11/29/11



Giveaway, Guest Blog

Blog Tour: Legend by Marie Lu & Giveaway

Marie Lu

Books:

  • Legend
Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter 


What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths – until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.


Marie Lu Bio:

Before becoming a full-time writer, Marie Lu was the art director at a video game company. She also owns the children’s brand Fuzz Academy. She was first inspired to write Legend while watching Les Miserables one afternoon, and wondered how the relationship between a famous criminal vs. a prodigious detective might translate into a more modern story.

She graduated from the University of Southern California in 2006 and lives in Los Angeles, California.


When Legend Sold
by Marie Lu

Okay, I know I’ve always loved reading blog posts from other writers detailing the moments leading up to their first books being sold. Nothing motivated me so much as those posts! The vicarious thrill! Someday, I dreamed of writing my own. Now that my debut, Legend, is coming out at last (after a 12-year struggle…to be detailed in another blog post), I finally get to tell this story.

This is how it happened. After two rewrites where Agent Kristin and I hammered Legend into a presentable form, we sent it out on submission on July 9, 2010 (two days before I turned 26). Now, I’ve been on submission before. Twice. Having that experience, I was ready for the LONG haul, the 6 month wait for rejections and “I loved it, but” letters from kind-but-professional editors. (Again, all this backstory to be detailed in another blog post!)

One week passed. I spent my birthday in a nervous wreck.

Then I heard from Kristin that there were two editors who had read and loved Legend. One of these editors was someone I’d heard a great deal about, and when Kristin said her name, I almost fainted in front of my laptop (good thing I didn’t, or else I’d probably have QWERTY embedded permanently on my forehead). The other editor was the editor for one of my favorite YA books. Can we say faint x 2?

However, as aforementioned, I’ve been on submission before. I’ve been down the road of “Editors are liking it” and then “Editors decided ultimately to say no”. So I toughened up as much as I could, and got ready for the inevitable rejections from both of these incredible editors.

Another week passed. Then Kristin told me she was going to be setting up an auction. 6 publishers were interested. At first I laughed at the email. Oh Kristin. Sometimes you are such a joker. Then I read it again, got tingly feelings in my fingers and toes, and ran around my apartment until I collapsed in exhaustion. Still, STILL, I felt like everything could fall through. That was what I’d gotten used to, anyway. Auction day would come and no one would show up. They’ve all decided that they’d rather not buy Legend. Back to the drawing board.

But that didn’t happen. Instead, I got to talk to each of these editors on the phone. This may have been the most exciting part of the process (okay, the 2nd most exciting part). To hear industry professionals rave about your manuscript is as amazing as a cheesecake made of double rainbows. I was smiling so hard that my boyfriend thought I’d gone off the deep end.

So auction day came. I alternated every few minutes between absolute JOY and sheer abject TERROR. They all want the book! I haven’t heard from Kristin in 6 minutes–something must’ve gone terribly wrong and everyone dropped out! They all want the book! I haven’t heard from Kristin in 14 minutes–something must’ve gone terribly wrong and everyone dropped out! And repeat.

Several times throughout this day, Kristin would call me with updates that made me lose all feeling in my brain. (This is an extremely surreal feeling. I’ve never had a numb brain before…. well, not that numb.) Then, as the auction’s final round started, I spent 3 hours doing nothing but rocking back and forth manically on my couch while my boyfriend tried in vain to soothe me. I stared at my phone without pause, willing it to ring. My trigger finger hovered over the “refresh” button in my email inbox. (Even though it refreshes automatically by itself.)

Silence. 3 hours of it.

Terror set in. All the editors dropped out. They must have. Kristin just doesn’t want to tell me yet–she must not want to break my heart. NOTHING ELSE CAN EXPLAIN THIS SILENCE!!!!!!!

Finally, late in the afternoon, I got a call from Kristin. The Call. This is how it went down….sort of:

Kristin: You have a very hard choice to make. Are you ready for this?

Marie: Am I going to faint?

Kristin: Yes, I think you might faint.

Marie: [sits down on couch to keep from falling too hard, then listens in quiet stupor]

Kristin: *lists out the final offers*

Marie: *NUMB. This is the only word appropriate for the feeling in my entire body. NUM NUM NUMMY NUMMY NUMB.*

Kristin: Still there? Are you listening to me?

Marie: I didn’t understand a word of what you said. Everything sounds like it’s made out of red velvet cupcakes.

Kristin: (thinking) Oh Marie. Thank god you’re not doing this by yourself or we might all be in the papers tomorrow–and not in a good way.

Marie: *still numb*

Kristin: Do you need the night to think it over?

Marie: *babbles incoherently in a squeaky voice*

Kristin: Ok, yeah, I think you need the night. Let me know what you decide in the morning!

Marie: Okay!

[Phone call ends]

Several moments of silence. Several moments of unbridled joyful shrieking with boyfriend.

And then …. I burst into tears. I just cracked. I don’t think I’ve ever really felt true joy in my life up until then. Sure, I’ve felt happiness plenty of times. There are so many things I’m happy about. But joy is different from happiness. Joy makes you cry. Joy is about achieving something you have worked so hard and so long to get. It unleashes emotions of relief, pain, rage, passion, ecstasy, fear, excitement, and fulfillment in one giant ball of glory that completely overwhelms the boundaries of your mind. It is rare. (Unless you’re high on shrooms or something, I guess.) It is the most amazing feeling in the world.

And when I burst into tears after The Call with Kristin, I felt joy like I’ve never felt before. I have been trying to get published since I was fourteen. I have been rejected hundreds of times. I’ve written 4 unpublished manuscripts, 2 of which made it all the way to the agent+submission level only to slowly fade away into oblivion at the end of the submission cycle. I’d started to think it might never happen.

But now it’s happening, really happening. A dream come true, after 12 years of struggling.

That didn’t take long at all, did it? Not even two decades!


LEGEND Excerpt



WIN A LEGEND PRIZE PACK!!

  • 1 finished copy of LEGEND
  • 1 LEGEND button

This contest is being administered with the Rafflecopter entry form. Here are a few things to remember pertaining to this type of entry form.

  • When it asks for name, this is viewable by the public. You DO NOT need to use your real name. Actually, I prefer if you don’t. 
  • When it asks for email address, this is NOT viewable by the public. I can only see it and this is how I will be contacting you if you win, so put the correct one!
  • If you are confused on how to use the Rafflecopter entry form, watch this

Official Contest information:

  • to enter, please fill out the form below
  • entrants must be 13 years of age or older
  • contest open to US Only
  • the winner will be announced on this blog post at the conclusion of the contest
  • the winner will be notified by email and will have 72 hours to reply or a new winner will be chosen. 
  • DO NOT PUT YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS IN THE COMMENTS SECTION 
  • check out my Contest Policy/Privacy Policy



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11/29/11



Book Review

Legend by Marie Lu

Legend by Marie Lu

Release Date: November 29, 2011
Publisher: Putnam
Age Group: Young Adult
Shelfability: Covet/Acquire
Pages: 305
Format: ARC
Source: BEA
Interest: Debut Author
Challenge: 2011 Debut Author Challenge

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths – until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills.

Legend has everything I love about a good dystopian. Even more than that it has everything I love about a good novel!

Awesome characters, fabulous writing and a thrilling story.

The novel is told in alternating chapters between Day and June. Each character had it’s own font and font color. I can’t remember seeing that in any other novel with duel perspectives. I really hope it’s in the finished novel!

I loved how Lu portrayed these two characters. They are on different ends of the social spectrum, yet they share many more similarities than differences. It would be easy to see these two characters switch roles completely and seamlessly. Which brings me to my next point.

Kick ass heroine! I loved that June could her own and then some!

Legend holds several surprises within it’s pages. I have to admit that a few things were a bit predictable, although it didn’t make me like the story less. If anything it made me like the story even more. They weren’t obvious elements, but Lu does such a wonderful job creating the world and her characters, readers may figure out a thing or two before June and Day.

Overall Legend was fabulous. I can’t wait to see where the next book takes us!

Giveaway: Remembrance by Michelle Madow

New Hampshire high school junior Lizzie Davenport has been reincarnated from Regency Era, England … but she doesn’t know it yet.

Then Drew Carmichael transfers into Lizzie’s school at the beginning of the year, and she feels a connection to him, almost like she knows him. She can’t stop thinking about him, but whenever she tries talking with him about the mysteries behind her feelings, he makes it clear that he wants nothing to do with her. Reaching him is even more difficult because she has a boyfriend, Jeremy, who has started to become full of himself after being elected co-captain of the varsity soccer team, and her flirtatious best friend Chelsea starts dating Drew soon after his arrival. So why can’t she seem to get him out of her mind?

Even though Lizzie knows she should let go of her fascination with Drew, the pair of them soon find that fighting fate isn’t going to be easy.


Win a Remembrance Prize Pack:

  • 1 signed copy of Remembrance
  • 1 mask that resembles the one on the cover of Remembrance
  • 3 signed jumbo bookmarks
  • 2 Remembrance stickers

This contest is being administered with the Rafflecopter entry form. Here are a few things to remember pertaining to this type of entry form.

  • When it asks for name, this is viewable by the public. You DO NOT need to use your real name. Actually, I prefer if you don’t. 
  • When it asks for email address, this is NOT viewable by the public. I can only see it and this is how I will be contacting you if you win, so put the correct one!
  • If you are confused on how to use the Rafflecopter entry form, watch this

Official Contest information:

  • to enter, please fill out the form below
  • entrants must be 13 years of age or older
  • contest open to US Only
  • the winner will be announced on this blog post at the conclusion of the contest
  • the winner will be notified by email and will have 72 hours to reply or a new winner will be chosen. 
  • DO NOT PUT YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS IN THE COMMENTS SECTION 
  • check out my Contest Policy/Privacy Policy



11/28/11



Book Review

Inconvenient by Margie Gelbwasser

Inconvenient by Margie Gelbwasser

Release Date: November 8, 2010
Publisher: Flux
Age Group: Young Adult
Shelfability: Acquire/Borrow
Pages: 312
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Interest: Debut
Challenge: 2011 Debut Author Challenge
Buy the Book: Amazon

In fifteen-year-old Alyssa Bondar’s Russian-Jewish culture, having a few drinks is as traditional as blinchiki and piroshki. So when her mom’s midday cocktails turn into an all-day happy hour, it seems like Alyssa’s the only one who notices—or cares. Her dad is steeped in the nightly news—and denial—and her best friend Lana is too busy trashing their shared Russian heritage so she can be popular.

Alyssa would rather focus on cross-country meets and her first kiss with her running partner, Keith, but someone has to clean up her mom’s mess. But who will be there to catch Alyssa when her mom’s next fall off the wagon threatens to drag her down, too?

Inconvenient is an honest and somewhat brutally portrayed novel on the effects of alcoholism on a family. As well as a story about growing up and finding oneself.

This book has been sitting on my shelf for what seems like forever. I would always forget that it was there to read. Inconvenient sounded like a good book and I wanted to read it, but the summary didn’t make it stick out in my mind. Which is probably why it sat on my shelf for so long. Once I started reading the story, I rarely put it down.

The thing that I enjoyed most about this novel was the main character Alyssa. I commend her for not being afraid to embrace her Russian-Jewish heritage even when her classmates taunt her for it. Her insecurities are similar to the ones that I had as a teenager. Perhaps that is why I felt such a deep connection with her. And of course you can’t help but empathize with her dealing with an alcoholic parent. Alyssa experiences things that no teen should have to face.

There were aspects of the novel such as Keith and Alyssa’s relationship and Lana & Alyssa’s relationship that I didn’t agree with but found added extra depth to the novel. And when I say I didn’t agree with them, I don’t mean that they were wrong for the story! I just wish things would have worked out differently! For instance, I was disappointed that Lana was more worried about being popular than being there for her friend. Although I’ve seen the same thing happen in real life as a teen.

The ending was also unexpected. I think I was expecting some sort of resolution. For Alyssa’s mother to be over her addiction. I wanted so badly for Alyssa to have a happy ending. That being said, I agree with the ending the author chose. It might not have been a “happy” ending, but it was a “hopeful” ending.

Looking forward to more from Gelbwasser!

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11/27/11



In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox (152)

Welcome to In My Mailbox! You can find official information like how to participate, why it was started and other goodies about IMM on the IMM Page.

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Crave by Melissa Darnell
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
The Princesses of Iowa by M. Molly Backes
See You at Harry’s by Jo Knowles

A Need So Beautiful by Suzanne Young
The Locket by Stacey Jay
Daulaires’ Book of Greek Myths
Harry Potter Page to Screen

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