Wednesday, March 30, 2011

My Selection for Waiting on Wednesday: The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch time flies. We're back to Wednesday again and you know what that means: the day to learn what folks are anxiously awaiting to read. Waiting on Wednesday is the terrific meme started by Jill at Breaking the Spine. I just love it. This week I'm going for the dystopian tome. The world-really-sucks-and-the-US-is-a-wasteland is a big trend these days. I've only read The Hunger Games so far and I'm about to sink my teeth into Divergent. A debut novel that has caught my eye is The Eleventh Plague. It's written by Jeff Hircsh, a fellow native of Queens, New York. Lets' check out the blurb...

In an America devastated by war and plague, the only way to survive is to keep moving.
In the aftermath of a war, America’s landscape has been ravaged and two thirds of the population left dead from a vicious strain of influenza. Fifteen-year-old Stephen Quinn and his family were among the few that survived and became salvagers, roaming the country in search of material to trade for food and other items essential for survival.
But when Stephen’s grandfather dies and his father falls into a coma after an accident, Stephen finds his way to Settler’s Landing, a community that seems too good to be true, where there are real houses, barbecues, a school, and even baseball games. Then Stephen meets strong, defiant, mischievous Jenny, who refuses to accept things as they are. And when they play a prank that goes horribly wrong, chaos erupts, and they find themselves in the midst of a battle that will change Settler’s Landing forever.

This big "hunger" (get it?!) for disaster in our reading must mean something. What do you think that is? Hirsch has jumped on the bandwagon and written a new version of the United States, self-destructing. I'm got my own views about that. I think I should write a book about it too; see what you all think about my version of disaster, American style. Well, until that day comes, we'll have to satisfy ourselves with the stories of others that have beaten me to the publishing punch! LOL...Until the next time, my lovelies....

The Eleventh Plague releases September 1, 2011 by Scholastic.


Sunday, March 27, 2011

In MY Mailbox...and beyond...I'm drowning in a Sea of Books!!

This is the first time I'm joining the official IMM meme started by Kristi at The Story Siren. I tell you. I have never had so many books come my way in such a short space of time, ever. I plan to read all of them...eventually. Not everything came in the mail though. There's a Borders not too far from my job that's closing and I was able to pick up some great books at an even better price. I had two gift cards worth $100.00. Some of you may recall that I got one of them when I won second place in a writer's contest last Spring. The other, I won from an author and fellow blogger. I'm glad I waited to use them. I certainly got more bang for the buck with the Borders closing, though I hate to make out like a bandit this way *sigh*.

I've been happily inundated with ARCs. Some are YA and some adult. I'm going to read the YA's first and then make my way through the adult least I'm going to try to. I may just have to give up and have some giveaways, but my loss will certainly be your gain. Stay tuned. I'll be giving away a few books in a two day giveaway starting April 1.
Adult books(except "between shades of gray"-YA)
Borders Stash!
And More Borders Stash!  
And even More Borders Stash. Can't go wrong with Libba Bray!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

And the Winner of Invincible: Chronicles of Nick is....

Thanks for dropping in girls! I'm surprised by how many of you haven't read a Sherrilyn Kenyon book. Looks like I'm in good company, having discovered her fairly recently, myself. Well to move on to why we're here...the winner of Invincible is...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My Selection for Waiting on Wednesday: Audition by Stasia Ward Kehoe

It's that time again! Time to find out what our fellow book lovers are looking forward to digging into. Waiting on Wednesday is a meme started by Jill at Breaking the Spine. I'm still on a contemporary YA trend and I've just discovered what looks like an intriguing little tale just a couple of days ago. Check out what it says about Audition...

Once you've been chosen,
what step should you take?
Seventeen-year-old Sara's dream of becoming a star ballerina is challenged when she falls for Remington, an older choreographer.  Instead of success onstage, she becomes Rem's muse, which is a future she never considered--and one that threatens to break her heart.

Hmm...Just how old is he? Sounds like he's trying to keep her in a box all for himself--a dance career be damned! The cover caught my attention right away. I was like, "Hey. What's this about?!" Looks like a lot of drama to least I hope so! Lol...I've never heard of this author before, have you? Who's gonna join me in digging into this one? But we'll have a bit of a wait I'm afraid *sigh*. It doesn't come out until the Fall. See you there!

Audition releases October 13, 2011.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Release Day! Book Review and Giveaway: Invincible: Chronicles of Nick by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Book Two

Invincible is the second installment in Kenyon’s first foray into the young adult market. It follows the first book in the series, Infinity. This series follows Nick Gautier, a fourteen year-old boy. Kenyon has written this saga with a focus on one of her adult characters as he was as a youngster. It shows how he became the entity that he is in her adult books.
In the first book, Nick found himself the target of a number of supernatural creatures, zombies being foremost among them. This time, the story isn’t zombie intensive, but unnatural creatures like shapeshifters and demons still have Nick in their sights. He harbors a dark all-encompassing power, a power that will define him as an adult, but while he is still young and immature, powerful forces are anxious to capture him and suck up that dark energy for themselves.
Invincible takes up directly where Infinity left off, on the same day as a matter of fact. As Nick tries to understand and grasp the intentions of the supernatural guardians now placed in his life, he still has to negotiate school and a single, often overprotective mom. Let’s not leave out the new principal who thinks he’s a low-down hoodlum and the coach who threatens to have him put behind bars if he doesn’t go along with his unsavory plans.
Once again, Kenyon has done a great job of capturing the voice of a teen boy. Nick’s inner monologue and dialogue exemplify a well fleshed out character with a distinctive point of view. There were a number of laugh-out-loud moments as this teenager confronts all manner of supernatural episodes as only a teen boy could— a truckload of attitude and a take-no-prisoners bravado.

She weaved in enough pertinent information and backstory from book one to give the reader a good sense of the trajectory of the story, but without impeding the tale’s forward momentum with needless detail.
Kenyon utilizes a forthright style that is brash and to the point. You won’t find any flowery writing here. Her characters don’t hold back or indulge in self-analysis. They’re not angst-ridden, but are often blunt, handling their problems by taking immediate action—very likely of the physical kind, as in a good and vigorous fight.
As in the first installment, Invincible ends on an eye-opening note that leaves the reader with a big clue and scrambling to understand what it means. That can only be solved by continuing on with book number three, which if the first two books are an indication, will be sure to please.
I'm giving away my ARC of the story. If you'd like the chance to receive it, tell me if you've read any other Kenyon book and what it's called. Of course, if you haven't read any, that's fine too, just say so. Can't get easier than that. Please don't forget your email so I can contact you if you win. If you don't leave it, you'll disqualify yourself. I don't always have the time to hunt you down! Winner will be selected randomly. That is all.
Giveaway is open to residents of the US and Canada only and ends Friday, March 25th.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

And the Winner of a signed copy of LETTERS FROM HOME is....

First, let me thank the author for making this lovely giveaway possible. Thanks so much guys for stopping in and checking out LETTERS FROM HOME by Krisina McMorris! Kristina was so happy to share her words of wisdom with you all and really appreciated the great response. What surprised me most of all, was how few of you are writers! I thought I'd be hearing more about the next great novel you're trying to, more importantly, you're awesome readers and that's what every writer wants and needs. Thanks again for your comments. Let's get to the good part. The winner of  LETTERS FROM HOME is...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My Selection for Waiting on Wednesday: A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies

I'm happy to be a part of one of most fun and informative memes. Waiting on Wednesday, started by Jill at Breaking the Spine is the weekly event in which we share what books we're anxiously awaiting! This week, I'm back in the paranormal camp...tee hee hee...I can't wait to check out A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies. It's her first novel and it looks quite intriguing. Let's see what it's about...

Skye never questioned the story of her life. Her Aunt Jo adopted her after the death of her parents when she was just a child, and together they flip through memories the way some people flip through photo albums.
She never questioned if the stories were true. 

Until the night of her 17th birthday, when the arrival of two strangers intrudes on her cozy life. Polar opposites, like fire and ice, Asher is dark and wild, while Devin is fair, cold, and aloof. Skye has no idea what they want—only that their presence coincides with the beginning of some shockingly strange events. Events that Skye, if she dares to think it, might be responsible for causing. 

High up in the mountains of Boulder, Colorado, Skye finds herself caught in the middle of an ancient battle, one that began untold millennia ago. Torn between unpredictable Asher, whom she loves, and the infuriating Devin, who she can’t stay away from, her fate is murky as a starless night. And as the secrets of her true identity are revealed, Skye realizes that her destiny may reside in the Heavens—or somewhere darker.

The first thing that caught my eye was the gorgeous cover. It begs the question: what is this about?! The main character also shares the same name as the protagonist in the novel I'm working on: Skye. So, I have somewhat of a personal interest sounds deep and lush and amazing...If you all visit me enough, you know I'm a romance/love Beautiful Dark seems to fit the bill. I just love a deeply conflicted romance. Yum! I just wish I didn't have to wait so long for it to come out *sigh*.

What about you? Will you be joining me in digging into a romance that's dark and edgy?

A Beautiful Dark releases September 27, 2011

Monday, March 14, 2011

Guest Post and Signed Book Giveaway: Kristina McMorris, author of LETTERS FROM HOME.


I'm excited to introduce a most talented writer, Kristina McMorris. She's the author of the newly released novel,  Letters From Home. She's going to be talking with you today about the road to getting published and is graciously giving away a signed copy of her novel that released February 22, 2011 by Kensington. It's already getting five stars on Amazon! Let's check out what the book is about...

 In the midst of World War II, a Midwestern infantryman falls deeply in love through a yearlong letter exchange, unaware that the girl he's been writing to is not the one replying.

Chicago, 1944. Liz Stephens has little interest in attending a USO club dance with her friends Betty and Julia. She doesn't need a flirtation with a lonely serviceman when she's set to marry her childhood sweetheart. Yet something happens the moment Liz glimpses Morgan McClain.
They share only a brief conversation—cut short by the soldier's evident interest in Betty—but Liz can't forget him. Thus, when Betty asks her to ghostwrite a letter to Morgan, stationed overseas, Liz reluctantly agrees.

Thousands of miles away, Morgan struggles to adjust to the brutality of war. His letters from "Betty" are a comfort, their soul-baring correspondence a revelation to them both. While Liz is torn by her feelings for a man who doesn't know her true identity, Betty and Julia each become immersed in their own romantic entanglements. And as the war draws to a close, all three will face heart-wrenching choices, painful losses, and the bittersweet joy of new beginnings.

Beautifully rendered and deeply touching, LETTERS FROM HOME is a story of hope and connection, of sacrifices made in love and war—and the chance encounters that change us forever.

It's an intricate, romantic and dare I say, dramatic read. I'm not going to delay her any further. Here's Kristina in her own words, discussing her journey in finally getting that elusive book deal...

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Red Riding Hood...My thoughts...

I went to check out Red Riding Hood last night. It's directed by Catherine Hardwick, director of the first Twilight movie and I was curious about what she would do with this fairy tale-turned-cinematic-event. The book has been updated in a new form, called Red Riding Hood (eliminating the word "little") by 22-year-old Sarah Blakely-Cartwright. She's a family friend of Hardwick and Hardwick suggested she write a book to tie into the movie, thus Blakely-Cartwright wrote the book based on the screenplay. If that's not a case of "it's who you know", I don't know what is. We should all have that kind of a hookup!

The first thing I noticed was the Twilightesque feel of the opening and in the landscape. By this I mean the sweeping camera shots filmed high above a forest landscape and misty mountains. There was even a scene of "Red"( named Valerie in the film), with one of two love interests, laying in a meadow-like environment. I quite liked the scenery. I thought it was very pretty, and mystical; it was the ideal fairytale look.

Red kissing Henry. He's cuter than this picture
I'm sticking with calling the main character Red, though I know she's called Valerie in the movie.  Valerie just seems so wrong...I'm not sure why I feel like that, but I would have preferred a softer name, I don't know, maybe a Julie, Julia, Mary! Valerie just sounds too modern or something! Anyway, Red is torn between two boys, one a childhood friend, Henry, who's essentially penniless and the wealthy boy she's betrothed to, Henry. Both guys were sweet so it was a total toss-up as to who should get her to me, but I guess I was leaning toward the childhood buddy; after all, a guy shouldn't be excluded from love just because he's broke! Lol...It is here that I felt the movie missed it's moment.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

And the Winner of Suspect is...

Thanks guys for stopping in and entering. The winner of Suspect is...


Please email me with your address so I can get the book out to you. If the winner doesn't respond in 24 hours, another one will be selected.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

My Selection for Waiting on Wednesday: Invincible Summer by Hannah Moskowitz

Waiting on Wednesday is the weekly meme that alerts everyone to the books that are highly anticipated to be read. It was started by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. This week, I'm going for a contemporary, realistic YA story, Invincible Summer by Hannah Moskowitz. The description is pretty short, but it sounds intriguing...

Noah’s happier than I’ve seen him in months. So I’d be an awful brother to get in the way of that. It’s not like I have some relationship with Melinda. It was just a kiss. Am I going to ruin Noah’s happiness because of a kiss? 
Across four sun-kissed, drama-drenched summers at his family’s beach house, Chase is falling in love, falling in lust, and trying to keep his life from falling apart.  But some girls are addictive....

It sounds like it's written from the boy's point of view. I love stories told from the POV of the male protagonist; after all, what girl doesn't want to know what a guy is thinking?! And who can beat that cover that definitely says summertime! Bring. It. On.

Invincible Summer releases April 19, 2011 by Simon Pulse.


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Book Review and Giveaway: Suspect by Kristin Wolden Nitz

The title of this book says it all. Suspect is a young adult novel that is full of mystery, suspense and a very unique romance. Ellen, the mother of a young child has gone missing and that young child is now seventeen-year-old Jen.  Thank goodness for the letters and gifts her mother sent her through the years after abandoning the family. It’s the only maternal link she has. But when those letters stop coming, Jen grows used to their absence and settles down into life with her father. That is until her grandmother gets the bright idea that those letters never came from Ellen in the first place. They were a ruse by the person who knows exactly what happened to her—her murderer.
Grandma Kay owns the Shoenhaus, a Victorian Bed and Breakfast. She always holds an annual Mystery Weekend and this year, she’s going to take full advantage of it by inviting all those who are likely suspects in Ellen’s disappearance or have a high probability of remembering a significant piece of information. If she can concoct just the right scenario, someone may remember a clue that leads right to the killer.
Jen’s life has reached a stage of normal—somewhat. She doesn’t want to believe she has romantic feelings for a cousin—who’s not a blood relative, but still!  She’s trying to talk herself out of that. Now, Grandma Kay wants her to believe her mother didn’t just run off, but was murdered? It’s going to be harder still if such a killer—if he or she even exists—has been in their midst all along and beloved by one and all.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

My Selection for Waiting on Wednesday: We'll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han

Book Three
Waiting on Wednesday is the go-to meme to learn all about what's new, good and anticipated to read! It was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine. This week, I'm trending a tad differently. It's YA, but not paranormal; I'm going contemporary and realistic today. Check out the blurb on the book. It doesn't get more real than this...

Belly has only ever been in love with two boys, both with the last name Fisher. And after being with Jeremiah for the last two years, she's almost positive he is her soul mate. Almost. Conrad has not gotten over the mistake he made when he let Belly go even as Jeremiah has always known that Belly is the girl for him. So when Belly and Jeremiah decide to make things forever, Conrad realizes that it's now or never--tell Belly he loves her, or lose her for good.

Belly will have to confront her feelings for Jeremiah and Conrad and face a truth she has possibly always known: she will have to break one of their hearts.

The Summer I Turned Pretty: Book One
I just learned this is the third book in the Summer I turned Pretty series. I didn't even know this was a series! I haven't read the first book, but We'll Always Have Summer sounds like it's a stand alone novel. It may be a good idea to start with the first one, so I can be introduced to the characters and be pulled into their world as they grow and change; get pulled into some absorbing'm such a "love" junkie! It's terrible...ha ha ha...Even in the book I'm writing, a great deal of the focus is on the intensity of feelings, the new sensations, the wonder of that first heartbeat toward! I've digressed...hee hee hee...anyhoo, I think I'll be checking this one out. Has anyone else read the first two books in the series? Anyone know the name of the second book?

We'll Always Have Summer releases April 26, 2011.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Release Day! Betrayal: A Haunting Emma Novel by Lee Nichols

Book Two
Title: Betrayal: A Haunting Emma Novel (book 2)
Author: Lee Nichols
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books
Format: ARC
Pages: 288
Release Date: March 1, 2011

I've been waiting for this second book in the Haunting Emma series. Deception ended on a mysterious cliff hanger and I couldn't wait to see where it was going. Take a peek at the book blurb of Betrayal...

Emma Vaile is the most powerful ghostkeeper in centuries. Which is great when she's battling the wraith-master Neos, but terrible when she's flirting with fellow ghostkeeper (and soul mate) Bennett. When ghostkeepers fall in love, the weaker one loses all power, and that's not something Bennett can handle. Heartbroken and alone, Emma tries to lose herself in school with fellow ghostkeeper, Natalie. When a new team of ghostkeepers arrive - one a snarky teen boy, the other a British scholar - Emma finds solace in training for the battle against Neos. But as the team grows stronger, they are threatened by an unknown force. One they thought was good.

Book One
This is a fairly short book, but it's not short on action! There's plenty of it as Emma and her crew go on the offensive against vicious ghost-like creatures. I always thought of ghosts as lacking substance, but the ones in this story have some serious bite. They are out for the kill and one hottie has already lost his life. Betrayal is a page-turner. It's full of suspense and I was anxious to get to the bottom of what was going on. If I have any complaint, it's that this book had less romance. I've learned I'm a romance junkie! LOl...I definitely wanted to see more of the goings-on between Emma and her love interest, Bennett. They are a bit on the outs in Book 2--and for good reason, as you'll learn, but Happily, it looks like their romance will be heating up again and I'm looking forward to it. On to book 3...!

Betrayal releases today, March 1, 2011!