Celebrating Young Adult fiction by UK authors

Guest Post: Aurelia B Rowl on writing sexy YA (and a sneaky Top almost-10)

Aurelia B RowlI was supposed to come and share my top ten UKYA books, but the more I looked through the books on my ‘favourites’ shelf on Goodreads, the more ashamed I became. There was a HUGE disparity between the number of UK authors, and the number of US authors on that virtual shelf. It was a travesty, honestly, and I’ve since made the mental note that “I must do better.”

Seeing as I don’t have a top ten to share with you after all, I figured I ought to talk about my book instead. It’s called Popping the Cherry, and yes, it’s about sex…or rather, it’s one girl’s journey towards losing her virginity and establishing a relationship with her peers.

So what possessed me to write a YA book with sex in it?

When I’m not writing YA, you will find me writing contemporary romances, so the actual writing of a love scene doesn’t faze me. The trickiest part was actually figuring how much detail was too much, and just how far I could push the YA genre boundaries in order to pass on what I hope is a positive message. It was a very delicate balance between trying to keep the storyline real and not getting all preachy, and that’s where a huge cast of characters helped. Popping the Cherry is basically the kind of book I wish I’d had when I was younger, trying to navigate my way through the jungle that is rife with peer pressure and insecurities, and it has already been compared to Forever by Judy Blume, which is an absolute honour.

Popping_the_CherryPopping the Cherry is the first in a series of standalone companion novels, but due to the nature of the stories and the ages of the main characters increasing with each title, the series will veer more towards New Adult with the issues this fabulous cast of characters will have to face and overcome.

Oh and if you’re interested, this is how far I got with my top ten, where you’ll notice I am a MASSIVE fan of series, and paranormal shenanigans in particular:

Harry Potter series – J.K. Rowling

This one needs no introduction really, but it was a series that got me reading regularly again, lapping up every word.

Witchblood series – Emma Mills

If you like you vampire series, with witches and angels thrown it too, then you can’t go far wrong with this series by Indie author, Emma Mills.

Stella Mayweather series – Camilla Chafer

Another fabulous ‘witchy’ series worth checking out.

Discworld series – Terry Pratchett

Although not strictly YA, this is what I was reading when I was a teenager. I had a weekend job when I was at school, and would save up to buy as many of the books as I could.

Shalean Moon series – J. Lilley

I discovered this series last year, based around a clan of leopard shifters…I use the work ‘clan’ because the stories are set in The Trossachs and written by Scottish author J. Lilley.

Rae Wilder series – Penelope Fletcher

Another fantasy/paranormal series by an Indie author, and I absolutely loved the first three books in the series so they are well worth checking out.

Kisses for Lula – Samantha Mackintosh

This a was a super cute, fun, read that left me smiling and put a spring in my step.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon

A classic and one that I have read several times, yet each time I seem to discover something new that I’d missed a previous time.

I’m rather hoping that I will have more to add to this list, the next time I am asked for my favourite UKYA books.


Popping the Cherry by Aurelia B Rowl

Popping_the_CherryYou only get one first time . . .

From driving tests to relationships, Valentina Bell thinks she’s a failure, with a big fat capital F. At this rate, she’s certain she’ll be a virgin for ever. So Lena’s friends plan Operation: Popping the Cherry to help her find the perfect man first time.

Yet somehow disastrous dates with bad-boy musicians and fabulous evenings with secretly in-the-closet guys aren’t quite working out how Lena planned.

Soon Lena’s avoiding Operation: Popping the Cherry to spend time with comforting, aloof Jake, her best friend’s older brother, who doesn’t make her feel self-conscious about still clinging to her V card. But could Jake show Lena that sometimes what you’re looking for most is right by your side?