upper middle grade, lower young adult, reading, books, categorizing reading levels

Upper Middle What Now?

UAny middle child will tell you how awkward it is to be in the middle. You aren’t the first or the baby, you get all of the hand-me-downs, and you seem to get lost in the mix a lot. The 12-14 year old reader group has become a sort of middle child in the children’s book world. Like Goldilocks, they are a bit too old for most middle grade novels (Harry Potter excluded because you are never too old for Harry Potter), but they aren’t quite old enough to be reading some of the steamier YA out there.In an interview with Amy Bearce, she explains first why she decided to change her debut novel, Fairy Keeper, from young adult to upp middle grade:

“There’s sometimes a fine line between upper middle grade and young adult. My editor and I both felt that the voice of the piece was just more MG, but the basic premise seemed more YA…so we merged them until both fit upper MG. While Sierra grows and changes, the focus is on the adventure itself. There was also a sweetness to the story, according to my publisher, that felt younger than what you’d expect with YA. This is especially seen in the romance area. Less heat, more sweet, you might say. J So we changed the age of the character and tweaked a few scenes so that her responses were more consistently appropriate for a 14 year old (granted, 14 year olds in this world have more responsibility than the same age person in ours.) Plus, I wanted something my girls could read and my oldest isn’t quite ready for YA yet.”

From an author/publisher standpoint, it’s a struggle to categorize the books too so that the 12-14 readers find them. Says author Shannon Hale:

shannon hale tweet

This is a good point. It’s not a huge stretch for a 12yr old to read about a fifteen yr old, which is what publishers see happening. What about when the MC is an 18yr old though? The difference in maturity and life priorities of a 12yr old versus an 18yr old vast, and many parents don’t want their kids learning too much from novels at such a crucial age. To which I say to the parents in the room, if you’re kids are learning about mature things from a book and not first hand, they are doing ok so let’s leave them alone. However it is a bit disparaging when none of the characters you read about are your actual age. How do we make categories that fit everyone’s age group and needs?

New Adult has surfaced, and while that brings a world of it’s own issues, it at least bridged the gap between teenagers and people in their twenties that didn’t want to read about 35yr old adults. Younger adults in the 12-14 age group don’t have any bridge to cross between MG and YA at all. One would argue, (by one, I mean me) that it also doesn’t make sense to have young adult and then an older ‘new’ adult category, that is just grammatically confusing in and of itself.

Here’s what I propose:

categorizing reading levels, young adult, middle grade, new adult

 

Who’s with me!?

*Note: Open to better naming conventions, let’s be honest these are mediocre at best*

Research Creep

RReaders and writers talk about world-building in books all the time, and the best world-building usually has the extremely realistic aspects woven into the story. This is common knowledge, what’s not common knowledge is how to dilute drugs for proper dosage, or successfully get away with murder. Which means that authors get up to some pretty strange googling that in multiple cases has caused them to be flagged as flight risks! Here is just a taste of the weird stuff writers have to research in the name of novel writing!

  • Tannery chemicals that would cause a shock explosion
  • Caustic burns
  • Symptoms of chromium VI poisoning
  • How hot fire needs to be to burn bodies
  • How to relocate a dislocated shoulder
  • How to track someone’s location from their IP address
  • Shotgun wounds
  • An alternative and better element source for bombs for the terrorists to use. I found one. The best part about it, not making this up, when it blows up, it blows up PINK!
  • Nuclear bomb Yellowstone caldera
  • How terrorists communicate
  • Successful bank robberies
  • Amount of money in average bank branch
  • Money laundering in Vegas
  • Gunshot first aid
  • What lives in the deepest parts of the ocean
  • Cold weather survival gear
  • How to conduct a denial of service cyber attack
  • How to hack a credit card company and erase records
  • What homemade bombs look like
  • Taliban torture methods
  • How to maim people in various ways
  • The layout of the White House
  • What human flesh tastes like
  • How a cop would dispose of a body

 

whoa is quo, status quo

Quo I Am

QStatus Quo is Latin for ‘the state of which’ and is defined as the existing state of affairs. It’s a word we love to toss around when talking about social norms or making changes. I think quo isn’t actually a thing, or a what, but rather, a who. WE are the quo. With technology and connectivity at an all time high, we have much more power to decide what kinds of products we want, how we communicate and relate to brands, what is usual or atypical.


A great example of this is the death of the damsel. With the immense popularity of book and movie franchises with strong female leads such as Hunger Games and Divergent, women in combative and less frilly roles are a new norm, a sensation that has sprung hundreds of thousands of novels in the YA publishing sector into stronger female narratives.

It is also becoming more neutralized (and dramatized) that women seek more sexual novels and with it a lack of shyness that previously existed.

Young males are increasing joining the bookish community (yay) and we are seeing a surge in more neutral covers (again, yay!) and a rising trend in historical/dystopian fiction.

We are increasingly loving books that take an interesting look at status quo now vs. a different time period, and twist it a bit to see what happens, which is half the reason we fell in love with Princess of Tyrone, the first of the Fairytale Galaxy novels. It’s a few hundred pages of beautiful contradiction and new perspectives, such as pirate princesses and medieval-like time periods in space…wha!!! Yes.  

What status quo do you want to change in publishing?

Overheard #Booknerdproblems

overheard, booknerd problems, a to z blogging challenge,We all know that booknerds are of the mermaid, unicorn, supersaiyan, pirate variety, which tends to lead to some really intense debates, and some very, very strange topics. Here are some of my favorite ‘overheard’#Booknerdproblems recently!

 

The dark side of #Booknerdproblems: 

george rr martine, killing, meme, funny

“He really needs to stop murdering people. It’s unhealthy.”

“I can’t watch a movie tonight, I need to go drop a guy off a church roof.”

“But it’s hard not to kill everyone! Fictional characters are so breakable.”

“Why did you have to kill all the little fairies? You didn’t have to do that. But I’m glad you killed that mean guy.”

“You need to be willing to kill people. In FICTION I mean!”

“Why did you feel you needed to kill all those kids?”

“How do you make blood stick to paper”

 

The weird side of #Booknerdproblems:

fictophilia, book boyfriend

“Sometimes I have to decide between rent and new books, which is why I live with my mom”

“Androids make the best boyfriends because they have mechanical body parts. Do you really need another reason?”

 

“Thank you for reviewing my book about mermaids and sea creatures even though you have a crippling fear of underwater animals”

“I change my book husband more often than my underwear, let’s be honest”

“I spent a weekend youtubing how to take heroin, the high feeling, after effects, and street terms. All in the name of research for a small part in The Devil’s Flower”

“Just today I was trying to figure out how to run a search on photos of women’s torsos”

 

The ‘writers riding the struggle bus’ side of #Booknerdproblems:

writing, problems, writing meme, funny, anchor man

“Is it appropriate to run through the streets yelling and throwing bookmarks at people as a method of promoting my book”

“The writer life is essentially like shampoo instructions. You cry and procrastinate until you somehow have a manuscript, then you’re relieved. Then you need to start querrying, and are overwhelmed. Get an agent/publisher, relieved. Get your first edits back, overwhelmed. Repeat.”

“I want my new love interest to have blue eyes, but all of my male characters already have blue eyes!”

“I would rather iron my pants while on my body than write my book descriptions”

“What illegal thing should my character havein her apartment…Guns? Drugs? Guns made of drugs!”

 

karma patrol, book, kate miller,

(K) Is for Karma Patrol!

KKarma Patrol comes out tomorrow and we could not be more excited! If you are from the south and you don’t know someone who is just like Jade, then it’s probably because you are the friend just like Jade. Her partner Luke is much more Brooklyn and down to earth. So as you can imagine things start off…interestingly…between these two supposed ‘soulmates’. Jade is a Karmic Enforcer, which means that she is in charge of keeping people’s karmic paths clear and balanced, and stops other’s free will from getting in the way of everyone getting what they deserve. At least for Midtown West NY.

We asked author Kate Miller to give us the low-down on Jade before Karma Patrol comes out tomorrow, here’s what we learned:

Jade is a ‘carry a mini-curling iron in her purse’ kind of gal, to Luke’s annoyance, and her fictional wardrobe is most real-life girl’s fantasy closet. Her idea of a cute outfit is a cocktail dress, the perfect pair of Louboutin’s, and a trenchcoat, preferably in pink.

She appreciates the little things in life…in a specific order, exactly to her liking.

karma patrol, coffee, startucks, book, southern belle,

She’s a Hufflepuff. Says the author, “she’s hard-working and nice, and likes to be around other people that are hard-working and nice. She’s brave, but only when she has to be.” In case you were wondering, Kate is a Slytherin. I harbor strong beliefs that all writers are Slytherins, they have to be to be able to make their characters suffer.

If Jade was suddenly transported onto a deserted island, her 3 must haves would be:

1) A curling iron (obviously)

2) wine, the cheaper the better, and a screw top so she could open it

3) Luke, because every girl needs some eye candy with her wine.

You can find the full interview on our FB page here and order Karma Patrol tomorrow, Apri 14th, on Amazon and Barnes & Noble!

karma patrol, book, kate miller,

 

 

teaching, fiction, educating,

E [Teaching] Environmental Awareness in Fiction

EBooks have been a primary method of educating for centuries, with more and more progressive steps towards better relating to kids developing each year (yay!). One way teachers are utilizing more relatable material is through teaching and assigning curriculum with fiction novels with commentary on social responsibility,, humanity, community, etc. Many schools are utilizing Harry Potter and The Hunger Games in classrooms now, and we could not be happier.

Fictional storytelling is a fantastic way to instill lessons without being dry as sandpaper or completely irrelevant, and we believe it should be used for all sorts of teaching aspects, including environmental knowledge and awareness. We were so excited about this prospect when publishing Amy Bearce’ Fairy Keeper, an upper MG coming of age novel that discusses responsibility, family, and how humans affect the environment around us, and it in turns affects us.  The fairies in her debut are actually based on bees, which is why when Fairy Queens start disappearing left and right, the entire world is sent into flux, with large scale environmental changes. Says Bearce, “Book 1 [Fairy Keeper] was largely inspired by the bee culture and teaching their importance and effect in the environment. I’m seeing a lot of articles in my news feed relating to efforts to keep them protected again, and discussing other related topics such as climate change, so I think using novels like this as a jumping off point to further awareness and discussion on human responsibility toward our environment and the politics of resource management.  In book 3, people are tired of doing without to save their world and there’s backlash, just as I think there would be in our world if people ever go the point of really changing behavior to protect our planet.”

While bringing children to an Apiary may not be a feasible option due to locality and the severity of bee allergies, teaching through a  novel that address their importance has an extremely low barrier to entry, and could build lasting presence of mind in the decision makers of tomorrow. Moreso, even if a novel doesn’t relate to the environment in a linear way, enforcing consequences and realistic affects to plots in relation to the planet, such as in a dystopian environment, is still a step in the right direction. 


About Fairy Keeper: 

fairy keeper, amy bearce, fairies, fiction, upper middle grade, environmental, bees

Forget cute fairies in pretty dresses. In the world of Aluvia, most fairies are more like irritable, moody insects. Almost everyone in the world of Aluvia views the fairy keeper mark as a gift, but not fourteen-year-old Sierra. She hates being a fairy keeper, but the birthmark is right there on the back of her neck. It shows everyone she was born with the natural ability to communicate, attract, and even control the tiny fairies whose nectar is amazingly powerful. Fairy nectar can heal people, but it is also a key ingredient in synthesizing Flight, an illegal elixir that produces dreaminess, apathy and hallucinations. She’s forced to care for a whole hive of the bee-like beasties by her Flight-dealing, dark alchemist father.

Then one day, Sierra discovers the fairies of her hatch are mysteriously dead. The fairy queen is missing. Her father’s Flight operation is halted, and he plans to make up for the lost income by trading her little sister to be an elixir runner for another dark alchemist, a dangerous thug. Desperate to protect her sister, Sierra convinces her father she can retrieve the lost queen and get his operation up and running.

The problem? Sierra’s queen wasn’t the only queen to disappear. They’re all gone, every single one, and getting them back will be deadly dangerous.

Sierra journeys with her best friend and her worst enemy — assigned by her father to dog her every step — to find the missing queens. Along the way, they learn that more than just her sister’s life is at stake if they fail. There are secrets in the Skyclad Mountains where the last wild fairies were seen. The magic Sierra finds there has the power to transform their world, but only if she can first embrace her calling as a fairy keeper


Teachers and Librarians, please feel free to reach out to CQ to discuss how we can help faciltate teaching through fiction! Know a great fiction novel that has environmental lessons ingrained in it? Comment it below!

diversity, fiction, disabilities, publishing, reading

(D) Disabilities in Fiction: What’s Missing in the Search for Diversity

atozchallenge, blogging, disabilities, fiction, diversityIn the US, about 74.6 million people have some type of physical disability, so it’s insane to think that there isn’t an entire section devoted to awesome protagonists with unique obstacles to overcome. An article recently released by the Guardian points out the gap in diverse character  development in the Hunger Games, in which the children who are poor, malnourished, or otherwise handicapped in some way are ‘are used as cannon fodder, while the few from rich districts have a chance to either reduce their odds or train for a shot at glory’. Transversely,, imagine if in the same YA series how inspiring it would be to the 27 million disabled women in the US if Katniss Everdeen was born with Cerebral Palsy.

We are seeing some improvements in the entertainment industry, and the wild success of Netflix Original Daredevil will hopefully greatly improve the commonality of disabled main characters in movies, TV shows, and books in the future.

Diversity in fiction has become a topic we simply cannot avoid when discussing the future of publishing, and we could not be happier about the awesome movements such as #weneeddiversebooks, that we’ve seen by readers, bloggers, and librarians. We are extremely excited to see more and more variety in our novel submissions over the last year, and in ways that go beyond race and sexuality diversity. One of our recent such releases in Of Pens & Swords by Rena Rocford, a young adult contemporary story of a one-handed girl with a dream to fence in the Olympics, and a giant crush on her friend. If only the classmate she tutors wasn’t blackmailing her and her fencing career.

I took a few minutes to chat with Rocford and learn more about her inspiration for OP&S:

Why did you choose to have her disabled? Why is it important to write characters with disabilities?

When I had the idea for Of Pens and Swords, I kept encountering people who were missing body parts. I met a dancer who was missing a foot from just below the knee. I danced with him and didn’t notice his leg was prosthetic until afterwards when he was adjusting his fake foot. That was a real eye opener for me. It’s important to write characters with disabilities because we have lots of books about people with normal bodies, but not as many stories involving people who have different bodies. When we write stories that don’t include these differences, it’s harder for a person to identify with characters and sometimes this causes barriers to the escape that comes with reading a good book. It seems like everyone deserves to have the same level of escapism as the next person, even if the next person happens to be missing a hand.

If Cyra could speak to readers, what would she say to them about her disability and her passions?

“People always say you need to believe in yourself–and that’s totally true, you need confidence, even when you don’t feel it–but sometimes, even more important than this nebulous belief is straight up stubborn determination. There are always other people out there. There are people who will tell you that the other people out there are more able, more talented, more beautiful, more whatever it is today that people are looking for, and they are ready to tell you you’re not good enough. With me, it was often the elephant in the room. People didn’t want to say they didn’t think I could go the distance because of the shortness of my right arm. But at the end of the day, you have to get up more times than the other person. You have to work harder. You have to put in more. They say battles aren’t won on the battlefield, they’re won in the practice rooms. You never know how much you can do until you’ve done it. Including, but not limited to staying up all night the night before a paper is due.”  –Cyra

Your other novel, Acne, Asthma, and Other Signs You Might Be Half-Dragon,  is also about a sort of misfit female character with acne and self-confidence issues. Is there a reason you lean more towards these characters? A message you are trying to send?

I love this question because, YES, there is definitely a message I’m trying to send. When I was a kid, there were never any books about kids like me. There were books about boys who were smart. There were books about boys who were great athletes. There were books about skinny girls or girls who wore dresses and fall in love, but none of those were me. It was a constant struggle, and I grew up thinking there was something wrong with me because I wanted to go on a quest with Bilbo Baggins but no girls were invited along. So now, I write stories that I feel like I could have seen myself in when I was that age.

Wow, thank you Rena! In case any of your were wondering, I took the liberty of checking how feasible Cyra’s dream is. I found a list of not 1, not 2, but 11 disabled athletes who were Olympic Competitors! We would love to know what kind of characters you are looking for in fiction, use the hashtag #CQreads on Twitter or Instagram to tag us in answers, or comment down below.

Want to know about more CQ diverse books? Meet these protagonists!

booktears, book, tears, feels, a to z challenge

(B) BookTears: Awkward Times You’ve Caught Book Feels

b, blog, a to z challenge, book tears, booktears, funnyIt’s for Booktears people. We’ve all had that book that we were so involved in the story, so connected with the characters, that our feels go into overdrive and salty water just seems to fall from our eyes for no reason at all. These are called booktears, and yes, they happen in the most awkward places. Check out some of our favorites lately-

At work, listening to an audiobook while programming.

-Ian Hiatt, Death of an Assassin

Reading Goblet of Fire on public transit isn’t a good idea. I just have bad season allergies.  

-Little Great Reads

I was on a plane to New york from London, bawling my eyes out during ‘We are all Completely Beside Ourselves’. My partner touched me subtly on the arm and mouthed ‘you okay?’ and I had to confess it was the book!

-S.D. Wasley, Downfall

I’ve cried in public over a book too many times to count. I don’t get bothered. I just sniff loudly and tell everyone who walks by what a great book it is, as they scurry away from me tossing worried looks over their shoulders.

-Amy Bearce, Fairy Keeper

booktears, booknerd, book,

In line at the DMV

-Epic Reads

New Year’s Eve. 11:30pm. Crying over Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. My boyfriend & his friends laughed and laughed and laughed…

-Jessica Gunn, Gyre

Crying in a supermarket cafe as I typed the last sentence of the first draft of Unhappenings

-Edward Aubry, Unhappenings

I used to hide fiction books behind my textbooks in school. I was reading one of the Blue is for Nightmares series by Laurie Faria Stolarz and my favorite character died. I broke down in tears and had to admit I was not as enthralled by the geometry lesson as it seemed.

-Nikki Tetreault, CQ Marketing

I got to a certain section of LOOKING FOR ALASKA and started bawling so hard, I had to go to the bathroom just to calm down. Talk about awkward.

-Vicki Leigh Catch Me When I Fall

I teach middle school and during my prep period one day at school, I was sneaking in a few pages of a book I was reading in the kindle app on my phone. I was blind-sided by a tragic turn of events and cried. My next class walked in to find me putting away my phone and wiping my eyes. Those poor kids probably thought I was having a breakdown or a personal crisis.

-Samantha Bryant, Going Through The Change

It wasn’t me, but I had a friend call me REALLY PISSED OFF because I had recommended THE FAULT IN OUR STARS and she read it in public and… you know what happened.

-Ann M Noser, How to Date Dead Guys

Tell us your most awkward #Booktears moment on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or in the comments below!

androids, artificial, jadah mccoy, atozchallenge, a to z challenge, blogging

(A) Artificial & Androids: What does Human have to do with Humanity Anyway?

a-z blog challenge, blogging, It begins- The A-Z blog challenge starts today! For those of you who don’t know, that means each day in April (except Sundays) we will be working our way through the alphabet talking books, movies, superheros, oscars, and anything else related to entertainment. To kick things off I’m talking about Androids and artificial intelligence, and an upcoming release I can’t wait for. Let’s get into it!

The Humanity of Dolphins and Artificial ‘Non-Humans

In 3 days, Artificial, the debut novel in the series The Keplar Chronicles, comes out.  Author Jadah McCoy brings a new story in android/human love and war to pop culture and I couldn’t be happier.  Syl is a human barely surviving the vicious Cull- bug-like robots- and barely remembers what emotions feel like. Bastion is an android sex-worker who is only alive because he can convincingly hide his capacity for emotion. For those of you who are, like me, completely over the angsty emotion and helpless pawn routine, Syl is a breath fresh badassery. The story runs the gamut of Bladerunner-esque problems but delves much deeper into what exactly humanity is. Says McCoy,

“I recently read an article about India declaring dolphins to be “non-human persons.” What is humanity but self-awareness, sentience, intelligence? We coin it “humanity” because human beings seem to be of the opinion that no other creature can feel as we do, think as we do, communicate as we do. Yeah, maybe dolphins don’t have the Grammy’s and maybe they don’t debate the effects of eating organic fish versus pollution-tainted fish, but does that make them any less intelligent? Just because your dog barks instead of speaking English, does that make you understand them any less? Just because an android is made of metal and coding, does that make their emotions any less real? Humanity is a term held on such a high pedestal. There are pieces, glimpses, of humanity in everything around us. One simply has to open their eyes and minds to see them.”

How Fiction Plays Into Our Innate Fear

Ex Machina pokes at the innate curiosity and fear of where the line of humanity is drawn, what really makes us human, and what happens when we can no longer tell the difference between machine and human? Media and entertainment have played off the fear that artificial intelligence will develop so well that androids will take over and kill or enslave humans. While this isn’t exactly hard to imagine, my question is- aren’t humans are just as capable and likely to do these things? If WWIII were to break out, the results would be catastrophic, without the existence of androids. Slavery is still an issue in other parts of the world, who’s to say we won’t be the ones enslaving androids when the time comes. Perhaps the future we will be fighting for the equality of androids.

So who determines when android AI becomes human? In an article called What is a Human? – Toward Psychological Benchmarks in the Field of Human-Robot Interaction by P. H. Kahn, H. Ishiguro, B. Friedman, and T. Kanda, two kinds of situational tests to human-like androids.

Two different types of claims can be made about humanoid robots at the point when they become (assuming it possible) virtually human-like. One type of claim, ontological, focuses on what the humanoid robot actually is. Drawing on Searle’s [8] terminology of “Strong and Weak AI,” the strong ontological claim is that at this potentially future point in technological sophistication, the humanoid actually becomes human. The weak ontological claim is that the humanoid only appears to become human, but remains fully artifactual (e.g., with syntax but not semantics). A second type of claim, psychological, focuses on what people attribute to the fully human-like humanoid. The strong psychological claim is that people would conceive of the humanoid as human. The weak psychological claim is that What is a Human? – Toward Psychological Benchmarks in the Field of Human-Robot Interaction Peter H. Kahn, Jr., Hiroshi Ishiguro, Batya Friedman, and Takayuki Kanda I people would conceive of the humanoid as a machine, or at least not as a human.

These are all possibilities, and several of the ‘tests’ programmer Nathan Bateman was looking for in Ex Machina are a combination of these claims. The study goes on to describe the six accepted pschylogical considerations of humanity. They are:

1) Autonomy:  are we conditioned to behave autonomously in certain ways, or is the lack therein a direct indicator of free will and morality?

2) Immitation: we as infants learn through  immitation, and likely this is a hallmark of android behavioral growth.

3) Intristic Moral Value: we value human (and sometimes animal) life enough to understand on a core level why hurting or killing are bad and interaction is something we seek.

4)Moral Accountability: we are accountable for our actions, so an indicator is if we begin to also expect androids to be morally accountable.

5)Privacy: we have the right to determine what is and is not known about our private selves and life. This becomes tricky when techinically an engineer knows much about an android when he is the creator.

6) Reciprocity: we expect response and respond in kind to each other as humans, ie: when someone extends a hand, we shake it.

Reciprocity is really very interesting in this analysis, because it denotes that reciprocal relationships are how we gain perspectives and readjust our way of thinking accordingly. For example, when children are put in a slave environment, they do not develop the proper reciprocal relationships. With this logic, we as creators will determine how androids develop reciprocity and gain new perspectives. If, upon creation, we treat them as equals and reciprocate on a human level with them, they will learn to behave as humans do in this way. If we use these androids solely as tools, as non-human entities that are not of an equal stature, they will not readjust their perspectives based on our relation to them, and therefore won’t feel the need to adhere to other aspects of humanity, such as morality. Artificial actually holds up to this theory well. Since the android Bastion engages in sexual intercourse, by definition an equal meeting of two individuals, he would be able to develop empathy and human perspectives from these interactions and gain reciprocal behavior.

What do you think will be the turn out of fully-developed AI? Tell us in the comments and tweet/instagram us your thoughts on how Artificial approaches the human/non-human quandry with #KeplarChronicles

Artificial releases April 4th, 2016 Pre-order here

artificial, book, jadah mccoy, ai, androids, romance, scifi, science fiction, novel

Citation:

What is a Human? – Toward Psychological Benchmarks in the Field of Human-Robot Interaction by: P. H. Kahn, H. Ishiguro, B. Friedman, T. Kanda. In Robot and Human Interactive Communication, 2006. ROMAN 2006. The 15th IEEE International Symposium on (sept 2006), pp. 364-371, doi:10.1109/ROMAN.2006.314461 

Fashon Forward Fiction: Outfits Based on Books!

Hey readers, how are you this Thursday? I don’t know about you, but when my nose isn’t stuck in a book, it’s usually sniffing around Pinterest for the latest fashion looks. I also LOVE when people make outfits inspired by my favorite characters (Ravenclaw inspired outfits for the win!. SO….I’ve whipped up some of our first sets on Polyvore, inspired by our books! Check it-

The Book: Wild Children by Richard Roberts

Wild Children, by Richard Roberts - CoverBad children are punished. Be bad, a child is told, and you’ll be turned into an animal, marked with your crime.

The Wild Children are forever young, but that, too, can be a curse.

Five children each tell a different story of what they became:

  • One learns that wrong can be right, and her curse may be a blessing.
  • Another is so Wild he must learn the simplest lesson, to love someone else.
  • An eight year old girl must face fear and doubt as she dies of old age.
  • Love and strangeness hit the lives of two brothers in the form of a beautiful flaming bird.
  • Finally, the oldest child learns that what is right can be horribly wrong.

Together they tell a sixth story, of a Wild Girl who can’t speak for herself, and doesn’t seem Wild at all.

 

 

The Look:

Wild Children Set

Wild Children Set by curiosityquills featuring MICHAEL Michael Kors

The Book: Division Zero by Matthew Cox

Division Zero, by Matthew S. Cox - CoverMost cops get to deal with living criminals, but Agent Kirsten Wren is not most cops.

A gifted psionic with a troubled past, Kirsten possesses a rare combination of abilities that give her a powerful weapon against spirits. In 2418, rampant violence and corporate warfare have left no shortage of angry wraiths in West City. Most exist as little more than fleeting shadows and eerie whispers in the darkness.

Kirsten is shunned by a society that does not understand psionics, feared by those who know what she can do, and alone in a city of millions. Every so often, when a wraith gathers enough strength to become a threat to the living, these same people rely on her to stop it.

Unexplained killings by human-like androids known as dolls leave the Division One police baffled, causing them to punt the case to Division Zero. Kirsten, along with her partner Dorian, wind up in the crosshairs of corporate assassins as they attempt to find out who – or what – is behind the random murders before more people die.

She tries to hold on to the belief that no one is beyond redemption as she pursues a killer desperate to claim at least one more innocent soul – that might just be hers.

The Look:

divzero

Division Zero Set by curiosityquills featuring a black shirt

The Book: Obsidian Eyes by A.W. Exley

Obsidian Eyes, by A.W. Exley - Cover1836, a world of light and dark, noble and guild. The two spheres intersect when seventeen-year-old Allie Donovan is placed at the aristocratic St Matthews Academy. More at ease with a blade than a needle, she finds herself ostracized by the girls and stalked by a Scottish lord intent on learning why she is among them.

She begins to suspect why she is at the school when soldiers arrive to see her friend, Zeb, a mechanical genius. On the hunt for answers she breaks into his underground laboratory. There, Allie discovers he is not just constructing sentient mechanical creatures, he is building a devastating new weapon for the military.

Used to relying on herself, Allie must cross the guild-noble divide to keep Zeb safe and stop the weapon falling into the wrong hands. However, the guilds want the device and she is caught in their trap. Once rescued from Newgate prison, now she must obey the overlord of the guild and deliver up her friend or he will return her to the gallows. Can she trust her new bonds of friendship to save both their lives?

 

The Look:

Obsidian Eyes Set

Obsidian Eyes Set by curiosityquills featuring a metal wall clock

The Book: Calleer 107 by Matthew Cox

cover1000When thirteen-year-old Natalie Rausch said she would die to meet DJ Crazy Todd, she did not mean to be literal.

Two years is a long time to be stuck between two people that want nothing more than to destroy each other. A tween crush on the larger-than-life jock from a local radio station is the only trace of a once-happy life ruined by warring parents.

Whenever WROK 107 ran a contest, she would dive for the phone, getting busy signals and dead air every time. She never expected to get through, but at least with her best friend at her side even losing used to be fun.

Before her parents ruined that too.

Her last desperate attempt to get their attention, falling in with a dangerous group of older teens, goes as wrong as possible. With no one left to blame for her mess of a life but herself, karma comes full circle and gives her just a few hours to make up for two years’ worth of mistakes-or be forever lost.

 

The Look:

Caller 107 Set

Caller 107 Set by curiosityquills featuring knit jeans

The Book: God’s Play by H.D. Lynn

God's Play, by H.D. Lynn - CoverSixteen-year old Toby was trained by a family of hunters to kill shape-shifters — but he has a unique weapon in his arsenal. With a touch of his hand, Toby can lift the magical protection shape-shifters use to disguise themselves as human. It’s an unusual skill for a hunter, and he prefers to kill monsters the old-fashioned way: with a blade.

Because of his special skill, Toby suspects he may be a monster himself. His suspicions deepen when William, a jackal-headed shape-shifter, saves him from an ambush where Toby’s the only survivor. And Toby doubts William helped him for purely altruistic reasons. With his list of allies running thin, Toby must reconcile his hatred of shifters and the damning truth that one saved his life. It’ll take both of them to track down the monster who ordered the ambush.

And Toby needs his unlikely alley because he has a vicious enemy — the infamous Circe, who has a vendetta to settle against the hunters. Toby has to unravel the mystery of his dual nature. And he has to do it on the run — before Circe finds him and twists him to her own ends.

 

 

That Look:

God's Play Set

God’s Play Set by curiosityquills featuring high rise jeans

The Book: Happiness, Next Exit by Anthony Mathenia

Happiness Next Exit eBook 1000Is staying with one guy worth being separated from family and friends forever?  That’s the decision Rose Gluck has to make.

Raised in a strict Jehovah’s Witness congregation in rural Missouri where romance is a four-letter word and life is charted from childhood, Rose’s prospects as the future wife of Clinton Greer, the boorish son of the authoritarian congregation overseer, do not seem especially bright.
However, when Wyatt True joins their congregation, a possibility of a new relationship emerges, along with new trials. Through their growing friendship, Rose begins to understand the deeper truths of love. Meanwhile, Rose’s grandmother worries that she is being led down the same road that caused Rose’s mother to be lost.

But are true love and happiness worth exiting what she always considered true religion? After all, her choice has eternal consequences—in the most final sense of the word.

The Look:

Happiness, Next Exit

Happiness, Next Exit by curiosityquills featuring leather gloves