There is a ton of book news in this post, and some of it is mine!
My March “Fresh Takes” column is up at Fresh Fiction. It’s an eclectic selection, based mostly on what sounds like an entertaining read. I try to find a mix of paranormal romance, sff, and some contemporary romance. (You can also catch up on January and February’s lists.)
But what I’m really excited to talk about is my friend A. Lee Martinez‘s Kickstarter project, his Robots vs. Slime Monsters Anthology. Just look at that cool cover! One of the tiers for contributors includes a signed print of the cover, which features characters from all ten of Alex’s books. Alex is my friend, but he’s received all kinds of award and honors, he’s a best selling author, and his books are awesome—Witty, original and wildly entertaining. They’re not YA, but they’ve received recognition as adult books with appeal to teen readers.
Notoriously, Alex doesn’t do sequels, so if you’re a fan of his, this is a rare opportunity to revision favorite characters. Plus, it’s robots vs. slime monsters.
While I’m on the subject of Cool Ways to get books into readers hands, let me just say that it’s kind of an exciting time to be an author. E-books don’t go out of print. Libraries that loan e-books aren’t limited by shelf space. Authors have the chance to reissue their older (pre-ebook) backlist. And they can do nifty independent projects.
This is a kind of labor of love from my friend Heidi Berthiaume. She wrote and illustrated a picture book called Bud the Bunny. It’s absolutely adorable. But then she turned it into a really cool Bud The Bunny iPad app. It’s an interactive book. (I know, there are more of these now, but when she did it, there was nothing like it. I still think it’s really original.) Anyway, it’s too cute, and it’s an independent publication I can recommend without reservation.
Four stories, four dates. How can these dates by mistake turn into love ever after?
And speaking of changes in publishing and opportunities for authors—I’ve got an e-book coming out next week from Entangle Publishing. It’s called Date by Mistake—an anthology featuring Gwen Hayes, Candace Havens and Shannon Leigh, and Jill Monroe. (You can pre-order it on Amazon and BN.com.) This is something totally new for me. My novella is an adult romance very (very) loosely based on Persuasion. Alex Drake broke Kiara Fredericks’ heart in college. Now he has a chance to win her back, if he can manage not to screw it up.
Now, here’s the disclaimer: This is not a YA book. My story is pretty tame. Except for a little bit of language, it’s nothing you wouldn’t see on basic cable, in a tastefully lit bedroom scene. Some of the other stories, though, are more HBO than TNT. Wonderful stories, but quite racy. Now, I was reading Harlequin Blaze novels in high school, so I’m not deluding myself that some of you aren’t reading them, too. But I don’t want any angry letters from your mother.
And finally, any Percy Jackson fans out there? I have an essay in the expanded and updated edition of Demigods and Monsters from Smart Pop Books. This is a collection of non-fiction essays from your favorite authors on this super popular Middle Grade/YA series, just in time for the second Percy Jackson movie, Sea of Monsters, coming out this summer. (And starring Nathan Fillion as Hermes. I just found that out.)
So there’s that. Print books, e-books, racy books, kids books and middle grade books. I think I’ve covered it all. Go check out the kickstarter page or A. Lee Martinez’s webpage today. The kickstarter drive ends Saturday/Sunday at midnight.