Starglass is a Kindle Daily Deal! Buy it or make baby Molly cry

Good afternoon, everyone! First order of business: Starglass is a kindle daily deal today! Grab yourself an e-book copy for $1.99–and don’t forget to pre-order the sequel, Starbreak, which will be out this July.

CLICK HERE TO BUY STARGLASS FOR $1.99/CLICK HERE TO PRE-ORDER STARBREAK FOR YOUR KINDLE

Second order of business, I was on a really awesome panel yesterday at RJ Julia Bookseller in Madison, Connecticut, talking survivors in YA with Jennifer Castle (The Beginning of After), Jody Casella (Thin Space), and Kim Purcell (Trafficked). It was a wonderful way to ease back into the book world after several months spent in babyland–though in true new-mom fashion, I managed to get a picture of Molly at the event, and not myself. Still, she did great and I hope it’s the first of many book events for her (maybe as an author herself someday? NO PRESSURE KID!). Check out her superduper event-appropriate onesie!

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I’ll have more news to come about events for Starbreak season in the coming weeks. Watch this space!

Stardawn cover reveal!

Happy spring, everyone!

Today, I come to you with an exciting reveal: the cover to Stardawn, the prequel e-novella set in the Starglass universe which will release on June 3rd! Stardawn tells the story of Alyana, Terra’s mother, her love for librarian Benny Jacobi, and their role in the ship’s nascent rebellion. I hope that readers of Starglass will enjoy seeing some familiar faces–described through a new point of view, one that’s very different from Terra’s! Plus it’s epistolary. Yay for playing with form!

Without further adieu:

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Preorder from: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Google Books

You guys, I am so luckyStardawn joins a trio of gorgeous covers for my books in both hardback and paperback. Check it:

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(Edited to add: Oh, and just a reminder: Starglass is free to read on PulseIt! through tomorrow, March 21st! Free, you guys!)

In celebration of so much prettiness, I’m giving away a pre-order of Starbreak today to one lucky (US-only, sorry!) reader. Be one of the first this July to read the conclusion of the story that begins with Alyana, Benny, the Asherah, and the Children of Abel. Fill out the rafflecopter below, tweet about the reveal on twitter, tell me about your favorite novella or short story in the comments, and/or like my page on facebook to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And remember: Liberty on Earth! Liberty on Zehava!

Coming out of hibernation

Winter can’t decide if it’s coming or going these days in the Hudson Valley. But I’m stubbornly, determinedly venturing forth. After a season spent nesting, gestating, birthing, and snuggling, me and little baby Molly are peeking our heads out and beginning to go on adventures. Of course, when you’re seven weeks old, everything is an adventure: going to the grocery store, walking around the block, taking a drive to New Jersey to visit Grammy. But soon, we’ll be going on book adventures, too. It’s almost time to start promoting Starbreak, my July sequel to Starglass, as well as the paperback release of the first book. If you haven’t yet read the blurb or seen the cover, here they are:

sekritsekritprettyprettyThe Asherah has finally reached Zehava, the long-promised planet. There, Terra finds harsh conditions and a familiar foe—Aleksandra Wolff, leader of her ship’s rebel forces. Terra and Aleksandra first lock horns with each other . . . but soon realize they face a much more dangerous enemy in violent alien beasts—and alien hunters.

Then Terra finally discovers Vadix. The boy who has haunted her dreams may be their key to survival—but his own dark past has yet to be revealed. And when Aleksandra gets humanity expelled from the planet, it’s up to Terra, with Vadix by her side, to unite her people—and to forge an alliance with the alien hosts, who want nothing more than to see humanity gone forever.

As a warm-up to the release of Starbreak, I’ll be doing a book event next month in Connecticut. On April 10th at 6:00 p.m., I’ll be appearing with Jody Casella, Jennifer Castle, and Kim Purcell at RJ Julia Booksellers in Madison, CT. We’ll be talking survivors in YA fiction–and if you’ve read Starglass, you know that Terra is very much a survivor! Come say hello. I’d love to see you!

In other Starglassy news, Starglass is free to read online through March 21st through PulseIt! It’s also part of the A Book for Every Faction sweepstakes in celebration of the film release of my dear friend Veronica Roth’s Divergent. I’m so tickled to be a part of this great giveaway–go forth! Enter! Be Merry! And if you’ve read Starglass, you might be so kind as to post a review on Amazon or Goodreads. I have a fun giveaway to come in the next few months for those who have shared their thoughts (positive or negative) with other readers!

Finally, in this-is-not-my-beautiful-house-this-is-not-my-beautiful-wife news, spotify user Jeremy Jink has whipped up a Starglass playlist, and it’s completely amazing.

As is life, lately! Hope yours is great, too.

Baby! Or: the crossing of the return threshold

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On Sunday, I had a baby. Internet, meet my daughter, Miss Molly B.

When I was pregnant, my editor told me that having children was like an awesome fantasy novel–a long, exhausting, frequently dirty, but ultimately amazing journey. I feel like childbirth is sort of like returning from a fantasy kingdom. You’ve been transformed by your journey through the wardrobe; for you, a whole lifetime has passed. But in England, life goes on as it always has, untouched by the magic that’s working its way inside of you.

I had my daughter at home, assisted by my husband, my best friend, and my tremendous care providers. It is difficult to talk about the experience. It was long, exhausting, definitely dirty, but also absolutely magical.

The truth is, I’d long feared parenthood, pregnancy, and especially childbirth. If you’ve read Starglass, this might not surprise you–some of Terra’s fears about natural reproduction were my own fears. That the process represents the ultimate lack of control. That it might break her body. That it would mean she could never see her dreams to fruition. I learned these things from the society around me, from the screaming women giving birth in sitcom elevators and the comments people made about their own reproductive choices: “I can’t have children. I’m too selfish for that. I want a career.” I found myself saying those things, too. Until I read the following on Ursula Le Guin’s website, and found myself reconsidering these positions:

I love living almost as well as I love writing.

It was tough trying to keep writing while bringing up three kids, but my husband was totally in it with me, and so it worked out fine. Le Guins’ Rule: One person cannot do two fulltime jobs, but two persons can do three fulltime jobs — if they honestly share the work.

The idea that you need an ivory tower to write in, that if you have babies you can’t have books, that artists are somehow exempt from the dirty work of life — rubbish.

(Which isn’t to say that the choice that was right for me is right for you; certainly, what’s dystopian about the reproductive landscape of the Asherah isn’t only that its people are disconnected from the natural order but that all people have their reproductive choices made for them–out of obligation, not out of their true desires. Pregnancy and childbirth and most of all parenthood are not something that should ever be forced on anyone.)

When I realized I did, in fact, want both babies and books, the fear initially remained. The truth is, I’ve never been a very strong person physically. I was geeky and awkward as a kid–picked last in gym class, as the cliche goes. I run strange. I am self-conscious and never liked challenging myself physically, because I was sure I would fail. I was a wimp. A crybaby. How would I ever have a child? How could I ever conquer one of the hardest physical challenges known to womankind?

It turns out that you just do. You draw on an inner strength that you never knew you had. You meet the pain head on, and then you barrel through it. This process was far, far harder than anything else I’ve done–including writing books–but that apex, that moment of separation and individuation and birth and baby–was also far more rewarding.

I feel empowered, honestly. I feel in awe of womankind, of all women and the choices they make. Hard choices. Hard-won victories. One thing I’ve wondered, over and over again, in the days since is “How has society ever believed women to be anything but strong?” and “How did I ever believe myself to be weak?”

I fear this post is getting away from me. So much does these days, as I’m sitting in bed mending with my tiny bean of a daughter beside me. There’s so much I have to teach her–so many new, clean mornings we’ve yet to face. But I know that together, we can be strong. There will be moments of doubt, sure, but I know that locked inside every woman is a Narnia, if she only knows where and how to look.

Progress, Pregnancy, and Turning Thirty

First, I hope everyone had a very happy holiday season, and that this happiness stretches on and on into the New Year!

Second, I turn thirty today. This seems like a good time to pause and reflect.

Some people are shaken by the prospect of growing older. I’m not–the truth is, I’m excited. Maturation has been a fascinating process; with each passing year, I know myself better and more intimately. I am more settled, saner, sounder. This was true when I went from twelve to thirteen and from seventeen to eighteen and from twenty-two to twenty-three. I imagine it will remain true as the calendar closes on twenty-nine, too. I expect my thirties will be a time of growth and change, just as my twenties were, and I’m excited to experience them!

Of course, thirty comes at an interesting juncture: I’m pregnant, and in the next few weeks will become a mother. Pregnancy has been like puberty in some ways, a true coming-of-age, of realizing one’s limitations and one’s values. It has been difficult, for me, to undergo these rapid physical changes, to feel physically weak and emotionally vulnerable and somewhat dependent. Just as my teen years saw me wakening to my feminism, pregnancy has reasserted those values. I can see, more clearly now, the importance of choice, the hardships our grandmothers went through, the intensity of the reality of femalehood. My lived experience as a woman is much better informed now than it once was. My perspective is more diverse. I love being a woman, more than ever, and I appreciate it, too.

And I can’t wait to share all this wisdom with my daughter!

Interesting, too, this critical point in my career: between my first and second books. I’ve been hard on myself in the past, but today is a good time to acknowledge accomplishment. At twenty-five, I told myself I’d like to be a full-time writer in a decade. I’m not there yet, quite, but in five years I’ve come closer than I ever could have dreamed. I’ve labored and sweated and now people–real people, people I don’t even know!–have read my book. It is an incredibly rewarding, humbling feeling, the sensation that a writer lives for, I think. I was tireless and relentless and I feel so good about all I’ve done.

I’m proud of myself. How often do we let ourselves feel pride? If you’re me, the answer is “not often,” but it’s my birthday and this can be my gift to myself

flyingstartsTwo weeks ago, I was interviewed for Publisher’s Weekly Flying Starts series. After the phone call, exhilarated, I plopped down in my chair and reflected how, two years ago, this book was still mostly an abstract idea in my head. I hadn’t yet wrapped my mind around pages, fly leafs, and, most of all, readers. But now it’s all come to fruition, and it’s so much cooler than I ever imagined.

Today I’ll go out with my husband and my mother and my best friends for tea. There will be a baby in my belly and a song in my heart. The world is shining and bright and full of promises, and I am thankful, so very thankful, for each and every passing day. For you, and you, and most of all you, whoever you are, thank you for being here. I can’t wait for the next decade, for the next year, for another day. Sharing my life and my words with you have made me so happy. Here’s to a 2014 full of promise, and full of hope.

Ideas for Giftmas

Hey all! Hope you’re doing well this wintry December. We’re good here–buried under about a foot of snow, granted, but since we have no need to dig out our car anytime soon, I really can’t complain! I finished all my holiday shopping early this year, but if you haven’t, here are five suggestions of the literary sort you might want to add to your shopping list!

Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn

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This is the first book I’ve beta read that’s made it to publication–and is now a Morris Award nominee. I’m so proud of Stephanie and C&S! It’s the fascinating, dark story of Win, a boy with a secret, and it’s told through gorgeous, spare prose.

Buy it for: the moody teen in your life.

All Our Pretty Songs by Sarah McCarry

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All Our Pretty Songs is Francescia Lia Block with a bite. This nostalgic, mythology-tinged story of two sisters-in-spirit perfectly captures the wild feel of the 90s. It’s also lyrical and lovely. I can’t wait for the second book.

Buy it for: your favorite recovering riot grrrl.

You Look Different in Real Life by Jennifer Castle

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Written by my good friend Jennifer Castle (and set in a fictionalized version of New Paltz, NY, my main drag!), You Look Different in Real Life tells the story of Justine, who has been thrust into the spotlight since an early age. The prose is strong; the voice neatly balances humor and emotion. If you love the Up! documentaries, you’ll really love this.

Buy it for: your friend who recently dyed her hair and started vlogging.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

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This was probably my favorite book of 2013. Want to remember what it was like to be a lovesick teenager, in every painful detail and peculiarity? Then you need this book.

Buy it for: that boy who makes you contemplate cannibalism. Be sure to add your favorite Beatles lyrics to the flyleaf, so he knows why.

Starglass by . . . me!

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Aw, shucks. Only if you haven’t gotten around to it, so far. Starglass is set in the winter and full of scarves and wool coats and blustery, wintry angst. It’s seasonally appropriate!

Buy it for: temperamental artist girls with unkempt hair.

As for me, what am I asking for this Giftmas? Dolls, mostly. Terra could use some company.

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