Awesome book cover Friday: Bone Quill

This week’s book cover is so cool, I had to share the full jacket. It’s Bone Quill, the sequel to Hollow Earth by John and Carole E. Barrowman.

Bone Quill

Here’s a description:

In this thrilling sequel to Hollow Earth, Matt and Emily must stop someone from unleashing an army of mankind’s worst nightmares. In the Middle Ages, an old monk used his powers and a bone quill to ink a magical manuscript, The Book of Beasts. Over the centuries the Book, and the quill, were lost.

Twins Matt and Emily Calder are Animare — just like their ancestor, the monk. The things they draw can be brought to life, sometimes with disastrous consequences. Now Matt and Em are being watched — hunted — because only they can use The Book of Beasts and the bone quill to release the terrible demons and monsters their ancestor illustrated.

And someone is tracking down the lost Book of Beasts, page by page, and reassembling it. Matt and Emily have no choice: They must get to the bone quill first … before somebody gets to them.

What do you think? The cover is so striking, and I especially love the look of the eye and antlers.

So I’ve had a bit of a rocky week, and I’m hoping to update you all on that soon. The short version: My freelancing schedule is in flux right now, and I’m not certain how March is going to pan out for me. Currently, I’m looking for additional paid copy editing and writing opportunities. (I appreciate anyone keeping an eye out for job ads!)

Have a great weekend, everyone.

Awesome book cover Friday: Wings of Fire

Happy Friday! Today’s book cover pick is Wings of Fire #2: The Lost Heir by Tui T. Sutherland.

Wings of Fire hardcover

Here’s a description:

The WINGS OF FIRE saga continues with a thrilling underwater adventure — and a mystery that will change everything!

The lost heir to the SeaWing throne is going home at last …

She can’t believe it’s finally happening. Tsunami and her fellow dragonets of destiny are journeying under the water to the great SeaWing Kingdom. Stolen as an egg from the royal hatchery, Tsunami is eager to meet her future subjects and reunite with her mother, Queen Coral.

But Tsunami’s triumphant return doesn’t go quite the way she’d imagined. Queen Coral welcomes her with open wings, but a mysterious assassin has been killing off the queen’s heirs for years, and Tsunami may be the next target. The dragonets came to the SeaWings for protection, but this ocean hides secrets, betrayal — and perhaps even death.

Wings of Fire is for young readers, ages 8 and up, and this is the second book in the fantasy-adventure series.

I don’t have a complicated reason for choosing this cover — I just like it! It’s a nice illustration, and, well, dragons are cool.

What do you think? Do you like it? Any plans for the weekend?

BookRx recommends books in 140 characters or less, plus e-readers going out of style

BookRx

This post comes to you in four parts!

Part 1:

Need some books to keep you busy during all that holiday downtime? Considering trying out Knight Labs’ new BookRx, which selects potential new reads based on your Twitter account. Just enter your handle, and voila! BookRx generates a list of recommendations from specific words, users, and hashtags that you’ve mentioned in your tweets.

Here’s a preview of one of mine:

BookRx preview

Of course, I’ve already ready a few of these. So it’s not a perfect tool, but it is fun. BookRx separates titles by genre, such as mystery, fiction, and romance. One of its picks for me is Fifty Shades of Grey — a book I would never read. But I’ve previously tweeted about at least one blog post that focused on the book, so it’s little wonder that BookRx noticed my “interest” in it.

What books does it recommend for you?

Part 2:

Do you like the new blog header? I wanted a change. :) But if you guys hate it, let me know and I’ll create some others.

Part 3:

If you’re looking for today’s book cover selection, it’s one post down!

Part 4:

e-reader girl

In a bit of news, the e-reader market is apparently shrinking. Data from the International Data Corporation shows that this year, worldwide shipments of e-readers will fall to 14.9 million units from 23.2 million units last year — a 36 percent decrease. Forrester Research recorded a similar trend specifically in the United States, and these numbers are expected to keep falling in 2013 and beyond.

The explanation? People are buying more multiversatile tablets, smartphones, and PCs — an increase of 27.1 percent from 2011, according to IDC. They’re more willing to spend more money on a high-tech device than a “primitive” e-reader in exchange for the extra features, and those often include Kindle and Nook apps.

“It’s looking like e-readers were a device for a particular moment in time that, more rapidly than we or anyone else thought, has been replaced by a new technology,” Sarah Rotman Epps, a Forrester analyst, told The New York Times. Here’s the full scoop.

Are you ready to trade in your e-reader, or are you surprised by these findings?

[Image credit: via CNET by Jean-Honoré Fragonard, public domain; CBSi]

Place your bets: Game of Thrones vs. Lord of the Rings

Game of Thrones TV show Jaime LannisterMTV Geek interviewed A Song of Ice and Fire author George R. R. Martin about who would win in a fight: the characters from J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings or his own Game of Thrones series.

You can watch his responses in the video here. Just beware of spoilers, unless you’ve read A Storm of Swords/Film says you’re home free if you skip from 00:14 to 00:36.

Below are the matchups. The final count is 3-7 in favor of Tolkien. Do you agree with Martin’s assessments, or do you think he’s giving the heroes and villains of LotR too much credit? Can you think of any other good pairings?

The Lord of the Rings movie AragornAragon vs. Jaime Lannister
Smaug vs. Balerion
Saruman vs. Melisandre
Wargs vs. Direwolves
Ice vs. Glamdring
Frodo vs. Tyrion
Nazgûl vs. White Walkers
Cave Troll vs. Mag the Mighty
Gimli vs. The Mountain
Ned Stark vs. Boromir

The book you wish everyone would read

We all have favorite books. Some of us love the classics. Others can’t get enough of contemporary reads, like Harry Potter and A Song of Ice and Fire. When it comes to giving books as gifts, we try to imagine what the recipient would like — fiction or nonfiction, romance or mystery, sci-fi or fantasy? But sometimes, we choose to give a book that holds personal meaning to us.

A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le GuinFor me, that book is A Wizard of Earthsea (and how are these covers for Awesome Book Cover Friday nominees?) — and all of Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea books, really. I can’t overstate how much I adore her fantasy writing and the tales she tells.

I’m actually not so hot on her sci-fi, but the Earthsea books? Amazing. (Just don’t judge it by the movies.) Once, someone gave one of the books to me, and my obsession with them began. Since then, I’ve given copies to people I know, or urged them to read the series if they ever came across it. If they found the time.

A Wizard of Earthsea altThe books we hold dearest in our hearts say a lot about us, and taking the time to read someone else’s favorite brings us closer to the people in our lives. It helps us understand them better, and it makes them feel good that someone else read the book they so cherish.

So if you can, make a little room in your reading schedule this year and ask a family member or friend, “What’s your absolute favorite book?” The answer might surprise you. Then, read that book and share your thoughts with them. They’ll appreciate the gesture, but tread carefully. A negative reaction could disappoint them — so even if you’re not crazy about the book, try to think of something you did like. Maybe a character or the language. Let that person know. It means more to them than you might think.

So … what’s your favorite book of all time?