Tag Archives: blog tour

Stealing Snow Blog Tour Guest Post

Danielle Paige is no stranger to putting new twists on old stories.  Her Dorothy Must Die series took readers back to the land of Oz, to a land where Dorothy returned and ruined everything.  In Danielle’s new book, Stealing Snow, she shows us the origins of The Snow Queen.  Here is the blurb:

9781408872932Seventeen-year-old Snow lives within the walls of the Whittaker Institute, a high security mental hospital in upstate New York. Deep down, she knows she doesn’t belong there, but she has no memory of life outside, except for the strangest dreams. And then a mysterious, handsome man, an orderly in the hospital, opens a door – and Snow knows that she has to leave .
She finds herself in icy Algid, her true home, with witches, thieves, and a strangely alluring boy named Kai. As secret after secret is revealed, Snow discovers that she is on the run from a royal lineage she’s destined to inherit, a father more powerful and ruthless than she could have imagined, and choices of the heart that could change everything. Heroine or villain, queen or broken girl, frozen heart or true love, Snow must choose her fate .

Danielle joins me today as part of her Stealing Snow Blog Tour to talk about her Top 5 fairy tale retellings.

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1.Cinder/ Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

She had me at cyborg Cinderella and kept me with imaginative world building and a mashup of other fairy tales.  I devoured the whole series, and I forever credit her for inspiring me to take Dorothy Must Die as far as the Yellow Brick Road would take me.

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2. Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

To a writer, Shahrzad is the ultimate heroine. She is literally saving her own life, not with magic, but with the power of her storytelling. Every night she must tell her story to Khalid or she will be killed. The sequel, The Rose and the Dagger, is sitting on top of my TBR pile.

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3. The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

Not a straight up retelling, more a reimagining.  Chainani treats us to the school where Malificents and Cinderellas are made. I was delighted as Sophie and Agatha find themselves in the “wrong” classes.

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4. A Court of Thorn and Roses by Sarah J Maas

Beauty and the Beast is a forever fave, and Sarah is such a master of action and romance.

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5. Wicked by Gregory McGuire

Wicked showed every reteller how it is done. Setting the bar and exploring the world of Oz way before my Dorothy stepped onto the Yellow Brick Road.

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Bonus: The Descendants series by Melissa de la Cruz

All the Disney feels. The second generation of villains and royals is just perfection.

Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige is out now from Bloomsbury.

 

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Noisy Nights Blog Tour with Fleur McDonald

Noisy Nights is a delightful new picture book written by Fleur McDonald and illustrated by Annie White.  You can read my review here on the blog and enter to win a copy of the book.

I have the pleasure of being joined by Fleur McDonald today as part of her Noisy Nights Blog Tour. Fleur has grown up on farms in Australia and she draws inspiration for her books from her experiences.  This certainly shines through in Noisy Nights, which is all about a noisy farm at night.  Read on to find out why Fleur decided to write Noisy Nights.

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There is nothing more gorgeous than hearing a child giggle. For me, hearing that child laugh while reading a book, is even better. After all, something has really resonated with them to make it happen.

As a kid, I spent HOURS reading. Apparently (and I can’t claim this is true as I don’t remember, but Nana says it was, so it must be!) after my first day at kindy, I stormed home to my Nana’s place, flung myself into the old Smokers-Bow Chair (which we grandchildren called ‘The Story Telling Chair), she had next to fire place and groaned: ‘they didn’t teach me to read!’

That was the start of a love of reading that I’ve never lost.

Mum used to tell me, she’d hear me laughing in my bedroom and sneak down to see why … I would always be reading.

In 2004 I was told my son was ‘at high-risk of autism.’ I didn’t know what autism was and started researching it from that day. As time went on Hayden began to show more and more signs that this was the case. During his year at kindy, one of the reports I kept getting back was his concentration span was very limited. I wondered what I could do to increase it.

For a few weeks I watched Hayden and it became clear he loved being out in the sheep yards. He loved the dogs, pet calves and lambs; any animal really. (I do need to mention here, that it didn’t mean he was good with them, but he loved being with them.) He also didn’t sleep at night.

I decided to try something I hadn’t done since I was at school and that was to write a story. The story had to be about something he could relate to, understand and liked.

It took me quite a while and I struggled with the rhyming and rhythm. Poor Hayden had several versions tried out on him. But he sat still for longer and he laughed every time I read it to him.

That made my heart very happy.

Having been involved in the agricultural industry for more than twenty years, it frightens me how little some children understand about where their food comes from and how country people live. From here on in, I’d love to be involved in educating kids through stories – the emphasis being on STORIES.

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Michael Grant’s Front Lines Australia & NZ Blog Tour

Front Lines banner dates

Bestselling YA author Michael Grant is in Australia and New Zealand this May to promote Front Lines, the first book in his blockbuster new YA series, Soldier Girl.  I’m very excited to be part of Michael Grant’s Australia and NZ blog tour to promote his new book, Front Lines.  Join me on Thursday 12 May for a special guest post from Michael Grant and a review of Front Lines.  Here are the other awesome blogs and bloggers that are part of the blog tour:

Monday 9th May – Diva Booknerd
Tuesday 10th May – Reading Time
Wednesday 11th May – Paper Fury
Friday 13th May – Stay Bookish

Check out the cover, blurb and book trailer for Front Lines below:

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It’s 1942. The fate of the world rests on a knife’s edge. And the soldiers who can tip the balance . . . are girls.

A court decision makes women subject to the draft and eligible for service. The unproven American army is going up against the greatest fighting force ever assembled, the armed forces of Nazi Germany.  Three girls sign up to fight. Rio Richlin, Frangie Marr, and Rainy Schulterman are average girls, girls with dreams and aspirations, at the start of their lives, at the start of their loves.  Each has her own reasons for volunteering: Rio fights to honor her sister; Frangie needs money for her family; Rainy wants to kill Germans.  For the first time they leave behind their homes and families—to go to war. These three daring young women will play their parts in the war to defeat evil and save the human race.

As the fate of the world hangs in the balance, they will discover the roles that define them on the front lines.  They will fight the greatest war the world has ever known.  But not everyone believes that the girls should be on the front lines of war.

Now Rio and her friends must fight not only to survive, but to prove their courage and ingenuity to a sceptical world.

 

 

 

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Sylvie the Second Blog Tour

Kaeli Baker is the author of Sylvie the Second, a story of identity, family, friendships both good and bad, and choices that can affect the rest of your life. It is a stand-out debut YA novel from a wonderful new local author.  You can read my review here on the blog.

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Today I’m joined by Kaeli as part of her blog tour for Sylive the Second.  Sisters play an important part in Sylvie the Second so I asked Kaeli if she could write a post about her Top 5 sisters in fiction.  Read on to find out who they are.

My Top 5 Sisters in Fiction

The relationship between sisters, or even siblings in general, has always been a source of huge fascination for me. I’m an only child and the idea of growing up with someone close to my age, who shares DNA and bits and pieces of my parents – the same unruly hair, or the same crooked teeth – who sleeps in the room next door and argues over whose job it is to do the dishes, is so foreign to me.

It shouldn’t come as any surprise then, that I’ve always loved reading about sisters in fiction. Here are five of my favourites…

Kristy Thomas & Karen Brewer

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The Babysitters Club Little Sister series, by Ann M. Martin

Kristy and Karen are stepsisters with a close and reliable bond. I had always wanted a big sister, and it interested me that two people could become sisters without blood ties. Karen admires Kristy and wants to be just like her. Kristy is the pinnacle of big sisterhood, providing help and advice to Karen when she needs it.

Pat & Isabel O’Sullivan

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The St Clare’s Series, by Enid Blyton

Identical twins at a boarding school in England! My kid brain went wild over Pat and Isabel and the antics at St Clare’s. Their adventures kept me endlessly entertained – everything from midnight feasts to sneaking out, to pretending to be each other and tricking the teachers, which is obviously the biggest benefit of having an identical twin.

Kate & Anna Fitzgerald

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My Sister’s Keeper, by Jodi Picoult

The complexity in this relationship is what I love most. The dilemma of being Anna – the girl born to save her sister, and Anna – a teenage girl with rights. The confusing tangle of love, duty and freedom. As you get further into the story it becomes clear that both girls are capable of selflessness, and care for each other deeply even when it’s messy.

Bellatrix LeStrange & Narcissa Malfoy

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The Harry Potter Series, by J.K. Rowling

Two sisters heavily involved in the world of dark arts. One evil to the core, one…maybe not so much. The relationship between Bellatrix and Narcissa is strong – they even call each other Bella and Cissy. United in the web of a complicated family with fierce loyalties, eventually they find that their devotions take them in different directions.

Judy Woolcot and her whole entire family

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The Seven Little Australians series, by Ethel Turner

Judy Woolcot is my favourite sister of all time. I was obsessed with these books. I wanted Judy to be my sister.

‘She had a small, eager, freckled face, with very bright dark eyes, a small, determined mouth, and a mane of untidy, curly dark hair that was the trial of her life.

Without doubt she was the worst of the seven, probably because she was the cleverest.’

Mischievous Judy is close to all of her siblings. In the end it becomes clear just how much she is willing to give up for them.

 

That sums up my top five! Thanks so much to Zac for letting me share his space on the interweb, and I hope you enjoy Sylvie the Second.

Kaeli

Make sure you visit msblairrecommends.blogspot.co.nz tomorrow for the last stop on the Sylvie the Second Blog Tour.

 

sylvie-cover-copyWin a copy of Sylvie the Second!

Thanks to Makaro Press I have a copy of Sylvie the Second to give away.

To get in the draw for a copy of Sylvie the Second by Kaeli Baker simply email bestfriendsrbooks@gmail.com with the subject line ‘Sylvie the Second,’ along with your name and address.

Competition closes Wednesday 23 March (NZ only).

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This is Not My Hat Blog Tour – Interview with Jon Klassen

Jon Klassen is an incredibly talented author and illustrator from the US.  He writes and illustrates his own books, as well as illustrating others’ books.  The first book he wrote and illustrated, I Want My Hat Back, has won many awards, including a Theodor Seuss Geisel Honour Award.  His latest book, This is Not My Hat, is one of my favourite picture books of the year (you can read my review here).  Today I’m joined by Jon Klassen on his This is Not My Hat Blog Tour.  I asked Jon about his illustrations, his obsession with hats, and humour in his books.

How do you create your illustrations?

For I Want My Hat Back and This Is Not My Hat, I made the shapes of the plants and animals with black chinese ink and cut them out and scanned them into the computer and added color and detail to them afterwards. It’s a nice process because it lets you be loose and try a lot of things out and then choose your favorites and put them together in one illustration later.

Your illustrations have a very limited colour palette. Why do you choose these colours?

I don’t think I choose a limited palette on purpose, it’s just what I like, but for these stories it is useful because there are things that can get emphasized by strong color when it’s needed. Also I just like things to feel a little calm. I think you can get interesting stories that still feel like the colors aren’t firing on all cylinders all the time.

Both of your own stories (I Want My Hat Back and This Is Not My Hat) have focused on hats. What is your fascination with hats?

I try not to tie too much of myself into the books, but I do wear a hat a lot of the time. But I think, for these stories, hats are great because they are kind of unnecessary. The stories are about characters that want the hats badly, but not for any practical reason, so it becomes really emotional. Also, for younger readers, they are an easy thing to spot and a fun thing to see on a character who wants to put it on.

Your books feature subtle humour that children and adults love. How important is humour in picture books?

Thank you! I don’t think humor is totally necessary, but I think it’s hard to find a good picture book without it because the format sets up jokes so nicely with turning the page. It’s a great way to time a joke. Plus it’s hard to keep younger kids’ attention without either making them laugh or scaring them. I also think it’s a good sign when a story makes you laugh because it means other things are working well too, most of the time.

As well as an author and illustrator of picture books, what other hats do you wear?

I work on animated projects sometimes, though mostly as a concept or background illustrator, and sometimes I do editorial illustrations for newspapers and things. Last year I taught a class at Calarts, but those kids are too good.

Do you prefer writing and illustrating your own books or illustrating others’ books?

I like both. I think if you get an idea you like on your own, doing it all yourself is more exciting because you can really fine tune both sides of it, but I always really enjoy seeing the stuff that comes out of illustrating other people’s stories. Getting an assignment is always a different sort of challenge than just coming up with whatever you want, and you can dive into the illustrating right away.

Are you more of a big fish or a small fish?

It depends on the day, I guess, but if I’m honest, there are probably more small fish days than big fish days.

Thanks for joining me Jon!  Make sure you join Elizabeth O. Dulemba on her blog tomorrow for the next stop on Jon’s blog tour.

 

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The Show No FEAR and Go BZRK Michael Grant Blog Tour

Michael Grant’s Down Under Blog Tour starts today and I’m very excited to be hosting Michael on Friday 13th April.  I’m a huge Michael Grant fan (I love the Gone series and BZRK is amazing) and can’t wait to read the latest book in the series, Fear.  Make sure you visit My Best Friends Are Books on Friday 13th to hear what Michael Grant has to say about writing for the teenage guy inside him and authors and social networking, as well as a giveaway of both BZRK and Fear.

Visit each of these great blogs on Michael Grant’s Down Under Blog Tour:

Check out this great book trailer for Fear too:

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Join us for the Oh No, George! Blog Tour

On Thursday, over on the Christchurch Kids Blog, I’ll joined by a great new author and illustrator called Chris Haughton.  Chris’s new picture book is called Oh No, George.  I got the chance to ask Chris some questions about his new book and his work as an author and illustrator.  You will even have the chance to win a print of one of the illustrations from the book.

Check out this fantastic book trailer for Oh No, George.

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Join us for the Night School Blog Tour

Author C. J. Daugherty’s first book for Young Adults, Night School is being released in January.  She’s doing a blog tour to celebrate the launch and My Best Friends Are Books is lucky enough to be having a Q & A and a giveaway.  Here’s the blurb for Night School:

“When everyone is lying, who can you trust? Allie Sheridan’s world is falling apart. She hates her school. Her brother has run away from home. And she’s just been arrested. Again.
This time her parents have finally had enough. They cut her off
from her friends and send her away to a boarding school for problem teenagers. But Cimmeria Academy is no ordinary school. It allows no computers or phones. Its students are an odd mixture of the gifted, the tough and the privileged. And then there’s the secretive Night School, whose activities other students are forbidden even to watch. When Allie is attacked one night the school begins to seem like a very dangerous place, Allie must learn who she can trust. And what’s really going on at Cimmeria Academy.”

 Join us for the fun on Wednesday 11 January.  

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