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

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

FEATURING: RaShelle Workman and EXILED

It's time for our weekly author and book feature, and I've been excited about this one for a while? Why? Just check out this cover. Seriously, it is gorgeous! And the premise sounds amazing!

EXILED by RaShelle Workman (Polished Pen Press, November 11, 2011)


From Amazon:

Stubborn, sixteen-year-old Princess Venus of Kelari wants one thing, to become immortal, that is, until someone exiles her to Earth, kills her irrihunter and takes her family.

Now she wants revenge.

First she’s got to get home. But before she can return to Kelari, the Gods have commanded her to help an arrogant boy named Michael find his soul mate.

Only she doesn't know the first thing about love.

Rather quickly, her inexperience with human emotion is obscured by other matters—alien-controlled psychotic teens that are out to kill her, and a government group that is set on capturing and dissecting her.

Worst of all, Venus will suffer a painful death-by-poisoning, thanks to Earth’s atmosphere, if she remains on the planet longer than one week.

Still, Venus is a Princess and she's got a plan. Surely, with her help, Michael will fall in love with a human.

But time is running out and Michael is falling for the wrong girl—her.




Watch for Book 2 in The Connected Series – BEGUILED coming March 12th 2012, and Book 3 – DOVETAILED coming July 13th 2012.





BIO:

RaShelle Workman lives with her husband, three children and three dogs. When she gets a quiet moment alone, she enjoys reading about faraway places. And, in case you were wondering, yes, she does believe there is other life out in the Universe.






But the EXILED ebook from Amazon

But the EXILED print book from Amazon

Buy from Smashwords

Buy from Barnes and Noble

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

UNTRACEABLE by S. R. Johannes

I was super happy when I had the chance to review an early copy of this book (which releases today, btw).

UNTRACEABLE by S. R. Johannes (Coleman and Stott, November 295, 2011)


You guys may know S. R. Johannes as the fabulous Shelli Johannes who runs the marketing blog MARKET MY WORDS. I was psyched when I found out Shelli was publishing her book and was one of the first to sign up to read it.

So what is UNTRACEABLE all about? Let's see. It's a story about family. It's a story about adventure. It's got some definite romantic elements (and a love triangle that has a nice, fresh feel to it). It's got layers of deception I never even kind of saw coming. And it's got adventure.

The main character, Grace, does a pretty good job getting herself in all kinds of trouble, but we're going to cut the girl some slack. Her dad has been missing for three months, and everyone, even her mom, presumes he is dead. But Grace never gives up, and this drives her actions forward for the bulk of the story.

UNTRACEABLE is not a fantasy. It deals with real life issues like troubled families, cruelty to animals, and friendships that may be more. What did I love about it? First, the setting above all else. Shelli does an amazing job painting the picture of the Smokey Mountains. I felt like I was running through the woods with her, climbing the hills she climbed and watching the stars at night. Second, the romance, especially with one of the guys, Mo. He was caring yet carried his own secrets. And finally, I loved that Shelli left us nice hope for the sequel. I, for one, am looking forward to this!

Highly recommended for those who enjoy YA adventure with depth and great character development!

Source of book: From author by request


From Amazon:

Grace has lived in the Smokies all her life, patrolling with her forest ranger father who taught her about wildlife, tracking, and wilderness survival.

When her dad goes missing on a routine patrol, Grace refuses to believe he’s dead and fights the town authorities, tribal officials, and nature to find him.

One day, while out tracking clues, Grace is rescued from danger by Mo, a hot guy with an intoxicating accent and a secret. As her feelings between him and her ex-boyfriend get muddled, Grace travels deep into the wilderness to escape and find her father.
Along the way, Grace learns terrible secrets that sever relationships and lives. Soon she’s enmeshed in a web of conspiracy, deception, and murder. And it’s going to take a lot more than a compass and a motorcycle (named Lucifer) for this kick-butting heroine to save everything she loves.

Monday, November 28, 2011

5 Things I'm Thankful For

In the wake of this thankful time of year, I give you five things from recent times I'm grateful for.

1) This nerdy picture of me and R2D2 from Austin Comic Con that I totally forgot to post.

Droid Love!

2) These beautiful SOLSTICE necklaces made by the wonderful Demetra Brodsky. Seriously, how awesome is this? Okay, and since there is obviously more than one, look for a giveaway in the near future!

Necklace love!

3) Playing hours upon hours of Wizard 101 with my kids (think World of Warcraft meets Harry Potter). After the fifth straight day playing this weekend, I finally admitted to my husband that it was actually pretty fun :)

My avatar, Fallon Mythwalker, rocks! Seriously, don't I look cool?

4) Watching my house transform into Christmas, and being able to decorate my tree properly (see (5) below).

Before...


After...

5) And for properly, what I mean is with my awesome collection of Star Trek and Star Wars ornaments. Some of my favorites include:


The Guardian of Forever


The Transporter


Yoda, who will now tell me, with the push of a button, "Try not. Do or do not. There is no try."


The Borg Cube along with the Revenge of the Sith "You were supposed to be the chosen one" ornament. It always gives me a little tear in my eye. Why did Anakin have to turn to the dark side?



And finally, the classic Pon Farr


Hope your Thanksgiving was great!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

May you celebrate it among many friends and drink plenty of blood wine!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO by Patrick Ness

This book came out about three years ago, and I have to admit that, although it intrigued me from the very start, I was totally hesitant to read it.

THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO by Patrick Ness (Candlewick, September 2008)


See, I'd read some reviews for the book that mentioned that although it was a great book, it was very sad. And I was kind of thinking I was not all about the sad part. I like happy things, or things so buried in the fantasy world that I can one hundred percent distance myself from what happens (think MOCKINGJAY). But the e-book recently went on sale for $1.99, and I snatched it up and gave it a try.

Was the book very good? It was fantastic. It was deep and the characters were real. I cared so much for them as they traveled across their world in search of safety. Was the book sad? Sure. But a lot of books are sad, but in this case, this is not a reason to avoid the book. It's sad because we care, but I also didn't feel the author's hand. Everything that happened was because of a reason, and all actions led to the culmination of the story.

As far as dystopians go, this one rises to the top of the pack. It is unique (you know, this is a science fiction book set on an alien world?). It is amazingly written. It is something that should definitely go on the to-be-read list. It's great for boys and girls alike, so for those looking for "guy reading," make sure to check it out. Yes, the content is definitely YA, so seventh grade and up. I'm happy I finally checked it out. Highly recommended.

Source of book: Purchased e-book in $1.99 sale

Sunday, November 20, 2011

IN THE FORESTS OF THE NIGHT by Kersten Hamilton Winner!

Thank you to everyone who entered to win! I'm hoping for some good contests following Thanksgiving, so look out for that. I've been saving some sweet books for giveaway :)

Anyway, the winner of IN THE FORESTS OF THE NIGHT (The Goblin Wars: Book 2) by Kersten Hamilton (Clarion, November 22, 2011)

is...

AMANDA/AMELNO!

Friday, November 18, 2011

YA AUTHOR CLUB: YA FANTASY on the Rise

It's time again for the YA Indie Carnival, an awesome group of weekly bloggers blogging about the same topic! This week's topic?

YA FANTASY ON THE RISE?

So many books being published these days are YA Fantasy. Why is that? Maybe I don't have all the reasons, but I'll give you five.

1) Fantastical elements make for great covers. And let's face it: people do judge books by their covers.

2) Everyone wanted to try Turkish Delight when they first read THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE. And from this, an early love of fantasy was born.

3) Kids and teens need to be hooked right away, and as a result, YA writing is tight. There aren't a bunch of extra words everywhere to clutter up the pages.

4) Deep down, we all want special powers. For me, it was Jedi powers. I wanted to be able to get my light saber with telekinesis alone.

5) Maybe if we keep reading about fantasy worlds, one of them will actually turn out to be real. Like there could be a world of mythology of faerie parallel to our own, right?


For a list of all blogs participating, check out the YA Author Club website!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

ASHFALL by Mike Mullin

I've seen the shows on Yellowstone blowing up, and so there's always been something fascinating about the whole idea of it (and yes, scary, too). So when I heard about the concept of this book, I was intrigued from the start. But how does a book on global disaster stand out in today's YA market?

ASHFALL by Mike Mullin (Tanglewood, September 27, 2011)


I was lucky enough to pick up an ARC of ASHFALL at ALA back in New Orleans. I tucked it in my suitcase and intended to read it right away, but somehow, between shipping some books and carrying others, it got put aside. But then I found it, set it on my nightstand, and finally got around to reading it.

In case you're worried this story is too similar to something else you've read, fear not. ASHFALL is an amazing book that has that number one quality I love: the inability to put the book down.

What else did I love about the book?

1) It's told in a male point-of-view. I've noticed male POV books generally fall into two categories. Either the male sounds like a female, or the story is so gritty and raw that the book falls into an older, darker category altogether. Not so with ASHFALL. The voice of the main character, Alex, is neither of these. In fact, I think Mike Mullin totally nailed this voice. I'd keep the book on my shelf as an example of how a great male POV can be accomplished without needing to be too raw.

2) That said, this is no pansy book. ASHFALL shows the worst of humankind after the explosion of the volcano. There are the worst of the worst, and they do horrible things. Yet even as those horrible things are being done, much of it is off the page so the reader is left to imagine. This makes the book way more accessible to the younger audience (I'm thinking 7th grade and up for this one). But to contrast the bad, so many people in the story show their true heart as they help other characters survive. So I guess what I'm trying to say is overall, this is not a dark story. People do bad things, and people to wonderful things. It's a nice balance.

3) Yes, there is martial arts in the book, and being a Kung Fu person, I'm all over this aspect of it. And can we give some serious kudos to the author Mike Mullin for doing a Taekwando demonstration in honor of his book? (Authors do the funnest things, and since I didn't find a book trailer...)



I truly enjoyed reading ASHFALL and would recommend it to anyone looking for a great apocalypse-type story. It's clever and real and one that will leave you thinking about it for days after. Highly recommended!

Source of book: From publisher at ALA

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

SOLSTICE in Brazil!

I am beyond excited to announce that Brazilian rights for SOLSTICE have sold!

From Publishers Marketplace:

Brazil rights to P.J. Hoover's SOLSTICE, to Novo Conceito, by Sandra Bruna Literary Agency, on behalf of Taryn Fagerness Agency and Laura Rennert of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency.

Whoo hoo! In case you haven't heard of Novo Conceito, they are the same publisher who has picked up other awesome YA books like ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS by Stephanie Perkins and JULIET IMMORTAL by Stacey Jay, along with books by Nicholas Sparks and Barbara Walters.

How do you say "totally awesome news" in Portuguese? Go SOLSTICE!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

FEATURING: Elle Strauss & CLOCKWISE

I'm excited to introduce you guys to yet another fabulous author and book! I'm not sure about you all, but I am a total sucker for this cover. It totally pulls me in.

CLOCKWISE by Elle Strauss (ESB Publishing, October 17, 2011)


From Amazon:

A teenage time traveler accidentally takes her secret crush back in time. Awkward.

Boy watching with her best friend would be enough excitement for fifteen year old Casey Donovan. She doesn't even mind life at the bottom of the Cambridge High social ladder, if only she didn’t have this other much bigger problem. Unscheduled trips to the nineteenth century!

When Casey gets talked into going to the Fall Dance, the unthinkable happens--she accidentally takes Nate Mackenzie, the cutest boy in the school, back in time.

Protocol pressures her to tell their 1860 hosts that he is her brother and when Casey finds she has a handsome, wealthy (and unwanted) suitor, something changes in Nate. Are those romantic sparks or is it just ‘brotherly’ protectiveness?

When they return to the present things go back to the way they were before: Casey at the bottom of the social totem pole and Nate perched on the very the top. Except this time her heart is broken. Plus, her best friend is mad, her parents are split up, and her little brother gets escorted home by the police. The only thing that could make life worse is if, by some strange twist of fate, she took Nate back to the past again.

Which of course, she does.




“I loved Casey, such an awesomely awkward main character. Clockwise is full of warmth and wit...” --Denise Jaden, author of Losing Faith.

“...sharp and witty...A fantastic read for anyone, adolescent or adult.” --Talli Roland, author of Watching Willow Watts.

"I love, love, LOVE all your characters! Casey's humorous charm and her particular way she sees things and the way you describe them are just way too funny, and I love how she's like a mixture between an 'average teenage girl' where she drools over the hot guys and hangs out with her best friend, to this 'spit-fire' from the eighteen hundreds." --Limitless- teen wattpad reader



BIO (in her own words):

I write time travel and merfolk chic-lit, light SF and historical YA fiction. I'm a married mom of four, and live in the beautiful Okanagan Valley, famous for beaches and vineyards. I'm fond of Lindt's sea salt dark chocolate and hiking in good weather.


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A MILLION SUNS Winner!

Thanks to everyone who entered to win this book!

A MILLION SUNS by Beth Revis (Razorbill, January 10, 2012)


The winner is...

VALERIE at STUCKINBOOKS!

*****

And don't forget I'm also giving away

IN THE FORESTS OF THE NIGHT (The Goblin Wars: Book 2) by Kersten Hamilton (Clarion, November 22, 2011)
CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

Monday, November 14, 2011

It's a Wrap...Wizard World & Austin Comic Con FTW!

In case you've been living in a hole and had no idea, this past weekend was Austin Comic Con put on by the amazing people at Wizard World. Something like Comic Con is best told in pictures (or video, but I haven't edited that yet...). So anyway, here you go.


Our AWESOME Writing Ninjas of Texas booth. Seriously, I loved our booth :)



Six of the Writing Ninjas of Texas: K. A. Holt, Cory Putman Oakes, Madeline Smoot, Joy Preble, P. J. Hoover (Me), and Jessica Lee Anderson



Our fantastic book sellers, Julie and Danny, from The Book Spot (a wonderful, independent bookstore in Round Rock, Texas)



Me with a couple of my Kung Fu friends, Hugh and Derek!



Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith hanging over in Artists' Alley. They were right by Chewbacca who I did not get a picture of.


Kids dressed up in all sorts of cute costumes! I love how this little kid even had the pose down perfectly.



Me with Super Target Man who even let me hold his scanner :)



My favorite costumes from the event. The gal made these out of paint sample papers from Home Depot. Love that!



Jessica with Captain Jack Sparrow.



Me with Thor!



Four of the seven Texas Sweethearts & Scoundrels: K. A. Holt, Jo Whittemore, Jessica Lee Anderson, and Me



Kari made so many kids cry. Not this one. She was very brave.



Kari also got shot by a guy on stilts.


Madeline sang the Mouseketeer song for the news.



Me talking to Kevin Sorbo :) I am being a total fangirl!


And yes, me with my Kevin Sorbo official photo!


Okay, who's ready for next year?????

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Austin Comic Con...Goal Met!

OMG, I love this!

Yes, Kevin Sorbo and Me!

Can you say Best Con Ever? More to come...

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Austin Comic Con!!! Don't Miss it!



The weekend is finally here! I've been so psyched for this from the second I got back from Dallas Comic Con in May. Austin Comic Con is this weekend at the Austin Convention Center.

(For my Ten Reasons to go to a Comic Con, check here.)

I'll be at a booth with seven other authors. Look for us. We're the Writing Ninjas of Texas and will be at booth 521. We'll have candy. Books. Your chance to solve the Rubik's Cube. Does it get any better?

SHOW HOURS

FRIDAY, NOV. 11, 2011 – 4PM - 9PM
SATURDAY, NOV. 12, 2011 - 10AM - 7PM
SUNDAY, NOV. 13, 2011 - 10AM - 5PM


THE TEXAS WRITING NINJAS

In addition, Cynthia Leitich Smith and Jeff Crosby will also be at the show over in Artists' Alley.

My goal for the show...meet Kevin Sorbo. And given the fact that I'll be dressed up like a Greek Goddess in celebration of SOLSTICE, maybe I'll have a chance.

See you there!!!!!


Wednesday, November 09, 2011

FEATURING: LISA NOWAK & RUNNING WIDE OPEN

I'm thrilled to introduce you guys to an author I've recently come into contact with who has a great new book she's excited to share! The coolest thing about Lisa? Okay, see if you can figure out what I think it is based on her bio below.

RUNNING WIDE OPEN by Lisa Nowak (Webfoot Publishing, June 2011)


Cody Everett has a temper as hot as the flashpoint of racing fuel, and it's landed him at his uncle's trailer, a last-chance home before military school. But how can he take the guy seriously when he calls himself Race, eats Twinkies for breakfast, and pals around with rednecks who drive in circles every Saturday night?

What Cody doesn't expect is for the arrangement to work. Or for Race to become the friend and mentor he's been looking for all his life. But just as Cody begins to settle in and get a handle on his supercharged temper, a crisis sends his life spinning out of control. Everything he's come to care about is threatened, and he has to choose between falling back on his old, familiar anger or stepping up to prove his loyalty to the only person he's ever dared to trust.



“The roar of engines practically explodes off the page in this compelling, heart-thumping debut. Cody Everett is a straight-shooter with attitude, smarts, and whip-cracking wit; he doesn’t pull any punches, and neither does author Lisa Nowak. The collision of Cody and the world of stock car racing makes for a great story, one of the best I’ve read in a long time. Running Wide Open is a book not to be missed.”

- Christine Fletcher, author of Tallulah Falls and Ten Cents a Dance


“With characters that are as real as the dialogue is authentic, Running Wide Open is by turns both heartbreaking and hopeful. Readers will race to the finish of this powerful coming-of-age novel.”

- Casey McCormick, author of the popular YA blog, Literary Rambles, co-founder of WriteOnCon, and creator of the Agent Spotlight series.


And the next book in the Full Throttle series, Getting Sideways, will be coming out in early December!


BIO:

In addition to being a YA author, Lisa Nowak is a retired amateur stock car racer, an accomplished cat whisperer, and a professional smartass. She writes coming-of-age books about kids in hard luck situations who learn to appreciate their own value after finding mentors who love them for who they are. She enjoys dark chocolate and stout beer and constantly works toward employing wei wu wei in her life, all the while realizing that the struggle itself is an oxymoron.

Lisa has no spare time, but if she did she’d use it to tend to her expansive perennial garden, watch medical dramas, take long walks after dark, and teach her cats to play poker. For those of you who might be wondering, she is not, and has never been, a diaper-wearing astronaut. She lives in Milwaukie, Oregon, with her husband, four feline companions, and two giant sequoias.

Buy on Amazon
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Tuesday, November 08, 2011

New shirt for Comic Con

This one is for all my geeky Electrical Engineering peeps out there!


For more information on Austin Comic Con, including all the amazing people who are going to be there (like Kevin Sorbo), check it out! We'll be at Booth 521. More details coming soon...

Monday, November 07, 2011

IN THE FORESTS OF THE NIGHT by Kersten Hamilton Giveaaway

I've previously reviewed TYGER TYGER by Kersten Hamilton and I'm psyched to offer up the sequel, as a pre-order, for giveaway, thanks to the amazing author!

IN THE FORESTS OF THE NIGHT (The Goblin Wars: Book 2) by Kersten Hamilton (Clarion, November 22, 2011)


From Amazon:

The battle against goblinkind continues . . . but which side will Teagan be on?
Teagan, Finn, and Aiden have made it out of Mag Mell alive, but the Dark Man’s forces are hot on their heels. Back in Chicago, Tea’s goblin cousins show up at her school, sure she will come back to Mag Mell, as goblin blood is never passive once awoken. Soon she will belong to Fear Doirich and join them. In the meantime, they are happy to entertain themselves by trying to seduce, kidnap, or kill Tea’s family and friends. Tea knows she doesn’t have much time left, and she refuses to leave Finn or her family to be tortured and killed. A wild Stormrider, born to rule and reign, is growing stronger inside her. But as long as she can hold on, she’s still Teagan Wylltson, who plans to be a veterinarian and who heals the sick and hurting. The disease that’s destroying her—that’s destroying them all—has a name: Fear Doirich. And Teagan Wylltson is not going to let him win.


Source of book: From the author

This contest will run through Saturday, November 19, 2011.

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

Extra entries are here:
  • +1 entry - Follow me on Twitter
  • + 2 entries - Tweet about this contest. See button at the top of post for an easy tweet!
  • + 2 entries - Blog about this contest.
  • + 2 entries - Tell me how much you want this book :)

Okay, that's it! Fill out the form below. And good luck!


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

A MILLION SUNS by Beth Revis (Razorbill, January 10, 2012)
CLICK HERE TO ENTER!



Saturday, November 05, 2011

Winner—HOW TO SAVE A LIFE by Sara Zarr

Welcome to all the new followers, and thank you to everyone who entered to win! The winner of

HOW TO SAVE A LIFE by Sara Zarr (Little, Brown, October 18, 2011)


is...

SUSAN LIGHT!


*****

Don't forget I'm also giving away:

A MILLION SUNS by Beth Revis (Razorbill, January 10, 2012)
CLICK HERE TO ENTER!