A mix-up involving the greatest magic in the world has tremendous consequences for Liesl, an orphan who has been locked in an attic, Will, an alchemist’s runaway apprentice, and Po, a ghost, as they are pursued by friend and foe while making an important journey.
From New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver comes a luminous and magnificent novel that glows with rare magic, ghostly wonders, and a true friendship that lights even the darkest of places.
“Coincidences; mix-ups; harmless mistakes and switches. And so a story is born.”
Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver was an absolute delight to read – had I been a young kid reading my first book, I think that Liesl & Po would have set me off for life as a book lover! It’s that good. What’s funny is that I’m not in the actual age group this fairy tale-like novel is geared to (it’s written for young readers, and features lovely sketch illustrations by Kei Acedera), but wouldn’t you agree that some books just transcend age or time? Featuring magic, ghosts, alchemists, lonely orphans, and an evil stepmother – this magical fantasy novel hooked me from the first line – “On the third night after the day her father died, Liesl saw the ghost” – and just never let me go. I so highly recommend this one!
The setting of Liesl & Po is a cold, dark and dreary Dickensian-like world where the sun has not shone for 1,278 days. The story follows three child characters: the grieving 11-year-old orphan, Liesl Morbower, who is imprisoned in an attic bedroom by her evil stepmother; the child-ghost Po (and its pet ghost Bundle) who delivers an important message to Liesl from her father lost in limbo on ‘The Other Side‘; and the overworked (and sleep-deprived) alchemist’s apprentice Will who manages to misplace ‘the greatest magic in the world”. Liesl (accompanied by Po) escapes her attic prison, and sets out on a journey to fulfill her father’s last wish, her flight intersecting with that of the runaway apprentice Will. And thus begins the group’s misadventures while pursued by dangerous foes (including the deliciously villainous Lady Premiere who believes the children have stolen the ‘magic‘) and an unexpected ally.
Liesl & Po is a story of loss & goodbyes, unlikely friendships, the love of family, and ultimately, one of new beginnings and hope. And this is a children’s book! Ms Oliver wrote in her ‘Authors Note‘ that this book was written to help her deal with the sudden death of her best friend and that she didn’t expect the book to be publishable (?!) – I’m glad that someone took a chance with this. It’s a very special book.
I haven’t read Lauren Oliver’s other novels (Before I Fall and Delirium), but just based on this, I think I should check them out. Ms Oliver is a talented writer, able to convey rich imagery with her words (that are just perfect for reading out loud). Example: “… he had walked down empty street after empty street, past row after row of darkened houses, in silence so thick it was like a syrup that dragged his footsteps away into echoes…” Sigh, makes me wish I could write like that!
I like this new promo by Amazon! We get a special Kindle Daily Deal!
Each day we’re unveiling a new Kindle book at a specially discounted price. Check back daily to see what’s next. Deals go live at approximately 12:00 A.M., Pacific time.
FYI, Amazon has matched the Nook Deal for today! The First Counsel by Brad Meltzer (Grand Central Publishing) also $2.99 for US Kindle.
And the new deal is…
Kind of Blue by Miles Corwin (Oceanview Publishing) is now available at the specially discounted price of $0.99 on the US Kindle site.
When a legendary ex-cop is murdered in L.A., the pressure’s on to find the killer. Lt. Frank Duffy needs his best detective on the case, but his best detective, Ash Levine, quit a year ago. A tenacious, obsessive detective, Ash resigned after Latisha Patton, the witness in a homicide case he was working, was murdered. Without his job, Ash is left unanchored – and consumed with guilt that he somehow caused Latisha’s murder.When he’s asked to rejoin the force, Ash reluctantly agrees. Getting his badge back could give him the chance to find Latisha’s killer.
Ash dives in headfirst into the shadowlands of Southern California to investigate the ex-cop’s murder. But even when he has a suspect in custody, something about this case doesn’t sit right with Ash, and he continues working the increasinglydangerous investigation while quietly chasing leads in Latisha’s murder. Unable to let either case go until he has answers, Ash finds that his obsessive nature, which propels him into a world of private compromises and public corruption, is a flaw that might prove fatal.
Whoa! Free for a limited time only – Dr. Seuss Band (THE DR. SEUSS MUSICAL INSTRUMENT GAME!) By Oceanhouse Media! Grabbing this as my niece loves Dr. Seuss! (But warning, there is an option to purchase in-app content, so be sure to lock out that ability by adjusting settings on your iPad!)
Experience the excitement as Dr. Seuss Band transforms your device into a vibrant, energetic musical instrument that all ages will enjoy! Jam along with playful Seussian melodies or create your own whimsical masterpiece. As you play, you’ll unlock new instruments, silly effects and catchy songs. Contains over 120 combinations of sounds, so you’ll always have something new to discover!
Enjoy the free app!
Today, we have author Talli Roland featured on the blog’s ‘Indie Saturday‘ for her romantic comedy “Build A Man” (Available on Amazon). Perfect for Chick lit readers looking for an uplifting read marked by tongue-in-cheek humor (while tackling such ‘heavy’ topics as the perils of cosmetic surgery and the ugly side of tabloid journalism). The sequel Construct A Couple will hopefully be set for release soon!
Author Talli Roland writes about ‘Build A Man’ (and why she loves writing about strong female characters):
I enjoy sweetness and light as much as the next gal, but sometimes it can get a tiny bit irritating to watch female characters spin in hopeless circles as they eat their way through cupcakes and trot off to buy high heels. Where are the successful, professional women who stand up for themselves and don’t fall to bits when faced with hunky men? Where are the protagonists who aren’t afraid to speak their mind, who drink whisky not spritzers, and chow down on potato chips not chocolate?
Don’t get me wrong: I’m a big fan of romance and love. But I want to see a couple come together as equals, after the woman sorts out problems herself – not because the hero has swooped in, snapped his fingers and made everything fine. I want the woman to be a person in her own right; I’ve never understood the attraction of the sentiment ‘you complete me’. In our modern times, women do it all. Why shouldn’t our chick lit protagonists represent that?
In my novel Build A Man, main character Serenity Holland doesn’t hesitate to pursue her ambition of being a top tabloid reporter, despite many obstacles in the way. She’s far from perfect – in fact, she takes quite a few wrong turns! – but she certainly isn’t dithering or ditzy. She makes firm decisions and follows through. In spite of her flaws and the fact that she unwittingly hurts others, I can’t help but respect her drive. By the end of the novel, she’s learned what’s really important . . . and found love along the way, without sacrificing who she is to get it. After all, isn’t that true romance? Two people who don’t need each other, but who choose to share their lives because they want to.
And that’s why I love writing strong female characters!
Bestselling novelist Talli Roland has three loves in her life: chick lit, coffee, and wine. Born and raised in Canada, Talli now lives in London, where she savours the great cultural life (coffee and wine). Her debut novel, The Hating Game, was shortlisted for Best Romantic Read at the UK’s Festival of Romance, and her second, Watching Willow Watts, was selected as a 2011 Amazon Customer Favourite. Build A Man is her latest release.
Build A Man by Talli Roland is available at Amazon in Kindle format. You can check out her Amazon author page or her website (talliroland.com) for a list of all her books (also romantic comedies). You can also find Talli Roland’s books on Barnes & Noble.
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Do you want to be a featured ‘Indie Saturday’ author too? Go here for more info!
Read an embedded sample of “Build A Man” after the jump!
Hey, Amazon UK Kindlers, you get your own special Kindle Daily Deal too!
Each day we will unveil one book in the Kindle Daily Deal at a specially discounted price–for that day only. Deals go live at midnight and ends 23:59 the same day.
And the new deal is…
‘Dream of Ding Village‘ by Yan Lianke (Corsair) is now available at the specially discounted price of £1.29 on the UK Kindle site.
Here, China’s most controversial novelist takes as his subject the contemporary AIDS blood-contamination scandal in Henan province, where villagers were coerced into selling vast quantities of blood and then infected with the AIDS virus as they were injected with plasma to prevent anaemia. Whole villages were wiped out in this way, with no responsibility taken or reparation made.
The Dream of Ding Village focuses on one village, and the story of one family, torn apart when one son rises to the top of the Party pile as he exploits the situation, while another is infected and dies. Narrated by a dead boy and written in finely crafted, affecting prose, the novel presents a powerful absurdist allegory of the moral vacuum at the heart of Communist-capitalist China as it traces the life and death of an entire community.
‘I come from the bottom of society. All my relatives live in Henan, one of the poorest areas of China. When I think of people’s situation there, it is impossible not to feel angry and emotional. Anger and passion are the soul of my work.’ Yan Lianke