The Balance Keepers — The Fires of Calderon COVER REVEAL

Here’s the description:

The first book in an epic middle grade fantasy adventure series that takes place in an underground society at the center of the earth. Packed with action, humor, magic, and mystery.

After following a mysterious map into the woods and then under the woods, eleven-year-old Albert Flynn learns he’s a Balance Keeper—someone with special magical skills for fixing problems in three underground Realms at the Core of the earth. His new job is important; if the realms fall out of balance, the world above could be in great danger.

Albert and his Balance Keeper teammates Birdie and Leroy arrive in the Core not a moment too soon. There’s an Imbalance in the Calderon Realm and it’s threatening to bury Albert’s hometown of New York City in a mountain of ash.

The three must train hard completing mental and physical challenges, but above all, they must harness the power of their Tiles—unique superpowers given to each Balance Keeper. So far, Albert’s mastered the art of not mastering his Tile….

With the situation in Calderon growing worse every day, can Albert, Leroy, and Birdie restore balance before New York is destroyed forever? Will Albert master his Tile before it’s too late?

Perfect for fans of Percy Jackson, The Unwanteds, and the classic Journey to the Center of the Earth.

Sounds pretty fantastic, right? Lindsay posted the cover on her blog this morning, many of you may have already seen it, but as a friend and registered Booknerdigan I was too excited. I had to share it!

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balance keepers

It publishes September 23, 2014 from Katherine Tegen/ Harper Collins and is the first book in a trilogy.

Buy a copy:

International at The Book Depository

Go add it on Goodreads:

The Balance Keepers — The Fires of Calderon by Lindsay Cummings

Can’t wait to read my copy!

The Murder Complex Cover Reveal

Today marked the cover reveal for my beautiful and gifted friend Lindsay Cummings’s stunning 2014 debut The Murder Complex from Greenwillow Books. If you haven’t already seen it, behold…

Murder complex front jacketSo much to love about this cover. The color, the font, the image, and above all how perfectly it teases the content. I was lucky enough to read a draft of this book before it went into line edits, and even then it bled originality and depth. Lindsay is a truly unique talent, but she is also one of my favorite people in the world.

If you haven’t already added The Murder Complex to your Goodreads, follow this link to do so. It is up for pre-order on a handful of easy access sites as well. By following the link to Lindsay’s blog below, you can find all the handy pre-order info.

If you are interested in a signed ARC (and you really should be, because how much fun?) check out the contest going on over at Lindsay’s personal blog. I for one have already entered!

Lindsay Writes: Cover Reveal and Contest!

I am happy for Lindsay, but just as happy for all of us. Soon we’ll get to hold this fabulous book in our hands, which is all Lindsay has wanted for us since writing it over two years ago.

What’s Up Wednesday

WUWRocketWhat’s Up Wednesday is a weekly meme geared toward readers and writers, allowing us to touch base with blog friends and let them know what’s up. Should you wish to join us, you will find the link widget at the bottom of Jaime’s blog.

What I’m Reading

My Maggie Stiefvater induced book hangover lasted longer than I would have liked. To be honest, thoughts about The Dream Thieves still distract me from my normal routine. However, if anything could tempt me to move on from my revelry, it would be the hotly anticipated and massively popular (for good reason) Allegiant.

Reading Allegiant

Reading Allegiant

I don’t think I have to tell you guys who wrote it, or what I’m most looking forward to about reading it (Four/Tobias POV chapters), or why I am nervous about accidental spoiler reveals and not wanting it to be ruined for myself. I am not too far into the text, but it is already oddly bittersweet to know this book ends a trilogy that, in some very specific ways, was what made me certain I should be writing YA. I am nervous. Someone hold me.

What I’m Writing

When I finally reclaimed my week from Ravens, I was able to write, and I actually wrote quite steadily and with urgency, racking up a little over 3105 words. I am now anbit antsy to get to the coming scenes, which I have been looking forward to writing since I started. The tricky thing is deciding how exactly to layer the scenes in order to get the best possible result from what I have planned. As my CPs know, I enjoy inflicting pain, bewilderment, and swoons on my reader; the best scenes include all three.

(Insert Maniacal Laugh)

I have also been thinking about the sequel to my novel (hopefully someone else will see it’s a novel and be willing to rep it) Redhunt. That has brought up some emotional conflicts within myself that I am mulling. I have to take it slowly. I have to stop arguing with my MC, which goes something like this:

Me: You’re being withholding.

Her: You would be too.

Me: Not to my own brain.

Her: Agree to disagree.

Me: Don’t be cheeky, it’s not a good color on you.

Her: It’s better than the other option, which involves a screwdriver to your eye.

Me: That’s it, you are no longer allowed to speak. I’ll do the talking for you.

(I start typing. She fidgets, gets a snack, and begins chewing loudly in my ear.)

Me: This is hopeless.

Her: Finally, you see things my way. Lets burn the mother down.

(I begin to wonder if that thought came from me or her.)

What Inspires Me

Mumford & Sons created the soundtrack to Redhunt, they just aren’t aware. As I mull things and bicker with my MC, this song plays over and over in my head.

Take from that what you will.

Pics from my brother’s wedding because they remind me of Hawaii, and thanks to Hawaii I was inspired to write a new story. And finding this picture of me and my husband dancing was a happy surprise. Sometimes, when reading and writing other peoples love stories you can forget that you are telling a pretty fabulous one with your own life.

dancing

Talking to friends on Twitter. Jaime, host of this blog hop, and I had a particularly awesome chat about The Dream Thieves which confirmed our utter genius (or Maggie Stiefvater’s), and it helped me cope with my own lingering fears and concerns about that series. My CPs, who are all brilliant and funny, make me a better writer, and chatting with them gives me a happy Monday night. That God for Twitter, guys.

What Else I’m Up To

This weekend I had the immense honor and pleasure of being a bridesmaid in my author and close friend, Lindsay Cummings wedding. She is a joy. The wedding location was a rustic fairytale, nestled in the woods close to the barn where she boards her horse.

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Here’s to another fabulous, busy, busy bee of a week!

Five Awesome Things About This Week

via Aaron McFarlane

via Aaron McFarlane

1. We moved into our new house. We have only a handful of boxes left to unpack. Of course, when you are coming from a two bedroom apartment in Brooklyn, NY, that is not really something to brag about. But still…Yay for this!

2. My son can spell his name. What is even more awesome about this than just the sheer brilliance of him understanding the concept of letters making words, is how epically proud of himself he gets. Not one for humility, he boldly shares this fact with every random stranger he encounters. He’s so stinkin’ cute that said strangers (who are eyed closely by me) smilingly entertain him.

3. I have read three books this week and currently am working on a fourth. Take that Goodreads! Not awesome, however, is that for every one book I finish three appear on my TBR list. I guess it’s saying something awesome about the YA landscape, but it’s a little overwhelming to me.

4. I had dinner with YA author and super cool chick Lindsay Cummings. As Texans, and blondes, and self-professed book nerds, we had A LOT to talk about. I highly recommend you follow her on Twitter @lindsaycwrites and check out her blog by clicking this link. Her book, The Murder Complex is due next year, and she just signed a deal with Katherine Tegen Books for an MG Fantasy called The Balance Keepers. So, yeah, she kicks major writing ass.

5. I have finished a rewrite on three chapters in my novel that I think are, well, awesome. I am now able to dedicate three workdays to writing, which, in itself, is quite possibly one of the most awesome parts of moving back to Texas.
kirk-inspirational-awesome2
Hope you all had as awesome a week as I did, and if you did and want to share (*clears throat* brag) feel free to do so in the comments section. Cheers!