USC Festival of Books

It's that time of year again for all us Southern Californian natives! The USC Festival of Books is an annual event that brings authors from all across the United States together in a frenzy of panels, workshops, signings, and more! It's an event that lasts all weekend, with varying events each day. So in 80 degree weather, I stayed for a couple hours to watch a panel on the art of writing Young Adult series with guests DJ Machale (author of Pendragon series), Margaret Stohl & Kami Garcia (authors of Caster Chronicles), and Lauren Kate (author of Fallen series). It was a lively event with awesome advice from all authors and equally reflective questions from the audience! The four discussed their own techniques for mapping out multiple books and the difficulties and surprises that sprout from characters that grow throughout an ongoing story line. DJ Machale had a lively and entertainingly sarcastic sense of humor as he discussed his newest work, Morpeheus Road, and Margaret Stohl was equally hilarious as she revved up the crowd! Kami Garcia was more motherly and soft spoken, while Lauren Kate held herself with all the grace and composure reflected in her writing style. Unfortunately, I didn't stay late enough to see the panel with Josephine Angeline (author of Starcrossed), but I'll definitely be back with more action tomorrow! Not to mention, I got some awesome SWAG (posters, bookmarks, etc.) from various publishing groups including Galaxy and Puffin, so there might be a giveaway very soon! 

Keep Reading,


  1. I found your blog and I would love to be featured. I'd love to get you an ARC. You can see my cover art, blurb, author bio, publishing info (on my press release), and first chapter on my website. http://www.andreacefalo.com

    If you enjoy fairy tale retellings, I think you'll really enjoy my debut novel. The Fairytale Keeper: Avenging the Queen is a young adult historical fiction novel with a strong female voice, a steamy budding romance, and dystopian elements of rampant illness and government corruption. The novel presumes that all Grimm's fairy tales originate from one person, Adelaide Schumacher, a spitfire cobbler’s apprentice who will one day be immortalized in the story of Snow White. In this first book, which is only one in a series of four, Adelaide navigates the slippery slopes of revenge against the vile clergy members of Cologne who refuse to perform funerals for the victims of a deadly fever, unless, of course, they are bribed to do so. She quickly realizes the steep cost of justice, but is it too late to turn back before she risks sacrificing everything: her father, her friends, her first love, and maybe even her life?

    The Fairytale Keeper series not only paints a richly vivid medieval Cologne, it displays a set of dynamic characters bringing the famous villains, heroes, and damsels of Grimm’s fairy tales to life. Cinderella happens to be Adelaide’s self-indulgent, yet well-meaning cousin and her drunkard, yet hard-working father is the Shoemaker from the famous Elves and the Shoemaker story. Historical events and real people from the time period are woven into the retelling to create a story that will leave the reader wondering if it is fact or fiction.

    The publication date for The Fairytale Keeper: Avenging the Queen is June 1, 2012 which coincides with the highly-anticipated premier of Snow White and the Huntsman. Please let me know if and when you plan to write the review so I can put a link to your blog on my Facebook fan page, Twitter, and my website. Thank you for your time and for considering my novel for a spot. I look forward to hearing from you.

    Kind Regards,
    Andrea Cefalo

    PS: If you're too swamped to do a review, I am also available for posts, interviews, and you can put up a link to my reading on youtube as well. Just let me know what I can do for you! :)

    Here are some links you might find useful:
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/AndreaCefalo
    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/andreacefalo
    My site: http://www.andreacefalo.com
    Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&query=the+fairytale+keeper

  2. Dear Carina,

    I'm an author with a new collection of YA short stories, Ugly To Start With (West Virginia University Press).

    Will you please consider reviewing it?

    I've been writing and publishing for twenty years--more than one hundred stories and two novels--and Ugly To Start With is my best work.

    My first novel, The Night I Freed John Brown (Penguin), won The Paterson Prize for Fiction and was recommended by USA Today.

    My short stories have appeared in more than seventy-five literary journals, including North American Review, The Kenyon Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and The Chattahoochee Review. Twice I have been nominated for The Pushcart Prize. "The Scratchboard Project" received an honorable mention in The Best American Short Stories 2007.

    If you write me back at johnmcummings@aol.com, I’ll send you a PDF of my collection for your consideration.

    At this point, my small publisher is out of available review copies, so I hope and politely ask that you consider the PDF.

    I would be very grateful.

    Thank you so much.

    John Michael Cummings

  3. Check out www.sahodges.blogspot.com for YA book giveaways!

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