Saturday, September 28, 2013

Introducing @maureenmcquerry Upcoming Book & NEW Cover!

Beyond the Door

Book I in the Time Out of Time Series
Maureen McQuerry
Abrams/Amulet Books

March 1st 2014

"In the tradition of the Dark Is Rising books, fantasy and myth come to life in this action-packed middle-grade duet"

When mythical creatures appear, a mystery of unparalleled proportions begins to unfold for Timothy, his sister Sarah, and school bully Jessica, who must defeat the powers of the Darkness.

The book is full of clues in Ogham. What’s Ogham you ask? It’s a primitive Irish language dating back to the 4th century. It looks like a series of tallies or hatch marks and the inscriptions can still be found on stones in Ireland, Wales and Scotland, although it was also written on trees. The Ogham alphabet has 25 letters.

Here’s what Ogham looks like from Project Guttenberg…

Thursday, September 12, 2013

A Wordstock Festival FAQ

I've been fielding questions on Twitter about the Festival and thought I'd go ahead and post this here.  If you have questions please leave them and I will add them to this post along with an answer.  :) 

1. Q- If an authors event is at 1 p.m. when is the signing of their books?
    A- The signing would be at 2 p.m.  For ALL the YA authors the signing is going to be the next hour.  The panels/readings will be an hour in length which will include a discussion or a reading along with a Question and Answer period.  Then they will move to the Signing Table.

2. Q- Can I bring books to be signed? Is there a limit? How long is the signing?
    A- You can bring books and swag to be signed.  The signing lasts until there are no more people in line. Based on my stalking the YA signing table last year it generally lasts 15-20 minutes.  Also, I noticed authors tend to hang around the table for a little bit as well. Do not be shy about chatting with the authors and blurting out your undying love for their work!

3. Q- Can I get my photo taken with *insert awesome author name here*?
    A- Yes you can. When the authors are at the signing table you can ask them to get a photo with you. I did not see any authors decline photos last year just be kind and calm when you ask, oh and SMILE!

4. Q- What if I don't have a book by an author?
    A- Lucky for you we have a dedicated bookstore (local Indie from Portland) who will be selling ALL YA books. They will carry the newest title by each YA author who is reading or part of a panel.  You can purchase books at their table and move over about 3 feet to have your book signed directly after the panel/reading you were just in.  Honestly, last year I ended up buying a TON of books by authors I heard speak in their panel/reading because I was intrigued by them. Bring extra money!  There will be about 3 booksellers set up at the Festival.  One for Children's, one for YA and one for Non-Fiction/Biography/Cooking, etc.

5. Q- I'm volunteering for the Festival.  Do I need to purchase a ticket for the times I am not volunteering?
   A- As a volunteer, your service is much appreciated.  When you arrive to the Wordstock area at the Conference Center you will look for a sign that leads you to the volunteer area.  You will check in with the volunteer coordinators and be given a shirt and name badge.  You will be given information about your volunteer tasks.  When you are done volunteering you can wander around and enjoy the Festival.  You do not need to buy a ticket as a volunteer.  Plus since you are a volunteer you can put your bag(s) of books/swag in the volunteer room for safe keeping instead of carrying them around all day.

6. Q- How do I know what is happening at the Festival?
    A- You can go on over to Wordstock Festival's site and look at the schedule.  If you hover over where it says SEARCH you can click on YA or you can type in an authors name and it will show you specifically different groupings of events on the schedule.

7. Q- How many YA events are there? Is there a YA stage again this year?
    A- There is a YA panel or reading EVERY hour of the Festival this year.  Some hours have two events happening at the same time.  The YA Stage is not happening this year.  While we do not have a YA only stage this year, we do have appropriate spaces set up for each author panel/reading.  We have so many amazing diverse authors from all many different Genres so this year you will be walking a bit more to see them all.  Do not worry though the YA Bookseller and Signing area will be in ONE location all weekend.   Plus did you know...we added a songwriting category this year.  Make sure you check out that category as some of our awesome YA authors are taking part in the Songwriting panels.

8. Q- Do you have to have a membership to actually go to the festival? I'm specifically wondering about the Book Fair.
    A- No you simply buy a ticket to get in and you are set!  In fact you can pre-order on the website or purchase at the door (well really it's a booth before you enter where the Wordstock area is set up).

9. Q - How do I purchase a ticket?
    A- All you have to do is go online if you want to pre-order.  Here is the page.  Now it is per day so if you are attending both Saturday and Sunday you will want to enter in 2 in the Quantity box.  There is a $2 fee by TicketWest which brings your total to $11.  You can buy tickets at the door and they will also be $11.

10. Q- How do I purchase Workshop passes? Is this the same thing as LeakyCon where they have a Lit Track you pay for and can attend any of them?
    A- On the same page that you purchase tickets on you will see a link further down for Wordstock for Writers Workshops {includes FREE same-day Book Fair admission} $35 for 1, $30 for 2, $20 for 3 or more. After you look through the Festival Guide you can figure out which Workshops you want to attend. These workshops are open to ANYONE! When you get to the page that lists the Workshops on TicketWest you will see at the top that if you are choosing multiple Workshops that you will pay a lesser amount PER Workshop. There is a link you will click on that will lower the price at the very top of the page.

Did I miss your question?  Let me know!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Wondering about Wordstock Festival in Portland?

Hello all!  Since Wordstock Festival has not posted their listing anywhere...I am happy to post the Young Adult authors we have coming to Portland here!  Along with information about the Festival so you are ready to attend.
Wordstock is a nonprofit organization dedicated to celebrating writing in the community and writing in the classroom. It stages the city of Portland's annual book and literary festival, the largest celebration of books and writers in the Northwest. Wordstock 2012 will be held October 4th and 5th at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Oregon. The Wordstock Book Fair will feature over 200 writers and over 20 panels on several stages over two days with hundreds of exhibits, food, performances and more.

This page is great if you are wondering what books TO READ RIGHT NOW and bring or buy at Wordstock.  Each other's most recent book will be sold at the Festival.  Or you can bring your own copy along to have signed and personalized.

Alright here we go!  I have included the links to each of their very own websites for you to learn ALL about them and all their books.  The books listed below are the most recent or upcoming release that will be featured at Wordstock. 

Goodreads Complete List (Click to see what to read beforehand)**

Anne Osterlund  - 'Salvation' 

April Tucholke - 'Between the Devil & the Deep Blue Sea' 

Bethany Griffin -Dance of the Red Death' (Masque of the Red Death, #2)

*Cat Patrick - 'The Originals' 

*Cat Patrick & *Suzanne Young - 'Just Like Fate' 

Cat Winters - 'In the Shadow of Blackbirds' 

Cinda Williams Chima - 'The Enchanter Heir'

Claudia Gray - 'Spellcaster' 

Corey Haydu - 'OCD Love Story'

Corina Vacco - 'My Chemical Mountain' 

Dan Krokos - 'False Sight'

Emma Trevayne - 'CODA'

Francesca Lia Block'Love in the Time of Global Warming' 

Gayle Forman - 'Just One Year' Just One Day #2

Jennifer Bosworth - 'Struck'

Jennifer Johansson - 'Insomnia #1'

Jessica Brody - 'Unremembered' 

Jill Wolfson - 'Furious'

Josin McQuein - 'Arclight'

Kari Luna - 'The Theory of Everything' 

Keary Taylor - 'What I Didn’t Say' 

Kendare Blake - 'AntiGoddess' 

Kevin Emerson - 'The Dark Shore'  The Atlanteans #2

Liz Fichera - 'Hooked'

Maggie Stiefvater - 'The Dream Thieves' The Raven Cycle #2

Malinda Lo - 'Inheritance' 

Marissa Meyer - 'Scarlet' 

Martha Brockenbrough - 'The Dinosaur Tooth Fairy'

Melanie Thorne - 'Hand Me Down' 

Miranda Kenneally - 'Things I Can’t Forget'

Nancy Werlin - 'Unthinkable'

Robin Wasserman - 'The Waking Dark' 

Ron Koertge - 'Coaltown Jesus' 

Ruth Tenzer Feldman - 'The Ninth Day'

Sara Polsky - 'This is How I Find Her' 

Sean Beaudoin - 'Wise Young Fool' 

Stasia Ward Kehoe - 'Audition' 

Stephanie Perkins 'Lola & The Boy Next Door' 

Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen - 'The Fallout' 

*Suzanne Young - 'The Program' 

Tara Kelly - 'Amplified'

Teri Brown'Born of Illusion' 

* - This author has a 2013 book of her own as well as a 2013 book written with another author
**-Click on Author or Title on the top of the list for it to Alphabetize the books for you

Wondering how you can attend the Festival?  Here are the details:

Wordstock Festival is being held at the Portland Convention Center from October 4-6, 2013 with events in the days leading up to the Festival.  These events include Chalkstalk and Authors at the Library.

Follow Wordstock online at Facebook, Twitter and the official Website
Tickets will be available in advance online for adults $9/per day and $11/per day at the door along with student tickets (with I.D.) $5/per day and memberships to support Wordstock's year round work which includes Festival Tickets can be found HERE. Kids 0-13 are FREE.

OR you can be super duper amazing and SIGN UP TO VOLUNTEER! I volunteered last year and had a great time.  Plus...hello you get a fun shirt!  Information about the Teams you can volunteer for are included at the bottom of that page.

Questions about anything I missed? Leave a comment! Or tweet me.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Candace Reviews The Theory of Everything by Kari Luna

The Theory of Everything by Kari Luna
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published: July 11th, by Philomel
Source: Library
One part Libba Bray's GOING BOVINE, two parts String Theory, and three parts love story equals a whimsical novel that will change the way you think about the world.

Sophie Sophia is obsessed with music from the late eighties. She also has an eccentric physicist father who sometimes vanishes for days and sees things other people don’t see. But when he disappears for good and Sophie’s mom moves them from Brooklyn, New York, to Havencrest, Illinois, for a fresh start, things take a turn for the weird. Sophie starts seeing things, like marching band pandas, just like her dad.

Guided by Walt, her shaman panda, and her new (human) friend named Finny, Sophie is determined to find her father and figure out her visions, once and for all. So she travels back to where it began—New York City and NYU’s physics department. As she discovers more about her dad’s research on M-theory and her father himself, Sophie opens her eyes to the world’s infinite possibilities—and her heart to love.

Perfect for fans of Going Bovine, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and The Probability of Miracles.
Note: This review was first posted on Candace's Book Blog
I was excited to read this one but was slightly concerned as it's been compared to Going Bovine, which didn't work for me (though I read it years ago, and my taste has changed), I shouldn't have been concerned, I ended up loving this book!

Sophie is adorable and I want her for my best friend (though she needs to be older, or I need to be younger cause otherwise it might be weird...).  She's very, very sweet and has a quirky and unique personality.  She doesn't shy from her own personal style and taste and doesn't care what others think.  At least for the most part... She is an amazing friend, even when she's lost in her own little world at times.  An idea of her taste- she sews quirky pockets onto her thrift store clothing and dresses with a theme and she listens to 80's music on cassette's only.

Finny is my next favorite character.  He becomes Sophie's best friend in the book and I absolutely loved him! He came at just the right time and was there for her no matter what.  While others may have run screaming, he stuck by her side to help her figure out what causes the 'episodes' (more on that in a minute).  On top of that, he has an adorable style and was just so darn perfect for a best friend!

This book is unusual.  I would say some words to describe it are quirky, whimsical and adorable.  Sophie has these episodes where she hallucinates strange things from Walt, her shaman Panda, to concerts she's actively part of.  But her father had this happen as well and she's determined to find out more about him and more about these episodes.  And it turns out there is more to them and the journey is a fascinating one.

There's a lot of scientific stuff, but you don't really have to get it.  A lot of it is described in simple terms, I mean Sophie is just a 14 year old girl, and everything is understood by her. And somehow, it all just works and makes sense.  And while I can see how this book might be too weird for some, I loved it!

There's a touch of romance, but the friendship is definitely more prominent as is the whole father/daughter relationship, even though the father is really only present in Sophie's memories (which we do see).  While I wouldn't mind more romance, I felt like it was presented just perfect for this book.  It wouldn't have worked being more center stage and I felt like the friendship of Sophie and Finny worked best for this story.

This was a fast read, I devoured it in one day and I recommend it to fans of contemporary YA who enjoy a touch of absurdity in their stories, but maybe have an open mind to some creative physics exploration/theories.  It's a clean read, with no bad language, no drugs or alcohol, and no sex, or even talk of it. 

Disclosure: I borrowed this book from the library, all opinions expressed are my own.

Candace is a wife and mother to two. She’s blogged at Candace’s Book Blog since November 2008. She enjoys a variety of genres including anything and everything young adult, some adult urban fantasy, a little bit of adult paranormal romance, some historical fiction and reads lots of childrens books. You can find her on her blog at, twitter @candacemom2two and on goodreads.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

YA Book Club- Event Recap with Sean Beaudoin

This is also posted at Candace's Book Blog.

A couple weeks ago I was invited up to Seattle to take part in the YA Book Club hosted by University Book Store.  The book club was reading and discussing Wise Young Fool by Sean Beaudoin.  It worked out that I could attend, so I drove up there and stayed the whole weekend with my aunt and we did lots of fun things.  But this post is about the book club and I'll fill you in on the other fun stuff another time.

This was my first time visiting University Book Store, which is kind of sad really, considering I visit Seattle a couple of times a year at least.  It was nice to see it, it was pretty large with a nice open floor plan and easy to find sections.  I ran out of time to browse much, but I did walk through most all of the store and I really liked it.

First up I met the girls from University Book Store who had invited me, Sarina and Caitlin.  Since we obviously have something in common (books!) we hit it off immediately.  I think every book store should have employees that are truly passionate about books and they clearly had that passion.

I hadn't had time to pick my winner for the giveaway I had posted so I did that while I waited (the winner was Kimba!) and contacted her.  The plan was to interview Sean but once we started chatting and I started taking notes it became clear that I probably had plenty of material already.  So here's how it all went, the short, condensed version. ;)  (Which is not so short, at all.  I apologize.)

We started off introducing ourselves and telling everyone what our first show (concert) was.  It is a book with a music theme, so perfect!  We got to know one another pretty well with that as well.

Caitlin started it off by pointing out that she noticed a character, who was a bad guy from Sean's first book, made an appearance in this one.  Still working at the same place... Sean said not many people noticed that, so good catch!

The next little discussion was about the cover.  The ARC had a different cover from the final. Everyone was mostly in agreement that the original cover they had didn't really fit the story.  Sean told us that he really didn't care for it and made a bit of a fuss and actually made the cover he thought it should be and it was what it actually became, there were only some slight changes.
Original cover:
Final cover:
So which do you prefer?  I have to say that the final cover fits the story.  It also matches his other books.  But the color in the first would have caught my eye and if I were randomly selecting books I may have picked it up more quickly.  But don't get me wrong, I definitely think the final cover is the better of the two and is right for the book.

Moving on...
The next discussion was about mispronouncing names.  Beaudoin is not an easy name to pronounce.  If I were to guess I would say it's Bo-deen, but it's actually Boh-dwen.(And I did clarify that!)

Someone asked, was Wise Young Fool autobiographical? Well, yes and no.  Out of all of his books it's the closest.  There are bits he's taken from real life, but then they've been changed and twisted and in the end it's quite different.  But yes, parts were originally taken from some real experiences.  You know, bits and pieces, not the whole story or anything.  (This is from my notes and is probably quite different from what he actually said, but the gist of it anyway...)

Someone asked something about if he felt that this was the common male experience, I think she meant regarding a romance or sexual encounter, and Sean said yes, that he felt it was.  BUT then went on to say that things have changed so much since he was teen.  Now that everyone has a cell phone, and social media, it changes the dating game/romance scene drastically and it's harder for him to relate to how things are now, compared to how they were then. 

How hard was it to write female characters? He said it was easy for WYF, but when he wrote a female POV in a previous book it was much more difficult.

When discussing writing to a particular audience, Sean said that he writes what he does, and how he does, because that's him. He can't write to a particular genre or audience, he just writes what he has the urge/ need to write.

When asked about the content in his books we got two things.  First up- the content that was changed or removed was when people he mentioned died, or when natural disasters hit areas after the book was wrote.  For example, he had mentioned a country in a book and before the book was published a natural disaster hit that country and caused catastrophic damage. The mention of that country was then removed.  (Isn't that interesting?)

As far as profanity in his books- it was up to him.  He chose to keep it real and include the profanity, maybe not being so concerned about it not being included in libraries in certain areas of the country.  This of course led to the subject of banning of which he replies "Please ban my book!" because we all know that the kids want to read the books they aren't suppose to read, same as listening to the music that has been deemed for inappropriate.  Tell a kid what not to do/read/listen/watch and you can be sure they WILL do it!

Still along the lines of content is "does he feel a sense of responsibility to his readers".  Like that he should set a good example or have some 'messages' in there.  He says yes, he does.  He feels a sense of responsibility while still wanting to keep it real.  There's a bit about drinking and driving, in which he kept it realistic while still showing us that it's a very bad idea, bad things happen when you drink and drive, but it's not preachy, it's just part of the story- he shows us WHY it's a bad idea.

This led to talking about the fact that the main character's mother is lesbian and has a girlfriend, but this is not an issue in the book, it's just there.  It's real and it's something that happens, but it doesn't have to be an issue, it just IS.  This was something I was excited about- I want it in YA a lot more.  Diversity in general, without being an issue.

We talked about issue books a lot.  Sean said he didn't really want to read issue books himself, though it's clear that he's open to any kind of book, he doesn't judge.  Personally, I prefer a book with balance.  'Issue books' tend to be hard for me, but I like a book that deals with issues while still having funny and romantic bits.  I just need some balance is all.  Wise Young Fool is definitely that middle kind.  There's issues, but there's funny as well.

Someone asked what he read in high school and he replied that his parents read a lot and he read a lot of their books.  Some a bit too racy but he didn't understand it all.  Some he recalls reading are S.E. Hinton (me too!), VC Andrews (me too!), Kurt Vonnegut, Stephen King, and Basketball Diaries.  Back then there wasn't really YA but all these authors would probably be considered YA if they were published today.  In my library S.E. Hinton was in the kid section, but VC Andrews was in the adult section.  These days you'll find VC Andrews books in the YA section at bookstores, at least the new releases (that aren't actually by VC Andrews at all).

That bit led to talking about how he doesn't like boxes, doesn't like everything being labeled.  People tend to find a genre they like and they don't really read outside of it.  They say if it's YA they aren't interested and don't really think outside of what they think they like.  We need to be willing to try new things and explore other genres.  He also says he doesn't judge anyone about what they read, which led to much joking around about Gossip Girls, which some of the girls had read/watched (I haven't, but I'd give it a shot!).

Sean started writing in high school but couldn't finish a story.  He did music instead.  In college he started writing again, mainly for the courses he was taking. But then he put out a fanzine with short stories and the repetition made him realize he could do it.  An agent liked his voice when showed one his short story collection, and told him that he should write YA.   Now it's been years but his short story collection has had some interest lately.

When asked what he's reading now he replied Bobcat and other stories by Rebecca Lee and Busy Monsters by William Girardi.

Someone asked if he was for or against getting an MFA he said he was against.  Well, not exactly- he doesn't really think it's necessary to spend all that money on getting educated and then not really having that high of a chance of being published.  However, there is structure and critique with getting an MFA, so there are positives, just personally he doesn't think it's that necessary.

Next we talked about community.  Having a community of writers is important.  Sean had lived in San Francisco and thought it wasn't too bad but now that he's lived in Seattle for awhile he sees that it's so much better.  There's a great group of authors and they are all supportive of each other. He tours with Cat Patrick, Kevin Emerson and Martha Brockenbrough, but the community of authors is quite close.

I feel the same way with the Portland authors.  At book signings other authors show up to show support and there are lots of writing groups.  It's a pretty tight knit community.

Last question- what is Sean working on now?  Cornelius Wrathbone is scheduled to release in 2015 and it's about Big Foot.  Not A big foot, but a whole community that comes out and lives among us.  Very interesting... very interesting indeed! 

Each month there's a YA book featured for the YA book club, make sure you check it out each month as it's a lot of fun!  It looks like Cinder might be the book featured for September and that's a great choice! Unfortunately I can't make it up again so soon, but if you are in the area and would like to cover it, please let me know! (candacesbookblog(at)yahoo(dot)com)

Be sure to watch the Event Calendar for future events at University Book Store as well!