Entries tagged with “Death”.

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 www.tiffanyschmidt.com.

“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. www.diannawinget.com.

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: http://kimberlysabatini.com.


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!

Win a copy of The Princess of Las Pulgas! Details at the end of this post.

Chapter 1

Last night I pleaded with Death, but he turned a bony back to me, pushed Hope into the corridor and shut the door.

We’re waiting, all of us. Mom in the chair next to Dad’s bed, holding his hand as if she can keep him with us as long as she doesn’t let go. Keith asleep on the rollaway a nurse wheeled in earlier. He’s on his side, his long runners’ legs drawn to his chest and his head resting on his arm. Me, scrunched down into a chair at the foot of Dad’s bed. I no longer feel like I have a body. I’m not even tired, just numb. Then Death. He’s backed into the darkest corner.

I twist my Sweet Sixteen bracelet around and around, counting the tiny links. Mom and Dad gave it to me in June before I learned how hospitals smelled at two a.m. or how I preferred nightmares to being awake.

I hate being here.

I hate what’s happening.

I want it over.

I close my eyes and let my head fall back against the vinyl chair.

No. I don’t mean that.

Excerpt copyright © 2010 C. Lee McKenzie

 About the book:

Carlie Edmund has everything: a loving family, good friends, a perfect home and wealth and status; then in her junior year of high school the worst happens. Her dad dies and her mom must sell their home to pay disputed medical bills. Carlie’s life is turned upside down, and she must learn to live in a very different place with very different people.

What people are saying:

“Small but glittering details illuminate the prose, and perfect turns of phrase keep the reader right next to Carlie as she struggles . . . Full of heart and hope . . . a beautiful book.”–L.K. Madigan, 2010 Morris Award winner Flash Burnout

“A beautifully written, meaningful, young adult novel. Carlie Edmund will jump off the page and pull you into a poignant and timely story of loss and ultimate gain.”–Francisco X. Stork, author of Marcelo in the Real World, NY Times Notable Children’s Book of 2009, Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2009 & 2010 YALSA Top 10 Best Books for Young Adults

“Brimming with loss, hope, and the enduring power of love . . .”–Michelle Zink, author of Prophecy of the Sisters

Released: December 2010

About the author:

C. Lee McKenzie is a native Californian who grew up in a lot of different places; then landed in the Santa Cruz Mountains where she lives with her family and miscellaneous pets—usually strays that find her rather than the other way around. She writes most of the time, gardens and hikes and does yoga a lot, and then travels whenever she can. Her favorite destinations are Turkey and Nicaragua, but because she had family in England, Switzerland, and Spain she goes there frequently as well.

She takes on modern issues that today’s teens face in their daily lives. Her first young adult novel, Sliding on the Edge, which dealt with cutting and suicide was published in 2009. Her second, titled The Princess of Las Pulgas, dealing with a family who loses everything and must rebuild their lives came out in 2010. You can visit her at http://cleemckenziebooks.com.


Lee has been kind enough to contribute a copy of The Princess of Las Pulgas for a giveaway!

Just comment on this post to enter.

For extra entries:

-Be a follower of this site (just click “Join this site”) or a follower on Twitter [+1 entry each].

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

Please list your extra entries in the comments.

The contest is open in the US and Canada, and ends on October 5th at midnight EST.

Good luck and happy reading!

A gray hall monitor in wrinkled clothes walked silently in front of Jana on her way to the school counselor’s office.

Grays moved so quietly that even when you were with one you felt alone. Their hearts weren’t in anything they did. Jana opened the door to the office, expecting to be greeted by someone.

There was a wide oak desk in the middle of the room with toys arranged on it. The room smelled like furniture polish. Antique arcade machines lined the walls to either side. The green leather chair behind the desk was occupied by a half-size dummy of a clown. Its face was enameled white, with an orange red nose in the middle. Red paint outlined a pair of wide-open lips. A red wooden tongue rested inside the clown’s hinged mouth.

“Knock, knock,” Jana said. “Anybody here?”

If the clown answered, she was leaving.

Excerpt© 2011 Randy Russell

About the book:

Jana loved her boyfriend to death.

What people are saying:

“Not your usual paranormal romance. Romeo and Juliet meets Daniel Waters in folklorist Randy Russell’s wry teen debut…Wickedly clever.”–Kirkus, starred review

“Randy Russell has created the ultimate paranormal romance but has also infused a dark comedic element that sets the novel apart from others in the genre.”–Ruta Sepetys, author of Between Shades of Gray

“It’s humiliating to die in a bowling accident, especially when it means going through the afterlife in a pair of bowling shoes. Even more serious for high school junior Jana Webster is the separation from her one true love, Michael…Laughter, for Russell, is not an act of mockery or ironic distance, but rather a marker for empathy with his very human characters.”–Publisher’s Weekly

Released: June 21, 2011

About the author:

Randy Russell lives in the woods in Western North Carolina.  He writes ghosts and dead people. You can visit him at www.ghostfolk.com.


To enter Randy’s “The Dead Rules Giveaway to Support Teen Reading” for a chance to win $500 in free books of a reader’s choice and $1,500 in free books to classroom teachers and librarians–all through independent bookstores–visit www.ghostfolk.com/free.asp. The contest ends July 31, and you get a free Dead Rules button just for entering.

Rain and wind pelted the ocean’s surface so hard it looked like it was boiling. In the passenger seat of our VW bus, I shivered despite the warm, muggy air. My dad jumped into the driver’s seat and shook the rain off.

“Weird summer, huh?” Water dripped from his face as he tried to catch my eye.

I looked away.

“You ready? Sure you’ve got everything?”

“Yep. Got it all.” I paused, staring straight out the windshield. “Oh, wait—except my friends, my school, my life…”


“I know. I’m gonna love it there. It’ll just be great.”

He started to say something but shook his head instead, cranked the key, and turned the music up to a volume that made it clear we were finished talking. I felt a pang of regret for being like that with him, but kept my eyes on the beach that he’d decided, without even asking me, to leave. The beach where I’d found a simple peace on my morning runs, and trolled for boys with my friends on lazy summer afternoons, and where I’d caught my last waves of the day, just as the sun slipped into the ocean. It was where my life was.

And where my mother had left hers.

Excerpt© 2011 Jessi Kirby

About the book:

When Anna was little, she and her mother used to search for sea glass, but since they looked at night, they called it moonglass. Now, ten years after her mother’s mysterious death, her father is working as head lifeguard on the same beach where her mother grew up and her parents first met and fell in love.

Reluctant to get close to anyone (including her father) and not pleased about having to start at a new school, Anna begins to spend more time alone, running the length of the beach and wondering about who her mother really was. After meeting a lifeguard named Tyler, she slowly lets her guard down and together they start exploring the abandoned houses that dot the beach.

But when learning more about her mother’s past leads to a painful discovery, Anna must reconcile her desire for solitude with ultimately accepting the love of her family and friends.

What people are saying:

“I couldn’t put this book down. Kirby’s voice is fresh and wise, all at once. An incredible first novel.”–Sarah Dessen, New York Times bestselling author of Lock and Key

“Kirby is an author to watch, and her debut will be enjoyed by a large array of teens in search of identity stories.”–Booklist

Released: May 3, 2011

About the author:

Jessi Kirby lives in a historic cottage on the beach in Orange County, CA with her husband and two children. Currently, she works as a middle school librarian, which allows her to be amongst the best YA writers every day. Moonglass is her first novel. You can visit her at www.jessikirby.com.

Chapter One

The statue has got to go.

That’s my first thought as I prep the living room for Dustin’s visit later tonight. I know I’m the only one who would notice the discriminating eyes of Mom’s four-inch Jesus staring down from the mantle. Dustin probably wouldn’t look away from my breasts if the room were two feet deep in holy water.

Still, I reach for it.

When my hand fumbles and it topples sideways, I pick the thing up and scan the hearth for any other too-holy housewares.

“What are you doing!” My older sister rushes in from the kitchen, scuffles across the carpet, and ignites a spark when she snatches the statue out of my hand. She settles it back into its ring of dust, adjusting it to its all-seeing viewpoint, and then eases her hand away like she’s afraid the thing might fly right up to heaven. Turning, she glares at me.

Great. Caught in the act of abducting a religious icon.  Not exactly the act I feared being caught in tonight.

“Actually, Faith,” I stare into her eyes so she won’t miss this, “I was wondering if you could give me a lift to the church.”

As expected, her whole face lights up, and I’m tempted to let her believe she’s finally fished her heathen sister out of the sea of despair. It’s better than telling her the truth.

Excerpt© 2010 Denise Jaden

About the book:

A terrible secret. A terrible fate.

When Brie’s sister, Faith, dies suddenly, Brie’s world falls apart. As she goes through the bizarre and devastating process of mourning the sister she never understood and barely even liked, everything in her life seems to spiral farther and farther off course. Her parents are a mess, her friends don’t know how to treat her, and her perfect boyfriend suddenly seems anything but.

As Brie settles into her new normal, she encounters more questions than closure: Certain facts about the way Faith died just don’t line up. Brie soon uncovers a dark and twisted secret about Faith’s final night…a secret that puts her own life in danger.

What people are saying:

“A riveting and emotional story.”–The Compulsive Reader

“Strong in its characterization…satisfying…a thoughtful read.”–VOYA

“(R)eaders are taken on a ride through a secret world of religious zeal gone haywire.”–School Library Journal

Released: September 7, 2010

About the author:

Denise Jaden has been a professional Polynesian dancer, a fitness competitor, a mushroom farmer, a church secretary, and a homeschooling mom. Losing Faith is her first novel.  She lives just outside Vancouver, Canada, with her husband and son.  Visit her online at denisejaden.com.

Get a The Secret Year bookmark! Details at the end of this post.

Julia was killed on Labor Day on her way home from a party. I didn’t get to see her that night. I used to meet her on Friday nights, but I was never invited to the parties that she was invited to. We’d meet on the banks of the river, clutch at each other in the backseat of her car, steam up her windows and write messages and jokes to each other in the fog on the glass, and argue about whether to turn on the A/C. Sometimes we swam in the river late at night when the water was black and no one could see us. We did all that for a year, and nobody else knew.

There were a couple of reasons we never told anybody about us. For one thing, she lived up on Black Mountain Road, in a house that was five times as big as mine. With servants. And a computerized alarm system that looked like it should’ve been running the space program instead of protecting one house. At my place, we just had a sign my father tacked up in our yard that said TRESPASSERS WILL BE SHOT.

Excerpt© 2010 Jennifer Hubbard

About the book:

After his secret girlfriend’s death, seventeen-year-old Colt finds the notebook she left behind, but he is unprepared for the truths he discovers about their intense relationship.

What people are saying:

“With this debut novel, Hubbard has crafted a fine addition to the pantheon of YA literature.”—Booklist

“In this provocative debut novel, the relationship described–told in flashbacks and journal entries–is both tortured and electric, the teens as perfect together as they are absolutely wrong for one another.”—School Library Journal

“[a] moving portrait of grief and the sharp societal lines that divide.”—Publishers Weekly

Released: Paperback Dec. 23, 2010 (Hardcover was Jan. 7, 2010)

About the author:

Jennifer R. Hubbard lives and writes near Philadelphia, PA. She is a night person who believes that mornings were meant to be slept through, a chocolate lover, and a hiker. She has written short fiction as well as the contemporary young adult novel The Secret Year (Viking). Visit her online at www.jenniferhubbard.com.

Want a bookmark?

Email your mailing address to: jennifer[at]jenniferhubbard[dot]com.

8:19 p.m.

This was Daniel’s deal. He’d taken the order, contacted a supplier, and set it all up. I was just the sucker he’d roped into driving him for the actual delivery. Which meant, technically, I was also the guy who had the police cruiser riding his ass through town.

Just like always.

“You know, Dick,” Daniel said, “I’m pretty sure you bring this cop bullshit on yourself.”

“Oh yeah?” I kept the steering wheel as steady as I could and stole another glance in the rearview. All I could make out in the dusky darkness were bright headlights and the outline of the light bar on the cruiser’s roof, which—so far— wasn’t flashing. “How do I bring it on myself? By hauling you around everywhere in my brother’s unlucky car?”

Excerpt © 2010 Mindi Scott

About the book:

What comes next for a teen who was the last person to see his best friend alive and the first to find him dead?

What people are saying:

“Highlighting the dark (and yet acutely relevant) side of high school today, Scott brings to the table heavy issues that are impacting teens with a storyline that reads as real as life itself. With characters that ring true and a journey that proves honest, Freefall is no doubt sure to be one of the best contemporary young adult books of the year.” –New York Journal of Books

“Scott does a remarkable job capturing her characters and making them come to life. The reader will feel the depth of the characters and care about what happens to them. The novel is well-written with a realistic storyline that stays focused on the characters and the events that bring them together.” 5Q/4P –VOYA

“Scott’s well-crafted debut reads like a John Hughes–style romantic comedy filtered through a study of teenage grieving… Seth’s slow discovery of his own potential keeps the story moving and entertaining.” –Publisher’s Weekly

“This is a realistic novel with compelling issues depicted as they are in life. With this first novel, Scott proves herself a formidable talent in the field of YA fiction.” –Booklist

“Seth’s character is fully realized, without the burden of too much introspection or weighty insight to bog down the pace of the narrative. This is a solid exploration of what you can and can’t do to help your friends, built on top of an engaging story of boy meets girl.” –Bulletin for Center of Children’s Books

Released: October 5, 2010

About the author:

Mindi Scott lives near Seattle, Washington, with her drummer husband in a house with a non-sound-proof basement. You can visit her at http://mindiscott.com.