Wednesday, May 29, 2013

T3 Invades BEA2013!!

For those interested, Erin and I will be live-tweeting our activities while at Book Expo America this week. Today is the BEA Blogger Confrence, which can be found under the hash tag #BEAbloggercon on twitter. 

Follow @syric and @bookklovr22 for lots of pictures and fun info! Tonight is the Teen Author Carnival with many, many YA Authors!

(Sorry for the simple formatting, we only have phones right now for posting.)


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Tuesday Tea Break (5)

I found this book survey on BookGeekChic's tumblr yesterday, and decided to fill it out.

1. Hardback or trade paperback or mass market paperback?
I prefer Trade paperback over Mass Market, and while I don’t really have a reading preference between hardcover and paperback, I typically buy paperbacks because they're cheaper than hardcovers.

2. Amazon or brick and mortar?
Brick and mortar all the way!

3. Barnes & Noble or Borders Indie Bookstore?
Barnes & Noble, because it’s only 10 mins away, and the closest decent Indie is 50 mins away.

4. Bookmark or dog-ear?
I typically bookmark, but with some books it just seems like dog-earring fits. (I know that doesn’t really make any sense, but I don’t know how else to describe it.)

5. Alphabetize by author or alphabetize by title or random?
None of the above. My shelves are organized by genre/subject/content, and then sorted by favorites/how much I like the book within each category. (Category ex: Mermaids, Vampires, Dystopian, Witches, Contempory Romance, Murder/Mystery, etc)

6. Keep, throw away, or sell?
Always keep. Someday, I want a library like below, so I need to start collecting now.
(via Pinterest)
7. Keep dust jacket or toss it?
(Again) Always keep. I actually take the dust jacket off when reading to keep it pristine.

8. Read with dust jacket or remove it?
See above.

9. Short story or novel?
I prefer novels because if I love a world I’m with it longer. Though I do love short stories/novellas that are from another character’s POV and give us an insight on how they think.

10. Collection (short stories by same author) or anthology (short stories by different authors)?
Well, in the YA world there aren’t very many Collections (at least that I’ve found, I mean, I only have 3), so I’m going to say Anthologies (I have 20-25 of those). Anthos also introduce you to a bunch of authors that you may not have otherwise payed attention to or known about.

11. Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket?
I think I’ve only read like two Lemony Snicket books, so Harry Potter!

12. Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks?
I try to stop at chapter breaks, but sometimes I still have a lot of chapter left when I get tired and can't keep reading, so I stop at the end of a paragraph.
(via Tumblr)
13. “It was a dark and stormy night” or “Once upon a time”?
Depends on my mood, but usually “Once upon a time.”

14. Buy or Borrow?
Buy! Sometimes I’ll borrow a book from my cousin or friend or the library if I’m not sure I’ll like it, but I like to have my own copy of books I love.

15. New or used?
New, but depending on how used I don’t really mind a used book (quite-used books are the main reason I don’t go to the library often, they feel too dirty and I end up not even reading half the books I get because of that). Actually, the Indie bookstore I vaguely mention in #3 (which is called Schuler Books, by the way) has an awesome used books section, and that’s typically where I get books from when I shop any of their bookstores.

16. Buying choice: book reviews, recommendation, or browse?
Browse, and recommendations from people I trust. Though I buy a lot of books based on buzz, so I guess book reviews, too.

17. Tidy ending or cliffhanger?
Both. Though I hate cliffhangers, they leave me craving the next book, which will get me reading it when it comes out. (I have a big problem with buying sequels and then letting them sit on my shelf.)

18. Morning reading, afternoon reading or nighttime reading?
Depends on my mood. If I need to wake up I’ll read in the morning. Sometimes I’ll go to Starbucks for a few hours in the afternoon/evening if I just want to get out of the house, and read. Nighttime is typically when I get on my computer and catch up on email/tumblr/pinterest/etc., so, unless it’s a very riveting book, I don’t read much at night.

19. Stand-alone or series?
Series, because I’m in the world longer (see picture below). But, as there are A TON of series’ these days, sometimes I get series-fatigue and like a good stand-alone.
(via Tumblr)
20. Favorite series?
The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare. These are such good books! TMI still has one more book to finish the series, but TID has the best end-to-a-series I have ever read.

21. Favorite children’s book?
I don’t even know. My favorite Middle Grade, though, is a tie between Shannon Hale’s Princess Academy, and Liz Kessler’s Emily Windsnap series.

22. Favorite book of which nobody else has heard?
Dark Visions (omnibus) by L J Smith. L J is such an amazing writer (hello, Vampire Diaries), but I don’t really hear much (if at all) about her non-Secret Circle/Vampire Diaries books, which makes me quite sad. Dark Visions is quite a different take on vampires, and I love it so.

23. Favorite books read last year?
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers, Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi, The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman, Poison Study by Maria V Snyder, Easy by Tammara Webber, and Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins.

24. Favorite books of all time?
See #20—City of Bones and City of Glass in TMI, and the whole TID trilogy. Also: Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers, the Night World series by L J Smith, Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, and The Host by Stephenie Meyer, just to name a few.
(via Tumblr)
25. Least favorite book you finished last year?
Claire de Lune by Christine Johnson. (You can read my review here)

26. What are you reading right now?
Dreamless by Josephine Angelini. It's pretty good so far, but the "cousins" thing is really frustrating to read. (blocked out for Starcrossed spoilers, highlight to unveil)

27. What are you reading next?
I don't know, probably Invisibility by Andrea Cremer & David Levithan, which I started awhile ago, but just wasn't feeling at the time.

All done! See you next week!


Trailer Reveal: Bones of Faerie by Janni Lee Simner (+ Giveaway)

We're so excited to be apart of the trailer reveal for. . .
Bones of Faerie by Janni Lee Simner
hosted by VLC Productions!

Without further ado. . .

Faerie After, the third book in the Bones of Faerie trilogy, releases today, so here's a little bit about it:
Title: Faerie After
Series: Bones of Faerie #3
Author: Janni Lee Simner
Publisher: Random House (BYR)
Release Date: May 28, 2013
Buy: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository

After a devastating war between humanity and Faerie, Liza’s world was forever changed. Plants and trees became aggressive, seeking to root in living flesh and bone, and newborn children were discovered to have magical powers. Liza was one of these children, and with her abilities she brought her mother back from the ruined Faerie realm and restored the seasons to her own.

Now there are signs of a new sickness in the forest. Piles of ash are found where living creatures once stood. Liza investigates and discovers that the Faerie realm has continued to deteriorate, slowly turning to dust, and that its fate is inexorably linked to that of the human realm. To find a solution, Liza must risk crossing over, putting herself and all she cares about at risk. Will Liza be forced to sacrifice her life and the lives of her friends in order to save both worlds?

Fans of dark fantasy and dystopian adventure were entranced by Janni Lee Simner's Bones of Faerie andFaerie Winter. Now readers of Holly Black, Melissa Marr, and Cassandra Clare can return to Janni's unique vision of a magic-infused postapocalyptic world.

And now for the giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
What do you think of the trailer? We love it!

—Tea for Three Team

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Tuesday Tea Break (4) Greek Myth Art

Posting a day late, oops. Sorry guys, hope you forgive me.

Before I get into today's topic, I want to tell you that I just finished Being Friends with Boys by Terra Elan McVoy, and it was SO GOOD. Definitely recommended!

Okay, now for the real reason you're here. I'm quite in love with *Arbetta on deviantART right now, specifically her Greek myth drawings, so I thought I'd share some of her work. Click on the image to embiggen, and the title underneath to go to the dA page. Also, on the dA pages, she tells a little bit about each character, so if you want to find out more about the different Greek nymphs or goddesses pictured, click a link.

"Underworld nymphs" - L to R: Orphne/Gorgyra, Minthe/Mente, Leuce, a Lampade
"(More) Greek nymphs" - L to R: Pleiade, Epimelide, Naiad, Aurae
"Hades Happy Family (chibi)" - L to R: Cerberus, Hades, Persephone, Macaria, Melinoe
"Thanatos and Hypnos" - Thanatos (white) is on the right, and Hypnos (black) is on the left.
"Charites" - L to R: Aglaea, Euphrosyne, Thalia
"Six main chibi goddesses" - L to R: Hera, Aphrodite, Persephone, Demeter, Artemis, Athena

I love them all, but I think my favorites are the Charites and Hades' Happy Family. (Also, Hypnos is really kinda cute.)

Arbetta also has some stuff on her tumblr that hasn't been posted to dA, so here's some of that. Under a cut so the post doesn't get too long.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Tuesday Tea Break (3) Anna Banks Writing Advice

A few months ago Anna Banks, author of Of Poseidon, hosted an #AskAuthor Q&A/writing tips session on her twitter. I gathered all her advice and put it on one of my tumblrs, so I'm going to repost that advice here (and none of it is paraphrased!).

General Advice
1. Your book doesn’t have to be written in order. If you’re in the mood to write a scene, write it. Your book will benefit.

2. If you’re not signed up for QueryTracker, you need to be. It’s the most helpful tool for querying agents/pubs.

3. Repeat after me: THE FIRST DRAFT IS POOP. And that’s okay. Revise, revise, revise. Magic happens in revisions at every level.

4. Writer tip: End EVERY SINGLE CHAPTER on a cliffie. Makes for a great page turner!

5. Basics: Cut adverbs. Cut adjectives. Cut dialogue tags.

6. Every scene must serve to further the plot. Don’t keep scenes that don’t carry their own plot weight.

7. Know the word count for your genre. Be well read in your genre. Know which agents rep your genre.

8. Want to know who reps your fave book? Check the acknowledgements. Authors almost always thank their agent.

9. Reach out to the writing community. We are vast. We lub you already. We will halp you!

10. Having a brutal critique partner is vital. Mine is . We both got agents by tearing each other’s work apart.

11. I know it’s more work, but look into each and every agent and find something to compliment them on in your query.

Q: What makes a first chapter stand out from the crowd?
A: Shock the reader. Pull them right into the story. There will be time for backstory in Chapter Two.

Q: At what point did you feel like your manuscript was truly ready for querying? Can you ever know for sure it’s ready?
A: You know it’s ready when you’ve had other people read it, sift through, and you’ve edited the snot out of it.

Q: Tips for introducing main character to the reader? How to interest readers?
A: Voice. Give the main character a strong voice from the first sentence. Help the reader identify w/MC early on.

Q: Any tips on writing stellar queries/pitches?
A: Keep it under 300 words. Be precise, confident, and thank agent for their time.

Q: Do you think using side characters to let readers get to know your MC is effective?
A: Yes. How your MC interacts with ANY CHARACTER is a way to develop your MC. We learn something each time.

Quite helpful, don't you think?


Friday, May 10, 2013

The Savage Blue Blog Tour: Author Q&A [+Giveaway]

We're so excited to have the lovely Zoraida Córdova stop by the blog today on The Savage Blue blog tour! For our stop, Erin had the pleasure of doing a short Q&A with Zoraida. Ms. Córdova is also giving away 3 awesome mermish prize packs for those that buy The Savage Blue, so check that out after the Q&A. And here we go. . .

Erin: Are you a Plotter or a Pantser?
Zoraida: I used to be a big pantser. I would see the end of a story in my head and write towards that no matter what twists and turns happened to come up.

For book 2 and now book 3 I am definitely plotting. Ideas still spring up out of the blue,  but I try to make sure they make sense in the world I'm creating.

E: Do you listen to music while you write? If so, who?
Z: I have an eclectic mix of music. I love rock bands but sometimes I'll throw on a Taylor Swift song if it feels right. Other times I write in silence.

E: Who is your favorite character to write? Why?
Z: I love writing all of them. I know that's cheating! Tristan is fun because I feel like I can say anything through him.

Gwen is someone who is emotionally complicated, but she's so snarky that I love writing her verbal fights with others.

I also love Marty McKay. Even though he's a secondary character, he's always sees the bright side of things.

E: What was your favorite scene to write, in either of your books? (If from TSB, and not too spoilery, could I get a snippet?)
Z: I love writing interactions between Layla and Tristan. Like this...
I grip the dusty golden hilt and pull it out. The quartz piece comes to a sharp point. A soft glow emanates from inside the crystal. It comes and goes like the strips of florescent bulbs in my old classrooms. Kurt says it could be because the three pieces are meant to work together, and when they’re apart, they’re erratic.

Layla hooks her thumbs on the back of her shorts. “Is it heavy?”

“Not really.” I hold it horizontally and press on its weight, like a too-thick branch I can’t snap. “It’s solid though.”

“Can I touch it?”

“No.” I hold it over my head and away from her. “Did you see what my dagger did to Gwen’s hands?”

“Fine, I’ll get my rock candy on a stick.”

I make like I’m going to throw it at her, a fake basketball pass and she flinches. “See? You don’t really want it. You just want it because I have it…"

E: Do you have any writing rituals/things you have to have near you when you write?
Z: I have a stone called SELENITE. I'm not always superstitious. I have one piece that I carry with me often.
Paper reads: SELENITE: Highly protective stone. Clears dissension from body.
Stone of writers, artists, and healers. ELEMENT: Storm. CHAKRAS: All.

E: When drafting do you write on paper, a computer, or both?
Z: For drafting outlines I use index cards. I like writing on paper for as long as I can. When my thoughts start getting too fast, I switch to my laptop.

E: Name a book (not one of yours) that you love so much you just want to throw it upon everyone you meet. Why?
Z: My most recent book crush is Drink Slay Love by Sarah Beth Durst. It is original, funny, and has fantastic characterization.

E: We're all about tea here, so I must include a tea related Q. If you were to be a tea, what kind would you be? (Earl Gray, Ginger Peach, Chocolate Mint, to name a few)
Z: I suppose I would be the tea I drink the most--> Chamomile lemon because sleep is my favorite.

Thank you for stopping by, Zoraida!

Don't forget to pick up
The Savage Blue at a bookstore near you!
Title: The Savage Blue
Series: The Vicious Deep #2
Author: Zoraida Cordova
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: May 7, 2013
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Buy: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository | IndieBound

A storm is coming...

The ocean is a vicious place. Deeper and darker than Tristan could have imagined. Beneath its calm blue surface, an ancient battle is churning —and no one is safe.

In the quest for the Sea Throne, Tristan has already watched one good friend die. Now he must lead the rest on a dangerous voyage in search of the trident that will make him king. But while Tristan chases his destiny, the dark forces racing against him are getting stronger, and the sea witch of his nightmares is getting closer.

Battling sea dragons and savage creatures of the deep, Tristan needs his friends' support. But they each have their secrets, and a betrayal will force Tristan to choose between his crown and his best friend Layla — the only girl he's ever loved.

Here's the giveaway details, straight from Zoraida's blog:

I've been thinking about what to give away to you, dear readers. After all, you make this book awesomeness happen by simply buying and reading our books. So here's the thing. Pre-order  THE SAVAGE BLUE, and you're entered to win one of different prize packs. Each one is unique. See here my handmade charm bookmarks featuring the king's crown and the infamous venus pearl. See here a photo of my original take on Nieve, the sea witch with a snippet of The Savage Blue, handwritten by yours truly. See here some Coney Island swag. That's what Coney Island mermaids look like during the parade, BTW. FUN TIMES!

Also, save your pre-order receipt! You'll need it to claim your prize.

UPDATE! If you get your copy of THE SAVAGE BLUE between May 7th and the 14th, you can still enter! Save your receipt to claim your prize! 

Open internationally.
Sample of le prizes.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
—Tea for Three Team

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Tuesday Tea Break (2) Holly Black Q&A

Hey Guys! So we kind of took a little hiatus there, didn't we? Oops. Anyway, to get us back to your (semi)regularly scheduled programming, we're going to start Tuesday Tea Break, which we talked about a little before our hiatus. Though we may not have vlogs very regularly, Tea Break will come to you every week!

Today, I'm presenting the wisdom of author extraordinaire Holly Black! Yesterday (Monday) night, I went to an event Holly did at Anderson's Bookshop in Naperville, IL, and I live-tweeted the Q&A session, so I'm going to recap that here. I only ended up missing a few questions, because I was so busy typing others, so here we go. Oh, and all questions and answers are quite paraphrased (as they needed to fit in 140 characters).
Q: Challenges of switching from YA to MG again? 
A: When you write for multiple communities, it's hard to feel like you're serving both the YA and MG communities at the same time.

Q: Return to Modern Faerie Tales? 
A: MFT is settled, but I'm writing another Faerie book called The Darkest Part of the Forest!

Q: Difficulty of switching between Adult & YA? 
A: The voices are similar so not much of a challenge, just have to be mindful of the character's age.

Fun Fact: When preparing for Coldtown, Holly re-read all the vampire books she read as a kid.

Q: Which of your books can you envision as a movie? Which shouldn't be movies? 
A: I'm game for anything!*

*This was a longer answer, but Holly told me I could not put on the internet what she said.

Q: Did the Spiderwick movie do the books justice? 
A: Yes, I think it did a really good job of capturing the mood of the books.

Q: If they do make movies will you be part of the decisions? 
A: No, I probably won't be given that option. VERY few authors get a say.

Q: When's the next Curse Workers? 
A: Curse Workers is done (for now). I would love to do 2 more, but right now I don't know if I'll get that opportunity.

Q: Anymore graphic novels? 
A: Maybe. I wrote the text for A FLIGHT OF ANGELS from DC comics, but other than that, no.
Q: Will you write non-fantasy/-magic books? 
A: I don't really get realistic fiction, I tried a short story, it was really hard, so no.

Q: Are you part of a writer's group? 
A: Yes, a couple. One meets when you finish a novel, and they read it and give notes, and then they go away—it's really nice. Sarah Rees Brennan is also really great at leaving nice notes in her critiques, even if she's tearing you're book apart, she makes you feel really good about yourself.

Q: Do you plot?
A: When I sit down to write I kinda have the end planned, but I know how I want it to feel. *

*I actually missed this question, but tweeted her answer, so I think this was roughly what the question was.

Q: As an author, how do you decide on the line between written detail & reader imagination? 
A: I think it's more the voice and feel. And 3 lines is better than 3 paragraphs as long as they're the right 3 lines.

Q: How do you know when the series is over & the characters are done? 
A: The answer is 'do I have an idea [for more books]?' and 'could I?'

Q: Is it hard creating worlds? 
A: Sometimes it's really easy, it feels like they've always been there.*

*I totally missed this question, too, and tried to pieced it together based on the answer.

Q: Would you writing a book on writing? 
A: I don't know how I would do that. Books on writing, I feel, are personal accounts and solutions. There should be a writing book that's Choose Your Own Adventure.
Me and Holly

That's everything! What did you guys think?