All tagged Amy Spalding

The Official 2013 Clear Eyes, Full Shelves List of Awesome

Each year, we here at Clear Eyes, Full Shelves put together a list of books that stood out to us over the last twelve months as particularly full of awesome. Last year's list had a whopping 24 titles.

Let's see if 2013 can match up, shall we?

The One Sarah Recommends to Anyone & Everyone:
Nowhere But Home by Liza Palmer

The red light blinks. Welcoming me home. What’s the exact opposite of blaze of glory? I look around my dusty Subaru, cut-off jeans, and think: me. This. This is what the exact opposite of a blaze of glory looks like.”


Podcast #16 - Amy Spalding on Fictional Families, Writing & Her New Book

This is the second time we've had author Amy Spalding on as a podcast guest--she's so much fun to talk to and has a lot of wonderful insight into writing for teens. Two books in and she's already known for writing nuanced, realistic families, so we thought we'd make that the focus of our conversation in this episode of the podcast. 

Be sure to stay with the podcast until the end for some astute advice for writers from Amy. 

List-O-Rama: Let's Get Musical

This past week, I started and finished reading Jennifer Echols' July release, Dirty Little Secret (which is so, so good). I enjoyed so much about this book, but the stand-out element for me was the way music played such an important role in both the plot and in developing the characters. 

I'm kind of a doofus when it comes to music: I play the ukulele poorly and was a flutist in marching band in high school until I quit band to protest the ill-fitting polyester pants. (That was super-effective.) Because of my musical doofusness, I really admire people for whom music is so ingrained in their lives. I realized that as a result of that, I tend to gravitate to novels featuring music or musical people. Sometimes, much like books featuring sports, the music is just window dressing, but when it's feels real, it's so very good. 

Here are a twelve (!!!) of my recommendations for musically-infused novels you'll want to check out.​

Adios to My Old Life & When the Stars Go Blue by Caridad Ferrer

​Caridad Ferrer is one of my favorite authors you're probably not reading. Both Adios to My Old Life and When the Stars Go Blue are infused with passion for music and the arts in general. (Interestingly, both of these could easily be considered thematically as "new adult.") Adios to My Old Life is focuses on an American Idol-style singing competition, while Stars follows the structure of the opera Carmen and features an incredible touring marching band. 

Amazon | Goodreads

On Monday, we chatted with author Amy Spalding about her quest to oversee all aspects of the cover design for her new debut novel, The Reece Malcolm List (Entangled Teen 2013).

The Blurb

Things I know about Reece Malcolm:

  1. She graduated from New York University.
  2. She lives in or near Los Angeles.
  3. Since her first novel was released, she’s been on the New York Times bestseller list every week.
  4. She likes strong coffee and bourbon.
  5. She’s my mother.

Devan knows very little about Reece Malcolm, until the day her father dies and she’s shipped off to live with the mother she’s never met. All she has is a list of notebook entries that doesn’t add up to much.
L.A. offers a whole new world to Devan—a performing arts school allows her to pursue her passion for show choir and musicals, a new circle of friends helps to draw her out of her shell, and an intriguing boy opens up possibilities for her first love.

But then the Reece Malcolm list gets a surprising new entry. Now that Devan is so close to having it all, can she handle the possibility of losing everything?

The Cover

What do you think?


If you’ve ever checked out our policies page, you’ve probably noticed that we generally don’t take part in blog tours and cover reveals—it’s just not our thing. However, Amy Spalding made us a pitch we couldn’t refuse, in which she mentioned that both Friday Night Lights and Something Like Normal are favorites of hers. And then she told us her story of art directing the cover for her own book, The Reece Malcolm List. We’re all extremely interested in cover design (and have a lot of opinions about it), so it was great to chat with Amy about this project. We’ll be revisiting Amy on the 13th to see what the final cover looks like. 

First off, I know your book, the Reece Malcolm List, won’t be released by Entangled Teen until next year, but I’d love to hear a little bit about your debut young adult contemporary novel.

Absolutely! The Reece Malcolm List is about Devan, who—after the death of her father—is sent off to Los Angeles to live with the mother she’s never known. And, oh right, who’s a bestselling and semi-reclusive author. Figuring out her new family situation is tough, but at least she’s attending a performing arts high school where she lands one of the leads in the fall musical. And of course there are new friends, enemies, and boys to deal with, as she tries to figure out the seemingly impossibly-complicated Reece Malcolm.