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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Cover Reveal: Breaker (Ondine Quartet #4) by Emma Raveling


I'm thrilled to get to help reveal the UH-MAZING cover for Breaker, the fourth and final book in Emma Raveling's stunning upper YA Ondine Quartet!

Are you ready for the gorgeousness?!
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War. Prophecy. Freedom.
She fought for herself.
She fought for friendship and love.
Now, Kendra Irisavie fights for the survival of her world.


War rages on, leaving no one untouched. Destruction rips through elemental communities and terror flourishes in its wake. Suspicion soars, order fractures, and loyalties crumble despite Kendra’s desperate attempts to protect everyone she holds dear.
 When an organized Aquidae army launches a series of merciless assaults, Kendra and her friends set out to end the bloodshed once and for all. With the fate of elementals hanging in balance, the Shadow and sondaleur hunt each other down in a brutal match of cunning and will.
Kendra has trained for this her entire life. But in a ravaged world where trust is scarce and no life is sacred, she soon realizes her battle may be against an invincible enemy and that her darkest days lie ahead.
Twists and turns shape her harrowing odyssey, leading to a stunning climax that challenges everything she believes in.
Torn between destiny and autonomy, Kendra must finally decide whether the cost of freedom is too high.
Heartbreaking decisions, turbulent alliances, and shattering revelations collide in Breaker, the explosive conclusion to the Ondine Quartet.

This series has some breathtaking covers, but I think this one is my absolute favorite *_*
OTHER BOOKS & NOVELLAS IN THE ONDINE QUARTET
(click each cover to learn more)



ASK EMMA RAVELING
Tell us about the covers in this series.
The main novels of the Ondine Quartet (Whirl, Billow,Crest, Breaker) have conceptual covers. Each cover’s imagery captures a particular theme or motif in the book, and the coloring conveys a sense of the story’s mood and emotional arc.
The shorter works/novellas in the series (Ondine,Chevalier, and Warrior Prince) are essentially character portraits and are told through the eyes of different characters in the series. Those covers use models.
The goal for Breaker’s cover was to visually convey high stakes, explosive energy, and a brilliant, sharp intensity.This is the epic finale to the series and everything that has happened in previous books has led to this moment.
Out of all the covers in the series, this one took the most amount of work. My designer and I went back and forth multiple times, going through several drastically different versions before finally arriving at the right imagery and coloring.
How does it feel to end a series?
It’s bittersweet. A part of me is thrilled to share the end of Kendra’s journey with readers. I’ve had the entire series planned since the very beginning so finally releasing what’s been in my head is a relief.
But the process of writing this final book has been a highly emotional one. There’s a personal attachment to the work itself. I’ve spent countless hours thinking and living with these characters and with this world over the past four years. It’s difficult to bring not only Kendra’s story, but my journey with her story,to an end.
A few easy questions:
Top 3 books?
Only 3?? Argh! There are so many books I love for different reasons and my list of favorites is always changing, depending on what’s going on in my life. Right now, if I had to name three, they’d be:
1. Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
2. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
3. And of course, the Harry Potter series

Top 5 movies?
1. Aviator
2. Mulholland Drive
3. The Matrix
4. The Breakfast Club
5. Okay, I couldn’t just pick five. So the last one is a tie between The Usual Suspects, Reservoir Dogs, Star Wars (ep. 4-6), and Catch Me If You Can.

Top 5 places in the world you enjoy visiting?
1. New York City
2. Tokyo
3. Paris
4. Kauai Island (Hawaii)
5. Berlin

Top 5 foods?
1. Fresh basil pesto – I’ll add this on anything
2. Sashimi (Japanese-style raw fish)
3. Dark chocolate
4. Jamón ibérico(Spanish ham)
5. And my terrible guilty pleasure: pizza

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Emma Raveling writes a wide variety of fiction for teens and adults. Hopelessly addicted to coffee and diet coke, she is the author of the Ondine Quartet and Chancer young adult series, and is currently working on the first book in her new Steel Magic series for adults.


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Don't Miss This Week's 50/50 Deals at Book Outlet! Get 50 Box Sets for 50% Off!


Word Spelunking is teaming up with Book Outlet to bring you the best book deals!
Book Outlet has awesome books for 
Read-iculously Low Prices!

Every Monday a new 50/50 sale begins, where you can choose from 50 titles that are 50% off.
This week's 50/50 sale features Boxed Bargains


that's 50% off 50 box sets!!!

Here are just a few of the cool box sets you can get for insanely low prices:


You can find these sales and more by clicking the pictures above or choosing your country below:

And check back here on Friday for Book Outlet's newest summer weekend deals!

Connect with Book Outlet

Monday, July 28, 2014

Spotlight and Giveaway: Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands by Chris Bohjalian

I'm thrilled to be spotlighting Chris Bohjalian's incredible new book, Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands, and giving away a few copies, today...

Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands
by Chris Bohjalian
July 8, 2014
Doubleday

A heartbreaking, wildly inventive, and moving novel narrated by a teenage runaway, from the bestselling author ofMidwives and The Sandcastle Girls.

Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands is the story of Emily Shepard, a homeless girl living in an igloo made of garbage bags in Burlington. Nearly a year ago, a power plant in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont had a meltdown, and both of Emily's parents were killed. Devastatingly, her father was in charge of the plant, and the meltdown may have been his fault—was he drunk when it happened? Thousands of people are forced to leave their homes in the Kingdom; rivers and forests are destroyed; and Emily feels certain that as the daughter of the most hated man in America, she is in danger. So instead of following the social workers and her classmates after the meltdown, Emily takes off on her own for Burlington, where she survives by stealing, sleeping on the floor of a drug dealer's house, inventing a new identity for herself, and befriending a young homeless kid named Cameron. But Emily can't outrun her past, can't escape her grief, can't hide forever-and so she comes up with the only plan that she can.

PRAISE FOR CLOSE YOUR EYES, HOLD HANDS

An Indiebound Indie Next Selection

A Library Reads Top Ten Books of the Month

“I have a new favorite Chris Bohjalian novel. Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands is a book I wish I'd been smart enough to write: a masterpiece of narrative voice, of emotion, and of how -- as Emily Dickinson might say -- the sparest of words can hold a wealth of pain. If you need any proof that fiction can scare us, move us, and break our hearts simultaneously -- look no further."

-- Jodi Picoult, bestselling author

"Suspenseful, provocative, often terrifying yet compassionate . . . all while creating one of the most memorable teenage protagonists in recent fiction . . . Moving, hopeful and grounded in the everyday, and as heartbreaking as the inspiration for the novel's title.” – Elizabeth Hand, The Washington Post

"Readers of any age who love John Green’s novels might also find Shepard’s story, sobering as it is, an awesome one.” – Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

"Bohjalian once again reveals an uncanny talent for crafting a young female protagonist who is fatally flawed, but nevertheless immensely likable . . .  resonates with a message of hope, truth and the fragility of life.” – Karen Ann Cullotta, Bookpage




Chris Bohjalian is the author of seventeen books, including Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands, arriving July 8, 2014 from Doubleday. 
His other books include such New York Times bestsellers as The Light in the Ruins, The Sandcastle Girls, The Night Strangers, Secrets of Eden, Skeletons at the Feast, The Double Bind, Before Your Know Kindness, and Midwives. 

Win a brand new copy of 
Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands!
The awesome peeps at Doubleday have offered up two brand new copies of this book for two winners.
DETAILS
-US only
-ends 8/3/14
-must be 13+ to enter
-winners will be emailed and must claim prizes within 48 hours
-Word Spelunking is not responsible for lost, damaged, or stolen prizes
Fill out Rafflecopter form:

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Friday, July 25, 2014

Review and Giveaway: Fairy Luck (Songs of Magic #6) by J.L. Bryan

Check out my reviews of book one, two, three, four, and five in this series and enter below to win books 1 through 4...

Fairy Luck
(Songs of Magic #6)
by J.L. Bryan
July 25, 2014

While the Zebras reel from the loss of Erin, Erin herself makes some troubling discovering while connecting with her ancestors.

In Faerie, Aoide and her troupe seem to finally be enjoying their big break...but danger is on the way, and nothing is ever what it seems when you're dealing with leprechauns and the treacherous Queen Mab.


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I’ve said it before in earlier reviews of books in this series, but I’m gonna say it again: whenever I open a new Songs of Magic book it’s like reuniting with a group of my besties for a new wild adventure! J.L. Bryan NEVER disappoints me, he always delivers the awesome, and Fairy Luck, book six in this series, is no exception!

In Fairy Luck, we visit both man-world and Faerie as the remaining members of the Zebras try to deal with the loss of Erin, while Erin adapts to her new home in Faerie. We also get to follow Aoide and her group of musicians as they go on their own Faerie-wide tour...but evil Queen Mab is buzzing around making more trouble for all our favorite characters.

If I had to describe the Songs of Magic series simply, I’d say it is PURE FUN! Everything about these books is just so entertaining, captivating, and fun fun fun. Even after six books, the dazzling magic of this series hasn't dimmed a bit!

I’ve come to expect several things from J.L. Bryan and this series-- superb world-building, humor filled storytelling, amusing plots, and engaging characters-- and Fairy Luck is filled to the brim with all of these things. Both the fantastical world of Faerie and Bryan’s snarktastic take on fame, pop culture, and show biz continue to be laid out and explored awesomely in Fairy Luck. From horrible big budget blockbusters to “experimental” music, greedy entertainment empires, obsessed fans, and eccentric aging rockstars, the three remaining Zebras find themselves in some crazy places post-Zebra fame. And from balloon farms to giant house-cats, even giant-er puppies, man-eating plants, and all things whimsical, the world of Faerie just keeps getting cooler and cooler. Faerie is such an enthralling mix of fantasy, myth, and sparkling imagination. Both of these vastly different worlds are just so cleverly created.

All our favorite characters are back and we meet some new ones as well. The teenage Zebras and their various friends, family, work associates, etc, continue to make for an eclectic cast of fun characters. I really loved getting to know Aoide and the other faerie folk better in Fairy Luck.

Fairy Luck takes us to some wild places and, while answering many questions surrounding the magic of Faerie, it also leaves readers and its characters with plenty to look forward to in the seventh and final book.

My Final Thoughts: Like books one through five in the Songs of Magic Series, Fairy Luck is a spectacular fun and fantasy filled story that will easily delight and amuse young and old readers alike (these books are totally appropriate for middle-grade readers). I’m super excited to read the final book, but will be so sad to see the series end!

MY RATING


J.L. Bryan studied English literature at the University of Georgia and at Oxford, with a focus on the English Renaissance and the Romantic period. He also studied screenwriting at UCLA. He enjoys remixing elements of paranormal, supernatural, fantasy, horror and science fiction into new kinds of stories.
He is the author of The Paranormals series of horror novels (Jenny PoxTommy Nightmare, and Alexander Death) the Songs of Magic series for younger readers (Fairy Metal ThunderFairy Blues, and Fairystruck...so far) and other books. He lives in Atlanta with his wife Christina, their son, and some dogs and cats.

Win ebook copies of books 1-4 in the Songs of Magic Series!
J.L. Bryan has offered one ebook collection of books one through four in his series, available for Kindle or Nook, for one winner.
DETAILS
-open to anyone who can read ebooks
-ends 8/1
-must be 13+ to enter
-winner will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours
Fill out the Rafflecopter form:


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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Interview and Giveaway: Geoffrey Saign, author of WhipEye


I'm thrilled to have Geoffrey Saign stopping by today to chat about his new middle-grade adventure WhipEye! Check out our interview below and enter to win a copy...

WhipEye
by Geoffrey Saign
July 2014
KiraKu Press
ages 9 and up

Samantha and her neighbor, Jake, have no idea that Samantha’s best friend, a parrot named Charlie, is a thousand years old. Charlie is also at the center of a secret battle between magical creatures and an ancient, evil man. When Charlie asks Samantha and Jake to protect him, they are chased by monsters from both sides. To save Charlie, and two worlds, Samantha and Jake have twenty-four hours to figure out how to use the supernatural staff, WhipEye, and find the courage to confront what they fear most…




WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT WHIPEYE


"Whipeye is a thrilling magical adventure with surprises at every turn, a story that deserves to be read." - Laurisa White Reyes, author of The Celestine Chronicles series and Editor-in-Chief of Middle Shelf Magazine

What Kids Are Saying
“WhipEye is a gripping, imaginative adventure from start to finish.  I didn’t want to put it down until the very last page!... I cannot wait to read book two!”

“This fantasy story was so unique and exciting! I had a hard time putting it down. The author developed the characters well, and I felt like I became part of the story.”
                -Five star LitPick reviews


What three words best describe your book, WhipEye? 
Thriller, wildlife, unique

Can you give us your best one sentence pitch to convince readers, especially reluctant readers, to give WhipEye a try?
WhipEye is easy to read, full of action, and a thousand-year-old parrot keeps it fun.

Grab a copy of WhipEye and answer the following:
favorite chapter? Chapter 27 UNCLE BIGGIE—I love Uncle Biggie!

favorite page? p103, Fun moment with a giant iguana

favorite setting/place? KiraKu

flip to a random page and give us a 1-2 sentences teaser:
p 136, Things are not what they seem on the water as they ride dolphins…

What inspired WhipEye? How did the story come to be?
I thought of a boy walking into a pet store to talk to a parrot. Later I changed the boy character to a girl.  That was all I had at the start.

Then I decided the parrot was ancient, and I wanted to create Samantha’s character into an animal geek, and things flowed from that.

Can you tell us a bit about your young heroine, Samantha, and hero, Jake? What makes them special or unique?
Samantha is in love with wildlife and nature, an animal nerd, and Jake is pushy and silly, but in a nice way. They are both suffering loss and ready for change and adventure.

What do you hope young readers will learn or walk away with after reading WhipEye?
Enjoyment of a good story, but also that learning to trust themselves is vital, and that nature and wildlife have great beauty.

What one magical/mythical creature or person would you love to meet and interact with the most?
A fairy. I’ve always loved that character in books and mythology. I have one, sort of, in WhipEye.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of being an author?
Aside from the joy of writing, hearing from friends, family, and other readers that they love WhipEye and look forward to book two in the series.

Fill in the blanks:
I’m really awesome at Swimming and water stuff, like sailing.

I’m really embarrassed to admit really nothing, but in high school I was short and chubby.

The last great book I read was The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaimon was pretty good.

If you were to create and bake a cupcake inspired by WhipEye, what would it look and taste like, and what would you call it?
It would have green frosting in the shape of vines and leaves around the upper edge, with an African Gray parrot’s head in the center. The WhipEye staff would be curled around the outside of it.
I’d call it the WhipEye cupcake :)  It would taste like pumpkin.

Thank you so much for stopping by today, Geoffrey!


Geoffrey Saign can often be found looking for interesting critters, and magic, while swimming, snorkeling, sailing, or hiking in the woods. His passion for nature and wildlife led to his nationally endorsed book, Green Essentials: What You Need to Know About the Environment, as well as his books African Cats and Great Apes. He has a background in biology, assisted in field research with hummingbirds and humpback whales, and sailed as far away as Australia. With more than twenty years of experience working in special education, he has taught adults and children everything from sailing to novel writing. He won the Shabo Award in 2010. He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota. You can visit Geoff at http://www.geoffreysaign.com

Win a copy of WhipEye!
Geoffrey has generously offered up 3 copies of his book for three winners. US/CAN winners will get a print copy and INT winners will get a Kindle copy.
DETAILS
-open INT
-ends 8/1
-must be 13+ to enter
-winners will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours
-Word Spelunking is not responsible for lost, damaged, or stolen prizes
Fill out the Rafflecopter form:

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Monday, July 21, 2014

Review: The Time of the Fireflies by Kimberley Griffiths Little


The Time of the Fireflies
by Kimberley Griffiths Little
July 29, 2014
Scholastic

Critically acclaimed author Kimberley Griffiths Little spins a thrilling story of one girl's race to unravel the curse that has haunted her family for generations. 

When Larissa Renaud starts receiving eerie phone calls on a disconnected old phone in her family's antique shop, she knows she's in for a strange summer. A series of clues leads her to the muddy river banks, where clouds of fireflies dance among the cypress knees and cattails each evening at twilight. The fireflies are beautiful and mysterious, and they take her on a magical journey through time, where Larissa learns secrets about her family's tragic past--deadly, curse-ridden secrets that could harm the future of her family as she knows it. It soon becomes clear that it is up to Larissa to prevent history from repeating itself and a fatal tragedy from striking the people she loves. 

With her signature lyricism, Kimberley Griffiths Little weaves a thrilling tale filled with family secrets, haunting mystery, and dangerous adventure.



Mysterious phones calls + a very creepy doll + time travel + buried family secrets + one determined and courageous young heroine = a thrilling middle-grade adventure full of addicting mystery, captivating storytelling, and immensely felt heart...Kimberley Griffiths Little’s The Time of the Fireflies is all this and more!

Haunted by a near-death accident, young Larissa Renaud is not having an ideal summer. When she receives a mysterious phone call, from an unplugged, not hooked up to anything antique phone in her parents’ antique shop, she’s sure it’s just a prank. Follow the fireflies. Trust the fireflies the voice on the other end says. And when she does find and follow the fireflies they lead her across time and straight into her family’s tragic, mysterious past. A creepy doll and family curse are determined to ruin Larissa’s family once again, but, with the help of a surprising friend, Larissa must find the courage to end the curse and right some heavy wrongs.

Beautifully and hauntingly atmospheric, with rich, lyrical writing, The Time of the Fireflies is a book that grabs hold and doesn’t let go! Kimberley Griffiths Little weaves a lovely tale that is equal parts heart-warming, heart-wrenching, and heart-pounding. From the moment Larissa receives that mysterious phone call and the creepy, eerie Anna Marie doll is introduced, I just knew this was going to be deliciously spine-tingling, and it was! A jumbled antiques shop, abandoned island, and several different time periods, make for a spellbinding setting. The haunting, vivid atmosphere Little creates really is superb and there’s a genuine spookiness to the whole story...but a fun, delightful spookiness! The awesomely sinister Anna Marie doll is frighteningly fascinating in a way that younger readers will go crazy for. The Time of the Fireflies isn’t all fun scares though; Larissa’s time-travel adventures are full of poignancy and thought-provoking moments as well. Little does a wonderful job of exploring topics like grief, bullying, prejudice, and acceptance.

I so enjoyed following the fireflies and solving the hundred year mystery with Larissa! Larissa, with her determination, courage, and compassion is an admirable, yet completely relatable young heroine. And she’s surrounded by an eclectic group of characters, both in her present and the past. Little crafts complex, compelling characters, with a lot of personality, intrigue, and heart.

My Final Thoughts: The Time of the Fireflies has it all- magic, mystery, time-travel, thrills, chills, and engaging characters! Kimberley Griffiths Little’s beautiful writing and storytelling will entertain and dazzle young readers.

MY RATING


Kimberley Griffiths Little is the critically acclaimed author of the Southwest Book Award, Winner of the Whitney Award for Best Youth Novel of 2010, Bank Street College Best Books of 2011, Crystal Kit Finalist, and New Mexico Book Award Finalist. Her books have sold several hundred thousand copies in the Scholastic Book Fairs and have been chosen for many state reading lists. She lives on a dirt road in a small town by the Rio Grande with her husband, a robotics engineer, and their three sons. Kimberley is a favorite speaker at schools around the country, presenting "The Creative Diary", a highly successful writing workshop and has also been a keynote speaker at various conferences. She is a co-founder of SPELLBINDERS, a national newsletter for Educators and Librarians to create life-long readers.