24 meets the X Files in the biggest teen blockbuster of the summer…
STOP THE COUNTDOWN. SAVE THE WORLD…
Leaving the beach, seventeen-year-old Janelle Tenner is hit head on by a pickup truck.
Then Ben Michaels, resident stoner, is leaning over her. And even though it isn’t possible, she knows Ben somehow brought her back to life…
Meanwhile, Janelle’s father, a special agent for the FBI, starts working on a case that seems strangely connected to Ben. Digging in his files, Janelle finds a mysterious device – one that seems to be counting down to something that will happen in 23 days and 10 hours time.
That something? It might just be the end of the world. And if Janelle wants to stop it, she’s going to need to uncover Ben’s secrets – and keep from falling in love with him in the process…
Saturday, 31 March 2012
Friday, 30 March 2012
Alecia Stone's debut novel, Talisman Of El, is due to be released on May 20th but if you just can't wait to get your hands on a copy then Centrinian Publishing are going to be giving away 20 e-galley ARCs of Talisman Of El - only available through NetGalley. Just click below to find out how you can enter!
Talisman Of El
WHAT IF YOUR WHOLE LIFE WAS A LIE?
Population: Human ... 7 billion.
Others ... unknown.
When 14-year-old Charlie Blake wakes up sweating and gasping for air in the middle of the night, he knows it is happening again. This time he witnesses a brutal murder. He's afraid to tell anyone. No one would believe him ... because it was a dream. Just like the one he had four years ago - the day before his dad died.
Charlie doesn't know why this is happening. He would give anything to have an ordinary life. The problem: he doesn't belong in the world he knows as home.
He belongs with the others.
Wednesday, 28 March 2012
In this dramatic conclusion to the Shade trilogy, Aura and Zachary’s relationship sizzles as the secrets of the Shift are revealed.
Life can change in an instant, and no one understands that better than Aura. It’s been almost a year since her boyfriend tragically died. She’s finally letting go of Logan’s violet-hued ghost, but not her search to uncover the truth about her past.
As the first in a generation that can see ghosts, Aura is convinced she has a connection to the Shift. She’s trusted Zachary, ever patient and ever by her side, with all that she knows. But when the government threatens his life in an attempt to learn Aura’s secrets, she will stop at nothing to protect herself and the one she loves...even if that means betraying her own heart.
Oh my word I am so pathetically excited for this! I ADORE this series and I'm going to need several weeks to recover and mourn the loss of such fantastic characters after it ends!
Tuesday, 27 March 2012
So here's the deal:
- Add the award image to your blog
- Write down seven random facts about you
- Nominate 15 bloggers and let them know!
2. I have a clinically insane dog. She's actually mental. Her name is Dilly and I got her from a rescue center four years ago. The first thing she did when I got her home was run into every room in the house, before peeing in the kitchen. Don't let her cuteness deceive you!
6. *Brace Yourself* I don't like Kindles! I know, it's awful of me, but I really do prefer a physical book. I can't imagine a world without turning pages and taking in that shiny new book smell!
Monday, 26 March 2012
As part of my Indie Author Month, I thought i'd add in one of my Indie Picks.
Lyrics of The Heart by the self-published Alexandra Lanc!
Kristi’s life falls apart the day that she wakes up to find that her father has been in a tragic accident. And with the doctors uncertain of her father’s future, Kristi struggles to pick up the pieces and answer the ultimate question: how do you continue to live when the one you love most may never wake up again?
In this short novella, author Alexandra Lanc fuses the art of the short story and the poem to bring together a heart-breaking tale of the events that change our lives, and the unexpected miracles that can forever alter them.
Alexandra Lanc is one awesome Indie Author who has self-published several fabulous stories. Be sure to check out her website!
Sunday, 25 March 2012
Series: The Afterglow Trilogy Book 2
Release Date: March 30th 2012
Would you sacrifice everything for a world you barely knew?
A year has passed since Charlotte and Kevin first stepped
through the gate into Energo and neither has been able to settle back into their normal lives. Charlotte tries to distract herself from thoughts of Calvin with the antics of James and her growing friendship with Liam. Kevin can’t seem to shake his feelings for Samantha as he adjusts to his new identity as a college basketball player.
When they unexpectedly return to Energo, both Charlotte and Kevin must face their fears and become the leaders they were always meant to be.
I completely adored Beckoning Light, so naturally, I was totally excited to re-enter Energo in Perilous Light!
Book 2 picks up a year from were Beckoning Light ended. Charlotte has been trying to adjust to living a normal life without Calvin. Meanwhile, Kevin has gone off to college. But, of course, the time comes when the pair has to go back to the world of Energo.
I loved hearing Calvin's point of view in this instalment! It made me understand him more and gave me a chance to see both sides of his and Charlotte's relationship.
I also really enjoyed the development of the relationship between Kevin and Samantha. I think Samantha is a brilliant match for Kevin.
I do have to admit, I still favour Liam! (Can I keep him?) He is such a sweetheart and I think it's great that he has more importance in this book. I’m really excited to see how he develops in the next book.
There are even a few laugh-out-loud moments to be had in Perilous Light. Kevin comes out with some hilarious one-liner references:
‘With his long white beard and dark eyes, he looked like a textbook example of a wizard; all he needed was the hat. Less than five minutes into the meeting, I’d met Fabio and Dumbledore—the day was getting better and better.’
Perilous Light makes me want to have my own Guard, go fight the bad guys and help save Energo! This series is truly awesome and I can't wait to see how it all ends in the final book, Enduring Light!
And can I just point out how pretty the covers are for this series??
Be sure to grab a copy when it's released on March 30th! And if you haven't yet read Beckoning Light then head over to Amazon now!
Friday, 23 March 2012
Happy Hunger Games!
I have been waiting for this film ever since it was announced. As a huge fan of the books I was so worried that the film wouldn't live up to my expectations but I think it's safe to say that I honor Gary Ross for creating an amazingly faithful adaptation.
Of course there were moments from the book that I was sad to see cut from the film but I understand why they weren't included, but for the most part, I thought it was breathtaking.
Jennifer Lawrence is amazing. Both her and Josh make the perfect Katniss and Peeta, which I have to say shocked me because when the cast was first announced, I was really apprehensive. I ADORED Cinna, Effie and Haymitch! They were totally perfect! I loved the Capitol - it was visually stunning! I loved seeing little snippets of what happened outside the arena rather than just Katniss's point of view. I also really liked the commentary made by Caeser and Claudius, it provided an easier way to get the explanations of certain parts of the arena that, in the books, we only learn from Katniss herself.
I did, however, think that there could have been more chemistry between Katniss and Peeta. The cave scene is one of my favourite parts in the book and I felt like the film didn't do it justice. I also thought that the ending was a bit rushed and I didn't think there was enough character development for Rue.
But, overall, I'm really happy to see how well The Hunger Games has transferred to the big screen and I'm happy that the film will introduce a whole bunch of new fans to the awesomeness of the books.
Wednesday, 14 March 2012
For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in the palace and compete for the heart of the gorgeous Prince Maxon.
But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.
Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself- and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.
There's a lot of buzz about this book at the moment so I'm interested to see if it lives up to it's expectations! The Selection has also just been optioned for TV and has already cast it's three lead roles: Aimee Teegarden (from Disney's PROM), William Moseley (Peter Pevensie in The Chronicles of Narnia films) and Ethan Peck (Marshall in Gossip Girl). So with a TV show already in the making, I'm thinking The Selection is going to be HUGE.
Sunday, 11 March 2012
The Importance of Middle-Grade Fiction
Why Reading my Book Series Scary School is Guaranteed to Turn your Kid into a Well-adjusted, Ivy League-bound, World-beater Dynamo
By Derek the Ghost
Let’s start off with this question. Why is reading important for children? Wait. I have better question. Why is absorbing a story in the form of text considered a superior means of story-absorption as opposed to pictures and sound through a television or movie screen?
Back in the olden days before TV and movies, reading was the numero uno form of self-entertainment. However, like TV of today, using books to take in fictional stories was considered a highly frivolous activity. In fact, I’m pretty sure the only form of reading not considered frivolous was reading the bible.
So why did the cultural paradigm shift? Television and movies became the dominant form of story dispersion, and suddenly books became the underdog. When books became the underdog, they went from frivolous to intellectually elitist practically overnight. You could argue the same thing happened with theater.
So, are you actually smarter because you read, or is it just our culture’s perception of reading that merely makes you appear smarter?
Here’s the answer. You’re actually smarter.
It goes without saying that reading requires a basic education. But more importantly, it requires that the brain function in a heightened state of stimulation called Alpha Mode. During Alpha Mode there’s an innumerable amount of split-second decisions taking place. The brain is constantly deciphering letters and interpreting their meaning while at the same time forming imagery to correlate with each phrase. It requires a lot of sub-conscious brain energy and millions of electrical reactions.
Because reading requires so much brain energy, the brain becomes tired quickly and wants to switch to Beta Mode. Beta Mode is when you are spacing out, vegging out, or just hanging out. You are essentially on autopilot, just taking things in, but not actively participating. When you are driving a car, you are usually in Alpha Mode. But when you suddenly look up and realize you’ve driven ten miles past your freeway exit, that’s right… you switched over to Beta Mode, buster.
The good news is that reading is like running. When you first start running you can only run a short distance before getting tired. Reading is the same way. The more you read, the more “brain exercise” you’re getting, and staying in Alpha Mode for longer stretches without getting tired becomes much easier. This effect bleeds over into all facets of life. You’ll be able to study longer and more effectively, retain more information, and work more thoroughly and patiently for extended hours. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs did this better than anyone.
Now let me ask you this: Why were kids who had never read anything longer than a 150-page Goosebumps book so eager to read a 750-page Harry Potter book? And why were they able to do it so effortlessly, when reading just one chapter of a schoolbook feels like a Herculean labor?
Because they loved it. Reading Harry Potter was as enjoyable to most kids (if not more so) than playing video games or watching cartoons. The pleasure of reading those books caused kids’ brains to squirt dopamine into their system, making them feel euphoric and self-confident. There’s something books provide that all their other forms of entertainment cannot – a deep, almost familial bond with the characters. Only books can create that on such a profound level. Remember Kathy Bates in Misery? That’s the dark side of it, but I don’t think anyone went bat-#$#@ crazy when Friends was cancelled.
The great thing about Harry Potter was the after-shock it created in the middle-grade and YA book market. Kids were addicted to the book. The pleasure they got from the suspense, humor, mystery, and triumph had shot buckets of dopamine into their systems and no other form of entertainment could match that natural high. So, the middle-grade and YA book market exploded with kids seeking their next fix. When the Harry Potter fans grew up, they were naturally attracted to edgier, more adult fare that reflected their changing selves, and the YA market skyrocketed, heralded by Twilight and now The Hunger Games.
Which brings me to my book series, Scary School. With these books, I had only one goal. I was not trying to write to the best middle-grade series ever. I wasn’t trying to win any Newberry medals for literature. All I wanted to do with the Scary School series was make kids laugh. That’s it.
With my background in comedy writing, I felt that I could maybe write the funniest (not the best) middle-grade book ever. Go big or go home, right? I wanted to have at least three laugh-out-loud moments on every page. Did I succeed? You’ll have to tell me, but the most often used words in the reviews of the book have been “hilarious” and “laugh-out-loud funny.” So far so good.
What will happen when your kids read Scary School will be something very magical. It may very well be the first chapter book your kid reads as well as the first chapter of a life of profound and meaningful achievement. It may also be something a reluctant reader gives a shot because it actually looks fun with that zombie skateboarding kid on the cover. Maybe the only reason your kid gets it is because I’m signing copies at the local bookstore, so you think it would be neat for your kid to have a signed book. Let’s play out that scenario:
I sign the inside jacket of Scary School Book One and write him or her a special message with a funny drawing. Your kid is much more excited to receive it than you thought he/she would be.
That night, you hear laughter from across the house late at night. Your kid is supposed to be asleep but is staying up in bed reading Scary School. You figure that’s okay, so you let him/her keep reading, and you keep hearing laughter until midnight. The laughter is forging an imprint on your kid’s brain that reading=fun.
After finishing Scary School, you child will seek out more books to try and recreate that boisterous experience.
In the process, the child will continuing growing up, always reading and seeking that next great story. While other kids are watching TV and living their lives in Beta Mode, your child’s brain will be in Alpha Mode 1,000% more often. The heightened brain stimulation for long hours will increase your child’s cognitive functioning far past his/her peers. Not only that, your child will be armed with amazing moral and practical lessons learned throughout the Scary School book series that helps him/her adjust to new situations, treat people with respect and kindness, and fuel him/her with a yearning to make the world a better place.
This leads your child into doing community service, building the next great invention, and becoming class president.
Harvard and Yale both offer your child full scholarships, but he/she chooses to cash in on his new invention money and attends Oxford because Scary School taught him/her the value of seeking adventure and meeting different kinds of people from all over the world.
You don’t miss him/her as you otherwise might have because in the future there’s holographic communication where it seems like you’re actually sitting and talking in the same room together.
After graduation, your child comes back home where he/she is probably a DA, a famous architect, a prodigious scientist, or CEO of that hot new startup. He/She comes over for dinner one night and puts a knapsack down on the sofa. It falls over, and amongst the futuristic gadgets, you notice an old, dusty copy of Scary School – that book your child read in one all-nighter back in middle school. That book purchased on a whim because the author happened to be signing at the store. You open it up, and read what is says where I signed the inside of the jacket:
Dear (your kid’s name), Have Fun at Scary School! – Derek the Ghost
For more info the Scary School series, fun and games, and even tour the school and meet the students and faculty, please visit www.ScarySchool.com Scary School #2 – Monsters on the March will be released June 26, 2012 online and in bookstores everywhere.
Thanks for stopping by the blog Derek!