Sunday, September 29, 2013
FIRE & FLOOD by Victoria Scott
Scholastic, February 2014
First Excerpt Reveal
Scholastic, February 2014
First Excerpt Reveal
I drove across the US of A, left my family without an explanation, and now I’m either too late or there was never anything here to begin with. F my life. Rearing back, I kick the door as hard as I can. Then I wrap both hands around the door handles and release a noise like a wild banshee as I pull back.
The doors swing open.
I’m not sure whether to celebrate or freak out. I decide to do neither and slip inside. As I walk around the inside of the museum, listening to the sound of my footsteps echo off the walls, I imagine I am moments from death. It’s sad, I think, that this is all it takes to break my sanity.
Two curling flights of stairs bow out from the first-floor lobby, and red and white tiles cover the floors. There are gilded picture frames everywhere. So many that I think the placement of the frames — and not their contents — is the real art. Everything, absolutely everything, smells like wax. I mosey up to an abandoned reception desk and leaf through the glossy pamphlets littering the surface. I hold one of the pamphlets up to my nose. Yep, wax.
I glance around, having no idea what to look for. Will there be a sign like at
school registration? Students with last names
A–K this way?
On my left, I notice a long hallway dotted with doors on either side. Nothing looks particularly unusual. But when I glance to my right, I spot something. There’s a door at the end of the corridor that has a sliver of light glowing beneath it. I’m sure it’s just an administration office, one where someone forgot to flip the switch. But I’ve got nothing better to go on, so I head toward it.
I pause outside the door, wondering if I’m about to get busted for B&E. Then I turn the handle and find myself at the top of another winding staircase.
You’ve got to be kidding me. What is this, Dracula’s bachelor pad?
I’ve watched a lot of scary movies, and I’ve learned nothing good is ever at the bottom of a winding staircase. Pulling in a breath and preparing myself to be eaten alive, I head down. My shoes are loud against the steps. So loud, I imagine they are intentionally trying to get me killed.
When I reach the final few stairs, I ready myself to look around the bend. My heart is racing, and I secretly pray the worst I encounter is an angry janitor with a wax addiction. I turn the bend — and my eyes nearly pop from my skull.
The enormous room is perfectly circular, dotted with candles to light the space. Surrounding the walls are rows and rows of dark, rich mahogany bookshelves. A large round table stands in the center of the red-and-white-tiled floor. The room is spectacular, but what it holds is so jarring, my ears ring.
Across every shelf, every spot on the table, every tile on the floor — are small sculptures of hands. And in a few of those hands — the ones still performing their duty — are eggs. There are only nine eggs left, it seems. For a moment, I imagine how amazing it would have been to see each
hand holding an egg, but it’s enough just to
see these nine.
The eggs seem to dance in the candle flame, and as I move closer, I realize why. The surfaces of the eggs are almost iridescent, their colors changing depending on how you look at them. They are different sizes, too; some as big as a basketball, others as small as a peach.
I don’t need the device in my pocket to tell me what my gut already knows.
This is the Pandora Selection Process.
Saturday, September 28, 2013
United We Spy
Cammie Morgan has lost her father and her memory, but in the heart-pounding conclusion to the best-selling Gallagher Girls series, she finds her greatest mission yet. Cammie and her friends finally know why the terrorist organization called the Circle of Cavan has been hunting her. Now the spy girls and Zach must track down the Circle's elite members to stop them before they implement a master plan that will change Cammie-and her country-forever.
Get ready for the Gallagher Girls' most astounding adventure yet as Ally Carter's New York Times best-selling series comes to breathtaking conclusion that will have readers racing to the last page.
Review: I got the book last weekend on Sunday. I have read it 3 times all the way through (I probably would have read it more if I had not given it to my best friend to read). This series reminds me a lot of Harry Potter. Boarding school, secrecy, adventure, action, cool teachers, and friends that are like your family. Both are wonderful series that I find myself rereading and rereading all the time! I never really thought I would find a book series as great as Harry Potter. But I have to say, the Gallagher Girl series as taken the spot of my favorite books in the world! Though I still love you Harry! Lol! I really couldn’t tell you why I love these books so much! My best friend, Lydia, started the series two weeks ago, and finished last night. She called me…..crying. But I didn’t make fun or anything! Because I totally get it! Though I’m not a crier and I didn’t cry finishing the last pages of United We Spy, I still understood it! We talked for a long time about how amazing it is! How sad, how brilliant, how crazy, how everything it was! Ally Carter had never failed to write an outstanding novel! And I don’t think she is ever capable of writing a bad one! She grasped my attention in each Gallagher Girl book and didn’t fail with the last one! However, I kind of wanted to kill her after reading it! Haha! But I also wanted to give her a great big hug! She has created characters that are so much more than just book characters. She fashioned a whole world that is my everyday inspiration. I read a chapter in one of the books every night. I honestly can’t figure out how Ally did it! But she has ladies (and gentlemen if you’re from Blackthorne)! I don’t want it to end. The thought of Cammie, Zach, Macey, Bex, Liz, Abby, Rachel, Joe, and Townsend, being over, it’s a gut sinking feeling. Like my heart has stopped, I can’t breathe, and I just lost all hope in happiness. Truly, I am not exaggerating! I really hope that somehow, someway Ally has a way to continue their world in any way! Writing the books in Zach’s point of view is what I’m hoping for honestly! I don’t think she could do that with any other character, only Zach. Of course making the books into movies would be AWESOME! But, like I said, I compare these little bundles of pure awesomeness to Harry Potter. And the Harry Potter films are like a once in a lifetime deal. Nobody really takes the time to put something like that together (or hasn’t yet). Don’t get me wrong! If they did what the crew in Harry Potter did, the films would be just as good! But I don’t think they will take the time. They’d have to find actors and actresses that are new to it all. Nobody knows them, but they are still really good! They have to be perfect matches (though it shouldn’t be hard, because like in Harry Potter they’re just normal teenagers, and that’s who they would need to get). But a few big names to play a lot of the adults. They’d also need to build the Gallagher Academy just as it’s described! It would be hard. But if they did it, if they made Cam’s world into a movie and did all the right steps, oh my God it be the best thing ever!
So as you might have noticed these books is basically my life. They’re what I think about in the day, what I dream about at night, and what I read before I go to sleep.
Now, on to reviewing United We Spy. I’m totally not sure how to do that though. I want to just talk about everything, but I don’t want to spoil anything! Haha! Well let me just say this: United We Spy was the perfect ending. But not perfect. You will hate it! But you will never have been so happy! In one chapter, you will stop breathing, smile till your cheeks hurt, your heart will stop, rise into your throat, drop into your stomach, want to shoot someone, want to hug anyone, cry softly, and then…….want to start all over. I loved the surprises! Especially because this is one of the only books I’ve never guessed anything right! Also everything was totally a surprise that I hadn’t already figured out. I’m still trying to figure out the theme. Because I know these books are supposed to be for you to laugh and have fun, but my next step (once I get it back) is to analyze it. I loved seeing where all the relationships went to. I loved Zach (like usual). I loved everything. And I hated……..reading the last page. I hate that it might be officially over.
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
I'm so SORRY I haven't been keeping up with posting! School has been so CRAZY this week! I'm now learning two languages! But It's awesome! And just in case you'd like to know......I ACED my first biology test! YAY! Haha! I promise I have some awesome stuff coming! Including a review on United We Spy by Ally Carter! OMG! But I can't talk about that now, are I won't get anymore school done today! haha! How is school going for you? I'd love to know! Email me anytime! Thanks, ~Bex~
Saturday, September 14, 2013
I knew an AMAZING little girl who lived with cancer for more than a year! She died in June of this year and it has been extremely hard. She was a beautiful girl with the name: Faith Rose. Today her family and my family give and do what we can for cancer foundations in honor of Faith. The month of September is Children’s Cancer Awareness Month. Let’s spread the word to find a cure for kids cancer!
One hundred and fifty years ago, Earth was destroyed, and the remaining humans fled to the dusty red planet of Jutaire, where the only oxygen is manufactured, food is scarce, and death strikes often.
When Lissa's father discovers Earth still exists, she accidentally inhales the toxic air of Jutaire, and in one breath, discovers she isn't quite human.
Her father hangs for his discovery, and Lissa knows the Chancellors will come for her, for she saw the Earth that night too. With nothing to lose, she sets out to expose the truth. It isn't long before she meets Julian, a beautiful boy who can breathe the toxic air like she can - and shows her that the Jute, the original inhabitants of the planet, are more tangled in their lives than she knows.
But the Chancellors are only pawns in a greater game - one where the Jute control everything. Worse, the Jute plan to leave Jutaire for Earth, but to get there, they need her. And they'll stop at nothing until Lissa is in their clutches, even if they kill every human in the process.
SIGNED book sales is LIVE!
For those of you who can't make this event here is your chance to get sign books by HBR AUTHORS. You can see what books are available HERE.
Here is our Updated Author list
Subject to change...
J. Kenner aka Julie Kenner aka J.K. Beck
Monday, September 9, 2013
I've been writing since I was old enough to peck out bad poems on my dad's electric typewriter. In elementary school, I had a long bus ride and no friends on my route, so I used to make up stories in my head; they were like soap operas, because they'd get discontinued at the end of the bus ride and I'd start up another episode the next day. In high school, I got more serious about it and wrote a short story that won an award and got published in the local paper. When it came time to apply to colleges, I chose one that had a strong writing program. I believe that everyone is a writer, but I also know that the drive and the need was pretty strong for me. I'm not happy if I'm not making stuff up!
I think the inspiration to write is similar to the inspiration to dance, or cook, or build things, or run as fast as you can, or whatever else is someone's passion. It's something you need to do in order to feel alive, and like you. And of course, I've always been a big reader. When you love books and you love to write, it's only natural to put them together. However, I got a little sidetracked in my 20's and 30's and wanted to write for TV and film instead of books. I only had limited success there; it was only when I went back to fiction that my writing career took off, so now I'm extra sure I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing.
I used to be really into acting, too. I took a lot of drama classes, and I understand now how they help me as a writer. When you're writing, you have to really live inside a character's skin. You have to have a lot of empathy for who they are and what they're experiencing, every moment. And you also have to be observant, in your head, and take note of what you see, feel, hear, taste. It does take a while to get to that place where you're really "channeling" a character as you write his or her story, but once you're there...yes, it does feel natural. And I really love it. I get to be someone else for part of my day...
For writing advice, I always say, "Trust your voice." For general life advice, I'll say what I tell my daughters: "When you're good to people, good things happen to you." Kindness is everything to me.
Ah, that is a big question! I had a lot of fun writing "Playing Keira," which is a short story written from Keira's point of view; you can download it for your e-reader from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or the HarperTeen website. I am thinking about writing a sequel that would of course visit the characters at age 21. It depends on how this book is received...but yes, I feel we haven't heard the last of Justine, Rory, Keira, Nate, and Felix. I'll do what I can to keep their stories going in some way!
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
By: Veronica Roth
One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.
Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.
New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth's much-anticipated second book of the dystopian Divergent series is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature.
Review: Going into the book and reading the first few chapters I wasn’t really into it. The story picks up literally right from where Divergent left off. I read Divergent quite a while ago and found myself having trouble remember who characters were. But that wasn’t totally the writers fault. Usually books in a series all give a small paragraph in the beginning to refresh your memory from the last book, and Insurgent did not. So I did have trouble remembering a few things. I understand there has just been a war and it’s hard times and everyone was going crazy, but I thought Tris was a little bit of a jerk in the beginning of Insurgent. Just the way she was talking and thinking about people made we want to slap her. If she acted that way around me I would have. She just didn’t act how I would have expected her too. Plus Tris and Tobias got a little handsy one night at Amity in the first few chapters. What happened to her fear of Intimacy? I’m not crept out or grossed out in any way, I just am curious if she got over that little fear….?
Now, let’s talk about Tobias for a little bit. First you should know I had a 20 minute phone call with my best friend about him, which consisted of me yelling-ranting-huffing-whining and was to my great annoyance. Tobias needs to check out a book called “Boyfriend 101”. He was a BAD BOYFRIEND! I totally loved Four in Divergent and was completely and utterly in love with him! In the beginning of this book when I didn’t like him I was like: Oh ok well maybe he’ll get better throughout the book. How wrong I was. He was such a jerk face and if he was my boyfriend and talked to me like the way he talked to my girl Tris I would’ve slapped him in the face then said to him: “Fine, behave like this, see if I care! We can break up right now! I’ll just walk right outa ya life if you wanna act that way with me! Don’t think you can give me attitude about stuff! I am independent and I don’t need no guy walking in my life telling me this! Get outa here! Go get a new girl!” Now, I apologize if you have not met me and met my ghetto side yet. But it is mostly like that…..ok a little worse. I didn’t say it exactly like that on the phone. But still Tobias was such a jerk. He wasn’t supportive at all, and whenever they were like together and sleeping he was never there when she woke up! I can’t stand boys who do that. I like guys who are there when you go to sleep, and when you wake up! I don’t care what time it is! I was happy though, that he pulled through in the end. I mean I was hoping for a little bit more of a resolve but I guess I will be getting that in the next book….hopefully. Or Veronica Roth will have to deal with me. I really want to fall back in love with Tobias in the last book! So let’s pray he doesn’t act like a dumb boyfriend in Allegiant.
I didn’t like Tobias’s mom from the beginning. I just didn’t trust her. Like Tris. His mom was just someone who set me on edge and I knew that in the end she wanted to take control, which isn’t the best idea in my opinion. I liked Peter. I felt like he was a very real character. Like he really stuck to his character and didn’t have any changes in him. He also didn’t like “pull through” for Tris. He did what wasn’t expected of his character, but what was liked. I know I’m not supposed to like him, but his character was just what I felt was a real character. True to whom he was. I don’t even want to talk about Tris’s brother. No I refuse to. He was a little *WARNING LANGUAGE NOT FOR KIDS, SKIP SENTENCE IF NOT A FAN OF INAPROPRIATE LANGUAGE* shitting bitch as I like to say. (I always like to put warnings of stuff because I never know who might be reading. And I don’t want to come across as a bad person).
Well that’s about it. I was most captivated and absorbed in the book during the ending. It was really great! Great writing, great action, great everything! I enjoyed the ending a lot….well except up to the very ending when IT ENDED WITH WARNING! Literally it just ends. Just like Divergent. I was pretty mad. Cause I can’t wait to keep reading! I am very excited for Allegiant y’all! Y’all should be too! I am going to see her when she comes to Dallas! Should be awesome! I’ll take pics! Lol!
- ▼ September (12)