Monday, June 24, 2013

In Which I Say How Much this Job Rocks

So yesterday was the Texas Teen Panel at my local B&N, with me, PJ Hoover and Mary Lindsey-- and  host of bloggers, authors, fans, friends and other assorted folks, plus two fabulous CRM organizers: Bryan Young and Natalie Collins. A village indeed and an awesome one! Pictures are still coming in, but here's a fun one of authors and CRMs:
me, PJ Hoover, Mary Lindsey, Bryan Young, Natalie Collins

And a few others:
Blogger/Author lunch, arranged by Maria Cari Soto

Reading the A Word test scene from SWEET DEAD LIFE

Always a lovely display and a even more pretty books downstairs

Me likey my book
So yeah. An afternoon with people who love books, reading from my new book. I'd say it was a pretty awesome day.

Lots more this week, so stay tuned.
Right now I'm heading into the revision cave for a new project.
See you soon.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Happy Summer and Five for Friday!

Summer!! In honor of the Summer solstice, make sure that you:
1. Read SOLSTICE by PJ Hoover
(And congrats to Jess Capelle, who won the free SIGNED COPY!! in my giveaway!)
2. Come on out to The Woodlands Mall B&N this Sunday 6/23 at 2 for the Texas Teen panel with PJ Hoover, me and Mary Lindsey! I will give you Dove chocolate.

And now five for Friday!

1. Because it is summer, I am thinking of ice cream. Here's the thing about ice cream places: I don't want a scoop of ice cream as big as my head that costs as much as my mortgage. So thank you Baskin Robbins for still serving normal size scoops on ordinary sugar cones at ordinary prices. And some of my favorite flavors are the same as they have been my entire life: Jamoca Almond Fudge. Peanut Butter Chocolate. Butter Pecan. Weirdly although I despise coconut in most things, I find it sort of tasty in ice cream.

2. Made it to the pool for the first time this week. I am absolutely sure that I never put on the appropriate amount of sun block. But I lie and say that I do. I think sun block is like flossing your teeth in this regard.

3. Joss Whedon's MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING is finally here in my little suburb! In the theater closest to me!  The one that pretends it is a theater that shows indie movies but mostly shows 3 screens of Fast and Furious 11. (Not that I am dissing the franchise. Just that if you advertise that you are all CineArts, then you should show the CineArts films for more than one showing on a random Tuesday night at 5:30. I'm just saying.

4. And speaking of Joss Whedon, did you know that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is going to be a tv series?Cheers to that!

5. I need new sexy sandals. Perhaps in honor of the first day of summer, I will play hooky from the laptop, eat ice cream, go see Much Ado and then buy shoes.

Happy Summer!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Winner and Other Thursday Stuff

Congratulations to HANNAH J! Rafflecopter has chosen you as the winner of the CAGED GRAVES t-shirt! I will let Dianne Salerni know and soon your prize will be on its way.

And only one more day (see previous post) to win a SIGNED COPY of SOLSTICE by PJ Hoover! Global Warming meets dystopian meets mythology meets Piper and two very hot guys. You must read this! And if you enter, you might get it for free!

And a few more for Thursday:

1. Almost done reading the galley of Dancer, Daughter, Traitor, Spy by Elizabeth Kiem, out later this summer from Soho Teen. I love this book. Russian spies! Bolshoi Ballet! Brighton Beach! A love triangle! A crumbling family! Many layers in this story of Marina, who is living a privileged life training with the Bolshoi in Russia before the fall of the Soviet Union... until her prima ballerina mother uncovers terrible secrets about germ warfare testing gone wrong and everything in Marina's world crashes. Put this one on your TBR list. Trust me.

2. Next up after that will be RUMP, by Liesl Shurtliff,  a re-telling of the Rumplestiltskin story. You have to read a book that starts with this line: "My mother named me after a cow's rear end."

3. Excited about this coming Sunday's event at The Woodlands Barnes and Noble, here in Houston. A Texas Teen Panel with me, Mary Lindsey (Ashes in the Waves and also the Shattered Souls series) and  PJ Hoover (SOLSTICE ). We will talk about setting books in Texas and writing paranormal fiction and other stuff.  And there will be candy. Come on by this Sunday, 6/23 at 2 PM. It's at The Woodlands Mall.

4. And I have seen new covers for the paperback of THE SWEET DEAD LIFE as well as for next year's THE A WORD. I have been sworn to secrecy. But I am telling you that I am in cover love. I can hardly wait to show you!!

5. Also, my Bravo channel enablers, Lisa and Laura Roecker have a new book coming in just a couple weeks: THIS IS W.A.R.--- and I will be talking about that next week and also hosting the Sisters soon. I am so excited!! Country Club. Murder. Revenge. Oh yeah, I LOVED this book. More soon.

6. And speaking of Bravo, I am still on board for Long Island Princesses. The train wreck that keeps on pulling me in. But Lisa and Laura Roecker and I are still in mourning for the cancellation of Gallery Girls, so the void had to be filled.

7. And finally,  remember that Sourcebooks and Amazon have put the DREAMING ANASTASIA series on sale! You can get the e-book of DREAMING for only $1.99 and both HAUNTED and ANASTASIA FOREVER for $2.99. I posted about this a couple posts back ('The One Without the Animated Bat') and the sale is still happening. So spread the word.

More soon...

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Today I have the extreme pleasure to welcome PJ (Tricia) Hoover, whose YA dystopian with a mythological twist SOLSTICE just hit the shelves today from TOR books! Full disclosure, Tricia is a fellow Texas writer. I have made her guest room my second home since I seem to be in Austin every five and half seconds these days. She is funny and a fellow Star Trek nerd. She has a kickass collection of nerd t shirts that one day I will STEAL FROM HER CLOSET. If you want to see them, she posts pics regularly. Her family is equally rocking, including the two tortoises. It’s Tricia who decided that a group of us would appear regularly at Austin Comic Con. She is the only one who could convince me to wear an evil mermaid costume for 3 days in a row. She appreciated my geeker joy when I got five minutes of chat time with James Marsters (aka Spike from BTVS). I reciprocated during her photo op with Kevin Sorbo.

BTW—Make sure you read to the end! Tricia’s giving away a signed copy of SOLSTICE!

Tricia’s official bio reads like this:

P. J. Hoover first fell in love with Greek mythology in sixth grade thanks to the book Mythology by Edith Hamilton. After a fifteen year bout as an electrical engineer designing computer chips for a living, P. J. decided to take her own stab at mythology and started writing books for kids and teens. When not writing, P. J. spends time with her husband and two kids and enjoys practicing kung fu, solving Rubik's cubes, and watching Star Trek. Her first novel for teens, Solstice (Tor Teen, June 18, 2013), takes place in a global warming future and explores the parallel world of mythology beside our own. Her middle grade novel, Tut (Tor Children's, 2014), tells the story of a young immortal King Tut, who's been stuck in middle school for over 3,000 years and must defeat an ancient enemy with the help of a dorky kid from school, a mysterious Egyptian princess, and a one-eyed cat. For more information about P. J. (Tricia) Hoover, please visit her website

And here is the quick summary for SOLSTICE – which I have read and absolutely adore! Yes, Tricia Hoover has made global warming pretty hot in other ways, too –and yes, I’m thinking of Shayne and Reese the two love interests vying for main character Piper as she realizes that she is a much different girl with a much different backstory than she realizes… and that the increasingly hot temps in Austin are just possibly her fault…

Piper’s world is dying. Each day brings hotter temperatures and heat bubbles which threaten to destroy the Earth. Amid this Global Heating Crisis, Piper lives under the oppressive rule of her mother, who suffocates her even more than the weather does. Everything changes on her eighteenth birthday, when her mother is called away on a mysterious errand and Piper seizes her first opportunity for freedom. 

Piper discovers a universe she never knew existed—a sphere of gods and monsters—and realizes that her world is not the only one in crisis. While gods battle for control of the Underworld, Piper’s life spirals out of control as she struggles to find the answer to the secret that has been kept from her since birth—her very identity….
An imaginative melding of mythology and dystopia, Solstice is the first YA novel by talented newcomer P. J. Hoover.

Now let’s hear from PJ Hoover herself!

Joy: Your stories and even your blog title have a focus on mythology. Tell us about that.

PJ: I adore mythology. It started back in sixth grade when I read that book, Mythology, by Edith Hamilton, and it never went away. I love those tales of epic quests and heroes. And I find studying and comparing mythologies from around the world fascinating. I guess that’s why I always find a way to use it in my stories. And the blog title? That’s because so many things in our modern society have their basis in mythological beliefs, most people don’t know about them, and that’s just cool.

Joy: Where did the idea for SOLSTICE come from?

PJ: Well, it came about first and foremost from my love of mythology. So many people were writing fairy tale retellings, but as much as I love fairy tales, I didn’t want to jump into that playground. I wanted to hang out in a playground much closer to home. I started thinking about myths. But instead of a retelling, I wanted to write about what came after the myth, and that’s where the idea for Solstice came about.

Joy: Piper is torn between two hunky guys, but those characters have a great purpose than just the traditional love triangle. Can you tell us about Piper's love interests.

PJ: Well, without spoilers, maybe the best way is to contrast them.
Shayne is all about responsibility.
Reese is all about breaking the rules.
Shayne is willing to wait for what he wants.
Reese is likely to grab whatever he wants with no care to what happens as a result.
Shayne has a deep bond with Piper.
Reese can’t control himself around Piper . . . and she can’t control herself around him either.
Shayne has a temper.
Reese understands the value of chocolate.
The guys are so different, and that’s what made writing both of them so much fun in Solstice!

Joy: For those unaware of the story of Persephone, could you give us the quick, down and dirty version?

PJ: Sure! We’ll go with the traditional version.
Girl is very innocent. Girl never leaves her mom’s side. Until (you guessed it) one day, girl’s mom stops watching for a moment. Evil god comes and steals girl away. Evil god takes girl to Underworld. Never wants her to leave. Tricks her into eating food, thus binding her to the Underworld. Mom is mad. Crazy mad. But King of the gods, makes everyone happy, having girl split her time between her mom and evil god. The end.

Joy: How did you decide the near future Austin in global warming details that build the world?

PJ: Why Austin? Because I live here! It’s a great city and one I know well.
Why the near future? Because of the “what happens next” aspect of the myth. There was no other logical conclusion.

Joy: I'm going to meet Piper for the first time and I ask you to tell me about her. What would you say?

PJ: You totally might think Piper’s meek, based on how her mom controls her every move. But give her an inch of freedom, and watch out! All bets are off. Piper will surprise you (and herself) every chance she gets.

Joy: The one or two sentence SOLSTICE elevator pitch. Quick! What do you tell that Hollywood movie scout!

PJ: Solstice is a futuristic story, set amid a global-warming devastated world, about an eighteen-year-old girl who opens a mysterious present and discovers a world of mythology she never knew existed. And then the world really turns crazy.

Joy: What's next for PJ Hoover?

PJ: I have a middle grade Egyptian mythology book coming out in Fall 2014. It’s called Tut: My Life as an Immortal 8th Grader, and it’s about King Tut who is fourteen, immortal, and living in Washington D.C. with his one-eyed cat, Horus, when his crazy uncle from 3000 years ago shows up and is out to get King Tut. I am so excited for it to be published!

 Lightning Round

-- M&M's or Twizzlers?

--unicorns or zombies?
Hobbits J

--favorite guilty pleasure TV?
Star Trek

--book(s) for a desert island?
The Silmarillion

--favorite breakfast foods?
Sunnyside-up eggs and bacon. And coffee. Never forget the coffee.

--wine or whiskey?
Red wine, dark and dry

--fave myth?
Cupid and Psyche

--a song that reflected the high school you?
D’yer Mak’er by Led Zeppelin

 **Joy's note: Zep is the BEST BAND EVER*

Want to know more about PJ Hoover? Check out her WEBSITE

 AND NOW!! Want to Win a signed copy of SOLSTICE? Enter here! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, June 17, 2013


Today I am welcoming the delightful and brilliant Dianne Salerni, whose new historical and spooky YA CAGED GRAVES came out on May 14th, the same day as THE SWEET DEAD LIFE! 

As you will see in our interview, Dianne and I have known each other since we were both debut authors in the inaugural Sourcebooks Fire YA imprint. We met at the Sourcebooks Fire launch party at Books of Wonder in NYC, where we were treated to the musical renderings of Tiger Beat, the only all YA author band, with our then editor Daniel Ehrenhaft on guitar and Libba Bray singing vocals. I know, right?!

Here’s the summary of CAGED GRAVES:
The year is 1867, and seventeen-year-old Verity Boone is excited to return from Worcester, Massachusetts, to Catawissa, Pennsylvania, the hometown she left when she was just a baby. Now she will finally meet the fiancé she knows only through letters! Soon, however, she discovers two strangely caged graves . . . and learns that one of them is her own mother’s. Verity swears she’ll get to the bottom of why her mother was buried in “unhallowed ground” in this suspenseful teen mystery that swirls with rumors of witchcraft, buried gold from the days of the War of Independence, and even more shocking family secrets.

You had me at Verity’s name and at ‘rumors of witchcraft,’ Dianne!!

Dianne at Sarah Ann's caged grave
And here’s Dianne’s bio:

Dianne K. Salerni is an elementary school teacher living in Chester County, Pennsylvania with her husband and two daughters. Dianne's first novel, We Hear the Dead (Sourcebooks 2010), recounts the true story of Maggie Fox, a teenaged girl credited with the invention of the "séance" in 1848 and the founding of spiritualism as a nineteenth century phenomenon. A short film based on We Hear the Dead and titled The Spirit Game premiered at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. Her second novel, The Caged Graves, out now with Clarion Books, is inspired by a real historical mystery in the mountains of Pennsylvania. She is currently working on a middle grade fantasy series for Harper Collins, with the first book, The Eighth Day, due to be released in the Summer of 2014.

And now for a little conversation with Dianne. Read to the end (of course you will!) because Dianne is also doing a giveaway for a CAGED GRAVES t-shirt. Pretty awesome!

Dianne and me at Books of Wonder
Joy: You and I met when we were both part of the inaugural list of Sourcebooks Fire—me with DREAMING ANASTASIA and you with WE HEAR THE DEAD. Tell us what’s been going on since 2010!

Dianne: I spent a big chunk of 2010 writing THE CAGED GRAVES, revising another historical/paranormal novel, and looking for an agent. I signed WE HEAR THE DEAD in 2009 un-agented, but I realized I had no negotiation skills and really needed professional advice. It took several months and many revisions of my new manuscript, but I was lucky to land with Sara Crowe of Harvey Klinger, Inc. Her first sale for me was actually the second book I sent her, THE CAGED GRAVES. Since then, I’ve written another historical and then ventured into a contemporary fantasy which Sara sold in a 3-book, pre-empt deal with HarperCollins, putting all my other projects on hold.

Joy: Both WE HEAR THE DEAD and THE CAGED GRAVES can be categorized as historical fiction. What draws you to this genre?

Dianne: I find history fascinating. There is so much (in our self-centered technological hubris) that we’ve forgotten about our past. For instance, did you know that the railway and public transport system in our country used to be far superior to what we have now? When my grandfather was 10 years old, he could travel by trolley from his rural town to a larger town fifteen miles away for mandolin lessons (yes, mandolin). Today, there is NO way to travel between those towns except by car.  A small boy could not do it alone, like my grandfather did in the 1920s. In some respects, we’ve gone backwards!

When you add a little bit of spooky alongside our forgotten past, you have an irresistible combination (for me).

Joy: I know there’s this great story behind the idea for THE CAGED GRAVES, and in fact you just wrote about it for Huffington Post.   Can you tell us the brief version of the real life graves that inspired your new novel?

Dianne: These two caged graves are located in an abandoned cemetery near Catawissa, Pennsylvania. They are maintained by the local historical society, which has been unable to uncover a satisfactory explanation for them. The graves belong to two women who were sisters-in-law. They died within a couple days of each other in 1852. Suggested explanations for the cages include protection from grave robbers or animals, pure decoration, and other, weirder, and more paranormal reasons. No one alive today knows the real answer.

Joy: How would you describe Verity Boone?

Dianne: Verity is an outspoken and strong-minded 17-year old girl (by 1867 standards) who returns to her hometown after being raised by distant relatives for 15 years. She is coming home to take part in an arranged marriage to a young man she knows only through letters. She expects that everything will go her way: Her homecoming will be joyous and romantic, her fiancé will be charming, her father will be welcoming, and she will impress the rural townspeople with her sophisticated city ways. Of course, nothing goes as planned, especially when she discovers her mother is the subject of malicious rumor and buried in a caged grave outside the cemetery grounds.

Joy: Give us the down and dirty elevator pitch for THE CAGED GRAVES. Why should we read it?

Dianne: THE CAGED GRAVES is a mystery and a romance in a historical setting. Verity’s arranged marriage is the 19th century equivalent of meeting somebody online and then discovering they aren’t what you expected. And when Verity digs into her family’s history to vindicate her mother, she uncovers ugly secrets – jealousy, greed, and murder.

Joy: You and I chatted some about the balancing act of teaching, family, and writing. How do you do it?

Dianne: Sometimes, I do it badly. I get my teaching, grading, and planning done, and I get my writing done, and my family is very patient with me when they have to pick up the slack. I absolutely couldn’t do this without the full support of my husband – who cooks dinner and cleans and chauffeurs the children so I can write. And when my husband travels for work, my daughters pitch in. They are my pit crew and my biggest advocates.

Joy: Your previous novel WE HEAR THE DEAD has had some thrilling film developments. Can you talk about that? Can we all come to Cannes with you?  If we ask nicely?

Dianne: Ha! I wish I could have gone to Cannes myself! WE HEAR THE DEAD was adapted into a 10 minute short film called THE SPIRIT GAME. It premiered at Cannes in May of this year, and the producers will be pitching the premise of the film as a potential television program about the three Fox sisters who ran a séance business in the 1850s. They are, supposedly, frauds, but one sister’s uncanny ability to envision the darkest secrets of their clients reveals a true supernatural power. The movie trailer is available HERE

Joy: What’s coming next for Dianne Salerni?

Dianne: Next up is a departure from ghosts, historicals, and teens. I am working on a Middle Grade contemporary fantasy series for HarperCollins.  The first book, THE EIGHTH DAY, is about a 13 year-old boy who discovers an extra 24 hours between Wednesday and Thursday – and a mysterious girl hiding in the house next door who exists only on that secret day.

THE EIGHTH DAY is expected to release in the Summer of 2014. A synopsis can be found HERE – and I’d like to note that my husband whipped up a last minute trip to Mexico last summer, just so I could climb the Sun Pyramid of Teotihuacan as research for the conclusion of this book.

Lightning round:

  • Twizzlers or M&Ms?     ~M&Ms without a doubt. I have no interest in Twizzlers.
  • Ghosts or witches?    ~Ghosts every time.

  • Favorite guilty pleasure TV?   ~SUPERNATURAL. I love to ogle, um, watch those Winchester boys.
*Joy’s note: Oh the Winchester brothers. Austin author Cynthia Leitich Smith has a similar opinion. Just ask her. It took me awhile to stop seeing the one as Dean from Gilmore Girls. But once I did…

  • Perfect summer day?   ~Sitting by my goldfish pond, with the pool nearby in case it gets too hot, writing on my laptop
  • Book(s) you’d take to the desert island?    ~Oh crap. Can I bring my Kindle? Please don’t make me choose!!!
  • Wine or whiskey?  ~Whiskey for sure.
  • Favorite ghost story/movie?     ~ This is going to seem weird, but I’ve got to pick THE GHOST AND MR. CHICKEN, with Don Knotts (1966). It’s got a haunted mansion with a murder/suicide story, a painting of a beautiful woman pierced in the throat with gardening shears (the painting bleeds!), a secret passage behind the fireplace, a tower room, and an organ that plays by itself. What’s not to love?!

*OMG, Dianne—My brother and I loved that movie! Also Don Knotts in The Amazing Mr. Limpett, which is not a ghost story but is right up there with Finding Nemo in our book!  Also, let me add here that another movie, without Don Knotts, that I love is THE GHOST and MRS. MUIR, which as a kid I found to be deliciously romantic. (I didn’t use that phrase as a kid. But if I did, I might have said that.)

Want to know more about Dianne? Check out her website:

Want to win a CAGED GRAVE t-shirt? Enter here!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, June 13, 2013


I like to think of my first book -- and eventually first series, DREAMING ANASTASIA (Sourcebooks)--as the 'little book that could.'

In many ways, back in September, 2009, it was ahead of the curve: Like so many series and books that came after it and very much like Marissa Meyer's CINDER and SCARLET and the rest of the forthcoming LUNAR CHRONICLE series, it reimagines a set of fairy tales, in this case the Russian stories of Baba Yaga the witch, Vasilisa the Brave, the doomed rusalka and the immortal guy of soul jar trope fame, Koschei the Deathless. It does so within the context of a modern day girl named Anne whose life and journey in many-- but not all-- ways parallels Anastasia Romanov's and the hapless hero Ethan who begins the series with a temporary case of immortality.

Or as recent reviewer Jason Gallaher, writing at YABooksCentral about the series, says: IT'S THE ONE WITHOUT THE ANIMATED BAT!

I'm good with that. It is the one without the bat. And it is -- like CINDER, which I recently read and adored,  in case you're wondering what's sparking this discussion--an ambitious and often complex series in its attempts to meld three different sets of fairy tales characters that were previously unconnected, with a historical family that met great tragedy. There is the central mystery of Anastasia, but there are also interconnected mysteries of Anne's family and the rusalka's family and Ethan's family and Viktor's family and the witch Baba Yaga's backstory and Anne's own hero's journey. Plus a romance with Ethan! Which is a lot. And (yup, like CINDER, where Cinder and Kai both narrate), there are alternating points of view, in this case in 1st person. So the stories unwind and twist and turn.

And oh yeah, did I ever mention that the whole series was largely influenced by my story telling hero, Joss Whedon? That Buffy and Angel and the reverse fairy tale concept -- because yeah, Anne is the strong one in this series and Ethan falls for the bad guy's tricks way too often even though he is a blue-eyed handsome hottie with bangs falling over his eyes-- all that was a HUGE influence on my first series. That Whedonesque mixture of humor and angst -- that's what I wanted to bring you. And it was a labor of love.

Lately my focus has been on THE SWEET DEAD LIFE, just out now on May 14th from Soho Press.

But your first book baby is always your first.

And while many, many thousands of readers have read DREAMING ANASTASIA (for which I humbly THANK YOU)m  I'd like to try an experiment, but I need you, gentle reader!

I would love to get a new group of readers to discover DREAMING ANASTASIA, HAUNTED, and ANASTASIA FOREVER (all from Sourcebooks)

I would love you to spread the word. How will I know? My Amazon numbers will tell me, among other clues.

And just to help you along, my other wonderful publisher SOURCEBOOKS and the lovely folks at Amazon are offering the e-book of DREAMING ANASTASIA as a Kid's Kindle Deal for only $1.99 from today 6/13 - 6/23! Plus, HAUNTED and ANASTASIA FOREVER kindle e-books are only $2.99. Yes, you can read the ENTIRE 3 book series for under ten bucks! Just CLICK HERE !

So spread the word. Try something new. If the Amazon numbers roll enough that I know you're buying-- and hopefully reading-- I will do a series of AMAZING GIVEAWAYS!! You really want this to happen. Trust me!

Russian Fairy Tales. The Romanov Tragedy. A love story. A kick-ass girl hero and a hapless boy hero who's been around long enough to know better, but he never does. A bad guy with many secrets. The wholesale destruction of many iconic Chicago landmarks. Plus kissing! And Chicago style pizza. And even some ballet. And more kissing.


You gotta read the DREAMING ANASTASIA series. Seriously.

Under 10 bucks for the WHOLE THING.

Go back up there to the link. JUST DO IT.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


All sorts of great shenanigans brewing here.

  • It is officially summer because I got my pool pass yesterday! The great thing is that you can use any of the pools in our community, some of which are normal pools and others of which are like a mini water park. Perhaps it is time for that Lazy River...
  • Tomorrow, I will be joining authors Cynthia Leitich Smith, PJ Hoover, Janet Fox and author/editor Deborah Noyes for an author hangout chat on the Candlewick Google+ Hangout Page. Cyn talks about it HERE, giving all the deets. You do have to sign up for Google+ to participate, but if I could do it,  you know it's easy!
  • Got two awesome reviews yesterday for THE SWEET DEAD LIFE! Both Jack and Jill Magazine and School Library Journal have given TSDL their stamp of approval.  You can read the Jack and Jill review HERE.
  • And here is part of the SLJ review. I am so thrilled!
This colorful tale of Texas teens vs. comically juvenile adults moves quickly and is never short on laughs… Preble's narrator is spot-on, and readers will relate to her as she speaks, acts, and behaves like a 14-year-old. Although several questions are left unanswered, they don't detract from the story; if anything, they lend credibility. After all, some subjects are too complicated for a cookie-cutter ending. The Sweet Dead Life is a great addition to any collection. ~School Library Journal

Coming later this week:
  • It's the One Without An Animated Bat: A reprise of the DREAMING ANASTASIA series to celebrate Amazon's Kindle special. Starting 6/13, for the next couple weeks, you will be able to buy the e-book of DA for $1.99 and HAUNTED and ANASTASIA FOREVER for $2.99 each. Spread the word!