26 Feb 2013

REVIEW: Dangerously Placed by Nansi Kunze




Title: Dangerously Placed
Author: Nansi Kunze
Publication Date: March 1st 2011
Publisher: Random House Australia Children’s
Format: Paperback
Pages: 288
Rating: 5/5
Blurb: This work experience is going to be killer...

Alex Thaler can’t wait to start her dream work experience placement at Virk, where staff from all over the world mingle in an astonishing virtual office. But when an employee is found murdered, the dream becomes a nightmare – because Alex is the prime suspect. Fortunately, Alex’s friends are willing to brave shark tanks, disgusting pathology specimens and even a nude beach in order to clear her name . . .

Can a hippy chick, a goth girl in a lab coat and two guys with a taste for blowing things up really help solve the mystery – before Alex becomes the next victim?
Review: I read Nansi’s first book, Mishaps, way back when I was about thirteen or fourteen which I adored, though I probably would have never heard of Dangerously Placed without miraculously meeting her at Supanova (a much smaller Comic Con, here in Australia) last year. It was amazing to meet her- getting my book signed and getting a couple of pictures with her were great but the best thing was definitely learning about and buying this book.

Even though it took me just under a year to actually get around to this book, the moment I started it I knew that I would love it, and so I did. I loved the main character Alex from the start, and each of her crazy friends. The romantic storyline was also really amazing in this book- it didn’t distract from the wicked plot of the book and it wasn’t unrealistic or completely obvious from the very start.

However, as much as I did love the characters and the romance- my favourite thing about this book was definitely the world in which it was based. It’s set in Australia, a definitely plus for me, but it also had the cyberspace world of Simulcorp- Alex’s job placement. It is really clear when you read it that Nansi put a lot of work into the creation and detail of this super mind blowing completely virtual world. For me, this made the book even more wonderful and exciting.

Dangerously Placed varies from the usual sort of YA books that you might have on your bookshelf, it’s a contemporary but it also has aspects of mystery, science fiction and thriller which keeps you on the edge of your seat for the whole time. Definitely a worth-while read.


You can buy Dangerously Placed on The Book Depository (Free shipping worldwide).

24 Feb 2013

New series and sequels of March 2013

March 2013 is an absolutely amazing month for releases in both series and standalones. Which of these books are you more desperate to get your hands on?

March 1st
Thing I Can't Forget (Hundred Oaks #3) by Miranda Kenneally
Goodreads
The Runaway King (The Ascendance Trilogy #2) by Jennifer A. Nielsen
Goodreads

March 5th
Let the Sky Fall (Let the Sky Fall #1) by Shannon Messenger
Goodreads
The Holders (Holders #1) by Julianna Scott
Goodreads
Unremembered (Unremembered #1) by Jessica Brody
Goodreads
Spellcaster (Spellcaster #1) by Claudia Gray
Goodreads
Legacy of the Clockwork Key (Secret Order of Modern Amusmentists #1)
Goodreads
The Nightmare Affair (The Arkwell Academy #1) by Mindee Arnett
Goodreads
Requiem (Delirium #3) by Lauren Oliver
Goodreads
Infatuate (Gilded Wings #2) by Aimee Agresti
Goodreads
Death, Doom and Detention (Darklight #2) by Darynda Jones
Goodreads


March 8th
The Culling (The Torch Keeper #1) by Steven Dos Santos
Goodreads

March 12th
Strands of Bronze and Gold (Strands of Bronze and Gold #1) by Jane Nickerson
Goodreads
Deep Betrayal (Lies Beneath #2) by Anne Greenwood Brown
Goodreads
Heart of Glass (Cross My Heart #2) by Sasha Gould
Goodreads
Mila 2.0 (Mila 2.0 #1) by Debra Driza
Goodreads
Every Never After (Never #2) by Lesley Livingston
Goodreads

March 14th
Hidden (Avena #1) by Marianne Curley
Goodreads

March 15th
Sworn to Raise (Courtlight #1) by Terah Edun
Goodreads

March 19th
Fox Forever (The Jenna Fox Chronicles #3) by Mary E. Pearson
Goodreads
Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices #3) by Cassandra Clare
Goodreads
With All My Soul (Soul Screamers #7) by Rachel Vincent
Goodreads

March 26th
Impostor (Slide #2) by Jill Hathaway
Goodreads
 

23 Feb 2013

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Eva Pohler


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Eva Pohler writes fiction for teens and adults and teaches writing and literature at the University of Texas at San Antonio, where she lives with her husband, three children, two dogs, and two rats. She is the author of The Mystery Box, The Gatekeeper's Trilogy (Book #3 TBR Dec. 1, 2013) and the forthcoming young adult contemporary novel, The Purgatorium (TBR May 1, 2013). In addition to writing and teaching, she blogs about books she loves at http://www.evapohler.com.

1. Your books incorporate a lot of mythology, legends etc. Was this something that always interested you? If yes, did it grow while you were writing your books?

I have loved Greek mythology since the eighth grade, when I first read the story of Persephone's abduction. In the same year, I ordered Edith Hamilton's book, Mythology, through the Scholastic book club, and read it over and over. I still have that book, though the pages are brown and are barely holding together. Now that we have the internet, I read a lot of Greek myths from my lap top, finding variations in particular stories really interesting. My research for the Gatekeeper's trilogy further fed my obsession, and I've even started tweeting #Greekmythtidbits for fun, to draw others into it as well.


2. What’s a typical day of writing for you? When and where do you write? How often? Do you set a writing goal?

I don't really have a typical day. I'm not the kind of writer who has to force herself to write so many words or so many hours a day. Some days, I write all day long, and others not at all. However, a day rarely goes by that I don't write or read. I consider reading part of the job of a writer, so I don't feel guilty for not writing on reading days. I suppose I don't need the structure and discipline because I have a strong compulsion to write. It's an obsession that sometimes feels like a sickness. Luckily, so far anyway, it's had only positive consequences.

I write on my laptop in my favorite chair with my feet up on an ottoman in my living room. This room is a pass-through to the other rooms in my house, so there seems to be always children, husband, and dog walking by, often attempting to interact with me, and sometimes I hear them and sometimes I don't. I dream of one day having a special place overlooking a beautiful view, like the ocean or mountains, but I have to admit, I enjoy having my family around, even if I often block them out to write.

Goals are a big part of my writing life. Although I set no daily routine for myself, I do set rigid goals. I have publication dates set for the next six or seven years, and so far, I'm on schedule. I've set goals throughout my life. My husband sometimes teases me because when we met, I had a chart with dates, etc., and marriage, first child, second child, etc. were all  listed! I have to say that so far, I have met all my goals!

3. Other than the third and final book in the Gatekeeper’s Trilogy, what exciting books can we expect from you in the future?

I listed my projected release dates for furture books on my website at http://www.evapohler.com, but to give you an idea: The first of a two-book YA contemporary series, The Purgatorium, will be realeased this May. The book is finished and is now in the hands of my very talented graphic artist, Melinda Vanlone. The second book, The Purgatorium Revisited, will be launched a year later, in May 2014. I'm very excited about this series, especially because of the response from my beta readers. They have all said they couldn't put the book down. Most read The Purgatorium in one sitting! It's about a seventeen-year-old girl who takes a job with her best friend to try out a new resort unaware that her parents have sent her to an experimental facilty for suicidal patients where they make you fear for your life to kick in your survival instinct.

Although the third book of my Gatekeeper's trilogy brings closure to Therese's story, I feel like she has more adventures ahead of her and so have planned a sequel trilogy: A Different Kind of Goddess, A Different Kind of Bride, and A Different Kind of Triumph. I can't wait to get started writing those books!

I've also outlined and written the first chapter for a book that may be a stand alone (I haven't decided) called Queen of the Bees. This book was inspired by William Golding's Lord of the Flies. Instead of a group of British school boys devolving into savages, however, my story will portray a group of American school girls, some of which devolve, but others which evolve by breaking free from their learned ideas of how girls should behave. Although it has moments of depravation, I want it to mainly be a book about female triumph.

I could go on and on, but I'll stop here.

 4. What or who influenced you the most when writing The Gatekeepers Trilogy?

My eighth grade teacher, Mr. Griffin, from Salado Middle School in San Antonio, Texas, first introduced me to Greek mythology and was my favorite teacher. He made me feel like I had a gift for writing and for speaking. He died several years ago of cancer, and I still somtimes cry when I remember he's gone.

But beyond that, Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Saga inspired me by making me wonder about a similar conflict between a girl and a Greek god.

5. How did you come up with the title for your novel. Were there any other options?

The first book was originally called The Sons of Hades, but I thought that sounded too dark and masculine. My target audience is the 14 year old girl, and I didn't think it would appeal to her. So I renamed Hades the gatekeeper, and the new title was born. Of course, there were the really lame ideas, like The Kiss of Death, but, thankfully, I recognized their lameness and dismissed them right away!

 6. Are you a pantser, or an outliner?

I'm a bit of both. My method is to outline a book with chapter titles, but this outline constantly changes as I write. I like having some idea as to where I'm going in the story, but I love the thrill of discovery when I just start writing and the ideas surprise me.

I'd like to encourage readers of the first two book to enter my contest to win Athena's locket, Hera's golden apple, and a photo and bio in the third book. The details can be found at http://www.evapohler.com/contest

22 Feb 2013

UPDATE: Book Swaggity Swag Swag

Hey Hey Readers

Yup, we've pretty much been MIA from the blog, but it's with good reason. One word: School. It will be the death of I tell you! We've been working our butts off and barely had time for the blog. And for me, writing books. ( I've had major book missing depression bummer lately)

So here i come up with a UPDATE! Some kool new swag and a couple new books!


Look forward to the Book Review of The Gatekeeper's Challenge by Eva Pohler posting tomorrow!





Some Awesome Bookmarks from a Lovely Author!


Left: David Copperfield by Ely Dickens
Middle: Defiance by C.J Redwine (How cool is that name?)
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by  Michelle Hodkin!




MAIL SWAG! WOOOOO. NEW BOOK


Etiquette Espionage by Gail Carriger

20 Feb 2013

Wishlist Wednesday #4

Wishlist Wednesday is a weekly blog hop hosted by Pen to Paper which allows us to share with you a book each that is on our wishlist, whether it's been on there for a while or just been added. If you'd like to learn more about this meme, check it out here.

This week, the book on Ely's wishlist is:

Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks 
In 1910 a young Englishman, Stephen Wraysford, goes to Picardy, France, to learn the textile business. While there he plunges into a love affair with the young wife of his host, a passion so imperative and consuming that it changes him forever. Several years later, with the outbreak of World War I, he finds himself again in the fields of Picardy, this time as a soldier on the Western Front. A strange, occasionally bitter man, Stephen is possessed of an inexplicable will to survive. He struggles through the hideously bloody battles of the Marne, Verdun, and the Somme (in the last named, thirty thousand British soldiers were killed in the first half hour alone), camps for weeks at a time in the verminous trenches, and hunkers in underground tunnels as he watches many of the companions he has grown to love perish. In spite of everything, Stephen manages to find hope and meaning in the blasted world he inhabits.

Sixty years after war's end, his granddaughter discovers, and keeps, Stephen's promise to a dying man. Sebastian Faulks brings the anguish of love and war to vivid life, and leaves the reader's mind pulsating with images that are graphic and unforgettable.

This isn't usually the type of book we'd feature here on A Book So Fathomless, but I'm a massive fan of classics and World War One/Two books. That and I really want to watch the BBC mini-series starring Eddie Redmayne and Clemence Poesy. Hopefully my copy gets into the library soon!

Chami's book for this week is:

Untitled (Gallagher Girls #6) by Ally Carter







You know you kind of really want a book when it hasn't even got a cover, a summary or a title yet. You know even further when you had to put up with the first two books which were awful but the rest made your life. Yes, i'm talking about the VERY CONTROVERSIAL Gallagher Series by Ally Carter. I loved book 5 and i NEED book 6.  Plus, i feel like the random guy from Book 1 has something to do with this.

16 Feb 2013

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Melissa Wray


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Melissa has always loved reading and grew up about 600m from the local library. She spent a lot of time at that library reading the likes of Judy Blume, Enid Blyton, John Marsden, Ann M. Martin and Francine Pascal.
She lives in Leopold which is the middle of Geelong and the beach. It is a pretty great place to be. She has been lucky enough to live and travel overseas and see some amazing places. Some highlights include Carnivale in Venice, Italy. La Tomatina in Bunol, Spain. A tomato throwing festival not for the fainthearted. Also Mt.Sinai, Egypt where she began climbing a mountain at 2am to reach the top in time for the most spectacular sunrise.
As a primary school teacher she is passionate about encouraging her students to enjoy reading and writing.
As a mum she loves creating stories aloud with her kids and reading to them. Melissa is an emerging author who looks forward to sharing her stories and spending many more hours creating new ones.

1. You got published via a writing competition. What was your publishing experience like?

When I first entered the competition I only had to send the first 4 chapters. Once my entry got shortlisted I had to send the entire manuscript (which I madly finished editing the final chapters!). Morris Publishing Australia are a fabulous publishing house who are developing their author list. You can go to this link to read the 1st chapter of Destiny Road for free.

Elaine Ouston is the editor who allowed me to be completely involved from the start. She very patiently answered my numerous questions along the way. Elaine also allowed one of my best friends to do the photography work for the front cover. This made it even more special. So my first time publishing experience has been very positive.

2. Did you continue to edit your Novel after you won, or was it done and dusted?

It took me 18 months to write the manuscript. At this point I sent it to a manuscript assessor for feedback. I also gave it to a trusted friend to read. The assessor pointed out the structural edits and other things to consider whilst my friend bluntly pointed out the boring bits! Between the two I added another 15,000 words and another element to the story. Elaine then spent time going over it, making edits and questioning a couple of things. Then I read through it again making even more changes before returning it to Elaine who went over it once more with my changes. I haven’t actually read it in the novel format yet as I am afraid I might want to change something!


3. When did you know you wanted to become an author? Was there a certain book/author/series that you think influenced you?

I always enjoyed writing. I lived and travelled overseas for almost 2 years and kept a detailed diary of every place I went. It wasn’t until I had my first baby that I decided to take a creative writing course. It was by correspondence and took me 18 months. Since then I have kept writing (when I have time) and trying to develop my skills. I have entered and won/received mentions for other pieces of writing. I always thought it would be cool to have my own published book but I don’t think I thought it would seriously happen. When I started writing it was for middle grade readers (7-10 year olds). But my sister-in-law told me about these two great series, one called Twilight and other was The Hunger Games! I read them reluctantly at first then of course, could not put them down. From then on I was hooked on young adult books and rarely read anything else now. I suppose that is what made me first think of writing on the YA genre.

4.  Do you have any special requirements that help you write? A special place? A HB pencil with a flimsy attachable eraser on top?

Sometimes I love to have music blaring with a special soundtrack of my favourite songs. Other days I enjoy the peace and quiet of having an empty house. Often my writing is done at night after my two children are asleep so I might just pop some headphones on to get in my own little world of writing. I just invested in an Ipad to do some writing whilst out and about. Otherwise I carry a notebook with me and write on that, only to have to type it up when I get home. Although I do enjoy scribbling across the page except my ideas come out faster than the writing. When I read it back it doesn’t always make sense!

5. Are you working on a second book now? If so, what can you tell us about it?

I am halfway through an idea called Summer Change. It is about a teenage girl who spends the Summer with her cousins. Whilst there she begins to investigate the secret her parents are hiding. But then I got sidetracked by another idea called Late Bloomer. So I’ve spent some time on that and actually received an honourable mention in a writing competition for the Gold Coast Writers Festival late last year. Late Bloomer is about wanting to grow up and all the embarrassing moments this can cause. I am not admitting to any truth that might be found in this story! You can follow the link to read the entry.
http://www.melissawray.blogspot.com.au/2012/11/gold-coast-writers-festival.html

6. Is Destiny Road the first book you’ve written, if not, what made you think that the other books you wrote were not up to being published?

I have written lots of other stories but they are all for a younger reading age group. Destiny Road is my first attempt at a young adult novel. I think the other stories were good but I have found my voice is the YA genre. Destiny Road is my first published book and I am very proud of it. When I was 16 I went to live with my father for the first time. Unlike Jessica from Destiny Road I had known him all my life, but my parents divorced when I was very young.  I was never able to say thank you to my dad for saying yes when I asked could I live with him. He passed away several years ago and it has always bothered me that I could not get those words out before he died. Now with Destiny Road I feel like I have said them, so hopefully he knows.


Available for purchase:
http://www.morrispublishingaustralia.com/destiny-road.html
https://www.amazon.com/author/melissawray
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/215624
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/destiny-road-melissa-wray/1112616427?ean=9780985914721


Thank you to the wonderful Melissa for letting us host her on the blog today. As an added bonus she has let us hold an international giveaway for her debut novel 'Destiny Road'. Enter below to win a pdf version of the book for all international entries, or a signed physical copy for Australian entries. Don't forget to check out Ely's review, here.







a Rafflecopter giveaway

13 Feb 2013

Wishlist Wednesday #3

Wishlist Wednesday is a weekly blog hop hosted by Pen to Paper which allows us to share with you a book each that is on our wishlist, whether it's been on there for a while or just been added. If you'd like to learn more about this meme, check it out here.

This week, the book on Ely's wishlist is:


Shades of Earth (Across the Universe #3) by Beth Revis


Amy and Elder have finally left the oppressive walls of the spaceship Godspeed behind. They're ready to start life afresh--to build a home--on Centauri-Earth, the planet that Amy has traveled 25 trillion miles across the universe to experience.

But this new Earth isn't the paradise Amy had been hoping for. There are giant pterodactyl-like birds, purple flowers with mind-numbing toxins, and mysterious, unexplained ruins that hold more secrets than their stone walls first let on. The biggest secret of all? Godspeed's former passengers aren't alone on this planet. And if they're going to stay, they'll have to fight.

Amy and Elder must race to discover who--or what--else is out there if they are to have any hope of saving their struggling colony and building a future together. They will have to look inward to the very core of what makes them human on this, their most harrowing journey yet. Because if the colony collapses? Then everything they have sacrificed--friends, family, life on Earth--will have been for nothing.

FUELED BY LIES.
RULED BY CHAOS.
ALMOST HOME.

I really, really enjoyed the first two books of the Across the Universe series so there is no possible way for me to not read this book without feeling that my life is unfilled. It's moments like these that I regret my current book buying ban...