Monday, January 24, 2011

MYSTIFY, Book Two of the Mystyx Series

: A Mystyx Novel

By Artist Arthur
Kimani Tru | January 2011 | ISBN: 978-0373534319
US $9.99/$11.99 Canada | 256 pages | Paperback
Artist Arthur on Twitter

is the second book in the Mystyx series from the Harlequin imprint KimaniTru. With its ethnically diverse cast of characters, accessible voice, and paranormal element, MYSTIFY, the sequel to Manifest, is the next book in the series that pleases every fan of YA literature looking for a fresh take on the genre.

Synopsis: Sasha Carrington has grown up feeling like an outsider, and her parents are too concerned with scaling the Lincoln, Connecticut, social ladder to even notice her. They'd be really horrified to know about the supernatural abilities Sasha and her friends Krystal and Jake possess. But as part of the Mystyx, Sasha has found her place.

Now her parents have suddenly taken an interest in everything she does, and their timing couldn't be worse. Sasha's father wants her to become BFFs with snooty Alyssa Turner, who hates Krystal for stealing her boyfriend. Then there's Antoine Watson, the boy Sasha has liked forever, the boy her parents would never approve of. But with the dark side getting more dangerous by the day, and the Mystyx's own powers growing in unexpected ways, Sasha is facing choices that could affect her friends, her love life—and even her destiny….


MYSTIFY: A Mystyx Novel

By Artist Arthur

Chapter One:

I don't want to like him. I really don't.

But I keep thinking about him—dreaming about him. It's like I'm obsessed with him. And I want to know everything about him, which isn't much, because I try not to talk to him more than I have to. That's been working out pretty well since we helped find his brother Ricky's killer. Of course it helped Ricky's spirit find peace and cross over after his death.

Me and my friends, Krystal and Jake—well, I should say my fellow Mystyx—we did that. That night was such a rush. When I remember it now, I get goose bumps. And sometimes I get scared all over again. There was something evil and dark living inside Mr. Lyle, the biology teacher, something that Jake, Krystal and I believe might still be here in Lincoln.

Lincoln, Connecticut, which is where we live, is probably one of the most boring towns there is. Nothing even remotely exciting happens here. The fact that Mr. Lyle was running an underage porn ring was the most shocking thing around here in a long time.

Now the only thing that's on people's minds is the weather. It snowed twenty-seven inches the first week of May. Then, as if Mother Nature wanted to apologize, seven days after the first snowfall, it got so hot the temperature went up to ninety-eight degrees with sixty percent humidity. (I know this because Krystal's boyfriend, Franklin—his father is the local weatherman. Franklin gives her weather updates all the time, and she tells me and Jake.)

Today the snow is just about gone. The sun's still shining, and it's really warm outside. But there are lots of puddles because of the melting snow.

But that's getting off track. I was thinking about the boy I don't like, or rather trying not to think about him, because I don't like him.

I breathe out heavily, making the hair in my face flutter. It doesn't change reality though. And the reality is that I do like Antoine Watson, even though I know I shouldn't.

It's not just the class differences that, for the record, are a big deal here in Lincoln. There're other reasons why me and Antoine don't make such a good couple.

He's into music and clothes and hangs with a hip-hop crowd. While I like—more like love—clothes and I'm not into cliques. That's why I avoid Alyssa Turner and her minions like the plague. Alyssa's fifteen, just like me. She lives in a huge house on the lake, just like all the other well-to-do families, known as the Richies in Lincoln. She has the best of everything and makes sure nobody ever forgets it. There's nothing more important in Alyssa's world than Alyssa. Get my drift?

I don't like anybody telling me who to hang with or why. Antoine doesn't seem like that. But the day I went to talk to him, two of the boys—who he later told me were named, of all things, Fats and Trigga—were rude and insulting, just because my parents have money. I didn't care enough to find out their real names because the ones Antoine used were so ridiculous I couldn't comprehend anything else. I just wanted them all to get a life. That's what Antoine calls being stuck-up. He's told me that a time or two. Funny how that always seems to roll off his tongue right after I turn him down for a date or refuse to give him my phone number.

See, I think Antoine's a little confused himself. At the dance—before I had to rush off with the other Mystyx—he talked differently. We actually had a decent conversation, and he danced okay until he started grinding up against me like we were in a rap video. I didn't like that at all and was relieved when Krystal pulled me away.

That said, there's no reason I should still be thinking about him. But here I am on a Friday night, lying across my bed thinking about where Antoine could be. Who he's with? What he's doing?

It's so weird.

Which is another thing, I should be getting used to being weird. I'm half South American and half—what would you call it—North American? My mother is from Buenos Aires, Argentina, and that's where she had me. She married my dad who's white and is originally from Houston, Texas, but moved to the east coast years ago.

We moved to Lincoln right after I was born and in this small town I'm probably the only Latina teenager. Krystal, who has been my friend for going on two months now, is part Native American and African-American. So I suppose we have something in common, even if it's only being weird and being mixed.

Krystal and I share something else. The M shaped birthmark that sits just above my right hip and the one Krystal has on the back of her neck. Jake, he's a Tracker—someone with less money who lives on the other side of the old railroad tracks—he has the same mark on his arm. We figured out that the M stands for Mystyx so that's what we call ourselves. We each have a supernatural ability that we think has something to do with atmospheric events that happened around the time we were conceived. That's why we listen to the weather reports Krystal gets from Franklin. Like I said, it's weird.

To help make sense of it all, about an hour ago I sent an email to a woman who I think can help us figure out the nature of our powers. Or at least I hope she can.

Now I'm lying here waiting for my PC to beep with the sound of an incoming email, or rather, trying not to think of Antoine and the feelings I have for him.

I'm not asleep although my body feels kind of heavy like it's sinking into the mattress. My eyes are closed because I was tired of looking at the ceiling, waiting and trying not to think too much.

It really doesn't matter. The more I try not to think about him, the more his mocha complexion and smiling face appear in my mind. He is really cute, which right there is enough to make any girl like him. His dark hair is always close cropped and precisely cut like he has a barbershop in his house. His clothes, of course, are stylish, baggy jeans, oversize shirts—either button-downs or T-shirts—and black or brown boots. Most of the other guys in his crowd tend to wear too much jewelry, but Antoine only wears a chain with a cross hanging from it. His left ear is pierced and he always smells good. Antoine always wears cologne. I don't know what it's called, but I like it. I can smell it now, here in my bedroom. If I inhale deeply, the scent fills my nose, and when I exhale I want to see him even more.

I want to see him and talk to him, maybe try to figure out what this thing between us is. I figure it's probably not going to go away, and I don't know how else to deal with it.

I wonder if he likes me. I think he does because he keeps asking me out, and lately he always seems to be where I am.

I wonder what he's doing tonight, if he's home in his room thinking about me. I wonder…Am I floating on something?

Wait a minute, I'm dizzy. It's cold in here. Did Casietta turn on the air-conditioning already?

My eyes are fluttering, trying to open. But when they finally do, I can't really believe what I'm seeing.

It's dark, really, really dark. Like pitch darkness—not like sometimes when you wake up in the middle of the night and can kind of see where things are so you don't walk into walls when you're trying to get to the bathroom. No, this is pitch blackness and it's cold, and I'm moving, going someplace.

Then as quickly as it becomes dark, it turns loud, noisy and filled with music. I jump. I mean my body jerks forward like I've just been scared awake, and I look around trying to figure out why my bedroom has changed into what looks like a nightclub.




Diva's Bookcase: The mysteries are slowly unfolding, giving me just enough bits of information to keep me following the story.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Give and Receive Givewawy Winner!

Wow . Everyone is pretty excited about Mystify, aren't they? :-P

Alright, so I entered everyone into and the winners of the 2 copies of M
ystify are:

Urban and the friend she will be sharing a copy with: Kristina! Email me with both mailing addresses and I will send them out lickety split. ;-)

Everyone have a wonderful holiday and a safe and Happy New Year!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Tis Better to give...and receive!

Happy Holidays from Online Publicist! And to celebrate, I would like to offer something for you and a recipient of your choosing!
I am offering two copies each of Muslim Women Reformers by Ida Lichter and Mystify, A Mystyx Novel by Artist Arthur.

Here's how it works:
1. Leave a comment with the title of which book you would like to win.
Only list one book.

2. In that comment, also name whom you would like to receive the second copy. It can be a friend, relative, literacy center, book program, etc. (please note that Mystify is an ARC and not a finished copy)

3. Tweeting this statement will earn you an additional entry for each time tweeted: "Tis Better to Give...and Receive GIVEAWAY! Winner drawn on Wednesday, so enter quick!"

3. You may enter to win both titles, but you must leave one comment for each title, do not just list both titles in one comment. That will upset me because it will mean you didn't read the rules. If you do happen to win both, you will have to choose one title to receive and the other will be redrawn.

This giveaway is for US based mailing addresses only. I will choose the winner on Wednesday, December 22 at 12pm, CST. As soon as the mailing addresses are emailed to me, the books will be sent out. Good Luck!

UPS delivery happiness

I just received a big old box of Mystify ARCs, the second book in the Mystyx series! Squeeee! I will be working on materials and will begin the campaign for it in January. I have a very limited number of copies of this one, so keep an eye out for the review request post!

Also, I received additional copies of Muslim Women Reformers. I've been in touch with several of you in regards to this one and will be responding to the rest of the requests this week. Once I get everything printed and ready to go, I will send them right back out the door. I have a few remaining copies, so if you're interested in receiving one, please let me know. 

In the meantime, I will be posting a giveaway for copies of both of these this afternoon!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Wahoo Giveaway Winner!

(Sooo, when I did a Google image search for 'Wahoo', a lot of images came up of people holding giant fish. Turns out, a 'wahoo' is as much a giveaway entering battle cry as it as a close relative of the King Mackerel known as the Ono. So Wahoo on friends, Wahoo on.)

Thank you to all who entered and tweeted the Random Stocking Stuffer Giveaway! I entered everyone who commented and twice for the tweets, randomized the list on and the winner is....screen shot, please:

Angela of Library Girl Reads! Congratulations!! Please email me with your mailing address and I will send your gift pack right along to you. :-)

I will have at least one, maybe two more giveaways before the end of year so be sure to keep your eyes out!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Random Stocking Stuffer Giveaway

Welcome to the first giveaway after my hiatus! I have some random books lying around and since I won't be getting around to reading them any time soon, I've decided to pass them along to one lucky person. I chose a random selection because at least one of these will appeal to you and the rest can be shared with others. ;-)

Here's what we've got lined up:
*Signed* ARC The Lion by Nelson Demille
*Muck by Craig Sherborne
*Sima's Undergarments for Women by Ilana Stanger-Ross
*Covert Christmas (3 stories in 1) by Marilyn Pappano, Linda Conrad and Loreth Anne White
*Marie Farrarella's 200th Book, Cavanaugh Reunion
*Dr. Colton's High-Stakes Fiancée by Cindy Dees
*ARC of Lies, a Gone Novel by Michael Grant (this copy is sort of beat up. I honestly have no idea where it came from, but it's in my house and it appears someone read it!)

How to Enter:
~Leave a comment = 1 entry (you do not have to leave your email addy in the comment if you don't want to. I will post the winner and if it's you, you can email me to claim the prize.)

~Tweet the statement below = 2 entries
Wahoo! I just entered the Random Stocking Stuffer Giveaway @OnlinePublicist:

Contest will close Friday, November 19 at noon CST. I will post the winner soon after that. 

Good Luck!

Muslim Women Reformers

MUSLIM WOMEN REFORMERS: Inspiring Voices Against Oppression
By Ida Lichter
Prometheus Books | ISBN-13: 978-1591027164
513 pages | Hardcover

In a world where the strident demands of Islamic extremists capture the media’s attention, the courageous protests of Muslim reformers barely receive any notice. These include a surprising number of women who are prepared to challenge institutionalized persecution, risking derision, arrest, physical harm, and even death.

In this inspiring compilation of Muslim women’s stories from around the world, the voices of these long-oppressed women ring loud and clear as they question ideology and culture, patriarchal and religious beliefs, and demand the social and political rights women lack in many Muslim countries. The reformers speak out with passion, humanity, and sometimes humor in these compact and often poignant biographies, bringing alive the harsh realities for women in many parts of the world.

By surveying a wide range of Muslim reformers, not only in the Middle East but also in Europe and North America, Lichter uncovers some significant emerging trends. For example, she notes that the majority of Muslim feminists would like to see reform contained within Islam. Many criticize their patriarchal culture for suppressing egalitarian views that they believe the Koran expresses and so they advocate a reinterpretation of the holy text. Some demand changes to discriminatory Sharia-based laws. Others campaign openly for political and educational reforms.

Complete with a glossary and a list of helpful Web sites, this vibrant anthology makes use of reliable translations from original languages to demonstrate the groundswell of grassroots change that promises eventually to bring even the most conservative sectors of Islam into the twenty-first century.

Based on wide research and an expansive definition of reform that includes everyone from soft Islamists to ex-Muslims, Ida Lichter compellingly tells the stories of over one hundred women, organizations, and even a few men who in some way dissent from the conventional Muslim understanding of the role of the female. By bringing together this large and diverse group, the author succeeds in her important goal of amplifying the voices of dissident Muslims on whose slender shoulders hangs so much.
-DANIEL PIPES, Director, Middle East Forum

Ida Lichter provides a comprehensive and original view of the struggle that Muslim women are putting up to obtain equal and natural rights in the face of traditional exclusion. It is a report from the front line, so to speak. In their day-to-day courage and commitment, these women are contemporary suffragettes and the outcome of their struggle is certain to determine the future of the Muslim world.
-DAVID PRYCE-JONES Senior Editor of National Review and Author of The Closed Circle: An Interpretation of the Arabs

Ida Lichter, is a clinical and research psychiatrist and contributor to The Huffington Post. Living in London for over 12 years focused her interest on the large Muslim populations in the UK and Europe and brought her closer to the eye of the storm in the Middle East. She lives in Sydney, Australia.


To request a review copy for coverage on your online outlet, please email me at onlinepublicist [AT] gmail [DOT] com. Do not forget to include your URL and use 'REFORMERS' as the subject of the email. I have several copies available for international shipping.

vvb32, Women's Tales, January 15, 2011
Big Ideas on ABC Radio National, September 30, 2010
The Diplomat, June 21, 2010
The Diplomat, June 22, 2010

Blogger's Unite!: The Huffington Post, October 8, 2010

Campaigning must continue to end stoning: The Australian, August 13, 2010
Afghan Women's Movements Deserve More From the West, The Huffington Post, August 3, 2010
The Veil: Woman's Right or Millstone?: The Australian, July 09, 2010

At Home With Books: "Over and over again in this book I was impressed with how it is much easier to lose your freedoms than to gain them back." "This book would be an excellent first source for anyone wanting to know more about Muslim women activists."

Author Exposure: "Lichter addresses various issues by specific geographic regions. This is a great way to approach a compilation like this one. Sectioning information in this way, allows the reader to take a more concentrated look into not only the stories, but also the cultural, historical, and current climate of each specific region."

KellyVision: "The women in this book are heroes. (And there’s even a chapter on what men are doing to help.) I like to think that I’d have the courage to do what they’re doing, if our situations were reversed, but I don’t know."

One Day at a Time: "I'm grateful to Ida Lichter for sharing this information with us."

Helen's Book Blog: "...the research is impressive with detailed stories, quotes from letters, laws, and books in addition to awards won, legal cases fought, and personal stories that will break your heart."

Booksie's Blog: "This book is recommended reading for all those interested in human rights, and especially those focused on womens' rights."

Caribou's Mom: "One of the things that stands out in this comprehensive book is the complexity of the issue and the very individual approaches of women reformers."

Proud Book Nerd: "What makes this book amazing – in addition to the amount of information covered – is how eye-opening it is."

That's What She Read: "If we are to help our sisters in their fight, the first step is understanding what they face. In her comprehensive presentation of Muslim Women Reformers, Ms. Lichter does just that."

Savvy Working Gal: "In my opinion, true reform will not occur without the assistance of global human rights groups. It is important for westerners to know of these Muslim women reformers and help spread their message."

One Librarian's Book Reviews: "Entirely inspiring, this book can be used for research on Muslim women reformers, organizations, and the countries they come from."

Unabridged Chick: "For those who are afraid to jump in, browse the table of contents for a recognizable name. (For example, Iran's Azar Nafisi, author of the immensely popular Reading Lolita in Tehran, is one of the women featured.)"

Suko's Notebook: "Brave and outspoken, these women reformers and activists share an ongoing quest for more rights, equality, and education for women. It was an eye-opening book for me, definitely worth reading."

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

New Project

I have a new review project to announce later today! I'm very excited about it and hope you will be, too! While I work on getting that information together, I leave you with a really cute video. It's called Kitten riding Turtle, but I'm pretty certain that's a tortoise.

The most incredible part of this video is the effort it must take to slog through shag carpeting like that! No small feat, my friends.


Monday, October 4, 2010

Post Banned Book Fundraising Event

Below is the post from the day after the Banned Book Event I co-hosted. And check out today's post for some pics of the happy event! And now I'm off to get back to the work on this blog. ;-)

Well, it finally happened. The Banned Books Event was last night! In the month we spent planning it, I never thought it would get here and now I can't believe how quickly it came and went! So today is being spent reflecting and relaxing. Cleaning the house that's been neglected recently was supposed to be on that list as well, but, eh, I suppose I have all weekend to do that! ;-) 

So on to the reflecting. The event went off so much better than I ever could have hoped for! Especially when, at the start, a wardrobe malfunction forshadowed a whole different tone. 

I bolted out of the house, with the zip on the back of my super cute polka dot dress halfway down. It was hopelessly stuck. I figured my co-host, Lori, would help me get it once I arrived at Great Lakes Distillery. After her attempt, the joint attempt between her and her husband, a donated alligator clip, and some rough work with a stapler, I gave in and accepted that I was going to be sharing that tattoo I keep hidden with all the lucky event attendees! Luckily, while in the bathroom, I decided to try taking the dress off and working on it that way. It worked! And that little tattoo continues to remain a mystery...

The set-up was great: a huge silent auction table with 21 stuffed baskets of goodies, banned books on display, a plethora of raw milk cheese platters from WI Milk Marketing Board (that mustard seed gouda never stood a chance!), and a banned book themed catering table from Mel and Mangia Mangia.

We talked books, we discussed volunteering for the literacy center, and we embraced our freedom to read. Ryan gave an awesome tour of the distillery and I learned that Doug, the master distiller, hand zests the lemons for the citrus honey vodka. Morgan, a bookseller with Next Chapter Bookshop, spoke about the history of Banned Books Week. Jeremy Lowther, the illustrator who designed Thesaurus Rex for the event was in attendance as well as another of our sponsors, Kati Hatfield. Boris and Doris of the Shepherd Express stopped by as well. 

In the end, I had an amazing time and I hope everyone else did as well. I met so many wonderful people We raised more than $1,200 (I still have to go add up advanced ticket sales), which will be donated to the MPL Foundation and raised awareness on the scope and breadth of book challenging and banning.

Several people asked if we would do it again next year and I'm here to say: Absolutely! Stay tuned for information on the Second Annual Banned Event as well as photos from this year's. Thank you again for those who donated, participated, attended, bid, spoke, shared, and supported this event. We couldn't have done it without you. ;-)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Banned Books and my Absence

Hello All!

This blog looks slightly neglected and I want to let you know I'm still here! I've been wrapping up a couple of campaigns and doing some other behind the scenes work. I did not take on any new projects for the past month or so, so that I could devote some time to launching MilwaukeeReads!, my site dedicated to highlighting reading and other book related events in my area. 

While building the following for that site, I met a woman named Lori, who has a local food based blog called Burp! (we love exclamation points in Milwaukee!!) She sent me a DM on Twitter, expressing her love for books. I replied that I love food...and a beautiful friendship was formed! lol

I stated that I was interested in doing a book and food related event and she asked what I had in mind. An email or so later, and BANNED: Taboo Books, Bites & Libations was born! We immediately began planning the event around Banned Books Week and decided all proceeds would benefit our local libraries. We upped the 'taboo' factor by including samples of absinthe and raw milk cheese into the mix! 

So the past month has been spent pulling every resource we have available to us to make this event a successful one. The event is tomorrow and I finally feel as though I have a second to breathe. We're so thankful to the authors, publishers and local businesses that have contributed items to the silent auction (check out the list here) and look forward to celebrating our freedom to read together! 

So we will be back to regularly scheduled programming soon! In the meantime, how have you celebrated Banned Books Week?