Tag Archives: Vampire Academy

#PTALive Melbourne: Monday 14th April 2014: Possible Rant Ahead

Unpopular Opinion Time! But first, the positive:

-Location: cinema at Melbourne Central
-Set-up: section for book purchasing
-Ordered agenda: slides to keep the presentation on topic and track
-Presenter: Ms. Felicity is old-hand at this, with plenty of experience presenting, and loads of enthusiasm
-Preview of PTA TV: interview with Richelle Mead, who has an announcement coming in a month or so
-Publication schedule: the most informed and varied part of evening
-Shout-out to the Australian YA Bloggers Goodreads Group

I have no doubt that most of the crowd had no quibbles at all, so I’m in the minority here. And I do understand that you can’t please everyone, so you may as well cater to the majority.

“The show everyone’s talking about”, “unmissable”, “[insert over-the-top superlative here]” – I have “Fear of Missing Out” (FOMO) at the best times, but not in these circumstances. The more that people seem to like something, the more I’m inclined to NOT like it. It’s not deliberate; just that our interests are different, and attempts at conversion are useless. I don’t think less of people because they like something I don’t, as long as they respect my views, too. Agree to disagree, and all that.

(Image from Family Guy Wikia.)

But the more something is shoved down my throat, the more likely I am to resist, and to vomit…as opposed to accepting, and learning to love the tentacle. (That’s a Futurama reference, though that doesn’t seem to be part of Penguin Teen Australia’s fandoms.)

I am not a fan of John Green, Hank Green, Nerdfighters, DFTBA, et al. The reasons are numerous and varied, but I figure we’re all stubborn people, and no one is going to change their mind because of something someone else says – so I won’t try to convert you, as long as you don’t try to convert me.

I understand that film adaptations bring more readers to books, and are great introductions for people who aren’t already familiar with the age group, genre, etc. That’s fine. But #PTALive is full of BOOK PEOPLE. Considering the film adaptation is of a book first published in…2012 maybe, by now people have decided whether they’re interested in the story or not. And when we’ve decided we’re not, but the book, the author, and the community are brought up regularly and consistently…it’s really farking annoying. And the constant pushing of it did not change my mind. Instead, I found myself disliking the product more and more.

(Image from Quick Meme.)

I was seething, people. Not aloud. But my eyes rolled, my jaw hardened, and my handwriting turned to all caps with exclamation marks. (Yes, I took notes throughout the event on my Post-It notes. No, I don’t have a smart-phone or tablet; I am poor.) At the end, we were dismissed, so off I went, then we were called back. I returned. Apparently, some guys did a good deed earlier, which is great. But then “Nerdfighters” were mentioned, and I stalked out. Fed up. Completely over it. Had I paid anything more than train fare and meal money, I would’ve been absolutely outraged, possibly demanding my money back because I was so dissatisfied. But it was a free event, so I can’t – and won’t demand – compensation for having to suppress my anger and frustration.

It could’ve been worse.

I like Richelle Mead, and am interested in all her series. I like Vampire Academy, though I’ve only read the first two books. But I’m old-fashioned: only interested in BOOKS – NOT their adaptations, NOT their book trailers. And not “ships”, either – I like world-building, and plotting, but I’m completely over reading about romance and love interests. OVER IT. And there was a lot of freaking talk about “Sydrian”, and the book trailers – because one of the actors was in attendance, and had a short interview. I wasn’t interested, but my affection for the books made this much more tolerable than…well, see my earlier gripe.

There was a little attention given to other books: Top 5, favourites, other publisher’s books, stuff the staff wants to read, and the wonderful publication schedule. If only the rest of the evening had been less fangirly, and more informational and varied as that schedule, I would’ve been quiet content. Unfortunately, there was no mention of Jessica Spotswood’s Sisters’ Fate, which is due out on 14th August in the US and UK…

The event could’ve capitalised on the large audience (350 people, reportedly) to give more attention to the lesser-known books and authors, but for the most part the well-known and popular books hogged the limelight. Though I was on the fence about Scott Westerfeld’s Afterworlds before, I definitely want to read it now.

The publication schedule came with a problem, though: Pittacus Lore. If you haven’t heard of James Frey and the way he treats his “writer sweatshop”, or his upcoming new series that sounds like a total rip-off of… well, the information is online.

And I disagree with the statement that Katie McGarry’s books are New Adult. To me, New Adult is about university-aged characters, whereas McGarry’s are in high school, so they’re more Young Adult.

Giveaways and goodie bags included a Vampire Academy film poster, Sally Green’s Half Bad, and Maya van Wagenen’s Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek, but I declined all these. (No point in accepting things I won’t use.)

P.S. These links are relevant if you’re interested in understanding why I don’t like certain things:

http://bibliodaze.com/2014/04/say-no-to-james-frey-why-im-boycotting-full-fathom-five/
http://bibliodaze.com/2014/03/green-tinted-glasses-filtering-ya-through-a-narrow-lens/
http://bibliodaze.com/2014/02/john-green-privilege/
http://carriemesrobian.com/2014/03/this-is-very-upsetting/
http://www.thebooklantern.co.uk/2013/10/how-do-you-read-book-any-way-you-want-to.html
http://www.thebooklantern.co.uk/2012/09/the-green-brothers-and-white-boy.html
http://www.thebooklantern.co.uk/2012/09/the-green-brothers-and-white-boy_5.html
http://www.thebooklantern.co.uk/2012/07/minority-warriors.html

Tez on TV

Allow me to explain.

The Australian publisher of the Vampire Academy series was calling for readers to send in their thoughts of the series in a snappy quote. I cut-and-pasted a snippet from my review of Book 1.

VA HQ sent out their weekly newsletter today: “The new, improved and super cool VA TV ad appeared on Monday night on GO! during Vampire Diaries…Big congrats to Tez, Belinda and Erin whose quotes feature proudly, there were some awesome submissions so the field was tough.” So not only did my words get on TV (oh, FOXTEL standard definition, when will you get GO! to us?), but the field was tough.

And though my name was first in the newsletter, it was last on the TV ad – “Tez, Melbourne” is me πŸ˜‰ Watch the 30-second ad:

Mead in Melbourne

I think I should’ve been posing on the other side of the table. Oops. Thanks to Penguin staff member Felicity for photographing – you’re a gem πŸ™‚ Yes, kids, I am wearing hobo gloves, but these are from Germany, which makes me Euro hobo-chic πŸ˜‰ Even covered in lint balls and cat fur. Please excuse my lack of make-up, and lack of product in my hair – my ‘do looks much better today.

Monday 14th September 2009: Knox Civic Centre hosted Richelle Mead’s first official Australian readers event, and I proved why I am not fit for public consumption πŸ˜‰ I offered my copy of Eternal Lover up for signing – the same book that I’d won in a contest and was already personalised by the lovely Jackie Kessler. (Richelle contributed to that anthology, so she didn’t just sign another author’s book. That would be weird. Even by my standards πŸ˜‰ )

I’m not good at small talk (I’m good at rambling blog posts, but that’s the power of gobshite passed down to me via Irish ancestors), and I think I mentioned that Jackie is awesome. And that I’m looking forward to reading Hunger (to be published under the name Jackie Morse Kessler). And the thank-you note I left was written on a Jackie Kessler sticky-note. Written with a Jackie Kessler pen.

So I probably came across as a mega-weird Jackie Kessler fangirl. Let’s clear things up: Jackie is indeed awesome. Awesome enough to allow internationals like me to enter her contests to win books and post them out here. Along with the finest author swag I’ve come across. Seriously, this The Road to Hell pen is fabulous. And the sticky-notes came in handy at ARRC09, because I thought it would be decent etiquette to pass out thank-you notes to some authors for attending. Thus why I also gave Richelle a thank-you note.

And I’ve only read one of Jackie’s novels, plus a novella that was in an anthology (A Red Hot Valentine’s Day – I haven’t read Eternal Lover yet). While they are good reads, and Jackie is a darl, I wouldn’t say I’m a fangirl. It’s not nice to weird-out internationals πŸ˜‰

For the record, of Richelle’s books I’ve read Succubus Blues and Vampire Academy, with the others waiting on my shelf to be read. Why I didn’t bring them to be signed? Authors can’t be expected to remember all their readers, so I figured no one else had a copy of Eternal Lover already signed by one of the contributors.

lolcatz photographed Richelle and I whilst Felicity did, so that photo may emerge on the Internets. I don’t think he photographed every reader. Anyway, as I was packing up to go I asked him if this was his first visit to Australia. It was. I said “have a good one”, whilst giving a thumbs-up. Don’t ask me why. I’m not one to draw attention to my fingers. And I’m not usually one to talk to strangers, either.

Thanks to Richelle, Felicity and lolcatz for being polite creatures, and tolerating dear Tezzy.

As far as I know, the next author event I plan to attend is WorldCon 2010, which will take place in Melbourne. Have heard that Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant and Laura Anne Gilman will be attending, and my copy of Staying Dead needs signing and personalising… πŸ˜‰

P.S. Woke up this morning to hear Richelle on Nova 100, chatting with Hughesy, Kate & Ed. The whole interview is available in audio, if you look below the “From the Show” heading. And there’s a 1-minute video excerpt. The caption refers to female vampires “flowering” every 28 days, but I really think Kate’s question referred to vampires ingesting menstrual blood, as well as regular blood from people’s necks. I don’t think vampires themselves actually menstruate. But maybe I misunderstood. Australians generally aren’t good at subtlety (we’re straight-talking, like Family Guy‘s Ollie the weatherman), so when we try it, things get weird…even weirder than our straight-talking πŸ˜‰ Bless Kate and her chutzpah for asking! πŸ™‚

[REVIEW] Vampire Academy – Richelle Mead

Richelle Mead
Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, Book 1)
Penguin (US: 16th August 2007; CA: 21st August 2007; AU: 31st January 2008; UK: 26th May 2009)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Living vampire princess Lissa Dragomir and her dhampir guardian-in-training Rose Hathaway escaped from St. Vladimir’s Academy. But they’ve been captured and brought back to the boarding school, where their studies continue but rumours abound. More dangerous, however, are the notes and dead animals left for Moroi royal Lissa.

Vampire Academy is that rare gem – original, bold, complex and utterly memorable. It doesn’t shy away from talk of sex or mental illness, and it makes me wish St. Vladimir was real, so I could find out more. I don’t rate many books 5 stars, but this one gets ’em. In mere words it doesn’t sound like much, but everything about the novel is so well done, and I absolutely adore it. Yes, believe the hype, and I don’t say that often. It’s completely understandable why this is a series to fangirl over, and I totally plan to glom the following three novels soon.

Thursday Thirteen: 27th August 2009

The 1st 13 Books on My To-Be Read Pile
1. Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy (currently reading)
2. Kelley Armstrong’s The Awakening (library book)
3. Sophie McKenzie’s The Set Up (library book)
4. Claire Delacroix’s Fallen (library book)
5. Liz Jensen’s The Rapture (library book)
6. Amy Rench’s Fallen Rogue (ARC)
7. Kelly Gay’s The Better Part of Darkness (ARC)
8. Richelle Mead’s Succubus on Top
9. Richelle Mead’s Frostbite
10. Richelle Mead’s Storm Born
11. Richelle Mead’s Succubus Dreams
12. Richelle Mead’s Shadow Kiss
13. Richelle Mead’s Succubus Heat

February 2009 Releases

Finished purchasing/pre-ordering January 2009 Releases? Now you can move on to February’s. And if you want to look further into the future (and the past), check my Reading Wishlist. If cover art, summaries or release dates change, ’tis not my fault: I just collect what information is available at the time of compiling this list.

Rachel Vincent
Pride (The Shifters, Book 3)
Harlequin MIRA (US: 1st February 2009) – Mass Market Paperback
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

I’m on trial for my life. Accused of infecting my human ex-boyfriend – and killing him to cover up the crime. I’m not guilty. But tell that to the panel of Alphas sitting in judgement. Infecting a human is one of three capital offences recognised by the Pride – along with murder and disclosure of our existence to a human. I’m two for three. A goner. On top of that, Marc is in danger of being tossed from the Pride, then we discovered a rogue stray terrorising the mountainside, hunting a wild teenage tabbycat. I think I can protect her from both the ambitious rogue and the scheming of the territorial council. If I survive my own trial…

Richelle Mead
Succubus Dreams (Georgina Kincaid, Book 3)
Random House Bantam (AU: 2nd February 2009) – Paperback
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

Some days, a girl just can’t catch a break…especially when the girl in question is Georgina Kincaid, a shape-shifting succubus who gets her energy from seducing men. First there’s her relationship with gorgeous bestselling writer Seth Mortensen, which is unsatisfying on a number of levels. It’s not just that they can’t have sex in case Georgina inadvertently kills him (generally a turn-off for most guys). Lately, even spending time together is a challenge. Seth’s obsessed with finishing his latest novel, and Georgina’s under demonic orders to mentor the new (and surprisingly inept) succubus on the block. Then there are the dreams. Someone, or something, is preying on Georgina at night, draining her energy, and supplying eerie visions of her future. Georgina seeks answers from Dante, a dream interpreter with ties to the underworld, but his flirtatious charm only leaves her more confused – especially as the situation with Seth reaches crisis point. Now Georgina faces a double challenge – rein in her out-of-control love life, and go toe-to-toe with an enemy capable of wreaking serious havoc among mankind. Otherwise, Georgina, and the entire mortal world, may never sleep easy again.

Anya Bast
Taken
Samhain (3rd February 2009) – eBook
Buy

Anne’s morning starts like any other normal day – and ends in a race for her life. The surprise that interrupts her regular date with a latte looks a lot like Frankenstein, except this monster is for real. And it chases her straight into the arms of two mouth-watering hunks who whisk her away from everything she knows. That would be Earth. Suddenly life isn’t so normal anymore. Caleb and Van have been watching Anne for several weeks. Women are scarce in their world, a situation that sometimes forces two or more males to share one wife between them. Anne is their perfect match. Now all they have to do is convince her of that – while trying desperately not to let their intense desire for her scare her away. Then there’s the little matter of protecting her from the Guardians, who want to make sure no match is ever made…

Rachel Caine
Undone (Outcast Season, Book 1)
Penguin Roc (US & CA: 3rd February 2009) – Mass Market Paperback
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

Once she was Cassiel, a Djinn of limitless power. Now, she has been reshaped in human flesh as punishment for defying her master – and living among the Weather Wardens, whose power she must tap into regularly or she will die. And as she copes with the emotions and frailties of her human condition, a malevolent entity threatens her new existence…

Kelley Armstrong
Men of the Otherworld (Otherworld, Anthology)
Hachette Orbit (UK & AU: 5th February 2009) – Paperback
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

As a curious and independent six-year-old, Clayton didn’t resist the bite – he asked for it. But as a lone child werewolf his life is under constant threat. So when enigmatic Pack member Jeremy Danvers saves him, Clayton is determined to protect his adoptive father, no matter what the cost. So begins this gripping collection of four tales chronicling the bloody feuds of the American Pack, and the coming of age of Clay Danvers, a very powerful – and very singular – werewolf.

Mario Acevedo
Jailbait Zombie (Felix Gomez, Book 4)
HarperCollins Eos (CA: 11th February 2009; US: 24th February 2009) – Trade Paperback
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

Felix fights a zombie re-animator to save a special girl with clairvoyant powers.

Kim Harrison
White Witch, Black Curse (The Hollows, Book 7)
HarperCollins Eos (CA: 11th February 2009; US: 24th February 2009) – Hardcover
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

Rachel Morgan, kick-ass witch and bounty hunter, has taken her fair share of hits, and has broken lines she swore she would never cross. But when her lover was murdered, it left a deeper wound than Rachel ever imagined, and now she won’t rest until his death is solved…and avenged. Whatever the cost. Yet the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and when a new predator moves to the apex of the Inderlander food chain, Rachel’s past comes back to haunt her. Literally.

Trisha Telep (ed.)
The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance
Robinson (UK: 12th February 2009) – Paperback
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

Paranormal romance is now a supernatural force to be reckoned with. From some of the biggest names in the field, here are over 25 tales to take you away from life ordinary. Contributors includes the likes of Karen Chance, J. R. Ward, Lilith Saintcrow, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Keri Arthur. The stories cover the full range of paranormal romance themes, including werewolves (and weregirls), vampires, shape-shifters, time travel, fiery mages, and fae. From lycanthropic love triangles, and shape-shifters struggling with new powers, to mercenaries who have to clean up after magic has gone wrong, and whole paranormal worlds rent into good and evil factions, it’s all here!

Kelley Armstrong
Made to be Broken (Nadia Stafford, Book 2)
Random House (US & CA: 24th February 2009) – Paperback
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

Nadia Stafford isn’t your typical nature lodge owner. An ex-cop with a legal code all her own, she’s known only as “Dee” to her current employer: a New York crime family that pays her handsomely to bump off traitors. But when Nadia discovers that a troubled teenage employee and her baby have vanished in the Canadian woods, the memory of a past loss comes back with a vengeance and her old instincts go into overdrive. With her enigmatic mentor, Jack, covering her back, Nadia unearths sinister clues that point to an increasingly darker and deadlier mystery. Now, with her obsession over the case deepening, the only way Nadia can right the wrongs of the present is to face her own painful ghosts – and either bury them for good, or die trying. Because in her book everyone deserves a chance. And everyone deserves justice.

Mark Henry
Road Trip of the Living Dead (Amanda Feral, Book 2)
Kensington (US: 24th February 2009) – Trade Paperback
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

Celebrity party girl Amanda Feral is back from the dead, and hungrier than ever for a good time. With her zombie gal pal Wendy and vampy gay sidekick Gil, this stone cold fox is dressed to kill, on the prowl, and ready to take a big juicy bite out of Seattle’s supernatural nightlife. But what’s a zombie chick to do when her “Mommie Dearest” gets sick? If you’re Amanda Feral, you can either ignore the wicked old witch – or bury the past by visiting Ethel before she kicks it. Amanda’s not thrilled about the idea of crossing three states just to be criticised. But Wendy, who’s always looking for fresh meat, is up for the adventure. And Gil, who just launched his “luxury” resurrection business, needs to disappear because a pissed-off client is out for his blood. First, they pack their stiletto pumps and plasma into a skeevy rattrap on wheels that used to be a Winnebago. Then, with a little help from a Korean-ghost hood ornament, a masochist named Fishhook, and a slew of “moderately accurate” psychics, they hit the highway – their way. Of course, they’ll have to navigate past some neo-Nazi skinheads, a horny dust devil, a hunky werewolf cop (who could pass for an underwear model) and an unsightly horde of Kmart shoppers. But for this glamorous gang of ghouls this trip is about to take a dangerous detour that could give road kill a brand new meaning…

Richelle Mead
Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, Book 1)
Penguin Puffin (UK: 26th February 2009) – Paperback
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

St Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school – it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St Vladimir’s – the very place where they’re most in danger…Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable night-time rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi – the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires – make Lissa one of them forever.

Happy Birthday, Richelle Mead

It’s November 12th – Richelle Mead’s birthday. I was thrilled when Random House Australia bought the Oz rights for the Georgina Kincaid and the Dark Swan series. No word on whose bought the Oz rights for the Vampire Academy series, though. At present, I own the first two Succubus books, the first Vampire Academy, and the first Dark Swan. But greedy me naturally wants more πŸ˜‰

Anyway, give the gift of royalties by purchasing Succubus Blues, Succubus on Top (Succubus Nights), Succubus Dreams, Vampire Academy, Frostbite, Shadow Kiss and Storm Born.

Cat with Books

(Images from here.) Manny with various books, including:

Gena Showalter’s Awaken Me Darkly, Enslave Me Sweetly & Savor Me Slowly
Liz Maverick’s The Shadow Runners & Wired
Eve Kenin’s Driven & Hidden
Kay Austin’s Time Transit
Michelle Maddox’s Countdown
Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight & The Host
Richelle Mead’s Succubus Blues, Vampire Academy & Succubus on Top