Sunday, December 11, 2011

Mid-winters eve Blog Hop Giveaway!

Blog Hop is hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and co-hosted by Oasis For YA.
December 21st-27th!
I am so happy to be doing this giveaway! Cidney Swanson was generous enough to giveaway her books to you! Check out my interview with her here!
I will be e-mailing the winner to let them know they won, then Cidney herself will e-mail you about the prizes so SHE can send them to you!

 HERE are the prizes!

Prize #1: E-book of Rippler by Cidney Swanson (international)
(pictures will take you to books on Amazon)

Prize#2: a Signed ARC of Chamelion (Rippler book 2) by Cidney Swanson
She was so generous to give her LAST ARC to you guys! (US only!)

Thank Cidney for the prizes here!

1. Be a GFC follower
2. Fill out Rafflecopter form
3. You must specify which prize you want, or if you want both! (in rafflecopter form)

Pretty simple right?!

You will get extra entries for:
1. Subscribing to my YouTube channel
2. Tweeting about the giveaway! (following me is not required, but appreciated!)
3. Commenting on the Cidney Swanson Interview post. Make sure in your comment you include your e-mail.

Presto, you are done after that!
Enter below:

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

WoW (Waiting on Wednesday) 12-7-11

The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder

Dry, sarcastic, sixteen-year-old Cam Cooper has spent the last seven years in and out hospitals. The last thing she wants to do in the short life she has left is move 1,500 miles away to Promise, Maine - a place known for the miraculous events that occur there. But it's undeniable that strange things happen in Promise: everlasting sunsets; purple dandelions; flamingoes in the frigid Atlantic; an elusive boy named Asher; and finally, a mysterious envelope containing a list of things for Cam to do before she dies. As Cam checks each item off the list, she finally learns to believe - in love, in herself, and even in miracles.

Release Date: December 8th, 2011
(only one more day!!!)
I'm usually not much into contemperary reads, but this book sounds fabulous! Do I even need to mention the AMAZING-NESS of the cover? *swoons*

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Cidney Swanson Author Interview!

Cidney Swanson is an absolute sweetheart! This interview has been in the works for a while, and I was so excited she was willing to be my very first interviewed author for my blog! I hope you guys get to know her, and that you will check out her books! (Trust me, you don't want to miss out on these!)
Cidney has written Rippler, and it's sequal, Chameleon.
Check them out here:
(click on the pictures to go to books on Amazon)

10 Questions with Cidney!

1. When did you start writing?
I started writing as soon as I could hold the pencil steady to form the letters and knew how to write the words. About age seven.

2. Where did the inspiration for the Rippler come from?
From an image that popped into my head. In my mind, I saw a girl sitting by the Merced River, totally at peace, and then she vanished. I could tell she didn’t know she’d vanished, and I wanted to know: what happened? Why didn’t she notice she just turned invisible??

3. After the Rippler series, what can we expect from you?
I’m working on a sci-fi piece and a piece about poetry and death and love.

4. In a brief synopsis, what is a day in the life of Cidney Swanson?
My DH wakes me up with a cup of tea and I stumble to the computer. I am not a morning person. Then, while my editorial brain is still fast asleep, I start writing new material. I’ll write for a couple of hours, pausing for breakfast somewhere, and then take a break for lunch, errands, helping kids with homework, feeding the cats, snuggling the cats, etc.
Sometime in the afternoon I attack the massive pile up of email, tweets, and FB posts. If it is a blogging day, I might write a post. If I am in edits as well as writing new material, I’ll sit down with a very sharp Ticonderoga black-wrap 2HB pencil and change things. A lot of things! Then I might take a walk before dinner if it isn’t raining too hard. (Oregon. It’s always raining.) Then comes dinner, possibly an hour spent watching my DD’s ballet class because it makes me relax to watch. Then either reading, a movie with DH (at home) or more writing. I crawl in bed with a book every night, and fall asleep so I can do it all the next day.

5. What author(s) do you look up to?
Jane Austen for her wicked wit. George Eliot for her insight into the earnest anguish of youth. Maggie Stiefvater for her ability to evoke mood. Nova Ren Suma for breathtaking sentences. Sara Zarr for speaking the truth. Markus Zusak for being made of awesome in all things writerly. Stephen Lawhead and Daniel Silva for understanding story arc so brilliantly. Tolkien for world-building and delectable, heart-wrenching writing. I could go on, but Tolkien’s a good one to stop at.

6. Briefly, What was the process of publishing your first book like?
I queried it around the trad pubs and got multiple requests for full manuscript reads and then multiple rejections with invites to send something new.  I re-worked it with some major help from a best-selling author and started a micro-press to self-publish the series because I believed it could sell. I still 100% believe in the trad pub route, but it just wasn’t the right one for this series.

7. Did you always dream of being an author? 
Absolutely. I’ve always found words intoxicating. My earliest memory of a word is the word “two.” I was about to turn two and I remember walking around saying the letters “t-w-o” and loving the feeling of the letters in my mouth. Loving that they meant something important to adults.

8. Who would you say was your biggest supporter through the process of writing and publishing your first book?
My sister. She’s also my harshest critic, so it works well!

9. How long does it typically take you to write an entire book?
A first draft takes me 2-4 months, but the rewrites, edits, and polishing can add 3-12 months. Or more.

10. Any advice for someone who is looking to become an author?
Read widely. Read classics and bestsellers. Read heavily in your favorite genre—the one you want to write in. And put your butt in the chair every day to write. You must read, read, read, and then you must write, write, write. Allow yourself to write really bad stuff for first drafts (ie, turn off your inner editor). Then set it aside for a couple of weeks while you work on something else. Go back to your first draft and look at it again. Where does it sparkle? Where does it (gasp!) make you think someone you admire wrote it? And where does it need work? Polish, re-work, fix, change. If you like classes, take writing classes. Or go to conferences. If you learn best from books, read Stephen King and Anne Lamott’s books on writing. Never stop learning. Never give up.

I absolutely love her answers!
Find Cidney all of these places:

We are also hosting a giveaway for the Mid-Winter's Eve Blog Hop on Dec. 27th, so make sure to check that out when the time comes!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

WoW (Waiting on Wednesday)

The Story of Us by Deb Caletti

Cricket’s on a self-imposed break from her longtime boyfriend—but she’s picked a bad week to sort out her love life. For one thing, her mother’s romance is taking center stage: After jilting two previous fianc├ęs, her mom is finally marrying Dan Jax, whom Cricket loves. But as wedding attendees arrive for a week of festivities at a guesthouse whose hippie owners have a sweet, sexy son—Ash—complications arise:
Cricket’s future stepsisters make it clear they’re not happy about the marriage. An old friend decides this is the week to declare his love for Cricket. Grandpa chooses to reveal a big secret at a family gathering. Dan’s ex-wife shows up. And even the dogs—Cricket’s old, ill Jupiter and Dan’s young, lively Cruiser—seem to be declaring war.
While Cricket fears that Dan is in danger of becoming ditched husband-to-be number three, she’s also alarmed by her own desires. Because even though her boyfriend looms large in her mind, Ash is right in front of her....

This book will be released April 24th 2012.
Deb Caletti is a wonderful YA writer, and I always look forward to her books! She is one of the few authors that writes contemporary that I love, no matter what she publishes. I would be unbelievably excited if I came across an ARC of this book somehow, because it will be so hard waiting five months to get my hands on it!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

ARC Haul!

Ok, so these are technically AREs (advanced reader e-copies) instead of ARCs. I wanted to give you a preview of the books I will be reviewing for you all soon, so what better way to do so than a haul? Enjoy!

In the midst of a chaotic midnight assembly, Sunshine is forced out into the darkness. Holding a scrap of paper scrawled with a stranger’s name and address, Sunny grasps the hands of her three small children and begins her escape.

Liesel Albright has dreamed of starting a family. She never bargained on inheriting one already in progress…or one so deeply damaged. When nineteen-year-old Sunshine appears on the Albright’s doorstep claiming Liesel’s husband Chris is her father, all they can think to offer is temporary shelter. The next day, they’re stunned by the news that the Family of Superior Bliss, led by a charismatic zealot, has committed mass suicide. Sunny and her children haven’t just left the compound–they’ve been left behind.

Now, instead of a baby of her own, Liesel must play mother to the four survivors while Chris retreats into guilt and denial. For Sunny, however, a lifetime of teachings is not easily unlearned. No matter how hard she tries to forget, an ominous catechism echoes in her mind, urging her to finish what the Family started.

Expected publication: December 20th 2011

Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan assumes their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honored for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Territories, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos.

Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader, an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own, is unequivocal in his demands: Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince—leader of a campaign against her people. As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for. Because the price of peace may well be her life....
Expected publication: December 20th 2011

“The more curses you break, the sooner you’ll die.”

Magic has a price—and for Amber Sarga it’s days and years off her life. Each curse she breaks ages her—and the bigger the curse the bigger the cost, and not only to her. That’s why she hides away and has vowed not to get involved again… That’s why she hates looking in a mirror…

And then an ill-fated stranger arrives. Rafe Davail doesn’t believe in curses—not even knowing that in his family every first son dies young. Amber offers guidance but she won’t break the curse. Still, as she grows closer to Rafe and discovers the secrets of their pasts, she wonders if for this time, this man, she should risk it all…
Expected publication: December 20th 2011

After being inexplicably targeted by an evil intent on harming her at any cost, seventeen-year-old Nikki finds herself under the watchful guardianship of three mysterious young men who call themselves halflings. Sworn to defend her, misfits Mace, Raven, and Vine battle to keep Nikki safe while hiding their deepest secret—and the wings that come with.

A growing attraction between Nikki and two of her protectors presents a whole other danger. While she risks a broken heart, Mace and Raven could lose everything, including their souls. As the mysteries behind the boys’ powers, as well as her role in a scientist’s dark plan, unfold, Nikki is faced with choices that will affect the future of an entire race of heavenly beings, as well as the precarious equilibrium of the earthly world.
Expected publication: January 17th 2012

No synopsis due to the fact that it is the 4th installment in the Mystyx series.
Expected publication: February 2012

They call me 'New Girl'...

Ever since I arrived at exclusive, prestigious Manderly Academy, that’s who I am. New girl. Unknown. But not unnoticed—because of her.

Becca Normandy—that’s the name on everyone’s lips. The girl whose picture I see everywhere. The girl
I can’t compare to. I mean, her going missing is the only reason a spot opened up for me at the academy.
And everyone stares at me like it’s my fault.

Except for Max Holloway—the boy whose name shouldn’t be spoken. At least, not by me. Everyone thinks of him as Becca’s boyfriend…but she’s gone, and here I am, replacing her. I wish it were that easy. Sometimes, when I think of Max, I can imagine how Becca’s life was so much better than mine could ever be.

And maybe she’s still out there, waiting to take it back.

Expected publication: January 31st 2012

"The choices I had made led to the moment when fate took over. I would learn a lesson I wasn’t prepared for.
And Death would be my willing teacher."

Five years ago Abbey Chandler cheated Death. She survived a horrific car accident, but her lucky break came at the expense of her mother’s life and changed everything. After she crossed paths with Death—by taking the hand of an ethereal boy made of clouds and sky—she would never be normal again.

Now she’s the target of Death’s Ravens and an innocent boy’s life is on the line. When Nate Holden—Abbey’s secret crush—starts to climb Alaska’s Denali, the Angel of Death is with him because of her.

Abbey finds out the hard way that Death never forgets.

Expected publication: December 27th 2011

We know you are here, our brothers and sisters . . .
Pressia barely remembers the Detonations or much about life during the Before. In her sleeping cabinet behind the rubble of an old barbershop where she lives with her grandfather, she thinks about what is lost-how the world went from amusement parks, movie theaters, birthday parties, fathers and mothers . . . to ash and dust, scars, permanent burns, and fused, damaged bodies. And now, at an age when everyone is required to turn themselves over to the militia to either be trained as a soldier or, if they are too damaged and weak, to be used as live targets, Pressia can no longer pretend to be small. Pressia is on the run.
Burn a Pure and Breathe the Ash . . .
There are those who escaped the apocalypse unmarked. Pures. They are tucked safely inside the Dome that protects their healthy, superior bodies. Yet Partridge, whose father is one of the most influential men in the Dome, feels isolated and lonely. Different. He thinks about loss-maybe just because his family is broken; his father is emotionally distant; his brother killed himself; and his mother never made it inside their shelter. Or maybe it's his claustrophobia: his feeling that this Dome has become a swaddling of intensely rigid order. So when a slipped phrase suggests his mother might still be alive, Partridge risks his life to leave the Dome to find her.
When Pressia meets Partridge, their worlds shatter all over again.

Expected publication: February 8th 2012

"To understand what it meant to be a Hathaway, you'd first have to see Aurelia."

For generations, Aurelia was the crowning glory of more than three thousand acres of Iowa farmland and golden cornfields. The estate was a monument to matriarch Lavinia Hathaway's dream to elevate the family name - no matter what relative or stranger she had to destroy in the process. It was a desperation that wrought the downfall of the Hathaways - and the once prosperous farm.

Now the last inhabitant of the decaying old home has died - alone. None of the surviving members of the Hathaway family want anything to do with the farm, the land, or the memories.

Especially Meredith Pincetti. Now living in New York City, for seventeen years Lavinia's youngest grandchild has tried to forget everything about her family and her past. But with the receipt of a pleading letter, Meredith is again thrust into conflict with the legacy that destroyed her family's once-great name. Back at Aurelia, Meredith must confront the rise and fall of the Hathaway family... and her own part in their mottled history.

"Our farm was like the world when people still thought it was flat. And when you left it, it was as if you had simply sailed too far and fallen off the surface into the void."

Expected publication: January 31st 2012

No synopsis due to the fact that this is the 3rd installment in the Aftertime series

Expected publication: January 24th 2012

That's all folks!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Beautiful Creatures Review

Some of my favorite praise for Beautiful Creatures:
"Gorgeously crafted, atmospheric, and original. I devoured it" -Melissa Marr
"Like a thick, hot Carolina Summer, this story seeps into you until it's all you can think about." -Carrie Ryan

Ethan Wate is a boy who lives in a small southern town, called Gatlin. He has grown up there, and knows as well as anybody that new people are rarely welcomed by the town; and so the conflict begins.
Macon Ravenwood; known as the town shut-in; has a niece named Lena who moves to town to live with him in his estate. Not only is she shunned by the town for being the new girl, she is also shunned for being different. But to Ethan Wate, different may just be what he is looking for.
Strange forces seem to draw the two together, things that neither of them can understand.
Ethan soon learns that Lena is different in many other ways than just looks, and he soon learns a secret that could change his life forever.
Instead of running in the other direction, and treating Lena as if she was a classified freak, Ethan finds himself caught in the middle of it all. When they then find a locket that seems to unlock dark secrets of the past, neither Lena nor Ethan could imagine what thier lives are about to become.

I gave this book 4.5 out of 5 stars. I found that whenever I put the book down, I found myself thinking about when I could pick it up again. I was so engrossed in the story, and even though it was sort of a chunky book, I had no trouble getting through it. I loved the many references to To Kill a Mockingbird. I loved the southern charm; although I must say at first the heavy southern dialouge was a BIT distracting at first, but only grew on me as the story continued.
I will go ahead and tell you a little about the characters and what I thought of them.

Ethan Wate was a great character, don't get me wrong; but I find myself struggling to describe him. I feel as though there could have been a little bit more character development with him. With that aside, he is still a very likable main character.

Lena was my favorite character in the book. I loved her differences from the "ordinary" girls in this town. I loved her attitude in the book, and her relationship with Ethan felt genuine.

Amma was the authority figure in Ethan's life since his mother passed, and she was a very strong character. Southern and stubborn are the first two words that come to my mind when I think of Amma.

Macon Ravenwood was a great character as well. He was very mysterious, and you find yourself constantly questioning the ability to trust him.

Link is Ethan's best friend. While ast first he turns his nose up at Lena like the rest of thier friends, he soon accepts her and her friendship/romance with Ethan. I do like Link...I actually wanted more of him in the story, but because he wasn't a main character I am at a loss to truly decide wether I loved him or not.

Marian was the town librarian, and also a close friend to Ethans mother. I can't talk too much about her without giving anything away, but she was a very calm, soothing character; sort of the voice of reason in the story. She was my second favorite character, and I genuinley loved and trusted her from the start.

Ethan's father was a character we didn't see alot, he was also a shut-in like Macon, but he wasn't just shut in from the town...he shut himself away from Ethan as well. Ever since Ethan's mother died, he locks himself away in his office writing all night and sleeping all day. There isn't much to say about him because he very scarcely appeared at all.

So as you can see, I have close to nothing negative to say about this book. I liked it A LOT, and consider it a favorite. I am thoroughly looking forward to continuing with the series.
Reviews will be coming soon for the next 2 books in the series:

Beautiful Darkness

Beautiful Chaos

The fourth book is Untitled, and is expected to release sometime in 2012.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa

I fell madly in love with this series, more so with every book that I read.

The Iron King: This was the first dark fantasy I had ever read. When I thought of faries before this series I thought of tinkerbell and pixie dust. After reading this series I think, what a whimp! This book opened my eyes to the dark side of the fey, and I loved it!! At first, I admit, I was a little hesitant. I tend to get scared very easily, and the first half of the first book was fairly intense. Once you continue on the journey with main character, Megan Chase, you soon become accustomed to it and I felt no longer scared of the story.
The characters introduced into this book were Megan Chase, a girl who believes at first that she's just a normal human girl; but she is far from it. She soon discovers she is the half-daughter of Oboron, the summer faerie King. After her discovery her world takes on a whole new life and introduces many amazing characters a long the way.
Puck, or Robin Goodfellow (you may know from the almighty Shakespear's A Midnight's summers dream) joins Megan on her journey, leading her into the NeverNever for the first time.
Soon in her time in the faerie land, Megan discovers the Winter Prince, Ash. From then on the story unfolds seamlessly into a magical adventure of love, loyalty, and friendship.

The Iron Daughter: Without spoiling anything, I will say that the characters in this book remain the same as those from the first.
Only new brilliant adventures take place, and this book is filled with a love story that makes you swoon. Gremalkin, the humdrum cat, soon became a favorite of mine in this book. This book was in no way a dissapointing sequal to the first.

The Iron Queen: This book was an absolute thrill, if you were ever thinking of not reading this series I am telling you now, the third book makes it all worth while. I laughed, I cried, I swooned, I loved. Megan Chase matured a great deal through the series, and she really shined in this book. If I ever found her character flawed before, I found it beautiful now. I felt immense closeness with all characters, even the Ice Prince.

All I can say about this series is that it is a must read!

The fourth book in the series, The Iron Knight comes out the 25th
of October, and I am more than excited! This story is told from the
Viewpoint of Ash, the Ice Prince himself.