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A blog about books and other things speculative

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BookExpo America 2013 - The Books


As I mentioned in the prior post about BEA (here), I only picked up a few books that I am really interested in reading. Not all of them are Speculative Fiction because I do read other genres. Most of the novels have not yet been published. I've taken photos of the ARCs/novels, but also include the cover image so you can see what they really look like. Without further ado, the books:


The Debuts
(3 of the 5 books I absolutely had to have!)
Pierce Brown, V.E. Schwab and Samantha Shannon
BookExpo America 2013 - The Books



Red Rising
AuthorPierce Brown
Publisher:  Del Rey, February 18, 2014
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages
Price:  $25.00 (print)
ISBN:  9780345539786 (print)

BookExpo America 2013 - The Books
Pierce Brown's relentlessly entertaining debut channels the readability and excitement of Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games and the best of Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game.

Red Rising is the story of a society in a desolate future, riven by class conflict and shaken by the tremors of an impending revolution. But more than that, it's the story of Darrow-a secret revolutionary who is inspired not only by a longing for social justice, but by lost love. It's only when Darrow's beloved wife is executed by the oppressive government that he begins to question the harsh world he lives in. Recruited by an underground revolutionary cell, Darrow is given a perilous mission: infiltrate the academy that educates this elite-and become one of them.



Vicious
AuthorV.E. Schwab
Publisher:  Tor Books, September 24, 2013
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 368 pages
Price:  $24.99 (print)
ISBN:  9780765335340 (print)

BookExpo America 2013 - The Books
A masterful, twisted tale of ambition, jealousy, betrayal, and superpowers, set in a near-future world

Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.

Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?



The Bone Season
AuthorSamantha Shannon
Series:  Scion 1
Publisher:  Bloomsbury USA, August 20, 2013
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 480 pages
Price:  $24.00 (print)
ISBN:  9781620401392 (print)

BookExpo America 2013 - The Books
It is the year 2059. Several major world cities are under the control of a security force called Scion. Paige Mahoney works in the criminal underworld of Scion London, part of a secret cell known as the Seven Seals. The work she does is unusual: scouting for information by breaking into others’ minds. Paige is a dreamwalker, a rare kind of clairvoyant, and in this world, the voyants commit treason simply by breathing.

But when Paige is captured and arrested, she encounters a power more sinister even than Scion. The voyant prison is a separate city—Oxford, erased from the map two centuries ago and now controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. These creatures, the Rephaim, value the voyants highly—as soldiers in their army.

Paige is assigned to a Rephaite keeper, Warden, who will be in charge of her care and training. He is her master. Her natural enemy. But if she wants to regain her freedom, Paige will have to learn something of his mind and his own mysterious motives.

The Bone Season introduces a compelling heroine—a young woman learning to harness her powers in a world where everything has been taken from her. It also introduces an extraordinary young writer, with huge ambition and a teeming imagination. Samantha Shannon has created a bold new reality in this riveting debut.




Mira Grant and Edward Lazellari
(The other 2 of the 5 books I had to have!)
BookExpo America 2013 - The Books



Parasite
AuthorMira Grant
Series:  Parisitology 1
Publisher:  Orbit, October 29, 2013
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 512 pages
Price:  $20.00 (print)
ISBN:  9780316218955 (print)

BookExpo America 2013 - The Books
From New York Times bestselling author Mira Grant, a high-concept near-future thriller.

A decade in the future, humanity thrives in the absence of sickness and disease.

We owe our good health to a humble parasite - a genetically engineered tapeworm developed by the pioneering SymboGen Corporation. When implanted, the Intestinal Bodyguard worm protects us from illness, boosts our immune system - even secretes designer drugs. It's been successful beyond the scientists' wildest dreams. Now, years on, almost every human being has a SymboGen tapeworm living within them.

But these parasites are getting restless. They want their own lives . . . and will do anything to get them.



The Lost Prince
AuthorEdward Lazellari
Series:  Guardians of Aandor 2
Publisher:  Tor Books, August 20, 2013
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 528 pages
Price:  $27.99 (print)
ISBN:  9780765327888 (print)

BookExpo America 2013 - The Books
Edward Lazellari brings you The Lost Prince, and the race to find the missing prince is on . . .

In Lazellari’s debut fantasy, Awakenings, New York City cop Cal MacDonnell and photographer Seth Raincrest found themselves stalked by otherworldly beings intent on killing them. The two had to accept the aid of a mysterious woman to unlock their hidden pasts, and what they discovered changed their lives.

Everything they knew about their lives was an illusion. They had in fact travelled to our dimension from the medieval reality of Aandor to hide their infant prince from assassins, but upon arriving, a freak mishap wiped their memories. Cal, Seth, and the rest of their party were incapacitated, and the infant prince was lost.

Thirteen years later, that prince, Daniel Hauer, is unaware of his origins--or that he has become the prize in a race between two powerful opposing factions. Cal and Seth’s group want to keep Daniel safe. The other wants Daniel dead—by any means necessary.

From the streets of New York City to the back roads of rural North Carolina, the search for the prince sets powerful forces against each other in a do-or-die battle for the rule of the kingdom of Aandor.

Against a backdrop of murder, magic, and mayhem on the streets of New York City, victory goes to the swiftest and the truest of hearts.




Karen Heuler, Jon McGoran and A.D. Robertson
(Books that caught my eye, and then had to have!)
BookExpo America 2013 - The Books



The Made-Up Man
AuthorKaren Heuler
Publisher:  Livingston Press, November 30, 2011
Format:  Trade Paperback and eBook, 226 pages
Price:  $21.00 (print)
ISBN:  9781604890815 (print)

BookExpo America 2013 - The Books
Self-pity will only get you so far. When Alyson Salky finds that her lover is having an affair with her best friend--and he takes the dog with him when he moves out--and a man with worse credentials is hired over her at work, it’s time to make some major life decisions. She keeps running into the neighborhood fortune teller, Madame Hope, who promises she can make Alyson’s wishes come true—any wish, so why not a big wish? As far as Alyson can determine, the problem with her life is that she’s getting all the crap that women get, and none of the free passes that men get. It’s time to switch—it’s time to see what life is like as a man—and while Madame Hope can get that done for her (in exchange for her soul), nothing really goes as planned. The devil, it turns out, has a sense of humor. But who will have the last laugh?



Drift
AuthorJon McGoran
Publisher:  Forge Books, July 9, 2013
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 384 pages
Price:  $24.99 (print)
ISBN:  9780765334701 (print)

BookExpo America 2013 - The Books
When Philadelphia narcotics detective Doyle Carrick loses his mother and step-father within weeks of each other, he gains a twenty-day suspension for unprofessional behavior and instructions to lay low at the unfamiliar house he’s inherited in rural Pennsylvania.

Feeling restless and out of place, Doyle is surprised to find himself falling for his new neighbor, Nola Watkins, who’s under pressure to sell her organic farm to a large and mysterious development company. He’s more surprised to see high-powered drug dealers driving the small-town roads—dealers his bosses don’t want to hear about.

But when the drug bust Doyle’s been pushing for goes bad and the threats against Nola turn violent, Doyle begins to discover that what’s growing in the farmland around Philadelphia is much deadlier than anything he could have imagined . . .

Quick, clever, and terrifying, Jon McGoran’s Drift is a commercial thriller in the tradition of Nelson DeMille’s Plum Island.



Captive: The Forbidden Side of Nightshade
AuthorA. D. Robertson (Andrea Cremer)
Publisher:  Dutton Adult, October 22, 2013
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages
Price:  $25.95 (print)
ISBN:  9780525954118 (print)

BookExpo America 2013 - The Books
The first adult novel set in the world of the New York Times bestselling Nightshade series, Captive delivers a steamy, forbidden romance between sworn enemies drawn together by an irrepressible desire.

Twenty-five-year-old Tristan Doran enjoys a life of incredible power and privilege. As a direct descendant of the Keepers—witches who have embraced dark magic—he defers to no one but his overlord, Lord Bosque Mar. For most of his life, Tristan has been kept
out of the centuries-old Witches War, his bloodline too valuable to risk in battle.

But when a beautiful, young human Searcher named Sarah is captured and made a prisoner in his Irish castle, Tristan’s infatuation with her flings him headlong into the fray. Captive and captor, unable to contain their longing, embark on a passionate, forbidden romance together—only to learn that their love is at the heart of a prophecy predicting the downfall of the Keepers’ ages-old reign.

Captive explores the darker side of the richly imagined Nightshade universe, a fantasy world of powerful dark witches, shape-shifting wolf warriors, and fascinating history. The first of three erotic novels, Captive delves deeply into the fiery, illicit romance of two young lovers whose very desires invite their doom.




Jon Land, Peter Mattei, and Lisa Unger
(More unexpected treats!)
BookExpo America 2013 - The Books



Strong Rain Falling
AuthorJon Land
Series:  Caitlin Strong 5
Publisher:  Forge Books, August 13, 2013
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 450 pages
Price:  $25.99 (print)
ISBN:  9780765331502 (print)

BookExpo America 2013 - The Books
Mexico, 1919: The birth of the Mexican drug trade begins with opium being smuggled across the U.S. border, igniting an all-out battle with American law enforcement in general and the Texas Rangers in particular.

The Present: Fifth Generation Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong and her lover Cort Wesley Masters both survive terrifying gun battles. But this time, it turns out, the actual targets were not them, but Masters’ teenage sons.

That sets Caitlin and Cort Wesley off on a trail winding through the past and present with nothing less than the future of the United States hanging in the balance. Along the way they will confront terrible truths dating all the way back to the Mexican Revolution and the dogged battle Caitlin’s own grandfather and great-grandfather fought against the first generation of Mexican drug dealers.

At the heart of the storm soon to sweep away America as we know it, lies a mastermind whose abundant power is equaled only by her thirst for vengeance. Ana Callas Guajardo, the last surviving member of the family that founded the Mexican drug trade, has dedicated all of her vast resources to a plot aimed at the U.S.’s technological heart.

This time out, sabotage proves to be as deadly a weapon as bombs in a battle Caitlin must win in cyberspace as well. Her only chance to prevail is to short-circuit a complex plan based as much on microchips as bullets. Because there’s a strong rain coming and only Caitlin and Cort Wesley can stop the fall before it’s too late.



The Deep Whatsis
Author:  Peter Mattei
Publisher:  Other Press, July 23, 2013
Format:  Trade Paperback and eBook, 256 pages
Price:  $15.95 (print)
ISBN:  978-1-59051-638-6 (print)

BookExpo America 2013 - The Books
The Deep Whatsis follows a brilliant antihero staggering into madness as he navigates among Brooklyn hipsters, advertising tyrants, corporate hypocrisy, and the ghosts of his past.

Meet Eric Nye: player, philosopher, drunk, sociopath. A ruthless young Chief Idea Officer at a New York City ad agency, Eric downsizes his department, guzzles only the finest Sancerre, pops pills, and chases women. Then one day he meets Intern, whose name he can’t remember. Will she be the cause of his downfall, or his unlikely awakening?

A gripping and hilarious satire of the inherent absurdity of advertising and the flippant cruelty of corporate behavior, The Deep Whatsis shows the devastating effects of a world where civility and respect have been fired.



In the Blood
AuthorLisa Unger
Publisher:  Touchstone, January 7, 2014
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages
Price:  $25.99 (print)
ISBN:  9781451691177 (print)

BookExpo America 2013 - The Books
In the Blood is the Lisa Unger novel we've all been waiting for—and a return to the dark psychological suspense that made Beautiful Lies a bestseller around the world.

Lana Granger lives a life of lies. She has told so many lies about where she comes from and who she is that the truth is like a cloudy nightmare she can’t quite recall. About to graduate from college and with her trust fund almost tapped out, she takes a job babysitting a troubled boy named Luke. Expelled from schools all over the country, the manipulative young Luke is accustomed to controlling the people in his life. But, in Lana, he may have met his match. Or has Lana met hers?

When Lana’s closest friend, Beck, mysteriously disappears, Lana resumes her lying ways—to friends, to the police, to herself. The police have a lot of questions for Lana when the story about her whereabouts the night Beck disappeared doesn’t jibe with eyewitness accounts. Lana will do anything to hide the truth, but it might not be enough to keep her ominous secrets buried: someone else knows about Lana’s lies. And he’s dying to tell.

Lisa Unger's writing has been hailed as “sensational” (Publishers Weekly) and “sophisticated” (New York Daily News), with “gripping narrative and evocative, muscular prose” (Associated Press). Masterfully suspenseful, finely crafted, and written with a no-holds-barred raw power, In the Blood is Unger at her best.




Chuck Wendig and John Hornor Jacobs
(Okay, I had to have these also. Adore the writing of both authors!)
BookExpo America 2013 - The Books



Under the Empyrean Sky
AuthorChuck Wendig
Series:  The Heartland Trilogy 1
Publisher:  Skyscape, July 30, 2013
Format:  Hardcover and Kindle eBook
Price:  $17.99 (print)
ISBN:  9781477817209 (print)

BookExpo America 2013 - The Books
Corn is king in the Heartland, and Cael McAvoy has had enough of it. It’s the only crop the Empyrean government allows the people of the Heartland to grow — and the genetically modified strain is so aggressive that it takes everything the Heartlanders have just to control it. As captain of the Big Sky Scavengers, Cael and his crew sail their rickety ship over the corn day after day, scavenging for valuables, trying to earn much-needed ace notes for their families. But Cael’s tired of surviving life on the ground while the Empyrean elite drift by above in their extravagant sky flotillas. He’s sick of the mayor’s son besting Cael’s crew in the scavenging game. And he’s worried about losing Gwennie — his first mate and the love of his life — forever when their government-chosen spouses are revealed. But most of all, Cael is angry — angry that their lot in life will never get better and that his father doesn’t seem upset about any of it. Cael’s ready to make his own luck . . . even if it means bringing down the wrath of the Empyrean elite and changing life in the Heartland forever.



The Twelve Fingered Boy
AuthorJohn Hornor Jacobs
Series:  The Twelve-Fingered Boy Trilogy 1
Publisher:  Carolrhoda Lab, February 1, 2013
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 280 pages
Price:  $17.95 (print)
ISBN:  9780761390077 (print)

BookExpo America 2013 - The Books
Fifteen-year-old Shreve Cannon doesn't mind juvie. He's got a good business dealing contraband candy, and three meals a day are more than his drunk mother managed to provide. In juvie, the rules never change and everyone is the same. In juvie, Shreve has life figured out. Then the new fish shows up.

Jack's a quiet kid. Small. Cries himself to sleep too. He's no standard-issue titty-baby, though. There's his hands—more specifically his fingers, all twelve of 'em. And when he gets angry, something weird happens. The air wavers. You feel a slight pressure in your chest. And then…well, best take cover.

Jack isn't the only new face in juvie. There's Mr. Quincrux. Quincrux has an unusual interest in Jack and Shreve, and it quickly becomes clear that innocent bystanders aren't going to get in his way. So Jack and Shreve bust out.

On the lam, they quickly discover that Jack has abilities—hell, superpowers—that might just give them a fighting chance against Quincrux, if they can stay alive long enough to figure them out.




I'm excited to dive into reading these novels!

BookExpo America 2013 - The People


BookExpo America 2013 - The People
I missed BookExpo America (BEA) last year due to stuff. I was thrilled to be able to spend a day at BEA this year. BEA was held at the Javitz Center in New York City (where it will be in 2014 and 2015). It was a fantastic day. I was able to say 'hello' to authors and publicists I'd only met online and see others that I've met before.

If you are a book lover too (and I bet you are because you are reading a book blog), you can attend BEA as a Power Reader. I wasn't there on Saturday when BEA was opened to the Power Readers/public so I can't tell you if it was crowded. It seems like a great chance to pick up some wonderful books and meet some of your favorite authors.

Here are photos that I took of people on Friday. I'll write a separate post about the novels I picked up. There is a tendency to take every book offered, but I was careful to take only what I would read. It took a lot of self-control, believe me. 


BookExpo America 2013 - The People
John Hornor Jacobs and The Twelve-Fingered Boy. This is John's first YA novel.



BookExpo America 2013 - The People
Ben Smith and Jon Oliver from Rebellion Publishing (Solaris, Abaddon, etc.).
I talked with them before I had coffee. It's amazing that I made any sense (if I did).



BookExpo America 2013 - The People
Pierce Brown and Red Rising. There was a long line and many ARCs.
I owe Pierce a gold star for book signing.



BookExpo America 2013 - The People
Jon Land and Strong Rain Falling at the ThrillerFest booth.
ThrillerFest will be held in NYC July 10 -13.



BookExpo America 2013 - The People
I was just walking around and spotted Giada De Laurentiis. She had just finished
signing Recipe for Adventure (a children's book). She is super nice!



BookExpo America 2013 - The People
Jon McGoran and Drift.



BookExpo America 2013 - The People
Andrea Cremer as A.D. Robertson with Captive (Forbidden Nightshade 1),
an adult fantasy novel set in the world of her Nightshade books.
We'll be talking about this!



BookExpo America 2013 - The People
V.E. (Victoria) Schwab with her first adult novel, Viscious.



BookExpo America 2013 - The People
Edward Lazellari and The Lost Prince. The much anticipated second novel in
the Guardians of Aandor series.



BookExpo America 2013 - The People
John Carter Cash and Lupus Rex. This is the first novel being published by
Ravenstone, the children's and YA imprint of Rebellion Publishing.



BookExpo America 2013 - The People
Michael Molcher (Rebellion's PR Coodinator) with Lupus Rex
(that's King Wolf for those of you who don't read Latin).



BookExpo America 2013 - The People
Grumpy Cat!!! She is so calm. I think the longest line I was on at BEA was
to snap this photo. GC has a book coming out in the Fall and
has just signed a movie deal (actually her hooman did that on her behalf).



My final stop of the day was the SFWA booth:

BookExpo America 2013 - The People
Laura Anne Gilman, who has written the Retreivers, Vineart War, and 
Paranormal Scene Investigations novels (and more) and the upcoming Portals series.



BookExpo America 2013 - The People
Karen Heuler, author of The Inner City, The Made-up Man
The Soft Room, and more.




Look for my next BEA post - BookExpo America 2013 - The Books

New York Comic Con, Part 3 - October 19, 2012

Sunday, October 14, 2012, was the last day of New York Comic Con 2012. It was a lighter day for me mostly because my small humans joined me for Kids Day. In the past Kids Day has not been so crowded. I think that's a testament to how much bigger New York Comic Con has become that Sunday was as busy as Saturday!

We started off by attending the Geek Geek Revolution: The Sequel featuring Myke Cole, Anton Strout, Beth Revis, and Andrea Cremer. Colleen Lindsay, Geek Queen, asked the authors questions including questions submitted by the audience. Answering the questions correctly resulted in points being awarded. I believe that wrong answers resulted in the subtraction of points. The winner was awarded the title of Top Geek!

New York Comic Con, Part 3 - October 19, 2012
L to R: Myke Cole, Anton Strout, Beth Revis, Andrea Cremer, 
and Geek Queen Colleen Lindsay
 Myke writes the Shadow Ops series. The first novel, Control Point, was published in January 2012 and Fortress Frontier (Shadow Ops 2) will be out in January 2013.

Anton is the author of the Simon Canderous series and the recently published Alchemystic (The Spellmason Chronicles 1).

Beth writes the YA Across the Universe series. The third book, Shades of Earth, will be published  in January 2013.

Andrea is the author of the YA Nightshade series. Rise (Nightshade Prequel 2) will be published in January 2013.

It came down to a tie between Anton Strout and Andrea Cremer. On the second tie-breaker question Andrea prevailed. She won a Rock'em Sock'em Robot set! Myke Cole came in last and was awarded a cute baby Cthulhu. I hardly see how a cute baby Cthulhu is a booby prize.

New York Comic Con, Part 3 - October 19, 2012
Cthulhu hats may be the new fashion craze!



After Geek Geek Revolution: The Sequel the small humans and I wandered around...  a lot.



I had the pleasure of meeting Evie Manieri whose debut novel, Blood's Pride, will be published in the US on February 19, 2013. It's already out in the UK.

New York Comic Con, Part 3 - October 19, 2012
Evie Manieri



New York Comic Con, Part 3 - October 19, 2012
Steampunk at the Tor booth. It must be fun working for Tor!



Capcom was at NYCC. Nintendo was there with Wii U. We did preorder the Limited Edition of Assassin's Creed III by Ubisoft. Often when you preorder at NYCC some extra goodies are thrown in. In this case there was a gorgeous T-shirt. While you could preorder Assassin's Creed III, there was no gameplay.  I was surprised by the video gaming component this year. Some of the big companies had displays but no games to play.

New York Comic Con, Part 3 - October 19, 2012



We found this poor fellow expiring in the hallway (not really, he was cosplaying!)

New York Comic Con, Part 3 - October 19, 2012

The kids decided to put him out of his misery (not really, he asked them to pose with him.)

New York Comic Con, Part 3 - October 19, 2012

New York Comic Con, Part 3 - October 19, 2012
The teen (bottom photo) looked meaner while posing. You can draw your own conclusion!



New York Comic Con, Part 3 - October 19, 2012
Jamal Peppers ad Ian Flynn signing at Archie Comics



New York Comic Con, Part 3 - October 19, 2012
Cosplay - Aperture Laboratories (from Portal)



New York Comic Con, Part 3 - October 19, 2012
Michael Boccacino signing Charlotte Markham and the House of Darkling



New York Comic Con, Part 3 - October 19, 2012
Cosplay - The Power Rangers



New York Comic Con, Part 3 - October 19, 2012
Cosplay - Zena, Warrior Princess, and my daughter



New York Comic Con, Part 3 - October 19, 2012
 The crowd and long walk to Artist Alley

Artist Alley was way down at the end. to the left and through a large passageway. Once you got to the end you turned left and then saw the sign. If you knew where it was it was easy to find. I think that there should have been a sign in this main area at the end with an arrow pointing to the left. This is the first year that Artist Alley was in its own area. Hopefully signage will be better next year. Having the Artists in a separate area was great though. Plus after the main exhibitor floor closed, you could spend some time at Artist Alley which was open later than the exhibitor floor.



New York Comic Con, Part 3 - October 19, 2012
More Cosplay



New York Comic Con, Part 3 - October 19, 2012
Peter Steigerwald, who does the colors for Lady Mechanika (my favorite comic!)




We visited a lot of vendors on Sunday as well. The small humans came home with some awesome books and goodies. We can't wait for NYCC 2013!

Winner - Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

The winner of Nightshade by Andrea Cremer is....

bibliophile brouhaha who said...

I am passionate about reading (of course), the sharing of information, and issues that affect young women. If you look at my blog, you will see that all three are true! I fervently believe without access to information and education, everyone, but especially young women, are left without the means to make sound personal decisions about their own lives. I think Andrea's book deals quite a bit with this same idea. We owe it to ourselves to keep our eyes and ears open for information that can help us and see when a lack of it can hurt us. Okay, I'm going to stop before I sound too 'after-school special'! Keep on reading!

Winner - Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

The winner has until 11:59 PM Eastern Time on January 21, 2011 to claim Nightshade or another winner will be randomly chosen.

Thank you to all who participated.

Interview with Andrea Cremer and Giveaway - December 8, 2010

Please welcome Andrea Cremer, author of Nightshade, to The Qwillery. Please see my review of Nightshade here.

TQ:  Earlier this year Nightshade was the subject of a censorship attempt before it was even published. Could you tell us about that?

Andrea:  Given that just a few days earlier I’d posted a blog in support of Laurie Halse Anderson, whose book Speak had been challenged in Missouri, and that I’d posted about how I thought someday Nightshade would be challenged on Page Turners Blog I felt a little like the universe testing my sense of irony. I expected challenges, but I simply wasn’t prepared for an objection on my first day visiting a school. Standing in the principal’s office I felt very small and a bit like I’d been sucker punched. I was a very well behaved child, and at age 32 this was my first time being sent to the principal’s office, told what I’d done wrong and how I should behave. The principal went on to request that I keep things from getting “PG-13” and that I didn’t say anything like encourage the students toward “vampire conversion.” Vampire conversion? Okay, first of all, there are no vampires in Nightshade. Secondly, do any authors give presentations at schools that promote vampire conversion? I wanted to know if Heather Brewer and Richelle Mead get this question at their school visits. As I went to the auditorium I felt a bit ill. I was already nervous and now I worried about having to censor myself when I spoke and answered questions. But then I started to get angry because I remembered who I am. I teach for a living. I know how to talk to students. I wrote a book I love and I don’t think it’s at all inappropriate. I have a Ph.D. in history and I understand the ways in which violence, religion, and sexuality have shaped societies. I use that research to inform my novels. These subjects shouldn’t be avoided or hidden. They need to be discussed. Running away from the more difficult topics of history only makes it more likely that patriarchy, inequality, and ignorance become more deeply rooted in our cultures. Fortunately I was saved by the wonder that is young readers. Over the course of the day I spoke to about 400 students. They were all amazing. Their questions were smart and engaging. Their ideas were fantastic. Each session was buzzing with intelligence and enthusiasm. When I finished, my voice was pretty much gone but it was one of the happiest moments of my life. And nothing about that trip to the principal’s office mattered. Not one bit. One of the event organizers did some digging and found out that the objection had come from a parent who hadn’t read Nightshade. She’d just seen my blog post supporting Laurie Halse Anderson. Turns out my first encounter with censorship stemmed from my speaking out against it. All it does is make me determined to barrel ahead without fear. And I’m not doing it for myself. I’m doing it for each of those students, who gave me more with their questions and ideas than I could ever hope to give them.

TQ:  Do you think it has affected you as a writer?

Andrea:  It has made me both more determined and fearless about speaking out in support of books with 'controversial' subject material and to work hard to raise awareness about the damage done by challenging and banning young adult literature.

TQ:  You teach early modern history (1500s to 1800s). Do you see any parallels between the censorship that was taking place during those times and censorship today?

Andrea:  It's important to keep in mind that the idea of censorship only exists given the assumption and advocation of the right to freedom of speech and freedom of the press. Both of those rights are inventions of the 18th century - rights aren't won without a struggle and I think in our contemporary culture we often take those rights for granted. Prior to the 18th century censorship as we know it didn't exist. For example attempts in medieval Europe to print the Bible in vernacular (common languages, i.e. English, French) instead of Latin were 'censored' by burning the printers at the stake for heresy. That's not exaggeration and I think it simply reinforces how important freedom of speech and the press are - we've come a long way in terms of protecting the right to knowledge and discussion of all issues. Regression in that arena is not something that would benefit society.

TQ:  What advice would you give aspiring YA writers about both self-censorship and dealing with censorship by others?

Andrea:  One thing I worry about for aspiring writers is that they will censor themselves for fear that writing what they truly love or believe in won't sell, so they'll restrain themselves or stick to 'safer' subject material. Writing to sell is the worst mistake an author can make and will only lead to failure and writing misery. It's a mistake to write for other people rather than writing for your own passion. The most important thing is to be true to your self. Writing that reflects the heart and soul of the author is the best of the craft. Regarding censorship by authors, it's simply important to be educated yourself and to educate others about book censorship and censorship attempts. I've found the experiences and advice of oft-challenged authors like Laurie Halse Anderson and Ellen Hopkins to be priceless. They are true heroes for authors, readers, book sellers, librarians and educators.


About Andrea's Books

Nightshade
Nightshade 1
Hardcover, 528 page
ISBN 9780399254826
Philomel, October 19, 2010
Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she'll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters' laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything—including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?




Wolfsbane
Nightshade 2
Philomel, July 2011



About Andrea

Photo: Gina Monroe

Andrea Cremer is the author of the New York Times bestselling debut novel Nightshade. She grew up in the Northwoods of Wisconsin and now lives in Minneapolis, where she’s a history professor at Macalester College. She’s written about violence, sex, religion and power in history, and has used that research to create the world of the Nightshade series. Wolfsbane, the second book in the series, will be published in July 2011. You can learn more about Andrea at http://www.andreacremer.com/




Andrea's Links:

Website:  http://www.andreacremer.com/
Blog:  http://blurredhistory.blogspot.com/
Twitter:  http://twitter.com/andreacremer

NightShade Website: http://www.nightshadebook.com/
Shay Doran on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/shadowshay
Shay Doran's Blog: http://www.shaydoran.com/
Shay Doran's YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/shaydoran


The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter will win a copy of Nightshade by Andrea Cremer. This book has been provided by the publisher.

How:  Leave a comment telling The Qwillery what you are passionate about? Keep it PG-13 please! If you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1) Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2) Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

3) Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you.

Who & When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Wednesday, December 15, 2010.  Void where prohibited by law.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

Review: Nightshade by Andrea Cremer - 4 1/2 Qwills

I generally do not read YA. It's not that I disdain YA or think it's unworthy in some manner, it's simply that I can not possibly read everything as much as I would like to. However, I recently read Nightshade by Andrea Cremer. I am incredibly glad that I did.

The Cover and Inside the Dust Jacket Copy:

Review: Nightshade by Andrea Cremer - 4 1/2 Qwills

Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she'll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters' laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything— including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?

Format: Hardcover, 528 pages
Publisher: Philomel (October 19, 2010)
List Price: $17.99
Language: English
ISBN-10: 039925482X
ISBN-13: 978-0399254826

Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Borders

My thoughts:
 
Andrea Cremer has created an intriguing and interesting new mythology for the world in Nightshade. We are dropped right into that world with no prologue or explanation. This works well as we slowly find out about this mythology/history as the book progresses. We learn what Calla has been taught about the history and origin of the Guardians (she is one) and the Keepers.

The story, while wrapped in an origin mystery, is also about a love triangle. I don't think that Calla can be judged by the standard of normal 17 year old behavior - whatever that is. She's not a human 17 year old. She's a Guardian, Alpha of the Nightshade pack, and committed to her mission both personally and in terms of the greater good. She is promised to Ren Laroche, Alpha of the Bane pack. The world is very black and white for Calla. When Shay Doran, a human, is introduced into her world everything begins to change for her. She faces questions about personal choice, trust, and doing what appears to be right perhaps to her own detriment. In other words, her world gets shaken very badly. While she's an Alpha, she will never be as alpha as a male Alpha. There are a few moments in the book that prove this point to Calla and frankly they made me cringe.

There is action, mystery, intrigue, and high school in Nightshade. While Calla, Ren and Shay are the main characters, I found the Nightshade and Bane packs' dynamics engaging. You can read Nightshade as simply a terrific paranormal story with action, wolves, a love triangle, good guys and bad guys, and extremely enjoyable characters. You can also read it as an allegory for intellectual and emotional oppression (do what you are taught and told to do) and as the beginning of a coming of age story for Calla, and to a lesser degree for Ren and Shay. What you won't read is a conclusion to the story - it ends on a cliffhanger. 

I give Nightshade 4 1/2 Qwills.

Review: Nightshade by Andrea Cremer - 4 1/2 QwillsReview: Nightshade by Andrea Cremer - 4 1/2 Qwills


The second book in the Nightshade series, Wolfsbane, will be published in July 2011, with the third book, Blood Rose, to follow in Spring 2012.

Review: Nightshade by Andrea Cremer - 4 1/2 Qwills

Andrea's Links:
 
Website:  http://www.andreacremer.com/
Blog:  http://blurredhistory.blogspot.com/
 
Shay Doran on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/shadowshay
Shay Doran's Blog:  http://www.shaydoran.com/
Shay Doran's YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/shaydoran

Please note that Nightshade was provided to me by the publisher.
BookExpo America 2013 - The BooksBookExpo America 2013 - The PeopleNew York Comic Con, Part 3 - October 19, 2012Winner - Nightshade by Andrea CremerInterview with Andrea Cremer and Giveaway - December 8, 2010Review: Nightshade by Andrea Cremer - 4 1/2 Qwills

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