Thursday, May 29, 2014

Your Not-So-Secret Decoder Ring for Phoenix Comicon Authors 2014

If you're heading to Phoenix Comicon next weekend (June 5-8), and you're the least bit interested in author programming, this is the post for you!

Even being in the book blog world, I see names on the list of programming and I think, "Who the crap is that?" (read: You're not the only one that doesn't know every author to ever publish a book). So I went through the Phoenix Comicon website and compiled a list.  I color-coded their genres.  I linked their names to their author pages at Phoenix Comicon (which will tell you what panels they will be on and when!).  I linked their latest book that I could find, or their most popular series in the parentheses, with affiliate links to amazon should you want to bone-up before the con starts.  So, do not despair. *cue sports announcer voice* This is your not-so-secret decoder ring:

♥Arizona Author  ♦Future Release Date  ♣Genre and/or Age Group Cross-Over  ♠Middle-Grade Author
[fantasy] [historical fantasy] [sci-fi] [urban fantasy] [other]

Young Adult
Amber Benson (Calliope Reaper-Jones) [urban fantasy]
Amy K. Nichols ♥♦ (Now That You're Here) [sci-fi]
Aprilynne Pike ♥ (Wings) [fantasy]
Austin Aslan ♥♦ (Islands At The End of The World) [sci-fi]
CJ Hill ♥  (Slayers) [urban fantasy] {aka Janette Rallison}
Carole Barrowman ♠♣ (Hollow Earth) [fantasy] {cowrites with actor and brother John Barrowman (Dr. Who, Arrow, etc.)}
Catherynne Valente (The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship Of Her Own Making) [fantasy]
Dean Lorey ♣♠ (Nightmare Academy) [fantasy] {Dean is also an Executive Producer of CBS fall-debut The Crazy Ones)
Delilah S. Dawson ♦♣ (Servants of the Storm) [urban fantasy]
Django Wexler ♣♠ (The Forbidden Library) [fantasy]
Frank Beddor (The Looking Glass Wars) [fantasy]
Greg Van Eekhout ♠ (Kid Vs. Squid) [urban fantasy]
Heather Brewer (The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod) [urban fantasy]
Jon S. Lewis ♥♠ (CHAOS) [sci-fi]
James A. Owen ♥♠(The Chronicles of Imaginarium Geographica) [fantasy]
Janni Lee Simner ♥ (Bones of Faerie) [fantasy]
Jim Di Bartolo (In The Shadows) [fantasy] {married to Laini Taylor}
Kiersten White (Paranormalcy) [urban fantasy]
Laini Taylor (Daughter of Smoke and Bone) [urban fantasy] {married to Jim Di Bartolo}
Molly Idle ♥ (Tea Rex) [childrens] {not YA, but childrens, so I put her on this list}
Shannon Messenger ♠ (Let The Sky Fall) [fantasy]
Shonda Slayton ♦ (Cinderella's Dress) [historical fantasy]
Suzanne Young ♥ (A Need So Beautiful) [urban fantasy]
Tom Leveen ♥ (Party) [contemporary/urban fantasy]
Wesley Chu (The Lives of Tao) [sci-fi]

Beth Cato ♥♦ (The Clockwork Dagger) [fantasy]
Beth Meacham (Nightshade) [fantasy]
Brian McClellan (Powder Mage) [fantasy]
Carrie Vaughn (Kitty Norville) [fantasy]
Charlaine Harris (Sookie Stackhouse) [urban fantasy]
Christopher Golden (The Myth Hunters) [fantasy]
Chuck Wendig (Blackbirds) [fantasy]
Daniel Abraham (Leviathan Wakes) [sci-fi] {pen name James S.A. Corey]
David Wellington (Monster Island) [urban fantasy]
Delilah S. Dawson ♣ (Blud) [urban fantasy]
Django Wexler ♣ (Shadow Campaigns) [fantasy]
Elizabeth Bear (The Eternal Sky) [fantasy]
Gini Koch ♥ (Alien Collective) [sci-fi]
Jamie Wyman (Wild Card) [urban fantasy]
Jason Hough (The Dire Earth Cycle) [sci-fi]
Jaye Wells (Prospero's War) [urban fantasy]
Jeffrey J. Mariotte (The Slab) [horror]
Jim Butcher (Dresden Files) [urban fantasy]
John Scalzi (Old Man's War) [fantasy]
Jordan Summers (Dead World) [urban fantasy]
Joseph Nassise (Templar Chronicles) [urban fantasy]
Kevin Hearne ♥ (Iron Druid Chronicles) [urban fantasy]
Kris Neri ♥ (Magical Alienation) [fantasy]
Kyle Stephens ♥ (Unbound: The Awakening) [fantasy]
L.E. Modesitt Jr. (Saga of Reculce) [fantasy]
Leanna Renee Hieber (The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker) [fantasy]
Lynne M. Thomas (Chicks Dig Time Lords) [urban fantasy]
Marsheila Rockwell ♥ (Dungeons & Dragons Online) [fantasy]
Melanie Rawn (Glass Thorns) [fantasy]
Michael A. Stackpole (Star Wars: X-Wing) [fantasy]
Michael Damian Thomas (Queers Dig Time Lords) [urban fantasy]
Michael R. Underwood (Geekomancy) [urban fantasy]
Myke Cole (Shadow Ops) [sci-fi]
Naomi Novik (Temeraire) [fantasy]
Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of The Wind) [fantasy]
Pierce Brown (Red Rising) [fantasy]
R. Bradley Snyder (What Every Child Needs To Know) [non-fiction]
Sam Sykes (Aeons' Gate) [fantasy]
Scott Lynch (Lies of Locke Lamora) [fantasy]
Seanan McGuire (Indexing) [sci-fi/fantasy]
Stephen Blackmore (Broken Souls) [urban fantasy]
Ty Franck (The Expanse) [sci-fi]
Vicki Pettersson (Signs of the Zodiac) [urban fantasy]
Weston Ochse (Seal Team 666) [urban fantasy]
Yvonne Navarro (Dark Redemption) [urban fantasy]
Zachary Jernigan ♥ (No Return) [sci-fi]

Come back next week to see which panels and authors are on our don't miss list.  Given the lists above, our choices may surprise you!

If you know something I don't about these authors, and I've neglected to recognize an attribute or genre, please drop me a note to let me know that I'm wrong.  'Cause I wanna be right!

Who is on your can't miss list?

All title links go to Amazon, where I am an affiliate and they give me a little cash for your purchase. 
All name links go to Phoenix Comicon website for more information, I am not the creator of that content. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

We Are The Goldens by Dana Reinhardt

Wendy Lamb Books: May 27, 2014
We Are The Goldens tells a story of Nellayla.  Nell, the younger sister, is the narrator, who is addressing her older sister, Layla, telling her the reasons she's arrived at a decision, "Because we are intertwined."

Despite making me want to start saying "Poppycock," and making me for the first time in my life happy that I have a brother and not a sister, I was engrossed in these pages, barely putting them down to do my chores or while I had company.  I was such a bad host yesterday, and was so glad when everyone left so I could give my full attention back to Nell and figuring out if she was mentally ill or just truly, really broken.

The second-person point of view is expertly executed.  It's so rare that I recommend anything in second-person because it usually feels so awkward.  Not this time.  The plot unfolds without a hitch, and the ending, well, in my opinion, it's perfect. It keeps the focus where the focus should be.  The characters are well-developed, and the interpersonal and intrapersonal conflicts abound while the actual page count is only 197. It's the quintessential summer read.  There is love, loss, quirk, and suspense.  I'm so glad I picked it up!  

Nell is a literature buff, so all of you out there will appreciate her point of view, even though she's not addressing you.  It's like being a fly on the wall of someone else's brain.  It's brilliant.  It's out today.  I highly suggest it.

PARENTS:  The book centers on an inappropriate sexual relationship with a teacher and student, but does not glorify it.  There is a sexual encounter for Nell, and underage alcohol consumption.  Also there are references to neighbors who probably died from drug overdoses.  However, there is no graphic sex or sex-talk inside.  If anything, I think this book should encourage youth to report inappropriate relationships as they see Nell's thoughts and actions through the entire book, struggling with whether or not she should keep her sister's secret. 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

DFTBA And Come To Our Nerdfighter Event This Afternoon 4pm!

I know, I know, I said this already.  But for those of you who don't know what the crap a Nerdfighter is... watch this video:  (plus, there are a few answers to some of my trivia questions inside, so totes worth the minimal amount of time you will invest)  Also, I expect you to flash me the nerdfighter gang sign when you see me.  I'll be the one in yellow glasses.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Lunching With Blink Tour Authors Is Rad

BookSparks invited me and a few other local nerdy people and some local students to a lunch to hang out with authors Jill Williamson, Jonathan Friesen, Lisa T. Bergren, and Lorie Ann Grover last weekend in Tempe.  It was a really fun get together with these folks and to listen to them talk about the industry that they love and the work that is their passion.  These HarperCollins authors went on to Changing Hands in Tempe for the Blink YA Tour, but first they lunched with us and told us a little about themselves and their books.

I, being a huge fangirl for The River of Time Series, was thrilled to be able to sit next to Lisa Bergen at the table, and being jetlagged as I was, probably made the experience a little more surreal than it should have been. (read: I just admitted to being a total fangirl, okay?!?!)

After we ate, we all were given the chance to ask a prepared question to the group.  I'll be tweeting some of the Q&As this weekend because this post would be stupid long if I added them all here.  For now, you can check out the book trailers for the series that these authors are on tour promoting!

Jill was promoting The Safe Lands series: Captives, Outcasts, and the forthcoming Rebels.

Jonathan was promoting Aquifer.

Lisa was promoting Remnants and the forthcoming Season of Fire.

And Lorie Ann was promoting Firstborn.

All four of the firsts in the series have been bumped up in my to-read list.  I won't betray their order though. *wink*  A HUGE thanks to Erin and Crystal at BookSparks PR for inviting me and for the delicious lunch and for the equally delectable goody bag you sent us home with full of these fantastic pieces of fiction!
This fab book bag was full of the authors' books! 

Stay tuned on Twitter for the answers to these and many more from these authors.  

L-R Jonathan Friesen, Jill Williamson, fangirlie me, Lisa T. Bergren, and Lorie Ann Grover
Moms and dads, and grandmas and grandpas will love to hear that Blink is a very clean label, one that you, at this point in time, do not have to worry about the content for your children.


All links to Amazon are affiliate links and I get a smidgeon of what you pay for referring you.  

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Bookish Budapest

If you follow us on Instagram, you might know that we recently took a trip to central Europe. If you ever find yourself in Hungary, here are a few things that as a bookish person, you might not want to miss:

The statue of Anonymous at Vajdahunyad Castle in Budapest honors the anonymous notary of King Bela.  Legend says that if you touch the Anonymous's pen, then good writing fortune will come your way.  It isn't only sought out by wannabe novelists, but students whose finals are approaching as well. If you visit Heroes Square, this is only about a 4-5 minute walk away, and the castle is beautiful.  Be prepared to wait your turn!

Alexandra is a chain of bookshops in Budapest (I visited 2 within walking distance of our hotel).  But, if you're going to go to only one, visit the one with the Coffee Cafe on its second floor (3rd floor to us Americans).  This one is located on Andrassy Ut, near Franz Liszt Square.  Now, this one has the beautiful cafe, but the one on Karoly has a way bigger selection of YA and Graphic Novels.  Graphic Novels of course make really good souvenirs for the bookish type because you don't actually have to speak Hungarian to understand them.
Andrassy Alexandra's Cafe
Karoly Alexandra
Some snapshots of the books in the bookstore:

For our minion, Sarwat Chadda, because we heart him and his books!  If you haven't
yet picked up a copy of Devil's Kiss, you should do that right now!

Because I were reading The One, and the first books we saw were these beauties!

Because... Percy. 
Mór Jókai was one of the most prolific writers and poets in all of Hungarian History.  His statue sits across from Franz Liszt Square in a smaller square on the other side of Andrassy Ut.  He was a Hungarian nationalist and a lot of his poems and works had patriotic tones.  You can find him at both the Hungarian-only shop across the street or at either of the Alexandra bookshops in Budapest. His bust also appears in the park in the middle of Margaret Island.

Now, for those of you who like your historically significant figures, here's the Riverside Palace in Visegrád, about fourty minutes outside of Budapest.  Vlad the Impaler lived in the Solomon Tower (imprisoned) here for five years in the mid-fifteenth century.  It is said that Bram Stoker visited here for inspiration to write his novel, Dracula.  Of course it is in ruins now, but it is very, very fun to explore.  You can go throughout most of it, and it was one of my favorite parts of Hungary.  (and you can see the Castle at the top of the hill in the background, not bookish, but still fun!)

That sums up our bookish experiences in Budapest, and while it's not primarily a location to visit for its literary heritage, there are still some fun sights for you to see when you take your next vacation there. *wink*


The images in thie post are Copyrighted to Shesten Melder, 2014.  If you would like to use one, please contact us through some sort of social media or via email for permission.