Wednesday, December 31, 2008
If you have read any book by an LDS author, whether the story had LDS characters or not, head over today, December 31st, to nominate the book for a Whitney Award.(http://www.whitneyawards.com/)
Today is the deadline for nominations and then the books, that received 5 nominations will be sent to the judges. (I happen to be one of the judges in the Youth Fiction category. I have loved being able to be part of this great organization.) The judges will then read the qualifying books and then will vote for the top 5 books that were read from the category. From there, the Whitney Academy Voters will read the top 5 books in each category, who then will vote on the best book in each category. The winners will be announced at the 2nd Annual Whitney Awards in April.
I attended the 1st Whitney Awards last year and it was a fabulous evening. Everyone was dressed up in fancy clothes, we had an exquisite dinner in an elegant setting and then the award winners were announced. (http://www.whitneyawards.com/2007winners.html). I am planning on attending again this year.
I know that there are many of you out there that have been reading some great books by LDS authors. Remember, the books do not have to take place in an LDS setting, they only have to have been written by an LDS author. It only takes a few minutes to go to the Whitney Awards website and nominate your favorite books that you have read this past year.
The main criteria is:
1. The books must have been released during the current year from January 2008-December 2008.
2.The author must be LDS, whether the book was placed in an LDS setting or not, the author must be a member of the LDS church.
3.The book must be a work of fiction...no non-fiction books, sorry.
If you would like a pretty complete list of books written by LDS authors this year go to this blog where she has them listed on the right side of her page. (http://ldspublisher.blogspot.com/) I
have been keeping track of the books I have been reading this year, by going often to LDS Publisher blog spot.
To end my blog for today I will post some pictures taken at last years Whitney Awards..(sorry if you have seem some of them already, but guess what, you get to view them again!)
Sheila and Hillary with Author Rob Wells
LDS Womens Book Review (Sheila, Hillary and Shanda) with author Jennie Hansen who won a lifetime achievement award.
Shanda, Sheila and Hillary with author Jessica Day George, who won the award for "Best Novel by a New Author" for her book, "Dragon Slippers"
Sheila, Shanda and Hillary with author Brandon Mull who won the award "Best YA/Children's Book" for "Fablehaven 2: Rise of the Evening Star"
Hillary, Shanda and Sheila with author Shannon Hale who won the award for "Best Speculative" fiction with her novel, "A Book of a Thousand Days"
Sunday, December 28, 2008
The Journey is an uplifting and very thought provoking book.In this book we travel with Ciran who starts her journey in a new world and is subjected to the war between good and evil. As she goes through her life, she finds out how easy it is to be beguiled by the bright and exciting things in life. Ciran finds out that not all things are as they seem from the outside. She also learns how we are all blessed greatly, with inner strength, to fight the evil things of this world.
Every teenager and their parents should read this book. The strong point in this book is the reminder that life is about choice: the good and bad choices that we make and how they can change our lives so quickly. I also loved the message that if we do make a bad choice, we can be forgiven, that not all is lost.
Book 2 of the Enchanted Legends series,"A Place In This World" will be coming out in the Summer of 2009. There is a small excerpt from the upcoming book in the back of book one.
I strongly recommend "The Journey" to all. It is a quick but enjoyable read that leaves you feeling good when you are finished...not something I can say about every book that I read and I read a lot. A job well done Jewel Adams!
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Aprilynne Pike so graciously agreed to answer some questions for me, after I finished reading her novel, WINGS, that will be coming out on May 5th, 2009. I know that this interview will get you very interested in reading this book. Also, the cover is just beautiful and very fitting to the story...you will understand once you have read the book.
1. I have to say, I loved your book WINGS! The words delightful, intriguing and fascinating came to mind when I was reading the book. When did the idea for the book/story first come to you?
It's kind of a funny story. I read a lot of industry blogs and one day I was reading one that suggested that faeries were expected to be a big thing in YA over the next few years. I have always loved faeries, and I've always loved reading YA. I don't know why I never thought of putting those two together and writing a YA faerie book. But it was like lightning at that moment. I had one thought in my head; I have to write a YA faerie book and I have to do it NOW! And then this tiny snippet of an idea kept me up all night until it started to take a recognizable form.
2. Did you come up with the title? If not, what did you originally want to name the book?
Originally I titled this novel Autumn Wings. But my editor and I decided that we wanted the title to be relevant during the whole year, so we dropped the season name.
3. What was the first Fantasy book you can recall reading? Is there a favorite one now…apart from your own?
Wow, you're asking me to reach a long way back.:) I read a lot of when I was young. and the BFG were two of my very favorites! I also watched a ton of fantasy movies. I always liked the idea that you could make up a world however you wanted and then put characters in it and see what happened.:)
4. When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
Um, is it bad to say I didn't know for sure until the moment I had a deal? I knew I wanted to be a writer the morning I woke up with the idea for the first book I ever wrote. But the morning I got the call from my agent that we had interest in Wings, I had just convinced myself that after years of trying, I needed to give up; I had done everything I could and it was never going to happen. Go figure.
5. There is somewhat of a "gentle" love triangle in WINGS. Will this situation continue in book 2?
Oh yes, you have not seen the end of either David or Tamani. They are both determined little things.:)
6. Your main character, Laurel, is a very likable character. In your words, how would you describe her to someone who hasn't read the book yet?
Laurel is one of those people who is everything most teen girls dream of being, but doesn't know it. She is very down to earth and realistic without being a pessimist. She is also very brave and aware of others.
7. In the 2nd book will the readers be allowed through the gates of Avalon and get a glimpse of the Fairies world?
8. Let's talk about Tamani…I really love this character, will he have a greater role in the next book? (Please say yes???)
In book one, readers have mostly gotten to know David and they've gotten a very cursory introduction to Tamani. That changes in the next book. Both the readers and Laurel will get to know Tamani a lot better.
9.Tamani is such a warm, loving and protective male in the Fairy world, I feel that he is going to become a very popular character with readers. Is Tamani based on someone in real life…maybe your own husband?
*laugh* I think every writer gets this question about their opposite gendered characters. None of my characters are based on anyone in real life. They all just come from my imagination. That being said, David is actually a lot more like my husband than Tamani . . . but neither really fits him exactly. My husband is too perfect to put in a book--my readers would never believe it!;)
10. Now book 2 is already written...correct? How many books will be in the series?
The *first draft* of book two is written, yes. There is still plenty of work to do on it though.:) There will be in the series, one released each summer.
11. Are you working on something new that is not related to WINGS?
I am. I am just finishing up a stand-alone project involving a new kid in a posh private school, a klepto ghost, and a cheerleader with a shady past. I am really excited about it!
Thank you, Aprilynne, for sending me an Advanced Copy of your new book. It is one of my favorites that I have read in 2008, even though it won't "officially" come out until 2009. I know that I will be nominating it for a Whitney Award next year! I truly feel like you have written a winner here…nice job!! Thank you also for answering all of my questions and you are more than welcome to come back and talk about WINGS any time that you would like.
Monday, December 22, 2008
James Dashner just announced some wonderful news over at his blog.
You need to go read his announcement which is something that all writers
hope and pray for.
Friday, December 19, 2008
Here it is...finally... round #3 of more books that will be released in 2009.
The first author, and one of my favorites I might add, is Jessica Day George. She is the author of "Dragon Slippers," "Dragon Flight" and my personal favorite, "Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow".
Jessica newest book, that will be released on January 20, 2009, is "Princess of the Midnight Ball" published by Bloomsbury. This is her version of the tale of the twelve dancing princesses who were doomed to dance every night until dawn. I love this story and was so excited to read this book. I had good reason to be excited, and Jessica has outdone herself once again. She has taken a tale we have all heard before and transformed it into something entirely new.
Here is a quick synopsis of the book:
Returning home from the war, young Galen finds work with his mother’s family in the royal gardens. There he learns that the king’s twelve daughters have a secret: every night they dance their shoes to tatters, but no one knows how or why. When prince after prince tries and fails to find the answer, and the family is haunted by accusations of witchcraft, Galen decides to help. Armed with a pair of silver knitting needles and an invisibility cloak given to him by a strange old woman, he follows the princesses and unlocks the secret of their curse.
The thing I love about Jessica's writing, is that she draws you into the character's lives in the first few paragraphs of the story. I immediately began to care about Galen and his plight and how he would solve his problems.
Another fun addition to Jessica's book is that she has added knitting patterns for a shawl and a chain of black wool that are key to the plot. On her website (http://www.jessicadaygeorge.com) you can find more knitting patterns that correspond with items in the book. What a clever girl! She is an actual knitter in real life, which really impresses me, since I never got the hang of knitting and stuck with crocheting.
Jessica has been busy, besides having a new baby, she has also written the third and final book in her dragon series called "Dragon Spear". This book is coming in April of 2009. This is the last book about Creel and Shardas and no whining and complaining from any of us...the fans...will change her mind. Yes, I have begged and pleaded for more, but according to Jessica, she has so many other wonderful ideas for books that she needs to start working on those.
If you haven't read anything written by Jessica Day George, head to your local book store or public library and I can assure you that you will soon be a fan of her writing.
Next up, is another exciting addition to the world of YA Fantasy writers...James Dashner. He is well known among the 8-14 year old crowd for writing the Jimmy Fincher 4 book saga..."A Door in the Woods," "A Gift of Ice," "The Tower of Air," and "War of the Black Curtain." He has also written one of my new favorite YA fantasy books called, "Journal of Curious Letters" the first book in the 13th Reality series. Now the second book in the series, "The Hunt for Dark Infinity" will be released beginning of March 2009 by Shadow Mountain. I was unlucky and didn't get my name in on time to get an ARC (advanced readers copy) of this book and I am going to have a hard time waiting until March to read the next book in this series. So if there is any one out there reading my blog and you have an ARC of this book that I could borrow, please let me know!!
In the 13th Reality series, we get to go on an adventure with Atticus Higginbottom, as he travels to alternate realities to help save worlds of people. Book one ended with a terrible cliffhanger (Shame on you James! It has been a long wait to see what happens...) On James's website he was very excited about this new book coming out and he said,
"I'm so excited for people to read Book 2! I personally think it's twice as good as Book 1, but I'm biased I guess. We'll see what you guys think."
When James recorded a podcast in August with us, the women of LDS Womens Book Review, I was able to ask him some questions about "The 13th Reality" series.I asked him if the character Tick was based on someone he knew or strictly made up from the inner workings of his mind. He answered, "Somewhat based on me, but mostly made up."
I also asked him if he had a favorite book out of all of the books he has written. He answered very quickly, that it was his book called, "The Maze Runner' that will be coming out in the fall of 2009. His reasons for picking this book as his favorite was, "It's my best work and very original."
"The Maze Runner" is a dark fantasy about a group of boys trying to solve the mystery of a strange maze in which they have been placed. It is being pitched as Lost meets the Lord of the Flies. The picture shown here will be the cover of the book. "The Maze Runner" is a book that I can see reading in one sitting. After all, I read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in 11 hours and 15 minutes, so this will be my next book to read in one day. I recall James saying that this book will be for an older age group; older teens/adults. I am sure that there will be many twists and turns along the way in this book...yes that pun was intended. I do foresee this book being a thrilling and imaginative ride. This is something that James Dashner fans have come to expect from him.
Now, I just need to see how to get on the list for an ARC for this book! Then you need to check out his books and his blog and website.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Now before you think that I have been taking any self-esteem classes to make myself feel better, I actually won something.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
For him to say that this is his best work so far, and I really thought Fablehaven 3 was his best, I can't wait to read this one. He also said on his blog, "Fans will be pleased and in general, I think the excitement over the series will increase." In my case, I don't know how much more excited I can get and not have a heart attack! Seriously, you will love them and your kids will love them. Fablehaven 4 is set to be released on March 24th by Shadow Mountain. Now if I only knew who I needed to write to get an ARC of this book, that would really make me happy.
Here are the women of LDS Womens Book Review (Sheila, Shanda and Hillary)with Brandon Mull at the 2008 Whitney Awards last March.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
I first met Aprilynne at last years Whitney Awards (http://www.whitneyawards.com/) She was sitting at our table, where we the women of LDS Womens Book Review were also sitting. As we talked she told us about her first book that she was writing and I became hooked on the ideas behind WINGS.
WINGS is a story about an ordinary girl who discovers she is a faerie and is sent to guard the gateway to Avalon in the mortal world. When she is thrust into the midst of a centuries old battle between faeries and trolls, she's torn between a mortal and a faerie love, as well as her loyalties to both worlds.
This book is right up my alley...my fantasy alley. (Those of you that listen to LDS Womens Book Review podcasts know that fantasy is my favorite genre) I am so excited to get my hands on a copy of this book. I have been enjoying getting to know Aprilynne from reading her blog (which you can link to from my blog; it is called "Apparently!") She is this very intelligent woman who is full of spice, and has an absolute love for writing and reading. It really shows when she is talking about her upcoming book which is the first in a series of books. She wrote this first book in three months! That amazes me!!
Here is a direct quote from Aprilynne's blog where she talked about how she wrote Wings and the sequel:
"When I wrote WINGS, I did write it in a flurry . . . actually, I wrote the sequel in a bit of a flurry too. Three months of long days seems to work well for me. I found a story I was passionate about (that's the ingredient that NO book should be without"
It is writers like this that truly inspire me. I will be doing a more in-depth interview with Aprilynne once I have read WINGS. The exciting thing for me is that I am on the list to receive an ARC (an advanced readers copy) of WINGS so I will be reading this book within the month...I hope! My 10 year daughter has already threatened to steal my copy from me because she wants to also read it. Aprilynne Pike is someone whose name you will be hearing a lot of in the future, just like Stephenie Meyer and Shannon Hale. I am glad that I was able to meet her at the beginning of her career while I can enjoy seeing her take this thrilling ride as a first time published author.
Speaking of Shannon Hale....she has been writing the fourth book in the Books of Bayern series. The fourth book is called, "Forest Born". I know many of you are familiar with this series; remember, #1..Goose Girl #2 Enna Burning #3 River Secrets. The tentative date for the release of this book is October 2009...a whole year to wait! On Shannon Hale's website she had the covers (which are new) of the first three books in paperback. It really is a lovely cover and should attract new readers to these stories.
An interesting thing concerning Shannon Hale is that the next book that she has written, coming out before October, is not a "teen" book, but one for adults called "The Actor and the Housewife". It is scheduled for a May 2009 release date. All of my friends know that one of my favorite Shannon Hale Books is "Austenland", which also is geared more towards the adult reader. There has been some controversy about this new book about the friendship that develops between a male actor and a typical housewife. As always, I don't listen to what others say and I like to judge things for myself. I can't wait to read this new book and after I do, I will give you more details about whether there is something there to garner the title of "controversial".
Congratulations also need to go to Shannon for her novel, "Book of a Thousand Days"...which I loved... it won the Utah Book Award for Young Peoples Literature. This is another book, if you haven't read it yet...you must! I can assure you that you will not be disappointed. It showcases a humble heroine, Dashti, and mixes in drama and romance. The story is written in a journal writing format which I found intriguing.
Well...that is all for now. I will be posting more about new 2009 releases in upcoming blogs. Some of the authors I will be spotlighting will be Jessica Day George, Brandon Mull, James Dashner and many more.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
Monday, September 1, 2008
By: Alice Kuipers
Harper Collins Publishers (March 2008)
Every once in awhile I read a book that makes me think, really hard, about my life...this is one of those books. I am the Mother of a daughter,and we sometimes experience rocky roads, as we live our lives together. Life on the Refrigerator Door by Alice Kuipers made me stop, re-evaluate and vow to change how I interact with her. You may question the ability of a book to reform my relationship with my daughter? I have to admit though, it did! Sometimes it is true, that simple reminders, such as those found in a book, can change your life. First let me tell you about the book.
About the Book
Life on the Refrigerator Door is a poignant and deeply moving first novel about the bonds of love and frustration that tie mothers and daughters together. Told entirely in a series of notes left on the kitchen fridge—some casual, some intimate, some funny, some angry—it is the story of nine months in the life of 15–year-old Claire and her single mother. Preoccupied with their busy separate lives, rarely in the same room at the same time, they talk to each other in a series of short snippets that reflect the daily drama of school, boyfriends, work and chores that make up their days. Yet the mundane soon becomes extraordinary when a crisis overtakes their lives—a momentous change that will redefine their relationship and unfold in their exchanges on the refrigerator door.
I read this book in one sitting. It is an easy read because of the format, notes written between the mother and the daughter,and none of the notes are very long. This book is short, but very powerfully written. I honestly had a hard time putting it down to answer questions from inquiring children.
Many emotions were stirred up in me about my priorities and how important it is to spend more time with my daughter and my son. None of us know how long we have left on this earth. I hope that the memories I am creating with my children are good ones that they will cherish. If you have children, whether they are still living at home or not, I highly recommend you read this book. I know that if you love your children, it will also touch your heart, as it did mine. Now excuse me, as I need to go play card games with my children, just as I promised.
About the Author
ALICE KUIPERS was born in London, England, and now lives in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. She is a graduate of Manchester Metropolitan University and has had short stories published in literary magazines and produced for CBC radio. Life on the Refrigerator Door, her first novel, will be published in 21 countries.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
You won't find this fruity impostor at a ball game or backyard barbecue, but it sure makes a doggone wholesome "fast food" breakfast.Check out other fun ideas for A Better Breakfast.
Whole-grain hot dog bun
Wheat germ or sunflower seeds
1. Simply spread a whole-grain hot dog bun with peanut butter, sprinkle with wheat germ or sunflower seeds, and top with a whole, peeled banana and a squiggle of jam.
Variation: For a Banana Burrito, substitute a tortilla for the bun.
Friday, August 8, 2008
From household chaos to orderly oasis.
Style Tips, Time Savers, and a resource section listing websites and catalogs help you get organized. Arranged alphabetically, this easy-to-use book will be a lifesaver for parents who crave order in their hectic lives.}
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Interview with author, J. Scott Savage for the Farworld Blog Tour
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Author: Diane Ackerman
Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company (2007)
Being a history buff, I thought that I would like this book more than I did. It is an account of a real life couple that survived WWII, while living in Warsaw, Poland.
They ran the zoo in Warsaw before the war started. I found the Zabinskis, Polish Christians, very interesting and courageous people. They secretly harbored many Polish Jews that might have otherwise been carted off to the death camps.
The author, Diane Ackerman, is a good writer, but I felt like she kept steering off track. I read this book mainly to learn about the Zabinski's experiences, not necessarily other aspects of WWII. When I want to read a book just about the war, I will choose one. I found myself wandering through the pages until the story came back to Jan and Antonina. I did enjoy when she described the many people that stayed with the Zabinskis and how they enriched each other's lives through the harsh realities of WWII.
Jan and Antonina were some of the unsung heroes that saved over 300 lives during the Nazi's cruel reign in Europe.
I recommend this book to all who enjoy reading about history, specifically WWII.I also recommend it to those who want to read about two people, who sacrificed much, for people they didn't even know; that aspect alone is worth the read.
I think in the future I would rather this phrase mean , "Yes, listen to me because I really know what I am talking about" or "Listen to my point of view to see the idea from a new perspective". My hopes for this blog is exactly that, I want to be able to really say something and have people listen because they believe what I have to say or want to broaden their own horizons on a certain issue.
I feel we all have a lot to learn by listening to each other; and not just listening so we can have a turn to talk. How many times have you been "talking" to someone and you know they haven't heard a word you have said. Instead they were formulating a comeback or story to top what you just said. I quickly get frustrated by having these conversations with non-listeners/talkers.
Is this what is wrong with our world as a whole? We have become talkers instead of listeners? I believe that this is a skill we must all develop in order to effectively communicate with others.
So...why not? Drop on by to listen...because I said so!