Ah, spring fever. Every April, I have the hardest time making myself do work. I
just want to lay around enjoying the gorgeous weather--not too hot, not too
cold--goofing off. Which for me means reading books.
Here are a few suggestions for your Spring Fever Slack Off, starting with
interviews with Kelley Armstrong and
Heather Davis, who
were nice enough to tell me about their new releases.
Kelley Armstrong has
been delighting fans of contemporary fantasy and paranormal romance with her
Women of the Otherworld series (Bitten, Dime Store Magic) for awhile, and in
2008, she added a series of YA books to her extensive list, the third of which
comes out on April 6th.
is the final book in the Darkest Powers trilogy. In the first book,
fifteen-year-old Chloe Saunders started seeing ghosts. After a breakdown at
school, she was taken to a group home, which she quickly discovered was not what
it seemed. After being on the run in THE AWAKENING, she's taken
shelter in a place that seems safe. But for Chloe and her friends, no place is
safe for long.
RCM: Is this the last of Chloe & her friends?
Armstrong: After THE RECKONING, I'm
introducing a new trilogy with new characters in a different Edison Group
experiment, but I intend to bring Chloe and the others in later in that trilogy.
I'm also open to writing more about them if that's what readers want.
RCM: You’re already popular (and prolific!) writing for adults. Did you
approach anything differently when writing for teens?
I was asked this at a recent convention, and after giving a long
explanation on what isn't different, one person said "So, basically, the
only difference is the age of the protagonist?" Um, yes. That sums it up
nicely (and much more succinctly!) While you can tone down profanity, sexual
content etc, as I did from my adult work, you don't need to. The only thing you
have to do is have a teenage protagonist and make sure he/she really is a teen,
dealing with teen-issues and a teenage skill set.
Kelley summed up exactly why I think that good YA fiction can be enjoyed by
readers of all ages!
This is a definitely a trilogy (rather than an episodic type series), and I
suggest you start with the first book, THE SUMMONING. (For a short
time, you can read it online for free at the Harper Collins website.)
For a completely different type of paranormal novel, we go to Heather Davis, whose
April release, THE
CLEARING, is a bit different from her recent YA debut.
THE CLEARING is about
Amy, a girl recovering from an abusive relationship, who moves from the city of
Seattle to live with her Great Aunt Mae in a small country town in the North
Cascade Mountains. She's seeking a fresh start, a way to forget her past. The
town seems not too much different than what she left behind though, and she
retreats to the woods and fields of her aunt's farm. And then one day wandering
in the clearing at the back of the property, she meets a boy who seems different
than any guy she's ever known -- and he is. He and his family are stuck in the
endless summer of 1944. They strike up a friendship that eventually teaches Amy
to love again and gives Henry the courage to face the destiny he's denied.
RCM: I love meet-across-time type stories, and it sounds like these two
really need each other. What led you to write THE CLEARING?
Davis: I was inspired because I moved to a small town in the
North Cascades, like Amy did, where nothing was what I expected it to be. It
brought me to writing though, and every day as I sat as my desk, I gazed out a
sliding glass window toward my neighbor's forty acre field. At the back of the
property was a red barn with cows and horses gazing in front. Some days, the
mist on that field got so thick the barn would disappear. I would wonder about
what was "really" on the other side of that mist -- and then one day,
Henry came walking out. Amy was a harder character to write, but after
suffering a life implosion that brought me back to the city a single girl, older
and wiser, I knew what her journey had to be.
RCM: Your debut novel, NEVER CRY WEREWOLF, sounds
considerably lighter in tone than this one. How does THE CLEARING compare?
Davis: It is a very different novel from my debut. It has the
same heart though, the same touch of bitter and sweet and the reminder that it's
okay to be who you are - and to ignore those who try to define you and your
life. I hope readers will like the strong heroine and the absolutely dreamy,
dependable Henry who came to me that day out of the mists...
Sounds delicious to me. THE
CLEARING comes out on April 12th.
Here are some other books that will be making it onto my stack by the hammock:
CINDERELLA SOCIETY, is
author Kay Cassidy’s
debut novel. I’ve been looking forward to this one for a long time. Jess Parker
is sort of invisible until she joins a group of the most popular girls in
school, where makeovers--inside and out--are the order of the day. But there’s
more going on here than meets the eye, an ages old battle between good and evil,
and joining the fight means Jess will have to choose between a dream life, and
doing something important with her own. Engaging conflict, great characters, and
a ‘girl power’ message that is still fun to read.
RULES OF ATTRACTION, by Simone Elkeles, is the
sequel to the author’s (Rita® nominated) novel PERFECT CHEMISTRY, a bad
boy/good girl star-crossed lovers story. In “Rules,” Carlos Fuentes, newly
arrived from Mexico, wants nothing to do with the path his brother Alex has laid
out for him. He wants to make his own life comes to Colorado from Mexico, and
path and meets a girl who needs him just like he is. Simone is particularly good
at bringing a character’s rich cultural background into the story, and she has
some great book trailers (that do her books much more justice than I just did).
Check them out on her website.
I’ve mentioned them before, but Rachel Caine’s
Morganville Vampires series are great books. They remind me of why I used
to love vampire novels, and what I still enjoy about the breed. KISS OF DEATH, the eighth
book in the series, comes out this month.
April also sees new releases from popular authors Melissa Marr (RADIANT SHADOWS), Meg Cabot (RUNAWAY: AIRHEAD), and PC & Kristen Cast (BURNED: A House Night
Novel). Excellent authors to check out if you’re new to YA.
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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