Thursday, September 8, 2011

Author Drop In...featuring Cinda Williams Chima



I am so excited to have one of my favorite authors on the blog today!  Extreme Reader Book Reviews extends a warm welcome to Cinda Williams Chima!  She is the author of the bestselling YA fantasy series:  The Heir Chronicles (The Warrior Heir, The Wizard Heir, and The Dragon Heir) and the bestselling Seven Realms Series (The Demon King, The Exiled Queen, and The Gray Wolf Throne.... which just released on August 30th!) If you love fantasy you will love Cinda Williams Chima's books!  I am honored to be able to share this incredible post written by Cinda.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.  If you haven't read her series, then you MUST check them out! 

 How to Get an Author to Come to Your Town
by Cinda Williams Chima

I often receive emails, comments and messages from readers asking why I don’t come to their town for an author visit. This especially happens after I post the itinerary for an upcoming tour or I list an event on my blog or Facebook. No matter where I’m going, it seems the people who want to see me are somewhere else.

“Why aren’t you coming to my town?” they ask.

The truth is--I’d LOVE to come to your town—really, I would. I love to meet readers. But even an author who is lucky enough to be sent on tour doesn’t generally get to decide where she goes.

The publisher makes those decisions.  My publicist will usually ask if I have any suggestions. If I’ve been hearing a lot from, say, Denver readers, I will mention it. Last time, I actually got on my Amazon author page and looked to see where my books were selling the most.

The publisher will also look at the size of the market, what book sales are like there, transportation costs, etc.

Beyond that, bookstores fill out request forms for authors they would like to host. Publicists quickly get to know which bookstores, libraries, and schools host awesome events that bring a great turnout. You will see certain bookstores hosting one event after another—because they’re so good at it.

My tours have been ten days long, meaning 8 or 10 cities. Plus some weekend gigs during the weeks surrounding the release. For efficiency and cost reasons, my tours usually focus on one region of the country. We try to switch around year to year.

Finally, if I’m aware of an event that would be the perfect place to showcase my book, I will ask my publisher to consider sending me. Sometimes my travel is sponsored by the bookfest/conference itself. For example, this year I’m going to Dragon*Con, The World Fantasy Con, and several bookfests, including Books by the Banks in Cincinnati, The Buckeye Bookfair, in Wooster, OH, and the Spartanburg Teen Reading Festival in South Carolina. Cons and bookfests are a great place for readers to meet many authors at once. And it’s a great place for an author to introduce her books to potential readers.

Is there anything you can do to make it more likely an author will come to your town? Well, first, move to a major market. Sorry, but it’s true. Publicists want the most bang for their buck, so they will send authors where the most people are. If you don’t live in a large town, maybe there’s one within driving distance.  

Tell the author you would love to see her, of course. Also let her know if you know of an awesome venue in your town, such as a bookfest or a great bookstore. Offer to make a pitch/introduction. It often means more coming from a reader than from an author.

Speaking of, support your local bookstores. If they close their doors, there’s no venue to host an author appearance. Get to know bookstore owners, librarians, and teachers. Join your community library’s teen board. Ask if they ever host author visits. Tell them you would like to see your favorite author in person. If an in-person visit isn’t possible, perhaps a Skype visit can be arranged.

Many authors are willing to do school visits. Generally, the school pays a stipend and travel expenses. Often schools join forces to reduce the cost. Even a small market can snag an author visit if it’s in conjunction with a paid school visit. I’ve visited very small towns in southern Ohio and rural Illinois where librarians and teachers ganged up together and hosted me. Often librarians and teachers can access grant money to pay for author visits. Remember--one person on a mission can be very powerful. I have had visits happen because of one determined teen. 

You can find out more about scheduling events with me on my website here. http://cindachima.com/Visit/Visit.htm

What if your favorite author comes to your town? Do everything you can to get the word out. Encourage your friends to go, if they like to read. Attend the event yourself. Support the venue (and the author) by buying books. If the author has a great experience in your town, she will be eager to return. And it’s likely that publisher will send other authors your way, too. For example, I’m returning to Oceanside, CA this fall because I had a great experience there two years ago.

Cinda Williams Chima has authored two best-selling fantasy series: The Heir Chronicles (The Warrior Heir, The Wizard Heir, The Dragon Heir) with two books forthcoming; and the Seven Realms series (The Demon King, The Exiled Queen, and the newly-released The Gray Wolf Throne) with more forthcoming. You can find information about her tour for The Gray Wolf Throne and other upcoming events here http://cindachima.com/Events/events.htm.

More information and excerpts from each book are available on her website, www.cindachima.com. Help for writers can be found under Resources/Tips for Writers, including a document called, “Getting Started in Writing for Teens.”

Chima blogs at http://cindachima.blogspot.com/, where you’ll find rants, posts on the craft of writing, and news. Visit her Seven Realms http://www.facebook.com/Seven.Realms and Heir Chronicles http://www.facebook.com/Heir.Chronicles pages on Facebook.

Thanks again to Cinda for taking the time to write such a great post for us! 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Blog Tour Stop: Everblue by Brenda Pandos

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Everblue
(Mer Tales, #1)
Written by Brenda Pandos
Published by Obsidian Mountain Publishing
Released July 30, 2011

Everblue (Mer Tales, #1) Summary from Goodreads:
"Best friends share everything with each other. Or do they? Seventeen-year-old Ashlyn Frances Lanski is tired of her boring, single life. Spending time with her best friend Tatiana, dreaming about kissing Tatiana's twin brother Fin, and swimming competitively are her only sanctuary. The girls plan to leave their drab lakeside town far behind for college. But when Tatchi fails to return home after a family emergency, and no one knows where the family has gone, Ash chooses to do something drastic to find them.

Ashlyn is about to discover what she’d thought to be true her whole life, wasn’t, and the truth, too fantastical to imagine. Secrets lurk beneath the deep blue waters of Lake Tahoe, secrets that will change Ashlyn's life forever.
"


My Thoughts:
I will say up front that I am a HUGE fan of all of Brenda's work and my expectations were high going into this book.  Needless to say, I was not disappointed!  Recently there have been quite a few mermaid themed YA books released, but Everblue tops the charts! The story was absolutely captivating!  The characters were so engaging and well developed.  Brenda consistently does a great job creating characters that you can connect with and love (especially the guys!- Go Brenda!)  Speaking of that.... my favorite character by far was Fin.  He was absolutely adorable!    He is the twin brother of Ash's best friend Tatchi and also her secret crush.  Unfortunately, she doesn't know he harbors those same feelings for her.  Under normal circumstances acting upon their feelings wouldn't be a big deal, but Fin and Tatchi's family is far from normal and they are hiding a secret that Ash would never imagine!  They are from different worlds but the pull they feel for each other will force Fin to make difficult choices where Ash is concerned.  Choices that could have far reaching consequences.  I also liked Ash's character.  She was the 'all american' high school student- smart, nice, and captain of the swim team (hello... perfect match for Fin!).  She also shows tremendous loyalty to her friends.  Once she realizes that Tatchi and Fin have disappeared, she stops at nothing to find them.  The story also introduced us to other characters that I enjoyed.  Tatchi was awesome!  I loved her strong will and readiness to go against the grain to choose her own path in place of one being chosen for her by the Mer and their politics.


Brenda also did an incredible job creating the worlds both above and below the ground.  Her attention to detail enables the reader to form vivid images of the settings as they read and that really helps draw you into the story.  The Mer's world (Natatoria) was so mystical and majestic.  It's beauty radiated off the pages.  I feel that the story perfectly combines typical teen angst with the fantasy mermaid/merman portion.  The ending was also good and it left me very eager to get my hands on the next installment in the Mer Tales series!  I throughly enjoyed reading this and I am so proud to be able to call Brenda Pandos a friend!  Make sure to check out the rest of the tour stops and go out and get this book.  You won't be disappointed!



Tuesday, August 23, 2011

OK.... So My Comeback Was Delayed!!


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Well I had all intentions of getting my blog back on track a few weeks back but unfortunately that didn't happen!  I promise I am coming back- I actually have a review of an amazing book posting tomorrow!!!  I have, however, hit another snag.  Man, I can't catch a break!  My MacBook (which I work on my blog with) was given to me by the school that I have been teaching at and I had to move to another school this school year and they don't provide teachers with laptops there :(  I was hoping to hold on to it for awhile since the start of the school year is always hectic- especially this one- but I got the call today that I have to return it on Monday.  I am totally bummed!  My husband has a desktop PC but I am a Mac girl 100% and I have a very hard time navigating and creating blog posts like I am used to on the PC.  I also have to fight my hubby for a spot in front of the computer!  I am still going to get the blog going again- but I can't promise the posts will look perfect!!  Anyway... thanks for your patience and for sticking with me!  Please stop by tomorrow and check out my stop on the Blog Tour for Brenda Pandos' new book (and new series!) Everblue!

Monday, August 8, 2011

I'm Back!!! I Hope You Are Still There!!!

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Hi guys!
I know I have been seriously MIA for quite awhile, but I decided to take a much needed break from all things blog/book/review and recharge my batteries!  I have really enjoyed my summer but now it is time to get the blog back on track!  I also want to apologize to anyone that may have tried to contact me via email at my yahoo address.  My account got hacked and I have been locked out of it until this week.  I am changing my contact email to extremereaderbookreviews@gmail.com and plan on closing my yahoo account at some point.  I have so much to catch up on and I hope that my wonderful followers are still hanging around!  I plan on making up my absence with an EPIC contest!  You seriously do not want to miss this one!  I plan on having it up by the end of the week.  I also have some reviews to post and a really cool video from a cast member from The Nine Lives of Chloe King answering a question I posed.  So stay tuned!  I am sooo glad to be back and I really missed all of my bloggie buddies!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Nine Lives Of Chloe King + Secret Gamebox Item!


Did you watch the premiere of The Nine Lives Of Chloe King last night?  If you didn't, then you missed out!  It was awesome!!  I am so excited to see what happens to Chloe next week.  I had so much fun in the weeks leading up to the premiere playing the game The Nine Paths To Chloe King.  When we completed the Ninth Path on Monday, I wondered why there was still one item in my gamebox that we never used.  It was a copy of Romeo and Juliet.  I did not have to wonder long because the Mai sent me an email saying that there was an item in the box whose meaning I did not know yet and that I needed to watch the premiere to decipher it's meaning.  Once I figure out the item's meaning and contact the Mai they will send me a clip of sneak peek footage of what's to come for Chloe!!  So after watching the premiere, I know the book's significance....  Chloe meets a totally hot guy named Brian and they are mutually interested in each other.  Unfortunately when Chloe discovers that she is Mai, she also learns that Mai and humans cannot be together.  Something as simple as a kiss between a Mai and human can have deadly consequences (Chloe learns this the hard way in the premiere).  So the copy of Romeo and Juliet represents Chloe and Brian's starcrossed relationship (If they even get to have one!).
http://www.theninelivesofchloeking.com/wp-content/uploads/brian.jpgRomeo and Juliet
Make sure to check back soon for the sneak peek footage of what's in store for Chloe.  I will post it as soon as I get it!  I would also like to thank ABC Family for inviting me to participate in this amazing game.  I had so much fun! 

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Nine Paths To Chloe King ~ Ninth Path!


Today we received instructions on our final path (Path 9) in the game The Nine Paths To Chloe King hosted by ABC Family.  I can't believe the game is coming to an end already.  It was so much fun!  It really has me excited about watching The Nine Lives Of Chloe King, which happens to premiere tomorrow night (June 14 @ 8/9c on ABC Family).  
The Nine Paths to Chloe King Game - ABC FamilyFor Path Nine, we had to figure out the password needed in order to enter the Rezza Capital website.  We had to use the Book of Mai to translate the symbols.  The symbols translated in this password: YELTIHW.  I entered the password at RezzaCapital.com and a list of email address under the heading "The Hunted" appeared.  We had to find Chloe's email address and send her the message "TRUST NO ONE!".  That sounds easy right?!  Well, unfortunately the email address were not in English and I had to do a bit of translating.  I decided to use Google Translate and I copied and pasted all of the addresses into it using Ukrainian to English.  Chloe's popped right up and I promptly sent her the message.  I hope that I did it right!  The email we received also said that the first to accomplish the task would be rewarded, but unfortunately I was at work and couldn't check my MaiPad for emails until 3:45pm and other Circle members had already beat me to it!  Oh well!!  I am waiting to hear back from the Mai for confirmation that I completed the Ninth Path correctly.  If I receive any new information I will pass it on to you!  If you haven't claimed your Mai Protection charm yet, make sure you head over to the game site ( abcfamily.com/ninepaths ) and enter the password : DECEPTION.  Thanks for following along with me during the game.  I hope that you had as much fun as I did!!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Update: The Nine Paths To Chloe King Game: Paths 4,5,6,7 & 8


First, I would like to apologize for my absence around the blog lately.  The end of the school year is my absolute busiest time and I have been really struggling to get anything done outside of my mountain of paperwork!  However, I have made time to play this game (my posts are a different story!).  If you haven't started playing yet, you are really missing out.  The Nine Paths To Chloe King is in full swing.  We just completed the 8th Path today- but don't worry- you can still join in the fun!  The latest two challenges give you passwords that give you access to cool game related goodies!  So now I am going to break down the Paths I haven't posted about yet....


Path Four:
For this Path we were asked to remove the baby bib from the gamebox and look it over carefully.  Upon inspection I noticed the Mai symbol for TRUST~

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 Along with the symbol, there was a website www.kiddiebibs.com.  When you went to that site it asked for a vendor code and after typing in TRUST you were directed to a video showing Chloe running from someone who doesn't seem to have the best of intentions.  If you want to see the video for yourself, just type head over to the site using the link above and type in the code : TRUST.

Path Five:
The Fifth Path had the Circle hitting Twitter to stop 'the deceiver'.
The Prophecy warns, "The Fifth Path will shine light on a deceiver.  The Circle must keep an eye on this imposter and slow his chase by creating many false roads away from the one."
The Mai told us that the deceiver Batko614 was on Twitter searching for information about Chloe.  We were instructed to lead Batko614 on a trail of lies and lead him away from The Uniter.  The Circle was successful and we were rewarded with a hidden video (found by searching "Chloe's Crush" on Google) revealing a glimpse into Chloe's life.  Check it out!



The Sixth Path:
The journey down the Sixth Path took us to The Uniter's hometown of San Franciso.  The Clue for this path came from the Fedex guy!  The package the Circle received contained a t-shirt bearing the Mai symbol for DANGER, along with a note.  The note told us:
"The enclosed garment will lead you down the Sixth Path. You must examine it very closely to hear what you need to hear. Try to remember every detail you discover along this Path.
We need you to report what you hear back to the Mai via Email in order to receive the last challenge of this dangerous Path."
After looking over the shirt I noticed a phone number was printed on the inside at the bottom (1-877-789-1390) and an extension number was printed on the inside near the collar (x.99).  So I called the number and after a long pause (I thought I had dialed the wrong number!) a voice recording started.  I listened to it and then emailed our Mai contact for further instructions.  I was told to post a voice recording or transcript of the message here for my followers.  There is a hidden password within the message that will release a Mai t-shirt for you!  The password is already out, so I will go ahead and tell you that you need to go to the game's website (www.abcfamily.com/ninepaths) and type the word 'THREAT'  into the code box in order to claim your Mai shirt!  Here is a transcript of the voice message.
"We believe the Uniter is here, in San Francisco. If this girl is, in fact, The Uniter, remember she has nine lives. You must eliminate this threat. One word of caution, it has come to our attention that a group called The Circle is helping the Mai. Do not allow them to get in your way. I repeat: Do not allow The Circle to get in your way. Eliminate the threat."
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"FOE"
The Seventh Path:
This Path's clue came from the Fedex guy.  The Circle received a package containing a business card and a ballpoint pen.  Both items featured Rezza Capital.
The Prophecy tells us, "By the end of the Seventh Path the Circle will be prepared to see the face of The Uniter's greatest Foe."
When we received our MaiPads, they contained a locked media folder.  I have been so curious as to what's in that folder!!  Well, the wait is now over!  The emailed instructions we received told us that we could unlock our media folder, but we first needed the KEY.  The business card we received fit together perfectly with the envelope from the Ukranian Dept. for Adoption and Protection of Rights of the Child that came in my gamebox.  When you put the two items together they spelled out the word : HUNTER.  Yeah!!  That was the key I needed!  I went to the folder and unlocked it and inside was a video showing us the face of Chloe's greatest Foe.  Have a look!


So now we know who Chloe's greatest foe is.... Whitley Rezza!

Path Eight:
And today we received the clues for Path Eight (I can't believe we are almost done!).  It is obvious that The Uniter is being hunted and is in extreme danger and as her protector- we are too!  So the Mai sent us Protection charms.  We were asked to keep it close during the last two remaining paths.  
As foretold by the Prophecy, "The Eighth Path reveals a great and dangerous Foe who sets many traps as he hunts his target.  Only the Circle of Strangers can follow this deceptive path and uncover the truth."
Then we were told that there had been a breach in the Mai security system and our addresses may have fallen into the wrong hands.  We were asked to contact them immediately if any person or any organization attempts to communicate with us about The Uniter.  Well don't you know.... that's exactly what happened!  We received a postcard with Coit Tower in San Francisco on the front and a pretty nasty message on the back.  Check it out:

 I knew there had to be more to this clue, so I decided to try the signature as a webpage and.... I was right!  If you type in batko.me then you get to view this picture-

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 It looks like a surveillance picture to me!  Not good!


*Now on to the goodies!!  If you would like to claim a Mai Protection Charm for yourself, just type in the password ' DECEPTION' into the Enter Code Box on the game's website.  For the official rules/details please check the game website as well.  Good Luck!