Tuesday, January 25, 2011


you're the winner of the Book of Tomorrow contest! Check your email for details.

Thank you to everyone who entered and check back later this week for my review of The Book of Tomorrow.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Giveaway Ending

Don't forget to sign up for The Book of Tomorrow giveway; it ends tonight at midnight Pacific time tonight. Only four hours left!

I will announce the winner tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Beth Revis' debut novel Across the Universe is out today! Go out and buy it now (I mean it; it's amazing) or order it online from Powell's, Amazon, Barnes & Noble.

Across the Universe has one amazing website full of all sorts of features; the previous countdown is gone and you can now explore the Godspeed. You can see all the parts of the ship in detail, find out more about Beth and the book, and download desktop backgrounds. Just switched mine over to the schematic of the ship. Go check it out (after you finish reading this post, of course).

And check out this awesome exclusive interview with Beth about ATU and the ship Godspeed from Penguin Teen:

One last bit of awesome: io9 will be posting an 111 page excerpt from 11:11am Eastern time to 11:11pm Eastern time. So if you can't go out an buy the book today because you're snowed in (like so many people throughout the country) head on over to their site http://www.io9.com and at least get a taste of the book.

And don't forget to like the ATU facebook page to get more updates.

Congratulations Beth Revis on your wonderful debut novel and thank you Penguin Teen for letting me share all this awesome ATU stuff with my readers!

Find more about Penguin Teen:
Website | Twitter | Facebook fan page
Find more about Beth:
Website | Blog | Twitter

Book of Tomorrow Giveaway

If you watched my In My Mailbox yesterday you know that I have a surprise. And that surprise (as I sure you guessed from this post's title) is a giveaway of Cecelia Ahern's upcoming novel The Book of Tomorrow. Although this title is being published as an adult book the main character is a teen and HarperCollins is doing a lot of cross-promotion with HarperTeen. Plus the book sounds awesome and Cecelia is a wonderful writer.

I'm not into complicated contests or extra entries, so this will be simple just follow the rules below, fill out the form, and ta-da you are entered.

The rules:

  • Entrants must be 13 years of age or older 
  • The book will be sent out by the publisher directly upon the completion of the contest, so I need your address (don't worry I will delete all information as soon as the contest is over and not share it with anyone except for my contact at HarperCollins)
  • The winner will be notified via email
  • I am not responsible for items lost in the mail
  • US residents only please (sorry international readers)
The contest ends January 24 and I will announce the winner the day the book comes out: January 25.

Monday, January 10, 2011

In My Mailbox (6)

"In My Mailbox" is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren to showcase what books bloggers have received in their mailbox, from the library, or bought. If you want to participate check out her site here.

No video this week because I'm feeling terrible and have almost no voice, but I had to do IMM because I have an exciting surprise to share.

Iron King by Julie Kagawa (website | goodreads)
I've been hearing all sorts of good things about this series, so I thought I'd better read it. I haven't read many faerie books, so I'm pretty excited about this one.

Prophecy of Sisters by Michelle Zink (website | goodreads)
I've been meaning to pick this one up every time I go to the book store, but somehow it's taken me months to finally buy it. And just the the Iron Fey series, I've been hearing all kinds of good things about this series, so I'm pretty excited to finally have the book in my possession. 
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (website | goodreads)
I've already read this one and it was amazing. I believe I did a review of it a while back (check the reviews tab for a link). It was absolutely amazing and I'm dying to read Beautiful Darkness. This was one of the first witch/caster books I'd ever read and I want more.

Ash by Malinda Lo (website | goodreads)
I don't know too much about this one other than it's a retelling of Cinderella. I've heard both good and bad things, so I figured I'd better check it out for myself.
The Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern (website | goodreads)
I received an ARC of The Book of Tomorrow, and I'm really excited about this one. It's an adult book, but it has tons of YA cross over appeal. Plus Cecelia Ahern is an excellent writer; you've probably heard of PS I Love You, which she wrote at only 21.

Check back tomorrow for a surprise about this one!

That's all for this week; what did you get?

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Across the Universe

Title: Across the Universe
Author: Beth Revis
Publisher: Razorbill
Pub Date: January 11, 2011
Genre: Dystopia, Sci-fi
Rating: Get this book immediately and begin reading

My Thoughts:
I've been dying to read Across the Universe for so very long, so when I received my package of awesome from Beth Revis (see IMM) I was ecstatic. I devoured the book in about three days (would have read it in one sitting, but I had to go to work).

Beth's writing is wonderful and smart. From the very first lines I was hooked. And boy does she know how to write a page turner! I loved all the plot twists too; they weren't random or just put in to keep the pacing going -- they all connected in the end to give the reader a real understanding of the world of the ship  Godspeed and the events that have taken place since its departure from Earth.

Beth also did an excellent job of telling the story from alternating points of view. Sometimes this device turns me off from a story because I can't feel connected enough to the characters, but that is definitely not the case here. Amy and Elder contrast and complement each other so well that the alternating view points give the reader a greater understanding of both characters. Both characters are interesting and you really want them to figure out what is happening on the ship and who is responsible.

I am so happy that this is going to be a trilogy and I don't have to let go of Amy and Elder here. That being said, Beth did an excellent job of creating a first novel that can stand on its own and isn't simply an opener for numerous other books to follow.

And of course, I have to say a little something about the cover and design of this book. The cover is absolutely beautiful and I love that it's going to be reversible with a schematic of the ship on the other side. Although I did receive an ARC (thank you thank you Beth and Razorbill) I will most certainly buy a finished copy because how can I resist a reversible cover? Plus Razorbill has created some beautiful collateral for the book: book marks, pins, postcards, stickers, and those awesome water bottles Beth is giving away on her blog.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

In My Mailbox (5)

"In My Mailbox" is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren to showcase what books bloggers have received in their mailbox, from the library, or bought. If you want to participate check out her site here.

Books mentioned:

Writers Gone Wild by Bill Peschel
Rampant by Diana Peterfreund
Need by Carrie Jones
Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen
Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Guest Post: Sybil Nelson

Please welcome Sybil Nelson, author of a newly released middle grade novel, Priscilla the Great. Sybil has graciously offered to do a guest post about her publishing experience. Since I'm studying publishing and hoping to work in the publishing industry I am especially interested in authors' experiences getting published and working with publishers. I also feel it is incredibly important that we readers think about the time and effort authors put into getting published and often what a difficult road it is to publication.

My Rocky Road to Publication
When I said I would write this blog post, I had no idea how much I would dread actually writing it! Let’s just say my road to publication has not been a smooth one and it’s a little depressing to rehash it all.  I wish I could say that with an elegant sigh I typed the last period of my masterpiece then sent it off to numerous agents and received even more numerous offers. Ha! Not even close. But hey, what’s that saying? Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you bitter…I mean stronger. Something like that.
So let’s start with a rough timeline of my career.

I was a math teacher who loved to read and got sick of there never being any black characters in books. I knew for some books it wasn’t possible, but for modern day books, everyone knows at least one black person right? Why are they always ignored in books? Especially black women. So I jotted down some poorly crafted chapters of a book about a black ballerina married to a white basketball player and their spoiled rotten children. That story didn’t really go very far and I gave up writing for a while.

I spit out a creepy and disturbing short story about an interracial couple living in 1970’s Virginia. I liked the story so much that I expanded it into a full length novel then started submitting to agents. Mistake number 1. I submitted way too early. The book was not ready for professional eyes. Fortunately, I kept writing while blindly sending query letters to agents and I wrote my second book The B Word of Bridgeton about a black ballerina who falls in love with a white basketball player. Sound familiar? It was basically the story I wrote earlier except it took place when they were in high school and focused on how they met.
Around this same time, I discovered www.thenextbigwriter.com, a wonderful review site that whipped my story into shape. This time when I submitted to agents, I felt it was the best story it could be. Yet in still, it took me two years to actually get an offer of representation from Uwe Stender of TriadaUS agency.

I got myself a real bonafide agent and I mistakenly thought that any day I would be picked up by a publisher, right? Wrong. That’s when the real work began. My agent sent me through months of revisions before he started sending to publishers. And then once he did start submitting, that’s when the rejections started flooding in.
Fortunately, during this time, I kept writing. I wrote during every free moment. Which weren’t many considering I had kids and a full time job and a husband and grad school.  But I still managed to write three other books during this time.

November of 2008
The B Word comes under serious consideration by a big publisher. They send me through one major revision, and then another, and then another, and…I’m still waiting for their final decision. Yes, they’ve had this book since November of 2008 and I have still not received a yes or a no. Every time my agent inquires, they say they need more time. Many people say, well that’s just too much time why don’t you take it to another publisher? And they fail to realize that it was rejected by every other publisher. The people that have the book now are huge! And I am going to give them all the time they need if it means that they will perhaps offer me a contract.

Okay, so during this two year stalemate with that big time publisher who will remain nameless, I also wrote Priscilla the Great.  Writing this book was so easy and I would say magical except that sounds really corny. But in a way it was. I wrote it in less than a month. Priscilla’s voice just poured out of me. In a matter of weeks after the first draft was completed, this book caught the attention of another major publisher who shall remain nameless. They sent me through one revision, and then another and then another. Eight months later, they passed.
One thing that happened during this year that managed to boost my confidence a little was that my agent sold the movie rights to Priscilla. Since then I’ve even had dinner with the scriptwriter. Very exciting indeed.

During this time, of course I continued to write, but I was also getting really frustrated with the whole publishing process. I had written nine books over the course of four years and I had nothing to show for it. So, I decided to self publish. I was just about to release my book The Guardian of Eden as a self published title when I decided to give a small publisher a chance. I submitted to Solstice Publishing and was accepted. The book title was changed to Secrets of Eden and was published as an ebook in August of 2010.
I also self published my book about the interracial couple in Virginia called Ain’t No Sunshine and as of this writing, it’s actually ranked higher than Secrets of Eden on the Amazon rankings!
Anyway, I started feeling better about the publishing industry. But I still wanted those big time houses for The B Word and Priscilla. But then, in August of 2010, Priscilla the Great won The Strongest Start Novel competition over at the Next Big Writer. It came with a $2500 self publishing package with CreateSpace. I felt like that was the motivation I needed to just go ahead and publish the book myself.  I mean, it had been through the rounds of all the big and midsized publishing houses and no one wanted it. Once again, I started the self publishing process and I was just about complete, when I decided to give the publishing industry one more shot. I contacted WorldMaker Media and they offered me a contract! Together, we worked our butts off and made my original release date of December 15, 2010.
So there you have it. My rocky road to publication. And it’s not over yet. I still have seven other books that I want to see published and ideas for many more. I’m hoping that Priscilla the Great will be wildly successful and that all those companies that rejected me will regret. I’m realistic though. I know that’s not likely to happen. I just hope that I sell enough books that I will be able to open more doors for my future publishing efforts.

Thank you Sybil and congratulations!