blo Teens Read and Write: January 2010

Sunday, January 31, 2010

New Book Added & Author Interviews: What Questions Do You Have? (Contest Points)

**Giveaway ALERT! A comment on this post (within 7 days of post date) gets you 5 extra entries in our MegaBook Giveaway. If you haven't entered yet, go to the contest post (or click on the contest link on the upper right sidebar) to enter! Good luck!

We've got a couple of exciting interviews coming up. Both Libba Bray and Leslie Livingston are being generous enough to do interviews with us!

We're so excited! Thank you, ladies!

As you know we already have
Darklight by Lesley Livingston in the contest but will also be adding a separate contest for Darklight to coincide with the interview. (Thank you, Karen.)

Going Bovine by Libba Bray is now the latest book added in the MegaBook Giveaway. (Thank you, Tracey.)

We are thrilled to be talking to both of these f
antastic authors and we'd like your input.

We know what we'd like to ask but what questions would you like us to ask?

What do you want to know about
authors in general?

What do you want to know about Ms. Bray and Ms. Livingston in particular?

In case you aren't familiar with t
hese books, here the synopsises (or synopsis -es, or synopsizes... How in the heck do you pluralize the word synopsis?) Oh, well, here are a couple of plot blurbs.

"Much has changed since autumn, when Kelley Winslow learned she was Faerie royalty, fell in love with changeling guard Sonny Flannery, and saved New York City from a rampaging Faerie war band. When a terrifying encounter in Central Park sends Kelley tumbling into the Otherworld, her reunion with Sonny is joyful—but cut short. For they’ve been plunged into a game of Faerie deception and wavering allegiances in which the next move could topple a kingdom...or part them forever.

Cameron Smith, 16, is slumming through high school, overshadowed by a sister “pre-majoring in perfection,” while working (ineptly) at the Buddha Burger. Then something happens to make him the focus of his family's attention: he contracts mad cow disease. What takes place after he is hospitalized is either that a gorgeous angel persuades him to search for a cure that will also save the world, or that he has a vivid hallucination brought on by the disease.

Either way, what readers have is an absurdist comedy in which Cameron, Gonz
o (a neurotic dwarf) and Balder (a Norse god cursed to appear as a yard gnome) go on a quixotic road trip during which they learn about string theory, wormholes and true love en route to Disney World.

We're really looking forward to your input!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Contest Update: Latest Books Added (Giveaway Points Post)

**Giveaway ALERT! A comment on this post (within 7 days of post date) gets you 5 extra entries in our MegaBook Giveaway. If you haven't entered yet, go to the contest post (or click on the contest link on the upper right sidebar) to enter! Good luck!

We're having a tough time keeping up! And it's a great problem to have. Thanks for all the support!

First a Happy Birthday wish with lots
of love and hugs to Jake.

He is a whopping 17 years old today! We took him to the movies to see When in Rome (very cute and Josh Duhamel is such an adorable hottie!) and we'll be eating cake shortly!

In contest news - We made it to 600 followers so four more winners added which brings us up to 12 total and the books...

Firespell by Chloe Neill was a favorite so it's in!

Then we've got a book from a series that Jake and Gregory enjoy, Stormbreaker
by Anthony Horowitz, the first in the Alex Ryder MI6 super spy series. We are also just ordered this video from Netflix and we'll let you know how it it. It's a 2006 British Indie film. Hope it's good!

Next we have a 2 in 1 book of the Gifted series by Marilyn Kaye. The volume has both
Out of Sight Out of Mind and Better Late ThanNever.

And here's a fairy tale that debuted in late 2oo9. Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire. October "Toby" Daye, a changeling who is half human and half fae, has been an outsider from birth. After getting burned by both sides of her heritage, Toby has denied the Faerie world, retreating to a "normal" life. Unfortunately for her, the Faerie world has other ideas... "

Hope you like the picks and we should be adding even more books very soon. Be sure to ENTER and good luck to everyone!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Affiliate News, Interviews and Contests


Over at our affiliate, Bloody Bookaholic, the fan-tabulous Tashima has a great contest! You can win your choice of a Jeaniene Frost book from her Night Huntress Series. I haven't read them but I'm dying to because they sound like the kind of fun action packed urban fantasy that I love! Tashima did a killer interview and has lots of pics of beautiful people to ogle over. Enter HERE. It ends soon - Ends Feb 14 - hurry on over for your chance at a terrific Valentine's Day present!

She also has a fun post comparing UK vs US covers. Who are you gonna vote for?

The lovely Natalie over at our other Affiliate, Mindful Musings has been busy with school but she did have time for an interview with author Angie Frazier, who has her debut YA novel Everlasting coming out in June. It sounds very exciting and romantic. Here's the blurb:

Sailing aboard her father's ship is all seventeen-year-old Camille has ever wanted. But as a lady of society her future is set: marry a man she doesn't love or loose her social standing. On her last voyage before the wedding, Camille learns about a life-changing secret that lies in Australia. When their Sydney-bound ship goes down in a gale, and her father dies, Camille sets out to find her long-lost mother and a map that could lead to something even greater and more dangerous—a stone that can bring someone back the dead. Throughout her journey to uncover the truth, the only person that Camille can depend upon is Oscar—her father’s handsome first mate—whom she is inexplicably drawn to despite their differences in social class.
Along the way, Camille faces many treacherous obstacles, but nothing so dangerous as forbidden love and an uncertain future.

She also did two reviews on books in one of my favorite series: The Sookie Stackhouse novels, Dead as a Doornail, and Definitely Dead.

Natalie also had some great news. Jessica from Book Bound has become one of her new affiliates! Jessica has a fantastic blog and just happens to be giving away 5 copies of Charlaine Harris' From Dead to Worse: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel (but only to Canadians - you lucky guys). I love that series so be sure to visit Book Bound and ENTER the contest (if you live in Canada). Ends 2/4.

And of course you are welcome to enter our current MegaBook Giveaway. We will announce the latest book additions tomorrow - four more of the hottest new YA!

The EverAfter (Giveaway Points Post)

**Giveaway ALERT! A comment on this post (within 7 days of post date) gets you 5 extra entries in our MegaBook Giveaway. If you haven't entered yet, go to the contest post (or click on the contest link on the upper right sidebar) to enter! Good luck!

The Everafter

By Amy Huntley

Pub: 2009

249 pages


Madison Stanton doesn’t know where she is or how she got there. But she does know this—she is dead. And alone, in a vast, dark space. The only company she has in this place are luminescent objects that turn out to be all the things Maddy lost while she was alive.

And soon she discovers that with theses artifacts, she can re-experience—and sometimes even change—moments from her life: Her first kiss. A trip to Disney World. Her sister’s wedding. A disastrous sleepover. In reliving these moments, Maddy learns illuminating and sometimes frightening truths about her life—and death.

The story is told through the different vignettes of Madison going back to the moments when she lost a a particular item. At first it's just to experience being alive and seeing her loved ones but then she realizes she can use these moments to unravel the how ans why of her death.

The format is unusual.

It jumps back and forth from her dead self to times in her life where she can be anywhere in age from an infant to seventeen.The style was choppy and uncomfortable but I kept reading and got into the flow. I liked Maddy and felt compelled to go along for the ride, wanting fo find out more about her and how her life ended.

Humor and sadness weave in and out. Lots of Emily Dickinson references so if you like her poetry, you should really enjoy this book because it is clear the author is a fan.

The characters are believable but where I think Huntley really shines is making the various relationships realistic and honest - friends, rivals, sisters, boyfriend/girlfriend, parent/child.

This is paranormal, technically, but not in the usual sense.

Yes, you're reading about her as a ghost, but his is a story about Maddy's life and how she comes to understand herself and the people around her, with the side note of finding out the mystery of how she died. There's no woo-woo, creepy, haunting kind of stuff.

The author does put in life messages about, the afterlife and how you should live and enjoy your life when you are alive, but all that doesn't come in until the very end so it doesn't bog down the story and it isn't heavy handed. I thought the ending fell a bit flat but it wasn't a high energy kind of book anyway, and it didn't detract from my overall enjoyment.

While I wouldn't call it fantastic, I liked and recommend The EverAfter. There isn't a big time commitment- I finished it in a couple hours - so it's a fast read if not fast paced. The story weaves and lingers in a good way. If you have a short block of time and would like to finish an interesting and thought provoking book, give The EverAfter a whirl.

The Cover: I know this is a common style these days but I think it's beautiful.

First Line: I’m dead. Not my-parents-told-me-to-be-home-by-twelve-and-it’s-two-o’clock-now dead. Just dead. Literally. I think.
Fabulous first line! Great voice. I like the character immediately and am interested to read more. Well done Ms Huntley!

Author Sites:
Blog -

The EverAfter is available in our MegaBook Giveaway.

*** FYI, my ARC has the same cover art but the title is The After. They changed it to The EverAfter on the final books. Which title do you prefer?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Winning Wednesday Contest: Cost of Dreams (Giveaway Points Post)

Giveaway ALERT! A comment on this post (within 7 days of post date) gets you 5 extra entries in our MegaBook Giveaway. If you haven't entered yet, go to the contest post (or click on the contest link on the upper right sidebar) to enter! Good luck!

Cost of Dreams
by Gary Stelzer
pub: Oct 2009
296 pages

Flora Enriquez trusts that she has found safe haven for her young family in the remote U.S. Southwest, after fleeing the murderous environs of her homeland where her parents were slain in a civil war. Only to find that all of her life's greatest challenges, by far, still lie before her.

Cost of Dreams is an emotional roller coaster ride. Flora leaves a hellish homeland with her young siblings and thinks life in the US will be a wonderful dream. Unfortunately, she finds difficulties here as well. Throughout her life has to deal with so many hardships and heartbreak, at times
this is hard to read.

Drugs, extreme violence, kidnapping, murder, be
trayal all come into play but the beauty of this story is the triumph of the human spirit over adversity and pain. Flora faces so much nasty situations but just when you think she's beaten, her strong will shines and carries her through.

The pace of the story moves along well and sucks you in with interesting characters that are easy to care about (and some you don't). You're invested and want to find out what happens.

A very emotional read and at times just
plain brutal but Cost of Dreams is worth it. This is written for adults but I would recommend it for older teens. It has fabulous insights and positive lessons about strength, hope and determination.

The Cover: Doesn't grab me but the content is good.

First Line: Months later, Kate Bowman sat in her study at her Lake Michigan home and remembered with an agony the app
alling event that, like a splitting maul, cleaved her life into a divide of a before and after.
It lets you know you are in for an emo
tional story.

This is a worthy read and we thought
we'd offer it for Winning Wednesday contest!

You must:

1) Be a follower
2) Comment on this post
3) Fill Out the Form at the bottom of this post

It's international and ends Feb 7th. GOOD LUCK!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (1/26/10)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Here's what you do...

  • Grab your current read
  • flip to a random page
  • select a few sentences from anywhere on the page
  • try not to include any SPOILERS!
  • make sure you tell the name of book and the author so we can add the book to our TBR pile!

Please feel free to add your link below so it's easy for others to check out your posts!

Jake is Reading...

Blood Ninja by Nick Lake page 29

The wicked barbed steel of a shuriken whined through the air past Taro's head, nicking his ear. He fired an arrow that went wide, just as the good Ninja's blade struck in front of him, as quick and lethal as a snake, gutting a man who had been about to stab him with a dagger. Taro felt that the world and the air surrounding him had grown sharp edges, and waited only for him to fall on them.

Gregory is Reading...
The Faceless Ones by Derek Landy page 221

There was a moment of silence. "You're such an unbelievable show-off."

"I learned it all from you."

Skulduggery got out of the chair and took the journal from her. "I don't show off. I merely demonstrate by abilities at opportune times."

Alyssa is reading...

Ice by Sarah Beth Durst page 223

The vines had absorbed her pack, mukluks and all, like an amoeba. She wasn't likely to forget that. How was she supposed to escape from a living prison when a magical being was the jailer and she had no equipment and no supplies?

Remember you can get 5 extra points when you comment on a post (like this one) between now and the end end of the contest. Be sure to ENTER HERE if you haven't already. Good Luck!

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Dark Divine (Giveaway Points Post)

**And so the MegaBook Giveaway begins! Remember you can get 5 extra points when you comment on a post (like this one) between now and the end end of the contest. Be sure to ENTER HERE if you haven't already. Good Luck!

Let's start this MegaBook Giveaway with a review on a great new paranormal book by a debut author.

The Dark Divine by Bree Despain Pub: December 2009 384 pages

Grace Divine, daughter of the local pastor, always knew something terrible happened the night Daniel Kalbi disappeared--the night she found her brother Jude collapsed on the porch, covered in his own blood--but she has no idea what a truly monstrous secret that night held.

The memories her family has tried to bury resurface when Daniel re
turns, three years later, and enrolls in Grace and Jude's high school. Despite promising Jude she'll stay away, Grace cannot deny her attraction to Daniel's shocking artistic abilities, his way of getting her to look at the world from new angles, and the strange, hungry glint in his eyes.

The closer Grace gets to Daniel, the more she jeopardizes her life, as her actions stir resentment in Jude and drive him to embrace the ancient evil Daniel unleashed that horrific night. Grace must discover the truth behind the boy's dark secret...and the cure that can save the ones she loves. But she may have to lay down the ultimate sacrifice to do it--her soul.

Oh, yeah! So much fun to read! I heard an editor from Egmont talking about this book at a conference months ago and I've been dying to read it! So
happy it lived up to my expectations!

Grace is kind, caring, stubborn, and bossy. She's a people pleaser with a rebellious streak. It's very easy to connect with her. And Grace is put in a ton of weird, and complex situations that she handles well. I don't think I'd fare as well.

Daniel is
dark, mysterious, sexy and vulnerable. What a great recipe for a male romantic love interest, right? He's an excellent artist with an extremely trouble past that at times made me flinch. It is amazing this guy has turned so well.

I found it troublesome that those around Grace label Daniel as a Bad Boy. There is the 'dark' mystery in his past, but his present actions only show him to be a kind, helpful, quiet, generous guy. His romance with Grace is sweet and innocent rather than hot.

The Dark Divine is jam packed with good characterization and a well paced plot. I mean, this book never slowed, it just kept you on a steady fast ride all the way through.

While we're dealing with Grace's family complications, her feelings for D
aniel, her problems at school and her obligations to the parish, we're worried about all the people disappearing and the weird pet killings raging through the town.

One complaint would be that Grace's best friend, April, becomes one of those annoying BFF's that goes crazy for a guy, in this case, Grace's brother, Jude. It often seems like April is willing to choose trying for a chance with Jude over taking care of her friendship with Grace.

I would have also preferred if the paranormal element was introduced sooner. My love for paranormal is why I read this stuff so please give it to me sooner!

sooo wish to talk about the paranormal element, but that's a fun reveal lips are sealed -- more like my hands are tied.

I was a bit worried about Grace's dad being a pastor, but my fear was unwarranted. Selflessness and forgiveness are portrayed and talked about often but The Dark Divine didn't get preachy. This is a forbidden love kind of story, so every now and then, something winked "Twilight" to me, but Despain's story and characters are unique and I was quick to get over it.

Romance, mystery, suspense, the supernatural...if that's your cup of tea, then you should snap up
The Dark Divine.

The Cover: I love it with one caveat. I think her legs look odd. They're weirdly shaped and so skinny! But I like the colors, nail polish and flowing material.

First Lines: "Grace! You have got to see the new guy." April bounded up to me in the junior hallway.
Doesn't really catch my interest. That there's going to be a hot guy in the story is no big surprise.

Author's Website:

Have your own review of this book? Add the link here!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

550 Followers - More Books More Winners! (Giveaway Points Post)

Giveaway ALERT! If you've already entered the contest, a comment on this post (within 7 days of post date) gets you 5 extra entries in our MegaBook Giveaway. If you haven't entered yet, go to the contest post (or click on the contest link on the upper right sidebar) to learn about the giveaway and enter! Good luck!

We've reached 550 followers! And you know what
that means, more books and more winners! We now have eight winners and added 4 more books.

Your votes were clear so we're adding:

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting about a girl who can find the dead.

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher about escaping prisions.

The Awakening by Kelly Armstong. Her hot sequel to The Summoning about a girl who can raise the dead.

finally Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater with an amazing fairy love story.

Be sure to enter our contest to win these great books and many more!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

MegaBook Giveaway - The Sequel! (NOW CLOSED)

** Contest Updates on the books we've added and the current number of winners are on the bottom of this post **

Our next MegaBook Giveaway is finally here! We hit 500 Followers so it's time to giveaway some books!

Remember the last MegaBook Contest? We had 37 winners and gave away 41 books. We're hoping to give away even more more this time around!

Here's how it works.

We start out with a list of books to choose from and 4 winners. Then as we get more followers, we add more books and more winners.

To begin we'll have an initial list of books that winners can choose from.

First Place Winner - First Choice of 4 Books
Second Place Winner - Second Choice of 3 Books
Third Place Winner - Third Choice of 2 Books
Place Winner - Fourth Choice of 2 Books

The best part is that WE'LL ADD MORE WINNERS!
As we get more followers we will add more winners and books. We have 500 followers as of now but...
- When we hit 525 followers, we'll add more books and 2 more winners (who can choose 1 book each)

- Then for every additional 25 followers that are added after that, we'll add more books and 2 more winners.

For instance - at 525 Followers, we'll have First, Second, Third, and Fourth pl
ace plus 2 winners of one book each.

- at 550 Followers, well have First, Second, Third, and Fourth place, plus 4 winners of one book each

- at 575 Followers, we'll have First, Second, Third and Fourth place, plus 6 winners of one book each

And so on, until we get to end of the contest.

The bottom line is that as more people enter, more people have a chance to win more books!

There are lots of ways to rack up entries.
The Rules

The only requirements are:
1) You must fill out the form (required items are noted).

2) You Must Be a Follower (old or new).
You can sign-up easily on the right sidebar. Please make sure that the Show Sites I Follow is checked on your Blogger Profile so we can confirm that you Follow if/when you win!

3) P
rovide your email (on the entry form)

4) Comment on this Post.

Any comment will do but if you have a book you'd like us to add to this Giveaway, please tell us in the comments here. No guarantees but we we'll take the votes into account when we add books, so give us your input! (Just keep in mind it must be something available by the end of this giveaway.)

5) Enter by midnight PST on March 17, 2009.


1) Most are listed on the ENTRY FORM. They include posting, various ways to advertise the contest, following us on Twitter, subscribing to our feed (must be a VERIFIED subscriber), etc. (FYI we're on Twitter as @teensrandw.)

You can also receive 5 extra points every time you comment on a future posts between now and the end of the contest (max +5 per post). We'll be sure to make a note of it in the posts to remind you. Comments will only count if you make them within 7 days of the original posting date.

First, second, third and fourth place winners get to choose their books and will have 48 hours to respond before we offer the prize to the next winner. The remaining winners will either get a book pulled randomly out of a grab bag or may give them a chance to choose depending on how many entries we have. We'll decide at the end of the contest. Last time everyone got to pick.

So...All you need to do to enter is:

1) Be a Follower
2) Fill out this entry form
3) Comment on this post (you can tell us a book you'd like us to add if you have one)
4) Enter by midnight PST 03/17/10

Here's the Initial List To Choose From:

1) Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
The Dark Divine by Bree Despain
3) Fallen by Lauren Kate
Darklight by Lesley Livingston
5) Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
7) Wish by Alexandra Bullen
Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor
9) Sceptor of the Ancients by Derek Landy
Candor by Pam Bachorz
Violet Wings by Victoria Hanley
The EverAfter by Amy Huntley
Wish You Were Dead by Todd Strasser
Invisible Lines by Mary Amato

Books We're Thinking About Adding:
Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves
The Awakening
by Kelley Armstrong
Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
Firespell by Chloe Neill
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

What do you suggest?

It's International so spread the word and GOOD LUCK to all!

1/24 CONTEST UPDATE We made it to 550 so quickly! That means 4 more winners for a total of 8! The 4 books we're adding are:

1) The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
2) Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
3) The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong
4) Ballad by Maggie Steifvater

Contest Update 2/3: We made it to 625 so we now have 14 winners! The added books are:

Firespell by Chloe Neill
Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz
Gifted series (2 in 1 book) by Marilyn Kaye
Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire
Going Bovine by Libba Bray

Contest Update 2/11: Got to 675 followers so now we have 20 winners! The newly added batch is:

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima
Rising Shadow by Jacquelyn Wheeler
Going Bovine by Libba Bray
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

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