Giveaway alert!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, which means it’s time for a SPECTACULAR giveaway!

stamp mail design, vector illustration eps10 graphic

Here’s how it works:

Our 140+ participating authors will sign and wrap a book. You enter by following the instructions below. You can enter on as many author’s pages as you want, so be sure to hit all of their pages for more chance to win!

If you’re one of our lucky winners, you’ll receive a book, but you won’t know what you’ve won until you unwrap it.

To enter:

*your task (either signing up for a mailing list, following a Blog, Twitter or Facebook account)

Then fill out this form:, checking off which actions you’ve completed and enter your email and mailing addresses. For more entries, click on the link for each author. You must complete the task AND fill out the form for your entry to count. All entries will be verified.

Good luck!

(I’m sending out TWO books this year)

~ Jo

Introduction of THE FEAR LIST

Because this is release week, I feel okay about flooding my blog a bit 😉

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*language warning for you tender-eyed souls*

This is the scene where the fear list is brought up. Hailey has just puked on Kyle’s shoes, and he’s giving her a ride home…

“Your voice is nice,” Hailey said. “Low but not weird low. Smooth. It’s kind of hot. How come you don’t deejay?”

Kind of hot. Oh, God. Too many synapses firing and misfiring. Too many fantasies clogging up the works. Which was fucking idiotic: she’d just been kissing another dude.

I shrugged. “Not my thing.”

She slid her boots onto the dash and I gave her a sideways look. She didn’t even notice, just shimmied and wiggled into a more comfortable position.

“Deejaying’s not your thing or talking’s not your thing?”

I eyed her again. The green bra was sort of ridiculous. Over-the-top and too expected for a lead singer of a girl band. But Jesus, I kept looking at it, like she’d worn it for me. Which was stupid. And not that my opinion mattered, but the day in the studio, when she wasn’t all done up, she was hotter. Of course, she hadn’t been tongue-fucking some random bouncer then.

“Both,” I answered.

“You should have a list. And deejaying your own show should be the first thing on it. Well, that and maybe not freaking out every time someone says something to you. But that’s sort of too general for the list. Deejaying is a very specific fear.”

“What the hell are you talking about?”

She stomped her boot on the dash.

“Jesus, take it easy, will you?” Mom didn’t have the money to fix the car if Drunk Hailey broke it. I didn’t want to be a dick, but I was doing her a favor and the least she could do was not break the car.


“S’okay. So you were saying?”

“Oh my God, haven’t I told you about the list? Shit. Of course not. We don’t talk. Well, we’re talking now, but we’re just acquaintances. Only my close friends and the moms know about it.”

The list. Did I really want to know about the list?

“But maybe we’ll be good friends now because I puked on your shoes and shit like that brings people closer.”

I laughed, surprised. “Keep telling yourself that.”

She grinned at me. “I knew I could get you to laugh. So anyway, the list. It’s this thing I started last year. My moms wanted me to do it. Write down all the things I was afraid of and then start tackling them.”

“Huh.” Weird. Nothing my mom would ever suggest or, honestly, even care about. Her lists were very specific: buy toilet paper, take out trash, pick up my Xanax…

“Yeah, I know. It’s kinda dumb, but it’s sort of a rush when you actually do something on it.”

“What have you done?” I blurted.

“Well, nothing really great so far. But I sang on the radio. And tonight I had my first tongue kiss.”

“Yeah. I caught that. Must have tasted outstanding.”

She chuckled. “I thought you weren’t interested in me?”



#CharactersWelcome – author Courtney Stevens

HOW WE MET: I met Courtney before either of us were agented – 2010? 2011? We’d both entered in a one-sentence pitch contest, and I begged her to let me read her submission. It was fab.




  • If you’ve seen that CHANNEL YOUR BRAVE meme floating around? That was started by her.
  • She does some really cool things for #SCBWI
  • Courtney lives in the south, has more energy than most three year olds, and is an incredible speaker.
  • She is one of the most authentic people you will ever meet.
  • She is a stellar literary citizen.



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FAKING NORMAL is a book that I think everyone should read. I think that if this book would have come out ten years before it did (and before the market had so much YA contemporary) that it would be one of those quintessential MUST READ YA novels that you see everywhere. Her characters are SO incredible (actually, I think all these comments work for both books)

I pre-ordered THE LIES ABOUT TRUTH, and then it sat on my kindle for waaaaaaaaaaay too long. Once I started reading, I couldn’t stop. If you love over-coming stories and stories about hope and friendships and love, this is your book. Also, on a side note, I hate letters in novels. HATE. But I loved hers. We only saw one side, which I thought was brilliant, and I found myself looking forward to them instead of skimming.

And then Jo contacted Courtney to answer 3 questions:


1. Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
2. I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
3. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
4. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
5. Peace Like a River by Leif Enger
The only one Jo hasn’t read is Big Little Lies, the rest were spectacular.



A small southern town. A tomboy. A preacher’s kid. A John Hughes-ian look at sexual fluidity among six best friends.



I once heard Gary Paulsen say, “Read like the wolf eats.” That sounds about right to me. He knows a lot about writing and a lot about wolves.


You can find Courtney in these places: