Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Contest at Kieran Scott's Blog!

Hey everyone! Just thought I'd share some contest news!

Author Kieran Scott is having a huge contest over at her blog, and there is still a few days left to enter! And it's really simple. 

One person will win autographed copies of:
  • She's So Over Him (sequel to SSDTU) when it's released next summer! 

Cool contest, right? Entering is really simple too! But hurry! It ends on Friday, so you only have a couple days left to enter!!

For more info on how to enter, go check out Kieran's blog! Don't miss out on such an incredible contest! 

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

New Header!

As I pointed out in my IMM post during the weekend, you might notice a new header for YA Book Queen!

So who made this wonderful, gorgeous header? Well, definitely not me. Any of you who have been around for awhile know I've been struggling with this blog's design for quite some time (especially regarding the header, *sigh*). 

A fabulous reader named Joni surprised me with it in an email, and I'm eternally grateful and so honored that Joni even took the time to make it, let alone let me use it as my header. As soon as I saw it, I was just so surprised and stunned at how amazing it is!

Joni's got a budding profile on Deviant Art, so check it ouHereI love "Soaring", it's gorgeous!

And thanks so much again, Joni! 


Monday, June 28, 2010

Interview: Anastasia Hopcus -- Shadow Hills

Today I have Anastasia Hopcus here to answer some questions about herself and her debut novel, Shadow Hills (out on July 13th). 

Quick! Describe Shadow Hills in 7 words or less!   
Phe finds romance and danger in Shadow Hills.

How about a bit more of description?  
Phe Archer is drawn to Shadow Hills by a series of cryptic dreams.  She starts school at Devenish Prep and finds that the residents of the town have unusual abilities.  But the most unusual townie of all may be the gorgeous and enigmatic Zach Redford.

What was the most difficult part of writing Shadow Hills? The easiest?  
The most difficult part was a major rewrite I did where I changed the ending and added about a hundred new pages.  The most fun was the research, though I don't know that I could really call it the easiest since so much of it was scientific text that I only understood about every fifth word of it.

What inspired this novel?  
It started when I saw a story on 60 minutes about a gifted savant and just grew from there.

What's one unusual talent that you have most people might not know about?  
I can recognize an actor in a movie in a split second.  I once named an actress from just a glimpse of the side of her face.  My boyfriend Brent said there was no way I could recognize someone from that, but I was right.   *triumphant*

What are you working on right now?  
I have several projects in the works, but what I'm concentrating on right now is further developing Phe's and Zach's story.

Anything else you'd like to add?  
Joining the Tenners and getting to know all these people in the online community has been great.  Everyone has been so nice and supportive of my book, and it's really been cool.  I had the pleasure of meeting a lot of the bloggers at BEA, and getting to know them has been a reallly good experience. 

Thanks so much for the interview, Anastasia! And to everyone else, I definitely suggest checking out Anastasia's very cool website, she's even got an excerpt to read!


Saturday, June 26, 2010

In My Mailbox 29

IMM is hosted by The Story Siren

For Review: 
Molly Fyde and the Blood of Billions (book 3) by Hugh Howey (signed) (OMG,OMG!! Ah, I wish I could start it now but I need to get through a few other review books first!!)

Won from Elana Johnson
- Girl Scout Cookies (Um, awesome!)
- Notebook (custom made by Elana, it's so cute!)
- $5 to Barnes and Nobles
- Bookmark matching The Maze Runner made by Elana
From the Query to the Call by Elana Johnson 
- $40 to use at Tags-n-Stones (I chose this lovely necklace!)
- Signed copy of The Maze Runner by James Dashner (and he sent a sneak preview of The Scorch Trials too!)

Won from Kieran Scott:
Yeah, I was pretty much really ecstatic to win this. Kieran (aka: Kate Brian and also as Emma Harrison) is one of my favorite writers, and has been for about seven years now.

From Library:
(not pictured, because I already returned it awhile ago---it was awesome)

And I believe that was it, but really, who knows. I've been too busy to even remember what day it is. :)

And you guys might notice a new header! I'll hopefully be able to make up a post to tell you all about that sometime this week!


In A Heartbeat by Loretta Ellsworth Review

Age: Young Adult (YA)
Release date: February 2nd, 2010
Source: Around the World Tours
Summary (from goodreads): 
When a small mistake costs sixteen-year-old Eagan her life during a figure-skating competition, she leaves many things unreconciled, including her troubled relationship with her mother. From her vantage point in the afterlife, Eagan reflects back on her memories, and what she could have done differently, through her still-beating heart.

When fourteen-year-old Amelia learns she will be getting a heart transplant, her fear and guilt battle with her joy at this new chance at life. And afterwards when she starts to feel different -- dreaming about figure skating, craving grape candy -- her need to learn about her donor leads her to discover and explore Eagan's life, meeting her grieving loved ones and trying to bring the closure that they all need to move on.
In A Heartbeat has a unique idea: that when Amelia receives a new heart, she begins to act more like Eagon (her donor). Her likes/dislikes shift, and even her attitude.

Even with such an intriguing idea, I was bored throughout the story. The story was simple, sweet, but very easy to forget about. Every time I turned a page through Amelia's narrative, I wanted to stop, or at least skip ahead to Eagon's narrative. For Amelia, all that really happens is that Amelia gets a heart. Amelia starts acting differently. Amelia meets a boy. Amelia wants to meet Eagon's family, et cetera, et cetera...I couldn't connect with her in any way. 

Eagon herself is caught in her own little world of memories. These moments were intriguing, definitely more interesting than Amelia's part of the story, but I still wasn't enjoying the novel. Her relationship with her mother and skating was interesting, and her side of the story seemed to be the more touching. I found Eagon to be a bit more developed than Amelia, and her story seemed to be wrapped up neatly by the end. I would have actually preferred the story to be narrated by Eagan entirely, even if I disliked her character, because she was more dynamic.  

Highlights: Ellsworth got creative, and the idea of gaining similar tastes/likes for things your donor liked was very intriguing and interesting.

Lowlights: I really had a hard time liking Amelia, both before and after the surgery. The story seemed a bit flat. I didn't hate this book, but I didn't love it either. 

However, I've read wonderful reviews of this novel, so I would definitely recommend you look it up on Amazon or Goodreads first, because maybe you will enjoy it more than I did!


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday

WOW is hosted by Breaking the Spine

Book: Ascendant
Author: Diana Peterfreund
Release date: September 28th, 2010
Now a fully trained unicorn hunter, Astrid Llewelyn is learning that she can’t solve all her problems with a bow and arrow. Her boyfriend has left Rome, the Cloisters is in dire financial straits, her best friend’s powers are mysteriously disintegrating, and her hope of becoming a scientist seems to be nothing but an impossible dream. 
So when she’s given the opportunity to leave the Cloisters and use her skills as part of a scientific quest to discover the Remedy, Astrid leaps at the chance. Finally, she can have exactly what she wants—or can she? At Gordian headquarters deep in France, Astrid begins to question everything she had believed: her love for Giovanni, her loyalty to the Cloisters, and—most of all—her duty as a hunter. Should Astrid be saving the world from killer unicorns or saving unicorns from the world?

I loved the first book, so I can't wait for this one!!


"Get To Know Alyx Harvey"

Hey everyone!

I received an exciting email for you Alyx Harvey fans (I really need to start reading the books, I hear they're awesome)! Check it out:

To get the word out about Alyx Harvey, author of Hearts at Stake and the upcoming Blood Feud (Book 2 - June 22nd) and Out for Blood (Book 3 - December 2010), we are creating a “Get to Know Alyx Harvey” video. In the video, Alyx will give a tour of her haunted farmhouse and maybe answer a question from YOU!
What you need to do: Submit a question for Alyx Harvey along with your name and hometown to by Monday, July 5th, 2010
Why?: If your question is chosen, it will be answered by Alyx in the video and your name and hometown will appear as well!  Look for the video after September 1st on to see if you are a winner!  PLUS everyone who submits a question will receive an exclusive sneak peak of Out for Blood!

Cool, right? Be sure to enter! Who knows, you might actually get your question answered :)