Thursday, March 26, 2015

The re-release of BETWEEN THESE LINES by Jennifer Murgia

Young Adult Contemporary
Birch House Press
eBook – format
Summary: When a Social Communications class assignment brings quiet Chase Mitman and popular Evie Cunningham together, it's a real eye-opener. Haunted and damaged in their own way, they have only shown others what they want them to see--not that they each hold a terrible secret deep inside, or that they have more in common than they'd ever like anyone to realize.
But then it happens. The sweaty palms. The kiss. And something worse . . . and Chase is there to pick up the pieces.

Knowing their relationship comes at a price, Chase’s life collides with Evie’s in the most beautiful and tragic way, until the unthinkable happens. The party. An innocent prank turns ugly. An anonymous note changes everything. And lives at Whitley Prep will never be the same.
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Author Bio: Jennifer Murgia writes moody fiction for teens—from paranormal fantasy (Angel Star, LemniscateThe Bliss), to contemporary gut-punchers (Between These Lines). Her latest, Forest of Whispers, a 17th century historical mystery (about witches!) was a School Library Journal Fall 2014 HOT TITLE, and a 2014 Moonbeam Children’s Literature Award Winner. Look for the sequel, Castle of Sighs, to hit shelves 9.15.15 from Spencer Hill Press. In 2012, Jennifer Co-Founded YA FEST with YA author/friend, Cyn Balog. She coordinates this unique annual festival, bringing teens and fellow Young Adult authors together at her hometown library in Easton, PA. Visit her at

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"BETWEEN THESE LINES is an astounding story, told from alternating perspectives, about two people finding not only their true selves, but each other. Filled with heart-racing tension, this unique story left me breathless and craving more! It is Cruel Intensions meets Perfect Chemistry. I will be thinking about these characters for days to come.”
~ Jennifer Anne Davis (author of THE VOICE)

“With its perfectly realized characters and an ending that knocked me to my knees, BETWEEN THESE LINES delivers a profound message that strength can be found even in brokenness.”
~Darby Karchut (author of GRIFFIN RISING and FINN FINNEGAN)

“I was pulled in; just one more page, one more chapter, to the very end—which I never saw coming. BETWEEN THESE LINES is a touching, strike-at-your-heart story.”
~ Charlotte Bennardo (author of the Sirenz series, and the upcoming BLONDE OPS)

“YA author Jennifer Murgia (ANGEL STAR, LEMNISCATE, and THE BLISS) has created another chilling story in BETWEEN THESE LINES. Chase, restrained and reserved for a shocking reason, and Evie, trapped in a game she never entered have just found each other when the unthinkable happens. If this is star-crossed love, sign me up! Fans of Simone Elkeles and Tammara Webber will love Murgia!”
~ Laura Anderson Kurk, author of GLASS GIRL

Friday, March 20, 2015

MTV news exclusive cover reveal for my next book UNTIL BETH--today!!

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Girl on the Train—Guest reviewer Kristin Wroblewski-Retar

My guest reviewer, Kristin, is an avid reader and my "go-to" person for great reads. She's helped me to go beyond my usual YA reading habits and has not failed me yet. Here is her review for a book we both devoured.

The Girl on the Train 

The Girl on the Train, a taut thriller worth the time.

When you take a long trip, whether by train or
plane, the mind wanders. You might find yourself
thinking about family or work or watching other
passengers making up scenarios about their lives
based on just what you see.

This is the opening of The Girl on the Train
Rachel travels from her home to her job in London on the same
train, day in and day out. As the train rattles its
way down the track past well-appointed houses Rachel
creates scenarios based on what she sees out the

It is while stopped at a signal thats she looks into
one house in particular every day. She names the people she sees
"Jess and Jason." 

Rachel imagines their life is perfect, even as her own life is rapidly falling apart.
One day, while at the signal, Rachel sees something
shocking. It happens fast, but Rachel is sure of
what she saw so she shares everything with police.

However, the deeper the reader goes, the more
unreliable the narrative becomes. The reader
discovers early on that the characters are not likable.

They all have very little, if any redeeming
qualities and this is what keeps the reader coming
back for more. The inquisitive reader wants to know
to what depths these characters will sink.

The unreliable narrative is an often underused or even
misused device in an author's arsenal. Paula Hawkins
has elevated this narrative from the likes of Gillian
Flynn and her novel Gone Girl. The ending will even leave
you much more satisfied. 

The Girl on the Train is a spectacular debut that will leave you thinking about
it long after it is finished.

Kristin Wroblewski-Retar is a stay at home mom to her
daughter Addison. She has a degree in English from the
Ohio State University, is married to her husband Brian,
has two step sons, and a cat named George. She lives in Ohio.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Six things that make a good cover: Some cover design advice from the trenches.

1.    Concept. Your cover should reflect the atmosphere and genre of your book, but it’s not supposed to tell the story. It’s meant to intrigue, tease, and entice a potential reader to WANT to read it. Try for originality. Copying existing covers will bore your viewer and possibly turn them off.

2.     Simplicity. A good cover should not bombard your reader with chaotic images. Give it the three-second test. A viewer should be able to look at your cover and in three seconds, grasp the message the cover is intended to deliver.

3.    Visibility A good cover is visible at a very small size, as these days, that is the main way it will be presented to your reader.

4.     Typography. Call me a type snob, but if your type is poor, it doesn’t matter if Rembrandt himself designed your art. TYPE IS EVERYTHING. And what do I mean by that? Hierarchy: What’s important should LEAP out at you (as in your title). If the title is invisible against the background art because it is too small, not bold enough or too similar in tone or color to the background, or if the background is too bub. Legibilu

5      Color Is key. It is a tool to make your cover unique and set the mood.

Here are some covers I love and I'll tell you why. I'm not even going to see what they are about or even check their genre. I'm going to guess--because covers should speak for themselves. After I speak my opinion, I'm going to check the summaries after.

I like this cover because of its contemporary style and vibrant colors. 

It would certainly catch my eye. 

Making friends has never been Elise Dembowski’s strong suit. All throughout her life, she’s been the butt of every joke and the outsider in every conversation. When a final attempt at popularity fails, Elise nearly gives up. Then she stumbles upon a warehouse party where she meets Vicky, a girl in a band who accepts her; Char, a cute, yet mysterious disc jockey; Pippa, a carefree spirit from England; and most importantly, a love for DJing.

Told in a refreshingly genuine and laugh-out-loud funny voice, This Song Will Save Your Life is an exuberant novel about identity, friendship, and the power of music to bring people together.

I find this evocative. I LOVE the way the type is integrated into the image and the sunset colors of a beachside town. From the look of it, I can tell this is a northern locale. There is something disquieting about the image and I'm going to assume this is not a comedy.

Red Paint calls itself "the friendliest town in Maine," a place where everyone knows one another and nothing too disturbing ever happens. Native son Simon Howe is a sturdy family man--a good father and husband--and owner-editor of the town's newspaper. Because there's rarely any real news, he runs stories about Virgin Mary sightings, high school reunions, and petty criminals.

One day Simon's predictable and peaceful life is disrupted by the arrival of an anonymous postcard, the first in a series of increasingly menacing messages. He tries to ignore them, but the implied danger becomes more real, threatening to engulf his wife and son as well. The Howe family becomes engaged in a full-scale psychological battle with their unidentified stalker--without even knowing it. Secrets from Simon's past are uncovered, escalating toward a tense and unexpected climax.

More than a conventional mystery or thriller, Reunion at Red Paint Bay is an exploration of the consequences of guilt, denial, and moral absolutism. Harrar weaves a dramatic and suspenseful tale sure to spur readers into examining the limits of responsibility for one's actions.

See! I was right--an evocative thriller that takes place in Maine.

Ominous. Historic. Bad things are going to happen here, for sure.

 A move to a small seaside town gives Billie a chance at a new life and new love -- until the undertow of the past pulls her toward a shocking secret. 

When sixteen-year-old Billie Paradise unexpectedly inherits her grandmother's house, it couldn't come at a better time. With her stepdad abroad and her mom starting to lose it, moving from their cramped London apartment to an old house by the sea seems serendipitous. Maybe Billie, as she navigates the small-town social scene and falls for a certain intriguing older boy, can even find the father she never met. But her mom's remote childhood home, which she left in haste before Billie was born, harbors hints of suspicious long-ago deaths and family secrets. As Billie's story unfolds, flowing back and forth in time and through alternate points of view, it becomes clear that while people may die, the past lives forever.

See? Shocking family secrets!

I'm guessing, fast-paced, hip, flip, edgy. May be a black comedy?  I LOVE the way the author's name echoes the vertical type on the signs. 

 Sixteen-year-old Violet is thrilled when her father's new painting commission means a summer trip to Japan. But what starts as an exotic vacation quickly turns sour when a priceless sketch by van Gogh is stolen from her father's client and held ransom for a painting by the artist. The problem is that nobody knows where the painting is hidden, and until they find it, all their lives are in danger. 

Joined by her friend Reika, Violet searches for the missing van Gogh in a quest that takes her from the Seattle Art Museum to the yakuza-infested streets of Tokyo to a secluded inn in Kyoto. As the mystery deepens, Violet's not sure whom she can trust. But she knows one thing: she has to find the painting and the criminals--before it's too late.

Danger--doesn't seem to have much humor, but who can say?

If you want to check out my cover designs, visit me at:

Monday, March 9, 2015

Some exciting news: this blog is coming back from the dead...


Yes--in the weeks ahead expect this blog to spring back to life along with the frozen earth.

Changes are coming--a new look, a new name, a new focus, a cast of thousands.

The blog is going to become a "salon"--a hang out for anyone in the arts or the world of nerds--my chief areas of interest.

Yes I do love, (eat, breathe and sleep) YA books, but I love other books and eat, breathe and sleep, design/art, music, history, movies, TV, psychology, psychic stuff, and weird science facts (and shhhh--politics but there will be none of that on here--okay maybe just a teensy bit--but very, very rarely).

So stay tuned.

Change is coming.

If you are have something to say about the topics listed above(except politics) and would like to schedule a guest post on this blog in 2015, please email me with links to your social media and website through the contact form on my website.