Feature Book of the Week Paranormalcy by Kriesten White

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Evie's always thought of herself as a normal teenager, even though she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she's falling for a shape-shifter, and she's the only person who can see through paranormals' glamours.

But Evie's about to realize that she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.

So much for normal.


Kiersten White has one tall husband and two small children. She lives near the ocean, where her days are perfectly normal. This abundance of normal led her to a fascination with all things paranormal, including but not limited to vampires, faeries, and pop culture. She is the author of Paranormalcy.

I enjoy reading, writing, and blogging. I used to enjoy napping, but my kids have taken that joy out of my life. Good thing they're cute. I love listening to music and marveling at how lyrics and melody can capture an entire story in under five minutes. I have converted to liking the beach, although I still miss the mountains I grew up next to. I love good conversations where you learn new things and manage to say a few clever things yourself, and friends who keep me on my toes. I also enjoy research and learning new things about different cultures, mythology, or history. Nerdy, isn't it?

Kiesten attended Brigham Young University and has her own blog Kiersten Writes

Feature Book of the Week Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos

Tuesday, December 11, 2012



Melding the entirely true and the wildly fictional, Dead End in Norvelt is a novel about an incredible two months for a kid named Jack Gantos, whose plans for vacation excitement are shot down when he is "grounded for life" by his feuding parents, and whose nose spews bad blood at every little shock he gets. But plenty of excitement (and shocks) are coming Jack's way once his mom loans him out to help a fiesty old neighbor with a most unusual chore—typewriting obituaries filled with stories about the people who founded his utopian town. As one obituary leads to another, Jack is launced on a strange adventure involving molten wax, Eleanor Roosevelt, twisted promises, a homemade airplane, Girl Scout cookies, a man on a trike, a dancing plague, voices from the past, Hells Angels . . . and possibly murder. Endlessly surprising, this sly, sharp-edged narrative is the author at his very best, making readers laugh out loud at the most unexpected things in a dead-funny depiction of growing up in a slightly off-kilter place where the past is present, the present is confusing, and the future is completely up in the air.

Dead End in Norvelt is the winner of the 2012 Newbery Medal for the year's best contribution to children's literature and the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction!


Jack Gantos has written books for people of all ages, from picture books and middle-grade fiction to novels for young adults and adults. His works include Hole in My Life, a memoir that won the Michael L. Printz and Robert F. Sibert honors; Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key, a National Book Award Finalist, and Joey Pigza Loses Control, a Newbery Honor book.
Jack was born in Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania, and grew up in the nearby town of Norvelt. He remembers playing a lot of “pass the chalk” in Mrs. Neiderheizer’s class in first grade. He was in the Bluebird reading group, which he later found out was for the slow readers. To this day he’d rather be called a Bluebird than a slow reader. His favorite game at that time was playing his clothes were on fire and rolling down a hill to save himself.
When he was seven, his family moved to Barbados. He attended British schools, where there was much emphasis on reading and writing. Students were friendly but fiercely competitive, and the teachers made learning a lot of fun. By fifth grade he had managed to learn 90 percent of what he knows to this very day.
Jack Gantos in First Grade
Jack in first grade at Norvelt Elementary
When the family moved to south Florida, he found his new classmates uninterested in their studies, and his teachers spent most of their time disciplining students. Jack retreated to an abandoned bookmobile (three flat tires and empty of books) parked out behind the sandy ball field, and read for most of the day. His greatest wish in life is to replace trailer parks with bookmobile parks, which he thinks will eliminate most of the targets for tornadoes and educate an entire generation of great kids who now go to schools that are underfunded and substandard.
The seeds for Jack’s writing career were planted in sixth grade, when he read his sister’s diary and decided he could write better than she could. He begged his mother for a diary and began to collect anecdotes he overheard at school, mostly from standing outside the teachers’ lounge and listening to their lunchtime conversations. Later, he incorporated many of these anecdotes into stories.
In junior high he went to a school that had been converted from a former state prison. He thinks the inmates probably fled for their lives once the students showed up. Again, he spent most of his time reading on his own.
In high school he decided to become a writer. But he would have to wait another three years, until he went to college, before he could actually meet other writers and study with teachers who thought writing amounted to more than just cribbing book reports and composing sympathy notes.
Jack Gantos in Fourth Grade
Jack in fourth grade
While in college, he and an illustrator friend, Nicole Rubel, began working on picture books. After a series of well-deserved rejections, they published their first book, Rotten Ralph, in 1976. It was a success and the beginning of Jack’s career as a professional writer. This surprised a great many people who thought he was going to specialize in rehabilitating old bookmobiles into housing for retired librarians.
Jack continued to write children’s books and began to teach courses in children’s book writing and children’s literature. He developed the master’s degree program in children’s book writing at Emerson College and the Vermont College M.F.A. program for children’s book writers. He now devotes his time to writing books and educational speaking.
His publications can take a reader from “cradle to grave”—from picture books and middle-grade fiction to novels for young adults and adults.
Mr. Gantos is known nationally for his educational creative writing and literature presentations to students and teachers. He is a frequent conference speaker, university lecturer, and in-service provider (biography retrieved from author's website).

Unfortunately, Mr. Gantos did not respond to our request for a author post, which I am sure would have been as entertaining as his book.

Feature Book of the Week Hide and Seek by Katy Grant

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Katy Grant

Thirteen-year-old Chase, a geocaching enthusiast, must constantly rely on his wits to solve unexpected problems. This outdoor adventure and boy's coming of age story is set in the remote, rugged mountains of northern Arizona.

Author Guest Post 

As a writer, I often feel like a pack rat.  Pack rats will grab anything interesting they find to take back to their nests—shiny pieces of metal, bits of string, a scrap of cloth.  They never know when they might use it later.

That’s how I write.  And writing Hide and Seek was definitely a pack rat kind of experience.  It started with geocaching.  My older brother first introduced my sons and me to this fun outdoor treasure hunt about ten years ago.  My boys were twelve and eight at the time.  He told us we were going---geo whatting?  Geo cashing?  I had no idea what we were about to do.  But he had a handheld GPS, and we set off in the car, looking for hidden treasure.

My kids loved it!  Complete strangers they would never meet had hidden a secret container somewhere outside in a park near my brother’s house.  With the coordinates on his GPS, we could find the general location of their hidden cache.  Oh, and we had to bring some trinkets along for exchange. Once we found the container, we could take away any little treasures we found inside, as long as we left behind some of the trinkets we had brought.  And people all over the world were doing this!  Playing this fun treasure hunting game, either leaving containers, or looking for hidden containers, or both.  All you needed was a GPS and access to the geocaching website.

Every time we went on a geocache, I kept thinking, this would make a great story.  But besides geocaching, what else would the story be about?  I didn’t know yet.

Then my husband, our two boys, and I took a trip during their fall break.  Living in Phoenix, we love getting out of the desert and going away to the cool mountains in the northern part of the state.  And we took Dexter, our German Shepherd mix, along. 
When we were on our trip, we did a couple of geocaches.  One afternoon, we went out late.  Being city dwellers, we didn’t think to bring flashlights.  It took us much longer to find the cache than we expected, and we were losing daylight fast.  I realized once the sun went down, we would be in complete and total darkness.  We had a tense hike back to our car, but along the way, we saw a herd of elk, so it was worth it that we almost got stranded!

We also saw deer—a buck, a doe, and their little fawn—and at night, inside the cozy cabin we’d rented for the weekend, we could hear coyotes howling in the distance.  Dexter had the time of his life!  He got to run through the open fields without a leash, ride in the car, hike with us in the woods.  The one scare we had was when he stepped on a fishhook one afternoon when we were fishing.  Luckily, he wasn’t really hurt.

When we got home from that trip, I couldn’t stop thinking about writing a book that would feature geocaching.  I started asking myself, what if.  What if the geocacher is a teenage boy who finds a mysterious note? What if he tries to figure out who wrote the note?  What if the person who wrote the note really needs help?  I had to answer all those questions one by one, and gradually, the story started taking shape. 

My favorite part of the book was making my very own dog Dexter a main character.  It’s the only time I’ve ever put someone I know well into one of my books without changing a single thing.  He was right for the part, and he’s taken his fame quite well. 

Once the book was finished, I realized it wasn’t just about geocaching.  It was about families, about growing up, about change.  It was about being tested and not being sure if you’re up to the challenge. 
That often happens with writing.  You start off with one idea, and it grows from there.

I had so much fun writing this book, and I hope you’ll enjoy reading it.  There’s no better place to get lost than in between the pages of a book.  You don’t even need a GPS to find your way back.


I was born Katy Arbuckle in the very small town of Lewisburg, Tennessee. I vividly remember sitting in front of the bookshelves in our den and looking at the covers of children's books that belonged to my older brother and sister. I couldn't read yet, but I would stare longingly at the covers and look at the pictures. My heart ached to be able to read the words on those pages.Those books contained amazing stories, if only I could read them.
I was so happy to start first grade because I would finally, finally learn to read! By second grade, library day at school was my favorite day of the week. Every week I would check out a new book to read.
When I was eight, I read Louisa May Alcott's biography and decided that I wanted to be a writer when I grew up. From that moment on, I never gave up my dream of being a writer.
In many ways, I had a deliriously happy childhood. My neighborhood was full of kids my age. We spent the whole summer riding bikes, playing kick ball, hide-n-seek, and freeze tag, with anywhere from ten to fifteen kids joining in. It was a kid world where grown-ups left us alone and let us play by ourselves.
But I also had a tragic childhood. My mother suffered from depression and was often in and out of hospitals. My older sister Nan had rheumatoid arthritis and had been in a wheelchair since she was twelve. Two weeks after my tenth birthday, my mother died suddenly. For my birthday that year, I had received the four Borrowers books by Mary Norton. They immediately became my favorite books during that very sad time of my life.
I now live a happy and tranquil life in Mesa, Arizona with my husband Eric and my two teenage sons, Jackson and Ethan. Over the years, I have taught English classes at Arizona State University, Mesa Community College, and Rio Salado Community College. I started writing my first novel in 1992, and much, much later – in 2006! – I got a contract to publish that novel and two other novels that would be in the same series.
Since I was eight, I have dreamed of being a writer. And now I can finally say that I am living my childhood dream. (biography retrieved from author website)

I want to apologize to Mrs. Grant.  

When I first posted this week's Feature Book, I did not realize that she had sent me her post. Consequently, I did not post it. Thankfully, she graciously resent it along with a picture of Dexter. I hope you will all enjoy reading her post as much as I have.

Thank you so much for your participation, and your generous spirit!

Feature Book of the Week Dark Life by Kat Falls

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I apologize for being absent the last two weeks, but the Feature Book of the Week is up and running once again. Keep you comments coming.

A thrilling futuristic adventure set deep undersea, Dark Life follows the settlers of the world's first subsea settlement as they defend their homesteads against a brazen band of outlaws.

Set in an apocalyptic future where rising oceans have swallowed up entire regions and people live packed like sardines on the dry land left, DARK LIFE is the harrowing tale of underwater pioneers who have carved out a life for themselves in the harsh deep-sea environment, farming the seafloor in exchange for the land deed.

The story follows Ty, who has lived his whole life on his family's homestead and has dreams of claiming his own stake when he turns eighteen. But when outlaws' attacks on government supply ships and settlements.

Kat Falls lives in Evanston, Illinois with her husband, theater director Robert Falls, their three children and a whole slew of pets. She grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland, attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute as an undergrad and went on to receive an MFA in screenwriting from Northwestern University.
Kat came up with the idea for her debut novel, Dark Life (Scholastic Press, May 2010), during a writing exercise. Knowing that her 11-year-old son loved reading about the ocean, Wild West pioneers and, of course, the X-Men, she combined his interests and created a story premise that kept her up nights plotting and world-building.
Today, Dark Life has deals in eighteen international markets and is in development at Disney with the Gotham Group producing. Named an ABC New Voices pick for outstanding debuts of 2010, Dark Life was featured on The Today Show in July 2010 when it was selected by Al Roker for “Al’s Book Club for Kids.”  Dark Life has been nominated for eight state book awards and in 2011, Kat was awarded a Juvenile Literary Award by The Friends of American Writers’.
The sequel, Rip Tide, was released by Scholastic Press in August, 2011. Each book has been designated as “A Junior Library Guild Selection.”
Currently, Kat is working on a YA scifi-adventure trilogy, Inhuman, acquired by Scholastic Press for publication beginning in Spring 2013.(retrieved from author's website).

Unfortunately,  Kat Falls did not respond to emails, asking her to participate in our Feature Book of the Week.

Dont't forget that the Question of the week will be starting in January.

Feature Book of the Week Theodore Boone:Kid Lawyer by John Grisham

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Feature Book of the Week

A perfect murder
A faceless witness
A lone courtroom champion knows the whole truth . . . and he’s only thirteen years old
Meet Theodore Boone
 In the small city of Strattenburg, there are many lawyers, and though he’s only thirteen years old, Theo Boone thinks he’s one of them. Theo knows every judge, policeman, court clerk—and a lot about the law. He dreams of being a great trial lawyer, of a life in the courtroom.

But Theo finds himself in court much sooner than expected. Because he knows so much—maybe too much—he is suddenly dragged into the middle of a sensational murder trial. A cold-blooded killer is about to go free, and only Theo knows the truth.

The stakes are high, but Theo won’t stop until justice is served.

Brimming with the intrigue and suspense that made John Grisham a #1 international bestseller and the undisputed master of the legal thriller,Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer will keep readers guessing and pages turning.

About the Author

Long before his name became synonymous with the modern legal thriller, he was working 60-70 hours a week at a small Southaven, Mississippi, law practice, squeezing in time before going to the office and during courtroom recesses to work on his hobby—writing his first novel.
Born on February 8, 1955 in Jonesboro, Arkansas, to a construction worker and a homemaker, John Grisham as a child dreamed of being a professional baseball player. Realizing he didn’t have the right stuff for a pro career, he shifted gears and majored in accounting at Mississippi State University. After graduating from law school at Ole Miss in 1981, he went on to practice law for nearly a decade in Southaven, specializing in criminal defense and personal injury litigation. In 1983, he was elected to the state House of Representatives and served until 1990.
One day at the DeSoto County courthouse, Grisham overheard the harrowing testimony of a twelve-year-old rape victim and was inspired to start a novel exploring what would have happened if the girl’s father had murdered her assailants. Getting up at 5 a.m. every day to get in several hours of writing time before heading off to work, Grisham spent three years on A Time to Kill and finished it in 1987. Initially rejected by many publishers, it was eventually bought by Wynwood Press, who gave it a modest 5,000 copy printing and published it in June 1988.
That might have put an end to Grisham’s hobby. However, he had already begun his next book, and it would quickly turn that hobby into a new full-time career—and spark one of publishing’s greatest success stories. The day after Grisham completed A Time to Kill, he began work on another novel, the story of a hotshot young attorney lured to an apparently perfect law firm that was not what it appeared. When he sold the film rights to The Firm to Paramount Pictures for $600,000, Grisham suddenly became a hot property among publishers, and book rights were bought by Doubleday. Spending 47 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list, The Firm became the bestselling novel of 1991.
The successes of The Pelican Brief, which hit number one on the New York Times bestseller list, and The Client, which debuted at number one, confirmed Grisham’s reputation as the master of the legal thriller. Grisham’s success even renewed interest in A Time to Kill, which was republished in hardcover by Doubleday and then in paperback by Dell. This time around, it was a bestseller.
Since first publishing A Time to Kill in 1988, Grisham has written one novel a year (his other books are The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, The Chamber, The Rainmaker, The Runaway Jury, The Partner, The Street Lawyer, The Testament, The Brethren, A Painted House, Skipping Christmas, The Summons, The King of Torts, Bleachers, The Last Juror, The Broker, Playing for Pizza, The Appeal, The Associate, The Confession and The Litigators) and all of them have become international bestsellers. There are currently over 275 million John Grisham books in print worldwide, which have been translated into 40 languages. Nine of his novels have been turned into films (The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, A Time to Kill, The Rainmaker, The Chamber, A Painted House, The Runaway Jury, and Skipping Christmas), as was an original screenplay, The Gingerbread Man. The Innocent Man (October 2006) marked his first foray into non-fiction, and Ford County (November 2009) was his first short story collection.
Grisham lives with his wife Renee and their two children Ty and Shea. The family splits their time between their Victorian home on a farm in Mississippi and a plantation near Charlottesville, VA.
Grisham took time off from writing for several months in 1996 to return, after a five-year hiatus, to the courtroom. He was honoring a commitment made before he had retired from the law to become a full-time writer: representing the family of a railroad brakeman killed when he was pinned between two cars. Preparing his case with the same passion and dedication as his books’ protagonists, Grisham successfully argued his clients’ case, earning them a jury award of $683,500—the biggest verdict of his career.
When he’s not writing, Grisham devotes time to charitable causes, including most recently his Rebuild The Coast Fund, which raised 8.8 million dollars for Gulf Coast relief in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. He also keeps up with his greatest passion: baseball. The man who dreamed of being a professional baseball player now serves as the local Little League commissioner. The six ballfields he built on his property have played host to over 350 kids on 26 Little League teams. (Retrieved from author's website)

Unfortunately, due to Mr. Grisham's busy schedule he was unable to provide a personal post.

Featured Book of the Week Divergent by Veronica Roth

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

About the Author

Veronica Roth was born in a Chicago suburb, and studied creative writing at Northwestern University. She and her husband currently live in the city that inspired the setting of the Divergent Trilogy (Bio retrieved from Amazon.com).

Unfortunately, Ms. Roth's schedule was too busy to allow her to participate in the Feature Book of the week post.

Feature Book of the Week Shelter by Harlan Coben

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Mickey Bolitar's year can't get much worse. After witnessing his father's death and sending his mom to rehab, he's forced to live with his estranged uncle Myron and switch high schools.

A new school comes with new friends and new enemies, and lucky for Mickey, it also comes with a great new girlfriend, Ashley. For a while, it seems like Mickey's train-wreck of a life is finally improving - until Ashley vanishes without a trace. Unwilling to let another person walk out of his life, Mickey follows Ashley's trail into a seedy underworld that reveals that this seemingly sweet, shy girl isn't who she claimed to be. And neither was Mickey's father. Soon, Mickey learns about a conspiracy so shocking that it makes high school drama seem like a luxury - and leaves him questioning everything about the life he thought he knew.

First introduced to readers in Harlan Coben's latest adult novel, Live Wire, Mickey Bolitar is as quick-witted and clever as his uncle Myron, and eager to go to any length to save the people he cares about. With this new series, Coben introduces an entirely new generation of fans to the masterful plotting and wry humor that have made him an award-winning, internationally bestselling, and beloved author.


"You all rock. I don't want you to spend your time reading a long introduction -- I want you to spend your time reading SHELTER (and the upcoming sequel SECONDS AWAY).



With 50 million books in print worldwide, Harlan Coben’s last five consecutive novels, STAY CLOSE, LIVE WIRE, CAUGHT, LONG LOST and HOLD TIGHT all debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list and lists around the world. His first Young Adult novel SHELTER was just released in paperback, and the second in the Mickey Bolitar series, SECONDS AWAY, will be out September 18th. His books are published in 41 languages around the globe and have been number one bestsellers in over a dozen countries.
Winner of the Edgar AwardShamus Award and Anthony Award – the first author to win all three – international bestselling author Harlan Coben’s critically-acclaimed novels have been called “ingenious” (New York Times), “poignant and insightful” (Los Angeles Times), “consistently entertaining” (Houston Chronicle), “superb” (Chicago Tribune) and “must reading” (Philadelphia Inquirer).
Harlan’s novel TELL NO ONE has been turned into the commercial and critical smash hit French film of the same name, starring Francois Cluzet and Kristin Scott Thomas. The movie was the top box office foreign-language film of the year in USA, won the Lumiere (French Golden Globe) for best picture and was nominated for nine Cesars (French Oscar) and won four, including best actor, best director and best music. To see the trailer, click here and for stills and to see Harlan appearing in the film, visit our gallery page. The movie is now available in DVD and Blu-Ray. An American/Hollywood remake is in the works.
In his first books, Coben immersed himself in the exploits of sports agent Myron Bolitar. Critics loved the series, saying, “You race to turn pages…both suspenseful and often surprisingly funny” (People). After seven books Coben wanted to try something different. “I came up with a great idea that simply would not work for Myron,” says Coben. The result was the critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller TELL NO ONE, which became the most decorated thriller of 2001 – nominated for an Edgar, an Anthony, a Macavity, a Nero, and a Barry; winner of the Audie Award for Best Audio Mystery/Suspense Book (read by Steven Weber); and a #1 hardcover book on the Book Sense 76 list. Coben followed the success of TELL NO ONE with the blockbuster New York Times bestsellers GONE FOR GOOD (2002), NO SECOND CHANCE (2003), and JUST ONE LOOK (2004) and THE INNOCENT (2005). Bookspan, recognizing Coben’s broad international appeal, named NO SECOND CHANCE its first ever International Book of the Month in 2003 – the Main Selection in 15 different countries.
Coben was the first writer in more than a decade to be invited to write fiction for the NEW YORK TIMES op-ed page. His Father’s Day short story, THE KEY TO MY FATHER, appeared June 15, 2003.  His essays and columns have appeared in many top publications including the New York Times, Parade Magazine and Bloomberg Views.
Since his critically-acclaimed Myron Bolitar series debuted in 1995, Harlan Coben has won the Mystery Writers of America’s Edgar Allan Poe Award and was nominated for the Edgar two other times. Harlan also won the Anthony Award at the World Mystery Conference, was nominated for another Anthony Award, won the Shamus Award by the Private Eye Writers of America, was nominated for another Shamus, and was twice nominated for the Dilys Award by the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association.
In the United Kingdom, his novel ONE FALSE MOVE earned him the prestigious “Fresh Talent Award”, given annually by Great Britain’s largest bookstore chain, W. H. Smith, and GONE FOR GOOD won the W. H. SMITH “Thumping Good Read” Award. In France, TELL NO ONE (NE LE DIS A PERSONE) won Le Grand Prix des Lectrices de Elle for fiction. His novels have been PEOPLE magazine Page-Turners of the Week and a Publishers Weekly Best of the Year pick.
Harlan was born in Newark, New Jersey. After graduating from Amherst College a political science major, Harlan worked in the travel industry. He now lives in New Jersey with his wife, Anne Armstrong-Coben MD, a pediatrician, and their four children. (author bio and picture retrieved from author's website)

Thanks to Mr. Coben for taking time out of his busy schedule to participate in this years Feature Book of the Week.
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