Tu launch roundup

Galaxy Games gets cross town treatment

Let’s take a look at all the things happening online for the launch of Tu’s first three books. First of all, see what our publisher Jason Low would do if we had a million dollars to promote our first three books. Too bad we’re not millionaires!

The Challengers

First up, The Challengers, book 1 of the Galaxy Games series. To celebrate, author Greg Fishbone is currently on a month-long blog tour that includes a game that readers can play along, finding puzzle pieces to fit together and win prizes. To find out more on how to play the game, go to http://galaxygam.es/tour/ and find out what puzzle piece they’re on. Note that there’s also a giveaway—poke around on the site to find more ways to enter!

You can also follow Greg on Twitter, like the Galaxy Games series on Facebook, or like Greg on Facebook for more news as it happens.

Here’s what Publishers Weekly had to say about Galaxy Games:

Complemented by Beavers’s comic book style artwork, Fishbone’s narrative is ripe with kid-friendly humor—i.e., Earth’s radio and TV transmissions are picked up by the toilets on the Mrendarian ship—and many of the plot twists could be straight from the ‘what if’ imaginings of a fourth-grade classroom. Though Fishbone clearly sets up the next book, he gives Tyler enough of a victory to leave readers satisfied. —Publishers Weekly

Wolf Mark

Joseph Bruchac, author of Wolf Mark, recently shared a video on YouTube talking about why he wrote the book, his inspiration, and other thoughts on this exciting suspense-filled paranormal thriller. Check it out!

Here’s what Publishers Weekly and Kirkus have to say about Wolf Mark, too:


Bruchac (Dragon Castle) delivers a fun twist on werewolf stories mixed with some mad science and espionage. . . . Bruchac adeptly incorporates characters of various heritages: Luke is Native American; his best friend/crush, Meena, is Pakistani; and the Sunglass Mafia a group of students who are more than they seem are from eastern Russia. Luke also possesses a hefty amount of cultural and political awareness to go with his combat and espionage expertise, which serve him well. . . . [T]he action and Luke’s narration carry the book nicely. —Publishers Weekly

A loner teen finds himself caught up in a paranormal paramilitary threat but he has both untapped personal resources and some unlikely allies to help him out. Ever since his mother died, his father-a sometime Special Ops-type agent who happens to be of Native American descent-has been worse than useless. Lucas just concentrates on doing well in school and mooning over the beautiful daughter of one of the Pakistani scientists working at the new Romanian-owned top-secret facility in town. He goes out of his way to avoid the Sunglass Mafia, a bunch of unusually pale Russian students. But when his father is kidnapped and gives him a coded message by telephone, Lucas discovers that his heritage is more complicated and powerful than he had thought. . . . [T]he scenes with the Sunglass Mafia both defy stereotypes and manage to be very funny, and when the action kicks in, it does so in overdrive. A solid entry into the paranormal market, with an appealingly different hero.—Kirkus Reviews



Karen Sandler, the author of Tankborn, has already had one book signing in her area of northern California. She’s also been doing a lot of interviews lately. Check out her latest on the Kirkus Reviews blog. An excerpt:

You’ve set your novel in the futuristic world of Loka. Tell us how you went about imagining that world.

The imagining of Loka happened in layers. At first, I had only a vague idea of what the planet was like. I knew it was ugly, barren of trees, except for the symbiotic junk trees, the plant life scruffy, the creatures hideous by Earth standards. As I made my way through the book, new creatures or plants would pop up, and I’d add them to the taxonomy, adding another layer.

Then in the editing process … a light bulb came on, and I decided that the bulk of Loka’s creatures were arachnid-based—creatures I’d already described were changed to fit the spider-like model. I retained a couple mammals—the drom and seycat—but everything else became eight-legged and a bit on the creepy side.

We’ve gotten a lot more reviews in for this one since my last review roundup. I’ll only share a couple here, for the sake of brevity—this post is already quite long!

I strongly feel that Tankborn is just what the genre has been waiting for. There are a lot of complaints these days about cookie cutter dystopians, and authors who can’t be bothered to consider plausibility or worldbuilding. Sandler’s writing punches those complaints in the face….As for the story, it’s solid, nicely paced, and thoughtful. Kayla and Mishalla are admirable girls, though their upbringing has (understandably) warped their perceptions of the world around them. Kayla’s growth is fascinating, particularly her struggles with religion. —Intergalactic Academy

It’s been a while since I’ve picked up a book that is mainly science fiction and enjoyed it so much. Karen Sandler introduces us to Loka, a planet that the people of Earth colonize in the future due to Earth’s climate crumbling down, and in the process introduces us to a whole new vocabulary. Names of plants, animals, inanimate objects, all strange names for strange things. It is truly a fascinating new world. Fans of dystopia and a little known movie called “Avatar” will enjoy this.—JJ iReads

The world building is very well done and definitely the highlight of this novel. It is a completely fictional, but believable, culture that is created in this book. It is interesting that even though it’s very far in the future, it isn’t the type of sci-fi where there’s robots and lasers and spaceships everywhere. In some ways, the culture felt a bit archaic, what with the strict social hierarchy and all. And I don’t know  why, but I kind of imagined their clothes was kind of traditional Indian-style, but that just be because of the clear Indian inspiration for the caste system in this book. Anyway, I liked how the culture and the story world was sort of antiquated but mixed with, obviously, futuristic stuff, like shock guns, and how GENs are kind of like computers — using a Datapod, one can upload and download information from a GEN’s annexed brain (as opposed to their bare brain, which, I gather, is their normal brain, the kind you and I have). The world is quite unique due to this mixture of the old and the new.—SkyInk.net

Check out her main site, blog, and Twitter. Like Tankborn on Facebook, too.


E-book update

I’m in the midst of a cold/sinus thing that has made my brain become enveloped in a big fog, so I’m afraid all my plans for incisive, witty (ha) posts here this week have been put off, reserving all my brainpower for cover copy and sell sheets and other fun things like that (perhaps a post may come of that in a week or so).Galaxy Games

Instead, you get more book promotion. But hopefully you’ll either enjoy it or put up with it, because we’re very, very excited on this end that almost two years of work—actually, more than two years, given that my friend and I started talking about starting Tu way back in June or July of 2009—are finally coming to fruition. So bear with us, and make sure to share the good news with all your friends!

Last time we talked, it looked like the Google Books versions of Tu’s books were optimized for tablets—meaning that they were NOT auto-reflowing e-pubs. This was a mistake, and this has now been corrected. The Google Books versions ARE e-pubs, which means that they can be viewed on a very large number of platforms, including tablets but also cell phone apps, e-readers, and other e-book viewers. So you’ll note on the Galaxy Games page, for example, that platforms that used to have red Xs by them are now all green checkmarks—you’re good to go!

Also, Galaxy Games is now available on iTunes! Which means that Tankborn and Wolf Mark won’t be far behind. And I’ll let you know when they’re available for Nook—it shouldn’t be too long now.





Weekend reading! Tu e-books becoming available

For those of you who prefer your books in e-book form: we have some exciting news for Kindle people. Nook and iPad people, your day is coming soon in e-pub form. I’ll let you know as soon as I know!

Here are the Kindle versions!
Galaxy Games Tankborn Wolf Mark

Read them right away! And then let me know what you think. 🙂

Milestone day!

What do you see me holding here?


That’s right, ARCs (Advance Reader’s Copies) of Tankborn and Galaxy Games: The Challengers (book one of the Galaxy Games series). Soon we’ll be getting Wolf Mark as well, to complete the Fall 2011 ARC set of Tu Books! (And if you’re curious, yes, that’s my office behind me. I particularly like the “Come to the dark side. We have cookies.” bumper sticker I once got for being Editor GoH at LTUE. Note the ever-present stacks of manuscripts behind me.)

We have very limited supplies, so I can’t just hand them out left and right, but for those of you who chose the ARC option for our Kickstarter campaign, we’ll be getting in touch sometime in the near future to find out which one you want (don’t comment here with that—wait for an email). Copies will be going out to reviewers, of course—that’s what ARCs generally are for.

If you’re a librarian who will be at ALA in June, make sure to go to the Lee & Low booth (I’ll post the booth number when ALA is closer), where we’ll have ARCs for giving away there as well. If you’re a reviewer, librarian, parent, or teacher interested in finding out more about the books, I hope you’re on the Lee & Low email newsletter. If not, check it out HERE. By subscribing to the e-news, you will get up-to-date information on all of Lee & Low’s books (like Tu’s books!), including possible giveaways, resources for teachers and librarians, and other promotions and resources. Follow the Lee & Low blog, too, where we’ll share news as it comes up.

If you’re a reviewer or buyer who thinks you may not be on our list for review copies or catalogs, please contact me privately with your (in the case of reviewers) publication, readership, and other credentials or (in the case of buyers) store information so I can forward the information on to the right people.

And of course if you’re a young reader who thinks these books look wicked awesome (did I just date myself with that phrase?)—these books are for YOU, after all!—you can find out more about Tu on our website. And in case you missed it above, check out the preview of fall’s books HERE. And of course in the fall you’ll be able to find them in bookstores or order them online.

Tu covers!

We’ve got some exciting news over at the Lee & Low blog that you need to check out.

Also, for those who were interested in the African American genealogy conference, I promised I’d post my Top Ten Tips slides here and have gotten quite busy this week and haven’t gotten to it yet. I’ll post over the weekend. Thanks for your patience!