Monday, December 15, 2014

Tamora Pierce

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Hello readers,

Unfortunately, due to conflicting scheduling, Tamora Pierce will not be attending TBF 2015. However, she is hoping to attending TBF 2016. But chin up, readers, we still have 28 INCREDIBLE authors who are attending TBF 2015. I mean, look at these authors that are coming to Rochester this May:
  • M.T. Anderson
  • Jennifer Lynn Barnes
  • Charles Benoit
  • Heather Brewer
  • Jessica Brody
  • Michael Buckley
  • Cinda Williams Chima
  • Ally Condie
  • Matt de la Pena
  • Kevin Emerson
  • Gayle Forman
  • April Henry
  • Ellen Hopkins
  • James Howe
  • Tonya Hurley
  • Julie Kagawa
  • A.S. King
  • Jo Knowles
  • Emmy Laybourne
  • Sarah J. Maas
  • Jonathan Maberry
  • Katie McGarry
  • G. Neri
  • Jennifer Niven
  • Jason Reynolds
  • Neal Shusterman
  • Heather Terrell
  • Terry Trueman
151 DAYS UNTIL TBF! Who's excited?!

That's it for today. Be sure to check out the blog again for more book reviews, author interviews and more!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Interview with TBF Author: Charles Benoit

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Hello readers,

Photo Credit: Kurt Brownell Photography
I have another interview for you this week! I had the pleasure of interviewing TBF author, Charles Benoit.

Miranda Reads: This year will be your fifth time coming to TBF. What brings you back to TBF
Charles Benoit: TBF is THE coolest teen book festival in the world, filled with rabid fans, amazing authors and volunteers who make authors feel like rock stars back when it was a big deal to be a rock star. TBF has more fun crammed into one day than many week-long book events I've attended. So it's less 'what brings me back' as it is 'try to keep me away'!

MR: Are you working on a new book? If so, can you tell us a little bit about it?
CB: Just today I penned the last line in what (I hope) is the latest "last draft." We’ll see what my editor has to say about that. The working title is SNOW JOB, it's set in the last weeks of 1977 and it's my first first-person novel. Nick’s a (failing) high school senior who tries to turn his life around by following a list of four ideals that he’s sure will make him a better man. But Nick’s life gets a lot more complicated when he makes a (drunken) bet he can’t cover and is bailed out by a guy he helped send to jail. Then there’s the mysterious girl he’s falling for, the one who works for a coked-out drug dealer, the same dealer who wants Nick to work for him. The story’s got sex, violence, lies, betrayal, strained friendships, indifferent parents and just a tiny flicker of hope—so something for the whole family!

MR: In Cold Calls, the characters get blackmailed into bullying classmates. Were you ever blackmailed in high school?
CB: Not in the sense that I use in COLD CALLS, but I often did things I knew were wrong because I feared the social blackmailing that would come if I didn’t. Not just parents-say-it’s-wrong stuff that everybody does, but illegal and dangerous and totally stupid things that any idiot would be smart enough not to do. But I did them, and then had to deal with the numerous times after when someone would say, “Do this new thing or I tell about the time you [fill in the blank].” It’s an awful feeling knowing that someone else controls your life.

MR: Let's pretend you're performing in your high school talent show. What's your talent?
CB: Since my only talent in high school was doing the very least possible to earn a C, I’m going to go back in time with a current talent and wow the heck out of everyone by playing One Step Beyond on my tenor sax.

MR: Which author are you most looking forward to meeting at the 10th Annual Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival?

CB: Don’t try to fool me with your trick questions, Miranda! You know I’m excited to see them all. I’m pumped that my pal April Henry will be making her first TBF appearance, and I’m looking forward to hanging out with Terry Truman again (the man knows how to tell a hilarious story), and I want to track down G. Neri to tell him how much I loved SURF MULES. 

Thank you so much Charles! SNOW JOB sounds interesting and we're all excited to get our hands on it!

To learn more about Charles Benoit's books, check out his website. Follow him on Twitter and like his Facebook page.

That's it for today. Come back to the blog for more book reviews, author interviews and more!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Interview with TBF Author: A.S. King

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Hello readers,

I hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving and read a ton over the break! I have an interview to brighten your day. I had the pleasure of interviewing TBF author, A.S. King!

Miranda Reads: This year will be your fifth time coming to TBF. What brings you back to TBF? We love when you come!

A.S. King: I love TBF. From the minute I arrived the first year I attended, I knew I wanted to be a part of the festival as often as I could. Why? Because Rochester Teen Book Festival is the best teen book festival in the country. The team of volunteers is AMAZING and the attendees are the most enthusiastic readers I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. Now that I've been there a few times, I've developed close friendships with other regular author attendees and with many local librarians and teachers and I find myself missing them throughout the year. Being an author is weird. I am usually sitting in a room by myself writing books. Human interaction can often be awkward with people who don't understand reading or writing--so coming to Rochester TBF is a little like visiting family or something. You all are my Rochester family.

MR: Have you ever considered writing outside of the contemporary genre? Maybe write a fantasy, dystopian or sci-fi novel?

ASK: That's a tricky question. A lot of people think I already do write fantasy, sci-fi or dystopian novels. I've been nominated for awards in fantasy and sci-fi. And a lot of people have called GLORY both sci-fi and dystopian. It all depends on who you ask. That said, I consider my novels mostly based in contemporary reality, and I don't think I can escape that. For me, there is magic in everyday life. There is dystopia in everyday life. I think I really love drawing those comparisons in my work, which is why I tend to chew some fantasy or sci-fi into my realistic gum. Next year's book is a surrealist novel. Some people call what I write magic realism. I'm not sure what to call it. I just hope the stories keep coming out of my head and onto the paper. So far, that's still happening. In the future, look for another historical novel from me, and maybe a graphic novel or memoir as well. I've got them all in my head, but finding the time to write them is the issue at the moment.

MR: What is your most memorable experience relating to your books?

ASK: Wow. That's a really hard question. I've been writing books for 20 years and have a lot of memories relating to books or writing. But I guess if I were to pick one memory, it would be the day I was called by the Printz committee about Please Ignore Vera Dietz. I was taking a break from writing in my basement office. I miss my kids a lot when I work even though we're all in the same house. So I came upstairs and we were all cuddled up on the couch watching the Candice Bergen episode of The Muppet Show and the phone rang. It was Sunday. It was a number I didn't recognize, so I thought about ignoring it. I then picked it up and a woman introduced herself and said something about Printz and let me explain...I knew what the Printz was, but I never thought I would ever be considered for it. I got up from the couch. My husband had a worried look on his face because I rushed to a quieter place to talk. I sat in the stairwell of the old log cabin where we used to live and asked the caller to start over. She explained why she was calling. I listened. I reacted and said thank you. I cracked a joke or two. I hung up and then I cried for a minute. See, at that point in my career, I thought my career was close to over before it started. My publisher hadn't wanted my next book, I had to move to a new place, I wasn't sure of Vera Dietz because since I'd left, the book had fallen into that quiet book abyss, you know? It never made it into Barnes & Noble. I thought everything I'd worked for for nearly 20 years was kinda almost dead. Winning that Printz Honor was a moment of true joy because it meant that maybe I could have a chance at writing more books, which is all I ever wanted to do. Anyway, I came back to the living room where my husband still had that worried look, I paused The Muppet Show and I told my family what the call was about and we all hugged and jumped up and down like we'd just won Family Feud. Then we took a walk in the snow. My memories of that day are many, but the feeling of pride was the biggest thing I remember. I felt like I'd done something good.

(Readers, check out blogger, Victoria's book review of PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ)

MR: Let's pretend you're performing in your high school talent show. What's your talent?

ASK: I have talent show talents, but I'm too shy to perform at my high school talent show. I'd be stage crew. I'd be the one who puts on the music for the lip synch contest or something. But I wouldn't dare stand up there and sing even though I could sing back then. Too shy. Hard for people who know me to believe, but I'm way too shy.

MR: Which author are you most looking forward to meeting at the 10th Annual Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival?

ASK: I'm looking forward to seeing EVERYONE at the 10th annual TBF. Old friends, new friends, everyone. As an author, it's really cool to meet people I've never met before who do the same thing I do. Again, being an author is weird sometimes. Meeting other authors is a relief because we all know what it's like to do what we do. So, I hate to be so all-inclusive, but it's my way. I can't wait to meet everyone.    
Thank you so much A.S. King! We can't wait to see you in May!

To learn more about A.S. King's books, be sure to check out her website and follow her on Twitter and like her Facebook page!

That's it for today. Come back to blog for more book reviews, interviews and more!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Interview with TBF Author: Terry Trueman

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Hello readers,

I have the first TBF Author Interview of the year! No surprise that the first author I interviewed was the one and only Terry Trueman.

A little side note before I get to the interview. My first time coming to TBF, the author who really stuck out was Terry Trueman. He was hilarious and sarcastic. When I met him at the autographing session, I won't lie, I was extremely nervous but Terry was one of the sweetest authors. He definitely reminds me a lot like a cuddly teddy bear.

Miranda Reads: For people who are coming to TBF for the first time, author or fan, what advice would you give him, TBF mascot?

Terry Trueman:  I’d advice them NOT to become a TBF author mascot, as a 195 lb, 6’ tall man looks BAD in a tutu, even if it IS a black tutu!

(Honestly, Terry, you rocked that tutu. Don't you guys agree?)

MR: What motivates you to keep on writing?
TT: I generally love to write. I’ve been lucky and blessed enough to get to write only about the things I want to write about. I love it. Motivation is never the problem, the problem is balancing the time I want to spend writing with the time I have to give to what lesser mortals call “a life”.

MR: Out of all the books you wrote, which one was the hardest to write? Which one was the easiest? Why?

TT: Hmmm, good question. HURRICANE required both some research as it was based on a real event in Central American (Hurricane Mitch in Oct 1998) and also it had been so many years since I’d been in Honduras, so I had to go back to old memories--but I wouldn't say it was ‘hard’ just a bit harder than the others. Easiest? Impossible to say but probably LIFE HAPPENS NEXT because I’d had so many years to think about what might happen next in the life of Shawn McDaniel, protagonist of STUCK IN NEUTRAL my first novel.

MR: Let's pretend you're performing in your high school talent show. What's your talent?

TT: Comedy, definitely a comedy routine. I’m pretty funny, at least to myself.

MR: Which author are you most looking forward to meeting at the 10th Annual Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival?

TT: I haven’t looked at the line-up yet but I hear that Amy King (A.S. King) will be back again with her husband Topher and I absolutely adore both of them--I have been at EVERY TBF and have met so many great authors and made so many pals. I tend to gravitate initially towards pretty women and funny guys but I try to never dismiss anyone. I’ve found that most authors, given half a chance will admit to how lucky and blessed we feel and once we start sharing that, the rest comes easily. TBF is great because it gives authors plenty of time to really hang-out together and every Y.A. author wants to be invited and invited back so all of us are on our best behavior--even though James Kennedy’s best behavior is worse than most everyone else’s worst behavior (Hmmm, thinking about that, it’s probably true for me too!) LOL

Thanks Terry! We can't wait to see you in May!

Be sure to check out Terry's books (which you all should have read by now, otherwise Terry will be very disappointed) on his website and follow him on Twitter. Seriously, readers, follow Terry on Twitter.

That's it for today. Here on the TBF blog, we all wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2014

ROC the DAY for TBF

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Calling every TBF reader,

Help ROC the Day for TBF!
December 2nd is a major day for Rochester…and for The TENTH Annual Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival.  Fans can donate all day to TBF to help keep it FREE to attend.  Please consider helping us ROC the Day so we can continue to rock TBF!  We need just $3200 to meet our fundraising challenge goal…which will mean that many TBF planners will have to color their hair Tie-Dye colors with one special person agreeing to have her head shaved on TBF day if we meet the goal!  On December 2nd visit here to learn more and to ROC the DAY for TBF:
For more info about TBF 2015 visit

Thanks everyone! Be sure to check out the blog again for more book reviews, author interviews and more.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

G. Neri is...

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On another note, I want to thank Laurie Halse Anderson for coming to the TBF Read-a-Thon. It was a huge hit! We loved having Laurie with us.

Laurie Halse Anderson with TBF goddess, Stephanie Squicciarini
Laurie Halse Anderson with her birthday cake!
That's it for today. Be sure to check out the blog for more book reviews, author interviews and announcements!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Book Review: Blessed by Tonya Hurley

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Hola, TBF readers! :)

I recently read the novel Blessed by TBF author Tonya Hurley. Here's a brief summary from

From the author of the New York Times bestselling ghostgirl series, the start to a captivating and haunting teen trilogy about three girls who become entangled with an enigmatic boy;a boy who believes he is a saint. What if martyrs and saints lived among us? And what if you were told you were one of them?

Meet Agnes, Cecilia, and Lucy. Three lost girls, each searching for something. But what they find is Beyond Belief.

I have not read Tonya Hurley's popular ghostgirl series, so this was my first experience with her writing. It was definitely not something that I would normally pick up, but was an interesting read nonetheless. 

The book starts off following three teenage girls: Agnes, Cecilia and Lucy, whose paths are woven together when they all find themselves in the hospital one stormy night. They are each there for a very different reason, but all three meet a mysterious stranger named Sebastian, who gives each one a special bracelet and promises that he will see them again.

One of the most interesting things about Blessed was the surreal, almost dreamlike quality to it. It's hard to explain, but throughout reading the book, it was sometimes hard to tell what was really going on and what was all in the minds of the characters. This made the story more suspenseful and kept me wondering what would happen next.

I would recommend Blessed by Tonya Hurley to readers who enjoy paranormal or supernatural elements with their fantasy. Fans of Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven Boys series, especially, might like this book.