Friday, March 30, 2007

Spooky News & Links

Mechele R. Dillard from Teen Fiction @ Suite 101 offers new interviews with fantasy authors Dia Calhoun and Janet Lee Carey.

Morals, Lessons, Preaching and Judgment in YA Novels by Gail Giles at The YA Novel and Me. Gail muses about student questions related to Shattering Glass (Roaring Brook, 2002). Read a Cynsations interview with Gail.

Reader Views seeks enthusiastic YA readers to review books for online publication. YA readers, teachers, librarians, caregivers, and other interested parties may contact for more information.

Superhero Comic of the Week: Hawkgirl #62. Note: transformer-looking thing is not Hawkgirl; also features blood sucker.

More Personally

Karen's Book Nook is a new YA literature blog. Karin is a middle school librarian in Oklahoma who's working on her Ph.D. in Reading Education. Of my new YA gothic fantasy, Tantalize (Candlewick, 2007), she says: "Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith is a stimulating paranormal mystery mixed with romance."

April Lurie blogs about the Tantalize launch party. April is the author of the upcoming Brothers, Boyfriends, and Other Criminal Minds (Delacorte, 2007).

so tomorrow: thoughts from a future librarian (with a focus on youth services) says of Tantalize: "This book is great for fans of Stephenie Meyer's and/or anyone who loves a story with a love triangle that includes vampires and werewolves! I read this book in one sitting, which is exceptionally rare for me." Read the whole post.

AmoxCalli says "Tantalize is a very delicious and thrilling dark fantasy. It was a page turner that kept me glued to the book till the very unexpected ending." Read the whole review.

Author Liz Garton Scanlon chimes in, "...whoa Betty, was this a fun ride! I won't be doing any spoiling here, but suffice it to say that you're gonna be looking askance at folks out there for a few days after reading this. Ca-REEEEPY. Now, lay in some seriously sensual props and food stuffs, and get reading." Read the whole post. Liz is the author of A Sock is a Pocket for Your Toes: A Pocket Book, illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser (HarperCollins, 2004)(author interview).

Thanks to all! I'd also like to thank A Wrung Sponge for listing Cynsations among blogs that make one think and ...whimsy... for reading Tantalize and Jennifer Ziegler for her--LOL--subliminal message break. Jennifer is the author of Alpha Dog (Delacorte, 2006)(author interview). Thanks too to Alex, the intern at The Bookworm in Omaha, Nebraska, for his newsletter recommendation of Tantalize.

Reminder: time is running out to enter the Tantalize giveaway contest at Young Adult (& Kids) Book Central. The challenge is: "Make up a favorite recipe/dish for either a vampire or a werewolf. Be Creative! And remember, answers DO count!" Twenty copies are available! See the entry form. The event is co-sponsored by YABC and Candlewick Press.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Jennifer Ziegler as tagged me at Spookycyn for a MEME (complete with subliminal message--LOL; thanks, Jennifer!) asking which blogs I visit regularly. Jennifer is the author of Alpha Dog (Delacorte, 2006)(author interview).

As any who reads Cynsations knows, that list--as related to children's-YA lit--is enormous and, for the most part, can be found from the links in the sidebar to authors and illustrators and more global children's-YA literature blogs. (Note: feel free to write with suggested additions).

For the sake of highlighting, though, today I'll nod to a few new-voice author blogs: Sarah Aronson, Chris Barton, Liz Gallagher, and Jo Whittemore. (Reminder to new-voice watchers: check out the class of 2K7.).

I wish I could point to others on subjects of passion like archery or comics or one of my fandoms (say, Wonder Woman), but my online time is fairly focused. Also one of my friends is a photoJ with an amazing Flickr. Chincoteague Island anyone?

In a totally optional way, I'll tag authors Niki Burnham, Cecil Castellucci, April Lurie, and Marlene Perez. Read Cynsations interviews with Niki, Cecil, April, and Marlene.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Spooky News & Links

In the Coop with David Lubar from Three Silly Chicks. David's latest book is True Talents (Starscape, 2007)(excerpt)(promo video).

Deborah Lynn Jacobs: official author site. Deborah's books include The Same Difference (Royal Fireworks, 2000), Powers (Roaring Brook, 2006), and Choices (Roaring Brook, 2007). See bio and a Cynsations interview with Deborah.

More Personally

It was my pleasure to have brunch yesterday at Julio's Cafe with Austin's rising star Chris Barton of Bartography. Julio's is an informal, order-at-the-counter restaurant in the Hyde Park neighborhood (bring checks or cash). I had the migas.

I'm honored that my recent YA novel, Tantalize (Candlewick, 2007) is one of two featured "Books of the Week" at Genrefluent: The World of Genre Fiction. The recommendation reads "Tantalize is a seductive read, perfect to savor with it myriad twists and turns..." and continues "This delectable novel is already creating quite a buzz among teen readers with good reason." Read the whole review.

The other featured book this week is Split Screen: Attack of the Soul-Sucking Brain Zombies/Bride of the Soul-Sucking Brain Zombies by Brent Hartinger (HarperCollins, 2007)(author interview); read the review.

The mastermind behind Genrefluent is Diana Tixier Herald, author of Genreflecting: A Guide to Popular Reading Interests (Sixth Edition)(Libraries Unlimited, 2005).

Thanks to Tracie Vaughn Zimmer for her take on Tantalize: "...this is a no-holds-bar gothic, titilating scintillating tale with a hot werewolf boyfriend and murder mystery with bloody fangs. Fans of Libba Bray's Beauty series take note: this is where to wait. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!" Read the whole recommendation. Don't miss Tracie's Reaching for the Sun (Bloomsbury, 2007).

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Two New Online Interviews with Cynthia Leitich Smith

"Chatting with Cynthia Leitich Smith" from Hello Ma'am. A look into the writing of Tantalize (Candlewick, 2007). The interview is mirrored at Melissa's MySpace blog.

"Shop Talk Tuesday with Cynthia Leitich Smith" from Laura Bowers at Writing Without the Reins. Light and entertaining, beauty-shop style chat. Laura is the debut author of Beauty Shop for Rent (Harcourt, 2007), which is highly recommended.

Thanks to Sara's Holds Shelf for the rave about Tantalize (Candlewick, 2007). Sara says: "Don't read this book on an empty stomach! I'm serious. In the very first paragraph of the first chapter, we find Quincie, our heroine, eating fettuccine with scallops and garlic. I think my mouth actually started watering at that point." As a vampire-restaurant novelist, I can think of no higher praise! Read the whole recommendation.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season Eight #1

"The Long Way Home, Part I" script by Joss Whedon, pencils by Georges Jeanty, inks by Andy Owens, colors by Dave Stewart, and letters by Richard Starkings and Comicraft's Jimmy (Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season Eight #1)(Dark Horse Comics, March 2007). Joss Whedon takes back the Buffy helm and moves forward the story of the qunitessential slayer and 1800 newbies on the scene (plus Faith presumably). This kick-off sparkles with all the laugh-out-loud humor, wit, voice, action, and heart that made "Buffy" a fan favorite. It also explains away the one Buffy-related plot development on "Angel" that seemed to minimize the romantic heart of the series. As the books unfold, readers can look forward to learning how the much-expanded Scooby gang got to where it is now (especially in terms of budget). Highly recommended.

Spooky News & Links

"Buffy The Vampire Slayer is Back: the Complete Joss Whedon Q&A" by Ileane Rudolph from TV Guide.

Thanks to Kim Winters at Kat's Eye Journal for her kind words about my novel Tantalize (Candlewick, 2007). Kim says: "Yummy. The best dark fantasy I've read in a long time."

Thanks also to E Cubed who observes: "Tantalize is written at a higher level than most YA books these days, and as such is a moderately challenging read. However, it adds to the appeal of the book, making it accessible for adult readers and more desirable for older YA who feel the need for 'juicier' reads." Read the whole review.

Finally, thanks to all who took the time out to attend my table signing at Barnes & Noble Round Rock on Saturday. Thanks too to everyone who sent cards and emails in celebration of my Borders Original Voices nomination for the book. Most appreciated!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Spooky News & Links

Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Andre Norton ballot from janni. See Cynsations interviews with finalists Justine Larbalestier and Scott Westerfeld.

Open Discussion: What's Missing? from the YA Authors Cafe. The question is: "What genre or subject matter seems to be neglected in today's contemporary teen lit?" There are already some great comments; be sure to add yours.

More Personally

Thanks to Debbie Reese of American Indians in Children's Literature for her shout out about my new gothic fantasy YA, Tantalize (Candlewick, 2007). Debbie says "While I'm not a fan of vampire stories, I can say that I was drawn into Cyn's tale. I read it a few months ago, and with great ease, can feel myself walking around inside Sanguini's." How sweet is that?

Thanks to Stephanie Burgis for her kind words about Tantalize. She reports: "Italian food descriptions to salivate over, a really cool depiction of how werewolf dynamics would mix with teen angst and hormones, and a theory of why vampires would move to Austin, Texas, that made me laugh out loud." I'm honored!

Thanks to Jennifer Lynn Barnes, who callls the novel, "a wonderful, beautiful, heart-breaking book that you should all read." Don't miss her recent release, Golden (Delacorte, 2006)!

Thanks to mango_firefly at Hello Ma'am, whose take is, "a fine combination of edge of your seat suspense, mixed with sensuously atmospheric romance." She goes on, "Fans of Twilight, Great and Terrible Beauty, and Blood and Chocolate will rejoice in this gothic fantasy masterpiece, that will keep them guessing until the end. With gorgeous cover art, well-researched plot, and a unique splash of wit, Tantalize is a keeper."

Finally, thanks to everyone who showed up Saturday at my signing at the Barnes & Noble Round Rock. Most appreciated! Highlights of this past week also included lunch with the lovely JZ at Suzi's China Grill.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Spring in Bloom

Spring lasts just a few glorious, rainy, flowery weeks in Austin before the heat settles in, but it's just heavenly.

I looked outside this morning and saw that the trees were leafing, the squirrels chowing down on the food I left in their box a couple of days ago.

It's a quiet week here, though I look forward to lunches with JL and TC on Thursday as well as with JZ on Friday.

I also have a signing at 2 p.m. March 17 at Barnes & Noble Round Rock. Vampires for St. Patty's Day!

More personally, I've been catching up on my reading, recommending, and author interviews as well as playing with MySpace, walking on the treadmill, and trying to figure out my PowerPoint projector situation.

GLS and I are re-watching "Buffy: The Vampire Slayer" season seven. Willow just came home from England. Whedonverse does an excellent job of showing the costs of magic, which in many ways is a breaking point between fantasy stories of high quality and those (however popular) that are largely wish fulfillment.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Spooky News & Links

Author Interview: Melissa Marr on Wicked Lovely from HarperCollins.

"Come for the Xbox, Stay for the Books" by Lauren Mechling from The Boston Globe. Source: yalsa_blog.

David Gill recommends Beastly by Alex Flinn (HarperCollins, 2007). Read a Cynsations interview with Alex.

Melissa (AKA "Book Diva") is blogging of late about YA literature at her MySpace. Check out recent interviews with authors Linda Joy Singleton and Lori Stolarz.

Reminder: Cynthia Leitich Smith will be signing Tantalize (Candlewick, 2007) and select backlist titles at from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 17 at Barnes & Noble Round Rock (TX).

Reminder: Young Adult Book Central is sponsoring a giveaway contest featuring 20 copies of Tantalize. Here's the challenge: "Make up a favorite recipe/dish for either a vampire or a werewolf. Be Creative! And remember, answers DO count!" Please feel free to pass this on to the YA readers in your life.

Monday, March 12, 2007

The Lion and The Lady

GLS and I saw "The Lion King" (Disney on Broadway) Friday night at the University of Texas at Austin Performing Arts Center. I was glad to see the center remodeled (hooray for fire code!).

As far as the production goes, the costumes and sets were impressive. The performers all did a wonderful job, though I have no idea how they managed to dance so well with the puppets and so forth to navigate. I was wowed by the opening number.

It's always interesting to study how a story will be adapted from one venue to another. Compared the film, the play seemed somewhat rushed--I was glad I'd seen the movie so I already knew the story. Also the role of Nala was beefed up and that of Sarabi reduced. All in all, I highly recommend it, but maybe hold off for fidgety children under age 8 (or go to an earlier performance).

On Saturday night, we attended a private party in celebration of Denise Schmadt-Besserat's latest book, When Writing Met Art: From Symbol to Story (University of Texas Press, 2007). Denise also is the author of a children's picture book, The History of Counting, illustrated by Michael Hays (Morrow, 1999). Read an interview with Denise.

Spooky Links

"Presenting...Cynthia Leitich Smith:" a Girlfriends Cyber Circuit interview by Lara M. Zeises of Girl Uninterrupted: the rambling confessions of a not-so dangerous mind. Lara's books include Anyone But You (Delacorte, 2005), which was a A Pennsylvania School Library Association Fiction Selection for 2005-06 and A Teen People Top 10 Pick. Read a Cynsations interview with Lara.

Thanks to it's not just a sunset, it's a moonrise too, Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith (Candlewick, 2007) readers may join a new MySpace group, Tantalize Fans Unite!

By the way, if you're looking for a dentist in the Austin area, Mollie Kentor is the best.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Tantalize Named Borders Original Voices Title

Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith (Candlewick, 2007) has been chosen as a Borders Original Voices Title for March.

The other children's/YA books honored for March are Grumpy Bird by Jeremy Tankard (Scholastic, 2007) and Jacob's Ladder by Brian Keaney (Candlewick, 2007).

In other news, thank you to Dragon's Lair Books & Comics of Austin for passing out promotional postcards for Tantalize! Most appreciated.

Thanks to Kim Winters for blogging about the Tantalize giveaway contest at YABC!

Buried in the Slushpile gives Tantalize four out of five wax seals of approval and says: "There were a couple of times, especially near the end, that I was just as shocked as Quince at the revelations. And let me tell you, these days it's pretty darn hard to actually surprise me with a plot twist. Bravo!" Read the whole review.

"How Do You Discover Books?" asks a poll from Galley Cat. Source: Anastasia Suen at Create/Relate.

Spooky News & Links

Author Interview: Barry Lyga on The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl (Houghton Mifflin, 2006) from Cynsations.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Tantalize Signing on March 17 at Barnes & Noble Round Rock

Austinites, please mark your calendars! I'll be doing a table signing of Tantalize (Candlewick, 2007) at 2 p.m. March 17 at Barnes & Noble Round Rock. Stop by and say hi!

Thanks to AB for taking the time yesterday to get me started on PowerPoint! Most appreciated.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

From Here To Eternal

Something about launching Tantalize (Candlewick, 2007) and turning in the manuscript for Eternal (Candlewick, forthcoming) put me a bit behind on my day-to-day to dos. So, I've been playing catch-up.

This weekend, GLS and I took some photos of Austin for my upcoming PowerPoint presentations. I continued to navigate MySpace and finished judging some contest entries for an out-of-state picture book competition.

My amazing, brilliant CP editor dug into Eternal within the first two days and has already gotten back to me with an initial cheer. She used words like "dreamy" and "hilarious" and "another stunner." She also mentioned getting back to me with more comments in a couple of weeks.

In other news, I'd like to send up a huge cheer to Chris Barton on the sale of his second book. Way to go, Chris!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Spooky News & Links

I found out yesterday that my new novel, Tantalize (Candlewick, 2007), which was released Feb. 13, is already in its third printing. Thanks to all for your support!

Thanks also to A Fuse #8 Production and Buried in the Slushpile for the kind words about my recent article "How to Throw a Book Launch Party" at Create/Relate.

Here's the latest:

"An Appetizing Gothic Fantasy:" a review of Tantalize by Norah Piehl of BookPage. She cheers: "Quincie's sarcastic narration and take-charge attitude, will appeal to fans—both teens and adults—of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. ...readers will certainly be licking their lips at the end of Tantalize, their appetites whetted for Smith's next enticing adventure." Read the whole review.

Spooky Links

Learn more about Cecil Castellucci's graphic novel The Plain Janes, illustrated by Jim Rugg (DC Comics/Minx, May 2007). More soon on her fierce and amazing new prose novel, Beige (Candlewick, 2007); read a Cynsations interview with Cecil.

The Den of Shadows: author site by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes.

"Recent graphic novels explore strange new worlds" by Becky Ohlsen from BookPage.

Congratulations to Brent Hartinger on the glowing review by USA Today of his new release, Split Screen: Attack of the Soul-Sucking Brain Zombies/Bride of the Soul-Sucking Brain Zombies (HarperCollins, 2007). Read a recent Cynsations interview with Brent.

Melissa Marr, author of Wicked Lovely (HarperCollins, 2007), visits the YA Authors Cafe. Read her interview and ask her a question. Visit Melissa's site, and learn more about Wicked Lovely.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Eternal Off to Boston; Cyn Launches MySpace

I had the pleasure of sending my draft of Eternal to my CP editor a couple of days ago. I look forward to revisions, but for now, I'm needing a break. I've been playing with it so long that the whole thing is starting to blur. Distance and a fresh eye will help.

In other news, I've launched a MySpace! Please surf by to check it out and consider me as a friend. It's interesting because--for someone with two blogs, one of which is mirrored and both of which are syndicated and with a main author and book-specific site--I originally found the interface intimidating. Yet, I found actually putting it together and selecting a design really enjoyable.

Spooky Links

Author Interview: Deborah Lynn Jacobs on Powers (Roaring Brook, 2006) at Cynsations. Powers is a great read and centers on a psychic connection.