Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday Five -- Catherine Knutsson

This week's Five features the author of SHADOWS CAST BY STARS (published by Athaneum last month).  Catherine Knutsson lives in what sounds like an idyllic setting in Vancouver, British Columbia.  She rides horses and trains for marathons (yikes!) as well as writing novels.


1.  What would your super power be?

Since I have a terrible fear of flying, I’d say the power to fly would be pretty fantastic.

2.  What is your guiltiest pleasure?

It’s pretty hard to beat a soak in the bath in the middle of the afternoon, especially if I’ve got a good book that I can’t put down.  Ah, the life of a writer!

3.  What one word do you think describes you best?


4.  If you knew you would be stranded on a desert island, which book, piece of music, and snack food would you take with you?

Book: AN EQUAL MUSIC, by Vikram Seth.  Piece of music: Bach violin sonatas/partitas, played by Gidon Kremer.  Ah, bliss!  Snack food: Hawkins Cheezies, which you can only get in Canada....mmmmm....

5.  What intrigues you?

Life intrigues me.  Nature, and fear, and danger, and risk, and love, and the sky, and stars, and bugs, and birds - I could go on for a while!  Even the smallest things, like a dandelion seed, are so amazing, don’t you think?


Old ways are pitted against new horrors in this compellingly crafted dystopian tale about a girl who is both healer and seer.

Two hundred years from now, blood has become the most valuable commodity on the planet—especially the blood of aboriginal peoples, for it contains antibodies that protect them from the Plague ravaging the rest of the world.

Sixteen-year-old Cassandra Mercredi might be immune to Plague, but that doesn’t mean she’s safe—government forces are searching for those of aboriginal heritage to harvest their blood. When a search threatens Cassandra and her family, they flee to the Island: a mysterious and idyllic territory protected by the Band, a group of guerilla warriors—and by an enigmatic energy barrier that keeps outsiders out and the spirit world in. And though the village healer has taken her under her wing, and the tribal leader’s son into his heart, the creatures of the spirit world are angry, and they have chosen Cassandra to be their voice and instrument…

You can order SHADOWS CAST BY STARS here!


You can find Catherine on her website.
On Twitter.
And on Goodreads.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

San Francisco Here I Come!

Tomorrow night, I will be at the YA author party of awesomeness hosted by Not Your Mother's Book Club at Books, Inc.  It looks like it will be a fabulous night, and I promise to try my best not to fangirl (too much).

Check out the list of authors who will be there (and dare me not to fangirl!)

Malinda Lo
CJ Omololu
Jandy Nelson
Heidi R Kling
Cheryl Herbsman
Cory Jackson
Lewis Buzbee
Tamara Ireland Stone
Lynn Hazen
Amy Reed
Ingrid Paulson
Kristin Tracy
Corina Vacco
Stacey Jay
Avery Williams
Veronica Rossi
Lisa Desrochers
Veronica Wolff

Hope to see you there, too!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Summer Reading

I love it when people say GILT is a great beach read.  Good for summer.  When I was young, I spent many many hours at the public library during the summer.  It was just down the street (actually, down a very steep hill!) from my house, and I'd return with my arms full of books.  We didn't have summer reading lists at my school, so I got to choose anything and everything I wanted.  I choose fun covers, series books, books by authors I loved and reread favorites.  Summer was a chance to enjoy any and every book I came across.

And for good or for ill, this has always stuck with me.  I'd pore over high school reading lists and pick up one "good for me" book as well as a stack of my favorites each time I went to the library or bookstore.  I've tried to go on reading binges of the classics.  I made my way through David Copperfield and The Mill on the Floss while traveling in Africa and enjoyed them, but they took me forever (which was a good thing, because in some places, books were hard to come by).  I think some of it is the difference between classics and modern books that Nathan Bransford addressed in his blog today.  But to be honest, some of it is just that sunshine and free time seem to call for something else.

I find myself craving books that will make me laugh.  That will remind me of what love feels like.  That will transport me wholly and fully to another world, another time, another country.

I recently finished MY LIFE NEXT DOOR by Huntley Fitzpatrick and submerged myself in a summer world I've never experienced - a beachfront community in Connecticut - and in a love story that feels deep and true.

I'm now reading CROAK by Gina Damico - another summer, another east coast setting, but a completely different world (one in which the protagonist is a grim reaper).  This book is hilarious and I'm reading it slowly to prolong the enjoyment.

Now, summer reads don't have to be about summer.  And they don't have to be "fluff."  I know how they make me feel, but they kind of defy definition.  They just feel good.

How about you?  What would you call a "summer read"?