2015 YADN: Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee

Expected publication: March 17th 2015 by Putnam Juvenile
Genre: Young Adult; Historical Fiction
A powerful story of friendship and sacrifice, for fans of Code Name Verity 
Missouri, 1849: Samantha dreams of moving back to New York to be a professional musician—not an easy thing if you’re a girl, and harder still if you’re Chinese. But a tragic accident dashes any hopes of fulfilling her dream, and instead, leaves her fearing for her life. With the help of a runaway slave named Annamae, Samantha flees town for the unknown frontier. But life on the Oregon Trail is unsafe for two girls, so they disguise themselves as Sammy and Andy, two boys headed for the California gold rush. Sammy and Andy forge a powerful bond as they each search for a link to their past, and struggle to avoid any unwanted attention. But when they cross paths with a band of cowboys, the light-hearted troupe turn out to be unexpected allies. With the law closing in on them and new setbacks coming each day, the girls quickly learn that there are not many places to hide on the open trail.
This beautifully written debut is an exciting adventure and heart-wrenching survival tale. But above all else, it’s a story about perseverance and trust that will restore your faith in the power of friendship.
                THEY SAY DEATH AIMS ONLY ONCE AND NEVER misses, but I doubt Ty Yorkshire thought it would strike with a scrubbing brush. Now his face wears the mask of surprise that sometimes accompanies death: his eyes bulge, carp-like, and his mouth curves around a profanity.
                Does killing a man who tried to rape me count as murder? For me, it probably does. The law in Missouri in this year of our Lord 1849 does not sympathize with a Chinaman’s daughter.
                I shake out my hand but can’t let go of the scrubbing brush. Not until I see the blood speckling my arm. Gasping, I drop the brush. It clatters on the cold, wet tile beside the dead man’s head. An owl cries outside, and a clock chimes nine times.
                My mind wheels back to twelve hours ago, before the world turned on its head . . .

I surprisingly listened to a lot of country music.  I was never a fan of country music until my husband and I celebrated an anniversary on the island of Kauai, where the only radio station on the island is country.  I was in the middle of a major revision at the time, and so the songs were the perfect backdrop for the story, which takes place in the western frontier and features cowboys. 

Take A Back Road, Rodney Atkins 
Crazy Girl, Eli Young Band
Barefoot Blue Jean Night, Jake Owen
Remind Me, Brad Paisley
Let it Rain, David Nail

White Liar, Miranda Lambert

         I like the idea of your book when Annamae and Samantha disguised themselves as boys! Can you dare to do this too in a book signing soon?
Disguise myself as a boy?  Honestly, some days I look down at what I'm wearing and I can't tell if I'm a man or a woman. . . basic sweats, T-shirt.  I will try to put a little more effort into my book signings though.  :)

        What exciting adventure and heart-wrenching survival tale can you share with us? 
Publication process.  It's a bloody war field out there, all the slashed pages, the ripped out words, the tedium of copyedits. . . and yet several thousands have gone before me so I knew it would turn out alright in the end.

Know more about Stacey at http://www.staceyhlee.com/about-me/ and
click here to subscribe!

Thank you so much Miss Stacey for sharing time with us! It would really turn out good in the end for your book is a five-star highlighter on Goodreads by now.

This giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY. You must be 13 years old and above. Use the Rafflecopter below to gain entries. The contest will end on December 30, 2014. Winner will be notified through e-mail. Winner will also be announced on this post via update. If winner has not responded within 48 hours, we will choose another. Enjoy!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winner Update

Congratulations Michelle Lee!
You WON the Under A Painted Sky ARC Giveaway.
Please e-mail me your complete name and mailing address at eeliahgem@gmail(dot)com.
Thank you!

Thank you for everyone that participated! Until next time. <3

Let's leave it up to this quote from Emily Brontë:
"And from the midst of cheerless gloom
I passed to bright unclouded day."


  1. This sounds so beautifully written! I adore books that focus on friendship and non-romantic kinds of feels. I mean, don't get me wrong, I love some swoon, but when friendship takes centre stage I get a massive smile :D

    1. Not just sounds but it is really beautifully written. :)

      That tells us that friendship is love. Friendship books makes my heart ache!

  2. Ooh, goody. I'm really looking forward to this one.

  3. I'm very excited about this one! The setting is so unique...I can't wait to read it :-) Thank you for the chance to win a copy.

    1. Me too! It's so rare to read books like Under a Painted Sky. Can't wait! You're welcome. And thank you too to Miss Stacey! :)

  4. The title alone makes my heart squish a little. Can't WAIT to read this!! :o)

  5. This is one of the We Need Diverse Books I'm really excited about! I love that soundtrack and can't wait to read the book! Thank you for the giveaway!

    1. Glad you liked the soundtrack, Hazel! You're welcome. :)

  6. Another book to look forward to, and what a gorgeous cover!

  7. Being Asian myself, I was excited to hear that the main character in the story is Chinese! You don't get to see many Asian heroine or protagonist in the story. I'm happy and proud to see diverse books! I'm looking forward to Under A Painted Sky! The synopsis of the story caught my attention and I can't wait to read more of the girls journey! P.S. I love the cover! :) Thank you for this amazing giveaway!

    1. Yes, yes! We really need these diverse books! And Under a Painted Sky is a must read. It would be the first time to read a Chinese protagonist. You're welcome. :))

  8. Definitely, the main reason I'm excited to read this is because of the Chinese main character! Hopefully that'll make it easier for me to relate to her. :) Plus, I love the colors on the cover!

    1. Isn't it adorable?
      It's good to read books where you can relate to the culture but reading other race too is fine. We can experience it without even having passport, just the book. :)

  9. Why I'm excited: the cover, diversity and the promise of an amazing book thanks to the cool sounding blurb.

    1. You're welcome, Rebecca! Thanks for stopping by! :)

  10. It sounds promising and I'm in love with the cover! Thanks for the giveaway. :)

  11. I've heard good things about this book already, so I'm expecting a stunningly beautiful debut. I also like the fact that the historical fiction part of it seems more realistic than some of the other YA historical fiction books out there.

    Thanks for the chance to win! :)

    Erin @ The Hardcover Lover


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