Thursday, September 13, 2012

Thoughts for Thursday #24: Austin Teen Book Festival: It's Getting Closer!



Time for more author spotlights for the upcoming



Greg Leitich Smith

A native of Chicago, Greg Leitich Smith now lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife, author Cynthia Leitich Smith, and four cats.

In addition to CHRONAL ENGINE, Greg is also the author of NINJAS, PIRANHAS, AND GALILEO and its companion book, TOFU AND T.REX. He and his wife, Cynthia Leitich Smith, are the co-authors of the picture book, SANTA KNOWS (Dutton 2006), illustrated by Steve Bjorkman.

Although he’s never built a time machine, Greg has degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Texas at Austin. In addition, he has a degree in law from The University of Michigan Law School, Ann Arbor.

Greg is represented by Ginger Knowlton at Curtis Brown, Ltd.



Chronal Engine: A Prehistoric Time-Travel Adventure
When Max, Kyle, and Emma are sent to live with their reclusive grandfather, they think he’s crazy, especially when he tells them about his time machine. But after Emma is kidnapped at the exact time that her grandfather predicted, Max and Kyle are forced to believe his eccentric stories—even the one about the Chronal Engine in the basement.

Now, to save Emma, Max, Kyle, and their new friend Petra must pile into a VW Bug, and use the Chronal Engine to take the road trip of a lifetime—right back to the Cretaceous period. With dangers all around, the teens find themselves dodging car-crushing herbivores in addition to the terrifying T. rex. In this ancient environment, can three contemporary teens hunt down a kidnapper, forage for food, and survive long enough to return home?





Dan Kronos

After pumping gas for nine years to put himself through college, Dan Krokos, now twenty-six, dropped out to write full-time. He enjoys watching TV, playing MMORPGs, and drinking coffee. Currently, he’s hard at work on the next book in Miranda’s journey.

Website/Goodreads



False Memory (False Memory, #1)


Miranda wakes up alone on a park bench with no memory. In her panic, she releases a mysterious energy that incites pure terror in everyone around her. Except Peter, a boy who isn’t at all surprised by Miranda’s shocking ability.
Left with no choice but to trust this stranger, Miranda discovers she was trained to be a weapon and is part of an elite force of genetically-altered teens who possess flawless combat skills and powers strong enough to destroy a city. But adjusting to her old life isn’t easy—especially with Noah, the boyfriend she can’t remember loving.

Then Miranda uncovers a dark truth that sets her team on the run. Suddenly her past doesn’t seem to matter... when there may not be a future.

Dan Krokos’ debut is a tour-de-force of non-stop action that will leave readers begging for the next book in this bold and powerful new series.




John Corey Whaley 

John Corey Whaley grew up in the small town of Springhill, Louisiana. He has a B.A. in English from Louisiana Tech University, as well as an M.A in Secondary English Education.

He currently teaches at a middle school in Shreveport, Louisiana. In 2008 he was a semi-finalist for the Amazon.com Breakthrough Novel Award.

Where Things Come Back is his first novel.


Where Things Come Back
Just when seventeen-year-old Cullen Witter thinks he understands everything about his small and painfully dull Arkansas town, it all disappears. . . . 

In the summer before Cullen's senior year, a nominally-depressed birdwatcher named John Barling thinks he spots a species of woodpecker thought to be extinct since the 1940s in Lily, Arkansas. His rediscovery of the so-called Lazarus Woodpecker sparks a flurry of press and woodpecker-mania. Soon all the kids are getting woodpecker haircuts and everyone's eating "Lazarus burgers." But as absurd as the town's carnival atmosphere has become, nothing is more startling than the realization that Cullen’s sensitive, gifted fifteen-year-old brother Gabriel has suddenly and inexplicably disappeared. 

While Cullen navigates his way through a summer of finding and losing love, holding his fragile family together, and muddling his way into adulthood, a young missionary in Africa, who has lost his faith, is searching for any semblance of meaning wherever he can find it. As distant as the two stories seem at the start, they are thoughtfully woven ever closer together and through masterful plotting, brought face to face in a surprising and harrowing climax. 

Complex but truly extraordinary, tinged with melancholy and regret, comedy and absurdity, this novel finds wonder in the ordinary and emerges as ultimately hopeful. It's about a lot more than what Cullen calls, “that damn bird.” It’s about the dream of second chances.

Next week will be the last author spotlight post for the Austin Teen Book Festival. The Thrusday before the festival I will post the books I was able to read with links to their reviews. I hope many of you local bloggers will be able to attend this fun event. 


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