Release Day: Polaris AwakeningPolaris Awakening by Kellie Sheridan, E. Latimer, Erica Crouch, Janna Jennings, Hannah Davies, Terra Harmony, Meghan Jashinsky
Series: Polaris #1
Published by Patchwork Press on May 26, 2015
Genres: Anthology, LGBT, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 505
Formats: Paperback, ebook
Goodreads
Synopsis:

ZEUS PROTOCOL 000101: REBOOT, SCAN.

DANGER DETECTED.

THREAT LEVEL: UNKNOWN.

RECOMMENDED ACTION: INCREASE MILITARY PRESENCE.

There’s trouble brewing on Polaris. Under the watchful eye of the space station’s supercomputer, Zeus, the lower classes are awakening to the corruption of their wealthy, privileged, and protected leaders. When the quiet voices of protest get louder and alliances form, change dawns on the horizon. But the small acts of resistance won’t be enough to subvert the system for long. Zeus is alert to the growing threat level, and he will do whatever’s necessary—including purging the lower levels of Polaris—to preserve stability for all.

Inspired by the mythology of the constellations hung around Polaris, the seven stories in Polaris Awakening reimagine the classic characters in a futuristic world where alien creatures are commonplace, combat arenas are used for entertaining foreign dignitaries, slaves and soldiers stand side by side, and music orchestrates a revolution. And their first acts of defiance are just the beginning. Polaris will never be the same.

ZEUS PROTOCOL 000099: ENGAGE THREAT.

FINALLY! The release day for Polaris Awakening, the newest anthology from Patchwork Press, is today! The authors of Patchwork Press (Kellie Sheridan, E. Latimer, Erica Crouch, Janna Jennings, Hannah Davies, Terra Harmony, and Meghan Jashinsky) have come together to compile this YA science fiction anthology, and we’ve been so excited to share it with everyone.

If you saw the announcement of the anthology, you know that each story in the book is based off of the mythology of constellation. The anthology was a lot of fun — and hard work — to write, and we hope it will be just as exciting of a read: there’s action, there’s romance, there’s rebellion, and all of the characters and stories are so unique while still existing in the same world. It’s cohesive, creative freedom at its best!

You can order the anthology right now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo. It will be available as both an ebook and a paperback. Add Polaris Awakening on GoodReads, and let us know in the comments which constellation is your favorite!

Release Day: Engage, by Erica CrouchEngage by Erica Crouch
Series: Ignite #2.5
Published by Patchwork Press on May 5, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, LGBT, Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 128
Goodreads
Synopsis:

Kalaziel is a terrible guardian angel: her temper’s shorter than she is, she swears, she’s missing a wing, and she sees no problem with letting man make their own choices—no matter how questionable. That’s what free will is all about, right? Her overseers disagree.

After she mishandles an assignment, Heaven strips Kala of her title and throws her back into training, hoping to reinforce the covenant of vows she swore to uphold as a guardian. But the angels’ motives aren’t as pure as they appear: they want to eradicate any opinions that conflict with Heaven’s code.

With a mass cleansing on the horizon, Kala discovers she is not alone in her insubordination; there are other angels who are restless with the stasis of Heaven and ready for change. Progress doesn’t come easily, though, especially when it means uniting ancient enemies to fight for a common cause.

Engage is a novella that prequels Kala and Ana’s story in Incite.

Today’s the day — release day! We are so excited to share Kala and Ana’s story with everyone. This book is the book that almost wasn’t; without Erica Crouch splitting Incite in half, we never would have had the opportunity to hear the background of just how New Genesis came to be…at least, not in a format like this!

And really, we can’t get enough of our favorite lesbian angel couple!

Like EnticeEngage is available as both a paperback and an ebook, so you can have it sitting on both your physical bookshelf or your virtual one! You can order Engage from:

Sign up to participate in the Infinite cover reveal May 15th! Just a little over a month until the conclusion of the series comes out — Infinite will be available June 16th, so mark your calendars!

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About Erica Crouch

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Erica Crouch is a young adult and new adult author from Baltimore, Maryland. She has a strange blended aesthetic of cute and spooky, and her books reflect her ever changing mood. (You may find romance, you may find gore—sometimes both in the same book, but probably not at the same time. Probably.)

Erica is the cofounder of Patchwork Press, an author-powered publisher of middle grade, young adult, and new adult titles. She is the head of editorial services and design, with nearly fifty projects to her name.

pwpvalentines

Happy Valentine’s Day folks! Maybe you love all the candy and flowers or think it’s just another day, the feeling of love being all around us is a little inescapable around February. I’ve been getting in the mood by reading YA and looking back at all the couples in YA novels. Whether you’re reading a high fantasy or a contemporary set in a high school, there’s usually a romance somewhere in the pages.

For Valentine’s Day we thought we’d look into three classic YA romantic tropes and see what the pros and cons of each one might be!

 

LOVE TRIANGLES

What is it?

A love triangle is usually a romantic relationship involving three people (although sometimes more), in which one individual is torn between which love interest to choose.

Examples in YA?

Lena, Alex, and Julian (Delirium Series by Lauren Oliver)

America, Maxon, and Aspen (The Selection Series by Kiera Cass)

Juliette, Adam, and Warner (Shatter Me Series by Tahereh Mafi)

Thomas, Brenda, and Teresa (Maze Runner Series by James Dashner)

Alyssa, Jeb, and Morpheus (Splintered Series by A. G. Howard)

Katniss, Peeta and Gale (The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins)

Rho, Hysan and Mathias (Zodiac by Romina Russell)

 

Arguably the most overdone of the three examples here, I see love triangles get a lot of flack in YA reviews these days. The example list above could have been twice as long, but why are they so popular? They add conflict to a story, especially if both of the love interests are decent people that you can root for. The danger when writing a love triangle is that you might drag it out too long, or it only serves to make your main character seem like some uber desirable special snowflake. That’s when love squares, pentagons and dodecahedrons start to crop up, and you definitely want to avoid that! However, judging by the list above, they can work. There are some really good arguments in defence of the dreaded love triangle, and like most things that have a cliche element to them, the trick is to do them well, to do them differently.

 

FORBIDDEN LOVE

What is it?

A relationship or feelings for another individual that is prohibited, by circumstances or by world-related taboos.

Examples in YA?

Alec Lightwood and Magnus Bane, Jace and Clary (The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare)

Valek and Yelena (Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder)

Penemuel and Michael (Ignite Series by Erica Crouch)

 

I’m not going to lie: I’m a big fan of forbidden love. There’s something really good about the tension that is produced in a story where two people who want to be together, shouldn’t be together. There’s that undeniable pull between the characters and with that a whole heap of tension that makes a forbidden romance sizzle where others might not. People root for forbidden love because it symbolises something really beautiful rebelling against constraint. When it’s done well, it really works, but it can be horribly frustrating, as I’m sure anyone who has read The Mortal Instruments series can vouch for. There’s also the risk of a constant pull back and forth between no-we-musn’t and oh-what-the-heck-*kissing*. It’s important to know the difference between teasing a reader and torturing them.

 

INSTALOVE

What is it?

Instalove describes the quick and often unrealistic romantic attachment that two characters can have for one another.

Examples in YA?

Edward and Bella (Twilight Series by Stephanie Meyer)

(I don’t have many examples, because I think Instalove is a fairly subjective topic. What I might consider ‘too fast’ might differ greatly from you!)

 

Instalove is a funny one; readers can accept super powers, and radioactive sea turtles, and one-eyed cyborg warriors out to harvest our spleens, but if two characters fall in love too quickly, it’s unbelievable. Why is this? Is it really that unrealistic that two teens would develop quick emotional attachments to one another? When we consider the raging minefield of hormones we all experience in our teenage years, I think we can all safely say, no, it’s not all that unrealistic. Our choices might be a little questionable too. Personally, I think the issue with instalove comes from the depth of that attachment. If the characters are saying wedding vows by the end of their first day together (and it isn’t somehow plot driven, like they have to because they’re on a planet where the unwed are incinerated), then there may be a problem. But Instalove can work, if you want it to. Be different!

For more YA Romance check out:

Kellie Sheridan’s discussion on romance in YA

and

Erica Crouch’s YA Romance series recommendations