Monday, November 29, 2010

Heads Up! Holiday Gift Coming Your Way!

Hi guys. I just want to put you on notice. We're all hearing about the deals across the land--whether it's Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or some other catchy phrase being bandied about. Well, I'd like to do a little something extra for my followers as well.

I'm planning a little giveaway to coincide with the upcoming holidays. I'll be teaming up with a most lovely vendor of an awesome Etsy shop, Debi Levine of One Heart Jewelry.  She is a talented artisan and I've commissioned her to create a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry for me to give away to one lucky follower of this blog for the holidays.  Since this blog focuses on all things literary, the jewelry will be especially meaningful for the book lover in you.

Stay tuned for upcoming details...


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My Selection for Waiting on Wednesday: The Devouring series by Simon Holt

Waiting on Wednesday is one of the best meme's in my humble opinion. It was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine and it's a wonderful way to learn about the books fellow bloggers are dying to sink their teeth into. This week I'm interested in something a little different. I've always been a fan of horror movies and stories. I love Stephen King and I remember reading horror books when I was a kid about werewolves and vampires that scared the daylights out of me. These weren't handsome, sparkling vampires, these guys meant business. Bloody, scary business. I couldn't even sleep after reading them. I remember dreading when it would get dark, then I'd look around my room, in my bed, scared to death. Didn't stop my from reading more of them*shaking my head*.

What I want to read is the Devouring Series by Simon Holt.The series is not new. The first book in the series, The Devouring, released in Sept, 2008. The second book, Soulstice (The Devouring #2)  was published this summer in July, 2010 and the third book, Fearscape (The Devouring #3), just released in Oct, 2010. There's just one problem:

I'm scared.                                                                                                            

Yep. I read the first couple of pages of a friends book and I had to stop. I was too scared to finish it. I'm only slightly ashamed. It reminds me a bit of the novel I'm working on, which scared me at first and I'm writing it for goodness sake! Crazy, I know. Let's look at the blurb on the back of the book...

"When dark creeps in and eats the light,
Bury your fears on Sorry Night.
For in the winter's blackest hours,
Comes the feasting of the Vours,
No one can see it, the life they stole,
Your body's here but not your soul..." 

Evil, demonic beings that inhabit human bodies on Sorry Night, the darkest hours of the winter solstice.

This isn’t how the horror ended for us –
This is how it began.

When Reggie reads about the Vours in a mysterious old journal, she assumes they are just the musings of an anonymous lunatic. But when her little brother, Henry, begins to act strangely, it’s clear that these creatures exist beyond a madwoman’s imagination, and Reggie finds out what happens when fears come to life. To save the people she loves, Reggie must learn to survive in a world of nightmares. Can she devour her own fears before they devour her?

I want to read it, but I don't makes me think of the old days...I thought I was over that, but maybe not. What do you think? Is this something you'd read...alone...when it's dark?


Monday, November 22, 2010

Adolescent Boys, Sex...Just Some Thoughts....

I ran across this book, Something Happened by Greg Logsted in the library and decided to pick it up and read it. It's the second book I've read about sex abuse by a teacher. The first is Boy Toy by Barry Lyga (see 9/27/09 post). Something Happened is fairly tame compared to Boy Toy which was fairly graphic and didn't hold back on the description of the sexual activity. It was not a gratuitous description and made sense in the context of the story, but the author informed me that he received a lot of complaints about it.

As I read both stories, I found myself really pissed at the perpetrators of the crimes: two female teachers, both very attractive and relatively young. When the abusers of sex crimes are women, there seems to be less outrage by the public at large; the media often focuses on the attractiveness of the perpetrator. In one such case, pictures were aired that showed the teacher wearing skimpy attire and posing for some modeling shots she had done in the past.

There's a kind of "boys will be boys" attitude by many and an assumption that this is a boy's dream come true...Well.  Not.  So.  Fast. As a therapist working with children, on more than one occasion, I've had boys come to me to complain about the sexual aggressiveness of girls. The boys complained about girls touching them inappropriately and they didn't like it. They sought help in trying to get the girl to cut it out. What age am I referring to? The boys ranged in age from about 13 to 15.

In my experience, boys entering adolescence are curious and intrigued with sex, but they're often afraid of it as well! They may talk and brag about it, but the thought of actually doing something scares a lot of them. That's why premature sexual activity with an adult is so damaging to their psyche and leads to emotional problems.

Now, you may wonder how an adult woman gets herself into a situation like this? Once again, based on my experience as a counselor, working with adolescent boys and being a keen observer of human interaction, let me offer my humble opinion. This by no means applies to every situation, but is just one possible scenario...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My Selection for Waiting on Wednesday: THROAT by R.A. Nelson

It's time to check out what folks are looking forward to reading this week! This meme is the creation of Jill over at Breaking the Spine and I love it. I learn about so many great stories this way. This week, I'm going back, back to an old creature so many of us have been fond of over the years: the vampire. Yep. An oldie, but goodie. Let's see what the description of Throat has in store...

R. A. Nelson takes us on a supernatural thrill ride, a modern-day vampire story set on a NASA base and filled with space-and-science intrigue. Seventeen-year-old Emma feels cursed by her epilepsy—until the lost night. She's shocked to wake up in the hospital one morning, weak from blood loss. When her memories begin to return, she pieces together that it was a man—a monster—who attacked her: a vampire named Wirtz. And it was her very condition that saved her: a grand mal seizure interrupted Wirtz and left Emma with all the amazing powers of a vampire—heightened senses, rapid speed—but no need to drink blood. Is Emma now a half-vampire girl? One thing soon becomes clear: the vampire Wirtz is fierce and merciless, feared even by his own kind, and won't leave a job undone. 

Sounds sufficiently dark and creepy to me. I can sink my teeth into this one. There are so many other girls to "eat". Why is he so focused on this one? Is there a love story under the surface, or is Wirth just a sore loser who hates to leave anything on his plate? I'm looking forward to finding out. Will anyone be joining me? I hate to dine on a good meal or a good book alone...Mehahaha!!!....

Throat releases January 25, 2011.


Saturday, November 13, 2010

And The Two Winners of What a Difference a Dog makes is...Wait a minute! There are going to be three winners instead of two!

I was so touched by the comments that were left, I've decided to giveaway one of my own copies of the books as well. Thanks for stopping in and telling me your wonderful pet stories! I won't make you wait any longer, the three winners of the sweet book  What A Difference A Dog Makes are...

Carrie in the hammock !! and
Maria Zannini!!

Thanks so much for stopping in girls. It's always great to hear from you all. Please send me your address so I may pass it on to the publisher and I can get my own copy out. All winners were selected randomly using If the winners don't respond in 72 hours, another will be chosen in their place.


Friday, November 12, 2010

New Release Coming: NIGHT STAR: IMMORTAL Series by Alyson Noel

Night Star will be released November 16 and is the fifth book in the Immortal series by Alyson Noel.

"Night Star continues the epic love story that has enchanted readers across the world. In this installment, Ever and Damen face down bitter rivals, jealous friends and their own worst fears—all in the hope of being together forever. Night Star is guaranteed to mesmerize fans and leave them breathlessly awaiting the sixth and final book!"


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My Selection for Waiting on Wednesday: WOLFSBANE by Andrea Cremer

This great meme was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine and it's one I look forward to. It gives us a chance to learn about what are the hot books folks are dying to read. I may be a bit a head of myself this week with my choice because it's not going to be released until the Summer of 2011, but I can't help it. I can't wait to get my hands on it!

For those of you that haven't been traipsing through the YA universe, WOLFSBANE is the sequel to NIGHTSHADE that was just released in October. I raced through that book and was absolutely delighted with it. If you're not familiar, I'll give you the quick version: it's about an girl named Calla who's a werewolf. She finds this hot human boy named Shay in the forest and against her better instincts, saves his life. But there's a problem you see. Calla is engaged to Ren, a fellow teen werewolf and high school classmate. Their marriage is right around the corner, but Calla can't shake her feelings for Shay. And Shay seems to have some secrets of his own. There's a lot more, but like I said, this is the short version, plus I don't want to spoil it for you if you haven't read it.

I can't wait to read the continuation of this story in WOLFSBANE! Darn; to have to wait eight months...ugh! I mean, the first book just came out, so I couldn't find much of a description for WOLFSBANE. The only thing I saw was on goodreads and it was one, little line:

Betrayal, loss, pain and fear. How many trials can love endure and still survive?

Alrighty then, sounds like a whole lotta drama to me! I couldn't find much in the way of description, but I managed to track down the first chapter and it sounds awesome. Check it out here!...If you dare...Enjoy.

WOLFSBANE releases July 12, 2011.


Monday, November 8, 2010

Hey Pet Lovers, Check This Out! Book Review and Giveaway: What a Difference a Dog Makes--Big Lessons on Life, Love, and Healing from a Small Pooch by Dana Jennings. Two Winners for this one.

When I first received this book from the publisher, Doubleday, I admit, I had my doubts about how substantial it was. It's a tiny book, only 154 pages and I wondered how much could there be to say about a dog anyway? Was I ever wrong! If you've ever had a dog or a cat (there's a chapter on cats too!), you'll identify with the author and what his message is in a big way.

The author, Dana Jennings is the assistant editor of the New York Times Arts and Leisure section. He writes a popular column about coping with prostate cancer and its aftermath for the Times Well blog. This book is a laugh-out-loud, poignant account of how Jenning's 12-year-old miniature poodle named Bijou de Minuit--Bijou for short--helped him through some of the most arduous times of his life: an aggressive form of prostate cancer and his son, a high school senior suddenly and unexpectedly, contracting auto-immune liver disease--total liver failure. It was a scary time. A comfort then and now is Bijou.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

And the Winner of HALO is....

Thanks to those of you who dropped in and took the time to answer the questions I had. You really thought about what you wanted to say and I appreciate it. Now for the good part. The winner of Halo is...


Please send me your address, so I may mail the book out to you. I'm sure you're going to enjoy it. The winner was selected randomly. If she doesn't respond in 48 hours, a new one will be chosen.


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Great for the Kids: CARE for CREATION by Christy Baldwin

Tribute Books is publishing a lovely little book called Care for Creation. Children are going to be the guardians of our planet in the future and there's no better time for them to learn about what that entails than now, while they're young. It's a short book, only 32 pages, but it's brightly illustrated and sure to capture the imagination of children and hold their attention as they learn about things like conservation and protecting the environment.

It's written from a christian perspective, which by mere coincidence, happens to fit into the angel theme of a couple of YA books I've discussed this week: Halo and Mercy!

Writing has been a passion of Christy Baldwin since she was very young. As a child, she loved to write stories for her grandfather and poems just for fun. She lives in Mason, Ohio with her family and is active in church, Boy Scouts, Girls Scouts and volunteering with various organizations. Christy has a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from Cedarville University and a master's degree in Special Education from the University of Scranton. She is a stay at home mom who enjoys spending time with her kids and being involved in their schools. Her previous children's titles include Nine Things Nathan Noticed at Night and Remembering Wilma.

Care for Creation is a nice book to add to your children's library. It helps them learn about issues we all need to pay attention to before it's too late. 


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My Selection for Waiting on Wednesday: MERCY by Rebecca Lim

It's that time again. Time to find out what is hotly anticipated by your fellow book blogger and literary lover. That's the concept behind this terrific meme started by Jill at Breaking the Spine. This week I'm going with a book that Harper Collins expects to be a major paranormal series: MERCY, book one of the Mercy series. Let's look at the description...

There's something very wrong with me. I can't remember who I am or how old I am, or even how I got here. All I know is that when I wake up, I could be any one. It is always this way. There's nothing I can keep with me that will stay. It's made me adaptable. I must always re-establish ties. I must tread carefully or give myself away. I must survive. 

Mercy doesn't realize it yet, but as she journeys into the darkest places of the human soul, she discovers that she is one of the celestial host exiled with fallen angel, Lucifer. Now she must atone for taking his side. To find her own way back to heaven, Mercy must help a series of humans in crisis and keep the unwary from getting caught up in the games that angels play. Ultimately she must choose between her immortal companion, Lucifer, and a human boy who risks everything for her love.

Harper Collins is apparently positioning this book and series as a major force in the YA world, but I've heard surprisingly little about it. The author is from Australia and perhaps she'll get a US tour a la Alexandra Adornetto style, author of HALO,  when MERCY heads to the US in the spring.

I certainly can't wait to check it out to see if it lives up to the hype. What about you?

MERCY releases May 17, 2011


Monday, November 1, 2010

Book Giveaway and Author Interview: HALO by Alexandra Adornetto.

I had the great pleasure of meeting Alexandra Adornetto, the young author of HALO, about two weeks ago. She was in a library in Manhattan, talking about her book. Alexandra is only seventeen, but you'd be hard pressed to find a young woman with greater poise. Honestly, authors old and new could take a lesson from this girl. She'd been traveling across the US and Canada and she was totally relaxed and professional. She was also very funny. She had the crowd laughing more than a few times as she answered questions and spoke about what inspired her to write HALO.

Getting ready to speak at New York Public Library, Manhattan
She still hasn't found a boy of her own like Xavier, the awesome love interest in the story and indeed, the character was inspired by several boys she knows. She took the best parts of all and combined them into one. She said lots of the guys she knows are sure she's writing about them. Actually, the bad boy in the story is based on one particular boy: her former boyfriend. He smoked, was full of tattoos and was the principal's son!
Though Alexandra lives in Australia, she was checking out colleges while she was here in the US and would like to return and attend one in the South. She was especially fond of one in Tennessee.

The publisher Feiwel and Friends/MacMillan was kind enough to send me a hard copy edition of the book and I am giving it away to one of the faithful. Check out Alexandra's interview and then learn how you can enter for a chance to win her really engrossing book. I loved it!