Elle Cosimano debuted with a starred review from School library Journal for her 2014 thriller, NEARLY GONE. It was a 2015 International Thriller Award Winner and a finalist for both the Edgar Award and the Nashville Silver Falchion Award.


In 2015, Elle brought out the sequel NEARLY 51kaGYYgbJL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_FOUND to rave reviews. As Kirkus said, it was
“every bit as nail-biting as its predecessor.”


In less than a month, Elle’s highly anticipated third book, HOLDING SMOKE, will bring us into the life of John “Smoke” 22639535Conlon, a boy unjustly detained for a double murder in a dangerous juvenile detention facility.


Kirkus predicts this new thriller will have readers “flipping pages, watching the diverse cast…


393a7594b3cd1b1163943a019bcb82faToday we welcome Kelly Barson to the Lucky 13 Then and NOW Blog series. With multiple award nominations for her 2013 debut, 45 POUNDS (more or less), Kelly’s new novel is eagerly anticipated and just happens to be coming out on April 5th, the same day as my new book!!


CHARLOTTE CUTS IT OUT, which Kirkus says474e3440657eb6497c8e9594381ce67a “offers important lessons in self-realization and collaboration,” is destined to be another beloved book, especially for teens struggling to forge their own path amid the competing pressures of family, friends and romance.


Kelly answered these questions on her writing journey:


If you could go back several years to give advice to your pre-published self, how far back would…


Liz Coley’s 2013 debut, a Young Adult psychological thriller, PRETTY GIRL 13, 51pCbx2oKbL._UX250_has been translated into eleven languages and made into an audio book!! It was selected for multiple best book lists, including:

2014 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults list
2014 YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant YA Readers list
2015-2016 Eliot Rosewater Indiana High School Book Award list
Booklist called  PRETTY GIRL 13 “chilling” and “fascinating.” School Library 13450398Journal said readers “will admire Angie’s struggles and journey.” Publisher’s Weekly said, “It’s a harrowing journey with no shortage of creepy moments and imagery, and readers should be fascinated by Angie’s efforts to put her life and…


27B_21-150x150Jennifer Salvato Doktorski had an established writing career in journalism, including writing for Cosmopolitan, before the release of her 2013 Debut, HOW MY SUMMER WENT UP IN FLAMES. In fact Jen was so prepared for the launch of her fiction writing career that she actually had two 2013 releases only two months apart! Her second was the YA novel, FAMOUS LAST WORDS.


Both books were critically acclaimed. Publisher’s Weekly said HOW MY 9781442459403SUMMER WENT UP IN FLAMES was “full of emotion and wit.” Kirkus called it “a great ride.”


FAMOUS LAST WORDS was similarly lauded. Publisher’s FLW-smallWeekly said she “offered another fun and quirky protagonist, along with a well-developed supporting cast.” Kirkus…


2-4c3b569ec9Today, we’re joined by Sarah Skilton whose powerful 2013 Young Adult debut, BRUISED,  received a starred review from Publishers Weekly!  BRUISED went on to be named a Bank Street Best Book of the Year, a Tristate Review Book of Note and has been nominated for the Arkansas Teen Book Award, the Missouri Association of Librarians 118981Reader’s Award for 2015-2016 and the Maryland Association of School Librarians 2014-2015 Black-Eyed Susan Book Award.


In 2014 Sarah followed her strong debut with HIGH & DRY, a second Young Adult novel that Kirkus called, “A dark, well-constructed mystery with a strong voice.” HIGH & DRY was a quick favourite with readers, becoming a Staff Pick at McNally Jackson Books in New York City!



Since her publishing debut with IN THE SHADOW OF BLACKBIRDS in 2013, Cat Winters has gone on to sell five other books, two of them adult, and contributed to an anthology, making her perhaps the most prolific Lucky 13 debut author. Her published works have garnered multiple starred reviews, made dozens of best book lists, and won numerous SteepAndThornyWay_CVawards.


Cat’s newest Young Adult book, THE STEEP AND THORNY WAY, which will be released in just over a week, has already received starred reviews on Booklist, School Library Journal and Kirkus! This is definitely a book you don’t want to miss!


But publishing, even for a renowned and prolific writer, brings its own challenges as Cat confirms in her interview:


Three years on from the…


Author, speaker and teacher Nicole McInnes joins us today to answer three questions on her publishing journey. Since her strong debut in 2013 with BRIANA ON THE BRINK, Nicole has been hard at work on a new book which will be released in August 2016 but is available NOW for pre-order!



100 DAYS (Farrar, Straus and Giroux/Macmillan, 2016) is the story of three teenagers struggling to maintain their friendship under the strain of their own personal burdens. Each character is uniquely compelling. One, who gives the title to the book, suffers a rare genetic disorder which has left her with only 100 days to live. An early reviewer had this to say of 100 DAYS:

McInnes writes with steady ease, and she brings great wit, humor, and warmth to supplement the hardships of her teens as they persevere to find themselves and understand each other.”


So I asked Nicole:

If you…


Three years ago this month my first YA novel, AN INFIDEL IN PARADISE,AnInfidelCover
was released into the world. It was an exciting and terrifying time, not unlike the first time I rode on Space Mountain at Disney World. Back then my dad decided I was big enough to sit in the front of the rocket-shaped car all alone. He sat in the back holding onto my brother.


I just want to take a moment to reflect on this. My dad was a psychiatrist. I was a puny ten-year old. We were going on the most terrifying ride in Disneyworld, perhaps in the entire world – a roller coaster, in the dark. Don’t get me wrong, in most circumstances I couldn’t have asked for a better dad but hWDW_SpaceMountain_Train2009-2e was a…


Have you ever had a truly inspired idea go bust? I don’t mean one that didn’t quite live up to expectations, or was moderately disappointing; I mean one that was a failure of such epic proportions that it felt like it deserved to be noted as a cautionary tale passed down through the generations.


Tuesday was the birthday of my second book, “The Voice Inside my Head,” which is the story of a boy, Luke, who hears the voice of his sister Pat in his head after she disappears off the coast of Honduras. Making insightful if sometimes biting observations, Luke’s sister guides him on his quest to find her. In a number of instances she even stops him from making big mistakes. Can you feel the irony coming?


For months I’d heard Pat’s voice as strongly as Luke did. I know that sounds weird but trust me it’s completely normal…


I’m going to let you in on a secret but you have to promise not to tell anyone. Specifically, you have to swear you won’t tell any of my Mumbai friends because what I’m about to confess might hurt their feelings. I never, ever wanted to live in Mumbai, India. I was quite keen on India, but Mumbai, not so much. Here’s the thing, I hate congested urban environments. I know I grew up in Toronto, Canada’s largest city, but I grew up in a quiet, leafy neighborhood. Kids played street hockey in front of my house. It was that quiet.


I also hate living in an apartment. I don’t mean I dislike it, or it’s not my preference, I mean I hate it, as in detest, loathe; you get where I’m going with this. I like trees and birds and tranquility. I write best when I have total peace…