I have wonderful news! Coming in Fall 2019…SHE’S THE WORST!

I am so excited to share this story, which follows sisters Jenn and April as they run around L.A. in the final hours before Jenn starts college! Inspired by my own relationship with my wonderful sister, Diana, along with two of my favorite movies, this book is going to be fun for teens and adults alike!

💕 Lauren


Good news, book lovers! In addition to being available for pre-order, Your Destination Is on the Left is now available to request on NetGalley! Note that you’ll need an account/approval.

I hope you enjoy the read, and will consider reviewing the book in as many places as humanly possible! 😉


💕 Lauren


2018 is finally here, so a bunch of us debut authors are celebrating with a GIVEAWAY to jumpstart your 2018 TBR pile! Eight (8) contemporary YA debuts are up for grabs (2 hardcovers and 6 ARCs). To enter, visit this link or fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Note: there are extra entries available for teen readers, book bloggers, and bookstagrammers.

Giveaway is US only, and ends 1/5 at 11:59pm (EST).

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Simon & Schuster Books for Young readers, June 26, 2018

Seventeen-year-old Dessa Rhodes is torn between leaving her modern nomadic life and pursuing her dreams of becoming an artist in this fun, contemporary debut novel that’s perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen and Morgan Matson.

Dessa Rhodes is a modern day nomad. Her family travels in an RV, their lives defined by state lines, exit signs, and the small communal caravan they call home. Among them is Cyrus, her best friend and long-time crush, whom she knows she can never be with. When your families are perpetually linked, it’s too dangerous to take a risk on romance.

Instead, Dessa looks to the future. She wants to be a real artist and going to art school is her ticket to success and a new life. There’s just one problem: she hasn’t been accepted…anywhere. Suddenly her future is wide open, and it looks like she’s going to be stuck traveling forever.

Then an unexpected opportunity presents itself: an internship working with a local artist in Santa Fe. Dessa struggles to prove to her boss—and herself—that she belongs there, but just as she finally hits her stride, her family suffers an unexpected blow. Faced with losing everything that she has worked for, Dessa has a difficult decision to make. Will she say goodbye to her nomadic lifestyle and the boy she loves? Or will she choose to never stop moving?


Simon & Schuster | Amazon | Barnes & Noble IndieBound |  Books-A-Million | Book Depository
Add on Goodreads




I am thrilled and flattered that Pat Esden asked me to help reveal her cover and host her GIVEAWAY! I met Pat last year during my first ever writing retreat. We rented a house in North Carolina and I drafted almost half of CAPTIVE, the novel that got me an agent. I also got to bond with Pat, who is funny and smart and so, so talented. It was a dream trip!

But I bet you want proof that Pat is as great as I say she is. Luckily I have it right here: the back cover copy for Pat’s new YA, A HOLD ON ME, available from Kensington Books in March 2016!

She never wanted to return.

He wants nothing more than for her to leave.

But the fire between them is as strong as the past that haunts them.

Annie Freemont grew up on the road, immersed in the romance of rare things, cultivating an eye for artifacts and a spirit for bargaining. It’s a freewheeling life she loves and plans to continue—until her dad is diagnosed with dementia. His illness forces them to return to Moonhill, their ancestral home on the coast of Maine—and to the family they left behind fifteen years ago, after Annie’s mother died in a suspicious accident.

Once at Moonhill, Annie is shocked when her aunt separates her from her father. The next time Annie sees him, he’s a bizarre, violent shadow of his former self. Confused, she turns to an unlikely ally for support—Chase, the dangerously seductive young groundskeeper. With his dark good looks and powerful presence, Chase has an air of mystery that Annie is irresistibly drawn to. But she also senses that behind his penetrating eyes are secrets she can’t even begin to imagine. Secrets that hold the key to the past, to Annie’s own longings—and to all of their futures. Now, to unlock them, she’ll have to face her greatest fears and embrace her legacy…

GAH. Doesn’t that sound good? Luckily you can PRE-ORDER NOW! I know I am!!!






Pat_ Close up good (1)PAT ESDEN would love to say she spent her childhood in intellectual pursuits. The truth is she was fonder of exploring abandoned houses and old cemeteries. When not out on her own adventures, she can be found in her northern Vermont home writing stories about brave, smart women and the men who capture their hearts. An antique-dealing florist by trade, she’s also a member of Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, and the League of Vermont Writers. Her short stories have appeared in a number of publications, including Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, the Mythopoeic Society’s Mythic Circle literary magazine, and George H. Scither’s anthology Cat Tales.  For more information, visit her website!

Okay, are you ready to see her cover? Scroll to check it out!!





















A hold on me copy (1)


Isn’t it lovely? Moody and romantic and intriguing. I’ll definitely be pre-ordering my copy from my local bookstore! I suggest you do the same, but first…enter to win a FREE copy!


Check out the fantastic giveaway on Pat’s Facebook page. Chances to win an Alex and Ani Path Of Life Heart Charm Bangle, or Amazon gift certificates. Easy to enter! https://www.facebook.com/PatEsdenAuthor


Cover Reveals, Reading + Writing

1 Comment

Hey everyone! I was lucky enough to interview three members of the Freshman Fifteens this week! Say hello to Lori Goldstein, author of BECOMING JINN, Jen Brooks, author of IN A WORLD JUST RIGHT, and Lee Kelly, author of CITY OF SAVAGES!

Without further ado, here’s the interview!

1. Describe your fellow authors’ books as “this meets that” or in 6 words or less.

Lee Kelly: This was TOUGH as I think both of these books are genre-defying, but here goes:

IN A WORLD JUST RIGHT: Broken boy builds worlds and forgives

BECOMING JINN: Genies meet MEAN GIRLS with a touch of Sarah Dessen

Lori Goldstein: I’d describe as IN A WORLD JUST RIGHT by Lee as “Boy makes world. Boy gets girl,” and Lee’s CITY OF SAVAGES as “Hannibal lector meets the hunger games.”

Jen Brooks: Lori’s would be “jinn powers go right … or wrong?” and Lee’s would be…actually, I can’t top Lori’s. That’s it.

2. Which character would you date from one of the other author’s books?

LK: Oooh, tough!! Jonathan from IN A WORLD JUST RIGHT is too complicated I think for a book fling, so I would go with Henry from BECOMING JINN: he’s down to earth and funny and seems cute in a non-suspecting way.

LG: In Jen’s book, Jonathan of course! And in Lee’s…Ryder!

JB: In Lori’s, I’d date Henry, obviously. And in lee’s., I’d date Ryder too!

3. If the zombie apocalypse hits, which character from which fellow authors’ book would you like on your side?

LG: I’d want Jonathan, from Jen’s book, since he can make a new world and take us there and save us, and Rolladin, from Lee’s. She’d kick some zombie butt.

JB: Well, of course, Azra from BECOMING JINN, because she has powers. And if I was going to team up with someone from Lee’s book, I’d choose Phee, as she’s got survival skills.

LK: I’d have to go with Azra from BECOMING JINN, as her magic could come in handy big-time during an apocalypse — though Jonathan’s world-building abilities in IN A WORLD JUST RIGHT are envious, he’d only be able to make a new world for himself!

4. What food would you like to eat while reading your fellow authors’ books?

LB: While reading Jen’s, chocolate covered cannolis would be my choice, especially if I were at the pastry shop that Jonathan and Kylie goes to. Sky and Phee from Lee’s book have to hunt for their own food, so I’m thinking a good salad so I don’t make them feel bad by eating a huge feast whole they are hunting down pigeons and pheasants.

LK: BECOMING JINN has so many sweets references I always find myself craving ice cream cake and milkshakes as I read it, so definitely dessert for that one. IN A WORLD JUST RIGHT I think would be perfectly paired with a hearty, home-cooked meal — something rich and carefully crafted that keeps you satisfied for a long time.

JB: Mashed potatoes followed by chocolate, for both books. That’s what I’d eat every day of my life if it were a healthy diet. Can’t go wrong with either.

5. Is there a funny story involving one of your fellow authors from having known them through the Freshman Fifteens?

LK: Oooh, love this question. I’ve found out, after several writer retreats, that Lori is up before the sun, and that Jen doesn’t sleep much at all — a couple times I went to the bathroom in the middle of the night I caught her with her blanket wrapped around her, plugging away on her computer! They are also both wildly easy to travel with and a total blast 🙂

JB: Funny story? I’m not funny though Lori tells me otherwise.

LG: This just happened on Thursday night, actually. Jen and I were part of a panel and trivia night as part of the Boston Teen Author festival. We’re kicking off a series of events and so after we were chatting and making plans in the garage, totally ignoring the repeated announcements. Cut to us in the car, ready to leave, only to find….huge gate locking us inside. So, I’m writing this from the underground parking garage at the library. Send help!

I don’t know about you, but I’m SO excited to check out these books!



Hey everyone!

I am so excited to share this fantastic, creepy cover with you, and to help Lindsay and Trisha do a giveaway of their new YA! Take a look!

Coming September 18, 2015 from
Merit Press

Lizzie Borden took an axe,
And gave her mother forty whacks.
When she saw what she had done,
She gave her father forty one.
was Lizzie Borden? A confused young woman, or a cold-hearted killer? For
generations, people all over the world have wondered how Andrew Borden and his
second wife, Abby, met their gruesome deaths. Lizzie, Andrew’s younger
daughter, was charged, but a jury took only 90 minutes to find her not guilty.
In this retelling, the family maid, Bridget Sullivan, shines a compassionate
light on a young woman oppressed by her cheap father and her ambitious
stepmother. Was Lizzie mad, or was she driven to madness?

it to read on Goodreads
Preorder Sweet Madness:
Trisha Leaver lives on Cape Cod with her
husband, three children, and one rather irreverent black lab. She is
a chronic daydreamer who prefers the cozy confines of her own imagination
to the mundane routine of everyday life.  She writes Young Adult Contemporary
fiction, Psychological Horror and Science Fiction and is published with FSG/
Macmillan, Flux/Llewellyn and Merit Press. To can learn more about Trisha’s
books, upcoming shenanigans, and her quest to reel in the perfect tuna, please visit
her website: 
Lindsay Currie lives in Chicago with her
three awesome children, husband, and a one hundred and sixty pound lap dog
named Sam. She has an unnatural fondness for coffee, chocolate and things that
go bump in the night. She spends her days curled up in the comfortable confines
of her writing nook, penning young adult psychological horror, contemporary
fiction and science-fiction and is published with Flux/Llewellyn, Merit Press
and Spencer Hill Contemporary. Learn more about her at www.lindsaycurrie.com
To celebrate, we are giving away four AMAZING books from our publisher Merit Press. 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Reviews, Business Time, Reading + Writing

Hey Guys!

I’m super excited to share the cover for my lovely friend Stacey Trombley’s debut, NAKED. Check out the summary, then scroll for the cover!


The best place to hide is in a lie…

I could never fit in to the life my parents demanded. By the time I was thirteen, it was too much. I ran away to New York City…and found a nightmare that lasted three years. A nightmare that began and ended with a pimp named Luis. Now I am Dirty Anna. Broken, like everything inside me has gone bad.

Except that for the first time, I have a chance to start over. Not just with my parents but at school. Still, the rumors follow me everywhere. Down the hall. In classes. And the only hope I can see is in the wide, brightly lit smile of Jackson, the boy next door. So I lie to him. I lie to protect him from my past. I lie so that I don’t have to be The Girl Who Went Bad.

The only problem is that someone in my school knows about New York.

Someone knows who I really am.

And it’s just a matter of time before the real Anna is exposed…

& Noble




by Stacey

Release Date: 07/07/15

Entangled Teen

305 pages

About the Author
Stacey Trombley lives in Ohio with her husband and
the sweetest Rottweiler you’ll ever meet. She thinks people are fascinating and
any chance she has, she’s off doing or learning something new. She went on her
first mission trip to Haiti at age twelve and is still dying to go back. Her
“places to travel” list is almost as long as her “books to read” list.
She wants to bring something new to the world
through her writing, but just giving a little piece of herself is more than
enough.Keep a look out for her debut novel NAKED, coming from Entangled Teen in 2015
Author Links:

 photo iconwebsite-32x32_zps1f477f69.png  photo icongoodreads32_zps60f83491.png  photo icontwitter-32x32_zpsae13e2b2.png  photo iconfacebook-32x32_zps64a79d4a.png

Cover Reveal Organized by:
1 Comment

Hello, friends! I hope you’ve had a marvelous 2014. I know I did. It was a big year–Patrick and I moved from LA to NYC, started new jobs, learned to always carry an umbrella even when the sun in shining…and got engaged!


But even more important than all that? I READ A LOT OF GREAT BOOKS. 😉

Here are the top 10 books I read in 2014, followed by a few superlatives and stats (because everyone loves stats). I’d love to hear your top books of 2014 (be they published in 2014 or not). I’d also love to hear what you’re looking forward to reading in the new year!

TOP 10 OF 2014


This book blew me away. Even the Author’s Note to Siobhan Dowd was gorgeously written and extremely heartfelt. Definitely pick this up if you’re a fan of issue-y middle grade and lyrical writing with a touch of fantasy.


I was late to this party, but MAN am I glad I finally came around. I actually listened to the audiobook, which turned out to be a FABULOUS idea because the narrators are brilliant. If you like historical fiction and strong female characters, this book is for you. Be get ready to sob.


I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN was one of the most anticipated books of 2014, and for good reason. Jandy Nelson is rapidly becoming one of my favorite YA authors. For LGBT themes and beautiful writing, definitely out check this book.


I love Corey Ann Haydu. There, I said it. Her books are hilarious and moving, and she’s just a really great person. It also helps that Corey’s story put me through the ringer, and that’s exactly what I’m looking for in a book. I felt anxious, scared, excited–all the emotions the characters feel. The writing is honest, the story unique. I think about these characters all the time, and I read the book months and months ago. Must Read.


THIS BOOK IS SO AWESOME. It was recommended to me about two years ago, and I finally got a chance to read it. I’ve already bought it for two people since, and gushed about it to Daniel O’Malley’s agent (I couldn’t contain myself–it’s freaking great). If you like Fantasy and a touch of british humor, you will be allllll over this book. ROOK > THE MAGICIANS any day.


John Corey Whaley’s debut won the 2012 Michael L. Printz and William C. Morris Awards. It deserved both.


Again, late to this party, and again, listened to the audiobook. Holly Black’s name should be enough to convince you to read this book, but if it’s not: a world where mobsters can curse you by touching your skin. Just buy it, it’s super fun and the characters jump of the page.


This book has changed my life. It was recommended to me during a writing class, and I already want to reread it. You’ll find it particularly useful if you’re a writer or some other kind of artist, but it’s also just an empowering read in general. Lamont is also surprisingly funny. Do yourself a favor and buy this one right now.


Robin Talley’s debut really caught me by surprise. I was already interested in reading about the integration of schools, but I wasn’t sure how the LGBT angle was going to play into things. Turns out the two dovetailed perfectly. It also helped that Talley is a researcher after my own heart (the pages are so detailed you feel like you’re there, for better or worse), and that her characters have voice to spare.


David Levithan is the man. I really enjoyed this book, and I was beyond impressed (on a technical level) by how he managed to write an entire book without relying on the character’s gender. If you’re interested in LGBT themes, realistic romance, and magical realism that makes you jealous you didn’t think of it first, check out this book.


Now, this is kind of cheating because I haven’t finished it yet, but I’m halfway through NO PLACE TO FALL by Jaye Robin Brown, and it is EXCELLENT. Gorgeous writing, a wonderful voice, and a story I can’t put down. I absolutely, positively urge you to check it out.


Most Heartbreaking: tie between LIVING DEAD GIRL (Elizabeth Scott) and CODE NAME VERITY (Elizabeth Wein)

Most Inspiring: BIRD BY BIRD (Anne Lamont)

Funniest: LIFE BY COMMITTEE (Corey Ann Haydu)

Best Audiobook: CODE NAME VERITY (Elizabeth Wein)

Book That Caught Me By Surprise: SAY WHAT YOU WILL (Cammie McGovern)

Book I Wanted to Read, but Never Got To: Althea & Oliver (Cristina Moracho). This is going to be my first full read of 2014!)



Total Books Finished: 73

Did Not Finish: 6

Audiobooks: 13

E-books: 8

YA: 46

MG: 5

Adult: 7

Non-Fiction: 1

Graphic Novels/Comics:  6

In 2015, I’m going to try to even out my reading  list. I want to read more recently published adult fiction, plus a few more middle grade novels (any recommendations?). I also want to read at least 6 non-fiction books (which is a big jump from this year’s paltry 1). I think I’ll start with Stephen King’s ON WRITING, BAD FEMINIST by Roxanne Gay, and LET’S PRETEND THIS NEVER HAPPENED by Jenny Lawson.

What about you? What were your favorite reads in 2014? What are you dying to read in 2015?

Book Reviews, Uncategorized

, ,

Hey guys! You may remember me hosting Charlie N. Holmberg‘s wonderful cover reveal for her YA Fantasy THE PAPER MAGICIAN a few months ago, and then tweeting about it being available via Kindle First a few weeks ago.

Well, good news–the book is now available in paperback!

Paper Magician RD 3 fullsize

I got my awesome copy just a few days ago, and I can’t wait to read it again! In case you don’t remember, here’s the blurb:

Ceony Twill arrives at the cottage of Magician Emery Thane with a broken heart. Having graduated at the top of her class from the Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined, Ceony is assigned an apprenticeship in paper magic despite her dreams of bespelling metal. And once she’s bonded to paper, that will be her only magic…forever.

Yet the spells Ceony learns under the strange yet kind Thane turn out to be more marvelous than she could have ever imagined—animating paper creatures, bringing stories to life via ghostly images, even reading fortunes. But as she discovers these wonders, Ceony also learns of the extraordinary dangers of forbidden magic.

An Excisioner—a practitioner of dark, flesh magic—invades the cottage and rips Thane’s heart from his chest. To save her teacher’s life, Ceony must face the evil magician and embark on an unbelievable adventure that will take her into the chambers of Thane’s still-beating heart—and reveal the very soul of the man.

AHHH so good. SO GOOD, in fact, that Charlie has received over 1,000 reviews on Amazon, and she still has FOUR STARS. Wowzers!!

Now, I really am a big fan of this book, and I cannot WAIT for the second book in the series to come out in a few months. But in the meantime, I thought it would be fun to give away A FREE COPY!!! 


Leave a comment telling me why you want to read Charlie’s wonderful book! That’s right–just tell me why you want to win! On Sunday night (9/21), I’ll pick a random winner, which will be announced via Twitter and email–SO DON’T FORGET TO INCLUDE YOUR CONTACT INFO!

I look forward to reading all your entries! <3



Hey guys! I am SO freaking excited to be a Pitch Wars mentor this year, and I can’t wait to see all your wonderful YA submissions! I participated as an alternate last year, and the contest helped me prep my submission materials and rack up quite a few agent requests. I signed with Jim McCarthy only 2 months later, and I definitely owe at least part of that success to Brenda Drake’s wonderful contest! YAY BRENDA! YAY PITCH WARS!

Pitch Wars mentor badge

To start, here’s a little about me (aka why you should choose ME as your mentor!):
I’m a YA writer (represented by Jim McCarthy of Dystel & Goderich) and a freelance editor. With my help, many of my clients have found agents such as Louise Fury (2 clients!), Lucy Carson, Christa Heschke, Carolyn Forde, and Marlene Stringer, among others. I’m a voracious reader of YA, but I’m also well read in other age categories thanks to my BA and MA in Literature and my unhealthy obsession with buying every book I see. I’ve now interned for three literary agencies, so I know not only how to write/edit YA, but how YA agents think and what they’re looking for. In fact, I’m hoping to be one myself one day 🙂 Hmmm what else…oh yeah! My clients have great luck in contests! Just last month my clients made it to the finals of #QueryKombat AND are now agented! YAY!

But what can *I* do for YOU, you ask?
–As your mentor, I’ll use my writing, editing, and internship experience to help you make your manuscript the very best it can be. But warning! I’m a tough critiquer, and I’ll expect you to give revisions everything you’ve got!
–I’ll provide you with developmental feedback in the form of a reader report, AND a line by line critique once you’ve revised. That’s 2 critiques for the price of one!
–I’ll also help you develop a pitch and query that’ll knock the socks off all the agent judges. We’ll not only get to the heart of your book, we’ll leave them wanting much, MUCH more!
–Finally, we’ll work on your first chapter until it’s absolutely the best it can be. That means striking the perfect balance between voice and conflict, with an eye to your genre and teen audience. We’ll put special focus on the first 250 words, since that’s where most agents stop reading.
–I participated in Pitch Wars last year as an alternate, and I was lucky enough to be chosen by two mentors. I know the importance of making your first chapter really shine, but I also know that most alternates end up relying on their query to find an agent. That’s why I’ll put just as much time into helping my alts with the pitch/query as my mentee. By the end of our mentorship, I want my alternates to be ready to participate in the agent round AND query widely!

I’m going to be mentoring YOUNG ADULT MANUSCRIPTS ONLY. I’m interested in tightly plotted, character-driven stories with heart. I tend to enjoy things on the darker/issue-driven side, so hit me with your creeptastic settings, your emotionally bankrupt villains, and your doomed-from-the-start relationships. Just make sure any and all submissions have a clear hook. I like my books to be on the commercial side!

Didn’t write a dark YA? Don’t fret: I might still LOVE your manuscript.

Here’s what I’m looking for in particular:

–Dark, Literary Contemporary: I love books that make me feel, especially when they do so with beautiful prose. Just make sure they have a clear hook! (Examples: Paper Covers Rock, Sea of Tranquility, I’ll Give You the Sun, We Were Liars etc.)

–Historical/ Retellings. I just finished CODE NAME VERITY and it made me cry for days. I’m probably going to start crying just thinking about it. ::blows nose:: If you have a heart wrenching, gut twisting historical/retelling, send it to me! Just make sure it has a clear hook, ie a commercial element. (Examples: Code Name Verity, Sekret, The Book Thief–I like books about war!)

–Fantasy/Magical Realism. I love immersive worldbuilding and character-driven fantasies. (Examples: The Raven Boys, Scorpio Races, Sabriel, Shadow and Bone, etc. No dragons or elves, please.)

–Thriller/Horror. The book that landed me an agent was a YA Psychological Thriller in the vein of MISERY meets LIVING DEAD GIRL…cheerful, huh?!I I’d *love* to read another dark thriller. BUT! If you’re going to send me a Thriller, make sure it’s got an edge to it. I’m not interested in heists or fugitive-type stories, for instance.  (Examples: Dangerous Girls,  Anna Dressed in Blood, maybe a YA Gone Girl/Sharp Objects?)

…or any combination thereof! I love Historical Fantasies (like The Diviners), and I would DIE for a YA Night Circus. Oh, one last thing! Quiltbag and diverse YA are welcome! So, if you have any of the above categories AND your manuscript features a diverse cast, I WANTS IT, THE PRECIOUS.

HOWEVER, I am NOT the right mentor for:

Didactic or Inspirational Religious/Spiritual (see comments for more information)
Novels told in verse
Young YA that walks the MG/YA line
Hard Science Fiction

Just kidding–that stuff is great! I’m just not equipped to provide feedback on those categories, and you all deserve a mentor who knows your genre like the back of their hand!

Oh, one last thing: I love animals, especially dogs. If you have a dog death in your book, please don’t send it to me. I lost a dog a few years ago, and it still upsets me a lot. So just send those elsewhere, please. Thanks.

A little about you (aka who I’m hoping to work with!):
I’m hoping to find a mentee who is a hard worker dedicated to craft. I want someone who is passionate and excited, and who will put everything they’ve got into revisions, since I’ll be putting my heart into their critique. I love YA and I love good story telling, so hopefully I’ll find someone who is excited about them, too!

If this describes you, then we’ll make an UNSTOPPABLE team.

Okay, I think that covers it! If you have questions or you’re not sure if something is up my alley, feel free to tweet me. I’ll do my best to respond. Just make sure you also include the #PitchWars hashtag! If you have any questions regarding the technical aspects of submissions (we’re using a form this year!), head on over to brenda-drake.com


Now go check out the other Pitch Wars Mentors!

Mister Linky’s Magical Widgets — Easy-Linky widget will appear right here!
This preview will disappear when the widget is displayed on your site.
If this widget does not appear, click here to display it.