19 December 2016

Festival of Words brings diverse authors and ideas to Delaware, February 16, 2017

Look what's coming to Delaware! I'm so excited to be co-chairing this event, and I'll also be presenting one of the break-out sessions. (I'll talk to teachers and librarians about bringing authors to their classrooms.) If you're in Delaware or nearby and want to participate, visit the website to learn more and sign up to receive emails regarding registration and event updates here.


09 December 2016

Giving my book as a gift? I'll send a personalized bookmark for the recipient (and one for you, too!)

If you purchase Between the Notes as a gift this holiday season, and you'd like a personalized, signed bookmark to go with it, I'll send you one! (I can mail up to 8 bookmarks at the letter rate, so if you want one for yourself or other friends, just let me know.) All I need is proof of purchase (a photo of your receipt or a screen shot of online purchase), your mailing address, and who you want the bookmark(s) personalized to. You can email me hereOpen internationally as long as supplies and my postal budget last! 

28 November 2016

Enter to Win ARCs (Advance Reader Copies) of these FOUR summer 2017 YA novels - Instagram giveaway

ARCs (advance reader copies) will be arriving soon, and I’ve teamed up with three author friends to host a giveaway on Instagram! 

ABOUT OUR BOOKS:

ELIZA AND HER MONSTERS by Francesca Zappia

In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and friendless. Online, Eliza is LadyConstellation, anonymous creator of the wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves her digital community, and has no desire to try.

Then Wallace Warland, Monstrous Sea's biggest fanfiction writer, transfers to her school. Wallace thinks Eliza is just another fan, and Eliza begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile. But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built—her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity—begins to fall apart. 

With illustrations from Eliza’s webcomic, as well as screenshots from Eliza’s online forums and snippets of Wallace's fanfiction, this uniquely formatted book will appeal to fans of Noelle Stevenson’s Nimona and Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl.


Add it on Goodreads

HOW TO DISAPPEAR by Sharon Huss Roat

Vicky Decker has perfected the art of hiding in plain sight, quietly navigating the halls of her high school undetected except by her best (and only) friend, Jenna. But when Jenna moves away, Vicky’s isolation becomes unbearable.

So she decides to invent a social life by Photoshopping herself into other people’s pictures, posting them on Instagram under the screen name Vicurious. Instantly, she begins to get followers, so she adds herself to more photos from all over the world with all types of people. And as Vicurious’s online followers multiply, Vicky realizes she can make a whole life for herself without ever leaving her bedroom. But the more followers she finds online, the clearer it becomes that there are a lot of people out there who feel like her— #alone and #ignored in real life.

To help them, and herself, Vicky must find the courage to face her fear of being “seen,” because only then can she stop living vicariously and truly bring the magic of Vicurious to life.

In this beautiful and illuminating narrative, Sharon Huss Roat shines a light on our love of social media and how sometimes being the person you think you want to be isn’t as great as being the person you truly are.


Add it on Goodreads


YOU DON’T KNOW ME BUT I KNOW YOU by Rebecca Barrow

There’s a box in the back of Audrey’s closet that she rarely thinks about. Inside is a letter, seventeen years old, from a mother she’s never met, handed to her by the woman she’s called Mom her whole life.

Being adopted, though, is just one piece in the puzzle of Audrey’s life—the picture painstakingly put together by Audrey herself, consisting not only of the greatest family ever but of a snarky, loyal, sometimes infuriating best friend, Rose; a sweet, smart musician boyfriend, Julian; and a beloved camera that turns the most fleeting moments of her day-to-day routine into precious, permanent memories.

But when Audrey realizes that she’s pregnant, she feels something—a tightly sealed box in the closet corners of her heart—crack open, spilling her dormant fears and unanswered questions all over the life she loves.

Almost two decades ago, a girl in Audrey’s situation made a choice, one that started Audrey’s entire story. Now Audrey is paralyzed by her own what-ifs and terrified by the distance she feels growing between her and Rose. Down every possible path is a different unfamiliar version of her life, and as she weighs the options in her mind, she starts to wonder—what does it even mean to be Audrey Spencer?

Rebecca Barrow’s bright, honest debut novel about chance, choice, and unconditional love is a heartfelt testament to creating the future you truly want, one puzzle piece at a time.


Add it on Goodreads.


THESE THINGS I’VE DONE by Rebecca Phillips. 

A contemporary YA perfect for fans of Courtney Summers and Jessi Kirby, THESE THINGS I’VE DONE is the story of a seventeen-year-old girl who accidentally caused her best friend’s death and, a year later, is still grappling with the consequences.

Before:
Dara and Aubrey have been inseparable since they became best friends in sixth grade. However, as they begin their sophomore year of high school, cracks in their friendship begin to form, testing the bond they always thought was unbreakable.

After:
It's been fifteen months since the accident that killed Aubrey, and not a day goes by that Dara isn't racked with guilt over her role in her best friend's death. Dara thought nothing could be worse than confronting the memories of Aubrey that relentlessly haunt her, but she soon realizes it isn't half as difficult as seeing Ethan, Aubrey's brother, every day. Not just because he's a walking reminder of what she did, but because the more her feelings for him change, the more she knows she's betraying her best friend one final time.


Add it on Goodreads
_____________

Open internationally! This contest ends at midnight, EST, on Thursday, December 1. The winner will be announced on December 2. Good luck! 

Go here to enter!

24 October 2016

Cover Reveal and Advance Reader Copy (ARC) Giveaway for HOW TO DISAPPEAR!

So, my summer 2017 novel has a cover! It was officially revealed a week ago by Jasprit on The Reader's Den blog, where you can enter to win an Advance Reader Copy (ARC)... that contest is going on until Nov. 7, so go check it out.  

Here's the cover:


And the book description:

Vicky Decker has perfected the art of hiding in plain sight, quietly navigating the halls of her high school undetected except by her best (and only) friend, Jenna. But when Jenna moves away, Vicky’s isolation becomes unbearable.

So she decides to invent a social life by Photoshopping herself into other people’s pictures, posting them on Instagram under the screen name Vicurious. Instantly, she begins to get followers, so she adds herself to more photos from all over the world with all types of people. And as Vicurious’s online followers multiply, Vicky realizes she can make a whole life for herself without ever leaving her bedroom. But the more followers she finds online, the clearer it becomes that there are a lot of people out there who feel like her— #alone and #ignored in real life.

To help them, and herself, Vicky must find the courage to face her fear of being “seen,” because only then can she stop living vicariously and truly bring the magic of Vicurious to life.

In this beautiful and illuminating narrative, Sharon Huss Roat shines a light on our love of social media and how sometimes being the person you think you want to be isn’t as great as being the person you truly are.

Do you like it? (I really hope you like it.) You can add it on Goodreads, and I'll let you know as soon as it's available for pre-order! 

21 September 2016

Baltimore Book Festival Here I Come!

If you're heading to the Baltimore Book Festival this weekend (September 23-25), come say hi! I'll be at the SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) booth from 3-7:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 24. 

I'm looking forward to meeting readers, writers, teachers, librarians... YOU! I'll have a pile of bookmarks to hand out, and will also be giving away three copies of Between the Notes. Hope to see you there!


10 September 2016

If you've read BETWEEN THE NOTES and want a signed bookmark, I'll send you one!

All I ask is that you leave a review somewhere... preferably Amazon (where the mysterious algorithms that suggest books to readers don't kick in until you've reached 50 reviews or more, apparently). Or you can leave a review on Barnes & Noble, or another favorite bookseller site. 

The last of my bookmarks! I've ordered some more, smaller ones... 
but if you want one of these, share a review now and I'll send one 
while supplies last!
Just post your review and email a link or a screen grab to me, along with your mailing address. I'll personalize and sign a bookmark and pop it in the mail to you! 

19 July 2016

Goodreads Giveaway of BETWEEN THE NOTES!

Hi! Hope everyone is having a fun summer. I'm mostly spending time in my garden lately, contemplating what I want to write next, and hanging out with my family. Oh, and offering this giveaway on Goodreads!


Goodreads Book Giveaway

Between the Notes by Sharon Huss Roat

Between the Notes

by Sharon Huss Roat

Giveaway ends August 18, 2016.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

16 June 2016

BETWEEN THE NOTES + Friends Bookmark Giveaway

It's June 16, my official "bookiversary" (it's exactly one year since Between the Notes came out). I'm hosting a fun giveaway this week of bookmarks. 

ALL THESE BOOKMARKS:

From left to right, that's:
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Mosquitoland by David Arnold
The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi
Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes
Fiona by Meredith Moore
How it Feels to Fly by Kathryn Holmes
The Distance Between Lost and Found by Kathryn Holmes
Between the Notes by Sharon Huss Roat
Sky scraping by Cordelia Jensen
None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio
For the Record by Charlotte Huang
Liars, Inc. by Paula Stokes
Under the Lights by Dahlia Adler
The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner
Crossing the Line by Meghan Rogers

I've read many of these books and loved them... others are on my TBR pile! Here's a closer look at their beauty:


You can enter on Twitter or Instagram. I have twenty sets of bookmarks, so will award ten winners on Twitter and ten on Instagram. (Enter both places told double your chances!)

Contest ends at midnight EST on June 23. The winners will be announced the following day.

Good luck!


01 June 2016

Happy Bookiversary! Celebrating my debut year with some favorite books of 2015...

My first bookiversary is coming up on June 16! (That's the one-year anniversary of the release of Between the Notes.) To celebrate, I'm hosting a book giveaway with author friends! 

To enter, go to Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram and retweet or comment by June 6 for a chance to win all seven books. Tag a friend for an additional entry, and triple your chances of winning by entering on all three social media outlets! 

Here's a little snippet of the Goodreads descriptions for each of the featured books, which are some of my favorites of 2015. I absolutely adored all of these books, in very different ways. Thanks to these fabulous authors for participating in my bookiversary celebration!


DENTON LITTLE'S DEATH DATE by Lance Rubin
Fans of John Green and Matthew Quick: Get ready to die laughing. Denton Little’s Deathdate takes place in a world exactly like our own except that everyone knows the day on which they will die. For Denton, that’s in just two days—the day of his senior prom. Debut author Lance Rubin takes us on a fast, furious, and outrageously funny ride through the last hours of a teenager’s life as he searches for love, meaning, answers, and (just maybe) a way to live on.



TINY PRETTY THINGS 
by Dhonielle Clayton and Sona Charaipotra
Gigi, Bette, and June, three top students at an exclusive Manhattan ballet school, have seen their fair share of drama. Free-spirited new girl Gigi just wants to dance—but the very act might kill her. Privileged New Yorker Bette's desire to escape the shadow of her ballet star sister brings out a dangerous edge in her. And perfectionist June needs to land a lead role this year or her controlling mother will put an end to her dancing dreams forever. When every dancer is both friend and foe, the girls will sacrifice, manipulate, and backstab to be the best of the best.


UNDER A PAINTED SKY by Stacey Lee
Missouri, 1849: Samantha dreams of moving back to New York to be a professional musician—not an easy thing if you’re a girl, and harder still if you’re Chinese. But a tragic accident dashes any hopes of fulfilling her dream, and instead, leaves her fearing for her life. With the help of a runaway slave named Annamae, Samantha flees town for the unknown frontier. But life on the Oregon Trail is unsafe for two girls, so they disguise themselves as Sammy and Andy, two boys headed for the California gold rush. 


FANS OF THE IMPOSSIBLE LIFE by Kate Scelsa
A captivating and profound debut novel about complicated love and the friendships that have the power to transform you forever, perfect for fans of The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Mira is starting over at Saint Francis Prep. She promised her parents she would at least try to pretend that she could act like a functioning human this time, not a girl who can’t get out of bed for days on end, who only feels awake when she’s with Sebby... Jeremy is the painfully shy art nerd at Saint Francis who’s been in self-imposed isolation after an incident that ruined his last year of school... Sebby, Mira’s gay best friend, is a boy who seems to carry sunlight around with him. As Jeremy finds himself drawn into Sebby and Mira’s world, he begins to understand the secrets that they hide in order to protect themselves, to keep each other safe from those who don’t understand their quest to live for the impossible.


THE ONE THING by Marci Lyn Curtis
Maggie Sanders might be blind, but she won't invite anyone to her pity party. Ever since losing her sight six months ago, Maggie's rebellious streak has taken on a life of its own, culminating with an elaborate school prank. Maggie called it genius. The judge called it illegal. Now Maggie has a probation officer. But she isn't interested in rehabilitation, not when she's still mourning the loss of her professional-soccer dreams, and furious at her so-called friends, who lost interest in her as soon as she could no longer lead the team to victory... Maggie must find the courage to face a once-unimaginable future... before she loses everything she has grown to love.


UNDERNEATH EVERYTHING by Marcy Beller Paul
Poignant and provocative, Marcy Beller Paul’s debut novel tells the story of an intoxicating—and toxic—relationship that blurs the boundary between reality and fantasy, love and loyalty, friendship and obsession.







NOTE: This giveaway is open internationally! Tell your friends!

02 May 2016

Encouraging young writers… or leading them astray? What one fan letter revealed about the pressures teens face to choose more “realistic” careers.

I received the most heartwarming fan letter recently via email from a 14-year-old Swedish girl. It always makes my day to learn that my book is finding love out there in the world, that it is being read and enjoyed. In this case, however, my book had done more than that. It had inspired a teenager to pursue her dream of writing, a dream that had been squashed by what she described as the pressure to pursue a more “realistic” career. Before I comment further, here’s the letter, reprinted with her permission:

Hi, Sharon.
I don't really know why I started to type this email, I somehow felt the need to.

I am a fourteen year old Swedish girl. Despite my young age, almost everyone around me is stressing me out about my future, telling me what I shouldn't do, what I should do and which jobs I shouldn't pick. In Sweden, you have to apply to 'high schools' when you're sixteen, and if you get bad grades you won't get in to a good high school and choose the major that you want to study, maybe you won't even get in at all. All of this stressing has made me forget what I love the most and what I truly want to do; write. My family and friends tell me that I should choose something more realistic, a goal I can reach. It made me confused about what I wanted to do. It made me stop caring about planning for my future and start feeling down every time someone said the word 'future'. It made me forget my love for books and made me cringe every time I saw them, knowing my future wouldn't consist of making them. Made me feel stupid when saying the sentence:

I want to be a writer.

But when I stumbled across your book, I immediately fell in love with it. I loved everything about it, and I could see so much of me in Ivy, and not to talk about how much Reesa reminded me of my best friend.

Your book reminded me of what I love the most about books, and why I wanted to be a writer in the first place. I finished your book in two days, and when I got to the last page, I cried because I couldn't read your book for the first time again. It might seem silly, but thank you, really. 

The day after I read your book, I picked up my my laptop and started writing on a novel I started last year, my fingers were literally running across the keyboard! That hasn't happened to me in months! I'm writing this email to thank you, thank you for writing my new favourite book. 

– Alexandra N.

The letter came on a day when I was struggling to write a new, final chapter for my upcoming novel, HOW TO DISAPPEAR. A deadline loomed, and I was not sure I could pull it off. Alexandra’s letter inspired ME. I replied to tell her so, and encouraged her to keep writing. I let her know that I hoped she would never again feel stupid saying, “I want to be a writer.” In fact, I told her to say, “I AM a writer,” instead! She is writing, after all. She’s a writer!

Alexandra replied, even more excited and sure of her decision to pursue her writing. 

And then, I started to worry. Who was I to contradict the advice of her parents, family and friends? I know nothing of the education system in Sweden, or what might assure a bright future for her in that country. Was I leading Alexandra astray? As the mother of a 16-year-old son, I know firsthand the worry parents experience when contemplating their children’s future and ability to make a living. We lose sleep over how best to guide them in the right direction or let them find their own way. I also know that earning a livable wage as an author is, well, nearly impossible. Most of us have other jobs, or other sources of income. A small percentage earn enough to quit their day job.

But I didn’t want to discourage a 14-year-old from pursuing her dream of becoming a writer! I hate that kids must narrow their focus to a specific career path at such an early age. Why can't there be more flexibility and exploration in education? More “sure!” and “why not?” instead of only “should” and “should not.” 

In my email exchange with Alexandra, I noted that a career as an author is difficult. I told her that, no matter what field of study she ultimately pursues, she can ALWAYS write. (How many of us started our first novels while working as lawyers, doctors, teachers, librarians… and continue to work those jobs while writing 2nd, 3rd and 4th novels?) I encouraged her to keep writing, to persevere. Because age 14 is way too soon to give up on your dreams. 

Any age is too soon to give up on your dreams!

I am so honored that Alexandra read and enjoyed Between the Notes, that it reminded her of why she loves books, and inspired her to start writing again. Receiving Alexandra's letter was a wonderful reminder to me that a book's success cannot be measured in sales alone. While I'd love to reach more readers, knowing I reached Alexandra is enough to keep me writing. I very much hope that she keeps writing, too!

29 April 2016

Indie Bookstore Day at Aaron's Books, Lititz, PA!

I'll be joining the fun at Aaron's Bookstore on Saturday! Come hang out... there will be lots of fun all day, with games and giveaways.


25 March 2016

Fill Your Easter Baskets With Books!

What can I say? Some books just look really good in an Easter basket, with those glossy white covers and spring colors. (I may be biased.) 

Between the Notes with the gorgeous A Thousand Pieces of You
by Claudia Gray and Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon.

Hope the Easter Bunny brings you some yummy books (and chocolate and jelly beans) this year! 

22 March 2016

In which I channel Kwame Alexander for a YA retelling of Jane Eyre at #NYCTAF

I've attended the fabulous New York City Teen Author Festival twice before, but this year was the first time I was invited to participate on one of the author panels. I was just a teensy bit excited (understatement of the century), until I heard which panel I was on. Then I was terrified.

The topic of my panel was The Secret YA Lives of Adult Characters. Our assignment from organizer and author extraordinaire David Levithan? "Show a pivotal moment of a character from adult lit through the lens of a YA novel."

I wouldn't simply be answering questions on a panel. I was going to have to write something. And read it aloud. And it would have to be funny.

AAAHHHHhahhahahahahah. Hold me.
I read as David Levithan looks on. He isn't 
grimacing! Photo by author Ami Allen-Vath.

Then I got an idea. And it was insane. So I emailed David and said, "Is this insane?" And he said, "Yes, that's insane. Try it." 

So I did. I took my all-time favorite novel JANE EYRE and crossed it with THE CROSSOVER by Kwame Alexander (the Newberry award-winning verse novel of basketball and growing up and family and vocabulary! and so much more. Go read it.) 

I stood in front of the crowd gathered in the Celeste Auditorium of the New York Public Library (the one with the big lions out front) and I read it. And they laughed. OUT LOUD. (Phew!)

Here it is. A YA retelling of JANE EYRE from the perspective of Mr. Rochester, with apologies to Kwame Alexander and Josh Bell (aka Filthy McNasty):

CROSSOVER ROCHESTER

Jane Eyre
is her name.
But Homely McSmarty is her claim to fame.
Folks call her dull
'cause her countenance is plain,
so downright gloomy, every day she looks the same.
Her hair is drab, her height is small.
See, she’s a governess from Lowood,
LeBoring in a shawl.

Remember when we met
on the road to Thornfield Hall?
I rode with Pilot, and that witch
she made me fall.
Had to hobble, leaning on her,
limping grimly to my horse.  
She spoke of Mr. Rochester
knowing not that I am he, of course.
(I’m kind of a jerk,
so I didn’t say anything.
Not at first.)

Mrs. Fairfax tells her 
“the master’s old school.
Put on a brooch or you’ll look like a fool.”
Jane comes when I beckon,
serves me my tea. Only speaks when I’ve spoken,
a polite detainee.
Her mind, it is sweet, though,
a salve for my soul.
Until I ask, “Am I handsome?”
and she answers, "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO sir."

One night in her chamber,
Jane hears a strange sound.
At the moan of a demon, she’s up, looks around.
Finds me engulfed in a madwoman’s flame,
But hasn’t a clue who’s really to blame.
My wife she is cray, living up in the attic.
Tried to burn me alive,
but Jane wouldn’t have it.
She picked up a basin and put out the fire.
See, she stopped me from burning,
but not my desire.

I knew when I met her
she’d do me some good.
The pale little thing 
in her cloak and her hood.
Her wit, it delights me,
her eyes, they inspire.
If Jane’s love’s for sale
then I am the buyer.

_____

Thanks to everyone who came out to the event, and to David Leviathan for including me!