I can't tell you how excited I was to be invited to the Little, Brown offices for an Atom blogger party to find out about the books they have coming out in the first half of 2011. Being a massive paranormal fan Little, Brown publish some of my favorite books under their Atom & Orbit imprints so I couldn't wait to see what they have planned for us to read in the new year.
I had arranged to meet up with Sammee (I Want To Read That) before the event so we got together for lunch and some book shopping in the Piccadilly Waterstones before heading to the Little, Brown offices. We gave ourselves plenty of time just in case we got lost but luckily Rose had given us fool proof directions and we arrived without any problems. I have to say their offices are in a very impressive building that I'm sure has a great view over the Thames (I didn't think of peeking out of the windows while I was there). Reception is in a huge atrium and after signing in and being issued with passes security let us through to the glass elevators. I have to confess I was relieved we only had to go to the second floor because I'm scared of heights!
Some of Atom's current releases
Once at the offices we were met by Rose, Sam, Kate, Gina and Kirsteen and shown into the boardroom where an impressive array of books and cupcakes had been arranged on the massive table. We were handed champagne and had time to mingle while we waited for everyone to arrive. It was lovely to see some other bloggers I already knew - Jo (Once Upon A Bookcase), Liz and Sarah (My Favorite Books) but it was also nice to get a chance to meet other bloggers too (see the bottom of this post for a list of everyone who was there). Some I recognised as soon as I heard their blog names but others I'm looking forward to getting to know better in the future.
Close up of the delicious Nightshade & Atomics cupcakes
The Atom Team: Gina, Kirsteen, Sam, Rose & Kate
(Sorry the picture is so dark but I took it during the presentation when we had mood lighting to give us a better view of the screen)
When everyone arrived and we'd all found seats (along with a fab goodie bag each that may just have caused a few excited squeals!) the Atom team gave a presentation telling us all about some of the new releases we can look forward to in the new year. The team were very enthusiastic about their new titles & let me just say I can see why - they have some VERY exciting things coming up! I know I'm looking forward to reading them all.
Here is a slide show showing some of the books we got to talk about:
Nightshade - Andrea Cremer
This is the first book in the Witches' War series and is released in the UK on 28th December. I've already seen a lot of hype about this book on US blogs and have been dying to get my hands on a copy - you can imagine my excitement to find a lovely shiny ARC in my goodie bag (I just about restrained myself from doing a happy dance right there in the boardroom but was close to making a fool of myself!). Andrea Cremer is a Professor in Medieval History and Nightshade is her debut novel. We've been told that the story is exciting, informed, pacey and has a strong Buffy style kick ass heroine - what's not to love about that!
Awakened - P.C. & Kristen Cast
This is the 8th installment in the House of Night series which I have to confess is a series that I'm badly behind reading. I read & loved the first 5 books way back before I started blogging but have been meaning to re-read them so I can review them here. I was very excited to be able to pick up copies of the few books I was missing and am going to need to do a House of Night marathon reading session so I can get caught up in time for Awakened. Apparently P.C. Cast will be visiting the UK in January so I'm really hoping there will be an opportunity to meet her, I'll definitely be going to a signing if I can.
Bloody Valentine - Melissa de la Cruz
This is a new romantic novella in the Blue Bloods series and will be released in January. This is a series I've been wanting to pick up and read for a long time so I was very excited when Rose said I could take a set home with me. I can't wait to dig in & catch up with the rest of you!
Invincible - Sherrilyn Kenyon
I'm a massive fan of Sherrilyn's adult Dark Hunters series so have been looking forward to trying her new young adult spin off series The Chronicles of Nick. Invincible is the second book in the new series and will be released in February. I still haven't read the first book (Infinity) but I did manage to pick a copy up yesterday so am planning on reading it very soon.
The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide - Stephanie Meyer
Released on the 12th April the Illustrated Guide will be full of all sorts of new Twilight material including character profiles, pictures by the illustrator of the Twilight graphic novel and an interview with Stephanie Meyer. Atom have confirmed that despite the rumors Stephanie Meyer IS writing the illustrated guide & I'm sure I'm not the only Twilight fan who is looking forward to reading it.
Halo - Alexandra Adornetto
This is another book I've heard a lot about on international blogs and am already looking forward to reading. I absolutely love the cover too which is so pretty. Alexandra Adornetto was just 14 when Halo was published in Australia and when Halo was released in the US it hit number 4 on the NY Times list - pretty impressive!
Red Riding Hood - Sarah Blackley-Cartwright & Catherine Hardwicke
I'm really curious about this one, it is a sexy retelling of the fairytale and is being made into a film by Warner Brothers directed by Catherine Hardwicke (director of Twilight). The book is being written alongside the film and they will be released together in the spring. It will be interesting to see how much they have changed the original story.
Rosebush - Michele Jaffe
This is Atom's first non-paranormal release and it sounds great. A dark mystery where the main character wakes up in hospital after a hit and run car accident. As she starts regaining her memory she realises that the story her friends have told her doesn't quite add up and it looks like they are covering for someone. But who was behind the accident and does she have any friends left that she can trust? This won't be released until March so I'm very happy that we got given an ARC, I'm sure I'll enjoy this one.
Pretty Little Liars - Sara Shepard
This series is already available in the UK but Atom are re-printing the books with tie in covers for the TV series. I've heard a lot of good things about these books and the TV series but I've not read / watched any of them yet. After hearing everyone rave about them I'll really have to give them a try.
I Know What You Did Last Summer - Lois Duncan
Like a lot of people I've seen the film but I've never actually read the book. Originally released in the 90's Atom are re-releasing 3 of Lois Duncan's books (I Know What You Did Last Summer, Don't Look Behind You and Killing Mr Griffin) in March, April and May 2011. The books have all been updated by the author to make them more modern so I quite like the idea of getting copies of the originals & the new versions and reading them both so I can make a comparisson! Apparently the book is quite different to the film and deals with some interesting issues so I'll definitely be adding it to my wish list and giving it a try.
The Ghoul Next Door - Lisi Harrison
This is book 2 in the Monster High series and I have to say it sounds like a really fun read. The main character Frankie is Frankenstein's granddaughter and the book has all kinds of supernatural characters from vampires, mummies and werewolves all the way through to mermaids. I've picked up a copy of the first book so keep an eye out for my review. This series is a join US and UK project with Mattel toy company producing tie in toys. Check out this fab doll based on one of the characters Draculaura (Dracula's daughter). My inner child is begging me to go out and buy one, it's the kind of thing I would have loved when I was younger (I still do if I'm honest hehe)!
Draculaura from Monster High
The team also showed us a clip from the Monster High music video which has a really catchy song and dance moves. We have been told that Rose can't hear anyone mention Monster High without doing the dance & having now watched the video I can understand why! I had to include the video for you:
The Gathering - Kelley Armstrong
This is the first book in Kelley's Darkest Rising series, a new spin off series set in the same world as her popular Darkest Powers YA trilogy. Atom are re releasing the Darkest Powers trilogy (that were previously published under a different imprint) and we can look forward to The Gathering in April. I've not read any of Kelley's YA books but I'm a massive fan of her adult Women of the Otherworld series so am really looking forward to reading her YA books. For more information you can check out the new Darkest Powers website
The Game - Krystyna Kuhn
This is another first for Atom and is actually a translation project of a series that has been published in Germany. The book is aimed at both boys and girls and is about a brother and sister who move to a new school in a remote village in the Rocky Mountains. After finding a body within their fist week at school they soon discover that the school is not all it seems. I really liked the sound of this one & the great news is that we're only going to have to wait 9 months between each release in the series.
Chasers - James Phelan
Chasers is the first book in a new dystopian trilogy and will be followed by Survivor and Quarantine with the 3 books releasing in June, August and October respectively. The story starts on a school trip in New York, when an explosion rocks the subway carriage they are travelling in Jesse and his 3 friends crawl out of the wreckage to find things have gone badly wrong. The only other survivors have been infected with a virus turning them into zombies. With a strong I Am Legend feel I think I'm going to really enjoy this series and it is another one that I think will be popular with both boys and girls. The Atom team happened to mention that they all have a slight crush on James Phelan so of course I had to track down a picture, now I've seen him I can see what they were talking about! This picture was found on James Phelan's website
One Seriously Messed-up Week in the Otherwise Mundane and Uneventful Life of Jack Samsonite - Tom Clempson
I think this has to be the winner of the longest book title I've ever seen award! I have to say that this book sounded hilarious and I'm definitely going to be getting myself a copy. It was described as a modern Adrian Mole and Louise Rennison for boys so I think it's safe to say it will be a fun read and it sounds very different to anything currently on the market, especially anything aimed at male teen readers.
Wolfsbane - Andrea Cremer
I was very excited to find out the sequel to Nightshade will be available in the UK in July. The cover picture in the slide show above is actually the US cover as the UK one hasn't been confirmed yet but hopefully we won't have to wait too long to see it. I'm really looking forward to this series!
So what do you think of the new releases we have to look forward to next year? Are you as excited about them all as I am? I think 2011 is going to be a fantastic year for books!
We were also given some information about an exciting new program that Atom will be releasing within the next few weeks. They will be adding a section to their website aimed at getting more young adults reading and also to encourage the next generation of bloggers. They will be giving out free books to a limited number of under 18's each month and encouraging them to discuss the books and write reviews on the website. The program is called The Atomics and I just wish I was young enough to join myself! If you know any under 18's that you think would like to take part keep an eye out for more information on the Atom website. Atom will be sending out a press release soon so I will post more details as soon as I have them.
I didn't get many pictures of the bloggers who attended but here are a few shots I took as we sat around the table for the presentation:
After the presentation finished we had a chance to mingle in the Little, Brown library before it was time to go home. It was great to get to chat to some of the other bloggers (I'm sorry I didn't speak to you all but the time just seemed to fly by, hopefully I'll see you all again at future events!). All of the information in this post has come from my notes and my not-so-reliable memory so if you were at the event and you spot anything that is incorrect or if I've got any of your blog links wrong please let me know & I'll change them.
I'd like to say a massive thank you to all of the staff at Atom & Little, Brown for hosting the event. It was so lovely to meet you all and I really enjoyed finding out about the books you have coming soon. Thanks also for letting us loose on the pile of books on the table (believe me there weren't many left by the time we'd all finished!).
Who was there:
Sammee - I Want To Read That
Liz & Sarah - My Favorite Books
Ana - The Book Smugglers
Matthew - Teen Librarian