Tuesday, April 25, 2017

YA Guy Wants You to... Sketch a Skaldi!


The e-ARC for my forthcoming YA science fiction novel FREEFALL is newly available on NetGalley, and physical ARCs should be coming any day, which means the published book will be out in a matter of months. (September 26, to be precise.) Which further means I'll soon be running out of space on my bookshelves.

So from now until the end of May, I'll be giving away a signed copy of SURVIVAL COLONY 9 or SCAVENGER of SOULS, free of charge, to anyone who asks.

But there's a catch: to get your signed copy, you have to draw a picture of a Skaldi and send it to me (electronically). I'm calling this the "Sketch a Skaldi" giveaway, and here's how it works:

  • The giveaway runs from this instant until May 31, 2017.
  • Each entrant can receive no more than one book (either SURVIVAL COLONY 9 or SCAVENGER OF SOULS, not both). If you want to send me multiple drawings, that's fine, but you won't get extra books.
  • Your drawing can be hand drawn or computer drawn, but it MUST be your own artwork. Grabbing an image off the internet and passing it off as yours is a big no-no.
  • Drawings must be of a Skaldi as described in Chapter 17 of SURVIVAL COLONY 9 or Chapter 6 of SCAVENGER OF SOULS. No fair drawing a picture of a regular person and saying, "Well, s/he was taken over by a Skaldi!"
  • Submitting your drawing gives me the right to feature it on my website, on this blog, or on any of my social media. However, I will never sell your artwork, and I will always give the artist proper credit.
  • Signed books will be sent to U.S. addresses only. I will honor international entrants, but books will be delivered via Book Depository (and thus won't be signed).
  • You should send your drawing (in jpg format) to: joshuadavidbellin@gmail.com. In the body of the message, please include your name, your complete mailing address, and the title of the book (SURVIVAL COLONY 9 or SCAVENGER OF SOULS) that you want.
Okay, I think that's it! Now start drawing!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

YA Guy Reveals... PIRATE ISLAND by Katie L. Carroll

YA Guy is beyond thrilled to participate in the cover reveal for PIRATE ISLAND, a new Middle Grade fantasy adventure coming this October from Katie L. Carroll! Check out the cover, add the book to your Goodreads list, learn more about Katie's books, and help spread the word about PIRATE ISLAND!


PIRATE ISLAND
by Katie L. Carroll (katielcarroll.com)
Cover Illustration by Susan Tait Porcaro (susantaitporcaro.com)
Coming October 2017!

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PIRATE ISLAND blurb:

A thrice cursed island, a legendary pirate treasure, and one not-so-brave boy. What could possibly go wrong?

For centuries, the whereabouts of Captain William Kidd’s lost pirate treasure has remained a mystery. When Billy’s best friend, Andy, proposes they look for the treasure on nearby Pirate Island, Billy thinks it’s just another one of their crazy adventures. It’s usually Billy who ends up in trouble as a result, but he goes along for the ride…like always.

But the more he delves into the life and death of Kidd, the more he thinks the treasure is real and that it might be buried on the small island in Long Island Sound. Billy—nope, call him William—becomes obsessed with the captain of the same first name. He even believes he’s possessed by Kidd’s restless soul. Now he and the spirit of a long-dead pirate are leading the crazy adventure on Pirate Island. And what they find is far bigger than the treasure they imagined.




About the Author:

Katie L. Carroll always says she began writing at a very sad time in her life after her sister Kylene unexpectedly passed away. The truth is Katie has been writing her whole life, and it was only after Kylene’s death that she realized she wanted to pursue writing for kids and teens as a career. Since then, writing has taken her to many wonderful places, real and imagined. She has had many jobs in her lifetime, including newspaper deliverer, hardware store cashier, physical therapy assistant, and puzzle magazine editor. She works from her home in Connecticut that is filled with the love and laughter of her sons and husband.

In addition to PIRATE ISLAND, Katie is the author of the YA fantasy ELIXIR BOUND. Find Katie on her websiteTwitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

YA Guy... Starts a Newsletter!

The title says it all: YA Guy has started an electronic newsletter!

Yes, with my third book, FREEFALL, coming out in just a few months, I decided it was time. I'm busy preparing my first newsletter, full of information about upcoming publications, giveaways, contests, appearances, and more. If you want to sign up, you can click the button below:


I promise not to overwhelm subscribers; at most, I'll email one newsletter per month (and you can always unsubscribe if you want). But to stay up-to-date on all things YA Guy (aka Joshua David Bellin), this is the place to go!

Hope you're as excited as I am!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

YA Guy Participates in... the Spring 2017 YA Scavenger Hunt!


Once again, YA Guy's taking part in the YA Scavenger Hunt! This time around, I'm on the GOLD TEAM, along with the other awesome authors you see below:




This bi-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors...and a chance to win some awesome prizes! Add up the clues on each GOLD TEAM page, and you can enter for our prize--one lucky winner will receive one signed book from each author on the hunt in our team! There are FIVE contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! But don't delay: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will be online only until April 9!

HOW IT WORKS

Directions: In the author biography below, you'll notice I've listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the gold team, and then add them up (don't worry, you can use a calculator!). 

Entry Form: Once you've added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form to qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.

Rules: Open internationally. Anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian's permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by Sunday, April 9, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered. For more information, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page.

Personal Giveaway: In addition to the prizes named above, readers who enter my personal giveaway will have a chance to win a signed ARC of my forthcoming novel FREEFALL! Like the Hunt itself, this personal giveaway is open internationally. Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter!

Okay, got all that? Then let's meet the author I'm hosting, CECIL CASTELLUCCI!

Cecil Castellucci is the author of books and graphic novels for young adults including Boy Proof, The Plain Janes, The Year of the Beasts, Tin Star, and the Eisner nominated Odd Duck. In 2015 she co-authored Moving Target: A Princess Leia Adventure.  She is currently taking at least 22 weeks to write Shade, The Changing Girl, an ongoing comic on Gerard Way’s Young Animal imprint at DC Comics. And her newest Graphic Novel Soupy Leaves Home comes out in April 2017.

To find out more about Cecil, go to her website at www.misscecil.com.


About SOUPY LEAVES HOME: Pearl “Soupy” Plankette ran away from her abusive father, but has nowhere to go until she stumbles upon a disguise that gives her the key to a new identity. Reborn as a boy named Soupy, she hitches her star to Remy “Ramshackle” Smith, a hobo who takes her under his wing. Set in 1932, this is the story of two misfits with no place to call home, who build a relationship during a train hopping journey from the cold heartbreak of their eastern homes toward the sunny promise of California.

To watch a trailer of SOUPY LEAVES HOME, go here. And to buy the book, follow this link!









EXCLUSIVE CONTENT

The Spring YASH is over, but there's still a little time to enter my personal giveaway (below)!

PERSONAL GIVEAWAY

To enter my personal giveaway for a chance to win a signed ARC of my forthcoming YA science fiction adventure FREEFALL, use the Rafflecopter form below!

About FREEFALL: When the 1% and the 99% clash, the fate of the human race hangs on the actions of two teens from very different backgrounds in this thrilling sci-fi adventure.

In the Upperworld, the privileged 1% are getting ready to abandon a devastated Earth. And Cam can’t wait to leave. After sleeping through a 1,000-year journey, he and his friends will have a pristine new planet to colonize. And no more worries about the Lowerworld and its 99% of rejects.

Then Cam sees a banned video of protesters in the Lowerworld who also want a chance at a new life. And he sees a girl with golden eyes who seems to be gazing straight through the feed at him. A girl he has to find. Sofie.

When Cam finds Sofie, she opens his eyes to the unfairness of what’s happening in their world, and Cam joins her cause for Lowerworld rights. He also falls hard for Sofie. But Sofie has her own battles to fight, and when it’s time to board the spaceships, Cam is alone.

Waking up 1,000 years in the future, Cam discovers that he and his shipmates are far off-course, trapped on an unknown and hostile planet. Who has sabotaged their ship? And does it have anything to do with Sofie, and the choices—and the enemies—he made in the past?

Release date: September 26, 2017
Pre-order on Amazon
Add to Goodreads

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

YA Guy Researches... History!

Years ago, in the days before YA Guy was YA Guy, I wrote a number of works of literary criticism. (That's what you do when you have a doctorate in English and teach at a college.) Eventually, I decided I'd rather write my own literature than write about it--but I'm still very proud of my academic books, which I think are well-written in their own right. I don't recommend them to the non-scholar--they're written for an academic audience, full of language and concepts only specialists fully appreciate--but I had fun writing them, and I'm glad they're out there.

One of the things I loved most about academic writing was the research that went into it. For each of my books, I spent years reading, filling up my file cabinets with photocopies of obscure seventeenth- through nineteenth-century documents, many of them accessible only on microfilm or microfiche, some of them available only at specialized archives. I found that, though technically I was a literary scholar, I ended up doing as much historical research as literary research; I wanted to know as much as possible about the time in which the works of literature were written in order to understand them in their own context. At a certain point, in fact, the line between "historical" and "literary" research blurred; much of what we know about history we know through written documents, and when you're reading the journal of an eighteenth-century traveler among the southeastern Indians or the spiritual autobiography of a nineteenth-century Ojibwa convert to Christianity, are you reading "history" or "literature"? To me, history and literature have always been intertwined if not inseparable, and I loved exploring the many ways in which they come into contact with each other.

Which is also why I'm so excited about my new work-in-progress, a historical novel called Polar. Based on Commander Robert E. Peary's final North Pole voyage, which took place in the years 1908-1909, Polar is speculative history, not straightforward; I take considerable liberties with the facts in order to tell the story I want to tell, a story that includes some paranormal elements. But I'm still having to do a ton of research to understand the world of the time, the biographies of the real-life people involved, the details of Polar exploration, and more. And I'm coming across a lot of great historical material in the process.

For example, check out this cover page to the New York Times from September 7, 1909, the date on which the paper first reported Peary's ostensible (though now disputed) discovery of the geographic North Pole:


Or take a look at this photograph of Peary dressed in full Eskimo (Inuit) garb on the deck of the steamship Roosevelt, named after then-President Theodore Roosevelt, who sponsored Peary's final voyage (and who plays a walk-on part in Polar):


There's much, much more, but that'll do for a start. I can't wait to see what other gems I discover as I continue the research process.

Writing science fiction, as I've done for my first three YA novels--including the forthcoming Freefall--involves a degree of research; I've had to learn about parasitic organisms, deep-space travel, and more. But it's especially fun to be doing the kind of sustained research a historical subject requires.

I guess I could say it's great to be back home.

Friday, March 17, 2017

YA Participates in... The "Luck of the Irish" Giveaway!





YA Guy's happy to join a great group of bloggers and writers in this year's "Luck of the Irish" Giveaway! Enter for a chance to win a $250 Amazon Gift Code or $250 in PayPal Cash--and learn about some awesome authors and books in the process!

March 17th to 31st

Enter for your chance to win a $250 Amazon Gift Code or $250 in Paypal Cash!! Thanks to this awesome group of bloggers and authors who have joined forces to bring you one fabulous prize!!

SPONSOR LIST

I Am A Reader
Lori's Reading Corner
Laurie Here - Cont Fiction and MORE
Helen Smith
Stacy Claflin, Author
Rockin' Book Reviews
Kelly Hashway
Heather Gray, Author
Jennifer Bardsley
Ali Winters
Author Laurie Treacy
Krysten Lindsay Hager author
Joshua David Bellin
Glistering: B's Blog
Ashley Lavering
Author Deb Atwood
Bella Street's Time Travel Romance
Suzi Love Coupons and Freebies Mom
Elizabeth Isaacs
Kimber Leigh Wheaton
Dorine White- author
Aubrey Wynne: Timeless Romance
Jo Noellle
B. Kristin McMichael
Talia Jager
Author Alecia Stone
My Life. One Story at a Time.
Julie Coulter Bellon
Author MK McClintock
BookHounds
Inger Iversen
Felicia Starr
Melissa Giorgio
Laurisa White Reyes, Author
Fat Free Faith

Giveaway Details: $250 in Paypal Cash or a $250 Amazon.com eGift Card. Ends 3/31/17. Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use money sent via Paypal or gift codes via Amazon.com. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the authors, bloggers and publishers on the sponsor list. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Thursday, March 16, 2017

YA Guy Interviews... Marty Reeder, Author of HOW TO BECOME A PIRATE HUNTER!


YA Guy is excited to welcome Marty Reeder, author of HOW TO BECOME A PIRATE HUNTER, to the blog! This time-travel fantasy for young readers is a lot of fun, with a boy who feels he doesn't have any talents discovering that he's a natural born pirate hunter! Marty stopped by the blog recently to chat, and here's what he had to say...

YA Guy: Welcome to the blog, Marty, and congratulations on your new book! How did you come up with the idea for How to Become a Pirate Hunter? What do you think is the most fun or fascinating thing about this story?

Marty Reeder: I hear the phrase "natural born" every now and then, and I once wondered what my natural born talent would be. Well, I couldn't think of a modern one, but I thought that it would be cool if I were a natural born pirate hunter (that's where my mind usually wanders). I knew there wasn't much I would be able to do about it ... unless I wrote about it in fiction. The idea stewed for a while until the story came into focus and I finally got to live my dream of what it would be like to hunt pirates!

My favorite parts in the story are those parts that came as surprises to me. While I had the story pretty much figured out, as I was writing some of the important scenes, the reasons for the protagonist to achieve his triumphs were subtly different from what I expected. I'd like to think that it's because there is hidden truth there that refused to be let out of the story.

YAG: I'm a big fan of discovering the truths in my story as I write, too! What do you enjoy most about writing for young readers? (If you have a particular story to share, please do!)

MR: I never write for a young audience. I write what I think would be interesting to read. As it turns out, I must be young at heart because once I started getting serious about doing something with my writing, I found out that I had to label my audience before submitting it to publishers. I realized that my protagonists are all youth--I had been writing to a younger audience this whole time and didn't even notice it. It's probably why I ended up being a high school teacher ... it's about my maturity level!

YAG: Walk us through a day in your life as a writer. Any habits, quirks, or special ways you approach the writing process?

MR: Because I have a family and day job (high school teacher), my writing process has taken some necessary adjustments since my lonely bachelor-writing days. Generally, however, I've found that I write best in the morning and edit best in the evening. The morning is when I am most alert (not the case for everyone, I know!) and my mind is fresh and ready to spill out ideas. By the evening, I'm tired from the day and don't have the endurance for solid writing sessions. However, my mind is calmed down enough that I can take a sensible look at my morning's work and help it make more sense. I suppose it's sort of a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde approach.

YAG: I like that approach: draft early, revise late. Speaking of writing, what are some of your favorite YA or MG books? How have they influenced you as a writer?

MR: I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Treasure Island as an influential young adult work for me, especially in the context of How to Become a Pirate Hunter. I've long had a fascination with history and sailing, and I'm not sure if Treasure Island started that or simply furthered it, but either way it is such a strong piece of literature in plotting and characters I would be hard pressed to find a single piece of (non-series) young adult literature that matches it. Lloyd Alexander is another stalwart author from my youth. Going back and reading some of the stories of his that I loved to lap off the library shelf as a kid, I realize how efficient and engaging his writing is, a combination that is truly difficult to sustain. His more known series is the Chronicles of Prydain (The Black Cauldron and The High King earning Newbery Honor and Winner awards, respectively), but one that I simply love is the tight and emotionally investing Westmark Trilogy.

YAG: Now that we know what you've read and what you've written, tell us what's next for you and your fans!

MR: First of all, we'll have to see if I have any fans! But for anyone even remotely interested in How to Become a Pirate Hunter, a sequel is in the process of being written. I know that's pretty common for most young adult stories, but for the longest time I did not think there could be a sequel to Pirate Hunter (and I have had this story finished or close to it for years). But last year, just before it got picked up by a publisher, an idea sparked and I realized that there was a story that I still wanted to tell within this world. I'm a few chapters in and I'm pretty excited by it, so hopefully fans will be too! For now, however, I'm just satisfied with this fun process of letting the story go out there and see how far it reaches.

YAG: Thanks for visiting the blog, Marty! Personally, I'll be on the lookout (in the crow's nest?) for the sequel to PIRATE HUNTER!

Readers, here's some more information about Marty and links to find him on the web!

About the author: Marty Reeder lives in Smithfield, Utah with his wife and five children, where he teaches Creative Writing and Spanish at the local high school. Though not a natural born pirate hunter, he taught sailing at Scout camps for many years and uses his history degree to fuel worlds of piracy and compensate for perhaps being born in the wrong time and place for his passions.

Website: http://www.martyreeder.com
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/martyreeder
Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2872769.Marty_Reeder
Amazonhttps://www.amazon.com/Become-Pirate-Hunter-Marty-Reeder/dp/1462119808
B&Nhttp://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/how-to-become-a-pirate-hunter-marty-reeder/1125021081