CURRENT GIVEAWAY CONTESTS
Here are my current Giveaway Contests
THE PRINCESS AND THE PAGE through April 22nd
Natalie Lakosil Query Critique and THE STAR THIEF through April 22nd
Happy Easter Giveaway Hop through April 30th
Tracy Marchini Query Critique through April 29th
THE WINGSNATCHERS through May 4th
Lauren Spieller Query Critique through May 13th
Upcoming Agent Spotlights and Query Critique Giveaways
Loren Oberweger on 5/10/2017
Alyssa Jennette on 5/24/2017
Bibi Lewis on 6/12/2017
Kelly Van Sant on 6/21/2017
MILA 2.0/BLACK CITY/THE COLOSSUS RISES/ AND BACKPACK WITH GOODIES GIVEAWAY AND ASK THE EXPERT INTERVIEW
Before I get to my interview and book giveaways, I want to announce the winners of a few contests.
The winner of EMBLAZE is Jill at the O.W.L.!
And the winner of WHEN THE BUTTERFLIES CAME is Nicole!
Congrats! E-mail me your addresses so I can send you your books. Please e-mail me by the end of Wednesday or I'll have to pick another winner.
Today, I’m excited to interview, J.P (her first and middle initials), a 7th grader, and the daughter of Barbara Watson, an aspiring author, blogger, and follower. I follow Barbara’s blog and recommend you do too. You can find her blog here.
Hi J.P. Thanks for joining us.
1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself, your school, and what you like to read.
A little bit about me is I love basketball. Anytime I see a basketball hoop or a ball, I get excited. I also play on a traveling basketball team. I like to play any games that include running, and I am very competitive. I also love animals, hanging out with friends, reading, and trying new things. I am homeschooled by my mom. Fantasy is my favorite genre, but a book just has to be good (to me) for me to like it.
2. My daughter’s a competitive swimmer so I can relate to how much time you must spend on basketball. Fantasy is my favorite genre too. How do you find out about the books you read? What about new books coming out? Does the fact that your mom is an aspiring author and blogger influence what you read?
I find out about the books I read from friends, my mom, posters at book stores, browsing the library and bookstores, and I have certain authors I like and read all their books. I always know when an author I like is coming out with a new book from posters or their website. The fact that my mom is a writer and blogger does sometimes influence what I read. She will say, “Hey, does this sound interesting?” or “You might like this one.” But I also pick up books at the library on my own.
3. That’s so awesome that you check for favorite authors’ websites to find out about upcoming books. I bet your mom has lots of good book recommendations for you too. What are you reading now? What books are you waiting to be released?
Right now I am reading A Dash of Magic by Kathryn Littlewood. Next I will read the third Beyonders book by Brandon Mull. I am waiting for the the fourth book of The Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan to come out.
4. Reading a book in the Beyonders series is on my list to read too. And I love Rick Riordan too. It sounds like we have similar reading tastes. Do you buy most of your books or get them at the library? How often do you go to a bookstore?
Almost all of the books I read come from the library. Occasionally my mom buys me a book I really, really like. I also sometimes read books my mom wins off blogs. I go to a bookstore about once a month.
5. Do you read any teen book blogs, author blogs, or author or publisher websites? Are you a fan of an author on Facebook? Why?
No, I don’t read any blogs or websites, and I am not a fan of any authors on Facebook. I sometimes read my mom’s MMGMs (Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays) or write an MMGM on her blog. I like reading books better than reading blogs or websites about books. I only go on author websites very, very rarely when I want to find out when their newest book is coming out. Sometimes I go to author talks with my mom. We just saw Brandon Mull a few weeks ago.
6. I’ve enjoyed the MMGM posts you’ve written for her. Hope you write more of them. Has your teacher recommended any blogs or websites to your class or to you?
My mom is my teacher and she reads all the MMGMs and tells me about books I might like.
7. Well, I know your mom is a good recommender of books from following her blog. Are there things your favorite authors could do that would make you more likely to visit their website, their blog, or become a fan on Facebook?
No, not really. I can’t think of anything.
8. Have any authors visited your school? Who? Is there anything you’d recommend that an author do to make their presentation more interesting to you and other kids at your school?
No, not my school since I am homeschooled, but I do go to a homeschool book club and five local authors have visited there. I have also seen some at bookstores and a few at libraries. Here are a few I’ve seen: Brandon Mull, Lois Lowry, Brian Selznick, and Anne Ursu. I like when they talk about how they started writing, how they chose the plot and setting, about the characters, and I like when they leave a lot of time for question and answer.
I loved meeting Brandon Mull. There were tons of kids who were his fans at his book signing. Thanks for sharing all your advice, J.P.
Thank you, Natalie, for interviewing me!
So today I’m also doing a few mini reviews of books I want to share with you so I can get more books out to you without having blogging every day.
First, I’ll share MILA 2.0. Here’s a blurb from Goodreads:
Mila was never meant to learn the truth about her identity. She was a girl living with her mother in a small Minnesota town. She was supposed to forget her past—that she was built in a secret computer science lab and programmed to do things real people would never do.
Now she has no choice but to run—from the dangerous operatives who want her terminated because she knows too much and from a mysterious group that wants to capture her alive and unlock her advanced technology. However, what Mila’s becoming is beyond anyone’s imagination, including her own, and it just might save her life.
Mila 2.0 is Debra Driza’s bold debut and the first book in a Bourne Identity-style trilogy that combines heart-pounding action with a riveting exploration of what it really means to be human. Fans of I Am Number Four will love Mila for who she is and what she longs to be—and a cliffhanger ending will leave them breathlessly awaiting the seque.
The idea of someone being part robot/part human intrigued me. The story moves quickly from Mila’s current life where she’s trying to figure out why there’s big chunks of her memory missing to discovering what she really is. I found Mila’s reaction to the big shock of discovery what she was really is very realistic.
I really thought this was well plotted. There is lots of action, problems and revelations and Mila and her mom go on the run to where they end up.
Mila is sympathetic as a character. My heart went out for her as she struggled to accept the machine parts of herself through her human feelings. And she always tried to keep that human part of herself. The secondary characters were not around as much as some stories, but I really enjoyed the parts with her mom, Hunter, and Lucas. I really recommend this to sci fi/dystopian readers.
Second up is BLACK CITY. Here’s a blurb from Goodreads:
A dark and tender post-apocalyptic love story set in the aftermath of a bloody war.
In a city where humans and Darklings are now separated by a high wall and tensions between the two races still simmer after a terrible war, sixteen-year-olds Ash Fisher, a half-blood Darkling, and Natalie Buchanan, a human and the daughter of the Emissary, meet and do the unthinkable—they fall in love. Bonded by a mysterious connection that causes Ash’s long-dormant heart to beat, Ash and Natalie first deny and then struggle to fight their forbidden feelings for each other, knowing if they’re caught, they’ll be executed—but their feelings are too strong.
When Ash and Natalie then find themselves at the center of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to pull the humans and Darklings back into war, they must make hard choices that could result in both their deaths.
This is a combination dystopian/vampire story. And I really liked the fresh look at a vampire story. The Darklings aren’t the strong ones, are kept separated in a ghetto, and are discriminated against by the humans.
Ash is stoic and broody. Natalie is a privileged human. I enjoyed seeing how they both grew as the story progressed and they found themselves falling in love. And I’m always a sucker for forbidden love.
There was plenty of action and secrets revealed. I found this to be a really quick read and I can’t wait to read PHOENIX, book 2 in the series which releases on June 4, 2013.
The last book is an upper middle grade book, THE COLOSSUS RISES. Here’s a blurb from Goodreads:
Jack McKinley is an ordinary kid with an extraordinary problem. In a few months, he’s going to die.
Jack needs to find seven magic loculi that, when combined, have the power to cure him.
The loculi are the relics of a lost civilization and haven’t been seen in thousands of years.
Because they’re hidden in the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Rick Riordan wrote a blurb about this: “A high-octane mix of modern adventure and ancient secrets.” I think that’s so true.
Very soon after the story begins, 13-year-old Jack is whisked off to a secret hospital where he discovers he has a rare genetic problem that’s going to kill him. He goes on an adventure with his friends Marco, Aly, and Cass to find the Loculi. The plot moves quickly, filled with action, exploring new parts of their world, and danger.
Jack is a great character whose view on life I immediately liked. His voice really came through. Marco, Aly, and Cass have their own unique powers and idiosyncrasies which make them great characters too. With all the action and the story being told from Jack’s POV, I can see a lot of boys liking this as well as girls.
And I also have a small backpack that I thought one of your kids would like, including a teddy bear and a thumb drive with a sneak peak into THE FIFTH WAVE, by Rick Yancy, that has gotten great reviews.
So I’m giving away an ARC of MILA 2.0 and BLACK CITY a print book of THE COLOSSUS RISES, and the backpack. Thanks to Harper Collins and Penguin for these books and the backpack.
To enter, all you need to do is be a follower (just click the follow button if you’re not a follower) and leave a comment by midnight on April 27th. Please let me know your first two choices of books and I'll try to match the books to the winners. I’ll announce the winner on April 29th.
If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry. You must be 13 or older to enter. International entries are welcome except for the backpack due to postage costs. I will pick no more than one international winner because of postage costs so please let me know if you live outside the US or Canada.
Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays was started by Shannon Messenger. You can find the links to all the Marvelous Middle Grade Monday bloggers here.
Here’s what’s coming up:
Tomorrow, I have a Tuesday tip by Stephanie Keyes and a giveaway of THE FALLEN STARS, a YA paranormal romance.
On Wednesday I’m interviewing agent Jill Corcoran about her new A Path to Publishing workshops and of course I asked her what submissions she’s looking for right now. There’s a giveaway too! I can’t wait to share Jill’s interview with you.
Next Monday I’m interviewing Lisa Rojany Buccieri and giving away a copy of WRITING CHILDREN’S BOOKS FOR DUMMIES. I worried a bit that this book might be too basic for many of you, but one of the things I liked about this book was that Lisa hit the key elements of each subject she presented, for example, developing engaging characters, plotting, and revising. And she had a few great tips I hadn’t thought about for many of these subjects. Lisa has a lot of editorial experience so I know you’ll enjoy her interview. And once you read this, you might want to pass it on to a newer writer to help them out.
Next Tuesday, I have a Tuesday tip by Judith Roth and a giveaway of SERENDIPITY AND ME, a middle grade contemporary novel.
Wednesday next week, I’m participating in the Shower of Books Book Giveaway Blog Hop. I’ve got a great choice of new YA books to choose from.
And don't forget our Tuesday Tips and Casey's Thursday agent spotlights.
Hope to see you tomorrow and Wednesday!
Posted by Natalie Aguirre on Monday, April 15, 2013