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New Stephenie Meyer novella -- online for free

New Stephenie Meyer novella -- online for free

Stephenie Meyer, author of the hit Twilight series (100 million copies sold), has been quiet lately, though her franchise has been going strong with movie adaptations (Eclipse opens June 30). Today, she announced that she's releasing a 192-page novella -- "The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner" -- on June 5. And in an interesting twist, she'll make it available for free online at a dedicated website for about a month.

The hardcover book will cost $13.99 and will have a first printing of 1.5 million copies, according to publisher Hachette. For each book sold in the U.S. from that print run, $1 will be donated to the American Red Cross International Response Fund. But there's more goodness involved for Meyer's fans: On the website www.breetanner.com, from June 7 to July 5, they can read the book online in English. "I'd always considered The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner as something for the fans," Meyer said in a news release. "They have been so supportive of all things Twilight."

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It's an interesting digital strategy. The hardcover and e-book will be released on June 5, and her fans are likely to devour them rather than wait an extra two days for the free version. Shows what star power can do.

The publisher decribes the novella as the "story of Bree Tanner, a newborn vampire first introduced in Eclipse, and the darker side of the world she inhabits. The novella chronicles the newborn vampire army's journey as they prepare to close in on Bella Swan and the Cullens."

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Meyer said in the release: “I’m as surprised as anyone about this novella. When I began working on it in 2005, it was simply an exercise to help me examine the other side of Eclipse, which I was editing at the time. I thought it might end up as a short story that I could include on my website. Then, when work started on The Twilight Saga: The Official Guide, I thought the Guide would be a good fit for my Bree story. However, the story grew longer than I anticipated, until it was too long to fit into the Guide.”

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