Conversation with Veronica Roth #TeaserTuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, read the rules at Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along!

IMG_2913Last week was Wordfest 2014 in Calgary, and I attended  Veronica Roth in Conversation with Tahereh Mafi and Writing Mystery with Michael Robotham. The Veronica Roth event packed the Knox United Church venue with an attendance of 600. Lots of teenage girls. I think I had pretty much the best seat in the house, front and just off-center (the photo to the right taken with my phone from my seat).

It was sort of funny listening to Veronica Roth and Tahereh Mafi, both 26, and realizing that I have been writing books since before they were born. Like me, Veronica started young (age 11), and Tahereh didn’t start until after college. In spite of being such accomplished and wildly popular authors, both are still very much in the experimental phase, seeing what works in their writing craft. They both seem hardly older than the teens that they write about and for.

One of the questions that Veronica and Tahereh discussed was their favorite quotes from each other’s and their own books, so for this week, I bring you not just one but two teasers by Veronica Roth, one from Divergent, and one from Allegiant.

“I believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another.”

Veronica Roth, Divergent

“Since I was young, I have always known this. Life damages us, everyone. We can’t escape that damage. But now, I am also learning this: We can be mended. We mend each other.”

Veronica Roth, Allegiant

515qiW49mhL._SL250_Perfect for fans of the Hunger Games and Maze Runner series, Divergent and its sequels, Insurgent and Allegiant, are the gripping story of a dystopian world transformed by courage, self-sacrifice, and love. Fans of the Divergent movie will find the book packed with just as much emotional depth and exhilarating action as the film, all told in beautiful, rich language.

One choice can transform you. Beatrice Prior’s society is divided into five factions—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). Beatrice must choose between staying with her Abnegation family and transferring factions. Her choice will shock her community and herself. But the newly christened Tris also has a secret, one she’s determined to keep hidden, because in this world, what makes you different makes you dangerous.

All Young Adult Literature is _____________ #yalit #books

There has been a lot of furor on the internet over the last few months about young adult (teen) literature, and in particular adults reading young adult books. If you google it, you’ll find lots of blog opinions on whether adults should be ashamed of themselves for reading young adult literature, or if it okay to read young adult literature, or if it is okay some of the time, but you should pick up more serious or ‘literary’ books now and then.

As a young adult author, you can probably already figure out where I stand on this subject. And if you’ve read my #TeaserTuesday posts, you have probably noticed that 1/3 to 1/2 of what I read tends to be middle grade to teen literature. What I find odd about the whole discussion is:

(a) Failed attempts to classify what books qualify as young adult literature; and

(b) Declarations that “all young adult literature is_____________.”

So let’s tackle this. Young adult books are books that have a protagonist who is a young adult and/or that were written specifically for young adults. You can argue over exactly what age a “young adult” is (industry definitions run anywhere from 11-25 years old).

The second issue is more disturbing to me. Variously, all young adult literature is ___________ or all _____________ fiction is young adult:

  • escapist/pleasurable
  • easy to read (easy words, low readability level, uncomplicated plot)
  • plot driven
  • dystopian
  • fantasy
  • happy or satisfying endings
  • not “serious” literature
  • externalizes conflict
  • allegorical
  • infantilized
  • no sex/language/gore
  • “coming of age”
  • junk food for the brain
  • light reading
  • formulaic
  • one dimensional
  • likable protagonists
  • speaks to everyone

But of course young adult literature is just as diverse as children’s literature or adult literature. You can try to classify children’s fiction as always having brightly colored covers, hand drawn illustrations, simple words, or happy endings, but it just isn’t true.

The majority of children’s fiction may meet one or all of those classifications, but none of those things make it children’s fiction, and none of them are true of every children’s book. A children’s book is one written for children, whether it meets all of those qualifications or none of them.

You can say that all adult books are longer than 50,000 words, have a grade 8 reading level, are written by authors over 30 years old, and come in paperback form. Again, the majority of adult fiction may meet one or all of those classifications, but none of them make it adult literature, and none of them are true of every adult book. An adult book is one written for adults.

Is all young adult escapist, easy to read, formulaic, has one-dimensional characters and a happy or satisfying ending? I challenge you to read The Book Thief.

Young adult fiction does not have to follow any particular theme, trend, or other characteristic.

I get very frustrated with book sites or book lists that clump all young adult literature together as simply “YA”. There is a huge difference between Harry Potter and Catcher in the Rye. Between The Hobbit and The Chocolate War. Between The Outsiders and Fahrenheit 451. Just like adult fiction, YA can run the gamut of mystery, romance, fantasy, dystopian, literary, thriller, chick lit, and so on. Just like children’s fiction, some characters are bright and cheerful, and others are angry, messy, or down-right rude. Some are short, and some are long. Some use simple language and some use long words and complex language. Some have allegorical messages, some have dark meaning, and some leave you cold.

Next time you see the sentence “all young adult books are ___________,”  stop and think about whether it is true. Chances are, it isn’t, because the only thing true about all young adult books is that they were written for a young adult audience or have a young adult protagonist. Any other attempt to classify young adult books as _________ will fail. There is a huge range of books to choose from. Happy and sad, good and bad, well-written and poorly-written, high-brow and low-brow, clean and dirty, fantasy or reality, the choice is yours. Even those who claim not to read young adult literature have probably read-and enjoyed-a number of them.



Excerpt and Trailer for “Those Who Believe” #teasertuesday #trw14

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, read the rules at Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along!

Those Who Believe will be out later this month, and in recognition of YALSA Teen Read Week, I thought I would include a teaser here. Those Who Believe is a young adult suspense novel. You can find a trailer and summary below. Sign up for my mailing list (click the button to the right) or continue to watch here for the official release.

“I think that you’re sick, Nathan. Am I right?”

Nathan cleared his throat to answer, but the muscles in his throat were too tight to form the words. He swallowed and shrugged.

“Do you want to tell me about it?”

He cleared his throat again. “It’s… it’s private,” he said hoarsely.

P.D. Workman, Those Who Believe

Watch the trailer, and read the summary below.



These signs shall follow those who believe…

On the run from Social Services and others who do not understand their beliefs, Nathan and his mom, faith-healer Billie Ashbury move into yet another a new town.

Nathan again faces the challenges of making new friends and of keeping his family’s secrets. But what he really struggles with is his wavering faith and reconciling his actions with what his devoted mother has taught him from the cradle. Could disobeying her ever be right? His life could depend on the answer.

Thanksgiving and my Bookiversary #books #thanksgiving

bookiversary twitter

Today is Canadian Thanksgiving, and it is also my Bookiversary. One year ago, I published Looking Over Your Shoulder. I now have seven books out, with two more scheduled to be out by the end of the year.

I have learned an incredible amount during that time. Websites, social media, publishing, marketing, Photoshop, typography, cover design, and of course improving my writing.

I couldn’t have done it without the support of my family (especially Mom, who is my biggest fan, and Hubby, who tweets me at least weekly,) friends, and readers. I have readers who help by beta-reading books before they go to publication, identifying errors or plot holes, readers who help to edit, and readers who just happen to come across my books through bookstores or social media and those who helped with cover design, editing, photography, and styling.

To all those who have helped, a big thank you! I’ve got another six books planned for release next year, so I intend to keep you busy!


Excerpt from Premonition #teasertuesday #suspense

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, read the rules at Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along!

I recently picked up Premonition: A Time-Travel Suspense Novel (City of God Book 2) by R.S. Ingermanson. I had not read book 1 of the series, I just jumped straight in with Book 2. A couple of young people, one Jewish, one Christian, have gone through a wormhole to Jerusalem in the years following the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, and cannot get home. They get caught up in temple intrigue… I’m not sure what the results will be. I gather book 1 involved Saul of Tarsus/St. Paul.

As an aside, R.S. Ingermanson is known as the Snowflake Guy, he teaches the Snowflake Method for novel writing, which I have found very helpful in the past! Great for NaNoWriMo if you’re going to join in this year!

Shmuel felt righteous anger rising in his heart. The men of violence would come soon, as they had come once for Rabban Yeshua. That was many years ago, even before the birth of Shmuel.

R.S. Ingermanson, Premonition: A Time-Travel Suspense Novel

city-of-godWhat If …?

What if you were studying for your Ph.D. in archaeology and somehow got trapped in first-century Jerusalem after a controversial physics experiment went horribly wrong?

What if you knew from your history books that a kind and decent man was going to be murdered by the powers-that-be, all because of stupid politics?

What if you could prevent the murder, but you knew it might endanger the person you loved most in the world?

It’s A.D. 57 and Rivka Meyers desperately wants to go home, but her husband Ari is a physicist, and he says they’re stuck in the first century. He also says that the laws of physics say Rivka can’t change history. Rivka knows he’s wrong, and she’s going to prove it—by saving James the brother of Jesus from being murdered by the evil high priest.


About The Book

Premonition is a time-travel suspense novel that mixes science, history, religion, romance, and adventure. It’s about becoming the person you were meant to be. It’s about learning to accept harsh reality when you’d really rather quit and go home. It’s about being a badass fighter for justice, even when you’re fresh out of easy answers to hard questions.

Premonition won the 2004 Carol award for best Christian historical novel.

Premonition will take you on a wretched, miserable, dangerous vacation through the filthy, bandit-ridden streets of first-century Jerusalem.

Premonition is the second novel in the City of God series:
Book 1: Transgression (A.D. 57)
Book 2: Premonition (A.D. 57-62)
Book 3: Retribution (A.D. 62-66)R.S. Ingermanson, Premonition: A Time-Travel Suspense Novel (City of God Book 2)



Excerpt from Ellery Queen’s Cat of Many Tails #teasertuesday #books

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, read the rules at Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along!

In case you missed it, Don’t Forget Steven is now out! And while my Goodreads Giveaway for Diversion has wrapped up, it is on Kindle freebie for the rest of the day. (I’m going to have to remember if doing another concurrent giveaway that Goodreads Giveaways complete at 12:01 a.m. of the date that you pick, whereas Kindle freebies run until 11:59 p.m., so to make them end at approximately the same time, pick one day later for Goodreads!)

I am currently reading Cat of Many Tails by Ellery Queen. In case you don’t know—I didn’t—Ellery Queen is both the pen name of the two author team, and the name of the main character. I am quite enjoying this serial murder mystery, and hope to wrap it up today, since my library loan expires today!

“Sometimes a case comes along,” said the Mayor, one eye on his Police Commissioner, “that’s so off the trail, so eccentric, it licks even the finest cop. I think this Cat business needs the kind of special talents you’ve demonstrated so brilliantly in the past. A fresh and unorthodox approach.”

Ellery Queen, Cat of Many Tails


New York City is terrorized by a serial killer, and only Ellery Queen can stop the panic 

In the dog days of August, it is no surprise to see New Yorkers perspire. But this summer, a killer called the Cat gives the city a new reason to sweat. He selects his victims seemingly at random and strangles them, then escapes without leaving a clue. As the death toll climbs, and the press whips the public into horrified frenzy, Gotham teeters on the edge of anarchy.
Ellery Queen, the brilliant amateur sleuth, has gone into retirement when the Cat begins to kill. As his father, a seasoned homicide detective, leads the investigation into the murder, Ellery tries to avoid getting involved. But as the body count rises, he can no longer resist the urge to hunt. The Queens are known for their curiosity—and everyone knows how curiosity can affect a cat.

New Release – Don’t Forget Steven now on Amazon! #yalit #books

mock-up-1Don’t Forget Steven is now up on Amazon! Be sure to click through and get your copy. Amazon has not yet merged the versions into a single profile and the paperback isn’t showing up on a title or author search, but you can find them by clicking below:

Kindle Version

Paperback Version

Of course, if you are in Calgary, let me know and I will set aside a copy for you when I get my paperback shipment in, to save you on shipping.

You can also watch the book trailer or read a teaser.

About Don’t Forget Steven:

He never told what went on behind closed doors. But this time, he can’t remember.

Things never have been easy for Steven. He accepts that, and just makes the best of things. He might not have parents or a happy home. Or enough to eat most days. But at least he has a couple of loyal friends who stand by him and help out when they can. At least he has school, someplace he can go to escape the abuse.

But just when he thought things couldn’t get much worse, they did.

Steven is accused of murder. But that isn’t the worst part. The really bad part is not even knowing if he did it.


— I couldn’t stop reading

— The chilling tale of domestic violence and Steven’s struggle to overcome his traumatic experiences, “Don’t Forget Steven” is a fast-paced, compelling read that keeps the reader on the edge from beginning to end

— An interesting and insightful peek into Steven’s life and what it is like to be abused… I really loved this book and would read it again.

“Diversion” Giveaway Double-Header! #Goodreads and #Kindle

diversion giveaways

Do you like free stuff?
Here are two giveaways for the price of one!

September 26-30, 2014

Enter the Goodreads giveaway for an autographed paperback copy of  Diversion, Breaking the Pattern #2
Download a free electronic copy for your Kindle library!

Not sure if you will like Diversion?
Check out the summary page
and excerpt

Diversion can be read as a stand alone, you do not have to have read Deviation to understand or enjoy it.

Excerpt from “Hunting Shadows” #teasertuesday

teasertuesdays2014eTeaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, read the rules at Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along!

Lots of things on the go right now. Don’t Forget Steven is in final proofs and will hopefully be out by the end of the week. Watch the trailer and read a teaser while you’re waiting!

And watch here or on any of my social media for a special double-barrelled giveaway beginning this Friday!

I recently listened to “Hunting Shadows” by Charles Todd. A great mystery, intriguing, keeps you guessing, and wraps up satisfyingly well. I would definitely read others in the series.

He could feel the rifle in his hands, the familiar smoothness of the wood, the heat of the barrel from long hours of use, the weight of it, so real to him that for an instant he could almost believe it was there. And with all his heart he wished it was true.

Charles Todd, Hunting Shadows

51G8SM0F5YL._SL250_A dangerous case with ties leading back to the battlefields of World War I dredges up dark memories for Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge in Hunting Shadows, a gripping and atmospheric historical mystery set in 1920s England, from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Charles Todd.

A society wedding at Ely Cathedral in Cambridgeshire becomes a crime scene when a man is murdered. After another body is found, the baffled local constabulary turns to Scotland Yard. Though the second crime had a witness, her description of the killer is so strange its unbelievable.

Despite his experience, Inspector Ian Rutledge has few answers of his own. The victims are so different that there is no rhyme or reason to their deaths. Nothing logically seems to connect them—except the killer. As the investigation widens, a clear suspect emerges. But for Rutledge, the facts still don’t add up, leaving him to question his own judgment.

In going over the details of the case, Rutledge is reminded of a dark episode he witnessed in the war. While the memory could lead him to the truth, it also raises a prickly dilemma. To stop a murderer, will the ethical detective choose to follow the letter—or the spirit—of the law?

Trailer for “Don’t Forget Steven”

The trailer for Don’t Forget Steven is now up! It won’t be long now before it’s out, have a look!

steven kindle

Things never have been easy for Steven. He accepts that, and just makes the best of things. He might not have parents or a happy home. Or enough to eat most days. But at least he has a couple of loyal friends who stand by him and help out when they can. At least he has school, someplace he can go to escape the abuse.

Just when he thought things couldn’t get much worse, they did.

Steven is accused of murder. But that isn’t the worst part. The really bad part is not even knowing if he did it.

%d bloggers like this: