Monday, October 6, 2014

REMAKE by Ilima Todd

Imagine a future without family. A new YA novel from a debut author.
Nine is the ninth female born in her batch of ten females and ten males. By design, her life in Freedom Province is without complications or consequences. However, such freedom comes with a price. The Prime Maker is determined to keep that price a secret from the new batches of citizens that are born, nurtured, and raised androgynously.
But Nine isn’t like every other batcher. She harbors indecision and worries about her upcoming Remake Day—her seventeenth birthday, the age when batchers fly to the Remake facility and have the freedom to choose who and what they’ll be.
When Nine discovers the truth about life outside of Freedom Province, including the secret plan of the Prime Maker, she is pulled between two worlds and two lives. Her decisions will test her courage, her heart, and her beliefs. Who can she trust? Who does she love? And most importantly, who will she decide to be?
Ilima met with me the other day and loaned me an advance reader's copy of her novel. Once I started reading it, I was hooked. Not only was the story a fresh twist on the genre and the characters engaging, it made me think about how the social issues in the book relate to our own society. I considered my own views on what freedom truly is and what makes a person free. 
The story also made me examine the complex layers that our culture wraps around the authentic self. Do we over-complicate identity? What makes us who we truly are? Do we define ourselves according to the dictates of trend? And if so... isn't that the opposite of freedom? It also reconfirmed how much I value my family. The joy of being a part of a family and of being a mom is very important to me. What if those freedoms were taken away?
The main character, Nine, is brave but also tender and vulnerable. Torn by so many decisions and conflicting feelings makes her relatable to not only teens but anyone struggling to define themselves within the noise of culture and what is considered normal and acceptable. Her quest to see past all of that to find her inner truth is one that makes her both sympathetic and heroic.
With some great world building, memorable characters, adventure, self examination and some romance, REMAKE is a worthwhile YA read with heart that is both fun and compelling. I'm so ready for the sequel.
Writers Cubed is excited to have Ilima Todd as one of our Drill Sergeants for Teen Author Boot Camp 2015 this coming April. So, read her book and then come and meet her at TABC!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Jessica Bell's, WHITE LADY, contest!


To celebrate the release of Jessica Bell's latest novel, WHITE LADY, she is giving away an e-copy (mobi, ePub, or PDF) to the first person to correctly guess the one true statement in the three statements below. To clarify, two statements are lies, and one is true:

Jessica Bell’s mother was born in ...
a. Germany
b. Australia
c. Greece

What do you think? Which one is true? Write your guess in the comments, along with your email address. Comments will close in 48 hours. If no-one guesses correctly within in 48 hours, comments will stay open until someone does.

Want more chances to win? You have until October 31 to visit all the blogs where Jessica will share a different set of true and false statements on each one. Remember, each blog is open to comments for 48 hours only from the time of posting.

If you win, you will be notified by email with instructions on how to download the book.

Click HERE to see the list of blogs.


*This novel contains coarse language, violence, and sexual themes.

Sonia yearns for sharp objects and blood. But now that she's rehabilitating herself as a "normal" mother and mathematics teacher, it's time to stop dreaming about slicing people's throats.

While being the wife of Melbourne's leading drug lord and simultaneously dating his best mate is not ideal, she's determined to make it work.

It does work. Until Mia, her lover's daughter, starts exchanging saliva with her son, Mick. They plan to commit a crime behind Sonia's back. It isn't long before she finds out and gets involved to protect them.

But is protecting the kids really Sonia's motive?

Click HERE to view the book trailer.
Click HERE for purchase links.

Jessica Bell, a thirty-something Australian-native contemporary fiction author, poet and singer/songwriter/guitarist, is the Publishing Editor of Vine Leaves Literary Journal and the director of the Homeric Writers' Retreat & Workshop on the Greek island of Ithaca. She makes a living as a writer/editor for English Language Teaching Publishers worldwide, such as Pearson Education, HarperCollins, MacMillan Education, Education First and Cengage Learning.

Connect with Jessica online: