Thursday, May 28, 2009

Flair Friday: Jane Austen

Continuing our theme from yesterday's interview, here's some flair for all you Jane Austen fans out there.

Chatting with Mandy Hubbard!

Welcome to YABookNerd, thanks for chatting with me Mandy. Let's get started!

1. What made you choose to write? And why YA specifically?
I was really bored one day, and found a site called It’s a place where users create accounts and then write fiction, uploading it one chapter at a time for feedback. After reading a lot of fics, I decided to try my own. I wrote for years on the site without once thinking, “I want to be published.”

Eventually I read a regency romance and fell so hard, it made me want to write one and get published as well. I tried to snag an agent with that one, but just received rejections. I moved onto another project about three girls in their early twenties, because that was how old I was. When I signed an agent, she recommended we change it to YA because that’s how my voice read.

Once I started writing YA, I never looked back—this is definitely where I want to be!

I love regency novels. I'm very partial to Jane Austen, but I do gravitate towards Regency in general.

2. Where do you write best?
Ideally, in my home office with no one else home and all day to burn. Unfortunately that never happens, and I end up writing on the train or in a sandwich shop during my lunch break.

3. Is there a topic you’ve always wanted to write about?
Tudor England is a recent fascination of mine. I’d love to send a modern teen there! I’m also dying to set a book on a dairy farm and write a really tough-girl character.

4. What was the last book you’ve read that you’ve been recommending to everyone?
It seems like all my recent favs were ARCs and thus aren’t available (HATE LIST and A MATCH MADE IN HIGH SCHOOL are a couple.) My favorite “available now” recent read is GOING TOO FAR by Jennifer Echols.

Loved Going too Far. I'll have to keep my eyes open for the other two.

5. How do you get your ideas?
I get my ideas everywhere. A line in a song, a “what-if” game, a twist on a current event… I have a list of over thirty ideas and growing. Most of them will never be written.

Wow, that's awesome. Looking forward to hearing more about that list...

6. Do you use real events in your novels and if so, can you describe one?
I don’t use real events, per se, but I definitely incorporate little lines or actions that are reminiscent of real life. My husband was really amused when he read my book because he said he could “see” me in it. For example, when someone is really rich, I jokingly say, “those people have more money than necessary.” When Callie first sees Harksbury—a palace of sorts- she says just that.

7. Is there another project in the works? Can you tell us more about it?
I’m working on a few top secret YA projects, and hope to share news on them soon. My next confirmed release will be a June 2010 Novella for Harlequin’s Nascar Romance line. The heroine in my story is only 20, so my older readers should be comfortable reading that one!

Sounds fun. I do wish there were more book for readers in their twenties. Great that you're writing one!

8. How do you come up with your titles?
I have no idea!
Titles are SO huge with me, and sometimes I have trouble if a book doesn’t have a name. Prada & Prejudice was originally titled “HOW TO SNAG A DUKE (and Other Things I Learned in College)". I was playing with this instant-message-bot (which is like a magic 8-ball, only it has more answers) and it said my title was really bad. Somehow I ended up thinking up Prada & Prejudice. The title became such a hit with editors that they wanted the book to follow the title, and I had to make the shoes a bigger focal point!

V. Funny! - love that answer. It's a clever title.

9. Are there any authors you’d love to meet? Yes, tons! Ally Carter, Sarah Dessen, Alyson Noel, Kieran Scott, Lauren Myracle…. I could go on all day.

Me too! Love meeting authors, but at times I become a wicked fan girl. It's sometimes embarrassing, but always fun too.

10. Tell me a little bit about Prada and Prejudice.
It’s about a fifteen year old girl who trips in her Prada heels—and wakes up in 1815. I think its pure fun, fast-paced, a beach read type of book. But I am partial.

Sounds great. SO looking forward to reading it! Plus the cover rocks.

11. What made you choose Pride and Prejudice?
When I set out to write PRADA & PREJUDICE, I wasn’t basing it off of Pride & Prejudice at all. I just plunked a modern girl into 1815 and made up my own story. The Prada that will hit shelves is a product of A LOT of revising. One editor in particular really helped create today’s book because she felt that I should “envoke” more of Pride & Prejudice. I kept my original plot ideas, but started over from scratch and kept Austen in mind when approaching individual scenes. I think I ended up meshing the two together. Hopefully. My biggest fear is that diehard Austen fans will pick it apart for not living up to Pride & Prejudice—which it can never do! Austen is far more talented than I could ever be. But I hope readers enjoy Prada anyhow.

I love reading Austen based novels. I think each author brings something new and fresh to the tale.

12. Who’s your favorite Pride and Prejudice minor character?
I think Mr. Bennet is adorable. I love the opening scene, when he’s totally messing with Elizabeth’s mother. The poor man could go crazy with all those women, but he creates his own entertainment instead!

13. Listing if your favorites:
Candy: Lindt truffles
Pizza topping: Hawaiian
Genre of books: YA, heavy on the romance
Singer and/or Song: Taylor Swift. Any of her songs!
Restaurant: Olive Garden or Taco Del Mar
TV show /Movie: Empire Records
Color: Green

Thanks for hanging out me Mandy!

For more details on Mandy, check out her site and her blog
For more details about the book, check out the site

Plus, add the facebook flair and spread the love

Geek Girl's Guide to Cheerleading

Everyone knows there are hierarchies in high school, but what happens when you infiltrate one? Bethany and her BFF, Moni, decide to try out for the cheerleading squad -mostly as a joke. When they actually make it, they're stunned, but no more so than their friends and family. Cheerleading involves so many rules, but Bethany's questions aren’t answered in the massive rule book. What happens when your best guy friend is mad that you've turned cheerleader? Why does the most popular guy in school start talking to you? Does he actually like you? When will the rest of the cheerleaders treat you as one of them? Bethany and Moni are almost humiliated when they show up to cheer at a wrestling match and no one else for the team is there. Instead of giving up, the girls cheer through the match, though it's hard when you don't understand the rules of wrestling. But that match just might have gotten them noticed by two super-hot guys. Now they're both dating boys, but also trying to navigate through the waters of high school without being attacked by a shark.

Charity Tahmaseb and Darcy Vance team up to create a world where geeks mix with the popular crowd. While the characters bring up several social questions, the story is really just pure fun.

Read the first chapter HERE

Stay tuned in June for the authors go on a blog tour. Yes, they'll be stopping by here!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Lovestruck Summer

Quinn loves music so much so that she calls up her favorite music label late one night and offers herself us a summer intern. It's perfect because the label's in Texas, right where her cousin has a condo. She can't wait to spend her last summer before college on the music scene. Quinn's in for a rude awakening. First off the girl who meets her at the airport, isn't the girl she remembers. Instead Penny's become a sorority girl. Second, the intern position is already filled, but Quinn squeaks by helping out during the busy days. That leaves her with days to fill, trying to escape her cousin. She's searching for the perfect summer fling and she's found a smoking hot DJ that fits her ideal. But she's been spending a lot of the time with Penny's neighbor who is infuriating but nice at the same time. He takes Quinn out on adventures all over Austin. He mocks her seriousness towards music - forcing her to listen to country of all things. Quinn's not sure if she hates him or if it could be something else entirely.

Melissa Walker's new book take a different approach from her Violet series, but it's the perfect summer romance novel. Music combined with romance, friendship, and trying new things leaves Quinn a summer she'll never forget.

Melissa is all over the web these days:
Interviews: with Linda Gerber, with YA Fresh, and with Lucienne Diver

Plus Melissa does this awesome posts on her blog called COVER STORIES, check out hers.

Plus, Check out the booktrailer I made:

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Display Ideas Page for Librarians/Bookstores

Looking for some book display ideas?

Check out the NEW page on our Eastern CT YA Librarian's page for a list of topics and potential props!

Superheroes and Contest

Here's my superhero. Cool Huh?
Want to make one for yourself? Go Here
And if you go here with your own superhero, you can win a new book!
Have fun!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Storm Glass

Opal studies at the Keep with the other magicians. She doesn't feel she's living up to expectations. She continues with her glass making skills at a shop outside of the Keep, creating animals that help the magicians communicate from a distance. While making glass figurines, which helps her relax, she's urgently called back to the Keep. There's a problem with the Stormdancer's Orbs. They're shattering, killing the Stormdancers and making it impossible to fill the orbs with energy. Opal must travel there to discover the why the glass is shattering. While there are other glass experts, it's possible that the glassmaker used magic to enhance the orbs. Opal must leave immediately to help solve the situation. During the journey, Opal and her magician companion are attacked; it's clear that someone doesn't want the Stormdancer's Orbs working or maybe someone just wants to steal the secret recipe for themselves. Opal must be careful not to reveal too much information to anyone, unless she wants her life to be in severe danger. Can she solve the Stormdancer's problem and help them fill the orbs before it's too late or will she be stopped?

Opal's adventure is set in the same world as Yelena from Poison Study, Magic Study, and Fire Study. Characters overlap in the series, extending knowledge from the previous series. It's good to read the previous books prior to this series, but it isn't necessary. I really enjoyed reading about the workings of glass blowing. It's something I've always wanted to try. Opal's tale is just as addicting with danger, romance, betrayal, jealous, and magic. It's hard to put this book down, it's so addicting. I'm already eagerly awaiting the next installment of the tale - which comes out Sept 1st of this year. Check out the cover:

Over the weekend, I saw Angels and Demons. I liked the movie. It was different than the Da Vinci Code, but perhaps a little better.
It was funny, serious, and action oriented all at the same time with a double twist at the end that I had forgotten about since reading the book.
Things I really liked: the art as clues, the hidden chapel, and all the tunnels from the Vatican City. Plus the amazing job the crew did to make it LOOK like they filmed in Vatican City.
I REALLY liked: The Vatican archives - how cool would it be to explore in there for a few weeks.
Things I didn't like: The security at the Vatican - very lax. plus - the destruction of such an old and amazing document.
Overall: a good movie - something I would watch again.