Friday, December 31, 2010

The IHM Top 5 of 2010

5) When I Was Joe by Keren David  I really enjoyed this one.  The story was engaging, the writing fun, and the characters were believable, plus the novelty of the British slang catapulted it onto this list for me!
4) The Life of Glass by Jillian Cantor Such a great book - powerful, heart wrenching, and set in my favorite place, the desert.
3) Guardian of the Gate by Michelle Zink An amazing sequel to an amazing first book - a rarity among sequels, and a rarity among fiction.
2) The Dark Divine by Bree Despain - a fantastic debut that technically came out in December of '09, but wasn't read by many until 2010 (including me!)  LOVED it, and highly recommend it.
1) Nevermore by Kelly Creagh My book of the year, simply because Kelly made me fall for a goth boy and I want more.  Now. Oh yeah, and the Edgar Allan Poe element.  That pretty much cements it at the top of the list for me.



Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

Christmas Bells
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
"There is no peace on earth," I said;
"For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men."

Monday, December 20, 2010

WISH By Alexandra Bullen Ebook [Freebies]

Are you out of books? *gasp* No more until Christmas unwrapping?  Scholastic's got ya covered with a free download of Alexandra Bullen's debut, WISH. Just click on the Read Wish link on the widget below.

About WISH: For broken-hearted Olivia Larsen, nothing can change the fact that her twin sister, Violet, is gone... until a mysterious, beautiful gown arrives on her doorstep. The dress doesn't just look magical; it is magical. It has the power to grant her one wish, and the only thing Olivia wants is her sister back.

With Violet again by her side, both girls get a second chance at life. And as the sisters soon discover, they have two more dresses-and two more wishes left. But magic can't solve everything, and Olivia is forced to confront her ghosts to learn how to laugh, love, and live again.

You can also just read the first chapter if you're hesitant about a free download.  Merry Christmas from Point and Scholastic!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Last Minute Bookish Gift Ideas

The Peanuts Collection: Treasures from the World's Most Beloved Comic Strip:  For those who love the comic.  And those who don't.  It's this fantastic collection of memorabilia, and facsimilies you can actually take out of the book, hold, examine, then return to their holders.  There is a collection of frameable prints at the back.  It's such a fun book and definitely worthy of a Christmas gift.  My favorite is the inclusion of the letter to Schultz about the introduction of a black character and how important and what impact he could have on the racial tension if he would.  And he did.  This isn't just about the history of a beloved comic, it's also about it's social and political importance that most of us didn't even realize it had.

Dragonart Evolution: How To Draw Everything Dragon: I'm totally not an artist, but I'm in awe at this book.  And, I tried it, and didn't do too bad.  For the burgeoning artist, or the lover of fantasy, gift this fantastic book.  It's beautiful and it's practical... for your little Hiccup.  Lists of features let you pick the ones that you want to add to your dragon, like which eyes, which horns, wings, etc., and allow you to customize and learn how to draw your dragon.

Otherworlds: How to Imagine, Paint and Create Epic Scenes of Fantasy by Tom Kidd:   I may not read much fantasy (that's Monster's territory), but I do love to see it visualized.  This book not only teaches you how to create fantastical scenes, it also gives you methods for inspiring what scenes of your own to draw.  If you've got a burgeoning artist on your gift list, this is definitely a great choice for them.  I'm hardly what you could call artistic, but the book is engaging, and the writing bits are interesting - they don't read like an instruction manual.  You can totally imagine someone teaching you in a classroom setting, with some wit and humor on the side.  It's a worthwhile read, and I'd suggest it for the burgeoning artist - especially if he/she is interested in sci fi and fantasy.  Buy it at Amazon, Book Depository, or Changing Hands.

The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens.  Give 'em a preorder.  Book comes out in April, but Monster swears it will "fill the void that the conclusion of the Harry Potter series left."  Inspection and review to come, but consider a preorder receipt stuffed in a stocking.  I've never heard Monster rave like that about a forthcoming title before!

A Christmas Carol: A Popup Book by Charles Dickens and Chuck Fischer.  Now it's my turn to rave.  I love pop up books.  This one?  FANTASTIC.  Not only are the popups wonderfully intricate and detailed, there are booklets of the tale on each page so that you can read along as those you're reading with gaze at the awesome 3-D artwork.  If you know someone who loves popups, this will make the perfect gift.  Also, consider gifting to families with not-so-small children - think 4+, and get it to them unwrapped on Christmas Eve so that they can enjoy it this year.

Clinton St Baking Company Cookbook.  Not only are the recipes in this sucker divine, they're not super difficult either.  I'm totally not discrediting the talent that the Clinton St. Baking Co has, I'm crediting their ingenuity and awesome at making simple dishes taste divine.  I've tried a couple of these, and can't wait to try a couple more and share one with you!  Perfect gift for your foodie who isn't afraid of calories.

Prisoners In The Palace by Michaela MacColl:  This is a YA Historical Fiction about Queen Victoria and the issues and intrigue that plagued her as Princess.  Not only is it intriguing and fun, it seems to be pretty historically accurate, building the story into places history left unaccounted.  I rather enjoyed this read, and know you're little history buff (or the history buff in you) will too.  This book is likely to remain hidden because the title is not easily recalled and the title only appears on the spine of the dust jacket.  But I assure you, it's worth the memory hunt to share it with friends.

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Caution About Holiday Book Giving

As we draw closer to Christmas, I'll be publishing some bookish gift guides for some of the different types of people on your list. Before I start though, I wanted to just share some words of caution.  Book gifting can be a wonderful thing.  I know that.  But I also know that gifting what you like to someone who doesn't have similar tastes can do more damage than good, especially to a child or reluctant reader.

I went through high school without reading a single book because the books that were presented to me were, in my opinion, a waste of my time.  I didn't find the plots satisfying, couldn't relate to or care about the characters, and wasn't mature enough to understand the social constraints and themes that most of the literature I was supposed to be reading for class was meant to illustrate.  Cliffs Notes were my best friends.  I loved books until eighth grade, but then had a very sad eight-year gap before I discovered them again, all because of one book after another, starting with A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.

I'm prompted to share this warning with you because of a similar Dickens story I read today in the Telegraph - only this time it was Oliver Twist, and the author vehemently urges you to let children be the judge of a good book.  It's a short but powerful article, and if you're considering gifting a book this holiday season, you should read it.

I just wanted to share this little caution with you, and hope that you will take it to heart while considering books as gifts.  I am by no means saying that you shouldn't gift books, merely that you should carefully consider the people you're gifting and their lives and not just hand out the books you love.  It's harder than it sounds. (Though if it's a thoroughly bookish person, gifting your favorites can never be a problem! ☺)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Teaching Harry Potter Stars How To Speak American [Gone Viral]

So you guys know Harry is out at midnight tonight here in the States, right?  I totally think the Queen should knight Harry - but that's beside the point.  I found this pretty funny video where MTV's Josh Horowitz (who is waaaay annoying, btw - sorry) is teaching the Harry Potter stars common American phrases.  I thought it was worth a share, so in honor of the movie's release today, here it is:



[via Jezebel via Shelf Awareness]

Saturday, November 13, 2010

I AM NUMBER FOUR Read Along Discussion #7 [Read Along]

Phew.  It's over.  *wipes sweat from brow*

Plot Summary:  Four runs away as fast as he can, hearing the beast behind him.  He runs into a soldier.  The soldier takes him to an alternate reality, and Four kills him there, coming back to Earth, so to speak.  Then he runs into a beast, and Bernie Kosar comes to his rescue in full chimæra mode, sacrificing himself so that Four could get away, but Four and Mark and Sam get rid of the beast (I think).  Then Henri dies, they get away, and the book is over, essentially.

The Questions:

  1. Did you like the ending?
  2. Have you come to accept Henri's death yet?  
  3. Are John and Sarah still a couple?
  4. I still think that Mark is a giant plot hole.  Any dissenters?
  5. Will you read the next book in the series?
  6. Would you want to rely on these kids to save your life, and the fate of humankind?
  7. Were you disappointed that we didn't meet Pittacus Lore himself?
  8. Since the book is written in first person, by Pittacus Lore, are we to take it that John/Four is Pittacus Lore?
  9. Please add any other thoughts you have about the book!
Thank you everyone for participating!  I'll announce the winner of the giftcard on Monday evening, giving everyone a chance to catch up and discuss.  I had a lot of fun, and I hope you'll join us for our next Read Along!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Went to See Jonathan Stroud Last Night [Book Signing Report]

So I was at Changing Hands for the Jonathan Stroud signing last night.  I am not a huge fantasy fan, but went so that I could get Monster's books signed for him since he's out of town on business.  (You guys know he's a HUGE fan)...  and now I want to be a HUGE fan too!

Stroud started out by showing us the very first book he ever wrote... when he was eight.  It was a fantastic event where he not only read from the newest addition to Bartimaeus's story, but he also read from the first book and explained the world for those who haven't read any of the books (read: me.)  And we got to see covers from around the world, and a great depiction of Nathaniel and the scene where he summons Bartimaeus (a djinni)... drawn out on paper before our eyes.

If he's stopping near you this weekend on the last legs of his US tour,  I'd definitely drop in and listen.  It was one of the most informative and well-structured readings I've ever been to and as a result was most enjoyable.  And, Jonathan took his time with each of us in the signing line and was quite personable, which is refreshing, and appreciated, and because of this fantastic event, I've ordered the Amulet of Samarkand... graphic novel style.  Awesome, right?  His newest, The Ring of Solomon is a prequel to the trilogy.

I snagged a signed holographic post card just for one of you.  If you'd like to win it, leave a comment on this post (with a valid email address) and tell us where you would go if you had a djinni at your beckoned call.


Tour Stops Left:

Friday 12th November
4:30 pm: Denver, CO. Tattered Cover
*NOTE CHANGE OF LOCATION*
Tattered Cover Highlands Ranch
9315 Dorchester Street
Highlands Ranch, CO 80129
store phone 303-470-7050

Saturday 13th November
1.00 pm: San Francisco. Book Passage,
1 Ferry Building, San Francisco, CA 94111

Saturday 13th November
7.00 pm: Sacramento. Borders.
2339 Fair Oaks Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95825

Sunday, 14th November
2:00 pm: Belmont, CA. Belmont Library (organized by M is for Mystery, 86 East Third Avenue, San Mateo, CA 94401)

I AM NUMBER FOUR Read Along Discussion #6 [Read Along]

Whooo.  I had a REALLY hard time stopping there.  Seriously!  How 'bout you guys?

Plot Summary:  Nothing shows up in the newspapers about Four's performance at the burning James house, so he goes to school with a warning from Henri that the second something else happens, they're leaving.  He goes through school - up until Home Ec until he gets called to the principal's office and he's given a confidential fax, and asked about a blog article saying that he flew out of the window.  He sees Henri pulling up in the truck.  The fax says ARE YOU NUMBER FOUR?  Four freaks, jumps through the plate glass window, and runs home.  Mark is at his house when he gets there, and then Henri comes in.  Four runs away again to school so that he can try to say goodbye to Sarah.  He finds her locked in the darkroom, then takes her outside where they see a Mogadorian.  Then another.  Then another.  So he uses his Telekinesis to get back inside, and Mogadorians pursue him.  He and Sarah lock themselves in a classroom.  Six appears, breaks spell.  Henri appears, with Mark and Bernie Kosar.  They head to and barricade the home ec room.  As more and more Mogadorians accumulate, they decide to make a run for the tunnel under the stage in the gymnasium.  They make it, but not without interference from Mogadorians, and get out of the tunnel only to find it was a trap.  They send Mark and Sarah back in.  Oh yeah, and Six is invisible.  They follow Mark and Sarah back in, heal Henri with the healing stone, and resolve to not lose help.

Answers:

I guess we totally found out what was in the papers and on the blog!

The Questions:
  1. Why is Mark there?  I don't understand what happened to make Mark want to have anything to do with John.  Can someone please explain?
  2. How many Mogadorians were killed in this section?
  3. What do you think that Four, Six, and Henri's next move will be?
  4. Do you think that the car that pulled into the parking lot called the police?
  5. Do you think they will all six (including BK) escape the school?  If so, how?
  6. Will anyone die in this book?  Make your predictions now.
  7. How long until we find Five, Seven, Eight, and Nine?
  8. Tell us the truth.  Did you stop at the end of today's allotted reading?
Tomorrow's reading:  Finish the book!  

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Ten Reasons I Loved Seeing Cecil Castelucci (and you will too) [Giveaway]

10. She has pink hair.  Since I'm rockin' the purple extensions (just looking like highlights), I was totally loving it.
9. She's small but packs a punch.  She was super entertaining and we all laughed several times at her jokes.
8.  She's passionate.  You can tell that she really loves what she does.
7. She's experienced.  Not only is she an author, she's also an editor!
6. She told me I could ignore my teacher.  That's gotta make the list, right?  Gotta love it.
5. She is nice.  She talked with Alexa and I for like fifteen minutes or something.  It was super great.
4. She writes about geeks.  I ♥ geeks and geeky things, so that makes me happy.  Plus, she's fluent in Comicon.
3. She got a wormhole (like an intergalactic one) for her birthday.  Unrivaled in cool.
2. She wrote a YA book with a major conflict involving the politics of the Cold war, and set in the 80s.  How cool is that? (see Rose Sees Red)
1. She signed a book so that I could give it away to you guys.  'Nuf said.  Enter your dets below to enter to win a signed copy of Boy Proof!

Oh, and don't forget to check out Cecil's blog, and if she's coming near you, make it a point to go!

I AM NUMBER FOUR Read Along Discussion #5 [Read Along]

At least this chapter ended at a good stopping point, right?

Plot Summary:  Sarah gets back from Colorado, so happy to see John, makes out with John, they are interrupted by Henri.  Sarah goes home.  Henri and John work on training some more.  John has more visions/nightmares of Lorien and its destruction and more people who might have gotten off of the planet at night.  They go to school, Mark invites everyone to a party at his place.  Sam admits to liking Emily.  They all go to the party.  Fire started by an Emily/Sam makeout session.  John can't find Sarah.  Sarah and dogs trapped inside house fire.  John goes in to save them.  Since he saves them from the second floor, he has to explain to Sarah that he's an alien, but he decides not to tell Henri about the incident and swears Sarah to secrecy.  The police question the pair, and they tell them that they were just out back, watching the blaze.  Reporter follows and promises to find out the truth.  Henri picks up Sam, John, and Sarah from the party.  Sarah and John don't want to be apart.  Henri promises John he'll look at the papers on Monday for an explanation of the fire.

Answers:  We kind of got an answer to the monogamy and race repopulation issues we were wondering about.  We find out on page 275 that mating between a Loric and a human "usually...results in an exceptional and gifted human."  Also on pages 274-275 Henri cautions John to have fun with Sarah, but that he "wouldn't count on Sarah being your partner."  Dun Dun Dun.  *que evil sad music*

Today's Questions:

1. So do you think that anyone else made it to earth off of the museum ship?
2. Do you think that John was right to save Sarah and the dogs?
3. What consequences do you forsee for John for telling Sarah that he's an alien?
4. What do you think Henri will find in the papers on Monday?
5. Bernie Kosar = Hadley?
6. Do you think it was Number Nine that saved the man in Argentina?
7.  Do you think that Number Nine is Four's soulmate/parents' best friends child?
8. What did you think about the Greek gods being half Loric? (and Caesar, Aristotle, Khan, da Vinci, Newton, Jefferson, and Einstein?)

Reading for tomorrow is through page 383, chapters 27-30.  Only two days left :o(

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I AM NUMBER FOUR Read Along Discussion #4 [Read Along]

How's it going guys?  Did it kill you to stop at chapter 22?  It almost did me!  I wanted to keep reading so badly!

Plot Summary:  Henri goes to check out the source of They Walk Among Us in Athens, then doesn't show up for Thanksgiving dinner.  John makes excuses for him at Sarah's house, but then lies and says Henri needs him so he can leave.  He goes home, freaks out a little, then calls Sam to see if his mom can come over.  Sam tells John that he will drive himself in his dad's old truck if it's so important to John.  Sam drives over, then they decide that they're driving to Athens to look for Henri.  John makes up a story about alien conspiracy theorists being after Henri or something like that.  They drive to the address that Henri had left with John and on the way see Henri's car.  They come up on the house and John has Sam tail one of the guys that came out of it.  John attacks the guy in the house, finds Henri.  Another guy comes, and John uses his Telekinesis to save Sam and bind attacker #2.  They find out that the Mogadorians did indeed get to the publishers and that they Mogadorians knew that the Loric would come.  The icky humans don't warn Henri, Sam, and Four that the Mogadorians would be coming, and all of the sudden, they're there.  John picks up Henri and Sam and jumps to another roof.  They escape the evil Mogadorians.  Then, they drive home, in Sam's truck, and Henri and Sam don't move out of Paradise, Ohio.

The Questions:

1. Why do the Mogadorians want the Loric Garde dead?
2. If you ever did meet a Mogadorian, what do you think your reaction would be?
3. Do you think the publishers were right or wrong in complying with the Mogadorians?
4. How 'bout that Telekinesis?  What doors do you see opening up to Four because of it?
5.  Predctions on what Four's next Legacy will be.  Go.
6. Do you agree with Four's decision to stay in Paradise?

Tomorrow's reading:  Chapters 22-26.  Pages 261-324.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Smart Chicks Loot Winners

LadyTink_534 is the grand prize winner, but she only wants 2 of the books!  So, she's going to receive RADIANT SHADOWS and CITY OF BONES.

Our backup winner is Becky Horn who will receive the rest of the books.

Congrats to you both!

I AM NUMBER FOUR Read Along Discussion #3 [Read Along]

So, how are you guys liking the book so far?  I stumbled on an interview that Entertainment Weekly did with Pittacus Lore.  You might wanna check it out.  I laughed several times, especially at the part where he kinda disses Spielberg.

Plot Summary:  John finds Sarah.  She goes off to sell more tickets.  Sarah calls John and asks if he'll go on the hayride with her.  They go with Sarah's friend Emily and Sam.  Football players abduct John, Sarah, and Sam.  John fights back and decimates football players.  Then he talks Sarah out of calling the police.  They kiss. *insert awwwwwws here*  Henri works with Four to try to hone his Telekinesis.  Sam avoids John.  John goes to Sam's house.  Sam accuses him of being an alien.  John successfully plays it off.  Sam shows him They Walk Among Us, December issue, and November's issue with the article about the Mogadorians.  Sam lets John borrow the November issue, and Four takes it to Henri.  Sarah's family invites John and Henri to Thanksgiving dinner.  Henri successfully tracks down the publisher of They Walk Among Us, and the publisher tells him to never call again when Henri asks about the Mogadorians.

Questions:

  1. Did they make the right call not calling the police?
  2. Do you think they'll find all of the night vision goggles?
  3. What's with Bernie Kosar?  Does he have warp speed or what?
  4. Do you think the Mogadorians got to the publisher of They Walk Among Us?
  5. How long do you give John and Sarah?
  6. What do you think is holding up Four's power/talent/Legacy development?

Tomorrow's reading is pages 200-260, chapters 18-22. It's so fun reading along with you guys!!! 

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Lying Game by Sara Shepard [Coming Soon]

Title: The Lying Game
Author: Sara Shepard
ISBN: 0061869708
Release Date: 12.07.10
Websitehttp://harperteen.com/books/Lying-Game-Sara-Shepard/?isbn=9780061869709?AA=index_authorIntro_30521

The Usual Questions:

Is this the first in a series?
Think so.

What is the basic concept?
(from Amazon)


I had a life anyone would kill for.
Then someone did.

The worst part of being dead is that there’s nothing left to live for. No more kisses. No more secrets. No more gossip. It’s enough to kill a girl all over again. But I’m about to get something no one else does—an encore performance, thanks to Emma, the long-lost twin sister I never even got to meet.

Now Emma’s desperate to know what happened to me. And the only way to figure it out is to be me—to slip into my old life and piece it all together. But can she laugh at inside jokes with my best friends? Convince my boyfriend she’s the girl he fell in love with? Pretend to be a happy, carefree daughter when she hugs my parents good night? And can she keep up the charade, even after she realizes my murderer is watching her every move?

From Sara Shepard, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Pretty Little Liars books, comes a riveting new series about secrets, lies, and killer consequences.

Let the lying game begin.


Is the cover art favorable?
It's interesting.  I like it.  (but it kinda reminds me of the PLL covers)

What are some of the author's other works?

Pretty Little Liars, anyone?

The Lying Game by Sara Shepard comes out December 7th.  Guess what?  There's already an ABC Family TV show in the works for the story line.  (I smell a Read Along!)


The Lying Game - a one-hour scripted drama based on the upcoming novel by Sara Shepard – the author who wrote the books Pretty Little Liars is based on! This new series will follow Emma, a kind-hearted foster kid who can't catch a break. She finds out she has an identical twin sister, Sutton, who - unlike Emma - was adopted by wealthy parents and is seemingly living an ideal life. After their initial meeting, Sutton talks Emma into stepping into her life for a few days while she pursues a lead on their birth mother. Initially excited to do this favor for her sister, Emma soon learns that Sutton has gone missing and could be in trouble. Now, Emma must decide whether to come clean to Sutton's family and risk her own safety in the hope of uncovering her twin sister's true whereabouts, along with the truth about why they were separated in the first place.

I AM NUMBER FOUR Read Along Discussion #2 [Read Along]

Hey... here's a quick hint.  If you want to see what others are saying about the questions and stay up to date on the discussion, just click the subscribe by email link in the comments box.  It makes it super handy.

How are you guys doing so far?  Everyone engaged and loving the story?  Also, I made a little error.  We're discussing pages 75-137, which is chapters 8-12, not thirteen.  Thirteen is for tomorrow.  Sorry for the confusion!

Plot Summary:  So basically these chapters tell us a whole lot about Lorien as Four discovers things about his planet through the use of the Loric crystal.  He has visions of the Mogadorians coming and invading, of losing everything.  Also, the dog shows up at their door, causing them mild heart attack.  At school, John and Sam run the mile together and Bernie Kosar comes out of nowhere to hang with John at school.  John and Henri go to the Halloween parade (with Bernie of course) and see Mark, Sarah, and company.  John decides to go to the Haunted Hayride and sees Sarah and buys raffle tickets from her just as Mark comes up to bug them.  Sarah runs away and after John is done dealing with Mark, he goes after Sarah.  End of Chapter 12.

Answers:

Page 91 answers the question that some of us had about them living in smaller cities with this bit from Henri:

"The Mogadorians are different than we are, secretive and manipulative, untrusting of almost everything.  They have certain powers, but they're not powers like ours.  They are gregarious and thrive in crowded cities.  The more densely populated, the better.  That is why you and I stay out of cities now, even when living in one might make it easier to blend in.  It would make it a hell of a lot easier for them to blend in as well." --Henri

Today's Questions:

I might have a lot.  Sorry in advance.  Remember - pick and choose the ones you want to respond to if you don't have a lot of time.

  1. We know from the dust jacket that Pittacus Lore is on earth.  What do you think happened to the rest of the Elders?
  2. Why did the Mogadorians invade Lorien?
  3. Are Loric charms a form of intergalactic wizardry?
  4. Since the Loric peeps are fiercely monogamous, do you think that will transfer to Four via his lineage?  Or do you think that it's purely cultural and is something he could balk at? (especially since they move so much)
  5. How are you pronouncing Cêpan in your head (or out loud) as you read?
  6. Have you ever seen a Mogadorian?
  7. Have you caught onto the lesson we're supposed to learn about Mogadore vs. Lorien?  And do you feel like this is a common theme in alien lit?
  8. They Walk Among Us.  Discuss.
  9. I keep wondering how they are going to save the race if there are only like six of them left?  How are they going to have enough genetic diversity to keep a gene pool going?  And how are they going to find each other?
  10. If you had to live somewhere to hide from the Mogadorians, where would it be?

For tomorrow, read pages 138-199 (chapters 13-17).  Questions'll be up at midnight MST!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

November Steals [Saturday Steals]

Okay, so Saturday Steals at Archives of Our Lives has gone once-monthly for the time being.  I have purchased a few books at good prices this month already, so I'm going to share them with you, plus I'm adding some links for books we've read/reviewed that are smokin' right now at the bottom.

I bought Adam Rex's Fat Vampire for $4.18. (and now it's $3.76!)
Doug Lee is undead quite by accident—attacked by a desperate vampire, he finds himself cursed with being fat and fifteen forever. When he has no luck finding some goth chick with a vampire fetish, he resorts to sucking the blood of cows under cover of the night. But it's just not the same.

Then he meets the new Indian exchange student and falls for her—hard. Yeah, he wants to bite her, but he also wants to prove himself to her. But like the laws of life, love, and high school, the laws of vampire existence are complicated—it's not as easy as studying Dracula. Especially when the star of Vampire Hunters is hot on your trail in an attempt to boost ratings. . . .

Searing, hilarious, and always unexpected, Fat Vampire is a satirical tour de force from one of the most original writers of fiction today.

Forget-Her-Nots by Amy Brecount White is on sale for $6.80.





And I'm totally excited about Lindsey Leavitt's Princess for Hire being available for $6.80 too! (read chapter one)
When an immaculately dressed woman steps out of an iridescent bubble and asks you if you'd like to become a substitute princess, do you

a) run
b) faint
c) say Yes!

For Desi Bascomb, who's been longing for a bit of glamour in her Idaho life, the choice is a definite C--that is, once she can stop pinching herself.  As her new agent Meredith explains, Desi has a rare magical ability: when she applies the ancient Egyptian formula "Royal Rouge," she can transform temporarily into the exact lookalike of any princess who needs her subbing services. Dream come true, right?

Well, Desi soon discovers that subbing involves a lot more than wearing a tiara and waving at cameras. Like, what do you do when a bullying older sister puts you on a heinous crash diet? Or when the tribal villagers gather to watch you perform a ceremonial dance you don't know? Or when a princess's conflicted sweetheart shows up to break things off--and you know she would want you to change his mind?

In this hilarious, winning debut, one girl's dream of glamour transforms into something bigger: the desire to make a positive impact. And an impact Desi makes, one royal fiasco at a time.
Also available on the cheap at Amazon are the following:

Only The Good Spy Young (Gallagher Girls #4) $6.80
Heist Society $6.80
The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove $4.00
Blue Bloods (1st three books box set) $10.00

I AM NUMBER FOUR Read Along Discussion #1 [Read Along]

Welcome to discussion 1 of I Am Number Four!

Here's the deal.  You do NOT have to answer all of the questions.  You can if you want, or you can just comment on one or two of them.  The goal is for the discussion part not to take a whole hour out of your day if you don't want it to.  Sound fair?  Hope so.  K.  Let's get started!

Plot Summary:  Number Four is from the planet Lorien.  The Garde from Lorien that escaped to earth have to be killed in order (because these Loriens have magic charms too in addition to their powers).  They traveled to earth, and each has a Guardian or Cêpan who watches their backs.  Dude we're following is Number Four.  He was Daniel Jones in Florida, but he's left the Keys and moved to Paradise, Ohio.  He goes to school so that he doesn't have to do cleaning or chores with Henri, his Cêpan.  He has a survival pack as a backpack.  He gets lectured from Henri about not standing out, not showing his physical superiority or his intellectual superiority, and to contact Henri immediately if anything out of the ordinary happens because he should be coming into his Legacies, aka special Lorien-defending powers, soon.  He goes to school, gets picked on by Mark, meets the really cute Sarah, the daughter of his and Henri's real estate agent and Mark's ex-girlfriend, and almost immediately comes into his first Legacy, Lumen.  He goes and locks himself in the dark room so that people can't see his glowing hands, and Henri comes to rescue him and takes him home.  They debate leaving, but Four doesn't want to, so he goes back to school the next day donning gloves and eager to find his missing cell phone.  He accuses Mark, and they almost throw down in the hall, but they don't.  Then there's a fun scene in home ec with Sarah and Mark and after ninth period American History, Sarah gives Four his phone and he doesn't fight Mark.  End Chapter Seven.

The Questions:

  1. First of all, did anyone else get confused and think they were in Maine when they were really in Florida at the beginning?
  2. And, another confused point for me - and I'm hoping one of you can explain it...  Four told Henri that he kept his fists closed once he realized they were glowing, but that was a total lie because Sarah totally helped him up off of the ground after Mark pushed him...  so I was confused about that.  Do you think it'll come back and bite him?  The fact that he let Sarah help him?
  3. I'm also super curious about why they've kept themselves to the USA.  It seems as though they would have more success in a larger number of countries, what do you think about that? (not that they haven't been successful)
  4. Do you agree with Henri and John's survival decisions so far?  Would you have done anything differently?
  5. If you got to pick a brand new first and last name what would it be?  Why?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Reminder: I Am Number Four Read Along Starts This Weekend

Hello my lovelies!

Just a quick reminder that our I Am Number Four Read Along starts this weekend.  If you still want to sign-up, you totally can!  Remember, for those who participate (by posting to 4 of the 7 discussions), there's still a chance to win a $20 gift card to the movie theatre of your choice so that you can see the I Am Number Four release.

The winner of the giveaway for the hardcover was The Book Pixie.  Congrats!

The sign-up is below:

Monday, November 1, 2010

November's Arizona Author Appearances (formerly Indie Exchange)

I used to call this Indie Exchange because I was like, "Dude, everyone can comment with who's coming to a place near them."  Yeah.  Didn't happen.  So here you go.  YA-relevant author appearances and events happening in Arizona for November!

November 2: 7pm at Changing Hands in Tempe Authors & Illustrators Panel: Explore the writing, marketing, and publishing processes involved in creating first-rate children's literature with author Tom Leveen (Party), author-illustrators Adam Rex (Fat Vampire) and Molly Idle (Circus Fantastico), ASU professor and author James Blasingame (Books That Don't Bore 'Em), and editor-publisher Christianne Meneses (Iguana Magazine).

November 8: 7pm at Changing Hands in Tempe Nancy Drew Turns 80: Celebrate Nancy Drew's 80th Anniversary with author Jennifer Fisher and the Nancy Drew Sleuths.

November 10: 7pm at Poisoned Pen in Scottsdale Jonathan Stroud: Bartimaeus, everyone’s favorite (wise-cracking) djinni, is back in book four of this best-selling series. As alluded to in the footnotes throughout the series, Bartimaeus has served hundreds of magicians during his 5,010 year career. Now, for the first time, fans will go back in time with the djinni, to Jerusalem and the court of King Solomon in 950s BC. Only in this adventure, it seems the great Bartimaeus has finally met his match. He’ll have to contend with an unpleasant master and his sinister servant, and runs into just a “spot” of trouble with King Solomon’s magic ring….

November 11: 4pm at Changing Hands in Tempe Jonathan Stroud:  Jonathan Stroud, author of the legendary New York Times bestselling Bartimaeus Trilogy, presents his latest, Bartimaeus: The Ring of Solomon, set a millennium before the events in the trilogy. Bartimaeus, the wise-cracking djinni, has served hundreds of magicians throughout his 5,010-year career. Now, for the first time, fans go back in time with the djinni, to Jerusalem and the court of King Solomon in 950 BC. Only in this adventure, it seems the great Bartimaeus has finally met his match in an unpleasant master, a “spot” of trouble with King Solomon’s magic ring.

November 12: 7pm at Changing Hands in Tempe Jillian Cantor: Jillian Cantor, author of the teen novels The Life of Glass and The September Sisters, presents her debut adult novel The Transformation of Things. Jennifer Levenworth’s husband, a judge, is indicted on bribery charges, leaving her unsure about everything in her marriage. The friends Jennifer thought she knew and trusted have turned their backs on her, and while Jennifer sleeps, she swears she can see—and hear—her friends’ and family’s most private moments. But when the dreams start to reveal a starling reality, can Jennifer find the strength to transform her life?

November 12: 7pm at Poisoned Pen in Scottsdale Kathy Reichs: Kathy and her son Brendan (who co wrote the book) will be doing the event with her! Tory Brennan, niece of acclaimed forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan (of the Bones novels and hit TV show), is the leader of a ragtag band of teenage "sci-philes" who live on a secluded island off the coast of South Carolina. When the group rescues a dog caged for medical testing on a nearby island, they are exposed to an experimental strain of canine parvovirus that changes their lives forever.  As the friends discover their heightened senses and animal-quick reflexes, they must combine their scientific curiosity with their newfound physical gifts to solve a cold-case murder that has suddenly become very hot--if they can stay alive long enough to catch the killer's scent.  Fortunately, they are now more than friends--they're a pack. They are Virals.

November 16: 7pm at Changing Hands in Tempe Mike Lupica:  ESPN host Mike Lupica, a New York Times bestselling author and sports columnist for the New York Daily News, visits with Hero, his new novel for middle readers. Fourteen-year-old Zach Harriman can feel the changes. The sharpening of his senses, the incredible strength, the speed, the confidence and the strange need to patrol Central Park at night. What Zach never knew was that his father was no ordinary man—he was a superhero, battling the world’s evil. This is a battle that has been waged for generations and knows no boundaries. Now it’s Zach’s turn to take on the fight. It’s Zach’s turn to become a hero!

November 18: 3:30pm at Changing Hands in Tempe Kaleb Nation: The creator of TwilightGuy.com returns to Changing Hands with the much-anticipated sequel to Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse. Bran Hambric believes that the Farfield Curse is over with. But when he discovers a safe-deposit box in his dead mother’s name—in the very bank vault where he was discovered as a boy—Bran’s past comes rushing back. Now he’s on a frightening path that puts everyone he cares about in danger.

November 27: 3pm at Changing Hands in Tempe Stephen Messer: Stephen Messer presents his debut novel, Windblowne, which was our previ ous Club Read pick for September. Every kite Oliver touches flies straight into the ground, making him the laughingstock of Windblowne. With the kite-flying festival only days away, Oliver tracks down his reclusive great-uncle Gilbert, a former champion. When Gilbert vanishes during a battle with mysterious attack kites—kites that seem to fly themselves!—all that remains is his prized possession: a simple crimson kite. But when Oliver tries to fly it, he’s lifted high above the trees, and suddenly the festival is the last thing on Oliver’s mind.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween My Spooks!

I'm sponsoring a giveaway at Alternative Reads today for a brand new copy of THE DEVOURING by Simon Holt. It's a pretty spooky read :o) To enter, go over to Alternative Reads and tell her which cover you like the best - the US or the UK version!  You can see them both at her site! (confession: the book spooked me so much when I read it that I made it my wallpaper on my lappie for the last couple o' weeks to celebrate Halloween!)  It's ending November 7 and is open worldwide of course.♥

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Trick or Treat, Witches! Pretty Little Liars Sneak Peak



Embedded video not working? See the vid at www.trickortreatwitches.com  and for those of you who can see it, make sure to select full screen!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Frightay Nights with Michelle Zink [Guest Post]

Despite the fact that we live in a house built in 1850, I’ve always reassured myself that it can’t possibly be haunted. That’s because it’s a barn. The old farmhouse next door was once part of our property, and together the two buildings plus hundreds of acres made up an old dairy farm in our part of upstate New York.

It’s a well-known fact that the old farmhouse is haunted by the ghost of old Mr. Keane, the farmer responsible for the old Keane Dairy Farm. It’s said that he hung himself over there and that you can hear him dragging his peg leg around the attic at night.

But my logic about our house seemed sound when I told my children the only hauntings that could occur here would have to be conducted by the ghosts of dead cows who once grazed the surrounding pastures and spent their nights snoozing in our barn.

And it’s held true. Mostly.

We’ve lived here nine years and it’s only been in the past couple that my older son has mentioned some strange occurrences. The first took place in the basement about a year ago. I’ve never been fond of the basement, despite the fact that it used to house a restaurant and bar back when the upper level was a bed and breakfast. It’s just too dark. Standing at one end on a gloomy day even at at noon, one almost can’t see the other end of the 2,000 square foot room.

And then there’s the abandoned kitchen and a supply room that still has it’s original dirt floor. *shudders*

Honestly? I make excuses not to go in either one.

Anyway, about a year ago my son was downstairs playing Xbox late one night when he heard whistling from the nether reaches of the basement. At first, he thought his ears were playing tricks on him. He removed the headset he uses to play Call of Duty and listened. And there it was again. A faint whistling from the darkness at the other end of the basement.

Well, I didn’t raise stupid children. You wouldn’t have to scream, “No! Don’t go into the supply room!” if my kids were in a horror movie. My son did what any smart person would do and got the hell out of there.

Then a few months ago he was in his bathroom brushing his teeth. The shower curtain was closed and he swore he heard it rustle. “The only way I can describe it,” he said, “is that it made the exact sound you would expect if someone were hiding in there.”

O_o

He told me he had to brace himself to pull back the shower curtain in one quick motion while the house stood deathly silent all around him.

“Was it one of those horror movie moments?” I asked him. “Where you feel like you’re actually IN a scary movie and something’s going to jump out at you?”

“It WAS,” he said. And he wasn’t laughing.

I don’t know if we have a ghost or not, but if we do, it seems to have a special affinity for Kenneth. The rest of us haven’t seen or heard a whisper.

But Kenneth is always a little nervous when prowling the halls - or the basement - after dark.

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Thanks so much Michelle!!  You guys, Michelle is the author of Prophecy of the Sisters and its follow-up, Guardian of the Gate.  You can follow her on Twitter, and michellezink.com.