Saturday, September 27, 2014

YA Guy Hosts... Katie L. Carroll's ELIXIR BOUND Blog Blitz! (Plus a giveaway!)

YA Guy is thrilled to play host to Katie L. Carroll's ELIXIR BOUND blog blitz! If you're in the YA community and don't know Katie, you should--she's an author, editor, social media whiz, and one of the most genuinely awesome people around. Her book ELIXIR BOUND is a thrilling YA fantasy, and Katie's giving it away on Goodreads through September 28 (that's TOMORROW)! Read on, and be sure to enter the giveaway before it's too late!

YA fantasy
by Katie L. Carroll

Katora Kase is next in line to take over as guardian to a secret and powerful healing Elixir. Now she must journey into the wilds of Faway Forest to find the ingredient that gives the Elixir its potency. Even though she has her sister and brother, an old family friend, and the handsome son of a mapmaker as companions, she feels alone.

It is her decision alone whether or not to bind herself to the Elixir to serve and protect it until it chooses a new guardian. The forest hosts many dangers, including wicked beings that will stop at nothing to gain power, but the biggest danger Katora may face is whether or not to open up her heart to love.

Ebook on sale for $.99 until September 27:
MuseItUp bookstore:

Signed paperback giveaway on Goodreads until September 28:

About the Author:

Katie L. Carroll began writing at a very sad time in her life after her 16-year-old sister, Kylene, unexpectedly passed away. Since then writing has taken her to many wonderful places, real and imagined. She wrote ELIXIR BOUND and the forthcoming ELIXIR SAVED so Kylene could live on in the pages of a book. Katie is also the author of the picture app THE BEDTIME KNIGHT and an editor for MuseItUp Publishing. She lives not too far from the beach in a small Connecticut city with her husband and son. For more about Katie, visit her website at and follow her on Twitter (@KatieLCarroll) or Tumblr.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

YA Guy Celebrates... His SURVIVAL COLONY 9 Launch!

YA Guy's still reveling in the glow of my SURVIVAL COLONY 9 launch party. It was held at Mystery Lovers Bookshop near Pittsburgh, and the crowd literally spilled out into the street. The world-famous Oakmont Bakery (just across the street from the bookstore) crafted a replica book cake, and the bookstore chipped in lemonade and popcorn. A close high school friend who lives in California surprised me by showing up, as did a cousin who hails from Massachusetts. I read from my book, took questions, then signed people's copies till the wee hours. All in all, it was a great event, just the sort of thing I hoped and dreamed it would be.

Here are some pictures from the launch.

Thanks to everyone who was there with me, in person or in spirit. This has been an incredible journey, and I've loved sharing it with you!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

YA Guy Says... Today's the Day!

It's here.

It's finally here.

After over a year of waiting (or nearly fifty years, depending on how you count these things), YA Guy's debut novel has hit the stands.

That's right: SURVIVAL COLONY 9 is in the house!

This is an amazing and nearly surreal moment for me, and I'd like to take the time to thank everyone--family and friends, fellow writers, industry professionals, random strangers--who contributed in one way or another to this day. In particular, I'd like to thank three awesome women who played crucial roles in making my dream come true: my wife, Christine Saitz; my agent, Liza Fleissig; and my editor, Karen Wojtyla. You are all my heroes, now and forever.

If you'd like to check out some of the SURVIVAL COLONY 9-related business on the web, here are a few of the places I'm visiting today:

My Book Addiction (guest post and giveaway)
Reading Teen (excerpt and giveaway)
Stephanie Keyes (excerpt)
Rhiann Wynn-Nolet (excerpt)
One Four Kid Lit (debut day post)

And if you're in Pittsburgh, please consider swinging by my launch party, which is happening at 6:00 this evening at Mystery Lovers Bookshop.

You can also look back at some prior reviews, interviews, guest posts, and whatnot:

Feathered Quill (review)
Curling Up with a Good Book (interview/review)
Comic Pop Library (podcast review and interview)
The Young Folks (review)
Kat Ross (interview)
The Great Noveling Adventure (review)
Lisa Maxwell (interview)
Pub Hub (excerpt)
Kelly Vision (review)
Icey Books (guest post and giveaway with Christina Farley)
Literary Rambles (guest post and giveaway)
Dianne Salerni (interview)
Examiner (review)
Shannon's Corner (podcast interview)
JennRenee Read (review)

Tomorrow, I'll be on the Fearless Fifteeners, and there'll be a few other things coming out over the next several weeks. To stay up-to-date on all things SC9, check out the media page of my website. You can also see a list of my upcoming appearances on my news and events page.

It's been a whirlwind, a bash, a pleasure, and an honor. YA Guy says to all of you: thanks for sharing this moment with me, and here's looking forward to even bigger and better things to come!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

YA Guy Hosts... Kai Strand's KING OF BAD "Damaged Goods" Blog Tour!

Today, YA Guy Hosts Kai Strand's "Damaged Goods" giveaway for her novel KING OF BAD! I love the story behind this giveaway--and you're going to love KING OF BAD! So read on, and check out the Rafflecopter giveaway below!

Hey everybody, my name is Kai Strand. I was unpacking books at a signing and came across a copy of King of Bad with a torn cover. Bummer. I can’t sell that! But my loss is your gain. Because I can hold a giveaway instead!

Along with a slightly damaged copy of King of Bad, I’m also giving away several sets of character trading cards. These cards have been specially designed for book one in the series. There will be a separate set of cards designed for each book – so be among the first to own a set.

About the book:

Jeff Mean would rather set fires than follow rules or observe curfew. He wears his bad boy image like a favorite old hoodie; that is until he learns he has superpowers and is recruited by Super Villain Academy – where you learn to be good at being bad. In a school where one kid can evaporate all the water from your body and the girl you hang around with can perform psychic sex in your head, bad takes on a whole new meaning. Jeff wonders if he’s bad enough for SVA.

He may never find out. Classmates vilify him when he develops good manners. Then he’s kidnapped by those closest to him and left to wonder who is good and who is bad. His rescue is the climactic episode that balances good and evil in the super world. The catalyst – the girl he’s crushing on. A girlfriend and balancing the Supers is good, right? Or is it…bad?

Available in print or electronic: Whiskey Creek Press, Amazon, Barnes and Noble 


Jeff admired the growth of the flames as they devoured wads of paper and fast food wrappers in the wire mesh trashcan. He slipped the book of matches into his pocket and sat back on his heels to admire his work. One side of the can merely smoldered so he blew gently to fan the guttering flame. It reminded him of how blowing on Jasmine’s neck the night before had resulted in a lovely arch of her back. He growled a throaty sigh, remembering Jasmine’s blissful distraction as he’d nibbled her earlobe.

“ Hey!”

Jeff glanced over his shoulder. A man, who looked like he belonged behind a desk in a downtown high rise, jogged toward him.

“ Ah, the sweet sounds of discipline.” Jeff stood, stuffed his fists in the front pockets of his jeans and shook the long bangs out of his eyes. He half expected the guy’s slick-soled business shoes to slip as he jogged across visitor parking. This was Jeff’s favorite part. Almost getting caught. When the guy was a baseball’s toss away, Jeff turned. He walked a couple steps then skipped up into a jog.

“ Kid, stop!”

Jeff chuckled to himself and said, “Yeah, sure,” and loped across the soccer field.

“ Wait a minute.”

Jeff stole a look over his shoulder. The guy was close even though he didn’t seem to be running very fast. Jeff grinned at him and increased his pace. A seven-foot tall chain link fence ringed in the far side of the field to prevent stray soccer balls from breaking the windows of passing cars on the street below. Jeff leaped onto the fence without slowing down and in two cat-like movements, launched himself over the top. He dropped to the ground, landing on a hill pocked with gopher holes, as easily as if he were jumping around in a bounce house. He smoothly transitioned back into a sprint and dashed across the street, startling a lady driving an SUV.

“ Kid, hold up.”

Jeff almost tripped; the guy was half way across the street already. He smirked, finally a decent chase, but not for long. With little effort, Jeff stepped up to a blurring speed. He dashed up a peaceful street that ran perpendicular to the school, where kids rode bikes and ran through sprinklers. Jeff recognized one of the “good” kids from school, washing a ’57 step-side Chevy.

“ Sweet ride,” Jeff called out. The kid looked up at him, but then snapped his head to the left. That guy cannot be that close! Jeff looked over his shoulder to find the guy was only a house length behind him. Holy crap, Batman. No one ever keeps up with me!

For the first time in a long time, Jeff worried. But only a little. With a deep, fortifying breath he pumped his thigh muscles harder. He whizzed past houses so fast he doubted anyone would be able to describe him if they were asked to later. Tears streamed sideways from the force of the wind his speed created. He’d only started to breathe a bit more heavily than normal. Jeff was built to run.

“ Kid, hold on just a second.”

Jeff stumbled, but regained his footing again before becoming road rash. The guy sounded as if he was only a bus length away. How can that be? No one runs as fast as I do. Jeff’s lungs constricted. An alien emotion, panic, budded in his chest. Stay focused. Controlled, deep breaths allowed calming oxygen into his lungs and up to his brain and Jeff’s airways opened fully again.

Real speed required concentration. Jeff concentrated on his thigh muscles. Usually he only bothered to think about the front muscles in order to ignite his unusual speed, but this time he thought about the sinewy, sleek muscles that wrapped gracefully around the larger front muscles. He envisioned how the smaller muscles provided strength and support to the larger working muscle. He pictured that strength extending into his gluteus maximus to sustain a strong stride. The resulting speed was completely inhuman.


I loved the world building! It made me wish I was part of it. Strand does a fantastic job of making the world of King of Bad seem like it's a real thing. -Heather

King of Bad sucks you in from the first page and doesn't let you go. I couldn't put it down! –Amazon Review

About the author:

When her children were young and the electricity winked out, Kai Strand gathered her family around the fireplace and they told stories, one sentence at a time. Her boys were rather fond of the ending, “And then everybody died. The end.” Now an award winning children’s author, Kai crafts fiction for kids and teens to provide an escape hatch from their reality. With a selection of novels for young adult and middle grade readers and short stories for the younger ones, Kai entertains children of all ages, and their adults. Learn more about Kai and her books on her website,

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Monday, September 15, 2014

YA Guy Hosts... Margo Kelly!

YA Guy's psyched to host Margo Kelly, author of the soon-to-be released WHO R U REALLY? (Official release date: 9/18.) Today on the blog, Margo shares the disturbing real-life events behind her chilling novel.

Margo Kelly’s Debut Who R U Really? was Ripped from a Real Life Event!

After her daughter narrowly survived a man she met in an online role-playing game, Kelly wrote a breathless young adult thriller with the hopes of helping others spot and unmask internet predators.

When a Nampa, Idaho, police detective said to Margo Kelly’s daughter, “It is your job to tell others—your real everyday friends that you go to school with—tell them what happened to you, so nothing like this can happen to them,” … she agreed. 

“My daughter is my hero,” Kelly said, “for being willing to share her personal choices, conversations, and feelings in order to help others, regardless of the negative judgment she might receive as a result.” Additionally, Kelly realized if she wrote a novel about her daughter’s experience, this could help more people avoid the traps of internet predators. Thus, while Who R U Really? is a work of fiction, the essence of the plot is what happened when Kelly’s daughter was nearly abducted. The fictional elements are based on what has happened to young women across the country on a too frequent basis.

“Inspired by her own daughter's terrifying story, Kelly has painted a realistic picture of how a smart girl can get caught up in something dangerous online,” said the School Library Journal. “Guaranteed to give readers goosebumps—particularly as events heat up toward the end.… A good choice for families to read together.”

Who R U Really? will be published in hardcover and e-book versions by Merit Press (F+W Media) on September 18, 2014.

More about Who R U Really?

When Thea discovers a new role-playing game online, she breaks her parents’ rules to play. And in the world of the game, Thea falls for an older boy named Kit whose smarts and savvy can’t defeat his near-suicidal despair. Soon, he’s texting her, asking her to meet him, and talking in vague ways about how they can be together forever. As much as she suspects that this is wrong, Thea is powerless to resist Kit’s allure, and hurtles toward the very fate her parents feared most. Who R U Really? will excite you and scare you, as Thea’s life spins out of control.

Enter to win the Goodreads giveaway

Buy online:

More about Margo Kelly

Margo Kelly is a native of the Northwest and currently resides in Idaho. A veteran public speaker, she is now actively pursuing her love of writing. Who R U Really? is her first novel. Margo welcomes the opportunities to speak to youth groups, library groups, and book clubs.

Follow her online:
Twitter: @MargoWKelly

Scheduled Appearances:
September 26, 2014 – 5pm – Book Signing at Hastings in Meridian, Idaho
September 27, 2014 – 4pm – Book Signing at Hastings on Overland in Boise, Idaho
October 3, 2014 – 7pm – Book Launch Party at Hyde Park Books in Boise, Idaho
October 11, 2014 – 4pm – Book Signing at Barnes & Noble in Boise, Idaho

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

YA Guy Hosts... The Darkly Delicious YA Back-to-School Giveaway!

Welcome to the Back to School Giveaway hosted by the authors at Darkly Delicious YA.

Add great YA titles to your to be read list on Goodreads and enter to win an Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card so that you can purchase novels from your favorite authors.

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