Tuesday, July 04, 2017


Happy 4th of July!!!

I'm beyond excited to announce that today is the pub day for THE RELUCTANT QUEEN!!!  Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!  It's book two of my epic fantasy series The Queens of Renthia, published by Harper Voyager.  (Book one, THE QUEEN OF BLOOD, is available now in paperback.)

Renthia is a world of extreme beauty: sky-piercing mountains, endless glaciers, and towering trees with cities nestled in their branches, all thanks to an overabundance of nature spirits.  But the spirits who created all this glorious beauty aren't sweet, frolicking pixies.  These spirits want to kill all humans, and only certain women -- the queens -- have the power to control them.

THE RELUCTANT QUEEN is the story of three women: a young queen who is dying, a powerful queen who hungers for war, and a middle-aged woman who wants nothing to do with the power she could wield.   It continues the story of Daleina and introduces Naelin, a woman who is (rightfully) afraid that if she uses her power, her two young children will die.

At their heart, these books are about power: who has it, who wants it, what you do with it, and what it does to you.  But they're also about choosing your own destiny and who you want to be.  And they're about soaring on a zipline through a massive forest, befriending a wolf, fighting murderous trees, concocting a few poisons, and trying to save the world.

If you're interested, more information can be found on my website, including the first two chapters.

When I was a kid, I used to "borrow" all the scrap paper in the house, tape it together, and draw massive maps of fantastical lands.  I doodled invented plants in the margins of my school notebooks.  And I kept a file box full of index cards, each card with a made-up name, paired with a magical power and a talking animal sidekick.  (I really, really wanted an animal sidekick!)  I buried myself in books by Terry Brooks, David Eddings, Mercedes Lackey, and Tamora Pierce, and I dreamed of someday writing my own epic fantasy with a sprawling world and danger and adventure around every corner.

Many years later, this is it!  My epic.  And writing these books has been every bit the magical, incredible experience that I hoped it would be.  Usually when I finish a book, I'm sad -- you live with the characters, fall in love with them, and then you have to say goodbye.  But when I finished writing THE QUEEN OF BLOOD, I didn't have to say goodbye (except, you know, to the ones I killed off -- sorry!).  I was able to immerse myself in their lives and their world again with THE RELUCTANT QUEEN, and I loved that.

So I'd like to invite you to visit Renthia again with me.  Just watch out for the trees.  They bite.

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Tuesday, June 27, 2017


One week 'til pub day!!! To celebrate, I'm giving away a signed hardcover copy of THE RELUCTANT QUEEN over on Twitter:


Retweet on Twitter by 6/28 for a chance to win!

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Thursday, June 22, 2017

ALA 2017 Schedule

Very excited for ALA this weekend!!! I'll be in Chicago at the American Library Association Annual Conference on both Saturday and Sunday.

On Sat 6/24:
1pm Signing JOURNEY ACROSS THE HIDDEN ISLANDS at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt booth #3111
2pm Signing THE RELUCTANT QUEEN at Hoopla (Midwest Tape) booth #4420

On Sun 6/25:
9am YA Author Coffee Klatch in Room S105
10:30am The 2017 Alex Award Panel in Room W179a, followed by signing THE QUEEN OF BLOOD
1:00pm "Science Fiction/Fantasy Adult Books with YA Appeal" Panel in Exhibit Hall on PopTop Stage, followed by signing THE RELUCTANT QUEEN
2:00pm Signing THE RELUCTANT QUEEN at HarperCollins booth #3611

Hope to see you there!

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

10th Anniversary of INTO THE WILD!

Today is the 10th anniversary of the publication of my 1st book, INTO THE WILD!!! Thank you for sharing this journey with me!



Tuesday, June 20, 2017

THE RELUCTANT QUEEN Excerpt -- Chapter Two

Just two weeks until release day for THE RELUCTANT QUEEN! Time to post another chapter! Chapters 1 and 2 are now available to read here: http://www.sarahbethdurst.com/ReluctantQueenexcerpt.htm #RQCountdown 


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Thursday, June 15, 2017


I've got news!!!!!

So happy to announce the sale of my next middle-grade book, STORM GUARDIANS, to my wonderful editor Anne Hoppe at Clarion Books / Houghton Mifflin Harcourt! It's about lightning beasts... and resisting injustice.

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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

THE RELUCTANT QUEEN Excerpt -- Chapter One

Today marks three weeks 'til pub day of THE RELUCTANT QUEEN!!! To celebrate, I posted the 1st chapter here: http://www.sarahbethdurst.com/ReluctantQueenexcerpt.htm #RQCountdown

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Thursday, June 08, 2017

26 Days Until The Reluctant Queen!

Harper Voyager is going all out for the July 4 pub day of THE RELUCTANT QUEEN, Book Two of my Queens of Renthia epic fantasy series. My editor said there'd be fireworks above the East River! #RQCountdown


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Tuesday, June 06, 2017


I am thrilled to announce that today is the pub day for my very first picture book, ROAR AND SPARKLES GO TO SCHOOL, illustrated by the amazing Ben Whitehouse and published by Hachette / Running Press Kids!!!


Aren't they cute???

Here's the official description:

Let first-day-of-school worries soar away with Roar and Sparkles!

Roar is worried about his first day of school. He's worried that he'll have to do really hard things, like molt his scales or fly over a volcano. And what if his teacher doesn't like dragons?

Big sister Sparkles reassures Roar that school is fun! And when the first day arrives, Roar finds his worries melt away. He meets new friends, plays dragon games, listens to fun stories, and finds a way to thank his sister for her support.

And here's a sneak peek at the first few pages: 

I loved writing this book, imagining Roar and Sparkles and their dragon-esque world.  I loved seeing the illustrator, Ben Whitehouse, bring them to life.  And I love that today it's going out in the world -- flying on dragonback to kids who might be a little nervous about their own first day of school.

Happy book birthday, my little dragonets!  Fly high!

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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Busy Weekend: BookCon and Books of Wonder!

Very excited for this weekend!!!  I will be at both BookCon and Books of Wonder in NYC.

On Sunday 6/4 at 1pm, I'll be at one of my all-time favorite bookstores, Books of Wonder, talking about and signing my new MG fantasy novel, JOURNEY ACROSS THE HIDDEN ISLANDS, as part of the "Fantastic Middle Grade Reads" panel with Lisa Fiedler, Sarah Beth Durst (me!), Carol Goodman, and Sarah Jean Horwitz.

And on Saturday 6/3 and Sunday 6/4, I'll be at BookCon, talking about and signing the first two books in my epic fantasy series for adults, THE QUEEN OF BLOOD and THE RELUCTANT QUEEN.  My BookCon schedule:

- Sat June 3, 11:30am-12:00pm: Signing of The Reluctant Queen in HarperCollins booth
- Sat June 3, 1:30-2:30pm Panel: "Megan Whalen Turner Super-Fan Panel" with Tomi Adeyemi, Holly Black, Joelle Charbonneau, Sarah Beth Durst, and Megan Whalen Turner, moderated by Martha Mihalick
- Sat June 3, 3:30-5:00pm Signing in VIP Lounge
- Sun June 4, 3:00-5:00pm Panel: "Cult Classic Throwdown: Science Fiction and Fantasy in Film, Lit, and Pop Culture" with Sasha Alsberg, Jordanna Max Brodsky, S.A. Chakraborty, Zoraida Cordova, Lindsay Cummings, Sarah Beth Durst, Michael Johnston, Swapna Krishna, and Jenn Northington, moderated by Petra Mayer

Hope to see you this weekend!

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