Friday, September 30, 2011

Follow and TGIF

What book that hasn't been turned into a movie (yet) would you most like to see make it to the big screen, and who would you like cast as your favorite character?

Tiger's Curse!!!!! by Colleen Houck! YAY!!!!! SOMEBODY PLEASE MAKE THIS A MOVIE! I heard rumors but I want some proof! (Brushes the hair out of her face and picks up all the things that have scattered on the floor) OK I have composed myself. 

And who would I like as a character? I want Diren AKA Ren as this guy. I stole it from Diana at The Lovely Getaway. Yes, I totally copied but if you have read the book. He's perfect. And no I do not know his name. Maybe D does.

Speaking of Tiger's Curse, I am hosting a Falling into Books Book Blog giveaway with that books as my prize! If you are interested, go to this link. There are ten or twelve other blogs hosting giveaways too! 

Banned Books: How do you feel about the censorship of the freedom to read? Do you think the education system needs to be more strict on what children are exposed to in books?

As an educator, I think censorship is awful, for a few reasons. 
1. With everything these kids see on TV, with their home lives, and on the Internet, you are concerned about literature done in tasteful manners? People! 

2. Books with touchy topics, make those touchy topics a little easier to talk about it. It's a segue. I teach the novel Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson, and when I first started was worried that I would have angry parents coming in left and right. Well, only one did, and when I asked this parent if they had ever talked to his child about sexual assault, he had no response. I went on to tell him that I was giving factual information to my students to protect them and keep them safe and God forbid, what to do if it ever happens to them. 

3. Writing is a beautiful thing that can be raw and if you took out all of those raw aspects, all you would have left would be books with NO complex plot lines. Alright, that may be an exaggeration, but you get what I mean.

Thanks for stopping by! Leave a comment, follow me,  join up on the giveaway, or just hop on to the next place! Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa

My name is Meghan Chase.
I thought it was over. That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who's sworn to stand by my side. Drag me into the core of conflict so powerful, I'm not sure anyone can survive it.
This time, there will be no turning back.

I feel very reminiscent to Amanda Hocking's Tyrlle series. I liked the first book. I loved the second book. I was thrown completely off track with the third book. WHAT THE BEEP. Seriously.  I know. I just posted about how I like to make my readers feel and typically make them cry, but really, Ms. K., what are you doing to me?

I loved this book's beginning, for the simple fact I got to see Ash and Meghan develop as a couple. Ash's ice starts to melt away, and we get to see a human side of him, jealous, territorial, soft. Meghan, hurts his feelings a lot, and I am not a fan of that, but it is realistic. After this book, I know for sure I am more attached to the males in this book than Meghan. At the end, I was more upset for Ash and Puck than Meghan.

I really would like to have seen more of Oberon and Mab. Did anyone notice that Mab was supposed to be all icy and she was nicer than Oberon?

So what is my beef with Meghan? Well the fact everyone calls her Meghan Chase. Also, her character, abruptly changes in this book. She was meek, mild, and building to being strong and then it was like WHACK - huge revelation (that I must have missed in the book) and she was all Xena Warrior Princess. I knew she was getting stronger, but it was too rushed for me.

A character I have not paid enough attention to is Grim. I do see the Cheshire Cat, but

Also, I know I am all Team Ash, but I really love Puck. I mean he's funny, he has great comedic timing in the worst situations, to make me go "heh" and smile. I think he really loves Meghan as much as Ash does. I think in other stories where the best friend loves the girl to, its more like: we spend a lot of time together and you're pretty, so I love you - don't date the other guy". With Puck, I think it's genuine. Can I be on both teams?

Also my Fallin' into Books Hop is going on! Stop in and see what others are offering up! It is just below this post!!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Falling Into Books Blog Hop Giveaway!

Hey Everyone! Welcome to the Falling into Books Blog hop! A bunch of reading and writing bloggers got together to celebrate fall.

I want to say thanks to all of my friends who are hosting giveaways, participating in the giveaways, and for all the people who taught me about hosting the blog, linky lists, the button, and the overall blog feedback! Notice there was not a linky list - I just don't get it. Below you will find a list to all of the blogs that are participating. Go see them all! They are offering up some awesome gifts!

So what am I giving away?! You have an option of what you can win.

Option 1 You can win a copy of Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck. It's my current fav series and I encourage everyone to read it.

Option 2 is a twenty page critique for your manuscript. I'm an English teacher and I have practice at editing. I warn you, I'm super honest when I do it.

You tell me what works for you!

What you have to do to enter:
- Must be 13 years of age or older.
- It is international
- You must be a follower
-You must leave me your email address
- You must leave the option you want
I hope you all have a great time on this hop! I am center for the hop, so make sure to come back here to get a chance for all of the giveaways!

Here's the list of all the participants!

Diana at The Lovely Getaway 
Melissa at My Words and Pages
Lindy at Lindy Legends and Other Such Nonsense
Tia at Depression Cookies
Becky at Becky's Barmy Book Blog
Lulu at The Bookworm is here!
Kamol at In Which I Write Nonsensically
Jackie at My Ever Expanding Library
Molli at Once Upon A Prologue
Bastard at Bastard Books and other crap
Nellie at The Scribbling Pen
Amanda at Amanda's Writing
Saba at Of Thoughts and Words
Melissa at The Guardian Blogger
k. liz barker at Just a word in this story called life

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa

Half Summer faery princess, half human, Meghan has never fit in anywhere. Deserted by the Winter prince she thought loved her, she is prisoner to the Winter faery queen. As war looms between Summer and Winter, Meghan knows that the real danger comes from the Iron fey—ironbound faeries that only she and her absent prince have seen. But no one believes her.

Worse, Meghan's own fey powers have been cut off. She's stuck in Faery with only her wits for help. Trusting anyone would be foolish. Trusting a seeming traitor could be deadly. But even as she grows a backbone of iron, Meghan can't help but hear the whispers of longing in her all-too-human heart.

I liked this one more. I am officially attached to Ash and the rest of them.  This could be spoiler-ish because  its the second in a series. I will do my best not to spoil all of it.

So this one starts out with Meghan trapped in the Unseelie court with no Ash. I was super bummed for awhile.  But then Ash's brother Rowan totally is a manipulative, evil character (AWESOME) and he sets the whole plot into motion and ultimately the separation and distance that Meghan finds herself from Ash. Which, is really a good thing because Ash is pushing out the "ice" vibes, like I almost feel the frost.

And then you have our dear, sweet Puck. I have this picture in my head of him, but he isn't a teenager in my mind's eye. Does anyone remember the movie A Knight's Tale with Heath Ledger? Remember the red-headed character who always gets into fights with Chaucer? That's Puck - maybe slightly younger. But as always, Puck is there for Meghan, being her rock and her friend when she needs consoling about Ash. Um can we say my heart broke for him at the end of this book.

Meghan - What can I say about her? I like the other characters more. Yeah - that's all I got.

My favorite side character in this book is Ironhorse. What a noble, honorable character. A moment of silence please.

Thank you.

Now moving on  - Um - my prediction - She is totally going to be Queen of the Iron fey. Tell me I am wrong or tell me I am a little slow on the draw.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Male and female authors and love relationships

Clearly, I love a good love story. I love all the cliches
  • The forbidden love
  • The love triangle 
  • The best friend who you had no idea loved you 
  • The guy is such a jerk to me 75% of the time but hello other 25%
  • The I'm a vampire, werewolf, demon, ghost, angel or any other supernatural creature and I want to kill you half of the time 
  • The I am stuck working with this idiot but wait, he's kind of good looking. 
I am guilty. Go on, raise your hand if you are like me. I see you in the back there. 

That being said, have you ever noticed the difference between love relationships and interests written by men and by women? I am not lumping everyone into this, but it's a majority. Women delve into the relationship, chapters about sweet kisses and thoughtful embraces. But men? Not so much. 

Great examples are now coming.
We will start with one of my faves - Neal Shusterman's Unwind - Connor and Risa develop a relationship but half way through the book, I wasn't sure if they were interested in each other. It was subtle, and then at the end, they share this really romantic moment. PS They never kiss and I love it still. Super pumped for the relationship in the sequel

And then you have the fab Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instrument series. - Jace and Clary share fiery kiss after fiery kiss. Like I find myself swooning and I am not being kissed. This relationship is super intense and begins forming from the beginning and continues along wonderfully. 

So guys, what's the deal? 

Can you pick your favorite romantic couples - one has to be a boy author and the other has to be a girl author.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

Hey everyone, I know I've been gone but the start of school and teaching a brand new grade has been a lot. However, I am getting it under control and squeaked in a book in the last week.

Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined. 
Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home. 
When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change. 
But she could never have guessed the truth - that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart

There were things that I really liked about this book and was surprised about and some things that I was just like "eh" about.

So some good things first. I like the Fey world. I love the fact they are not your TinkerBell or Jimminey Circket or Fairy Godmother types. They are manipulative and cunning. It really intriguing and Meghan starts to pick up on how to talk to these creatures, thus making enemies. I love a good love story but I also love a good enemy and I feel like more are coming in the series.

Spoilerish - Speaking of witch, I had no idea that the Iron King was not going to be her dad and that it was going to be based on technology. Hello surprise. And now I am wondering why Iron stays in the title. No one tell me!

Can someone support me that Puck is super sweet and clearly in love with Meghan. Saw it coming a mile away though it has not been confirmed. And I love the cliche of it, she is totally going for Ash. Which leads me to this comment. "Hello Ash! I'm your next girlfriend!"

Some things I wasn't too crazy about. I didn't get attached to the characters. I am curious. I am going right into the next book but if I didn't have it already, I wouldn't go out and buy it.  I am more or less curious how it will end, not what will happen to them.

If Oberon and Mab were such big bad @ss why weren't they more involved? Why didn't the Big O get his daughter? How come Mab didn't realize Meghan was in her territory?

What did you guys think?

Just a reminder on Sunday is my blog hop. You can still join up! Come back and enter the giveaways!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Make them happy or break their hearts.

So who is "them"? "Them" are your readers.  The first half of this post is geared toward my writing friends and the second half will be geared toward my reading friends.

When you are writing a story, what do you aim to do. It's the end of your book (or series), do you wrap everything up in a perfect bow? Does the girl always get the guy of her dreams? Do you have everyone of the main characters survive and go off to college? Does the bad guy get "it" in the end?

or are you like me? When I write, I write to make a reader cry. I want them to feel a deep emotion that may just shatter them. In my completed manuscript The Owens Legacy: Revelations the last chapter makes people cry. It frustrates them.  Do I like making my friends (who have been so kind to read my book) cry? No, but it seems very rewarding to me to make them feel, and to feel deeply.

So will I always make them cry - maybe. What about you?

And my reader friends. What do you prefer? Do you prefer a heartbreaking ending or do you prefer the pretty bow? As an author, it is me who wishes to know what you expect from me, from the great authors out there.

As a reader, maybe I put too much stock in the last pages of a book. I know that the last five pages are what stays with me the most when I am done reading. I mean I love a great cliffhanger, but I know more is coming, so it is not over. I know there may be some more turmoil but the end bow (or heartbreak) has not come yet.  So when the book or series is over what do you want to feel?

Friday, September 9, 2011

Support finding the cure to Leukemia and Lymphoma.

Hey everyone! My student council kids and I are participating in the Light the Night walk supporting finding the cure for Leukemia and Lymphoma and it also goes towards supporting those who are undergoing treatment financially. I would really appreciate it if you would make a donation towards this cause. One dollar goes along way.
Here is the my fundraising page.

And if you are feeling super kind and thoughtful, re-post this. :)

Thanks guys.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Nevermore by Kelly Creagh

Cheerleader Isobel Lanley is horrified when she is paired with Varen Nethers for an English project, which is due—so unfair—on the day of the rival game. Cold and aloof, sardonic and sharp-tongued, Varen makes it clear he’d rather not have anything to do with her either. But when Isobel discovers strange writing in his journal, she can’t help but give this enigmatic boy with the piercing eyes another look. 

Soon, Isobel finds herself making excuses to be with Varen. Steadily pulled away from her friends and her possessive boyfriend, Isobel ventures deeper and deeper into the dream world Varen has created through the pages of his notebook, a realm where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life. 

As her world begins to unravel around her, Isobel discovers that dreams, like words, hold more power than she ever imagined, and that the most frightening realities are those of the mind. Now she must find a way to reach Varen before he is consumed by the shadows of his own nightmares.

His life depends on it.

I am not sure where I want to start with this novel, er, yeah.  I thought the novel, plot wise, started out strong, just the way I like it. I'm an English teacher and I spend a lot of time with Poe, (after reading this novel my students are so going to be doing an author bio on dead, creepy, mentally unstable authors.) so that excited me. I loved how the Red Death was worked into it. (again, my English students may get their wits scared out of them come Halloween) However, somewhere in the middle, it dragged for me because I did not know what was going on in the dream world. I guess the biggest question is why did Varen involve Izzy if he could have helped it? Maybe there is a strong reason and I missed it, but by the end, I wasn't as attached.

The main characters run the trend "Super popular girl falls for social outcast and is shunned" Now don't get me wrong. I like this, but if you are someone who does not like this trend, this book is not for you. But the one thing that is good about this trend, is that it tell students now to pass someone by because they are not in the "in" crowd.

Varen, is our leading male, who is our distant leading male. And like The Ghost and The Goth, the cover does not due him justice, in fact, the guy on the cover, with those eyes, makes me want to turn the book upside down when I'm sleeping. I wonder if that was what they were going for?

Izzy and Varen fall for each other and I just looked up that there will be a sequel so it's not over. I did think that if the author were to have ended the series, that it would have been a painful ending, one with longing. How often do we have that in a story? Someone dies, always, but not our leading characters.

Overall, I thought this was rich with Poe, could have the potential in the dream world to be somewhat on the horror side, and I will be picking up the sequel.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Flash fiction piece

Hi everyone. Today is the first challenge for the Platform Building Campaign. We had to write a flash fiction piece, in 200 words or less and start with the phrase "The door swung open". Added challenges were to hit 200 words on the mark, and end with the phrase "The door swung shut". (I hit it 200 on the mark and ended with ending phrase. CHALLENGE COMPLETE!)

Here is what I wrote.

The door swung open and propelled me into the guy that I had just checked out. I landed smack into him and heard him say “hmrph” as he righted himself.

“I’m sorry,” I blurted out, feeling the color in my cheeks turn to a cherry shade. He turned around and looked at me, still a little startled. “The door,” I stated, like it explained why I had just barreled into him. He looked passed me at the door, as people continued to push in.

“It happens,” he said and turned back around.

I couldn’t help myself, I looked at his butt again, and by the swivel of his hips, I knew he had turned around. Oh my God, could this be anymore embarrassing?

His smile was wide, “You know I have never had to say ‘Eyes up here,’ to a girl before.”

My cheeks flamed brighter as I looked at him. I opened my mouth like a guppy, a few times. All words in my head refused to form a sentence. I was wrong, this got way more embarrassing than 30 seconds ago.

Without knowing what to do, I headed for the exit. And behind me, the door swung shut.

I actually think I could pop this into one of my novels. I think this is exactly what Ryder would do. :)

Wish me luck!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

A Scandalous Proposition by Wendy Soleman

Hampshire, 1809

When a beautiful woman bursts into Lord Adam Fitzroy's room at an inn seeking refuge, he assists her. His curiosity is piqued when he later spots her entering the local house of ill repute. The next day he is shocked when his mother introduces the woman as her new paid companion. His mother adores Florentina, so Adam agrees to keep her nightly activities a secret…on one condition: she must spend one wicked night with him.

Florentina Grantley is both scandalized and intrigued at the prospect, but she worries that the dashing war hero will quickly discern her lack of experience. True, she's no innocent—but she's a widow, not a whore. Yet she can't explain the true reason behind her alliance with the brothel's madam, or the danger she faces if exposed.

As their initial tryst grows into something deeper, the stakes become higher. What will Adam do when he discovers Florentina's deception?

I can't seem to help loving historical romances. I love the 1800's in England. Why, I'm not sure but this book fit the mold with a few differences than the normal trends that are seen throughout romance novels.

Adam starts out very sweet and honorable when he comes to Florentina's rescue within the first four pages of the book. I don't want to say he is entranced by her from the very beginning but she does have the damsel in distress going on for her, until he finds her a less than reputable house that sees to the pleasure of men. And then it gets worse when he comes home to find out that Florentina is the companion to his noble, loving mother.

And let the scandal begin - he propositions her to sleep with him to keep her secret, except her secret isn't that she sleeps around, and eventually he does figure that out.

Another character, Philippa, Adam's ex-fiance, new sister-in-law is conniving, determined, and a villain. I love when I can hate a character and I hate her. She bullies and threatens adding an element of side danger to Florentina's big problems.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The next step after not finding an agent?

For anyone who started the summer out with me, you know that I have been working on getting my manuscript to an agent and designing the cover with the fabulous Kenzie Mencer of Kaboom photography. You would also know that I have been pursuing both tracks of publishing: the traditional and the ePublishing. I am gaining a bunch of knowledge about both and I feel that I have done well for two months. An agent even asked for my first 35 pages. It's a step, right?

I still have a few more agents to query and then that was when my traditional path kinda stopped in the planning process. Komal sent me a list of a bunch, like 60 ish. There is more out there. I plan to find them. So then what?

I recently signed up for Netgalley, which is away for you to get ARCs digitally. It's great. I had to create a bio and I mentioned my manuscript. A wonderful man named Harrison Demchick from Bancroft Press contacted me to see if he could help answer any questions that I had. It was a pleasant surprise and we sent a few emails back and forth.

The comment that made a lasting impression on me was the fact, as a publisher, he rarely uses agencies. Now I realize this could be the company's preference, but that made me think: My next step is to query publishing houses? Do any of you do this first? Do any of you have an awesome list you want to email me so I can send my manuscript? Do any of you have a different opinion?

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Mephisto Covenant by Trinity Faegan

Sasha is desperate to find out who murdered her father. When getting the answer means pledging her soul to Eryx, she unlocks a secret that puts her in grave danger—she is an Anabo, a daughter of Eve, and Eryx’s biggest threat.

A son of Hell, immortal, and bound to Earth forever, Jax looks for redemption in the Mephisto Covenant—God’s promise he will find peace in the love of an Anabo. After a thousand years, he’s finally found the girl he’s been searching for: Sasha.

With the threat of Eryx always looming, Jax knows he has to keep Sasha safe and win her over. But can he? Will Sasha love him and give up her mortal life?

I loved it. I thought it was a new fresh story line. It's based around biblical stories and faith. It did have a few things that I felt needed more of an explanation, but overall a great read.

Sasha is a great character. She's very special as the daughter of Eve and Aurora (One of those things I wished for more knowledge about) and completely pure at heart. She's a very sweet side, no compassionate is the word but she just a 17 year old girl at heart. She has insecurities about boys, desires, the need to be accepted, and loves to shop.

Jax. Hello handsome. Jax is a son of Hell and has a really dark side, which we don't really get to see. We see the side of him that is always trying to win and woo Sasha. I get that Jax isn't supposed to show Sasha the dark side of him, but the book is told from both of their perspectives so there was opportunity for the reader to see him rip some apart or unleash some unbridled rage. Sadly, his rage in the book comes across as an overprotected, jealous boyfriend, but I do not believe that is how it is supposed to come across.

In reality, love at first sight, isn't real. There are some hella strong physical reactions to people and there are def. instant, strong connections, but love takes time to build, sometimes it does happen quick, but not instantly. But I am a girl. I love the idea of love at first sight. (Raise your hand if you are a hopeful romantic?) I think it is one of the reasons that I love paranormal and supernatural. Anything can happen in this genre so why not love at first?****SPOILER*** highlight to see it. Sasha and Jax don't fall in love at first sight, but they do within the week of meeting and for this genre, it works.
To be a Skia, you have to give up your soul. There are too many characters that cave to this in the story that throughout the book seem strong, but in the end give their soul. With one of the characters, I get it is a moment of desperation, but the two other ones, no. I don't get why. I needed more information.

A few more awesome points - the kissing scenes (refer back to the hopeful romantic question.) I liked Phoenix the best out of the brothers. They talk about M and Lucifer a lot but I wish I could have "met" them more. But I heard there is a sequel! WOOOOOWHOOOO! OK i have myself under control. The ending almost brought me to tears.

It was a great read, long but I read it in a day. Pick it up!

Want an awesome contest? Check out Unabridged Andra's 400 follower giveaway - Maybe she can hit 1000?