Category Archives: Book Geek Wednesday

Book Geek Wednesday: Weekly Roundup

I know. I know. Go ahead and let me have it. I’ve been a terrible blogger. With Lisa getting her wedding stuff finalized, that leaves little old me to man the blog and I won’t lie, as you can clearly tell, I’m often not up to the challenge. I meant to post last week but I had my nanny duties on Wednesday (my posting day!) along with taking care of my own toddler. Not to mention, I turned 25 on Friday. And yes, I am having a quarter life crisis, thanks for asking. 😉 Ha ha.

Anyway, I haven’t forgotten you lovely readers. I have a few things to show you. And they’re GOOD. 😀

I’ve always said that a good cover can make me stop and take notice. And although the age old adage: ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’, is good in theory, it doesn’t work when it comes to actually purchasing books, as covers are the very first introduction we get to a story. In fact, the cover to this next book made me look up the author and discover a series I didn’t even know existed.

Blurb from author’s website: SHADOWSPELL (Faeriewalker Book 2)
Coming January 4, 2011!
On top of spending most of her time in a bunkerlike safe house and having her dates hijacked by a formidable Fae bodyguard, Faeriewalker Dana Hathaway is in for some more bad news: the Erlking and his pack of murderous minions known as the Wild Hunt have descended upon Avalon. With his homicidal appetite and immortal powers, the Erlking has long been the nightmare of the Fae realm. A fragile treaty with the Faerie Queen, sealed with a mysterious spell, is the one thing that keeps him from hunting unchecked in Avalon, the only place on Earth where humans and Fae live together. Which means Dana’s in trouble, since it’s common knowledge that the Faerie Queen wants her – and her rare Faeriewalker powers – dead. The smoldering, sexy Erlking’s got his sights set on Dana, but does he only seek to kill her, or does he have something much darker in mind?

Gorgeous, isn’t it? Thanks so much to Jackie from Literary Escapism for the heads up on the cover. She and Angie (of Angieville fame) always sport some of the BEST cover reveals! 😀 

Another cover, which feeds my recent hunger for minimalist cover art that delivers a POW, is POSSESSION by Elana Johnson. Tell me this is not just beautifully eerie. And the tag line? Control or be controlled. Right up my alley. Not to mention the book deals with  brainwashing and Thinkers and a really crazy society where breaking the rules results in rehabilitation. Dystopia indeed.

Then there’s this dark and gothic cover for BLESSED by Cynthia Leitich Smith, author of ETERNAL and TANTALIZE.  I haven’t read that series myself, as I’m all vampired out, but it has gotten some really great reviews and Ms Smith has been said to give a wink to Bram Stoker. So if you’re going to do vamps, may as well respect the classics, right?

And our final book of the day- (didn’t I tell you I had quite the show?), the third and final book of the Mercy Falls trilogy. FOREVER finally has a cover! And it’s just as gorgeous as the two before it. I particularly adore how each cover captures the season it represents. This one has that late summer early autumn feel and it features SAM! 😀

Enjoy!!!

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Book Geek Wednesday: Sample Overload

This week (Monday, to be specific) I received my much anticipated iPad. *pardon as I squee yet again* As you can imagine, I’ve been playing on this bad boy for three days and downloading apps like a madwoman. As an avid reader I went straight for the iBookstore. I had high hopes for it, particularly it’s user friendly UI with the pretty page turning feature, the landscape open book layout etc. Those things did NOT disappoint, unfortunately I found the offerings thin.

So I settled for tried and true. I downloaded kindle for iPad. I already had an account from using on my smartphone, which I love. It’s easily customizable and it offers samples for like every book. Being strapped for cash as I am, I’ve been collecting samples. Far too many samples. At present most have convinced me to BUY the book in question which doesn’t bode well for my wallet. The ones I ultimately devoured were Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater, a Hollow Tree favorite, and Storm Glass by Maria V Snyder.

For those of you reading ebooks, what have you been sampling?


Book Geek Wednesday: YA Appreciation Month

For five weeks, The Book Smugglers have celebrated YA Appreciation Month, something that Lisa and I pretty much live by here on Hollow Tree, on a day to day, month by month basis. Sure we still read the classics, and we love a random foray into Middle Grade, or adult Fantasy fiction. But mostly, our hearts lie in the YA book shelves, and we’re always thrilled to see others join that bandwagon.

They did five weeks of YA lovin’, ending in an pretty epic showdown that featured authors Diana Peterfreund (Team Unicorn) and Carrie Ryan (Team Zombie) defending their respective teams as the Smugglers then went on to review the much anticipated anthology, Zombies VS. Unicorns, which features some heavy hitters in the YA fantasy/paranormal world such as Holly Black, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Scott Westerfield, and Justine  Larbalestier.

They featured an interview with author Melinda Lo, author of the breakout lesbian fairytale retelling of Cinderella, Ash.

They reviewed Inside Out, by Maria V. Snyder (who is quickly climbing up my list of favorite authors as I peruse her Glass series). And a few books I hadn’t heard of but that fit nicely into the dystopian genre Lisa highlighted yesterday, such as How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff, and The Other Side of the Island by Allegra Goodman.

There was also a very heated discussion about some of the themes in Sisters Red, which Lisa and I have anxiously been wanting to read. It seems to have stirred quite the controversy, as the author Jackson Pearce herself went and left her thoughts.

Either way, the YAAM, as its affectionately called, can be considered a great success and there are some really great things to read and learn about, so head on over to Book Smugglers and add a bunch of great new books to your TBR pile.


Book Geek Wednesday: Book Highlight

We here on Hollow Tree have fallen in love with fantasy. Irrevocably in love. I greatly appreciate the more traditional fantasies, with magic and swords and curses, but I’ve also come to appreciate and enjoy the ever growing trend of dystopian novels, the interesting sci-fi spin many of them have taken on, and the dark undertones/themes, which despite being YA feel very universal.

Keeping that in mind, I still have a soft spot for the fairytales. They are what drew me to the art of telling a story to begin with, and they are what continue to impress me as they can be written in a million different ways while still keeping that original feeling intact. And re-tellings have been everywhere.  Which is why I’m thrilled to suggest Straying the Path, a Little Red Riding Hood Anthology.

This anthology, presented by Drollerie Press, is unique in that along with various re-tellings of Little Red in the form of short stories and poems, it also includes illustrations. It looks and feels like the fairytale books of old. And though it is not necessarily strictly YA, it definitely can be appreciated by both mature YA audiences and adults alike.

The writing styles are diverse enough to remain interesting, and yet they each have a kind of fluidity, each story holding its own flair and its own unique viewpoint, yet still feeling a cohesive part of a whole.

Want a taste of what’s inside? Check out the full length excerpt here. In the meantime, check out this snippet of an excerpt from UNDER THE SKIN by Greg O. Weatherford.

Finally a thud and a scratch send me rushing to open the back door. My father stumbles in. He’s exhausted. His black, heavy fur is smeared with blood, firetruck red and clotted black. He smells of animal and fresh meat. He shuffles on his fours to the fireplace and collapses. As usual after a night’s work, he’s exhausted–his yellow, slitted eyes are rolling in their sockets. His heavy breath fills the room, his eyes close and he snores.

I lay an old blue blanket over his wolf body. When he awakes, he’ll pull his human skin back on; until then I don’t want him to be cold. Then I shrug my backpack over my shoulders and rush to school, just as the bell rings for first period.

2.

My mother taught me what to do when it happens, when he goes out. Stay quiet, stay alert.

Stay inside. Do not walk into the dark where he can find you. Say nothing to anyone. We are alone in this.


Book Geek Wednesday: Around the Blogosphere

There’s alot of noteworthy stuff happening around the blogosphere and I thought I’d share some of it with you:

For starters, Book Lovers Inc have a great interview with Caragh M O’Brien, author of Birthmarked.

After climate change, on the north shore of Unlake Superior, a dystopian world is divided between those who live inside the wall, and those, like sixteen-year-old midwife Gaia Stone, who live outside. It’s Gaia’s job to “advance” a quota of infants from poverty into the walled Enclave, until the night one agonized mother objects, and Gaia’s parents disappear.

As Gaia’s efforts to save her parents take her within the wall, she faces the brutal injustice of the Enclave and discovers she alone holds the key to a secret code, a code of “birthmarked” babies and genetic merit.

Fraught with difficult moral choices and rich with intricate layers of codes, BIRTHMARKED explores a colorful, cruel, eerily familiar world where a criminal is defined by her genes, and one girl can make all the difference.

Head over there for the chance to win a free copy and find out more about this unique dystopian novel!

Literary Agent, Nathan Bransford had a fantastic blog post yesterday about the difference between writing and storytelling. He mentioned the now famous Stephen King quote regarding Stephenie Meyer: “The real difference is that Jo Rowling is a terrific writer and Stephenie Meyer can’t write worth a darn. She’s not very good.” Are brilliant writing mechanics all that are required to create a work of art?

Though I think the sales and international success of the Twilight Saga answer that question, it is an interesting thing to ponder. Is it enough for a book to have ‘heart’? To tell a relatable story? Or does there also have to be a certain level of skill involved? Can a brilliant prose writer fail to tell a compelling story? What do you guys think?

Reading Rocks has an interview and CONTEST with Cassandra Clare, author of City of Bones, which I reviewed here.

Go forth and win books!


Book Geek Wednesday: B&N Free Ebooks

We all know that Amazon and B&N often give out classics ebooks for free. The good stuff, Pride and Prejudice, Little Women, Peter Pan, etc. But did you know that B&N has taken to giving out a few more current ebooks as well? I wish I could say there was a plethora of YA and fantasy, but since I know most of our readers vary in age, I feel comfortable saying there’s a decent selection.

I happen to be knee deep in the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning. The first book, Darkfever is available for free. This book is by no means YA, there’s swearing, sexy dangerous fae,  murder, mystery, and a man who is far more than he pretends to be. But the series is four books deep and it’s ridiculously intricate. The worldbuilding is fantastic and the mystery, as it unravels only gets more complex. I love it.

Fang, A Maximum Ride novel by James Patterson is available.  As is Pride Prejudice and Zombies.  And one I’m kind of excited about, Winter’s Passage, an Iron Fey novel by Julie Kagawa.

Check them out! You can’t go wrong with free books. 🙂


Book Geek Wednesday: Cover Pretties

Once again, Angie, from Angieville delivers some mouthwatering, brain stimulating, squee inducing goods. I absolutely love her cover reveals. Two in particular really caught my eye.

This one, because… well it’s a Jane Eyre retelling. And seriously? I can’t help but be totally excited about that.

Will it live up to the hype? It’s hard to tell. Jane Eyre is beloved by many. Will I at least give it a shot. Heck yes. It’s worth it to see if her ‘Mr. Rochester’, or in this case, Nico Rathburn, the famous rockstar making a comeback, is as dark, broody, and completely sexy as the original.

If April Lindner loves the story as much as we do, I can see her making it a tribute to remember.

The next cover that I absolutely adored was the one for Entwined by Heather Dixon, which is a retelling of the 12 Dancing Princesses, one of my favorite Grimm tales! 😀

I have seen this fairy tale make the rounds more recently, and though it seems to be in several places, it’s nice to see such original takes from different authors bringing a lesser known fairy tale to light.

Entwined won’t be released until March of next year, but it’s definitely one to keep on your radar. As though we could forget that cover. 😉

And lastly, I bring you the last in the Wicked Lovely series. Miss Marr has some serious cover mojo. I envy her. 😀

Isn’t it just stunning?

Any covers you’re drooling over lately? We’d love to see them! Link us!


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