Happy New Year! Lot’s of great books coming out this year, and some of the
nicest people I know are kicking things off in January. I’ve been looking
forward to some of these books for awhile, so it’s great to get to tell you
Leading things off is Stacey Jay’s UNDEAD
MUCH?, the follow up to the awesomely titled YOU ARE SO UNDEAD TO
Stacey Jay: It's winter break in Carol, Arkansas and Zombie
Settler, Megan Berry, finally has everything she ever wanted--a place on the pom
squad, peace among the undead, and the boyfriend of her dreams. But life in
Zombie-ville never stay drama-free for long.
Soon a cheerleader uprising threatens to ruin half time forever, an undead
psychic hottie makes Megan question her commitment to Ethan, and super strong
zombies that are immune to Settler magic land Megan and her Settler friends in a
huge mess of trouble. Even worse, Megan herself is the prime evil-zombie-raising
suspect and on the verge of being thrown in jail for working forbidden magic.
Now Megan and her best fr-enemy, Monica, must work together to quell the
zombie uprising and prove Megan's innocence, all while reclaiming half-time from
conniving cheerleaders and sorting through some nasty family secrets.
RCM: I thought YOU ARE SO UNDEAD TO ME was so much fun, but
do we need to read it first to enjoy UNDEAD MUCH?
Jay: Absolutely not. There is continuity in the story line, but UNDEAD MUCH? can
be read alone. (That said, there are BIG spoilers for You Are So Undead to
Me in UNDEAD
MUCH? and even in the blurb Razorbill chose for the back cover copy. So
if you haven't read Book One and don't like knowing who the bad guy is ahead of
RCM: Tell me a fun fact about writing UNDEAD MUCH?.
Stacey Jay: I was pregnant when I was writing this book and
constantly starving. It really showed in the first draft. I had half a dozen
scenes of people eating...usually pizza or chicken nuggets, my two favorite
preggers foods. Needless to say, I had to go back and revise. Food is fun, but I
know my readers enjoy more focus on the zombies and romance. Still, I left in a
few pizza references, including a big zombie-smackdown in a pizza kitchen!
RCM: Well, I’m sold. My first job was making pizza at Chuck E. Cheese. I
can confirm the place is full of zombies. Looks like I’ll be taking a walk down
memory lane when UNDEAD MUCH?
comes out from Razorbill on January 21st.
On the other end of the reality spectrum, there’s Eileen Cook. Eileen’s
previous book WHAT
WOULD EMMA DO? was both funny and genuine, full of real life
dilemmas handled that we all go through, finding our footing in the place
between what others expect of us, and what we want for ourselves. Perfect YA
stuff. I anticipate more of the same from GETTING REVENGE ON LAUREN
RCM: So, what’s the new book about?
In the final weeks of eighth grade, Lauren Wood betrayed her best
friend, Helen, in a manner so publicly humiliating, so horrid, that Helen
had to move to a new town just to save face. Now at the start of her senior
year, Lauren’s the cheerleading captain, the quarterback's girlfriend, and the
undisputed queen bee. Lauren has everything she's ever wanted, and she has
forgotten all about her ex-best friend.
But Helen never forgot Lauren. After three years of obsessing, she's
moving back to her old town. She has a new name and a new look, but she hasn't
dropped her old grudges. Lauren won't recognize her. She has a detailed plan to
bring down her former BFF by taking away everything that's ever been important
to Lauren—starting with her boyfriend.
RCM: I admit, I’ve obsessed about insults WAY too much. But I’m sure you
never have. So, what was your inspiration?
Eileen Cook: I was an English major in college and I still have
a lot of my old books. I recently re-read The Count of Monte Cristo. It
has everything: best friends, betrayal, secret identifies, revenge, romance. I
started to think how the story might play out in a modern high school. The
second inspiration came from the realization that almost everyone has been hurt
by someone and dreamed of getting revenge. I think it is a universal
RCM: I know a lot of authors include personal quirks in their books. Did
any of your obsessions make it into the pages?
Eileen Cook: I made one of the characters, Christopher, someone who
loves classic movies. I love old black and white films and the local theatre
here shows them on the big screen one Saturday a month. Casablanca, anything
with Audrey Hepburn- heaven.
RCM: Can’t argue with that, or with Meg Cabot, who calls
Eileen’s writing “sassy and sly and sweet all at the same time.” GETTING REVENGE ON LAUREN
WOOD. comes out from Simon Pulse on January 5th.
to the paranormal side, there’s FIRESPELL by
Chloe Neill. Chloe
writes urban fantasy for adults in the Chicagoland Vampires series, which you
should check out if you like vampire books. But I am hotly anticipating her YA
debut: “A new series about a boarding school filled with something worse than
When Lily is sent to a fancy-pants boarding school in Chicago, she discovers a
group of rebel teens who fight to protect Chicago from demons, vampires and dark
magic users. Lily would love to help them out, but she doesn’t have any
superpowers… or does she? Really high quality writing and interesting
characters, not to mention a unique voice set Chloe’s books apart. Find out for
yourself when Firespell comes out from Signet on January 5th.
From the other
side of the pond, we have a book by a celebrated Welsh novelist, Catherine Fisher.
has been out in the UK for awhile, but it’s being released in the US. Finn is a
17-year-old prisoner in a prison so huge it contains forests and ruined cities
and terrifying wilderness. He makes psychic contact with Claudia, the warden’s
daughter, who is trapped in different kind of prison. Helping each other escape,
will be perilous indeed. This is a stretch from the real-world based paranormal,
and more of a high concept fantasy along the lines of Garth Nix (SABRIEL) and Nancy Farmer (THE HOUSE OF THE
SCORPION). You can read for yourself on January 26th.
Another fantasy getting buzz for being very different and well
written is BLEEDING
VIOLET, by debut author Dia Reeves. Hanna is an
outcast, the ‘freak’, and she’s tired of it, so she runs away to Portero, Texas
to live with her aunt. Only Portero is full of portals to other worlds, where
there are monsters and things that would terrify any normal person. Fortunately,
Hanna is nowhere near normal.
This one is very different. Dark, weird, sexy, it sort of plunges you into the
tale and let’s you figure things out as you go along. Some people may not dig
that, but it can make for a compelling read. BLEEDING VIOLET
comes out from Simon Pulse on January 5th.
There are just a few of the awesome books to start your new year! I hope yours
is full of happiness and great reads!
Until next time...Rosemary Clement-Moore
writes Young Adult books because she loves to read them.
Visit her webpage or blog
to find out more about her award winning Maggie Quinn: Girl vs. Evil series, and
her gothic romance, THE
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