Posted in 2012, May, Quote me tuesday

Quote Me Tuesday


“Swimming was the last thing I wanted to do. Drowning him? Maybe.”

Obsidian by Jennifer l. Armentrout

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”Did you ever think that in a past life Alec was an old woman with ninety cats who was always yelling at the neighborhood kids to get off her lawn? Because I do.”

City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

Posted in 2012, April, Author Interviews, Quote me tuesday

Breaking Beautiful Character Interview & QMT


Breaking Beautiful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf

Published April 24th 2012 by Walker Childrens

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Allie lost everything the night her boyfriend, Trip, died in a horrible car accident—including her memory of the event. As their small town mourns his death, Allie is afraid to remember because doing so means delving into what she’s kept hidden for so long: the horrible reality of their abusive relationship.

When the police reopen the investigation, it casts suspicion on Allie and her best friend, Blake, especially as their budding romance raises eyebrows around town. Allie knows she must tell the truth. Can she reach deep enough to remember that night so she can finally break free? Debut writer Jennifer Shaw Wolf takes readers on an emotional ride through the murky waters of love, shame, and, ultimately, forgiveness.

Character Interview

1. Your demographics? Name, age, where you live?

My name is Allie Davis. I’m seventeen years old, and I live in Pacific Cliffs, Washington.

2. What do you believe is a person’s first impression of you?

Before the accident people would probably say I was pretty, but because of the way I looked then people thought I was stuck up or full of myself. I’m guess I’m kind of quiet. We moved around a lot so it was hard for me to make friends. Now when people look at me, they probably just wonder how I ended up so freaky looking, and where I got the scars on my face.

3. Do you have a boyfriend? A crush?

I had a boyfriend, Trip, but he was killed in a car accident.

4. Your best friend’s name and how long you have known each other.

Blake is my best, actually, my only friend. We’ve known each other since we were little kids, like maybe three or four. We didn’t live close to each other until a couple of years ago, but I saw him every summer when we came to visit grandma in Pacific Cliffs. Well, except for the two summers we lived in Germany, and the summer when his mom dragged him off to live with her in Reno. Blake probably knows me better than anyone, except for my twin brother Andrew.

*Thank you to Ms. Wolf for introducing us to Allie.

QMT

“But is it worth it?” I looked into his green eyes, so close to mine. “What if the Community is right? Wouldn’t it be better to never feel hurt or pain? Aren’t we better off without it?”

Glitch by Heather Anastasiu

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“Okay,” I agreed. “But we go slow. If you get tired, tell me and we’ll sit. I was serious when I said I couldn’t carry you, so no passing out on me, got it?”

Whisper by Heather Hildenbrand

Posted in 2012, April, Author Interviews, Quote me tuesday

J. Anderson Coats Guest Blog Post & QMT


I am very excited to have J. Anderson Coats here with us today. Ms. Coats is the author of the book The Wicked and The Just.

What advice would you give to a young teen who dreams of becoming an author?

Read.  Read widely. Read new books, old books, articles.  Read the back of the cereal box.  Immerse yourself in language.  Listen for how different writers sound in your head.  Read in the genre you want to write in.  Read outside of it.  Read things that are praised and things that are panned.  Read.  Everything.  It all has something to teach you.

Write.  Write every day, even if it’s a scribble on a grocery store receipt you pull out of the bottom of your backpack.  Develop the habit of producing words on a story, poem, novel, song each and every day.  So much of writing is discipline.  It’s butt-in-chair.  You can have the best ideas in the world, but when they’re in your head and not on the page, the only person who can enjoy them is you.

Listen.  Listen to feedback especially.  Find someone you trust who’ll read what you write and give honest, useful – and most of all – constructive feedback.  Maybe it’s your sister.  Maybe it’s a teacher.  Maybe it’s someone in your writers’ group who lives in Iowa City.  Listen to what he or she has to say.  Nothing any of us write is ever perfect the first time, and the only way to figure out how to make it better to be open to feedback and revise until sings off the page.

Give yourself permission to write crap.  Everyone’s first drafts suck.  Your favorite writer?  Her first drafts suck.  Your other favorite writer?  His first drafts suck.  It’s more important to just write.  Get it on the page and repeat after me: “It’s a first draft.  It’s supposed to suck.”  You can fix things in a crappily-written first draft, but it’s impossible to fix what doesn’t exist.

Don’t let yourself get stuck.  If a story isn’t working, don’t be afraid to leave it for awhile and start something new.  (Equally important: try to finish everything.  Just don’t feel like you have to finish it all at once.)  Read books on craft if you need to, but don’t get hung up on rules.  There are no rules.  There are only tools.  There are things that work and things that don’t.  Write something every day.  Learn from what you read.  Learn from who you talk to.  But the only way to be a writer is to write.

The Wicked and the Just by J. Anderson Coats

Published April 17th 2012 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

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Cecily’s father has ruined her life. He’s moving them to occupied Wales, where the king needs good strong Englishmen to keep down the vicious Welshmen. At least Cecily will finally be the lady of the house.

Gwenhwyfar knows all about that house. Once she dreamed of being the lady there herself, until the English destroyed the lives of everyone she knows. Now she must wait hand and foot on this bratty English girl.

While Cecily struggles to find her place amongst the snobby English landowners, Gwenhwyfar struggles just to survive. And outside the city walls, tensions are rising ever higher—until finally they must reach the breaking point.

Thank you to Ms. Coats for being here today and best of luck with your new book!

QMT

“She nods along with me, raising an eyebrow, like she wants to pretend to understand what I am talking about.”

Kiss Crush Collide by Christina Meredith

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“….love can’t be the answer to everything. If it was, us loving mom should have kept her from falling apart. Her loving us should have made her want to change.”

Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr

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“Look, if I don’t shut up about my sad sack life , I’ll wind up hurling myself off my balcony. Tell me about Jake’s family. Are they a nest of vampire vipers from hell, just like I guessed?”

Slow Twitch (Brenna Blixen 3) by Liz Reinhardt

Posted in 2012, March, Quote me tuesday

Hide & Seek Blog Tour Review/Character Interview and QMT


Hide & Seek by Aimee Laine

Published March 1st 2012 by J. Taylor Publishing

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Source: Publisher

Lie, cheat or steal, no one can catch Tripp Fox. Except one woman.

Lexi Shepherd’s knack for finding whatever is asked of her isn’t sheer luck. It’s a gift from the Greek god Zeus.

That Lexi doesn’t use her ability to search for “Mr. Right” comes from one of many personal rules she has set for herself. Number one is not to let fate dictate her future.

Falling in love with Tripp breaks all the others.

Despite her principles, Lexi’s unable to stay away from the bad boy, and she finds herself toeing the grey line of the law for him.

Zeus, though, didn’t give Lexi and Tripp their talents to make their relationship a simple, easy alliance. He designed it to be exactly the opposite. Impossible. Always.

With their separation, Lexi expects Tripp to forfeit love in favor of destiny. He, on the other hand, intends to beat Zeus at his own game. With a plan in place, Tripp challenges Lexi to take the one action no one else can.

Find him.

The question isn’t can she … but will she?

Review

I love the myth associated with this story, the fox and the hound. This was very unique and different that the story kept me reading straight through til the end!

I enjoyed all the characters. Judging by the cover, you could probably tell which one I enjoyed the most though??? YUP! Tripp. He is finally willing to let his guard down for Lexi.

I really enjoyed Lexi’s sister, Emma. She was bouncy and full of life. She was not in the practice of letting Lexi sulk and I liked that about her! Lexi and Emma are twins and literally, exact opposites which makes for some funny reading.

Originally, it was the cover that pulled me into this story, but when I started reading, the story itself had sucked me in. I do not see any written word about book 2 as of yet, but I cannot wait for it!

Character Interview with Tripp

There’s never a better place to meet an art thief, treasure hunter or mythologically enhanced than at a public library. Right? Or is that just a cop out because I know that if his new wife found us at a coffee shop, restaurant or … anywhere for that matter, the scene probably wouldn’t be pleasant.

So I’ll stick to my chair here, Greek mythology book in hand, waiting for the adorable Tripp Fox to stroll my way.

“Are you Heather?” A deep voice asks.

I lift up, so engrossed in my book I didn’t realize I hadn’t been looking for him. “I am,” I say and start to stand.

He plops down beside me in the chair attached to mine, long legs clad in jeans, extending out and crossed at his ankles. “So … you have some questions?”

I close my book and turn to him.

His arms are outstretched along the chair’s arms, solid muscle bunching as he shifts toward me.

“So … I understand you’re one-half of mythologically destined pair.”

He nods, the star on his neck creasing a little as he moves. “I think Lexi would like your designation as one-half.” He chuckles a little.

“Did you ever think you’d be one of those people to find the impossible and find a loop hole?”

He shakes his head. “Never, ever did I think that. Never thought I’d be living in the south, either.”

“That’s right … you’re born and bred New York, right? What do you think about all the southern hospitality?”

His lips curve up. “Given it comes in Lexi form, it’s quite nice.”

My cheeks heat up at the insinuation and his tone of voice. He clearly loves his wife. “Okay, so … tell me about this myth. A fox and a hound? Why would Zeus do that?”

He points to the book I’m holding. “Have you read some of the stuff Zeus does? He may have been the most powerful, but he was the most insane, too. I think he derived most of his pleasure from testing people.”

“And what better way than to use the ultimate paradox on humans?” I ask.

“Exactly. There’s no way to get around it … yet just like in the history books — where Zeus decided to end the conundrum by sending the fox and hound to the star, or turning them to stone as some believe — there’s always a solution when the fox and hound decide to turn the tables on Zeus.”

“So it was a game?”

He chuckles and says, “Yup. One, amazingly, devious game.” He sits up taller, voices and chatter all around us. “Have you ever played tic-tac-toe?”

I smile. “Who doesn’t.”

He wags a finger at me. “You know how tic-tac-toe can be both super easy to win, but incredibly difficult, too?”

“Yes.” And I do. It’s a great time waster.

“If you make one wrong move, you’re sunk. If you do everything right, you draw. If your opponent fails to pay attention, you can win. That’s a Zeus-based game. You have to both not make a wrong move and your opponent has to stop paying attention. It all has to line up, just like the stars.”

He’s kinda lost me, but I nod and just agree.

When he sits back in the chair, facing out so I can see his profile, he says, “Yeah, it’s complicated. Let’s just say … every problem has a solution, but sometimes, the solutions aren’t what you expect they will be.”

“Very astute words. So … plans for the future? Any kids on the horizon?”

A small laugh bursts from him. “I’m sure Lexi has major plans. That woman had her whole life planned, mapped out even.” He swipes a hand across the plateau of air in front of him. “I came in and screwed her all up.” He turns to me and with a wink says, “Pun intended.”

Ha-Ha, I want to say but just smile.

“Anyway, what else do you want to know?”

So many questions come to mind. “What was your favorite adventure … you know, with your ability to get stuff without consequences?”

He faces the crowd. “Well …” One hand reaches up and scratches at his chin, the rough stubble shadowing a well planed face. “Finding Lexi and winning her will always be my most successful venture.”

“And beyond that?”

Turning back to me, he says, “Well … honestly, it’s probably going to be every other venture we go on together.”

I want to melt into the mush of his sappiness, but I already know he’s a true romantic — for a guy.

“And we’re going down to Bermuda next month.”

“Bermuda? The triangle? Where everything gets lost?”

“Oh yeah.” He smiles. “Wouldn’t that be a tremendous adventure if neither of us can fail? We could find Amelia Earhart.”

Now that … I’d love to see.

Special thanks to Aimee for introducing us to Tripp and to J. Taylor Publishing for the review copy of this book!

QMT

“It was her way- a habit born of shyness, fueled by betrayal, and necessitated by life in a city like New York. Some people watched soap operas, she just watched people.”
Letters from the ledge by Lynda Meyers
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“Thankful that it was winter and that she’d actually purchased a turtleneck when she’d shopped for work clothes she’d just have to get creative the first week of work.”
Noah by Elizabeth Reyes
Posted in 2012, March, Quote me tuesday

“Life is but a dream” Review and Quote Me Tuesday


Life is but a dream

Release Date: March 27, 2012

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First Thoughts:

At first I didn’t know what to think about this book, the imagery was past amazing, the colors and images this author painted were so beautiful and creative but at the same time the idea was a little bit strange and almost unconvincing.

The plot of the story was a bit off, the way the author switched back from past and future tense was at times a bit disorientating but after a while I was able to adjust to the authors structure and the confusion went away. But I did think the sub-plots were well written, I felt the author did a great job on creating different stories that helped tie the main story together; without them this book wouldn’t have been as well written and put together as it was. As for the characters I felt that they were well created. I felt that Sabrina was well crafted, her frame of mind and actions synced together so well that I really did believe her to be a schizophrenic. She was so full of life and creativity, she was a likeable character and she made a great transformation throughout this book. At times she morphed from one person to the next until at the end she finally settled in to someone she was meant to be from the start. As for Alec, he was just as likeable, he had that way about him that instantly drew you to him; that mysteriousness and “bad rap” definitely clued me into his type of character. He himself also made a transformation, he went from someone who was isolated and anger filled to someone worth loving. As for the other minor characters, they were artfully placed, though I didn’t always feel a connection with them, I did find them to be real to the story and world. As for the description like I mentioned earlier I found it to be beautiful and artistic. I really thought the way the author used the sight of Sabrina to describe schizophrenia was so perfect to those of us who always viewed schizophrenia to be multiple personalities (I mistake I had made but now don’t).  The description also created the story, it revealed answers to the questions in the book and it provided insight in the world of someone who sees the world different than me and you. As for the writing style, the only issue I had was the structure of the scenes; I felt that things could have been better organized. And another issue I found was the end, though I liked the end result I felt that it was rushed. I would have liked the ending to be more drawn out, so that as us the readers could better savor all the changes taking place. But it was a beautiful story filled with such beauty and creativity.

Goodreads Summary:

Alec and Sabrina are crazy in love. Problem is: Sabrina’s really crazy.

Sabrina, an artist, is diagnosed with schizophrenia, and her parents check her into the Wellness Center. There she meets Alec, who is convinced it’s the world that’s crazy, not the two of them. They are meant to be together; they are special. But when Alec starts to convince Sabrina that her treatment will wipe out everything that makes her creative, she worries that she’ll lose hold of her dreams and herself. Should she listen to her doctor? Her decision may have fatal consequences.

Last Thoughts:

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a book that is filled with great description and beauty and to those who enjoy reading about characters with mental illness; this one was really well written in the aspect of the disease. I would also recommend this to anyone who loves a book where love is a key element but isn’t necessarily the main element. I wouldn’t recommend this book if you don’t like books with sharp transitions and abrupt endings. I also wouldn’t recommend this if you don’t like romance; this book at times did get cheesy. But in the end I enjoyed this authors writing, the description to me was over the top and helped make the story as likeable as it was. I will definitely be looking forward to what else this author has in store for his readers.

QMT

“I took a deep breath, trying to steady the shake that started to grow inside. Dr. Eriks had always taught me that I needed to be the good and the strong. The Nation needed me. Criminals were what destroyed it, criminals like my parents, and it needed the good to make it strong once again.”

Prison Nation by Jenni Merritt

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“Go ahead, look at the message. You know you want to.”
“No, it doesn’t matter.”
“Then why do you keep staring at it like it’s the last piece of food on earth?”

Trust In Advertising by Victoria Michaels

Posted in 2012, Author Interviews, Giveaways!, March, Quote me tuesday

Open Minds by Susan Kaye Quinn Reviews/Interview/Giveaway & QMT


Open Minds by Susan Kaye Quinn

Published November 1, 2011

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When everyone reads minds, a secret is a dangerous thing to keep.

Sixteen-year-old Kira Moore is a zero, someone who can’t read thoughts or be read by others. Zeros are outcasts who can’t be trusted, leaving her no chance with Raf, a regular mindreader and the best friend she secretly loves. When she accidentally controls Raf’s mind and nearly kills him, Kira tries to hide her frightening new ability from her family and an increasingly suspicious Raf. But lies tangle around her, and she’s dragged deep into a hidden world of mindjackers, where having to mind control everyone she loves is just the beginning of the deadly choices before her.

Lacey’s Review

First Thoughts:

This definitely was a great start to the series, the complexity of the world and how it was created was fun and interesting. To me this story seemed to offer so much, though it didn’t feel long in the sense that I wish it was over it did feel long in the sense that so much happened…so much was revealed about this world. Though this isn’t a world I’d want to live in by any means, it is a world that was created with thought and care. The overall feel of the story is satisfaction and the knowledge that there’s more to come.

Plot:

This book held all of the necessary elements to make a good plot, it was also paced in just the right way as to allow the story to flow smoothly and quickly. This plot was fast-paced, filled with plenty of action and had just enough slower moments to allow the reader to take a breather and absorb all that’s going on. The sub-plots in this story were kept to a minimum thus allowing the main plot to take focus and allow us to explore the most important issue in the story. But there were a few sub-plots that intertwined with the story and made the main plot that more outstanding; it gave the main plot a certain boost per say, we were allowed to better understand the world and what was going on.

Characters:

The characters were very interesting in this book, they were all necessary to help the story feel more realistic and true to its world. Most of the characters were three dimensional and added another layer to the story but there were a few characters I wish were “painted” a little better, I felt that those characters that lacked a certain element were a little secluded to the overall conflict of the story. The main characters were all fortunately “painted” colorfully and they each had distinct characteristics that helped the reader identify them.

Transformation of the Character:

I felt that most of the characters transformed little in this story, like perhaps they need more pushing to allow them to transform into a different them. But the main character did do a little transforming, though I wouldn’t consider it in any way an enormous transformation I would say it was a big transformation to the character itself. She used to be so fragile and a dull gray color but something in the story sparked her transformation and allowed her mind to open up to even more possibilities and emotions she wasn’t even prepared for. So overall I think the transformations in this book fit perfectly for this particular story and I can’t wait to see these characters grow even more.

Description:

The description was really good in this story; I felt the author did a great job painting the world where I was able to capture each scene and character and better understand the environment these characters were in. It was the perfect amount for the story, there wasn’t too much to overwhelm the reader and too little to leave the reader grasping for a picture, it was the perfect amount to leave the reader satisfied. As for the type of description I wouldn’t consider it lyrical but it had its own style of its own. It was effective and smooth at the same time, I would have liked a more poetic feel to the scenery description, I felt that a lot of the places these scenes took place were so full of energy and back-stories, though the author described the scenery I felt it could have perhaps been described in a better way. But overall the description was enjoyable.

Style:

I liked this authors sense of style, the way she intertwined all of the elements into this story to make the overall product. I liked that she kept to one point of view, we were able to really digest what she was feeling and get the knowledge of her instead of the overall story, it helped let us narrow down to certain issues rather than trying to grasp all the concepts of this complex world.

Quote of the book:

I wonder if I try to kiss you if you’ll knock me out again. It depends. How good a kisser are you? My heart thudded erratically.”

Last Thoughts:

I would recommend this to any paranormal reader and to anyone who just enjoys a good fun read. I wouldn’t recommend this if you don’t like the concept of reading minds or anything particularly paranormal reading. I did overall enjoy this book and can’t wait to continue to read their story. I found that I enjoyed that though the things they did and their issues are not possible in our world they in a way correspond with similar issues we are facing in society today. So if you think about it this author is very clever to add a lot of symbolism in this story. This first story in the series is a great start and will leave you learning for more by the end of the last page.

Diana’s Review

How can you not love a book that’s set in the northern suburbs of the greatest city in the world?  Ok, so I might be a little biased on the backdrop given that I too call those northern suburbs home, but in all seriousness, the book was something else.

Kira is going through life as a zero.  In a world where everyone is expected to be able to read everyone else’s mind, she’s one of the rare people that can’t, and that makes her society’s outcast.  The story was wonderfully original.  And the world building was great.  With a futuristic topic so complex, I thought the author did a great job of painting the world with just enough detail that I wasn’t left with residual questions, but not so many that I was distracted from the story in general.

I think the book caught me by surprise.  It started out with Kira trying to deal with her handicap, her friend’s feelings, and the bullies at the school.  I’m not saying there was anything wrong with the start of the book, it had my attention from the very beginning, but I had expected a typical YA book.  I didn’t expect the story to spin out into cults, demens FBI agents (read the book for more futuristic lingo), and a whole slew of other hardcore twists.  Color me impressed.  That’s right, I’m impressed by a book with a love triangle, and we all know how much I love those (I don’t).  Its a love triangle that both a love triangle lover or hater wouldn’t mind.

But what would a book be without lovable characters you can easily connect with?  Though this book had many lovable characters, lets focus on our 3 stars:

Kira- I love a strong heroine.  This girl goes from thinking she has no chance for a future, no chance to go to college, or ever have a boyfriend, because she’s a zero, to thinking she’s dangerous, and then to thinking she can help people, and then going out and trying to do just that.  I want to give this girl a round of applause.  Her bravery and morals make her a great teen role model.

Simon- I loved his confidence and that he was the one who helped Kira when she didn’t know what was going on.  I have to admit, I didn’t trust him, but I don’t know if I’m the best judge of character.

Raf- I loved Raf from the start.  I have soft spot for the boy next door.  And I loved that even though Kira was an outcast, he was still her friend.  He never pretended he didn’t know her nor ignored her when others where around, like some other people. <cough, cough>  I was a team Raf girl.

Overall, I thought this was a highly imaginative book, and I absolutely loved the twists and turns the storyline took.  I appreciate an author that isn’t afraid to take chances with their story and characters in order to better the story overall.  I will be eagerly awaiting the next book.

Lisa’s Review

This was an awesome story. That about sums it up! I loved the whole premise of this book. I thought it was very unique to have a world where reading minds would eventually be considered “normal” and anyone who could not was labeled a “zero”.  In this case our zero is Kira. An all around typical high school teenager except for one thing…..she could not read minds. But…..is there something more to her? You will have to get the book and read to find out! I thought Kira’s character was a very strong young woman and will go on to do good things.

Kira has a best friend and his name is Raf. I instantly fell in love with him! There are underlying feelings going on in this relationship and I have to say that I was on Team Raf from the very beginning.  He is a reader but it does not matter to him that Kira is a zero. Then we are introduced to Simon. He had to grow on me throughout the story because I wasn’t to sure about him to begin with. I had trust issues with his character. He approaches Kira and begins to “help” her with issues that have begun to trouble her and that is all that I will say about that!  All and all I did end up liking Simon’s character.  I always enjoy a good love triangle!

I would highly recommend this story to everyone.  Character development is solid. I feel that the author gives you a chance to get to know these people.  The story flowed nicely. It did not jump around and get you all confused. I look forward to the second installment! I give this one,

Author Interview

How did you come up with the title of the book?

 Titles either come to me in a flash or I agonize endlessly over them. This one was easy, and was present right from the start, in that very first paragraph I wrote for an online contest. I like double meanings and Open Minds spoke to the mindreading as well as the intolerance of Kira’s world, where everyone reads minds but her.

 What were the challenges to getting the book published?

Initially I queried agents with the novel (and had lots of requests), but ended up self-publishing for a number of reasons: 1) self-publishing offered a faster time to market and better pricing than even my previous small publisher, and it would take years to get to print through a big publisher, 2) the market was hot for my genre, right now, 3) I like shiny new gadgets, and self-publishing is definitely one of those, 4) I’ve always had a large need for creative control and an entreprenuerial bent, so self-publishing was a good fit, personality wise. The biggest challenge in self-publishing, I think, is time management – making sure you keep writing, even with all the publishing hats that you wear.

 What book are you reading right now?

 I just finished reading Goliath, the third book in the Leviathan series by Scott Westerfeld—which gives me a chance to fangirl about him some more. Le sigh. The man is a genius! Seriously. Gorgeous writing, fantastically vivid characters. I want to be him when I grow up.

 When did you write your first book and how old were you?

Well, if you don’t count the endlessly-serialized hideously-illustrated stories I passed in high school, my first novel was written three years ago. I was 43 (yes, I’m a late bloomer). Looking back, that entire novel was one giant character study! And an amazing learning experience.

 Do you have any advice for other writers?

 Write as much as you possibly can, and constantly strive to improve your craft. I’ve learned a tremendous amount through critique partners and studying bestsellers that I love, but the most important thing you can do is write, write, write. Strive for that million words you supposedly need to reach before you start writing the “good” ones.

 What are you currently working on?

 I’m torturing the third draft of Closed Hearts, the sequel to Open Minds, as well as crafting a detailed outline for BookTheThird (the unamed third book in the Mindjack Trilogy). And daydreaming about a series to come after Mindjack. 🙂

 Speed Round:

 Favorite Book? Hunger Games (dying, DYING for the movie).

Favorite Author? Epic throw-down contest between Suzanne Collins and Scott Westerfeld, presided over by JK Rowling. Because she’s the Queen.

Favorite place to read? Curled up on the couch. With tea.

Favorite Genre? Both middle grade and young adult, but if I have to pick one, it’s YA. I like the kissing too much to give that up.

 Last fun one:

 If you could choose to be a character from any book, who would it be and why?

Hermoine Granger. She’s wicked smart, hangs out with the Chosen One, and she does MAGIC. Also, I’m in serious need of a time-turner.

Giveaway

1. Winner will receive an ecopy of the book Open Minds

2. International!!!

3. Earn an extra point by  subscribing to my author newsletter

4. Winner will be chosen via Random.org on March 27.

5. MUST be a follower!

QMT

“Nonsense?” Alex said. “Do you believe your eyes?  Is the blood in our hair a figment of your imagination?  Vampires are rare, perhaps, but they’re real enough.  The world is full of the unknown, swimming like fish under the surface of normalcy.”

The Darkening Dream by Andy Gavin

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“Tears burn and prick at my eyes, which makes me furious. I loath this weakness—that I would crumble over a child’s prank. I lean against the short stone wall edging the meeting hall, taking a moment to reclaim my composure. I will not cry.”

Vanish by Sophie Jordan

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“A shadow glided over the frozen hills, moving too quick to likely be cast by something of this Earth. “

Shadows by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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His eyes seemed to get even more tired however, and shaking his head, he quietly said, “I haven’t forgotten anything, Kiera.”

Thoughtless by SC Stephens

Posted in 2012, March, Quote me tuesday

Starters by Lissa Price & QMT


Starters by Lissa Price

Published March 13th 2012 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers

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Callie lost her parents when the Spore Wars wiped out everyone between the ages of twenty and sixty. She and her little brother, Tyler, go on the run, living as squatters with their friend Michael and fighting off renegades who would kill them for a cookie. Callie’s only hope is Prime Destinations, a disturbing place in Beverly Hills run by a mysterious figure known as the Old Man.

He hires teens to rent their bodies to Enders—seniors who want to be young again. Callie, desperate for the money that will keep her, Tyler, and Michael alive, agrees to be a donor. But the neurochip they place in Callie’s head malfunctions and she wakes up in the life of her renter, living in her mansion, driving her cars, and going out with a senator’s grandson. It feels almost like a fairy tale, until Callie discovers that her renter intends to do more than party—and that Prime Destinations’ plans are more evil than Callie could ever have imagined. . . .

Review

This book was chalked full of drama, suspense, romance and sadness. Callie is basically forced to do something that she does not really want to do, but, in order to make a better life for herself and her brother she decides to go for it. Callie agrees to become a renter for Prime Destinations, but when she wakes up part way through her rental cycle, she realizes that something is terribly wrong. She also starts hearing a voice in her head warning her not to return to Prime Destinations. Should she listen?

The writer drew the awful picture perfectly of what Callie and her family have to live through everyday. They struggle to literally survive by scavenging food, shelter and even water. Throughout most of the book, I was on the edge of my seat with worry about these characters. There were many twists and turns to the story and the reader never could even guess what was going to happen next. There was no way to predict the ending and I was left kind of shocked.

The character of Callie was stronger than she gave herself credit for. The story of how she lost her parents is a tragic one and she became the sole caretaker of her brother. For such a young girl, she really puts her brothers needs before her own. Tyler is very sweet and you can really tell that he looks up to his sister. He worries about her safety and is probably fearful that he will lose her too. Michael, hmm, what can I say about Michael. Michael is a sweet guy and he looks out for Callie and Tyler. They have kind of formed their own little family. I believe that Michael has feelings there for Callie, but it was not really acted on too much throughout the book.

Callie does have a love interest in the senator’s grandson which plays a HUGE part in the book. I cannot say that I think he is the one for her though, I am rooting for Michael!

I really enjoyed the premise and look forward to the next book in the series, Enders, coming sometime winter 2012. I hope that the next book gives us a little more of a glimpse into the spore wars which started it all.

“Did Cinderella ever consider fessing up to the prince, that night she was enjoying herself in the fancy ball gown? Did she even think of telling him, oh, by the way, Prince, the coach isn’t mine, I’m really a filthy little barefoot servant on borrowed time? No. She took her moment. And then went quietly away after midnight.”

Quote Me Tuesday

He inhaled sharply.  ”Ana.  I want you to know I’d choose you.  If it were up to anyone, if what I wanted counted for anything, I’d have chosen you.”

Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

“Please tell me I’m wrong. Tell me that you are not messing around with a godsdamned pure-blood. Damn it, Alex. Him? My Gods, it explains so much.”

Pure by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Posted in 2012, March, Quote me tuesday

The Annihilation of Foreverland Review and Quote Me Tuesday



Date Published: December 31, 2011

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First Thoughts:

By looking at the short summary provided about this book, I was very much intrigued. I enjoy books that mess with the mind and make you try to determine reality from fiction. This book definitely had all of those elements and to top it all off it had a creepy vibe about it also.

The plot of this book was at times a bit confusing, so much was happening and you weren’t always shown the best view but after a while when you grow used to the author’s structure and style it becomes easier and more easy to determine what was happening and why.  The world that the main characters are placed in is horrifying and wonderful at the same times. The things they have to go through; have to endure are much more than the mind can comprehend.  This book was definitely packed with action and surprising twists; this book was full of action and mind numbing questions. This was definitely the kind of book that plays with your mind and causes you to really think about the information being laid out before you.  The description was amazing; the way this author chose to describe the dream world versus reality was fantastic. Not one detail was left unturned; the author did so well with the description that it caused me to FEEL rather than to just see. The characters themselves are filled with spark and personality though at times you’ll find a character that lacks an important element but I’ve determined that those characters are minor in the whole scheme of things. As far as the characters transforming I didn’t see a huge transformation but Danny Boy did change slightly, and though you expect a transformation in all stories in this one isn’t really necessary. As far as the writing style of the author it was good, he showed a unique style into which he created a creative world and style that is not monotone or mundane in anyway. I enjoyed that this author chose to show us the details that most authors seem to shy away from. He wasn’t afraid to describe even the most disturbing things in the story and I liked that even if it made me cringe at times. The dialogue in this book was unique in itself; I noticed that the author chose to use a certain word that surprised me. The word “son” was used by these young boys and it took me by surprised, it threw me off; when I used to be around 13 or 15 year olds they never used the word “son” and it makes the dialogue a little false to me but I guess the author was perhaps trying to make the reader understand that these boys really weren’t that age; that they’ve had to grow up because of what they’re going through but at the same time the author reminds us as the reader that they really are that age. So I guess if you think of it the author was kind of brilliant in the way he was displaying these characters. It was definitely a brain teaser of a book.

Goodreads Summary:

When kids awake on an island, they’re told there was an accident. Before they can go home, they will visit Foreverland, an alternate reality that will heal their minds.

Reed dreams of a girl that tells him to resist Foreverland. He doesn’t remember her name, but knows he once loved her. He’ll have to endure great suffering and trust his dream. And trust he’s not insane.

Danny Boy, the new arrival, meets Reed’s dream girl inside Foreverland. She’s stuck in the fantasy land that no kid can resist. Where every heart’s desire is satisfied. Why should anyone care how Foreverland works?

Together, they discover what it’s really doing to them.

Last Thoughts:

I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys books that mess with the mind; this was definitely a book that questioned fiction from reality. I would also recommend this if you enjoy books that leave you questioning the whole book itself, even at the end I wasn’t sure of everything but I believe the author left us as the readers to determine what we believed to be the truth. I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone who doesn’t enjoy books that mess with the mind or to those who don’t particularly enjoy books that leave you a bit disoriented. Though I wasn’t totally satisfied with the fates and conclusion of these characters I did believe the whole conflict was solved and would leave the average reader satisfied; I just wished some more of the sub-plots or conflicts were solved. But overall I did enjoy this book; any book that can creep me out sure gets a good view for me. This is an author I’ll definitely look for in future writings.

Quote Me Tuesday

But what surprises him the most are the children.  There aren’t many young kids in the Dome.  Large families are discouraged, and some aren’t allowed to have children at all, if there are obvious flaws in someone’s genetic makeup.
Pure by Julianna Baggott
“I burror deeper into the quilt, worn flannel patches my only protection from everything I’m not willing to face. “I just”-don’t look him in the eye-“I can’t.” The waver in my voice matches his. “Not yet.”
Breaking Beautiful by Jennifer Wolf
“Well, where’s the hussy now? Is she in Avalon? Does she live in New York? Is she allergic to strawberries? Because I will send her a gift basket that’ll make her wish she’d never laid eyes on Gabriel’s deceitful-albeit delicious-body!”
Anew by Chelsea Fine
Posted in 2012, February, Quote me tuesday

Quote Me Tuesday


”I’m serious. She asked me what my greatest strength was. I said getting along with people.”
”That’s not bad,” I admitted.
”Then she asked what my greatest weakness was. And I said, ” Where should I start?”

Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

“But it was too late. Whatever had been damned up inside Gabe for so long was coming up and out, and it was not the angry outburst he’d expected. He didn’t know what it was. It was if someone else was speaking, haltingly, and from a remote corner of his aching heart, a truth that he knew only as he heard it spoken.”

Into the Mist: Silver Hand by Steve Finegan

“I don’t want to die without telling you that I love you,” Everett’s voice was a faint, wavering whisper, and his lips swollen and bloodied. “I always have.”

Cicada by Belle Wittington

“I don’t think Luke said this to embarrass me, I think he really was impressed with what I told him.”

Vampire Shift by Tim O’Rourke

Posted in 2012, Author Interviews, February, Quote me tuesday

Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen and Some Other Random Things……


Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen

Published February 14th, 2012 by Walker Childrens

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Order it Now from Amazon or BN

Many readers know the tale of Robin Hood, but they will be swept away by this new version full of action, secrets, and romance.

Posing as one of Robin Hood’s thieves to avoid the wrath of the evil Thief Taker Lord Gisbourne, Scarlet has kept her identity secret from all of Nottinghamshire. Only the Hood and his band know the truth: the agile thief posing as a whip of a boy is actually a fearless young woman with a secret past. Helping the people of Nottingham outwit the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham could cost Scarlet her life as Gisbourne closes in. It’s only her fierce loyalty to Robin—whose quick smiles and sharp temper have the rare power to unsettle her—that keeps Scarlet going and makes this fight worth dying for.

Review

I am a sucker for a good historical retelling, and a strong heroine to be honest, and this book had everything I was looking for.

Scarlet is a member of Robin Hood’s band of thieves. Few outside the group know that she’s a girl, as she disguises herself as Will Scarlet. In the legends and movies of past Robin Hoods, Will was often considered Robin’s best friend, and was always played by the cutest, dorkiest boys. In case you need a reminder:

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991)

Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993)

Oh, and while there was no Will character in the Disney version of Robin Hood, I think it was by far my favorite, and I still encourage you to go see it.

Anyway, in this version Scarlet is a girl with a past. She’s been hiding out with Robin’s men for the past two years, but now the Sheriff has hired the thief-taker Gisbourne to bring Robin in once and for all. With Gisbourne’s arrival, the past that Scarlet has fought to keep hidden for all these years is threatening to reveal itself.

This story is written beautifully. Its written in Scarlet’s words, with her commoner accent, the way she would have talked back in those days. The plot stars off action filled and never gets dull. The character development was wonderful, as well as the richness in the way the different character relationships were laid out.

Speaking of the characters, they by far they were what made this such a wonderful story. Each had their flaws.

Scarlet is running from her past. She’s crude, secretive, and generally keeps to herself.

Robin has a bit of a temper. Instead of the perfect hero, he’s a little rough around the edges. He has the weight of the world on his shoulders, and sometimes that much pressure gets to be a bit much. He might be the most realistic Robin Hood I’ve read/seen.

Little John is a big, charismatic brute. He was definitely more attractive here than in other stories.

Much is the youngest and sweetest member of the group.  Scarlet cares for him like a brother.

Even the secondary characters, the townspeople, where wonderful. They had weak moments, but they were just human. All coping with the crummy situations they were in.

And yes, there was even a little romance. But it was the kind I really like. The romance was secondary in the story. It was something in the background, just teasing you without ever overriding the main plot. I don’t want to say too much, but I love a good romance tease.

The only problem I had with the book was that its a stand alone book. The ending, while wrapping up the plot, still leaves loose ends with so much room for a sequel. Its a great place to stop to make you want more. And I do. I’m hoping for a sequel, because without one, that ending is just going to kill me.

Guest Post with A.C. Gaughen

What advice would you give to a young teen who dreams of becoming an author?

Give yourself permission to succeed.  This is true for pretty much all writers, but teens in particular.  You are in a super exciting place right now; it’s confusing and it’s crazy and it’s incredibly hard and insanely joyful.  The things you’ll go through right now are the things that will come to define your life later on, for better or for worse.  You have to acknowledge that you’re at the beginning of a journey.

Writing is a journey too.  There’s some theory out there about needing to do something every day for ten years before you can call yourself a master of it, and writing is no different.  You may be an incredible writer on day one, but you need to give yourself that ten years to enjoy your craft outside of judgement, outside of criticism, outside of any reaction whatsoever.

I’m thrilled to be in the position that I’m currently in–my first novel is coming out, and I hope it’s just the first of many.  I hope I get to do this for the rest of my life.  But surprisingly, the thing I’m most grateful for is that the first novel I sent off–just about ten years ago, at the age of 14–never got published.  I have stacks and stacks of notebooks that are filled with crappy novels and heartbreaking scenes and cheesy, comforting, deep or thrilling words.

I got ten years to play, and I got ten years to figure out what I wanted to say, and how I wanted to say it.  I gave myself permission to take the time–and in turn, I found my voice.  So, Anonymous Teen Writer, give yourself permission to succeed.  Give yourself time to play.  But never, for a second, give up on your dreams.

Thanks to A.C. for the guest post!

Transcendent: Tales of the Paranormal

by Lani Woodland (Goodreads Author), Melonie Piper (Goodreads Author),Rita Webb (Goodreads Author), Wendy Swore
(Goodreads Author), 
Melanie Marks
 (Goodreads Author), Heather McCubbin (Goodreads Author), Evan Joseph (Goodreads Author)
 
Add to Goodreads
Purchase a copy at Amazon|B&N

Discover the secrets of a siren, fly with a hawk girl over the mountains of Montana,

and flee supernatural party-crashers as the décor comes to life in this magical journey through paranormal stories.

Along the way, watch for ghosts in a

haunted house, or ride through the

moonlight with a stranger. Save a comatose boy who has lost his soul, and don’t forget to bring your garlic and wolfsbane—you

never know when the shadows will snag you.

Transcendent includes eight stories of

magic, love, death, and choice by some of

the newest names in young adult fiction.


Excerpt

Strike

Wendy Swore

& Rita J Webb

I shook my brown tangle of hair away from my face, tucking an errant curl behind my ear, and watched the distant coaster loop and dive. Playing in eddies and whirls, the wind carried delighted screams across the beach from carnival rides to the art exhibition. Hoards of classmates spent each weekend cavorting at the carnival—and that was fine for them—but I had no time or patience for such frivolity. As anyone serious about chasing their dreams could tell you, every moment mattered, and there was little time for foolish play.

The flier advertizing this exhibition highlighted Paloma’s work with Fulgurites and other sculpting methods involving electricity—just the sort of thing I needed to know to stand a chance at an art scholarship. If I played my cards right, I’d be the first Vera ever to finish college. Someday people would know my name.

Oh, is this one of Lani Vera’s pieces?

Why, yes. Yes, it is.

With enough hard work, all that would happen in time. I glanced at my watch; noon, exactly. Sighing, I folded my arms and waited for the presentation to begin.

A sandy-haired surfer leapt onto the podium and glanced around, smiling and waving at people. He danced a little shuffle to whatever tune he played on his MP3 and made a show of peeking at the crowd over his shades. His frayed cut-offs and sleeveless T-shirt revealed muscles rippling beneath tanned skin. He pulled the ear buds out and tucked the chords into his pocket before folding away the sunglasses and tossing them on the podium.

Who did this guy think he was? Where’s Paloma? I scanned the exhibit, spotting her in the first row, smiling and nodding, just a few seats down from me. Confused, I looked back at the boy at the podium. He had an easy laugh that made me want to smile back. I pressed my lips together and focused on the pad of paper I had in front of me, my pen poised to take notes. Goofing around wouldn’t get me anywhere.

“Can I have your attention? If you are here for flight lessons…you’re out of luck.” The crowd chuckled and his Cheshire grin widened. “However, if you would like to see how we use lightning and other electrical means to make unique sculptures, then today’s your lucky day. My name is Dex, and I’ll be your guide throughout the exhibit.”

My eyebrows shot up; this gorgeous guy is the presenter? How unexpected: a boy with looks and a brain at the same time.

Using a rod, he pointed to various pieces around the stage, explaining that by manipulating the electric currents to run through different mediums, intricate and per-manent scorch marks created unique works of art. A perfect blend of technical information and quick humor, his presentation captured my interest completely.

“This is her latest metal piece. It’s called A Leap of Faith.” He pointed to a sheet of copper that had two raised marks like wings and a black river below. “She says this is for those who see the danger of falling, but choose to leap anyway for the chance to fly.”

Beautiful but unrealistic.

I wondered if the winged being really understood what they’d lose if they fell. With so much at stake, flying wasn’t an option when you wanted to succeed.

He held up a root-like sculpture that shimmered in the sunlight. “The crème de la crème of the presentation. This, my friends, is a Fulgurite—a melted sand/glass formation formed by super-heated lightning hitting the sand. As you can see…” His eyes locked with mine.

Had I ever seen such stormy gray eyes?

He swallowed and paused.

What was he waiting for?

Something tickled my lip, and then I knew all too well what he had been staring at: I’d been chewing on my hair. What was I? Three? Mortification ripped through me, and I tucked the stupid curl back behind my ear. My ears burned. While his presentation hiccupped back to life, I struggled in vain to pretend nothing had happened.

Who would be the idiot chewing on her hair? Oh yeah, that would be me.

Setting the first sculpture aside, he held up the rod again. “Artists around the world encourage lightning to strike using rods like these so we can dig up the resulting formations. Water disperses the heat faster, so we drive our stakes in higher ground. If you would all please follow me up the beach.”

I fell in line behind him, trying not to watch the way his calves flexed with each step through the sand. Wrenching my gaze upward, I vowed to keep my mind on the work where it belonged.

I did such a good job of not-looking at him that when he stopped, I plowed into him.

He caught my shoulders and held me at arm’s length, those piercing gray eyes searching mine. “Sorry, are you okay?”

Choking on my humiliation, I nodded dumbly and stepped back several steps pretending my already flaming face hadn’t just turned into a furnace. And I had judged him to be a brainless teen? What about me? He must think I’m an idiot.

“Focus your attention on the rods here. In preparation for today’s early-morning lightning storm, my mom and I pounded these rods into the sand…” His voice finally broke through my reverie. My irritation racketed up a notch at the realization that I’d missed everything he’d said. This was why boys were a bad idea. They served only to distract and stood in the way of studies—and my future.

I breathed out in annoyance. I should pay more attention to the words coming out of his mouth and less at the way the breeze teased his hair, standing it on end.

His eyes darted to me again, and he stuttered, “Lightning actually…uh…a…actually moves from the ground up. The charge builds here in the soil and then—” He pointed to the rod and jerked back as blue light arced from the metal to his outstretched hand. Before he could step back, his whole body began to glow.

White light exploded, crackling through the air; burning as it filled my head with pressure. A blow like a sledgehammer hit my chest throwing me back as I screamed, the thunderous roar blasting my eardrums before I could think to clap my hands over them. I landed in a tangle of arms and legs.

Lightning. Dex had been struck by lightning!

50% of the February proceeds from the net sales of Transcendent will be donated to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

QMT

“You have to stay safe, Scar.  Maybe it’s your bits in a dress and maybe it’s just you, but I’m awful fond of something in there.  So don’t get killed.”

Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen

“Edda’s dark brown eyes lit up with her recognition, the skin around them scrunching into tiny wrinkle lines.”

Howl #1 by Jody & Jayme Morse

“Is it better to have had a good thing and lost it, or never to have had it?”

The Statistical Probability of Love at First sight by Jennifer E. Smith

Happy Valentine’s Day!