November 29, 2011

Interview: Rusty Fischer author of Vamplayers

Hi Rusty Welcome to Read for your future. Thanks for stopping by to let us get to know you better...

1. How did you come up with the concept for this book?
Having already written about zombies, I wanted to do a vampire book to switch things up a smidge. But… where do you start? It seemed like everything had already been written. I was reading all these vampire books, trying to find a new or overlooked angle. I realized that in a lot of vamp books, you’ve got a new vamp coming to a high school. And for whatever reason, nobody knows he’s a vamp and all these girls fall for him and then, well, we all know the rest. So I thought, well, what if somebody did know he was a vamp; and that somebody was another vamp, whose only goal was to wipe him out before he got to the human kids? It seemed like a fun idea to me, and I kind of built the world around that…

2. How did you come up with the names for the characters?
Wow, I don’t think anyone’s ever asked me that before! Generally, for the main characters, I will brainstorm some names that just “feel” right to them. Lily? I just like that name. It sounds kind of fragile but also beautiful and strong, too. And I mean, the bad guy *needed* a name like Tristan because it’s just perfect for him; kind of cool but a little *too* cool, if you know what I mean. And Grover, just… that seemed the perfect fit for the buddy, best friend role. So generally I have a list of six or seven potential names and eventually one of them just clicks with me.

3. How much are you and the characters alike?
Ha! Wow, well, usually I have a lot in common with the main character. That’s generally how it is. Even though she’s a girl, I really click with Lily in the way that she’s the new kid at the Afterlife Academy, that she’s kind of the underdog, and all the rest. It’s hard for me to write a main character who has her act together because…. where’s the fun in that?? But on Vamplayers, I would have to say I’m most like Grover!

4. Do you read a lot and what are you reading now?
I’ve always read a lot. Growing up, books really were my best friends. Today I have less time to read because I spend a lot of time writing, both with my day job and writing for YA. I read all kinds of things. So, right now on my nightstand I have a book about the Reagan years in the White House, a book full of Tim Burton interviews, a cozy Thanksgiving mystery, a Christmas book by Dave Barry and a Swedish crime thriller called The Redbreast. I try not to actually read YA while I’m writing YA so that I don’t start to adopt the tone/voice of whoever I’m reading!

5. What made you decide to go vampires?
Pretty much since I first read Salem’s Lot back in the day, I’ve always loved vampires. But I think what I like about them most is that they’re immortal. To me, that’s the real scary part. And that lots of kids – there always seem to be teenagers involved – willingly want to be immortal, despite what they’ll have to do to their fellow man to stay alive forever. So those kinds of themes interest me and after writing about zombies so much, I wanted to try something new; vampires seemed the perfect fit.

6. How did the cover come about?
Oh, I LOVE this cover. It’s the first cover I think I’ve gotten where the minute I saw it, I knew I wouldn’t change a thing! It was designed by James Tampa of Medallion Press. He has a great blurb about how he designed it on his website: “For this cover, I went out and bought some crossbow bolts, stuck one in a cardboard box, and took a bunch of photos of it. Everything was done in Photo shop at that point.”

7. So what is your next project and when is it due out?
Right now, honestly, I’m spending all my free time writing up the sequel to Zombies Don’t Cry. I don’t even know if the publisher wants it or not, but I have to get it out of me, you know? So I can really only answer half of that question!

8. Do you have a daytime job or are you a full time writer?
I have a daytime job AND I’m a full-time writer. Does that make sense? Seriously, though, I’m a full-time freelance ghostwriter, so I write for other people during the day and myself/YA at night. I’m really fortunate and very grateful to be able to do what I love for a living.

9.  How did you get into writing novels and were you worried about peoples reactions to your books?
I’ve been writing novels since just about forever; literally, since I was eight or nine years old. I’d go through phases where I’d write a lot, try to get them published, get rejected, give up for awhile, go into a kind of “creative hibernation” and then emerge a few years later and start the whole process over again. But I got lucky and when Zombies Don’t Cry got published, I kind of had the confidence to quit going into hibernation every time I got rejected; so I’m grateful for that. As far as people’s reactions, yes! I don’t think you ever stop worrying about what people think; it’s human nature. For instance, as I’m writing this my new book, Vamplayers, has just gone out for review and I can see it popping up on a few blogs in their “In My Mailbox” features or “Is Reading Now” column and I’m all biting my nails just like I did when Zombies Don’t Cry first went out…

10. One last thing do you collect anything personally?
Do Christmas albums count!?!?!

Places to find Rusty:

Interview: Laurie Faria Stolarz author of Deadly Little Voices (Touch #4) Series

Thank you Laurie for dropping by our blog and letting us get to know you better!

1. How did you come up with the concept for this book?

I wanted to write a story where the main character has to struggle with the idea of falling in love with someone who could potentially be dangerous. I tinkered with this concept in the first three books of my Blue is for Nightmares Series [(Blue is for Nightmares (Llewellyn 2003), White is for Magic (Llewellyn 2004), and Silver is for Secrets (Llewellyn 2005), as well as in Bleed (Hyperion 2006)]. In Bleed, in particular, there’s a young male character who was convicted for the murder of his girlfriend. His next relationship consists of pen pal letters he exchanges with a young girl while he’s in prison. Without giving too much away, the relationship is briefly pursued once he is released, but I wanted to bring this concept to another level.
Additionally, I wanted to continue experimenting with the supernatural (which I also use in my Blue is for Nightmares Series as well as in Project 17), showing how we all have our own inner senses and intuition, and how with work we can tap into those senses and make them stronger.
I started researching different types of supernatural powers and discovered the power of psychometry (the ability to sense things through touch). The concept fascinated me, and so I wanted to bring it out in a character, showing how sometimes even the most extraordinary powers can also be a curse.
Lastly, I wanted to apply these concepts to be part of a series. I love the idea of growing a main character over the course of several books.

2.Do you read a lot and what are you reading now?
I do read a lot. When I'm writing, I tend to read a lot of non-fiction, but I did just read an ARC of a new young adult novel, VARIANT by Robison Wells. I couldn't put it down.

3. What made you decide to go Young adult?
Even though I loved making up stories as a young person, I wasn’t a big reader. As soon as I got slightly bored, I’d put whatever book I was reading down. I really wanted to target readers that were like me – those that didn’t naturally gravitate toward books. I wanted to get them excited about reading, the way certain authors did for me. I also think that those years of young-adulthood are so full of excitement, angst, drama, and emotion. Tension is high and stakes are raised. There’s so much opportunity for a writer.

4. How did the cover come about?
The covers are all done by my publisher. As the author, I don't really have much say, but I'm lucky because I love my covers.

5. So what is your next project and when is it due out?
Deadly Little Voices, the fourth book in the Touch series, will be out this December.

6. Do you have a daytime job or are you a full time writer?
I'm a full-time writer

7. How did you get into writing novels and were you worried about peoples reactions to your books?
I've been writing since I was a small child.
I’ve been writing since I was a child. Before I could even put pen to paper, I was making up stories and telling them to whomever would listen. It’s always been a part of who I am. It took me about two years to write my first book, BLUE IS FOR NIGHTMARES, I spent another year and a half editing it, and then another year trying to sell it. I learned a lot from that novel. I now work with an outline and know ahead of time where I’m going and what my character needs to achieve, as well as what he or she needs to learn in order to achieve it. I draft a novel in about 6 months’ time. I then spend another few months or so reworking it before I hand it in to my editor.

8. One last thing do you collect anything personally.
Hmmm...I love antiques - cookware, pottery, random furniture pieces (I have a kitchen island that was once in a French bakery; it's 150 years old). I also have old butcher blocks, and a 100-year-old cabinet from an Italian workshop.
Deadly Little Voices comes out in December be sure to check out the whole Touch series for a great book experience.

You can find Laurie HERE:

November 27, 2011

Review: Baseball Great (Baseball Great) by Tim Green

Football Genius, Tim Green's debut as a young adult novelist, scored a touchdown. Now the former NFL star and Fox commentator returns with an inspiring baseball story about a young man coping with problems on and off the diamond. For our money, one of the best active young reader authors.

The book is about a kid named Josh playing on a select baseball team that trains really hard. The coach gets steroids from a doctor and the coach gives it to the players. Josh tries to stop him.

I think the author made the book sound funny, but then it was serious, too. That made it more interesting. Really good book!

Published by-HarperCollins
Reviewer Rating: 4.5
Reviewed by~Wade Humphrey (Student at Franklin High School)
~Thank you to the Author for the donation of this book to the Read for your  Future book program!~

Review: Incarnate (Newsoul #1) by Jodi Meadows


Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.
Even Ana’s own mother thinks she’s a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she’ll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are suspicious and afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?
Sam believes Ana’s new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana’s enemies—human and creature alike—let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else’s life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all?
Jodi Meadows expertly weaves soul-deep romance, fantasy, and danger into an extraordinary tale of new life.

This book is well written and the story flows well. I like the whole thing in general. A few people even ask to borrow it when I was done so I pointed them towards the library.

Publisher-HarperCollins Children's Books
Reviewer Rating: 4.5 Stars
Reviewed by~Ethan Miller (Student at Franklin High School)
~Thanks to the Author and Publisher for the donation of this book to Read for your future!~

November 26, 2011

Review: Balthazar (Evernight) by Claudia Gray

Haunted by memories from his first days as a vampire, Balthazar has spent hundreds of years alone—without allies, without love. When he emerges from his isolation to help Skye Tierney, a human girl who once attended Evernight Academy, Balthazar has no idea how dangerous it will be. Skye’s psychic powers have caught the attention of Redgrave, the cruel master vampire responsible for murdering Balthazar and his family four centuries ago. Having learned of Skye’s powers and the remarkable effect her blood has on vampires, he plans to use her for his own evil purposes. As they stand together to fight the evil vampire, Balthazar realizes his lonely world could finally be changed by Skye...just as Redgrave realizes that he can destroy Balthazar once and for all by taking her for his own.
In a story filled with forbidden love and dark suspense, one of the most beloved characters in Claudia Gray’s New York Times bestselling Evernight series will captivate readers with his battle to overcome his past and follow his heart.

I am a big BIG fan of claudia Gray.The Evernight series is one of my favorite series. So when i heard this book was coming out I had to have it. I had high hopes for my favorite characters to resurface. This book does not disappoint. It is an awesome read. I read it in one sitting.
It is the story of Balthazar (from the Evernight series) I love this character and I love him even more in his own story. Biana and Lucas are mentioned in this book but not enough to take away from Balthazar's story. The author does explain their relationship with Balthazar. So this book can be a stand alone book. The storyline in this book is exciting and action filled. I love the flashbacks of Balthazar's experiences of being turned into a vampire and him adjusting to that life. It has his past love and his current love interest in this book. The storyline is strong and well written and executed very well. The changing of scenes is very smooth.The story swallowed me up and kept me there till the very last page.
The characters in this book are easy to become attached to. They are strong and even though they don't always know what they want they are not afraid to go after it. They are very likable.
If you haven't read the evernight series You are missing out. It is a great series of four books. If you get a chance to read them please do it you wont be disappointed.
The author did leave room for sequels and I hope she does write them. I was sad to say goodbye to the evernight characters but this book gives me hope to fill that void with a new series. I hope that happens.
As far as this book goes. Well done Claudia Gray WELL DONE! Please write  sequel!!

Publisher-Harper Teen
Reviewer Rating: 5 STARS!!!!
Reviewed by~Lora

~Thank you to ALISON LISNOW of Harper Teen for the donation of this book to the Read for your future book program!~

November 19, 2011

Audio Book Review:Glow (Sky Chasers #1) by Amy Kathleen Ryan (Goodreads Author), Ilyana Kadushin (Narrator), Matthew Brown (Narrator)

If a violent battle destroyed the only world you’ve ever known, would you be brave enough to save who was left? Would love be strong enough to survive the fight? Either way, there’s no turning back.
The Empyrean is the only home 15-year-old Waverly has ever known. Part of the first generation to be successfully conceived in deep space, she and her boyfriend Kieran will be pioneers of New Earth. Waverly knows she must marry young in order to have children who can carry on the mission, and Kieran, the handsome captain-to-be, has everything Waverly could want in a husband. Everyone is sure he’s the best choice. Still, there’s a part of Waverly that wants more from life than marriage, and she is secretly intrigued by the shy, darkly brilliant Seth.
Suddenly, Waverly’s dreams are interrupted by the inconceivable – a violent betrayal by the Empyrean's sister ship, the New Horizon. The New Horizon’s leaders are desperate to populate the new planet first, and will do anything to get what they need: young girls. In one pivotal moment, Waverly and Kieran are separated, and find themselves at the helm of dangerous missions, where every move has potentially devastating consequences, and decisions of the heart may lead to disaster.
Pulse-pounding and addictive, GLOW begins the most riveting series since The Hunger Games.

This is a must have for Sy-Fi fans. The audio book is narrated by two different people which makes it more realistic. The narrators are believable and very smooth to listen to. The characters Waverly and Kieran are great main characters. They are both brave and ready to face danger at any given moment. The storyline isnt as strong as it could have been but it switch's scenes smoothly and is executed well. This book is a great Sy-Fi book among all the paranormal out today. and I recommend this book to any Sy-Fi fan.

Publisher-Renaissance Press
Reviewer Rating-4 Stars
Reviewed by~Lora

~Thank you to the Publlisher for the donation of this audiobook to the Read for your future book program!~

Audio Book Review: Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1) by Cassandra Clare (Goodreads Author), Jennifer Ehle (Narrator)

Cassandra Clare, the author of the Mortal Instruments Trilogy, returns with a new series launch that promises to be as captivating as its predecessor. Clockwork Angel tracks the transatlantic story of 16-year-old Tessa Gray who travels to Victorian London to find her missing brother. Along the way, she is discovers that she possesses the gifts of a true Shadowhunter, one of the brave warrior who battle the demons of the city's rampant Downworld. Her search for her brother (and herself) is complicated by her strange attraction to two young male friends. Subtly rendered dark magic at twilight time.

OMG what a book! This book grabs you from the very first page and pulls you through to the very end. Tessa is strong and Brave and a heroin. She takes things in stride and pushes back when shes pushed. And not once did she break. The Shadow hunters are handsome and witty and not afraid of demons or life. I LOVED this book. I saw the movie play out in my head. The narrator Jennifer Ehle has a Tess voice. She is perfect for this part. The voice is relaxing and carries the story to where it needs to go. I love Jennifer Ehle's voice. She is my Tess. and I hope that she is the narrator for the rest of the books in this series. I cant wait till CLOCKWORK PRINCE come out. There is a BIG cliffhanger! . I highly recommend this Audio book. Put the kids to bed and take an adventure of your life!

Publisher-Simon & Schuster Audio
Reviewer Rating: 5 STARS!!!
Reviewed by~Lora
~Thank you to Lauren Pires of Simon & Schuster for the contribution of this Audiobook to the Read for your future program!~

Audiobook Review: Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos

Melding the entirely true and the wildly fictional, Dead End in Norvelt is a novel about an incredible two months for a kid named Jack Gantos, whose plans for vacation excitement are shot down when he is "grounded for life" by his feuding parents, and whose nose spews bad blood at every little shock he gets. But plenty of excitement (and shocks) are coming Jack's way once his mom loans him out to help a fiesty old neighbor with a most unusual chore—typewriting obituaries filled with stories about the people who founded his utopian town. As one obituary leads to another, Jack is launced on a strange adventure involving molten wax, Eleanor Roosevelt, twisted promises, a homemade airplane, Girl Scout cookies, a man on a trike, a dancing plague, voices from the past, Hells Angels . . . and possibly murder. Endlessly surprising, this sly, sharp-edged narrative is the author at his very best, making readers laugh out loud at the most unexpected things in a dead-funny depiction of growing up in a slightly off-kilter place where the past is present, the present is confusing, and the future is completely up in the air.

I wasn't sure what to think of this book at first. It was kind of boring. But as it went along and I settled into the book I liked it more and more. It really did turn out good. The main character Jack is brave and a thinker and most of the time logical. He is a likable character. He encounters many obstacles with wit and humor.
The secondary characters are likable as well.
The story is read by the author and although he does fairly well he isn't as experienced as most narrators i have listened to and it sometimes shows. The storyline is solid and flows nicely from one situation to the next. It is well written and executed well.
This story reminds me of the movie The Christmas story. In Its a story of innocence and curiosity and growing up.
I would recommend this story to anyone that wants to experience a cute and funny story, Anyone that wants a story that is an easy to follow witty and well written story. I will be looking for more from this author.
Publisher-Macmillan Audio
Reviewer Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by~Lora

~Thanks to Esther at Macmillion Audio for the donation of this audio book to the Read for your Future book program!~

Review: Havoc (Deviants #2) by Jeff Sampson

Emily Webb thought life would return to normal after the death of the man who attacked her and her fellow “Deviants.” Or as normal as it could be, after discovering that she has nighttime superpowers . . . and she’s a werewolf. But when Emily awakes one night to find an otherworldy Shadowman watching her, she knows the danger has only just begun.

So Emily and her pack-mates set out to find the people who made them what they are, and why. But as they get closer to the truth, they realize they aren’t the only ones in town with special powers: The most popular girls in school might just have a secret of their own–and they might just have it out for Emily.
With shadowy beings stalking them, a mysterious company doing all it can to keep the truth hidden, and the secrecy of her new identity in jeopardy, life threatens to spiral out of control for Emily. Soon these dangers will come together in one terrifying confrontation that may force her to make the toughest choice of her life . . . so far.

This book was another great choice for me. I couldn't stop reading once i started but i'll have to go back and read VESPER (book one) to understand whats going on a little better. it is written very well. Two words that are good to know are as follows;

Vesper-of the night
Deviant-someone who is out of the normal
knowing what these mean helps greatly when reading because i can understand why the author chose to use them in the book.
Highly Recommend!!

Publisher-Balzer + Bray
Reviewer Rating: 4.5 Stars
Reviewed by~ethan miller (Student at Franklin High School)

~Thank you to HarperCollins for contributing this book to the Read for your future book program!~

Review: Abithica by Susan Goldsmith

She's found the love of a lifetime, but there's a catch: the body she inhabits belongs to another.

How much change can one soul endure? It would help if she knew what she was or even how such a thing was possible. The one thing she does know is that God has a sense of humor where she's concerned. Why else would He continue to place her in one host body after another without warning or a clear memory of previous switches? Abithica's responsibility is to repair her host's lives while they take a back seat. To ensure her survival and protection, she vows never to get attached, but this latest switch is different from the start. Abithica breaks all her own rules, and is left with a choice. What will happen if she refuses to leave her host's body?
Will love be her downfall or her salvation?

Not many books can evoke such strong emotions in me. This one did. I actually cried!! Out loud... I sobbed like MY heart was the one broken. Then the next thing I know, I'm shedding tears of joy. What a breath taking, heart warming story. The main character is absolutely angelic. Meanwhile, the supporting characters are enormously delightful. The storyline is quite mysterious at first. Then the light bulb comes on and everything becomes perfectly clear. The plot is complex yet satisfying. In the end everything turns out exactly as it should. There are a few lose ends but hopefully there will be a sequel to tie them up. A very enjoyable read! I really recommend this book to all.

Publisher-Twilight Times Books
Reviewer Rating: 4.5 Stars
Reviewed by~Mechele
~Thank you to the Author for contributing this book to the Read for your future book program!~

Review: Sara's Gift: Comes the Crow by Carol Stucki

Sara Stillsen is fourteen and has a gift for healing animals, but no one knows. She was told she would come into more power in her fifteenth summer. It's becoming more difficult to keep her gift a secret in the small ranching community where she lives. Come follow Sara as she discovers the source of this gift, while trying to keep it hidden from her family and friends, and falls in love along the way. With her spirit guide, a wolf-hybrid named Foxy, and Cherokee mentor, "Uncle Buck," she will learn the source of this gift. The crow is sent to protect and teach her about her gift. Now, at fifteen she must face her biggest decision. Sara will need to choose to continue the path of becoming a healer or walk away and be an ordinary teenager.

This was a very good book.I would recommend this book to someone who loves animals.

Publisher-American Book Publishing Group
Reviewer Rating: 5 STARS!
Reviewed by~Syra Chambers(Student at Franklin High School)
~Thank you to the Author of this book for contributing this book to the Read for your future book