Justina Chen Headley Dia Calhoun Lorie Ann Grover Holly Cupala Melissa Walker readergirlz blog

Beth Kephart   Beth Kephart   Author-in-Residence   Beth Kephart   Beth Kephart

Please join us in welcoming our first Author-in-Residence at rgz: Beth Kephart! Beth will be in house through the end of 2009, popping into the blog, chats, and posting video blog entries on the writing life throughout her visit. We are honored to have her among us. Learn more about Beth Kephart and our author-in-residence position.


Teen Read Week 2009


We are ready to Read Beyond Reality with YALSA, rgz! The divas will host nine young-adult authors - eight of whom are nominees for the Teens' Top Ten - at the rgz blog throughout Teen Read Week. The week's chats will culminate with an online gala celebration, where Sylvia Engdahl, a pioneer in young-adult science fiction, will be hosted and honored for her contributions to the literary landscape. Watch for signed book prizes and swag from iHeartDaily.com.

* Monday, October 19th: Beyond Imagination
rgz diva Justina Chen Headley (NORTH OF BEAUTIFUL)
Alyson Noël (EVERMORE)

* Tuesday, October 20th: Beyond Hardship
rgz diva Lorie Ann Grover (HOLD ME TIGHT)
Elizabeth Scott (LIVING DEAD GIRL)
Lynn Weingarten (WHEREVER NINA LIES)

* Wednesday, October 21st: Beyond Daily Life
rgz diva Holly Cupala (TELL ME A SECRET)
Lisa McMann (WAKE)
Cynthia Leitich Smith (ETERNAL)

* Thursday, October 22nd: Beyond Our World
rgz diva Melissa Walker (LOVESTRUCK SUMMER)
Cassandra Clare (CITY OF ASHES)

* Friday, October 23rd: Into Our Beyond
rgz diva Dia Calhoun (AVIELLE OF RHIA)

It all happens at the rgz blog, October 19rd-23rd at 6 PM Pacific/9 PM. Eastern.

Spread the word with the press release, poster, banners, and trailer.

Do you love YALSA's Teen Read Week? Post blog or vlog (video blog, then send the link to readergirlz@gmail.com with the subject line set up like this: Your name, TRW Tribute. Tell us about your recent release, or a book you love dearly, and then give a shoutout for Teen Read Week. We'll collect all the contributions and post them at the rgz blog in a 24 hour time span on October 23rd, 2009.




The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray

The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray

It's been a year of change since Gemma Doyle arrived at the foreboding Spence Academy and discovered her ability to travel to an enchanted world called the realms, where dark magic runs deep. Now, enemies old and new will stop at nothing to take the magical power bound to her. With the fate of realms and her Victorian world hanging in the balance, her London debut approaching, her friendships on the line, and her relationship with the mysterious Kartik taking a new, forbidden turn, Gemma will face her greatest - and most dangerous - trial yet, one with consequences beyond imagining.

Download this month's poster and bookmark.


A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray Rebel Angels by Libba Bray The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray

To date, Libba Bray has written three books about Gemma Doyle:

A Great and Terrible Beauty
Rebel Angels
The Sweet Far Thing

"Byron could have penned his immortal line 'all that's best of dark and bright' in praise of Libba Bray's The Sweet Far Thing, for in this fantasy novel, the dark and bright powers limning Gemma's passage from girl to woman enthrall the reader's heart from beginning to end." - Dia Calhoun, rgz co-founder and author

"A huge work of massive ambition." - Publishers Weekly, starred review

"A rare treat that offers...romance, magic, history, Gothic intrigue..." - People

A #1 Book Sense bestseller

A New York Times bestseller

A 2008 New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age

"Boy, it's really long." - Libba's mom


Libba Bray


Things to Know

 Libba Bray

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On the nightstand: Seven partially read books. My son's artwork. A pink Post-It that says, "don't forget!" which is not so helpful.

Favorite drink while you write: Coffee or tea with cream and sugar. Water.

Favorite bookstores: I love you all, bookstores. You are beautiful. And you smell fantastic.

Favorite library: The one with the books and the awesome librarians. Fortunately, I've found that there are many libraries which meet my stringent standards for favorite.

Pets: My cats, Little Squeak (who is mammoth) and Cocoa (who is insane)

Place to write: In a forgotten corner of a funky coffee shop staffed by eccentric baristas with eclectic musical tastes.

Inspiration: Every. Single. Thing. And music twice.

Dream book tour: Surreal bus tour of college towns with Monty Python who would act out my book passages and serve blancmange.

Writer buddies: Robin Wasserman, Maureen Johnson, Holly Black, Cassandra Clare, Justine Larbalestier, Rachel Cohn, E. Lockhart, Scott Westerfeld, David Levithan, Jo Knowles, Shannon Hale, Sara Ryan, Natalie Standiford, Daniel Ehrenhaft, Barney Miller, and many more. I am really, really lucky. Plus, I blackmail them.

Cure for writer's block:
1. Without censoring yourself, free write for twenty minutes about something that doesn't seem to matter till you hit something that does.
2. Dance around your living room to very loud music.
3. If all else fails, imagine your computer in its underwear.

Favorite outfit: Jeans, sneakers, concert tee. I also rock a cow suit.

Laptop or longhand? Mostly laptop. But I keep a notebook with me always.

Stilettos or Uggs? Chucks.

Next up: A candy bar. Oh, and also Going Bovine, which came out September 2009.

Author idols: George Saunders. John Irving. Kelly Link, Stephen Sondheim (author with music), Joss Whedon (author with TV), among many others.

Other Interviews: Cynthia Leitich Smith, YA Books Central, Reviewer X, YouTube, and Chapters

Other YA Novels: A Great and Terrible Beauty, Rebel Angels, and Going Bovine

Roundtable: readergirlz divas and postergirlz discuss Libba Bray's books

Website: libbabray.com and goingbovine.com



rgz LIVE!

Discuss the book with the author herself. Libba Bray will be chatting live at the readergirlz blog on Wednesday, October 28th at 6 PM PST/9 PM EST. The chat will last for about an hour.




Denim Day 2009


In Gemma Doyle's time, corsets were all the rage. Now, it's all about denim -- especially October 2nd, with Lee's National Denim Day, a cause that has raised more than $75 million for the fight against breast cancer and unites nearly one million supporters nationwide each year.

Breast cancer survivor Christina Applegate is participating as the Ambassador for the program. You can too, rgz! It's as easy as donating $5 and wearing jeans on October 2nd.

To register, visit www.denimday.com.

The following tunes were hand-picked by the author to accompany her book. You must have Flash to see the playlist below. Click here to open the playlist in a new window.

1. The Killing Moon by Echo & the Bunnymen
2. Silly Boy Blue by David Bowie
3. Anywhere on This Road by Lhasa de Sala
4. Get Out of My House by Kate Bush
5. Leave It Open by Kate Bush
6. Sugar by Tori Amos
7. Ba Ba by Sigur Rós
8. Dögun by Sigur Rós
9. Track 4 by Sigur Rós
10. In Dulce Decorum by The Damned
11. The Rain Song by Led Zeppelin
12. Shine On You Crazy Diamond by Pink Floyd
13. I Fell Deep by The Dears
14. Fade Into You by Mazzy Star
15. Right Here, Right Now by Fatboy Slim
16. Come What May by Ewan McGregor & Nicole Kidman from the Moulin Rouge soundtrack

"Holy cow. This is a depressive's dream soundtrack. No wonder I felt so morose while writing this book." - Libba Bray




The Victorians had pretty strict ideas about a woman's place and what was expected of her. Do you think that the way we view women has changed? How so? What issues are we still grappling with in 2009?

Gemma thinks she can use magic to alter the lives of her friends and family. Have you ever felt manipulated into solving someone else's problems for her/him? Can you ever really change somebody else's life?

What would you say is your own personal kind of magic?

The characters often make surprising and sometimes bone-headed choices. Are there choices you've made that you regret?

With which characters do you most identify and why?

Okay, if any of the characters in The Sweet Far Thing had her or his own band, what would be the name of the band, what instrument would said character play, and what would be the band's defining song? You may choose any character you like. (Zippo lighters optional.)

Let's talk about love and romance. There are several romances that take place in this book. Do you believe people have only one true love or can they have more than one over a lifetime? How do you define love? Is that different from romance?

If you had the magic of the realms for a day, what would you do with it? What would you hope you wouldn't do with it?

The novel deals a lot with the question of identity -- the process of finding and defining yourself as opposed to letting others (society, family, friends, romantic partners) do so. Why do you think this is so hard? What pressures do you face in your own quest to be a more authentic you?

One of the themes in the book is about fate versus free will. Gemma believes in free will while Kartik believes in fate. What do you believe?

Gemma makes a sort of Faustian bargain with her enemy, Circe, at one point. Do you think this was a good idea? Why or why not? What would you have done in her place?

New dress code: You have to rock a piece of Victorian clothing. What do you wear and how do you wear it? Describe your ensemble. Make it work, people!

There are issues of class, race, and sexuality in the book. How have these issues changed in the last 100+ years? How have they not?

Everybody has some, um, feelings about the ending. What do you think about how the book ends? Would you have done it differently? Does a satisfying ending have to be a happy ending?



Planning your own book group/get-together for this book? Here are some party ideas from the author.

Invite: Victorian high tea or London debutante's ball OR an evening in the Realms. The first could have an invitation in calligraphy on cardstock, wrapped in a velvet ribbon. The second could be an evite or webpage with flashy-flash bits so that it looks magical and creepy. (Really, you can be both magical and creepy. I promise.)

Food: Scones, cream tea, cherry punch, finger sandwiches. But not with real fingers.

Décor: Could be fashioned after Felicity's tent at Spence, with dramatic curtains of damask or velvet. Peacock feathers (or homemade peacock wallpaper). A Victorian-style portrait of Eugenia Spence.

Movies: A Room with a View, A Little Princess, Great Expectations, Picnic at Hanging Rock, The Forsyte Saga, Moulin Rouge

Craft: Make personalized fans, ostrich feather “crowns,” your own fortune-telling deck or Order pendants, paint mendhi designs on your hands, illustrate maps for the Winterlands/Borderlands.



East by Edith Pattou A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb Impossible by Nancy Werlin So You Want to Be a Wizard by Diane Duane City of Bones by Cassandra Clare Climbing the Stairs by Padma Venkatraman Chill by Deborah Reber

Recommended by postergirlz, the readergirlz advisory council

East by Edith Pattou
A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb
Impossible by Nancy Werlin
The Young Wizards series by Diane Duane (starting with So You Want to Be a Wizard)
The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare (starting with City of Bones)
Climbing the Stairs by Padma Venkatraman

Chill: Stress-Reducing Techniques for a More Balanced, Peaceful You by Deborah Reber


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Sweetgrass Basket by Marlene Carvell





Join us in November as we discuss Sweetgrass Basket by Marlene Carvell.

Come back in December to talk about Trickster's Choice and Trickster's Queen by Tamora Pierce.


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