Thursday, October 29, 2009

HarperTeen Pitch Black Website

So, I got an e-mail today announcing the new update Pitch Black website and it's actually really cool. You can check it out HERE.

I even pimped my own coffin. It makes scary zombie screamy noises, but you can't hear that here, because sharing to blogger is not an option (only complaint). So head on over and pimp your own coffin and check out some great new books.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday (39)--Gone by Lisa McMann

Release Date: February 9, 2010 from Simon Pulse


Janie thought she knew what her future held. And she thought she'd made her peace with it. But she can't handle dragging Cabel down with her.

She knows he will stay with her, despite what she sees in his dreams. He's amazing. And she's a train wreck. Janie sees only one way to give him the life he deserves--she has to disappear. And it's going to kill them both.

Then a stranger enters her life--and everything unravels. The future Janie once faced now has an ominous twist, and her choices are more dire than she'd ever thought possible. She alone must decide between the lesser of two evils. And time is running out...

He reaches toward her, his fingers black and bloody, his eyes deranged, unblinking. Janie is paralyzed. His cold hands reach around her neck, squeezing tight, tighter, until Janie has no breath left. She's unable to move, unable to think. As his grasp tightens further around Janie's neck, his face turns sickly alabaster. He strains harder and begins to shake.

Janie is dying.
She has no fight left in her.
It's over.

Argh!!! I can't wait. I love these books and this one looks like it could be the best of the bunch. February?! Oh well, I guess I can survive until then.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Demon King By Cinda Williams Chima

Release Date: Available Now from Hyperion Books CH

Source: From Author


Times are hard in the mountain city of Fellsmarch. Reformed thief Han Alister will do almost anything to eke out a living for himself, his mother, and his sister Mari. Ironically, the only thing of value he has is something he can't sell. For as long as Han can remember, he's worn thick silver cuffs engraved with runes. They're clearly magicked-as he grows, they grow, and he's never been able to get them off.

While out hunting one day, Han and his Clan friend, Dancer catch three young wizards setting fire to the sacred mountain of Hanalea. After a confrontation, Han takes an amulet from Micah Bayar, son of the High Wizard, to ensure the boy won't use it against them. Han soon learns that the amulet has an evil history-it once belonged to the Demon King, the wizard who nearly destroyed the world a millennium ago. With a magical piece that powerful at stake, Han knows that the Bayars will stop at nothing to get it back.

Meanwhile, Raisa ana'Marianna, Princess Heir of the Fells, has her own battles to fight. She's just returned to court after three years of relative freedom with her father's family at Demonai camp - riding, hunting, and working the famous Clan markets. Although Raisa will become eligible for marriage after her sixteenth name-day, she isn't looking forward to trading in her common sense and new skills for etiquette tutors and stuffy parties.

Raisa wants to be more than an ornament in a glittering cage. She aspires to be like Hanalea-the legendary warrior queen who killed the Demon King and saved the world. But it seems like her mother has other plans for her--plans that include a suitor who goes against everything the Queendom stands for.

The Seven Realms will tremble when the lives of Han and Raisa collide in this stunning new page-turner from bestselling author Cinda Williams Chima.

This book is incredible!! I read The Warrior Heir awhile ago and I really liked it, bought the other two books, but haven't gotten around to them yet. This new series, The Seven Realms, now has me chomping at the bit for book two (The Exiled Queen, in case you were wondering). This book had it all, romance, action, magic, and court intrigue. All of my favorite things were all rolled up into one fantastic read.

I've been reading this for awhile, longer than I read most books, but I've been busy with school. I was really only on about chapter three when the weekend started. Once I picked it up again, though, I just couldn't put it down. In fact, I literally just finished it and hopped online to tell you all how much I loved it.

Raisa is an incredible character who I totally want to be when I grow up. She's fearless and caring, and really wants to change the world she's a part of. She's torn between her duty to the crown and her love of life among the clan. She's also torn between 3 very eligible and yet at times, off limits, would-be suitors. Must be tough, eh?

Then there's Han who I am completely crushing on right now. He's got it all, that bad-boy history, the heart of gold, and a few secrets just to keep things interesting. Han is a wonderfully compelling character that makes for a very readable book.

I don't know when the next book in the trilogy comes out, but I can't wait. I mean really, this may be my most highly anticipated future book. It's pushed everything else out of the way and made me a raving fangirl (as if I wasn't one already). If you haven't given Chima's writing a try, I suggest you do so tout de suite.

And if you want the skinny from Chima herself, look now further.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant

Release Date: In theatres now!!!!


A boy unknowingly breaks a 200-year-old truce between two warring factions of vampires. Pulled into a fantastic life of misunderstood sideshow freaks and grotesque creatures of the night, one teen will vanish from the safety of a boring existence and fulfill his destiny in a place drawn from nightmares. 14-year-old Darren was like most kids in his suburban neighborhood. He hung out with his best friend, got decent grades and usually stayed out of trouble. But when he and his buddy stumble upon a traveling freak show, things begin to change inside Darren. That's the exact moment when a vampire named Larten Crepsley turns him into something, well, bloodthirsty.

I saw this movie today with my sister and my cousins. It was fantastic!! I've read the first two or three books in the series and I liked them, but have gotten away from them over the years. This definitely made me want to pick the books up again. It's a really great movie and captures the feeling of the books perfectly.

John C. Reilly is amazing as always. He's one of my favorite actors working today. There are a host of other wonderful actors in the film as well, from Salma Hayek to Ken Watanabe, Willem Dafoe to Jane Krakowski. And the two young leads, Chris Massoglia and John Hutcherson really shined as well.

Not to mention, the film has some of the most visually creative opening credits I've seen in a very long while. Go see the movie!! It's a wonderful escape from reality and I'm hoping there are sequels in store.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

In My Mailbox (35)

As always, In My Mailbox is brought to you by the genius that is Kristi, AKA The Story Siren.

So I've been expecting a lot of books, but they haven't really arrived yet. I think UPS is holding them hostage. I may have to plan a rescue mission. I did get some good stuff this week though.

For review:

Invisible Lines by Mary Amato

Release Date: November 24, 2009 from EgmontUSA


For Trevor Musgrove, life isn't always bright and cheerful. His family has just moved to Hedley Garden, a tough housing projects its residents called "Deadly Gardens." He goes to school with rich kids who have everything, while he has to work just to afford soccer cleats. It doesn't help that the best athlete in school, Xander Pierce, happens to have it out for him. Mistakenly enrolled in an advanced science class taught by an odd but engaging teacher, Trevor is thrown headfirst into the world of natural science. Through all this, he will learn that life can spring up in the darkest places - maybe even Deadly Gardens.

The Van Alen Legacy by Melissa De La Cruz

Release Date: Available Now from Hyperion Book CH


With the stunning revelation surrounding Bliss's true identity comes the growing threat of the sinister Silver Bloods. Once left to live the glamorous life in New York City, the Blue Bloods now find themselves in an epic battle for survival. Not to worry, love is still in the air for the young vampires of the Upper East Side. Or is it? Jack and Schuyler are over. Oliver's brokenhearted. And only the cunning Mimi seems to be happily engaged.

Young, fanged, and fabulous, Melissa de la Cruz's vampires unite in this highly anticipated fourth installment of the Blue Bloods series.

The Ghosts of Lone Jack by Lance Lee Noel

Release Date: Available Now from Spinning Moon Press


A book both educational and entertaining! Jared Millhouse and his dad plan to spend an uneventful summer on his grandfather s farm in Lone Jack, Missouri. Then Jared runs into the ghost of a Civil War innkeeper and wonders if he s lost his mind. With the help of his grandfather--and some local characters--Jared and the Crossroads Gang uncover the truth about the Civil War battle that trapped so many bloodthirsty ghosts in Lone Jack. They even recruit a pair of eccentric ghost hunters to help. When it comes to facing down the local bully, dodging the power-crazy sheriff, or escaping convicts, Jared can count on his friends. Together, they face haunted baseball diamonds, embattled cornfields and abandoned mines. But when Confederate and Union ghouls line up on the battlefield, the entire town relives the gruesome Battle of Lone Jack, as it was fought in 1862. Then only Jared can save the town from its ghosts.

I was pretty excited to get this one considering Lone Jack, Missouri is actually pretty close to my house. It's always cool to read books that are set locally.


Mirrorscape by Mike Wilks
The Night Children by Kit Reed
The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima
( I have an ARC, but I wanted a finished copy. The cover is gorgeous!!)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Murder at the Lake by Bren Gaudet

Release Date: Available Now from Synergy Books

Source: From Author.


When 17-year-old Amanda Christie is invited to a cousins-only weekend retreat at her aunt's Austin, Texas, estate, she doesn't know what to expect. She soon finds though, that the weekend will be anything but boring. One of the guests is responsible for the death of Amanda's uncle and when a dangerous storm traps the teens inside the secluded mansion, Amanda becomes determined to uncover the killer. But when their cell phones go missing and guests begin to disappear, Amanda realizes that the killer isn't finished. With time running out and no way of knowing who to trust, she must either uncover the murderer or risk being the next victim.

I've always been a big mystery fan and I find that the one thing the YA world is missing is a really good mystery series. Now, I do love the Forensic Mystery series by Alane Ferguson, but other than those, it's hard to find a good straightforward mystery, at least one without supernatural elements. I love the supernatural, but sometimes you want just a good ol'fashioned murder.

Bren Gaudet delivers with the first in the Amanda Christie mysteries. Amanda is going to spend a few days at her wealthy cousin's lake house near Austin. What she ends up with is creepy cousins, family secrets, and a few murders. Amanda is a great character. She's just your average girl who, much like my childhood hero Nancy Drew, often ends up in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Gaudet's website, promises many more adventures for Amanda, with exotic locations and lots of familiar faces. I look forward to reading the next book in the series and I completely welcome this new teen sleuth to my little corner of the YA world.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday (38)--Green by Laura Peyton Roberts

Release Date: January 12, 2010 from Delacorte Books for Young Readers


Turning thirteen starts off with a bang for Lily. Literally. A birthday present explodes on her porch . . . and soon after a trio of leprechauns (yes, leprechauns) appears in her bedroom. They whisk her away to a land of clover, piskies, a new friend, a cute boy, and lots of glimmering, glittering gold. A world of Green.

It turns out that Lily, like her grandmother before her, is next in line to be keeper for the Clan of Green, and in charge of all their gold. That is, if she passes three tests. And she has to pass them. Because if she doesn’t she may never get to go home again. She’ll be stuck with the Greens.


Sounds adorable and who doesn't love leprechauns?!

Winner of Blue Plate Special!!!!!!

Okay, so I was supposed to do this like a week ago, but better late than never. The winner of Blue Plate Special is..............


I'll be sending you an e-mail shortly, so get back to me as soon as possible with your addy and I'll pass it on to the publicist.

Monday, October 19, 2009

In My Mailbox (34)---Monday Edition!!

As always, In My Mailbox is brought to you by Kristi, AKA The Story Siren.

Well, I got back from Oklahoma at around one today, took a nap, and watched some Criminal Minds. The U2 show was AMAZING!! I'm hoping they will hit Missouri when they come back through in the summer. It was wonderful to see them in a stadium again. If you get the chance to see them next time around, I highly recommend it. They are the best live act working today.

Needless to say, my U2 excursion has pushed my posts back a little along with my reading schedule. I'm still reading The Demon King, but I'm not that far into it yet. Love what I've read so far though.

As for my mailbox, last week I got some cool stuff.

For review:

School of Fear by Gitty Daneshvari

Release Date: Available Now from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers


Everyone is afraid of something...

Madeleine Masterson is deathly afraid of bugs, especially spiders.

Theodore Bartholomew is petrified of dying.

Lulu Punchalower is scared of confined spaces.

Garrison Feldman is terrified of deep water.

With very few options left, the parents of these four twelve year-olds send them to the highly elusive and exclusive School of Fear to help them overcome their phobias. But when their peculiar teacher, Mrs. Wellington, and her unconventional teaching methods turn out to be more frightening than even their fears, the foursome realize that this just may be the scariest summer of their lives.

The Devouring #2: Soulstice by Simon Holt

Release Date: Available Now from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers


The terrifying, nail-biting, and grossly intriguing sequel to The Devouring.

It's been six months since Reggie first discovered and fought against the Vours, malicious and demonic beings that inhabit human bodies on the eve of the Winter Solstice.

The Vours still haunt Reggie, but only in her dreams-until one night, when an unexpected visitor turns her nightmares into reality.

The battle against evil continues in Soulstice, the second book in the thrilling The Devouring series, which School Library Journal called, "Comparable to books by R. L. Stine and Stephen King....A must-have for horror fans."

Fade to Blue by Sean Beaudoin

Release Date: Available Now from Little, Brown Book for Young Readers


Sophie Blue started wearing a black skirt and Midnight Noir lipstick on her last birthday. It was also the day her father disappeared. Or spontaneously combusted. Which is sort of bad timing, since a Popsicle truck with tinted windows has started circling the house.

Kenny Fade is a basketball god. His sneakers cost more than his Jeep. He's the guy all the ladies (and their mommas) want. Bad.

Sophie Blue and Kenny Fade don't have a thing in common. Aside from being reasonably sure they're losing their minds.

Acclaimed author Sean Beaudoin's wildly innovative novel combines uproarious humor with enough plot twists to fill a tube sock. Part thriller, part darkly comic philosophical discussion, and accompanied by a comic book interstitial, Fade to Blue is a whip-smart romp that keeps readers guessing until the last paragraph.

Explorer X-Alpha by LM Preston

Release Date: February 7, 2010 from Phenomenal One Press


For most kids, a trip to space camp is the trip of a lifetime for Aadi it was life altering. After receiving a camp immunization needed for travel to Mars, Aadi finds that the immunization is the catalyst of an insidious experiment. He realizes what is happening too late for a change of fate. The full experiment is set in motion when he and his co-pilot, Eirena, crash in a distant galaxy called Shrenas, where they change and realize the full extent of their power. This turn of events forces him to grow up quickly, accept his change, and to decide to save a world, or to do what he was trained to do dominate it. His power is coveted by the warring leaders of Shrenas, and he is forced to choose sides a decision that may prove just how much humanity he has left.


Gifted: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow by Marilyn Kaye
I am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I want to be you Class President by Josh Lieb
The Doom Machine by Mark Teague
Malice by Chris Wooding

That's it for this week!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Excuses, exscuses!!

So, I know I haven't been around much this week, but it's been sort of crazy. I had a new teacher meeting after work one day, and then my sweet little kitty Tinkerbell seems to have developed asthma, so that involved a very late night trip to the animal hospital and another trip to our regular vet the next day. She seems to be doing alright, but still has some occasional coughing here and there. If anyone out there has a cat with asthma, is this normal after treatment? Just wondering. It's hard not to worry about her.

Then tomorrow morning, early I am leaving for Norman, Oklahoma to see U2 in concert, which is cool, but after a crazy week, sort of a tiring thought. It'll be awesome though.

Anyway, I'll be back Monday and will post my IMM then, because I did get some cool things this week that I want to share. See you all soon.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tempted Trailer!!

I'm sure you've all seen this about a million times already, but here's the trailer for the new House of Night book Tempted.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday (37)--Everwild by Neal Shusterman

Release Date: November 10, 2009 from Simon & Schuster


Nick, the Chocolate Ogre, and Mary Hightower battle for the fate of Everlost in the thrilling second book in Neal Shusterman’s Skinjacker Trilogy.

That's the only synopsis I could find online. It's not much, but I absolutely loved the first book in the series, Everlost. Here's the synopsis for that one:

Nick and Allie don't survive the car accident...

...but their souls don't exactly get where they're supposed to get either. Instead, they're caught halfway between life and death, in a sort of limbo known as Everlost: a shadow of the living world, filled with all the things and places that no longer exist. It's a magical, yet dangerous place where bands of lost children run wild and anyone who stands in the same place too long sinks to the center of the Earth.

When they find Mary, the self-proclaimed queen of lost kids, Nick feels like he he's found a home, but Allie isn't satisfied spending eternity between worlds. Against all warnings, Allie begins learning the "Criminal Art" of haunting, and ventures into dangerous territory, where a monster called the McGill threatens all the souls of Everlost.

In this imaginative novel, Neal Shusterman explores questions of life, death, and what just might lie in between.

It's a fantastic book and I can't wait for the sequel. In fact, I think I need to reread the first one, luckily I have until Nov. 10th.

Monday, October 12, 2009

If I Built A Car and The Circus Ship by Chris Van Dusen

Release Date: Both titles are available now.

Source: Personal collection.

I have to tell you, Chris Van Dusen has quickly become my favorite author/illustrator of picture books. His illustrations are amazing and, in the case of If I Built A Car, have a truly wonderful retro feel. His books are written in verse and are funny, witty, and a complete delight to read to kids of any age. My first graders dug it just as much as my fifth graders. It a great title to use when you are learning rhyming words, or for visualization exercises. Simply perfect!

His newest book is The Circus Ship and it's the tale of a circus ship that sank off the coast of Maine. The animals swim to shore and become part of the town. It's whimsical and sweet. The illustrations in this one are beautiful as well. Each time I look at it, I find something new. I can't wait to share it with my classes, but that'll have to wait until next week, because this week is all about Where the Wild Things Are.

If you love picture books, you should definitely hunt down Van Dusen's work. It will carry you away!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

In My Mailbox (33)

As always, In My Mailbox is brough to you by Kristi, AKA The Story Siren.

So, no pictures or descriptions this week. We had a little gas leak in our basement last night and someone from the gas company had to come out late to fix it. Everything's okay, but I'm very tired. I still wanted to share though, so here goes:

For Review:

Anna's World by Wim Coleman & Pat Perrin
Fade Out By Rachel Caine
Border Crossings by Jessica Lee Anderson
Little Black Lies by Tish Cohen
The Total Tragedy of Girl Named Hamlet by Erin Dionne (1 ARC TOUR)


Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
Boneshaker by Cherie Priest
Ring of Fire by P.D. Baccalario

So that's it for this week. Can't wait to see what everyone else picked up.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Cirque Du Freak Giveaway!!!

In honor of the upcoming movie The Vampire's Assistant, which hits theaters on October 23rd, I have the pleasure of offering up an awesome new contest. Here's some info about the movie.


Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant, based on the popular series of books by Darren Shan, is a fantasy-adventure about a teenager who unknowingly breaks a 200-year-old truce between two warring factions of vampires. Pulled into a fantastic life of misunderstood sideshow freaks and grotesque creatures of the night, one teen will vanish from the safety of a boring existence and fulfill his destiny in a place drawn from nightmares.

I can't wait for this movie. I'm a fan of the books and it looks like it is translated wonderfully. YAY!!

As for the contest,

2 lucky winners will win:

Cirque du Freak book Set (3 titles in one book)
Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant Locker Mirror

To win, simply leave a comment below telling me what your favorite book to movie transition is. Mine has always been Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Gene Wilder version, although I do love the Depp, too). Contest ends October 28.

Also, take a look at this awesome widget and vote away.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Fire Trailer

Break off a piece of the awesomeness!!!

I know...right?! Also, wow two posts in one day, haven't done that since school started. Way to go me.

Molly Fyde and the Parsona Rescue by Hugh Howey

Release Date: Available Now from NorLights Press

Source: From author.


Molly gets kicked out of the Naval Academy and loses the only two things that truly matter: flying in space and her training partner, Cole. A dull future awaits, until her father's old starship-missing for a decade-turns up halfway across the galaxy. Its retrieval launches Molly and Cole on the adventure of a lifetime, one that will have lasting consequences for themselves and billions of others. The simple quest to reconnect with her past ends up forging a new future. And the forgotten family she hoped to uncover becomes one she never foresaw: a band of alien misfits and runaways. Together, they form a new family-the crew of the starship Parsona.

So I have to admit, I've never been a huge Sci-Fi fan. I mean I love Sci-Fi movies, but with books, it has to fall into some pretty specific categories for me to get on board, namely, Dystopias and Post-Apocalyptic fiction. Molly Fyde is neither of these, so although the premise sounded interesting, I picked it up with some trepidation.

I reallllly loved this book!! By chapter three I was hooked and couldn't wait to find out what Molly and Cole would do next. It's a wonderful adventure story and you might think I'm crazy, but parts of it (maybe the overall feel) made me think of the Wizard of Oz. I know, crazy, but I recently watched Oz again and I definitely see some Oz in Molly Fyde.

Bear with me, Molly and Cole end up far away from home and as they journey to get home, they meet and befriend some very interesting characters along the way. Hmmm? See? Well, anyway, I love the Wizard of Oz, so that it a very high complement coming from me.

It also was reminiscent of the Hungry City Chronicles by Philip Reeve and also a little bit of Firefly, too. All of these things add up to one exciting, fun, and heart-warming read. I am so glad that this is going to be a trilogy, because I cannot wait for book number two, which I believe is due in January or February.

Molly is an amazing kick ass character who's fearless and yet not afraid to admit her faults at the same time. She feels deeply which as a reader made me feel for her. I loved getting inside her mind and tooling around galaxies far and wide for awhile.

Hey....maybe I am a Sci-Fi fan at heart.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday (36)--Mirrorscape by Mike Wilks

Release Date: October 13, 2009 from Egmont USA


Prepare to enter the Mirrorscape–a world where the bizarre is commonplace and logic makes no sense.

Melkin Womper is thrilled to escape his dull future as a village weaver and develop his artistic talent when he’s apprenticed to Ambrosius Blenk, one of Vlam’s most famous masters. Mel is especially excited by the colors that he’ll be able to use, since color is a very expensive Pleasure, strictly controlled by the sinister Fifth Mystery.

Mel can’t wait to enjoy the wonders of the grand city and begin his important work for Blenk. Instead, his dreams are quickly crushed by the reality of days filled with unimportant tasks and bullying by the other apprentices whose wealthy families have purchased their positions. Still, the promise of working under the great Blenk and studying his legendary paintings makes the misery bearable.

But when Mel and his new friends, Ludo and Wren, inadvertently stumble into a battle between the Fifth Mystery and the Rainbow Rebellion, an underground band fighting to make Pleasures affordable for all, the trio must step through Blenk’s paintings into the Mirrorscape. In this alternative world, the friends encounter monsters, mazes, talking houses, angels, and more.

Hugely original and deeply compelling, Mirrorscape is a thrilling adventure filled with the beautiful and the bizarre, the fantastical and the frightening, and entry into an incredibly visual, secret world, where the ultimate weapons are pigment, a paintbrush, and the power of imagination.

This sounds fantastic and I love the cover and I love the fact that it comes out next week, so I don't even have to wait that long. Egmont is doing amazing things already.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

In My Mailbox (32)

As always, In My Mailbox, is brought to you by Kristi, AKA The Story Siren.

For review:

Black Angels by Linda Beatrice Brown

Release Date: September 17, 2009 from Penguin


The compelling story of three young orphans who must survive on their own during the Civil War.

It’s near the end of the war, and rumors of emancipation are swirling. Eleven-year-old Luke decides to run away to freedom and join the Union Army. But he doesn’t find the Yankee troops he was hoping for. Instead, he finds nine-year-old Daylily, lost in the woods after suffering an unspeakable tragedy. Her master set her free, but freedom so far has her scared and alone.

Also lost in the woods is seven-year-old Caswell, the son of a plantation owner. He was only trying to find his Mamadear after the Yankees burned their house with all their fine things. He wanted to be brave. But alone in the woods with two slave children, he quickly loses all his courage, and comes to greatly depend upon his new friends. In the chaos and violence that follows, the three unrelated children discover a bond in each other stronger than family.

A touching, beautifully written narrative, Black Angels is a riveting, special read

Ghost Huntress: The Guidance by Marley Gibson

Release Date: Available Now from Graphia Books


Kendall and her ghost hunting team is the talk of Radisson, Georgia, but one person isn’t so pleased. Courtney Langdon doesn’t appreciate Kendall’s new popularity or her relationship with Jason, Courtney’s ex.

So Courtney begins dabbling in the paranormal world. At first it’s all a game to draw attention away from Kendall. But Courtney doesn’t know what she’s getting into—or what wants in her. This is one game that’s about to turn deadly serious.

And for more about Kendall and the ghost huntresses, check out!

I've already read and review this one. You can read my review here. I received a finished copy, so look for a contest coming up.

The Other Side by Marley Gibson, Patrick Burns, and Dave Schrader

Release Date: Available Now from Graphia


It used to be you needed a crystal, a psychic, or a Oijia board to make contact with the spirit world. So who would think science would make it possible for just about anyone to experience a ghostly connection? Cameras, recorders, computers, magnetic field readers and other scientific means are now the tools of the trade. But there’s so much available, how does the average teen weed through it all to create the best possible ghost hunting team? Here to help sort it all out are three of today’s leading investigators of the field.

Together, Patrick Burns, Dave Schrader, and Marley Gibson have more than ten years of experience. They’ve put together this guide to impart their knowledge and wisdom on to the next generation of ghost hunters.

What’s included:

How to set up a ghost hunting team
The equipment needed and how to use it
Where to look for spirits
Safety, safety, and more safety

Ghost hunting is equal parts science and belief. Patrick, Dave, and Marley are here to help with science part.

This looks awesome and I'm really looking forward to reading it, so I can become a new Ghostfacer.


Ghost in the Machine by Patrick Carman
Candle Man Book One: The Society of Unrelenting Vigilance by Glenn Dakin

Friday, October 2, 2009

When the Whistle Blows by Fran Cannon Slayton

Release Date: Available Now from Philomel!!


Jimmy lives in Rowlesburg, West Virginia, during the 1940s. He does all the things boys do in the small mountain town: plays a mean game of football, pulls the unforgettable Halloween prank with his friends in “the Platoon,” and promises to head off into the woods on the first day of hunting season— no matter what. He also knows his father belongs to a secret society, and is determined to uncover the mysteries behind it! But it is a midnight encounter with a train that shows Jimmy the man his father really is.

Newcomer Fran Cannon Slayton’s powerful first novel captures the serendipity of boyhood by shining a spotlight on the peak adventures of Jimmy’s life. But at its heart, this is a story about a boy and his father in a time when trains reigned supreme.

I am so glad that Fran offered to send me a copy of her book. When I read the synopsis, it immediately made me think of my grandfather and my great-grandfather. I'm not sure why really, since my grandfather's family is from a coal town in Kentucky, not a railroad town in West Virginia, but all the same, it made me think of stories my grandparents told me growing up. Basically this book is like sitting and listening to my grandparents fascinating tales of yesteryear.

I've always loved hearing about life in the '30s and '40s when so much was changing so quickly. This novel is a snapshot of life in the '40s and a beautiful representation of how change no matter how big or small, can completely change the course of not just one person's life, but the life of an entire town.

I loved reading about Jimmy and his friends and watching Jimmy's world slowly change around him year after year. It's a fantastic read and one that I might not have found otherwise. So, if you don't see it in your bookstore, ask about it and seek it out. You won't be disappointed.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Otis by Loren Long


New York Times bestselling author/artist Loren Long creates an unforgettable children's classic.

Otis is a special tractor. He loves his farmer and he loves to work. And he loves the little calf in the next stall, whom he purrs to sleep with his soft motor. In fact, the two become great friends: they play in the fields, leap hay bales, and play ring-around-the-rosy by Mud Pond.

But when Otis is replaced with the big yellow tractor, he is cast away behind the barn, unused, unnoticed . . . until the little calf gets stuck in Mud Pond. Then there is only one tractor—and it’s not big or yellow—who can come to the rescue. It is little old Otis who saves his friend. It is Otis who saves the day.

In a wonderful new palette, and in the tradition of classics like Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel and The Story of Ferdinand, Loren Long has crafted an unforgettable new story—and character—celebrating the power of friendship and perseverance.

This is another awesome picture book. It just came out on the 22nd, but it immediately caught my eye at B&N. The colors in the illustrations are just amazing. They are muted and yet so vivid at the same time.

It a great story about friendship and about appreciated everything in life, even if you think it's just an old broken-down tractor. The little cow character in the story is absolutely adorable.

Highly recommended for anyone who loves their picture books sweet and slightly tear-jerky. Adorable!!

You can watch a video about Otis here.