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.