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ALA Midwinter 2019

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I had the absolute joy of hitting the exhibit floor of the American Library Association’s Midwinter conference. HOLY COW friends, $60 got me in the door and into an orgy of books.

Football fields of publishers and small presses with ALL the amazing NEW titles! The best part of the whole shindig was getting to see the soon-to-be-out books. There were ARCs for us to handle, read, lust over and if they had an extra copy, take home. If you have the opportunity to attend the ALA Conference in Washington DC in June, you should go. At least check out the Exhibit hall (which will have double the number of displays). OMG, I wish I was going.

Let me show you what I found!

WE RULE THE NIGHT

(from the back) Two girls use forbidden magic to fly and fight —
for their country and for themselves–
In this riveting debut that’s part Shadow and Bone, part Code Named Verity
THE CANDLE AND THE FLAME

This one I was lucky enough to see the cover reveal by Nafiza Azad
on Twitter so I was over the moon excited to get a copy from the Scholastic booth.
A story about fiercely independent woman, enticing food, a girl with the fire of a djinn and a city scarred by violence.

KINGSBANE

LOVE THIS COVER!
(from the back) Sequel to FURYBORN,
Two queens, separated by a thousand years and connected by secrets and lies, must continue their fight amid deadly plots and unthinkable betrayals that will test their strength and their hearts.
CHILDREN OF THE SPIDER

This title from Blouse Skirt Books caught my eye the second I walked onto the exhibit floor. (from the back) The story moves from the lush hinterlands of Guyana to the bustling city of Georgetown where the colonial past rubs shoulders with the gritty contemporary world.
It’s a new take on Caribbean mythology that I can’t wait to read.
ONI Press and BOOM! Studios

Were also there!
YA isn’t just about books, graphic novels are super cool, and so much better than they were when I was a kid. Complex stories like, Dream Daddy from ONI that touches on single dads and their gay lives. Don’t let the title fool you, the excerpt in the catalog choked me up. And BOOM! has so many great
titles…hide my credit card please!

Let’s talk about the two I have read.

A CURSE SO DARK AND LONELY

I gobbled this book up in a day. Beauty and the Beast as it should have been. The relationship that forms between Harper and Rhen is interesting…I’ve always had trouble with the idea of a kidnapped girl falling in love with her captor. Ew. Yuck. A Curse so Dark and Lonely subverts that trope in a clever way.
ONCE AND FUTURE

I was a Mists of Avalon super fan as a teen. Arthurian legend was my jam. Revisiting the series as an adult, what I disliked was the super squishy quality the female characters and how they were swept around by fate (and men, honestly), unable to really help themselves — especially Gwen; she got the short end of the stick most of the time. 
This retelling has the interconnected relationships between women that I’d always wanted. Instead of pitting women against each other they work together and love each other, even when they disagree.
If you have been looking for a super sexy Arthur story with swords and space battles and characters who aren’t all cishet…then you really need to preorder and/or get a copy when it comes out in March.

So there you have it. ALA Midwinter 2019 was amazing and I was so lucky that it landed in Seattle this year, making it an easy drive from Spokane.

My new dream as a writer is to one day be at one of those tables, signing books and rubbing elbows with librarians from around the country.

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