Monday, May 19, 2014

No Place Like Oz (Dorothy Must Die #0.5)

No Place Like Oz (Dorothy Must Die #0.5)
ebook, 196 pages
Published November 12th 2013 by HarperCollins 
After returning to Kansas, Dorothy Gale has realized that the dreary fields of Kansas don’t compare to the vibrant landscapes of Oz. And although she’s happy to be reunited with Aunt Em, she misses her friends from the yellow brick road. But most of all, Dorothy misses the fame and the adventure. In Kansas she’s just another prairie girl, but in Oz she was a hero. So Dorothy is willing to do anything to get back, because there really is no place like Oz. But returning to the land she left comes at a price, and after Dorothy is through with it, Oz will never be the same.

Perfect for fans of Alex Flinn, Marissa Meyer, and Gregory Maguire, No Place Like Oz is a dark reimagining of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. Building off of its rich mythology, Danielle Paige creates an edgy, thrilling story for teens that chronicles the rise and fall of one of the literature’s most beloved characters. This digital original novella is a prequel that sets the stage for the forthcoming novel Dorothy Must Die.
  If you know me, you know what a HUGE Wizard of Oz fan I am and an even bigger fan of its spin offs (I've seen Wicked 3 times all over the US and my classroom is decorated in all things Wicked). Imagine my joy when this series came across my feed many months ago! I know... what took you so long?! I actually read this one and the first book a few months ago, but I have not had a chance to blog lately (stupid real-life!!!) so I am playing catch up now. 

Danielle Paige is a magician. So many times authors try to do spin offs of a series and they totally bomb and sometimes even ruin it for the original book. This one definitely does not! She has made it her own in a way that will make the avid fans happy for keeping the integrity of the story and the "newbies" wonder what the original book was all about because (as always) it was way better than the movie! I love her introduction of the after story and how she is setting us up for what life was like AFTER Dorothy came back to Kansas. I can imagine that life probably wasn't all that great for her, but Danielle Paige has done a magnificent job offering us the rest of the story (as Paul Harvey would say). 

This is only a novella (and only available in ebook format) so MAKE SURE that you read this one before moving into the first book in the series! Watch for my review of the first book soon! 

Follow Danielle on twitter for all of the upcoming goodies (@daniellempaige).

Happy reading!!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Blog Tour: Subway Love

What if destiny leads you to your soul mate, but the laws of time conspire to keep you apart?

If her parents had never divorced, Laura wouldn’t have to live in the shadow of Bruce, her mom’s unpredictable boyfriend. Her mom wouldn’t say things like "Be groovy," and Laura wouldn’t panic every weekend on the way to Dad’s Manhattan apartment. But when Laura spots a boy on a facing platform, lifting a camera to his face, looking right at her, Laura feels anything but afraid, and she can’t forget him. Jonas, meanwhile, thinks nonstop about the pretty hippie girl he glimpsed on the platform -- trying to comprehend how she vanished, but mostly wondering whether he will see her again in a city of millions -- and whether if he searches, he would have any chance of finding her. In a lyrical meditation on love, Nora Raleigh Baskin explores the soul’s ability to connect, and heal, outside the bounds of time and reason.

I am so excited to have Nora Raleigh Baskin as a guest on my blog today. I absolutely adored her novel Subway Love and am so honored to have her stop by! There were so many things that she could have posted about, but I am a sucker for cool art and the graffiti-covered subway seemed like just the thing.

    The graffiti-covered subway cars that Laura rides in 1972 were the subway cars of my childhood, so it wasn’t hard at all to paint that picture for my readers in my book, Subway Love. If I close my eyes, I can still remember what they looked like and what New York felt like to me when I was Laura’s age, riding into the city to visit my grandparents. I can still see the angry, expressive, sometimes beautiful spray-painted images. I can feel the vibrations and the sounds of being under the city in the otherworld-ness of the tunnels. But when I set out to research how and why the subways in New York have changed (and boy, have they changed!) I didn’t expect to be so drawn to the world and history of underground art.

    My family members are all artists - my father and grandfather both illustrators and painters - so understanding the drive to create and experimenting with various styles, colors, and mediums was easily familiar to me. However, the connection to the rebellious, fleeting, dangerous aspect of this art form was all mine. Underground and confrontational manifestations are vastly appealing to me.

    I also found so many metaphors in the urgency of subway art and hip hop culture. It is about the need to tell your story when you feel unheard. The desire to be “seen” when you feel unseen and both, were very much my story as a girl who grew up often living with people neither of whom were my parents; unseen, unheard and unprotected. As an adult, becoming a writer was my way of being born, and so while I gave my semi-autobiographical backstory to both my main characters, Laura and Jonas, I also found myself learning from Max (Spike) Lowenbein, the graffiti artist who brings the two teenaged lovers together across time in 1972 and 2013.

    The magic of art and the magic of love are so very similar. When you are in love it is as if the rest of the world doesn’t exist.

    Time moves at a different speed, if at all.

    All things are possible. And yet, at the same time, true-fated love that lasts forever is as ephemeral and temporary as art itself. It does not stands still and wait, and much like a moving subway car, it moves along a track of history, the colors blurred. I wanted to capture subway art at its historical peak, when there were many well-known subway artists and famous “writers,” as they were called, who invented new graffiti styles and battled each other for prominence.

    And I wanted to capture a true love at its height, at its peak, at the moment it is consummated, both spiritually and possibly physically.

    Both an art and a love that are too passionate to survive, but are too real to ever be gone completely and forever.
Now I am sure that you are all ready to go buy this book just to see her words come alive on the page like they did here, right?! You will fall in love with Jonas and Laura as much as I did, I guarantee!  Check out Nora's other guest posts for the blog tour here:

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