Posts in the Young Adult genre

Guest Post

OTP Shipping Necessities by Jus Accardo

9781633758254 (1)
I’m not getting on that ship unless… 

I’m pretty particular when it comes to my ships. Just because a couple makes eyes at each other and shares a few scorchers doesn’t make them OTP. I’m going to share a few must-haves for my fave fictional couples today. What are yours? Let us know in the comment section!

  1. Give me all the complicated characters – Have a character with their life together? Perfect job? Awesome relationship? Loyal BFF? Not my jam. I want issues. I want complicated. The more the better because, in my eyes, it makes them interesting. It makes them real. Give me flaws and I’ll give you every last bit of my attention. Complicated characters in a complicated relationship = WIN.
  2. Let me see them fight – If there’s no fire, I’m not getting on that ship. And I’m not talking smooches. Their physical attraction could set the universe on fire and I wouldn’t care. In order for a couple to get my attention, they have to have clash—at least a little. Give me snarky banter and passionate disagreements. Then, of course, give me those cosmos blazing smooches 😉
  3. Give that road some bumps – It might sound mean, but I don’t want to see them get their happily ever after. At least not right away. I want to see them struggle for it. The more obstacles they have to overcome, the more hoops to jump through, the better. The harder it is for them to be together, the harder I’m going to fall. Uh, hello Olicity anyone?
  4. Set that ship on fire – Obviously in addition to all of the above, in order for a ship to sail in my eyes, it’s gotta have heat you can feel. If the characters are telling us that they’re in love but it’s not coming across in their interaction, then it’sgonna fall flat. Give me intense looks and oodles of tension. Give me dialog that sets the air on fire. This is the icing on the ship-cake (Shh—that’s a thing!) so it’s gotta be sweet. 😉

JUS ACCARDO spent her childhood reading and learning to cook. Determined to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps as a chef, she applied and was accepted to the Culinary Institute of America. But at the last minute, she realized her true path lay with fiction, not food. A native New Yorker, she lives in the middle of nowhere with her husband, three dogs, and sometimes guard bear, Oswald.

9781633758254 (1)About Omega (The Infinity Division, #2):

One mistake can change everything. Ashlyn Calvert finds that out the hard way when a bad decision leads to the death of her best friend, Noah Anderson.

Only Noah isn’t really gone. Thanks to his parents’ company, the Infinity Division, there is a version of him skipping from one dimension to another, set on revenge for the death of his sister, Kori. When a chance encounter brings him face-to-face with Ash, he’s determined to resist the magnetic pull he’s felt for her time and time again. Because falling for Ash puts his mission—and their lives—in danger. 

Essential Beginnings Kennedy Layne

Q&A with Melissa Chambers!

We brought Melissa Chambers over the blog to answer our burning questions!

What are your five favorite movies with romance or romantic elements?

Love Actually

Valley Girl

500 Days of Summer

The Little Death

Bridget Jones’s Diary

Describe your favorite scene from each one!

In Love Actually, I think my favorite scene is the one between the singer, Billy Mack, and his manager where they spend Christmas together, and Billy tells his manager he’s the love of his life. I know this is supposed to be in reference to romantic love, but what’s so fabulous about that movie is how they show the significance of all sorts of love. 

Valley Girl! This has always been and will always remain my favorite movie of all-time! Punk rocker Randy takes Valley Girl Julie to a seedy night club on the first night they meet, but she doesn’t care because she’s there with him. They have their first kiss right there at the table with her friend (who is totally grossed out) and his wingman and they kiss to the magical sounds of The Plimsouls’ “A Million Miles Away”.

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Guest Post

Why YA Loves the “Almost-Kiss” by Kendra C. Highley

Growing up, watching my favorite TV shows (or reading my favorite books, although there wasn’t much selection in YA back in the stone ages), I’d ship a couple hard, waiting for the magical moment when they’d finally kiss. Oh, those melting first kisses, that were all passion and feeling, and resolution of all that tension. Kind of makes you want to hug your pillow to your chest and sigh, right? I know I did.

And it’s still true for me, even as a jaded adult. When Sheldon finally kissed Amy on “The Big Bang Theory” I was so shocked, but immediately let out an “Awwww!”  The way it started as sarcastic, because they were arguing about Sheldon’s lack of romance, but then it caught, and he stepped in close, realizing that he really did want to kiss Amy. So great.

Then, there’s the “almost-kiss.”

As a writer, it’s one of my favorite reader torture devices. Yeah, I know, the groans are audible. But—think about it. You have a couple that’s practically setting the snow on fire with desire and the tension is unbearable. They’re drawing together, this close to kissing…

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Sisters in Love Melissa Foster
Guest Post

My So-Called Teenage Romances by Julie Hammerle

I have always loved teen stuff—teen shows, teen movies, teen books. I love getting transported back to high school to experience all the angst and excitement and first loves. You know, all the stuff I totally missed out on when I was in high school.

Or, not really “missed out on.” More like “only experienced in my head.”

I didn’t have a lot of game back in high school. The fictional character I most closely identify with—in a whole slew of ways, including a love of cheese—is Liz Lemon from 30 Rock. And watching the episode where she goes back to high school and realizes that she’d been kind of a bully who was a big jerk to people hit a little too close to home. I don’t think I was mean to people necessarily, god I hope not, but I was definitely sarcastic, aloof, and maybe a little above it all.

Anyway, this arm’s-length attitude coupled with a very unfortunate sense of style meant to cover up my poor body image led to me not having a lot of luck with the gentlemen.

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Autumn Thorns Yasmine Galenorn

Q&A with Tonya Kuper!

Check out our interview with YA author TONYA KUPER!

What are your five favorite movies with romance or romantic elements?

I love romance, so it’s a challenge to only list five!

Star Wars, The Notebook, Princess Bride, Moulin Rouge, Twilight

What’s your favorite scene from each one? 

  1. When Han and Leia kiss for the first time and C3PO interrupts them.
  2. When they kiss in the rain and later when he gets in bed with her at the end of the movie.
  3. When Princess Buttercup realizes the pirate is actually Wesley.
  4. When Christian sings Your Song to Satine in the elephant room.
  5. When they’re dancing at the end at prom and Edward won’t bite Bella even when she asks for it.

Did you have any of these scenes in mind when writing scenes from your latest release?

No, not really. My characters really dictated what would happen, especially in the more intimate scenes, and the plot was different enough that none of the above would really apply.

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Q&A with Amber Garza! | YA

Amber Garza, author of the new YA novel I’M NOT IN THE BAND, stops by EverAfter to answer some of our most pressing questions! Read on!

What was your favorite aspect of pulling all of this story together? I always like the resolution, when the couple finally ends up together.

Most frustrating? I struggled a little with adding enough conflict in this story. I had to rewrite a lot of those scenes and add in more angst and problems.


If you could only read five books for the rest of your life, what five books would they be, and why?

Blue Diary by Alice Hoffman – Alice Hoffman is my favorite author of all time. Her writing is gorgeous. It’s poetic and beautiful, and I’m in awe of it. And I love this book. I’ve read it multiple times. It’s such an interesting story that delves into the idea that we never really know those around us.

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger – This is my favorite love story! It drew me in from the first time I read it and I could read it again and again. Such a powerful romance. It’s a book I think about often. I love how it ended the way it began. I still sometimes take it off the bookshelf and simply re-read that last paragraph. It makes me cry every time.

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Giveaway, Q&A

GIVEAWAY and Q&A with Larissa Hardesty!

Emmy Duivel believes in true love: heart-stopping kisses, candlelight dinners, and a connection that lasts forever. But not the kind of kisses that land your date in the hospital. Emmy always knew she was different, but not in the supernatural sense. Not in the succubus sense.

Paul Andinn had only one job: watch over Emmy and make sure she doesn’t expose the supernatural world. It should have been easy, but the moment he looked away, she kissed that boy, and everything changed. 

He should be more upset. But he can’t. Not when he’s falling hard for her.

Now onto the Q&A with the author of KISS ME, KILL YOU, Larissa C. Hardesty! 

What was your favorite aspect of writing this story?

I loved writing KISS ME KILL YOU for so many reasons. But if I had to pick just one, I’d say creating my own book boyfriend. I LOVE Paul. I loved writing him and writing from his POV. Getting into his head was so easy. I hope my readers enjoy him as much as I enjoyed writing him.

Most frustrating?

The most frustrating part of this process has to be finishing the book right when the paranormal YA market flooded. I had so many rejections that said, “Love this, but I can’t sell it right now.” headdesk But persistence paid off, and the book is so much better now, under my editor’s guidance.


If you could only read five books for the rest of your life, what five books would they be, and why?

I’m going to go with the five books I reread regularly.

  1. Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey. I love all the books in the Pern universe, but this one was my first, and the protagonist is a musician.
  2. The Magic’s Pawn trilogy by Mercedes Lackey. I’m cheating a bit here, but not really, because they have been compiled into a single volume. LOL. This book kept me up until all hours in high school. It’s got magic, and Companions (like psychic magical horses), and a love story that rips out your heart and stomps on it before putting it back in your chest. Which sounds horrible (and it is), but it is also amazing.
  3. One Foot in the Grave by Jeaniene Frost. This is the HOTTEST couple in romance. Bones is so open with his feelings, and Cat just keeps pushing him away. I read this whole series every year. LOL.
  4. Stone Cold Touch by Jennifer L. Armentrout. I love all of Jennifer’s books, but this is the first time I’d read a love triangle where I really thought the protagonist could go either way. I finished reading this book not sure which way I wanted her to go, which was kind of fun!
  5. I have so many books I could put here, but I’ll put another I reread a lot for two reasons. First, I reread it a lot, so I know it holds up. But second, it is really long. Like, REALLY LONG. By the time I finish rereading this one, the others will seem fresh. LOL. It’s To Light a Candle by Mercedes Lackey. This is an epic high fantasy with elves and magic and snarky unicorns, but most importantly, a reluctant hero who is also accidentally a badass.

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Guest Post

Keeping Love Interests Separated by Wendy Laine

Hollywood has made a fortune capitalizing on the will they/won’t they? scenario in both movies and on TV. How many seasons did Kate push off Castle? What about Rachel and Ross? Then, there was Team Edward and Team Jacob and many reiterations since then. Fictional couples are drawn to each other and their creators, because we’re cruel and heartless, immediately begin throwing obstacles between them. “Oh, you like each other? Ha! Take this! And that! And this!”

If you don’t believe we take a perverse joy in keeping our characters climbing out of ugly pits, you haven’t hung out with enough authors. We’re the evil queens or callous warlocks of fairytales fiendishly rubbing our hands together because we know something our characters don’t know: the stakes need to be high in order to engage a reader’s heart.

References to the “stakes” of a story are also an author’s worst nightmare when it comes up in an editorial letters. Raising stakes in romance can be tricky. There’s no gang of thugs to arrive, no cliff to roll off, and no jump scare in romance. In romances, there can be physical, mental, or emotional barriers…and, okay, sometimes mortal peril, but beyond the story arc to build, there’s their relationship arc. When crafting a romance, you have to simultaneously illustrate why your characters must be together, while also preventing the culmination of them finding lasting happiness.

There’s no story in: they meet and fall in love—the end.

There’s no angst and, thus, no passion. Your reader isn’t invested in their relationship.

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Top 5 Reasons Emma and Julian Need To Be Together

  1. They have a secret language.They trace letters on each other’s skin and can actually communicate. Have you ever tried that in real life? When I was a kid, my friends and I would try to write messages on each other’s backs and, let me tell you, it is

    I or wait is it an A

    P actually make than an R

  2. They’re already parabatai.

    The Clave’s got it all wrong here that the fact they’re already bound together as parabatai is a curse. (Even though the reason why romantic love between parabatai is forbidden is still a secret at the time of this post so I really don’t know what I’m talking about.)

    Of course, parabatai should be together. They know they can make a serious commitment to each other, because they’ve already done it.

    Somebody make me a member of the Clave, already. I need some voting power. *Bangs gavel* 
  3. They already know that they would be good parents. At this point, Julian is less of an older brother and more of a father figure to his siblings. Emma already fits into Julian’s family perfectly. Bringing someone else into the mix would just be weird. 
  4. Their names sound nice together. (Is anyone else really hung up on names? Let me know in the comments!)
  5. Because of quotes like these:

    LOS_banner“We are bound together, Emma, bound together—I breathe when you breathe, I bleed when you bleed, I’m yours and you’re mine, you’ve always been mine, and I have always, always belonged to you!”

    “You’ll fix me, because we’re parabatai. We’re forever.”

    “How long have you been drawing me?”
    He sighed. A moment later his hand came to rest in her hair. His fingers twined in the strands. “My whole life.”
Guest Post

Getting to Know Oneself as a Contemporary YA Romance Writer by Lizzy Charles

I have a confession to make: I’m that author who is writing outside of the genre she originally intended to dominate. Some may call me a quitter, but I prefer to think I’m quick to know myself.

Before writing, my reading tastes gravitate toward fantasy and dystopian novels. Just let me escape this world, you know? So when I decided to write my first book, obviously it’d be a bout a troll, a pirate, and a cursed princess (yes the story was as horrible as it sounds). It’s funny how you think you are made for something but then when you really sit down and give it a go, you realize you were so wrong. Pretty sure I only made it through four or five paragraphs before I realized I’d die of boredom from my own world building before I’d ever type “the end.”

So I scratched that approach and revisited an old, favorite novel of mine, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, and found exactly what I was looking for. The conversations she wrote drove the story. I opened my laptop and plopped myself in the middle of a conversation between two kids and it felt like I was a wild horse running along the coast. I was made to write conversation driven contemporary romance!

The more I learned while writing contemporary romance, the more addicted I became to the genre. Rainbow Rowell’s novel Eleanor and Park became my cornerstone for the genre and the ultimate level I hope to aspire to.  That woman knows how to write like no one else I know! Anytime I’m feeling stuck or discourage, I’ll open her book up and breathe in the authenticity of her characters and their relationship. It’s that exact authenticity I knew I had to capture while writing my newest novel, It had to be You.

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