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1. Christopher Golden Celebrates 20th Anniversary of Publication

For immediate release

GOLDEN CELEBRATES 20th ANNIVERSARY
New York Times #1 Bestselling Author Christopher Golden Celebrates a Milestone

Of Saints and Shadows by Christopher Golden It all started with Of Saints and Shadows, a book which helped lay the groundwork for the genre we now call urban fantasy. Christopher Golden’s debut novel kickstarted a critically-acclaimed career that is still going strong two decades later.

Since the publication of his first novel in 1994, Golden has received accolades from Stephen King, George R.R. Martin, Peter Straub, Clive Barker, Charlaine Harris, Graham Joyce, The Boston Globe, New York Public Library, Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and many more.  The #1 New York Times bestselling author has won the Bram Stoker Award and been nominated many times for the Stoker, the Shirley Jackson Award, and others.  His novels have been published in at least fifteen languages in countries around the world.  Over the past twenty years, Golden has written dozens of novels, as well as comics and graphic novels, short stories, screenplays, radio plays, and an animated web series.

 "I never could have imagined--twenty years ago, in a market that even then frequently saw books appear on the stands and go out of print in a matter of months--that OF SAINTS AND SHADOWS would still be in print, and never gone out of print, two decades later,” Golden says. “I've been a full-time writer ever since, but that first novel of the Shadow Saga is the one that started it all."

On June 1st, the Barnes and Noble bookstore in Salem, NH--where Golden made frequent signing appearances early in his career--will host a 20th anniversary celebration featuring cake, numerous giveaways, and author special guests including Brian Keene, Daniel Palmer, Mary Sangiovanni, Nate Kenyon, and Rio Youers.  Golden will also be offering special online giveaways leading up to and on June 1st. http://www.christophergolden.com

Golden's next novel, TIN MEN--now in feature film development at Warner Brothers, will appear in 2015 from Random House, but the author will read from that novel for the very first time at the June 1st event, as well as from his most recent publication, SNOWBLIND, available now from St. Martin's Press.

Christopher Golden is available for interviews. Please email crdg@comcast.net

Of Saints and Shadows Angel Souls and Devil Hearts Of Masques and Martyrs The Gathering Dark Waking Nightmares The Graves of SaintsThe Graves of Saints

On the 20th anniversary of the publication of Christopher Golden’s first novel, OF SAINTS AND SHADOWS, these fantastic authors and sites have shared their thoughts…

“Golden’s 1994 book is the template for a score of books that have been published in the years since its publication.  Many of those books have been bestsellers.  Reading Of Saints and Shadows again after so long, I was amazed to realize how many elements now familiar in the vampire and thriller genres appeared in Saints first.  Golden’s imagination and expert plotting wove these elements into a startlingly original book, as exciting to read now as it was when it first appeared on the rack.  Of Saints and Shadows should be part of every genre writer’s library.”
          --Charlaine Harris

“Some of my editor friends tell me that horror fiction is finally starting to make a
comeback after the catastrophic boom and bust in the 1980s. If that's true, writers like Christopher Golden are a big part of the reason.”
          --George R. R. Martin

“Christopher Golden was writing kick-ass urban fantasy before the genre even had a name.  The Peter Octavian novels are smart, fast-paced, lyrical and vicious.”
--Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of Rot & Ruin


“Christopher Golden is one of the most hard-working, smartest, and most talented writers of his generation, and his books are so good and so involving that they really ought to sell in huge numbers.  Everything he writes glows with imagination.”
                      --Peter Straub

“Although Of Saints and Shadows was not the first Christopher Golden novel I read, it was the novel that illustrated for me why it is he’s been so widely-read and well on his way to becoming a household name:  from the very first — the very first — this guy had a wizard’s ability to balance deeper themes with compelling plots that kept the reader from knowing they were being asked to see the worldview of a singular story-teller, one whose personal agendas never turn into lectures, and whose sense of pace, characterization, and overall story form began where most writers arrive after only a dozen novels.  Tis is to say, I’ve hated him for as long as I’ve been reading him, because i’ll never be this good of a story-teller.  Never.  I read all of his work, and will continue to do so, and have the anti-psychotic prescription bills to prove it.  Yeah — he’s that good.”
-- Gary A. Braunbeck

“Golden combines quiet, dark, subtle mood with Super-Giant monster action.  Sort of M.R. James meets Godzilla!”
--Mike Mignola, creator of Hellboy

“It’s almost an entire generation since Christopher Golden put out his debut novel Of Saints and Shadows, bit the bullet and became a full-time writer. In those intervening years he’s produced a staggering number of follow-up books, comics and stories whose standard remains embarrassingly high. At PS Publishing, we were fortunate enough to do the special limited signed hardcover edition of The Boys Are Back In Town, a time-travel paradox that sits happily alongside Finney’s Time And Again, King’s 11.22.63 and, in the short form, Heinlein’s ‘All You Zombies’. Here’s a fine chance for nature nuts to see the tiny acorn from which mighty oak trees have since grown: I tell ya . . . Saints is as good now as it was then. And so’s Golden. Maybe even better. Damn his eyes!”
            --Peter Crowther, author of Songs of Leaving, publisher at PS Publishing

“A delightful read and a noteworthy debut by a writer who cares passionately about the stuff of horror.”
--Douglas E. Winter, in Cemetery Dance

“A breathtaking story that succeeds in marrying gore and romance, sex and sentiment. A brilliant epic.”
--Dark News, Paris

“Before Urban Fantasy was even a glimmer in our eyes, there was Golden’s Peter Octavian. ... Christopher Golden wrote the first Peter Octavian book back in the mid 1990's before Urban Fantasy was even a genre. While almost everyone gives credit to Charles De Lint and Laurell K. Hamilton for beginning our favorite genre, somehow Golden has been overlooked and I believe strongly he should receive credit as well as the worlds others have built after him have so many of the same characteristics.”
--DangerousRomance.com

“It has a refreshing take on the whole vampire mythology. This is quite impressive, seeing as it predates the current vampire trend by over ten years.”
--Worlds Unimagined

“Golden redefined vampires in his Shadow Saga series.”
--SFRevu

“A new book by Christopher Golden means only one thing: the reader is in for a treat.  His books are rich with texture and character, always inventive, and totally addictive.”
            --Charles de Lint

“One of the best contemporary writers of dark fantasy and horror.  As good as Stephen King.”
            --The Green Man Review

Of Saints and Shadows by Christopher Golden   Angel Souls and Devil Hearts by Christopher Golden   Of Masques and Martyrs by Christopher Golden   The Gathering Dark by Christopher Golden

If you'd like to run this press release at your website or blog or in your magazine or newspaper, click here to download the PDF.

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2. How to Use Cross-Promotion to Sell Your Book

Be-Your-Own-Publicist-ArticThe book industry is like any other in the sense that selling and marketing your product — and, in essence, yourself — can often be the toughest part.

If you’re a unknown author working with a small publishing house (or self-publishing), partnering up with a brand that has a large following could help boost sales and get your name in the press. We got the scoop from several branding experts on how to choose the right partner:

Think outside the box and team up with a brand, retailer or expert who supplements your area of expertise. If you just wrote a book about the benefits of Pilates and the barre method, [Beth Feldman, co-founder of BeyondPR Group] suggests teaming up with Lululemon to do a book signing at their store or build a 10-city tour to appear in their stores and then promote yourself to local media. This begins with concocting a well-crafted strategy to share why you would add value to them via media exposure.

To learn more, including how to build a local following, read: How To Be Your Own Publicist.

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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3. [PR] Georgetown Academy News

I loved these books, so I wanted to pass along a press release I received:

Georgetown Academy is a juicy series about the politics at D.C.’s most elite prep school. A cross between Scandal and Gossip Girl, it’s fans include Eva Longoria and nearly a million Wattpad fans.

To celebrate the series’ success, we’ve put together an amazing campaign that involves and benefits readers—the more participation, the more we’ll give. Here are the steps:

Book One is currently being featured on Wattpad. Add GTA to your public Wattpad reading list: http://www.wattpad.com/story/8095946-georgetown-academy-book-one

Share Book One’s Wattpad link via twitter (Using #GTScandal)

  • If GT fans hit 1k tweets by Wednesday, April 23, we will release Chapter 1 of Book 2 on Wattpad

  • if can hit 1.5k tweets by Sunday 4/27, we’ll release another Book 2 chapter (from the POV of a an unknown character) on Wattpad

  • If we hit 2k, the price of book 2, across all platforms will be dropped to $1.99

Join our Twitter Party! On Tuesday 4/22 @ 9 pm EST authors Jessica and Alyssa will answer all readers’ questions! Find out if Taryn will stand between Ellie and Gabe, and maybe their parents’ careers. Use the hashtag #GTScandal to participate.  Follow us @GTownAcademy.

Other ways to participate in the campaign and spread the word:

Add the books on Goodreads! Book 1 | Book 2 | Book 3 | Book 4

If you’ve already read and loved the books, consider posting your review on Amazon.

So will you be attending the chat? Let me know in the comments :)

[Insert Book Cover Here] About Georgetown Academy:

Synopsis:

It’s the beginning of a new political administration. That might not mean much at most high schools, but at Georgetown Academy, Washington D.C.’s most elite prep school, January 20th means new alliances, new flings, and new places to party.

While freshmen—nicknamed “interns” for their willingness to jump into bed with anyone higher on the D.C. totem pole—navigate the not-so-friendly halls of GA searching for Algebra and Bio classes, the school’s lifers have other things on their minds.

For self-proclaimed D.C. royalty Brinley Madison (of those Madisons), the first day of school is all about establishing the social hierarchy and playing the part of perfect political wife to her boyfriend, the outgoing Vice President’s son. Too bad he has a wandering eye that puts Bill Clinton’s to shame. Can she keep him, and her own secret vice, in check?

Ellie Walker, Brinley’s best friend, floats through the halls on the arm of golden boy Hunter McKnight (the JFK of GA). But when her ex-boyfriend, Gabe, returns to town and her Senator mother’s political nemesis is reelected, Ellie’s life starts to snowball out of control.

Shy, quiet Evan Hartnett is more into books than beer, and her closet is full of t-shirts and jeans instead of Jason Wu and Jimmy Choo. No one’s ever really noticed her—but she’s been noticing them. When her star rises as an intern at D.C.’s most-watched political news show, she soon finds the two worlds colliding in ways that make her question what’s secret and what’s fair game.

New girl Taryn Reyes is all laid-back, California cool; with a father who’s in line to be the first Hispanic president, she’s ready to dive into the D.C. scene with an open mind. But when her fellow students turn out to be more interested in spreading rumors than making friends, she realizes that forging a drama-free path might be a lot harder than she thinks.

With so many new friends and former flames in the mix, things are bound to get a little heated. And while diplomatic immunity might keep the cops away, there’s not much it can do about the press.

In a town where one teenage misstep can turn into a national scandal, the students at Georgetown Academy will have to be on their best behavior—or, at least, they’ll have to make the world believe that they are.

Because there’s only one rule: whatever you do, don’t get caught.

What’s Cool from Coliloquy:

As the party scene at Georgetown Academy gets under way, authors Alyssa and Jessica let readers decide which of the main girls to follow. You’ll see scandalous behavior, unexpected liaisons, and secret betrayals…all giving you a different perspective as events unfold.

The post [PR] Georgetown Academy News appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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4. Baltimore: The Infernal Train by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden

All aboard, comic book collectors and horror fans. Baltimore: The Infernal Train has arrived. Choo-choo....chew.

While Baltimore hides out in Budapest awaiting the arrival of the sadistic Judge Duvic, a strange woman shows up with a bizarre invention she promises will rid the world of vampire plague.

By Mike Mignola, Christopher Golden, Ben Stenbeck, Dave Stewart. Published by Dark Horse Comics.

The first issue of The Infernal Train was released on September 4th. There will be three issues in this story. Issue #2 will be released in October. Issue #3 will be available in November.

If you haven't read any of the Baltimore comics yet, here's the backstory:

It all began with BALTIMORE, or, The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire, which Christopher Golden calls "the coolest project [he's] ever been involved with." Written by Christopher Golden and Mike Mignola, this illustrated novella took Hans Christian Andersen's classic story and turned it into a gothic tale, complete with dark and stormy nights, strangers brought together by a mutual acquaintance, battlefields in war-torn countries, and, oh, yes, vampires. Months after a devastating plague ends World War I, Europe is suddenly flooded with deadly vampires. Lord Henry Baltimore, a soldier determined to wipe out the monsters, is on the hunt for the creature responsible for this chaos and his own personal tragedy. What he uncovers is a terror as horrific and frightening as any he's seen on the battlefield.

There's more to that story: Dark Horse Comics has published additional mini-series and graphic novels, and even more Baltimore stories are on the way. BALTIMORE: THE INFERNAL TRAIN is the newest mini-series in the line. This month, you can also pick up the third volume of collected Baltimore stories, BALTIMORE: A PASSING STRANGER AND OTHER TALES.

Check out Christopher Golden's site - specifically the Baltimore page - for more information on the series. Also check out the electronic press kit (EPK), which contain an excerpt of the first book, a video interview with the authors, the original press release, and more.

I have to tell you all what happened when I was writing this post, because it's a perfect example of how my life works: As I was typing up this post, I was watching the film Frequency, which I've easily seen a dozen times. It's one of those movies that, when I see it in the TV listings, I immediately click over to it. I have told people that I want to make a boxed set of Frequency and the book The Boys are Back in Town by Christopher Golden and sell it to people who, like me, are keen on causality and dig stories that show what happens in the present day when someone somehow changes the past.

So the end credits of Frequency rolled by, and I'm still typing away, and the next thing they show is an ad for the new TV series Sleepy Hollow, which I will definitely be sampling. Earlier today, I saw a billboard for the show and reminded folks to read Sleepy Hollow High by Christopher Golden and Ford Lytle Gilmore in the meantime.

Immediately following the Sleepy Hollow TV spot was an advert for Sons of Anarchy. I started cracking up. Not because SoA is a comedy (it definitely is not) but because the SoA comic book series was written by Christopher Golden, with art by Damian Couceiro, and it just so happens that it was profiled in USA Today earlier today. SAMCRO fans can pick up the first issue next Wednesday, the day after the show's season premiere. High-five to Boom! Studios for getting the perfect pub date - and the perfect author. Golden is not only a fantastic writer, but he's also a fan of the series, and he's certain to do it justice.

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5. Rock the Rock Webdesign

Need a website that's both functional and fun? In addition to my work as a freelance blogger, I am also a freelance webdesigner.

Visit Rock the Rock for examples of my work and a list of my clients.

If you would like me to create, design, redesign, update, and/or maintain your website, email me or leave a comment below!

     

     

To see the larger versions of these designs and other sites, please visit Rock the Rock.

If you need a domain and/or website hosting, I strongly recommend Your-Site.com I've been using their web and domain services since 2000. Hosting costs only $5 a month ($60 a year) with the plan I use, and a domain is only $20 a year. If you sign up for Your-Site, please tell them that Little Willow of http://www.slayground.net referred you. I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you very much!

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6. Continuing to #rockthedrop

If you were not able to rock the drop yesterday due to time, weather, or other such uncontrollable things, don't fret - you can totally drop a book today, this weekend, whenever time allows! When you do, leave us a comment here at the readergirlz blog or on Facebook, and tweet @readergirlz with the hashtag #rockthedrop - and include a picture if you took one!

You can also participate on a larger scale, if you'd like, by donating a bunch of books to the place or cause of your choice. Visit a local shelter, a school, a library, a children's hospital, and ask if they take donations. Once you've gotten the okay, gather up new or gently used books from your friends, family, classmates, and co-workers, add the bookplates, tuck in some bookmarks, then drop the books off!

For example, you could send Ballou High books from their wish list via Powells books! That would be a cool way to tie-in both readergirlz and GuysLitWire. Here's how you can help out Ballou High: It's Time for the Annual Spring Book Fair for Ballou High School Library!

You can also donate books to 826NYC, a non-profit organization that assists young writers between the ages of 6 and 18 as well as the awesome folks who teach them. If you'd like to send them books, here's the address:

826NYC
Attn: Joan Kim
c/o: readergirlz Rock the Drop
372 Fifth Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11215

During yesterday's tweets and texts, we heard about World Book Night, which is happening on April 23rd.  Learn more about that, and see if an event is happening in your neck of the woods.

Is this the first time you've heard of Operation Teen Book Drop? Anyone anywhere in the world may participate. It's free, it's fun, and it's global. Want to learn more about it? Click here!


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7. Rock the Drop TODAY!




Rock the Drop 2013



It's time to ROCK THE DROP! Today is the day for Operation Teen Book Drop 2013!

Love books? Share them! In honor of Support Teen Lit Day, readergirlz has teamed up with Figment, I Heart Daily, Soho Teen, and 826NYC to celebrate the sixth annual Teen Book Drop. Anyone anywhere in the world may participate simply by leaving the book of their choice in a public place (a coffeehouse, a school, a skateboard park) for someone else to find. It's just that easy! Plus, there's the bonus fun when someone contacts readergirlz to tell them they found the book that you dropped.

Rock the Drop 2013If you want to chronicle your drop, share it on social media like this:

* Follow @readergirlz on Twitter and tweet #rockthedrop
* Print a copy of the bookplate and insert it into a book (or 10!) Drop a book in a public spot (park bench, bus seat, restaurant counter?) with a note or Post-It on the front saying something like, "THIS BOOK IS FREE!" or "READ ME!" Lucky finders will see that the book is part of ROCK THE DROP!
* Post the banner at your blog and social networks. Proclaim that you will ROCK THE DROP!
* Snap a photo of your drop and post it at the readergirlz Facebook page. Then tweet the drop with the hashtag #rockthedrop to share the news with other readers.

This year's bookplate was designed by the super-talented Lindsay Frantz. Thank you, Lindsay!

You can also participate on a larger scale, if you'd like, by donating a bunch of books to the place or cause of your choice. Visit a local shelter, a school, a library, a children's hospital, and ask if they take donations. Once you've gotten the okay, gather up new or gently used books from your friends, family, classmates, and co-workers, add the bookplates, tuck in some bookmarks, then drop the books off!

This year, readergirlz is encouraging folks to donate books to 826NYC. If you're interested, here's the address:

826NYC
Attn: Joan Kim
c/o: readergirlz Rock the Drop
372 Fifth Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11215


If you're in New York, drop by Figment today - they are giving away TWO books (one to keep, one to drop) to all participants while supplies last! Click here for details.

Visit the readergirlz blog, Facebook page, and Twitter for more news and pictures before, during, and after the event!

Earlier TBDs

Our previous book drops: TBD 2008, TBD 2009, TBD 2010, TBD 2011, TBD 2012

 

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8. Share a Book, Get a Book: Figment Helps You Rock the Drop


Rock the Drop 2013


Are you ready for this year's Operation Teen Book Drop? Not only is Figment ready to rock the drop, but they're going to help you rock the drop, too! Figment is giving away two free books to everyone who stops by our Upper East Side office on Thursday, April 18th. Here's what they have planned:

You keep one. Then drop the other in a public place for some lucky new New York reader to find!

We'll be outside from 12pm to 1:30pm and then again from 3pm to 4:30pm...or until our supplies run out!

Want to come at a different time? Tweet us at @figment and ask!


Figment's address:
118 E 64th Street
(between Park and Lexington)
New York, NY 10065

Thank you so much to Figment for doing this doubly-good drop!

Not in New York? No problem! Anyone anywhere may participate. This Thursday, April 18th, Operation Teen Book Drop is happening all over the country - and all over the world! Operation TBD was created by readergirlz in 2008 in honor of Support Teen Literature Day. Every year, the movement grows stronger and stronger. It's free to participate, and it's always fun to share a good book. Learn more about Operation Teen Book Drop.

Drop books. Donate books. Find books. Use the hashtag #rockthedrop and follow the happenings this Thursday!

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9. Get Ready to Rock the (Book) Drop!


Rock the Drop 2013

We're just three days away from Operation Teen Book Drop 2013! Are you ready to Rock the Drop?

Readergirlz are happy to announce Operation Teen Book Drop 2013! On April 18th, readergirlz will be teaming with Figment, I Heart Daily, Soho Teen, and 826NYC to celebrate YA lit in honor of Support Teen Lit Day on Thursday, April 18th. We can't wait!

This year, in addition to rocking out and dropping our favorite YA titles in public spaces for lucky readers to discover, we're also directing supporters of teen fiction everywhere to consider a book donation to 826NYC to help grow their library.

Here's how you can get involved:

* Follow @readergirlz on Twitter and tweet #rockthedrop
* Print a copy of the bookplate and insert it into a book (or 10!) On April 18th, drop a book in a public spot (park bench, bus seat, restaurant counter?) Lucky finders will see that the book is part of ROCK THE DROP!
* Post the banner at your blog and social networks. Proclaim that you will ROCK THE DROP!
* Snap a photo of your drop and post it at the readergirlz Facebook page. Then tweet the drop at #rockthedrop with all the other lovers of YA books.

This year's bookplate was designed by the super-talented Lindsay Frantz. Thank you, Lindsay!

Rock the Drop 2013

If you'd like to donate books to 826NYC, here's the address:

826NYC
Attn: Joan Kim
c/o: readergirlz Rock the Drop
372 Fifth Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11215

Visit the readergirlz blog, Facebook page, and Twitter for more news and pictures before, during, and after the event!

Earlier TBDs

Our previous book drops: TBD 2008, TBD 2009, TBD 2010, TBD 2011, TBD 2012

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10. Magic Zero by Christopher Golden and Thomas E. Sniegoski


In the world of Magic Zero, everyone and everything is magic.

Everyone, that is, except for Timothy. For his own safety, his kind father kept him hidden away for years, providing him with a safe haven and a chance at a decent - albeit magic-free - childhood.

When his father passes away, Timothy is flung back into the world. Now everyone knows he exists. Who can he trust? Where can he go? He must decide who his allies are - and quickly, because assassins are coming for him.

The books are packed with action, fantasy, and drama. Timothy is surrounded by intriguing, strong characters: a warrior who can blend in with his surroundings; a robot buddy of his own creation; firebreathing, war-torn dragons; a talking raven named Edgar; and Cassandra, a girl who may or may not be on the same side as her power-hungry grandfather.

You simply must put Magic Zero in the hands of kids who love magic and fantasy series. There's something here for everyone, whether you like the otherworldly creatures in The Spiderwick Chronicles or the battles and tribunals featured in Star Wars. This is a great introduction to the works of the imaginative and prolific authors Christopher Golden and Thomas E. Sniegoski. Each author has released a multitude of titles individually, including Golden's chilling Shadow Saga (thankfully, these vampires do not sparkle) and Sniegoski's best-selling teen angel series The Fallen. Older readers (meaning teens and adults) should check out the pair's dark fantasy series The Menagerie, which I often compare to The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and give to fans of the X-Men.

Back to Magic Zero: Is this for the Harry Potter crowd? Yes, no doubt about it. At the core of the story, you've got a boy who becomes an unlikely hero in a world filled with magic. The really cool flip in Magic Zero, what sets it apart from other books starring a Young Boy on a Magic Quest, is that Timothy's the only person who cannot wield magic. Also, we know this going into the book, rather than being a loss or gain of powers somewhere along the way. Magic Zero is inventive, the premise well-developed and executed. Just wait 'til you see what happens when Timothy approaches a door protected by magic. Also, there are dragons, robots, talking animals, and more, more, more. Steampunk aficionados, check out the alternate sources of energy used in these books; Star Wars fans, prepare thyself for a battle of epic proportions.

Here's the official book flap summary:

Timothy has great potential for power - no magic necessary - in this start to an action-packed fantasy series from two New York Times bestselling authors.

In Timothy's world, everyone has magical powers. Except him. He has spent his entire life as an outcast hidden on a remote island. When he is finally taken back to the city of his birth, Timothy is fascinated by the current of magic that fuels the world and mesmerized by the buildings and orbs that hang weightlessly in the sky. But he is also marked for death.

Assassins are watching his every move, and some very powerful people want him destroyed. Timothy can't imagine what threat he could possibly pose; after all, he wields no power in this world. Or does he?

The Magic Zero quartet, originally known as the Outcast series, features an unforgettable adventure. Read the books in order:
Magic Zero - available today, April 2nd!
Dragon Secrets - available today, April 2nd!
Ghostfire - coming in June
Battle for Arcanum - coming in August

Get the Magic Zero series online now!

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11. On the Scene: WonderCon 2013, Indie Marketing Tips from ComiXology, Dark Horse, IDW, Archaia, Valiant

ComiXology’s Chip Mosher of Marketing and PR moderated a panel with Jeremy Atkins of Dark Horse, Dirk Wood of IDW, Mel Caylo of Archaia, and addition Hunter Gorinson of Valiant Comics with the goal of sharing tips and pro experience with indie creators and future marketers on Friday, March 29th at WonderCon. The result was quite an entertaining panel featuring their professional blunders and secret discoveries about he ins and outs of comics promotion.

mbrittany gorinson mosher 300x160 On the Scene: WonderCon 2013, Indie Marketing Tips from ComiXology, Dark Horse, IDW, Archaia, ValiantMosher started out by asking for the embarrassing stories each had accrued in their work experience, “professional blunders” that contained teachable moments. Atkins admitted to the cringeworthy common mishap of hitting “reply all” on an email and copying a person specifically to be excluded from a conversation, with plenty of sympathetic groans from the audience. Mosher’s own tale of woe was equally relatable, reading an e-mail from Emerald City Con and then forgetting to reply afterward, thereby losing booth space for BOOM that year. Wood was more circumspect about his failures, noting that “25% of marketing is what I would call blunders” that can lead either to success or to a “thud”, and that he finds it impossible to tell which will happen in some circumstances. Persistence, he advised, is the key to forge ahead despite an unpredictable market.

Caylo dredged up his own worst moments with a story of “drunk tweeting” from the wrong account, declaring his love for someone, a tweet that remained up on a company account overnight whereas Gorinson stuck to the ever-present bugaboo of typos in press releases regardless of how many times the releases are checked before sending them out. Wood’s observation that some blunders can have positive results prompted the panel to consider whether they had similar lucky moments. Wood, particularly, “stumbled into successes” by having random, unlikely ideas for promotion like sending Godzilla costumed promo agents to “smash” stores, something that met with great success. The panel quickly turned interactive, fielding questions from the floor, and the first question, probably also the first on everyone’s mind, was how to run PR and marketing strategies on a shoe-string budget.

mbrittany caylo gorinson 300x142 On the Scene: WonderCon 2013, Indie Marketing Tips from ComiXology, Dark Horse, IDW, Archaia, ValiantMosher wittily commented, “This guy thinks that we have budgets” to his fellow panellists before Caylo took up the question with what became perhaps the strongest message of the panel event: “It’s all about relationships”. He suggested that those seeking press for comics go to shows, have e-mail conversations that are “not always pitching”, so that it’s easier when you do want to ask a favor to bring it up. He also added that “offer giveaways” on sites that increase “cross-promotion” are a very smart move. Atkins, who was particularly earnest and animated throughout the panel suggested that Twitter is a major player in promotion for building and continuing to cultivate professional relationships, including the retail industry in your list of contacts. Wood spoke to the indie creator’s situation trying to get books distributed. “Nothing speaks louder than a consignment situation”, he said, and pointed out that Top Shelf started through delivering consignment issues to comic shops, “giving books” to shops and allowing them to sell them rather than seeking solicitation. This involves “relentless beating of the pavement” since there is “no replacing grassroots”.

Atkins used this idea to springboard into a gambling metaphor: “In gambling and in life, you only win when you can afford to lose”. You shouldn’t expect return immediately, he warned, but trying different approaches and continuing to do so as long as possible is key. Mosher had strong feelings on the subject, reflecting on the example of a student protester who brough the New York Stock Exchange to a standstill by busking for dollar bills all day, then throwing a hundred bills onto the exchange floor. It was the perfect example, for Mosher, of “getting attention at low cost” and using the least resources to garner the “biggest impact”.

mbrittany atkins wood 1 300x159 On the Scene: WonderCon 2013, Indie Marketing Tips from ComiXology, Dark Horse, IDW, Archaia, ValiantGorinson focused on knowing your material and audience to get attention. Knowing the pitch well, and the many angles from which it might be interpreted, breaking out of narrow genre definitions, for instance, may win the day. He recommended top comics news sites as vehicles for spreading the word, as well as working “with anyone and everyone”, including small blog sites. Mosher’s experience at BOOM confirmed this premise. Starting out publishing only 4 to 7 books a month, he scoured blogs, put people in press lists, and sent them PDF review copies in an era before most comics companies were using PDFs in this way, and thereby grew a press list of 400 contacts.

Wood added that looking at comparable publishers and types of titles to the comic you are trying to circulate is a good starting point, looking to see how and where they are doing their marketing and focus your attack in that way. A common pitfall the panellists all agreed on is when creators send a pitch to a company for a comic series that’s a 12 issue proposal or longer. Companies aren’t willing to take the risk, they advised, and a 3-4 issue format is much more appealing at the outset of a project.

A follow up question from the audience regarded strategies to capitalize on the rash of superhero movies and growing movie fans who might never have read a comic. Several panellists felt that there’s no one single approach to bring film fans into comics, but a more surefire method is to “start them young”, reaching young readers with comics visual literacy. Mosher agreed, stating that there are more kids comics today than in the past decade, and comics continue to have unique qualities of storytelling that continue to appeal as a child grows up reading them. Gorinson added that Free Comic Book Day is an excellent opportunity to “get into as many shops as possible” and reach new, young readers. Mosher and Caylo both returned to the subject of cross promotion between films, tv, and comics, like the inclusion of ashcan comics in dvd box sets to show fans what comics alternatives are available for their favorite products.

mbrittany small press alley 300x180 On the Scene: WonderCon 2013, Indie Marketing Tips from ComiXology, Dark Horse, IDW, Archaia, ValiantA direct marketing question from the floor focused on the similarities or differences between selling comics and other products, like household items. Atkins felt there was very little difference at all, except that it’s more possible in comics to “know who that person is” you are targeting since “They are me, or some version of me”, as a comics fan. He continued with some other salient advice, such as “You have to believe in what you’re selling” and believe that you are “one of the best advocates for it”. Gorinson felt that marketing comics is different from marketing other consumer products because he often feels an “obligation” to live up to the quality of the work he’s promoting in his own efforts.

Gorinson and Atkins also suggested doing some research into major news sites to find out who on staff might be a comics fan, “finding” that contact, or locating dedicated geek blogging attached to news sites. Atkins and Mosher commented that using social media makes reaching out to news writers more and more direct. Mosher admitted that not everyone may have the desire or “skill set” to promote their comics properly despite attempts, and in that case, he advised, you should find a friend who thrives on that kind of work and collaborate on promotion.

The final big topic addressed by the panel, and one which inspired some lively reactions from the speakers, was the use of transmedia and multiple media formats to draw attention to comics. Caylo said that it’s all about “synergy” between comics, films, and related video games, based on his work at Archaia. Atkins clarified, however, that adding transmedia content to promote comics, such as an app or video game should still be “meaningful to the overall story.

mbrittany artist alley 300x256 On the Scene: WonderCon 2013, Indie Marketing Tips from ComiXology, Dark Horse, IDW, Archaia, ValiantI posed a last question to the panel before it came to a close, wondering what the biggest pros and cons are to using social media as a promotional tool. Gorinson replied that you have to be “clever” in different ways to use social media properly for this purpose, while Mosher commented simply, but with some emotion, “Trolls!” as his biggest con. Caylo was the most personally engaged by the question and gave the following run down: social media’s benefits are “accessibility” and the quickness and “ease” of getting the word out about your product, especially when doing it for free. The “dangers”, however, are that “You are open to trolls and people who want to bait you”. “Ignore them”, he recommended, since once they “engage” you, they’ve “got you”. Block them if necessary, and learn to take “the bad with the good” when it comes to social media.

The panel was surprisingly lively, with all the panellists more than willing to share from their personal struggles to find the golden balance when it comes to marketing with limited budgets, and each expressed an obvious commitment to the survival and growth of worthy comics through good strategies and trying innovative methods to see what works for each book and each particular situation. Building personal relationships, watching out for the wrong kind of blunders, and learning from them when they occur, were paramount for these indie publishing marketers.

 

Photo Credits: All photos in this article were taken by semi-professional photographer and pop culture scholar Michele Brittany. She’s an avid photographer of pop culture events. You can learn more about her photography and pop culture scholarship here.

Hannah Means-Shannon writes and blogs about comics for TRIP CITY and Sequart.org and is currently working on books about Neil Gaiman and Alan Moore for Sequart. She is @hannahmenzies on Twitter and hannahmenziesblog on WordPress.

 

 

 

11 Comments on On the Scene: WonderCon 2013, Indie Marketing Tips from ComiXology, Dark Horse, IDW, Archaia, Valiant, last added: 4/28/2013
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12. The Graves of Saints by Christopher Golden

The Graves of Saints by Christopher GoldenThe Graves of Saints, a brand-new Christopher Golden novel about Peter Octavian, is now available.

I'm excited. First of all, brand-new Christopher Golden novel. Those are magic words, and his words are magic.

Second of all, it's part of The Shadow Saga - If you like fictional vampires, then you need to read this inventive, thought-provoking, myth-twisting, heart-racing series RIGHT NOW.

Third of all, the previous novel, Waking Nightmares, ended on a what-just-happened-no-no-NO tragic turn of events, and the fallout from that starts Saints off with a bang.

But don't listen only to me -- Check out what other horror and fantasy writing juggernauts have to say about The Shadow Saga series:

"Christopher Golden was writing kick-@$$ urban fantasy before the genre even had a name. The Peter Octavian novels are smart, fast-paced, lyrical and vicious." - Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of The Dragon Factory and Rot & Ruin

"Christopher Golden scared the unholy $#!& out of me. Thank god I was reading with the lights on! WAKING NIGHTMARES is one deliciously terrifying, un-put-down-able book. Totally, compellingly creepy. (I hate him now and shall have to kill him because I'll never be able to sleep again.)" - Kat Richardson, author of the Greywalker novels

"Startlingly original." - Charlaine Harris, author of The Southern Vampire Mysteries which inspired the TV series True Blood

"A delightfully different take on vampires." - Kelley Armstrong, author of the Women of the Otherworld series and The Darkest Powers trilogy

Cover flap summary:

For centuries, Vatican sorcerers kept demons and monsters out of our world with the magic found in a grimoire called The Gospel of Shadows. Years ago, to save his people from madmen, Peter Octavian defeated those sorcerers and the Gospel of Shadows itself was banished from the Earth. Ever since, the evils and monstrosities lurking in parallel worlds have been waking to the realization that our magical defences are down - the barriers keeping them out of our world are crumbling.

With massive demonic incursions in locations around the world, Octavian should be focused on using his own sorcery to drive the evil out and rebuild our defenses. But a renegade vampire named Cortez has murdered the person Octavian loves the most and, even with his friends and allies around him, he is so lost in grief that he can think of nothing but revenge. There are others who can fight the darkness - mages and Shadows, witches and Reapers and vampire samurai - but only the warrior-mage, Peter Octavian, can defeat it.

If he will answer the call.

Additional Information
Published by Simon & Schuster UK
March 14th, 2013
368 pages
ISBN-10: 0857209647
ISBN-13: 9780857209641


eBook available:
Get it from Amazon.com
Get it from Amazon.co.uk


Read the entire series:

Of Saints and Shadows Angel Souls and Devil Hearts Of Masques and Martyrs The Gathering Dark Waking Nightmares The Graves of Saints

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13. Throat Culture by Christopher Golden and Rick Hautala

Body of Evidence

Throat Culture, the final volume in the Body of Evidence series by Christopher Golden and Rick Hautala, begins by the sea and ends on a strong note.

Anyone that's worked in food service could tell you a story or two about what goes in the kitchen and on the floor. There are the regular patrons, the menu changes, the interesting requests, the difficult co-workers, and more. After an employee at Oceana's By the Sea conducts a deadly experiment on the customers - just as, quote, "a field test to see how things work" - he decides not to stop there. Shortly thereafter, he taints the food at a faculty luncheon at Somerset University - a luncheon celebrating the marriage of Criminology professor Frank Logan and English professor Shayna Emerson. And Shayna's reaction to the tainted food lands her in the hospital, paralyzed.

Enter Frank's daughter, Jenna Blake, who works for the Medical Examiner's office and has both the personal and professional motivation to catch this guy. Readers who have followed Jenna through all ten novels in this series will be cheering her on as she investigates the crime that's hit so close to home - but will she go too far this time?

As extremely sad as I am to see this series come to an end, I am glad that the authors gave us such a solid final scene. That image has stuck with me, and it still strikes me when I re-read it. Jenna is a fiery, intelligent, and resourceful woman, and her strength and determination make her a great protagonist. The characters who surround her - Danny, Slick, Yoshiko, Hunter, Dyson, her friends, her family - matter to her, and to the readers.

Throughout the course of the series, we've seen Jenna grow and change, but she's always stayed true to herself, and she's always fought for the victims, refusing to give up until she finds the perp or at least makes things better for those touched by the crimes. If there ever was another book in this line, and it was set a few years in the future, I wouldn't be surprised to find Jenna working Homicide or Undercover - and her partner would be Veronica Mars. Wouldn't that be awesome?

Cover flap summary:

"Could she have become infected without showing any symptoms herself? Could she be contagious?"

Wedding bells are ringing for Jenna Blake's dad, and she couldn't be happier for him. His new wife, Shayna, is just the greatest. And their wedding luncheon is perfect -- until the food arrives. When guests start experiencing unusual symptoms, Jenna knows something is terribly wrong. Then all too quickly, Shayna winds up paralyzed.

But Shayna's not the only victim. The mysterious illness begins to sweep Jenna's college campus, leaving two students dead. Doctors suspect that this is no ordinary virus. Highly unusual and destructive, it could only be the work of human hands.

While the Center for Disease Control is blanketing the campus, Jenna and the rest of the medical examiner's team scramble to put the pieces together. But the longer it takes to solve the puzzle, the more critical the situation becomes...

Because this virus is deadly -- and very contagious.

Get THROAT CULTURE from Amazon.com
Get THROAT CULTURE from Amazon.co.uk


Related Posts at Bildungsroman

Radar Recommendations: Body of Evidence series by Christopher Golden and Rick Hautala
Book Review: Body Bags by Christopher Golden
Book Review: Thief of Hearts by Christopher Golden
Book Review: Soul Survivor by Christopher Golden
Book Review: Meets the Eye by Christopher Golden

Book Review: Head Games by Christopher Golden
Book Review: Skin Deep by Christopher Golden
Book Review: Burning Bones by Christopher Golden
Book Review: Brain Trust by Christopher Golden
Book Review: Last Breath by Christopher Golden and Rick Hautala

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14. Last Breath by Christopher Golden and Rick Hautala

Body of EvidenceTake a deep breath and dive into Last Breath by Christopher Golden and Rick Hautala. The ninth Body of Evidence novel finds protagonist Jenna Blake prepared to enjoy the summer between her freshman and sophomore years of college. Summertime and the livin' is easy, right?

Maybe not so easy. At  least, not when you're working for a medical examiner and attempting to stop a serial killer who is drowning people left, right, and center and leaving the victims in public places.

I love the prologues in this series. Akin to the "cold open" of Law & Order or CSI, the Body of Evidence prologues tend to introduce us to our first victim. The prologue of Last Breath takes place in an aquarium, and deserves a Jaws-worthy underscore.

As with the other books in the line, Last Breath made me want to visit Boston right away. The locations are beautifully detailed. Jenna's emotional journey will pull in readers and keep them turning pages. Her strength is really tested in this book, and the events which take place in the last few chapters will change her forever.

If you like modern-day murder mysteries with characters, pick up the Body of Evidence series by Christopher Golden and Rick Hautala. Check out the widget at the bottom of this post to get all of the books.

Cover flap summary:

"When a psycho wants to make a statement, and nobody gets it, he's only going to say it louder the next time."

Jenna thought spending her summer in Somerset would be quiet and relaxing. With classes over and the students home on break, the campus is a ghost town. But the summer is not chock-full of R&R. In fact, her latest case at the medical examiner's office is anything but quiet.

A psycho killer is on a rampage, drowning the victims in Boston's most public places. It seems everyone is talking about the murders, yet no one has any leads.

Then Jenna uncovers a key piece of evidence, and she is quickly drawn into the puzzle. But the closer they get to the killer, the more frequent -- and more violent -- the drownings become. And before Jenna realizes how deep in she's gotten, it's suddenly sink or swim time for her...literally.

Get LAST BREATH from Amazon.com
Get LAST BREATH from Amazon.co.uk

Related Posts at Bildungsroman

Radar Recommendations: Body of Evidence series by Christopher Golden and Rick Hautala
Book Review: Body Bags by Christopher Golden
Book Review: Thief of Hearts by Christopher Golden
Book Review: Soul Survivor by Christopher Golden
Book Review: Meets the Eye by Christopher Golden

Book Review: Head Games by Christopher Golden
Book Review: Skin Deep by Christopher Golden
Book Review: Burning Bones by Christopher Golden
Book Review: Brain Trust by Christopher Golden

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15. Brain Trust by Christopher Golden and Rick Hautala

Get ready for surf, sand, and murder. Talk about perfect timing: Body of EvidenceBrain Trust by Christopher Golden and Rick Hautala has been re-released just in time for Spring Break. In the eighth Body of Evidence novel, college freshman Jenna Blake heads off to Florida with her best friend for a much-needed vacation. It's all fun in the sun until the girls witness a horrible accident - one they barely escape themselves, or so they think. Jenna quickly becomes convinced that it was no accident, and she learns more about the victim, she realizes he's not the only one who has been killed in this fashion. But who's next?

This is a really cool story, not only because of the tension (and nifty scientific factoids) that Golden and Hautala have in all of the BoE books, but also because the readers know early on who the perpetrators are - and can only helplessly watch (that is, read) as they work their way through their list of targets. Without giving anything away, let me just say the villains of the piece are creepy and calculating.

If you're looking for an awesome series of thrillers, pick up the Body of Evidence books by Christopher Golden and Rick Hautala. You won't be sorry.

Cover flap summary:

"Maybe the odds are against the cases being connected, but I'd hate to find out that it was some contagious, horrible disease."

Spring break is prime time for R&R, fun in the sun, and all things low-key. So when Jenna Blake goes to Florida with her roommate, Yoshiko, the last thing she's expecting to find is another mystery. Well, you can take the girl out of the ME's office, but...

A series of seemingly natural deaths turn out to be suspicious when each of the bodies proves to have mysterious growths of some kind. Needless to say, despite Yoshiko's concerns that her roommate is missing the point of a vacation, Jenna can't stay away from this case.

After autopsies, another common denominator among the victims presents itself. And when further research reveals similar deaths in other states, Jenna starts to wonder if the deaths were indeed natural. As the body count climbs, Jenna's break gives way to a dangerous chase. With Slick and Danny back in Massachusetts,  Jenna has only herself to rely on...for survival.


Get Brain Trust on Amazon

Related Posts at Bildungsroman
Radar Recommendations: Body of Evidence series by Christopher Golden and Rick Hautala
Book Review: Body Bags by Christopher Golden
Book Review: Thief of Hearts by Christopher Golden
Book Review: Soul Survivor by Christopher Golden
Book Review: Meets the Eye by Christopher Golden

Book Review: Head Games by Christopher Golden
Book Review: Skin Deep by Christopher Golden
Book Review: Burning Bones by Christopher Golden

Get all of the Body of Evidence books available for Kindle:

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16. The Golden Age of Death by Amber Benson

The Golden Age Of Death by Amber Benson


Calliope Reaper-Jones doesn't want to be daddy's little girl anymore.

Too bad her father happens to be Death himself.

From the creative mind of award-winning actress and writer Amber Benson comes an inventive and witty series of fantasy novels to die for.

The Golden Age of Death, the fifth and final novel about Calliope Reaper-Jones, is now available.
For the sake of humanity, read it. Callie's work as CEO of Death, Inc. isn't easy - understatement of the year - but it's certainly never boring.

Read the entire series:
DEATH'S DAUGHTER
CAT'S CLAW
SERPENT'S STORM
HOW TO BE DEATH
THE GOLDEN AGE OF DEATH

For more about Calliope and her creator:

http://www.deathsdaughter.com

http://www.amberbenson.us

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17. Baltimore: The Widow and the Tank by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden

Baltimore The Widow and the Tank by Mike Mignola and Christopher GoldenBaltimore: The Widow and the Tank by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden

A blood-curdling double feature! Eisner Award–winning horror master Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden present this horrific double feature about a widow with a not-quite-dead husband and a child-killing vampire taking refuge from something even worse.

Praise for the Baltimore series:

"It still takes something special to impose a unifying vision, and Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden have got it." - The Wall Street Journal

"These Baltimore miniseries over at Dark Horse have provided us with the type of genuine Gothic horror that we crave...this is a great read." - Complex

Get Baltimore: The Widow and the Tank from your local comic book store today! UPC: 7 61568 19678 8 00111

Find out where the story began: Read the illustrated novel Baltimore, or, the Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire, the tale that inspired the subsequent comics and graphic novels.

When Lord Henry Baltimore awakens the wrath of a vampire on the hellish battlefields of World War I, the world is forever changed. For a virulent plague has been unleashed -- a plague that even death cannot end.

Now the lone soldier in an eternal struggle against darkness, Baltimore summons three old friends to a lonely inn -- men whose travels and fantastical experiences incline them to fully believe in the evil that is devouring the soul of mankind. As the men await their old friend, they share their tales of terror and misadventure, and contemplate what part they will play in Baltimore's timeless battle. Before the night is through, they will learn what is required to banish the plague -- and the creature who named Baltimore his nemesis -- once and for all.

Baltimore was named one of Booklist's Top 10 SF/Fantasy books of the year - and for good reason.

Learn more about this inspired gothic take on Hans Christian Andersen's story The Steadfast Tin Soldier.

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18. Sleepy Hollow High by Christopher Golden and Ford Lytle Gilmore

Sleepy Hollow just woke up.

Sleepy Hollow High by Christopher Golden and Ford Lytle Gilmore

The spine-tingling series has been re-released as eBooks. Get them. Get them now. You won't be sorry.


Sleepy Hollow High

Book 1: Horseman

New to Sleepy Hollow, teens Aimee and Shane Lancaster find that upon their arrival an ancient curse has been unleashed upon the town, tracing back to a legend that might just be more truth than myth. Now an array of evil demons is after them, with the infamous headless horseman leading the pack.

eBook Available
Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk

Paperback edition
Published May 2005
ISBN: 1595140247


Sleepy Hollow High

Book 2: Drowned

Having stopped the horseman in his tracks - at least for now - Aimee and Shane must face the other evils tormenting Sleepy Hollow. An enchanting oak tree, cackling cornfield imps, and the greatest threat: naiads - the beautiful and deadly sirens that have infested the Hudson River, drowning their victims on dry land.

eBook Available
Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk


Paperback edition
Published August 2005
ISBN: 1595140255

 


Sleepy Hollow High

Book 3: Mischief

No one is safe in Sleepy Hollow.

Life in The Hollow isn't getting any easier for Aimee and Shane Lancaster, or for their friends. Still facing the fallout of the curse the siblings unknowingly triggered by moving to town, the group of teens continue to confront new demons and creatures at every turn. But keeping the danger at bay becomes even more challenging when tensions erupt between friends and a secret love is finally confessed. Will the group be able to work together when it matters most?

eBook Available
Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk


Paperback edition
Published February 2006
ISBN: 1595140247

Sleepy Hollow High

Book 4: Enemies

Shane and Aimee Lancaster are faced with the darkest horror yet in the fourth installment of The Hollow series. An enemy they once fought could be their only hope, but how can they trust someone so dangerous? Meanwhile, Aimee reels from the discovery of a deep betrayal by the two people she loves the most, but she must rally with the very people who hurt her to save their lives - along with the lives of everyone else in Sleepy Hollow.

eBook Available
Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk


Paperback edition
Published June 2006
ISBN: 1595140271


My Review and Recommendations

I'm so excited that these books have been re-released. (Click through the links above or the slideshow widget at the bottom of this post to download the books!) As someone who enjoys the original story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving and who loves Christopher Golden's writing, I raced through these books. Sleepy Hollow High offers twists, turns, and things that go bump in the night. Small town, new folks, old grudges, family ties, legendary hauntings, running through the woods - check, check, and check! 

I recommend this series to adults just as often as I recommend it to teens because I know people in their 20s and 30s who enjoyed books by Diane Hoh (Nightmare Hall, anyone?), Richie Tankersley Cusick, and R.L. Stine will also like Sleepy Hollow High.

I also look forward to seeing what Fringe creators Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci do with the story; they are adapting it for a television pilot now, and if that pilot airs and goes to series, you bet I'll tune in...but I'll be wishing that Aimee and Shane Lancaster were part of the show, too!



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19. Megan Frazer Blakemore's Website



Check out the all-new look of www.meganfrazer.com, the website for YA author, librarian, and writing teacher Megan Frazer Blakemore. If you have yet to read her YA novel Secrets of Truth & Beauty, you should - and mark your calendars for the release of her middle grade book The Water Castle, due out in January 2013.

Megan and I will be doing a Q&A soon here at Bildungsroman, so keep your eyes peeled for that! In the meantime, you can learn more about Megan via her FAQ page.

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20. Four Summoner's Tales

A little something to put on your wishlist for next year:

Four Summoner's TalesFour Summoner's Tales

Four terror-inducing novellas from acclaimed bestselling authors Kelley Armstrong, David Liss, Christopher Golden, and Jonathan Maberry beginning with the premise: "A stranger comes to town, offering to raise the townsfolk's dearly departed from the dead - for a price."

In Kelley Armstrong's "Suffer the Children," an acute diphtheria outbreak kills most of the children in an isolated village in nineteen-century Ontario. Then a stranger arrives and offers to bring the children back to life. He wants money, of course, an extravagant sum, but more importantly, but for each child resurrected, one villager must voluntarily offer his life...

In David Liss's "The Good-Natured Man," a con man on the margins of eighteenth-century British society discovers a book that reveals the method for bringing the dead back to life. After considering just how far he would go to avoid bringing his violent father back, he realizes the real value of this book. Instead of getting people to pay him to revive their departed, he will get people to pay him not to...

In "Pipers" by Christopher Golden, the Texas Border Volunteers wage a private war against drug smuggling by Mexican cartels in a modern-day South Texas town, complete with an indestructible army of the risen dead...

In "Alive Day" by Jonathan Maberry, a US Army sergeant must dive into the underworld of modern-day Afghanistan to try and barter for the release of his team, never dreaming of the horrors that await him...




Additional Details
Published by Simon & Schuster
Trade paperback published September 2013
ISBN-10: 145169668X
ISBN-13: 9781451696684

Pre-order
it now!
S&S | Amazon | B&N | BAM | IndieBound

eBook also available
ISBN-10: 1451696752
ISBN-13: 9781451696752

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21. The Waking: A Winter of Ghosts by Christopher Golden and Thomas Randall

The Waking A Winter of Ghosts by Christopher Golden and Thomas RandallStarting over in a place that's haunted by death...

Kara Foster thinks the hardest thing about moving to Japan will be fitting in as an outsider. But dark secrets are stirring at her new school. When Kara befriends Sakura, a fellow outsider whose rebellious nature sets her apart from the crowd, she learns that Sakura's sister was the victim of an unsolved murder on school grounds. And before long, terrible things begin to happen...

The Waking trilogy concludes with A Winter of Ghosts. Kara's life in Japanese prep school has been a whirlwind of terror, as a demon's curse keeps waking up ancient, evil creatures to torment her and her friends. When a student goes missing during a visit to a mountain forest, Kara and her friends are sure the curse has struck again. This time, it's a demon of winter, whose power is more chilling than anything they've encountered so far. And then it gets worse: the demon kidnaps Kara's boyfriend, Hachiro, with whom she's just starting to fall in love. Desperate to save him, Kara ventures back into the snowy woods, where dark forces await her...

This frightening trilogy will have readers glued to the page and scared to go to sleep.

"Randall describes the scenery, the culture, the characters, even their clothing, with heartfelt details. The story has suspense, mystery, and horror. It will be a great hit with fans of manga, anime, or Japanese culture." - School Library Journal

"A well-structured tale of ancient spirits who exact revenge upon humans. A brisk Japanese adventure." - VOYA

"The Waking: Dreams of the Dead starts as the dream of everyone who has ever wanted to travel to an exotic, far-away country to start again, and weaves a nightmare based in rich Japanese culture and myth.  I can't wait until it is released and I can recommend it to my readers." - Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, author of In the Forests of the Night and Persistence of Memory

Crawl on over to The Waking website.

Check out my interviews with the author: here and here.

Read the books in order:
Dreams of the Dead
Spirits of the Noh
A Winter of Ghosts

A Winter of Ghosts by Christopher Golden Thomas Randall A Winter of Ghosts by Christopher Golden Thomas Randall A Winter of Ghosts by Christopher Golden Thomas Randall

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22. Head Games by Christopher Golden and Skin Deep by Christopher Golden and Rick Hautala

Two more Body of Evidence thrillers are now available as e-books, including one of my favorites in the series!

Body of EvidenceHead Games by Christopher Golden

"They were my friends. I've known them almost my entire life. Maybe they both just lost it. But I think something's going on here, and I have to take a closer look."

Home from college on break, Jenna Blake is horrified to discover that a childhood friend has murdered his entire family -- and he's not the only one. During the next two days, several other area teens experience homicidal rages, but are later unable to explain or even recall their actions.

The police are leaning toward the popular explanation: brutality influenced by violence in movies and video games. But when Jenna investigates further, she begins to believe that someone is playing sinister head games with her former classmates...and with her, as well.

What Jenna needs is someone to take her seriously, but Slick is preoccupied with a mystery of his own, her father has taken off for France, and her college friends have all gone away for the holidays.

Jenna's on her own this time.

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There's a powerful message here: It's easier to blame violence in the media than to realize that humans can be inherently violent. I dislike violent video games and recently repeatedly turned down a friend's invitation to play a first-person shooter game. That's not for me. As a strong-minded person who is not being easily influenced by others, it was chilling to read about these seemingly well-adjusted characters who snapped due to something out of their control. Wowza.



Body of EvidenceSkin Deep by Christopher Golden and Rick Hautala

"A girl is dead, and one of your best friends got his head cracked with a
shovel, because some white guy didn't want to see them kiss.."


When Jenna and Damon first began dating, neither worried too much about the other's skin color. After all, Somerset is a pretty liberal college environment. But when a black couple is attacked by a white man on campus, race relations become cause for frenzied peace rallies, protests, and debate for the entire student body. Suddenly, Jenna has her hands full investigating the attack - and defending her interracial romance...

Then a white student turns up dead at the hands of a black assailant.

As racial tension reaches a fever pitch on campus, the crimes continue, growing increasingly brutal. Strangely, in each case no two witnesses can form the same description of the perpetrator.

The people are looking for two young men. Until one assailant, pronounced dead at the crime scene, disappears...

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Skin Deep is so good, people. If it opens up just one person's eyes...

And this quote:

There was magic in the world again. Hope.


Related Posts at Bildungsroman
Radar Recommendations: Body of Evidence series by Christopher Golden and Rick Hautala
Book Review: Body Bags by Christopher Golden
Book Review: Thief of Hearts by Christopher Golden
Book Review: Soul Survivor by Christopher Golden
Book Review: Meets the Eye by Christopher Golden

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23. Skin Deep by Christopher Golden and Rick Hautala

Body of EvidenceAnother Body of Evidence thriller is now available as an e-book, and it's one of my favorites in the series!

Skin Deep by Christopher Golden and Rick Hautala

"A girl is dead, and one of your best friends got his head cracked with a shovel, because some white guy didn't want to see them kiss.."

When Jenna and Damon first began dating, neither worried too much about the other's skin color. After all, Somerset is a pretty liberal college environment. But when a black couple is attacked by a white man on campus, race relations become cause for frenzied peace rallies, protests, and debate for the entire student body. Suddenly, Jenna has her hands full investigating the attack - and defending her interracial romance...

Then a white student turns up dead at the hands of a black assailant.

As racial tension reaches a fever pitch on campus, the crimes continue, growing increasingly brutal. Strangely, in each case no two witnesses can form the same description of the perpetrator.

The people are looking for two young men. Until one assailant, pronounced dead at the crime scene, disappears...

Get it from Amazon.com
Get it from Amazon.co.uk

Skin Deep is so good, people. If it opens up just one person's eyes...

And this quote:

There was magic in the world again. Hope.

Related Posts at Bildungsroman
Radar Recommendations: Body of Evidence series by Christopher Golden and Rick Hautala
Book Review: Body Bags by Christopher Golden
Book Review: Thief of Hearts by Christopher Golden
Book Review: Soul Survivor by Christopher Golden
Book Review: Meets the Eye by Christopher Golden
Book Review: Head Games by Christopher Golden

Get all of the Body of Evidence books available for Kindle:


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24. Burning Bones by Christopher Golden and Rick Hautala

Body of EvidenceBurning Bones by Christopher Golden and Rick Hautala

Official book jacket summary:

"How do you burn someone to death in public, and not have anyone notice?"

Two people burst into flame, burned alive in front of plenty of eyewitnesses with no obvious cause. Spontaneous human combustion is a bizarre phenomenon, but according to published accounts, it happens. Could that be what occurred here? Or is it murder?

As Jenna Blake turns nineteen, she is getting over a recent breakup and is rekindling an old flame. Between her personal life and college, she has enough on her hands. The last thing she needs is another nasty little puzzle.

But the burn victims' clothes weren't flammable, the crime scenes reveal no evidence of arson, and none of the various witnesses can provide anything resembling a clue. In fact, she and Slick are just beginning to re-evaluate their faith in rational, scientific explanation when the fire claims another victim, and an incredible explanation presents itself. Even as they struggle with their discovery, the danger hits far too close to home...

My thoughts:

In the words of Buffy the Vampire Slayer's best guy friend, Xander Harris,
"It's like the Human Torch - only it hurts." Unless you've experienced severe burns, one can only imagine how excruciating it must be to be injured much less killed in such a manner. In this book, the way that the killer burns his victims is (evil) genius.

And then what happens during the climax of the book - Wowza.

In Burning Bones, Jenna continues to juggle her professional, academic, and personal responsibilities. Throwing herself into her schoolwork and her work at the M.E.'s office helps her bounce back from her breakup. Though the books are narrated in third-person, readers can easily get in Jenna's mind, which is great not only when she's puzzling out crimes, but also when she's reminiscing about Animaniacs in one paragraph and referencing Shakespeare's Twelfth Night in the next - then, a page later, considering Shirley Jackson's novel We Have Always Lived in the Castle. Bibliophiles will see themselves in the line "Jenna was a constant reader" while people fascinated with medical facts and criminal profiling will love the discovery of evidence, research, and interrogation scenes throughout the novel.

Can you imagine Jenna working alongside with Abby from NCIS? I definitely can! Jenna is smart, and she is clever, and she's not about to let people think she's incapable of solving crimes due to her age or her gender. She's a strong female protagonist, often as bold as Lilly Rush on Cold Case (another character I admire and praise!) and while her youth and willfulness might get her into scrapes now and again, those elements also help her figure things out, as she's quick-thinking and often more open-minded than some of the older detectives, doctors, and scientists.

If you aren't already hooked, let me share with you the first line of the book:

         If looks could kill.

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25. Wendy Toliver's Website



I am pleased to unveil the brand-new look for www.wendytoliver.com - Wendy Toliver, the Texas-born daughter of a rocket scientist and an elementary school teacher, grew up to become a published author. Wendy has written three YA novels to date: The Secret Life of a Teenage Siren, Miss Match, and Lifted.

Fun fact: The color scheme for the new design came from a paint sample card Wendy shared with me!

Related posts at Bildungsroman:
Interview with Wendy Toliver
Wendy Toliver's Secret
Simon Pulse Romantic Comedies

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