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Friday, July 29, 2011

Creature Feature Friday: Witches

Alex from Electrifying Reviews is dropping in today to tell us where his paranormal love lies...

What is a witch?
A witch is, according to the dictionary, a woman thought to have evil magic powers. Well, witches in fiction can me a number of things... Some books portray characters with minor psychic powers to be witches. Some have Wiccan characters and call them witches. And some have children riding on broomsticks and going to school in a castle. In my opinion, a witch is a person who can perform magic. Simple as that.

Picture by Claudia of Phatpuppy Art.

What do you love about witches?
Wow, this one is easy! Witches can basically do anything. Yes, anything. They have magic! They can do more than live forever or grow hair from awkward places when the moon is out, they can literally do anything. Magic: who hasn't wanted to be able to cast a spell or two in their life? I know I have! Witches also have a great power, a power other paranormal creatures can only dream of. Sure they've been known to get caught and, well, burned at the stake, but other than that they are the supreme paranormal. If you had the chance to use magic, wouldn't you take it? Witches can be bad, good, beautiful, ugly, old, young. They can literally be anything the writer wants them to be because their lore can be changed by anyone. Sure, that can be true with all paranormal creatures, but witches have such real history and are still a prominent part of life today that they just seem more real than any other creature.

Favorite witch in fiction:
Yikes, this is hard. I guess I'd have to say Lena from Beautiful Creatures. Not because of her powers, but because of her as a character. I loved Lena in the first Caster Chronicles book. She was so spunky and cool and mysterious. Also, she's a witch. Double win.

Favorite witch in pop-culture:
This is gonna be embarrassing, but it's definitely Sabrina. Yes, Sabrina: The Teenage Witch. That show is so fun and Sabrina is so funny. That show is pure nostalgia, and if you haven't seen it you definitely should.

If you like witches, you should read...
Ooh, this is going to take a while. Okay, I guess I'll just shorten it to a few of my favorites.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

More Author Insight: Fangirl / Fanboy Moments

Have you ever had a fangirl/fanboy moment over another author? If you’ve never had one, who could inspire it?

"I have an enormous amount of respect for the work authors do, and while I tend to be a laid-back person, inside I'm always fangirling a little when I get to meet a new author. As for an author who could really draw that out and make me dance around like crazy? JK Rowling for sure, along with Suzanne Collins. I'd humiliate myself in front of them." - Aimee Carter, author of The Goddess Test

"Yep. Got into the elevator with Charlaine Harris at a conference:" - Leanna Renee Hieber, author of Darker Still and  The Perilous Prophecy of Guard and Goddess.

Me (looking at Charlaine Harris, Confirming on her name badge that she was indeed Charlaine Harris): 'Oh. OMG. You're Charlaine Harris. I am having a moment.'

Charlaine: (smiles kindly and speaks graciously) 'That's all right, it happens.'

"I drove nearly three hours to Denton, Texas, in order to see Libba Bray speak. I got so excited during her presentation that I ran up to the microphone to ask a question. (I did wait a few seconds to see if any of the teens in the audience wanted to go first!) Afterwards I stood in line to have my hardcover copy of A Great and Terrible Beauty signed. Libba was a class act -- she took the time to chat with each person in line, and she graciously stood up so I could have my photo taken with her. What a lovely role model!" - Sonia Gensler, author of The Revenant


"When I love someone’s writing, I don’t want to know them personally – or in any way other than by reading and re-reading them.  That said, I could easily be charmed out of my wits by a writer (whom I admire) reading or having read me.  There’s beauty and there’s charm.  Beauty is a writer I notice.  Charm is a writer who notices me." - Randy Russell, author of Dead Rules.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Author Insight: Fangirl/Fanboy Moments

Have you ever had a fangirl/fanboy moment over another author? If you’ve never had one, who could inspire it?

"Have them all the time. Ray Bradbury, Russell Hoban, Brian Francis Slattery, Bill Mantlo, Richard Brautigan, Mark Richard, Chuck Palahniuk... When I was younger I was even more obsessed with European cinema than I am now. One of my proudest moments was getting a note from director Jean Jacques Beineix in response to a fan letter I sent him. Oh, also getting an email in broken English from the incredible Alejandro Jodorowsky." - K. Ryer Breese, author of Future Imperfect

"To be honest, I don’t get too fangirlie. But every time a famous author follows me on twitter I get a tummy flutter. I’ll see who I meet at BEA this year; I might just have my very first fan girl moment! I’ll keep you posted. LOL." - Leigh Fallon, author of The Carrier of the Mark. 

"Oh, absolutely. It was Beth Revis. We met in a ghetto parking garage when I stepped off the elevator. Lots of jumping up and down and screaming ensued. It was pretty hilarious." - Elana Johnson, author of Possession. 

"I've had quite a few actually. When Melissa Marr told me she wanted to read my book (this was before it came out), I flipped. When I met Laurie Halse Anderson at ALA, I was shaking and don't think I managed at all to explain what Speak meant to me. When I met Ellen Hopkins, I nearly cried thanking her for writing Crank. And if I ever get to meet Francesca Lia Block I will probably faint on the spot." - Stephanie Kuehnert, author of Ballads of Suburbia. 

Friday, July 22, 2011

Creature Feature Friday: Dragons

Meaghan from A Bookworm's Haven is potentially the biggest fan of dragons I've ever met, and she's here today to defend her favorite mythic beasts...

What is a dragon?
A dragon is a being made from pure awesomeness! What? Alright I will give you a more specific definition. Dragons are legendary creatures, typically with serpentine or otherwise reptilian traits, that are featured in the myths of many cultures.

What do you love about dragons?
My fascination with dragons started when my parents gave me a snow globe for Christmas with a dragon inside. I was completely enamored with it and ever since that moment I have soaked up as much dragon mythology as possible.

There isn’t anything paranormal out there that can compare to a dragon. I know vamps and werewolves can be scary at times, but the dragon could take them easily. If you somehow manage to get through their razor sharp teeth, talons and the ability to just step on you and squash you, they can still breathe fire! Last I checked vamps and wolves still burn. Plus a dragon could just pick you up, fly you into the sky and drop you to your doom. I’m sorry; a little blood sucking or howling at the moon is not going to cut it against a dragon. All these reasons are why a dragon represents my blog.

Favorite dragon in fiction:
I am going to split this into two categories: dragons and dragon shifters. My favorite dragon is Saphira from The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paloni. She is smart, fiercely protective of her human rider and terrifying in battle. Even though the movie did not even come close to living up to the book, Saphira looks awesome in it so I put a picture of her here.

As for shifter dragons, my favorite is Dragos Cuelebre, from Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison. He is a rare dragon-shifter created around the same time as the birth of the solar system. Yeah, he has been around for a while. Besides being smoking hot, he’s the ultimate Alpha male, head of the Wyr (other shifters) demesnes located in New York City, plus he can shift into a freaking dragon! What more could you want?

Favorite dragon in pop-culture:
Hands down, Falkor from the movie The Neverending Story wins out in this category. I know he is a Luckdragon so he is technically a little different, but I still love him! Luckdragons have good luck in everything they do, they breathe blue fire, they are great conversationalists, they let you ride on them whenever you want, and they are so cute! If you don’t know who Falkor is than you are missing out on a classic movie and need to go rent The Neverending Story!

If you like dragons then you should read…
Firelight by Sophie Jordan (review here)-Fantastic book and the sequel comes out later this year so if you have not read this one you have time to catch up!

Eragon by Christopher Paloini- This series came out before I started my blog so I do not have a review, but the dragon is Saphira and she’s amazing! There are three books out in this series, Eragon, Eldest and Brisngr with the last book, Inheritance, finally releasing later this year. Pailoni can be a little long winded at times with his writing, but the overall story is truly captivating and the dragons kick some serious butt!

Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison (review here)-This is the best book I have read this year! I gush about it in my review and cannot wait for future installments. So far only the first book features a dragon shifter as the main character, but he is definitely worth reading about!

Dark Embers by Tessa Adams (review here)-Another great series that has two books out so far, with the third being released later this year. All of them have dragon shifters as main characters.

The Dragonlance Chronicles by Tracy Hicks and Margaret Weis- This is the ultimate epic fantasy (besides Lord of the Rings, or course) and one I have read multiple times. My copies are very worn and well loved. Dragons are not the main focus, but play a huge role in this world. If you have not read these, you really need to!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

More Author Insight: Breaking the Rules

What's one writing rule you like to break?

"Prologues. Lots of people hate them, and a good portion skip over them completely, but I think a well-written prologue that isn't pure info-dump can really enhance the reading experience. I don't always write them - more often than not, I don't - but I did write the prologue to The Goddess Test during the editing process. It was one of my 'ah-ha' moments that really helped me feel the story was coming together." - Aimee Carter, author of The Goddess Test

"That there are no rules." - Leanna Renee Hieber, author of Darker Still and  The Perilous Prophecy of Guard and Goddess.

"I'm actually pretty rule-bound in my writing (not a free-wheeler at all), but it seems like there once was a rule floating around that required one to write every single day. I break that one all the time." - Sonia Gensler, author of The Revenant


"Winking at the reader.  I do it all the time, but in very subtle ways.  I sincerely believe that a reader is responsible for making a story happen.  How they see life and what they have experienced, and what they hope for in the future, brings so much to a book, that it’s fun to give them a little poke now and then to let them know I appreciate how much they are contributing to make a story happen.  It’s a shared experience.  A story that isn’t read is a story that doesn’t exist.  And it exists a little differently each time it is read." - Randy Russell, author of Dead Rules.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

'The Forever is finally here!' Winner

One of my lucky readers is now the proud owner of signed Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy and an ARC of the Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. I wonder who it could be...

Molly W.

Congratulations! I've emailed you with details of when I'll be shipping your books. Thanks to everyone who entered, and keep an eye on the sidebar for more giveaways!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Author Insight: Breaking the Rules

What's one writing rule you like to break?

"Almost all of them. I tend to chuck grammar and syntax out the window. I also need, almost physically, to have the words appear on the page in an interesting way. I love toying with the text, even though my editors like to correct that." - K. Ryer Breese, author of Future Imperfect

"I have a bit of a thing for run on sentences. It’s just part of who I am." - Leigh Fallon, author of The Carrier of the Mark. 

"Flashbacks. I like them." - Elana Johnson, author of Possession. 

"Wait, there are rules? If there are rules, I have probably broken them all. I write out of order when I feel like it. I don't plot until I reach a certain point. I push boundaries between genres. In my first book, I wrote from multiple character points of view, one in first, one in third. The only rules I don't break are Butt In Chair and do what is best for the story even if you don't like it." - Stephanie Kuehnert, author of Ballads of Suburbia. 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

"A Little Something Supernatural" Giveaway

I was sorting through my books when I realized that I have a few ARCs of titles releasing later this month or early next month that are doubles, so they're in need of a good home. That means it's giveaway time!

Up for grabs are Supernaturally by Kiersten White, Misfit by Jon Skovron, and The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab. Fill out the form below to enter for your chance to win...

Friday, July 15, 2011

Creature Feature Friday: Angels

Today Katie from Katie's Book Blog is here to tell you why she adores angels...
What is a angel?
The dictionary definition of an angel is one of a class of spiritual beings; a celestial attendant of god. In medieval angelology, angels constituted the lowestof the nine celestial orders (seraphim, cherubim, thrones,dominations or dominions, virtues, powers, principalities or princedoms, archangels, and angels).
Most of the angels in young adults books these days are actually fallen angels which means they have done something bad to be cast out of heaven. They pretty much spend their days on earth trying to make up for what they have done and gain readmittance to heaven.
What do you love about angels?
Angels are my favorite paranormal creature because they are innately good. In pretty much all the books about angels, the angels are sent to help someone who really needs it. They are usually not the best angels in heaven but even after doing something bad to get cast out of heaven they spend their time trying to make up for their mistakes.
Another great thing about angels is their history. Every angel has a different story about their former lives, what their lives were like in heaven, what they did to get cast out of heaven, and of course how they are trying to make up for those mistakes. These stories make the books a lot more interesting by incorporating historical, paranormal, and romance all into one.

Favorite angel in fiction:
Patch from Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick (and the sequels, Crescendo and Silence). He is very sexy but he is also really sweet. He means well even though he usually does something very wrong. He is the angel in the picture that I chose to represent angels!
Favorite angel in pop-culture:
Al from Angels In The Outfield (he’s the one with the wings.) He is definitely not the same kind of angel that is popular in books at the moment but he is an angel that I grew up watching. He is a little bit crazy but very funny.
If you like angels then you should read…


Thursday, July 14, 2011

More Author Insight: Writing a Manuscript

What was most daunting about finishing a book-length manuscript? How did you push through?

"The most daunting part about finishing a book-length manuscript, for me, has been the fear that I just wasted several months of my life writing something no one will ever read. But in the end, it's never time wasted - even if the manuscript never sells, writing it was an invaluable learning experience." - Aimee Carter, author of The Goddess Test

"Finishing a book length manuscript. :) it is a daunting thing, this long creature that needs lots of trimming, grooming, restructure and care and you're just not always sure how to do it, and there's always little voices of doubt wondering if anyone will care about your world and characters as much as you do. I pushed through by giving myself a deadline. I wanted to give a draft of the manuscript to my playwrighting mentor as a birthday present. Deadlines help." - Leanna Renee Hieber, author of Darker Still and  The Perilous Prophecy of Guard and Goddess.

"The most daunting thing is when the words aren't coming out right, when it doesn't sound as gorgeous as it did in your head. I pushed through every book-length manuscript I've written (four so far) by allowing myself to write some crap along the way. You can always go back and enhance." - Sonia Gensler, author of The Revenant


"Well, I want to know how it ends, too.  The thing I find daunting is simply maintaining my own interest in what happens next.  To do that, I really can’t know in advance.  I try to set up impossible situations at the very beginning.  I love a premise that seems entirely undoable.  I need that sort of concept to even begin.  I love making it harder every step of the way… and then, when it’s over, having it seem easy and plausible to the reader.  It’s like grabbing the moon and putting it in your pocket." - Randy Russell, author of Dead Rules. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tweet News (18)

What did you miss on Twitter this week?

Author Saundra Mitchell announced a new book deal with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt...TWEET.

News of Natalie Whipple's book deal was passed along via author Cindy Pon...TWEET.

Harper Teen told you where you could read the first six chapters of Twisted (Pretty Little Liars #9) by Sara Shepard... TWEET.

Penguin Teen unveiled the cover of Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler's The Future of Us... TWEET.

Author Leanna Renee Hieber showed you where you can read the first 30 pages of her YA debut Darker Still... TWEET.

Harlequin Teen took you behind the scenes of The Iron Knight cover shoot... TWEET.

Simon & Schuster posted the first phase of the cover reveal for Fever by Lauren Destefano... TWEET.

Autor Karen Mahoney announced a book deal for a new teen vampire novel... TWEET.

Tor Teen shared the playlist for Original Sin by Lisa Desrochers ... TWEET.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Author Insight: Writing a Manuscript

What was most daunting about finishing a book-length manuscript? How did you push through?

"Pushing through isn't nearly as hard as learning how and where to stop." - K. Ryer Breese, author of Future Imperfect

"As a first time writer, the most daunting part was just starting. It seems like a monumental task, but once I got going there was no stopping me." - Leigh Fallon, author of The Carrier of the Mark. 

"How did you push through? The thought of cleaning up after. See, I write really fast, but it’s a huge mess. While I’m writing, I don’t have to clean up. When I’m done…ugh. Time to start all over again. I push through with sour patch kids and iTunes." - Elana Johnson, author of Possession. 

"That part right before the end where you have to tie things up and figure out how the story pulls together. I push through by setting small goals and deadlines for myself and mainly just making sure I get up in the morning and start writing before doing anything else (besides eating and feeding my cats of course.)" - Stephanie Kuehnert, author of Ballads of Suburbia.