"Waiting On" Wednesday: Winterspell

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Winterspell by Claire Legrand
Release Date: September 30, 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Darkly romantic and entirely enchanting, this reimagining of The Nutcracker from Claire Legrand brims with magic, love, and intrigue. New York Times bestselling author Marissa Meyer (Cinder) says "this is not your grandmother's Nutcracker tale."

After her mother is brutally murdered, seventeen-year-old Clara Stole is determined to find out what happened to her. Her father, a powerful man with little integrity, is a notorious New York City gang lord in the syndicate-turned-empire called Concordia. And he isn't much help.

But there is something even darker than Concordia's corruption brewing under the surface of the city, something full of vengeance and magic, like the stories Clara's godfather used to tell her when she was a little girl. Then her father is abducted and her little sister's life is threatened, and Clara accidentally frees Nicholas from a statue that has been his prison for years. Nicholas is the rightful prince of Cane, a wintry kingdom that exists beyond the city Clara has known her whole life.

When Nicholas and Clara journey together to Cane to retrieve her father, Clara encounters Anise, the queen of the faeries, who has ousted the royal family in favor of her own totalitarian, anti-human regime. Clara finds that this new world is not as foreign as she feared, but time is running out for her family, and there is only so much magic can do...

A reason I'm drawn to Winterpell—other than the fact it sounds amazing—is because I've always loved Tchaikovsky's score for The Nutcracker. It's one of the first scores I can remember ever listening to, but I've never actually read The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by E.T.A Hoffmann, on which the famous ballet is based. Apparently it's a short story. I plan on reading it before the release of Winterspell—which I've already pre-ordered, as well as the prequel novella, Summerfall.

If you are also interested in reading The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, you can read the English translation here.

What are you waiting for? Leave a link below and I'll check it out.

New Release: Sekret by Lindsay Smith

Today is the release of Lindsay Smith's debut, Sekret, a YA historical thriller published by Roaring Brook Press. Check out the Sekret blog tour for guest posts, interviews, giveaways, and more!

An empty mind is a safe mind.

Yulia's father always taught her to hide her thoughts and control her emotions to survive the harsh realities of Soviet Russia. But when she's captured by the KGB and forced to work as a psychic spy with a mission to undermine the U.S. space program, she's thrust into a world of suspicion, deceit, and horrifying power. Yulia quickly realizes she can trust no one--not her KGB superiors or the other operatives vying for her attention--and must rely on her own wits and skills to survive in this world where no SEKRET can stay hidden for long.

If the quotes above intrigue you and you want more, download the first five chapters of Sekret for free!

Also, check out Lindsay's short story at tor.com.

Told in a series of espionage transmissions, Doppel is the story of a British agent in occupied France. When he meets a charismatic SS officer who seems to be guarding a great and powerful secret, he must decide whether to abandon his mission and discover what the Nazi is planning. But the truth might be darker and more dangerous than anything the British—or the Germans—can imagine.

Lindsay Smith's love of Russian culture has taken her to Moscow, St. Petersburg, and a reindeer festival in the middle of Siberia. She writes on foreign affairs and lives in Washington, D.C. Sekret is her first novel.

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