Category Archives: Feature

Top 10 YA Audiobooks (to Listen to in Your 2016 Buick Regal*)

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Since I recently got to try out the AMAZING new technology in the 2016 Buicks that makes listening to audiobooks on the go so much easier — not to mention Buick’s new partnership with — I thought today warranted a look at the best YA audiobooks out there for your listening pleasure. And since I don’t actually listen to a lot of audiobooks, I turned to my good friend Lauren, who listens to them voraciously! Today, she stops by with this guest post to share HER favorite YA audiobooks (plus, a few adult audiobooks, too).

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I fought audiobooks for a long time. I would get super drowsy when I’d listen and drive, and nothing really captivated me. That all changed a few years ago when, at the start of a month-long road trip, a friend whose book opinion I trust gave me a whole series of audiobooks for the drive. Figuring it couldn’t hurt to try once again, especially with such strong encouragement, I dug in. And it has completely changed my reading life.

buick viewsI don’t say that lightly! I’m head of the book department for, a site that covers all sorts of scifi and fantasy goodness, and so I’m always getting ARCs to read. But what do I do about other books, books on my to-read list that keep getting pushed further down the pile due to the ever-increasing ARC influx? Audiobooks.

What makes a good audiobook? Obviously the story needs to be captivating to you, but I think things like distinct and consistent accents for each and every character, alternating male and female narrators for books that have different POV, good pacing, consistency of narrators in series, and narrators who really show emotion in their voice, these are all things that add an extra level to audiobooks.

I’ve listened to 45 audiobooks this year so far (new and old releases alike). So many of them were amazing, but I wanted to share the books and series that really captivated me as a listener, not just with the story.

So here’s my list of some of my favorite audiobooks, in no particular order:

scorpio races1: The Scorpio Races, by Maggie Stiefvater

This book is probably the best audiobook I’ve ever listened to. There was definitely magic made between Maggie’s lyrical words and the beautiful voices of narrators Steve West and Fiona Hardingham.

ember in the ashes2: An Ember in the Ashes, by Sabaa Tahir

Holy crap, this one. One of the best things about audiobooks is that you really get to experience the story on a deeper level if it’s told well. There’s a really intense, emotional scene in this book that was absolutely horrific to listen to, in the best way possible. I couldn’t skim ahead, and it definitely added to my reading experience with this one. Narrated by Steve West and Fiona Hardingham (seeing a trend here?).

these broken stars3: The Starbound Trilogy (These Broken Stars & This Shattered World) by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner.

Two different books, three different narrators for each. Beyond alternating narrators between the POVs of the main male and female protagonists, there are weird interludes between chapters that takes listening to a higher level. I’m eagerly awaiting book 3, out in December.

throne of glass4: The Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas

Narrator Elizabeth Evans really brings Celaena and the world of this series to life with her no-nonsense way of speaking. She definitely does a great job capturing the tone of these books.

falling kingdoms5: The Falling Kingdoms series by Morgan Rhodes

I absolutely love this series, and the narration really just adds another layer of awesome to an already awesome story. Though there is only one narrator- Fred Berman – he does a fantastic job of capturing the voices of the many different important characters that make up this epic tale. The next book is out in December and it can’t come fast enough.

sabriel6: The Abhorsen Trilogy by Garth Nix.

I was late to this series, only having read it last year. But listening to it was an absolute joy, as it’s narrated by none other than actor Tim Curry. Even if you’ve read these ones I’d recommend giving them a listen. He embodies the characters in such a way that I will forever hear his voice in my head when I think of them. Seriously, these are outstanding.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns7: The Girl of Fire and Thorns series by Rae Carson.

Narrator Jennifer Ikeda miiiiight be my favorite narrator. She does an absolutely fantastic job of capturing the character voices, and I’ve listened to a lot of her stuff, including this series. Take her strong acting voice and combine it with Rae’s amazing trilogy and this is a win-win audio series.

acotar8: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas (narrated by Jennifer Ikeda)

Seeing a narrator trend here? ;) I don’t really like fae books particularly much, but Sarah’s storytelling with Jennifer’s voice made me really love this one.

trial by fire9: The Worldwalkers series by Josephine Angelini

This was actually my first series of Josie’s, I came across Trial by Fire in my library and thought it sounded interesting. I completely fell in love with the creativity of this series, and I have since devoured Firewalker. Narrator Emma Galvin did a wonderful job keeping me connected with the characters.

uprooted10: Uprooted by Naomi Novik (narrated by Julia Emelin)

This book touches on eastern European fairy tales, and the narrator has an accent to match. Absolutely wonderful story with a great narration.

Other great audiobooks I did this year:

  • The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard (narrated by Amanda Dolan)
  • The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson (narrated by Emily Rankin)
  • The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey (narrated by Julia Whelan)

Also enjoy reading adult stuff every once in a while? I have some extra recommendations for you as well!

The Stormlight Archive series by Brandon Sanderson (narrated by Kate Reading and Michael Kramer). These audiobooks will completely immerse you into Sanderson’s epic fantasy world. This series on audio is one of my favorites.

Anything written by Jim Butcher (seriously). He really lucked out with audiobooks. His fantasy series, The Codex Alera (narrated by Kate Reading), is phenominal, and honestly, The Harry Dresden Files are what started all of this audiobook obsession for me. They’re narrated by James Marsters (Spike from Buffy!) and he is Harry.

The All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness (narrated by Jennifer Ikeda). This series is one of the best I’ve read in a long time, and when it’s brought to life by Jennifer I am completely captivated. This is the only series I’ve ever listened to all the way through more than once.

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lauren zurchinLauren Zurchin is a photographer and the creator of the Beyond Words author fantasy charity calendar. She’s also book managing editor for You can find her at

*You can listen to these audiobooks in ANY car or on any device, we just really particularly enjoyed the experience of listening to audiobooks in our 2016 Buick Regal. And by “our,” I mean the one Buick loaned us for the weekend. 





Top 8 Features in the 2016 Buick Regal

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During our recent trip to Big Sur, California — during which my husband and I got to enjoy a relaxing weekend away, all while testing out Buick’s new in-car technology & partnership with — we got to drive around in a 2016 Buick Regal. And while my area of expertise is more on the book end of things, there was quite a bit I loved about that car.

So as a regular driver with no special expertise in cars — here are my top 8 favorite features in the 2016 Buick Regal:

8. Apple CarPlay capability (& Android Auto coming soon!)

It's so easy to download & listen to audiobooks in the new 2016 Buicks!

Photo Credit: Buick

The compatibility between the new 2016 Buick Regal and Apple CarPlay makes synching your device — and all of its apps and functions — with your car easier than ever. And as a dedicated Android user, I was THRILLED to learn that an update in early 2016 (March-ish) will make the cars compatible with Android Auto, as well!

7. Get up & go!

curvesAdmittedly, my husband did most of the driving during our trip — mostly because he’s a bit of a motor-head and loves driving zippy cars on windy roads, and I prefer taking in the scenery and snapping photos.

So this trip — and this car — were perfect for him. Derek LOVED cruising along Highway 1, which hugs the California coast. The Regal handled the curves beautifully, never faltered getting up to speed, and overall gave us an insanely smooth ride.

6. So comfy.

buick regal interior

Photo Credit: Buick

Riding in the 2016 Buick Regal was like lounging around the house in my favorite pajamas … that is, unbelievably comfortable. Despite a sleek and sporty exterior, the interior of this car is roomy and spacious. The seats are super comfortable and supportive (I often get back issues during long drives — but not so during our 2-hour drive to Big Sur). And all-in-all, it just oozes the feel of a luxury ride … but at a reasonable price point.

5. Adaptive cruise control.

buick viewsDo you ever have those days where you’re doing a lot of driving and you just want to use cruise control to give yourself a break — but there’s too much traffic? Too many cars on the road? Speeds not consistent enough?

The new 2016 Buick has got that covered with adaptive cruise control — which speeds up and slows down according to traffic, all while maintaining a comfortable distance from the car in front of you. The car doesn’t quite drive itself … but with this feature, it almost does.

4. In-Car WiFi

buick audiobooks

Photo Credit: Buick

Every new 2016 Buick — regardless of make or model — comes standard with a built-in 4G LTE WiFi hotspot, so you’re always connected.

And the WiFi is lightning fast, too! We downloaded the entire audiobook for All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr — a 16 hour recording — in a matter of minutes, while cruising through traffic.

3. Lane. Change. Indicator. Lights.

buick regal

Photo Credit: Buick

When I first started driving the 2016 Regal, I was frustrated by the major blind spots when I went to change lanes. Until I discovered the most amazing feature: lane change indicator lights.

What are these? On each side mirror is a little light that illuminates whenever there is a car in the lane to your left or right. (The light on your left mirror illuminates when there is a car in the left lane, and vice versa.) So when you go to change lanes, you don’t NEED to look out the window and those pesky blind spots don’t matter anymore. The car tells you when it’s clear.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to swerve suddenly back into my lane because a car I didn’t see comes speeding along just as I try to change lanes. This is a feature I wish I had in my current car right now.

2. Unbelievable gas mileage.

big surMy husband and I could not BELIEVE what good gas mileage we were getting on our drive from the San Jose airport, down windy Highway 1, to Big Sur — almost 100 miles, and we barely used a quarter of a tank.

In fact, the gas mileage was SO good … we thought we were driving a hybrid. I mean, I could have SWORN it was a hybrid. Until the Buick rep assured me that while the Regal does COME in a hybrid option, we were not driving one of them.

1. The car reads books to you!

all the light_buickFor a book nerd like me, this really was the coolest feature to the Buick Regal — especially considering it is currently the only car that actually caters to book lovers. The integration of Apply CarPlay (and soon to include Android Auto, which is great news for Android users like myself) makes it easier than ever to listen to your audiobooks on the go.

With that in-car WiFi as a standard feature, it’s also easy to download new books wherever you are. Plus, with the new partnership between Buick and, you’ll get two free audiobook downloads next year!

Try it for yourself! Head on down to your local Buick dealership and ask to check out any of their 2016 models with this new technology.

The Perfect Car for Book-Lovers? Yes, It Exists.

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The world has yet to invent a car that drives itself, so you can read while you get to your destination — but Buick may have invented the next best thing: a car that reads to you while you drive.

It's so easy to download & listen to audiobooks in the new 2016 Buicks!The car in question is any 2016 model Buick — which all come equipped standard with OnStar 4G LTE and built-in WiFi hotspot, letting you easily stream an audiobook using your phone or other wireless device. And thanks to a new partnership with, Buick owners will get two free book downloads through the end of next year.

What’s MORE important is that with the new in-car technology, Buick drivers can actually listen to their audiobooks through the car’s audio system using an easy integration with Apple CarPlay (and for Android users, an update in early 2016 will allow you to use Android Auto for the same feature). It’s a seamless blend of technology that makes it easier for you to  listen to your audiobooks on the go — and then pick them up seamlessly at home.

And I’m not just regurgitating that from the press release. Buick recently invited me and my husband to try it out for ourselves. We flew down to San Jose, California, hopped in a 2016 Buick Regal, and cruised down California’s Highway 1 to scenic Big Sur, where we spent a relaxing weekend hanging out with fellow book nerds and taking in some gorgeous scenery.

all the light_buickThe folks at Buick also provided us with a copy of Anthony Doerr’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel All the Light We Cannot See, plus a free download of the audiobook — which we were able to listen to and enjoy during our drive. We actually downloaded the audiobook while we were driving, using the car’s built-in WiFi … and damn, it’s better Internet service than I get at home! The download was super fast, and the listening was seamless. I’m not a huge audiobook listener myself (I tend to get distracted easily), but the technology was so dang easy to use, I could easily get hooked if I owned one of these cars.

Buick in CarmelAnd after driving one for a weekend? I do want one — and so does my husband. (But more on what we loved about the car later this week!)

All-in-all, it was a pretty spectacular experience — and totally changed my perception of Buick. This is NOT your grandpa’s car, guys … it’s sleek, modern, and they are catering to book nerds. And that last part really gives them a place in my heart.

Tune in later this week for more features about our adventures with Buick,, and Big Sur!

Buick Caters to Book Lovers Who Drive!

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While most of us book lovers would probably prefer to just stay home and read all day, every day … we know that’s not realistic. We have jobs to go to; families to attend to: places to be, people to see.

It's so easy to download & listen to audiobooks in the new 2016 Buicks!

It’s so easy to download & listen to audiobooks in the new 2016 Buicks!

Fortunately, you can at least continue enjoying books en route to your destination thanks to audiobooks — and the folks at Buick are trying to make it easier than ever with their new in-car technology and partnership with

Listening to a new book is easy in a Buick, thanks to OnStar 4G LTE being standard on every 2016 model. And thanks to, downloads of two books are free through the end of next year.

Any Buick customer with an active OnStar subscription can redeem the offer through the RemoteLink smartphone app or a live advisor. The offer is part of OnStar AtYourService, a new platform that delivers value every day to drivers – from content like, to location-based offers at local, regional and national retailers, to hotel room booking services through

“Using connectivity to offer new value and services demonstrates our innovative approach to customer service,” said Duncan Aldred, global vice president of Buick Sales, Service and Marketing. “The features delivered through our 4G LTE connectivity platform have the potential to make every drive more productive or entertaining. This is not technology just for technology’s sake.”

So shiny! Wouldn't it be lovely to listen to a good audiobook while cruising in this beauty?

So shiny! Wouldn’t it be lovely to listen to a good audiobook while cruising in this beauty?

Yep, two free downloads — and technology that comes standard in every 2016 Buick makes it easier than ever to listen to books while you drive, and pick up those books seamlessly when you get out of the car.

Seems like Buick beat the other car makers to the punch when it comes to catering to readers like me! This weekend, I’ll be trying out the new technology — and one of the new 2016 Buicks — for myself. Following along on Twitter @NovelNovice and on Instagram @sgundell for live updates this weekend (you can also follow the hashtag #ThatsABuick for updates from others), and then check back next week for my full report.

Read more from their press release here!

Turn Your Favorite Book Covers into Pumpkin Carving Patterns

halloween reads
Today we have an exclusive post from YA enthusiast & pumpkin-carving expert Christie Speich, teaching us how to turn our favorite book covers into a pattern you can carve on pumpkins. Christie is a former Novel Novice staff member, and her pumpkin carving mastery has been featured on MTV, People magazine, Lionsgate social media, and more. (Seriously, she is a PRO.)

In addition to teaching us how to create our own patterns, Christie has included some brand-new, original designs just for us featuring some of this year’s hottest books, as well as rounding up some popular favorites!

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HungerGames_ChristieSpeich-Halloween will be here before you know it, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll be representing your favorite books in pumpkins. In fact, my obsession with carving pumpkins started thanks to my obsession with Twilight.

My first ever “advanced” pumpkin carving was a rendition of the Twilight movie poster. After that rotted away in days, I learned about foam pumpkins, and more and more involved patterns.

The great news is that pumpkin patterns for YA books are generally easy to find thanks to YA’s popularity the last several years. You can find free pumpkin patterns as well as ones for purchase (and for cheap!)

Of course, it’s usually the most popular books that have the most variety of pattern options available, and maybe your favorites aren’t out there. So I’m going to teach you a way to make a basic pumpkin carving pattern based on your favorite book. (You could use it for any design, really.)

I’m going to walk you through the steps I took to create this Percy Jackson-themed pattern, which you can download for free among several others that I created.


About Pumpkin Patterns

There are basically two types of pumpkin carving patterns: ones with just cut-outs and ones that also include shading.

Shading is when you shave off the pumpkin skin, but not cut through the flesh completely. It results in a section that is darker in color than the pieces that are cut out, but lighter than the pumpkin that remains intact. This gives the carving depth.

In pumpkin patterns, shading is usually represented with gray, while parts that are cut out are represented with black. Many websites that sell pumpkin patterns show “mockups” of the pattern so you can see what it looks like once it’s carved (like the picture above). In mockups, the shading is represented in orange, the cut outs are represented in yellow, and the pumpkin left intact is represented in black.

Tips to Remember!

tipYou’re working with 2 colors: light and dark. If you decide to include shading in your pattern, you’ll have 3 colors: light, dark, and medium.

Don’t leave any “floaters” in your pattern. That means in an area that you plan to cut out, you can’t have any non-cut out pieces within it. In this example, if you cut out the “a”, the red area would fall out.

Making the pattern

What we’re doing with this method is basically making a silhouette of the design.

  • Choose what part of the book cover you’re going to put on the pumpkin. You can either work in a graphics program like Photoshop or do it by hand.

If by hand, print out the image, and trace the outline of the object onto a fresh sheet of paper. Do not color it in.

If with software, outline the object in black and fill it in. Erase anything from the image that you don’t want in your pumpkin. Make the background white.

In the case of my example, it’s the Pegasus.


  • This shape is what will remain in the pumpkin, so you can add cutouts or shading to this shape. Draw those in.

If you are drawing by hand, color the cut outs black and the shading parts gray.

If you are using software, color the cut outs white and the shading parts gray.

In the case of my example, it’s the eye, wings, and other details.


  • Draw a circle (or square, triangle, or whatever fits the look you want) around your shape. Connect the shape to the edge of the circle in at least one place. The more or the larger the connections are, the better. The less connections, the harder to carve.


  • If you are drawing by hand, color the inside of the circle black, except where your design is.
  • If you are using software, fill in the area outside of the circle black. Then use your software’s Invert feature to reverse the image. All the parts that were black will become white, and all the parts that were white will become black. The gray parts will remain gray.

CHB-Step4As you can see, although there are multiple points the Pegasus is connected to the circle, each one is pretty narrow. This is a carve that would requires patience and careful cutting. I’d recommend doing the shading first, then cut out the circle in sections, starting with the wings and then the mane.


If you want to include letters in your design, there are three options:

  • Shade them completely. In this case, you simply shade the whole letter just how it is.


  • If you want them cut out, many of the letters will work just fine as is. However, some such as O, A, B, etc. will require a little additional work:
    1. Color in the letter with black to mark it as a cut out
    2. Add in shaded areas that will connect the middle piece to the rest of the pumpkin. Color these areas gray


  • Just cut out the letter. You won’t have the middle piece, but it might be the look you want.


Remember, this is just a basic, simple method for creating pumpkin carving patterns. Turning an image into a pumpkin carving with depth is an art form. It’s worth the small price of a pumpkin carving pattern if you can find what you want.

Pumpkin Patterns

Here are some YA-themed pumpkin patterns I’ve found over the last couple of years. Some are free and some are not. Scroll down for LOTS of options.

I’ve created several free patterns for you as well:

Dumplin by Julie Murphy

Dumplin-mockup Dumplin2-mockup dumplin-crown2-mockup dumplin-crown-mockup

The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough

Game-of-Love-and-Death2-moc Game-of-Love-and-Death-mock

Percy Jackson, Camp Half-Blood

Half-Blood-Camp-mockup Half-Blood-Camp3-mockup

More Happy than Not by Adam Silvera


Paper Towns by John Greene (movie poster)


The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh


Harry Potter







Hunger Games


Kate Hart as done several pumpkin carving patterns for YA books and she gives them away free. (Please watch for “floaters” in some of her patterns.)

About the Author

Eleanor-and-Park-cspeich-weAspiring YA author Christie Speich has been carving pumpkins since she was a kid, but it’s only been since 2008 that she’s been carving awesome pumpkins. Since then, her pumpkins have won contests and been featured by People Magazine. Christie has created step-by-step video tutorials for pumpkin carving, and offers over 40 free pumpkin carving patterns for download at her website, Carve Awesome Pumpkins.

Beyond … Of Nightmares: The Poet Anderson Universe

Poet Anderson Week
As we wrap-up our week-long feature spotlighting Poet Anderson … Of Nightmares by Tom DeLonge & Suzanne Young, we wanted to give you a little taste of what else is available in the Poet Anderson TransMedia universe:

Poet Anderson: The Dream Walker Animated Short Film

This award-winning animated short film also features original music from Angels & airwaves. The novel … Of Nightmares is a prequel of sorts to the film. Here’s a preview:

Poet Anderson Graphic Novel Series

There are currently three graphic novels available in the Poet Anderson universe:

poet anderson comic1 poet anderson comic2 poet anderson comic3

… Of Nightmares Original EP

Featuring four original songs by Angels & Airwaves, the EP doubles as a soundtrack to the … Of Nightmares novel. Here’s one of the songs on the album:

Discover more online at To The Stars Media.


Poet Anderson … Of Nightmares: Exclusive Flash Questions with Tom DeLonge & Suzanne Young

Poet Anderson Week
Today, we have an exclusive round of flash questions with the authors of Poet Anderson … Of Nightmares, Tom DeLonge and Suzanne Young. Thanks for stopping by, guys!

Poet Cover Sept 17 2016Take-out food of choice?

Tom: Bean, rice and cheese burrito from Sombrero’s

Suzanne: Pizza, obviously.

Flying car or hoverboard?

Tom: Hoverboard

Suzanne: Flying car.

Snack or drink you must have when writing/creating?

Tom: 3 pump iced vanilla latte

Suzanne: Diet Pepsi and spicy snack mix.

tom delongeFavorite Disney movie?

Tom: Wall-e

Suzanne: Original Cinderella

The beach or the mountains?

Tom: Beach

Suzanne: Mountains

Song that can always get you dancing?

Tom: Anything by the Descendants

Suzanne: “A-Punk” by Vampire Weekend

suzanne young bwFavorite Halloween candy?

Tom: sour patch kids

Suzanne: Still candy corn

French fries or tater tots?

Tom: Carne Asada French fries

Suzanne: Tater tots! Especially Totchos—tater tot nachos.

Favorite villain?

Tom: Darth Vader

Suzanne: He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named

Favorite piece of clothing?

Tom: G-star jacket

Suzanne: Changing Hands Bookstore T-shirt

Private concert: who’s playing? (Alive or dead.)

Tom: Fugazi

Suzanne: Hm… Probably Eddie Vedder

Thanks again to Tom and Suzanne for taking the time to answer our flash questions today!

5 Tips for a Percy Jackson Halloween (Plus, a contest!)

Though we’ve been celebrating the ten-year anniversary of the Percy Jackson MagnusChaseCoverseries, this week author Rick Riordan launched a new series — this time inspired by Norse mythology, Magnus Chase & the Gods of Asgard. (I’m assuming the book is pretty good, because my husband stole my copy & hasn’t given it back yet!)

To celebrate both Percy and Magnus, and Halloween, we have a special post today with 5 tips to have a Percy Jackson-inspired Halloween. Plus, we’re giving away a copy of Magnus Chase & the Gods of Asgard just because! See keep reading for all the details.

1. Percy Pumpkins

Get out your pumpkin carving tools and prepare to slice & dice your gourd into a jack o’lantern worthy of the gods. We saved you the trouble and tracked down this great Camp Half-Blood carving pattern:

percy pumpkin
The above pattern was created by Christie, one of our former staff members and a pumpkin carving expert. She’ll have a guest post for us soon about turning your favorite book cover into a carving pattern — but be sure to check out her website here for more tips!

Plus, thanks to the folks at Disney, you can also carve a Magnus Chase pumpkin using the pattern and instructions found HERE.

MagnusChase-PumpkinStencil_Page_22. Percy Jackson-inspired Halloween Costumes

Grab a Camp Half-Blood t-shirt and a plastic sword, then channel your inner Percy for a simple costume. Or take your inspiration from the gods, with a draped toga and Greek-accents. Dress as one of the gods or goddesses featured in the series, or maybe even one of the villains … how cool would a Medusa costume be?!?

camp half blood tshirt goddess medusa

3. Villainous Decor

Speaking of Medusa … turn to the villains of the Percy Jackson series to help inspire your Halloween decor. How creepy/cool would it be to have a stone Medusa head as the centerpiece of your Halloween feast?

You could also find cool illustrations of some of these baddies — or even make your own! Medusa, the Minotaur, the Hydra, and Echidna would all make formidable Halloween artwork.

hydra minotaur

4. Feast for the Gods

Try whipping up some Percy Jackson-inspired treats for your Halloween celebration. You could take your cues from Percy’s mom, who always makes a blue cake or treat for his birthday. You could even concoct a blue-colored cocktail!

Or you could make an Olympus-inspired feast, completed with ambrosia salad and other classic Greek cuisine, like pita bread, hummus, olives, feta, and stuffed grape leaves.

greek food

5. Entertainment

Stage a live reading of your favorite moments from the Percy Jackson books with your friends! Or, if you’re not feeling up to acting the scenes out yourselves, grab those delicious snacks we just discussed and watch the movie adaptations!

percy movie1 percy movie2

To celebrate the release of Magnus Chase & the Gods of Asgard, we’re giving away a copy to one lucky winner. U.S. only. Prizing provided by Disney-Hyperion. Contest ends at midnight (PT) on Wednesday, October 14th.

To enter, tell us in the comments how YOU would incorporate Percy Jackson into your Halloween festivities. Then fill out the Rafflecopter form here to complete your entry and earn more chances to win!

Poet Anderson … Of Nightmares: Q&A with Tom DeLonge & Suzanne Young

Poet Anderson Week
Want to know more about what inspired the world of Poet Anderson, and the collaboration between Tom DeLonge and Suzanne Young? Today, we have a Q&A provided by To The Stars Media to help shed some light on the book Poet Anderson … Of Nightmares and the bigger project it’s a part of!

tom delongeWhat inspired the storyline of Poet Anderson and is there a character that you most identify with?

Tom: I saw a fascinating documentary about the study of nightmares at Stanford University. It talked about nightmares preparing human beings for real world events. It instantly made me think of my already existing character Poet Anderson, a post-punk and introverted kid from a rainy downtown Seattle. He’s a lucid dreamer, somebody that can see a better world, even if there is a myriad of conflict. Yes, a character that I see a lot of myself in. From the days of when I had much longer bangs. Ha.

Lucid dreaming plays a key part in the storyline, have you ever experience a lucid dream? What attracted you to the role that dreams play in our lives?

Tom: There are two main reasons that attracted me to dreams. I have had lucid dreams in the past where I can’t get these pictures out of my head to this day; wondering what they meant, and what the hell they were. I am also a daydreamer by trade, and I spend every waking hour thinking about how to improve my future, my environment, and my experience.

suzanne young bwSuzanne, what is your take on Lucid Dreaming?

Suzanne: I wish I could lucid dream. I read up on the act itself, and there are some who don’t believe it’s possible and others who think it’s a learned skill. I’d like to believe that a true lucid dreamer can modify and change his/her dream, but then again, if we all had the skill, how many of us would wake up again? It’s almost like virtual reality. But in the case of POET ANDERSON, it’s an actual reality.

Tom, the novel is part of what you call a Poet Anderson TransMedia experience. Can you explain what other media assets you have created that help tell the story and how … Of Nightmares fits into it?

Tom: I believe the future of art is the convergence of film, music, and publishing. This will create new ways for people’s imaginations to be immersed into new worlds and new ways of thinking. This is called TransMedia, a cohesive mix of various mediums of art working together leading to a much grander experience for the audience.

Poet Cover Sept 17 2016How does the novel fit in to the Poet Anderson TransMedia universe?

Suzanne: The novel tells the origin story, introducing a young adult version of Poet Anderson. We know he’s going to be a serious bad-ass, but right now, he’s Jonas Anderson and he just wants his brother and he to live their lives. Then a Night Terror and a bunch of Dream Walkers show up and throw his life into total upheaval. He grows from here, but this was a great place for him to start.

Program, TheSuzanne, some of your other novels have heavy emotional themes. Does that carry into Poet Anderson at all?

Suzanne: Most of my books are about loss and grief, and I think one of the more interesting aspects of this book, in addition to the world Tom created, is the relationship between Jonas and Alan Anderson. That sense of belonging to no one can be a driving force. Some of us have to create our own families. So I think in that aspect, fans of The Program series will connect to the emotions that Poet Anderson will stir up.

Tom, have you always wanted to write a novel? How was the experience for you?

Tom: When I was younger I could never find the desire to read. I cheated over and over and never read one book in school. Out of all of the books they had given us, in all of my years of school, I never read one of them. As Blink-182 got popular, I started to realize what really made me excited about art was the way people felt when they came together, quite an epiphany for me. I became fascinated by the world of film, books, and music coming together. Hitting somebody with a 360° bat of art on the head. Angels and Airwaves was the genesis of that. Now, whenever I have any time at all, I find myself reading anything I can get my hands on, and trying to learn something of value.

Tune in tomorrow when we have an EXCLUSIVE rapid fire question round with both Tom & Suzanne … it’s super fun!

Poet Anderson … Of Nightmares by Tom DeLonge & Suzanne Young: Release Day Celebration & Contest

Poet Anderson Week
Today we continue our week-long feature on Poet Anderson … Of Nightmares by Tom DeLonge & Suzanne Young with a release day celebration!


Poet Anderson…Of Nightmares by Tom DeLonge and Suzanne Young is now available in stores everywhere!

Poet Cover Sept 17 2016From the critically acclaimed transmedia project Poet Anderson: The Dream Walker, comes one of the most anticipated collaborations in YA literature this year: a thrilling, edge of your seat story written by award-winning musician, producer and director Tom DeLonge and New York Times bestselling author Suzanne Young.

Poet Anderson…Of Nightmares follows the epic journey of two orphan brothers, Jonas and Alan, who are Lucid Dreamers. After a tragic car accident lands Alan in a coma, Jonas sets out into the Dream World in an attempt to find his brother and wake him up. What he discovers instead is an entire shared consciousness where fear comes to life as a snarling beast called a Night Terror, and a creature named REM is bent on destruction and misery, devouring the souls of the strongest dreamers to get closer to the Waking World. With the help of a Dream Walker—a guardian of the dreamscape, Jonas must face his fears, save his brother, and become who he was always meant to be: Poet Anderson.

Buy the Book:

Goodreads | To The Stars | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | Indiebound

Sneak Peeks:

Animated Excerpt | Novel Teaser

Connect Online:

To the Stars Website | Facebook To the Stars | Twitter @ToTheStars | Instagram @ToTheStarsOfficial

About the Authors:

tom delongeTom DeLonge is an award-winning American musician, producer and director best known as the lead vocalist, guitarist and songwriter for the platinum selling rock bands Blink-182 and Angels & Airwaves. His home is San Diego, where he focuses on creating entertainment properties that bridge music, narrative and film through his multimedia company To The Stars. For the full experience of Tom’s work, visit

Facebook | Twitter @TomDeLonge | Instagram @TomDeLonge

suzanne young bwSuzanne Young is the New York Times bestselling author of The Program series. Originally from Utica, New York, Suzanne moved to Arizona to pursue her dream of not freezing to death. She is a novelist and an English teacher, but not always in that order. Suzanne is the author of THE PROGRAM, THE TREATMENT, THE REMEDY, and HOTEL RUBY.

Blog | Twitter @suzanne_young | Instagram @authorsuzanneyoung


Prizing is provided by the publisher, hosts are not responsible.

Must be 13 or older and have parental permission if under 17. No purchase necessary to win. Void where prohibited by law.

Be sure to check out our own contest HERE for more chances to win great prizes!

Don’t miss Tom DeLonge & Suzanne Young signing copies of Poet Anderson … Of Nightmares in these select cities:

poet anderson signings

This event was organized by CBB Book Promotions.