What was your favorite YA read of 2012? #yalit

I’m so excited for this year to get rolling.  You see, I have plans, many plans, that I hope to see realized before 2014 rolls around.

Before I get cracking on the harsh writing schedule I’ve sketched out, I wanted to take a moment to look backward.

I read quite a few YA books this year, but there’s one that stands out above the rest for me.  I’m a sucker for a good love story, but I also like it to be hard won, and with characters who’ve crawled into my head and become real.

It’s hard to impress me, and this author’s willingness to take the road less traveled is why her debut novel stole top honors on my 2012 best YA books list.

13504857There’s no way sixteen year old Quincy Amarante will become the fifth grim reaper. None. Not over her shiny blue Mustang. Her Jimmy Choos. Or her dead body.

She’s supposed to enjoy her sophomore year, not learn about some freaky future Destiny says she has no choice but to fulfill.

It doesn’t take long for Quincy to realize the only way out of the game is to play along especially since Death can find her anyway, anywhere, anytime. And does.

Like when she’s reassuring her friends she wants nothing to do with former best friend Ben Moorland, who’s returned from god-knows-where, and fails. Miserably.

Instead of maintaining her coveted popularity status, Quincy’s goes down like the Titanic.

Maybe … just maybe … that’s okay.

It seems, perhaps, becoming a grim reaper isn’t just about the dead but more about a much needed shift in Quincy’s priorities—from who she thinks she wants to be to who she really is.


I was lucky enough to get my hands on an ARC of this, but I’d have bought it in a heartbeat.

The first thing I loved about this was that the heroine and the hero weren’t immediately mashed together.  Ben kind of sneaked in the background after we’d learned a little about Quincy.

All of a sudden I was like … oh!  They have history, a rich, interesting history that snapped me up and ran away with me.  There’s a nice balance of Quincy dealing with her uncertain future and the romance.  It wasn’t sappy, though it was sweet.

The ending was the clincher for me.  I won’t give it away, because you really need to read it for yourself, but it wasn’t the “expected” ending.  Because of that, I stewed over my own emotions for days after closing the book before I could filter out my expectations and realize that it was the strongest, most powerful ending possible.

Definitely worth the read.

You can pick it up here:  Amazon.com & Barnes & Noble

Check out L. S. Murphy’s other works here:  www.lsmurphy.com

What’s your favorite YA read of 2012?


The Offering Part 2 #sixsunday #yalit

sixsundayheaderCan you believe Christmas is already over?  It seemed to take ages to get to December, and now it’s almost over, too.  Crazy how time zips by.

Today we’re joining Selene as she faces Mr. Barlow, the warlock who’s been robbing villagers on their way back from the market.  As usual, Selene is unable to hold her tongue, and pushes him a little too far.

Mr. Barlow edged back to stand between two of his guards. “I think I shall have something more valuable from you, and to ensure you bring it to me…”

Charlie disappeared from under my arm. His scream pierced my mind and induced my own. I looked down to see one of the sentinels dragging him away by the foot. The terror in his eyes shattered something inside me, hurt so much I couldn’t draw air into my lungs.

Dun, dun, dunnnnnn!  Poor Selene.  Not only has she caused the abduction of her brother, but I’m thinking Father is going to be mighty ticked off at her as well.

Don’t forget to click on the logo above to see all off the other participants.  See you next week!

The Offering #sixsunday #yalit

sixsundayheaderGood Sunday morning!  My very first post comes to you a mere two days before Christmas.  Love this time of year.  Pretty snow on the trees, people humming carols.  I hope you’re as ready as you’d like to be for the holidays.

My six today comes from a novella I’m getting ready to sub out to some publishers.  It was a story I wrote based on a picture prompt, and I’m loving the way it’s growing.

This scene comes when Selene, her brother and father, are caught in the woods after the sun sets and have run afoul of the handsome and mysterious warlock who lives there.

I hiked up my blue skirts and white cloak and stepped over the edge of the sleigh in search of the step. Mr. Barlow offered me his hand, but I ignored him. “I know a gentleman when I meet one, and no amount of false chivalry will change my mind about you.”

He tilted his head, and I could have sworn he chuckled within the darkness of his cloak, but decided I must have been mistaken.

Once down and knee-deep in snow, I tugged Charlie out while Father pushed at his rear. When my brother finally scrambled down the step, I tucked him under my cloak with my arm around him.

Oh oh, they’re in trouble now.  What they have in the sleigh is barely enough to feed their family for the coming week.

Come back to visit again next Sunday for another wee snippet of Selene’s troubles.

To see the rest of the participants, please click on the logo at the top.  To leave me a comment, please click on the speech bubble beside the title.  Cheers, and have a merry Christmas!