Tuesday, April 26, 2016

YA Guy Participates in... A Mother's Day Kindle Fire Giveaway!

Okay, this is huge. YA Guy's participating in a Mother's Day giveaway, the grand prize for which is a Kindle Fire + Amazon gift code--a $250 value! There are lots of excellent bloggers involved in this giveaway, and I'm thrilled to be one of them. Check out the list below, and enter via the Rafflecopter form at the bottom of the page. You have until May 7 to enter. Whether you give the prize to Mom (or keep it for yourself), this is a giveaway not to be missed!

Kindle Fire Giveaway
Mother's Day Kindle Fire Giveaway
One lucky winner will receive...
A Kindle Fire + Amazon Gift Code to fill it will ebooks ($250 Value)
Alternately, the winner can choose $250 in Paypal Cash
Thanks for this fabulous group of authors & bloggers who have sponsored this giveaway!

I Am A Reader
Simple Wyrdings
Kimber Leigh Wheaton
Cynthia Luhrs Author
Laurie Here - Cont Fiction and More
Heather Boyd, Historical Romance Author
Krysten Lindsay Hager author
Diana's Book Reviews
Every Free Chance Books
FLYLÄ“F Book Reviews
Tamara Gill
Love. Without You
The Page Unbound
Glistering Bs Blog
Joshua David Bellin
A Leisure Moment
Toi Thomas
Helen Smith
Megan Tayte (romance author)
My Crazy Bookish Life
The Serious Reader
Cool Cat Mysteries
Barefoot by the Sea
Reviews by Martha's Bookshelf
Author Mary Ting
Lori's Reading Corner
Beth M. Honeycutt
Jennifer Bardsley
Heather Gray
The Candid Cover
Author Dorothy Dreyer

Giveaway Details Kindle Fire + Amazon Gift Code ($250 value) or $250 in Paypal Cash Ends 5/7/16. Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use money sent via Paypal. 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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, April 8, 2016

YA Guy... Gets All Excited!

It's been a pretty good year for YA Guy.

SCAVENGER OF SOULS is due out in August. (You can preorder a copy from any online bookseller or from your local indie; if you preorder a copy from one of the booksellers listed below, I'll sign it and it'll be sent out to you when it releases.) And on Wednesday, the deal for my next YA science fiction novel, FREEFALL, a deep space action/romance, was announced in Publishers Weekly. The book's due out next summer.

So yeah, I'm pretty excited! And also grateful to my agent, my editor, and my readers for all the support over the past few years. What started as a dream now seems like it's turning into an actual career, and that wouldn't have been possible without all you folks.

So thank you! And let's stay excited!

To preorder a signed copy of SCAVENGER OF SOULS, contact one of these Pittsburgh-area booksellers:

Mystery Lovers Bookshop (412) 828-4877 or this link

Classic Lines (412) 422-2220 or diddings@comcast.net

Or check to see if I'm making any appearances near you!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

YA Guy Hosts... Eric Price!

YA Guy's happy to welcome back an old friend (well, he's not that old!) and fellow writer, Eric Price. Having published the first two books in a fantasy trilogy, UNVEILING THE WIZARDS' SHROUD and THE SQUIRE AND THE SLAVE MASTER, Eric's here to discuss a topic near and dear to my heart: the struggles of writing a series. I know I had some of the same issues Eric discusses when I was working on SCAVENGER OF SOULS, so I'm happy to hear I'm not alone!

By Eric Price

When I set out to write my first novel, all I had written were some short stories, a couple of newspaper articles, a few lesson plans, and some failed attempts at poetry. I wanted to try my hand at something longer, so I wrote a stand-alone novel with the potential for developing it into a series. After several revisions, and a few rejection letters, I did a major rewrite and introduced a secondary character I intended to write as a main character in a future book.

MuseItUp Publishing gave me a contract for the first one, which eventually became Unveiling the Wizards’ Shroud. My intent was to take some time off from the world of Wittatun and develop some of the other story ideas first, but my new character, Yara, kept calling to me, and I had no choice but to proceed with her book. After taking much longer than anticipated, it finally became The Squire and the Slave Master, also with MuseItUp Publishing. Now, as I struggle with the third and (I’m almost positive) final volume of The Saga of the Wizards, A Wizard Reborn, I think I know what I’ve done wrong, and hopefully I’ve learned my lesson.

Anyone who hasn’t written a book would probably think that after writing a first draft, revising it countless times, rewriting it, working through it three times with the content editor, another two times with the line editor, and reading over it one last time for formatting before it finally gets published, the author would have every word of the book memorized. I can’t say I know how it works for other authors, but for me . . . no, there are so many details about my own book I don’t know. I constantly had to refer to Unveiling while writing Squire, and now I find myself checking back with both of them while I write A Wizard Reborn. What did we last see this character doing? How did this character die? What is this character’s brother’s name?

Even if I had one of those photographic memories, a second issue that frequents my pages is some minor detail in the earlier book(s) that really throws the proverbial monkey wrench in my current work in progress. I’m constantly saying, “Why’d I do this?” or “Why didn’t I do that?” If this were a major movie franchise, I suppose I could ignore what happened in the previous volumes and move on with the story I want to write. (*Ahem* Yes, X-Men, you’re one of the franchises I’m talking about.) But since they’re books, I feel the need to make them as consistent as possible.

In both these instances, a little planning could have saved me a lot of headaches and time.

And speaking of time, this brings me to my final issue. I never seem to have enough time. In my ideal world, I would have had each book of the series release about a year apart. Two years separated books one and two. Time will tell how long it takes book three to see the light of e-readers.

I have nothing against series or series writing. I may do it again someday, but first I want to take a break and try writing some stand-alone titles. What I won’t do is write a series one book at a time. If I do take the plunge, I’m writing the bare minimum of a first draft for each book of the series before the first one starts finding its way into publishers' inboxes. But that’s me. How many series writers are out there? How do you like to organize your work and meet your writing goals?


Barnes & Noble

Find UNVEILING THE WIZARDS' SHROUD (recipient of a Children's Literary Classics Seal of Approval and 2014 CLC Award for Best First Novel) in paperback or e-book on:

Left Bank Books
Barnes & Noble

Visit Eric on:


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

YA Guy Participates in... The Spring 2016 YA Scavenger Hunt!

Once again, YA Guy's taking part in the YA Scavenger Hunt! This time around, I'm on the RED TEAM, along with the other fabulous 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 red 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 NINE contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will be online only until April 3!


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 red 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 3, 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 book, appropriately titled SCAVENGER OF SOULS! Like the Hunt itself, this personal giveaway is open internationally. Check out an excerpt from the novel on my website, and then use the Rafflecopter form below to enter!

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

Kimberly Derting is the author of the award-winning THE BODY FINDER series, THE PLEDGE trilogy, and THE TAKING and THE REPLACED (the first two books in THE TAKING trilogy). Her books have been translated into 15 languages, and both THE BODY FINDER and THE PLEDGE were YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults selections.

Kim lives in the Pacific Northwest, where the gloomy weather (seldom above 22 degrees Fahrenheit) is ideal for writing anything dark and creepy. Her three beautiful (and often mouthy) children serve as an endless source of inspiration and frequently find the things they say buried in the pages of their mother's books, or on Twitter for the world to see.

To find out more about Kim, go to her website at www.kimberlyderting.com.

About THE COUNTDOWN: In the concluding book in the otherworldly Taking trilogy, Kyra struggles to understand who she is as she races to save the world from complete destruction.

To buy THE COUNTDOWN, follow this link!


The Hunt's over, but there's still a little time to enter my personal giveaway (below)! Thanks for hunting!


To enter my personal giveaway, use the Rafflecopter form below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And, to continue the Hunt, go to Amy Plum's blog at http://www.amyplumbooks.com/blog/. Happy hunting!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

YA Guy Reviews... THE MIDNIGHT SEA by Kat Ross!

YA Guy had the incredible privilege of reading a pre-release copy of Kat Ross's new YA fantasy novel, THE MIDNIGHT SEA.

It blew me away.

Set in an Arabian Nights-inflected fantasy realm, THE MIDNIGHT SEA introduces us to Nazafareen, a teenage member of a nomadic people. When her younger sister is killed by a wight--one of the forms taken by the demonic Druj, undead creatures that once fought against the empire--Nazafareen swears to avenge her sister's death. She's given her opportunity to do so when the elite Water Dogs, soldiers whose job it is to hunt out and slay Druj, recruit her to join them. As a member of the Water Dogs, Nazafareen is "bonded"--linked both physically and spiritually--to a domesticated (or enslaved) Druj known as a daeva. Together, using her power of command and his magical control over the elements, Nazafareen and the daeva Darius set out to destroy Druj. But the discoveries Nazafareen makes about the Druj--not to mention her attraction to Darius, who's anything but the monster she imagined he would be--cause her to question whether she's fighting on the side of justice after all.

I don't read a lot of epic fantasy these days, though it constituted almost my entire reading diet when I was younger. Thus it's always a pleasure to discover a fantasy realm that's totally original and compelling, one I can sink into the way I used to sink into the worlds created by Tolkien, Le Guin, McCaffrey, and Donaldson. That's exactly how I felt while reading Ross's novel; the history of the realm, the mythology of the Druj, the physical description of the various environments, and the characterization of the multiple peoples, both evil and good, were so brilliantly realized I felt completely immersed in a "real" place. If I were to draw parallels to contemporary YA fantasies, I'd put THE MIDNIGHT SEA alongside Leigh Bardugo's Grisha trilogy, which similarly is set in an alternative real world (Russia in Bardugo's case) that feels absolutely unique and absolutely convincing. It's a very special writer who can weave such a rich and complex tapestry, and Ross is exactly that.

I was also drawn to Nazafareen--and teen readers, I'm confident, will absolutely love her. She's tough yet vulnerable, so anguished by the loss of her sister she lets herself believe whatever the Water Dogs tell her about the Druj. Her awakening to the true state of affairs is thus an awakening to emotional maturity--to adulthood. And her awakening to the love she feels for Darius perfectly complements her developing awareness of life's complexities. I'm not always a fan of romantic relationships in YA fantasy and science fiction; they often seem perfunctory and distracting, added more for their marketing appeal than their intrinsic value to the narrative. But here, the love between Nazafareen and Darius--like everything else in the book--feels fresh, original, and completely essential to the story being told.

THE MIDNIGHT SEA releases in May, and it's the first book in a series, so there's much more to come. YA Guy for one can't wait to see where this brilliant new story takes me. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

YA Guy Interviews... Amy Allgeyer, author of DIG TOO DEEP!

Today on the blog, YA Guy's thrilled to interview Amy Allgeyer, author of DIG TOO DEEP, which comes out April 1! Amy took the time to answer my questions about her writing process and about the environmental issues in her debut novel, which concerns one teenage girl's effort to fight mountaintop coal mining in a small Appalachian town. You can read my review of this terrific novel right here.

And now, without further ado, here's Amy!

YA Guy: Hi Amy! Welcome to the blog. To start out, I'd love to hear about your journey to publication.

Amy Allgeyer: “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…” That’s how it feels anyway. I decided to write my first book twelve years ago. I landed an agent with that book, but it didn’t sell. Since then, I’ve written many more books, lost an agent, found a dream agent, worked through revisions with agents or editors only to have them change jobs or leave publishing for good before we were finished. All in all, I had pretty much the same journey most authors have. We all get those wicked near-misses and crushing lows. Then we turn around and pour all that into the next book. Or we give up and don’t become authors at all. I very nearly did that, and the only things that kept me going were my crit partners.

YAG: I'm glad you stuck with it, because DIG TOO DEEP tells a really important story. Can you tell us about mountaintop coal mining? How did you get interested in it? How much of a problem is it?

AA: Mountaintop Removal Mining started back in the 1970’s. By 2009, over five hundred mountains had been blasted away. Nearly a million acres of forest are gone. The health issues speak for themselves: people living in MTR communities are fifty percent more likely to die of cancer, and babies born near MTR mines are forty-two percent more likely to have birth defects.

I was born in Kentucky. When I was seven, I moved to North Carolina with my parents but my six brothers and sisters (all older) stayed in KY, so I spent a lot of time driving back and forth through Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky. The Appalachians represent home to me—even now when I live a thousand miles away. So it’s heartbreaking to see them blown apart, and know some special places are gone forever. And since MTR mining creates fewer jobs than traditional mining, it means these communities are stuck with less money, fewer jobs, more sickness, more death… It’s really awful.

YAG: So this sounds like a very important book to you. What was your research process like for DIG TOO DEEP?

AA: Involved! Even beyond the MTR research, there are aspects of the book that I (thankfully) don’t have personal experience with: prison, water testing, meth addiction, extreme poverty. My writing process was like: Write two pages. Google whether prisoners have access to email. Write another page. Google side-effects of methamphetamine addiction. I also depended a lot on my sister’s experiences volunteering in mountain communities in Eastern Kentucky. Her stories were so insightful and gave me a current and realistic picture of what poverty looks like in that area of the country. The cancer…that I know all too well, as my mom died of cancer. Those scenes where Liberty is caring for Granny were some of the hardest I’ve ever had to write.

YAG: They're also some of the best scenes in the novel, and I can tell they come from a very personal place. To shift back to the environmental issues: I’m from Pennsylvania, a major coal-producing state. What would your answer be to someone who said, “We need to continue mining coal to keep the economy strong and to supply the nation’s energy”?

AA: Yes, Pennsylvania has MTR issues, too, as well as fracking, which is another huge concern. To me, the biggest argument against our dependence on coal is just common sense. It’s reported that we have enough world-wide coal reserves to power us for another twenty-three years. Given that we’re going to have to depend on something else so soon, why would we continue to destroy the environment and sicken communities by expanding the search for coal? We should be focusing on alternative energy and what we’re going to do when the fossil fuels run out. The fabrication of products and infrastructure that use alternative energy (like wind, solar, hydro) would create manufacturing and light industrial jobs to replace the mining jobs that those communities so desperately need. It seems like a no-brainer that we should be weaning ourselves off coal now…not continuing to destroy the environment and expecting our kids to come up with something better once they’re the grown-ups.

YAG: I couldn't agree more! So, what’s next for you as a writer?

AA: Well…I have an option book due to my publisher later this year. I’m currently working on a contemporary Southern-gothic YA novel that’s beginning to feel overly epic and out of control. Think “The Thorn Birds” meets “The Sound and the Fury.” Some days, I think I’ve got things under control. Other days, it feels like I’m trying to lasso a rhino with wet spaghetti. So…typical writer’s journey!

YAG: Yes, that sounds painfully familiar! Thanks, Amy, for being on the blog and sharing your stories. Readers, if you want to find out more about Amy and DIG TOO DEEP, here's where to start digging:

Amy Allgeyer was born in Kentucky, the youngest of seven kids. As an architect, she spends her days remodeling hundred year-old homes in Idaho, where she lives with her son, a pound cat named Nightmare, and a fake owl named Alan. She hates chocolate, loves vegetables, and could easily live on hamburgers for the rest of her life. She has a Bachelor’s of Architecture from North Carolina State University, is a member of SCBWI, and an alumnus of the Nevada Mentor Program. She’s represented by Danielle Chiotti, Upstart Crow Literary.

Website: amyallgeyer.com
Twitter @amy7a


Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company
Release Date: April 1, 2016
ISBN-10: 0807515809
ISBN-13: 978-0807515808

Thursday, March 17, 2016

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

Little known fact: YA Guy's Irish to the core! Yes, I've got some other nationalities mixed in there, but I'm proud of my Irish heritage, and happy to be participating in a giveaway this St. Patrick's Day. Organized by the blog "I Am a Reader, Not a Writer" and co-hosted by all the great bloggers you see listed below, this giveaway offers you a chance to win that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!
Luck of the Irish

Luck of the Irish $250 Giveaway March 17th to 31st
$250 Amazon.com Gift Code or $250 in Paypal Cash

Sponsor List
I Am A Reader
Magical Cool Cat Mysteries
Kimber Leigh Wheaton
Author MK McClintock
Jennifer Faye - Romance Author
EskieMama Reads
Theresa DaLayne Melissa Haag - YA Author
Glistering Bs Blog
Simple Wyrdings
Why Not? Because I Said So!(Sheila Staley)
Lisa Wainland, Author
Aubrey Wynne: Romantasy Through the Ages
Prism Book Tours
Krysten Lindsay Hager author
Books R Us
Ann Swann
Nikki Jefford
D.E. Haggerty
Lori's Reading Corner
Heather Gray, Author
Author Deb Atwood
Poppy Lawless
Coupons and Freebies Mom
Melanie McFarlane Books
Everly Frost, YA Author
Leora Krygier author
Vicki L. Weavil
Beck Nicholas
Jennifer Bardsley
Stacy Claflin, Author
Diana's Book Reviews
J.L. Weil
Joshua David Bellin
Bella Street Time Travel Romance
Bonnie Blythe Christian Romance
Rockin' Book Reviews
Lonna @ FLYLēF Book Reviews
Author Inger Iversen
Lise McClendon
Annie Cosby, YA Author
Katy Haye
Paisley Piranhas

Giveaway Details

$250 in Paypal Cash or a $250 Amazon.com eGift Card! Ends 3/31/16. Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use money sent via Paypal. 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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway