Anne Osterlund's Blog

August 16, 2014



“Shall we dance, da dum dum dum . . .” Aurelia is dancing around the room and performing acrobatics while singing songs from The King and I.
“Shall you tell them or should I?” asks yours truly.
“Hmm?” She steps onto a footstool and attempts an arabesque.
“Whose fault is it that I haven’t blogged in so long?” I prompt.
“Mine,” she answers.
No ducking the truth today. “And why is that?
She hops over toward the back of a chair and does a chimneysweep move from Mary Poppins. “Because Robert and I needed you to finish writing our trilogy!”
“And has it been easy?”
“Umm, no.” She twirls her way toward another chair. “Not exactly.”
Not at all. “And why is that?
“Because we may have made you take out every sentence in the book just to make certain the ones you put back in were really important.”
“And . . .” I prod.
She points at me. “And because it’s the conclusion of our series and you’ve never written one before.”
True. “And . . .”
The pointing finger begins swishing like a conductor leading an orchestra in song. “And because we wanted to get it right.”
I have to give her credit: she’s being totally honest today. “All right,” I say, “Go ahead and tell them our huge tremendous news.”
Aurelia performs another chimneysweep move, then leaps onto the table and raises her hands skyward. “Angelle Pilkington is editing Redemption,Robert’s and my third and final book!”
“And why is this so incredible?” I say because, of course, she assumes you all know.
“Because she was our editor for the first two books in the series, and despite battles in canyons and washed-out crossings through the mountains and dreadful tragedies we can’t even share, she is going to make sure you do our conclusion justice.”
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Published on August 16, 2014 14:16 • 269 views

February 8, 2013

To read the Prologue, go to Pure Imagination.
To read Chapter 1--Scene 1, go to Always YA at Heart.
To read Chapter 1--Scene 2, go to Books that Bite
To read Chapter 1--Scene 3, go to Live to Read.
To read Chapter 1--Scene 4 pt. 1, go to The Bookish Babe
To read Chapter 1--Scene 4 pt. 2, go to Confessions of a Vi3tBabe.
To read Chapter 2--Scene 1 pt. 1, go to The Reading Date.

Chapter 2: A Graveyard Butterfly--Scene 2
Beth smiled as she reached the graveyard. “Morbid,” her mother would have said about her daughter’s desire to visit the cemetery, but Beth kicked off her sandals and waded through the fresh-cut grass. The cool strands tickled her ankles and the sweet scent of late roses clung to the air. Pale yellow, blue, and pink tombstones scattered the green in a pastel palate.

A squirrel rushed across the grass and scurried up an old oak tree, the fluffy gray tail disappearing among the branches. Beth approached, watching to see if it would emerge again, but when it did not, she swung off her backpack and slid to the ground beneath the tree’s outstretched shadow. And beside the slender pink stone with the name Gloria May Courant etched in the center.
“Hello, Grandma,” said Beth. “I’m sorry I’m late.” She explained about Nalani’s meeting. “You know she always has something happening. I’m sure you aren’t surprised.” It felt right to be here. Grandma had always expected Beth to share about the first day of school, a ritual that Beth hadn’t wanted to stop now.
“It was a pretty good day,” Beth went on, “for the first, you know. I’m not sure I’ll survive trigonometry; but I thought the same thing about algebra II, and it turned out all right. All the answers are still in the back of the book, so I’ll know when to ask Nalani for help.” She knew Grandma would remind her that Beth’s final math scores had outpaced Ni’s all the way through school. But grades, and confidence in math, were two different things.
A robin hopped down onto the grass about twenty feet from the pink tombstone. Beth stopped talking so that she wouldn’t frighten him. He pecked his way closer, hopping four or five inches at a time and up onto the mound of turned earth. The grass there had not quite grown in yet. The robin preened, raising his chest and showing off, then disappeared in a sudden rush of wings.
Beth’s head swam with the questions her grandmother had always asked. Do you like your teachers? Did you make any new friends? Were you on timefor everything?
Obediently, Beth answered the questions, though she skimmed through her problems with being late. She told herself the aversion had nothing to do with crashing into Salva Resendez . . .
To  read the rest, join Salva, Beth, and I at I am a Reader, Not a Writer. And after that, my fabulous tourists, I'm afraid you shall simply have to splurge and read the book! Thank you so much for joining us on our tour! Salva, Beth, and I have read every comment at each and every tour stop. We genuinely appreciate the support:)

Copyright @ 2013 by Anne Osterlund. Used by permission of Speak, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. All rights reserved.
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Published on February 08, 2013 06:15 • 232 views

February 7, 2013

To read the Prologue, go to Pure Imagination.  
To read Chapter 1--Scene 1, go to Always YA at Heart.  
To read Chapter 1--Scene 2, go to Books that Bite.
To read Chapter 1--Scene 3, go to Live to Read
To read Chapter 1--Scene 4 pt. 1, go to The Bookish Babe.
To read Chapter 1--Scene 4 pt. 2, go to Confessions of a Vi3tBabe.

Chapter 2: A Graveyard Butterfly--Scene 1
 
Beth savored the silence of the emptied-out school hallway that afternoon and devoured the final pages of Wuthering Heights. She could no longer feel the oppressive late summer heat or the hard metal of the locker at her back. Gone were the crumpled papers, broken pencils, and discarded candy wrappers on the tiled floor. She was on the cold English moors with the wind blowing around her and the whistle of death in the air.

A trio of voices suddenly invaded the end of the hall. Beth rushed through the last page. A banging locker emphasized the drama of the final line, and she looked up,  just in time to see El Perfecto sprinting past, no doubt in a rush to get to football practice. 

Apparently, tardiness was a new thing for him.

Nalani came up at a much more relaxed pace, her pink canvas book bag slung over one shoulder.

“So what was the meeting about?” Beth asked her best friend.

“Who knows?” Nalani’s eyes shone as she rolled them. She glanced over her shoulder, then lowered her voice. “Just Markham on a power trip. I’ll tell you on the walk home.”

Beth stuffed Wuthering Heights back into her locker, not wanting to lose the book again and owe a fine to the library as she had back in June. Then she gathered her supplies and hefted her backpack.

Nalani was already halfway to the back exit, which led, naturally, to the football field. Beth hurried after her. 

The team had stretched out in lines, five rows of testosterone-filled tight pants and loose jerseys hopping up and down in jumping jacks. The compact blond with the number 12 plastered on his front wasted no time sending Nalani a wave, even though he was leading the entire team—minus El Perfecto, who must not have made it out of the locker room yet—in the warm-ups. The team mimicked the wave.

To read the rest, join Salva, Beth, and I at The Reading Date for the 6th stop in our Salvation Teaser Tour.
 Copyright @ 2013 by Anne Osterlund. Used by permission of Speak, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. All rights reserved. 

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Published on February 07, 2013 05:16 • 85 views

February 6, 2013

To read the Prologue, go to Pure Imagination
To read Chapter 1--Scene 1, go to Always YA at Heart
To read Chapter 1--Scene 2, go to Books that Bite
To read Chapter 1--Scene 3, go to Live to Read.
To read Chapter 1--Scene 4 pt. 1, go to The Bookish Babe

Chapter 1: Collision--Scene 4 pt. 2

She wasn’t alone either.

“Hey, gorgeous,” Tosa greeted the long-legged blonde at Char’s side. He grinned as if he was joking, but no one was fooled.
“Hi, sweetheart.” Linette flipped her golden hair over one shoulder, propped herself on the outside of the bench, and leaned her hip against Tosa’s waist. Whether or not shewas joking was harder to tell.
Char, whose tight shirt and tighter jeans battled with the dress code, stood waiting next to Salva, despite the fact that there was no space beside him on the bench.
He hated that—how she’d just stand there waiting for him to read her mind whenever she wanted something.
Pepe moved over, and Salva reminded himself to give his best friend a lecture on loyalty. Char slid in between them.
“Listen, guys.” Linette set her chin on Tosa’s shoulder. “My parents are water-skiing this weekend. You wanna come over while they’re gone for a little back-to-school action?” She popped her tropical-orange lips. “Saturday ’bout two?”
“I’m working,” Salva said. Scut every weekend at the onion-processing plant. His father’s idea.
“Ah, man!” Pepe frowned. “You’re not serious.”
Salva shrugged. Sorting onions wasn’t his view of a career path, but whatever. His older brother and sister had done their part to pay his way, so Salva owed it to his two younger sisters to do the same. Plus, he could work around his football schedule.
“Can’t you talk your way out of it?” Linette asked.
Char’s fingers brushed his arm.
“No,” he replied.
The fingers retreated, slightly.
To read the rest, join Salva, Beth, and I at Confessions of a Vi3tBabe for the sixth stop in our Salvation Teaser Tour.Note: This link will take you to the home page. The scene was not yet posted when I left this morning, but I am gone all day so I thought I should post the main link before leaving.
Copyright @ 2013 by Anne Osterlund. Used by permission of Speak, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. All rights reserved.
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Published on February 06, 2013 05:02 • 61 views

February 5, 2013

To read the Prologue, go to Pure Imagination
To read Chapter 1--Scene 1, go to Always YA at Heart.
To read Chapter 1--Scene 2, go to Books that Bite.
To read Chapter 1--Scene 3, go to Live to Read. (This link has been corrected since yesterday's post)

Chapter 1: Collision--Scene 4 pt. 1

Somehow Salva made it through the rest of that torture session. He cruised through finance and survived the first-day lecture for AP calc. Mostly due to the promise of lunch.
He conquered the food line by piling his tray with as much protein as he could and snatching an extra milk, then touched down on the prime spot in the cafeteria, Table Numero Uno, bequeathed to him by last year’s seniors and now solely the possession of Salva and his friends.
“What the H, man? I thought you were takin’ PE. You know I had to run relay with Tosa here?” Pepe elbowed Ricardo Tosa, whom Salva liked almost as much as his best friend. Tosa was huge. Maybe six-three. Despite his extra height, he mostly just warmed the bench, but his goofy, lighthearted personality was the heart of the football team. Everybody loved him. Even Pepe, who was all about the win.
“D’you lose?” Salva asked, sitting down on the bench beside his best friend.

To read the rest, join Salva, Beth, and I at The Bookish Babe for the fifth stop of our Salvation Teaser Tour.



Copyright @ 2013 by Anne Osterlund. Used by permission of Speak, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. All rights reserved.
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Published on February 05, 2013 05:36 • 53 views

February 4, 2013

To read the Prologue, go to Pure Imagination.
To read Chapter 1--Scene 1, go to Always YA at Heart.
To read Chapter 2--Scene 2, go to Books that Bite.

Chapter 1: Collision--Scene 3


Salva scanned the stark classroom. The seniors sat so frozen in their seats you’d have thought the air-conditioning was working. Every chair at the back of the room was already filled. With nerds.


Luka was in the front row. Salva liked Luka. If it weren’t for his phenomenal speed as a running back, nobody at Liberty High would be headed for the state football championship. But sometimes the white guy was just strange.


What sane person would sit in the front row before the Mercenary? Her scowling expression curled Salva’s stomach. The pointed toe of her shoe tapped out a funeral dirge, and she wielded a bright red marker as if she might stab him with it.


Salva cut his losses and sat down behind Luka.


The walking disaster area came in next. But she didn’t know when to hide. Instead, she stood there, stuttering her apologies, trying to untangle the strap of her backpack from her frizzy brown hair, and dropping things, first her pencil, then an eraser, while the entire class waited for her to just sit down.
To read the rest, join Salva, Beth, and I at Live to Read for the fourth stop of our Salvation Teaser Tour.Note: I have updated the link since this morning. It will now take you directly to the scene.

Copyright @ 2013 by Anne Osterlund. Used by permission of Speak, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. All rights reserved.  


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Published on February 04, 2013 04:54 • 51 views

February 3, 2013

Today's sneak peak is the very first scene I ever wrote for Salvation. At that time, it was written from both points of view. And while Salva won most of the scenes in the prologue and the first chapter, Beth eventually won this round.

To read the Prologue, go to Pure Imagination.
To read Chapter 1--Scene 1, go to Always YA at Heart.

Chapter 1: Collision--Scene 2

Beth could have killed him. All the time he spent oblivious to her and he chose this moment to intersect her path. She was already late, and she’d been trying desperately to unwrap her remaining school supplies so that the second-period teacher wouldn’t glare at her the way the homeroom instructor had. Papers flew out of Beth’s arms, across the floor, and under the slice of space beneath the lockers. Her open backpack fell, emptying its contents into the pile. Devastation.

She dropped to her knees.
He had the audacity to sigh. As if ramming his way around the corner was her fault. Frantically, she started to scramble, cramming pencils, folders, notebooks, erasers, and books into her backpack.
The bell rang.
She reached for a binder, and his hand stopped her.
To read the rest, join Salva, Beth, and I at Books That Bitefor the third stop of our Salvation Teaser Tour.

Copyright @ 2013 by Anne Osterlund. Used by permission of Speak, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. All rights reserved. 

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Published on February 03, 2013 10:18 • 69 views

February 2, 2013

To read the prologue, go to Pure Imagination.

Chapter 1: Collision--Scene 1

“Salvador Resendez.” The sharp tone came from inside the Pen—aka the school’s ominous square front office with its bulletproof windows, legal-form wallpaper, and particleboard cubicles for dividing kids in trouble. Principal Markham appeared. His flabby arms crossed over his paunch as he leaned up against the wraparound counter that separated the office staff from the reality of Liberty High School. “It’s about time. The welcome ceremony starts in five minutes.”

Salva shrugged his shoulders. “Yeah, the girls are taking care of that. I’m doing activity sign-ups on Friday.” He figured he ought to be able to relax and enjoy the first day of the school year.
Markham’s uneven mustache dipped down at the corners. “You are the student body president.”
It’s not my fault Julie Tri-Ang transferred to some fancy prep school. VP would have looked plenty good on a college application. Salva started toward the gym, braving the last-minute traffic of sprinting achievers and dawdling slackers, but Markham called after him. “I need you back here before you go to class."
“Why?”
“Later, Resendez. Now, move.”
The assembly lasted twenty minutes. Nalani Villetti, who’d been elected secretary and was now vice president, at least did her job introducing the teachers and staff members, but Kaitlyn, who had left her speech at home, panicked in front of the crowd. Salva ended up having to vamp and do the whole “Welcome back, everybody. We’re going to have an awesome year” bit. Not that giving the speech was a big deal. It just wasn’t the low-key start he’d intended for his senior year.
Neither was visiting the principal’s office.
“Come in, Salvador,” Markham said, dropping his thick body into the padded chair behind his desk.
To read the rest, come join Salva, Beth, and I at Always YAat Heart for the second stop of our Salvation Teaser Tour.
Copyright @ 2013 by Anne Osterlund. Used by permission of Speak, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. All rights reserved. 




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Published on February 02, 2013 09:55 • 68 views

February 1, 2013



Prologue: Sacrilege
“So you gonna ask her out?” came the inevitable question.
Salva groaned, though it was hard not to let his gaze linger a little too long on Char’s bare shoulders, gleaming in the late August sun. She knew how to look sexy even at church.
“Are you kidding me, man? I’ve known her since I was eight. We were practically raised together.”
“Must have been rough chasin’ her through your sprinkler.” Pepe grinned, then leaned back against the outer brick wall and rolled a wrapper off a limón candy. “You want one?” he offered.
Salva shook his head. His father would blow a gasket if he caught him with it at mass. “Look, you want to date Char, she’s all yours.”
“Right. We both know she ain’t lustin’ after my rep,” Pepe said.
Salva elbowed him, though jabbing his best friend in the chest was a lot like elbowing the statue of El Pípila, hard as stone. “You break a few more sacking records this fall, and she might start.”
“Everybody knows you’re gonna be the prime merchandise at school this year,” said Pepe. “She didn’t wear that outfit for me.”
Once again Salva found himself staring at the teal-green top with the off-the-shoulder sleeves. There was no denying the fact that Charla looked fine.
His best friend might be right that she’d dressed on Salva’s behalf, but that didn’t mean Salva could ask her out. It wasn’t just that he’d known her forever or that their parents were always pushing their children together; he’d dated Char back in their freshman year for two months, and despite the fact that they shared the same culture, their parents worked the same shift at the onion-processing plant, and he and Char had been in the same class since second-grade migrant summer school, they really didn’t have much to say to each other.
“We have nothing in common,” he tried to explain to Pepe.

To read the rest of the Prologue, come join Salva, Beth, and I at Pure Imagination for the first stop of our Salvation Teaser Tour!


Copyright @ 2013 by Anne Osterlund. Used by permission of Speak, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. All rights reserved.




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Published on February 01, 2013 07:09 • 74 views

January 31, 2013




Guest Post Topic from Carol: Why do you write for the young adult audience and how do you choose your subject matter?
I look at Salva.
He ignores me, pretending to focus on his hand of poker cards. I’m getting the distinct impression he thinks someone else should answer this question, but Aurelia, the heroine of my earlier books Aurelia and Exile, is busy dealing. And Robert as well as Aerin and Dane, from Academy 7,wisely declined to join the game. Besides, this is Salva’s blog tour, and he should really take the lead in answering the guest posts.
“Why do I write YA?” I say to him.
He switches around the cards in his hand, then stretches out on the carpet, rolls over on his back, and pretends to be concentrating. “Not sure. You love teenagers?” he pretends to answer.
“That is such BS and you know it,” I say.
He rolls back over on his stomach, trades in a card, and feigns nonchalance. “You find us more of a challenge than adults?” he asks.
To read the rest, join Salva, Beth, Aurelia and I for our guest post at The Paperback Princesses.
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Published on January 31, 2013 18:45 • 49 views