28 January 2013

The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson

In the sequel to the acclaimed The Girl of Fire and Thorns, a seventeen-year-old princess turned war queen faces sorcery, adventure, untold power, and romance as she fulfills her epic destiny.

Elisa is the hero of her country. She led her people to victory against a terrifying enemy, and now she is their queen. But she is only seventeen years old. Her rivals may have simply retreated, choosing stealth over battle. And no one within her court trusts her--except Hector, the commander of the royal guard, and her companions. As the country begins to crumble beneath her and her enemies emerge from the shadows, Elisa will take another journey. With a one-eyed warrior, a loyal friend, an enemy defector, and the man she is falling in love with, Elisa crosses the ocean in search of the perilous, uncharted, and mythical source of the Godstone's power. That is not all she finds. A breathtaking, romantic, and dangerous second volume in the Fire and Thorns trilogy.

25 January 2013

Poison Princess by Kresley Cole

She could save the world—or destroy it.

Sixteen year old Evangeline “Evie” Greene leads a charmed life, until she begins experiencing horrifying hallucinations. When an apocalyptic event decimates her Louisiana hometown, Evie realizes her hallucinations were actually visions of the future—and they’re still happening. Fighting for her life and desperate for answers, she must turn to her wrong-side-of-the-bayou classmate: Jack Deveaux.

But she can’t do either alone.

With his mile-long rap sheet, wicked grin, and bad attitude, Jack is like no boy Evie has ever known. Even though he once scorned her and everything she represented, he agrees to protect Evie on her quest. She knows she can’t totally depend on Jack. If he ever cast that wicked grin her way, could she possibly resist him?

Who can Evie trust?

As Jack and Evie race to find the source of her visions, they meet others who have gotten the same call. An ancient prophesy is being played out, and Evie is not the only one with special powers. A group of twenty-two teens has been chosen to reenact the ultimate battle between good and evil. But it’s not always clear who is on which side….

Follow Friday (45)

24 January 2013

Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick

Will love conquer all?

Nora and Patch thought their troubles were behind them. Hank is gone and they should be able to put his ugly vendetta to rest. But in Hank's absence, Nora has become the unwitting head of the Nephilim and must finish what Hank began. Which ultimately means destroying the fallen angels - destroying Patch.

Nora will never let that happen, so she and Patch make a plan: lead everyone to believe they have broken up, and work the system from the inside. Nora will convince the Nephilim that they are making a mistake in fighting the fallen angels, and Patch will find out everything he can from the opposing side. They will end this war before it can even begin.

But the best-laid plans often go awry. Nora is put through the paces in her new role and finds herself drawn to an addictive power she never anticipated.

As the battle lines are drawn, Nora and Patch must confront the differences that have always been between them and either choose to ignore them or let them destroy the love they have always fought for.

3 Year Blogoversary Giveaway


23 January 2013

In the Forests of the Night by Kersten Hamilton

The battle against goblinkind continues . . . but which side will Teagan be on?

Teagan, Finn, and Aiden have made it out of Mag Mell alive, but the Dark Man’s forces are hot on their heels. Back in Chicago, Tea’s goblin cousins show up at her school, sure she will come back to Mag Mell, as goblin blood is never passive once awoken. Soon she will belong to Fear Doirich and join them. In the meantime, they are happy to entertain themselves by trying to seduce, kidnap, or kill Tea’s family and friends. Tea knows she doesn’t have much time left, and she refuses to leave Finn or her family to be tortured and killed. A wild Stormrider, born to rule and reign, is growing stronger inside her. But as long as she can hold on, she’s still Teagan Wylltson, who plans to be a veterinarian and who heals the sick and hurting. The disease that’s destroying her—that’s destroying them all—has a name: Fear Doirich. And Teagan Wylltson is not going to let him win.

22 January 2013

What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang

I should not exist. But I do.

Eva and Addie started out the same way as everyone else—two souls woven together in one body, taking turns controlling their movements as they learned how to walk, how to sing, how to dance. But as they grew, so did the worried whispers. Why aren’t they settling? Why isn’t one of them fading? The doctors ran tests, the neighbors shied away, and their parents begged for more time. Finally Addie was pronounced healthy and Eva was declared gone. Except, she wasn’t . . .

For the past three years, Eva has clung to the remnants of her life. Only Addie knows she’s still there, trapped inside their body. Then one day, they discover there may be a way for Eva to move again. The risks are unimaginable-hybrids are considered a threat to society, so if they are caught, Addie and Eva will be locked away with the others. And yet . . . for a chance to smile, to twirl, to speak, Eva will do anything.

21 January 2013

The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke

Ananna of the Tanarau abandons ship when her parents try to marry her off to an allying pirate clan: she wants to captain her own boat, not serve as second-in-command to her handsome yet clueless fiance. But her escape has dire consequences when she learns the scorned clan has sent an assassin after her.

And when the assassin, Naji, finally catches up with her, things get even worse. Ananna inadvertently triggers a nasty curse — with a life-altering result. Now Ananna and Naji are forced to become uneasy allies as they work together to break the curse and return their lives back to normal. Or at least as normal as the lives of a pirate and an assassin can be.

10 January 2013

The Dead Girls Detective Agency by Suzy Cox

Pop quiz: What would you do if you had to solve your own murder to get anywhere in death?

Maybe if I hadn't slept through my alarm, slammed into Kristin--my high school's reigning mean

girl--or stepped in a puddle, destroying my mom's new suede DVF boots (which I borrowed without asking), I wouldn't have been in the wrong place at the wrong time, and I wouldn't have been pushed in front of that arriving train. But I did, and I was.

When I came to, I was informed by a group of girls that I'm dead. And that because I died under mysterious circumstances, I can't pass straight over to the Other Side. But at least I'm not alone. Meet the Dead Girls Detective Agency: Nancy, Lorna, and Tess--not to mention Edison, the really cute if slightly hostile dead boy. Apparently, the only way out of this limbo is to figure out who killed me, or I'll have to spend eternity playing Nancy Drew. Considering I was fairly invisible in life, who could hate me enough to want me dead? And what if my murderer is someone I never would have suspected?

09 January 2013

Halt's Peril by John Flanagan

Rangers walk the line between life and death every day, but never before has that line appeared so thin or death felt so certain.

Hot on the trail of the Outsiders - a cult that's been making its way from kingdom to kingdom, conning the innocent out of their few valuables - Will and Halt are ambushed by the cult's deadly assassins. Pierced by a poisoned arrow, Will's mentor is near death and in dire need of the one antidote that can save his life. Time is not on Will's side as he journeys day and night through the harsh terrain to Grimsdell Wood in search of the one person with the power to sure Halt: Malkallam the Sorcerer.

The worldwide phenomenon that is Ranger's Apprentice continues, with a story in which every second counts.

08 January 2013

Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi

It's been months since Aria last saw Perry. Months since Perry was named Blood Lord of the Tides, and Aria was charged with an impossible mission. Now, finally, they are about to be reunited. But their reunion is far from perfect. The Tides don't take kindly to Aria, a former Dweller. And with the worsening Aether storms threatening the tribe's precarious existence, Aria begins to fear that leaving Perry behind might be the only way to save them both.

Threatened by false friends, hidden enemies, and powerful temptations, Aria and Perry wonder, Can their love survive through the ever night?

In this second book in her spellbinding Under the Never Sky trilogy, Veronica Rossi combines fantasy and dystopian elements to create a captivating love story as perilous as it is unforgettable.

07 January 2013

Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war.

This is not that world.

Art student and monster's apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is—and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it.

In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she'll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life.

While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope.

But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?

03 January 2013

Interview: Anne Osterlund (Salvation)



Salvation Blog Tour Stop!

complete tour schedule


An interview with fabulous author Anne Osterlund



Aurelia, the heroine of Aurelia and Exile, came to you complaining about an itchy ankle. In Academy 7, Aerin was gazing in a mirror, contemplating her identity; and Dane was in prison. How did Salva and Beth, the main characters in Salvation, present themselves?
I first met Salva and Beth in the middle of a collision. Papers, pencils, the contents of Beth’s backpack, and point of view everywhere!

Yet neither of them bothered to introduce themselves. Oh, no; they were both far too busy telling me about each other. According to her, he was one of those “patronizing—and annoying— organized people.” And according to him, she was “the walking disaster area.”

There was plenty of evidence to support both claims. Though I got no names out of that particular collision, and I had no idea there was a book coming.

I didn’t find that out until Pepe shoved Salva into the prologue. Pepe is Salva’s best friend, and he’s pretty certain he knows what Salva needs: by this I mean who Salva should date, what sport he should play; what he should do with his life, where he should go to college, and when Salva should be brave enough to introduce himself to an author—aka yours truly—and demand that that author write his story.

In this case, Pepe was right: Salva has a heck of a story.
This is your fourth book, and third genre. How does writing contemporary fiction differ from writing sci-fi and fantasy? 
Aside from the lack of interplanetary planes and royal assassination attempts? LOL. Each genre has its own beauty, and this is certainly true for contemporary fiction, as I explained to Aurelia in my blog post here

The major difference, though, is that in science fiction and fantasy, even when the problems reflect modern issues, there is a certain barrier between the story and reality. In contemporary fiction, that barrier is void. The issues are real and immediate.
Out of your four published novels, which was the most fun to write, which was the easiest to write, and which was the hardest to write?

Yikes! Let’s salvage my characters’ emotions here and stick with some standout scenes in Salvation. (I don’t encourage competition between the characters in my different books. We are all a team).

In Salvation:

Fun—Beth dripping paint all over fundraising posters. Salva’s older sister grilling him on his love life. And, of course, the Romeo and Juliet death scene.

Easy—Actually, most of Salvation flowed very smoothly. Right up until . . . 
Hardest—Salva refused to go home. All he had to do was leave the school & walk home, but no. It took Beth and I forever to get him to go. Of course, when you take into account what happened after he went home, you can understand why he was so opposed.
Was there ever a moment when you wanted to go back and change something in a book you’d already published? 
Of course. But I’m not going to tell you what! I can tell you the changes would be very minor. My characters would never allow me to write all those revisions without pointing out a major flaw.
What can we expect next? 
Redemption. Aurelia demands that I finish her third and final novel. (Of course Robert wants me to finish it also. He just isn’t as demanding). She’s dying to tell you all about their book, but she knows this is Salva and Beth’s moment so she is very patiently—for Aurelia—biting her tongue. Though, as a tradeoff for such good behavior, I did write a blog post about Redemption here
What excites you the most about being a published author?

The chance to share my stories, create magic, and touch people’s hearts.
Do you have a favorite quote? 
I have many. One of my current favorites comes from the scene in Iron-Jawed Angels when the Alice Paul characters says, “If everyone approved, there’d be no point.” I imagine all writers can value that philosophy!
What three books would you take with you to a deserted island? 
The Complete Works of Shakespeare. (Who knows how long I might be stuck there?!!)

The Bible. (Because I might be suffering from some serious spiritual depression when I ran out of books to read).

Smoke Signals and Other Survival Tips for Dummies (OK, I made this one up, but you get the idea).
If you had a superpower, what would it be and what would you do with it? 
Oh, I would love to fly! But in truth, I would wish for the ability to feed all the people suffering from hunger. And then I would follow through. Though I would definitely need to engage in some soul-feeding storytelling along the way. 

About Salvation

Salvador Resendez--Salva to his friends--appears to have it all. His Mexican immigrant family has high expectations, and Salva intends to fulfill them. He's student body president, quarterback of the football team, and has a near-perfect GPA. Everyone loves him.

Especially Beth Courant, AKA the walking disaster area. Dreamy and shy, Beth is used to blending into the background. But she's also smart, and she has serious plans for her future.

Popular guy and bookish girl--the two have almost nothing in common. Until fate throws them together and the attraction is irresistible. Soon Beth is pushing Salva to set his sights higher than ever--because she knows he has more to offer, more than even he realizes.

Then tragedy strikes--and threatens to destroy everything that Salva has worked for. Will Beth's love be enough to save him?

About the Author



Anne Osterlund grew up in the sunshine of Eastern Oregon and graduated from Whitworth College. She lives in a cute little yellow house with her new feline friend, Charlotte, and her own library of young adult books. She also teaches sixth grade and enjoys immersing her students in language, literature, and imagination. Anne has written three novels, Aurelia, Academy 7, and Exile, all published by Penguin Books, and is polishing a fourth.

02 January 2013

Salvation by Anne Osterlund

Salvador Resendez--Salva to his friends--appears to have it all. His Mexican immigrant family has high expectations, and Salva intends to fulfill them. He's student body president, quarterback of the football team, and has a near-perfect GPA. Everyone loves him.

Especially Beth Courant, AKA the walking disaster area. Dreamy and shy, Beth is used to blending into the background. But she's also smart, and she has serious plans for her future.

Popular guy and bookish girl--the two have almost nothing in common. Until fate throws them together and the attraction is irresistible. Soon Beth is pushing Salva to set his sights higher than ever--because she knows he has more to offer, more than even he realizes.

Then tragedy strikes--and threatens to destroy everything that Salva has worked for. Will Beth's love be enough to save him?

01 January 2013

TBR: January

January's

to read pile