SparkPress 2014 Catalog

January 2014

cover-girlunmoored-newGirl Unmoored by Jennifer Gooch Hummer

Recently optioned for a movie!

Entertainment Weekly called it “…the undiscovered young-adult novel of the summer.”

“Love, loss, and the coming of age of one remarkable girl blaze through this haunting debut like a shooting star you’d wish upon. It’s tough and tender, funny and smart, and it frankly took my breath away. I loved it.” - Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Pictures of You

“With stunning emotional honesty, Girl Unmoored shaves away layers of innocence to reveal the true meaning of love, and the power we have to save one another. Effortlessly funny and poignant, Jennifer Gooch Hummer’s masterful debut offers surprises until the very end. I am head over heels for this book, and will gladly scream its praises from the rafters — for sure a must-read!” – Elise Allen, New York Times bestselling co-author of Elixir and author of Populazzi

Awards:

Indie Excellence Awards 2012 – Winner Cross-Genre Fiction

Next Generation Indie Book Awards 2012 – Winner YA Fiction

The San Francisco Book Festival Awards 2012 – Winner Teen Fiction

Maine Literary Awards 2013 – Winner YA Fiction, ReaderViews Awards 2012 – YA Book of the Year, BOTYA (Book of the Year Awards) 2012 – YA Fiction, Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards 2012 – YA Fiction Mature Themes, The Paris Book Festival Awards 2012 – Winner YA Fiction, USA Best Books Award, 2012 – Finalist Best New Book, Finalist Cross-Genre Fiction, Next Generation Indie Book Awards 2012 – Finalist Chick Lit Fiction, Next Generation Indie Book Awards 2012 – Finalist Best Fiction Cover Art, The International Book Awards 2012 – Finalist Best New Book, The International Book Awards 2012 – Finalist YA Fiction

Book summary: Apron Bramhall has come unmoored. It’s 1985 and her mom has passed away, her evil stepmother is pregnant, and her best friend has traded her in for a newer model. Fortunately, she’s about to be saved by Jesus. Not that Jesus—the actor who plays him in Jesus Christ, Superstar. Apron is desperate to avoid the look-alike Mike (no one should look that much like Jesus unless they can perform a miracle or two), but suddenly he’s everywhere. Until one day, she’s stuck in church with him—of all places. And then something happens; Apron’s broken teenage heart blinks on for the first time since she’s been adrift.

Mike and his grumpy boyfriend, Chad, offer her a summer job in their flower store, Apron’s world seems to calm. But when she uncovers Chad’s secret, coming of age becomes almost too much bear. She’s forced to see things the adults around her fail to—like what love really means and who is paying too much for it.

Publication date: January 2014

Screenshot (32)The Runaway Daughter by Juliet Philip

“The overlay of fantasy, always evocatively but matter-of-factly interwoven with the real-world narrative, is what lends the book its greatest charm… An extremely memorable and winning YA tale of the perseverance dreams require.” -Kirkus Reviews

“This is an astonishing novel, at once a glimpse into the mind of a brave and imaginative heroine and a dizzying, gritty, and shockingly real snapshot of Indian city life. There is magic here, and ugliness, and the book’s triumph is in showing us how one unusual girl refuses to let the ugliness extinguish the magic.” – Sangu Mandanna, author of The Lost Girl

“Fans of The Kite Runner and Life of Pi will be riveted by Juliet Philip’s stunning novel about a girl coming of age in Bombay. Philip’s vivid descriptions will have readers visualizing Kamada’s journey every step of the way.” -  SheKnows.com

Book Summary: Kamada lives in a world of magic. A world of gremlins, fairies and talking objects that shield her from a society where strange men act like they own the women walking down the street, and where her mother gives up her body in exchange for a life of luxury.

The dirty streets of Bombay do not feel like home to Kamada. She knows she does not belong, and her mother’s house feels like a prison. To escape, Kammy wants to leave India to go study in America. Only her magical friends and a neighboring family know that her wish is getting closer to becoming a reality every day.

Follow Kammy as she bucks tradition in her quest to pass the GRE and follow her dreams. Will she be able to leave the land of curries and rickshaws?

Publication date: January 2014

EllyInBloom-coverElly in Bloom by Colleen Oakes

An Amazon bestseller!

“Colleen Oakes is a crisp, intelligent new voice in chick lit fiction” – Andrea Waggener, author of Alternate Beauty

Book Summary: What would you do if you had to design your husband’s lover’s wedding?

Surrounded by lush flowers and neurotic brides, chubby 32-year old Elly Jordan has carved out a sweet little life for herself as the owner of Posies, a boutique wedding florist in St. Louis. It’s not bad for a woman who drove away from her entire life just two years ago when she found her husband entwined with a red-headed artist. Sure, Elly has an embarrassingly beautiful best friend, a terribly behaved sheepdog and a sarcastic assistant who she simply calls “Snarky Teenager”, but overall her days are pleasantly uneventful. As a bonus, her new next door neighbor just happens to be an unnervingly handsome musician who has an eye for curvy Elly.

Just when she feels that she is finally moving on from her past, she discovers that an extravagant wedding contract, one that could change her financial future, is more than she bargained for. With the help of her friends, staff and the occasional well-made sandwich, Elly bravely agrees to take on the event that threatens to merge her painful history with her bright new life, and finds herself blooming in a direction she never imagined.

Elly’s voice, both charming and hilarious, will appeal to those readers who have been looking for a new voice in chick-lit, and will give women of all sizes the realistic heroine they’ve been waiting for.

Publication date: January 2014

CrumbleCrumble by Fleur Philips

 “Crumble is a timely, powerful and important book. Fleur Philips offers a deeply personal take on the gun debate, and reminds us of the deadly cost of intolerance. Hers is a voice to savor and to heed.” – Gayle Brandeis, author of Bellwhether Prize-winning The Book of Dead Birds

Awards:

2013 USA Best Book Awards – YA Fiction Finalist

2013 Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards – Silver Medalist in the category of Young Adult, Mature Issues

2013 San Francisco Book Festival – Winner YA Fiction

2013 International Book Awards -YA Fiction Finalist

Book Summary: Eighteen-year-old Sarah McKnight has a secret. She’s in love with David Brooks. Sarah is white. David is black. But Sarah’s not the only one keeping secrets in the close-knit community of Kalispell, Montana. Her father George, who owns a local gun shop and proudly drives a truck with a Confederate flag bumper sticker, hides his own complicated past. When he discovers Sarah’s relationship, George decides to share his feelings with Alex Mackey-a lonely classmate of Sarah’s whom George has taken under his wing. As Alex embraces the power of Sarah’s father’s dark hatred, the hopes and dreams of young lives hang in the balance. In just a few short months, Sarah and David will graduate from high school and leave Kalispell for a new life together in Los Angeles. Maybe in California, they can stop hiding their love-and the other secret they share…something George McKnight–and Alex Mackey–will never accept.

Publication date: January 2014

February 2014

9781940716022Queen of Hearts, Volume One: The Crown by Colleen Oakes

#1 bestselling Teen book on Amazon!

“A wonderfully entertaining twist on an old classic.” – Kirkus Reviews

“Oakes has created her own world here. Her Wonderland is darker, more cutthroat and somehow more real.”  – Forever Young Adult

“This tale puts a dark and evil spin on some familiar classic characters that will leave you wanting more. Colleen Oakes creates a parallel universe to a world we already know and makes us wish we had this book sooner!” – Girls’ Life

“Colleen Oakes creates a fantastic, dark backstory for the Queen of Hearts from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in her novel Queen of Hearts.” – Popsugar

“I highly recommend baking some celebratory tarts and settling down with Queen of Hearts, though I warn you that when you finish it, you’re going to be gnashing your teeth to find out what happens next…” – xoJane.com

Queen of Hearts in the media: Kirkus Reviews, Popsugar’s most promising February read, SheKnows.com February book pick, xoJane interview with Colleen, Forever Young Adult review, Girls’ Life review, The Story Siren interview with Colleen, Huffington Post: The 5 Greatest Disney Villainesses of All Time, Parajunkee Review, Denver Westword interview with Colleen, Queen of Hearts contest at BOPandTigerBeat.com, and much, much more!

Book Summary: “Off with their heads.”

A blossoming love.  A father’s betrayal.  A kingdom with a black secret.

For Dinah, Princess of Wonderland Palace and the future Queen of Hearts, days at the palace are an endless monotony of tea, tarts, and a stream of vicious humiliations at the hands of her father, The King of Hearts. Her only relief are her visits with her childhood best friend Wardley, the future Knave of Hearts—and her secret love. 

When an enchanting stranger arrives as Dinah’s coronation day nears, a series of bloody events suggests that something sinister stirs within the halls of Wonderland. Driven by her furious nature, Dinah must unravel the mysteries that lurk both inside and under the palace before she loses those she loves—and her own head—to a clever and faceless foe.

Part epic fantasy, part twisted fairy tale, readers will encounter familiar characters such as Cheshire, Alice, and the Mad Hatter in this new, dark take on Lewis Carroll’s classic story.

But be warned…not every fairytale has a happy ending.

Publication date: February 14, 2014

March 2014

WaysOfLeaving-coverWays of Leaving by Grant Jarrett

“A standout novel about going home, where old girlfriends, awkward funerals, deeply buried parental secrets and naked, drunken, nocturnal escapades irritate a man like scabs of his squandered youth and misspent adulthood…Ruthlessly brilliant writing brings grace to a story smoldering in pain.” - Kirkus Reviews

Ways of Leaving in the media:

Kirkus Reviews

Typographical Era March book pick

SheKnows March book pick

WorkingMother book pick for “Spring Reads for Moms and Teens”

Book Summary: Chase Stoller’s life is crumbling. He just lost his job, his wife Jennifer has filed for divorce, and now his brother Aaron wants him to return to Pennsylvania and help care for their ailing father.

When he arrives at his brother’s house, years of repressed rage float to the surface—along with two married women, one virtual church, several bottles of scotch, one schizophrenic sister, five helpings of Brussels sprouts, three boxes of purloined panties, and a gun-wielding husband with a grudge. But Chase’s greatest challenge comes when his sister attempts to end her life.

Infused with empathy and compassion, bristling with humor, Ways of Leaving explores the impulses and actions of a troubled man whose struggles with isolation, despair and desire illuminate the fierce yearning for a sense of purpose that characterizes the human condition.

Publication date: March 11, 2014

April 2014

On Grace book coverOn Grace by Susie Orman Schnall

“[Schnall's] blend of girl talk and self-help wisdom reads like a conversation overheard at Starbucks. Faced with real-world problems, Grace adjusts her priorities, confronts her fears, and in the process of being true to herself, learns the real meaning of the word ‘grace.’ A cozy, conversational read.” -Kirkus Reviews

“A moving and vibrant debut that packs a sweet emotional punch. You’ll laugh and cry along with Grace as she treads the complicated waters of marriage, motherhood, an unexpected betrayal, and a revelation that changes everything. Susie Schnall is a fresh new voice in fiction.” — Kristin Harmel, internationally bestselling author of The Sweetness of Forgetting

“Grace is an imperfect woman with a less than perfect life, but readers will find themselves drawn to her authenticity and grit.” — Colleen Oakes, bestselling author of Elly in Bloom

“A telling, touching exploration of modern marriage, fidelity, and friendship, Susie Schnall’s debut is riddled with the little truths that make up the texture of women’s daily lives. Fans of Emily Giffin will relate to this engaging read.” —Beatriz Williams, internationally bestselling author of A Hundred Summers

“An authentic portrayal of the intricacies inherent in modern relationships. Susie Orman Schnall’s debut is relatable, honest, and insightful. I look forward to seeing what’s next from her.” – Emily Liebert, bestselling author of You Knew Me When

On Grace in the media:

Kirkus Reviews

SheKnows book pick for April

Book Summary: Grace May is truly excited about turning 40 in a few months. And now that her boys are both in school and she has a stimulating new writing job, the next chapter in her life can finally begin. She can’t wait to rediscover the intelligent and interesting woman deeply buried under the layers of mother and wife. 

But when Grace loses her job and gets unexpected news from her husband and her best friend, life suddenly gets complicated. Grace stands to lose everything: her marriage, her best friend, and her sense of self. But by her 40th birthday party, Grace will realize who and what matter most. With laughter. With tears. With grace.

Publication date: April 8, 2014

June 2014

GRAVEL ON ROAD.41414Gravel on the Side of the Road by Kris Radish

National bestselling author!

Book Summary: A woman who worries about carrying a .38 special in her purse, nearly drowns in a desert canyon, flies into the war in Bosnia, dances with the FBI, tells Geraldo he shouldn’t put guests in hotel rooms with rats and spends time with murderers, has more than a few stories to tell.

Gravel on the Side of the Road-True Stories From a Broad Who Has Been There is a daring and revealing adventure itself.

Beloved novelist Kris Radish returns to her non-fiction beginnings with her first, but not last, book of autobiographical essays. Her writing career has spanned four decades and has included award winning newspaper work, magazine features, a national syndicated column, eleven books and enough stories and adventures to fill up many more.

Radish’s talent for telling it like it is, sharing the wit and wisdom of a life lived mostly on her own terms and her keen sense of humor are highlighted in these stories- some of them old- some of them new, but all of them a glimpse into worlds many never dare to enter. This author always lives in a world where nothing is sacred but the sweet emotions of the heart.

Kris is definitely a broad who has been there.

Publication date: June 3, 2014

EllyInLove-coverElly in Love by Colleen Oakes

Curvy Elly Jordan is back in the second book in the bestselling Elly series!

Elly in Love takes place three months after Elly in Bloom ends with Elly in a happy relationship with Keith, the guy from downstairs. She has even been contacted by Blissbride, a television show that films celebrity weddings, and is chosen to be the florist for Lola Plumb, a train-wreck celebrity based on Lindsey Lohan.  With the proceeds from the Blissbride wedding, Elly opens a second store, a modern florist with a hip edge, making Snarky Teenager (from Elly in Bloom) the manager.

At the same time, Elly is stalked by a very strange and lonely teenager, Dennis, who has a secret which will change Elly’s life forever. Through various experiences, Elly learns to sacrifice for family, and be unafraid to love freely, and with abandon.

Publication date: June 10, 2014

 

 The Revealed Final Cover CompThe Revealed by Jessica Hickam

“Ripe with political intrigue, forbidden romance and a mysterious group of outsiders who threaten to turn Lily Atwood’s world upside down, The Revealed is a riveting story about love and courage. It’s also a captivating look at a future society where overcoming the odds means finding the power within yourself to become truly extraordinary. Jessica Hickam has written a story that will entrance readers.” – Emily Kiebel, author of Serenade

The Revealed will have you hooked from the beginning. Jessica Hickam has written a thrilling story about love, sacrifice, and fighting for what’s right. This book will surely lead the pack in the next wave of popular YA novels.” – Lauren Joskowitz, entertainment manager, SheKnows.com

The Revealed weaves an adventurous tale of true love, deception and bravery. Along the way, Jessica Hickam captures the beauty — and heartache — of finding your first true love. And, most importantly, finding yourself.” - Leesa Coble, BOP and Tiger Beat

Book Summary: Lily Atwood lives in what used to be called Washington, D.C. Her father is one of the most powerful men in the world, having been a vital part of rebuilding and reuniting humanity after the war that killed over five billion people. Now he’s running to be one of its leaders.

But in the rediscovered peace on Earth, a new enemy has risen. They call themselves the Revealed – a powerful underground organization that has been kidnapping 18 year olds across the globe without reservation. No one knows why they are kidnapping these teens, but it’s clear something is different about these people. They can set fires with a snap of their fingers and create a wind strong enough to barrel over a tree with a flick of their wrist. No one has been able to stop them, and they have targeted Lily as their next victim.

But Lily has waited too long to break free from her father’s shadow to let some rebel organization just ruin everything. Not without a fight.

Publication date: June 17, 2014

July 2014

SERENADE FINALSerenade by Emily Kiebel

“An absolutely haunting and lyrical read. The captivating use of music and a darkly seductive magic will have readers singing its praises and longing for more.” —Colleen Oakes, author of Queen of Hearts

“Emily Kiebel seamlessly blends reality and fantasy. Serenade hits resonant and real emotional notes, while at the same time enchanting the reader with a rich, fantasy mythology.” – Kayleigh Roberts, BOP and Tiger Beat

“Serenade will surprise you at every turn! Emily Kiebel’s novel is the perfect blend of supernatural self-discovery and a poignant story about the bonds of family.” – Jessica Hickam, author of The Revealed

Book Summary: When Lorelei Clark’s father is killed, she is haunted by the feeling that she could have prevented it. If only she had done something – anything – besides simply singing to him while his life drained from his body, perhaps he would have survived.

Eighteen-year-old Lorelei Clark was a gifted singer at a music conservatory until the day her father was struck by an oncoming car.  His death leaves her emotionally shattered, so when she receives an invitation from her great-aunt Helen to visit her home in Cape Cod, Lorelei accepts. She quickly discovers that Helen and her two nieces are harboring a frightening secret – they are sirens, terrifying mythical creatures responsible for singing doomed sailors to their deaths. Even more astounding, Lorelei is one of them, a siren called to do fate’s bidding. In this new world where water comes alive at her touch and an ancient power pulses beneath the tide, the most important rule Lorelei must learn is that a siren never EVER interferes with fate. When she breaks this rule by rescuing a handsome sailor who was supposed to die at sea, the sirens vow that she must finish the job or face grave consequences.  Unable to bring herself to murder the young man and finding herself inexplicably attracted to him, she must fight to keep him safe from the others, even if it means risking her own life, and her heart, in the process.

Publication date: July 15, 2014

QOH-Volume2Queen of Hearts, Volume Two: The Wonder

Book two in the bestselling series!

Book Summary: Alone in the wilds of Wonderland, Dinah fights for survival. When she meets the Yurkei, natives she was always taught were the enemy, and finds out she had been lied to all along, Dinah plots to reclaim her throne with their help. Filled with vivid imagery and thrilling action, Dinah’s transformation into a fierce warrior is stunning.

Publication date: July 22, 2014

 

 

CURSE OF VAN GOGH5.selectThe Curse of Van Gogh by Paul Hoppe

The upcoming novel from HarperCollins author, Paul Hoppe!

Book Summary: Tyler slides into a simple life of bartending in New York City, living his life day to day. And then at the hottest art opening of the season he meets Kommate Imasu, a Japanese billionaire and famed art collector, who seems to know more about Tyler than his own mother does.  With serious threats against his family and friends, Tyler has to decide how much risk he’ll take to protect them. He quickly learns that gambling against a billionaire is never a good idea. Tyler plunges headfirst into a world of art forgers, hit-men, Yakuza, a femme fatal named Chanel #5, and the legendary curse of Van Gogh, in order to pull off the greatest art heist in history.

Publication date: July 29, 2014

 

KitchenLoveStoryKitchen Love Story by Camille Finan

Book Summary: Professional carpenter Camille Finan looks at a kitchen remodel very differently from most cabinet makers or carpenters by bringing a fresh approach to design and functionality. In Kitchen Love Story, Camille shares what she’s learned throughout her years as a professional carpenter and gives simple instructions on how to manage the remodel of your own kitchen, while using the ideas and strategies she uses with her own clients. Together Camille will help you explore the tricks to designing a kitchen that is perfect for you and how you live – AND she’ll show you exactly how to avoid being ripped off.

Unlike current offerings on the market, Kitchen Love Story is not an envy-inducing photo journey through the ideal yet often unattainable kitchens seen in the pages of design magazines and on every remodeloholic’s frenemy – Pinterest. Instead, this is a book customers will actually put into practice in their own homes, with enviable results. Kitchen Love Story is a woman-to-woman guide to creating the kitchen of your dreams.

Publication date: July 2014

 

 September 2014

ROCKANGEL.SELECTRock Angel by Jeanne Bogino

“In a show business tale filled with ego clashes, sexual tension, drug addiction, dreams of success and nightmares of stardom, the rarefied world of ambitious musicians is rendered with a relentlessly keen eye and ear.”  –Music Connection magazine

Book Summary: Shan is young, beautiful, talented, and addicted to heroin in Rock Angel, a novel that follows her meteoric rise to guitar goddess stardom in the ’90s. She is discovered in New York by a handsome, arrogant musical genius named Quinn, and sparks fly between them when he hires her as lead guitarist of his band.

Although Quinn is accustomed to bedding a different groupie every night, he can’t ignore his deepening feelings for his new bandmate. From gritty Greenwich Village clubs to L.A.’s Troubadour; gigging and touring the country to the cover of Rolling Stone, Rock Angel is infused with the passionate music and intense sexual chemistry of Shan and Quinn. Shan must work out her personal demons and learn to trust Quinn enough to love him, but still remain true to the music that has always been her salvation.

Publication date: September 16, 2014

 

SocialMediaIsntSocialSocial Media Isn’t Social by Al Maag

Book Summary: A humor-filled comparison of growing up in the ’50s and ’60s versus how the C Generation has been influenced by electronic gadgets, Social Media IS NOT Social also seriously explores the critical social skills needed in order to succeed in business and in life.

Publication date: September 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 October 2014

LegacyOfUs The Legacy of Us by Kristin Contino

Book Summary: Taking readers from 1905 Italy to present-day Philadelphia, The Cameo uncovers how the lives of three generations of women are changed by love, loss and one little necklace.

Liz Moretti thought she knew almost everything about her grandmother, from her love of “The Golden Girls” to her perfect pound cake recipe. But when Liz’s Nan suddenly passes away and Liz finds a cameo locket with a marriage proposal engraved inside (from a man who was not her grandfather), she realizes that sometimes a person’s secrets are discovered only after they’re gone. 

On top of losing her grandma, Liz’s career as a jewelry designer is stagnant and her love life is anything but sparkly. When she reconnects with the one who got away, Liz thinks maybe things are finally starting to look up. But after an ill-fated night out, she wakes up to realize the cameo is missing. Her ex, Adam, offers to look for it, but so does Justin, the intriguing new guy in her apartment building. While dealing with her feelings for two very different men and generally trying to reinvent her mess of a life, Liz finds answers and solace in her grandmother’s diary. 

What Liz learns is that the story behind the cameo, and the relationship between her grandmother and great grandmother, an outspoken Italian socialite, was more than meets the eye. Her family’s past inspires her to grow up and accept responsibility for her missteps, and eventually Liz must choose between the life she thought she wanted and the promise of something better.

Publication date: October 14, 2014

 

BeautifulGirlBeautiful Girl by Fleur Philips

The next gripping young adult novel from award-winning author Fleur Philips!

Publication date: October 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 2014

QOH-Volume3Queen of Hearts, Volume Three: The Heart  by Colleen Oakes

The final installment in the bestselling Queen of Hearts saga!

Book Summary: Wounded by a broken heart, Dinah wages an all-out war to defeat her evil father and reign over Wonderland, as sole ruler. But will her humanity survive the fight?

Publication date: November 2014

 

 

 






CoverComingSoonClean, Sexy, Light Year by Lisa Ryan

Book Summary: With a strong focus on fresh produce and seasonal ingredients, Clean, Sexy, Light Year is a book about living your cleanest, lightest, sexiest year yet through healthy eating recipes and lifestyle changes you can put into practice.

Publication date: November 2014

 

 

 

 

 


December 2014

YEAR OF NECESSARY LIES_selectThe Year of Necessary Lies by Kris Radish

National bestselling author!

Book Summary: One amazing year in a remarkable woman’s life journey becomes the inspiration for generations when she takes a huge risk, follows her heart, embraces forbidden love, and unwittingly becomes the champion of a winged world that is on the brink of extinction.

 It’s 1903, the world is poised for drastic change, and Julia Briton is a naive, beautiful Boston socialite who suffers a series of devastating losses and discovers that her beloved husband is involved in the plume trade—the massive slaughter of birds for use in the fashion industry. When Julia is secretly ushered into the early 20th century by a group of brazen female activists, she boldly risks everything and embarks on a perilous journey to the wilds of untamed Florida, a place of great danger where men will stop at nothing to get what they want and where one man, and a faithful friend, force her to make yet more life-changing decisions.

 Years later, when Julia’s great-granddaughter, Kelly, discovers some hidden tape recordings in her famous great-grandmother’s dresser and learns the real truth about Julia’s year, a year that changed the course of history, she must decide what to do with her grandmother’s incredible legacy. Will she keep the real secret of The Year or will she be brave enough to follow her own heart?

Publication date: December 2014

February 2015

CoverComingSoonQueen of Hearts: The Complete Series by Colleen Oakes

Get ready for a beautifully designed box set of all three titles in the Queen of Hearts saga!

Publication date: February 14, 2015