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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Cover Reveal: The Summer After You and Me by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski

I am absolutely thrilled to help reveal the cover for Jennifer Salvato Doktorski's upcoming novel, The Summer After You and Me. You might remember Doktorski's first two novels, How My Summer Went Up in Flames and Famous Last Words, and this newest novel promises to be just as fantastic. Check out the description below and then scroll down to see the gorgeous cover!
Sunbathing, surfing, eating funnel cake on the boardwalk—Lucy loves living on the Jersey Shore. For her, it's not just the perfect summer escape, it is home. And as a local girl, she knows not to get attached to the tourists. They breeze in over Memorial Day weekend, crowding the shore and stealing moonlit kisses, only to pack up their beach umbrellas and empty promises on Labor Day. Lucy wants more from love than a fleeting romance, even if that means keeping her distance from her summertime neighbor and crush, Connor.

Then Superstorm Sandy tears apart her barrier island, briefly bringing together a local girl like herself and a vacationer like Connor. Except nothing is the same in the wake of the storm. And day after day, week after week, Lucy is left to pick up the pieces of her broken heart and broken home. Now with Memorial Day approaching and Connor returning, will it be a summer of fresh starts or second chances?
 Coming Spring 2015 from Sourcebooks Fire.














What do you think? Does this one make your TBR list? Add it to Goodreads here!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Cover Reveals (That Make Me Swoon) Part V

My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga (Redesign!)
A stunning novel about the transformative power of love, perfect for fans of Jay Asher and Laurie Halse Anderson.

Sixteen-year-old physics nerd Aysel is obsessed with plotting her own death. With a mother who can barely look at her without wincing, classmates who whisper behind her back, and a father whose violent crime rocked her small town, Aysel is ready to turn her potential energy into nothingness.

There's only one problem: she's not sure she has the courage to do it alone. But once she discovers a website with a section called Suicide Partners, Aysel's convinced she's found her solution--Roman, a teenage boy who's haunted by a family tragedy, is looking for a partner. Even though Aysel and Roman have nothing in common, they slowly start to fill in each other's broken lives. But as their suicide pact becomes more concrete, Aysel begins to question whether she really wants to go through with it. Ultimately, she must choose between wanting to die or trying to convince Roman to live so they can discover the potential of their energy together.

The Last Leaves Falling by Sarah Benwell
And these are they. My final moments. They say a warrior must always be mindful of death, but I never imagined that it would find me like this . . .

Japanese teenager, Sora, is diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease). Lonely and isolated, Sora turns to the ancient wisdom of the samurai for guidance and comfort. But he also finds hope in the present; through the internet he finds friends that see him, not just his illness. This is a story of friendship and acceptance, and testing strength in an uncertain future.

 Between the Notes by Sharon Huss Roat
 When Ivy Emerson’s family loses their house—complete with her beloved piano—the fear of what’s to come seizes her like a bad case of stage fright. Only this isn’t one of her single, terrifying performances. It’s her life.

And it isn’t pretty.

Ivy is forced to move with her family out of their affluent neighborhood to Lakeside, also known as “the wrong side of the tracks.” Hiding the truth from her friends—and the cute new guy in school, who may have secrets of his own—seems like a good idea at first. But when a bad boy next door threatens to ruin everything, Ivy’s carefully crafted lies begin to unravel . . . and there is no way to stop them.

As things get to the breaking point, Ivy turns to her music, some unlikely new friends, and the trusting heart of her disabled little brother. She may be surprised that not everyone is who she thought they were . . . including herself.

Debut author Sharon Huss Roat crafts a charming and timely story of what happens when life as you know it flips completely upside down.

The Sound of Life and Everything by Krista Van Dolzer

Twelve-year-old Ella Mae Higbee is a sensible girl. She eats her vegetables and wants to be just like Sergeant Friday, her favorite character on Dragnet. So when her auntie Mildred starts spouting nonsense about a scientist who can bring her cousin back to life from blood on his dog tags, Ella Mae is skeptical—until he steps out of a bio-pod right before her eyes.

But the boy is not her cousin—he’s Japanese. And in California in the wake of World War II, the Japanese are still feared and despised. When her aunt refuses to take responsibility, Ella Mae and her Mama take him home instead. Determined to do what’s right by her new friend, Ella Mae teaches Takuma English and defends him from the reverend’s talk of H-E-double-toothpicks. But when his memories start to resurface, Ella Mae learns some shocking truths about her own family and more importantly, what it means to love.

A Sense of the Infinite by Hilary T. Smith
It’s senior year of high school, and Annabeth is ready—ready for everything she and her best friend, Noe, have been planning and dreaming. But there are some things Annabeth isn’t prepared for, like the constant presence of Noe’s new boyfriend. Like how her relationship with her mom is wearing and fraying. And like the way the secret she’s been keeping hidden deep inside her for years has started clawing at her insides, making it harder to eat or even breathe.

But most especially, she isn’t prepared to lose Noe.

For years, Noe has anchored Annabeth and set their joint path. Now Noe is drifting in another direction, making new plans and dreams that don’t involve Annabeth. Without Noe’s constant companionship, Annabeth’s world begins to crumble. But as a chain of events pulls Annabeth further and further away from Noe, she finds herself closer and closer to discovering who she’s really meant to be—with her best friend or without.

Made You Up by Francesca Zappia
 About the ultimate unreliable narrator, a schizophrenic teenage girl unable to tell the difference between reality and delusion who discovers -- thanks to her Magic 8-Ball, her little sister, and a boy she thought was imaginary -- that sometimes there really is someone out to get you.

All We Have Is Now by Lisa Schroeder
What do you do with your last day on earth?

Just over twenty-four hours are left until a meteor strikes North America, and for Emerson and everyone else who didn't leave, the world will end. But Emerson's world already ended when she ran away from home. Since then, she has lived on the streets, relying on her wits and on her friend Vince to help her find places to sleep and food to eat.

The city's quieter now that most people are gone, and no one seems to know what to do as the end approaches. But then Emerson and Vince meet Carl, who tells them he has been granting people's wishes -- and gives them his wallet full of money.

Suddenly, this last day seems full of possibility. Emerson and Vince can grant a lot of wishes in one last day -- maybe even their own.

Which new covers are your favorite? Any that you dislike? Let me know in the comments!

Preorder Giveaway: Forbidden by Kimberley Griffiths Little

On November 4th, HarperCollins unveils Forbidden, a seductive YA debut from award-winning middle grade author Kimberley Griffiths Little. Forbidden transports readers back in time to the deadly deserts and sweltering heat of Ancient Mesopotamia for a tale of danger, duty, and forbidden love. Jayden is on the brink of womanhood and betrothed to her tribe’s prince, cold-hearted Horeb. But when tragedy strikes, Jayden meets Kadesh, a mysterious visitor from the south who makes Jayden doubt everything she knows. Torn between loyalty to her tribe and the chance to escape her fate, Jayden must make a choice that will change her life forever.
Kimberley is also offering a HUGE preorder giveaway from October 6th to November 4th (release day!) to celebrate. See below for full details on how to enter. TO ENTER:
  • You must preorder Forbidden through an online retailer or your local bookstore, then email a photo of your receipt to
  • Fill out the rafflecopter below
  • US/Canada Only
  • Ends at midnight EST on November 3, 2014
  • Optional entries: share the trailer on your own site or social media, follow Kimberley on twitter, and tweet about the giveaway (can be repeated daily for extra entries!)
  • Winners will be announced and contacted November 4th (release day!)
  • If the winner does not respond with their mailing address within one week, a new winner will be chosen.
(1) GRAND PRIZE WINNER: 1. NEWLY RELEASED Kindle Fire HD6 Tablet with 6" HD Display, Wi-Fi, Front and Rear Cameras, 8 GB -- choose your color! (Black, Magenta, White, Citron, or Cobalt) 2. GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS by Rae Carson 3. CHAOS OF STARS by Kiersten White 4. Satin Belly Dance Skirt 5. Belly Dance 150-Coin Hip Scarf 6. Red Silk Veil (not pictured) 7. Red Middle Eastern Earrings 8. Belly dance DVD: Sensual Belly Dance with Blanca, a professional dancer (technique, choreography, and performances) 9. "Will YOU risk it all?" button (not pictured) 10. Set of 10 Book Club Cards 11. Jeweled bookmark (not pictured)
2. Red Middle Eastern Earrings
3. Red Silk Veil (not pictured)
4. Belly dance DVD: Sensual Belly Dance with Blanca, a professional dancer (technique, choreography, and performances)
5. "Will YOU risk it all?" button (not pictured)
6. Set of 10 Book Club Cards
7. Jeweled bookmark (not pictured)
1. Red Middle Eastern Earrings
2. "Will YOU risk it all?" button (not pictured)
3. Set of 10 Book Club Cards
4. Jeweled bookmark (not pictured)

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
About Forbidden: In the unforgiving Mesopotamian desert where Jayden’s tribe lives, betrothal celebrations abound, and tonight it is Jayden’s turn to be honored. But while this union with Horeb, the son of her tribe’s leader, will bring a life of riches and restore her family’s position within the tribe, it will come at the price of Jayden’s heart.
Then a shadowy boy from the Southern Lands appears. Handsome and mysterious, Kadesh fills Jayden’s heart with a passion she never knew possible. But with Horeb’s increasingly violent threats haunting Jayden’s every move, she knows she must find a way to escape—or die trying.
With a forbidden romance blossoming in her heart and her family’s survival on the line, Jayden must embark on a deadly journey to save the ones she loves—and find a true love for herself.
Set against the brilliant backdrop of the sprawling desert, the story of Jayden and Kadesh will leave readers absolutely breathless as they defy the odds and risk it all to be together.

Follow Kimberley:
About Kimberley: Award-winning author Kimberley Griffiths Little was born in San Francisco, but now lives in New Mexico on the banks of the Rio Grande with her husband and their three sons. Her middle-grade novels, When the Butterflies Came, The Last Snake Runner, The Healing Spell, and Circle of Secrets, have been praised as “fast-paced and dramatic,” with “beautifully realized settings.” Kimberley adores anything old and musty with a secret story to tell. She’s stayed in the haunted tower room at Borthwick Castle in Scotland; sailed the Seine in Paris; ridden a camel in Petra, Jordan; shopped the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul; and spent the night in an old Communist hotel in Bulgaria. You can visit her online at

Share your thoughts on the trailer in the comments!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Trailer: The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry (1)

This week's featured trailer is for Julie Berry's recent MG novel, The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place. You might recognize Berry's name - last year her YA novel, All the Truth That's In Me got quite a bit of buzz. Both of these novels were Kids' Indie Next List picks, which, as regular Hiding Spot readers probably know, guarantees a book lands on my radar. I've been looking forward to Scandalous Sisterhood since I initially heard about it months ago, but it just keeps getting pushed down in my TBR pile... But no more, I say! Not after this book trailer which has reminded me of all the reasons I wanted to read it to begin with. Boarding school! Murder! Secrets! Mistaken identities! Other things I love! I'm very much looking forward to diving into this one.

Be sure to check out this post on the Macmillan blog too, which discusses the making of the trailer.

More about the book... 

There's a murderer on the loose—but that doesn't stop the girls of St. Etheldreda's from attempting to hide the death of their headmistress in this rollicking farce.

The students of St. Etheldreda's School for Girls face a bothersome dilemma. Their irascible headmistress, Mrs. Plackett, and her surly brother, Mr. Godding, have been most inconveniently poisoned at Sunday dinner. Now the school will almost certainly be closed and the girls sent home—unless these seven very proper young ladies can hide the murders and convince their neighbors that nothing is wrong.

The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place is a smart, hilarious Victorian romp, full of outrageous plot twists, mistaken identities, and mysterious happenings.

Have you read this book yet? Or any of Berry's other books? Have thoughts on the trailer?
Let me know! Share your thoughts in the comments!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Cover Reveals (That Made Me Swoon) Part IV

Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley

Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge

 Illusionarium by Heather Dixon

Things We Know By Heart by Jessi Kirby

To Hold the Bridge by Garth Nix

Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke by Anne Blankman

Proof of Forever by Lexa Hillyer

There have been so many great cover reveals lately. This particular edition of Cover Reveals showcases the new Harper covers released (so far) this week, but the next edition will have a mix of publishers. 

Which new covers are your favorites? Any that you dislike? Let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Interview & Giveaway with M.A. Larsen, author of Pennyroyal Academy

Today I welcome writer M.A. Larson to The Hiding Spot to talk a bit about his new middle grade novel, Pennyroyal Academy, his various jobs (including writing for a cartoons you know and love!), his unique writing process, and more.


I love that, in Pennyroyal Academy, it’s princesses that are the kingdom’s lead defense against witches and dragons. As a bookseller who often has young girls asking for books about strong princesses, I find this premise very exciting. Can you speak about your decision to make princesses the rescuers and the princes backup?

It’s a long, eight-year story of how that decision came to be, so I’ll try to give you the short answer.  When I first came up with this idea, it was for an animated series called Princess Boot Camp.  We developed the show for a while, but nothing came of it, so I decided to turn it into a book.  At that time, I was just sort of researching princess culture and trying to think of ideas of where to take the story.  I read a book called The Uses of Enchantment by Bruno Bettelheim, which looks at how the Grimm’s Fairy Tales work in the adolescent mind from a psychological and developmental perspective.  Seeing those old familiar stories analyzed in this way made me realize that their darker elements were not only interesting, they were essential.  I began to reframe my story for an older audience and to strip away the parody elements.  I knew I wanted to attack the stereotype of the helpless princess trapped in a tower waiting for a prince, and I still had the spine of a military-style training academy for princesses left from the original idea, so naturally those princesses would need an enemy, and that enemy would have to be dark and frightening.  Witcheswere the natural choice.  Then it was just a process of refining this princess/witch conflict until I hit upon the angle that only a princess has the attributes necessary to defeat a witch.  They are the last line of defense for the innocent people in this Grimm’s Fairy Tale world.  It felt a bit like a Western in that sense, and it made the princess into quite a heroic figure.

Tell me a little bit about your writing process: Do you outline? Start at the beginning? The middle?The end?

I’m sort of all over the shop on this one.  When I’m writing a film or television script, the structure is so important that I wouldn’t know how to do it without heavily outlining.  You have two hours for a movie, which is roughly 120 pages, or you have twenty-two minutes for TV with commercials.  You have to fit your story into that mold, so structure is everything.  And yet, I know many screenwriters who just start writing and see what happens.  My outline for Pennyroyal Academy was complex and massive, around thirty pages single-spaced.  It was color coded for characters, objects, themes, and plotlines so I could track them chapter by chapter.  I couldn’t really tell you why, but I’m in the middle of the sequel now and I am doing it in an entirely different way.  I know where I want to characters to end up, and I’m starting each writing day saying, “Okay, what needs to happen in this chapter?”  It’s pretty uncomfortable for me as a staunch outliner, but fun little subplots keep forming that I wasn’t really expecting.  So I’m kind of enjoying flying blind a little bit.  As for where do I start, I always try to think of the big, “what does this mean for the world?” ending, and then the story becomes following the characters’ journey from the beginning to that end point.

What jobs did you have on your way to becoming a published author? Is there a certain work experience that has shaped your writing or provided inspiration?

So many jobs!  I’ve been working since I was fifteen.  My first job was at an amusement park in Minnesota, then Circuit City and AMC Theaters and Honeybaked Ham and even Victoria’s Secret (I applied for jobs in every store in the mall near my college and they were the first to call me back).  Then I bartended for awhile, and finally got a job as an assistant to a legendary film director called Mike Nichols.  I worked with him for years and got to be involved with Angels in America for HBO, “Spamalot!” and other plays on Broadway, and CLOSER for Columbia Pictures.  It was an amazing experience, and I’ll never forget hearing piano and singing coming from Mike’s office during the writing of “Spamalot!” followed by roaring laughter as he and Eric Idle and John du Prez devised the lyrics.  And that job allowed me to meet so many incredible writers, like Tom Stoppard and Patrick Marber and Emma Thompson and Tony Kushner and Buck Henry, that it only made me want to be a professional writer that much more.  After I moved to Los Angeles, I was fortunate to get a job writing for an animated children’s show at Cartoon Network, and I never looked back.  That’s why Pennyroyal Academy was originally going to be an animated series.  Writing for animation, you are required to generate so many scripts and so many ideas and take so many notes from so many executives that you quickly learn to not be too precious with your work.  I also learned that rejection is just a thing that happens – a lot – and you have to be prepared to move on to the next idea without letting it depress you.

If you had to pick a favorite word, what would it be and why?

This is probably a bit of a cheat answer, but I really like “inconceivable.” The Princess Bride is one of my all-time favorite stories, and I can’t hear that word without thinking of Vizzini, and then I automatically smile.  And if hearing a word can automatically make you smile, how can it not be a favorite?

My blog is dedicated to my personal hiding spot, books. Who, what, or where can be credited as your personal escape from reality?

You took the best answer!  But after books, it’s got to be the movies.  There’s nothing quite like that strange feeling of disorientation when you come out of a movie theater after being completely lost in something for two hours.  A good, rich, immersive film, like There Will Be Blood or Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,is my favorite place to hide out.

What can readers look forward to next?

I’m in the midst of writing the follow-up to Pennyroyal Academy right now.  I also story-edited and wrote part of the next season of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, which should air early next year.  And beyond that I have a whole slew of ideas for more books of all ages.

 M.A. Larson ( is a film and television writer who lives with his wife, daughter, and two dogs in a canyon in California.  Larson has written for Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, Disney XD, Disney UK, Discovery Kids Channel, The Hub, and Nickelodeon. As a writer on the cult sensation “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic”, he has been a guest at “brony” fan conventions from Paris, France to Dallas, Texas. Pennyroyal Academy is his first novel.

Pennyroyal Academy: Seeking bold, courageous youths to become

tomorrow'sprincesses and knights….Come one, come all!

Enlist today at!" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour Schedule:

October 15, 2014: The Hiding Spot

October 17, 2014: The Book Cellar

October 20, 2014: Alice Marvels

October 23, 2014: Icey Books

October 27, 2014: Novel Novice

October 29, 2014: Literary Rambles

Nov. 4, 2014: Nerdy Book Club

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Recent Cover Reveals (That Made Me Swoon) Part III

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes

The Alex Crow by Andrew Smith

 Of Dreams and Rust by Sarah Fine

What Remains by Helene Dunbar

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler

Deception (Illusive #2) by Emily Lloyd-Jones

Which new covers are your favorites? Any that you dislike? Let me know in the comments!