Friday, December 20, 2013

Best I've Read 2013 Schedule Update

Here are the posts that are up so far!

I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
Just Ella by Annette Larsen (+giveaway)
My Own Mr. Darcy by Karey White (+giveaway)
Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson (+giveaway)
A Timeless Romance Anthology: Summer Wedding Collection (+giveaway)
Working It Out by Rachael Anderson (+giveaway)
Midnight Masquerade, A Bargained-For Bride, A Good-Lookin' Man & The Man of Her Dreams by Marcia Lynn McClure (+giveaway)

Reading Lark (+ 2 giveaways)
Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys
The Iron Traitor by Julie Kagawa
Crash Into You by Katie McGarry (+giveaway)
Let the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger
These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

Books Complete Me
Firefly by Belle Whittington (+giveaway)
Triangles by Kimberly Ann Miller
Everlost by Brenda Pandos (+giveaway)
The Program by Suzanne Young 
Dare You To by Katie McGarry
Cursed Witchwood Estate Series by Patti Roberts (+giveaway)
Gravely Inanimated: A Tale of Woe and Romance by Esther Wheelmaker (+giveaway)

Amethyst Daydreams
Heart of Iron by Bec McMaster (+giveaway)
Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger (+giveaway)
The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett (+giveaway)
Dare You To by Katie McGarry (+giveaway)
The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa (+giveaway)
The Goddess Inheritance by Aimee Carter (+giveaway)
The Girl with the Iron Touch by Kady Cross (+giveaway)

Page Turners (+BIR Giveaway)
The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani
The F-It List by Julie Halpern
Crash Into You by Katie McGarry
Out of the Big by Ruta Sepetys

A Reader's Ramblings
Hysteria by Megan Miranda
The Fourth Stall III by Chris Rylander
Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality by Elizabeth Eulberg
Monsters by Ilsa J. Bick
Reality Boy by A.S. King

Portrait of a Book
Golden by Jessi Kirby
Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi
Dare You To by Katie McGarry
Ashes on the Waves by Mary Lindsey 
Things I Can't Forget by Miranda Kenneally

Monday, December 16, 2013

Best I've Read Has Begun!!

Best I've Read has started.  Be sure to check out today's featured books and giveaways!!

I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
Just Ella by Annette Larsen (+giveaway)

Reading Lark
Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys

Books Complete Me
Firefly by Belle Whittington (+giveaway)
Triangles by Kimberly Ann Miller
Everlost by Brenda Pandos (+giveaway)

Amethyst Daydreams
Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger (+giveaway)
Heart of Iron by Beth McMaster (+giveaway)

Page Turners
The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani (+giveaway)

A Reader's Ramblings
Hysteria by Megan Miranda

Portrait of a Book
Golden by Jessi Kirby

Friday, December 6, 2013

#BIR2013 - Coming Soon

Best I've Read 2013 is Coming Soon!

The dates for this year's event are December 16th to 20th.

This year's event will feature books chosen by these awesome bloggers:

Friday, December 14, 2012

#BIR2012 Top Books: Jennifer L. Armentrout's 2012 Books (yep all of them!)

Jennifer L. Armentrout had 4 books come out in 2012, Pure, Onyx, Deity & Cursed, and with the the love of all 4 books, this made Jennifer our top vote getter for BIR 2012.  One of our bloggers is so in LOVE with Jennifer's books, she worked really hard with several other bloggers in Houston, TX to get the release party for Opal (Jennifer's 5th book out in 2012, it released on Tuesday, December 11th) to Houston and they won. We are SUPER excited to be featuring Jennifer on BIR and to share with you the first chapter of Apollyon, the 4th book in the Covenant Series!

Pure (Covenant Series #2) Onyx (Lux Series #2) Deity (Covenant series #3) Cursed

Buy Jennifer's Books: / Amazon / Indiebound

Find Jennifer Online: Webpage / Twitter / Blog / Facebook

Click HERE for the direct widget or use the embedded widget below to read the first Chapter of Apollyon!


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#BIR2012 Top Books: Rift and Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer

Bloodrose and Rift by Andrea Cremer were two of my (Stacey from PageTurnersBlog) most anticipated books of 2012.  Bloodrose was an amazing end to an epic story and Rift was the perfect start to the two prequel story.  Andrea has created an amazing world for her Keepers and Searchers and I'm SUPER excited that we get to stay in this world a little longer. We hope you enjoy learning more about the world in our interview with Andrea and that you'll keep reading in 2013!

 ~ Bloodrose: / Amazon / Indiebound
 ~ Rift: / Amazon / Indiebound

Find Andrea Online: Webpage / blog / twitter / tumblr

1. You've had an end, and a beginning this year with Bloodrose and Rift, what has it been like to end a series but still be able to continue in the world of Searchers and the Keepers?
It's been wonderful! The history of the Searchers and Keepers and the origins of the Witches War were things I always knew and had extensive notes on. It was wonderful to share that story with readers - the world of Nightshade is full of tales that occurred over several centuries and I'm thrilled that I can tell those stories now!

2. The audiobook for Rift is amazing, the narrator has a beautiful Scottish accent, did you have any role in picking her or in the production of it?
I did - Random House audio does the Nightshade audiobooks and they've been amazing about choosing narrators. They send me samples of the reader's work first, but I've always felt they pick the perfect person for each book. I adore the reader for RIFT and I love her accent.

3. Ember receives a very different and unique weapon in Rift, can you give us a little history about it and why you chose it for her?
Though RIFT is set in medieval Scotland, I wanted Ember's weapon to change up the setting a bit as well as reflect the sort of magic that Conatus wields in their world. Ember's weapon is a variation of the ancient Chinese wind and fire wheel (feng huo lun), a melee weapon wielded in pairs. This weapon requires speed, agility, and grace rather than sheer force and it matched well with Ember's skills and her personality.

4. Bloodrose has a very climactic ending. Did you always know it would end that way or did it evolve while you wrote the story?
I always knew how Bloodrose would end and I dreaded arriving at the last part of that book. I cried through it while I wrote.

5. Music is a big part of your writing, and you have playlists and such for each book, but is there one song that really speaks to the series as a whole?
Florence and the Machine's Howl :)

6. You have two books coming out in 2013, one, the second prequel book to Nightshade, Rise, and the other Invisibility, the book you co-wrote with David Levithan, can you give us short little preview of each?
I actually have FOUR books coming about it 2013! RISE continues the story of the Witches War and particularly focuses on the experiences of Ember, Barrow, Eira, and Alistair. INVISIBILITY (with D. Levithan, who I love so much!) is the story of a boy who was born invisible and the girl who is the only person who can see him. I can't reveal the titles of the third and fourth books, but I can say that my fall 2013 book takes place after the events of BLOODROSE and the fourth book is the first of my adult novels. I'm so excited for 2013. I will be really, really disappointed if the world ends on December 21.


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Thursday, December 13, 2012

#BIR2012 Top Books: The Lost Prince and The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

The Lost Prince and The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa both showcase Julie's amazing world building and story telling.  She creates characters that you become attached to instantly and have you always wanting more.  Julie is a BIR staple, making it onto our list all 3 years of this feature.  We are SUPER excited to have her back again this year with a wonderful interview.

 ~ The Lost Prince: / Amazon / Indiebound
 ~ The Immortal Rules: / Amazon / Indiebound

Find Julie Online: Blog / Webpage / Twitter / Iron Fey Webpage / Immortal Rules Webpage

1. Allison has a moment when she chooses her sword in Immortal Rules, were you channeling yourself a little in that scene? It seemed like Julie-esque moment.
Lol, maybe a little. I love swords and weapons, and katanas are, of course, my favorite. I figured what would be more awesome than a katana wielding Asian vampire girl? And no, I wasn't seeing myself as Allison in that scene (she said, lying through her teeth). Not at all. ;-)

2. Immortal Rules is a cool combination of zombies and Vampires with the crazy rabid vampires, where did this mythology come from? What kind of research did you do to create your mythology?
A lot of research went into creating The Immortal Rules, because it was essentially the real world. Granted, a broken, vampire infested world, but the real world nonetheless. Which meant that everything had to make sense. Most of my research came from watching the entire series of the Discovery Channel's Life After People, a documentary of what would happen to the world if all humans just disappeared. How long would it take for buildings to collapse? What would happen to the cars, roads, pets, wildlife? I also watched several movies on plagues and viruses, such as Outbreak and Contagion. Lots of research, but it was necessary to build a realistic world; I couldn't explain anything away with faery magic this time.

3. What would Allison's life been like if she wouldn't have been bitten and then turned? Would she have eventually become a blood slave?
Very unlikely. Allison is far too stubborn to submit to anything. If she never became a vampire, she would eventually have died, either from starvation, or fighting something nasty. Probably a vampire who wanted to feed on her.

4. Why did you want to continue the Fey story with Ethan's story? Will this be the last 3 books in this world?
Continuing the Iron Fey series in Ethan's point of view seemed like a natural progression. After all, he was the child who started the whole adventure, in a way. Meghan's story might've come to a close, but what happened to the brother and family she left behind? Ethan was bound to have lifelong scars after what happened to him as a toddler, and as Grimalkin has noted before, trouble can't seem to leave the Chase family alone.

As for this being the last 3 books of the Iron Fey, anything is possible. Who knows what will happen next?

5. Which Iron Fey character were you most excited to revisit and experience again in The Lost Prince?
I was happy to revisit all of them, really. But there are two that come to mind. One is, of course, Grimalkin, for obvious reasons. He's always fun to write about. The second is Keirran, even though we just got a glimpse of him in Iron Knight. I was excited to introduce Ash and Meghan's son as one of the main characters, even though he turned out much different than people might expect. There have been complaints that Keirran is nothing like Ash, but that's kind of the point. Keirran is not his father, or his mother, but a little mix of both. His story grows even more complex in the second book, as does his relationship with Ethan and Kenzie.

6. The second book in both series is coming out in 2013, can you give us a 3 word sneak peek at each book?
How about a 6 word sneak peek of The Eternity Cure, since the second Ethan book isn't out for awhile?

"I smelled blood as soon as..."


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#BIR2012 Top Book: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo is amazing high fantasy set in a Czarist era Russia setting.  It's an amazing story with a great setting and engaging characters.  And then to top it off, it has an AMAZING cover and art work inside.  This book is the compete package and we hope you'll check it out and that you enjoy our interview with Leigh.

Buy Shadow and Bone: / Amazon / Indiebound

Find Leigh online: Webpage / Tumblr / Twitter

1. WOW, this year has been crazy awesome for you, what's been the most surreal/coolest moment so far?
It really has been crazy. I keep expecting to wake up and find out it was all a dream. Or, y'know, one of Alice's visions. Making the NYT list was probably the most "my little brain cannot grasp this" moment, and meeting David Heyman in London to talk about the movie is up there, too. But there are lots of quieter things that happen—getting to meet one of my favorite writers or a reader showing up in costume at a signing. Every moment is the coolest moment.

2. How has your past work as a make-up artist and your love for costumes impacted the look of the characters and the feel of the world?
Well, I hope all those little visual and tactile details add up— Is the cloak velvet or wool? What does it mean to wear Corporalki Red? How does it feel to slip on a pair of fur-lined boots, or silk slippers, or army-issue boots? I hope they make the world feel more real for readers and that they help create a place that people want to return to. I think my experience in the industry and my ambivalence toward it shows up in Genya's character. She really embodies what beauty can and can't do for you.

3. The world of Shadow and Bone is full of symbolism, did it all come form Russian lore or did you pull from other histories and mythologies to create the world?
Much of the inspiration for Ravka came from Russian folklore and culture, but you'll also find references to Romanian and Scandinavian mythology, and the Greek ideas of haecceity and quiddity show up in the principles of the Small Science.

4. Can you give us a 3 world preview of book 2, Siege and Storm?
Darkness never dies.

5. If you could get a tattoo to represent the series, what would you get?
"Live Fabrikator or Die." No, I kid. A tattoo of Morozova's collar could be gorgeous, but I think it's too much of a commitment for me, so maybe something else using the antlers. I also love all of the crests that Adam Watkins designed.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

#BIR2012 Top Book: Grave Mercy By R. L. LaFevers

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers is an epic historical fantasy novel.  It has an order of nuns who are assassins, court politics, action, romance, and a great story, I couldn't ask for anything more in a book.  This is an EPIC YA/Teen debut and I hope you all enjoy getting to know a little more about this book from our interview with Robin.

Buy Grave Mercy: / Amazon / Indiebound

Find Robin online: webpage / twitter

1. As you state on your web page, quite a lot of the history in Grave Mercy is real, what kind of research did you do to find all this amazing information and why did you choose this time in history to set your fictional story?
I knew I wanted to write an epic romance filled with high stakes and impossible choices, with lives and kingdoms hanging in the balance. And I wanted my teen protagonist to take center stage, be the prime movers of the drama. For that kind of story, I needed a big, sweeping canvas with high stakes and lives and kingdoms at risk, and a time when teens were in a position shape the world around them. That search brought me to the middle ages and a world full of sacred relics, patron saints, and lots of social turbulence.

While I could easily have set the story in an alternate world, for me personally, I love reading about stories that have their roots in history—it gives it all a much more, it could really have happened kind of feel to it.

I researched the time period, the politics, the geography, what everyday life was like back then, and the folklore and spiritual beliefs. I acquired all sorts of wonderful research books. (In fact, my husband insists I only write so I have an excuse to buy research books!) Luckily, I write in the age of Google, so I had access to a wealth of information, oftentimes I was able to look up ancient Breton lineages on obscure genealogy sites, or I would find that the walled medieval city where Anne lived still existed and I could see it online.

One of the (many!) things I love about research is that not only I learn amazing details of how people lived and thought centuries ago, but there is such great story material as well. I’m not sure I could have dreamed up a twelve year old inheriting a kingdom, but once I stumbled across it in my research, I knew that was the perfect backdrop for the book.

2. You also write middle grade books, but Grave Mercy is your first "YA" title, did you know that Grave Mercy would trend older and did you approach the book differently than you did your middle grade titles?
I knew from the start that GRAVE MERCY was going to be an older book, a darker, more complex, maybe even try-to-rip-your-heart-out kind of book, and nothing about it hinted at middle grade to me, so I never even briefly considered it as a younger project.

As for whether I approached it differently than I do my MG books, that’s an interesting question. The truth is, each of my books has required a slightly different process to get it to unfold, so in one sense I approach them all differently, using whatever method it takes to get the story to begin to jell and come together for me.

But by the same token, all my books get written in a similar way—with me trying to really understand my protagonist and their emotional landscape, then telling a story that will test everything they believe in and hold dear, and while doing that, somehow transform them. I also do that with my middle grade books, but because they are series, the protagonist’s transformation happens in smaller increments per book and their transformational experiences skew younger and less extreme.

Because I knew Grave Mercy was going to explore dark themes and heavy issues, I also gave myself permission to ‘go there’, wherever ‘there’ might end up being. I didn’t hold back or pull punches or veer away from issues I thought too controversial or risky. I wasn’t going to dance around the idea of these teen assassin nuns assassinating people, I was going to allow them to do all the hard and somewhat morally questionable things that the concept required.

3. You've gotten some amazing covers. What are some of your favorite details about the covers?
I have had simply amazing cover luck! For the GRAVE MERCY cover, there are just so many things to love! I love that she has that big old honkin’ crossbow, and looks fierce enough to use it. I love that her dress is authentically of that time (the dress itself came from the Royal Shakespeare Company in London), I love the storm clouds overhead that clearly signal trouble is brewing, and I love the strong, proud, fierce way the heroine stands in the frame. She is not curled in a ball, or headless, or wilting, or diminished in any way. She is a presence, a force to be reckoned with. And yet, even with all that there is a softness about her face—her cheeks maybe—that indicate that she is also a bit young or na├»ve. All in all, a perfect cover.

The DARK TRIUMPH cover was meant to convey a completely different mood, and I think it succeeds in that. Sybella’s story is a darker one, and she herself is trapped in a situation that is nearly suffocating, so the use of a hallway and the looming castle walls to mimic that claustrophobic sense that she experiences in the book feels really effective to me. Again, I love the period authenticity of the gown, but mostly what I love is that she looks not only fierce, but royally pissed off. And she is! She has been betrayed by so many, she is nearly at the end of her rope. She deserves to be pissed off. She deserves to be able to put her head back and roar in fury. And in our society, we so rarely are accepting of women’s anger, or angry women, that it makes me really happy that the cover does not flinch from Sybella’s reality.

4. If you could visit one of the locations in Grave Mercy, which would you visit and what would you be most excited to see in that location?
I suppose it would be cheating if I simply said, Brittany?

If that is cheating, then I suppose it would be the city of Guerande. One of the things that is so alluring about Brittany is that many of its towns and cities still retain their medieval flavor and architecture. Guerande still has its medieval town walls and eight towers, and the cathedral that was built in the 15th century, and I would love to see all of that. The timbered and plaster homes, the narrow cobbled streets; I have heard it is like stepping back in time, so that would be amazing.

Having said that, I’m not sure I could visit Brittany without at least stopping by the Isle de Sein, since that was one of the seeds from which the idea for the story sprang—the place where the last nine of the druidesses lived, rumored to have extraordinary powers—to rule the weather, speak to birds, and change their shapes. Since that feels like the birthplace of the assassin nun concept, I would have to at least swing by there on the way back to the US.

5. Dark Triumph comes out next year, can you give us a three word preview of it?
Three words?!? Excuse me, I write 120,000 word books—I never use three words when 300 will do.
Oh, this is torture!
one pissed-off assassin
love, redemption, forgiveness

journey toward wholeness


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#BIR2012 Top Book: Take a Bow by Elizabeth Eulberg

Elizabeth Eulberg's Take a Bow, for me, is up there with Fame as a pop culture representation of   performing arts schools.  It's a story full of heart, and amazing characters.  Elizabeth hits another home run with her third contemporary novel.  

    ~ Take a Bow Hard Cover: / Amazon / Indiebound
    ~ Take a Bow Paper Back / Amazon / Indiebound

Find Elizabeth Online: Webpage / Twitter / Facebook

We are SUPER excited to debut the new paperback cover of this outstanding book.  I think it really captures the story and and I LOVE IT!  We hope you do too!


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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

#BIR2012 Top Book: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver is an action packed second book in the Best Selling Delirium Trilogy.  And this is one of 2 novels she published this year while also being very involved in Paper Lantern Lit and so many other things!  We are SUPER excited she took time out of her busy schedule to answer a few of our questions!

 ~ Pandemonium: / Amazon / Indiebound
 ~ Hana an ebook short story: / Amazon / Indiebound

 ~ Annabel an ebook short story: / Amazon / Indiebound
 ~ Requiem the highly anticipated conclusion to the trilogy: / Amazon / Indiebound

Find Lauren Online: Webpage / blog - tumblr / Twitter / Facebook

1. I saw on facebook that the President bought Pandemonium and Delirium this weekend. What does it mean to you to see new people discovering your stories?
It's very surreal and amazing! I get excited all over again every time someone sends me the link. I can't stop tweeting about it! Of course, it's especially exciting because it's the President, but it's an amazing feeling anytime someone tells me that they've read something I've written for the first time.

2. We are highly anticipating Requiem, out next year, did you always know how the series was going to end or were you surprised by anything that happened along the way?
I certainly didn't know the specifics of it when I was writing Delirium, but I've known for a while the general path that I wanted the story to take, specifically with Lena's world growing larger with each book, and her growing strength.

3. Pandemonium is told in a split timeline format that had me never wanting to stop reading because i kept hoping you'd go back to the other timeline so I could find out what happened next. Why did you choose to write it this way and do you think it would have changed the story if you would have told it through a different format?
Every decision that you make takes a story in a different direction, so much of art is making choices. I wanted to write the story with the "now' and "then" because I thought it gave the story more suspense and momentum... and it seems like it worked for you at least. :)

4. You've had a big couple of years since your debut with Before I Fall. What does it mean to you as a creative person to be able to write across genres and age groups and to have Paper Lantern Lit as driver of others creativity?
When I'm coming up with stories, or in the process of writing them, I don't really think about them in terms of genre or age. I tell the story in the way that makes the most sense to me, and it ends up falling into those categories.

5. Can you give us a three word preview of Requiem?
Rebellion, Lena, Hana!


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