Friday, February 18, 2011

How Are Those Challenges Coming?

Well, we're over half way through February...

How is everyone doing on their reading challenges?

We've got some great participation going on with our very own It's Not What You Read But Where You Read It Challenge, so why don't you bite the bullet and sign up and join us?  You can do it while reading for your other challenges, and plus, it's fun.

If you finish a category by 3/31, you'll be entered once for each category finished into a drawing for a $10 giftcard to an online bookstore of your choice.  The more people that join, the better the Q2 prize will be, so join today!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Borders Closing 200 Stores

So, it seems that as part of their Bankruptcy negotiations, Borders is closing some 200 stores in the US. Are you losing your Borders?  And do you care?

I'm losing one of mine, but it's not the one I frequent most often.  Am I bummed?  Well, yeah, a bookstore is closing.  Am I surprised?  Well, nope.  Especially because of their super-poor selection of YA books at the one that's closing.

How 'bout you?  Is yours on the list?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

L.J. Smith Fired From Vamp Diaries [You're The Expert]

They're getting more and more risqué with these
promos too, aren't they?
By now, you've probably heard the news that L.J. Smith was fired from writing her own books, the oh-so-popular, and oh-so-pre-Twilight-awesome Vampire Diaries.  Thing is, she doesn't own the rights to them anymore (I guess it's a question as to whether or not she ever did, even in 1990?), so Alloy Entertainment, the people who own the rights to the books, basically fired her, reportedly because she was exploring the Damon/Elena side of things and they didn't like that and she refused to take the books the way Alloy wanted them taken.

So, with all of this business of books - with Fray's Fiction Factory, with L.J. being fired, with all of this crazy mumbo jumbo drama cropping up all around, I have  a few thoughts.

My first is, "Whoa!  Dude.  Is the book publishing world going to get as juicy as Hollywood?"  To which I have to admit, a part of me secretly hopes for and wishes wishes wishes for.

Then as an afterthought, I kinda say to myself, "Well, I guess the authors kinda deserve it if they didn't have someone help them make the business decisions and they didn't understand what they were signing up for."

And then I think, "So what if they deserve it, gimme more teen-book-oriented drama."

So, what do you think?  Do you enjoy the drama that has been going on behind the scenes in the teen book world of late?  What with all of the money to be made from teens and adults and merchandising, it's bound to get uglier, right?  Or am I totally crazy.  You're the experts, so bring it.  Your opinion on the matter, that is.

(Oh, and P.S.  I'm done with buying Vampire Diaries books if they're not penned by L.J.  Kaput.)

For those of you not familiar with You're The Expert here at I Heart Monster, it's a type of post where we share some information with you, then ask you what you think about that information.  We encourage you to leave your opinion or answers in the comments section, and even write your own post as an answer if you are so inclined.  See, we're all different, and we all have different experiences, and that's part of what makes the blogosphere such a fun place - we're all experts about what we think and how we feel and our particular view on the world.  This is just a forum for you to share those with the rest of us.  If you do write a post, please share the link.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Last Week I Got My Groupon On [Saturday Steals]

I bought the Barnes & Noble Groupon I posted about last week - $10 for $20 worth of books at Barnes & Noble... and I spent it already.  On Monday, I ordered my books, and here it is Wednesday (the day I'm writing this post) and I already have the books.  They were delivered by my trusty UPS guy (who I sadly do not know as well as my old one) this afternoon.  That's holy speedy, right?

Anyway,  I spent a total of $18.11 out of pocket on these three books + tax (which is one of the things I hate about buying books from anyone other than Amazon is that I have to pay tax! Ugh!) including the ten bucks I dropped on the Groupon.  I also used a 15% off one item code I found online, and added $25 worth of books to my order so that I could get free shipping.  So what'd I get you ask?

Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck.  (she's coming to a BN not too far from my house on the 16th)

Passion. Fate. Loyalty.
Would you risk it all to change your destiny?
The last thing Kelsey Hayes thought she'd be doing this summer was trying to break a 300-year old Indian curse. With a mysterious white tiger named Ren. Halfway around the world.
But that's exactly what happened.
Face-to-face with dark forces, spellbinding magic, and mystical worlds where nothing is what it seems, Kelsey risks everything to piece together an ancient prophecy that could break the curse forever.
Tiger's Curse is the exciting first volume in an epic fantasy-romance that will leave you breathless and yearning for more.

Across The Universe by Beth Revis

A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder.
Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.
Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone-one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship-tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next.
Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

Scones & Sensibility by Lindsay Eland

Seek tirelessly and you shall not find a contemporary heroine of middle-grade literature as refined and romantic as Miss Polly Madassa. Still swooning over the romantic conclusions of Pride & Prejudice and Anne of Green Gables, twelve-year-old Polly decides her purpose in life: helping along lonely hearts in search of love. Polly's only task this summer is to make deliveries for her parents' bakery, leaving ample time for this young cupid to find hearts to mend--beginning with the kite-store owner, Mr. Nightquist, who will pair perfectly with Miss Wiskerton (the unfairly labeled town curmudgeon). Polly's best friend Fran Fisk is in desperate need of a mother ever since hers ran off with a man she met on the Internet; Polly must find a match for Mr. Fisk. And while she's at it, it wouldn't hurt to find Clementine, Polly's teenaged sister, a beau worthy of her (so she can shed that brute, Clint). Polly's plans are in full swing, so she definitely cannot be bothered by the advances of classmate Brad Barker.
But maybe Polly should have turned her attention to Miss Austen's Emma next, because she quickly learns the pitfalls of playing matchmaker. How will Polly patch up her own relationships, while ensuring that destined love can take its course?

Final Prices Paid Out of Pocket (in order listed above:)
10.71    10.19     7.25
-3.34    -3.33    -3.33
$7.37    $6.86   $3.54

Some steals indeed my friends.  Saturday Steals has moved to once-monthly, but I never remember to do it once-monthly, so bear with me in all of my memeishness whilst I participate at my own pace.

Did you steal anything this week?  Tell us about it in the comments.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Can You Survive The Zombie Apocalypse? by Max Brallier

Plot Sketch:  This is a choose-your-own-adventure style book for adults wherein you are a 25-year old male professional working in Manhattan when all of the sudden Mount Sinai is all of the sudden bursting with flesh-eating, blood-spurting zombies and now you get to make choices in the reading to see where they take you.

Verdict:  This book is going to be fantastic for later-teens and adults who males.  But since it's true to its second-person narration - the only style that really works for this type of a novel - and I was a girl, trying to put myself into a male's head, it didn't really work so well for me.  I think the hardest part for me was the parts where I was supposedly getting mild erections.  Not really something I can relate to, seriously.  The other thing I would caution with this one is that there is a lot of strong very strong language.  You know going into it that because it's a zombie novel it's going to have violence, and you expect some of the language, but at least on the path that I took (that left me dying because I chose to fight zombies with a toy machine gun) it was excessive - for me.  If that's not going to bother you, then you're going to have a lot of fun with this one - especially if you're a guy!  My younger bro was here while I was reading it, so I read some of it aloud to him and he's all over it and wants it the second I'm done writing this review - so that tells you something, right?  What I would have loved to have seen was an initial choice of gender in the book.  Do you want to read it as a female character or as a male one?  Most of the pages could have overlapped, because there wasn't anything gender-specific, but it would have made me feel less alienated as a reader.

Location: Manhattan
Favorite Character: Well, on my particular path, I'd have to say that I was my favorite character, by far.  I made really stupid choices, yet it took me like 4 really dumb ones to finally die.  I rock like that.
Would Change: Girl POV option
Favorite Line:  n/a
Good for Monster? I'm not sure.  On one hand, I think he might like it, and on the other, I think he might think it's stupid.  But that's just my Monster.  17+ males are gonna be all over this one!
People Who Will Like This: 17+ males, Santa Claus, John Wayne, Elizabeth Bennett from Pride & Prejudice & Zombies
People Who Won't Like This: the female YA crowd (well, most of them), Elizabeth Bennett from Pride & Prejudice, Dalai Lama
Chapters: n/a
Author's Website
Acquire It:   Amazon    Book Depository    Changing Hands

Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Gallery
Publish Date: February 8, 2011
ISBN-10: 145160775X

The It's Not What You Read It's Where You Read It Challenge:
Twist Your House / Place of Commerce / Move / Nature / You Don't Call Home / Probably Shouldn't / In Pairs
I read this one for 25 minutes at the kitchen counter.  I hadn't read there yet, and it's not really a place I like to sit and read because it's not exactly comfy.  So that leaves me with 5 minutes left to read somewhere before I finish the first category in the challenge, Twist Your House. Heidenkind has finished that category - so check out her YouTube vid proving it.   I also read it for ten minutes to my little brother, while I was sitting on the couch, but I don't think that counts for anything since he wasn't reading, and yeah. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Lautner in Incarceron Movie [You're The Expert]

Apparently I'm super out of touch and totally missed the part where Lautner is going to play Finn in the film adaptation of Incarceron...  

My initial reaction is one giant eye roll.  Then it's one giant, Ooooh Emmm Geeeee.  That could be brilliant.

Is he the go-to boy now for YA Lit adaptations?  Spill your thoughts.
Good fit?
Bad fit?
*Eye Roll*?

For those of you not familiar with You're The Expert here at I Heart Monster, it's a type of post where we share some information with you, then ask you what you think about that information.  We encourage you to leave your opinion or answers in the comments section, and even write your own post as an answer if you are so inclined.  See, we're all different, and we all have different experiences, and that's part of what makes the blogosphere such a fun place - we're all experts about what we think and how we feel and our particular view on the world.  This is just a forum for you to share those with the rest of us.  If you do write a post, please share the link.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Powerful Podcast I Just Had To Share

Tamim al-Barghouti

This podcast from Studio 360 just the power of literary arts in politics.  Listening to why Tamim al-Barghouti was exiled yet still able to affect change and the Egyptian Revolution from America was very inspiring to me so I had to share it with you.  Whether you agree with what he says or what's going on over there, or whatever, put the politics of it aside, and listen to the roots of freedom oozing from first his fingers (in his poetry) and then his mouth during this interview.  I'll bet it'll inspire you too.  ♥

The I Heart Monster Office Metamorphosis Update #1

I'm taking you on the journey that is the metamorphosis of the I Heart Monster workspace... our in-home office.

Since moving into our new home in December, Monster and I and our fabulous friends have done a lot of work on the place already, and I've got some great stuffs to share with you.  I thought it might be fun to update you along the way and maybe even ask your collective opinions on stuffs.

First, here's a before shot of the office:

Now, I'm going to take you through what we've done so far.  The absolute first thing to go were the mirrored tiles on the wall. (ugh!)  Then after Monster patched and textured that wall, my friends, Tawnya, Tiffany, and  we'll call her "Chickie," painted the walls this stunning shade of gray called "Silver Spoon" from Dunn Edwards.  Then Chickie and Monster scraped the ceilings:

Then, Monster textured the ceilings, and my friends Tawnya and Tiffany and I spent a while convincing Monster to let us paint a wall yellow.  He finally caved as a birthday pressie to me.  So, Tawnya busted out Electric Glow (yes that's the name of the shade) and got busy:

Then, Monster, my little brother, and my dad, painted the ceiling Milk Mustache.  And then, I ordered blinds. And Monster hung them for Christmas.  And then, I ordered this fantastic chandelier from called the Carnivale from ET2 Lighting, and Monster, who complains about having to duck underneath it (because he's 6'5" and our ceilings are only 8') was a dear and installed it for me:

So, this is the last update picture I can show you (the fantastic & sign was a gift from Tawnya, who is all kinds of visionary and awesome):

There are french doors leading into the office from the living room, which I think might be one of the features that sold me on this particular house.  The desk is different now, but the next projects are finding the permanent desk, recovering the two chairs that go inside (which I purchased for a cumulative $17 at garage sales), finding a small table to go next to the comfy reading chair, redoing the closet, getting electrical installed in the closet, redoing the floors, and *gasp* adding a bookshelf.  We'll give you updates as we go along.  Anyway, so what do you think?

Part of the chandelier purchase was covered by CSN Stores in exchange for a review of their site and their product.  As far as is concerned, the order process was easy.  It was streamlined and their communication was perfect.  I didn't have to wonder what was going on with my order, and I didn't get any emails spamming me about "Add This" or "Upgrade To This," which I totally hate in an online seller.  I knew when to expect my chandelier and which carrier it was arriving through.  The process was smooth as pie and I checked out with Paypal.  I'd definitely use them again.

The product itself is gorgeous.  Being acrylic, it did arrive with a scratch on one of the panels, straight out of the box, which made me sort of sad.  But, you can't really see it unless you look for it.  The assembly process was easy.  The installation process though, was not well-documented, and unless you have your very own handy Monster at home, I wouldn't recommend attempting it yourself (Monster used to remodel apartments way back when, so he's got the skill set).  We'd post better directions than what were included, but don't want to get sued since we're not licensed professional electricians.  There is a design flaw in that you have to disassemble part of the chandelier to change the lightbulb, so I'm kind of glad that we stuck in a CFL.  Hopefully it'll last a long while.  But despite all of that, it's a stunning fixture and one that many people have already drooled over, including me.  Everyone totally got sick of my squealing every time I looked at it for a solid week, but I heart it.  So much.  I still can't help but let out a squee every now and then when I pass by.

Thanks CSN Stores, for a fabulous addition to the I Heart Monster office!

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Smell of Books [Bookish Products]

So those of you who are missing the smell of books because you're reading on an ereader just got a new solution.  Spray the smell onto your reader. Voila! Problem solved.
The smell of e-books just got better
Does your Kindle leave you feeling like there’s something missing from your reading experience?
Have you been avoiding e-books because they just don’t smell right?
If you’ve been hesitant to jump on the e-book bandwagon, you’re not alone. Book lovers everywhere have resisted digital books because they still don’t compare to the experience of reading a good old fashioned paper book.
But all of that is changing thanks to Smell of Books™, a revolutionary new aerosol e-book enhancer.
Now you can finally enjoy reading e-books without giving up the smell you love so much. With Smell of Books™ you can have the best of both worlds, the convenience of an e-book and the smell of your favorite paper book.
Smell of Books™ is compatible with a wide range of e-reading devices and e-book formats and is 100% DRM-compatible. Whether you read your e-books on a Kindle or an iPhone using Stanza, Smell of Books™ will bring back that real book smell you miss so much.
Now, if you want to hear something funny, read the Warnings:
Please use in well ventilated area. May cause dizziness and hallucinations. May cause itching and runny nose. If symptoms persist for longer than eight weeks please consult your physician. Not for use on “real” books. Do not use while riding public transportation. Discard empty container with hazardous waste. Not for use as a room deodorizer. Not for use on burning books. Do not use on a Zune.
Oh wait... according to the manufacturer's website, there is a complete recall on the product:
Smell of Books™ Recall Announced
It has come to our attention that a small number of customers have experienced problems with our new Smell of Books™ product line.

While we believe that most cans of Smell of Books™ are not defective, on the advice of our legal counsel we are issuing a recall for the entire product line.

If you believe that you have received a defective can of Smell of Books™ please complete our RMA form and we will be in contact with you shortly regarding the return process.

As usual, DuroSport blogger Nero Tarlev has more information on the product recall.
Are you with me when in a sarcastic voice I say, "Awww, too bad?"

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Breathless Reads Tour [Book Signing Alert]

Is it coming to a place near you?  (not me, sadly)  Who's going?  There are a whole lotta freebies at the Breathless site, so check out the chapters, music, etc.  If you are going, I'm totally jealous. *green stare*

What I'm Reading - 2.6.11

Today, I'm re-listening to Shiver on audiobook because my book group is discussing on Tuesday:

What are you reading?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

I Bought Some More Books... [Saturday Steals]

First, apologies to Camille who hosts Saturday Steals for my absence this last few months.  I'm sure you all noticed my sporadic posting, and not that it's an excuse, but with the holidays and the buying of and closing on our new house the day before Thanksgiving, things were a bit hectic.  So, I'm back to *fingers crossed* being a faithful stealer once again.

This week I bought 3 books.  Though I really should go on a book buying ban, I really should.

Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd has been on my radar ever since I went to see Cecil Castelluci in person.  So, I totally dropped the $6.80 on this collection.  So excited to get into it, 'cause Imma total nerd.
Acclaimed authors Holly Black (Ironside)and Cecil Castellucci (Boy Proof) have united in geekdom to edit short stories from some of the best selling and most promising geeks in young adult literature: M.T. Anderson, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, John Green, Tracy Lynn, Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Barry Lyga, Wendy Mass, Garth Nix, Scott Westerfield, Lisa Yee, and Sara Zarr.

With illustrated interstitials from comic book artists Hope Larson and Bryan Lee O'Malley, Geektastic covers all things geeky, from Klingons and Jedi Knights to fan fiction, theater geeks, and cosplayers. Whether you're a former, current, or future geek, or if you just want to get in touch with your inner geek, Geektastic will help you get your geek on!
Darklight:  Another $6.80, and I'm happy to pay that 'cause I ♥ Wonderous Strange and am excited to read its sequel.
Faerie can't lie . . . or can they?

Much has changed since autumn, when Kelley Winslow learned she was a Faerie princess, fell in love with changeling guard Sonny Flannery, and saved the mortal realm from the ravages of the Wild Hunt. Now Kelley is stuck in New York City, rehearsing Romeo and Juliet and missing Sonny more with every stage kiss, while Sonny has been forced back to the Otherworld and into a deadly game of cat and mouse with the remaining Hunters and Queen Mabh herself.

When a terrifying encounter sends Kelley tumbling into the Otherworld, her reunion with Sonny is joyful but destined to be cut short. An ancient, hidden magick is stirring, and a dangerous new enemy is willing to risk everything to claim that power. Caught in a web of Faerie deception and shifting allegiances, Kelley and Sonny must tread carefully, for each next step could topple a kingdom . . . or tear them apart.

With breathtakingly high stakes, the talented Lesley Livingston delivers soaring romance and vividly magical characters in darklight, the second novel in the trilogy that began with wondrous strange.
Goth Girl Rising: I paid $4.64 for this one and was happy to.  It's been on my list for a long time. But it seems as though I should have waited a week 'cause now it's $3.17!! *eep*
Time is a funny thing in the hospital. In the mental ward. You lose track of it easily.

After six months in the Maryland Mental Health Unit, Kyra Sellers, a.k.a. Goth Girl, is going home. Unfortunately, she's about to find out that while she was away, she lost track of more than time. Kyra is back in black, feeling good, and ready to make up with the only person who's ever appreciated her for who she really is. But then she sees him. Fanboy. Transcended from everything he was into someone she barely recognizes. And the anger and memories come rushing back.

There's so much to do to people when you're angry. Kyra's about to get very busy.

Did you get any steals this week?  We'd love to hear about 'em!  

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Barnes & Noble Groupon [Deals]

Today you can purchase a Groupon for Barnes & Noble (actually it looks like it's available all weekend) for $10.  This ten bucks gets you $20 worth of books.  Looks like it's limited to one per person, but that's a fantastic deal since it's going to let you use it on sale items too.  It's valid at all Barnes & Noble stores except for Barnes & Noble college stores and websites.  So, you can use it at and you can use it at Bookstar and B. Dalton locations.  Those are explicitly listed as cans in the terms.  What are you waiting for? Snatch yours up now!  Oh, and Happy Friday!!!

February Bookish Events [Local] [Book Signing Alert]

Upcoming bookish events piquing interest for those of us interested in events that YA readers might like too... in Arizona.

TOMORROW, February 5: 5pm  Kofi Okyere at Changing Hands with Cabo Corso.  Kofi O. Okyere visits with Cabo Corso, his independently published graphic novel for teens. Mensah's soul is tortured over the murder of his wife. He's vowed revenge, and the chance comes as a group of students on vacation in Ghana decide to sneak into Cape Coast Castle. Their fun soon turns to danger when they find themselves trapped inside the ruins with Mensah, now hell-bent on revenge. Will they survive the night? .

February 11: 6pm: Anne Rice at Changing Hands with Of Love and Evil.  #1 New York Times bestseller Anne Rice visits to sign her latest, Of Love and Evil, a metaphysical thriller of angels and assassins that summons up dark and dangerous worlds set in times past. This time Rice takes readers to the world of fifteenth-century Rome, the world of Michelangelo and Raphael, of the Holy Inquisition, and of Leo X. Toby O'Dare, former government assassin, is summoned by the angel Malchiah to solve a terrible crime of poisoning and to search out the truth of a haunting by an earthbound spirit—a diabolical dybbuk. O'Dare soon finds himself in the midst of dark plots and counterplots surrounded by a darker and more dangerous threat as the veil of ecclesiastical terror closes in around him. 

PLEASE NOTE: Event vouchers are free when you purchase Of Love and Evil from Changing Hands. (Vouchers admit two to the signing.) This is a meet-and-greet signing only; Rice will not be speaking or reading beforehand.

February 12: 2pm Laurie Brooks will be at Barnes & Noble Eastside in Tucson with Selkie Girl.  Elin Jean always knew she was different from the others on her remote island. Soon she discovers the secret of her past: her mother is a selkie held captive by her father. Part land, part sea, she must explore both worlds to find where she belongs.

February 15: 7pm Ann Byrn at Changing Hands with The Cake Mix Doctor Bakes Gluten FreeBestselling author and frequent Good Morning America contributor Anne Byrn, aka "The Cake Mix Doctor," presents The Cake Mix Doctor Bakes Gluten-Free. Byrn shows how to transform gluten-free cake mixes into more than seventy rich, decadent, easy-to-make desserts. Performing the magic that's made her a bestselling author, she doctors mixes with additions like almond extract, berries, cocoa powder, coconut, cinnamon, lime zest and more to create classic cakes, brownies, bars, muffins, and cookies—all gluten-free!

February 16: 7pm Colleen Houck is at Desert Ridge BN with Tiger's CurseIn this gripping YA fantasy, a sultry Indian prince is cursed to spend eternity as a tiger until he meets a plucky American teenager destined to free him. This is the first volume in an epic saga that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.

February 19: 3pm Graphic Novel Day at Changing HandsJoin us for a visual literary extravaganza for tweens featuring free snacks, activities, prizes and the chance to mix and mingle with several graphic novel artists and writers. Authors and illustrators include Jake Bell (The Amazing Adventures of Nate Banks), Denny Riccelli, Eric Esquivel and primary illustrator Dave Baker (Heroes and Villains Online), Jeff Mariotte (Barack Obama: The Comic Book Biography), and Tony Parker (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?).

February 26th: 3pm Lisa McMann at The Poisoned Pen signs Cryers Cross.  The small town of Cryer’s Cross is rocked by tragedy when an unassuming freshman disappears without a trace. Kendall Fletcher wasn’t that friendly with the missing girl, but the angst wreaks havoc on her OCD-addled brain.  When a second student goes missing—someone close to Kendall’s heart—the community is in an uproar. Caught in a downward spiral of fear and anxiety, Kendall’s not sure she can hold it together. When she starts hearing the voices of the missing, calling out to her and pleading for help, she fears she’s losing her grip on reality. But when she finds messages scratched in a desk at school—messages that could only be from the missing student who used to sit there—Kendall decides that crazy or not, she’d never forgive herself if she didn’t act on her suspicions. Something’s not right in Cryer’s Cross—and Kendall’s about to find out just how far the townspeople will go to keep their secrets buried.

4pm Joy Preble visits Changing Hands with Haunted the sequel to Dreaming Anastasia.  Joy Preble returns to Changing Hands with Haunted, the follow-up to her historical romantic fantasy for teens, Dreaming Anastasia. Haunted answers all the burning questions left over from that first installment, as Anne and the hapless (albeit swoon-worthy) Ethan's worlds continue to collide with the same mixture of comedy, tragedy, and romance readers enjoyed in Dreaming Anastasia.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The I AM NUMBER FOUR Ethical Debate [You're The Expert]

You guys know we did a Read Along with I Am Number Four.  A few of you have asked via Springform, and one of you in-person, if I knew what was going on with the whole deal.  The answer is, "Yes, my lovelies, I do know what's going on with this debaucle."  Allow me to elaborate, but in as concise a manner as possible.

James Frey and Jobie Hughes worked on I AM NUMBER FOUR together.  They published together as Pittacus Lore.  Long story short, Jobie Hughes signed a contract with Frey and he got super-screwed in the deal.  Lesson for us all?  Don't sign contracts that give you squat just so you can get published under an alien pseudonym.  The movie rights for the novel sold before the publishing rights, so that should be our first clue about the motivations behind its writing, right?  Wanna know more?  I'll refer you to this article over at New York Magazine called James Frey's Fiction Factory.

I'll admit that after that news came out (like one day after we concluded the Read Along) I felt dirty.  Super dirty.  I promoted this book on my site!  I chose it to encourage people to read!  What the heck was wrong with me?  But I've come to the point now where I'm back to being comfortable with my decision.  The movie is huge, let's face it.  It's everywhere.  We are all going to read the book, and we wanted to read it before we saw the movie, so the Read Along was still a great thing, not to mention fun.  And, now, after much pondering and struggling within my psyche, I've decided that there's really no reason not to promote the movie.  The actors didn't have anything to do with what James Frey did.  Disney didn't either.  Sure, Frey is going to make more $$ off of the movie, but then again, hopefully Hughes will too?

So where does the You're The Expert part come in this time?  I want to know what you think about this whole thing.  Even the movie trailer I posted.  O_o  Ready?  Go.

For those of you not familiar with You're The Expert here at I Heart Monster, it's a type of post where we share some information with you, then ask you what you think about that information.  We encourage you to leave your opinion or answers in the comments section, and even write your own post as an answer if you are so inclined.  See, we're all different, and we all have different experiences, and that's part of what makes the blogosphere such a fun place - we're all experts about what we think and how we feel and our particular view on the world.  This is just a forum for you to share those with the rest of us.  If you do write a post, please share the link.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Changing Hands' YAllapalooza 1.29.11 [Book Signing Report] [Giveaway]

Oh my crazy times, yo!

I showed up at 4, thinking "Oh, man, I hope there are some seats left!"  There totally weren't.  Changing Hands was PACKED!  Not even standing room, seriously.  So, I patiently worked my way up to the front of the standing crowd.  Then a mom and a daughter left their seats, and I asked them if they were leaving, and they said yes, so I snatched up their seats, which just so happened to be in the same row as Alexa from Pages of Forbidden Love.

We patiently waited through the Title Wave game where Brandi, the Childrens Book Buyer at Changing Hands gave us first lines of books and we had to guess the titles.  There were two teams, Team Arizona (who of course won because Arizona is made of awesome) and Team Out Of State (who were made of awesome, but couldn't conquer Arizona, duh).

Team Arizona: back row, L-R: Kaleb Nation, James A. Owen, Laurie Brooks, Kofi O. Okyere, front row, L-R: Tom Leveen, Lisa McMann (being blocked by a bald head), Jon S. Lewis, Angela Morrison, and Janette Rallison)
Team Out Of State: back row, L-R: Obert Skye, Cameron Stracher front row, L-R: Karen E. Hoover, Bree Despain, Jessica Day George, and Lisa Mangum 
After that, we took a little break which was kinda unfortunate because that meant that people rushed the stage and tried to get their books signed.  I think a lot of those people really didn't care about what the event was supposed to be about - having fun and getting to know authors because they threw a wrench in our five-minute break and it turned into a twenty-five-minute break.  Ugh.

Anyway, then they encouraged the children in the second game to participate in writing a story with the authors.  Farrah from I. Eat. Words. and her friendboy, H, and Alexa and I got recruited by Jon Lewis to play on their team with Bree Despain and four boys.  Us girls were outnumbered at the table like 5 to 4, which I have to say is pretty unusual at an event.  While we were writing our story (one line by one person, then the next by the next person - see the photo for proof at the end of the vid), Tom Leveen came over and eavesdropped and totally stole our Justin-Bieber-ness.  Dear Tom, Not. Cool. Sincerely, IHM.  Well, it didn't matter anyway Tom, 'cause we won.  Here's the video of Jon reading our story:  (Doesn't that totally make you want to buy his newest book, Invasion?  It made a lot of people want to - it sold out before I could get my hands on it!)

I got to talk with James A. Owen for a little bit and reminisce about Spencer, I got to meet Laurie Brooks, Angela Morrison, Karen E. Hoover, Lisa Mangum, and Cameron Stracher.  And I got a bunch of signed bookmarks from the lot and a signed copy of The Water Wars by Cameron Stracher in hardcover, so if you'd like to enter to win a set of bookmarks or the signed hardcover, enter your info below.  Open worldwide, ends 3.11.11 11:59PM Arizona time.

All in all, it was a great dope event, and I'm really glad I went!  If you were there, let me know.  If you weren't and you missed out and you live in Arizona, shame on you!  ♥, IHM

Oh, and P.S.  Farrah also vlogged about this event, so check out her vlog (wherein she mentions me and admits to never having heard of CH before *gasp*) and let her know I sent you!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Dreaming Anastasia by Joy Preble [Freebies] #haunted

Hey guys!  Quick note from Teen Fire in my inbox this morning, and I thought I'd share since it means you can grab a free ebook copy of DREAMING ANASTASIA today!  Joy Preble is going to be at my local Indie at the end of the month (Changing Hands) promoting the release of her newest, HAUNTED, so I totally snatched up an ecopy.  Why don't you get your hands on one?  I mean, free?  Doesn't get better than that!

If you are excited about Joy Preble’s Haunted but haven’t read Dreaming Anastasia we’re making it available to everyone on every device!
You can DOWNLOAD Dreaming Anastasia TODAY—wherever eBooks are sold, like AmazonB&N, Apple—in celebration of the launch of Haunted.
Plus if you tweet about this giveaway, and leave a link to the Tweet on the Teen Fire site, you'll be entered to win one of five copies of Hanuted!  Even bigger score, guys!