Tuesday, December 29, 2015

31 Authors are Coming to Rochester this May!

Hello TBF readers!

I am delighted to announce that two more authors have been confirmed for TBF 2016: Sarah Rees Brennan and Chris Grabenstein. Sarah is the author of The Demon's Lexicon trilogy, The Lyburn Legacy and upcoming novel, Tell the Wind and Fire. Chris is the author of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library, The Haunted Mysteries series and the Riley Macker series.

With these two author confirmations, I am thrilled to announce that 31 authors will be coming to Rochester on May 14, 2016! Take a look at the list:

  • Laurie Halse Anderson
  • Jesse Andrews
  • Cathleen Davitt Bell
  • Charles Benoit
  • Sarah Rees Brennan
  • Anna Breslaw
  • Jennifer Donnelly
  • Tim Federle
  • K.L. Going
  • Chris Grabenstein
  • Harriet Reuter Hapgood
  • Rachel Hawkins
  • Ellen Hopkins
  • A.S. King
  • Mercedes Lackey
  • Justine Larbalestier
  • Carolyn Mackler
  • Kekla Magoon
  • Ridley Pearson
  • Tamora Pierce
  • Gary Schdmit
  • Steve Sheinkin
  • Alan Lawrence Sitomer
  • Jessica Spotswood
  • Robin Talley
  • Mariko Tamaki
  • Janet B. Taylor
  • Terry Trueman
  • Scott Westerfeld
  • Suzanne Young
  • Jeff Zentner
That's it for today! Hope you all have a happy holiday!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Book Review: Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

Hi everyone,

Hope the school year hasn't been too harsh on you as we approach winter break. Today we're talking about The first book in the Cahill Witch Chronicles: Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood.

Cate Cahill and her sisters have always lived in fear of their secret getting out. They're witches. With the priests of the Brotherhood breathing down their necks they can't afford to slip up or it would mean life an asylum, prison, or worse, death. When Cate receives a mysterious letter warning her of the danger to come she knows that she and her sisters might be in even more trouble than she thought. Through the help of the letters her deceased mother left behind and the local bookstore owner, she uncovers a prophecy that puts her and her sisters at the turning point of the century, for the better or for worse. All the while her coming of age ceremony is right around the corner and she has to make a choice: join the sisterhood and protect her sisters, or pursue forbidden love with the intoxicating Finn Belastra?

I can't express how excited I am to talk about this book. I finished the whole thing in an afternoon because I simply could not put it down. When I first started the book I hadn't even read the inside cover. I had little idea of what it was about and just dove right in. Instantly I found our main character Cate relate able. There was something so spot on about her incessant worrying and her attitude as a girl trapped by society. It was also hard not to get wrapped up in her two younger sisters, the hotheaded Maura and the calm innocent Tess. Most of all, never has a forbidden love story enticed me as much as this one did. From the very moment you meet Finn his character jumps off the page and into real life. His first few sentences told me everything I needed to know in order to get me seriously invested in the book and its plot.The Cahill Witch Chronicles is a trilogy. By the time I reached the end of book one I was hungry and ready for the next two, dying to see how the story might be resolved. I definitely recommend Born Wicked. Jessica Spotswood does a phenomenal job with this story and I am excited to see what the next books have in store.

That's all for today!


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Another Author Confirmed!

Hello TBF readers!

We have confirmed another author!  Jeff Zentner, debut author of The Serpent King will be coming to Rochester! This contemporary novel will be released March 2016.

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


Monday, December 14, 2015

TBF Authors News and a Contest!

Hello TBF readers!

Three more authors have been confirmed for this year! Take a look:
  • Laurie Halse Anderson: author of Speak, Prom, Catalyst, Twisted, Fever 1793, Wintergirls, Seeds of America series and The Impossible Knife of Memory
  • Jennifer Donnelly: author of Revolution, The Waterfire Saga and These Shallow Graves
  • Mariko Tamaki: author of Skim, Emiko Superstar, (You) Set Me on Fire, This One Summer and Saving Montgomery Sole    *Saving Montgomery Sole will be released April 2016*
Also TBF is calling all teen artist for the TBF Design contest! You can submit you designs for the TBF program cover or the TBF T-Shirt Design. The deadline is March 18th! So maybe you guys can get started while you are on vacation.

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

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Book Review: Little Blog on the Prairie by Cathleen Davitt Bell

Hello again,

Today, I am reviewing Little Blog on the Prairie by Cathleen Davitt Bell. Here's the summary:

Camp Frontier promises families that "thrill" of living 1890s pioneers. Gen will be thrilled if she survives the summer stuck in cabin with her family and no modern amenities. But ever the savvy teen, Gen sneaks in a phone and starts texting about camp life. Turns out, there are some good points-like the cute boy who lives in the next clearing . But when her texts go viral as a blog and a TV crew arrives, Gen realizes she may have just ruined the best vacation she's ever had.

I know, not quite a winter book. But don't discount it just because it doesn't match in season! I actually found the cute story rather light and refreshing in comparison to other books I usually read.

The narrator, Gen, is only 13 years old (and is portrayed as thirteen, kudos to Bell on making her character act her age), but she has a strong and strong and realistic voice so her age fits for story. Speaking of characters, all the supporting characters were well done  and aided rather than detracted from the story. There was an interesting mixture of independent and unique characters. I felt like each one had his or her own personality and life; no one blended into the crowd unless it was on purpose.

I also enjoyed the various relationships, especially concerning family, as well as the lessons involved. The story, for all its cuteness, was actually kind of insightful in a few ways (but I can't tell you how because SPOILERS!!). It discussed the common thoughts on our dependency on technology. The book also, in my opinion, does a good job at the historical aspects of what living in the late 1800s as a pioneer would be like. I think that the chores and all the other jobs that would have kept the pioneer camps running were shown to be challenging and difficult but not impossible or just plain stupid. I think Bell demonstrates a real appreciation and attention to history to make this camp seem more realistic and interesting that just your regular old summer camp style lodgings. The book brings up various historical facts, too, that I hadn't known and were pretty cool.

This book is a definite top recommendation for any Laura Ingalls Wilder's fan or someone looking for a cute, light story.

Happy reading! I hope you have a fabulous day.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Interview with TBF Author: Jessica Spotswood

Hello TBF readers,

I am so excited to share with you the first author interview of the TBF 2016 season! Without further delay, here is my interview with Jessica Spotswood, author of The Cahill Chronicles and upcoming book, WILD SWANS.

Miranda Reads: Your debut series, The Cahill Witch Chronicles, was about witches and magic set in a Salem witch trials time period. What inspired you to write this series?

Jessica Spotswood: Like Cate, I'm the oldest of three sisters. The Cahill Witch Chronicles was inspired by a dream I had in which my sisters and I were fighting over a magical locket from our mother. Sadly, our mom doesn't have a magical locket, but I loved the idea of exploring that complicated mix of love and competition between sisters, especially sisters with a powerful magical legacy.

Miranda Reads: Do you do a lot of research for your novels? If so, which comes first, writing or researching?

Jessica Spotswood: I did a fair amount of research for the Cahill Witch Chronicles. It takes place in an alternate version of 1890s New England, so I researched a lot of the fashion, home decor, food, etiquette, and technology of the late Victorian era - and then felt free to take liberties with it. For the trilogy, I wrote first and then filled in details as I went along. But for my story in A Tyranny of Petticoats, which takes place in 1820s New Orleans, I researched before I wrote a single word. I read lots about New Orleans and its transition from French to Spanish to American, about the society and legacy of the free people of color, about voodoo and Marie Laveau.

Miranda Reads: You have a new book coming out called WILD SWANS. What can you tell me about it?

Jessica Spotswood: It takes place in a gossipy small town on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, right on the Chesapeake Bay. Everybody in Cecil knows about the Millbourn girls. For generations they've been brilliant artists, but they've all died young, by murder or suicide. My main character, Ivy, is seventeen and struggling to figure out where she fits into this legacy. When she was two years old, her mother ran off and abandoned her to be raised by her granddad -- and now her mother's come back home with two half-sisters Ivy's never met. Ivy's also falling in love for the first time, with her granddad's best student, a tattooed poet. 

Miranda Reads: What can fans expect from WILD SWANS?

Jessica Spotswood: It's my first contemporary, but it still has a few things in common with the Cahill Witch Chronicles: a potential family curse, complicated relationships between sisters, a cute bookish boy, and fantastically loyal girl friends.

Miranda Reads: Which author are you most excited to meet at the 11th Annual Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival?

Jessica Spotswood: I'm exciting to meet Scott Westerfeld! His UGLIES series was one of the first series I read when I started reading for fun again after grad school, and it's so clever. And I love the LEVIATHAN series too; the worldbuilding is so fabulous and imaginative. I need to catch up on his new series!

Thank you so much Jessica! And check out the gorgeous cover for WILD SWANS!

WILD SWANS will be in your hands May 1, 2016. You can follow Jessica on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest and Goodreads.

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