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Cover Reveal! And Chapter 1 of Dare Me, by Eric Devine

In 2012, author Eric Devine wrote an awesome post here at TLT called Show Me How to Live, a recap of a discussion he had with the boys in his class about whether or not they liked to read YA lit, and why.  With this post, he forever cemented himself as an honorary TLT.  Plus, he wrote a great zombie metaphor.  Today, we are excited to present reveal the cover of his forthcoming title: Dare Me.  You can see it and read the first chapter after the jump.
Synopsis: When Ben Candido and his friends, Ricky and John, decide to post a YouTube video of themselves surfing on top of a car, they finally feel like the somebodies they are meant to be instead of the social nobodies that they are. Overnight, the video becomes the talk of the school, and the boys are sure that their self-appointed senior year of dares will live in infamy. Every dare brings an increased risk of bodily harm, but Ben cannot deny the thrill and sense of swagger that come with it. The stakes become even more complex when a mysterious donor bankrolls their dares in exchange for a cut in the online revenue the videos generate. But at what point do the risk and the reward come at too high of a price? What does it take to stay true to one’s self in the face of relentless pressure.


Dare Me by Eric Devine
Publishes October 2013 from Running Press Kids
ISBN: 978-0762450152
Chapter 1
There is no doubt that one of us will die. I’m not hoping for it, just considering the probability: three of us, ten stunts, each “death defying.” At least that’s the plan: spend senior year completing one dare a month. Why? So we’re legends by the end.
Ricky’s driving and he looks at me, rocks his head to the music blaring, and says, “Ready, Ben?”
As if there’s any answer I can give but yes. I know how it works. He looks in the rearview. “John, ready?”
John gives a thumbs up and gets the camera into position. “On you, Ben.” He slides out of the rear window.
I turn and look. Nothing but cornstalks and pavement, blue sky and puffy white clouds. Perfection. I focus on that image and the stillness, the quiet. If I don’t, I’ll chicken out. My mind’s already filling with scenarios for how this will end badly. But school starts tomorrow, and I agreed to this, however it goes.
I pull the ski mask over my face and slide out the window.
The wind whips even though Ricky’s only going like 30 miles per hour. I can’t hear what John’s saying. His mouth’s moving, but it’s like being in a dream, all background noise, nothing real. He jacks his thumb into the air, an obvious sign for me to get on the roof. I take a deep breath, steady my elbows and push myself up.
My feet tingle and my heart hammers, but I keep going. I grab the roof rack and pull and am flat on top. The wind pours over me now, but the space around my face is calm. Unreal.
“Let’s do it.” John’s words are faint, but they’re enough to propel me. I grip the rack and slide my feet beneath me. Ten seconds. All I have to do is stay on my feet and count.
I stand but wobble and have to sit back down on my heels. Shit, maybe I can’t do this. No matter how much I convince myself. I look over at John for help, forgetting that the camera is on me. There’s nothing he can do. This is all mine. I’d love nothing more than to crawl right back in the window, but it would be on film, and Ricky would never let me hear the end of it. Just like before.
I’ve decided that’s not what I want, so I swallow, take another breath and ease my way up.
I rock again, but only slightly. John raps on the roof to let Ricky know I’m up and Ricky lets out a scream. I spread my arms and yell along with him because this is fucking insane. The road stretches before me, and one false move and I’m part of it. But Ricky’s smooth and it’s like I’m on a skateboard without the rumble beneath my feet.
A car comes from the other direction and Ricky honks. The driver looks up and sees me and I look down at him and for a second our eyes meet. In his, pure panic. His mouth is dropped and his skin is paper-white. But then he’s gone and my heart is racing and it’s been ten seconds. I let out one more scream and tuck back to the roof rack.
John smacks the car again to let Ricky know I’m done and I hear muffled cheering from within. I smile. It’s big and hurts my cheeks and my eyes water from the wind, but this is the most alive I’ve felt in forever, exactly like Ricky said we would. One dare down, nine to go.
Eric Devine is a teacher and author of the new young adult novel Tap Out, published by Running Press Kids.  You can read more about it at his webpage or at Goodreads.  Tap Out is the contemporary story of 17-year-old Tony, growing up in a trailer park where a string of abusive men come in and out of his and his mother’s life.  Tony may have found a way out when he joins a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) class, but there are so many elements – including local gangs – that can be hard to escape in the neighborhood.  The Mr. read Tap Out and gave it a thumbs up.  It is gritty and raw and real, but so our the lives that some of our teens are living.  The language can be rough, but it reflects the environment that Tony is growing up in.  For some teens, they will see themselves reflected in this book.  For others, they will get a glimpse into a life that can’t imagine but is sadly all to real for some of our teenage boys.  Tap Out by Eric Devine is in stores now (ISBN 9780762445691).

Cover Reveal: Death, Dickinson and the Demented Life of Frenchie Garcia by Jenny Torres Sanchez

Last year I had the pleasure of meeting debut ya author Jenny Torres Sanchez at ALA Midwinter and introducing you all to The Downside of Being Charlie.  Today I am honored to share the cover of her second novel, Death, Dickinson and the Demented Life of Frenchie Garcia.

Frenchie Garcia can’t come to grips with Andy Cooper’s death. Her friends didn’t know she loved him or that she was with him the night he committed suicide. And Frenchie’s biggest concern right now is how she may have blindly helped him die that night. Though already obsessed with death and Emily Dickinson, neither help Frenchie understand the role she played during Andy’s “one night of adventure.” But then she meets Colin, and  stumbles upon the perfect opportunity to recreate her last night with Andy.  And it just may help her figure out who Andy really was. While exploring the emotional depth of loss, Sanchez’s sharp humor and clever observations present a richly developed voice. Published in 2013 by Running Press.

More Jenny Torres Sanchez on TLT:
Meet Jenny Torres Sanchez 
Jenny Torres Sanchez reviews Ask the Passengers by A. S. King
Book Review: The Downside of Being Charlie by Jenny Torres Sanchez

Cover Reveal: Dear Cassie by Lisa Burstein

Earlier this year, I wrote a lot about a girl named Amy.  Amy was, of course, the main character in Pretty Amy, the debut ya novel by Lisa Burstein.  I really liked Pretty Amy and its message, and it became a rallying point for me regarding the notion of censorship.  I have talked with Lisa some back and forth regarding my thoughts and together, we became warriors not only for Amy, but for the fundamental idea behind libraries: the right to read (it’s important!).  Lisa Burstein has a new book coming soon, Dear Cassie, and it is my honor to introduce Cassie’s story to you (we met Cassie in Pretty Amy).  So, make the drum roll sound in your head . . .
What if the last place you should fall in love is the first place that you do?

 You’d think getting sent to Turning Pines Wilderness Camp for a month-long rehabilitation “retreat” and being forced to re-live it in this journal would be the worst thing that’s ever happened to me.
You’d be wrong.
There’s the reason I was sent to Turning Pines in the first place: I got arrested. On prom night. With my two best friends, who I haven’t talked to since and probably never will again. And then there’s the real reason I was sent here. The thing I can’t talk about with the guy I can’t even think about.
What if the moment you’ve closed yourself off is the moment you start to break open?
But there’s this guy here. Ben. And the more I swear he won’t—he can’t—the deeper under my skin he’s getting. After the thing that happened, I promised I’d never fall for another boy’s lies.
And yet I can’t help but wonder…what if?

DEAR CASSIE excerpt:
We kept walking on the lake trail, the bullfrogs croaking. There was also a humming in my ears from the nicotine.
It could only be from the nicotine. It had nothing to do with being outside, at night, alone with Ben. It had nothing to do with Ben coming to the cabin and taking me instead of Nez and it definitely had nothing to do with the stars above us shining like they were the sky’s tiara.
I stopped on the trail and looked up, taking them in, when all of a sudden bright colored lights exploded in the sky—fireworks, one after another, on top of each other, huge kaleidoscopes of light, like sparkling rainbow spiders.
“How did you know?” I asked, my voice going softer, like if I talked too loudly they would stop. It was so beautiful, after weeks of so much ugly.
Ben turned to look at me, the colored lights in the sky turning his skin pink, blue, green. “I’m magic.” He shrugged.
I geared up to tell him to fuck off, because that was some corny-ass shit, but then I realized that he really kind of was. In that moment he was able to actually make me forget being me.
“I would try to kiss you,” he said, “but I’m afraid you’d kick me in the balls.”
“I probably would.” I laughed, the sky filling with noisy color like paint launching from a giant popcorn popper. “But like I said, it wouldn’t be about you.”
“I guess I’ll have to figure out how to make it about me,” he said, taking off his boots and socks and standing. “Come on.”
“There is no way I am getting near that water again,” I said.
“I’ll make sure nothing happens to you,” he said, holding his hand out to help me up.
I looked at his palm, open, waiting, just wanting to hold mine. For once, I didn’t think about anything except that there was a cute, sweet, smart-ass boy standing in front of me with his hand out.
I pulled off my boots and socks and took it.
We stood at the lake shore, our hands still clasped, the water licking our feet, fireworks decorating the sky.
I turned to him. He was looking up, his mouth open in wonder like he was trying to swallow the moment.
It was definitely one worth keeping.
DEAR CASSIE pre-buy links:
Additional links to Lisa’s pages:

Lisa Burstein is a tea seller by day and a writer by night. She received her MFA in Fiction from the Inland Northwest Center for Writers at Eastern Washington University. She lives in Portland, OR, with her very patient husband, a neurotic dog and two cats. Dear Cassie is her second novel.

All About Pretty Amy:
Pretty Amy Book Review
What if Amy wasn’t Pretty; a tale of censorship
Amy speaks; Pretty Amy’s censorship uncensored
Let’s talk access! Any why libraries are radically unsafe places, and that’s a good thing

Cover Reveal: The Collector by Victoria Scott

It’s official, Dante Walker has arrived! And trust us when we say, being bad has never looked so good. You’ll need him, you’ll want him…and we’ll let you in on a little secret:
He wants you too.

About The Collector

Dante Walker is flippin’ awesome, and he knows it. His good looks, killer charm, and stellar confidence have made him one of hell’s best—a soul collector. His job is simple, weed through humanity and label those round rears with a big red good or bad stamp. Old Saint Nick gets the good guys, and he gets the fun ones. Bag-and-tag.

Sealing souls is nothing personal. Dante’s an equal opportunity collector and doesn’t want it any other way. But he’ll have to adjust, because Boss Man has given him a new assignment:
Collect Charlie Cooper’s soul within 10 days.

Dante doesn’t know why Boss Man wants Charlie, nor does he care. This assignment means only one thing to him, and that’s a permanent ticket out of hell. But after Dante meets the quirky, Nerd Alert chick he’s come to collect—he realizes this assignment will test his abilities as a collector, and uncover emotions deeply buried.

Find out more at www.DanteWalker.com

Meet Victoria Scott
Victoria Scott is a YA writer with a die-hard affection for dark and humorous books. Her work is represented by the fabulous Laurie McLean of Larsen-Pomada literary agency. She has a master’s degree in marketing, and is a member of the Writers’ League of Texas and Teen Shiver.

Her first YA book, THE COLLECTOR, will be published by Entangled Teen in 2013. And her short story, FOUR HOUSES, is available now through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

She currently lives in Dallas with her husband, Ryan.

Connect with Victoria:Website l Twitter l Facebook
Add The Collector to your TBR pile on Goodreads!
You can read Victoria’s Why YA? post to find out more about her.
The Collector Series is coming from Entangled Publishing in March 2013.

Cover Reveal and Contest: Vala: Heritage by J. F. Jenkins

What an exciting day! What is it like for an author when they finally sees the cover for their newest title?  Each book is a labor of love, you pour your heart and soul into the words on a page and then you must trust an artist to come up with a cover that will help sell your vision to the world at large.  We all do, judge a book by its cover.  The cover can help determine whether or not someone takes that book, picks it up and thumbs through its pages.  The cover is the moment that helps us all decide – should I?  Today J. F. Jenkins shares the cover of her newest book, Vala: Heritage.  Today she joins us to talk about her Vala series and share what it’s like to receive the cover art of a new title.

Finally seeing my cover for the first time, with any book I put out, is always a treat. Even if I don’t get the final version of it the first try, there’s something special about opening up my email and seeing a proof from my talented cover artist Elaina Lee. Sometimes it’s instant love and cover lust, and other times it takes some back and forth to get the perfect cover image.

For my latest release, “Vala: Heritage”, we went through about three or four different versions, cycling through different models and backgrounds. I don’t settle when it comes to anything with my book, especially the cover. One lesson I’ve learned from publishing is to not be afraid of being honest about if something is working for you or not. When you, the author, is happy, then the book is the best it can be.

In the end, I’m pleased with the results and I am happy to share them with you now. Along with that, I want to offer a chance to win the first book in the series: “Vala: Agendas”. Presenting, Vala: Heritage by J. F. Jenkins.
Jewl Dite has always struggled with her heritage. Being the daughter of the goddess of love, she questions everything about the emotion. Which is a bummer because she’s head over heels for Anj Willam, and thinks the feelings are mutual. It’s hard to be sure though when she has magic that has been known to bewitch men into devoting themselves to her. Somehow they’re able to strike a balance in their dysfunctional on-again, off-again relationship however.

This balance is disrupted however when a strange boy named Teague enters her life and brings along with him a group of demons. Demons who want to make a deal with her in exchange for the safety of everyone she loves.

Now to protect those she holds most dear, Jewl must rely on the magic she’s been trying so desperately to avoid. But at what cost? Will the boy she loves accept this dark secret, or will she lose him forever?
Start the Vala series from the beginning!  Leave a comment for your chance to win a free copy of Vala:Agendas and start the series from the very beginning.  Check back here on April 25th when we announce a winner.

“Cheyenne Loveless was just a boring sixteen-year-old girl. Then Denver Collins bit her and everything changed. Her plants start talking to her, she finds out she’s a Nymph, and a witch and the angel of death show up at her doorstep to take her away to the prestigious Vala School and Seminary. Oh, and she has no choice in the matter.

All she wants to do is blend in and return to being invisible, but the more time that passes, the harder that becomes. Plus she’s a daughter of the Divine, an exclusive secret society which rules the world of myth, and discovers she is a key ingredient to an ancient covenant created before she was born. A covenant that will reshape the order of the world.

Adjusting to a new school is difficult enough, but adding on everyone else’s hidden agendas is the icing on the cake. Cheyenne must learn to see through the lies in order to find her place — and possibly even love — in this new world.” Amazon.com

J. F. Jenkins is also the author of the Dragon Saga and writes for Astraea Press.  She spans a variety of genres including YA, science fiction and romance.  You can read her blog and follow her on Twitter (@jfjenkinstweets).