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Posted on Nov 24, 2015 in Blog, Writing

A Book I’m Thankful For + Giveaway

A Book I’m Thankful For + Giveaway

A few months ago I joined a Facebook group of authors interested in working together to read each others’ manuscripts and to promote each others’ books. The promotional arm morphed into a group called The YA Story Sisters, which sponsors regular giveaways and social media campaigns around those giveaways, as well as around the members’ book launches.

Pintip Dunn, author of the recently published sci-fi thriller Forget Tomorrow, came up with the idea of a giveaway of our own books plus a book we’re thankful for. This giveaway acknowledges that we do not write in a vacuum. Other writers inspire and guide us through their work, and sometimes through acts of kindness that move us and our careers forward.

ThanksgivingGiveawayI’m one of the seven authors who have joined the giveaway, and the book I’m thankful for is Isabel Quintero’s Gabi, a Girl in Pieces. Last year when I was a Cybils first round panelist, Gabi was one of the five books we selected to go to the second round. I was proud to have written the annotation for the novel on behalf of the first round panel that sent the book onward, as well as reviewed it for The Pirate Tree. In my annotation for the Cybils, I described Gabi as “your best book friend forever.”

I didn’t have a lot of friends growing up, so BBFFs have always meant a lot to me. And of the more than 120 books I read for the Cybils, Gabi was the friend I most wanted in real life. Her experiences and challenges growing up were very different from mine, but for me, that was one of the great things about the book.

Gabi is also different from her friends. She wants to go to college, but one of her best friends is pregnant and another comes out as gay. She listens to them and tries to help, and their struggles — as well as her own father’s struggle against drugs — change her. She learns to stand up for herself and others, but she also realizes there are battles she cannot win. I wrote Rogue to explore the idea that to have a friend, as Kiara wants so badly to do, you have to BE a friend. Gabi shows readers how to be a friend.

Two days ago at the opening reception for the ALAN workshop, I finally met Isabel Quintero. However, I felt as though I already knew her. And I wish I had a picture, but the light wasn’t good enough (I learned my lesson at the ALAN reception two years ago when I volunteered to be the photographer and exactly none of my photos came out). I can vouch for the fact that she had pink hair.

Along with Gabi, a Girl in Pieces, I’m giving away my own Surviving Santiago. It’s a good book to read for advice on how NOT to choose friends, but sometimes guys make even smart girls stupid. And if Tina had made good decisions all along the way, there wouldn’t be much of a story.


So how do you win these and 12 more amazing books? Sign up for the Rafflecopter giveaway. Yes, it’s that simple. In the meantime, visit the YA Story Sisters Facebook page (link above) and sign up for the newsletter to keep in touch.


  1. What a great giveaway. I need to sign up for the newsletter.

    • Thank you, Linda! Good luck in the drawing!

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