An A to Z of young adult

Today over at Aussie Owned and Read, I put together my very own A to Z of young adult fiction. Check it out! 🙂

Aussie Writers

Here’s my A to Z of young adult. For some of the more popular letters (I’m not looking at you, X!), it was hard to choose only one option. Still, I’ve given it a red hot go. If you have other suggestions, why not leave them in the comments? 🙂

hunger gMWAAdaptations. Twilight, The Hunger Games, City of Bones — popular young adult series (serieses?) and stand alone books like The Fault in Our Stars are often turned into movies, admittedly with varying levels of success and sometimes to the great anguish of fans.

BFF. If she’s female, the BFF of the usually female main character is stereotypically confident, cheerful and quirky. She provides a foil and some normality for the main character as she goes through whatever it is she’s going through. (If he’s male, the BFF is usually in unrequited love with the main character…

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Review: ‘Losing it: A Collection of V-Cards’ anthology — part two

Losing It

22 Bestselling YA authors reveal what went on behind the curtain in your favorite YA novels! From paranormal to contemporary, this collection features over 200 pages of ALL NEW CONTENT full of deleted scenes, extended endings, and more from the young adult series’ you love.

In this YA/NA crossover collection all of your favorite heroines are cashing in their VCards! YA just got steamy, sexy, and not afraid to go all the way!

Due to the graphic nature of some content, this collection is recommended strictly for mature readers.

Note: I was given a copy of this anthology in exchange for an honest review.

I reviewed the first eleven stories in this anthology here. My apologies to those authors I didn’t get to, but I didn’t just want to write a sweeping, generic review that didn’t touch on any specifics. And there are twenty-two of you!

Of Fire (A Dark Faerie Tale series) by Alexia Purdy. This is a fae fantasy — again, I expect you guessed that — and is also written from the man’s point of view, which I found captivating. The only thing that bothered me is when he thought about his lady love as being pure, untouched by another. Maybe some people like that, but it gives me an icky feeling, because it suggests that once you’ve had sex you’ve been tainted.

Our Someday (The Double Threat series) by Julie Prestsater. A contemporary tale, this story was sweet but the balance felt a little off. There was no lead-in to the two characters going to their hotel room, but then there was a lot of looking back and introspection, even immediately before they had sex. The scene afterwards was good, though.

The Ultimate Prize (The Elsker Saga) by S.T. Bende. I’ve read a book and novella set in ST Bende’s sweet new adult urban fantasy world. It features the Norse gods, especially the very hot god of winter, Ull. This scene is actually Kristia dreaming of seducing her traditionalist boyfriend, and of him losing control. I was as disappointed as she was when she woke up!

The Release of Rae (Ovialell series) by Tish Thawer. I looked this series up on Goodreads and saw that it’s an adult PNR series, which surprised me — I thought the books this anthology draws on were all YA (with some NA, like Elsker). Still, this story was magical — fae — and sweet rather than sizzling. It felt more YA than some of the YA-inspired stories!

A Valkyrie’s Song (The Runes series) by Ednah Walters. This UF/PNR had a decent introduction before the main event, which I’ve come to conclude from reading this anthology is my favourite kind of story. The encounter was magical, but I felt a little cheated by the memory loss at the end. That’s a personal thing — it feels like just about the meanest thing you can do to a character.

Fire Stone (The Cornerstone series) by Misty Provencher. The start of this story really, really reminded me of the anime Neon Genesis Evangelion, so I was hooked — far more by the setting and the events than by the sex, to be frank. Also, the prose was beautiful. I then spent ages reading reviews on Goodreads trying to find out more! Another for my TBR pile.

Selfish (The Waiting series) by Ginger Scott. A contemporary told from the point of view of a reformed jock with his quite timid new girlfriend, this is a really sweet look at a guy seeking to prove himself worthy of her. It’s not my usual genre but is very well done.

Sealing the Bond (Forged series) by A.O. Peart. This story is a paranormal with a fantasy vibe. Unfortunately I couldn’t get into this one — there was too much backstory, largely expressed through sometimes stilted dialogue. Your mileage may vary, though.

Rosaline’s Redemption (The Arotas series) by Amy Miles. Another paranormal romance (or maybe urban fantasy — given the context it’s hard to tell!), this story is told largely through flashback to a battle that feels medieval but may be set in the future. Ultimately it doesn’t really matter, though. A combination of the setting and the encounter itself make this story stand out from the rest.

Adventures in Dating (Funeral Crashing Mysteries) by Milda Harris. This is a cute contemporary. I loved the narrator’s voice — at first I was a bit alarmed that things seemed to escalate from first kiss to touchdown in the space of one scene, but it all makes sense in the end. 

Wolf Passion (The Wolf Trilogy) by M.R. Polish. There is one last paranormal romance / urban fantasy to round out the set. The scene was sweet, but I was a bit shocked at how naive the leading lady was about certain things, especially as she is apparently at least eighteen (if the blurb for the first novel in the series is to be believed). Still, her surprise was kinda adorable, and I had a genuine laugh out loud moment.

Final thoughts

One thing I’ve come to realise in reading this anthology is that I’m not wild about sex scenes where magic enhances the experience in an intangible way. Fangs, claws and wings are fine because they are solid things that I can imagine, but bursts of tingling energy — on their own — don’t really do anything for me. That might be just me, though. :p

There’s definitely going to be something in this anthology for everyone who is interested in male/female pairings (sadly there were no LGBT encounters), regardless of your tastes in genre fiction. And it was a great way to discover new-to-me authors.

LosingItST

Four stars


Review: ‘Losing it: A Collection of V-Cards’ anthology — part one

Losing It

22 Bestselling YA authors reveal what went on behind the curtain in your favorite YA novels! From paranormal to contemporary, this collection features over 200 pages of ALL NEW CONTENT full of deleted scenes, extended endings, and more from the young adult series’ you love.

In this YA/NA crossover collection all of your favorite heroines are cashing in their VCards! YA just got steamy, sexy, and not afraid to go all the way!

Due to the graphic nature of some content, this collection is recommended strictly for mature readers.

Note: I was given a copy of this anthology in exchange for an honest review.

You might think the idea of an adult content anthology based off a bunch of young adult stories is problematic, given the primarily teenage audience of the originals. But given there are a lot of adults (myself included) who read young adult fiction, and that teenagers grow up, it actually works.

There’s a huge variety of genres on display here within the young adult/new adult age bracket, so there’s something for everyone — so long as you want to read naughy scenes about folks’ first times. It’s also a great way to discover writers you might have otherwise not heard of.

My big regret with this anthology is that there was a certain amount of time pressure on me to read it, because these are the sort of stories that you want to read in isolation and savour rather than plowing through in one sitting. (Or maybe that’s just me!)

In fact, since I decided to write a paragraph on each book, I’ve decided to post this review in two halves. I have read more than I’m covering here, but I’ll save them for the next post.

Discovery (The Grimoire Saga) by SM Boyce. This one was intruiging. At first I thought it was set in a sci-fi universe, but it became apparent that it was parallel world thing. The male (I’m not sure man is the right word, though he has man parts), Braeden, spent a lot of time during his first, um, encounter, worried that he might shapeshift somehow and that bad things would happen. I kind of wanted to see what would happen next if he did!

Unrequited Death (The Death series) by Tamara Rose Blodgett. This is one of my favourite stories in the anthology. It is part of a near future urban fantasy series. There’s just enough backstory that I could follow what was going on, it’s long enough that I had time to get immersed into the story, and the main action between Tiff and John was realistic, sweet and hot, all at the same time. I’ll be adding this series to my TBR pile.

His First Everything (Penny Black trilogy) by Stacey Wallace Benefiel. Another near future urban fantasy story, this one was over quicker than I’d like (often the case with firsts, I suppose!). The setting caught my eye, though, and I liked Penny, the female lead.

One Hour (Dirty Blood series) by Heather Hildenbrand. A paranormal story featuring werewolves, this one jarred a little bit for me. The writing was beautiful and the sex was steamy (lol), but the means by which Tara and Wes ended up together was bizarre. Maybe it’d make more sense if I’d read the books? Still, I enjoyed it.

Eternally Free (The Mythology series) by Helen Boswell. Another paranormal, this time with demons and something that is suggestive of vampires, but I’m not 100% sure about that. It didn’t really matter, though — the encounter was sizzling.

Jess and Giovanni (Stories About Melissa series) by Bethany Lopez. This is the first contemporary in the book, and although I love my spec fic, it was actually refreshing to read something where I wasn’t trying to guess the supernatural angle. The sex was more realistic too — no simultaneous climax, which is definitely a feature in a lot of the other stories. But it was still fun for everyone. Hooray for considerate male partners!

Wedding Night (Keegan’s Chronicles) by Julia Crane. This is an elvish urban fantasy — a genre after my own heart. But I found it a little hard to get into, as the story picks up at the start of the wedding ceremony, and includes all the vows. It was interesting to see a story written from the male’s perspective though. (Even the ones that are dual POV tend to switch to the female partner for the actual act.)

Suffering (The Tate Chronicles) by K.A. Last. This story is part of an urban fantasy series about angelic vampire hunters, and I was lucky enough to beta read it before Losing It came out. For me, it stands out because of the dark emotions that are part of the encounter. (The name of the story probably gives that away.) Not every first time is fireworks and passion. Regret is a real thing.

A Reunion Most Desired (Fragile Creatures) by Kristina Circelli. Another contemporary YA, this story tells of a late teens girl with an older man. Most of the stories so far have had more inexperienced male partners — with the attendant consequences — so I enjoyed seeing something different. And Caster is hot!

Love Spell (The Spellbound trilogy) by Nikki Jefford. A paranormal story containing witches, warlocks and a love potion (hence the name), this one is sizzling … although I wouldn’t want to be Gray when she comes back to herself after the potion wears off. Massive buyer’s regret, I suspect…

To Love a Werewolf (Judgement of the Six series) by Melissa Haag. Saying this is a werewolf-y urban fantasy doesn’t feel like I’m value adding much! I read from the author’s bio afterwards that she usually writes sweet NA and that doesn’t surprise me, as this is heavy on foreplay and fades to black on the actual sex. Still, that might be your thing!

I’ll post the other 11 mini-reviews in a few days time. (When I do, I’ll edit this post to link to them.)

Edit: you can find them here.

One Liner - Kristina Circelli


‘Isla’s Oath’ (Isla’s Inheritance 2) release day

Button_Isla's OathThey say that new parents always freak out and obsess about their first child’s milestones, whereas with second and subsequent children they tend to be more relaxed. I only have the one actual child so I can’t comment on it, but in some ways, this definitely holds true for books.

Or maybe it’s that I’ve been so busy trying to get all three books ready for the tight release schedule that everything sort of snuck up on me!

Either way, to my surprise, today is the release day for Isla’s Oath. The book blitz will be kicking off on 23 January (at least I remembered to book it a birthday party!), which is very exciting. And, for those of you that haven’t already preordered, the buy links I have so far are here:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon Australia | Barnes & Noble
Kobo | iBooks

As this post goes live, the only one of those that says “buy” instead of “preorder” is the Amazon Australia one, because it isn’t 20 January in the northern hemisphere yet. But throughout the day, the rest of the sites will catch up with us.

(The one place I feel like I’ve really let Isla’s Oath down is that I have to work today, whereas last year I was at home when Isla’s Inheritance launched, so I got to hang out all day on Twitter like a giddy schoolgirl. Still, I know I’ll be checking retailers throughout the day, and squeeing in my office even if I can’t do it on the internet till I get home! Maybe you guys could squee on the internet for me? That’d be awesome!)

If you haven’t read the first book in the series yet and are interested, you can find the relevant purchase links here.

The all-important thank yous

I owe so much to everyone who helped during the process of producing Isla’s Oath, whether it was with a bit of advice, assistance or even just a chance to decompress.

As always, to my alpha reader, Peter — who would provide advice on anything except “the girly bits” — thank you. Luckily Shelby, my fantastic editor, was more than happy to pick up the slack! Thanks also to the rest of my cheer squad: Ali and Craig, Mikey and Karen, the Pageinators, my work colleagues, my sister Kristy, and the Aussie Owned and Read girls — especially Stacey Nash, who was simultaneously on this crazy ride for her own books, and held my hand (virtually) while I hyperventilated over what I was getting into. To the BC09 girls, and my friends on Twitter and Facebook, who’ve also provided a ton of virtual support: I couldn’t have done it without you. Thanks for putting up with how distracted I get when I’m drafting.

A special mention goes to Sharon, who came up with the name Isla’s Oath back when I was just calling the manuscript Book Two. Your title is so much snappier!

Finally, to Nathaniel, my bright little boy and the light of my life: I love you to the moon and back. No, the sun! No, infinity! I’m sorry the books don’t have pictures. xo

IslasOath_Flames

IslasOath_love

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Review: ‘Fight For Me’ by K. A. Last

FightForMe_Cover_Final_LR

“How can I fight for you when I don’t know what I’m fighting for?”

When Grace Tate became one of the fallen to protect a vampire, it got her into more trouble than she’d bargained for. She’s angry at Charlotte for hiding the truth, and with Josh living in the city and Seth missing, life is harder than ever.

It’s about to get a lot harder…

Grace doesn’t want to leave Hopetown Valley, but when Josh ignores her calls she decides to go and search for him. She doesn’t expect to run into Seth as well.

When she reaches the city, Grace learns that Charlotte is the most hunted vampire in Wide Island. The city vamps want her blood, and the angels are after her soul. Grace gets caught in the crossfire of a battle she never wanted, but to win one war, she has to fight another.

Torn between the one she gave up everything for, and the one who sacrificed everything for her, Grace has to face Charlotte, and the past, if she wants to fight for her future. But how can she fight for someone who doesn’t want to fight for her?

Every choice Grace makes becomes a battle, and in every battle someone has to die.

I read this book last October, but as it comes out next week — 17 January — now seems like a good time to post my review. That also means it counts towards my 2015 Aussie Women Writers challenge, and I’d already beaten the 2014 one. Winning!

Fight For Me is the sequel to Fall For Me, a series about a protection angel named Grace Tate and her human twin brother, Archer. Grace reincarnates over and over as a twin of the Tate boys, down the family line, an arangement that means she has a telepathic link with each one and lets them be an awesome vampire-hunting duo.

Everything’s going swimmingly till Charlotte shows up and drags Archer, Grace and Josh — Grace’s boyfriend — into her mess. Fight For Me picks up after the dust settles. Of course, the peace and quiet don’t last long.

While Fall For Me was a good read — fast-paced, with a plot twist at the end that made me gasp — Fight For Me is great. I think Kim really hit her mark with this one, maybe because the initial worldbuilding has been taken care of and she can really sink her teeth into the story. (See what I did there?)

In the first book I didn’t like Josh very much; he got super jealous of Grace and her love/hate relationship with fellow fallen angel Seth, and his attitude kind of bugged me. Fight For Me is dual POV between Grace and Josh, which worried me at first, but although Josh is clearly still very troubled in the second book (because spoilers), seeing it from his perspective made me understand him better. He’s still not my favourite — if I had to choose a boyfriend for Grace, I’d choose Seth. But Josh still redeemed himself somewhat in my eyes.

My favourite character in both this book and the previous one is Archer, Grace’s brother. He’s a total smartass, and isn’t afraid to tell it like it is when Grace is getting a little overwrought. But at the same time he’s protective of her. He’s basically what Xander from Buffy would be if you made him a slayer too.

As with Fall For Me, Fight For Me had an awesome plot twist at the end, and again I didn’t see it coming, although in hindsight the clues were there. I love that!

Finally, the epilogue makes it clear there’s at least one more book in the series, which is always exciting. I love a trilogy!

Five stars


Review: ‘An Abundance of Katherines’ by John Green

AnAbundanceofKatherines

Katherine V thought boys were gross
Katherine X just wanted to be friends
Katherine XVIII dumped him in an e-mail
K-19 broke his heart

When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton’s type happens to be girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact.

On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a bloodthirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight, Judge Judy-loving best friend riding shotgun — but no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl. Love, friendship, and a dead Austro-Hungarian archduke add up to surprising and heart-changing conclusions in this ingeniously layered comic novel about reinventing oneself.

Like The Jewel, An Abundance of Katherines was another impulse purchase in a bookstore, and I decided to read it this month because I’m doing a Goodreads challenge where we have to read a mixed bag of genres. (All my choices have been young adult, but this one is contemporary, so that totally counts as different. Right? Right?)

Having only read two John Green books now, I may not be qualified to say Katherines is “typical John Green”. But it kind of is. The three main characters are flawed but very, very bright. In this case, we have Colin, his best friend Hassan, and a girl they meet on their road trip, Lindsey.

Colin is obsessed with making something of his life and, as the book begins when Katherine XIX dumps him, is struggling with heartbreak. Hassan is funny but a lazy slob — he’s also somewhat contemptuous of Colin at times, but it’s clear that Colin largely appreciates his honesty, so that softens the attitude a little. Lindsey is a bit of a chameleon. The thing I liked about Katherines, though, is that all three characters grow over the course of the story, which is just as well, because otherwise Colin’s whining about girls would have worn me down to the point where I wanted to punch him in the nose. 😉

The main thing I was wondering when I went into Katherines was how a very nerdy boy like Colin managed to get no less than 19 girls to date him. It makes more sense when you realise Colin defines even a five-minute relationship in the playground as “dating”! And then overthinks it. No wonder he’s so miserable!

Green makes abundant (seewhatIdidthere) use of footnotes throughout the book, to expand on facts Colin was prevented from relating, outline the basics of his theorum, or to provide translations and explanations, mostly for the Muslim terminology Hassan uses. I sometimes found the footnotes a little irritating, but that was largely in cases where I already knew the thing the footnotes were telling me. If I was reading this at 17, though, I doubt that would’ve been a problem.

The dialogue is clever, and the humour is a bit boyish for me at times but at other times is very funny. There aren’t any real surprises in the plot, and I can see echoes of The Fault in Our Stars in some of the dialogue (mostly the “Okay?” “Okay.” thing) and the road trip device. But since Katherines came first, it’s more like foreshadowing, I guess!

This was a fun read, despite the flashback-inducing maths!

Four-and-a-half stars


Review: ‘The Iron King’ by Julie Kawaga

TheIronKing

Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined.

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan’s life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she’s known is about to change.

But she could never have guessed the truth — that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she’ll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil, no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

Given my book is written in the same category as Kawaga’s (young adult -> urban fantasy -> fae), part of me is a little nervous about reviewing this. I don’t want my minor gripes with the book to be viewed as sour grapes! I promise they’re not. And overall I did like the book. I just found the first third of The Iron King to be a bit slow, and a little predictable. But once Meghan got to Oberon’s Summer Court and the Winter Court arrived for their biannual party, things got interesting.

One thing I loved about this book was that Kawaga added an extra element to the original mythology and the Midsummer Night’s Dream characters: the concept of a new breed of fae that has arisen from mortal dreams of technology. Instead of being mortally wounded by it, they are often made of it or control it, making them deadly to the traditional fae. The descriptions of some of these new fae, like Virus and Ironhorse, were delightful. (In fact, Kawaga’s writing in general was very good.)

Meghan is a bit of a traditional young adult heroine: she winds up being gorgeous, and all the boys like her. It’s unclear whether the best friend is going to turn into a love interest or if his determination to protect Meghan arises from their friendship and the fact Oberon will disembowel him if he fails. But the pretty Winter Court prince, Ash, is definitely struck by a case of love at first sight (as is Meghan for him), and the nature of the Iron King’s interest is also a little predictable.

That being said, I didn’t mind Meghan too much. She reminded me of Sarah from the Labyrinth, rushing off to rescue her kid brother from the evil king. Some of the evil king’s minions were clearly inspired by the packrats in the Labyrinth’s junkyard, although I viewed this as more of a homage than outright imitation. And honestly, Labyrinth deserves more of that!

Normally I hate insta-love but the relationship between Ash and Meghan (such as it was) didn’t bother me as much as they usually do, possibly because this was urban fantasy rather than paranormal romance; it wasn’t the main focus of the plot by any means. Maybe it was just adolescent hormones, at least on Meghan’s part. (As for Ash, who knows what his excuse is? He might be a thousand years old!)

Once it got going, this was a fun read. I own the rest of the series — I have poor impulse control and bought the boxed set without having read it — and I’m happy to keep reading. The way The Iron King ended definitely made me want to know what happens next.

Four stars


Cover reveal: ‘Fight For Me’ by K. A. Last

FightFM_Grace_Teaser1_LR

Before we kick off this cover reveal, I wanted to say a few words. *grabs mic* I’ve actually already Fight For Me; you see, Kim is not only a talented writer and graphic designer. She’s also one of my fellow Aussie Owned bloggers, and so I was lucky enough to be asked to beta this book last month. I haven’t posted a review yet, as I wanted to wait till closer to the release date. But this book has game (girlfriend!) and another delicious plot twist.

Just so you know.

Now, enjoy this gorgeous cover!

Fight For Me by K.A. Last 
(The Tate Chronicles #2)
Publication date: January 17th 2014
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
“How can I fight for you when I don’t know what I’m fighting for?”When Grace Tate became one of the fallen to protect a vampire, it got her into more trouble than she’d bargained for. She’s angry at Charlotte for hiding the truth, and with Josh living in the city and Seth missing, life is harder than ever.It’s about to get a lot harder…

Grace doesn’t want to leave Hopetown Valley, but when Josh ignores her calls she decides to go and search for him. She doesn’t expect to run into Seth as well.

When she reaches the city, Grace learns that Charlotte is the most hunted vampire in Wide Island. The city vamps want her blood, and the angels are after her soul. Grace gets caught in the crossfire of a battle she never wanted, but to win one war, she has to fight another.

Torn between the one she gave up everything for, and the one who sacrificed everything for her, Grace has to face Charlotte, and the past, if she wants to fight for her future. But how can she fight for someone who doesn’t want to fight for her?

Every choice Grace makes becomes a battle, and in every battle someone has to die.

Add Fight For Me on Goodreads.

Enter to win an ebook of Fight For Me, Fall For Me (book 1)
or a Fight For Me ribbon bookmark!

FightForMe_Cover_Final_LR

KALast_HeadshotFINAL_LRK. A. Last was born in Subiaco, Western Australia, and moved to Sydney with her parents and older brother when she was eight. Artistic and creative by nature, she studied Graphic Design and graduated with an Advanced Diploma. After marrying her high school sweetheart, she concentrated on her career before settling into family life. Blessed with a vivid imagination, she began writing to let off creative steam, and fell in love with it. She now resides in a peaceful, leafy suburb north of Sydney with her husband, their two children, and a rabbit named Twitch.

You can find her at her website, or on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads or on Amazon.


Interview: Stacey Nash, YA sci-fi author

Today I’m thrilled to have one of my favourite writers and human beings on the planet here with me on the blog — it’s the lovely Stacey Nash! You may remember her from such reviews as my one on Remember Me four days ago. Stacey’s second book, Remember Me, came out on 1 October, which makes her and I release month buddies. To celebrate, I’m giving away two copies of the first book in her series, Forget Me Not — details below.

Welcome to the blog, Stacey!

For those that haven’t read Forget Me Not, the first book in the Collective series, how would you describe the world you’ve created?

The world of the Collective series is one where super-advanced tech exists, like devices that allow cloaking, telepathy, and teleportation. This tech has actually been around for a very long time, but it’s kept hidden from the general public by a secret group whose sole purpose is to keep everything in the world on the right path. That group, the Collective, believes too much power in too many hands is not a good thing.

The Collective kind of reminds me of the Illuminati crossed with that Will Smith movie Men in Black (only without the sense of humour). Can you tell us a little more about how they work?

That’s a great description of the Collective and they are very loosely based on the Illuminati. (I love a good conspiracy theory!) Remember Me takes a much closer look at the Collective than we got to see in Forget Me Not, and from a different angle too. The Collective honestly believe that they’re doing the right thing. That with the type of technology available, society would fall into a power-grabbing mess and left to its own devices would not function effectively. It would be an all-out massacre, with no order and every man greedily overthrowing every other to come out on top. So the Collective not only suppresses knowledge of advanced technology from the public, they use it to maintain order.

Remember Me is told by both Anamae, the main character from the first book, and her best friend Will. Tell us a bit about them.

Anamae is one of those girls who are so tenacious no one can keep her check, and god help anyone who tries. She’s seventeen and has been through a tough time. Her mother has been missing for a very long time, and her dad faced some life-threatening issues during book one. With no other family, she realises she needs to fight back for what’s right.

As for Will, he’s one of those characters that finds his way into everyone’s heart. He’s a little overbearing at times, but he’s got a kind heart. He’s been in Anamae’s life since they were in grade school together and he’s not about to take a back seat now that they’re fighting for their lives.

Forget Me Not originally came out with a small press, which subsequently collapsed. What do you know now that you wish you knew then? What advice would you give to writers just starting out in the business?

I don’t think anything I know now would have changed my decisions back then. I didn’t blindly sign with that small press. I researched them thoroughly before I did so. I checked them out on Editors and Predators, Absolute Write Water Cooler, Google, and everywhere that I could. I even spoke with authors I knew who were signed with them. And staff — I spoke with staff too. Everything was really happy there, and everything checked out. I guess I’d tell other writers to make sure you do all that before signing, but be aware that publishing in some ways is a gamble. You just can’t predict what will happen and there are bad publishers out there amongst the good. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Make sure you remember that and you’ll be more wary.

What other projects are you working on? Can we expect to see a third book in the series sometime soon?

I’m working on a few projects right now. There are four books in total planned for the Collective Series and book three has gone off to my publisher, so hopefully there will be more news on it soon. My current project is a prequel to the series. Set long before Anamae was born, it’s told by her mother and essentially it is Annie’s story. Which is an exciting part of Collective–Resistance history. I’ve also got a new series in the pipelines which I’ve been madly working on. It’s quite different to the Collective books, with slightly older characters and a contemporary setting. I hope to be able to share some news on it soon as well.

Giveaway

Enter for a chance to win one of two Forget Me Not ebooks!

About Stacey

Stacey Nash writes adventure-filled stories for Young Adults in the Science Fiction and Fantasy genres. She loves to read and write books that have a lot of adventure, a good dose of danger, a smattering of romance, and KISSING! Hailing from the Hunter Valley in New South Wales, she loves nothing more than immersing herself in the beauty and culture of the local area.

HarperCollins | Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest

Stacey Nash


Isla’s Inheritance: an excerpt

Well, it’s a week to go until Isla’s Inheritance hits the virtual bookstores. I’m experiencing a curious mixture of excitement that you will all be able to read my book soon and ABSOLUTE TERROR that you will all be able to read my book soon.

I’m assured by others who’ve done this before that that’s absolutely normal. Still: gulp.

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Don’t know if I’m elated or gassy, but I’m somewhere in that zone…

Anyway, to celebrate the final countdown (*plays air guitar*), I thought you might like to read a little excerpt. But first, please humour me while I insert the obligatory links:

  • Isla’s Inheritance is now available for preorder at Amazon.
  • If Amazon isn’t your thing, you can also find the book at Smashwords, where you can add it to your library and preview it.
  • The book blitz celebrating the launch runs from 12 to 18 October, and if you’re a blogger you can sign up here. You’ll receive a pack with all the details you need. 🙂

And now, on with the excerpt-y thing.

Excerpt

“I’m not sure which is worse,” I whispered to Hamish, stroking his fur, “believing I killed my mother, or believing she abandoned me…and Dad lied about it.” Hamish didn’t answer. He was already asleep. “Well, you’re no use.”

Against all odds, the steady rhythm of Hamish’s breathing lulled me into a doze. It seemed like no time had passed when I awoke to a change in light: my father’s large frame was in the doorway, blocking the light.

“Isla? Are you awake?” His voice was tentative.

“Yes.” I sat up, rubbing my eyes. Hamish grumbled a protest.

“Can I turn the light on?”

“Sure.”

I blinked and stared at my father. He looked dishevelled and his eyes were wide, like he’d seen a ghost. He was holding the gift bag he’d given me on my birthday. “You left this at the restaurant the other week, when you went out for dessert with that boy,” he said, his voice strained.

As confused and resentful as I was feeling right now, I still loved him, and his appearance worried me. “Dad, what’s wrong?”

“Nothing,” he said. He was an even worse liar than Sarah. He came into the room and sat on the edge of the bed. “Here.” He tried to hand me the bag. Vomit burned the back of my throat, and I flinched back.

He saw the flinch, and his face grew even more drawn. “Isla, take it.” There was an urgency in his tone that I neither understood nor liked.

“No. Dad, what’s going on? You’re freaking me out.”

He looked around the room. “Do you have any of my work in here?”

The question confused me. I felt my cheeks warm. “Um, I’m not sure.” The answer was no. Pretty much every piece of ironwork he’d given me was in the shed. The rest I’d given away to friends.

“Here.” He upended the gift bag. The heavy iron circlet tumbled into my lap.

My stomach twisted with nausea so severe I clenched my teeth, afraid I’d throw up. Where the iron touched my thighs through the denim of my jeans it felt ice-cold, and yet it burned at the same time. I gasped, shoving it away from me and onto the floor. It singed my hand.

What the hell are you doing?” I jumped to my feet. Hamish leapt up too, yapping.

Dad said nothing but the look on his face was wild, despairing.

“You’re crazy,” I cried, fleeing the room.

“Isla, wait,” Dad yelled after me. But I ran, snatching my bag from the hallway before rushing out the front door. I ignored the bite of tiny rocks on the soles of my feet. I had to get away from him, from everything.

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