Category Archives: Uncategorized

Field Trip!

This morning, I went back to my elementary school and talked to one of my favorite teachers’ classes. Another favorite set it up and getting to see Mrs. Ennis and Mrs. Pappas made this the best day ever (even before getting to talk about books and blogging and BEA for an hour)!
 I know that we hear all these stories about how no one reads anymore, but it was a class full of actively literate people. As you know, I love talking about books and the authors I love. And I could tell they felt the same way–they told me their favorite books and authors, and showed me what they were reading now and they were all SO EXCITED about all of it. 
And guys, I am SO BEHIND on my reading. I have to read Rick Riordan and the Charlie Bone series and like 50,000 others that I’ve scrawled on a piece of paper. I don’t know when I’ll get to it (I’m going to stay on top of review books in 2017, I swear!) but I’ll get to everything eventually. (Shut up, YES I WILL.)
Book people are the best people and I’m really happy to report that the next generation of book people are doing just fine. 

I Hope You Forgive Me

This week Liza Wiemer is launching a new initiative, I HOPE YOU FORGIVE ME. IHYFM is a revolutionary website that asks teens and adults to anonymously share moments from their teen years they wish they could ask forgiveness for but have never had the courage to. Until now.
During your teen years…

Who hasn’t done something stupid? Thoughtless? Rude? Cruel? Mean?

Who hasn’t made mistakes? Done things they regret? 

Who hasn’t been afraid to ask forgiveness, but instead chose silence?

Who hasn’t wished they had said, “I’m sorry,” but now it’s too late? 

It’s not.

I HOPE YOU FORGIVE ME is the opportunity to share your burden. To admit what you’ve done. Anonymously. So that teens can learn from your experience. 

Let’s make a difference. Together.
All stories shared are anonymous – no telling details save for details you provide are shared publicly. The goal is the bring people together and help today’s teens realize they are not alone by reading the experiences of others.
For more information or to share your own story, visit http://ihopeyouforgiveme.com/

Happy Halloween!

As you know, this is my favorite day. And since we’re all entitled to one good scare, here are some of my favorite scary movies. 

70s:

1) Halloween

2) Jaws

3) Alien

4) The Omen

5) Carrie

80s: 

1) Nightmare on Elm Street

2) Child’s Play

3) Poltergeist

4) Halloween III: The Season of the Witch

5) Friday the 13th

90s:

1) Candyman

2) The Blair Witch Project

3) Scream

4) The Silence of the Lambs

5) I Know What You Did Last Summer

Recent ones:

1) The Purge

2) The Strangers

3) The Conjuring

4) Sinister

5) Hush (Netflix one)

Sequels:

1) The Conjuring 2

2) Scream 2

3) Friday the 13th 4

4) Child’s Play 2

5) Nightmare on Elm Street 3

Remakes:

1) Texas Chainsaw Massacre

2) Friday the 13th

3) The Amityville Horror

4) Dawn of the Dead

5) The Evil Dead

YA Books Still Eligible For Cybils Nomination

So, as you know, I’m a first round Cybils judge. I’m briefly emerging from my reading to point out that, while we’ve had about 50 books nominated and eligible so far, there are still a lot of great ones you can pick.

1) All the Feels by Danika Stone

2) Gena/Finn by Hannah Moskowitz and Kat Helgeson

3) Everyone We’ve Been by Sarah Everett

4) Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

5) The Last True Love Story by Brendan Kiely

6) Wrecked by Maria Padian

7) My Kind of Crazy by Robin Reul

8) Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland

9) Thicker than Water by Kelly Fiore

10) When the Moon Was Ours by Annmarie McLemore

11) Wanderlost by Jen Malone

12) You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour and David Levithan

13) A Week of Mondays by Jessica Brody

14) The Love that Split the World by Emily Henry

15) Summer of Supernovas by Darcy Woods

Click here for more information and a link to nominate.

Finn’s Choice

Finished Finn’s Choice by Darby Karchut. I received a copy for review. This originally ran last month. 

It breaks my heart that this is the last Finn Finnegan book. This series has been such an absolute delight and, while this book was everything I could’ve possibly wanted, I am not ready to say goodbye to Finn or Gideon. 

It helps that there’s a little crossover between both of Darby’s other series…but it doesn’t help that much because I will probably never read a new Finn story again and frankly, that’s unacceptable. 

If you are looking for a fantastic MG series that features one of the best father/son relationships ever plus Irish folklore plus strong characters, read these four books. You’ll thank me later.

Highly recommended. 

Watching Edie

Finished Watching Edie by Camilla Way. I received a copy for review. 

This is told from Edie’s perspective now and from her friend Heather’s perspective in the past. Some unknown event has shattered their friendship (we don’t know what or whose fault it is). Edie’s got a new baby (and a pretty big case of post-partum depression) and Heather magically appears to help. And honestly, she’s creepy. Like Single White Female creepy. 

This whole book is creepy. And intense. And when we finally learn what happened and why…WOW. The revelation calls everything else in the book into question. In that respect, it’s not unlike Gone Girl, though that’s really the only similarity there. 

This is a completely unexpected novel. Recommended. 

Copper Veins blog tour

Book information, synopsis and Goodreads link and Pre-order links:

 Title: Copper Veins (Copper Legacy #3)

Author: Jennifer Allis Provost

Release Date: July 27, 2016

Publisher: Spencer Hill Press

Synopsis: Sara’s pretty sure her life is perfect.

Not only are she and Micah finally married, her father, who’d been missing since the Magic Wars, has been found. Actually, he just strode up to the manor’s front door, but whatever. Sara knows better than to look a gift horse in the mouth.

 But Baudoin Corbeau isn’t content to return to family life. He’s decided that he will be the force of change in the Mundane world, and lead the Elemental resistance to victory with his children at his side. What’s worse, Baudoin doesn’t approve of Sara’s marriage, and makes every attempt to separate her from Micah.

 After a visit to the Mundane realm leaves Sara, Max and Sadie imprisoned by the Peacekeepers, Sara’s doubts creep to the surface. Is her father right? Does she belong in the Mundane realm, not the Otherworld? Is Micah really the right man—make that elf—for her?

 Was marrying him a mistake?

 
Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23550747-copper-veins?from_search=true&search_version=service
Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Copper-Veins-Legacy-Jennifer-Provost-ebook/dp/B00RKQDAG8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1467399778&sr=8-1&keywords=Copper+Veins#nav-subnav
Barnes & Noble Link: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/copper-veins-jennifer-allis-provost/1120963884?ean=9781633920101

 
Author Bio and social media links:
Author Bio:


Jennifer Allis Provost writes books about faeries, orcs and elves. Zombies too. She grew up in the wilds of Western Massachusetts and had read every book in the local library by age twelve. (It was a small library). An early love of mythology and folklore led to her epic fantasy series, The Chronicles of Parthalan, and her day job as a cubicle monkey helped shape her urban fantasy, Copper Girl. When she’s not writing about things that go bump in the night (and sometimes during the day) she’s working on her MFA in Creative Nonfiction.

Author Social Media Links:

GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2975887.Jennifer_Allis_Provost
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/copperraven/
WEBSITE: http://authorjenniferallisprovost.com/
TWITTER: https://twitter.com/parthalan

And finally, below is the code for the Rafflecopter giveaway – One signed copy of Copper Girl (Copper Legacy, #1) , US only

Rafflecopter Code:
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Deadpool

Why I chose Deadpool: Because everyone loves it

Seen before? No

Would I recommend it? Yes! To anyone who’s not easily or moderately easily offended. 

You guys, I loved this movie. It’s crazy violent, wickedly funny and just over the top in the best way. I think this is my new favorite superhero movie. 

Ryan Reynolds is perfect in this. It’s super meta but that basically just makes this the superhero version of Scream. 

I love everything about this movie. 

Armada is out in paperback today!

Armada Pbk Cover

So first, can we talk about how much I love that cover?  It’s so fun and captures the spirit of his books perfectly!

And there’s a lot going on with the paperback release, guys.  You can play the game online and win an Oculus Rift.

Not sure if it’s your deal? Here’s an excerpt:

“I didn’t remember unzipping my backpack, or taking out the tire iron, but I must have, because now I had the cold steel rod clenched in my hand, and I was raising it to strike.

All three of my opponents stood frozen for a moment, their eyes wide. The Lennys threw up their hands and started backing away. Knotcher’s eyes flicked over to them, and I saw him registering that his simian pals had bowed out of the fight. He started moving backward too.

I looked at the curb a few feet behind him, had a nasty thought, and followed through on it by lunging at Knotcher with the tire iron. He lurched backward and—just as I’d hoped—caught a heel on the concrete rise and landed flat on his back.

And then I was standing over him, looking down at the tire iron clutched in my hands.

Off to my left, someone screamed. My head snapped around and I saw that an audience had gathered— a handful of students on their way in to first period. Among them one girl, too young and deer-in-the-headlights to be anything but a freshman, slapped a hand over her mouth and flinched backward as I looked her way. As if she was terrified that I—Zack the school psycho—would choose her as my next target.

I glanced back at the Lennys, who were now standing among the students who had gathered to watch the fight. All of the onlookers seemed to be wearing the same expression of horrified anticipation, as if they believed they might be seconds away from witnessing their first homicide.

A wave of cold shame washed over me as the intensity of my rage faded away. I looked down at the tire iron clutched in my hands and let it clatter to the pavement. I heard a chorus of nervous laughter behind me, along with more than one relieved sigh.

I stepped away from Knotcher. He slowly got to his feet. We stared at each other for a moment, and he looked as if he was about to say something when his gaze shot upward, focused on something in the sky behind me.

When I turned around, I saw a strange-looking aircraft approaching from the east, moving at an incredible speed. The closer it got, the more familiar it looked. My brain still refused to accept what my eyes were seeing—until a few seconds

later, when the craft braked to a dead stop and hovered directly over us, close enough for me to make out the Earth Defense Alliance crest stenciled on the side of its armored hull.

“No way,” I heard someone whisper. A second later, I realized it was me.

It was an ATS-31 Aerospace Troop Shuttle, one of the ships used by the Earth Defense Alliance in both Armada and Terra Firma. And it was about to land in front of my high school.

I definitely wasn’t hallucinating this time: Dozens of other people were staring up at the shuttle in amazement, too. And I could hear the rumble of the shuttle’s fusion engines and feel the heat from their exhaust buffeting my face. It was really up there.

As the shuttle began to descend, everyone in my vicinity scattered like roaches, heading for the safety of the school.

I just stood there like a statue, unable to look away. The ship was identical to the troop shuttles I’d piloted while playing Armada, right down to the EDA crest and identification bar code stamped on the underside of its hull.

The Earth Defense Alliance can’t be real, Zack, I assured myself. And neither can that shuttle you think you’re looking at right now. You are hallucinating again, only it’s much worse this time. This time, you’re having a full-on psychotic break.”

Reprinted from Armada Copyright © 2015 by Dark All Day, Inc. Published by Broadway Books, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House LLC.

And I have a Q&A with Ernest Cline, who’s my imaginary best friend.  I would like to hang out and talk pop culture with him so much; you have no idea.  Unless you’ve read his books, in which case, I bet you DO have an idea.

Anyway…

Q) Let’s get right to the elephant in the room. The news is now out that your debut novel, Ready Player One, will be made into a film by Warner Brothers and legendary director Steven Spielberg (set to debut in theaters March of 2018)! What did you do when you got the news

A) I pinched myself a few hundred times to make sure I wasn’t dreaming—then I re-watched all of his movies—including the Indiana Jones films, which helped inspire certain elements of RPO’s story, along with T. and Close Encounters, two Spielberg films that played a large role in inspiring Armada. His work has influenced me throughout my life and writing career, so it’s a dream come true to have the opportunity to collaborate with him on the film adaptation of a story that his work helped inspire.

Q) What do you think of the casting announcements that have been made already?

A) I think they’re fantastic! I’ve been a fan of Ben Mendelsohn’s acting since the ’80s, and his portrayal of John Daggett in The Dark Knight Rises is all the proof I need that he’s perfect for the role of Sorrento. Olivia Cooke is amazing on Bates Motel and in Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. She’s going to make a great Art3mis! And after seeing Tye Sheridan in films like Mud and Joe, I think he’s one of the most talented young actors working today, and that he’ll do an incredible job playing Wade Watts.

Q) For decades, science-fiction writers have been predicting some of the most incredible futuristic concepts that have become reality, such as debit cards, video conferencing, ear buds, and even accurate details about men landing on the moon. In Ready Player One, the merging of virtual reality technology and social media that you write about is now a reality with the Oculus Rift virtual reality company being bought by Facebook . Are there any similar futuristic technologies in Armada that you think will become reality in the next few years?

A) Yes, but the future is happening so fast now it’s getting more and more difficult to stay ahead of it. Armada’s plotline involves two concepts—quantum data teleportation and 3-D drone printing—that were still science fiction when I started the book, and then became a proven reality before I finished it. I need to write faster.

Q) In the novel, Zack’s Armada pilot call sign is IronBeagle, an homage to the Snoopy vs. the Red Baron Did you have fun creating the other various call signs in the novel: RedJive, MaxJenius, Viper, Rostam, Whoadie, AtomicMom, Kushmaster5000?

A) Pilot call signs are always fun to create—like an avatar’s name in Ready Player One; it’s a nickname a person creates for themselves, so it invariably says something about their self-image and their character—like each of the call signs you listed above.

Q) Talk to us about Xavier’s Raid the Arcade mix playlist in the book. How did you choose the songs, which became an essential part of Zack’s Armada gaming ritual? Do you have any rituals of your own when it comes to playing videogames?

A) Many of those are songs from the mix tapes I used to make to listen to on my Walkman at the local arcade. Some of the songs are from movies that played a role inspiring Armada’s story, like the song “Iron Eagle” by King Kobra, from the film of the same name.

Q) In Armada, Zack and his father, Xavier Lightman, your novel’s two main heroes, are both big science-fiction fans. The book is filled with references to sci-fi films, such as The Last Starfighter, E.T., Aliens, the Star Wars Dare to share your all-time favorite sci-fi flick?

A) My all-time favorite sci-film would have to be Star Wars, aka Episode IV—A New Hope. The movie and its sequels created the entire mythology of my youth, and altered the course of my life and career.

Q) In Armada, Zack soon finds out that the EDA (Earth Defense Alliance), a top-secret global military coalition, is not just a fictional agency featured in the videogames he’s been playing. If the EDA were real (and we’re not saying they aren’t) and invited you to join their ranks, would you? Would Moon Base Alpha be your first station of choice, or would you prefer something closer to home?

A) Of course I would join up! If the EDA existed, I would have to pitch in and use my gamer skills to help save the world. But I would prefer to stay here in Austin and telecommute, so I could fight off the invasion from the comfort of my couch, without changing out of my pajamas.

Q) There is a romantic plotline woven throughout the novel, albeit one that is a bit nontraditional (boy meets girl as Earth is under attack from alien invaders, girl is a kick-ass gamer who helps save boy’s butt during attack, you get the gist). Did you feel it was essential to add this element, or did the relationship between Zack and Lex come about naturally as you were writing the novel?

A) It came about naturally as I was writing. I love stories with strong female characters, who kick just as much ass (if not more) than their male counterparts, so the stories I write usually tend to have a few of them. I also believe that every good adventure story also includes a little romance. And some rock and roll, too.

Q) If you could meet anyone from pop culture—actor, singer, game creator—dead or alive, who would it be and why?

A) Carl Sagan. Because he changed my life by opening my eyes to the nature of the world and the cosmos, and I’d love to be able to thank him in person.

Q) The first arcade game you ever played was Space Invaders. Is there a game that you’ve been playing recently that’s become a new obsession?

A) Finishing this book has been my only obsession for the past few years. But during my research, I did play a lot of space combat and flight simulation games, both old and new. The problem with playing videogames as “research” for a novel is that you never want to stop playing to go off and actually write it.

Q) Many people look back at the ’50s and ’60s as a watershed moment for science-fiction writing, but do you see the ’70s and ’80s as an even richer epoch for inspiration with the confluence of all the new videogames introduced and some of the best science-fiction TV and movies ever made (to my mind!)?

A) The ’70s and ’80s are a rich era for sci-fi inspiration (at least, for me) because that was the dawn of the computer, videogame, and Internet age—the one we still live in now. It was also a golden age for movies and television shows, which may be why every property from that time is being reimagined or rebooted right now.

Q) Armada is dedicated to your brother, Major Eric T. Cline. What is your relationship like and why did you choose to dedicate the book to him?

A) My brother and I are very close, and have been our whole lives. He’s always been a huge inspiration to me. He joined the Marine Corps as a lowly private, and over the past two decades he has worked his way up through the ranks to become a major while he traveled all over the world helping people and risking his life for his country and his comrades. Seeing all the sacrifices he and his family have had to make during his various deployments was part of the inspiration for Armada’s story and characters.

Q) There is a rumor you now own not one but two DeLoreans. How on Earth did that come about?

A) I bought a second DeLorean to give away as the grand prize in the Ready Player One Easter Egg Hunt. A few years later, the contest winner decided to sell the car to pay off some unexpected medical bills, so I decided to buy it back from him. Then I gave it to my brother, Eric, so now I’m back down to just one time machine, which is plenty.

Q) Is it true that George R. R. Martin once borrowed your DeLorean to help promote the opening of his new bar (complete with a Back to the Future screening)? There has to be one heck of a story here. Please explain!

A) George and I had met at a convention, where he had sat in my car. So when his theater decided to screen BTTF, he thought of me and asked to borrow my DeLorean. I said yes, of course!

Q) For your Ready Player One book tour you drove your time-traveling DeLorean across the country. Did you take it out again for Armada?

A) No, I think one Time Machine Book Tour is probably enough to last a lifetime. I discovered that it’s not really safe to drive a tricked-out DeLorean on the interstate highway system, because the people around you are often swerving/driving recklessly while they attempt to snap a photo of your car to post on Facebook. There are safer ways to travel.

Q) It’s been a few years since you were last out on a book tour. Were you surprised by the fan response at your events this time around? Did it feel very different from your initial experience with Ready Player One?

A) Yes, the huge turnout for each of my Armada signings really floored me. It’s incredibly flattering and humbling to see hundreds of people cram into a bookstore just to hear me speak, and then to see all of those same fans wait patiently in line—sometimes for an hour or more—to get their books signed. Taking the time to do that is one of the biggest compliments you can pay any artist. I’m incredibly grateful to have my work reach such a wide audience, and to have so many people respond to it with such enthusiasm.

Q) Are there any particular moments or fan interactions that stand out to you from the tour?

A) This was the first tour where I had fans show up at my signings sporting Ready Player One–themed tattoos. It really blew me away. When someone pulls up their sleeve and they have three keys or three gates tattooed on their arm, I’m always awed by that level of enthusiasm. And moved that something I created could mean that much to them.

Q) We have to ask: As a serious Star Wars nerd, what were your feelings about The Force Awakens? How about the choice to pass the baton to Rian Johnson for Episode VIII?

A) I enjoyed the hell out of that movie. I’d been waiting to see Han, Chewie, Luke, and Leia together again on the big screen since 1983, and living up to 30 years of geek anticipation is no small feat. I thought J. J. Abrams knocked it out of the park. And Rian Johnson is one of the smartest and most gifted writer-directors of my generation—the generation that grew up with Star Wars. He’s such an exciting choice. Kathleen Kennedy really knows what she’s doing.

Q) What’s your dream Star Wars spinoff movie? Any character or storyline you’re itching to see explored?

A) Yes! How about a whole movie covering the origin story of Saun Dann, the character portrayed by Art Carney in the Star Wars Holiday Special? He was a secret agent of the Rebel Alliance masquerading as a trader on the Wookiee homeworld of Kashyyyk after the Battle of Yavin. You know that dude must’ve seen action during the Clone Wars, too. I’d also pay good money to see a stand-alone Star Wars flick about Willrow Hood.”

See? How awesome would it be to be his friend?

Go read Armada if you haven’t already, and read Ready Player One, too.