Monday's Muse, 8th edition.

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): Crack the Shutters by Snow Patrol.

This was originally an idea from Au Courant started in March, an idea she has graciously let me run with.

The idea is to introduce you to unknown, forgotten, or overlooked fiction that has been lost from regular radar. I am WriterGirl. I am in the business of saving lives, one book at a time.

What I do is go to amazon, narrow it down to a YA field and type in a random word, any word that comes to mind. I then take a sampling of some I have never heard of before, or only vaguely heard of (and hopefully you as well). No infringement is intended for any description I take for the books. It's purely for promotional reasons. I will try and cover as many genres as possible that are fitting for the random word. Simple but it really uncovers some incredible gems. I will be doing this every other Monday. If there are any words you want to prompt me with, go ahead and fire away.

Today's random word:

The Poison Throne by Celine Kiernan.

This is this year's most exciting crossover title. A Friend. A Father. A Kingdom. Which one would you sacrifice? This compelling trilogy of court intrigue, adventure and romance is a winning combination of imagination, powerful storytelling and magnificent characters. Fifteen-year-old Wynter Moorehawke returns home after a five-year sojourn in the bleak Northlands. All has changed in her absence. Wynter is forced to make a terrible choice: stay and bow to the King's will, or abandon her ailing father and join her friend Razi and the mysterious Christopher Garron in their efforts to restore the fragile kingdom to its former stability. But this changed kingdom is a dangerous place, where all resistance is brutally suppressed and the trio constantly risk assassination, torture or imprisonment. Atmospheric and intriguing, it evokes an enchanting and convincing other world - love, treachery, jealousy, tenderness, war, wisdom and court life are all vividly depicted. Set in a fantastical medieval Europe, "The Poison Throne" is a gothic tale of intrigue, adventure and romance which draws the reader in from the very first sentence and doesn't loosen its grip until the last.

Poison Ivy by Amy Goldman Koss.

Ivy has been a victim of relentless bullying for years. Nicknamed Poison Ivy by Ann, Benita, and Sophie in fourth grade, she can hardly remember what it was like to be just plain Ivy. When earnest Ms. Gold, the middle school American government teacher, finds a depressing poem written by Ivy, she decides to put The Evil Three on trial for bullying. She is hoping to create a perfect learning experience to illustrate the American judicial system to the class–and possibly to teach the three girls a lesson. What Ms. Gold does not count on, however, is the power of popular kids and the resulting political leverage. Students are assigned roles: counsel for the plaintiff, process server, judge, jury, etc. The action is related through the multiple voices of the major figures in the mock trial proceedings, and readers see many personalities emerge in the alternate chapters. Of particular interest is the relationship among The Evil Three. Ann, the leader, clearly enjoys the status that Benita and Sophie give her in their roles as bystanders in the bullying process. Realistic dialogue and fast-paced action will hold interest, and the final verdict is unsettling, but not unexpected. –Jennifer Ralston, Harford County Public Library

Poison by Chris Wooding.

In this exciting fantasy by the author of The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray (2004), the kidnapping of her sister propels a teenaged girl out of her rural village determined to bring the baby back. On the day she selected an adult name, teenaged Foxglove chose Poison to spite her stepmother-an indication of the cranky, impatient and often rude hero she is. Given the dangers she faces on her quest, her stubborn grit turns from the drawback it was at home into an asset. As she journeys, Poison attracts helpers: a middle-aged carter, a dithery housemaid and an intelligent cat. This fantasy, set in various realms-human (lowest in the pecking order), phaerie and arachnid-utilizes many fantasy and folkloric tropes in original and often amusing ways. The story moves forward at a quick pace; characterization and world-building add to the strength of the gripping plot, while an ambivalent but satisfying resolution tops off a compelling read. Sure to appeal to fans of Holly Black and Charles de Lint, as well as other writers of dark fantasy. --Kirkus Reviews.

Rat by Melody Tink.

Sarcastic Elanor may have found her match in Adymn, the brooding half-man and half-dragon. After murdering her family, Adymn kidnaps Elanor and takes her to Dargona Island. He calls her Rat, makes her cook, attend to the other dragons, and scrub feces off the cave walls. Elanor swears she hates him and vows to one day avenge her family's death. Her chance comes all too suddenly when Adymn demands she accompany him to Trana and pose as his wife so he can gain access to the royal court. She knows enough not to trust him, but while escape sounds all too tempting, Elanor can't help but feel Adymn is hiding a disturbing secret about his real agenda.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for your reference to my book. I'd love to know what you think about it, if you ever get the chance to read it. Feel free to stop by my blog at to say hello. This is a great blog you've got going, here!

-Melody Tink

Shannon O'Donnell said...

That's such a great idea for your word of the day! I would never have thought of this, but I love it. These books all look interesting - thanks, Heather. :-)

Nonie said...

It's nice how you're saving all these books from getting trapped in the world of unknown books...(hehe) :-D You have an awesome blog, Heather! Oh, and I really enjoyed your Hunger Games recipe vlog! I think I'll make some lamb stew one day...

Heather Zundel said...

Melody Tink - No problem. I only wish it was more than just an ebook. Any chance for later print publication? And I certainly will drop by!

Shannon O'Donnell - Heh. Well, if you read my interview for this week, you'll know why I had "poison" on the mind. But there were a lot fewer search results than I expected. Only 73!

Nonie - Yep, that's my goal as WriterGirl alright. ^_^ And thank you for the compliment! (Wait... how did you see my Hunger Games vlog? That's AWESOME). Heading to your blog now...

Nonie said...

You're welcome. :) About the vlog, I just went back through your archives, and I saw it. :-D

PJ Hoover said...

I just love how you do this. It's so fun!

Anonymous said...


I'd say there's a possibility of a later print copy. Right now, I'm trying to sell two other fantasy books and I'm in the process of writing a third. I've got the draft of one of them posted on my webpage right now.

What about you? Seems like you've been doing some writing yourself...:-)

Celine said...

Hi Heather, thanks so much for mentioning The Poison Throne!

I must say that I love all the different covers of Poison Throne - but that one is particularly beautiful isn't it? I love the fact that they have Wynter on book one, and Christopher on book two ( I'm hoping they'll put Razi and Alberon on the third! But I don't know yet what it will be. Very excited to see what they do!)

You should have a look at the amazing Australian editions - the publishers designed the three Moorehawke books so that they tiled together and if you line them up they make a big long picture!

Heather Zundel said...

PJ - Thanks! The more I've done it, the more I've gotten into it. It's like going on a treasure hunt. :)

Melody Tink - Oh yes, always writing. One of the best adventures I can have. And I've been to your site, though I still need to read an excerpt. Keep me updated.

Celine - Oh wow. TWO authors on the same post, and on the same day no less? That's a WriterGirl landmark. Wow. I'm honored. (now I don't know where to look because there is two of you here) :) I did love this cover. But seriously? Where can I find this Australian cover? I must see.

Celine said...

teehee - that's what happens when I'm shirking work and googling the name of my own books like a big saddo. I get lovely little surprises like this! (thanks again for the post!)

You can read all about the Australian covers HERE They are just amazingly lovely.

Heather Zundel said...

Celine - I found the Australian cover. It is beautiful. Now, to get my library to get a copy...

Celine said...

Let me know if you enjoy it :0)