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Thursday, August 23, 2012
Laura Harrington is an award-winning playwright, lyricist, and MIT professor. Her debut novel, ALICE BLISS, was published by Pamela Dorman Books, Viking/Penguin.
"This may be the Our Town of the 21st Century." Anne Roiphe, author of Epilogue, a Memoir
ALICE BLISS is a Richard and Judy Summer Book Club Pick in the UK.
ALICE BLISS is a People Magazine "People Pick" with 4 out of 4 stars.
ALICE BLISS: "The Best Books of the Summer" Entertainment Weekly.
ALICE BLISS has been selected for the Barnes & Noble "Discover Great New Writers" program.
ALICE BLISS: School Library Journal's "Best Books of 2011" in the category “Adult Books for Teens.”
ALICE BLISS Listeners’ Top Book Picks for Books of Summer on NPR’s On Point with Tom Ashbrook.
ALICE BLISS chosen "Book of the Week" by Stylist Magazine in the UK.
A Massachusetts Library Association "Must Read" for 2012
Nominated for the 2012 Alex Award
Foreign rights for ALICE BLISS have been sold in the UK, Italy, and Denmark.
The Best Items to Include in Military Care Packages
By Laura Harrington
In Alice Bliss, Alice, Ellie, Angie and Gram send a package to Matt in Iraq. They each choose things that have meaning to them and to Matt. Ellie sends drawings, Alice sends a letter she has been working on for days as well as some of her favorite photos, Angie is a little secretive about what she puts in the box, and Gram has done her research and baked Matt’s favorite Harvest Bread which she hopes will survive the trip.
Here are some ideas for successfully sending care packages to soldiers.
I’ve searched the web for suggestions on what soldiers want and need in their care packages from home, and put together the following list. There are many resources online, but with this list I tried to draw together and organize the best of the best suggestions.
All care packages are appreciated and the more personal you can make them, the better. If you’re sending a package to someone you know well, you’ll be able to include things you know that person will enjoy and appreciate. But if you’re sending a package to your best friend’s brother or sister, for instance, ask about what he or she enjoys so that you can choose things that will surprise and delight.
I read over and over again that soldiers love books. You can buy used books at your local library sales and at yard sales for a dollar or less. Well-known titles and mysteries or thrillers are always popular. But think of how meaningful it would be to receive a selection of books labeled: “These are the best books I’ve read this year. I hope you will enjoy them.”
Toothbrushes and toothpaste
Shoelaces for gym shoes
Shoelaces for boots
Food treats/staples/ candy:
Rice Krispie treats
Altoids or mints
Ziploc bags (for keeping things airtight, watertight, and fresh)
Cookies or muffins in individual packages
Mac and Cheese
Hot cocoa mix
Word puzzle books
Board games (travel size)
Books, books, books
To keep in touch:
Blue and black pens
Notepads and envelopes
Thumb tacks/ pushpins (to tack up favorite photos from home)
Long Distance Phone Cards
Websites to check out for sending packages:
Synopsis via Goodreads
When Alice Bliss learns that her father, Matt, is being deployed to Iraq, she's heartbroken. Alice idolizes her father, loves working beside him in their garden, accompanying him on the occasional roofing job, playing baseball. When he ships out, Alice is faced with finding a way to fill the emptiness he has left behind.
Matt will miss seeing his daughter blossom from a tomboy into a full-blown teenager. Alice will learn to drive, join the track team, go to her first dance, and fall in love, all while trying to be strong for her mother, Angie, and take care of her precocious little sister, Ellie. But the smell of Matt is starting to fade from his blue shirt that Alice wears everyday, and the phone calls are never long enough.
Alice Bliss is a profoundly moving coming-of-age novel about love and its many variations--the support of a small town looking after its own; love between an absent father and his daughter; the complicated love between an adolescent girl and her mother; and an exploration of new love with the boy-next-door. These characters' struggles amidst uncertain times echo our own, lending the novel an immediacy and poignancy that is both relevant and real. At once universal and very personal, Alice Bliss is a transforming story about those who are left at home during wartime, and a teenage girl bravely facing the future.
Thanks to Liza and the publisher, one lucky winner will get a copy of Alice Bliss. US only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Posted by ~The Book Pixie at 8/23/2012 09:01:00 PM
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Lili St. Crow
April 4th, 2013
Tales of Beauty & Madness, #1
Synopsis via Goodreads
A dark and eerie retelling of Snow White from Lili St. Crow,
New York Times bestselling author of the Strange Angels
Sixteen-year-old Camille doesn’t remember her life before she was adopted by the powerful Vultusino family—the missing childhood years that left her scarred and silent. Now she lives a life
of luxury, protected by the supernatural Mafia Vultusinos, specially Nico, her adopted brother.
But Cami knows that she is not really Family. She is a mortal with a past that lies buried in trauma. And it’s not until a mysterious boy approaches her and reveals scars of his own that Cami begins
to uncover the secrets of her past . . . to find out where she comes from and what danger she now finds herself in.
First off, I love this cover. I'm not a huge fan of the title font, the style or the yellow of the author's name, but the cover over all is very pretty to me. Also, I really enjoyed Strange Angels, and while I do need to read the others, I'm really excited for this one. It sounds quite enticing and I can't wait to see how it is. Oh April...why must you be so far away?!
Posted by ~The Book Pixie at 8/22/2012 08:13:00 PM
Monday, August 20, 2012
by Lee Strauss
September 12, 2012
Synopsis via Goodreads
Seventeen year old Zoe Vanderveen is a GAP—a genetically altered person. She lives in the security of a walled city on prime water-front property along side other equally beautiful people with extended life spans.
Her brother Liam is missing.
Noah Brody is a natural who lives on the outside. He leads protests against the GAPs and detests the widening chasm they’ve created between those who have and those who don’t. He doesn’t like girls like Zoe and he has good reason not to like her specifically.
Zoe’s carefree life takes a traumatic turn. She’s in trouble and it turns out that Noah, the last guy on earth she should trust, is the only one who can help her.
PERCEPTION is a ( SF/mystery/romance) Young Adult novel that takes place in the not too distant future in a world changed by climate extremes, natural disasters and impending wars, and where scientific breakthroughs cause class divisions—both financially and philosophically. It explores the clash between faith and science and how differences can separate us as enemies or ally us together. And in some cases, even in the midst of betrayal and personal crisis, there’s room to fall in love.
This is the first book in a planned three book series.
I balanced on my surfboard, right thigh burning and salt water stinging my eyes, while the best wave of the early morning carried me like a goddess on a pedestal to shore. My older brother Liam and I shared a friendly competition, and it gave me a certain, blissful satisfaction to catch the same wave and to get to shore first.
“Beat ya!” I shouted over the noise of the crashing surf.
Seagulls flocked and circled over us, squawking loudly, adding to the cacophony.
The sun glistened off Liam’s damp blond curls as he shook them out. His eyes sparkled as his lips tugged up into a grin. “I let you win.”
“Did not!” I smacked him playfully on the arm. “One more ride?”
Liam unzipped his wetsuit letting the top half fall down past his waist. He was in fine form, and I understood why all the girls raved about him. He was responsible for a long list of broken hearts.
“I gotta get going,” he said, lifting his board.
I fell into stride beside him, my feet sinking into the cold, wet sand. “So soon?”
He nodded, the glint leaving his eyes. My lips tightened into a frown “You’re taking off with Jackson again?”
Jackson was my boyfriend but lately he’d been spending more time with my brother than he had with me. It was starting to tick me off.
Liam stared straight ahead. “Lab stuff.”
“What are you working on?” I rushed to keep up with my brother’s long, strong strides. He flicked his head, tossing the hair out of his eyes but didn’t answer.
“Come on,” I knocked into him sideways. “Tell me!”
“It’s just stuff.”
“Just stuff? Like what? Top CIA stuff? I know you’re smart but I think the government has been doing a good job without your help.”
I meant it as a joke, but Liam huffed. “It’s just stuff, okay? So leave it.”
I stopped short shocked that he’d snapped at me.
He turned around and exhaled, “Zoe, I’m sorry.”
“Fine. If you can’t tell me, you can’t tell me.”
We resumed our trek along the beach, and I pushed back my frustration. Liam used to include me in everything. It was always him and me against everyone else. Him and me against Alison and Paul, aka our mom and dad. Him and me against the surf. We were a team. When did we start keeping secrets from each other? Rather, when did he start keeping secrets from me?
I re-adjusted my board under my arm. Maybe I could get Jackson to unzip his lips. Especially if I helped him. He could be easily persuaded if I poured on the charm. I hated to go behind my brother’s back for information, but something about all this--this, whatever it was that Liam was doing--made me uneasy. I couldn’t pinpoint why, it just did.
We reached our home, a massive glass box with two floors of windows facing the Pacific Ocean. It was built after the San Andreas Fault shifted and triggered the Big Quake that, along with the subsequent tsunami, wiped out ten miles of shoreline.
A nearby white-stucco storage shed housed all our water toys. We stopped there to hang up our wetsuits to dry.
“Thanks for surfing with me today.” Liam said, smiling at me, back to his jovial self. “I know it was a sacrifice for you to get up so early.”
I smiled in return. “No problem. It was fun.” Surfing with Liam was one of my most favorite things to do.
“You’re back for dinner?” I asked.
Liam didn’t know it, but once he left, I’d be spending the rest of the day preparing for his surprise birthday party. He’d turned twenty-one yesterday and had celebrated at a bar with his friends. I couldn’t go because I was underage, and it irked me that Jackson went and that he and Liam had once again shared a significant moment without me. I took consolation in the fact that Alison and Paul gave me free reign to plan this party. My heart beat with excitement, and I couldn’t wait to see his face when he got home and found the house full of his friends.
“Yeah, I’ll be there,” he answered.
I bit my cheek to keep my voice even. “Good.We’ll see you, then.”
Our property tiered twice before connecting with the sandy beach. Three glass doors slid open disappearing into the corner and creating a wall-less view of the stone patio that encased an eternity pool. Its waters slipped over the far edge into a waterfall that was collected again on the second tier.
Liam strode into the house, through the living room and down the hall to his bedroom at the back, his wet shorts dripping on the glossy white tiles.
I tightened the towel around my waist and climbed the open-slat staircase to my room.
As I passed the maid, Saundra something, her brown face blanched. She stumbled slightly before grabbing the rail and catching herself.
“Excuse me,” she said softly at my astonished look.
The woman really didn’t look well, and I was thankful for my enhanced immunization. I was glad I didn’t have to worry about diseases brought in from the outside.
“Are you okay?” I asked.
She nodded weakly, and proceeded to clean the rails.
A trill of anticipation reclaimed my thoughts. I couldn’t wait for tonight.
The door beside my bathroom opened into a second room, a walk-in closet big enough to house another bedroom set. Racks of clothes and shoes lined the walls, a well-lit mirror station was located near the sky light and a cushioned leather bench was placed in the middle for sitting. I stood in my closet and stared at the rows of sundresses, blouses and shorts.
What to wear?
I settled on a lace blouse and cotton shorts, then went to take a luxurious shower, rinsing the sea water out of my long, blond hair. I leaned into the built-in seat that was designed specifically for my body height and shape. Laser lights mapped my head and twenty-eight silicon fingers reached out to massage my scalp while shampooing and conditioning my hair. Most days I had to watch or I’d doze off, but today I was excited. I commanded the water to turn off as soon as the rinse was done.
When I was dressed and my hair combed out and tied back, I slipped my platinum Communication Ring onto my left middle finger. I tapped it which produced a holographic image of my phone apps on my palm. I touched the clock icon and holographic digital numbers appeared in the air.
Ten already? Where did the time go? That was the thing with summer holidays; every hour ran languidly into the next.
I imagined the cook and her crew were busy preparing for the party in the kitchen. I’d requested fresh sea food and simulated roast, fresh fruit and vegetables, an assortment of fancy chocolates and baked items plus a three-tiered, surfer-themed birthday cake.
I skipped down the stairs to check on the progress, but in my hurry to the kitchen, I slammed into a body.
“Sorry,” a male voice said.
I stepped back agitated. I recognized the dark-haired boy wearing the white tunic my mother made the male staff wear. He was the maid’s son.
He held a wet mop in his hand, and I figured he’d been cleaning up Liam’s spotty water trail.
He stepped politely out of the way, but the expression on his face was stoic. Even though he was clearly from the outside and the help, I still expected some small sign that what he saw when he viewed me was pleasing. A twinkle in the eye, a slight upturning of the lips. These were the responses I got from all the boys. The straight ones, anyway.
He wasn't especially attractive but I didn't see people with his appearance very often. He had eyes the color of imported coffee beans and skin like caramel candy. His nose was wide and his jaw-line sharp. I was suddenly intrigued by him and surprised myself by thinking he looked exotic.
“Excuse me, what was your name again?” I asked.
Right. I remembered now. I waited for him to say something, but he stayed quiet.
Footsteps echoed from the hall above. My parents spoke together, their muffled voices floating across the high ceilings.
“Do other maids send their sons to do their work?” Alison's voice had a brassy tone that carried through the cavernous space.
I felt a flare of red creep up my neck when I realized Alison was talking about Noah. My eyes darted to his, but he kept his averted.
“He does a good job,” Paul responded. “That's the main thing. Besides you know they need the money.”
“So we're charity now?”
“What's wrong with a little charity? Besides, they're not just anybody.”
“I don't care. I still don't trust him.”
I was mortified. My feet felt cemented to the floor and I didn’t know what to say. Anything would come off as trite since nothing I could say could undo what Noah had heard.
“Did you know the Pikes have a household robot now?” Alison, again. “Apparently it’s very efficient, and at least Mary doesn’t have to worry about things going missing.”
Noah’s jaw tightened and he turned his back to me. He attacked Liam’s dried and dusty water spots aggressively and soon had disappeared around the corner.
“Zoe?” Alison click-clacked down the wooden stairs. She wore a pale yellow pant suit and high heels even though it was Saturday. She was in-between careers now, having spent the last fifteen years in law. She barely looked thirty years old and with lots of time ahead of her, she could do anything. Probably several things.
“Mom! You have to keep your voice down. How many times do I have to tell you your voice travels in this glass box?
“Oh.” She looked mildly shaken. “No matter. Is everything coming together to your satisfaction?”
“I’m just checking in on things now.”
“Your father and I are meeting people for lunch. What time is the party again?”
I blew a frustrated breath. She could at least pretend she cared enough to remember details I’d told her a dozen times already.
“Right. We’ll see you at seven.”
Things proceeded throughout the day as planned and I was pleased with my ability to pull off an event like this on my own.
The decorators showed up at 1:00 as promised.
The band arrived to set up at 3:00.
I got dressed at 4:30, having bought a thigh-length mini-dress that sparkled with tiny crystals just for the occasion.
My hair and makeup girl arrived at 5:00.
I tapped my ring and called Jackson at 5:30.
“Where are you?” I said to the three-inch holographic image of him that popped up above my palm. “You said you’d help.”
“Sorry, Zo. Got tied up at home.”
“Are you okay? You don’t sound so good.”
It was odd. No one in Sol City ever got really sick, but it wasn’t unheard of to get run down if you pushed yourself too hard. Jackson had been working a lot lately.
“I didn’t sleep well last night. Uh, spent most of the day in bed.”
I felt a little panicky. “You’re still coming, aren’t you?”
“Of course. I’ll be there soon.”
Alison and Paul arrived at 6:30 along with all of mine and Liam’s friends.
I hushed everyone at 6:55, giving instructions on when to shout “Surprise!”
It was all a wasted effort.
Liam never showed.
Hope you all enjoyed the first chapter and will be giving this one a try when it releases! Thanks Lee for sharing! :D
Posted by ~The Book Pixie at 8/20/2012 10:01:00 PM
Thursday, August 16, 2012
In celebration of having hit 2,000 followers, I will be giving away 2 mystery boxes containing 10 to 15 books each, one to 2 winners, that I have to pass on. All of them are YA and are a mix of newer and older, ARCs and finished copies. I will give you a couple of names though, just to tease you a bit: Magisterium, The Farm, Entice, Airhead, Lament, and My Soul to Take. Please read the Terms and Conditions and happy entering!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Posted by ~The Book Pixie at 8/16/2012 11:42:00 PM
Monday, August 13, 2012
Okay folks, first off, the apology. The epic "I'm so so so soooooooooooooooo very very very very very sorry" apology. Seriously! Please forgive me...
I mean, you should see me. I'm a total wreck. But so is this bunny...and the bunny is cuter. So look at the bunny. LOOK AT IT! Pretend it's me.
I have been a very bad bad blogger this year. What with college, and then my dad dying, and then my somewhat hectic summer where I've either been totally busy or totally unmotivated to do anything. The number of books I've read that weren't for college this year is so horrifically abysmal I dare not even mention the number. My posts, reviews, etc have been suffering. And I haven't gotten nearly as far in the book I'm writing as I've wanted to. I should have been keeping ya'll more updated. I should have done recaps for BEA. I shoulda this and shoulda that. I shoulda coulda woulda...but I didn't...obviously. And I feel really ashamed. The fact that so many of y'all are still following me just blows my frikin' mind. Kind of like this...
I'm trying to be better. In fact I've already got some stuff planned for next week. I made a "priority to-read" list of books I absolutely must try and read before my college classes start on the 27th. I'm going to try my best to stay more active blogging and reading while at college than I did my freshman year, and there will be a lot less stress on me this go round. Except for the part where I can't afford all of my Spring Semester and will thus have to seek a part time job to go on top of my school job. But hey, I have friends starting out this go round and no one is dying. I'm really going to try and be better guys and I'm sorry if I've let any of you down, that means authors and publishers too.
That said, I somehow manged to hit 2,000 followers. THANK YOU! I want to do something big but I can't afford to do anything like that so I'll probably be doing at least one mystery box and maybe a couple of small prize packs as well compiled of books I've pulled from my shelves for various reasons lately. So stay tuned.
Posted by ~The Book Pixie at 8/13/2012 08:12:00 PM
Thursday, August 9, 2012
Wings of Arian by Devri Walls
Publisher: Stonehouse Ink
Pub. Date: April 24th, 2012
Series: Wings of Arian, #1
Age Level: YA+
Synopsis via Goodreads
Kiora thought she had never heard a lie until she was sixteen. But she was wrong. Her entire existence was based on nothing but. She thought that evil did not exist. Lie. That magic was not real. Lie. And that the land of Meros was all there was. One more lie.
With Aleric telling her that evil is knocking on the door and that she is the only one who can stop them she has a choice to make. Refuse, or start the wildest most painful ride of her life.
She reluctantly dips her toe into her new existence of magic and threads, dragons and shapeshifters, and the person who wants to take control of it all: the evil Dralazar.
However, this journey was never meant to be hers alone. She will be accompanied by a Protector. To her disbelief, and utter irritation they name the hotheaded, stubborn, non -magical, (albeit gorgeous) Prince Emane. They will have to trust each other with their lives, but right now Kiora would settle for a non hostile conversation.
And now it comes down to this, If you had never heard a lie, would you know when you heard one? Is knowing good from evil innate? Kiora finds herself having to decide who lives and who dies on those very questions.
Thanks to the author, Devri, one person will win an eBook of Wings of Arian.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Posted by ~The Book Pixie at 8/09/2012 07:27:00 PM
Dangerously exciting, darkly romantic – the teaser trailer for the next book in Jessica Shirvington’s Embrace series is here! In Entice, the war between Exiles and Angels is on—and Violet Eden is wanted by both sides. Living a secret life as a warrior protecting innocent human lives isn’t easy. Knowing who to trust is key, but when Grigori reinforcements arrive, it becomes clear everyone is hiding something. Even her partner, Lincoln. And with Phoenix more dangerous than ever, Violet is truly on her own.
Plus, join me for a fun meet-up with other Entice fans during the Entice Me Day 8-day celebration in September! Meet the book characters, bring your friends and come back for the big party on Sept. 15th where you’ll see the full book trailer, get sneak peeks and win prizes!
Posted by ~The Book Pixie at 8/09/2012 05:44:00 PM
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Venom by Fiona Paul
October 30th, 2012
Synopsis via Goodreads
Cassandra Caravello is one of Renaissance Venice’s lucky elite: with elegant gowns, sparkling jewels, her own lady’s maid, and a wealthy fiancé, she has everything a girl could desire. Yet ever since her parents’ death, Cassandra has felt trapped, alone in a city of water, where the dark and labyrinthine canals whisper of escape.
When Cass stumbles upon a murdered woman—practically in her own backyard—she’s drawn into a dangerous world of courtesans, killers, and secret societies. Soon, she finds herself falling for Falco, a mysterious artist with a mischievous grin... and a spectacular skill for trouble. Can Cassandra find the murderer, before he finds her? And will she stay true to her fiancé, or succumb to her uncontrollable feelings for Falco?
Beauty, love, romance, and mystery weave together in a stunning novel that’s as seductive and surprising as the city of Venice itself.
As part of the YA Giveaway Hop, one lucky winner will get an ARC of Venom by Fiona Paul from my blog!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Posted by ~The Book Pixie at 8/08/2012 12:00:00 AM