If you have preordered Blood Rose Rebellion and are interested in a preorder gift (thank you, btw!), please send proof of the preorder to email@example.com by 3/28/17 to receive a print of a map I drew, along with a signed book plate and bookmark.
Just in time for New York City Comic Con, my publisher has released an an animated cover for my book!
You can see instructions on how to download the app version on Random House Kids’ Instagram.
Or just enjoy this:
The Class of 2k17 launched today and I’m thrilled to be part of it (last year’s class includes recent NYT best-sellers Evelyn Skye and Roshani Chokshi, as well as some of my most anticipated 2016 releases: Erin Summerill’s Ever the Hunted, Traci Chee’s The Reader, Jessica Cluess’s A Shadow Bright and Burning, and Tara Sim’s Timekeeper).
To celebrate the launch, we’re giving away four copies of Class of 2k16 books and a fun tote bag: full details on the website, where you can enter the giveaway!
This year’s theme is “Book Your Adventure,” and we think most readers can find something to suit their taste.
Books are, after all, my very favorite kind of adventure.
Today is the release day for the debut novel of one of my writing friends! We’ve been through the trenches together–querying and submissions–and it’s so thrilling to see her dream come true! Read on to find out more about her story–I’m currently reading it and it is vivid, tense, compelling (especially for fans of sci-fi and near future stories).
Perfect for fans of Robopocalypse, this action-packed science-fiction debut introduces a chilling future and an unforgettable heroine with a powerful role to play in the battle for humanity’s survival.
The machines have risen, but not out of malice. They were simply following a command: to stop the endless wars that have plagued the world throughout history. Their solution was perfectly logical. To end the fighting, they decided to end the human race.
A potent symbol of the resistance, Rhona Long has served on the front lines of the conflict since the first Machinations began—until she is killed during a rescue mission gone wrong. Now Rhona awakens to find herself transported to a new body, complete with her DNA, her personality, even her memories. She is a clone . . . of herself.
Trapped in the shadow of the life she once knew, the reincarnated Rhona must find her place among old friends and newfound enemies—and quickly. For the machines are inching closer to exterminating humans for good. And only Rhona, whoever she is now, can save them.
Praise for Machinations:
“A tension-filled story of loss, loyalty, and forgiveness, with abundant Terminator-style shoot-em-up scenes and a snarky, kickass female warrior. I inhaled it!”
– Jennifer Foehner Wells, bestselling author of Fluency
“This violent, bloody, romantic tale is full of awesome mechanical foes and authentic characters you love or hate, like real people . . . The nuances of the title promise more than meets the eye, and the prose delivers.”
“An SF techno-thriller with heart and soul.”
– Alex Bledsoe, author of The Hum and the Shiver
“Machinations is an action-packed SF thriller loaded with fantastic characters and gut-wrenching emotional twists. [. . .] The prose is stunning, the action is non-stop.”
– Linnea Sinclair, RITA Award-winning author of Gabriel’s Ghost
“Machinations is a thrilling fusion of action and heartbreak, with quick pacing, rich characters, and a one-of-a-kind story. A great debut.”
– G.T. Almasi, author of Blades of Winter
Order your copy of Machinations today!
And don’t forget to add it to your Goodreads!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Hayley Stone has lived her entire life in sunny California, where the weather is usually perfect and nothing as exciting as a robot apocalypse ever happens. When not reading or writing, she freelances as a graphic designer, falls in love with videogame characters, and analyzes buildings for velociraptor entry points. She holds a bachelor’s degree in history and a minor in German from California State University, Sacramento.
Machinations is her debut novel from Hydra/Random House. Its sequel, Counterpart, releases October 11th, 2016.
This year, the lovely Erin Summerill and I (Rosalyn Eves) are co-mentoring for Pitch Wars. This is my second year as a mentor and Erin’s first, but we are so thrilled to be working together!
I’ll get to why we’re awesome in a minute. First, what we’re looking for:
Both of us are big fans of speculative fiction, particularly fantasy. We love it in all its iterations: historical, contemporary, other world. We’re looking for immersive world-building, vivid characters, and a good romance is always a plus. We’re even open to a futuristic fantasy that doesn’t reek of dystopia (like Susan Ee’s ANGELFALL or Vic James’ upcoming THE GILDED CAGE). Some fantasy authors we enjoy: Sarah Maas, Leigh Bardugo, Laini Taylor, Kiersten White, Marie Rutkowski, Megan Whalen Turner, Maggie Stiefvater.
We’re also looking for clever fairy tale retellings or reimaginings (like Roshani Chokshi’s STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN, or Marissa Meyer’s CINDER series).
In terms of sci-fi, we like light sci-fi (more driven by characters than by technology), particularly where there is a good romance or a satirical touch. For example: Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman’s ILLUMINAE, Megan Spooner and Amie Kaufman’s THESE SHATTERED STARS, Lois Bujold’s Miles Vorkosigan series, etc.
We’re also suckers for a well-drawn historical novel (think Stacey Lee’s YA novels). If your novel makes us think of POLDARK or NORTH AND SOUTH (the BBC version), there’s a good chance we will like it.
We’ll also accept lighter contemporary novels with a healthy side of romance (Stephanie Perkins, Kasie West, Darcy Wood). We’ll consider more serious contemporary novels as well, provided that the voice is striking.
Regardless of genre, voice is KEY. We’re looking for characters we can root for and want to spend time with. Plot holes, we can work with. Manuscripts that don’t have a voice we connect with are a much harder sell.
More than anything else, we’re also looking for a mentee who is willing to work hard–who isn’t afraid of multiple revisions or revising extensive chunks of the manuscript. (When I was a mentee in 2014, I wound up cutting 27k words and adding 24k during Pitch Wars. More extensive revisions aren’t unheard of. This isn’t for the faint of heart.)
What we aren’t looking for:
No horror: we’re both wimps. We can handle some horrific scenes, but we won’t be taking straight-up horror novels.
We’re also not looking for novels that are especially dark, either in the issues they handle or the level of violence. Similarly, we’re not interested in graphic sex scenes. (Some sex and violence is fine, as long as it contributes to the plot).
In addition, we won’t take on a novel over 100K. With only two months to work on your manuscript (and both of us have deadlines and day jobs), we won’t have time to work through a longer work.
Finally, if you know either of us in real life, we strongly encourage you to submit to other mentors. There are lots of great mentors, and we’d rather not be put in the unenviable position of (possibly) rejecting a friend. It’s also harder for us to be objective about your work. (NB: this does not include people we’re friends with on social media!)
Why You Want to Work with Us
Erin has a terrific eye for what works and what doesn’t work in a book. She’s interned with a respected literary agent, and so she has a good sense for what sells and what will catch an agent’s attention. She’s also kind and terrifically funny and basically someone you want as a friend anyway.
Rosalyn is a professor in her day job: she spends a lot of time teaching students to write, which means she has lots of experience giving feedback. Last year, she mentored two manuscripts, both of which had multiple requests (here and here), and both of whom are now agented (though only one with the Pitch Wars manuscript).
We share the same agent, Josh Adams, and our debut novels (both fantasy!) are coming out shortly after Pitch Wars. Erin’s EVER THE HUNTED (HMH) comes out December 2016, and Rosalyn’s BLOOD ROSE REBELLION (Knopf/RH) comes out March 2017.
I’m giving away an ARC of BLOOD ROSE REBELLION over at Mundie Moms, as part of my cover reveal for my debut!
Guys, I am so excited for this book–this is a dream that has taken years, and the cover reveal makes it that much more real.
I love what Knopf has done with the cover. I love how eye-catching the colors are. I love the symbolism in the roses breaking from stone, and how the roses suggest both the femininity and strength of my main character, Anna. I hope you love it as much as I do!
My lovely editor (Michelle Frey) and her lovely assistant Marisa DiNovis sent me a copy of the ARC for BLOOD ROSE REBELLION.
In a convoluted turn of events, I’m stuck 3 hours away from home waiting on a car part (don’t worry–it’s not too terrible and I’m at my parents’ house). But my husband sent me pictures and I am so excited for this!
I can’t, of course, show you the cover yet (official reveal next week! Stay tuned . . .), but I can show some sneak peeks at the ARCs.
Sometimes in publishing I think it’s easy to look at how far you are from others, how far you might be from your own goals, and forget to appreciate how far it is that you’ve come. I know I’m often guilty of that.
So I’m grateful for a little caesura of quiet at the end of 2015 to look back at the year.
I didn’t read as much as I had hoped–but I read some exceptional books: Laura Ruby’s Bone Gap, Naomi Novik’s Uprooted, Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See, and some wonderful upcoming 2016 debuts: Julie Eshbaugh’s Ivory and Bone, Kathryn Purdie’s Burning Glass, Alwyn Hamilton’s Rebel Sands, Heidi Heilig’s The Girl From Everywhere, and so many more.
I hit some writing milestones too: after signing with an agent in December of 2014, I sold my first book to Knopf in February. So there were a lot of firsts this year: first book deal, first contract, first (and second) debut group (as I was bumped from 2016 to 2017), first edit letter, second edit letter, etc.
Outside of these milestones, I’ve revised one novel twice, and drafted two others (thanks NaNoWriMo). But more than that, I’ve met so many wonderful people in the writing community–beyond all my expectations. One huge benefit of getting bumped is getting to know debut authors from two groups, and I’m ending 2015 feeling blessed by these opportunities.
It hasn’t all been perfect. There have been times during revisions when I’ve been convinced I wasn’t a good enough writer to do the work needed of me. Somehow, it still got done. There have been times when the wait to publication has seemed almost unendurable. (Though I’m coming more to see the extra time as a gift). There have even been times (more than I’d like to admit) when I’ve felt envious or discouraged of authors who have accomplished more than I have by my age, whose books are coming out before mine, who are getting more buzz, etc.
But the truth is, those aren’t the things I want to focus on. That isn’t the person or the writer I want to be. I write because the stories mean something to me–and I hope someday they’ll mean something to someone else too.
Neil Gaiman has some wonderful end of year wishes for writers. You should read them. I’m no Neil Gaiman (though the very best compliment I’ve ever received from an agent considering my MS was that it was Neil Gaimanesque), but here is my wish for anyone reading this.
I wish that in 2016 you will be gentle with yourself. That you will surround yourself with people and places and words that make you happy, that make you feel valued. I wish you will write the words that matter to you, and not just the ones you think you ought to write.
I wish you will read books not just because they’re “improving,” but because they make something in you sing.
I wish you will find friends in the writing community who tell you sincerely that you are brilliant–but who also tell you how to make your work shine.
I wish you the courage to write things that are hard, to tackle books that are too big for you, to write things that scare you.
Mostly, though, I wish you happiness. Because I don’t believe good art comes from suffering–rather, I think art needs to have a secure harbor from which to launch.
(I wish these things for me too.)
What wishes/hopes do you have for the new year?
A lot has already been written about the importance of strong women in fiction, particularly in young adult fiction. I don’t mean to add to that–I think it’s a given that as we read we want to see characters like ourselves, who are a mix of strength and weakness, failures and successes. And of course, we generally like to see the characters triumph over their flaws, unless we’re reading a tragedy.
But I think that sometimes we understand strength too narrowly. I love a good kick-ass heroine as much as the next reader–it’s fun to imagine a life so unlike my own. But the truth is, I’m not particularly strong physically, and I was even less so (sadly) as a teenager. What I wanted then–and what I want to see now–are women who are strong in ways that are unique to them. Women who can be strong without having to be strong in the ways that men are strong (most often, in physical terms).
When I set out to write THE BLOOD ROSE REBELLION, it was important to me that my main character, Anna, be strong in ways that made sense for a nineteenth-century woman to be strong. She hasn’t been trained in physical combat. While she’s physically active and loves horseback riding and dancing, she’s not going to be able to take a soldier in a fight. What I wanted for Anna was to find other ways to be strong. I wanted her to use her wit, her sense of moral justice, her courage (even, sometimes, her impulsiveness) and her own unique gifts for breaking spells to succeed in the world she finds herself in.
I see so many remarkable people–young women especially–who don’t see their gifts for what they are, because they don’t look like the kinds of strengths society commonly values. But there are so many ways of being strong, nearly as many as there are individuals. I recently read Julie Murphy’s Dumplin’, and I loved that resident “fat” girl Willowdean found strength in her humor and her affection for other people and her championship of underdogs.
What kinds of strengths do you value in the characters you read about or write? What unconventionally “strong” women characters have resonated with you recently?
One of the best parts of being a debut author is getting to meet lots of other new authors. I’m much more attuned to the new books coming out than I have been in the past, and I have to say that the next year or so promises to be a banner year for books in general, and particularly for YA historical fantasy.
Here are some books that I’m particularly excited for:
England, 1882. Evelyn is bored with society and its expectations. So when her beloved sister, Rose, mysteriously vanishes, she ignores her parents and travels to London to find her, accompanied by the dashing Mr. Kent. But they’re not the only ones looking for Rose. The reclusive, young gentleman Sebastian Braddock is also searching for her, claiming that both sisters have special healing powers. Evelyn is convinced that Sebastian must be mad, until she discovers that his strange tales of extraordinary people are true—and that her sister is in graver danger than she feared.
This book is a delightful, madcap romp of a story.
(From Goodreads) Heidi Heilig’s debut teen fantasy sweeps from modern-day New York City to nineteenth-century Hawaii to places of myth and legend. Sixteen-year-old Nix has sailed across the globe and through centuries aboard her time-traveling father’s ship. But when he gambles with her very existence, it all may be about to end. The Girl from Everywhere, the first of two books, will dazzle readers of Sabaa Tahir, Rae Carson, and Rachel Hartman.
Nix’s life began in Honolulu in 1868. Since then she has traveled to mythic Scandinavia, a land from the tales of One Thousand and One Nights, modern-day New York City, and many more places both real and imagined. As long as he has a map, Nix’s father can sail his ship, The Temptation, to any place, any time. But now he’s uncovered the one map he’s always sought—1868 Honolulu, before Nix’s mother died in childbirth. Nix’s life—her entire existence—is at stake. No one knows what will happen if her father changes the past. It could erase Nix’s future, her dreams, her adventures . . . her connection with the charming Persian thief, Kash, who’s been part of their crew for two years. If Nix helps her father reunite with the love of his life, it will cost her her own.
In The Girl from Everywhere, Heidi Heilig blends fantasy, history, and a modern sensibility with witty, fast-paced dialogue, breathless adventure, and enchanting romance.
Katie’s book has all the elements I love in a story: romance, fantasy, high society intrigue, set in a Russian-esque world.
Sonya was born with the rare gift to feel what those around her feel—both physically and emotionally—a gift she’s kept hidden from the empire for seventeen long years. After a reckless mistake wipes out all the other girls with similar abilities, Sonya is hauled off to the palace and forced to serve the emperor as his sovereign Auraseer.
Tasked with sensing the intentions of would-be assassins, Sonya is under constant pressure to protect the emperor. One mistake, one small failure, will cost her own life and the lives of the few people left in the world who still trust her.
But Sonya’s power is untamed and reckless, her feelings easily usurped, and she sometimes can’t decipher when other people’s impulses end and her own begin. In a palace full of warring emotions and looming darkness, Sonya fears that the biggest danger to the empire may be herself.
As she struggles to wrangle her abilities, Sonya seeks refuge in her tenuous alliances with the volatile Emperor Valko and his idealistic younger brother, Anton, the crown prince. But when threats of revolution pit the two brothers against each other, Sonya must choose which brother to trust—and which to betray.
BURNING GLASS is debut author Kathryn Purdie’s stunning tale of dangerous magic, heart-rending romance, and the hard-won courage it takes to let go.
(From Goodreads): “Her future is a thousand years in the past.”
Being “the home-schooled girl” in a small town, Hope Walton’s crippling phobias and photographic memory don’t endear her to her dad’s perfectly blond, very Southern family. When her mother is killed in a natural disaster thousands of miles from home, Hope’s secluded world implodes. After being shipped off to an aunt she’s never met, Hope learns there’s more to her mother’s “death” than she ever dreamed. At her aunt’s manor, high in the Scottish Highlands, Hope begins to unravel the shocking truth about her family. Her mom isn’t just a brilliant academic. She’s a member of a secret society of time travelers, and is currently trapped in the twelfth century in the age of King Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine. To stage a rescue, the sheltered teen must join the Indiana Jones-wannabe team of time-jumpers, before her mother is lost for good. In a brutal, medieval world, Hope will discover more family secrets, and a mysterious boy who could be vital to setting her mother free…or the very key to Hope’s undoing.
Addictive and rich with historical detail, INTO THE DIM (Coming Spring 2016 from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) is an unlikely heroine’s story of adventure, sacrifice, and first love, in a high stakes race against time itself.
Roshani’s upcoming fantasy draws on both Indian and Greek mythology, a premise that already shoots it to the top of my to-read lists. [ETA: read it, it was fabulous!]
Cursed with a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction, 16-year-old Maya has only earned the contempt of her father’s kingdom. But when the ceremony for her arranged marriage takes a fatal turn, she becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Yet neither roles are what she expected. As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds friendship and warmth.
But Akaran has its own secrets — thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, mirrors that don’t reflect the viewer and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Beneath Akaran’s lush magic, she begins to suspect a sinister shadow that may be the key to understanding the horoscope that has shadowed her whole life. But to dig into Akaran’s secrets means betraying Amar’s trust. How far will she go to know herself? And what will happen when she finds out?
THE STAR TOUCHED QUEEN reinterprets the Greek myths of Hades and Persephone and Cupid and Psyche with the rich mythology and folklore of India.
Set in an alternate 1825 Tsarist Russia–this has such gorgeous, vivid magic, heart-breaking friendships, and lovely prose. (And while you’re at it, check out her cool website).
Sixteen-year-old Vika Andreyev can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Eighteen-year-old Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters, and with the Ottoman Empire and other enemies threatening Russia, the Tsar wants an enchanter by his side.
Two enchanters in the same generation, however, are a rarity. And a problem. There is only so much magic in Russia, and it cannot be diluted. So the Crown’s Game was invented, a duel of magical skill. The victor becomes the Royal Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected advisor. The defeated is sentenced to death.
The Crown’s Game is not one to lose.
Of course, they both want to win. Until now, Vika’s magic has been confined to her tiny island home, and she’s eager to showcase her skill in the capital city of St. Petersburg. It also doesn’t hurt that the competition allows her to express her mischievous streak. Nikolai, on the other hand, is a study in seriousness. As an orphan with not a drop of noble blood in his veins, becoming the Royal Enchanter is an opportunity he could, until now, only dream of. But when Vika and Nikolai begin to fall for each other, the stakes change.
And then, the stakes change again, as secrets from both their pasts threaten to upset the balance of the Tsar’s—and the Russian Empire’s—power.
The Game is so much more complicated than it looks.
The only life seventeen-year-old Kol knows is hunting at the foot of the Great Ice with his brothers. But food is becoming scarce, and without another clan to align with, Kol, his family, and their entire group are facing an uncertain future.
Traveling from the south, Mya and her family arrive at Kol’s camp with a trail of hurt and loss behind them, and hope for a new beginning. When Kol meets Mya, her strength, independence, and beauty instantly captivate him, igniting a desire for much more than survival.
Then on a hunt, Kol makes a grave mistake that jeopardizes the relationship that he and Mya have only just started to build. Mya was guarded to begin with—and for good reason—but no apology or gesture is enough for her to forgive him. Soon after, another clan arrives on their shores. And when Mya spots Lo, a daughter of this new clan, her anger intensifies, adding to the already simmering tension between families. After befriending Lo, Kol learns of a dark history between Lo and Mya that is rooted in a tangle of their pasts.
When violence erupts, Kol is forced to choose between fighting alongside Mya or trusting Lo’s claims. And when things quickly turn deadly, it becomes clear that this was a war that one of them had been planning all along.
I’ve wanted to read this one since I found it was set in an alternate Victorian England (one of my very favorite eras!). And her pinterest board makes me want to read this even more.
A Shadow Bright and Burning is set in the early Victorian era, an alternate history in which sorcerers are advisors to the crown and magic is very much out in the open.
England has been at war with the Ancients, a group of seven hideous monsters, for over a decade. Henrietta Howel, a sixteen-year-old schoolteacher in Yorkshire, is found to have active sorcerer powers. She shouldn’t have them–women can’t do magic–but is believed to be the sorcerers’ long-awaited Chosen One.
Brought to London to train, Henrietta enters a world of power and privilege she never could have imagined. In addition to mastering the elemental abilities of a sorcerer, she has to contend with the handsome and frustrating young men who are her fellow students. Despite the pressures of London society and the looming threat of war, Henrietta is determined to succeed.
Kerri Maniscalco, Stalking Jack the Ripper (September 20, 2016)
I don’t know that this qualifies as fantasy, exactly, but this is a historical novel I’m dying to read.
Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.
Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.
The description of Sarah’s book reminds me of Maggie Stiefvater’s The Scorpio Races, which I loved.
Witch’s apprentice Bridey Corkill has hated the ocean ever since she watched her granddad dive in and drown with a smile on his face. So when a dead girl rolls in with the tide in the summer of 1913, sixteen-year-old Bridey suspects that whatever compelled her granddad to leap into the sea has made its return to the Isle of Man.
Soon, villagers are vanishing in the night, but no one shares Bridey’s suspicions about the sea. No one but the island’s witch, who isn’t as frightening as she first appears, and the handsome dark-haired lad Bridey rescues from a grim and watery fate. The cause of the deep gashes in Fynn’s stomach and his lost memories are, like the recent disappearances, a mystery well-guarded by the sea. In exchange for saving his life, Fynn teaches Bridey to master her fear of the water—stealing her heart in the process.
Now, Bridey must work with the Isle’s eccentric witch and the boy she isn’t sure she can trust—because if she can’t uncover the truth about the ancient evil in the water, everyone she loves will walk into the sea, never to return
Tara’s book promises romance, intrigue, clocks, time-magic, and a fascinating alternate Victorian world. (I haven’t read this one, but I’ve read another of Tara’s books and she’s definitely an author to watch).
(From Goodreads): Every city in the world is run by a clock tower. If one breaks, time stops. It’s a truth that seventeen-year-old Danny knows well; his father has been trapped in a town east of London for three years. Despite being a clock mechanic prodigy who can repair not only clockwork, but time itself, Danny has been unable to free his father.
Danny’s assigned to a damaged clock tower in the small town of Enfield. The boy he mistakes for his apprentice is odd, but that’s to be expected when he’s the clock spirit who controls Enfield’s time. Although Danny and the spirit are drawn to each other’s loneliness, falling in love with a clock spirit is forbidden, no matter how cute his smiles are.
But when someone plants bombs in nearby towers, cities are in danger of becoming trapped in time—and Enfield is one of them.
Danny must discover who’s stopping time and prevent it from happening to Enfield, or else he’ll lose not only his father, but the boy he loves, forever.
Mackenzi Lee raved about this book on Twitter and I had to find out more: this book has all kinds of diverse characters in a detailed historical setting–and blood magic? The premise basically sounds amazing.
It’s Boston, 1919, and the Cast Iron club is packed. On stage, hemopaths—whose “afflicted” blood gives them the ability to create illusions through art—captivate their audience. Corinne and Ada have been best friends ever since infamous gangster Johnny Dervish recruited them into his circle. By night they perform for Johnny’s crowds, and by day they con Boston’s elite. When a job goes wrong and Ada is imprisoned, they realize how precarious their position is. After she escapes, two of the Cast Iron’s hires are shot, and Johnny disappears. With the law closing in, Corinne and Ada are forced to hunt for answers, even as betrayal faces them at every turn.
What books–historical fantasy or not–are you most excited for in 2016?