Saturday, September 17, 2011

Upcoming appearances

Here's where I'm going to be in the coming month. I'm adding a "Appearances" tab to this blog to keep this where you can find it easily.

September 23-25 - Dallas, TX - FenCon VIII. A literary (book centered) science fiction and fantasy convention in the DFW Area. Many cool guests, including ME.

September 27 - Wylie, TX - Speaking at the Wylie Public Library at 6 pm. It's Banned Books Week! I'll be talking about my favorite banned books and other bookish subjects. (6 - 7 PM)

October 1 - Austin, TX - Austin Teen Book Festival. Many many amazing authors, and the chance to meet them. Join us 10 - 5 pm at the Palmer Events Center in Austin, TX.

October 22 - 23 - Austin, TX - Texas Book Festival. Many many amazing authors of all genres in this downtown Austin event!

October 29 - Irving, TX - Speaking at the Irving Public Library at 4 pm. There will be lots of events: campfire stories and s'mores and awesome. Join us!

November 5 - Birmingham, AL - Southern Magic Readers Luncheon. Have lunch with some of your favorite romance authors!

November 12 - 13 - Charleston, SC - YAllFest 2011 - A YA book festival with 20 amazing YA authors from all over the country.

In all cases, see the link for more details, including participating authors (other than me), time and location details.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Bookanistas Review: Alien Invasion & Other Inconveniences


FINALLY a Thursday book post. Yes, it's been that long since I read a YA book. It was a crazy summer y'all. (Yes, we broke the hottest summer on record for the entire country EVER. That crazy.)

You know what else is crazy? A crazy good read, that is?  

Alien Invasion & Other Inconveniences
by Brian Yansky


Summary: It takes ten seconds for the aliens to take over the world. Most humans simply fall asleep and never wake up. In moments, everyone Jesse knows and loves is gone, and he is now a slave to an inept alien leader. On the bright side, Jesse discovers he’s developing telepathic powers, and he’s not the only one. Soon he’s forging new friendships and thinking the aliens may not be invincible after all. But if Jesse and his friends succeed, is there anywhere left to go if the whole world has been conquered?

What I say: This is a slim book and a rocking good story. I'd actually seen this book when it came out (in October last year), and loved the first line: 

It takes less time for them to conquer the world the tit takes me to brush my teeth. That's pretty disappointing. 

But then I went, eh, present tense, and it went on that permanent 'maybe when I get to it' list. Then I met Brian Yansky in Austin a few weeks ago, and he was funny and nice, and I thought, I should read his book. But I was (am) finishing MY book, so it went on the less-permanent 'definitely when I get to it' list. And THEN I found out I was moderating a panel at the Austin Teen Book Festival one which Brian Yansky (among others) will be a panelist, and I thought... I hope this is a decent book since I'm going to have to read it now. 

It was. I slurped this down like an extra-coffee caramel frappuchino. It's got a little bite, a lot of levity, a sweet character, and it's suitable for kids who don't think they like coffee… er, books. 

Jesse is a great narrator. He's likable and resilient, enough of a smart-mouth to be interesting, but not so much that you want to smack him. He's got a good heart, and apart from the whole "human survival against the alien overlords" thing, I wanted this guy to succeed. Also his narration is spot on--funny and realistic, touching in an understated way. It also keeps things moving a good clip. There's not a lot of detailed descriptions--either of settings or of deeper feelings--but I didn't feel cheated. Yansky describes what needs to be described and zips past extraneous details. 

This is a book that will reward a reluctant reader. By which I mean it's a pretty easy read, full of action and funny dialogue and scary monsters who can kill you with their brains. But it was also a rewarding read for this avid reader, because between the clean simplicity of the storytelling voice, there were real and satisfying emotions. Yansky hits the beats where they count. 

If I have a complaint, it's that I think the ending could have been a smidge longer. That was the only part I felt a little rushed. But maybe that's just because I was enjoying the book so much. 

What else are the Bookanistas talking about today? 

Elana Johnson is in a tizzy over Texas Gothic
LiLa Roecker  celebrates Something Like Hope
Christine Fonseca  is transformed by Shifting
Shannon Whitney Messenger takes a shine to So Silver Bright – with giveaway
Scott Tracey is on board for Starship Academy
Beth Revis shouts about The Name of the Star
Shana Silver loves Lola and the Boy Next Door
Sarah Frances Hardy adores Birdie’s Big Girl Dress
Stasia Ward Kehoe takes a fancy to Fracture
Carolina Valdez Miller goes gaga for Glow and Shifting – with giveaway 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Austin Teen Book Festival

I'm so excited that I will be at the Austin Teen Book Festival!   I'll have the chance to talk with readers, sign books, and best of all, I'll be moderating a panel of aMAZing authors: Scott Westerfeld, Maureen Johnson, Jonathan Maberry and Brian Yansky. (I seriously jumped up and down and squealed when I learned this. Lost ALL my cool kid cred.) Plus many more will be there for the day!

All the details, including the location, schedule, and what fun things are going on are on the ATBF Website. <--Click Here.

What? Austin Teen Book Festival
When? October 1
What time? 10 am to 5 pm
Where? Palmer Events Center (in Austin, TX)
Cost?  FREE!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

It's been so long since I've been on Blogger, they changed the user interface. It's pretty, but I'll have to seem more--like nested comments!--before I can weigh in.

Let's see. I went to Minnesota, and Houston, and Austin, and now I'm finishing a book.

My BBF (Birmingham Best Friend) went to Israel. (!!) How awesome of her to send me this postcard:


And how awesome of her to pick it because it has this typo:


I tried to find a picture of surfer monks, but I couldn't. I also didn't try that hard, because I'm finishing a book.