seeksadventure: (Default)
Because of my kind prompting, Sarah has blogged about her top three favorite "old school" young adult series from her youth: Young Adult: Old School by Sarah Canfield. In response, I am doing my top three five (I couldn't stop at three) beloved young adult authors who are currently publishing books.

Tamora Pierce

Tamora Pierce is an author of young adult swords and sorcery fantasy absolutely full of amazing, smart, funny, creative, angry, determined, strong, gentle, fabulous female characters. (I could go on with the list of descriptors, but you get what I'm saying.) I've been reading her since I was young, starting with her Song of the Lioness quartet, but my absolute favorite of all her series is the Protector of the Small quartet.

The quartet follows the first known girl trying for her shield in more than a century, Kel, who has no magic (unlike the heroes of most of the other series), but is determined to win her shield and become a knight. Kel is amazing. She is protective and smart and determined, she works hard physically and mentally, she wants things to be fair, she pushes for change in a society that is often unjust -- she is my hero. I love Kel so, so much, and of all the stories Tammy Pierce has told that I have enjoyed (and there have been a lot), Kel's story is my absolute favorite.

Karen Healey

Karen Healey is an author of young adult novels and short stories in different genres. Her latest, When We Wake is a sci-fi Sleeping Beauty story, and it is fantastic, as is the forthcoming sequel, While We Run, but my absolute favorite of her books is The Shattering.

If you want to find out who murdered your brother, come with me.

Summerton is perfect. A town in the isolated and stunning West Coast region of New Zealand, it is blessed with gorgeous weather and hordes of tourists.

But Keri is immune to her hometown’s charms. Her older brother has just killed himself, without warning or explanation, and left Keri shattered with grief and too many unanswered questions. So when her childhood friend Janna and tourist Sione offer answers, Keri is keen to listen.

Janna and Sione’s own older brothers died in suspicious circumstances. Sunny Summerton has dark secrets. And as they investigate, the answers to their questions become more bizarre. Shattering the secrecy of Summerton may open the trio to dangers they never knew were possible.

Can they save Summerton’s next victim? Or will they become victims themselves?

Keri, one of the main characters of The Shattering, is the character of my heart. I love Keri and all that she is, obsessive and anxious and athletic and driven and just all over fantastic. It's a great story, filled with memorable and amazing characters, and I really, really love it. All of Karen's work is terrific, but this one is my favorite. I love the diversity of Karen's characters, and I strongly relate to Keri.

(Karen and I are friends, we're part of the same writing group, and The Shattering is dedicated to me, but I swear, I wouldn't list her in my top three young adult authors if I didn't absolutely love her work.)

Julie Anne Peters

Julie Anne Peters is the author of young adult contemporary novels mostly with QUILTBAG characters and stories. My favorite is Keeping You a Secret, but her characters always capture my heart. I love reading about character with whom I can relate, characters who are like my friends and me in different ways.

First time I saw her was in the mirror on my locker door. I'd kicked my swim gear onto the bottom shelf and was reaching to the top for my calc book when she opened her locker across the hall. She had a streaked blond ponytail dangling out the back of her baseball cap.... We slammed our lockers in unison and turned. Her eyes met mine. "Hi," she said, smiling. My stomach fluttered. "Hi," I answered automatically. She was new. Had to be. I would've noticed her. She sauntered away, but not before I caught a glimpse of her T-shirt. It said: IMRU? Am I what?

Love the characters and the romance in Keeping You a Secret so much.

Mayra Lazara Dole

Mayra Lazara Dole is the author of Latino/Hispanic/Mexican young adult and children's novels. My favorite is Down to the Bone.

What if you don't follow the rules and it radically alters the course of your life?

What if you get kicked out of the house and lose all your friends and everyone you love?

Will you turn the corner into a world filled with unusual friends and create a new kind of family or self-destruct?

Down to the Bone has so many things I love: queer characters, characters of color, created family, snarky girls, and romance I can relate to. It does have some biphobia and transphobia that I wish wasn't there, but I still love the story and reread it often and give it as gifts to my friends.

Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Jennifer Lynn Barnes is the author of young adult novels in a number of genres, but my favorites are her Raised by Wolves series about a human girl raised by werewolves. Raised by Wolves, Trial by Fire, and Taken by Storm are some of my favorite werewolf stories, ever, and I wish there was more to this series. Pack politics, awesome characters, werewolves who are fantastic and heartbreaking and wonderful -- such a great set of books.

Adopted by the Alpha of a werewolf pack after a rogue wolf brutally killed her parents right before her eyes, fifteen-year-old Bryn knows only pack life, and the rigid social hierarchy that controls it. That doesn't mean that she's averse to breaking a rule or two.

I also really enjoy her The Squad series (Perfect Cover and Killer Spirit), a set of books about cheerleader spies that is full of awesome, fun adventures. (I like to call it D.E.B.S. plus cheerleading, but sadly minus the awesome queer characters.)

Bayport High operates like any other high school - jocks at the top, outsiders at the bottom, and everyone else in between. Bayport's varsity cheer squad is made up of the hottest of the hot. But this A-list is dangerous in more ways than one. The Squad is actually a cover for the most highly trained group of underage government operatives the United States has ever assembled.

So there you have it, five young adult authors whose stories I love.
seeksadventure: (Sons of Anarchy space not just air)
For your gift-giving pleasure, I recommend the following items and/or small businesses, in no particular order.

+ The Shattering by Karen Healey

Blurb: Seventeen-year-old Keri likes to plan for every possibility. She knows what to do if you break an arm, or get caught in an earthquake or fire. But she wasn't prepared for her brother's suicide, and his death has left her shattered with grief. When her childhood friend Janna tells her it was murder, not suicide, Keri wants to believe her. After all, Janna's brother died under similar circumstances years ago, and Janna insists a visiting tourist, Sione, who also lost a brother to apparent suicide that year, has helped her find some answers.

As the three dig deeper, disturbing facts begin to pile up: one boy killed every year; all older brothers; all had spent New Year's Eve in the idyllic town of Summerton. But when their search for the serial killer takes an unexpected turn, suspicion is cast on those they trust the most.

As secrets shatter around them, can they save the next victim? Or will they become victims themselves?

As I've said before, The Shattering is the book of my heart. I think it would make an excellent gift, particularly for those who like supernatural adventures and friendships and amazing flawed characters and chosen families.

+ Raised By Wolves and Trial By Fire by Jennifer Lynn Barnes.

Blurb (for Raised By Wolves, to avoid later spoilers): At the age of four, Bryn watched a rogue werewolf brutally murder her parents. Alone in the world, she was rescued and taken in by the mysterious Callum, the alpha of his werewolf pack. Now fifteen, Bryn’s been raised as a human among werewolves, adhering to pack rule (mostly). Little fazes her.

But the pack’s been keeping a secret, and when Bryn goes exploring against Callum’s direct orders, she finds Chase, a newly turned teen Were locked in a cage. Terrifying memories of the attack on her mom and dad come flooding back. Bryn needs answers, and she needs Chase to get them. Suddenly, all allegiances to the pack no longer matter. It’s Bryn and Chase against the werewolf world, whatever the consequences.

These have been my favorite werewolf media of 2011, combining so many of my favorite things, werewolves and strong female characters and best friends who are badasses and, again, chosen families. Highly, highly recommend.

+ Leila by Elizabeth Reeve

Blurb: When college student Megan hits the library, she's looking for sources for a paper on Carmilla, an early vampire story. But in gorgeous librarian Leila, she finds much, much more. It's no surprise that Leila haunts Megan's dreams, but as her fantasies heat up, she begins to wonder -- is Leila really who she seems to be?

Sexy, charming, and fun, I love this lesbian vampire and human love story.

+ Lilo & Stitch

An alien lands on Kauai and goes from bad to good. Siblings being heartbreaking and sweet and delightful and the most adorable chosen family ever.

+ Fast Five

I actually recommend most of the series (The Fast and the Furious, Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, and Fast & Furious, at least), but this one is a delightful heist movie full of characters of color. I was surprised that this ended up being one of my favorite movies, but it was a grand adventure.

+ Three Cheep Chicks

Three friends of mine (one of whom is also my sister) make beautiful, affordable jewelry. I have a ton of pieces from them, but every time I see something new, I find more to love. Shiny, inexpensive, but quality bits and bobs are wonderful.

So what are some of your favorite things this year?

(NB: Links to Amazon are affiliate links. Karen and Eliza and the Three Cheep Chicks are all friends of mine, but I objectively love these things as well.)

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seeksadventure: (Default)
The other day, Karen Healey announced her second book, Summerton, which will be released September 2011 in the USA, Australia, and New Zealand.

That is a terribly long wait, because Summerton is amazing. It is the book of my heart and I plan to talk about it a lot, so you're prepared. Mostly I will wait until it is released, so as to not spoil it, but for now, take my word for it: Summerton is incredible and you should buy it as soon as you can.

Here is one of the reasons I love it: It is the first book I've seen professionally referenced as a supernatural adventure story, as you will see below. Since that is my favorite way to describe books like this, my heart grew ten sizes to see it used for the first time with Summerton, the book of my heart.


If you want to find out who murdered your brother, come with me.

Summerton is perfect. A town in the isolated and stunning West Coast region of New Zealand, it is blessed with gorgeous weather during the most crucial holiday period, a huge music festival every New Year’s Eve, and hordes of tourists, who helpfully pick up and go home, leaving a lot of money behind them without ever trying to move in themselves.

But Keri is immune to her hometown’s charms. Her older brother has just killed himself, without warning or explanation, and left Keri aching with his absence and too many questions. So when her childhood friend Janna and tourist Sione offer answers, Keri is keen to listen.

Janna and Sione’s own older brothers died in suspicious circumstances. Sunny Summerton has dark secrets. And as they investigate, the answers to their questions become more bizarre. Discovering the secrets of Summerton may open the trio to dangers they never knew were possible.

Can they save Summerton’s next victim? Or will they become victims themselves?

A young adult supernatural adventure, Summerton will be available in September 2011 from Allen and Unwin (Australia/New Zealand) and Little, Brown (USA).


Hellebore & Rue edited by JoSelle Vanderhooft and Catherine Lundoff. This is an anthology of stories about lesbians and magic, and the ebook will be released in October.

The editors recently released the Table of Contents and it looks like fun.

“Counterbalance” by Ruth Sorrell
“Trouble Arrived” by C.B. Calsing
“Personal Demons” by Jean Marie Ward
“The Windskimmer” by Connie Wilkins
“Sky Lit Bargains” by Kelly A. Harmon
“Gloam” by Quinn Smythwood
“Witches Have Cats” by Juliet Kemp
“D is for Delicious” by Steve Berman
“And Out of the Strong Came Forth Sweetness” by Lisa Nohealani Morton
“Bridges and Lullabies” by Rrain Prior
“Thin Spun” by Sunny Moraine
“A State of Panic” by Rachel Green

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seeksadventure: (Default)
I really miss chatting with [ profile] karenhealey, who is a fantastic friend but has had to take some time away from chatting and such on the internets for health reasons. She is smart and awesome and entertaining, so of course I miss talking to her more regularly.

Imagine my surprise tonight when, in the middle of typing a paragraph(1), an IM from Karen pops up with a link to this Wikipedia article on cervix dilation sequence.

Our brief exchange:

Karen: *shares link and response*
Karen: I was going to say, the hell are you coming to your computer to answer AIM during MAKEOUTS?
Carla: I like the internet and talking to you on AIM but NOT THAT MUCH I AM SO SORRY.

My friends, SO AWESOME.

I am going back to writing make-outs now. Writing make-outs to Meat Loaf even!(2)

(1) The paragraph in question, where I had to stop typing: I rose up and reached for him, one hand on his shoulder and the rise of muscle there, the other pressed flat against his stomach. Soft, downy reddish-blond hair started just ben

(2) "The Monster is Loose" mostly. Why yes, these are werewolf make-outs, why do you ask?

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seeksadventure: (empire of dirt)
I am only briefly online, I'm really alternating between unpacking and organizing and writing, but I wanted to post about this incredible opportunity. I mentioned [ profile] help_haiti earlier, and now [ profile] karenhealey is offering a full or partial manuscript critique of any novel-length work (up to 150k).

Karen is an amazing critique partner. Her comments are always intelligent and useful, and frequently witty. I laugh a lot while reading her critiques, and that makes them even more helpful. A++ would have her review my writing again. (And frequently do!)
seeksadventure: (battering ram)
It is only just 6:30 p.m. and I am ready for bed. Partly because I'm still sick, but partly because it is dark enough to be midnight. I dislike this A LOT.

So I will give you something I enjoy instead. (Mainly, my friends are awesome.)

[ profile] karenhealey participated in the question meme.

Leave me a comment saying "Resistance is Futile."
• I'll respond by asking you five questions so I can satisfy my curiosity. (NB: until I get bored.)
• Update your journal with the answers to the questions.
• Include this explanation in the post and offer to ask other people questions.

She answered one of the questions she received like this:

5. If the world was devastated by a zombie apocalypse and you had to rebuild the population, who would you choose to repopulate the planet with?

Since we'd need a pool of 5000 survivors willing and able to procreate to even have a halfway shot at doing so, and I'm not one of the willing, I would nobly sacrifice myself to holding back the zombie hordes so that my best friend and her husband could make their way to Haven, the zombie-free zone. I think this would be best accomplished by diving into a pile of zombies from a cliff in slow motion, arms outstretched with a grenade in each fist, accompanied on the soundtrack by stirring and heroic strings.

But I'm willing to hear suggestions.

While requesting that she ask me questions, I said this:

I think I will make your best friend and her husband safe to make it to Haven by driving a motorcycle into the hordes. At some point, it will blow up, but not before I get to cut off a few heads.

All to Meat Loaf's "Bat Out of Hell" of course.

(We are talking about [ profile] revena and her husband, if you don't know.)

Needless to say, this went over amazingly well, because all three of us are awesome but also because we love Meat Loaf.

So with all that in mind, I will now answer the questions Karen asked.

Special zombie apocalypse edition!

1. What bladed weapon/s are you using for your beheading rampage?

This is a difficult question. I need something curved that has a handle which can be strapped to my forearm for when I need my hands to work the clutch and throttle but which also has a grip for when I need to be slicing up zombies.

Maybe an altered scythe? I will take suggestions.

2. What style of black leather are you wearing?

As below, I have most of this already. Black leather motorcycle boots (preferably steel toed for better head bashing as necessary) and a black motorcycle jacket with collar that can cover my neck. Probably I'd want to add some black leather chaps, but since this is a suicide mission, maybe not.

3. Under what circumstances do you acquire the motorcycle?

ALREADY HAVE ACQUIRED! Because I am JUST THAT AWESOME. In this case, I acquired it by having an awesome dad who builds trikes and then trades them for motorcycles and then sells the motorcycle to me because he knows I've always wanted a Honda Shadow.

4. Where do we have the montage?

ETA: Wow, I totally missed this one. Huh.

Someplace with cliffs and the ocean and the sun setting into the water. (Also, it would be nice to have a sound system already in place in order for me to blast my sacrificial music.)



(Or it is a Honda Shadow, 1100cc, and it is sexy as hell. Comfortable and big, it is a monster of metal and heat and it devours the road.)

So there you go! My awesome zombie apocalypse suicide mission!

If you want questions from me, see above. Feel free to ask me questions, too. Comments screened and anonymous commenting turned on.

Appropriate icon is appropriate!
seeksadventure: (Halloween baby werewolf)
Feed by Mira Grant has a cover. A delicious, slightly creepy cover. I am so looking forward to this book! I think graduation will involve me buying books to celebrate. And by that I mean, damn straight I'll be buying books to celebrate.

Sadly, I don't have a baby!zombie icon, so have a baby!werewolf instead.

Speaking of books coming out around graduation, I haven't lately mentioned how much I'm looking forward to buying Guardian of the Dead by [ profile] karenhealey.

ETA: Jukebox Bard is available from Verb Noire now!


While I'm editing this to add information, I should include: Things I have read online that I enjoyed and you should read them too!

"And Their Lips Rang with the Sun" by Amal El-Mohtar at Strange Horizons.

"Citizen in Childhood's Country" by Seanan McGuire at Book View Cafe.


One of the things I love about Roseanne is the Halloween group of episodes. I love Halloween. Obviously.
seeksadventure: (Ginger Snaps bitten)
Years ago, when I was still a young part-time bookseller(1), I picked up a book (on deep discount from the bargain books section) because it was about a female werewolf: Bitten by Kelley Armstrong. It was a quick read and I adored Elena and her world. (Flawed, but fantastic.) Since then, I've read most of Armstrong's books and am always extra excited when Elena's the POV character.

The tenth book of the Women of the Otherworld series is going to be about Elena again! Frostbitten.

Here's part of the blurb from Amazon:

There’s nothing the werewolf community dislikes more than calling attention to itself. So when a pair of rogue man-eaters begins hunting humans, it’s up to Elena and Clayton to track down the predators. But any illusions their task would be simple are quickly dispelled. For even in werewolf terms, there’s something very disturbing taking place in the dark Alaskan forests. A werewolf more wolf than human and more unnatural than supernatural is on the hunt—a creature whose origins seem to spring from ancient legends of the shape-shifting Wendigo.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, Clayton and Elena find themselves confronting painful ghosts from their pasts—and an issue neither of them is eager to discuss. For one of them has been chosen to become the new Pack leader, and as every wolf knows, there can be only one Alpha. They’ve always been equals in everything. Now, when their survival depends more than ever on perfect teamwork, will instinct allow one of them to lead…and the other to follow?

Elena! Alaska! Pack leader problems! Wendigo! Hunting werewolves! Man-eaters! This book has so many of my favorite things in it!

Best news yet? It's released TOMORROW! I don't even have to wait! I rarely buy books on release day anymore, but I think I'll make an exception for this one(2).

(1) Or possibly it was one of the books I bought the day of my interview, but either way, it was a long time ago and it was right around the time I started working at the bookstore.

(2) [ profile] tammypierce's books always get exceptions, and [ profile] karenhealey's will as well. In fact, my exceptions list is getting kind of unwieldy these days. I need to take a look at it.
seeksadventure: (AtRH Adam what have I become)
[ profile] karenhealey blogged about some books she purchased. I recognized one of the covers ( because I just read it) and started to leave a comment. Then - well, here you go.

I just read Vacations from Hell the other day because earlier this year I read Prom Nights from Hell and really enjoyed it.

So funny story. I started this comment and then went to check my Books Read lists to make sure I had the title and date read correct and apparently I have never read this, because I don't recognize any of the stories mentioned in the synopsis on Amazon, I'm pretty sure I would remember reading a short story by Stephenie Meyer, and I can't find it on any of my Books Read lists.

So basically, I imagined reading this book. And apparently it had totally different stories in it - or, at least not the Meyer story.

Oh, crazy brain, so freaky.

Yeah. I don't really have anything else to say to that. False memories and big blank spaces have been happening more frequently these days. Though big blank spaces doesn't really describe it well, because you'd think I would notice a big blank space, but no, most of the time I learn about these things because someone will tell me, Carla, don't you remember when we did this or talked about that, and I say, You're making shit up. To make things worse, I don't know if this is a part of the bipolar (you know, losing things in the mood swings) or something else. My bet is on something else.

I went in search of a quote while writing this part of it, and at least this time I remembered correctly.

"It must be a terrible thing not to be able to trust your own mind." from Fringe season one



I am not sure how I can go to the library multiple times in one week and still walk out with 30+ books each time. Mostly YA fiction. Mostly found after less than 10 minutes in the section. (Well, this time about half the books were werewolf books I requested online, but generally I find the books I want by browsing.) The librarians are starting to know me, and I only talk to them when I have trouble checking out a book (because I break electronic things frequently), so not even once every trip.

I miss getting to buy all the books I want, but I'll graduate soon enough and can start putting the books I liked (and that's most of them, let's be honest, even books I find problematic I frequently enjoy) into my personal library.
seeksadventure: (Michelle Rodriguez beautiful smile)
[ profile] karenhealey is going to participate in the Fourth Annual 48-Hour Book Challenge June 5-7. She will read YA books and blog about them for 48 hours. She is taking pledges now, and if you pledge, you can request a book for her to read and blog about.

Karen is really smart and clever and funny! And she has insightful, intelligent, and often hilarious things to say about the books she reads! And her blogging is super entertaining and informative! A++ would read again!

I don't yet know if I am going to be doing this, too, because I don't have my summer events schedule yet, but even if I do, I won't be nearly as hilarious as Karen.

If you decide to participate in the Fourth Annual 48-Hour Book Challenge, let me know. I will post a link at the very least and may do a bunch of sponsorships, too. We will see how the money situation works out.
seeksadventure: (AtRH Anna bad reputation)
I have committed poetry! For [ profile] karenhealey and [ profile] revena! Because I am on crack!

Elliptical Eclipse )
seeksadventure: (carved in ice)
In [ profile] linaelyn's journal itself, I found someone who could make me hungry with the descriptions of the food she's made, who makes homeschooling sound interesting and wonderful, who has at least one child who obsessively listens to Chumbawamba's "Tubthumping" which made me smile, who seems creative and friendly, a good parent, culturally aware, and a fantastic writer. I'm pleased that I had even this brief time to read about her life. It gave me hope, to see someone devoted to her family and yet still creative and involved with life and fandom and other adventures.

I'm not sure what I expected from the flist swap. It certainly wasn't to find someone with whom I had no friends or communities in common, but similar interests (and I don't actually mean livejournal interests), beliefs, and the same type of friends. I recognize the names of some of the people on her flist, and I not only wasn't lost, even in the fandom discussions, but I saw echoes of my own flist there, and topics I was interested in researching for myself. I found people to read and stories to write and beautiful icons and all sorts of treasures. I felt like a pirate, again, and an adventure seeker.

It was actually rather brilliant.


Has anyone seen Young Einstein? I'm talking to [ profile] kphoebe and when I told Jake where she was from, that's the first thing he thought about, followed by apples, and then Point Break. ("I'm not going to paddle to New Zealand.")


What is the best thing in the world? Helping someone get unstuck on a story. Well, it may not be the very best, but it certainly feels like it right this second, and I know it's comparable to other best feelings, at the very least. This is why I love writing, because it's not just the act itself that is so enjoyable, but helping other writers, as well.

And I am INSPIRATIONAL! IN CAPS! Which made me grin and be giddy, just so you know, [ profile] kphoebe.


Speaking about helping others, I'm not sure how many of you have [ profile] yuki_onna on your flist. She's doing a sort of fundraiser for moving expenses, with a percentage donated to tsunami relief funds, and is selling a serial novel, A Novel In Pieces. I've personally only read one short story by her, but it was an interesting vampire story, and her writing style is intriguing and, I think, heavily influenced by classical writing (in a good way, I know it can be a kiss of death to use that "heavily influenced" line in a review), and if you're so inclined, I wanted to provide a link so you can help. I may do it, if I can piece together the money.


Isn't it great the things that remind people of you? Kelly made me giggle when she said she was reminded of me and my love of carnage when the instructor at her training thing said "blood spray" (and, all right, that's not an inconceivable way to remember me, considering I do like to write bloody horror).

And then [ profile] lavenderjones made me happy and touched and teary when she said this:

A CHRISTMAS PICKLE!!! It was my first time seeing one, and my first time reading about one was recently in your story. I HAD to buy it! It is in a jar which is an ornament in itself, and then the pickle can sit in the jar, or on the tree alone. Every time I see it I'll be reminded of a woman with a talent for writing and the potential for greatness that most of us can only dream of.



Tonight MB, Blake, Jake, and I played pool and had dinner at the new El Torero's restaurant. Pool was fun, though we're all fairly horrid at the game. (Well, not horrid, but not pool sharks, definitely.) It was a nice, relaxing evening, and we all had a good time. I'm glad we're friends with MB and Blake, and glad that Jake and my friends finally get along. Maybe next time M'Lee will not have to work at an insane time (in fact, I think she's now been at work half an hour) and will be able to join us.

Bat, MB loves my scarf.

That reminds me, I still need to do a catch up post. Maybe tomorrow. I'm thinking about doing an information post, as well, and I know I should warn everyone that there will be many extra posts over the next week, as I try to write. My goal is 10,000 words a day, Sunday through Saturday, but I know that's ridiculous and will never happen. Still, no sense in not aiming high.

I also owe a number of people comments on stories, and fear not, that will come.

In fact, I need to go get to reading right now, before bed.

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