Archives par étiquette : Writers House

RIVER OF SPIRITS de Shana Targosz

In her beautifully written and fiercely imaginative middle-grade novel, debut author Shana Targosz delivers an utterly original take on Greek mythology that’s a tale of friendship, sacrifice, and an incredibly nuanced portrayal of grief for a younger audience.

by Shana Targosz
Simon & Schuster, Spring 2025
(via Writers House)

Senka lives between the realm of the Living and the realm of the Dead. As ward to Charon, the Ferryer of the Underworld, Senka assists Charon in ferrying recently departed souls across the river and into their afterlife. Although Charon has mentored her, and messenger-raven and tutor Mortimer has taught Senka a bit about the realm of the Living, there’s so much about the Underworld Charon has been keeping from her. Senka knows Charon forbids her from straying too far from their home (it’s Rule number five in the Rules for Ferryers, after all), and though she doesn’t understand why, she listens—there is nothing she wants more than to prove she can be a model Ferryer.

When a young boy’s soul gets yanked away by the river’s current, and when the boy’s living sister, Poppy, arrives in the Underworld and pleads for Senka’s help to find him, Senka is literally dragged downriver, far from everything she’s ever known. Lost in the Underworld, Senka and Poppy encounter malevolent spirits of lore and eccentric ghosts—and not all are willing to let souls slip through their grasp.

But the Living can’t stay in the realm of the Dead for long, and there are only three days until Poppy’s soul will also become lost to the Underworld. Senka must utilize everything she has learned in order to save Poppy from a fate worse than death. As Poppy and Senka dodge angry demigods, hungry wraiths, tricksy shape-shifters, and terrifying dragon chimera, Senka gets closer and closer to learning the truth of her own past. Soon, Senka won’t just need to save Poppy’s life—she’ll also need to save her own. . .

Shana Targosz is an Oregon Literary Fellow and the recipient of the Edna L. Holmes Fellowship for Young Readers. An alumni of Author Mentor Match (#AMM), she is a former Pitch Wars mentor and current AMM mentor, and has been a guest host on Grace Lin’s #kidlitwomen podcast.

THE POISONS WE DRINK de Bethany Baptiste

In a country divided between humans and witchers, Venus Stoneheart hustles as a brewer making illegal love potions to support her family.

by Bethany Baptiste
Sourcebooks Fire, April 2024
(via Writers House)

Love potions is a dangerous business. Brewing has painful, debilitating side effects, and getting caught means death or a prison sentence. But what Venus is most afraid of is the dark, sentient magic within her.

Then an enemy’s iron bullet kills her mother, Venus’s life implodes. Keeping her reckless little sister Janus safe is now her responsibility. When the powerful Grand Witcher, the ruthless head of her coven, offers Venus the chance to punish her mother’s killer, she has to pay a steep price for revenge. The cost? Brew poisonous potions to enslave D.C.’s most influential politicians. As Venus crawls deeper into the corrupt underbelly of her city, the line between magic and power blurs, and it’s hard to tell who to trust. . . Herself included.

THE POISONS WE DRINK is a potent YA debut about a world where love potions are weaponized against hate and prejudice, sisterhood is unbreakable, and self-love is life and death.

Bethany Baptiste is an inner-city educator by day and a young adult SFF novelist by night. If she’s not writing a lesson plan or a story, she does retail therapy in Florida bookstores and takes scheduled naps with her three chaotic evil dogs.


Striking the perfect balance between wry humour and heartache, this new teen novel tackles choppy friendships, family dramas, and life-changing diagnoses, with a little bit of telenovela flair woven in.

by Maya van Wagenen
Dutton, March 2024
(via Writers House)

Nothing has been the same for fourteen-year-old Dolores Mendoza since everything started changing at the end of middle school. Newly diagnosed with interstitial cystitis, Dolores had a humiliating accident in class that earned her the nickname “whiz kid.” Even worse, she’s losing her lifelong BFF, Shae, who’s suddenly ignoring Dolores to hang out with the cool girls. Dolores is alone, and confused. What did she do wrong?

Now her mom is forcing Dolores to go to a “communication workshop for girls.” There, Dolores makes a tentative connection with Terpsichore Berkenbosch-Jones. Terpsichore, who is home-schooled and neurodiverse, makes a deal with Dolores: Pretend to be her friend so Terpsichore can convince her overprotective mother to let her go to public school, and in return Terpsichore will help Dolores get Shae back. Eventually, their friendship of convenience will start to transform both Dolores and Terpsichore and redefine the ways both girls understand friendships old and new.

Dolores’s funny and bittersweet coming-of-age friendship story is punctuated by her wry reviews of every bathroom in town (which she comes to know very well thanks to her IC) and hilariously over-dramatized flashbacks as Dolores rewrites traumatic experiences as if she’s the star of a telenovela.

Maya van Wagenen is the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek, which was published to huge acclaim when she was just fifteen (press and praise roundup below!). CHRONICALLY DOLORES is her fiction debut.

THE COLOR OF DRAGONS de R. A. Salvatore et Erika Lewis

Powerhouse adult fantasy author R. A. Salvatore and Erika Lewis deliver a sweeping, action-packed, romantic pre-Arthurian tale of the origins of magic (and Merlin), perfect for fans of Falling Kingdoms and Seraphina.

by R. A. Salvatore & Erika Lewis
HarperTeen, October 2021
(via Writers House)

Magic needs a spark.

And Maggie’s powers are especially fickle. With no one to help her learn to control her magic, the life debt that she owes stretches eternally over her head, with no way to repay it.

Until she meets Griffin, the king’s champion, infamous for hunting down the draignochs that plague their kingdom.

Neither has any idea of the destiny that they both carry, or that their meeting will set off a chain of events that will alter every aspect of the life they know—and all of history thereafter.

This epic, romantic tale will enchant readers and draw them into a thrilling world of star-crossed lovers, magic, destiny, and the paths we choose.

R. A. Salvatore created the character of Drizzt DoUrden, the dark elf who has withstood the test of time to stand today as an icon in the fantasy genre. He is also the acclaimed author of the Demon Wars trilogy — The Demon Awakens, The Demon Spirit, and The Demon Apostle — as well as Mortalis, Bastion of Darkness, Ascendance, and the New York Times bestseller Star Wars: The New Jedi Order: Vector Prime.

Erika Lewis grew up in Alexandria, Virginia, where she spent most of her childhood riding her dirt bike through Fort Ward, the Union Army Civil War stomping grounds. She graduated from Vanderbilt University and went on to earn a masters degree from Georgia State University and an advanced certificate in creative writing from Stony Brook University. Game of Shadows is her debut novel, and THE COLOR OF DRAGONS is her young adult debut.

WINK de Rob Harrell

A hilarious and heartwrenching story about surviving middle school–and an unthinkable diagnosis–while embracing life’s weirdness.

by Rob Harrell
Dial Books for Young Readers, 2020
(via Writers House)

Ross Maloy just wants to be a normal seventh grader. He doesn’t want to lose his hair, or wear a weird hat, or deal with the disappearing friends who don’t know what to say to « the cancer kid. » But with his recent diagnosis of a rare eye cancer, blending in is off the table.

Based on Rob Harrell’s real life experience, and packed with comic panels and spot art, this incredibly personal and poignant novel is an unforgettable, heartbreaking, hilarious, and uplifting story of survival and finding the music, magic, and laughter in life’s weirdness. 

Rob Harrell created the Life of Zarf series, the graphic novel Monster on the Hill, and also writes and draws the long-running daily comic strip Adam@Home, which appears in more than 140 papers worldwide. He created and drew the internationally syndicated comic strip Big Top until 2007. He lives with his wife in Indiana.