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There's been a lot of talk in the news these days about Mars missions in our real-life, non-fiction future. I'm delighted to share today that these delights will be available for our fictional reading pleasure as well—and for a hot new debut author, to boot!

Katie Slivensky is a bonafide scientist, and nowhere is this clearer than in her fiction, which is fact-based, riveting, as well as wholly emotionally engrossing. Her debut novel is currently titled DESTINED FOR MARS (though the name may change—stay tuned!) and tells the story of 13-year-old Miranda, a robotics whiz who is chosen to represent the United States in a decade-long Mars training mission. Right from the start things begin to go terribly wrong, however, and soon it's clear that Miranda is fighting not only for her future—but for her life, and that of many other people's as well.

I absolutely adored this manuscript from the first moment I read it on submission, and I'm thrilled to announce that it has found its perfect home with Erica Sussman at Harper Collins—in a two-book deal, no less!

Huge congratulations, Katie!

-- Joan