Our Fall Lineup is here! Join us every second Thursday of the month to discuss these compelling stories and characters with our booksellers and fellow YA fans.
September: I’m Not Dying With You Tonight, by Kimberly Jones and Gilly Segal
October: Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin
November: Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys
by Shelby Mahurin
Bound as one, to love, honor, or burn. Book one of a stunning fantasy duology, this tale of witchcraft and forbidden love is perfect for fans of Kendare Blake and Sara Holland. Set in a world of powerful women, dark magic, and off-the-charts romance, book one of this stunning fantasy duology will leave readers burning for more.
by Ruta Sepetys
Madrid, 1957. Under the fascist dictatorship of General Francisco Franco, Spain is hiding a dark secret. Meanwhile, tourists and foreign businessmen flood into Spain under the welcoming promise of sunshine and wine. Among them is eighteen-year-old Daniel Matheson, the son of an oil tycoon, who arrives in Madrid with his parents hoping to connect with the country of his mother's birth through the lens of his camera. Lives and hearts collide, revealing an incredibly dark side to the sunny Spanish city.
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Q: What inspired you to come up with the system of magic in Serpent & Dove?
A: The magic system in Serpent & Dove actually started as a soft magic system a la Game of Thrones—we knew there was magic, but we didn’t know the rules. This worked a lot better in the original draft, which I wrote in third person. When I switched to first person during revisions, the soft magic just didn’t work. We were inside Lou’s head at that point, so it didn’t make sense for her not to know the rules and limitations of her own magic. While developing this new, hard magic system, I kept coming back to the Dames Blanches’ relationship with nature, specifically how the natural world inherently maintains its own balance—like the cycle of life and death, for example. For everything gained, something is lost. The entire magic system evolved from the simple phrase “nature demands balance.” To add immediacy and tension, the payment for magic must be made upfront. To add complexity and depth, each witch sees different avenues—or “patterns”—for payment. I’m not too proud to admit the rest of the magic system developed from my agent and editor poking holes in it. We’ll see more backstory on both the Dames Blanches’ and Dames Rouges’ magic in the sequel, so I’m excited to see readers’ reactions!
Q: What is (or are) your favorite place(s) to visit?
A: I live in a sleepy small town in Indiana, surrounded by corn fields and cow pastures, and while I love my home, travel is necessary for any sort of excitement. Unfortunately, I haven’t done as much of it as I’d like! I did have the opportunity to visit France and Spain a few years ago, however, and I’d love to return someday. Madrid was a particular favorite. The people, the museums, the food—it was like a dream. On this side of the Atlantic, New York City (the Broadway shows, the subway, the cityscape at night!) and New Orleans (the colors, the artists, the gumbo and beignets!) are everything I dreamed they’d be—though to someone who lives in a town with 350 people, NYC was definitely a culture shock. I’ll also always have fond memories of the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas, where my husband and I honeymooned. Those gummy bear shots and ear-shattering ballads at Rock of Ages were, after all, the epitome of romance.
... Last night, I’d been fleeing to the sanctuary when I saw Lou. Hidden in the corner, draped in shadows, she’d stood so still I’d almost missed her. Her tears had been the only movement. They’d spilled down her cheeks in a silent stream—the sort of tears that could drown a person, the sort that left scars beneath the skin—but she’d remained silent, staring at a smear of blood on the foyer floor. The metallic syringe next to it....
You’ve asked for it. Our booksellers have asked for it. And now it’s here! The YA Book Club is a place for YA fans to gather in our stores across the country to discuss compelling stories and characters each month- asking What would you have done? For our summer launch, we will be featuring debut authors across genres. Join as we celebrate these new voices we can’t wait to hear more from.