Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating...

Title: "Revolution 19"
Author: Gregg Rosenblum
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: January 8, 2013

From Goodreads: "Twenty years ago, the robots designed to fight our wars abandoned the battlefields. Then they turned their weapons on us.

Only a few escaped the robot revolution of 2071. Kevin, Nick, and Cass are lucky —they live with their parents in a secret human community in the woods. Then their village is detected and wiped out. Hopeful that other survivors have been captured by bots, the teens risk everything to save the only people they have left in the world—by infiltrating a city controlled by their greatest enemies.

Revolution 19 is a cinematic thriller unlike anything else. With a dynamic cast of characters, this surefire blockbuster has everything teen readers want—action, drama, mystery, and romance. Written by debut novelist Gregg Rosenblum, this gripping story shouldn’t be missed."

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Guest Post: L.M. Preston

Today I am excited to have author L.M. Preston stop by the blog author of the "Explorer X" series stop by to tell us a bit about the gap between middle grade and young adult fiction! 

The Gap Between Middle Grade and Young Adult Fiction

Sometimes I wonder if it was wise of me from a marketing standpoint to write both Middle Grade fiction and Young Adult Fiction. They seem to be sometimes miles apart.

Many times I when I look at my sales of both genres I can see the big divide. And when I attend publishing conferences or writing events I’m constantly told not to jump genres all the time.


The most important reason is the building of different markets. When you write a book in a specific genre, market that book, build a fanbase for that book within your genre – changing it means basically starting all over again.

Someone who reads mostly romance may not be a fan of your new horror book. It’s so much easier to build and maintain an engaged audience when you keep feeding them goods they love. Which in turn saves marketing dollars and efforts.

BUT…if you write companion genre it may help instead of hurt. For me, I hope my middle grade readers grow up to like my young adult novels as well.


Yep, because let’s face it. Readers are picky and creatures of habit. Yeah, I may jump out of my comfort zone once in a while but most people love the same type of story and genre. For instance, all those girls that loved Disney’s fairytale love stories probably love romances that are grown up love story, lol!


This to some people is the bottom line. I have to admit that my Middle Grade books sell MUCH better in person at book signings, direct to stores and other venders then it does in ebook. It’s growing in ebooks but not by leaps an bounds mainly because most people prefer to buy their 6th-8th graders paperback books over ebooks.

My Young Adult novels do much better on the ebook formats than the paperback. Over the years their paperback sales have shifted to the ebook format although remaining somewhat steady in paperback.

SOOO…… What are your thoughts? Do you like to read an authors book when they hop genre even when the genre is something you aren’t in love with?

From Goodreads: "For most kids, a trip to space camp is the trip of a lifetime—for Aadi it was life altering. After receiving a camp immunization needed for travel to Mars, Aadi finds that the immunization is the catalyst of an insidious experiment. He realizes what is happening too late for a change of fate. The full experiment is set in motion when he and his co-pilot, Eirena, crash in a distant galaxy called Shrenas, where they change and realize the full extent of their power. This turn of events forces him to grow up quickly, accept his change, and to decide to save a world, or to do what he was trained to do—dominate it. His power is coveted by the warring leaders of Shrenas, and he is forced to choose sides—a decision that may prove just how much humanity he has left."

About the Author:  LM. Preston was born and raised in Washington, DC. An avid reader, she loved to create poetry and short-stories as a young girl. With a thirst for knowledge she attended college at Bowie State University, and worked in the IT field as a Techie and Educator for over sixteen years. She started writing science fiction under the encouragement of her husband who was a Sci-Fi buff and her four kids. Her first published novel, Explorer X - Alpha was the beginning of her obsessive desire to write and create stories of young people who overcome unbelievable odds. She loves to write while on the porch watching her kids play or when she is traveling, which is another passion that encouraged her writing.

Monday, October 29, 2012

ARC Review: "Venom" by Fiona Paul

Release Date: October 30, 2012
Publisher: Philomel
Pages: 432

From Goodreads: "Cassandra Caravello is one of Renaissance Venice’s lucky elite: with elegant gowns, sparkling jewels, her own lady’s maid, and a wealthy fiancĂ©, she has everything a girl could desire. Yet ever since her parents’ death, Cassandra has felt trapped, alone in a city of water, where the dark and labyrinthine canals whisper of escape.

When Cass stumbles upon a murdered woman—practically in her own backyard—she’s drawn into a dangerous world of courtesans, killers, and secret societies. Soon, she finds herself falling for Falco, a mysterious artist with a mischievous grin... and a spectacular skill for trouble. Can Cassandra find the murderer, before he finds her? And will she stay true to her fiancĂ©, or succumb to her uncontrollable feelings for Falco?

Beauty, love, romance, and mystery weave together in a stunning novel that’s as seductive and surprising as the city of Venice itself."

If I were asked to describe this book in one word it would be "long". Despite it only being a 432 page book (I know, I'm also considering my sanity by writing "despite it only being a 432 page book"- what can I say? I've grown accustomed to books that are at least 500 pages long) it felt much, much longer. Everything just felt so long drawn out and slow- from the plot, all of the descriptions that Fiona writes, and the likes of. And as such, I personally could only read a few chapters every night (for almost a week and a half) when I am used to reading a book in a single sitting.

But then there is a flip-side, I did finish it despite my complaints- this means that I liked it enough and was intrigued enough to do so. What made the story for me were the characters- Cassanda and Falco. Despite not typically being a fan of female characters I did really like Cass. I found that overall she had a fairly strong head on her shoulders and was someone that readers can really relate with. While Falco may not have started out as being totally swoon-worthy with his cocky arrogance I did soon find myself swept off of my feet by him as the story progressed and we learned more and more of his true character.

I was also interested in the love triangle- who is better for Cass? The boy who makes her loose her inhibitions and feel alive? Or the boy who is unwavering solid and can offer her not only the world, but her family? However, personally I believe that it was one of the most dissatisfying love triangles I have ever encountered before mainly because I love love and I hate to see it go to waste  (Let's just say that if you weren't a fan of how the love triangle ended in Lili St. Crow's "Strange Angels" series that you will most likely not be a fan of how this love triangle also ends).

Another aspect which I am a bit iffy on is the ending- the last chapter is mainly composed of Cass questioning everyone and everything around her- by the end of this book very little is revealed (I mean, the series is named "Secrets of the Eternal Rose" yet the Eternal Rose is mentioned all of two? Three times? It's not like Cassie Clare named her "Mortal Instrument" series as such and didn't make mention of the Mortal Instruments until the third book or so).

All in all, despite my complaints, I, as mentioned, did enjoy the book- it is an extremely unique YA, "The Diviners" by Libba Bray meets "The Thief Lord" Cornelia Funk. Furthermore, I do plan on continuing with this series if only to see how it all wraps up.

Rating: 3/5

I received this book from the publisher to read and review. I was not compensated in any way for said review.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

On My Wishlist

On My Wishlist is a great event that Book Chick City runs every Saturday. It's where you list all of the books that you desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. I thought that this was a fantabulous idea so I thought I would join in!

Title: "Essence"
Author: Abbi Glines
Release Date: December 13, 2011
Publisher: Wild Child Publishing

From Goodreads: "What happens when you're stalked by Death? You fall in love with him, of course.
Pagan Moore doesn't cheat Death, but instead, falls in love with him.

Seventeen year old Pagan Moore has seen souls her entire life. Once she realized the strangers she often saw walking through walls were not visible to anyone else, she started ignoring them. If she didn't let them know she could see them, then they left her alone. Until she stepped out of her car the first day of school and saw an incredibly sexy guy lounging on a picnic table, watching her with an amused smirk on his face. Problem is, she knows he's dead.

Not only does he not go away when she ignores him, but he does something none of the others have ever done. He speaks. Pagan is fascinated by the soul. What she doesn't realize is that her appointed time to die is drawing near and the wickedly beautiful soul she is falling in love with is not a soul at all.

He is Death and he's about to break all the rules."

Friday, October 26, 2012

Author Interview: M.X. Kremzen

Today I am excited to have M.X. Kremzen, author of DARK RISING, stop by the blog to talk whether they prefer unicorns or Sasquatches how big of an impact cover art has on readers, and why they decided to go indie! 

From Goodreads: "The ancient and powerful Arcana have fallen.

The knowledge they recorded was lost. The artifacts they gathered from civilizations throughout the universe have been destroyed. Their ability to harness the powers of dark matter couldn’t save them. Many are dead. The rest are scattered. And the vengeful defector that brought them down has begun his hunt for the remaining survivors.

When sixteen-year-old Alexander learns he’s an Arcana, the hunt is already underway. All his gadgets, books, and plans to run away have to be put aside. And when James, the young alien instructed to take him to safety lapses him into the heart of enemy territory to settle a personal score, Alexander has no choice but to accept the responsibilities placed on him. That includes learning to wield his new-found dark matter abilities, even though he’d rather not. But nothing is as simple as it seems. Secrets have been kept. A truth has been hidden for thousands of years. If Alexander doesn’t learn who and what he actually is in time, it’s not just his life he’ll lose. Entire worlds will die with him."

Describe DARK RISING in five words or less.
Knowledge is power.

How many books do you intend for your THE DARK MATTERS CHRONICLES?
As of now, it's a trilogy but there's a good chance it will end up being 4 or 5 books. It all depends on where the natural breaks in books 2 and 3 are, and if the books can be separated without compromising the integrity or quality of the storyline.

What are some upcoming projects that you're working on?

I'm working on book 2 of The Dark Matter Chronicles series right now. I have tons of other ideas for more books but they will have to wait!

Who would be your dream cast if DARK RISING were to become a film?

This is always fun to think about! I would cast Andrew Garfield as Alexander (the protagonist) and Robert Pattinson as Psi (the antagonist).

How did you come to the decision to go indie?

This year, the Mars rover landed, the discovery of the Higgs Boson was made, the Guardians of the Galaxy movie was announced, and superheroes were more popular than ever. I felt that a book that touched on the themes of space, science, technology, fantasy, adventure, superheroes, and war, (as my novel does), should be out in the world right now. Traditional publishing is great, but it takes a very long time to find a publisher and then get a book onto the shelves. The process takes years. With indie publishing, I can release the book now and build the series over time with a great deal of flexibility. There are also a few things about my book that aren't conventional so I can write what I want with no restrictions. For instance, Dark Rising is little more about Psi (villain) than Alexander (hero). The divide between good and evil will blur further into the series as well. Indie publishing will let me change and the break rules a little more easily.

I personally love your cover- how big of an impact do you believe that cover art has on readers?

Thank you! My designer, Iva Holovac, did a wonderful job of capturing the tone I wanted. A book cover is very important because it informs the reader's first impression and gives clues as to what the story is about. A good cover will draw you to the shelves and a bad cover will keep you from reading a single page.

Being an indie author what impact (if any) have book bloggers had on your career?

In the past couple of months, I've connected with a lot of indie authors and one thing is clear: book bloggers are crucial to building a readership. They are champions of indie publishing! My career has just started so I can't say what the exact impact has been so far, but I know it will help a great deal in getting me on my way.

Do you read reviews of your book? If so, how do you respond to negative (or not-so-nice) reviews?

I have gotten a few reviews and I did read them. So far, they've been great! But I have to say, I'm looking forward to getting some negative ones. Negative reviews should be welcomed because sometimes they can help you grow and improve as an author. I also think that if no one disagrees with you or dislikes your book, you haven't offered the world anything new.

Any advice for aspiring authors?
Writing is not easy. It involves discipline and hard work. You'll have days when you want to give up and that's alright. Let yourself have that moment when you feel like you can't do it and your book is not good enough. Get it out of your system. Then pick yourself up and get back to work because all that matters is that you keep writing.

This or That

Unicorn or Sasquatch? Unicorns, because where there are unicorns, there is magic (and hopefully dragons).

Dogs or cats? Both. Dogs will love you unconditionally while cats will remind you of your place in the world.

Coffee or coke? Coffee. It is the elixir that begets written words.

Music while writing or no music? I spend a lot of time in coffee shops so light music is nice in the background. When I write at home, it's too distracting.

Typing on a computer or writing in a notebook? Both. Computer for writing and notebooks for ideas. I'm never without one or the other.

Reading a book or watching TV? Both. Books let you create alongside the author, while TV invites you into a completed experience. They're different mediums but both have something to offer as far as stories go.

Batman or Superman? Batman. Not everyone is born with great abilities but everyone can choose to be great, even in small ways.

About the Author: 
Excerpt from a non-existent wildlife documentary on authors:

A Kremzen is an odd, neurotic breed that lurks in coffee shops and tiny apartments. Its nerdy tendencies make it fond of superheroes, quantum physics, futuristic technology, LOL cats, and stars. This particular Kremzen has a severe addiction to cake and coffee.

When not falling flat on its face or accidentally running into furniture, it can be found parked in front of a screen, creating stories. It has an equally strange assortment of friends and has made itself a comfortable home in Toronto.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating...

Title: "Splintered" 
Author: A.G. Howard
Release Date: January 13, 2012
Publisher: Amulet Books 

From Goodreads: "This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence. Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.

When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own."

Monday, October 22, 2012

ARC Review: "The Evolution of Mara Dyer" by Michelle Hodkin

Release Date: October 23, 2012
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Pages: 544

From Goodreads: "Mara Dyer once believed she could run from her past.

She can’t.

She used to think her problems were all in her head.

They aren’t.

She couldn’t imagine that after everything she’s been through, the boy she loves would still be keeping secrets.

She’s wrong.

In this gripping sequel to The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, the truth evolves and choices prove deadly. What will become of Mara Dyer next?"

Warning: This review is admittedly a bit jumpy and erratic, but I figure that fitting for "Mara", no? ;)

Admittedly I was quite on the fence about "The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer"- while I on the whole enjoyed the first 3/4 I didn't enjoy the last 1/4 near as much, which I think is attributed to the genre. I had been under the impression that TUoMD was a contemporary thriller of sorts, however, a speculative fiction story line was also thrown into the mix, which, at the time, was anything but what I wanted. That being said, while reading this book I really enjoyed the speculative fiction aspect of it, which is partly attributable to having had quite a bit of time to process it and thereby come to terms with it and also because I believe that it was ferreted out much better than in its predecessor- questions were answered with answers, not with more questions (which seems to be the trend in YA).

I don't know if these books are the most genius thing I have ever read before or the most cracked out- from flashbacks to India, to a creepy doll, to residents at a psychiatric hospital. At any given time I admittedly only understood between 27.8% and 43.4% of what was going on. But what I do know is that these books are utterly addicting. It becomes evident that the books biggest weakness is also its biggest strength- in not knowing exactly what the book is about the reader feels the need that they HAVE to finish it (and finish it quickly, after all, the quicker you finish it, the sooner your burning questions will be answered).

That being said, prepare yourself... This book not being as much of a 'kissing' book than the first was, an aspect which I think that we all enjoyed (as I can recall I described Noah as 'sex-on-legs' in my review of "The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer"). However, it is still enjoyable without all of the obvious romance. If I had to describe Noah and Mara's relationship in this book I would say that it is beyond romantic (despite said lack of kissing), but on the other it was utterly dysfunctional- Noah is willing to do anything, even risk his own sanity, to save Mara's. Either way it truly is the cherry on the top of this book.

Aside from Noah and Mara's relationship another aspect of this book that I really enjoyed was the reintroduction of Jamie. I was a huge Jamie fan in the first book and therefore was devastated when his time was cut short in TUoMD, however in this book we not only see a lot of him, but he plays a hugely instrumental role.

All in all, it becomes evident that Michelle has grown tremendously as an author between this and TUoMD- this is truly a keeper, I will be adding a finished copy to my shelves! Therefore I obviously cannot wait to see what Michelle has in store for us in the third book in the series, "The Retribution of Mara Dyer" (especially with the ending of this book which rips your heart out- I'm going to suggest that you have a box of Kleenex on hand)!

Rating: 5/5

I received this book from the publisher to read and honestly review. I was not compensated in any way for said review.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

On My Wishlist

On My Wishlist is a great event that Book Chick City runs every Saturday. It's where you list all of the books that you desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. I thought that this was a fantabulous idea so I thought I would join in!

Title: "Crash"
Author: Nicole Williams
Publisher: HarperCollins

From Goodreads: "Southpointe High is the last place Lucy wanted to wind up her senior year of school. Right up until she stumbles into Jude Ryder, a guy whose name has become its own verb, and synonymous with trouble. He's got a rap sheet that runs longer than a senior thesis, has had his name sighed, shouted, and cursed by more women than Lucy dares to ask, and lives at the local boys home where disturbed seems to be the status quo for the residents. Lucy had a stable at best, quirky at worst, upbringing. She lives for wearing the satin down on her ballet shoes, has her sights set on Juilliard, and has been careful to keep trouble out of her life. Up until now. 

Jude's everything she needs to stay away from if she wants to separate her past from her future. Staying away, she's about to find out, is the only thing she's incapable of.

For Lucy Larson and Jude Ryder, love's about to become the thing that tears them apart."

Friday, October 19, 2012

Author Interview: Nathan Wrann

Today I am excited to have author Nathan Wrann stop by the blog to tell us a bit about his "Cor Griffin Bloodsuckers" series, what his thoughts on writing a vampire series are, and whether or not he reads reviews! 

From Goodreads: "A new town. A new school. A new beginning. Seventeen year-old Cordell Griffin and his mother move from Los Angeles to the Pacific Northwest to deal with his "allergies," and start a healthier new life. Cor has one goal: To blend in and be invisible. Unfortunately for him, no matter how far he goes, he can't run away from his secrets. Secrets about who he is. Secrets about why he's sick. And secrets about why so many people he meets end up dead, drained of blood. 

In "Dark Matter Heart", the origin novel in the "Cor Griffin Bloodsuckers" Young Adult Paranormal Thriller series from filmmaker Nathan Wrann, Cor must uncover the mysteries of his past and conquer the secrets of the present in order to protect the girl of his future, and save himself."

You have three books under your belt now, do you find that you have an easier time writing a book as you gain more experience?

I don’t think it ever gets easier to actually write a book. It still takes a lot of time, motivation and dedication to put the words down on a blank piece of paper or type them out on a blank screen. What does get easier is writing a better book than the previous one. But that doesn’t necessarily come simply from writing more, it comes from having people read the work and give feedback. I have a friend who’s a writer (Shandy Lawson, check out his book “LOOP” coming soon) that I trust and the feedback he gave me on “From Out of Chaos” (Book 2 in the Dark Matter Heart trilogy) improved my writing immensely. He pointed out all of the annoying things I do (like overuse the phrase “a half dozen” and I learned from that. If I had been writing in a vacuum I would never notice these things or be able to fix them. So writing a lot is good, and necessary. Getting good feedback is great.

Describe your COR GRIFFIN BLOODSUCKERS series in five words of less.

Unique teens discover real myths.

What are some upcoming projects that you are working on?

I’m in the process of writing a new YA paranormal series that I haven’t titled yet. I think it’ll be quite different than what’s currently out there. From the paranormal aspect to the characters themselves.

How did you come to the decision to go indie?

I’m not big on “asking permission” to do things so sending out manuscripts and asking and wishing and hoping that an agent or publisher reads my work and decides it’s good enough was never really the right path for me. This is a mindset that I’ve had since my days as an independent filmmaker. If I’m going to gamble, I’m going to gamble on myself rather than an agent or publisher. 

How has also being a filmmaker affected you writing?

It really fuels and streamlines the storytelling process. In a film there are limitations, like time. A movie can only be 90 minutes or 120 minutes and you have to tell a complete story in that time so you learn to cut out everything that doesn’t have an effect on the story. I think that’s why much of the feedback and many of the reviews that I’ve had for the Dark Matter Heart Trilogy mention it being fast paced or a quick read. Everything that’s in there is there for a reason. On the flip side a picture is worth a thousand words so in filmmaking or scriptwriting I can write “A beautiful sunset” and then the image that is captured displays everything clearly for the audience. In a book I have to find those 1,000 words or so to display the picture of that sunset for the reader.

Were you ever scared that readers would perceive your book as being ‘just another vampire book’? Do you think that there can ever be too many vampire books?

While writing it I was never scared of that. I get a little dismayed when I see that people won’t read it or review it because they’re “sick of vampire stories”. I understand that, and it’s okay because there’s still a huge audience for vampire stories, which is why so many are still written. I don’t think there can ever be too many GOOD vampire stories, but that goes for every type of tale. As long as it’s good, it’s welcome in my life.

Being an indie author what impact (if any) have book bloggers had on your career?

Book bloggers are great! Dark Matter Heart wouldn’t have been as well received and the word wouldn’t have gotten out as widespread if it wasn’t for book bloggers. The Dark Matter Heart facebook page has a bunch of bloggers that receive what I post there and they repost the information. It’s great for getting the word out about things like Dark Matter Heart being available for free.

Do you read reviews? If so, how do you respond to negative (or not-so-nice) reviews?

I read all the reviews of my work that I can find. The reviews for Dark Matter Heart have been overwhelmingly positive but if a review is negative I’ll try to understand why the reader didn’t like the work. Sometimes there are just things inherent to the story (“oh another vampire book”, “it’s a male main character”) or the style (“I don’t like books written in 3rd person”) that the reviewer didn’t like and there isn’t much that I can do about that. But there have been comments made about some of the turns of the story or content, that I have tucked away for future reference. For example one review (a good review) said they wouldn’t recommend it to friends because of the swearing in book 1. So as I was writing book 2 I made a point to curb any swearing that wasn’t crucial to the story. It didn’t hurt the book and it may increase my readership so something like that is win-win. As far as publicly responding to reviews, I never do. People are entitled to share their opinions.

Any advice for aspiring authors?

Stop aspiring to be a writer and just be a writer. Back when I was studying screenwriting and film there was a seminar being taught by a famous screenwriter or writing guru, I can’t remember, but one of the people attending the seminar got up to ask a question and said “I want to be a screenwriter…” and the guru cut him off and said “Why do you want to be a screenwriter, why don’t you just be a screenwriter.” That struck a chord with me more than anything else. Thinking that way really changes your mindset. When someone asks “what do you do?” You say “I’m an author” or “I’m a writer” or “I’m a novelist” you don’t say “I want to be a writer” and then you’ll be one.

My second bit of advice (and one I have to follow more closely myself) is to write every day for an hour. If you’re on a roll, write for 2 hours. Whether it’s good or bad, write for 1 hour. I always hear people say they want to write a book but don’t have time. Everybody has one hour every day. After awhile you’ll be able to plunk out 700-1000 words in that hour. After two months you’ll have 60,000 words done. That’s a book. And it was written in 1 hour every day. The important thing is (and this is where I run into trouble) is that you cannot, under any circumstances, take a day off.

Yay or Nay Quick Questions

Coffee? Yay. (I used to own a coffee shop)

Love triangles? Nay. They give me anxiety.

Cliff hangers? Nay. I like resolution, but I also like a good setup for the next adventure.

Music while writing? Nay. Not while writing, but while thinking about writing.

Endings that rip your heart out? Yay.

Distractions while writing? Yay. If I don’t have distractions my writing gets boring and stuffy. I force the writing to be a better distraction than the distraction.

About the Author: 
Nathan Wrann is a writer, publisher and independent filmmaker living in West Haven, Connecticut with his rescued chihuahua Napoleon, pain-in-the-butt cat Konstantine and wife Kimberly. His films, HUNTING SEASON, and BURNING INSIDE are currently available on DVD and VOD. His novel, "Dark Matter Heart" is now available for the kindle and trade paperback.
He has also co-written, with Heidi Fuqua, a Sci-Fi Horror Novel titled "EUROPA" under the pen name Nicholas Faraday.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating...

Title: "Black City"
Author: Elizabeth Richards
Release Date: November 13th, 2012
Publisher: G.P. Putnam

From Goodreads: "A dark and tender post-apocalyptic love story set in the aftermath of a bloody war

In a city where humans and Darklings are now separated by a high wall and tensions between the two races still simmer after a terrible war, sixteen-year-olds Ash Fisher, a half-blood Darkling, and Natalie Buchanan, a human and the daughter of the Emissary, meet and do the unthinkable—they fall in love. Bonded by a mysterious connection that causes Ash’s long-dormant heart to beat, Ash and Natalie first deny and then struggle to fight their forbidden feelings for each other, knowing if they’re caught, they’ll be executed—but their feelings are too strong.

When Ash and Natalie then find themselves at the center of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to pull the humans and Darklings back into war, they must make hard choices that could result in both their deaths."

Monday, October 15, 2012

Author Interview and GIVEAWAY: Charles Sheehan-Miles

Today I'm excited to have author Charles Sheehan-Miles stop by the blog to tell us exactly what "new adult" is, how he relates to his character Dylan, and how he's used a typewriter in the past! 

From Goodreads: "Alex Thompson’s life is following the script. A pre-law student at Columbia University, she’s focused on her grades, her life and her future. The last thing she needs is to reconnect with the boy who broke her heart.

Dylan Paris comes home from Afghanistan severely injured and knows that the one thing he cannot do is drag Alex into the mess he’s made of his life.

When Dylan and Alex are assigned to the same work study program and are forced to work side by side, they have to make new ground rules to keep from killing each other.

Only problem is, they keep breaking the rules.

The first rule is to never, ever talk about how they fell in love.

Ebook publication August 30, 2012. Paperback publication scheduled for November 12, 2012."

It seems like "new adult" has become a new trend in the realm of literature, can you tell us a bit about the genre?

The publishing industry has a big gap between categories. Basically, in the publishing world, YA means the characters are up to 18 years old, but it cuts off at the end of high school or possibly the summer after. While there have always been titles that could be classified as new adult, they’ve been very difficult to bring to market because the publishing industry didn’t really believe that a significant market existed for them.

The last year, the success of Colleen Hoover, Jamie McGuire and other indie authors with New Adult titles has shown that not only does the market exist, but it’s pretty hot.

Describe JUST REMEMBER TO BREATHE in five words or less.

Soldier and his girl reunite.

You now have a number of books under your belt, do you find that you have an easier time writing a book as you gain more experience?

If anything, it gets harder. I’ve become more critical of my own work, and find that as time goes on, I’m reaching pretty deep into my own fears and emotions as I write. Just Remember to Breathe was something I finished writing very quickly, but the life experiences and emotions that went into it had decades behind them.

What are some upcoming projects that you're working on?

I’m currently writing a companion book to Just Remember to Breathe, which centers on Alex’s sister Julia. She has some tangled history, including a scandal that seriously hurt her father’s career, so she’s struggling with massive parental disapproval, pushing back against her own inner restraints, finding out who she is as a person.

Fans of ___________ will enjoy my book.

Trish Doller, Colleen Hoover, Tiffany King. I’m not nearly as good as they are though.

Can you tell us a bit about how you came to be published?

For about 2 years back in 2001-2003, my agent shopped around one of my books to just about every publisher on earth. We got nowhere. She really believed in the book, but the response was universal: there’s no market. I folded my tent and went home. Finally, in 2007, I decided: why not just go for it? So I set up my own tiny microscopic publishing house and released Republic in paperback. And I was stunned, because within the first year I sold 10,000 copies. Not big numbers for the publishing industry, but really big numbers for me. And the reader reactions were amazing and gratifying. Especially the personal and touching ones.

What impact (if any) have book bloggers had on your career?

Huge. I wouldn’t have a writing career at all if it wasn’t for book bloggers. You make my world. Seriously.

The publishing industry is changing so fast now that no one keep up. And the biggest part of that change is that anybody can slap together a book of dubious quality and have it published in about five minutes. Book bloggers in many ways function as the new gatekeepers, but in a way that is very inclusive of great books, not just books that have market potential. Book bloggers connect authors and readers, which was once a function reserved for acquisitions editors and booksellers. That’s huge.

Where did your inspiration for JUST REMEMBER TO BREATHE come from?

When I was a senior in high school I went on a foreign exchange trip and fell passionately in love with a girl from San Francisco. After we got back home, our lives drifted apart, and we haven’t spoken in about twenty years. So, I was thinking to myself, wouldn’t it have been an interesting story if … and then I started writing.

Main character Dylan returns home after a time spent in from Afghanistan- did you have to do a lot of research about the military/ how such an event impacts soldiers when they return home?

No research.

I was in the military and served in Iraq during the first Gulf War, and I’ve spent most of my adult life working with veterans who were injured or ill during their war experiences. Dylan’s experiences in Afghanistan, and especially the damage to his psyche as a result of those experiences, were simply written from the heart.

Do you read reviews of your book? If so, how do you respond to negative (or not-so-nice) reviews?

Yes. All of them.

As for negative reviews: all writers get them. All books get them. That’s the reality of life when you put something out there. I’ve had a couple of really nasty reviews over the years, things like “the author is a complete idiot” and I never, ever, respond to those.

Thoughtful negative reviews, I try to learn from, so I can become a better writer. On extremely rare occasions I’ve written negative reviewers to thank them for taking them time to review it and ask their advice for what would have made them enjoy the story more. Those have always been positive interactions, because I always learn something.

I know there’s a lot of controversy these days about authors who blow up and make spectacles of themselves in public over reviews that hurt their feelings. That’s foolish and unprofessional and above all, it damages the relationship with the people who connect authors and readers. Really bad idea. It’s the equivalent of running a restaurant and spitting in your customers’ food. Be nice. Be professional. Above all, be grateful people are taking time out of their lives to read what you wrote. There are a million other books out there they could have chosen to read instead.

Any advice for aspiring authors?

Don’t read reviews of your work.

Seriously: if you are an aspiring author, I’d recommend: invest the money in a good editor. Put out a quality product. And go for it. A low selling indie author nowadays is on equal economic footing with a mid-list traditionally public author, because they aren’t losing 95% of the cover price to six layers of middle-men. You’d be crazy to wait twenty years, sending out query letter to agents year after year for a $5,000 advance that may or may not earn out and six weeks on the shelf of a bookstore before your books get yanked. I always suggest: put it out there and see what happens. If your books are good, the audience will develop.

This or That

Unicorn or Sasquatch? Unicorns.

Dogs or cats? Cats are actually aliens from outer space, trying to take over the earth. Seriously. I have two of them, and they constantly try to practice mind control.

Coffee or coke? Coffee. All of it.

Music while writing or no music? Have to have music! I set up playlists for books, which match the tone I’m aiming for.

Typing on a computer or writing in a notebook? First three books, two of which are mercifully tucked away in a drawer, were handwritten or typed on an old manual typewriter. Everything since? Computer.

Reading a book or watching TV? I don’t watch TV. Except Glee and Doctor Who.

Young adult or adult? Both. This year, for me, it’s mostly been new adult.

About the Author: 
Charles Sheehan-Miles is the author of several novels including Prayer at Rumayla: A Novel of the Gulf War, Republic: A Novel of America's Future and college romance Just Remember to Breathe

Charles has been a soldier, nonprofit executive, short order cook, IT manager and run a restaurant. He doesn't believe in specialization. He is a former President and co-founder of the National Gulf War Resource Center and has served on the board of the Education for Peace in Iraq Center. Prior to becoming executive director of Veterans for Common Sense in August 2004, he was director of the Nuclear Policy Research Institute in Washington, DC. He currently works as a communications and outreach specialist for a law firm representing disabled veterans.

Charles lives in Bethesda, Maryland with his wife Veronica and their two children.

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Saturday, October 13, 2012

Cover Reveal: "Apollyon" by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Deity (The third book in the Covenant Series)
Available in both print and digital version on Nov. 6, 2012

Official Deity Book Trailer 

Did you read an ARC of Deity and been dying to get your hands on Elixir, the novella told in Aiden’s POV and picks up right after the end of Deity? Well, you don’t have to wait any longer. The free novella is available now. DO NOT read Elixir if you have not read Deity. It will spoil Deity for you and not to mention, you will have no idea what is going on. 

Elixir will be available in print. Kindle, and Nook formats on November 27, 2012. 

Click HERE to read Elixir. 

And we’re super excited to share the cover for the 4th book in the Covenant Series, Apollyon, which is due out April 2013. 

Check out Jennifer L. Armentrout on the following sites:

Friday, October 12, 2012

Guest Post and GIVEAWAY: Author Sarra Cannon

Today I'm excited to have Sara Cannon, author of The Peachville High Demons series, stop by the blog to tell us a bit about her writing process- Y'all are going to want to take notes, Sarra knows what she's talking about, she's sold more than 100,000 copies of her books! ;) 

Hi Avery and fans of Avery's Book Nook!! I am Indie author Sarra Cannon, and I am so excited to be here on the blog today to talk about my writing process.

 I have always loved to write fiction. When I decided to pursue writing as a career, I knew I wanted to write YA. For research (wink, wink), I bought a TON of new YA books and read for months and months, analyzing what worked, how the stories I loved most were put together, and what types of characters I connected with on a deeper level. Finding my own voice and writing process wasn't easy. It took years of work and self-discovery, but when I finally figured out my best process, my writing got better and a lot more fun.

 So what's my process? First of all, I keep an 'idea box'. Whenever I have a new idea, I file it away so that I don't forget. When it's time for me to work on a new project, I look through my idea box and pick a story that speaks to me. Then, I outline my idea using a three-act structure. I am obsessed with colorful post-its and pens, so my initial story grid looks like (to the left). I spend about a week or two filling in as many scenes as I can, which for me is usually only the beginning and end of the story with a few scenes peppered in here and there randomly. I definitely already have a good idea of the main characters in the story and can see them clearly in my head before I begin writing.

 Then I start the rough draft. My rough drafts always suck, lol. I write in circles, sometimes with scenes out of order. Sometimes I have notes to myself that say things like, “Figure out a scene to add here that is romantic.” During this stage, I usually bite my nails and swear that I'm a terrible writer. For the record, my husband hates this stage because he has to hear me whine about how the story just isn't coming together. He says I do this every single time. Ha!

 Even though I think I know what my novel is about when I begin, I always have this revelation somewhere toward the end of the first draft that completely changes everything I've written so far. When I first started writing, I got so frustrated by this. Making these changes means rewriting most of the book, and I felt that I had just wasted my time by writing words that would never see the light of day.

Demons Forever Sarra Cannon It wasn't until I finally gave in to my true writing process that I started writing books that people actually liked to read. I no longer let myself get frustrated by the fact that most of my rough draft is completely tossed out. I actually call my rough draft my 'exploratory draft'. I know going into it now that my readers will never see most of it. I am simply exploring my idea of what the story might be. I start writing and find joy in waiting for that beautiful moment where the light turns on and the true story reveals itself to me. It feels like magic, and for me, it's one of the most exhilarating things I've ever experienced in my life.

Of course, this moment usually comes about a month before my book is due to be published, so I end up rewriting the entire book furiously in the middle of the night. For Rival Demons, book 5 of my Peachville High Demons series, I rewrote the entire book in a week just before it was published in January. It was grueling and exhausted, but it was incredibly fun and exciting. This is my process, and the more I embrace it, the faster I write. I also would like to think the better my books become, but I'll let my readers be the judge of that.

Speaking of readers, I would love to introduce some new readers to the Peachville High Demons series. Enter below to win copies of all 6 ebooks in my series, including the brand new book, DEMONS FOREVER, which will release October 29th. I'm also throwing in some fun swag for a US winner! And for any current fans of the series, you can still enter to win book 6 even if you already have the rest of them. The winner will be announced here on the rafflecopter and on my twitter (@sarramaria) and Facebook page Tuesday the 16th.

 Thanks so much to everyone who stopped by the blog today, and thanks again to Avery for having me as a guest!! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, October 11, 2012

"Stealing Parker" by Miranda Kenneally

Release Date: October 1, 2012
Publisher: Sourebooks Fire
Pages: 245

From Goodreads: "Red-hot author Miranda Kenneally hits one out of the park in this return to Catching Jordan's Hundred Oaks High.

After a scandal rocks their conservative small town, 17-year-old Parker Shelton goes overboard trying to prove that she won't turn out like her mother: a lesbian. The all-star third-baseman quits the softball team, drops 20 pounds and starts making out with guys--a lot. But hitting on the hot new assistant baseball coach might be taking it a step too far...especially when he starts flirting back."

When I was presented the opportunity to read and review this book I jumped at the chance to do so (despite never having read "Catching Jordan"- yet), as it came so highly recommended to me (in fact, some of my friends who had read it had trumpeted author Miranda Kenneally as the next Stephanie Perkins and those of you who know me know that I LOVE Stephanie Perkins). Therefore, you could say that I had extremely high expectations- expectations which were not met in any way, shape, or form.

When I first started this book I felt that there was something off about the writing, something that I can't put on my finger on- I don't know if I found the writing to be too simplistic or juvenile or if I found that Parker's perspective was too jumpy and erratic- and it just spiraled downward from there. Admittedly, Parker rubbed me the wrong way from the get-go, I found her to be so superficial, selfish (for all but that one instance at the very end of the book), and the likes of- she possessed essentially every characteristic that I despise in a female character. I lost track of the number of times that she referred to herself as "hot", talked about how many boys liked her, described her tangly hair, and painted her nails (all but describing the entire process).

As my opinion of Parker was as such I had an extremely difficult time connecting to her, in fact, I had an extremely difficult time connecting to any character and the story line itself (admittedly, I also had quite a difficult time writing this review, because, in all honesty, I cared so little for this book to really be bothered to form a solid opinion of it). While I did quite like Brian in the beginning of the novel my opinion of him quickly soured as his true character was revealed. Additionally, while I did like Corndog a fair bit, I wish that he had been a bit more complex. Drew, Parker's best friend, was the brightest moment of the story for me, however my opinion of him was tarnished a fair bit by the assumptions that he made towards the end of the novel. Additionally, I had a bit of a difficult time with the religious aspect of this novel- while I withhold judgement about other's religions, I, at times, felt that this novel was a bit too "preachy"- barely a page passed without some mention of it.

All in all, while I personally was not a fan of this novel I believe that fans of Kenneally's "Chasing Jordan" will love this novel. Furthermore, despite said complaints I do intend to read Kenneally's other books, hopefully in doing so will allow me to reconsider my opinion of this book!

Rating: 2/5

I received this book from the publisher to read and honestly review. I was not compensated in any way for said review.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating...

Title: "Touch of Death"
Author: Kelly Hashway
Release Date: January 15, 2013
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press

From Goodreads: "Jodi Marshall isn’t sure how she went from normal teenager to walking disaster. One minute she’s in her junior year of high school, spending time with her amazing boyfriend and her best friend. The next she’s being stalked by some guy no one seems to know.

After the stranger, Alex, reveals himself, Jodi learns he’s not a normal teenager and neither is she. With a kiss that kills and a touch that brings the dead back to life, Jodi discovers she’s part of a branch of necromancers born under the 13th sign of the zodiac, Ophiuchus. A branch of necromancers that are descendents of Medusa. A branch of necromancers with poisoned blood writhing in their veins.

Jodi’s deadly to the living and even more deadly to the deceased. She has to leave her old, normal life behind before she hurts the people she loves. As if that isn’t difficult enough, Jodi discovers she’s the chosen one who has to save the rest of her kind from perishing at the hands of Hades. If she can’t figure out how to control her power, history will repeat itself, and her race will become extinct."

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Guest Post: Rachel Roberts

Today I'm excited to have Rachel Roberts, author of the "Avalon: Web of Magic" series, stop by to offer aspiring authors a few words of wisdom! 

Rachel Roberts - Rachel's Writing Tips 

Since so many of you have asked for tips to create your own stories, Attila, Raider, and I thought we'd share some writing secrets! Whether you're a writer starting with a blank page, a painter staring at a canvass or a sculptor shaping a lump of clay, creating is a process. It takes time, practice, and patience to bring your vision to life. Creativity can be hard work but it's always worth the effort. The important thing is to have fun!

WAIT! Don't write - yet: You have to prepare first. Make some decisions about what kind of story you want to tell - action, adventure, fantasy, mystery - and who your characters are. But where do you get ideas?

You need input to get output: 
To get your imagination flowing, start by doing something you like. Read a book, watch a movie, listen to music, walk in the forest - any experience that makes you feel inspired and ready to create.

Be open to ideas: 
As a writer, part of your job to observe. Ideas- big and small- will come if you pay attention to the world around you. Maybe your cat did something so amazing that it gives you an idea for a magical creature, or your BFF had an interesting comment that made you think, or a ray of sunlight shining through a maple tree looked like a cloud of golden fairy dust. The more you study the real world, the truer and realer your own world and characters will feel.

Be ready to catch ideas: 
If you don't grab that idea when it pops into your mind it, it might get lost. Carry a notebook so you're always prepared to jot things down. Soon you'll have a lot of cool stuff to help create your story. Some ideas you'll love and others you won't, but that's okay. You never know what will help build your story. Plus, when you feel stuck during writing, you can always go back to your notebook and find ideas to get you moving again.

The Big Idea: 
You've immersed yourself in great stories, you have a collection of cool ideas, you're inspired, excited - now what? Here's what I do:

1. Write A Story Summary: 
A story summary helps you answer the question, "Hey, what's your story about?" This will help you keep the big picture in mind as you start designing the beginning, middle, and end to your story. You can also use this summary for sales copy when you are ready to post your book online or print it. Here’s some examples of the Avalon book summaries:

Circles in the Stream:

Three very different teenage girls are all drawn to a secret place deep in the woods. There they discover a portal to another world through which strange and wondrous animals have emerged, searching desperately for the magic that will keep them alive. The animals are peaceful and good, but what follows them through the portal is pure evil. Emily, Adriane, and Kara have been chosen by magical beings called Fairimentals to protect the magical animals, though they don't know why. To save them and their world, the three girls must begin a quest to find the lost home of legendary magic, Avalon...or to perish trying.

Secret of the Unicorn:

The problems in the magical world of Aldenmor are getting worse. Many new creatures are arriving in Ravenswood through the portal and they report that the Fairy Glen, home of the Fairimentals, has vanished. A frightened and terribly wounded unicorn is among the new refugees to Ravenswood. Can Emily communicate with her to offer help? The future of the magic web depends upon the dark secret the unicorn carries.

2. Create Character Bios: 
Write a short bio for each of your lead characters, including stats like age, hair color, eyes, height, likes and dislikes. Don't worry about selecting names. I always use placeholders (any name I can think of) until the perfect name comes to me.

3. Build Your World: 
Write a short description of the places in your story. Is it a fantasy world? Is it a zoo? Is it a mall? An old, spooky house? Know your environments to make your world feel real.

Keep your notes handy because as you start to write your story, you might want to update, expand or change these 3 things.

Okay, now that you have the basics it's time to start writing and start creating your own world.

Your fellow writer mage, 

Monday, October 8, 2012

"The Diviners" by Libba Bray

Release Date: September 18th, 2012
Publisher: Little Brown
Pages: 578

From Goodreads: "Evie O'Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City--and she is pos-i-toot-ly thrilled. New York is the city of speakeasies, shopping, and movie palaces! Soon enough, Evie is running with glamorous Ziegfield girls and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is Evie has to live with her Uncle Will, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult--also known as "The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies."When a rash of occult-based murders comes to light, Evie and her uncle are right in the thick of the investigation. And through it all, Evie has a secret: a mysterious power that could help catch the killer--if he doesn't catch her first."

They say that an author should write every chapter of a book with the intent that it will further the storyline, however, I found that to be anything but the case for this book. The first 160 pages or so there was party after party after party, almost none of which furthered the storyline. Furthermore, I found that very few of the differing perspectives of this book (I lost track of how many there were since there were SO many) added anything to the storyline- there are better ways of exposing the background of a storyline without explicitly showing you, "Oh, hey, here's this characters perspective of something that happened sixty years ago." Additionally, while I appreciate the fact that Libba took the idea of "show, don't tell" to heart, it was just so tiresome (I have learned from this book that there *is* such thing as too much detail)- I'm fairly certain that I can paint a picture of the back alleys of New York or the speakeasies better than I can the home that I grew up in. I think that if Libba had reigned in some of her descriptions she could have easily cut the book back by a quarter.

Not only did I have a problem with the pacing of the story, but I also did with main character Evie. Personally I couldn't connect with her on any level, I found her to be quite superficial and selfish. I'm kicking myself for thinking that she might redeem herself at the end of the novel- she didn't, she just further reiterated the fact that she will do anything and everything to further herself, with no regard to anyone else. Additionally, I thought that Evie's feelings for one of the male characters somewhat sprung up out of nowhere- I thought that her feelings would be directed towards one boy, with their playful banter back and forth, but they weren't, rather being directed to the stoic character with more skeletons in his closet than personality.

That being said, I did quite like the secondary characters, Henry, Thea, Memphis and Sam. I thought that each of them really brought something to the story- Henry, a humbleness and generosity like no other, Thea, a role model of sorts, making the most out of the crappy hand that she was dealt in life, Memphis, the love for his brother tear-jerking, and Sam, the best personality of the bunch.

All in all, despite my complaints this book was entertaining in that it helped to pass the time. Additionally, the storyline is quite unlike anything I have ever encountered before- which I greatly appreciated as I find that I am having an increasingly difficult time finding unique YA's. Furthermore, despite said complaints, I will still continue on with this series just to find resolution with everything.

Rating: 3/5

I received this book from the publisher to read and review. I was not compensated in any way for said review. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Stacking the Shelves

To support my fellow Canadian bloggers I have decided to participate in Stacking the Shelves created by Tygna over at Tygna's Reviews. As Tygna writes, "Stacking The Shelves is all about the books we are adding to our shelves each week, sharing with you our excitement for our newest titles and maybe have you discover a new book in the process!" 

So... This is probably the most epic STS I have ever had before- but only because this is the first STS post that I have had in a month (since before my hiatus).

For Review

  • "The Evolution of Mara Dyer" by Michelle Hodkin (Thanks to Simon and Schuster Canada): I recently read this and absolutely LOVED IT- I can't wait to get a finished copy in a couple of weeks!
  • "Adaptation" by Malinda Lo (Thanks to Hachette Canada): I recently read and reviewed this on the blog! 
  • "Black City" by Elizabeth Richards (Thanks to Razorbill Canada): I've heard such great things about this book that I can't wait to start reading it! 
  • "Stealing Parker" by Miranda Kenneally (Thanks to Raincoast): I also recently read this, the review will be up in the next little while! 
  • "The Diviners" by Libba Bray (Thanks to Hachette Canada): I also recently read this, the review will be up on Tuesday, I believe! 
  • "Scarlet" by Marissa Meyer (Thanks to Raincoast): This is one of my most highly anticipated books of 2013- I can't wait to reread "Cinder" and then start on this! 
  • "The Broken Lands" by Kate Mildford (Thanks to Thomas Allen and Son)
  • "Sons of the 613" by Michael Rubens (Thanks to Thomas Allen and Son) 
  • "What Came from the Stars" by Gary D. Schmidt (Thanks to Thomas Allen and Son)
  • "Dead is a Killer Tune" by Marlene Perez (Thanks to Thomas Allen and Son)
  • "The Casual Vacancy" (Not pictured- Thanks to Hachette)


  • "The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer" by Michelle Hodkin: I finally replaced my ARC with this finished copy- bought at Chapters for a mere $4.99! 
  • "Avengers Season One" by Marvel: I bought this alongside my DVD of "The Avengers" 
  • "Fury" by Elizabeth Miles: After borrowing my library's copy of this I knew that it was a keeper- and it comes at the perfect timing, author Elizabeth Miles will be coming to the Ontario Blog Squad's meet-up in a couple of weeks! 
  • "Spellbound" by Kelley Armstrong: I finally got this after waiting for a year for the Canadian paperback to be released! 
  • "Graveminder" by Marissa Marr: I have always been really curious about this therefore when I saw it at Chapters for $5.99 I couldn't pass it up! 
  • "Red Glove" by Holly Black: Again, I couldn't pass this book up when I saw it for $5.99 at Chapters! 
  • "The Eternal Ones" by Kirsten Miller: Ditto w/ "Red Glove"
  • "The Nine Lives of Chloe King: Volume 1" by Liz Braswell: You can't really do much better than the first three books in the series for $4.99! 


Saturday, October 6, 2012

On My Wishlist

On My Wishlist is a great event that Book Chick City runs every Saturday. It's where you list all of the books that you desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. I thought that this was a fantabulous idea so I thought I would join in!

Title: "Phoenix"
Author: Elizabeth Richards
Release Date: June 2013
Publisher: G.P. Putnam

From Goodreads: "The much anticipated second book in the enthralling Black City series.

Engaged to be married, Ash and Natalie are just starting to build a life together, when things in the United Sentry States go from bad to worse. Ash and Natalie find themselves at the center of the turmoil when dictator Purian Rose threatens Natalie’s life unless Ash votes in favor of Rose’s law—a law that will send Darklings and other dissenters to a deadly concentration camp known as the Tenth.

Ash can’t bring himself to trade Natalie’s life for those of millions of Darklings. The only way to save everyone is to escape Black City and find the Ora, a powerful weapon that could take down Purian Rose for good. But fleeing the city and finding this weapon is easier said than done, if it even exists, and becomes a quest that could tear Ash and Natalie apart, even pushing them into the arms of others."

Friday, October 5, 2012

Author Interview: Michelle Flick

Today I'm excited to have Michelle Flick, author of the recently released "The Owen Legacy: Revelations", stop by to allow me to pick her brain about her writing process, her thoughts about bloggers, and what she's working on next! 

From Goodreads: "When telepathic twins, Piper and Ryder Owens are dumped at Evermore Academy, they thought that the only thing they’d have to worry about was Piper staying out of trouble long enough for them to graduate. They will not, for any reason, be separated. But someone at Evermore knows about their secret and wants to separate them permanently.

But then Piper’s Achilles Heel shows up: a good looking guy. Victor Mira is everything Piper is supposed to avoid, yet she feels drawn to him in a way she never imagined. But Victor is hiding a dangerous secret too, and what he knows could be the one thing that could divide the sisters. Forever."

You're currently working on the second book in your debut series, do you find yourself having an easier time writing the second book or do you believe that you had an easier time with the first? 

I think when I was writing the first installment it was easier because nothing was set. I was free to write and create as it came to me. Writing the second one, I have felt "confined" at times because I have to stick to a lot of what I did in the first book. It's works, and it's great, it's just different.

How many books are planned for your THE OWENS LEGACY series? 

One more after this. The Owens Legacy: R-something. All I can say is: Poor Ryder.

What are some upcoming projects that you are working on? 

I have so many ideas pin balling around in my head. I have been making sure to write them down so someday I can and will get to them. But the one that is currently in the works is a dream walking novel. My lead protagonist Kate discovers that she actually can "walk" into other people's dreams and then I throw in some teenage drama and a murder or two an Wa Bam! I'm about half way through the first rough draft!

How did you come to the decision to self-publish? 

It's still my dream to be traditionally published. But when I finished The Owen Legacy: Revelations I pursued both tracks, was patient, and then was no longer patient and self-pubbed it!

Being a self-published author what impact (if any) have book bloggers had on your career? 

Book bloggers are IT in the self-published world. I only have so many friends and family that can or want to buy my book. Book bloggers a publicity and it's amazing how quickly "words" can spread.

Do you read reviews? If so, how do you respond to negative (or not-so-nice) reviews? 

I do read reviews. I stalk my reviews actually :). But when someone comments and it isn't stellar, I keep in mind that everyone has his/her own opinion and that my book is not for everyone. In the end, if someone posts or reviews about me, he/she is still helping me and I'm grateful!

Any advice for aspiring authors? 

KEEP AT IT! Keep writing. Keep networking. Click on those blog links that gives tips and tricks, if anything, you learn what you don't want to do, which is just as valuable as learning what you do want to do.
Yay or Nay Quick Questions

Coffee? GAWD YES!

Love triangles? Tough. Um. Oh! Uh! YES!

Cliff hangers? Not if they are at the end of a book - in chapter yes - end of book - no.

Music while writing? PLEASE!

Endings that rip your heart out? Oh yeah! Make me cry!

Distractions while writing? Nope - people get things thrown at them if they bug me. :)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

"Adaptation" by Malinda Lo

Release Date: September 18, 2012
Publisher: Little Brown
Pages: 386

From Goodreads: "Reese can’t remember anything from the time between the accident and the day she woke up almost a month later. She only knows one thing: She’s different now.

Across North America, flocks of birds hurl themselves into airplanes, causing at least a dozen to crash. Thousands of people die. Fearing terrorism, the United States government grounds all flights, and millions of travelers are stranded.

Reese and her debate team partner and longtime crush David are in Arizona when it happens. Everyone knows the world will never be the same. On their drive home to San Francisco, along a stretch of empty highway at night in the middle of Nevada, a bird flies into their headlights. The car flips over. When they wake up in a military hospital, the doctor won’t tell them what happened, where they are—or how they’ve been miraculously healed.

Things become even stranger when Reese returns home. San Francisco feels like a different place with police enforcing curfew, hazmat teams collecting dead birds, and a strange presence that seems to be following her. When Reese unexpectedly collides with the beautiful Amber Gray, her search for the truth is forced in an entirely new direction—and threatens to expose a vast global conspiracy that the government has worked for decades to keep secret."

If someone were to ask me what one word came to mind when I thought about this book it would be romance- but not romance in your typical sense. You think that the romance is going in one direction and BAM! with the introduction of a new character it goes in a completely different way. Which while entirely unexpected is not wholly unappreciated- I personally love that the romance in this book went in the direction that it did, I think that we need to see more of that in YA (personally I can only think of one book where the main character is questioning their sexuality/ dealing with LGBT issues, "Hushed" by Kelley York, it seems that in YA the LGBT characters are always off to the side, either a secondary character or a sidekick mentioned in passing, not unlike Alec in Cassie Clare's "Mortal Instruments" series or Lola's dads in "Lola and the Boy Next Door").

That being said, while I have been described as a 'kissing book' person, a person who LOVES romance in a book, I did find myself growing tired with it in this. Reese and Amber were near constantly making out in the first half of the book- all I could help but wonder while reading this parts was, "Can't you guys, I don't know, maybe do something else- like talk?" But it was somewhat forgivable as this was such a new experience to Reese, not only in realizing her attraction to a girl, but dating all together- plus it helped that the two of them were just so gosh darn cute and happy together. Furthermore, the love triangle that ensues between Reese, Amber, and David was also quite forgivable because, as mentioned, Reese is at a fork in the road, so to speak- go for the guy she has had a crush on for as long as she can remember or go for the girl who makes her feel alive?

While I did really enjoy Reese, Amber, and David as characters I think that I actually liked Julian, Reese's best friend, and Reese's mother more. Julian was so much more than just the stereotypical best friend- he really helped to propel the storyline along. While Reese's mother was perchance the best mother figure I have ever had the pleasure of reading of before- she was just so gosh darn open-minded when it came to Reese and didn't judge her in the slightest when it came to her relationship with Amber (I loved when she walked in on Reese and Amber making out and basically shrugged and said something along the lines of, "Who am I to judge? It'd be odd if I hadn't ever experimented with the same sex, living in San Francisco and all).

All in all, while this was my first Malinda Lo book it will certainly not be my last (not only will I be reading the sequel to this, but I will also be checking out "Ash" and "Huntress"). I highly recommend this book to everyone, especially those who are iffy on sci-fi because this book is the epitome of a 'sci-fi for those who don't like sci-fi' (a la what Beth Revis said pertaining to her "Across the Universe").

Rating: 4/5

I received this book from the publisher to read and review. I was not compensated in any way for said review.

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