Friday, January 28, 2011

And the Winner of Rich and Mad is....

Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway and left great comments. I always learn so much about different stories when you do. And now on to the important stuff! The winner of Rich and Mad is...


Please send me your address so I can get the book out to you. If the winner doesn't respond in 24 hours, a new one will be selected. The winner was chosen randomly using

Until the next giveaway...


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My Selection for Waiting on Wednesday: Dark Parties by Sara Grant

Hey guys! Wednesday has rolled around again and you know what that means. It's time to find out what book lovers are anxious to get their shaky little hands on. Waiting on Wednesday was started by Jill over at Breaking the Spine--smart girl! This Wednesday, I'm back in the YA fold.

Last week, I met Alvina Ling, editor at Little, Brown. You know, that publishing house that published an interesting series called the Twilight saga. She was kind enough to critique the first chapter of my manuscript and my writing certainly has improved, I'm happy to say. She had some books to give away and one of them caught my eye right away: Dark Parties. Gosh. I love that title. What does it mean? I snatched it up immediately. Check out the blurb on the back of the book:

Sixteen-year-old Neva keeps a list of The Missing. She secretly records each one in a tattered journal hidden in her mattress. Written records are forbidden, but Neva wants to remember each person, each face. And she will never forget her first entry--her grandmother. But where do they go? There's no way out of the Protectosphere, the shield that separates Homeland from the rest of the world, and the government insists that everything beyond is an unlivable wasteland. But as Homelands population and resources dwindle, Neva suspects that the government is lying: about the outside world, about The Missing, about everything.

Neva and her best friend, Sanna, take action and stage a "dark party" to recruit members for their underground rebellion. They begin to uncover horrifying truths, but can they succeed in opening the Protectosphere? Or will they, too, become part of The Missing?

This sounds like a nice, edgy dystopian story. I'd never heard of it before. Have you? I can't wait to get some time to dig into it.

DARK PARTIES releases Aug 3, 2011


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Book Review and Giveaway: Rich and Mad by Academy Award Nominee, William Nicholson

Released Sept 9, 2010

William Nicholson is an Academy Award nominated screenwriter (Nell, Gladiator) as well as an award-winning fantasy author and playwright. Rich and Mad is his first young adult novel.
At first glance, it sounds like the simplest of stories, the story that has been told and retold since forever—young love. Rich and Mad (short for Maddie), both age sixteen, have decided they want to be in love, just not with each other. They come to their separate epiphanies and decide to take the plunge and open themselves to their hearts desires. Whether the object of each of their affections is prepared to reciprocate those loving feelings is another matter. This is the tale of their saga to find out and discover what love is.

Rich is the one of the “odd ones out” at school. He marches to his own beat, and confidently so. He doesn’t even own a cell phone. If you want to talk to him, come find him.
Maddie is a typical teen girl trying to parse and read the signals of male attention, hoping and praying it means what she thinks it does.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My Selection for Waiting on Wednesday: Body Surfing by Anita Shreve

Waiting on Wednesday was created by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It's a great opportunity to learn about new books and what folks are anxious to read. This week I'm interested in something a little different than my usual YA fare. I'm going all adult this time. I can't wait to sink my teeth into Body Surfing. I've only read one Anita Shreve book: Light on Snow (see 1/11/10 post). It made me a fan. Awesome. I re-read it from time to time. It's that good. When I caught sight of Body Surfing in Barnes and Noble, I had to grab it. Let's check out the blurb on the book...

At the age of twenty-nine, Sydney has already been once divorced and once widowed. Trying to find her footing after this tragic double blow, she answers an advertisement to tutor the teenage daughter of a well-to-do couple. Sydney ends up spending a sultry summer at the cottage of the Edwards family on the stunning New Hampshire coast.

No sooner does Sydney settle into the household routine--acting as something between a servant and a family member--than the Edwardses' two grown sons, Ben and Jeff, show up for a weekend. Ben is a real estate executive, Jeff a professor. Both are handsome, both accomplished, both are competitive. And both seem completely enraptured by Sydney.

As the weeks pass in this seaside idyll, Sydney enters a strange love triangle, infused with old rivalries and bitter secrets she can only guess at. And she begins to fear that the brother's competition for her affections could tear apart their family--and the fragile existence she has painfully rebuilt.

I love these kind of seaside, beachy settings. Hum...two hot brothers fighting over a tragic young widow. Um hum...sounds good to me! How far will the brothers try to go and how far will she let them? Is she going to pick one over the other or just indulge with both of them because the choice is too hard? I can't wait to read it to find out!

Body Surfing is available now.


Monday, January 17, 2011

Gosh. I hope they don't kill Ted Williams...

Unless you've been in a coma over the past two weeks (and my heartfelt sympathies if that's the case-truly), I'm sure you've heard of Ted Williams, the gentleman who was homeless and then made instantly famous because someone posted a video of him on YouTube speaking with that "golden" announcer's voice. I love to hear that clip and run to the TV every time it comes on.

I thought it was awesome that this happened and I was happy to see him get a golden opportunity. Then I heard he was going to be on Dr. Phil and I became concerned. I put my therapist hat on and began to look at the situation with clinical eyes. "This doesn't sound appropriate," I said to myself. The plan was for him to get reconnected to his family. "But on national TV?" I said. This guy was only "discovered" one week ago (at that time). He should not be on a TV show with the family he abandoned years ago trying to "reconnect" or anything else. He's not ready for that and neither are they. He has to become whole first, before he can deal with anyone else.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Book Review: Across the Universe by Beth Revis

I first heard about this book last year, January 2010, at the Winter Conference of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). The publisher and president of Razorbill (Penguin), Ben Schrank was singing it's praises. He was so excited about it. He couldn't name the book or writer at the time, but he did tell us what the story was about. He stayed up through the night reading it, passed it around the publishing house and everyone was stoked about it. It even came to the attention of Hollywood for movie adaptation at that early stage. As soon as the book was officially announced, I knew this was the book Mr. Schrank had spoken of. He wasn't exaggerating. It is good.
You know what seemed to impress the publisher? This author was sitting in a quiet, rural community in the South, just writing her "little" story. And when she had taken it as far as she could go, she put it forth into the "universe" to see where it would go. As you can see, it's going far. Let this be a lesson to all writers. First rule: write a good story. Everything else will follow.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My Selection for Waiting on Wednesday: Abandon by Meg Cabot

Howdy ya'll! (I'm in a western/southern mood today even though I'm in the northeast right now--go figure!). It's time to see what's good to read this week. Waiting on Wednesday is the very lovely meme started by Jill over at Breaking the Spine.

That prolific author, Meg Cabot is at it again. Abandon is the first book of a new trilogy. It's a reimagined tale of the Greek goddess Persephone. Let's look at a description from the author's site...

She knows what it's like to die. Now Death wants her back.

Seventeen-year-old Pierce knows what happens to us when we die.
That's how she met John Hayden, the mysterious stranger who's made returning to normal life—or at least life as Pierce knew it before the accident—next to impossible.
Though she thought she escaped him—starting a new school in a whole new place—it turns out she was wrong. He finds her.
What does John want from her? Pierce thinks she knows... just like she knows he's no guardian angel, and his dark world isn't exactly heaven. But she can't stay away from him, either, especially since he's always there when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most.
But if she lets herself fall any further, she might find herself back in the place she fears the most.
And when Pierce discovers the shocking truth, that’s exactly where John sweeps her:

The Underworld.

I've only read one Meg Cabot book: Insatiable and that was her contribution to the vampire hysteria. Now with Abandon, she seems to be taking another break from writing contemporary YA, which she's known for and jumping into the paranormal pool. If Insatiable is any indication, she's good at it, so I say "dive right in, Ms. Cabot!" I'm certainly looking forward to it.

What about you? Are you a Meg Cabot fan?

Abandon releases April 26, 2011

Toodles ya'll!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Awesome Cover Art in YA literature: Sweetly by Jackson Pearce

Okay. I love this cover. How can you resist!?! I mean, even if you have no interest in the subject matter, it has to catch your eye; it has to make you a little curious to learn what the book is about. As soon as I saw it, my eyes zoomed right in on it. If you look at each individual branch, they look so simple, but all together, they form this incredibly creepy face!What is this? I thought. That's the job of a great cover, to draw readers in, make them curious about what lies within those pages. It worked in my case, I dug around to find out what this story is about. Check out the blurb...

As a child, Gretchen's twin sister was taken by a witch in the woods. Ever since, Gretchen and her brother, Ansel, have felt the long branches of the witch's forest threatening to make them disappear, too.

Years later, when their stepmother casts Gretchen and Ansel out, they find themselves in sleepy Live Oak, South Carolina. They're invited to stay with Sophia Kelly, a beautiful candy maker who molds sugary magic: coveted treats that create confidence, bravery, and passion.

Life seems idyllic and Gretchen and Ansel gradually forget their haunted past-- until Gretchen meets handsome local outcast Samuel. He tells her the witch isn't gone-- it's lurking in the forest, preying on girls every year after Live Oak's infamous chocolate festival, and looking to make Gretchen it's next victim. Gretchen is determined to stop running and start fighting back. Yet the further she investigates the mystery of what the witch is and how it chooses its victims, the more she wonders who the real monster is.

Gretchen is certain of only one thing: a monster is coming, and it will never go away hungry. 

I'm not drawn to witch stories, but this one kind of reminds me of a re-imagining of Hansel and Gretal. I have a feeling there's some underlying message to the tale and I want to know what it is.  The real monster huh?...Hum....


Saturday, January 8, 2011

And the Winner of No Mercy by Sherrilyn Kenyon is...

Thanks for stopping in and entering the giveaway. The winner of No Mercy is:

Amy Lynn!

Please send my your address so I can mail out the book. You have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen. The winner was selected randomly using


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

My Selection for Waiting on Wednesday: Exit the Actress by fellow blogger, Priya Parmar!!

Happy New Year everyone. Welcome back to my favorite meme! Waiting on Wednesday is the great idea of Jill over at Breaking the Spine. Each week we list what book we're anxious to sink our teeth into. This week, I'm going for something different. Exit the Actress is a historical novel. It's written by a fellow blogger: Priya Parmar! This is her first novel and she's being published by the Simon and Schuster imprint, Touchstone.

Priya is an absolutely delightful girl. She was a great help to me when I took my trip to England this summer and indeed, she's in London right now doing research on her next novel. I don't usually gravitate toward books like this, but beyond my curiosity about checking out Priya's writing, I was intrigued by the lush cover. Who is this woman and what's her story?

Priya had her publicist sent me a copy. I know Ellen "Nell" Gwyn, the protagonist, narrowly escapes becoming a child prostitute, developes a romance with a King and has to negotiate bitter gossip and vicious politics. That's good enough for me. Exit the Actress received an enthusiastic thumbs up from another author by the name of Phillipa Gregory. You may be familiar with her work: The Other Boleyn Girl.

I'm looking forward to delving into this one. It's a definite change from my usual YA sensibilities. Anyone else willing to stretch themselves and try something different?

Exit the Actress releases February 1, 2011


Monday, January 3, 2011

Book Review and Giveaway: No Mercy--A Dark Hunter Novel by Sherrilyn Kenyon


Title: No Mercy (Dark Hunter series)
Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Format: Completed hardcover
ISBN: 978-0312546564
Price: $24.99 Pages:343
Release Date: Sept 07, 2010

No Mercy is the second book I've read from the prolific author, Sherrilyn Kenyon. My first book ever was Infinity-Chronicles of Nick, Kenyon's first young adult book. When I was contacted by the publicist and offered the opportunity to read this book, I agreed immediately because I so enjoyed Infinity. Let's take a look at the blurb on the book:

Live fast, fight hard and if you have to die then take as many of your enemies with you as you can. That is the Amazon credo and it was one Samia lived and died by. Now in contemporary New Orleans, the immortal Amazon warrior is about to learn that there’s a worse evil coming to slaughter mankind than she’s ever faced before.

Shapeshifter Dev Peltier has stood guard at the front of Sanctuary for almost two hundred years and in that time, he’s seen it all. Or so he thought. Now their enemies have discovered a new source of power- one that makes a mockery of anything faced to date.

The war is on and Dev and Sam are guarding ground zero. But in order to win, they will have to break the most cardinal of all rules and pray it doesn’t unravel the universe as we know it.

No Mercy is the 19th book in the Dark Hunter series. Having never read any of the other books, I admit, I was somewhat skeptical about being able to understand and get into the story. I'm pleased to report, I couldn't have been more wrong! As an aspiring author, I often hear that a writer should use a prologue very sparingly if at all. Kenyon is obviously a pro. She utilized a prologue and it was perfect. It set the foundation of the story and brought a new reader such as myself into the world of the Dark Hunters.