Friday, January 28, 2011

More Review Love for BANISHED

BANISHED is making the rounds of the young adult fiction reviewers, picking up some lovely accolades. Here's a couple of recent reviews:

From School Library Journal:

Gr 9 Up–Sixteen-year-old Hailey Tarbell lives with her negligent grandmother and foster brother, Chub, in a decrepit corner of Gypsum, MO. She tolerates Gram’s drug dealing and their outcast status, biding her time until she can start a new life with Chub. When a classmate almost dies in a gym class accident, Hailey discovers that she possesses a healing power. She uses this gift to revive her dog, Rascal, after a truck crushes him, but he doesn’t seem normal after being brought back to life. Then long-lost Aunt Prairie arrives in town, along with two mysterious men who trail Hailey everywhere she goes. Following a violent shoot-out and car chase, Prairie escapes with Hailey and Chub and takes them to Chicago, where they join forces with another Healer and her son. Prairie reveals that the Tarbells are part of an ancient Irish clan of “Banished” people. Healing is one of their gifts, though they are forbidden from resurrecting someone who has already died, which explains the trouble with Rascal. Hailey also learns that her aunt’s ex-boyfriend is a nefarious medical researcher who wants to use Hailey’s skill to raise a mercenary army of zombies. The action builds to a nail-biting climax at the research laboratory where Hailey tangles, quite gruesomely, with a room full of zombies. The mythology of the Banished is somewhat underdeveloped, but it may be better explained in the inevitable sequel. With plenty of action, family drama, and the promise of romance, this novel is seriously entertaining.–Amy Pickett, Ridley High School, Folsom, PA

From VOYA, the magazine for librarians serving young adults:

No sensible young girl wants to stay in Gypsum, Missouir, especially the down-at-the-heels neighborhood the rich kids call Trashtown. Sixteen-year-old Hailey Tarbell plans escape when she turns eighteen, leaving behind the poverty-stricken town and her vicious, drug-dealing grandmother. The only things she will take with her into her new life are her four-year-old foster brother, Chub, and her mongrel dog, Rascal. Hailey's life is altered completely when one of her classmates is hurt in gym and she is able to heal the girl's life-threatening injuries. As Hailey, bewildered by her sudden powers, frantically attempts to keep her life on track, a glamorous and enigmatic woman appears at the door declaring herself to be her aunt Prairie, sister of Hailey's long-dead mother. Prairie provides Hailey with details of her own life and career but is clearly holding back certain key details. Most importantly, why is Prairie hiding from her former employer and why does she evade questions about their shared project?

Prairie's appearance plunges Hailey, Chub and Rascal into a breakneck adventure, running from both Prairie's creepy boss and the sadistic residents of Trashtown who want Hailey for their own disturbing reasons. Award-winning author Littlefield offers teen readers an enthralling and sometimes gory mix of brutal gunmen, high-speed car chases, horrifying zombie armies, long-buried secrets, and a sturdy, resilient narrator with an awesome and occasionally terrifying power. A cliff-hanger climax promises spellbound readers a whole gripping series of Hailey's future exploits. - Jamie Hansen

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Books on the Porch!!

There's nothing like opening the door to discover a box of shiny new books sent by one's publisher. I'm not ashamed to say I shriek and jump around and kiss them. AFTERTIME won't be for sale for another month, but I will probably be sleeping with a copy under my pillow until then.

My editor says this is one of the nicest packages he's seen (hmmm, i just realized how that sounds - it just means the cover and the blurbs and back cover copy, the type design and layout and front- and backmatter, basically everything but the words I wrote) - - and I have to agree. With absolutely no good behavior on my part to account for it, my cover-magic streak continues, and I offer my humble thanks to the Harlequin art and design folks.

One interesting note - this is the first of my books that Dog has shown absolutely no interest in eating. Hmmm. Maybe because in Aftertime, when people get hungry enough, they, uh...well. Pets have to stay on their toes, is all I'm sayin'. Hear that, Dog? Hmmm?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Early Reviews for AFTERTIME

Early reviews for my new series with Harlequin Luna are beginning to trickle in. So far, so good! Here's a sampling of what people have to say, with links to the full reviews:


"Startling and unputdownable from beginning to end...hands down the best zombie book I've read all year."
—All Things Urban Fantasy
Read the full review here.

"Psychologically fascinating...Acts of depravity, venality, cruelty, and cowardice are balanced by shining acts of selflessness, heroism, kindness, and love, all magnified by the fact that life is being lived at the knife-edge of survival. Aftertime is a gripping read; sympathetic characters operate in a detailed, realistically shattered echo of modern society, and the emotional journey is as harrowing and absorbing as the physical one." - The Paperback Dolls
Read the full review here.

"A really good book, keeping you guessing on what will happen at the end and a lot of suspense. I look forward to reading more from this author!" - Bookerella
Read the full review here.

Monday, January 3, 2011

School Library Journal Hearts BANISHED



Just found out that School Library Journal reviewed BANISHED in the January issue. I'm so delighted - this is the first time I've been reviewed by this publication. Here's what they had to say:

Grade 9 Up –- Sixteen-year-old Hailey Tarbell lives with her negligent grandmother and foster brother, Chub, in a decrepit corner of Gypsum, MO. She tolerates Gram’s drug dealing and their outcast status, biding her time until she can start a new life with Chub. When a classmate almost dies in a gym class accident, Hailey discovers that she possesses a healing power. She uses this gift to revive her dog, Rascal, after a truck crushes him, but he doesn’t seem normal after being brought back to life. Then long-lost Aunt Prairie arrives in town, along with two mysterious men who trail Hailey everywhere she goes. Following a violent shoot-out and car chase, Prairie escapes with Hailey and Chub and takes them to Chicago, where they join forces with another Healer and her son. Prairie reveals that the Tarbells are part of an ancient Irish clan of “Banished” people. Healing is one of their gifts, though they are forbidden from resurrecting someone who has already died, which explains the trouble with Rascal. Hailey also learns that her aunt’s ex-boyfriend is a nefarious medical researcher who wants to use Hailey’s skill to raise a mercenary army of zombies. The action builds to a nail-biting climax at the research laboratory where Hailey tangles, quite gruesomely, with a room full of zombies. The mythology of the Banished is somewhat underdeveloped, but it may be better explained in the inevitable sequel. With plenty of action, family drama, and the promise of romance, this novel is seriously entertaining.–Amy Pickett, Ridley High School, Folsom, PA

Saturday, January 1, 2011

My First Foreign Edition, Ever!

Thank you, Hayakawa Books of Tokyo! A couple of days ago, a plain brown package arrived containing six of these.



There was no note, so I have no one to send a thank you note to. I do know that my translator was Shizue Saga. (I've read every bit of the book that I can actually read, which comprises exactly one paragraph, if you don't count my name and the title in fanciful font across the t-shirts - i doubt that you can make it out in the picture but it's there.

First thing I did was to send one off to my brother. (Did you know Mike speaks fluent Japanese? Well, now you do.) I'm hoping he'll read some random section of it for me. Because I think it would be really cool to know how it got translated. Which might be kind of silly, but this is a first for me, and I make it a point to celebrate *every* first.