn, though I am not yet twenty in the old earth years by which it is still the fashion to measure time. This is the story of my three deaths, and my life between. My name is Khemri.

Taken from his parents as a child and equipped with biological and technological improvements, Khemri is now an enhanced human being, trained and prepared for the glory of becoming a Prince of the Empire. Not to mention the ultimate glory: should he die, and be deemed worthy, he will be reborn…Which is just as well, because no sooner has Prince Khemri graduated to full Princehood than he learns the terrible truth behind the Empire: there are ten million princes, and all of them want each other dead.

9) Until I Die – Amy Plum

Kate and Vincent have overcome the odds and at last they are together in Paris, the city of lights and love.

As their romance deepens there’s one question they can’t ignore: How are they supposed to be together if Vincent can’t resist sacrificing himself to save others? Although Vincent promises that he’ll do whatever it takes to lead a normal life with Kate, will that mean letting innocent people die? When a new and surprising enemy reveals itself, Kate realizes that even more may be at stake—and that Vincent’s immortality is in jeopardy.

10) Fated – Alyson Noel

Lately strange things have been happening to Daire Santos. Animals follow her, crows mock her, and glowing people appear out of nowhere. Worried that Daire is having a nervous breakdown, her mother packs her off to stay in the dusty plains of Enchantment, New Mexico with a grandmother she’s never met.

There she crosses paths with Dace, a gorgeous guy with unearthly blue eyes who she’s encountered before…but only in her dreams. And she’ll get to know her grandmother—a woman who recognizes Daire’s bizarre episodes for what they are. A call to her true destiny as a Soul Seeker, one who can navigate between the worlds of the living and the dead. Her grandmother immediately begins teaching her to harness her powers—but it’s an art that must be mastered quickly. Because Dace’s brother is an evil shape-shifter who’s out to steal her powers. Now Daire must embrace her fate as a Soul Seeker and find out if Dace is one guy she’s meant to be with…or if he’s allied with the enemy she’s destined to destroy.

11) Underworld – Meg Cabot

Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back.

Seventeen-year-old Pierce Oliviera isn’t dead.

Not this time.

But she is being held against her will in the dim, twilit world between heaven and hell, where the spirits of the deceased wait before embarking upon their final journey.

Her captor, John Hayden, claims it’s for her own safety. Because not all the departed are dear. Some are so unhappy with where they ended up after leaving the Underworld, they’ve come back as Furies, intent on vengeance…on the one who sent them there and on the one whom he loves.

But while Pierce might be safe from the Furies in the Underworld, far worse dangers could be lurking for her there…and they might have more to do with its ruler than with his enemies.

And unless Pierce is careful, this time there’ll be no escape.

12) The Hunt – Andrew Fukuda

Don’t Sweat. Don’t Laugh. Don’t draw attention to yourself. And most of all, whatever you do, do not fall in love with one of them.

Gene is different from everyone else around him. He can’t run with lightning speed, sunlight doesn’t hurt him and he doesn’t have an unquenchable lust for blood. Gene is a human, and he knows the rules. Keep the truth a secret. It’s the only way to stay alive in a world of night—a world where humans are considered a delicacy and hunted for their blood.

When he’s chosen for a once in a lifetime opportunity to hunt the last remaining humans, Gene’s carefully constructed life begins to crumble around him. He’s thrust into the path of a girl who makes him feel things he never thought possible—and into a ruthless pack of hunters whose suspicions about his true nature are growing. Now that Gene has finally found something worth fighting for, his need to survive is stronger than ever—but is it worth the cost of his humanity?

13) Taken by Storm – Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Bryn knows first-hand that being the alpha of a werewolf pack means making hard decisions, and that being human makes things a thousand times worse. She’s prepared to give up her humanity, but the wolf who promised to Change her is waiting – though for what, Bryn doesn’t know. Still human, she must take her place in the werewolf Senate, the precarious democracy that rules the North American packs. Standing side by side with werewolves who were ancient long before she was ever born is enough of a challenge, but Bryn soon learns that the Senate has been called to deal with a problem: the kind of problem that involves human bodies, a Rabid werewolf, and memories that Bryn, Chase, and the rest of their pack would rather forget. With bodies stacking up and political pressure closing in from all sides, Bryn and her pack are going to have to turn to old enemies and even older friends for help – especially when it starts to look like this time, the monster might be one of their own.

14) The Lost Code – Kevin Emerson

The ozone is ravaged, ocean levels have risen, and the sun is a daily enemy. But global climate change is not something new in the Earth’s history.

No one will know this better than less-than-ordinary Owen Parker, who is about to discover that he is the descendant of a highly advanced ancient race—a race that took their technology too far and almost destroyed the Earth in the process.

Now it is Owen’s turn to make right in his world what went wrong thousands of years ago. If Owen can unlock the lost code in his very genes, he may rediscover the forgotten knowledge of his ancestry…and that less-than-ordinary can evolve into extraordinary.

15) Immortal Hearts – Ellen Schreiber

Athena “Stormy” Sterling is coming to Dullsville, and Raven is both excited and panicked in anticipation of Alexander’s little sister’s visit. Alexander tells Raven that she and his sister have a lot in common, but can the mini-Raven be everything she hopes for? Alexander calls her Stormy for a reason.

Stormy’s visit stirs up the perfect immortal whirlwind. Raven is forced to take a good look at what it would really mean to be a vampire in the Sterling family, aside from some of the things she already loves, like shunning the sun and sleeping in a coffin with Alexander. When Raven compares her life with Stormy’s, she can see that it’s not all starry skies and black roses. But Raven knows she’s always wanted to be a vampire.

Alexander is as romantic and dreamy as ever, and though he keeps showing Raven how much he loves her, will she ultimately be able to convince him that it’s the right thing to turn her?

16) Of Poseidon – Anna Banks

Galen is the prince of the Syrena, sent to land to find a girl he’s heard can communicate with fish. Emma is on vacation at the beach. When she runs into Galen—literally, ouch!—both teens sense a connection. But it will take several encounters, including a deadly one with a shark, for Galen to be convinced of Emma’s gifts. Now, if he can only convince Emma that she holds the key to his kingdom . . .

17) Endure – Carrie Jones

Zara is at the center of an impending apocalypse. True, she’s successfully rescued Nick from Valhalla, but it simply isn’t enough. Evil pixies are ravaging Bedford, and they need much more than one great warrior; they need an army. Zara isn’t sure what her role is anymore. She’s not just fighting for her friends; she’s also a pixie queen. And to align her team of pixies with the humans she loves will be one of her greatest battles yet. Especially since she can’t even reconcile her growing feelings for her pixie king . . .

18) Black Heart Blue – Louisa Reid

Hephzibah: You’ve no idea what it’s like having a freak for a sister.

Rebecca: Born first, prettier, Hephzi’s always been the popular one.

The Father: When he was busy with his bottle we were usually safe. Usually.

The Mother: Her specialist subject was misery and lessons of painful silence …

Hepzibah and Rebecca are twins. One beautiful, one disfigured. Trapped with their loveless parents, they dream of a normal life. But when one twin tragically dies, the other must find a way to escape. Because if she doesn’t, she’ll end up like her sister.

19) Shift – Em Bailey

Olive Corbett is definitely NOT crazy.

Not anymore. These days she takes her meds like a good girl, hangs out with her best friend Ami, and stays the hell away from the toxic girls she used to be friends with.

She doesn’t need a boyfriend. Especially not a lifesaver-type with a nice smile. And she doesn’t need the drama of that creepy new girl Miranda, who has somehow latched on to Olive’s ex-best friend.

Yet from a distance, Olive can see there’s something sinister about the new friendship. Something almost… parasitic. Maybe the wild rumours ARE true. Maybe Miranda is a killer.

But who would believe Olive? She does have a habit of letting her imagination run away with her…

20) Second Chance Summer – Morgan Matson

Taylor’s family might not be the closest-knit – everyone is a little too busy and overscheduled – but for the most part, they get along fine. Then they get news that changes everything: Her father has pancreatic cancer, and it’s stage four – meaning that there is basically nothing to be done. Her parents decide that the family will spend his last months together at their old summerhouse in the Pocono Mountains.

Crammed into a place much smaller and more rustic than they are used to, they begin to get to know each other again. And Taylor discovers that the people she thought she had left behind haven’t actually gone anywhere. Her former summer best friend is suddenly around, as is her first boyfriend. . . and he’s much cuter at seventeen than he was at twelve.

As the summer progresses, the Edwards become more of a family, and closer than they’ve ever been before. But all of them very aware that they’re battling a ticking clock. Sometimes, though, there is just enough time to get a second chance – with family, with friends, and with love.

21) The Girl in the Clockwork Collar – Kady Cross

In New York City, 1897, life has never been more thrilling – or dangerous.

Sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne and her “straynge band of mysfits” have journeyed from London to America to rescue their friend Jasper, hauled off by bounty hunters. But Jasper is in the clutches of a devious former friend demanding a trade-the dangerous device Jasper stole from him…for the life of the girl Jasper loves.

One false move from Jasper and the strange clockwork collar around Mei’s neck tightens. And tightens.

22) The Peculiars – Maureen Doyle McQuerry

On her 18th birthday, Lena Mattacascar decides to search for her father, who disappeared into the northern wilderness of Scree when Lena was young. Scree is inhabited by Peculiars, people whose unusual characteristics make them unacceptable to modern society. Lena wonders if her father is the source of her own extraordinary characteristics and if she, too, is Peculiar. On the train she meets a young librarian, Jimson Quiggley, who is traveling to a town on the edge of Scree to work in the home and library of the inventor Mr. Beasley. The train is stopped by men being chased by the handsome young marshal Thomas Saltre. When Saltre learns who Lena’s father is, he convinces her to spy on Mr. Beasley and the strange folk who disappear into his home, Zephyr House. A daring escape in an aerocopter leads Lena into the wilds of Scree to confront her deepest fears.

23) In Honor – Jessi Kirby

Hours after her brother’s military funeral, Honor opens the last letter Finn ever sent. In her grief, she interprets his note as a final request and spontaneously decides to go to California to fulfill it.

Honor gets as far as the driveway before running into Rusty, Finn’s best friend since third grade and his polar opposite. She hasn’t seen Rusty in ages, but it’s obvious he is as arrogant and stubborn as ever—not to mention drop-dead gorgeous. Despite Honor’s better judgment, the two set off together on a voyage from Texas to California. Along the way, they find small and sometimes surprising ways to ease their shared loss and honor Finn’s memory—but when shocking truths are revealed at the end of the road, will either of them be able to cope with the consequences?

24) The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls – Julie Schumacher

I’m Adrienne Haus, survivor of a mother-daughter book club. Most of us didn’t want to join. My mother signed me up because I was stuck at home all summer, with my knee in a brace. CeeCee’s parents forced her to join after cancelling her Paris trip because she bashed up their car. The members of “The Unbearable Book Club,” CeeCee, Jill, Wallis, and I, were all going into eleventh grade A.P. English. But we weren’t friends. We were literary prisoners, sweating, reading classics, and hanging out at the pool. If you want to find out how membership in a book club can end up with a person being dead, you can probably look us up under mother-daughter literary catastrophe. Or open this book and read my essay, which I’ll turn in when I go back to school.

25) Rush for the Gold – John Feinstein

Bestselling sportswriter and Edgar Award winner John Feinstein is back with another sports mystery featuring Stevie Thomas and Susan Carol Anderson—this one set at the summer Olympics in London. In this book, Susan Carol isn’t a reporter—she’s an Olympian, competing as a swimmer at her first Olympic games. Stevie is both proud and envious of her athletic prowess. And he’s worried by the agents and sponsors and media all wanting to get up close and personal with Susan Carol. But the more disturbing question becomes—how far might they go to ensure that America’s newest Olympic darling wins gold?

26) Unbreak My Heart – Melissa Walker

Sophomore year broke Clementine Williams’ heart. She fell for her best friend’s boyfriend and long story short: he’s excused, but Clem is vilified and she heads into summer with zero social life. Enter her parents’ plan to spend the summer on their sailboat. Normally the idea of being stuck on a tiny boat with her parents and little sister would make Clem break out in hives, but floating away sounds pretty good right now. Then she meets James at one of their first stops along the river. He and his dad are sailing for the summer and he’s just the distraction Clem needs. Can he break down Clem’s walls and heal her broken heart?

27) First Comes Love – Kate Kacvinsky

Like his name, Gray is dark and stormy. Dylan, a girl always searching for what’s next, seemingly unable to settle down, is the exact opposite: full of light and life. On the outside, they seem like an unlikely couple. But looks can be deceiving and besides, opposites attract.

What starts as friendship, turns into admiration, respect and caring, until finally these two lone souls find they are truly in love with each other.

But staying in love is not as easy as falling in love. If Dylan and Gray want their love to last, they’re going to have to work at it. And learn that sometimes love means having to say you’re sorry.

28) Welcome, Caller, This Is Chloe – Shelley Coriell

Big-hearted Chloe Camden is the queen of her universe until her best friend shreds her reputation and her school counselor axes her junior independent study project. Chloe is forced to take on a meaningful project in order to pass, and so she joins her school’s struggling radio station, where the other students don’t find her too queenly. Ostracized by her former BFs and struggling with her beloved Grams’s mental deterioration, lonely Chloe ends up hosting a call-in show that gets the station much-needed publicity and, in the end, trouble. She also befriends radio techie and loner Duncan Moore, a quiet soul with a romantic heart. On and off the air, Chloe faces her loneliness and helps others find the fun and joy in everyday life.

29) Heart-Shaped Bruise – Tanya Byrne

They say I’m evil. The police. The newspapers. The girls from school who shake their heads on the six o’clock news and say they always knew there was something not quite right about me. And everyone believes it. Including you. But you don’t know. You don’t know who I used to be.

Who I could have been.

Awaiting trial at Archway Young Offenders Institution, Emily Koll is going to tell her side of the story for the first time.

30) Black Dawn – Rachel Caine

In Last Breath, the rain brought a new and dire threat to Morganville and its vampires… their ancient enemies, the draug. Now, the vampires are fighting a losing war, and it will fall to the residents of the Glass House: Michael, Eve, Shane and Claire, to take the fight to an enemy who threatens to destroy the town, forever.

31) Insurgent – Veronica Roth

One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris’s initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

32) The Drowned Cities – Paolo Bacigalupi

In a dark future America where violence, terror, and grief touch everyone, young refugees Mahlia and Mouse have managed to leave behind the war-torn lands of the Drowned Cities by escaping into the jungle outskirts. But when they discover a wounded half-man–a bioengineered war beast named Tool–who is being hunted by a vengeful band of soldiers, their fragile existence quickly collapses. One is taken prisoner by merciless soldier boys, and the other is faced with an impossible decision: Risk everything to save a friend, or flee to a place where freedom might finally be possible.

33) Sweet Evil – Wendy Higgins

Tenderhearted Southern girl, Anna Whitt, was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She’s aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but it isn’t until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage, and her will-power is put to the test. He’s the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna.

Forced to face her destiny, will Anna embrace her halo or her horns?

34) Dark Kiss – Michelle Rowen

I don’t do dangerous. Smart, über-careful, ordinary Samantha-that’s me. But I just couldn’t pass up a surprise kiss from my number-one unattainable crush. A kiss that did something to me…something strange. Now I feel hungry all the time, but not for food. It’s like part of me is missing-and I don’t know if I can get it back. Then there’s Bishop. At first I thought he was just a street kid, but the secrets he’s keeping are as intense as his unearthly blue eyes. If he’s what I think he is, he may be the only one who can help me. But something terrifying is closing in, and the one chance Bishop and I have to stop it means losing everything I ever wanted and embracing the darkness inside me…

35) Adorkable – Sarra Manning

Jeane Smith is seventeen and has turned her self-styled dorkiness into an art form, a lifestyle choice and a profitable website and consultancy business. She writes a style column for a Japanese teen magazine and came number seven in The Guardian’s 30 People Under 30 Who Are Changing The World. And yet, in spite of the accolades, hundreds of Internet friendships and a cool boyfriend, she feels inexplicably lonely, a situation made infinitely worse when Michael Lee, the most mass-market, popular and predictably all-rounded boy at school tells Jeane of his suspicion that Jeane’s boyfriend is secretly seeing his girlfriend. Michael and Jeane have NOTHING in common – she is cool and individual; he is the golden boy in an Abercrombie & Fitch T-shirt. So why can’t she stop talking to him?

36) Pure – Jennifer L Armentrout

There is need. And then there is Fate…

Being destined to become some kind of supernatural electrical outlet isn’t exactly awesome–especially when Alexandria’s “other half” is everywhere she goes. Seth’s in her training room, outside her classes, and keeps showing up in her bedroom–so not cool. Their connection does have some benefits, like staving off her nightmares of the tragic showdown with her mother, but it has no effect on what Alex feels for the forbidden, pure-blooded Aiden. Or what he will do–and sacrifice–for her.

When daimons infiltrate the Covenants and attack students, the gods send furies–lesser gods determined to eradicate any threat to the Covenants and to the gods, and that includes the Apollyon… and Alex. And if that and hordes of aether-sucking monsters didn’t blow bad enough, a mysterious threat seems willing to do anything to neutralize Seth, even if that means forcing Alex into servitude… or killing her.

When the gods are involved, some decisions can never, ever be undone.

37) Life Eternal – Yvonne Woon

Renée Winters has changed. When she looks in the mirror, a beautiful girl with an older, sadder face stares back. Her condition has doctors mystified, but Renée can never reveal the truth: she died last May, and was brought back to life by the kiss of her Undead soul mate, Dante Berlin.

Now, her separation from Dante becomes almost unbearable. His second life is close to an end, and each passing day means one less that she will spend with the boy who shares her soul.

Just when Renée has almost given up hope, she learns of the Nine Sisters–brilliant scholars who, according to legend, found a way to cheat death. She can’t shake the feeling that they are somehow connected to her dreams, strange visions that hint at a discovery so powerful, and so dangerous, that some will stop at nothing to protect it.

Renée thought she knew the truth about life and death. But there is a secret woven through history that holds the only hope for Dante and Renée. Unless they find answers soon, their time together is doomed to be cut short.

38) Back and Deader Than Ever – Lisi Harrison

The RADs are free and Draculaura (Lala) is flashing her fangs with pride. But when Daddy Drac pays her a surprise visit everything goes batty. Mr. D. thinks RADs should have their own school, but Lala isn’t ready to give up the rights they fought so hard for.

It’s father against daughter in a battle for Salem’s student body. Despite the many challenges, Lala is determined to save Merston High. But she might die twice while trying.

39) 1.4 – Mike Lancaster

In the far future, people no longer know what to believe…Did Kyle Straker ever exist? Or were his prophecies of human upgrades nothing more than a hoax?

Peter Vincent is nearly 16, and has never thought about the things that Strakerites believe. His father — David Vincent, creator of the artificial bees that saved the world’s crops — made sure of that.

When the Strakerites pronounce that another upgrade is imminent, Peter starts to uncover a conspiracy amongst the leaders of the establishment, a conspiracy that puts him into direct conflict with his father. But it’s not a good idea to pick a fight with someone who controls all the artificial bees in the world.

40) Slated – Teri Terry

Kyla’s memory has been erased, her personality wiped blank, her memories lost for ever.

She’s been Slated.

The government claims she was a terrorist, and that they are giving her a second chance – as long as she plays by their rules. But echoes of the past whisper in Kyla’s mind. Someone is lying to her, and nothing is as it seems. Who can she trust in her search for the truth?

41) Bringing the Summer – Julia Green

It’s the lazy end of summer and Freya is about to start her A levels. Her brother Joe died a year ago, but she is slowly coming to terms with his death. She is beginning to feel ready for something new – a change. And then a railway accident brings her into contact with the gorgeous Gabe. Freya is drawn not just to his blond good looks, but everything about him, including his large, shambolic, warm and loving family, which seems to Freya so different from her own.

And then Gabe’s clearly troubled older brother makes it clear he is interested in Freya – and Freya has some decisions to make about what she really wants.

42) Legacy – Jenna Burtenshaw

The veil which marks the division between life and death is falling. Lost souls are seeping through to roam Albion’s graveyard city of Fume.

Kate Winters’ recent memory is lost. Relieved to be heading home to Albion, Kate can’t shake the feeling that Dalliah Grey, the woman she’s supposed to be working for, is not to be trusted.

Disgraced warrior Silas Dane plans to rescue Kate and save Albion from the advancing armies seeking to profit from the confusion. But the veil will not be easy to repair and Silas knows sacrifices have to be made.

43) Enchanted – Alethea Kontis

It isn’t easy being the rather overlooked and unhappy youngest sibling to sisters named for the other six days of the week. Sunday’s only comfort is writing stories, although what she writes has a terrible tendency to come true.

When Sunday meets an enchanted frog who asks about her stories, the two become friends. Soon that friendship deepens into something magical. One night Sunday kisses her frog goodbye and leaves, not realizing that her love has transformed him back into Rumbold, the crown prince of Arilland—and a man Sunday’s family despises.

The prince returns to his castle, intent on making Sunday fall in love with him as the man he is, not the frog he was. But Sunday is not so easy to woo. How can she feel such a strange, strong attraction for this prince she barely knows? And what twisted secrets lie hidden in his past – and hers?

44) The Last Princess – Galaxy Craze

A series of natural disasters has decimated the earth. Cut off from the rest of the world, England is a dark place. The sun rarely shines, food is scarce, and groups of criminals roam the woods, searching for prey. The people are growing restless.

When a ruthless revolutionary sets out to overthrow the crown, he makes the royal family his first target. Blood is shed in Buckingham Palace, and only sixteen-year-old Princess Eliza manages to escape.

Determined to kill the man who destroyed her family, Eliza joins the enemy forces in disguise. She has nothing left to live for but revenge, until she meets someone who helps her remember how to hope—and to love—once more. Now she must risk everything to ensure that she not become… The Last Princess.

45) When You Were Mine – Rebecca Serle

In this intensely romantic, modern recounting of the greatest love story ever told, Romeo’s original intended—Juliet’s cousin Rosaline—tells her side of the tale. What’s in a name, Shakespeare? I’ll tell you: Everything. Rosaline knows that she and Rob are destined to be together. Rose has been waiting for years for Rob to kiss her—and when he finally does, it’s perfect. But then Juliet moves back to town. Juliet, who used to be Rose’s best friend. Juliet, who now inexplicably hates her. Juliet, who is gorgeous, vindictive, and a little bit crazy…and who has set her sights on Rob. He doesn’t even stand a chance. Rose is devastated over losing Rob to Juliet. This is not how the story was supposed to go. And when rumors start swirling about Juliet’s instability, her neediness, and her threats of suicide, Rose starts to fear not only for Rob’s heart, but also for his life. Because Shakespeare may have gotten the story wrong, but we all still know how it ends…

46) While He Was Away – Karen Schreck

“This is just something I have to do, okay?” I hear David say. “The right thing.”

He cradles my face in his hands. He kisses me hard. Then he lets go of me. His eyes dart from me to whatever’s next.

All she wants is for him to stay. She’s been doing pretty well, pretending he doesn’t have to go. But one day, after one last night to remember, she wakes up and there’s no denying it anymore. He’s gone.

When Penna Weaver’s boyfriend goes off to Iraq, she’s left facing life without him. As summer sets in, Penna tries to distract herself with work and her art, but the not knowing is slowly driving her crazy. Especially when David stops writing.

She knows in her heart he will come home. But will he be the same boy she fell in love with?

47) Waiting – Carol Lynch Williams

Growing up in Africa and Latin America as the children of missionaries, London and Zach were as close as could be. And then Zach dies, and the family is gutted. London’s father is distant. Her mother won’t speak. The days are filled with what-ifs and whispers: Did Zach take his own life? Was it London’s fault?

Alone and adrift, London finds herself torn between her brother’s best friend and the handsome new boy in town as she struggles to find herself—and ultimately redemption—in this authentic and affecting novel from award-winning novelist Carol Lynch Williams.

48) Revived – Cat Patrick

As a little girl, Daisy Appleby was killed in a school bus crash. Moments after the accident, she was brought back to life.

A secret government agency has developed a drug called Revive that can bring people back from the dead, and Daisy Appleby, a test subject, has been Revived five times in fifteen years. Daisy takes extraordinary risks, knowing that she can beat death, but each new death also means a new name, a new city, and a new life. When she meets Matt McKean, Daisy begins to question the moral implications of Revive, and as she discovers the agency’s true goals, she realizes she’s at the center of something much larger—and more sinister—than she ever imagined.

49) The Summer My Life Began – Shannon Greenland

Elizabeth Margaret—better known as Em—has always known what life would contain: an internship at her father’s firm, a degree from Harvard and a career as a lawyer. The only problem is that it’s not what she wants. When she gets the opportunity to get away from it all and spend a month with the aunt she never knew, she jumps at the chance. While there, Em pursues her secret dream of being a chef, and she also learns that her family has kept some significant secrets from her, too. And then there’s Cade, the laid-back local surfer boy who seems to be everything Em isn’t. Naturally, she can’t resist him, and as their romance blossoms, Em feels she is living on her own terms for the first time.

50) Kiss the Morning Star – Elissa Janine Hoole

The summer after high-school graduation, a year after her mother’s tragic death, Anna has no plans – beyond her need to put a lot of miles between herself and the past. With forever friend Kat, a battered copy of Kerouac’s DHARMA BUMS, and a car with a dodgy oil filter, the girls set out on an epic road trip across the USA. Maybe somewhere along the way they’ll prove or disprove the existence of God. Maybe they’ll even get laid . . .

It’s a journey both outward and inward. Through the Badlands and encounters with predatory men and buffalo. A crazy bus ride to Mexico with a bunch of hymn-singing missionaries. Facing death, naked in the forest with an enraged grizzly bear . . . Gradually, Anna realizes that this is a voyage of discovery into her own self, her own silent pain – and into the tangled history that she and Kat share. What is love? What is sexual identity? And how do you find a way forward into a new future – a way to declare openly and without fear all that lies within you?

51) Shine – Jeri Smith-Ready

Life can change in an instant, and no one understands that better than Aura. It’s been almost a year since her boyfriend tragically died. She’s finally letting go of Logan’s violet-hued ghost, but not her search to uncover the truth about her past.

As the first in a generation that can see ghosts, Aura is convinced she has a connection to the Shift. She’s trusted Zachary, ever patient and ever by her side, with all that she knows. But when the government threatens his life in an attempt to learn Aura’s secrets, she will stop at nothing to protect herself and the one she loves…even if that means betraying her own heart.

52) Darkness Before Dawn – J A London

Humans huddle in their walled cities, supplying blood in exchange for safety. But not even that is guaranteed. Dawn has lost her entire family and now reluctantly serves as the delegate to Lord Valentine, the most powerful vampire for miles. It isn’t until she meets Victor, Valentine’s son, that she realizes not all vampires are monsters….

That’s all, folks! Anything we missed? Anything catching your eye?

Our final 2012 Cover!

You’ve now seen four out of the five covers for the books we are releasing in 2012.

As a special treat, we’re thrilled to showcase the fifth. This is for Katya’s World by Jonathan L Howard and we would LOVE to hear your thoughts!

Artwork by Lee Gibbons

What does this cover say to you?

Where does a Writer Write?

A guest post by Laura Lam.

I try to write every day, even if it’s just a few hundred words.

That doesn’t always happen—sometimes life gets in the way or I’m too burned out, but even so, I think about things for a bit before I fall asleep.

I always ambitiously set my alarm for 6 in the morning, but a lot of the time I ignore it and fall back to sleep. When I do manage to haul myself out of bed and blearily make myself a strong cup of coffee, I can usually bust out 800 words or so before going into work.

Most of my writing is done in cafés, which is proving to be a horribly expensive habit. But I find it easier to get into the mentality of “I am here to work.” It’s also a nice change of scenery, and I go with my husband, who also writes. It might be strange dates to sit across a table and tap away on our keyboards, but hey, it works.

I’ve several favourite haunts about my city. There’s a Starbucks 5 minutes’ walk from my work, which is where I go most often. Sometimes we’ll mix it up and go to the other Starbucks, or the café where our friend works. On Saturday, I go to the little independent café around the corner from my house, which I love. I don’t even have to go up to the counter and order tea anymore—they know me well enough to just bring it to me. They know I’ve written a good chunk of my first book there, and they always ask how writing is going. It’s a cozy café, and I have a preferred table right in front of the window, so when I’m stuck I can people watch.

Plus, their milk dispensers for tea are little cows. How cute!

Photo courtesy of the Clover Café Facebook Page

On a good day, I wake up at 6, write 800 words before work, and go to the café after work from 5 to 6.30 and write another 800 words. On a Saturday at the café, a good day is 2000 words. I’ve never written more than 2,500 words on the same novel in a day. I’m always in awe of people who can write 4,000 or more words in a day, but I can’t do it.

I don’t like working in a vacuum. I’ve stolen character descriptions from people who happened to be sitting in the café that day, which sounds a bit creepy. Sometimes I’ll overhear snippets of conversation and watch people’s body language as they speak to each other. Writing is about people, and I find it comforting to be surrounded by them as I work.

That’s it from our Laura! Writers, where do you write? Are you cafe writers as well?