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YA Fantasy Sweepstakes

Truthwitch and Riders

We’ve got some exciting YA titles coming out this winter, and we want to give you a chance to read them first! Sign up for the Tor Newsletter for a chance to win advance reading copies of Truthwitch and Riders. We’ll be giving away three prize packs, and each winner will also get a set of the buttons you see above. Sign up now!
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On the Road: Tor/Forge Author Events in June

The Darkness Rolling by Win Blevins and Meredith BlevinsLong Black Curl by Alex BledsoeSeriously Wicked by Tina Connolly

Tor/Forge authors are on the road in June! Once a month, we’re collecting info about all of our upcoming author events. Check and see who’ll be coming to a city near you:

Alex Bledsoe, Long Black Curl

Thursday, June 11
A Room of One’s Own
Madison, WI
6:00 PM

Saturday, June 13
The Avid Reader
Davis, CA
7:30 PM

Sunday, June 14
Borderlands Books
San Francisco, CA
3:00 PM

Saturday, June 27
Mystery to Me Bookstore
Madison, WI
2:00 PM

Win and Meredith Blevins, The Darkness Rolling

Saturday, June 20
The Poisoned Pen
Scottsdale, AZ
2:00 PM

Tuesday, June 23
Bookworks
Albuquerque, NM
7:00 PM

Tuesday, June 30
Marie’s Bookshop
Durango, CO
6:30 PM

Tina Connolly, Seriously Wicked

Thursday, June 4
Stayton Public Library
Stayton, OR
7:00 PM

Saturday, June 6
YA-Landia
Also with Fonda Lee, Ali Berman, Paula Stokes, and Mary Elizabeth Summer
Barnes & Noble
Beaverton, OR
2:00 PM

Thursday, June 18
Raven Book Store
Lawrence, KS
7:00 PM

Alan Gratz, The Dragon Lantern

Tuesday, June 9
Malaprop’s
Asheville, NC
7:00 PM

Peter Orullian, Trial of Intentions

Monday, June 1
Powell’s Cedar Hills Crossing
Beaverton, OR
7:00 PM

Tuesday, June 2
Weller Book Works
Salt Lake City, UT
6:00 PM

Wednesday, June 3
Barnes & Noble
Orem, UT
7:00 PM

Anne A. Wilson, Hover

Tuesday, June 2
The Poisoned Pen
Scottsdale, AZ
7:00 PM

Dan Wells, The Devil’s Only Friend

Tuesday, June 16
Weller Book Works
Salt Lake City, UT
6:00 PM

Wednesday, June 17
Barnes & Noble University Crossings Plaza
Orem, UT
6:00 PM

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Book Trailer: A School for Unusual Girls by Kathleen Baldwin

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A School for Unusual Girls by Kathleen Baldwin

A School for Unusual Girls is the first captivating installment in the Stranje House series for young adults by award-winning author Kathleen Baldwin. #1 New York Times bestselling author Meg Cabot calls this romantic Regency adventure “completely original and totally engrossing.”

It’s 1814. Napoleon is exiled on Elba. Europe is in shambles. Britain is at war on four fronts. And Stranje House, a School for Unusual Girls, has become one of Regency England’s dark little secrets. The daughters of the beau monde who don’t fit high society’s constrictive mold are banished to Stranje House to be reformed into marriageable young ladies. Or so their parents think. In truth, Headmistress Emma Stranje, the original unusual girl, has plans for the young ladies—plans that entangle the girls in the dangerous world of spies, diplomacy, and war.

After accidentally setting her father’s stables on fire while performing a scientific experiment, Miss Georgiana Fitzwilliam is sent to Stranje House. But Georgie has no intention of being turned into a simpering, pudding-headed, marriageable miss. She plans to escape as soon as possible—until she meets Lord Sebastian Wyatt. Thrust together in a desperate mission to invent a new invisible ink for the English war effort, Georgie and Sebastian must find a way to work together without losing their heads—or their hearts….

A School for Unusual Girls is a great next read for fans of Gail Carriger’s Finishing School series and Robin LaFevers’ His Fair Assassin series.

Buy A School for Unusual Girls today:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | iBooks | Indiebound | Powell’s

Follow Kathleen Baldwin on Twitter at @KatBaldwin, on Facebook, or visit her online.

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Tortuous Training Devices: A Time Traveler’s Guide to Regency England

A School for Unusual Girls by Kathleen Baldwin
Written by Kathleen Baldwin

Part 3

You brave soul—after all my warnings you still want to time travel back to the Regency era. You must really like guys with high starched collars. Okay then, we’ve covered dress, keeping your brains under wraps, linguistic pitfalls, and the danger of fans. Now, it’s time for the all-important lesson on manners.

Pretend you are a super rich teenage girl. Well, maybe you really are super rich, I don’t know. But supposing you were mega-wealthy and lived in the biggest house in town, how would your family expect you to behave?

RichGirlWould you carry a little dog like Paris Hilton and make the rounds at all the trendiest clubs? Would your parents want you to go to college and major in something classy, like renaissance art? Or maybe you would be required to play the violin and study medicine.

Things were different for young ladies during the Regency era.

As we discussed in A Time Traveler’s Guide to Regency England Part 1 and Part 2 keeping your intelligence under wraps was a must. It would be okay to play the pianoforte, but not study medicine. You can have a little dog like Hilton, but you can’t go anywhere unescorted. No late night balls, soirees, or opera houses without your mother or your grumpy Aunt Agatha tagging along to keep you out of mischief.

Do’s and Don’ts, or Else…

If you follow the herd and do what everyone else is doing you’ll probably be fine.

Peggy Ann Garner as young Jane EyreHere are four helpful hints:

First: Mind your posture. Posture was extremely important to Regency high society. So keep that spine straight or else you may find yourself strapped to a torturous device called a backboard.

Backboards consisted of a slab of wood with leather straps tying the young lady into proper position. Such boards were used extensively until the 20th century.

Second: Whatever you do, don’t get cheeky. Corporal punishment was still the mode. Women and children were legally allowed to be whipped so long as the rod used to beat them was not any larger than a man’s thumb. That’s a pretty hefty stick if anyone were to ask me. So, mind your guardians and chaperones, and don’t talk back.

Another common method of reforming a smart-alecky daughter was to lock her in a closet for several days with only bread and water to eat. If that didn’t get results there was always a reform school like the one in A School for Unusual Girls.

FoodForkThird: Table manners. It was the custom to put a little bit of each kind of food on your fork, a sliver of parsnip, a penny carrot, a bite of ham, a tuft of asparagus, a small slice of roast beef. This all goes down your gullet together. Good luck. It isn’t easy. Try stabbing one pea. You may want to practice this task before you pop into your time machine.

Fourth: When a lull arises in the conversation a well-bred young lady may be expected to strike an attitude. How does one strike an attitude, you ask? Are those awful thumb-width whipping sticks involved?

No. An attitude is a pose based on classical Greek art, or historical figures such as Rebecca or Cleopatra. As in charades, guests at the gathering would then guess which historical figure the young lady was impersonating. Some of the attitudes were fairly provocative, for instance Venus or Aphrodite. Young ladies practiced their poses, and even hired tutors to instruct them, all in the hope of performing and impressing gentlemen.

You see, there were fun and games to be had after all. Just stay away from backboards and whipping sticks. Bon Voyage!

Preorder A School for Unusual Girls today:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | iBooks | Indiebound | Powell’s

Follow Kathleen Baldwin on Twitter at @KatBaldwin, on Facebook, or visit her online.

YA Sweepstakes

YA Sweepstakes
Looking for a great YA read? Here’s your chance to get started on two awesome series! We’ve got five copies each of Article 5 and The Nightmare Affair to give away.

Comment below to enter for a chance to win .

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A purchase does not improve your chances of winning. Sweepstakes open to legal residents of 50 United States, D.C., and Canada (excluding Quebec), who are 18 or older as of the date of entry. To enter, leave a comment here beginning at 10:00 AM Eastern Time (ET) May 18, 2015. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET May 22, 2015. Void outside the United States and Canada and where prohibited by law. Please see full details and official rules here. Sponsor: Tom Doherty Associates, LLC, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010.

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Linguistic Landmines: A Time Traveler’s Guide to Regency England

A School for Unusual Girls by Kathleen Baldwin
Written by Kathleen Baldwin

Part 2

For you brave souls who are planning to time travel back to the Regency era I’ve put together this short linguistics guide. But first a warning…

Hide Your Brains

No, not from zombies!

If you want to flirt with a dashing duke or snag a handsome viscount for a waltz, I suggest you disguise your smarts. During the Regency era, intelligence in a young lady was generally viewed as a liability. Brainy women were dangerous to society. Consequently, brilliant women of the time, such as Jane Austen, often lived their entire lives unmarried.

Place holder  of - 58Besides, you wouldn’t want to be considered a bluestocking now would you?

What is a bluestocking, you ask?

A bluestocking is a woman who dares to discuss controversial issues like war and politics. Oh my! She even reads books about philosophy and science. Can you fathom such behavior? Not only that, but a bluestocking insists on talking about what she has learned. Appalling!

It all goes back to the problem of being exceptional. You may remember from A Time Traveler’s Guide to Regency England, Part 1, being declared “unexceptional” was a high compliment. As the young ladies in A School for Unfortunate Girls learned, one must vigorously guard against appearing too exceptional or end up getting carted off to a school to reform one’s manners.

Talking the Talk

French—ah, the romantic language, the language of nobility.

Yes, yes, I realize I’ve just warned you against appearing too smart, and now I’m telling you to learn some French. It sounds contradictory, but sprinkling a few elegant French phrases in your conversation will make you seem sophisticated and upper crust.

You needn’t get too good at it. It is perfectly all right to butcher the accent or mispronounce a word here and there. After all, Britain was at war with France and you wouldn’t want to be viewed as a sympathizer even though the English dressed like Josephine, Napoleon’s wife, and adored French lace, French wine, French silk… well, really, they admired all things French. It’s a pity England was at war with them.

Oh Sir You Flatter MeBaby Talk and Lisps

For young ladies of the ton (society’s upper ten-thousand) a baby-talking lisp was en vogue. It was considered très chic to lisp like a toddler while lacing French phrases into one’s conversation.

I ask you, what could be more appealing to a roguish Regency buck than a young lady who sounds like a lisping four year-old and knows a smattering of French. “Oh thir, you flatter me. Merci beaucoup, er, I mean, merthi beaucoup.” She blushes and lowers her fan (translation: I really think you’re hot).

Language of the Vulgar Tongue

On the other hand, young gentlemen preferred to act tough by using a cant popularized by common thieves. If a young man wanted to be seen as a cool dude by his friends, otherwise known as a Dandy or a Corinthian, he must get his hands on a coveted cheat sheet, called Dictionary of The Vulgar Tongue. From this scandalous dictionary he’d learn to sling around phrases like, “My, but aren’t you a prime article.” This means he thinks you’re really good-looking. Unless he’s talking to a horse. In that case, he thinks the horse is fast, a “real goer.”

Idioms and Colloquialisms

Baldwin-Article2-Img3If a handsome earl shakes his head and says, “Mr. Smiley, poor fellow, stuck his spoon in the wall yesterday.” Whatever you do, you mustn’t laugh. This does not mean Mr. Smiley had an unfortunate accident with his eating utensils. It means the earl’s dear old chum has given up the ghost, curled up his toes, shuffled off this mortal coil. There, did I use enough idioms? In short, poor Mr. Smiley has died.

On to cheerier expressions. If someone invites you to nuncheon, they are not planning to engage you in a tournament with nunchuks. You may breathe easy. A nuncheon is a midafternoon snack with tasty biscuits and tea. It might even be held out of doors if the weather is balmy.

Which brings us to the word barmy, not to be mistaken for balmy. If someone looks down her nose at you and whispers behind her fan to a friend, “I do believe that young lady is barmy.” She’s insinuating that you are daft, looney tunes, or just plain Alice in Wonderland nutty.

I’ll be back with more semi-sage advice for all of you brave Regency time travelers.

Preorder A School for Unusual Girls today:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | iBooks | Indiebound | Powell’s

Follow Kathleen Baldwin on Twitter at @KatBaldwin, on Facebook, or visit her online.

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A Young Lady’s Time Travel Guide to Regency England

A School for Unusual Girls by Kathleen Baldwin
Written by Kathleen Baldwin

Part 1

So you think you’d like to travel back in time to the Regency era? You’ve read about all those dashing dukes and handsome viscounts and you’re all agog to jump into a time machine. Very well, but you’ll need this handy guide.

Ask yourself this question: are you unexceptional enough?

You heard me correctly. Unexceptional. During the Regency era it was a high compliment for a young lady to be deemed unexceptional. The Beau Monde, the beautiful people of fashionable society, tended to dress alike and behave like the rest of the flock.

Woe unto those who didn’t conform.
ThreeGraces
I’ve written a book about young ladies who did not fit into the Regency mold, A School for Unusual Girls. Take it from me; it did not go well for exceptional young women. They were shipped off to schools to a reform their manners. Rumors of harsh punishments and torturous training devices at these schools abounded among the Beau Monde. So watch your step!

First and foremost, you must not stray too far from the norm. It simply is not done, especially if a young lady is still of marriageable age. One mustn’t be too tall, too short, too brainy, or too brightly dressed.

The gentle reader inquires, “What about turquoise blue?”

For a ball? Are you mad? Subtlety, my dear, subtlety is the key. Picture me fanning myself vigorously to show my agitation.

Speaking of fans…

Beware the Danger of Fans

Do not, I repeat, do not purchase a fan to take on your journey back in time. That would be risky, indeed.

There is an entire language of the fan that every proper young lady must study before she is licensed to wield one of these dangerous devices.

This is absolutely essential training. Otherwise you may think you’re simply fanning to cool yourself down, but the gentleman across the ballroom thinks you are signally him for an assignation in the garden. You flirtatious vixen! And should you accidentally tap the ruddy thing against your cheek, oh heavens above, you’ve just told the gentleman that you are in love with him.

What Clothes Should You Bring?

Dress Changed for Part 1 blogAs mentioned earlier; no strong colors, the paler your ensemble, the better. Consider bringing a flimsy white cotton or silk nightgown. Tie a length of pale pink ribbon under the bust and it might serve as an everyday gown.

In the space of a few years, British aristocracy went from dressing in intricately engineered, highly ornate gowns like the ones Marie Antoinette used to wear, to dressing in simplistic Grecian gowns as did Empress Josephine. This might have had something to do with the guillotine lopping off the heads of so many ladies who wore those big gaudy gowns.

It is a trifle odd that Regency folk were so strict about the morals of their young ladies but then dressed them in nearly transparent muslin reminiscent of nightclothes. One Season it was all the rage to dampen one’s chemise (underwear) so that more of the young lady’s, ahem, charms might show. Unfortunately, that year turned out to be a brutally cold winter. Many women died of pneumonia and other lung ailments and so the craze ended abruptly.

I’ll return with more help for you brave time travelers. Until then good luck on your journey! And may you fall blissfully love with the most eligible handsome duke or earl at the ball. If Regency literature is any indication, there seems to be an abundance of the handsome devils.

Preorder A School for Unusual Girls today:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | iBooks | Indiebound | Powell’s

Follow Kathleen Baldwin on Twitter at @KatBaldwin, on Facebook, or visit her online.

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Death of Dystopia

The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons
Written by Kristen Simmons

As a writer of dystopian fiction, I’m often asked about the state of the genre—where I see it heading, and if the market is oversaturated.

The problem as I see it is this: dystopian stories (and I’m speaking primarily about young adult dystopian fiction here) hit a wave of popularity several years ago when Katniss volunteered as tribute. This wasn’t the first in the genre (or rather, subgenre, as dystopian stems from science fiction), and it certainly wouldn’t be the last. But the widespread interest in that story seemed to broaden the definition of the genre, specifically in young adult literature, to include a wide range of themes, including, perhaps most notably, an emphasis on romance and an introduction of diverse protagonists. Young adult literature often has a focus on the raw expression of youth—emotions experienced for the first time clashing with the developmental identity crisis involved in figuring out where one fits in the world. Add to that the pressure of choosing a faction (Divergent), an oppressive government (Legend), or the walls literally closing in (Mazerunner) and you’ve got something pretty intense. I see why people are attracted to it. I am.

Let me interrupt this broadcast for a small confession. I am the first to claim my own ignorance on the subject. The Article 5 series is classified as dystopian. My next book—The Glass Arrow—is as well. Did I sit down intent on writing within those specifications? Nope. I wrote the story that came into my head, and was just lucky enough that someone wanted to read it. This means that everything I’ve said thus far could be completely out in left field. Or, I could be like a great many writers who do the same thing: Write the story, and let the people who are good at marketing do their jobs.

So what is the current state of dystopia? And where is it heading? Honestly, I think it’s doing all right. Yes, there has been a huge focus on it in recent years. Yes, there is a strong-voiced contingency who shout Fahrenheit 451! 1984! Brave New World! (I am the one shouting The Handmaid’s Tale and The Road, just for the record.)

Young adult dystopian fiction incorporates a melting pot of issues, topics, and voices, but if you strip it down to its roots, you’ll likely find the following major headings:

  • Problems with the government (too little or too much or much too much),
  • Economic or class issues (no money or an overwhelming divide between classes), and
  • Oppression in some form (in my new book, The Glass Arrow, women are oppressed.)

I’m not a historian, but I think the human race has bumped up against these issues before. I know every single time I turn on the news I see them. Do I think these things will be problems in the future? Yes. Is that bleak? Maybe a little. But I hope we’ll persevere. And that, my friends, is what dystopian literature is all about. Not the ugliness of our world, but the beauty of our resilience. Not the way we despair, but the fight that drives us to survive despite the circumstances.

The Glass Arrow continues on the path forged by The Handmaid’s Tale. It’s a story about female persecution, where women are reduced to their ability to conceive. Aya, the protagonist, is caught, hiding in the mountains, by a hunting party of wealthy men from the city. Like other young adult stories, the pace is quick, the stakes are high, and there is an element of romance, focusing, like in Offred’s story, on the conceptualization of Aya’s identity as a woman in a highly discriminatory world. I cannot live up to Atwood’s greatness, but I’ll tell you this: Aya doesn’t let the bastards grind her down. It is my intention, after all, that this story be about hope.

Writers write about life and truth, despite setting, despite origin, despite genre. We magnify reality through a fictional lens. So do I feel the genre is on its way out? Not really. Even if the name changes, the concepts will still exist, and somewhere, someone will write about them.

Pre-order The Glass Arrow today:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | iBooks | Indiebound | Powell’s

Follow Kristen on Twitter at @kris10writes, on Facebook, or visit her website.

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Book Trailer: The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons

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The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons

Once there was a time when men and women lived as equals, when girl babies were valued, and women could belong only to themselves. But that was ten generations ago. Now women are property, to be sold and owned and bred, while a strict census keeps their numbers manageable and under control. The best any girl can hope for is to end up as some man’s forever wife, but most are simply sold and resold until they’re all used up.

Only in the wilderness, away from the city, can true freedom be found. Aya has spent her whole life in the mountains, looking out for her family and hiding from the world, until the day the Trackers finally catch her.

Stolen from her home, and being groomed for auction, Aya is desperate to escape her fate and return to her family, but her only allies are a loyal wolf she’s raised from a pup and a strange mute boy who may be her best hope for freedom . . . if she can truly trust him.

The Glass Arrow is a haunting, yet hopeful, new novel from Kristen Simmons, the author of the popular Article 5 trilogy.

The Glass Arrow, by Kristen Simmons, publishes on February 10.

Pre-order The Glass Arrow today: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books A Million | iBooks | IndieBound | Powell’s

Tor Books at ALA Las Vegas

Tor Books at ALA Las Vegas

Come visit us at ALA Las Vegas this weekend from June 27-30!

Check out our schedule of events:

Friday, June 27th, 2014
Exhibits open! Visit us in booth #532.
5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Booth info: https://ala14.ala.org/node/16208

 

Saturday, June 28th, 2014
Exhibits open! Visit us in booth #532.
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Booth info: https://ala14.ala.org/node/16208

“Isn’t It Romantic?” Author Panel with Deborah Coonts              
8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Las Vegas Convention Center | Room N263
Add this event to your calendar: https://ala14.ala.org/node/14425

Alan Gratz signing The League of Seven in booth #532
9:15 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.
Add this event to your calendar: https://ala14.ala.org/node/22337

AAP Children’s Author Speed Dating with Alan Gratz and P.J. Hoover
10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Las Vegas Convention Center | Room N112
Add this event to your calendar: https://ala14.ala.org/node/15486

Rachel Howzell Hall signing Land of Shadows in booth #532
1:00 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.
Add this event to your calendar: https://ala14.ala.org/node/22341

PopTop Stage: “Women in Mystery” with Rachel Howzell Hall
3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. (book signing to follow)
Las Vegas Convention Center | Hall N1, end of the 200 aisle
Add this event to your calendar: https://ala14.ala.org/node/15457

“Redefining Humans from the Past to the Future” Author Panel
Sponsored by Tor and LITA’s Imagineering Interest Group
4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. (book signing to follow)
Las Vegas Convention Center | Room S233 (South Hall Connector)
Add this event to your calendar: https://ala14.ala.org/node/14574

 

Sunday, June 29th, 2014
Exhibits open! Visit us in booth #532.
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Booth info: https://ala14.ala.org/node/16208

RUSA’s Literary Tastes: Celebrating the Best Reading of the Year
8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Las Vegas Convention Center | Room N258
Add this event to your calendar: https://ala14.ala.org/node/14249
Hashtag: #literarytastes

YALSA’s YA Author Coffee Klatch with Alan Gratz and P.J. Hoover
9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Las Vegas Hotel | Ballroom C
Add this event to your calendar: https://ala14.ala.org/node/15550

V.E. Schwab signing Vicious in booth #532
11:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
Add this event to your calendar: https://ala14.ala.org/node/22338

“The Future According to Tor: New Titles for Young Readers and Teens”
11:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Las Vegas Convention Center | Book Buzz Theater, next to Booth #2245
Add this event to your calendar: https://ala14.ala.org/node/16651

Deborah Coonts signing Lucky Bastard at booth #532
1:00p.m. – 1:45 p.m.
Add this event to your calendar: https://ala14.ala.org/node/22342

P.J. Hoover signing Tut: The Story of My Immortal Life at booth #532
3:00 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.
Add this event to your calendar: https://ala14.ala.org/node/22339

 

Monday, June 30th, 2014
Exhibits open! Visit us in booth #532.
9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Booth info: https://ala14.ala.org/node/16208

PopTop Stage: “Seedy Criminal Underbellies” with Hank Phillippi Ryan and Deborah Coonts
10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. (book signing to follow)
Las Vegas Convention Center | Hall N1, end of the 200 aisle
Add this event to your calendar: https://ala14.ala.org/node/15447

Viva Las Vegas!

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