Saturday, August 20, 2011

Awesome Pre-Order News and Recent Reads

Less than two weeks until Blood Song is released in Australia and New Zealand! I got the most exciting news from Zoe Walton, my publisher, this week: pre-orders by bookshops (and I'm assuming online retailers?) have gone so well that they've sold out and are already reprinting! With the bookshop climate the way it is, I find this pretty amazing. Big thanks to all my early reviewers who undoubtedly contributed to this!

I have a stack of guest posts to do for, among others, Inside a Dog and The Nile, so I must keep this short.

But I will say that I read Silvermay by James Moloney last week and it's amazing. Aussie (yay!) fantasy (yay yay!!) and a beautiful world and characters. It reminded me a lot of Fire by Kristen Cashore. Best of all it's the first of a trilogy. There were audible gasps as I was reading--very twisty-turny! Gorgeous cover too. I love all the silvery-purple layers.

And I finished All I Ever Wanted by Vikki Wakefield on Tuesday. Which is Aussie (yay!) but contemporary. But it's got a big crime aspect, and AMAZING writing, and I loved every minute of it. I have to say I identified a lot with Mim and her rules. I had similar rules myself growing up, though I didn't live in as down-trodden, drug-filled suburb as she did. Nor did I grow up in a crime family! The best non-spec-fic book I have read this year.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

DOLLY Magazine: My first print review

Not only have I been blown away by the amazing reviews I've been receiving around the blogosphere for Blood Song this month, but I was also rendered speechless by my first print review this week, in DOLLY magazine. For those overseas, DOLLY is a magazine for teenage girls, much like Seventeen in the US.

I picked up my copy on Thursday and I was instantly transported back to 1998: DOLLY, waterberry Australis and clinkers. Early high-school staples. I used to love the brightly coloured magazine and I swear to this day that the pages were scented. Did anyone else notice that?

Lucky me, the September issue is the school formal edition. Twelve or so years ago we had the formal editions too! And DOLLY Doctor. And is there still the DOLLY Model Comp these days?

 September edition of DOLLY, which is out now

 The review on the fourth-last page; top right of left side page. Notice what's on the next page? Video games. Nerd girls FTW!

 Close up of the review. More blurb than review, but so good to see it in print!

 Other bookish things in the mag:

Subscribe to DOLLY and win books! (Left) That's pretty awesome, hey? In my day it was apricot scrub or the like.

  The 80s and the 90s. LOL. It's funny to think of the nineties as retro, but 1990 was 20 years ago now. I finished primary school in 1996. Favourite things from the 90s featured here: the Spice Girls, JTT and TLC. Go kids of the 90s!
Oh yes. JTT is Jonathon Taylor Thomas. Of COURSE. 
Other favourite things from the 90s not featured here: Buffy, Friends and The Backstreet Boys.
I remember buying that issue of DOLLY with Pia on the cover. She won the Model Comp at 14 or 15 and caused a bit of a stir.

 A fashion shoot in a book store! How cute is that yellow dress? (Bottom right)

All in all, a pretty awesome feature for Blood Song to appear in. This is definitely a *proud author* moment. That, and making my mother cry last week. (Sorry, mum. Just when you thought you weren't going to!)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

International Giveaway News! And How to Order Overseas

I'll be giving away TWO signed copies of Blood Song internationally! Yay! Just as soon as 1000 people have added it to-read on Goodreads. We're not far away now: as I write we're at 914.

You can add Blood Song here.

In other news, only THREE WEEKS until Blood Song is released in Australia! Hot damn. I'm excited!! So many lovely reviews have gone up in the last few weeks.

If you're overseas, you can pre-order Blood Song (with free shipping! yay!) from Fish Pond World.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Review: Alaska, Sue Saliba

With an alcoholic mother, an absent father and a sister thousands of miles away, there's little wonder that Mia enjoys escaping--into daydreams, imaginings. She's about to make her biggest escape of all, leaving school before year 12 is over and moving halfway round the world to be with her sister, Em, in Alaska. Here she meets Ethan, and it's easy to wind her dreams and imaginings around him, and lose herself in the beautiful landscape that is the Alaskan forest.

Alaska is an unusual pick for me. Mia isn't secretly a witch. Ethan is not a ghost. Alaska isn't in the grip of a zombiepocalypse. It's a calm book. A quiet book, like a forest under snow. This doesn't mean Mia is reserved or unemotional, but there's a faraway quality to her. There are no capital letters in Alaska, reinforcing that we must be very quiet it's all under snow shhhh...

Alaska is gorgeously packaged, and has little illustrations throughout. The wintry themes were a perfect accompaniment to the glum Melbourne weather, a reminder that winter isn't always a frigid, gloomy place--not everywhere at least.

I finished this book with a lump in my throat. It might not thunder and crash about like the books I normally read, but it's incredibly sweet and soft. A story about following your heart, wherever it leads.