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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Make Your Own Superhero!

If you haven't been there already, The Hero Factory is located here:

It's a site where you can build your own superhero. It's slightly limited, and you can't choose the names, but it's a lot of fun!

Diana Peterfreund is having a contest for 3 copies of Dull Boy by Sarah Cross, and making heroes on the site gets you extra entries. The winners will be chosen later today (Monday)! -

EDIT: There's also another contest for Dull Boy here (deadline 6/6 at midnight PST):

Here are some I made:

Here are some links to other superhero builders:


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Story - Broken Fey

Yes, this is actually related to a contest, but I decided not to enter... I guess I chickened out. But I still wanted someone to read it, so here it is. And I need to do more in the writing part of my blog, which has taken a back seat to books and contests.

This story takes place in a parallel universe I invented for a book I'm writing, where the Earth has an intelligent "mind/spirit/etc." Each individual part/being of this spirit is a sort of mixture between a god, nature spirit, and a mythical or paranormal creature. This is my first attempt at the fey.

I probably should have edited this more, but I don't think it's completely awful... Opinions?


B r o k e n F e y

Cade was crying, and the rain clouds cried with her. The willow trees were thick around her pond, and the moonlight illuminated her skin of pale sea foam green and hair like the purest white blossoms, until the rain clouds of her sadness obscured it. It was fitting that she lay half in and half out of her home, her prison. Divided. Torn.

If only it could have been another way…

Cade’s pond was isolated, but if one of the visitors ever happened upon it, they would find themselves both entranced and repulsed at her partly human appearance. But this convoluted beauty was nothing in comparison to that ethereal, immortal gift of her mother’s people, the nymphs of fresh water; Naiads of Greek myth. But the water fey are more than myth, or else she herself would be but a shadow of a being, half in body, not just in soul like the visitors.
Her father was one of them, the visitors who swarmed in the cleared lands. She never had met him, the man her mother charmed, but sometimes she wondered what life would be like with just half a soul. Other times she speculated about her own spiritual condition. She was no immortal, not a full spirit of the earth, but an unnatural mixture of two seemingly incompatible souls. Yet here she was.

Cade saw her mother’s face in her deep memory, the sneer as she bestowed her with her name, an old wind word that means “curse.” She was not supposed to exist. If her mother had not wanted her, why not prevent the accident with her powers of changing? Instead, she had been brought to her exile as a young girl, this isolated pond where her only companions were the creatures of the water, and they never had much to say. It had been carefully selected so she could not survive an escape, during which she would drown in the air from lack of water, from which her skin absorbed most of her oxygen. But even if she could breathe solely from the air, her limbs made her a cripple by being half feet and half fin. Curse. It was so true.

Broken. They called beings like her the broken fey, because their bodies and souls did not work as they should. Cade had some simple powers over water and weather, but not the changing that all full beings of energy could perform. It allowed them to shift their bodies and the world around them, making them both eternally young and dangerous, filled with violent beauty. This and other differences set them apart from the visitors. The beings of energy were the thinking manifestations of the life of Earth. Visitors were thinkers too, but their souls were divided, half visiting on Earth for a short period of time, and the other half in an elsewhere of which the beings of energy have no knowledge. Presumably the halves merged after death, but it is unclear where this occurs, and what they become. Perhaps gods. But in their divided state, visitors were prone to acts that went against their survival. Murder, ignorance, hating and making war with their own kind, biting the hand that feeds them with their pollution. They were like parasites to the host; Earth.

But somehow half of Cade belonged to these beings, and it was especially evident in her death wish of a desire… She desired their companionship, their cities, though they would be poison in her veins, would kill her in an instant, or imprison her as a curiosity. And exposing the fey would only make them hate her more, the abomination. Broken fey.

She also shared their divided mind, the visitor separation of conscious and subconscious. Her fey side feared at this lack of knowledge even about herself, and screamed out at the possibility that one day she would die. She had no clue as to whether she would return to the earth to be part of one whole or leave for the unknown visitor place, or perhaps even be permanently divided in two. How could one self be ripped apart, when she was one girl, one mind? She feared this death with both sides of her self. Cade sighed and sunk down to her bed among the fish and plants of the pond, sick of the same lonely thoughts of air’s domain, which dwarfed her own small world.

She must have let herself float up among the lily pads in her sleep, because Cade woke to a whisper that was not the wind in her ear. “Cade. I think I can help you.” Immediately she opened her eyes and turned upright in the water. A seemingly teenage girl with dusty blonde hair, brown eyes, and what she thought was visitor coverings was kneeling by the side of her pond. But she was obviously not visitor… Her form made subtle changes like an otherworldly breeze was teasing her. She glowed.

“What kind of being are you? And what is your name?” Cade asked her.

“Vampire. And my name is Ailenn,” the girl answered.

Cade shrunk back. She had heard of vampires before her exile. Their energy was tainted, so they needed to leech energy from the blood of visitors. She did not know what this act would do to the broken fey.

The girl looked sad at this reaction. “I’m not like that. I don’t want to hurt you. I used to be like you, half and half, but vampires can’t stay in the middle for very long. There are so many others like us out there, torn between two worlds… But don’t believe what they say. You aren’t broken. Just whole in a different way.”

“You scanned my mind,” Cade replied.

The girl blushed. “I’m sorry for that. But I needed to know something if I’m going to help you. You want to leave this place? I can give you what you need, bring you to a place where there are others like you. A school. Do you want to go?”

The hunger in Cade’s eyes and her attempt to grip the sand as she came closer to Ailenn answered the question. She willingly took the girl’s offered hand and immediately felt the change. It was like the liquid elements were coursing through her veins as her body shifted. Ailenn took her hand away, and when Cade looked down she saw the reflection of a visitor. Could it be?

“You are still half nymph, Cade, but now you have a body that can thrive in the environment of both your halves.”

“Why?” was all Cade could say.

“I don’t want others to feel lost, torn apart over something they can’t control. And if we join together, maybe then we’ll be that much happier, and always have someone around who understands.” Cade could see genuine emotion in Ailenn, and for once she felt hope.

“Shall we leave this place?” Ailenn offered her hand again. Cade nodded.

Perhaps one day she would meet her mother again, or her unknown father, or perhaps not. But a new part of her life had begun with a whisper, and she hoped it would open up to a roar of excitement. The cities, the visitors, others like her; she would see sights yet unknown to her inexperienced eyes. There was danger, but Cade gladly stepped out of her pond and took the hand of the girl, happy to leave it behind her and never look back.

(c) Paradox 2009



Monday, May 11, 2009

Yes, I Know I'm Being Lazy...

I'd rather not take the time to clean out and update my contest list, so I'm linking to some contests here. Fortunately, I will be posting some actual content soon. I'm going to be posting a short story I wrote called "Broken Fey" and reviews of Vamped, Faery Rebels: Spell Hunter, Shine Coconut Moon, Camileon, and others. Unfortunately, I still haven't gotten rid of the virus on my computer... :(

I also just found a copy of The Last Olympian... so my absence will probably be even longer now.

Contest Links (Edited May 25th):

Excuse Me, Does This Blog Make My Butt Look Big is giving away a $50 Amazon gift card! The last day to enter is May 26th. -

Bookluver-Carol's Reviews' blogoversary contests are up until the 15th! Enter while you can! (Some are ARCs.)

- Love You, Hate You, Miss You by Elizabeth Scott. -
- Win a book in the Seer series by Linda Joy Singleton. -
- Lament by Maggie Stiefvater, and an iron key. -
- Hottie by Jonathan Bernstein. -
- Faery Rebels: Spell Hunter by R. J. Anderson. -
- I Know It's Over by C. K. Kelly Martin. -
- Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty and Triple Shot Betties in Love by Jody Gehrman. -
- Death by Denim by Linda Gerber. -
- Major Crush, The Boys Next Door, and Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols. -
- You Had Me at Halo by Amanda Ashby. -
- Generation Dead and Kiss of Life by Daniel Waters. -
- Graceling by Kristin Cashore. -

Because of a late post, The Shady Glade has two Contest Monday posts up right now!

- An ARC of Once Dead, Twice Shy by Kim Harrison. Ends next Monday (18th). -

- An ARC of Wings by Aprilynne Pike. Ends the 14th. -

Steph Su's huge Support Teen Literature giveaway has been extended to the 13th! The system for awarding books is hard to explain, but there are four new books, and lots of oldies-but-goodies. -

Fantastic Book Review is giving away three books (to 3 people) as a part of their Treasure Chest Tuesday.
- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
- Deadly Little Secret by Laurie Faria Stolarz
- Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Beth Revis of Writing it Out is having a HUGE contest for two prize packs. It ends on the 16th.

1.) Faerie-ish prize pack
- The Faerie Path by Frewin Jones
- The Tail of Emily Windsnap by Liz Kessler
- Emily Windsnap and the Monster of the Deep by Liz Kessler
- Peril at King's Creek by ???
- Gossamer by Lois Lowry
- Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale

2.) Adventurey prize pack
- Genius Squad by Catherine Jinks
- The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor
- Nobody's Princess by Esther Friesner
- The Graduation of Jake Moon by Barbara Park
- The Barcode Tattoo by Suzanne Weyn
- The Barcode Rebellion by Suzanne Weyn

Reviewer X has loads of contests running right now.

- 50 copies of The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams! Open until May 1st. -

-Here's a link to Reviewer X's review of The Chosen One:

- 2 copies of Waiting For You by Susane Colasanti. Open until May 16th. -

- 1 signed copy of Shadowed Summer by Saundra Mitchell. Open until May 13th. -
- Here's a link to Saundra Mitchell's Pub Story:

Susane Colasanti Sampler Susane Colasanti Sampler PenguinYoungReaders


Saturday, May 2, 2009

Winner of Hottie Contest!

I finally got a chance to pick the winner of my first contest!

I decided that I would us the Integer Generator to pick the winner, because writing names down on pieces of paper and picking one out of a hat would take too long. So I typed up a list that numbered each entry (each person's entries mentioned on the entry post in order, except entries earned by posting on my review, which were added to the end of the list) and had the generator pick a number.

Entrants: 16
Total Entries: 57
Winner: #29

Yes, I am stalling just to annoy you.

The lucky winner of the copy of Hottie (and some random bookmarks) is:

I Heart Monster!

I'm contacting the winner as soon as I post this. You will have a week after I send it to respond, or I'll pick a new winner.

Sorry to those who didn't win... I'll try to have more contests later.

My friend Willowe at Readings of a Teenage Tree ( is going to be having a contest soon for a bunch of copies of Airhead by Meg Cabot.

Three Column Modification courtesy of The Blogger Guide