in real life

Blog Tour: 30 Questions with Cory D...

To celebrate the launch of Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang's new graphic novel _In Real Life_, we're super excited for this book and to have Cory on the bl...

atlantia feature

Guest Post: Ally Condie talks about...

I am so stoked to be part of the Atlantia blog tour with Penguin. I have loved Ally Condie since I first read Matched all those years ago so I am happ...

heir of fire feat

Review: Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Ma...

Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is ...

falconer feature

Review: The Falconer by Elizabeth M...

Edinburgh, Scotland, 1844 Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, was destined for a life carefully planned around Edin...

Blog Tour: 30 Questions with Cory Doctorow

To celebrate the launch of Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang’s new graphic novel _In Real Life_, we’re super excited for this book and to have Cory on the blog today answering a few questions! Check out the questions below!

1. Which came first Anda or Kalidestroyer?

Anda!

2. What was your favorite part about creating the virtual world of Coarsegold Online?

That was Jen’s department, really — in my story, it was a different game. I liked coming up with florid descriptions of in-game combat and huge, improbable weapons.

3. The book focuses heavily on misconceptions about others and bullying. Did you start out writing with that moral compass or did it evolve throughout writing?

I think we all start with a moral compass! No one thinks of herself as a bully, even the bullies. The trick isn’t to develop the moral compass, it’s to develop the empathy for others that lets you apply to to them, even when you don’t like them very much.

About _In Real Life_

Anda loves Coarsegold Online, the massively-multiplayer role playing game that she spends most of her free time on. It’s a place where she can be a leader, a fighter, a hero. It’s a place where she can meet people from all over the world, and make friends. Gaming is, for Anda, entirely a good thing.

But things become a lot more complicated when Anda befriends a gold farmer — a poor Chinese kid whose avatar in the game illegally collects valuable objects and then sells them to players from developed countries with money to burn. This behavior is strictly against the rules in Coarsegold, but Anda soon comes to realize that questions of right and wrong are a lot less straightforward when a real person’s real livelihood is at stake.

From acclaimed teen author Cory Doctorow and rising star cartoonist Jen Wang, In Real Life is a sensitive, thoughtful look at adolescence, gaming, poverty, and culture-clash.

About the author and illustrator:

Cory Doctorow is a co-editor of Boing Boing and a columnist for multiple publications including the Guardian, Locus, and Publishers Weekly. He was named one of the Web’s twenty-five influencers by Forbes magazine and a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. His award-winning novel Little Brother was a New York Times bestseller, and his most recent novel isInformation Doesn’t Want to Be Free (McSweeney’s). He lives in London with his wife and daughter.  In Real Life is his first graphic novel.

Jen Wang is an cartoonist and illustrator currently living in Los Angeles. Her works have appeared in the Adventure Time comics and LA Magazine. Her graphic novel Koko Be Good was published by First Second. In Real Life is her second book.

To see the rest of the questions, check out these other awesome blogs on the IRL tour:

Wednesday, October 8th – Bunbury in the Stackshttp://bunburyinthestacks.com/
Thursday, October 9th – Stacked http://www.stackedbooks.org/
Friday, October 10th – Forever YA http://foreveryoungadult.com/
Saturday, October 11th – CBR Robot 6 http://robot6.comicbookresources.com/
Sunday, October 12th – The Midnight Garden http://www.themidnightgarden.net/
Monday, October 13th – Cuddlebuggery http://cuddlebuggery.com/
Tuesday, October 14th — Guys Lit Wire http://guyslitwire.blogspot.com/
Wednesday, October 15th – Novel Thoughts http://www.novelthoughtsblog.com/
Thursday, October 16th – The Book Rat http://www.thebookrat.com/
Friday, October 17th – Alice Marvels http://www.alicemarvels.com/

Guest Post: Ally Condie talks about sisters in Atlantia

atlantia headerI am so stoked to be part of the Atlantia blog tour with Penguin. I have loved Ally Condie since I first read Matched all those years ago so I am happy to be part of the launch of her next series! As part of the blog tour, Ally wrote a fantastic post about sisters and the importance of that relationship in Atlantia. Check it out below!

If I were to describe ATLANTIA as just one thing, I would say that it is a book about sisters. I thought about my own sisters quite a lot as I wrote Rio and Bay’s story. I have two sisters, one twenty-one months younger than me and one thirteen years younger than me. I’ve written a bit about my close-in-age sister (I even dedicated a book to her!) so I thought a post about my youngest sister, Hope, was past due.

When people find out that ATLANTIA is a story about twins, they often ask if there are any twins in my family. And there are. My sister, Hope, has a twin, but her twin passed away before they were born.

I was thirteen when my mom told me she was expecting twin girls. We were thrilled. Things became complicated and we were all heartbroken when she lost one of the twins at five months. My mom spent the next two months in the hospital on bedrest. When Hope was born at 32 weeks, tiny and perfect, we were all over the moon and everyone has been in love with her ever since.
Though the age difference between Hope and me is much greater than between Rio and Bay, we are very close. There’s something about a sister, someone who has grown up in the same home and knows the same family intimately, that means a deep underlying understanding. That doesn’t mean it’s a perfect understanding—Rio and Bay show that even the closest of sisters can keep secrets from one another—but it is there, sometimes whether you want it to be or not. ;)
Hope came to visit this weekend and brought her usual gentle sunshine. She played games (indoor and outdoor) with my four children. She brought clay for them to sculpt with and cookies for them to eat. She insisted that my husband and I go on a date and so we went to Ikea for a bookshelf without the kids (really nice and SUPER romantic). Hope and I jumped on the trampoline and watched Season 3 of Sherlock so that she is all caught up (she loves it too). And she told us stories of her summer in the Alaskan tundra.

She’s such a sweet person, kinder than anyone I know, and she is a rare combination of heart of gold and spine of steel. She does really hard things with a smile on her face, has a taste for adventure and at the same time is utterly grounded. I admire her because she is so different from me. And I am quite certain there is a little of her in both Rio and Bay.

About Atlantia:

Can you hear Atlantia breathing?
For as long as she can remember, Rio has dreamt of the sand and sky Above—of life beyond her underwater city of Atlantia. But in a single moment, all her plans for the future are thwarted when her twin sister, Bay, makes an unexpected decision, stranding Rio Below. Alone, ripped away from the last person who knew Rio’s true self—and the powerful siren voice she has long hidden—she has nothing left to lose.
Guided by a dangerous and unlikely mentor, Rio formulates a plan that leads to increasingly treacherous questions about her mother’s death, her own destiny, and the complex system constructed to govern the divide between land and sea. Her life and her city depend on Rio to listen to the voices of the past and to speak long-hidden truths.

About the author:

Ally Condie is the author of the MATCHED Trilogy, a #1 New York Times and international bestseller. MATCHED was chosen as one of YALSA’s 2011 Teens’ Top Ten and named as one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Best Children’s Books of 2010. The sequels, CROSSED and REACHED, were also critically acclaimed and received starred reviews, and all three books are available in 30+ languages. Disney has optioned the film rights for the series.

A former English teacher, she lives with her husband and four children outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. She loves reading, writing, running, and listening to her husband play guitar.
You can find Ally via her Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook
To keep up with the rest of the tour, and support Team Below, check out the rest of the tour from our team members below:
September 28 – Katie (Mundie Moms) – Long Q&A
September 30 – Jen (I Read Banned Books) – Guest post
October 2 – Katie (Katie’s Book Blog) – Short Q&A
October 4 – Lea (YA Book Queen) – Review
October 6 – Taschima (Bloody Bookaholic) – Fancasting
October 8 – Jeremy (Novel Thoughts Blog) – Guest post
October 10 – Erin/ Flo (Fangirlish) – Review
October 12 – Nancy (Ravenous Reader) – Review
October 14 – Sara (Novel Novice) – Playlist
October 16 – Jess (Gone with the Words) – Short Q&A
October 18 – Rachel (Paper Cuts) – Guest post
October 20 – Georgia (Eve’s Fan Garden) – Playlist
October 22 – Gabby (Queen Ella Bee Reads) – Long Q&A
October 24 – Andrea (Reading Lark) – Review

Review: Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

Heir of Fire Topheir of fire

Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy.

While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?

I first heard about the Throne of Glass series at BEA 2012. A girl assassin who wears ball gowns and beats the boys? Sign me up! In 2013, I made sure I had got a copy of Crown of Midnight. I tore through that one too, and it destroyed me in the best way possible. This year, Sarah J. Maas is back with the third book in the bestselling series, and it certainly doesn’t disappoint.

Coming out of an absolutely huge shocker at the end of Crown of Midnight,  Celaena’s world is completely different. Twisted by grief, loss, and depression, this isn’t the same character we’ve come to know in the last two books. Unsurprisingly, something is missing after the events of the last book.

But Celaena’s grief and recovery aren’t the only elements of the book. We get a slew of new characters: A faerie warrior named Rowan, a general, a bad-ass Iron Teeth Witch named Manon, and the mysterious faerie queen. These characters along with a whole host of new threats take the series to a whole new level.

Throughout the course of Heir of Fire, Maas simultaneously expands the world of the book and deepens it, filling in parts of Celaena’s backstory we never knew about while strengthening her character through challenges she’s never had to face.

The scale of this book is so far beyond what I ever imagined when I first read Throne of Glass, and fans of the series will be thrilled with this latest installment. If this is what happens in book three, I can’t even picture how awesome the rest of the series is going to be. Oh, and for those of you worried that I haven’t mentioned Chaol or Dorian yet, don’t worry, your favorite prince and captain are still alive and causing trouble as always.

Review: The Falconer by Elizabeth May

falconer headerEdinburgh, Scotland, 1844

Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, was destined for a life carefully planned around Edinburgh’s social events – right up until a faery killed her mother.

Now it’s the 1844 winter season and Aileana slaughters faeries in secret, in between the endless round of parties, tea and balls. Armed with modified percussion pistols and explosives, she sheds her aristocratic facade every night to go hunting. She’s determined to track down the faery who murdered her mother, and to destroy any who prey on humans in the city’s many dark alleyways.

But the balance between high society and her private war is a delicate one, and as the fae infiltrate the ballroom and Aileana’s father returns home, she has decisions to make. How much is she willing to lose – and just how far will Aileana go for revenge?

I’ve been hearing a lot about The Falconer for a long time. I’ve heard that it was awesome, that there was romance, that it was a book I had to read, but I didn’t really know anything solid about it other than it being about a girl who kills Faeries.

And boy does this girl love to kill faeries.

The Falconer has a lot of very cool and surprising elements in it, the first being the Steampunk version of Scotland where the book is set. In this book there are such awesome things as automatic tea dispensers (I need this in my life), floating clockwork lanterns, and little mechanical spiders that will fix your wounds. I hadn’t known beforehand that the book was in anyway Steampunk, so it was a fun discovery–especially the organic way in which those elements blended with the story.

Second, is the integration of Scottish lore. There have been many books about faeries, but few specifically focused on Scotland. I thought that the world building surrounding the faeries was excellent, blending what some people might know of fairy lore with a spin that is wholly unique. Immortal, deadly, and completely inhuman. Faeries in the world are evil. Or are they? (can we talk about Kieran please?)

The Falconer is exactly the kind of fantasy adventure anyone would wish for. Violence, romance, and the fate of the world. Not to mention pixies, kisses, and flying machines. What else could you want in a book? As soon as I finished the last page I instantly wanted to read the sequel. So if you’re looking for a faerie fantasy to escape into, this one is a good choice.

Teaser + Giveaway: Summerfall by Claire Legrand

summerfall
If you haven’t heard of WINTERSPELL by Claire Legrand, then I don’t know what rock you’ve been living under, but it probably doesn’t have an internet connection.

Claire has knocked it out of the park with the creepy and the spooky in her previous two books, The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls and The Year of Shadows. And now, with WINTERSPELL, she takes on retelling a tale as old as time, The Nutcracker. Yes, The Nutcracker.

But even though you can’t sink your teeth into WINTERSPELL  until September 30th, there’s still a way you can start to get to know the story. Claire has released a nice little enovella, titled SUMMERFALL, to get your toes wet in this world of love and war.

Stick around until the end of the post to see an exclusive teaser from SUMMERFALL and to enter a giveaway for some awesome WINTERSPELL swag!

Until then, I’ll leave you with some sneak peeks of this soon-to-be-huge series!

Title: Summerfall (A Winterspell Novella)
Author: Claire Legrand
Release Date: August 26th, 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | iBookstore

Rinka is a faery, passionate and powerful, determined to maintain the tenuous peace between faeries and humans.

Alban Somerhart is a human, a reluctant king trapped in an arranged marriage, desperate to prevent war.

Their love could save the kingdom of Cane… or shatter it forever.

In this captivating novella, prequel to the upcoming Winterspell, Claire Legrand weaves a story of magic, political intrigue, and forbidden love that sets the stage for the rise of a wicked queen and the journey of a human girl named Clara…


Title: Winterspell
Author: Claire Legrand
Release Date: September 30th, 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Books of Wonder (For Signed Copies!)
The clock chimes midnight, a curse breaks, and a girl meets a prince… but what follows is not all sweetness and sugarplums.

New York City, 1899. Clara Stole, the mayor’s ever-proper daughter, leads a double life. Since her mother’s murder, she has secretly trained in self-defense with the mysterious Drosselmeyer.

Then, on Christmas Eve, disaster strikes.

Her home is destroyed, her father abducted–by beings distinctly nothuman. To find him, Clara journeys to the war-ravaged land of Cane. Her only companion is the dethroned prince Nicholas, bound by a wicked curse. If they’re to survive, Clara has no choice but to trust him, but his haunted eyes burn with secrets–and a need she can’t define. With the dangerous, seductive faery queen Anise hunting them, Clara soon realizes she won’t leave Cane unscathed–if she leaves at all.

Inspired by The Nutcracker, Winterspell is a dark, timeless fairy tale about love and war, longing and loneliness, and a girl who must learn to live without fear.

Are you reader for that teaser now?? I bet you are! Well, here it is!

SUMMERFALL teaser 16

Chilling and beautiful.

Now how about we talk prizes.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

I know that was a lot to take in, but I trust you’re much better off now. Especially if you download SUMMERFALL to your ereader! You won’t regret it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Claire Legrand is the author of books for children and teens, including The Cavendish Home for Boys and GirlsThe Year of Shadows, the upcoming Winterspell, and its prequel,Summerfall. She is also one of the four authors of The Cabinet of Curiosities.

When not writing books, she can be found obsessing over DVD commentaries, going on long walks (or trying to go on long runs), and speaking with a poor English accent to random passersby. She thinks musicians and librarians are the loveliest of folks (having been each of those herself) and, while she loves living in central New Jersey, she dearly misses her big, brash, beautiful home state of Texas.

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