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Carter Roy talks new middle grade novel, 'The Blood Guard'

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Looking for a new middle grade series? Look no further than Carter Roy’s The Blood Guard (out now). The first in a planned trilogy, The Blood Guard follows 13-year-old Evelyn Ronan Truelove. After Ronan’s father is abducted, he learns that his mother is a member of an ancient order of knights, the Blood Guard, a secret society sworn to protect the Pure—36 special people whose purity of soul redeems the rest of humanity. Roy’s novel is a fast-paced adventure tale, that middle grade and YA readers alike will enjoy. Read on for our chat with Roy and an excerpt from The Blood Guard. READ FULL STORY

Get a first peek at 'Golden Son', sequel to 'Red Rising' -- EXCLUSIVE

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Red Rising, one of this year’s best bets to become the next hot franchise, will be getting a sequel on Jan. 13, 2015. Golden Son continues the saga of Darrow, a rebel forged by tragedy, battling to lead his oppressed people to freedom from the overlords of a brutal elitist future built on lies. Now fully embedded among the Gold ruling class, Darrow continues his work to bring down Society from within.

In addition to revealing the cover of Golden Son exclusively to EW, author Pierce Brown teased the events of the second novel below. He doesn’t spoil anything but reveals just enough to answer some of your most burning questions: READ FULL STORY

'12 Years a Slave' book sales up after Oscars

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12 Years a Slave is getting a post-Oscar bump — for the book it was based on.

The 19th-century memoir by ex-slave Solomon Northup jumped from No. 326 on Amazon.com before Sunday night’s Academy Awards ceremony to No. 19 on Monday afternoon.

The film was directed by Steve McQueen and stars Chiwetel Ejiofor. It was among last year’s most highly praised releases and won the Oscar for Best Picture. It was the first film directed by a black person to win for Best Picture.

The book and the movie tell of how the free-born black Northup was kidnapped and forced into slavery. Thanks to the movie’s success, interest in the book has been revived and public high schools are starting to add it to course lists.

On The Books: 'Literary Death Match' is a real thing and it's exactly what it sounds like - sort of

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A new competition is trying to drum up pop cultural fervor for contemporary authors and it has the splashy title of Literary Death Match. You really shouldn’t need anymore info than that to buy tickets. But I’ll give you details anyway. Their poster says: “4 authors, 3 judges, 2 finalists, 1 epic finale (and a bunch of really attractive lit-nerds).” I mean, done and done. Their website elaborates further, Literary Death Match “marries the literary and performative aspects of Def Poetry Jam, rapier-witted quips of American Idol’s judging (without any meanness), and the ridiculousness and hilarity of Double Dare.” So throw in Legends of the Hidden Temple obstacles and I promise to watch this and nothing else for the rest of the year. [NPR] READ FULL STORY

See the cover for Veronica Roth's 'Four: A Divergent Collection' -- EXCLUSIVE

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We’ve got Divergent fever over here at EW. Just check out this week’s cover. To add some more fuel to the YA fire, we’ve got an exclusive first look at the covers of Four: A Divergent Collection. Four is a companion volume to the Divergent series. The hardcover includes four pre-Divergent stories told from Tobias’s point of view, along with two exclusive scenes, also told from his point of view. Each of the stories will be available separately in electronic format. The first story, “The Transfer,” was released last year and the others will be released on July 8—the same day as the hardcover collection.

The first three pieces in this volume—“The Transfer,” “The Initiate,” and “The Son”—follow Tobias’s transfer from Abnegation to Dauntless, his Dauntless initiation, and the first clues that a foul plan is brewing in the leadership of two factions. The fourth story, “The Traitor,” runs parallel with the events of Divergent, giving readers a glimpse into the decisions of loyalty—and love—that Tobias makes in the weeks after he meets Tris Prior. So without further ado, check out the brand-new covers!

THE TRANSFER

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THE INITIATE

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THE SON

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THE TRAITOR

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Check out the interactive cover of Karen Russell's e-novella 'Sleep Donation'. You can poke it! -- EXCLUSIVE

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Whether with her bizarre novel Swamplandia! or her recent short story collection Vampires in the Lemon Grove, Pulitzer finalist Karen Russell has never shied away from literary experimentation. Now she’s tackling another form: the e-novella. The debut title from Atavist Books, Sleep Donation (out Mar. 25) will explore a future America in which an insomnia epidemic is affecting hundreds of thousands of people. Enter the Slumber Corps, an organization that urges healthy dreamers to donate sleep to an insomniac. Under the wealthy and enigmatic Storch brothers the Corps’ reach has grown, with outposts in every major US city. Trish Edgewater, whose sister Dori was one of the first victims of the lethal insomnia, has spent the past seven years recruiting for the Corps. But Trish’s faith in the organization and in her own motives begins to falter when she is confronted by “Baby A,” the first universal sleep donor, and the mysterious “Donor Y.”

For a novella with an inventive plot, legendary book jacket designer Chip Kidd came up with an ingenius cover design. “I’m in awe of Karen Russell as a writer, and the way she articulates her extraordinary ideas,” says Kidd. “It was a thrill to work for her, and to create a book cover that responds to the reader much in the way many of her sleep-afflicted characters in the story might. More precisely: what happens when you poke a virtual book jacket in the eye? This was so much fun to conceive and execute, and the illustrator Kevin Tong and the team at Atavist Books did a fantastic job of realizing my concept and making it actually work. I still love print, and hope to work in it for the rest of my life, but what it really comes down to regardless of the medium is a visual idea that is derived from the text.”

Give the virtual cover an e-poke here.

Watch the trailer for Sally Green's 'Half Bad' -- EXCLUSIVE

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Half Bad, the first book in Sally Green’s highly anticipated new trilogy, hits shelves March 4. The novel has already sold in 45 countries and been optioned for film by Fox, with Karen Rosenfelt (Twilight) producing. And if that’s not enough proof that people are excited about Half Bad, even other author’s are raving about it: Life After Life‘s Kate Atkinson said, “A book about witches with no owls and not a pair of round spectacles in sight. The new Hunger Games, I suspect.” READ FULL STORY

Sales for 'Fifty Shades of Grey' trilogy reach 100M copies

Fifty Shades of Grey has joined the 100 million club.

Vintage Books announced Wednesday that sales for E L James’ sexually explicit trilogy have reached 100 million copies and have spent 100 weeks on The New York Times‘ paperback best-seller list. The novels have been translated into 51 languages, including Hebrew, Icelandic and Korean. With a film adaptation planned for 2015, many more sales are likely.

James’ books, which originated as fan fiction inspired by Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight books, immediately topped best-seller lists after Vintage acquired them in 2012. Vintage is an imprint of Penguin Random House.

'Teen Wolf' and 'The Hills' producers sign three-book deal for 'High School Horror Story' series

Tony DiSanto and Liz Gateley, the people who brought you everything from Teen Mom to Teen Wolf, know what young-adult audiences like on TV, so it makes sense that they’re jumping into YA publishing. As part of a three-book deal, DiSanto and Gateley will develop a new series called High School Horror Story with an eye toward eventually bringing it to screen.

The first book in the series, written by YA author Chandler Baker, will be called Teen Frankenstein and will hit shelves in Fall 2015. The High School Horror Story series will re-imagine classic literary monsters in a Paris, Texas high school. The first book will draw inspiration from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, told through the lens of a teenage girl who falls in love with the popular classmate she both accidentally kills and then brings back to life.

“Evidently this is an audience we’re passionate about serving. With the literary world driving more and more television ideas, we wanted to develop our own franchises that begin on pages of a novel before ever being imagined for television,” said Gateley in a press release. “It is taking what we did with Teen Wolf and backing up the truck, so to speak, allowing a book to be the point of inception rather than a screenplay. We have an endless amount of ideas for this audience and want to find the best young writers to bring them to life for us.”

Preview a paragraph from George R.R. Martin's 'The Winds of Winter' -- EXCLUSIVE

Since July of 2011, Game of Thrones fans have been waiting — not very patiently — for a release date for the sixth installment of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. Unfortunately, we can’t bring you an update on that news quite yet — but we can give you an exclusive first look at the book.

Next month, Random House will launch a large update for George R.R. Martin’s A World of Ice and Fire app. In addition to including many new characters and location descriptions, the update will also include an exclusive chapter from The Winds of Winter, featuring one of the series’ most popular characters: Tyrion Lannister. (And yes, you’ll be able to download and access the excerpt in the free version — no payment required. If you’ve already purchased the app, you’re covered there, as well.)

The full chapter will be available in March, but check out the exclusive first paragraph below and tell us what you think:

READ FULL STORY

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