Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Teen Menu Debuts!

I am so thrilled to be here with the lovely ladies of The Romance Dish today. We all met through RomanceNovelTV, where I've been doing monthly posts reviewing YA books (both new and new to me) and sharing the latest in YA-related news. I was happy that PJ, Gannon, Andrea and Buffie agreed to let me move my column, retitled Teen Menu, here so I can share my love of all things YA on the 10th of each month. So, without further delay...

Moonlight by Rachel Hawthorne

I'll admit that this book originally caught my eye because of the beautiful cover. The cover model has a type of ethereal beauty and reminds me of both Molly Quinn, who plays Alexis Castle on Castle, and Rachelle Lafevre, who played Victoria in Twilight. But when I picked it up off the shelf, I noticed it was by someone I knew, wonderful author Rachel Hawthorne. It's the first in the Dark Guardian series, and I'm already really excited to read the next two in the series, Full Moon and Dark of the Moon. Luckily, I have them mere steps away from where I now sit.

In this opener to the series, teen heroine Kayla has returned to the wilderness where her parents were killed to face her fears. She's going to spend the summer working as a wilderness guide alongside her good friend, Lindsey; the incredibly hot but aloof Lucas; and several other teens. Things get more complicated when another guy, one member of a research team the guides are taking into the wilderness, expresses interest in her and she's not sure if he's honest or even sane. And even more complicated when she's told that not only are Lucas, Lindsey and the rest of the teens werewolves but that she, too, will soon begin to turn.

Author Web site: http://www.rachelhawthorne.net/

Highway to Hell by Rosemary Clement-Moore

In this third of Clement-Moore's fun Maggie Quinn: Girl vs. Evil series, Maggie (a Seer) and her sorceress best friend Lisa are headed to South Padre for spring break and some time as normal teenagers. But evil has other ideas when Maggie's Jeep runs over a dead cow in the middle of a deserted highway and the girls find themselves stranded in the one-diner town of Dulcina, Texas -- home to a ginormous ranch, a hottie rancher with eyes for Lisa, some very colorful and curious locals, and quite possibly El Chupabra, a demon with a taste for blood.

I love this series. It's a great mixture of paranormal spookiness, teenage drama and just the right amount of snark. Maggie is like like Buffy Summers and Veronica Mars rolled into one, and I couldn't pay a teen heroine a higher compliment. Plus, I love how Clement-Moore has created a sexy, lovable hero in Maggie's boyfriend, Justin. He's a great mixture of intellectual and action when necessary and isn't averse to riding to the rescue, even though Maggie's pretty darn good at taking care of herself and he knows it.

Author Web site: http://www.rosemaryclementmoore.com/

Haint Misbehavin' by Maureen Hardegree

This month I gave my first-ever cover quote to a fellow author. I was honored to be asked, and since the book is fresh in my mind I thought I'd tell you a bit about it even though it doesn't come out until June 2010. In Maureen Hardegree's YA debut, the first in the Ghost Handler series, Georgia teen Heather Tildy is dealing with a lot during the summer before her freshman year of high school. There's her ever-annoying hypersensitive skin, her desire to win over her older sister who thinks Heather is an unbearable embarrassment, her super-big crush on lifeguard Drew Blanton, and the onset of her first period. But she gets a little more with her entree into puberty than she bargains for -- suddenly, she can see a ghost named Amy, a little girl whom Heather thought was her imaginary friend when she was little. And let's just say Amy makes life way more difficult for Heather.

Readers who like paranormal stories a bit on the lighter side, such as Meg Cabot's Mediator series, will likely enjoy Hardegree's new series from Bell Bridge Books. So mark your calendars for June 1, 2010.

Author Web site: http://www.maureenhardegree.com/

Movie News

Squee! It's only 10 more days until New Moon hits theaters! How many of you are going on opening day?

WANT TO WIN? One lucky commenter today will win a copy of Rachel Hawthorne's Moonlight.


  1. I actually rather hate Twilight. I have issues with it that i'm not going to bother putting here. The last two books you have featured sound amazing. Bet the authors can write in more than just adjectives in them.

  2. I'm still grinning over the comment above mine.
    All three books are great! I've read them. Isn't the cover for MOONLIGHT delicious?
    All the best,

  3. I am really looking forward to watching New Moon although I refuse to go opening weekend. I dont think I can handle that many screaming teenagers. I'll wait a couple of weeks. Moonlight sounds really good.

  4. I haven't seen the first one yet so I'll be waiting to watch this one. My daughter loved the first one. I usually try and wait to see them when they come out on DVD. I'm disabled and it's hard for me to go to the movies.

  5. Trish, we are SO thrilled that you are joining us at The Romance Dish. I'm looking forward to diving back into the YA genre. To be honest with you, I haven't read a YA book since back in the day of Sweet Valley High. Yes, I know. But now that you are here, I'll be changing that :-)

    I have to say that all three books sound great, but that last one definitely sounds like something I would really enjoy. I love a good giggle while reading. Plus I really like the idea that it is set in Georgia.

    LOL at you on New Moon! I haven't yet hit the Twilight craze, never read one of the books or seen one of the movies. But we do have a Twilight connection in our family. Okay, here goes, follow along. My husband's boss's next door neighbor rented his home to the crew of Twilight for filming the latest movie. Not New Moon, but the one they just finished filming a few weeks ago. The dh's boss said the cast and crew were there quite a bit and his family was able to meet and chat with everyone. The boss even made some money as the crew needed to run some kind of wires across his property and they paid him for it.

  6. All of these books sound like great reads!

    Trish, I too AM thrilled, Extraordinarily Thrilled, that you are joining the ladies at The Romance Dish. I have a teen who loves to read. And like most teenagers today her tastes are rather sophisticated,refined ... Which is a nice way of saying, she's picky and she thinks that I'm clueless! Ha! I can hardly wait to tell her about these books.

  7. jedisakora, Twilight certainly polarizes people. But that's the cool think about the book market -- there's something for everyone.

    RKCharron, yes, that cover is beautiful. They are for the entire series.

  8. Alicia, I'm hoping I can go during the day on opening day and that the kids will still be in school. :) Unless, of course, they're skipping.

    Linda, watching at home has its advantages. Comfort, snacks that don't cost the equivalent of the GNP of a small country, and being able to pause the movie for bathroom breaks! :)

  9. Buffie, you'll find YA has really expanded since the Sweet Valley High days. BTW, did you happen to see Diablo Cody's recent column in Entertainment Weekly? She's going to direct a movie based on the Sweet Valley High world.

    That's interesting about the Twilight cast and crew. That must have been for Eclipse. They are doing these movies in pretty quick succession because I think they want one out every year.

  10. Julie, I'm thrilled that you're thrilled. :) I hope your daughter (and you) enjoy the books featured today. I read a ton of YA and I'm 39, so it's very readable for teens and anyone who has ever been a teen.

  11. Good Morning, Trish! Welcome to the Romance Dish team! We're thrilled that you'll be joining us the 10th of every month.

    This month's books sound terrific. I have a teen and a pre-teen in my life, both of whom love to read so I'll be paying close attention to your recommendations.

  12. Hey, PJ. Glad to be here. I hope your teens enjoy the books.

  13. No, I didn't know about a Sweet Valley High movie. That's something I would probably go see. I can remember wishing I was one of those blonde twins :-)

  14. Great reviews of the YA books, Trish! I don't usually read YA, but I might pick up these.

    Even though I don't read YA very often, I adore the television shows that are aimed at that age group -- love Dean and Sam Winchester and their wry humor, and am enjoying the new Vampire Diaries. Those two brothers give a whole new meaning to sibling rivalry.

  15. Buffie, here's the link to the Diablo Cody column:


  16. Hey, Jo! You know I'm a HUGE Supernatural fan, and I'm enjoying The Vampire Diaries too, even though they've changed a lot of things with how they are in the book series.

  17. Trish, these all look wonderful! I don't read a lot of YA, due to ye olde time factor, but I do pick one up on occasion. It's nice to have some recommendations.

  18. Jedisakora, my son would agree with you on Twilight. He read part of it and stopped. It just didn't appeal to him, though many kids at his school love it.

  19. Trish, thanks for the reviews. I'm out of the loop on YA, so these will help.

  20. Buffie,
    I'm so glad Trish's review of my book Haint Misbehavin' intrigued you. I had a lot of fun writing it!

  21. Hey there, Trish! Like Buffie and PJ said, we are positively thrilled that you are part of the team! :)

    All of these books sound really interesting, especially Maureen's since I'm a Georgia girl and a lot of kids had/have imaginary friends.

    I've never read any of the Twilight books, though my sister, Trisha, has read all of them (2 or 3 times) and loved them. I did see Twilight the movie when it came to DVD and thought it was pretty good and I'll probably do the same with New Moon.

  22. Hi, Trish! As usual you have some great recommendations.

    I gave Moonlight to my niece this summer. Wonder if she'll let me borrow it? *g*

    I enjoy reading YA when I get a chance. Libba Bray's trilogy is one of my favorites.

    The same niece I gave Moonlight to is a HUGE Twilight fan and she has been counting the days for the release of New Moon. I'm sure I'll be seeing it with her...and listening to her sigh and squeal over Robert Pattinson. :)

  23. Nancy, I totally understand the time factor. Since I became a writer, I have way less time to read, alas.

    Hey, Megan. Great to see a fellow Harlequin American author stop by.

  24. Hey, Maureen. I'm glad you popped by. I'm anxious to see your cover when you get it.

    Andrea, I enjoyed the first Twilight movie too, but I just heard that author Stephenie Meyer is so impressed with New Moon that she's making an exception to her year-long break from media interviews to go on Oprah this Friday to talk about it. All of the trailers I've seen have been awesome.

  25. Gannon, I love that Libba Bray trilogy too. She was at a YA author event recently, and it was a weekend when I couldn't go and I was bummed about not being able to see her speak.

  26. Okay, peeps, I'm going to go to Panera for lunch and write for awhile, but keep those comments coming! I'll respond to them all when I return.

    And to stimulate conversation, what YA novel have you read that you'd love to see turned into a movie?

  27. Both of those books sound pretty great, I must add them to my ever growing list of books I must get asap!

    I'm going opening day to see New Moon. My sisters and I are playing hooky that day and we're going to make a girly day, we'll go see the movie while the teeny boppers are in school so I'm sure we'll be okay!

  28. It wasn't that the book didn't appeal to me it was the message inside the books. I just can't see literature that promotes abusive relationships (Edward fits every thing to look out for in a abusive boyfriend), stalking, pedophilia, teen pregnancy, and anti-feminism as good literature. The only "moral" message in is don't have sex till marriage, then you husband will give you bruise making sex. It really sends out the wrong message to impressionable girls. I've seen too much harm comes from the things the book promotes to ever have anything to do with the series. The fact that the author got inspired to write the series from a "wet dream" and even admits it made it made it a bit embarrassing to read. (I read the whole series as well btw.)

    I much prefer YA reading Harry potter, Jane Austen, or other more worthy literature that promotes better virtues and shows that women can be strong. Plus, i rather like authors that can write. Even Stephen King agrees with me that Mrs. Meyer can't write well.

  29. Thanks for the link, Trish. I'll have to check that out!

    Maureen, thanks for stopping by! I think I'll have to be on the lookout for Haint Misbehavin' when it is released. Since your book is set in Georgia, do you live in Georgia? I'm heading over to your website to check everything out.

  30. Maureen, I love the sound of your book. I'm fascinating with ghosts--Ghost Hunters is one of my fave shows--so I will definitely be picking up a copy. :)

  31. Rowena, sounds like a fun day with your sisters. Sometimes it's fun to just take a totally fun, playing-hooky day.

  32. Hey Trish - I must admit I have a Rachel Hawthorne book sitting in my TBR pile and I've yet to read it - but I'm definitely going to give it a go soon. However you've made me want to buy Moonlight as well.

    Question: Am I the only person left that hasn't even READ the twilight series much less seen the first movie??? Will you be watching Ms. Meyer on Oprah on Friday?

  33. I'm glad that they let you move column, Teen MEnu here. Even though I'm an adult (some days LOL) I still love reading YA even though I don't know many of authors of that genre.
    Rachel's book sounds wonderful, and I'm going to have to go looking for it.
    Rosemary's series sounds great, its another one I'll have to be on the look out for.
    Congrats on giving your first cover quote! I can't wait till June 1st to get my hands on Haint Misbehavin' I've already marked my calendar.
    Thanks for the heads up on these books.

    I don't know if I'll be going to opening day/night of New Moon, but I do want to go. I'm still on Team Jacob. Yeah, I know its "true love" between Bella and Edward but there is something that werewolves have that vamps don't. I'm more of a werewolf kinda girl.

    Wouldn't it have been weird if Bella and Jacob got together, and had a kid and the kid ended up being his soul mate?
    Just sayin...so I guess its better that she ended up with Edward.

  34. Wouldn't it have been weird if Bella and Jacob got together, and had a kid and the kid ended up being his soul mate?
    Just sayin...so I guess its better that she ended up with Edward.

    It would have been incest then instead of Pedophilia. Not much difference though. Wonderful things to be saying is "alright".

  35. Jedisakora~

    It would have been incest then instead of Pedophilia. Not much difference though. Wonderful things to be saying is "alright".

    How was she saying that Pedophilia was a good thing or "alright"? The soul mates of the children just took care of them, there was nothing sexual. She stressed that there was nothing sexual.
    In my own opinion you either read it wrong, or are reading more into it than what is really there.

  36. How was she saying that Pedophilia was a good thing or "alright"? The soul mates of the children just took care of them, there was nothing sexual. She stressed that there was nothing sexual.
    In my own opinion you either read it wrong, or are reading more into it than what is really there.

    Actually there is. "Imprinting" is taking away a girls right to marry who she wants to. Basically the guy has fallen "in love" with a child. A love that he wants to marry the child later on which implies sex. How is this right. There is no way you can take "imprinting a child or a baby" away from the fact. It's implied unless you choose not to see it. I would be the same as someone going up to a baby and saying "I love you. I'm going to be the best uncle when your a child and then the best husband". Its not a love born out of friendship. Imprinting's purpose is to pick a "mate" implying sexual relations. Even when they are not intended till the child is older.

    Also jacob said himself (when referring to quil and claire) that the relationship isn't sexual.... for now. but when she grows up it'll be different. conveniently for jacob, however, he only has to wait seven or so years since his Reneseme love grows twice as fast. physically, yes, she will be older, but she'll still only be mentally seven-years-old. This is coming from the characters own mouth.

    The relationship between jacob and renesmee (and quil and claire as well) is basically child grooming as well.

    Here is a some good article on imprinting if you want to read it more indepth.


  37. Snippets from the article

    Here are some good snippets:

    Some argue that imprinting isn’t about passing down one’s genes, but that it’s about finding one’s soulmate.
    The problem with this theory is Jared and Kim. I can’t quite remember if they said it one way or the other, but the way Sam and Quil imprinted made it sound like it was the first time they ever met their imprintees. This would make sense with the two souls first meeting. However, Jared knew Kim for several years before he became a wolf, and although she had a crush on him, his soul was never attracted to hers. I'm not talking about why Jared didn't imprint on Kim, because that only happens after they become a wolf, but why he was never drawn to Kim the way a soulmate should in all the years he had known her.

    The “to ensure the werewolf gene is passed on” explanation itself is rather odd, too. So Sam imprinted on Emily because she possesses the prime genetic traits (whatever those could possibly be) for werewolf offspring. So why did other members of the pack start imprinting? Doesn’t Emily have the best traits?

    In nature, males compete against males in order to get to breed with a desired female. This is so the strongest male passes his genes to the strongest female. But with werewolf imprinting it has them doing it regardless of their position in the pack. So it doesn’t matter if they’re a “good” werewolf, provided they’re able to pass on the genes. What genetic material gets passed down doesn’t matter, just that the genetic material gets passed down. This is contrary to evolution and would lead to problems in the gene pool down the road, most likely resolving itself when a bunch of werewolves are killed off because they aren’t as strong or fast as they should be. And if the primary directive is for everyone to pass on their genes no matter what those genes are, why aren’t the werewolves imprinting on every genetically capable female in La Push? Why limit their potential offspring by restricting themselves to a single female?

    n the books there are a couple cases of what they call “early” imprints. That is, the 16-17 year old werewolf imprints on a baby. This would somewhat make sense on a purely genetic level, since you have the same genes no matter what your age. But again, in nature, if there is a baby that could grow up to be an alpha female, the male won’t be hung up on her and go for the genetic material that is currently sexually mature and capable of breeding: thus ensuring the line.

    The whole purpose of imprinting is called into question again when we learn that females have a “choice” in getting to breed with the werewolf or not, and that he’ll be happy remaining the female’s brother/father figure for all time. This was probably inserted to assure the reader that the werewolves aren’t raising little girls in order to breed with them once they become physically mature. But if the werewolf is supposed to be okay with this, then why did he imprint in the first place? Why wouldn’t he lose the imprint on her and imprint on a more willing female? And if the werewolf is supposed to be okay, then why did Sam get so upset with Emily when she refused his advances? The cases of imprinting can’t seem to agree with each other on what its purpose is supposed to be.

  38. I promise this is the last post on this , but to point out the obvious in Jacob's own words

    "Though I did think it sucked that he had a good fourteen years of monk-i-tude ahead of him until Claire was his age- for Quil, at least, it was a good thing werewolves didn't get older. But even all that time didn't seem to bother him much."

    How is this not thinking in terms of sex.....

  39. Buffie,
    Yup, I'm a Georgia girl now. I've lived here longer than anywhere else!

  40. Andrea,
    Glad you liked the imaginary friend equals ghost equation.

  41. Trish,
    I'm looking forward to seeing my cover, too! I promise to share it ASAP.

  42. Gannon,
    I've always found ghosts and ghost stories interesting, too. When I travel, I look for local ghost stories and take ghost tours.

  43. Hey, Marisa. You're definitely not the only person who hasn't read the Twilight books. The idea doesn't appeal to some people; others haven't gotten around to it.

    I'm going to TiVo the Oprah show since I'm going to be tied up this weekend at the RWA board meeting.

  44. Dorthy, ack! I hadn't really given that possibility much though. Can you imagine how much more flack Stephenie would have gotten for that scenario? Eek.

    I certainly didn't think I was going to open up a debate here today. Wow, I'm off with a bang. Oops. The Twilight series is polarizing, but it's not the first YA fiction to be so. I adore the Harry Potter books, but there are people who crusade against the books, wanting them pulled from public schools and even burned because they promote witchcraft. This from people who've never read the books. And others have railed against Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials series for being anti-Catholic. But here's the thing -- I'm a firm believer in artists' freedom to express their ideas in fiction. It is, after all, fiction. It's ultimately up to parents, I believe, to determine what they allow their underage children to read and not read.

  45. The winner of today's giveaway is JulieJustJulie. Please e-mail me at trishmilburn AT yahoo DOT com with your name and mailing address, and I'll get the book out to you.

  46. Trish~

    I certainly didn't think I was going to open up a debate here today. Wow, I'm off with a bang. Oops.

    I'm sorry I didn't mean to start a debate under your post.

    But here's the thing -- I'm a firm believer in artists' freedom to express their ideas in fiction. It is, after all, fiction. It's ultimately up to parents, I believe, to determine what they allow their underage children to read and not read.

    I completely agree with this, and I couldn't have said it better. Thanks again for a great post telling us about some new books.

  47. Nice column, Trish. You make all the books sound interesting. And the cover for Moonlight is defnitely eye-catching. As for New Moon...I'll probably pass. I didn't like the first one. You'll have to let me know if the second is any better.

  48. So great to see the column find a new home, Trish! Looking forward to hearing about all kinds of great new (and new to me) books. :-)

  49. But here's the thing -- I'm a firm believer in artists' freedom to express their ideas in fiction. It is, after all, fiction. It's ultimately up to parents, I believe, to determine what they allow their underage children to read and not read.

    Yes that true, but what is the current price now going to cost later... My 14 year old second cousin read the books and now thinks her father controlled her mother out of "love". That he "loved" her when he beat her up. And there is no telling her otherwise because she read it in Twilight. Edward was controlling of Bella and Sam hurt Emily, but they did it out of love or didn't mean too. My cousin thinks it's alright to shut off everyone in her life because of her obsessive love for her boyfriend. I can't tell you how many numerous case studies i've had to do that are similar to situations in the books in my classes for my law and society degree. It's really my job to look into things like this. That's why the series is so bothering to me. I see the harm in the things the book promotes. Also, truthfully how many parents actually read or look into what their child is reading. I've run into people in the book store buying the series for their 7 and 8 year old. > >

    So while Stephine has the "right" to write it, doesn't mean that it "should" have been published. At least the only complaint you can say about Harry Potter is that it contains witch craft, but it promotes so much more. Friendship, good over evil, that there is a light in the darkness if you only know how to look, acceptance of others despite their differences (something Mrs. Meyer did not do in the series. The twilight books are completely anti-human which she admitted)ect...

    Everyone has the right to read the series, but there should be recognition of the bad things it contains. I mean, geese, even the actors in the movie hate the series. I feel bad for poor underage 17 year old Taylor getting mobbed by all of these people.

    And that's the last of it from me. I can't help but get fired up at the series. So sorry.

  50. I would love to win and read Rachel's book. Please enter me.

  51. These book look great, Trish! I can't wait for Maureen's book to come out. That sounds like a good one.


  52. Hi, Trish! Great to see you've found a new home for your reviews. I love Rachel Hawthorne's work--I'm excited to see she has this new series out.

    ~ Vanessa