Mary's Minute: Dream Panel: Teenagers in Space

This week I have the opportunity to do something unique and cool. I was asked to create my own dream panel of authors and/or characters for a fictional conference. I totally love this idea, especially considering I had the ability to use Big Name People or even characters.

I have a few ideas for this so I might do some more panels in the future. However, lately I've been really into science fiction, but only the ones that go where no man has gone before. Therefore I have brought in my favorite epic space authors and a few special guests (because when I reach for the stars, I literally reach for movie stars). Behold, I bring you:


Basically, Teenagers in Space would be a panel all about creating and enriching stories set in space. I would moderate because this is my dream panel, and I'm not passing up on an opportunity to meet Melissa, Chris, Sigourney, and Joss (the others I have had the pleasure of previously both meeting and moderating panels for!). We'd talk about boss ladies (Sigourney would monologue about Ripley, obviously) and sassy boys (Chris and Jay would discuss Star-Lord and Nik). We'd talk technology (what's up, AIDAN?) and badass spaceships, space battles and alien monsters, contagious diseases and loneliness in the big black. Research and gross stuff would also be a hot topic, and Beth would make the audience queasy with stories about boiling spit and other delightful effects of the human body in the vacuum of space (I have heard her talk about this & it's amazingly horrifying). 

If I blew this up into a festival or convention or if my picks weren't available (because sometimes you do need backups for your dreams), potential guests would include:
Mindee Arnett - Avalon series
Karen Bao - Dove Chronicles
Rhoda Belleza - Empress of a Thousand Skies (out in February!)
Pierce Brown - Red Rising trilogy
Alexandra Duncan - Salvage duology
Tessa Elwood - Inherit the Stars series
Claudia Gray - Lost Stars, Defy the Stars
Ava Jae - Beyond the Red trilogy
RC Lewis - Stitching Snow, Spinning Starlight
Marissa Meyer - The Lunar Chronicles 
Michael Miller - Kaitan Chronicles (book 1 Shadow Run released next year!)
Kass Morgan - The 100 trilogy
Phoebe North - Starglass duology
Adam Rex - The True Meaning of Smek Day (book that Home was based on)
Megan Shepherd - The Cage trilogy
AdriAnne Strickland - Kaitan Chronicles
the cast of Firefly
the cast of The 100
the cast of Star-Crossed (still mad this got cancelled)
the writers of Halo

Do you have any favorite space-based books? Who would be on your dream panel & what would it be about? Let me know in the comments!

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Book Blitz: Trouble Makes a Comeback by Stephanie Tromly

Today I'm really excited to celebrate the release of Stephanie Tromly's Trouble Makes a Comeback, sequel to Trouble is a Friend of Mine! I really want to read the Trouble series because not only have so many of my friends loved Trouble is a Friend of Mine, I've also heard comparisons to Veronica Mars, Sherlock Holmes, John Hughes, Ally Carter's Heist Society series, and more. Plus, I hear it's super swoony and chock full of shippy goodness so I am 100% here for that! 

Release Date: November 22, 2016
Publisher: Kathy Dawson Books
Genre: young adult mystery
Status: book 2 of the Trouble series
Summary: A whip-smart, screwball noir mystery—with snappy prose, wry humor, and breakneck dialogue—this sequel to Trouble Is a Friend of Mine is perfect for fans of Veronica Mars, Sherlock, John Hughes, and Carl Hiassen.

After a fall semester of fiascos: getting arrested, then kidnapped, then blown up in an explosion (all thanks to the weird but brilliant Philip Digby), Zoe Webster is looking forward to a quiet spring. Now that Digby has left town, she's finally built a regular high school life for herself. She's dating Miles, the alternate QB; she knows girls she considers friends; she's learning to enjoy being normal and semi-popular. Which of course is when Digby comes back: He's got a new lead on his missing sister and he needs Zoe's help.

Suddenly Zoe is tussling with a billionaire arch-villain, locking horns with armed goons, and digging into what makes the Digby family tick, even as she tries to navigate the confusing and emotionally fraught world of high school politics and locker-room drama. After all, it's hard to explain Digby to a boy like Miles, especially when Zoe isn't sure how she feels about Digby herself—or how he feels about her.

Now that Digby's back, get ready for another hilarious whodunit filled with razor-sharp dialogue, ridiculously funny action, and the most charismatic, dynamic duo you've ever met. And just try to stay out of trouble.

We dare you.

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Available from:

Meet Zoe & Digby in Trouble is a Friend of Mine!
Pub Date: August 4, 2015
Publisher: Kathy Dawson books
Genre: young adult mystery
Status: Book 1 of the Trouble series
Summary: Of course I didn’t like Digby when I first met him. No one does.

The first time Philip Digby shows up on Zoe Webster’s doorstep, he’s rude and he treats her like a book he’s already read and knows the ending to.

But before she knows it, Zoe’s allowed Digby—annoying, brilliant, and somehow…attractive? Digby—to drag her into a series of hilarious, dangerous, and only vaguely legal schemes all related to the kidnapping of a local teenage girl. A kidnapping that might be connected to the tragic disappearance of his little sister eight years ago. When it comes to Digby, Zoe just can’t say no.

But is Digby a hero? Or is his manic quest an indication of a desperate attempt to repair his broken family and exorcize his own obsessive-compulsive tendencies? And does she really care anyway?

This is a contemporary debut with razor-sharp dialogue, ridiculously funny action, and a dynamic duo you won’t soon forget.

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Book Buy Links:

About the Author
Stephanie Tromly was born in Manila, grew up in Hong Kong, graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, and worked as a screenwriter in Los Angeles. She is the author of Trouble Is a Friend of Mine and lives in Winnipeg with her husband and son.

Author Links:

Enter for a chance to win one of three (3) sets that include a paperback of Trouble is a Friend of Mine and a hardcover copy of Trouble Makes a Comeback by Stephanie Tromly (ARV Per Set = $28.99 each).

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 9:00 AM Eastern Time on November 22, 2016 and 11:59 PM Eastern Time on November 28, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about December 1, 2016. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. 

This giveaway is hosted by Penguin. Mary Had a Little Book Blog is not responsible for giveaway or lost prizes.

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Review: Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth

Rating: 4 stars
Pub Date: January 17, 2017
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Genre: young adult science fiction
Format/Source: ARC, from the publisher
Status: book 1 in the Carve the Mark duology

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Fans of Star Wars and Divergent will revel in internationally bestselling author Veronica Roth’s stunning new science-fiction fantasy series.

On a planet where violence and vengeance rule, in a galaxy where some are favored by fate, everyone develops a currentgift, a unique power meant to shape the future. While most benefit from their currentgifts, Akos and Cyra do not—their gifts make them vulnerable to others’ control. Can they reclaim their gifts, their fates, and their lives, and reset the balance of power in this world?

Cyra is the sister of the brutal tyrant who rules the Shotet people. Cyra’s currentgift gives her pain and power—something her brother exploits, using her to torture his enemies. But Cyra is much more than just a blade in her brother’s hand: she is resilient, quick on her feet, and smarter than he knows.

Akos is from the peace-loving nation of Thuvhe, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Though protected by his unusual currentgift, once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get his brother out alive—no matter what the cost. When Akos is thrust into Cyra’s world, the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. They must decide to help each other to survive—or to destroy one another.