Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Have You Noticed What's Going on In Europe Lately? Maybe it's Time You Did.

When I started my blog in the latter part of 2009, my purpose was a comprehensive one. I planned to cover the world of books, writing and life issues. As the title indicates, my purpose in writing this blog was and is to be a blessing to others. Eventually, the blog evolved into a book and review blog more than anything else and that's cool, but I'm taking note of some world developments that I want to pass on to the followers of this blog and to those casual passers-by.
Every so often, as I feel the need, I'm going to post on thought-provoking issues that are occurring overseas. I think I'm going to call it The European Update. My goal is to prick your conciousness and give you food for thought, give you something to contemplate. Make of these posts what you will. Your thoughts and beliefs are entirely your own. My mission is simply to state the facts. How you interpret them will be up to you. So, let us begin, shall we...

There's a crisis occurring in Europe that is impacting the countries that make up the European Union. The European Union consists of 27 countries. Of these 27 countries, 17 make up a monetary union called the Eurozone. These Eurozone countries use a single currency: the euro.

A number of the countries have spent more money than they bring in and are in tremendous debt. We're going to focus on Greece. The leaders of the Eurozone created a bailout package that Greece was expected to accept. If you were following the news developments, you saw that the Prime Minister of Greece, George Papandreou infuriated the eurozone leaders by his decision to put the bailout package before the people of Greece for a vote. He quickly reneged and resigned his position as Prime Minister two days later. Note this. All this drama because he had the "gall" to want the people to vote to accept or reject an economic package that was going to have a severe impact on their future.

I don't want to get too technical, but suffice it to say, ultimately, the people didn't vote and a new leader was installed as Prime Minister. The people didn't vote for a new leader, one was installed in the position. Think about that. That's not the democratic way. What do you think that is? Think about it. And start paying attention to what's going on in Europe.


My Selection for Waiting on Wednesday: On a Dark Wing by Jordan Dane.

Waiting on Wednesday is a great way to learn about new books coming out. It was started by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. This week I'm looking forward to reading On a Dark Wing by Jordan Dane. Check out what it's about...

The choices I had made led to the moment when fate took over.
I would learn a lesson I wasn't prepared for.
And Death would be my willing teacher. 

Five years ago Abbey Chandler cheated Death. She survived a horrific car accident, but her lucky break came at the expense of her mother's life and changed everything. After she crossed paths with Death--by taking the hand of an ethereal boy made of clouds and sky--she would never be normal again.

Now she's the target of Death's Ravens and an innocent boy's life is on the line. When Nate Holden--Abbey's secret crush--starts to climb Alaska's Denali, the Angel of Death is with him because of her.

Abbey finds out the hard way that Death never forgets.

The cover of this book caught my attention right away. It has a stark, Gothic quality. "A boy made of clouds and sky"...I love the use of language...The tale has an odd, other worldly sensibility to it. At least I don't have to wait. It's out now!

On a Dark Wing released December 20, 2011 by Harlequin Teen.


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Switched: A Trylle novel by Amanda Hocking: A Success Story.

Book One
Amanda Hocking is a self-published success story. So much so, that a major publisher, St. Martin's Press took notice and decided to offer her a deal. Nothing beats a proven success. Check out the new version of her trilogy, the Trylle series. The first book, Switched will be published 1/3/12! As a gift to readers, the book includes a never-before-published bonus story. This is what the book is about...

SWITCHED… at birth:
When Wendy Everly was six years old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her. Eleven years later, Wendy discovers her mother might have been right.  She’s not the person she’s always believed herself to be, and her whole life begins to unravel—all because of Finn Holmes.
Finn is a mysterious guy who always seems to be watching her.  Every encounter leaves her deeply shaken…though it has more to do with her fierce attraction to him than she’d ever admit.  But it isn’t long before he reveals the truth:  Wendy is a changeling who was switched at birth—and he’s come to take her home.   
Now Wendy’s about to journey to a magical world she never knew existed, one that’s both beautiful and frightening.  And where she must leave her old life behind to discover who she’s meant to become...

I absolutely love the house in the book trailer below--LOVE IT, I tell you! Lol...

And the Winner of Daughter of Smoke and Bone is...

My goodness. I have never taken so long to select a winner for one of my giveaways. This was madness. Life has a way of interfering with the best laid plans...Well, someone will get this great book as a Christmas present! I did give a copy to a friend who's a voracious reader and I know she and my winner today will enjoy it. So, without further ado, the winner of the awesome Daughter of Smoke and Bone is...


Congrats! Please email me with your address, so I may get your unexpected Christmas present to you!

Happy holidays, everyone!


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Somebody Killed My Baby!!!

I can't believe I have to write this, but I do. Some murderous, psycho, idiot, killed my beautiful Sweetie. My husband found her lying on the ground outside the back door yesterday morning. She usually sits atop the stair railing, meowing loudly when she wants to come in. I wasn't home and when my husband got up at about 6 AM, he looked out the back window as usual to look for her, but didn't see her in her usual spot. When he opened the door to call for her, there she was, lying on the ground. He called me and told me she had a heart attack. He figured it must have happened while she was on the railing and she collapsed.

Sweetie being beautiful
That didn't sound right because we had just had the greatest time with her the night before, laughing, playing and feeding her her favorite meal of fresh crab legs...those crab legs would make Sweetie talk! *sigh*...My cat was not sick! I just posted shots of her on this blog a few weeks ago at her annual vet visit! I told him to examine her more closely. Sure enough, he called me back and told me she had been shot. He found a bullet wound in her back and it went out through her leg. We assume she went out the gate, came into the path of some demon who shot her and she managed to make her way home before dying.                                                                                                  

My husband made a casket for her and made a little cushion out of some of his shirts. He went into my drawer and placed a pair of my socks on her feet. I'm crying so hard now I can barely see, but I'm pressing on...He wanted a little piece of us to go with her. He buried her in the front of the yard where she waited for him everyday to come in from work. My husband cried so hard. He kept saying over and over how she slept on his chest from the time she was a baby. We had her from the time she was born. She would have been 13 years old in April. I always suspected her mothers unexpected death a little over a year and a half ago very suspicious too, but we didn't find any conclusive evidence.

This is so hard for me. Honestly, I thought I was going to go a little crazy. I really loved that cat. She was my baby, I'm telling you. She was such a gentle, timid cat to have died so violently...So, now once again, I have to say good-bye to another one of the sweetest girls, ever, my beautiful Sweetie. We love you so much, my girl and just like your mother, you'll never be forgotten and will remain forever in our hearts...

I'm going to end with the words of God which is the only thing helping me keep it together right now...

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away--Revelation 21:4

Sweetie's last photo with her mom, Boozie 2 weeks before Boozie's death, 4/21/10

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Breaking Dawn: The Twilight Saga. Just a few words...

Of course I had to go see Breaking Dawn. I've only read the first Twilight book. I think I read half of New Moon, but I'm not sure. I saw the movie and keep getting what I saw on film and the book mixed up! I'll probably have to start the book again.

I went to Barnes and Noble to get the movie edition of Breaking Dawn. I like that the movie-connected versions of the books are smaller and take up less space. I enjoyed the movie, but did find it a bit depressing and somber. Considering the subject matter, that makes sense. Still, it's one of the better movies in the series. I like that they emphasized the couples sexuality and didn't hold back on it. I didn't read the book yet, so I don't how that plays out there, but I think the movie was a realistic depiction and tastefully done.

What happened to Edward's hair?! miss that thick mop he used to have. You can definitely see everyone is getting older. Robert Pattinson remarked in an interview a couple of years ago that they better hurry up and shoot these films because he wouldn't remain looking like 17 for too long. I chuckled looking at the film because a couple of cast members have put on a few pounds. Carlisle, papa Cullen isn't looking as lean and predatory as he did in 2008 and brother Emmett is looking a bit my husband remarked on Bella, asking me how old she was. She has matured, most definitely. He noted how Twilight really put Kristin Stewart on the map--and this is from a man who gets all his updates about pop culture from me! He could care less, otherwise. I make it my business to ensure he stays in the Twilight loop! Lol...

The first Twilight will always be my favorite, though. Even though the make-up was pretty bad, the magic of that first introduction is hard to beat :-)


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My Selection for Waiting on Wednesday: Surrender by Lee Nichols

It's been a while since I participated in WoW. Life gets in the I'm back! At least this week...hee hee hee. Waiting on Wednesday was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine. I've learned about so many books, this way. This week, I'm looking forward to finishing the last book of a series I've been reading. Surrender is the last book of a YA paranormal trilogy. Read the final description...

After a devastating battle at headquarters in New York, the ghostkeeping world is in shambles. When Emma and Bennett return home, they are determined to defeat the wraithmaster, Neos, forever. But it's not going to be easy. Bennett's parents kick him out when they realize he is still using drugs to enhance his powers. Emma is convinced her aunt has come back from the dead to warn her of a new threat. And worst of all, Neos is using wraiths to possess the students at Thatcher Academy. If the ghosts manage to take over the entire school, even Emma won't be strong enough to stop them. But if either she or Bennett sacrifice his or her powers, they might be able to save the ghostkeeping world once and for all-and break the "ghostkeepers lose their powers when they fall in love" curse. The question is: who will be the one to surrender all power?

Fast-paced and romantic, this conclusion to the Haunting Emma trilogy will thrill readers as it brings the ghostly mystery to a close.

The romantic element was weaker in the second book. If you visit here with any regularity, you know I am all about the romance. I'm hoping it comes back in a big way in this final book in the series. We'll see...

Anyone else reading this series?

Surrender: A Haunting Emma Novel releases December 6, 2011 by Bloomsbury.


Book One
Book Two

Friday, November 25, 2011

Book Review: The Demon Lover (Fairwick Chronicles #1) by Juliet Dark aka Carol Goodman

The Demon Lover is different than what I usually read. There was something about the cover that fascinated me, totally pulled me in. I had to read it. It looked Gothic and mysterious. Here's an excerpt and description...

I gasped . . . or tried to. My mouth opened, but I couldn't draw breath. . . . His lips, pearly wet, parted and he blew into my mouth. My lungs expanded beneath his weight. When I exhaled he sucked in my breath and his weight turned from cold marble into warm living flesh.

Since accepting a teaching position at remote Fairwick College in upstate New York, Callie McFay has experienced the same disturbingly erotic dream every night: A mist enters her bedroom, then takes the shape of a virile, seductive stranger who proceeds to ravish her in the most toe-curling, wholly satisfying ways possible. Perhaps these dreams are the result of writing her bestselling book, The Sex Lives of Demon Lovers. After all, Callie's lifelong passion is the intersection of lurid fairy tales and Gothic literature - which is why she finds herself at Fairwick's renowned folklore department, living in a once-stately Victorian house that, at first sight, seemed to call her name.

But Callie soon realizes that her dreams are alarmingly real. She has a demon lover - an incubus - and he will seduce her, pleasure her, and eventually suck the very life from her. Then Callie makes another startling discovery: He's not the only mythical creature in Fairwick. As the tenured witches of the college and the resident fairies in the surrounding woods prepare to cast out the incubus, Callie must accomplish something infinitely more difficult - banishing this demon lover from her heart.

Now, while there are erotic elements, they're sparse and tastefully done. The language is rather poetic and literary in it's sensibility. I thoroughly enjoyed this story. It really takes the reader to another place, another world. The author excels at world building. The reader is encompassed in this magical, mysterious and sometimes, scary place. The demon lover/incubus was scary, sexy, pitiful, sad...all the above. There were a number of supernatural creatures embedded in the story. I don't want to reveal any spoilers, but I'm looking forward to the sequel to find out what happens to this rather creepy, but spicy love affair. I don't think the demon lover is going to go away without a fight. There's a character I suspect is going to give him competition, but I may be wrong. I can't wait to find out!

The Demon Lover releases December 27, 2012 by Ballentine Books


Sunday, November 20, 2011

In My Mailbox...

Original Cover
New Cover
I had some interesting finds in my mailbox this week. I requested an ARC of Wolfsbane, the second book in the Nightshade trilogy. It released in August and I never received it. Imagine my surprise when I found it in my mailbox this week! I'm especially happy because the publisher sent the one with the original cover. I am quite fond of the original covers of this series. It's been changed, now and I just don't find the new covers as intriguing. The story is awesome and I can't wait to read book two!                                                                      

I was also surprised to get Hunted, the new book by Cheryl Rainsfield. I interviewed her last year (see 3/31/10 post) when her contemporary YA, SCARS released. It's inspired by her own struggles with sexual abuse and became an award-winning novel. I can't wait to see how she's going to handle the paranormal in this one!

Carry the One is getting some interesting buzz. A young girl is killed and it affects the lives of a number of people for years to come.

And finally, I received my own copies of The Woman in Black and The Killer of Little Shepherds. I just concluded my biggest giveaway this past week and had 10 winners, for these two books. The Woman in Black will be a movie starring Daniel Radcliffe. It releases February 2012 and I'm telling you, it looks seriously scary! Again, I thank Random House for their generosity.

That's it for me. What good books did you get or read this past week?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Happy Release Day! Review of Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi.

Shatter Me is Tahereh Mafi’s debut novel, the first book in a dystopian trilogy. While a crumbling world factors into the story in a big way, Shatter Me builds on that premise with paranormal elements. It is just such an addition—the combination of those elements—that adds depth and dimension to the story.
Shatter Me is the tale of 17-year-old Juliette. She’s been locked away in a prison of sorts, separated from society, shunned by family—she’s never had any friends—and all because she killed someone by accident. She was just trying to be helpful, but to do that she had to touch someone—and her touch is deadly. When you’ve been locked away in solitary confinement for months, not speaking a word, it’s a shock to get company, especially when it’s a stunning boy—but this boy, Adam, has secrets of his own.
Juliette finds herself an object of desire. It becomes a battle of wits between Adam, her savior, and Warner, her jailor. And they’re not the only ones that want Juliette. The Reestablishment, the new society, wants her as a weapon, as does the opposition. Juliette has been an outcast all her life. Life is about to change in ways she could never have imagined.
This novel sucks you in right away. It doesn’t waste a moment giving you dry backstory, but takes you right to the start of the action: Juliette locked away. The scenario begs for an explanation, but you don’t get that right away and that’s okay because the journey to find that answer is filled with such intricate worldbuilding, the reader remains fully engaged.
The device used to convey Juliette’s inner thoughts is unusual. It consists of strikeouts of the words. This was initially annoying and can pull the reader out of the story, but over time one gets used to it. It becomes a convenient way to grasp the true nature of her feelings and show the volatility of the same.
The author has a fresh grasp of language that was evidenced through her original turns of phrase. It is a pleasure to reread and ruminate over them.
Shatter Me is intriguing. Imbued with mystery, romance, high-stakes action, and paranormal adventure, Shatter Me captures the reader from page one. The conclusion was particularly well done, setting the stage for the next installment in this compelling trilogy.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Hey Young Adult writers! There's a new option to get your stories in the hands of readers. Learn about Tribute Books!

Nicole Langan
I'm happy to host Nicole Langan. She's the head honcho of Tribute Books, an independent publisher. They're on the look out for YA writers and the stories they have to tell. Check out the interview below and learn if this is an option for you.

1.) Tell us about Tribute Books. How long has it been around and what role did you play?

Tribute Books began in 2004 and we've published over 30 titles since that time. Some of our books have gone on to win awards such as the Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year and the Mom's Choice Award while others were endorsed by PBS and The Thoreau Society. We've covered a wide range of genres from children's picture books to history to sports under both traditional and subsidy contracts. In 2012, Tribute Books will transition into a royalty-paying ebook publisher of young adult titles.

Personally, I've spent roughly the last 12 years in the publishing world. I have a B.A. summa cum laude in English and Communications. From 1999-2004, I went from being an intern to an editorial assistant to an associate editor of a regional magazine. In 2004, I started Tribute Books. Since then, I've worked with dozens of authors, illustrators, photographers and editors in publishing our titles.
2) Why should an author choose Tribute Books rather than another independent publisher?
We're an author's support system. We're here every step of the way. An author is not in it alone. We are constantly promoting our titles on a daily basis, even those published years ago. Our efforts continue long after a book is initially released. Plus we employ the full power of our experience, our credentials, our social media platform, etc. on an author's behalf. An author becomes a part of our team and we offer one-on-one support throughout the entire process.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

And the Ten Winners of The Woman in Black and The Killer of Little Shepherds are...

Thanks so much guys for entering and giving me the names of some interesting books to check out. A special thanks to those who became followers of my little piece of the blogosphere! You've put me over the 1000 mark and I'm planning a special giveaway to celebrate! I won't make you wait a moment longer to learn who won what book. The winners are...

The Woman in Black:                                                                                      
1)The Brunette Librarian!!
2) Danah!!
3) Sheila!!
4) SiNn!!

The Killer of Little Shepherds:

1) Jessie!!
2) Inga!!
3) Liz@Fictional Candy!!
4) Krysykat!!
5) Sandra Stiles!!

Please email me with your address ladies, so I may pass it on to the publisher. If I don't hear from you in 72 hours, I'll select someone else in your place.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Welcome to the Book Giveaway Hop. Ten Winners for this one!



Hi guys. Welcome to my version of the Giveaway Hop hosted by I'm Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Tristi Pinkston. This is a great opportunity for ten winners to win one of two books I'm offering. They're a little different and I think make for very interesting reading.

I went to the movies a couple of weeks ago and saw the preview for a movie that will be coming out in the new year called, The Woman in Black. I was surprised to see it starred Harry Potter--I mean--Daniel Radcliffe! me tell you, it looked seriously spooky and creepy--very dark and ominous--which means I can't wait to see it! Imagine my surprise when shortly after, the publisher, Random House offered me the chance to get this book into the hands of five lucky readers. Of course I had to say, yes. Read what it's about for yourself:

The classic ghost story by Susan Hill: a chilling tale about a menacing spectre haunting a small English town. Arthur Kipps is an up-and-coming London solicitor who is sent to Crythin Gifford—a faraway town in the windswept salt marshes beyond Nine Lives Causeway—to attend the funeral and settle the affairs of a client, Mrs. Alice Drablow of Eel Marsh House. Mrs. Drablow’s house stands at the end of the causeway, wreathed in fog and mystery, but Kipps is unaware of the tragic secrets that lie hidden behind its sheltered windows. The routine business trip he anticipated quickly takes a horrifying turn when he finds himself haunted by a series of mysterious sounds and images—a rocking chair in a deserted nursery, the eerie sound of a pony and trap, a child’s scream in the fog, and, most terrifying of all, a ghostly woman dressed all in black. Psychologically terrifying and deliciously eerie, THE WOMAN IN BLACK is a remarkable thriller of the first rate.

They also offered another unique book. It's called The Killer of Little Shepherds. The folks will get this one, too. We're all familiar with the CSI shows, the role DNA plays in solving crimes and all forms of forensic science. The Killer of Little Shepherds details how a true crime story laid the foundation for development of forensics and criminal investigation. Check out the description...

Winner of the Golden Dagger Award
A fascinating true crime story that details the rise of modern forensics and the development of modern criminal investigation.

At the end of the nineteenth century, serial murderer Joseph Vacher terrorized the French countryside, eluding authorities for years, and murdering twice as many victims as Jack The Ripper. Here, Douglas Starr revisits Vacher's infamous crime wave, interweaving the story of the two men who eventually stopped him—prosecutor Emile Fourquet and Dr. Alexandre Lacassagne, the era's most renowned criminologist. In dramatic detail, Starr shows how Lacassagne and his colleagues were developing forensic science as we know it. Building to a gripping courtroom denouement,
The Killer of Little Shepherds is a riveting contribution to the history of criminal justice.

Be aware, I can't guarantee who will win which one of the books. You have to be willing to take either one. The selection will be totally random. If you want the chance to win, tell me the name of a ghost story you've read and/or a crime story you've read. If you haven't read either type of story, that's fine, but you must say so. That is all! Don't forget to leave your email so you can be contacted if you're one of the winners. The books will be coming directly from the publisher, so I have no control over when they arrive.

The giveaway is open to residents of the US only, at publisher's request. You'll find links to other blogs participating in the giveaway hop, below.
Good luck, ya'll!


Thursday, November 3, 2011

And the Winner of Destined is....

Thanks for dropping in, girls. The winner of Destined-The House of Night series is...


Please email me with your address, so I may pass it on to the publisher. If I don't hear from the winner in 24 hours, another will be chosen in her place. Winner was chosen randomly using


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

My Selection for Waiting on Wednesday: The Whole Story of Half a Girl by Veera Hiranandani

Waiting on Wednesday is back! It's the weekly opportunity to learn about another new, pending book. It was started by the fabulous Jill over at Breaking the Spine. I seem to be on a trend. This week, I'm going contemporary YA and selecting another story with a biracial girl at the center of the story. Here's the description...

After her father loses his job, Sonia Nadhamuni, half Indian and half Jewish American, finds herself yanked out of private school and thrown into the unfamiliar world of public education. For the first time, Sonia's mixed heritage makes her classmates ask questions—questions Sonia doesn't always know how to answer—as she navigates between a group of popular girls who want her to try out for the cheerleading squad and other students who aren't part of the "in" crowd.

At the same time that Sonia is trying to make new friends, she's dealing with what it means to have an out-of-work parent—it's hard for her family to adjust to their changed circumstances. And then, one day, Sonia's father goes missing. Now Sonia wonders if she ever really knew him. As she begins to look for answers, she must decide what really matters and who her true friends are—and whether her two halves, no matter how different, can make her a whole.

This has a fresh perspective and I'm looking forward to learning how the protagonist tackles these issues. Anyone think they'll be joining me?

The Whole Story of Half a Girl releases January 10, 2012 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers.


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Book Giveaway: Destined (House of Night) by P.C. and Kristin Cast.

Hey guys, the publisher is giving away a copy of Destined, the ninth book in the House of Night series by P.C. and Kristin Cast.

Check out the description:
In Destined, the forces of Light and Dark collide as their epic struggle focuses on Tulsa's House of Night. Zoey is home where she belongs, safe with her Guardian Warrior, Stark, by her side - and preparing to face off against Neferet. Kalona has released his hold on Rephaim, and, through Nyx's gift of a human form, he and Stevie Rae are finally able to be together - if Rephaim can truly walk the path of the Goddess and stay free of his father's shadow.

But is Zoey really safe? Does she truly know those who are closest to her? And will love win when it is tested by the very soul of Darkness? Find out what's
destined in the next thrilling chapter of the House of Night series.

If you're interested in being the winner, just leave a comment and let me know if you've read any books by this mother-daughter team of authors and what you like about their stories. I've never read them, so I'm really interested. If you haven't read any, like me, just say so. Don't forget to include your email so you can be contacted if you're the winner.

Giveaway is open to residents of the US and Canada only at publisher's request. It ends Wednesday, November 2, 2011.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Waiting on Wednesday Double Header!

Waiting on Wednesday is the fantastic meme started by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It's a great way to learn about new books coming out and what people are anxious to read. For the first time, I'm posting about two books. The first, The Pledge by Kimberly Derling is a dystopian-fantasy that I'm not waiting on, but YOU should be. It's absolutely awesome. Honestly. When I read the announcement about this book in Publisher's Weekly, back in February, it didn't particularly intrigue me. Boy did I underestimate it. This story captured my imagination from the first page. It's so well written. Derling can really write! I haven't read her first series, The Body Finder, but it's on my shelf and The Pledge has made me excited to get time to dig into it. Let's look at the description of The Pledge...

In the violent country of Ludania, the language you speak determines what class you are, and there are harsh punishments if you forget your place—looking a member of a higher class in the eye can result in immediate execution. Seventeen-year-old Charlaina (Charlie for short) can understand all languages, a dangerous ability she’s been hiding her whole life. Her only place of release is the drug-filled underground club scene, where people go to shake off the oppressive rules of the world they live in. There, she meets a beautiful and mysterious boy who speaks a language she’s never heard, and her secret is almost exposed. Through a series of violent upheavals, it becomes clear that Charlie herself is the key to forcing out the oppressive power structure of her kingdom. 

The Pledge is a series not to be missed. It's that good. And now, on to the second selection...

UK cover. Book Two
The second book that I am waiting for is Until I Die by Amy Plum. It's the second book in the Die for Me trilogy. Remember that one? The one with Vincent, the revenant (or handsome zombiesque fellow) and Kate his love interest, the American girl living in Paris? Check out the Die for Me description to refresh your memory...

Book One
In the City of Lights, two star-crossed lovers battle a fate that is destined to tear them apart again and again for eternity.
When Kate Mercier's parents die in a tragic car accident, she leaves her life--and memories--behind to live with her grandparents in Paris. For Kate, the only way to survive her pain is escaping into the world of books and Parisian art. Until she meets Vincent.

Mysterious, charming, and devastatingly handsome, Vincent threatens to melt the ice around Kate's guarded heart with just his smile. As she begins to fall in love with Vincent, Kate discovers that he's a revenant--an undead being whose fate forces him to sacrifice himself over and over again to save the lives of others. Vincent and those like him are bound in a centuries-old war against a group of evil revenants who exist only to murder and betray. Kate soon realizes that if she follows her heart, she may never be safe again

The whole revenant mythology is pretty original and I can't wait to see how the story continues. Isn't the cover gorgeous? I'm totally taken with the colors. This is the UK version. We're still waiting to see what the US is going to come up with.

The Pledge releases November 15, 2011by Simon and Schuster

Until I Die releases May 8, 2012 by HarperCollins

Toodles, ya'll!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

In MY Mailbox...

In MY Mailbox was started by Kriti over at The Story Siren.  I was happy to receive some books that I was given and that I bought this week. I contacted the publisher Little Brown to inquire about receiving the awesome debut, Daughter of Smoke and Bone. They were gracious enough to send me a copy.  They were kind enough to send me a couple more books this week, hardcover copies of Bunheads by Sophie Flack and How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr.  Bunheads is Flack's first novel. She was a professional ballet dancer for a company in NY, so she's writing the story from an experts opinion. I can't wait to dig into it.  I'm a huge fan of Sara Zarr. I mean, seriously. I just collect her books, even if I don't have time to read them right away. I put them on the shelf and know that I will get to them. They're like fine wine. Never trendy, just excellent true-to-life stories.

I received an ARC of  Everneath by Brodi Ashton. I love these kind of dark, edgy stories. This is also the author's first book. In addition to these freebies, I spent some money and purchased Kate Morton's Distant Hours. I already had her book, The Forgotten Garden. I haven't read either of these yet, but I'm totally captivated by the covers! I've leafed through them and the descriptions of the stories and the writing is so lush and atmospheric. She's written a third book and I plan to get that one too. The Morton books are also like vintage wine that sits patiently, waiting for you to partake of their loveliness...
Until the next time...


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My Selection for Waiting on Wednesday: If I Tell by Janet Gurtler

Waiting on Wednesday is a great show of blogger community. The concept was created by Jill at Breaking the Spine and it's where we take the opportunity to talk about what books we're anticipating reading and looking forward to. This week, I'm back in the contemporary YA camp. Check out the description of If I Tell...

Jasmine Evans knows one thing for sure... people make mistakes. After all, she is one. Jaz is the result of a one night stand between a black football player and a blonde princess. Having a young mother who didn't raise her, a father who wants nothing to do with her and living in a small-minded town where she's never fit in hasn't been easy. But she's been surviving. Until she sees her mom's new boyfriend making out with her own best friend. When do you forgive people for being human or give up on them forever?

Well! This sounds complex. I love a story that has a menagerie of nooks and crannies filled with intrigue and complexity of emotions. Thank goodness I don't have to truly wait for it. It came out the first of this month. I love the cover. The color scheme, which happens to be aqua and green, is one of my favorites. The cover model is a good choice too. The girl actually looks biracial, though there's no absolutes in this area. I know some people that you would never know had parents of two different races. It's genetic Russian roulette! Lol....

If I Tell released October 1, 2011 by Sourcebooks Fire.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sweetie goes to the doctor....

My cat, Sweetie is the original scardy cat. I mean, they must have known she was coming and coined the word in her honor. When she was born, she was the most timid of the litter. When her brother and sister would play and pounce on each other, Sweetie wanted nothing to do with it. No rough and tumble life for her! When the other kittens started to eat solid food and came running when they saw me approach, not Sweetie! She hung back and had to be coaxed to eat. The others would scramble to get down if you picked them up, but Sweetie would just lie there, quietly. She's eleven years old now and still timid. If we have guests over, Sweetie won't even come in the house. She has to be carried in to make sure she eats! She is a sweet girl and hence, her name.

These pics are from her latest visit to the vet. She was so frightened, she literally trembled during the whole exam. Poor baby. We love her so much...
Who's that?!?   
Oh God. How long is this gonna take?
That's it. You can do it.
No. I don't want to.


Can we go home now?


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

And the Three Winners of Dracula in Love are...

Thanks for dropping in, girls. I wish there were enough books for everyone, but at least three of you will get it. Let's get right to it. The winners are...

Bookworm Nattie!!
Kathy Ann Coleman!!!

Please contact me and give me your mailing information so it can be passed on to the publisher. If the winners don't respond in 72 hours, others will be chosen in their place.


Friday, October 7, 2011

Book Giveaway and Author Interview: Dracula in Love by Karen Essex. Three Winners for This One!


Dracula in Love was published in hardcover, last summer. In honor of the new paperback edition, the author, Karen Essex, in conjunction with her publisher, are offering three winners a chance to read it. I read it last year and it's a really original take on the story. It's told from the viewpoint of Dracula's love interest, Mina Harker. Check out the blurb...

London, 1890. Mina Murray Harker, the rosy-cheeked, quintessentially pure Victorian heroine, becomes Count Dracula’s object of desire. To preserve her chastity, five male “defenders” rush in to rescue her from the vampire’s evil clutches. This is the story we have been told. But now, from Mina’s own pen, we discover a tale more sensual, more devious, and more enthralling than the Victorians could have ever imagined. From the shadowy banks of the river Thames to the wild and windswept Yorkshire coast, Mina vividly recounts the intimate details of what really transpired between her and the Count—the joys and terrors of a passionate affair, as well as her rebellion against her own frightening preternatural powers.

You can put the title in the search engine on this blog and learn more from the review I posted last September.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

And the Winner of The Crown on Your Head by Nancy Tillman is....

This is the sweetest book. The winner of said book is...


I hope your grandson enjoys it. Please send me your mailing info so I can pass it on to the publisher. If I don't hear from the winner in 24 hours, another will be selected in her place. The winner was chosen randomly, using


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

My Selection for Waiting on Wednesday: Living Violet--The Cambion Chronicles by Jaime Reed.

Book One
Waiting on Wednesday is an awesome opportunity to learn about new books coming out and what folks are salivating to read. It was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine. I've ping-ponged back in the paranormal camp this week. Check out Living Violet: the first book in the Cambion Chronicles series by Jaime Reed...

He's persuasive, charming, and way too mysterious. And for Samara Marshall, her co-worker is everything she wants most--and everything she most fears. . .

Samara Marshall is determined to make the summer before her senior year the best ever. Her plan: enjoy downtime with friends and work to save up cash for her dream car. Summer romance is not on her to-do list, but uncovering the truth about her flirtatious co-worker, Caleb Baker, is. From the peculiar glow to his eyes to the unfortunate events that befall the girls who pine after him, Samara is the only one to sense danger behind his smile. 

But Caleb's secrets are drawing Samara into a world where the laws of attraction are a means of survival. And as a sinister power closes in on those she loves, Samara must take a risk that will change her life forever. . .or consume it.

The girl is biracial and we don't see much of that in YA. I remember when this author's agent announced her book deal. This is her debut novel and I love the premise of the story.  I'm looking forward to learning how she pulls it off. Anyone gonna join me for the ride?

Living Violet--The Cambion Chronicles releases December 27, 2011.


Friday, September 30, 2011

Expecting a baby? Have a young child or younger brother or sister? Grandchild? If you said "yes", this book giveaway is for you!

Macmillan Children's Publishing is having a lovely promotion of a beautiful new children's book by Nancy Tillman, 'The Crown on Your Head'. The words are sparse and heartfelt, exemplifying the love that one has for a young child. It's a perfect gift for a new mother or a mother that's been in the role for a while. It rekindles that loving feeling of why you gave birth to that bundle of joy after too many sleepless nights and diaper if you're not a mom, if you have a young child in your home or you want to read to your little brother or sister, or grandchild, it's a very special book. Get it and keep it for your future child someday.

...Bestselling author and artist Nancy Tillman has found another beautiful way to celebrate the embraces of our dear ones, and to reassure us, no matter how old or how young, that we are loved."

Learn more about the author here:


The publisher is giving away a copy. If you'd like a chance to receive it, just leave a comment telling me who you plan to read the book to. That is all. Don't forget your email. 

The giveaway is open to residents of the US and Canada only. It ends Wednesday October 5, 2011.

The Crown on Your Head by Nancy Tillman released September 13, 2011 by Macmillan.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

My Selection for Waiting on Wednesday: How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr

Waiting on Wednesday is the weekly post that let's everyone know what are the highly anticipated books. It was started by that brilliant girl, Jill over at Breaking the Spine. I'm letting go of the supernatural this week. I'm casting the paranormal aside and getting real--realistic. I'm going for contemporary YA! It's the latest book of one of my favorite real-life authors: Sara Zarr. Check out the blurb from How to Save a Life...

Jill MacSweeny just wishes everything could go back to normal. But ever since her dad died, she's been isolating herself from her boyfriend, her best friends--everyone who wants to support her. And when her mom decides to adopt a baby, it feels like she's somehow trying to replace a lost family member with a new one.

Mandy Kalinowski understands what it's like to grow up unwanted--to be raised by a mother who never intended to have a child. So when Mandy becomes pregnant, one thing she's sure of is that she wants a better life for her baby. It's harder to be sure of herself. Will she ever find someone to care for her, too?

As their worlds change around them, Jill and Mandy must learn to both let go and hold on, and that nothing is as easy--or as difficult--as it seems.
Critically acclaimed author and National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr delivers a heart-wrenching story, told from dual perspectives, about the many roads that can lead us home.

I met Sara at a writer's conference last year. She was the keynote speaker. She's a truly talented writer and so down to Earth. Love, love, love her stuff. If you haven't read her books, what in world are you waiting for?! Get to!

How to Save a Life releases October 18, 2011.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Happy Release Day! Book Review and Giveaway: Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor.

Daughter of Smoke & Bone is the latest novel of National Book Award finalist Laini Taylor. It’s a young adult book. It’s a magical and intriguing fantasy. It’s a love story.
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 grows dangerously low.
And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.
The jacket copy is intriguing and it could be just another paranormal story, but Laini  Taylor exemplifies why she is a National Book Award finalist. She takes us into the world of Karou, the seventeen-year-old art student with the ultramarine colored hair—yes. It grows out of her head that color—and her most unusual family. They’re monsters, their anatomy consisting of a patchwork of varying creatures. Karou lives the life of an average student—when she’s not running errands for Brimstone—the closest thing Karou has for a father. Human arms and torso, a ram’s head and claws for hands—that’s what Brimstone consists of. He sends Karou on missions to collect the teeth that he needs. She slips in and out of doors that lead to all parts of the world and all these doors lead back to her family—back to Elsewhere—that is nowhere and everywhere. Karou has tried to make sense of these creatures that have loved and cared for her as long as she could remember. And there lies the problem. Karou knows there are missing components of her life. It’s like waking from a dream and parts fade away like mist, into the ether of the atmosphere, leaving a lingering flavor of a greater substance that is now obscured.
Taylor writes with a lush use of words. They’re lyrical and sweeping. The characterizations are layered and full-bodied. She’s created a fanciful, but intense mythology. Karou shows us what she’s made of right from the start. She deals with an ex-boyfriend in ways that will make you laugh and clearly shows the depth and determination of her character. You know this is a girl that’s not going to give up and the reader is fully engrossed in her journey and her world and what a picturesque and rich world it is. The author has traveled to lush and exotic locales. She has a colorful, quirky spirit and shocking pink hair of her own! Her luxuriant descriptions and original turns of phrase are clear evidence of her creative sensibility.
This is a tale of star-crossed lovers. Karou’s connection to Akiva, the beautiful warrior is a mystery. The truth is shocking. The conclusion of this tale will leave you with a gaping mouth. It must be continued. And will be in the sequel!
The publisher sent me the Arc and the hardcover. I'm undecided as to which one I'm giving away. I'll figure it out by the time the giveaway ends. If you're open to receiving either one and you'd like to enter the giveaway, leave a comment that answers this question: Do you believe supernatural creatures exist? Why or why not? Don't forget to include your email. That is all.
The giveaway is open to residents of the US only this time. If I do decide on the hardcover, that book weighs a ton and I need to watch the postage, folks. I haven't even decided when the giveaway ends. I guess it'll end when I say it'll see. You can enter until I'm ready to pick a winner. I'm telling you. You're going to love this book. It's awesome.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Book Review: A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies

A Beautiful Dark is the debut novel of Jocelyn Davies. She’s an editor of young adult fiction and decided to take the plunge into the genre herself. We all know the old saying: don’t judge a book by its cover, but the cover of this novel is truly eye-catching. It’s an enigma. Who is this girl? The background is dark and stormy; the title is evocative of an intriguing mystery. It begs for one to crack the spine and explore.
Skye, the protagonist, age seventeen is living a normal life—sort of. She’s the unrequited crush of a young man that works at the coffee shack, she’s trying to negotiate school and friends and come to terms with the loss of her parents, killed in an accident. Having Mom’s best friend as her guardian is great, but it can’t remove the pain that is always brewing beneath the surface.
Missing parents are a common device in YA fiction to allow for situations that would be a lot more difficult if not impossible if adults were present—at least if you want a credible story or the writer is utilizing irresponsible parents as a plot device. That’s not the case here. The missing parents are an integral part of the mystery. They’re part of a delicious little twist that is essentially only hinted at. I’m hoping to see it explored more thoroughly as the story continues in the next installment.
Jocelyn Davies does a nice job of worldbuilding.  It was easy to fall into that world and visualize that cold, ski-town in Colorado, the crunchy ice and the hot, steaming coffee that await the teens who meet up at the intimate shack. When two hot boys who are diametrically opposed to each other, appear in Skye’s life, things begin heat up—and it has nothing to do with that coffee!
Skye finds herself jockeying between these two strange boys.  Who are they and what do they want? They’re on a mission. Each is familiar with the other and it is clear they despise each other. Skye struggles to understand how she factors into their apparent feud. The author is to be commended for giving Devin and Asher very unique and distinctive personalities. They both had their strengths and flaws and it isn’t clear who the bad guy is or who to root for. Their emotions had depth. The attraction and repulsion they had in their connection to Skye was nicely nuanced.
The ending is a total shock and a huge cliffhanger. This is no stand-alone novel. One must read the next book in the series to get to the bottom of things and I look forward to digging in and finding out!
A Beautiful Dark releases September 27, 2011 by Harper Teen

Thursday, September 22, 2011

And the Winner of Dreamland is....

Thanks for dropping in guys and checking out the giveaway. I won't delay the announcement. The winner of Dreamland is...

Bookish in a Box!!

Please email me with your address so it can be passed on to the publisher. If the winner doesn't respond in 48 hours, another will be chosen in her place.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

My Selection for Waiting on Wednesday: INSURGENT by Veronica Roth

Book Two
Book One
Waiting on Wednesday is the meme started by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. It lets everyone know what are the hotly anticipated books. This week I'm looking at the next book in a trilogy: Insurgent, the second book in the Divergent series. There's no blurb available yet, but according to the author, Insurgent will pick up where the first book leaves off. The factions that were not featured in Divergent will have a more prominent role. I guess that would be Candor (the honest), Erudite (the intelligent) and Amity (the peaceful). Insurgent will also go into Tobias’ history more. Remember him--Beatrice's love interest, the boy who trained her? I tell you. It's a good thing they're not taking too long to publish the next book because I had to look at the first one to remember how it ended!  Roth said the second book is about consequences for the most part. The repercussions of what Tris did, and what Jeanine did at the end of the first book, in particular. Can you remember what Jeanine did? I can't!

We've got a bit of a wait. It doesn't release until the Spring, but I have a feeling that will be here before we know it. So, tell me. Who's in?!

INSURGENT releases May, 2012.