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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: sequel, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 43
1. Chart: A Guide to Every Disney Animation Sequel, Remake & Spinoff

How often does Disney make sequels, spinoffs, and remakes based on its animated features? This chart explains.

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2. A Reluctant Blog Post by Tracy Alexander

So, it’s less than twelve hours until my blog on ABBA is due and I’ve given it no thought because:

It’s sunny.

It’s the holidays.

I only have until 31st October to finish my book.

It’s my niece’s birthday and I had to buy her a present.

My mum needs a cataract operation and I spent ages on the phone sorting it out.

There were blackberries begging to be picked.

It took 45 minutes to cycle to where the blackberries were waiting to be picked.

My son is in Bangkok, trying to get to Sydney but the flight has been delayed 26 hours and counting.

It’s still sunny.

My daughter has just come home from a day’s shopping in Bath with her friend.

She bought a camera.

I have annoyed her by saying she should have bought it from a ‘proper’ shop in case it goes wrong.

I’m hungry.

I have no insights worth sharing.

But, I have a commitment so please find below a brain dump of all the things that I’m finding difficult, writing wise:

In a sequel, how much of the earlier story do you need to put in? It’s hard to judge. Too much will bore the reader who already knows the background, too little and it won’t make sense to the disobedient reader approaching them in the wrong order.

How do I refer to my character given that she has several pseudonyms? I keep putting in aka and annoying myself.

I have chosen a structure that alternates between current day and several years ago. Do I need to give the chapters headings to help the reader or shall I assume they are capable of keeping up with me?

I set the first book in Bristol, where I live. The second is set in Leeds. It seemed a good idea as I went to university there, but when I looked at a street map I realised my memory is unreliable. Does it matter?

In between fretting about the plot, I am conscious that I should be thinking about publicity for the first book, out in November. Even the word makes me feel like watching Breaking Bad and eating dark chocolate with dried cranberries. Does the fact that it’s the holidays mean I can shelve those thoughts until September? (Do any writers relish the idea of ‘selling’ their books?)

My character has a trip to Yemen. I have read relevant blogs and spent far too much time on trip advisor. As the work is fiction, how authentic must it be? Do I need to find someone who has been there to check what I’ve written?

(I am enjoying asking all these questions. It’s like having an imaginary friend.)

I have endlessly googled bomb-making, and similar, will there be a knock on my door one day? Do other authors erase their search history?

Would you mind if I stopped now, and went to fry the turkey strips? (I know, what possessed me to buy them?)

0 Comments on A Reluctant Blog Post by Tracy Alexander as of 8/7/2014 1:00:00 PM
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3. Picture Book Surprises, part 2

Joy in Mudville
by Bob Raczka
illustrated by Glin Dibley
Carolrhoda Books, 2014
review copy provided by the publisher

What a surprise to pick up the story of Casey at the Bat...the day AFTER Casey strikes out.

In the next game, Casey's got his game back on, knocking one over the fence. However, the starting pitcher has walked three straight batters and it's time to bring in a relief pitcher. Luckily, it's Joy Armstrong who's brought in on a hunch.
Because she was a girl, the fans
    assumed she'd come up short.
She'd show them soon enough that girls
    excel in many sports.
And excel she does! She hikes one pitch like a football, lobs another like a tennis serve, and delivers a third like a basketball jump shot. The batter bunts the third pitch and as the runner on third races to the home plate intent on scoring, Joy doesn't bother to scoop up the ball and throw it to the catcher, she kicks it in soccer style...for the out!

Joy's originality is a surprise, she definitely proves that she was a good choice for relief pitcher, and her name is a perfect fit for the ending of the poem:
And yes--you guessed it--
    there was joy in Mudville once again.
Ernest Lawrence Thayer's poem, Casey at the Bat is included at the end of the book, in case there are readers who need a refresher on Mudville's baseball record and famous players. Glin Dibley's illustrations use a variety of perspectives and points of view to bring the story to life.

This will be a fun read aloud, and a great mentor text for students who want to write a prequel or sequel to a well-known story or poem.

0 Comments on Picture Book Surprises, part 2 as of 6/19/2014 6:19:00 AM
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4. How Not to Write a Sequel: Imposter by Jill Hathaway Review

In 2012’s Slide, we were introduced to Sylvia (Vee) Bell, a girl with the ability to literally “slide” into someone else’s head and see through their eyes; a talent she put to good use when her sister’s best friend was murdered. In Imposter, Jill Hathaway’s follow-up to Slide, however, the shoe is on the other foot. Someone is sliding into Vee and making her do things she wouldn’t normally do, including possibly pushing someone off the side of a cliff. Now Vee must find the second slider in order to clear herself of attempted murder.

Just like with Hollywood blockbusters, it seems there is no such thing as a stand-alone YA novel anymore. If a book is successful enough and the main characters are still alive on the final page, it’s a sure thing the publisher will be going back to the author and asking for Book 2. Hey, why even stop there? Isn’t everything part of a trilogy now days? From the interviews I’ve read with Jill Hathaway, this appears to have been what happened with Slide. Nevertheless, just because the publisher and readers think they want more, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good idea.

Slide actually had the potential to give rise to a very good sequel, mostly because it was effectively just Stephen King’s The Dead Zone for teenagers. Since The Dead Zone, a novel of only around 400 pages (short by Stephen King’s standards) was able to be spun off into a highly successful TV series that ran for six seasons, it stands to reason that Jill Hathaway should have been able to get at least one more good story idea out of her psychic detective gimmick. However, in order to do that, there are a few things that she would have needed to do first:

• Expand the Universe in Which the Story Takes Place

Slide and Imposter both take place in a relatively narrow universe made up primarily of Vee’s family and school friends. Although there are a small number of new characters added in Imposter, most notably Vee’s aunt Lydia who comes to stay with her family, there’s not all that much here that we haven’t seen before in Book 1.

• Up the Ante

As a general rule, sequels should always be bigger and badder than their predecessors. In the case of Imposter, that would mean a higher body count, a scarier villain and a greater threat to Vee than was presented in Slide. Imposter starts off well with Hathaway introducing the notion of a second slider with the potential to use Vee as the ultimate murder weapon, but she doesn’t follow through on this premise. For reasons that entirely escape me, Hathaway seems more interested in having Vee dwell on her personal problems than on solving the mystery.

 Make Vee More Actively Seek Out Ways to Use Her Powers

In The Dead Zone TV series, Johnny Smith became a consultant to the police, allowing him to use his powers to solve a different mystery each week in a way that didn’t seem completely contrived. For Jill Hathaway to continue with the Slide series, she needed to come up with a gimmick like that. Admittedly, the idea of a teenager acting as a consultant to the police is hard to pull off (although Barry Lyga has managed it with the excellent I Hunt Killers), but turning Vee into a sort of psychic Nancy Drew or Veronica Mars would have gone a long way.

In my review of Slide, I praised it as being one of the best novels of the year. I am disappointed that I can’t say the same about Imposter. However, I’m not ready to completely write off Jill Hathaway just yet. I hear that her next novel, due out in 2014, will be about a completely different set of characters from those in the Slide/Imposter universe. Here’s hoping that the break from writing about Vee and her friends will return her work to the high standards set by her first novel, and that she isn’t just another YA one-hit wonder.

Verdict: A disappointing follow up to one of the best mystery novels of 2012.

0 Comments on How Not to Write a Sequel: Imposter by Jill Hathaway Review as of 8/29/2013 8:24:00 PM
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5. Big Announcement Post...

I won't hold you all in suspense for any longer. Last year, I put together "Sing We Now of Christmas" and was very pleased at the end result of raising over $1000 for charity. This year, I wanted to do something to up the ante.

So, this year, not only am I going to release volume II, but I am going to hold a charity concert with Utah's very own...

They will be headlining the concert I'm putting together for the first Saturday in December, with all proceeds going to charity. If you'd like a taste of what to expect, please go visit them on April 20th for their Spring Concert. I went last year, and it was a blast, with a huge variety of music and excellent guest artists. 

More details to come. Stop by next Friday when I reveal the cover for Volume II...

Any guesses about what it will look like? 

0 Comments on Big Announcement Post... as of 3/8/2013 11:10:00 AM
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6. 13 Days of Halloween: Flesh & Bone

by Jonathan Maberry Simon & Schuster 2012 Benny and his friends continue on their quest to find what's left of civilization before the zombies and death cults get to them first. Third in a (seemingly) endless series. Why is it so hard for writers, agents, editors and publishers to know when a story has gone on too long and jumped the shark?  Long-time readers here at the excelsior file might

2 Comments on 13 Days of Halloween: Flesh & Bone, last added: 10/26/2012
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7. Mike Evers' New Release - Campaign of the Gods

Mike Evers continues The Hopfield Tales with the second book in his Viking fantasy. It is available now on Kindle for $2.99, or FREE for Prime users! Follow this link to get it now: http://goo.gl/URV6v 

Campaign of the Gods

About the story: When Norse god Týr suspects his friend Thor is cheating in the phenomenal board game ‘Campaign of the Gods’ he takes matters into his own hands and searches out the only being in Asgard who can help solve his problem. But things are not what they seem… And once the forces of Hel are unleashed, only legendary Viking berserker Ivar Ragnarsson and his men can possibly save the day. They just have to work out when in history they are first - and why are the local townspeople so strange?

About the author: Mike often taps out stuff on his keyboard in the fantasy, urban fantasy and paranormal genres: a habit which his wife finds fairly amusing - and sometimes a little bit strange. So far he has published two novellas - The Spirit Archer and Campaign of the Gods - with GMTA Publishing. These form part of The Hopfield Tales. The third and final tale is due out in early 2013. Mike's debut novel, The Chaosifier, is also available on Amazon, where it is ambushing unsuspecting fans of contemporary fantasy with its general mischief and mayhem. Mike's educational background is in History, International Conflict Analysis and Education. He is qualified as a teacher in ESOL and Adult Literacy, and lives and works in West Yorkshire. He's married to a long-suffering wife, Joanne, and they have a young son called Joseph.
On sale now - http://goo.gl/URV6v

2 Comments on Mike Evers' New Release - Campaign of the Gods, last added: 9/8/2012
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8. Mara Dyer 2 Title Revealed!

Today, the always awesome Michelle Hodkin revealed the title of her highly anticipated sequel to The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer over on her blog.

Drumroll please....


I LOVE this title. It raises so many questions, and suggests that Mara is going to become an even more complex, strong and driven heroine. There are so many aspects of Mara that could be evolving, but I suspect the title will come to have a new and unexpected meaning once we finally get our hands on the book! I can't wait to see the cover they come up with for this one!

According to Michelle, the release date hasn't been confirmed and there's no official synopsis out there yet -- so if you see one, it's probably inaccurate. Keep an eye on Michelle's blog for more details as they're available!

If you haven't read The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer yet, now is a good time to start so you'll be ready when book 2 hits shelves!

4 Comments on Mara Dyer 2 Title Revealed!, last added: 3/3/2012
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9. Review: Rip Tide by Kat Falls

Ty's ocean escapades continue in this riveting sequel to Dark Life. Click here to read my full review.

0 Comments on Review: Rip Tide by Kat Falls as of 1/1/1900
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10. And In Conclusion...

The conclusion to the debut story of Small World Protection Agency is now available from Trestle Press!

Josh and Madison are two elementary school students that have been recruited by a secret organization known as the Small World Global Protection Agency.

In the first issue, they headed to Australia to investigate a record producer that seemed to have some unusual plans. In the conclusion, Down Under Thunder, the junior agents confront the producer with the fate of the world in the balance.

Having the stories in this two-part format helps to not overload our young readers, but it also heightens the suspense. In my grandparents' days, they used to see cliffhanger serials in the cinemas and bookstores. Small World Global Protection Agency brings back that thrill to a new audience.

Also, at the end of Down Under Thunder is a set of questions, or Points to Ponder. This is a great opportunity for parents and teachers to interact with the kids who loved the story.

Both issues are ONLY 99 Cents each on Kindle or Nook! Click the title to get them now!

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11. New Release Roundup: December 4 - 10, 2011

A weekly feature I started to showcase the exciting new releases hitting shelves this week.

December 5

Wintertown by Stephen Emond

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

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

Garden State meets Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist in this funny and poignant illustrated novel about opposites who fall in love.

The Fire (Witch and Wizard #3) by James Patterson

Little, Brown and Company

Whit and Wisty Allgood have sacrificed everything to lead the resistance against the merciless totalitarian regime that governs their world. Its supreme leader, The One Who Is The One, has banned everything they hold dear: books, music, art, and imagination. But the growing strength of the s

3 Comments on New Release Roundup: December 4 - 10, 2011, last added: 12/6/2011
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12. New Release Roundup: November 27 - December 3, 2011

A weekly feature I started to showcase the exciting new releases hitting shelves this week.

November 29

The Merchant’s Daughter by Melanie Dickerson


An unthinkable danger. An unexpected choice. Annabel, once the daughter of a wealthy merchant, is trapped in indentured servitude to Lord Ranulf, a recluse who is rumored to be both terrifying and beastly. Her circumstances are made even worse by the proximity of Lord Ranulf's bailiff---a revolting man who has made unwelcome advances on Annabel in the past.Believing that life in a nunnery is the best way to escape the escalation of the bailiff's vile behavior and to preserve the faith that sustains her, Annabel is surprised to discover a sense of security and joy in her encounters with Lord Ranulf. As Annabel struggles to confront her feelings, she is involved in a situation that could place Ranulf in grave danger. Ranulf's future, and possibly his heart, may rest in her hands, and Annabel must decide whether to follow the plans she has cherished or the calling God has placed on her heart.

Legend by Marie Lu 1 Comments on New Release Roundup: November 27 - December 3, 2011, last added: 11/27/2011
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13. Review: Linger (Wolves of Mercy Falls #2) by Maggie Stiefvater

Sam and Grace have defied all odds to be together. Unfortunately, the euphoria of their triumph over fate hasn't even worn off before the universe once again conspires against them. Sam is having trouble filling his role as the pack's new caretaker, Grace's parents have suddenly decided to be a concerned presence in her life, Isabel is wracked with guilt over her brother's second death, and a new member of the pack threatens the secrecy they've so carefully cultivated. If only those were the least of their worries -- but something darker and more deadly is brewing, threatening to tear them apart from the inside out. It's just another winter in Mercy Falls.

In Linger, Maggie Stiefvater weaves another heartfelt tale of passion and desperation. Her lyrical prose and stark imagery create a magical reading experience where emotions run high and nerves are tightly wound. A constant sense of dread hangs over the novel, keeping readers in suspense from page one as they wait for the other shoe to drop on the star-crossed lovers. Stiefvater is a master at tugging on readers' heartstrings, making their hearts ache and stomachs drop as the angst and impossibility become increasingly intense. Thankfully, moments of humor provide much-needed breaks from the emotional turmoil Stiefvater so powerfully evokes.

Sam and Grace's relationship feels strained in this installment compared to their perfect fit in Shiver, as they're both in denial about the cruel twists of fate that still threaten their tenuous security. The narrative drive is less clear and the central conflict almost falls away into the background, so studiously do Grace and Sam ignore it. However, seeing them from an outsider's point-of-view brings their profound connection back into focus and assures readers that the two teens are truly meant-to-be. Though Sam and Grace are young and haven't known each other that long, Stiefvater somehow makes readers believe in their love. After everything they've been through, and the old souls that lurk inside their young bodies, it's like they've known each other a lifetime. They are complimentary opposites, bringing out the best in one another. I love the perfect balance of their dynamic -- they need each other equally, a rare and wonderful thing in modern YA relationships.

Isabel and Cole really steal the show, though. Their deeply damaged souls, hidden behind sarcastic masks, evoke sympathy in readers even as it pushes them away. They are characters of contradiction, and a perfect foil for the profound understanding between Sam and Grace. Their banter is sharp and snappy, and their rough edges feel real to anyone whose life isn't picture perfect. Stiefvater's characters are nothing if not complex, and the humanity she brings to Cole's sardonic shell is endearing, making him a fascinating character in a complicated life. Isabel also has a refreshing way of cutting right to the truth of things -- something all of the characters desperately need to hear. Despite her cold protective exterior, she is surprisingly insightful and self-aware.

One minor character demands a special mention -- Rachel. I would read an entire book about Rachel. She provided much of the comic release in this novel, and was a fabulous best girl friend for Grace. She has so much to offer, and it would really round out Grace's character to spend more time with someone not wrapped up in the pack madness.

In Mercy Falls, love is a struggle. It can never be e

15 Comments on Review: Linger (Wolves of Mercy Falls #2) by Maggie Stiefvater, last added: 7/13/2011
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14. In My Mailbox: July 1 - 7, 2011

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren.

For Review:

Possess by Gretchen McNeil

Thanks to Allison at Balzer + Bray!

Coming August 23, 2011!

Fifteen-year-old Bridget Liu just wants to be left alone: by her mom, by the cute son of a local police sergeant, and by the eerie voices she can suddenly and inexplicably hear. Unfortunately for Bridget, it turns out the voices are demons – and Bridget has the rare ability to banish them back to whatever hell they came from.

Terrified to tell people about her new power, Bridget confides in a local priest who enlists her help in increasingly dangerous cases of demonic possession. But just as she is starting to come to terms with her new power, Bridget receives a startling message from one of the demons. Now Bridget must unlock the secret to the demons' plan before someone close to her winds up dead – or worse, the human vessel of a demon king.

In the Forests of the Night (Goblin Wars #2) by Kersten Hamilton

Thanks to Kersten Hamilton and Clarion Books!

Coming October 3, 2011!

Teagan, Finn, and Aiden have rescued Tea's and Aiden's father and have made it out of Mag Mell alive, bringing a few new friends with them. But The Dark Man's forces are hot on their heels. Back in Chicago, Teagan soon realizes that she is not the target of the goblins. In fact, the goblins call her princess, and call her to come out and play. Something is happening to her, and she suspects it’s an infection

17 Comments on In My Mailbox: July 1 - 7, 2011, last added: 8/9/2011
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15. New Release Roundup: August 14 - 20, 2011

A weekly feature I started to showcase the exciting new releases hitting shelves this week.

August 15

Accused (Ganzfield #4) by Kate Kaynak

"We have ways of making you talk."

Who now has Isaiah's files?
Someone in the government knows about Ganzfield... and he has special reasons to target Maddie.

August 16

Tunnel Vision by Susan Shaw

On her way home one evening, Liza has to force her way through a group of men in a train underpass. She doesn’t think anything of it, but when her mom is shot dead moments later, Liza’s world turns upside down. Even worse, Liza was really the target. Only hours after her mother’s death, Liza is nearly killed again and she and her dad are placed in the witness protection program. Leaving everything she's ever known behind, Liza and her dad pick up and move, never staying in one place for long. It's too big of a risk—and Liza's worst fear is realized when she gets recognized. The would-be killer is still on their trail, so all Liza ad her dad can do is keep running. Unsure whom to trust and where to go, they're just trying to stay alive.

1 Comments on New Release Roundup: August 14 - 20, 2011, last added: 8/14/2011
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16. Lost Queen Latest Review

Valentina, reviewer for Midwest Book Review, has posted a very kind review of The Lost Queen on her blog.

I have to say, I am humbled by her generous words. I always enjoy hearing and reading responses to my stories. Thanks to everyone that loves reading them too!

Valentina says, "The characters truly shine in this one. They jump off the page, with Zandria leading the way."

Click HERE to read the full review at Carabosse's Library!

1 Comments on Lost Queen Latest Review, last added: 8/24/2011
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17. Cover Art Revealed (2)

Ally Carter, bestselling author of the Gallagher Girls and Heist Society series, recently revealed the cover for Gallagher Girls #5: Out of Sight, Out of Time. Check it out:

Coming March 20, 2012!

The last thing Cammie Morgan remembers is leaving the Gallagher Academy to protect her friends and family from the Circle of Cavan--an ancient terrorist organization that has been hunting her for over a year. But when Cammie wakes up in an alpine convent and discovers months have passed, she must face the fact that her memory is now a black hole. The only traces left of Cammie’s summer vacation are the bruises on her body and the dirt under her nails, and all she wants is to go home.

Once she returns to school, however, Cammie realizes that even the Gallagher Academy now holds more questions than answers. Cammie, her friends, and mysterious spy-guy Zach must face their most difficult challenge yet as they travel to the other side of the world, hoping to piece together the clues that Cammie left behind. It’s a race against time. The Circle is hot on their trail and willing stop at nothing to prevent Cammie from remembering what she did last summer.

I loved the Heist Society books, and I've been meaning to read this series for ages. It sounds really cute -- to match its cute cover!

The revamped cover art for A Beautiful Evil, sequel to Kelly Keaton's fabulous debut Darkness Becomes Her, was recently revealed on Novel Novice. Check it out:

Coming February 21, 2012!

A power she can’t deny. A destiny she’s determined to fight.

When Ari first arrived in the dilapidated city of New 2, all she wanted was to figure out who she was. But what she discovered was beyond her worst

2 Comments on Cover Art Revealed (2), last added: 9/3/2011
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18. New Release Roundup: September 4 - 10, 2011

A weekly feature I started to showcase the exciting new releases hitting shelves this week.

September 5

Shut Out by Kody Keplinger


Most high school sports teams have rivalries with other schools. At Hamilton High, it's a civil war: the football team versus the soccer team. And for her part,Lissa is sick of it. Her quarterback boyfriend, Randy, is always ditching her to go pick a fight with the soccer team or to prank their locker room. And on three separate occasions Randy's car has been egged while he and Lissa were inside, making out. She is done competing with a bunch of sweaty boys for her own boyfriend's attention

Then Lissa decides to end the rivalry once and for all: She and the other players' girlfriends go on a hookup strike. The boys won't get any action from them until the football and soccer teams make peace. What they don't count on is a new sort of rivalry: an impossible girls-against-boys showdown that hinges on who will cave to their libidos first. But what Lissa never sees coming is her own sexual tension with the leader of the boys, Cash Sterling...

Velvet by Mary Hooper

4 Comments on New Release Roundup: September 4 - 10, 2011, last added: 9/5/2011
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19. Top Ten Tuesday: Sequels I'm Dying to Read

This awesome button was made by Lindsi at BSAOT.
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week's Top Ten features all the sequels that we're dying to read -- whether because the first book was JUST THAT AMAZING or because there was a GINORMOUS CLIFFHANGER (y'all know about I feel about those). There will probably be more than 10 of these. You have been warned.

1. Mara Dyer #2 by Michelle Hodkin: 2012. If you've read Mara Dyer, you KNOW why. If you haven't, you will soon (September 27! Squee!). The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer has got to be the hugest cliffhanger OF ALL TIME. Michelle Hodkin, you are evil. (I say that with much love.)

2. Clockwork Prince (Infernal Devices #2) by Cassandra Clare: December 6, 2011. The end of Clockwork Angel toyed with my feelings for one Will Herondale, and then TOTALLY left me hanging. The agony! I have to know more! Victorian London and Supernatural Things and Sexy Boys Named Will = the Triple Crown of Awesome.


21 Comments on Top Ten Tuesday: Sequels I'm Dying to Read, last added: 9/8/2011
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20. New Release Roundup: September 11 - 17, 2011

A weekly feature I started to showcase the exciting new releases hitting shelves this week.

September 12

Blood Wounds by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Harcourt Children's Books

Willa is lucky: She has a loving blended family that gets along. Not all families are so fortunate. But when a bloody crime takes place hundreds of miles away, it has an explosive effect on Willa’s peaceful life. The estranged father she hardly remembers has murdered his new wife and children, and is headed east toward Willa and her mother.

Under police protection, Willa discovers that her mother has harbored secrets that are threatening to boil over. Has everything Willa believed about herself been a lie? As Willa sets out to untangle the mysteries of her past, she keeps her own secret—one that has the potential to tear her family apart.

Wisdom's Kiss by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

Houghton Mifflin Books for Children

Princess Wisdom, known as Dizzy, longs for a life of adventure far beyond the staid old kingdom of Montagne.

Tips, a soldier, longs to keep his true

7 Comments on New Release Roundup: September 11 - 17, 2011, last added: 9/12/2011
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21. Cover Art Revealed (3)

On Friday, EW.com revealed the cover art for Insurgent, the sequel to Veronica Roth's bestselling debut Divergent. Check it out:

Coming May 2012!

One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

I LOVED Divergent, so I'm really excited for this sequel. I really love the cover motif they have going on -- it doesn't make sense until you read the book and then you go "OHHHH". This is really pretty -- I love the swirling tree, even if I'm not sure what it means.

Alethea Kontis recently revealed the cover for her upcoming novel Enchanted. Check it out:

Coming May 8, 2012!

It isn’t easy being the rather overlooked and unhappy youngest sibling to sisters named for the other six days of the week. Sunday’s only comfort is writing stories, although what she writes has a terrible tendency to come true.

When Sunday meets an enchanted frog who asks about her stories, the two become friends. Soon that friendship deepens into something magical. One night Sunday kisses her frog goodbye and leaves, not realizing that her love has transformed him back into Rumbold, the crown prince of Arilland—and a man Sunday’s family despises.

8 Comments on Cover Art Revealed (3), last added: 9/19/2011
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22. New Release Roundup: September 25 - October 1, 2011

A weekly feature I started to showcase the exciting new releases hitting shelves this week.

September 27

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing

My Review

Mara Dyer doesn't think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.

It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.

There is.

She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love.

She's wrong.

My Beating Teenage Heart by C. K. Kelly Martin

Random House Books for Young Readers

Ashlyn Baptiste is falling. One moment she was nothing—no memories, no self—and then suddenly, she's plummeting through a sea of stars. Is she in a coma? She doesn't remember dying, and she has no memories of the life she left

3 Comments on New Release Roundup: September 25 - October 1, 2011, last added: 9/26/2011
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23. New Release Roundup: October 9 - November 5, 2011

A weekly feature I started to showcase the exciting new releases hitting shelves this week.

Once again, I haven't done one of these since everything got so crazy at the beginning of October. I'm going to provide dates and links for all the backlisted releases, and do this week's releases like I normally do.

October 10

October 11

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24. Stimulus and Response: The Writer's Path through Story

Conflict is always good.

It's good for our characters, and it's good for us as writers. Pushing ourselves through the hard scenes, the hard revisions, the tough first drafts, that's conflict. Overcoming conflict in ourselves and our writing forces us to become better at our craft the same way conflict forces our characters to become better, stronger, more interesting to our readers. And just as our characters don't always choose the right fork in the road, it often takes trial and error--and an eventual alignment of whatever planets guide our writerly feet--for us to find the right path through a story.

As writers, we learn by reacting to a set of stimuli: a book read, a scene written, feedback received, or perhaps just the right combination of all of the above. Our characters learn because we put them in conflict with an antagonist, stick their butts in moral or mortal danger, and force them to fight their way back out. Learning how to do that to our characters credibly is the greatest thing  we writers can learn.  Because, in the end, for us and our characters both, fiction comes down to the credibility of stimulus and response.

From the first page we write, our main character must want or need something specific. She either has a goal or a problem. The antagonist, on the other hand, wants something that will prevent the main character from getting what she wants. The battle between the two will wage, nearly equal, until it results in a climax that pits all the strength of one against all the intelligence and cunning of the other. How do we, as writers, get them to that point though? That's the trick. Pulling the reader by the heart from the beginning of the book to that climax, scene by scene, is the key to successful writing. Ultimately, a book isn't about beautiful descriptions or sparkling prose. It's about action and reaction, which is all a response to conflict.

I like to reread craft books. I usually try to get through one a month, even if it is one that I have read before, because I get something new out of it every time. Just forcing myself to think about craft in a new way gives me time to think about whatever story I am working on from a different perspective. This weekend, I picked up Jack M. Bickham's SCENE AND STRUCTURE, which approaches conflict from the approach of both logical and emotional stimulus and response.

Although Bickham focuses largely on scene, he also starts covers the cause and effect sequences that form the smallest elements of a story, the individual steps that begin to build the climb toward the climax. From the first scene in the book where the protagonist's journey begins with a the inciting incident, a stimulus, we writers have to provide a sound motivation for every action by every character. The more deeply motivated we can make the goals or problems, the more satisfying we can make the reader's experience, and ultimately, the more the reader will care about the outcome of the dilemma.

Even less likeable characters are readable and redeemable so long as they are striving for something they desperately care about. One of the basic tenets of creating a powerful story is that the protagonist must want something external and also need something internal one or both of which need to be in opposition to the antag's goals and/or needs. By the time the book is over, a series of setbacks devised by the antag will have forced a choice between the protag's external want and that internal need to maximize the conflict. The protagonist must react credibly to each of those setbacks, and take action based on her perception and understanding of each new situation.

Bickham points out that credibility results from understanding the stages of response. Ch

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25. In My Mailbox: November 21 - 27, 2011

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren.

For Review:

New Girl by Paige Harbison

Thanks to HarlequinTeen and NetGalley!

Coming January 31, 2012!

They call me 'New Girl'...

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

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

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

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

Life Is But a Dream by Brian James

Thanks to Feiwel & Friends and NetGalley!

Coming March 27, 2012!

Alec and Sabrina are crazy in love. Problem is: Sabrina’s really crazy.

Sabrina, an artist, is diagnosed with schizophrenia, and her parents check her into the Wellness Center. There she meets Alec, who is convinced it's the world that's

8 Comments on In My Mailbox: November 21 - 27, 2011, last added: 11/27/2011
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