Saturday, April 30, 2011

Local Bookish Events in May - Arizona [Local] [Events]

Hey guys!  Here's the list of YA-relevant local events happening in May!  These events are events featuring YA or MG authors, or events that I am interested in attending.  We do mostly YA here on I Heart Monster, but we definitely do not limit ourselves!  These happen within 100 miles of my home in Mesa, Arizona this May, 2011.

Monday, May 2nd: Aprilynne Pike at The Poisoned Pen 7pmIllusions, the third book in Aprilynne Pike's New York Times best-selling series, continues the story of a not-so-ordinary girl named Laurel.

"I don't do patrols, I don't go hunting, I just stick close to you. You live your life, I'll keep you safe," Tamani said, sweeping a lock of hair from her face. "Or die trying."  Laurel hasn't seen Tamani since she begged him to let her go last year. Though her heart still aches, Laurel is confident that David was the right choice.

But just as life is returning to normal, Laurel discovers that a hidden enemy lies in wait. Once again, Laurel must turn to Tamani to protect and guide her, for the danger that now threatens Avalon is one that no faerie thought would ever be possible. And for the first time, Laurel cannot be sure that her side will prevail.

Tuesday, May 3rd: Lisa McMann & Aprilynne Pike at Changing Hands 7pm #1 New York Times bestselling author Aprilynne Pike visits with Illusions, the third book in her Wings series. Laurel is just beginning to adjust to normal life again, but she soon finds that a hidden enemy lies in wait, and only the boy she gave up for a normal life will be able to protect and guide her.

 Joining Pike is Lisa McMann, the New York Times bestselling author of the Wake trilogy, who presents her new book for teens, Cryer’s Cross. When Kendall’s small hometown is rocked by unspeakable tragedy, she has to shove aside her dreams to focus on finding her missing friends—even if it means spending time with an alluring boy who isn’t her boyfriend.

Wednesday, May 4th: Candace Bushnell at Changing Hands 7pm.  Reading, Q&A, and Signing.  **TICKETED EVENT** And tix are free when you purchase a copy of  Summer In The City.  Candace Bushnell, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Sex and The City—the inspiration for the mega-hit television series and movies starring Sarah Jessica Parker—visits with Summer and the City: A Carrie Diaries Novel. Bushnell picks up where The Carrie Diaries concluded, revealing how Carrie met Samantha and Miranda, and what turned a small-town girl into one of New York City's most unforgettable icons, Carrie Bradshaw.

Summer is a magical time in New York City and Carrie is in love with all of it—the crazy characters in her neighborhood, the vintage-clothing boutiques, the wild parties, and the glamorous man who has swept her off her feet. Best of all, she's finally in a real writing class, taking her first steps toward fulfilling her dream. But as it becomes increasingly difficult to reconcile her rural roots with her urban future, Carrie realizes that making it in New York is much more complicated than she ever imagined.

Thursday, May 5th: Larry Correia at The Poisoned Pen 7pm   Larry Correia is the New York Times bestselling author of the Monster Hunter series for Baen Books. He graduated with a degree in accounting from Utah State University and went to work for a Fortune 500 company as a financial analyst. Eventually, Larry ended up in the gun business, where he was a machinegun dealer, firearms instructor, and freelance writer for various gun magazines. Most recently he has worked in military contracting.  Larry lives in the mountains of Utah with his very patient wife and children. His latest novel is Hard Magic, the first book of The Grimnoir Chronicles [Baen Books-May 2011].  **I bought these books for my dad for Christmas, and he loved them.  LOVED them :o)  Think ahead - think FATHER'S DAY!

Saturday, May 7th: Free Comic Book Day!

Tuesday, May 10th: Jon Lewis & Derek Benz at Changing Hands 7pm
Wednesday, May 11th: Jon Lewis & Derek Benz at Barnes & Noble Desert Ridge 6pm
 Co-authors Jon Lewis and Derek Benz present their book, Grey Griffins Clockwork Chronicles: The Relic Hunters. In just one semester at Iron Bridge Academy, the Grey Griffins have already had quite an education—clockwork robots, students with super powers, and a hidden land beyond our world where mystical creatures and incredible inventions exist. As second semester begins, their friendship wanes and they begin to grow apart. But when their arch nemesis Otto Von Strife reemerges with another evil plan, the Griffins must reconcile their differences to save the world.  [I'm totally taking my copy of Invasion to get signed!]

Saturday, May 14th: Amy Fellner Dominy at Changing Hands 7pm  Amy Fellner Dominy presents her novel, OyMG. Ellie Taylor loves nothing better than a good argument. So when she gets accepted to the Christian Society Speech and Performing Arts summer camp, she’s sure that if she wins the final tournament, she’ll get a scholarship to the best speech school in the country. Unfortunately, the competition is hot—literally. Luckily she’s confident enough to take on the challenge—until she begins to suspect that the private scholarship’s benefactor has negative feelings toward Jews. Will hiding her true identity and heritage be worth a shot at her dream?

Tuesday, May 17th: Robert Stieve at Changing Hands 7pm  Robert Stieve, editor-in-chief of Arizona Highways magazine and experienced backwoods trekker, presents Arizona Highways Hiking Guide: 52 of Arizona’s Best Day Hikes for Winter, Spring, Summer & Fall. Stieve researched and selected 52 of Arizona’s best hikes—one for each weekend of the year—organized by seasons. The hikes range from easy walks in the woods to challenging journeys to Arizona’s highest peaks and deepest canyons—including the Grand Canyon. Includes detailed trail guides, descriptions, warnings, GPS coordinates, and Arizona Highways classic fine photography.  (you guys know my weakness for all things hiking!)

Thursday through Sunday, May 26-29: Phoenix Comicon.  YA authors in attendance include Aprilynne Pike, Dean Lorey, Frank Beddor, Lisa McMann, Jon Lewis, James A. Owen, Janni Lee Simner, Kevin Hearne, Lauri Brooks, Tom Leveen, and a lot more authors not of the YA genre.  There's also a Zombie Beauty Pageant, a Geek Prom, and an Ultimate Geek Smackdown.  I'll hopefully be blogging from the event, so as to keep you guys in the loop!  Look for more info on our plan of attack and things we're excited about soon!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Diversity in YA Tour [Events]

'Cause we all know how awesome diversity is, right?  Our earth thrives because of it's biodiversity.  We thrive as a human race because of our diversity.  So, Cindy Pon and Malinda Lo have launched a website and book tour celebrating that diversity as its presented in YA literature.   Check out the authors involved, and while you're at it, join the mailing list!

If the tour is coming near you, LUCKY YOU!  Below are the tour dates and locations.  Let us know if you're headed out to see any of these wonderful events!

San Francisco, California
Saturday, May 7 at 3 p.m.
San Francisco Public Library (Main Library)
Latino-Hispanic Room
100 Larkin St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
Highlighting Asian American YA books with authors Malinda Lo, Cindy Pon, Gene Luen Yang, and J.A. Yang
Presented by the Kearny St. Workshop and the SFPL Main Teen Center. Sponsored by the Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center, with community partners Oakland Asian Cultural Center and the Philippine American Writers Association. Books available for sale from Eastwind Books.

Austin, Texas
Monday, May 9 at 7:30 p.m.
603 N. Lamar
Austin TX 78703
With authors Bethany Hegedus, Malinda Lo, Guadalupe Garcia McCall, Cindy Pon, Dia Reeves, and Jo Whittemore, and moderated by Varian Johnson

Chicago, Illinois
Tuesday, May 10 from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m.
Barbara’s Books
1218 South Halsted Street
Chicago, IL 60607
With authors Malinda Lo, Claudia Guadalupe Martinez, Nnedi Okorafor, and Cindy Pon

Cambridge, Massachusetts
Thursday, May 12 at 7 p.m.
Cambridge Public Library (Main Library)
Lecture Hall
449 Broadway
Cambridge, MA 02138
With authors Holly Black, Sarah Rees Brennan, Deva Fagan, Malinda Lo, Cindy Pon, and Francisco X. Stork. Books available for sale from Porter Square Books.

New York, New York
Friday, May 13 at 6:30 p.m.
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center
208 West 13th Street
New York, NY 10011
Highlighting LGBT YA books with authors Cris Beam, David Levithan, Malinda Lo, and Jacqueline Woodson. Books available for sale from TBA.

Saturday, May 14 at 1 p.m.
Books of Wonder
18 West 18th Street
New York, NY 10011
With authors Matt de la Peña, Malinda Lo, Kekla Magoon, Neesha Meminger, Cindy Pon, Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich, Rita Williams-Garcia, and Jacqueline Woodson

San Diego, California
October 2011
Details TBA
San Diego, CA
Highlighting YA fantasy and science fiction with authors Paolo Bacigalupi, Holly Black, Malinda Lo, and Cindy Pon

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Titan Comics Now Available for iPhone, iPod, and iPad

Dropping a post to tell you that my favorite comic series, Lenore by Roman Dirge and Titan Comics, is now available via iTunes.   The app features comics for all ages, such as Tank Girl, Lenore, WWE Heroes, Transformers, Wallace & Gromit and Shaun The Sheep.  All you have to do is download the app!  The app is free, but some of the strips are paid, BUT there is totally a Free section.  (How jealous am I that there isn't an ANDROID app?  hella.  that's how.)

Here's the press release:
Tank Girl & Lenore Make Digital Debut in New Titan Comics App

Titan Publishing is pleased to announce the launch of a brand new comics app, featuring Tank Girl and Lenore comics, available on iPhone and iPad for the first time ever!

The new stand-alone app allows iPhone, iPod touch or iPad users to explore Titan’s digital comics portfolio, including – for the first time in digital format – Lenore volumes 1& 2 (Roman Dirge), Tank Girl: Bad Wind Rising (Alan Martin & Rufus Dayglo) and Tank Girl: Skidmarks (Martin & Dayglo).

The dark surreal world of Roman Dirge comes to life on the iPhone and iPad with the digital debut of his cult comic creation Lenore. These gruesomely grisly tales see Lenore, the cute little dead girl, and her twisted menagerie of demented friends do battle with Nazi zombies, avoid the unrequited love of Mr. Gosh, and fend off the massed forces of Heck and an overeager, hungry earthworm. Your Apple device will never be the same again!

Bad Wind Rising is the brand new Tank Girl series by Alan Martin and Rufus Dayglo, which sees Tank Girl and her long-term partner Booga split up in dramatic and outrageous circumstances. Described by Ain’t It Cool News as ‘possibly this year’s coolest comic!’, the series is a must-read for all Tank Girl fans!
Martin and Dayglo’s previous series Skidmarks sees Tank Girl participating in an Outback ‘take-no-prisoners’ race in an attempt to win prize money for her friend Barney’s operation. The series is also available digitally for the first time in the new app.

For the first time Titan’s wide-ranging portfolio is available in one app, featuring exclusive free content including WWE Heroes, Transformers (exclusive UK strips), Shaun the Sheep and Wallace & Gromit. Brand new comics are set to be released by Titan via the app throughout the year.

To explore Titan’s digital comics, simply go online to the iTunes app store and search 'Titan Comics' to download the app.

More information about the app can be found at

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mark Your Calendars: Free Comic Book Day [Events]

That's right.  You read that right.  Free Comic Book Day!  It's always the first Saturday in May.  This year, it's May 7th.
Free Comic Book Day is a single day - the first Saturday in May each year - when participating comic book shops across North America and around the world give away comic books absolutely FREE* to anyone who comes into their stores. *Check with your local shop for their participation and rules.
Hate comics?  Don't see the point in comics?  This event is a great opportunity for you to give them a chance. I used to be a skeptic too, but now, I ♥ comics.  I don't read as many comics as I do regular books, but they are always a great break when I need something light.  So take a few minutes out of your day, take a reluctant reader with you (or not) and snag some free comics!

To find a participating store near you, check out!

Don't believe me?  Ask Hugh Jackman or Milo Ventimiglia:

Or watch the official promo video:

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy Earth Day (a day late) Pretty Little Liars Fans! [TV]

Got home after midnight last night to find this on my doorstep.  A trowel, gardening gloves, and a plantable postcard with a message.

If you follow the link,, you'll find Executive Producer Marlene King has an Earth Day present for you, dirt on what's coming up on Pretty Little Liars!  Pretty Little Liars returns Tuesday, June 14th 8/7c.

Friday, April 22, 2011

I'm Not Grown Up Enough To Watch Game of Throwns. Are You? [You're The Expert]

I may be closing in on thirty, but I still don't think I'm mature enough to watch Game of Throwns.  Monster has been listening to the audiobooks of the series for the past six months (yes, they are that long) and I dutifully listened as he told me an abstract of what was going on in his books.  I listen.  I catch things here and there.  I do.  He's currently on A Storm of Swords which is literally 48 hours long.

I was still undecided about whether or not I would be watching Game of Throwns until I read an article in The New Yorker about George R. R. Martin, his fans, and his books.  The fact that I made it through the entire The New Yorker article in and of itself (yeah, they usually twist and jaunt off on some tangent I don't care about) made me decide that I was interested in the story.  The article did warn of incest and adult content and said something about the series seemingly being crafted especially for HBO (though it wasn't), but I went ahead and watched the episode this morning.

OMG.  It starts out with these "white walkers," which I can only compare to super-fast, super-heinous zombies/vampires. I wasn't prepared for those.  Even though Monster tried to explain them to me several times during his abstracts, I never actually got it until I saw the first part of the episode.  Those are definitely too grown up for me.

After it ended, I sent a text to Monster saying, "I don't even know if I want to watch Game of Thrones anymore.  Between little Brandon Stark getting pushed out of a window, the incestuous Lanisters and the white walkers, it might be a little too grown up for me."

I'm not passing judgement here.  I'm not getting up on a soapbox and condemning the show.  I don't feel that way, and I'm not trying to be preachy in the least.  And the fact that I have a hunch that makes me think that Brandon Stark is not dead, even after that fall (otherwise, they'd have shown the landing, right?) makes me want to keep watching.  It really does, even if I'm not grown up enough.  But what I really want to know is this:  Are you grown up enough to watch Game of Thrones?

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, we'd love it if you share the link with us.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Does Distancing Yourself From A Novel Make You Clearer? Or Cloudier? [You're The Expert]

Okay, so when I read Ally Carter's Heist Society, I wasn't super-impressed with the prose.  I wasn't super-impressed with the construction of the story or the confusing first 100 pages.  To quote myself,
I said it with Only the Good Spy Young, and I'll say it in this review as well: Maybe Ally Carter is spread too thin.  The first three books of hers that I read I adored.  They were witty, clever, and suspensefully packed with action.  The last two however, I'm afraid are not up to Ally-Carter standards.
 Here's the deal though.  Heist Society has been on my mind almost constantly for the last two weeks.  Two weeks of being sick, being slammed with Read-A-Thon coordination, and having Monster home to distract me.  That's saying a lot.  Almost nothing is constantly on my mind, but I can say with assurety that I have thought about what's going to happen next with Kat and Hale almost every day for at least fourteen days straight.

So, maybe the writing wasn't fantastic.  Maybe I felt like the story wasn't up to par with the rest of her work.  But man, the essence of the story is obviously still with me.  And I'm dying to know what happens next.  So Ally Carter did something super-right with this book.  She hooked me.  I'm hooked by the characters, not the writing.  I'm hooked by the concept, not the construction.  And with almost a hundred books left unread on my shelves, I'd be willing to push them all aside and read Uncommon Criminals right now.  I think that's a strong endorsement.  I really do.  (and if you're dying to read more about Kat and Hale, get a sneak peak at the first two chapters right now, here.)

Anyway, what I want to know from you guys is whether or not you think that distance and time away from a story makes things clearer or does it muck up the bad stuff and make it cloudier?  Does it depend on the book?  Does it depend on the story?  Does it depend on the author?  I'm still deciding.  So, weigh in.  Tell us what you think.  You're the Expert after all.

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, we'd love it if you share the link with us.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Fauxpresso Nite [Book Group Ideas] [My Real Life] [Giveaway}

Hey gang.  I'm trying to bring a little more of my real life to I Heart Monster.  So, I started with our IHM office makeover.  Now, I'm bringing you some bookish real life fun.

So a group of my friends and I have a book group.  It's creatively titled "Our Book Group."  We read one YA title per month.  I'm sure if you're a regular reader you've seen some allusions to the meeting in some of my past reviews.  This month, we started what I hope is a new tradition.  We all brought foods themed with the book.  Now, we usually bring food and moderately pig out, but this was our first themed night.

This month's book was The Espressologist by Kristina Springer (review to follow soon).  So, since none of us drink coffee, we put together our Fauxpresso Nite.  As you can see from the sign below, Fauxpresso is in.

First on the menu was Rose Vanilla Iced Cacao from Wildroot Botanicals, which I ordered because they offered a Heartsy (like Groupon for Etsy).  We made the hot cacao, then let it cool, then iced it and added whipped cream to the top.  It was an adventure, and some of us liked it and some of us didn't.  To quote one of us, "It's like drinking a rose."  Which, you either like, or you don't.

Then, we made regular hot chocolate, and added all kinds of goodies to it including whipped cream, caramel sauce, hazelnut creamer, cinnamon creamer, and to top it off, shaved chili chocolate from Lindt.  We even had a barista.

These two drinks wouldn't even have been as cool if not for our awesome Venti cups from Starbucks which they generously donated to our cause.  ♥  Thanks, Starbucks.  You totally rock for ringing up 8 waters and giving me 8 cups, lids, and straws.  This wouldn't have been nearly as cool without you.
After the drinks, we had a coffee-less Tiramisu.  That was made just like regular Tiramisu, but with Kahlua-flavored sugar-free syrup instead of the liqueur or espresso.  (recipe at the bottom)

Peanut Butter muffins, which were totally yummers. ---->

Donuts.  My favoritest donuts ever.  They were from an Arizona-only grocery store called Bashas' and I totally ate that chocolate creme filled one there in the middle.
This amazing coffee cake. (recipe at bottom).

We also had Blueberry Vanilla Goat Cheese from Trader Joe's with crusty bread as a not-so-sweet treat.

Overall, we had a great night, and we all ended up loving the book and we had to eventually move the discussion away from this delectable table so that we didn't absolutely gorge ourselves.  Anyway, I hope you've enjoyed this post and a little glimpse into my real life!  First three people to email will win a signed The Espressologist bookmark from Kristina Springer.

Coffee-Less Tiramisu

6 egg yolks
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups of mascarpone cheese
1 3/4 cups heavy cream
3 tbsp confectioners sugar
ladyfingers (approx 48)
Kahlua-flavored sugar-free syrup (I used DaVinci)
  1. Combine the egg yolks and sugar and whip until thick and lemon colored, about 1 minute. 
  2. Place in top of double boiler over boiling water. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook 12 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. 
  3. Add mascarpone cheese, beating well. 
  4. Add confectioners sugar to heavy cream and whip until stiff peaks form. 
  5. Fold whipped cream into egg yolk mixture; set aside.
  6. Pour syrup into small bowl.  Quickly dunk each ladyfinger in syrup before placing on the bottom layer.
  7. Spoon half of egg yolk-cream mixture into ladyfinger-lined bowl. 
  8. Repeat ladyfingers, espresso and cream layers. 
  9. Refrigierate overnight.  It will shrink when refrigerated.
(This is a derivation of this recipe I found on a goth forum, not that I surf goth forums, but hey, credit where credit is due, right?)

Aunt Anne's Coffee Cake

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
1 egg
3/4 cup milk, or as needed
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup butter
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan. Make the streusel topping: In a medium bowl, combine 1/4 cup flour, 2/3 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Crack an egg into a measuring cup and then fill add milk to make 1 cup. Stir in vanilla. Pour into crumb mixture and mix just until moistened. Spread into prepared pan. Sprinkle top with streusel.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool.
(recipe derived from this one)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Where In The World Are YOU? [Readathon]

Welcome, Dewey's Read-A-Thon participants!  The object of this meme is to see a visual array of where everyone is reading from.

Here are the directions:

1) Navigate to the Where In The World Are You Reading? Google Map. Zoom Out.
2) Click Edit.
3) Add a placemark (the blue guy in the top row).
4) Place and title the placemark with your name, your blog name, whatever you choose on whatever level of location you feel comfortable sharing.
5) Add in the details section your Twitter name or blog URL, if you want to.
6) Click Save.
7) Click Done.

Then, take a look and see where your fellow readers are reading from.  Click on a reader who is reading from either somewhere you love to visit, or somewhere you would love to visit, and visit their blog and leave them a little note of encouragement.

After you've done that, get out of your chair and do five jumping jacks.

Then you're done.   Mini-Challenge Mission Complete.

Get back to reading and have some fun!  One lucky participant will be chosen to receive a prize.  We'll announce the winner at the beginning of Hour 5.  Yay Read-A-Thon!!!