Monday, December 12, 2011

Author Interview - Terri Giuliano Long "Leah's Wake"

Announcing the In Leah’s Wake Social Media Whirlwind Tour!

As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the In Leah’s Wake eBook edition has dropped to just 99 cents this week.

What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes, including Amazon gift cards of up to $500 in amount and 5 autographed copies of the book. Be sure to enter before the end of the day on Friday, December 16th, so you don’t miss out.



To Win the Prizes

  1. Purchase your copy of In Leah’s Wake for just 99 cents on Amazon or Barnes & Noble
  2. Fill-out the form on Novel Publicity to enter for the prizes
  3. Visit today’s featured event; you may win an autographed copy of the book or a $50 gift card!
  4. BONUS: If you leave a comment on this blog post, you have another chance at $100!


...And I can win too!


Over 100 bloggers are participating in this gigantic event, and there are plenty of prizes for us too. The blogger who receives the most votes in the traffic-breaker poll will win a $100 gift card as well. So when you visit Novel Publicity’s site to fill-out the contest entry form, don’t forget to say that I referred you, so I can get a point in the poll.


The Featured Events include:

Monday, Radio Interview with Novel Publicity! We’re kicking-off on the Novel Publicity Free Advice blog. We interviewed Terri on our radio show Sunday night and have embedded the full podcast and blogged about its highlights. Give it a listen and then leave a comment on the blog post. This is a great chance to get to know more about this inspiring and friendly author. One commenter will win an autographed copy of In Leah’s Wake. Don’t forget to enter for the other contest prizes while you’re over there!

Tuesday, Twitter sharing contest! A tweet is tiny, only 140 characters. But on Tuesday, it could win you $50. Send the following tweet across the twittersphere, and you just may win a $50 Amazon gift card. An autographed copy of In Leah’s Wake is also up for grabs. The winner will be announced Wednesday morning. Here’s the tweet: In Leah's Wake has taken the publishing world by storm. Get the book for just 99 cents http://ow.ly/7ywpZ #whirlwind

Wednesday, Google+ sharing contest! Yup, there’s yet another awesome opportunity to win a $50 Amazon gift card, and this time it just takes a single click! Visit Google+ and share Emlyn Chand’s most recent post (you’ll see the In Leah’s Wake book cover included with it). On Thursday morning, one lucky sharer will be $50 richer. An autographed copy of In Leah’s Wake is also up for grabs. Three chances to win! How about that?

Thursday, Facebook sharing contest! Stop by Novel Publicity’s Facebook page and share their latest post (you’ll see the In Leah’s Wake book cover included with it). It’s ridiculously easy to win! On Friday morning, one lucky sharer will be $50 richer. An autographed copy of In Leah’s Wake is also up for grabs.

Friday, special contest on the author’s site! Win a $500 Amazon gift card, simply by leaving a comment on Terri’s most recent blog post. Yup, you read that correctly—$500! How easy is that? An autographed copy of In Leah’s Wake is also up for grabs.


Remember, it’s all about the books!

Terri Giuliano LongAbout In Leah’ Wake: The Tyler family had the perfect life – until sixteen-year-old Leah decided she didn’t want to be perfect anymore. While her parents fight to save their daughter from destroying her brilliant future, Leah’s younger sister, Justine, must cope with the damage her out-of-control sibling leaves in her wake. What happens when love just isn’t enough? Get it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

About the Author: Terri Giuliano Long grew up in the company of stories both of her own making and as written by others. Books offer her a zest for life’s highs and comfort in its lows. She’s all-too-happy to share this love with others as a novelist and a writing teacher at Boston College. She was grateful and thrilled beyond words when her award-winning debut literary novel, In Leah’s Wake, hit the Barnes and Noble and Amazon bestseller lists in August. She owes a lot of wonderful people – big time! – for any success she’s enjoyed! Visit her on her website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Win a manuscript critique!

Win a literary agent or acclaimed author's feedback on your unpublished manuscript for young adult or middle grade readers.  This rare opportunity is being offered to the six winners of an essay contest recently announced by the literacy charity Book Wish Foundation.  See http://bookwish.org/contest for full details.

You could win a manuscript critique from:


  • Laura Langlie, literary agent for Meg Cabot
  • Nancy Gallt, literary agent for Jeanne DuPrau
  • Brenda Bowen, literary agent and editor of Karen Hesse's Newbery Medal winner Out of the Dust
  • Ann M. Martin, winner of the Newbery Honor for A Corner of the Universe
  • Francisco X. Stork, winner of the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award for The Last Summer of the Death Warriors
  • Cynthia Voigt, winner of the Newbery Medal for Dicey's Song and the Newbery Honor for A Solitary Blue

All that separates you from this prize is a 500-word essay about a short story in Book Wish Foundation's new anthology, What You Wish For.  Essays are due Feb. 1, 2012 and winners will be announced around Mar. 1, 2012.  If you win, you will have six months to submit the first 50 pages of your manuscript for critique (which means you can enter the contest even if you haven't finished, or started, your manuscript).  You can even enter multiple times, with essays about more than one of the contest stories, for a chance to win up to six critiques.

If you dream of being a published author, this is an opportunity you should not miss.  To enter, follow the instructions at http://bookwish.org/contest.

Good luck and best wishes,

Logan Kleinwaks
President, Book Wish Foundation

Monday, December 5, 2011

Books Out This Week: Dec. 5 - 11, 2011

Winter Town by Stephen Emond
Release Date: December 5, 2011

From Goodreads:Every winter, straight-laced, Ivy League bound Evan looks forward to a visit from Lucy, a childhood pal who moved away after her parent's divorce. But when Lucy arrives this year, she's changed. The former "girl next door" now has chopped dyed black hair, a nose stud, and a scowl. But Evan knows that somewhere beneath the Goth, "Old Lucy" still exists, and he's determined to find her... even if it means pissing her off.


 Eternal Starling (Emblem of Eternity #1) by Angela Corbett
Release Date:  December 6, 2011


From Goodreads:  A love so strong, even eternity can’t separate them.

Evie Starling has lived a relatively uneventful life hanging out with friends, gossiping about boys, and driving her 1966 Mustang. All of that changes when she moves to Gunnison, Colorado, to start college and meets two mysterious men.

For centuries, Alex Night and Emil Stone have yearned for Evie—but they each have their own reasons for wanting to be with her. When both men claim to be her soul mate and tell her about an unbelievable past, Evie learns that she’s not the person she thought she was. Soon, Evie finds herself in the middle of an age-old battle between the Amaranthine Society—the soul protectors, and the Daevos Resistance—the soul destroyers. With a past she doesn’t understand, and a future rife with danger, Evie has to decide who she can trust. But Alex and Emil aren’t the only ones who want Evie, and her soul is about to become the rope in an eternal tug-of-war.


 Deadly Little Voices (Touched #4) by Laurie Faria Stolarz
Release Date:  December 6, 2011


From Goodreads:  High school junior Camelia thought her powers of psychometry only gave her the ability to sense the future through touch. But now she’s started to hear voices. Mean voices. Berating her, telling her how ugly she is, and that she’d be better off dead. It’s a troubling development that has Camelia terrified for her mental stability, especially since her deranged aunt with a suicidal history just moved into the family house. More torturing, ex-boyfriend Ben, who has similar psychometric abilities, has been spending more time with their classmate Alejandra, even as her own feelings for Adam grow stronger. Still, the bond between Camelia and Ben is palpable.

With the line between right and wrong fraying, Camelia turns to pottery to get a grasp on her emotions. She begins sculpting a beautiful figure skater, only to receive frightening premonitions that someone’s in danger. But who is the victim? And how can Camelia help them when she is on the brink of losing her own sanity?


 Clockwork Prince (Infernal Devices #2) by Cassandra Clare
Release Date:  December 6, 2011


From Goodreads:  In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa's powers for his own dark ends.
With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister's war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move and that one of their own has betrayed them.
Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, though her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will; the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?
As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.

 Surrender (Haunting Emma #3) by Lee Nichols
Release Date:  December 6, 2011


From Goodreads:  After a devastating battle at headquarters in New York, the ghostkeeping world is in shambles. When Emma and Bennett return home, they are determined to defeat the wraithmaster, Neos, forever. But it's not going to be easy. Bennett's parents kick him out when they realize he is still using drugs to enhance his powers. Emma is convinced her aunt has come back from the dead to warn her of a new threat. And worst of all, Neos is using wraiths to possess the students at Thatcher Academy.

If the ghosts manage to take over the entire school, even Emma won't be strong enough to stop them. But if either she or Bennett sacrifice his or her powers, they might be able to save the ghostkeeping world once and for all-and break the "ghostkeepers lose their powers when they fall in love" curse. The question is: who will be the one to surrender all power? 


 Illuminated by Erica Orloff
Release Date:  December 8, 2011


From Goodreads:  Some loves are not made to last . . . Like Romeo and Juliet, Heloise and Abelard were doomed from the start, and their romance was destined to pass into history. Yet when sixteen-year-old Callie Martin discovers a diary hidden within an antique book, their story—and hers—takes on another life. For the diary leads Callie to the brilliant and handsome August, who is just as mysterious as the secret the diary hides. Their attraction is undeniable. As the two hunt down the truth behind the diary—and that of Heloise and Abelard’s ancient romance—their romance becomes all-consuming. But Callie knows it can’t last . . . love never does. Will their love that burns as bright as a shooting star flame out, or will these star-crossed lovers be able to defy history?

 The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder
Release Date:  December 8, 2011


From Goodreads:  Dry, sarcastic, sixteen-year-old Cam Cooper has spent the last seven years in and out hospitals. The last thing she wants to do in the short life she has left is move 1,500 miles away to Promise, Maine - a place known for the miraculous events that occur there. But it's undeniable that strange things happen in Promise: everlasting sunsets; purple dandelions; flamingoes in the frigid Atlantic; an elusive boy named Asher; and finally, a mysterious envelope containing a list of things for Cam to do before she dies. As Cam checks each item off the list, she finally learns to believe - in love, in herself, and even in miracles.

 Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey
Release Date:  December 8, 2011


From Goodreads:  Lenzi hears voices and has visions - gravestones, floods, a boy with steel gray eyes. Her boyfriend, Zak, can't help, and everything keeps getting louder and more intense. Then Lenzi meets Alden, the boy from her dreams, who reveals that she's a reincarnated Speaker - someone who can talk to and help lost souls - and that he has been her Protector for centuries.

Now Lenzi must choose between her life with Zak and the life she is destined to lead with Alden. But time is running out: a malevolent spirit is out to destroy Lenzi, and he will kill her if she doesn't make a decision soon.


Gaia Wars by Kenneth Bennett - Excerpt & Author Interview!

As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of The Gaia Wars eBook edition has dropped to just 99 cents this week.

What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes, including a Kindle Fire, Amazon gift cards up to $100 in amount, 5 autographed copies of the book, and 5 autographed copies of its recently released sequel, Battle for Cascadia. Be sure to enter before the end of the day on Friday, December 9th, so you don’t miss out.


To Win the Prizes:

  1. Purchase your copy of The Gaia Wars for just 99 cents on Amazon or Barnes & Noble
  2. Fill-out the form on Novel Publicity to enter for the prizes
  3. Visit today’s featured event; you may win an autographed copy of the book or a $50 gift card!
  4. BONUS: If you leave a comment on this blog post, you have another chance at $100!

...And I can win too!

Over 100 bloggers are participating in this gigantic event, and there are plenty of prizes for us too. The blogger who receives the most votes in the traffic-breaker poll will win a $100 gift card as well. So when you visit Novel Publicity’s site to fill-out the contest entry form, don’t forget to say that I referred you, so I can get a point in the poll.


The Featured Events include:

Monday, Blogaganza on Novel Publicity! We’re kicking-off on the Novel Publicity Free Advice blog. We’ll ask the writer 5 fun and random questions to get everyone talking. Leave a comment or question in response to the post, and you may win an autographed copy of The Gaia Wars or its recently released sequel, Battle for Cascadia. Don’t forget to enter for the other contest prizes while you’re over there!

Tuesday, Twitter sharing contest! A tweet is tiny, only 140 characters. But on Tuesday, it could win you $50. Send the following tweet across the twittersphere, and you just may win a $50 Amazon gift card. Autographed copies of The Gaia Wars and its recently released sequel, Battle for Cascadia, are also up for grabs. The winner will be announced Wednesday morning. Here’s the tweet: Looking for a YA read that's full of adventure & intrigue? Check out The Gaia Wars. Reduced to just 99 cents http://ow.ly/7ywpZ #whirlwind

Wednesday, Google+ sharing contest! Yup, there’s yet another awesome opportunity to win a $50 Amazon gift card, and this time it just takes a single click! Visit Google+ and share Emlyn Chand’s most recent post (you’ll see The Gaia Wars book cover included with it). On Thursday morning, one lucky sharer will be $50 richer. Autographed copies of The Gaia Wars and its recently released sequel, Battle for Cascadia, are also up for grabs. Three chances to win! How about that?

Thursday, Facebook sharing contest! Stop by Novel Publicity’s Facebook page and share their latest post (you’ll see The Gaia Wars book cover included with it). It’s ridiculously easy to win! On Friday morning, one lucky sharer will be $50 richer. Autographed copies of The Gaia Wars and its recently released sequel, Battle for Cascadia, are also up for grabs.

Friday, special contest on the author’s site! Win a Kindle Fire or a $100 Amazon gift card, simply by leaving a comment on Kenneth’s most recent blog post. How easy is that? Autographed copies of The Gaia Wars and its recently released sequel, Battle for Cascadia, are also up for grabs.


Remember, it’s all about the books!

About The Gaia Wars: DEADLY SECRETS have been buried in the Cascade mountain wilderness for centuries. Hidden. Out of sight and out of mind. Until today… Warren Wilkes, age 13, doesn’t like what a greedy housing developer has done to his peaceful mountain community, so he vandalizes the developer’s property, flees into the wild, and stumbles upon an ancient human skeleton revealed by torrential rain. More than old bones have been exposed, however, and the curious artifact Warren finds makes him question his own identity, and his connection to an ancient terror. A terror destined to rise again and annihilate all that Warren loves. He must fight or see his whole world destroyed. Get it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

About Battle for Cascadia: When Warren Wilkes, age 13, stumbles upon a mysterious relic deep in the Cascade Mountains, wonder reigns. Brimming with secrets and sentient energy, the relic leads Warren to a fantastic chamber, and to shocking revelations about his identity. Now wonder has turned to dread. A forgotten terror—a demon that knows Warren better than he knows himself—has risen again and is assembling an army; gathering power with a singularly evil goal in mind: to capture and enslave the wild spirit of the Earth itself. As war erupts and the planet slips into chaos, Warren embraces his destiny and finds help where he least expects it. Get it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

About the Author: Kenneth G. Bennett is the author of the Young Adult novels The Gaia Wars and Battle for Cascadia (the second book of The Gaia Wars), as well as the forthcoming Exodus 2018, a paranormal thriller set in the Puget Sound region of Washington State. A wilderness enthusiast who loves backpacking, skiing and kayaking, Ken enjoys novels that explore the relationship between humans and the wild. He lives on an island in the Pacific Northwest with his wife and son. Visit him on his website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.



Let's get to know Kenneth better through a rousing Q&A...


Where did you find the inspiration for this novel?

The idea began with an article I read about The Gaia Hypothesis. This hypothesis, proposed by NASA scientist James Lovelock, says, in brief: “all organisms and their inorganic surroundings on Earth make up a single, self-regulating entity.” In other words, the Earth itself is a living thing. A vast, “super-organism.”

I love this idea! And when I first read about it I wondered how it might be woven into a novel. In my imagination, and in conversations with friends, I took the Gaia Hypothesis one step further. “What if Gaia (the Earth) is not simply alive,” I asked, “but also sentient?” It occurred to me that a lot of so-called primitive cultures believed this very thing. Understood it in their bones.

Then I was backpacking with my son Eli (age 9 at the time). After a few days in the wilderness, feeling more connected to the land, perhaps, I started to tell Eli the story of The Gaia Wars. He loved it. It took me about a year to write the book and refine it.

Warren Wilkes is quite the unexpected hero. Tell us about him. Is he someone you’ve met before, or is he completely fictional?

My son and his friends are all pretty outdoorsy kids. They’ve backpacked and skied and kayaked and climbed since they were really little, so Warren (a sort of feral, wilderness boy) is probably a composite of the kids I see every day.

This story’s setting is incredibly vivid. How did the Cascade Mountains influence your writing? Do you believe you could have told the same story in a different setting, or would it have been missing something otherwise?

North Cascades National Park is one of my favorite places on the planet, and I go there often. It’s easy to find inspiration in the ancient forests and high-alpine meadows of that region. I’ve also been heavily influenced by Olympic National Park, and by wild areas in Alaska, where I spent much of my childhood. The landscapes in the book contain elements of all of those places.

The Mendari aliens and their organic droids, the Fabrinels, mix-up the story in a way nothing else could have (not even the irksome Mr. Finley). How did you go about creating these other races and defining their culture and behavior?

The Mendari are fantastically advanced, technologically, but suffer from a civilization-wide melancholy. They have every device and contraption imaginable, but in the process of acquiring all this stuff, they’ve nearly destroyed their lovely planet and suffocated their own wild souls. They venture to Earth out of desperation, and with newfound humility, hoping to regain the wisdom they lost millennia ago. The Mendari race is basically the Human race in a few hundred years—if we don’t get our act together in terms of taking care of our planet.

Gaia, or Onatah, is the living embodiment of the Earth Mother. Without giving anything away, tell the readers how she fits into the story.

Gaia, the Earth Mother, represents the wild soul of the planet. She’s the wellspring of all life; the source of the DNA that animates everything from bacteria to redwood trees to homo sapiens. But we humans have reached the point where we think maybe we don’t need to be connected to this wild soul any longer. We see ourselves as separate from the natural world. I think this kind of hubris is a huge mistake, and that’s reflected in the story.

How much research did you have to do in order to learn about the Denelai people’s folklore and nature rituals? How did you find this information?

I love to learn about Native American culture, modern and ancient, and have read a lot about what North America was like prior to European contact. I’m steeped in that history, but the Denelai culture is entirely a product of my imagination—not based on any one people or tribe.

Your cast of characters has very interesting names—ones I suspect were not chosen arbitrarily. Please tell us how you came up with the names for Ina, Mirra, Uhlgoth, and the others.

I greatly admire the name-inventing abilities of authors such as Philip Pullman, J.K. Rowling, Ursula K. LeGuin and (of course) J.R.R. Tolkien. I worked really hard to come up with names that fit the various characters in The Gaia Wars.

You leave The Gaia Wars off on a very big cliff-hanger. What made you decide to take this gutsy literary move—channeling Warren, are you?

The Gaia Wars ends at what felt to me like a natural stopping point (or at least a “pausing” point)--A slight break in the action before all hell breaks loose in Battle for Cascadia.

Battle for Cascadia picks up where the first book leaves off. What can we expect from the sequel? Are there any major ways in which the style or plot line is different than The Gaia Wars?

Battle for Cascadia is a direct and immediate continuation of The Gaia Wars. Many of the storylines begun in Gaia draw to a conclusion in Battle—but not all of them! There are a lot of mysteries left to unravel in those rugged North Cascade canyons.

You’re going to give us more Warren Wilkes, right?! Please tell us you’re planning a third book in the series, and if you can, give us some clues about what happens next.

Absolutely! Warren and company find themselves in a very dangerous place and in very perilous circumstances at the conclusion

And now for an excerpt of the book:


As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of The Gaia Wars eBook edition has dropped to just 99 cents this week.

What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes, including a Kindle Fire, Amazon gift cards up to $100 in amount, 5 autographed copies of the book, and 5 autographed copies of its recently released sequel, Battle for Cascadia. Be sure to enter before the end of the day on Friday, December 9th, so you don’t miss out.

 

To Win the Prizes:

  1. Purchase your copy of The Gaia Wars for just 99 cents on Amazon or Barnes & Noble
  2. Fill-out the form on Novel Publicity to enter for the prizes
  3. Visit today’s featured event; you may win an autographed copy of the book or a $50 gift card!
  4. BONUS: If you leave a comment on this blog post, you have another chance at $100!
 

...And I can win too!

Over 100 bloggers are participating in this gigantic event, and there are plenty of prizes for us too. The blogger who receives the most votes in the traffic-breaker poll will win a $100 gift card as well. So when you visit Novel Publicity’s site to fill-out the contest entry form, don’t forget to say that I referred you, so I can get a point in the poll.

 

The Featured Events include:

Monday, Blogaganza on Novel Publicity! We’re kicking-off on the Novel Publicity Free Advice blog. We’ll ask the writer 5 fun and random questions to get everyone talking. Leave a comment or question in response to the post, and you may win an autographed copy of The Gaia Wars or its recently released sequel, Battle for Cascadia. Don’t forget to enter for the other contest prizes while you’re over there!

Tuesday, Twitter sharing contest! A tweet is tiny, only 140 characters. But on Tuesday, it could win you $50. Send the following tweet across the twittersphere, and you just may win a $50 Amazon gift card. Autographed copies of The Gaia Wars and its recently released sequel, Battle for Cascadia, are also up for grabs. The winner will be announced Wednesday morning. Here’s the tweet: Looking for a YA read that's full of adventure & intrigue? Check out The Gaia Wars. Reduced to just 99 cents http://ow.ly/7ywpZ #whirlwind

Wednesday, Google+ sharing contest! Yup, there’s yet another awesome opportunity to win a $50 Amazon gift card, and this time it just takes a single click! Visit Google+ and share Emlyn Chand’s most recent post (you’ll see The Gaia Wars book cover included with it). On Thursday morning, one lucky sharer will be $50 richer. Autographed copies of The Gaia Wars and its recently released sequel, Battle for Cascadia, are also up for grabs. Three chances to win! How about that?

Thursday, Facebook sharing contest! Stop by Novel Publicity’s Facebook page and share their latest post (you’ll see The Gaia Wars book cover included with it). It’s ridiculously easy to win! On Friday morning, one lucky sharer will be $50 richer. Autographed copies of The Gaia Wars and its recently released sequel, Battle for Cascadia, are also up for grabs.

Friday, special contest on the author’s site! Win a Kindle Fire or a $100 Amazon gift card, simply by leaving a comment on Kenneth’s most recent blog post. How easy is that? Autographed copies of The Gaia Wars and its recently released sequel, Battle for Cascadia, are also up for grabs.


Remember, it’s all about the books!

About The Gaia Wars: DEADLY SECRETS have been buried in the Cascade mountain wilderness for centuries. Hidden. Out of sight and out of mind. Until today… Warren Wilkes, age 13, doesn’t like what a greedy housing developer has done to his peaceful mountain community, so he vandalizes the developer’s property, flees into the wild, and stumbles upon an ancient human skeleton revealed by torrential rain. More than old bones have been exposed, however, and the curious artifact Warren finds makes him question his own identity, and his connection to an ancient terror. A terror destined to rise again and annihilate all that Warren loves. He must fight or see his whole world destroyed. Get it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

About Battle for Cascadia: When Warren Wilkes, age 13, stumbles upon a mysterious relic deep in the Cascade Mountains, wonder reigns. Brimming with secrets and sentient energy, the relic leads Warren to a fantastic chamber, and to shocking revelations about his identity. Now wonder has turned to dread. A forgotten terror—a demon that knows Warren better than he knows himself—has risen again and is assembling an army; gathering power with a singularly evil goal in mind: to capture and enslave the wild spirit of the Earth itself. As war erupts and the planet slips into chaos, Warren embraces his destiny and finds help where he least expects it. Get it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

About the Author: Kenneth G. Bennett is the author of the Young Adult novels The Gaia Wars and Battle for Cascadia (the second book of The Gaia Wars), as well as the forthcoming Exodus 2018, a paranormal thriller set in the Puget Sound region of Washington State. A wilderness enthusiast who loves backpacking, skiing and kayaking, Ken enjoys novels that explore the relationship between humans and the wild. He lives on an island in the Pacific Northwest with his wife and son. Visit him on his website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.

 

Now please enjoy this sneak peek of The Gaia Wars...

 

Chapter 3

The ground climbed steadily and Warren slowed but didn’t stop. He knew how to pace himself, and ran lightly over the soft earth, weaving between the pines.

A plan formed in Warren’s mind. He would make for Pipestone Canyon, roughly two miles distant. He and his uncle had hiked, skied and snowshoed there dozens of times, and he knew it well. Perhaps he could hide among the canyon’s crags, cliffs and massive boulders. Perhaps.

Warren topped a low ridge, entered a clearing, and heard the sudden rush of brawling Nine Mile Creek, two hundred yards ahead. Born in the snowy Cascades, the sparkling stream clattered across the meadow. It was roughly fifteen feet wide here, but shallow, gravel-bottomed and easy to cross.

Now that he was out of the trees, Warren heard other sounds, too: the unmistakable baying of dogs, surprisingly close, and the low, steady whine of ATVs. The Finleys were after him, all right, and they were getting closer.

For the first time, Warren felt truly afraid. He remembered the rage on Mr. Finley’s face. Who could guess what the big brute might do? Or maybe Finley Sr. would simply turn a blind eye as Finley Jr. pulverized him. Junior was a good thirty pounds heavier than Warren, after all.

Wild thoughts flooded Warren’s mind. Maybe the Finleys would tie him up and drag him behind their ATVs, or let their dogs tear him to pieces. He couldn’t guess, and he didn’t want to find out.

Warren had an idea. Instead of running straight across the creek, he would run in it for a while. His shoes and socks would get soaked, but perhaps the ploy would confuse the dogs—at least temporarily. It was a trick he’d read about in numerous adventure stories. Maybe it would help.

He leapt into the clear, frigid water. It was only about a foot deep here, where it crossed the flat, open meadow, but shockingly cold. He sprinted upstream.

Though June meant summer in other parts of the country, it was still early spring here in the higher elevations of the Clement Valley. It had snowed heavily all winter, and the meadows only recently had become snow-free. It had just rained, too, so everything had a fresh, new quality and the air was crisp and clean. Wildflowers carpeted the creek banks.

Warren splashed on—the gravel stream bottom giving a bit under each sloshing footfall. He saw now that the snowmelt and recent rain had caused the clay soil of the stream’s banks to fracture. Here and there great slabs of creek edge had fallen into the water. In some spots, sections of bank teetered, like new islands breaking apart from the mainland after a catastrophic quake. Ahead, the creek jogged sharply to the right.

Warren scanned the meadow. In another hundred feet or so, he’d climb out of the water and run uphill, toward Pipestone Canyon. He sprinted, following the sharp bend in the stream.

That’s when he saw the skeleton.

It was a human skeleton, no doubt about that, lying face up on the soft earth. Warren could see at once what had happened: the skeleton had been buried in the reddish-brown clay of the bank, but a section of creek edge had fractured and fallen away, freeing the skeleton from its tomb. It lay there in broad daylight, as neatly and cleanly as if it had just rolled out of a crypt. Warren stepped forward cautiously and gazed at the remains in silent wonder.

He would have forgotten about the Finleys, his prank and everything else—only now that he’d stopped moving he heard the dogs and whining ATVs once more. Even over the joyful clatter of the creek, the sounds were unmistakable. The Finleys were coming through the forest, within a minute or two of the meadow.

Warren stared at the skeleton. He’d been to enough museums and read enough books to know that it was very old. The bones were light brown and smooth, like aged ivory. It occurred to Warren they might even be fossilized.

The skull, arm and leg bones were large, and the hips narrow, so he guessed he was looking at the remains of a man. The lower jawbone was missing, as were the bones of the right foot. Otherwise, the skeleton appeared intact. Warren leaned closer to the skull, but the empty eye sockets gazing skyward gave him a queer feeling.

He took one last look and …

There was something protruding from the dirt, near the skeleton’s right hip. Warren peered closely.

The “something,” whatever it was, was encrusted with soft clay. It blended with the surrounding soil, and was nearly invisible.

Warren gently traced the object with his fingers, pried some of the clay away, and understood. It was a pouch: leather, bound at the top with a fragment of cord.

Warren teased more soil from the object, marveling that the leather was still supple and intact. Even the design on the face of the pouch—a fine red spiral—had somehow been preserved inside the clay tomb of the creek bank.

Carefully, painstakingly, Warren lifted the pouch free from the soil, loosened the cord, and spilled the contents out.

The first artifact to tumble onto the creek bank—into the sunlight—was a stone spear point. It was about five inches long, brownish-yellow and lovingly crafted. It was still razor sharp, by the look of it.

The spear point made Warren gasp. But the object that thudded onto the bank after it stopped his heart.

It was a heavy, flat medallion of gleaming, hammered gold, inset with sparkling blue gems.

Dazzlingly beautiful, the medallion (medallion was the first word that came to Warren’s mind) could easily have been the centerpiece of a great king’s crown, or of a royal necklace. The object had seven equal sides.

A heptagon, Warren thought. It was a term he’d learned in last semester’s math.

Warren’s hand shook as he traced the perimeter of the heptagon with one finger. The object was about four inches across, and twice as thick as the old silver dollars in his uncle’s coin collection.

In the center of the heptagon was set a perfect circle of highly polished obsidian. The dazzling blue gems—there were seven of them, as well—were embedded in the gold and placed evenly about the obsidian circle. Warren turned the medallion over and saw that the back consisted of gleaming, hammered gold only.

He lifted the object slowly, reverently. It fit neatly in the palm of his hand and was so bright that it flashed in the warm morning light. It was beautiful. It was mesmerizing. It was …

Warren heard sudden, frenzied barking from the forest below and jumped to his feet. How had they scaled the hill so fast? How long had he been kneeling beside the skeleton? With a leap up the bank, he was off once more, bounding across the meadow and toward the sheltering forest beyond.

Warren had run perhaps fifteen feet when he realized he’d left the spear point with the skeleton. No time to retrieve it now. By the sound of it, the Finleys’ dogs would burst into the clearing at any moment. He had to make it to the trees—had to disappear into the forest—if he was to have any hope of escaping.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna #1) by Kendare Blake
Publisher:  Tor Teen
Publish Date:  August 30, 2011
ISBN:  978-0765328656 
Pages:  320


I'm going to change it up a little bit and give you a summary from Goodreads: 

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.
So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.
When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn't expect anything outside of the ordinary: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.
But she, for whatever reason, spares Cas's life.


Cas' mom is a white witch and his dad was a ghost hunter/killer.   His dad was killed by a ghost and Cas took over the family business.  He gets leads from people all over the country and when he gets a story about Anna Dressed in Blood he's intrigued.  It comes from someone he trusts and talks to, so he's ready to pack up and go. Cas never makes friends wherever he goes to live because he knows he isn't staying and he doesn't want anyone to get hurt.

The story goes that Anna was killed in 1958 on her way to a school dance and now she's tied to the house she lived in.  Apparently she was wearing a white dress that was stained with her blood when she was found...thus the name.  It's said that 27 people have entered the house and none have left.  Cas takes that as a challenge.
On the first day of school he befriends the Queen Bee of the class, Carmel.  He knows that's the best way to get the scoop on things.  Carmel seems like a snobby girl, but she turns out to be quite nice and helpful.  He also runs into Thomas shortly after arriving in town.  Thomas is psychic and a total nerd.  He's also in love with Carmel and lives with his grandpa who's big into the occult.

It really takes an excellent author to make you fear someone and then feel sorry for them in the next chapter.  Ms. Blake is that kind of author.  She uses vivid imagery, it was easy to picture her world.  She really made me feel like I was part of the whole story, it was wonderful.  I feel like this is something that YA has been looking for - honest to goodness horror.  Excellent.  

There was a teeny bit of romance in the book, but it was more of the unspoken, yearning romance than the hand holding, kissyface romance.  I liked it!  

I'm pleased that this is going to be a series, I'm interested to see what happens next and if Cas moves or stays on and just travels around to hunt ghosts.


 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

2012 Releases: January 31 - Feb. 6, 2012

Home Front by Kristin Hannah
Release Date:  January 31,2012

From Goodreads:  From a distance, Michael and Joleen Zarkades seem to have it all: a solid marriage, two exciting careers, and children they adore.  But after twelve years together, the couple has lost their way; they are unhappy and edging toward divorce.  Then the Iraq war starts.  An unexpected deployment will tear their already fragile family apart, sending one of them deep into harm’s way and leaving the other at home, waiting for news.   When the worst happens, each must face their darkest fear and fight for the future of their family.  An intimate look at the inner landscape of a disintegrating marriage and a dramatic exploration of the price of war on a single American family, HOME FRONT is a provocative and timely portrait of hope, honor, loss, forgiveness, and the elusive nature of love.

 Destiny and Deception (13 to Life #4) by Shannon Delaney
Release Date:  January 31, 2012


From Goodreads:  The sensational fourth novel in the 13 to Life series sees Jessica and the Rusakuvas fighting to overcome one of their biggest challenges yet--the possibility of a cure for lycanthropy.   With the threat of the mafia seemingly gone and the company's headquarters in Junction destroyed, Pietr Rusakova is adjusting to being a normal teen and Jess is realizing normalcy may not be what she wanted after all. But both Jess and Cat know the truth--that normal can't be taken for granted. Their precious cure isn't permanent--and when a new danger stalks into their small town, Alexi decides he must overcome his issues with the mother who abandoned him to be raised by wolves and make a brand new deal to save his adopted family.

 New Girl by Paige Harbison
Release Date:  January 31, 2012


From Goodreads:  They call me 'New Girl'...

Ever since I arrived at exclusive, prestigious Manderly Academy, that’s who I am. New girl. Unknown. But not unnoticed—because of her.

Becca Normandy—that’s the name on everyone’s lips. The girl whose picture I see everywhere. The girl I can’t compare to. I mean, her going missing is the only reason a spot opened up for me at the academy.   And everyone stares at me like it’s my fault.

Except for Max Holloway—the boy whose name shouldn’t be spoken. At least, not by me. Everyone thinks of him as Becca’s boyfriend…but she’s gone, and here I am, replacing her. I wish it were that easy. Sometimes, when I think of Max, I can imagine how Becca’s life was so much better than mine could ever be.

And maybe she’s still out there, waiting to take it back.


 Incarnate (Newsoul #1) by Jodi Meadows
Release Date:  January 31, 2012


From Goodreads:  NEWSOUL
Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.

NOSOUL
Even Ana’s own mother thinks she’s a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she’ll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are suspicious and afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?

HEART
Sam believes Ana’s new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana’s enemies—human and creature alike—let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else’s life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all? 


 Tangled (Torn Trilogy #2) BY Erica O'Rourke
Release Date:  January 31, 2012


From Goodreads:  Constance started to keen as the air around us began to thrash and twist, the caustic scent of ozone burning my nose. As I watched, her dark gold hair began to lift and kink into knots.

“I’m here. It’ll be okay.” It was the last thing I said before my best friend’s little sister went supernova in the second-floor girls’ bathroom, taking me with her.

A month ago, Mo Fitzgerald risked her life to stop an ancient prophecy and avenge her best friend's murder. Now, she only wants to keep her loved ones safe. But the magic—and the Chicago Mob—have other plans.

Mysterious, green-eyed Luc is back, asking for help—and a second chance. Colin, her strongest protector, is hiding a shocking secret. And inside Constance, the magic is about to go terribly wrong. Tangled in a web of love and betrayal, Mo must choose between the life she's dreamed of and the one she's destined for.


Angelina's Secret by Lisa Rogers
Release Date:  February 1, 2012

From Goodreads:  As a child, Angelina spent years in counseling learning that Josie, her imaginary friend, wasn't real, but it turns out her childhood friend wasn't imaginary after all.Now Angelina has to accept she's either (A) crazy or (B) able to see ghosts. Wanting to believe in her sanity, she chooses (B) and welcomes Josie back into her life. But even Josie can't help her deal with Shelly, the spirit of a confused teenager, and things go very, very wrong.When Angelina finds herself in a psychiatric hospital, she faces a choice: she can spend the rest of her life pretending to be someone she isn't, or she can embrace who she is and take a chance that she may never get to go home.

  Susanna Loves London by Mary Hogan
Release Date:  February 1, 2012

From Goodreads:  Goodbye, NYC! Hello, London! Susanna jets off to the UK to score an international scoop for Teen Scene magazine and dazzle her boss with her cunning, skill and wit.






 Hollow Pike by James Dawson
Release Date:  February 2,2012


From Goodreads:  Something wicked this way comes... She thought she'd be safe in the country, but you can't escape your own nightmares, and Lis London dreams repeatedly that someone is trying to kill her. Lis thinks she's being paranoid - after all who would want to murder her? She doesn't believe in the local legends of witchcraft. She doesn't believe that anything bad will really happen to her. You never do, do you? Not until you're alone in the woods, after dark - and a twig snaps... Hollow Pike - where witchcraft never sleeps.

 Harbinger by Sara Etienne
Release Date:  February 2, 2012


From Goodreads:  When sixteen-year-old Faye arrives at Holbrook Academy, she doesn’t expect to find herself exactly where she needs to be. After years of strange waking visions and nightmares, her only comfort the bones of dead animals, Faye is afraid she’s going crazy. Fast.

But her first night at Holbrook, she feels strangely connected to the school and the island it sits on, like she’s come home. She’s even made her first real friends, but odd things keep happening to them. Every morning they wake on the floors of their dorm rooms with their hands stained red. Faye knows she’s the reason, but what does it all mean? The handsome Kel tries to help her unravel the mystery, but Faye is certain she can’t trust him; in fact, he may be trying to kill her—and the rest of the world too. 


 Beneath a Meth Moon by Jacqueline Woodson
Release Date:  February 2, 2012


From Goodreads:  Laurel Daneau has moved on to a new life, in a new town, but inside she’s still reeling from the loss of her beloved mother and grandmother after Hurricane Katrina washed away their home. Laurel’s new life is going well, with a new best friend, a place on the cheerleading squad and T-Boom, co-captain of the basketball team, for a boyfriend. Yet Laurel is haunted by voices and memories from her past.

When T-Boom introduces Laurel to meth, she immediately falls under its spell, loving the way it erases, even if only briefly, her past. But as she becomes alienated from her friends and family, she becomes a shell of her former self, and longs to be whole again. With help from an artist named Moses and her friend Kaylee, she’s able to begin to rewrite her story and start to move on from her addiction. 


 This One Time with Julia by David Lampson
Release Date:  February 2, 2012


From Goodreads:  The story of Joe, a boy who can fall in love but can’t grow up

After Joe’s parents died, he stopped growing up. He doesn’t know where his money comes from. His diet consists primarily of cheeseburgers from McDonald’s. He plays basketball on the level of a pro, but he has only ever played on the streets.

Then his brother disappears, and Julia shows up. Joe falls in love with Julia as quickly as his twin brother, Alvin, did. And like Alvin did before him, he runs away with Julia to her parents’ hotel. There, he’s so blinded by her seductive, dysfunctional family that he can’t see the truth of his brother’s disappearance … until he accidentally stumbles upon Alvin’s killer.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Scarlett Dedd by Cathy Brett

Scarlett Dedd by Cathy Brett
Publisher:  Delacourte Books for Young Readers
Publish Date:  August 14, 2012
ISBN:  978-0385741750   
Pages:  288

I received this book from www.netgalley.net in exchange for an honest review.

What a fun, cute story!  It's not often that you come across a book for YA with such delightful illustrations!  Cathy Brett is not only an awesome author but a fine illustrator.

The story follows Scarlett as she talks about how she managed to find a few friends even though her family is dirt poor and they all wear second hand clothing and buy the outdated food at the grocery store.  Her friends share her love of gory movies and movie making.

One day Scarlett is reminded of a fieldtrip that she has to go on as part of her History class.  She decides she is absolutely not going, no matter what.  But she knows if she isn't actually ill, her parents will make her go.  So she gets a book on mushrooms and tries to find some to make her 'just a little' sick.  However, she fails to read the entire thing and ends up cooking a mushroom dinner that's toxic.  Unfortunately, she doesn't get time to take care of the dinner before she succumbs and her family ends up eating it too!  Now, she's STILL stuck with them!

Scarlett comes across as a typical teen - somewhat self-centered and doesn't think things through, with some snarky humor.  She and her friends have very definite personalities as do her parents and brother.  I laughed so much while reading this book!  I read it in the airport and on a flight, so got a few odd looks, but it really is that funny!

Scarlett learns how to use her ghostly skills in some pretty funny ways and she enjoys scaring the bejesus out of her friends.  She even learns that she can blog!  However, she's lonely and misses her friends, so she thinks (with a little push from another ghostly blogger) that she should kill them so they can all hang out again.  While not her best idea ever, she does come up with some pretty interesting ideas on how to off them.  Of course she eventually realizes that it's not ok to off your friends just because you're a lonely ghost.

The only thing that bothered me...and it could be because of my poor vision (even with glasses):  some of the pages are done in a very cute manner like putting the words in a spiral or having them look like they've been left in the rain.  I had a really hard time reading those couple of pages.  Otherwise this is an amazing book and I'm glad the author left it open in the end so that there could be a second one!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Books Out This Week: Nov. 28 - Dec. 2, 2011

Only one book out this week...that I could find, anyway.  How weird!!

Legend (Legend #1) by Marie Lu
Release Date:  November 29, 2011

From Goodreads:  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.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Farsighted by Emlyn Chand

Farsighted by Emlyn Chand
Publisher:  Blue Crown Press
Publish Date:  October 20, 2011
ISBN:  978-0983930808  
Pages:  224



I was intrigued by FARSIGHTED, as the main character (Alex), is blind and I wondered how the author would do with that perspective.  I was pleased to find that she does a lovely job with it - all of Alex's other senses are brought into play and the descriptions are wonderful.

Alex is a blind teenage boy, a sophomore in high school.  He discovers that he has second sight and is really freaked out by it.  He works with a psychic from New Orleans who has recently moved to the area with her daughter, Shapri.  Shapri also has a talent, but she's fighting it tooth and nail.  He also befriends a girl from India, Simmi, that recently moved to his town and who also has a gift.  The two girls and Alex must learn to work together and accept their gifts.

Overall, I do like the story.  It's different and that's always a welcome change in the YA world.  The only thing that bothered me is that on occasion the language seemed rather stilted, mostly the conversation.  I checked to make sure that the author's first language is English (it is) and so I wondered if it is because some of the main characters are from places with strong accents (India and New Orleans).  Perhaps she was attempting to capture that tone?  I do know that conversation is one of the hardest things to write.


THE BOOK:  Alex Kosmitoras may be blind, but he can still “see” things others can’t.  When his unwanted visions of the future begin to suggest that the girl he likes could be in danger, he has no choice but to take on destiny and demand it reconsider. Get your copy today by visiting Amazon.com’s Kindle store or the eBook retailer of your choice. The paperback edition will be available on November 24 (for the author’s birthday).

THE CASH PRIZES:  Guess what? You could win a $100 Amazon gift card as part of this special blog tour. That’s right! Just leave a comment below saying something about the post you just read, and you’ll be entered into the raffle. I could win $100 too! Please help by voting for my blog in the traffic-breaker poll. To cast your vote, visit the official Farsighted blog tour page and scroll all the way to the bottom. Thank you for your help with that.

THE GIVEAWAYS:  Win 1 of 10 autographed copies of Farsighted before its paperback release by entering the giveaway on GoodReads. Perhaps you’d like an autographed postcard from the author; you can request one on her site.

THE AUTHOR:  Emlyn Chand has always loved to hear and tell stories, having emerged from the womb with a fountain pen grasped firmly in her left hand (true story). When she’s not writing, she runs a large book club in Ann Arbor and is the president of author PR firm, Novel Publicity. Emlyn loves to connect with readers and is available throughout the social media interweb. Visit www.emlynchand.com for more info. Don’t forget to say “hi” to her sun conure Ducky!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Books Out This Week: November 21 - 27, 2011

The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
Release Date:  November 21, 2011

From Goodreads:  It's 1996, and less than half of all American high school students have ever used the Internet.

Emma just got her first computer and an America Online CD-ROM.

Josh is her best friend. They power up and log on--and discover themselves on Facebook, fifteen years in the future.

Everybody wonders what their Destiny will be. Josh and Emma are about to find out.


 Belle's Song by K.M. Grant
Release Date:  November 22, 2011


From Goodreads:  When Belle meets Luke, son of an alchemist and Scribe to the famous poet Chaucer, she is determined to travel with him to Canterbury on a pilgrimage. She hopes for a miracle: that her father will walk again. She also hopes to atone for her own part in his accident. It is a time of unrest across the country and the young King Richard II is just hanging on to his throne. A malign character on the pilgrimage suspects Chaucer of treason and slowly winds Belle into a political intrigue. At the same time, the impulsive Belle is drawn towards both Luke and to Walter, the wealthy son of a Knight. But Walter himself is in love with Luke...As the uprising against the King starts to draw pace and the web of intrigue around Belle and Chaucer tightens, Belle and her friends must risk everything to save their country and themselves...

 Unleashed (Wolf Springs Chronicles #1) by Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguie
Release Date:  November 22, 2011


From Goodreads:  The Wolf Springs Chronicles introduces readers to a town of secrets and the new girl who's about to start believing in werewolves.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Do you see what I see?

Darker Still: A Novel of Magic Most Foul 
by Leanna Renee Hieber



 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Voices by Zach Hebert

Voices by Zachariah Hebert
Available in ebook only on Smashwords for $2.99



I generally do not read stories that are not available in print copies.  I hate to review something that not everyone can have access too and let's face it, not all of us have some sort of e-reader.  That being said, I actually asked to read this. 

The book is a series of interconnected stories about a group of young adults, I'm thinking in their early twenties.  I loved all the layers and how one story led to another and pretty soon you're totally caught up, wondering when the last guy is going to show up again. 

Zach Hebert's writing is delightful and captivating.  I think that while beginning with an ebook is good, he should definitely find an agent.  I would love to see an entire novel by Mr. Hebert.

His characterizations are full-bodied and the people seemed quite real.  The characters have a depth of emotion that are satisfying and I found myself caring about what happened in the next story and how this last character was going to figure in the final gathering.

Definitely worth picking up - watch for Zach Hebert, I think we'll be seeing more of him!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Lens and The Looker by Lory S. Kaufman

The Lens and The Looker by Lory S. Kaufman
Publisher:  Fiction Std.
Publish Date:  March 16, 2011
ISBN: 978-1936558025
Pages:  336


It's the 24th century and three teens are so spoiled and lazy that they refuse to learn the lessons their elders wish to teach them.  They don't seem to care how their world came to be the way it is.  They are sent to History Camp - a reenactment of some of the roughest periods in our history.

The three teens - Hansum, Shamira and Lincoln - come in with poor attitudes and just get worse when they begin to use a genie to help them disrupt things.  Suddenly they're whisked off (kidnapped, really) to the REAL Verona, Italy in 1347.  When things go wrong and their kidnapper is killed, the teens are stuck in 1347 alone and must quickly learn life lessons.

The boys are apprenticed to a lensmaker and Shamira becomes a kitchen girl.  I think that the way the author handles the general issues that come up are wonderful - he really gets across the feel of how difficult life was in 1347, compared to now.  The lensmaking process is fascinating and explained in a very thorough manner.

The addition of a romance for Hansum with his master's daughter, really adds to the story.  Will he even WANT to go back to the 24th century if he has to leave Guilietta behind?

Definitely a good read for the younger set of YA.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

2012 Releases: January 24 - 31, 2012

The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe
Release Date:  January 24, 2012

From Goodreads:  It starts with an itch you just can't shake. Then comes a fever and a tickle in your throat. A few days later, you'll be blabbing your secrets and chatting with strangers like they’re old friends. Three more, and the paranoid hallucinations kick in.
And then you're dead.
When a deadly virus begins to sweep through sixteen-year-old Kaelyn’s community, the government quarantines her island—no one can leave, and no one can come back.
Those still healthy must fight for dwindling supplies, or lose all chance of survival. As everything familiar comes crashing down, Kaelyn joins forces with a former rival and discovers a new love in the midst of heartbreak. When the virus starts to rob her of friends and family, she clings to the belief that there must be a way to save the people she holds dearest.
Because how will she go on if there isn't?

 Switched (Trylle Trilogy #1) by Amanda Hocking 
Release Date:  January 24, 2012


From Goodreads:  When Wendy Everly was six-years-old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her. It isn't until eleven years later that Wendy finds out her mother might've been telling the truth. With the help of Finn Holmes, Wendy finds herself in a world she never knew existed - and it's one she's not sure if she wants to be a part of.



 Hallowed (Unearthly #2) by Cynthia Hand
Release Date:  January 24, 2012


From GoodreadsFor months part-angel Clara Gardner trained to face the raging forest fire from her visions and rescue the alluring and mysterious Christian Prescott from the blaze. But nothing could prepare her for the fateful decisions she would be forced to make that day, or the startling revelation that her purpose—the task she was put on earth to accomplish—is not as straightforward as she thought. Now, torn between her increasingly complicated feelings for Christian and her love for her boyfriend, Tucker, Clara struggles to make sense of what she was supposed to do the day of the fire. And, as she is drawn further into the world of part angels and the growing conflict between White Wings and Black Wings, Clara learns of the terrifying new reality that she must face: Someone close to her will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning. 

 Life Eternal (Dead Beautiful #2) by Yvonne Woon
Release Date:  January 24, 2011


From Goodreads:  Renée Winters has changed. When she looks in the mirror, a beautiful girl with an older, sadder face stares back. Her condition has doctors mystified, but Renée can never reveal the truth: she died last May, and was brought back to life by the kiss of her Undead soul mate, Dante Berlin.
Now, her separation from Dante becomes almost unbearable. His second life is close to an end, and each passing day means one less that she will spend with the boy who shares her soul.
Just when Renée has almost given up hope, she learns of the Nine Sisters—brilliant scholars who, according to legend, found a way to cheat death. She can’t shake the feeling that they are somehow connected to her dreams, strange visions that hint at a discovery so powerful, and so dangerous, that some will stop at nothing to protect it.
Renée thought she knew the truth about life and death. But there is a secret woven through history that holds the only hope for Dante and Renée. Unless they find answers soon, their time together is doomed to be cut short.

 There is no Dog by Meg Rosoff
Release Date:  January 24, 2011


From Goodreads:  Meet your unforgettable protagonist: God, who, as it turns out, is a 19-year-old boy living in the present-day and sharing an apartment with his long-suffering fifty-something personal assistant. Unfortunately for the planet, God is lazy and, frankly, hopeless. He created all of the world's species in six days because he couldn't summon the energy to work for longer. He gets Africa and America mixed up. And his beleagured assistant has his work cut out for him when God creates a near-apolcalyptic flood, having fallen asleep without turning the bath off.

 Bloodrose (Nightshad #3) by Andrea Cremer
Release Date:  January 24, 2011


From Goodreads:  Calla has always welcomed war. But now that the final battle is upon her, there’s more at stake than fighting. There’s saving Ren, even if it incurs Shay’s wrath. There’s keeping Ansel safe, even if he’s been branded a traitor. There’s proving herself as the pack’s alpha, facing unnamable horrors, and ridding the world of the Keepers’ magic once and for all. And then there’s deciding what to do when the war ends. If Calla makes it out alive, that is. 


 Forbidden by Syrie James & Ryan M. James
Release Date:  January 24, 2011


From Goodreads:Syrie joined forces with her talented son Ryan to co-write her next novel, Forbidden. The book is about a 16-year-old girl who comes into unusual powers, only to discover that she's half-angel... and her entire existence is forbidden.
Alec MacKenzie is fed up with his duties to watch and, when necessary, eliminate the descendants of his angelic forefathers. He chose Emerson Academy as the ideal hiding place where he could escape and be normal for once. He hadn't factored Claire Brennan into his plans...
Their love is forbidden, going against everything Alec has been taught to believe. But when the threat to Claire's life becomes clear, how far will Alec go to protect her?