Wednesday, August 31, 2011

My Selection for Waiting on Wednesday: Overbite by Meg Cabot

Book Two
This day came around so fast, I almost missed it again! Waiting on Wednesday is the great meme started by that clever girl, Jill over at Breaking the Spine. I even saw an author mention this meme in the monthly addition of The Society of Children Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI)! We're a part of something great, ya' week I'm going for a sequel. It's the second book in the Insatiable series by Meg Cabot. Insatiable was the first Cabot book I ever read and I thought it was a YA book, but it was an adult story. Loved it. Cabot poked fun at Twilight, the whole vampire trend, all while writing her own delicious story and putting her spin on the paranormal. She's not letting Meyers or any of the other new kids on the block get the better of her! She's determined to stay relevant and keep up! Let's see how the story continues...

Book One
Meena Harper has a special gift, but it's only now that anyone's ever appreciated it. The Palatine Guard - a powerful secret demon-hunting unit of the Vatican - has hired her to work at their new branch in Lower Manhattan. With Meena's ability to predict how everyone she meets will die, the Palatine finally has a chance against the undead.

Sure, her ex-boyfriend was Lucien Antonescu, son of Dracula, the prince of darkness. But that was before he (and their relationship) went up in flames. Now Meena's sworn off vampires for good . . . at least until she can prove her theory that just because they've lost their souls doesn't mean demons have lost the ability to love.

Meena knows convincing her co-workers - including her partner, Uber-demon-hunter Alaric Wulf - that vampires can be redeemed won't be easy . . . especially when a deadly new threat seems to be endangering not just lives of the Palatine, but Meena's friends and family as well.

But Meena isn't the Palatine's only hope. Father Henrique - aka Padre Caliente - New York City's youngest, most charming priest, has also been assigned to the case.
So why doesn't Meena - or Alaric - trust him?                                                             

As she begins unraveling the truth, Meena finds her loyalties tested, her true feelings laid bare . . . and temptations she never even imagined existed impossible to resist.
This time, Meena may finally have bitten off more than she can chew.

I'm a little late with this one as it came out last month, but I'm looking forward to sinking my teeth into it. Has anyone else read it or the first book in the series?

Overbite released July 5, 2011 by William Murrow.


Monday, August 29, 2011

Who is Jeff Hirsch? The author, Suzanne Collins recommends so highly? An author interview.

Two things drew me to The Eleventh Plague, the debut novel of Jeff Hirsch. One: the atmospheric cover. I was completely taken with it. I had to learn about the world it conveyed. Two: Suzanne Collin's endorsement. I'm sure she gets asked to blurb novels ad nauseum. I've never seen her endorse a novel--until now. Of course if you guys know of another, let me know! Anyway, I'm sure she wouldn't waste her influence on something she though was ho-hum, so I definitely wanted to read what she describes as "An excellent, taut debut novel." I did and I'll post that review on Thursday, the day of the novel's release.

I also wanted to know who's the guy behind this book. Who was able to score such a coup and capture Collin's enthusiasm? That's the motive behind this interview. I contacted Jeff Hirsch, author of The Eleventh Plague to find out.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

And the Winner of The Girl Who Fell From the Sky by Heidi Durrow is...

Sorry for the delay, guys. I was busy and didn't get a chance to post yesterday. The winner is...

Nicole Weaver!

Congrats, Nicole. Please email me with your address and I'll get the book out to you. If the winner doesn't respond in 48 hours, another will be selected in her place.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

My Selection for Waiting on Wednesday: A Million Suns by Beth Revis

Book Two
Waiting on Wednesday has swung back around again. I'm glad because its my favorite meme, but I'm also sad because that means the Summer is disappearing...*sigh*...WoW as started by Jill at Breaking the Spine. She must be somewhat of a genius to have created such an inspiring post. Thanks Jill! This week I've got a sequel in mind: A Million Suns by Beth Revis. It's the second book in the Across the Universe trilogy. Let's see how the story continues...

When Elder learns harrowing news about the space ship Godspeed, he and Amy must work together to unlock a puzzle that was set in motion hundreds of years earlier, all the while dealing with the romance that’s growing between them and the chaos that threatens to tear them apart. It all boils down to one mind-bending conclusion: They have to get off this ship.

Book One
If you haven't read the first book, please do. I implore you. It's an awesome read. I can't wait to see what going to happen to Amy and Elder next. I remember how the publisher gushed about this series when he spoke at a writers conference in January 2010. He wasn't exaggerating. It is that good. Who's going to go across the universe with me to read this? 

A Million Suns releases January 12, 2012 by Razorbill (Penguin)


Monday, August 22, 2011

Life Influences Art. Biracial Girl seeks Identity & Fulfillment: The Girl Who Fell From The Sky by New York Times Bestselling Author, Heidi Durrow. A Book Talk and Signed Giveaway

I can't remember where I first heard of The Girl Who Fell From The Sky, but I do know that the title intrigued me. A girl fell from the sky? Who? How? Was this some kind of science fiction or paranormal story? Far from it. It's based on real events and real people, the author of which is one. Let's look at a description of the story...

This debut novel tells the story of Rachel, the daughter of a Danish mother and a black G.I. who becomes the sole survivor of a family tragedy. 

With her strict African American grandmother as her new guardian, Rachel moves to a mostly black community, where her light brown skin, blue eyes, and beauty bring mixed attention her way. Growing up in the 1980s, she learns to swallow her overwhelming grief and confronts her identity as a biracial young woman in a world that wants to see her as either black or white.

In the tradition of Jamaica Kincaid's
Annie John and Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye, here is a portrait of a young girl and society's ideas of race, class, and beauty. It is the winner of the Bellwether Prize for best fiction manuscript addressing issues of social justice.

I don't want to giveaway any spoilers, but there really is a girl that fell from the sky. Durrow, the author wanted to give this girl a voice, envision what her future would be. Writers are told to write what they know, so Durrow did just that: she made the girl a version of herself: mixed-raced, black and white, blue-eyed, moving from an all white environment in Denmark to a primarily black one in the United States.

The book has a very literary and lyrical sensibility. The story is sad, it's tragic, it's hopeful. I loved it.

Heidi and I became friendly over Twitter. When she told me she was going to be performing a reading of her book at The New School in New York City, I had to be there. It was a real joy to listen to her read from her book. It tickled me to listen to her. She's got the black vernacular down to a science--and this from a girl who for the first twelve years of her life didn't know a black person beyond her father and whose first language is Danish. She refers to herself as an "afro-viking"
Heidi (R) and her brother listening to their father read.

It's my pleasure to give away a signed copy of Heidi's book and a bookmark. If you're interested in receiving them, please leave a comment telling me if you know anyone who's biracial and what combination of race he or she is. Don't forget to leave your email. That is all.
Heidi signing YOUR book!

Heidi Durrow speaks to the audience at The New School in NYC
Giveaway open to residents of the US and Canada only. It ends Friday, August 26, 2011.

The Girl Who Fell From The Sky released January 2010 and is a New York Times and Los Angeles Times bestseller.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Thank God for Good Friends!

I just have to say, thank the Lord for good friends. Today, I received some sorely needed help and I'm so grateful.

My dad died several years ago. When I cleaned out his house, I gave away a lot of the furniture to relatives. He had a huge truck and it was filled to brim with a lot of personal effects, clothes and such. This is not the usual truck one just drives around. It's industrial size. If even has a compartment that freezes if you need to keep things cold! And it's been sitting in my backyard taking up a huge amount of space

The time has come to get this truck out of here. But before I can do that, I have to empty it out. When I opened it, I almost fainted. I forgot just how much stuff was in there. There was stuff packed into every inch of space--right to the door. I should have taken a picture of it. I picked at it for a few minutes then closed it back up and went into the house. I was paralyzed. Just the though of trying to tackle it made me depressed. Combine this with the fact that I'm a pack rat who hates to throw anything away--it was depressing.                                                                                             

My husband saw I was kind of out of it and called some friends. He asked if they would come over and help me tackle that truck. They showed up today. Their kids even came prepared with an arsenal of video games to watch while the adults worked. We were hot, sweaty and fighting the mosquitoes, but we just passed around the bug spray, got cold drinks and kept at it.

One of the kids had a severe asthma attack and had to go to the hospital--but the parents came over afterwards to help anyway.

Those are real friends. Thanks guys. And God bless...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My Selection for Waiting on Wednesday: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Waiting on Wednesday is back and it snuck up on me so fast, I almost didn't post this! WoW is the meme that lets everyone know what we're looking forward to reading. It was started by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. For those of you who stopped by last Wednesday, you know how crazy I was to read Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. Guess what? I discovered an ARC of the book in my mailbox yesterday! Yay! I couldn't believe it. Can't wait to sink my teeth into it. This week I'm going in another direction. I'm moving away from the scary into dystopian--again. We're seeing a lot of that, aren't we? Is it too much? Let's see what's the deal behind Shatter Me...

Juliette hasn't touched anyone in exactly 264 days. The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal. As long as she doesn't hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old-girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don't fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war- and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she's exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior. 

This novel is getting a lot of buzz and I want to know what all the fuss is about. It has a beautiful cover, but my first thought is that it doesn't clue me in as to what the story is about. Based on the description, I wouldn't expect Juliette to wear something like this. It reminds me of a wedding dress. I still really like it want to know how it fits into the story...This could work based on the mystery factor. People may crack that spine for the very reason of trying to understand what the heck is going on with the girl in the pretty dress...

Shatter Me is being pitched as a cross between The Hunger Games and The X-Men. I'm having a hard time reconciling those two visuals, but that's probably just me. I'm really anxious to see if this novel will live up to the hype. Divergent certainly did and I thought that might be the real next Hunger Games. Can Shatter Me do the same? Let's read it and find out, shall we?

Shatter Me will be released by HarperCollins November 15, 2011

Friday, August 12, 2011

OKAY...I WAS WRONG!!!! Sorry, Aprilynne...

I'm a little late to the Wings party, the debut novel by Aprilynne Pike. It released in May 2009. That is shortly after I took an interest in writing as a serious endeavor. When I began my fledgling attempts to write a YA novel, I started to do research on the genre. I went to the bookstore (remember when we used to do that! *sigh*) and began checking out young adult books to get a better understanding of how they're composed. Fairies as a trend were really taking off around this time too. I've never been drawn to the fairy saga as a subject I was interested in reading, but the cover of Wings caught my eye. I picked it up, looked it over and debated buying it. I put it back in favor of a contemporary YA, Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles to be exact. Wings stayed on my mind though and I figured I'd get it one day. I started seeing reviews on Wings across the blogoshere. They were mixed. Stephanie Meyers'  endorsement was certainly instrumental in piquing my interest in the book.

Book One
As I began my collection of YA books, I decided I had no interest in fairies. As I considered the reviews I was seeing, I figured the book was getting a substantial amount of attention because Stephanie Meyers' endorsed it; after all, she's Aprilynne's friend. I dismissed the book, but not totally. It crossed my mind from time to time; I'd pick it up and leaf through it when I went to the book store. I'd stop by Aprilynnes' blog to see what she was up to and what was the latest news on the Wings trilogy. During one such visit, Aprilynne stated that for a short time, Wings would be available for free to download to a Nook. I had recently received that e-reader and figured what the heck. I may as well check it out. I downloaded it and there it remained, unread for weeks. When I went on vacation a couple of weeks ago, I decided to finally read it.

OMG! I freakin' love this book! Those of you who visit here regularly, may be aware that I'm a total romance junkie. This may be a fairy book, but Aprilynne gave me just want I wanted in the romance department. I was completely absorbed. She didn't make me wait for it either. She started it within the first eight pages (Nook "pages", anyway!). I learned that the author has the same writing sensibility as myself. I like to focus on the relationship in my writing and I can tell that Aprilynne does too. She's a passionate woman! Lol...This is a great example of how an author shouldn't be afraid to giveaway content for free. I'm a total Aprilynne Pike fan now. I will be buying the rest of the trilogy and can't wait to learn what her new series is about. I'm sure smokin' hot boys and heart-pounding love will factor in somewhere. I also enjoyed her take on the fairy mythology. I've seen some complaints about it, but it pulled me in and I'm not even a fairy aficionado.

I allowed myself to be unduly influenced by negative reviews and I didn't see the story in that way at all. It's one of my favorite books! When I had to put the story down, I couldn't wait to get back to it. I sat out under a coconut tree, enjoyed the Caribbean breeze and lost myself in the world of Wings.The biggest lesson I learned from this experience is that one should process info from varying sources, but always keep an open mind and decide things for yourself.

Sorry for doubting you, Aprilynne and thanks for a great story! Ha!

Toodles, ya'll!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

My Selection for Waiting on Wednesday: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Waiting on Wednesday is that yummy meme that gives us all a chance to learn what other bloggers are waiting for and anticipating in the literary realm. It was started by Jill over at Breaking the Spine and I'm so glad she did! This week I'm going for something a little more along the lines of the creepy and horrific. Check this out...

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages--not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.

When one of the strangers--beautiful, haunted Akiva--fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

This novel is one of the "big" books being enthusiastically promoted by Little, Brown. I did a little research into the author's earlier books and they're all fantasy and have a rather evil, demonic undertone. Her sensibility is similar to my own, but I've tried to keep the horror aspects not as dark in my own story, but I've debated it. I really wonder what made the author focus on these factors. I know what inspired me.

I can't wait to read this book and I want to check out her earlier works as well. She received star reviews for her prior books and was a National Book finalist. Readers seem to have a uniformly great impression of her writing. I want to check it out for myself.

What say you, fellow book lover. Does her stuff sound too heavy for you, or can you handle it?

Daughter of  SMOKE & BONE by Laini Taylor will be released September 27, 2011 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.


Monday, August 8, 2011

And the Winner of Retribution by Sherrilyn Kenyon is....

Glad you girls stopped by. It's always good to see you. Let's get to that winner! The winner of RETRIBUTION, the next book in the Dark Hunter series is...


Congrats, girl! Email me with your address and I'll pass it along to the publisher. If the winner doesn't respond in 48 hours, another will be selected in her place. The winner was chosen randomly using


Friday, August 5, 2011

Book Giveaway: RETRIBUTION: A Dark Hunter Novel by Sherrilyn Kenyon, New York Times bestselling author.

Giveaway is now closed as of 8/8/11

Sherrilyn Kenyon does it again. The prolific writer of such book series as the Chronicles of Nick, Were-Hunter, Dream Hunter and Lords of Avalon to name just a few adds a new book to her Dark Hunter series: Retribution. The publisher, St. Martins Press is graciously offering one lucky winner a chance to receive the newly released hardcover edition of Retribution. Check out what it's about...

 Harm no human…
A hired gunslinger, William Jessup Brady lived his life with one foot in the grave. He believed that every life had a price. Until the day when he finally found a reason to live. In one single act of brutal betrayal, he lost everything, including his life. Brought back by a Greek goddess to be one of her Dark-Hunters, he gave his immortal soul for vengeance and swore he’d spend eternity protecting the humans he’d once considered prey.
Orphaned as a toddler, Abigail Yager was taken in by a family of vampires and raised on one belief—Dark-Hunters are the evil who prey on both their people and mankind, and they must all be destroyed. While protecting her adoptive race, she has spent her life eliminating the Dark-Hunters and training for the day when she meeting the man who killed her family: Jess Brady.
A gun in the hand is worth two in the holster…
Jess has been charged with finding and terminating the creature who’s assassinating Dark-Hunters. The last thing he expects to find is a human face behind the killings, but when that face bears a striking resemblance to the one who murdered him centuries ago, he knows something evil is going on. He also knows he’s not the one who killed her parents. But Abigail refuses to believe the truth and is determined to see him dead once and for all.
Brought together by an angry god and chased by ancient enemies out to kill them both, they must find a way to overcome their mutual hatred or watch as one of the darkest of powers rises and kills both the races they’ve sworn to protect.

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment telling me what other Kenyon book you've read if any. If you haven't read any, that's okay, just say so. Tell me why you want to read this one. That is all. Don't forget to include your email. Someone always forgets and I don't have time this summer to track you down if you win.

Giveaway ends Monday, August 8, 2011 at 2PM

Giveaway is open to residents of the US and Canada only
at publisher's request. Thanks to St. Martins Press and Tara of Zeighost Media for making this giveaway available.

RETRIBUTION released August 2, 2011 by St. Martins Press.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

My Selection for Waiting on Wednesday is Fever by Lauren De Stefano

Book Two of the Chemical Garden Trilogy

Ahh...time for one of my favorite posts. Waiting on Wednedsay was started by the fabulous Jill over at Breaking the Spine. It's an excellent way to learn about the new books that folks are excited about and looking forward to. This week, I've got my eyes set on Fever, the second book in the Chemical Gardens trilogy. If you haven't read Wither yet, you should check it out. The writing is beautiful and lyrical, the story somber, somewhat dark and thought-provoking. Let's see where Wither ends and Fever takes off...

From the moment of their escape, Rhine and Gabriel are constantly in danger. First, the police are after them for stealing their escape boat; then, they run straight into the eerie den of Madame, an old woman who collects and sells girls to the highest bidders. Worst of all, Rhine's father-in-law Vaughn seems able to find her wherever she goes.
She manages to make the long journey home only to find it abandoned, her twin brother Rowan nowhere to be found. And when she discovers several of their treasured possessions are also gone, she realizes that he won't be back. Rhine's determination to find her brother remains steadfast, until she finds herself crippled by illness. . . and then, once again, at her father-in-law's mercy. Fearing for Gabriel's safety, she reluctantly leaves him behind and, unbelievably, returns to the one place she never wanted to see again.

Book One
The second book in the Chemical Garden Trilogy reveals a world outside the mansion as captivating and bleak as the one Rhine left behind--and sets the stage for an explosive conclusion.

What do you think of the cover? It seems to have provoked some strong feelings across the blogosphere. It's the same model. I am partial to the first one, Wither, but I do like the new one as well. Judging by the girl's rather wasted appearance, it looks like Rhine went through hell in this'm looking forward to finding out. What say you, fellow booklover?

Fever releases February 21, 2012 by Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing


Monday, August 1, 2011

And the Winner of Wildefire by Karsten Knight is...

Thanks to all of you who stopped in an left your romance comments. I only found a couple of folks who like it as much as I least during this post! But that's what the romance genre is for,, let's get to the winner. And that winner is...

Sniffly Kitty!!

Congrats. Please email me with your address. If I don't hear from the winner in 72 hours, another will be chosen in her place.