I am offering a giveaway today for the three YA ebooks below. This giveaway is hosted by the authors and they will be sending the books to the winner. I will send the winner’s info over to the authors after the giveaway ends.
Guest Post From Authors:
When asked why the authors of these 3 acclaimed books chose to write YA, the surprising answer was they didn’t. Instead, YA chose them.
Annalisa Crawford, author of Grace & Serenity, contemporary fiction
I just never considered whether I write YA or not, just as I don’t choose books based on categories, but instead on the quality of the story.
That’s my philosophy when I write, too. I focus on the character, which in this book is 19-year-old Grace. Though from a good family, she nonetheless falls into a bad situation. I hated seeing her life descend after making one bad choice, but I let her lead, and in the process learned from her, especially how resilient people can be.
All great literature is written by authors who take their characters seriously and give them the freedom to act according to their nature, no matter their age. At their core, those characters are not kids or adults. Instead, they’re just people.
Martha Engber, author of Winter Light, a historical novel
When I wrote Winter Light, I had a dilemma. My protagonist is an at-risk 15-year-old girl in the late 1970s. Her age implies the story is appropriate for teens and young adults. Yet Mary’s troubled journey includes behavior and experiences of which the parents of teens might not approve.
I bypassed the obstacle of parental censorship by writing the story as a literary novel meant for adults. Doing so gave me the freedom to tell Mary’s story as her nature and starkness of her circumstances dictate. Rather than a sanitized version, I attempted to convey the grittiness of what I witnessed in high school.
My conviction to remain true to the story came from every book I read and loved as an adolescent because they featured people my age who possessed that no-punches-pulled quality of authenticity: The Outsiders and That Was Then, This is Now by S. E. Hinton; Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger.
In every case, the authors treated the characters in the way I — and maybe all kids — want to be treated when young: the important things that happen to us shouldn’t be brushed off by adults as just kid-stuff. Instead, those experiences are deep, scary and permanently change us in some profound way.
Carolyn R. Russell, author of In the Fullness of Time, a dystopian Thriller
Several years ago, I read an article in the New Yorker about a plan to genetically modify mosquitoes so they couldn’t reproduce. The idea was to release them into the wild and greatly reduce their population to combat the transmission of their blood-borne illnesses. I couldn’t stop thinking about the possible negative unintended consequences of such a move. Once I had the backstory, the world that might be the consequence of such a program going horribly wrong began to grow in my imagination. I wrote a screenplay about it, but during the revision process, the story let me know it needed to be a novel.
I chose to focus on the script’s most compelling character, who happens to be a 17-year-old girl. So, in addition to meeting the demands of her very specific situation, she is also working through the challenges of teens everywhere: resolving family, friend, and romantic issues; coping with loss; achieving greater self-knowledge; surviving the particular world she’s in. These classic YA themes grew organically from the story, rather than having been used deliberately as building blocks. I do hope readers will enjoy how it all comes together!
About The Books:
Fifteen-year-old Mary Donahue of suburban Chicago is a kid on the cusp of failure during the brutal blizzard winter of 1978-79, the end of a hard luck, hard rock era sunk in the cynical aftermath of the Vietnam War.
Though a smart, beautiful kid, she’s a motherless girl raised by an uneducated, alcoholic father within an extended family of alcoholics and addicts. Aware that she’s sinking, she’s desperate to save herself and so reaches out to an unlikely source, Kathleen, a nice, normal kid from English class.
But when the real storm hits, the full force of a harsh adult world almost buries Mary. Only then does she learn that the only difference between life and death is knowing when to grasp an extended hand.
Living on the streets is terrifying and exhausting. Grace’s only comforts are a steady stream of vodka, and a strange little boy who’s following her around.
At nineteen, Grace has already had a child and endured an abusive marriage. But she’s also had her baby abducted by her vengeful husband and been framed as a neglectful mother. Even her own parents doubted her version of the story. So she did the only thing that made sense to her—run away.
The streets are unforgiving. Winter is drawing in. And Grace isn’t prepared for the harsh realities of survival. At her very bleakest, a Good Samaritan swoops into her life and rescues her. With a roof over her head and food in her stomach, she longs to see her baby again.
But nothing ever comes for free.
How far would you go to find the truth? What secrets would you keep?
In a future where people joyfully arrange their own deaths, a young woman battles the consequences of a biotechnology gone horribly wrong and the cruel theocracy that enforces a sinister solution.
The planet has been decimated by an attempt to alter its eco-system. It seemed like a good idea at the time: eradicate mosquitoes and eliminate their lethal infectious diseases. Four generations later, the air is steamy and toxic, food is hard to come by, and the human population has exploded. Appalled by the cruelty of the secular church that forms the government, Somerset Whitman, born into its ranks, has joined a secret revolutionary cell in order to fight for the poor and hungry.
But who to trust when nothing is as it seems, and no one is who they appear to be?
Giveaway for all 3 ebooks!