Because you can't judge a book by its cover

Monthly Archives: September 2010

NovelReaction is excited to welcome author Ivy Devlin as part of her blog tour for her YA novel, Low Red Moon. Ivy Devlin is the pseudonym of a popular and critically acclaimed YA author, and with Low Red Moon, she makes her paranormal debut. She lives just outside Washington DC with her husband and dog, owns more books than she can probably read, and would love it if you visited her website, www.ivydevlin.com.

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NR: What elements do you think makes a YA novel a YA novel?

Ivy: A teenager dealing with life–and what an editor thinks, of course!

NR: What do you enjoy about writing in the YA genre?

Ivy: I love it!

NR: What is your favorite genre to write?

Ivy: YA!!

NR: What is your favorite genre to read?

Ivy: YA!!

NR: What is your favorite book or author?

Ivy: I can’t pick just one–who could?

NR: Writing, is it a hobby or vocation for you at this time?

Ivy: Vocation–hopefully for a while!

NR: Why did you start writing?

Ivy: Because I wanted to write a story that kept me up, thinking about it.

NR: When I am getting ready to write a post I always have to have the dishes done before I can really focus, do you have one chore that has to be done before you can write?

Ivy: I have to have eaten lunch. Some writers work in the morning, but for me, I need the afternoon!

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Thank you Ivy answering my questions. I am very excited to announce that a sequel to Low Red Moon will be coming in early 2012. Bloomsbury Publishing contacted me with the following:

The New Moon, New Fans Challenge – that we are running right now on our Bloomsbury Teens Facebook fan page! To celebrate the publication of Ivy Devlin’s Low Red Moon and help spread the word about our new Bloomsbury Teens Facebook page, we are trying to reach a goal of 4,000 fans before the next New Moon. The contest started on the last New Moon (September 8th) and is running through the next New Moon (which is next Thursday, October 7th). Basically, all you have to do is “like” our fan page and then invite your friends to “like” it as well and you will be entered to win! If we hit our goal, we’ll give away an awesome moon necklace to a current fan and a beautiful moon and star bracelet to a new fan as a thank you. Check out our fan page HERE for more contest details, to see pictures of the prizes, and to “like” the page and be entered to win!

The necklace and bracelet are beautiful so make sure you enter the contest.

Avery Wood doesn’t remember anything about the night her parents were brutally murdered, she just recalls becoming aware when the police arrived to find her covered in blood.  Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin is about Avery’s struggle to adjust to her new world, with the death of her parents Avery finds herself living with the grandmother that her father wouldn’t speak to and the few friends she had obtained in high school avoid her.  Then she meets Ben, a mysterious new boy in school that she feels drawn to, but Ben is more than he appears.  As suspicious events start to happen, Avery’s memory begins to come back and she starts to fear that Ben had something to do with her parents’ death. But Avery finds herself drawn to Ben and senses the loneliness she feels is also felt by Ben.

Devlin’s world where rumors have always existed about creatures living in the forests that surround the town was interesting, as was Avery’s involvement with the woods.  I liked the story but Avery’s involvement with the world around her seems a bit disjointed but that may have been deliberate on the part of the author because Avery’s world has been changed in horrible ways.  I actually felt like the novel could have gone a bit more in depth then it did, it just felt a little rushed. That being said, I enjoyed the novel and it was a quick read.

The copy I have is an ARC (advance reader copy) and I am very interested to see the finished product.  My copy has some of the words in the first chapter printed in red, I am interested to see if the finished product has that also.  It also has some beautiful graphics on the bottom corner of each page.  I love books and the incorporation of different elements in the finished bound product is interesting and enticing for me as a reader.

Rating:

Title: Low Red Moon

Author: Ivy Devlin

Format: Hardbound

Page Nos.: 256

ISBN: 978-1599905105

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Release Date: September 14, 2010

Available for purchase: Bloomsbury, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble

Reviewer: Jessica

**I received a copy of this book from the publisher but was not required to provide a review and it did not impact my review in any way.

I am very sorry to report that author Jennifer Rardin unexpectedly passed away last week.  I discovered her books just last month and have a review written to post next month. You can read more about Jennifer or to donate to a charity on her behalf here.

Maggie Stiefvator has released the cover for her third book in her Shiver series, Forever. It looks just as amazing as the first two books but I am interested to see what color i it is, whether it is red or brown.

Welcoming the Fall Giveaway has started, running Sept. 22nd through Sept. 29th, there are 58 blogs taking part so check them out.

Liz Carlyle is over at The Season of Romance, talking about her favorite charity, Cat Angels Charity. Being a cat owner myself I understand her desire to help them and encourage you to donate to her cause.

Ellen Keener, author of Blood Moon, is at Love Romance Passion talking about how every author should have an idea journal.  As a blogger I also carry around an idea journal, check out why she suggests you carry one around here.

Interviews:

Kat Martin, author of The Bride’s Necklace, at Romantic Crush Junkies.

Kirsten Miller, author of The Eternal Ones, and Jordan Deen,author of The Crescent, at The Bookshelf Sophisticate.

Loretta Chase, author of Last Night’s Scandal, at The Story Siren.

Kathryne Kennedy, author of The Fire Lord’s Lover, at Borders.

Tiffany Clare, author of The Surrender of a Lady, at Romance Dish and The Season Blog.

Abra Ebner, author of The Knight Angels Series, at The Bookshelf Sophisticate.

Jessica Verde, author of The Haunted, at Mundie Moms.

J. Marie Croft, author of Mr. Darcy Takes the Plunge, at Austen Authors.

Shelley Munro, author of The Spurned Viscountess, at Risky Regencies.

Christine Johnson, author of Claire de Lune, at La Femme Readers.

Sarah Parr, author of His for the Taking, at Unusual Historicals.

Elizabeth Hoyt, author of Wicked Intentions, at Once Upon a Chapter.

Virginia Kantra, author of Immortal Sea, at The Lovestruck Novice.

Jill Shalvis, author of Simply Irresistible, at Book Hounds.

Miranda Neville, author of The Dangerous Viscount, at Romantic Crush Junkies.

Jeannie Lin, author of Butterfly Swords, at Romance Divas.

Carolyn Crane, author of Mind Games, at Smexy Books.

Louisa Edwards, author of Just One Taste, at Plotmonkeys.

Courtney Milan, author of Trial by Desire, at Romantic Crush Junkies.

Giveaways:

Emily’s Reading Room is giving away two books by Natalie Standiford, contest ends Oct. 6th.

Forever Young Adult is having a killer giveaway courtesy of ABC Family, check it out as the contest ends Oct. 1st.

Dear Author is having a great giveaway courtesy of Pocket Books and is giving away a Kobo Reader here.

Lovin’ & Livin’ Life Reviews is giving away Jennifer Esetp’s Venom, contest ends Oct. 5th.

Martha’s Bookshelf is giving away Joanne Kennedy’s One Fine Cowboy, contest ends Oct. 8th and Amelia Grey’s Never a Bride, contest ends Oct. 11th, and three copies of James Patterson’s The Postcard Killers in audio format, contest ends Oct. 15th.

Dark Faerie Tales is giving away Andrea Cremer’s Nightshade, contest ends Oct. 16th, Jackie Morse Kessler’s Hunger, contest ends Oct. 16th and Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl’s Beautiful Darkness, contest ends Oct. 9th.

Austen Authors is having a great giveaway for their final week of launching celebration, the contest ends Oct. 5th.

Book Hounds is giving away James Patterson’s The Post Card Killers audio book, contest ends Oct. 11th and Annie Solomon’s Two Lethal Lies, contest ends Oct. 13th.

The Story Siren has posted about an amazing giveaway from Lauren Bjorkman, she is giving away two gift certificates and 25 signed novels, the contest ends Oct. 15th.

La Femme Readers is giving away Lauren Baratz-Logsted’s The Twin’s Daughter, contest ends Oct. 5th.

Julie Has Writer’s Blog is giving away a copy of Joanne Rendell’s Out of the Shadows, contest ends Oct. 5th.

Literary Escapism is giving away a copy of Becca Fitzpatrick’s Hush, Hush, contest ends Oct. 5th.

La Femme Readers is giving away Becca Fitzpatrick’s second book in the series Crescendo and a beautiful necklace, contest ends Oct. 11th.

Book Hounds has posted about the Kate Spade purse giveaway Gwen Cready, author of Aching for Always, is having contest ends Oct. 5th.

Tales of Whimsy is giving away Diane Daniels’ Over the Moon, contest ends Oct. 29th.

The Bookologist is giving away two HarperTeen prize packs, contest ends December 1st.

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Book Hounds has posted the line up for author appearances at the Orange County Children’s Book Festival, if you are in the area make sure you stop by, makes me wish I could attend.

21 Pages has posted about the First Annual Teen Reads Awards, congratulations to all the winners including Rick Riordian’s Percy Jackson as the best hero.

Mundie Moms has posted that The Dark Divine’s movie rights have been purchased.

Historical Romance UK has posted about the Regency Promenade that occurs in Bath at the beginning of the Jane Austen Festival.  She has included photos and I find myself trying to justify flying to Bath for next year’s festival, it looks fabulous!

Marilyn Brant, in celebration of the release of her new novel Friday Mornings at Nine is offering According to Jane free for a short time, it is available on just about any format so make sure you check it out at Kindle, Apple, Sony,or B&N.

Katharine Ashe, author of Swept Away By a Kiss, is offering a free novel The Ghost of Gwynedd Castle at her website here.

Elizabeth Boyle, author of Mad About the Duke, has posted her new Book Trailer created by none other than her 11 year old son, you can read the entire story about the creation of the trailer here.

I am pleased to welcome author Kiki Howell to NovelReaction.com.

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Ever since she was young, Kiki Howell has loved to listen to a well-woven tale with real characters, inspired plots,and delightful resolutions. Kiki could spend hours lost in a book, and soon she knew that creating lives, loves, and losses with just words had to be the greatest thing that she could do. To that end, she pursued her study of literature and writing, earning a bachelor’s degree in English. She then followed in a Master’s program in Creative Writing.

“After a long break having my boys, I finally just had to write again. And, as soon as I gave the stories the space, they entered it. It’s both awesome and humbling to find the words in my mind become characters on a page and create their lives.”

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The Angel and Devil of Creating a Paranormal World

World building is one of my favorite activities as an author, as well as one that causes some stress for me.  Inspiration comes to me from different places.  Sometimes I am reading a research book on something like Wicca and a spell starts my imagination.  I let my mind spin the spell into one where a witch with could do the unimaginable.  Or, I watch a movie or read a book, and in my mind I see the paranormal creature differently.  And thus, a story comes to me like a whirlwind, one with how I see such a creature.  I have even had the occurrence walking somewhere where I just see something that could have happened there. In that case, I have a wonderful setting right in front of me to describe. So, where does the anxiety and stress of it all come in?

Well, I seem to also have this voice inside my head, like the proverbial angel and demon on my shoulders, that whispers to me that no one will ever believe or buy into my story.  Seems crazy when I am writing about the unbelievable, a world where maybe vampires kill humans to live and witches can produce an energy ball of light for protection.  My angel, I guess, then fights back making that very point.  Still, that little devil continues on that no one will want to read it. You know, I write fantasy to get away from the insanity of real life sometimes only to be met with my own craziness. LOL

Never fear, the angel wins though.  I begin to let go and create.  You would think that devil would just give up.

When I create my world, I always start with the characters. I have to not only decide what they are going to be, like a witch (my favorite) or a vampire (love to mix these two) or a shifter, etc. But, it doesn’t stop there. There are a lot of decisions in what abilities the characters have. How far I let my brain go here depends upon that evil red dude with horns on my shoulder again.  Once I silence him again, I have to decide what other characters they will be assisted by or have to battle against and what their powers will be. The trick here is always to create a villain who seem like he or she is more powerful, and then find a fantasy loophole in which the main hero or heroine can defeat them.

Of course, being I write paranormal romance, I have to decide who that main character is going to fall in love with, and what complications their powers may be to their union.  One may think that with supernatural powers life would be easier, but I like to complicate life with them.  Of course, in the physical relations, there are always perks found their special abilities, if you know what I mean! LOL I get a bit devilish here on my own, and silence completely the devil on my shoulder that questions my abilities. I suppose at this point which voice in my head was the devil and which was the angel could be debated. All in the perspective J

Once the characters are established, I create finally the actual physical world with the setting, the time, etc and how all of these things impact the characters.  Sometimes my family asks me what I am doing sitting in front of my computer staring off into space, but I am either taking a break or creating my next story.  Important work is accomplished staring at nothing.

Angel and Devil aside, I have tried to write stories that are not paranormal, but I find it creeping back in.  In fact, I recently finished a non-paranormal story, and had to laugh when my character ended up an avid reader of paranormal erotic romance, and many references were made to it.  When I got the inspiration for my latest novel, The Sorcerer’s Songs, in a very unique place, a song my husband wrote, I literally sat back and first thought of what type of magic would go along with being a singer/songwriter.  I didn’t think it was a stretch to make the hero a sorcerer because often listening to my husband sing the songs he writes, something rather surreal surrounds me.  I started research in the psychology and music, and found that I was right.  Often ‘magical’ things happen to a person while they are listening to a song. Most of what I wrote that was paranormal in that story as far as the songs were concerned were not much of a stretch. I actually was so inspired with this story that the Angel and Devil didn’t even show up. I ended up taking my husband’s CD, called Weathervanes, and played with the songs until I had a plot where my Sorcerer was writing the songs based on what was happening to him in the story. I truly grateful to my husband in allowing me the freedom to create with his creations.

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Thank you so much for stopping byKiki!  Kiki offers several free reads located here and her novels are available for purchase here.  You can read my review of her book The Sorcerer’s Song here.

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Why Ratings?
It is true you can't judge a book by its cover, you also can't judge a book's graphic content by its cover. NovelReaction's goal is to provide readers with a graphic content so they can make an informed decision regarding the books they want to read. (Also, to have a great place for people to discuss books.) So sit back, pull up a beverage, and read on!
Ratings*

1 = kissing
2 = kissing, some fondling
3 = descriptive stripping but no sex
4 = sex scene but not descriptive in details
5 = full descriptive sex scene

*I am rating a specific book by an author, not the author's style. If I am aware an author writes a specific way, I will let you know.

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