Mundie Moms

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Mundie Moms Live Chat w/ UNRAVEL ME Author Tahereh Mafi

Hello! I'm so excited to be back in action with our Live Author Chats! We're kicking off this year's live author chats with UNRAVEL ME author Tahereh Mafi! This spoiler free chat will be your chance to ask Tahereh your burning questions about Warner and Adam! :)

I also hear there might be two other guest authors joining into tonight's UNRAVEL ME love!

Join us TONIGHT, Thursday 1/31 at 8 pm CST / 9 pm EST here on the blog!

Oh yes, THERE WILL BE A GIVEAWAY tonight for a copy of UNRAVEL ME!!! Be sure to stop by! If you can't stop by, leave a comment in the post to be entered to win. ;)

*this post will be edited and moved the day of the chat to the top of the blog*

This is a moderated chat, meaning your comments will not go live unless they are published. Due to the high volume of fans excepted tonight, comments and questions will not automatically be published, though Tahereh, myself, Sophie and the two other guest authors can see all the comments/questions. Thank you!

* No part of this chat may be used without permission from Mundie Moms or any of the participating authors*

THE YEAR OF SHADOWS Cover Reveal Week - Day 3– Final Cover and First Page

Hello and Welcome to today's exciting cover reveal for Claire Legrand's THE YEAR OF SHADOWS! I know, I'm extremely excited about being able to team up with Claire and Simon Kids to reveal this lovely cover. Why delay any longer, check out this cover!

 What do you think of the cover?  Isn't it a lovely cover? I love the look on the cat's face. I wonder where that stair case leads to. I can't wait to see this cover out in stores! Guess what else I have for you today, a giveaway and a sneak peak of the first, along with a guest post from Claire!

This is our exclusive sneak peak into page #1. I am already in love. I seriously love that there's a silhouette of the cat on this page *must get book*.


Olivia Stellatella is having a rough year.

Her mother left, her neglectful father—the maestro of a failing orchestra—has moved her and her grandmother into his dark, broken-down concert hall to save money, and her only friend is Igor, an ornery stray cat.

Just when she thinks life couldn’t get any weirder, she meets four ghosts who haunt the hall. They need Olivia’s help—if the hall is torn down, they’ll be stuck as ghosts forever, never able to move on.

Olivia has to do the impossible for her shadowy new friends: Save the concert hall. But helping the dead has powerful consequences for the living . . . and soon it’s not just the concert hall that needs saving.

Giveaway Details

To celebrate cover reveal week, Claire is giving away seven awesome prizes – seven prizes for seven different winners!

To win one of these prizes, simply comment on this post! The giveaway begins today and ends Thursday, February 7th. U.S./Canada only. Also, for more chances to win, don’t forget to comment on the first two cover reveal week posts at Icey Books and The Book Smugglers!


Thank you to Simon & Schuster Kids and Claire Legrand for being apart of Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids today. 

About The Book:

By: Claire Legrand
Published by: Simon & Schuster
To Be Released On (around): August 27th, 2013
Soon to be available for Pre-Order on: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes

12-year-old Olivia Stellatella and her father have sold all their belongings to keep her father's orchestra from going bankrupt. Now, they live out of suitcases in the back rooms of Emerson Hall, where the orchestra performs.

Olivia hates it there.

She hates her squeaky cot and shabby clothes. She hates her father, too, for being so obsessed with music that he drove Olivia's mother out of the house and got them into this mess. Most of all, Olivia hates the orchestra. It's the orchestra's fault that her father's the way he is. She can't wait for it to fail.

Until the ghosts come.

They're lonely, frightened, and stuck in our world. Only if Olivia and the 12-year-old usher, Henry, can help the ghosts solve the mysteries of their deaths -- deaths that are somehow related to the Hall's past -- will they be able to move on and find peace. But time -- and money -- is running out. The mayor wants to bulldoze the Hall to the ground, which would put Olivia and her father out on the streets and trap the ghosts in our world permanently. And other ghosts -- bad ones -- will do anything to keep them here. As the “ghosts of Emerson Hall” craze sweeps the city, Olivia faces life-changing family secrets and must fight for her life when her world, and the world of Death, collide.

THE YEAR OF SHADOWS is a middle grade ghost story about loss, magic, music, and the power of friendship - quoted from 

About The Author:

Claire is a Texan living in New York City! She writes fantastical stories, and her daemon is an ocelot but sometimes a unicorn. When presented with the choice to high five or not to high five, she will always choose TO HIGH FIVE. Her first novel, THE CAVENDISH HOME FOR BOYS AND GIRLS, due out August 28, 2012 fromSimon & Schuster BFYR, will probably give you nightmares. Or at the very least make you buy a nightlight. Her second novel, THE YEAR OF SHADOWS, due out Fall 2013, also from S&S, involves several ghosts, a girl who lives in a haunted music hall, and a rather insouciant cat. Her third novel,WINTERSPELL, due out in Fall 2014, also from S&S, is a young adult retelling of The Nutcracker, full of faeries, bloody swordfights, and forbidden romance. 

Follow Claire via her: Blog | Website | Twitter | GoodReads | Facebook | Tumblr

Changeling Blog Tour: Order of The Darkness & A Giveaway

Welcome to today's ORDER OF DARKNESS blog tour. Order of Darkness is the second book in the CHANGELING series by Philippa Gregory, and I'm thrilled to be today's tour stop. Today's tour question for me to answer is:

If you could go back in time, which era would you choose?

That's such a hard answer to pick, because there are so many era I'd like to visit. One of the era's I'm most fascinated by is late 1920's through the late 1930's. I think a lot of that has to do with growing up listening to my Grandmother vivid story's from her growing up during this. She easily painted the picture for me of what it was like growing up then, the good, the bad (the depression), and the fun. She talked about the fashion, the music, and really over all what society was like then. It's always intrigued me and left an impression on me and had me wishing that I could go back during that time just to get a glimpse of her life life then, and what the world was like.

I've also been intrigued with the Victorian Era for as long as I can remember, and my reading of this time period only fuels that. I feel like this was a time in our world's history that was all about change. Things were being invented, movements were slowly starting to happen, and let's face it, if I could I would choose to go back in the era that Will, Jem and Tessa (from Cassandra Clare's The Infernal Devices series) lived, I would in a heart beat. I'm sure picking this era is comical to those who really know me, as I wouldn't last long during a time when women were subjected to not really think for themselves, and weren't treated equally. If I could go back in time for a day or so I'm pretty sure I could control my outspoken, get it done myself, women can do a lot of (not all) the same things men can, don't tell me what to do attitude. I would totally drag Sophie with me, who'd most likely have that same modern day wit and charm I'd bring with me. That way we'd both get shunned and scrutinized together. Though instead of romping around the streets of London, she'd be off roaming the romantic country side of England playing coy with her beloved Mr. Darcy. ;) 

Though I am intrigued by the fashion of this period of time, let's face it, having to squeeze into a corset every day wouldn't be as fun as it first sounds. Sure if I really were able to step back in time and visit the streets of London, it would be a dirty, dangerous place for a women of standing to be. *snort laugh* I mean for any women, since the time I'd want to go to, women needed escorts and had their name and virtue to protect. Can you imagine having Jem or Will walking you around a London park? Okay maybe not Will since he seems like the kind of boy who would want to claim your virtue as his own, but you know what I mean. So I guess my answer would be Victorian London with Jem and Will, oh or wait, Sherlock Holmes was also around this time. Yes, I'm talking the Robert Downey Jr Sherlock Holmes. Yes, I'm totally picking this era to go back and visit. ;) 

What era would you visit? 

About the book
Dark myths, medieval secrets, intrigue, and romance populate the pages of this first in a four-book teen series from the #1 bestselling author of The Other Boleyn Girl.

The year is 1453 and all signs point to it being the end of the world. Accused of heresy and expelled from his monastery, handsome seventeen-year-old Luca Vero is recruited by a mysterious stranger to record the end of times across Europe. Commanded by sealed orders, Luca is sent to map the fears of Christendom and travel to the very frontier of good and evil.
Seventeen-year-old Isolde, a Lady Abbess, is trapped in a nunnery to prevent her from claiming her rich inheritance. As the nuns in her care are driven mad by strange visions, walking in their sleep, and showing bleeding wounds, Luca is sent to investigate and driven to accuse her.
Forced to face the greatest fears of the dark ages—witchcraft, werewolves, madness—Luca and Isolde embark on a search for truth, their own destinies, and even love as they take the unknown ways to the real historical figure who defends the boundaries of Christendom and holds the secrets of the Order of Darkness.

About the author 
Philippa Gregory is the author of several internationally bestselling novels, including The Other Boleyn Girl and The White Queen, and is a recognized authority on women’s history. She lives in the north of England with her family and welcomes visitors to her website, Order of Darkness: Changeling is her first novel written for teens.

The Giveaway:
Thank you to Simon & Schuster and Big Hancho Media I have a copy of Order of Darkness:Changeling and this Limited Edition "Our Love Story Has History" tote bag (seen here) to giveaway to one lucky tour follower. 

Please fill out the form below to enter. 

Who Is Marcus Finch Clue #8

Welcome to Penguin Teen's Who is Marcus Finch? two week campgain! Over the next two week's myself and a handful of other fabulous blogs will be treating you to a daily quote/teaser, giving you clues into who Marcus is. Today's clue is:

Dying to get your hands on The Indigo Spell? Be sure here to by and read an excerpt from the book before it's out. Enter to win a copy of the book HERE

In the aftermath of a forbidden moment that rocked Sydney to her core, she finds herself struggling to draw the line between her Alchemist teachings and what her heart is urging her to do. Then she meets alluring, rebellious Marcus Finch--a former Alchemist who escaped against all odds, and is now on the run. Marcus wants to teach Sydney the secrets he claims the Alchemists are hiding from her. But as he pushes her to rebel against the people who raised her, Sydney finds that breaking free is harder than she thought. There is an old and mysterious magic rooted deeply within her. And as she searches for an evil magic user targeting powerful young witches, she realizes that her only hope is to embrace her magical blood--or else she might be next.

Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, the Bloodlines series explores all the friendship, romance, battles, and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive—this time in a part-vampire, part-human setting where the stakes are even higher and everyone’s out for blood. -quoted from Goodreads

Be sure to check out the Bloodlines Website, and visit the Bloodlines Facebook page.

Clockwork Princess Snippet

Cassie has been treating fans to a lot of fabulous teasers lately. About a hour or so ago Cassie shared this new CP2 teaser with fans:

Tessa couldn’t help herself; despite everything, she giggled. “It laces,” she whispered. “In the back,” and she guided his hands around her until his fingers were on the strings of the corset. She shivered then, and not from cold, but from the intimacy of the gesture. 

HOLY CRAP I think I just died and went to heaven. I'd like to guess this is from a Jem / Tessa moment, but knowing Cassie, this scene is most likely taken out of context just to mess with our raging Shadowhunter emotions. LOL

MTV's 2013 Movie Brawl: A Shadowhunter Thank You / A Clockwork Princess Teaser

I had meant to post this the other day when both the official TMI movie page on facebook and Cassie herself shared a heartfelt thank you to all the TMI fans for taking the movie to 2nd place in MTV's 2013 Movie Brawl. This is a huge success considering our movie hasn't even been released yet. 

From the movie facebook page, they posted this image along with this message:

"We might have lost the battle, but Shadowhunters never quit.

THANK YOU for your dedication in getting us to the final round of the MTV movie brawl. They had this to say about you.... "

Cassie then shared this and had this to say:

The Hunger Games fandom: Congrats, you are awesome!
TMI/TiD fandom: Congrats as well, you are also awesome! Of course, I love you, and am biased, but I think in this case, bias is okay. It is so fantastic that you guys made it to the final round of the MTV movie brawl; I mean you beat Man of Steel and Iron Man 3 and Stark Trek: Into Darkness, and that is like, amazing. You should be crazy proud for coming in second. I mean, what came in second last year? The Hunger Games. 
As MTV says: “The strong showing from the Shadowhunters proved that the YA adaptation is a force to be reckoned with.”
Well, I could have told them you were a force to be reckoned with. :) And:

That is, actually, a phenomenal accomplishment, doing that well so early. Pat yourselves on the backs, love one another, and have a snippet from Clockwork Princess
Will looked at his sister. “And you don’t care about being a Shadowhunter. How is this: I shall write a letter and give it to you if you promise to deliver it home yourself — and not to return.”
Cecily recoiled; she had many memories of shouting matches with Will, of the china dolls she had owned that he had broken by dropping them out an attic window; but there was also kindness in her memories: the brother who had bandaged up a cut knee, or retied her hair ribbons when they came loose. That kindness was absent from the Will who stood before her now. Her mother had used to cry for the first year or two after Will went; she had said, in Welsh, holding Cecily to her, that they — the Shadowhunters — would “take all the love out of him.” A cold, unloving people, she had told Cecily, who had forbidden her marriage to her husband. What could he want with them, her Will, her little one?
“I will not go,” Cecily said, staring her brother down. “And if you insist that I must, I will — I will —”
The door of the attic slid open and Jem stood silhouetted in the doorway…

The Bane Chronicles gets a Photo Place Holder!

You guys! We have a photo place holder for The Bane Chronicles! You know what that means!?! We're that much closer to getting a real cover and it's release!! I can not wait! What do you guys think? I'm so excited Magnus will finally be on a cover. 

Here's what Cassie shared the other day:

Rule of thumb: THE SHADOWHUNTERS OF TUMBLR NOTICE EVERYTHING! Yes, that is the placeholder art for the Bane Chronicles. It isn’t the final cover, because they have to shoot a model for that, but it’s Magnus’ wizardy hand shooting blue fire, so that’s something!
This is Cassie’s tumblr background and if you save the picure its name is tumblr_static_banechronicles_placeholder.png
So yeah, Bane Chronicles but it’s a placeholder.
If you take a closer look, there are buildings in the background and maybe cogs (?) in the right corner.
Inspired by this post.
You guys noticed this. ;) Isn’t it pretty? Magnus’s colour is totally blue, and also I just think—well, I have never been part of such a FANCY endeavour before, so I was excited to behold this. A placeholder cover of great prettiness before the cover of great foxiness! (Trust me it will be.)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

COVER REVEAL/Author Interview / Giveaway: The Waking Dark by Robin Wasserman

Hello! Welcome to today's exciting cover reveal for Robin Wasserman's upcoming thriller, THE WAKING DARK! I'm thrilled to be teaming up with Random House to reveal this haunting cover. Check it out!

Wow! I'd say this cover does the book justice. I love the how the light draws your eyes to it, but the darkness gives it that chilling feeling. Based on the synopsis, I'd say it's a perfect match. It's dark, haunting, and has that edginess to it. What do you guys think?

About the Book:
By: Robin Wasserman
Published by: Random House
To Be Released on: September 13th, 2013

They called it the killing day. Twelve people dead, all in the space of a few hours. Five murderers: neighbors, relatives, friends. All of them so normal. All of them seemingly harmless. All of them now dead by their own hand . . . except one. And that one has no answers to offer the shattered town. She doesn't even know why she killed—or whether she'll do it again.

Something is waking in the sleepy town of Oleander's, Kansas—something dark and hungry that lives in the flat earth and the open sky, in the vengeful hearts of upstanding citizens. As the town begins its descent into blood and madness, five survivors of the killing day are the only ones who can stop Oleander from destroying itself. Jule, the outsider at war with the world; West, the golden boy at war with himself; Daniel, desperate for a different life; Cass, who's not sure she deserves a life at all; and Ellie, who believes in sacrifice, fate, and in evil. Ellie, who always goes too far. They have nothing in common. They have nothing left to lose. And they have no way out. Which means they have no choice but to stand and fight, to face the darkness in their town—and in themselves.

I'm thrilled to have Robin Wasserman on the blog today to talk about her upcoming releases, as well as her writing. 

Hi Robin! Thank you for being on Mundie Moms today. How would you describe The Waking Dark? 
Thanks for having me here! I’m so excited to finally get the chance to talk about this book, which has been sitting on my computer for the last couple years but bouncing around in my head for what feels like pretty much my whole life. 

If I had to describe the basic plot, I’d say it’s the story of a small town quarantined after a tornado and six teens who are trapped there, trying to survive and escape as everyone around them goes slowly but surely nuts. 

But have I mentioned I’m terrible at describing basic plots? The Waking Dark is about all that, but it’s also about the darkness hiding beneath the surface of even the most familiar places and harmless people; it’s about a community ravaged by forces beyond its control; it’s about fate and freedom and whether to give in to your worst self; and it’s about cramming all the things I’ve been obsessed with for years—Stephen King, Twin Peaks, small Midwestern towns, the meth epidemic, religious zealots, mass hysteria, and the nature of evil—into one book.

In case that’s not enough, there’s also an explosion and some making out.

If you found yourself in a similar situation as your characters in The Waking Dark are in, which character would you most likely want to having fighting beside you?
First off, I should make clear that if I found myself in this book—or pretty much any scary book I’ve ever written or read—I would probably scream, lock myself in a closet, and lose my mind. I am not the bravest of people.

But if the universe conspired against me and sucked me into The Waking Dark (I’m shuddering just thinking about it), I’d want to have Jule Prevette by my side. Jule—raised by a single mother and an uncle who spends half his time cooking up meth and the other half in prison—is tough, angry, and a little terrifying.  She’s also fiercely loyal and never backs down from a fight. She pretends she’s only looking out for herself, but she’ll protect anyone who needs it—at least, as long as she thinks they deserve her help. Assuming she’d forgive me for all the trouble I’ve dragged her though in this book, she might even do my fighting for me.  (Though she’d probably spend the whole time making fun of my goosebumps.)

I was flattered to be asked to reveal your cover for The Waking Dark. Can you please give us a little insight to what it's like from an author's stand point when it comes to designing a cover for your book? Do you get much say in what the cover looks like?
As a general rule, authors get no say, though we do occasionally get to offer our opinions, and even more occasionally, people actually listen. This is probably a good thing (the occasional-ness of it, I mean), at least in my case, because I’m the first to admit I have serious deficits when it comes to anything visual. (When people ask me what my characters look like, I usually have to hem and haw until I can quickly make something up, because…I have no idea.) There’s a reason I stick to words.

Despite that, my editor at Random House has been incredibly generous with looping me into the cover process. And in the case of this book, that process was astonishingly fast.  I submitted a bunch of images I’d found over the course of writing the book—photos that captured the mood of what I was writing. (Dark, scary, spooky, you get the idea.) I also gave her a few covers I’d seen and loved (text-heavy, iconic, no giant close-up of a girl’s face, “something cool,” whatever that means—I told you I was terrible at this).

Then I sat back and waited for her to send me what I assumed would be the first of many attempts to narrow in on the perfect cover. (Publishers will often try a few different directions before settling on something.) This is always a nerve-wracking wait, because the cover is going to be the face of your book, maybe forever…and you have absolutely no control over it. What if it’s terrible? What if it’s great, but looks like it belongs on the cover of a book about aliens invading a supermarket? It’s never going to match the picture you have in your head (even when you’re me, and can never quite come up with a picture), but what if it just feels…wrong?  

So I waited, and I worried, and then one day, I got an email from my editor with a preliminary cover attached, and I jumped out of my chair and actually cheered. (Fortunately I was alone in my apartment at the time. Though being in public wouldn’t have stopped me. It was that good.

The cover she sent that day was almost identical to the cover you see here—they got it that right, on their very first try. And I can honestly say I’ve never been so thrilled with a book jacket before.  I don’t know what other people will think of it, but for me, this cover says everything I want The Waking Dark to be.

We often hear from authors that they have a few “writing must haves”. What are some of your writing must haves? (Do you listen to music, have a warm cup of tea etc).
I used to be the kind of person who could write anywhere, in any circumstances—I wrote most of my first novel longhand, perched on a stone ledge between grad school classes.

Alas, that person has vanished. Now I’m the kind of much less productive person who whines and procrastinates unless everything in just right. I do most of my writing in coffee shops these days (none of which are just right, but most of which somehow manage to suffice), with a chai latte by my computer and a brownie jeering at me from the counter. (I’m trying to eat fewer brownies as I write. This is slow-going.) I do my best to tune out the people talking and the music playing, but apparently over the years I’ve gotten so used to the background noise that I now have a little trouble concentrating when it’s totally silent.

This is all part of my daily writing routine, but I find I do my best work (or at least, write the most pages) when I occasionally get the chance to leave the city and go on a writing retreat somewhere beautiful. There’s nothing like sitting at the end of a dock with your laptop, listening to the wind in the trees and staring at the glassy surface of a lake, to jar my brain into action.

(This is why I’m constantly trying to subtly persuade my friend with the dock and the lake to invite me back there for every book I write. Are you listening, cabin-having friend? You know who you are…)

Is there a book you've recently read as an adult that you wish you had, had when you were a teen?
When I was a teen I read pretty much nothing but sci-fi and horror novels (with the occasional smattering of Sweet Valley High), so even if I could travel back in time with a big stack of wisdom for my teen self, she’d probably dump it in the garbage as soon as I left. That said, I wish I could somehow persuade that stubborn younger self to read A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again and Consider the Lobster, both collections of essays by David Foster Wallace. I’m not a huge fan of Wallace’s fiction, but I am passionately, some might even say unhealthily, devoted to his nonfiction. I don’t know that it’s shaped or even changed the way that I see the world, but I know that I’d like it to, which is why I keep re-reading it (and maybe if I’d started younger, I would have had a better shot).

To give you a more general answer, I do wish that I’d grown up in (what I like to call) the golden age of YA, ie right now.  If there had been books like Going Bovine or The Book Thief or Skin Hunger or The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks available to me back then, I think I would have read much more widely outside my comfort zone and would have gotten where I wanted to go (ie to the point of being a person who asked smart questions about the world and thought deeply about who I was and what I was doing) a lot faster. Maybe I’d still have grown up to be the person I am, but I think I might have had a much more interesting journey along the way.

Thank you Robin for stopping by today!

About The Author:

Robin is the author of the Cold Awakening Trilogy (Skinned, Crashed, and Wired), Hacking Harvard, the Seven Deadly Sins series, and the recently Book of Blood and Shadow. You can find her via her: Blog | Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

The Giveaway:
Thank you to Random House, I have an awesome prize pack to giveaway. Both prize packs feature an ARC of The Waking Dark & a copy of Robin's latest release, The Book of Blood & Shadow.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Waiting on Wednesday: Upcoming Simon Kids / Aladdin Releases

I'm just as big of a fan of Middle Grade books as I am Young Adult. I'm really excited about some of this year's upcoming MG releases. These two books featured today are from series I have completely fallen in love with. Plus, check out their stunning covers. Here are two Aladdin (Simon Kids) books I can not wait to get my hands on. 

By: Shannon Messenger

Published by: Aladdin
To Be Released on: October 1st, 2013
Series: Keeper of the Lost Cities #2
Pre-Order from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Sophie Foster thought she was safe. Settled into her home at Havenfield, surrounded by friends, and using her unique telepathic abilities to train Silveny--the first female alicorn ever seen in the Lost Cities--her life finally seems to be coming together. 

But Sophie's kidnappers are still out there. And when Sophie discovers new messages and clues from the mysterious Black Swan group, she’s forced to take a terrifying risk—one that puts everyone in incredible danger. 

As long buried secrets rise to the surface, it’s once again up to Sophie to uncover hidden memories—before someone close to her is lost forever. 

In this second book in the Keeper of the Lost Cities series, Sophie must journey to the darkest corners of her luminous world in a sequel that will leave you breathless for more - quoted from Goodreads

Oh Keeper! This is one of those stellar series for kids that adults can enjoy just as much as younger readers. Shannon's debut, Keeper of the Lost Cities was one of my favorite MG from last year. I'm anxiously awaiting this books release. I need to know what happens next. You can read my review for Keeper here

By: Lisa McMann
Published by: Aladdin
To Be Released on: September 3rd, 2013
Pre-Order from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

If you've not yet picked up The Unwanteds, I highly recommend that you do! I LOVE this series. You can read my reviews for the 1st and 2nd book in this series. I can't wait to find out all that happens in book #3. 

Who Is Marcus Finch? Clue #7

Welcome to Penguin Teen's Who is Marcus Finch? two week campgain! Over the next two week's myself and a handful of other fabulous blogs will be treating you to a daily quote/teaser, giving you clues into who Marcus is. Today's clue is:

Dying to get your hands on The Indigo Spell? Be sure here to by and read an excerpt from the book before it's out. Enter to win a copy of the book HERE

In the aftermath of a forbidden moment that rocked Sydney to her core, she finds herself struggling to draw the line between her Alchemist teachings and what her heart is urging her to do. Then she meets alluring, rebellious Marcus Finch--a former Alchemist who escaped against all odds, and is now on the run. Marcus wants to teach Sydney the secrets he claims the Alchemists are hiding from her. But as he pushes her to rebel against the people who raised her, Sydney finds that breaking free is harder than she thought. There is an old and mysterious magic rooted deeply within her. And as she searches for an evil magic user targeting powerful young witches, she realizes that her only hope is to embrace her magical blood--or else she might be next.

Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, the Bloodlines series explores all the friendship, romance, battles, and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive—this time in a part-vampire, part-human setting where the stakes are even higher and everyone’s out for blood. -quoted from Goodreads

Be sure to check out the Bloodlines Website, and visit the Bloodlines Facebook page.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Book Review: Shadowhunters and Downworlders: A Mortal Instruments Reader Edited by Cassandra Clare

By: various authors
Edited By: Cassandra Clare
Published by: Smart Pop Books
Released on: January 29th, 2013 TODAY
Source: arc from publisher to review
4 Stars: I Enjoyed It
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series, epic urban fantasy set in a richly imagined world of shadowhunters, vampires, werewolves, fairies, and more, has captured the imaginations and loyalty of hundreds of thousands of YA readers. Originally a trilogy (City of BonesCity of AshesCity of Glass), the series has extended to six titles, plus a prequel trilogy, the Infernal Devices, and a planned sequel series, the Dark Artifices. A feature film is planned for 2013.

Shadowhunters and Downworlders
, edited by Clare (who provides an introduction to the book and to each piece), is a collection of YA authors writing about the series and its world. -quoted from Goodreads

Shadowhunter/Downworlders: A Mortal Instruments Reader is Shadowhunting 101 at it's finest.  If you were to take a course on Shadowhunting and Downworlders, I would venture to guess this book is what the class would be made up off.  Shadowhunters and Downworlds: A Mortal Instruments Reader is an interesting anthology that brings together authors who not only talk about various subjects and topics that are found within Cassie's books, they support what they're saying with quotes and references found through the The Mortal Instruments series, as well as actual fact, like with Michelle Hodkin's easy. I can honestly say I enjoyed reading this book more than I thought I would. I felt like I was having an in-depth discussion/lecture with other fans who really got and understood what Cassie's worlds, her characters and her books are comprised of. 

Smart Pop Books's newest release is edited by Cassie herself. I LOVE that Cassie not only had a hand in the book, but prior to each new chapter she includes her thoughts on each author's essay about The Mortal Instrument world. Speaking of those essays, I loved the in-depth insight each author gave to their topic. For example I loved what Sarah Cross concludes in her essay The Art of War, about Clary when she says: 

"Clary is what I think a lot of us hope we could be, if we found ourselves in her situation: someone who becomes a hero out of necessity, who is not on an even playing field with the rest of the players-but who, out of sheer determination, finds a way to turn her natural talents into the tours of her survival. 

Clary saves lives- her own, and those of her friends. She draws a better world into existence, and she never lets the word impossible stop her.

In Clary's hands, the stele is truly mightier than the sword." - page 33

I'm not one who normally writes in my books, but I totally highlighted some of my favorite passages from this book. How could I not? There are so many insightful quotes to highlight. I loved it. I enjoyed the in-depth topics of discussion that are made through the book. Robin Wasserman made an excellent point in her essay When Laws Are Made To Be Broken, when she says,  

"There's a choice after all.  There's always a choice.  There is the lesson our heroes need to embrace before they can grow up.... and before they can triumph.  To win they need to do more than just question the rules. They need to change them." - page 64

One of the essays I was most fascinated with is Michelle Hodkin's, Simon Lewis: Jewish, Vampire, Hero. In this chapter Michelle does an incredible job at digging into the rich Jewish religion, as well as vampirism. I know that nothing Cassie does or writes about in her series is for lack of filling space. What Cassie includes in her series always has a purpose, no matter how big or little the moment or the passage is. In this chapter I felt that Michelle really clued me in and educated me more on the complex world and turn of events Cassie truly created with Simon, and him becoming a vampire. Not only that, but some of the comments Clary makes to him have far more greater significance than I picked up on. 

Michelle describes Simon perfectly here when she says, "Simon Lewis isn't perfect. He sins. He "misses". He is tempted in City of Fallen Angels, and even though he isn't a literal angel, he certainly does fall. But in City of Lost Souls, despite his mother's rejection and his wandering and his loneliness, despite flirting with the idea of giving up and giving in, Simon returns to himself. He never let go of the things that make him Simon: his Jewish identity, his beliefs. He sinned-he missed the Mark-but he returns. And in returning, he shines." - page 86

I really enjoyed this anthology. Normally I'm not a fan of them. I've not been impressed with ones I've previously read in other big fandoms. In fact I swear I'd never read another, and then this lovely book arrived, and I went back on my word and read it. I'm glad I did. Honestly, when I first sat down to read it I wasn't excepting to enjoy it as much as I did. Luckily this anthology is one that lives up to it's hype. You'll find essays from authors: Cassandra Clare, Holly Black, Sarah Rees Brennan, Kami Garcia, Robin Wasserman, Michelle Hodkin, Sarah Cross, Diana Peterfeund, Kendare Black, Gwenda Bond, Kate Milford, Rachel Caine, Sara Ryan, Scott Tracey, and Kelly Link. If you're a fan of Cassie's work I'd highly recommend picking up!

Catch a behind the scenes with Smart Pop Books here. Don't miss the two week essay campaign being posted on Smart Pop Books's Tumblr here.