blo Teens Read and Write: May 2011

Friday, May 27, 2011

BROMANCE THROWDOWN with Kendare Blake: Win $20 Gift Card!

We have a treat today! ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD author Kendare Blake has been hitting the blogosphere with these fantastically fun Throwdowns! We're thrilled to be included! And it's an awesome Bromance


Throwdown! With Kendare Blake #3
Aragorn & Legolas 
Harry Potter & Ron Weasley

Bromances. That special relationship of loyalty and love, that exists between two special dudes. It’s not a student/mentor relationship. It’s not a father/son relationship. It’s something really special. Dr. House and Dr. Wilson. Damon and Affleck. Ace and Gary. These guys are more than friends. They’re Friend of Friends. 

Welcome, Teens Read & Write readers, to the third and final Throwdown! In previous installments, we’ve learned who would come out on top in a vampire matchup between Lestat de Lioncourt and Edward Cullen (Cullen) and in a werewolf matchup between Michael Jackson in Thriller and Jacob Black (Black). The Twilight boys were hoping to go 3 for 3, but I don’t think there are any Bromances in Twilight, unless you count Bella’s dad and that old Indian, which would just be weird. So here we go, with the boys who fight to destroy The One Ring facing off with the boys who fight to destroy He Who Must Not Be Named. Vote for your favorite set in the comments for a chance to win a $20 Barnes and Noble gift card. Now let’s get it on!

The Bromances
One is a filthy human, the other, a cuticle-cleaning elf. Aragorn and Legolas, the future King of Men and his faithful immortal friend, have been together for years untold. Their devotion is obvious, though perhaps a bit one-sided: Legolas often follows Aragorn blindly into dangerous situations with very small odds of success or survival. Maybe that’s because he’s immortal and has a really skewed concept of death. Or maybe that’s just how strong their man-love is. “There’s nothing sexual about it,” Legolas says with a smile of elfish innocence. Which if you’re familiar, is the dirtiest kind of innocence there is.

Legolas: The Shadow moves.
Aragorn: So do my pants when you wear that little cloak.
Legolas: Aragorn, focus.
Aragorn: It’s a nice color, is all I’m saying. It’s a good dude’s cloak. But yeah. The Shadow moves. We should do something about that crap.
It’s worth noting that Bromances in Middle Earth are a dime a dozen. Between Sam and Frodo, Merry and Pippin, and Gandalf and Saruman (don’t deny it), there’s so much guy solidarity that women spend most days looking around uncomfortably. It should also be noted that this is a Bromance, not a romance, and is therefore not exclusive. Which is good, because:
Harry & Ron
This is really pushing the definition of Bromance. These guys, though close, are at odds with one another almost as often as not. Sirius and Remus might have been a better choice. But let’s see what Harry and Ron have to offer.

Harry, like Aragorn, gets into more than his fair share of crap. And there by his side, ever faithful, however generally close to wetting his pants, is Ron. Always ready to defend his friend, always ready to dive into danger, be it by going up against a million fafillion angry spiders or putting his entire family at risk by harboring a kid with a target on his chest, Ron is there. Sometimes jealously. Always clumsily. But he’s there, I guess is my point. And Harry, in return, got Ron onto the Quidditch team, where a young Edward Cullen tried desperately to school him in the ways of lady-getting…and failed.

The failure? Not Cullen’s fault.

The Throwdown
Sword and bow against wand and wand. I foresee a future where Legolas is screaming with bogies the size of bats flying round and round his face while Aragorn fights a jelly legs hex by dragging himself toward his opponents using nothing but his teeth, growling, “There’s no such thing as a jelly tooth hex, Bitches!” 

Harry and Ron would certainly get their licks in, but I think we all know who the real killers are. Harry and Ron, for all their flash and entertainment value, stop short of being truly lethal. And I don’t think Expelliarmus works on Anduril (I totally had to Google that). The only thing that might save the Hogwarts duo: In a surprise move, Harry takes off his glasses, and Aragorn mistakes him for Frodo.
Yes, we look alike. It's been pointed out once or twice.
But this doesn't have to be a Throwdown to the death. There are lots of ways to judge who is the best. One way? Who is the prettiest?!!

Don't be absurd. I'm obviously the prettiest.
Look, Legolas, I think you need to take a minute and check yourself-

Actually, Legolas is the prettiest. Look at those cheekbones. And that skin.
That's what 400 years of cucumber eucalyptus scrubs will do for you.
Fine, whatever. Harry? Ron? What do you have to say? On second thought, why don’t we just let Harry handle this one, okay?

Holy naked wizard!
Not bad. But it becomes less appealing when you realize that the horse is Dumbledore in Animagus form.
Well, there it is. The last Throwdown. Thanks to Alyssa and the guys at Teens Read and Write for letting the Bromances thrash it out on their blog. Vote for the winner in order for a chance to win a $20 BN gift card, and some Personal Demons swag in honor of fellow Tor author Lisa Desrochers’ Original Sin, releasing in July!
Check back next week to see who wins and read the winner’s gloat post.

Isn't she a screech! And ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD sounds awesome. Love the premise. And the cover is uber gorgeous! Below you can check out the summary and trailer along with the contest details! Leave a comment with your vote and fill out the form for a chance to win a $20 BN gift card.

release: Aug 30
Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.
So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.
When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn't expect anything outside of the ordinary: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.
But she, for whatever reason, spares Cas's life.

Kendare Blake is an import from South Korea who was raised in the United States by caucasian parents. You know, that old chestnut. She received a Bachelor's degree in Business from Ithaca College and a Master's degree in Writing from Middlesex University in London. She brakes for animals, the largest of which was a deer, which sadly didn't make it, and the smallest of which was a mouse, which did, but it took forever. Amongst her likes are Greek Mythology, rare red meat and veganism. She also enjoys girls who can think with the boys like Ayn Rand, and boys who scare the morality into people, like Bret Easton Ellis.

Giveaway Details:
  • Fill out the form
  • Leave a comment with your Bromance vote 
  • Must be 13 years or older
  • Enter by June 5

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Teen Fiction Review: ASHES, ASHES by Jo Treggiari + Giveaway!

author: Jo Treggiari
release: June 1, 2011
genre: Teen Fiction- Post Apocalyptic
Epidemics, floods, droughts--for sixteen-year-old Lucy, the end of the world came and went, taking 99% of the population with it. As the weather continues to rage out of control, and Sweepers clean the streets of plague victims, Lucy survives alone in the wilds of Central Park. But when she's rescued from a pack of hunting dogs by a mysterious boy named Aidan, she reluctantly realizes she can't continue on her own. She joins his band of survivors, yet, a new danger awaits her: the Sweepers are looking for her. There's something special about Lucy, and they will stop at nothing to have her.
(And thanks to The Teen Book Scene Blog Tours)
Talk to me!
Great world building and a strong main character were my favorite parts of ASHES, ASHES. Lucy has lost everything in this miserable post apocalyptic New York. Talk about lonely. In I Am Legend even Will Smith had a dog! 

Circumstances cause her to reluctantly join up with a group of survivors where she begins to find a family, and budding romance. But danger lurks, betrayal ensues, surprises spring, and Lucy's new found happiness threatens to unravel.  

Lucy perseverance and drive are her standout qualities. The romance is mild, put on the backburner for the story's action, but Aidan's a sweetie. When it came to the 'bad' guys, even the book's own 'good guys' were sometimes confused as to whether or not they're truly bad. Questions come up like, 'Does the ends justify the means?' and 'Should the few be sacrificed for the many?' 

The beginning lacks dialog since Lucy is alone but Treggiari provides a vivid sense of the horrific landscape as well as the backstory of how the world came to this miserable state and Lucy's place in it. The plot kicks into high gear when Lucy joins Aidan's group and we find that she's a key player in humanity's survival. 

ASHES, ASHES manages to deliver a sense of hope among all the misery which I always appreciate. It's a great story of mankind's ability to overcome. It's scary in many ways since with all the natural disasters going on lately it's easy to envision mother nature wreaking havoc and starting this destructive ball rolling. 

The world of ASHES, ASHES is nowhere you want to live, but it's a great place to visit within the pages of this gripping tale!

Be sure to check out our interview with Jo and her fantabulous answer to the Zombie Apocalypse question starring carnivorous butterflies! And were giving away an arc! 

Giveaway Details:
  • Leave a comment with your email address
  • Open to US/Canada
  • Must be 13 years or older
  • Enter by June 19

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


He's so dashing! And with the eerie mysterious background - Love it! 
What do you think?

Author Guest Post: Leah Cypess - NIGHTSPELL

Today we're thrilled to welcome one of our favorite authors, Leah Cypess! NIGHTSPELL comes out May 31. It's a companion novel to her popular MISTWOOD, which we adored. (check out the review). We asked Leah about pursueing a 'practical' career vs a writing career and she has some great insight!

When I was eight years old, I told my grandmother that I intended to be an author when I grew up. She didn’t think it was a good idea. Authors, she explained, didn’t make much money.

The first time I told this story to someone, she said, “I’m sorry your grandmother wasn’t supportive of you.” The response took me aback, because I never thought my grandmother was being unsupportive. She was being practical. My grandmother is an immigrant who worked hard all her life and never, until she was much older, had much money. To her, telling me to pursue an acknowledged impractical profession and not worry about the financial consequences wouldn’t have been “supportive.” It would have been insane.

To some extent, I share that view. I don’t think there’s anything ignoble about recognizing that writing is not a profession designed for financial stability – definitely not until you get published, which can take years, and often not even once you are published. I think it’s a good idea, even if being a full-time writer is your dream, to have some sort of plan for how you’re going to pay for food and rent and clothes. (Just make sure the dream also includes some sort of plan for how you’re going to find time to write.) 

Don't be This Guy!
I’ll add that even though the main reason for pursuing another career might be money, there are also other advantages. Everything you do – the skills you learn, the experiences you have, the people you meet – feed into and enrich your writing. Also, if you’re not dependent on writing for your income, you’ll have more freedom: to write without thinking about what’s marketable, to take as much time as you need to get a book right, to spend time on the project of your heart without knowing if it will ever get picked up. 

The main costs, on the other hand, are in time and creative energy – which even full-time writers can find in short supply. So ultimately, it’s a balancing act. It’s not always an easy one, but it’s definitely worth it.

Creative and practical - a brilliant strategy! Thanks Leah. It's good to hear sage advice from such a fantastic author! She practiced law for two years, and kept writing and submitting for a long time before her first novel was published, so she knows whereof she speaks!

And she lives near Boston so we have a special place in our hearts for her since dad's from Boston and we have a huge family there. Next time we visit we might have to stalk, ahem, try to pay a visit to Leah. But for now we're just glad she was gracious enough to visit our blog!  So check out NIGHTSPELL (May 31) and if you haven't read MISTWOOD, be sure to pick that up too!

by: Leah Cypress
pub: 5/31/11
genre: Teen Fiction- Fantasy
Amazon / Website / Twitter
A stand-alone companion novel to the much-acclaimed MISTWOOD. When Darri rides into Ghostland, a country where the living walk with the dead, she has only one goal: to rescue her younger sister Callie, who was sent to Ghostland as a hostage four years ago. But Callie has changed in those four years, and now has secrets of her own. In her quest to save her sister from herself, Darri will be forced to outmaneuver a handsome ghost prince, an ancient sorcerer, and a manipulative tribal warrior (who happens to be her brother). When Darri discovers the source of the spell that has kept the dead in Ghostland chained to this earth, she faces a decision that will force her to reexamine beliefs she has never before questioned - and lead her into the heart of a conspiracy that threatens the very balance of power between the living and the dead.


A desperate prince… a castle full of lies… and an ancient shapeshifter trapped in the form of a human girl.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Splash Into Summer Giveaway $10 Certificate!

Welcome to the Splash Into Summer Giveaway Hop! We're offering a $10 gift certificate from Amazon or Barnes and Noble online. Or you can choose a book up to $10 US from The Book Depository if you're international. 

Good Luck and  Happy Summer!

Check out THE LIST of all the participating blogs and their giveaways!

Giveaway Details:
  • Fill out the form below
  • Must be a Follower through Google Friend Connect
  • Open to wherever Book Depository Ships
  • +1 point for Tweeting (easy buttons at the top or bottom of this post!)
  • Enter by May 31

Friday, May 20, 2011

HUNGER GAMES Katniss Revealed in the Flesh and Latest Cast Additions!

Entertainment Weekly has the first photos of Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss. 
From this...

To this!

We think she looks great! 
(Other than maybe a little photoshopped/airbrushed in her face?)

Other casting news...
Woody Harrelson as Haymitch

If he survived Zombieland the Hunger Games are a piece of cake!

Wes Bentley as Seneca Crane, the ill-fated Head Gamemaker.

Looks adorably evil!
And one of our favorite actors, Stanley Tucci as Caesar, the Hunger Games silver-tongued host.

He's so smooth! Can't wait to see him in blue!
What are your casting thoughts?

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