Monthly Archives: August 2011

Fury by Elizabeth Miles: The Official Playlist

As we continue our week-long feature on the new book Fury by Elizabeth Miles, we wanted to share with you (courtesy of our friends at Simon & Schuster) the official playlist for the book!

  • “Cabaret” — Me First and the Gimme Gimmes
  • “Disturbia” — Rihanna
  • “Walking With a Ghost” — Tegan and Sara
  • “Crane Your Neck” — Lady Lamb the Beekeeper
  • “The Suburbs” — Arcade Fire
  • “I’m With You” — Avril Lavigne
  • “Next Girl” — The Black Keys
  • “Mary’s Song (Oh My My My)” — Taylor Swift
  • “After the Storm” — Mumford and Sons
  • “What Goes Around Comes Around” — Justin Timberlake

You can also listen to this playlist online here!

The Jewel & the Key by Louise Spiegler: Playlist

Music is an important part of The Jewel and the Key by Louise Spiegler — especially so, considering it takes place in Seattle (the birthplace of Grunge!).

So for today’s feature on The Jewel and the Key, we share a working playlist for the book created by Louise & her friend! Take a look & let us know any songs you think should be added to the list:

A Very Incomplete Play List for The Jewel and the Key

For the comments: Any songs you think should be added? Let us know!

The Best of Sweetly by Jackson Pearce

Today marks the end of our Book of the Month feature on Sweetly by Jackson Peace — and frankly, we’ve loved every minute of it! You can see all the posts from this month here, but let’s take a look back at our highlights:

Fairy Tale Writing Contest

Inspired by Sweetly, we’ve asked you to write the beginnings of your own modernized/adapted fairy tale!

The contest is open through midnight (PT) tonight — so hurry and get your last-minute entries in!

Be sure to check out the complete rules & details first.

Desktop Wallpapers

Not only did we create desktop wallpapers for Sweetly, we also created some for its companion novel, Sisters Red.

Fairy Tale Classroom

We created several posts that show the origins of the fairy tales Jackson has adapted, and ways to incorporate her books into the classroom:

Jackson Speaks!

Not only did Jackson record an AWESOME vlog just for us, but she also answered mucho questions for us in this exclusive Q&A:

For the comments: What were your favorite moments from this past month? What are your thoughts after reading Sweetly?

Fury by Elizabeth Miles: In Stores Today

Fury by Elizabeth Miles is in stores today in the U.S., and it’s also one of our featured titles this week here at Novel Novice!

Today, in honor of the book’s release, we’d like to spotlight the spectacular video created by Simon & Schuster UK:

And here’s more about the book itself:

It’s winter break in Ascension, Maine. The snow is falling and everything looks pristine and peaceful. But not all is as it seems…

Between cozy traditions and parties with her friends, Emily loves the holidays. And this year’s even better–the guy she’s been into for months is finally noticing her. But Em knows if she starts things with him, there’s no turning back. Because his girlfriend is Em’s best friend.

On the other side of town, Chase is having problems of his own. The stress of his home life is starting to take its toll, and his social life is unraveling. But that’s nothing compared to what’s really haunting him. Chase has done something cruel…something the perfect guy he pretends to be would never do. And it’s only a matter of time before he’s exposed.

In Ascension, mistakes can be deadly. And three girls—three beautiful, mysterious girls—are here to choose who will pay.

Em and Chase have been chosen.

Review: The Jewel & the Key by Louise Spiegler


Time travel can be a sticky subject to tackle in fiction, but Louise Spiegler brilliantly pulls it off in her latest novel, The Jewel and the Key.

The book follows the story of Addie McNeal — who dreams of becoming an actress. After an earthquake rocks Seattle, Addie finds herself facing the good fortune of an invitation to audition at one of the city’s premiere theaters. But as Addie learns more about the theater, its generous owner, and her charming son Reg, Addie starts to notice something very strange. While things are going her way, Addie choose to look the other way — but more puzzling things keep happening, and soon Addie can’t ignore them. Just like she can’t ignore the fact that the charming Reg is determined to join the military and get himself killed in war. And that so is her best friend Whaley. That’s when Addie is determined to get to the very bottom of just what happened during Seattle’s earthquake, and solve the puzzling connection between herself and the beautiful theater, and Reg and her BFF Whaley.

I make no secret of the fact that I have a total weakness for books set in the Pacific Northwest, so I liked The Jewel and the Key instantly because it took place in Seattle. But Spiegler does a brilliant job of not only bringing the so-called Emerald City to life within the pages of her book, but she brings it alive in both the past and the present. Seattle has a great history, and it comes to life within the pages of The Jewel and the Key.

Spiegler also does a masterful job of combining historical fiction with a modern story involving time travel. And while it’s a bit more of the magical sort of time travel than the scientific sort, it works here perfectly.

Overall, she brings together a lovable cast of characters — from the charming narrator Addie, to her friends, her family, and the lively folks at the Jewel theater. They’re all people I could easily see myself spending time with, which made reading about them all the more enjoyable.

My only wish for this book was for more. The ending is sweet, and will leave you with a great feeling. But I wanted to know more of the “after” story. I’m just hoping for a companion book or a sequel, preferably from Reg’s POV.

The Jewel and the Key is in stores now!

What’s next for Sweetly author Jackson Pearce …

Sweetly by Jackson Pearce may have only been out for about a week now, but as fans of Jackson’s work, we’re always eager to hear what she’s working on next! So here’s a look at a couple of her upcoming books!

Fathomless

Fathomless is another companion to Sisters Red and Sweetly, and continues the concept of adapted/modernized fairy tales. In this case, Fathomless is a twist on The Little Mermaid. When we interview Jackson last week, she had this to say:

I really love the story. I’ve tried to incorporate the original fairytale as much as possible, while also paying homage to the more well known versions of The Little Mermaid. Though there are no talking crustaceans. I’m sorry.

Fathomless is described by Little Brown as such:

The third book in the SISTERS RED series, FATHOMLESS is a dark retelling of Hans Christian Anderson’s THE LITTLE MERMAID set in the SISTERS RED universe.

Here is the synopsis from Jackson’s blog:

Celia Reynolds is the youngest in a set of triplets, and the one with the least valuable power. Anne can see the future, Jane can see the present—therefore essentially read minds—and all Celia can do is see the past.

Lo doesn’t know who she is. Or who she was. Once a human, she is now almost entirely a creature of the sea—an undine, a nymph, a mermaid; all terms too pretty for the soulless creature she knows she’s becoming. The other ocean girls, her “sisters,” tell her there’s only one way for her to earn her soul and humanity back—convince a mortal to love her, and steal his.

Lo thinks a soul is within her grasp when she saves a guitarist, Jude, from drowning. When Celia intervenes, she accidentally reads Lo’s past, calling out Lo’s long-forgotten human name. The two forge a friendship, meeting by the shore to remember Lo’s old life, to talk, to share secrets they’d never tell their “real” sisters.

Yet remembering makes Lo more desperate than ever for a soul– and despite Jude’s blossoming romance with Celia, she can’t resist longing for his. Straddling the line between humanity and darkness, Lo struggles to find her place on either side, while Celia wonders just what she and her power have unleashed. But the sister you choose can be more powerful than those you’re born with– in a fight against Lo’s sisters and the waves themselves, Jude and Celia risk their lives to save Lo from her own darkness. But is a soulless, wanting existence better than none at all?

Look for Fathomless sometime next year, hopefully!

Purity

This is a new, standalone book from Jackson:

A contemporary novel about love, loss, God, and sex (but not necessarily in that order), coming April 2012!

When we asked her about Purity last week, Jackson had this to say:

I got the idea for PURITY while driving back from a winterguard competition several years ago. At the time, I thought it would be a cute, light story about a girl losing her virginity. But when I started writing it, I realized it had to be a much deeper book than that, about God, love, and loss. It’s a very different book, but I love it so much; I’m incredibly excited for people to read it.

And here is the official synopsis:

Hours before her mother died, Shelby promised her three things– to listen to her father, to live life without restraint, and to love whenever possible.

Those promises were easy to keep when she was younger, but things get tricky when she turns sixteen. Shelby’s still-grieving father joins a committee at their church to host a Purity Ball– a dance where young women pledge their purity (namely, their virginity) to their father’s safekeeping until they marry.

But Shelby has a Life List– things she wants to do, to live without restraint like she promised her mother– and getting married young isn’t on it. Waiting until she’s thirty to have her first time isn’t on it either. But how is she supposed to keep her promise to listen to her father if she refuses to pledge? By exploiting a loophole- by losing her virginity before the Ball.

She and her best friend Jonas make a list of potential partners, but somewhere in-between failed attempts at losing her virginity, trying to answer some lingering questions about God, and planning the Ball with her Dad, Shelby starts to understand what her mother really meant, what her father really needs, and who really has the right to her PURITY.

For the comments: Which of Jackson’s new books are you most excited about? Will you be reading one or both of them?

New Young Adult Book Releases: August 30, 2011

Here’s a look at some of today’s new releases in YA & MG lit!

Fury by Elizabeth Miles

It’s winter break in Ascension, Maine. The snow is falling and everything looks pristine and peaceful. But not all is as it seems…

Between cozy traditions and parties with her friends, Emily loves the holidays. And this year’s even better–the guy she’s been into for months is finally noticing her. But Em knows if she starts things with him, there’s no turning back. Because his girlfriend is Em’s best friend.

On the other side of town, Chase is having problems of his own. The stress of his home life is starting to take its toll, and his social life is unraveling. But that’s nothing compared to what’s really haunting him. Chase has done something cruel…something the perfect guy he pretends to be would never do. And it’s only a matter of time before he’s exposed.

In Ascension, mistakes can be deadly. And three girls—three beautiful, mysterious girls—are here to choose who will pay.

Em and Chase have been chosen.

The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann

Every year in Quill, thirteen-year-olds are sorted into categories: the strong, intelligent Wanteds go to university, and the artistic Unwanteds are sent to their deaths.

Thirteen-year-old Alex tries his hardest to be stoic when his fate is announced as Unwanted, even while leaving behind his twin, Aaron, a Wanted. Upon arrival at the destination where he expected to be eliminated, however, Alex discovers a stunning secret—behind the mirage of the “death farm” there is instead a place called Artime.

In Artime, each child is taught to cultivate their creative abilities and learn how to use them magically, weaving spells through paintbrushes and musical instruments. Everything Alex has ever known changes before his eyes, and it’s a wondrous transformation.

But it’s a rare, unique occurence for twins to be separated between Wanted and Unwanted, and as Alex and Aaron’s bond stretches across their separation, a threat arises for the survival of Artime that will pit brother against brother in an ultimate, magical battle.

Dust & Decay by Jonathan Maberry

Six months have passed since the terrifying battle with Charlie Pink-eye and the Motor City Hammer in the zombie-infested mountains of the Rot & Ruin. It’s also six months since Benny Imura and Nix Riley saw something in the air that changed their lives. Now, after months of rigorous training with Benny’s zombie-hunter brother Tom, Benny and Nix are ready to leave their home forever and search for a better future. Lilah the Lost Girl and Benny’s best friend Lou Chong are going with them.

Sounds easy. Sounds wonderful. Except that everything that can go wrong does. Before they can even leave there is a shocking zombie attack in town. But as soon as they step into the Rot & Ruin they are pursued by the living dead, wild animals, insane murderers and the horrors of Gameland –where teenagers are forced to fight for their lives in the zombie pits. Worst of all…could the evil Charlie Pink-eye still be alive?

In the great Rot & Ruin everything wants to kill you. Everything…and not everyone in Benny’s small band of travelers will make it out alive.

The Gray Wolf Throne by Cinda Williams Chima

Han Alister thought he had already lost everyone he loved. But when he finds his friend Rebecca Morley near death in the Spirit Mountains, Han knows that nothing matters more than saving her. The costs of his efforts are steep, but nothing can prepare him for what he soon discovers: the beautiful, mysterious girl he knew as Rebecca is none other than Raisa ana’Marianna, heir to the Queendom of the Fells. Han is hurt and betrayed. He knows he has no future with a blueblood. And, as far as he’s concerned, the princess’s family killed his own mother and sister. But if Han is to fulfill his end of an old bargain, he must do everything in his power to see Raisa crowned queen.

Meanwhile, some people will stop at nothing to prevent Raisa from ascending. With each attempt on her life, she wonders how long it will be before her enemies succeed. Her heart tells her that the thief-turned-wizard Han Alister can be trusted. She wants to believe it—he’s saved her life more than once. But with danger coming at her from every direction, Raisa can only rely on her wits and her iron-hard will to survive—and even that might not be enough.

The Gray Wolf Throne is an epic tale of fierce loyalty, unbearable sacrifice, and the heartless hand of fate.

The Fox Inheritenceby Mary E. Pearson

Once there were three. Three friends who loved each other—Jenna, Locke, and Kara. And after a terrible accident destroyed their bodies, their three minds were kept alive, spinning in a digital netherworld. Even in that disembodied nightmare, they were still together. At least at first. When Jenna disappeared, Locke and Kara had to go on without her. Decades passed, and then centuries.

Two-hundred-and-sixty years later, they have been released at last. Given new, perfect bodies, Locke and Kara awaken to a world they know nothing about, where everyone they once knew and loved is long dead.

Everyone except Jenna Fox.

And in stores this Thursday, September 1st:

The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch

The wars that followed The Collapse nearly destroyed civilization. Now, twenty years later, the world is faced with a choice—rebuild what was or make something new.

Stephen Quinn, a quiet and dutiful fifteen-year-old scavenger, travels Post-Collapse America with his Dad and stern ex-Marine Grandfather. They travel light. They keep to themselves. Nothing ever changes. But when his Grandfather passes suddenly and Stephen and his Dad decide to risk it all to save the lives of two strangers, Stephen’s life is turned upside down. With his father terribly injured, Stephen is left alone to make his own choices for the first time.

Stephen’s choices lead him to Settler’s Landing, a lost slice of the Pre-Collapse world where he encounters a seemingly benign world of barbecues, baseball games and days spent in a one-room schoolhouse. Distrustful of such tranquility, Stephen quickly falls in with Jenny Tan, the beautiful town outcast. As his relationship with Jenny grows it brings him into violent conflict with the leaders of Settler’s Landing who are determined to remake the world they grew up in, no matter what the cost.

For the comments: Which of today’s new YA releases are you most excited about? Any others we forgot?

Featured Book: Introducing Fury by Elizabeth Miles

This week, we’re featuring the new book Fury by Elizabeth Miles — in stores tomorrow. We’ve got some great features this week, including a look at the book’s fantastic playlist and your chance to win a copy of the book.

But first, here’s more about the book itself:

It’s winter break in Ascension, Maine. The snow is falling and everything looks pristine and peaceful. But not all is as it seems…

Between cozy traditions and parties with her friends, Emily loves the holidays. And this year’s even better–the guy she’s been into for months is finally noticing her. But Em knows if she starts things with him, there’s no turning back. Because his girlfriend is Em’s best friend.

On the other side of town, Chase is having problems of his own. The stress of his home life is starting to take its toll, and his social life is unraveling. But that’s nothing compared to what’s really haunting him. Chase has done something cruel…something the perfect guy he pretends to be would never do. And it’s only a matter of time before he’s exposed.

In Ascension, mistakes can be deadly. And three girls—three beautiful, mysterious girls—are here to choose who will pay.

Em and Chase have been chosen.

You can also explore the world of Fury on the exclusive Fury Series fansite. Check out more about Fury and the upcoming two books in the series, plus much more!

Introducing The Jewel & the Key by Louise Spiegler

Today we begin a week-long feature on The Jewel & the Key by Louise Spiegler, in stores now! We have a great week in store, but to kick things off, we begin with a contest!

The Contest:

Would you rather live in the present day, or some time period of the past? Tell us in 2-3 sentences by filling out The Jewel & the Key Contest Entry Form!

The Prize:

Two (2) winners will receive a copy of The Jewel & the Key

The Rules:

  • One entry per person
  • U.S. only
  • Use the entry form
  • Responses must be 2-3 sentences only

The Deadline:

All entries are due by midnight (PT) on Monday, September 5th.

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

Meanwhile, here’s more about The Jewel & the Key:

An earthquake and the discovery of a mysterious antique mirror unleash forces that jolt sixteen-year-old Addie McNeal back to 1917 Seattle, just as the United States is entering World War I. Addie finds herself shuttling back and forth between past and present, drawn in both times to the grand Jewel Theater. In both decades the existence of the Jewel is threatened and war is looming . . . and someone she cares about is determined to fight.

Eventually, Addie realizes that only she has the key to saving the Jewel—and the lives of her friends. But will she figure out how to manipulate the intricately woven threads of time and truly set things right?

The Magnificent 12: The Trap by Michael Grant: Clue #7

Today we’re delighted to play host to Stop 7 on the official blog tour for The Magnificent 12: The Trap by Michael Grant, the latest in his best-selling fantasy adventure series.

In The Magnificent 12: The Trap, Mack MacAvoy already answered The Call. Now he must assemble the Magnificent Twelve and avoid The Trap if he’s to save the world from the wicked Pale Queen. But time is short—the Pale Queen’s banishment ends in 35 days and she will be free to destroy the world! Can Mack assemble the Twelve and avoid The Trap?

Now you can join the adventure! Read along on the blog tour as Grant introduces new & old characters from The Magnificent 12, and gives sneak peeks at their adventures in The Trap. Each stop on the blog tour will reveal a clue about a worldly location that the Magnificent 12 visit in The Trap. Visit all of the blog stops to discover all eight locations. And at the final stop, you can enter all eight locations to win a signed copy of both Magnificent 12 books!

Ready to get your Mag 12 on? Here’s your seventh character and clue:

Stefan Marr

Like Mack, Stefan Marr is in seventh grade. Unlike Mack, he’s fifteen. He’s also big, blonde, blue-eyed, and handsome. And let’s not forget absolutely terrifying. Stefan might not be what you’d call academically gifted, but he makes up for it with his fearlessness. While Mack has twenty-one identified phobias, Stefan has zero. In fact, he actually goes out looking for frightening things. When Stefan sees a sign that reads, “Beware of Dog,” he interprets that to mean, “Come on in.”

As king of the bullies at Mack’s school, it’s always been Stefan’s job to torture Mack. Until, that is, Mack saves Stefan’s life one day and everything changes. Suddenly, Mack is under Stefan’s wing. So, when Mack learns he must go find the rest of the Magnificent Twelve and save the world from the wicked Pale Queen, there’s no question in Stefan’s mind: he’s going too. Because that’s the thing about Stefan – he might be a bully, but he’s one loyal bully. It’s possible he might not be too happy with his choice when in THE TRAP he’s accidentally shrunken down to the size of a butterfly, but we’re sure the Magnificent Twelve will be able to get him back to his regular, bully-like size. Right?

Clue: THE TRAP location #7: This fancy store in the United Kingdom has a motto of “Omnia Omnibus Ubique.” That’s Latin, by the way, not Vargran. But for one measly bonus point, you can translate the Latin into Vargran (Note: There. Are. No. Bonus. Points. We’re not sure why we keep offering them. Sorry.)

Find the next clue tomorrow at The Book Smugglers! !

And just in case you missed the first 6 clues, we’ll fill you in:

Clue: THE TRAP location #1: If you’re in Beijing, China and craving deep-fried crickets, centipedes, and lizards for dinner, this is the place to go. Hint: it’s not McDonald’s! Read it and meet Grimluk at The O.W.L.

Clue: THE TRAP location #2: With 9,999 rooms, this is the world’s largest surviving palace complex. For 9,999 bonus points, memorize a map of this place. (Note: We lied—there aren’t any bonus points. But if you still want to memorize a map of 9,999 rooms . . . you’re crazy.) Read it and meet Mack at Mundie Moms.

Clue: THE TRAP location #3: People say you can see this Chinese monument from space. We’ve never been to space, so we can’t say for sure if that’s true, but it’s definitely HUGE. For a bonus point, build a model of this monument out of 1 million Popsicle sticks. (Note: We lied again. No bonus points. But we’ll help you eat Popsicles if you want.) Read it and meet Risky at Charlotte’s Library.

Clue: THE TRAP location #4: This location is an ancient distinctive rock formation in Germany. It’s sort of like the German equivalent of Uluru, which you might remember from BOOK 1: THE CALL. Giant rocks. Gotta love ’em. Read it and meet Jarrah at Reading Nook.

Clue: THE TRAP location #5: This location was home to the ancient Norse god, Thor, before Thor fell to earth and met Natalie Portman and became a movie star.  Read it and meet Paddy at Alison’s Bookmarks.

Clue: THE TRAP location #6: You can find these massive upright stones arranged in a mysterious circle in England. What you won’t find is an explanation of who put them there. Seriously, what’s up with all these giant rocks? Read it and meet Golem at The Reading Zone.

Join The Magnificent 12 online community: Play free games, create an avatar, enter sweepstakes, and earn points at www.themag12.com! You can also browse inside the book now online at Harper Collins Childrens.