Guest Post: “The Infinity of YA Youth: or, Why I Write YA” by Jenny Elder Moke

Guest Post

Meet Jenny Elder Moke.


Jenny Elder Moke writes young adult fiction in an attempt to recapture the shining infinity of youth. She was a finalist in the 2017 Austin Film Festival Podcast Competition, and studied children’s writing with Liz Garton Scanlon.

When she is not writing, she’s gathering story ideas from her daily adventures with her two irredeemable rapscallions and honing her ninja skills as a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. Jenny lives in Austin, TX with her husband and two children.

Her debut novel, HOOD, about the daughter of Robin Hood and Maid Marien, will release from Disney/Hyperion on June 9, 2020. She is represented by Elizabeth Bewley at Sterling Lord Literistic.

Social Media Links


The Guest Post.

The Infinity of YA Youth: or, Why I Write YA


Being a kid can feel eternal. Making it through the school day; waiting to be old enough to pick your own clothes or drive your own car or eat whatever you want for breakfast; waiting for the next season of your favorite show so you can binge it and immediately regret watching it too fast (actually that’s probably an adult thing, too). Everything just takes so long when you’re ready to go go go – ready to be done with school, to be done with homework, to be an adult where you can make your own choices and your own money and your own life. So much of childhood feels like waiting for your real life to start, and that wait can stretch on forever.

But there’s another type of eternity in childhood that first drew me to young adult novels as a reader, and then as a storyteller myself. There’s a line in my bio that says I write young adult novels to recapture the shining infinity of youth, and that infinity isn’t the tiny eternity you live trying to make it through a chemistry final. It isn’t the eternity of waiting for your birthday, or Christmas, or summer vacation. It’s the infinity of possibility. When you’re young, you’re on the edge of everything. You’re on the precipice of experiencing everything for the first time – first love, first heartbreak, first achievements, first year of high school, first year of college (VERY different experiences if you haven’t lived them both yet), all those life-changing moments that shape you into the adult you will become. You’re on the edge of forming your best, truest self, the butterfly you’ll triumphantly explode into after the transformative cocoon of childhood.

And all those firsts? Sometimes they hurt – horribly, worse than anything you’ll ever feel. And sometimes they are like sips of sunshine, a joy so pure and radiant it bursts through every pore in your body. Sometimes they fill you with a rage that makes you shake, and sometimes they make you so blue you’ll feel like you’re drowning on land. Sometimes they’ll feel like too much, like your skin will burst or your heart will explode from the pressure. You don’t yet have ways to protect yourself from them, from the immediacy and the intensity. You have no choice but to be present, to experience those feelings so deeply and fully that they overwhelm you.

But that’s what I love most about young adult fiction, far more than adult fiction. That immediacy of emotion, the importance of every decision, that feeling that everything you do is huge. What you wear today, what books you read, what hobbies you pursue, what schools you look at – every single decision feels like it’s setting you on a course for the rest of your life. Some of them do, and some of them don’t, but you can’t know which ones are which until you make them and live through them. And even though that living through them can be painful and messy and complicated, you’re fully living. You’re in the thick of it, your brain and your body and your spirit coming alive with possibility.

HoodIt’s the same decisions my characters face in HOOD – the same decisions all my characters face, because it’s one I’m constantly facing. Who do I want to be? Where do I fit in the world? What is my purpose in life? Isabelle, the main character in HOOD, is certainly looking for her place in the world. She doesn’t fit in with her old life in a priory (a place of chores and prayers and severely limited wardrobe choices), but when she accidentally shoots one of the king’s soldiers and becomes a fugitive, as terrifying as it is, the decision opens up her world. Suddenly she’s searching for the father she’s never known, fighting for her place among the Merry Men, battling the king of England – and finding her purpose in the world. It’s painful, and messy, and terrifying, but it’s also exhilarating. Because she’s on the edge of everything, the infinity of possibilities opening up before her. And I hope readers find the joy and heartbreak and hope in that shining infinity.



HOOD coming soon!

Stay tuned for more information by visiting Jenny’s social media links.

Guest Post: “Why Write YA Fiction?” By Christine Rees

Guest Post

Meet Christine Rees.


Canadian teen fiction author Christine Rees is a Western University graduate, Sheridan College alumni, animal enthusiast and lover of all literature. Christine is passionate about helping other writers find their voice and challenging themselves. She spends her free time writing books with a cat nestled in her lap or a large dog encouraging her procrastination. Christine’s debut YA novel The Hidden Legacy and its sequel The Broken Rivalry are paranormal stories filled with romantic inklings and suspense.

Social Media Links:

The Guest Post.

Why Write YA Fiction?

As a teen fiction author, this is the most common question that I’m asked. My response to this is, why not?

YA fiction revolves around the concepts of growth, change, and self-discovery – many of which we are familiar with. The truth is, YA fiction isn’t just for teenagers. Not anymore. Almost 70% of teen fiction readers are over the age of 18. That’s a large number of readers that are outside of the targeted age group, and there’s a number of reasons for choosing this genre over others.

First and foremost, YA fiction either relates to a teenager’s current situation or cultivates nostalgic feels for older readers. Remember the butterflies in your stomach the first time you held your crush’s hand? What about the unbearable pain of your first heartbreak? First time experiences are powerful and continue to remain so in literature.

Secondly, teen stories can implant serious, dark, and highly emotional undertones that relate to readers of all ages. Many YA readers and writers relate to widespread themes throughout the genre because they don’t necessarily view themselves as adults. Growth and change continue throughout our lives. This doesn’t fade as you get older. For example, the feelings and challenges that a teen character is facing can highly relate to what a twenty-something reader is currently dealing with. This may create a bond between a fictional character, a reader, and their situation regardless of the book genre.

So, why do I focus on teen fiction?

Because it is one of the most powerful genres out there. This is the time in a character’s life where they go through tough life changes as well as self-discovery. This is also an opportunity for massive character growth, deep-rooted emotions, and life-learning skills.

Books have the power to impact us and our thinking. They provide a new perspective, a way of looking at things that we might not have considered before, and that can help readers through some of their toughest days.

I write teen fiction because it’s the genre I still relate the most to, and I firmly believe that you should write what you know. Whether that’s about loss, first-time joy, popularity, being an outcast, or failures and successes, YA fiction accepts it all.

Book Info.

If you’re interested in reading YA fiction, check out my debut best-selling and award-winning novel, THE HIDDEN LEGACY and its recently released sequel THE BROKEN RIVALRY:

The Broken Rivalry3D-large2

The curse of premonition follows Faye Lithyer, forcing her to witness death—over and over again.

When Faye moves in with her grandmother in Astoria, Oregon, her visions grow stronger. Faye watches a new friend fall victim to a murder in the not-so-distant future and becomes obsessed with preventing it from happening. However, Faye’s insecurity has her undecided whether she should tell her friend about their impending death or hunt down the murderer before it’s too late.

Faye will be faced with an epic choice that threatens to expose her abilities. Will she choose to save her friend from a monster or risk becoming one herself?

Book Buy Links:
The Hidden Legacy:!
The Broken Rivalry:

Guest Post: “THE VOICE WITHIN OUR WORDS” by Carol Allen

Guest Post

Meet Carol Allen.

IMG_7609 2

Carol B. Allen is an author and international, award-winning creative professional. She has held leadership positions in firms that believe in strengthening community across the New York Tri- State Area. She plays an active role in supporting opportunities to enhance young women’s interest in the STEM fields as well as advancing causes that protect the environment.

She serves on the Advisory Board for Advancing Women in Science and Medicine (AWSM), part of Northwell Health’s Feinstein Institute for Medical Research. Additionally, she has participated on the Advisory Committee for the Girl Scouts STEM program.

A University of Michigan graduate, Carol received high honors and the prestigious Student of Distinction recognition.

Carol resides in Westchester County and is an active member of the Pound Ridge Authors Society. When she isn’t writing, Carol enjoys the city life and the country life, balancing her time with her family, exploring the cultural offerings of Manhattan as well as the great outdoors of the bucolic Northeast woodlands.

Her website is:
Her Facebook is:


Blank Book Cover Mock-up



My imagination was running wild. I sat at my keyboard, my fingertips racing to paint a picture of worlds destroyed by climate change for my YA Fantasy, One If. I was obsessed with the exciting story spinning in my brain and calling attention to my passions—the impact of climate change and encouraging young women in STEM.

Can you picture an apoplectic planet in an alternate universe where technology and development destroy all natural resources? The result could potentially be a planet with two remaining worlds: an Upperworld where an avian species lives in the clouds and an Underworld where a piscine species lives beneath the sea. As the storyline for One If unwinds, three teen STEM students trapped on the planet, work together to solve the crisis while battling to stay alive. Could any of this really happen? To a degree, there is certainty it can.

The media hurls the repercussions of climate change at us daily with resounding reminders about—the of loss of our shorelines, our coastal cities at risk, the melting ice in the Arctic poles, the extinction of countless species, raging forest fires, and extreme weather traumas around the world. While there are those who deny the empirical evidence, activists like Greta Thunberg and the Sunrise Movement are making sure our voices are heard.

Understanding the dynamics of the “genderscape” in STEM is more subtle. I remember my own reaction at my first committee meeting for AWSM, an anacronym for Advancing Women in Science and Medicine, an organization tied to Northwell Health’s Feinstein Institute for Medical Research. I had a seat at the table with uber-smart women with creds akin to rocket science. I thought how is it possible these women are organizing to bring awareness to leveling the STEM playing field? The truth may be difficult to grasp, but advanced degrees don’t carry their weight in STEM. Women in STEM struggle much like the women in many male-dominated fields. But STEM is an area where gender balance is sorely needed.

Our world is changing in milliseconds. We are inextricably tied to our electronics and those who develop them are hot commodities in the marketplace. Yet men succeeding in STEM outpace the women by leaps. Whether clutched in our hand or strapped to our wrists, this rectangular tangle of technology is now an additional appendage, extensions of our hand and our brain, we can’t live without.

We would be remiss underestimating the evolutionary job market awaiting those with expertise in STEM. Look around. Unless you are wearing blindfolds, it is clear women are underrepresented in every STEM field. There are more career slots in STEM now than men can possibly fill. And more on the way each day. The stats tell us otherwise, depicting only one quarter of STEM workers are female. This is in contrast to the number of women in the labor force, which stands at approximately 50%. Only 28% of women are in STEM fields ( as opposed to 72% of men.

STEM skills are going to be the bedrock of future jobs. We need to attract young women and provide them with the opportunities. We must give them role models they can relate to—role models who will leave them inspired and enthused. Young girls will then learn they can fulfill STEM careers in real life and how they can help make a difference in the world.

In my novel, One If, that’s where my two teen female protagonists, Parker and Henley, serve to make a difference. Multi-cultural brilliant achievers, they are proud of their scientific accomplishments. Parker and Henley are modeled after many of the young women I met on my path at AWSM. I hope my characters inspire girls to achieve at their highest potential in the STEM fields. And, at the same time, they will learn to collaborate with their male counterparts, just like Henley and Parker team up with Edison, my teen male protagonist.

My hope is fantasies, like One If, are not just fantasies, especially as they relate to the gender issue in STEM. I hope my message will set an example for young women, reshape our culture, and intrigue young girls to pursue careers in STEM. We need them!

One If is available now for purchase!

Guest Post: “The five essential elements of my modern-day fantasy series, THE TAROT SEQUENCE, as told in tarot card imagery” by K.D. Edwards

Guest Post

Meet K.D. Edwards

K.D. Edwards is the author of The Tarot Sequence urban fantasy series. The Hanged Man (PYR; December 17, 2019) is the follow-up to Edwards debut The Last Sun.

Edwards lives and writes in North Carolina, but has spent time in Massachusetts, Maine, Colorado, New Hampshire, Montana, and Washington. (Common theme until NC: Snow. So, so much snow.)

Mercifully short careers in food service, interactive television, corporate banking, retail management, and bariatric furniture has led to a much less short career in Higher Education.

Social Media Links:


Twitter: @KDEdwards_NC

The Guest Post.

The five essential elements of my modern-day fantasy series, THE TAROT SEQUENCE, as told in tarot card imagery.

  The World

Let’s start with the World card, one of the major arcana of the tarot deck. World-building is a massive part of The Tarot Sequence. I created a backdrop to my story that is unashamedly broad and deep; with elements both familiar and completely alien; strange yet approachable. You’ll see iPads and water hags; smart phones and thunder spirits; grocery stores and ghost ships. 

In my series, Atlantis had always existed, once invisible to the eyes of the world. When humanity reached out to space in the 1960s, they managed to finally pierce the illusions that had kept the island nation secret. Once revealed, Atlantis and humanity clashed, resulting in a World War with devastating consequences.

In the modern era, Atlanteans have fled their ruined home and relocated to Nantucket, an island off the coast of Massachusetts. Using powerful magic, the Arcana – the rulers of the city — translocated abandoned human ruins from across the earth and created a new, patchwork, world-class city. The city is now wealthy and safe, and still relatively isolated from the rest of the planet.

The true centers of power in New Atlantis are based on the tarot deck’s major arcana cards, such as the Sun, Death, the Tower, the Hierophant… The hero of my story is Rune Saint John, the last prince of the destroyed Sun Throne. He survived the fall of his court under the protection of his sometime-employer, Lord Tower; and lives now by taking on assignments too dangerous for the average citizen.

Rune lives with his lifelong bodyguard, Brand – a human bonded to him in the crib. 

And that? That’s the world around my story. I spent a great deal of time developing it. For every single detail I put in a book, there are likely 10 pages scratched in a handwritten binder. World-building is a huge part of my series’ identity.

    The Fool

The Fool is the card of a capering man. His is carefree and capricious; he is considered either the weakest or most strongest character in the major arcana class; and, designated the number “zero”, can come either at the very beginning or end of the story.

I chose this card to symbolize an element of my story because humor is one of the main pillars of my writing. I never considered myself a writer who could successfully use humor in a story; but, then again, I’d never created Brand until I started this story.

Brand is sarcastic, snarky, foul-mouthed, temperamental, and massively useful for trying to inject humor into my dialog. Because he shares a telepathic bond with Rune, Rune knows that all of Brand’s sharp wit comes from a place of true caring and love, which allows him to enjoy Brand as a performance and not an antagonism.

I think I succeeded, too. Of all the feedback I get, very little comes close to readers who comment on Brand, and what he brings to the novel.

  The Tower

The Tower is a card of secrets and betrayal. It’s ideal for spies and interrogators; espionage and mystery. In my story, Lord Tower is one of the wealthiest Arcana on the island, certainly one of the most powerful. He appears to have a great fondness for Rune; though readers comment often that they’re not sure whether he’s a good buy or bad guy.

I picked this because it’s a good card for an unreliable narrator. My story is told in first person, and Rune tends to be very engaging with the reader. He holds little back…..except for one thing. He is very cagey about describing what happened the night his court fell. He was hurt very, very badly; he was tortured and assaulted, and the trauma of that still infects every part of his life. But there are details he refuses to share with anyone around him.

As the author, I am very careful with this, because Rune is being unreliable. I’ve left breadcrumbs about this for two full novels. It’s interesting to see what people have guessed – especially on the Discord channel, where there’s an entire reader-created chatroom dedicated to spoilery guesses.

It’ll all come out in TAROT 3, which is the last novel in the first trilogy. After that, I’ll move onto a 3-book arc about the secrets being kept from Rune, rather than what he’s keeping from you. But I’d planned this arc from the start – before LAST SUN was even finished. I can’t wait to see what my readers think of the climax of it.

  The Three of Cups

I’m wandering outside the major arcana now. The 3 of Cups is a good card to denote community or found family. (Thank you to tarot author Jaymi Elflord for this suggestion!) Found family is the third pillar of my writing style – along with world-building and humor. 

There is so much toxicity in our world. From the moment our eyes open, to the moment they close, we’re hit with a steady stream of negative messaging. The news? Social media? Even people’s general impatience in driving on the road, or waiting in long lines. There’s a ton of good stuff, sure; but there are also a lot of frayed nerves in 2020, especially in the U.S.

So I write stories with lots of found family. Misfits who find a home; outcasts who find their people; and strong, noble characters who look over the whole motley collection. When my first novel began, Rune and Brand had each other to look out for. By the end of the second novel, Rune has a boyfriend; Rune and Brand have a minor teenager as their ward; and there are a handful of other strong but misplaced young people needing Rune’s protection. I’m trying to find the laughter and love in this. I want people to come back to TAROT 3 like they’re coming back to their own found family.

And in a way, that’s even been my experience as a published writer on social media. I have so many incredible readers. They share their stories with me. They share artwork inspired by New Atlantis. They make drink recipes base on the character, and cookie recipes, and create image boards. I am so damned lucky to have the support and attention of these amazing readers. They’ve become like a little family to me.


Photo Credit: Alex W @blinkingkills
on Twitter

And last but not least? The most powerful card in my own major arcana pantheon: Time.

I’ve got 9 novels planned. I know what happens in each one. I know the major turning points; the successes; and the defeats. I know the very last scene, and the last thing Rune says to readers. I can’t wait to take this journey with my readers.

Guest Post: “New Year’s Resolution: To Read More Books!” By Tiffany Skylark

Guest Post

Meet Tiffany Skylark.

Born in Traverse City, Michigan, Tiffany grew up with a love for language. She has enjoyed writing stories and poetry from a young age. Her love for language compelled her to study Spanish in high school and to travel to Madrid, Spain for her first year of college at Saint Louis University Madrid Campus. She then moved to Oregon, obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Spanish Language and Culture with a minor in Cultural Anthropology from Southern Oregon University in 2008. She now lives, works and writes back in her hometown of Traverse City.

Check out the Epic Fantasy Series ‘The Roquiel Saga’ on Amazon!

Social Media Links:

Twitter – @tiffanyskylarkauthor

Guest Post

New Year’s Resolution: To Read More Books!

2020 is right around the corner and that has many of us think about New Year’s resolutions. Recently on Instagram, I saw a post by a lady that has read more than 150 novels in in 2019. First of all, I was in awe, like seriously impressed by this number. I’m not even going to mention how many books I read in 2019 because it’s pathetic but I know that I can do better. Then I realized that if I looked up some tips on how to get this done, I would do even better. So if like me you want to read more books next year, here are some suggestions.
The first good suggestion I found was to get a library card if you don’t have one already. This one might seem pretty obvious, but there are plenty of people out there that don’t have a library card. The quiet environment in libraries offers the perfect spot away from the busy world to escape into a book. You might see a book that is being displayed on top of the shelves that catches your eye. One thing you might not know is that lot of libraries these days now give you access to a digital library of audio books that you can download for free. So if your wallet is still devoid of a library card, you know what to do.
Let’s talk social media. Most of spend more time than we’d care to admit with mindless scrolling. That’s time that we could be reading! I recently found a feature on Instagram that other social media sites probably have as well. While in Instagram, if you go to your profile, then tap the three lines in the top right corner, then tap ‘Your Activity’, at the bottom you will see ‘Set Daily Reminder’. This allows you to set a time limit for yourself, say 30 minutes a day. When you’ve reached your 30 minutes on the app, a reminder will pop up to remind you to get the heck off social media (and get reading).
This next suggestion goes along with the last. And that is just to prioritize reading. If you’re a list maker like me, you could jot down reading on your daily list of things to do so you don’t forget. You could also set a goal of a certain amount of time a read per day, or you could say I’ll read one chapter per day.
The next way to read more in the New Year is to keep an enormous ‘TBR’ pile. TBR meaning ‘to-be-read’. C.G. at gives a lot of reasons why it’s good and helpful to have a TBR pile. She says that it keeps us motivated (and helps us live longer) to have something to strive for. Looking at the pile of books reminds us that there are tons of amazing worlds and characters out there to discover. She also mentions that collecting books is a healthy habit to have, they make you look like a learned scholar, they are a good conversation starter and buying books supports the authors to keep being creative and practicing their craft.
The last suggestion I have is to find ways to stay accountable. One of the ways you could stop yourself from slacking is to join a book club, the other is to follow the hashtag #readingchallenge on Instagram. You can check out the individual posts and see all the different reading challenges that are out there and choose a few to join.
I hope these tips will help you hit the books in 2020!

Blog Tour: A Constellation of Roses

Blog Tour, Guest Post

A Constellation of Roses

by Miranda Asebedo
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: November 5th 2019

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Ever since her mother walked out, Trix McCabe has been determined to make it on her own. And with her near-magical gift for pulling valuables off unsuspecting strangers, Trix is confident she has what it takes to survive. Until she’s caught and given a choice: jail time, or go live with her long-lost family in the tiny town of Rocksaw, Kansas.
Trix doesn’t plan to stick around Rocksaw long, but there’s something special about her McCabe relatives that she is drawn to. Her aunt, Mia, bakes pies that seem to cure all ills. Her cousin, Ember, can tell a person’s deepest secret with the touch of a hand. And Trix’s great-aunt takes one look at Trix’s palm and tells her that if she doesn’t put down roots somewhere, she won’t have a future anywhere.
Before long, Trix feels like she might finally belong with this special group of women in this tiny town in Kansas. But when her past comes back to haunt her, she’ll have to decide whether to take a chance on this new life . . . or keep running from the one she’s always known.
With lovable and flawed characters, an evocative setting, and friendships to treasure, A Constellation of Roses is the perfect companion to Miranda Asebedo’s debut novel The Deepest Roots.
Book Links:  photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg
Guest Post


Why We Need Friendship Stories in YA

I think friendship stories in Young Adult (YA) fiction are a vital part of the genre. YA is written for teens, and friendships are so important at that stage of life, when readers are figuring out who they are and what kind of relationships they wish to have both in the present and in the future.

As an adult thinking back to my high school years, my friendships helped me define who I was. The people you surround yourself with in your teen years influence everything from your academic choices to your social ones. I can remember trying to sync up class schedules with my best friends so we’d have the most classes possible together, even if I cared very little about taking a Keyboarding II class. (Though it has come in handy!) When I got my first real job flipping burgers, we commiserated over our meager paychecks, and we celebrated our work ethic with every midnight close that ended in burned knuckles and a sense of comradery that smelled a lot like French fries.

I think fiction is a great way to explore those very important relationships, especially when it comes to learning about and recognizing some friendships that aren’t so good. That’s why I think we need a variety of friendship stories. Not only the warm and fuzzy, found-family kind of stories, which A Constellation of Roses has in spades, or the blushing friends-to-lovers tales, but the messy ones, too. We need friendship break up stories. How do you move on after your best friend dumps you for a new boyfriend or a new friend? Or when an event beyond your control, like a cross-country move, separates you? My debut novel, The Deepest Roots, explores how secrets and fear can fracture even the strongest bonds of lifelong friends if we let them.

We need toxic friendship stories, too. Not only do they help us realize that not all friendships are good, particularly if they put you in situations that are bad for your mental or physical health, but they also help us recognize those toxic friendships in real life. In A Constellation of Roses, Trix’s old friends from the city, Shane and Charly, try to talk her into committing a crime with them, and she has to decide whether or not maintaining that friendship is worth breaking the law and risking the newfound place she’s found with her paternal family.

The real power of fiction, in YA and elsewhere, is that it allows us to survey parts of life that we haven’t yet experienced. It’s a place for readers to safely explore all choices, good and bad. And the consequences for us, as readers, might be a sad ending to a story, or a book tossed on the pyre of DNF, but they might also give us a clearer view of the world and the people we surround ourselves with.

About the Author
Miranda Asebedo was born and raised in rural Kansas with a love of fast cars, open skies, and books. She carried that love of books to college, where she got her B.A. and M.A. in English, with an emphasis in Creative Writing and Literature. A Seaton Fellowship recipient, her short fiction has appeared in Kansas Voices, Touchstone, and Midway Journal.
Miranda still lives on the prairie today with her husband, two kids, and two majestic bulldogs named Princess Jellybean and Captain Jack Wobbles. If Miranda’s not writing or reading, she’s most likely convinced everyone to load up in the family muscle car and hit the road.
Author Links:
Blog Tour Schedule Here.
Bookstagram Schedule Here.
Tour Organized By:
FFBC tours logo