"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." —J. R. R. Tolkien

Sunday, July 31, 2011

LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR by Stephanie Perkins

I was excited about this book from the second I heard the title. Sure, I loved ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS as much as the next person, and sure, I knew this book would be fantastic. But the thing is, this book held a special place in my heart because (in case you don't know), my daughter is Lola :)

LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR by Stephanie Perkins (Dutton, September 29, 2011)


Fans of ANNA will not be disappointed. In fact, I'd go as far as saying I enjoyed LOLA even more than ANNA. It's not going to be a mystery to anyone that, yes, Lola and the boy next door will end up together. But Stephanie Perkins does such a fun job of bringing them close, pulling them apart, bringing them closer, pulling them farther apart, and then...bringing them together forever.

My favorite part of the entire book is the costuming. I adore how Lola dresses up however the heck she wants (maybe because it reminds me so much of my own Lola).

So if you've been looking forward to LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR, you're going to love it! Highly recommended for seventh grade and up.

From Amazon:

In this companion novel to Anna and the French Kiss, two teens discover that true love may be closer than they think

For budding costume designer Lola Nolan, the more outrageous, the outfit - more sparkly, more fun, more wild - the better. But even though Lola's style is outrageous, she's a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins move back into the house next door.

When the family returns and Cricket - a gifted inventor and engineer - steps out from his twin sister's shadow and back into Lola's life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.


Source of book: From publisher by request

TANTALIZE Graphic Novel Winner!

Thanks to everyone who entered to win! The winner of

TANTALIZE: KIEREN'S STORY by Cynthia Leitich Smith, illustrated by Ming Doyle (Candlewick, August 23, 2011)


is...
KAYA HACK!

****

And don't forget I've giving away:

LEGEND by Marie Lu (Putnam, November 29, 2011)
CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

Friday, July 29, 2011

YA INDIE CARNIVAL: WHY I WRITE MY GENRE(S)


It's time again for the YA Indie Carnival, an awesome group of weekly bloggers blogging about the same topic! Wait, you haven't heard of the YA Indie Carnival? You're totally missing out. But no longer! You can check out all the amazing author/bloggers below:


Okay, here's the deal! Each Friday, because Friday is awesome, we all blog about the same topic. This week's topic?

WHY MY GENRE?


Right. So first maybe I should define the genres I've published.

There is my middle grade science fiction series. By middle grade, I'm hitting kids 3rd grade and up. Think Harry Potter and Percy Jackson. But then think telepathy and telekinesis instead of magic. That's where my books THE EMERALD TABLET, THE NAVEL OF THE WORLD, and THE NECROPOLIS come in.



Next there is SOLSTICE. SOLSTICE is young adult (think 7th grade and up), and it's sort of a blend of mythology, dystopia, and paranormal. TWILIGHT meets THE LIGHTNING THIEF meets THE HUNGER GAMES is the closest I can come to categorizing it.


Why do I write science fiction and fantasy, and why do I write for kids and teens?

I'm going to keep it simple and chronicle the books that had the most impact on me growing up.

3rd grade - THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE by C. S. Lewis (First fantasy book I really discovered. The world was so real to me, and I wanted to be part of it)

4th grade - THE CAVE OF TIME by Edward Packard (because there is nothing like a good Choose Your Own Adventure book, and this one is the best)

6th grade - MYTHOLOGY by Edith Hamilton (I fell in love with mythology)

7th grade - GONE WITH THE WIND by Margaret Mitchell (which is a dystopic story in the true sense of the word)

8th grade - THE HOBBIT by J. R. R. Tolkien (does this really need any explanation?)

10th grade - BRAVE NEW WORLD by Aldous Huxley (Wow. I mean, really. Wow. What a world. What ideas.)

11th grade - OEDIPUS REX by Sophocles (there was something about not knowing if this was truth of fiction that really stuck with me)

College - FOUNDATION by Isaac Asimov (an epic science fiction series. One I wanted to go on forever and ever. Sadly, it didn't, but the love of science fiction stuck)

****

So why do I write in my genre? Because if you take all the above books and shove them in a giant blender, what you'll end up with are the books I write :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

LEGEND by Marie Lu GIVEAWAY!

I admit I try to stay up on the big buzz books to see what's hot and what will be the next big best seller. And I adore when I read one of these big buzz books and fall head over heels in love with it. Like this one:

LEGEND by Marie Lu (Putnam, November 29, 2011)


LEGEND was a fantastic example of dual point of view done really well. Both of the main characters had unique and engaging story lines, and they each had a distinct voice. Each story was necessary for the plot to move forward. Each had pacing I will read over and over to learn from. This is really hard to get right in young adult dual point of view stories, but LEGEND works. Yes, I will be reading the next book in this series. I already can't wait!

LEGEND is perfect for fans of dystopian stories (even if you think you've already read all that you want to). It's different in how well it's written and how captivating the story is. Highly recommended!



From Amazon:

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths - until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills.


Source of ARC: From publisher by request

And wait...you have a chance to win it!

The contest will run through midnight on Friday, August 5th, 2011.


For your chance to win, you have to follow this blog. That gets you one entry.
  • +1 entry - Follow this blog

Extra entries are here:
  • + 1 entry - Tweet about this contest. See button at the top of post for an easy tweet!
  • + 1 entry - Blog about this contest.
  • + unlimited - Do something nice for SOLSTICE. You know, like buy it (for $2.99, email me the receipt), tweet about it, blog about it, send it chocolate and roses. I'm not particular. And let me know in the "Other" section of the form!

Okay, that's it! So click away on the above links, and then fill out the form below. Thank you! And good luck!

And don't forget I'm also giving away:

TANTALIZE: KIEREN'S STORY by Cynthia Leitich Smith, illustrated by Ming Doyle
CLICK HERE TO ENTER!



THE FAIRY GODMOTHER DILEMMA Winner!

Huge thank you to everyone who entered to win THE FAIRY GODMOTHER DILEMMA by Danyelle Leatfy!


The winner is...

Monday, July 25, 2011

LAURA ELLIOTT and WINNEMUCCA!

I'm thrilled to be featuring one of my new Indie Carnival fellow authors Laura Elliott and her brand new book today!

WINNEMUCCA by Laura Elliott


(did anyone else notice how many double letters there are in that? eLLioTT wiNNemuCCa... Coincidence?)

Anyway, Laura's book is totally worth checking out! And here is the rundown on Laura herself!

*****

PJH: I love the story idea of WINNEMUCCA! It sounds like a must-read! What made you decide to indie-publish?

LE: Great question, it was basically the fun factor. But this explains it a little better http://laurasmagicday.livejournal.com/255475.html


PJH: What has been the funnest thing about having your book out in the world?

LE: The reaction people have to the title. It’s always––is that about Winnemucca, NV? And when they find out Winnemucca, NV is actually The Emerald City of the novel, the same people usually ask me, Have you actually been to Winnemucca? And when I say yes, they usually have a laugh and a good story about the time they spent or traveled through Winnemucca. The irony and unexpectedness of Winnemucca being The Emerald City of the novel is meant to be reflected in the story itself. Also, Winnemucca has been a historical crossroads for mountain men, pioneers and Immigrants heading west. It’s symbolic of the crossroads Ginny faces at the beginning of the novel. Anyway, the real fun is hearing all the stories people have about Winnemucca and seeing their reactions to the title.


PJH: How about the most challenging? Or has it all been sunshine and lollipops?

LE: Great question PJ. Well, as fun as the title is, it is very hard to spell. It’s spelled the same as the town, but Winnemucca isn’t very intuitive. Also, the first 80 pages came in two weeks and the rest took five years. The ending was very elusive. I had her on the road, but she didn’t tell me what she needed to do for a long time. And then, in the final edits, we got terrible news that our 21-year-old nephew was seriously injured in an IED explosion in Afghanistan. It was then that I decided to create a digitally-signed edition with 100% of additional proceeds being donated to The Wounded Warrior Project. As a young adult writer, I wanted to find a way to raise awareness and give readers the opportunity to donate to help to heal our veterans, so many are young adults themselves. Cody’s got a long road to recovery. If you are interested in hearing more about his story you can visit: ttp://www.ksby.com/videos/local-marine-recovering-from-severe-injuries-he-received-in-afghanistan/


PJH: What’s the funnest part of marketing for you? Least fun?

LE: Meeting readers who are interested in the story and are excited to read about Ginny’s enchanted road trip to her true self. I’ve really loved getting to know other writer’s and reviewers and reading their novels and the ones they recommend. It’s about the friendships along the way. Also, after publication I get to see my work in new ways through the questions people ask about it. I am really enjoying this aspect. I guess the least fun, since I’m so new to this and haven’t really found my “published author groove”, is that I’m finding I have a lot less time to write. It’s not really good or bad. It just is. I know I’ll figure it out one day


PJH: If you had to give five reasons why someone should read Winnemucca, what would they be?

LE:
One: To discover your own road blood
Two: To find out about the only kind of real magic that exists in the world
Three: To fall in love again
Four: To escape into a magically-realistic world of adventure, romance and road trips
Five: To find your own “Winnemucca”


PJH: Can you tell me about ThirTEEN ON HALLOWEEN?

LE: I’d love to! Thanks for asking. Roxie only invites the popular kids in the eighth grade to her thirteenth birthday party on Halloween and they celebrate in a way she never expected––in her attic, with the lights out, and a pact to swear to never tell a living soul what happens there.


PJH: Favorite Myth?

LE: There’s so many to choose from! An I love mythology. But I guess the one that’s really captured my imagination lately is from Ancient Egyptian mythology. A "ka" was a tangible "spirit double" having the same memories and feeling as the original person. In one Egyptian myth called "The Greek Princess", an Egyptian view of the Trojan War, a “ka” of Helen was used to mislead Paris of Troy, helping to stop the war.

PJH: Favorite wonder of the world?

LE: Pyramids

PJH: Fantasy Island or Love Boat?

LE: Fantasy Island. Tattoo always creeped me out, but Ricardo Montalb├ín is timeless. And I’m a Star Trek fan…Kahn is a classic.

(PJH: Yay, Star Trek!)


PJH: What Scooby-Doo character are you most like?

LE: Scooby!

*****




From Amazon:

Winnemucca is a young-adult coming-of-age, paranormal novel about a teenage girl’s enchanted road trip to her true self no matter who or what tries to stop her.

One mistake will change Ginny’s life forever.
One answer will set her free.

Once upon a time Ginny’s road blood ripened, the day she got wise to love. Engaged to the high school quarterback, his quarter-carat ring and enchanting smile should have been enough for her. But, she stands him up and takes a walk where every step questions her happily ever after gone-bad and the fate of the mother she never knew. The mother her father refuses to talk about. Ginny fights to untangle her big, fat, lie-of-a-life on an enchanted road trip to Winnemucca, where she believes all her answers lie. She must solve the riddle of her past and outrun everyone who wants a piece of her future, including a man determined to see she never has one. When fear’s as blind as love, how far would you go to find the flesh-and-blood reality of your own happily ever after?


Check out the full blog tour schedule!

Friday, July 22, 2011

PLUTO: My Latest T-shirt Design


Inspired by my recent trip to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, I give you my latest t-shirt design.


Hope your weekend is great!

YA INDIE CARNIVAL: WHY INDIE?


I'm thrilled to be joining the YA Indie Carnival (one week late, but better late than never)!
Wait, you haven't heard of the YA Indie Carnival? You're totally missing out. But no longer! It's a weekly post by each of the following amazing indie authors:


Okay, here's the deal! Each Friday, because Friday is awesome, we all blog about the same topic. This week's topic?

WHY INDIE?

It's a great question. Why write a book and bring it out independently (like I did with SOLSTICE)?


Easy. I'll answer with a question.

WHY NOT?

I mean seriously? Why. Not? So you've written a brilliant piece of young adult literature. You've run it by critique partners who think it is awesome. You've revised it countless times. You've poured your heart and soul into it. This. Is. The. Story.

And then...

...for some reason, traditional publishing turns out to not be the path for this beautiful story.
Either you queried and didn't find the right agent.
Or you submitted to traditional publishing houses but never got the right fit.
Or your genre is too late for traditional publishing and its really long time delay (which can be two years or more sometimes!).
Or you've had a bad experience in the past with traditional publishing.
Whatever the reason, it turns out traditional publishing is not in the cards for this book.

You're down to two options:
  1. Shelve the book. After all, bytes are free.
  2. Indie publish the book.

Yes, why the heck not?

I am of the feeling that with publishing breaking down all barriers, it is a crime to yourself to go with option (1). If you really put the work into the story, and you truly believe in it, then why not indie publish it?

Are you scared of the stigma associated with indie publishing?

News flash: Each day that stigma is getting tread on by amazing authors bringing their amazing books out independently. I've read these books, and I'll be the first to stand up and tell you there is some great reading to be had (check my reviews here and here). And they are a bargain. Great reading for a great price. It's a win/win situation.

So why write for the indie market? Why read in the indie market? Simple. It is the future.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

TANTALIZE: KIEREN'S STORY Graphic Novel by Cynthia Leitich Smith Giveaway!

I adore when I have a new book from this Austin author up for giveaway! Cynthia Leitich Smith has been at it again in her wonderful world of TANTALIZE, ETERNAL, and BLESSED, but this time it's in graphic novel format! And it's from the point of view of her main guy character, Kieren!

TANTALIZE: KIEREN'S STORY by Cynthia Leitich Smith, illustrated by Ming Doyle (Candlewick, August 23, 2011)


From Amazon:

Illustrated by hot new talent Ming Doyle, Cynthia Leitich Smith’s TANTALIZE is reimagined as a graphic novel— seen through Kieren’s werewolf eyes.

As a hybrid werewolf, Kieren is destined to join an urban Wolf pack and learn to master his shift. Soon, he’ll leave everything behind: home, school, his family, and Quincie, his human best friend . . . who’s beginning to be a whole lot more than a friend. For years, Kieren has managed to keep his desires— and his wolf— at bay. But when the chef at Quincie’ s family restaurant is brutally murdered, Kieren resolves to be there for her, even if it means being framed. Even if it means watching Quincie’s beloved restaurant morph into a vampire lair. But when the new chef begins wooing her, how long can Kieren control his claws? How long can he protect Quincie— and himself? In an elegant graphic edition featuring cinematic sequential art by debut artist Ming Doyle and lush, romantic cover art by Sam Weber , bestselling author Cynthia Leitich Smith re-envisions her delicious dark fantasy through wolfish eyes.



Source of ARC: From publisher at TLA

The contest will run through midnight on Friday, July 29th, 2011.


For your chance to win, you have to follow this blog. That gets you one entry.
  • +1 entry - Follow this blog

Extra entries are here:
  • + 1 entry - Tweet about this contest. See button at the top of post for an easy tweet!
  • + 1 entry - Blog about this contest.
  • + unlimited - Do something nice for SOLSTICE. You know, like buy it (for $2.99, email me the receipt), tweet about it, blog about it, send it chocolate and roses. I'm not particular. And let me know in the "Other" section of the form!

Okay, that's it! So click away on the above links, and then fill out the form below. Thank you! And good luck!

DANYELLE LEAFTY and THE FAIRY GODMOTHER DILEMMA! Giveaway!

I'm beyond thrilled to be a part of the blog tour for Danyelle Leafty today! In case you haven't heard of Danyelle or THE FAIRY GODMOTHER DILEMMA, then sit back, and read all about it!

And wait! You can win THE FAIRY GODMOTHER DILEMMA! All you have to do to enter is comment on this blog post by the end of the day, Saturday, July 23rd, 2011! That's it! So easy. So simple. So magical :)


*****

PJH: I love how you are publishing The Fairy Godmother Dilemma! What made you decide to bring out TFGD in such an amazing and unique way?

DL: I had been looking for a way to do this off and on for a while, but couldn’t figure out how to do it until I stumbled on Tracy Hickman’s Scribe’s Forge method.

I’ve always loved the ideas of serials (except for the part of me that *needs* to read the last page before I start the book), and I liked the idea of releasing my novel as a paid subscription. I was also very intrigued at the idea of having forums to touch base with readers and offering extra content throughout the subscription.


PJH: What has been the funnest thing about having your book out in the world?

DL: The funnest thing has been getting out and doing this even though I’m a quivering mess of jelly sometimes.



PJH: How about the most challenging? Or has it all been sunshine and lollipops?

DL: I wish!

The most challenging thing (besides the whole website tech debaucle—note to self, I do not speak Computer) has been facing my own insecurities. I’m finding there are a lot of them and they like to talk. A lot.

Which is why I appreciate the incredible support I’ve received. I was very nervous at first (still am in ways), and the interest and kind words have been life savers. It’s also been a very humbling experience to know that other people are reading my story, meeting my characters, and visiting my world. All of which makes me strive harder to give my very best.



PJH: What's the funnest part of marketing for you? Least fun?

DL: Strangely, the funnest part of marketing has been coming up with marketing plans. I’ve never considered myself good at marketing, but it’s been a blast coming up with ideas. A close second is putting myself out there and being able to meet so many awesome people. And the third is writing the weekly Fairy Notes and updating the Compendium of Fairy Godmothering Terms.

The least fun is the time attending to marketing takes away from actual writing time.



PJH: If you had to give five reasons why someone should read The Fairy Godmother Dilemma, what would they be?

DL:
  1. Think of the old adage: forewarned is forearmed. THE FAIRY GODMOTHER DILEMMA can give you some ideas on how to deal with your own fairy godmother when she (eventually) pops up. (Fairy godmothers are not known for their punctuality. Cinderella, for example, had to wait a good number of years before hers surfaced. Word is that Snow White’s still waiting.)
  2. Who doesn’t love a good transmogrification? THE FAIRY GODMOTHER DILEMMA has at least four.
  3. I’m slightly biased here, but I think the story rocks!
  4. The price of the Collectable Subscription may last for about 1/4 of a tank of gas (depending), but the story will last forever. (Or at least until the gamma rays the scientists have been predicting hit Earth and fry all our electronics. But even then, you’ll still have the hardcover, so you’re covered.)
  5. For all those wondering what it’s like to be a fairy godmother and how they handle the many dilemmas they face, you need wonder no more. You have questions, THE FAIRY GODMOTHER’S DILEMMA has answers.
*****

About The Fairy Godmother Dilemma:

Sixteen-year-old Breena doesn’t want to leave the faerie queen’s court, and she doesn’t want a fairy godmother. But if she has to choose between the two, she’d leave the Faerie Realm over getting bossed about by a faerie with a pointed stick any day. Unfortunately, her attempt to evade her fairy godmother gives her growing pains in the form of fur, whiskers, and a tail.

Turning into a cat is the least of her worries, though, because the potion wasn’t meant to bring out her inner feline, it was meant to put her to sleep. Forever. If Breena wants to make it to her Happily Ever After, she’ll have to accept that sometimes having a fairy godmother makes all the difference in the world.



About Danyelle:

Danyelle Leafty writes MG and YA fantasy. In her spare time, she collects dragons, talking frogs, and fairy godmothers. She can be found discussing the art of turning one's characters into various animals, painting with words, and the best ways to avoid getting eaten by dragons on her blog. Her serial novel THE FAIRY GODMOTHER DILEMMA can be found here. You can contact her here.


Check out the full blog tour schedule!

Monday, July 18, 2011

SOLSTICE TOUR PART 2!

Summer is flying by, and it's already time for the second part of my SOLSTICE blog tour, this time hosted by The {Teen} Book Scene! There are so many fun blog posts, I can't wait!





SOLSTICE tour details:


Monday, July 18: Character Interview at I Read That 2

Tuesday, July 19: Author Interview w/ Book Line Answers at Lindsay Writes

Wednesday, July 20: Review at C A Marshall

Thursday, July 21: Author Book Picks: Childhood/Teen Years at Caught Between the Pages

Friday, July 22: Tens List at Just Another Book Addict

Monday, July 25: Character Interview at Reading Vacation

Tuesday, July 26: Review at The Fiction Enthusiast

Wednesday, July 27: Guest Post at A Backwards Story

Thursday, July 28: Review at Taming the Bookshelf

Friday, July 29: Author This or That List at Ivy Reads

Monday, August 1: Character Tweets at That Hapa Chick

Tuesday, August 2: Author Interview w/ Music Lyric Answers at C A Marshall

Wednesday, August 3: Review at Lindsay Writes

Thursday, August 4: Author Book Picks: Current at Lost for Words

Friday, August 5: Tens List at My Reading Room

Monday, August 8: Character Interview at Naughty Book Kitties

Tuesday, August 9: Review at Caught Between the Pages

Wednesday, August 10: Teenage Garage Sale at The Fiction Enthusiast

Thursday, August 11: Review at Lost for Words

Friday, August 12: Character This or That List at Taming the Bookshelf





Hope your summer sizzles!

Friday, July 15, 2011

THE RETURN OF THE MONSTERS!

You've waited a year for their return. Now they are back and scarier than ever. Watch out. Lock your doors. Beware of the return of the monsters!

(also, this could what I do with my time when I'm trying to entertain my kids.)



And in case you missed it, here are the monsters from last year. Yikes!



Enjoy! And happy weekend!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

ASTRONAUT ACADEMY: ZERO GRAVITY by Dave Roman

Book Review brought to you by my 10-year-old son.

I (PJ - the mom) was thrilled to meet Dave Roman at ALA and pick up this book at the recommendation of my friend E. Kristin Anderson who raved and raved about it. So happy I did. My son finished it within a day and highly recommends it to anyone who loves graphic novels, space stories, and fun.

****

ASTRONAUT ACADEMY: ZERO GRAVITY by Dave Roman (First Second, June 7, 2011)


(From my son...)

I would recommend ASTRONAUT ACADEMY: ZERO GRAVITY to kids from about third grade to adult. It's full of fun and adventure. My favorite part was the flashback where Hakata (the main character) fought the birds. This book is guaranteed to make you want to forget about playing the iPod or Wizard 101 and read all day.

*****

Bottom line - If you have a kid, buy this book for them. If you don't have a kid, buy this book for yourself!

From Amazon:

Hakata Soy's past life as the leader of a futuristic super team won't stay in the past!

The former space hero is doing his best to keep his head down at Astronaut Academy. Things aren't going so great, though. The most popular girl in school has it in for him. His best friend won't return his calls. And his new roommate is a complete jock who only cares about Fireball.

Hakata just wants to make a fresh start. But how will he find time to study Anti-Gravity Gymnastics and Tactical Randomness when he's got a robot doppelganger on its way to kill him?

Source of book: Bought at ALA

Monday, July 11, 2011

CONTEST WINNERS!

Thank you to everyone who entered to win these two awesome books!

The winner of SASS & SERENDIPITY by Jennifer Ziegler (Delacorte, July 12, 2011)



is...

*****

The winner of THE SCORPIO RACES by Maggie Stiefvater (Scholastic, October 18, 2011)

http://lifeaftertwilight.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/TheScorpioRaces.png

is...

ALICIA BALENTINE!

*****

Look for more giveaways coming soon!

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

ASHES by Ilsa Bick

If you're like me, these days I read lots of first books in series, but it's rare when I actually care enough to want to pick up book two and run with it. So when I finish a book and really can't wait to find out what happens next, I relish that feeling. Enter...

ASHES by Ilsa Bick (Egmont, September 6, 2011)


The day after I finished ASHES, I had the joy of meeting Ilsa in person and helping her celebrate ASHES at ALA. In addition to being a fellow Star Trek lover, Ilsa was smart and savvy and completely easy to talk to. Her book rocked, and I was able to tell her so in person.

Ilsa Bick has a few things mastered.

First, this girl can torture her characters. And though I love each and every one of her characters, I completely appreciate the fact that they need to go through these tough circumstances. The world has faced an apocalypse. And yes, there are zombies. Torturing characters is necessary.

Second, Ilsa is the master of the cliffhanger chapter endings. While reading, I kept saying I'd go to bed at the end of the current chapter, but I was unable to put the book down.

Third, like I mentioned, these characters are worthy of our caring. They make us want to see them survive because they deserve to survive. I'm only sad because I know they all can't.

Do yourself a favor and pre-order ASHES. You will want to read this the day it is released (unless you're lucky enough to read an ARC like me). Highly recommended for boys and girls, seventh grade and up.

And, for fun, here is Ilsa talking about ASHES and her main character Alex.



Source of book: From publisher at TLA

From Amazon:

It could happen tomorrow . . .

An electromagnetic pulse flashes across the sky, destroying every electronic device, wiping out every computerized system, and killing billions.
Alex hiked into the woods to say good-bye to her dead parents and her personal demons. Now desperate to find out what happened after the pulse crushes her to the ground, Alex meets up with Tom—a young soldier—and Ellie, a girl whose grandfather was killed by the EMP.

For this improvised family and the others who are spared, it’s now a question of who can be trusted and who is no longer human.

Author Ilsa J. Bick crafts a terrifying and thrilling novel about a world that could be ours at any moment, where those left standing must learn what it means not just to survive, but to live amidst the devastation.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

JULIET IMMORTAL by Stacey Jay

Of course I'm a huge fan of the love story of Romeo and Juliet. But what if they didn't die like you thought? What if they were actually turned into beings that hunted and killed each other and were immortal? Enter...

JULIET IMMORTAL by Stacey Jay (Delacorte, August 9, 2011)


Yes, Juliet is immortal. And so is poor Romeo. But they don't love each other. In fact (and I use this word sparingly) they hate each other and have for centuries. JULIET IMMORTAL is a clever book that takes everything we ever knew about Shakespeare and turns it upside down. It's filled with love (but not between who you might think), adventure, deception, betrayal and pretty much everything else that makes for a page-turning story. I recommend this for anyone who loves fantasy, paranormal, twisted classics (that should be a genre, right?), and romance. You'll find yourself with white knuckles while reading, smiling at the end, and always wishing for more. And because Barnes & Noble is so excited about it, the release date has been pushed up a month to August!

From Amazon:

"These violent delights have violent ends
And in their triumph die, like fire and powder,
Which as they kiss consume."
—Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

The most tragic love story in history . . .

Juliet Capulet didn't take her own life. She was murdered by the person she trusted most, her new husband, Romeo Montague, a sacrifice made to ensure his own immortality. But what Romeo didn't anticipate was that Juliet would be granted eternity, as well, and would become an agent for the Ambassadors of Light. For 700 years, she's fought Romeo for the souls of true lovers, struggling to preserve romantic love and the lives of the innocent. Until the day she meets someone she's forbidden to love, and Romeo, oh Romeo, will do everything in his power to destroy that love.


Source of book: From publisher at TLA

Monday, July 04, 2011

A BLAST FOR MEGG JENSEN AND ANATHEMA!

I'm so happy to feature today someone I've just met recently and am thankful to consider my friend. Megg Jensen is a fabulous author and has written some books I highly recommend you check out. And I have to laugh as what totally started my friendship with Megg was something in her Facebook profile. Think you can figure out what it was? (I'm pasting below)
Anyway, enough on the Star Trek nerdom that I revel in...Megg is the author of the CLOUD PROPHET TRILOGY of which the first two books are out (third book comes out this fall!).

ANATHEMA by Megg Jensen (February 4, 2011)
OUBLIETTE by Megg Jensen (June 2011)



ANATHEMA has a fantastic first chapter that really hooks the reader into the world, and the rest of the story easily keeps you there. I read ANATHEMA in two days only putting down the Nook when the kids demanded my attention (yes, you know how kids are). OUBLIETTE is next on my list, and I can't wait to find out what happens to Reychel and her world. For me, what really set ANATHEMA apart was the fact that it is not a standard paranormal. Instead, it had more the feel of a high fantasy, but with a fresh, more modern taste to it.

And check out the book trailers!






From Amazon (for ANATHEMA):

Forget prophecy. Make your own destiny.

Sheltered from the outside world with no hope for escape, slave girl Reychel dreads her fifteenth birthday - when her master’s symbol is burned on the back of her bald scalp. Her best friend disappears the night before, leaving her to face the branding ceremony alone. She soon discovers nothing is as it seems when people desperate for freedom beg for Reychel's help.

Can Reychel learn to believe in herself?