Blurb: Earth is dying, circling the drain on life support. The future of the human race depends on space exploration, but they’re running out of time. Parasitic insects are systematically killing the best scientific minds but no one knows why.
Mable Wilkinson is the last hope to figure it out, she just doesn’t know it yet. For years, her resourcefulness, intelligence, and penchant for problem-solving have put her at the top of a very short list of researchers, only she doesn’t want to be part of it.
Cast out at sixteen, Mable wrote off the problems of the world long ago. Now, her focus is on Hadley, her adopted little sister, and teaching her to survive in the cut-throat underground. Instead, both Mable and Hadley fall into the hands of the program’s recruiter, Silas Arrenstein, and he’s determined to have one of them. Mable can join up with the man and program who killed her brother, or she can leave Hadley to the same fate.
- Original Title: With Malice by Eileen Cook
- Edition: Kindle, 320 pages
- Published: June 7, 2016 by HMH Books For Young Readers
- Characters: Jill Charron, Simone McIvory
- Rating: 4/5
Description: Eighteen-year-old Jill Charron’s senior trip to Italy was supposed to be the adventure of a lifetime. And then the accident happened. Waking up in a hospital room, her leg in a cast, stitches in her face, and a big blank canvas where the last 6 weeks should be, Jill comes to discover she was involved in a fatal accident in her travels abroad. She was jetted home by her affluent father in order to receive quality care. Care that includes a lawyer. And a press team. Because maybe the accident…wasn’t an accident. Wondering not just what happened but what she did, Jill tries to piece together the events of the past six weeks before she loses her thin hold on her once-perfect life.
Today, Danika Stone, author of the recently released mystery novel Edge of Wild (Stonehouse Publishing) and the upcoming young adult contemporary novel All the Feels (Macmillan), joins the blog to help inspire and guide all of you aspiring writers out there. Keep reading as Danika shares her top five writing tricks!
Everyone likes to give advice. (Writers even more than usual!) We just don’t like to follow it. So when I was asked to write a post on my top five writing tricks, I really had to think about what was going to say. What works for me won’t necessarily work for everyone. But there are little things that may translate.
Writing can be a solitary, difficult process, but it’s so incredible when it comes together. This is how I survive to that point:
1. Be a slave to schedule. The only way to write fifty thousand words is to sit down and write fifty thousand words. Make a plan (a page, a paragraph or a scene a day) and don’t let yourself stop until you reach it.
2. Your first draft is terrible times a million. Accept it. Move on. I wish I could tell you some secret to writing better or faster, and not having to edit it a hundred times over, but if there is one, I don’t have it. (Go ask Stephen King.)
3. Forget that the process will ever end. You may write this book, query it, and get nowhere. You might write a first draft and have it picked up by an agent the next day. Worrying about which one will happen hinders your process. Just. Write.
4. Hone your skills by helping others. You are short of time. I get that. (I really do!) But helping others by beta-reading, copy-editing and otherwise assisting doesn’t just help them, it helps you. You see what works and what doesn’t, and your writing is polished without even picking up a pen.
5. Trust that you can. Don’t listen to those people who tell you to ‘be rational’. Don’t believe the haters who rip apart your stories. Forget all the rejections. Writing is hard enough without letting your own brain belittle your love of words. So force on the rose-colored glasses and fake it until you make it. You really can be anything you want because you’re the one writing the story.
Trust me on that. You CAN.
Danika Stone is an author, artist, and educator who discovered a passion for writing fiction while in the throes of her Masters thesis. A self-declared bibliophile, Danika now writes novels for both adults (Edge of Wild, The Intaglio Series and Ctrl Z) and teens (All the Feels). When not writing, Danika can be found hiking in the Rockies, planning grand adventures, and spending far too much time online. She lives with her husband, three sons, and a houseful of imaginary characters in a windy corner of Alberta, Canada. Ms. Stone is represented by Morty Mint of Mint Literary Agency.
- Original Title: Hippopotamister by John Patrick Green
- Edition: Hardcover, 96 pages
- Published: May 10, 2016 by First Second
- Characters: Hippo, Red Panda
- Rating: 4/5
- Goodreads, Macmillian
Description:The zoo isn’t what it used to be. It’s run down, and Hippo hardly ever gets any visitors. So he decides to set off for the outside with his friend Red Panda. To make it in the human world, Hippo will have to become a Hippopotamister: he’ll have to act like a human, get a job, and wear a hat as a disguise. He’s a good employee, whether he’s a construction worker, a hair stylist, or a sous chef. But what he really needs is a job where he can be himself.
I received a copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Hippopotamister is an amazing and beautiful children’s book! The bright and colorful cover instantly caught my students’ eyes, and the stunning pictures inside kept their interest piqued throughout the entire 96 pages. “How did you read a 96-page book to a group of 2nd graders in one sitting?” you ask. Despite the length, Hippopotamister is set up in panels comic-book style, so there’s not a whole lot of text. It’s a pretty easy read for even some of my lowest students, and again, the beautiful and detailed pictures really encourage comprehension of the text. My students did a great job of making predictions and inferences just during the picture walk alone. This book will definitely be a fixture in my classroom for the foreseeable future. I just have to be extra careful not to let those little paws do any major damage!
- Original Title: Edge of Wild by D.K. Stone
- Edition: Paperback, 329 pages
- Published: May 1st, 2016 by Stonehouse Publishing
- Characters: Rich Evans, Louise Newman
- Rating: 4/5
- Goodreads, Amazon
Description: Transplanted from New York City to the tiny mountain town of Waterton, Alberta with the task of saving a floundering new hotel, Rich Evans is desperate to return to the city as soon as he can. The locals seem unusually hostile towards his efforts, or maybe even menacing, and was that a cougar on his door-step last night? As Rich begins to wonder whether his predecessor disappeared of his own accord, he finds himself strongly drawn to Louise Newman, the garage mechanic who is fixing his suddenly unreliable BMW, and the only person in Waterton who doesn’t seem desperate to run him out of town. As Rich works on the hotel, the town is torn apart by a series of gruesome, unsolved murders. With Louise as his only ally in a town that seems set against him, Rich can’t help but wonder: will he be the next victim?
I received a copy of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.
First Lines: “Jeff was packing to leave when he heard the noise outside the window. It was a low keening sound, the sort of moan that would have sent a city slicker like him running a year ago. But not now. No, tonight, he picked up the wooden bat next to the door and walked out onto the porch.”
After the disappearance of Jeff Chan, manager of the Whitewater Lodge in the tiny, mountain town of Waterton, Alberta, Rich Evans is transplanted from his cushy, fast-paced life in New York City to the mysterious small town where time seems to have stood still.