Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Eyecatcher: The Waking: Dreams of the Dead by Thomas Randall

The Waking: Dreams of the Dead
by Thomas Randall

Bloomsbury USA
ISBN: 9781599902500
Release Date: September 29, 2009

from the author's site:

Kara Foster thinks the hardest thing about moving to Japan will be fitting in as an outsider. But dark secrets are stirring at her new school. When Kara befriends Sakura, a fellow outsider whose rebellious nature sets her apart from the crowd, she learns that Sakura's sister was the victim of an unsolved murder on school grounds. And before long, terrible things begin to happen.

It starts with nightmares - strange, otherworldly dreams that wake Kara in terror every night. Then more students start turning up dead, with strange marks on their bodies. Is Sakura getting revenge on those she suspects are responsible for her sister's death? Or has her dead sister come back to take revenge for herself?

This first book in a frightening new trilogy will have teens glued to the page and scared to go to sleep.

why it caught my eye:

This is actually one that I found from a Publisher's Weekly review. We have a subscription at work and I love flipping through the reviews to see what they're talking about. I like to make my own opinions about books, but PW is great for letting me know about books that I probably would not have found on my own. I hoping to pick up a copy of this one later this week when I get paid. :)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

You Recommend Wednesday

So we're only 2 days away from Christmas. Anyone else giving out books as gifts this year? I always do, but I don't suppose that's too surprising since I work in a bookstore. :)

What books do you recommend as gifts this year?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Eyecatcher: Bite Me by Melissa Francis

Bite Me
by Melissa Francis

ISBN: 9780061430985
Release Date: July 28, 2009

from the author's site:

AJ Ashe isn’t your typical seventeen-year-old vampire—as if there is such a thing. Her ex-boyfriend—whom she’s still totally in love with—is now her stepbrother. A former classmate—who, um, she may or may not have turned into a vampire—is stalking her. And now, apparently, the fate of humankind lies in her little undead hands. Whatever happened to the good old days when all a vampire girl had to worry about was the occasional zit and hiding her taste for blood?

why it caught my eye:

Melissa Francis is another author I found thanks to Twitter. :) I've been meaning to check out this book for some time now. I just love a good vampire story and this sure looks like one. Here's hoping it's waiting under the tree for me this week.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Review: Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Hush, Hush
by Becca Fitzpatrick

Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 9781416993551
Release Date: Ocober 13, 2009

from the author's site:

Falling in love was never so easy . . .

or so deadly.

For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch came along. With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment.

But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure who to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.

For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life.

my thoughts:

Hush, Hush had me hooked from the first page. Becca Fitzpatrick has created an amazing world that I can't wait to visit again. Patch had me intrigued from the get go; I was hoping he was going to be good in the end, but I really couldn't be sure. All around Nora it was hard to know who she should trust. Strange events are happening all around her and even as the reader you aren't sure if it really happened or if Nora is losing her mind.

For me the relationship between Nora and Patch was rather reminiscent of Deirdre and Luke from Maggie Stiefvater's Lament. So if you're a fan of Maggie you should definitely check out Becca. I can't wait to see more. I fear next Fall may be too long to wait for the follow-up story Crescendo, but I guess I'll just have to be patient.

Hush, Hush is a book that you really need to check out for yourself. I absolutely loved it, and I flew right through the pages. I highly recommend adding this one to your TBR pile right away.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

You Recommend Wednesday

Hello all! How are my lovely readers doing on this fine Wednesday? :) I don't have any specific topic for the recommendations this week. I just want to know what all of you are recommending these days.

I'm currently reading Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick. I'm totally loving it, watch for a review to come as soon as I get it finished. :) After that the next book in my ever-growing review pile is The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima. I can't wait.

So what are all of you reading? What should I be reading?

P.S. You may have noticed that there are now 2 HeatherMarie's listed in the authors. Those are both me. :) I wound up with 2 different Google accounts and in an effort to quit confusing myself I've made both accounts authors on the blog.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Eyecatcher: Dreaming Anastasia by Joy Preble

Dreaming Anastasia
by Joy Preble

ISBN: 9781402218170
Release Date: September 1, 2009

from the publisher's site:

What really happened to Anastasia Romanov?

Anastasia Romanov thought she would never feel more alone than when the gunfire started and her family began to fall around her. Surely the bullets would come for her next. But they didn't. Instead, two gnarled old hands reached for her. When she wakes up she discovers that she is in the ancient hut of the witch Baba Yaga, and that some things are worse than being dead.

In modern-day Chicago, Anne doesn't know much about Russian history. She is more concerned about getting into a good college—until the dreams start. She is somewhere else. She is someone else. And she is sharing a small room with a very old woman. The vivid dreams startle her, but not until a handsome stranger offers to explain them does she realize her life is going to change forever. She is the only one who can save Anastasia. But, Anastasia is having her own dreams…

why it caught my eye:

Just look at that cover, wouldn't it catch yours? This was another book that caught my attention while I was re-shelving other books at work. So I picked it up and I'm rather intrigued by the plot. There has been a lot of speculation about what happened to Anastasia Romanov over the years, so I'm really curious to see where Joy Preble takes this story. I didn't catch this one in time to add it to my Christmas wishlist, but maybe I'll be able to pick up a copy with some Christmas spending money. :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

You Recommend Wednesday: Holiday Edition

Hey all! It's that time of year. Well, first it's that time of week. It's Wednesday and since I'm getting back into the swing of things that means it's time for you to tell me what to read.

My question for you this week is:

What holiday themed YA novels do you recommend?

Leave a comment letting me know what I should read. Who knows? Your recommendations could become Tuesday Eyecatchers, or even get reviewed here at Want My YA. :)

And if I don't say so before then, HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!!


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Eyecatcher: Never Cry Werewolf by Heather Davis

Never Cry Werewolf
by Heather Davis

ISBN: 9780061349232
Release Date: September 1, 2009

from the author's site:

"Moonlight can totally change your life.
And it all starts so simply.
You. Him. The moon. You’re toast."
Okay, so maybe Shelby has made a few mistakes with boys lately (how was she supposed to know Wes had “borrowed” that Porsche?). But her step-mother totally overreacts when she catches Shelby in a post-curfew kiss with a hot senior. Suddenly Shelby’s summer plans are on the shelf, and she’s being packed off to brat camp. It’s good-bye, prom dress; hello, hiking boots. Things start looking up, though, when Shelby meets fellow camper (and son of a rock star) Austin Bridges, III. But soon she realizes there’s more to Austin than crush material—his family has a dark secret, and he wants Shelby’s help guarding it. Shelby knows that she really shouldn’t be getting tangled up with another bad boy…but who is she to turn her back on a guy in need, especially such a good looking one? One thing’s for sure, that pesky full moon is about to get her into trouble all over again.

why it caught my eye:

Never Cry Werewolf keeps popping up on my Amazon recommends so I decided to check it out. I'm a total vampire girl, but I do love a good werewolf story and this certainly looks like one. I'll be adding Heather Davis' Never Cry Werewolf to my wishlist for sure.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Author Interview: Rhonda Stapleton

Hey there! Got another wonderful author interview for you today. My guest is Rhonda Stapleton author of Stupid Cupid. Check it out!

    Tell us a little about yourself.

Rhonda Stapleton started writing a few years ago to appease the voices in her head. She lives in northeast Ohio with her two kids, her manpanion, and their lazy dog. Visit her website at rhondastapleton.com.

    What got you started writing? What brought you to YA?

I started writing because I had this urge to try my hand at a novel. I expect a lot of people get into it for that reason! But I didn't try YA until one of my friends told me I had the voice for it and totally had to give it a whirl. I hadn't read contemporary YA in a long time--she gave me a book to read. And from there, I was hooked.

    Tell us about your most recent/ upcoming release?

    Here's the blurb about Stupid Cupid, the first in my trilogy: Felicity Walker believes in true love. That's why she applies for a gig at the matchmaking company Cupid's Hollow. But when Felicity gets the job, she learns that she isn't just a matchmaker...she's a cupid! (There's more than one of them, you know.) Armed with a hot pink, tricked-out PDA infused with the latest in cupid magic (love arrows shot through email), Felicity works to meet her quota of successful matches. But when she bends the rules of cupidity by matching her best friend Maya with three different boys at once, disaster strikes. Felicity needs to come up with a plan to set it all right, pronto, before she gets fired...and before Maya ends up with her heart split in three.

Do you plot out in advance, or just start writing and see where things go from there?

I do plot in advance. I'm totally a plotter. I like to actually create a list of scenes so I have a general road map...it helps the process be less intimidating. I can tackle the book one scene at a time, knowing I worked out the bulk of kinks beforehand. Takes a lot of pressure off!

Many authors have told me their characters talk to them, and sometimes even have different ideas of where the story should go than the author. Do you hear your characters?

Occasionally. My heroine is very, very overdramatic. I love to hear the crazy things that fly into my mind and beg to be put on paper. She's a lot of fun to listen to...haha.

Who is your favorite character (of your own)?

Ooooh, tough call.Absinthia. She's a fortuneteller. I hadn't planned on writing her at all--she just came to me, but I loved adding her.

What hobbies do you have when you're not writing?

I looove reading, singing, photography, and eating.

If you had not become a writer what would you have done instead?

Probably a singer. I'd love to be one!

Where can readers find you online?


Your turn. What question do you have for readers of Want My YA?

Ooooh good question! Tough one...I want it to really count. Okay, how about this: what book is at the top of your re-read list, the book that's a total classic for you, and why?

Thanks so much for visiting with me today Rhonda! I love your answers. :) Hmm..classic re-read for me? Well, actually I'm currently re-reading The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. Totally love that book! It's the first in the Thursday Next series; they're great books but so confusing to try to explain.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Writing for the YA Market by LM Preston

Hey all! Today I have a guest post from YA SciFi author LM Preston on how to write for the YA market. I was really curious about what she had to say about this because I've often wondered how adults successfully write about and for teens. Here's what she has to say:


YA, what is that? It’s the young adult market which ranges from ages 12yrs to 18yrs. If you write for ages 12yrs to 13yrs realize that parents may be heavily involved in their child’s reading selections, so in most cases if you want to promote your book to this age group – keep it a bit clean. Ages 14yrs and up, will usually mix it up a bit between reading YA focused books and adult books. You can use most of the taboos that you can’t for the younger age group with kids 14yrs and up. There are also many sub-genre to consider when writing YA. Those include: adventure, romance, humor, mystery, historical, contemporary, fantasy, sci-fi, and so on.


Take time to observe the group you are writing about. When writing for teenagers realize that they are very picky about sounding old or goofy. This is easy for me because I have four kids, and two of which are within the age group in which I write for. They are the best resources of information on language, what’s interesting, what not to say, how far to push it and so on. Not to mention, I also observe their interaction with their friends, siblings and adults. It is enlightening and it has given me great material.


The best feedback I have ever gotten for my work came from my kids’ friends. I allowed many of them to beta for me. I even bribed some with free movie tickets in order to get them to do it. Getting feedback from this group is invaluable. I gave them a checklist to fill out, and a facebook page to update with question or comments, and also invited them to give me feedback on my cover. The results were outstanding.


- Don't bore them. Keep the story moving.

- Don't write for them as if they are idiots.

- Don't write characters that they don't identify with.

- Lastly, don't bore them (I was told this was something I did well with my writing by my YA)

- Don't assume that they all curse, use drugs, swear, or have sex on the brain all the time.

These tips were given to me by many of my Beta - Readers of whom I asked for a big list of No-No's in books that they didn't like.


Several of my teenage betas loved my book so much that they offered to start an email chain about my book. They also posted it on their facebook and myspace accounts. I was floored, because I didn’t even ask for this. They offered it.

Remember, if you are writing for young people, the best judge of how your book will do in the market comes from your market group. Also, when acquiring an agent or publisher you can refer to the large amount of young betas that had reviewed your work. So grab your nieces, nephews, kids, cousins, or anyone who has kids and write that YA novel.

by: LM Preston, author of EXPLORER X - Alpha (coming out 2/2010) http://www.lmpreston.com/

Keep an eye on the blog for my review of EXPLORER X - Alpha. Big thanks to LM Preston for visiting with us today. :) It's a great post.

Thanks again to all of my lovely readers for stopping by. Without you, this blog would have no meaning.

Friday, December 4, 2009

I'm Back!!!

Hey there my lovely readers! NaNoWriMo is over and I'm back to blogging again. :) Coming up, I have a guest post for ya, an author interview, and I'll be working on getting those Tuesday Eyecatchers up and running again.

There are so many great books coming out these days I can't wait to get back to reading them and telling you all about them. Keep checking back for more.

And, not to sound like a broken record, but...

Don't forget about the polls in the left sidebar. You can have a say in what I review here at Want My YA, all you've got to do is vote. :)