Let me start off this blog post by telling you what the other Bookanistas are up to this week:

Christine Fonseca  interviews author Sandra Almazan

Stasia Ward Kehoe is spellbound by ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD & GIRL OF NIGHTMARES

Jessica Love falls for UNBREAK MY HEART

LiLa Roecker swoons over STORYBOUND

Megan Miranda is giddy for GILT

Now on to last week’s winners. The two lucky ducky recipients of shiny, brand-spanking new copies of HEMLOCK are:

Von and Amy K!

*throws werewolf junk confetti*

Finally, it’s time for another (very tardy) giveaway. See, when I reviewed STARTERS a few weeks ago, I totally neglected to give away the ARC and swag that author Lissa Price so graciously provided.  I know–me, forgetful?  NEVER!


ANYWAY. To remedy that teensy little oversight, this week I’ll be giving away TWO copies of STARTERS plus STARTERS swag. Trust me, you don’t want to miss out on the chance to read this fast-paced, thrilling sci-fi tale about the dangers of coveting youth at any price.

To win, all you have to do is answer this question—if you could “borrow” someone’s body for a few months, would you? And because I’m insanely nosey, WHOSE?

Winners picked at random on Wed, May 17th* Mon, June 4th at noon, PST.

*Apparently, it’s helpful to hold contests that are open longer than negative minutes and end on, you know, an actual real date  (as opposed to the ones I make up in my head–there was no Thurs, May 17th)–who would have guessed?

Good luck, and may the bodies junk odds be ever in your favor!


If you live in SoCal and want to meet Lissa in person and get a signed copy of STARTERS,  go see her at the Los Feliz Costco this Saturday at 1:00. More details here!  Or, buy a copy of STARTERS from Indiebound, Barnes & Noble, or Amazon.

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Here’s the official UNDER THE NEVER SKY summary:



Aria has lived her whole life in the protected dome of Reverie. Her entire world confined to its spaces, she’s never thought to dream of what lies beyond its doors. So when her mother goes missing, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland long enough to find her are slim. 

Then Aria meets an outsider named Perry. He’s searching for someone too. He’s also wild – a savage – but might be her best hope at staying alive. 

If they can survive, they are each other’s best hope for finding answers

I picked up my copy of UNDER THE NEVER SKY at a book signing in San Diego. It was the second time I got to meet Ms. Veronica Rossi, and while I was totally thrilled by that (because, you know, Veronica is SuperAwesome) I also got that little pinch of worry—the one you feel whenever you’re getting ready to dig into an acquaintance’s book.  I so want to love every story I read, but of course that can’t always happen. And when you don’t enjoy a book written by someone you admire, it’s just, well, blah.

Yeah, so I totally angsted over nothing.

UNDER THE NEVER SKY is told by two different characters—Aria and Perry—which is great. Why?  Because Ms. Rossi takes full advantage of the opportunities presented by a dual POV book, and really uses Aria’s and Perry’s different perspectives to contrast their polar opposite worlds. I love the fact that they have such unique voices—something that’s often lacking in books that tackle this narrative style. UNDER THE NEVER SKY is billed as a dystopian (though one could argue it’s more post-apocalyptic) but because of the way some people have been going all Man Vs. Wild** outside of the pods, there are these really earthy fantasy elements to the story, too. The combo of the two gives the book a super fresh, unique feel—one that I think will make it appeal to a broad audience.  Plus, there’s plenty of action to keep even the most thrill-seeking readers turning the pages.

**I thought the survival stuff was full of awesome. Almost like a futuristic Clan of the Cave Bear in a way–but without all the gratuitous caveman sex.

Ahem.  I think that’s my cue to see what other Bookanistas are up to:

Christine Fonseca  takes a shine to A MILLION SUNS

Carolina Valdez Miller falls for FRACTURE

Jen Hayley surrenders to THE NIGHT SHE DISAPPEARED

Stasia Ward Kehoe is dazzled by DARK COMPANION

Nikki Katz wonders at THE FAULT IN OUR STARS

Debra Driza is overwhelmed by UNDER THE NEVER SKY

Jessica Love gives a trophy to BEAUTY QUEENS

Shelli Johannes-Wells takes you on a tour of The Reading Room

Tracy Banghart has double-love for THE SILVER PHOENIX and FURY OF THE PHOENIX

Hilary Wagner is in the grips of THE GATHERING STORM

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Bookanista Book Love, November 10th

Posted by houndrat on Thursday Nov 10, 2011 Under ARCs, writing, Young Adult

Poking my head out of revisions to say Hey! I joined the Bookanistas!  So excited to spread the word on books we love to the blogosphere, WOOT!

See what the Bookanistas are highlighting today:

Elana Johnson gushes about THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS
LiLa Roecker sings for VIRTUOSITY
Shelli Johannes-Wells praises author Addison Moore
Rosemary Clement-Moore gets all wrapped up in WRAPPED
Jessi Kirby more love for VIRTUOSITY
Nikki Katz screams for LEGEND
Katy Upperman sets us all up for BEFORE I FALL


Happy reading!


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First off–a cover reveal! Check out fellow Apocalypsie Jessica Spotwood’s cover for BORN WICKED–isn’t it STUNNING???

Check out her celebratory contest here.

So, some news. My blog posting time is going to be limited this summer as I dive into revisions for MILA 2.0.

Maybe *I* could learn to type with my feet…

I’ll try to not to disappear completely, but instead continue with updates, photos, and little bits of randomness.  In fact,  I’m going to kick off my revision-mania with an ARC giveaway!

This giveaway is for Andrea Cremer’s WOLFSBANE, the eagerly anticipated follow-up to NIGHTSHADE.



This thrilling sequel to the much-talked-about Nightshade begins just where it ended–Calla Tor wakes up in the lair of the Searchers, her sworn enemy, and she’s certain her days are numbered. But then the Searchers make her an offer–one that gives her the chance to destroy her former masters and save the pack–and the man–she left behind. Is Ren worth the price of her freedom? And will Shay stand by her side no matter what? Now in control of her own destiny, Calla must decide which battles are worth fighting and how many trials true love can endure and still survive




If you’re a Nightshade fan then I know you must be panting after this book (cough, couldn’t resist), which comes at the end of July!

To win, we’re going to  play a little game called Name That Musk.  Tell me in the comments what you’d name a designer werewolf cologne or perfume.  You get an extra entry for tweeting about the contest, and entries close on Monday, June 20th, at noon PST.

Good luck!


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Based on my looming deadline, this post will be superbrief.  Just a quick announcement to say it’s week three of the DIVERGENT Faction Challenge, and by request, the faction we’ll be trying to embody is…


Based on the Facebook quiz, this would be my faction. Personally, I’m  thinking the combination of sleep deprivation and honesty should require me to wear a warning sign.

Tune in Friday to find out how all the bloggers fared by telling it how it is.

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Week Two in the Faction Challenge (inspired by Veronica Roth’s debut novel DIVERGENT) has finally ended. How did I do during Amity Week?

Well, I ATE apples. So there’s that. Oh, and I sang! Katy Perry’s E.T., and One Potato Two Potato Three Potato Four. Which should really earn me extra points because it’s a song about farm-y stuff.

That’s one big ass potato

But by the end of the week, I pretty much wanted so say:  SUCK IT AMITY. I mean, I tried to be more understanding of others, especially the kids. I think I had some success. But there were moments when being understanding was QUITE a challenge. Like when the kids refused to stop yelling in the doctor’s office while the doctor was trying to speak. Yeah, Amity pretty much bailed on me there.

My 3-yr-old struggled with Amity this week as well.  Example?  How about the time she walked down the stairs, eyed her older brother’s elaborate Lincoln Log creation, and then kicked it over for no apparent reason…and she did it with a song in her heart.

My money's on the 3-yr-old

I’m pegging her for a Dauntless.

Also, I was hyper-aware of my non-Amity-like thoughts this week, even when I didn’t act on them. I’m still trying to figure out if this is a good thing or a bad thing.

Overall, I guess I’d say that while Amity wasn’t an unqualified fail like Abnegation, it also wasn’t as simple an undertaking as I’d hoped.

But enough about me—how did everyone else do? Check the (continuously updated) links below and find out!

Kathleen Peacock

Katharine Owens


Kaitlin Ward

Jamie Blair/GotYA

Sarah Enni

Nikki Katz

Lori Tays Eastep

Kate Hart

Dana Alison Levy

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This week’s YA Highway Road Trip Wednesday:

How do you reward yourself when you meet your writing goals? Answer for big goals (i.e. I will buy a Lear jet when I get published) and/or small goals (I eat an entire pint of Ben and Jerry’s in one sitting when I finish each chapter).

For me, the best rewards after a big writing spree are the ones that allow me to shut down my brain and recharge. Often, I’ll head for the movie theater and lose myself in someone else’s fictional world for awhile.

Or, when I hit a bigger writing goal, like finish a draft or a revision, I might spend the next day vegging in front of the TV.  Often, this will involve cramming as many episodes of a particular series into 24 hours as possible. Or curling up with books all day long.

Don't ask how many times I've watched this.

Being Human

If I’ve been particularly hermity, like before a deadline, I’ll spend the weekend with my family. Or go out to dinner with friends. Or go for a run to lose one of the five pounds I probably just gained from prolonged sitting and chocolate eating.

Nothing fancy, and nothing pre-planned. Basically, just whatever sounds good at the time.




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We’re on week two of our DIVERGENT Faction Challenge, where participants tackle Veronica Roth’s factions from her amazing YA debut, DIVERGENT-–one faction at a time.  Last week we tried Abnegation.  Now, let’s be honest.  Abnegation week did not go so well. In fact, based on the blog posts I read, Abnegation was kicking un-selfless butt all across the country.

This week, I’m choosing an easier faction. Something…fun. Something…banjo-y.

(No, NOT the Deliverance type of banjo. Which is totally stuck in my head now. Awesome.)


Those of you who’ve read the Divergent know I’m taking about AMITY, The Peaceful. The faction that got to ride around in farm clothes in the back of a truck, eating apples and strumming tunes while everyone else tried not to croak.

From the DIVERGENT fansite:


1. friendship; peaceful harmony.

2. mutual understanding and a peaceful relationship, especially between nations; peace; accord.

3. cordiality

It’s not just about banjos and apple-picking.* It’s about cultivating strong relationships and trying to understand each other.

*Whoa, wait a second.  This faction isn’t just about banjos?  CURSES.

Here’s what else Veronica says about Amity:

–Dresses in Red or Yellow

–Seem Kind, Loving and Free

–Understanding counselors and caretakers


What do you think?  Will this faction be easier than the last one?  Check back on Friday to find out!

Amity Cat



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It’s Friday!  Which means…I get to tell you all how Abnegation kicked my butt  in the DIVERGENT Faction-of-the-week Challenge, inspired by Veronica Roth’s amazing book!  (Don’t know what the challenge is? Read about it here.)

(FYI–Blogger’s been super wonky, so I expect many participants will be late with their posts.  Just keep checking back in!)

So, I don’t know about you, but I definitely learned something this week.

I’m not cut out for Abnegation.

It’s not that I didn’t like doing nice things for other people. It’s that I liked it too much.  Every time I did something nice, I actually felt a sense of gratification. Whether I donated items for a charity auction, added a dollar to my grocery bill to benefit a good cause, gave extra time to my kids instead of working, or even performed the common courtesy acts I try to do on a daily basis—hold open doors, let people in while driving—they all served the same purpose. They made ME feel good.  And since Abnegation is sort of like the anti-me faction, I’m not sure I can consider any of that a success. This past week really made me think hard on the nature of selflessness, and if there IS a truly selfless act.

Oh, and the vanity thing. HOLY COW. If you’d asked me prior to this challenge how I rated on a vanity scale, I probably would have said on most days, low to moderate. I mean, I almost always pull my hair back in a ponytail, spend about three minutes slopping on some make-up, rarely bother with lipstick, and throw on whatever clothes are convenient (i.e. easy to find in my disaster zone of a closet).

So yesterday, thinking it would be no big deal, I went without make-up.   And for the first hour afterwards, THAT’S ALL I COULD THINK ABOUT.  It got better as the day wore on—I’d forget for stretches—but OMG, every time I passed a mirror, I stared. And fretted. Will everyone see the circles under my eyes?  Do my eyebrows look freakish?

Is this my color?

You know what was REALLY weird?  In a way, going without make-up made me vainer than actually wearing it.   Because on a typical day, I spend my fifteen minutes getting dressed and then I don’t think about my appearance again. Whereas yesterday, I thought about it. A LOT.   I guess that either makes me:  a) vainer than I thought (eyebrow pencil! EYEBROW PENCIL!  MY KINGDOM FOR AN EYEBROW PENCIL!) or b) very comfortable with my usual appearance and very uncomfortable with change.

And I was. Very. Uncomfortable. At least, when I remembered to think about it.  Which made me pause to consider how utterly miserable it must feel to be uncomfortable with how you look on a daily basis.

But that’s another story.

(We won’t even talk about how I also gave up flat-ironing my bangs. Which I only bother with when they’re overgrown. Only—they’re seriously, seriously overgrown. So they were basically sticking out from the side of my head about two inches, waiting to stab the dude in line next to me at Starbucks in the eye. But we won’t talk about that. Meep.)

So, sadly, I’m a giant Abnegation Fail. How did others fare?  Read about their experiences here (I’ll keep updating the list as posts pop up!):


Sarah Enni

Dawn Rae Miller

Lori Tays Eastep

Lyn Almodovar

Jenn Wood

Jamie Blair/GotYA

Dana Alison Levy


Nikki Katz

Katharine Owens

Kathleen Peacock

Kathy Bradey

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Let’s kick off Wednesday with a cover reveal—fellow Apocalypsie Leanna Renee Hieber just got her cover. Isn’t is AWESOME???

YAY Leanna–can’t wait until it comes out!

Next–let’s finish the post by tagging along with YA Highway on Road Trip Wednesday! This week’s question is:

If you could have any celebrity read the audio version of your WIP or favorite book, who would it be?

My books: For Demon Guard, I think it would be Kristen Bell. Summer just has this sort of chip on her shoulder, and it often comes out via snark.  I think the voice of Veronica Mars would be perfect.

MILA…wow, that’s a tough one. It’s a totally different book.  In my head, I hear someone a little more precise in her speaking, someone a little less humorous.  And even though Blair Waldorf is nothing at all like my MC, I think Leighton Meester’s voice could really suit the story.

Favorite books: You know, I think I’d listen to Chris Hemsworth narrate just about anything. *sighs*

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