Entries tagged with “Mystery/Crime”.

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: http://janetsfox.com.


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].

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Please list your extra entries in the comments.

Good luck and happy reading!

Win a copy of Tokyo Heist! Details at the end of this post.

Chapter 1

The wind, the rain, my soaked Converse sneakers: I blame it all on my dad. It’s his fault I waited in front of Jet City Comics for over an hour before hopping a bus to Seattle’s Pioneer Square. Now I’m slogging downtown through a rainstorm, dragging my suitcase through puddles.

Most of the art galleries are already closed for the day, but the Margo Wise Gallery glows with cool light. I duck under the awning and wipe my steamed-up glasses. Through the gallery window, I scan the crowd. Well-dressed men and women gather around paintings, eating off tiny plates, but I don’t see anybody whom I know. A jazz trio plays in a corner. Everyone will stare when I go in. I don’t look like an artist’s daughter. I look like a runaway trying to score food.

But I was invited! I take the damp, creased postcard from the pocket of my leather jacket. GLENN MARKLUND, MADRONA GROVE: PAINTINGS FROM ORCAS ISLAND. ARTIST RECEPTION THURSDAY, JUNE 26, 6:00-8:00 PM. My name, Violet Rossi, appears on a label above my mom’s address. The other side shows one of my dad’s paintings: a lone madrona tree on a bluff, its bark a collage of mottled browns, its leaves dark green and waxy. Its trunk sways to the left, like a woman sticking out her hip. The tree radiates chikara, my favorite Japanese word. It means “confidence” or “power.”

I could use some chikara right now.

Excerpt copyright © 2012 Diana Renn

 About the book:

When sixteen-year-old Violet agrees to spend the summer with her father, an up-and-coming artist in Seattle, she has no idea what she’s walking into. Her father’s newest clients, the Yamada family, are the victims of a high-profile art robbery: van Gogh sketches have been stolen from their home, and, until they can produce the corresponding painting, everyone’s lives are in danger — including Violet’s and her father’s.

Violet’s search for the missing van Gogh takes her from the Seattle Art Museum, to the yakuza-infested streets of Tokyo, to a secluded inn in Kyoto. As the mystery thickens, Violet’s not sure whom she can trust. But she knows one thing: she has to solve the mystery — before it’s too late.

 What people are saying:

“Renn’s fun debut takes a kitchen-sink approach, throwing together romance, mystery, and action in a way that echoes the manga that 16-year-old Violet loves to read . . . . Fans of mysteries and thrillers will enjoy this just as much as fans of Japanese culture.”–Publisher’s Weekly

“A proficient caper spiced up by Violet’s eye for art.”–Kirkus Reviews

“Renn’s debut will be a surefire hit with Japanophiles, who will thoroughly appreciate Violet’s enthusiasm for the culture.”–Booklist

“The plot has lots of twist and turns, leaving readers on edge . . . . Readers will cheer for Violet as she uses her wits and outsmarts the adults.”–School Library Journal

“Renn keeps the tension high and the pace moving in a modern, unique whodunit . . . . Tokyo Heist is a refreshing break from the tsunami of dystopian, paranormal titles in the young adult aisle.”–Susan Carpenter, The Los Angeles Times

Released: June 14, 2012

About the author:

Diana Renn writes contemporary mysteries for young adults. She also writes short fiction and essays, which have been published in a variety of magazines. A Seattle native, she now lives outside of Boston with her husband and son. Tokyo Heist is her first novel. Visit her online atwww.dianarennbooks.com.


Diana has been kind enough to contribute a copy of Tokyo Heist for a giveaway!

Just comment on this post to enter.

For extra entries:

-Be a follower on Twitter [+1 entry].

-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 June 27th at midnight EST.

Good luck and happy reading!

Win a copy of Breaking Beautiful! Details at the end of this post.

Chapter 1

The clock says 6:45, even though it’s really 6:25. If everything was normal, the alarm would ring in five minutes. I’d hit the snooze button, wrap grandma’s quilt around me, and go back to sleep until Mom came in and forced me to get up. I used to stay in bed until the last possible minute and then dash around getting ready for school—looking for my shoes or a clean t-shirt, and finally running out the door to the sound of my boyfriend, Trip, laying on the horn of his black, 1967, Chevy pick-up.

Nothing is normal, and no one makes me go to school.

Mom comes in and stands at the door to see if I’m awake.

I’m always awake.

“You think you can handle school today, Allie?” She’s quiet, so if I am asleep I can stay asleep. I shake my head without rolling over. She hovers for a minute or two, so I can see her concern before she leaves to get ready for her orderly world.

Copyright © 2012 Jennifer Shaw Wolf

About the book:

Allie lost everything the night her boyfriend, Trip, died in a horrible car accident—including her memory of the event. As their small town mourns his death, Allie is afraid to remember because doing so means delving into what she’s kept hidden for so long: the horrible reality of their abusive relationship.

When the police reopen the investigation, it casts suspicion on Allie and her best friend, Blake, especially as their budding romance raises eyebrows around town. Allie knows she must tell the truth. Can she reach deep enough to remember that night so she can finally break free? Debut writer Jennifer Shaw Wolf takes readers on an emotional ride through the murky waters of love, shame, and, ultimately, forgiveness.

What people are saying:

“Teens will be consumed by the mystery, and romantics will hope that Allie and Blake can make it even though it seems that the town is against them.”—School Library Journal

“A mystery, a tragedy, a love story—Jennifer Shaw Wolf draws you in and keeps you guessing until the very last page.”—Holly Cupala, author of Tell Me a Secret and Don’t Breathe a Word

“A gripping journey from despair to hope.”—Angela Morrison, author of Sing Me to Sleep

“A fast-paced, heart-pounding mystery. I can’t wait to see what this debut novelist does next.” —Kirby Larson, Newbery Award Winning author of Hattie Big Sky

Released: April 24, 2012

About the author:

Jennifer Shaw Wolf grew up on a farm in the tiny town of St. Anthony, Idaho. She spent cold Idaho mornings milking cows in the dark and attended a school where Hunter’s Education was part of the sixth grade curriculum. She’s always been a writer, whether it was sewing together books to read to her little brothers or starting an underground newspaper in sixth grade. She met the love of her life at Ricks College, (now BYU Idaho), after he dropped her on her head. She graduated from Ricks and then Brigham Young University, Provo with a degree in Broadcast Communications. Now she lives in beautiful, green, (rainy) Lacey, Washington with her husband and four kids. She loves to produce videos, ski, ride horses, and read, but really all she has time for is chasing kids and writing. Visit her at www.jennifershawwolf.com.


Jennifer has been kind enough to contribute a copy of Breaking Beautiful for a giveaway!

Just comment on this post to enter.

For extra entries:

-Be a follower on Twitter [+1 entry].

-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 May 16th at midnight EST.

Good luck and happy reading!

How it starts

Life is a series of shallow breaths. And in any breath, everything can change.

Breathe in.

Eating the last of the cereal with my brother, Jack. Running away from home.

Breathe out.

Joking around while we washed dishes. Firing a gun.

Breathe in.

Taking boring notes in history. Getting pulled out of class by the school counselor. Hearing the news about my brother.

Breathe out.

All in a shallow breath.

Excerpt copyright © 2012 Kate Kae Myers

About the book:

Jocelyn’s twin brother Jack was the only family she had growing up in a world of foster homes-and now he’s dead, and she has nothing. Then she gets a cryptic letter from “Jason December”-the code name her brother used to use when they were children at Seale House, a terrifying foster home that they believed had dark powers. Only one other person knows about Jason December: Noah, Jocelyn’s childhood crush and their only real friend among the troubled children at Seale House.

But when Jocelyn returns to Seale House and the city where she last saw Noah, she gets more than she bargained for. Turns out the house’s powers weren’t just a figment of a childish imagination. And someone is following Jocelyn. Is Jack still alive? And if he is, what kind of trouble is he in? The answer is revealed in a shocking twist that turns this story on its head and will send readers straight back to page 1 to read the book in a whole new light.

What people are saying:

“A gripping mystery with strong but flawed characters, the book is impossible to put down. The reader races to keep up with the plot only to get walloped by a mind-blowing twist ending that turns the entire story upside down. Recommend this to teens who like intrigue, mystery, and suspense.”–VOYA

Released: February 14, 2012

About the author:

Kate Kae Myers lives with her family in Boise, Idaho where she works for a local school district as a sign language interpreter. She invites you to visit her website where you can find her full bio, read a sample chapter from The Vanishing Game, follow her blog, and download Jack’s clues.

“You don’t want to kill me,” I said.

“Of course I don’t, Clare. But I have to.”

If I wasn’t already bleeding, with the room tilting and swaying, I would have slapped myself. I never saw this coming. I had let my personal feelings cloud my judgment. And now I was looking down the barrel of a gun.

I never thought it would end like this, me on the hardwood floor in my house, propped up on my elbows, begging for my life. On my right was the crumpled body of a guy I hadn’t fully realized the depths of my feelings for until I saw the bullet rip into him.

I tried to use reason again. To buy myself just one more minute of life. “This isn’t you,” I said, pleading. “You’re not a murderer.”

“A couple weeks ago, I would’ve said the same thing. But you should know more than anyone how people surprise you. People can do things you never imagined they would. You think you know someone and then . . .”

My would-be killer shrugged and cocked the gun.

Then the world went black.

Excerpt© 2011 Kim Harrington

About the book:

Clarity “Clare” Fern sees things. Things no one else can see. Things like stolen kisses and long-buried secrets. All she has to do is touch an object and the visions come to her. It’s a gift.

And a curse.

When a teenage girl is found murdered, Clare’s ex-boyfriend wants her to help solve the case — but Clare is still furious at the cheating jerk. Then Clare’s brother — who has supernatural gifts of his own — becomes the prime suspect, and Clare can no longer look away. Teaming up with Gabriel, the smoldering son of the new detective, Clare must venture into the depths of fear, revenge, and lust in order to track the killer. But will her sight fail her just when she needs it most?

What people are saying:

“Harrington’s well-developed characters and tight plot are simultaneously charming, realistically complex, and intriguing. While recalling classic sleuth stories, Harrington creates a fiery and sharp-witted heroine who’s more Veronica Mars than Nancy Drew (Nancy almost certainly never used the term “Skanky McSkankbag”). Clare is a teen detective for the 21st century.”–Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

Released: March 1, 2011

About the author:

Kim Harrington lives in Massachusetts with her husband and son. When not writing, she’s most likely reading, watching one of her favorite TV shows, or fantasizing about her next vacation. She has no psychic powers and is cool with that. You can visit her at www.kimharringtonbooks.com.

Win a copy of The Liar Society! Details at the end of this post.

Her email didn’t move or disappear or do any of the creepy things I’d expect an email from a ghost to do. It was just there. Existing.


To: KateLowry@pemberlybrown.edu

Sent: Tues 9/14 11:59 PM

From: GraceLee@pemberlybrown.edu

Subject: (no subject)


I’m here…

Sort of.

Find Cameron.

He knows.

I shouldn’t be writing.

Don’t tell.

They’ll hurt you.


The words blurred on the screen, and my hands went limp. My phone clattered to the hardwood floor, the battery popping off and sliding beneath my bed.

Dead best friends didn’t send emails.

I shook my head fiercely in an attempt to clear my thoughts. It was the anniversary of her death, and I missed Grace more than anything. Maybe my mind was just playing tricks on me. Maybe this wasn’t really happening.

I took a deep breath, grabbed my laptop, and refreshed my mail. My hand flew to cover my mouth when I saw her name on the screen again. As much as I wanted to believe that the email was from Grace, my mind just couldn’t make the leap.

Maybe this was some kind of joke, but that kind of cruelty didn’t seem possible. Plus we guarded our email passwords with our lives, and there was no way anyone was capable of hacking into the school’s database.

When I reread the words, something deep inside of me—buried beneath all the anger and guilt—woke up. It was as though I’d spent the last year living in a fog of grief and regret, and suddenly the atmosphere had cleared. My room looked the same, but the blue of the walls was more vibrant, the white of my duvet brighter.

I had sent Grace hundreds of emails over the past year. Trying to describe how much I missed her, how much my life sucked without her, and how much I needed my best friend back. I kept expecting our school, Pemberly Brown, to delete her account, kept waiting for the moment my emails would bounce back undeliverable. But that moment never came. Was it possible that after all this time, after all those emails, Grace had actually written me back?

Excerpt© 2011 Lisa and Laura Roecker

About the book:

Kate Lowry recieves an email from her dead best friend and must determine what actually happened the night of her death.

What people are saying:

“Secret societies dominate a posh co-educational private school in this suspenseful, possibly supernatural mystery.”–Kirkus

“A masterful blend of suspense and danger.”–Mandy Hubbard, author of Prada and Prejudice and You Wish

“One killer novel.”–Lee Nichols, author of The Haunting Emma Series

“A page-turning, pearl-clutching mystery!”–Kimberly Derting, author of The Body Finder and Desires of the Dead

“The moment you finish, you’ll start writing your fan letter, begging for more.”–Adele Griffin, National Book Award Finalist and author of The Julian Game and Picture the Dead

Released: March 1, 2011

About the authors:

Lisa and Laura Roecker are sisters-turned-writing-partners with a love of all things Young Adult. Some call it arrested development, but the sisters claim it keeps them young. Plus, it’s cheaper than Botox. Lisa and Laura live in Cleveland, Ohio in separate residences. Their husbands wouldn’t agree to a duplex. The Liar Society is their first novel. Find out more at www.theliarsociety.com.


Lisa and Laura have been kind enough to contribute a copy of The Liar Society for a giveaway!

To enter simply leave a comment on this post.

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 March 22nd at midnight EST.

Good luck and happy reading!

You need something?

I can get it for you.

You have a problem?

I can solve it.

That’s why they come to me.  By they, I mean every kid in the school.  First graders up to eighth graders.  Everyone comes to me for help, and most of the time I’m happy to provide it.  For a small fee of course.

My office is located in the East Wing boys’ bathroom, fourth stall from the high window.  My office hours are during early recess, lunch, and afternoon recess.

Sometimes I do pro bono work.  I don’t know why free is called pro bono, but it is.  If your situation seems important enough I just may offer my services without the usual fees of money or favors.  But that doesn’t happen too often.  And when it does, it’s usually because Vince asks me to.

Vincent is my best friend and right-hand man.  He’s a good guy; in addition to being awesome with numbers he’s also the most book-smart kid I know, and the best business manager a guy could have.  I know you shouldn’t mix your business and personal life, but we ran a tight operation and had been friends since kindergarten.

We’d started this business together and although I might be the guy everyone comes to, it’s just as much Vince’s business as it is mine.  So when he gives me one of those looks that only I know, that says, Hey, Mac, you should cut this kid a break and do this one pro bono, I listen to him.  There are times that I trust his judgment more than my own, especially when it comes to money issues.

My real name is Christian Barrett, but everyone calls me Mac.  Mac is short for MacGyver.  This eighth grader, Billy Benson, called me that once, and it stuck.  Now it’s just Mac for short, because people are lazy.

Right now you might be wondering how a little, blue-eyed sixth grader with shaggy dark brown hair could end up with a business like this?  And I don’t blame you, I hardly believe it myself sometimes.  It’s actually a pretty long story that’s probably best left for later.  So for now let’s just say it involves an old trailer park playground, a vampire, and one angry fourth grader and we’ll leave it at that.

Excerpt © 2011 Chris Rylander

About the book:

Diary of a Wimpy Kid meets “The Sopranos.”

What people are saying:

“Here is an original – a story that really gets how guys are pals. It’s also a story about sixth grade wiseguys that is funny, mysterious, and true to the heart of what really matters when you are in middle school. Do yourself a favor. Read it. Now.”–Jon Scieszka (National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and NYT Best-Selling author of The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs and The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales)

“Debut novelist Rylander mines a substantial amount of humor and heart from this combination hard-boiled crime novel and middle-grade character piece.”–Publishers Weekly

Released: February 8, 2011

About the author:

This is Chris Rylander’s first book for children. A lifelong Chicago Cubs fan, he lives in Fargo, North Dakota. You can visit him at www.chrisrylander.com.