Meet the Maids of Honor

A summer full of fun activities

WonderI’ve been busy at work on a new project this summer, but have been lucky to get the chance to participate in some fun events as well! 

In June, I got to meet readers and authors at the Reader Author Get Together in West Chester, OH – this outstanding YA and romance-centric event drew nearly 500 attendees and I was able to sign my newest book, MAID OF WONDER!

I also participated in the Barnes & Noble #BFest – a YA book celebration that brought me to my local B&N to sign books and talk to readers of all ages!

Later in June I will be lucky enough to work with the next generation of authors at the Moeller Writing Camp, talking all about research! 

Then in July I’ll be heading to Albuquerque, NM to chat with authors about how to plan their writing career. 

Oh, and that new project? I hope to be able to share more about it soon!

YA Scavenger Hunt – Team Teal – Featuring Victoria Strauss!

CPiwbURUYAAutDpWelcome to YA Scavenger Hunt! This bi-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck (who is amazing) as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors…and a chance to win some awesome prizes! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize–one lucky winner will receive one signed book from each author on the hunt in my team! 

But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 72 hours!

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are SIX contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the TEAL TEAM but there are teams of many colors, all offering lots of signed books!

More after the jump! 


Happy Book Birthday for Maid of Wonder!

WonderIt’s hard to believe that Sophia’s story is finally here! Her tale was particularly interesting to write, as she is the youngest and in many ways the most intriguing of the Queen’s spies. Meg may have been a street rat and Beatrice a desperate liar, but Sophia literally bears the weight of two worlds on her shoulders. The one she sees with her eyes, and the one she sees with her Sight. 

Happy Book Birthday, Sophia!

I received several lovely reviews from trade reviewers, which was a delightful surprise — here are the highlights! 

“McGowan has created another…authentic, fast-paced page-turner that will appeal to both teen and adult readers. For readers who like their historical romance with a touch of second sight.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“The well-balanced mixture of intrigue, romance, action, and historical setting makes this gripping series entry just as unputdownable as the last.” (School Library Journal)

“Sophia’s engaging narrative adds a measure of sixteenth-century mysticism to the enticing blend of mystery, suspense, and romance that readers enjoy in the Maids of Honor series.” (Booklist)

If you have a chance to read Sophia’s story, I hope you enjoy it, too. 🙂 

It’s the YA Scavenger Hunt… And Team Red Rules!

It’s that time again! A time for magical hunting to get lots of AMAZING BOOKS through the YASH-circle-background-2Spring 2015 YA Scavenger Hunt!!

Every time we run the YA Scavenger Hunt it seems to grow and become more awesome. I’m once again on Team RED, and for the record, Team RED features some amazing books! So keep reading after the jump to get YOUR magic number and take part in all of the fun!


Here’s how the YA Scavenger Hunt works:


Maid of Wonder Cover Reveal!

So thrilled to have ICEY BOOKS host my cover reveal for Maid of Wonder! Hit the link to participate in a giveaway to win an ARC of Sophia’s story!!


Bringing YA back to the Ritas

I’m super excited to see that the Romance Writers of America have received enough entries for its prestigious Rita Awards to field a category in Young Adult fiction. Last year, they weren’t able to get this done, and I was saddened to see many of my fellow authors leave RWA, feeling disenfranchised by restrictions that seemed to emphasize romance over the story arc for the hero or heroine.

Romance is important, clearly–and since the group is named “Romance” Writers of America, I understand the need to stay true to their core principles. Nevertheless, YA fiction has a slightly greater obligation to its readers to show that you have to first love and honor yourself before you can love and honor another person. 

This year, however, in part due to advocacy of its author members, RWA changed the language in its entry requirements just slightly, and as a result, more entrants registered for the contest. I couldn’t be happier–Beatrice fully expected to be able to participate in this contest with her book, Maid of Deception! And since her romance with Alasdair was so much fun to write, I am glad that a few new readers will get to learn about her adventures. 

So thank you to all who entered! 

YA Scavenger Hunt :: TEAM RED

Hello and welcome to the Fall 2014 Scavenger Hunt!!

scavenger hunt

This year, the hunt is bigger and better than ever!

I’m on the RED team–and RED seriously rocks!!

Red TeamHere’s how the YA Scavenger Hunt works:


History Smackdown

King Henry VIII vs. Emperor Charles V – who wins?

So most know about King Henry VIII – father of Queen Elizabeth I, husband to six wives, “Father of the English Navy”, leader of the religious reformation (see 6 wives, above). But what about his contemporary, Emperor Charles V of Spain, father of Philip II (the future husband of Mary I, Henry’s daughter–and suitor to Elizabeth)?henry-viii-3

According to the dutch art site,, Charles V can be summed up thusly: “Emperor Charles V (1500–1558) was one of the most important ruling personalities in European history. As the King of Spain, Naples and Sicily, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, ruler of Flanders, the Netherlands and large areas of Central and South America, the sun virtually never set on his empire. For the first time, Europe became the center of a world empire. However, Charles failed to achieve unity across the whole continent. With his triumphs and defeats, and his hopes and disappointments, he stood in the midst of change from the Middle Ages to modern times.”

Ultimately, though Charles V was primed to have a grander place in history, he is known more for his failures to secure his realm on the European front and his opposition of Protestantism (a battle he was destined to lose). On the foreign front, it should be noted, his legacy outshines Henry’s–he is credited with beginning the Spanish colonial empire in South and Centracharles_vl America.

Still, despite Charles’s auspicious beginnings, the hand of history goes to… King Henry VIII.

AND THEY BOTH HAD GOUT. Lay off the alcohol and red meat, gentlemen!

The Tour Winds Down!

I’ve had so much fun sharing excerpts and seeing the numbers climb for the Queen for a Day giveaway. Thank you to everyone who entered! I hope to have more giveaways throughout the year so be sure to sign up for the newsletters. This last tour stop takes us to an excerpt where Beatrice realizes something — a bit too late. Thank you to Winter Haven Booksheadersss5 for hosting me!

Tour Stop: A review!

I’m always humbled when a blogger wants to review one of my books and takes the time to share what they enjoyed about the Maids of Honor. Special thanks to Reese’s Reviews for indicating her star rating with BATS. 🙂 How fun is that?1000x350banner


A little birdie told me...