Saturday, October 30, 2010

That Great Sucking Sound is Time...Slipping Away...

Since I began working on a novel, one of the things that I've become very cognizant of is time...and how little there is of it. As I spend more time on social media venues like Twitter, blogs (mine and others), chat groups etc, I began to see what a time suck the internet is. I'm amazed at how many hours I can spend on Twitter. It's like having a lot of very interesting people right in your living room at all hours of the night or day. You can just look at the screen and hit them up as you see fit. Honestly, I think I was becoming addicted to Twitter.

Then there's blogging. I remember being so apprehensive about starting a blog. I was playing around with Blogger for the first time and accidentally created a blog by mistake. Oh, the panic. I was scared to death and hurried to delete it. Now, I love my blog. I really do. I enjoy interacting with so many great people. I've met people I never would have. But this blog takes time. I'm a bit obsessive, I think. I like things to be a certain way. Probably things no one else will even notice, but if I'm bothered by it, I have to fix it. This takes time. I notice over the last few months, some very well know blogs have bitten the dust. Their owners have ceased blogging. One of the reasons expressed is to make more time for other things. I don't plan to do that, but I can certainly empathize with the sentiment.

I love promoting books and authors. That means reading the books to review. Sometimes authors contact me or I reach out to them for interviews and whatever else. I thoroughly enjoy it, but there's goes that time thing again. In the midst of all this, I'm working on my own novel, revising, rewriting, plotting etc. I've had to cut back on typing of all sorts because my hands were actually starting to hurt.  The first thing to cut back on was Twitter. Oh, I'm still on it, but not nearly as much as I was. I miss it, but something has to give. I need my hands if I'm going to write a book. I've got to set priorities.  Justine Larbalestier, author of Liar, hasn't blogged since June 2010 because of RSI. Believe me, I feel her pain, literally.                                                                                       

There's a verse in the bible that says "redeem the time." I now have a much better understanding of what that means. You really have to take stock of time. You must be aware of it's passage and plan accordingly. This may mean something as simplistic as making a list and checking off your goals as you accomplish them--whether you decide to do it daily, weekly, whatever.  I know I've done this and it does help--if I follow through.

In essence, what's the message of this post? Time, life passes a lot faster than you think, especially if you're not thinking about it, so do--think about it that is and plan accordingly. I'm sure incorporating this element, living life with more forethought and strategy can only help.  You certainly won't regret it.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My Selection for Waiting on Wednesday: VIXEN-The Flappers, Book One by Lila Fine.

It's that time again...Waiting on Wednesday is the terrific meme started by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. This is the place to be to get your weekly fix of what's new in the book world. We check out each others blogs, this day in particular, to learn about what's coming out that's good to read.

Now, I love the paranormal, but sometimes a girl has to delve into the real thing. No monsters, no creatures, nothing otherworldly, just regular folks in the midst of drama. Vixen, the first book in the new Flappers series sounds like it will fit the bill. And it's different. It's set in the twenties. I've always been kind of fascinated with life during the roaring twenties. A YA book set during that time sounds kind of intriguing. Check out the description:

Jazz . . . Booze . . . Boys . . . It’s a dangerous combination.

Every girl wants what she can’t have. Seventeen-year-old Gloria Carmody wants the flapper lifestyle—and the bobbed hair, cigarettes, and music-filled nights that go with it. Now that she’s engaged to Sebastian Grey, scion of one of Chicago’s most powerful families, Gloria’s party days are over before they’ve even begun . . . or are they?

Clara Knowles, Gloria’s goody-two-shoes cousin, has arrived to make sure the high-society wedding comes off without a hitch—but Clara isn’t as lily-white as she appears. Seems she has some dirty little secrets of her own that she’ll do anything to keep hidden. . . .

Lorraine Dyer, Gloria’s social-climbing best friend, is tired of living in Gloria’s shadow. When Lorraine’s envy spills over into desperate spite, no one is safe. And someone’s going to be very sorry...

I definitely want to check it out. How about you?
Vixen--The Flappers releases on December 14, 2010.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Book Review: HALO by Alexandra Adornetto. Author Interview and Book Giveaway to Come!

Title: HALO
Author: Alexandra Adornetto
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends/McMillan
Format: ARC
Price: $16.99 Pages: 484
Release Date: August 31, 2010

Halo was definitely one of my favorite books of the summer! It’s a young adult novel written by a young adult, seventeen to be exact and by the looks of things, she has quite a career ahead of her. Alexandra Adornetto wrote her first book at the age of thirteen. She is an Australian native and Halo is her US debut.
The striking cover was enticing and I couldn't wait to see what treasures lay within those pages. The cover art is rather amazing. It literally appears to glow; a flash of sunlight on the page looks so realistic, I looked at the book from all angles and still can’t figure out how that was done.
Halo is the story of three angels that are sent to the Earth. Their assignment is to bring good to the world. They take human form and live as a family of siblings in a sleepy little beach town. Gabriel, the elder, is a warrior angel. He’s not new to the game. He’s centuries old and knows his way around the Earth. Ivy the older “sister” is a healer. She too has been on a number of earthly missions and is well familiar with the pitfalls and problems in the world. The youngest, Bethany, is not sure what her special gifts are yet. She’s brand new, only seventeen and coming to the Earth is a first for her. She’s vulnerable, na├»ve and perhaps worse of all, curious.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sights of England: Princess of Wales Conservatory, Kew Gardens

While in England, I visited the Princess of Wales Conservatory in Kew Botanical Gardens. It is filled with butterflies. They flew and swooped all around me as I walked through the glass enclosure.  There are little stations of fruit that they alight on to eat and get nourishment. I couldn't resist snapping some shots.

The other pictures are of some of the grounds surrounding the conservatory. The place is huge and absolutely magical. Enjoy.

Butterfly Feeding Station

Butterfly Feeding Station

Butterfly Feeding Station   

Saturday, October 23, 2010

And the Winner of Nightshade is...

Thanks so much for entering the giveaway and leaving comments about the werewolf books you've read or want to read. Many of them are new to me and I discover a lot of good books from you guys! Now I'm about to share a very good story with one of you and I'm so happy to be able to. Thanks to Philomel/Penguin for sending me the extra ARC!

Without further ado, the winner of the awesome (and may I add, sexy) Nightshade is...

Friday, October 22, 2010

And the Winners of the HUNGER and Mystery Swag Giveaway is....

I know I said there would be two winners, but I've decided to make it three! They are...

Jennie Smith
Jill the Owl and
April X

Enjoy girls! Please send me your address so I can get the goodies out to you. Thanks so much for dropping in. Until the next time....


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

My Selection for Waiting on Wednesday: Tyger Tyger by Kersten Hamilton

Waiting on Wednesday is a super meme started by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It's one of my favorite blog activities. There's such a sense of community among book bloggers. This gives us a great opportunity to learn about new books coming down the pike, many we may not be aware of otherwise.

This week, I'm really looking forward to digging into Tyger Tyger by Kersten Hamilton. I had a meeting with an editor from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. She gave me their catalogue of upcoming books. That was where I first encountered Tyger Tyger. The big, colorful display in the catalogue caught my eye right away. Then several weeks later, I received an email from the author. After a few exchanges, she had her publicist send me an ARC of Tyger Tyger.

I'm not sure if it's a paranormal or an urban fantasy, but it sounds good! Check out the blurb on the back of the book...

Teagan Wylltson's best friend, Abby, dreams that horrifying creatures--goblins, shape-shifters, and beings of unearthly beauty but terrible cruelty--are hunting Teagan. Abby is always coming up with crazy stuff, though, so Teagan isn't worried. Her life isn't in danger. In fact, it's perfect. She's on track for a college scholarship. She has a great job. She's focused on school, work, and her future. No boys, no heartaches, no problems.

 Until Finn Mac Cumhaill arrives. Finn's a bit on the unearthly beautiful side himself. He has a killer accent and a knee-weakening smile. And either he's crazy or he's been haunting Abby's dreams, because he's talking about goblins, too . . . and about being The Mac Cumhaill, born to fight all goblin-kind. Finn knows a thing or two about fighting. Which is a very good thing, because this time, Abby's right. The goblins are coming.

How different is this eh? No vampires, werewolves, angels or fairies. The author scores points in my book just for coming up with a new supernatural entity! What do you think? Have you read any stories about goblins? This is the first book in what I believe is a trilogy. I can't wait to read it.

Releases November 15, 2010


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Release Day! Book Review and Giveaway: NIGHTSHADE by Andrea Cremer

Title: Nightshade
Author: Andrea Cremer
Publisher: Philomel/Penguin
Format: ARC
ISBN: 978-0-399-25482-6
Price: $17.99 Pages: 452
Release Date: Oct 19, 2010

Young adult paranormal novels have been awash in all things vampire, werewolves and angels to name a few of the more prolific creatures. Nightshade by Andrea Cremer doesn’t stray from a popular choice—werewolves, but she certainly puts a fresh and intriguing spin on it.
The premise of Nightshade is quite simple. Seventeen-year-old Calla Tor is a werewolf—when she’s not behaving like a normal student at the Mountain School.  The time for her upcoming nuptials is fast approaching. She’ll be pairing up and marrying Ren Laroche, a fellow student and werewolf. Calla and Ren are alpha wolves. The marriage solidifying their union will serve as the catalyst for uniting their respective wolf packs, the Nightshades and the Banes.  Calla and Ren will then rule the newly created pack and fight side by side as one. This has always been the plan since they were small children. It has always been their destiny, but as often happens, plans change—no matter how much we may wish otherwise.
Calla goes against all the rules of her kind, of the masters that control them and saves the life of a human boy who has strayed into the wrong part of the forest. He’s no ordinary boy and Calla will soon find out that there is much more to Shay Doran than the beautiful visage that captures her imagination as she risks everything to save him from a sure and certain death.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Release Day! Book Review, Swag Giveaway and Author Interview: HUNGER by Jackie Morse Kessler. Two winners for this!

Title: Hunger
Author: Jackie Morse Kessler
Publisher: Graphia/ Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format: ARC
ISBN: 978-0-547-34124-8
Price: $8.99; Pages: 180
Release Date: October 18, 2010

Perhaps one can decipher what this book is about from its title: Hunger.  Indeed it does touch on that—the experience of hunger on a personal level, but it also takes the reader on an exploration of hunger on a wider scale—in an interesting and very original way.  Let me explain.
When you’re anorexic, you’re hungry—very. And at its core, that is what this book is about, but it is so much more. Seventeen-year-old Lisabeth Lewis is anorexic. Each day she struggles to hide her eating disorder and fake out her family and friends that nothing is wrong, even as the evidence is clear: she continues to disappear as she gets thinner. She’s acting very weird around food and everyone is afraid of what is happening to her. They reach out, hoping she’ll respond to their concern, their offers of help, but Lisabeth is only interested in listening to one voice: the Thin voice. It’s a constant reminder of what she’s eating, what she shouldn’t be eating and how much work she’s going to have to do to burn of those “excess” calories. That is until she meets Death…and War, and let’s not forget Pestilence. You see, Lisabeth becomes Famine, one of the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse—literally.
Since she’s starving herself and contemplating suicide, Death (quite a sexy version, I might add) decides to make use of her natural inclinations and put her to good use. Combining Lisabeth’s most salient features: hunger, starvation and ultimately death, being appointed Famine is an ideal job for her—whether she likes it or not.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My Selection for Waiting on Wednesday: Rage by Jackie Morse Kessler

Waiting on Wednesday is a terrific meme started by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. It's a wonderful opportunity to learn what other bloggers are looking forward to reading as well as spreading a little book love of your own. This week, I can't wait to read RAGE by Jackie Morse Kessler. She's writing these connecting, issue-driven books that utilize magical realism. The protagonists in each of the stories become one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Lisabeth in Hunger, releasing 10/18/10 is anorexic and she becomes the Horseman known as Famine. In the next installment,  RAGE, Missy self-mutilates via cutting and becomes one of the other Horseman, War. Check out the amazon description...

She brought the razor to her inner thighs again and again and again, but with each sting came no release, no comforting numbness that dulled the horror of her life.
It wasn’t enough. So she cut again—swiftly, mercilessly.

Missy didn’t mean to cut so deep. But after the party where she was humiliated in front of practically everyone in school, who could blame her for wanting some comfort? Sure, most people don’t find comfort in the touch of a razor blade, but Missy always was . . . different. That’s why she was chosen to become one of the Four Horsemen Apocalypse: War. Now Missy wields a different kind of blade--a big, brutal sword that can cut down anyone and anything in her path. But it’s with this weapon in her hand that Missy learns something that could help her triumph over her own pain: control. A unique approach to the topic of self-mutilation, RAGE is the story of a young woman who discovers her own power, and refuses to be defeated by the world.

I read the arc of Hunger and found it to be a very unique and thought-provoking book. I'll be posting my interview with the author on release day as well as giving away some swag. Jackie Morse Kessler is amazingly accessible and a joy to communicate with.  I can't wait to see what she has next with RAGE.

Releases April 18, 2011.


Friday, October 8, 2010

Movie Review: Let Me In. Twilight for middle schoolers. OMG. It's "bloody" awesome!

After work today, I decided to see the movie, Let Me In. I briefly recalled seeing a review that said it was good, so I decided to check it out. My goodness, was it ever. It is Twilight for the middle school/junior high set, but with bite. I mean it. Serious, bloody bite. No neat, vegetarian-like vampire here. This is good, old "I-need-blood-and-I'm-gonna-get-it-by-any-means-necessary. Now, that being said, let me be clear. This is not a gratuitous, bloody vampire horror. It's a somber, sad, touching, poignant, loving, bloody vampire horror. It's a kind of coming-of-age vampire story...almost, but there's one problem...vampires don't age, so only one half of the couple does that. That would be 12 year-old Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee). He's a lonely, fragile boy who is ignored by his parents who are going through a divorce. He's tormented by bullies at school and spends time spying on the exploits of his neighbors through his telescope when he's not in the mirror pretending to be a serial killer. Then he meets Abby. She's 12 too...give or take some years.

Abby moves in next door with her "father"(Richard Jenkins from Six Feet Under). She lets Owen know right away that they "can't be friends", but of course they do and then some. The characters are 12, so they are not sexualized to any great degree, but exploration of that I-think-I'm-in-love-for-the-first-time component is squee-worthy. I'm not going to say anything more. I don't want to spoil it for you, but I'm telling you, you owe it to yourself to see this movie. It's based on a Swedish novel called "Lat den Ratte Komma In" by John Ajvide Lindquist. There was a Swedish movie adapted from the novel called Let the Right One In in 2008 that seems to have received some very good reviews.

I have a feeling this movie is going to fly under the radar and come and go without a lot of people knowing how totally awesome it is. Maybe if the book had been translated into English, it would get more attention. I sure would love to read it. Don't read any reviews first. It's best to sit there and watch the story unfold. You won't regret it.


10/09/10: Hey guys. I  just learned from Indigo via a comment, that the book is out in English and it's the same name as the film, Let Me In.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

My Selection for Waiting on Wednesday: Jane by April Linder

Waiting on Wednesday is the super meme started by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It gives all of us book lovers a chance to talk about what we're waiting to read. This week I can't wait to check out Jane by April Linder. It's a young adult book that's a modern take on an old classic--Jane Eyre.

According to the Publisher Weekly's review, Jane Moore's parents die in a tragic accident and she is left with only two unfeeling, absentee siblings to call family. Poor and alone, Jane quits college, interviews to become a full-time nanny, and because of her unassuming personality and total lack of celebrity awareness--quickly lands a job caring for the daughter of an aging, world-famous rock star who's about to make his comeback.

Jane is mesmerized by her new employer, Nico Rathburn. He's brooding, magnetic and an older man. Jane soon finds herself in the midst of a forbidden romance, but a torturous secret from his past threatens to destroy what they've created.

I read Jane Eyre years ago as a kid. I also always loved to watch the movie when it came on TV. I'm looking forward to this. It sounds Gothic, atmospheric and windswept. Anyone going to join me?

We won't have to wait long. It releases October 11, 2010.


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sights of England: The Waterlily House--Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew ( aka Kew Gardens)

As some of you know, in my first attempt at novel writing, the spiral staircase in the Palm House of the Royal Botanical Gardens was the scene of my teen couple's first romantic moment (see 8/13 post). I couldn't wait to get to England to see it in person. But, the Palm House isn't the only awesome place in the Gardens. From time to time, I'll post more of the pictures I took there. Right now, enjoy the Waterlily House. I didn't even know waterlilies grew so big. I was almost tempted to climb into one...Lol...somehow, I don't think that would have worked out...


Friday, October 1, 2010

The Five Finalists of the Wind Warrior Super Giveaway by Romance Author Cynthia Roberts are....

This was one of the grandest giveaways I've ever seen an author do. Cynthia Roberts has run a month-long giveaway which will have five winners of really lovely prizes. This is in honor of her debut novel Wind Warrior. I've been so honored to be a part of it. She's requested the five finalists that will join the many others from other participating blogs to be entered in the Big Drawing. And here they are!

1) spamgirl (

2) mrsshukra (

3) Michele (

4) Kara (

5) Mickey (

If one or more of the five finalists above are winners in the Big Drawing, they will be contacted by the author.  All finalists were selected randomly utilizing

Congratulations girls and the best of luck in the final phase of the giveaway! I'm rooting for you.