Monthly Archives: July 2011

Lisa Schroeder Wishlist: Poetry Writing Contest Winners

To celebrate the release of Lisa Schroeder’s The Day Before, we invited you to write your own poem about love or loss. The winners will each receive a copy of Lisa’s newest book, The Day Before, and one additional book of their choice from Lisa’s other YA titles: Chasing Brooklyn, Far From You and I Heart You, You Haunt Me.

Just click after the jump to read all the winning poems (listed in no particular order).

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Hourglass Time-Travel Writing Contest Winners

I am SO excited to share the winning entries from our Hourglass Time-Travel Writing Contest. For this contest — inspired by Myra McEntire’s novel — we asked you to write a short story about time travel. We often to writing contests here at Novel Novice, and these entries were by far some of the best I’ve seen in a long time. You guys completely blew us away!! In fact, it was so hard to choose only two winners, that I picked a third winner.

Click after the jump to read all of the amazing winning stories!

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Blood Red Road Dystopian Worlds Writing Contest Winners

For our Blood Red Road writing contest, we asked you to write a 250-500 word short story describing a futuristic/dystopian world. Thanks to our friends at Simon & Schuster, three winners will each receive a copy of Blood Red Road! The winners were all chosen based on the quality of their entries.

Check out the winning entries after the jump!

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Summer reads stay steady as school looms

No new entries on this week’s best sellers lists, though it’s easy to see which books have become this summer’s favorites. As we head into back-to-school-season and the many releases set for September, it’ll be interesting to see what happens. Stay tuned!

This Week Children’s Chapter Books Weeks
on List
1 MIDDLE SCHOOL, THE WORST YEARS OF MY LIFE, by James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts. Illustrated by Laura Park. (Little, Brown, $15.99.) Rafe breaks every rule in the book. (Ages 8 to 12) 4
2 THE THRONE OF FIRE, by Rick Riordan. (Disney-Hyperion, $18.99.) The Kanes seek the sun god, Ra; Book 2 of the Kane Chronicles. (Ages 10 and up) 12
3 SUPER DIAPER BABY 2, written and illustrated by Dav Pilkey. (Blue Sky/Scholastic, $9.99.) The Invasion of the Potty Snatchers. (Ages 7 to 10) 4
4 MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN, by Ransom Riggs. (Quirk Books, $17.99.) An island, an abandoned orphanage and a collection of curious photographs. (Ages 12 and up) 7
5 THEODORE BOONE: THE ABDUCTION, by John Grisham. (Dutton, $16.99.) The “kid lawyer” uses his legal skills to find a missing friend. (Ages 8 to 12) 7
6 THE LOST HERO, by Rick Riordan. (Disney-Hyperion, $18.99.) A return to Camp Half-Blood and semi-divine characters. (Ages 10 and up) 41
7 WHAT HAPPENED TO GOODBYE, by Sarah Dessen. (Viking, $19.99.) A girl rediscovers herself after her parents’ bitter divorce. (Ages 12 and up) 11
8 STAR WARS CHARACTER ENCYCLOPEDIA, by the DK staff. (DK, $16.99.) Profiles, movie stills and more. (Ages 7 to 17) 4
9 THE RED PYRAMID, by Rick Riordan. (Disney-Hyperion, $17.99.) Ancient gods (this time from Egypt) and a mortal family meet. (Ages 10 and up) 64
10 THE LYING GAME, by Sara Shepard. (HarperTeen, $16.99.) A long-lost twin impersonates her dead sister to try to solve her murder. (Ages 14 and up) 6

The Hunger Games & Scholastic Contest Winner

We were very pleased this last week to team up with Scholastic & the Hunger Games Examiner to offer you a chance to win all three of The Hunger Games books, plus a Scholastic Summer Reads bookmark.

To enter, we asked you to comment here & at the Hunger Games Examiner and tell us your favorite summer reading memory.

The winner, chosen at random, is … April Hartman, who wrote:

My favorite summer reading memory was when I was a kid that parents could not afford to bring all four of us to the public library so when the BOOK MOBILE came around we got to hang out with the librarians on the bus and earn points reading our summer books to win prizes. I love to read and that created a way for me to read without my parents having to feel bad. I love the BOOK MOBILE. Just wish my daughter could have those cool experiences too!

Congrats, April! And thanks to everyone who entered!

If you’re a fan of The Hunger Games, be sure to follow the Hunger Games Examiner for the latest news on the series & the upcoming movie adaptation. And be sure to check out Scholastic’s Summer Reading program!

Assorted Book Giveaways & Contest Winners

We’ve had a number of contests here at Novel Novice over the last few weeks. More of our writing contest winners will be announced tomorrow, but in the meantime, here are several winners from recent “random drawing” contests!

How I Stole Johnny Depp’s Alien Girlfriend

For this contest, we asked you to tell us your fantasy celebrity girlfriend/boyfriend. We had some very diverse answers! The winner, chosen at random, will receive a copy of How I Stole Johnny Depp’s Alien Girlfriend by Gary Ghislain (courtesy of Chronicle Books) is:

Sarah P., who answered “Johnny Depp.”


For this contest, we chose one winner at random to receive a signed copy of Forgotten by Cat Patrick. The winner is:

Brooke D.

Harry Potter & History

For this contest, we asked you to tell us which subject at Hogwarts you’d want to study most. Three winners chosen at random will receive a copy of Harry Potter & History ed. by Nancy Reagin. The winners are:

Jenny S., who chose Defense Against the Dark Arts

Tanya M., who also chose Defense Against the Dark Arts

and Katrina A. … who also chose Defense Against the Dark Arts

I promise, we did have other entrants who chose different subjects … like Herbology, Transfiguration, Runes, Potions, and Charms. Someone even picked Muggle Studies!


For this contest, we asked you to tell us your favorite characters from Maggie Stiefvater’s Wolves of Mercy Falls series. Two winners, chosen at random, will each receive a copy of Forever and a Forever key chain, courtesy of Scholastic:

Sheila H., who chose Sam

and Tammy H., who also chose Sam.

Congrats to all our winners! Check back regularly for new contests here at Novel Novice — including a few going on now. See the sidebar to your right for links!

Divergent: What’s your faction? Writing Contest Winners

For our May Book of the Month feature on Divergent by Veronica Roth, we asked you to tell us which of the five factions in the book you’d belong to if you lived in that society. We chose five winners based on their entries — each to receive a copy of Divergent and some Divergent faction temporary tattoos, courtesy of Harper Collins!

In no particular order, check out the five winners & their entries after the jump!

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The Saturday Post: Photos, Videos, Covers & More!

* Holy whoa, new photos from The Hunger Games movie, including this awesome cover from EW’s new issue featuring Peeta & Gale:

Read more here, plus check out a sneak peek at the magazine here, including an interview with Josh Hutcherson, additional photos from the magazine, plus scans from the issue.

* Check out the gorgeous new cover for Fever by Lauren DeStefano, the upcoming sequel to Wither:

And go here to see a behind-the-scenes video about the cover shoot!

* If you’re a fan of Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick, head over to her Facebook fan page to use the Countdown to Silence app to create a photo of you & Patch! It’s really cute!

* More goodies emerged from the last two days of Comic Con last weekend, including our first look at images from Snow White & the Huntsman, starring Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth & Charlize Theron:

See more pictures here!

* Check out the new cover for the upcoming graphic novel adaptation of Becca Fitzpatrick’s Hush, Hush, and a cool contest going on now:

Sea Lion Books is running another contest to celebrate all the awesome comics and graphic novels coming out this year! The winner of the HUSH HUSH contest will win a signed copy of the Hush Hush Graphic Novel and a hand crafted purse from the Hush Hush Novel created by 2011 Books with Bites!

Now down to the important part! How to enter!!!

1. LIKE Sea Lion Book’s Facebook page and post how much you want PATCH to be your guardian angel. If you already liked our page and want to qualify for this contest, still let us know how much you want PATCH to be your guardian angel and then send your friends our way!!!! If you lead your friends to LIKE our page make sure you tell them to say they were referred by you! The more friends you get to LIKE our page the more chances you get to win!!!

2. Another way to enter the contest is to FRIEND Sea Lion books on Good Reads – and leave a comment on how much you want Patch to be your guardian angel. Again if you are already a friend of Sea Lion Books on Good Reads, still post the comment and then start sending your friends our way! Once their friend request has been accepted make sure they let us know you referred them in the comments section and how they want PATCH to be their guardian angel.

The contest will run until the end of August 15th or until we reach 1,500 fans.

* HarperCollins released a very cool trailer for Wildwood by Colin Meloy (of The Decemberists) & Carson Ellis — a new Middle Grade novel coming out in September:

Colin & Carson will also be at Wordstock Festival in Portland, OR in October!

* Here’s a really fantastic article about YA lit, what it is, and why you should read it … this is especially good to share with any of your lit snob friends who think YA is “just for teens.” Some highlights:

I would continue reading YA lit because it’s good. That’s not to say adult lit isn’t, of course, but YA lit has a freshness that I really enjoy, and it rarely gets bogged down in its own self-importance.


I think the reason some grown-ups look down their noses at YA lit is because they haven’t read any of it recently, so they don’t know how good it’s gotten—or how different it is from what they might imagine it to be.

See more here.

* Emily’s Reading Room is hosting a fun new feature called “Blogger Confidential” — which she’s invited us to be part of. Be sure to check out all the posts so-far, where myself & other bloggers talk about book blogging and such.

* And finally, the clips from The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn: Part 1 that were unveiled at Comic Con have made their way online (albeit in very low res) … The Twilight Examiner has a break-down of the scenes, and you can watch the videos below:

For the comments: What news has you most excited? Tell us about it below!

Exclusive Q&A with Wolfsbane author Andrea Cremer

We’re delighted to be one of the stops on the official blog tour for Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer, now in stores. Today, we’ve got both an exclusive Q&A with Andrea AND your chance to win both of her books, Nightshade and Wolfsbane. Keep reading for more details!

It sounds like your characters go through a lot of things most teens don’t have to deal with. (Thank gosh for that, right?) But in what ways do you think your characters are like the “typical teen”?

I think the reason the characters in Nightshade‘s world remain relevant to teens is that they are all trying to discover who they are and what their role in the world will be. Also, falling in love for the first time, dealing with the pressures of school and family, and knowing what makes a true friend are part of being human – no matter what otherworldly pressures might also be present!

Destiny. Freedom. True love. Why do these themes always make for a compelling story?

They are universal ideas that philosophers and artists have grappled with throughout history. We all want to know if there is such a thing as fate, if soul mates are real, what the cost of freedom is – and why it’s worth great sacrifice.

If you had to pick characters from another book (not one you wrote) for the Nightshade/Wolfsbane kids to hang out with, who would it be?

I think the young wolves of Nightshade would relate very closely with the tributes from Hunger Games. Calla and Katniss have a lot in common. And the Guardians are used to fighting for their lives. Plus, Shay and Ren would be able to bond with Gale and Peeta over trying to win over their respect love interests.

If you met someone in a bookstore, and they were thinking about buying your book, what would you say to convince them?

I hope my readers find Nightshade‘s world and characters surprise them. A common email/tweet/blog comment I get is something like “I took forever to read your book because I was tired of paranormal romance, but Nightshade isn’t at all what I expected.” Calla’s world is complex, full of twists and turns, and is much more than a love story. It’s not a werewolf book, it’s not what you usually find in paranormal. I want readers to lose themselves in this story and become as invested in the lives and choices of the characters as I am.

What question do you always wish someone would ask you during an interview?

I like funny questions – like the favorite cartoon question that’s coming. But since you’ve already asked that, let’s go with: If you had to give up coffee or chocolate, which would it be?

Now answer that question.

Chocolate. (But I would cry.)

If they made an Andrea Cremer candle, what would it smell like?

I love this question!!! It would smell like cedar, sandalwood, and lily of the valley.

Favorite cartoon?

Tough! I love cartoons. It would be a tie between X-Men and Transformers. But I also love Voltron, She-Ra (and He-Man), and My Little Pony.

Chocolate or vanilla?

Chocolate (though as I said above, I’d give it up for coffee).

Your personal theme song?

It changes based on what’s happening in my life. Right now I’d say: Helena Beat by Foster the People.

You’re on a deserted island and have to read one book for the rest of your life. What is it?

Watership Down by Richard Adams

Favorite book as a child?

Watership Down has been my favorite book since I was ten. When I was younger I read any books pertaining to horses, Marguerite Henry and Walter Farley being two of my favorite horsey authors. I also loved Lloyd Alexander’s Chronicles of Prydain and Susan Cooper’s Dark is Rising series. I also have very fond memories of Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar.

Secret talent?

Singing. I’m a soprano.

 Thanks, Andrea!

And now, thanks to the fine folks at Penguin, we are giving you a chance to win a set of Andrea’s books …

The Contest:

Just fill out the Novel Novice + Wolfsbane Contest Entry Form and you’ll automatically be entered to win!

The Prize:

One (1) winner will receive a paperback copy of Nightshade *and* a hardcover of Wolfsbane

The Rules:

  • U.S. only
  • One entry per person
  • Use the entry form

The Deadline:

All entries are due on Saturday, August 6th by midnight (PT).

Questions? Leave ’em in the comments & we’ll reply!

Comic Con Q&A with Warm Bodies author Isaac Marion

Released earlier this year, Isaac Marion’s Warm Bodies has garnered all sorts of praise — both from critics, and fellow authors. And Summit Entertainment is producing an upcoming movie adaptation of the book, starring Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer.

Marion stopped by San Diego Comic Con last week to talk about Warm Bodies, and the upcoming movie adaptation. He took some time out during the busy con to chat with us about zombie romance, the movie and more:

So you just had your first SDCC press conference … how’d that go?

It was good, I think. As far as I know. It was scary definitely, but I didn’t really know what to expect when I saw “press conference” on my schedule … but it was the actual table and a huge crowd of journalists and me in front of a microphone.

It was a little bit terrifying … my voice was quavering like a little girl!

What’s the latest status on the movie?

Trying to find the rest of the cast, and they are in pre-production, just scouting locations and getting everything set up. They’re planning to start shooting it in the early fall.

They’re about to send me the latest one [screenplay] … I’m excited to see where it’s at at this point.

How do you feel about the cast so far? The script? The crew? (Jonathan Levine, Nicolas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, etc.)

I don’t know a ton about either of them. I know the director, I was sort of a fan of his [Jonathan Levine’s] before he was attached … I loved “The Wackness.” I think it’s really well written, and that’s so important for someone who understands character to be involved in the Warm Bodies movie. I was really excited about him being chosen as writer/director. And the two actors who were picked, I didn’t know at the time, but I’ve looked up their movies since then, and I’m really excited.

What are you most excited about with the movie?

I’m definitely very excited for the movie to start. I don’t know when it will actually hit the press, but when it’s filming and when people are aware of it, and I’m curious to see what effect that has on the book.

Being an author, especially a debut author, it’s kind of a quiet lonely business at this era, because nobody really cares at this point. So I’m excited to see how this changes when the movie hits the public sphere.

There are a number of zombie projects getting hype these days, incl. at SDCC … “The Walking Dead” … “P&P&Z” … tell us how “Warm Bodies” differs.

I can’t claim to have seen or read all the zombie stories out there, but the main thing is … most of them play it either as horror, the thrill of scares and jumping out at you, or they play it as laughs, and spoofs of horror.

Warm Bodies pretty much takes itself seriously. It’s meant to be a sincere, emotional drama … there’s comedy in it, but it’s meant to be taken at face value. It’s not a joke, even if it sounds like one when you describe it to people … It’s actually a real story and so I think that’s probably the main difference.

Also, a lot of people told me they didn’t expect it to be as emotional or as moving as it is. It was hard realizing how inherently wacky it does sound, but to take it seriously … a lot of people have found it does work for them.

What are some of the more unique challenges of writing a book from the perspective of a zombie?

One of the biggest challenges was just trying to create  a relatable, sympathetic character from a creature that doesn’t have an identity. He has no past, no memories, doesn’t know what his history is. So there’s no back story for that. So starting from a blank state and building a personality, without him having any life to reference. And then to get people to sympathize with him, because within the first two pages you see him killing and eating someone.

The writing didn’t seem that much of a stretch for me, because he has a rich inner life and lots of thoughts going on –he  just doesn’t have a frame of reference for those thoughts. He’s sort of a tortured amnesiac, walking around in a world he doesn’t understand. And I found that was relatable and sympathetic.

And really quickly … I know you’re from Washington, and I also live in the Pacific Northwest. So I always like to ask about living in this region and writing here. Do find it inspirational at all?

The Pacific Northwest has such a lively literary scene, and some of the theories seem to be trite, but there’s something to be said for the atmosphere, and the weather. It’s notoriously cloudy and rainy and not really a beach party town. It cultivates a sense of thoughtfulness and contemplativeness. You know, you spend a lot of time inside and looking at the rain, and it puts you in a mood for writing, especially moods that are especially intense.

It’s just kind of a moody place, and that works well with writing.

Thanks to Isaac for chatting with us, and to Summit for arranging this interview. Isaac will also be appearing at Portland’s Wordstock Festival in October!