Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Dog Park Club by Cynthia Robinson

The Dog Park Club by Cynthia Robinson centers around Max Bravo, a bisexual "mid-rung" opera singer. One afternoon while walking his best friend Claudia's dog he is invited to join a group that hangs out at the dog park down the street from her house. He tells Claudia about the group, and when Max is out of town she becomes an integral part of the "Dog Park Club." While initially wary of the group's socially diverse crowd, Max cannot avoid the siren call of drama. When one member of the group, the beautiful, pregnant Amy Carter, goes missing the Dog Park Club is thrust into the national spotlight. The group quickly develop their theory and go on a Sand Lot-esque mission to prove it.

Robinson's debut is quirky, sarcastic and fun- a great book for a day at the beach. Her unique cast of characters, Max Bravo being the most entertaining, wont let you put the book down. Robinson manages to keep a mysterious tension through the whole book, while allowing her diverse cast individual moments of comic relief. Don't miss this witty debut this summer!

Jeff’s Debut Novel Awards*


*hold your cursor over the icon to get a description of the award or click on any of them to be referred to the award guide.

A twenty-two-year-old University student, Jeff is the founder and coeditor of The Debut Authors Blog. He is an aspiring author and a self-avowed bibliophile. Also, he is not above shameless self-promotion and talking in the third-person.

Monday, July 5, 2010

I'm Back!

Dear Readers,

I'm so sorry for the extended hiatus but life came between me and the internet. It has been a busy few months for me. I purchased a car, moved into a new apartment, took a couple summer classes (A+ in both thank you very much), and started a business. Needless to say this blog has fallen into some serious disrepair. But that is going to change! I have a few great book reviews coming up, I'm going to write some interviews and also introduce my new business. I am so happy to be back to blogging and I hope I can get my wonderful readers back soon! Please let me know how all of you have been. I will be making the rounds to all of your blogs this week to say hi so please drop by and do the same!


P.S. The summer self-publishing spotlight is still on so keep the submissions coming!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Self-Publishing Summer Spotlight

Welcome to the first annual Self-Publishing Summer Spotlight!

Self-Publishing is often mentioned, even by me, only as the butt end of jokes in the book blogging world. However, in our digital age, self-publishing has a chance to become (for some very dedicated authors) a viable alternative to a major publishing house. With the ever growing e-book market and the recent introduction of the iPad I believe that self-publishing won't always carry the stigma that it does today.

That being said, I don't think all self-published books are created equal. Since there is no authority doing quality checks there is virtually no way to gather which books are good and which ones are not so good. This is where I come in. I am going to open myself up to submissions of self-published novels and agree to read at least 10 pages of each one. If the 10 pages get my attention I will read more. As I find books that I think are outstanding and deserve more attention I will review them and do my best to publicize them as I would any debut novel. Please read the rules before you submit and leave any comments about you have about this contest!


- Submit your book here

- Submit only in PDF format

- You may send me an email to request my address if you want to send a hard copy (Note: This is strongly discouraged as it will cost you money)

- I will have a button for you to donate to this site please help! (Note: this is not required. Your entry will not be affected by whether you donate or not. I only ask because I am a poor college student and this site costs me about 70 dollars a year to run not including my time.)

- This is only for fun! I am not a publisher or agent nor do I have any connections to anyone in the publishing industry. I am only offering this contest as a chance to spread the word about your book.

- You may only submit original work

- You may only submit a book if this is the first book you have published (hence DEBUT authors)

- Leave any comments or questions in the comments section or fill out a contact form.

- Again, go here to submit!

- Thank you and have fun!!

Coming Your Way This Week...(11)

The Red Umbrella by Christina Diaz Gonzalez

The Red Umbrella is the moving tale of a 14-year-old girl's journey from Cuba to America as part of Operation Pedro Pan—an organized exodus of more than 14,000 unaccompanied children, whose parents sent them away to escape Fidel Castro's revolution.
In 1961, two years after the Communist revolution, Lucía Álvarez still leads a carefree life, dreaming of parties and her first crush. But when the soldiers come to her sleepy Cuban town, everything begins to change. Freedoms are stripped away. Neighbors disappear. Her friends feel like strangers. And her family is being watched.

As the revolution's impact becomes more oppressive, Lucía's parents make the heart-wrenching decision to send her and her little brother to the United States—on their own.
Suddenly plunked down in Nebraska with well-meaning strangers, Lucía struggles to adapt to a new country, a new language, a new way of life. But what of her old life? Will she ever see her home or her parents again? And if she does, will she still be the same girl?
The Red Umbrella is a moving story of country, culture, family, and the true meaning of home.

The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea Campbell

Sixteen-year-old Damien Locke has a plan: major in messing with people at the local supervillain university and become a professional evil genius, just like his supervillain mom. But when he discovers the shameful secret she's been hiding all these years, that the one-night stand that spawned him was actually with a superhero, everything gets messed up. His father's too moral for his own good, so when he finds out Damien exists, he actually wants him to come live with him and his goody-goody superhero family. Damien gets shipped off to stay with them in their suburban hellhole, and he has only six weeks to prove he's not a hero in any way, or else he's stuck living with them for the rest of his life, or until he turns eighteen, whichever comes first.

To get out of this mess, Damien has to survive his dad's "flying lessons" that involve throwing him off the tallest building in the city--despite his nearly debilitating fear of heights--thwarting the eccentric teen scientist who insists she's his sidekick, and keeping his supervillain girlfriend from finding out the truth. But when Damien uncovers a dastardly plot to turn all the superheroes into mindless zombie slaves, a plan hatched by his own mom, he discovers he cares about his new family more than he thought. Now he has to choose: go back to his life of villainy and let his family become zombies, or stand up to his mom and become a real hero.

The ARK by Boyd Morrison

When brilliant archaeologist Dilara Kenner is contacted by Sam Watson, an old family friend who says that he has crucial information about her missing father, Dilara abandons her Peruvian dig and rushes to Los Angeles to meet him. But at the airport, Sam speaks instead of Noah’s Ark—the artifact her father had long been searching for—and the possible death of billions. Before Sam can explain, he collapses. With his dying breath, he urges Dilara to find Tyler Locke—a man she’s never heard of.Two days later Dilara manages to track down former combat engineer Tyler Locke on an oil rig off Newfoundland. Her helicopter transport goes down well short of the oil rig’s landing pad and Dilara and those aboard nearly drown. No sooner is Dilara safely on the rig than she convinces Tyler the crash was no accident. Tyler agrees to help her uncover the secret behind Noah's Ark and, more important, her father's disappearance. As the picture begins to come into focus, they realize they have just seven days to find the Ark before its secret is used to wipe out civilization once again.With a chilling premise and a blistering pace, Boyd Morrison combines all the best elements of a blockbuster thriller with an intelligent and fascinating exploration of one of the Old Testament’s great mysteries.

The Poacher's Son by Paul Doiron

Set in the wilds of Maine, this is an explosive tale of an estranged son thrust into the hunt for a murderous fugitive---his own father.

Game warden Mike Bowditch returns home one evening to find an alarming voice from the past on his answering machine: his father, Jack, a hard-drinking womanizer who makes his living poaching illegal game. An even more frightening call comes the next morning from the police: They are searching for the man who killed a beloved local cop the night before---and his father is their prime suspect. Jack has escaped from police custody, and only Mike believes that his tormented father might not be guilty.

Now, alienated from the woman he loves, shunned by colleagues who have no sympathy for the suspected cop killer, Mike must come to terms with his haunted past. He knows firsthand Jack’s brutality, but is the man capable of murder? Desperate and alone, Mike strikes up an uneasy alliance with a retired warden pilot, and together the two men journey deep into the Maine wilderness in search of a runaway fugitive. There they meet a beautiful woman who claims to be Jack’s mistress but who seems to be guarding a more dangerous secret. The only way for Mike to save his father now is to find the real killer---which could mean putting everyone he loves in the line of fire.
The Poacher’s Son is a sterling debut of literary suspense. Taut and engrossing, it represents the first in a series featuring Mike Bowditch.

The Beautiful Between by Alyssa B. Sheinmel

If high school were a fairy-tale kingdom, Connelly Sternin would be Rapunzel, locked not in a tower by a wicked witch but in a high-rise apartment building by the SATs and college applications—and by the secrets she keeps. Connelly's few friends think that her parents are divorced—but they're not. Connelly's father died when she was two, and she doesn't know how.

If Connelly is the Rapunzel of her school, Jeremy Cole is the crown prince, son of a great and rich New York City family. So when he sits down next to her at lunch one day, Connelly couldn't be more surprised. But Jeremy has a tragic secret of his own, and Connelly is the only one he can turn to for help. Together they form a council of two, helping each other with their homework and sharing secrets. As the pair's friendship grows, Connelly learns that it's the truth, not the secrets, that one must guard and protect. And that between friends, the truth, however harsh, is also beautiful.

This lovely and memorable debut by Alyssa B. Sheinmel contains many of the hallmark themes found in young adult literature—friendship, coming of age, finding a place to belong, and overcoming the death of a loved one. Emotionally moving from start to finish, The Beautiful Between introduces a strong new voice to the genre, a voice with a long future ahead of it.

Kid vs. Squid by Greg van Eekhout

Thatcher Hill is bored stiff of his summer job dusting the fake mermaids and shrunken heads at his uncle's seaside Museum of Curiosities. But when a mysterious girl steals an artifact from the museum, Thatcher's summer becomes an adventure that takes him from the top of the ferris wheel to the depths of the sea. Following the thief, he learns that she is a princess of the lost Atlantis. Her people have been cursed by an evil witch to drift at sea all winter and wash up on shore each summer to an even more terrible fate—working the midway games and food stands on the boardwalk. Can Thatcher help save them before he, too, succumbs to the witch's curse?

With sharp, witty writing that reads like a middle-grade Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Greg van Eekhout's first book for young readers is a wild ride packed with as many laughs as it has thrills.

Faithful by Janet Fox

Sixteen-year-old Maggie Bennet’s life is in tatters. Her mother has disappeared, and is presumed dead. The next thing she knows, her father has dragged Maggie away from their elegant Newport home, off on some mad excursion to Yellowstone in Montana. Torn from the only life she’s ever known, away from her friends, from society, and verging on no prospects, Maggie is furious and devastated by her father’s betrayal. But when she arrives, she finds herself drawn to the frustratingly stubborn, handsome Tom Rowland, the son of a park geologist, and to the wild romantic beauty of Yellowstone itself. And as Tom and the promise of freedom capture Maggie’s heart, Maggie is forced to choose between who she is and who she wants to be.

Restoring Harmony by Joëlle Anthony

The year is 2041, and sixteen-year-old Molly McClure has lived a relatively quiet life on an isolated farming island in Canada, but when her family fears the worst may have happened to her grandparents in the US, Molly must brave the dangerous, chaotic world left after global economic collapse—one of massive oil shortages, rampant crime, and abandoned cities.

Molly is relieved to find her grandparents alive in their Portland suburb, but they’re financially ruined and practically starving. What should’ve been a quick trip turns into a full-fledged rescue mission. And when Molly witnesses something the local crime bosses wishes she hadn’t, Molly’s only way home may be to beat them at their own game. Luckily, there’s a handsome stranger who’s willing to help.

Restoring Harmony is a riveting, fast-paced dystopian tale complete with adventure and romance that readers will devour.

Wolves, Boys and Other Things That Might Kill Me by Kristen Chandler

KJ Carson lives an outdoor lover’s dream. The only daughter of a fishing and wildlife guide, KJ can hold her own on the water or in the mountains near her hometown outside Yellowstone National Park. But when she meets the shaggy-haired, intensely appealing Virgil, KJ loses all self-possession. And she’s not sure if it’s a good thing or a bad thing that they’re assigned to work together on a school newspaper article about the famous wolves of Yellowstone. As KJ spends time with Virgil, she also spends more time getting to know a part of her world that she always took for granted . . . and she begins to see herself and her town in a whole new light.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

One Man's Paradise by Douglas Corleone

One Man’s Paradise by Douglas Corleone is the second book I received from Minotaur Books; the first was Paul Dorion’s The Poachers Son, which I reviewed a few weeks ago. They must be doing something right over there because this book was even better than Dorion’s and you know how much I loved that one. Kevin Corvelli is a disgraced New York lawyer finding refuge on the island paradise of Oahu. After blowing the last big case he had in New York Corvelli has sworn off felony cases, convincing himself that misdemeanors will give him all the work he needs. Unfortunately his landlord, Jake, has other ideas and sets Corvelli up with a murder case soon after he opens up shop.

Corleone’s writing is fast and his plot enthralling. Legal thrillers are not my usual fare, but this book reached across the aisle and pulled me in. He doesn’t bog the reader down with legal jargon or technical bull-shit, One Man’s Paradise is mostly action with a good dose of wit. Readers will love the believably flawed Kevin Corvelli who never fails with his constant cynicism. Between the New York gangsters, Hawaiian gangsters, beautiful woman, and a bumbling Texas lawyer there is never a shortage of entertaining characters.

This is a quick, fun read that will keep you on the edge of your seat and leave you begging for more. John Grisham better watch his back because Douglas Corleone has the potential to be a great name in the legal thriller genre.

Jeff’s Debut Novel Awards*

pageturner plotweaver originality rubberchicken sealofapproval

*hold your cursor over the icon to get a description of the award or click on any of them to be referred to the award guide.

A twenty-two-year-old University student, Jeff is the founder and coeditor of The Debut Authors Blog. He is an aspiring author and a self-avowed bibliophile. Also, he is not above shameless self-promotion and talking in the third-person.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Coming Your Way This Week...(10)

One Man's Paradise by Douglas Corleone
Hotshot New York criminal defense lawyer Kevin Corvelli was rolling. He had all the right connections to get way ahead. Guilty? Innocent? It didn’t matter so long as he won, got in the papers, and got paid. That’s until he loses---and loses big---when a client, who was convicted and then killed in jail, is later proven innocent. The media has a field day plastering Corvelli’s face all over Manhattan, so Corvelli, disgraced and in a professional free fall, bolts for Hawaii.

Committed to being a lawyer if only because of the knee-buckling debts he accumulated becoming one in the first place, he sets up shop in paradise and swears to handle only misdemeanors this time around---no felonies, no murders, no media attention, no high stakes, no real responsibility. But his first case turns out to be exactly that: law student Joseph Gianforte, Jr., is accused of chasing his ex-girlfriend to Hawaii and killing her. He’s innocent, same as Corvelli’s last case, only this time Corvelli knows it, and with that knowledge comes the chilling realization that the killer is still out there with plenty of incentive to make sure that any proof of Gianforte’s innocence doesn’t go any further than the three of them.

Douglas Corleone’s One Man’s Paradise­, the winner of the Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Competition, is a gripping story of failure and the search for redemption, and it marks the stellar debut of an exciting new crime-writing voice.

Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready

Love ties them together. Death can't tear them apart.

Best. Birthday. Ever. At least, it was supposed to be. With Logan's band playing a critical gig and Aura's plans for an intimate after-party, Aura knows it will be the most memorable night of her boyfriend's life. She never thought it would be his last. Logan's sudden death leaves Aura devastated. He's gone. Well, sort of.

Like everyone born after the Shift, Aura can see and hear ghosts. This mysterious ability has always been annoying, and Aura had wanted nothing more than to figure out why the Shift happened so she can undo it. But not with Logan's violet-hued spirit still hanging around. Because dead Logan is almost as real as ever. Almost.

It doesn't help that Aura's new friend Zachary is so understanding--and so very alive. His support means more to Aura than she cares to admit. As Aura's relationships with the dead and the living grow ever complicated, so do her feelings for Logan and Zachary. Each holds a piece of Aura's heart...and clues to the secret of the Shift.

Play Dead by Ryan Brown
Today’s #1 New York Times bestselling thriller writers agree: Ryan Brown’s compulsively readable first novel is unbeatable—a darkly humorous, rich and pungent zombie shocker that melds our national obsession with football and the newest wave of fascination with the undead.For the first time in Killington High School history, the Jackrabbits football team is one win away from the district championship where it will face its most vicious rival, the Elmwood Heights Badgers. On the way to the game, the Jackrabbits’s bus plunges into a river, killing every player except for bad-boy quarterback Cole Logan who is certain the crash was no accident—given that Cole himself was severely injured in a brutal attack by three ski-masked men earlier that day. Bent on payback, Cole turns to a mysterious fan skilled in black magic to resurrect his teammates. But unless the undead Jackrabbits defeat their murderous rival on the field, the team is destined for hell. In a desperate race against time, with only his coach’s clever daughter, Savannah Hickman, to assist him, Cole must lead his zombie team to victory. . . in a final showdown where the stakes aren’t just life or death—but damnation or salvation. Boundlessly imaginative and thrillingly satisfying, Play Dead gives small-town Texas an electrifying jolt of the supernatural, and is unquestioningly The Zombie Novel of the Year!

Insider by Reece Hirsch

First corporate attorney Will Connelly's colleague hurtles to his death outside his office window. Within days, Will is a prime suspect in a murder, the target of an S.E.C. insider trading investigation, and a pawn in a complex criminal scheme involving the Russian mafia and a ruthless terrorist plot. Now, to top things off, he must ensure a deadly enemy doesn't gain access to the nation's most sensitive and confidential information-that has the power to do incalculable, irrevocable harm.

The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer
Julie Orringer’s astonishing first novel, eagerly awaited since the publication of her heralded best-selling short-story collection, How to Breathe Underwater (“fiercely beautiful”—The New York Times; “unbelievably good”—Monica Ali), is a grand love story set against the backdrop of Budapest and Paris, an epic tale of three brothers whose lives are ravaged by war, and the chronicle of one family’s struggle against the forces that threaten to annihilate it.

Paris, 1937. Andras Lévi, a Hungarian-Jewish architecture student, arrives from Budapest with a scholarship, a single suitcase, and a mysterious letter he has promised to deliver to C. Morgenstern on the rue de Sévigné. As he falls into a complicated relationship with the letter’s recipient, he becomes privy to a secret history that will alter the course of his own life. Meanwhile, as his elder brother takes up medical studies in Modena and their younger brother leaves school for the stage, Europe’s unfolding tragedy sends each of their lives into terrifying uncertainty. At the end of Andras’s second summer in Paris, all of Europe erupts in a cataclysm of war.

From the small Hungarian town of Konyár to the grand opera houses of Budapest and Paris, from the lonely chill of Andras’s room on the rue des Écoles to the deep and enduring connection he discovers on the rue de Sévigné, from the despair of Carpathian winter to an unimaginable life in forced labor camps and beyond, The Invisible Bridge tells the story of a love tested by disaster, of brothers whose bonds cannot be broken, of a family shattered and remade in history’s darkest hour, and of the dangerous power of art in a time of war.

Expertly crafted, magnificently written, emotionally haunting, and impossible to put down, The Invisible Bridge resoundingly confirms Julie Orringer’s place as one of today’s most vital and commanding young literary talents.

Tortilla Sun by Jennifer Cervantes

When twelve-year-old Izzy discovers a beat-up baseball marked with the words 'Because magic' while unpacking in yet another new apartment, she is determined to figure out what it means. What secrets does this old ball have to tell? Her mom certainly isn't sharing any especially when it comes to Izzy's father, who died before Izzy was born. But when she spends the summer in her Nana's remote New Mexico village, Izzy discovers long-buried secrets that come alive in an enchanted landscape of watermelon mountains, whispering winds, and tortilla suns. Infused with the flavor of the southwest and sprinkled with just a pinch of magic, this heartfelt middle grade debut is as rich and satisfying as Nana's homemade enchiladas.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Book Review of Josh Berk's The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin

I had the pleasure of chatting with Josh Berk early last month and did a quick profile of him as one of the first posts on this blog. I spent the entire half-hour of the chat laughing my ass off, so needless to say I had high expectations for his book The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin. I am happy to say the book has lived up to and even exceeded them.

I learned a surprising amount about the deaf culture from Berk. Making his main character deaf really gives a unique perspective to the book. The main plot is a murder mystery that Will and his new friend Devon Smiley endeavor to solve. Since Will is deaf he tends to notice things that others don’t and can read conversations from a distance. This proves to be extremely useful in solving the murder and also provides for some hilarious and uncomfortable situations.

The only downside of the book are the first two chapters. It starts a little slow and Berk’s style takes a little getting used to. Once the story gets going though, you won’t be able to put it down. The deaf and overweight Will Halpin’s commentary on everyday occurrences will have you falling out of your chair. The story focuses on Will’s first year in a regular school (as opposed to a school for the deaf) and his attempt to assimilate into the mainstream culture.

Berk’s novel is a refreshing mix of the comedy of Christopher Moore with the mystery of a Hardy Boy’s book and Berk’s quirky sense of humor (see his release day video). I sincerely hope a sequel featuring Will Halpin, possibly my new favorite character in young adult, is in the works. I highly recommend this book to everyone, do yourself a favor and buy this book!

Jeff’s Debut Novel Awards*

originality pageturner plotweaver rubberchicken sealofapproval

*hold your cursor over the icon to get a description of the award or click on any of them to be referred to the award guide.

A twenty-two-year-old University student, Jeff is the founder and coeditor of The Debut Authors Blog. He is an aspiring author and a self-avowed bibliophile. Also, he is not above shameless self-promotion and talking in the third-person.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Coming Your Way This Week...(9)

The Radix by Brett King
A US agent has been hired to locate the legendary Radix, a relic with sacred healing powers, but the Knights of Malta will stop at nothing to get the relic for their own use and gain favor with the Pope.

The Karma Club by Jessica Brody
Madison Kasparkova always thought she understood how Karma works. Do good things and you'll be rewarded, do something bad and Karma will make sure you get what you deserve. But when Maddy’s boyfriend cheats on her, nothing bad comes his way. That’s why Maddy starts the Karma Club, to clean up the messes that the universe has left behind. Sometimes, though, it isn’t wise to meddle with the universe. It turns out Karma often has plans of its own.

The Last Great Getaway of the Water Balloon Boys by Scott William Carter
CHARLIE HILL, straight-A student, straight-A geek, and Most Likely to Be a Human Squid for the Rest of His Life, is having a bad day. The worst. All he wants to do is make it through school without being on the receiving end of a beating from Leo Gonzalez, but things don't turn out exactly the way he planned. Just as Leo is about to rip his face off, Charlie's ex-best friend Jake pulls up in their principal's bright red '67 Mustang. Charlie has to choose between a broken nose and the risk of a lifetime, and for the first time in his life, he decides to take a chance.

Now Charlie and Jake are off on the open road. And when their journey of a thousand miles ends in a courtroom far from home, Charlie will have to make the most difficult decision of all.

Mistwood by Leah Cypess
The Shifter is an immortal creature bound by an ancient spell to protect the kings of Samorna. When the realm is peaceful, she retreats to the Mistwood. But when she is needed she always comes.
Isabel remembers nothing. Nothing before the prince rode into her forest to take her back to the castle. Nothing about who she is supposed to be, or the powers she is supposed to have.
Prince Rokan needs Isabel to be his Shifter. He needs her ability to shift to animal form, to wind, to mist. He needs her lethal speed and superhuman strength. And he needs her loyalty—because without it, she may be his greatest threat.
Isabel knows that her prince is lying to her, but she can't help wanting to protect him from the dangers and intrigues of the court . . . until a deadly truth shatters the bond between them.
Now Isabel faces a choice that threatens her loyalty, her heart . . . and everything she thought she knew.

A Blue So Dark by Holly Schindler
Fifteen-year-old Aura Ambrose has been hiding a secret. Her mother, a talented artist and art teacher, is slowly being consumed by schizophrenia, and Aura has been her sole caretaker ever since Aura's dad left them. Convinced that "creative" equals crazy, Aura shuns her own artistic talent. But as her mother sinks deeper into the darkness of mental illness, the hunger for a creative outlet draws Aura toward the depths of her imagination. Just as desperation threatens to swallow her whole, Aura discovers that art, love, and family are profoundly linked—and together may offer an escape from her fears.

Whisper by Phoebe Kitanidis
Joy is used to Hearing Whispers. She's used to walking down the street and instantly knowing people's deepest, darkest desires. She uses this talent for good—to make people happy and give them what they want. But for her older sister, Jessica, the family gift is a curse, and she uses it to make people's lives—especially Joy's—miserable. Still, when Joy Hears Jessica Whisper I want to kill my Hearing dead, and kill me too if that's what it takes, she knows she has to save her sister, even if it means deserting her friends, stealing a car, and running away with a boy she barely knows—a boy who may have a dark secret of his own.

Prophecy of Days by Christy Raedeke
When her safe-cracker mom and code-breaker dad inherit a dreary Scottish castle, sixteen-year-old Caity Mac Fireland is not happy. Ripped from her cushy life and friends in San Francisco, Caity’s secret fantasy of being discovered by a Hollywood agent, talent scout, or even just a pageant coach seems more unlikely than ever.

But when Caity stumbles across a hidden room in the castle, its walls covered in strange symbols, her life takes a bizarre turn. She finds herself center stage in an international conspiracy involving warring secret societies, assassins, the suppressed revelations of the Mayan Calendar and the year 2012, plus the fate of humanity.

With the help of her friend Justine back home, and Alex, a gorgeous and mysterious Scottish boy, Caity must race to decipher the code and reveal its message to the world before time runs out.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Gini Koch's Zombie Apocalypse

A mutated attack virus meant to cure AIDS is transforming the people of the world into cannibalistic zombies. It is spreading fast and you have to run. You can only bring with you what you can carry. What do you take?

My fully charged and loaded iPod, Blackberry, and Acer Notebook, my flash drive with all my writing on it, my cat, my uncle’s old hunting knife, and my .357 Magnum. The ammo for the .357 will be carried by my dogs, because they’re well trained and hey, if I’m running, they’re running.

The hubs and the chicklet are both big enough to carry stuff and run, too, so I’ll have them handle the food and water. The hubs will also, of course, be carrying at least two of my uncle’s rifles. ‘Cause running isn’t enough when it comes to cannibalistic zombies -- sometimes, you have to lock and load.

Oh, and I’d also carry a copy of “Zombieland” loaded to my computer, because that would become less entertainment and more survival guide in about a New York Minute.

You take cover in an abandoned building on a hill with some other survivors. A herd of zombies are charging up the hill! Choose a weapon to fight them.

Flame thrower, for certain. This being MY zombie experience, the other survivors will, of course, have flame throwers with them, as well as more guns and ammo. When it comes to a zombie apocalypse, I want to hang with the die hard, hard core survivalists, with a more than fully loaded weapons cache, thankyouverymuch.

The zombies are unstoppable! As the only writer in your group, you are asked to record their last stand. Give your account for future generations.

Erm, I can run a lot faster than I can type. So…

Okay, okay, I’ll assume there appears to be no escape.

It was like the Alamo, only there were no horses. Wait, there are horses? They can run even FASTER than I can, and far faster than I can type. Mount up, people, and let’s get a move on. Last one here is zombie chow.

At the last possible moment you think of an outrageous way to escape. What is it?

I think of my novel and ask myself what my heroine would do. I pull out my iPod, turn the volume up to 11, and play random musical selections until I hit on a band whose frequency makes the zombies’ heads explode. (My bet would be for KMFDM to be the winners here, but Motorhead could also be a strong contender, and Screamin’ Steven Tyler and the rest of the bad boys from Aerosmith have saved the day before and certainly could do it again now.)

You reach a stronghold of humans in the mountains. A council of leaders has been elected. Oddly enough it is made up of your five favorite authors. Who’s on the council?

The council is made up of dead authors who have come back to help us fight the good fight. (They were zombies…but they got better.) Therefore, the five wise elders are: Robert Benchley, Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, Arthur Conan Doyle, and O. Henry. (With apologies to Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, and C.S. Lewis who have to be the backup council members and need to stop sulking about it.)

The other survivors are bored, and they ask about your book. Pitch it to them.

It’s the most awesome book, ever! (Okay, well, you can’t blame a girl for trying…)

Marketing manager Katherine "Kitty" Katt joins forces with gorgeous aliens from Alpha Centauri to protect the Earth, kick evil alien butt, and save the day with hairspray and rock and roll - not necessarily in that order.

Touched by an Alien, Kitty discovers the rumors about Roswell and UFOs are true, but with a twist. The aliens are here to help protect Earth from a parasitic threat and, as an added bonus, they have enhanced abilities. As Kitty becomes involved with the Alpha Centaurions and their mission, she discovers Jeff Martini and Christopher White -- alien cousins who share danger, responsibility and authority. In fact, they’re willing to share anything…other than Kitty.

As Kitty gets deeper into Centaurion Division, she uncovers layers of subterfuge, secrets and lies that threaten all the residents of Earth, human and alien alike. She also realizes there’s more on the line than just saving the day -- in order to save the world, Kitty’s going to have to admit she’s fallen in love.

The council decides to give you the honor of writing the historical account of the zombie apocalypse. As survivors, we are anxious to see your work. Unfortunately it isn’t finished yet but you agree to read us the first sentence! What is it?

Shit went down, man, SHIT WENT DOWN.

Hmmm, that, perhaps, lacks a certain something. Let’s try again.

You know, the toughest thing about a zombie apocalypse isn’t the fact that you have to run for your life or that everyone you know is turning into living snackage; it’s that survivalist-wear is not all that flattering a look if you’re a short girl with curves.

Thanks Gini for playing along!

Gini Koch lives in the American Southwest, works her butt off (sadly, not literally) by day, and writes by night with the rest of the beautiful people, while she listens to a lot of rock 'n' roll, particularly Aerosmith, at all times.

Her interests include seeing how often she can ask, "So, have I told you about this plot twist yet?" of her husband before he goes insane, going to rock concerts with her daughter, and training her pets to 'bring it'. Gini started writing to have an excuse to stay up late playing on the computer while listening to music and mooning over pictures of Steven Tyler and Joe Perry.

Now she's expanded her thinking -- she moons over a wide variety of hunks in order to keep the visual creative juices flowing. So to speak. Find out more about Gini by visiting her

Monday, April 19, 2010

Coming Your Way This Week...

Truths by Rebecca S. Buck
Two women, Elizabeth and Jen, separated by two hundred years, but inescapably connected. Will the echoes of the past be enough to save Jen as she begins to discover her truth?

In 1808 Elizabeth Cooper, found guilty as a thief, is sentenced to hang and thrown into prison, the convicted women with whom she shares her gloomy cell the only solace she will have until the day of her execution. In gentle Gilly Stevens she finds the strength and comfort of a growing intimacy. As the horrors of the prison threaten to overwhelm her, Elizabeth and Gilly must soon fight to ensure Elizabeth’s innocence, her truth, can survive into the future.

In 2008 Jen is a costumed tour guide, the prison where Elizabeth Cooper was imprisoned now an atmospheric museum. Jen’s work relating its horrors distracts her from the confusion of her personal life. Then she encounters Aly, an intriguing, confident photographer, who seems to change everything. Jen is determined not to deny her truth any longer and to finally reach for happiness, but, as the shadows within the high prison walls lengthen and seem to warn her of the threat, she is in more danger than she realizes.

Product Details

* Paperback: 264 pages
* Publisher:
Bold Strokes Books (April 20, 2010)
* Language: English
* ISBN-10: 1602821461
* ISBN-13: 978-1602821460

Change of Heart by April Shari Maurer
In a world where the most stressful thing seems to be winning a soccer game or what to wear in the morning, you take some really basic things for granted.

Like the love of your parents.

Or hanging with your friends.

Or the beating of your heart.

When you’re 16 years old, it never occurs to you that you might die. Emmi Miller’s got a fabulous life. She has tons of friends, does great in school and is an all-star soccer player who played in Europe last summer. It even looks like Sam Hunter, a totally cute baseball player, might be interested in her. And then she gets a virus. No biggy, right? Until the virus goes to her heart and weakens it so much that, without a transplant, Emmi will die.

Will Emmi get a heart in time?  Is Sam too good to be true?  What about her new friend Abe, who has also had a transplant and guides her through these scary times — is he just being supportive or is there more going on between them?  And will Emmi realize it before it’s too late?
Product Details

* Reading level: Young Adult
* Hardcover: 288 pages
* Publisher:
Westside Books (April 23, 2010)
* Language: English
* ISBN-10: 1934813362

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A Book Review of Kristina McBride's The Tension of Opposites

Kristina Mcbride's The Tension of Opposites is a story of two best-friends struggling to overcome the tragic events that tore them apart. Two years prior to the beginning of the narrative Tessa's best friend, Noelle, was kidnapped. In the first several chapters the reader learns that not only is Noelle alive, but she is returning home! Tessa is ecstatic for her friends return. Her joy turns to disappointment and sadness as she is faced with the oft overlooked realities of child-abduction survivors. McBride's heartbreaking yet realistic work is one of the most well crafted I’ve read in some time. The concept of child abduction isn’t original, but setting the entire story two years after the actual kidnapping and subsequent rescue gives it a fresh feel. Using Tessa’s photography project to personify the conflict she faces in her life adds a depth to the read often lacking in young adult fiction.

While I can recognize a talented writer when I see one, I can’t say I loved the book. I couldn’t relate to any of the characters and I tired of the constant blubbering over the various romantic relationships. Of course, I am not her the target demographic. I do recommend this novel to all girls thirteen to nineteen and most women over twenty. It is an emotional and gripping tale capturing the complexity a tragic event like an abduction can add to the life of a person. With a debut that is more impressive than most novels of this genre from veteran authors , McBride is definitely someone to keep an eye on.

Jeff’s Debut Novel Awards*

explorer-of-the-deep Emotionally Evocative

*hold your cursor over the icon to get a description of the award or click on any of them to be referred to the award guide.

A twenty-two-year-old University student, Jeff is the founder and coeditor of The Debut Authors Blog. He is an aspiring author and a self-avowed bibliophile. Also, he is not above shameless self-promotion and talking in the third-person.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


The contest is closed! So, I have picked the top five entries, and the first place entry will receive a copy of Dan Wells’s I am not a Serial Killer.

5) Shennandoah: You might be a serial killer if you bring a shovel on a first date.

4) Robert: You might be a serial killer if you were disappointed to find out that Axe Body Spray is really just cologne.

3) Randy: You might be a serial killer if yes, you've killed people, but it's not a problem, because you "can stop anytime you want."

2) Robert: You might be a serial killer if your collection of stuffed bears includes the 1989 offensive line.

And the first place winner, the only one that really made me laugh out loud, is…

Shennandoah: You might be a serial killer if you think switch blades and twine are soooo last season #killercontest

Congratulations Shennadoah on winning a copy of I am not a Serial Killer! DM me your email and I will send you the book!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Coming Your Way This Week...

Sorry i am late with this! A little thing called school got in my way. So, without any further delay here are the debut novels coming out this week!

The Cinderella Society by Kay Cassidy

Sixteen-year-old Jess Parker survives by staying invisible. After nine schools in ten years, she's come to terms with life as a perpetual new girl, neither popular nor outcast. At Mt. Sterling High, Jess gets the chance of a lifetime: an invitation to join The Cinderella Society, a secret club of the most popular girls in school, where makeovers are the first order of official business. But there's more to being a Cindy than just reinventing yourself from the outside, a concept lost on Jess as she dives tiara-first into creating a hot new look.

With a date with her popular crush and a chance to finally fit in, Jess's life seems to be a perfect fairy tale. That is until the Wickeds--led by Jess's archenemy--begin targeting innocent girls in their war against the Cindys, and Jess discovers her new sisterhood is about much more than who rules Mt. Sterling High School. It's a centuries-old battle of good vs. evil, and the Cindys need Jess on special assignment. But when the mission threatens to destroy her new dream life, Jess is forced to choose between this dream realized and honoring the Sisterhood. What's a girl to do when the glass slipper fits, but she doesn't want to wear it anymore?

Three Rivers Rising by Jame Richards

Sixteen-Year-Old Celstia spends every summer with her family at the elite resort at Lake Conemaugh, a shimmering Allegheny Mountain reservoir held in place by an earthen dam. Tired of the society crowd, Celestia prefers to swim and fish with Peter, the hotel’s hired boy. It’s a friendship she must keep secret, and when companionship turns to romance, it’s a love that could get Celestia disowned. These affairs of the heart become all the more wrenching on a single, tragic day in May, 1889. After days of heavy rain, the dam fails, unleashing 20 million tons of water onto Johnstown, Pennsylvania, in the valley below. The town where Peter lives with his father. The town where Celestia has just arrived to join him. This searing novel in poems explores a cross-class romance—and a tragic event in U. S. history.

Gentlemen by Michael Northrop

Micheal, Tommy, Mixer, and Bones aren’t just from the wrong side of the tracks—they’re from the wrong side of everything. Except for Mr. Haberman, their remedial English teacher, no one at their high school takes them seriously. Haberman calls them “gentlemen,” but everyone else ignores them—or, in Bones’s case, is dead afraid of them. When one of their close-knit group goes missing, the clues all seem to point in one direction: to Mr. Haberman.

Palace Beautiful by Sarah DeFord Williams

When sisters Sadie and Zuzu Brooks move to Salt Lake City, they discover a secret room in the attic of their new house, with a sign that reads “Palace Beautiful” and containing an old journal. Along with their neighbor, dramatic Belladonna Desolation (real name: Kristin Smith), they take turns reading the story of a girl named Helen living during the flu epidemic of 1918. The journal ends with a tragedy that has a scary parallel to Sadie and Zuzu’s lives, and the girls become obsessed with finding out what happened to Helen after the journal ends. Did she survive the flu? Is she still alive somewhere? Or could her ghost be lurking in the nearby graveyard?

Sarah DeFord Williams has created a gripping read that covers two time periods, many fantastic characters, and a can’t-put-it-down ending, all with delightful, extraordinary prose.

In other news, don't forget to enter the contest to win I am not a Serial Killer! We have had some great entries and I want to see more!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I am not a Serial Killer Twitter Contest!!

That's right, I am giving away my (lightly used) copy of Dan Wells' Debut I am not a Serial Killer. However, I am not going to give extra entries for dissemination. This is a creative contest, so strut your stuff bloggers! It will be held in two places, the comments section of this post and twitter.


Finish this sentence, "You might be a serial killer if..." (Think Jeff Foxworthy's Redneck jokes).

Either comment here or tweet with the hash-tag #killercontest so I can find it.

The winner will be the person who made me laugh the hardest!

This contest will run for one week only, I will announce the winners on Friday April 16th.

You don't get any points for dissemination, but help a brother out and spread the word!

Have fun with it, be creative and I will post the top ten on the blog!

A Book Review of Dan Wells' I am not a Serial Killer

John Wayne Cleaver is not your average teenager. He grew up working in a morgue, is obsessed with serial killers, is a clinical sociopath, and adheres to a strict set of personally imposed rules meant to keep him from becoming a serial killer. Dan Wells kicks off this fast pace novel by opening at the scene of a bizarre homicide. John surmises that this could be the work of a serial killer, here is his own quiet town!

Wells had me enthralled and the blurb on the front, “unputdownable” holds true for the first third of the novel. Until we find out who the “serial Killer” really is. I don’t want to give away the twist, but suffice to say, you won’t see it coming. I’m a fan of plot twists but this novels reads like a “Dexter Morgan” type story a only to take a jump off the deep end into the super natural.

The book remains immensely entertaining and Wells’ writing is superb. His dark comedic voice won’t have you rolling on the floor, but you will love John Wayne Cleaver’s unique perspective on life. The problem lies with the transition to the supernatural. You will be left saying, “WTF mate?” still, Wells is an author to keep an eye on and I will be purchasing the next two books in this series.

Keep an eye out for the I am not a Serial Killer contest coming your way later today!

Jeff’s Debut Novel Awards*

plotweaver rubberchicken hulk smash

*hold your cursor over the icon to get a description of the award or click on any of them to be referred to the award guide.

A twenty-two-year-old University student, Jeff is the founder and coeditor of The Debut Authors Blog. He is an aspiring author and a self-avowed bibliophile. Also, he is not above shameless self-promotion and talking in the third-person.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

First Contact: An Interview with Christine Johnson

We have discovered life on a faraway planet! The government has decided to send representative emissaries from all walks of life on earth. You’ve been chosen represent authors! What is going through your mind?

Oh God what if there’s no chocolate and can I bring my own pillow and has John Green dropped dead he must have because that’s the only reason they’d be asking me. That’s what I’d be thinking, all in a rush with no punctuation.

Once I got over the initial freak-out, I’d be really excited and very nervous. For several reasons, on both counts. First and most practically, I’m not a very good traveler. I *adore* being in new places - I had a life-changing trip to Japan several years ago - but I’m horrible at the actual *travel* part of traveling. I don’t like the stress of catching flights and not knowing my way around and sleeping in a strange bed. But it’s always worth it in the end, for the amazing cool new things that happen in between that other stuff.

Beyond that, I’d be so excited to talk about authors and writing and what I think about all of that, but I’d certainly be feeling the pressure of speaking for all the other authors on earth. Not to mention that a misunderstanding could have serious intergalactic consequences, so I’d be weighing my every word!

Last minute Mick Jagger (chosen to represent rock stars) drops dead and they turn to you to find a replacement. You can pick anyone to go with you. Who do you pick and why?

Amanda Palmer. Hands down. And, quite frankly, I’d feel relieved that I was taking her and not Mick with me. Not only do I love her - and her first solo album, Who Killed Amanda Palmer, has been the soundtrack for my work in the last couple of months - but I really believe she’s at the forefront of the rock movement right now. I think she knows - and could explain to the alien race - everything that Mick knows about rock ‘n’ roll, but she sees what’s coming next.

Plus, I think we’d have a hell of a fun time.

Thanks to new technology meals can now be made to fit in a tube but still taste exactly as they would if they had been cooked from scratch. Unfortunately it is expensive to make different meals so everyone only gets to pick one for the group to eat. What do you pick?

That’s a really, really hard question as I adore food. Limiting it to one is so tough! I’d probably give you a different answer tomorrow, but today, I’d say a particular lentil curry (Dahl Makhni) from my favorite local Indian restaurant, with some lovely basmati rice, a good garlicky naan bread, and a mango lassi on the side. I could eat that every day of the week, and be perfectly content.

The day of meeting the aliens is approaching! It is time for you to prepare an example of five books (other than yours) for you to share with them. What books do you pick?

Again, tooooough question. And again, one for which the answer changes daily. Today, though, I’d say THE BOOK THEIF by Markus Zusak for the brilliant prose, PAPER TOWNS by John Green for the humor and the genuine characters, BEL CANTO by Ann Patchett for the brilliant relationships, CORALINE by Neil Gaiman because it’s scary as hell, and TITHE by Holly Black because it’s a great story.

It turns out that the aliens hold written communication as the highest art form and immediately move to translate your work into their language. For now though they will be satisfied with a quick pitch. What do you tell them?

My first novel, CLAIRE DE LUNE, is about a sixteen-year-old girl who discovers, on her birthday, that she is a werewolf and that, contrary to popular belief, all werewolves are female.

Killing humans is forbidden by the code of the pack, but a rogue werewolf has been breaking that law, threatening the existence of Claire’s new pack. As the pack struggles to find and fight the rogue werewolf and Claire struggles with her lupine identity, her heart and her loyalties are torn in two. Claire must keep her new life a secret from even her best friend–and especially from Matthew, whose father is leading the werewolf hunt…and with whom Claire is impossibly and undeniably falling in love.

On their home planet writers are treated like Kings. They ask what life is like for you being an author on earth. What do you say?

That writers mostly get treated like whatever *else* they are. So, a King who writes gets treated like a king, but a nanny who writes gets treated like a nanny, a scullery maid who writes gets treated like a scullery maid, and so on. Those who are lucky enough to make their living as writers are usually treated as though they live like Kings when in reality, most of them (that I know, anyway) live like regular people with regular jobs.

Which is better than it sounds, really. I feel like my job as a writer is to skulk around in the real world, digging up interested bits of humanity and washing them off and then putting them into a manuscript. It’s pretty hard to do that if you’re always being noticed and waited on. It seems like it would be almost impossible to skulk, as a King.

They offer you a place of honor on their faraway planet but you may never get to return home. How do you respond to the aliens? Careful, we wouldn’t want to upset our new friends!

Although I am honored by the offer, and appreciate the opportunity to visit with their most interesting race, I have two small children at home. And though I adore being a writer, being a mom is more important to me. So, with great regret, I would have to pass up the fabulous opportunity with which they presented me. Because I could never stand to leave my kids - not even for a place of honor among the aliens!

Thank you Christine for playing along! Make sure you check out Christine's book Claire de Lune out May 18th. Find out more about Christine at her website.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Review of Paul Doiron's The Poacher's Son

Paul Doiron’s The Poacher’s Son is a chilling murder mystery set in rural Maine. The story gets off to a quick start when novice game warden Mike Bowditch receives mysterious message from his estranged father. Mike is informed that his father, a well known poacher, is considered the prime suspect in a double homicide with one of the victims being a cop. As a law enforcement officer, Mike is in position to have intimate access to the case. At first, he is alone in his efforts to prove his father’s innocence until he is joined, in an uneasy alliance, by a retired game warden, Charlie.

Mike’s frantic search for the evidence he needs to exonerate his father forces him to reevaluate his life as a game warden. Doiron offers his readers a unique blend of family strife, internal conflict, and intense action to make his debut an unforgettable journey through Maine’s rugged wilderness. Readers will love his enticing and realistically flawed characters who take them on an emotional roller-coaster they won’t be able to put down. With great characters and page-turning plot development, Doiron is an author to keep an eye on.

The only downside to the book was an extended and obnoxiously graphic sex scene between Mike and his ex-girlfriend. While the sex is necessary for the development of the plot, the in-depth description was not. I am by no means a prude, but it crossed the line for me. That being said, this novel was still a wonderful read and I highly recommend it.

Jeff’s Debut Novel Awards*

Emotionally Evocative plotweaverpageturnersealofapproval

*hold your cursor over the icon to get a description of the award or click on any of them to be referred to the award guide.

A twenty-two-year-old University student, Jeff is the founder and coeditor of The Debut Authors Blog. He is an aspiring author and a self-avowed bibliophile. Also, he is not above shameless self-promotion and talking in the third-person.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Coming Your Way This Week...

The Cost of Love
National security comes at a price.

Dean Dreiser learned that lesson long ago. Now domestic terrorists are testing a biological weapon in southern New Mexico, and Dean is forced to take a new partner--Dr. Lucinda Brown. Lucy is the leading expert in molecular biology, but she has no field experience. Separately they don’t stand a chance against what dominates the night skies of Roswell, New Mexico. Together they can do more than survive. They can do their jobs in spite of the scariest thing to crawl out of Roswell since 1947.

The terrorists are willing to kill thousands in order to trigger the fall of the two party system and usher in a new political dawn. Lucy tracks the genetic print of the weapon while Dean hunts the insurgents. As fate hurtles them across the desert toward a final showdown, Dean will be forced to decide between national security and Lucinda Brown. He knows which he has to choose and curses himself for hesitating. Dean Dreiser can’t afford The Cost of Love.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Fairy Tale Adventure Interview with Debut Author Shari Maurer

You are on a walk through a dark enchanted forest with one companion. Who do you take with you?

My brother, Scott. Somehow this suburban kid became an expert hiker and woods decipherer (is that a word?). I have the worst sense of direction so I'd probably wind up in the woods FOREVER. One of the greatest things I've learned in life is that you should surround yourself with people who have talents you lack.

In the forest you come to a large stone tower with no door and one window near the top. You hear beautiful singing coming from the window, and as you approach the singing stops and a long braid of hair is lowered to you. A little girl asks you to come up, but when you get there, you discover an old witch instead! Convince her to let you go.

I think I would talk with her and get to know her. My guess is she's lonely, as many older, more isolated people are and she just needs a little TLC and maybe someone to listen to her for a little while. Maybe I'd ask her about her childhood. I truly believe that inside every old witch is a little girl who wants to be loved.

Luckily for you, she is partial to authors and lets you go. Now, back in the forest a dwarf runs out from behind a tree and grabs the only copy of your WIP right out of your bag! Its impossible to catch him but he will let you go if you tell him something unusual about yourself. What do you tell him?

I can touch my nose with my tongue. It's not something I need to do often, but if it works here, then I'm glad it's finally useful.

After escaping the dwarf unscathed you come to a pond where you find a frog sitting on a rock. The frog tells you that if you kiss him he will turn into whatever famous author you want, who will then read your book! Which author do you choose?

Harper Lee, author of my favorite book of all time-To Kill a Mockingbird.

What does he/she say about your book?

I would hope that she would admire the strength of Emmi, my main character in Change of Heart, who is waiting for a heart transplant. And she'd enjoy the fact that Emmi's brother is named Jeremy and nicknamed Jem, just like Scout's brother in To Kill a Mockingbird.

Your author friend promptly turns back into a frog, and it is time for you to go. Next you come into a clearing where there are two geese. The goose on the left will give you one story idea every month that will be guaranteed to get published. The goose on the right will give you one story idea that is so amazing that you will go down in history as one of the greatest writers of all time, but its brilliance won’t be recognized until after you’ve died. Which goose do you pick?

It's an interesting question, given my admiration for Harper Lee, who might have selected the goose on the right. But I think I'd prefer the goose on the left. I love to write and would prefer to be more prolific and continue to have the privilege of being published. Though I have to say--one story idea a month might get overwhelming!

Your adventure in the forest is finally over and you arrive at home. Who is waiting for you?

My husband and my kids. And my guess is that they're hungry and ready for dinner, so adventure over and back to real life!

Shari Maurer 's debut novel Change of Heart comes out April 23rd. Find out more about Shari at her website and pre-order Change of Heart at Amazon.com.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Circus Interview with Debut Author Kiersten White

I had the chance to interview the awesome Kiersten White. She was kind enough to play along with my outrageous questions. Enjoy!

You wake up one morning and find yourself on a circus train. What animal is your bunk mate?

The monkeys. And they keep eyeing my hair like they'd like to go through it to check for bugs, which quite frankly I find insulting. Keep your fingers to yourselves, monkeys, my hair is perfectly clean.

It looks like you’re stuck on the train until they get to their next stop. Luckily, you still have your favorite book which you were reading when you fell asleep! What book is it?

A Circus Lover's Guide to Taming Elephants, Avoiding Monkeys, and Walking the Tightrope of the Human Heart

Or rather, it'd probably be Gilead by Marilynne Robinson. At least until someone writes the above book.

It is time for lunch and all of the circus performers sit according to their act. Who do you decide to sit with?

The clowns are all packed into the mini-car next door, so they're out. The tightrope walkers make me dizzy just looking at them. As a mom to two small children, I feel the tightest kinship with the lion tamers, and so we sit and trade horror stories and scars.

They are curious about your new book! Pitch it to them, but don’t forget to appeal to your audience!

Fangs, fur, and fey! Evie must tame the wild paranormals and avoid any number of grisly deaths to save the special things left in the world. A show--err--book unlike any other!

After a great meal with the lion tamers you stumble back toward your car (circus performers drink a little more than you are used to) to find the circus gypsy waiting for you. She tells you your fortune. What is your future?

"You will be mistaken for a child and passed over in grocery lines. I see very high heels in your future..."

Which of course is wrong, as I prefer flip flops and awkward encounters when people realize I'm not a pre-teen, lack of height notwithstanding. So I don't tip her, and she glares at me.

After you share some circus moonshine with her, she agrees to grant you one wish. What do you wish for?

That my kids to continue growing up happy and healthy, at which point she grumbles that this was the most boring wish ever, and realizes the moonshine was non-alcoholic, as I don't drink. I'm pretty sure she curses me, but I figure any gypsy who can't tell she isn't drunk isn't likely to be commanding powerful curses.

Although I do seem to be growing a beard, which is new.

You get into town and are getting ready to leave. Unfortunately, your flight is delayed. Your new friends convince you to showcase your special talent in tonight's show. What do you perform for the circus audience?

Dazzling feats of sarcasm. Really, it's stunning. And, to top it all off, a spelling bee!

You finally make it home. Who is waiting at the airport for you?

My husband, who is startled by my new facial hair, but happy to see me nonetheless, and my two monkey children, who never look for bugs in my hair.

Kiersten is the author of Paranormalcy which comes out this fall! Also, go follow her blog she is even more entertaining there!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Coming Your Way This Week...


Birthmarked by Caragh O'Brien

After climate change, on the north shore of Unlake Superior, a dystopian world is divided between those who live inside the wall, and those, like sixteen-year-old midwife Gaia Stone, who live outside. It’s Gaia’s job to “advance” a quota of infants from poverty into the walled Enclave, until the night one agonized mother objects, and Gaia’s parents disappear.

As Gaia’s efforts to save her parents take her within the wall, she faces the brutal injustice of the Enclave and discovers she alone holds the key to a secret code, a code of “birthmarked” babies and genetic merit.

Fraught with difficult moral choices and rich with intricate layers of codes, BIRTHMARKED explores a colorful, cruel, eerily familiar world where a criminal is defined by her genes, and one girl can make all the difference.

I Am Not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells

John Wayne Cleaver is dangerous, and he knows it.

He’s spent his life doing his best not to live up to his potential.

He’s obsessed with serial killers, but really doesn’t want to become one. So for his own sake, and the safety of those around him, he lives by rigid rules he’s written for himself, practicing normal life as if it were a private religion that could save him from damnation.

Dead bodies are normal to John. He likes them, actually. They don’t demand or expect the empathy he’s unable to offer. Perhaps that’s what gives him the objectivity to recognize that there’s something different about the body the police have just found behind the Wash-n-Dry Laundromat---and to appreciate what that difference means.

Now, for the first time, John has to confront a danger outside himself, a threat he can’t control, a menace to everything and everyone he would love, if only he could.

Dan Wells’s debut novel is the first volume of a trilogy that will keep you awake and then haunt your dreams.


Island of Betrayal by Alan L. Moss

A beautiful young girl is taken to an unconventional medical facility. Weak and disoriented, she is subjected to a radical, untested stem cell procedure. Months later, in a hot air balloon speeding across New Zealand s Central Canterbury Plains, the results of that test give birth to an international conspiracy. When a giant tuna cannery makes early tax payments to the American Samoan treasury, a high-ranking but corrupt government official will divert millions to New Zealand s Health-Cell Corporation. The medical research firm is desperate for cash while its stem cell breakthrough undergoes a required three-year test protocol. In return, Health-Cell will supply the official and his co-conspirators with stem cell cure kits to sell on the black market, yielding huge profits. The only way the early tax payments will not be made, scuttling the conspiracy, is if a Special Industry Committee raises Samoa s minimum wage by more than two percent. Enter Michael Bloom, a government economist charged with the responsibility to administer public hearings that lead to deliberations of the Committee. He has risked his marriage to get Samoa s impoverished workers the significant wage increases long denied them. Unknowingly, his efforts to win large wage gains for Samoa s workforce threaten to derail the conspiracy. The story accelerates to breakneck speed as Bloom encounters the beautiful director of Samoa s Visitor Information Bureau. He is framed with a dastardly crime, flees the police, and returns to the South Pacific to unravel the conspiracy and get revenge.

Rooms by James L. Rubart

On a rainy spring day in Seattle, young software tycoon Micah Taylor receives a cryptic, twenty-five-year-old letter from a great uncle he never knew. It claims a home awaits him on the Oregon coast that will turn his world inside out. Suspecting a prank, Micah arrives at Cannon Beach to discover a stunning brand new nine-thousand square foot house. And after meeting Sarah Sabin at a nearby ice cream shop, he has two reasons to visit the beach every weekend.

When bizarre things start happening in the rooms of the home, Micah suspects they have some connection to his enigmatic new friend, Rick, the town mechanic. But Rick will only say the house is spiritual. This unnerves Micah because his faith slipped away like the tide years ago, and he wants to keep it that way. But as he slowly discovers, the home isn’t just spiritual, it’s a physical manifestation of his soul, which God uses to heal Micah’s darkest wounds and lead him into an astonishing new destiny.

Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey

"You're Ellie Spencer."

I opened my mouth, just as he added, "And your eyes are opening."

Seventeen-year-old Ellie Spencer is just like any other teenager at her boarding school. She hangs out with her best friend Kevin, she obsesses over Mark, a cute and mysterious bad boy, and her biggest worry is her paper deadline.

But then everything changes. The news headlines are all abuzz about a local string of serial killings that all share the same morbid trademark: the victims were discovered with their eyes missing. Then a beautiful yet eerie woman enters Ellie's circle of friends and develops an unhealthy fascination with Kevin, and a crazed old man grabs Ellie in a public square and shoves a tattered Bible into her hands, exclaiming, "You need it. It will save your soul." Soon, Ellie finds herself plunged into a haunting world of vengeful fairies, Maori mythology, romance, betrayal, and an epic battle for immortality.

Code Blue by Richard L. Mabry

In the first book of the Prescription for Trouble series, Code Blue means more to Dr. Cathy Sewell than the cardiac emergency she has to face. It describes her mental state as she finds that coming back to her hometown hasn t brought her the peace she so desperately needs. Instead, it s clear that someone there wants her gone...or dead.

Cathy returns to her hometown seeking healing after a broken relationship, but discovers that among her friends and acquaintances is someone who wants her out of town...or dead. Lawyer Will Kennedy, her high school sweetheart, offers help, but does it carry a price tag? Is hospital chief of staff Dr. Marcus Bell really on her side in her fight to get hospital privileges? Is Will s father, Pastor Matthew Kennedy, interested in advising her or just trying to get her back to the church she left years ago? When one of Cathy s prescriptions almost kills the town banker, it sets the stage for a malpractice suit that could end her time in town, if not her career. It s soon clear that this return home was a prescription for trouble.

Diamonds for the Dead by Alan Orloff

When Josh Handleman returns to his boyhood home to sit shiva for his estranged father, he gets the shock of his life: his frugal dad was a diamond collector worth millions. Now the gems are missing and Josh begins to suspect his father’s death might have been murder, not an accident.

Hounded by grief and remorse, Josh resolves to find his dad’s diamond stash. His emotion-laden treasure hunt throws him into the middle of a feud between two stubborn old Russian Jews—and puts Josh squarely in the sights of his father’s killer.