Kirkus Reviews: UNTIL THE BEGINNING!

I’m very honored and excited to share with you the first review for UNTIL THE BEGINNING—from the hard-to-please Kirkus Reviews. And… *drumroll* …they liked the AFTER THE END duology even more than DIE FOR ME!

UNTIL THE BEGINNING by Amy Plum

“Different enough from all the rest to keep genre fans reading.”

From Kirkus Reviews, February 16

“Picking up right where it left off, the story that started with After the End (2014) continues.

In trying to find her vanished clan, Juneau has met and fallen for Miles, the son of a wealthy pharmaceutical company owner. At the book’s opening, a gunshot Miles has died, but Juneau performs her clan’s Rite to bring him back to life and possibly extend his life for hundreds of years, disease-free. As she mentally Reads the emotions and surroundings of her distant father and others, Juneau begins to detect where her kidnapped clan is being held. She travels the Southwest, finding a hidden reserve where billionaire Hunt Avery has imprisoned her clan, but she learns something new: Avery really wants Juneau. Plum keeps tension high as she follows Juneau across the country, mixing in enough romantic spice to satisfy genre fans. Juneau’s old mentor, Whit, offers scientific explanations for the clan’s superpowers, but Juneau, secure in her mystical spirit connections, holds to her beliefs. After flirting with Whit’s explanations, Plum comes firmly down on Juneau’s side. Of note is Juneau’s relationship with the clan’s special raven messenger, named Poe, adding some intertextual fun. Although she concludes the series plot, the author leaves some latitude for future adventures.

Different enough from all the rest to keep genre fans reading. (Paranormal suspense. 12-18)”

Hurray! I can’t wait until you have your own copy in your hands and can tell me what you think. UNTIL THE BEGINNING is out May 5, and you can pre-order it here: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indiebound, Book Depository (which delivers anywhere in the world).

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25-Author Event at the American Library in Paris: “Teen Author Smash”

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Me with books from just a few of the authors participating.

Yes, you read that right. Twenty-five YA authors…in one place…signing, answering questions, and generally hanging out and being awesome.

Mark your calendars for Saturday, April 25 at 7:30pm, and get ready to head to the American Library in Paris to see:
Lenore Appelhans
Morgan Matson
Brodi Ashton
Zoraida Cordova
LoriAnn Stephens
Amy Tintera
Crystal Perkins
Tera Lynn Childs
Bree Despain
JR Johannson
Tom Pollock
Kate Ormand
Kevin Emerson
Jessica Brody
Sean Beaudoin
Molly Harper
Lissa Price
Jeannette Battista
Corinne Duyvis
Cole Gibson
Tioka Tokedira
Emma Trevayne
Mark Pett
Carina Rozenfeld
Claire Merle
and me…Amy Plum!

This event celebrates the wide range of writing in Young Adult literature. From first-time authors to those with several books on the shelves; from those who taught themselves to write (like me) to those who have graduate degrees in writing; from 5 different countries; both women and men writers; and including every genre of YA, both traditionally and self-published. Everything you ever wanted to know about YA all in one place. The awesomeness will be overwhelming.

There will be Q&As, prize giveaways, games, snacks, and a signing. Win books, bookmarks and swag.

There will be books for purchase at the event, but if you’re worried there won’t be enough of your favorite authors’ books, you can also pre-order any titles you’d like from W.H. Smith Paris. (Let them know it’s for this event.)

You are also allowed to bring 1 book per author from your own collection for authors to sign.

You do not have to have a membership to come. For this event the Library is suggesting a donation of 10€ (5€ for students) to help fund programs. If you plan on buying a book, the donation can be waived (unless you wish to help out the Library).

If you think you’re attending, let us know on the event’s Facebook page!

And if you have any questions, feel free to ask me in the comments below. We can’t wait to see you!

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…and me dropping the books. (Sorry, esteemed authors! But now your books have mud FROM THE EIFFEL TOWER in them.)

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Die Once More, excerpt #8: Jules Faceoff with Vincent

Jules, Ava and Faust fly from New York and arrive at La Maison days before Ambrose and Charlotte’s wedding:

“Gaspard appears at the top of the double stairway, wearing an ancient silk waistcoat and a cotton shirt with enormous open cuffs over a pair of high-waisted dress pants. ‘Jeanne, I really don’t think period dress is necessary except for the bride and groom,’ he calls, as he fiddles with a cufflink. And then he looks up and sees us.

His crazy gray-threaded black hair sticks up as if electrified—as per norm—and an uncharacteristic broad smile spreads across his face. ‘You’re here,’ he says to me, and makes his way down the stairs. ‘We didn’t expect you for another half hour. Traffic must have been light.’

‘No, but Ambrose was driving,’ quips Charlotte, provoking a stranglehold bear hug from her fiancé.

‘You must be Mademoiselle Whitefoot,’ says Gaspard, holding a hand out to Ava. But I miss the rest of that introduction, because in from the next room walks Vincent. And his eyes are fixed on me. There’s an expression on his face that I can’t read, and am not sure I want to. Anger? Disappointment? Betrayal?

Although we spoke briefly on the battlefield, there were other things vying for our attention. Like swinging swords. And flying arrows. I said good-bye when I left. Told him I couldn’t stay. But there was blood on our skin and ash on our faces, and I didn’t even look him in the eye.

No, the last time we talked—truly communicated—was at the airport in New York. When I told him I was in love with his girlfriend and that it was tearing me apart to see them together. I admitted to my disloyalty. And then abandoned him.

Ignoring the others, he walks straight up to me, eyes burning, and I think for a moment that he’s going to hit me. Punch me right in the face. But instead he grabs me and wraps me in his arms, squeezing the breath out of me. And speaking quietly enough that the others can’t hear he says, ‘All’s forgotten. There’s nothing left to say. I’m just glad you’re back. We missed you. All of us.'”

die-once-more-coverDIE ONCE MORE releases February 3. You can get it here: (Amazon/B&N).

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DIE ONCE MORE, excerpt #7: Prepping for Paris

“The plane trip is interminable. There are times when I wish revenants could sleep, and this is definitely one of them. Gold chartered a four-person jet, which would normally be sufficient, but the way things are going, I wish we were on a jumbo, with rows and rows of empty seats between us.

Once he got over the shock that he’d been tapped to go to Paris, Faust had just enough time to get his hands on a French guidebook, and began practicing phrases on me as soon as the plane took off.
We’re two hours into the flight and he’s still on, ‘Où est la gare?’

‘Faust, you’re not going to need a train station,’ I moan.

He nods and flips through to another page. ‘Voulez-vous dîner avec moi ce soir?’

‘What is this?’ I ask, and pluck the book out of his grasp. The chapter is entitled, ‘Relationships and Dating.’ I toss it back to him, and, leaning my head back against the headrest, wearily respond, ‘You’re not going to pick up a French girl by asking her out to dinner. You’ve got to begin with compliments. Start with something safe: her eyes. Her smile.’

I feel little darts of hatred piercing my skin, and turn to where Ava sits ensconced behind a laptop. She has been pointedly ignoring us the whole time, but now she’s giving me a look of unadulterated disgust.
‘What?’ I ask, throwing my hands up in frustration. I don’t understand what this woman’s problem is with me.

She just shakes her head and goes back to typing. A pencil is tucked behind her ear, lending her appearance the slightest hint of naughty librarian. Interesting. Stop it, Jules, I chide. This girl is dangerous.”

die-once-more-coverDIE ONCE MORE releases February 3. You can get it here: (Amazon/B&N).

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DIE ONCE MORE, excerpt #6: Intro to Ava

“Gold’s obviously been here before—he doesn’t give the room a second glance—but I am mesmerized by its contents. Art. Everywhere. I can’t help myself: I have to look, and wander from picture to picture, inspecting them carefully. There are several examples of pop art by artists whose names sound vaguely familiar. A framed Velvet Underground poster hangs on one wall, signed, ‘To Ava, my one true love (among many), Lou’ and under that, ‘Sisters in crime: Ava + Nico’. A Salvador Dali sketch stands framed on a table: a nude woman with a bouquet of flowers instead of a head, with the dedication, ‘To the divine Ava’, scrawled underneath.

And above the mantel is the pièce de résistance: a giant silkscreen of Ava’s head by Warhol himself. In it, a patterned turban hides her hair, and her chin is raised as if in defiance. With her dark-copper skin, high cheekbones, and almond-shaped eyes, she looks like some sort of native warrior: but native to where, it’s not clear.

‘Who were you?’ The words leave my lips before I can stop them.

‘Doesn’t matter,’ she says, and Gold looks up abruptly from the dog-fest. He looks as confounded by her brusqueness as I am.

‘Ava was a part of Andy Warhol’s Factory—she was his favorite for a couple of years,’ Gold says, before she shoots him a look that forbids him to spill more. ‘Now, of course, she is a well-respected art historian, specializing in American art of the sixties and seventies. Not much of an overlap with my own specialty of antiquities, of course, but we historians stick together.’

He smiles up at her, breaking her stoniness enough to let a fond smile shine through. It’s obvious: They aren’t just kindred. They are friends.

Gold stands and straightens his suit. ‘Well, this isn’t a social call, my dear, so let’s get down to business. Jules was invited to the wedding of two of his Paris kindred. It’s taking place in just under two weeks. And you’re going with him.'”

die-once-more-coverDIE ONCE MORE releases February 3. You can get it here: (Amazon/B&N).

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