Next Book News!

As we enter the fourth month of 2014, many of the OneFour Kidlitters are looking beyond our debuts to what’s next on the horizon. With that in mind, we now have a new monthly feature to spotlight all that “Next Book” news. Much like our 14th posts, we’ll share covers, reviews, sales, titles, and the like! So check back every month to see what’s next!

Christina Farley shares:

Christina Farley’s SILVERN, the sequel to GILDED, in which a 16-year-old Korean-American girl with a black belt and a deadly proclivity with steel-tipped arrows battles a god of darkness seeking control of both Koreas again to Miriam Juskowicz at Skyscape, an imprint of Amazon Children’s, for publication in Fall 2014, by Jeff Ourvan at Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency (world).
SILVERN (The Gilded Series, Book Two) is now available for pre-order: http://www.amazon.com/Silvern-Gilded-Book-Christina-Farley/dp/1477820353/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=1-1&qid=1393072168

And Lisa Maxwell has exciting news!

Sara Sargent has also acquired, in a pre-empt, Heartless Things and an untitled YA novel by Lisa Maxwell. In the story, Gwen and her best friend are abducted to a dark world akin to Pan’s Labyrinth called Neverland, but it’s nothing like the fairy tale. To rescue her friend, Gwen must decide whether to trust a roguish young pirate or the boy who calls himself Pan. Publication is scheduled for spring 2016; Kathleen Rushall at Marsal Lyon Literary Agency did the two-book deal for world rights.

As does Jessica Love!

Kat Brzozowski at Thomas Dunne Books has bought Push Girl co-author Jessica Love’s In Real Life, set over one wild weekend in Las Vegas in which 17-year-old Hannah surprises her online BFF and soul mate Nick with their first real-life meeting – and discovers just how many secrets he has left unshared. The projected pub date is 2015; Jill Corcoran at Jill Corcoran Literary Agency negotiated for North American rights.

Jaye Robin Brown, or JRo to most everyone but her mama, lives and writes in the Appalachian mountains north of Asheville, NC. She’s fond of dogs, horses, laughter, the absurd and the ironic. When not crafting stories she hangs out with teenagers in the high school art room where she teaches. Her debut novel, NO PLACE TO FALL (Harper Teen, Fall ’14), is a love song to small town girls and mountain music.

The Rough Road to Publishing WHISPER

Whisper cover final

On the very first day of my existence, hands pushed me into the cold water and held me down, waiting for me to drown, but even then I was quiet and knew how to hold my breath. ~Whisper Gane

Q: Hey You’re Getting Published! How did that happen? 

It has been a long, hard road to publication and if you have experienced something similar, I understand your frustrations.

Twelve years ago, I began writing my first young adult book. I’ll admit it, I still love that book, even though it has never been published. The main character was based on one of my students who was flippant, sarcastic, and an emotional wreck. I could relate to her so well and she made a fantastic protagonist. I wrote the book and sent out chapters to agents. Within two weeks, I had an agent.

Happy story, right? Ah, but my story is just beginning. The agent was fantastic. He loved the manuscript. He sent it out to editor, after editor, after editor. He compiled a list of editors who turned down the manuscript. This list, after three years, was over thirty publishers long. Then came the email. “Sorry, I am unable to sell your manuscript. You need to look for a new agent.”

And did I look for a new agent? No. I had a child. Then I had another child. By 2006, I was working full time, had two children, and could barely see straight let alone write and find an agent. In a frantic, desperate move, I sent my original manuscript to PNWA’s YA novel contest and….won. Yay, right? This would be my step into publication.  I naively thought that agents and editors would see that I was a fabulous writer (winning awards and all) and would come in droves to request my book.

I had no bites and, honestly, didn’t know how to market the book.

By that time I’d written another novel, sent it to PNWA, and won again in 2007.  Agents and editors would be interested for sure! I had won the contest two years in a row.

I’m afraid that novel, too, did not find an agent.

And on I went in my crusade. This time, I applied to the MFA program at Portland State University and was accepted. This would be the answer: I would hone my skills and rival John Green with my amazing metaphors. Instead, it took me almost four years to finish a program that most students complete in 18 months. I spent an entire year on my thesis alone. And thus WHISPER was born. For three and a half years, I polished, tweaked and rewrote. When I graduated in 2011 from the program, I reworked the novel one more time and sent it out in 2012. And finally, my wait was over. An editor from Orca Publishing dug my manuscript out of the slush pile, called me up, and said she wanted to work on it. (She is amazing and I’m so thankful that she gave me a chance.)

I didn’t sleep for three days.

 It has been a long, hard road. But persistence does pay off. Keep working. Keep writing. Get those 10,000 hours in and send that manuscript out yet again.  One of my MFA professors once told me that’s it’s not necessarily the most amazing writers who get published; it’s the persistent ones, and even though I believe many amazing writers do get published, sheer hard work will pay off.

What’s your debut book about?

 Blurb: Whisper was a reject, living in a world so polluted and damaged that many humans and animals alike were born with defects.  She’d grown up in an outcast camp far from any village, and those who lived in the camp were like her:  disfigured.

But on her sixteenth birthday, Whisper’s father came to take her back to the village where she was to fill her mother’s vacated spot and perform duties for the family.  Her job was to cook, clean, wash the clothes, and maintain the family property.  At night she was chained to the doghouse.

This is a story about Whisper, trying to find a place in a world that doesn’t accept her.  It is a story of rejection, pollution and social status.  Whisper discovers that through perseverance, friends and determination, anyone can find a way to fit.Christina Bonn


Happy Book Birthday, TWELVE STEPS (by Veronica Bartles)!!

WooHoo!! The day has finally arrived! TWELVE STEPS is officially available, and I’m so excited/nervous/a little bit terrified to think that so many amazing people are now reading my words! I just want to give you all a giant squish hug!!

TWELVE STEPS by Veronica BartlesOfficial Blurb:

 Sixteen-year-old Andi is tired of being a second-class sibling to perfect sister Laina. The only thing Andi’s sure she has going for her is her awesome hair. And even that is eclipsed by Laina’s perfect everything else.

 When Andi’s crush asks her to fix him up with Laina, Andi decides enough is enough, and devises a twelve-step program to wrangle the spotlight away from Laina and get the guy. But when a stolen kiss from her crush ends in disaster, Andi realizes that her twelve-step program isn’t working. Her prince isn’t as charming as she’d hoped, and the spotlight she’s been trying to steal isn’t the one she wants.

 As Laina’s flawless façade begins to crumble, the sisters work together to find a spotlight big enough for both to shine.

 Amazon | iBooks | Kobo | Authorgraph | Goodreads


For the past twelve days, I’ve had tons of fun celebrating the countdown to TWELVE STEPS with giveaways, recipes and exclusive excerpts and teasers from my favorite parts of the book. I shared my official TWELVE STEPS playlist, two amazing book trailers, a first look at chapter one, a post with the inspiration for the novel, a peek at my actual high school diary, and a special thank you to my secret crush, who inspired my favorite supporting character. In case you missed the excitement, here’s a list of all twelve countdown celebration posts.

Day #12: I share my playlist with you on YA Misfits’ Band Geek Thursday

Day #11: Watch my book trailers & vote for your favorite on I Write for Apples blog

Day #10: Flash giveaway for exclusive TWELVE STEPS artwork

Day #9: Recipe for Crock Pot Giant Brownie Sundae

Day #8: Giveaway!!! Recycle-Knit Daisy Purse, Handmade by Veronica Bartles

Day #7: Exclusive reveal: A page from Veronica’s teen diary!

Day #6: Twitter giveaways

Day #5: Exclusive first look at TWELVE STEPS’ Chapter One

Day #4Giveaway!!! Ninja Unicorn “Movie Poster”

Day #3: A Thank You to those who may not know how much they helped with TWELVE STEPS – including my secret high school crush, who inspired my favorite supporting character.

Day #2: The inspiration for TWELVE STEPS

Day #1: Recipe for Crock Pot Chili Cheese Fries

And the excitement is only beginning! Today kicks off my blog tour with more exclusive excerpts, reviews, and character interviews. And of course, another giveaway! You can find all the links here!


Veronica Bartles lives in New Mexico with her husband and four children. When she’s not writing or lost in the pages of her newest favorite book, she enjoys creating delicious desserts, exploring new places, and recycle knitting. Her debut novel, TWELVE STEPS (Swoon Romance) will be released in March 2014.

Release Day: NEARLY GONE by Elle Cosimano

OneFour KidLit

Nearly Gone coverBones meets Fringe in a big, dark, scary, brilliantly-plotted urban thriller that will leave you guessing until the very end

Nearly Boswell knows how to keep secrets. Living in a DC trailer park, she knows better than to share anything that would make her a target with her classmates. Like her mother’s job as an exotic dancer, her obsession with the personal ads, and especially the emotions she can taste when she brushes against someone’s skin. But when a serial killer goes on a killing spree and starts attacking students, leaving cryptic ads in the newspaper that only Nearly can decipher, she confides in the one person she shouldn’t trust: the new guy at school–a reformed bad boy working undercover for the police, doing surveillance. . . on her.

Nearly might be the one person who can put all the clues together, and if she doesn’t figure it all out…

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Happy Release Day, Caminar!

Happy Release Day, Caminar!   caminar

What people are saying:

Exquisitely crafted poems are the basis of an unusually fine verse novel…”

–Horn Book, starred review

“…a much-needed addition to Latin American-themed middle grade fiction.”

–School Library Journal, starred review

A moving introduction to a subject seldom covered in fiction for youth…A promising debut.”     


A Junior Library Guild Selection

From the jacket flap:

Carlos knows when the soldiers arrive with warnings about the Communist rebels, it’s time to be a man and defend the village, keep everyone safe. But Mama tells him not yet—he’s still her quiet moonfaced boy. The soldiers laugh at the villagers, and before they move on, a neighbor is found dangling from a tree, a sign on his neck: Communist.

Mama tells Carlos to run and hide, then try to find her. . . . Numb and alone, he must join a band of guerillas as they trek to the top of the mountain where Carlos’s abuela lives. Will he be in time, and brave enough, to warn them about the soldiers? What will he do then? A novel in verse inspired by actual events during Guatemala’s civil war, Caminar is the moving story of a boy who loses nearly everything before discovering who he really is.

Here’s where you can get your copy of Caminar:


Barnes and Noble

Indie Bound

Skila Brown has an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She grew up in Kentucky and Tennessee, lived for a bit in Guatemala, and now resides with her family in Indiana. Her debut novel, CAMINAR, is available now from Candlewick Press.

Release Day: NEARLY GONE by Elle Cosimano

Nearly Gone coverBones meets Fringe in a big, dark, scary, brilliantly-plotted urban thriller that will leave you guessing until the very end

Nearly Boswell knows how to keep secrets. Living in a DC trailer park, she knows better than to share anything that would make her a target with her classmates. Like her mother’s job as an exotic dancer, her obsession with the personal ads, and especially the emotions she can taste when she brushes against someone’s skin. But when a serial killer goes on a killing spree and starts attacking students, leaving cryptic ads in the newspaper that only Nearly can decipher, she confides in the one person she shouldn’t trust: the new guy at school–a reformed bad boy working undercover for the police, doing surveillance. . . on her.

Nearly might be the one person who can put all the clues together, and if she doesn’t figure it all out soon–she’ll be next.

Nearly Boswell is finding her way into the world today! And it’s so freaking exciting!

bones (source: tumblr)

And also…

fringe (source: lamentinglivia)

… about all the wonderful things people are saying about NEARLY GONE.

The Horn Book Magazine review says, “The plot moves at a breakneck pace…”

ForrestGump (Source: massivenerdywarehouse)

And describes Nearly and Reece as a “… first-rate romance…”

kissingbook (source: readwritebemore)

They say, “STEM enthusiasts can rejoice: the killers riddles-including the puzzle of what the victims’ numbers mean-involve algebra, geometry, chemistry, physics, even astronomy.”

STEMparty (source: welcometoneko)

And, “Cosimano has established herself as a thriller writer to watch.”
ThrillerWatch(source: gif-database.tumblr)

So yeah, you could say I’m pretty thrilled for NEARLY GONE’s official release! Special thanks to all the OneFour KidLit and Lucky 13 authors for making my debut year fun and memorable.

Elle Cosimano drinks too much coffee and is a professional puppy and little boy wrangler. She majored in Psychology at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, and set aside a successful real-estate career to pursue writing. She divides her time between her home near Washington, DC and a jungle tree house in the Mayan Riviera.

Heather Mackey: DREAMWOOD

Cover of DREAMWOOD by Heather Mackey

Today we’re talking to Heather Mackey, author of DREAMWOOD, a middle-grade fantasy adventure involving ghosts, haunted forests, absent-minded scientists, Lupine huntresses, unusual gadgets and a growing friendship between a girl and a boy who initially want nothing to do with each other. DREAMWOOD is out from Putnam on June 12, 2014.

Hey, you’re getting published! How’d that happen?

I had a weird and twisty path full of breathtaking shortcuts and very long detours. Basically, it happened absolutely backward. I sold the book on accident, before I knew how to write it. And luckily no one gave up on me while I worked to get it right.

I’d taken a playwriting class and in one of our exercises a scene came to me that was of a young girl with a scientist father and ghosts. I took that scene and did nothing with it for a long time. At some point, I went on a camping trip to a mysterious redwood forest near the California-Oregon border and thought, “this is where it happens.” I started writing stuff around it. If you squinted at it in the right light it almost looked like a first draft.

Very randomly a friend told me about SCBWI and suggested we go to a conference. I signed up for a manuscript critique, and was stunned when Putnam editor Timothy Travaglini (who is now at Open Road Media) was interested in my humble ten pages. In an email he later said, “I think I startled you.” Which is a very understated way of saying “you seemed completely freaked out.”

Putnam acquired the manuscript, with Tracey Adams representing me. And all was good, except that then I worked on the book for years because I had no idea how to write a novel let alone a novel for children. Midway through, Tim left Putnam and I started working with the amazing Arianne Lewin. AMAZING. More revisions followed. Fun stuff like taking apart the entire book and starting all over with a new plot. Still, I kept suiting up and going to work in the fiction trenches. At a certain point they told me I could come out.

What’s your debut book about? Can you share any cool details with us?

Yes! DREAMWOOD is the story of Lucy Darrington, a spunky young girl who runs away from boarding school to find her father, an early 19th century ghost buster and expert on the supernatural.

Her quest takes her to an alternate Pacific Northwest, where her father has disappeared into the haunted woods of Devil’s Thumb in search of the mysterious dreamwood, a tree with magical properties. To find him, she joins forces with Pete Knightly, a slightly older boy with (initially) annoying competencies and superstitions. Along the way she has help from Niwa Sillamook, a member of the Lupine Nation, which controls most of the area. Spookiness and adventure ensue.

Cool detail? I made up a whole science of ghost physics (despite being not all that sure about ordinary physics!). I also needed to figure out if a tree could be scary. I spent many late-night hours thinking of bad trees. Everything from Old Man Willow in The Fellowship of the Ring to the apple trees that scared the bejesus out of me in The Wizard of Oz. I finally came to the conclusion that if you have seen The Wizard of Oz as a child you will have enough irrational fear in you to fuel a lifetime of novel writing.

What cool facts might readers not know about you?

Not exactly cool, but certainly little-known: To look at me you wouldn’t know I listen to a ton of rap and am a CrossFit addict. I won a prize for ancient Greek in college (the same college that later kicked me out of student housing for, um, a very raucous party). Despite working for years in high tech, I don’t know how to use a GPS, and honestly, I’d rather get lost.

Do you have any writing quirks–places you need to write or things you need to have with you?

I listen to one particular piece of music over and over again while I write. It has to be wordless, classical, dreamlike, and modern. For DREAMWOOD I listened to Arvo Pärt’s “Silentium.” To me it sounds like sneaking into a forbidden room in a magician’s mansion and nervously, cautiously opening a hidden door. Whenever I was stuck or mired in doubt (i.e., always) I would put this on and listen to it and talk to my imagination and say, “Okay, so now you tell me what is behind that door.”

Heather Mackey is the author of DREAMWOOD, a middle-grade fantasy adventure coming in June 2014 from Penguin-Putnam. She lives in Northern California with her husband and two kids, and thinks the woods are spooky. That’s why she wrote about a homicidal forest!