Thursday, April 25, 2013

Bookanista Review: The Rules by Stacey Kade

You know how I've been wavering about writing reviews? Well, the Bookanistas invited me to join their group, and it seemed like the perfect solution. So I'll be doing at least two book reviews a month, maybe more.  My first Bookanista review is THE RULES.

In order to stay out of the grasp of GTX the laboratory that created her, Ariane follows very specific rules. She lies low. She doesn’t get involved. And she never falls in love.  Until she gets to know Zane.  Will Ariane risk everything for a chance at a normal life?

THE RULES is told from two perspectives – that of alien/human hybrid Ariane and that of Zane, a popular boy who is under the thumb of high school tyrant Rachel.  Both Ariane and Zane are sympathetic, though they both have their weaknesses, especially in relation to Rachel.

The stakes are high – if Ariane gets caught, she’ll be imprisoned in the sterile lab she grew up in – but Ariane can’t resist the pull of Zane, and the way he makes her feel something like normal for the first time in her life.  I loved their growing relationship and the tentative way they begin to trust each other.

You should know that this novel contains one of the best first kiss scenes ever put to print.  It kinda brought tears to my eyes. And also – a blush to the cheeks of the man who was reading over my shoulder on the plane. 

I also very much appreciated the time Kade took to develop the voices of Ariane (very detail oriented) and Zane (hurting with a sheen of false bravado). Lots of excellent characterizing details too – i.e. Ariane loves high-end jeans because she yearns for nice things and yet can’t afford to stand out.

Can’t wait to see where this awesome new series goes next!

THE RULES came out this week. Find out more about THE RULES at the author's website

Check out what the other Bookanistas are saying:

Katy Upperman ponders LOVE AND OTHER PERISHABLE ITEMS by Laura Buzo

Kimberly Sabatini wonders at WHEN YOU WERE HERE by Daisy Whitney

Elana Johson falls for THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green

Tracy Banghart loves LACRIMOSA by Christine Fonseca

Corrine Jackson adores the ARCADIA BELL series by Jenn Bennett

Rebecca Behrens delves into CODE NAME VERITY by Elizabeth Wein

Stasia Ward Kehoe wraps up National Poetry Month with THE POETRY TEACHER’S BOOK OF LISTS by Sylvia Vardell

Christine Fonseca celebrates UNDER THE NEVER SKY by Veronica Rossi

Jessica Love hails THIS IS WHAT HAPPY LOOKS LIKE by Jennifer E. Smith

Shannon Messenger discusses some recent reads

FTC disclosure:  NetGalley

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

5 years of book blogging!

Though I started this blog in 2007, I didn't publish my first bookish post -  Where to Get Free Books - until April 21, 2008.  But now it's officially been 5 years of book blogging fun! Thanks for sticking with me.  

Friday, April 12, 2013

Come see me on tour + Photos from last tour

I'm flying to the US again next week for events and general mayhem.

Come see me (and remember to ask for chocolate and swag like tote bags, magnets, and more!):

 Love & Death Tour
April 17, 2013 Decatur, GA
Little Shop of Stories time TBA
With Lauren Oliver and Lauren Morrill

 Houston Teen Book Con
April 20, 2013 Houston, TX
Panel and book signing

 Love & Death Tour
April 27, 2103 NYC
Books of Wonder 12-2 pm
With Lauren Oliver, Lauren Morrill, Adele Griffen, Rachel Shukert

 Meet the Author
April 29, 2013 Beloit Public Library, Beloit, WI
7 pm

Teen Science Fiction and Fantasy Night
St. Louis County Library Headquarters, St. Louis, MO
April 30, 2013 7:00 pm
With Antony John (Elemental), Lauren Oliver (Delirum) and Tamara Ireland Stone (Time Between Us)

Romantic Times Booklovers Convention
May 1, 2013 Kansas City, Kansas
Panel: Young Adult: Buzz from those in the know

Love & Death Tour
Anderson's Bookshop Naiperville, IL
May 2, 2013 7 pm
With Lauren Oliver and Lauren Morrill

Romantic Times Booklovers Convention
May 4, 2013 Kansas City, Kansas
Teen day signing (11 am) and party
NOTE: You can (and should) bring your own books to this signing as copies for purchase will be very limited

I was on tour in January/February and since I got back and basically collapsed into edits, I never posted my photos anywhere but Facebook.

So here are some highlights!


Usborne rented out Ice Tank - the perfect location for the white world of Level 2:

I got my nails painted for the first time ever (Level 2 style!):

The official photographer had people pose with crazy props. Here she is fitting Daniel into one of

Lucky 13er Amy McCulloch (The Oathbreaker's Shadow) and me:

See more photos from the London Launch and behind the scenes info at Dark Readers.


I actually wrote up a recap for this event that you can check out on the Lucky 13s blog. And Kelly of Stacked did a recap too!


Emily Hainsworth (Through to You) and I interviewed each other during this event.  Fun format! Here we are with Alison M.

A ton of KS authors came out to support us including Claire Caterer (The Key & The Flame), Bethany Hagen (Landry Park), and Laura Manivong (Escaping the Tiger). Laura also got me a spot on the Fox TVmorning show so that was kinda crazy!  And blogger Andy came as well as my HS friend Andi and her daughter.

A recap of this event at Escape to New Worlds


S&S had me introduce Level 2 to a group of librarians over lunch and I got to meet Sarah T. finally:

Everyone who attended got Level 2 tote bags.  I love the S&S Library marketing team! They were so much fun.  They also set up a dinner with me, Kimberly Derting and Jeyn Roberts where we were served CHUNKS of chocolate cake.  I wish I had gotten a photo. They were so huge.

This was my first ALA and I enjoyed running into bloggers (way too many to name here, but you know who you are!), librarians and authors both on the exhibits floor and at the YA Highway/Stacked meet-up.  Here I am with Emma Trevanye (Coda) -- we are showing off our Fluevogs.

I know there is a Lucky 13ers photo floating around but I can't find it -- lots of us there including Amy Tintera (Reboot), Kristin Halbrook (Nobody But Us) and Kristen Kittscher (The Wig in the Window). Oh + Cat Winters who was signing In the Shadow of Blackbirds and Sarah Skilton who was signing Bruised. I know I'm missing some too ...

ALA recap at The 1st Daughter


NYMBC hosted me, Lissa Price (Starters) and Erica Lorraine Scheidt (Uses for Boys):

Also great to see Cory Jackson (If I Lie) and Tamara Ireland Stone (Time Between Us) again.


Why has no one told me how awesome Asheville is? I loved it! Fun panel with Beth Revis (Across the Universe), Meagan Spooner (Skylark), Victoria Schwab (The Archived) and Megan Sheperd (The Madman's Daughter):

Plus guess who lives in town and bought a copy of L2? Stephanie Perkins! You bet I had a fangirl moment:

And so many awesome blogger friends showed up to this event -- Christina, Vania (+ her awesome writing group ladies), Heather and her son, K8, Kathy, and the West twins:

Also, I must mention the elusive WalMart and all the fun Kathy, Christina, Raquel and I had trying to find a bottle opener for our wine ...

More recaps of this event at BermudaOnionFroze 8, Buried in Books, and Bookworm in Love.


Kelly Justice is one of the coolest bookstore owners I've ever met and she moderated a panel with Jodi Meadows (Incarnate), Meagan Spooner, Megan Sheperd, and me. Here we are with our books:

Lots of blogger friends came out to this too - Susan, Becca, Rebecca, Amanda, Jess and Lucky 13ers Anne Westrick (Brotherhood) and Elle Cosimano (Nearly Gone). I also ate corn dog nuggets, awww yeah!

A recap of this event at Wastepaper Prose


Another signing with Megan, Jodi, and Meagan:

Hooray for Books is such a great store and I adore owners Ellen Klein and Trish Brown. Lots of bloggers came out including James, Vi, Amanda, Cecelia, Megan (no H), Jessica, Jenn and Steph. And lots of DC area authors too including Jessica Spotswood, Diana Peterfreund, Ellen Oh, Miranda Kenneally, Jodi Lynn Anderson and way more.

More recaps of this event at Step Into FictionEllen Oh's blog and Book Chic.

Okay, now I have to take a nap ...

Hope to see YOU this time around :D

Monday, April 8, 2013

Cover Reveal! The Memory of After by Lenore Appelhans

Today I have something very special …  I get to announce the new title and paperback cover of LEVEL 2.

Going forward, LEVEL 2 will now be known as THE MEMORY OF AFTER, and the sequel, LEVEL 3, will know be known as CHASING BEFORE.

So, introducing THE MEMORY OF AFTER ….

I love it! Don’t you? I'm especially in love with the type and the sleek, almost high-fashion design. Fun fact: This photo is from the same photo shoot as the LEVEL 2 cover.

Now I know you’re probably asking yourself – why the title change?

Sometimes, you just don’t get the title right the first time. I still love the title LEVEL 2, but once it was on the shelves, we started getting a lot of the same feedback - customers thought it was a sequel because of the numeral 2 in the title.

I get it. If I only glanced at a book in the store and saw a 2, I might think “Oh, I haven’t read the first one … what else is there?”

So - the amazing team at Simon & Schuster went back to the drawing board and put together this exciting redesign. I can’t stress enough how supportive everyone has been there and I’m thrilled that they believe so much in this book.

THE MEMORY OF AFTER will be available in paperback on September 3, 2013 and will include an excerpt of the sequel, CHASING BEFORE as well as the cross section illustration of a Level Two hive.

And yes, this means that LEVEL 2 hardcovers and swag are going to be collectors items :D  You can get both on my April US tour (coming to Atlanta, Houston, NYC, Beloit, Wisconsin, St Louis, Kansas City and Chicago) - all tour details here.

Also, starting next week (April 15th) THE MEMORY OF AFTER is a complimentary full read for Pulseit members, so if you haven’t joined yet, and want to read the novel for free, get on over there and sign up for the site!

Tell me what you think! And thanks for spreading the word.

If you have any questions, I'll be answering them in the comments all day.

Add THE MEMORY OF AFTER to Goodreads

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

What I've Been Reading: The Madman's Daughter by Megan Sheperd

The awesome website Bookish interviewed me and Megan Sheperd not long ago and the interview is now up!  In the interview, I reveal that I read part of THE MADMAN'S DAUGHTER at Megan's house in Asheville and it really freaked me out.

See - THE MADMAN'S DAUGHTER has creepy atmosphere in spades. I wasn't sure at first that I wanted to read it, because it's a sort of retelling of THE ISLAND OF DR MOREAU, and if you know that book then you know it = animal experimentation.  Several friends had told me about the deaths of furry little creatures in this one, and since that's usually a deal breaker for me, I was understandably wary.

But -- I read it.  And I loved it! (Ok, so I might have skimmed the animal death).  Not only is the writing evocative and setting rich, I also great admired how Megan put together the plot to set up so many jaw-dropping reveals and twists.

So excited that there are two more books in the series to look forward to!

Side note:  One of the designers who worked on this cover is a friend of mine from high school -- how crazy is that?!

FTC disclosure: Unsolicited ARC from publisher