A Free Book and Some Reading and Author Tour News

I've got some news for you this week that includes two author book tours, a movie announcement, two book releases, an annual event to encourage reading and another free book. The free book is like the tape in the Mission Impossible shows, it's set to expire at midnight tonight, Friday the 29th, so if you want it you have to act now. There's no time for shilly-shallying.

Beautiful Children
Charles Bock is releasing his debut novel Beautiful Children online for free in PDF for a very short time, from February 26th through today. You can find it at his website, http://www.beautifulchildren.net/read/ or at the following retailers: Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com and Powells.com. He says, "I want people to read the book. If that means giving it away for free online, great." I haven't had time to read it yet but from what little I did read it's the story of a twelve-year-old boy who goes out one day and doesn't come home, and how that affects a variety of people.

Grab Your Hat and Read With the Cat!
Have you been moping around, wishing you could take part in a program designed to get more kids reading and to get much needed books into the hands of those who just don't have enough? If so, take heart because the National Education Association's Read Across America event is in full swing, with the official day taking place on Monday, March 3rd. You can use this link to send an e-card to someone special and alert them to this terrific opportunity. You can also download a little program that will run an automated reading of Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who for the fabulous price of nothing. If you don't have any kids you may want to download it for yourself. What better way to relax than to listen to this timeless story, which is about to be released as a major motion picture? As part of the celebration of reading, three Cat-a-Van tours will travel to 18 cities providing 12,000 books and cash grants to public school libraries. The tours start today, February 29th, and run through next Friday, March 7th. Click here for the schedule for all three tours.

Twilight Saga News
Stephenie Meyer, the author of the best-selling YA series Twilight Saga, has two books coming out in the next few months, one of which is her first novel written for adults. Breaking Dawn, the last book in the four part Twilight Saga, will be released at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, August 2nd. Now, this is all from the press release sent out by her publisher, but I'm not sure I would worry too much about the "final book" thing. Ms. Meyer has stated that she has many stories to tell about Bella and Edward and I'm guessing she won't stop with this fourth book. The other big news for Twilight fans is the announcement of the Twilight film, scheduled for release on December 12, 2008. I raised an eyebrow when I read this, as there was an extras casting call as recently as February 17th. Sure, you can make a film and release it in ten months but the process usually takes longer.

The new book for adults will be released in May, on the sixth. It's called The Host and Ms. Meyer's website bills it as "Science fiction for people who don't like science fiction." It's kind of like the Invasion of the Body Snatchers, but told from the invader's point of view. You can read an excerpt here. Ms. Meyer will be doing a ten-city book tour in support of the The Host, something she doesn't plan to do for Breaking Dawn, so if you want to see her in person you should be sure to hit the Host tour. Hopefully two books, one movie and a book tour will be enough to keep you diehard Twilight fans busy for the year.

Laura Lippman; Bravest Author in the World?
Laura Lippman, author of the fabulous Tess Monaghan detective books, will also be touring this year. She must have stamina I can only dream of because she's doing four (4) events on March 11th, with one scheduled at five am! Or perhaps she just has a deep love of us, her readers. That's a nice thought isn't it? She'll be promoting her newest Tess book, Another Thing to Fall, and the list of dates and venues can be found here. If you aren't reading this series you should start. They have all the elements that make a terrific story; intelligent, interesting characters, intriguing plots, humor and new knowledge that's not shoved down your throat in big data clumps. I read three from this series in one weekend recently. Good stuff.

One-Paragraph Review
This week's one-paragraph review is from Jane Easton, who comments on the movie Big Fish, saying, "A witty, fun movie that will leave you gasping for more." Have you got a one-paragraph (or smaller) review you'd like to share? Send it in to me and I'll run the most interesting ones. You can reach me at feedback@qualitytimeweekly.com.