Hello, friends! Rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated. 2020 did its level best, but I am still on this mortal plane and writing away.

I took a brief hiatus from book writing to pursue a few other things like a master’s degree and a bit of dabbling in screenplays, but books are still on the agenda as well. I have at least two books on my writing docket this year, and with any luck, one or both will be heading your way soon.

For now, feel free to ask any questions you like in the comments, and I’ll do my best to answer them.

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YA Scavenger Hunt

Welcome to YA Scavenger Hunt! This bi-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors…and a chance to win some awesome prizes! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize–one lucky winner will receive one book from each author on the hunt in my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 72 hours!

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are SIX contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the BLUE TEAM–but there is also a gold team, a green team, an orange team, a purple team, and a red team for a chance to win a whole different set of books!

If you’d like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page.


Directions: Below, you’ll notice that I’ve listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the blue team, and then add them up (don’t worry, you can use a calculator!).
Entry Form: Once you’ve added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.
Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian’s permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by Sunday, October 9, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.



Jennifer M. Eaton hails from the eastern shore of the North American Continent on planet Earth. Yes, regrettably, she is human, but please don’t hold that against her.

While not traipsing through the galaxy looking for specimens for her space moth collection, she lives with her wonderfully supportive husband and three energetic offspring. (And a poodle who runs the spaceport when she’s not around.)

During infrequent excursions to her home planet of Earth, Jennifer enjoys long hikes in the woods, bicycling, swimming, snorkeling, and snuggling up by the fire with a great book; but great adventures are always a short shuttle ride away.

| Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon

Fire in the Woods

Seventeen-year-old Jess’s dream is to graduate High School and get away from her dull military-brat existence. But racing for her life across New Jersey with a boy she hardly knows is not quite what she had in mind.

Stranded on Earth, David is alone, injured, and lost in the woods. When a young girl stumbles across him, he places his trust, and his life, in her hands. Will she lead him to safety, or right into the hands of the men he is hiding from?

Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo | Chapters Indigo! | iBooks | IndieBound | Google Play


Playlist! Woohoo!


Oooo! Music! What fun! Music is something that is usually hard for me because, to be honest, I don’t listen to music when I read. But when I was challenged to do a playlist, I started listening to song lyrics, and really having fun picking out some songs that I think are a great fit for the Fire in the Woods series.

So, here you have it. My official playlist for Fire in the Woods.


Adventure of a Lifetime by Coldplay

Specific Lyrics:
“You make me feel like I’m alive again”

“Everything you want’s a dream away”

“Under this pressure under this weight, we are diamonds taking shape”

“If we’ve only got this life, you get me through”

“If we’ve only got this life, this adventure of then I want to share it with you”


Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls

Specific Lyrics:
“I’d give up forever to touch you, cause I know that you feel me somehow. You’re the closest to heaven that I’ll ever be… ”

“I don’t want the world to see me, because I don’t think that they’d understand”

Gah! Almost the entire lyric is perfect for all of Jess and David’s relationship.



Specific Lyrics:
So nice to see ya here … It’s been what? A half a year … Like nothing ever happen in-between us Fill me in on how you’ve been, And I would tell you anything, You’d like to hear now And we can laugh some, Reminisce some, From the same old stories to the new ones

Wow, this was such great fun. Thanks for hosting me, and I hope you enjoyed this Fire in the Woods-inspired playlist! Happy hunting!


And don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of books by me, Mary Elizabeth Summer, and more! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 7. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the blue team and you’ll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!


To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author, Kimberly Derting!



You didn’t think I’d let you go without adding a special All-Things-Julep giveaway to sweeten the pot, did you? Well, think again!


Enter the giveaway below to win both TRUST ME books, the DOWN TO THE LIAR ebook, and a super-grifter swag bag. Only a few extra clicks, and you could be swimming in extras. See the Rafflecopter form below for details.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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So yesterday, Publisher’s Weekly released this article about a YA debut that got picked up by a major publishing house at a striking six-figure price tag. But after reading the article, the YA author/reader community found the debut author’s commentary much more striking than the amount of his advance. For more thoughtful remarks from the YA community, check out Chuck Wendig’s take here and Laura Tim’s take here. A bunch of other people have commented as well, but here’s a summary of what happened..

Essentially what the debut author in question said was that his forthcoming book is particularly special, because he wrote a YA story with a morally complicated heroine unlike all the YA stories that have been written thus far. Naturally, all of us YA authors and readers felt insulted. How could we not? He just called us all vapid and unoriginal. He went on to say a few other things that were inherently insulting and moreover revealed that he probably hasn’t ever read any YA.


I can imagine that many onlookers from outside the industry might view the resulting Twitter explosion (see #morallycomplicatedYA if you somehow missed it) as a bunch of less successful female YA authors and/or aspiring writers who are merely jealous of this debut author’s overnight success. And I’ll admit it, I am a little jealous. I certainly didn’t get that large of an advance for my books, and though my first book (about a morally complicated con artist, btw) was optioned by ABC Family, nothing ever came of it. But after sleeping on it overnight, I can safely say that sour grapes are not the reason I still have a yucky aftertaste in my mouth this morning.

Now I’m sure that Scott Bergstrom did not intend to insult us all. I’m sure that was the furthest thing from his mind when he made those comments. And if Scott is reading this post, I just want to say, I ain’t even mad, bro. We’ve all put our foot in our mouths without meaning to. You just happened to do it in a very public place. And having lived through this sort of outrage over careless commentary a few times now, allow me to give you some free advice: Apologize. Don’t explain, don’t rationalize, don’t throw your interviewer under the bus. Just pay your mea culpa and start trying to mend fences by calling out YA books that you have read, that you’ve enjoyed, and that you respect. Do that, and this will eventually blow over. Also, try to do better in the future, dude. Really. Try.

But there is a greater issue at play here. This is just another confirmation that male-dominated society as a whole demeans the interests of women. Note that I didn’t say ‘men.’ I said ‘male-dominated society.’ Because women demean the interests of women, too. All the time. And many men are actively fighting to protect the interests of women (see the aforementioned Chuck Wendig). But the effects of white-male privilege are notoriously difficult to eradicate–those effects being an underlying assumption on everyone’s part that anything seen as ‘girly’ or ‘feminine’ or in any way of interest to women is considered weak or less than. That is not okay. It is Not. Okay. Ever. Stop doing it. Stop.

I could go on for ages listing YA books that feature morally complicated and vibrant and interesting “girly” protagonists, but I’ll just refer you yet again to the #morallycomplicatedYA hashtag on Twitter. There are lists and lists of books in that hashtag that are all exemplary of the bounteous complexity found already within the YA genre, and there are more being written every day.

But I do want to say something to the publishing house that bought Bergstrom’s book for such an enormous sum of money and other houses like it that threw their hats in the auction ring. I thought we were getting somewhere with this whole diversity and acceptance and positive representation thing, I really did. And then you pay six figures for a book written about a girl by a guy who clearly doesn’t understand girls or even read the genre he’s purportedly writing for? How do you justify the message that you’re sending to all other YA authors and readers, the message that his story is worth so much more than all the other stories written and loved by actual YA fans? All I can think is that you saw “Jerry Bruckheimer” and lost your heads. I’m not even sure what to say here other than there’s a point at which “it’s about the bottom line” ceases to be a good enough excuse.

At least there’s one media outlet out there getting it right. *trots off to watch episode five of Jessica Jones*

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Welcome to YA Scavenger Hunt! This bi-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors…and a chance to win some awesome prizes! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize–one lucky winner will receive one signed book from each author on the hunt in my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 72 hours!



Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are EIGHT contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the GOLD TEAM, but there are a bunch of other teams as well–REDBLUE, GREEN, ORANGE, TEAL, PURPLE, & PINK! Play through them all for more chances to win, as well as more great extras!

If you’d like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt prizes page. If you want concrete, step-by-step instructions how to hunt, go here.


Directions: Below, you’ll notice that I’ve listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the GOLD team, and then add them up.

Entry Form: Once you’ve added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.

Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian’s permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by SUNDAY, OCTOBER 4th, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.


Holly BodgerToday, I am hosting Holly Bodger on my website for the YA Scavenger Hunt, who may or may not be keeping 14 gofers in her backyard.

A long-time resident of Ottawa, Canada, she has been working in publishing since she graduated with an English degree from the University of Ottawa.

She is represented by Lauren MacLeod of The Strothman Agency, LLC. Her debut novel, 5 TO 1, was released on May 12, 2015 from Knopf Books for Young Readers (Penguin Random House).

Find out more information by checking out her website here! And you can learn more about 5 TO 1 here!


5 to 1 CoverIn the year 2054, after decades of gender selection, Koyanagar–a country severed from India–now has a ratio of five boys for every girl, and women are an incredibly valuable commodity. Tired of wedding their daughters to the highest bidder and determined to finally make marriage fair, the women of Koyanagar have instituted a series of tests so that every boy has the chance to win a wife. But after fighting so hard for freedom against the old ways of gender selection, these women have become just as deluded as their male predecessors.

Sudasa Singh doesn’t want to be a wife and Contestant Five, a boy competing to be her husband, has other plans as well. Sudasa’s family wants nothing more than for their daughter to do the right thing and pick a husband who will keep her comfortable—and caged. Five’s family wants him to escape by failing the tests. As the tests advance, each thwarts the other until they slowly realize that they might want the same thing.

And without further ado, here is Holly reading a passage from her new book! Exciting!!!

Wasn’t that total awesomesauce???!? I knew you guys would love it.

And don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of signed books by me, Mary Elizabeth Summer, and many more! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 14. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the GOLD team and you’ll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!


To keep going on your quest, you need to check out Kate Ormand’s blog!

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             Down to the Liar    Trust Me, I'm Trouble (Trust Me #2)

As you may or may not know, the second book in the Trust Me series–Trust Me, I’m Trouble–is coming out in ONE MONTH. Craziness! But what’s even crazier, is that Down to the Liar, a Julep-centric digital novella, is out TODAY! Holy hand-grenades, Batman!

And honestly, I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than to give all you faithful Julep readers FREE STUFF. So here goes…

When I initially wrote the Julep novella nearly two years ago, I decided to weave in a separate story from Sam’s perspective that paralleled Julep’s story. The result was a monstrous novella that bordered on novel-length all by itself. My editor wisely advised me to split the two stories, which I did, and so I had this whole extra novella on my hands.

Skip forward with me for a minute to Trust Me, I’m Trouble’s impending release date…

Now, those of you steeped in the book world know that pre-orders of a book are critical to the book’s long-term success. The opening weeks of a book’s release are similar to movie releases in that the more attention it gets right away, the better. It influences things like bookstores’ orders, bestsellers’ lists, and, most importantly, publishers deciding whether or not to continue a series. Most authors would give up body parts for higher pre-order sales. Which translates into those authors offering awesome incentives to readers willing to pre-order the book.

And now for the punchline…

For those of you willing to (or having already) PRE-ORDER(ed) Trust Me, I’m Trouble, I will give you the Sam digital novella FOR FREE. All you need to do is fill in the form below, email me a digital copy of your receipt at trustmeimtroublebook [at] gmail [dot] com, and I’ll email you a copy of Sam’s story. Note that Sam’s story is not currently available anywhere else, so if you love Sam and want to read something from his POV, now’s the time to act! I’ll only be running this incentive until October 13, 2015–the official release date for Trust Me, I’m Trouble.

Just so you know what you’re getting, here are a few stats and a sneak peek into Sam’s solo adventure:

  • Sam’s story consists of six full-length chapters
  • That’s over 13,000 words of Sam POV
  • Which equals roughly 46 pages of social engineering and expert hacking (and maybe just a little bit of pining for Julep on the side)
  • Sam runs his own con, with his own crew, from start to surprising finish
  • Two notable cameos in the novella, one from Julep, and the other from ████ (What? You didn’t think I’d really tell you, did you?)

As promised, here’s the sneak peek of Sam’s story (from chapter 2)…

Olson hands me a printout of a news article from three years ago with the headline Student Accuses Academy Faculty Member of Stealing Math Discovery.

“Look, the kid even tried to fight it, but he was crushed in court. The faculty all backed Roth. I can’t go to them with this. They’ll crucify me.”

I scan the article, but it doesn’t really change anything. Truth or not, I’m not in the game anymore. I try to hand it back, but Olson waves it off.

“Keep it,” she says. “I have it saved on my hard drive.”

“What is going on?” Pollack asks me. “Why is she telling you this?”

I rub my face. “Because I used to help someone help people. But I wasn’t the brains behind that operation. The most I can do is hack into Roth’s computer and give it a virus.”

“Please.” For a military cadet, she has the big-melty-eyed, damsel-in-distress expression down to a science. “I’ve done everything else in my power to get it back myself. I even told my unit commander.”

“He didn’t believe you?” I ask.

“No, he did believe me. He said that it was Roth’s right to take my proof. That students are like apprentices or some crap.”

I feel rage stirring my blood again. “He actually said it was Roth’s right?”

“Yes. I don’t know what else to do, Seward. If you don’t help me get it back, I’m going to have to set fire to Roth’s office.”

“Don’t do that.” I lean forward fast enough that my chair legs plunk loudly on the linoleum flooring. “You’re the first person they’ll suspect.”

“I don’t care at this point. I can’t just let him get away with it.”

I really don’t need this right now. Every delay is that many more days before I can go home.

You can do it, Sam, the Julep in my head whispers.

Even if I could, I don’t want to do it without you.

Maybe that’s why you should. She smiles and I cave.

I take another hard look at the article Olson gave me. There’s a picture of the kid sitting in the courtroom. He looks pensive, far too serious for a high school student. Far too much like me.

“All right, Olson. I’ll help you get it back. But I’m warning you up front, I don’t really know what I’m doing.”

Olson smiles, her expression tight. “You’re the best chance I’ve got. I’ll risk it.”

“Excellent,” Pollack says, clapping his hands together. “What’s happening?”

If you want to read the rest of Sam’s exploits, simply pre-order Trust Me, I’m Trouble at your book purveyor of choice, and then fill in the Google form below!

Here’s a list of a few of the places where you can pre-order TMIT (either ebook or hardcopy are eligible for the freebies!):

And if you’d like to try TMIT before you pre-order it, you can read the first three chapters here.


Some of you like getting mail of the snail variety rather than the digital. So in addition to receiving the exclusive Sam story vial email, if you pre-order TMIT by 11:59 PM PST on Tuesday, September 15, 2015 (EDIT: What the heck, let’s do the swag packs for the whole rest of the promotion. I’m in if you are!), I will also send you the swag pack pictured below! (Swag pack includes personalized postcards, signed bookmarks, and a signed bookplate for your pre-ordered book.)

Swag Pic

One last thing…

Because today is also the release day for the Julep-POV novella, I’m offering a giveaway for one digital copy of Down to the Liar to one lucky winner. And here’s how you enter: for every social media site on which you share the link to this blog post, you’ll receive an extra entry into the DTTL giveaway. So enter your name into the Rafflecopter form (located below the Google form), and then follow the instructions to receive additional entries per social share.

That’s all! But let me also just say a quick thank you to all of you who do pre-order and spread the word. I very much appreciate your faith in me and my books. And I hope you like all the Julep (and Sam) coming your way! Trust me, it’s going to be a wild ride. *evil author grin*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Read or Write Anywhere banner Summer is about to begin!


But just because it’s summer doesn’t mean we should stop reading and writing. I’ve teamed up with the YA Chicks and many participating authors on a global campaign to encourage readers, writers, students, and teachers to share pictures all of the places–both ordinary and extraordinary–where they are reading and writing. This is open to all readers/writers of both middle grade and young adult books!



I’ll be giving away a signed, hardcover copy of Trust Me, I’m Lying plus a query critique!

And there’s more! Every author participating in this campaign is giving away books, critiques, swag and/or Skype visits.

So are you ready?

Drum roll…


All you have to do is guess where I am in the pic above. But don’t despair! I’ve left you 5 clues to point you in the right direction:

  1. If you scroll through the photos on my Facebook page, you may find a familiar looking pastry case…
  2. What’s missing in this picture is the 12-oz vanilla soy latte I always get when I write here.
  3. If you Google Map “Progress Ridge Beaverton,” you might be able to put a pin in it.
  4. I may have included the name of this place in the Acknowledgements for Trust Me, I’m Trouble–so if you have a copy of the ARC, you could easily look it up.
  5. It could be referenced on the author bio page of my website as well.

Once you’ve figured out where I’m writing, head over to the YA Chicks site and:

  • Officially enter the giveaway by inputting each author’s name and your guesses about our locations. Every author location you guess correctly increases your chances to win.
  • For even more chances, post a picture of yourself reading or writing on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #ReadOrWriteAnywhere (must have the hashtag).

For writer prize packs:

  • Post pictures of yourself writing in a fun location on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #ReadOrWriteAnywhere. Then follow the directions on the Rafflecopter giveaway to let us know you did it.
  • For even more chances, gather your writer friends together and post a group shot with the hashtag #ReadOrWriteAnywhere (must have the hashtag). And hey, since you’re already together, why not host a write-a-thon?

For teacher prize packs:

  • Post pictures of your class reading or writing on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #ReadOrWriteAnywhere (must have the hashtag). Then let us know you did it when you enter the Rafflecopter. If you don’t have a Twitter or Instagram, you can email your picture directly with the picture pasted directly into the email (no attachments–we won’t open them) AND the subject, “Read or Write Anywhere.”
  • You can also check out the YA Chicks Read or Write Anywhere lesson plan, available on their site.

Now, what are you waiting for? Get out there and READ OR WRITE ANYWHERE!


Read or Write Anywhere Books

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Lies Gif

Two Truths and a Lie

Would you like to play a game? *shifty eyes* How about if promised you a chance to win a boatload of awesome books? Interested now? I thought you might be. Heh heh heh…

All rightey, then. Before we get started, visit the YA Dash website for how to play: theyadash.wordpress.com

And now for the truths…or are they…?

Trust Me, I’m Lying was listed as one of Teen Vogue’s Top 7 Most Exciting YA Books Coming Out This Year.

The Trust Me series will likely appeal to fans of Ally Carter’s Heist Society and the film Ocean’s 11.

I met my wife at a Dar Williams concert, and we moved to Oregon in 2004.

Feel free to roam through my website to discover which of the above is the lie. I promise that if you look carefully, you’ll be able to figure it out just by what’s printed on these web pages–Girl Scouts’ honor. Once you’ve figured out which is the lie, add the number included in the lie with the numbers of the lies of the other Dash participants, and then enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below or on theyadash.wordpress.com!

Good luck! But hurry…the game ends in two days!

Here are the other authors you’ll need to stalk–er, investigate:

Y.S. Lee
Laurie Stolarz
Susan Adrian
Diana Renn
Lindsay Cummings
Elizabeth Wein
Valynne Maetani
T.A. Maclagan
Lee Kelly

And here’s the link for the Rafflecopter when you’ve got all the numbers!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Happy Cinco de Mayo, everyone!! And what better way to celebrate the The Day of the Battle of Puebla* than with free books?!

Book giveaway details: click the Enter to Win link below to enter the contest for a signed ARC of TRUST ME, I’M TROUBLE (Trust Me #2) as well as a signed hardcover of TRUST ME, I’M LYING (Trust Me #1). That’s right–two for the entry of one. 😉

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Trust Me, I'm Trouble by Mary Elizabeth Summer

Trust Me, I’m Trouble

by Mary Elizabeth Summer

Giveaway ends May 30, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to Win

*Disclaimer: Nothing in the Trust Me series actually mentions the Battle of Puebla, though Julep does bring up the Alamo in passing at one point, which is a separate but still distinctive Mexican victory.

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Hi, everyone! Today I’m happy to introduce you to Jason Mosberg, author of GRIFT, a YA con artist story set in sunny Las Vegas. Read on for more info on his book (which is available as of today!) as well as his take on what makes con artists so appealing…

Isn’t the thief supposed to be the bad guy? The thief is the villain that the good guy is trying to catch, right? Not always. The con artists manage to be the main characters in popular books and movies such as Catch Me If You Can, Ocean’s 11, Matchstick Men, The Grifters, and The Sting. Not only are they the main characters, but they earn our praise and support. We want them to win. We want their grifts to succeed. But why?

For starters, a con artist is never taking the victim’s money by brute force. They’re not typically using weapons or physically harming anyone in the process. They’re taking the money by outwitting their mark – or victim. In fact, in most cases, the con artist isn’t actually taking the money. She’s tricking the mark into giving it to her.

Con stands for confidence game or confidence trick. This stems from the idea that you first gain your mark’s confidence, then you defraud them. The words game and trick are telling of why these are so fun to read about. They really are forms of games or magic tricks. In some cases, the cons become a sort of game of wits between the grifter and the mark. A competition arises where there’s a clear winner and loser. Other times, the cons play out more like tricks, and it’s always fun to see the setup and payoff of a good magic trick.

Another element that makes con artists fun and likeable relates to who the victims are. Many marks tend to have certain characteristics that make them vulnerable to the con. Examples of these traits include greedy, naïve, envious, jealous, dishonest, desperate, selfish, vain, and opportunistic. These are not positive characteristics. If the marks are greedy, selfish individuals, they don’t earn as much sympathy when they get screwed over, and there can even be some wish fulfillment and enjoyment in seeing them learn a lesson.

The YA novel Grift presents a great example. The book features a crew of orphaned teenage con artists living Las Vegas. Piper, the main character, masquerades as a prostitute to con rich men. In Grift, the con artists are the main characters, and they’re nothing short of fun. The setting of Las Vegas enhances the coolness of the story. There are a variety of cons used, so the reader is constantly seeing a new trick play out. The marks are gamblers, men cheating on their wives, and at times the casinos themselves, so the reader is rooting for the con artist every step of the way.

Look at that! After earning your confidence that this was just a blog post about con artists, I have now tricked you into reading about my novel.

Haha! Truth. 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by, Jason! And I totally, 100% agree with you on everything you said about con artists. Which means I’m sure Julep and Piper would get along famously.

And for everyone else reading along, here’s your chance to get a free e-copy of GRIFT for your very own! Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

JasonMosbergJason Mosberg lives in Los Angeles where he works as a screenwriter. His debut novel Grift is available at Amazon and iBooks. You can follow him on Twitter @ThreeStoryJason.

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YA Contemporary Scavenger Hunt

I’m so excited to participate in the FIRST annual YA Contemporary Scavenger Hunt! For this year’s hunt, I got the extraordinary privilege of interviewing BLEED LIKE ME’s awesome author Christa Desir! I’ve included her intriguing answers to my hard-hitting questions below. BUT FIRST, check out the chilling cover and story summary for BLEED LIKE ME…


Bleed Like Me coverBleed Like Me coverFrom the author of Fault Line comes an edgy and heartbreaking novel about two self-destructive teens in a Sid and Nancy­like romance full of passion, chaos, and dyed hair.

Seventeen­-year­-old Amelia Gannon (just “Gannon” to her friends) is invisible to almost everyone in her life. To her parents, to her teachers­even her best friend, who is more interested in bumming cigarettes than bonding. Some days the only way Gannon knows she is real is by carving bloody lines into the flesh of her stomach.

Then she meets Michael Brooks, and for the first time, she feels like she is being seen to the core of her being. Obnoxious, controlling, damaged, and addictive, he inserts himself into her life until all her scars are exposed. Each moment together is a passionate, painful relief.

But as the relationship deepens, Gannon starts to feel as if she’s standing at the foot of a dam about to burst. She’s given up everything and everyone in her life for him, but somehow nothing is enough for Brooks­until he poses the ultimate test.

Bleed Like Me is a piercing, intimate portrayal of the danger of a love so obsessive it becomes its own biggest threat.

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M.E.: Please tell us a little about Gannon, the main character in BLEED LIKE ME. What is her situation at the beginning of the book?

Christa: Gannon is a girl who has become invisible to her family. She has three high­-needs adopted brothers and as a result, her parents don’t really have time for her. She takes refuge at her job at a hardware store and through cutting/self­injury.

M.E.: What do you think readers will identify with most about her?

Christa: I think that they will mostly understand the deep need that we often have to be loved. Teens in particular have been sold this idea for a long time that if someone would only love them, then their lives will be better.

M.E.: When Brooks enters the picture, Gannon’s life begins to change. What is it that attracts her so much to Brooks? What will readers find attractive about him?

Christa: For her, Brooks is different because he notices her. He sees beneath the tough girl who works at the hardware store and he’s interested in her. And I think at first, readers might find his attention and decisiveness about her charming. But it soon becomes clear that it’s unhealthy and controlling.

M.E.: What themes does Gannon’s story explore? What do you think readers will take away from it?

Christa: For me, I always write to ask questions of readers. In BLEED LIKE ME, the questions are about what love looks like, what we’re willing to sacrifice for love, and what happens when we lose ourselves in someone else. I think that sometimes love can help us feel better, but if we don’t love ourselves enough to ask for what we deserve, we’re at risk of getting deeply hurt.

M.E.: What drew you to Gannon’s story? What made you want to write it?

Christa: I wanted to write this story because I have read so many books where a hot mess of a girl gets together with a hot mess of a guy and their loves pulls them out of their messes. And for me, it never went that way. I always got way deeper in and it turned way worse. And I think there’s truth in that and that we don’t talk about it enough.

About this idea of unhealthy/toxic relationships. This isn’t a book about dating violence or abuse, but it is a book about how toxic addictive relationships can become.

M.E.: Without spoiling anything, what was the hardest scene to write in this story? What was the most rewarding?

Christa: The hardest scene to write was the cutting/sex scene. I knew it was true to their characters and how it would be played out, but knife play is not exactly an easy thing to slip into YA books. I wanted to show it for what it was, but I also wanted people to be uncomfortable with it and see how it had come into this dynamic to further the toxicity of this relationship.

The most rewarding scene was the scenes with the two roommates, because those two guys provided comic relief and they were easy for me to write since they were loosely based on two guys I lived with one summer on Block Island.

M.E.: Can you give us your favorite quote from the book?

Christa: “I might be in love with him,” I said.

She shook her head. “Of course you are. The two of you are like frickin’ Romeo and Juliet. Everyone knows it. We’re just waiting to see which one of you takes the poison and which one takes a gun to his head.”

M.E.: Thanks so much for your answers, Christa!!! I can’t wait to read BLEED LIKE ME! And now, a giveaway!!


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Author Bio

Christa DesirChrista Desir writes contemporary fiction for young adults. Her novels include FAULT LINE and BLEED LIKE ME. She lives with her husband, three small children, and overly enthusiastic dog outside of Chicago. She has volunteered as a rape victim activist for more than ten years, including providing direct service as an advocate in hospital ERs.

She also works as an editor at Samhain Publishing. Visit her at ChristaDesir.com.




Other Novels

Fault Line cover

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