The pandas are taking a break from their solstice celebrations to announce two giveaway winners.

The winner of Miss Fortune Cookie by Lauren Bjorkman is:

Sharonne Katz!

The winner of The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy by Nikki Loftin is:


Congrats and happy reading!

Win a signed copy of Renegade! Details at the end of this post.


Chapter One

 Sacrifices must be made for the greater good.

—Citizen’s Social Code, Volume VI

My life is just about perfect.

Every morning Mother has the Maids wake me at precisely ten. Then it’s time for a light breakfast followed by a mandatory visit with my Therapist. It’s nice to have someone to talk with.

After, I am free to do as I wish until it’s time to perform one of the duties Mother has requested of me. This morning I sit in my garden, quietly doing my cross-stitching. the garden is so peaceful in the morning, especially when the sea life outside the glass dome passes by.

The Surface could never compare. Not that I’ve ever seen the Surface. It is forbidden, even for me.

Which is fine. My life is just about perfect.

Excerpt copyright © 2012 J.A. Souders

About the book:


Since the age of three, sixteen-year-old Evelyn Winters has been trained to be Daughter of the People in the underwater utopia known as Elysium. Selected from hundreds of children for her ideal genes, all her life she’s thought that everything was perfect; her world. Her people. The Law.

But when Gavin Hunter, a Surface Dweller, accidentally stumbles into their secluded little world, she’s forced to come to a startling realization: everything she knows is a lie. Her memories have been altered. Her mind and body aren’t under her own control. And the person she knows as Mother is a monster.

Together with Gavin she plans her escape, only to learn that her own mind is a ticking time bomb… and Mother has one last secret that will destroy them all.

What people are saying:

“Grim, vicious, riveting. Renegade is a haunting, unforgettable debut.”–Ann Aguirre, USA Today bestselling author of ENCLAVE and OUTPOST

“RENEGADE is a dark tale of deceit, with twists that will keep you turning the pages, and an ending that will have you on the edge of your seat.”–Lisa Desrochers, author of PERSONAL DEMONS

“Deliciously creepy and filled with psychological twists, Renegade kept me on the edge of my seat until the very last page.”—Kristen Simmons, author of ARTICLE 5

Released: November 13, 2012

About the author:

J.A. Souders was born in the heartland with an overactive imagination and an over abundance of curiosity that was always getting her into trouble. She first began writing at the age of 13, when she moved to Florida and not only befriended the monsters under the bed, but created worlds for them to play together.

Because she never grew up, she decided she’d put her imaginary friends to work and started writing. She still lives in the land of sunshine and palm trees with her husband and their two children. Visit her at


Jessica has been kind enough to contribute a signed copy of Renegade for a giveaway!

The contest is open in the US and Canada, and ends on January 9th at midnight EST.

Just comment on this post to enter.

For extra entries:

-Be a follower on Twitter or like us on Facebook [+1 entry each].

-Link to this contest on Twitter, Facebook, etc. [+1 entry per each link].

Please list your extra entries in the comments.

Good luck and happy reading!


Hillary looked up from her phone, squinting at me in the afternoon sun before she pulled on the sunglasses perched on her head. “There is nothing happening tonight. Nothing.”

Ally rolled onto her stomach and took a sip of Diet Coke. “There’s a barn party coming up.”

She had a streak of sunblock on her shoulder, which Hil leaned over and rubbed in. “That’s still three days away—is there really nothing planned until then? Mia?”

“Not that I’ve heard,” I answered. “But not that I’ve asked either. Do you want me to?” My cell phone was somewhere below my chaise and I made a halfhearted attempt to pick it up without looking.

She sighed. “Don’t bother. But if the rest of this summer is as crappy as June has been, then let’s just fast-forward to September.” I couldn’t see her eyes behind the dark lenses of her sunglasses, but I knew they’d look hurt; she’d had a rough week.

Excerpt copyright © 2012 Tiffany Schmidt

 About the book:

Mia is always looking for signs. A sign that she should get serious with her soccer-captain boyfriend. A sign that she’ll get the grades to make it into an Ivy-league school. One sign she didn’t expect to look for was: “Will I survive cancer?” It’s an answer her friends would never understand, prompting Mia to keep her illness a secret. The only one who knows is her lifelong best friend, Gyver, who is poised to be so much more. Mia is determined to survive, but when you have so much going your way, there is so much more to lose. From debut author Tiffany Schmidt comes a heart-wrenching and ultimately uplifting story of one girl’s search for signs of life in the face of death.

 What people are saying:

“This is Schmidt’s first novel, and it is a noteworthy one… this is a moving and inspirational novel that teen girls will love.”–VOYA

“Tiffany Schmidt’s SEND ME A SIGN is a powerhouse of a first novel. Bittersweet, magical and heartbreaking. Highly recommended!”–Jonathan Maberry, New York Times best-selling author of Rot & Ruin

“From its first page, this book had me completely. This is a beautifully written debut that successfully confronts the hardest kind of truths with love, grit, humor, hope, and grace and with it, Tiffany Schmidt has proven herself to be a talent to watch out for.”–Courtney Summers, author of This Is Not a Test and Some Girls Are

“[A] fresh look at the nature of belief. Check it out.”–BookPage

Released: October 2, 2012

About the author:

Tiffany Schmidt lives in Pennsylvania with her saintly husband, impish twin boys, and a pair of mischievous puggles. She’s not at all superstitious . . . at least that’s what she tells herself every Friday the 13th. Send Me a Sign is her first novel, Bright Before Sunrise will follow in Winter, 2014. Visit her at

“Piper Lee, honey, what do you think of this one?” Mama held up a frilly purple bridesmaid’s dress.

I rolled my eyes. “It’s great if you want me to look like an eggplant.”

Mama made a worried sound under her breath as she sorted through the row of dresses. “Piper Lee, I’ve shown you fourteen and you’ve hated every one. Why are you being such a fuss box?”

“Because she’s a pain,” Ginger said, like it was some obvious fact.

“Shut up, Ginger.”

“You watch your tongue,” Mama said. “And you haven’t answered my question.”

“I’m not trying to be a fuss box, Mama. You just haven’t shown me anything I like.”

“And what would you like to wear to our wedding, your flight jacket?”

Our wedding? As if I had any say in the matter. As if I was in favor of Mama changing her name from Heather DeLuna to Mrs. Ben Hutchings. Who’d want to give up a pretty name like DeLuna anyhow? It brought to mind some big, lovely bird soaring through the clouds. But Hutchings? That sounded like a rabbit cage.

Mama said when I grew up and met the right man, I’d be more than happy to take his name. But I wouldn’t, not ever. That’s on account of my name is special. My daddy named me—Piper Lee DeLuna—exactly six years before he crashed his single-engine Piper Cub into the Atlantic.

Excerpt copyright © 2012 Dianna Winget

About the book:

Whether she likes it or not, ten-year-old Piper Lee DeLuna is about to get a new family. Four years after the plane Piper’s daddy was piloting disappeared, her mama is remarrying. The way Piper sees it, Mama’s being plain disloyal. Besides, who’d want to get stuck with a prison guard for a stepdad and that weenie, Ginger, for a stepsister? But when Piper Lee hatches a foolproof plan to get the wedding called off, it quickly spirals out of control. And by the time Piper realizes what she’s done—and just how much she really cares about her new family—it might be too late. Told in Piper Lee’s irresistible Southern voice, A Smidgen of Sky is about new families and new beginnings.

What people are saying:

“I would not be surprised if Piper grows up to have a career involving airplanes. She has the right stuff. And as far as crafting a warm, funny, touching, debut novel, so does Dianna Dorisi Winget.”–Juanita Havill, author of Eyes Like Willy’s

A Smidgen of Sky is one I will be giving to my daughter to read, buying for my school library, and telling others about. I am hopeful Winget plans on writing more books geared toward this audience.”–Tina Says, Children’s Book Reviewer for Amazon Vine Program

“If you are looking for an elementary age mother-daughter book club selection, I can’t imagine a better choice. The writing is beautiful and the characters are memorable.”–J. Prather, Children’s Book Reviewer

Released: November 6, 2012

About the author:

Dianna Dorisi Winget writes fiction and non-fiction for young readers. She is a life-long resident of the Pacific Northwest and lives in the mountains of North Idaho with her husband, daughter and two canine buddies. A Smidgen of Sky is her first novel.

Win a signed copy of Sinister Sweetness! Details at the end of this post.

When my mom was alive, she read me stories every night. “Use your imagination, Lorelei,” she’d say, “and your whole life can be a fairy tale.” I wanted that to be true. But I should have paid more attention to the fairy tales.

Because not all of the children in them come out alive.

And sometimes there are witches hiding in the woods.

My soon-to-be stepmother was a witch, I was sure of that. I wasn’t quite certain whether she wanted me to die, but it was looking possible. Die of humiliation, if nothing else.

Somehow, she had convinced my dad to make me wear a peach-and-white petticoat dress, with white shoes that looked like they’d been stolen off an American Girl doll. They were about that big, too. I could feel the blisters coming up as I walked to the minivan.

“Hurry up, Lorelei,” Dad shouted from the front seat. He already had the engine on. “I don’t want to be late for my own wedding. Molly will kill me!”

“Molly’s already trying to kill me,” I murmured as I shut the door. I hadn’t been quiet enough. Dad had heard.

“Lorelei,” he warned. “Molly is not trying to kill you. Why do you insist on being so negative about her? She’s going to be your new mother–”

A rude noise came from the back seat. Bryan, my older brother, had pulled out his earbuds to listen in. “Stepmother,” he said. “She’s not Mom.”

Mom. The word hung in the air like sparkles of dust in the sunlight, bringing with it memories and pain. My heart thumped hard against my seat belt. Nobody said anything for a few seconds. Nobody breathed. I closed my eyes so I wouldn’t have to see if Bryan was giving me the look he’d given me over a year before.

The day I had destroyed our family.

Excerpt copyright © 2012 Nikki Loftin

About the book:

Lorelei is bowled over by Splendid Academy–Principal Trapp encourages the students to run in the hallways, the classrooms are stocked with candy dishes, and the cafeteria serves lavish meals featuring all Lorelei’s favorite foods. But the more time she spends at school, the more suspicious she becomes. Why are her classmates growing so chubby? And why do the teachers seem so sinister?

It’s up to Lorelei and her new friend Andrew to figure out what secret this supposedly splendid school is hiding. What they discover chills their bones–and might even pick them clean!

Mix one part magic, one part mystery, and just a dash of Grimm, and you’ve got the recipe for a cozy-creepy read that kids will gobble up like candy.

What people are saying:

“A mesmerizing read…a fantasy that feels simultaneously classic and new.”—Publishers Weekly

“A pinch of Grimm, a dash of Greek mythology and a heaping helping of fresh chills make for an irresistible contemporary fairy tale…Deliciously scary and satisfying.”–Kirkus

“A wickedly intriguing, deliciously eerie read.”–Cynthia Leitich Smith, NYT Bestselling author

 Released: August 21, 2012

About the author:

Nikki Loftin lives with her Scottish photographer husband just outside Austin, Texas, surrounded by dogs, chickens, and small, loud boys. Her debut middle-grade novel, The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy, is available now. You can visit her online at


Nikki has been kind enough to contribute a signed copy of The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy for a giveaway!

The contest is open in the US and Canada, and ends on December 12th at midnight EST.

Just comment on this post to enter.

For extra entries:

-Be a follower on Twitter or like us on Facebook [+1 entry each].

-Link to this contest on Twitter, Facebook, etc. [+1 entry per each link].

Please list your extra entries in the comments.

Good luck and happy reading!

There are four Captain Stupendous fan clubs in Copperplate City, but ours is the only one that doesn’t suck. There’s the Official Captain Stupendous Fan Club (they hold a trademark on the name, including “Official”), the Friends of Stupendous (a group of rich old ladies, if you can believe it), the Stupendites (a bunch of girls who probably spend all their time trying on each other’s clothes), and us. We’re the Captain Stupendous Fan Club, period. We’re the real deal, even if we are the smallest fan club in the city. Maybe in the country. Possibly on the entire planet.

So when a giant robot came to town and picked a fight right outside Spud’s Pizza, you can guess how psyched I was. Everyone who’s ever lived in Copperplate City has seen at least one Stupendous battle in person, but it never gets old. And Spud’s is in my neighborhood!

Excerpt copyright © 2012 Mike Jung

About the book:

Three 12 year old boys, Vincent, George, and Max, discover that Captain Stupendous, their hometown superhero, has forgotten how to be a superhero, and they must help him remember in time to defeat a new supervillain who’s come to town while figuring out how Vincent’s crush, Polly Winnicott-Lee, is involved.

What people are saying:

“GEEKS, GIRLS, AND SECRET IDENTITIES by Mike Jung is a joyful, action-packed ode to comic books, friendship, and the many faces of heroism. Spandex and super-villains have never been this funny. Captain Stupendous — and Mike Jung — have themselves a new fan.”–Jenn Reese, ABOVE WORLD

“Fast-paced, suspenseful and downright hilarious. Mike Jung gets the details of the comics world exactly right. Readers will love the surprising twists and turns.”–H.N. Kowitt, THE LOSER LIST

“A snappy, hilarious adventure set in a world I would love to live in. Clever, fun, and full of surprises – it’s the perfect book for the reluctant reader in your life.”–Michael Buckley, N.E.R.D.S.

“If Stan Lee had written Freaks and Geeks it would look like this!…Jung’s novel is a hilarious twist on the classic superhero story! Giant robots, hidden lairs, middle-school crushes and uber-fanboys combine to make one stupendous debut!”–Matthew Cody, POWERLESS

“Fresh, page-turny, honest and most of all funny–Mike Jung’s voice is such a welcome addition and this book is a glorious treasure-mix of realness and wonderment.”–Aimee Bender, THE PARTICULAR SADNESS OF LEMON CAKE

“Wow! Superheroes, Supervillains, geeks on bikes, a stinky swamp, real friends, deep, dark secrets, shattering windows, BIG decisions…and everything else that matters!”–Kathleen Duey, SKIN HUNGER

Released: October 1, 2012

About the author:

Mike Jung is an active blogger, parent, SCBWI member, and library professional. He lives in Oakland, California, with his wife and two young children. This is his first novel. You can visit him at

The pandas have a slew of winners to announce today! Ready? Set. Go!

The winner of The Power of Poppy Pendle is:


The winner of  Nerve is:


The winner of Henry Franks is:

Lani B!

The winner of A Whole Lot of Lucky is:


The winner of The Universe of Fair is:

Ann Herrick!

Congrats to all the winners. The pandas wish you happy reading–and napping.

Win a signed copy of Miss Fortune Cookie! Details at the end of this post.

Chapter 1

You will have much luck and little hardship.

Or the other way around.

My friends and I were riding home from school on Muni, clinging to an assortment of slippery handholds, when Linny almost blew my secret identity. Intentionally.

“Listen to this one,” she said, reading off her iPhone, a faint but smirky glint in her eyes. “‘Dear Miss Fortune Cookie. My cousin thinks I’m chasing her boyfriend. Her boyfriend and I never flirt, but sometimes we text. What can I do to make her believe me? Just Friends.'”

In fact, I–Erin Kavanagh, alias miss Fortune Cookie–had posted this very letter on my anonymous advice blog, and Linny happened to be the only person in San Francisco to know that, the only person in the whole world, except for some random administrator at WordPress. She takes every opportunity to harass me about keeping my blog a secret. “What advice would you give, Erin?” she asked, winking this time.

I kept my face as neutral as possible. Luckily Darren and Mei were only paying attention to each other. As usual.

Personally speaking, I think nano-deceptions are a good thing. I regularly use them to protect my friends from unpleasant truths. Should I really tell Linny that her favorite knit hat makes her head look like a furry meatball?

Excerpt copyright © 2012 Lauren Bjorkman

About the book:

Meet Erin. Smart student, great daughter, better friend. Secretly the mastermind behind the popular advice blog Miss Fortune Cookie. Totally unaware that her carefully constructed life is about to get crazy.

It all begins when her ex-best friend sends a letter to her blog—and then acts on her advice. Erin’s efforts to undo the mess will plunge her into adventure, minor felonies, and possibly her very first romance.

What’s a likely fortune for someone no longer completely in control of her fate? Hopefully nothing like: You will become a crispy noodle in the salad of life.

What people are saying:

“An honest and charming portrayal of love, loyalty, and friendship with characters as lovable as they are real.”–Jennifer Brown, author of Hate List

Witty and unexpected with a fresh and unique main character!”–Janet Gurtler, author of I’m Not Her

“Touching and fun; refreshing and original.”–Jennifer Hubbard, author of The Secret Year

“So funny and clever, and I loved Erin so much.”–Sarah MacLean, author of The Season

“Seamlessly told at an electric pace. We should all be so lucky to have a friend as compassionate and dynamic as Erin.”–Danielle Joseph, author of Shrinking Violet

Released: November 13, 2012

About the author:

Lauren Bjorkman is the author of two YA novels, My Invented Life and Miss Fortune Cookie. As a kid, she lived aboard a sailboat with her family, exploring the world. The ocean still terrifies her. When she’s not writing, reading, or traveling (by plane, train, or car) she spends time with family and friends. Her most recent addictions—watching Downton Abbey and eating chocolate—are most enjoyable when indulged in simultaneously. Visit her at


Lauren has been kind enough to contribute a signed copy of Miss Fortune Cookie for a giveaway!

The contest is open in the US and Canada, and ends on November 28th at midnight EST.

Just comment on this post to enter.

For extra entries:

-Be a follower on Twitter or like us on Facebook [+1 entry each].

-Link to this contest on Twitter, Facebook, etc. [+1 entry per each link].

Please list your extra entries in the comments.

Good luck and happy reading!

Win an ARC of Sirens! Details at the end of this post.

A New Life

She was a different person in the daylight hours, without her makeup and her eyes like slits and her skinny frame wrapped in an oversize robe. I tried to hide my surprise, which reappeared when she emerged from her rooms an hour later, primped and wide-awake and put together. She peered in the library door, squinting.

“There you are. Hiding. It’s time we put you right,” she said as I stood up, and then she looked down at my old black shoes “Good grief. First order of business is new shoes. And for pity’s sake, take off those awful stockings before we leave this apartment.”

“I’m not a flapper,” I said.

“Yeah? Well, we can fix that,” she responded. “Come on.”

Excerpt copyright © 2012 Janet Fox

About the book:

Two girls. One gangster. A deadly secret.

When Josephine’s father ships her off to live with her rich cousins on the glittering island of Manhattan, he says it’s to find a husband. But Jo knows better–there’s trouble brewing, and in 1925, all that glitters is not gold. Caught up in a swirl of her cousin’s bobbed-hair set–and the men that court them–Jo soon realizes that this world of jazz and gangsters and their molls hides a nest of lies. But when she befriends the girlfriend of one of the most powerful and dangerous gangsters in town, Jo begins to uncover secrets–secrets that threaten an empire and could destroy everyone she loves. Jo is faced with a choice: hang on to her soul, or lose herself in the decade of decadence.

Release Date: November 8, 2012

About the author:

Janet Fox writes award-winning fiction and non-fiction for children of all ages. She became a children’s author in the mid-90s, when her son’s learning differences led her to develop her non-fiction book for Free Spirit Publishing, GET ORGANIZED WITHOUT LOSING IT (2006). Other work for children includes short fiction (Spider Magazine) and science non-fiction (Highlights for Children). Her young adult debut novel, FAITHFUL (Speak/Penguin Group, 2010) is an Amelia Bloomer List pick, and is followed by a companion novel, FORGIVEN (2011), a Junior Library Guild selection and WILLA Literary Award Finalist. She is a 2010 graduate of the MFA/Writing for Children and Young Adults program at Vermont College of Fine Arts, a former Regional Advisor for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and a former high school English teacher. Janet and her husband and son recently moved from College Station, Texas, to Bozeman, Montana, where her son is a college student and Janet and her husband enjoy the mountain vistas. To learn more, visit her website:


We are giving away an ARC of Sirens!

The contest is open in the US only, and ends November 21st at midnight EST.

Just comment on this post to enter.

For extra entries:

-Be a follower on Twitter or like us on Facebook [+1 entry each].

-Link to this contest on Twitter, Facebook, etc. [+1 entry per each link].

Please list your extra entries in the comments.

Good luck and happy reading!

Win a copy of Touching the Surface! Details at the end of this post.

Chapter 1

the other side of the surface

My body smacked the water. Thoughts scattered like a handful of beads dropped on a bare wood floor. I gasped for air  and the current rushed in. My throat burned. Panic, thrashing, spots of light exploding in my head. Surrender. I sank softly down…until…fingers wrapped around my wrist, yanking me out of the water. As my head broke the surface it all became clear. I had died…again.

I stood on the end of the dock that jutted out toward the middle of the lake, fingering the silver eagle feather charm that hung in the hollow below my neck. The chain tangled in the short hairs below my ponytail. I was stunned and spots bounced in front of my eyes.

Excerpt copyright © 2012 Kimberly Sabatini

About the book:

Experience the afterlife in this lyrical, paranormal debut novel that will send your heart soaring.When Elliot finds herself dead for the third time, she knows she must have messed up, big-time. She doesn’t remember how she landed in the afterlife again, but she knows this is her last chance to get things right.

Elliot just wants to move on, but first she will be forced to face her past and delve into the painful memories she’d rather keep buried. Memories of people she’s hurt, people she’s betrayed…and people she’s killed.

As she pieces together the secrets and mistakes of her past, Elliot must find a way to earn the forgiveness of the person she’s hurt most, and reveal the truth about herself to the two boys she loves…even if it means losing them both forever.

What people are saying:

“This gorgeous, lyrical read will sweep you away.”–JESSICA VERDAY, bestselling author of THE HOLLOW trilogy

“Soulful and inventive. A thoroughly original vision of what happens next.” –DAISY WHITNEY, author of the MOCKINGBIRDS

Released: October 30, 2012

About the author:

Kimberly Sabatini is a former Special Education Teacher who is now a stay-at-home mom and a part-time dance instructor for three and four year olds. She lives in New York’s Hudson Valley with her husband and three boys. Kimberly writes Young Adult fiction and is represented by Michelle Wolfson of Wolfson Literary Agency. TOUCHING THE SURFACE is her debut novel. (Simon Pulse – Simon & Schuster, October 30, 2012). Visit her at:


Kimberly has been kind enough to contribute a copy of Touching the Surface for a giveaway!

The contest is open in the US and Canada, and ends on November 14th at midnight EST.

Just comment on this post to enter.

For extra entries:

-Be a follower on Twitter or like us on Facebook [+1 entry each].

-Link to this contest on Twitter, Facebook, etc. [+1 entry per each link].

Please list your extra entries in the comments.

Good luck and happy reading!

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