Cover Reveal: House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus #4)

Finally, a cover! I know it was revealed Friday, 5/31, but I wasn't able to grab it then because we went on an impromtu camping trip. Oh well. In case you haven't seen it, here it is with the blurb!

The final book in the Heroes of Olympus series has a cover! The actual book, however, won't be released until October 8, 2013.


Want to preorder your copy? You can do it through Amazon.



Here is the stunning cover for The House of Hades.

The House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus, #4)



At the conclusion of The Mark of Athena, Annabeth and Percy tumble into a pit leading straight to the Underworld. The other five demigods have to put aside their grief and follow Percy's instructions to find the mortal side of the Doors of Death. If they can fight their way through the Gaea's forces, and Percy and Annabeth can survive the House of Hades, then the Seven will be able to seal the Doors both sides and prevent the giants from raising Gaea. But, Leo wonders, if the Doors are sealed, how will Percy and Annabeth be able to escape?

 
They have no choice. If the demigods don't succeed, Gaea's armies will never die. They have no time. In about a month, the Romans will march on Camp Half-Blood. The stakes are higher than ever in this adventure that dives into the depths of Tartarus.


Minute Review: Wild Song (Jane Eagland)

The Deets:
Audience: MG or YA, lower level readers/ struggling readers
Pages: 73
Publisher: July 1st 2012 by Barrington Stoke
ISBN: 9781781120446
Source: eARC from Netgalley




Wild SongAn atmospheric historical romance for teens, from a gifted and acclaimed author. Beautifully packaged with a foiled jacket. Anna is living a lonely life on a small island with only her ageing mathematician father and his helper Max as company. When Rob washes ashore after an accident, Anna's world is turned upside-down. Is Max really devoted to her father? Is Rob the love she's been waiting for? Could she really leave the island? Drawing inspiration from The Tempest, Jane Eagland has woven a rich and moving story of mystery, love and deception.Particularly suitable for reluctant, struggling and dyslexic teens.





I really appreciate what Stoke Books is doing. They are putting together high-interest stories for struggling readers. Being a teacher that works with lower level readers in a middle school setting, I can advocate for this need!

It's very important to grab the reader's attention from the first page. It's even more vital when that reader typically does not like to read (or want to read). Wild Song starts off with action, which is a great hook. While it is certainly geared towards female readers, it could also work for students interested in Shakespeare. Wild Song was a loose retelling of The Tempest.

The plot and characters are pretty straight forward. There isn't a lot of depth or character building. That may bother some readers, but if you keep it in context of the intended audience, then it makes sense. Struggling readers do not have the stamina for pages upon pages of descriptive writing and character building.

I have to say that Wild Song is not my favorite Stoke Book so far, but it wasn't bad. I think it will have a limited appeal because of the setting and characters. Boys will probably not run to this one, but I can picture several of my female readers enjoying it.


Review + Interview with Dorine White of The Emerald Ring

The Deets:
Audience: middle school readers
pages: 192
publisher: May 14th 2013 by Cedar Fort, Inc.
ISBN: 9781462111336
genre: mystery, action adventure


The Emerald Ring (Cleopatra's Legacy)Ordinary tween life turns upside down when Ancient Egypt intrudes on modern middle school life. Twelve year old Sara Guadalupe Bogus reads about adventures, but unexpectedly is drawn into one when a mystical emerald ring that once belonged to Cleopatra becomes stuck on her finger.
A series of burglaries spook Sara’s small Ohio hometown. Concluding that the root of all the crimes is the emerald ring, Sara realizes it’s up to her and her friends, Heidi and African exchange student Kainu, to save the town and protect Cleopatra’s legacy. Filled with magic, the ring thrusts Sara into a world filled with nightmares, allows her to shape shift into an Egyptian cat and battle assassins.





The lovely author, Dorine White, has been gracious enough to answer a few questions about her new middle grades mystery The Emerald Ring.

For those of you unfamiliar with The Emerald Ring, it's an action packed mystery based on Cleopatra's missing jewels. These aren't just any jewels either! If all the jewels are together, the person in possession will have a lot of power... even enough power to bring back the Roman empire. Of course, one very brave girl (and her two friends) have to make sure that does not happen.

The Emerald Ring has a strong heroine going to great lengths to protect herself and the ones she loves. Middle grade readers will surely find something that mesmerizes them in this new series.

The story:

I have always been fascinated by Cleopatra. What made you decide to make Cleopatra such a large element in your book?

I have always loved Ancient Egypt. There are so many mysteries surrounding their beliefs. I picked Cleopatra because she is a recognizable figure that kids will have heard about. Plus, she was known for her beauty, so who better to have a necklace of magic gemstones?


I find that I don’t know much about Cleopatra, even though I find her history intriguing. Do the gems mentioned in your novel have any historical reference, or were they an original idea?

The gemstones are my own ideas. However, Cleopatra was famous for her emerald mines.


 Any hints for book two?

Yes, In fact, starting on May 14, 2013, I will have the uncorrected 1st chapter up on my blog in the sneak-peeks section! http://www.dorinewhite.com/sneak-peek/


  Here is my pitch- Welcome to New Orleans- home of Mardi Gras, jazz music and voodoo. Eighth grader Melanie Belaforte is home for Spring break and itching for excitement. Late one night she discovers a hidden chamber and a secret journal in her deceased Aunt Florence’s bedroom.
            The diary contains the writings of a mad woman, along with vague clues about the whereabouts of a ruby necklace that once belonged to Cleopatra. The ruby bestows upon the wearer the power to hear other people’s thoughts- even the thoughts of the dead!
 
    And so the hunt begins. Melanie, her best friend Sybil, and a haunting specter unravel clues that take them from crumbling graveyards, to the busy streets of the French Quarter, and then into murky swamps, all to find the prize. But they need to watch out, because a murderous cult is matching them step for step, and they won’t give up, ever.

The process:

Many people are interested in the writing/publishing process. What did you find the most difficult aspect of writing a book?

The editing. Writing the book is always fun, though it takes time.  I love to get the ideas out of my head and onto the paper. Coming up with the story is like a mystery. I’m not one of those writers that outlines first. Instead, I have the main idea and what I want to happen, and then I go from there.

Once the first draft is done, it is all about editing- again and again and again. There are so many rules to grammar that I often feel overwhelmed. And then you have to find the holes in your story and patch them up. This is where beta readers are so helpful. For this book I was lucky enough to use a book doctor, and it really helped.

The fun stuff:

Would you rather live in a world where Transformers or real or Marvel super heroes?

Super heroes! Though the transformers are cool, the decepticons caused major death and damage. The humans could not beat them without the autobots. With superheroes there is the chance that good will defeat evil and hopefully there won’t be mass destruction. Plus, there is a slight chance that I might fall into radioactive goo and get an awesome superpower J

Would you rather have your dreams written by JK Rowling or the writers of LOST?

JK Rowling! I am all about magic and fantasy. I dream of wizards already and that is the type of world I would want to live in, though not as a muggle. LOST was an amazing show, but it was really screwy. There were way too many mysteries that did not get solved, or that I think didn’t get solved in a good way. I think those kind of dreams would freak me out.



I want to say thank you to Dorine White for allowing me to host The Emerald Ring on her blog tour, and for taking the time for the interview.



Daughter of Smoke and Bone VBC read along: Da Rulz

So, you decided to participate in the read along, eh? Aren't you a smart cookie.

You know it will be more fun than a barrel of monkeys.

If you don't already know, the book we'll be reading in June is The Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. Go ahead and reserve your copy at the library now. The awesomeness will begin June 2nd.  

So here are "da rulz":

* Be here or be square.
* You can participate through the comments section on the blog or through the Facebook post(s).

That's it. I'm a no rules kind of gal.

Of course, to entice you a bit more I'm offering up some goodies. Yes, you can win stuff. What can you win? I dunno yet. Something cool. Maybe something shiny. Definitely something new and not my sweaty gym socks.

Now there are some "official" type rules for this one:

* You have to actually participate. No lurking in the shadows is allowed. That's weird and for creepers.
* You'll get 2 entries for every blog comment you post relating to the read along (i.e. responding to the discussion questions, completing the challenge task, whatever I throw out there).
* Want to participate through Facebook only? Well, that will earn you 1 entry per comment as well (same guidelines as above).
* Comment on the blog AND on Facebook... you do the math on that one.
* I can ship anywhere in the US or to a US mailing address. If you live internationally, the book will have to be an ebook format cuz I'm broke. You understand...
* Oh, and you should be over 13 years of age as well. Just in case the material is questionable for your delicate minds. (Don't laugh. If my parents knew what I read at that age, they would probably die.)

Aight. That's it. Super simple. Now get ready to rock the Casbah.


Week 1 discussion question

Week 2 discussion question

Week 3 discussion question

Week 4 discussion question

Week 5 discussion question

 

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