Thursday, September 18, 2014

Talon (Talon #1)

Author: Julie Kagawa
Goodreads rating: 3.95
Pages: 400
Format: Final Copy BEA14
Long ago, dragons were hunted to near extinction by the Order of St. George, a legendary society of dragon slayers. Hiding in human form and growing their numbers in secret, the dragons of Talon have become strong and cunning, and they're positioned to take over the world with humans none the wiser.

Ember and Dante Hill are the only sister and brother known to dragonkind. Trained to infiltrate society, Ember wants to live the teen experience and enjoy a summer of freedom before taking her destined place in Talon. But destiny is a matter of perspective, and a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught. As Ember struggles to accept her future, she and her brother are hunted by the Order of St. George.

Soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian has a mission to seek and destroy all dragons, and Talon's newest recruits in particular. But he cannot kill unless he is certain he has found his prey: and nothing is certain about Ember Hill. Faced with Ember's bravery, confidence and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything that the Order has ingrained in him: and what he might be willing to give up to find the truth about dragons.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Flood (Flood #1)

Author: Stephen Baxter
Goodreads rating: 3.56
Pages: 536
Format: Final copy
Next year. Sea levels begin to rise. The change is far more rapid than any climate change predictions; metres a year. Within two years London, only 15 metres above the sea, is drowned. New York follows, the Pope gives his last adress from the Vatican, Mecca disappears beneaths the waves. Where is all the water coming from? Scientists estimate that the earth was formed with seas 30 times in volume their current levels. Most of that water was burnt off by the sun but some was locked in the earth's mantle. For the tip of Everest to disappear beneath the waters would require the seas to triple their volume. That amount of water is still much less than 1% of the earth's volume. And somehow it is being released. The world is drowning. The biblical flood has returned. And the rate of increase is building all the time. Mankind is on the run, heading for high ground. Nuclear submarines prowl through clouds of corpses rising from drowned cities, populations are decimated and finally the dreadful truth is known. Before 50 years have passed there will be nowhere left to run. FLOOD tells the story of mankind's final years on earth. The stories of a small group of people caught up in the struggle to survive are woven into a tale of unimaginable global disaster. And the hope offered for a unlucky few by a second great ark.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Hook's Revenge Blog Tour Stop


 


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I had the great pleasure of meeting Heidi at BEA this past spring and after I met her, I was so excited by her enthusiasm for the book and for the subject matter. She told us all about it and handed out tattoo's that said "Tick Tock" on them. I knew as I talked to her that my boyfriends little sister would love this book. She is absolutely obsessed with pirates and when we went on our cruise a few summer's ago, she sang the Pirate's of the Caribbean song hoping that Pirate's would descend on our ship.

Haven't heard of Hook's Revenge? Beside the fact that you should have heard of it already, you can find out more below! I had the pleasure of interviewing Heidi and you can read more about her inspiration and how she developed Jocelyn's Story.
Hook's Revenge (Hook's Revenge, #1)Captain Hook's feisty daughter hits the high seas to avenge her father's death at the jaws of the Neverland crocodile in Heidi Schulz's spirited middle-grade debut.

Twelve-year-old Jocelyn dreams of becoming every bit as daring as her infamous father, Captain James Hook. Her grandfather, on the other hand, intends to see her starched and pressed into a fine society lady. When she's sent to Miss Eliza Crumb-Biddlecomb's Finishing School for Young Ladies, Jocelyn's hopes of following in her father's fearsome footsteps are lost in a heap of dance lessons, white gloves, and way too much pink.

So when Jocelyn receives a letter from her father challenging her to avenge his untimely demise at the jaws of the Neverland crocodile, she doesn't hesitate-here at last is the adventure she has been waiting for. But Jocelyn finds that being a pirate is a bit more difficult than she'd bargained for. As if attempting to defeat the Neverland's most fearsome beast isn't enough to deal with, she's tasked with captaining a crew of woefully untrained pirates, outwitting cannibals wild for English cuisine, and rescuing her best friend from a certain pack of lost children, not to mention that pesky Peter Pan who keeps barging in uninvited.

The crocodile's clock is always ticking in Heidi Schulz's debut novel, a story told by an irascible narrator who is both dazzlingly witty and sharp as a sword. Will Jocelyn find the courage to beat the incessant monster before time runs out?


What was the inspiration for Hook’s Revenge?

I have always loved Peter Pan. I remember watching the Disney movie as a kid and wishing that I could go to Neverland and that I could have a fairy of my own. It wasn't until I was a young adult, however, that I finally found my way to J.M. Barrie's original Peter and Wendy. It was completely charming.

A handful of years later, after my husband and I had a daughter, I chose it as the first longer-than-a-sitting book to read to her. If I was charmed, she was bewitched. She was not quite three years old, but that story took hold of her little imagination and held it tight. Peter Pan became both her imaginary friend and alter-ego for the next few years. We spent many hours in our own version of Neverland fighting "those nasty pirates” together.

One day, when she was about five, I came down with the flu. All I wanted to do was sleep, but I couldn't leave her to her own devices. So I made myself a little nest on the couch, put out some Goldfish crackers and juice boxes, and loaded a couple DVDs in the player: Hook and the live action 2003 Peter Pan

While she watched, I drifted in and out of sleep, half-listening to the movies. When they ended I woke with a question in my head: What if Captain Hook had had a daughter?

I had a clear picture of Jocelyn—wild hair, mud on her hem, and wearing the too-large, iconic red jacket of Captain Hook. The girl pretty much demanded I tell her story.

What was your writing process like? Did you ever get writer’s block?

I meandered my way through most of a first draft, working in fits and starts, mainly for my own entertainment. I knew that Jocelyn would be attempting to avenge her father on the Neverland's crocodile, and I knew how I wanted the story to end, but that was about it. The rest, I made up as I went along.

Shortly before completing the draft, my family and I decided to move 3000 miles, back home to Oregon, in order to spend time with my ill father-in-law. Once we were settled I decided to begin homeschooling my daughter. Hook's Revenge began to gather dust. 

I took me another five years before I felt I was ready to finish Jocelyn's story, and work with a serious eye toward publication. 

I've certainly had difficult days writing, both with this book and on other projects, but I'm not sure I'd call that writer's block...maybe writer's crimp. If I keep at it, it will eventual straighten out.

Do you have any quirky habits or rituals you do when you write?

I live in Oregon, where it rains at least nine months out of the year. You would think I might tire of it, right? 

Nope. 

When I write, I almost always wear headphones so I can listen to rain sounds, complete with thunder and heavy winds—even when it is actually raining outside! I layer the sounds over any music I am listening to. It helps me block out any outside distractions and really focus.

Are there any characters you would have liked to write more about, but didn’t have the chance?

I was really intrigued with one of Jocelyn's pirate crew members, Dirty Bob. I felt like there was more to his story than I was able to tell in Hook's Revenge

Lucky for me there will be a sequel...

Heidi SchulzAbout the Author:

 Heidi Schulz is a writer, reader, and giraffe suspicioner. Her debut novel for middle grade readers, HOOK’S REVENGE, will be published by Disney•Hyperion on September 16, 2014. A sequel, HOOK'S REVENGE: THE PIRATE CODE, will follow in fall of 2015. Bloomsbury Kids will publish her picture book debut, GIRAFFES RUIN EVERYTHING, in 2016. She lives in Oregon with her husband, their teen daughter, a terrible little dog, and five irascible chickens.
Heidi is represented by Brooks Sherman of The Bent Agency.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1)

Author: Marissa Meyer
Goodreads Rating: 4.11
Pages: 390
Format: Final Copy
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Open Road Summer

Title: Open Road Summer
Author: Emery Lord
Goodreads Rating: 3.95 Stars
Format: Finished Copy from Bloomsbury

After breaking up with her bad-news boyfriend, Reagan O’Neill is ready to leave her rebellious ways behind. . . and her best friend, country superstar Lilah Montgomery, is nursing a broken heart of her own. Fortunately, Lilah’s 24-city tour is about to kick off, offering a perfect opportunity for a girls-only summer of break-up ballads and healing hearts. But when Matt Finch joins the tour as its opening act, his boy-next-door charm proves difficult for Reagan to resist, despite her vow to live a drama-free existence. This summer, Reagan and Lilah will navigate the ups and downs of fame and friendship as they come to see that giving your heart to the right person is always a risk worth taking. A fresh new voice in contemporary romance, Emery Lord’s gorgeous writing hits all the right notes.

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