Guest Post: A Return to Old Haunting Grounds: Shaili Reviews ‘Remembrance: A Mediator Novel’ by Meg Cabot

Remembrance Meg Cabot CoverRemembrance: A Mediator Novel by Meg Cabot
: DRC provided by HarperCollins through Edelweiss
Release Date: February 2, 2016
Genre: Fiction, romance, paranormal, supernatural
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Back Cover Summary: All Susannah Simon wants is to make a good impression at her first job since graduating from college (and since becoming engaged to Dr. Jesse de Silva). But when she’s hired as a guidance counselor at her alma mater, she stumbles across a decade-old murder, and soon ancient history isn’t all that’s coming back to haunt her. Old ghosts as well as new ones are coming out of the woodwork, some to test her, some to vex her, and it isn’t only because she’s a mediator, gifted with second sight. From a sophomore haunted by the murderous specter of a child to ghosts of a very different kind—including Paul Slater, Suze’s ex, who shows up to make a bargain Suze is certain must have come from the Devil himself—Suze isn’t sure she’ll make it through the semester, let alone to her wedding night. Suze is used to striking first and asking questions later. But what happens when ghosts from her past—including one she found nearly impossible to resist—strike first?

It’s a strange moment right now where pop culturally-speaking, we’re revisiting a lot of fan favorite series from the 90s to early 2000s that were cancelled or ended prematurely. The Mediator series by Meg Cabot has long been a fan favorite, both in the U.S. and internationally, and in my opinion, is Meg Cabot’s best series. The original series, for those who don’t know, is about a teenage girl who is a Mediator, a person with the ability to see ghosts and help them cross over to the afterlife/other side. Because it was written in the early 2000s, we’ve seen many more ass-kicking heroines come our way, both on our TV screens and in YA fiction. (As another reviewer pointed out, Suze is indeed Buffy’s ghost-busting twin!) But as Meg Cabot has said, it’s been the repeated interest from fans about another installment of the series that’s really behind the inspiration for this new book.

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Guest Post: Cover to Cover: The Artwork of the “William Shakespeare’s Star Wars” Trilogy By Ian Doescher

starwarsverily-cover2It was January 2013—about six months before the publication of William Shakespeare’s Star Wars, that I got the first sketch of the book’s cover. My jaw dropped, and I showed the image to just about anybody who would look. But that was nothing compared to the moment when I saw the finished product—a beautiful scratchboard drawing of Darth Vader in all his Shakespearean regalia. Absolutely stunning.

Since William Shakespeare’s Star Wars was published, a few people have asked me if I created the illustrations in the book. Every time I’m asked that, I laugh on the inside (and give a very polite “no” to the asker). Anyone who has seen me draw knows why Pictionary is my least favorite board game. So, who was this man who created such stunning artwork? His name is Nicolas Delort, a Canadian illustrator who lives in Paris.

Here’s the thing: a good cover is invaluable. A cover for a book is like a car’s exterior. It’s the smooth lines of a bright new Porsche that make you want to drive it, before you know anything about what’s under the hood. When people see Nicolas’ cover in a bookstore, they are drawn to the amazing picture of Darth Vader—and Yoda and Jabba the Hutt in the sequels—before they even know what the book is (or, I should add, whether or not the writing is any good). In other words, the cover sells the book, or at least puts people in a buying mood.

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Giveaway: ‘Hollow City’ Poster and Copy of ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children’ by Ransom Riggs

Hollow City PosterRansom Riggs caught the attention of the literary world with his young adult novel filled with haunting vintage photographs: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. And now the second book in the series, Hollow City is on its way!

In conjunction with the always spectacular team over at Quirk Books, we are giving away not one, but FIVE posters for the upcoming sequel (see enlarged version HERE) complete with a paperback version of the original book that started it all: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children!

Hit the jump below to find out how to enter to win and see all pertinent rules. The contest begins on October 9th and ends on October 23rd.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children was the surprise best seller of 2011—an unprecedented mix of YA fantasy and vintage photography that enthralled readers and critics alike. Publishers Weekly called it “an enjoyable, eccentric read, distinguished by well-developed characters, a believable Welsh setting, and some very creepy monsters.”

This second novel begins in 1940, immediately after the first book ended. Having escaped Miss Peregrine’s island by the skin of their teeth, Jacob and his new friends must journey to London, the peculiar capital of the world. Along the way, they encounter new allies, a menagerie of peculiar animals, and other unexpected surprises.

Complete with dozens of newly discovered (and thoroughly mesmerizing) vintage photographs, this new adventure will delight readers of all ages.

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Bibliomantic Book Club: “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones”

The Mortal Instruments: City of BonesThe Mortal Instruments: City of Bones
Release Date: August 21, 2013
Genre: Fiction, young adult, fantasy, magic, angels, demons

Summary: Clary is just your ordinary girl, until she learns that she’s part of a race called the Shadowhunters who are tasked with killing demons and keeping humanity in the dark about their constant impending doom. Enter Jace, her love-interest who seems to think fixing your hair is the same as acting and his team of leather-clad teens. And also Alec. When Clary’s mom is kidnapped, she is stuck in the middle of a plot that becomes unnecessarily convoluted and is tasked (for some reason) with protecting the Mortal Cup from Valentine, a diabolical villain with the worst hair of all time who picked up all his tricks from the web-series Acting With James Franco.

Let’s talk about The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.

We know, we don’t want to either because our hearts still hurt, but it must be done. For the good of humanity. For all the people who loved the book series and wanted to see it hit the big screen but haven’t yet subjected their feelings to this monstrosity playing on screens around the world. And more importantly, for every person who will never read The Mortal Instruments because of this film.

WARNING: City of Glass spoilers that are super duper spoiled by this movie anyway ahead.

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Giveaway: A Photo From Author Ransom Rigg’s Vintage Photo Collection

Ransom Riggs Vintage PhotoRansom Rigg’s best-selling young adult novel Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children was the runaway hit of 2011, telling the story of young Jacob who discovers a stoppage in time on an island full of super-powered children. The book spent 52-weeks on the New York Times’ Bestseller List and is told through words and a series of vintage photos.

Now, with it’s sequel Hollow City drawing near and a graphic novel on the way, as well as a re-release of the paperback edition with additional material, we’re giving away a photo from author Rigg’s personal vintage photo collection (see close-up)! Much thanks to our friends at Quirk Books for the awesome giveaway.

According to the text on the back (see picture HERE), the photo is of Doug (?) about to do manual labor in Pasadena in the summer of 1929. Amazing!

Hit the jump below to find out how to enter to win and see all pertinent rules. The contest begins on July 15th and ends on July 30th.

A mysterious island.

 An abandoned orphanage.

 A strange collection of very curious photographs.

As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive. 

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.

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Book Giveaway: “Lovecraft Middle School: Teacher’s Pest” by Charles Gilman

Teacher's Pest by Charles GilmanThe always inventive publisher Quirk Books, who brought the world the mash-up Pride and Prejudice and Zombies has a new offering to salivate your horror taste buds, a book series inspired by the works of HP Lovecraft written for children. Yes, for kiddies. Think of it as Goosebumps for a brand new generation.

In conjunction with the amazing and fabulous team over at Quirk Books, we are giving away the newest and third book in the series, Teacher’s Pest, complete with lenticular cover!!!

Hit the jump below to find out how to enter to win and see all pertinent rules. The contest begins on May 8th and ends on May 22nd.

Don’t be fooled by his friendly smile, his perfect manners, or his shiny red apple. Student council president Howard Mergler is actually a sinister bug-monster in disguise—and he’s summoning swarms of roaches, wasps, fleas, and head lice into the corridors of Lovecraft Middle School! Twelve-year-old Robert Arthur is the only student who can stop him–but he’ll need help from his best friends: the school bully, the school ghost, and an extremely courageous two-headed rat.

This third novel in the Lovecraft Middle School series begins right where Professor Gargoyle and The Slither Sisters ended—with more action, more adventure, and more outrageous monsters.

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Bibliomantic Book Club: “The Madness Underneath” by Maureen Johnson

Madness Underneath - Maureen JohnsonThe Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson
Release Date: February 26, 2013
Genre: Fiction, young adult, supernatural, paranormal, ghosts

SummaryRory can see ghosts, which isn’t as awesome as it sounds. For example, as a result of her power she was chased by an entity recreating the Jack the Ripper murders and was left with a nasty scar to prove it. Now she’s got even more troublesome otherworldly powers and a desire to return to a normal life. Whatever that is anymore. Torn by her devotion to her family, her school friends, her new boyfriend and the super secret government ghost fighting organization in London, Rory is struggling to find her place in the regular world and the world of the undead. Because in the Shades of London series, life sucks and then you die. And sometimes you come back as a ghost.

When we last left Rory (full name Aurora) she was dealing with the ramifications of all the events that happened in book one, The Name of the Star (review HERE). In this sequel, she’s healing from all that nonsense, struggling to return some normalcy to her life and trying to deal with the world knowing her as that Ripper girl. We highly recommend you read the first book before you even attempt to tackle this one. Trust us, it’s full of Jack the Ripper goodness. End tedious introductory paragraph.

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