It’s been ten years since the Wakefield twins graduated from Sweet Valley High, and a lot has happened.
For a start, Elizabeth and Jessica have had a falling out of epic proportions, after Jessica committed the ultimate betrayal, and this time it looks like Elizabeth will never be able to forgive her.
Suddenly Sweet Valley isn’t big enough for the two of them, so Elizabeth has fled to New York to immerse herself in her lifelong dream of becoming a serious reporter, leaving a guilt-stricken Jessica contemplating the unthinkable: life without her sister.
Despite the distance between them, the sisters are never far from each other’s thoughts. Jessica longs for forgiveness, but Elizabeth can’t forget her twin’s duplicity. Uncharacteristically, she decides the only way to heal her broken heart is to get revenge. Always the ‘good’ twin, the one getting her headstrong sister out of trouble, Elizabeth is now about to turn the tables...
So this released in the US yesterday I believe but not until 14th April in the UK (by Arrow publishing). When I first heard about it last year I was excited..I grew up on Sweet Valley books! Then I read the first chapter online, and to be honest it was terrible, but a OMG I can't wait to read more terrible. Anyway, I forgot about it until I was reminded yesterday and got all excited again. Also, I love the fact the UK publishers have gone with the retro, original style covers. This is definitely guilty pleasure reading I feel with a good old dose of nostalgia, and I can't wait!
Since the launch of Undercover, Walker have showcased some fabulous trailers. The trailer for Flip by Martyn Bedford is no exception. This was a book that I loved and I think the trailer really does it justice.
You can find my review for this awesome book here!!
I do! I have a giant playlist of significant songs that go well with the story line I’m working on that I listen to as I’m writing. If I have one song that helps maintain a really intense mood for me then I will even put it on repeat while I write the scene. My Of Witches and Warlocks playlist has fifty-one songs on it currently. Some reflect the entire series and others are specific to certain books. Other than my music, I just need a bottle of water and I’m good to go!
When did you know that you wanted to be a writer?
I first tried my hand at writing when I was nine, a little mystery story that lasted all of three or four pages with two chapters per page! I don’t think I ever made the conscious decision to become a writer until I was in my twenties. I was driving home one day and saw this gargantuan cumulus cloud that was shaped like a castle. I remember getting excited and pointing it out to my husband and saying, “Wouldn’t that make a cool story? Castle in the Clouds?” He agreed with me and immediately my mind started humming with ideas. My siblings, who are much younger than I am, loved fantasy stories and I told my husband I was going to write this fairytale for them and have it bound, just so I could have a book on my shelf that I could point to and say, “I wrote that!” I didn’t have a computer then (back in the olden days, ha) so I started out writing in long hand on yellow legal paper. I carried around a voice activated tape recorder to capture ideas on. Eventually we got a word processor and I transferred the story onto it. A couple of years later we got our first computer, but the files wouldn’t transfer from the word processor so I had to rewrite the whole thing again. I only worked on it in spurts because I hated sitting at the desk top computer. I finally finished the story fourteen years after I started it, when I purchased a laptop. I named it Castle in the Clouds, printed it off and was letting family read it that same week when I got the idea for The Trouble with Spells. I actually groaned at the idea and berated myself a bit. “You just finished writing a book and it took you fourteen years! You don’t want to do this again!” But I couldn’t get the idea out of my head and a week later I started writing the book. It was finished in six weeks.
Are there any other YA authors that you admire?
Actually some of my favorite authors who wrote books about young adults are some of the classics, like Louisa May Alcott, who wrote Little Women, and Lucy Maud Montgomery, who wrote Anne of Green Gables. Those are some of my all time favorite books. I do enjoy several authors that are available today as well. I do enjoy several authors that are available today as well. I’ve really enjoyed Cassandra Clare’s work with her Mortal Instruments series, and I’m very anxious to see what Andrea Cremer has in store with her Nightshade series since I adored it. I’m sure I could make a list a mile long!
What is your favourite book of all time and why?
I don’t have one favorite book of all time, because it’s my hope and desire to love them all! I pick up every book hoping it will be a five star read for me. I want to be swept away by them. I may have a “pick of the moment” at times, but I can’t seem to find it in my heart to single out one above the rest.
Which YA (human) character would you love to be and why?
Thanks for hosting me! It’s been a blast! ;)
Lacey Weatherford has always had a love of books. She wanted to become a writer after reading her first Nancy Drew novel at the age of eight. She resides in the White Mountains of Arizona , where she lives with her wonderful husband, six beautiful children, one son-in-law, and their energetic schnauzer, Sophie. When she's not out supporting one of her kids at their sporting/music events, she spends her time writing, reading, blogging, and reviewing books.
13 to Life is the debut novel by Shannon Delany. It was released by St. Martins Press (US) and it is 320 pages long.
Since the sudden loss of her mother, Jessica Gillmansen hasn’t had an easy life. She’s trying to cope with things as best as possible but keeping up a strong exterior is harder than she expected. Then Pietr Rusakova and his family move to Junction and her whole world is turned upside down. The arrival of the Ruskovas actually disrupts the lives of many of the girls at Junction High.
Pietr has secrets though and seems to be drawn to Jess. He’s extremely good looking with a hot accent and Jess cant seem to stay away from him, even though she likes someone else and many of her friends like Pietr. As a strange friendship blossoms, Jess is forced to rethink what she thinks she knows about reality really is and how well she knows the people around her, especially Pietr.
What I thought
I remember first hearing about this book and knowing that I had to read it. Unfortunately, other books were higher up in my list to buy first and I never got around to getting this one. Luckily, I won a competition to pick a book so I asked for this one, knowing I probably wouldn’t get around to it for a long time otherwise.
I hate to say it but I had some pretty major problems with Jess but there was also a lot that I loved about her. I’ll start with the good. Jess was a really feisty character with a quick, witty mouth on her. Even though she has a lot to deal with, Jess isn’t afraid to be outspoken and let people know what she thinks of them. I really liked the aspects of Jess’ character and really made me wish that she got a happy ending after all of the heartbreak. Now on to the bad. As awesome as Jess was, I kind of wanted to smack her. For someone who went on about caring for her friends and what they thought/ wanting them to be happy, she didn’t show it very well. I don’t really want to say too much so that I don’t spoil to book for anyone but I will say this… Jess is two faced and a bit of a bitch. That aside though, she was a good character.
Pietr was the character that I loved though. From the moment he appeared on the page, I was drawn to him, just like all of the other girls (apart from Jess) in Junction. Turning up to school with a cop certainly makes someone stand out. Not only that had me interested though. Pietr was mysterious, dark, obviously carrying some big secrets and he has the hot Russian thing going on. The use of the Russian language certainly helped to add to my love for him. Pietr gets some pretty fantastic one liners and his banter with Jess was very entertaining. I loved the chemistry between the two and how their relationship wasn’t easy and smooth at any point. In fact, Jess doesn’t even like Pietr to begin with.
I seem to be having a bit of a thing with this at the minute but one thing I truly loved about this book was Pietr’s family. Secondary characters can really make a book and I think this was the case for me here, especially since I had problems with Jess. I said before that Pietr was mysterious but add in his whole family and there is some serious puzzling plot twists. Although they aren’t featured too much (not enough in my opinion), the time spent on them was great and since they began to pop up more and more, I was always waiting for the next time they would show up.
Although the pacing of the story was slightly off at times, I was hooked very quickly. 13 to Life is full of mystery and intrigue from both Jess and Pietr, considering that they both have their own secrets. The added elements of Shakespeare and the Cold War certainly added to my love of this book. In regards to Shakespeare, it was nice to see that it wasn’t used in the traditional sense. Jess loves Romeo and Juliet but Pietr hates it, which resulted in some quite funny debates about what it is really about.
Even with the things I disliked about 13 to Life, it is still a great debut which is beautifully written and different. Delany injects some much needed fresh ideas into werewolves, romance and forbidden love. Highly recommended.
Shadows On The Moon by Zoë Marriott
A powerful tale of magic, love and revenge with a strong female lead set in fairy-tale Japan; this is "Cinderella" meets "Memoirs of a Geisha". Trained in the magical art of shadow-weaving, sixteen-year-old Suzume is able to recreate herself in any form - a fabulous gift for a girl desperate to escape her past. But who is she really? Is she a girl of noble birth living under the tyranny of her mother's new husband, Lord Terayama, or a lowly drudge scraping a living in the ashes of Terayama's kitchens, or Yue, the most beautiful courtesan in the Moonlit Lands? Whatever her true identity, Suzume is destined to capture the heart of a prince - and determined to use his power to destroy Terayama. And nothing will stop her, not even love. (Walker 7th July)
Angel's Fury by Bryony Pearce
Every atrocity. Every war. Every act of vengeance. One fallen angel walks the earth to bring mankind to its destruction...Turning love into hate, forgiveness into blame, hope into despair. Through the fires of hell he will come to haunt one girl's dreams. But what if everything she ever dreamed was true? Every time Cassie Smith tries to sleep, she is plagued by visions of a death: A little girl called Zillah. A victim of the holocaust. In desperation Cassie is sent for treatment in an old manor house. There she meets other children just like her. Including Seth...Seth who looks so familiar. Her dream becomes nightmare. And then reality. (Egmont 4th July)
Wither by Lauren Destefano
What if you knew exactly when you would die?
Thanks to modern science, every human being has become a ticking genetic time bomb—males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out.
When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden's genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape—to find her twin brother and go home.
But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden's eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant Rhine is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limted time she has left.(Simon & Schuster US March 2011)
When people hear I wrote a book called Zombies Don’t Cry, the first question out of their mouths is usually, “Why zombies?”
The answer is simple: I’m a big fan of underdogs. At this point, I’d rather see a movie about Robin than Batman; I’d rather watch Tonto’s exploits than the Lone Ranger’s.
It was a challenge, it was a fun one and knowing that I could write my own rules gave me a lot of latitude. Rather than sticking to the accepted rules for vampires and werewolves, I could play by my own rules.
The only problem was, most agents and publishers were as anti-zombie as I was anti-vampire and werewolf. There was a ton of rejection but, at this point, I was so into my zombie world I couldn
And here comes the confidence part: the more I got rejected, the more I said to myself, “Well, shoot, if nobody’s ever going to see this anyway, why not REALLY go to town?” So I quit worrying if New York editors would like it, or if it would “fit” on the bookstore shelves, or if “the cool kids” would like it.
I wrote a book that I wanted to read; not necessarily the 42-year-old graying beard me, but the nerdy spazz 16- or 17-year-old me who still listened to the Star Wars soundtrack and read Stephen King behind his math book. It was really freeing because I was literally writing for an audience of one.
You know how they say “dance like no one’s watching”? Well, when it comes to zombies, and YA, and picking a genre or a word count length or even a publisher or an agent, here is my advice: write like no one! ’s reading
Write for yourself, write for your friends, write for the small, not the big; write for the underdog, not the hero. Write the story you want to read and somebody, chances are many somebody’s, will want to read it to.
I don’t think publishers and agents want to read the same old thing anymore; I know kids don’t. As Zombies Don nears its publication date and it gets in the hands of more and more reviewers and I’t Cry’m seeing more and more feedback, what I’m finding is literally hundreds of avid, excited, encouraging, honest, unabashed YA readers and bloggers who are not only enthusiastic about their genre of choice but absolutely sophisticated in their reading tastes.
They are a market who, I believe, welcomes the new and shies away from the trite. They may devour vampire book after vampire book, but even in that I can see the trend veering more toward sophisticated, far-reaching series and also kind of the anti-sparkly vamp set with Fat Vampire and the like.
It’s an exciting, vivid and bold time full of opportunities for YA writers who can find their voice, speak to this sophisticated audience and write with absolute, utter confidence.
My advice to YA writers (and zombie lovers)? Know who you are, know who your audience is, know what you want to write, tell a great story and do it in a new way. To me, those are the keys to writing for YA.
And always remember, don’t just dance like no one’s watching; write like no one’s reading!!!
About the author: Rusty Fischer is the author of Zombies Don’t Cry: A Living Dead Love Story, due out from Medallion Press in April 2011.
Visit his blog, www.zombiesdontblog.blogspot.com, for news, reviews, cover leaks, writing and publishing advice, book excerpts and more! And look for his next book, Vamplayers, due out from Medallion next year!
During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her. (From Goodreads.com)
Published by HarperCollins May 2011
Many Thanks to the publishers for providing me with a copy for review.
Fever is the third book in the Dark Touch series by Amy Meredith. It was released on 3rd February by Red Fox (Random House) and the book is 240 pages long. Thanks to the publisher for providing a copy!
After some crazy demon killing, Eve, Jess and Luke thought they might get some peace and quiet for a while. No such luck though. Deepdene residents have come down with some kind of killer flu and there is a heat wave going on that is unheard of for the time of year. Eve and Jess are more than healthy though and plan on making the most of topping up their tans.
When teenagers begin to disappear and the flu epidemic gets worse, Eve knows there is more going on than just people getting sick. The symptoms are worsening and there aren’t that many people left unaffected. When the whole town is put on lockdown, Eve, Jess and Luke decide it’s time to do something. It’s time to hunt down the demon causing this illness and get rid of him for good. The only problem is that he can take on the form of anyone or anything. Not having anywhere else to go means that the demon has to be found and quick before Eve, Jess and Luke become more of its victims!
What I thought
When I first started this series, I hated it with a passion. Seeing as I got the second book for review, I was persuaded to give it a chance and I am bloody glad I did now. The second book was so much better than the first and now the third book was even better!
Eve and Jess have come a long way as characters. In the beginning, all I could see were shallow, spoiled, rich girls but not anymore. Yes, some of those aspects are still there but it is not nearly as in your face as it was in the first book and now, I kind of like this about them both. Their obsession with clothes, shoes and accessories annoyed me to be begin with but now it is quite funny because of Luke being around a lot and getting annoyed with the girls. Eve has probably come the furthest though, finding out she is the Deepdene Witch and having to kill demons. I guess having this responsibility really makes a girl think about what is really important although it was nice to see that she didn’t lose all of herself when she realised what she was.
I love Luke. He’s adorable. The new, non demon kid in town has finally settled in and made some great friends in Eve and Jess. He still has a bit of a reputation as a player but I like the cheeky side to him, even though he has feelings for Eve. I really wish that Luke would get to some more ass kicking than he does though, considering the huge sword he has but instead, he seems to get stuck with doing most of the research. Something has been building up between Luke and Eve since the first book and I was sooooo happy to see this finally go somewhere this time around. Ok, it was exactly what I wanted but at least it was better than nothing at all.
Fever had a quicker pace than the previous two books in the series and this was something that I really liked. Because of the nature of the flu epidemic, people were dropping like flies and I think this is why the pace was so fast. Just as one person would get the illness, another would, and then another. All the time, someone new was getting sick and it was getting to the point where I was wondering how many people would be left before Eve, Jess and Luke figured something out. The story, although not quite as exciting as book 2, was still exciting enough to keep me reading. I wanted to know who the demon was this time and how it was going to be stopped. I wanted to know what was going on with Eve and Luke and I wanted to know some stuff about Jess but if I tell you what it was, I might spoil some things.
Fever is a great third book in the series and I just hope future books keep getting better, as this one did. It is quite a short and easy read but one that is thoroughly entertaining. It’s funny, exciting and has demons and witches. What more could you ask for?
This paranormal murder mystery will have teens reading on the edge of their seats.
Clarity "Clare" Fern sees things. Things no one else can see. Things like stolen kisses and long-buried secrets. All she has to do is touch a certain object, and the visions come to her. It's a gift.
And a curse.
When a teenage girl is found murdered, Clare's ex-boyfriend wants her to help solve the case--but Clare is still furious at the cheating jerk. Then Clare's brother--who has supernatural gifts of his own--becomes the prime suspect, and Clare can no longer look away. Teaming up with Gabriel, the smoldering son of the new detective, Clare must venture into the depths of fear, revenge, and lust in order to track the killer. But will her sight fail her just when she needs it most? (from Goodreads.com)
Published March 2011 by Scholastic Point (US)
Find out more and how to get involved HERE
The seven of us (six girls, one boy, I'm number 3) were looked after by a succession of nannies, some nice and some perfectly horrible. But though there were strict rules about Sitting Up Straight and Saying Please and Thankyou, we could read anything we liked, from anywhere, so long as we put it back. Anything, that is, except Enid Blyton (whose books we devoured surreptitiously, under the bedclothes, when Nanny had turned out the light).
I read all the time, so it's as hard to choose favourite books as it is to choose a favourite pet. Yet I suppose because I longed to be a brave rider, I especially loved Mary O'Hara's My Friend Flicka series. I sat with Ken, in the brook, willing Flicka to live; I clung to Thunderhead's mane as he battled with Banner. I was dead jealous of Carey. Those books are on my shelf still. Then, how could I not choose Ursula Moray Williams' The Little Wooden Horse, when the little wooden horse was just as real to me as my own, naughty piebald pony? And finally, though I'm long grown up, every year I still read The Black Riders by Violet Needham, which is nothing to do with horses at all; it's about a boy who gets caught up in a revolution. Stormy Petrel is his code name, and the password, my dear fellow-readers, is 'Fortitude'.
Published by Andersen Press March 2011
Thanks to the publishers for providing me with a copy for review.