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Monthly Archives: October 2012

If you like ______, then you might like CONTROL

Way back in the querying process, I remember finding comparable titles for my novel. Because my novel isn’t easy to categorize (Sci-fi? Romance? Adventure? Medical thriller?) it was also hard to find books that I could say, “Hey, if you like this, you’ll like CONTROL!”

Are these books just like mine? No, not at all. But it’s funny how one book might lead to another, when you’re thirsting for more.

So first, here’s what CONTROL is about:

After the violent death of her father, 17 year-old Zelia loses her younger sister, Dylia, during an abduction at their foster agency. It turns out her sister Dylia isn’t just pretty and sweet – she’s illegal.

In the year 2150, DNA must be pure by law, and anyone with enhanced genes face death. Zelia’s only allies are the freak-show inhabitants of her new, underground foster home. Along with the unexpected love of a very strange boy, she will need her flaws and their illicit traits to save the only family she has left.

I’d be delighted if any of these led you to find CONTROL in your hands next year, because I really loved these books!

Why Across the Universe? For that sci-fi element, and the mystery that unfolds throughout the book.

Why The Adoration of Jenna Fox? Because it’s fascinating to see parent/child relationships dealing with the issue of genetic manipulation.

Why The Hunger Games? For the world building and that end-of-book action. Will there be a happy ending? Or not?

Okay, at this point, you’re probably like, what the–? But consider the romance. The tension!  If you like Jane Austen, you may want to dip your toes in the sci-fi world of CONTROL.

And finally, Steph Kuehn and I are giving away our mentor’s books. Check out the Giveaway HERE!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Comparable Titles for BRIANNA ON THE BRINK by Nicole McInnes

Last week, when checking out this pre-order page for my contemporary YA novel, BRIANNA ON THE BRINK (January, 2013), I couldn’t help but giggle at one of the suggested titles listed at the bottom of the page. Why? Because the book was called Back Into Mommy’s Tummy. Now, while BRIANNA ON THE BRINK deals with pregnancy, it’s definitely not meant for little kids (or expectant mothers, for that matter, though I’m sure it would make a great read for anyone awaiting a due date). Anyway, I digress.

In choosing my own list of comparable titles, a few sprang to mind immediately. First of all, there’s Sara Zarr’s wonderful STORY OF A GIRL, which deals with the fallout experienced by a teen girl due, in part, to her reputation as the “school slut.”

Barry Lyga’s darkly compelling BOY TOY, with its theme of intimacy between a teen boy and an adult woman (and the long-term consequences that follow) is another title that fits the bill. Because while Brianna works hard to avoid being seen as a victim, the fact of a similar, subtle power imbalance remains when she makes an intimate choice that changes her life.

Finally, I think of WHERE THE HEART IS by Billie Letts, a book that deals with a teen girl who ends up pregnant, abandoned and in desperate need of help. And, as is the case for Brianna, that help comes from some unlikely sources.

I’m also excited to be giving away a book from The Class of 2K12 that any lover of YA should really enjoy–Susan Shaw Wolf’s BREAKING BEAUTIFUL, which I found pretty darn captivating from beginning to end. Be sure to enter the giveaway here on the website or here on The Class of 2K13 Facebook page!


I was going to do another vlog post today to talk about comparable titles. So I started writing out my list of comparables, and it was… long.

Really long.

You see my book has all these different little pieces (yes, a completely shameless play on the title), and so I would think of a few books that were similar to one piece, and then three more that were comparable to another piece. The list grew so unwieldy that my little vlog would’ve turned into a long-winded yawn-inducing lecture. And nobody needs that.

So instead, I put together the handy dandy little infographic below (go ahead and click it, to make it bigger) .  If you see some titles that you’ve read and enjoyed on the list, then chances are you will like my book. Or if you haven’t read some – or any of the comparable titles – think of it as a recommended reading list.

Comparable Titles for RUMP: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff

There are LOTS of fairy-tale retellings out there, and they could all be compared to RUMP in one way or another, but here are a few books that I think give a reader an idea of what they can expect from RUMP.

ELLA ENCHANTED, by Gail Carson Levine. The fairy-tale worlds in RUMP and ELLA ENCHANTED have a similar feel—timeless, magical, and adventurous. And just as Ella goes on a quest to break her curse of obedience, Rump also goes on a quest to break his curse, which results from only knowing half his name.

A more recent comparable title is Adam Gidwitz’s A TALE DARK AND GRIMM. They both weave in other fairy-tales, so you get a rich sense that all fairy-tales are connected, and things that happen in one tale might affect another. The children in both GRIMM and RUMP go through some very difficult things and face brutal foes, (though I have to say Hansel and Gretel probably trump Rump on the brutality contest. I’m not so violent or gory.)  .

And last but not least, I just had to include THE TRUE STORY OF THE 3 LITTLE PIGS by John Scieska, because my book is RUMP: THE TRUE STORY OF RUMPELSTILTSKIN. They each show a classic fairly-tale from the villain’s point-of-view in a humorous and endearing way. One of my biggest goals for RUMP was to get the reader to not only understand and sympathize with Rumpelstiltskin (probably one of the most demonized fairy-tale villains) but to actually love him and root for him. I had a lot of fun rising to the challenge!

Also, check out our giveaways this week, which includes a copy of MAY B. by Caroline Starr Rose!

GONE FISHING: A Novel in Verse – An Apples to (Caramel) Apples Comparison

Hello dear readers;

It isn’t every day that a writer has the opportunity to compare her work to some of the finest in our industry, but that’s exactly what I have the good fortune of doing today. Before going into my apples to (caramel) apples comparison, I’d like to introduce you to my book – GONE FISHING: A Novel In Verse:

Nine-year-old Sam loves fishing with his dad. So when his pesky little sister, Lucy, horns in on their fishing trip, he’s none too pleased: “Where’s my stringer? / Something’s wrong! / This princess doll does not belong!” All ends well in this winsome book of poems—each labeled with its proper poetic form, from quatrain to tercet. Together the poems build a dawn-to-dusk story of a father-son bond, of sibling harmony lost and found—and most of all, of delicious anticipation. Charming line drawings animate the poetry with humor and drama, and the extensive Poet’s Tackle Box at the end makes this the perfect primer to hook aspiring poets of all ages.

So why apples to (caramel) apples?

As I researched comparative titles for this article, I set out to provide an apples to apples comparison, but I came up with more than apples to apples. You see, GONE FISHING is a novel that, at a humble 128 pages, covers a lot of ground. First and foremost, it is a fishing adventure with an outdoorsy spirit that may feel a bit like scenes from THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER by Mark Twain. It has a sibling rivalry that may remind readers of parts of the sister/brother feud in THE LEMONADE WAR by Jacqueline Davies. It is a novel in verse with some poetry forms that are similar to those in LOVE THAT DOG by Sharon Creech. And it has a section written for those who love teaching, learning about, or writing poetry, a little bit like what Paul B. Janeczko offered at the end of A KICK IN THE HEAD: AN EVERYDAY GUIDE TO POETIC FORMS. As surprising as it sounds, each of these four wonderful and diverse books have attributes that allow me to draw comparisons to my book. If you love one or more of the qualities mentioned here, then there is a good chance that you will love something about GONE FISHING.

These four elements  – outdoor adventure, novel in verse, sibling rivalry, and poetry forms and techniques – make up my metaphorical caramel apple: sweet gooey caramel, crunchy pecans, and colorful sprinkles layered over a fresh apple. It’s a combo that I hope strikes a balance between tasty and sensible. I haven’t decided which ingredient represents each element in the book; I’ll leave that to you, the readers.

Thank you for spending time with me today.

Best wishes, Tamera

P.S. Matthew Cordell’s delightful black and white line drawings accompany each poem – think Shel Silverstein or Quentin Blake!


This week I am honored to be giving away a copy of The MAPMAKER and the GHOST by Sarvenaz Tash, a talented Class of 2k12 author and my mentor! And that’s not all – Justina Ireland is giving away her mentor’s book: VELVETEEN by Daniel Marks, another talented Class of 2k12 author! Click here to enter our raffle to become the lucky winner of BOTH of these books: BOOK GIVEAWAY.

GONE FISHING: A Novel In Verse, by Tamera Will Wissinger, illustrated by Matthew Cordell arrives March 5, 2013 from Houghton Mifflin Books for Children. Tamera was inspired to write GONE FISHING after writing “Night Crawlers,” a poem that stemmed from her fun childhood memories of night crawler hunting with her family before fishing trips. A graduate of Hamline University’s MFA Writing for Children program, Tamera and her husband share their time between Chicago and Florida. Tamera is represented by Michelle Humphrey of The Martha Kaplan Agency. Online you can find her on her website, Goodreads, Twitter, or Facebook. In real life you may just find her fishing.

Comparable Titles to THE NEPTUNE PROJECT

My agent told me that THE NEPTUNE PROJECT sold in part because there really aren’t a lot of comparable books that are set in the sea. That fact surprises me. Last time I checked, most of the earth is covered by water! Thanks to global warming, even more of it is going to be covered by water in the next few hundred years. But unless you’ve actually crossed an ocean by boat, it’s easy to forget how huge our planet is and how much of its surface already is water.

I think the most similar series out there right now to my Neptune books is KatFalls’ wonderful DARK LIFE stories. These books are also set in a dystopian future where the oceans have risen and life on land has become dangerous and difficult. Her novels are about a boy and his family homesteading on the ocean floor. Both of our series contain plenty of action, sympathetic characters, and vivid descriptions of the world beneath the waves.

Our stories differ in that my protagonist Nere is female, and Falls’ characters need a great deal more technology to survive in the sea. My heroine and her companions are actually genetically altered to breathe sea water. After they go through the Neptune transformation, they have to live in the sea because they can only breathe air for short periods of time. For the entire first book, the Neptune kids are struggling to survive on their own beneath the waves with no family to help them.

Dolphins also play a much more vital role in the Neptune series. Nere can communicate telepathically with dolphins, and her pod is like her extended family. Her loyal dolphins help to protect Nere and her friends and frequently tow them away from trouble in emergency situations. My dolphins have a dry sense of humor, and I think they end up being some of the most intriguing characters in these books.

I still have to put in a big plug for KatFalls’ novels. I really, really enjoyed DARK LIFE and RIPTIDE. And if you have read them, I think it’s pretty safe to say you’ll enjoy THE NEPTUNE PROJECT as well.

Comparable Titles for Justina Ireland’s Vengeance Bound

Justina Ireland talks about some of the comparable titles for her forthcoming YA Urban Fantasy, Vengeance Bound.


We are so excited that the Class of 2K13 Launch is here that we just had to give something away. In fact, our excitement levels are SO HIGH that not only are we having our HUGE LAUNCH DAY GIVEAWAY that starts today, but in the coming weeks we have several more giveaways planned!

We’ll have more details on our future giveaways later, but right now we want to focus on our HUGE LAUNCH DAY GIVEAWAY!

Why is it HUGE? Why we do keep insisting on typing in CAPS? Maybe we’ve always dreamed of being the announcer on a used car commercial. Maybe we’ve had too much caffeine today. Or maybe we haven’t had enough caffeine. Really… why ask why?

Let’s move on to the prizes. The big prize… err, sorry. The HUGE prize consists of (drum roll please):

a $50 Barnes and Noble Giftcard!

Oooooh. Isn’t it pretty?


You will also receive all of the items pictured below…

What is this random assortment of treats and delights? (Go ahead and click on the pic for a better view of the bounty) They are all items inspired by our debut novels.

1. Pretty in Pink Golf Tee Caddy from Liz Fichera’s novel HOOKED, which is the story of a Native American girl golfer.

2. An elephant from GOLDEN BOY by Tara Sullivan. This item was chosen because there are many parallels between the way the main character must run for his life and the way that people poach elephants for ivory.

3a and 3b. Ghirandelli chocolate bar and Listerine Breath Strips from Kate Karyus Quinn’s ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE. Annaliese, the main character, at the beginning of the book finds that chocolate makes her violently ill. To get rid of the terrible chocolate taste, she tries a Listerine Breath Strip and soon becomes addicted to them.

4. In BRIANNA ON THE BRINK by Nicole McInnes one of her characters is obsessed with two things: reruns of Walker, Texas Ranger and Werther’s Original Candies.

5. Dark Chocolate Peanut M&M’s are brought to us by K.A. Barson’s 45 POUNDS (MORE OR LESS) because customized M&M’s play a role in her story.

6. This pretty little notebook is from OCD LOVE STORY by Corey Ann Haydu because her narrator is always taking notes.

7. There’s gold in Liesl Shurtliff’s RUMP: THE TRUE STORY OF RUMPELSTILTSKIN and that’s why her contribution is Hershey’s Golden Nuggets.

8. In Justina Ireland’s novel VENGEANCE BOUND, her main character has a scene where she enjoys some hot cocoa and chocolate donuts while at a convenience store.

9. You may need to click on the picture to see this one a little better, and it is definitely worth a second look – much like the book it’s brought to you by. That book is Debra Driza’s MILA 2.0 and the item is a robot tea infuser. How does these two things connect? Well in MILA 2.0 the character learns that she is less than human, and soon thereafter ends up in hot water (unlike the tea infuser, not literally).

10. An amazingly bright mini flashlight comes from Tamera Will Wissinger’s GONE FISHING, since the book begins outside after dark with a flashlight.

11. You probably already know the significance of a water bottle by just reading the title of Mindy McGinnis’s novel: NOT A DROP TO DRINK.

12. This adorable Beanie Baby lamb comes from a book that seems less soft and cuddly, Geoffrey Girard’s PROJECT CAIN. So how do these two connect? Well the book is about serial killers that are the result of cloning and the first mammal to ever be cloned… was a sheep named Dolly.

13. Oh don’t those Doritos look delicious? Just imagine if like Cristin Terrill’s main character, Em, in ALL OUR YESTERDAYS you had just escaped a secret military facility, and this was your first non-prison food for months. Like her, I bet you wouldn’t be able to believe how amazing they taste.

14. This item is another one that deserves a close-up. From Polly Holyoke’s THE NEPTUNE PROJECT we have a gorgeous murano glass dolphin and a incredibly delicate mermaid charm both strung on a pretty blue ribbon. As the novel takes place undersea, the connection here is fairly obvious.

15. This adorably tiny four pack of Canada Dry Ginger Ale represents the beverage of choice for Caela Carter’s pregnant teenager in ME, HIM, THEM, AND IT.

16. In MAID OF SECRETS by Jennifer McGowan secrets are a way of life for her main character, Meg Fellowes. Now with this diary – complete with lock and key – you can keep your own secrets safe, too.

17. And FINALLY, a delightful snack food with an even better name comes from IN THE AFTER by Demitria Lunetta. Her main character has a supply of Twinkies and finds they are the perfect food for post-apocalyptic survival. Gotta get those calories somehow!

I think you have to agree that THAT is a huge pile of stuff. BUT that is still not all!

There are three more items that will be added to that pile.

From Lydia Kang’s CONTROL an onyx and silver necklace that her character wears throughout the book.

These dog tags are perfect for the military academy based THE CADET OF TILDOR by Alex Lidell.

And now FINALLY. Really we mean, FINALLY, this time. Stephanie Kuehn is adding to the prize package her own personal copy of A CLOCKWORK ORANGE a book that her own novel CHARM & STRANGE references.

Now the only question left is: What do you need to do to win all of this? It’s easy and there are lots of ways to put your name into the hat and increase your odds of winning. Just head on over to our facebook page or you can go directly to our Rafflecopter to see all the different ways you can maximum your chances of winning!

Kate Karyus Quinn & The Inspiration Behind ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE

Mindy McGinnis & the Inspiration For NOT A DROP TO DRINK

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