SKANDAL + KURSED Coming Soon, and DREAMSTRIDER Release Date!


Three months until SKANDAL! Trade reviews are starting to come in, like this awesome one from Kirkus (spoilers for SEKRET in review): “Well-paced action and mystery for an appealing heroine, complete with Cold War attitudes” as a “pervading dread, disorientation and paranoia thoroughly soak [Yulia’s] believable voice.” SKANDAL will be out on April 7th, 2015, but you can preorder a copy now from your local independent bookstore or from any of the major online retailers.

If you can’t wait until April for your psychic spy fix, though, I have a digital-only prequel novella, KURSED, launching on March 8th, 2015! Without spoiling anything for those who haven’t read SEKRET yet, KURSED follows a certain duo deep into war-torn Germany as they try to recruit Nazi scientists to work for the USSR during the final days of World War II. And if you still need to read SEKRET, it’s available from your local indie and online retailers as well.

Finally, I’ve been getting tons of questions about DREAMSTRIDER, my high fantasy dreamworld spy adventure coming out later this year. I don’t have a cover or synopsis for you yet, but I do have an official release date: October 6th, 2015. (Apparently you can also preorder it on Amazon?) will have an exclusive cover reveal sometime in the next few months, and I’m sure I’ll be talking more about DREAMSTRIDER on this spring’s Fierce Reads tour. Dates and venues for that should be coming soon as well!

Source: Tumblr




In celebration of SKANDAL advance copies going out into the world, I’m giving away a signed hardcover of Book 1, SEKRET, as well as an ARC of SKANDAL!

SEKRET and SKANDAL follow a group of psychic teens in 1963 Soviet Russia who are being forced to use their powers to spy for the KGB. SEKRET is in stores now (published 4/1/14) and the sequel will be out next April, 4/7/15. I can’t share the cover copy for Book 2 without major spoilers, but here’s the copy for Book 1:

An empty mind is a safe mind.

Yulia’s father always taught her to hide her thoughts and control her emotions to survive the harsh realities of Soviet Russia. But when she’s captured by the KGB and forced to work as a psychic spy with a mission to undermine the U.S. space program, she’s thrust into a world of suspicion, deceit, and horrifying power. Yulia quickly realizes she can trust no one—not her KGB superiors or the other operatives vying for her attention—and must rely on her own wits and skills to survive in this world where no SEKRET can stay hidden for long.

If you’d like to win, just follow the Rafflecopter instructions below! This giveaway is open to US/CA residents only, but I’ll be doing an international one soon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Fierce Reads | Macmillan Teen

Source: Blog

The #Sekret is Out!

Firstly, thank you to all of you for kindly enduring my rather insane promotional blitz! I am so deeply honored by all the advance reviews, well wishes, and excitement I’ve received, and I’m so incredibly grateful for you all! Thank you also to everyone who’s hosted or is hosting me as part of the official blog tour and the many other interviews and features I’ve done of late. You are AWESOME. THANK YOU.


#Sekret Photo Giveaway!

I’m posting this giveaway a few days early–release day isn’t until Tuesday, April 1st–because I’ve already gotten reports of Sekret on shelves at Barnes & Noble, and I ran across it at Politics & Prose the other night when I was at an unrelated event. So! Sekret is out! And if you Tweet, Tumbl, or Instagram a photo of it, you can win some awesome stuff!

You can arrange your copies to look like Stalinist skyscrapers.
You can arrange your copies to look like Stalinist skyscrapers.

The Rules:

  1. From now through April 18th, take a photo of Sekret in the wild–on store shelves, with your pets, hangin’ out at the beach, whatever.
  2. Post it on Twitter, Tumblr, or Instagram with the hashtag #Sekret. You don’t have to @ me, but make sure to use the hashtag.
  3. I’ll enter you into the contest (I’ll confirm your entry so if you haven’t heard from me in a few days, let me know) and hold a drawing of all entries on Friday, April 4th, 11th, and 18th.


I’m offering three prize packs, and I’ll let each winner choose their prize pack:

The only secret this dog knows is what happened to my missing sock.
The only secret this dog knows is what happened to my missing sock.

Prize Pack A: Fierce Reads Pack (US/CA entries only)

  • A signed hardcover of Sekret
  • A hardcover of Marie Rutkoski’s The Winner’s Curse
  • An ARC of Katie Finn’s Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things I Can’t Mend

Prize Pack B: Book Depository Pack (International entries welcome)

  • Your choice of any 2 hardcovers (up to $40 USD) from Book Depository

Prize Pack C: Querying Author Pack (International entries welcome)

  • A complete Agent Submission Package from Manuscript Critique Services, an awesome editing service run by Jessica Spotswood (Born Wicked et al), Paula Stokes/Fiona Paul (Venom, The Art of Lainey, et al), and other super-rad YA authors


Also… Events!

In addition to Sekret‘s launch (available April 1st–or possibly now?–at these fine retailers and more), and the blog tour, which continues next week, I have a number of awesome events coming up with some of my favorite people!

  • April 3rd, 7pm: Sekret Launch Party at One More Page Books in Arlington, VA! Russian appetizers, cupcakes, and more!
  • April 5th, 3:30pm: YA Spies panel with J. C. Carleson (The Tyrant’s Daughter) at Hooray for Books in Alexandria, VA!
  • April 18th-20th: AwesomeCon DC panels: “Part-Time Writer, Full-Time World”, “YA Literature”, and Author Signing
  • April 22nd, 7pm: Shut Up & Write at the Arlington Public Library (downtown location) with Miranda Kenneally (Catching Jordan, Racing Savannah), Danielle Ellison (Salt, Follow Me Through Darkness), and Jon Skovron (Misfit, Man Made Boy)
  • May 13th – 20th: Fierce Reads Spring Tour Pt 1 with Marie Rutkoski (The Winner’s Curse, The Shadow Society), Anna Banks (Of Poseidon), and Katie Finn (Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things I Can’t Mend)

SEKRET Blog Tour, March 24 – April 4


I cannot believe that Sekret launches in just one week! Over the next two weeks, I’ll be guest blogging all about the research and inspirations behind Sekret–Russian history, the space race, the art of keeping secrets, and much more! Here’s the complete schedule of where to find me–as each post goes live, I’ll update this post with links.

Sekret-723x1024Monday, March 24th
Good Books & Good Wine
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Being Psychic + GIVEAWAY!

Tuesday, March 25th
The Book Rat
Weaving Into the Tapestry of Russian History + GIVEAWAY!

Wednesday, March 26th
Love Is Not a Triangle
Fact or Fiction in the Russia of Sekret + GIVEAWAY!

Thursday, March 27th
The Flyleaf Review
Interview with Lindsay Smith + GIVEAWAY!

Friday, March 28th
Read My Breath Away Book Blog
Mystery, Riddle, Enigma: The Allure of the Russian Setting + GIVEAWAY!

Monday, March 31st
Ex Libris
The Space Race + GIVEAWAY!

Tuesday, April 1st * Launch Day! *
Forever Young Adult
The Art of Keeping Secrets

Wednesday, April 2nd
MacTeen Books
Why the Cold War Continues to Fascinate Us

Thursday, April 3rd
Icey Books
My Publication Journey + GIVEAWAY!

Friday, April 4th
Xpresso Reads
Sekret Dream Cast + GIVEAWAY!

Feel free to contact me if you’d like to do a featurette or short interview, as well! And if you haven’t preordered your copy of Sekret yet, you can do so now at these and many other awesome booksellers:


Barnes & Noble
Book Depository

And stay tuned–starting next week, I’ll have an awesome contest for you to enter if you can find Sekret in the wild!

3 Things That Rocked: SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY by Julie Murphy

Three things that rock about Side Effects May Vary in ADDITION to its total badass author, I mean.

What if you’d been living your life as if you were dying—only to find out that you had your whole future ahead of you?

When sixteen-year-old Alice is diagnosed with leukemia, her prognosis is grim. To maximize the time she does have, she vows to spend her final months righting wrongs—however she sees fit. She convinces her friend Harvey, whom she knows has always had feelings for her, to help her with a crazy bucket list that’s as much about revenge (humiliating her ex-boyfriend and getting back at her arch nemesis) as it is about hope (doing something unexpectedly kind for a stranger and reliving some childhood memories). But just when Alice’s scores are settled, she goes into remission.

Now Alice is forced to face the consequences of all that she’s said and done, as well as her true feelings for Harvey. But has she done irreparable damage to the people around her, and to the one person who matters most?

Julie Murphy’s SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY is a fearless and moving tour de force about love, life, and facing your own mortality.

1. Side Effects May Vary is the morning after the storm. The sun is shining and the birds are singing, but Alice and Harvey are left standing in the doorway of a house that no longer exists, and they have to pick up the wreckage. Yeah. It’s that kind of grueling.

2. Alice shoves your other cancer books’ faces into the mashed potatoes and steals their lunch money. She is raw and brutal and fierce, and she has a long way to go to become the girl who lived instead of the girl who went down fighting. We don’t have nearly enough girls like Alice in YA–girls who screw up and get nasty and slowly, grudgingly recognize the distance they have to go. And I LOVE her for it.

3. Harvey. Oh, Harvey. He is a wise old soul who nevertheless has his limits, even if it takes him a while to define them. Harvey’s the best friend everyone needs, if not necessarily the one they deserve.

Tell me, friends, what’s on your bucket list?

YA Buccaneers Spring Writing Bootcamp!

As much as my March schedule is all booked up with sessions full of flailing, tearful screaming, and nervous breakdowns as I prepare for SEKRET’s launch on April 1st, I just completed major revisions on SKANDAL and am eager to punch through the late-winter permafrost of suck to drop some serious wordage. Perfect timing, then, that the YA Buccaneers are starting up their Spring Writing Bootcamp! I’ve cajoled my writing accountabilibuddy Dahlia Adler into joining me with the promise of rum-laced maccarons, but our team has a few open slots, so feel free to sign up if you have an unhealthy addiction to list-making and obsessive word-manufacturing.

Here beginneth my list of March/April/May goals:

  • Drafting the YA contemp mindfuck book lovingly referred to as the “brutalist architecture book” because it’s ugly and adamant about its ugliness. current: 25K; goal: finished draft (50-70K)
  • Drafting the adult UF book that has no idea what it wants to be called. current: 3K; goal: 50K
  • SKANDAL line edits/fiddly bits (as available)
  • SEKRET promotional blog posts and such (as needed)
  • rewrite Under a Dead Moon (adult fantasy book), when I feel like it. current: 20K; goal: anything more than that (at least 50K?).

And to get me in the mood, here are my sources of inspiration for the current WIPs!

Brutalist architecture book:


Adult UF Book:

SEKRET Going On Fierce Reads Tour!

I can officially announce now that Sekret will be part of the Macmillan Fierce Reads tour this spring!

Fierce Reads Spring 2014 Tour

I cannot even believe all the amazing talent I’m going to be around. Leigh Bardugo (and her gorgeous Shadow and Bone fantasy series)? Marie Rutkowski (whose trope-defying The Shadow Society blew me away)?! And so many other awesome authors whose books I can’t wait to dive into! This is such an incredible honor! We don’t yet know the exact dates and locations for the tour, but I will be sure to pass that info along as soon as I’m able. I’m really looking forward to meeting you all and talking books!

Indie New Voices Pick + New Release Date!

I’m deep in the writing and revising trenches of a few different projects, but I have two exciting bits of SEKRET news to share today. Firstly, SEKRET was picked as one of the Indies Introduce New Voices books for Spring 2014 by the American Booksellers Association, which represents independent bookstores across America! This is a huge honor, and I am thrilled to be in such good company, which includes fellow Fourteenery author Tess Sharpe. I’ll have more details later on what all this means. For now, I’d like to thank local indie shop Hooray For Books, which nominated me. They’re an awesome store, and are always hugely supportive of local YA authors.

Additionally, SEKRET’s release date has been moved up by a few weeks, to 4/1/2014! No, this is not an April Fool’s joke. You can still preorder from all the usual suspects here (some stores may not have updated their release date yet on the site, but it’ll all work out).

Finally, I just want to say THANK YOU to everyone who has featured SEKRET on their book blog, tweeted at me, emailed me, requested an ARC, or otherwise shared their enthusiasm for my crazy psychic Russian spies. Seriously. THANK YOU. You are the reason I write, and I am so honored to have your support!