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1. 13 Days of Halloween (a bit late)

Yeah yeah yeah, I'm wicked late on this posting with two days to go until our favorite holiday of the year. There was a writing deadline that had to be met and so that consumed every free minute of the day. However, our friend Billy Burgess over at Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer has been dishing out the literary treats in preparation for The Ween. Do yourself a favor and creep on over there to check out all the awesome posts.

Thank you Billy and all the fellow contributors for all their hard work and great posts. Happy Halloween!

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2. Book Trailers We Love Vol. 6

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3. My Favorite (blank) - Patrick Carmen

A recent haunter of the Asylum and writer of dark and fantastic literature for young readers (and let's be honest - we all read it too), Patrick Carmen dropped in like a spider snatching a fly with his quick and powerful blurb. 

Patrick - I'm currently reading The Family Fang. Brilliant.

Well, that's about all you need at the end of a sentence to make you want to read. Am I right?

Here is the synopsis of the book: Mr. and Mrs. Fang called it art. Their children called it mischief.
Performance artists Caleb and Camille Fang dedicated themselves to making great art. But when an artist’s work lies in subverting normality, it can be difficult to raise well-adjusted children. Just ask Buster and Annie Fang. For as long as they can remember, they starred (unwillingly) in their parents’ madcap pieces. But now that they are grown up, the chaos of their childhood has made it difficult to cope with life outside the fishbowl of their parents’ strange world.

When the lives they’ve built come crashing down, brother and sister have nowhere to go but home, where they discover that Caleb and Camille are planning one last performance–their magnum opus–whether the kids agree to participate or not. Soon, ambition breeds conflict, bringing the Fangs to face the difficult decision about what’s ultimately more important: their family or their art

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4. My Favorite (blank) - Bree Ogden

Continuing with our My Favorite (blank) series is my friend, uber agent, and fellow monster lover, ZomBree Ogden. If you haven't seen Bree and I rambling about our love for all things whimsically dark then, well, you haven't seen it. But, it is rather entertaining if I do say so myself. Bree has become extremely busy these days being a juggernaut of awesome and I managed to step into the matrix and catch her to tell us what she is digging on.

Bree - Currently my favorite young adult novel is THE HALLOWED ONES by Laura Bickle. I've been craving this exact mash-up of apocalyptic contemporary realism in a young adult novel for quite some time. Bickle so effortlessly adds a bit of terrifying fantasy to a very sobering reality--an Amish community in which the main character is about to experience Rumspringa. Before our MC can take her temporary leave of her strict religious upbringing, something terrible happens in the "outside world". 

I'm so absolutely thrilled by this novel for a few reasons. One, Bickle has taken the apocalyptic trend, so prevalent in YA novels, and thrown it on its side by combining it with an extremely realistic look at a society that the average reader has very little experience with. I also think that in our current political and social climate, it is important for our youth to have a respectful understanding of all religions and ways of life. 

This novel is a fascinating take on a young girl trying to carve out a place for her true nature in a community of convention. I look forward to seeing more YA novels that successfully tackle the info-tainment genre. 

THE HALLOWED ONES was released yesterday, September 25th, 2012 from Graphia, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Check it out! 

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5. My Favorite (blank) - Adam Jay Epstein

We love The Familiars co-authors here at the Asylum. Today, the other half of the writing team, Adam Jay Epstein, stops by to let us into his brain and see what My Favorite (blank) is.

Adam - Currently, My favorite children's picture book is We Are in a Book! by Mo Willems. My wife recently purchased the book for my youngest daughter in the hopes that it would amuse her. But I think I love it even more than she does. It captures the same "speak to the reader" fun that There's a Monster at the End of This Book does. (A favorite of mine when I was a kid... Grover and a surprise ending.. What could be better.)

Elephant and Piggie have a giant realization that they are in a book.... and can control the reader by making him/her say whatever they put in the word bubbles. It is "Bananas!" Plus, it is hard not read over again. The characters beg you to do so.

Adam, we feel the same way about Mo Willems books. I think most of the adults reading them to the kids find the humor very entertaining. I've read many of them over and over without my daughter around. 

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6. Great reads for BOYS!

Looking for books for your boys, reluctant readers or students who want to read something with a monster, alien, or wacky action vibe? Why not try one or all of these suggestions currently sitting on the shelves!

No doubt about it, little brothers can be monsters. When sixth grader Jake Doolittle finds a baby on the doorstep and his mother decides to keep it, those words are more than just an expression. Instead, they perfectly describe the way his new little brother, LD, sprouts pointy ears, thick fur, and fangs in moonlight.
Not only is LD a monster. . . . other monsters have plans for him. But together with his friend "Weird Lily" Carker, Jake isn't about to let anything happen to the baby. The little guy is still his brother, even if it turns out that LD may be the key to saving the world—or destroying it.
Soon Jake and Lily are on a perilous quest through Always October, a world populated with monsters ranging from the venomous to the ridiculous. Master of comic suspense Bruce Coville presents a tale of ominous dangers and hairbreadth escapes, of the conflict between forces of dark and light, and of the lengths to which one boy will go to save his brother—monster or not.
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/28/2012
  • Pages: 384
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years

  • The Valorim are about to fall to a dark lord when they send a necklace containing their planet across the cosmos, hurtling past a trillion stars . . . all the way into the lunchbox of Tommy Pepper, sixth grader, of Plymouth, Mass.
    Mourning his late mother, Tommy doesn't notice much about the chain he found, but soon he is drawing the twin suns and humming the music of a hanorah. As Tommy absorbs the art and language of the Valorim, their enemies target him. When a creature begins ransacking Plymouth in search of the chain, Tommy learns he must protect his family from villains far worse than he's ever imagined.
    • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
    • Publication date: 9/4/2012
    • Pages: 304
    • Sales rank: 138,057
    • Age range: 10 - 14 Years

  • Twins Hunter and Zack have a small problem to solve: they must save their town from a diabolical dentist who is planning to blow it to smithereens. But first they have to hold a funeral for an incriminating report card before it breaks their mother's heart, hide a cello that been demolished, and keep their father from finding out what they did to his laptop. None of this is going to be easy with their busy-body older sister Linny watching their every move, older brother William just waiting to get them in trouble, five-year-old brother Stetson tailing them, and baby Mary banging her spoon like a maniac so no one can think. Before the book is over, a vintage airplane, a hot air balloon, and a borrowed fire engine will all play parts in the unfolding mystery. This laugh-out-loud novel is filled with wonderfully whimsical characters, momentous amounts of mischief, and plenty of heart.

    • Publisher: Holiday House, Inc.
    • Publication date: 8/28/2012
    • Pages: 128
    • Age range: 8 - 12 Years

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7. My Favorite (blank) - Andrew Jacobson

In celebrating the release of the new and third book in The Familiars series, co-author Andrew Jacobson dropped in to contribute to our on-going series of My Favorite (blank). Andrew has dialed in to an intense and highly regarded show. The buzz about this show is greater than a summer swarm of honey bees. Andrew, take it away...

Andrew - Currently my favorite TV show is GAME OF THRONES. I didn't have HBO during the initial run of the first two seasons, but I just caught up on every episode this summer! I never read the books, but I find the show to be as rich and complex as any novel I've come across. There are multiple story lines and more than a dozen main characters being juggled, but nearly all of them are compelling in their own right. My personal favorites are Arya Stark, Jamie Lannister, and Tyrian Lannister. While the world of Game of Thrones created by George R.R. Martin is infinitely more brutal and sexual than anything we would ever include in THE FAMILIARS, it is nonetheless inspiring for its inventiveness, constant twists and turns, and epic storytelling. I can't wait for season three!

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8. Have you stepped into the Circle of Heroes?!

Writer friends of the Asylum Adam Jay Epstein & Andrew Jacobson's third book in THE FAMILIARS series hit the shelves last week (9/4/12) and we are here to spread the love and give a shout out to this FUNderful book. (Yeah, that's our new word here). Check out the details below and go get a copy!


Can the familiars bring magic back to the queendom?

Vastia is in a state of war. Led by the evil Paksahara, whose command of the Shifting Fortress gives her nearly unstoppable power, an army of undead animals is wreaking havoc on the queendom. With human magic still gone, it's up to the three prophesized familiars—Aldwyn, Skylar, and Gilbert—to capture the fortress and bring Paksahara down.

But it won't be easy. The three familiars must embark on a quest to gather seven descendants of the most ancient and powerful animals in Vastia. And to make matters worse, Aldwyn finds a troubling scroll that causes him to doubt the very truth of the prophecy that guides them.

With inventive magic, epic action, and laugh-out-loud humor bursting from every page, circle of heroes is an extraordinary adventure you won't want to see end.

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9. Book Trailers We Love Vol. 5

This one gets to stand alone because it is that good! The ending is marvelous! Well done.

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10. Book Trailers We Love Vol. 4

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11. My Favorite (blank) - Chris Rylander

Friend to the Asylum and author of the sharply written 4th Stall books (Walden Pond Press), Chris Rylander dishes about his favorite (blank), which happens to be a cult favorite for many writers. 

Chris - Currently (and always), my favorite show is Arrested Development.  The characters, dialogue, wit, humor; everything about it is remarkable and nearly perfect. I always watch it when I travel, and sometimes I stay in the hotel more than I should just so I can watch more episodes."

Good news for Chris - Netflix is going to bring the show back and produce a 4th season of the show. Jump over to Screen Rant for the deets. 

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12. David Catrow's MONSTER MASH

I'm absolutely flipping out over this picture book by David Catrow. Based on the lyrics/song by Bobby Pickett and Leonard Capizzi, MONSTER MASH may be one of the most sublime picture books I have had the pleasure of laying my eyes on. I'm a huge fan of the original 1962 song and to see it brought to life in Catrow's artwork... makes me want to cry (in a good way). I've had to look through the book several times just to take in all the nuances of the art. It's gorgeous, haunting, whimsical and so much more. I really can't say enough good things about this book. For all of you monster kids out there, this is a book for us and for our little monsters too.

 I would link this to Orchard Books website for more details but I couldn't find the book on their site! Sigh. Click on the words Monster Mash above to get more details on the book. You can also jump over to Amazon for it as well -Monster Mash (Amazon)

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13. My Favorite (blank) - Gina Gagliano

Our awesome friend Gina Gagliano over at First Second Books dropped by to share with us her current favorite read. And by her glowing review I am all about reading this book now! Take it away Gina! 

Currently, my favorite book is Code Name Verity, by Elizabeth Wein.  It’s an amazing action-packed thriller that weighs in with the emotional wallop of an elephant.  This book is set during World War II, and it’s about two girls – a pilot (very rare at that point ) and a spy (ditto!).  When the book opens with their plane shot down over Nazi-occupied France and the spy caught and being interrogated for information about England’s war effort (and for information about her friend, who has possibly escaped), you know things can only get better from there.

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14. ORIGIN hits today!

This book has been getting a bit of buzz. I'm very interested in checking it out. Any one else want to read this?

  • ISBN-13: 9781595145956
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/4/2012
  • Pages: 372
  • Sales rank: 105,575
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.36 (h) x 1.26 (d)

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15. Fall issue of Underneath the Juniper Tree is here!!

Hooray! After much nail biting and painful anxiety filled sleepless nights! It's here. The FALL issue of my favorite kid lit magazine. Must read now! And how about that cover art?! Yowza!

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16. Book Trailers We Love Vol. 3

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17. My Favorite (blank) - Gordon Warnock

Dropping by to give us another fantastic to-be-read suggestion is uber agent Gordon Warnock of the Andrea Hurst & Associates Literary Management. Not only is this a great way to learn about what agents are reading, but it gives us a sense of their taste. 

Currently, my favorite memoir is A REAL EMOTIONAL GIRL, not just because it proves that YA memoir is a valid genre, but because it was able to reduce me, a grown-ass man, to a blubbering puddle of heartbreak over someone I'd never met. I respect that.

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18. My Favorite (blank) - Tom Angleberger

Out of this world author, friend, and stupendously awesome guy, Tom Angleberger (you know, the guy who wrote the Origami Yoda, Darth Paper, and Fortune Wookiee books) had two favorite things he wanted to add to our building list. 

My favorite Sudoku variant right now is Skyscrapers... I think the tiny hint of real world-ness about it appeals to me. You have to decide how tall each skyscraper in the grid is and you are told how many you can see from certain spots, so the only thing you have to go on is the idea that a 4-story building would block your view of a 1,2 or 3 story building, etc...

My current favorite re-visited book is Furious Flycycle. I was amazed to reread it and see how punchy and lively the text was.

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19. Two new YA imprints emerge

Over at the Pubs Weekly they've given us the drop on two new Young Adult (YA) imprints emerging from the literary sea. Great news for those of us wanting to write YA. More places to submit our work. And it also opens up our reading list. Jump over to their site to read the full story.

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20. My Favorite (blank) - Kellie Celia

Weighing in today on our series My Favorite (blank) is one of OUR favorite peeps around, Kellie Celia at Walden Pond Press. She shares a book that sounds like one we should all add to the reading list (if you haven't read it already). Take it away, Kellie.

Currently, my favorite book is THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN by Katherine Applegate. As soon as I saw Matt’s question, I knew Ivan was my choice. Very sadly, only hours later I discovered that the real Ivan the Gorilla (on whom the book is based) had just passed away. I’d like to consider this short response a tribute to Ivan himself as much as to Katherine Applegate’s beautiful and remarkable story.

I read a lot of books. While there are many titles that have moved me this year, none has inspired me more than IVAN. The story focuses on Ivan the gorilla, who has been confined to a small cage in a circus themed shopping mall where people come from hours away to see him. Despite his confinement, Ivan is an prolific artist – he draws pictures of everything he sees around him and never lacks for inspiration. None of the animals in the mall are doing very well, especially the injured elephant Stella, Ivan’s good friend. Ivan is determined to save his friends, but will he be able to do it in time? And how can he hope to help them when all he has is paper and crayons? There is much beauty, humor, friendship, and sadness in IVAN’s pages. Ms. Applegate’s prose truly makes us feel as if we are living in that cage with Ivan, searching for a way to help him. In my mind, the real Ivan survived these decades of confinement by embracing his art. His curiosity never left him, and he must have found beauty in things we take for granted. It seems like all of us could use a little more Ivan in our lives, and Ms. Applegate’s lovely story will do just that.

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21. Book Trailers We Love Vol. 2

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22. Random House chats it up

Most of us love an opportunity to ask our favorite authors questions about the process of writing, publishing, talk characters, or just praise their latest offering. Random House has recently started an author chat on Twitter under the hash tag #rhkidschat.

For a much more detailed story - jump over to Publishers Weekly - http://tinyurl.com/8zaourk

Also check out the Random Buzzers teen community site for updates of what author will be chatting it up next. 

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23. My Favorite (blank) - The Warden

Literary Asylum is always interested to know what our like-minded peers are reading or watching and what is their current favorite. It opens the door to new discoveries for us and starts a passionate conversation about the stories we love. With that said, we are going to kick off a new "blurbage series" called My Favorite (blank) with authors, agents, publishers, bloggers, and all those who bring children's  and YA literature/comics to the world.

Our first entry will be brought to us by our very own blog warden D.M. Cunningham.

"My current favorite book at the moment is ZOM-B by Darren Shan. I picked it up at ALA and I love the language in it and the fun spin it brings to the current trend of undead stories."

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24. Once Upon A Time Machine

I just love word play in titles. Dark Horse comics has what looks to be a very cool soon to be released TPB (Trade Paper Back) that tickles my reading worm.

The deets: Fairy tales have fueled our dreams and fired our imaginations for centuries. Step inside a time machine built by a collection of today’s finest storytellers, and enter a range of futures where familiar tales are reimagined in an astonishing variety of styles. Editors Andrew Carl and Chris Stevens bring you the next wave of leading writers and illustrators working alongside superstar creators like Farel Dalrymple (Pop Gun War), Ryan Ottley (Invincible), Khoi Pham (Daredevil), and Brandon Graham (King City) to deliver a reading experience that will delight generations young and old.

Writer: Lee Nordling, Jason Rodriguez, Tara Alexander
Khoi Pham, Charles Fetherolf, Nelson Evergreen
Cover Artist:
Farel Dalrymple

Publication Date: October 10, 2012
FC, 432 pages; TP, 6 5/8" x 10 3/16"
Age range:

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25. Adult comic from R.L. Stine!!

The creeptastic Mr. Stine tweeted this morning an awesome tidbit of very cool info. Over on his site http://rlstine.com/funhouse/ - you can read several pages from his adult comic NO STRINGS ATTACHED, with art by Ray Dillon. Enjoy!

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