Sunday, January 29, 2012

YA Book Giveaway Reminder!!

Just a reminder to let you know that the YA Great Experiment  giveaway is still in full swing! I'm giving away a brand new copy of Stolen, the YA Michael L. Printz literary award winning novel by Lucy Christopher. Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment, by James Patterson is also up for grabs. If I reach 140 followers by the giveaway deadline, the winner will snag both books! So spread the word - and good luck!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Liebster Blog Award

I started this blog about a year and a half ago - and at that time I had one follower because I posted once every few months about literary classics. Oh, how times have changed! The amazing and talented Victoria from Confessions of a Twenty Something Fiction Writer was kind enough to nominate me for the Liebster Blog Award. Victoria is, like me, working on her debut novel - I'm excited to read it when it's released!

In keeping with these fabulous blogger award rules, here are my five nominations for the Liebster Blog Award.

A Midsummer Night's Read

Hosted by four lovely bloggers, Jessica Lee, Jordan Chance, Shauna, and Cheryl, this blog features YA book reviews, author interviews and more! Their blog has a beautiful, whimsical design and I love reading their reviews on the YA books I adore.


Hosting book reviews and giveaways, Bookhi also takes part in the well-known blog meme In My Mailbox, which is ultimately hosted by The Story Siren. I love the quote at the top of the Bookhi blog: "A room without books is like a body without a soul."

Fantasy Cookie

You can't possibly resist a blog with such an adorable name! Fantasy Cookie specializes in reviewing fantasy and science fiction. If you've written a book like this, it's a great place to ask for a review.


One blog that I honestly love is Inkytopia. The whole layout of the blog is colorful and vibrant, and the reviews are centered on YA fiction that I enjoy reading. The host is also an aspiring writer!

Literature Monsters

Literature Monsters is one of the first blogs I started following way back when I began this blog. Like, a month ago. But joking aside, I really love this site - especially their giveaways! Somebody just won a signed copy of Forever! It is hosted by three best friends who love to blog about everything book-related.

Remember, if you were nominated, try to keep the award nominations going by nominating five of your own favorite blogs that have under 200 followers and including a link back to the blog that nominated you. Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Apocalypse Gene

The Apocalypse Gene. It has infected the world - killed off most of its population through a killing gene known as 'cancer.' As the citizenry of post-apocolyptic Chicago struggles to survive, Olivya is living with her mother in a house-turned-hospice ward. Surrounded by death on all sides, Olivya also has the Sight - she can see peoples' auras, a psychic ability that she believes is unique to her. Until she meets Mikah. And everything changes. The dystopian thriller takes a dark turn as the world plummets towards ultimate destruction - all because of Olivya and Mikah. 

This book is part fantasy, part science-fiction and part zombie apocalypse. I have to admit, the book began with a great premise: the world, eaten away. Civilizations, non-existant. The final remnants of society, hanging by a thread. But as the book continues, the names and places become so incredibly complicated that I had to think way too hard to keep the story straight. Even now, as I think back over the book, I am hard pressed to remember the names, plots and important details. In other words, what began as a simple story morphed into an extremely complicated web of facts and nearly unpronounceable names. 

But the writing is very beautiful. Colors, shapes and emotions are all described nicely. I'll admit that some of the local lingo in post-acpocolyptic Chicago is a little confusing - but imaginary vocabulary sometimes makes a story more fun. Have you read the book? Are you going to? 

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Great Experiment (And Kidnappings)

Stolen.  Gemma has been stolen. Her life, her body, herself. Gone. Kidnapped by the mysterious Australian Ty - she is dragged into the Outback. In the middle of nowhere, with no chance of escape. No hope of survival. Will Ty kill her? Or is he just a confused young man in need of companionship? Only time will tell - if Gemma doesn't escape first. Stolen by Lucy Christopher, is written in the form of a letter - from Gemma to her captor. It is also the winner of the Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in YA literature.

The tagline for the next book? School's out. Forever. In Maximum Ride; The Angel Experiment, six kids and teenagers - escaped living laboratory experiments believe that they're finally safe from the sadistic scientists who blended their DNA with that of a bird - thus giving them the ability to fly. They are angels - more or less. Unfortunately, the scientists want them back. Now. And they'll stop at nothing to find them - even send out the vicious Erasers, humans that have been threaded with wolf DNA.  Maximum Ride is a thrilling YA read all the way from page one to page four-hundred and twelve. The series spans several books, so if you like it, you'll have plenty more to choose from!

Want to win either of these books? Enter the giveaway below. But wait! If I reach 140 blog followers by the time the contest is over - the winner will snag both books!!!  So spread the word and help me reach my goal! 

Good luck!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

How to be a Movie Star

"I don't pretend to be an ordinary housewife." Elizabeth Taylor, the precursor to reality TV and tabloid fodder - indeed, the very woman who brought all of those things into common use, had never spoken truer words. Whether dining on caviar in a private jet or enjoying one of her latest romances - and there were many of those - Elizabeth Taylor knew how to do one thing, and do it well: how to be a movie star.

I usually don't review books other than YA fiction on my blog, but this book was so interesting I had to share it. William J. Mann came up with a book that reads like a novel - like a turbulent, tragic, romantic drama. I don't pretend to be any great fan of Elizabeth Taylor's. I just think the story of her life is fascinating - if not a bit off-putting. Once you're done with the book, you'll be very happy that you're not her. Taylor grew up in the studio world. Her marriages were arranged by the studio. Her education was arranged by the studio. She lived in an ivory tower and, as she once said, "I have a woman's body and a child's emotions." So true. Elizabeth whined, wined, and dined like a child. She was a spoiled woman. A brilliant entertainer. Somebody who knew how to use her personal life to attract attention. She was also an intensely unhappy woman, bouncing from one romance to the next in an attempt to seek happiness. One can only wonder if she found it before she passed away last summer.

You can find the book for $2 at the Kindle Store on Amazon, otherwise you'll pay far more.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Versatile Blogger Nomination and My Nominees

Being relatively new to the world of blogging, I was surprised to get a Versatile Blogger Nomination by Rod Tyson, who just so happens to have a lovely blog right here: Rod Tyson's Blog. (Thanks for the nomination!)

So here's what you should do if you're nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award:1 
1. Nominate 15 fellow bloggers for The Versatile Blogger Award.
2. Add an image of the Versatile Blogger Award.
3. In the same post, thank the blogger who nominated you in a post with a link back to their blog.
4. In the same post, share 7 completely random pieces of information about yourself.
5. In the same post, include this set of rules.
6. Inform each nominated blogger of their nomination by posting a comment on each of their blogs.

It's easy to nominate your friends, and in the process, you can get your name - and the name of your website - into the blogosphere! Since I am bound to follow the rules, here are seven terribly random things about myself: 

1. I love cats. 
2. I love cats even more when they kindly avoid hunting my feet or dropping dead bugs on my front porch. 
3. Zombies scare the heck out of me - yet I still like to read about them. Go figure. 
4. I don't like cleaning fishtanks. They smell. They're slimy. And they smell. Oh, I said that. 
5. I've been writing seriously since I was 13. My first novel was nearly a thousand pages long, written by hand in a stack of notebooks. Needless to say, I converted to typing soon afterwards.
6. I've been attacked by a Beagle. 
7. I can play the piano. But I can't read music, so I'm no Mozart. 

There you have it! And here are my fifteen nominees for the Most Versatile Blogger Award. 

The Most Popular YA Vampire Books...

In case you hadn't noticed, vampires are pretty popular. Although fads concerning bloodsuckers have fluctuated ever since Dracula was released by Bram Stoker, today we can turn to variety of vampirism-based novels that brings a whole new level of fantasy into the modern world. Observe some of the most popular vampire novels today.

Twilight is probably the first book that comes to your mind when you think of vampires. And while Edward Cullen and Bella Swan's romance may have spawned a movie series - and an array of new film stars - don't forget that Anne Rice was pumping out the vampire books long before Stephenie Meyer ever dreamt of handsome, sparkling dead guys. Her Vampire Chronicles are among the most well-known vampire novels in the world. By extension, another 90's era vampire series that has become popular again is L. J. Smith's Vampire Diaries, which far preceded Edward and Bella, and today is the basis of the smash-hit television series of the same name.

Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy novels encompass six gripping, shocking and romantic YA novels. I find it hard to believe that her books haven't been made into a movie yet. As it is, a graphic novel and companion guide was just released to complete the set - which makes me wonder if movie plans are right around the corner.

And although The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare isn't about vampires - it's primarily about Shadowhunters - she does an amazing job of incorporating our bloodsucking friends into her novels.

So what are your favorite vampire novels? Have they been given the attention they deserve?
I'll be starting Thirst #1 soon, and I'm just wrapping up the last of the Vampire Academy series, so I'll see if they make my list of paranormal favorites.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


What happens when you fall in love with Death? Bad things. Pagan Moore has always been the responsible girl, the predictable girl and the normal girl. She even starts dating the High School football jock like a normal teenager. Until, that is, she falls in love with a guy named Dank, who just happens to be the living incarnation of Death. It doesn't help that she has been seeing ghosts her whole life - now she thinks she's really going crazy. It will be up to Pagan to decide if it is worth risking everything - even her own death - to be with the person who would ferry her soul to the other side.

I read Existence yesterday on my glorious Kindle. (Don't you just love the single-click book download?) While the idea was fantastic, I couldn't help but feel that the book spent too much time on the relationship between Pagan and her boyfriend, Leif, when I wanted (and so did Pagan) to see more of Dank. But I guess that's what a sequel is for.  The only other real qualm I had was the names of the main characters: Pagan and Dank. Maybe it's just me.
What do you think? Have you read Existence? 
Did you like it?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Tiger's Voyage

"Forget vampires and werewolves, tigers are the new hottest thing." So it's been said by RT Book Reviews. Truth be told, Colleen Houck's Tiger Saga captured my attention simply because of the gorgeous tigers found on the cover of each book. If you're familiar with the series, you know that it follows the story of sweet, loving Kelsey Hayes as she falls in love with two Indian princes. Princes that just so happen to have a curse that transforms them into a tiger for a certain period during the day. She has helped these tiger princes find a way to break the curse, and as the readers head into book 3, Tiger's Voyage, things get intense. 

Poor Kelsey. Her true love, the Indian Prince Ren, has finally been rescued from harm's way from the evil sorcerer Lokesh - but he has no memory of her. Devastated, she turns to Kishan, Ren's brother, and a relationship forms. But there is more to this tale than romance alone. They must visit five mythological - and extremely dangerous - dragons in their quest to break the Tiger's Curse. All the while they must outsmart the murderous Lokesh - and Kelsey must choose between the two brothers' love.

I love the Tiger Saga because it possesses a certain amount of purity. Houck keeps her writing sweet and simple; her description of Indian culture and mythology is simply riveting. Looking for a better reason to check out the saga? Here's an excerpt from Tiger's Voyage. 

I was about to keel over, but then I opened my eyes and looked at Ren. He was watching me with concern. When he saw that I’d opened my eyes, he smiled my favorite lopsided grin, the sweet expression he used only with me, and for just a moment the pain disappeared. For that brief instant, I allowed myself to believe he was still mine, and that he loved me. Everyone else in the room vanished and it was just me and him. I wished that I could touch his face and brush back his silky black hair or trace the arch of his eyebrow. I stared into his handsome face and let those feelings overwhelm me and in that fleeting time I felt the ghost of our emotional connection.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Fairytale Twist Giveaway!

I am a writer, so reading books is not only fun for me, but educational. During 2011 I read a thousand (at least it felt like it) YA fiction books. One of these books was Red Riding Hood, by Sarah Blakely-Cartwright. The book was based on a screenplay that Catherine Hardwicke turned into the gothic fairytale/horror movie that came out last year. The movie starred Amanda Seyfried. The book follows the romantic triangle of Valerie (teenage riding hood), Peter the Woodcutter and Henry. The only trouble is, an evil werewolf has terrorized Valerie’s village for years – and now the Blood Moon is upon them, which means the Wolf is looking to turn someone into a creature like himself - and the wolf could be anyone. Even Valerie. 
The book is pretty creepy – and you can definitely tell that it was written on the basis of a screenplay. It’s sure to please horror and mystery fans.

By the way, have you seen the movie? Did you like it?

Another book I read was the second Shiver Series installment by Maggie Stiefvater, Linger. You may recall the romance between shape shifting, poetry-loving Sam and model student Grace. That’s right. Soon after the werewolf craze hit with the Twilight Series, Stiefvater’s books caught fire. Sam and Grace are now comfortably boyfriend and girlfriend. In fact, everything seems pretty normal. If you consider being half-wolf normal, that is. But when a hot new wolf named Cole hits town, secrets are revealed and everything starts falling apart again – which makes for a good book, of course!

Would you like to read these two Best-selling YA reads? Check out the Fairytale Twist Giveaway below – good luck!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Cover Art Reveal for 'City of Lost Souls'

What do you think of the cover art for City of Lost Souls, by Cassandra Clare? The fifth book in the highly popular (and my personal favorite) The Mortal Instruments Series, this book is set to release in May. In my opinion it can't come fast enough! I'm guessing that the two characters depicted on the cover are definitely Jace and Clary. 
Love it or hate it?? 

New Year's/December Book Giveaway Winner

   And the Winner of the New Year/December Book Giveaway is…

                                           J.A. Bennet!

Congratulations! Thanks a million to all of those who participated in this contest. I will have the pleasure of hosting giveaways throughout the New Year, providing the Mayan doomsday prophecy doesn’t step in and stop me when December 2012 rolls around. I have too many good books to give out for that to happen!

      Have a wonderful week! 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Year Giveaway Update

This is just a note to let you all know that the glorious New Year Book Giveaway has closed. That's right. No more entries, please!! (Don't despair! More contests will be coming up right after I announce the winner!) 

I got so many entries from both my fabulous Twitter friends and all the amazing BlogSpot readers. 
The winner will be announced tomorrow, so check back here to see if you are the lucky one! Good luck, and thanks so much to all who participated.I hope you all have a wonderful New Year! 

Monday, January 2, 2012


Silence.  That about sums up the memories of Nora Grey's last five months. In the third installment of Becca Fitzpatrick's bestselling Hush Hush series, Silence begins with Nora waking in a graveyard. Remembering nothing of the last five months, she learns that she was kidnapped. And she apparently fell in love with a fallen angel named Patch. The trouble is, somebody, or something, erased her memory, and it may be the only way that she will be able to survive the coming chaos.

Becca Fitzpatrick goes full circle in the Hush Hush series, bringing us back to a book one-like scenario in which Nora falls in love with Patch all over again - because she doesn't remember him. This takes up a large portion of the book. The other parts are spent discovering who kidnapped her and why, and how exactly being in love with one of heaven's damned is going to look on her college resume. I personally like Fitzpatrick's style of writing: it's easy, breezy and almost artistic. The book leaves off with a teasing cliffhanger, a sure guarantee that there will be a fourth book coming soon.

The question is: will you read Silence?