Thursday, March 28, 2013

17 & Gone Blog Tour

Welcome to the Presenting Lenore stop on the blog tour for Nova Ren Suma's 17 & GONE! I am super excited for this novel and I am going to read it as soon as I can steal some time away from revising. I'm bringing it with me this weekend to the SCWBI Europe Con, so let's see!

And now ... here's Nova!

Last year, when I was deep into writing 17 & Gone, I discovered an exciting new distraction and way to collect images that fascinated me: Pinterest. What started off as maybe one more thing to keep me from writing turned into a great source of inspiration, and my 17 & Gone inspiration board was born. I’d often write with the images up on my screen, staring at them in pauses between paragraphs. On each stop on this blog tour I’m highlighting one of the photos that spoke to me and helped me find my way through the darkness of writing this book. I first discovered this photo somewhere on Pinterest or maybe Tumblr and blindly repinned it to my own board, not knowing who the photographer was or where it came from. But when it came time to put this blog tour together, I started digging and discovered that this image that spoke to whole scenes of 17 & Gone—blurry and choppy and frightening—was in fact a grayed-out image from this color series by Lauren Treece.

She calls it “Dancing at Dusk and Campfire Curry.” 

The girls’ hands are tightly clasped, though there’s no singing. This isn’t summer camp. This isn’t the kind of night for belting out “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” and holding a flashlight to ghoul up your face and tell ghost stories. The ghosts tonight have already told their stories.  
—from 17 & Gone, page 317 

There’s a playfulness, a giddiness in the color version that’s stripped bare from the black-and-white version I used as my inspiration for writing. I guess you could see how much it stuck with me, how influenced I was by this image. It’s like a snapshot from a dream, and a scene toward the end of the book brings that dream to life.

 For spotlights on more images from my 17 & Gone inspiration board on Pinterest, keep following this blog tour! Last stop tomorrow Friday, 3/29 at Book Chic  

17 & Gone synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Lauren is having visions of girls who have gone missing. And all these girls have just one thing in common—they are 17 and gone without a trace. As Lauren struggles to shake these waking nightmares, impossible questions demand urgent answers: Why are the girls speaking to Lauren? How can she help them? And . . . is she next? As Lauren searches for clues, everything begins to unravel, and when a brush with death lands her in the hospital, a shocking truth emerges, changing everything.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Colors of Madeleine Blog Tour - Yearning for Yellows

Yellow is one of my favorite colors - especially in winter! I'm thrilled to be the YELLOW stop on Jaclyn Moriarty's blog tour for her new novel A CORNER OF WHITE.

In honor of my stop, I've created a YELLOW board on Pinterest, including some of my favorite yellow book covers.

Normally, I would've read the novel by now, but I suspect my review copy is being held up in the German customs office. So ... hopefully I'll get it soon.  In the meantime, check out the summary:

A tale of two worlds, told in brilliant color. 
Readers have loved bestselling author Jaclyn Moriarty since The Year of Secret Assignments. Now she gives them A Corner of White, the first in a suspenseful, funny, genre-busting trilogy that brings her fantastic characters, laugh-out-loud descriptions, and brilliant plotting to a fantasy setting. 
Madeleine and her mother have run away from their former life and settled in a rainy corner of Cambridge, England (in our world). 
In another world, in the Kingdom of Cello, Elliot is in search of his father, who disappeared on the night his uncle Jon was found dead. The talk in the town is that Elliot's dad may have killed Jon and run away with the physics teacher. But Elliot refuses to believe it. And he is determined to find both his dad and the truth. 
As Madeleine and Elliot move closer to unraveling their mysteries, they begin to exchange messages across worlds — through an accidental gap that hasn't appeared in centuries. On both sides of the gap, even greater mysteries are unfolding — with more than one life at stake.

In our world, Madeleine is known for using bold colors in her clothing & accessories, but in the Kingdom of Cello, colors have a different role entirely. Read about Cello's color attacks in The Colors of Madeleine, but in the meantime, here are some fun things from our world to enjoy!

Yearning for Yellows

1. Dress
2. Tea Pot
3. Notecards
4. Perfume
5. Watch


One (1) winner receives The Colors of Madeleine prize pack in Yellow:
· Moleskine journal
· Pen
· Coffee mug
· Copy of A Corner of White

US only.  Please fill out this form by March 27 2013 at 11:59 pm CST to enter.


Today The Colors of Madeleine tour also stops by My Friend Amy’s Blog with a guest post from Jaclyn Moriarty introducing the character Madeleine!

Visit Jaclyn Moriarty’s Official Site

The rest of The Colors of Madeleine tour:

Monday, March 18th: Jaclyn stopped by Ex Libris Kate and Hobbitsies featured “Require-These Reds” on The Colors of Madeleine tour!

Friday, March 22nd: Novel Novice is interviewing Jaclyn Moriarty and Forever Young Adult is “Begging for Blues” on The Colors of Madeleine tour!

Tuesday, March 26th: Jaclyn is stopping by The Book Cellar and Mundie Moms is featuring “Gotta-Have Greens” on The Colors of Madeleine tour!

Thursday, March 28th: Jaclyn is stopping by The Readventurer and Alexa Loves Books is featuring “Oblige Me With Oranges” on The Colors of Madeleine tour!

Monday, April 1st: Jaclyn is stopping by Angie-ville and Gone With The Words is featuring “Wish-List Whites” on The Colors of Madeleine Tour!

Wednesday, April 3rd: Jaclyn is stopping by The Book Smugglers and Perpetual Page Turner is “Pining for Purples” on The Colors of Madeleine tour!

Friday, April 5th: Pure Imagination Blog is interviewing Jaclyn Moriarty and I Read Banned Books is “Greedy for Grays” on The Colors of Madeleine tour!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Return of Cat Tuesday (81) + Top Ten Tuesday

This picture makes me laugh.

This one? No so much.

Why? Well this week's Top Ten Tuesday topic is "books we've bought but still not read".  I should have read these by now. I am excited by each and every one of them.  But ... nope.

Finding this stack was actually harder than I thought, because a) I get a lot of books for review b) most of the books I buy are books I read as review copies that I loved or are books I read immediately.  But here they are:

A Northern Light - Jennifer Donnelly
Year of Wonders - Geraldine Brooks
I Am the Messenger - Markus Zusak (signed!)
Fever 1793 - Laure Halse Anderson
The Rest of Her Life - Laura Moriarty
The Crimson Petal and the White - Michel Faber
The Last Report of the Miracles at Little No Horse - Louise Erdrich
The Sheltering Sky - Paul Bowles
Chime - Franny Billingsley
How They Met and Other Stories - David Levithan

What bought books are still in your unread pile?  Are there any of these I need to start immediately?

Monday, March 18, 2013

Level 2 for Libraries

Surfacing today from the revision cave (working through a very long editorial letter for Level 3) to talk a bit about libraries.

Growing up, I practically lived at the library.  I was that girl who stalked the new releases shelf relentlessly and read between the stacks. My backpack was always weighed down by books. My library card was worn and chipped.

I was blessed to have access to libraries with shelves full of both classics and brand-new titles. I know not everyone is.  Whenever I read about library budgets being slashed, or see teens talking about how their libraries get very few new books, I'm heartbroken.  Of course I wish every library could provide every book that their patrons desire.

Last week, I made an offer on twitter to YA librarians -- if they had been unable to purchase LEVEL 2 for their collections because of budget cuts, I said I would be happy to donate one.  My thinking was that such a donation is a win-win. Librarians can offer their patrons something new, and LEVEL 2 is available to even more readers.

The response was so positive, I've decided to make the offer again, this time to my blog readers who may not have seen the tweets.

So, if you're a YA librarian at a community or school library in the US and you'd like to add LEVEL 2 to your collection but couldn't order it because of budget concerns, please fill out this form.  I'll send a copy to the first ten librarians that respond.

Long live libraries!

Find out more about LEVEL 2 at my website.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Series I Should Start

This week's Top Ten Tuesday is about series books we've been meaning to read.  I've always had a complicated relationship with series.  Despite an early infatuation with Babysitter's Club and Sweet Valley High, I shunned series for awhile. I'd always seem to start them and never finish.  Probably the only longer than 3 book series I've ever completed is Lemony Snicket's SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS (is that kind of sad?).  I still have some ARTEMIS FOWL books to catch up as well and I have three books left to go in the THURSDAY NEXT series.

Most series I've finished have been dystopian trilogies.  For example, HUNGER GAMES, CHAOS WALKING series by Patrick Ness, DELIRIUM series by Lauren Oliver, THE CHEMICAL GARDEN series by Lauren DeStefano, BIRTHMARKED series by Caragh O'Brien, ACROSS THE UNIVERSE series by Beth Revis, THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH series by Carrie Ryan, THE COLD AWAKENING series by Robin Wasserman, and of course I'm still in the middle of a ton of other dystopian series (although I've given up on some of those too).

That said, there are still some series I'm looking forward to starting.

1. The JESSICA DARLING series by Megan McCafferty.  I am starting SLOPPY FIRSTS soonest.

2. The BEKA COOPER series by Tamora Pierce.  Can you believe I've never read anything by this acclaimed fantasy author? Shameful!

3. The DEMON'S LEXICON series by Sarah Rees Brennan. I read "Undead is Very Hot Right Now", Sarah's short story in THE ETERNAL KISS anthology and I loved it, so ...

4. UNEARTHLY series by Cynthia Hand.  Kind of cheating because I did read the first few chapters of book 1 before I lost it.  But bloggers I trust have raved about this series, so I'm going to track it down.

5. SECRET SOCIETY GIRL series by Diana Peterfreund.  First two books were a gift from Carla! 

6. TOMORROW series by John Marsden. I have the first two books in this series too, and it's kinda dystopian so why haven't I started yet?!

7. A RESURRECTION OF MAGIC series by Kathleen Duey. I met Kathleen in Bologna way back when and bought the first two books.  When is the third coming out?

8. THE DARKEST POWERS series by Kelley Armstrong.  I got the first three books really cheap one year at the Frankfurt Book Fair. So maybe.

9. MIDNIGHTERS series by Scott Westerfeld. I kind of want to check these out. I got the first one at a used book store.

10. CURSE WORKERS series by Holly Black. These books sound really good. I think I have WHITE CAT around here somewhere ...

So many series, so little time!

What series have you been wanting to start? Have you read any of those I mentioned today? And what is your feeling about series in general? Love them? Hate them? Let me know.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Dystopian February Recap + Look Ahead

The 7th month dedicated to Dystopian comes to an end, and as I write this, I realize it's time to say farewell to this theme month for good. This February sort of limped along with only ten new reviews, no interviews and only one giveaway.

But that doesn't mean I'm saying farewell to dystopian - I'm convinced there are still good books to be found in this genre (and after all, I am closing in on 200 reads in the genre overall, so obviously I love it). And I'm not saying goodbye to the Zombie Chicken Merit Badges either.  When I do review a dystopian book, which could now happen ANYTIME, I will still award these.

Speaking of reviews, it's time to say (mostly) farewell to those as well. I'll still be talking and posting about the books I read, but instead of calling them reviews and treating them as critical assessments, I'll call them "What I'm Reading."  Dystopian novels will be the (possible) exception.

Here's a recap of what I reviewed this month.

Zombie Chicken Merit Badge for WRITING:

In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters (Read review)

Elemental by Antony John (Read Review)

Zombie Chicken Merit Badge for WORLDBUILDING:

Starglass by Phoebe North (Read review)

Stung by Bethany Wiggins (Read review)

Zombie Chicken Merit Badge for ROMANCE:

The Program by Suzanne Young (Read review)

Zombie Chicken Merit Badge for TWISTS:

Shades of Earth by Beth Revis (Read review)

Override by Heather Anastasiu (Read review)

Zombie Chicken Merit Badge for ACTION:

The Culling by Steven dos Santos (Read review)

Taken by Erin Bowman (Read review)

No Badge:

The Different Girl by Gordon Dahlquist (Read review)

At A Reader of Fictions (Dystopian February 2013 partner blog):

Three books I haven't read but that Christina highly recommends are - 

When We Wake by Karen Healey (Read her review)

Breaking Point by Kristen Simmons - sequel to Article 5 (Read her review)

Orelans by Sherri L. Smith (Read her review)

Coming up:

If you want to see what's next in my dystopian reading queue, check out my list on Goodreads.

Thanks to everyone who has made these dystopian months so much fun! What's on your list to read next? Anything I should be aware of?