SISTERS’ FATE Release Day Celebration!

One of the greatest things about collaborating in a group blog is being able to celebrate the release of our members’ books!  Jessica Spotswood’s final installment in her Cahill Witch Chronicles trilogy, SISTERS’ FATE, will be on shelves tomorrow and we’ve been dying to ask her some questions about it, but first…

sisters-fate-225SISTERS’ FATE

A fever ravages New London, but with the Brotherhood sending suspected witches straight to the gallows, the Sisters are powerless against the disease. They can’t help without revealing their powers—as Cate learns when a potent display of magic turns her into the most wanted witch in all of New England.

To make matters worse, Cate has been erased from the memory of her beloved Finn. While she’s torn between protecting him from further attacks and encouraging him to fall for her all over again, she’s certain she can never forgive Maura’s betrayal. And now that Tess’s visions have taken a deadly turn, the prophecy that one Cahill sister will murder another looms ever closer to its fulfillment.

From J. Anderson Coats:  The complicated relationships and interactions between the three Cahill sisters are especially well-drawn. Do you have sisters of your own to draw on for inspiration and/or horror stories? What tips do you have for capturing this dynamic?

Thank you, Jillian! Like Cate, I’m actually the oldest of three sisters. Growing up, my middle sister and I argued a lot and tended to define ourselves in opposition to one another, whereas my little sister is eight years younger than me,  so there wasn’t much sibling rivalry there. I definitely drew on my relationships with them to portray Cate and Maura and Tess. As for how to write siblings, I wrote a whole post about it for WriteOnCon last summer. But here are some questions I’d ask yourself: Where does your protagonist fall in the birth order? How do your siblings see the world differently? What are some secrets they share (or don’t share)? What are some memories they share (and how might they see them differently)? Who is the favorite – or the perceived favorite? Is there something about her sibling that your protagonist envies? If they aren’t close now, were they ever – and what happened to change things? What role might your siblings still be playing, even if they’ve outgrown them?

From Susan Hill Long:  You’ve spent so much time with the Cahill sisters, and seen them through the arcs of three books. What are your feelings about saying goodbye to these characters?

It’s bittersweet! Last year at this time – when I was finishing up edits – I felt eager to explore new characters. Now, I rather miss the Cahill sisters. After three books, I know Cate’s voice and her world so well. I know how she’d react to various situations, what she’d say, how she’d say it. There’s something lovely in that familiarity. I’ve definitely considered writing a short story set in the Cahill Witch world, featuring another main character, to celebrate the paperback release next summer, if I have time – or at least writing a little snippet for my newsletter subscribers, if I ever manage to get my newsletter up and running! But overall, I’m really proud of the trilogy, and I hope readers will be satisfied with how things end for Cate and her sisters and Finn.

From Sharon Biggs Waller:  Writing a trilogy is a massive undertaking. I know what it’s like to live with particular characters for one book so I can imagine you’ve grown quite attached to them. How did you say goodbye to them?

I’m not sure I have entirely said goodbye to them, to be honest! I still think about writing shorter pieces set in their world, and even though I’ve gotten a finished copy of SISTERS’ FATE, it doesn’t feel entirely real yet! Maybe once it’s out in the world on Thursday and I start hearing from more readers? But I’m looking forward to celebrating the whole trilogy at a launch party next Saturday at my fabulous local indie, One More Page Books, with wine and cupcakes and friends!

From Jenn McGowan:  As you complete your final book, what has surprised you most about the trilogy? Was there a subplot or character that became more important than you expected, or did some other unplanned-for development take your story in a new direction?

Oh, so many things surprised me! I’m not much of a plotter, and I ended up entirely rewriting STAR CURSED; only the ending stayed basically the same. But overall…hmm. One of the things that surprised me most was how important Rory and Sachi became. In BORN WICKED, my editor wanted me to make them mean girls, perhaps rivals for Finn or Paul. But it was really important to me that Cate have strong female friendships. However, I had no idea that they’d end up following her to New London in STAR CURSED and that Sachi’s arrest would create such a high stakes situation for Cate and Harwood Asylum, or that things would get very dangerous for them again in a pivotal scene in SISTERS’ FATE. And I was pleasantly surprised by how much fun it was to write newspaperman Alistair Merriweather – my favorite new character in SISTERS’ FATE. He sort of leapt off the page! I’d love to write a short story about him and Rilla someday; I adore their banter. They kept trying to take over every scene they were in!

From Cat Winters:  What advice do you have for authors who are just now sitting down to write a trilogy for the first time?

Make sure you really love these characters, because you’ll be spending years writing about them! And don’t worry if you know how you want the trilogy to end, but aren’t exactly sure how you’ll get there. That was absolutely the case with me, and I figured it out along the way, with the help of a fantastic editor, some great critique partners, and a lot of wine. (Just kidding about the wine.) (Or am I?)

From Laura Golden:  What was your favorite scene to write within the entire trilogy? Your least favorite? Why?

My favorite scene in the entire trilogy is probably the first kiss between Cate and Finn, with magic and feathers. You can see a version of it in the BORN WICKED book trailer here. It was one of the first scenes I wrote. But there’s also a scene in SISTERS’ FATE – I can’t say much without spoilers, but it’s in Chapter 20 and someone dies, and as I wrote it in the coffee shop, I cried. I’d known for years that death was coming, and still I cried! It’s so sad and I’m very proud of it. I’m also very proud of the last scene of STAR CURSED, because it’s made lots of readers cry and I love that – not because I’m evil, I swear, but because it means they’re invested in the characters! As for my least favorite – gah, all the Inez scenes were difficult to write. It was important to me that she not become a cardboard villain, so I kept trying to add in all this backstory for her, and my editor kept cutting it. I hope we ended up with a good balance!

From Katherine Longshore:  As you and Cate Cahill both head into new unknowns, what advice would you have for her going forward?  What advice do you think she might have for you?

I would tell Cate to be patient. This is highly ironic advice coming from me, because I am hideously impatient myself. But I happen to know that good things are ahead for her, even if they won’t happen at the speed she’d like, either romance or social revolution! As for what advice she’d give me…she’d probably tell me I ought to keep in better touch with my sisters and email them more often. I’m going to visit one of them this weekend, Cate! (I think she’d approve.)

author photo JSBonus question: What’s next?

I’m super-excited to be editing an anthology, PETTICOATS & PISTOLS, which contains 15 short stories about strong, smart, resourceful American girls throughout history. It’s all YA historical fiction and historical fantasy. I’ll be writing one of the stories, and the other contributors include fellow Corsets & Cutlasses members Katherine Longshore and J. Anderson Coats, as well as Elizabeth Wein, Robin LaFevers, Andrea Cremer, Beth Revis, Marie Lu, Marissa Meyer, Robin Talley, Caroline Richmond, Lindsay Smith, Kekla Magoon, and Y.S. Lee. It will be out in winter 2016 from Candlewick. After that – well, I’m working on several proposals, so we’ll see what happens!

 

 

Congratulations, Jess!

 

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EVERY DAY AFTER Paperback Release Celebration!

It’s here at last! EVERY DAY AFTER will officially release in paperback tomorrow. I can’t believe it has been an entire year since the hardcover debuted. It has been one heck of a journey. I’ve learned tons, met phenomenal people, and feel far more relaxed about my second book’s release (scheduled for sometime in 2015) than I did about EDA’s release. I’m grateful. That is all there is to say. So…for my official paperback release post, I’m going to give a wink to the relaxed me, let the serious go, and have a bit of fun.

I was born in 1980, and I admit to being partial to the 80’s. I love teased bangs, leg warmers, and acid-washed jeans. Oversized sweatshirts paired with tight leggings and chunky accessories. Films by John Hughes, music by New Kids on the Block, and books recommended by LeVar Burton on Reading Rainbow. Though I’d rather not dwell on it, the decade is now considered historical, so I suppose that makes an 80’s-themed post relevant to this blog. Oh, my.

So let’s dive right in and have a flashback to the 1980’s! Do you remember…

the original Nintendo?

the original Nintendo?

 

blowing into the cartridges to help them work properly?

blowing into the cartridges to get them to work properly?

 

Trapper Keepers? How about the Lisa Frank variety?

Trapper Keepers? How about the Lisa Frank variety?

 

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Care Bears? I loved Cheer Bear and Friend Bear. Who was your favorite?

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dot matrix printers and paper?

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The Charmings tv show? No one ever remembers this, but I loved it!

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Alphie educational robot? I still remember changing his front cards and the sounds he made when he was “processing” my responses.

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Pound Puppies?

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any of these cassette tapes?

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the Get-Along Gang? I kept three Get-Along Gang books that are currently sitting on my sons’ bookshelf. I kid you not.

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Teddy Ruxpin? I even had a Teddy Ruxpin VHS tape that came with a chocolate chip cookie recipe. Hey, what’s not to love about that?

Atari? I remember playing Pac-Man and Pole Position. What about you?


Thundercats? Epic.

Thundercats? Epic.

 

He-Man Master of the Universe and She-Ra Princess of Power? Also epic.

He-Man Master of the Universe and She-Ra Princess of Power? Also epic.

 

I have oodles of memories I’d love to post, but I’ll stop here. I was young during the 80’s, and if you were born before 1980, I’m sure you remember completely different things. What are they? I want to know! Let’s reminisce together. 

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Laura Golden is the author of EVERY DAY AFTER, a middle grade novel about a young girl learning to let go and find her own way amidst the trials of the Great Depression and STANDING TALL ON MULBERRY HILL, another middle grade about Klan uprisings and true friendship beyond color lines in 1949 Birmingham, AL. Find out more about Laura and her books by visiting her website or chatting with her on Twitter.

 

 

 

 

GILT in Paperback!

It’s an exciting day indeed! We are celebrating yesterday’s paperback release of Katherine Longshore’s GILT!  We members of Corsets, Cutlasses, & Candlesticks have taken the opportunity to ask some burning questions. Before we get into the Q&A, here’s a bit about GILT:

 

Gilt_Feb

In the court of King Henry VIII, nothing is free–
and love comes at the highest price of all.

When Kitty Tylney’s best friend, Catherine Howard, worms her way into King Henry VIII’s heart and brings Kitty to court, she’s thrust into a world filled with fabulous gowns, sparkling jewels, and elegant parties. No longer stuck in Cat’s shadow, Kitty’s now caught between two men–the object of her affection and the object of her desire. But court is also full of secrets, lies, and sordid affairs, and as Kitty witnesses Cat’s meteoric rise and fall as queen, she must figure out how to keep being a good friend when the price of telling the truth could literally be her head.

 

 Now let the Q&A begin!

Jenn McGowan: What were the biggest differences between writing book 1 and writing book 2? And what are you working on next?

Katy: Writing Book 1, I didn’t know what I was doing, but it didn’t matter because I didn’t really realize it.  With Book 2, I knew I didn’t know what I was doing and it terrified me.  But it was also so much fun to write in a completely different voice.  Kitty, in GILT, is a bit complacent, an observer, introspective.  Anne, in TARNISH, is brash and blunt and would never have tolerated any of Cat Howard’s manipulations.

I’m currently working on a third book set in Henry VIII’s court—one that bridges the gap between GILT and TARNISH.  It features entirely new characters, but people from both of the other books play important roles.

 

J. Anderson Coats: Which of your characters do you most want to slap and/or take to task?

Katy: I’ve got two replies to that one.  Cat Howard is the easy answer.  She’s selfish, manipulative, egotistic and has no foresight.  At some point, someone should have taken her to task, though I’m not sure she would have listened.

And I desperately wanted to slap some sense into Kitty Tylney before things fell apart.  But it was like watching a train wreck, writing her descent into misguided loyalty.  Ultimately, neither girl could change her own character.  And nothing was going to deter them from their paths—chosen or not.

 

Cat Winters: Now that the hardcover edition of GILT has been available for a year and the paperback edition is making its debut, what would you say is the most important thing you’ve learned about the publishing process?

Katy: Roll with it and learn to let go.  Pretty difficult for a borderline control freak and obsessive perfectionist.  There is so much that we—as authors—don’t have any control over.  What we can do is write the best books we have the capacity and skill for at the time. And keep writing.  As hard as it is, and as much self-doubt as I feel, I know it’s the writing that has got me through the rough spots this past year.

 

Renee Collins: What do you do to get inspired, or get in the right “mood” to write in your chosen historical era?

Katy: I read a lot of non-fiction.  I look not only for the events that I put into my books, but also for the details—tastes and smells and textures.  But I temper that with modern music—songs that give me insight into my characters or reflect the mood of a scene.  And when I sit down to write, I turn all of that off and hope the blend of the two come out on the page.

 

Laura Golden: GILT spotlights a major historical figure, Catherine Howard, the fifth wife of King Henry VIII. How much of Catherine’s GILT persona is based on fact?    

Katy: Many of Catherine Howard’s actions in GILT are based on fact.  Her escapades in the Dowager Duchess’s house, her whirlwind “courtship” with the king, and her eventual fall.  But her persona?  All imaginary.  Think of it this way, if someone were to write down everything you did today—just the facts—would they really know what kind of person you are?  I write a lot about clothes—colors, textures, fabrics—but if you were to look into my closet, you’d see a lot of black, thrift store specials and a few hand-me-downs.  I think historians make a giant leap when they assume Catherine Howard was ignorant because she couldn’t write (many Tudor women couldn’t) and made bad choices or that she was an airhead because she liked clothes and parties.  I used the exact same facts (she couldn’t write, she had lots of clothes, the king had fun and avoided politics while he was married to her) and gave her a character I thought would fit into that framework.

 

Sharon Biggs Waller: What was the most interesting thing you discovered about the Tudor period?

Katy: That it wasn’t nearly as romantic as books and movies make it appear.  It was dirty and dangerous and ugly and our delicate modern noses probably couldn’t handle the reek of it all.  Also that romantic love was still a pretty foreign concept and not something most people expected to experience in a marriage.  But I’ve been “living” in the Tudor era for quite a while and it’s difficult to remember anything exceptionally interesting or bizarre.  I’ve been here so long it all seems—dare I say—normal.

 

Jessica Spotswood: I think my favorite thing about GILT is the fierce yet ultimately toxic friendship between Cat and Kitty. I suspect a lot of modern girls can relate to it. What was the most challenging or interesting thing about writing this complex friendship?

Katy: When I first spoke to my editor on the phone about GILT, one of her questions was, “So did you have a friendship like this growing up?”  My answer—fortunately—is no.  I had (and still have) kind, supportive friends who accepted me for who I am.  My experiences with people who are manipulative, critical, passive-aggressive and who purposefully abused my faults and foibles all came later when I had the skills and experience to be able to deal with it (mostly).  So it was a challenge to make Kitty so blind to Cat’s true nature.  What fascinated me about writing Cat, however, was how easy it was to come up with petty cruelties and exploitations.  It’s one of the most wonderful things about writing fiction—being able to explore character traits, actions and faults that you hope never affect you in real life!

 

Thank you for your fascinating responses, Katherine! And endless congratulations on the paperback release of GILT!

 

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Katherine Longshore grew up on the northern California coast. At university, she created her own major in Cross-Cultural Studies and Communications, planning to travel and write. Forever. Four years, six continents, and countless pairs of shoes later, she went to England for two weeks, stayed five years, and discovered history. She now lives in California with her husband, two children, and a sun-worshiping dog.

Spring 2013 YA and MG Historical Fiction Preview

Here are the YA and middle-grade historical fiction reads hitting shelves from April through June 2013. Don’t see your favorite? Comment below to let us know and we’ll add it to the list!

keyandflameTHE KEY AND THE FLAME, by Claire Caterer
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Pub Date:  April 1, 2013

Eleven-year-old Holly Shepard wants nothing more than to seek adventure outside of her humdrum American life.

She gets her chance at last when her family travels to England and Holly receives an unusual gift: an iron key that unlocks a passage to the dangerous kingdom of Anglielle, where magic is outlawed and those who practice magic are hunted.

When her friend Everett and brother Ben are captured by Anglielle’s ruthless king, Holly must rescue them. But that means finding—and using—the magic within herself and learning which magical allies she can trust.

The Key & the Flame is the first in a brand-new fantasy adventure series for ages 8 and up.

darktriumphDARK TRIUMPH, by Robin LaFevers
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
Pub Date:  April 2, 2013

Sybella arrives at the convent’s doorstep half mad with grief and despair. Those that serve Death are only too happy to offer her refuge—but at a price. Naturally skilled in both the arts of death and seduction, the convent views Sybella as one of their most dangerous weapons.

But those assassin’s skills are little comfort when the convent returns her to a life that nearly drove her mad. Her father’s rage and brutality are terrifying, and her brother’s love is equally monstrous. And while Sybella is a weapon of justice wrought by the god of Death himself, He must give her a reason to live. When she discovers an unexpected ally imprisoned in the dungeons, will a daughter of Death find something other than vengeance to live for?

This heart-pounding sequel to Grave Mercy serves betrayal, treachery, and danger in equal measure, bringing readers back to fifteenth century Brittany and will keep them on the edge of their seats.

blackbirdIN THE SHADOW OF BLACKBIRDS, by Cat Winters
Publisher: Amulet Books
Pub Date:  April 2, 2013

In 1918, the world seems on the verge of apocalypse. Americans roam the streets in gauze masks to ward off the deadly Spanish influenza, and the government ships young men to the front lines of a brutal war, creating an atmosphere of fear and confusion.

Sixteen-year-old Mary Shelley Black watches as desperate mourners flock to séances and spirit photographers for comfort, but she herself has never believed in ghosts.

During her bleakest moment, however, she’s forced to rethink her entire way of looking at life and death, for her first love—a boy who died in battle—returns in spirit form. But what does he want from her?

Featuring haunting archival early-twentieth-century photographs, this is a tense, romantic story set in a past that is eerily like our own time.

flameTHE FLAME IN THE MIST, by Kit Grindstaff
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pub Date: April 9, 2013

Set in an imagined past, this dark fantasy-adventure is for fans of Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass. Features  Jemma, a fiery-headed heroine held captive in Agromond Castle, yet destined to save mist-shrouded Anglavia.

Fiery-headed Jemma Agromond is not who she thinks she is, and when the secrets and lies behind her life at mist-shrouded Agromond Castle begin to unravel, she finds herself in a chilling race for her life. Ghosts and misfits, a stone and crystals, a mysterious book, an ancient prophecy—all these reveal the truth about Jemma’s past and a destiny far greater and more dangerous than she could have imagined in her wildest fantasies. With her telepathic golden rats, Noodle and Pie, and her trusted friend, Digby, Jemma navigates increasingly dark forces, as helpers both seen and unseen, gather. But in the end, it is her own powers that she must bring to light, for only she has the key to defeating the evil ones and fulfilling the prophecy that will bring back the sun and restore peace in Anglavia.

chantressCHANTRESS, by Amy Butler Greenfield
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Pub Date:  May 7, 2013

Lucy’s Chantress magic will make her the most powerful—and most hunted—girl in England.

“Sing, and the darkness will find you.” This warning has haunted fifteen-year-old Lucy ever since she was eight and shipwrecked on a lonely island. Lucy’s guardian, Norrie, has lots of rules, but the most important is that Lucy must never sing. Not ever. Now it is 1667, Lucy is fifteen, and on All Hallows’ Eve, Lucy hears a tantalizing melody on the wind. She can’t help but sing—and she is swept into darkness. When she awakes in England, Lucy hears powerful men discussing Chantresses—women who can sing magic into the world. They are hunting her, but she escapes and finds sanctuary with the Invisible College, an organization plotting to overthrow the nefarious Lord Protector. The only person powerful enough to bring about his downfall is a Chantress. And Lucy is the last one in England. Lucy struggles to master the song-spells and harness her power, but the Lord Protector is moving quickly. And her feelings for Nat, an Invisible College apprentice and scientist who deeply distrusts her magic, only add to her confusion…

Time is running out, and the fate of England hangs in the balance in this entrancing novel that is atmospheric and lyrical, dangerous and romantic.

maidofsecretsMAID OF SECRETS, by Jennifer McGowan
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Pub Date:  May 7, 2013

Seventeen-year-old Meg Fellowes is a wry, resourceful thief forced to join an elite group of female spies in Queen Elizabeth’s Court. There she must solve a murder, save the Crown, and resist the one thing that will become her greatest freedom–and her deadliest peril.

For Meg and her fellow spies are not alone in their pursuit of the murderer who stalks Windsor Castle.

A young, mysterious Spanish courtier, Count Rafe de Martine, appears at every turn in the dark and scandal-filled corridors of the Queen’s summer palace.

And though secrets and danger are Meg’s stock-in-trade, she’s never bargained on falling in love…

giltGILT, by Kathering Longshore (paperback release)
Publisher: Viking
Pub Date:  May 7, 2013

In the court of King Henry VIII, nothing is free–and love comes at the highest price of all.

When Kitty Tylney’s best friend, Catherine Howard, worms her way into King Henry VIII’s heart and brings Kitty to court, she’s thrust into a world filled with fabulous gowns, sparkling jewels, and elegant parties.

No longer stuck in Cat’s shadow, Kitty’s now caught between two men–the object of her affection and the object of her desire.

But court is also full of secrets, lies, and sordid affairs, and as Kitty witnesses Cat’s meteoric rise and fall as queen, she must figure out how to keep being a good friend when the price of telling the truth could literally be her head.

BeautifulandcursedTHE BEAUTIFUL AND THE CURSED, by Page Morgan
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Pub Date: May 14

Fans of Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series and Libba Bray’s Gemma Doyle trilogy will devour The Beautiful and the Cursed, a wholly original interpretation of gargoyle lore.

It was bizarre and inexplicable, and after it happened, Ingrid Waverly was forced to leave her life in London behind. She had to trade a world full of fancy dresses and society events for exile in gothic Paris with her mother and her younger sister, Gabby. In Paris there are no grand balls or glittering parties, and disturbingly, the house rented by Ingrid’s twin brother, Grayson, isn’t a house at all. It’s an abbey. A creepy, old abbey with a roof lined in stone gargoyles that could almost be mistaken for living, breathing creatures. And to top it all off, Grayson is missing. Yet no one seems to be concerned about Grayson’s whereabouts save for Luc, a devastatingly handsome servant who has some deep and dark secrets of his own.

There’s one secret about the city that even Luc can’t keep hidden, though: there’s a murderer on the loose. And every day that Grayson is missing means there’s less chance he’s still alive. Ingrid is sure her twin isn’t dead—she can feel it deep in her soul—but she knows that he’s in grave danger, and that it’s up to her and Gabby to find him before all hope is lost. And yet the path to him is more dangerous than she could ever imagine.

everydayEVERY DAY AFTER, by Laura Golden
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pub Date:  June 11, 2013

Trouble has rained down on Lizzie Hawkins. Her daddy has deserted the family, her mama is silent with sadness, and the bank is after their house.

Daddy always said Lizzie was born to succeed, but right now she can’t even hold on to her top grades or her best friend, Ben. Bratty newcomer Erin Sawyer has weaseled both away from Lizzie, but Erin won’t be satisfied until Lizzie is out of her hair for good, packed off straight to the nearest orphanage. Still, Lizzie refuses to lose what’s left of her family. With the bank deadline fast approaching, Erin causing strife at every turn, and Mama and Ben slipping away from her, Lizzie finds comfort writing in her journal and looking at Daddy’s face in the heirloom locket he left her. She’s keeping her head high and holding onto hope that Daddy returns on her twelfth birthday. Still, she can’t help wondering: Why did Daddy have to leave? And can I save us if he doesn’t come home?

Times may be tough in Bittersweet, Alabama, but the unsinkable Lizzie Hawkins will inspire readers with her resilience and determination.

belleBELLE EPOQUE by Elizabeth Ross
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Pub Date:  June 11, 2013

When Maude Pichon runs away from provincial Brittany to Paris, her romantic dreams vanish as quickly as her savings. Desperate for work, she answers an unusual ad. The Durandeau Agency provides its clients with a unique service—the beauty foil. Hire a plain friend and become instantly more attractive.

Monsieur Durandeau has made a fortune from wealthy socialites, and when the Countess Dubern needs a companion for her headstrong daughter, Isabelle, Maude is deemed the perfect foil.

But Isabelle has no idea her new “friend” is the hired help, and Maude’s very existence among the aristocracy hinges on her keeping the truth a secret. Yet the more she learns about Isabelle, the more her loyalty is tested. And the longer her deception continues, the more she has to lose.

bornofillusionBORN OF ILLUSION by Teri Brown
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Pub Date:  June 11, 2013

Anna Van Housen is thirteen the first time she breaks her mother out of jail. By sixteen she’s street smart and savvy, assisting her mother, the renowned medium Marguerite Van Housen, in her stage show and séances, and easily navigating the underground world of magicians, mediums and mentalists in 1920’s New York City. Handcuffs and sleight of hand illusions have never been much of a challenge for Anna.

The real trick is keeping her true gifts secret from her opportunistic mother, who will stop at nothing to gain her ambition of becoming the most famous medium who ever lived. But when a strange, serious young man moves into the flat downstairs, introducing her to a secret society that studies people with gifts like hers, he threatens to reveal the secrets Anna has fought so hard to keep, forcing her to face the truth about her past. Could the stories her mother has told her really be true? Could she really be the illegitimate daughter of the greatest magician of all?

danceDANCE OF THE RED DEATH by Bethany Griffin
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Pub Date:  June 11, 2013

Bethany Griffin continues the journey of Araby Worth in Dance of the Red Death—the sequel to her teen novel Masque of the Red Death.

In Dance of the Red Death, Araby’s world is in shambles—betrayal, death, disease, and evil forces surround her. She has no one to trust. But she finds herself and discovers that she will fight for the people she loves, and for her city. Her revenge will take place at the menacing masked ball, though it could destroy her and everyone she loves…or it could turn her into a hero.

With a nod to Edgar Allan Poe, Bethany Griffin concludes her tragic and mysterious Red Death series with a heroine that young adult readers will never forget.

tarnishTARNISH by Katherine Longshore
Publisher: Viking
Pub Date:  June 18, 2013

Anne Boleyn is the odd girl out. Newly arrived to the court of King Henry VIII, everything about her seems wrong, from her clothes to her manners to her witty but sharp tongue. So when the dashing poet Thomas Wyatt offers to coach her on how to shine at court–and to convince the whole court they’re lovers–she accepts.

Before long, Anne’s popularity has soared, and even the charismatic and irresistible king takes notice. More than popularity, Anne wants a voice–but she also wants love.

What began as a game becomes high stakes as Anne finds herself forced to make an impossible choice between her heart’s desire and the chance to make history.

starcursedSTAR CURSED by Jessica Spotswood
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Pub Date:  June 18, 2013

With the Brotherhood persecuting witches like never before, a divided Sisterhood desperately needs Cate to come into her Prophesied powers. And after Cate’s friend Sachi is arrested for using magic, a war-thirsty Sister offers to help her find answers—if Cate is willing to endanger everyone she loves.

Cate doesn’t want to be a weapon, and she doesn’t want to involve her friends and Finn in the Sisterhood’s schemes. But when Maura and Tess join the Sisterhood, Maura makes it clear that she’ll do whatever it takes to lead the witches to victory. Even if it means sacrifices. Even if it means overthrowing Cate. Even if it means all-out war.

In the highly anticipated sequel to Born Wicked, the Cahill Witch Chronicles continue Cate, Maura and Tess’s quest to find love, protect family, and explore their magic against all odds in an alternate history of New England.

WrittenStoneWRITTEN IN STONE by Rosanne Parry
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Pub Date:  June 25, 2013

Rosanne Parry author of Heart of a Shepherd, shines a light on Native American tribes of the Pacific Northwest in the 1920s, a time of critical cultural upheaval.

Pearl has always dreamed of hunting whales, just like her father. Of taking to the sea in their eight-man canoe, standing at the prow with a harpoon, and waiting for a whale to lift its barnacle-speckled head as it offers its life for the life of the tribe. But now that can never be.

Pearl’s father was lost on the last hunt, and the whales hide from the great steam-powered ships carrying harpoon cannons, which harvest not one but dozens of whales from the ocean. With the whales gone, Pearl’s people, the Makah, struggle to survive as Pearl searches for ways to preserve their stories and skills.

 

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MaidofSecretsJennifer McGowan’s Maid of Secrets debuts May 7, 2013, from Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. She is currently at work on book 2 in the series, Maid of Deception.

You can visit her online at http://www.jennifermcgowan.com, on facebook, or via Twitter at @Jenn_McGowan