Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Review: The Bad Beginning

The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket (A Series of Unfortunate Events #1)

Age Group: Middle Grade
Published:  September 30, 1999 by HarperCollins (first published 1999)
Format: Hardcover

Source: Purchased


Dear Reader,

I'm sorry to say that the book you are holding in your hands is extremely unpleasant. It tells an unhappy tale about three very unlucky children. Even though they are charming and clever, the Baudelaire siblings lead lives filled with misery and woe. From the very first page of this book when the children are at the beach and receive terrible news, continuing on through the entire story, disaster lurks at their heels. One might say they are magnets for misfortune.

In this short book alone, the three youngsters encounter a greedy and repulsive villain, itchy clothing, a disastrous fire, a plot to steal their fortune, and cold porridge for breakfast.

It is my sad duty to write down these unpleasant tales, but there is nothing stopping you from putting this book down at once and reading something happy, if you prefer that sort of thing.

With all due respect,

Lemony Snicket

Monday, February 21, 2011

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

It's that time! Up for grabs we had a brand new copy of the absolutely fantastic Across the Universe by the marvelous Beth Revis. You entered. You told me interesting things. And now one of you will receive an awesome new book.

Selected randomly by my best friend the winner is




Pk Hrezo! CONGRATULATIONS, Pk!!! : )

I hope you love this book as much as I do.

Thank you to everyone who entered. I hope you all have a fabulous Monday and a wonderful week.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Okay, for those of you who absolutely don't want to listen to me talk for 12 minutes (that was SO not my intention), I will summarize at the bottom. If you're going to watch it, I apologize for the length and the few times I accidentally hit the mic. And the fact that I get distracted... and ramble... and yea. Enjoy. :)


1. Lois Lowry - A lot of readers ask how she gets her ideas (and if she has a dog...which she does). Lois does something that I think is super cool and interesting: she writes plot couplets. For example, for Gossamer she wrote, "A haunting phrase - a little more - / Imagination - take wing - soar." From those ten words she crafted a book. How cool is that?

Personally, I think this just goes to show that we're all different and we all have our own processes, so don't worry about conforming or doing things a certain way. Write. Write on your terms. Write your way. Just make sure you keep writing.

2. Dan Lazar of Writers House - In short, Dan talked a lot about good and bad queries. He did say that the children's market is more competitive than ever but that there's also more room for new things too. Taboos seem to be virtually non-existent these days, and while magic and fantasy are obviously still selling it's even more important for you to have a new/fresh twist if it's something that's been done before. *cough*vampires*cough*

According to Dan, MG is 8-14 and YA is 14+. (Just fyi.)

5 things to keep in mind for submissions:
     -Age: Know your age group, because it is an important factor in labeling your book.
     -Voice: This was unquantifiable for him; you know it when you see it.
     -Situation: Contemporary, magical,... This actually comes across like setting and your world, like any rules you might have.
     -Tone: Literary, artful, commercial, contemporary...
     -"Magic:" Unexplainable love for the project.

Next time I'll start with Alessandra Balzer's breakout session, at which she gave us a handout of the top 10 things she looks for in submissions. And I have a couple of reviews coming your way soon. Oh, and Valentine's Day. Hope it was a good one or is (where ever you may be).

Friday, February 11, 2011

Review: and Falling, Fly

and Falling, Fly by Skyler White

Age Group: Adult
Published: March 2, 2010 by Berkley Trade (first published January 2010)
Format: Paperback, 352 pgs
Source: Gift


An edgy, erotic blend of fantasy and romance-from a debut author whose star is on the rise.

In a dark and seedy underground of burned-out rock stars and angels- turned-vampires, a revolutionary neuroscientist and a fallen angel must pit medicine against mythology in an attempt to erase their tortured pasts...but at what cost?

Olivia, vampire and fallen angel of desire, is hopeless...and damned. Since the fall from Eden, she has hungered for love, but fed only on desire. Dominic O'Shaughnessy is a neuroscientist plagued by impossible visions. When his research and her despair collide at L'OtelMathillide- a subterranean hell of beauty, demons, and dreams-rationalist and angel unite in a clash of desire and damnation that threatens to destroy them both. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Contest Alert!

I have been meaning to post. Really, I have. Between playing catch up since SCBWI New York and school and the massive amounts of snow that keep dropping on us, I just haven't managed to make it (or anything else for that matter) work. So I'm coming to you now with something good to get back in your good graces: a contest.

You read that right, a contest.


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