Mundie Moms

Monday, October 1, 2012

KEEPER of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger Blog Tour: Book Review / Author Interview /Giveaway

I'm thrilled to be one of two stops today featured in my KEEPER of the Lost Cities blog tour. Today you'll get to read my review, and enter for your chance to win an ARC of Shannon's YA debut Let the Sky Fall, as well as enter to win a signed copy of KEEPER from Literary Rambles. 

Hi Shannon! Thank you for joining me on Mundie Moms today. I loved everything about Keeper! What was one of your favorite things to write about/ create in Keeper?

Aw, thank you so much--I'm so glad you loved KEEPER. And ooo--that's a tough question! I'm tempted to say "the world" since it is such a cool place to hang out and imagine fun things--but I think honestly, what I loved most was getting to know Sophie. The way she handled all the things I threw at her really took me by surprise, and made me fall very much in love with that incredibly brave little girl.
If you were a character in your book which character would you have enjoyed being friends with and why?

Yikes--another hard one! I have such strong attachments to all of my characters that it's so hard to choose. But since I have to pick, I'll say Dex. He's pretty much the best friend anyone could ask for. Loyal. Honest. Always ready to help with anything anyone needs. And he's one of those rare people who can instantly see past any differences or weirdnesses in someone and realize that he likes them and wants to be their friend. Which is good for me, 'cause... I'm weird. ;)
Which of your characters surprised you in terms of their growth and how much they changed from writing drafts/outlines to the published book?

Definitely Keefe. Honestly, when I first started writing the book Keefe didn't exist. He was a surprise the story gave me, who quickly wormed his way into the entire series--which was both awesome and EXCUSE ME, KID--YOU ARE RUINING ALL OF MY PLANS!!!!  :)
What advice would you give to young aspiring authors?

Learn to be patient! Pretty much everything about this process takes time. It takes practice to learn how to tell the story right. It takes time to get an agent and sell your book to publishers. And don't even get me started on all the waiting that comes after that. But that's actually a good thing because all that time and waiting can be used to make you a better writer. 

Can you tell us a little bit about what we can except in Keeper 2?

Well, I don't want to accidentally spoil anything about book 1. But I will say that we get to meet a new creature in Keeper 2, one that made 12-year-old-Shannon gleefully happy as I wrote about it because it has sparkly fur. Sparkles make everything better!

Speed Round:

* Happy endings or cliff hangers? Somewhere in between. I always want MORE of a story I love, but it's hard to be left totally hanging.
* Fall or Summer? Fall! Pumpkin flavored EVERYTHING--plus I can wear boots!
* Dark chocolate or milk chocolate? My sweet tooth says, "milk." Though I really love either.
* Late nights or early mornings? Definitely late nights. Soooooo not a morning person.
* Sunsets or sunrises? Sunsets. Sunrises happen way too early.

Thank you Shannon for stopping by Mundie Moms today! 

Be sure to follow Shannon on her: Blog | Twitter | Tumblr | Facebook | GoodReads | Pinterest

Published by: Simon & Schuster
To Be Released on: October 2nd, 2012

Twelve-year-old Sophie has never quite fit in. She's not comfortable with her family and keeping a secret—she's a telepath. But then she meets Fitz, who tells her the reason she has never felt at home is that, well, she isn't. But Sophie still has secrets, and they're buried deep in her memory for good reason: the answers are in high-demand. The truth could mean life or death, and time is running out.

This is why I love Middle Grade reads! Shannon Messenger's debut is fantastic! There's plenty of adventure, some snark, a lot of fun, and a mystery to be solved. Did I mention there might be a little bit of danger? 

I love a middle grade book that gives me a richly detailed story, world and characters to fall in love with. This book exceeded all that, and then some. One of the things that makes KEEPER's stand out is Shannon's writing. I didn't feel like I was reading a middle grade book. I felt like I was introduced to an incredible world were I met some unforgettable characters and went on a totally awesome journey with them. Oooh and there's also this really, really cool thing that Sophie can do, but I can't tell you what it is. Okay, it's not just Sophie, but some of the characters of these really amazing powers that tie into the secrets that get revealed in this book. 

You can't go on a fun adventure and not have fun characters right? The characters are so much fun to get to know, and really made this book amazing for me. Sophie, our main protagonist is a young character I think readers are really going to love. She's someone who's incredibly bright, she has this amazing ability, and she's also someone who along the way in discovering more about herself and a new world she never knew existed, makes a mistake or two. Her discovery and her growing into the person she is by the end of the book was only half of what I loved about Shannon's debut. The other half might have to do with the guys that become apart of Sophie's life, Keefe, Fitz, and Dez. Let's just say the story livens up a bit when they're around and I might have pledged myself to Team Keefe! 

When I think of middle grade books I think back to those stories that excited me and took me to places that existed along side my the world I lived in. They allowed me to take incredibly journeys, expanded my imagination, moved me in some way, made reading fun, and enjoyable, and introduced me to some characters and worlds that are still with me today. I feel like KEEPER of The Lost Cities is one of those books. It's going to be on of those books that just excites many of it's young readers and reminds it's older readers why we fell in love with reading in the first place.  Not that anyone can replace Harry Potter, but I think parents who are looking for another book series they can read and connect with their kids on some sort of level with will find they can do that with Shannon's KEEPER of the Lost Cities. 

If you weren't a fan of middle grades, you will be after your read KEEPER. I LOVE this book! It's one of my all time favorite MG books, and will be at the top of list of favorite reads at the end of this year. I HIGHLY recommend picking this book up when it's out tomorrow. 

Check out what book is being featured on Simon Kids's facebook page! Let's right, KEEPER! Right now you can read an excerpt of Shannon's book for free! Go HERE to read the first three chapters!

The Giveaway: 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster, I have an ARC of Shannon's debut YA book, Let The Sky Fall up for grabs! To enter, please fill out the form below. 

By: Shannon Messenger
Published by: Simon Pulse
To Be Released on: March 5th, 2013

A broken past and a divided future can’t stop the electric connection of two teens in this “charged and romantic” (Becca Fitzpatrick), lush novel. Seventeen-year-old Vane Weston has no idea how he survived the category five tornado that killed his parents. And he has no idea if the beautiful, dark-haired girl who’s swept through his dreams every night since the storm is real. But he hopes she is.

Seventeen-year-old Audra is a sylph, an air elemental. She walks on the wind, can translate its alluring songs, and can even coax it into a weapon with a simple string of commands. She’s also a guardian—Vane’s guardian—and has sworn an oath to protect Vane at all costs. Even if it means sacrificing her own life.

When a hasty mistake reveals their location to the enemy who murdered both of their families, Audra’s forced to help Vane remember who he is. He has a power to claim—the secret language of the West Wind, which only he can understand. But unlocking his heritage will also unlock the memory Audra needs him to forget. And their greatest danger is not the warriors coming to destroy them—but the forbidden romance that’s grown between them

The Mortal Instruments Movie Monday #2: Jamie vs Alec P, the Casting of Jace, Part 1

Welcome to the next installment of The Mortal Instruments Movie Monday! You can read about how this meme came to be here. Today's post is a feature I've actually had in the works for a few weeks now. It's one that started long before I visited the TMI set, and before I knew I was going to start this meme. It's one that has been fueled by the hate that has been going around about Jamie playing Jace. 

I want to go on record and state that I firmly believe, think, and feel that Jamie is going to nail his role as Jace. I'm no longer going well he doesn't quiet look the part or I'm not really sure... I'm 100% convinced he was the right person cast for this role. Let me explain to you why I think that, and what changed my mind. *sorry, no movie set secrets will be revealed in this post... I'm so excited I get to share a little something about my set visit in regards to Jamie, which is near the end of this post* 

It's no secret that I was the only one from MM's who hadn't fully bought into the casting of Jamie as Jace. I've always said that if Cassie was all for his casting, then I would support that. After all, it is her book being brought to life, and she's the one who needs to feel like the person cast as Jace is believable to not only her, but the fans as well. Long before there was any movie talk, and shortly after City of Bones was released I read the book, fell in love and from the moment I read about Jace, I always pictured Alex P as Jace. Here's the Alex P I pictured:

You know, hot Jace and then the angst Jace....... 

Here's the problem I now have with Alex P playing Jace, and I know, I'm shocked I'm saying this. Well I'm shocked, but I know Sophie who's been a supporter of Jamie from the get go isn't shocked. She's already got her "I Told You" moment (like I knew she would), and is most likely grinning ear to ear over my coming out and saying this, Alex P no longer looks like/Jace, at least to me. I know, I can't believe he's aged, what was he thinking?!?! See if the movie was filmed back when Alex looked like Jace, he, I think would have rocked the part. To me in these two pictures only (featured above), he looks like Jace.  


NOT at all. He's aged well, but not for the part of Jace. Looking at this picture which is a more recent picture of him, and then looking at the ones above, he's lost that Jace look to me. *sniff, sniff* At first I was a bit devastated over my realization that Sophie might be right. I finally understood what Twilight fans felt when Rob was first cast as Edward. Let me just say, I was apart of that fandom long before a movie was ever mentioned, and when it was announced and casting was announced, holy crap people were so incredibly hateful towards Rob. I was shocked. Funny thing happened, most of those people ended up LOVING Rob, because he portrayed the Edward many of them had in their head. He didn't look the part to them, but Rob brought Edward to life, and I've got a feeling the same thing is going to happen all over again only this time it's going to be with Jamie playing Jace. 

Sophie and I have spent countless amounts of time talking about Jamie's casting as Jace. It's not that I didn't have faith in the studio and their casting of Jace, it's that I wasn't yet sold on this notion of someone else other the person I had pictured as Jace playing him. Time and time again she'd send me clips from Camelot and tell how great he was going to be, and that he'd totally win me over. For the record Sophie, YOU WERE RIGHT. There I told everyone ;) lol. I totally get now what Sophie has been telling me all along, that Jamie will bring Jace to life, not just the one side of Jace, but all those crucial sides. The dark sides, the witty sides, the in love Jace and the Jace that tries to push everyone away. 

Prior to my invite to the TMI movie set, I took it upon myself to see what it was that I thought Alex P had that Jamie didn't to play the role of Jace. You know what after watching Alex's movie I found myself no longer believing in the Alex P image of Jace. I'll admit, it's incredibly hard to let go of that, since I've pictured him from the get go. Here's the thing, I know Alex P fans might turn on me for saying this, based on the movies I watched of Alex and one of his recent releases, I don't think he would have done justice to Jace's role. *gasp* *deep breath* I know, I just said that and while it might be a little shocking, I truly believe what I'm saying. In watching his latest movies, I don't think he would have brought the image of Jace I've had in my mind to life. Believe me, this is a little hard to openly confess on here, but I'm going to, because for so many reasons, and some I can't yet list, Jamie IS Going To Do an Incredible Job at Playing Jace.  Here's when I had my "Oh he's Jace moment".... when I watched this video of him (This video went to my friends at TMI Source, while I had the one of Lily. These were sent to us prior to our set visits for fans to post their comments and questions to the cast on each of the sites visiting the movie set):

I kid you know not, there was something about Jamie in this video that made me go, "he's Jace". He may not have the chiseled jawline Alex P has at the top pictured that I always pictured Jace having, but he's Jace, at least to me. I don't know how else to explain it, but I swear this was something in the way he presented himself in this video that made me realize that my reservations about him were lame, and I had no need to worry if he was going to bring Jace to life. Cassie from the get go has told fans she thinks he's going to do amazing job. If you know Cassie, you know she doesn't say something like that just to appease fans. She says what she means. Though I believed her, I wasn't sold on Jamie until I had my "ah ha!" moment while watching this. 

Image wise, there have always been a select few pictures I've found of Alex P's that were Jace like to me. With this post, I felt the need to go and look for a few of Jamie's I felt were Jace like as well. Here's a few that I found. 

I can see a smirky Jace look in this picture. 

A little bit of angst Jace. 

And possibly Jace just hanging out with family/friends, though Jace doesn't really seem like the "hang out" kind of guy. lol

I totally get that Jamie's role of Jace won't necessarily win people over picture wise. I'm with you guys, I need to see the person in their role in order for me to be truly converted to their casting, but much like Rob's role in playing Edward, I think Jamie bringing Jace to life on the big screen will convince fans he was the right person for the role. From the little bit I saw in the clip above I think he's not going to have any problems doing that. To add to all that all I've mentioned above, * I can say meeting him and hearing what he had to say about playing his character sealed the deal for me on why he was cast to play Jace. There will be much more to discuss about Jamie playing Jace in my part 2 in this post coming up at a feature date. 

I'd love to hear your thoughts. Were you behind Jamie playing Jace from the get go, or did you need a little convincing like I did? Or are you still on the fence about it? *any hateful comments will be deleted*

* all images were found on google*

Mundane Monday #156: Clockwork Princess Teaser

Happy Mundane Monday!! Today's feature is a Clockwork Princess teaser Cassie posted this past week.

Jem and Tessa, by special request. :)


Slowly, Jem put the violin back in its case, and laid the bow beside it. Only then did he turn to Tessa. His expression was shy, though his white shirt was soaked through with sweat and the pulse in his neck was pounding. 

“Did you like it?” he said. “I am not good with words, so I wrote how I felt about you in music.”

*sigh* Is it March yet?!?

October 2012 YA/MG releases

Happy October! I know, this year has flown by. Here's some of the upcoming MG and YA you'll be able to get your hands on this month.

October 1st:
October 2:
October 8th:
October 9th:
October 16th:
October 23rd:
October 30th:
If you notice a MG or YA title not on the list, please leave the title and author name in the comments below and I'll add it to the list. Happy Reading!