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September 29, 2009

Contest!

 Cindy at Princess Bookie wants to get rid of a bunch of her books! So she is having an awesome giveaway! Go enter!


Interview with Tera Lynn Childs



 Today I have an interview with Tera Lynn Childs!


Tera Lynn Childs is a wannabe goddess and the author of OH. MY. GODS. and GODDESS BOOT CAMP. Tera lives in Houston, Texas, where she spends her time fleeing hurricanes, making character profiles on MySpace (stop her before she makes one for Adara—oops, too late), blogging with the Buzz Girls, and writing wherever she can find a comfy chair and a steady stream of caffeinated beverages.

Where do you get your inspiration?


Anywhere. Everywhere. The idea for Oh. My. Gods. came from the working title, Growing Up Godly, which came from the reality TV show Growing Up Gotti (about the mob boss John Gotti's daughter and grandsons). The idea for Forgive My Fins came from ... I'm not sure where. I was spending the summer in Florida, a lot of time at the beach, and it just came to me one day. I don't question where my ideas come from because I'm just glad they keep coming!
 
What kind of research did you do for Oh. My. Gods and Goddess Boot camp?

I did a lot of research on Greek islands (I've never been) and Greek mythology (a lifelong passion). I had to learn a lot about distance running (not a lifelong passion) and travel from California to Greece and cross-country running slogans and Greek baby names and surnames. For Goddess Boot Camp in particular I research a lot of Latin words and Latin roots to come up with the names for the twelve dynamotheos powers.

Usually, when I'm just starting  project I do a lot of "immersion" research, trying to get myself firmly planted in the world of the story. Then, once I start writing, I do research as it comes up, to fill in the gaps.
 
Do you use an outline?

I didn't for Oh. My. Gods. or Goddess Boot Camp, but for Forgive My Fins my editor really needed an outline for the acquisitions process. And, despite the fact that I hate outlining, it made the writing and revising process go much easier. So, when it came time to start on the sequel to Forgive My Fins, I wrote up an outline for my editor, even though it wasn't necessary.

For now, anyway, the structure that seems to work best for my outlining is Michael Hauge's six-step plot structure. It might always work for me, but it's what I'm using to brainstorm my outlines right now.
 
When did you seriously decide to become an author?

About six years ago, I think. I was never supposed to be a writer. I was going to be an architect or a lawyer or teacher or a veterinarian. But once I started I never looked back. It took me about three years after I started to sell my first book.
 
How long does it usually take you to write a book?

However far away my deadline is. If I am being very disciplined and writing every day (like a good writer should, I know) I can knock out a first draft in about six to eight weeks. My personal polishing and then my revision process with my editor will take several more weeks, at least, although that will be spread out over a few months.
 
Were you a big reader or writer when you were growing up?

At the time I didn't think so, because I didn't like to read the books that "counted", the ones we were supposed to read in school. But, looking back, I really was. In elementary school I devoured the Baby Sitter's Club and Sweet Valley High series. In high school, I was very into thrillers by Michael Crichton.
 
What do you do when you have writer's block?

I don't believe in writer's block. If I "can't write" it's usually for one of two reasons: 1) I'm being a slacker and have convinced myself that "I'm not in the mood to write" so I indulge in some retail therapy at Target, or 2) I haven't quite figured out everything about the story that I need to know to continue, which will require a brainstorming session or two to move past. (Sadly, it's more often reason number 1.)
 
What motivates you to go and finish a book? Is it the characters, the plot, ect?

Well, this is kind of two different questions. What motivates me to sit down and finish a book (actually put words on a page until I read the end) is my deadline. I live for deadlines and pressure and last minute dashes to the finish.

What motivates my story to get from page one to the end is definitely character. I write by taking a premise, figuring out who (what character) I would put in this situation, and then I throw them into the void. The story develops as I see how that character reacts to the situation, what kind of problems they would encounter, and how they interact with other characters in that world. That's where my story comes from.
 
If you could travel anywhere from a book that is not your own where would it be?

Egads, that's a tough one. Maybe Narnia. I've always loved the idea of a secret, magical land with beautiful, mythical creatures (not to mention really yummy young kings and princes). Or Hogwarts. How much fun would it be to wander those gorgeous, twisting halls? Especially if you had a guide who knew all the ins and outs because, really, otherwise it might be very dangerous. Of course I'd always jump at the chance to visit the Regency England world of Pride and Prejudice (my all time favorite book). Ah, really, there are too many to choose from, but those are my top choices.
 
What is something we should know about Oh. My. Gods and Goddess Boot Camp?

Something you should know.... You mean besides, "You should totally read these books!"? How about the fact that things in the final books turned out wayyy different than I expected when I started them. Like how Phoebe was supposed to end up with a different guy. Or how the BIG MASSIVE TWIST at the end of Oh. My. Gods. was not even supposed to happen. Or how, in Goddess Boot Camp, I did not even suspect the identity of the person who was sending Phoebe anonymous notes until the very moment she turned around and saw them in the courtyard.

This is why I think it's pretty funny when some reviews say my books were predictable... because I totally did not predict them. So many of the fun twists in my stories come up as I'm writing, as I get into that moment where something suddenly becomes obvious. That's part of the adventure of writing a book.
 

Thanks!


Be sure to check out Tera's Website for more information about these books and others that are coming soon!

September 28, 2009

Princess of the Midnight Ball By Jessica Day George


A tale of twelve princesses doomed to dance until dawn… Galen is a young soldier returning from war; Rose is one of twelve princesses condemned to dance each night for the King Under Stone. Together Galen and Rose will search for a way to break the curse that forces the princesses to dance at the midnight balls. All they need is one invisibility cloak, a black wool chain knit with enchanted silver needles, and that most critical ingredient of all—true love—to conquer their foes in the dark halls below. But malevolent forces are working against them above ground as well, and as cruel as the King Under Stone has seemed, his wrath is mere irritation compared to the evil that awaits Galen and Rose in the brighter world above.

I absolutely adore fairy tale retelling! I am really excited that so many of them are coming out. This a retelling of the 12 dancing princesses.


I really enjoyed this book it was a good retelling and did not change it that much from the original story but I really enjoyed it more than other retellings of this same story. This version has many elaborate descriptions and attention to detail. Another thing is the fact that each character has a personality which can be hard to portray in a story with so many characters. While some of the middle girls mixed together they each were their own person with their own ideas.

I enjoyed this book, while parts of it were slow it was overall a really enjoyable read.


4/5

 
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September 27, 2009

IMM 4

In my mailbox was started by The Story Siren and is a list of what you received in books over the past week either through the mail, library, or a bookstore.


For Review
Lockdown: Escape from Furnace by Alexander Gordon Smith
Milestones by Samira Armin Hodges
Dreamhunter by Elizabeth Knox
Shadow Government by Grant R. Jeffery
Widom Hunter By Randall Arthur

Won
The Poisoned Crown by Amanda Hemingway
From  Young Adult books Central

From Library
Top 10 uses for an unworn prom dress by Tina Ferraro
Sovay by Celia Rees
Ivy by Julie Hearn

I had a good week!
What did you get this week?

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September 24, 2009

Fade by Lisa McMann


SOME NIGHTMARES NEVER END.
For Janie and Cabel, real life is getting tougher than the dreams. They're just trying to carve out a little (secret) time together, but no such luck.
Disturbing things are happening at Fieldridge High, yet nobody's talking. When Janie taps into a classmate's violent nightmares, the case finally breaks open -- but nothing goes as planned. Not even close. Janie's in way over her head, and Cabe's shocking behavior has grave consequences for them both.
Worse yet, Janie learns the truth about herself and her ability -- and it's bleak. Seriously, brutally bleak. Not only is her fate as a dream catcher sealed, but what's to come is way darker than she'd feared....



Ok first of I really enjoy this series. It is different and the characters are well written and seem so real. 
This book was more disturbing than the other book because it dealt with things more prevalent in society. 

One of the good things about this series is the fact that Janie's "talent"  is not easy on her, a fact that is really prevalent in this book. This book is so complex and thrilling it is written in a way that makes you feel for Janie and love Cabel. Another good thing the fact that it dealt with something that is a huge deal in the world and for me at least it was nice to see that illustrated in Young Adult literature because that is who it mostly affects.

Again this book was short but I don't see how it could have been any longer.

4.5/5
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September 22, 2009

Interview with Samira Hodges; Milestone book tour

Today I have an interview with debut author Samira Hodges. Her book Milestones came out on August 1st so go check it out.
Where do you get your inspiration?

A lot of it comes from my super active imagination but I do get some of it from real life. I’ve had a lot of really neat experiences from traveling, to going to medical school in the  Caribbean , to being a doctor for the first time. I’ve met tons of cool and interesting people and I do occasionally get inspired by them. Occasionally, I will read a great book or see a fantastic movie and it becomes the motivation I need to set up my laptop and write for 5 hours without a break. But mostly (mostly), I would say I come up with ideas and stories just like that.

2-     What kind of research did you do for your book?

Actually not much. Milestones is a made-up world so I was able to be the master of the story. You may also notice that I don’t divulge the location of the camp and this is because it’s may be a real location that I deliberately chose not to name. You may also note a few medical-type references and since I’m a doctor, I didn’t need to do any research there either. For the most part, I write what I know.

3-     Do you use an outline when you write?

I do! I have an outline for books 1 to 3 of Milestones. It’s a very rough outline but it helps keep me focused and helps me stay on track with the sequence of events. I usually think up the entire story in one shot, write it down in point form and then start writing out the story, chapter by chapter. Occasionally, things will change and the story will take a different route. But that’s part of being an author. We evolve and our work evolves with us. Plus, we’re often unsatisfied with the first draft (and the second draft and the third draft…..)

4-     How long does it usually take you to write a book?

That’s a tough question because I’ve only written one book and am in the process of writing my second. My first book took one summer to write (but I was in school and had the summer off so that may have been an exception). Then I spent a year tweaking it. Milestones Two is already taking longer than that but mainly because I work 80 hours a week now so free time is a luxury…. and a rarity!

5-     Where you a big reader or write when you were growing up?

Definitely both. Probably more the latter than the former but honestly, I don’t think you can be one without the other.

6-     What do you do when you have writer’s block?

Find a way to get inspired. I read one of my favorite books or read someone’s inspirational biography or sometimes even watch a very moving movie. Sometimes, it’s best to step away, take a breath, do something different and come back to it when you feel ready.

7-     What motivates you to go and finish a book?

The story. I really want to tell the Milestones story. I feel as though it’s a story people may appreciate and it’s truly a story worth telling. Now that people have read the first one, I am even more motivated to finish the trilogy so that my readers can see how the story ends up.

8-     If you could travel anywhere from a book that is not yours, where would it be?

Can I be totally cliché here and say Hogwarts? The Harry Potter series is so unique and imaginative, I can’t say that I wouldn’t love to be part of the world JK Rowling has created. Although, Anne Brashares made me really want to visit  Greece too.

Check out the rest of the book tour stops to find out more! 
9/13: theundercoverbooklover.blogspot.com
9/14: wantmyya.blogspot.com
9/18: flipthepagebookreview.blogspot.com
9/20: addicted-to-literature.blogspot.com
9/21: booksobsession.blogspot.com
9/22: mariah-readingadventure.blogspot.com
9/25: readingrocks4me.blogspot.com
9/27: darlingreviews.blogspot.com


Be sure to check out her blog!
http://sahodges.blogspot.com/


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September 20, 2009

IMM 3

IMM is brought to us by Kristi of The Story Siren.I did not get a lot this week but what I got I am really excited about!

Library
Dull Boy by Sarah Cross
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Something Maybe by Elizabeth Scott
Geektastic by Various authors

Won
Surf Mules Audio book from Heidi Kling's blog

Swag
An awesome Hollow shirt from Jessica Verday!
Bookmarks from Michelle Moran

What did you get?

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September 18, 2009

Silver Phoenix: Beyond the Kingdom of Xia by Cindy Pon

No one wanted Ai Ling. And deep down she is relieved—despite the dishonor she has brought upon her family—to be unbetrothed and free, not some stranger's subservient bride banished to the inner quarters.
But now, something is after her. Something terrifying—a force she cannot comprehend. And as pieces of the puzzle start to fit together, Ai Ling begins to understand that her journey to the Palace of Fragrant Dreams isn't only a quest to find her beloved father but a venture with stakes larger than she could have imagined.
Bravery, intelligence, the will to fight and fight hard . . . she will need all of these things. Just as she will need the new and mysterious power growing within her. She will also need help.
It is Chen Yong who finds her partly submerged and barely breathing at the edge of a deep lake. There is something of unspeakable evil trying to drag her under. On a quest of his own, Chen Yong offers that help . . . and perhaps more.

First of all just look at the cover, it is beautiful! 

This book was very interesting, the story line was really different because the main character did not know that she was destined for greatness until the middle of the book which was refreshing from the normal 5 pages into the book the main character finds out that they are wonderful or whatever. 

Let me just say that I love books with strong female main characters! I am so glad that so many of them are coming out. This book definitely falls into that category. Ai Ling is so strong and believable because she admits that she has flaws and doubts herself like anyone would. Also Chen Yong is a great friend for her, he is a great part of this book because he helps her and she helps him in return. 

I really enjoyed all of the cultural parts of the book. The creatures were very interesting and vivid. I could not put this book down after I picked it up. It was fast paced and was a never ending ride. The only problem I had was that I wished I knew more about Silver Phoenix because she plays such a big part but I wished I knew more about that side of Ai Ling.

4.5/5

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September 17, 2009

Maximum Ride Promotion Winners!

Thanks to everyone who entered the Maximum Ride Promotion! Unfortunately I could only pick two winners.

Congratulations to #7 Kristen from Bookworming in the 21st Century and #78 sharon54220
I have emailed both of you. Please respond within 48 hrs or I will have to pick a new winner
If you did not win don't worry I will be having another contest when I reach 100 followers
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September 16, 2009

Cathy's Key by Sean Stewart and Jordan Weisman

Cathy was your average high school student--doodling in the margins of her journal, crushing on a cute boy, and hanging out with her best friend Emma.
As this story begins, she's trying to keep a job, her journal is stolen, the cute boy is not who he seems to be, and even Emma's side project/start-up company, Doubletalk Wireless, is about to get caught up in the mystery surrounding Cathy and her search for the truth about her father.
Her presumed-dead father.
It's just a simple story really: Girl loves Boy, Boy disappears, Girl discovers secret that will alter the course of humanity....


This book was a good sequel to Cathy's Book, it answered some unanswered questions from the first book plus added a few more that will hopefully be answered in the next book. 

In my review of Cathy's Book I mentioned that there were 2 color drawings in the margins of the book and some people did not understand so I will clarify. On the margins of the book there are illustrations that go with the story in blue ink which use the white of the paper creatively. So I hope that is more clear now.

Moving on to the story, it was well drawn out and and characters were somewhat developed, but not as much as I would have liked. Again having the evidence was really nice. One of the main things I had a problem with was the fact that the author would allude to things and then never explain them. But maybe they will be answered in the next book. Overall an ok book.

3/5
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September 15, 2009

Author Interview with Erin Dionne

Today I have an interview with the lovely Erin Dionne whose Young Adult Debut book Model's Don't Eat Chocolate Cookies came out February 5th 2009.

Where did you get for inspiration for Models don‘t eat chocolate cookies?
MODELS started as a short story about Celeste, Lively, and Sandra. For me, stories always start with a character, and a picture of Celeste actually popped into my head when I was driving home from work one night! I started writing about this girl, and the story grew from there. I had no idea it would turn into a book or be about beauty pageants!

What kind of research did you do for Models don‘t eat chocolate cookies?
I used my imagination for a lot of the book (especially the HuskyPeach scenes), but some of the experiences that Celeste has in the story were ones I had in real life--like throwing up on my gym teacher's shoes, or wearing that peach bridesmaid dress in my cousin's wedding.

How long did it take you to write?
The first draft of the book took me about six weeks! But that's rare for me. Usually, it takes me a lot longer to write a book! After I got the draft down, I revised it for TWO YEARS! MODELS went through 13 revisions before it was finally published!

When did you decide to become a writer?
I've wanted to be a writer ever since I was six years old. I just loved to read books (still do), and writing them seemed like the best job ever.

What makes you get up and start writing even when you really do not want to? (characters, plot, wanting to know what is going to happen, ect.)
Hmmm. Deadlines definitely keep me going. As does what's going on in the story. Usually, when I'm really involved in a book, all I want to do is write it! It's when I'm doing a draft, and working out the hard parts of the plot, that I don't want to write. So I do some brainstorming and write in a notebook and try and figure out the problem that way.

Do you use an outline when you start a book or do you just start writing?
I'm a terrible outliner. Typically, I come up with a character, then just start writing. I figure out the plot as I go. And I NEVER have an idea as to how the book will end when I begin. Sometimes I don't even know when I'm halfway through a book! That's why first drafts are usually so hard for me.

If you could travel anywhere from a book that is not your own where would it be?
I think I'd like to visit the world in Lois Lowry's THE GIVER. It's kind of freaky and would be very interesting to see.

Anything else we should know about Models don‘t eat chocolate cookies?
My friend, Dann Russo, wrote and recorded the songs that Theo Christmas (a rock star in MODELS) sings in the book! You can download them for free from my web site: www.erindionne.com.

Thanks Erin!


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September 14, 2009

A Curse as Dark as Gold


 
"If you'll allow me to demonstrate, I do think I could be of some help to you here."
I smiled tightly. "You'd have to be able to make gold appear from thin air to be much help to us now, I'm afraid."
"Gold, you say?" he said quietly. "Well, not out of the air, maybe, but--" He reached toward Rosie and drew a length of straw free from her hat. From out of a pocket in his jacket appeared an old-fashioned handheld drop spindle, the kind no one uses anymore, and he sent it spinning with a turn of his hand. Slowly, as we watched, he drew out the straw and spun it--spun it! 
As if it were a roving of wool! Rosie and I stood there and watched him, moment by moment, as the spindle bobbed and twirled. Something pulled out from the brown straw and through his knobby fingers, and where it should have gone onto the spindle, the finest strands of gleaming gold threads appeared. Round and round the spindle went, and the gleaming of gold turned with it. I don't know how long we watched it, turning and turning, flashing gold with every revolution. I could not take my eyes away.


 This book was very good, I like Fairy Tale retellings. This book debuted last year and won the debut award! So I had some high expectations that were definitely met!   

There are not very many retellings of Rumpelstiltskin so I was excited to read this, the characters were well developed and the story was told well. I enjoyed the twists in the Rumpelstiltskin story as well they added intrigue and interest. The book also focused on the girl who was being tricked more than anything else which was a great turn from the traditional story. 

I really did not find anything wrong with this book it was well written and very interesting, the only small problem was that small parts of the book were boring but those were greatly overshadowed by the good points!

5/5 

Fire Blog Tour

Hi so if you have read my blog for a while now you know that I love the book Graceling by Kristin Cashore and so in turn I am so excited for her next book which is a companion to Graceling, Fire which comes out October 5th!!! Kristin is having a blog tour for the next 3 weeks, the blogs she will be visiting and the days are at the end of this post. At each stop she will be telling some information about a character from Fire as well as giving away a copy of her book so be sure to check out the blogs! 


1. Monday, 9/14 - The Compulsive Reader
2. Tuesday, 9/15 - Pop Culture Junkie
3. Wednesday, 9/16 - Lauren's Crammed Bookshelf
4. Thursday, 9/17 - The Page Flipper
5. Friday, 9/18 - Reading Keeps You Sane

6. Monday, 9/21 - Presenting Lenore
7. Tuesday, 9/22 - In Bed With Books
8. Wednesday, 9/23 - Hope's Bookshelf
9. Thursday, 9/24 - Shaken & Stirred
10. Friday, 9/25 - The Frenetic Reader

11. Monday, 9/28 - SciFiGuy.ca
12. Tuesday, 9/29 - The Book Smugglers
13. Wednesday, 9/30 - Fantasy Book Critic
14. Thursday, 10/1 - Melissa's Bookshelf
15. Friday, 10/2 - The Story Siren
Ok, while you are waiting I have a little preview of the book which I got from The Compulsive Reader's blog which has the prologue and the first chapter.
Also if you have a blog make sure to pick up this snazzy Fire widget!

Enjoy and make sure to check out the blog tour every weekday!



Fire by Kristin Cashore

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September 13, 2009

Wake by Lisa Mcmann


Not all dreams are sweet.
For seventeen-year-old Janie, getting sucked into other people's dreams is getting old. Especially the falling dreams, the naked-but-nobody-notices dreams, and the sex-crazed dreams. Janie's seen enough fantasy booty to last her a lifetime.
She can't tell anybody about what she does -- they'd never believe her, or worse, they'd think she's a freak. So Janie lives on the fringe, cursed with an ability she doesn't want and can't control.
Then she falls into a gruesome nightmare, one that chills her to the bone. For the first time, Janie is more than a witness to someone else's twisted psyche. She is a participant.... 


I had heard many different things about this book, but I really liked it! 

The plot is very different than anything I had ever read before which was nice. The characters were well developed and Cabel sounds so sweet and I want to get to know him better! Janie is suprisingly not very whiny even though she had a valid reason to which I was thankful for. 

One of the main problems I had with this book was the fact that it was really short. I think that it was much, much too short, it could have been twice as long as it was. Overall it was a pretty good book!

4/5
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September 10, 2009

Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin

Is it possible to grow up while getting younger?
Welcome to Elsewhere. It is warm, with a breeze, and the beaches are marvelous. It’s quiet and peaceful. You can’t get sick or any older. Curious to see new paintings by Picasso? Swing by one of Elsewhere’s museums. Need to talk to someone about your problems? Stop by Marilyn Monroe’s psychiatric practice.  
Elsewhere is where fifteen-year-old Liz Hall ends up, after she has died. It is a place so like Earth, yet completely different. Here Liz will age backward from the day of her death until she becomes a baby again and returns to Earth. But Liz wants to turn sixteen, not fourteen again. She wants to get her driver’s license. She wants to graduate from high school and go to college. And now that she’s dead, Liz is being forced to live a life she doesn’t want with a grandmother she has only just met. And it is not going well. How can Liz let go of the only life she has ever known and embrace a new one? Is it possible that a life lived in reverse is no different from a life lived forward?
I had never heard of this book previously to reading it and I think it is a shame. While this book might not sit well with some people, most people regardless of their religious beliefs will be able to let go of that and think of this book as a book not as religious doctrine to be criticized for that reason.
Besides that the book is good, it is very different than any book I have read before. The story line flows together well and really doesn't become boring at any point. The characters are well developed and very lovable.  I wanted her grandma to be mine she was so sweet and understanding!
One of the problems I had with this book was that the main character whined for over half the book. I was like "ok you're dead get over it there is nothing you can do about it move on" eventually though she does and after that it becomes a story of love, acceptance, and making the best of every situation. Overall a good book.
4/5
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September 9, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday

Lily Sanderson has a secret, and it’s not that she has a huge crush on gorgeous swimming god Brody Bennett, who makes her heart beat flipper-fast. Unrequited love is hard enough when you’re a normal teenage girl, but when you’re half human, half mermaid like Lily, there’s no such thing as a simple crush.
Lily’s mermaid identity is a secret that can’t get out, since she’s not just any mermaid – she’s a Thalassinian princess. When Lily found out three years ago that her mother was actually a human, she finally realized why she didn’t feel quite at home in Thalassinia, and she’s been living on land and going to Seaview high school ever since, hoping to find where she truly belongs. Sure, land has its problems – like her obnoxious, biker boy neighbor Quince Fletcher – but it has that one major perk – Brody. The problem is, mermaids aren’t really the casual dating type – when they “bond,” it’s for life.
When Lily’s attempt to win Brody’s love leads to a tsunami-sized case of mistaken identity, she is in for a tidal wave of relationship drama, and she finds out, quick as a tailfin flick, that happily-ever-after never sails quite as smoothly as you planned.

I cannot wait!! Comes out in June 2010!!!!!! (Katherine Tegen Books)

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Cathy's Book by Sean Stewart and Jordan Weisman

Things weren’t so peachy in Cathy’s life before Victor broke up with her. Her father died unexpectedly, she’s failing school, and her best friend is mad at her. But when Cathy decides to investigate Victor’s reasons for ending their relationship, things suddenly go from bad to very, very, very bad as her findings produce more questions than answers. For instance, what does the death of Victor’s co-worker, the strange mark that appeared on Cathy’s arm, and the surreal behavior of several Chinese elders have to do with it?
Through Cathy’s unique and irresistible voice—and lots of proof in the form of letters, photographs, date book entries, telephone numbers readers can call, websites they can access, as well as secrets only a careful reader will be able to decipher—readers will enter a strange and fascinating world where things often aren’t how they appear. 
So first how can a book be bad if it is interactive? In the Cathy's book series each book comes with all of the evidance that Cathy finds in the book! Really fun.
This is a very interesting series because it combines many things that have not previously been combined, but in reality make sense, never aging and Chinese culture for example. Also the interactive part is really fun, and the pages are covered with 2 color pictures that tie into the book, the pictures make sense because Cathy is an artist so she would definately be doodling.
The characters are ok some are kind of sketchy as in they are not really beleveable but that may be the point. But the main character is fun if a little absent minded in my opinon. 
One of the things that I did not like about this book was the fact that things fell into place a little too easily but besides that it was great.
4/5 
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September 8, 2009

Interview with Jennifer Jabaley







Today I have an interview with the author of Lipstick Apology Jennifer Jabaley!
 
Where did you get for inspiration for Lipstick Apology?
Here's the true story how I dreamed up the idea for LIPSTICK APOLOGY: My sister and I are very close. Several years ago she had two children and I had none. She was about to go on her very first vacation without the kids and she was freaking out a little bit. The night before her flight she called me about ten times, each time telling me random information "in case the flight goes down". Yes, she is a bit dramatic like I tend to be. Information about our wills is here...The key to the safety box is here...If you have to sell the house call this person...When the phone rang for the six or seventh time I turned to my husband and said, Can you imagine, the flight would be going down and she would whip out her lipstick and start outlining the kid's schedule and bedtimes on a tray table. My husband laughed and said that would be a great idea for a book. So I grabbed a post it note and scribbled "note on a tray table". I stashed that post-it note in my drawer and didn't see it again until almost a year later when I was packing to move. And that post it note became the inspiration for my story

What kind of research did you do for Lipstick Apology?
Most of my research was related to setting. In my original manuscript I set Aunt Jolie's apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.  But because of the popularity of Gossip Girl and their Upper East Side setting, my editor and I decided to switch the location to the West Village. Unfortunately I didn't know that much about the area so I had to do quite a bit of investigation!

How long did it take you to write?
To complete my first manuscript it took about one year.  After the novel was aquired by Razorbill we spent about four months doing revisions.

When did you decide to become a writer?
Gosh, I really don't think I even realized I was a writer until I got the call that Razorbill wanted to buy my book! Since I'm a mother to two small children and they require most of my time and energy and patience, I always title myself first as a Mom.  Also, all my education has been for my optometry career so naturally I tend to think, I'm also an optometrist.  But writing? That's something I do more for me - to tell a story, to get my words down - I don't think it really hit me that this could also be a title or a career. But, wow, now that my book is out on the shelves, it's so exciting that the reality is there.

What makes you get up and start writing even when you really do not want to? (characters, plot, wanting to know what is going to happen, ect.)
Self motivation, I guess.  And you're right, somedays it is really hard.  Sometimes all I want to do is curl up on the couch and watch T.V. But there's a little whisper inside me that says 'no one else is going to write your stories' and that pushes me.  You do have to have an idea or character that really ignites the fire in you or else I do believe there are too many distractions to compete.

Do you use an outline when you start a book or do you just start writing?
I outline extensively.  I'm definitely not the fly by the seat of your pants kind of girl - in any aspect of my life :)

If you could travel anywhere from a book that is not your own where would it be?
Hmmm, that's a tough one.  Most of the books that I'm drawn to are contemporary fiction and the settings tend to be just average towns or cities in the U.S.  One setting that I do remember having a huge impact on me as a child was the garden from the book The Secret Garden.  Reading that as a child I remember imagining a vivid place of serenity and intrigue. I would love to check it out.

Anything else we should know about Lipstick Apology?
I think the number one thing I want people to know about Lipstick Apology is that although there is a serious theme of forgiveness and death of parents, the overall tone of the book is lighthearted and fun.  Lipstick Apology has both humor and heart.
 
Thank you so much!!
 
Visit Jennifer's website to find out more! 

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September 7, 2009

Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev


All her world’s a stage.
Bertie Shakespeare Smith is not an actress, yet she lives in a theater.
She’s not an orphan, but she has no parents.
She knows every part, but she has no lines of her own.
That is, until now.
Enter Stage Right
NATE. Dashing pirate. Will do anything to protect Bertie.
COBWEB, MOTH, MUSTARD SEED, and PEASEBLOSSOM. Four tiny and incredibly annoying fairies. BERTIE’S sidekicks.
ARIEL. Seductive air spirit and Bertie’s weakness. The symbol of impending doom.
BERTIE. Our heroine.
Welcome to the Théâtre Illuminata, where the actors of every play ever written can be found behind the curtain. They were born to play their parts, and are bound to the Théâtre by The Book—an ancient and magical tome of scripts. Bertie is not one of them, but they are her family—and she is about to lose them all and the only home she has ever known.
I was so excited to read this book! Because I love the theater and I love books so this was the perfect mix. Lisa did not disappoint!

The plot was very interesting and different combined with the funny dialog with different plot twists made this book a great anytime read.

The characters even though most were from other plays had different and interesting personalities and senses of humor. Bertie was a great heroine because she really wanted to stay and she was also very innocent.

I really enjoyed this book and I think that even though the book seems like mostly a girl book some guys would like it as well! I cannot wait for the rest of the books in this trilogy!

5/5

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Max By James Patterson


Maximum Ride and the other members of the flock have barely recovered from their last Arctic adventure, when they are confronted by the most frightening catastrophe yet. Millions of fish are dying off the coast of Hawaii and someone--or something--is destroying hundreds of ships. Unable to discover the cause, the government enlists the flock to help them get to the bottom of the disaster before it is too late. While Max and her team are exploring the depths of the ocean, their every move is being carefully tracked by Mr. Chu--a criminal mastermind with his own plans for the flock. Can they protect themselves from Mr. Chu's army of mercenaries and save the ocean from utter destruction?

This is the fifth book in the Maximum Ride series, I had never read them before but I picked up this one.

I really liked the idea for this series it is different and interesting, also what kid does not want to be a hero type thing? The series is interesting and fun and I want to go back and read the rest because of this one!

One of the good things about this book is that you don't absolutely have to have read the other books in the series to understand what is going on. Even though Max keeps talking about other things that have happened before they are not crucial to the rest of the book. It is slightly annoying though but you can get though it with no ill effects.

Parts of the book felt kind of disjointed and unimportant like they could have been left out but eventually they smoothed out. Overall good series!

Check out my 8 book James Patterson prize pack in celebration of MAX coming out in paperback!


4/5

September 6, 2009

Beastly by Alex Flinn


I am a beast.

A beast. Not quite wolf or bear, gorilla or dog but a horrible new creature who walks upright—a creature with fangs and claws and hair springing from every pore. I am a monster.

You think I'm talking fairy tales? No way. The place is New York City. The time is now. It's no deformity, no disease. And I'll stay this way forever—ruined—unless I can break the spell.

Yes, the spell, the one the witch in my English class cast on me. Why did she turn me into a beast who hides by day and prowls by night? I'll tell you. I'll tell you how I used to be Kyle Kingsbury, the guy you wished you were, with money, perfect looks, and the perfect life. And then, I'll tell you how I became perfectly . . . beastly.


This book came out a long time ago and I always wondered what it was about so I picked it up. I have always live the story of Beauty and the Beast so I was intrigued to find out that there was a retelling of the book from the beast's point of view.

This book was very heart wrenching in my opinion because you see Kyle getting kicked out of his home and his life and being completely left alone except for a maid and his blind tutor. This book really opened up my eyes to what the experience would have been like for the Beast, not just Beauty.

The only problem I had with this book was that he was really, really whiny throughout most of the book which I guess was warranted some of the time but not all of the time. Overall a good book!

4/5

(Make sure to check out the movie coming out in 2010!)

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September 5, 2009

Paper Towns by John Green


Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life--dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge--he follows.

After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues--and they're for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees of the girl he thought he knew.

So all of the books I have read by John Green are really good. This was no exception, the characters were well built and the plot was executed well.

One of the things that tells me that John Green's books are good is the fact that I personally have a harder time reading book where the narrator is a guy. I don't know why but that is just the way it works out. But when I pick up a John Green novel I don't think about the fact that the book has a guy narrator, I am just pulled into the story and cannot look back.

Ok on to the story, Quentin and his friends are very believable people that don't all exactly fall into a stereotypical mold which is hard to do in writing.

The only small problem I had with this book was the ending was a real letdown in my opinion maybe because it was so built up that I wanted more I don't know but I felt unsatisfied with the ending, but maybe that was the author's intention. I don't know, other than that I loved this book and cannot wait for the next one!

(visit John Green's Website/blog at www.sparksflyup.com)


4/5
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September 2, 2009

Interview with Jessica Verday

Today I have an interview with debut author of The Hollow Jessica Verday! Her book came out yesterday so you should go check it out!

Who is your favorite character from The Hollow?
Nikolas

What kind of research did you do for The Hollow?
I did a lot of research on perfume making. And I also did a lot of research on the town of Sleepy Hollow itself, visiting in person on several occasions.

Where do you get your inspiration?
I've always loved The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving, and I loved the Tim Burton movie; Sleepy Hollow. When I heard Abbey's voice in my head, I decided to take a trip to the real Sleepy Hollow. And it all came together from there.

When did you seriously start pursuing writing?
As soon as I finished The Hollow in 2007.

How long does it usually take you to write a book?
The Hollow took a year and a half, book 2 took about four months. (I was on a tighter deadline for book 2)

Were you a big writer or reader growing up? What about now? Do you prefer writing your own books or reading someone else's? I was a reader before I was a writer and I still prefer reading over writing. It's harder to get excited when you know what's going to happen.


What was your favorite book growing up? What about now? Do you have a favorite genre or do you like them all? Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte then, I don't currently have a favorite right now. I like them all, romance, mystery, thriller etc.

What do you do when you have writers block? Get inspired! I read books, listen to music and dig out my favorite movies until I find something to inspire me.

What are you currently reading? The Eternal Kiss Anthology by multiple authors

What makes The Hollow different from other paranormal YA books? It's a very grounded story. Although there are certain paranormal aspects, it's not so over the top that you couldn't picture it happening to you.

Thanks!

Thanks for having me!

Also check out The Hollow's website to learn more! http://www.jessicaverday.com/

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September 1, 2009

Maximum Ride Promotion


ENTER TO WIN A SET OF JAMES PATTERSON PAGETURNERS!
MAXIMUM RIDE – IF SHE LIVES, THE WORLD LIVES, IT’S THAT SIMPLE.

Read “MAX” - the newest book in the bestselling Maximum Ride series. On sale in paperback 09/01/09!
Still reeling from their most recent adventure, Maximum Ride and the rest of the flock must head out to sea to uncover the secret behind a brand new series of disasters—fish are dying off the coast of Hawaii, hundreds of ships are being destroyed. As if that weren’t enough, they’re also being tracked by a criminal mastermind with, oh yeah, an army of mercenaries. Can the flock save themselves and the ocean, and the world, from utter destruction?

So to celebrate Big Honcho Media and I are giving away to 2 yes 2 winners from my blog

a James Patterson Prize Pack: which includes
  • Maximum Ride: Max (paperback)
  • Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment (paperback)
  • Maximum Ride: School’s Out – Forever (paperback)
  • Maximum Ride: Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports (paperback)
  • Maximum Ride: The Final Warning (paperback)
  • Maximum Ride: Manga (paperback)
  • The Dangerous Days of Daniel X (paperback)
  • Daniel X: Watch the Skies (hardcover)
Could it get any better? Unfortunately there are some restrictions on who can win which will be at the end of this post, basically it is only open to the US (sorry) and you have to be at least 13 (again sorry)

Now to how you can win!

leave a comment with your email (no email no entry)

extra entries

+1 become a follower
+1 promote anywhere (leave link)
+2 already a follower (thanks!)
+4 top commenter who enters
+7 post an actual post on your blog (leave link)

contest ends September 17th at 3:00 Central Time
The Fine Print:
The Maximum Ride: Max Promotion is open to legal US residents who are at least 13 years of age as of August 24, 2009. There will be two prizes for each Promotion. Each prize consists of the following eight (8) books: Maximum Ride: Max (paperback); Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment (paperback); Maximum Ride: School’s Out – Forever (paperback); Maximum Ride: Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports (paperback); Maximum Ride: The Final Warning (paperback); Maximum Ride: Manga (paperback); The Dangerous Days of Daniel X (paperback); and Daniel X: Watch the Skies (hardcover). The approximate retail value of each prize is $72.00. Winners will be confirmed on or about September 28, 2009 by email. Prizes will only be shipped to confirmed winners with addresses in the US. Prizes will be shipped within 30 days after a selected entrant is confirmed as a winner.

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