Please welcome Beast

My newest YA novel is out in the world today! Beast is a supernatural thriller inspired by all the YA horror of the ’90s that I read as a teen myself. I’ve often thought of it as my “Megan Crewe writes a Christopher Pike novel” book. 😉

Beast cover“You think you have it all figured out, Max, but this isn’t your game anymore.”

Max Weston knows that life is a game: Turn on the charm, say what people want to hear, and whatever you want is yours for the taking. What do a few lies matter if everyone ends up happy? His best friend, Davey, can’t look a cute girl in the eye and barely scrapes by in school, so yeah, Max hassles him sometimes. But he always has the guy’s back—even when a strange beast attacks Davey in the woods.

As Davey heals, something awakens inside him. Something with razor-sharp teeth, vicious reflexes, and no patience for Max’s ploys. Suddenly Davey is challenging Max, getting smarter, stronger, faster—and harder to control. Max plunges into a series of schemes to save his friend, but with each move he makes, Davey lashes back twice as hard. The monster inside him is calling the shots now, and the game it wants to play has deadly consequences for everyone Max loves.

If Max forfeits, he’s giving up on his best friend. But winning might mean losing even more.

The Beast ebook is on sale for $2.99 until June 1st for Kindle ~ Nook ~ iBooks ~ Kobo

I’ll be holding an online launch party on June 1st — head over here to RSVP!

The Young Adult Summer Scavenger Hunt – coming soon!

Summer Scavenger Hunt

Hey all! In June, the Alliance of Young Adult Authors is sponsoring a massive young adult scavenger hunt, and I’ll be participating. This is a chance to meet some new authors, grab a bunch of free books, and sign up to win a whole bunch of epic prizes.

Find out all the details and see the official rules here!

On June 1st, you’ll be able to find my post for the scavenger hunt here on this blog, as well as a special giveaway of my own. So mark your calendars! 🙂

 

Check out this fantasy & paranormal boxed set—and get 10 books free!

I’m excited to share that I’ll have a book in Spellbound, a boxed set of fantasy and paranormal titles for teens and adults alike (not adult-only content here!). Throughout the pre-order period, you can buy the set for just $0.99! With 20+ books in the set, that’s less than 5 cents per book. Hard to argue with that!

Spellbound boxed setOrder for Kindle ~ Nook ~ iBooks ~ Kobo

But because we know it’s hard to order and then have to wait to read, the Spellbound authors have banded together to sweeten the deal. Everyone who pre-orders Spellbound can also receive 10 additional free books, right now! These ten, to be exact:

Pre-order Offer

Want to claim your pre-order gift? Follow these simple steps.

  1. Pre-order Spellbound from any of the retailers linked to above.
  2. Take a screenshot of your receipt and email it to spellboundpreorder@gmail.com
  3. Wait, and your free books will arrive in your inbox shortly!

Get in on this awesome offer while you can! 🙂

YA Scavenger Hunt Fall 2016 is here!

Welcome to the 13th YA Scavenger Hunt!

I’m Megan Crewe — author of YA fantasy, paranormal, and science fiction novels including A Mortal Song, the Earth & Sky trilogy, the Fallen World trilogy, and Give Up the Ghost — and I’m your host for this stop of the tour.

This bi-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors…and a chance to win some awesome prizes! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize–one lucky winner will receive one signed book from each author on the hunt in my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 72 hours!

There are EIGHT contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the ORANGE TEAM–but there is also a red team, a gold team, an blue team, a green team, and a purple team for a chance to win a whole different set of signed books!

orangeteam

If you’d like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page.

SCAVENGER HUNT PUZZLE

Directions: Somewhere on this page, I’ve listed my favorite number (hint: the number is highlighted in orange). Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the orange team, and then add them up (don’t worry, you can use a calculator!).

Entry Form: Once you’ve added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.

Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian’s permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by April 5th, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.

The author I’m pleased to be hosting for the YA Scavenger Hunt today is… Jeff Garvin!

jeff
Before becoming a novelist, Jeff Garvin acted on TV and toured as the lead singer of a rock band. He has a BFA in Film from Chapman University and lives in Southern California, surrounded by adorable, shedding beasts. Symptoms of Being Human is his first novel.

And this is his book, Symptoms of Being Human — I love the minimalist cover!

sobh

Riley Cavanaugh is many things: Punk rock. Snarky. Rebellious. And secretly gender fluid. Riley starts an anonymous blog to deal with hostility from classmates and tension at home—but when the blog goes viral, an anonymous commenter threatens to out Riley to the world.

Can’t wait to check this one out! You can order the book via the links here.

Here’s the exclusive bonus material: the alternate beginnings of Symptoms of Being Human. Here’s what Jeff has to say about them:

From first draft to published novel, the part of Symptoms of Being Human that changed most was the beginning. I wanted to create an opening page that drew in the reader immediately, set up Riley’s struggle, and generated momentum to propel the story into the following chapters. In this post, I’ll share three alternate beginnings for Symptoms of Being Human to give you a behind-the-scenes (between-the-drafts?) look at how the novel changed as I worked on it.

From the first draft, begun February 2014
I started the first version with a blog post from Riley. I thought it would be a powerful way to introduce Riley’s narrative voice and simultaneously establish that we’re about to experience a story that is not about (yet totally is about) gender identity. Here’s the original opening:

New Post: Which?

October 1, 6:32 PM

The first thing you’re going to want to know about me is: am I a girl, or am I a boy?

Don’t worry. I’m used to it; it’s the first thing everyone wants to know—even when they can see me. And, even if they don’t ask, the question hangs there. It shows itself in the narrowing of their eyes, the slight tilt of their heads. At best, it’s invasive curiosity; at worst, open condemnation. Either way, they want an answer: Boy. Or. Girl.

But it’s not that simple. In a digital world, where everything is on or off, black or white, yes or no, it’s hard for people to wrap their minds around something that’s NOT a toggle switch, but a dial. Okay, they say, but you were born one way or the other. Like, biologically. You know, anatomically.

From the second draft, begun in May 2014
The second draft begins quite differently. I scrapped the blog entry in favor of plunging right into Riley’s life as they get ready for the first day at a new school. Here’s the opening from the second draft:

I stand in front of my open closet, casting a flat, even shadow on the clothes hanging within, as though I’m the thing obscuring my own identity from view. I step aside to let the morning sun illuminate the inside of the closet, and I stare at the brand new wardrobe dangling lifelessly from a row of identical oak hangers. These are the clothes my mother so enthusiastically picked out during my nearly unendurable shopping ordeal last week.

From the third draft, written in August of 2014
In the end, I decided I did want Symptoms to begin with Riley’s first blog post, for all the reasons I stated in the introduction to the first draft excerpt. While I definitely captured Riley’s voice in this version, it didn’t have the same impact as the first two drafts, so it was eventually rewritten and cut dramatically.

New Post: Dear Futile Therapy Blog

October 1, 6:42 AM

Dear Futile Therapy Blog,

I don’t want to write you. I don’t want to confess my darkest secrets on a freaking blog. To broadcast my deepest insecurities to the anonymous Internet horde. To fling my flaws into the ether, to be consumed by anyone with a Wi-Fi connection and time to kill, all in the name of therapy. 

As if anyone is going to read this.

God, I sound so bitter. Do I sound bitter to you? I’m not that bitter, I swear. 

Except when I am. 

But seriously, blog. The thought of spilling my guts to an audience of roughly nine apathetic strangers fills me with a sense of self-loathing so profound, Kurt Cobain himself would find it impossible to express in song. And isn’t this whole writing thing supposed to be helping me manage my self-loathing?

O! Sweet irony.

And yet, here we are, blog. You and me, alone on my bed on the morning of my first day at a new school.

ASJDK;F’;!!@!!!

This is stupid.

I’m not doing this.

#recovery #therapy #PityPartyOfOneYourTableIsReady

From the finished version, published February 2016
In the end, I was determined to have that first line from the rough draft (The first thing you’re going to want to know about me is: Am I a boy, or am I a girl?) appear as the opening sentence of the novel—but starting with a full-blown blog post slowed the pace of the first chapter too much. So I split the difference and had Riley begin a new post, only to abort it a few lines in—something I’ve done many times in my own blogging life—and then we dive into Riley’s morning before school. Here’s the opening from the published version of Symptoms of Being Human:

New Post: One or the Other

October 1, 6:55 AM

The first thing you’re going to want to know about me is:  Am I a boy, or am I a girl?

#

I stop typing and stare at the cursor, which flashes at me incessantly, as if mocking my inability to write one stupid post.

“Riley!” It’s my mom, calling me from downstairs in her singsongy voice. “If you still want to be early, you’d better come down for breakfast!”

I hope you’ve enjoyed this look into the drafting process for Symptoms of Being Human. Thanks so much for reading.

That was a fascinating glimpse into the writing process! I know I rewrite all my beginnings many times before I get them right — there can be as many as 8 different versions.

CONTINUE THE HUNT

To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author, Kathryn Holmes!

But before you go, I’m offering a bonus giveaway right here!

A Mortal Song cover
A lucky winner will receive a copy (in whatever format you prefer) of my newest release, A Mortal Song, plus swag! Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter.


YASH A Mortal Song giveaway
Happy Hunting!

A Mortal Song online launch party begins!

My new book is out in the world today, and I couldn’t be more excited! I can’t wait to hear what you all think of A Mortal Song and Sora. But for now, it’s time to party!


Available in stores and online at:
Amazon (Kindle version only $0.99 this week) ~ Chapters/Indigo ~ B&N ~ Indiebound ~ BookDepository (international)

Talk with me!

All day you can post questions or share your thoughts by commenting on this blog post or on the Facebook event page. Remember, if you’re asking or talking about a key event from the book, please mark your comment with a SPOILER note so others who haven’t read yet can skip over it.

Win prizes!

Follow the Facebook event page and win! My guest authors and I will be posting giveaways on the FB wall throughout the day in which you can win books and swag, so check back regularly!

Enter my huge Japan-themed giveaway! You could win a massive gift pack featuring books, movies, TV series, and snack boxes from Japan.

Japan-themed giveaway

Additional launch activities (today only!)

Request a signed bookplate and bookmark to put in your paperback or hardcover copy of A Mortal Song over at the signing table.

Join the launch party live chat from 8:30-10:00pm EST, during which I’ll be giving out a few more prizes. Link to be posted here shortly beforehand!

Get inside the book!

Take a peek inside the book by reading the first three chapters here.

Hear the music that helped inspire the story by listening to the unofficial soundtrack.

Enjoy the festivities!

A Month of Japan – TokyoTreat

A Month of Japan blog seriesBecause A Mortal Song is set in Japan, in the month leading up to the book’s release I wanted to celebrate some of the amazing media out there by Japanese creators. I’ll be highlighting my favorite books, TV shows, and films (as well as some snack box services—you need something to munch on while you’re doing all that watching and reading!). You can find a full list of my faves and other resources here on my website.

Snack Subscription Box Review – TokyoTreat

tokyotreat

What you get: TokyoTreat offers their monthly themed boxes in three sizes, from $15 a month for 5-7 snacks to $35 a month for 13-17 snacks plus a guaranteed DIY kit, drink, and other special item. The boxes ship from Tokyo, with free shipping worldwide.

Review of the box:
I got the July large-sized box, for which the theme was Anime Characters. The outside of the box had a pretty design which you can see above and that extended into the interior, and TokyoTreat’s booklet was the most detailed and professional-looking of all the boxes I reviewed, including seasonal information about Japanese holidays and traditions, instructions for the DIY sets, and extra info about particular treats.

tokyotreatopenAnd, of course, a lot of snacks!
tokyotreatfullAs before, I jotted down my thoughts on each of the snacks as I tried them out and gave them a rating out of 3 (0 = nope, 1 = all right, 2 = quite good, 3 = OMG where can I get more of this?).

tokyot1Milk-flavored Potato Chips – These light chips were a bit odd, because the chips were savory but the milk flavor on them sweet. I usually like sweet and salty together, but although I enjoyed these somewhat, I’m not sure the balance was ideal. 2.

Black Thunder Gold – Great chocolate bar: sweet but not too sweet, the chocolate rich, and a great mix of creamy/chewy chocolate and crispy, crunchy wafer. I liked this a lot! 3.

Fortune-telling Chocolate Pills (Dagashi Kashi) – The idea behind these is cute, but the actual tiny chocolates were kind of bland, like mini smarties or M&Ms. 1.

tokyot2Thomas & Friends Chocolate Pretzel Sticks – These sticks were basically a Pocky imitation, but with less icing and a harder, more bland biscuit, so less tasty. 1.

Anpanman Ramune Candy – The candies had a nice texture, crunchy and not too powdery, lightly sweet with a light fruit flavor. 2.

Yokai Watch Chocolate – Very cute chocolate “popsicle”—I almost didn’t want to eat it. 🙂 The milk chocolate was creamy but a bit chalky, and the top layers with different colors looked as if they should have different flavors but all I tasted was chocolate throughout. 1.

Thomas & Friends Chewing Candy – I don’t generally like artificial grape flavor, and the candies proved to be no exception. For someone who does like the taste, the texture was enjoyably chewy and substantial. 1.

tokyot3Pokemon Gummy – These candies were a little softer than I usually like my gummies, but had a nice smooth texture and a mild fruity flavor. 1.

Dragon Ball Heroes Snack 5 – These tasted like North American cheese puffs—I enjoyed them well enough, but there was nothing very exciting or unique about them. 1.

Marutake Peach Drink – This beverage came in a squeezable plastic bottle, which was interesting. The drink was mildly sweet, noncarbinated, and vaguely fruity, nice enough but nothing standout about it. 1.

tokyot4Moko Moko Mokolet Toilet DIY Candy 3 – This gets one point just for unique-ness: You literally assemble a five-piece mini plastic toilet! The candy (which you drink through a straw) was a little more sour than I usually prefer, but somewhat tasty. 2.

Soybean Flour Mochi Rice Cake DIY – This DIY kit was very simple to prepare and very tasty, with a nice balance of dry flour with soft jelly. The jelly was very smooth and had a subtle nutty flavor that I loved. 3.

tokyot5Cocotama Snack – These heart-shaped, fluffy, and crunchy biscuits had a corn cereal-like texture and taste with a light artificial strawberry flavor that worked well in combination. I enjoyed these a lot! 3.

Brazilian Orange Pocky – I always enjoy Pocky, and this was a unique (seasonal) flavor I’ve never encountered before. The light artificial orange flavor in the icing tasted great with the biscuit. 3.

Shrimp Crackers – The crackers had a nice crunch and texture, but I couldn’t taste the shrimp flavor at all, which was disappointing because I really like shrimp chips and crackers usually! 1.

Caipis Gummy – These gummies were lightly sweet with a light citrus flavor, almost creamy in taste. They were soft but satisfyingly chewy. I really liked them. 3.

Overall thoughts: Unfortunately I was overall disappointed with this box. Many of the snacks were bland or just okay. I might blame that on the focus being finding character-based candies, but I had the same problem with the ones that weren’t character candies too. It’s too bad, because the packaging and booklet were standouts for sure!

Overall snack rating: 29/48, 60%

Join me next week for more recs! You can read more about A Mortal Song in the meantime:

songnewestreleaseblog

A Month of Japan – Summer Wars

A Month of Japan blog seriesBecause A Mortal Song is set in Japan, in the month leading up to the book’s release I wanted to celebrate some of the amazing media out there by Japanese creators. I’ll be highlighting my favorite books, TV shows, and films (as well as some snack box services—you need something to munch on while you’re doing all that watching and reading!). You can find a full list of my faves and other resources here on my website.

Animated Film Rec – Summer Wars

summerwars

What it’s all about: Kenji is your typical teenage misfit. He’s good at math, bad with girls, and spends most of his time hanging out in the all-powerful, online community known as OZ. His second life is the only life he has until the girl of his dreams, Natsuki, hijacks him for a starring role as a fake fiance at her family reunion. Things only get stranger from there. A late-night email containing a cryptic mathematic riddle leads to the unleashing of a rogue AI intent on using the virtual word of OZ to destroy the real world, literarily. As Armageddon looms on the horizon, Kenji and his new family set aside their differences and band together to save the worlds they inhabit in this near-perfect blend of social satire and science fiction.

Why you should watch it: Calling this a blend is right on the nose. I didn’t know much about the movie going in, and thinking it was a science fiction adventure, I was a little confused by the (nonetheless enjoyable) family dramedy elements it begins with. But the false fiancé story quickly becomes tangled with a virtual reality war that ends up involving every member of this colorful cast. The contrasting elements are woven together seamlessly, the action and twists will keep you on the edge of your seat, and the ending is incredibly satisfying while feeling well-earned.

What’s your favorite VR storyline? Let me know in the comments.

Join me tomorrow for my next rec! You can read more about A Mortal Song in the meantime:

songnewestreleaseblog

A Month of Japan – Kids Return

A Month of Japan blog seriesBecause A Mortal Song is set in Japan, in the month leading up to the book’s release I wanted to celebrate some of the amazing media out there by Japanese creators. I’ll be highlighting my favorite books, TV shows, and films (as well as some snack box services—you need something to munch on while you’re doing all that watching and reading!). You can find a full list of my faves and other resources here on my website.

Live Action Film Rec – Kids Return

kidsreturn

What it’s all about: Masaru and Shinji are two delinquent teenage slackers who cut classes, play pranks on their teachers and extort money from their fellow students. After dropping out of school, Shinji takes up boxing. Masaru, the loud mouth, talks his way into the local Yakuza gang. But just as they’re about to attain success in their new professions, the past returns to haunt them.

Why you should watch it: This is a story that slowly unfolds, drawing you into the protagonists’ lives until the interconnections come into vivid clarity. Masaru and Shinji aren’t always the most sympathetic figures, but they and their problems figuring out where they fit in feel authentic, as does their evolving friendship.

What’s your favorite slice-of-life drama film? Let me know in the comments.

Join me tomorrow for my next rec! You can read more about A Mortal Song in the meantime:

songnewestreleaseblog