Saturday, December 31, 2011

My Top Five Part 1

Happy New Year's to all my blogging friends! I am so happy that I got to know all of you! If you haven't noticed, I have been a bit MIA - I got my first sinus infection - man did it suck - and because of that I didn't have much of a head for reading. 

For my wrap up I am going to do this in parts of my top five faves for 2011. This post will include my top five fave books and my top five fave male leads in TV in no particular order.



I was super interested in this series but because I had read Clockwork Angel first and was worried that the Mortal instrument series would ruin it for me. Not the case and super sad I didn't dive in immediately. Hello Jace.









OH MY GOD! If you have not read this... go do it. The world Roth created was awesome. I loved all of her characters. I CANNOT wait for Insurgent to come out. This may be my favorite read of the year.










This was the first ebook of the year for me and after reading it, I immediately bought the other two. I thought it was a great change of pace instead of vampires and werewolves (though I love them). Who knew Trolls could be hott?









Another great paranormal - wait - is this paranormal?  Another great change of pace and a great introduction to me about the Indian culture. Houck create a great world of myth for us to see and also some sizzling scenes.











This book was slow to start for me. In fact, my friend Karen had suggested it to me and I tried but put it down. I read it about mid-May and was instantly sad that I hadn't read it before. What a fantastic dystopia. The unwinding process scene - OMG. And did you know Shusterman is going to be doing a sequel? I know - heaven-sent.







On to my top fave guys on TV.


Sheldon  Cooper -how I love your quirky-ness and your catch phrase - Bazinga











I have been a CSI nut for awhile and nothing takes the place of Nick for me :) SO HOTT
 This was a new find for me this year though - he is not. Anyone remember him from the TV series Angel?
Sexy. (That's all I have to say.)












OK - so there is two of them. I know. But I can't separate the two hottest vamp actors. I can't.  Don't hate.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Falling Under by Gwen Hayes


Theia Alderson has always led a sheltered life in the small California town of Serendipity Falls. But when a devastatingly handsome boy appears in the halls of her school, Theia knows she's seen Haden before- not around town, but in her dreams.
As the Haden of both the night and the day beckons her closer one moment and pushes her away the next, the only thing Theia knows for sure is that the incredible pull she feels towards him is stronger than her fear.
And when she discovers what Haden truly is, Theia's not sure if she wants to resist him, even if the cost is her soul.


I read this book before Christmas and I stewed on it.  I liked the book. I liked it more at the end. I thought Theia was a two-dimensional character - I never really got to know her. I felt like I was just reading about someone where I wasn't "making her my friend."

I actually liked Haden much more and liked it more when the story was told from his perspective. Hayes does not flip POV often in the book, but she does at key points and it was nicely done. Sometimes I want to know what the other character is thinking. Haden - I like him because he openly admits he is selfish for wanting to be with Theia, but does try and resist. His world is beautifully described. Ok a bit creepy which is good. I am hoping to find out more about it in the next book.

Like I said, the beginning was a bit slow but then the twist happens - which I didn't see coming. I wanted to know more about the "deal" and "mother." My fav scene is at the end when Haden shows up to rescue Theia. I loved his attitude!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

I am going to start having a schedule on this blog. 

And Thursdays are going to be video days. I am slowly becoming a Youtube addict. I have no shame. My dog, Fergie, the collie, not a big fan. She keeps "talking" to me as I lay on the floor next to her dying laughing. I don't think she gets it. 

Anyway - Thursdays are OK, but Wednesdays kind of suck so, I am going to spend my Wednesdays searching for happy, funny, or awesomely insane things on Youtube. 

My first video is a music video because when EVER I hear this song it makes me do my happy dance. Yes, this involves me looking like a complete moron, but the song makes me really happy so listen to it - not so much the video - but the song. I dare you not to smile. 


*stops doing the happy dance and plays the song again - continues happy dancing* 

If I don't talk or hear from you - Have a Merry Christmas!! 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Pledge by Kimberly Derting

n the violent country of Ludania, the classes are strictly divided by the language they speak. The smallest transgression, like looking a member of a higher class in the eye while they are speaking their native tongue, results in immediate execution. Seventeen-year-old Charlaina has always been able to understand the languages of all classes, and she's spent her life trying to hide her secret. The only place she can really be free is the drug-fueled underground clubs where people go to shake off the oppressive rules of the world they live in. It's there that she meets a beautiful and mysterious boy named Max who speaks a language she's never heard before . . . and her secret is almost exposed. 

Charlie is intensely attracted to Max, even though she can't be sure where his real loyalties lie. As the emergency drills give way to real crisis and the violence escalates, it becomes clear that Charlie is the key to something much bigger: her country's only chance for freedom from the terrible power of a deadly regime.


A big draw for this book is the cover. As some of you know, I am a huge cover slut. I love a good cover. I get all consumed by it. And this, is one of them. It's beautiful and haunting. Take a moment.

The second big draw for me was the concept about language. As an English teacher, language is a big deal to me and I was curious how it would play a role. I was very pleased when language was the connector for all of society and the division as well. It was underlying throughout the whole book.  Charlie can understand all languages, even ones she is unfamiliar with. You see society mixing speaking their own and the universal, but Charlie gets herself in a position where she doesn't lower head to someone else speaking a "higher" language and she almost was executed for it.

This book is not one that when I finished, I gushed about. Instead I finished it, was satisfied by the book's ending, even if it ended right there forever (WHICH THANK GOD IT DOESN'T), but woke up the next morning thinking about scenes and characters. I continued for a day or two to think about it. The book stays with you.

Charlie carries around the secret that she is different from everyone else and that her sister Angeline is as well and that these differences could result in them being arrested and executed. But what Charlie doesn't realize is how special she is. She gets that her parents are good people (which I have noticed is a running trend that our teen heroes have crappy parents), Brook and Aron are great friends, and her sister though she does not speak, is special. Someone who sees how special she is, is Max. Max was different from everyone in the story. And when it was revealed how special he was - I did the "No Way!"

The ending - I saw coming - but the very, very end - and what Charlie reveals is a little unnerving if you were her.

It was a great read. Kimberly Derting did a fantastic job.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Big Bang Theory

I want to interrupt this normally schedule book related post to talk about something I find downright hysterical. I give you


The Big Bang Theory -




I want you to know that I sing that every time it comes on TV. No matter my mood. No matter who I am speaking to. I sing, full force, and always shout BANG really loud.




Another favorite part of the series for me: Sheldon knocking.




BAHAHAHAHA

What's your favorite Big Bang character? Mine is Sheldon. I am pretty sure he would aggravate me to death but I am pretty sure I would still be in love. He kills me.

If Big Bang is not your cup of tea, what is? and why?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Cover Reveal - The Owens Legacy: Revelations!!!

Yep - here it is!   


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 lucking 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.















I want to thank my brilliant student Kenzie Mencer for designing, shooting, and editing this cover. She was wonderful through the whole thing and super supportive. Folks, you should see some of her other work. It's awesome.

The other person I want to thank is the beautiful blonde in the picture, Maggie Hammond! Maggs is one of my former students and the inspiration for my twins. Nope, just one of her, not two. Though Maggs and Kenzie are cousins and easily mistaken for sisters.

Last I want to thank Komal at In Which I Write Nonsensically for sitting on facebook with me to come up with the summary for the book. We tossed ideas and sentences back and forth and produced the words you see above.

I cannot thank these ladies enough for making my first cover reveal such a great moment!!

I am going to be sending out copies of my book soon to people through pdf. If you are interested, please let me know and I will send you a copy.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Clockwork Prince - Cassandra Clare BAM!

In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa's powers for his own dark ends.
With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister's war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move and that one of their own has betrayed them.
Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, though her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will; the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?

I have been avoiding everyone's posts about this novel. I didn't want any spoilers. I refused to talk to my friend Joe because he had finished it and I didn't want anything spoiled.
One word.

HEARTBREAKING! 


Spoilerish 
Two reasons - One because I have to wait until next December for the third installment. Anyone have the time travel thing down and want to send me the future? Come on! No one?!

Two because of how much heartbreak was in the novel. I must admit, I was pumped and then the book slowed down for me, and then BAM! I was in it again. Poor Jessie. Poor Jem. Poor Charlotte and Henry. Poor Sophie. Poor Magnus. Poor Will.

Will.

My sweet, sweet Will. A lot of people are Team Jem. I get it. He's a hottie. He's a sweetheart. He's kind. He proves to be passionate in this book. He def. has the huge addiction problem which pull the sympathy card. He's the underdog. BUT. Let's take a look at Will and what he has had to deal with in his life only to find out .... and then when he tries to fix everything and goes after what he wants, BAM! the end happens which leaves me furious! I totally think he should win. I also think because of the summary of the book that is on goodreads, he will.

Speaking of the end... Um, hello cliffhanger.

BAM!

OK. I am focusing and will now stop writing the word "BAM". This story takes up right where we left off. We are introduced to some new characters, one being Gideon Lightwood, who is a very noble character, one you hope won't be on the "died at the end" list. He's kind to Sophie. He's loyal to the Law. He knows right from wrong.

Mortmain is a key player in the whole book and we never see him once. He does pit one of the Institute's own against them though, which in the end, was heartbreaking. The scene with the initials at the end? Heartbreaking. We do see that Mortmain is advancing more but his full on plan is not yet revealed. He does however still want Tessa.

Tessa is a character that I like but not as much as the others. She is a driving force in the novel, but I think I have attached myself to the other's personalities, like Will's uncanny ability to make people uncomfortable, Jem's ability to anyone at ease, Charlotte's drive, Jessie's need for marriage, Henry's one track mind. Tess, however, is in the cliche spot of the lover's triangle and what a triangle it is. It's the normal one that you read about, no real deviation from it, and you want to know what? I LOVE IT.

I could go on and on about this, but I fear I will say too much and spoil it all together. My last and parting comment will be about none other than my favorite of favorites, Magnus Bane. Sigh. In this novel I got to see why he fell for Alec, because he has an attachment to Will, and Will is a lot like Alec. Also, we get to see the relationship Magnus had with Camille that made him dislike her so. This novel showed a softer, more reserved side of Magnus.  He's the complete package. So Team Will, but really, I am the captain of Team Magnus.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Looking for people to review my book - blunt enough? haha

Hey reading and writing buddies!

I am sending this short and sweet post to those who would be interested in reading my new, self-e-pubbed novel - The Owens Legacy: Revelations. I am hoping to put it on Amazon and BandN this holiday vacation. I am asking you that you read it, post on your blog about it and put posts on goodreads, Amazon and BandN to help spread the word. Please email me at mf060784 at gmail if you are interested. Thanks for your support.

Friday, December 9, 2011

TGIF



This meme is hosted by GReads!

This Friday's Question:
 
Book to Movie: Which book turn movie do you feel did the best adaptation? What about the worst?

My Answer: 

 

Best - THe Outsiders and The Crucible. I can watch both of these movies constantly. I actually can recite the books and movie lines. I love The Outsiders because it's not all "movie-fake" It's a bunch of teens and I just showed the movie to my 8th grade. THEY LOVED IT. As for The Crucible - I love the drama of the play and the movie - when I hear Daniel Day Lewis say some of his lines, I get chills. 




Worst - He's Just Not That Into You. I read this book with a friend right after I got dumped. The book totally made me laugh. Yes I did find that I was "that girl" in some cases. The movie - holy depressing. It wasn't enjoyable at all.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Know Me Better Hop

Know Me Better 12/8



"Know Me Better"

Each week I am a Reader, Not a Writer will pick 5 questions off of her author interview list to answers. Pop on over there and sign up!

This Week's Questions:
Pet Peeves?
Give us a glimpse into a typical day in your day starting when you wake up till you lie down again.
Pizza or Pasta?
Finish the sentence- one book I wish I had written is....
Favorite sport?

Pet Peeves?
  1. Someone else making me late. I like to be early. Coughing *boyfriend* Coughing
  2. Things written in blue ink. 
  3. People who do not appreciate the movie Dirty Dancing.


Give us a glimpse into a typical day in your day starting when you wake up till you lie down again.
  1. Wake up to a mastiff's nose nudging me in the face to tell me she has to go out
  2. Let the dogs out 
  3. Get ready for work - I'm typically happy to go to work 
  4. Go and teach those young minds that test me sanity and teach me new things every day 
  5. Come home and play with the pups 
  6. Contemplate cleaning 
  7. Find anything to do but clean 
  8. Read/write/eat
  9. Shower 
  10. Pester my boyfriend and dogs. 
  11. Sleep

Pizza or Pasta?
PASTA  - OMG I LOVE PASTA

Finish the sentence- one book I wish I had written is....
The Crucible

Favorite sport?

I love to play Soccer - I like to hit people :)

Now it's your turn! Share an answer to one or more of these questions as a comment or post your answers on your blog and link up here!

Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers

Frannie Cavanaugh is a good Catholic girl with a bit of a wicked streak. She has spent years keeping everyone at a distance---even her closest friends---and it seems as if her senior year is going to be more of the same . . . until Luc Cain enrolls in her class. No one knows where he came from, but Frannie can’t seem to stay away from him. 

What she doesn’t know is that Luc is on a mission. He’s been sent from Hell itself to claim Frannie’s soul. It should be easy---all he has to do is get her to sin, and Luc is as tempting as they come. Frannie doesn’t stand a chance. But he has to work fast, because if the infernals are after her, the celestials can’t be far behind. And sure enough, it’s not long before the angel Gabriel shows up, willing to do anything to keep Luc from getting what he came for. It isn’t long before they find themselves fighting for more than just Frannie’s soul.

But if Luc fails, there will be Hell to pay . . . for all of them.

It was the traditional battle of good and evil, over the most precious thing a person has to offer, her soul. That is how I would sum up this book in a sentence. Have you ever done that? Pick up the book you just finished and do it. Go on. I'll wait for you.

*Twenty minutes pass*

OK.

Something that is so no essential to the story - but made me giggle. The fact that all five Cavanaugh girls are named Mary. They go by their middle names but that is something a catholic family would do. I know this because I am Catholic. I think that is also something that I really liked about the book. I was raised Catholic and it is where I get a lot of my morals from, just like Frannie does. I also remember having a lot of questions for my Sunday school teachers. I wonder with other religions, do people question as much as I did? I imagine so, but then again, I was kind of a pain in the beep when I was young.

Luc and Gabe - hello boys. Hello.

Frannie is not this wholesome goody good, but she is super important to the world, much as Moses and Hitler were. - That's a tie in, in case anyone is confused and I loved how it was done.  Back to Frannie - she is essentially a good person but she has a wild side, can't handle drinking, has raging 17 year old hormones, and wants to make the world a better place.  She was great - she knew the world was at stake because of her but she wasn't just going to side with either good or evil just because. She was going to make her own decision.

The devil appears once, but I really wanted to see more of him. The devil appeared in t

The Mephisto Covenant and in Fallen, and only in Fallen does he stay awhile but even then, he's not as much of the "devil" as I imagine him to be. I really want the devil to be in a book and have him be such a #*$&. (fill it in :) ). I have an itch for it just like I am itching for some horror story. 



I recommend this one.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Gathering by Kelly Armstrong


Sixteen-year-old Maya is just an ordinary teen in an ordinary town. Sure, she doesn't know much about her background - the only thing she really has to cling to is an odd paw-print birthmark on her hip - but she never really put much thought into who her parents were or how she ended up with her adopted parents in this tiny medical-research community on Vancouver Island. 

Until now. 

Strange things have been happening in this claustrophobic town - from the mountain lions that have been approaching Maya to her best friend's hidden talent for "feeling" out people and situations, to the sexy new bad boy who makes Maya feel . . . . different. Combine that with a few unexplained deaths and a mystery involving Maya's biological parents and it's easy to suspect that this town might have more than its share of skeletons in its closet. 

In The Gathering, New York Times best-selling author Kelley Armstrong brings all the supernatural thrills from her wildly successful Darkest Powers series to Darkness Rising, her scorching hot new trilogy. 

I read Kelly Armstrong's Darkest Powers series and was sucked in a lot. I loved it. I am always hesitatant when I pick up another book from that author that isn't included in that series. What if it isn't as good? You can only have so many favorites?

The Gathering was solid in all aspects. I read it this past Sunday. It's wasn't that I couldn't put it down. I had a lot of free time and just could spend that much time on reading. Not that this was a bad thing. The story was solid. The characters were different from the Darkest Powers. (You know - sometimes its a new book series with same characters but with different names).  This story is not like that. It's different.

A very cool element is that while they are separate stories they both tie into Project Genesis which is a key "concept" for DP and after finishing the first novel in this series, Project Genesis is still a major "concept." I am curious if any of DP's characters will meet up with some of those from Vancouver Island's.

Maya's a strong character.
Rafe's a strong character.
I like Daniel the best. I found him refreshing to be a "big brother" figure without being romantically interested in Maya. At this point, no love triangle. It's kind of a relief.

Serena was Maya's best friend and in the first chapter - she drowns.  (If you consider that a spoiler - I'm sorry. I figured it was safe because it is in the first three pages.) However, from the description from Maya and clues set up in the book, Serena's death is not an accident. And as Serena's best friend, Maya is determined to find out what happened to her friend.

Overall - I enjoyed it.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Editing Services?

I have noticed on multiple of my writing friend's blogs something that they offer. What is it they offer, you ask? They offer critiquing and editing services to writers.

Recently, I have been delving into my sequel to The Owen Legacy: Revelations.  I have been really pushing my writing. My first rough draft might not even be "dodgy" as Komal says. But for that to happen, I really need to be focusing on my writing and all the rules. I also edited the first twenty pages of two very awesome ladies, Steph and Carrie. I also edit teenage work daily because I am an English teacher.

Is anyone asking what my point is yet?

I think that I would like to start editing. I am not saying I am this super awesome editor. My friend Marie - she's an awesome editor. But I do know that I know the rules of English and I am very good at building stories with others. Again, my experience as an English teacher has really lent to me becoming good at getting people develop full stories.

What I am asking my writing friends is - What makes some creditable in your eyes for editing? What makes you seek out someone's help? What type of services do you look for?  Would testaments from other writers be helpful?

I am really looking for any feedback anyone can give, even if it is: "Michelle, this is a bad idea."


Some cool news in the writing and blogging world.
Komal at In Which I Write Nonsensically, Diana at The Lovely Getaway, and Rachel at Rachel Bateman and I are putting together a group blog. It's in the early planning stages but we are going to be focusing on writing, interviews, and new releases, and the publishing world. We are going to be mostly focusing on the YA genre. Stay tuned for more information.

The second thing, and the one I am super nervous about is, I am going to be ePubbing my novel The Owens Legacy: Revelations this December, probably the last week when I go on break. I hope to reveal to you all the cover within the next week.  So stay tuned for that as well!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Winner of hop

Saba and I just want to say thank you to everyone who hosted and who hopped!
My winner is 

NAT! 







Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake


Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.
So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.
When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn't expect anything outside of the ordinary: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.
But she, for whatever reason, spares Cas's life.


I have been itching for a horror story for YA. I am not sure why. OK. That's a lie. I am an avid lover of YA paranormal (romance), but lately I have been looking for a villain that tares my characters apart. Anna Dressed in Blood is the closest thing that I have found that comes close to this. I literally want to be freaked out and scared.  This novel was close.

Cas... I like him because he talks like my students. He swears. He's snarky. He conscious of how to pull the strings in high school. He's a real person, in the sense you could walk into my 11th grade class and be like you, you are just like Cas.

Cas has to fight ghosts and there are several scenes where I was like: Did I read that right? It was super gory including a person being ripped apart, literally. The ghosts are monsters. I LOVED IT.

Half way through it did turn into a paranormal romance ...kind of, not full on Bella and Edward, but the element was there.

I think the most haunting (ha. get it? it's a story about ghosts.) about this story is what and who Anna is as a ghost and how she died. Like I was pissed for her. What a crappy, horrible, way to die. I wanted to beat her murderer up, just like Cas wanted to.

I think this book has inspired me to work on my dream walking novel. I really want to make it a thriller. Alright, a little romance.


BTW - my giveaway for Michelle Madow's Remembrance is still going on. Tomorrow, the 30th, is the last day you can enter.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Remembrance by Michelle Madow and a chance to win a copy!

New Hampshire high school junior Lizzie Davenport has been reincarnated from Regency Era, England ... but she doesn't know it yet. 

Then Drew Carmichael transfers into Lizzie's school at the beginning of the year, and she feels a connection to him, almost like she knows him. She can't stop thinking about him, but whenever she tries talking with him about the mysteries behind her feelings, he makes it clear that he wants nothing to do with her. Reaching him is even more difficult because she has a boyfriend, Jeremy, who has started to become full of himself after being elected co-captain of the varsity soccer team, and her flirtatious best friend Chelsea starts dating Drew soon after his arrival. So why can't she seem to get him out of her mind?

Even though Lizzie knows she should let go of her fascination with Drew, the pair of them soon find that fighting fate isn't going to be easy

Hey everyone! Happy Thanksgiving! I hope that you are well and full!
Today I am doing a review of the book Remembrance by Michelle Madow. This review goes along with the interview I did with her yesterday. If you check out the interview you will have a chance to for an e-copy of this book. The link is here.

I don't typically read current day love stories. OK. I never do. But I saw the cover. Can we all take a moment to look at this cover? *Stares lovingly* ENCHANTING! I had to get a copy. I emailed Michelle, got the copy, and started reading.

I liked Lizzie immediately. I think it was because I related to her and her dwindling feelings for Jeremy. Most people have been there. You create this life where the other is a major part, but then you change or he changes, but you still care for them, just not in the same way, and you don't know how to say goodbye.  I did feel bad for Jeremy multiple times in this book. I think he loved Lizzie and thought she would always be there and then he was blind sided - bc he didn't see the signs.

Chelsea is a great friend and though I really am happy for Drew and Lizzie - I think she got the raw end of the deal on this one. She was a good friend of Lizzie's. She was crazy about Drew. Nobody is honest with her.

All sad things aside. I love the boy that is cold one minute and then hot the next in books. It doesn't matter the genre. That is Drew. He sends Lizzie on a roller coaster alone without having "memories" of their old life together.

To give a little of the premise - Lizzie and Drew both remember being in the early 1800's. They remember faces, names, places, outfits, actions - and these things slowly come out over the course of the book, leading up to a big reveal that explains a lot about Drew's behavior.

I think the sweetest thing about this book is the pull that Lizzie shows, you as a character, towards Drew. She doesn't want to bc of Chelsea but it is undeniable. She must be near him and I think that is something that teenagers go through and as an adult, something I miss.  This was a great read. It was a great change of pace for me.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

New Author Blog hop! New authors and giveaways!

Welcome to the New Author Blog Hop. Saba @ Of Thoughts and Words and I are co-hosting this event to try and get the word out for new authors.  The blogging world is a great asset and we thought we would help out. There are over 40 bloggers and authors participating.  Please see the bottom of this post to see who else is posting. Most of them are having giveaways!


I had the great pleasure of interviewing Michelle Madow, the debut author of Remembrance! She also gave me an e-copy of her novel, so that is what I am offering up for a prize!  See details at the bottom of this post!


What has inspired you to pursue writing professionally?

I’ve always created stories in my head, but never knew people would be interested in
them until I took Intro to Creative Writing during college. For the first assignment, I
wrote the first chapter of a novel I’d created in my mind. I was totally surprised when my
classmates and teacher loved it and wanted to read more! That was when I realized that I would never know if I could succeed in completing a novel if I didn’t at least give it a try. So I tried, and ended up with Remembrance

Care to share the best (or one of) moment you have had during the post-acceptance
of being published?

My best moments I had after being published were when my first reviews came in.
Seeing that other people loved and appreciated my novel was an amazing experience, and I’m so happy to be able to share Remembrance with the world.


In your book, who is your favorite character and why?

I’m going to be lame and choose Lizzie, my main character. (I did focus the book on her,
after all ;) She’s a sweet girl, even though she’s still figuring out what she wants in life
and how to stand up for herself when what she has to say isn’t what others want to hear.
Plus, she gets to go on this awesome adventure of learning she’s reincarnated, which I
think is pretty cool.

Any new projects you have in the works?

Yes! I’m currently working on final edits for Vengeance, the short story that happens
right after Remembrance. Vengeance is releasing on December 8, 2011. After that I’m
going to start working on the third (and final) novel in the Transcend Time Saga.

What are five non-author facts about your self?

1. I absolutely love pizza and eat it a few times a week.
2. My favorite movie is Back to the Future. I can recite practically every line. I
have to restrain myself from saying them out loud when I watch the movie with friends, so I don’t annoy them.
3. My favorite musical is Wicked. I’ve seen it ten times!
4. I love wearing lots of bracelets, even better if they’re shiny and/or sparkly.
5. I’ve wanted to go to Antarctica since 5th grade, and I plan on making it there
someday!

Thank you so much for featuring me on the New Author Hop!

Visit Michelle’s website, www.michellemadow.com, to check out her debut novel,
Remembrance, and to add her on all her social media sites!


Remembrance is available for purchase on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and The Book
Depository.


To enter the giveaway leave the following info in a comment:
Be a follower - leave your GFC name
Leave your email


Super simple! Tomorrow I will be posting my review of Michelle's book. Stop back and read it. I hope you enjoy the hop!










Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

Solving the Maze was supposed to be the end. No more puzzles. No more variables. And no more running. Thomas was sure that escape meant he and the Gladers would get their lives back. But no one really knew what sort of life they were going back to.

In the Maze, life was easy. They had food, and shelter, and safety . . . until Teresa triggered the end. In the world outside the Maze, however, the end was triggered long ago.

Burned by sun flares and baked by a new, brutal climate, the earth is a wasteland. Government has disintegrated—and with it, order—and now Cranks, people covered in festering wounds and driven to murderous insanity by the infectious disease known as the Flare, roam the crumbling cities hunting for their next victim . . . and meal.

The Gladers are far from finished with running. Instead of freedom, they find themselves faced with another trial. They must cross the Scorch, the most burned-out section of the world, and arrive at a safe haven in two weeks. And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them.



This is my favorite book of the trilogy. It picks up right where it left off in The Maze Runner. Thomas and the gladiers go to sleep and when they wake up, Theresa is no where around, some people are dead and another "test" begins.

The group, dwindling now, goes through a scorching desert, trying to figure out what they should be doing. They run into some cranks, Brenda and Jorge, and find out they need to get to the safe haven.  Brenda immediately attaches herself to Thomas. At first I didn't mind this because I wasn't attached to Thomas, but then I did so, and his bond with Theresa seemed to torture the guy. I felt bad for him. Theresa shows up, kisses him, and takes off. Then she tells him it is going to get really bad but then it will get better thought their mind-speaking abilities. Brenda is still there, inching her way into Thomas. Seeing a relationship through a boy's eyes, left out the butterflies, and made it very realistic for me. He was torn, but he sought comfort.

I didn't trust Brenda.

Then Theresa does something horrible, and I wanted Thomas to forgive her, but I didn't know if he could. I didn't know if it was part of his nature.

Thomas is super important in the story (yes, I realize I am stating the obvious.). But we start to see that WICKED, through flashbacks and mini-trials, is specifically watching him and wanting him to survive.

Minho is a great - loyal - friend and even though he isn't destined to be as great as Thomas, I find his character to be essential to Thomas, more so than Theresa.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Tiger's Voyage by College Houck

In the third installment of the Tiger series, Kelsey Hayes pushes through the pain of lost love and strengthens her friendship with Kishan. Despite his strong feelings for her, Kishan has agreed to be her ally in helping her reunite with the man she still loves. Together, they seek to help Ren regain his memory and begin the search for the third magical gift—an object of power that will help break the curse that causes them to live part of their lives as tigers. 

They board a luxury yacht and seek Durga's aid once again, who supplies them with her golden weapons. With Nilima, Mr. Kadam, Ren, and Kishan at her side, she soon learns that the task ahead will be even more difficult than the others. Confronting a dark magician, multiple dragons, and terrifying denizens of the deep seems easy when compared to facing the daunting task of stitching up her heart. Just when she thinks she's ready to set her feet on a new path, she is yanked back with a jolt to the one she's determined to leave behind. 

The jarring tug-of-war that ensues for Kelsey's heart leaves her anxious and confused. Combined with the stress of almost being killed every other day, it would appear that saving the tigers is almost more than she can handle. Still, she presses on, knowing that a choice is looming on the horizon. One she cannot put off making for long. 





No one paintball my house. I didn't love this one the way I loved the first two. I mean, I loved it. I did, but I wasn't as captivated. Mind you I have a bunch of stuff on the ol' brain, plus I am super freaking annoyed with Ren. I know. You are all probably sitting there going, Michelle, you are all about Team Ren. And I am, was. I dunno! I am really irritated with him in this book. He makes Kelsy's heart a swinging door and does some really romantic things followed up by some real d@ck moves. Was anyone else super annoyed with him?

Diana told me she was leaning toward Team Kishan and, I think I am jumpin' the fence and joining that team too. I am really angry at Kelsey and Ren for how they are so focused on "their" love that they don't see how much Kishan has changed and how stable he is for Kelsey.  And deep down, I know Kishan knows Kelsey is going to pick Ren in the end, but he still tries anyway. I totally think one of the brothers is going to die in the final installment.

On to the dragons. Houck does such a great job at coming up with new problems and Indian lore for our three main characters. The dragons were all so different in personality. I hated some. I really liked some other ones. It was good. I can't tell you much more because I won't spoil it.

The ending. Houck does try to murder me at the end of each of her books. Like the first two I had heart attacks because of her cliff hangers. This time I may have hyperventilated. (I'm beginning to think I liked this book more than I thought I did as I type this).

Loekshi - I hate you.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Thought I would re-post this since it is getting down farther on my list.


Have you recently published a book? Do you know a first time author recently published? It's tough these days getting our stories and books out there. This hop/giveaway helps to support first time authors whether published traditionally or self-published in getting their books noticed and read by the reading community. Let's support one another! Find and support new authors and their debut publications!


For authors: Provide details/summary of your book, places where your book can be purchased, review(s) etc. Giveaway is not mandatory but is highly encouraged.

For book lovers: If you have read a debut novel and loved it, help the author by sharing it with us. Write a substantial review and where the book can be found. A book giveaway is not mandatory but again, it is highly encouraged. Nothing draws a big crowd like a fun book giveaway! :)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey


The undead can really screw up your senior year ... 

Marrying a vampire definitely doesn’t fit into Jessica Packwood’s senior year “get-a-life” plan. But then a bizarre (and incredibly hot) new exchange student named Lucius Vladescu shows up, claiming that Jessica is a Romanian vampire princess by birth—and he’s her long-lost fiancĂ©. Armed with newfound confidence and a copy of Growing Up Undead: A Teen Vampire’s Guide to Dating, Health, and Emotions, Jessica makes a dramatic transition from average American teenager to glam European vampire princess. But when a devious cheerleader sets her sights on Lucius, Jess finds herself fighting to win back her wayward prince, stop a global vampire war—and save Lucius’s soul from eternal destruction.

I read this book like two years ago, but since the sequel is finally coming out, I needed to brush up on what the book was about.  I am not one to re-read unless I am completely infatuated. I REALLY enjoyed the book the first one and still enjoyed the book the second time.

One thing I really like about this book this time around is that the vampires are not cuddly. Lucius (AKA stud) is very charming but there is something very dangerous about him and very lethal. He's not a tortured soul, loving a human. (mind you there was a time when I loved this scenario) Lucius is in PA to let Jessica know that she is actually a vampire princess. While her parents (adoptive) were very much aware of this and the fact one day Lucius would come, Jessica doesn't believe in vampires. Lucius stays and starts to charm the socks off of her.

He's honor-bound to fulfill a pact that was sign by both of their parents before they brutally hunted down. This marriage will join families and prevent war. Noble cause right. Who doesn't want to stop a war. Um, how about the senior mathlete who cannot wrap her head around the fact that vampires exist.

Jessica doesn't immediately fall for Lucius. She holds on to her crush at school. He's nice to her. He's nice to look at. But eventually Jessica just doesn't want nice. She wants the vamp. It's a progression and I like how she doesn't up and believe in vampires right away. She's also pretty gutsy at the end of the novel.

I have a question for everyone: If you were faced with the paranormal creatures (vampires, werewolves, trolls, or anything of the like) how would you react?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Reading slump - seeking suggestions

Hey everyone. *waves*

So since my life has drastically slowed down from all kinds of Student Council, Battle of the Classes, and the New York State Reading Association Conference fun, I have been cleaning, grading, and getting back on top of my game and still manage to get 7 hours of sleep. I forgot what sleep was. It's so nice. *sighs* Sleep.

OK.

I'm in a bit of a reading slump. I haven't read anything that I am like "OMG I LOVE IT!" since Tiger's Quest. Silence didn't really rock my world. I know, blasphemy. Don't worry - I am still very much Team Patch. I think I have just been super tired and haven't been able to fully commit to my closet love of books.

Anyway - any bombshell suggestions for me?

Maybe I am tired of paranormal. *ponders a second* Nahhhh. Never.

Also, I am looking to borrow two books. I have the sequels to these books. I need to review them for The Charlotte Award. I am not a big fan of reading a sequel without the first one. But I have had heard good things about both of the series.

Lisa Desrochers - Personal Demons
and
Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edhill's Legacies: A Shadow Grail Novel

If anyone has the e-book that would be great, or a pdf, or the actual book and want to send it my way, that would be great. Thanks!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

I need your vote!!!

I signed my school up for a chance to win 25,000 dollars for our tech department. I made it to the voting part, except there is like 150 other people going for this. YIKES! Good note, we have to be in the top 15 of voting. I am at 119. Yeah, so I need some help! Your help. Please go to this website and vote. You can text, sign into facebook, or create a Pepsi account. Your vote will help us out.
Also you can vote daily!!!

Please go and vote and help out my students!!!! They will get their own netbooks!!! Come on vote!!! Yep, click that button!!!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom RIggs


A mysterious island.

An abandoned orphanage.

A strange collection of very curious photographs.

It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography,Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows

At the NYSRA conference I was at, I said that I wanted more YA with pictures. I am not saying every page has to have a graphic, but a like twenty for a book of 200 pages. My friend Karen, who is on the Charlotte Award Council, got this book. I began reading it and you know what? It has pictures! Talk about getting what you wished for.

The pictures in the book, make the book. Creepy. Some people say real, some say not so much, I say - gave me better visuals in my head... some of them are downright creepy.

The word creepy leads me to my next paragraph. I really thought I had a Stephen King - make you freak out - book on my hands. The first five chapters are really creepy, there is a murder, and the details of the murder for Jacob are scary. Then no one believes him. They think he is crazy, poor kid.

This island has a lot of secrets and the story is well-developed, but once Jacob gets to meet the peculiar children, take away the peculiar aspect and it become a regular story. A good regular story, but the element of me being afraid at night when I put it down, was lost. I think I am looking for a really good scary book. Maybe my dream walker book will turn into one.