I am so thrilled to be here with the lovely ladies of The Romance Dish today. We all met through RomanceNovelTV, where I've been doing monthly posts reviewing YA books (both new and new to me) and sharing the latest in YA-related news. I was happy that PJ, Gannon, Andrea and Buffie agreed to let me move my column, retitled Teen Menu, here so I can share my love of all things YA on the 10th of each month. So, without further delay...
Moonlight by Rachel Hawthorne
I'll admit that this book originally caught my eye because of the beautiful cover. The cover model has a type of ethereal beauty and reminds me of both Molly Quinn, who plays Alexis Castle on Castle, and Rachelle Lafevre, who played Victoria in Twilight. But when I picked it up off the shelf, I noticed it was by someone I knew, wonderful author Rachel Hawthorne. It's the first in the Dark Guardian series, and I'm already really excited to read the next two in the series, Full Moon and Dark of the Moon. Luckily, I have them mere steps away from where I now sit.
In this opener to the series, teen heroine Kayla has returned to the wilderness where her parents were killed to face her fears. She's going to spend the summer working as a wilderness guide alongside her good friend, Lindsey; the incredibly hot but aloof Lucas; and several other teens. Things get more complicated when another guy, one member of a research team the guides are taking into the wilderness, expresses interest in her and she's not sure if he's honest or even sane. And even more complicated when she's told that not only are Lucas, Lindsey and the rest of the teens werewolves but that she, too, will soon begin to turn.
Author Web site: http://www.rachelhawthorne.net/
Highway to Hell by Rosemary Clement-Moore
In this third of Clement-Moore's fun Maggie Quinn: Girl vs. Evil series, Maggie (a Seer) and her sorceress best friend Lisa are headed to South Padre for spring break and some time as normal teenagers. But evil has other ideas when Maggie's Jeep runs over a dead cow in the middle of a deserted highway and the girls find themselves stranded in the one-diner town of Dulcina, Texas -- home to a ginormous ranch, a hottie rancher with eyes for Lisa, some very colorful and curious locals, and quite possibly El Chupabra, a demon with a taste for blood.
I love this series. It's a great mixture of paranormal spookiness, teenage drama and just the right amount of snark. Maggie is like like Buffy Summers and Veronica Mars rolled into one, and I couldn't pay a teen heroine a higher compliment. Plus, I love how Clement-Moore has created a sexy, lovable hero in Maggie's boyfriend, Justin. He's a great mixture of intellectual and action when necessary and isn't averse to riding to the rescue, even though Maggie's pretty darn good at taking care of herself and he knows it.
Author Web site: http://www.rosemaryclementmoore.com/
Haint Misbehavin' by Maureen Hardegree
This month I gave my first-ever cover quote to a fellow author. I was honored to be asked, and since the book is fresh in my mind I thought I'd tell you a bit about it even though it doesn't come out until June 2010. In Maureen Hardegree's YA debut, the first in the Ghost Handler series, Georgia teen Heather Tildy is dealing with a lot during the summer before her freshman year of high school. There's her ever-annoying hypersensitive skin, her desire to win over her older sister who thinks Heather is an unbearable embarrassment, her super-big crush on lifeguard Drew Blanton, and the onset of her first period. But she gets a little more with her entree into puberty than she bargains for -- suddenly, she can see a ghost named Amy, a little girl whom Heather thought was her imaginary friend when she was little. And let's just say Amy makes life way more difficult for Heather.
Readers who like paranormal stories a bit on the lighter side, such as Meg Cabot's Mediator series, will likely enjoy Hardegree's new series from Bell Bridge Books. So mark your calendars for June 1, 2010.
Author Web site: http://www.maureenhardegree.com/
Squee! It's only 10 more days until New Moon hits theaters! How many of you are going on opening day?
WANT TO WIN? One lucky commenter today will win a copy of Rachel Hawthorne's Moonlight.