Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday - Demonglass

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine

Demonglass (Hex Hall #2) by Rachel Hawkins
Publisher:  Hyperion Books
Publication Date:  March 1, 2011

Sophie Mercer thought she was a witch.

That was the whole reason she was sent to Hex Hall, a reform school for delinquent Prodigium (aka witches, shapeshifters, and fairies). But that was before she discovered the family secret, and that her hot crush, Archer Cross, is an agent for The Eye, a group bent on wiping Prodigium off the face of the earth.

Turns out, Sophie’s a demon, one of only two in the world—the other being her father. What’s worse, she has powers that threaten the lives of everyone she loves. Which is precisely why Sophie decides she must go to London for the Removal, a dangerous procedure that will destroy her powers.

But once Sophie arrives she makes a shocking discovery. Her new friends? They’re demons too. Meaning someone is raising them in secret with creepy plans to use their powers, and probably not for good. Meanwhile, The Eye is set on hunting Sophie down, and they’re using Archer to do it. But it’s not like she has feelings for him anymore. Does she?  (Summary taken from Goodreads)

As much as I like the cover of  Hex Hall, I love Demonglass's cover.  Sophie looks quite sassy here, in a "Bring It...I'm ready for anything you're going to throw at me" kind of way.  I like that the designer carried over some of the elements, so that it's obvious that the books are part of a series, but at the same time you can easily tell which book is which.  And of course, I can't wait to read more about Sophie's family. And Archer, we can't forget about him...definitely looking forward to more scenes with Sophie and Archer.
What are you "waiting on" this Wednesday?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Halloween Blog Tour With The Familiars

A witch's house, The Magic Castle and a house on Elm Street...what do all of these have in common?  Find out as Andrew Jacobson, one of the authors of The Familiars takes us on a tour of Los Angeles and Hollywood, CA.

Andrew and Adam are also having a special Familiars-themed Halloween Scavenger Hunt! At each stop along the blog tour, they will be asking a trivia question from The Familiars. After you fill in your answer, the letter that falls in the place of the * can be placed in the corresponding number of the larger puzzle. So for example, since this is question number 8, the letter that lands in the space where the * is can be filled in where the 8 is in the larger puzzle. The larger puzzle will form yet another clue, and anyone who answers it correctly will be entered into a drawing for an autographed book as well as a few other Halloween treats!

Be sure to visit The Familiars blog at to find links to all other blog stops and find out where to send in your answers! All entries must be entered by November 15.

8. What do the familiars use to lure Agdaleen from her hut?

___ ___ ___ ___ ___ _*_ ___ ___ ___

Hint: Chapter Eight, Page 147

11 5 18 8 15 1 9 7 19 14 23 2 25 16 10 12 20

__ __ __ __ __ __ ' __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __

17 3 22 6 21 4 24 13

__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __

For more information about The Familiars check out:
The official website:

and Book Trailer:

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday - The Vespertine

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine

The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell
Publisher: Harcourt CHildren's Books
Publication Date: March 7, 2011

Summary from summer of 1889 is the one between childhood and womanhood for Amelia van den Broek-and thankfully, she's not spending it at home in rural Maine. She's been sent to Baltimore to stay with her stylish cousin, Zora, who will show her all the pleasures of city life and help her find a suitable man to marry.

Archery in the park, dazzling balls and hints of forbidden romance-Victorian Baltimore is more exciting than Amelia imagined. But her gaiety is interrupted by disturbing, dreamlike visions she has only at sunset-visions that offer glimpses of the future. Soon, friends and strangers alike call on Amelia to hear her prophecies. Newly dubbed "Maine's Own Mystic", Amelia is suddenly quite in demand.

However, her attraction to Nathaniel, an artist who is decidedly outside of Zora's circle, threatens the new life Amelia is building in Baltimore. This enigmatic young man is keeping secrets of his own- still, Amelia finds herself irrepressibly drawn to him. And while she has no trouble seeing the futures of others, she cannot predict whether Nathaniel will remain in hers.

When one of her darkest visions comes to pass, Amelia's world is thrown into chaos. And those around her begin to wonder if she's not the seer of dark portents, but the cause.

A book set in the Victorian Era with romance and a bit of the supernatural...umm yes, that's exactly the type of book that would shoot right to the top of my "to be read list."  I love historical fiction, but for some reason or another I don't seem to read it that often.  The Vespertine has all of those's set in Victorian Era Baltimore, there is romance (a bit of forbidden romance from the sound of it) and a main character who has visions.  It is definitely one of my most anticipated books of 2011! 

For more information visit:
and Saundra's

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Say What? A Harry Potter Contest!!

To celebrate the Harry Potter Extravaganza, I'm giving away my favorite book in the series, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I have 1 paperback British Edition with this cover:

Doesn't Buckbeak look kind of scary? 

But that's not all...

If you actually got to attend Hogwarts, what house would you be sorted into? 

Personally, I can never decide which house I'd like to be in.  Part of me wants to be a Ravenclaw, the common room sounds gorgeous and I could hang out with Luna.  But, I think that I would fit in nicely at Hufflepuff too.  So, I took this sorting quiz and got sorted into

Take a moment and get yourself sorted (if you don't already know which house you belong in), it's important for the next part of the contest...

Now that the weather has turned cooler, I've been knitting up a storm.  So, in addition to book 3, the winner will get to choose one item to be knit by me!

The choices are:
A House Scarf (one of the ones on the left)
A Unity Scarf (on the right)
A Ginny Weasely Goblet of Fire Hat (on the bottom)

*these are all pictures that I have borrowed, not actual items I have knitted*

Super Easy Contest Rules:

1. You must be 13 years of age or older
2.. This contest is international
3.  ONE entry per person, if you enter more than once, all of your entries will be disqualified
4. The contest ends on November 6, 2010
5.  Fill out this FORM

Good Luck!!

Don't forget to visit Good Books and Good Wine tomorrow for more Harry Potter Extravaganza fun!

Friday, October 8, 2010

What Is It About Harry?


Once upon a time, I didn’t care about Harry Potter. It was just a children’s book. The main characters were 11 and 12 for goodness sake…why would I want to read about them? That was how I felt until the semester I did my student teaching.

In January of 2004, I student taught in a third grade class and a few of the students were reading Harry Potter. They kept telling me how much they loved the books. “You have to read them!” they told me over and over. “They are so good, you’ll love them!” I resisted as long as I could, until, to be quite honest, they wore me down.

I borrowed Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone from the classroom library, thinking that I would read a few chapters over the weekend and tell my students that I had tried, but it just wasn’t for me. That was the plan...I sat down on Friday afternoon and was pretty much hooked by the time Hagrid shows up at the cabin to give Harry his letter. Saturday morning I went to the bookstore to buy Chamber of Secrets and Prisoner of Azkaban.  Much to my students' delight, within a week, I had read all five of the books (at this point only books 1 through 5 had been published) and was eagerly waiting for Book 6.

So, what is it about Harry that made me change my mind and fall in love with the series?  It was the whole world that J.K. Rowling created.  That a magical world existed parallel to the ordinary one was just fascinating to me.  I wanted to be able to travel to Diagon Alley and to visit the Burrow and have dinner with the Weasleys.  To be wisked away from a horrible life, be told that you're a wizard and belong at a magical school...who wouldn't want that?  Being a teacher, I also loved the idea of Hogwarts.  I was too old to get an owl delivered letter but, part of me wished that they had made a mistake and that I could go too and maybe guest lecture.  I think that I would have wanted to teach either Herbology (just like Professor Sprout) or History of Magic (hopefully, I would have been more interesting than Professor Binns). 
The characters had a way of making me instantly care about them, even evil, whiney Draco Malfoy.  I loved that Hermione was smarter than Harry, that Ron was so fiercely loyal, that Hagrid was really just a kid at heart, and that Dumbledore wasn't perfect.  In Prisoner of Azkaban, Sirius and Lupin became my two favorite characters.  I loved them because they loved Harry for the simple fact that he's the son of two of their best friends.  To them, he wassn't the "Boy Who Lived," he's simply James and Lily's son and then, eventually, he's just Harry. 

I could babble on forever about the HP books, so I'll end here with a quick thank you to the third graders who made me read Harry...without them I would have never read this great series and found such awesome characters to love.

If you missed yesterday's Harry Potter Extravaganza post, visit Good Books and Good Wine.  Come back here tomorrow for a special HP themed contest.  And visit Good Books and Good Wine again on Sunday for more Harry Potter Extravaganza fun!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Horn Book Colloquium

This past weekend I was luck enough to get to attend The Horn Book at Simmons Colloquium.  I had hoped to make it to Boston for the Boston Globe-Horn Book awards ceremony on Friday evening, however, the weather didn't cooperate.  The colloquium more than made up for missing the awards though.

The overarching theme for the day was collaboration. Each panel and presenter spoke about a different type of collaboration with regards to writing and publishing.  The day started with a discussion about editorial partnerships with Rebecca Stead (author of the Newbery Award for When You Reach Me) and her editor Wendy Lamb.  They talked about how they worked together to publish both When You Reach Me and Rebecca's first novel, First Light.  An interesting tidbit was that When You Reach Me's original title was You Are Here and after the cover art had been designed they learned that another YA book with the same title was being published around the same time.  So after much debate and trying to get the other publishing house to change the name of their book, When You Reach Me  was chosen as the new name.

The second presentation was by Elizabeth Partridge, author of Marching for Freedom.  She talked about about collaborating with the photographer.  And the main part of her talk was about Google Lit Trips.  Google Lit Trips describes itself as "a different way to read great literature."  It uses Google Earth to take the viewer on the same trip characters in a book took.  Ms Partridge took us through part of the Lit Trip for Marching for Freedom, and it was very cool to see how the whole thing works.  It flies you into the town or area where the book is set and you can click on different area and information boxes pop up, they include everything from info about the town, historical facts, videos and more. You have to download Google Earth to go on any of the trips, but the website itself has a lot of information.

After lunch there was an awesome "Discussing Picturebooks" panel that included Helen Oxenbury, John Burningham, Laurel Croza, Matt James and Peter Sis and was moderated by Roger Sutton.  This was the most fun panel by far!  They mostly talked about the collaboration between the author and illustrator.  How most of the time the author and illustrator don't meet, so all the illustrator has is the text.  There was also some discussion about voice and how the whole voice of a book can be changed by the illustrations.  I sat through most of the discussion just in awe of the fact that I was in the same room as Helen Oxenbury, John Burningham, and Peter Sis.

The final presentation of the day was by Megan Whalen Turner and her editor Virginia Duncan.  Now, we all know what a huge fan I am of MWT's Queen's Thief books, so this was very exciting!  They had a great presentation about book covers.  Usually, authors have very little input on covers and Ms Turner said that she usually leaves what happens on the outside of the book to the designers and as long as the cover is a pretty picture she's happy.  However, with A Conspiracy of Kings there was a bit of a kerfuffle.  The cover when through quite a few changes, including the addition and removal of facial hair, the addition of a manacle and a ring.  In fact, because the editors wanted a ring on the cover, Ms Turner actually wrote a ring into the story!  It was fun to see the changes in the cover and how it evolved from a super stark cover to the beautiful final cover. 

There were some break out sessions as well, where we got to choose which sessions we attended.  I went to a storytelling session, which gave me lots of story time ideas, and a booktalking session which was fun because I love to see other people booktalk.  The presenter was so excited about all of the books, she was literally bouncing around the room! 

The colloquium was a great learning experience, but also I got to meet some great authors and Megan Whalen Turner signed my Queen's Thief books - which pretty much made my year!! The Horn Book staff is already planning next year's colloquium, I definitely plan on going...

I didn't get any pictures...I wasn't sure if we were allowed to take pictures.  But Roger Sutton has some great pictures on his blog

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday - Across the Universe

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine

Across the Universe by Beth Revis
Publisher: Razorbill (Penguin)
Publication Date: January 11, 2011

Summary: Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone—one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship—tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn’t do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now, Amy must race to unlock Godspeed’s hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there’s only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

Publisher's Weekly called the first chapter of Across the Universe "the best first chapter you'll ever read."  Had I not already heard of Across the Universe, that statement alone would have piqued my interest.  Space, time travel, cryonics - I love that this book is so unabashedly science fiction!  It will definitely get more people interested in this genre. I personally can't wait to read it and then recommend it!

For more information take a look at:  Beth Revis' website, blog or twitter.

Read the first chapter here.

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?


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