Thursday, September 27, 2012

The False Prince

Sage is mostly minding his own business as a fourteen-year-old orphan.  Sure, he's hungry and filthy most of the time, but he supplements everyone's diet by theft and stealth.  This simple existence ends in an instant when a man named Conner plucks Sage from his orphanage and forces him into a dangerous plot.

It seems the country is on the brink of civil war, and the only way to avoid it is for a long lost prince to reappear and take the throne.  But Prince Jaron is dead, and Sage is part of a small group of boys who will be groomed and trained to become the false prince.  It will be a deception to last a lifetime with the throne and a beautiful princess as the reward, and the boys who aren't chosen face the only real way to keep the secret:  death.

Conner is a dangerous and cruel master, but he isn't the only threat.  The boys jealousies and frustrations among themselves as they struggle to overcome their orphanage childhoods and hide the secret plot from power hungry nobles.

Jennifer A. Nielsen's new book is filled with action, danger, political intrigue, and plot twists at every turn.  Can Sage survive in this world where no one is what he seems?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

On the Day I Died

It's after midnight, and Mike Kowalski is speeding home in the hope that his parents won't be too angry if he's at least close to his curfew.  That's when he sees her standing in the road in an old-fashioned white dress.  When he decides to give her a ride home, he begins the strangest and most frightening night of his life.

Instead of hurrying home to his family, he spends the night in a cemetery for teens, filled with ghosts desperate to tell their stories.  He will hear tales of betrayal, horror, and madness as he is held captive by their ghostly tales, but maybe these spirits want more than just an audience for their stories.

Be sure to read the author's note at the end to learn about the inspiration for each story ranging from real people and events to classic tales of horror.

Author, Candace Fleming's, new book is filled with horrors from the past two centuries of its Chicago setting.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Wooden Bones

Turning into a real boy was just the beginning of Pinocchio's story.  Now the people in their village want Geppetto to make puppets for them, but he insists he can't.  This is when Pino discovers he has a gift. When he pours his desire and will into wood, it comes to life.  The villagers are so horrified by this, that Pino and his father are forced to flee their home.

As Pino uses his gift, he discovers he is slowly transforming back into wood.  Despite his desire to be a real boy, he uses his gift when it seems necessary to save himself and his papa.

Their journey through dark and dangerous places will bring them friendship, betrayal, and understanding.

Read Scott William Carter's disturbing version of what happens after Pinocchio's happily ever after.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A Beautiful Lie

When religious conflict in India builds to the breaking point and the country is on the verge of breaking apart, Bilal decides the truth is too difficult bear.  That is when the lie is born.  Bilal's father loves India and dreams of a united land and people.  Now that India will be broken apart, Bilal and his father face their own tragedy.  Bilal's father is dying. He won't last much beyond the division of the country, and Bilal's decides that rather than break his father's heart with the news, he will lie.

With the help of his three friends, Bilal keeps up the lie and prevents everyone in their village from telling his father the truth.  But the tensions are rising all over the country, and the four friends of different faiths may not be facing just the end of a united India, they may be facing the end of their friendship.

Click here to connect to author, Irfan Master's website to learn more about him and his work.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Shadow and Bone

Alina Starkov's life hasn't been easy.  Her parents died long ago in the border wars that have plagued Ravka for over a century.  Her only family is her best friend, Mal, a fellow orphan. Now that they are older, her friendship with him has blossomed into love, but Mal only sees her as a friend.

The two friends are headed to the Shadow Fold with the First Army.  Mal as a tracker and Alina as a cartographer.  When they enter this area of mysterious and unnatural darkness on sandskiffs, they are attacked by horrifying creatures.  When Mal's life is endangered, Alina feels a power rising up inside her to overwhelm her body and mind.

When she awakes, she is caught in a whirlwind of activity and questioning from the Darkling, the most powerful magician in the land. Soon she finds herself in the world of the Grishas, magicians who are pampered and talented.  The Grishas and even the King are convinced that Alina has the power to destroy the Fold, but she isn't so sure.  And she certainly isn't prepared for this new world of sophisticated Grishas with their jealousies and intrigues.  Will the luxuries of her new life and the confusing attentions of the Darkling be enough to make Alina forget Mal and take her place among Ravka's elite?

Set in an alternate and magical Russia filled with snow, ice, and furs, Shadow and Bone is dark, twisting, and hypnotic.  Visit this world created by first time author, Leigh Bardugo, and you will be hungry for more.