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

Thursday, October 31, 2013


Though mythology is filled with gods and goddesses, it’s also filled with monsters. To celebrate Halloween, I want to share with you my favorite monsters from mythology.


A three-headed monster, part lion, goat, and snake. The Chimera breathes fire, and watch out if you ever spot one. It’s a sign of bad things to come. It’s also come to be used to refer to something very imaginative or implausible.


Sibling of the Chimera, Cerberus guards the gates to the Underworld. Yes, he has a big part in Solstice, and yes, he has three heads. I tend to think that Cerberus, though fierce, is also much like any domesticated dog at home. I’m sure he loves tummy rubs, doggie treats, and playing fetch.


I’ve often thought how hard it would be to not look someone in the eye. But thinking becomes reality when gorgons are concerned. There are no retakes. One look, and you’re turned into stone. Terrible and dreadful, their images are often used for protection. In fact, maybe I’ll add one to my collection of Halloween gravestones.


There is such a nice balance in threes. Maybe that’s why we see it so often in Greek mythology. Of course there’s nothing nice about what the Furies will do to you if you’re sentenced to eternal torture in the Underworld. These three gals are the goddesses of pain. And they will never relent.


In keeping with the power of threes (see, three headed monsters, three gorgons, three furies), Sirens round out my favorite monsters from Greek mythology. I adore the image of Odysseus strapped to his ship, listening to their music, wanting to join them at the cost of his own life. And here I thought Stairway to Heaven was a powerful song.

So those are mine! What are your favorite monsters from Greek mythology (or any mythology for that matter)?

Happy Halloween!

*all photos from Wikimedia Commons

Monday, October 21, 2013

Texas Book Festival 2013

For those out and about in the Austin, Texas area, this weekend is the Texas Book Festival! Located down at the Capital, the Texas Book Festival has something for everyone!

If you're interested in young adult books or books about girls with special powers, I'll be on a panel on Saturday, October 26th, 2013 from 1:30-2:30 pm.

In addition to me, the panel will be made up of Jessica Khoury (author of ORIGIN), Cynthia Leitich Smith (author of FERAL NIGHTS), and Kami Garcia (author of UNBREAKABLE) and will be moderated by local Austin author Sean Peitrie.


     P. J.  Hoover at the 2013  Texas Book Festival

WHEN: October 26th, 2013, 1:30-2:30 pm
WHERE: Capital Extension Room E2.014
WHAT: Texas Book Festival Young Adult Literature Panel on GIRL POWER(S)

Please come by and see us!

Thursday, October 03, 2013


Hi! P. J. Hoover here, author of the dystopian/mythology YA novel, SOLSTICE (Tor Teen, June 18, 2013), and I'm crazy excited to host this stop for the YA Scavenger Hunt! 

(and p.s. I'm so excited that I'm giving away a second copy of SOLSTICE below, so make sure to check it out!)

Hi! Thanks for visiting!

This tri-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors...and a chance to win some awesome prizes! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize--one lucky winner will receive one signed book from each author on the hunt in my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 72 hours!

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are THREE contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the RED TEAM--but there is also a blue team and a gold team for a chance to win two other sets of books!

If you'd like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt homepage.


Directions: Below, you'll notice that I've listed my secret number. Collect the secret numbers of all the authors on the red team, and then add them up (don't worry, you can use a calculator!). 

Entry Form: Once you've added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify. 

Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian's permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by October 6th, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered. 


Today, I am hosting RACHEL CARTER on my website for the YA Scavenger Hunt!

Hi, Rachel!

RACHEL'S BIO: Rachel Carter is a writer, a reader, and a lover of all things pop culture. She grew up in the woods of Vermont, and recently graduated from Columbia University with an MFA in nonfiction writing. She is the author of the So Close To You series from HarperTeen.

You can find out a ton more about Rachel on her website!

And if her book sounds like something right up your alley (which of course it does), you can buy it here!





These are the things of which Lydia is now certain:

The Montauk Project has been experimenting with time travel for years.

The Project's subjects are ""recruits"" from across time, recruits like Wes, Lydia's ally, friend, and love.

The Project is now responsible for the disappearance of two members of her family.

The conspiracy theorists were right about the Montauk Project all along. In this sequel to So Close to You, they're coming for Lydia next...

The exclusive content here is awesome! 
You can't ask for anything better than that! Enjoy :)


The dress is laid out on the bed, so dark red it looks black in the muted light of the hotel room. I run my hand down the fabric and it parts like water, the silk gliding across my skin, the deep color swallowing the paleness of my fingertips.
I take off the robe I’ve been wearing and lay it over the back of an overstuffed chair. Though the room is empty, I cover my nakedness with my hands, keeping my body angled toward the door. I am waiting for the knock, waiting for it to open at any moment.
I pick up the dress and quickly pull it over my head. It molds itself to my body, sweeping against the low heels of my sandals. It is a simple column, with a cut that reminds me of old Hollywood movies, where the women had smoky voices and everyone talked too fast.
The knock still doesn’t come. I turn on another light next to the bed and the thick fringe from the lampshade sweeps across my hand. This one has a tinted bulb, which turns the room a garish pink, making the shadows deeper and staining the white floral wallpaper with slashes of red.
There is a mirror across from the bed, framed in gold and silver, ornate twists and circles that make me dizzy when I catch them from the corner of my eye. I stare at my reflection, barely recognizing the face that looks back at me. My old bangs grew out months ago, and my red hair falls in heavy waves around my shoulders. My cheekbones were always high, but now they are even more pronounced, making hollow grooves above my jawline. I dab a light gloss over my lips, ignoring the flatness in my eyes and the new muscles that curve along my arms and shoulders.
I’m not supposed to wear a lot of makeup, they said. No one in this time period does, and blending in is the most important part of being in an era that’s not your own. I take care to only use a small swipe of mascara, a touch of blush, and though I run an ivory comb through my hair, I leave it down, skimming where the edge of the silk hits my lower back.
I step away and examine my reflection, still detached, as though it is a stranger’s face and body that I am somehow controlling. The color should look wrong against my skin, but the red brings out the lighter strands in my hair and the sheath hugs my frame, making me seem curvier than I am these days.
It has been nine months since I faced General Walker in that bare gray cell, hidden so many feet below the ground. He told me I could walk away from my old life, join the Montauk Project and start traveling through time as part of a secret government organization, or I could die. It wasn’t much of a choice, and so here I am, standing in this lavish hotel room, waiting for my contact on my first mission.
I have not met the rest of the team yet. I don’t even know who they are, and the anticipation is crawling over me, like an itch I can’t quite reach in the middle of my back. I pick at the fabric of the dress, pinching the silk between my fingers and then smoothing the wrinkles out again. I’m surprised at how nervous I am; I thought they had stripped all my feelings from me, that those endless months of training—not speaking to anyone but my commanding officers, not seeing my family or friends—had made me numb in a way that was permanent, in a way that would make me unable to feel anything ever again.
But there it is inside of me, curled in a ball, tucked low in the pit of my stomach—fear. Tonight I have to kill a man, and I don’t know if I can.
The knock on the door is so loud it makes me jerk, and the comb falls from my hand to bounce against the glossy tiled floor. I take a deep breath, pushing my shoulders back, lifting my chin. I am a skilled recruit for the Project, just like whoever is standing on the other side of that door. They don’t have to know that this is my first mission. They don’t have to know that I’m afraid.
I cross the room quickly, the silk whipping around my legs. The wooden door is cool to the touch, and I lay my cheek against it, listening. “Who is it?” I call out.
The voice that answers is muffled. It sounds deep, but I can’t quite tell through the thickness of the door. “It’s Michael. Let me in. The fund-raiser is starting soon and the champagne will get warm.”
It’s my contact. He’s using the code, even mentioning his alias. I slide back the old-fashioned lock and swing the door open.
There is a phrase I am supposed to say back so that he’ll know who I am. “Darling, the champagne is on ice, don’t—”
But the final words die in my throat.
Standing in front of me, dressed in a slim black tuxedo, is the boy who left me crumbled on the cold floor of a cell after betraying me to General Walker and telling me he never loved me. Wes.
The boy who broke my heart.


And don't forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of signed books by me, Rachel Carter, and more! To enter, you need to know that my secret number is 6. Add up all the secret numbers of the authors on the red team and you'll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!


To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author!



“Solstice is one red-hot read—it intrigues, sizzles, and satisfies.” —Cynthia Leitich Smith, New York Times bestselling author
In celebration of the Scavenger Hunt, I'm offering up a second copy of SOLSTICE (Tor Teen, June 18, 2013) here (US only).

It's easy to win! Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck, and may all your reading be enjoyable!


Piper's world is dying. Each day brings hotter temperatures and heat bubbles that threaten to destroy the earth. Amid this global heating crisis, Piper lives under the oppressive rule of her mother, who suffocates her even more than the weather does. Everything changes on her eighteenth birthday, when her mother is called away on a mysterious errand and Piper seizes her first opportunity for freedom. 

Piper discovers a universe she never knew existed—a sphere of gods and monsters—and realizes that her world is not the only one in crisis. While gods battle for control of the Underworld, Piper’s life spirals out of control as she struggles to find the answer to the secret that has been kept from her since birth.


And one more time...


To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author!