Thursday, April 30, 2009

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Fire of Ares

Lysander feels like he's been cheated by life. He's a slave in Sparta. He hopes for a better life as he breaks his back working in the fields to earn food for himself and his sickly mother. The field worker cheats him out of his rations. Lysander doesn't know where to turn or what to do; he keeps thinking there must be something better out there. The only item of worth he owns is the necklace he wears under his shirt. When someone sees that; it could mean trouble for him. While Lysander protects his life and his necklace, someone recognizes it.
Lysander finds out that he's half-Spartan. He meets his grandfather who insists that his grandson be live at the Spartan school - where all the boys are turned into warriors. However, he's an outcast at the school because of his mixed blood. Everyone hates him, except one boy. Outcasts together, they attempt to keep up with the other students and learn how to fight. Will Lysander ever be accepted? Or will he have to prove his worth the Spartan way?

First in a series and a great tale for anyone loving the ancient world. The battle and action scenes make this an easy sell for boy readers. Plus the cover's so inviting.

Here's the second cover:

Monday, April 27, 2009

Great Call of China

Cece's spending the summer in China - the nation of her birth. She was adopted when she was 2 years old. For her, it's more than just coming home; she's out to find her beginnings. While there, she's enrolled in the S.A.S.S. summer program. She's really looking forward to digging up the history of China and learning all that she can. Plus it doesn't hurt that she's caught the eye of the cutest boy in the program. Her roommate is a bit of a flake. Her expectations of China didn't prepare her for reality, but she's still having the time of her life. She's just not sure if she's brave enough to tackle finding out about her past. Will she miss her one chance?

I LOVE the S.A.S.S. series, each is written in a different place with a different author. I confess, I look for each new one. This one was awesome - heart wrenching (I did shed some tears). I love the culture shock and the friendships formed. Plus the Wall scene REALLY made me want to do the same thing - great writing!

Check out the author Cynthea Liu's site for more details, including an awesome video.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Chatting with Jessica Burkhart (with a side of Friday Flair)

Welcome Jessica, Glad you could join us. Let's get started.

1. What made you choose to write? I used to be an equestrian until I had a spinal fusion for scoliosis. I needed a new hobby, so I started writing while I recovered. It soon became my favorite thing to do and went waaay behind just being something I did for fun.

Where did you get the idea for Take the Reins? I thought about my dreams when I was in middle school. I'd always wanted to compete on an equestrian team with my friends. I moved a lot as a kid and I knew what being the new girl was like. I injected that into my equestrian story and Take the Reins came to life.

2. Where do you write best?

Definitely in the living room on the couch. Or on my bed.

3. Is there a topic you’ve always wanted to write about?

I’ve got a new tween series idea kicking around in my brain—I don’t want to spoil it, so I won’t share yet. But I’m also working on a couple of ideas for YA readers. They’re dark and gritty—very different from Canterwood.

Sounds interesting. Very Interesting.

4. What was the last book you’ve read that you’ve been recommending to everyone?

I’m reading two ARCs right now that I won’t shut up about—Dani Noir by Nova Ren Suma and Devon Delaney Should Totally Know Better by Lauren Barnholdt. Both are *amazing* and they keep distracting me from work.

5. How do you get your ideas? Do you use real events in your novels and if so, can you describe one?

I get my best ideas when I try to think of what I loved to read when I was a tween. My favorite way to plot Canterwood is to have brainstorming sessions with Editor K where we toss ideas back and forth to find the best ones that will work for the series. It’s so fun when we have that “ah-hah!” moment and come up with something that’s perfect for Canterwood.

A real life event occurs in the first chapter of Take the Reins when Charm shies and gets loose at school. I had a horse bolt away from me at a stable once and run down the driveway. That’s terrifying!

6. Will there be more than eight Canterwood Crest novels?

The series is planned to stop at eight, but if there’s interest in more books, I’d absolutely love to write them. I adore my characters and could write 50 books about Canterwood. I’m so attached to the entire Canterwood world!

I hope there's more than eight, it's easy to become addicted to them. I read the first two in a weekend and immediately wanted Behind the Bit!

7. I’ve seen the covers on your website and they’re awesome, did you have any say in them?

I was lucky enough to be at both photo shoots for the covers. The fantastic group of people who worked on my covers encouraged my input and that was exciting. Photo shoots are sooo much fun and being able to watch your characters come to life is an amazing experience for a writer.

This one's my favorite.

That's awesome to be able to be a part of the shoot. I've heard that some authors don't have a say in their covers. Check out the covers here. (If you like reading about book cover's check out Melissa's blog for Cover Stories)

8. Are all the books written? If not, do you know plot points for all of them?

Nope, I’ve written five of the eight and only have a brief idea of where future books are going. I like to have a little spontaneity in the books and I’m never quite sure until I outline it how things are going to work out.

I bet that's both a lot of fun and a bit stressful at the same time.

9. How do you come up with your titles?

I’ve come up with a couple of titles, but the credit has to go to Editor K for most of them. She comes up with the best titles and when she asks my opinion, there’s never been one where I had to even think about it. They’re perfect for the series.

10. Name a celebrity, you’d love to have as a BFF

For a day, I’ve gotta go with R Pattz. (A guy can be a BFF, right?!)

Of Course! I have several - though they're not celebrities!

11. Listing if your favorites:

Type of shoe: boots

Candy: sour gummies

Pizza topping: toss up between cheese and pepperoni

Genre of books: contemporary

Singer and/or Song: JT

Restaurant: Southern Hospitality

TV show /Movie: Mean Girls

Color: Pink

Lip Gloss: anything sparkly

13. I hear you’re addicted to lip gloss. Is there a flavor that you wish someone would make?

Ooooh, fun question! Chocolate mousse would be awesome!

I'd use that! I'm addicted myself, but I think you have me beat!

14. What was it like to start college at 16?

Intense, but a great experience. It gave me what I needed to start my career early and I never regretted going to college at a younger age.

Here's a picture of Charm: Sasha Silver's horse

For more info check out Jessica's Blog and Canterwood's Website

Plus add flair:

Take the Reins: It took me a little bit to track down this book, but I was happy I did.
Sasha Silver is ready for more. She's enrolled in Canterwood Crest, a serious riding school. But in the first hour, she looses control of her frighten horse - causing an accidental spill. In doing so, she made her first enemy. Luckily, Sasha adores her roommate, Paige, who isn't involved in the equestrian side of school. Canterwood Crest is a huge step up from her previous riding experiences. Sasha hopes that she can live up to the school's reputation and her riding instructors expectations. After her first die, it's clear that Sasha can handle the riding portion of school. However, Heather's not used to sharing the spotlight. She senses competition from Sasha and it becomes her personal mission to take Sasha down. Sasha never dreamed she's have to deal with mean girls on top of challenging classes, long riding lessons, and competing to make the advance riding team. She's determined to come out on top, but first she has to go through Heather.

Chasing Blue:
Sasha's finally fitting in at Caterwood Crest. She wouldn't want to be anywhere else, especially since things are starting to heat up between her and Jacob. But could there be trouble in paradise? Heather's noticed Sasha's crush and she's doing everything possible to put doubts in Sasha's head. Sasha's trying to juggle her feelings for Jacob on top of dealing with Heather, a major horse competition, school work, and helping Paige win her dream of becoming a TV chef. There's only so much a girl can do. Plus the riding team starts working out in pairs; Sasha and Heather are assigned as one team. Could things get any worse? Will Sasha be focused enough on her riding skills to seriously compete in this competition or will her A game be thrown off by all her drama?

This series is a Saddle Club meets the Clique in a seriously fun and addicting read. Sasha could be your best friend: she's smart, but relaxing and knows how to have a good time. Plus she's determined and can hold her own against Heather. While she might not always like Heather (or her comments), she can sympathize with her. She's a great character that shows depth and wisdom.

DFTBA: what does it mean?

If you're a Nerdfighter or followers of the Green Brothers (John and Hank), you might already know this. But in case you don't, Hank made a video.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day:

There's lots going around about going green and saving resources.
Here's some tips from READERGIRLZ
Here some tips from I <3 Daily
have more tips- post them in the comments.

I just bought another tote bag today:
To use for store items and whatnot.

Book Meme

I saw this over at Diane Peterfreund's blog today and it looked like great fun!

1. What author do you own the most books by?

Hmmm, a quick glance at my bookshelves reveals J.K. Rowling, Meg Cabot, and Janet Evanovich

2. What book do you own the most copies of?

None - all single copies

3. What fictional character are you secretly in love with?

Mr Darcy. Need I say more.

4. What book have you read more than any other?

Oh, that's a hard one. Emily of New Moon most likely

5. What was your favorite book when you were ten years old?

No idea. Seriously. But thinking....Tales of Fourth Grade Nothing.

6. What is the worst book you’ve read in the past year?

I've come to the conclusion that I need no longer to be compelled to read entire books that I hate. I just give up if it doesn't hook me. There's way to many good ones out there to waste my time.

7. What is the best book you’ve read in the past year?

God. This one's hard too. The Hunger Games, Graceling, Eon: Dragoneye Reborn, Purge, Map of the Known World, Sophomore Switch, Almost Astronauts, The Season, and Ransom My Heart

8. If you could tell everyone you tagged to read one book, what would it be?

A Game of Thrones

9. What is the most difficult book you’ve ever read?

James Joyce. Never understood a word he said.

10. Do you prefer the French or the Russians?

French. Loved Count of Monte Cristo - though I've always wanted to read War and Peace....

11. Shakespeare, Milton or Chaucer?


12. Austen or Eliot?

Austen. Hands down. But I do like Eliot too.

13. What is the biggest or most embarrassing gap in your reading?

Nonfiction/Boy books. I'm a girly girl - which isn't always best for my job.

14. What is your favorite novel?

Hard to say, but I'm going with Game of Thrones plus Pride and Prejudice.

Yes, I know they are completely different books.

15. Plays?


16. Poem?

If it's a novel in verse - sure. Sandell, Sones, Hopkins, Grover = all great.

17. Essay?

Not really.

18. Non Fiction

Let Me Play, Almost Astronauts, Our Eleanor... plus crafty books.

19. Graphic Novel?

Breaking Up and the Harlequin Pink series.

20. Science Fiction?

I get into trouble here because I classify Vamp books as SF. And they're to hard to choose from - loving Morganville Vampire, Blue Bloods, and Vampire Academy series.

So Generation Dead - non vampire

22. Fantasy?
Song of Ice and Fire (1st book = Game of Thrones) Which is going be to a series on HBO - filming starts in October! (squeals with Glee)

23. Who is your favorite writer?

again, several - so I'm listing the top: George R.R. Martin, Jane Austen, Meg Cabot, J.K. Rowling, Janet Evanovich and L.M. Montgomery.

24. What are you reading right now?
Just finished a book this morning (Gorgeous by Rachel Vail.)

25. Favorite Genre:

Teen books, chick lit, mysteries, craft books,and spy novels are all my faves

Monday, April 20, 2009

Gossip Girl Spinoff:

I <3 Brittany Snow. Curious to Lily's wild child days though and where it will lead in the rumored series about her scandals...

News about House of Night

Kristen and P.C. Cast made an appearance on Rachael Ray today. Check them out here and also find out a bunch of cool news!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Sophomore Switch

Tasha and Emily couldn’t be more different, but each wants to escape their social nightmares. Tasha needs to hide out from the tabloid drama and Emily needs to nurse her broken heart. They swap lives: Natasha heads to Oxford and Emily heads to UC Santa Barbara.
The only problem – they’ve each already signed up for classes. So Natasha’s stuck taking feminist courses and Emily’s stuck learning about film. Neither of them fit in, until they lean on each other for a bit of advice. Both girls start to dress more appropriately, Natasha with preppy clothes and Emily with fewer layers. Slowly, things start to turn around for both girls.

Natasha embraces her classes and becomes determined to change people’s mind about her. She joins in the rally to save the Women’s Health Center. Emily learns how to relax and let go of her control freakiness.

Is the new found happiness about to come crashing down when their responsibilities resurface?

SOPHOMORE SWITCH is a great novel on several levels. It's a great tale of two girls switching lives and broadening their horizons and examining the question of feminism. The story especially delves deeply into the topic of what makes a feminist - can a girl have fun and still desire equality for women?

This book was reviewed for where it achieved:

Plus, here's a book trailer too! Take a look:

Friday, April 17, 2009

Kiss of Life

Phoebe's trying to adjust to life after Adam's death - and zombie return. She doesn't really know how to act around him, but she tries desperately to make him happy. He's having a hard time getting back his range of movements and talking normally again. Still, she wants to be there. Adam thinks differently, he wants her to live again - not to be consumed with the guilt she feels. But he can't find the words to express his thoughts.
Phoebe also feels guilty about Tommy. She knows he still has feelings for her, but she can't even wrap her head around her own emotions. All she knows is that she needs to be strong for Adam. When Tommy decides to leave and trek across the country educating people about zombies, Phoebe knows its for the best but she can't help feeling hurt by his actions. Can she find herself again and still be with Adam?

A love triangle becomes messy with 2 undead boys and one living girl, but it also equals a fabulous zombie romance. But there's much more to this book than romance. People are afraid of the undead and start attacking them. It's starting to happen in Oakville. Tensions are rising and it might be time for the Zombies to fight for their way of life - which makes for an interesting take on prejudice.

Dan Waters was featured in this month's SLJ (School Library Journal) in a freaky article "Blogging from Beyond the Grave". Find out how he does it....

Being Nikki: sneak peak

If you loved AIRHEAD and hated the cliff hanger ending, you're in luck. Meg Cabot posted a preview of the book which will be in stores May 5th. READ IT HERE

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Happy Teen Literature Day

How I love Teen Lit: Let me count the ways:

1. Vampires
2. Snarky Girls
3. Girls who Kick Butt
4. Spies
5. Demons
6. Witches
7. Historical Romance - esp in Jane Austen era
8. Realistic tales
9. Mysteries
10. Good vs. Evil

I know I could go on all day about teen lit and why I love it, but I'll just stop there. It boils down to, I have the best job in the world and people who work with teens ROCK! So chat up your friendly teen librarian today.

Happy National Library Week pt. 2

10 former Librarians you might never have guessed:
(I only knew 2)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Bite Me:

Happy Birthday to me: On my 18th birthday, my little sister sneaked into the back of the truck while I went hunting for vampires. The result? Two angry parents who kicked me out of the house for being a bad influence on sixteen year old Jen. Now I'm on my own with out any idea where to live and no friends. My parents have kept her out of public school because I'm not your average girl. There's a demon inside me that can make me do crazy things, especially around the opposite gender. I mostly keep the demon under control, except for the occasional vampire kill. Not sure where to turn one minute, and the next minute I have a smart mouth hell hound for a friend. Together we decided to forces our way into a special forces police unit interested in taking down vampires. Although I prefer to work alone, the chief sets me up with Dan. He sets me up with a living situation as his sister needs a roommate. I don't need charity, but he seems to want to be friends. If only I can keep my demon side to myself, this could work out. What I don't realize is that while we're trying to take down vamps, my sister has been showing my picture to every vamp in town claiming I'm the next Buffy. It's beginning to get on my nerves - more so when I realize she's moved out of the house and is living with vampires running the blood bank. It's an interesting idea, but I'm not sure I trust the head vampire running the place. We're keeping an eye out on them and making sure nothing happens to Jen. But she's not exactly stepping away from danger. This could get messy....

Parker Blue creates a new vamp book with the kick-butt smart and snarky attitude of Buffy in Val and an awesome side-kick dog who can talk. It's perfect for teens craving more vampire books or those who love dark paranormal tales. And who can resist the title?

Interested? Read Chapter One

Morbid or awesome?


I can't decide...but I think I'm leaning more towards awesome.

* seen on bookshelves of doom

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Happy National Library Week

To all my fellow librarians, this post is for you. Here's a short celebration of librarians in movies from EW. There are two I'd like to add - Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade:

along with Rupert Giles from Buffy:Here are some best librarian picks from them

Monday, April 13, 2009

Highway to Hell: 5 stars

Maggie and Lisa are doing Spring Break – if only so Maggie can get a newspaper article out of it. On the way there, they run over a dead cow in the middle of the road, which damages the car. The closest town
isn’t too far away, but it’s a town in the middle of nowhere – and it takes some time to get the parts required. While they wait, they discover that something’s not right in the town. Animals are dying…and not naturally. Legend surrounds the town of a creature in history that might be back.
For Maggie and Lisa, fighting demons isn’t new. They begin to investigate. However, not everyone takes kindly to their nosiness and not everyone is willing to talk. Things quickly get worse. Animals aren’t the only ones getting hurt. It’s time to take action, even if it means going against very important people in town. Can Maggie and Lisa survive another fight with demons?

HIGHWAY TO HELL continues the fight of Maggie against demons, with her fabulous sidekick Lisa and her trusty white knight, Justin. The once-again solid friendship between Maggie and Lisa fills the story with tension and humor. This is a fabulous supernatural series that will leave readers wanting more.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Map of the Known World: Gold Star

Anger and pain consume Cora; they have since last year when her brother died. Now her family’s broken, barely speaking to each other and barely surviving. Nate’s the one who died, but Cora feels the brunt of her parent’s disappointment, sadness, and anger. She’s not allowed out after dark, she must come straight home from school, and she can’t get into a car without aparent’s approval. All summer long, she’s spent the days inside her room imagining the places in the world she’d rather be, while drawing maps and pictures of her travels. Now she must face reality and start high school.

She doesn’t enter as an unknown, but as the sister of her dead brother. Everyone knew Nate, but not everyone liked him. Cora’s just trying to survive, but along the way her heart opens. She talks to her brother’s best friend, who was in the car that night, and things change. He shows her a side of her brother she didn’t know.

Lisa Ann Sandell writes a breathtakingly beautiful and heart-wrenching novel that will haunt you long after you’re finished.

As you can see, I loved this book. I gave it the GOLD STAR award.

Plus, I made flair for it:

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Rick Riordan

Last Friday, Jill (the Children's Librarian) and I went to an outing for librarians, where we got to see Rick Riordan! If you don't know who he is, he's the author of the Percy Jackson series plus the first author of the 39 Clues book: Maze of Bones. He also writes adult mysteries, which I need to get my hands on.

He gave a presentation that included several amusing stories:

This is his first rejection letter: at the age of nine. His mom framed it. She still has it.

This is the manuscript for his first novel. 14 seemed to be the magic number because that's both the number of drafts to make it into his manuscript and also the number of rejections before it found a home. Here's the cover art for that book - it's the first in an adult series.

He wrote this book because his son made him. It started after he told his son all the Greek mythology stories he knew. His son pestered him for more. When he said he didn't know any more, his son demanded that he make one up. Here's the first cover for the Lightning Thief. It didn't make the cut - too boring.

He sent in the Lighting Thief under a pseudonym for fear that his younger readers would find his adult series. That also changed. When he realized it would be a 5 book series, he knew that he had to give up teaching middle school. There was no way to write two books/year as it hard enough writing one while teaching.

Here we are together after he signed my book and t-shirt (never washing again)

Here he is with Jill

I also won a raffle which included: 2 play aways (giving to the library), one 39 Clues back pack (Will be a summer prize) and 2 copies of the first three Percy Jackson books all signed (Jill and I are each taking one and the rest will be prizes for the summer.)

I also have a picture of Rick posing with the 39 Clues book which I will be making into a READ poster shortly.

It was a great day! He's awesome - really nice and funny!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

10 Things I Hate About You

It's Shakespeare Month at the Otis Library. We're having LOTS of programs (As usual) and some are Shakespeare based. We have our display in the atrium featuring Shakespeare's work, biographies, and modern adaptations of his work.

For Adults: we're showing the movie Shakespeare in Love on April 14th at 6 pm in the Community Room.

For 4th and 5th graders: we're hosting a Shakespeare Scavenger Hunt on Thursday the 16th from 1-2 (during school vacation week)

For Teens, we're showing the movie 10 Things I Hate About You ( based The Taming of the Shrew). This movie is also in the news, due to a remake from ABC Family. They'll be turning it into a series.

At the end of the month, we'll be ending our celebration with an author visit. Elise Broach, author of Nutmeg Nominee, Shakespeare's Secret will be speaking to families about her writing process and the mystery surrounding Shakespeare's Identity. She's coming on April 29th at 6:30.

Pride and Prejudice: The Graphic Novel

As I was reading my roundup of blogs this week, something at NineTeen caught my eye. I'm a sucker for Jane Austen and adore reading books set in the same period (The Season, Petite Four, and Bewitching Season) Marvel is making Pride and Prejudice into a graphic novel. Here's more news if you're interested - including some graphics. There's even a picture of Mr. Darcy. I know that I'll be reading it...

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Season

Alex is dreading "the Season." Her mother can't wait to introduce her to society and find her a suitable match. Alex isn't interested in marriage, she doesn't want to be on display or hide her intelligence. Between her three brothers teasing her; she sure it will be a disaster - despite the fact that she has beautiful gowns to wear. Her two BFFs Ella and Vivi help her navigate the waters. Soon she's dancing with friends of her brothers, out riding with her honorary brother, and making social calls. At first, it's exciting and horrifying at the same time, but then, Alex begins to look at Gavin (her honorary brother) in a different light. She never noticed how handsome he was before. But things are different between the two of them all of a sudden - first, his father just died suddenly, making him an earl and secondly, they've been fighting about suitors. Gavin believes that his father's death wasn't an accident. He wants to proof it. Alex tries to help him, but he pushes her away. Can he really be the "one," or is Alex imagining that he feels anything more for her than a sisterly affection?

The Season is Sarah MacLean's first novel - and she's found her niche as she perfectly combines the romance of the Regency Era with a mystery. I'm already looking forward to her next book. I'm wishing that this book is part of a trilogy, each featuring the three friends and their pursuit of romance in society.

Interested? Check out the author's blog too.