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Tess of the D'UrbervillesThe AwakeningSome Girls BiteGirls Like Funny BoysKissed by an Angel Collector's Edition: Kissed by an Angel; the Power of Love; SoulmatesCity of Glass

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Want to go Private? by Sarah Darer Littman


"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" is:


Release Date: August 1, 2011
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Age Group: Young Adult

Abby and Luke chat online. They’ve never met. But they are going to. Soon.

When Abby meets Luke online, she can’t believe her luck. He’s nice. He’s funny. He listens to her and he thinks she’s pretty. He even gets jealous of other guys, which is adorable. Without Luke, Abby’s not sure how she’d make it through her first year of high school. Everyone, including her mom and her best friend, Faith, tells Abby that if she just made more of an effort, she’d be having fun instead of dreading each and every day as if it’s a prison sentence. But there’s nothing fun about being the lowest link in the social food chain.

Abby knows she’s not supposed to chat with random guys online. But Luke isn’t random, and he isn’t a stranger. Best of all, he really loves her. So what if she never goes out with her friends anymore and her grades are slipping? All she needs is Luke. Luke is her secret, and she’s his — it’s perfect that way. So when Luke suggests that they meet each other in person, Abby agrees. And then she’s gone. Missing. Without a trace. And everyone is left to put together the pieces. If they don’t, they’ll never see Abby again...

That’s right folks I have done it again this week and managed to pick another thought provoking read, I think next week I’ll choose a real fluffy, light hearted read but for now let’s stick to the darker stuff *rubs hands together in anticipation*

Okay so hands up if you’ve ever chatted online to random people, so of course I can’t see your hands but I’m guessing some of you have, I’ll admit that I have, in my younger years my friends and I would go on and talk to random peeps for some shits and giggles, yes we were very immature and I can see that we were a bit dippy because the internet can be a dangerous place, we never really know who we could be chatting to and apparently there are some exceptionally gross disgusting people out there who like to target kids and teens, it gives me the willies just thinking there are people like that out there. If I think about it I actually chat to random peeps online but this time it’s not through a chat line where some seedy types frequent but through my blog and all of you guys are really great, that said however I still follow some general internet safety rules (you'd be silly not to), and I guess it's these rules that must be discussed with both kids and teens so they know the potential risks that are out there.

This whole chatting online business with kids and teens is a huge issue and one that should be taken seriously so I really hope this book turns out to be as good as I think it will be, just reading the synopsis left me drooling for the book. What is obvious though is that Sarah has really done her research so if anyone’s interested Sarah has some quite startling statistics on internet use by kids and teens and also has some internet safety links.

Well that’s my “waiting on” pick, what's yours this week?

Teaser Tuesday #25


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

1. Grab you current read
2. Open to a random page
3. Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Today’s teaser is from Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins which is about this girl called Anna (duh) who is sent against her wishes to boarding school in gay ol’ Paree, otherwise known as "La Ville-Lumi√®re" (The City of Light). Now I’m not too far in but there is a pretty crush worthy guy in it, I mean he’s gorgeous, has a British accent, is really friendly and has a great name √Čtienne St.Clair *sighs with longing* need I say more ladies? Apart from the lovely St.Clair Paris is also vying for my affections, so far Stephanie Perkins makes me want to experience Paris all over again with her beautiful descriptions, I also want to gorge myself on Parisian food. So basically … so far so good, I’m really enjoying Anna, very cute read.


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“Callipygian. Having shapely buttocks.”

- p. 44, Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Last Sacrifice Cover Revealed …. and it’s pretty fugly


I know I’m a bit behind the eight ball but Entertainment Weekly’s Shelf Life recently released the cover for Richelle Mead’s new vampire academy spin off series Bloodlines and what the heck?!? The publishers have managed, once again I might add (Last Sacrifice cover anyone), create a fugly cover, why oh why are they doing this to me. I don’t like the font style and I don’t really like the model they used for Sydney on the plus side the half of face I can see on the guy appears purdy to me. So without further ado I give you all the Bloodlines cover.


Here’s what EW had to say about it …

Richelle Mead has graduated from Vampire Academy, her popular YA series that wrapped up in December with the release of its sixth and final book, and now she’s moving onto new territory. Well, somewhat new:Bloodlines will be a spin-off ofVA, moving the previously tertiary character Sydney, a human alchemist, from the sidelines to the forefront. It will also be set in a sunny Californian high school instead of that rigid, preppy-bloodsucker academy, which I imagine will be like transferring from the Undead Poets Society to Bayside High. Check out the finalized cover for the first book of the series—that’s Sydney with the filigreed face, by the way—and watch a video after the jump of Mead talking about how it will differ from Vampire Academy. Bloodlines is set to hit shelves on August 23. [Keith Staskiewicz]

I thought I better mention (cos I don’t want any crazy nutters sending me scary emails about how I destroyed their life because I gave away a Last Sacrifice spoiler) that this little posty bit down here could possibly give spoilers for Last Sacrifice so I’m telling everyone in particular those who have not read Last Sacrifice and don’t want to be given spolery goodness DO NOT READ ON, there you have all been warned.

So basically the chick on the cover is Sydney, now you remember Sydney don’t you the alchemist with the funky tats or whatever they are on her face and I believe the dude in question is Adrian (oh my poor baby I’m still sad for him from Last Sacrifice, curse you Rose but you did belong with Dimitri you just didn’t handle the whole Adrian situation well). Hhhmmm so Adrian and Sydney, maybe Sydney will heal Adrian’s broken heart, awww so sweet! Now I may be wrong about Adrian being on the cover or not but I’m pretty sure it is as there seemed to be a bit of a twitter upheaval over who the guy was so Richelle tried to calm everyone down with some bite sized (or should I say beak sized, that doesn’t work does it?) twitter hints and here they are …

The girl on Bloodlines is Sydney (note @ArcaneVault's cool Alchemist tattoo) & the guy is the one left hanging at the end of Last Sacrifice.

I guess my enigmatic clue was too enigmatic about the guy. He was a significant character, if that helps. I.e., not Ian.

Last clue. Why am I being secret at all? B/c the answer tips off how Last Sacrifice ends, and I'm protecting those who haven't read it yet.

So, ask yourselves, which guys' fates are a big question at the end of LS? Someone w/a happy ending has no need for more in a new series.

So there you have it, see it does appear to be that hunk-o-spunk Adrian.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Author Interview: Rebecca Lim



I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Rebecca Lim author of the YA angel novel Mercy. Rebecca is great (not only because she answered every one of my long list of questions!) you can tell she really believes in her book which comes through in her great answers to my questions.


For those of you who haven’t heard of Mercy before here’s the blurb


Mercy definitely stands out from the pack of other angel themed books that are currently available, I hope you all have a chance to read it. For my review simply click HERE. To visit the official Mercy website click HERE.

I hope you all enjoy the interview!

How would you describe Mercy for those who have not read the book yet?

Mercy brings together some of the genre-mashing I enjoy as a reader. It’s a YA mystery novel – but with angels and romance thrown in.

Its heroine is an exiled angel who constantly finds herself shifted into an unbroken chain of human lives – she keeps “waking” to find herself inhabiting a stranger’s body and is forced continually to think on the fly, and adapt, just to survive.

I tried to imagine what it would be like for someone with extraordinary powers to be suffering from a bizarre kind of amnesia where she only has prismatic flashes of memory. The inklings of more than one past life, and of what she’s truly capable of, will hopefully keep things interesting.

I was fascinated in the concept of Mercy being continually forced to return to Earth could you explain a bit about how you came up with the concept.

Mercy thinks she’s stuck on earth for a crime she’s committed in the past that she can’t remember. And at the risk of including a spoiler, the reason she “fell” has a more complicated basis than that, but she’s in the dark as much as the reader is until “Muse”.

I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of “the fall” (whether of humans or of Lucifer and the angels that fell with him). There’s so little actual detail on fallen angels in the bible that there’s space to play with the idea, if that makes any sense. I didn’t just want Mercy to be a “bad” angel – so her back story is slowly revealed over the course of the first 3 books.

For me Mercy stands out from the multitude of other YA angel books that are available due to the fact that it’s not simply a romance book there is also a suspenseful mystery. Where did the idea of adding this mystery to the plot come from?

I just love reading mystery stories and thrillers and they have their own internal rhythm and urgency that just makes you want to keep going until you know what the ending is. So I thought, why not include that in with the mystery of Mercy’s own search for her past? I like reading layered things, and I like to think that readers like to be challenged because each reader is an intelligent person. So I tried to build in a little more mystery and make it a little more challenging, just to keep things interesting.

The encounter Mercy has with Uri was an interesting one as it’s the first time I questioned if Mercy could really trust Luc, was this the intention of this encounter?

Yup, you got it. There are seven or eight archangels across several world faiths that are the “highest of the high” and Uriel is one of those.

What I was trying to do was signpost to people who might have been responsible for Mercy being the way she is now, and who her partner in crime (Luc) might actually be, without being too heavy handed about it.

My perception of Mercy gradually shifted throughout the book, at the start I found her voice to be a little cold and distant, slowly however her voice seemed to ‘soften’, it appeared like she really cared about Ryan and his family as well as Carmen. Was this gradual shift in the readers’ perception of Mercy what you were aiming for?

Yes, because when the novel “Mercy” starts, she’s pretty much fully in the grip of her “illness” – which is waking up in a new body with very little idea of how she got there. During the course of each “life” she lives she has to think on her feet just to survive and small things start to come back to her and start to make sense, but whenever she first “wakes” it’s a struggle for her (and for the reader) to work out what’s going on, then she “grows” into the body and the life she’s living and it gets easier.

What inspired you to write Mercy?

I’ve been really keen to write a fantasy novel for a while where the “hero” was a girl and actually (eep!) strong for a change, in the sense that her essential character would never bend, buckle, or break no matter what life was throwing at her.

I started off writing a book with a mermaid protagonist a long while ago but was getting bogged down in historical details (what people wore, ate, fought with etc) and thought I’d just transpose the idea of the strong heroine to an urban setting. And I’ve always loved myths and legends and the idea of the Old Testament angel with the burning sword, plus my short term memory seems to have disappeared entirely, so throw all that in a pot and I guess “Mercy” is the result.

Throughout the book there was a presence of music, was this use of music simply utilised as a plot device or was there a specific reasoning behind its use?

I’m a choir nerd from way back and I love that piece of music. Plus, I wanted to layer “Mercy” so that it wasn’t just the typical “school setting” scenario where you have mean girls and jocks and all that stuff. I wanted to shake it up a bit. And music is quite transcendent and something that Mercy (the character) has had missing from her life, so I wanted to bring that kind of transcendent stuff back into her memory because it’s part of her journey of getting herself back, remembering things like music, language, the beautiful parts of life.

Why did you choose to write Mercy for a young adult audience?

With “Mercy” I was hoping to reach YA readers and female readers generally because of some of the themes I cover. The stuff that happens to women in the news just makes my blood boil sometimes, and I wanted to create a female heroine who looks weak, but who could actually dish out vengeance to her persecutors. Kind of an empowering revenge fantasy, I guess.

The YA audience is so fantastically responsive and immediate and intelligent – they will tell you in a heartbeat if something reads as false or inauthentic. I like how YA readers aren’t snobby – provided the story is exciting and hooks you in, they’re happy to go with it.

I read across all genres and I have to say that there are some readers who won’t touch anything that isn’t “literary”. With “Mercy” I tried to cover more than one genre – mystery, romance, paranormal, with a “literary” overlay, I guess. Some people don’t like that, but I had fun putting it all together.

What was your journey to publication like?

I had a day job that was kind of cutting across getting anything up to scratch from a creative writing perspective, so I took time off to do some books for boys and managed to get published and never went back to the office job.

I’ve been lucky enough to get gigs writing across different age groups with some fantastic publishers and editors. There’s been rejections aplenty - like the time a famous New York literary agent asked his “summertempreceptionist” (that was in the email address) to tell me I wasn’t “sufficiently engaging” to even consider representing – but I definitely can’t complain.

It just comes down to keep working hard; even when you don’t feel you can stand firing up the computer again, just to get shot down in flames.

My supportive husband definitely helps – especially when I get into the deadline zone and became monosyllabic and vacant, he’s been brilliant at reminding me about important things like what day it is, what time it is, now it’s time to eat etc.

What has been the response to Mercy?

I think it’s been more positive than not positive, although some of the feedback has been bizarre: ranging from the criticism that “Mercy” was riddled with major grammatical errors (my publisher particularly loved that one) to the fact it was an angel book and therefore it sucked only slightly worse than all of the other angel books out there. Oh yeah, and someone just said “Euugh,” I think.

Most people “get” the character of Mercy and where I’m trying to go with the series, but some people just get more out of the mystery storyline and engage less with the angel parts of the book and I’m hoping they will change their minds as Mercy starts to “wake” more and more to her essential nature as the series progresses. I am going somewhere with all the flashbacks; people just need to be patient and keep piecing it together …

Can you tell us an interesting fact about yourself that most people would be surprised to know?

I lived in Warwick, Queensland for a while when I was a toddler.

I know when I’m writing an essay for uni I have a whole routine I must follow, do you have a writing routine that you follow?

Nope, unfortunately if I get a clear half hour I just write like I’m being pursued by the hounds from hell.

As this is a YA blog what are your favourite YA novels?


The Hunger Games trilogy is just magnificent – not finished yet but I’m getting there and they are just so fantastically well written, plotted. There’s not a word wasted and that’s something great after a lot of overblown series that could have done with a touch more editing (which shall remain nameless)


The His Dark Materials books are fantastic (although I think I got the most out of one and two)


Loved the Harry Potter books – the world (and internal mythology) JK Rowling created was fantastic.

The ending of Mercy left me desperately wanting the next book in the series, Exile, can you give us any information on the second novel in the series?

She’s beginning to “wake” more and more to parts of herself that she thought she’d lost forever. Plus, she finds out who did this to her.

In “Muse”, she finds out why …

I don’t know if you can answer this question but will Ryan be making an appearance in Exile?

Yes!

Are you currently working on anything else, can you tell us anything about it?

Before “Mercy” I wrote a paranormal book that a couple of publishers looked at but said “first half is great, second half sucked”. Once I finish with “Mercy” I’m going back to fix up the back half and we’ll see what happens ...


I just have to thank Rebecca for answering all my questions, I know I had a few! I also have to thank Patricia and Eliza over at HarperCollins Australia for helping me to orgainse this interview.

Mercy is available now in all good bookstores throughout Australia.

Mercy will also be published for the American market by Hyperion Book’s on May 17th 2011.

Exile, the second book in the series, will be released on May 1st 2011 for all my Australian readers, sorry internationals I’m not sure when it will be released overseas.

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About Me

Romy @ Lost.in.Stories
Greetings fellow blog readers, welcome to my blog and thank you for stopping by. Now you may be wondering who is lost.in.stories? Well lost.in.stories is also known as Romy, a 23 year old graduate student from Australia who loves to read. I read (maybe devour would be a more appropriate word) largely young adult novels, with a particular love of fantasy and paranormal novels, however I am also a sucker for a good romance.
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