Posted by: Kathy Temean | October 4, 2016

Book Giveaway – Author Interview – Yvonne Ventresca

Congratulations – Darlene Beck Jacobson – You are the winner of BLACK FLOWERS, WHITE LIES!

Congratulations to Yvonne Ventresca on her new book:


Besides the book giveaway, she is celebrating her new book release with a book launch party at Words Bookstore in Maplewood, on Sunday, October 16th at 2 pm. Here’s a link to the evite:


All you have to do to get in the running for Yvonne’s book giveaway is to leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know the other things you did to share the good news, so I can put in the right amount of tickets in my basket for you. Check back on October 19th to discover the winner.


Black Flowers, White Lies Synopsis:

Her father died before she was born, but Ella Benton knows they have a mysterious connection. When an eerie handprint appears on her mirror, she wonders if Dad’s warning her of danger as he did once before. Could her new too-good-to-be-true boyfriend be responsible? Or the grieving building superintendent? As the unexplained events become more frequent and more sinister, Ella becomes terrified about who—or what—might harm her. Soon the evidence points to Ella herself. What if, like her father, she’s suffering from a breakdown? Ella desperately needs to find answers, no matter how disturbing the truth might be.


How exciting was it to discover BUZZ FEED gave you the number one spot on their list of 23 YA Books That, Without a Doubt, You’ll Want to Read This Fall? 

That was an emotional moment for me! Black Flowers, White Lies went through many incarnations over the years before it evolved into this current novel. Being included on the list with such an amazing group of YA writers made me grateful that I didn’t give up on the story.

Had you started writing Black Flowers, White Lies when Sky Pony Press bought your first book?

I wrote the first draft of Black Flowers, White Lies in 2006, years before Pandemic. I had a hard time getting the voice and the plot to come together, so after what seemed like a gazillion major rewrites, I put that manuscript aside and began a story about deadly bird flu. Pandemic’s success reenergized me, and I started a new version of the previous book which became the current psychological thriller.

Was this book part of your contract with Sky Pony Press when they bought Pandemic?

My agent, Liza Fleissig of Liza Royce Agency, submitted it to Sky Pony as my option book.

What sparked the idea for this book?

One of my favorite novels from childhood was The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder. It has a slight paranormal element that always intrigued me. In Black Flowers, White Lies, I wanted to explore the main character’s relationship with someone who had died and her belief in ghosts.

Did your editor ask you for revisions?

Definitely! An example of something I worked on was getting the relationship right between the main character, Ella, and her mom in the opening chapters—it’s loving, but contentious. Her mother is away on her honeymoon for most of the story, so it was important to strike the right balance between them before she goes.

Did you have any input into the cover?

I loved the concept (created by Sarah Brody for Sky Pony) since its inception. My small bit of input was to suggest more tombstones in the cemetery at the bottom of the cover, since an early version only had one.

Do you think you will stick to writing YA?

Yes! This is such an interesting age to write for, because the teenage years are filled with both potential and uncertainty.

What are you working on now?

I’m in the early stages of a YA mystery about a summer camp counselor who disappears.

FUN FACT: In Black Flowers, White Lies, Yvonne invented a fictional “Haunted Hoboken” tour featuring some Hoboken ghost stories. She wanted to end the tour at the PATH station, but she couldn’t find any spooky tales set there. A Ghosts of NY Indoor Ghost Walk she took in 2013 included one set in Grand Central Station, so she asked and received permission to modify it for the Hoboken setting. That ghost story appears on pages 160-161.


Yvonne’s Bio:

Yvonne Ventresca’s latest young adult novel, Black Flowers, White Lies was recently published by Sky Pony Press (October, 2016). Her debut YA novel, Pandemic, won a 2015 Crystal Kite Award from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators for the Atlantic region. She’s been an SCBWI member for fourteen years and will be teaching a workshop on suspense at the upcoming NJ SCBWI Fall Craft Weekend.

To connect with Yvonne:

Facebook | Twitter | Blog | Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads

Thank you Yvonne for answering the interview questions and offering Black Flowers, White Lies to one lucky winner.

Black Flowers, White Lies is available at:

Indiebound | Amazon | B&N | AmazonUK | BAM

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Congrats on your book, Yvonne! And thanks for the blogpost, Yvonne and Kathy!


  2. Sounds like an exciting story! Congratulations and thanks for the chance to win. I tweeted about the giveaway!


    • Thanks Kristi! Good luck!


  3. Sounds fascinating. Thanks for sharing. Shared this post on my Facebook page. Thanks, Kathy. I’ll miss being in Avalon this year.


    • We missed you. It was a good one. One manuscript submitted to an editor right at the retreat after working with the agent. Looks like three others will sign with an agent after they revise.


    • Thank you Sindhu! PS — I’ve always wanted to make it to one of the Avalon retreats.


  4. Congratulations Yvonne for the launch and mention in BuzzFeed. I tweeted and posted on FB. And, I am posting this on my blog tomorrow as well. Would LOVE to read this book!


    • Thanks for helping to get the word out, Darlene!


    • Darlene,

      You are the winner of Yvonne’s book. You will love it.

      Send me your address, please!



  5. Thanks, Kathy, for featuring me on your blog. You read bits of this story way back when…. I look forward to catching up with you in person soon!


    • Yvonne,

      My pleasure! Thank you for sending me a copy. I am reading it, now. I think I’m up to chapter 6. You hooked me right away. Can’t wait to read the whole thing.



  6. I think I might have to read it.


  7. Great interview! Black Flowers, White Lies sounds like an engaging read. I always like mysteries both in YA and Adult books.

    (Please exclude me from the giveaway. Good luck all!)


  8. I’m glad you went with this cover – it’s beautiful.


    • Thank you! Sky Pony gets the credit on that!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: