Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Title and Cover Reveal for final book in Paolini's Inheritance Cycle

Eagerly awaited by millions around the world, the conclusion to Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance cycle will arrive November 8th, it was announced today by Alfred A. Knopf Books. Following Eragon, Eldest, and Brisingr, the fourth and final book in the series will be titled INHERITANCE, a fitting designation for the concluding novel in Paolini’s epic fantasy.

“The burning questions asked by fans around the world will finally be answered in this last installment,” said Christopher Paolini. “All will be revealed!”

INHERITANCE will have a first printing of 2.5 million copies. The green dragon on the cover of INHERITANCE was illustrated by the John Jude Palencar, illustrator of the Eragon, Eldest, and Brisingr covers.

FYI: All three were #1 New York Times bestsellers in the United States. To date, there are 49 foreign-language licenses for Eragon alone, and together the first three books in the series have sold 25 million copies worldwide.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Alyson Noel

Let me tell you a little about the lovely Alyson Noel who came to talk to us last week about Ever’s little sister Riley. She’s the author of the wonderful Immortals series, as you know, and the Immortals spin off series about Ever’s little sister Riley. She’s also written Faking 19, Art Geeks and Prom Queens, Laguna Cove, Fly Me to the Moon, Kiss and Blog, Saving Zoe, Cruel Summer, First Kiss (the Tell), and Kisses from Hell. And she has a new YA series coming out in the summer of 2012 called Soul Seekers.

You probably also know that she was she was raised in Orange County, lived in Mykonos, Greece, then Manhattan before returning to Laguna Beach. She’s had many jobs, from jewelry maker and t-shirt painter to front desk hotel clerk and flight attendant. And she spends most of her free time traveling.

But you might not know that Alyson’s hair has been brown, orange, red, blonde, black and purple, that she got a perfect score on singing Wanted Dead or Alive on Rock Band (twice), and that if she could go back in time she would travel to Renaissance Florence.

Alyson was charming and voluble. She told us that Ridley Scott bought the rights to Fly Me to the Moon 6 months ago (wow!), that she writes a book in 3-4 months, that it took her 15 years to write her first book, and that she swears by two books: Story by Robert MccKee and Save the Cat by Blake Snyder. That she was a flight attendant living in New York but after 9/11 she decided to seriously try to write. Can’t wait to read her new series.

The Gathering by Kelly Armstrong - Review

Everyone knows everyone else in the small secluded town Maya lives in. It’s a blessing and a curse. But, to Maya, it started to feel a little less safe and a little stranger than usual after her friend Serena drowns in the middle of a lake – particularly as she was the captain of the swim team. This haunts Maya, mainly as she thinks she might have felt hands in the water. Then a reporter shows up asking about Serena. On top of this, there are more and more mountain lions seen in the town. Her friend Daniel senses things about people that he can’t explain. And she’s more interested than she’d like to be in the new student, Rafe, whose reputation precedes him. What is happening in this town? Can she uncover its secrets? Does her birth mark mean anything? Maya is determined to find out.

This action-filled adventure is set in the same world as the Darkest Powers trilogy and leaves us with many, many questions and a need to know more about this second Edison Group experiment.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Neil Shusterman

I'm such a huge fan of Neil Shusterman. I love the Antsy books (The Shwa was Here, Antsy Does Time), Full Tilt, and especially Unwind.

And I've just read on Neil's blog that he's writing a sequel to Unwind. It's going to be called Unwholly and it will be published in the Fall of 2012. So excited. It stood alone, certainly, but I am so glad he's decided to continue writing this world. He's also writing the script for a movie of Unwind (for more details click here). So cool.

Best of all, he'll be at Kepler's on May 3rd to talk about his new book, Everfound, the concluding volume to his amazing Skinjacker Trilogy.

More soon.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Pink by Lili Wilkinson - Review

Ava wears black, has a sophisticated girlfriend, and radical parents. But isn't sure this is who she wants to be. So she applies to a private school, tells everyone her parents are making her do this, and tries out a new persona. This time she wears pink and wonders what it would be like to kiss a guy. And when she doesn't get a part in the school musical, she joins the stage crew. And as Ava struggles to work out who she is, she finds that she can't juggle both personas, and keep so many secrets, without hurting the people she most wants to please.

It's a riotous look at the complexities of being true to yourself while trying to fit in, full of self doubt, honesty, and compassion. And is very, very funny.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Scorpia Rising

Because Anthony Horowitz is coming to Kepler's on Friday March 25th, at 7.00
and because we are so excited about this,
and because the book comes out tomorrow,
and because it ends the series,
and because there are SO many twists and turns,
and because I have been a fan for so long

here is a video trailer for Scorpia Rising.

More to come

In My Mailbox

Oh, I know, I am so late with this. But I have an excuse - I was away for the weekend. Last week? It was my birthday, I celebrated ( a lot), we hosted the wonderful Alyson Noel, and we're hosting the amazingly talented Anthony Horowitz on Friday March 25th at 7.00. He's here to talk about Scorpia Rising, which will end this long-running and so very popular series. It has so many twists,things you just can't see coming. Can't wait.

Books? I only two YA titles this week:

1. Welcome to Bordertown
Edited by Holly Black and Ellen Kushner
Bordertown: a city on the Border between the human world and the elfin realm. 13 interconnected stories, one graphic story and eight poems by some of the best urban fantasy and fantasy writers around: Holly Black, Cassandra Clare, Charles de Lint, Cory Doctorow, Neil Gaiman, Annette Curtis Klaus, Ellen Kushner, Will Shetterly, Janni Lee Simmons, Jane Yolen and many more

2. Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
Love knows no bounds...
Seventeen-year-old Lochan and sixteen-year-old Maya have always felt more like friends than siblings. Together they have stepped in for their alcoholic, wayward mother to take care of their three younger siblings. As defacto parents to the little ones, Lochan and Maya have had to grow up fast. And the stress of their lives--and the way they understand each other so completely--has also also brought them closer than two siblings would ordinarily be. So close, in fact, that they have fallen in love. Their clandestine romance quickly blooms into deep, desperate love. They know their relationship is wrong and cannot possibly continue. And yet, they cannot stop what feels so incredibly right. As the novel careens toward an explosive and shocking finale, only one thing is certain: a love this devastating has no happy ending.

How was your week?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Alyson Noel

We hosted Alyson Noel last night at Kepler's. She was fabulous. I'll write about it tomorrow - with photos - but today I'll post video of her talking about her newest book, Shimmer:

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Jennifer Lawrence to play Katniss

OK, I have to write about this. Just read (TheWrap) that Jennifer Lawrence has landed the role of Katniss in the movie version of Hunger Games (yes, the actress nominated for an Academy Award for Winter's Bone, which I haven't yet seen - have you?). You might recognize her as Mystique in X-Men: First Class.

Alex Pettyfer is rumored to be under consideration to play Peeta (really?) as are Josh Hutcherson ("The Kids Are All Right") and Hunter Parrish ("Weeds"). Gary Ross ("Seabiscuit") is directing the movie, and Billy Ray ("Shattered Glass," "State of Play") wrote the screenplay. Nina Jacobson, Jim Miller and Alli Shearmur are producing.

SO - what do you think?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I promised I'd write about Rachel Hawkins and Sarwat Chadda's visit before I forgot. As everyone knows, I was thrilled to host them, I’ve read both series and had questions!

They are an unlikely pair. Rachel Hawkins was born in Virginia and raised in Alabama. This means she uses words like "y'all" and "fixin'" a lot, and considers anything under 60 degrees to be borderline Arctic. Before deciding to write books about kissing and fire (and sometimes kissing while on fire), Rachel taught high school English for 3 years, and is still capable of telling you all about The Canterbury Tales if you ask.

Sarwat Chadda, on the other hand, has a completely different accent (English) and says things like “naff” and “bloke.” His love of storytelling began with his first game of Dungeons and Dragons. He spent long nights creating dark tales of adventure, weaving in real history, myths and legends from all sources, but most heavily from the Crusades. He went on to become an engineer! Oh, and won a writing competition, which resulted in an auction for Devil’s Kiss. Brought up a Muslim and married to a vicar’s daughter, Sarwat created Billi SanGreal, a heroine of both cultures.

The things they had in common were their strong kick-ass heroines and how funny they were. They told stories of their backgrounds and paths to writing, about their books and characters, about their covers (and oh, you should see the Bulgarian cover of Hex Hall. Rachel suggested maybe they had misread it as Sex Hall.) And about other covers (how a certain model on a certain YA angel book was much shorter than she’d imagined him to be). They talked about their magic Starbucks moment when Rachel learned she was now a New York Times bestselling author and Sarwat talked about a potential film deal. They had a great camaraderie and clearly enjoyed being on tour together. And there was much talk about James Franco, who was in town for his mother’s play.

Lots of questions, lots of photos, and a long signing line made for a very successful evening. And enough tote bags for all of them (competition is still open if you want one). Isn't that a great photo of the winners with their bags? And that's me on the left with my eyes closed! (And Heidi Kling, author of Sea, in photo above)

Oh, here's Rachel talking about her books:

and here's Sarwat talking about his books:

Monday, March 14, 2011

Darkest Mercy by Melissa Marr - Review

I'm falling behind with posting my reviews. I wrote this ages ago. Ooops.

Reading Darkest Mercy was a bittersweet experience. I was thrilled to immerse myself with some of my favorite characters,yet melancholy to know that this was the end. Of course, that didn't slow my reading. I zoomed through the book, loving every touching, tragic, cruel detail.

To recap
: Keenan, the summer king, is missing, and Bannanach has attacked the Dark Court, leaving Irial at death's door. Chaos is everywhere and war seems inevitable. What to do now? Aislinn must rule her court as best she can while Keenan looks for allies, still trying to help his court from so far. Both are torn between love and duty. Donia prepares for war, Niaill is mad with grief, Death walks among them, and Seth, although a seer, cannot see everything, especially about himself.

I love these books. I love how well they are plotted and written. I still gasp at the twists and revelations, and I'm impressed by how well Melissa has pulled the threads together for this exemplary conclusion. There is passion, joy, sacrifice, love, pain, and sadness; but each character makes their own choices and there is so much hope. It is hard to part with a world you love, but such a delight to see a writer satisfy her readers with this well-orchestrated finale.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

In My Mailbox

What a week! We hosted Jon Scieszka, Casey Scieszka, and Steven Weinberg on Monday and Rachel Hawkins and Sarwat Chadda on Thursday. I'm giving away some gorgeous tote bags (see previous post), I finished The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong (review soon), and have started Beauty Queens by the hilariously funny Libba Bray. And I got some incredible books. Much jumping up and down with glee. Lucky me. Here they are:

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
A plane full of beauty queens crashed on a desert island. Yes, I've already started it.

Mercy by Rebecca Lim
A fallen angel haunted by her past. Yearning for her immortal beloved. Forever searching for answers. Who will show her Mercy?

Abandon by Meg Cabot
The myth of Persephone , darkly reimagined. Oh how I wanted this one.
Can't wait to start it!

Epic Fail by Claire Lazebnik
A contemporary take on Pride and Prejudice.

Something Deadly This Way Comes by Kim Harrison
The conclusion to the Madison Avery series.
Hm, I really enjoyed Once Dead Twice Shy but seem to have missed Early to death, Early to Rise (oops). High hopes for this.

So that was my week in books. How was yours?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Demonglass and Dark Goddess Tote Bag Giveaway

Anyone who has been reading this blog knows that I've spent the last few weeks talking about Rachel Hawkins, Sarwat Chadda, and their books. They came to the store on Wednesday and were FABULOUS. I shall write a post all about it, with video and photos, I promise. But today, I want to tell you all about my competition.

The Competition: I have gorgeous canvas tote bags with Demonglass on one side and Dark Goddess on the other side. I gave them away at the event. And I have three - yes three - to give away here. And TWO of them are signed. They are lovely. I am exceptionally attached to mine.

What do you have to do to get one?

Very little.

Write a comment below telling me your name and email address (so I can contact you if you win)

+1 if you are already a follower
+1 if you sign up as a new follower
+2 if you write about it on your blog/facebook/twitter (and send me the link)

It's as easy as that.

What are you waiting for? These bags need homes!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Jon Scieszka, Casey Scieszka, and Steven Weinberg

On Monday we hosted Jon Scieszka with his new book Spaceheadz 2. And while it is rather young for a teen blog, he is hilariously funny and you should take the time to listen to his reading of Major Fluffy's all important speech if nothing else:

He came with his daughter, Casey Scieszka and her boyfriend, Steven Weinberg who have just written a book called To Timbukto, which sounds incredible and made me want to start traveling all over again. Here they are talking about it:

Doesn't it sounds good? They were all delightful and so very entertaining. Hm, it seems I haven't taken a trip in far too long...

Sunday, March 6, 2011

In My Mailbox

Exciting week ahead. Jon Scieszka on Monday (he is SO funny, Rachel Hawkins and Sarwat Chadda on Wednesday (books are great and did you see the bags I've got to give away? Awesome!) I read Pink by Lili Wilkinson, which was great - review soon - and A Devil's Kiss and am mid way through The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong. As always, thanks to the Story Siren for hosting this meme.

Now to the books I've acquired this week:

1. Sweetly by Jackson Pearce
Not everything is as sweet as it appears in this wickedly delicious reimagining of Hansel and Gretel
I loved Sisters Red so am super excited about this.

2. Bumped by Megan McCafferty
When a virus makes everyone over the age of 18 infertile, would be parents must pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society
Yay - a very different type of dystopia. Can't wait

3. A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford
Trapped between life and death, cursed to spread chaos with her every touch, Eden could be the key in the eternal struggle between heaven and hell. All because she gave her heart to one of the fallen, an angel cast out of heaven

4. Gossip from the Girls' Room
Rose Cooper
If there's anything juicy going on at MiddleBrooke Middle School, Sofia knows about it. And it's all right here in her super-secret notebook. Looks fun

That's it for this week. What did you get?

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Check out the tote bags we'll be giving away

YES! Great News! I have free tote bags to give away at the event on Wednesday March 9th with Rachel Hawkins and Sarwat Chadda. Aren't they fabulous? Demonglass on one side, Dark Goddess on the other. I know you want one. And I have several. I shall probably keep one to give away on the blog so keep reading.

As for the others, I'll be giving them away as door prizes

If you haven't seen the event description, here it is:

Wednesday, March 9, 7:00 p.m.
Rachel Hawkins and Sarwat Chadda
Kepler's Books, Menlo Park

Calling all paranormal and fantasy readers. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to hear Rachel Hawkins and Sarwat Chadda talk about their sequels to the wonderful Hex Hall and A Devil’s Kiss.

Rachel Hawkins: Demonglass

Sophie Mercer thought she was a witch. That was the reason she was sent to Hex Hall, a reform school for delinquent Prodigium (aka witches, shapeshifters, and fairies). But that was before she discovered the family secret, and that her crush, Archer Cross, is an agent for The Eye, a group bent on wiping Prodigium off the face of the earth.

Turns out, Sophie's a demon, one of only two in the world - the other being her father. What's worse, she has powers that threaten the lives of everyone she loves. So she decides to go to London for the Removal, a risky procedure that will either destroy her powers forever - or kill her.

But once Sophie arrives she discovers that her new housemates are demons too. Meaning someone is raising them in secret with creepy plans to use their powers, and probably not for good. Meanwhile, The Eye is using Archer to hunt Sophie down. But it's not like she has feelings for him anymore. Does she?

Sarwat Chadda: Dark Goddess (A Devil's Kiss Novel)

Billi's back, and thrust back into action when the Templars are called to investigate werewolf activity. These werewolves call themselves the Polenitsy: man killers and are on the hunt for a Spring Child, an Oracle powerful enough to blow the volcano at Yellowstone, precipitating a Fimbulwinter that will wipe out humankind for good.

The Templars follow the stolen Spring Child to Russia but the only people there who can help are the Bogatyrs, a group of knights who may have gone to the dark side. To reclaim the Spring Child and save the world, Billi needs to earn the trust of Ivan Romanov, an arrogant young Bogatyr who’s suspicious of people in general, and of Billi in particular.

Dark Goddess is a page-turning, action-packed sequel that spans continents, from England to the Russian underworld and back. This is an adventure of folklore and myth become darkly real, of the world running out of time, and of Billi SanGreal - the only one who can save it.

Both books are great - I'd recommend them both. Try them.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Hunger Games Casting

Variety reports that Jennifer Lawrence (Winter's Bone), Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit) and as Abigail Breslin ( "Little Miss Sunshine") are all vying to play Katniss. Insiders say that Lawrence has generated the most interest and would make the part more of a young adult than Steinfeld or Breslin, who are both 14.

Hm, who would you pick of these three actresses? And who do you want to see play Peeta and Gale?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Malinda Lo Announces New Book

PW’s Children’s Bookshelf just announced that Little, Brown has just bought Malinda Lo’s two-book YA series Adaptation. The premise? After an ominous series of mass bird deaths, a girl questions whether she is still human after she undergoes a mysterious procedure, and is torn between feelings for her crush David and a seductive new girl. The first book, Adaptation, is due out in fall 2012 and Malinda says it "is set in the near future United States, but not dystopian near future. It’s set like in 2014. It is not a fantasy, but I do hope it will be fantastic." Sounds so good.

Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins - Review

Can you tell how excited I am that we're hosting Rachel Hawkins on March 9th? Love, love, love her books. And her's my review of Demonglass. She's touring with Sarwat Chadda, and I've just finished Devil's Kiss so I'll post a review asap. Templars, and a kick-ass heroine, and lots of action. Oh, don't miss this opportunity to meet them!

Remember Sophie Mercer from Hex Hall? Well, she's back. And once she realizes what her powers can do, and how she can hurt almost everyone she loves, she decides she wants to go to London for the Removal. But it's a dangerous thing to try - it can destroy her powers, as she wants, or kill her.

Enter her absentee Dad who doesn't want her to go through the Removal - he's head of the Council and shares her family secret (and her sarcastic wit apparently). She goes with him to London, accompanied by Cal and Jenna, only to find there are demons at Thorne Abbey. Really? Naturally Sophie is sidetracked into finding out who is raising them and why. And then there's Archer who has also been sighted in London. Is he really part of The Eye? And, if so, why did he keep turning up to help her? Oh, and there's also the war escalating between the Council, the Eye, and the Brannicks ("Irish girls, red hair...from Mrs. Casnoff's 'People Who Want to Kill Us All' lecture at Hex Hall last year.").

I loved Hex Hall and Demonglass is better. It's funny, intelligent, fast-paced, action-filled, with plenty of unexpected twists, romantic tension, and angst-filled moments. But be warned, the ending makes you hope Rachel can write the sequel really, really fast.