Tags: books


Book Sightings

One of the most exciting things about being an author is not only seeing my own books in print, but seeing other books by authors I know in the bookstores. So, I was pleasantly surprised to see all of these books face out at one of the local Barnes and Noble here in Austin:

Eternal (Candlewick, 2009) by Cynthia Leitich Smith. The summary: At last, Miranda is the life of the party: all she had to do was die. Elevated and adopted by none other than the reigning King of the Mantle of Dracul, Miranda goes from high-school theater wannabe to glamorous royal fiend overnight.

Meanwhile, her reckless and adoring guardian angel, Zachary, demoted to human guise as the princess’s personal assistant, has his work cut out for him trying to save his girl’s soul and plan the Master’s fast-approaching Death Day gala.

In alternating points of view, Miranda and Zachary navigate a cut-throat eternal aristocracy as they play out a dangerous and darkly hilarious love story for the ages.

With diabolical wit, the author of Tantalize revisits a deliciously dark world where vampires vie with angels — and girls just want to have fangs.

Golden Girl: A Bradford novel (Simon Pulse, 2009) by Micol Ostow. The Summary: Spencer Grace Kelly has it all, and then some...especially with two new arrivals at prestigious Bradford Prep: Spence’s ex-boyfriend and first love, Jeremy, and Regan Stanford, a frenemy with a mysterious past.

Micol, a recent graduate of the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA Program for Writing for Children and Young Adults, is also the author of Emily Goldberg Learns to Salsa (Razorbill, 2006) and So Punk Rock (And Other Ways to Disappoint Your Mother) (Flux, 2009).

Shadowed Summer (Delacorte, 2009) by Saundra Mitchell. The Summary: Nothing ever happened in Ondine, Louisiana, not even the summer Elijah Landry disappeared.

His mother knew he ascended to heaven, the police believed he ran away, and his girlfriend thought he was murdered.

Decades later, certain she saw his ghost in the town cemetery, fourteen-year-old Iris Rhame is determined to find out the truth behind "The Incident With the Landry Boy."

Enlisting the help of her best friend Collette, and forced to endure the company of Collette's latest crush, Ben, Iris spends a summer digging into the past and stirring old ghosts, in search of a boy she never knew.

What she doesn't realize is that in a town as small as Ondine, every secret is a family secret.

So, go out and buy books. Support the chains and the independents (like Bookpeople and The Flying Pig).

And be sure to check out 28 Days Later at The Brown Bookshelf. We'll be profiling established and up-and-coming African-American authors all during the month of February!



A Good Time to be a Flux Author (and some other stuff)

Over at the Flux blog, Andrew has been announcing some pretty great news about the Flux authors. Carrie Jones and Brian Yansky received some very nice reviews for their novels, Tips on Having a Gay (ex) Boyfriend (Carrie) and Wonders of the World (Brian). Christine Kole Maclean and Simone Elkeles won an Independent Publishers Book Award (Gold for Christine and Silver for Simone). And Flux has rolled out the new covers for the fall books. (Scroll to the bottom of the Flux blog for the slideshow showing the covers. Or, take a look at all of the upcoming books at "the Mothership".)

Getting back to Carrie--I just finished her book last week, and I absolutely loved it. Tips is the type of book that will make you laugh and cringe (but cringe in a good way) at the same time. Belle is a sweetheart; a sweetheart you have to root for. And while I wanted to hate Dylan (like I think Belle did at first), Carrie really did a good job of showing him as a conflicted and compassionate three-dimensional character, not just a stereotypical gay guy that dumps his girlfriend. And--saying this in the most heterosexual way possible--if I was a girl, I would be all over Tom Tanner.

I'm really looking forward to the sequel, Love (and Other Uses for Duct Tape), and I'm hoping there's a lot more of Emily in it.

And just to throw some good news in about me, my book is now available for pre-order on Amazon.com. January 2008 doesn't seem quite so far away anymore.

Story of a Girl

I finished Sara Zarr's wonderful debut novel, Story of a Girl, a few weeks ago. There's not much more I can say about this novel that others haven't already said. Great characters. Great dialogue. Great story.

I like that Zarr began the novel three years after Deanna's incident (getting caught with an older boy, Tommy Webber, in the back of his Buick), instead of at the time of the incident itself. While the event is important, I think it's even more fascinating to take a step back and see how the characters deal with the aftermath. And while there are certainly characters in the book that make bad decisions, no one is clearly the "bad guy" (although you can make an argument that Tommy is pretty rotten). Everyone is a fault, at least a little, which makes the novel ring with authenticity. Also, I like that while the novel doesn't tie everything up nicely, it leaves the reader with a sense of hope.

My favorite scene is where Deanna and her father finally have it out. It's an argument that's been brewing for three years. Zarr, with her mastery of dialogue and pacing, does not disappoint.

This novel is highly recommended. Check out more about Sara Zarr at her website. Also, check out Cynthia Leitich Smith's interview with Zarr.