We Have News.

Hi.

So. Um. I’m not really sure how to do this. Because I’ve never done anything like this before.

Never ever.

Because I’ve never had a book deal before.

AND WE HAVE A BOOK DEAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Us, all week.

Our book, FAR FROM US, is going to be published.

WHAAAAAT???

It’s true! About a week ago, super agent Jim McCarthy, Mindi, and I accepted a deal with Alexandra Arnold of Katherine Tegen Books (HarperCollins).

See!?

PM Deal

And in case you don’t feel like clicking, here’s what it says:

Michelle Andreani and Mindi Scott’s FAR FROM US, a dual narrative in which two grieving teens take a road trip across the Southwest after their friend is killed in an accident and along the way chart a journey of loss, hope, and love as they discover the ways that she lives on even after her death, to Alex Arnold at Katherine Tegen Books, by Jim McCarthy at Dystel & Goderich Literary Management (World).

Eep! Eeeeeeeeeeep!

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Exactly!!

Are there words that even exist for this?! (I guess that’s not the most impressive thing, announcing a book deal and then being unable to string together some sentences, huh? Yeesh!) But still! It all feels so very surreal, something I haven’t quite wrapped my head around yet, even after years and years of dreaming up a moment just like it. (I was even in my pajamas when it happened – just like I always imagined!) Of course, those were the same years and years of telling myself to take it down a notch, Michelle, it might never happen.

But it did.

It happened. IT’S HAPPENING!!!!!!!

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Night cheese, Snuggie happy!

Mindi and I are so, so happy to work with Alex, who has shown such enthusiasm for FFU, and we are so fortunate to have her behind our book! And we’re really excited to join Katherine Tegen Books, the home of so many fantastic stories — including Veronica Roth’s Divergent (MAYBE YOU’VE HEARD OF IT), and another of my favorites, Hilary T. Smith’s Wild Awake.

We are very lucky.

And I feel like the luckiest person ever to have had Mindi in my corner all this time. Without her endless support, crazyyyyy talent, and all-around general wonderfulness, I would not be writing this. And a bazillion thank-yous to Jim, who took a chance on me, was ever encouraging, and fought for FFU all the way.

(Is this where I thank other people? What happens next?? Did I talk about how surreal this is?! My brain is all jumbly!)

A dream come true. That’s all I can think to say about it.

Except that I am bursting with gratitude and excitement and happy-nausea!

This will be my first ever First Book. And I (and we) hope you like it. 🙂

OKAY AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH BYEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!

 

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Terra Elan McVoy’s CRIMINAL

Terra Elan McVoy’s Criminal, Out in Paperback!

Nikki’s life is far from perfect, but at least she has Dee. Her friends tell her that Dee is no good, but Nikki can’t imagine herself without him. He’s hot, he’s dangerous, he has her initials tattooed over his heart, and she loves him more than anything. There’s nothing Nikki wouldn’t do for Dee. Absolutely nothing.

So when Dee pulls Nikki into a crime—a crime that ends in murder—Nikki tells herself that it’s all for true love. Nothing can break them apart. Not the police. Not the arrest that lands Nikki in jail. Not even the investigators who want her to testify against him.

But what if Dee had motives that Nikki knew nothing about? Nikki’s love for Dee is supposed to be unconditional…but even true love has a limit. And Nikki just might have reached hers.

Beyond the Book: Terra’s Thoughts

In advice to writers, Stephen King says, “Write the truth.”

Ernest Hemingway also famously said, “Write what you know.”

My thesis director and writing mentor, Mark Winegardner, went further to say, “Write what you most want to understand.”

It was this thought that motivated me to start writing Criminal. In 2011, I heard about a murder case in which a young man was accused of killing one of his girlfriend’s parents, out in broad day. When I discovered he had an accomplice—another young woman with whom he’d also been romantically involved—I was even more intrigued.

“Who would do such a thing? And why?” Of course I was thinking of the shooter, but really I was most perplexed by the second girlfriend—the one who allegedly helped him do it. Who was she? Why did she go along with it? Did she know about his other girlfriend? And what happened to her after the fact?

Reading helps us to imagine things we haven’t experienced on our own, and to, ultimately, empathize with our fellow humans. In writing Criminal, I aimed to explain to myself—and to therefore understand—what it would be like to be a girl very different from me and most of the characters in my other books: someone without resources, without confidence, without an education or good family, and often without hope—so much so that she’d participate in such a horrible crime.

The result of my imaginings (and my research) is in this book. I didn’t write it to justify, or excuse, any kind of criminal behavior in the slightest. Instead I hope that in doing so, my readers and I can get closer to understanding that people who make terrible choices like this are more than just the results of their crimes.

 

Jeri Smith-Ready’s THIS SIDE OF SALVATION

This Side of SalvationJeri Smith-Ready (author of the Shade trilogy) makes her contemporary debut in what Kirkus calls “a captivating story of family heartbreak.”

THIS SIDE OF SALVATION

Everyone mourns differently. When his older brother was killed, David got angry. As in, fist-meets-someone-else’s-face furious. But his parents? They got religious. David’s still figuring out his relationship with a higher power, but there’s one thing he does know for sure:  The closer he gets to new-girl Bailey, the better, brighter, happier, more he feels.

Then his parents start cutting all their worldly ties in to prepare for the Rush, the divine moment when the faithful will be whisked off to Heaven…and they want David to do the same. David’s torn. There’s a big difference between living in the moment and giving up his best friend, varsity baseball, and Bailey—especially Bailey—in hope of salvation.

But when he comes home late from prom, and late for the Rush, to find that his parents have vanished, David is in more trouble than he ever could have imagined… 

What Others Are Saying:

“THIS SIDE OF SALVATION is impossible to pigeonhole. It’s a mystery, a
love story, a tale of friendship, of prejudice, and of a family
overcoming tragedy…Jeri Smith-Ready has her finger on the pulse of
American youth.” — Printz Honor winner and NYT Bestseller Elizabeth Wein

“This is a frighteningly realistic story that delicately handles the issues of religion and family—an emotional mystery sure to be popular and perfect for discussion.” — VOYA, **Highlighted (Starred) Review**

“[A] smart, well-rounded, and unpredictable tale…bringing to light
issues of belief versus free will, spirit versus body, and family versus
self—while never being heavy-handed.” Booklist, **Starred Review**

“This book has some of the best written, strongest, and most satisfying
character dynamics that I have read in a long time…There are no
extreme moral rights and wrongs in this book. These people just are, and
they work, and they make this story beautiful.” — Bibliopunkk

Giveaways Galore!

Jeri has two ongoing giveaways to celebrate the release of This Side of Salvation.

Join the Rush swag fest: free EXCLUSIVE swag for everyone who orders TSOS on or before Monday, April 7.

Superfan contest (March 31 – April 9): share the TSOS characters’ “trading cards”  on your social networks to earn points. Biggest Superfan wins the grand prize, but there’s a chance to win a book and a gift card every day you play!

Here’s the first day’s card, featuring the main character, David Cooper:

Cat blogging meets book birthday!

Meet Misha and Twinkle, the real-life inspiration for the cats of This Side of Salvation, on PulseIt, the official site of Jeri’s publisher, Simon Pulse.

Order the hardcover:

Order the ebook:

Find Jeri

Visit Jeri’s website, or follow her on one of these sites:

Eileen Cook’s YEAR OF MISTAKEN DISCOVERIES

Year of Mistaken Discoveries Cover

Year of Mistaken Discoveries by Eileen Cook is now available!

About the book:
Friendship is a bond stronger than secrets in this novel from the author of The Almost Truth and Unraveling Isobel.

As first graders, Avery and Nora bonded over a special trait they shared—they were both adopted.

Years later, Avery is smart, popular, and on the cheerleading squad, while Nora spends her time on the fringes of school society, wearing black, reading esoteric poetry, and listening to obscure music. They never interact…until the night Nora approaches Avery at a party, saying it’s urgent. She tells Avery that she thought she found her birth mom—but it turned out to be a cruel lie. Avery feels for Nora, but returns to her friends at the party.

Then Avery learns that Nora overdosed on pills. Left to cope with Nora’s loss and questioning her own actions, Avery decides to honor her friend by launching a search for her own birth mother. Aided by Brody, a friend of Nora’s who is also looking for a way to respect Nora’s legacy, Avery embarks on an emotional quest. But what she’s really seeking might go far deeper than just genetics…

You can buy the book here:

Indie Bound

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Chapters/Indigo

What Others Are Saying:

“Cook combines friendship drama, boy troubles, romance, family conflict, and college application stress with a protagonist trying to understand who she really is in the wake of tragedy.” Publisher’s Weekly

“Cook delves into some interesting questions about what is really important in life as well as the challenges associated with self-discovery and determining how far you’ll go to get what you want.” Booklist

“An insightful, entertaining exploration of the impact of a suicide” Kirkus
“Eileen Cook returns with Year of Mistaken Discoveries, a romantic tragi-comedy from the perspective of the most popular–often most hated–girl in high school: the cheerleader… Year of Mistaken Discoveries is provoking, fast-paced entertainment, and Cook successfully tackles some tough issues with a very light touch.” Readerly- The National Reading Campaign.

“Given the choice between contemporary and paranormal YA, I will almost always pick contemporary and Eileen Cook is the perfect example of why.” Nerdy Book Club- Kelly’s Top 15 Books for 2014

“This book is amazing! Everyone should buy at least five copies.” Eileen’s mom.

Denise Jaden’s FAST FICTION

Rather than doing a traditional interview-filled blog tour, Denise Jaden is celebrating the release of her new nonfiction writing book, FAST FICTION, by dropping tips about writing quickly at every stop of her blog tour, and offering some awesome prizes for commenting on any of these posts (including this one!)

The more you drop by and comment, the more chances you have to win these great prizes:

Denise’s Fast Fiction Tip: Brainstorm, brainstorm, brainstorm!

Having lots and lots of creative ideas to pull from is one of the most helpful resources when writing a fast draft. Because of this, one of my biggest writing tips is to write down everything that comes to mind first thing in the morning. That odd brain-state between sleeping and waking is often filled with remnants of dreams and other creative ideas we probably wouldn’t come up with during the busyness of the day. Plus, it’s good practice to start the day in a state of letting our creative juices run wild. Try it. Before you know it, you’ll have more great story and character ideas than you know what to do with! 

The Prizes:

  • Compliments of New World Library: They will be giving away A BOX of copies of FAST FICTION by Denise Jaden and GET IT DONE by Sam Bennett (US and Canada only):
  • Compliments of Denise Jaden, TWO BOXES of great fiction (US Only). Details on Denise’s blog.
  • Audiobook copies of NEVER ENOUGH by Denise Jaden!
  • A critique of your first five pages, compliments of Denise’s agent, Michelle Humphrey from The Martha Kaplan Agency!

All you have to do is enter the rafflecopter for a chance to win (at the bottom of this post, I’ve included links to all of the other blogs where you can comment for more chances to win).

About Fast Fiction:

Writers flock to National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) each November because it provides a procrastination-busting deadline. But only a fraction of the participants meet their goal. Denise Jaden was part of that fraction, writing first drafts of her two published young adult novels during NaNoWriMo. In Fast Fiction, she shows other writers how to do what she did, step-by-step, writer to writer. Her process starts with a prep period for thinking through plot, theme, characters, and setting. Then Jaden provides day-by-day coaching for the thirty-day drafting period. Finally, her revision tips help writers turn merely workable drafts into compelling and publishable novels.

 

A portion of publisher proceeds will be donated to National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)

 

Praise for Fast Fiction:

 

“Fast Fiction is filled with stellar advice, solid-gold tips, and doable, practical exercises for all writers who want to draft a complete novel.”

— Melissa Walker, author of Violet on the Runway

“Being a ‘pantser’ I have always resisted outlining, but I have to say that Fast Fiction changed my mind! Denise Jaden takes what I find to be a scary process (outlining) and makes it into an easy and, dare I say, enjoyable one. Fast Fiction is a hands-on book that asks the right questions to get your mind and your story flowing. I know I’ll be using Fast Fiction over and over again. Highly recommended for fiction writers!

— Janet Gurtler, author of RITA Award finalist I’m Not Her

“Fast Fiction is full of strategies and insights that will inspire and motivate writers of every experience level — and best of all, it provides them with a solid plan to quickly complete the first draft of their next novel.”

— Mindi Scott, author of Freefall

“Fast Fiction provides writers with the perfect mix of practical guidance and the kick in the pants they need to finish that draft. This book is a must-have for writers of all levels.”

— Eileen Cook, author of The Almost Truth

Practical and down-to-earth, Denise Jaden’s Fast Fiction makes a one-month draft seem doable, even for beginners, any month of the year.”

— Jennifer Echols, author of Endless Summer and Playing Dirty

“One of the greatest challenges any writer faces is getting a great idea out of one’s brain and onto the page. Fast Fiction breaks that process down into concrete, manageable steps, each accompanied by Denise Jaden’s sage advice and enthusiastic encouragement. And anything that helps streamline the drafting process is a-okay by me! Fast Fiction is a great addition to any writer’s toolbox — I’ve got it in mine!”

— Catherine Knutsson, author of Shadows Cast by Stars

“Forget the fact that this resource is directed at those wanting to complete a fast draft — if you’re out to get your novel done, period, Jaden’s Fast Fiction will be the kick in the butt that gets you there, from story plan to ‘The End’. . . and beyond.”

— Judith Graves, author of the Skinned series for young adults

Where you can find Fast Fiction:

Help an author out:

Can’t get a copy of FAST FICTION right now? I wonder if you’d consider helping out in other ways. I’d really appreciate any way that you can help!

  • Ask your library or bookstore to bring in FAST FICTION
  • Leave a review on Amazon (the more books are reviewed on Amazon, the more they will show up as suggestions for readers).
  • Mention FAST FICTION on Facebook, Twitter, your blog, or pin a link to Amazon on Pinterest

Blog Tour Stops:

Comment on any of the following blog posts celebrating Fast Fiction’s release to be entered to win prizes galore!

(All Fast Fiction blog posts should be live by March 9th, or sooner. Contest will be open until March 15th. If any links don’t work, stop by http://denisejaden.blogspot.com for updated links.)

GCC Blogs:

Additional Participating Blogs:

Remember, all you have to do is leave comments to get lots of extra entries to win some great prizes.

Don’t know what to comment about? Tell us the name of your favorite writing book!

Share this widget here:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/Y2QyYmEwOTMzNTUyNGRiYWY0NWE1YWE4YjBjN2I2OjQ=/

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Or, if the Rafflecopter Giveaway doesn’t seem to be coming up on this blog, access it here: http://www.denisejaden.com/FastFictionContest.html

New release by Jessica Brody: UNFORGOTTEN

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UNFORGOTTEN, the second book in the Unremembered Trilogy by Jessica Brody, is now in stores!

Some memories are better left forgotten…

After a daring escape from the scientists at Diotech who created her, Seraphina believes she is finally safe from the horrors of her past. But new threats await Sera and her boyfriend, Zen, at every turn as Zen falls prey to a mysterious illness and Sera’s extraordinary abilities make it more and more difficult to stay hidden.

Meanwhile, Diotech has developed a dangerous new weapon designed to apprehend her. A weapon that even Sera will be powerless to stop. Her only hope of saving Zen’s life and defeating the company that made her is a secret buried deep within her mind. A secret that Diotech will kill to protect. And it won’t stay forgotten for long.

Packed with mystery, suspense, and romance, this riveting second installment of Jessica Brody’s Unremembered trilogy delivers more heart-pounding action as loyalties are tested, love becomes a weapon, and no one’s memories are safe.

Get a Special FREE Purchase Gift!

Download the first 5 Chapters FREE!

See Jessica on Tour!

Play the Unforgettable Fan Challenge
(with guaranteed prizes for all Unforgettable Fans!)

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Haven’t read Unremembered, the first book in the trilogy? Click here to learn all about it and read the first 5 chapters free!

Also be sure to check out, UNDISCOVERED, the eBook novella told from Zen’s point of view!

‘The Power of Vulnerability’

by Michelle Andreani

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I’m trying to make this a short intro because I really, really, really just want you to watch this video. Especially if you’re someone who, like me, struggles with self-worth and those three slippery words: “I am enough.”

In her powerful TED Talk, Brené Brown calls people who feel worthy of love and belonging “the Wholehearted.” (Which I. am. crazy. about. The Wholehearteds sounds like the coolest club ever!) She also discusses human connection, and how she discovered, through research, that vulnerability might be at the center of it all. Vulnerability is an incredibly significant topic for me, both personally and fictionally — one of our characters has her own vulnerability issues (teaser!), and I am so glad my own research led me to this. I felt understood as I listened. I feel like I can understand more as I write.

Now, I know it’s twenty minutes long, and you’re like, “That’s 19:30 minutes too long for something on YouTube without cats, you monster!” But I promise! Brené is so engaging and funny and she speaks DIRECTLY TO YOUR SOUL and you will possibly spend many more minutes afterward looking up every other thing she has done ever. Like I did!

Anyway. I stumbled on this when I very much needed to hear these things, and I thought you might need to hear these things. So, here. ❤

YOU ARE HERE with Kristina Springer

BY MINDI SCOTT

Today, Kristina Springer is sharing a photo of one of her favorite places… the type of place that most book-loving people would LOVE to be able to have of their own!

Library1

Location: HOME LIBRARY 
Contributor: Author Kristina Springer

My favorite room in my house is the library. I’d always wanted a library so when we moved earlier this year I was thrilled to have one in our new house. And this one comes with a coffee bar so I’m hooked. Anyway, it’s a little room right off of the family room and the kids (and me) love to go in here to read.”

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Kristina Springer’s newest release, My Fake Boyfriend is Better Than Yours, was recently released and she’s a having a contest over at her blog.  The winner will get:  A $20 gift card (Starbucks or Amazon, your choice!),  autographed copy of My Fake Boyfriend is Better Than Yours,  Fake Boyfriend Emergency Kit, and a variety of bookmarks/stickers from all of her books. To find out more and to enter the contest, definitely check out this link!

MFBIBTYAbout My Fake Boyfriend is Better Than Yours:  Seventh grade was supposed to be fun, but Tori is having major drama with her BFF, Sienna. Sienna changed a lot over the summer—on the first day of school she’s tan, confident, and full of stories about her new dreamy boyfriend. Tori knows that she’s totally making this guy up. So Tori invents her own fake boyfriend, who is better than Sienna’s in every way. Things are going great—unless you count the whole lying-to-your-best-friend thing—until everyone insists Tori and Sienna bring their boyfriends to the back-to-school dance.

YOU ARE HERE with Sara Hantz

BY MINDI SCOTT

Yay! I’m so excited to share with you another YOU ARE HERE photo. This one is from Sara Hantz. (FYI: I’m having a lot of fun with this feature. I’ll be sharing one of my own travel photos in the near future!)

photo by Sally Rigby

photo by Sara Hantz

Location: QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA
Contributor: Author Sara Hantz

“We currently live on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. There are lots of pelicans, which are incredible close up. We actually live on an island which is accessible by a bridge. As you cross the bridge there are lamp posts and the pelicans sit on top of them, usually one or two on every lamp-post, it’s an amazing sight.”

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Sara Hantz originally comes from the UK and is one of four children, having three younger brothers. Although she was an avid reader from a very early age, she didn’t get the writing bug until much later in life, though English was always one of her stronger subjects. She’s an avid sun chaser and now lives on the beautiful Sunshine Coast in Australia (via 10 years in New Zealand). Sara lectured for many years before deciding to devote more time to her writing and working in the family hospitality business. She has two grown-up children and when not writing, working, or online with her friends, she spends more time than most people she knows watching TV – in fact if TV watching was an Olympic sport she’d win gold. Sara’s books: In The Blood, The Second Virginity of Suzy Green and Will The Real Abi Saunders Please Stand Up (due out May 2014).

In the Blood - Hantz[1]About IN THE BLOOD:
For seventeen years, Jed Franklin’s life was normal. Then his father was charged with the abuse and murder of four young boys and normal became a nightmare. His mom’s practically a walking zombie, he’s lost most of his friends, and the press camps out on his lawn. The only things that keep him sane are his little sis; his best friend and dream girl, Summer; and the alcohol he stashes in his room. But after Jed wakes up from a total blackout to discover a local kid has gone missing—a kid he was last seen talking to—he’s forced to face his greatest fear: that he could somehow be responsible.

In a life that’s spiraled out of control, Jed must decide if he chooses his own destiny with Summer by his side or if the violent urges that plagued his father are truly in the blood…

YOU ARE HERE with Sarah Guillory

BY MINDI SCOTT

RECLAIMED High Res Cover finalI’m excited to share another YOU ARE HERE travel-photo post with y’all.

This one is from Sarah Guillory, whose debut novel Reclaimed is coming out October 15, 2013.

I had the opportunity for an early read and I offered up this promotional blurb (my first!):

“Packed with atmosphere and surprises, Reclaimed is one of those rare books that kept me guessing throughout and inspired an immediate reread.” – Mindi Scott, author of Freefall and Live Through This.

The paperback and e-book for Reclaimed are available for preorder now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and IndieBound so I hope you’ll consider checking it out. 🙂

Hogwarts Express and Sarah Guillory

Hogwarts Express and Sarah Guillory

Location: ORLANDO, FLORIDA, USA
Contributor: Author Sarah Guillory

“I fell in love with reading when I was four years old and spent my childhood visiting worlds much different than my own. I’m from a small town in Arkansas, and while it was an idyllic place to grow up, it was a very vanilla view of the world. We didn’t have the Internet and we didn’t get cable, so what I learned about this world I learned from books.

In college I majored in English and spent my time buried in the classics. As part of my education curriculum, I was required to take a young adult literature class. I was indignant. I did not believe in dumbing down education. I was going to teach the classics and they were going to like it!

The first book I was introduced to once I got to class was Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. At that time there were only three books in the series, and I was hooked from the first page. I was often late for class because I was sitting in my car, reading. That was when I fell in love with children’s literature.

So you can imagine my elation when my husband came home last summer and informed me that we were going to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I immediately became a child. I squealed, jumped up and down, and then called my sister to rub it in.

I was up before dawn the first day we went to the park. We had early access passes, and I was a bundle of nerves as we rode the boat over. Once we got through the gates, I wanted to run. I would have if my husband hadn’t been with me. He stayed an adult, but I had shed all respectability at the door. I walked as fast as I could and kept telling him to hurry up. I saw Hogwarts in the distance and felt a lump form in my throat. When we rounded the corner and came to the entrance to Hogsmeade, I teared up.

Because here was one of my favorite books, my best adventure, come to life.

I stood in line with all the other kids to have my picture taken with the conductor. I wasn’t even a little embarrassed. While I was taller than the others in line, and had celebrated more birthdays, I was still a kid, one who had cheered Harry on, worried about him, cried over him.

Standing in front of the Hogwarts Express was everything I’d imagined it would be.

Reading itself is the Hogwarts Express. We board the train in a familiar place and end up thousands of miles from home. And like Harry, who never wants to leave Hogwarts and return to the normalcy of the Dursley’s, I am loathe to finish a book and find myself back in reality.

But the great thing about reading is that I don’t have to wait for September 1st to return to Hogwarts. I don’t need fairy dust to find my way to Neverland. I don’t have to go through the wardrobe or looking glass to find adventure. I only have to pick up a book.”

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Guillory5Sarah Guillory has always loved words and had a passion for literature. When she’s not reading or writing, Sarah runs marathons, which she credits with keeping her at least partially sane.

Sarah teaches high school English and lives in Louisiana with her husband and their bloodhound, Gus. Reclaimed is her debut novel.