Midwinter Debut Author Party 2016

A private party for librarians! Meet and greet 26 up-and-coming Young Adult and Middle Grade authors and chat about their 2016 debuts. Enjoy free appetizers, a cash bar, a chance to win books, and more!

What: An exclusive Meet& Greet for librarians and debut authors

When: Saturday, January 9th 5-7 PM

Where: City Bar, The Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel (adjacent to the Boston Convention Center), 425 Summer St. Boston, MA

To RSVP: Click on this link, or simply contact Rebecca Podos at RebeccaPodosSweetSixteens@gmail.com.

For questions or more information, please email Rebecca at RebeccaPodosSweetSixteens@gmail.com.

Participating Authors:

Jenn BarnesJENN BISHOP, author of The Distance to Home (Middle Grade, Contemporary)

Jenn Bishop is a former youth services and teen librarian. She is a graduate of the University of Chicago, where she studied English, and Vermont College of Fine Arts, where she received her MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults. Along with her husband and cat, Jenn lives just outside of Boston, where she roots for the Red Sox.   Connect with Jenn:  Twitter ~  Facebook  ~ GoodReads  ~ jennbishop.com

THE DISTANCE TO HOMEAbout The Distance to Home: The summer after her older sister Haley died, nothing feels quite right for eleven-year-old Quinnen. Her main salvation is the Bandits, the minor league baseball team in town, and for once her parents agree to host a player. But it’s still not the same as being on the field herself—pitching from the mound—something she hasn’t done since Haley’s death. Can she find a way to get back in the game, even though everything’s changed?

Publisher: Random House/Knopf Children’s       ISBN: 9781101938713       On-sale date: 6/28/16

Ask me about: that time I read over 300 YA books in one year.


Elizabeth BriggsELIZABETH BRIGGS, author of Future Shock (Young Adult Sci-Fi Thriller)

Elizabeth Briggs is a full-time geek who writes books for teens and adults. She graduated from UCLA with a degree in Sociology, currently mentors teens in writing, and volunteers with a dog rescue group. She’s the author of the new adult Chasing The Dream series and the upcoming young adult novel Future Shock. Elizabeth lives in Los Angeles with her husband and a pack of fluffy dogs.  Connect with Elizabeth:  Twitter ~  Facebook   ~ elizabethbriggs.net

futureshockAbout Future Shock: When Elena Martinez and four other gifted but desperate teens are sent to the near future, something goes wrong and they break the one rule they were given: to not look into their own fates. Now they have 24 hours to get back to the present and stop a seemingly inevitable future from unfolding.

Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company       ISBN: 978-0807526828       On-sale date: 4/1/16

Ask me about: mentoring teen girls.


Nicole CastromanNICOLE CASTROMAN, author of Blackhearts (Young Adult Historical Fiction)

Nicole Castroman received her BA from Brigham Young University and has lived in Germany, Austria, and two different places called Georgia. One is the country located near the Black Sea, and the other is the state of Georgia where she currently lives with her husband and two children. Connect with Nicole:  Twitter ~  Instagram ~ GoodReads  ~ nicolecastroman.com

Nicole Castroman (BLACK HEARTS)About Blackhearts: A Blackbeard origin story, or what I like to call pre-pirate. It’s basically my imagining of what led him to become one of the most notorious pirates to sail the seas.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse       ISBN: 9781481432696       On-sale date: 2/9/16

Ask me about: my obsession with all things Poldark.


Roshani ChokshiROSHANI CHOKSHI, author of The Star-Touched Queen (Young Adult Fantasy)

Roshani Chokshi writes fantasy with an Asian twist. She studies law by day and is an accomplished oneironaut by night. Connect with Roshani:  Twitter ~ roshanichokshi.com

starAbout The Star-Touched Queen: A dark Hades and Persephone style romance set in the lush fantastical realms of ancient India where a princess must overcome a sinister horoscope to find herself and rescue the one she loves.

Publisher: MacMillan/St. Martin’s Griffin       ISBN: 1427272999        On-sale date: 5/3/16

Ask me about: growing up Indian and Filipina, OR about my miniature Jersey cows named after ice-cream flavors.


Victoria J CoeVICTORIA J. COE, author of Fenway and Hattie (Middle Grade Contemporary Humor)

Victoria J. Coe grew up a huge fan of books, dogs, and the Boston Red Sox. Today she and her family live just outside of Boston where she and her dog are always on the lookout for delivery trucks. And squirrels.  Connect with Victoria: Twitter ~ GoodReads ~ victoriajcoe.com

Victoria J Coe (FENWAY AND HATTIE)About Fenway and Hattie: Told from the perspective of Fenway, Hattie’s dog, the book focuses on the pair’s adjustments to changes that come with their move from the city to the suburbs.

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons/Penguin       ISBN: 9780399172748       On-sale date: 2/9/16

Ask me about: why the book is called Fenway and Hattie!


Melanie_conklinMELANIE CONKLIN, author of Counting Thyme (Middle Grade Contemporary)

Melanie Conklin is a writer, reader, and life-long lover of books and those who create them. She lives in South Orange, New Jersey with her husband and two small maniacs.  Connect with Melanie: Twitter ~ melanieconklin.com

COUNTING THYMEAbout Counting Thyme: The novel follows 11-year-old Thyme Owens, who moves from San Diego to New York City after her brother is accepted into a cancer drug trial. There, she discovers that hope can be found in everyday miracles: in first crushes, in budding friendships, in school plays, and in a sisters. love for her little brother.

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons       ISBN: 9780399173301       On-sale date: 4/12/16

Ask me about: moving to New York City, or the groundbreaking pediatric cancer treatments at Sloan Kettering in NYC.


DANA ELMENDORF, author of South of Sunshine (Young Adult Contemporary LGBT Romance)

dana 2Born and raised in small town in Tennessee, Dana Elmendorf now lives in southern California with her husband, two boys and her tiny dog. When she isn’t exercising, she can be found geeking out with Mother Nature or scouring the internet for foreign indie bands. After her family’s needs are met, you can find her dreaming up YA romances with plenty of kissing. Connect with Dana:  Twitter ~ Instagram ~ Tumblr ~ danaelmendorf.com

South-of-Sunshine_CvrReveal2About South of Sunshine: Kaycee Jean McCoy, a girl with “yes, ma’am” ingrained in her DNA, lives in a small town where gay better be your mood and not your sexual orientation. When a beautiful and worldly new girl moves to town, Kaycee falls in love and her whole world goes to hell in a handbasket. Ultimately she must decide how much she’s willing to risk in order to gain their acceptance, even if it means losing everything.

Publisher: Albert Whitman and Company       ISBN: 978-0807575680       On-sale date: 4/1/16

Ask me about: growing up in the south.


Julie EshbaughJULIE ESHBAUGH, author of Ivory and Bone (Young Adult Historical Fiction)

Julie Eshbaugh once produced an online video series for teens which received several honors from the Webbie Awards. Now, she focuses her time on writing. Ivory and Bone is her debut novel. Connect with Julie:  Twitter ~ Facebook ~ GoodReads ~ publishingcrawl.com ~julieeshbaugh.com

Ivory and BoneAbout Ivory and Bone: Set in a time of woolly mammoths and saber-toothed cats, Ivory and Bone is a sweeping prehistoric fantasy with allusions to Pride and Prejudice. With a unique narrative structure, it tells the story of Kol and Mya, two star-crossed teens whose competing clans share a dark history, and who must choose between trusting—or fighting—each other.

Publisher: HarperTeen      ISBN: 978-0062399250       On-sale date: 6/14/16

Ask me about: my experience as the creator, writer, and producer of an early YouTube hit series for kids.


Carrie FirestoneCARRIE FIRESTONE, author of The Loose Ends List (Young Adult Contemporary) 

Carrie Firestone is a former New York City high school teacher who now lives and writes in Connecticut.  Connect with Carrie:  Twitter ~ Facebookcarriefirestoneauthor.com

LooseEndsList_cover_approved_ARC-2 copyAbout The Loose Ends List: Seventeen-year-old Maddie O’Neill Levine is primed to spend the perfect summer with her best friends and beloved young-at-heart grandmother. But Maddie’s plans change when Gram announces that she is terminally ill and has booked the family on a secret death with dignity cruise to leave the world on her own terms and give the O’Neill clan a trip of dreams-come-true in the process.

Soon, Maddie is on the trip of a lifetime with her over-the-top family where she bonds with other passengers and falls for Enzo, who is processing his own grief. But despite the laughter, glamorous destinations, and headiness of first love, Maddie knows she is on the brink of losing Gram. She struggles to find the strength to say goodbye in a whirlwind summer shaped by loss and love.

Publisher: Hachette       ISBN: 978-0-316-26768-7       On-sale date: 6/7/16

Ask me about: my new tattoo.


Laurie Elizabeth FlynnLAURIE ELIZABETH FLYNN, author of Firsts (Young Adult Contemporary)

Laurie Elizabeth Flynn went to school for journalism, where she learned that she’d rather write her own stories than report the news. She also worked as a model, a job that took her overseas to Tokyo, Athens, and Paris. She lives in London, Ontario, with her husband and her Chihuahua.  Connect with Laurie:  Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Tumblr ~ InstagramGoodReads ~ laurieelizabethflynn.com

Firsts CoverAbout Firsts: Seventeen-year-old Mercedes provides a unique service to her virgin classmates: the opportunity to get their awkward first time over with, judgment-free. But what was meant to be temporary spirals out of control, and Mercedes begins to question where her heart really belongs.

Publisher: Macmillan      ISBN: 9781250075963       On-sale date: 1/5/16

Ask me about: my passion to eradicate slut-shaming.


karen_fortunatiKAREN FORTUNATI, author of The Weight of Zero (Young Adult Contemporary) 

Karen Fortunati is a former attorney.  Her experiences on the job with children and teens and personal experiences witnessing the impact of depression, bipolar disorder, and suicide inspired her to write a story of hope for those who struggle with mental illness. In addition to writing, she attends graduate school at Trinity College and works part time as a museum educator. She lives in Connecticut with her family and rescue dogs.  Connect with Karen: Twitter ~ www.karenfortunati.com

About The Weight of Zero: Seventeen-year-old Catherine Pulaski knows Zero is coming for her. Zero, the devastating depression born of Catherine’s bipolar disorder, almost triumphed once resulting in her first suicide attempt. But bipolar disorder is forever. And while today’s med du jour might work right now, Catherine knows it’s only temporary. Zero will be back for her. It’s only a matter of time.

So, in an old ballet shoebox, she stockpiles medications, preparing to take her own life before Zero can inflict its own living death on her again. Before she goes, though, she has a short bucket list.  This list, along with the support of her family, new friends, and a new course of treatment, all lessen Catherine’s sense of isolation. The problem is, the plan is already in place, and has been for so long that Catherine might not be able to see a future beyond it.  This is a story of loss and grief and hope and how the many shapes of love – maternal, romantic and platonic – impact a young woman’s struggle with mental illness and the stigma of treatment.

Publisher: Penguin Random House       ISBN: not yet available       On-sale date: Fall 2016

Ask me about: Anything! (And what makes this story different.)


Heidi HeligHEIDI HEILIG, author of The Girl From Everywhere (Young Adult Fantasy)

Heidi grew up in Hawaii where she rode horses and raised peacocks, and then she moved to New York City and grew up even more, as one tends to do. Connect with Heidi:  Twitter ~ heidiheilig.com

Heidi Heilig (THE GIRL FROM EVERYWHERE)About The Girl From Everywhere: Nix has spent her life sailing aboard the Temptation, using maps from myth and history to travel through time. But when her father uncovers the one map he’s always sought–1868 Honolulu, before Nix’s mother died in childbirth–he plans to change the past. But doing so could erase Nix’s future, her dreams, her adventures . . . her connection with the charming Persian thief, Kash. If Nix helps her father reunite with the love of his life, it will cost her her own.

Publisher: HarperCollins/Greenwillow       ISBN: 9780062380753       On-sale date: 2/16/16

Ask me about: cramming a 3 person family in a 400 square foot studio.


Bridget HodderBRIDGET HODDER, author of The Rat Prince (Upper Middle Grade Fantasy)

Bridget Hodder began her career in archaeology, translating ancient documents in order to tell the stories of long dead civilizations. Then she realized she had her own stories to tell. She now lives and writes full time in a small New England town by the sea.  Connect with Bridget: FacebookGoodReads ~ bridgethodder.com

rat princeAbout The Rat Prince:  This is the story of Char–the dashing Prince of the Rats–who’s in love with Cinderella. He and his best friend Swiss are changed into coachmen by the Fairy Godmother on the night of the big ball. And they’re about to turn the legend (and the evening) upside down on the way to a most unexpected happy ending!

Publisher: MacMillan/Farrar, Straus & Giroux     ISBN: 9780374302138       On-sale date: 8/23/16

Ask me about: what I discovered while translating the writing of the Ancient Aztec.


Kathy MacMillanKATHY MACMILLAN, author of Sword and Verse (Young Adult Fantasy)

Kathy MacMillan is a librarian, American Sign Language interpreter, signing storyteller, workshop presenter, and author of storytime resource books. She writes YA fantasy that combines her geektastic love of linguistic history with her enjoyment of swoony romance. She lives with her husband and son near Baltimore, MD. Connect with Kathy: Twitter ~ Facebook ~ GoodReads ~ kathymacmillan.com

Kathy MacMillan (SWORD AND VERSE)About Sword and Verse: In a land where writing is the sacred privilege of a few, a slave girl gets the chance to learn the language of the gods when she becomes a royal tutor. But her dreams are threatened by her forbidden love for the prince, and her loyalty is tested by the Resistance, who dare her to fight for her people’s freedom.

Publisher: HarperTeen       ISBN: 978-0062324610       On-sale date: 1/19/16

Ask me about: my past as a library book cart drill team leader.


Lee Gjertsen MaloneLEE GJERTSEN MALONE, author of The Last Boy at St. Edith’s (Middle Grade Contemporary)

Lee Gjertsen Malone is an author and journalist based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Connect with Lee: Twitter ~ Facebook ~ leegjertsenmalone.com

LastBoyAbout The Last Boy at St. Edith’s: The last boy at an all-girls school that failed in an attempt to go coed tries to get himself kicked out through a series of pranks, but faces unforeseen consequences to himself, his friends, and his family.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Aladdin       ISBN: 978-1481444354       On-sale date: 2/23/16

Ask me about: my pets.


Emily MartinEMILY MARTIN, author of The Year We Fell Apart (Young Adult Contemporary)

Emily Martin lives and writes in the Greater Boston area, though she will always call Michigan home. When not writing books, you can find her hiking New England’s peaks, searching for the perfect cup of hot chocolate, or baking something pumpkin-flavored. Connect with Emily:  Twitter ~ emilymartinwrites.com

Emily Martin (THE YEAR WE FELL APART)About The Year We Fell Apart: One year ago, Harper made the biggest mistake of her life: destroying her relationship with her best friend and first love Declan. Now, Declan’s home from boarding school for the summer, and Harper has three months to fix the past or finally let go.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster       ISBN: 1481438417       On-sale date: 1/26/16

Ask me about: recycling.


 Marieke NijkampMARIEKE NIJKAMP, author of This is Where It Ends (Young Adult Contemporary)

Marieke is a storyteller, dreamer, globe-trotter, geek. She holds degrees in philosophy, history, and medieval studies, and is an executive member of We Need Diverse Books, the founder of DiversifYA, and a founding contributor to YA Misfits.  Connect with Marieke:  Twitter ~ mariekenijkamp.com

Marieke Nijkamp (THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS)About This is Where It Ends:

10:00 a.m.: The principal of Opportunity, Alabama’s high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m.: The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

10:03 a.m.: The auditorium doors won’t open.

10:05 a.m.: Someone starts shooting.

Told over the span of 54 harrowing minutes from four different perspectives, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.

Publisher: SourceBooks Fire      ISBN: 149262246X       On-sale date: 1/5/2016

Ask me about: diversity in kidlit, or storytelling through the ages.


Shannon M ParkerSHANNON PARKER, author of The Girl Who Fell (Young Adult Contemporary)

Shannon M. Parker traveled to over three dozen countries before settling in New England, where she now administers adult and early literacy programs. She can usually be found rescuing dogs, chickens, old houses and wooden boats. Connect with Shannon:  TwitterInstagramshannonmparker.com

Shannon Parker (THE GIRL WHO FELL)About The Girl Who Fell: High school senior Zephyr Doyle is focused. Focused on leading her team to the field hockey state championship and leaving her small town for Boston College. But love has a way of changing things. Though love shouldn’t make you abandon your dreams, or push your friends away. Love shouldn’t make you feel guilty – or worse, ashamed. When Zephyr finally begins to see Alec for who he really is, she knows it’s time to take back control of her life. If she waits any longer, it may be too late.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster       ISBN: 1481437259       On-sale date: 3/3/16

Ask me about: hiking to the top of the Andes, walking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, diving the Great Barrier Reef; or chocolate.


Randi PinkRANDI PINK, author of Wearing White (Young Adult Magical Realism)

Randi Pink lives and writes in Birmingham, Alabama, with her family. Connect with Randi: randipink.com

About Wearing White: Sixteen-year-old Latoya Williams, a black girl who attends a mostly white high school in the Bible Belt, prays for the power to change her race and wakes up white.

Publisher: MacMillan/Feiwel and Friends       ISBN: 9781250070210       On-sale date: Not yet available

Ask me about: the South!


REBECCA PODOS, author of The Mystery of Hollow Places (Young Adult Contemporary Mystery)

Rebecca PodosRebecca Podos is a Young Adult and Middle Grade agent at the Rees Literary Agency in Boston. She writes, reads, and loves books about complex and complicated female relationships, and has always adored a good mystery. Connect with Rebecca: Twitter ~ GoodReads ~ Instagram ~ RebeccaPodos.com

Rebecca Podos (MYSTERY OF HOLLOW PLACES)About The Mystery of Hollow Places: Imogene Scott, the daughter of a bestselling mystery writer, was raised on stories of troubled, solitary detectives whose only superpower was their tireless search for the truth. When her father goes missing, she sets out to find him using the skills she’s learned from his books. Along the way she uncovers her own truths about the mother who left them years before, and about the loneliness that’s marked the family for generations.

Publisher: HarperCollins       ISBN: 9780062373342       On-sale date: 1/26/16

Ask me about: the talented YA authors I’m honored to represent.


KIM SAVAGE, author of After the Woods (Young Adult Mystery)

Kim SavageKim Savage is a former journalist from Boston who writes books for all readers. Connect with Kim: Twitter ~ GoodReads Facebook ~ Tumblr ~ Pinterest kimsavage.me

after the woodsAbout After the Woods: “Statistically speaking, girls like me don’t come back when guys like Donald Jessup take us.”  Julia beat the odds. She escaped the predator who hunted her in the woods for two terrifying nights that she can’t remember. Now it’s one year later and a dead girl turns up in those same woods. Local TV reporter Paula Papademetriou smells a story and starts trailing Julia just as her memories resurface, leaving whip-smart Julia in a stupor at awkward moments; in front of gorgeous Kellan MacDougall, for example. At least Julia’s not alone. Liv was in the woods too: when Julia got caught, Liv ran away. Is Liv’s guilt over leaving Julia the reason she’s starving herself? Is hooking up with Shane Cuthbert, an addict with an explosive temper, Liv’s way of punishing herself for not having Julia’s back? As the devastating truth about Liv becomes clear, Julia realizes that after the woods is just the beginning.

Publisher: FSG/Macmillan       ISBN: 0374300550       On-sale date: 2/23/16

Ask me about: brave girls in YA lit.


LOIS SEPAHBAN, author of Paper Wishes (Middle Grade Historical Fiction)

Lois SepahbanLois Sepahban lives in Kentucky with her family and a barnful of rescued animals. Connect with Lois: Twitter loissepahban.com

Lois Sepahban (PAPER WISHES)About Paper Wishes: Ten-year-old Manami did not realize how peaceful her family’s life on Bainbridge Island was until the day it all changed. It’s 1942, after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and Manami and her family are Japanese American, which means that the government says they must leave their home by the sea and join other Japanese Americans at a prison camp in the desert. Manami is sad to go, but even worse is that they are going to have to give her dog, Yujiin, to a neighbor to take care of. Manami decides to sneak Yujiin under her coat, but she is caught and forced to abandon him. She is devastated but clings to the hope that somehow Yujiin will find his way to the camp and make her family whole again. It isn’t until she finds a way to let go of her guilt that Manami can accept all that has happened to her family.

Publisher: Macmillan       ISBN: 978-0-374-30216-0       On-sale date: 1/5/16

Ask me about: my pet chickens, or growing up in California’s Central Valley.


LAURA SHOVAN, author of The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary (Middle Grade Contemporary Novel in Verse)

DSC_5879Laura Shovan is a poet, children’s author, and educator currently serving as Howard County Poetry and Literature Society’s writer-in-residence. Laura is author and editor of three books, including Voices Fly: An Anthology of Exercises and Poems from the Maryland State Arts Council Artists-in-Residence Program, for which she teaches. Connect with Laura: Twitter ~ GoodReads authoramok.blogspot.com

Laura Shovan (THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY)About The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary: When fifth graders learn that their school will be torn down and replaced by a supermarket, they take their teacher’s 1960s political teachings to heart and fight to save it.

Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books/Random House       ISBN: 978-0553521375       On-sale date: 4/12/16

Ask me about: Novels in verse, or kids with learning differences.


ELLY SWARTZ, author of Finding Perfect (Middle Grade Contemporary)

Elly SwartzElly Swartz loves writing, but that’s not where her story began. Elly’s been a Sesame Place ride operator, messenger, lawyer, legal author and college essay adviser. She lives in Brookline, Massachusetts with her husband, two sons and beagle. Connect with Elly:  FacebookTwitter ~ http://www.ellyswartz.com/

About Finding Perfect:  This is a middle grade story about a twelve-year-old girl named Molly, friendship, family, betrayal, OCD, and a slam poetry competition that will determine everything.

Publisher: FSG/Macmillan      ISBN: 978-0-374-30312-9       On-sale date: 10/18/16

Ask me about: the fortune I got in my Bazooka Joe Bubblegum.


MONICA TESLER, author of Bounders (Middle Grade Science Fiction)

Monica TeslerMonica Tesler lives in a coastal community south of Boston with her husband and their two boys. She earned her bachelors and law degree from the University of Michigan, and she has worked as an attorney for more than fifteen years. Connect with Monica: Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram ~ monicatesler.com

Monica Tesler (BOUNDERS)About Bounders: The opening book in a new science fiction adventure series about the first class of cadets at the Earth Force academy for quantum space travel, kids who always felt different but never suspected they held the key to saving the galaxy from an alien threat kept secret since before they were born.

Publisher: Simon and Schuster       ISBN:978-1481445931        On-sale date: January 5, 2016

Ask me about: Writing books on the commuter boat.


DARCY WOODS, author of Summer of Supernovas (Young Adult Contemporary Romance)

Darcy WoodsDarcy Woods had three big loves in grade school: reading, writing, and pizza day. Some things never change. She lives in Michigan with her madly supportive husband, two tuxedo cats (who overdress for everything) and a closet full of neatly organized shoes. Once upon a time, she served in a US Army aviation unit and threw live grenades. Now she throws words. SUMMER OF SUPERNOVAS is her Golden Heart-winning debut novel.  Connect with Darcy: Twitter ~ GoodReads ~ Instagramdarcywoods.com

Darcy Woods (SUMMER OF SUPERNOVAS)About Summer of Supernovas: As the daughter of an expert astrologer, Wilamena Carlisle knows that the truth lies within the stars. So when she discovers a rare planetary alignment, she is forced to tackle her worst astrological fear – The Fifth House of Relationships and Love. But Wil must decide whether a cosmically doomed love is worth rejecting her dead mother’s legacy, when she falls for a sensitive guitar player hailing from the wrong side of the chart.

Publisher:  Penguin/Random House     ISBN: 9780553537048       On-sale date: 5/10/16

Ask me about: that time I got treed by a wild boar in Germany.


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