Archive for April, 2011

Ten Upcoming Debut Young Adult Fantasy Authors

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

Author: Stacey O’Neale

Stacey O'Neale

Don’t you love books? Lucky for us, they’re lots of great books coming out in 2011! I could list some amazing names for you like Holly Black and Cassandra Clare, but I’m sure you already know about those. Instead, I made a list of ten debut young adult fantasy authors that I’m personally excited about. The list order is based on release dates.

Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney (Published: February 8, 2011)

Freak. That’s what her classmates call seventeen-year-old Donna Underwood. When she was seven, a horrific fey attack killed her father and drove her mother mad. Donna’s own nearly fatal injuries from the assault were fixed by magic—the iron tattoos branding her hands and arms. The child of alchemists, Donna feels cursed by the magical heritage that destroyed her parents and any chance she had for a normal life. The only thing that keeps her sane and grounded is her relationship with her best friend, Navin Sharma.

When the darkest outcasts of Faerie—the vicious wood elves—abduct Navin, Donna finally has to accept her role in the centuries old war between the humans and the fey. Assisted by Xan, a gorgeous half-fey dropout with secrets of his own, Donna races to save her friend—even if it means betraying everything her parents and the alchemist community fought to the death to protect.

Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton (Published: February 15, 2011)

First there are nightmares.

Every night Ellie is haunted by terrifying dreams of monstrous creatures that are hunting her, killing her.

Then come the memories.

When Ellie meets Will, she feels on the verge of remembering something just beyond her grasp. His attention is intense and romantic, and Ellie feels like her soul has known him for centuries. On her seventeenth birthday, on a dark street at midnight, Will awakens Ellie’s power, and she knows that she can fight the creatures that stalk her in the grim darkness. Only Will holds the key to Ellie’s memories, whole lifetimes of them, and when she looks at him, she can no longer pretend anything was just a dream.

Now she must hunt.

Ellie has power that no one can match, and her role is to hunt and kill the reapers that prey on human souls. But in order to survive the dangerous and ancient battle of the angels and the Fallen, she must also hunt for the secrets of her past lives and truths that may be too frightening to remember.

A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford (Published: February 22, 2011)

Eden didn’t expect Az.

Not his saunter down the beach toward her. Not his unbelievable pick-up line. Not the instant, undeniable connection. And not his wings.

Yeah.

So long, happily-ever-after.

Now trapped between life and death, cursed to spread chaos with her every touch, Eden could be the key in the eternal struggle between heaven and hell. All because she gave her heart to one of the Fallen, an angel cast out of heaven.

She may lose everything she ever had. She may be betrayed by those she loves most. But Eden will not be a pawn in anyone else’s game. Her heart is her own.

And that’s only the beginning of the end.

Clarity by Kim Harrington (Published: March 1, 2011)

When you can see things others can’t, where do you look for the truth?

This paranormal murder mystery will have teens reading on the edge of their seats.

Clarity “Clare” Fern sees things. Things no one else can see. Things like stolen kisses and long-buried secrets. All she has to do is touch a certain object, and the visions come to her. It’s a gift.

And a curse.

When a teenage girl is found murdered, Clare’s ex-boyfriend wants her to help solve the case–but Clare is still furious at the cheating jerk. Then Clare’s brother–who has supernatural gifts of his own–becomes the prime suspect, and Clare can no longer look away. Teaming up with Gabriel, the smoldering son of the new detective, Clare must venture into the depths of fear, revenge, and lust in order to track the killer. But will her sight fail her just when she needs it most?

Enclave by Ann Aquirre (Published: April, 12, 2011)

New York City has been decimated by war and plague, and most of civilization has migrated to underground enclaves, where life expectancy is no more than the early 20’s. When Deuce turns 15, she takes on her role as a Huntress, and is paired with Fade, a teenage Hunter who lived Topside as a young boy. When she and Fade discover that the neighboring enclave has been decimated by the tunnel monsters—or Freaks—who seem to be growing more organized, the elders refuse to listen to warnings. And when Deuce and Fade are exiled from the enclave, the girl born in darkness must survive in daylight, in the ruins of a city whose population has dwindled to a few dangerous gangs. As the two are guided by Fade’s long-ago memories, they face dangers, and feelings, unlike any they’ve ever known.

Mercy by Rebecca Lim (Published: May 17, 2011)

A fallen angel haunted by her past. Yearning for her immortal beloved. Forever searching for answers. Who will show her Mercy?

Mercy has lost herself. She can’t count how many times she’s “woken up” in a new body, and assumed a new life, only to move on again and again. During the day she survives in the human world on instinct and at night her dreams are haunted by him. Mercy’s heart would know him anywhere. But her memory refuses to cooperate.

But this time is different. When Mercy wakes up she meets Ryan, an eighteen year old reeling from the loss of his twin sister who was kidnapped two years ago. Everyone else has given up hope, but Ryan believes his sister is still alive. Using a power she doesn’t fully comprehend, Mercy realizes that Ryan is right. His sister is alive and together they can find her. For the first time since she can remember, Mercy has a purpose; she can help. So she doesn’t understand why the man in her dreams cautions her not to interfere. But as Ryan and Mercy come closer to solving the dark mystery of his sister’s disappearance, danger looms just one step behind.

Will Mercy be able to harness her true self and extraordinary power in time?

The first in a dazzling new series, Mercy masterfully weaves romance, mystery and the supernatural into a spell-binding tale.

Hourglass by Myra McEntire (Published: May 24, 2011)

Since the age of fourteen, Emerson Cole has seen strange things – dead things – swooning Southern Belles, soldiers, and other eerie apparitions of the past. She’s tried everything to get rid of the visions: medication, counseling, asylums. Nothing’s worked.

So when Emerson’s well-meaning brother calls in yet another consultant from a mysterious organization called the Hourglass, Emerson’s willing to give it one last try.

Michael Weaver is no ordinary consultant. He’s barely older than she is; he listens like no one she’s ever met before; and he doesn’t make her feel the least bit crazy. As Emerson ventures deeper into the world of the Hourglass, she begins to learn the truth about her past, her future–and her very life.

Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini (Published: May 31, 2011)

How do you defy destiny?

Helen Hamilton has spent her entire sixteen years trying to hide how different she is—no easy task on an island as small and sheltered as Nantucket. And it’s getting harder. Nightmares of a desperate desert journey have Helen waking parched, only to find her sheets damaged by dirt and dust. At school she’s haunted by hallucinations of three women weeping tears of blood . . . and when Helen first crosses paths with Lucas Delos, she has no way of knowing they’re destined to play the leading roles in a tragedy the Fates insist on repeating throughout history.

As Helen unlocks the secrets of her ancestry, she realizes that some myths are more than just legend. But even demigod powers might not be enough to defy the forces that are both drawing her and Lucas together—and trying to tear them apart.

Hereafter by Tara Hudson (Published: June 7, 2011)

Can there truly be love after death?

Drifting in the dark waters of a mysterious river, the only thing Amelia knows for sure is that she’s dead. With no recollection of her past life—or her actual death—she’s trapped alone in a nightmarish existence. All of this changes when she tries to rescue a boy, Joshua, from drowning in her river. As a ghost, she can do nothing but will him to live. Yet in an unforgettable moment of connection, she helps him survive.

Amelia and Joshua grow ever closer as they begin to uncover the strange circumstances of her death and the secrets of the dark river that held her captive for so long. But even while they struggle to keep their bond hidden from the living world, a frightening spirit named Eli is doing everything in his power to destroy their newfound happiness and drag Amelia back into the ghost world . . . forever.

Thrilling and evocative, with moments of pure pleasure, Hereafter is a sensation you won’t want to miss.

Possess by Gretchen McNeil (Published: August 23, 2011)

Fifteen-year-old Bridget Liu just wants to be left alone: by her overprotective mom, by the hunky son of the police officer who got her father killed, and by the eerie voices which she can suddenly and inexplicably hear. Turns out the voices are demons–the Biblical kind, not the Buffy kind–and Bridget possesses the rare ability to banish them.

San Francisco’s senior exorcist and his newly assigned partner from the Vatican enlist Bridget’s help with increasingly bizarre and dangerous cases of demonic possession. But when one of Bridget’s oldest friends turns up dead in a ritualistic sacrifice that mirrors her father’s murder, Bridget realizes she can’t trust anyone. An interview with her father’s murderer reveals a link between Bridget and the Emim: a race of part-demons intent on raising their forefathers to the earth in human form. Now Bridget must unlock the secret to the Emim’s plan before someone else close to her winds up dead, or worse–the human vessel for a Demon King.

About the Author

Stacey O’Neale is a full-time writer and co-owner of the Young Adult Fantasy Guide. She’s had several articles and book reviews published, but spends most of her writing time on the revisions to her debut young adult fantasy novel. You can read her advice for aspiring writers on her blog The YA Fantasy Freak or you can follow her on Twitter.

Book Review:Freedom Summer by Deborah Wiles

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

An extremely well written, winner of Ezra Jack Keats award FREEDOM SUMMER is a book that must be added to any library display of award winning books. The story is told in a very tactful way and the author has done an excellent job in tackling the issue of racism from a child’s standpoint which adds to the innocent and simple quality to the book.

It is a story of a white boy and his best friend, James Henry Waddell who is a black boy. The book provides the readers with a bit of background information about the civil rights movement and its aftermath at the beginning. While after 1964, people of all races and colors were legally given the same rights and treatment but some businesses closed down as they were not in favor of serving the blacks.

The narrator (white boy) begins the story by calling James as his best friend. Set during the summer of desegregation in the South, the narrator of the novel is aware of the fact that racism still exists to some extent. So, the boys swim together at the creek rather than at the whites-only town pool and the fact that James cannot accompany the narrator to the drug store to buy ice pops. But the boys were ecstatic over the new laws that mandate that there is no segregation between the whites and the blacks. The boys rejoiced until the town filled the pool with tar in protest. At this point the narrator sees the town through James’s eyes and both the boys have a life changing moment. But at the end James makes a declaration that he too wants to do everything like his friend can and ultimately the book ends at a happy note with the two friends going together to the drugstore to buy ice pops.

Top five Science Fiction & Fantasy books of 2010.

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

Below, is a list of top five science fiction and fantasy books of 2010. These books have been randomly selected by our editorial team. We invite all our readers to share and recommend the name of any book that they think will fit into this category.

1.The Fixed Stars: Thirty Seven Emblems for the Perilous Season by Brian Conn-1573661538: It’s a truly stunning debut that takes the readers to a hallucinogenic road trip through a ‘post capitalism’ future, a world where new industries have grown like breeding spiders for their specific threads. The book is tragic as well as funny and not a word is out of place.

2.The Half made World by Felix Gilman-0765325527: Vivid and accurate prose, a gripping, imaginative story, a terrifically inventive setting, a hard bitten, indestructible hero and an intelligent heroine- This science fiction novel has got everything which other novels from a long time have been lacking. The Half made world is a dark, dense and a powerful novel that confirms Felix Gilman as a master of the new weird fantasy.

3.Kill the Dead: A Sandman Slim novel by Richard Kadrey-1441806644: It is a recommended read for fans of the fantasy genre. At times it is dark and gritty, comedic and sometimes touching and of course ultraviolent. Richard Kadrey’s use of profane and intensely metaphoric language somehow makes self tortured monster Stark sympathetic and turns a simple story into a powerful noir thriller.

4. Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor-075640617X: Nnedi Okarafor is a writer of Nigerian descent known for weaving African culture into creative evocative settings and memorable characters. Okarafor sets this emotionally fraught tale in post apocalyptic Saharan Africa. It is the coming of age tale of an alienated, spirited young woman. Okorafor writing magically reveals the story, effortlessly endearing characters to the reader and engineering a story that simply must be read.

5.How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu-1848876815: It is a masterpiece of imagination that demands to be read with an open mind because the lines between past, present and future often blur or completely disappear. The story is lyrical, surprising ,elegant funny, sad and ultimately wise.

Book Review:On the yeti’s trail By Shoba Naidu

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

Shoba Naidu is a graduate in Bachelor’s degree in Education and has done her post graduation in Communication and Journalism. Although having worked as a journalist with several newspapers and magazines, she finds writing fiction much more interesting than stating facts. Her first children’s book, On the Yeti’s Trail is a dramatic tale of a Yeti hunt by Indian School Children. This book will inspire children to develop a curiosity about physical phenomenon and a never saying die attitude.

On the Yeti’s Trail‘ is a tale about a young Kashmiri boy Mushtaq who has visited his home in the remote Himalayan ranges during his school vacation. During his break, he stumbles upon a ‘Yeti’ or otherwise known as ‘Abominable Snowman’. Mushtaq along with his friends sets out on a daring adventure to search for the proof of the existence of this creature.”

Although the plot of the story is simple enough but Naidu makes it a point to include subtle messages and various informative pieces throughout the story related to the environment, relationships and science. Naidu wants to instill the habit of reading among children & wants them to be creative and imaginative.

Let’s hope that in this age of cartoon network and play stations children return to the basics of entertainment which is reading. So, we look forward to some more great work by Naidu and other talented authors like her.

Book Review: Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

Based on David Roberts real life adventures, SHANTARAM is an epic tale of slums and five star hotels, romantic love and prison torture, mafia gang wars and Bollywood films.   shantaram

This is the story of the protagonist Lin, who has escaped from an Australian jail and arrived in Bombay, India with a fake passport of New Zealand. During his stay in Mumbai, Lin met a local man named Prabhakar whom he hired as a guide but soon became his good friend. Both the men visited to Prabhaker’s native village where Prabhaker’s mother gave him a new Maharashtrian name ‘Shantaram’ which means Man of God’s Peace as she believed his nature to be blessed with peaceful happiness. Lin is later forced to live in slums after he is robbed of all his possessions while he is on his way from the village. He started a free clinic for the people in the slum and to provide for his own income he started selling drugs to the tourists. This drew the attention of local gangsters towards him and he could do nothing but got increasingly pulled into their world of crime.

SHANTARAM is one of those books that come once in few years, a book for which you would wait for five years or maybe even a decade to find. It is not just a book with an account of drugs and crime only; it is much more than that. Shantaram is the story of a man who even in a life of violence loves all those in his life and the city which became his home. The book is flooded with variety of characters and themes including the nature of humanity and human struggle to survive and thrive in the world.

Book Review:The Spare Room by Helen Garner:

Monday, April 18th, 2011

Born in Gee long, Australia in 1942; Helen Garner is an internationally acclaimed and award winning author. Her novel The Spare Room is a powerful, witty and her first work of fiction in fifteen years. The Spare Room is s story about a complex friendship between two women, one of whom is dying and the other caring for her dying friend.

A gripping but a fast novel of only 175 pages that talk about friendship and the joys and hardships that develops when one of the close friends is dying of cancer.  It is a story of two old friends of fifteen years Helen and Nicola both in their 60’s living in different cities of Australia. The novel opens up with an apprehensive narrator Helen, who is preparing her spare room for her terminally ill friend Nicola who is coming over to stay with Helen for her cancer treatment. Nicolas has placed all her hope and trust in an alternative health centre and is determined to find her own way to deal with her illness regardless of the advice of others including her friend Helen. Nicola’s battle for survival will not only turn her life upside down but will also affect lives of all those living around her.

The Spare Room is an extraordinary, exhilarating and moving novel that deals with the themes of friendship, aging, death, alternative health and many more. It’s a magical gem of a book highly recommended by readers all over the world for those who enjoy reading fiction packed with strength and emotions and that explores life and death and the bonds of friendship.

Top Five Books on Parenting.

Friday, April 15th, 2011

Below is a list of five popular book s on parenting that offers fresh perspectives on how to create that happiness from infancy onwards. These books will teach parents how they can develop cordial relationships with their children by teaching them right practices the right way. Whether you are looking for a way to bond with your baby, reason with your toddler or reconnect with your spouse, these books have the solution to family bliss. Our editorial team has randomly picked these five books  and we invite all our readers to share the name of any book based on parenting that according to them will fit in our category.

1.The Values Book: Teaching Sixteen Basic Values to Young Children by Pam Schiller0876591896-: This book cites various circumstances within our culture and environment that are creating changes in behavior. It offers teachers and parents quick and straightforward ideas for raising children’s awareness, understanding and experience of 16 basic values which includes tolerance, honesty, patience and cooperation.

2.Raising your Spirited Child by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka-0060739665: This is the revised edition of the award winning classic in which the author provides vivid examples and a refreshingly positive viewpoint. This book will help parents understand their child’s as well as their own temperamental traits, help them cope with tantrums and power struggles whenever they occur and help them plan for success with a simple four step program & develop strategies for handling issues like sibling rivalry, bedtimes, holidays and many other situations.

3.Radical Homemakers: Reclaiming Domesticity from a Consumer Cultures by Shannon Hayes-0979439116: This book discusses the philosophy and politics of homemaking, reclaiming the domestic realm in a thorough and empowered way. The philosophies discussed in this book can be applied to any household which makes this book a must read for all the parents.

4.Grace Based Parenting by Dr. Tim Kimmel-0849905486: Dr. Tim Kimmel, the founder of Family Matters Ministries offers a refreshing new look at parenting. In this book he rejects rigid rules and checklists that do not work and instead recommends a parenting style that mirrors God’s love, reflects his forgiveness and displaces fear as a motivator for behavior. He is arguing for a style of parenting that enforces rules and moral boundaries but at the same time also lets children know that they are being loved and they can make mistakes.

5.Unconditional Parenting: Moving form Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason by Alfie Kohn0743487486-: This is Kohn’s unquestionably one of the most persuasive and important works. In this book, he exposes the harm inherent in widely accepted disciplinary practices and offers a variety of powerful alternatives that make it possible for children to become their most thoughtful, caring and responsible selves.

Book Review: Beautiful Malice by Rebecca James

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

Beautiful Malice is James most stunning, upsetting and chilling American fiction debut of psychological suspense. The novel is a haunting story that begins with a heart wrenching opening and ends with a shocking climax.

“Katherine Patterson has experienced unimaginable horror in her past. To escape the memory of her past (i.e. her sister’s brutal murder), Katherine moves to a new city, starts at a new school and even changes her name. She starts her new life of a quite anonymity. But what happens is something that she had least expected. She meets and befriends the beautiful and the most popular, charismatic girl of the school named Alice. Katherine is unable to resist the flattering attention that Alice pays her and is easily seduced by her apparent carefree approach to life.

But Alice isn’t all that she seems to be. Beneath the party girl facade is a bitter and damaged young woman who wants to destroy the lives of everyone around her. As Katherine gets to know her better, she discovers Alice’s darkest secrets. But after that Katherine will not be able to escape her past.”

Beautiful Malice is an interesting novel that can be read in just one sitting. Though there are certain age –specific elements that are pitched to the teenage readers but the mature themes of the novel will appeal to the older audiences as well.

5 Popular Books on Sports

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

It is believed that the best Sports books are outstanding studies in courage, character, competition and the drive to be the best. Here is a list of five most popular books on Sports that have been randomly picked by us. If our readers have a recommendation for this list, we kindly invite them to share that with us.

1.The Boys of Summer by Roger Kahn-1423377702: The best Baseball book ever written gives account of the early 50’s Brooklyn Dodgers. A novelist tale of conflict and change, a tribute, a civic history, a piece of nostalgia and finally a tragedy. The most poignant section of the book is where Kahn finally etches portraits of the heroes of his youth. The book must be savored slowly, allowing its resonance to work its magic.

2. Sea biscuit by Laura Hillenbrand-0007167040: This book is especially recommended to racing fans with a thirst for history. The triumph of sea biscuit is ultimately the story of what any person may accomplish when their talents are recognized, supported and expanded. Hillenbrand tells a irresistible story of a hay burner who came to dominate the depression era sports pages, taking a colorful crew of humans along for the ride.

3.Winning Ugly-Mental Warfare in Tennis By Brad Gilbert, Steve Jamison-067188400X: This book will teach you how to succeed at tennis or any other competitive activity. It’s an easy t read book where the reader gets a feel for Gilbert’s analytical approach to playing tennis and can use it as an example for his own game.  It’s a motivational and fun to read.

4.Swimming to Antarctica- Tales of a Long Distance Summer by Lynne Cox-1439566305: Lynne Cox tells of her love of the long-distance swim in her inspiring book of memoirs. At age 15, she broke the men’s and women’s records for swimming across the English Channel. She swam the Cook Strait between the main islands of New Zealand and the Magellan Strait. Pushing herself to the extreme, she was the first person to swim across the Bering Strait in near freezing water, and then took a mile swim in 32-degree water in Antarctica without a wet suit, braving injury, hypothermia, and death.

5.The Warrior within- The Philosophies of Bruce Lee by John Little-0809231948: The book basically describes concepts of how Bruce Lee lived his life and the author shows how a person can apply them to their own lives. It’s an excellent book that captures the essence and philosophical thoughts of Bruce Lee. He explains the way Lee thought and lived through his own personal study of Chinese and western philosophy.

BOOKS VERSUS E-BOOKS

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

A BOOK OR an E-BOOK? It is difficult to say which one is better as both come with their own list of advantages and disadvantages . While people may totally agree that today e Books are the strong contenders for the traditional books as they are portable, can store up to 350 books, offer big technical advances and they are those feather weight libraries that people can carry with them to their vacations.

But nevertheless there are many who are still adamant on their belief that traditional books have no comparison. Many renowned authors and booksellers believe that books lose their charm when they are turned into e-books. The feel that a hardcover book has and the reading experience itself get diminished.

Though there are many promoters and publishers of traditional books that think that eBooks are in danger of replacing paper books. But it is not likely that eBooks will ever be able to completely and totally replace print books, nor should they. Regardless of future developments in e-reading technology, the book market will have plenty of room for paper books for quite some time.

E Books may have become the latest trend but still it has not been widely accepted yet. Nobody can deny the fact that traditional books are more personal, interactive and you can even become attached to a copy of your favorite novel. Besides that one cannot share an e book with his friends the way a traditional book can be shared. So, you see there is lot more to a traditional book than an e book.

An e book has a long way to go to win the competition but right now traditional books score for being more robust, available in greater variety, cheaper and there is no such paper book that begins with the warning of low battery.

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