Monday, September 27, 2010

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Vampire Academy Re-Read ChallengeMost of you have probably already read all the Vampire Academy books, and maybe the majority of you have even read the books multiple times. But don't you want to re-read the series now when we're anxiously waiting for the end? (Are you as scared as I am?)

Vampire Book Club is hosting a re-read of the books while we're waiting for Last Sacrifice:
We invite you to relive Rose’s journey of love, responsibility, friendship and heartbreak with us.
What you have to do is to first visit their site and sign up via the form. Then you have to review at least one of the books during the re-read (or read, if it's your first time reading the books). You don't have to have a book blog; you can review the books on different kinds of sites. Read all the details over at Vampire Book Club. The challenge starts on October 1st and will run through November.

These are the prizes you're eligible to win if you participate in the re-read challenge:

- Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead
- A Vampire Academy-inspired piece of jewelry from Cemetery Cat Designs
- Soul Screamers series set by Rachel Vincent (My Soul to Take, My Soul to Keep and My Soul to Save)
- Crusade by Nancy Holder & Debbie ViguiƩ
- Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers
- Linger bookmark signed by Maggie Stiefvater
- Embossed black leather Vampire Academy bookmark
- Vampire Book Club bookmarks

Fittingly enough, I recently happened upon this review of Vampire Academy that reminded me all over again what's so wonderful about these books. From Book Lovers Inc:
I kept hearing everywhere how everyone loves this YA vampire series, and after some time I finally got around to read it. You have to understand that my reluctance was due to the fact that this is a YA series and I'm not such a big fan of YA novels. But I got sucked in the story after the first few paragraphs and gobbled up Vampire Academy in less than a day!

There is everything in Vampire Academy to make it an enjoyable page turner: thrilling mystery, forbidden romance, humour and a snarky, witty narrative with enjoyable characters. After devouring Vampire Academy I got myself Frostbite immediately!

Don't forget to visit Vampire Book Club and sign up for the re-read challenge! I'm going to be participating, and I'm really looking forward to it. I have a feeling I'll find some details when re-reading the books, that I didn't see the first time around (especially since I read the first four books in less than a week). :-)

Friday, September 24, 2010

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Paperback Dolls have also posted, in addition to the release day announcement from Cadsawan Jewelry, an interview they did with Richelle Mead when she attended the Romantic Times convention in May.

She talks about planning out her books beforehand:
Mona: Are you a plotter, pantser, or a combination?

Richelle: I’m very much a plotter. I have to know where I’m going. I’ll have a series plotted out...where it going, but little details pop up along the way that I get detoured on, but I always come back to the outline.

Mona: Do you make a detailed outline?

Richelle: I do, I do. I need it both to keep me on track, and as I write, I want to drop hints along the way on things that I know are coming for the readers.
I can tell with some books where the big reveal or the big ending was made up as they went along. Sometimes they can pull that off, but I like to know what’s coming and give clues so the readers are like, “Oh, there it was.”

It turns out that Richelle actually has a a book stashed away, one that she wrote before being published. I'm very curious to find out what it's about!

Mona: How many books did you write before being published?

Richelle: Two. I had a graphic novel that got buried away, and the second one I still have. The next one got published.

Mona: I was going to ask if you still had any of them.

Richelle: I do. It needs work, but it would be nice to bring it out someday. I haven’t forgotten about it, but it’s still there waiting. As you practice your craft, you get better with every book.

Richelle answers a question about her favorite type of character:

The ones who are real...snappy. Those are the people with the best dialogue. There are a lot of guys, a lot of roguish guys in my current book, and it’s just one-liner after one-liner. It’s funny dialogue

I think we can tell that that's a favorite of Richelle's. :-) I've said it before, but it's one of the things I love about her books, her sense of humor.

Richelle also talks a lot about how she balances writing three book series at the same time, and having three deadlines to keep.

Mona: What interrupts or interferes with your writing the most?

Richelle: The time I spend working on previous books. I don’t think people realize you finish the book with the first draft and then it goes through a lot more drafting, then the editors send it back and you have to revise it. Right now, I’m writing the third Dark Swan book while also revising the last Vampire Academy book.

This is a really awesome interview, so read the rest of it on the Paperback Dolls blog.

That last answer made me think about an excellent series of posts that Stacia Kane wrote on her blog, detailing the process of publishing a book. There are so many more steps than a normal reader realizes, and you can learn a lot by reading it. You can find the first part here.

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A week ago it was announced on the Bitten By Books website that Cadsawan Jewelry are going to be selling official Vampire Academy jewelry. Since then we have been eagerly anticipating the release day, and now it's finally here!

The big release day announcement was made today over at Paperback Dolls.

We posted pictures of some of the jewelry in our earlier post. Here are a few examples of additional jewelry that's available so far:

A Molnija Mark wrap braclet

A rose pendant with a garnet

And an Evil Eye necklace

You can find more jewelry on their website, and there you will also eventually find elemental charms.

Paperback dolls are also offering a special 15 % discount for the first 50 people who order from Cadsawan's website, mentioning a discount code. The discount code is only good through September 26, so you'll have to hurry up and order if you want to take advantage of it.

But it doesn't there, the Paperback Dolls blog are hosting a contest where you can win the rose pendant pictured above and all the Vampire Academy books. So make sure you participate in that. Read more about the contest and how to enter, here.

The contest is international, which we always love! :D

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As I mentioned in my previous post, Richelle Mead will be visiting Toronto over the weekend. The main reason being that the Teen Read Awards will take place there this Saturday.

I don't think we blogged about the Teen Read Awards while the voting was still going on, but they're basically the book version of Teen Choice Awards. So while the Teen Choice Awards focuse on mostly on TV and movies, the Teen Read Awards shine a light on authors of Young Adult literature and the characters in their books.

Richelle is nominated in two categories: Best Teen Series and Best Hottie. Of course we're hoping she'll win, and that we'll get to see her accepting an award.

This is the first time these awards are given out, so I think the authors are pretty excited about it! Becca Fitzpatrick wrote on Twitter about this being their first red carpet, so the question is what everyone will be wearing.

You can find more information about the awards on the Teen Read Awards website. And if you can't be there, make sure you follow their twitter for continual updates of winners. They've opened the floor for questions, so take the chance, tag your tweets #TRAinterview, and ask Richelle Mead or one of the other authors a question. If you're lucky, they'll choose your question. The answers will be posted on Youtube.

And what goes for Richelle's signing, goes for the Teen Read Awards as well. If you manage to get some pictures of the event, we'd love to post them! :-)
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I lost an entire day reading Shiloh Walker's The Missing (really good book!), and I feel I'm terribly behind. A lot of amazing news the last couple of days!

First, great news for everyone living in the Toronto area! Tomorrow, on September 25 at 2pm, Richelle Mead will be signing there! I realize we're a bit late with these news, but I hope that everyone who live in the area manage to get the information early enough.

The details for the signing:

Yonge and Eglinton Indigo
2300 Yonge Street
Toronto, Ontario M4P 1E4

Author Carrie Jones will be signing with Richelle, and before them, Becca Fitzpatrick & Ally Carter are also going to be signing, at the same place, at 12 pm. This is a great opportunity to meet several wonderful authors at the same time!

Richelle has posted a list for what is normal signing procedure, on her website, and this is what it says:
* Events usually start with me reading briefly and then doing a Q&A with the audience.

* I will personalize one book with your name and then put just my signature in up to two more, unless noted.

*Unless it is noted below, you may bring any book (even if you already own it) from any of my series. If there's one you want and haven't purchased, try to buy it at the hosting store as thanks for bringing me by! It helps them bring me back in the future. Remember the signing limits above, though.

* I will take pictures with readers, if time permits.

* All events are free, unless noted

Richelle has said that she probably won't be back in Toronto for at least a year, so if you have the opportunity to go and meet her - do it!

If you're going to the signing, we'd love it if you send us pictures!

Monday, September 20, 2010

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On Richelle Mead's blog and Arcane Vault's Facebook page, we've seen a lot of examples of things fans have made to express their love of Vampire Academy, but this is definitely one of my favorite things so far!

I am so excited to be able to share this with you! I think this is so incredibly awesome! It may be because I, myself, love to knit, but when I saw what Adriatika posted on her twitter, I jumped on her immediately to ask her for a pattern! :-)

This is what she posted:

They are pictures of a scarf that she knitted, with her own pattern! I'm probably a knitting and/or scarf nerd, but I just love this!

This is the pattern for the symbols:

And this is Adriatika's description of how she went about making the scarf:


Here is the pattern for the Vampire Academy scarf (I used 3 seperate patterns but I put them all together so sorry if it looks mish-mashed together) I used the double knitting technique so the scarf's really thick and warm. I used size 7 U.S. (4.5 mm) needles and about 300 yds (280 m) of worsted weight (4) wool/alpaca yarn (Stitch Nation by Debbie Stoller Alpaca Love by in the colors Dusk and Cobblestone if you were wondering), though you can use whatever you want :)

The VA symbol and the Promise mark look the same upside-down and right-side-up, but the molnija mark doesn't, the wider part is the top, so the pattern goes form bottom to top. However, the Molnija mark is the same on front and back, while the VA and Promise marks are backwards so when you're doing the front read right to left and on the back, left to right (I almost ended up with mine saying AV :))

My scarf was 30 stitches wide and I don't know how many rows long, though I do know that I knit 104 plain rows between the pattern, but you can adjust that to make it longer/shorter (I spray blocked my scarf and it got about a foot longer than in the pics). Sorry if I talked too much and my over use of smiley faces, e-mail me or tweet if you have any questions (If you don't know how to double knit I know a great YouTube vid that explains it pretty well, but you've probably been knitting longer than me (3 weeks) and probably know a lot more than I do)

Here's some hints and tips I learned while knitting the scarf :

-To keep track of what row you're on, just put a little x next to the row on the pattern so you don't have to go counting stitches
-when you're doing the middle of the scarf, put a stitch marker every 20 rows so you don't have to count 100+ rows :)
-after you cast on, you can knit/purl into the same stitch with 2 colors (as in the video), or you can just knit with both colors, but make ABSOLUTE sure that the color pattern stays the same (purple grey purple grey..., or grey purple grey purple...) you don't want 2 stitches of the same color next to each other because it'll mess up your pattern (this way does twist the working yarn a lot, so just be warned)
-one color will be your main color, and one will be the color for the symbols (as if that's not already obvious)
-when your main color is in the background facing you, you're looking at the right side
-when your color for your symbols is in the background facing you, you're looking at the wrong side
-read the pattern from the bottom to the top
-on the right side, read the pattern from right to left
-on the wrong side, read the pattern from left to right
-when you start a pattern, make sure you're reading from the right way (I almost ended up with my scarf saying AV instead of VA bc the VA pattern starts on the wrong side and I was reading from right to left)
-If a row is exactly the same as the row you just knitted (which happens a lot in the VA and Promise mark and sometimes in the Molnija mark), you can just knit/purl the stitches with the yarn of the same color (if that makes sense, basically it means knit/purl the purple stitches with purple yarn, and knit/purl the grey stitches with grey yarn, or whatever colors you use)
-one way to cast off is to just do a normal cast off in knit stitch or rib stitch which will make a pattern like the edges
-another way (the better way bc it looks like the cast on row, but I guess it doesn't really matter if you do fringe) is to knit the first stitch only using 1 color (whichever color you did your initial cast on in) then knit 2 together across the whole row until you get to the last stitch which you also knit. you should now have 30 single stitches all the same color Then you can cast off


For those of you who really want to try and make the scarf, but aren't experienced with knitting, Adriatika was kind enough to send us some Youtube videos that can help you with the double knitting technique. I'm definitely going to have to watch this a couple of times to learn how to do it!

Adriatika has posted several pictures of things she's created, inspired by Vampire Academy. You can view them here.

You can also connect with her on her Facebook page!

A big thank you to Adriatika for allowing us to share her pattern with you! I know what I'll be doing in the wee hours of the fall/winter (except for rereading Vampire Academy, of course).

Saturday, September 18, 2010

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Sue Grimshaw posted on her twitter about an interview she did with Richelle Mead on the Borders Book Blog.

The interview centers around Richelle's Succubus series, and Succubus Blues in particular. Since Succubus Blues is the first in the series, there aren't really any spoilers in the interview.
Scene you like most and would never cut:
There’s an epic showdown between immortal powers at the book’s end, which is one of the most vivid and emotional pieces I’ve ever written. I love it. Of course, for spoiler reasons, I can’t give much away here. There’s also a scene in which Georgina’s vampire friend declares he’s going on a low-carb diet, which still cracks me up since blood is about as low-carb as you can get.
What celebrity is your hero like and why:
People hate it when I say this, but none of my characters resemble any celebrities to me. My characters all so unique that the images in my head don’t match anyone out there!
What you think readers will like best about this book:
The mix of humor and heartache. Georgina’s tormented love life is really harsh to read about sometimes and can get quite dark. On the other side, the book is filled with wacky bits and random pop culture references. I love mixing such wildly different elements and think readers enjoy reading the results.
The question I want readers take away from Georgina is:
what is the nature of good and evil? I don’t mean in the sense of pulling up any religious debates or beliefs. But, are things always as black and white as we would believe? Georgina’s theoretically an evil creature, but she has a good heart. She frequently runs into those who are seemingly good but prove not to be. I believe there’s a lot of gray in our world and hope readers will think about that and examine their opinions on it.

Kensington is giving away a selection of books to one of the commenters on the blog. All you have to do is give your opinion on Richelle's last answer. It's an interesting and important thing to ponder, I think. (I don't know whether the giveaway is only open to US residents.)

Your can read the rest of the interview and enter the contest here.

I've only read Succubus Blues so far. I've recently bought the next in the series, so I'm planning on diving into that soon!
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You may have seen in the last few weeks that ReelzChannel have posted guest blogs by some of the Vampire Academy fansites, talking about the possibility of a VA movie. In a recent article they look at ten YA (Young Adult) book series that have all been optioned, and discuss their chances as movie franchises.

This is what they have to say about Vampire Academy in the article Vampire Academy: The Next Harry Potter or Twilight?:

What's it about? Rose Hathaway is a 17-year-old half-human, half-vampire girl, or "Dhampir", caught up in a world of vampires. Together with best friend Lissa Dragomir, a Moroi vampire, they try to defeat the world's Strigoi — evil vampires out for blood.

Will it make a good movie? It's about vampires, so clearly there's a large potential audience. The romance is hot, the characters are feisty, Buffy-esque warriors, and it's set at a boarding school. Twilight fans will lap it up like a warm sachet of O-Neg.

Franchise potential? Vampire Academy is on par with The Mortal Instruments. There are five books so far, with the sixth and final installment due in December. Mead has already announced a spin-off series for next year, which will focus on a different character. This one has franchise written all over it.

Fandom? Readers have created their own T-shirts, there are fansites in every country, and the official movie page on Facebook has nearly 35,000 fans (and growing). Fandom, thy name is Vampire Academy. (Just for the record, we're totally Team Dimitri. We're wearing our homemade wristband right now).

You can read the articles where ReelzChannel dissect the other book series' chances of being the next movie franchise, here. Among them are The Hunger Games, The Mortal Instruments and Shiver.
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One of the things we haven't posted about yet, is the release of Kisses From Hell, an anthology that Richelle Mead is part of. Kisses From Hell is a collection of paranormal short stories. Other authors who are featured are Kristin Cast, Alyson Noel, Kelley Armstrong among others.

The short story that Richelle has contributed to the book is called "Sunshine". It tells the story of how Lissa's parents met. You can read an excerpt here, on Richelles website. I've read the excerpt, and it's amazing. I really want to read the rest of it as well. I haven't decided where I'm going to buy the book from, though. I think I might want to get Richelle's autograph in it. :-)

I did a little research and it turns out that most of Sunshine is actually available for browsing on Harper Teen's website! There you can read five chapters (pages 1-55 of 67)! But then you'll really want to read the rest of it!

Naturally, the book is available for purchase through all the major websites, such as Amazon, Borders, Barnes & Noble and The Book Depository. Like always, you can also choose to buy the book from University Bookstore and get it signed by Richelle herself. To locate the book on their website you have to search for the title, since there are many other authors listed for the book.

Yesterday Harper Teen posted a trailer for the book on their twitter. I thought this was really fun!

For those of you who can't listen to the video, this is what Richelle says:

So you want to date a vampire....

The best part about dating a vampire is - Pretty easy to make dinner for him, so long as no one misses your annoying neighbors.

The worst part about dating a vampire is - It can get pretty crowded inside a coffin.

One of the things I love most about Richelle is her sense of humor! :-)

Friday, September 17, 2010

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A couple of days ago it was announced that in about a week's time, on September 24th, a new Official Vampire Academy jewelry line will debut, designed by Janet Cadsawan. You could read a little bit about Janet and her feelings about jewelry in our previous post. managed to get an interview with Janet, and asked her a few questions about her jewelry, the Vampire Academy books, and the possiblity of a movie. This is some of what she had to say about -

The books:
Janet first became acquainted with Vampire Academy completely by accident through a friend. The friend in question posted a picture of a meeting with Richelle Mead in Seattle, this of course lead to Janet picking up the book and not really putting it down since…
The characters:
As for her favourite characters from the Vampire Academy series, apart from Rose she really admires Christian; “He’s so dark, sarcastic and willing to take his destiny in his own hands. I like that.” Janet also admits to harbouring a soft spot for both Christian and Dimitri, but with the next book titled Last Sacrifice she admits to holding back.
The movie:
When asked about a prospective movie she sounds optimistic. “I really do hope the movie is made. I think Rose is a fantastic role model, and I do like the action as well.” As well as hopeful that perhaps some of her designs may appear on the big screen.
You can read the full interview here.

I forgot to mention another exciting thing in my last post. Cadsawan jewelry are planning on designing a Dimitri charm, but they want our help! This is what Janet wrote to us on twitter:

So if you have a suggestion for what kind of charm would represent Dimitri, send it to Cadsawan Jewelry, and you might be the lucky person who'll get one!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

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We got some exciting news today about new Vampire Academy jewelry! Most of you already know that Psynde makes official Vampire Academy jewelry, which you can still buy in her Etsy shop.

However, we can also expect a new jewelry line! I first heard about the new Vampire Academy jewelry by Cadsawan Jewelry on August 27th, when this message was posted on twitter:

I wasn't sure how official it was, so I waited to make sure. And today Cadsawan Jewelry released both an official press release and pictures of what some of the jewelry will look like! :-)

So far we have the Molnija mark as a charm necklace, available in oxidized brass.

And we also have Promise mark earrings (studs). They are 1.25 in long and will be available in oxidized sterling silver and white brass.

The jewelry will be available on the website on September 24th, and you'll find it here:

The official announcement about the Cadsawan Vampire Academy jewelry was made on the Bitten by Books website. There we can also read a little bit about how this jewelry line came to be, and Janet's passion for jewelry:

While it can never substitute narrative, it can represent the one thing in a story that actually gives it soul – a character, a place, a message. And, this is exactly why jewelry and books go together so well - one explains the other encapsulates.

When I approached Penguin to develop a collection for Vampire Academy, I had already developed lines for three vampire universes, but what urged me to pursue this collection was the underlying message of the books: love – love in friendship, relationships, patriotism, tradition, and of course, the supernatural. So much soul in one story can only make great jewelry!
Until September 30th Cadsawan Jewelry are also offering a 10% discount to the readers of Bitten by Books. Visit them to find out more!

Dark Faerie Tales also interviewed Janet Cadsawan. This is some of what she had to say about her jewelry making:

It’s the pieces that embody meaning either through symbolism, stories, legends, or epics that really makes my heart beat faster.It makes me feel like I’m an alchemist translating words, characters and meaning into a different form.

The blog post includes a giveaway that is actually open for a few more hours!

Finally, here is the official press release from Cadsawan Jewelry:


- Janet Cadsawan announces official Vampire Academy Jewelry Line

New York, N.Y.– September 15, 2010 – The uniqueness of Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead lies in its mythology and message. The essence of the book is about love in many forms – friendship, relationships, patriotism, tradition, and of course, the supernatural. Janet Cadsawan creates jewelry based on ideas and myths, and given her love of vampires, Vampire Academy was the perfect narrative for Cadsawan to fashion into a jewelry collection.

Mead is known for incorporating magic, religious and mythical elements to her books, and in Vampire Academy, she makes them tangible through tattoos, talismans and jewelry. This collection by Cadsawan embodies the revered symbols of the vampires (Moroi) and protectors (Dhampir) that have come to hold their own special meaning for fans of this book. Cadsawan has deftly created pieces that readers will want to wear to keep the story and characters alive.

The Vampire Academy Collection includes pendants, charms, bracelets and earrings made from recycled metals. It is based on descriptions, concepts and characters in Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy. The collection will be available for purchase on September 24th, 2010 at

About Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Vampire Academy, published by Razorbill, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group, is a #1 international bestselling series, with over 3.5 million copies in print in the U.S. and foreign rights sold into 32 countries. Two races of vampires walk our world. One, the Moroi, are alive and wield elemental magical. The other, the Strigoi, are undead and evil--feeding on the innocent to survive.

About cadsawan jewelry + design

Janet Cadsawan’s philosophy is that jewelry is magic-adorned. She designs one-of-a-kind talismans, fine jewelry and supernatural baubles. Her pieces are showcased in both art galleries and fine jewelry stores. She has had pieces appear on HBO's True Blood and has also designed pieces for Rachel Caine's Morganville Vampires. She uses local craftsmen to create her jewelry and only uses recycled metal for her collections. She is a lover of small and large animals, and lives on a farm in Greenwich, CT.


Contacts: Christina Rumbaugh, cadsawan llc, 866.352.2698
Shanta Newlin, Penguin Young Readers Group, 212.414.3630

Sunday, September 5, 2010

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We've promised for a long time that we would do a separate post about Arcane Vault. If I understand correctly, tomorrow is the last day of their offer of 15% discount when you place an order, so I thought now would be a good time to write a post about them. (I know it still is a bit late to mention the discount, but I hope people read this post in time. :-)

So, as I think most of you know, Arcane Vault is the place where you can buy officially licensed Vampire Academy merchandise. They have bookmarks, keychains and shirts. (Recently they released some sneak peeks on their Facebook page of mugs that we can expect to see in the future.)

Here are pics of a couple of the things you can order from them:

They ship internationally, and shipping costs are very low in my opinion. I just placed an order, and to Sweden the shipping costs were little more than 13 US Dollars. Then of course there is always a risk with taxes and custom fees when the package crosses the border, but the costs before that are reasonable in my opinion.

And then we have the discount! It says that the discount code is valid until September 5. I'm not sure exactly what that means timewise, but when you're completing the checkout process, and you're asked for a Coupon Code, you enter avault15 and if the discount is valid, the total amount should be corrected.

I can't wait until the merchandise I ordered arrive! I'm a bit unsure about the sizing of the shirts, because even with a chart, it's always hard to predict. But I'm hopeful!

Don't forget that you can still enter the contest at the Vampire Book Club blog to win Vampire Academy merchandise from Arcane Vault. :-)