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frootjoos blogs about young adult and other juvenile literature... and doesn't get much sleep, it looks like.
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1. SCIBA Children's Literacy Day 2015

sciba.jpeg

On Saturday, February 21, 2015, the inaugural SCIBA Children's Literacy Day took place at the Hilton Long Beach conference rooms. A diverse group of speakers including authors and publisher representatives addressed an audience of teachers, librarians, and other supporters of children's literacy, alongside a host of children's book experts from our local independent bookstores. I carpooled down with my friend Alyson from Kid Lit Frenzy, excited about seeing old friends from the our bookloving community, and seeing all the great new books coming out for the season.

The day began at 9 am with a continental breakfast and a special guest, former teacher and Mexican-American author Pam Muñoz Ryan, who presented about her career as a children's author and provided background about her latest novel, Echo, which all of the breakfast attendees received. The book grew from her research into the school desegregation case commonly known as the Lemon Grove Incident (Roberto Alvarez vs. Lemon Grove School District) and evolved into a story of several children from different times and places connected by an unlikely item: a harmonica.

Pam Muñoz Ryan and the children's booksellers of Vroman's Bookstore (Pasadena, CA) show off Echo

Pam Muñoz Ryan and the children's booksellers of Vroman's Bookstore (Pasadena, CA) show off Echo

After breakfast, the children's representatives from several publishers--Penguin, Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Scholastic--recommended their best picks from the new spring/summer crop of books. I won't go into that in too much depth during this post, as I'll be posting throughout the week about books from each publisher in a separate post.

Our luncheon speakers included 5th grade teacher and debut author Dan Gemeinhart (The Honest Truth), YA author and screenwriter Andrea Portes (Anatomy of a Misfit), and living legend Jane O'Connor--yes, the author of Fancy Nancy herself--who spoke mostly in her capacity as an editor of children's nonfiction at Random House. Attendees received the aforementioned books, along with intermediate nonfiction title Who Was King Tut?, penned by O'Connor under one of her pseudonyms, Roberta Edwards. This was followed by two talks, one with Ingram representative Beverly Fisher talking about services to libraries. Author Stacey Lee (Under a Painted Sky), one of the founding members of the We Need Diverse Books movement, moderated a Diversity in YA panel with Ayize Jama-Everett (The Liminal People, The Entropy of Bones), Cynthia Kadohata (Half a World Away), and Sherri L. Smith (Orleans).

To round out the panels for the day, attendees chose between one on children's nonfiction with Jane O'Connor and our friend Alyson Beecher from Kid Lit Frenzy, and another featuring debut YA authors Leah Thomas (Because You'll Never Meet Me), Sarah Tomp (My Best Everything), and Henry Turner (Ask the Dark). Courtney Saldana, the librarian behind the Ontario Teen Book Fest, moderated. I really wish I could have been in two places at once, as I was interested in the nonfiction panel too, but I'd signed up for the YA one. I also wish I could have brought a photographer along, as I was having issues with my phone that day (so many blurry, dark photos!). Maybe next year. (You can search for other people's photos on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtags #scibakidlit and #scibakidlit2015.)

Clockwise from top left: Simon & Schuster, Scholastic, Penguin, Random House exhibits showed new and upcoming releases from each publisher

Clockwise from top left: Simon & Schuster, Scholastic, Penguin, Random House exhibits showed new and upcoming releases from each publisher

The exhibits area featured our children's publishing representatives, Roz Hilden from Scholastic, Kelly Stidham from Simon & Schuster, Nicole White from Penguin, and Nicole DuFort from Random House, as well as booksellers Mrs. Nelson's Book Fair and Library Services (Pomona, CA) and Once Upon a Time Bookstore (Montrose, CA). Rounding out the event was a cocktail hour including signings and book with yet still more authors, including MG/YA author Shannon Messenger with Keeper of the Lost Cities: Everblaze, YA author Elana K. Arnold with her middle grade debut The Question of Miracles, debut YA author Elissa Sussman, and author/illustrator Dan Krall with his new picture book Sick Simon. I'll be featuring more of these titles later in the week!

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I can't decide which of the books I picked up yesterday is the most exciting, but also I feel like it's going to take me a solid year to work through all of these titles. Do you know what I was even more excited about though? The people! It was wall-to-wall book people, my favorite kind. Author Salina Yoon (Stormy Night) attended, and I really have to remember to get my photo taken with her next time. I love her so much! I had breakfast with Book Beastie (you should follow her on Tumblr :) Teachers and librarians were everywhere, including my teaching idol and Nerdy Book Club member Cathy Blackler and my book club buddy Emily Aaronson. I also met Lana and Erin from Chaucer's Bookstore in Santa Barbara (where my good friend Colleen worked during college), and Susie from Once Upon a Storybook in Tustin. I had a chance to catch up with Kim and her daughters (who run a school book club in Upland) while waiting in line for author signings. I even carpooled home with Carolyn, the YA reviewer from Kid Lit Frenzy. I'm probably forgetting a ton of names... some I'm not entirely sure if they want to be mentioned, so if I met you yesterday and you want to be mentioned by name, hey, leave a comment!

I really had a ton of fun at the first SCIBA Children's Literacy Day! I was so tired afterwards, but happy, too. If you are a teacher, librarian, or other school or literacy professional, you can sign up for annual membership in SCIBA on their website, www.scibabooks.org (though at this point, I'd wait until the end of the school year so your membership is valid for the next big children's events--fall and spring). The way the event is priced usually varies (I purchased tickets for every meal of the day, plus membership, which totaled $170), but trust me, it's completely worth it, whether your goal is to network, meet authors, learn about upcoming releases, or gather up books for your classroom or library. I also hope educators and librarians will continue to come and interact with their book industry representatives, to find out the ways in which publishers and independent bookstores can support literacy and programming in classrooms and libraries.

Thanks to the Andrea Vuleta and the rest of the awesome folks at SCIBA for welcoming us to their event, and may there be many more!

Follow SCIBA on Facebook and Twitter. For more info, go to www.scibabooks.org.

Find your local indie bookseller at www.indiebound.org.
Bookstore Links:
Once Upon a Time
Vroman's Bookstore
Mrs. Nelson's Book Fair
Chaucer's Bookstore
Once Upon a Storybook

More info on featured books and authors coming soon!

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2. Shadow Study

The Shadow Study Blog Tour

Feb 16th-20th and 23rd-27th

Hosted by Rockstar Book Tours

   

You guys! I am so excited. You can't even imagine. 

I remember the first time the name "Maria V. Snyder" registered in my brain. All these calls had been coming in to the store (formerly Borders Glendale, may it rest in peace) for a book called Fire Study. Well, all our copies sold out the first Tuesday they were on sale, and it just made me wonder--what the heck? It was the third book in a fantasy trilogy and I'd never heard of it before, which was unusual because I was usually all over the sci-fi/fantasy section.

I went home with the first book that night, read through to morning, went to work, bought the second book (the third book was sold out at that point, so I had to order it), then went home "sick" because at that point I had been awake for two days, read some more, and I don't even remember what happened the next day because I probably blacked out, haha! (And yes, this is the origin story of my blog name).

So I'm happy to be part of the blog tour for the 4th Study book--technically, the first book of the Soulfinders series--Shadow Study. Read on for a description, my review, and an international giveaway (there will be 10 winners! you don't want to miss this!)


Review

Shadow Study by Maria V. Snyder

Publication date: 24 February 2015 by MIRA

Category: Adult Fantasy/Romance

Keywords: Magic, Conspiracy, Spies

Format: Paperback, ebook, audiobook

Source: ARC from publisher for review

5 Stars - Stay Up All Night

Note: No spoilers in this review, but if you haven't read the original trilogy starting with Poison Study, you may be a little confused. I'll be revealing things that sound like they might be spoilers, but they happen in the first few chapters of Shadow Study and are mentioned in the synopsis. So read at your own risk!

Okay, okay--truth. This was not a true Stay-Up-All-Night rating, in that I read Shadow Study over a couple of weeks in little fits and starts, instead of a night-long binge-read resulting in calling out sick the next day. This happened because I have a day job, and I'd like to keep that day job. There are also little things like chores, errands, general hygiene (why does proper dental care take so long?), classes, and commuting that take up my time. I would sneak little bits of it here and there. So yeah, I did put it down for many hours at a time. But I really didn't want to.

Maria V. Snyder fans had been clamoring for a continuation to the Study series set in Ixia/Sitia for years. And boy, did we get it. Yelena, everyone's favorite Soulfinder and ex-poison taster, is back--except someone has poisoned her and somehow taken away her magic. Uh-oh.

True to form, Snyder's story splits Yelena from her heartmate, Valek, as he returns to Ixia to sort out some shady business--smuggling, skullduggery, and a young upstart assassin who's after his job. Yelena, meanwhile, tries to find a cure for her condition, made extra tricky by the need to keep the loss of her powers a secret. If Study Series fans know anything, it's that everything will get much, much worse before they get any better.

At least, neither of our protagonists is truly alone in their endeavors: fan favorites Ari and Janco from Valek's elite forces are back, as well as the intrepid, street-smart Fisk and Yelena's brother, Leif, to provide support and the usual shenanigans. Opal from the Glass Series plays a part as well--as do many, many other characters from previous books. Halfway through, I was wishing for a dramatis personae since it's been a few years since I read the Study books over again.

As the unknown villains continue to evade them, more questions than answers crop up: why did the Sitian Council not warn Yelena that a powerful magician escaped from prison? Would the Commander welcome Yelena back to Ixia if he found out she no longer had magical abilities? How are smugglers getting past Valek's usually whip-smart security forces?

Hardcore fans are in for a treat with the beginning of the Soulfinders series, but new readers should probably go back and read the first three books (completionists will also want to read Opal's series and all of the free novellas before attempting Shadow Study). Those who've persevered will be rewarded with an action-packed spinoff series including--gasp!--flashbacks to Valek's training days, when people would call him "Kingkiller" only in jest.

Once again, Snyder leaves readers on the edge of their seats, and will leave them craving more.


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Synopsis

New York Times bestselling author Maria V. Snyder wowed readers with Poison Study, the unforgettable story of poison taster Yelena. Now she's back with a new tale of intrigue. 

Once, only her own life hung in the balance… 

Oddly enough, when Yelena was a poison taster, her life was simpler. But she'd survived to become a vital part of the balance of power between rival countries Ixia and Sitia. Now she uses her magic to keep the peace in both lands—and protect her relationship with Valek. 

Suddenly, though, they are beset on all sides by those vying for power through politics and intrigue. Valek's job and his life are in danger. As Yelena tries to uncover the scope of these plots, she faces a new challenge: her magic is blocked. She must keep that a secret—or her enemies will discover just how vulnerable she really is—while searching for who or what is responsible for neutralizing her powers. 

Yes, the days of tasting poisons were much simpler. And certainly not as dangerous…


Praise

"After years of clamoring, fans of Snyder's awesome Study series are about to be rewarded with a new adventure featuring former poison taster turned Soulfinder Yelena Zaltana. Snyder's complex world and rich characterization are what have made this series so unforgettable, and she doesn't miss a beat in this new installment. Having Yelena, Valek, Ari, Janco and the rest back is pure reading pleasure!"
4.5 stars, March 2015
~ RT Book Reviews on Shadow Study

"Doing full justice to the plot of this original and entertaining epic fantasy is impossible. Suffice it to say that the action is nonstop. The many characters leap to life, particularly Yelena, whose first-person narrative is riveting."
~ RT Book Reviews on Fire Study


About the author

Maria V. Snyder changed from being a meteorologist to a novelist in 1995, when she began writing to keep her sanity while raising two children. Since then, she has published numerous freelance articles in magazines and newspapers, and teaches fiction-writing classes at the local college and area libraries. The classes give her the wonderful opportunity to encourage fellow writers, and to keep improving her craft.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Maria always had a fascination with big storms. Dreaming of chasing tornados, Maria earned a bachelors of science degree in meteorology at Penn State University. But she discovered, much to her chagrin, that forecasting the weather wasn't one of her skills. In order to chase tornados you had to predict where they might form. Creating fantasy worlds where she has complete control of the weather was more agreeable to her.

Writing proved to be more enjoyable than meteorology, and Maria returned to school to earn a Master of Arts degree in fiction writing from Seton Hill University. Unable to part company with Seton Hill and its wonderful writing program, Maria is currently a teacher and mentor for the MFA program.

Maria's research on food-tasting methods with an expert chocolate taster, her husband, turned out to be a delicious bonus while writing Poison Study.

Maria has a brown belt in Isshinryu Karate, and enjoys playing volleyball and the cello. Traveling in general and via cruise ship in particular are her biggest distractions from writing. Maria has traveled to Belize, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Europe, Mexico, the Caribbean and through the Panama Canal.

Maria lives with her family and a black cat name Valek (a.k.a. the bug assassin!) in Pennsylvania where she is at work on NIGHT STUDY, the second book of the NEW set of three Study books with Yelena and Valek!

Readers are welcome to contact Maria at the following email address: maria@mariavsnyder.com.

Website Blog Facebook GoodReads

Tour Schedule

Week One:

2/16/2015 - a GREAT read - Guest Post
2/17/2015 - Alice Marvels - Review
2/18/2015 - Reading YA Rocks - Guest Post
2/19/2015 - Tales of the Ravenous Reader - Interview
2/20/2015 - Read Now Sleep Later - Review                          

Week Two:

2/23/2015 - Two Chicks on Books - Guest Post
2/24/2015 - Seeing Double In Neverland - Review
2/25/2015 - Magical Urban Fantasy Reads - Guest Post
2/26/2015 - Mundie Moms - Review
2/27/2015 - Parajunkee - Interview


Giveaway

The blog tour is giving away 10 finished copies of SHADOW STUDY! Open Internationally. Enter using the Rafflecopter below! Don't forget to leave some comment love (no, it's not mandatory, it's just nice!) for all of the blog tour hosts.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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3. One Witch at a Time Blog Tour

Thanks to Simon & Schuster for including us on the blog tour for One Witch at a Time by Stacy DeKeyser! Check out the other blogs on the tour, as well as a guest post from the author and a giveaway of both books (The Brixen Witch in paperback and its sequel in hardcover).

   

One Witch at a Time Blog Tour Schedule

Mon, Feb 9 - Cracking the Cover
Tues, Feb 10 - Haunting of Orchid Forsythia
Wed, Feb 11 - Mother Daughter Book Club
Thurs, Feb 12 - GreenBeanTeenQueen
Fri, Feb 13 - The Book Monsters
Mon, Feb 16 - Word Spelunking
Tues, Feb 17 - Read Now, Sleep Later
Wed, Feb 18 - Small Review
Thurs, Feb 19 - Kid Lit Frenzy
Fri, Feb 20 - The Flashlight Reader

About the book

Misplaced magic is trouble.

The day had started so well. But now here was Rudi, racing home to intercept a thief. All because of a foolish bargain made by a nine-year-old girl.

Trouble has returned to Brixen, and once again, Rudi is the one who must make things right. Can he undo the disaster caused when an unsuspecting stranger brings a foreign witch’s magic into the Brixen Witch’s province? 

Guest Post

Alethea asked me to write about the books that keep me reading past bedtime, but I have a confession to make: I’m a terrible bedtime reader. Five pages and I’m drifting off, no matter how awesome the book is!

Maybe that’s why I love to travel: There’s nothing better than a long flight or a day under a beach umbrella, because then I can devour a good book in one long sitting.

I have a few absolute favorite books. If I could stay awake past bedtime, these would be the ones to keep me reading:

The White Darkness by Geraldine McCaughrean: This book is haunting and horrifying, and unfolds so relentlessly that it gives me chills just thinking about it!

Nation by Terry Pratchett: I’m a huge Pratchett fan, and this is his masterpiece. Not as wildly fantastical as his Discworld books, it’s heartbreaking in parts, and laugh-out-loud funny in other places. (And if you’re a writer, and want to study a master of the omniscient point of view, Pratchett is your guy.)

Anything by Jonathan Stroud: Currently I’m reading The Whispering Skull, the second book in his new Lockwood & Co. series, about young ghost hunters in London. And his four Bartimaeus books are among my favorites of all time.

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Anything by Hilary McKay: Her Casson family series (Saffy’s Angel and sequels) are some of the funniest books ever. I’m eagerly anticipating Binny in Secret, the sequel to Binny for Short, which is hilarious and sweet. Plus, there’s a dog.

Just thinking about all these wonderful books makes me think I should take another long trip soon!

 

About the author

Stacy DeKeyser is the author of The Brixen Witch, which received two starred reviews and was a Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Pick, and its sequel, One Witch at a Time, as well as the young adult novel, Jump the Cracks and two nonfiction books for young readers. She lives in Connecticut with her family. To learn more and to download a free, CCSS-aligned discussion guide, visit StacyDeKeyser.com.

 

Giveaway

One lucky winner will receive The Brixen Witch in paperback and One Witch at a Time in hardcover. US addresses only, please!

Giveaway Rules:

  1. Open to US residents only. Ends 02/23/2015.
  2. We and the publisher are not responsible for items lost, stolen, or damaged in the mail. 
  3. One set of entries per household please. 
  4. If you are under 13, please get a parent or guardian's permission to enter, as you will be sharing personal info such as an email address. 
  5. Winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter widget a day or two after the contest ends. 
  6. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to to the email, otherwise we will pick a new winner. 
  7. If you have any questions, feel free to email us. You can review our full contest policy here
  8. PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE ANY PERSONAL INFO IN THE COMMENTS. Sorry for the caps but we always get people leaving their email in the comments. Rafflecopter will collect all that without having personal info in the comments for all the world (and spambots) to find. Thanks!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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4. The New Indian Slow Cooker

The New Indian Slow Cooker: Recipes for Curries, Dals, Chutneys, Masalas, Biryani, and more by Neela Paniz

Publication date: 2 September 2014 by Ten Speed Press (reprint)

Category: Cooking, Indian Cuisine

Keywords: Cookbook, Slow Cooker

Format: Paperback, ebook

Source: Blogging for Books, ARC from publisher for review

4 STARS - STAY UP LATE

Photos from @readnowsleeplater and @frootjoos on Instagram

So I've been sitting on this book review for a while. I've had really mixed feelings about The New Indian Slow Cooker. The book is pretty gorgeous, with delectable photography and easy-to-follow layouts. Recipe introductions, instructions, and descriptions of ingredients used in this cuisine are helpfully clear and concise for helping the home cook navigate unfamiliar territory, making this a great intro to Indian food. The structure of most of the recipes also reduces the intimidation factor quite a bit, though slow cooker aficionados should note that there is more prep involved than you would expect from a normal slow cooker manual. Onions, for example, need to be cooked through on the stove before adding them into the mix; spices need to be roasted and ground (I've done this by hand and also in a spice grinder).

Lamb vindaloo @frootjoos

Lamb vindaloo @frootjoos

The variety of dishes is as I expected--staples like chicken tikka masala and my favorite butter chicken--are featured alongside everything you need for a meal, including rice dishes, paneer, raita, and chutneys. Simmering them for a long time at a low heat made a lot of sense, and the recipes were easy to prepare. However, while my test batches of curry were pretty successful (I'm looking at you, lamb vindaloo), one of the recipes I wanted to master the most (baingan bharta, a spicy eggplant curry) didn't come out nearly as I expected. Stewing the vegetables (mostly eggplant and potato) in the slow cooker didn't produce the smoky flavor I'd come to associate with the dish, nevermind that my usual exposure to it was through the Trader Joe's frozen food aisle (and the item is now, sadly, discontinued). I think I'll actually roast the eggplants next time.

Chopping up chilis @frootjoos

Chopping up chilis @frootjoos

Additionally, some of the recipes struck me as pretty Westernized, not authentic, but then I also think it makes acquiring or substituting ingredients somewhat easier, especially if you don't happen to live near a good Indian supermarket.

The size and soft binding of the book is great for leaving it open while you cook. Get a splatter-shield, though--I learned that lesson the hard way while frying onions. It's worth reading cover to cover, if for nothing else than to get a better idea of which spices combine to make a particular flavor. There are also little tips sprinkled throughout that I'd only expect to learn while learning from an experienced cook (like adding ice to a sauce pan before adding milk to make the yogurt). And actually, I got the cookbook right around the time my slow cooker broke--I have been preparing most of the recipes on a very low flame on the stove top, so you don't even really need a slow cooker if you get the principles of how heat affects your ingredients. 

I'd recommend this to adventurous cooks getting ready to venture into Indian cuisine, but not to slow-cookers expecting a quick fix-and-forget meal.

- ALETHEA -

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for review purposes. 

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5. Twilight Special Edition Giveaway

Do I even really need to explain this? Special edition hardcovers of Twilight, New Moon, and Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer are up for grabs! Happy Valentine's Day, loyal followers! We love you.

US only (sorry, they're heavy!) Winner will be announced on February 14, 2015.

Giveaway Rules:

  1. Open to US residents only. Ends 02/13/2015.
  2. We are not responsible for items lost, stolen, or damaged in the mail. 
  3. One set of entries per household please. 
  4. If you are under 13, please get a parent or guardian's permission to enter, as you will be sharing personal info such as an email address. 
  5. Winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter widget a day or two after the contest ends. 
  6. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to to the email, otherwise we will pick a new winner. 
  7. If you have any questions, feel free to email us. You can review our full contest policy here
  8. PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE ANY PERSONAL INFO IN THE COMMENTS. Sorry for the caps but we always get people leaving their email in the comments. Rafflecopter will collect all that without having personal info in the comments for all the world (and spambots) to find. Thanks!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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6. Candlewick Press - Best of YA Giveaway

TIME Magazine recently published their 100 Best Young Adult Books of All Time and 100 Best Children's Books of All Time lists. Candlewick Press is offering a chance to win 6 of their titles which appeared on the YA list!

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The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo

Rob, sickly and devastated by the death of his mother, moves to a hotel with his father for a new start. But after he comes across a caged tiger in the woods outside the motel, the unexpected find helps him overcome his sadness and open up to a new friend.

The Tiger Rising is a National Book Award finalist (2001).

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The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo, Illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline

Kate DiCamillo takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the depths of the ocean to the net of a fisherman, from the bedside of an ailing child to the bustling streets of Memphis. Along the way, we are shown a miracle--that even a heart of the most breakable kind can learn to love, to lose, and to love again.

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane is in the Top 25 to be voted on for Best of the Best ranking by reader vote: http://time.com/100-best-young-adult-books/

Boy Proof by Cecil Castellucci

An unforgettable debut novel that follows an antisocial cinephile as she meets a quick-witted artist who's savvy enough to see through her sci-fi disguise. 

Boy Proof will celebrate its 10th anniversary in February 2015.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, Illustrated by Jim Kay

An unflinching, darkly funny, and deeply moving story of a boy, his seriously ill mother, and an unexpected monstrous visitor. 

Soon to be a major motion picture!

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

A dystopian thriller follows a boy and girl on the run from a town where all thoughts can be heard--and the passage to manhood embodies a horrible secret.

Feed by M. T. Anderson

Anderson takes on consumerism in this smart, savage satire that has captivated readers with its view of an imagined future that veers unnervingly close to the here and now. 

Feed is a National Book Award Finalist (2002).


Thanks to Candlewick, you can enter to win all 6 books using the Rafflecopter widget below! The giveaway is open to the US and Canada only, and ends Monday, January 26, 2015.

Candlewick online: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

eVolt online: Twitter | Tumblr

Giveaway Rules:

  1. Open to US and Canada residents only. Ends 01/26/2015.
  2. We are not responsible for items lost, stolen, or damaged in the mail. 
  3. One set of entries per household please. 
  4. If you are under 13, please get a parent or guardian's permission to enter, as you will be sharing personal info such as an email address. 
  5. Winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter widget a day or two after the contest ends. 
  6. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to to the email, otherwise we will pick a new winner. 
  7. If you have any questions, feel free to email us. You can review our full contest policy here
  8. PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE ANY PERSONAL INFO IN THE COMMENTS. Sorry for the caps but we always get people leaving their email in the comments. Rafflecopter will collect all that without having personal info in the comments for all the world (and spambots) to find. Thanks!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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7. Tuck Everlasting 40th Anniversary Blog Tour

Thanks to Macmillan for including us on the 40th Anniversary blog tour for Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt.

I'm so excited that I'm offering up a copy of the 40th Anniversary Edition of the book in a quick giveaway. It's open internationally and ends Saturday, Jan 10. The book won't be out until Tuesday, Jan 20, so if you don't win my giveaway, you can preorder your copy right here! Enter using the Rafflecopter below, and look up the hashtag #Tuck40th to find the other 39 blog tour posts on the tour!

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What if you could live forever?

If I could live forever, I can think of a million things I'd like to do. I'd knit and sew a lot. I'd try to help alleviate poverty and counteract global warming. I'd take a boat out to sea and try to chip away at the Great Pacific Garbage Patch--that's sure to take up a whole lot of time. I'd take classes in everything: languages, math, science, and every art form available. I'd bake millions of cookies, pies, cakes, and other desserts. I'd adopt every stray cat that crossed my path (especially the black ones).

When I was younger, I thought I'd like to just stay home and read forever. And I'm sure, if I could live forever, I would make sure I had somewhere to keep my books. But there is a whole world out there to see, lots of things to do. I'd try to do them all, especially the things that scare me the most. For example, while I love to sing, I really hate being in front of an audience. I would look for opportunities to sing and maybe speak publicly, or even act. I'm also really scared of swimming in the ocean. I mean, I can go for a little dip at the beach, but when I can't see or feel the sandy bottom anymore, I really start to freak out.

Of course, there are practical considerations to living forever. How do you pay for everything? Won't people wonder how I stayed young or managed to outlive everyone else? Would I have to go into hiding to protect myself? I really don't relish the thought of having to work for a paycheck the rest of my life, or spend my life on the run, so I'm sure some strict investment and retirement plans, legal action, and/or winning the lottery might have to come into play.

I'm not sure I'd be lonely, because I do like being alone, and I feel like I can make friends with whoever else happens to be alive at the same time. The worst case scenario I can think of is if I outlived every other earthly life form (including cats), and no benevolent aliens came along to invite me to travel through space with them for eternity. Then, I'd probably regret living for so long. I'd also avoid any kind of wrongdoing--especially things that could land me in jail! A life sentence seems way worse when it's never-ending.

I'd spend the rest of eternity making friends, traveling, making things, reading (and maybe writing) books, singing, baking, and trying to change the world. I'd knit, and sew, and raise an army of black cats. Actually, even if I can't live forever, I think I'll do those things anyway.

Except maybe the swimming in the deep ocean part.

About the book

2015 marks the 40th anniversary of Natalie Babbitt’s celebrated, ground- breaking title Tuck Everlasting (Anniversary edition on sale January 20). In celebration of the anniversary, Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group will publish a special anniversary edition featuring an introduction from Wicked author Gregory Maguire.

Tuck Everlasting asks readers “What if you could live forever?” Doomed to, or blessed with, eternal life after drinking from a magic spring, the Tuck family wanders about trying to live as inconspicuously and comfortably as they can. When ten-year-old Winnie Foster stumbles on their secret, the Tucks take her home and explain why living forever at one age is less of a blessing than it might seem. Then complications arise when Winnie is followed by a stranger who wants to market the spring water for a fortune.

Upon the book’s publication in 1975, Natalie was greeted with concern from parents and educators who were stunned to read a book about death written for children. She is an author who challenges her readers and thinks the best questions are the ones without answers.

This 40th anniversary will introduce a whole new generation to this timeless classic. The book has sold over 3.5 million copies in the US alone, and has never been out of print since publication. 

About the author

Natalie Babbitt is the award-winning author of Tuck Everlasting, The Eyes of the Amaryllis, Knee-Knock Rise, and many other brilliantly original books for young people. She began her career in 1966 as the illustrator of The Forty-Ninth Magician, a collaboration with her husband. When her husband became a college president and no longer had time to collaborate, Babbitt tried her hand at writing. Her first novel, The Search for Delicious, established her gift for writing magical tales with profound meaning. Knee-Knock Rise earned her a Newbery Honor, and in 2002, Tuck Everlasting was adapted into a major motion picture. Natalie Babbitt lives in Connecticut, and is a grandmother of three. 

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8. Upcoming Events January 2015

Hey hey! Just a quick reminder that we post links to select local Los Angeles/Southern California book events at the beginning of every month. You can check out the calendar anytime at http://www.readnowsleeplater.org/events. We sometimes add events as soon as we find out about them, so keep up with them here, on Tumblr, and on Twitter. Whenever we can, we also attend and post photos on Facebook and Instagram!

We usually cover the following venues and events:

Once Upon a Time Bookstore, Montrose
Vroman's Bookstore, Pasadena
Nucleus Gallery, Alhambra
Book Soup, Los Angeles
Skylight Books, Los Angeles
The Last Bookstore, Los Angeles
Barnes & Noble at The Americana, Glendale

Barnes & Noble at The Grove, Los Angeles
Barnes & Noble at The Promenade, Santa Monica
Barnes & Noble at Bella Terra, Huntington Beach
Mysterious Galaxy, San Diego

Burbank Public Library
Los Angeles Public Library
Pasadena Public Library
Santa Monica Public Library

Book'd in Burbank
Los Angeles Times Book Festival
Ontario Teen Book Fest
Pasadena Teen Book Fest
YALLWEST - new this year!

If you are a traditionally published author, event manager, librarian, or publicist, please email event info including author name, date, time, venue, and event description to readnowsleeplater@gmail.com. We cannot guarantee that we will include every event in our calendar, but we do try to list all events that are of interest to our readers.

If you see Alethea, Thuy, and/or Kimberly at one of the events, please come and say hi! There may be a bookmark in it for you... just sayin'...

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9. Blue Lily, Lily Blue Giveaway

Hello, dear readers! We're starting a great run of giveaways for 2015. Today we're giving away a hardcover copy of Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater. The winner also gets a signed Dream Thieves bookplate (right) as well as a Sinner bookplate (left). Keep in mind that this is the 3rd book in the series, so you'll have to get your hands on the first two some other way if you win!

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Just enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Make sure you're following us so you don't miss any of the fantastic giveaways coming up!

Giveaway Rules:

  1. Open to US residents only. Ends 01/19/2015.
  2. We are not responsible for items lost, stolen, or damaged in the mail. 
  3. One set of entries per household please. 
  4. If you are under 13, please get a parent or guardian's permission to enter, as you will be sharing personal info such as an email address. 
  5. Winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter widget a day or two after the contest ends. 
  6. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to to the email, otherwise we will pick a new winner. 
  7. If you have any questions, feel free to email us. You can review our full contest policy here
  8. PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE ANY PERSONAL INFO IN THE COMMENTS. Sorry for the caps but we always get people leaving their email in the comments. Rafflecopter will collect all that without having personal info in the comments for all the world (and spambots) to find. Thanks!
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10. Alex as Well

   

Alex as Well by Alyssa Brugman

Publication date: 20 January 2015 by Henry Holt & Co.

Category: Young Adult Realistic, Contemporary

Keywords: Intersex, Sexuality, Family

Format: Hardcover, ebook

4 STARS - STAY UP LATE

Boy or girl. Pink or blue. Normal or...? What is it that makes gender such a divisive line? First, consider that the assignment of pink for girls and blue for boys is a social convention based on a 1980's marketing strategy brought on by the advent of pre-natal testing, that President Obama recently subverted gender stereotypes by sorting balls and tool kits into the "girls" box at Toys for Tots, that even now in our modern age there are people who believe certain jobs "belong" to one gender or the other. Then consider that whether a person is male or female is actually determined by genes and hormones at birth... except when it kind of isn't.

Alex, the title character in Alex as Well by Alyssa Brugman, is intersex--a label applied to people whose anatomy doesn't assign them to one gender or the other. Think of gender as a continuum rather than a binary, either-or situation. Raised by her parents as a boy, but identifying as a girl, Alex decides to leave the all-boys school in which she's enrolled after a traumatic experience, and enrolls herself in a co-ed school, instead. Her parents are at the end of their tether--her mom blogs about the trials and tribulations of raising not just any teenager, but one who's gender-confused (and insists on referring to Alex as male); her dad just flat-out leaves when she tells them she's a girl.

Alex herself feels torn in several directions--she struggles internally with boy-Alex, who sometimes whips out their "noodle"--the euphemism their mother came up with for their ambiguous genitalia--for a quick wank. There's a cute boy at her new school who seems to have a crush on her, but Alex has got a crush on another girl instead. Meanwhile, as much as she loves her parents and yearns for their understanding, at just fourteen years old, Alex feels like she can't go on living with them anymore. To top it off, how long can she withstand the strain of keeping up appearances at school? Someone is bound to find out her secret, and what happens next could turn her world upside down.

This story is sensitive and timely, told accessibly with heart and dry humor by Australian author Alyssa Brugman. While the ending may feel too abrupt for some readers, I hope the novel arouses some needed awareness and discussion of intersex, transgender, and other gender-related issues, and shifts our world's view closer to understanding and support rather than derision and disgust. 

- Alethea -

Further reading:

* I know Emily. She's magnificent and you should read her Reddit AMA. We would also both be super thrilled if you would get hooked on the YA series Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer, particularly on audiobook. Please and thank you!

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11. Evil Librarian

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Evil Librarian by Michelle Knudsen

Publication date: 09 September 2014 by Candlewick Press

Category: Young Adult Horror, Paranormal

Keywords: Humor, High School, Demons, Romance

Format: Hardcover, ebook, audiobook

4 Stars - Stay up late

Cynthia Rothschild is creeped out when her best friend Annie falls for the young and handsome new librarian, Mr. Gabriel. But it's more than just an age ick factor. There's something wrong with Mr. Grabriel, something Cyn can't put her finger on...

Fans of Buffy rejoice because a fun and well written paranormal YA adventure has hit the shelves. Cyn is a typical teenage girl. She loves musical theater and is head stage manager. She's secretly in love with the lead singer Ryan, who is playing Sweeney Todd. She is a loyal and loving best friend to her friend Annie. Even when Annie starts acting very strange.

There's a lot to like about Evil Librarian. The writing is good. Every sentence is fun and I read the book at a medium pace, savoring the funny Cyn-isms and high school situations. Yes, high school is hell and sometimes a demon invades your school and tries to... never mind.

My heart is warmed towards Ryan who is the lead in the high school musical. I love musicals. I went to college for a year for a musical theater degree. Seriously. Their story is like my high school life. You know, without the demon. So it's very refreshing to see Ryan, the romantic lead, be playing Sweeney. And to have Cyn involved in musical theater.

Also, the story really takes you on a ride. A few times, you think you have it figured out--"oh, this is bound to work" and then it slaps you upside the head. I really liked these moments. 

There's a few things that brought the book down for me though. One is that Ryan is Cyn's only side kick. She's trying to save Annie and he is her main partner in crime. This wouldn't be that bad but he's also her HUGE crush so a lot of the book is spent on her swooning over him, talking about his hair or his eyes or if he touches her, etc. Now I'm all about YA romance, but this was a little excessive especially when she is trying to save her best friend from becoming something very evil. I think a second sidekick would have helped, a non-romantic best friend, to help them solve everything. It was just really focused on Ryan and Cyn's crush on Ryan and OMG he touched my hand... A little too much for this reader.

The other thing is that while the plots twists were fun, for some reason, the book felt too long. It's only coming in under 350 pages but the pacing was off in some places. I didn't want to stop reading, but I had no problem putting the book down for a few days and maybe reading something else for a while. That didn't stop me from enjoying it but it wasn't a feverish, frantic I-gotta-know-what-happens type of read either.

Overall I think Evil Librarian is a very fun, well written YA book. There's humor and romance and evil and good.

- Kimberly -

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12. Alexandra Monir Suspicion Launch Party

*I am not going to go into a full rant but I just wrote this entire post and it did not save. *sob* So please excuse me if this seems a bit brief. My original post was brilliant. :)*

Hi, everyone! It's been a while since our last book event, but Kimberly and I were lucky enough to be able to make it to the Suspicion launch party last night at Barnes & Noble in Santa Monica. We arrived about 20 minutes before the signing to purchase our books. Then we went upstairs to the event space and were greeted with this:

This was only part of the spread, too. There was a whole table filled with delicious finger sandwiches and treats and a bartender pouring sparking cider and other liquid refreshments. Monir told us later that her mom had planned the whole thing so yay mom! We've been to a lot of book signings and they don't usually have snacks. I really think we need to change this and make it a more regular occurrence. There was a large crowd of people at the events including friends, family and fans.

The signing started off with us listening to Monir's "Autumn Leaves," a song that she recorded for Suspicion. Monir has been a performer and recording artist for most of her life and has recorded a song for each of her books. 

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Monir says that her start in writing was a "happy accident." She had been pursuing a career in music when, one day, the idea for a time travel romance (what would later become Timeless) came to her. She didn't know what to do with the idea really but decided to start writing it to see where it went. It turned into a full length novel. Monir passed the novel on to her music agent who, in turn, gave it to an editor at Random House for comments. What resulted was a two book deal for Monir. Monir counts herself lucky though and says that her story is an unusual one. 

Monir said that Suspicion was very much inspired by one of her favorite books, Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. Monir said that she originally wanted to re-imagine the story for a younger audience and in a more contemporary setting. She added her own twist though with elements of the supernatural and themes of childhood friendship. The setting for Suspicion was inspired by Downton Abbey. The class differences of that time really interested Monir and she says that she discovered that the peerage is still going strong in Britain. She says that the Brits treat the royals like celebrities similar to how reality and film stars are treated in the U.S.

When asked if she listened to music while writing, Monir said that she likes to listen to film scores of world music so that she doesn't get caught up in the lyrics. Two of her favorite composers are Alexandre Desplat and John Williams. When asked if she would ever stop writing YA, Monir said that she did not think that she would ever tire of writing YA. The intense feelings and the discovery of first experiences are themes that loves. She also says that YA readers are the best reader.

After a few more questions it was time to sign books. Monir was very sweet and gracious when we chatted with her and we discussed how awesome Rebecca is and her upcoming trip to France (jealous!).

We had a really great time and can't wait to read Suspicion. You can see all of our pics from the event in our Flickr album. Also, mini eclairs! Many thanks to B&N, Alexandra Monir, and her mom for bringing treats. :)

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13. The Wolf Chronicles: Guest Post by Dorothy Hearst

Thanks to Dorothy Hearst for answering some questions about her Wolf Chronicles series today! Stick around and check out the giveaway as well as the other stops on the blog tour. 


Five most common questions about The Wolf Chronicles

I often get questions from young people who have read The Wolf Chronicles. Here are answers to the questions I hear most:

Talking wolves? How did you get that idea? 

One day, I was thinking about dogs, and how remarkable it is that we’re so drawn to them and they’re so drawn to us. I wondered how that came to be. And I thought about wolves—about how so many people hate and fear them. Then, a voice in my head said “I should write about how the wolf became the dog from the wolf’s point of view.” No one else was in the apartment, so I took the idea for my own. I didn’t have much choice. The wolves really wanted their story told, and they can’t type, so it was up to me.

Was it hard to write a wolf narrator?

It was easy in some ways and challenging in others. I’d been trying to write for about ten years when I got the idea for TWC.  As soon as I started writing, Kaala’s voice was there. I realized that I had written about three pages in her voice ten years earlier. So I had a dog-like narrator in my head already. Then the work began.

I did my research on how wolves perceive the world, then experimented with different ways to make Kaala seem wolflike, but not so unfamiliar that she would be hard for readers to relate to. I played with it until I got it just how I wanted it.  

Which character is most like you?

I think that Kaala and Tlitoo are two sides of me. Kaala takes things seriously and is a bit of an outsider. Tlitoo is a jokester and impulsive, and can’t resist chaos. I found it interesting that these two parts of my personality came out in two very different characters.

How did you come up with the names?

Some characters just came with names, like Tlitoo (ravens deliberately chose difficult-to-pronounce names). I had to work at others. I would start with a name and write about that character for a while. Then, often, something about the name wouldn’t match the character, so I’d try another. Eventually I would find the right name.

Then, I needed to make sure that readers would know right away whether a wolf, raven, human or Greatwolf was talking. So I developed naming conventions for each one, an idea I got from Anne McCaffrey. All the wolves have double letters in their names, the Greatwolves’ names end in “dra” and “dru” (in honor of their ancestor, Indru), and the humans have their villages at the ends of their names.

How do you write a whole book?

Keep on going. Most people think that if their first drafts aren’t good it means they can’t write. People also think that if it’s hard, they’re doing it wrong. Both are untrue. You have to get through the bad stuff to get to the good stuff, and writing seems hard because it’s hard. Just keep working at it.  It’s the only way to get to the end.


About Promise of the Wolves

WHAT IS THE PROMISE OF THE WOLF?
NEVER CONSORT WITH HUMANS
NEVER KILL A HUMAN UNPROVOKED
NEVER ALLOW A MIXED-BLOOD WOLF TO LIVE

At least that's what the wolves of the Wide Valley believe. Until a young wolf dares to break the rules--and forever alters the relationship between wolves and the humans who share their world.

This is the story of such a wolf. Born of a forbidden mixed-blood litter and an outcast after her mother is banished, Kaala is determined to earn a place in the Swift River pack. But her world is turned upside down when she saves a human girl from drowning. Risking expulsion from their pack and exile from the Wide Valley, Kaala and her young packmates begin to hunt with the humans and thus discover the long-hidden bond between the two clans. But when war between wolves and humans threatens, Kaala learns the lies behind the wolf's promise. Lies that force her to choose between safety for herself and her friends and the survival of her pack--and perhaps of all wolf- and human-kind.

Set 14,000 years ago, Promise of the Wolves takes us to a land where time is counted in phases of the moon, distance is measured in wolflengths, and direction by the scent of the nearest trail. Years of research into the world of wolves combines with mythical tale-telling to present a fantastical adventure set in a world filled with lore.


About the author

Before the wolves barged in the door, demanding that their story be told, Dorothy Hearst was an acquisitions editor at Jossey-Bass, where she published books for nonprofit, public, and social change leaders. She loves dogs but doesn’t have one, and borrows other people’s whenever she gets the chance. After seven years in New York City and nine years as a San Franciscan, Dorothy now lives in Berkeley, California.

Spirit of the Wolves, the third and final title in The Wolf Chronicles, will be released December 2. For more information, and to download free CCSS-aligned discussion questions for all three novels, visit her website www.dorothyhearst.com.


Giveaway

Simon & Schuster is pleased to offer a complete set of The Wolf Chronicles--PROMISE OF THE WOLVES, SECRETS OF THE WOLVES, AND SPIRIT OF THE WOLVES--to one lucky winner! (U.S. addresses only.) Giveaway ends December 20, 2014.

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Blog Tour Schedule

Check out all the stops on The Wolf Chronicles blog tour!

Mon, Dec 1 - Novel Novice

Tues, Dec 2 - The Book Monsters

Wed, Dec 3 - SLJ Teen

Thurs, Dec 4 - I Am a Reader, Not a Writer

Fri, Dec 5 - I Read Banned Books

Mon, Dec 8 - Library Fanatic

Tues, Dec 9 - YA Book Nerd

Wed, Dec 10 - Read Now, Sleep Later

Thurs, Dec 11 - The Brain Lair

Fri, Dec 12 - Unleashing Readers

Sat, Dec 13 - The Children's Book Review

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14. Getting the Words Out (8)

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Hello everyone!

You know, I actually kind of hate it when bloggers make a big announcement about going on hiatus (or coming back from one, or whatever). It's like the "man behind the curtain" moment--I'd rather not see. So this is not going to turn into that. I'm just going to tell you what fun stuff I've been doing instead of blogging (which is also fun, but in a much more time-consuming way than you might imagine).

  • I have really revived my passion for knitting and sewing. I have my pals at Twisted Stitches to thank for that. I just finished a scarf and I'm starting a pair of gloves for a Christmas gift. I plan to make myself some dresses as soon as I finish all of my Christmas crafting!
  • I have been exercising on and off just to maintain my weight so I could pig out like I wanted to on Thanksgiving (mission accomplished) but I sprained my ankle the other night, so no running for a bit :(
  • My husband got me hooked on Serial, a nonfiction podcast that unfolds a single story week by week.
  • I am binge-watching Criminal Minds. Great tv fare for both ankle-elevating and knitting (and very occasional blogging).
  • I'm trying to toilet-train my cats (to use the actual toilet!). Week one is almost over and so far, zilch. But apparently it's to be expected with a two-cat household.
  • I got a new bookshelf. Hallelujah! I am trying NOT to double-stack this one, but it does reach floor-to-ceiling.
  • I made pumpkin cream cheese bars, which smelled so bad during the making (due to gelatin and egg white components) that I swore I'd never make it again, but tasted so good afterwards, I had to give most of it away so I wouldn't eat it all myself.
  • I was in the same room (well, theatre) as John Cleese and Eric Idle. Watch here.
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I got a new MacBook Air. OMG. OMG. Ok, I'll be honest, the feel of the keys under my fingers is totally why I'm blogging again.

:) More soon!

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15. Gratitude Giveaway Hop

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16. Hello Kitty Con 2014 Recap

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On Nov. 1, 2014, I headed down to Los Angeles's Little Tokyo with my pals Celina and Kate to see the crazy Sanrio extravaganza known as Hello Kitty Con. Celebrating her 40th Anniversary, HKCon2014 was a massive cutesplosion of displays, activities, and of course, shopping. My only regret is not getting a second day pass so I could see panels as well as shop. Oh, ok, and that the SPAM booth ran out of Hello Kitty Musubi kits. And that I didn't have time or energy left to go make sand art.

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Ok, so I have a lot of regrets. But I had a ton of fun, too! It was weird to look through the Vintage Village displays and see things I most certainly had as a kid. To see all the people dressed in head-to-toe Sanrio gear made me grin. I picked up some collectibles (Socks! Notebooks! Baggu!) for myself, plus a couple more things to give away! Enter below using the Rafflecopter.

The prize is a set of 40th Anniversary notebooks and pins from Hello Kitty Con, plus a bag of Strawberry Pocky because they're pink and delicious. If the post gets 100 comments (minus any by Alethea, Thuy, or Kimberly) we'll throw in a gray Hello Kitty Baggu bag from Poketo, and the Hello Kitty graphic novel, Delicious!

Giveaway Rules:

  1. Open to US residents only. Ends 11/20/2014.
  2. We are not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged items. 
  3. One set of entries per household please. 
  4. If you are under 13, please get a parent or guardian's permission to enter, as you will be sharing personal info such as an email address. 
  5. Winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter widget a day or two after the contest ends. 
  6. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to to the email, otherwise we will pick a new winner. 
  7. If you have any questions, feel free to email us. You can review our full contest policy here
  8. PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE ANY PERSONAL INFO IN THE COMMENTS. Sorry for the caps but we always get people leaving their email in the comments. Rafflecopter will collect all that without having personal info in the comments for all the world (and spambots) to find. Thanks!
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17. 100 Sideways Miles Blog Tour

I'm so thrilled to be on the 100 Sideways Miles blog tour for Andrew Smith! Read on for more about the book, my review, and a giveaway. Check out the tour schedule for more reviews.

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About the book

100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 277
Published: 2 Sept, 2014

Finn Easton sees the world through miles instead of minutes. It’s how he makes sense of the world, and how he tries to convince himself that he’s a real boy and not just a character in his father’s bestselling cult-classic book. Finn has two things going for him: his best friend, the possibly-insane-but-definitely-excellent Cade Hernandez, and Julia Bishop, the first girl he’s ever loved.
Then Julia moves away, and Finn is heartbroken. Feeling restless and trapped in the book, Finn embarks on a road trip with Cade to visit their college of choice in Oklahoma. When an unexpected accident happens and the boys become unlikely heroes, they take an eye-opening detour away from everything they thought they had planned—and learn how to write their own destiny.

Where to find it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Goodreads | Free Preview

About the author

Andrew Smith is the award-winning author of several Young Adult novels, including the critically acclaimed Winger (Starred reviews in Publishers WeeklyKirkus, Booklist, and Shelf Awareness—an Amazon “Best of the Year”) and The Marbury Lens (A YALSA BFYA, and Starred reviews and Best of the Year in both Publishers Weekly and Booklist).

Smith is a native-born Californian who spent most of his formative years traveling the world. His university studies focused on Political Science, Journalism, and Literature. He has published numerous short stories and articles. Stand Off, the sequel to Winger, coming in January 2015, is his ninth novel. He lives in Southern California.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Events | Goodreads


Alethea's Review

To begin, I should tell you I know Andrew Smith. I met him in 2011, right after a Wall Street Journal article on YA books basically shat all over him and a few other terrific authors for writing children's literature that was "too dark". He's a great guy and an amazing writer. While the content of his novels are usually brutal, violent, darkly and scatologically humorous, which might make you think the author is some rough, tough ne'er-do-well, he's actually quite sensitive. Anyone who understands his writing understands that, just as he understands us and our feelings. (All the feels!)

While it would probably behoove me to tell you that I am giving the book an honest review regardless of how I think of Andrew, that wouldn't be quite true. I would be even less truthful to say I'm giving it a good review because I like him a lot, and want to spare his feelings. I want you to know I'm giving 100 Sideways Miles the most honest review that I can, given that I already presupposed it to be brilliant because it's written by Andrew Smith. I'm not sugar-coating it, because I don't have to.

It's brilliant.

Finn Easton's view of life, from his stance as an epileptic, uncertain, eventually heart-broken teenaged boy tilts the reader's perspective in unexpected ways. Whenever Finn has a seizure, all is beauty, and words cease to have meaning as the connections between them unravel in his brain. He marks time in miles instead of minutes, thinks of people in terms of their molecules, and how much or how little the microscopic bits of matter want to stay together or rejoin the universe. His best friend Cade, crass and a little insane, makes a great foil. Finn's crush, Julia Bishop, is a girl I'd fall in love with, myself. She's forthright and real. Their story unfolds like history rather than fiction.

Strange plot and lovable characters aside--I won't spoil anything for you--the real star of the show is Smith's prose. He has a penchant for taking normal, everyday words and stringing them together in unforgettable ways, like "the planet of humans and dogs", or "the knackery never shuts down", simple but lyrical to the point where I find myself thinking them throughout the day, when I think about politics and people, when I am planting seeds in the garden, when I'm shampooing my hair. "Twenty miles. Twenty miles." It's how many miles the earth travels per second. When he's not busy blowing your mind, Smith sneaks in relevant tidbits of history, like carrots in the meatloaf. I probably knew, but didn't remember, anything about the St. Francis dam disaster of 1928, and now I feel like I'll never forget it.

People who don't like Andrew Smith point and pick at his use of profanity as weakness. To me, they're the weak ones. His frank voice helps me feel understood; it echoes the way I think, speak, and feel. It makes us, his readers, feel like we're not alone. Not just that, but Smith's detractors are missing the point; they're missing the words and ideas that matter. "Twenty miles. Twenty miles." Every moment we stand still, we're moving. 

100 Sideways Miles is darkly funny, deeply thoughtful, and a worthy addition to Andrew Smith's bildungsroman novels.

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Tour Schedule

November 3rd ~ The Pirate Tree – Review
November 3rd ~ Roof Beam Reader – Review
November 3rd ~ Cabin Goddess – Mom & Son Review with a Recipe
November 3rd ~ Bookish – Review
November 3rd ~ Lookandseebeanazed – Review
November 4th ~ The Reader and the Chef – Review
November 4th ~ The Bookish Confections – Review
November 4th ~ Fangirlish – Review
November 4th ~ Reads All The Books – Review
November 5th ~ Word Spelunking – Review
November 5th ~ Debbie Bookish – Review
November 5th ~ Books and Bling – Review
November 5th ~ Falling For YA – Review
November 5th ~ I Read Banned Books  – Review
November 5th ~ Ringo The Cat – Review
November 5th ~ A Leisure Moment – Review
November 6th ~ Reading on the Farm – Review
November 6th ~ Blogging Between the Lines – Review
November 6th ~ Bookhounds YA – Review
November 6th ~ What A Nerd Girl Says – Review
November 6th ~ Movies, Shows & Books – Review
November 6th ~ Deal Sharing Aunt  – Review
November 7th ~ Pixie Vixen Book Reviews – Review
November 7th ~ roro is Reading – Review
November 7th ~ The Reader and the Chef – Review
November 7th ~ Cabin Goddess – Review
November 7th ~ Reads All The Books – Review
November 7th ~ Laura Kreitzer, Bestselling Author  – Review
November 7th ~ LRB - Karin Baker  – Review
November 7th ~ Read Now Sleep Later – Review


Giveaway

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18. I'm My Own Dog Blog Tour

Thanks so much to Candlewick Press for asking us to join the I'm My Own Dog blog tour. They're giving away a copy of the book, and David Ezra Stein answered some questions for us! Read on and enter to win using the Rafflecopter widget (US, ends 11/14).

   

About the book

Many dogs have human owners. Not this dog. He fetches his own slippers, curls up at his own feet, and gives himself a good scratch. But there is one spot, in the middle of his back, that he just can’t reach. So one day, he lets a human scratch it. And the poor little fella follows him home. What can the dog do but get a leash to lead the guy around with? Dog lovers of all ages will revel in the humorous role-reversal as this dog teaches his human all the skills he needs to be a faithful companion.

About the author

David Ezra Stein is the creator of many award-winning picture books, including Interrupting Chicken, which was awarded a Caldecott Honor, Because Amelia Smiled, and Dinosaur Kisses. He lives with his family in Kew Gardens, New York.

Find out more about him at www.davidezra.com.

   

Q & A with David Ezra Stein

Alethea at RNSL: I loved I'm My Own Dog. Do you have (or have you previously had) a pet like this? How did you develop the alternative view he takes on ownership?

David Ezra Stein: Hi Alethea! Thanks; I have had quite a few pets in my life. When I was a kid I was allergic, so I had mainly guinea pigs, fish, and a snake. I think all my books, and especially the characters, come from my own emotions and my relationship to the demands that life makes on me. When I wrote this book, I was feeling a desire to be true to myself, and suddenly I became aware of the voice of this dog character. He began telling me about himself. I wrote it down. Then I followed through by figuring out what the rest of his life would be like. I realized he would eventually need someone else, and that’s where the man came in.

RNSL: This book is quite hilarious. What do you think developed your particular sense of humor?

DES: Oh, thank you so much. I guess I had funny parents and also, I think I had a rough time in childhood in some ways, and humor is always what got me through, and gave me a sense of power. If you can laugh, you can survive. I was attracted to humor and gobbled it up wherever I could. Sesame Street was a big influence. In the ‘80s we had so many really funny movies. For example, Spaceballs absolutely blew my mind as a kid. I was rolling in the aisle of the movie theater, getting popcorn stuck to my clothes. Commercials were also little haikus of humor. Calvin & Hobbes comic books were a huge inspiration.

RNSL: You have a great, loose, flowy style of illustration. Can you tell us a bit about how you started drawing and creating art?

DES: I tried almost every medium as a kid. My parents were both artists. I scribbled right onto the pages of books I liked. To be part of the art. I was always attracted to ink: the blackness against the white paper, and the way it flows. Even though I am a city guy, I have had an affinity for the natural world all my life. I used to go out painting with my mother at about age 10 and try to capture the beauty of old houses and gardens. It’s always been a value of mine to be a fine artist, like Van Gogh or Matisse. In college I got into drawing out on the spot again, which is wonderful to do in New York City. I could do that every day. I still do it whenever I can. Now I bring watercolor, too, another flowy medium, as you say.

RNSL: You both write and illustrate your stories. Do you prefer one mode over the other, and why or why not?

DES: They are both ways of getting an idea down. Especially in the early stages of a book. I can’t do just one. I love going to the painting stage, though. There is a delightful wordlessness about it, like music. It says things that can’t be said in words.

RNSL: I have two cats, who aren't so much independent (they still need me to open the food cans) but who sometimes behave as if I am quite an inferior, hairless, clumsy feline. My husband is often considered the better cat in the household (he is warm and a bit furry, and excels at paper ball games). Do you think you will do a story for cat lovers sometime in the future? (In a very roundabout way, I'm asking what you're working on next.)

DES: Ha, ha! Sounds like you might have a book in there, yourself! Yes, I am open to doing a cat book. I love cats, actually, and have rescued a couple. They are so interesting and weird, as well. Uncanny would be the word. For now, I have a frog book coming next summer, called Tad and Dad. It’s about a little tadpole who jumps into Dad’s lily pad every night. Think co-sleeping with frogs.

RNSL: Thanks for answering my questions, David! I'm off to draft that picture book...

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Giveaway Rules:

  1. Open to US residents only. Ends 11/14/2014.

  2. We are not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged items. 

  3. One set of entries per household please. 

  4. If you are under 13, please get a parent or guardian's permission to enter, as you will be sharing personal info such as an email address. 

  5. Winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter widget a day or two after the contest ends. 

  6. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to to the email, otherwise we will pick a new winner. 

  7. If you have any questions, feel free to email us. You can review our full contest policy here

  8. PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE ANY PERSONAL INFO IN THE COMMENTS. Sorry for the caps but we always get people leaving their email in the comments. Rafflecopter will collect all that without having personal info in the comments for all the world (and spambots) to find. Thanks!

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19. Tabula Rasa Blog Tour

 Thanks to Egmont USA for asking us to host a stop on the Tabula Rasa blog tour! Check out info about this new YA thriller below, a Q&A with author Kristen Lippert-Martin, and enter for a chance to win a copy of the book. 

   

About the Book

The Bourne Identity meets Divergent in this heart-pounding debut.

Sixteen-year-old Sarah has a rare chance at a new life. Or so the doctors tell her. She’s been undergoing a cutting-edge procedure that will render her a tabula rasa—a blank slate. Memory by memory, her troubled past is being taken away.

But when her final surgery is interrupted and a team of elite soldiers invades the isolated hospital under cover of a massive blizzard, her fresh start could be her end. 

Navigating familiar halls that have become a dangerous maze with the help of a teen computer hacker who's trying to bring the hospital down for his own reasons, Sarah starts to piece together who she is and why someone would want her erased. And she won’t be silenced again.

A high-stakes thriller featuring a non-stop race for survival and a smart heroine who will risk everything, Tabula Rasa is, in short, unforgettable.


Q&A with Kristen Lippert-Martin

 

RNSL: Did you have to do a lot of research for Tabula Rasa?

KLM: I guess I’d say I let the sci-fi stuff take precedent, but I definitely fact-checked the military-related elements. In other words, I didn’t let reality get in the way of the cool stuff at all. ;) But! One of my goals with the sci-fi elements in the story was to create a world and a scenario that felt like it could be real in the here and now.

Fortunately I have people in my life who can act as experts and give me advice. The scene in the opening where the helicopter arrives and starts shooting through the hospital windows—I had to fix that because I was told, “Oh, no way would a pilot get so close to the building. If a helicopter is going to fire a missile it’s got to back up and fire from a distance or else risk getting hit by the blowback and debris from the rockets it launches.” There were plenty of things like that I wanted to make sure were portrayed accurately.

 

RNSL: Tabula Rasa is your debut. How many books did you have to write before you got to this one, the one that sold? Do you write in a specific genre only, or in various genres?

KLM: I wrote two adult literary novels and two YA novels before selling Tabula Rasa. One of the YA novels was on submission for about a year and never sold.

 

RNSL: What were your biggest influences for coming up with this story?

KLM: A perhaps odd mix of things: an assortment of action movies and, believe it or not, Hamlet.

I loved the reboot of The Bourne Identity a few years back, and I thought that concept would be perfect for a YA novel. I thought the notion of “trying to figure out who you are while people are trying to kill you” a very apt metaphor for adolescence. ;)

As for Hamlet, I’m very much an over-thinker myself, and the idea of Hamlet as this character paralyzed by gloom and constantly mulling things over—yeah, that was something I was prone to doing as a teen. I wanted to create a character who was motivated to act, to save herself, as a way of snapping out of her apathy and indifference.

 

RNSL: Your bio says you like to rewrite endings to tv shows and books when you don't like the way they turn out. Can you give us an example? (I personally would have rewritten the ending of Buffy the Vampire Slayer so she ends up with Spike, though I admit that would have made for a much less compelling show.)

KLM: OMG! I would have done EXACTLY THE SAME THING. Spike was my favorite BtVS character. I was so rooting for the Buffy-Spike relationship… and uh, maybe we should get back to things!

See, this is what I’m talking about though. I think what I was doing as a kid, long before the internet, was what fans do now in writing fan fiction. You want to take this character you care about and create another dimension of reality for them. I was just a very sensitive kid, and I didn’t like seeing bad things happen, even to imaginary people, so I’d figure out ways for characters to get their happy endings. 

 

RNSL: Did you decide to write for teens and young people (and why), or is it one of those things where it just happened, and marketing placed your book in YA? 

KLM: For me it’s definitely case of “this is where I fit.” The kind of stories I write, the tone, the way I want my stories to end. I tell you, I’ve read enough books about bleak, middle-aged white guys unable to emotionally connect with the people in their lives to last the rest of my life. I know it’s not fair to say that’s what ALL adult literary fiction is but yikes, it sure takes in a lot of it.

I want to write action, sci-fi, humor, and romance—preferably all at once. And the place to do that, for me anyway, is YA. It just feels like home.

 

RNSL: When you were the age that your target audience is now, were you a reader? What were you reading?

I was an avid mystery reader—mostly Agatha Christie. But actually I think that happened when I was an older teen, say between 17-19. I’m embarrassed to say that I was not a big reader in high school. I mean, beyond what I had to read for school in English class. That might have been because the YA we know today just didn’t exist. It seemed like the whole of YA lit comprised two books: Catcher in the Rye, which I loved for the sarcasm but hated for the message (that growing up = tragedy), and A Separate Peace. I liked things about that story too, but I mean, come on. How many rich kid boarding school stories do we need?

 

RNSL: Cake or pie, or neither? What kind and why?

CAKE. I don’t even get pie. This is an argument that goes on in my household frequently. I find most pie to just be slimy fruit. My husband is a huge pie guy, but I’m like, “GANACHE, OK? When they make a pie with chocolate ganache, then we’ll talk!”

Cake preferences, depending on my mood: carrot, coconut, chocolate ganache, and lemon.

I spend weeks leading up to my birthday thinking about and planning for my cake. I am not screwing around with the cake, I tell you. ;)

 

About the Author

Kristen Lippert-Martin is a practicing geek. She holds an MFA from Columbia University. Her patronus is a platypus, and she prefers Star Trek to Star Wars. Do you really need to know more? I don't. (One of us! One of us!)

Tabula Rasa is her debut book. Her website is www.kristenlippertmartin.com and you can tweet her @KLipMart.


Giveaway Rules:

  1. Open to US and Canada residents only. The last day to enter the giveaway is Sept 29, 2014.
  2. We are not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged items. 
  3. One set of entries per household please. 
  4. If you are under 13, please get a parent or guardian's permission to enter, as you will be sharing personal info such as an email address. 
  5. Winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter widget a day or two after the contest ends. 
  6. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to to the email, otherwise we will pick a new winner. 
  7. If you have any questions, feel free to email us. You can review our full contest policy here
  8. PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE ANY PERSONAL INFO IN THE COMMENTS. Sorry for the caps but we always get people leaving their email in the comments. Rafflecopter will collect all that without having personal info in the comments for all the world (and spambots) to find. Thanks!
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20. Little Elliot, Big City

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Little Elliot, Big City by Mike Curato

ISBN 10: 0805098259
ISBN 13: 978-0805098259

Publication date: 26 August 2014 by Henry Holt & Co. BYR

Category: Children's Picture Book

Keywords: Elephant, mouse, friendship, cooperation, desserts

Format: Hardcover

Source: F&G from publisher

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Dedicated to "anyone who feels unnoticed", Little Elliot, Big City is about a pale, polka-dotted, pint-sized elephant who appreciates the little things in life. He has a box of small keepsakes, a sweet tooth, and finds inventive ways to solve everyday problems despite his small stature. One day he meets somebody even smaller and more helpless than himself, and helping out this littler creature really grows his self-esteem!

Little Elliot is a story about friendship, cupcakes, and how to not let your limitations stop you from becoming more than you are. I really love Curato's illustrations which have a very pastel mood and vintage style. His cupcake and macaron drawings make me want for run right down to the mall for some dainty sweet treats! The endpapers are achingly sweet. I love the colors and shadows, too.

The characters are very cute and the story has a great message as well. I hope this is only going to be the beginning for a long series of Elliot books filled with kind adventures and baked goods.

I received this book for free from Macmillan in exchange for an honest review.

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21. The Book of Three 50th Anniversary Blog Tour

Thanks to Macmillan for asking us to participate in the blog tour for the 50th Anniversary Edition of The Book of Three. Read on for Alethea's post about reading the book again, a list of other blog tour stops, and a giveaway!

About the book:

Henry Holt Books for Young Readers is proud to publish this 50th Anniversary Edition of Lloyd Alexander's classic The Book of Three, the first book in the Chronicles of Prydain, with a new introduction by Newbery Honor–winner Shannon Hale. This anniversary edition is filled with bonus materials, including an interview with Lloyd Alexander, a Prydain short story, the first chapter of the next Prydain book (The Black Cauldron, a Newbery Honor book), an author's note, and a pronunciation guide.

 

Begin at the Beginning

When I was twelve, I got my first public library card, and took my second trip to Prydain. I didn't know it at first, but I'd already been there. My grandfather took me to see The Black Cauldron a few years before I read the books, and I remember being riveted and a little scared, but mostly excited by the adventure.

We moved to New Jersey from the Philippines that year, and I swore I'd read every book in the Old Bridge Public Library from A to Z. (I moved to California two years later, having made hardly a dent in the alphabet.) Naturally, the first book that I found when I walked into the children's section was The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander. I picked it up and couldn't put it down. I read the rest of the series in quick succession.

The Book of Three isn't just the story of Taran, erstwhile and brave Assistant Pig-Keeper, funny and faithful Gurgi, the enchanting and spunky Eilonwy. It's not just the adventures of shaggy-haired hero Gwydion, of Flewddur Fflam Son of Godo--bard of the harp. It's not, the author Lloyd Alexander warns in his note, to be taken as a guide for tourists [to Wales]. Prydain was the door that opened onto other worlds: Lewis's Narnia, McCaffrey's Pern, Tolkien's Middle-Earth. It opened in me an unstoppable craving for new adventures in strange lands.

Reading this book again for the umpteenth time in the twenty-four years since I first read it, I'm not just taken back to Prydain, I'm taken back to my childhood, to a musty-smelling public library. I'm walking into the building, past the periodicals, straight to the children's wall, to A for Alexander. And in my imagination, my fingertips sizzle like Taran's did when he first tried to touch The Book of Three.

   

Blog Tour Schedule:

Monday, September 22 - YA Bibliophile
Tuesday, September 23 - Maria’s Melange
Wednesday, September 24 - The Book Wars
Thursday, September 25 - Bunbury in the Stacks
Friday, September 26 - Manga Maniac Café
Monday, September 29 - Read Now Sleep Later
Tuesday, September 30
 - The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia
Wednesday, October 1
 - Word Spelunking
Thursday, October 2 - Proud Book Nerd
Friday, October 3 - Book Haven Extraordinaire

Giveaway Rules:

  1. Open to US and Canada residents only. Ends 10/06/2014. The prize is a hardcover 50th anniversary edition of The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander.
  2. We are not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged items. 
  3. One set of entries per household please. 
  4. If you are under 13, please get a parent or guardian's permission to enter, as you will be sharing personal info such as an email address. 
  5. Winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter widget a day or two after the contest ends. 
  6. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to to the email, otherwise we will pick a new winner. 
  7. If you have any questions, feel free to email us. You can review our full contest policy here
  8. PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE ANY PERSONAL INFO IN THE COMMENTS. Sorry for the caps but we always get people leaving their email in the comments. Rafflecopter will collect all that without having personal info in the comments for all the world (and spambots) to find. Thanks!
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22. Books to Movies Giveaway Hop

Thanks to BookHounds and I am a Reader for hosting the Books to Movies Giveaway Hop! This hop features books that have been made into movies or TV shows.

Some blogs will be giving away the book, some the movie & others both! I'm posting a little early, so if you're reading this before October 2 you may have to wait a while for all the blogs to post their contests.

We are giving away $25 worth of The Maze Runner goodness! The winner can pick book(s) and/or a movie gift certificate, as long as the total doesn't go over $25. For example, the winner can pick the paperback boxed set ($24.11 on Amazon) or The Maze Runner eBook for $5.99 + $19 on a Fandango or Arclight gift card (or whatever his or her local movie place is) to go watch the movie.

I actually didn't particularly like the book (only read the first one) BUT I did think it would make a great, fun movie, and I was right! Now that I've seen the film, I definitely want to take the time to read or listen to the rest of the series. I hope you enjoy the movie as much as I did.

Check out the cast Q&A with awesome photos by our friend Katie Ferguson.

Use the Rafflecopter widget to enter and then head on to the other blogs on the hop for more chances to win.

Giveaway Rules:

  1. Open to US residents only. Ends 10/10/2014.
  2. We are not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged items. 
  3. One set of entries per household please. 
  4. If you are under 13, please get a parent or guardian's permission to enter, as you will be sharing personal info such as an email address. 
  5. Winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter widget a day or two after the contest ends. 
  6. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to to the email, otherwise we will pick a new winner. 
  7. If you have any questions, feel free to email us. You can review our full contest policy here
  8. PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE ANY PERSONAL INFO IN THE COMMENTS. Sorry for the caps but we always get people leaving their email in the comments. Rafflecopter will collect all that without having personal info in the comments for all the world (and spambots) to find. Thanks!
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23. Afterparty Blog Tour Schedule and Giveaway

I'm so pleased to kick off the Afterparty Blog Tour! We've got a ton of great blogs featuring this edgy YA novel by Ann Redisch Stampler. There will be guest posts, deleted scenes, interviews, reviews, and a huge giveaway! Make sure you hit all the stops along the way for more chances to win.

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24. Spooktacular Giveaway Hop

   

It's time again for the Spooktacular Giveaway Hop! This runs Oct 15th-31st and is hosted by I am a Reader, Not a Writer. The links below will be going live sometime on 10/14-10/15; check out all the blogs on the hop for more chances to win!

For this hop we are giving away 1 of our favorite spooky YA books. (1 young adult book worth up to $20 USD.) The winner can choose from a list of titles below. We will take suggestions, so comment with the name and author of the spooky book you'd like to get if you're the winner!

Here are some of Alethea's favorites:

Giveaway Rules:

  1. Open Internationally. Ends 10/31/2014.
  2. We are not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged items. 
  3. One set of entries per household please. 
  4. If you are under 13, please get a parent or guardian's permission to enter, as you will be sharing personal info such as an email address. 
  5. Winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter widget a day or two after the contest ends. 
  6. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to to the email, otherwise we will pick a new winner. 
  7. If you have any questions, feel free to email us. You can review our full contest policy here
  8. PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE ANY PERSONAL INFO IN THE COMMENTS. Sorry for the caps but we always get people leaving their email in the comments. Rafflecopter will collect all that without having personal info in the comments for all the world (and spambots) to find. Thanks!
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25. Forbidden Pre-order Giveaway

Look, I know it seems like all giveaways all the time on the blog, but I've been really slammed at work and haven't had time to read or review. Anyway... who can resist this crazy giveaway?! Thanks to Kimberley Griffiths Little and HarperCollins for sponsoring this great pre-order contest.


On November 4th, HarperCollins unveils Forbidden, a seductive YA debut from award-winning middle grade author Kimberley Griffiths Little. Forbidden transports readers back in time to the deadly deserts and sweltering heat of Ancient Mesopotamia for a tale of danger, duty, and forbidden love. Jayden is on the brink of womanhood and betrothed to her tribe’s prince, cold-hearted Horeb. But when tragedy strikes, Jayden meets Kadesh, a mysterious visitor from the south who makes Jayden doubt everything she knows. Torn between loyalty to her tribe and the chance to escape her fate, Jayden must make a choice that will change her life forever.


Kimberley is also offering a HUGE preorder giveaway from October 6th to November 4th (release day!) to celebrate. See below for full details on how to enter. TO ENTER:
  • You must preorder Forbidden through an online retailer or your local bookstore, then email a photo of your receipt to forbiddengiveaway@gmail.com.
  • Fill out the rafflecopter below
  • US/Canada Only
  • Ends at midnight EST on November 3, 2014
  • Optional entries: share the trailer on your own site or social media, follow Kimberley on twitter, and tweet about the giveaway (can be repeated daily for extra entries!)
  • Winners will be announced and contacted November 4th (release day!)
  • If the winner does not respond with their mailing address within one week, a new winner will be chosen.
PRIZES: (1) GRAND PRIZE WINNER: 1. NEWLY RELEASED Kindle Fire HD6 Tablet with 6" HD Display, Wi-Fi, Front and Rear Cameras, 8 GB -- choose your color! (Black, Magenta, White, Citron, or Cobalt) 2. GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS by Rae Carson 3. CHAOS OF STARS by Kiersten White 4. Satin Belly Dance Skirt 5. Belly Dance 150-Coin Hip Scarf 6. Red Silk Veil (not pictured) 7. Red Middle Eastern Earrings 8. Belly dance DVD: Sensual Belly Dance with Blanca, a professional dancer (technique, choreography, and performances) 9. "Will YOU risk it all?" button (not pictured) 10. Set of 10 Book Club Cards 11. Jeweled bookmark (not pictured) (1) SECOND PLACE WINNER: 1. GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS by Rae Carson 2. Red Middle Eastern Earrings 3. Red Silk Veil (not pictured) 4. Belly dance DVD: Sensual Belly Dance with Blanca, a professional dancer (technique, choreography, and performances) 5. "Will YOU risk it all?" button (not pictured) 6. Set of 10 Book Club Cards 7. Jeweled bookmark (not pictured) (13) RUNNERS-UP WINNERS: 1. Red Middle Eastern Earrings 2. "Will YOU risk it all?" button (not pictured) 3. Set of 10 Book Club Cards 4. Jeweled bookmark (not pictured) Good luck!
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Preorder: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound About Forbidden: In the unforgiving Mesopotamian desert where Jayden’s tribe lives, betrothal celebrations abound, and tonight it is Jayden’s turn to be honored. But while this union with Horeb, the son of her tribe’s leader, will bring a life of riches and restore her family’s position within the tribe, it will come at the price of Jayden’s heart. Then a shadowy boy from the Southern Lands appears. Handsome and mysterious, Kadesh fills Jayden’s heart with a passion she never knew possible. But with Horeb’s increasingly violent threats haunting Jayden’s every move, she knows she must find a way to escape—or die trying. With a forbidden romance blossoming in her heart and her family’s survival on the line, Jayden must embark on a deadly journey to save the ones she loves—and find a true love for herself.
Set against the brilliant backdrop of the sprawling desert, the story of Jayden and Kadesh will leave readers absolutely breathless as they defy the odds and risk it all to be together.
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About Kimberley: Award-winning author Kimberley Griffiths Little was born in San Francisco, but now lives in New Mexico on the banks of the Rio Grande with her husband and their three sons. Her middle-grade novels, When the Butterflies Came, The Last Snake Runner, The Healing Spell, and Circle of Secrets, have been praised as “fast-paced and dramatic,” with “beautifully realized settings.” Kimberley adores anything old and musty with a secret story to tell. She’s stayed in the haunted tower room at Borthwick Castle in Scotland; sailed the Seine in Paris; ridden a camel in Petra, Jordan; shopped the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul; and spent the night in an old Communist hotel in Bulgaria. You can visit her online at www.kimberleygriffithslittle.com. Share your thoughts on the trailer in the comments!





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