Archive | May, 2011

Post-BEA Giveaway: Bloodlines by Richelle Mead (CLOSED)

31 May

Bloodlines Giveaway

I am finally catching up with life after BEA, and and after my weekend photo trip to Jamaica. I’m now working on some fun daily recaps which should be up soon, editing photos from BEA and the Teen Author Carnival, and trying to plan out my now very intimidating TBR list. Despite being completely worn out by the end, traveling to another country and missing day 3, and learning the hard way what to absolutely not do at BEA (trying to be in 4 places at once, wearing brand new shoes) I had a blast!

In celebration of all the fun I had, and all the amazing people I met, I’m offering my readers a copy of Richelle Mead’s new Vampire Academy spinoff series Bloodlines. As one of my most anticipated books of 2011, I was so excited to I grab a copy during Richelle’s signing on Tuesday. Bloodlines was one of 3 books on my “I will cry if I don’t find it at BEA” list. On Wednesday, I was lucky enough to find a second copy, which I picked up to give my roommate for her birthday that week. Turns out roomie –who also attended BEA doing publicity work for her job– scored Bloodlines, and a matching tote bag from the nice folks at the Penguin booth on her own on Thursday.

Our little mistake will make for one very happy reader! I’d love to keep this giveaway for huge fans of the Vampire Academy series only. But that might be a bit hard, since I have absolutely no way of regulating it. I’d obviously recommend ONLY entering if you have read the original Vampire Academy series. If you haven’t, the copy on the back of this book alone will spoil the entire series for you.

 

GIVEAWAY RULES:
– Comment here telling me why you want to read Bloodlines, your fave VA character, a member of your dream cast for the movie, or something else VA related (MUST DO).
– Tweet a link to the giveaway for an extra entry.
– Be sure to include your email so I can actually contact you if you win!
-Contest closes on Sunday June 12th at 11:59pm.
-Winner will be chosen using random.org.
-Unfortunately due to high shipping costs, this giveaway is open for US residents only.

GOOD LUCK!

EDIT: This giveaway is closed, and the winner has been notified via email. Winner has 48hours to reply, before a second winner will be chosen.

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Post-BEA Reflections

26 May

BEA was even more amazing than I expected. But it was also incredibly overwhelming. Nothing anyone had told me about attending prepared me for the actual experience. I’ll be doing full recap posts next week about the blogger events I attended, the Teen Author Carnival (where I was the official photographer!), and each day of BEA. I’m sadly missing today, the last day, and Friday’s Book Blogger Con because I’m going away for a few days on a photo/business trip! That’s a big part of why I feel so overwhelmed–I would not recommend traveling post-BEA, unless it’s to go home. : )

Thank you to everyone I met who was so nice to me! Both publicists, marketing people, and other bloggers. You were all awesome! If we met at BEA, say hi here or on twitter.

I can’t wait to share all my photos and recaps with you, and review the books in my terrifying new TBR pile. ❤

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Me and Andrea Cremer after the Teen Author Carnival.

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Just part of my BEA haul. This is Wednesday’s Books!

Class of 2K11 BEA Week Events

19 May

The event listings just keep on coming! I mentioned the 2K11 book signing at Books of Wonder in the post belowthis one. Well now I present to you a whole week’s worth of 2K11 events happening during BEA. Some of the books on this list are on my “most anticipated” books of BEA list! Be sure to hit up at least one of these, and meet some amazing up and coming YA authors.

Class-of-2k11-BEA-events

More info, including post-BEA appearances.

BEA WEEK EVENTS

18 May

BEA is just under a week away, but I am already feeling the “omg so much to do!” insanity and falling behind on reviews. Along with my regular work, doing fun things like shooting a beautiful fashion show (for blog #1), and helping my parents pack for a move, I am booked for every day this month! Thankfully, BEA’s official schedule ends around 5pm every night, leaving time for blogger meetups, parties, and more signings. Here are some of the most exciting events I’ve found:

SUNDAY MAY 22:

TERRIFIC TEEN TITLES Event at Books of Wonder:
1 pm – 3 pm

CASEY SCIESZKA – To Timbuktu: Nine Countries, Two People, One True Story
STEVEN WEINBERG – To Timbuktu: Nine Countries, Two People, One True Story
ELIZABETH SCOTT – Between Here and Forever
AMY IGNATOW – Popularity Papers: Book 2
ROBERT SHARENOW – The Berlin Boxing Club
MEGAN MCCAFFERTY – Bumped
18 West 18th Street, NYC

MONDAY MAY 23:

Lady Gaga at Best Buy, Union Square.
9pm-??
CD Release/Signing
Not a bookish event, but just as exciting!
(This isn’t confirmed by any means)

Meet the Author: Gena Showalter
Book: The Darkest Secret
Venue: Apple Store, SoHo, 6:30pm
Location: 103 Prince Street, NYC

NYC TEEN AUTHOR CARNIVAL:
May 23 Time: 4-7pm
Mulberry Street Library
10 Jersey Street NYC
24 Authors Reading and Signing, including Andrea Cremer, Gayle Forman, Kody Keplinger, David Levithan, and more! More info here.

TUESDAY MAY 24:

Speculating on Fiction at the NYPL:
Tuesday May 24th 5:30pm
Lev Grossman – The Magicians
John Scalzi – Fuzzy Nation
Cat Valente – Deathless
Scott Westerfeld – Behemoth
Info, and registration here.

WEDNESDAY MAY 25:

Charlaine Harris Signing 3
Word for Word: Charlaine Harris, Dead Reckoning. Moderated by Melissa Marr
Wednesday, May 25, 2011 from 12:30 pm to 1:45 pm
The New York Times bestselling author visits the Bryant Park outdoor reading series to discuss the latest installment in the hugely popular Sookie Stackhouse novels. This event is a part of the “Word for Word” is an outdoor reading series that features bestselling authors, celebrity writers, and expert-panelists sharing anecdotes, answering questions from the audience, and signing copies of their latest books.
The event is FREE and open to the public. For updates and additional information, please visit the website at http://www.bryantpark.org. The Bryant Park Reading Room is located on the 42nd Street side of the park – under the trees – between the back of the NYPL & 6th Avenue. Look for the burgundy and white umbrellas. Rain Venue: Library of the General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen 20 West 44th Street (between 5th & 6th Avenue).

Writing for Teens Today : Authors Speak
Wednesday May 25th: 5:30 PM
Join some of today’s hottest YA authors as they discuss writing for teens in today’s market. From developing authentic voices to keeping the reader hooked, from plot twists and turns to keeping the slang right, find out their tips and tricks to staying in style. For ages 12 and up.
Featuring:
Ally Condie – Matched
James Dashner – The Scorch Trials
Ellen Hopkins – Fallout
Maureen Johnson – The Last Little Blue Envelope
Lauren Kate – Torment
Scott Westerfeld – Behemoth
Bring your copy from home or buy a fresh edition on site and collect autographs!
For ages 13 to 18 years
Venue: Mulberry Street Library
Location: 10 Jersey St.

THE CLASS OF 2K11:
Wednesday May 25th 6 pm – 8 pm
JULIA KARR – XVI
BETTINA RESTREPO – Illegal
AMY HOLDER – The Lipstick Laws
ANGIE SMIBERT – Memento Nora
CAROLE ESTBY DAGG – The Year We Were Famous
GAE POLISNER – The Pull Of Gravity
CHRISTINA MANDELSKI – The Sweetest Thing
SHEILA O’CONNOR – Sparrow Road
ALISSA GROSSO – Popular
GEOFF HERBACH – Stupid Fast
CARRIE HARRIS – Bad Taste In Boys
KIKI HAMILTON – The Faerie Ring
TRINITY FAEGAN – The Mephisto Covenant
Books of Wonder: 18 W. 18th St, NYC
More info.

Meet the Author: Christopher Paolini
Book: Inheritance, coming this Fall
Venue: Apple Store, SoHo, 5pm
Location: 103 Prince Street

Meet the Authors: Ally Carter and Melissa De La Cruz
Book: Uncommon Criminals (Carter) and Blue Bloods: Lost in Time (De La Cruz)
Venue: Apple Store, SoHo, 6:30pm
Location: 103 Prince Street, NYC.

7:00 – 8:30 PM Paperback Launch party for Emma Donoghue’s ROOM
Emma Donoghue reads and signs from her acclaimed novel ROOM, just out in paperback. Drinks will be served.
The PowerHouse Arena, 37 Main St, Brooklyn NY

THURSDAY MAY 26:

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Scholastic “This is Teen” Book Signings:
Libba Bray, Meg Cabot, Maggie Stiefvater
May 26, 2011, The Scholastic Store in New York, NY
More info here.

SATURDAY MAY 28:

FANTASTIC FICTION!
DANIEL KIRK – Elf Realm: The Road’s End
BIANCA TURETSKY – The Time-Traveling Fashionista
GAIL CARSON LEVINE – A Tale of Two Castles
MAURISSA GUIBORD – Warped
SARAH REES BRENNAN – The Demon’s Covenant
Books of Wonder: 18 W. 18th St, NYC.

OTHER:

Ultimate BEA Party Guide

Book Expo’s List of Concurrent Events

My Regular NYC Book Signings List

ARC Giveaway!: CLOSED

12 May

I got some really great career news today, and it’s almost my birthday. So I thought I’d do a spontaneous book giveaway to celebrate and share some of the excitement. (Plus honestly, my head feels so full of pollen dust right now, it’s hard to concentrate long enough to write any reviews!)

Today I am offering up a brand new ARC of Illusions by Aprilynne Pike:
ILLUSIONS
I haven’t read Wings yet, so I thought someone else might enjoy reading this sooner than I could!

I also have an ARC of Shine by Lauren Myracle:
SHINE

All you have to do is comment here to enter. No follow demands, crazy rules, or signing over your firstborn child to win. Get a bonus entry by tweeting a link to this post. If you do that, please include a link with your comment below.
And don’t forget your email address! I will tally all the entries, and use random.org to pick a winner on Monday May 16th.

GOOD LUCK!

Edit: The winner is Ashley G! Please email me your address info. : )

How to Experience BEA Like a Real New Yorker

9 May

View from the UES

I’ve seen at least half a dozen blog posts in the last week about “surviving BEA”. Wearing comfortable shoes, not being afraid to socialize, blogger etiquette, etc. Yet not a single post has mentioned the one thing that can singlehandedly make or break your BEA experience: surviving a week in New York City.

As a first time BEA attendee, and long time NYer, I’m here to help you get to and from the convention center, and have fun in NYC–without getting lost, not knowing what to do, or making an ass out of yourself. ; )

How to Solve The Following Problems:

1. I DON’T KNOW WHERE I’M GOING:
– Buy a small, laminated, foldable map. They are sold everywhere from book stores, to the tourist shops in Times Square. You don’t want to be the geek holding a map the size of a mini cooper, standing on the street corner looking lost.

-Use hopstop.com and Google Maps to plan your route. You can find directions and travel times to anywhere in the city using these sites.

-The cross town bus is your friend. Too tired to walk to Javits from your hotel? Find the cross town bus that runs up and down 34th Street. Many nearby hotels have shuttle buses you can take as well.

– TAXIS: Learn how to hail a cab. Check the lights on the top of the car: If the center light is on, it’s available. If no lights are on, the cab is already occupied. If the outer two lights are on, the driver is off duty.

Times Square

-iPhone Apps: There are dozens of apps that tell you directions, when the next train is coming, how much a cab from point A to point B is, and more. Use them!

-If you plan on riding the subway more than twice a day, but a weekly unlimited metrocard. It’s much cheaper than taking cabs all week!

-Unless you’re in the West Village (which still confuses me after half a decade in the city), it’s not that easy to get lost in NYC. Remember that most of Manhattan is laid out in a grid. With Avenues going north to south. And Streets running east to west.

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Manhattan, Viewed from the Brooklyn Flea.

I DON’T KNOW WHERE TO EAT:
I feel like I could live in NYC the rest of my life and never eat at every restaurant that interests me. There is no excuse for visiting the city and eating at Applebees in Times Square. I guarantee it is more crowded, more expensive and has worse service than the one you eat at in the suburbs.

-Best bets for finding somewhere yummy to eat:
Zagat.com and Menupages both let you search by neighborhood, cuisine, price, and star ratings.
Seamless Web and Grub Hub will tell you what restaurants deliver food to your hotel, hostel, or apt. And let you order online!

-If you’d like to walk around and explore after leaving Javits, your best bet is 8th and 9th avenues. From 14th Street up to nearly 60th Street, both avenues are chock full of amazing restaurants, with all types of cuisine. Selection thins out a bit in the 30’s, but the area is guaranteed to provide you with something delicious.

-A list of my favorite places to eat would be way too long for this post. But for all you night owls, two of my favorite 24hour joints may come in handy. Both Veselka and Yaffa Cafe are delicious, in the East Village (where most of the fun bars are), and open all night.

Blue Velvet Cake
Blue Velvet Cake from Little Cupcake Bake Shop, SoHo.

3. I’M BORED:

-If you want to shop, and cover the most ground in one go, SoHo is your best bet. You can find every kind of store from mall chain shops, to expensive boutiques in SoHo.
PRADA
Prada SoHo Store Window.

-Take the red double-decker bus tour, aka the Gray Line. Maybe this isn’t something every NYer would do, but I did it twice (once before, and once after moving here) and loved it. You will cover more ground, and learn more than you ever could running around the city on your own. You also get a totally unique perspective seeing the city from 15 feet or so above the street.

-There is something to do every night of the week. Want to see live music? Check out the event listings at Oh My Rockness. Want to have free drinks? See My Open Bar. Visiting Brooklyn? TryBrooklyn Based. There are *dozens* of lists of “non-touristy tourist things to do” on Yelp’s NYC forums.

Time Out NY and New York Magazine both have endless lists of events and happenings in NYC, many of them free.

-The Official New York City event guide.

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Coney Island

-If you want to see a movie production in action, or a celebrity while you visit, your best bet is On Location Vacations. Each day, a list of city-wide filming locations is posted online. Most TV shows are done for the season, many movies, such as Men in Black 3 are currently filming around NYC. I’ve met and photographed the cast of Gossip Girl multiple times via checking OLV.

Gossip Girl 8/3/09: Hillary Duff's first day
Remember when Hilary Duff was on Gossip Girl?!

4. WHAT SHOULD I ABSOLUTELY NOT DO IN NYC:

– Be afraid to ask for help, or directions. Despite what you may have heard, NYers are helpful people. Last year I broke my foot while out and about, and a random stranger carried me to the subway, and went 15minutes in the opposite direction of her destination, helping me get on the train that would take me home. I can’t see anyone in the suburbs doing that.

– Walk slowly on the sidewalk, in a group 4 people deep. Nothing will anger an otherwise nice NYer like slow walking on the sidewalk. If you need to stop, move aside.

-Tell someone your location by saying “I’m on 37th Street”. In New York, we use cross streets. Manhattan is too damn big to say only one street. You are at “37th Street, and 8th Avenue”.

– Be bored. Or stay in your hotel room all night. There are millions of things to do in NYC. It’s like adult Disneyland!

Need more information? See the following for even more helpful hints:

-My list of NYC book signings and author events, featuring off site bookish events during the week of BEA.

Publisher’s Weekly: Where to Eat at BEA.

Presenting Lenore: Prepare for BEA.

The Story Siren: Intro to BEA.

How To Not Act Like a Tourist in New York

Still need help? Feel free to message me via Twitter at @bookshelflust : )

Central Park
Central Park.

Review: Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris

5 May

Dead Reckoning

“With her knack for being in trouble’s way, Sookie witnesses the firebombing of Merlotte’s, the bar where she works. Since Sam Merlotte is now known to be two-natured, suspicion falls immediately on the anti-shifters in the area. But Sookie suspects otherwise and she and Sam work together to uncover the culprit – and the twisted motive for the attack. But her attention is divided. Though she can’t ‘read’ vampires, Sookie knows her lover Eric Northman and his ‘child’ Pam well – and she realizes that they are plotting to kill the vampire who is now their master. Gradually, she is drawn into the plot -which is much more complicated than she knows. Caught up in the politics of the vampire world, Sookie will learn that she is as much of a pawn as any ordinary human – and that there is a new Queen on the board…”

My review of Dead Reckoning is going to be short and sweet. This being book #11 in the Sookie Stackhouse/Southern Vampire Mysteries series, I don’t really feel the need to provide much back story. With that said, if you are spoiler-phobic, don’t read what lies below.

I had high hopes for Dead Reckoning after reading quite a few 4.5 and 5 star reviews the week leading up to publication. While the book is definitely an improvement over the last 2–Books # 9 and 10, which felt like plot “filler” –by the end of the book, I wasn’t that impressed with where the overall story is leading.

The two main mysteries/problems in the book seem to be tied up too neatly. The main antagonist in Sookie’s personal drama was predictable. And Sookie herself seems to have become someone tired, desperately in need of a vacation, and sadly, a bit judgmental in her old age. She has always been a slightly conservative Southern woman (funny for someone who dates supernatural creatures), but again and again I got the opinion that Sookie needs to get off of her high horse.

The males in the story didn’t fare much better. I found the “nearly every male in her life continually disappoints and lets Sookie down” plot boring. Honestly, at this point, I’m rooting for Sookie to either end up living HEA with Sam (who just barely makes it out of the above category), or alone. Jason was the only non-screwed up male in this book, which was probably because he’s barely in the story!

All in all, the fairy drama, and vampire politics have grown tiring. Parts of the book seemed to drag and go nowhere. And the completely unnecessary info dumps regarding Sookie’s “disability” and character background information (If you are unaware who Bubba is by book 11, STOP READING THIS SERIES) distracted me and took me out of the book.

If you truly love this series and world, like I do, then keep reading. Supposedly, everything ends with book #13. Unless #12 ends up advancing the overall plot light years ahead of where it currently lies, I have a feeling future books in this series will be for hardcore Sookie fans only.

3/5 Stars.
I purchased Dead Reckoning myself, via Amazon.

Holly Black, Cassie Clare, and Lauren DeStefano at Books of Wonder:

4 May

Last night, I went to another amazing book signing at Books of Wonder in NYC. I almost skipped it to go see Charlaine Harris at a nearby Barnes and Noble. But once I realized how many of my friends were coming to town for the BOW event, coupled with having met Charlaine last year, I decided this was the signing for me.

I am so glad I picked this event! When I arrived just after 5pm, the store was already packed with fans decked out in character t-shirts and hand-written runes on their bodies. I met up with some fellow bloggers: Damaris and Wanda from Good Choice Reading, Jena from Shortie Says, and JL from An Avid Reader’s Musings.They were kind enough to save me a spot, and together we waited for the main event.

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Damaris and JL.

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A decked out audience member.

While we hung out, I spotted a few more bloggers in the audience! Mitali from Alley Of Books/The Teen Author Carnival, and Vania from VLC Productions –who makes awesome book trailers, including The City of Fallen Angels trailer! It was so great to finally meet some bloggers I’ve been conversing with on twitter for the past few months.

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Half of the huge crowd!

After a short wait, Lauren, Cassie and Holly came out and began the event!
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BOW SIGNING 22

After they were introduced, each author read a passage from their current works. Cassie read the prologue to Clockwork Prince, Holly read “smut” from Red Glove (my favorite!) and Lauren, a debut author told the audience a bit more about Wither.

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Next up, question time! The audience had a lot of good questions for the authors last night. Some a bit silly (lots of cat questions for Cassie), but there was a lot of interesting commentary about movie news, sequels, and the writing process in general.

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During a second, lightning round of super fast questioning, I asked Holly about the possible Curse Workers tv show news, and whether or not the series was indeed a trilogy, or would there be more books? Holly said the tv show was a possibility, but mostly unsure. And that she had three books planned for the Curse Workers series, but it seemed to me that she thought maybe there would be more! Which I hope is true, as it’s one of my favorite current series.

Finally, it was time for the signing to begin!
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A fan’s books, waiting to be signed.

Each author had brought “gifts” to give away to their fans. Holly had Curse Workers postcards (from the old blog ads back when White Cat was first released), “Worker” bracelets for each type, and an excerpt from Black Heart. Cassie had an excerpt, as did Lauren (from Wither #2), who also had candy!

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Dream Worker bracelet.

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The signing area.

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Another fan, in line.

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Lauren DeStefano, who was insanely nice!

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Holly Black

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Signing Red Glove.

I met Holly during the Teen Author Festival, so I had all of my books signed back then. Holly was nice enough to sign a postcard for me, and give me the Black Heart excerpt that I so badly wanted. When I asked for a Worker bracelet, I kind of just reached into the pile and grabbed a black one. Which of course, ended up being Death Worker! Holly said she was surprised I’d pick that one, “knowing the what it meant”, and all of the problems associated with it. I joked with her saying it was ok, I’ve got ten fingers and ten toes! Not sure if I’d actually pick that ability if the choice was real though. ; )

Cassie was fun to talk to as well. I told her I read City of Bones when it first came out, and had yet to finish the rest of the series. She was surprised to see I had an old ARC of City of Glass (a leftover relic from my magazine editor days). I was in line with Jena, whom she recognized from her twitter icon! I thought that was cute.

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Cassie says Hi!

When we we leaving the store, Jena spotted Josh, who played Jace in the book trailer!
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After the signing, a few of us went out for dinner, margaritas, and more book chatter. The whole night felt like a “practice round” for BEA in a few weeks. I am so glad I went to the Books of Wonder signing, and got to see some old friends, and meet so many fun new bloggers!

Thanks to Cassie, Lauren, Holly, Simon & Schuster, and Books of Wonder for such a great event!

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BOW SIGNING 2

See more photos at my Flickr album.