Do you know when the covers for Embassy Row book 1 by Ally Carter and We Can Work It Out by Elizabeth Eulberg will be revealed?

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Hopefully sometime very soon! Our designers are hard at work on both of them! :)

Ten Years Later: War and Carol King


One of the ways soldiers keep their sanity is by teasing one another.  During my time in the war in Afghanistan ten years ago, I served with a soldier who was technically proficient, but often frustrated.  Ten years ago today, my notebook records:

July 16, 2004

Last night at midnight when we were woken up for our guard shift Kipton was grumbling, “This is bullishit.”  

I laughed.  I teased him and then sang, “So far away, doesn’t Kipton stay in one place anymore.”

He said, “Come on, Reedy.  Man, don’t sing.”

To which I replied, “What?  Don’t you like Carol King?”

He said, “No, I just can’t stand all that chipperness at 4 in the morning.”

I said, “4 a.m.?  It’s 2400.  If it were 0400, we’d be going back to bed.”

I didn’t think people like him were real.  

Specialist Kipton was a fine soldier, and even though I haven’t seen him or heard from him much since our time in the war ended, I remember him fondly and respect him very much.  Back then, I wrote in my notebook, Kipton will make a fine character to write about. And so I am, ten years later.

We’re really loving all of Trent Reedy’s 10 Years Later posts - follow along for some fantastic and touching insight into the life of an author and a soldier!


CITY: Newcastle, CO, or something

SMELL: Warm rubber, hot asphalt, and the always vaguely appealing and carcinogenic scent of gasoline

PLACE: Kum & Go

THE WAY: While driving from the Denver tour stop to a conference in Provo, UT, the Camaro suddenly bucked explosively and deathfully. When I limped it into a gas station with a name I feel uncomfortable printing on a blog children read, I discovered that my alternator was again at fault. This time, a bolt in the rear had worked itself loose, wrenching a wire completely in half and cutting power to things I had come to love and treasure in my time as a driver: lights, windshield wipers, radios, signal lights, a/c, the everything. Why would the bolt do such a thing, one wonders? Because earlier in the tour, another bolt had leapt free from the alternator and now all of them longed to follow their dreams. 

PEOPLE: My co-pilot, Brenna Yovanoff, helpfully stripped the wire with a seam ripper from her knitting bag, and then we applied judicious quantities of electrical tape. I was determined to make it twelve miles down the road to buy a new alternator that had no dreams of its own. Enough of this. Benjamin Franklin had things to say about hanging together and hanging separately, and I needed an alternator that would remember that. Sadly, the battery had run dead, the car wouldn’t start, and every tow truck driver in an hour radius was occupied following their dreams. Then a truckload of boys, manboys, a man, and dirt bikes asked if we needed help. “Yes,” said Brenna, putting down her knitting needles. “Please jump start our aged vehicle.” They did. The boys, manboys, and man also kindly offered to follow us to our exit. At the AutoZone in Rifle, a man named Ryan sold me another alternator and installed it while I ate cookies and handed him various tools. He told me he hadn’t read a book since sixth grade. He recalled the last novel, he reported. He told me it had been about a man who’d tried to escape from a prisoners’ camp and gotten his legs shot off with a machine gun. I replied that I reckoned that was a pretty good reason to give up novels. 

*The bikers said they were going to Moab to ride, a thing I ardently wished to do myself as soon as they had said it out loud. Unlike some car parts, however, I understood that one could not always wander off on one’s own agenda. 


CITY: Omaha, NE

SMELL: Strangely enough, ice cream, but perhaps that is the normal scent of Omaha and not of this shop

PLACE: A. Cavallo Violins

THE WAY: My sister Kate, a violinist herself, was unable to contain the joy on her face when she saw a shop window full of violins. When I asked her if she wanted to stop, she replied with only a strangled noise. We pulled in. Inelegantly, because the power steering pump is failing on the Camaro. Inside we found not merely a violin store, but rather a rather fancy violin-maker full of unpretentious people who I instantly liked because they said they liked my car.  

PEOPLE: Christopher, Dirk, and Alex — the violin makers — cheerily showed me their workshop, including a cabinet where violins are baked like pastries or residents of Arizona. Christopher tried to explain the process of antiquing to me —making a new instrument look old and valuable, a sort of musical Pottery Barn — but I was distracted by the shelves of wand boxes. Possibly they were actually bows, not wands. I should have asked if the bow chooses the player or vice versa, and if they had one made with a phoenix feather, but instead I asked Alex if he was happy with his life choices. He said that he was. At once point he had owned a ’72 Camaro, he told me, so I was also happy with his life choices. Christopher revealed that he too had once driven an old muscle car for his job. Dirk had not owned a muscle car, but he had once been trapped in South Dakota, which is basically the same thing. I did not ask them why they all had beards, but I wish I had now. So this is what regret feels like.

*The owner kindly showed me a neonatal violin trapped in a block of wood, as seen in the photo above.

If you’re not following Maggie Stiefvater’s Sinner tour blog, you should. 

I`m sorry but I had to ask, where did you get your theme?

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The theme is called Juuvy - the photo is one that we took of one of our bookshelves!