Guest Post: Susan Thogerson Maas on Writing from a Faith-Based Perspective

By Susan Thogerson Maas

Why do we write middle grade and young adult books? Perhaps we love to play with words. Or we admire the honesty and realness of kids—and never quite grew up ourselves.

These reasons also apply to those of religious faith, but we have an added motive—to inspire children, deepen their faith, or help them live a better life. These ideas can be part of both religious and mainstream market books.

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New Voice & Giveaway: Paige Britt on The Lost Track of Time

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Paige Britt
is the first-time author of The Lost Track of Time, illustrated by Lee White
(Scholastic, 2015). From the promotional copy:


A magical fantasy, an allegorical cautionary tale, a feast of language, a celebration of creativity–this dazzling debut novel is poised to become a story for the ages.

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New Voice: Christine Hayes on Mothman’s Curse

Mothman Selfie Sheet

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Christine Hayes is the first-time author of Mothman’s Curse, illustrated by James K. Hindle (Roaring Brook, 2015). From the promotional copy:

Josie may live in the most haunted town in America, but the only strange thing she ever sees is the parade of oddball customers that comes through her family’s auction house each week. 

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New Voice: Danica Davidson on Attack on the Overworld

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Danica Davidson, welcome back to Cynsations and congratulations on the release of Attack on the Overworld
(Skyhorse, 2015)! 

What inspired you to choose the particular point of view–first, second, third, omniscient (or some alternating combination) featured in your novel?

Usually I don’t decide what point-of-view I want to use, because the story comes to me with the point of view already intact,

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New Voice & Giveaway: Laurie Wallmark on Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Laurie Wallmark is the first-author of Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine (Creston, 2015). From the promotional copy:

Ada Lovelace, the daughter of the famous romantic poet, Lord Byron, develops her creativity through science and math. 

When she meets Charles Babbage, the inventor of the first mechanical computer, Ada understands the machine better than anyone else and writes the world’s first computer program in order to demonstrate its capabilities.

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New Voice & Giveaway: K.C. Maguire on Inside the Palisade

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

K.C. Maguire is the first-time author of Inside the Palisade (Lodestone, 2015). From the promotional copy:

Omega has grown up surrounded by women – literally.


Inside the palisade, women fall in love, marry and raise daughters, relying on an artificial insemination process known as the Procedure. But something goes horribly wrong.

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New Voice: Laura Woollett on Big Top Burning: The True Story of an Arsonist, a Missing Girl, and The Greatest Show On Earth

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Laura A. Woollett is the first-time author of Big Top Burning: The True Story of an Arsonist, a Missing Girl, and The Greatest Show On Earth (Chicago Review Press, 2015). From the promtional copy:

Big Top Burning investigates the 1944 Hartford circus fire and invites readers to take part in a critical evaluation of the evidence


The fire broke out at 2:40 p.m.

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New Voice: Stefanie Lyons on Dating Down

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Stephanie Lyons is the first-time author of Dating Down (Flux, 2015). From the promotional copy:

At Café Hex, Samantha Henderson can imagine being the person she really wants to be. 

It’s her place to daydream about going to art school and getting away from her politician father. It’s her place to imagine opening herself up to a new kind of connection,

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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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Interview: Author Erin Hagar & Illustrator Joanna Gorham on Julia Child: An Extraordinary Life in Words and Pictures

By Erin Hagar & Joanna Gorham

Julia Child: An Extraordinary Life in Words and Pictures is by Erin Hagar and illustrated by Joanna Gorham (Duopress, 2015). From the promotional copy:

Julia Child knew how to have fun, and she also knew how to whip up a delightful meal.


After traveling around the world working for the U.S.

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