Author Interview and GIVEAWAY Joel McGrath – Shrouded Secrets

On Fridays I like to take a step back and look at a group of readers often under-represented in the YA world – Guys!  During this time I’ll highlight or review a book great for guys.  
And sometimes I get the chance to highlight an author that helps represent this group.  

Today that’s what I get to do!  
I am welcoming Joel McGrath author of Shrouded Secrets.  
PLUS he has generously put up a copy of the book to giveaway!


Here’s a bit about the book if you don’t know it:

When a teenage brother and sister inherit secret metaphysical powers, they are unknowingly hunted by a group of clandestine immortals. While one of the siblings will reluctantly choose the path of righteousness, the other will defiantly dabble with the promise of true power and the darkness that accompanies it.  

As David James begins his freshman year of high school, he learns that his older sister Danielle’s popularity isn’t genetic. However, their lives change dramatically with the discovery that they possess power which grants them vast unearthly abilities. The more they strive for reasonable normality, the more unstable their powers become when combined with the stresses of high school teenage life. 

While jealousy, love, and anger unhinge their once typical lives, temptations to abuse their newfound gifts are manipulated by a shrouded and unyielding adversary who seeks to cast earth into a modern dark age. Soon secrets will injure the ones they love as the burden of true power begins to isolate them. Not even the ominous prospect of a crumbling world matters when each of them finds that they are helpless to control their own desires. 
Shrouded Secrets is an imaginative story in which David and Danielle James encounter the realm Eruditus. It is there they are taught to employ powers of the Artifex. The Galinea, knighted protectors of Eruditus, have those among them who have gone rogue. These malcontents, known as the Shroud, have set their sights on the two siblings. A perilous adventure ensues as David and Danielle become entangled with enemies who seek to claim their very lives.

And a bonus – a look at the summary for the sequel The Shadow Harvest

Immortality has been lost and in another realm, David James has been branded a murderer of the last in the royal line of Eruditus. The Doyen Council has locked the doors to the temple, and sealed the entrance that leads directly to Earth. In addition, they have charged their sacred warriors, the Galinea, with treason for the destruction of the peace that they were once sworn to keep. For the two siblings on Earth, everything has returned to an even more comfortable normal than they had ever previously experienced. Danielle accepts an unexpected scholarship to the Decayther School, an exclusive, co-ed boarding school in the quiet English countryside just south of London. Meanwhile, David is doomed to summer school because he was caught cheating on one of his final exams. At the same time, a massive and mysterious medieval, yet seemingly invisible, castle materializes, covering an entire mountaintop not far from where David lives. To those few souls who are able to view its ominous presence perched high above the California coastline, they have no question as to what its purpose is, and how it has suddenly appeared.
Soon a gathering of a few unique, yet otherwise ordinary children and teenagers begins worldwide. There are reports of tragic freak accidents that claim the lives of some, while others are abruptly taken, never to be heard from again. Late one night in a mostly deserted New York City subway, a strange supernatural battle occurs between two individuals who are seeking the same teenaged target. Local law enforcement is baffled when they arrive on the gruesome scene moments later. They discover that one of the two has met a most untimely and puzzling death, while the other has vanished into the night. While in England, nightmares of Danielle’s beloved Seth’s morbid demise at the hands of a ghastly creature, cause her angst, even though he is safely alive back in California. The night terrors become vivid and more frequent with horror-plagued images, which now overpower her once peaceful dreams. David is actively and unknowingly recruited as an asset that will help decide the fate of the shadow harvest. Even though his once unique strength has not returned to him, an unobtrusive force begins to manipulate him and those he loves. David’s decisions begin to tear his best friends apart, leaving them all in a weakened state, and ripe for the coming attack. First loves, old flames, and vicious betrayals are tempered by new allies, ancient enemies, and shattering revelations. A latent new order has emerged, and there is no middle ground left to claim. Governments begin to react irrationally as if their thoughts had become permeated with fear and mistrust, and no longer can be considered their own thoughts at all. Nevertheless, to the average eye, the world continues as it always has, and there appears to be no cause for alarm, but that will soon change. And unless both Danielle and David choose to believe in courage and to endure no matter the sacrifice, they will be powerless when what has been destine to occur is fulfilled beyond what any of them had ever envisioned. 


So with that welcome Joel to The O.W.L.!!!!

For Shrouded Secrets – what part/character/event are you most excited/proud about?
You know, my main characters go through a lot of adversity. Things like the separation of parents, social and economic hardships, plus they have to deal with uncooperative, annoying, and sometimes just plain mean people. That being said, they’re not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but I’m proud of some of the choices that they make in Shrouded Secrets. David James, and his older sister, Danielle, face some complex emotions in Shrouded Secrets, but they know who they are, and that’s what mostly guides their day to day decisions in the end.

Tell about your writing process. How long did it take you to write Shrouded Secrets from idea to finish? Please tell about revision is you can

My writing process is a little unorthodox. I write all of my characters’ qualities, shortcomings, interests, and pet peeves in a notebook before I ever begin constructing a story around them. Wow, boy, it actually took me thirty months from initial idea to finished product. I never realized it took me that long. The revision process was painful. I read the same sentence like five times once, but my brain kept putting in the missing words for me, so my editor read the manuscript and I had my copy and we both had our highlighters out, marking the script until there was almost no white left on the paper.

Is the story and/or characters based on anything/anyone in your real life?

Yes and no; some of the characters are based on the many different types of people that I’ve encountered on either my trips from coast to coast, or the very odd jobs that I’ve held, going back to when I was twelve years old and a horrible excuse for a paperboy. I’ve met some truly wonderful human beings, and I’ve come across a few very bad ones as well. For the most part though, I’ve found that people are somewhere in-between good and bad. The good ones are usually 51% good most of the time, and the bad ones are bad about 51% of the time. I think that Shrouded Secrets attempts to uncover the reasons behind our choices, despite the circumstances behind the ultimate choice.

How much say did you have in the cover of this book?  What is the process for creating a cover (my students are always curious about this!)

I had a lot of say in designing the cover and since the release of Shrouded Secrets a few months ago, many people have told me that they loved the cover art. The cover is supposed to be parchment paper with prophecies being burned to hide the secrets that they possess. The process of creating a cover was totally about feel for me. Of course, the right colors, designs, and fonts are very important, but for me it really was about feel. I believe that literature is alive, and that’s why the cover art was so important in the end. 

You’re a male author in YA and that’s fantastic! We need more.  How is that?  Why YA?

Up until Harry Potter, there were many more YA male writers. On a recent trip to Wal-Mart, I counted like sixty-five female authors to about nine male authors on their shelves. I think there’s a perception out there that male writers aren’t as good at world building, character development, and description as our female counterparts. I personally think there’s a place for male YA writers again, but young men should read classics from the likes of Jane Austen as well as the Veronica Roth’s of the world. I have four brothers, but I also have four sisters and I think that females are more open-minded when it comes to their literary choices than are males.


I chose YA because it’s an age group that hasn’t, for the most part, become totally jaded by their worldly experiences yet. I love this age group; I think it’s the best and worst years of our lives because it holds out hope that the future can be or will be different, and better than now.


What kind of student were you?  Was English your favorite subject in school and did you always write?
Surprisingly substandard, not that I wasn’t smart, but I was bored with what was being taught most of the time. If it were something that was engaging though, I would learn it better than anyone else would. I did become a much better and consistent student when I got into college, probably because I was paying for it by then.


My grandmother was an English teacher, and my dad was kind of a stickler about English as well, but I preferred writing poetry when I was younger. I liked poetry because it could be raw yet beautiful, and heartfelt but heartbreaking at the same time. However, I never wrote any type of substantial fiction until I wrote Shrouded Secrets


And because it’s the owl my standard question always is: WHOOO do you admire when it comes to writing? Whoooo are your favorite authors now and when you were growing up?
I admire Agatha Christie, for sure, because she was extremely dedicated to bettering herself and her literary craft. I think that she both knew what kind of writer she was, and how continuing to refine her works would lend to their timelessness.

My favorite author now would have to be Ralph Waldo Emerson because I relate to many of his ideas and quotes as an adult. And my favorite authors growing up were, husband and wife team, James and Deborah Howe who co-wrote Bunnicula together.
            
Thanks Joel! Neat to see some thoughts from the male perspective!

Now the giveaway! 
To win a copy of Shrouded Secrets.
Fill out THIS FORM
Must be a US resident.
Ends in one week – Aug 19th

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Book Review +GIVEAWAY The Power of Six

Title: The Power of Six
Author: Pittacus Lore
Publisher: Harper Collins

Summary

I’ve seen him on the news. Followed the stories about what happened in Ohio. John Smith, out there, on the run. To the world, he’s a mystery. But to me . . . he’s one of us. 
Nine of us came here, but sometimes I wonder if time has changed us—if we all still believe in our mission. How can I know? There are six of us left. We’re hiding, blending in, avoiding contact with one another . . . but our Legacies are developing, and soon we’ll be equipped to fight. Is John Number Four, and is his appearance the sign I’ve been waiting for? And what about Number Five and Six? Could one of them be the raven-haired girl with the stormy eyes from my dreams? The girl with powers that are beyond anything I could ever imagine? The girl who may be strong enough to bring the six of us together?  

They caught Number One in Malaysia. Number Two in England. And Number Three in Kenya. They tried to catch Number Four in Ohio—and failed.  

I am Number Seven. One of six still alive. 
And I’m ready to fight

My Review
I liked this book.  I liked it better than I Am Number Four (which I read and never really reviewed).  When reading I Am Number Four I felt like I knew the story because of all the hype with the movie etc.  Had I read it before that I might have enjoyed it better.  The Power of Six never felt that way.  It seemed like a much “fresher” story if that makes sense.  It didn’t feel like I had heard it all before in a movie preview or review.  I actually stayed up late a few nights to read it.

I think what I really liked was that it went back and forth between John and Six and another one of the group – Number 7 or better known as Marina.  I liked her a lot.  Where John had a great mentor (????), she didn’t.  I liked seeing how she needed to struggle a bit more – that not everyone of them had the same life as John.  I know John had to move around a lot, but everything else was pretty good.  He always had a place to live and Henri’s support.  At points I thought it was too easy! But in this book you learn that not all of them had it that easy.  That some really struggled when coming to Earth.  Marina and her ???? were two that struggled at first.  I kinda made me like her more!  I liked seeing her strength come out when she realized she was going to have to do this on her own.  The series went from a great “boys” book to also a book with awesome strong girls! That’s great because now I can suggest it to both boys and girls.

The plot of this book revealed more of the story.  In I Am Number Four it seemed to just focus on John getting his legacies and learning a bit about his past.  This instalment really gives us more clues and pieces to what is a deeper story than it first seemed.  Having some key points explained or finally just told was great because it held my interest – I wanted to know what else had been kept hidden!

One point I didn’t care for – the whole John/Sarah/Six semi love triangle thing.  It just seemed unnecessary.  The book would’ve been as strong without it.

For the Guys?  Yup even tho the new character is a girl there is still lots of John and his story.

Final Thought:  Stronger than the first one.
Best stick-with-you image:  Marina healing Ella
Best for readers who: Like books with action
Best for ages 13+

Now for the giveaway!
I was asked to host a giveaway of The Power of Six!
To enter:
Fill out the form
Be a US Resident
Must be 13
Ends in Aug 23rd – when the book is released!

The Return of IMM + Andrea Cremer Signing and GIVEAWAY!

Not a ton of people voted in my poll about whether you want to see IMM posts from me, but those that did clearly indicated that they would.  The people talk, and I listen.  I will return to doing an IMM post.  I may not do one each week (maybe bi-weekly), but I will jump back into them.
IMM is hosted by The Story Siren each week.

Here is a pic of what I got this week!

For Review
The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore (there will also be a giveaway so stay tuned!)
Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan
When my daughter saw this one she thought for sure it was part of the Wake/Fade/Gone series
The Fox Inheritance (audio book) by Mary E. Pearson
From Paperback Swap
Tempted by P.C. Cast and Kirstin Cast
Red Riding Hood by Sarah Blakley-Cartwright
From NetGalley
Eve by Anna Carey
Eve (The Eve Trilogy, #1)
Variant by Robinson Wells
Variant
LAUNCH PARTY
Lastly! I was lucky enough to go to the launch party for Andrea Cremer and Wolfsbane
 It was super cool, and she was very nice and down to earth.  Below are a few pics.  
She read a small part of Wolfsbane and signed books.

For one lucky reader I have a SIGNED copy of Nightshade to give out!
TO ENTER:
Must be US resident
I’m going old fashioned! MUST LEAVE A CONTACT METHOD (EMAIL or TWITTER NAME)
AND MUST welcome me back to the world of IMM (silly one I know!)
Ends in one week, so Saturday Aug 13.

Guest Post: Jonathan Auxier Author of Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes +GIVEAWAY!!

I have been seeing reviews on Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes, so imagine my suprise and excitment when I was approached to have the author, Jonathan Auxier, guest post on my blog! But wait there’s more AND to host a giveaway for the book!  I love blogging 🙂
Ok, ok, enough of that – time to welcome 
Jonathan to The O.W.L.

Hey there readers — I’m pretty excited to be here at The O.W.L.!  My name is Jonathan Auxier, and I just wrote a brand-spanking-new book called Peter Nimble & His Fantastic Eyes!  It’s the story of a ten year-old blind orphan who also happens to be the greatest thief who ever lived. Today, I thought I’d talk to you a little bit about where I got the idea for my story.

Most every writer out there gets asked where their ideas come from. Whenever I’m asked this question, I tell people that I get ideas the same way Peter Nimble gets treasure:  I steal them!

Now before you call the cops, let me explain.  Pretty much every good idea is really a combination of older ideas.  I mean, whatare “ideas” other than observations about the sights, smells, sounds, and stories all around us?  My job as a writer is to keep my eyes and ears open, absorbing as many of these details as possible — jokes I’ve read in magazines, funny signs in shop windows, a new word I’ve never heard before.  Eventually these bits will connect with one another to form a story!

And how do I store all this wonderful material?  I keep it in one of these!

Every writer and artist I know uses a journal of some kind to put down the things they see.  Sometimes I have more words than pictures:

Sometimes I have more pictures than words:

 And every once in a while, I have an idea for a new character whomay just end up having his very own book!

It’s never too early to start journaling!  All you need is a pen, a notebook, and open eyes!  Here are some journaling tips I’ve learned along the way:

1) Find the right tools for you.  Every journaler I know has aspecific notebook and pen that they like to use.  Some people prefer a small notepad that fits in their pocket, others like a larger book with plenty of room to draw.  Let yourself experiment to find the perfect book/pen combo that is both convenient to carry around and easy to use.

2)  Stay away from “I”.  An artist journal is different from a diary.  In a diary, you write about yourself; in a journal, you write about everything but yourself!  Just take notes about the different things you encounter — eventually all those entries will become a sort of personal reference library for when you want to tell a story.

3)  Your Journal is NOT a work of art!  Don’t worry about making it pretty — no one’s looking over your shoulder. A journal should get beat up.  Words should be scribbled out. Rip pages out when you need scrap paper. Use it as a seat when you’re on wet grass. When you break your pen, use spit and a jelly bean to draw a picture (I have done this)!

4)  Never leave the house without it.  I promise that the one time you leave your journal at home will be the one time you’ll wish you had it!

5)  Write at least one thing down every day.  It doesn’t have to be a lot — just put something down.  Doing this will keep you in the habit of paying attention to the world around you. Also, all of those short entries will eventually add up to something pretty impressive …

That’s it for me!  If you want, come visit my website,www.TheScop.com, where I have information about Peter Nimble as well as a collection of pictures from my journals — and feel free to tell me about your own artist journal.  Happy scribbling!

Wow!!! Thanks Jonathan.  That was super cool to hear about and gave me lots of ideas for my own writing!
Now for the giveaway.
If you’d like to win a copy of
Peter Nimble and his Fantastic Eyes:
Must be a US resident.
Must be at least 13
Must fill out form.
+1 for leaving a response for Jonathan 🙂
Ends Aug 11th

Interview with Taylor Morris and GIVEAWAY

Yesterday I was able to review the tween book BFF Break up by Taylor Morris.  A good book about that dreaded fear of losing your BFF.  Today I get the pleasure of sharing her answers to some questions I was able to ask.  Make sure to look below the interview for a two SIGNED book giveaway!

Welcome Taylor Morris to The O.W.L.!!

For BFF Breakup – what part/character/event are you most excited/proud about?
In BFF BREAKUP, I’m proud of how I handled the actual fight that led to Brooke and Madeline’s breakup. I wanted to write something that the reader could empathize with from both sides. I didn’t want there to be a hero and a villain. Or even so, perhaps one reader was on Brooke’s side and another was on Madeline’s. I just didn’t want it to be obvious which character was at fault because in the end they both were, in their own ways.


Tell about your writing process. How long did it take you to write BFF Breakup from idea to finish? Please tell about revision is you can!
I started thinking about BFF BREAKUP months before I began writing, which is usually the case. I start with an initial idea—like, How about a story about best friends who get in a huge fight and break up?—and then start thinking about who the characters are, who their friends and family are, what lead them to the fight, what exactly the fight was about, what happens afterward, etc. All that plotting and planning will hopefully make for a better book and an easier write. I thought about BFF BREAKUP for about nine months before I started writing it, and then it took about three months to write. That’s a pretty short writing time but I was on a steep deadline with a series I was about to begin.

Is the story and/or characters based on anything/anyone in your real life?
Sadly, yes. My best friend and I had into a huge, ginormous, awful fight that had us not speaking for three years. I assumed we would never talk again. In the meantime, an acquaintance friend of mine got angry at me for something I did and sort of wrote me off and I started to think, What is it about me and girlfriends? Am I a bad friend? Or do I choose bad friends? I looked back on all my friendships and really started to think about it. Then, my best friend and I started talking again—very slowly and tentatively—and I thought that the story of best friends was so simple and yet complex, not to mention relatable that it would be a good story to tell. BFF BREAKUP is not the story of me and my friend, although I can certainly understand the emotions my characters, Brooke and Madeline, experience.

I really think this is something most girls and women can relate to!

Why MG instead of any other grade level?
I have sharp memories from that time in my life so I started from there. When I wrote my first novel, CLASS FAVORITE, I had the main character as 16 but my agent felt like she acted a bit young and asked if I’d consider changing her to 13. And like that, I became a middle grade writer and have had five novels published with more on the way. I’ve written two other books for young adults—one that will never see the light of day, and another that I will edit and resubmit to agents. I’d like to have a hardcover YA book but beyond that, I love writing for and about teenagers and have no plans to stop writing middle grade books. I have no desire to write for adults. 

Ok once the story was done – How much say did you have in the cover of this book? What is the process for creating a cover (my students are always curious about this!)

Absolutely zero say whatsoever. They did email me and ask me what I thought about it but I’m pretty sure it was just a courtesy. For my series, Hello, Gorgeous!, I didn’t even see the cover until it was finalized. Generally speaking, unless you’re some big-selling, fancy author you usually don’t have much say in your book cover. Sometimes the editor will ask if you have an idea for a concept before they begin designing and they might take that into consideration. But the ultimate decision is with the publisher’s art and marketing departments. That’s their job and their strength. Leave the writing to me. (For more on covers, got to Melissa Walker’s blog for Cover Stories where she has authors talk about their experiences with this.)

Now for a nonwriting question that my students are always curious about- What kind of student were you? Was English your favorite subject in school and did you always write?
I was a completely average student! Truly, there was nothing special or outstanding about me. I made average grades, had an average amount of friends, was of average popularity. I did some writing when I was in elementary school (including a 12 page handwritten novel called Love At First Sight, starring two of my classmates) but after that I didn’t do much writing until college. English was definitely my favorite subject—I always liked stories but also I always got As so of course I liked it!

And because it’s the owl my standard question always is: WHOOO do you admire when it comes to writing? Whoooo are your favorite authors now and when you were growing up?
I read shockingly little growing up. Some Judy Blume in elementary school. In junior high I read the Flowers in the Attic series and for some reason, Drew Barrymore’s autobiography Little Girl Lost. By high school I was reading Gone With the Wind. Other than that, it’s strange to say I wasn’t much of a reader. I loved reading, but I never knew what books to buy or get at the library.

As for authors from today who I admire, I love Maureen Johnson’s wit and Meg Cabot’s humor. Barbara Dee’s middle grade books are adorable and full of heart. The Harry Potter series will always be in my top five—what an incredible writer and storyteller J.K. Rowling is!

Thanks for hanging out with us today!

Now for the giveaway.  
Taylor Morris has provide the first two books in the Hello Gorgeous series: Blowout and Foiled
Now that she’s had her thirteenth birthday, Mickey’s finally old enough to work at her mother’s super glam hair salon-Hello, Gorgeous! And true to the old cliche about people confiding in their hair stylists, Mickey starts getting an earful right off the bat. Customers love talking to her because she’s so empathetic, but what happens when she starts getting overly involved in their dramas?

To Enter
Must be US resident
Must FILL OUT FORM
+1 for commenting on REVIEW
+1 for commenting on INTERVIEW
Ends Aug 3rd





Welcome to BLOGFEST 2011!!!!

Are you excited??? Are ya? Are ya? I know I am because it’s BLOGFEST time!

Ok here’s some details about Blogfest over-all.
It runs July 15-17
Each blog will link to 5 more blogs participating.
You can always find the whole list at our fantastic host:
  AND guess what else – you can TRACK your entries through the Blogfest tracking site. Find that site HERE.  For each blog you tract at the tracking site you gain an extra entry in a special giveaway!

Now about my giveaway!

I’m giving away of a copy of Divergent by Veronica Roth


You’ve got to read this book.  I read it and LOVE it!
To Enter:
Simple simple – fill out the form 🙂
You don’t have to follow.  I only want you to follow if you check out my blog and like it enough to stick around.
Must be a US resident (sorry)

Book/Magazine Review and GIVEAWAY: Discovery Girls

Today I have something a bit different.  Instead of reviewing a book, I’m reviewing a magazine.  That magazine would be Discovery Girls.  The publishers of Discovery Girls asked if I would be interested in reviewing the magazine and hosting a giveaway.  At first I was hesitant, but then I realized that my goal is to get kids reading.  And if I can get them reading a magazine that’s awesome!!!! So I said yes.  A bit later I got some copies of issues to look at.  I realized that I knew this magazine from our school library, but I had never really looked at it before.  I wish I had!

What is Discovery Girls?
Discovery Girls, an award-winning magazine aimed at tween girls, has produced four books packed with real-world practical advice. The books deliver their best strategies so girls can successfully deal with friendship troubles, embarrassing moments, life’s toughest problems (like death and divorce), body issues, crushes on buys, school pressures and more. The set includes: Friendship Hardships – Making friends who respect and understand you. Sticky Situations – How to bounce back from almost anything. Getting Through Tough Times – Handling life’s toughest challenges. Getting Your Questions Answered – Advice on family, friendships, boys and more. All of the books reinforce the power of girls to overcome disappointment, develop postive images about themselves, seek the right kind of help, talk to their parents and learn how to grow from failures.

What I Thought:

Discovery Girls is a great magazine for the tween set because it shows REAL girls.  Even the covers are read girls of all shapes and sizes.  I love that!  I’m not saying other magazines are bad, but it’s frustrating to have all these teen magazine staring at you covered with “perfect” actresses, singers etc.  I have a daughter, and I’ve worried about her comparing herself to those images.  What a great relief to see a magazine that shows what real girls look like, and they really do look like real girls.  I teach in a middle school with almost 900 students grades 5-8.  I know what girls this age look like!  This cover is a mirror to what a typical girl would see around them.  Love it!

Ok, so that’s the cover, but we all know we can’t judge a book by it’s cover.  Upon looking through the pages I learned that what you see on the cover is just what you’ll see inside.  Real girls, real issues, real problems.  Loved that too! In the issues I saw there were pieces about zits, baking cupcakes, lying to parents, envy and cell phones in schools.  My favorite though was a whole piece from older girls telling what they wish they had known when they were younger.  They were all things I would tell my daughter, but because they came from mom she didn’t want to hear them!  Maybe she’ll listen to older girls. 

I wish I had know about this magazine when my daughter was younger.  She’s 12 now, and pretty much on the upper end of the target audience.  Although I will say she nabbed my copies and pretty much read them cover to cover 🙂

Now to go with the magazine, they also sent me a book titled Fab Girls Guide to Getting Through Tough Times.  This book presented a bunch of tough situations a young girl might find herself in, and advice on how to deal with it.  Some topics included: cyber bullying, admitting being wrong, being “left” by friends, being part of different culture, parent losing a job and many more.  The advice was very sound and well done.  I could see a young girl turning to this book to get some advice when she’s a bit to scared to ask a parent.  Very well done.

For the Guys?  Nope.  It’s Discovery Girls 🙂

Final thought:  A great way to get girls reading and not putting unrealistic expectations in front of them

Best for readers:  Who aren’t readers and are intimidated by books

Best for ages: 8-11

Now for the giveaway
Discovery Girls is giving away two copies of their 10 Year Collector’s Edition.  They sent me a copy and it’s great!
To enter:
Must be a US Resident
Must be at least 13 or is younger supply a parent email
Must fill out the form
Ends June 30

Tween Tuesday: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland +GIVEAWAY!

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Fairyland, #1)Tween Tuesday was started by GreenBeanTeenQueen.  In it we celebrate, review and share books perfect for the tween set. 

Today I’d like to share a bit about the book The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente. (wow that’s a long title!)  This book look just adorable and perfect for tween readers. 

Here’s a bit about it:

“Twelve-year-old September lives in Omaha, and used to have an ordinary life, until her father went to war and her mother went to work. One day, September is met at her kitchen window by a Green Wind (taking the form of a gentleman in a green jacket), who invites her on an adventure, implying that her help is needed in Fairyland. The new Marquess is unpredictable and fickle, and also not much older than September. Only September can retrieve a talisman the Marquess wants from the enchanted woods, and if she doesn?t . . . then the Marquess will make life impossible for the inhabitants of Fairyland. September is already making new friends, including a book-loving Wyvern and a mysterious boy named Saturday.

With exquisite illustrations by acclaimed artist Ana Juan, Fairyland lives up to the sensation it created when the author first posted it online. For readers of all ages who love the charm of Alice in Wonderland and the soul of The Golden Compass, here is a reading experience unto itself: unforgettable, and so very beautiful.”

Now check out the trailer!

I’ve heard some good things!

Some other links for the book:

Macmillan page for the book & author:
http://us.macmillan.com/thegirlwhocircumnavigatedfairylandinashipofherownmaking

Author’s website & blog:
http://www.catherynnemvalente.com/
http://blog.catherynnemvalente.com/

Now for the giveaway.
To enter:
Must be a US or Canadian resident
Must be 13
Must fill out the form
Ends June 28th

Book Trailer and GIVEAWAY for Ruby Red!

I’m very excited to be able to share with you the book trailer for Kerstin Gier’s Ruby Red  AND offer a giveaway for the book.

First a bit about the book:

Gwyneth Shepherd’s sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth, who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era!

Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon–the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the 18th century and in contemporary London, they can trust.

Check out the trailer

Now for the GIVEAWAY
Requirements
Must be a resident of the US or Canada
Must be 13
Must fill out the form
Ends Jnne14th



Book Trailer and Giveaway of EVERLASTING by Alyson Noel

I’m very excited to share the book trailer and host a giveaway for Everlasting, the last in The Immortals series by Alyson Noel!

Here’s just a bit about the final book as well as the trailer.

The sixth and final installment of the epic love story that has enchanted readers across the world. Ever and Damen have spent centuries facing down bitter rivals, jealous friends and their own worst fears—all in the hope of being together forever. Now in Everlasting, their destiny is finally within reach.

Will they be united—or torn apart forever? Readers will finally discover the truth in this anxiously awaited conclusion!

Alyson Noel’s Immortals Website:
http://www.alysonnoel.com/immortals/
Macmillan Publishing’s Alyson Noel site:
http://us.macmillan.com/author/alysonnoel

Giveaway Requirements

Must be a US or Canadian resident
Must be 13
Fill out the form
Ends June 11th at midnight CST