Sneak A Peek Saturday: INSURGENT by Veronica Ross

Sneak a Peek Saturday is a feature that I like to indulge in because I cannot wait to read the tasty tid bits that are put out there for us ravenous readers to enjoy.

This week I am more than happy, to present a few chapters of INSURGENT by Veronica Roth. DIVERGENT was an amazing read and one of my favorite books for 2011 and I am so excited to be on #TEAMDAUNTLESS  


ON SALE MAY 1, 2012
READ THE FIRST TWO CHAPTERS!
One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.
Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful.

Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.
New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth's much-anticipated second book of the dystopian Divergent series is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature.


I am DAUNTLESS!!

There are not many occasions that I SQUEE!! with uninhibited joy, but when I arrived home on Friday night I was overwhelmed with emotion by finding this box of INSURGENT loveliness on my doorstep. I was floored and beyond doing the happy snoopy dance!!

pictures by Ravenous Reader
If you cannot see the image clearly I am sorry, but excitement makes me work hastily. I am privileged to be a  part of an kick ass project that will involve some pretty amazing people, and I belong to team DAUNTLESS!! (cheering and confetti all around) and I cannot wait for everyone to see what we have planned for our brave followers. STAY TUNED.

The following information from Divergent Fans

5 Faction leaders have been chosen by HarperCollins! This first choosing ceremony has established 5 leaders of the 5 Factions. DivergentFans was chosen to be the Dauntless leader. I am so very excited to be a part of this group!! GOOO DAUNTLESS!!
Who are the leaders of the other Factions? See the full list of leaders.
Divergent Fans— Dauntless
Divergent Examiner— Abnegation
The Story Siren— Candor
Bookalicious— Erudite
If you are Dauntless, like me, please stay tuned into the Dauntless News on tumblr (http://dauntlessfactionnews.tumblr.com/). This is where the Dauntless can stay up to date, besides here on DivergentFans. Make sure to come back April 2nd for the Choosing Ceremony.

Make sure between now and May1st that you are using the hash tag #DIvergentNation on twitter!

Amasing news: INSURGENTvideo

GO #TEAMDAUNTLESS

Review and Giveway: EMBRACE by Jessica Shrivington

Reading level: Ages 12 and up
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire (March 6, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1402268408
Source: Publisher
Rating: ♥♥♥

It starts with a whisper: "It's time for you to know who you are..."


On her 17th birthday, everything will change for Violet Eden. The boy she loves will betray her. Her enemy will save her. She will have to decide just how much she's willing to sacrifice.


Dangerously exciting and darkly romantic, EMBRACE is a compelling novel of good and evil, seductive desires and impossible choices. A centuries old war between fallen angels and the protectors of humanity chooses a new fighter. It's a battle Violet doesn't want, but she lives her life by two rules: don't run and don't quit. If angels seek vengeance and humans are the warriors, you could do a lot worse than betting on Violet Eden.


LINCOLN: He's been Violet's one anchor, her running partner and kickboxing trainer. Only he never told her he's Grigori—part human, part angel—and that he was training her for an ancient battle between Angels and Exiles.


PHOENIX: No one knows where his loyalties lie, yet he's the only one there to pick up the pieces and protect her after Lincoln's lies. In a world of dark and light, he is all shades of gray.


Two sides: Angel or Exile.
Two guys: Lincoln or Phoenix.
The wrong choice could cost not only her life, but her eternity...


My Thoughts:

Forever a fan of a great read that can keep me enthralled I am pleased with EMBRACE by Jessica Shrivington. When first approached to read this series I jumped at the chance because the synopsis was quite intriguing and who could not resist a read filled with mythology, romance and angels.

Embraced proved to have all the elements for a good paranormal read but certain aspects were a bit far-fetched.  I am not a fan of a story with two love interests especially when I favored one boy so much more than the other. Violet's character was very described, almost too well, but I was glad that despite her troubled past she could push through and keep going. Yet, EMBRACE did have a seductive quality that kept me entranced and kept me reading until the very end.

Despite my issues, I enjoyed the mythology around the angels. I wanted to see and learn more about that, and I enjoyed the fact that there isn't much religion involved in it. So, that it doesn't seem too heavy. EMBRACE is a solid read for those that enjoy their stories centered on angels. It is a different concept and it will keep you interested to see what comes next.



ARE YOU READY TO EMBRACE GIVEAWAY?
Prize: A copy of EMBRACE by Jessica Shrivington to a lucky entrant from either the US or Canada
Rules: Leave a comment telling me how much you would like to read EMBRACE, and please leave your email address for me to contact you. Contest ends April 15th, 2012 at Midnight PST.
GOOD LUCK!!



EMBRACE • MARCH 2012
“Smart, edgy and addictive.” – Kirkus Reviews, Starred
www.embracetheseries.com 
www.facebook.com/embracetheseries

Waiting on Wednesday: PASSENGER by Andrew Smith

Jill at Breaking the Spine started this and I believe that it's awesome" This blog post is to alert those that visit about "the" book that we cannot wait to get our hands on.

After reading the Marbury Lens I could not stop thinking about it. One of the most twisted and disturbing books I have ever read but it was riveting and I am beyond curious to know what happens next.
10/02/12
PASSENGER
The Marbruy Lens, Book Two
by Andrew Smith
ISBN-13: 978-1250004871
Fiewel & Friends, 400 pages.
Amazon, B&N, Goodreads


Jack and Conner have a plan.

They think it's the only reasonable way to deal with the Marbury lens.

But the four boys - Jack, Conner, Ben, and Griffin - end up scattered in different places at different times. Jack is lost in a Marbury that isn't Marbury, a Glenbrook that isn't Glenbrook, pursued through every crumbling not-world by an uncaring cop trying to solve the mystery of Freddie Horvath's murder, and a deceitful kid named Quinn Cahill who believes he is the King of Marbury. Jack's universe is collapsing in on itself. He finds his friends. He finds his home.

There's always just one thing, and Jack knows it.

This can't be it.

Review: STARTERS by Lissa Price

STARTERS by Lissa Price
Reading level: Ages 12 and up
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (March 13, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0385742371
Source: Publisher
Read this if you enjoy: Under the Never Sky, Partials
Rating: ♥♥♥

In the future, teens rent their bodies to seniors who want to be young again. One girl discovers her renter plans to do more than party--her body will commit murder, if her mind can't stop it. Sixteen-year-old Callie lost her parents when the genocide spore wiped out everyone except those who were vaccinated first--the very young and very old. With no grandparents to claim Callie and her little brother, they go on the run, living as squatters, and fighting off unclaimed renegades who would kill for a cookie. Hope comes via Prime Destinations, run by a mysterious figure known only as The Old Man. He hires teens to rent their bodies to seniors, known as enders, who get to be young again. Callie's neurochip malfunctions and she wakes up in the life of her rich renter, living in her mansion, driving her cars, even dating Blake, the grandson of a senator. It's a fairy-tale new life . . . until she uncovers the Body Bank's horrible plan. . . .

My Thoughts:

My quest for a Dystopian read is ever expanding and when I first became aqainted with STARTERS by Lissa Price I knew that I would be in for a new kind of adventure. I also enjoyed the fact their are only going to be two books in this series, STARTERS and ENDERS. A refreshing change from trilogy's.


Callie and her brother are orphaned, after a virus kills their parents and anyone else who is not a child or a senior citizen. With no one to take them in they must live on the streets, but society does not want unsponsored Starters (minors) so they are always on the run and that is difficult considering that Callie's brother is very ill. So, when she is given information on a way to get money she takes a chance, and this is were the story gets interesting. Callie finds an institution that wants to use her body and pay her for her time. Suddenly she is faced with a difficult choice...continue with the status quo and have her brother get worse and possibly perish or rent out her body so that a rich Ender (senior) gets to have some fun for a bit of time. *Shudders* just the thought gives me the chills. It is obvious what choice she makes and what she believes to be a simple temporary transaction soon becomes something deceitfully sinister and she will have to fight with everything she has in order to survive.


STARTERS has a good base and it's world is well delineated. I also found this new Starters/Enders society to be original and the inception of "Prime Destinations" to be wickedly creepy. I could understand Callie's decision at committing an unthinkable act, despite the fact that it seemed like such a violation, and I was curious to see how things would work out when she discovered the truth.  This story also had a few plot twists that I totally did not see coming and I really enjoyed being surprised by them and it kept my interest going.

As much as I found STARTERS to grab my interest, I found some situations a bit far fetched and unconvincing.  The concept of the Enders having an exceedingly long life span? I thought I was good with numbers but some things just did not add up. I also did not care for the love triangle that came to light at the end of the story because it just seemed a bit odd. Not to mention The Old Man, who is he? and why did he have such an interest in Callie? Uggggg....I hate the suspense but I guess there has to be something to bring you back and read the next installment that is aptly named ENDERS.


In short, I found STARTERS to be a good read and I believe that fans of the Dystopian/Sci-Fi genre will enjoy this debut novel by Lissa Price. It is well paced, creepy and will keep thinking about it long after you have finished reading it.

Bay Area Book Event: KATHERINE LONGSHORE

 
May 19, 5 pm
GILT
launch party!
The Avid Reader

617 Second Street
Davis, CA 95616
Tel: (530) 758-4040



It is always an honor to go to a book event in the bay area, but it is an even greater honor when you attend an event for a local author.  Katherine Longhsore is having her book launch at THE AVID READER in Davis for her debut GILT. If you're in the bay area and want to meet a great author who has penned a fantastically riveting with regal drama and seduction then you need not look any further.
In the Tudor age, ambition, power and charismatic allure are essential and Catherine Howard has plenty of all three. Not to mention her loyal best friend, Kitty Tylney, to help cover her tracks. Kitty, the abandoned youngest daughter of minor aristocracy, owes everything to Cat—where she is, what she is, even who she is. Friend, flirt, and self-proclaimed Queen of Misrule, Cat reigns supreme in a loyal court of girls under the none-too-watchful eye of the Dowager Duchess of Norfolk.


When Cat worms her way into the heart of Henry VIII and becomes Queen of England, Kitty is thrown into the intoxicating Tudor Court. It's a world of glittering jewels and elegant costumes, of gossip and deception. As the Queen's right-hand-woman, Kitty goes from the girl nobody noticed to being caught between two men—the object of her affection and the object of her desire.


But the atmosphere of the court turns from dazzling to deadly, and Kitty is forced to learn the difference between trust and loyalty, love and lust, secrets and treason. And to accept the consequences when some lessons are learned too late.

Bay Area Book Events: NYMBC and their epic YA events

Have I ever mentioned how much I adore NYMBC? Well, in case I have not I want to say that I simply adore them. Not only do they have a friendly and knowledgeable staff that make you feel at home with your book-lovin'-self, but they have some of the best YA book events around the SF bay area. In the next few weeks they are going to be blessed with a plethora of amazingly talented YA authors and I want to share all that goodness with anyone that wants to attend. I know that I will attend all of them. For those that are attending any or all of the events, which is the one that your most excited to go to? My curious mind wants to know.





Please remember that if you cannot attend and would like to have a signed book that you can call the book store in advance and they will be more than happy to assist you.

REVIEW: Partials by Dan Wells

PARTIALS by Dan Wells
Paperback: 482 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books (March 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 000746522X
Source: Audiobook
Rating:  ♥♥♥.5

The human race is all but extinct after a war with Partials—engineered organic beings identical to humans—has decimated the population. Reduced to only tens of thousands by RM, a weaponized virus to which only a fraction of humanity is immune, the survivors in North America have huddled together on Long Island while the Partials have mysteriously retreated. The threat of the Partials is still imminent, but, worse, no baby has been born immune to RM in more than a decade. Our time is running out.


Kira, a sixteen-year-old medic-in-training, is on the front lines of this battle, seeing RM ravage the community while mandatory pregnancy laws have pushed what's left of humanity to the brink of civil war, and she's not content to stand by and watch. But as she makes a desperate decision to save the last of her race, she will find that the survival of humans and Partials alike rests in her attempts to uncover the connections between them—connections that humanity has forgotten, or perhaps never even knew were there.


Dan Wells, acclaimed author of I Am Not a Serial Killer, takes readers on a pulsepounding journey into a world where the very concept of what it means to be human is in question—one where our humanity is both our greatest liability and our only hope for survival.

My Thoughts:


Being a fan of the Dystopian genre of books and finding one that I will enjoy can be an overwhelming task, simply due to the sheer amount of novels that are distributed within this genre. When I was first approached about PARTIALS by Dan Wells I was a bit hesitant due to the Sci-Fi edge that this novel appeared to have, but after I was encouraged by another blogger to give a try I was pleased with what I encountered.


Set in the future, PARTIALS is told from Kira, a sixteen-year-old medic-in-training who is two years away from a mandated law that would force her to have children for the greater good. Because in Kira's world there has not been baby that has been able to survive birth in over ten years due to a virus was fabricated from the lab created species, Partials, that became outcasts once they served their intended purpose. When the virus hits close to home Kira makes her sole mission to find the cure and she believes that a Partial is the key.

What I really enjoyed about this story was it's heroine Kira. I could easily understand her and what drove her to find the cure. Yes, she took risks but her passion and conviction was infectious and that is how she was able to convince others to help her. Which brings me to mention the cast of characters in this novel that I enjoyed seeing brought to life before my eyes. Each had their own distinct part in the storyline and some had my heart, like Marcus. Oh dear Marcus, I don't know what to think of his and Kira's relationship. I only know that at some point I became a bit tired of the how Kira seemed to always dismiss him, while professing to love him. I just did not seem a bit fair even though I could understand her motives.


While I found PARTIALS to be an interesting and compelling read that kept me engaged until the very last page, I feel it was bit over loaded with medical procedures and vocabulary. I understand that it is integral to the storyline and while I could relate to it because of my career  I feel that it would seem a bit "blah blah blah" to the average reader. That being said I found the concept of the Partials and the RM virus/ Cure to be fascinating and it provided some good nail biting moments. If only it did not drag a bit from time to time I could have really enjoyed this book a bit more. Yet, despite that fact I am coming back for more because I need to know what happens next.

If you are looking for read that has a Dystopian/ Sci-Fi edge then PARTIALS is a good read for you. It is a substantial novel that will have your attention and make your think of what you do if the human race was close to extinction.

Bay Area Author Event: ALLY CARTER at Hicklebee's

 Ally Carter ~ March 22 at Hicklebee's

03/22/2012 3:00 pm
03/22/2012 4:30 pm
Author, Ally CarterAuthor Ally Carter, best known for the best-selling Gallagher Girls series, has always loved movies like To Catch a Thief, The Thomas Crown Affair and Ocean’s 11—heist stories in which the bad guy is the good guy, and twists and turns are staples of the genre. “You know that something’s going to go wrong, and [the characters] are going to have to fix it in the end.”
With more than a million Gallagher Girls books sold, a legion of fans have fallen in love with the New York Times best-selling spy-girl series, and the fifth book, Out of Sight, Out of Time delivers the most nerve-wracking, high-stakes adventure yet.
Join Hicklebee's as Ally Carter shares her newest book with us!
March 22 @ 3:00 (presentation at 3:30)

Waiting on Wednesday: The Poison Princess by Kresley Cole

Jill at Breaking the Spine started this and I believe that it's awesome" This blog post is to alert those that visit about "the" book that we cannot wait to get our hands on.

My choice for today's WOW is The Poison Princess by Kresely Cole. For years I have read her adult paranormal novel with a steady passion and although I have not read her recent works due to my overwhelming review schedule I am more than pleased that she is going into the YA realm. I am looking forward to getting reacquainted with this author and cannot wait to see what she has in store for us.
 
 
10/02/12
POISON PRINCESS
The Arcana Chronicles, Book One
by Kresley Cole
ISBN-13: 978-1442436640
Simon & Schuster BYR, 320 pages.
AmazonB&NGoodreads
Poison Princess centers on 16-year-old Evangeline "Evie" Greene, a privileged teenager from Louisiana. When an apocalyptic event decimates her hometown, killing everyone she loves, Evie realizes the hallucinations she'd been having for the past year were actually visions of the future — and they're still happening. Fighting for her life and desperate for answers, she must turn to her wrong-side-of-the-bayou classmate: Jack Deveaux. As Jack and Evie race to find the source of her visions, they meet others who have gotten the same call. An ancient prophecy is being played out, and Evie is not the only one with special powers. A group of teens have been chosen to re-enact the ultimate battle between good and evil. But it's not always clear who is on which side …

Bay Area Book Event: ALLY CARTER at Kepler's




Credit: Shevaun Williams
Teen Event: Ally Carter @ Kepler's 
Wednesday, March 21, 7:00 p.m.
Out of Sight, Out of Time  

With more than a million Gallagher Girls books sold, a legion of fans have fallen in love with the New York Times best-selling spy-girl series, and the fifth book delivers the most nerve-wracking, high-stakes adventure yet.
The last thing Cammie Morgan remembers is leaving the Gallagher Academy to protect her friends and family. But when Cammie wakes up in an alpine convent and discovers months have passed, her memory is a black hole. The only traces left of Cammie's summer vacation are the bruises on her body and dirt under her nails. All she wants is to go home. But even the Gallagher Academy now holds more questions than answers as Cammie and her friends face their most difficult challenge yet. With only their training and a few clues to guide them, the girls go in search of answers on the other side of the world. But the Circle is hot on their trail and will stop at nothing to prevent Cammie from remembering what she did last summer.


If you are unable to attend and want a signed copy then call 650-324-4321 and they will be more than happy to accommodate you.

Review: UNTIL I DIE by Amy Plum

UNTIL I DIE
by Amy Plum
Reading level: Ages 14 and up
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen (May 8, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062004042
Source: Publisher
Rating: ♥♥♥♥

I wish there was only today, just right now, and no forever.

It seems fitting that I fell in love in Paris, the most beautiful city in the world. And if I pretend, I can almost believe that my life is normal and everyone I care about is safe.

But as long as I’m with Vincent, “normal” doesn’t exist. Gorgeous, charming, and witty, he’s everything you could ask for in a boyfriend—but his destiny is so much more.

Even more terrifying than his destiny are his dangerous enemies, enemies who will kill for immortality. How are Vincent and I supposed to be together forever if we’re always in danger?

I know I’ll do whatever it takes—even if it means lying to the people I love—to fight against a fate that is trying to tear us apart.

My Thoughts:


Upon finishing DIE FOR ME I knew that I had read something special and it quickly become one of my top favored reads for 2011. I wanted to read it's sequel UNTIL I DIE with a fevered passion and was beyond ecstatic at being able to return to this world of Immortals, romance and danger.

Upon returning to this mysteriously romantic world inhabited by Kate and Vincent I was pleased that little time had passed for I did not relish the idea that I would miss a single moment between these two characters and their diversely entertaining ensemble cast. At first everything seems normal and the young lovers are happy with a future full of possibilities, but Kate knows that this happiness comes at a steep price and wonder how long Vincent can manage.  Then an unexpected duo arrives and everything changes. Vincent seems distant and secretive and Kate cannot seem to shake the feeling that these new revenants are not what they portray to be. Vincent's immortality hangs in the balance, but will Kate be able to save him? ....You will have to read it to find out....

I adore the Revenant Series that Amy Plum has penned because she has done a marvelous job of creating a unique universe that is well detailed and guided while being romantically seductive at the same time.  It is this fine balance that makes the concept of a Revenant society work so well within this story along with an amazing cast of characters that you cannot easily forget. While I am a fan of Kate and her taste for old cinemas, croissants and a strong will. I am particularly fond of those revenant men that make my heart go pitter patter and I don't believe that I can ever get enough of Vincent, Jules and Ambrose. Le sigh...

One of my favorite bits is how Amy Plum does an amazing job of incorporating food into her writing and making your mouth water with her descriptive talents. After reading a particular passage about the culinary delight that is a croissant I had to go out and eat one and was not satisfied until it's buttery, flaky deliciousness was in my belly, that and a cafe au lait....nom, nom, nom. I have read many books that involve the consumption of food but non have uncanny ability at making me go bananas and want to ravenously consume every morsel it if it were the that last tasty bit.

The only bit of this story that I could quibble about is the lack of surprise in the "bad" guy of this story. I wanted to believe it otherwise and probably expected a twist, but I was still effectively engrossed within it pages and did not want to stop reading until the very last words and then I was left speechless.

If you are reader seeking romance, action and a good dose of drama you need not look any further, UNTIL I DIE is the book for you but let me forewarn you that you will become addicted, pleasantly so but addicted all the same :)

I am pleased to announce that KEPLER'S is going to host an event of epic proportions
WHAT: YA Extravaganza: Gayle Forman, Nina LaCour, Stephanie Perkins, and Jess Rothenberg Moderated by Heidi R. Kling
WHEN: Apr 18 2012 7:00 pm
WHERE: Kepler's Books
1010 El Camino Real
Menlo Park, CA 94025
650-324-4321





Credit: Kristyn Stroble
Credit Destinee Blau
YA Extravaganza: Gayle Forman, Nina LaCour, Stephanie Perkins, and Jess Rothenberg
Moderated by Heidi R. Kling
Wednesday, April 18, 7:00 p.m.


Don't miss this evening full of fun, fashion, romance, road trips, and heartbreak with some of YA's most exciting writers of contemporary fiction.
 
Gayle Forman, Where She Went
It's been three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life. Now Mia is Juilliard's rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York, chance brings the pair together for one last night when they revisit the past and open their hearts.
Nina Lacour, The Disenchantments
Colby's post-high school plans have long been that he and his best friend Bev would tour with her band, then spend a year in Europe. When Bev announces she will start college just after the tour, Colby struggles to understand why she changed her mind and what losing her means for his future.
Stephanie Perkins, Lola and the Boy Next Door
Everything is pretty perfect in budding designer Lola Nolan's life until the Bell twins return to the neighborhood. When Cricket steps out from his twin sister's shadow and back into Lola's life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.
Jess Rothenberg, The Catastrophic History of You and Me
When Brie's boyfriend says he doesn't love her it breaks her heart--literally. But her family is unravelling, her best friend is keeping a secret about Jacob and his betrayal, and then there's Patrick, Brie's guide and resident Lost Soul, who just might hold the key to her forever after.









If you are unable to attend this event and are interested in having these books signed by the author just contact the bookstore and then will be more than happy to take care of you.

Sneak A Peek Saturday: THE SELECTION by Kiera Cass

Sneak a Peek Saturday is a feature that I like to indulge in because I cannot wait to read the tasty tid bits that are put out there for us ravenous readers to enjoy.

Can I just drool over the cover for a moment.....o.k. now that I have that under control. This week I have selected THE SELECTION by Kiera Cass. It has one of the most beautiful covers around and after reading it's synopsis I immediately placed it on my wish list. Now, a tasty morsel has arrived for everyone to enjoy.


Just click on the cover to read the first five chapters.


04/24/12
THE SELECTION
The Selection, Book One
ISBN-13: 978-0062059932
Harper Teen, 352 pages.
Amazon, B&N, Goodreads


For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in the palace and compete for the heart of the gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.


Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself- and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

Guest Blog Post: BREE DESPAIN


As a special treat for this Happy St. Patrick's Day, I have a guest post from author, BREE DESPAIN. The final book in Bree Despain's Dark Divine series, The Savage Grace, has arrived in stores on March 13th and I am more than happy to share with you Bree's thoughts on writing. So, without further delay, sit back and enjoy the following post.


Writing the end...

I’m going to let you in a on a little secret.  Writing a sequel is hard.  THE LOST SAINT, book two in the Dark Divine trilogy, kicked my butt.  I often refer to it affectionately as “the book that ate my soul.”  I’d spent four years (off and on) writing the first book and now, in the midst of marketing book one, I was expected to produce a second book in matter of months.  I’d spent almost a decade learning how to write a first book—but a sequel was a whole new beast (sort of) and nobody ever offers a class on writing one.  As I spent many long, sleepless nights in front of the computer, I’d think to myself: If I can only get through writing this second book, surely writing the third book will be cake compared to this.

Heh.

Writing THE SAVAGE GRACE, the third and final book in the Dark Divine trilogy, turned out to be anything but cake.  It did have some warm gooey goodness to it—the easier parts—like having an excellent handle on my characters’ voices, and already having TWO published books under my belt so I could try to tell myself that my writing career wasn’t just a fluke.  But once again, I learned quickly that writing a third book in a trilogy is a different animal than writing a first, or even second, book.  And this beastie had claws. And fangs.  And a penchant for getting bloodthirsty during the full moon.

There were four big issues that I needed to tackle in order to tame this monster into something I could hand readers—and not fear for their lives while they read it. 

#1:  A whole lot of threads are created over the course of three books, and they all (or at least most) need to come together in a really satisfying way.

 #2:  Is it just me, or do the last books in a series have a whole lot more climax in them than other books? 

#3:  All those characters I’d created over the last two books—not to mention the like DOZEN more I decided to add in the third book (why? Because I am a glutton for punishment)—need to come full circle and reach for their true potential.  Some of them will make it. Some of them willsurpass it. Some of them will fail—and some horribly so.  Some of them will even die.

And #4: Knowing that when I typed the last words of book three, it would mean I was saying goodbye to a set of characters who’d been living in my head ever since a cold, dark, night in January of 2005 when they first started telling me their story.

It was this last obstacle I found the hardest to conquer.  I couldn’t quite bring myself to say goodbye yet—and I kept putting off writing the final two chapters of the book.  (And much to my editor’s chagrin—I kept turning in the manuscript drafts without the ending.)  When it came time to turn in the final draft, I still couldn’t bring myself to write the end.  I wanted it to be perfect. For my characters.  For my readers.  For my editor.  For myself.  And the words just weren’t ready to come out yet.  Once again, I turned in the draft without the last two chapters.  Only this time I didn’t warn my editor that the ending was missing.  I figured it would take him at least a week to get through the draft, and in the meantime I could get some sleep, and then have a few days to sit down and try to craft the “perfect” ending to the book.  However, to my surprise, my editor finished the draft in only about five hours and sent me an email saying, “I still have a couple of questions . . . but I LOVE the ending!”

To which I responded, “Um, but that’s not the ending.”

I then had to give a sheepish explanation to my editor about my plans to finish the book while he was reading.  I told him that what he had read as “the end" was just the wrap up of the action.  There still needed to be more resolution with the characters.  They needed their “perfect” ending!  To this my editor responded, “Well, I NEED the ending by tomorrow morning.  The book is in copyedits already!”

So running on about four hours of sleep in about as many days, and armed with a mountain of chocolate covered cinnamon bears and a couple of 5 Hour Energy Shots, I spent one very long night tackling what had seemed impossible for the last few years—writing the end of the series, and saying goodbye to several almost-people I had grown very fond of over the last seven years.  I forced myself to stop overthinking it so much, and wrote what felt natural for the characters.  I still don’t know if it is the “perfect” ending, or if the “perfect” ending is even something attainable—but I did find a lot of joy when a close friend finished an advanced copy of THE SAVAGE GRACE and she called me up to say, “I think you got the ending just right.”

I hope the rest of my readers will agree.

Thank You Bree, for taking time out of your busy schedule and giving us this wonderful post. It is always a pleasure having you here. Stay tuned for the Savage Grace review and giveaway coming soon. 

03/13/12
THE SAVAGE GRACE
The Dark Devine, Book Three
by Bree Despain
ISBN-13: 978-1606842218
EgmontUSA, 496 pages.
------------
A troubled soul. An impossible choice. A final battle.
Wrestling with the werewolf curse pulsing deep inside of her, Grace Divine was finally able to find her brother, but it nearly cost her everything.
With her boyfriend, Daniel, stuck in wolf form and Sirhan's death approaching, time is running out for Grace to stop Caleb Kalbi and his gang of demons. If she fails, her family and hometown will perish. Everything rests on Grace's shoulders.
The final installment in The Dark Divine trilogy brings Daniel and Grace's love story to a breathtaking conclusion.

Review: PANDEMONIUM BY Lauren Oliver

PANDEMONIUM by Lauren Oliver
Reading level: Ages 14 and up
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins (February 28, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 006197806X
Source: Publisher
Rating: 3 stars

I’m pushing aside
the memory of my nightmare,
pushing aside thoughts of Alex,
pushing aside thoughts of Hana
and my old school,
push,
push,
push,
like Raven taught me to do.
The old life is dead.
But the old Lena is dead too.
I buried her.
I left her beyond a fence,
behind a wall of smoke and flame.


My Thoughts:


PANDEMONIUM was a much anticipated read for me. I truly enjoyed reading DELERIUM and was left speechless after reading it so I was more than eager to know what happened next. Yet, I am not sure that what I read was entirely what I expected.


Lauren Oliver's newest novel commences days after Lena successfully escapes into the wilds. Injured and confused she is taken in and brought back from the brink of death, yet her spirit is crushed. Alex is dead and she cannot seem to make sense of anything. It takes time but eventually Lena is able to embrace her new life and leave the old one behind and become a viable soldier for the revolution.


Before I can go forward It must be said that I adore Lauren Oliver's lyrical writing style. It is romantic and all consuming, passions brought to the foreground and you cannot help but get swept up into the maelstrom of emotions that she elicits. Yet, I felt that it was a bit wordier than it needed to be and could have benefited from being a bit tighter. The constant back and forth from the then and now that was a big part of this novel became a bit over done at times honestly would do my head in.


The direction in which the story progressed was a welcome surprise and I liked the new character that was introduced. It was obvious to me that he was going to be the new love interest for Lena yet I was totally surprised by it's inception. WOW!! now that was good but soo totally wrong. That was a genius twist that made me reread that passage just to make sure I read it correctly. I knew once that relationship was solidified something unimaginable would occur and the very last paragraph cemented that idea and yet it still made me go crazy. Now I must know what happens next.

03/15/2012 7:00 pm
03/15/2012 8:00 pm
 
 Local YA and teen-lit lover Renee Ting will be leading the new Hicklebee's Novel Society: Adults Reading Teen Lit. Maybe you already know this genre – accessible, thought-provoking literature that is often written with a teen protagonist. If you haven’t considered it and you miss falling headlong into a great, fast-paced story, this may be the genre for you.

We’ll be meeting the third Thursday of each month, beginning March 15, 7:00 – 8:00. At this first gathering we'll meet each other, talk about favorites, share your vision of club reading, and hand out advanced reader's copies of an exciting new title that is slated to go on sale on May 1st. You’ll be among the first to read this much anticipated book. We'll look forward to a lively discussion when we get together again in April.
 
You can read more about this great reading group HERE 
 
       HICKLEBEE'S
1378 Lincoln Ave
San Jose
California
95125-3010


Not Your Mother's Book Club presents Music and Murder and Changlings, Oh My! Join LISSA PRICE author of Starters, NINA LACOUR author of The Disenchantments, and CAITLIN KITTREDGE author of The Nightmare Garden for the first NYMBC in Berkeley!

Jill over at Breaking the Spine started this and I believe that it's awesome" This blog post is to alert those that visit about "the" book that we cannot wait to get our hands on.

This week for my WoW I have selected THE IRON WYRM AFFAIR by Lilith Saintcrow. First of all, let's talk about the cover. I know it states that it isn't the final cover but it is amazing nonetheless. I was instantly reminded of the avengers mixed with a bit of steampunk and I am super pumped for this novel and all it has to offer.




08/07/12
THE IRON WYRM AFFAIR
Bannon & Clare, Book One
ISBN-13: 978-0316201261
Orbit


Emma Bannon, Prime sorceress in the service of the Empire, has a mission: to protect Archibald Clare, a failed, unregistered mentath. His skills of deduction are legendary, and her own sorcery is not inconsiderable. It doesn’t much help that they dislike each other, or that Bannon’s Shield, Mikal, might just be a traitor himself. Or that the conspiracy killing registered mentaths and sorcerers alike will just as likely kill them as seduce them into treachery toward their Queen. In an alternate London where illogical magic has turned the Industrial Revolution on its head, Bannon and Clare now face hostility, treason, cannon fire, black sorcery, and the problem of reliably finding hansom cabs.

Trailer Tuesday: INFAMOUS by Sherrilyn Kenyon


Today celebrates the release of the latest book in Sherrilyn Kenyon's The Chronicles of Nick series, INFAMOUS!

The world has fallen in love with Nick Gautier and the Dark-Hunters. Now Nick's saga continues in the next eagerly anticipated volume...

Go to school. Get good grades. Stay out of trouble. That's the mandate for most kids. But Nick Gautier isn't the average teenager. He's a boy with a destiny not even he fully understands. And his first mandate is to stay alive while everyone, even his own father, tries to kill him.

He's learned to annihilate zombies and raise the dead, divination and clairvoyance, so why is learning to drive such a difficulty? But that isn't the primary skill he has to master. Survival is.

And in order to survive, his next lesson makes all the others pale in comparison. He is on the brink of becoming either the greatest hero mankind has ever known.

Or...



READ THE FIRST TWO CHAPTERS: 

 SHERRILYN KENNYON LINKS:

Website:
http://www.sherrilynkenyon.com/ for more about SHERRILYN KENYON, INFAMOUS, and all of her novels.

“Reading is everything. Reading makes me feel like I've accomplished something, learned something, become a better person. Reading makes me smarter. Reading gives me something to talk about later on. Reading is the unbelievably healthy way my attention deficit disorder medicates itself. Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it's a way to make contact with reality after a day of making things up, and it's a way of making contact with someone else's imagination after a day that's all too real. Reading is grist. Reading is bliss.”

Nora Ephron, I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman

Tales of a Ravenous Reader

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I am an avid reader from Northern California and if you are a publisher and would like to have your YOUNG or NEW ADULT book reviewed, please email me. I accept ARCs, as well as books that have already been released. I am also more than happy to do author interviews, guest posts, and contests to promote your book as long as they are in the Young and New Adult genre. Please check my review policy prior to sending me an email, thank you. curlyshoe(at)gmail(dot)com

2014 Reading Challenge

2014 Reading Challenge
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Upcoming YA Bay Area Book Events

I have compiled all the SF, bay area YA and NA events in this section. If you know of any events that I have failed to post, please let me know. Also, please keep in mind that some events may change and it is best to verify all events prior to attendance.

2014

OCTOBER

SARA RAASCH, KASIE WEST AND CORRINE JACKSON
Kepler's in Menlo Park
Monday, October 27 @ 7pm

WENDELIN VAN DRAANEN & MARK HUNTLEY PARSONS "He Said, She Said" Author Tour
Hicklebee's in San Jose
Friday, November 7 @ 7pm

KAT BEYER *Demon Catchers of Milan*
Book Passage in Corte Madera
Saturday, November 29 @ 3pm

FRANK PORTMAN
Book Passage in San Francisco
Monday, December 15 @ 6pm

STACEY JAY
Hicklebee's in San Jose
Friday, January 2 @ 7pm

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