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Friday, June 28, 2013

Friday Face Off: The Mockingbirds

Remember that time that I said I wasn't going to ALA, and then two days before, I said, F*ck it, I am going to ALA, and then I went to Chicago on a whim and had my own personal rain cloud following me around and unleashing on me every time I moderately dried out, and then I went to a cocktail party in honor of Anne Ursu (!!!) and Chris Rylander, and finally made it back to my hotel room near midnight, after wandering around Chinatown, alone, in the dark, because I forgot my phone charger in the car, only to get back into the room and think Friday Face Off!...
Remember that?
'Cause that.
So: Thank god I randomly save FFO drafts when I come across a cover deserving of a match-up. I give you: Daisy Whitney's The Mockingbirds, which I had thought about Face-Offing quite some time ago, when it came out with a slightly different cover than the one on the ARC (it was red, now it's blue). But I didn't, and it's probably best I waited, since the changes since are much more dramatic.
Below are the original and new cover styles for the series. As always, you can vote purely on cover appeal (which would you reach for to learn more about it), or if you're read it or want to read the synopsis below, you can judge based on which you think suits the story best. Take a look, and tell me in the comments,
Which one did it better?

Some schools have honor codes.
Others have handbooks.
Themis Academy has the Mockingbirds.

Themis Academy is a quiet boarding school with an exceptional student body that the administration trusts to always behave the honorable way--the Themis Way. So when Alex is date raped during her junior year, she has two options: stay silent and hope someone helps her, or enlist the Mockingbirds--a secret society of students dedicated to righting the wrongs of their fellow peers.

In this honest, page-turning account of a teen girl's struggle to stand up for herself, debut author Daisy Whitney reminds readers that if you love something or someone--especially yourself--you fight for it.

Last Week on FFO: Three different versions (US, ANZ and UK) of Cat Patrick's Revived went head to head, and every body loved the US (for its suitability and metaphor-iness) and the ANZ (for its quirky, trippy composition); poor UK was left out in the rain...

Thursday, June 27, 2013

FRACTURED by Teri Terry

WARNING: This review is of a second book in a series; I've done my best to avoid spoilers, but some may have escaped my notice.

FRACTURED by Teri Terry
Get It | Add It
Dystopia/Thriller, 432 pages
Published April 4th 2013 by Orchard Books (in the UK. Late this year in the US - I think)
How do you know where to go when you don't remember where you came from?

Kyla's memory has been erased,
her personality wiped blank,
her memories lost for ever.

Or so she thought.

Kyla shouldn't be able to remember anything. But she can - and she's beginning to realise that there are a lot of dark secrets locked away in her memories. When a mysterious man from her past comes back into her life, she thinks she's on her way to finding the truth. But the more she learns about her history, the more confusing her future becomes...

Set in a disturbing future world, FRACTURED is an engrossing, fast-paced read that establishes Teri Terry as a master thriller writer.

Much of what I said for the first book, Slated [review], still applies to Fractured - Kyla is still this intriguing little enigma of a person, and the book is still compulsively readable, with a very skin-crawlingly plausible (as an extreme) basis for a dystopia.  As the series goes on and the reader is given more information and more of an insight into what's really happening, everything gets a little darker and more worrisome in a really interesting way. The more that is revealed, the more questions there are to ask.

I love the layers Teri Terry has presented in this story. There is intrigue, terrorism and patriotism, politics and science and double-crosses, all muddled up together into a full, tension-fraught, scarily real world. These elements play off of each other, each heightening the next and creating more tension and anticipation for what is to come - there are so many places things can start to go wrong, and the reasons things have come to this extreme are both horrifyingly believable and just-enough over the edge as to be almost too much. Kyla is an excellent representation of all of this; she is all these different people, stacked one in another like matryoshka. She's naive and innocent, but also strong, smart and uncanny. She's incredibly vulnerable and broken, but fierce and seemingly unbreakable. The things that have been done to her - and not just the Slating, but the layers and layers of things, which are hinted at in book 1 and explored more in book 2 - have created in Kyla quite an enigma, which doesn't quite fit anywhere, but has pieces of every aspect of this intricate world reflected in her.

The more Kyla understands about her world and herself, the more intriguing and dangerous everything becomes, and I love it! Of course, it helps that Terry's writing pulls you along at high speed. As with Slated, I Didn't intend to read this in a day, but I damn near did. Terry just makes it so easy to keep flipping pages; I had to know what Kyla was going to remember next, or how she was going to get out of every predicament. As the series progresses, new characters pop into Kyla's life with greater frequency, and who they are and their motivations are always suspect. With each new interaction, the stakes are raised, and you're left constantly wondering how things could possibly end well. And the beauty of the book?
Sometimes they don't.

That may sound strange to you, but think about what a beautiful thing that is, to not have everything clean and nice and tied up with a bow. Life isn't always clean and nice; life is hard. Sometimes things suck. Sometimes good people get hurt and bad ones keep on doing the hurting, and very little adds up or makes sense or feels right. That's life. In a dystopian society? It should be just that, but more. Things should be heightened, danger should be real, and it should feel as though maybe there just isn't a Happily Ever After.  That's the only way I can really buy in, and I'm so glad that Teri Terry gets* that and doesn't cop out and wave a magic wand so that everyone comes out unscathed and perfect**, happy and whole.  I appreciate that so much.
I appreciate the danger and the questions and the tension, and just GAH! is it time for book 3 yet?!

*So many italics!! in this review.
**But as I write that, I have to admit, there is one instance of some pretty serious magic-wand-waving where a character really does seem to come out of something unscathed. However, the other ways in which the scenario goes wrong make it work, so I'm okay with that. But it bears mentioning.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Sarah Beth Durst gets all my cover feels for life.

I almost added these to the slew of cover reveals I posted the other day, but Sarah Beth Durst's covers are a thing unto themselves, and they deserved their own post.
I mean, you already know how I feel about the covers for Drink, Slay, Love,  and Vessel and the fact that I want to have their beautiful cover babies. (And of course, my love for the covers is exceeded by the books themselves!)

Later this year, Sarah has not one but two books coming out, and of course, both sound fantastic. And because Sarah gets all the cover-wins, the covers for both, of course, are awesome.

First up is...
Get It | Add It
304 pages
Expected publication: September 3rd 2013 by Walker
Eve has a new home, a new face, and a new name—but no memories of her past. She’s been told that she's in a witness protection program. That she escaped a dangerous magic-wielding serial killer who still hunts her. The only thing she knows for sure is that there is something horrifying in her memories the people hiding her want to access—and there is nothing they won’t say—or do—to her to get her to remember.

At night she dreams of a tattered carnival tent and buttons being sewn into her skin. But during the day, she shelves books at the local library, trying to not let anyone know that she can do things—things like change the color of her eyes or walk through walls. When she does use her strange powers, she blacks out and is drawn into terrifying visions, returning to find that days or weeks have passed—and she’s lost all short-term memories. Eve must find out who and what she really is before the killer finds her—but the truth may be more dangerous than anyone could have ever imagined.

...which I would buy on cover appeal alone, no hesitation. BUT THEN IT'S ABOUT A CARNIVAL AND I ALMOST EXPLODED WITH NEEEEEEEEEED.

And shortly after Conjured is released, comes...

Get It | Add It
384 pages
Expected publication: October 29th 2013 by Harlequin Luna
Lost your way? Your dreams?


Welcome to Lost.

It was supposed to be a small escape. A few hours driving before turning around and heading home. But once you arrive in Lost...well, it's a place you really can't leave. Not until you're Found. Only the Missing Man can send you home. And he took one look at Lauren Chase and disappeared.

So Lauren is now trapped in the town where all lost things go-luggage, keys, dreams, lives-where nothing is permanent, where the locals go feral and where the only people who don't want to kill her are a handsome wild man called the Finder and a knife-wielding six-year-old girl. The only road out of town is engulfed by an impassable dust storm, and escape is impossible....

Until Lauren decides nothing-and no one-is going to keep her here anymore.

...and I mean, come on! Seriously? No one can inspire grabby hands in me quite the way Sarah can.
Who else has this high on their NEED IT NAO list?

Friday, June 21, 2013

Friday Face Off: Revived

Last week we took a look at Cat Patrick's Forgotten, and this week we're taking a closer look at another of her books, Revived. I'm not going to lie, I'm quite partial to the US version, which, beyond being very pretty and the most polished (in my opinion), is also a fantastically meaningful cover - it's a lovely metaphor for a story about a girl who is continuously being brought back to life, and is sort of "seeing through the veil"...
But I can see arguments being made for the other covers, too, so below you'll find the US, ANZ and UK covers of Revived. Take a look, read over the synopsis if you're so inclined, and then tell us in the comments
Which one did it better?

It started with a bus crash.
Daisy Appleby was a little girl when it happened, and she barely remembers the accident or being brought back to life. At that moment, though, she became one of the first subjects in a covert government program that tests a drug called Revive.
Now fifteen, Daisy has died and been Revived five times. Each death means a new name, a new city, a new identity. The only constant in Daisy's life is constant change.
Then Daisy meets Matt and Audrey McKean, charismatic siblings who quickly become her first real friends. But if she's ever to have a normal life, Daisy must escape from an experiment that's much larger--and more sinister--than she ever imagined.
From its striking first chapter to its emotionally charged ending, Cat Patrick's Revived is a riveting story about what happens when life and death collide.

Last Week on FFO: As I stated above, we took a look at another of Cat Patrick's books, Forgotten.  Each got votes, and it was actually a pretty tight race, but in the end, people preferred the first and second covers most (which I find funny, as the first was what got the book added to my wishlist, and the second was the cover I bought!).
<---------- Winners ---------->

BOOK HAUL - end of May, beginning of June

This haul actually should have come before the last one, but...I kinda forgot it existed. Only a little bit! I vaguely remembered I still had one to edit, but I'd put it in a different folder and when I couldn't find it, thought maybe I'd uploaded it already. I *think* I got most of these in May, and maybe a few in June, but they may have been all from May. Almost caught up!
TL;DR: Here's more books!

Beauty | Nancy Ohlin
Thorn Abbey | Nancy Ohlin
The Girl from Felony Bay | J. E. Thompson
The Ashford Affair | Lauren Willig
The Temptation of the Night Jasmine | Lauren Willig
Born Wicked | Jessica Spotswood
Black City | Elizabeth Richards
The Sky is Everywhere | Jandy Nelson
Strange Angels & Betrayals | Lili St. Crow
Sweep, Volume 2 (includes Dark Magick, Awakening, and Spellbound) | Cate Tiernan

Elizabeth (Strange and Random Happenstance)
Allison (The Allure of Books)
The Secret History of the Pink Carnation | Lauren Willig
Nameless | Lili St Crow

Thursday, June 20, 2013

A Slew of Gorgeous Cover Reveals

Yesterday seemed to be a day of cover reveal discovery for me - from Facebook to twitter to Pinterest, everywhere I turned, a gorgeous new cover was popping up. And since it's been awhile since I shared any spanking new covers with you, I figured now would be the perfect chance! Especially because a number of these are fairy tale related. =)

(All of the title links take you to Goodreads, so you can add these babies!)

I'm going to kick things off with what is probably my most anticipated book for the rest of this year:

All These Things I’ve Done introduced us to timeless heroine Anya Balanchine, a plucky sixteen year old with the heart of a girl and the responsibilities of a grown woman. Now eighteen, life has been more bitter than sweet for Anya. She has lost her parents and her grandmother, and has spent the better part of her high school years in trouble with the law. Perhaps hardest of all, her decision to open a nightclub with her old nemesis Charles Delacroix has cost Anya her relationship with Win.

Still, it is Anya’s nature to soldier on. She puts the loss of Win behind her and focuses on her work. Against the odds, the nightclub becomes an enormous success, and Anya feels like she is on her way and that nothing will ever go wrong for her again. But after a terrible misjudgment leaves Anya fighting for her life, she is forced to reckon with her choices and to let people help her for the first time in her life.

In the Age of Love and Chocolate is the story of growing up and learning what love really is. It showcases the best of Gabrielle Zevin’s writing for young adults: the intricate characterization of Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac and the big-heartedness of Elsewhere. It will make you remember why you loved her writing in the first place.

I CANNOT even tell you how eager I am for this one. Love, love, love the Birthright series so far, and I'm really excited to see what happens next in Anya's life!

Next up is the cover for:

CRUEL BEAUTY by Rosamund Hodge
Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom—all because of a reckless bargain her father struck. And since birth, she has been training to kill him.
Betrayed by her family yet bound to obey, Nyx rails against her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, she abandons everything she’s ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, disarm him, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.
But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle—a shifting maze of magical rooms—enthralls her. As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex’s secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. But even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, could she refuse her duty to kill him?
Based on the classic fairy tale “Beauty and the Beast,” CRUEL BEAUTY is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

This one was revealed by Epic Reads, and you know I'm constantly on the lookout for new fairy tale retellings, but when it comes to Beauty and the Beast? Top of the pile.

Next up:

REBEL BELLE by Rachel Hawkins
Harper Price, peerless Southern belle, was born ready for a Homecoming tiara. But after a strange run-in at the dance imbues her with incredible abilities, Harper's destiny takes a turn for the seriously weird. She becomes a Paladin, one of an ancient line of guardians with agility, super strength and lethal fighting instincts.

Just when life can't get any more disastrously crazy, Harper finds out who she's charged to protect: David Stark, school reporter, subject of a mysterious prophecy and possibly Harper's least favorite person. But things get complicated when Harper starts falling for him--and discovers that David's own fate could very well be to destroy Earth.

With snappy banter, cotillion dresses, non-stop action and a touch of magic, this new young adult series from bestseller Rachel Hawkins is going to make y'all beg for more.

I found this one through Miss @LadyHawkins herself, and needless to say, after my love of Hex Hall and School Spirits, I'll definitely be finding room on my TBR for this one...

And then:

THE GLASS CASKET by McCormick Templeman
Death hasn’t visited Rowan Rose since it took her mother when Rowan was only a little girl. But that changes one bleak morning, when five horses and their riders thunder into her village and through the forest, disappearing into the hills. Days later, the riders’ bodies are found, and though no one can say for certain what happened in their final hours, their remains prove that whatever it was must have been brutal.

Rowan’s village was once a tranquil place, but now things have changed. Something has followed the path those riders made and has come down from the hills, through the forest, and into the village. Beast or man, it has brought death to Rowan’s door once again.

Only this time, its appetite is insatiable.

Found this bit of fairy tale-ish gorgeousness through Cuddelbuggery's reveal and giveaway, and now I'm rather grabby hands.

And then I found:

New York Times bestselling author Lili St. Crow thrilled legions of fans with her dark paranormal series Strange Angels. Now she has created a stirringly romantic, deliciously spooky update of Cinderella, the alluring second volume in her trilogy Tales of Beauty and Madness.

Ellie Sinder is a Charmer—the most powerful of her age that St. Juno’s Academy has ever seen. But Ellie’s stepmother, Laurissa, wields manipulation and abuse to force Ellie to work her spells ever more intensely, for Laurissa’s profit.

Then a train from over the Wastelands arrives in New Haven, bearing on it golden boy Avery Fletcher, newly returned from prep school, wearing a sweater Ellie’d love to bury her face in and a smile as bright as his blond hair. Avery’s arrival sets Laurissa off on a dark and dangerous scheme—and this time the soul up for grabs is Ellie’s.

New York Times bestselling author Lili St. Crow has created a stirringly romantic, deliciously spooky update of Cinderella, the alluring second volume in her trilogy Tales of Beauty and Madness.

Through Christina from Reader of Fictions pinterest feed, which is also where I found:

PERFECT LIES by Kiersten White
Annie and Fia are ready to fight back.

The sisters have been manipulated and controlled by the Keane Foundation for years, trapped in a never ending battle for survival. Now they have found allies who can help them truly escape. After faking her own death, Annie has joined a group that is plotting to destroy the Foundation. And Fia is working with James Keane to bring his father down from the inside.

But Annie's visions of the future can't show her who to trust in the present. And though James is Fia's first love, Fia knows he's hiding something. The sisters can rely only on each other - but that may not be enough to save them.

And I'd say that's enough shiny new gotta-have-em covers for one day, wouldn't you? 
Were any of these on your wishlist (or are they now)? Which do you love, which do you loathe - which would you most want to display on your shelves? 
Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Interview with Amber Kizer, author of A MATTER OF DAYS!

You know how last week I talked all about craving light, fun contemporary reads as summer/backyard/beach reads? YEAH, WELL, that craving didn't stop me from toting along a book about the apocalypse when I went to the beach yesterday, 'cause I am currently reading (and loving!) Amber Kizer's A Matter of Days. I'm just about finished with it, so I'll be chatting more about it in just a matter of days (nyuk nyuk), but until then, Amber has dropped by and let me pick her brain about the end of the world!
Check it out below, and keep an eye out for my review, coming soon!

A MATTER OF DAYS seems quite a bit different from your Fenestra series - though the Fenestra series did have some darker overtones, AMOD is post-apocalyptic/dystopic, and any book that centers on surviving a pandemic is bound to get dark. Was it a very different experience for you, writing A MATTER OF DAYS?

A: I also write the Gert Garibaldi books—ONE BUTT CHEEK AT A TIME and 7 KINDS OF ORDINARY CATASTROPHES which are contemporary and funny! Gert is very different from AMOD but the Meridian books are in the same vein as AMOD—survival and instinct. The obstacles are different and the definitely the characters, but at the foundation it’s the same process whatever I’m working on—listen for it, dig it out, research the hell out of the details, and do my best to give the reader a ride they enjoy taking.

Did you do a lot of research into pandemics/infection, survival skills, doomsday scenarios, etc.?

A: Of course, I do a lot of research on door knobs and other mundane things readers never notice—it’s part of the deal for me—I want details and if I’m going to make them up I want a basis to jump off from! I love to learn and every project allows me to feed my curiosity.

I love viruses, the nasty ones they study in Level 4 spacesuits especially intrigue me. So a lot of that information gathering can’t be called research because it was in my fun pile of reading! But I wanted the things Nadia and Rabbit did to survive to be real and authentic—I also wanted them to think it through and problem solve in a way that teens might. I didn’t want it to sound like I dumped a couple of teenage special ops survivalists into this new world. That’s not fair and certainly not interesting. So yes, lots and lots of research on every aspect. I also spent hours on Google Maps tracking their road trip—making sure the timing was write. Potentially readers could take the same road trip!

Follow up: what was the most interesting/disturbing thing you came across in your research?

A: Aside from the mystery virus scientists are studying right now, that has a high kill rate and they’ve never seen before? It was on NBC news last week! BluStar anyone?

Seriously though, what always surprises me is how many people are not even remotely prepared…for anything. That scares me. I’m not talking about a zombie outbreak or end-days-pray-quick scenarios: a tornado, a power grid going out for three days in a big city, an earthquake, a hurricane somewhere new. All of these have the potential to be survivable or life ending.

How about what happens if you’re babysitting someone’s kids and they can’t get home, with phones down? For days, or weeks, or ever? What’s the plan? Do you take the kids home with you? Do you stay put?

Do you know how to walk home from school, or to your siblings’ school if you have to? Do you know where to meet up if your neighborhood is destroyed?

You don’t have to be crazy and live in a bunker to just be prepared—thinking minor things through when you aren’t stressed, or keeping an extra couple bottles of water and energy bars in your locker at school might save your life. It means being aware of little things—like you can drink water out of the toilet tank (the back part that refills) because it’s a closed system and isn’t contaminated. Or if you live in apartments and the power goes out—fill your bathtub. It doesn’t have to be hot water, just give yourself a little more in case the taps stop working. You can drink this too, if you have to. Or if it’s cold and there’s no heat? Make a fort of blankets—your body heat will make it toasty quick, especially if your whole family is in there. If you take medications or have an inhaler—make sure you carry some with you at all times if you can—that way you cover yourself. All of it’s just in case and we all hope it’s never needed, but there’s no harm in trying to prepare.

What do you think it is about end of the world, catastrophic scenarios that has so caught the public imagination lately? (Not that this is a new thing, but it's certainly THE thing right now...)

A: If you think about it, the “end of the world” in story has been around since humans started telling stories—Aztecs and Mayans have stories, The Bible, Torah, and Koran…I’m sure there are experts who can speak better on the topic, but I’d guess that every indigenous and modern culture has a variation on the theme of “apocalypse.”

In modern literature Camus’ THE PLAGUE pops out for me from right after WWII (an awesome book!). Then, my introduction came from Stephen King’s THE STAND, which was published first in the 70s I believe, and I read in the 90s. Again, an incredibly well written book.

I think we tend to gravitate toward stories where life is boiled down to the essentials and all the noise is stripped away when we feel out of control or helpless. They are stories that really aren’t about the dark or the gore or the death—they are about what’s important and what makes us human.

Is A MATTER OF DAYS going to be a stand-alone, or do you have a series/spin-offs planned?

A: Right now it’s a stand-alone but I have Zack’s story (pre-Zackville) and #2 in the works if the opportunity arises. I would love to spend more time with these characters.

If you had to live through something catastrophic and give up everything you love, what's the one useless, frivolous thing you'd miss the most?

A: Just like Nadia and Rabbit—ice cream.

What's one thing you'd absolutely want to have with you in a doomsday scenario?

A: Aside from my family? Or my pets? Lots of fresh water.

How do you think Nadia from A MATTER OF DAYS and Meridian from the FENESTRA series would get on?

A: I think they’d bond quickly. I’d love to see Meridian and Tens double date with Nadia and Zack. That would be an awesome dinner and a movie!

Your soundtrack for the end of the world:
I’ll give you one better—the soundtrack from Nadia’s mp3 player (that previously belonged to her dad) and some of their road trip music!

  1.  Simple Minds “Don’t you (Forget about me)”
  2.  Warren Zevon “I was in the house when the house burned down”
  3.  Bon Jovi “Blaze of Glory”
  4.  Cyndi Lauper “I drove all night”
  5.  Bangles “Manic Monday”

Thanks for stopping by, Amber!
A Matter of Days is out now, guys, and I don't think you'd go amiss to pick up a copy. Before I let you go, I have one question for you, and it's one I asked Amber: what's the one useless, frivolous thing you'd miss the most?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Austen in August II Invitation!

If you follow me with any regularity, you'll know at least a few things about me - one of them being that I'm a mite obsessed with Jane Austen. You'll probably also know that I have a Jane Austen reading event every summer (usually in June, but in August last year and this).
AIA button - feel free to snag and display!

And if you didn't know those things, now you do.

So. Consider this your formal(ish) save the date, invitation, call to arms, etc., etc. Whether you're a hardcore Janeite or a budding fangirl, or just someone who has idly googled "Mr Darcy wet shirt," I sincerely hope you will join me this August for a good ole Jane Austen loveathon.

♥ ♥ ♥

The Deets:
  1. This year's event will run from August 18th-31st. Stop by at any point during those 2 weeks for some delicious Jane Austeny goodness.
  2. Austen in August is a wall-to-wall celebration of all things Jane Austen - expect book and film reviews, discussion posts, vlogs, giveaways, author interviews and more! [See years one, two and three for more of an idea of these events.]
  3. Everyone is welcome to participate. You can just read and comment if you'd like, but I will also be welcoming guest posts - want to review an adaptation of Jane's work? Share your Top 5 MOJ (Moments of Jane)? Discuss why Bingley is better than Bertram or Wickham is better than Wentworth*? I'd love to host your awesome post! You can fill out the interest form below email me with what you'd like to do and I'll reserve a spot for you!**
  4. Are you an Austenite author who wants to be involved? EMAIL ME! I'd love to have you involved!
  5. Maybe you're not the guest posting type, but you still want to be involved? Or maybe you just want to sponsor a giveaway of your favorite piece of Janey goodness. Email me! There's room for all kinds of involvement in Austen in August.
    There will also be a linky up on the first day, as always, if you're not the guest-posting type or have last minute posts you want to share. :)
  6. Once again I will be hosting an Austen Read Along to coincide with the event, and because I think it probably needs the loving, this year's read is Mansfield Park! (And it was last year's #2 vote-getter, so I have a feeling you guys are ready to tackle it, too!) I'd like to do some movie viewing twitter parties and whatnot to go along with, but more on that later. (Though if you have ideas related to MP, please share!)
  7. Feel free to share the Austen in August button (above) or share the event/read along with other Janeites! (and thank you if you do!)
So by now, you should know what you have to do (say it with me) email me! If you want to be involved, if you have questions or suggestions, if you're an author and you want in - feel free to shoot me a line. :)

Also, big thanks to Deviant Artists Faestock and Inadesign for their lovely stock, which I used to create the event button!

PLEASE NOTE: The sign-up form has been disabled, as it is now getting too close for me to check and get back to people in a timely fashion. If you'd still like to participate, but missed the chance to sign up, please email me - I'd still love to have you!
Or feel free to link up your own posts on the linky that will go up on the first day of AIA!

And for those of you who got here by googling "Mr Darcy wet shirt"... enjoy. ;)

*Please note, you write a "Wickham > Wentworth" post at your own risk...
**Please, serious guest posters only. If you know you are the type to back out at the last minute, please don't sign up. And it doesn't matter to me if you don't have a blog or have never written a guest post, or even if you're not quite sure what you want to write, you are still welcome to be a guest poster - but poorly edited/unreadable posts will be discarded, whether you are an author, blogger or Jane's most devoted Janeite.

Saturday, June 15, 2013


Hey there! Welcome to this month's Book Chat! The topic for this month's chat seemed fairly obvious to me, because it's definitely that time of year: Beach Reads time!

I love me a good list, and Beach Reads lists often hit on a number of things I don't *generally* read, but crave during the summer.

Beach Reads can mean totally different books to different people, but I tend to reach for books that are light, quick and fun, with super-engaging characters. Contemporary seems to place high on my summer lists (which is a rarity for me), and books set at a beach have an automatic pass onto the list... =D

Feel free to share what you look for in a beach read, and your recommendations for beachy, backyard summer reading in the comments, by creating your own video as a response, or as a blog post, which you can link up below!

Thanks for watching!

I recommend:
Paranormalcy series | Kiersten White
Anna & the French Kiss | Stephanie Perkins
Hex Hall | Rachel Hakins
Immortal Beloved series | Cate Tiernan
The Demon-Trapper's Daughter series | Jana Oliver
Spies & Prejudice | Talia Vance
Epic Fail | Claire LaZebnick
Prom & Prejudice | Elizabeth Eulberg
Babe in Boyland | Jody Gehrman
Tweet Heart | Elizabeth Rudnick
Clarity | Kim Harrington
The Summer I Turned Pretty | Jenny Han
Beauty Queens | Libba Bray
Fathomless | Jackson Pierce
The Vicious Deep | Zoraida Córdova
The Savage Blue | Zoraida Córdova
Shadowlands | Kate Brian
Savvy | Ingrid Law
Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong | Prudence Shen & Faith Erin Hicks
Robot Dreams | Sara Varon
Persuasion | Jane Austen
Northanger Abbey | Jane Austen
Sanditon | Jane Austen & "Another Lady"

and the pile I'll be pulling from:
Lola & the Boy Next Door | Stephanie Perkins
Demonglass | Rachel Hawkins
Sass & Serendipity | Jennifer Ziegler
The Trouble with Flirting | Claire LaZebnic
Liar's Moon | Elizabeth C. Bunce
Born Wicked | Jessica Spotswood
Monstrous Beauty | Elizabeth Fama
Summer & Bird | Katherine Catmull
Take a Bow | Elizabeth Eulberg
Chopsticks | Jessica Anthony & Rodrigo Corral

Friday, June 14, 2013

Friday Face Off: Forgotten

Came across a few different covers for Cat Patrick's Forgotten when I was shopping (again) on Better World Books the other day... (Yes. I know.) We've had one of its many faces (#1 below) on FFO before, when it took on (and unfortunately, lost to) Life is But a Dream. Today, though, it's bound to win - and lose again - because it's Facing Off against itself.
Below are not two, not three, but four different covers for Forgotten, and each has a very different feel to it. This may be splitting the focus a bit, and may cause a 4-way tie, who knows, but I couldn't decide which should come up against each other, so hell, we're throwing them all in!  Take a look, decide which has a better feel for you, and which you'd want to have on your shelves. I'm including a combined synopsis below (cobbled together from 2 of the versions), so if you'd like, you can base your decision on which you think suits the story better.
And then, let us know which is your pick in the comments!
[And yes, I did end up buying it. #2, if you're wondering.]

Which one did it better?
Versions 1 and 2

Versions 3 and 4

I remember forwards. I remember forwards, and forget backwards. My memories, bad, boring, or good, haven't happened yet. So I will remember standing in the fresh-cut grass with the black-clad figures surrounded by stone until I do it for real. I will remember the funeral until it happens - until someone dies. And after that, it will be forgotten. Here's the thing about me: I can see my future, but my past is blank. I see the future in flashes, like memories. I remember what I'll wear tomorrow, and a car crash that won't happen till this afternoon. But yesterday has evaporated from my mind - just like the boy I love. I can't see him in my future. I can't remember him from my past. But today, I love him. And I never want to forget how much.

Each night when 16 year-old London Lane goes to sleep, her whole world disappears. In the morning, all that's left is a note telling her about a day she can't remember. The whole scenario doesn't exactly make high school or dating that hot guy whose name she can't seem to recall any easier. But when London starts experiencing disturbing visions she can't make sense of, she realizes it's time to learn a little more about the past she keeps forgetting-before it destroys her future.

Part psychological drama, part romance, and part mystery, this thought-provoking novel will inspire readers to consider the what-if's in their own lives and recognize the power they have to control their destinies.

Last Week on FFO: It was a heated debate when the old, nostalgic US covers of Harry Potter took on the fresh, new upstarts that will be released this Fall in commemorative editions. It was a super tight race, with many of us admitting that we really wanted to own them both (and I have a feeling many of us will), but in the end, the gorgeously detailed work by Kazu Kibuishi on the new covers won the day.
Winner (picking CoS because this cover is my faveomgjustlook!) ------->

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Book Haul: Better World Books (again)

You know I can't resist a good book sale...

Let me know what you think of the books I got in the comments, and if you've had an awesome haul lately, link it up!

A Curse Dark as Gold | Elizabeth C. Bunce
The Secret Garden (Penguin Threads edition) | Frances Hodgson Burnett
Glimmer | Phoebe Kitanidis
Winterling | Sarah Prineas
Cybele's Secret | Juliet Marillier
Deadly Cool | Gemma Halliday
The Gypsy Crown | Kate Forsyth

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Spotlight & Giveaway: Forsaken by the Others!

I know I've been a little absent guys, I've been in a bit of a blogging funk. Spring Fever, man... it's hard to shake. BUT I'm going to try to up my game, and I'm getting back into things with a spotlight of the soon-to-be-released Forsaken by the Others & a giveaway!
Now, I haven't read the book (it's book 5), so this is just a spotlight, but I'm totally on board - I don't know about you, but I find urban fantasy to be a good reading funk-breaker, so maybe talking about urban fantasy will be a good blogging funk-breaker... And what is is about urban fantasy book where the MC is a PI? It just... it just feels right. ;)

Check it out:

Forsaken by the Others by Jess Haines
Get It | Add It
Urban Fantasy/series, 352 pages
Expected publication: July 2nd 2013 by Zebra
The Others–vampires, werewolves, things that go chomp in the night–don’t just live in nightmares anymore. They’ve joined with the mortal world. And for private investigator Shiarra Waynest, that means mayhem…

Have a one night stand with a vampire, and you can end up paying for it for eternity. P.I. Shiarra Waynest, an expert on the Others, knows that better than most. Yet here she is, waking up beside charismatic vamp Alec Royce with an aching head…and neck. Luckily, Shia has the perfect excuse for getting out of town–namely, a couple of irate East Coast werewolf packs who’d like to turn her into a chew toy.

On Royce’s suggestion, Shia temporarily relocates to Los Angeles. But something is rotten–literally–in the state of California, where local vampires are being attacked by zombies. Who could be powerful enough to control them–and reckless enough to target the immortal? Following the trail will lead Shia to a terrifying truth, and to an ancient enemy with a personal grudge…

To celebrate the release of Forsaken by the Others, basically, there's a whole mess of stuff you can win. You all know how this works by now, so check out the Rafflecopter widgets below (one for US, one for INT) and then enter! Please note: this is the 5th book in the series, so though you may be the kind that's willing to jump right in (and let's be honest, UF books are easier to jump into, so it's not not a possibility), if you're the type who needs to know everything that happened already, you may want to either grab the first four books or skip this one for now. =)

Make sure to check out the main page for the blog tour, so you can stop by all the other tour stops and find out about Jess' upcoming signings!

US Giveaway:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

International Giveaway:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, June 7, 2013

Friday Face Off: Harry Potter!

I've been meaning to do this Face Off for ages, because I'm sure by now, most of you have seen the updated covers for HP. (I'm talking, of course, about the US editions, which recently got a completely overhauled look in honor of the 15th anniversary of the book's US release. The new Kazu Kibuishi-designed editions are much more intricately detailed and snazzy, a little more sleek and perhaps even a little more modern, compared to the original Marie GrandPré-designed iconic US versions we've all grown up with and love.
Of course, we're all always going to have a soft spot for our Harry Potter, but take a look at the two versions below, and tell me what you think! Which would you rather own, or pass on to kids in your life?
Which one did it better?

 I doubt it needs mentioning, but originals on the left, commemorative editions on the right.

Last week on FFO: Various versions of Amy Kathleen Ryan's Sky Chasers series went head to head, and when we were all done chuckling over "Spork," we were able to come to the conclusion that the original design still has a leg up on the competition, spork or no... (Though I think we liked them all pretty well.)

Winner  ------->

Thursday, June 6, 2013

May Rewind Vlog [Mini Reviews of my May reads]

Hey there!
In case you were wondering (of *course* you were wondering...), here's what I thought of what I read in May! I have to give myself a teensy pat on the back, because May was a busy month of panic, and I am sort of amazed I managed to read anything, let alone as much as I did. Yay for good books!

Definitely curious to hear your thoughts on these books in the comments. =)

The Savage Blue | Zoraida Córdova
Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong | Prudence Shen & Faith Erin Hicks
Epic Fail | Claire LaZebnik
The Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle | Christopher Healy
Fractured | Teri Terry
Jerusalem | Boaz Yakin & Nick Bertozzi
The Resurrectionist | EB Hudspeth

Saturday, June 1, 2013

June TBR & Stack of Five voting!

Alrighty, SO: expect an more formal announcement than this soon, but basically, I've decided to once again move Jane in June to later in the summer, so we will be having Austen in August again this year. Lots of reasons, and I'll get into that later, but basically, since it's being moved, I have time to read some other things I didn't think I was going to have time for - though since this is a last minute change, I can't say for sure that this is what I'll absolutely be reading, though here is what I'm planning:

A Matter of Days
Boy Nobody
Thorn Abbey
various Jane Austen adaptations, potentially including
Sass & Serendipity
There Must Be Murder
and/or the A Tale of Less P&P Continues series
AND whichever book wins this: http://youtu.be/Z1SbMKto3ao

ALSO, I don't normally share my monthly Stack of Five videos on the blog, for a couple of reasons. 1) I normally post my TBR along with my Rewind from the previous month, and 3 videos in one post on a regular basis is just too damn much. 2) Leaving it in one place seemed a good way to keep the voting contained.
BUT, because I don't want those of you who are blog readers only to miss out on the chance to have input, and because it's really not all that hard to count votes in 2 places, I figured, why not. So this month, at least, I'll be sharing my Stack of 5 video and allowing voting here as well.

If you're unfamiliar, it's all explained in the video; just vote in the comments for the one you want to win!
And feel free to do your own stack of 5 & leave a link in the comments! (Seriously - I love seeing them, and my democratic soul   l  o  v  e  s   voting!)

Hex Hall | Rachel Hawkins
Forgiven | Jana Oliver
Liar's Moon | Elizabeth C. Bunce
Slide | Jill Hathaway
Book of Shadows | Cate Tiernan


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