Giveaway: Author-Signed Poster & The Caretaker’s Guide to Fablehaven by Brandon Mull, illustrated by Brandon Dorman

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Enter to win one of two copies of The Caretaker’s Guide to Fablehaven by Brandon Mull (Shadow Mountain, 2015) and an author-signed Fablehaven poster.

Caretakers of magical preserves need to visually identify dozens of mythical and magical creatures. This book will open your eyes to a secret world most humans know nothing about. Study these pages and learn about the many magical artifacts,

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Book Trailer: Keepers of the Labyrinth by Erin E. Moulton

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Check out the book trailer for Keepers of the Labyrinth by Erin E. Moulton (Philomel, 2015). From the promotional copy:

Courage is tested, myths come to life, and long-held secrets are revealed.


Lilith Bennette runs at midnight. She scales walls in the dark and climbs without a harness. She hopes that if she follows exactly in the steps of her strong air force pilot mother,

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Guest Interview: Mina Witteman on Talking Books, Ghosts, Writing & Teaching

By Angela Cerrito

Mina Witteman is a published author, writing in Dutch and English. She has four adventurous middle grade novels, over 40 short stories, and a Little Golden Book out in the Netherlands.

The first volume of a middle grade series, Boreas and the Seven Seas, came out in June 2015. The second book is scheduled for early spring 2016.

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New Voice & Giveaway: Maggie Lehrman on The Cost of All Things

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Maggie Lehrman is the first-time author of The Cost of All Things (Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins, 2015). From the promotional copy:

What would you pay to cure your heartbreak?


Banish your sadness?


Transform your looks?


The right spell can fix anything…


When Ari’s boyfriend Win dies,

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New Voice & Giveaway: Sarah McGuire on Valiant

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Sarah McGuire is the first-time author of Valiant (Egmont/Lerner, 2015). From the promotional copy:

Reggen still sings about the champion, the brave tailor. This is the story that is true.


Saville despises the velvets and silks that her father prizes far more than he’s ever loved her. Yet when he’s struck ill she’ll do anything to survive–even dressing as a boy and begging a commission to sew for the king.

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Guest Post: Janet Lee Carey on Tips for Writing Fantasy

Kathy Dawson Books/Penguin, 2015

By Janet Lee Carey

So good to be back visiting the multi-talented Cynthia Leitich Smith here on Cynsations with my third book in the Wilde Island trilogy. Cynthia hosted an interview for the first Wilde Island book, Dragon’s Keep (Harcourt, 2007) so this visit brings it full circle.

I thought it would be a good time to look back and share a few things I’ve learned on the way up the twisty fantasy writing road.

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2015 SCBWI Europolitan Con: Author & Diversity Advocate Marieke Nijkamp

By Mina Witteman

Marieke Nijkamp is a storyteller, dreamer, globe-trotter, and diversity advocate.

She holds degrees in philosophy, history, and medieval studies, and wants to grow up to be a queer time traveler.

In the midnight hours of the day, Marieke writes stories full of hope and heartbreak.

She is proud to be the founder of DiversifYA and VP for We Need Diverse Books™.

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Giveaway: Feral Pride Releases: All Tantalize-Feral Universe Novels Now Available

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Today’s release of Feral Pride means all of my TantalizeFeral universe novels are available from Candlewick Press.

While all the books can stand alone, there’s likely best appreciated in concert.

This finale unites protagonists of the two series and brings back a number of other fan-fave characters.

What’s more today’s paperback release of Feral Curse by Candlewick means that all but that last book in the series are available in paperback from Candlewick (plus,

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New Voice: Nicole Maggi on Winter Falls (Twin Willows Trilogy)

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Nicole Maggi is the first-time author of Winter Falls (Twin Willows Trilogy) (Medallion Press, 2014). From the promotional copy:

Sixteen-year-old Alessia Jacobs is dying to get out of her small town of Twin Willows, Maine. 

Things start looking up when a new family comes to town—but when she falls for Jonah, their mysterious son,

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Author Interview: Ysabeau S. Wilce on Flora Segunda

Ysabeau S. Wilce on Ysabeau S. Wilce: “Ysabeau S. Wilce was born in Northern California and, though she has traveled the world, considers herself a Californian still. After being trained as a historian, she turned to fiction when the truth no longer compared to the shining lies of her imagination. She’s published in both boring scholarly journals and in exciting fiction magazines and is equally proud of both.

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