The Edge of Brilliance Promo + Guest Post + Giveaway

Blog Tour, Uncategorized

**Reader Advisory: This book contains strong language and also includes scenes involving drug use, rape, violence. This book also includes a frank exploration of mental illness and loss of autonomy.

the edge of brilliance cover.jpgThe Edge of Brilliance
by Susan Traugh
Genre: YA Contemporary Realistic Fiction
Release Date: July 19th 2016
Finch Books

Summary from Goodreads: 

Volatile and unstable, Amy stands at the precipice. Will she fall into the chaos and despair of insanity or ascend into brilliance and redemption?

Amy Miles is fifteen and crazy. Or, at least that’s her greatest fear. Her severe bipolar disorder, with its roller coaster manic and depressive episodes, is ruining her life. Yet in Amy’s mind it is accepting the pills and therapy—not the disease—that will brand her as ’crazy’.

When Amy lands in a residential psychiatric program, she befriends take-charge Mallory and the two create family and try to salvage the shards of their broken minds. There, Amy discovers that her illicit drug use has robbed her of her ability to dance and she is forced to weigh how hard she is willing to work to reclaim her lost talent and potential. But, despite a promising beginning, when Amy falls back into denial, the tragic consequences cannot be undone.

Amy is left to decide whether to give up altogether or accept her diagnosis and the tools she needs to battle her disease, to learn to dance again and forge a new and improved version of herself. Will she step up to the edge of her brilliance and shine?

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Buy Links: Amazon | Finch Books


Guest Post: Writing about mental illness

I love people with mental illness. Truth is—I’m surrounded by them!

When I married my husband, I thought he was a moody artist-type. By the time we discovered his mood swings were caused by bipolar disorder, we’d had three kids. My son has an anxiety disorder, my oldest daughter has Asperger’s and bipolar II, and my youngest daughter is severely bipolar I and is the model for ‘Amy’ in The Edge of Brilliance.

Not only does my entire family suffer from mental illness, but because birds-of-a-feather tend to flock together—everyone’s friends are also either mentally ill or are quirky individuals who live on society’s fringes.

But, I write about mental illness because that’s not all these people are. They’re complex, unique, funny, talented, intelligent, creative people, and, in the end, just like everybody else. And that’s what I want readers to understand. I want my readers to feel a full range of emotions as they step into the lives of Amy and her tribe and come away with an appreciation of them as wonderfully complex individuals who are more like them than not. I want readers to follow Amy’s journey and say to themselves, “Oh, I can relate to that—this could be me.” I want readers to see these characters as more similar than different and as much more magnificent than a label.

The Edge of Brilliance does address the issue of mental illness. But, first and foremost, it is the story of a teenaged girl who combats her challenges to find the hero within herself—and isn’t that just a universal story?


susan traugh.jpgAbout the Author
Award-winning author, Susan Traugh, has been writing for over thirty years. Her Daily Living Skills workbooks are used in classrooms all over the world and her stories have appeared in periodicals nationwide along with several stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul. With husband, Steven, Susan won Learning Magazine’s Teachers Choice Award for Mother Goose Brain Boost.
Now, Susan is venturing into the world of young adult fiction. Her latest novel, The Edge of Brilliance is an exploration into the heroes found within struggling young people. The manuscript was a finalist in the San Diego Book Awards.  Today, Susan lives in San Diego, CA with her husband and daughters, a cat, dog, fish and near her grown son who doesn’t visit enough.
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Love, Lucas Excerpt


Love Lucas

By: Chantele Sedgwick 


Everyone tells me funerals help with the grieving process, but I think those people are full of crap. If anything, they make you more depressed than you already are.
I stare at my brother’s casket as we gather around the gravesite. A few inches of snow covers the ground around us and I shiver at the cold breeze biting at my skin. Dad blows his nose and I glance over and see Mom crying into the shoulder of his coat. I’m not sure how she even has tears left.
I know I’m supposed to feel something. Anything. Relief that Lucas is out of pain. Anger that he was taken so early from us. Sadness that I’ll never hear his laugh or see his smiling face again.
Instead I feel only a hollow emptiness inside my chest. He took part of me with him. I can already feel the hole he left behind, waiting for something to fill it. But I know no one can ever take the place of my best friend.
Mom grabs my arm and gives it a squeeze. She holds out a tissue but I don’t take it. I haven’t cried since the night at the hospital. The night he left us. I know so much emotion is built up inside of me, looking for a chance to escape, but for some reason I can’t, no, won’t let it out. Something’s wrong with me.
Dad wraps an arm around my waist. I don’t move. My arms are like weights at my side. Lifeless. Like Lucas.
Mom says something to me and presses a long stemmed rose into my hand. I stare at it and say nothing. I’ve always hated flowers at funerals. They’re supposed to make you feel happy. Not depressed.
People around me move one by one toward the casket and place their roses on top. As I watch them, my fist closes and I crush the delicate petals of my flower into my palm. The maimed rose slides from my fingers and drops to the ground.
I can’t handle this. Everyone is so sad. Red faces, puffy eyes. The world seems to move in slow motion as Dad places his rose on the casket. Mom does the same. My breath catches as I notice everyone staring at me, waiting for me to do something. Anything.
Dad urges me forward to take my turn, but my feet refuse to move. He keeps his hand on my back and I take a deep breath before I look up at him. His eyes are sad as they fall on the pieces of the rose at my feet. He doesn’t say anything about it, just grabs my hand and meets my gaze, but the look
he gives me while his eyes fill with tears is more than I can handle. I have to get out of here. I step away from him, take one last look at the casket, and turn around.
“Oakley? Where are you going?” Dad asks.
I don’t answer, just push past him and move through the crowd as my heart hammers in my chest.
Mom calls my name. Dad calls for me, too. I keep walking and don’t look back.

My parents are arguing again. Mom quit her job at the bank. It didn’t go over very well with Dad, who has thrown himself into his job like a madman. I know they’re both grieving in their own ways but they should talk to each other about it, not fight. Fighting gets you nowhere.
I listen to their raised voices for a moment and put on my headphones when Mom starts crying. I can’t handle hearing her sob all night again, so I turn my iPod on and music blasts in my ears. Nothing like a bunch of guitars and screaming to drown out my parents and my own thoughts. If I can’t hear them, they’re not there.
I lie on my bed and stare at the glow-in-the-dark stars that light up the ceiling. Lucas bought them for me for my sixteenth birthday. He even made his own constellation out of them and called it Luca Major. Stupid, but funny. It makes me miss him even more.
The light flips on and I turn my head to see Mom standing in the doorway. I pause my music and sit up.
“Sorry,” she says. “I knocked, but you didn’t answer.”
I shrug. “It’s fine.” My voice is hoarse. It was so hard for me to say those two words. I haven’t spoken since the funeral three days ago, and no one’s really spoken to me either.
She hesitates in the doorway but finally comes to sit on the edge of my bed. “Oakley,” she starts. She takes a deep breath and reaches out to tuck my dark hair behind my ear. I pull away from her touch. After all the time and energy she’s spent on my brother the past few years, it’s foreign to me. “Your father and I have been talking. I’ve decided to go live with Aunt Jo for a while. Maybe just until summer. I need some time . . .” She swallows and blinks back the moisture in her eyes. “I need time away
from here for a while.”
“Okay . . .” I say. Great. She’s abandoning me. First Lucas, now her. I breathe in and out. I still don’t feel much. Just empty.
“I wanted to see if . . . well . . .” She smoothes my hair down, and though I consider protesting, I let her. “Honey, I want you to come with me.”
My heart races. “You’re not getting divorced, are you?” I pray she says no. I can’t handle anything else going wrong. Not now. Not when I need at least some normalcy in my life.
She shakes her head. “No. Your father and I are fine. We just . . . grieve differently.” The way she says it confirms that they’re not fine. She takes a shaky breath. “Anyway, just think about coming with me, okay? You don’t have to be in school since you graduated early, and you don’t have a job or anything. I think it could be good for you to get away from everything.”
I think about her offer. Even though I’ll miss Dad, I’d love to get away. I could leave my depressing life behind for the spring and maybe heal a little before I have to decide what to do with my life. College and all that crap. I’ll leave my house and put all the memories of Lucas and my old friends and their whispers behind my back. It would be nice to get away from it all. Away from the uncomfortable silence whenever I see anyone who knows me. I know they aren’t sure what to say; I mean, what do you say to someone who just lost her brother? Even if they have something to say, I’m not sure I’d want to hear it anyway.
“Remember, Jo lives in California now, if that makes a difference. Huntington Beach. She has a really nice house with room to spare.”
I crack a smile. It feels strange on my lips but it’s a start. If I go with Mom, I could use my camera again. The thought of taking pictures comforts me. Just a little. I turn toward her and meet her eyes. “Okay,” I whisper.
She puts her arms around me in an awkward hug. I’m not sure what to do with my own arms, so I lift one and softly pat her back. Physical contact has been nonexistent with her for a while now. She’s not the touchy-feely type. We get along well enough, but for her to hug me . . . I’m sure it takes a lot.
“We’re going to be okay,” she says. It sounds like she’s trying to reassure herself more than me. She pulls away, pats my leg, and stands. “We’re leaving tomorrow morning, so you’d better start packing. I’ve already booked the flights.”
I frown. That doesn’t surprise me at all. “So . . . you were going to drag me there whether I wanted to go or not?”
She shrugs. “I think it will be good for you. For us.”
I want to say something else but don’t have the energy as thoughts of Lucas pop into my head again. Instead, I swallow the lump in my throat, give her a quick nod, and she leaves me alone.
Spending the next few months with Aunt Jo might be a good thing. She’s a marine biologist or veterinarian or something, so maybe she’ll distract me with some of her work. And I’ve never been to a real beach before since our family doesn’t really leave the state of Utah. The only beachy place I’ve been is Antelope Island. This tiny island in the middle of the Great Salt Lake that’s covered with mosquitoes, flies, and brine shrimp. As for animals, I’m sure there are a few antelope here and there, but I’ve never seen any. Just a whole lot of buffalo. Antelope Island . . . covered in buffalo. Go figure.
A real beach. The thought sounds amazing. I’ve only seen pictures of Aunt Jo in the ocean. I’d love to have some photos of my own to hang on my wall. I climb off my bed and go look for a suitcase. Tomorrow can’t come soon enough.

My ears pop as we land in California. Mom grabs her
carry-on from the overhead compartment and passes me my guitar. I already have my backpack on my lap. We both keep our jumbled thoughts to ourselves. When the line starts to move, I stand, and we follow the crowd and exit the stuffy plane.
Aunt Jo is waiting for us at baggage claim. She runs to Mom and they hug forever, even though they saw each other at the funeral four days ago. Everyone around us is staring, so I move away from them and wait for our suitcases to come down the chute and onto the turnstile. I don’t want to talk about Lucas, so I let them have a moment to themselves.
“How are you doing, Oakley? You hangin’ in there?”
I flinch at Jo’s hand on my shoulder. “I’m good.” I grab my suitcase and she lets go. I don’t miss the look she gives Mom.
They’re worried about me. They can see through the fake smile I put on for everyone who asks how I’m doing. I don’t know why I pretend everything’s okay when clearly it’s not. Lucas is gone. How can anything be okay when he’s not here? He was the only person in my life I could count on.
“Oakley, honey, you ready?” Mom looks over at me with a sad but hopeful smile.
“Yes.” I throw my backpack over my shoulder and my guitar over the other and follow them to the car, dragging my suitcase behind me.
The drive to Jo’s house is quiet. I study her and my mom for a while. It’s weird that they’re even sisters. They look nothing alike. Mom’s short dark hair is neat and straight, while Jo’s is long with light wild curls. Mom is pale with soft skin, and Jo is tan and rough-looking from being outside all the time. I look like Mom. Dark hair and pale skin. Sort of like death.
They’re so different. Their lives especially. Mom married Dad when she was only nineteen. They were high school sweethearts. Obviously it isn’t working out too well. I wonder why Jo never married, but I don’t ask. I’m not in the mood for conversation.
Jo’s house is beautiful. It’s right across the street from the beach. There are windows everywhere. Huge rectangular windows that face the ocean. I’ve always dreamed of living in a house like this. It seems so peaceful. Safe from whispers and gossip. Just what I need.
“You like it?” Jo asks.
I meet her eyes in the rearview mirror and smile. “It’s perfect.”
She puts the car in park and glances at Mom for a second before looking at me again. “I fixed one of the guest rooms up for you so you’ll have some privacy while you’re here. I remember what it was like being a teenager. And your mom told me you like your space. Hopefully you can call it your home away from home for a while.” She gives me a wink before she gets out.
I open the door and step outside as well, breathing in the salty air. It’s strange and different from what I’m used to back home, but right and wonderful at the same time. This is where I’m supposed to be right now and I’m so happy I came.
Palm trees peak around the edge of the house and I have the sudden desire to climb one. I breathe in the ocean air again and grin. For some reason I feel lighter than before. Like all my troubles will magically melt away the moment I step into that beautiful house. But as memories of the past few weeks slam into me again, I realize the depressing fact that fantasy never wins over reality. Even when it should.
We unload our bags and I follow Jo and Mom up the front steps. Jo opens the door and Mom steps back so I can go in first. My jaw drops as I look around.
The inside is gorgeous. Sunlight spills in through the windows, making it almost as bright as outside. The rooms are open. Not stuffy or crowded, but roomy. I’m surprised by Jo’s color choice. The furniture is white, with yellow flowers and throw pillows to accent the living room. A perfect choice for a house like this.
I drop my bags near the door for a moment and take my time walking around the front room, admiring the little seashells accenting the tables. Of course they’re not plastic. They’re very real, and that makes me happy.
Mom’s heels click on the white tile floor and echo through the house. She turns around and smiles. “Jo, I love it,” she says. “It’s amazing.”
“Thanks. It was a bunch of work fixing it up, but I think it turned out nicely.” Jo smiles and turns to me. “Your room is the last one on the left if you want to check it out.”
I grab my bags as I make my way down the hall and open my bedroom door. My eyes widen as I see how big it is. A bed dominates most of the room, with a dresser and mirror across from it. The same sort of decorations are in here as well. Seashells on the glass nightstand near the bed and a few pictures of the ocean hung up on the walls. I throw my backpack on the ground and set my guitar on the bed. My fingers skim the pretty white bedspread. It’s not quite my style, since my room back home is decorated with orange, pink, and lime green, but it works.
I glance around and notice a walk-in closet. Nice. Not that I have a ton of clothes, but still. My favorite part of the room is the French doors that lead outside to a small covered patio. I peek out the window and grin. There’s a hammock and lounge chair and a huge swimming pool. It’s nice and blue. Clean. I wonder if Jo has a pool man, since she obviously makes a ton of money to live in a place like this.
I walk around for a while and go through the fence to the front yard. It’s surreal to be so close to the ocean. My feet start walking on their own and I cross the street and head toward the sand and waves. My first time ever at a beach, and I’ve heard Huntington is really nice.
My flip-flops are covered in sand so I slip them off. I smile at the feel of the sand between my toes. Again, I feel safe. Free. Ready for a new beginning.
The beach is different than I imagined. In all the pictures I’ve seen, there are always a ton of people lying on the sand, tanning. I look around. There aren’t a lot of people out at all. At least not today. An older couple sits a few yards away under big umbrellas. The lady is reading a book and the man I assume is her husband is taking a nap. A few people are playing volleyball further down the beach and there are some surfers bobbing in the water.
It’s like heaven. I walk until I feel the icy ocean water touch my feet. It sends a little shock through my body, but I don’t care. It’s awesome. After a few minutes of watching the tiny waves roll up around my ankles while my feet sink into the mud, I walk back up the beach and sit down in the sand. It’s warm, but a cool breeze caresses my skin. Fascinated, I watch the waves crash into the beach and the surfers riding them so effortlessly.
I sink my toes deeper into the sand and smile. I think I’m going to like it here.


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Excerpt kit provided by Sky Pony Press

UNREST Cover Reveal

Cover Reveal, Uncategorized


Book Blurb for Unrest: Book Two in the Unknown Series

Being on the run in the desert means food and sanctuary are hard to come by, but Amber Tate and her crew are not about to give up. Not after having so many of the things they love brutally ripped from them by the unknown enemy who sent their world into an apocalypse.

Survival takes precedence, but once safe shelter is found, their guards fall and the emotions they’ve been holding in are finally released. Anger, insecurities…lust. Amber, Rylen, Tater, and Remy cannot escape it in their tight quarters. The past must be faced, and passions run even stronger in the darkest of times.

In the midst of unrest, their worlds are rocked again when the truth is made known about the war that’s ruined their lives. They thought finding out who the enemy was would give them the edge; instead it’s revealed terrifying dangers they never thought possible.


Unrest on Goodreads:

Unrest will be released February 16, 2017!

Preorder now! 🙂

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Goodreads Book Giveaway

Unknown by Wendy Higgins


by Wendy Higgins

Giveaway ends October 10, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway



But wait… if you missed book one; here it is!


Unknown on Goodreads:

WendyHiggins4Want to know more about the lovely Wendy Higgins?

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Find more information about her books here.


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Interview with Cori McCarthy

Author Interview

Hello my lovely readers! I have a special surprise for everyone today. After falling in love with her latest novel I was able to conduct a email interview with NYT bestselling author Cori McCarthy *cheers* Check back tomorrow for my review of You Were Here.

Meet Cori McCarthy.

Cori McCarthy

Cori McCarthy studied poetry and screenwriting before falling in love with writing for children and young adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is the author of three YA novels: The Color of Rain, Breaking Sky, and You Were Here. She lives in Michigan, but dreams of moving to Ireland as soon as possible! For more information, please check out


If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?

“Oh, that’s easy…Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta! I love, love, love that book. It has so much tension and a sweeping setting, and there are a multiple love stories to fall for. But the best thing about the book? It captures what it’s like to be lost and depressed in a unique, moving way. If you haven’t read it, you must!”

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

“I learn about myself every time I write a new story. I start with a concept—like teen fighter pilots or grieving urbexers—and I don’t think I’m in that story. And then I find myself in each character. At one point, my beta readers and I jokingly referred to You Were Here as ‘A Tale of Five Coris.'”

What do you think makes a good story?

“Love and misery. Laughs and tears. Hope and truthful despair. I believe that the best stories provide a balance. No luck without loss, no trials without fate. When I write, I’m always shooting for a hard laugh during the worst misery. Someone asked me recently if I’d ever write a romance, and I had to say that I will never write a book without romance somewhere in it. I believe that love is at the center of the hardest, truest, roughest feelings, and capturing those feelings is what makes me want to write.”

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

“I like to play guitar and build things. I read, although I have a four-year-old son who makes reading anything other than the Little Blue Truck books a little difficult. I dabble in carpentry and painting, I write poetry and I do yoga. The last one isn’t for fun, though—it’s because when you sit at a computer five hours a day, your back starts to deteriorate swiftly!”

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?

“I think I’m most proud of You Were Here. I wrote that book under a lot of pressure, and there were so many pieces in the air—the grief story, the real-life settings, the mixed format—FIVE point of view characters (what was I thinking?). The whole time I wrote the book, I thought I was messing it up, but I kept going and I’m really proud of how it turned out.”

Are you a plotter or do you write as you go?

I write, and then plot, and then write some more and then plot some more. I find the plotter v. pantser debate to be really strange because I’m not sure how I could be one or the other. I have to plot, and then as I write, I have to allow my stories to stretch outside the model I’ve designed. One might say that I plot to keep a focus on the whole novel, but I am never married to the plots I’ve written out—I make sure there are lots of wiggle room. For example, in the first draft of Breaking Sky, the book took place two thousand years in the future instead of 2048. And in the first draft of You Were Here, Natalie ended up with Mik…

What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing process?

“Oh, the waiting. There is an awful lot of waiting in publishing. Book deals take many, many months to develop, and then the book comes out years after you write it. There is a lot of downtime, which is actually good because that’s when I write the fastest. When I’m waiting to hear about a book, I keep myself busy by writing a new book. My favorite part of writing is the first drafting process. My least favorite part? Revision. Ack. It’s so very terrible and so very necessary.”

Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?

I don’t think that I would ever write a crime story. That genre just doesn’t interest me as a reader, and everything I write tends to be stories that I would like to read. That being said, who knows? I like a good challenge or dare, so if someone dares me to write a crime story, I’ll probably do it.

Final words from Cori:

“You can find more information about my books and social media outlets at I love hearing from readers! If you’re a writer, I also freelance edit and provide monthly writing coaching through”

Breaking Sky Spotlight Promo

Spotlight Tour, Uncategorized

Blogger Note: Spotlight tour promo provided by Kathryn Lynch at Sourcebooks!


Now in Paperback!

Breaking Sky

By Cori McCarthy

February 2, 2016; Tradepaper, ISBN 9781492621126


Breaking Sky cover.JPG

Book Info:

Title: Breaking Sky

Author: Cori McCarthy

Paperback Release Date: February 2, 2016

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire



 She lives for speed. She’ll die for love. 

Chase Harcourt, call sign “Nyx”, isn’t one to play it safe. America is locked in a cold war – and the country’s best hope is the elite teen fighter pilots of the United Star Academy. Chase is one of only two daredevil pilots chosen to fly an experimental “Streaker” jet. But few know the pain and loneliness of her past. All anyone cares about is that Chase aces the upcoming Streaker trials, proving the prototype jet can knock the enemy out of the sky.

But as the world tilts toward war, Chase cracks open a military secret. There’s a third Streaker, whose young hotshot pilot, Tristan, can match her on the ground and in the clouds. Chase doesn’t play well with others. But to save her country, she may just have to put her life in the hands of the competition.

Breaking Sky is a gritty coming of age tale with tons of action, a fascinating dystopian society, humor, friendship, romance and heart-stopping, high-stakes flying that will leave you on the edge of your seat. Breaking Sky has also been optioned for film by Sony Pictures.


Excerpt from Breaking Sky:

Speed turned her on.

The other cadets talked about the thrill of flying, but Chase didn’t relate. Her love was more specific. She flew for the high-g press of ten times the weight of gravity. For the throttle thrust forward, the roar-rev of the engines, and then, the mach rush.

Chase was in the atmosphere—flying so fast she felt like solid muscle. Her thoughts were a dance of impulse as she backed off the speed and looked through the tempered glass canopy. The earth knelt before her like she was holding court over the whole damn planet.

She smiled.

“I don’t suppose you see a gas station.” Pippin sat a few feet behind her, but his voice was closer, a direct link from his mask to her helmet’s headphones. “Nearing bingo fuel, Nyx.”

“Give me two minutes.” Chase smelled a challenge. Or she imagined one. Anything to prolong the hop and do something fun.

She pulled back on the stick, pointing the nose of her jet straight at the midday sun.

Brilliance charged the crystal dome.

“Tower to Nyx. Come in, Nyx,” Pippin mocked. “My sense of mortality insists I ask if we’re coming down anytime soon. As much as I wanted to be an astronaut when I was five, Dragon isn’t a star- ship. Where are we going exactly?”

“Somewhere. Anywhere.” The sun blinded through her smoky visor, but she kept her eyes ahead. “Up.”

“Yes, I was going to point out that somewhere feels like up today. Sylph is already halfway home.”

“Good.” Chase gripped the throttle, and the leather of her gloves gripped back. “We don’t need Sylph sniffing around for this.”

Moments scratched by, and Pippin cleared his throat. Twice. “We got to get high, Pip. Real high. Otherwise, we’ll smash into the ground before we can break the sound barrier in a down- ward spiral.”


Her reasons stacked. Because the training runs were tedious. Because Sylph, the pilot of the other experimental Streaker jet, had never and would never try such a stunt. And because Chase was Nyx, and with that title came certain wild expectations.

And the cherry on top? Because Chase needed to prove she could do it.

When they were nearly thirty miles up, about to leave the strato- sphere, she turned the jet toward the curve of the earth’s surface and let them freefall. Gravity took hold, and she steeled herself to punch through it.

“Wait, Nyx. I’m all for fun, but this is—”

The engine howl took over. They blazed at the blue-on-blue planet, the green smatterings coming into focus. She felt the mach tuck, the air trying to slow her down, just as the sound barrier broke.

The sonic boom was lost behind them, but a pearly halo erupted in their wake.


Praise for Breaking Sky

Breaking Sky is an action-packed thrill ride that smashes through all kinds of barriers at a Mach 5 pace.” — Carrie Jones, New York Times bestselling author of the Need series

Breaking Sky had me in its grip from take off to landing. Chase is kick-butt female and the swoon-worthy flyboys kept me up way past my bedtime.” —Joy N. Hensley, author of Rites of Passage

Breaking Sky ticks all the boxes: Love, war, friendship, action and danger – I was left wanting more, more, more!” —Jessica Shirvington, author of One Past Midnight

“Strong characterizations, action, adventure, and emotion combine to produce a sci-fi novel that is more than just the sum of its parts.” — School Library Journal, starred review

“This taut, well-crafted novel should have broad appeal, for fans of everything from Roth’s Divergent to Wein’s Code Name Verity.” –-Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, starred review

“McCarthy deploys breath-stopping depictions of high-stakes piloting with enviable ease, and the in-your-face personal confrontations are nearly as taut.” –- Publishers Weekly

“Smart, exciting, confident—and quite possibly the next Big Thing.” –Kirkus


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Cori McCarthy.jpg

About the Author:

Cori McCarthy studied poetry and screenwriting before falling in love with writing for teens at Vermont College of Fine Arts. From a military family, Cori was born on Guam and lived a little bit of everywhere before she landed in Michigan. Learn more about her books at here.

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Rafflecopter giveaway for two copies of Breaking Sky:

Runs 12/23-2/29 (US & Canada only)

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Surprise Sneakpeak!

Also by Cori McCarthy:

You Were Here

(ON SALE; March 1, 2016)

Hardcover, ISBN 9781492617044

You Were Here cover.JPG


Jaycee is about to accomplish what her older brother Jake couldn’t: live past graduation.

Jaycee is dealing with her brother’s death the only way she can – by re-creating Jake’s daredevil stunts. The ones that got him killed. She’s not crazy, okay? She just doesn’t have a whole lot of respect for staying alive.

Jaycee doesn’t expect to have help on her insane quest to remember Jake. But she’s joined by a group of unlikely friends – all with their own reasons for completing the dares and their own brand of dysfunction: the uptight, ex-best friend, the heartbroken poet, the slacker with Peter Pan syndrome, and… Mik. He doesn’t talk, but somehow still challenges Jayce to do the unthinkable—reveal the parts of herself that she buried with her brother.

Cori McCarthy’s gripping narrative defies expectation, moving seamlessly from prose to graphic novel panels and word art poetry, perfect for fans of E. Lockhart, Jennier Niven, and Jandy Nelson.  From the petrifying ruins of an insane asylum to the skeletal remains of the world’s largest amusement park, You Were Here takes you on an unforgettable journey of friendship, heartbreak and inevitable change.

Praise for You Were Here

You Were Here is wrenchingly beautiful in its honest and achingly accurate portrayal of grief and how it breaks us—and the way unconditional friendship puts us back together.”—Jo Knowles, award-winning author of See You At Harry’s and Read Between the Lines

“The urban explorers of You Were Here dive deep into the forgotten man-made spaces all around them–and their own feelings of loss, love, and fear. McCarthy deftly intertwines the characters’ stories, filling them with authentic pain and heartache as well as soaring moments of grace and humor. I dare you to read it!” –Maggie Lehrman, author of The Cost of All Things


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The Secret Side of Empty Book Review

Book Reviews, Guest reviewer

Book provided by Running Press for an honest review!


Secret Side of Empty Cover


The Secret Side of Empty Review

By: Claire Rankin


The Secret Side of Empty published on March 11th 2014 is new release by Running Press Kids. As usual we are a bit behind in the times but we’re going to go ahead any way. A novel that deals with the realistic fluctuations of the teenage mind, no matter how intelligent and intuitive, The Secret Side of Empty deals with M.T.’s, the main character and through whose perspective the story is seen, journey of self-doubt and frustration.

M.T. is a straight ‘A’ student who actually enjoys college level English, while she is only a senior in high school. However, her promising future, as everyone sees it, is nonexistent as she and her family are illegal immigrants. She doesn’t have the basic paperwork that citizens take for granted by living in America. The novel deals with the American dream in the realistic terms that come from entering America illegally, as is a common source of debate in the country today.

M.T herself is surrounded by a diverse array of characters. Her mother, who is tired and searching for purpose while attempting not to anger her physically abusive husband. M.T.’s father is a man who has been broken by the actuality of the American dream. M.T.’s littler brother, Jose, is a typical little boy and, as sweet as he is, he doesn’t realize what goes on around him.

M.T’s friends, and subsequent, boyfriend have no idea of her illegal status and thus she lies to almost everyone in her life. She lies to her parents about what she does every day, between a boyfriend and tutoring money that her father feels entitled to. She lies to her friends about her family, her best friend has never been to her home.

The novel is a very realistic view on the teenage experience. Like many things in the teenage experience the novel moves in a way that allows the reader to think about the small events in M.T.’s life as large events. However, the novel’s movement can seem almost sedentary in the instance that the event in comparison to other modern novels are intimate and compound themselves on one another. But don’t just take my word for it see what others have to say.


Official Review:
“Author Maria E. Andreu draws from her personal experience to tell a story that is timely, relevant, and universally poignant. Certain to be an enduringly popular addition to school and community library YA Fiction collections” — Midwest Book Review


Customer Review:
“The book was cram packed with issues to make it an important social piece, but most of it lacked in sincerity [. . .] I think that this type of story needs to be told more often. The fact that the author, Maria, actually experienced what it was like to be illegal makes the story credible.” – Shaleh a reviewer on


The Secret Side of Empty can be purchased at bookstores such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Goodreads, etc.

I hope you enjoy your copy if you choose to grab one .