Friday, January 23, 2015

ANY WAY YOU SLICE IT cover reveal

I'm so psyched, because Kristine Asselin—agency sister, co-conspirator, and all-around awesome person—is having a cover reveal today for her YA debut, ANY WAY YOU SLICE IT, which comes out April 7th via Bloomsbury Spark. 
And guys, you're going to want to see this cover. Because it's awesome. 
But first, here's a little bit about the story: 
Penelope Spaulding just can't catch a break. Between long hours at the family restaurant, homework, and her parents' plans for her future, it's hard to find a spare moment to breathe. But when she laces up her skates and steps on the ice, everything slips away...

Racing around the rink allows her to blow off steam after yet another fight with her dad about going to culinary school. So when Jake Gomes, the bad boy who lives down the street, dares her to join the Rink Rats, the local misfit hockey team, she surprises herself and joins in silent defiance of her father and his expectations. 

The more she plays, the easier it is to keep lying, and soon Pen finds it impossible to come clean. She’s sneaking out to practice—and loving every minute of it. It doesn’t take long for her to fall in love with hockey…and Jake’s not half bad either. But she knows it can’t last. As soon as her dad finds out, she’ll be benched. For good. 

She’s absolutely not going to tell her parents until she’s sure it will be worth the inevitable fight. Not only is she skipping shifts at Slice Pizza while a foodie reality show is on the horizon, but her lies are starting to take their toll on her game. It’s only a matter of time before everything falls apart. 

With the team counting on her and with her relationship with Jake on the line, will she have to sacrifice the thing she wants most for the people she loves? Or can she step up and take her best shot?

You want the book in your grabby little hands right now, don't you? You'll want it even more after you see the cover: 

Add it to your to-read list on Goodreads.

Is it adorable, or is it adorable?! Totally. Adorable.
Kris is having a giveaway over on Sporty Girl Books for Dick's Sporting Goods, Amazon, and #spark books, so head over and enter! 


About the author:

Kristine Asselin lives in Massachusetts and writes Young Adult and Middle Grade fiction. In addition to ANY WAY YOU SLICE IT, she is the author of fifteen children's books for the elementary school library market. The most recent, DANGEROUS DISEASES, was published in 2014. Kris is a volunteer with the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts, and loves Harry Potter, Doctor Who, classic rock from the 70’s and 80’s, and anything with a time travel theme. She is a proud member of SCBWI-New England, the Fall Fourteeners (a group blog of YA debut authors), Sporty Girl Books blog, and #MGLitChat.

Kris presents writing workshops at schools and libraries all over New England and loves talking with kids and adults about their favorite books. ANY WAY YOU SLICE IT is her debut Young Adult novel.

Stop in and say hi to Kris on her websiteFacebookTwitter, and her blog.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Interview with Laurie McKay

My fellow Fearless Fifteener, the adorably sweet Laurie McKay, has a spectacular MG debut due to hit the shelves on February 3rd, and I sort of, kind of, (okay, totally) hijacked her for an interview.  :)

The story is called THE LAST DRAGON CHARMER #1: VILLAIN KEEPER and it sounds phenomenal:

Unexpected magic, villainous teachers, and dragons in disguise await readers in the first book of a delightful new tween adventure series by debut author Laurie McKay.

All his life, Prince Caden has dreamed of being sent on a quest to slay a dragon. But before he has the chance, he is ripped from his home in the Winterlands of Razzon and finds himself in Asheville, North Carolina—a land with no magic and no dragons. But a prince must always complete his quest. And the longer Caden is in Asheville, the more he realizes there is magic in this strange land after all. More important, there may just be dragons here, too. But what if Caden’s destiny isn’t to slay a dragon, like he's always believed?

Fans of Soman Chainani’s The School for Good and Evil and Chris Colfer’s The Land of Stories will be transported by this first book in an epic new series for middle grade readers about a brave young prince’s quest to find answers, honor, friendship—and what it really means to be a hero. 

Preorder on Amazon, B & N, and Indiebound
Add it to your Goodreads.

What drew you into your genre?
    • One day – poof – I realized the books I loved most where middle grade and young adult. Suddenly, it hit me that I should write in those age groups. I like books with some magic, some fantasy, some supernatural aspect to them. In middle grade and young adult, there is so much room those and also for humor. And my current book – VILLAIN KEEPER – just seemed like a perfect fit for middle grade.
What is your writing process like?
    • Usually, I have an idea for a scenario and character. Next, I stare at the computer screen and write a sentence. Then I rewrite it twenty or thirty times. Finally, I force out a hundred words. Then a hundred more. And so on. After a few weeks, there’s progress. Since I do so much staring at my laptop screen, I’m always amazed at the result. Periodically through the draft I get feedback from my beta reader and my critique partner – or, as I call them – my mom and my sister. Also, after I written a few thousand words, I try – and try is the important word here - to outline. And I’m getting better at it. I’d like to one day be able to outline before I start to type!  
Is there anything in particular that gets you in the writing zone?
    • Coffee, a Diet Coke – I double up on the caffeine – and a table at a local coffee or sandwich shop.
Do you ever get writer's block? Any tips to get past it?
    • Sometimes. I went to the NC Writers Network conference a few years ago and a writer gave this basic advice: Write even when you don’t feel inspired. Just get words on paper. Most times, you’ll find they’re just as good as when you feel like your fingers are flying over the keys and the ideas are pouring out.  That’s what I do. If I get stuck, I make myself write anyway. After a while, ideas start flowing again. 
What inspired you to write THE LAST DRAGON CHARMER? 
    • In most portal fantasies, real world kids are transported to magical worlds. Often, at the beginning or the end, there is a glimpse the fantasy in the real world. You know, when the girl sees the fairy outside her classroom window, or Dorothy still has on her ruby slippers at the end of the movie. Those are my favorite parts! They inspired me to write a reverse portal fantasy. Instead of the real kids being transported to the fantasy world, the fantasy kids - a young prince and sorceress – get stranded in modern-day Asheville, NC.
Can you tell us a little bit about your hero/heroine?
    • Caden – the eighth-born prince – is determined, loyal, and still sees the world in black and white. He wants nothing more than to be accepted by his older (half) brothers, become an Elite Paladin like them, and make his father proud. To do that, he has to slay a dragon. That becomes more difficult once he’s stranded in Asheville, NC, with the fledgling sorceress Brynne. 
    • Caden is loosely based on the typical “Prince Charming” that defeats the evil sorceress and rescues the princess. He has the gift of speech which allows him to speak any language and also sometimes charm those around him. Brynne is loosely based on the evil sorceress except she’s not wicked and is his closest ally. 


Laurie McKay lives in Durham, NC, with her family and two elderly dogs. She earned her bachelor's degree in biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her master's degree in biological oceanography from North Carolina State University. She's taught at the Chesapeake Bay Governor's School for Marine and Environmental Science and in the North Carolina community college system. When she's not dodging students and prepping lab activities, she's sitting at a local coffee shop and daydreaming about all things fantastical and science fiction. 

Her debut novel THE LAST DRAGON CHARMER #1: VILLAIN KEEPER will be available on Feb 3rd, 2015. Follow her on Twitter and visit her online