Thursday, December 19, 2013

January: Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck

Looking for something to read over Christmas Break?  Grab the tiger by the tail and get to reading our book for January:

Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck

Passion. Fate. Loyalty.
Would you risk it all to change your destiny? 
The last thing Kelsey Hayes thought she’d be doing this summer was trying to break a 300-year-old Indian curse. With a mysterious white tiger named Ren. Halfway around the world. But that’s exactly what happened. Face-to-face with dark forces, spellbinding magic, and mystical worlds where nothing is what it seems, Kelsey risks everything to piece together an ancient prophecy that could break the curse forever.

And if all of that's not enough, the guy in this book is totes dreamy.

We didn't have copies of this book to hand out at the last meeting, but we do now!  Come to the teen room reference desk to sign up and claim your copy.  We have a few library copies and an audiobook available to check out!  I'll see you at the meeting on January 9th, 6pm @SPL!  

Now check out this sweet book trailer for Tiger's Curse:

Friday, December 13, 2013

December Highlights: SKYPE-tacular!

Sarah Maas with the German cover for Throne of Glass!  Celaena's wearing some sweet threads, no?  Photo credit:

So last weekend's weather was a little bit incredibly intense (Winter-pocalypse 2013!)...

Fortunately, Skype still works in bad weather, so we still got to talk with Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight author Sarah Maas during our meeting last Thursday (the weather was fine in California, apparently)!

In case the ice kept you away from the library, here are some highlights from our conversation with Sarah:

  • She started out writing fanfiction: Sarah didn't start out writing bestselling books.  Back in the day, she wrote fanfiction for fun - even mash-up fanfiction about, for example, Harry Potter with Sailor Moon!  "It was terrible!" she says.  Read some fanfiction on the site Sarah used to post hers:
  • She started writing Throne of Glass at 16!: She had the idea while watching Cinderella - the music was so dramatic when Cinderella runs away from the ball, it sounded almost as if she had done something criminal.  "So I started thinking, 'What could she have actually done that would deserve being chased from the ball like that?'"  Like... try to assassinate someone?  Hm... 
  • Throne of Glass had tons of fans before it was even published:  Before it was called Throne of Glass, Celaena's story was titled Queen of Glass and was posted on a website called, where people can publish original works of fiction online.  At one point, Queen of Glass was the most read story on the website!  "It was my refuge," says Sarah.
Unofficial cover art.
  • Cool background info on the Crown of Midnight cover art:  Sarah says that Celaena was originally illustrated as being craaaaazy thin on the cover art for Crown of Midnight, and Sarah took a stand to have her illustrated at a healthier weight (is Sarah awesome or what?!).  Besides being an unhealthy image for teens, she says, it's also untrue to Celaena's character*!  
  • She's working on a new series: Aside from working the Throne of Glass series, Sarah's working on a new series called A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES.  It's a retelling of Beauty and the Beast in which the character Beauty is a huntress.  It's for an age group a little older than teens called "New Adult", and it'll be out in Winter 2015!  For more info on the story, click here; for more info on this series, click here; to read a snippet, click here.
  • WE GOT SOME INFO ON Throne of Glass BOOK #3!!:  ... very little info, though.  No, she didn't tell us the title of Book #3, but we now know that it will have three narratives following three different storylines: one for Celaena, one for Chaol and Dorian, and one for a new character - someone who is connected with the Iron Witch Clan of the Western Wastes.  Remember Yellowlegs, the witch with iron teeth in Crown of Midnight?  Oh yeah.  THOSE Iron Witches.
  • She's got some book recommendations: Looking for something to read until Sarah's next book is out?  She's got some suggestions:  Sabriel by Garth Nix, Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta (Sarah told us the hilarious story of when she met the author... and got a little too excited: "I was crying hysterically"), Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, and, of course, the Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien (she went to all see all the movies at midnight when they came out - and dressed up. As who?  "Eowyn!").

A ginormous THANK YOU to Sarah for skyping with us!!  We got so much good info and insight into her inspirations, being a writer and her new projects (I'm definitely checking out both of them)! ... although I'm such a fan of this series that she could have just read aloud from the phone book and I'd still call the meeting a win.

Did you enjoy Crown of Midnight, and are you looking forward to Sarah's next projects?  Are you a fan of fanfiction, or a writer yourself?  Let us know in the comments!

* So why wouldn't Celaena be super-skinny, as she was first illustrated for the Crown of Midnight cover art?  Celaena was malnourished as a slave in Endovier in Throne of Glass, and if there's something Celaena DOES NOT LIKE, it's slavery.  Being skinny was a reminder of her time as a slave, so she's unlikely to have stayed that way on purpose once she was freed!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A Real-Life Crown of Midnight

The Midnight Tiara.
While you're finishing up reading Crown of Midnight for tomorrow's skype sesh with Sarah Maas, chew on this:  there's a real, non-fictional "crown of midnight"!

More specifically, it's a tiara of midnight - the Midnight Tiara, worn by Crown Princess Mary of the royal Danish court*.  Don't be fooled by the twigs, leaves and berries: this tiara's 31 flower buds are made of over 1,300 small diamond brilliants and polished moonstones, and its leaves and branches are hand graved in 18 carat rose gold, white gold, and black oxidized silver (nope, none of that creepy black substance from the Crown of Midnight novel). The colors are meant to look like a starry moonlit sky at midnight, hence the name "the Midnight Tiara."

Crown Princess Mary wearing the Midnight Tiara with matching earrings and broach.
*Call me immature, but this is what I think of
 every time I read "Royal Danish Court". Mm,
It was designed by Charlotte Lynggaard of the jewel firm Ole Lynggaard, a jeweler to the Danish royal court.  It's a more modern-looking tiara, and it has an unusual, modern ownership deal; instead of the Danish royal court owning the tiara, the jewel firm, Ole Lynggaard, retains ownership of the tiara, but Princess Mary is the only person allowed to borrow it from them. It's a pretty sweet deal - Princess Mary gets another cool tiara to wear, and Ole Lynggaard gets publicity.  The tiara even has a matching broach and earrings - fashion win!

That's it for now!  Don't forget to come to tomorrow's meeting (6pm @ SPL) to skype with Sarah Maas herself (tiaras are optional).  Have your questions for Sarah ready - see you then!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Weird Wyrds? CROWN OF MIDNIGHT Pronunciation Guide

Feeling tongue-tied?  If you've been reading our book for this Thursday's meeting, Crown of Midnight (or its predecessor, Throne of Glass), then you've probably noticed that spellings of names and places are a bit... different.  And hard to pronounce.  Seriously - "Eyllwe"?  "Anielle"?  No idea how to say those.

Lucky for us, author Sarah Maas has provided a super-helpful pronunciation guide for the tricky bits!  Check it out here on the blog to learn all the lingo just in time for Thursday's meeting.  You'll sound like a native of Adarlan in no time!

Are any of the pronunciations different from what you'd expected? Which words, and what was your pronunciation?  Let us know in the comments! Don't worry - since these are all made-up words, there isn't really a wrong way to pronounce them.

And don't forget to come tell the author what you think of these pronunciations when we skype with her at the next meeting - this Thursday, December 5th, 6-7pm at the library!