Author Annie Silvestro: Why I ♥ Libraries.

I  ♥ Libraries: By Annie Silvestro

Libraries are my very favorite places.  They are special, sacred places of joy and discovery.  Safe places to learn, to engage, to connect, to grow.

Libraries are places filled with magic.

To be a part of the magic, and thus a little bit magic ourselves, all we have to do is enter.

And when we do, the whole entire world – fictional or factual or fantasy – is ours for the taking. With the help of one very important card of course.   bbc-library-card-front

I remember the proud moment when I obtained my very first library card as a child. I felt responsible. Giddy. Powerful! I treasured books and the idea that I could pick any ones I wanted and take them home with me to read brought me immeasurable pleasure. It still does.

Of course for a reader, a library is as enticing as a candy store. For a writer, the library is also an invaluable resource. Libraries expose us to a world of inspiration, to a diversity of voices, to mentor texts modern and classic. Not to mention books about writing and craft and language. The library provides endless opportunities to spark our own imaginations.

The library inspired me to write BUNNY’S BOOK CLUB.    

bbc-cover-from-prh-websiteIn the story, Bunny loves books so much he sneaks into the library to get them. He wants to share in the magic, too.

When Bunny’s friends catch wind of what he’s been up to, they want in on the action. Not only do they want books, they want to choose exactly which ones they’ll read. So off they go to do just that. And who could blame them?

The library contains something for the reader –or writer- in each of us. And if a person (or animal) can’t immediately find that perfect book? The librarian can make a recommendation.

Because they’re a little bit magic, too.

BUNNY’S BOOK CLUB is a love letter to libraries.

My very favorite places.      as-headshot-v3

Annie Silvestro is a lover of books who reads and writes as much as possible and can often be found shuffling piles of them around so she has a place to sit or someplace to put her teacup. Her picture books include BUNNY’S BOOK CLUB, illustrated by Tatjana Mai-Wyss (Doubleday Books for Young Readers), MICE SKATING, illustrated by Teagan White (Sterling, Fall 2017), and THE CHRISTMAS TREE WHO LOVED TRAINS, illustrated by Paola Zakimi (HarperCollins, Fall 2018).

Annie lives by the beach in NJ with her husband and two boys who like to read, and a cat who does not. Visit Annie online at: www.anniesilvestro.com and on Twitter and Instagram: @anniesilvestro

One lucky reader can win a signed copy of BUNNY’S BOOK CLUB! To enter, leave a comment below.  Darlene will put your name in a hat.  If you share this post on FB or Tweet it on Twitter, she will add your name again (Just let her know what you did).  US RESIDENTS ONLY, PLEASE.  Winner will be announced here on 2-15-17.

 

 

 

 

Welcome to the World of Genies by KidLit Author Tara Crowl + Free Book

Today’s post is brought to you by Kid Lit Author TARA CROWL.  Here’s Tara:

In my middle-grade novels Eden’s Wish and Eden’s Escape (Disney-Hyperion), my protagonist, Eden, is a twelve-year-old genie who wants to be a regular girl and live on Earth. But for her, that’s impossible—at least, until she grants 999 wishes and completes her genie career. Until then, she’s stuck in the lamp with her masters, Xavier and Goldie, who have raised every genie who’s ever lived in the lamp.

But during the brief periods of time she’s spent on Earth granting wishes, Eden has fallen in love with the world. She isn’t content to wait. So in Eden’s Wish, she finds a way to escape her lamp, comes to Earth, and poses as a regular girl. In Eden’s Escape, her wish finally comes true when the lamp’s rules change to allow her to live on Earth while completing her genie career.

Eden is strong-willed, adventurous, and brave, and she definitely knows what she does and does not like. To help you get to know her, here are Eden’s 5 favorite things, and her 5 least favorite things.

Eden’s 5 Favorite Things

  1. Growing up in the lamp, Eden never got to see the sun. In Eden’s Wish, she describes her first sighting of it: “She couldn’t have imagined light like this. She was used to the soft glow of her chandelier and to the flickering of candles on the dining table. Now she saw they were thin imitations of the bright light that baked the Earth like a cake in an oven.” She’s baffled and enamored by the sun, and back in the lamp, she dreams about it.

2. In the lamp, Eden takes lessons in every subject, as well as special units on Lamp History and Granting for Genies. Her favorite subject is biology. She delights in learning about living things, and dogs are her favorite. She can identify every breed. When she goes to Earth and sees them in real life, she can’t contain her excitement.

3. New friends. When Eden arrives on Earth after escaping the lamp, she meets a brother and sister named Tyler and Sasha. They befriend her right away, and lie to their father so Eden can stay at their apartment and go to school with them. They end up forming a friendship that carries on through the series. In Eden’s Escape, Eden becomes close friends with her guardian, a jubilant genie alum named Pepper. Later, when she is summoned to Paris for a granting and has to go on the run, she makes friends with a French girl named Melodie. Eden loves making new friends, and they play a vital role in her adventures. She also learns a lot about how to be a good friend.

4. The ocean. When Eden first shows up on a San Diego beach, she’s elated to see the ocean. She’s only seen it once before, on a granting in Jamaica. She’s so excited that she runs in and gets tossed around by the waves. It’s so bad that she has to be rescued!

5. More than anything else, Eden loves and values freedom. That’s why, in Eden’s Wish, she takes a huge risk and escapes the lamp to chase after it.

Eden’s 5 Least Favorite Things

  1. Writing reports. After her first granting in Eden’s Wish, Eden’s master Xavier scolds her for the mischievous way she twisted the wisher’s wishes. He assigns her a written report on how the granting should have been handled. Eden hates being told what to do, and how to do it. But while she’s under her masters’ control, there’s not much she can do about it.

2. Being patient. Eden wants to live on Earth, but first she has to complete her career as a genie. That means granting 999 wishes. In Eden’s Wish, she thinks, “That could take fifty years, or forty, or maybe, if she was lucky, thirty.” She simply can’t imagine waiting that long.

3. Being trapped. In Eden’s Wish, Eden wonders, “How much potential could you live up to in a prison? Potential lay out there on Earth, not trapped in an antique oil lamp.” She is desperate to be free, and live outside the lamp’s boundaries.

4. Deceitful people. In the lamp, Eden is fascinated by a genie alum named Sylvana. Sylvana is the only alum who doesn’t have any granted wishes listed in the Lamp History course guide, and Eden can tell that Xavier and Goldie become uncomfortable when she asks about her. On Earth, Sylvana shows up at Eden’s school, pretending to be her mother. At first, Eden is thrilled to meet the alum she always wondered about and looked up to. She thinks she’s finally found someone who understands her. But eventually, she learns that Sylvana is trying to use her to acquire the lamp and its power for herself. From that point forward, Sylvana becomes Eden’s enemy—and Eden starts to be wary of deceit.

 5. Letting people down. In Eden’s Escape, now that she’s living her dream of being on Earth, Eden is focused on protecting the people she loves, and she’s frustrated when she falls short. At one point, she laments: “This time, she’d really made a mess of things. She’d let down everyone she cared about: not only Pepper and the Loyals, who she had no hope of rescuing now, but also her masters, who were still stuck in the lamp…She couldn’t seem to do the right thing.” You’ll have to read the books to see if she’s able to turn things around!

Thanks for having me, and happy reading!     

EDEN’S WISH (EDEN OF THE LAMP #1) BY M. TARA CROWL

Age range: 9-12                  edenswish_cvr_5-20-15Publisher: Disney-Hyperion (September 1, 2015)

All twelve years of Eden’s life have been spent in an antique oil lamp. She lives like a princess inside her tiny, luxurious home; but to Eden, the lamp is nothing but a prison. She hates being a genie. All she wants, more than anything, is freedom.

When Eden finds a gateway to Earth within the lamp, she takes her chance and enters the world she loves. And this time, she won’t be sent back after three wishes.

Posing as the new kid at a California middle school, Eden revels in all of Earth’s pleasures–but quickly learns that this world isn’t as perfect as she always thought it was. Eden soon finds herself in the middle of a centuries-old conflict between powerful immortals. A ruthless organization run by a former genie will stop at nothing to acquire the lamp and its power–even hurt Tyler and Sasha, the new mortal friends who have given Eden a home. To save her friends and protect the lamp’s magic, Eden must decide once and for all where she belongs.

EDEN’S ESCAPE (EDEN OF THE LAMP #2) BY M. TARA CROWL

Age range: 9-12

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion (September 6, 2016)   edens-escape_final-2

Eden’s new life on earth begins in New York City under the guidance of her new guardian: Pepper, a petite, bubbly genie alum who’s also a Broadway actress. Before she has a chance to settle in, though, Eden is whisked away for a granting–only to find herself trapped in a laboratory.

David Brightly, owner of the world’s leading tech company, cares more about tapping into the lamp’s power than making a wish and starts performing tests on Eden. With Brightly’s plasma shield around the lamp, Eden has no way home. Left without a choice, she escapes the lab and goes on the run. After her daring exit, Eden finds herself on the streets of Paris–home to Electra’s headquarters. Left in a strange city with a price on her head (courtesy of scheming Brightly), Eden has to keep her wits about her. She dons a chic disguise and flits around Paris incognito, investigating Brightly Tech. Assisted by Pepper and her old adversary Bola, as well as some new friends, Eden embarks on a quest to retrieve the lamp and protect the secrets of the genie legacy.

PRAISE FOR THE EDEN OF THE LAMP SERIES

“Crowl’s imaginative story line rings with both perception and humor.”  ―Kirkus Reviews 

“Middle grade readers will enjoy the children’s autonomy and Eden’s humorous difficulties in grasping how school works…Hand this to readers who like their magical fantasy combined with middle school drama.”  ―School Library Journal

“An imaginative romp with a smart, snarky protagonist and a humorous interpretation of the world as we know it…[Eden] is also just plain entertaining, with a sassy attitude and a clever wit that saves her on more than one occasion.”   ―BCCB

 

_mg_3301-croppedTara Crowl grew up in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. She studied Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California, then received an MA in Creative Writing at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. She lives in New York City.

Tara is happy to give away a signed copy of EDEN’S WISH.  Just leave a comment  here and share the post on social media to enter.  ONE name will be drawn at random from those entered.  A winner will be announced on this blog on 12-15-16.

Karen Fortunati: Author of THE WEIGHT OF ZERO.

With the holidays around the corner, I am reblogging posts of some excellent books to remind readers that books make great gifts.  Here’s one on the YA novel THE WEIGHT OF ZERO…an award winning debut from author Karen Fortunati.

I had the pleasure of meeting Karen Fortunati a few years ago at a writer’s retreat in Avalon NJ.  We shared critiques and bonded over writing, the beach and sharing life stories.  Her brilliant writing stood out then and has only gotten better.  Karen’s debut YA, THE WEIGHT OF ZERO (Delacorte Press), will be out this fall and has already gotten raves and literary recognition.  It is with great pleasure that I feature her on today’s post.  Here’s Karen:

What’s In A Name? by Karen Fortunati

How do writers come up with their characters’ names? Divine inspiration? Subconscious memories intersecting with imagination? Focused creativity? Or just flat out making it up as we go along? For me, it’s a combo of all these methods. Here’s a little insight on the naming of some of my characters in The Weight of Zero.

Catherine Pulaski: The main character popped into my head with her first name firmly established. She was Catherine and there were no bones about it. Since writing her story, I’ve asked myself why “Catherine?” I’m guessing it’s because of my aunt/godmother, Catherine Lonski. Like my mother, she’s been a constant, positive and inspirational influence in my life. In addition, my mom has been interchanging my name with her sister’s for so long, the name feels like mine.

My mother, Margaret Angelo, Aunt Catherine (Lonski), Aunt Marilyn (Librizzi) (l to r) and little Emmy

My mother, Margaret Angelo, Aunt Catherine (Lonski), Aunt Marilyn (Librizzi) (l to r) and little Emmy

Now my fictional Catherine didn’t come with a last name so I had to choose one. Having gone through an American Revolution obsession several years ago, I decided to use a general’s name. I choose Casimir Pulaski, a Polish citizen who became enamored with the cause for independence. Once he got to America, he turned out to be a brilliant tactician and has been called the “Father of the American Cavalry.”

http://www.thelatinlibrary.com/chron/civilwarnotes/pulaski.html

So why him? First off, I’m part Polish. Second, the Pulaski name is familiar to me. I grew up in New Jersey and worked most summers at my father’s pharmacy in Newark. My favorite landmarks for the commute to the store were Newark Airport and the Pulaski Skyway, a huge elevated structure always hulking in the distance.

http://www.state.nj.us/transportation/commuter/roads/pulaski/history.shtm

Coincidentally, my dad owned a pharmacy on Pulaski Street in Newark prior to buying the one I worked in for most of my childhood. After writing the story, I feel like I see the Pulaski name everywhere. During a summer trip, we passed signs for the Pulaski Highway in Maryland and it gave me a little thrill. On a visit to the University of Scranton, my alma mater, I discovered a statue of Pulaski in town. I don’t think I had ever noticed it before.

 

Me at the General Pulaski Monument in Scranton, Pennsylvania

Me at the General Pulaski Monument in Scranton, Pennsylvania

Now, in writing this blog post, I’ve learned of another personal connection to General Pulaski. The general died on October 11th which also happens to be the release date of The Weight of Zero. In fact, October 11th is officially General Pulaski Memorial Day. I think the coincidence is weird but in a good way, like I made the right choice in choosing “Pulask

Jody Pulaski: Another name I purposely choose was Catherine’s mother, Jody. Originally, the mother’s name was Caroline (after one of my close friends) but due to the similarity of the two names, my editor thought something different might work better. This time the name jumped out at me – Jody – after one of my oldest and dearest friends. When I needed another name, I had to choose Stephanie, after another oldest and dearest and the remaining third of our friend triumvirate.

Jody Tole, Stephanie Hadley and me (l to r)

Jody Tole, Stephanie Hadley and me (l to r)

Jane Talmadge: I knew I would be naming one of my most favorite characters after my maternal grandmother, Jane. But my grandmother’s last name didn’t feel right so I used an old author pseudonym trick my younger brother Steven had told me about well before I even considered trying to write a book: Use your middle name and street name of house you grew up in. So I choose my grandmother’s first name and the street she raised my mother and her siblings on in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Aunt Darlene:  Again, this was an easy one. I choose Darlene after Darlene Beck-Jacobson. I met Darlene at one of Kathy Temean’s Avalon Full Manuscript Writers Retreats a few months before the release of Darlene’s first book, the wonderful Wheels of Change. From the very start, she’s been a continually supportive and encouraging writing ally and I’m so grateful to have met her.

It’s funny just how much your own experiences inform your writing. In The Weight of Zero, it’s the relationships between the women in the story  – mother, daughter, grandmother, aunt, friend – that help build a supportive network for Catherine.  Looking back on the names I choose, I’m thinking that maybe my writing (and naming) was one way to honor these relationships in my own life.

BDD_WeightOfZero_FB_Cover_1P_NO_DATE

The Weight of Zero: Contemporary Young Adult, Delacorte Press

Release Date: October 11, 2016

Seventeen-year-old Catherine Pulaski knows Zero is coming for her. Zero, the devastating depression born of Catherine’s bipolar disease, has almost triumphed once, propelling Catherine to her first suicide attempt. With Zero only temporarily restrained by the latest med du jour, time is running out. In an old ballet shoebox, Catherine stockpiles medications, preparing to take her own life before Zero can inflict its own living death on her again.

But Zero’s return is delayed due to unexpected and meaningful relationships that lessen Catherine’s sense of isolation. These relationships along with the care of a gifted psychiatrist alter Catherine’s perception of her diagnosis as a death sentence. This is a story of loss and grief and hope and how some of the many shapes of love – maternal, romantic and platonic – impact a young woman’s struggle with mental illness.

GOODREADS

Website: www.karenfortunati.com

Twitter: @karenfortunati

Facebook: @AuthorKarenFortunati        WeightofZero_front cover new12.indd

 Recognition:

A SUMMER/FALL 2016 INDIES INTRODUCE SELECTION

A SHELF AWARENESS BEA2016 YA  BUZZ BOOK

A BARNES AND NOBLE 2016 MOST ANTICIPATED DEBUT 

Kirkus: “Catherine’s acerbically witty narrative voice is razor sharp and often raw, and the confessional tone of her present-tense narration makes clear how overwhelming her pain is…. An honest, informative, and ultimately optimistic novel about living with mental illness.”        re3669

Darlene’s Review of THE WEIGHT OF ZERO:

Catherine – Cat – Pulaski is a high school junior navigating the ups and downs of adolescent friendships and relationships.  She’s also preparing herself for the dreaded appearance of Zero by stockpiling medicine for its inevitable return.  Cat is bipolar and Zero is the crippling depression that makes it impossible to live a normal life.  A life that isn’t defined by her mother’s constant monitoring, therapy sessions, and a mood rating scale from 0-10.  Zero found her once right after her grandmother died.  Cat is determined not to let it get her again without a plan.

            This amazing YA debut gives an honest and true voice to the silent and often un talked about world of mental illness.  It is a story with humor, heart and hope. A story that will stay with you for a long time.  It should be required reading for all high school students.

 

 

 

 

NJSCBWI Craft Weekend Rocks!

It was a joy to share workshops with fellow writers at the New Jersey Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators (NJSCBWI) Fall Craft Weekend November 12-13 at the Theological Seminary in Princeton. NJ.  I had the pleasure of presenting a workshop titled SKELETONS IN THE CLOSET: HARVESTING YOUR ANCESTRY FOR STORY.  There were other workshops as well as panels of agents and editors discussing their wants in children’s books.  Here are some photo highlights:

Yvonne Ventresca, Patricia Keeler, me, Laurie Wallmark, Robin Newman: All represented by Liza Fleissig or LRA.

Yvonne Ventresca, Patricia Keeler, me, Laurie Wallmark, Robin Newman: All represented by Liza Fleissig or LRA.

 

 

We three conducted workshops on Suspense, PB's and Using Genealogy in storytelling.

We three conducted workshops on Suspense, PB’s and Using Genealogy in storytelling.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PB Author Superstar Tara Lazar

PB Author Superstar Tara Lazar

 

Editor/Agent Panel.

Editor/Agent Panel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

With workshop attendee Eileen Holden

With workshop attendee Eileen Holden

 

 

With Jody Staton

With Jody Staton

Annie Silvestro with her debut PB: Bunny's Book Club.

Annie Silvestro with her debut PB: Bunny’s Book Club.

 

 

 

2015-11-13-07-16-01

 

 

 

 

Most diners raved about the chocolate dessert...I really enjoyed the edible nasturtium!

Most diners raved about the chocolate dessert…I really enjoyed the edible nasturtium!

 

 

 

       If you’d like copes of the handouts from my workshop, let me know and I’ll email them to you.

SKELETONS IN THE CLOSET: MINING YOUR ANCESTRY FOR STORY. (How to use photos,documents, diaries, etc to develop character/setting and details in a story)

Many thanks to RA Cathy Daniels and her “CREW” for making the weekend a great success!

For a Limited Time Only: Daylight Saving Time:by Marilyn Ostermiller.

clock-fleur-de-lisTick Tock. Tick Tock.

Time to Turn Back the Clock

On Sunday, November 6, Daylight Saving Time will end at 2 a.m. We’ll roll back our clocks by an hour. As a result daylight will come an hour earlier than we are used to, and so will nightfall.

A simple way to remember which way to reset your timepieces is to tie images to this meme: spring forward and fall back. For the spring time change, think of a bunny hopping across your yard. For the return to Standard Time in the fall, picture someone doing a backward somersault.

Congress initially passed Daylight Saving Time in 1918 to save electricity during World War I, according to The History Channel. It was repealed the next year, but some states and cities continued to shift their clocks back and forth. The problem was that each participating state and city could fix their own start and end dates. This chaotic situation was finally resolved in 1966 when Congress enacted the Uniform Time Act.

http://www.history.com/news/8-things-you-may-not-know-about-daylight-saving-time

In the United States only two states, Arizona and Hawaii, don’t participate. In about 70 countries around the world, about 25 percent of the world’s population participates.        img_3536

Come to think of it, how did we come to have 24 hours in a day or hours that last 60 minutes? And why do minutes contain 60 seconds? There are a couple of enlightening children’s books on the subject.

“About Time: A First Look at Time and Clocks” is for children in second through fifth grade.  Author Bruce Koscielniak tells the intriguing story of the many years spent tinkering and inventing to perfect the art of telling time. When time itself was undefined, no one knew the difference between a minute, an hour, and a day. Then people started creating tools to measure time. First, they used the sun, the moon, and the water. Soon, people began using their knowledge about the natural world to build clocks and to create calendars made up of months and years. Centuries later, we have clocks and calendars all around us. This book is published by HMH Books for Young Readers.

“A Second, a Minute, a Week with Days in It: A Book about Time,” written by Brian P. Cleary and illustrated by Brian Gable. A collection of zany cats introduce the measurement of time, from seconds, minutes, and hours up to decades. It is suggested for kindergarten through fifth grade.      Marilyn Ostermiller

Marilyn Ostermiller is a long-time business journalist who now writes for children. You can follow her on Twitter @Marilyn_Suzanne.

 

 

 

Laurie Calkhoven’s New Ready-to-Read Non-Fiction Books.

Meet the women who programmed the first all-electronic computer and built the technological language kids today can’t live without in this fascinating, nonfiction Level 3 Ready-to-Read, part of a new series of biographies about people you should meet!

In 1946, six brilliant young women programmed the first all-electronic, programmable computer, the ENIAC, part of a secret World War II project. They learned to program without any programming languages or tools, and by the time they were finished, the ENIAC could run a complicated calculus equation in seconds. But when the ENIAC was presented to the press and public, the women were never introduced or given credit for their work. Learn all about what they did and how their invention still matters today in this story of six amazing young women everyone should meet!   eniac-cover

 

Meet Mae Jemison, the first African-American female astronaut! Did you know before Mae was an astronaut, she went to medical school and joined the Peace Corps? But she never forgot her childhood dream to travel to outer space. So in 1985 she applied to NASA’s astronaut training program. On September 12, 1992, Mae flew into space with six other astronauts aboard the space shuttle Endeavour and made history just like you can if you follow your dreams!

mae-jemison-cover

American Girl’s Ultimate Visual Guide will be a treasured addition to every American Girl fan’s bookshelf. With gorgeous images of every Be Forever and Girl of the Year doll, an expanded section on the Truly Me dolls, a detailed timeline of the company, and tons of exclusive behind-the-scenes information, this book takes readers on a wonderful from the start of The Pleasant Company all the way through to present day.

Did you know American Girl creator Pleasant T. Rowland first described her idea for a line of dolls on a postcard to her friend, Valerie Tripp? Or that the first American Girl pet, Coconut the white Westie, was introduced in 2000? Find out all about your favorite characters and their lives, historical eras, outfits, pets, accessories, and more with the American Girl Ultimate Visual Guide. (Written with Erin Falligant and Carrie Anton)   ag-ultimate-visual-guideLaurie Calkhoven has always loved books and reading. She has written six novels for American Girl as well as historical action/adventure novels for her own series, Boys of Wartime. She loves reading and writing about ordinary people (both fictional and real) who have the courage and the strength to become extraordinary. That’s especially true of the people featured in the You Should Meet series. She lives in New York City and can frequently be found at the library.

IMG_6955

Yvonne Ventresca’s New YA: Black Flowers, White Lies.

Black Flowers, White Lies | Release Blitz | JenHalliganPR.com

We’re excited to be celebrating the release of BLACK FLOWERS, WHITE LIES by Yvonne Ventresca this week! Check out the book’s details and teaser, and be sure to enter the giveaway below.

BLACK FLOWERS, WHITE LIESBlack Flowers, White Lies by Yvonne Ventresca
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Publication: October 4, 2016

Her father died before she was born, but Ella Benton knows they have a supernatural connection. Since her mother discourages these beliefs, Ella keeps her cemetery visits secret. But she may not be the only one with secrets. Ella’s mother might be lying about how Dad died sixteen years ago. Newfound evidence points to his death in a psychiatric hospital, not as a result of a tragic car accident as her mother always claimed. After a lifetime of just the two of them, Mom suddenly feels like a stranger.

When a handprint much like the one Ella left on her father’s tombstone mysteriously appears on the bathroom mirror, at first she wonders if Dad is warning her of danger as he did once before. If it’s not a warning, could her new too-good-to-be-true boyfriend be responsible for the strange occurrences? Or maybe it’s the grieving building superintendent whose dead daughter strongly resembles Ella? As the unexplained events become more frequent and more sinister, Ella becomes terrified about who—or what—might harm her.

Soon the evidence points to someone else entirely: Ella herself. What if, like her father, she’s suffering from a breakdown? In this second novel from award-winning author Yvonne Ventresca, Ella desperately needs to find answers, no matter how disturbing the truth might be.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

Excerpt from Black Flowers, White Lies

I take the stairs down. Once the stairwell door closes behind me, the basement seems darker than ever, as if the electricity is off. The light on my phone helps guide me to the laundry room. I flick the switch. Nothing happens. Not even the one good light turns on.

Maybe Norma’s in the middle of fixing the lightbulbs. She could have turned off the circuit breaker or something. But when I open the dryer, the drum light turns on as I dump the clothes into the basket. The electricity is working after all.

The light from the dryer illuminates the space and some­thing catches my eye. I focus my phone on the wall to my left.

“No.” I back up, banging into the open dryer door.

One word is scrawled in red capital letters across the wall: DAUGHTER. A bloody handprint drips in the space underneath.

I grab the basket. A cat T-shirt falls, but I don’t stop. I need to escape, fast. The elevator takes forever. The doors slide open. I expect demons, monsters, ghouls. It’s empty.

On our floor, I race to our apartment, fumble with my keys. My hands tremble too much to open the lock. “Blake!”

When he opens the door, I drop the basket to grab his arm. “Come with me.”

“El, what’s going on?”

I can’t speak on the elevator ride to the basement.

“Seriously, are you okay? You’re scaring me.”

“I’ll show you.”

I turn my phone light on when we leave the elevator and pull him into the dark laundry room. I illuminate the wall but can’t bear to look. “See?”

He’s quiet. I figure he’s as frightened as I am.

“See what?”

I turn my head and shine the light where the red scrawl was minutes before.

There’s nothing.

“Why are we in the dark?” Blake asks, flipping the laun­dry room switch.

The lights come on. The sudden brightness makes me blink as I stare at the blank wall.

goodreads-badge-add-plus

About the Author

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | Pinterest

Yvonne Ventresca’s latest young adult novel, BLACK FLOWERS, WHITE LIES will be published by Sky Pony Press in October 2016.

Her debut YA novel, PANDEMIC, won a 2015 Crystal Kite Award from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. In PANDEMIC, a teen struggles to survive not only a deadly outbreak and its real-life consequences, but also her own personal demons. Ventresca’s other works include the short story “Escape to Orange Blossom,” which was selected for the dystopian anthology PREP FOR DOOM, along with two nonfiction books, PUBLISHING (Careers for the 21st Century) and AVRIL LAVIGNE (People in the News).

Black Flowers, White Lies by Yvonne Ventresca | JenHalliganPR.com

Giveaway

Prize pack includes a three panel rustic chalkboard with a $25 Amex gift card, a $25 Sephora gift card, and a signed copy of Black Flowers, White Lies.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js