A Roundup of YA Novels That Inspired Eric Smith While Writing INKED, Plus a Giveaway!

Hey guys! I’m super excited to have my pal Eric Smith, author & publishing rockstar at Quirk Books, here on the blog to celebrate his debut YA fantasy — which was out this past Tuesday and we’ll be celebrating TONIGHT here in Philly at Tattooed Mom!

I love hearing what books inspired authors so I’m excited that Eric is going to be dishing on what books inspired HIM while writing Inked!!

 

Like most kids, I grew up reading Young Adult novels. My parents regularly took me to the library to pick up whatever I wanted. However, most of my reading was focused on classic science fiction, adventure, and fantasy novels, and I’m lucky enough to have grown up with a family that really encouraged my ravenous reading habits. I read a ton of Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Robert Louis Stevenson as a kid. It wasn’t until a few years ago, that I revisited YA for the first time.

Why’d I come back? Well, here are the five books that made that happen, and inspired me to attempt writing in that genre.

Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children
MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN (Ransom Riggs): By day, I work at Quirk Books, an awesome indie publisher in Philadelphia. And in the Fall of 2012, we published Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. Now, as the marketing and social media guy, it’s important for me to be familiar with the communities I’m sending books to. So while Ransom’s debut was in the works, I started picking up other YA novels I saw bloggers talking about.
I read. And I read. And I read some more.

Suddenly, I found myself devouring two or more YA novels a week, taking advantage of Kindle deals, picking up novels I spotted on blogs, and catching up on a genre I hadn’t been a part of in years. It also introduced me to some of my now-favorite YA authors (some of whom I’ll list below), including Suzanne Collins, Beth Revis, and Kat Zhang.

Working on the marketing for Ransom’s book, gave me the kick-in-the-pants to start reading the genre again, and immediately made me want to start writing in it. I wanted to tell stories of magic and adventure, much like the books I’d read as a kid and the novels I was now reading as an adult.
I’m thrilled to see Ransom where he is now, and really glad I got to promote those books of his. He inadvertently gave me a big push in the right direction.

 

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SOMETHING STRANGE & DEADLY (Susan Dennard): Ah, this series. I talk about Susan Dennard’s amazing steampunk-zombie-fantasy series whenever I can, to the point that it likely annoys my friends and followers. But oh well. Deal With It Dot Gif. It’s a favorite of mine, and one of the books I picked up when I started doing some more “I wonder if I can write in this genre” research. I immediately devoured her awesome first book, and followed the series right after.

She also has a really great blog, where she dishes out advice and tips to writers. I highly recommend checking it out if you’re writing.

 

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BLACK HOLE SUN (David Macinnis Gill): Ah, this sci-fi series. It’s like a Young Adult version of Firefly on Mars, with pop culture references to World of Warcraft smattered in. Gill’s snarky characters and quick dialogue showed me that you could have that the sarcastic, snippy characters I wanted to write could totally work in an imagined world.

I also think his series is incredible underrated. If you haven’t checked these books out, please do. They are so hilarious and exciting. One of my favorite pieces of YA science fiction.

 

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HERO (Perry Moore): Originally, I was really interested in writing some kind of superhero story, and the choices in YA superhero tales were far and in between. Perry Moore’s amazing novel, Hero, broke my heart and caused plenty of ugly crying, but showed me the real power of what YA fiction could do. Stuff that, probably as a kid, I didn’t recognize right away. It could teach you the importance of being true to yourself, accepting others, etc.

It’s still one of my favorite Young Adult novels, and probably one of my favorite books ever, period.

 

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OF POSEIDON (Anna Banks): Anna’s YA romance series about mermaids was another one of the early YA books that I picked up. It was an eBook deal, and I read through it pretty quickly, and actually learned about a lot of authors thanks to her on Twitter.

She’s great at blending elements of fantasy and romance, something I really wanted to do in my own writing. Seriously check out her series, and keep an eye out for Joyride, her next book due out this year. As of this post, I’m about halfway through it, and it is just fantastic.
Thanks Jamie, for having me! And readers, go ahead and enter the lil’ giveaway below for a chance to win a bundle of the books I just mentioned! One lucky winner will get a copy of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Something Strange and Deadly, Black Hole Sun, Hero, Of Poseidon, and of course, an eBook of INKED. Good luck!

 

GIVEAWAY

Thanks to Eric we have a nice giveaway bundle for you! One lucky winner will win a copy of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Something Strange and Deadly, Black Hole Sun, Hero, Of Poseidon, and of course, an eBook of INKED!

*US only

a Rafflecopter giveaway

An Ember In The Ashes – excerpt reveal + GIVEAWAY!

 

If you took a look at my MOST anticipated debut novels of 2015 post (you did right??) you will know An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir received a spot on that list. It’s a book I’m SO excited about reading soon especially given my new found love for fantasy….and this one sure does look to be pretty epic!

I’m excited to partner with Penguin to celebrate this series right up until the release date — starting with an exciting excerpt and a giveaway! I’ve read the excerpt and now I’m just not sure I can wait to read it much longer!

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Set in a terrifyingly brutal Rome-like world, An Ember in the Ashes is an epic fantasy debut about an orphan fighting for her family and a soldier fighting for his freedom. It’s a story that’s literally burning to be told. LAIA is a Scholar living under the iron-fisted rule of the Martial Empire. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire’s greatest military academy in exchange for assistance from rebel Scholars who claim that they will help to save her brother from execution.ELIAS is the academy’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias is considering deserting the military, but before he can, he’s ordered to participate in a ruthless contest to choose the next Martial emperor. When Laia and Elias’s paths cross at the academy, they find that their destinies are more intertwined than either could have imagined and that their choices will change the future of the empire itself.

 

Check out the excerpt that was revealed exclusively on MTV News HERE!

And now for the giveaway!

Ember giveaway

Penguin is giving FIVE lucky winners the chance to win a signed galley of An Ember in the Ashes plus a t-shirt!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Good luck!!

A Very Handmade Holiday– Day #7

holiday-blog-giveaways

 

Hi friends! I know I don’t do a lot of giveaways on this site (not as many as I wish I could do to share the love) but I really wanted to give back to you guys. You give me so much all year round — friendship, encouragement, book recs, laughs, lovely comments and support — so I wanted to do a week of giveaways to show my appreciation. I decided to collab with some of my favorite Etsy shops and artists to give you some unique presents!

Welcome to the VERY LAST GIVEAWAY in my A Very Handmade Holiday series! I had so much fun doing this and I hope you all have discovered some new Etsy shops to bookmark!

 

Today I have Cara from Cara’s Bookish Charms! I’ve worked with her before for a Stephanie Perkins themed bracelet and she is so lovely (plus she is a Stephanie Perkins fans so instafriends!). I LOVE her shop. Seriously I want so many things. People who are fans of the following things are ESPECIALLY going to want to check out her shop: Harry Potter, Outlander, Game of Thrones, The Mortal Instruments, classic literature, Alice in Wonderland, The Princess Pride, John Green and more! Like way more. I could spend hours on her shop.

 

iusb_760x100.14669768_koac*click banner to go to her shop*

 

Here are some of my favorite items from her shop:

 

 

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THE GIVEAWAY

Cara is offering up, to one lucky winner, a necklace (a mini book cover or quote) of your choice! She also has a special code for 15% off for all my readers to her shop and it’s valid until January 31. Code is PAGETURNER15.

 

 

 

Rules:

- This giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY.
– You must be 13 years or older to enter.
– No purchase necessary to enter.
– Giveaway ends January 4th @ 11:59 EST.

Enter

 

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

A Very Handmade Holiday– Day #6 (Two giveaways in one)

holiday-blog-giveaways

 

Hi friends! I know I don’t do a lot of giveaways on this site (not as many as I wish I could do to share the love) but I really wanted to give back to you guys. You give me so much all year round — friendship, encouragement, book recs, laughs, lovely comments and support — so I wanted to do a week of giveaways to show my appreciation. I decided to collab with some of my favorite Etsy shops and artists to give you some unique presents!

 

Today is actually two giveaways in one post!!!

 

First up we have Becca from Pivot Book Reviews! She makes some awesome book-inspired handpainted totes and sells them at her Etsy shop called Pivot Book Totes. The best part is she takes custom orders and I’ve LOVED seeing what people have asked her to make and what she’s come up with from there.

 

 

Here are some of my favorite totes she’s done so far:

 

BuTuSZcIIAAFAcS

 

 Fangirl toteBvCEQxaIAAA1Wj7

 BvXVLszIUAArN9w

BtBVH1nCMAIQNaV
ByE2AT9IcAAmz1M

 

THE GIVEAWAY

Becca is offering up an Ignite Me tote for fans of the Shatter Me series — a series which I SUPER love and it came to an end this year! If you aren’t a Shatter Me series fan, I highly recommend considering contacting her for a custom tote at some point!

 

Ignite Me tote

 

Rules:

- This giveaway is US only.
– You must be 13 years or older to enter.
– No purchase necessary to enter.
– Giveaway ends January 3rd @ 11:59 EST.

Enter

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

Giveaway #2

So one of my favorite places to read is my bathtub. My bathtub in my apartment isn’t the best and so I really, really miss the big ol’ tub from my childhood home these days but I STILL love drawing up a nice bath and reading to unwind. Normally with a glass of wine.

In honor of bathtub reading, I’ve teamed up with a new Etsy shop called Sustainable Stead to give you some goodies for your bath! I’m all about homemade soaps and these look lovely!

I’m really eyeing up this Rose infused goat milk soap to use in my own bath!
(ingredients: Organic coconut oil, Goats Milk, Rose essential oil, Rose petals)

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I also REALLY want to soak in my tub with this oatmeal rose soap satchet!

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Giveaway

These lovely ladies are offering up 3 soaps to one lucky winner!

Rules:

- This giveaway is US only.
– You must be 13 years or older to enter.
– No purchase necessary to enter.
– Giveaway ends January 3rd @ 11:59 EST.

Enter

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A Very Handmade Holiday– Day #5

holiday-blog-giveaways

 

Hi friends! I know I don’t do a lot of giveaways on this site (not as many as I wish I could do to share the love) but I really wanted to give back to you guys. You give me so much all year round — friendship, encouragement, book recs, laughs, lovely comments and support — so I wanted to do a week of giveaways to show my appreciation. I decided to collab with some of my favorite Etsy shops and artists to give you some unique presents!

 

Today I’m featuring a shop who is brand new to the bookish Etsy scene and I think it is SUPER adorable. She does a necklace and a print set which makes the perfect gift for a bookish friend…or for yourself. Because, TREAT YO SELF.

 

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*banner will take you to her shop*

I can’t wait to see how her shop grows because the designs, jewelry and concept are adorable!!

 

Here are some of my favorite things so far from her shop:

 

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THE GIVEAWAY

 

The lovely lady at BookSphere is offering up your choice of  ONE ITEM from her shop!

 

Rules:

- This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL.
– You must be 13 years or older to enter.
– No purchase necessary to enter.
– Giveaway ends January 2nd @ 11:59 EST.

Enter



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck book nerds!!

A Very Handmade Holiday– Day #4

holiday-blog-giveaways

 

Hi friends! I know I don’t do a lot of giveaways on this site (not as many as I wish I could do to share the love) but I really wanted to give back to you guys. You give me so much all year round — friendship, encouragement, book recs, laughs, lovely comments and support — so I wanted to do a week of giveaways to show my appreciation. I decided to collab with some of my favorite Etsy shops and artists to give you some unique presents!

 

Today I’m featuring a shop who makes the most darling jewelry that every book lover needs!! I mean, jewelry that lets me wear my favorite book around my neck all loud and proud? UM YEAH. Meet Tiny Book Town!

 

iusb_760x100.13696302_38ep*banner will take you to her shop*

 

Her designs are adorable — such a nice mix of classics and YA. And I really love that she has different sizes for the book charms.

 

il_570xN.680105612_ipniAll photos from TinyBookTown

 

 

 

Here are some of my favorite things from her shop:

 

 

To Kill A Mockingbird To Kill A Mockingbird necklace

Anna and the French Kiss

Anna and the French Kiss necklace

Charlotte’s Web!!

charlotte's web necklace

Paper Towns necklace

john green necklace

Jane Austen necklace

Jane Austen jewelry

 

 

 

THE GIVEAWAY

 

The lovely lady at TinyBookTown is offering up your choice of  ONE ITEM.

 

Rules:

- This giveaway is US ONLY.
– You must be 13 years or older to enter.
– No purchase necessary to enter.
– Giveaway ends January 1st @ 11:59 EST.

Enter

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck book nerds!!

A Very Handmade Holiday– Day #3

holiday-blog-giveaways

 

Hi friends! I know I don’t do a lot of giveaways on this site (not as many as I wish I could do to share the love) but I really wanted to give back to you guys. You give me so much all year round — friendship, encouragement, book recs, laughs, lovely comments and support — so I wanted to do a week of giveaways to show my appreciation. I decided to collab with some of my favorite Etsy shops and artists to give you some unique presents!

 

Today I’m featuring a shop run by a blogger I SUPER DUPER LOVE:

 

THE ART OF YOUNG ADULT

 

Guys, Gillian is amazing. I’ve gotten to hang with her IRL and I love her blog to pieces — she’s smart and passionate and has damn good taste in books. SEEEE, proof! We were even twinning a little bit with our stripes.

 

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And did you know she is an amaaaazing talented artist?? She recently opened a Society6 shop this year and it’s AMAZING and so I’m so very happy to partner with her on this because I legit want SO many things from her shop — The Art of Young Adult.  (Also you HAVE to check out her Tumblr which has even more amazing fan art!)

 

 

 

Here are some of my favorite things from her shop:

 

Throne of Glass series mug

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If I Stay print — Mia with her cello <333

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Anna and the French Kiss phone case

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Cath & Levi (Fangirl) reading in bed

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Eleanor & Park t-shirt

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Isla & the Happily Ever After

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(All images belong to Gillian so don’t be a douchenozzle and try to use them for your own purposes)

THE GIVEAWAY

 

Gillian is offering up your choice of any item UNDER $20.

 

Rules:

- This giveaway is US ONLY.
– You must be 13 years or older to enter.
– No purchase necessary to enter.
– Giveaway ends December 31 @ 11:59 EST.

Enter

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck book nerds!!

A Very Handmade Holiday– Day #2

holiday-blog-giveaways

 

Hi friends! I know I don’t do a lot of giveaways on this site (not as many as I wish I could do to share the love) but I really wanted to give back to you guys. You give me so much all year round — friendship, encouragement, book recs, laughs, lovely comments and support — so I wanted to do a week of giveaways to show my appreciation. I decided to collab with some of my favorite Etsy shops and artists to give you some unique presents!

 

Today I’m featuring a shop that I’ve featured an item from before! If you read my ten bookish things I need, you’ve seen it!

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I LOVE Shaileyann’s designs SO MUCH. I’m such a sucker for pretty typography and I loooove literary quotes and inspiration quotes to hang around my home! She has tons of stuff perfect for fans of Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Dr. Who, John Green and more! She even does gorgeous invites that I have my eye on for the next event I have to throw!

 

Here are some of my favorite things from her shop:

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Hank Green quote

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Eleanor & Park quote
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Dr. Who Quote

il_570xN.658374162_qn2zLooking For Alaska inspired — From the book — “Francois Rabelais. He was a poet. And his last words were “I go to seek a Great Perhaps.” That’s why I’m going. So I don’t have to wait until I die to start seeking a Great Perhaps.”

il_570xN.628172434_pzmyJK Rowling quote

 

The lovely Shaileyann is offering up one free 11×17 print to one lucky winner!! You have no idea how jealous I am of the winner.

 

Rules:

- This giveaway is US ONLY (unless you are willing to pay shipping).
– You must be 13 years or older to enter.
– No purchase necessary to enter.
– Giveaway ends December 30 @ 11:59 EST.

Enter

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck book nerds!!

A Very Handmade Holiday– A Week Of Giveaways

holiday-blog-giveaways

Hi friends! I know I don’t do a lot of giveaways on this site (at least not as many as I wish I could share with you) but I really wanted to give back to you guys. You give me so much all year round — friendship, encouragement, book recs, laughs, lovely comments and support — so I wanted to do a week of giveaways to show my appreciation. I decided to collab with some of my favorite Etsy shops and artists to give you some unique presents!

 

First up is an Etsy shop that I’d been bookmarking for a while AND they also run a bookish blog!

 

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Appraising Pages has some of the cutest literary apparel I’ve seen on Etsy! They even have some comic & tv inspired items since we book nerds tend to also have interests there too!

Now take a moment to drool with me over some of my favorites in their shop:

 

literary YA clothing

 

The lovely ladies are offering up a $30 credit to their shop to one lucky winner so you can pick out your own literary inspired clothing!

Rules:

- This giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY.
– You must be 13 years or older to enter.
– No purchase necessary to enter.
– Giveaway ends December 29 @ 11:59 EST.

Enter

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Good luck book nerds!!

The Raven Cycle Tarot Card Blog Tour + Giveaway

When I got asked to take part in this AMAZING blog tour I KNEW I had to see if my girl Carla (biggest Maggie fan ever + my occasional guest reviewer..you met her in this post right??) wanted to tackle this with me. And tackle it did she ever! It’s perfect.

I’ve been LOVING keeping up with this tour (runs from November 1-22) because bloggers have been so creative, you can win awesome things and also Maggie Stiefvater is BRILLIANT — seriously SHE DESIGNED THEM ALL. So here’s the schedule for the tour if you need to catch up! The tour has been featuring the Major Arcana with each stop on the tour revealing one of the 22 cards as designed by Maggie Stiefvater, and will use that card to reveal the past, present and future of The Raven Cycle series. The This is Teen Pinterest page has been updated to include every card/post.

 

TarotTourGraphic

 

ABOUT THE TAROT DECK

 

The tarot is a divination system that uses a deck of cards to gain insight. Most decks are comprised of 78 cards divided into the Major Arcana and Minor Arcana, with each card being symbolic of an energy or spiritual truth. The Major Arcana are known as the “trump cards” because they impart messages of greater weight and significance than the Minor Arcana.

About The Judgment Card + Carla’s Reading Of It:

We’ll give you a little background on The Judgment card and then Carla is going to give you a reading for the series:

 

Judgment

The JUDGMENT card is one that represents plans coming to fruition, that symbolizes resurrection, that indicates life changing decisions are required. A major change is coming.

Upright the card symbolizes judgment, absolution and rebirth; of how to awaken the truth inside of you and bring it into the light. Reversed symbolizes doubt and self judgement; of how easy it is to be overly critical of yourself and never allowing yourself to think of mistakes as learning experiences.

WHY HELLO THERE RONAN LYNCH YOU DAYDREAM DRESSED AS A NIGHTMARE.

“Ronan looked angry, but he was in the mood where he was going to look angry no matter what. “I don’t know what I want. I don’t know what the hell I am.” — The Raven Boys

Past

Ronan has a secret that he both knows and doesn’t know. It’s a secret that he folds up and tries to hide away. It’s the harder kind of secret; the one he keeps from himself. He is close to reaching a significant stage in his own journey, however, he is riddled with denial. He is full of anger and hate. You can see this in the way he behaves at the start of The Dream Thieves; he is, to put it blunt, a bit of a bastard. This secret gets brought to life in his dreams where the truth is awakened and brought into the light. In his dreams, he opens himself up to his secrets and realizes that he needs to take action. He has taken the first steps into admitting the secret to himself.

Present

Ronan has reached a significant stage in his own journey. Whilst still a bit of a prick, he seems to be letting his life finally come together. He is moving towards reconciling this part of himself and moving past the denial stage. He is ready to confront who he is. He seems more willing to accept that change is inevitable and that self doubt and judgement can be avoided. That he can find absolution inside of himself. That the only judgment he was experiencing wasn’t from anyone else, but from himself.

Future

Ronan understands that the major change is here, demanding to be known, however, this change will be under his control. Now is the time for him to make all the changes he desires. He understands that you can’t run or hide from yourself and that this change is necessary. Judgment tells him that whilst he is to be aware of the past he can use the lessons he has learned about himself as a person to take a definite step right into Adam’s arms towards the future he desires and deserves. A future where he will never lose sight of his worth. A future full of hope and all the wonderful things that come from having faith that you are on the right path.

The Giveaway

 

Get excited, friends!!! One lucky winner is going to get The Raven Boys, The Dream Thieves and Blue Lily, Lily Blue PLUS a limited edition Maggie Stiefvater Major Arcana tarot deck courtesy of Scholastic. It’s too good of a prize to not enter!!

 

*US mailing addresses only.
* Must be 13 years old or older to enter.
*Ends 11/29 at 12am EST.
*No purchase necessary. Winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter, contacted by email and has 72 hours to respond before

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

ABOUT THE SERIES

TheRavenCycle

 

Book 1: The Raven Boys

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them–until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her. His name is Gansey, a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She doesn’t believe in true love, and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

 

Book 2: The Dream Thieves

Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after….

Book 3: Blue Lily, Lily Blue

There is danger in dreaming. But there is even more danger in waking up.

Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs.

The trick with found things though, is how easily they can be lost.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

 

MaggieStiefvaterEntertainment Weekly has called Maggie Stiefvater, “one of the finest YA novelists writing today.” Maggie Stiefvater is a writer, artist, and musician and the New York Times bestselling author of Shiver, hailed by Publishers Weekly in a starred review as, “a lyrical tale,” and by BookPage as, “beautifully written, even poetic at times, and a perfect indulgence for readers of all ages.” There are more than 1.8 million copies of the Shiver trilogy in print. Since publication, rights to thirty-six foreign editions of Shiver have been licensed. Linger, the second book in the Shiver trilogy, debuted at #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list. The Scorpio Races (2011) was named to the following best of the year lists for 2011: Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, The Horn Book and Kirkus Reviews. In addition, The Scorpio Races was named a 2012 Michael L. Printz Honor Book by the American Library Association and a New York Times Notable Children’s Book. Time Magazine called, The Raven Boys, Book #1 in Stiefvater’s latest New York Times bestselling series The Raven Cycle, “A flirtier kind of horror-fantasy, aimed at teens clutching tattered Twilight and Sandman paperbacks….Stiefvater’s quirky prose has ample nerdy pleasures.” Stiefvater lives in Virginia with her family.

*photo credit Robert Severi

 

Good luck, friends! And make sure you follow Carla (@loltergeist) on Twitter!! She’s fab and I love having her grace the presence of my blog every now and again!!

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