2015 has been a busy year for the Freshman Fifteens!

We have twelve books in the marketplace. Our Victoria Aveyard has debuted at number 1 on the New York Times best-seller list (and stayed on it for MONTHS!), our authors Stacey Lee, Kelly Loy Gilbert, Jen Brooks, Lori Goldstein, Jenn Marie Thorne, Jenny Martin, Jasmine Warga, Virginia Boecker, Chandler Baker, and Lee Kelly have spent the year promoting their releases, attending festivals, bookstore signings, literary conferences, and more–in addition to writing and revising second and third books. Oh, and Chandler and Lee welcomed new little babies (not the book kind) into their worlds!


Our Kim Liggett’s BLOOD AND SALT released on September 22 and celebrated with a run through a corn maze (naturally). Lori and Virginia represented the FFers!

corn maze

Throughout the year, our members have teamed up to fulfill our mission of giving back to teen readers and writers in many ways. From one-on-one mentoring in person and online, to leading writing workshops at festivals and libraries, to speaking with students at schools.

Some of the highlights include:

Lori and Jen B. leading writing workshops for middle school and high school-age writers at the Fall for the Book festival in Fairfax, VA, in October in addition to two DC-area school visits.

Chandler and Jenn Marie speaking with Chandler’s high school alma mater about the writing process in Florida in October.

Stacey, Jen B., and Virginia presenting a session on integrating YA novels into the classroom at the International Literacy Conference in St. Louis in July.

Lori, Jen B., and Lee leading writing workshops for teens at multiple locations in northern NJ and Massachusetts in May 2015.

Jenny presenting a class on voice for teen writers at YAK Fest 2015 in January 2015.

And too many more to list! The Freshman Fifteeners are continuing their mission to encourage teens to write throughout the year and into next. Lori and Charlotte will be leading a writing workshop at the Pasadena Public Library on Nov. 4, 2015, and Lori and Jen B. will be leading a workshop at the Teen Bookfest by the Bay in Corpus Christi, TX, on February 20, 2016.

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Next up is the release of FOR THE RECORD for Charlotte Huang on November 10.

And 2016 sees the release of our 15ers turn 16ers Kim Savage and Laura Tims!

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Summer of Jinn Blog Tour



Hello all! It’s Lori here. If you’ve read Becoming Jinn, it’s no secret that I love the beach. It’s one of the few traits I share with Azra (though I wish I had her height and hair). The beach is my happy place. And it’s where I like to do my most favorite thing: read.

As part of my Summer of Jinn Blog Tour, I asked my fellow Freshman Fifteens to share their all-time favorite Beach Reads! See if you agree and scroll down to enter the Summer of Jinn Blog Tour Giveaway!

So here are the favorite beach reads from some of us Freshman Fifteeners!

VB-BW HeadshotVirginia Boecker, author of THE WITCH HUNTER:

“My favorite beach read is Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple. This book is satire at it’s best, and I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard. It’s perfection.”

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Stacey Lee, author of UNDER A PAINTED SKY:

Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer, about a girl who disguises herself as a boy to join the navy, and later becomes a pirate.  This book smells like the ocean.  There are adventures and far off lands, and it’s perfect for the beach.”

IMG_1093Kim Liggett, author of BLOOD AND SALT (September 22, Putnam) 

“JAWS by Peter Benchley. It’s just so perfect.”

Jenny BWJenny Martin, author of TRACKED:

“My fave beach read is Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland. Nantucket Blue is a beach read to savor. You’ll root for Cricket, and you won’’ want her summer story to end.

kimsavageheadshotKim Savage, author of AFTER THE WOODS (February 23, 2016, FSG):

“Anything Dennis Lehane. Because I love beauty matched with grit, any time of year.”

LauraLaura Tims, author of PLEASE DON’T TELL (Summer 2016, HarperCollins):

Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas. There’s sand on the cover and murder inside it, what more could you ask for?”


So what’s my favorite beach read?

Besides, of courseBecoming Jinn, which, being set on the north shore of Massachusetts just happens to make for a perfect beach read (ahem)…..

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell. I read this on my last beach vacation, and it made for a perfect couple of days. The humor in here is top-notch, as is the expert structure and storytelling.

What’s your favorite beach read?

Scroll down to enter the SUMMER OF JINN Blog Tour Giveaway! Lori’s giving away two $20 gift cards: one to her local indie, Harvard Bookstore, and one to B&N! Redeemable in person or online. Open internationally.

Swing by Dark Faerie Tales to win an Audible download of the newly released #BecomingJinn AudioBook!

Lori’s also running a special promotion in honor of the summer season. Buy #BecomingJinn by July 30 and receive free bracelet temporary tattoos. More info on Lori’s blog.

Twitter Tattoo promo photo 1


Follow all the stops on the Summer of Jinn Blog Tour:

July 2: B&N Teen Blog: My Favorite 2015 Debut Beach Reads

July 6: Fangirlish: Exclusive Chapter Reveal

July 7: Dark Faerie Tales: Q&A, Special Announcement, and Exclusive Giveaway

July 8Adventures in YA Publishing: A BECOMING JINN Debut Lesson: The Trouble with Measuring Success

July 9: Patchwork Press: Write All Year Pep Talk: Breaking the Rules

July 10: YA Books Central: Exclusive BECOMING JINN excerpt with a signed book giveaway!

July 10: Fangirlish: 2 for 1 Friday

July 13: Comfort Books: Q&A

July 15: Freshman Fifteens: The 15ers share their favorite beach reads

July 16: Children’s Book Review: All-Time Favorite Beach Reads

July 16: Bewitched Bookworms: Azra and Henry’s Favorite Beach Reads

July 17: Katie’s Book Blog: Guest Writing Post




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Today, Chandler Baker’s ALIVE hits bookstore shelves. We couldn’t be happier to wish her the best book birthday ever! And she’s got another birthday coming up: that of her first child! It’s a busy summer in the Baker household.











Barnes & Noble


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What better way to usher in the start of summer than with a fantastically fun book like Virginia Boecker’s THE WITCH HUNTER, which releases today! Happy book birthday, V!












Barnes & Noble


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Baseball, faith, love, and pain converge in the wonderfully written CONVICTION, which releases today. We with Kelly Loy Gilbert the happiest of book birthdays! You won’t want to miss out on this one!












Barnes & Noble


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Feeling the need for some speed? Hit the road and pick up a copy of Jenny Martin’s debut TRACKED, which releases today. Congratulations, and Happy Book Birthday Jenny!










Barnes & Noble


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The beautifully written IN A WORLD JUST RIGHT lands in readers’ hands today. Congratulations to Jen Brooks and her wonderful debut. Go grab a copy and meet Jonathan. You won’t be disappointed.

Front Cover 012115 hi res - In a World Just Right










Barnes & Noble


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What’s your greatest wish? Lori’s is to see BECOMING JINN in bookstores and libraries. And today, her wish is granted. Happy Book Birthday to Lori Goldstein and BECOMING JINN!

If you are in the Boston area, Lori will be appearing at the Newburyport Literary Festival on April 25 and having a launch event at the fantastic Porter Square Books on April 27 at 7  pm. Surprises and tons of Jinn swag in store!

A full listing of Lori’s spring Becoming Jinn touring, including festivals, readings, and library and bookstore panels with Freshman Fifteeners Lee Kelly and Jen Brooks, as well as special guests, can be found on the events page on her Web site. Follow the Freshman Fifteens Spring Break Tour on Lori’s Tumblr.

Becoming Jinn-677




Barnes & Noble


Signed copies are available through Lori’s favorite local indie, Porter Square Books. And if you buy before April 25, email Lori your receipt and you will automatically get a signed bookmark, infinity necklace like the girls in the book have, and be entered into a raffle to win gift cards from $5-$50! Details on Lori’s Web site. And catch up on all the posts as part of the Becoming Jinn Blog Tour; some of the giveaways (including books!) are still going on so be sure to visit all the sites!

Becoming Jinn Preorder Gift Card Twitter

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This is becoming a trend. Same as last month, the Freshman Fifteens have two releases today!

Happy Book Birthday to Jenn Marie Thorne and her wonderful THE WRONG SIDE OF RIGHT and to Stacey Lee and her gorgeous UNDER A PAINTED SKY. March is a good month for reading these fantastic Freshman Fifteen books.

Grab your copies now:

Wrong Side of Right_Thorne










Barnes & Noble












Barnes & Noble


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Two of our freshmen, Jenn Marie Thorne (THE WRONG SIDE OF RIGHT, Dial Books) and Stacey Lee (UNDER A PAINTED SKY, G.P. Putnam’s Sons) are set to debut next week, March 17!  Because they are such serious writing professionals, Jenn and Stacey decided to ask each other some very, very serious questions.  And if you make it to the end, there’s a very serious giveaway that you don’t want to miss.

Jenn interviews Stacey:

Jenn Marie Thorne: Who is your favorite classical composer?

Stacey Lee: Rachmaninoff, Debussy. Zey are zoooo romantik.

JMT: Would you rather have breakfast for dinner or dinner for breakfast?

SL: Breakfast for dinner because I love breakfast foods a little too much.  Plus, the idea of eating say, a rib eye, for breakfast is kind of gross.


Stacey’s writing cave

JMT: What was your favorite book when you were 14?

SL: JACOB HAVE I LOVED, by Katherine Paterson, which won the 1981 Newbery. It’s about twin sisters growing up near the Chesapeake Bay in the 40’s, and told from the point of view of the ‘plainer’ twin. It was one of the first realistic teen books I read, and I loved it.

JMT: What’s your astrological sign and do you think it describes you accurately?

SL: Leos are supposed to be confident, ambitious, loyal, generous, and encouraging. I’d say I got 3 out of 5.

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Ocean views inspire Stacey (Princeville, Kauai)

JMT: Would you rather travel by horseback, train or stagecoach?

SL: I would love to learn how to ride a horse one day!  Until then, I’d say train.

JMT: What decade of the 20th Century would you most like to time-travel to for a shopping excursion?

SL: 1950’s. I love full skirts, peter pan collars, cute sweaters, Mary Jane shoes.

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Selfie of Stacey at Monterey, CA for writing retreat

JMT: If you had the chance to grow a talking tree in your backyard, would you?

SL: Yes.  I would love to have a talking tree.  It’d be great at keeping burglars away.  And that is the strangest question ever, but I love you anyway.

JMT: What’s your dream writing retreat?

SL: Somewhere near the ocean with a fireplace.  I had a dream writing retreat a few months ago in Monterey, CA.  I spent a lot of time walking the white sand beaches in Asilomar and staring at waves (see pictures).

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Stacey catches the crashing waves at Asilomar Beach

JMT: Do you have any phobias?

SL: Mustard.  My well-intending dad bought me a burger at Burger King when I was a kid, and made me eat the whole thing (waste not, want not) even though it had mustard and I cried and threw up.  Now, just thinking about the stuff makes me gag.

JMT: Is there another profession you’ve secretly always wanted to try (even if just for a week)?

SL: Yes!  Sea otter rescue specialist.  I would love that.

JMT: What’s your favorite movie genre?

SL: Is there a 1980’s adventure movie genre?  Lots of great movies were made in that decade – Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Empire Strikes Back, Ladyhawke, Back to the Future, ET.

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Stacey loves collecting sea glass (Glass Beach, Kauai)

JMT: Who was your first crush?

SL: In fifth grade, there was this skinny kid who played basketball.  He had big brown eyes and never smiled, and I thought he was the cutest thing. It was unrequited.

JMT: What’s your favorite part of the writing process?

SL: I like revision.  There’s something very satisfying about making things clean and shiny. For me, plotting is the hardest part.

JMT: Are you a cold weather or hot weather person?

SL: I’m a low-70’s kind of person and anything outside of that make me grumpy.  It’s the curse of being California-born and raised.

JMT: If you had a magic satchel that could make any small object appear in it, what would you wish for?

SL: A crystal ball that can give me the winning lotto numbers!

Stacey Interviews Jenn

SL: How many hours of sleep do you get a night?

JMT: Between six and seven hours, often in three parts, due to a ten-month-old dependent who hates to sleep. I love to sleep. It’s the most wonderful thing in the world. *sobs silently*

SL: If you were stranded on an island and you only had a stick of butter, what would you do with it?

JMT: Ooh, this is a very good question, and one that highlights how poorly equipped I am with the knowledge required to survive such a scenario. I know butter doesn’t actually help burns, so I wouldn’t save it for that. And it seems like kind of a waste to use it on food. But I wouldn’t want it to spoil. Okay, not gonna lie, I just googled “alternate uses of butter,” and the most useful tip I found was that butter takes away the smell of fish on your hands, which is obviously going to be helpful. So: that!

SL: What’s your favorite city and why?

JMT: My favorite place is the California coast, but I’ve got to give New York City the edge over LA. I spent my formative years in Manhattan, and although I’m not sure I have the energy to live there anymore, I will love its verve, eclecticism, grit, polish–and even its indifference–for the rest of my life.


Jenn also enjoys the Grand Canyon, obviously.

SL: What outfit do you wear most of the time?

JMT: Jeans, t-shirt, hair in a ponytail so that my baby won’t chew on it. I’m all about the comfy.

SL: What’s the last book you read?

JMT: NONE OF THE ABOVE, by I.W. Gregorio. It was excellent–a really moving look at a teenager reeling from an intersex diagnosis gone public.

SL: What’s your guilty pleasure?

JMT: There are quite a few to choose from in the category of “pop culture,” but I don’t actually feel that guilty about them. So I’m going to go with: ridiculously long, dangerously hot showers. I’m killing the world one shower at a time.

Jenn thinks Owlpen Manor would make a nice writing retreat.

SL: What’s the scariest thing you’ve done?

JMT: Having kids is terrifying. I’m putting this out there as a PSA. I wasn’t a fearful person until I became a mother. Now I’m a bundle of worries, guilt and other neuroses. I also once moved cross-country on pretty much a whim, which I didn’t actually realize was going to be scary until I up and did it.

SL: Describe your 16 year old self.

JMT: Sheltered, stubborn, quirky, accomplished, filled with inexorable longing, prone to flights of fancy.

SL: If you could be the same age for the rest of your life, how old would you be?

JMT: I’m gonna be hopeful and say “45.” 45, when it comes, is going to be amazing. Or something.

SL: What do you admire most about your writing?

JMT: I feel that I’m fair to all of my characters. I can see everybody’s point of view, even the villains, so if I’m the god of my imaginary universes, at least I am a benevolent one.

SL: Favorite board game?

JMT: Trivial Pursuit. However, I should note that I’ve been banned from playing it by most of my friends. I am not the most competitive person in the world, but this game wakes up my dark side.


Jenn’s awesome dog and writing-companion, Molly.

SL: Have you ever had a black eye?

JMT: No, and I consider it a gross failing on my part.

SL: Coffee or tea?

JMT: I drink tea, water, coffee, water, tea all day long in rapid succession. (See sleep question above.)

SL: Taylor Swift – country or pop?

JMT: She is pop. She has always been pop. But now that she’s saying she’s pop, her pop is better pop. I’ve typed the word pop too many times and it has now lost its meaning. POP.

SL: Favorite movie hunk?

JMT: Paul Newman. He’s just…sigh. Current? I dunno. I like that Tom Hiddleston fella. My husband’s sort of crazy dreamy, though, so he kind of renders all movie stars meh for me.

 (Editor’s note: Wasn’t that fun? I mean, I already liked these girls before reading this Q&A, but now I like them even more.)

As part of the Lucky Four Leaf Clover Giveaway, Jenn and Stacey, along with , Moriah McStay (EVERYTHING THAT MAKES YOU, Katherine Tegen), and N.K. Travers (DUPLICITY, Thomas Dunne Books) are donating a hardback copy of their books and related treasures.  Enter the giveaway here!


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