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Summer of Indie Meets Beth Balmanno

Readers looking for books aimed at a younger audience will want to check out author Beth Balmanno, who writes young adult and middle grade-level novels. Summer of Indie spoke with Beth about two of her books. The first is Set In Stone, a young adult adventure/romance about a young girl that becomes involved in Celtic lore after finding a mysterious stone. The second is Nine Lives, a young boy who is repeatedly saved from death by a mysterious cat.

Set in Stone 

SET IN STONEFifteen year-old Valerie is used to losing things–she lost her dad to his job ages ago and her best friend moved with no warning...and hasn't been heard from since.
During a weekend camping trip with her emotionally distant parents, she stumbles upon a hidden, mysterious stone and she finds herself desperate to keep it, to possess it.  
Two strange and beautiful boys have other plans, however.
They follow her home–Leo, warm and seductive, who covets the stone and will stop at nothing to get it; and Noel, dark-haired and wise, who pledges to protect her and keep her safe.  

As she delves deeper into the magic of the stone and the Celtic lore that surrounds it, Valerie realizes that she's losing. Again. But this loss might involve more than a magical stone – this time, she just might lose her heart.



Nine Lives 

Nick Ziegler has a problem. He keeps almost dying. What's worse, a mysteriousblack cat named Mike keeps saving him. Not cool when you're eleven years old and just trying to enjoy the start of summer. But no matter where he goes—the lake, a tree in a neighbor's yard or just walking down the road—he finds himself staring death squarely in the face. Each time, though, the cat appears and somehow manages to keep him alive. Nick can't figure out who the cat belongs to or why he keeps showing up and as more people begin to take notice of his newfound protector—particularly his worried mother and his obnoxious older brother—he is determined to find out exactly what is going on. As his friends begin to back away and make fun of him, Nick finds an ally in Emma, his former nemesis. When his mother delivers some devastating news, he and Emma begin to put the pieces together and they come to the realization that Mike may have a far bigger place in Nick's life than either of them could have ever imagined.


Beth Balmanno is the author of the YA novel Set In Stone and Nine Lives, a middle grade book. She has a BA in English from San Diego State University but freely admits she has learned more in the years after college than she ever did in school. When she isn't writing, traveling or serving as her children's chauffeur, she spends her time molding the youth of America -- as an alternative-learning educator and as a leader in scouting and 4-H. World, look out.

In addition to telling us about her life, author Beth Balmanno told Summer of Indie a few interesting facts about herself that she wanted to share with readers:

  • "I have been writing stories for as long as I can remember.
  • I crashed my car -- through my parents' bedroom -- when I was 17. And my dad was with me in the car.
  • I believe in fairies.
  • I was a military brat and moved around more times than I can remember.
  • I saw Jaws when I was six...while living in Hawaii...and it scarred me for life (thanks, Mom!).
  • I love turtles. Like, I want a bathtub full of them. I have been known to pull over -- anywhere, any time -- if I see a turtle in the road to help it safely cross. Just call me the Turtle Whisperer.
  • I have three kids who somehow manage to simultaneously inspire everything I do and drive me nuts.
  • Who would I rather hang out with on a Friday night: teens or adults? TEENS (which is probably why I write YA).
  • I majored in English Lit and read Frankenstein seven times throughout college. Guess my professors really liked it...(I do, too!).
  • I own the largest cat in the world. And the largest bunny. Seriously. They are MASSIVE.
  • I can't think of any job I'd rather have than being a writer."

You can find author Beth Balmanno online at:


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