2011 Debut Author Challenge: May

Welcome to the fifth month of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge!

You will gain an entry into the prize packs for every review link that you submit. The debuts do not have to be released in the corresponding month of the post. That means, you can submit a link for any review title no matter the month of it’s release. You don’t have to post January releases in the month of January, and so on and so forth.

Please not that the May submission sheet will be turned off, and will not accept reviews until May 1, 2011 at 10:00 am eastern time.

This months prize pack includes:


  • Entwined by Heather Dixon (signed)

Advance Readers Copies:

  • Moonglass by Jessi Kirby
  • Divergent by Veronica Roth
  • Anya’s War by Andrea Alban (signed
  • Sparrow Road by Sheila O’Connor
  • Saving June by Hannah Harrington


  • Possession by Elana Johnson (signed)
  • The Lipstick Laws by Amy Holder
  • Like Mandarin by Kirsten Hubbard (signed)
  • Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton (signed)
  • Bad Taste in Boys by Carrie Harris (signed)
  • Across the Universe by Beth Revis (signed)
  • Dogsled Dreams by Terry Lynn Johnson (signed)
  • Memento Nora by Angie Smibert
  • Warped by Maurissa Guibord
  • Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
  • Born at Midnight by C. C. Hunter
  • Clarity by Kim Harrington (signed)
  • Head Games by Keri Mikulski (signed)
  • Rival by Sara Bennett Wealer (signed)
  • The Revenant by Sonia Gensler
  • A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford (signed) 
  • Moonglass by Jessi Kirby (signed)
  • The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton
  • The Liar Society by Lisa & Laura Roeker (signed)
  • OyMG by Amy Fellner Dominy (signed)
  • Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to Not Reading by Tommy Greenwald
  • Frost by Marianna Baer (signed


  • The Demon Trapper’s Daughter by Jana Oliver
  • The Revenant by Sonia Gensler
  • The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton (signed
  • Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout (signed)
  • Kat, Incorrigible by Stephanie Burgis 
  • Sign Language by Amy Ackley

Other Goodies:

  • “lips” temorary tattoo (The Lipstick Laws)
  • Possession keychain
  • adhesive decal (The Demon Trapper’s Daughter)
  • iron on patch (The Demon Trapper’s Daughter)
  • Angelfire sticker (signed)
  • The Lipstick Laws magnet
  • The Lipstick Laws sticker
  • The Lipstick Laws card
  • The Revenant sticky notes
  • The Year We Were Famous card
  • A Touch Mortal sticker (signed)
  • Half-Blood guitar pick
  • Half-Blood decal stickers
  • lucky kitty phone charm (Sirenz)
  • set of six Sirenz pins
  • beaded thong bookmark
  • Entwined themed necklace
  • Willow Krimble poster 

Thank you so much to the following authors for donating to this months prize pack:

Beth Revis
Keri Mikulski
Elana Johnson
Amy Holder
Kirsten Hubbard
Courtney Allison Moulton
Carrie Harris
Terry Lynn Johnson
Angie Smibert
Maurissa Guibord
Ruta Sepetys
C.C. Hunter
Kim Harrington
Sara Bennett Wealer
Jana Oliver
Sonia Gensler
Carole Estby Dagg
Leah Clifford
Jessi Kirby
Lisa & Laura Roeker
Jennifer L. Armentrout
Natalie Zaman
Tommy Greenwald
Marianna Baer
Heather Dixon
Giuseppe Bianco

The debut author challenge prize packs are only for those that are participating in the 2011 Debut Author Challenge. Make sure that your blog is listed on the participants list otherwise you aren’t officially signed up.

Filling out the form to submit your reviews can be confusing….. with their being so many non-bloggers participating in the challenge, I’ve tried to make it as simple as possible and at the same time simple on myself! Please note: You do NOT have to submit your reviews every month. This is only if you are interested in getting extra entries into the prize packs. As a challenge participant, you are automatically entered into the drawing every month. 

Submit your reviews here!
(the above is a link, click it!)

(Remember: You do NOT have to submit your reviews every month. This is only if you are interested in getting extra entries into the prize packs. As a challenge participant, you are automatically entered into the drawing every month.)

If you have questions please consult the information page or the FAQ page before you email or tweet me! Thanks! If you are unsure if a book is a debut, do the research! The list on the information page is not a comprehensive, if you find a debut and it’s not listed, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t count! It just means I haven’t added it to the list!

Please remember this is for reviews FROM MAY ONLY! 

See the list Here!

Dear Story Siren: BEA Edition (2)

Your first time to BEA can be a little overwhelming, I know I wouldn’t have survived had it not been for the advice of my follow bloggers. This is my little way of trying to repay the favor. Please remember that I’m not a BEA expert, and I’ve only attended once, so I’m sure there are things I don’t know about. If you have something to add, please do in the comments section! I can use all the help I can get!

If you have general BEA questions you might want to check out BEA Q&A and Intro to BEA, a lot of questions that were submitted were answered in these two posts so I won’t be readdressing them. You can also find all the posts I’ve mention BEA in, by selecting the label BEA from the drop down label menu in the sidebar, or searching BEA in the search bar in the sidebar.

As always if you want to do some investigating yourself, be sure to check out the BEA site. Some of the questions submitted would have easily been answered with a visit there!

BEA, first edition

Is there a schedule of author signings posted anywhere? I couldn’t find it on the BEA Javits website, all I see is the ticketed author schedule.

Yes there is. In the right sidebar this is a search feature. “Search It Find It” There is an icon for books and authors.

How many business cards should I bring to BEA? I ordered 200. I’ve needed about 100 at other conferences I’ve attended. However, those conferences were nowhere near as big as BEA in scope.

This is something that is going to be different for everyone. I didn’t hand out that many last year, I don’t even think I handed out 50…. I still have several boxes of business cards left. If you’ve attended conferences before, I’m assuming you’ve built some contacts, you probably don’t need to present the same people with your business cards when they already have your information.

I have one more question! Are there any YA authors doing autograph sessions (or speaking on stage on panels) you would recommend checking out?

There are several YA authors doing sessions and panels. And I would definitely recommend checking them out. Here again this is going to be a little different for everyone, since we all have personal preferences!

One of the things that I really enjoyed was the Children’s Author Breakfast. It’s a ticketed event, so you have to buy a ticket, but it was well worth it. Most of the other panels aren’t ticketed and are located on the Expo floor.

I can’t go to BEA this year but was thinking about Armchair BEA but I am a little confused at what would actually happen on my blog.

I am not familiar with the goings on of Armchair BEA. I would suggest you contact the people that are involved with that. There is contact information on the site.

So many questions, so little time.

Last year you mentioned catching a shuttle bus from the hotel (unless I read that wrong). How did you get to it, is it going to be available this year, and what is the easiest way to get the BEA?
Yes there is a shuttle. There are several different routes and stops. You can find that information on the BEA website. It’s under the “Travel” link. Then “Getting to Javits.” The bus schedule link is the very first listing. That’s probably the easiest way to get there. 

Would you recommend bringing a suitcase to store your daily booty in?

Lots of people bring suitcases to periodically put their books in. I bring a book bag and carry around the books that I get throughout the day, I’m not there to get a suitcase full of stuff. My backpack does get heavy though, but it’s a good way to keep myself in check. 

I believe, you just check your suitcase with an attendant, but I’ve heard of people missing things when they went back at the end of the day to pick up their bag. 

Was FedEx expensive from BEA?

FedEx prices are going to depend on how many books you send out and where to. 

Are people easy enough to approach while in line?

I’m assuming you mean Expo attendees in line? Like bloggers, librarians, booksellers and such? If that’s the case, then YES! These people are book lovers just like you! You already have something in common and you’ve never even met!

Can a person go into one of the seminars after it starts and leave before it’s finished if they are other goings-on that you want to attend (like author signings)?

No. They padlock the doors and you have to stay in your seat until the session is over. HA! Just kidding! Of course you can leave! People are in and out of those rooms constantly. 

Last year, was the convention center a comfortable temperature or should a person bring a sweater/go sleeveless?

I probably wouldn’t go sleeveless. It’s a comfortable temp… but you have to remember there is a MASS of people! It might be cool in the morning but it doesn’t take long for the all those bodies to warm it up. I don’t remember being uncomfortable temperature wise at all. 

Any words of wisdom at all for BEA that you haven’t covered already?

Take it in strides. Don’t overbook yourself. Everyone wants to have a packed schedule, and they underestimate how exhausting it’s going to be after being at the expo all day.

Don’t be upset if you don’t get invited to every little thing and blogger meet up. Some of my best experiences at BEA last year were the times it was just me and my two roommates out to dinner, having fun and talking books.

Remember as a blogger you are representing a group of people. This is a professional event. Act like it.

Don’t be afraid to talk to people. Overall I had a great experience meeting new people last year! Did get snubbed at a few of the publishing exhibit booths, but such is life. There are plenty of publishers there that ARE interested in connecting with bloggers, focus on those.

Don’t be afraid to ditch your friends. No really, I’m serious. Go do your own thing! I find it easier to approach someone when I am alone.

And…. that’s all I can think of right now.

Thanks. You have no idea how nervous I am.

Don’t be nervous, you’re going to have a blast!



New Reads: April 24-30, 2011

Out This Week:

Abandon by Meg Cabot
Corsets & Clockwork
Exile by Anne Osterlund
Future Imperfect by K. Ryer Breese

We’ll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han
Bumped by Megan Mccafferty
Back When You Were Easier to Love by Emily Wing Smith
Summer and the City by Candace Bushnell

The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson
Gifted: Speak No Evil by Marilyn Kaye
Carmen by Walter Dean Myers
Family by Micol Ostow

Now in Paperback: 

She’s So Dead to Us by Kieran Scott
The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell
For Keeps by Natasha Friend
The Necromancer by Michael Scott 

The Lighter Side of Life and Death by C.K. Kelly Martin
Every Little Thing in the World by Nina de Gramont
Forever Summer  by Alyson Noel (bind-up) 
Genesis: Alpha  by Rune Michaels 

Book Review

Exile by Anne Osterlund

Exile by Anne Osterlund

Release Date: April 28, 2011
Publisher: Speak
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 304
Format: ARC
Source: Author
Interest: Series
Other Titles in the Series: Aurelia
Challenge: None
Buy the Book: Amazon

Crown Princess Aurelia stands in the face of exile. Behind her are the sister who tried to kill her and the father who ignored it. In front of her are the entire kingdom and Robert–the friend she can’t help but fall in love with. Aurelia may finally be living her dream . . . but danger is not far behind. When Aurelia and Robert are betrayed by the very guards assigned to protect them, their expedition becomes a fight for survival that carries them from frontier to desert sands. Even with a hunter on their tail, the risks–to their lives, the throne, their hearts–only fuels Aurelia’s determination to see her kingdom. And when their perilous journey is finally complete, she will discover just how much her people need her, and just how much of a risk loving Robert can be.

I thought Aurelia was fantastic….. but I LOVED Exile! I was immediately hooked from the first page! If you thought Aurelia was a whirlwind, just wait until you dive into Exile!

Exile is a companion novel to Aurelia. It could be considered a sequel, but you don’t necessarily need to read Aurelia…. though I’d recommend you do to have a better overall understanding of the characters and the story line. We pick off right where Aurelia left off, but I won’t really mention much more than that as to keep this review un-spoilery.

I loved visiting all the different places in Aurelia’s kingdom and I was glad that her and Robert were my guides! Just when I thought I had these two figured out, just when I thought they might catch a break… the tides change and the waves knock me off my feet! It was so fun to read! I honestly never knew what was going happen next.

Osterlund has done it again! With unforgettable characters and an epic story, Aurelia is sure to win your heart and her stories a place on your shelf!

And how about that ending?! I truly hope that there is more of this story so be told!


Book Review

Aurelia by Anne Osterlund

Aurelia by Anne Osterlund

Release Date: April 17, 2008
Publisher: Puffin/Speak
Age Group: Young Adult/Middle Grade
Pages: 288
Format: Paperback
Source: Author
Interest: Story
Challenge: None
Buy the Book: Amazon

Princess Aurelia is next in line to rule the kingdom of Tyralt, but she would rather be one of the common folk, free to learn and roam and . . . not marry the next tyrannical prince that comes courting. Naturally, the king wants Aurelia to marry for political power. Aurelia wants to marry for love. And someone in the kingdom wants her dead.

Assigned to investigate and protect Aurelia is Robert, the son of the king’s former royal spy and one of Aurelia’s oldest friends. As Aurelia and Robert slowly uncover clues as to who is threatening her, their friendship turns to romance. With everything possible on the line—her life, her kingdom, her heart—Aurelia is forced to take matters into her own hands, no matter the cost.

What a fantastic book! I can’t believe I waited so long to read this one! I had such a great time reading it and I absolutely adored the character Aurelia! She’s the type of girl I always imagined a Princess would be. Not as stuck up snob, but someone that actually cares about the people around her.

The mystery in this novel was enthralling! I had multiple guesses as to who the killer may be and in the end I was terribly wrong! If you enjoy reading a good mystery, I definitely suggest Aurelia to you! There was mention of romance in the summary as well, and while I could see the hints and slight mentions, I wouldn’t go as far as saying there is a love story present. I was sort of disappointed in that aspect, but I am hoping that perhaps there will be more resolution in that department in the companion novel, Exile.

The story was beautifully written as well. I felt like I was right at court with Aurelia and Robert! Osterlund has such a great talent when it comes to story telling, I loved her novel Academy 7, that came out a year after Aurelia, and I never thought to go back and read her earlier novel…. I’m glad I finally did!

Great characters, an enthralling mystery and a perfect setting, Aurelia is a wonderful read!

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