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So. Let's talk witches. Fantasy. Hot boys who are actually (gasp) also good boys. Beautiful dresses. Oracles. Sisters. Magic. Plot twists. Heartbreak.


All words to describe STAR CURSED, the second book in Jessica Spotswood's CAHILL WITCH CHRONICLES trilogy. (The first book, by the way, is BORN WICKED. It's captivating. You should read it. It has all of the above too.) I had the extreme fortune of reading STAR CURSED early, and let me tell you, it's possibly even better than the first. Not only are we treated to a thickening plot and a world that turns steadily darker--but we're treated to some serious character development. Cate, Maura, and Tess are a breathtaking trio of sisters. And, just sayin....be prepared for some heartbreak. Agh!


Okay. Without further ado, here's what STAR CURSED is about:


With the Brotherhood persecuting witches like never before, a divided Sisterhood desperately needs Cate to come into her Prophesied powers. And after Cate's friend Sachi is arrested for using magic, a war-thirsty Sister offers to help her find answers--if Cate is willing to endanger everyone she loves.


Cate doesn't want to be a weapon, and she doesn't want to involve her friends and Finn in the Sisterhood's schemes. But when Maura and Tess join the Sisterhood, Maura makes it clear that she'll do whatever it takes to lead the witches to victory. Even if it means sacrifices. Even if it means overthrowing Cate. Even if it means all-out war.

In the highly anticipated sequel to BORN WICKED, the Cahill Witch Chronicles continue Cate, Maura and Tess's quest to find love, protect family, and explore their magic against all odds in an alternate history of New England.


As part of the blog tour, each day Jess is revealing an annotated snippet from STAR CURSED. Check it below. Also, Jess has the neatest handwriting in the world.


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If you add up the page number from each stop during the tour, you can enter to win a one-of-a-kind annotated ARC plus a star trio necklace! Find the other stops below, and on June 21, enter the Rafflecopter here:



Tues, 6/4: Ex Libris Kate

Wed, 6/5: Mundie Moms

Thurs, 6/6: Presenting Lenore

Fri, 6/7: Hobbitsies





Thurs, 6/13: Forever Young Adult

Fri, 6/14: The Story Siren


Mon, 6/17: YA Bibliophile

Tues, 6/18: Marie Lu

Wed, 6/19: Beth Revis

Thurs, 6/20: Veronica Rossi

Fri, 6/21: Marissa Meyer



STAR CURSED releases on June 18. That's today! You can read the first chapter here. Be sure to pick up your copy, and if you haven't hopped on the series' bandwagon yet, get yourself BORN WICKED and enjoy!




So. I have some news.

"New York Times bestselling author of the LEGEND series Marie Lu's new fantasy trilogy THE YOUNG ELITES, in a Renaissance-like world where young children who survive the blood fever are often gifted with god-like powers, three rival societies battle for supremacy, in a major deal, for publication in fall 2014, to Jen Besser at Putnam Children's, by Kristin Nelson at Nelson Literary Agency (World)." (via Publisher's Marketplace)

There it is! The Young Elites. I drew some pics and pinned some Pinteresting things:

Young Elites art and details

Think X-Men meets Assassin's Creed 2 meets Game of Thrones. Those elements are all in there somewhere, mashed together into literary guacamole with a big keyboard-shaped spoon. (That was a terrible analogy. I apologize. Sort of.)

I cannot express my excitement at working with Team Putnam/Penguin again. I cannot. They are a team of Young Elites with all sorts of crazy powers. And Agent Kristin is a Superwoman who guided this little author through some seriously whacked out early versions of the story. Luff. :heart:

"Whacked out early versions, you say?" Yes, The Young Elites and I went through some growing pains before I managed to kick this story into line.

About a year ago, I decided I wanted to write a fantasy series. I grew up reading almost exclusively fantasy and science fiction, and the very first (thankfully unpublished) manuscript I ever finished in high school was a fantasy. So I always knew I would head in this direction. I came up with the initial idea for The Young Elites in early 2012 and excitedly wrote a few chapters. I tossed it. I tried again. I tossed it again. I did this several more time over the span of the next year or so, until I'd probably written enough words to have filled an entire book. Still, I couldn't "find it." I had characters, I had a premise, and I had a world . . . but I didn't have a story. Not until a few months ago did I finally figure out my problem.

I had the wrong protagonist.

Picking the right protagonist for your story is one of the most important decisions you can make as a writeróand it was a decision I never had trouble with for Legend. Day and June were my protagonists the instant the story sparked in my mind. They came fully formed, their personalities and attitudes complete and their character arcs ready to go. I took off running with them.

With TYE, I didn't have this same ease. I started out telling the story from the point of view of a boy we'll call Faketagonist. Faketagonist had a cast of (hopefully) interesting secondary characters swirling around him . . . but he himself was bland and uninspired. Too normal. Too 'nice'. Things happened to him and around himóbut he never took action. Faketagonist waited a lot and relied on too many people. He was not protagonist material.

Then, I heard her. Off to Faketagonist's side was a secondary character, a girl with snow white hair and a missing eye, a dark past and an even darker character arc. I hesitated to give her the lead role, to be honest. Adelina Amouteru is a bit like a teenage female version of Magneto and Darth Vader. She is not a nice girl. She has twisted opinions about the world and the people around her. Day (from Legend) was a boy who walked in the light, but Adelina is a girl who walks in darkness.

And I worry, because even though Adelina and I are very different in many ways, I see pieces of myself in her that I'm not proud of. We all have our dark side, don't we? (Okay fine, maybe you don't, but please nod along and humor me. Plus, we need to get together and work on nurturing your inner mwahaha.)

There are also superheroes, supervillains, royalty, bad boys with hearts of gold, bad boys with hearts of dead puppies, good boys who drink their tea with a spoonful of cunning, good girls who make mistakes, badass girls, badass boys, boys and girls who do stupid things, smart things, and everything in between. Oh, and magic. Naturally.

This is, of course, all what I'm picturing in my head. I'm not done with the story yet. And I'm working VERY hard to make sure that this book doesn't make CSI's Horatio Caine go, "Well, it looks like the Young Elites are nothing more than . . . *sunglasses* the Young Disappointments. EEEEEYYEEEEAAAH!"

That's about all I have to say for now. I hope you guys will like it. I can't wait for you all to read it in Fall 2014! Until then, I'll be writing furiously and hyperventilating into a paper bag.

P.S. After Faketagonist was removed from his leading role post, he managed to pull himself together and turn into a surprisingly fun secondary character. He has congratulated Adelina and now lives on set in his secondary character trailer.
Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone for all your amazing support for both Legend and Prodigy. I heard the news yesterday and became an absolute mess of emotions:

Prodigy debuts at #2 on the New York Times bestsellers list, and Legend comes in at #10 on the same list!

I can't believe it. I really can't. I don't think my high school writing-at-midnight self could ever have imagined this sort of thing coming true. It couldn't have happened without a team of brilliant people and the support of dedicated readers. Thank you all so much. :heart:
It's here. It's FINALLY here, guys. :heart: Prodigy (Legend #2) is now out in the world! I'm sure you've all heard me lament about this already, but Prodigy was perhaps the most difficult book I've ever written. (I say this, of course, in lieu of Legend #3, which also killed me to write.) Now I'm super nervous, anxious, and excited to hear what you all think of Prodigy. I hope you guys enjoy it!

To celebrate, I have a fantastic surprise for you guys today. Ever wanted to see Day in parkour action? Well, wait no more. Check out this Prodigy trailer of EPIC proportions: www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdorzC…

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For any in the Southern California area, you are all invited to come out for the Prodigy launch event tonight (Jan. 29). Details below:

Prodigy Launch Party
When: 7:30 PM on Jan. 29, 2013
Where: Mysterious Galaxy bookstore, 2810 Artesia Blvd, Redondo Beach, CA 90278
Who: Open to the public. Bring your friends!

Facebook invite: www.facebook.com/events/401669…

We'll do a little chatting, a little Q&A, and a little noming on finger foods! :heart:
Update: Whoa! We've had a huge response to this contest in the last few days, and already hundreds of votes. The current top 3 cities by votes are: Boise, Toronto, and Lansing. To see the top 10, head on over to the YA 2 U site: ya2u.blogspot.com/2013/01/star… I can't wait to see what city I, Beth Revis, Marissa Meyer, Victoria Schwab, and Megan Shepherd will fly to!

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Happy New Year, deviants!! Well, it looks like we survived a rather anticlimactic apocalypse--I hope you all had a lovely holiday and that you all had tons of delicious food!

I have a really fun announcement for you guys on this first day of 2013. There's a project that I'm a part of this year, and it's called:

YA2U

MARIE LU


What is it? Well, Bringing YA to You (or YA2U for short) was a project that came from you guys--all of you who have ever said, "Why won't a book tour make a stop in my hometown?" Well, that's what we (and by 'we', i mean me and four other authors) want to do! We're hosting a contest--everyone gets to put in whatever city they most want us to go to, and whatever town has the most votes, will get an exclusive tour stop from all five of us!

I'm so excited about this project, because for the first time, we get to let our readers choose our tour stop, and I can't wait to see where we'll end up!

And that's not all--we're also hosting another contest where, if you help us spread the word, we'll give you ten signed books, all the books we've published so far!

You can find the full details of the YA2U project here: ya2u.blogspot.com and you can also go ahead and enter your hometown for the win and help spread the word. There's also lots of cool features on the site, including downloadable posters (consider putting them up in your school or library! More votes = a better chance for you to win!) and other tips on how to win.

Now, notice how there are four other amazing authors who are a part of this? Want to know who they are? To find out the next mystery author who will be on our YA2U tour, click here marissameyer.com/blog ! And happy new year, deviants--can't wait to spend another year with you guys. <3
My deepest sadness, condolences, hugs, blankets. I am so sorry. I am so sorry.
So. We did not intentionally schedule the "Cities of Legend" game to launch on such a special date, but 12/12/12/ it is, and all the better! Drumroooollll please......

CITIES OF LEGEND (Open Beta): Now available to play. Click here to go have some fun, guys.

Cities of Legend


(To see a fabulous, gorgeous, epic game trailer to accompany it all, check out Games.com's exclusive coverage and scroll down: blog.games.com/2012/12/11/citi…

I really can't exaggerate how close to my heart this game is. So let me tell you a little about the behind-the-scenes of it all.

Anyone who remembers how I originally started writing Legend will understand how much this game means to me. Back when I first finished Legend's initial draft and was trying to calm my nerves while waiting for my agent's feedback, I distracted myself by creating my own little Legend-based game. Remember that one, guys? "Legend: Dystopia"? It was a really fun side project, but ultimately I just couldn't keep it up on my own. So when Legend sold to Penguin and I started working on the sequel (Prodigy), I had to leave "Legend: Dystopia" idle and concentrate on one thing at a time.

Fast forward to 2011. Last year, I was first given the opportunity to create something interactive that belonged to the Legend property. I jumped at the chance. This time, I wouldn't have to create and run a Legend game all by myself. I could have professionals work with me! Eureka! And out of the mist came Wicked Sweet Games (WSG), an amazing little social game studio run by a small group of game folks with deeply rooted passion for games. I came up with our initial game design, WSG breathed life into it, and together we created what is now "Cities of Legend", of which the beta is now finally open for all to play.

For Legend fans: you'll recognize characters, locations, and scenes from the book. You can have Metias, Thomas, Tess, Kaede, etc on your teams (depending on which side you fight for). Some of the characters, like Pascao, are from the upcoming Prodigy (Legend #2). Locations are all based on a map of Los Angeles that will show you the sectors that Day and June had to travel through in the book, and you'll recognize sector names like Lake, Ruby, Tanagashi, and the ever-ominous Batalla. The time period of the game is set to be right before the events of Legend, so there are no spoilers, although some bits are exaggerated for the purpose of gameplay (i.e. Day is fighting alongside rebels, rather than working alone as he does in the first book).

Dude. Anyone who works in game dev knows the trials and tribulations that come with bringing a game to life, and you guys, WSG hit it out of the ballpark because this game is so wonderful. I love it to pieces. "Cities of Legend" is a puzzle game meets battle and strategy, and the heart of it all is the puzzle minigame (designed by WSG's Primo Gallanosa). Depending on whether or not you choose to fight alongside June with the Republic, or alongside Day with the Rebels, you'll face off against the opposing side in this minigame--doing well will increase your attack meter, and once you've leveled up enough, you can launch an attack on your AI opponent.

Winning at the puzzle minigame lets you conquer locations either for the Republic or for the Rebels. One of my favorite things about the game is that you are a part of a huge team. If you play as the Rebels, for example, you and all other Rebel players are fighting as part of the overall cause--and you'll see a meter in the top right corner of your game that tells you which side is winning the war. Similarly, if you play for the Republic, you are joining all your other fellow Republic players in pushing that meter in favor of the Republic. It's all-out war!

The art direction (Primo Gallanosa) and UI design (Matt Sherwood, who also is our producer and the glue that held everything together) is beautiful, suiting Legend's dystopian mood while also staying colorful and fun. The tech side (Phil Harvey) made it all come alive. When you have such a small, tight-knit team, you get to see creative magic happen because nothing induces creativity like limitations. And these guys made some serious magic happen.

Guys, there's even a beautiful, dark, gorgeous, action-packed, original soundtrack (composed specially for the game by the amazingly talented Kole Hicks).

Anyway. I'll stop gushing about it now. On behalf of all 5 (ish) of us, thank you for giving us a try. Please go ahead and see the game for yourself, and if you like it, pass it along to your friends. We have a ton of amazing updates planned for this game, and with WSG behind it, I know it'll be off the charts.

*hugs "Cities of Legend" with crushing force* :heart: :heart: :heart:

So without further rambling, here's the link to the game again: apps.facebook.com/citiesoflege…
  • Listening to: Cities of Legend soundtrack
  • Watching: Wreck-It Ralph
  • Playing: Cities of Legend
  • Eating: Pho
  • Drinking: Always agua
The awesome C. Alexander London, or Sandy, tagged me to join in on "The Next Big Thing", where I take a moment to both 1) talk about what I'm working on next, and 2) tag three other authors' projects that I love and see if they'll blog about what they're working on next (no pressure, though, of course!). So without further ado, here we go!


[NO COVER YET]

PROXY by Alex London (Jun. 18, 2013): Are we allowed to list the person who tagged us? Oh well, I don't care--Sandy doesn't have to do this post all over again, but I just couldn't help tagging his upcoming Young Adult sci-fi, PROXY. It's about a wealthy boy named Knox, and a poor boy named Syd who acts as Knox's Proxy--or the futuristic equivalent of a Whipping Boy. It's a story about class, justice, friendship, sacrifice, and atonement. The pace is lightning fast; you'll probably finish it all in one sitting. It's so awesome, guys, I can't even. I can't wait for you all to read it next summer. Sandy is also the author of the middle-grade AN ACCIDENTAL ADVENTURE series and the DOG TAGS series!



ORLEANS by Sherri L. Smith (March 2013): I was lucky enough to get this book as an ARC. Now I'm about halfway through it--guys, this is one author to watch. ORLEANS tells the story of 15-year old Fen de la Guerre in a flooded future New Orleans. The world is fascinating and intense, the characters are awesome, and the writing has a strong voice that sucks you right in. Smith is the author of FLYGIRL, a historical YA about a black teenage girl who longs to be a pilot during WWII. (Anyone who knows me knows my love for planes.) Pick up FLYGIRL (now out) and keep your eyes peeled for ORLEANS this coming March!



A DARKNESS STRANGE & LOVELY (sequel to Something Strange & Deadly) by Susan Dennard (July 23, 2013): For those who haven't checked out Something Strange & Deadly (out now), you're missing out on a great YA steampunk/historical/fantasy/romance novel about a girl named Eleanor Fitt living in 19th century Philadelphia, who must deal with a mother who wants to marry her off to a wealthy man, a handsome young inventor/Spirit-Hunter named Daniel, and you know, the living dead. There are world fairs! And beautiful dresses! And hot inventor boys! And in July 2013, the sequel comes out. Excitement!



STAR CURSED (sequel to Born Wicked) by Jessica Spotswood (June 18, 2013): In Born Wicked (out now), Cate Cahill must protect her younger sisters by keeping their secret (the three girls are all witches) from the rest of alternate-1890s New England, lest they suffer at the hands of the oppressive Brotherhood priests. Let me tell you, this YA historical fantasy series has excellent female protagonists and a wicked hot boy named Finn (who, btw, is sweet, charming, freckly, brainy, and all-round marriage material). I'm counting down the days until the sequel STAR CURSED comes out! Definitely one to watch.

And now, I talk a bit about what I'm writing after the Legend trilogy. It's vague, but here it is:

Title: No clue. Currently I'm calling it The Young Elites. But my reputation for poor titles is well-known, so I promise nothing.

Synopsis: I can't say much about it yet, other than the following--magic, high-fantasy, loosely based on Renaissance-era Venice, brothers, colorful hair, flying ocean rays, and dangerous societies.

Genre: YA high fantasy

How long did it take you to write the first draft? Still working on it. I can't remember how long it's been...I haven't been keeping track. Officially...maybe 6 months?

And that's all so far! Be sure to check out the books mentioned above when they're out on the shelves. You'll love them!
  • Listening to: Losing You - Solange
  • Reading: Orleans - Sherri L. Smith
  • Watching: Wreck-It Ralph
  • Playing: Assassin&#039;s Creed III
  • Eating: Afternoon tea
  • Drinking: Always agua
Update: So, unless I'm reading the results wrong--it looks like Legend made it to the semifinals round of the Goodreads Choice Awards, in both 'YA Fantasy & Science Fiction' and 'Goodreads Author'! Wow, thank you guys! :heart: This semifinals rounds' voting runs until the end of this week (Nov. 17), so if you have a spare moment, please hop on by and cast your vote for Legend again! Only one more round after this!

Best Young Adult Fantasy/Science Fiction: www.goodreads.com/award/choice…

Goodreads Author of the Year: www.goodreads.com/award/choice…

==============

Legend has been nominated in 2 categories for the 2012 Goodreads Choice Awards: Young Adult Fantasy/Science Fiction, and Goodreads Author of the Year. The GCAs are the only major book awards chosen entirely by the fans, so they mean quite a lot to us writers! If you enjoyed Legend and have a couple of minutes to spare, I'd be so grateful if you'd like to stop by and vote for Legend in its two categories. Thanks in advance! :heart:

Best Young Adult Fantasy/Science Fiction: www.goodreads.com/choiceawards…

Goodreads Author of the Year: www.goodreads.com/choiceawards…

Goodreads Choice Awards Nominee
  • Listening to: Sounds of the ocean
  • Reading: Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
  • Watching: Wreck-It Ralph
  • Playing: Assassin's Creed III
  • Eating: Dumplings
  • Drinking: Always agua
Update #2: Random Number Generator came to the rescue again! I pooled the comments from here as well as anyone who tweeted me their entry on Twitter. The winner is..... ~Sephinta! Congrats--I'll contact you soon about your preferred mailing address. Thanks so much for participating, everyone! :heart:

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Update: The contest is now done! Will have a winner posted shortly. Thanks so much, guys!

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So I have something fun to give away today. :)

First of all, the significance of today is that it is the launch day for the lush, thrilling book Origin, by debut author Jessica Khoury. Origin is the first of five Fall 2012 books from Penguin Young Readers dubbed the 2012 Breathless Reads, and I have to say, it's fantastic. You will really want to read this. :heart: It's set in the Amazon rainforests (how beautiful and original is that setting? Amazing!), and tells the story of a young girl named Pia who is genetically engineered to be immortal. But immortality is not without its dark secrets, and as the story progresses, Pia slowly begins to learn the truth around the scientists who created her.

Doesn't that sound awesome? (Fair warning: There are some very sad scenes involving animals. But on the very-plus side, there is a PET JAGUAR. :heart:)

So in honor of Jessica's debut today, I'm giving away a box set of all five of the Fall 2012 Breathless Reads books! Honestly, I'm a little hesitant to part with this, especially because it comes in a really pretty box:

Breathless Reads 2012

Breathless Reads 2012

(Photo courtesy of Beth Revis! Sorry Beth, my camera is batteryless and my phone sucks--apologies for yoinking your photo. ;)  )

But luckily I have two of these boxes, and I'm keeping one, dammit. But you guys can get the other one!

The books included, four of which haven't come out yet (how VIP is that? Kind of awesome, seriously):

ORIGIN by Jessica Khoury: A girl who is immortal must uncover the truth of her existence, set in the lush rainforests of the Amazon.

VENOM by Fiona Paul: Love, lust, murder, mayhem and high society...all set in beautiful Renaissance Venice.

BLACK CITY by Elizabeth Richards: A dark and tender post-apocalyptic love story set in the aftermath of a bloody war, where humans and Darklings are separated by a high wall in their city.

THE INNOCENTS by Lili Peloquin: Nothing ever came between sisters Alice and Charlie...until they got to Serenity Point. Romance, mystery, gothic atmosphere.

FALLING KINGDOMS by Morgan Rhodes: High fantasy. Four young people's fates intertwine in a land where three kingdoms go to war.

How to win the free box set of these books: Just leave a comment here, about whatever. Or tweet me. That's it. :) Runs until 8:00am on Friday, Sept. 7 (PST)! (Sorry btw--this giveaway is only for U.S. and Canada.)

If you want, you can actually read sample chapters from each of these books  here: www.amazon.com/Breathless-Read…

Anyway, you should check out ORIGIN today, now available in all bookstores and wherever books are sold online! Congrats, Jess!
  • Listening to: Sounds of the ocean
  • Reading: Origin - Jessica Khoury
  • Eating: Macadamia nuts
  • Drinking: Always agua
I'm embarrassed I didn't post about this sooner. But thank you, thank you, for all of the wonderful birthday wishes and kind words lately, and all the dA points and llama badges!! You guys are absolutely the best. :heart: :hug: Much love!
  • Listening to: I'm Wide Awake - Katy Perry
  • Reading: Forbidden - Tabitha Suzuma
  • Watching: The Dark Knight Rises
  • Eating: Veggie sandwich
  • Drinking: Always agua
For those who might've missed the announcement--there's a Facebook game coming out soon called Cities of Legend, based on Legend's story. And in case you haven't seen it, the game's app page has started posting some of our concept art: www.facebook.com/CitiesOfLegen…

Early concept art of Los Angeles's slum sectors.
Slums concept art

Early concept of the bank tower in downtown Los Angeles, where the Los Angeles Central Hospital and Laboratory is also located. Formerly known as the U.S. Bank Tower.
Bank Tower

Games.com recently covered Cities of Legend's announcement: "Cities of Legend launches us into a bleak future on Facebook" blog.games.com/2012/08/08/citi…

So YAY! I'm ridiculously excited about this game. Finally, something created with the help of other professionals, that I don't have to struggle to program and maintain all on my own. Something that should be reliable and fun for all the players. :heart: I can't wait for those interested to begin playing it.
  • Listening to: I'm Wide Awake - Katy Perry
  • Reading: Forbidden - Tabitha Suzuma
  • Watching: The Dark Knight Rises
  • Eating: Veggie sandwich
  • Drinking: Always agua
Update: The winner of the signed copy of Legend is announced this morning on Susan's blog susandennard.com/2012/07/31/th… !! Hop over to see the results!

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Something a little different today, dA folks! Today I'm very proud to be included as part of a blog tour for 1 fabulously lovely author friend and 1 super awesome novel that she wrote.

The author in question? Miss Susan Dennard. The novel in question? The thrilling, dark, and charming Something Strange & Deadly, now out from HarperTeen.

First of all, I'd like to announce the prize winner of the 7/29 Giveaway (on author Amie Kaufman's blog amiekaufman.com/) of the highly sought-after ARCs, Falling Kingdoms (by Morgan Rhodes) and Pushing the Limits (by Katie McGarry). The winner is... Michelle Harper!! Shoot an email to SSADOutbreak@gmail.com to receive your prize!

So. What is Something Strange & Deadly (SS&D), you ask? Back in March of this year, I was given the enormous privilege of blurbing SS&D. The short version of the story is this: in an alternate 1876 Philadelphia where the dead terrorize the streets, Eleanor Fitt of the Philadelphia Fitts seeks out the (badass) Spirit-Hunters in order to unravel the mystery of her brother's disappearance. In the midst of all this, she finds herself drawn to the irresistibly charming, clever, and working-class Spirit-Hunter Daniel, and must find a way to deal with her mother's plan to match her with a young upper class gentleman.

Sounds awesome, doesn't it? Yeah, I know. :heart:

I remember reading SS&D over the course of a long flight, and I must say--THANK YOU Sooz, because SS&D made an otherwise uber-dull flight an absolutely thrilling one. This is due in no small part to the amount of kickass action that happens throughout SS&D.

Seriously. When the opening line is: " 'Dead!' a woman screamed. 'It's the Dead!' ", you know you're in for a rollercoaster of a ride. Susan takes you not only through the outer conflicts that Eleanor has to deal with (the Dead), but her romantic and family (my favorite) conflicts as well. I loved the complex relationship Eleanor had with her mother and brother, and when those threads were woven together with the Spirit-Hunters and all the mayhem happening in Philadelphia, the action took on a much greater depth. I pretty much bit my nails off wondering what would happen next in each scene.

Another aspect I loved about this book was the lovely blend of tension, darkness, and....fun. Fantastic fun. Even though Eleanor has to deal with very dark issues, there are also light-hearted scenes that balance that darkness really well, and touches of humor that made me laugh out loud. It also helps that Eleanor is just charming and witty as all hell, and Daniel Sheridan is a book boy I can totally get behind.

Anyway, can you tell I thoroughly enjoyed Something Strange & Deadly? Pick it up, for it is now available in all bookstores as well as online at Amazon www.amazon.com/Something-Stran… , IndieBound www.indiebound.org/book/978006… , and Barnes & Noble www.barnesandnoble.com/w/somet… . You can't go wrong.

And finally, to finish off this post, I have a signed copy of the hardcover version of Legend to give away! To enter, just post a comment here. (This giveaway is U.S. only, but the grand prize (below) is international!)

The winner of this contest will be announced tomorrow on the next stop of this blog tour...

Tomorrow (Tuesday 7/31): Susan Dennard herself susandennard.com/blog-2/ will announce the grand prize winner!

In the meantime, help us spread the word about SS&D on Twitter with the #SSaDOutbreak hashtag. Don't forget to enter the grand prize giveaway for a chance to snag some seriously epic prizes. I am not kidding about how good the grand prize is--an Amazon gift card, highly coveted ARCs, crits from authors Erin Bowman and Sarah J. Maas and literary agent Joanna Volpe, and more! How do you beat that, I ask you? For details on how to enter, click here.
  • Listening to: Call It What You Want - Foster the People
  • Reading: Something Strange & Deadly - Susan Dennard
  • Watching: The Dark Knight Rises
  • Eating: Peaches
  • Drinking: Always agua
In celebration of Comic-con, I have a really exciting announcement for you guys, as well as a chance to get a free copy of Prodigy (Legend #2). This is something that's VERY close to my heart and something I've been working with a team on for months. Drumroll....

The official game trailer for "Cities of Legend"

I've partnered with CBS Films (who also own Legend's movie rights) and social game developer Wicked Sweet Games to make a Facebook game for Legend, with our launch scheduled for early fall of this year! "Cities of Legend" combines Puzzle, Battle, and Strategy in a game where you can fight FOR or AGAINST the Republic of America's dark regime. I can't say much more than that, but you will be able to see--and play--as Legend's characters. Wicked Sweet Games and I designed the gameplay, and as a former game industry employee, I'm having so much fun dipping my toes back into the gaming world.

To whet your appetite, check out some of the sparkling concept art currently up on our app page (including what Day and June look like), courtesy of our developer Wicked Sweet Games: facebook.com/citiesoflegend .

Day

That's Day. IT'S GORGEOUS. This will be updated frequently with new concepts and screens. And if you add the app now, you'll get a virtual gift when the game opens: apps.facebook.com/citiesoflege… . Pretty sweet.

So.

To celebrate our announcement, I am giving away two advance copies of Prodigy. Prodigy is the second book in the Legend trilogy, and it doesn't go on sale until Jan. 29, 2013. It looks like this:

Prodigy advance copy

Prodigy inside colors

(Yup, Day's chapters are printed in dark blue ink. This is due to the awesomeness of my publisher, Penguin--thank you, Penguin! :heart:)

How do you enter this Prodigy giveaway? See below:

What: Giving away two signed Prodigy (Legend #2) advance copies

When: The contest starts right now (Wednesday, July 12) and runs until 11:59 PM PST on next Thursday, July 19.

Who: Open to everyone, U.S. and international.

How:

(1) "Like" the "Cities of Legend" Facebook page: facebook.com/citiesoflegend .

(2) On the "Cities of Legend" Facebook page, post a comment that answers the following question: If you lived in Legend's world, who would you fight for? The Republic, or the rebels?

I will randomly choose one person who picks Republic and one person who picks Rebels to receive the signed copies. Once the contest is over, I will also announce which side won by sheer number of supporters, the Republic or the rebels.

Remember: You MUST post your comment on the "Cities of Legend" page in order to enter!

Thanks all, and I can't wait to see which side wins!

I'm so excited to have you guys play this game and read Prodigy when they come out! Here's the official summary of what Prodigy is about, straight from Legend's official site legendtheseries.com :

"June and Day arrive in Vegas just as the unthinkable happens: the Elector Primo dies, and his son Anden takes his place. With the Republic edging closer to chaos, the two join a group of Patriot rebels eager to help Day rescue his brother and offer passage to the Colonies. They have only one request: June and Day must assassinate the new Elector.

"It's their chance to change the nation, to give voice to a people silenced for too long.

"But as June realizes this Elector is nothing like his father, she's haunted by the choice ahead. What if Anden is a new beginning? What if revolution must be more than loss and vengeance, anger and blood—-what if the Patriots are wrong?"

Well, that's pretty much it from me. Good luck in the contest, and stay tuned for more game updates!
  • Listening to: Settle Down - Kimbra
  • Reading: Code Name Verity - Elizabeth Wein
  • Watching: nothing. EVERYTHING FINISHED. ;__;
  • Eating: Chex Mix
  • Drinking: Always agua
So, guys. Comic-con. The annual pilgrimage to all things glorious. :heart:

Anyway, for those of you who are going, I'll be on the "Hungry for Dystopia" panel on Thursday, July 12th from 3:00-4:00 PM in Room 25ABC! Signing to follow. Stop on by if you can. :)

We are also giving away (i.e. for free)....drumroll.....a special, limited edition version of Legend at the Penguin Booth (1134) made exclusively for Comic-con, which includes a shiny new cover and an excerpt from Prodigy (Legend #2)!

Also will be at the Penguin Booth to sign/give away advance copies of Prodigy, at the following times:

Thurs (7/12): 10:00-11:30 AM

Fri (7/13): 3:00-4:30 PM

Sat (7/14): 10:00-11:30 AM

Drop by to pick up a copy of Prodigy!

That's about it for now. Hope to see a couple of you there. :hug: And also, who's excited about Firefly's 10-year reunion? *two thumbs pointed at self* THIS GIRL.
  • Listening to: Settle Down - Kimbra
  • Reading: Code Name Verity - Elizabeth Wein
  • Watching: nothing. EVERYTHING FINISHED. ;__;
  • Eating: Chex Mix
  • Drinking: Always agua
Whew, I've been in three different time zones in the past 9 days and I am soooo out of it. O__O But BEA in New York was incredibly fun--thank you to everyone who turned out, and hope those who received advance copies of Prodigy (Legend #2) enjoy it! :heart:

I have some super fun news for you guys. Wyck Godfrey (Twilight, Dear John) is the producer on the Legend film, and chatted with MTV about the movie's progress at the MTV Movie Awards. His interview can be seen below at MTV Hollywood Crush!

'Legend' Script Is 'Fantastic,' Producer Says:  hollywoodcrush.mtv.com/2012/06…

Otherwise, we are gearing up for San Diego Comic-con! If you're going, I hope I see you there! Schedule to come! Thanks guys, as always. :heart:
  • Listening to: Libertas - Immediate Music
  • Reading: Shadow & Bone - Leigh Bardugo
  • Watching: Legend of Korra
  • Eating: Walleye
  • Drinking: Always agua
First of all, let me explain my love for the Japanese cover of Legend. Legend just came out in Japan, and the cover for its edition is below:

Japanese Legend cover

Um. Oh My God. The artist for this cover is the great Tatsuyuki Tanaka-san, the artist behind the Akira anime film. Yes, THAT Akira. And I am so in love. :heart: He even added in the red streak of blood in Day's hair! Mr. Tanaka-san, you are amaaaaaazing. Thank you!

And secondly, the promotion for Prodigy (Legend #2) is officially starting. I'm off to New York City on Sunday to attend BookExpo America, where my publisher Penguin will be giving away the first advance reader copies (ARCs) of Prodigy. I'll also be giving at least one away soon on this blog, so stay tuned if you're interested! And if you're in NYC and/or at BEA, I'll be at two events that involve signings:

Event #1:
Public Bookstore Event/Signing (with other authors Ally Condie, Andrea Cremer, Michelle Hopkins, Tonya Hurley, and Adele Griffin)
Monday, June 4th at 6:00 PM
McNally Jackson Bookstore
52 Prince Street
New York, NY 10012

Event #2: (at BookExpo America)
Ticketed in-booth Signing and ARC Giveaways of Prodigy
Wednesday, June 6th at 12:30 PM
Penguin Booth #3922, BookExpo America
Javits Center, New York

I never thought I'd say this, but I think I'm even MORE nervous to hear readers' feedback for Prodigy than I was for Legend. I mean, you all have seen me post about how excruciatingly difficult it was for me to write this second book in the series, and I'm hoping that readers will enjoy it. I'll be breathing into a paper bag until then.

Anyway. That's life at the moment! There are several other exciting things happening, but I can't talk about them yet. Hopefully I will soon--there should be announcements later in the summer! Much :heart:, as always, to all DA peeps!
  • Listening to: Bad Girls - M.I.A.
  • Reading: Geekomancy by Michael Underwood (out 07/10/2012!))
  • Watching: Game of Thrones
  • Playing: Tetris Stars (Facebook)
  • Eating: Incredibly spicy tofu
  • Drinking: Always agua
Are on USA Today this morning!! I am in LOVE with this cover, omg. Thank you, Penguin. :heart:

Also, the first chapter has been posted there as well, and you can check out the beginning of Day and June's continuing journey:

"Where are they going for the sequel? Not Disney World — Las Vegas. Military-trained whiz kid June and Robin Hood-esque Day met in the first book, and now are off from Los Angeles to Sin City in Prodigy (G.P. Putnam's Sons), out in bookstores Jan. 29. The Elector Primo of the Republic has died, with his son assuming power."

USA Today's reveal of the cover and first chapter: books.usatoday.com/bookbuzz/po…

Hope you enjoy!!
  • Listening to: Unforgiven - Metallica
  • Reading: Friend's manuscript
  • Watching: Game of Thrones
  • Playing: Assassin's Creed 2, Skyrim, Soul Crash
  • Eating: pasta
  • Drinking: Always agua
.....*drumroll*.....

Legend #2's final, official title is Prodigy!

And it comes out on...

January 29, 2013!

We got to announce this today on a Breathless Reads chat, which is now archived here if you want to watch me chat with my fellow fabulous Breathless Gals, authors Andrea Cremer, Beth Revis, and Jessica Spotswood. :heart: www.spreecast.com/events/breat…
  • Listening to: Unforgiven - Metallica
  • Reading: Friend's manuscript
  • Watching: Game of Thrones
  • Playing: Assassin's Creed 2, Skyrim, Soul Crash
  • Eating: pasta
  • Drinking: Always agua
Ack, sorry for my absence--in case you couldn't tell, sometimes I get really sucky about updating things. Anyway. A quick little post about all the things! (There are a ton of updates that I WANT to talk about, btw, but I can't just yet, so I'll just have to stuff my mouth with cotton and wait. :)  )

I just got back last week from the Bologna Book Fair in Italy. Lots of fun. Lots of DELICIOUS FOOD. Lots of awesome foreign publishers. If you live in Europe and have read/liked Legend, I may be coming to a European country near you this fall! More news to come....

Oddly enough, one of the food highlights from Bologna was a homemade Greek yogurt I bought at a tiny food shop in a little local market. OMG. BEST GREEK YOGURT I'VE EVER HAD.

If you saw The Hunger Games this past weekend, maybe a few of you also caught a glimpse of a Legend trailer that showed before the previews! Also, Hunger Games movie. Two thumbs up. Jennifer Lawrence, you are too awesome.

I also have finally finished up Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood and am about a third of the way through Revelations. Gotta say, I still prefer Brotherhood. Revelations is great and all (and Older Ezio is pretty cool with that hookblade), but I am really NOT feeling the Tower Defense side missions. That aside, still enjoying myself. I am dying for ACIII. Dying, I tell you.

Book recommendations! I haven't done these in a while. Last night I just finished up a novella by Sarah J. Maas called The Assassin and the Desert. IT IS SO GOOD. Read it (and read the first novella too, which is called The Assassin and the Pirate Lord). They're on Kindle. Another amazing book is Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline. Seriously, you cannot call yourself a legitimate nerd until you read this book.

And that's about it for now. Hope you're all doing great! Lemme know in the comments. :heart:
  • Listening to: TRON: Legacy soundtrack
  • Reading: The Assassin and the Desert - Sarah J. Maas
  • Watching: Legend of Korra
  • Playing: Assassin's Creed: Revelations
  • Eating: salad
  • Drinking: Always agua