Tag Archives: Mary Crockett

8 Frightful Books to get your SCARE ON!

As the bewitching night approaches, it’s the perfect time to heat a mug of cider and curl up under a fuzzy cover with something truly horrifying–a book!

Here are some suggestions from BookYArd authors of reads that get them spooked–plus a few spooky books from the YArd itself!

GHOST STORY by Peter Straub

For four aging men in the terror-stricken town of Milburn, New York, an act inadvertently carried out in their youth has come back to haunt them. Now they are about to learn what happens to those who believe they can bury the past — and get away with murder.

— recommended by Rin Chupeco, author of THE GIRL FROM THE WELL

Here’s why Rin loves Straub’s GHOST STORY: “Creepy girls, grotesque deaths, and insanity are my preferred trifecta!”

And here’s why you’ll want to check out THE GIRL FROM THE WELL:

girlfromthewellA dead girl walks the streets.

She hunts murderers. Child killers, much like the man who threw her body down a well three hundred years ago.

And when a strange boy bearing stranger tattoos moves into the neighborhood so, she discovers, does something else. And soon both will be drawn into the world of eerie doll rituals and dark Shinto exorcisms that will take them from American suburbia to the remote valleys and shrines of Aomori, Japan.


“BOOGEYMAN” — a shortstory in the NIGHTSHIFT collection by Stephen King

You can hear it here:

— recommended by Trisha Leaver, coauthor of CREED

What Trisha says about THE BOOGEYMAN: “The word terrifying doesn’t do this story justice. The hint of insanity and fathers rather disturbing choice make this one of the few horror stories that continues to plague my mind twenty years after I read it!”

Creed final coverCREED by Trisha Leaver and Lindsay Currie

Three went in. Three came out. None even a shadow of who they once were.

When their car breaks down, Dee, her boyfriend Luke, and his brother Mike walk through a winter storm to take refuge in a nearby town called Purity Springs. When they arrive, the emergency sirens are blaring and the small farming town seems abandoned. With no other shelter, they spend the night in an empty house….


MARY – THE SUMMONING by Hillary Monahan

There is a right way and a wrong way to summon her.

Jess had done the research. Success requires precision: a dark room, a mirror, a candle, salt, and four teenage girls. Each of them–Jess, Shauna, Kitty, and Anna–must link hands, follow the rules . . . and never let go.

— recommended by Sarah Bromely, author of A MURDER OF MAGPIES

What Sarah says about MARY: “I’ve read Hillary Monahan’s book several times. Still hate mirrors at night.” –

A MURDER OF MAGPIES by Sarah Bromley

murdermagpies500pxWinter in Black Orchard, Wisconsin, is long and dark, and sixteen-year-old Vayda Silver prays the snow will keep the truth and secrecy of the last two years buried. Hiding from the past with her father and twin brother, Vayda knows the rules: never return to the town of her mother’s murder, and never work a Mind Game where someone might see.




IN COLD BLOOD by Truman Capote

On November 15, 1959, in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas, four members of the Clutter family were savagely murdered by blasts from a shotgun held a few inches from their faces. There was no apparent motive for the crime, and there were almost no clues.

— recommended by Mary Crockett, coauthor of DREAM BOY

Why Mary thinks you should read Capote’s novel: “The real horror here is that In Cold Blood is a true story. The senselessness of murder, the randomness of it–the savage caprice–makes this book bone-chilling.”

DREAM BOY by Mary Crockett and Madelyn Rosenberg

DREAM BOY by Mary Crockett & Madelyn Rosenberg

Perfect and REAL. The boy of her dreams. And when he brushes past her, he whispers her name.

Annabelle Manning spends her nights with a blue-eyed boy who consumes her dreams – then vanishes each morning as she wakes. He’s everything she’s every wanted, but even she never expected to find him in her chemistry class the next day.

Now she’s got a gorgeous guy who’s totally into her, whispering the most ridiculously romantic things in her ear. Her life is a dream come true – until her dreams stop and the nightmares begin.



Which BookYArd Character Are You Most Like?

We’ve created a fun personality quiz for you to determine which character from our books you may be most like. Although, you might find that you want to play this personality quiz more than once!

Tell us in the comments section which character popped up for you!

Click here to take the QUIZ.

YA Novels as Haiku – A Poetry Month Celebration

How could we let April pass without sending up a whoop-whoop to the great Poetic Muses in the Sky? So here, on that last day of National Poetry Month, we are celebrating all things poetic by writing synopses of our debut books in haiku form.

Enjoy, ye mortals and goddesses of inspiration alike!


girlfromthewellSpirits have no place
hunting these child murderers
– but she is hungry.

A tattooed boy has
poison underneath his skin
and she is the cure

How do you fight an
evil revenant, you ask?
Dead girls make good blades.

— Rin Chupeco


The-Girl-Who-Never-Was-Skylar-DorsetTurning seventeen
Means learning she’s a faerie.
Complicated? Yes.

Know what’s kind of hard?
Having a faerie-boyfriend
Who’s now imprisoned.

Poor Selkie’s got a
Mother who’d prefer she’s the
Girl who never was.

– Skylar Dorset



A powerless witch
Fighting some demons and then
Like magic, she wins!


A girl on the run
Through a dead world only forty days
To arrive or everyone dies.

The truth is a lie
There is death on both sides but
Only one is life.

– Danielle Ellison


Wordless - small

Near-future city
Where Words are used for power
One must flee or die

– AdriAnne Strickland


DREAM BOY by Mary Crockett and Madelyn Rosenberg

Dream boy becomes real.
But when your dreams come to life
so can your nightmares.

– Mary Crockett

A Celebration of The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy

Hooray! The lovely and funny Kate Hattemer is releasing her debut novel, The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy out into the world tomorrow!


We here at the BookYArd are thrilled to sound its barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world! (Yep, this book has gotten me so excited that I’m quoting Whitman.)


We’re yawping, Steve, not yelling… and here’s why:


Witty, sarcastic Ethan and his three friends decide to take down the reality TV show, For Art’s Sake, that is being filmed at their high school, the esteemed Selwyn Arts Academy, where each student is more talented than the next. While studying Ezra Pound in English class, the friends are inspired to write a vigilante long poem and distribute it to the student body, detailing the evils of For Art’s Sake. But then Luke—the creative force behind the poem and leader of the anti-show movement—becomes a contestant on the nefarious show. It’s up to Ethan, his two remaining best friends, and a heroic gerbil named Baconnaise to save their school. Along the way, they’ll discover a web of secrets and corruption involving the principal, vice principal, and even their favorite teacher.

I bet now you want your very own copy of The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy. Well, you’re in luck, here’s where you can get it:

Indiebound | Amazon | Barnes and Noble

And as if that’s not enough, check out what KIRKUS REVIEW had to say about it:

Blending Ezra Pound, rhetoric and reality TV, this hilarious, subversive debut about a cadre of friends at an arts high school is a treat from cover to cover.

In seventh grade, popular, good-looking Luke rescued Ethan, Jackson and Elizabeth from misfit nerd-dom. Four years later, Luke still leads while Narrator Ethan is cheerfully resigned to a spot in the “Untalented caste” at Selwyn Academy. Disturbing the status quo, the school’s chosen to host a new reality TV show, a student talent competition with a $100,000 scholarship prize and a familiar format: interviews, clichéd romances and rivalries, and two smarmy hosts. The obsequious vice principal and most students are thrilled, but For Art’s Sake feels like an insult to Ethan and friends. Luke, the most offended, leads a counterattack, writing guerilla poetry inspired by Pound’s Cantos that ridicules the enterprise, which the conspirators secretly print at school. However, the masterminds behind reality TV are several steps ahead of them—money and fame are powerful currency, and they know how to use them. Maura, the beautiful, talented ballerina Ethan fancies, has been accepted at Juilliard, but without the scholarship, she can’t attend—participating is a no-brainer. Ethan struggles with ethical conundrums (Does Pound’s anti-Semitism invalidate his work? Are compromises the price of an arts career?) as he works out his own place in this world and among his friends, especially Elizabeth.

A sparkling, timely tour of the complicated intersection where life meets art. (Fiction. 12 & up)

Or, to translate for Andy Samberg fans:


So, just who is the woman who wrote this amazing book?  Here’s the nutshell version:

The oldest of eight siblings, Kate grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio. She attended Yale and taught high-school Latin in Virginia before returning to Cincinnati, where she now works at an independent bookstore. The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy, out in April 2014 from Knopf, is a contemporary YA novel about reality TV, an arts school, Ezra Pound, and a heroic gerbil. In spring 2015, Knopf will publish her second novel, The Land of Ten Thousand Madonnas.

For more about Kate, check out her website where she talks books, obscure grammatical rules, and life on a pogo-stick.

Finally, here are a few words from members of the BookYArd about why we’re so ding-dang excited to get this book in our hands.

“What an awesome, unique concept! Love the idea of getting a truly behind-the-scenes look at some of the people caught up in one of those crazy reality T.V. shows. And a heroic gerbil named Baconnaise? If I hadn’t already been sold on this book’s premise, that line would have clenched the deal.” — Stefanie Gaither, Falls the Shadow

“Who doesn’t want to read about vigilante poetry in action? This is like Victor Hugo and Maya Angelou’s artsy lovechild with a hamster sidekick. This is looking to be a great commentary on friendship, on standing up to one’s own principles at the cost of fame and money and, of course, on poking fun at the unrealness and strange dichotomy of reality shows!” — Rin Chupeco, The Girl from the Well

“Vigilante poets?! How could I not be looking forward to this? I love academy-type settings where students make clever mischief. I might be totally off, but this strikes me as a modernized cross between The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys and Dead Poets Society, with a lot of humor thrown into the mix. I can’t wait!” — AdriAnne Strickland, Wordless

“This book has Ezra Pound poetry, reality television, and a heroic gerbil. ‘Nuff said. If that hasn’t convinced you, did I mention the gerbil is named Baconnaise? Yes, I *will* join you in your dance of delighted glee.” — Skylar Dorset, The Girl from the Well

“I don’t have to read past the title to know I want to eat this book whole. The fact that Kirkus calls it ‘hilarious’ and ‘subversive’ just makes me want to drink it too.” — Mary Crockett, coauthor Dream Boy

Writing with a Partner – The Real Scoop, Straight Poop & Loop-de-loop

When people find out that my debut novel DREAM BOY is co-authored, they generally do one of two things:

#1: Share with me their great idea for a novel (usually involving a toilet that doubles as a space-time portal, a grandmother who comes back from the dead, and a treasure map)–followed by the suggestion that I abandon whatever project I’m working on currently so that I can write that book with them instead.

#2: Ask me what it’s like to write a novel with someone.

Space Toilet complements of NASA. Time travel compliments of Awesome.
Space Toilet complements of NASA. Time travel compliments of Awesome.

Let me be clear: I love the idea of potty-time travel, unlikely resurrection, and treasure. I DO want to write that book with you. Eventually. But since the purposes of this blog are not expansive enough to allow me to do so here, for now I will turn my attention to #2.

And no, that doesn’t mean I’m going to talk about poop. I am referring instead to the aforementioned question numero duo:

What is it like to write a novel with someone?

Well, my answer may depend on your someone. After all, the who, not the what, is the most important part of the collaborative writing equation.

You probably know some writers. You might even know some writers you like. That doesn’t necessarily mean you should try to write a novel with them… or even a haiku, for that matter.

“Like” is certainly a good place to start, but it might not hold up to the stresses of collaborative writing, especially the wear and tear of a multiple-year, 300-page project.

It’s equally important that you find someone who shares your aesthetic, emanates kindness and reason, and knows how to disagree without making a fruckus.

While of course you’ll want a partner who equals your skill, it can also be a good thing if your particular strengths vary. Look for someone who (in the immortal words of Jerry McGuire) “completes you.” A strong plotter, for example, might be well paired with someone with a great ear for dialog.

But whatever talents you bring to the table, you need first and foremost to respect and be respected by the person sitting across from you.

I have been tremendously fortunate in my collaboration with Madelyn Rosenberg. Not only is she smart, funny, and easy-going about all things unimportant, she also has the special talent of disagreeing in a way that makes me (a woman my own husband has called out for my bad habit of “arguing for the sake of argument”) simply laugh and shrug and try again.

But perhaps, after all my rambling, Madelyn describes the process best in this video she made about overcoming some of the obstacles we faced as we wrote DREAM BOY together:

Have you ever considered writing with a partner? How did it turn out? Let us know in the comments below!


MaryCrockett LookawayMary Crockett is a fan of the tongue-stud and coauthor with Madelyn Rosenberg of the upcoming novel DREAM BOY–a book which, like Sally Field, really wants you to like it. You can make the book happy by adding it to your Goodreads bookshelf or pre-ordering at IndieBound, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble. Connect with Mary on Twitter @MaryLovesBooks and Madelyn @MadRosenberg.

Meet BookYArd Member, Mary Crockett!

2014 will be a year of firsts for us. As debut authors, we’ll learn what it feels like to hold our books in our hands for the first time. We’ll crack open the covers of our newly printed books and read those first words. We might even be asked to sign a first copy for a friend.

So, in the spirit of firsts, I’ve compiled a list of 14 firsts about my life. And since Dream Boy is all about dreams (both literal and metaphorical), I thought I’d start my list of firsts there.

First dream (literal): Frankenstein, Marilyn Monroe, and some random adults were at a party in a huge white room with a vast sunken hot-tub. Witches showed up and paralyzed everybody. Um… yeah, I was a weird little girl.

All images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, including Frankenstein head by Cortlandt Hull and witch by Babayaga 14556. Mash-up courtesy of the disturbed imagination of a four-year-old Mary Crockett.
All images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, including Frankenstein head by Cortlandt Hull and witch by Babayaga 14556. Mash-up courtesy of the disturbed imagination of a four-year-old Mary Crockett.

First dream (metaphorical): To take off on a cross-country trip with a sexy, kind, and soulful motor-cycle-driving poet.

Photo by Ashley Webb, Flickr Creative Commons. Sexy talk by T.S. Eliot.
Photo by Ashley Webb, Flickr Creative Commons. Sexy talk by T.S. Eliot.

First books: We only had a handful of worn picture books around the house when I was a little kid, so I ended up studying the same books over and over. Some of them I didn’t even particularly like, but by the time I was six, they had become part of my bones. In place of my left femur, I have It Looked Like Spilt Milk. Where once was my sternum is Pitidoe the Color Maker. And somewhere around my fibula, just where it belongs, is Don Freeman’s Space Witch.

X-ray of writer's skeleton
X-ray of kidlit writer’s skeleton

First book I became genuinely obsessed with: Ella Fannie’s Elephant Riddle Book by Ann Bishop. PURE GENIUS! (I’m still kind of obsessed.)

Ella Fannie Elephant Riddle Book
Ella Fannie Elephant Riddle Book — Ann Bishop, wherever you are, I love you!
Question: Why are baby elephants gray?
Answer: So you can tell them apart from blueberries.
Question: What do you get when you cross and elephant with a dog?
Answer: A nervous mailman.
Question: What do you call elephants who ride trains?
Answer: Passengers.

First novel I howled over like a stuck pig: Forever… by Judy Blume.

Various editions of Judy Blume's Forever (which may well be in print... forever....)
Various editions of Judy Blume’s Forever (which, from the look of things, may be in print forever)

First poem I wrote: “Amy and the Ants,” a three-page epic of rhyming couplets in which a little girl teams up with the ants of the world to save humanity (and ant-ity) from nuclear apocalypse.

These high tops are not nearly as outlandish and shiny as my metallic high tops of yore, but they are pretty great. Photo by Riley Alexandra, Flickr Creative Commons.
These high tops are not nearly as outlandish and shiny as my metallic high tops of yore, but they are pretty great. Photo by Riley Alexandra, Flickr Creative Commons.

First shoes I loved: Metallic silver hightops.

First job: Toilet-seat hand model.

First baby: Not a human child at all, but a beagle-chihuahua mutt who let me know she was not only my baby, but she was also The Queen.

Queen Spice The Snaggletooth
Queen Spice the Snaggletooth in her backseat junk pile throne

Sadly, Spice died years ago, but the good news is that she lives on as the star of Dream Boy. (Ok, her spirit possessed me for a second there and made me write the word star. Let me clarify: She is, in fact, a character in Dream Boy, but she’s not the star, she’s just the… ACK! POSSESSION!… Eternal QUEEEEEEN. Bow down, ye measly humans, before the Wonder that is Spice!)

First lie: I ate 50 mini-Butterfingers, and when my father asked if by chance I had gotten into the Butterfingers, I said that I most certainly had not. Then I puked a bucket full of Butterfingers and didn’t eat another one for many, many years.

First thing that, in the words of my mother, could have broken my neck: Jumping off a cliff. (What can I say? My friends were doing it.)

First kiss: A boy named Jimmy whom I had never seen before and have never seen since.

First crush, first love, first husband, current husband, hopefully only husband ever: Stewart.

First time someone stumbled upon a copy of Dream Boy, read it, and let Madelyn and me know they liked it: Ok, this hasn’t happened yet. But you know, 2014 is a year of firsts… and my irrepressible hopefulness is one of my more annoying qualities.


MaryCrockett LookawayMary Crockett is the coauthor of Dream Boy (with Madelyn Rosenberg), coming July 1. You can read more about her first poem, job, kiss, and love here, and can find a poem about Spice here.

Add Dream Boy to your Goodreads list here and preorder it here.

Behind the Cover of DREAM BOY

When I first saw the cover for Dream Boy,  I was stunned.

In a great way… the best way. Stunned. I’m not sure I breathed for a full minute. I could feel my eyes literally widen and my jaw literally drop. I was like a caricature for the word “Whoa!”

Now, after keeping it to myself for eons (or at least a few months that felt like eons), I am thrilled to announce that my coauthor Madelyn Rosenberg and I will be sharing our gorgeous cover with the world for the first time!

DREAM BOY by Mary Crockett and Madelyn Rosenberg

Pretty, no?

I especially love the way dreamlike elements combine with folklore here. Like the small southern town where the novel is set, Dream Boy is edged by wilderness, mysticism and mystery. The bottle tree on the cover perfectly captures the novel’s mix of dream and nightmare.

So what is a bottle tree?

You southerners probably already know. It’s a sort of ancient folk-magic practice intended to capture evil spirits. The idea was that “haints” would become trapped in the bottles at night and could be sent off down the river come daybreak.

In Dream Boy , the bottle tree creates a connection point between the real world and what lies beyond.

I want to give a big thanks to Sourcebooks creative services manager Adrienne Krogh, designer Eileen Carey, and marketer extraordinaire Abbie Digel for their vision and hard work thoughout this process.

Before starting out, I’d heard horror stories about cover disasters–especially for new authors. People told me that we wouldn’t have any input at any stage of the cover creation of selection, and that my job as an author was just to keep my mouth shut.

What I found at Sourcebooks, though, was the quite another story. Their team started the conversation by asking us what we envisioned on the cover–and then proceeded to develop the design according to one of our suggestions. Everyone was amazingly responsive and supportive throughout the entire process, from that first brainstorming for ideas to their help in celebrating the cover’s release!

So, without further ado, starting Saturday, here is where you’ll be able to find Dream Boy‘s cover in all its glory:

1/18/2014 – Tome Tender and What’s Beyond Forks

1/19/2014 – Mundie Moms

1/20/2014 – Paranormal Book Club and Book Twirps

1/21/2014 – Wondrous Reads and The Bookish DayDreamer

1/22/2014 – The Book Mark

1/23/2014 – Jessabella Reads 

1/24/2014 – Winter Haven Books

1/25/2014 – Young Adult Book Haven and Book Fairy’s Haven
and Teen Fire Giveaway

1/26/2014 – My Guilty Obsession

1/27/2014 – Read Your Bookcase

1/28/2014 – Just Heard Read Seen

1/29/2014 – Book Addict 24/7

2/1/2014    Aleksandra’s Corner

… oh yes, and at the BookYArd of course!