Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday

Oh, this week I want to point out a book I SO want to read. FOR THE WIN by Cory Doctorow. Now I've been a fan since I read Little Brother and have been waiting for his next book.

In the virtual future, you must organize to survive

At any hour of the day or night, millions of people around the globe are engrossed in multiplayer online games, questing and battling to win virtual “gold,” jewels, and precious artifacts. Meanwhile, others seek to exploit this vast shadow economy, running electronic sweatshops in the world’s poorest countries, where countless “gold farmers,” bound to their work by abusive contracts and physical threats, harvest virtual treasure for their employers to sell to First World gamers who are willing to spend real money to skip straight to higher-level gameplay.

Mala is a brilliant 15-year-old from rural India whose leadership skills in virtual combat have earned her the title of “General Robotwalla.” In Shenzen, heart of China’s industrial boom, Matthew is defying his former bosses to build his own successful gold-farming team. Leonard, who calls himself Wei-Dong, lives in Southern California, but spends his nights fighting virtual battles alongside his buddies in Asia. All of these young people, and more, will become entangled with the mysterious young woman called Big Sister Nor, who will use her experience, her knowledge of history, and her connections with real-world organizers to build them into a movement that can challenge the status quo.

The forces arrayed against them are willing to use any means to protect their power—including blackmail, extortion, infiltration, violence, and even murder. To survive, Big Sister’s people must outthink the system. This will lead them to devise a plan to crash the economy of every virtual world at once—a Ponzi scheme combined with a brilliant hack that ends up being the biggest, most fun game of all.

And he will be at Kepler's for a meet and greet so you can come and ask all your questions personally.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Stephenie Meyer to publish a new novella June 5th

So - did you see this? Publishers Weekly just announced that Stephenie Meyer will publish a novella called The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner. Bree Tanner is a minor character first introduced in Eclipse (do you remember her? I admit that I don't). The novella will tell the story of Bree and the newborn army as they prepare to close in on Bella Swan and the Cullens, following their encounter to its conclusion. And yes, Bree will appear in the film version of Eclipse (scheduled to be released June 30).

This will be published on June 5th so mark you calendars! One dollar for each copy sold from the first printing will be donated to the American Red Cross International Response Fund and you can read it FREE (yes, FREE) online for the first month of publication (June 7 to July 5) at

Will you be in line at midnight for your copy?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Free Melissa Marr e-book (Stopping Time)

I was told about this last week, went hunting and wanted to share this wonderful offer. If you are a fan of Melissa Marr's WICKED LOVELY series, as I am, you will be waiting not very patiently for RADIANT SHADOWS and eager to throw yourself back into that wonderful world . Well you can. NOW. You can download Melissa Marr's STOPPING TIME, an exclusive e-book original sequel to INK EXCHANGE, by following the link here. This is so exciting. And I've heard only good things about this story.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox explores the contents of my mailbox on a weekly basis. Of course I only mention things like books! And here's my wonderful collection of books this week with thanks, as ever, to The Story Siren and Pop Culture Junkie who host and inspired this meme.

Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr
I've been on a reading slump recently and the lovely Nancy, the Ravenous Reader, kindly loaned me this. I feel so very, very lucky. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Nancy.

The Karma Club by Jessica Brody
The story of one girl's attempt to speed Karma along only to discover that Karma plays by its own rules

Wereling by Steve Feasey
Trey is a 14 year old just turned werewolf who finds demons are closing in and a psychopathic vampire wants to destroy him. But he has to face the question of whether he is a boy or a beast.

The Wager by Donna Jo Napoli
Don Giovanni loses everything after a tidal wave and, against his better judgment, enters into a deal with the devil: he will not change his clothes or bathe for three years, three months, and three days

Golden Web by Barbara Quick

An imagining of the story of Alesandra Giliam, the world's first female anatomist (set in 14th century Italy).

The Fool's Girl by Celia Rees

Violetta and Feste, her companion come to London in search of an ancient holy relic Malvolio stole from their kingdom. It's only when she meets William Shakespeare that she begins to tell her story. But where will it lead them? Spun from Twelfth Night this looks fabulous.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Carrie Ryan

I know - I talked about Carrie Ryan's visit for weeks and weeks and weeks. I was very excited to meet her and well, what can I say about zombie queen Carrie Ryan that you don’t know? She’s a former litigator who now writes full time. She was also a cheerleader, cyclist, and captain of her high school field hockey team. She hiked and interned at the county coroners office - all good skills to fight off zombies, don’t you think? But how can you ever be prepared for a zombie apocalypse?

The Forest of Hands and Teeth is Carrie’s first published novel and is a wonderful, compulsive, nail-biter of a book that kept me reading late into the night (but with the lights on). The Dead-Tossed Waves is a companion novel revolving around Mary’s daughter, Gabry, and is just as fast-faced, horrifying, and beautiful. And here’s Carrie Ryan to tell us more about the books:

And here she's reading from The Dead-Tossed Waves:

Carrie was a real inspiration talking about her path to publication, law school, and what led her to zombie fiction. And about the many, many rounds of revisions she makes to her books. For example, did you know that her editor saved one of her characters from certain death? ****Spoiler alert*** Yes, it seems she wanted to kill Mary but her editor persuaded her that to keep her alive!

So if you get the chance to meet and/or hear Carrie Ryan, don't hesitate. She's fabulous.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Epitaph Road by David Patneaude - Review

In 2067 a virus wiped out 97 percent of the male population. 97 percent! By 2097 there is a new order and Earth is a very different place, run and ruled over by women. It's utopian really - with no more crime, war, poverty, or hunger. (You can almost hear John Lennon's Imagine playing in the background, can't you?)

Kellen's mother has a powerful position with the Population Apportionment Council and one day he overhears a conversation not meant for his ears. There are rumors of another outbreak of the virus near where his Dad lives and Kellen sneaks away with his two friends Tia and Sunday to warn his dad.

But as they race to find Kellen's dad, they uncover secrets they could never have imagined possible, so incredible it leaves them - and us - breathless and unsure what to do next.

This apocalyptic page turner is fresh and provocative, never leading where you think. It makes you ask yourself whether our society is simply a reflection of our mostly male leadership and how different it would be if women were truly in charge. And it forces you to question what would you give up for a utopian world and whether the ends ever really justify the means.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday

No surprises here. I, like so many others, just can't wait for this book. Due in May, it's just too long to wait.

Spirit Bound By Richelle Mead

Dimitri gave Rose the ultimate choice. But she chose wrong...

After a long and heartbreaking journey to Dimitri's birthplace in Siberia, Rose Hathaway has finally returned to St. Vladimir's-and to her best friend, Lissa. It is nearly graduation, and the girls can't wait for their real lives beyond the Academy's iron gates to begin. But Rose's heart still aches for Dimitri, and she knows he's out there, somewhere.

She failed to kill him when she had the chance. And now her worst fears are about to come true. Dimitri has tasted her blood, and now he is hunting her. And this time he won't rest until Rose joins him... forever.

Now although I love this series, I found Blood Promise rather unsatisfying so am hoping that Richelle Mead returns to form here.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

This meme originated with MizB of Should Be Reading and anyone can play along. Just do the following:

-Grab your current read.
-Open to a random page.
-Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page.
-BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others.)
-Share the title & author, too, so that other participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers

This week I'm reading Linger by Maggie Steifvater and here's my teaser:

Later, I thought of the things I could have added to the list of resolutions, things I'd wanted back before I realized what being a wolf meant for my future. Things like Write a novel and Find a band and Get a degree in obscure poetry in translation and travel the world...

That night, while Grace showered I got out the card and looked at it again. And I wrote:

Believe in my cure

What do you think? Tempting?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Stacey Jay

Stacey Jay was in California this weekend and I got to see her talk about her newest book, My So-Called Death, which sounds hilarious.

Here's some video I took of her talking about the book.

Sounds good, doesn't it?

Oh, and look forward to seeing you tonight to hear Carrie Ryan

Sunday, March 21, 2010

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox explores the contents of my mailbox on a weekly basis. Of course I only mention things like books! I've been away recently and, as you've probably noticed, have been blogging only sporadically, so haven't written a IMM meme for weeks. So here's my wonderful collection of books this week with thanks, as ever, to The Story Siren and Pop Culture Junkie who host and inspired this meme.

Now to the books:

The Thin Executioner by Darren Shan
Inspired by Huckleberry Finn, Darren Shan injects this classic with his trademark horror and gore.

Morpheus Road by DJ MacHale
I'm a fan of the Pendragon series so I'm excited about this story of a boy haunted by a character he created himself.

The Crowfield Curse by Pat Walsh
A hobgoblin confesses that a mythical being is buried in the snow. What has that got to do with the monks Will serves?

Scarlet Fever by Maureen Johnson
Sequel to Suite Scarlett

Worldshaker by Richard Harland
A ship as large as a city, a forbidden romance, and a society on the cusp of revolution. Looks great.

The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place by MaryRose Wood
Of especially naughty children, it is sometimes said "they must have been raised by wolves." These children actually were.

But must finish Linger first...

What did you get this week and what have you placed highest on your TBR pile?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Don't Miss Carrie Ryan on Monday March 22 at 7:00

Just wanted to remind you that the wonderful Carrie Ryan will be at Keplers's on Monday, March 22, at 7:00 p.m.

I loved The Forest of Hands and Teeth (for review see here) and think I liked The Dead-Tossed Waves even better (review to come very soon!) So I am bubbling over with excitement at the thought of hearing Carrie talking about her books.

Hope to see you there. (Will post photos and info about the event later in the week for those of you who can't make it.)

And here's the back cover copy to whet your appetitie: Gabry lives a quiet life. As safe a life as is possible in a town trapped between a forest and the ocean, in a world teeming with the dead, who constantly hunger for those still living. She’s content on her side of the Barrier, happy to let her friends dream of the Dark City up the coast while she watches from the top of her lighthouse. But there are threats the Barrier cannot hold back. Threats like the secrets Gabry’s mother thought she left behind when she escaped from the Sisterhood and the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Like the cult of religious zealots who worship the dead. Like the stranger from the forest who seems to know Gabry. And suddenly, everything is changing. One reckless moment, and half of Gabry’s generation is dead, the other half imprisoned. Now Gabry only knows one thing: she must face the forest of her mother’s past in order to save herself and the one she loves.

Friday, March 19, 2010

A Sneak Peek at Cassandra Clare's New Trilogy - and giveaway

Are you a fan of Cassandra Clare? I am of course and so am excited to show the cover for her forthcoming book, Clockwork Angel, which is the first book in Clare’s new fantasy trilogy, “The Infernal Devices.” In the new series, Clare brings us back to the Shadowhunter-Downworlder universe — and back in time to Victorian-era England. Infernal Devices revolves around Tessa Gray, an orphan who heads to London in search of her disappeared brother and, like Clary, falls deeper and deeper into an alternate magical reality. Along the way she finds two good friends in Jem and Will, and also crosses paths with some familiar names and faces from the Mortal Instruments saga. So, so exciting.

The novel will be published on August 31 from Simon & Schuster's McElderry Books imprint. And the big news is that S&S is holding a sweepstakes to give away 25 ARCs of the novel - yes, you did read that correctly. We can enter to win a copy here. Don't wait!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Video book trailer of The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

Have you seen the book trailer Kepler's has made for The Book Finder by Kimberly Derting? It's fantastic don't you think?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Chronicles of Vladimir Tod: Eleventh Grade Burns by Heather Brewer - Review

Anyone who is reading this series should not and will not hesitate to pick up this fourth adventure of Vladimir Tod. His life is not getting any easier: there is a new vampire, Dorian, who seems driven to drink unusual blood and finds Vlad’s blood irresistible. And do you remember Vlad’s old friend and vampire slayer Joss? Well, he’s back and determined to kill him properly this time. D’Ablo is still around, now with a seat on the Council of Elders, so he’s bringing Otis to trial for crimes against him and vampirekind in general. Let’s not forget Eddie who is still following Vlad around, trying to get that perfect photo that will expose Vlad once and for all. And if you are wondering about Vlad’s love life, he’s still pining for Meredith even though he broke up with her. And then there’s Snow and his confusing feelings for her.

As you can see, things have taken a decidedly darker turn in Eleventh Grade Burns, and Vlad is certainly growing up and gaining in confidence, but no matter how much you think you know where Heather Brewer is leading you, the ending will turn your world upside down. I promise. (Can you hear me screaming from here Auntie Heather?)

Don’t wait. This is one to sink your teeth into and savor.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Battle of the Kids' Books 2009

I've just read that next Monday marks the return of School Library Journal's Battle of the Kids' Books, in which 16 children's books will compete for the honor of top book of 2009. This year's judges include Anita Silvey, Christopher Paul Curtis, and M.T. Anderson, with Katherine Paterson choosing the overall winner. Through Sunday, site visitors can vote in the Undead Poll, which will allow one eliminated titles to be resurrected in the final showdown. This year's contenders include Charles and Emma, Fire, Marching for Freedom, The Storm in the Barn, and When You Reach Me from Team Fantasy, Team Historical Fiction, Team History, Team Graphic or Kind of Graphic Novel, Team Realistic Fiction, and Team Science.

The first round begins on March 15th and the winner will be announced April 5th. Fun!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Dirty Little Secrets by C. J. Omololu - Review

We all have secrets. Some are just bigger and dirtier than others.

And as you read this first line, you are hooked. Of course we all have secrets. The question is: what will we do to keep them hidden? And what do they do to us in turn

Lucy is sixteen and like so many others of her age is worried about her friends, the boy she has a crush on, what people think of her, and her schoolwork. She seems almost distant and mysterious to others and that’s because Lucy has a secret. Although her house looks like everyone else’s from the outside, inside it’s a teeming mess of stacked newspapers, clothes, bags of “treasures”, and rotten, forgotten food. There is no clear surface anywhere, no footpath through the house. So Lucy can never invite friends over, can’t even hire handymen to fix broken appliances. She’s trapped until she graduates and can move.

But everything changes one morning when she comes home and finds her mother dead under a pile of magazines. Lucy knows that if she calls 911 she will end up on the evening news, exposing how she lives, changing the way she and her family are seen. So what should she do?

I read this in one sitting – fascinated, horrified, unsettled – and can’t seem to shake free. It’s a heartbreaking, disturbing look into a disorder not much discussed and the strength it takes to know you are not to blame, and do your best to make a future for yourself. And, as I tried to second-guess her best options, I’ll admit that I didn’t see the ending coming at all.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Finalists for Children's Choice Book Awards announced

The Children's Book Council, in association with Every Child a Reader, the CBC foundation, has just announced the finalists for the third annual Children's Choice Book Awards. The favorite book finalists were determined by close to 15,000 children and teens. For the Teen Choice Book Award, the CBC enlisted the help of
to select the finalists (no wonder they are so good!). And you can vote for your favorite at from March 15 to May 3. Winners will be announced on May 11.

This year's CCBA finalists (for teens) are as follows:

Teen Choice Book of the Year

Blood Promise (Vampire Academy, Book 4) by Richelle Mead
Blue Moon (The Immortals, Book 2) by Alyson Noel
Catching Fire (The Second Book of the Hunger Games) by Suzanne Collins City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, Book 3) by Cassandra Clare
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Author of the Year

Suzanne Collins for Catching Fire (The Second Book of the Hunger Games)
Carl Hiaasen for Scat
Jeff Kinney for Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw and Dog Days
James Patterson for Max (A Maximum Ride Novel)
Rick Riordan for The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson & the Olympians Book 5)

Don't forget to vote. I just did.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting - Review

Violet Ambrose senses dead bodies – really. Growing up she was always finding dead animals and reburying them in her garden so she, and they could be at rest. Once she found the body of a murdered girl – and yes, she always knew when they had been murdered.

Now in high school, Violet is driving herself crazy as she develops an overwhelming crush on her best friend, Jay. They’ve been friends for years, hang out together all the time, know each other’s secrets. But now it’s awkward. And so many other girls at her school are crushing on him too. What is she to do?

But then a serial killer moves into town and the bodies of those dead girls get under her skin, call to her, and Violet is determined to help find the killer and stop him, with or without Jay’s help.

Beautifully written, this is story that grips you by the throat and doesn’t let go. You want to hunt with Violet and find the killer. And the romance simply sizzles. If this is Kimberly Derting’s debut novel, I look forward to reading whatever comes next!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Want an arc of Heidi Kling's wonderful novel, Sea?

Do you want a signed arc of Heidi Kling's wonderful debut novel, Sea? You know you do. (It really is very good - I promise.) Well, she's giving one away on her livejournal blog here. She said she would give away an arc when her twitter followers reached 1,00 and she reached her goal. So go to her blog and ENTER. NOW.

Here's what you have to do:

1. Change your Twitter user pic and/or Facebook to SEA cover image. (One entry per change. Maximize your chances and change both!)

2. BLOG about it (paste the SEA post at the bottom of the page), choose THREE of your favorite blurbs to add, and put the link in comments.

3. TWEET about it and @heidirkling so I'll know. And you know, I pay attention to Twitter.

4. ADD SEA on GOODREADS and VOTE for SEA on the many lists it's on, 2010 Debuts, BOOKS WITH THE BLUES, KISS MY COVER etc. The more times you VOTE (or have voted in the past) the more ENTRIES you get! Link in comments please!


*Okay, You don't have to do that last one, but if you take your picture wearing blue and holding up a SEA sign I'll enter you THREE times into the contest. If you make a VLOG talking about why you want to read SEA you will be entered FOUR more times into the contest.

If you do all those things, consider yourself ENTERED.

And she's throwing in an arc of the UK edition of BEAUTIFUL CREATURES too.
So, what are you waiting for - enter now. And use a quote from my review, here (Heidi doesn't include it on her list...)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Upbeat reports about YA titles for Bologna Children's Book Fair

Always good to hear cheerful news coming out of the publishing industry so was happy to read that reports are upbeat for this year's Bologna Children's Book Fair (23rd to 26th March) mostly in the YA market (yay). Click here to read more.

There is more interest in one-off fiction deals as publishers shy away from committing to longer series. (And I'm ready for more stand-alone titles, even if it is so hard to let go of much loved worlds and characters.) And although Meyer's sales may well decline this year, internationally, the YA market is still growing, said Alex Webb, director of the Rights People agency. "YA is really taking off for us in Asia, particularly in China, and countries such as Germany, France and Brazil are still very strong." Good to know.

Outside the paranormal genre, they expect fiction in general to be a strong category. Candace Bushnell's The Carrie Diaries (Carrie Bradshaw before "Sex and the City"), for example, sold in 17 languages in pre-emptive deals before sight of the manuscript. (She will be touring BTW and yes, at Kepler's. Will keep you posted.)