Friday, April 30, 2010

The Emerald Talisman Book Trailer!

I wanted to share an awesome new book trailer with you!  I just finished reading The Emerald Talisman by Brenda Pandos and LOVED it! (Review coming soon!)  She just released this spanking new trailer yesterday and I am trying to help get the word out about this exciting new ya vampire novel- so without further ado.......

"

Pretty cool!!  So what did you think?  If you are interested in reading the book then you are in luck... The Emerald Talisman is available now on Amazon.com!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Review: Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

Sisters Red
Written by Jackson Pearce
Release Date: June 7, 2010
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Sisters Red (Sisters Red, #1)[4stars.jpg]

The very first time I saw the cover of this book I knew that I had to read it!  This cover is one of the best I have EVER seen!!  I love how the wolf and the sisters are all part of one another- very clever and fitting I think.


Summary from Goodreads:
"Scarlett March lives to hunt the Fenris-- the werewolves that took her eye when she was defending her sister Rosie from a brutal attack. Armed with a razor-sharp hatchet and blood-red cloak, Scarlett is an expert at luring and slaying the wolves. She's determined to protect other young girls from a grisly death, and her raging heart will not rest until every single wolf is dead.


Rosie March once felt her bond with her sister was unbreakable. Owing Scarlett her life, Rosie hunts fiercely alongside her. Now Rosie dreams of a life beyond the wolves and finds herself drawn to Silas, a young woodsman who is deadly with an ax-- but loving him means betraying her sister and has the potential to destroy all they've worked for.

Twenty-five-year-old Jackson Pearce delivers a dark, taut fairy tale with heart-pounding action, fierce sisterly love, and a romance that will leave readers breathless."

My Thoughts:
I enjoyed this book!  As a pre-k teacher, I love all of the classic folktales, and Jackson Pearce has done a wonderful job putting a modern-day spin on the classic 'Little Red Riding Hood' tale.  This book was so action-packed and scary.  After reading this, I caught myself double checking behind me when I would go outside at night!  The author did a really great job with character development.  The bond between Scarlett and Rosie was beautiful and I loved how they were completely devoted to one another.  They were also devoted to hunting and killing the Fenris.  Scarlett had an intensity about her and was so fiercely driven to protect not only Rosie, but all young girls from the grisly fate of the Fenris.  The hunt is just a part of Scarlett.  Her relentless drive to hunt the wolves was annoying to me at times and did seem a bit extreme, but that is what makes her who she she is.  I think that Rosie and Silas felt this way about her too.  They both wanted more out of life than the blood of the Fenris, and Scarlett's unwavering drive was too much for them at times.  Rosie devotion to hunting seemed to stem more out of obligation to Scarlett than a true desire to hunt.  When Silas reappeared in the sisters' lives, Rosie began to yearn for a life outside of hunting.  She wanted a little normalcy.  Silas wanted a chance at that too.  I enjoyed the relationship that began to grow between Rosie and Silas.  Silas was such a great guy, one who was always there to say the right thing at the right time, or to just lighten the mood.  I found myself rooting for their relationship.

I liked how the chapters alternated point of views between Scarlett and Rosie.  This really enabled the reader to see both sides of the story.  It also allowed you to really get to know the characters.  Just like the old saying goes...."There are always two sides to every story!"  The pace of the book was fast and I enjoyed the ending (eventhough I predicted the ending well before I finished the book).  I would be cautious of recommending this to young readers that may scare easily.  There is quite a bit of gory violence in the fight scenes and lots of blood- so if that kind of stuff bothers you, then you might want to think twice about reading it.  I really liked the story and its originality, and I look forward to the next installment in the series!

*ARC Copy provided by the publisher free of charge in exchange for an honest review and I also received a review copy for Book It Forward Tours.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday



"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Jill from Breaking The Spine,  that spotlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly anticipating.  It is always so hard to decide which books I want to feature on Wednesdays.  There are so many wonderful books coming out this year.  Waiting is such torture!  Here are a few that I am waiting for:
 

The Iron Daughter (The Iron Fey #2)
Written by Julie Kagawa
Release Date: August 1, 2010
Published by Harlequin Teen

The Iron Daughter (Iron Fey, #2)Summary courtesy of netGalley.com:


"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, iron-bound 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 alone 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." 


This Gorgeous Game
Written by Donna Freitas
Release Date: May 25, 2010
Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux 

This Gorgeous GameSummary from Goodreads:

"I know I know I know I should be grateful. I should be grateful to have his attention. To have him take such an interest in me.

I should. I know I should.
I will. No, you are grateful, Olivia, I tell myself as if I am my self's imaginary friend, sitting across the table, giving advice. Start acting grateful then, she begs.

I have a gift. I have a gift from God, he says. So rare he hasn't seen it in all his many years. I'm the real thing, he says. I'm a once in a lifetime, he says. I'm special and it's his responsibility to take me under his wing, to make sure I don't waste my talent. It would be a sin not to help me, he says. It would be a sin for me not to take his offer of help.

But I swear to God . . . no . . . scratch that . . . I'll not be swearing to God . . . I swear to Who Knows What that
his latest demand, this pile of typewritten pages he hands me with a face that says, Please, Olivia, oh please don't be difficult and just do this for me, is staring, no it's glaring at me from the coffee table like a monster that might eat me. I feel like if I touch it I will go up in flames or the pages might bite.

Am I making too much of this? Isn't it just a matter of grabbing hold of the stack and moving it in front of my eyes so my eyes will begin to scan those black marks on the page which will magically arrange themselves into words that my brain will recognize and understand and volia, I'm finished before I know it.

Then, when he asks, because he will ask, I'll be able to answer truthfully, "Yes, I read it. I did," and he will smile and I'll be Good Olivia again.

I wish I'd never won that stupid prize which is what got me noticed by him . . . no . . . what got my writing noticed by him which is what led to the initial introduction which somehow turned into communications and invitations and coffees and attending office hours and going to High Profile Events together--his words--even before the summer started."


**Now you know what I am waiting for!  What are you waiting for?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

In My Mailbox (27)

http://www.kidprintables.com/coloring/misc/mailbox.gif


**Thanks to The Story Siren for hosting IMM**
 
"In My Mailbox" is a weekly meme that spotlights the new books you received for review, swapped, or bought!  Have a look at what I got! (That's Olive, my french bulldog and reading buddy!)


For Review:
Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus (arc provided by Egmont USA)

Either You're In or You're In The Way by Logan and Noah Miller (book provided by the authors for review)
*The movie attached to this book is titled Touching Home, and stars Ed Harris (4 time Oscar nominee).  It will be releasing in theaters on April 30th.
Touching Home Official Movie Site

*I used some restraint this week and didn't buy or swap any books!

**Now you know what I got!  What did you get?



Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Win Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr!!


Happy Book Birthday to Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr!  The long awaited day is finally here and guess what???  I have a birthday present for you!  In honor of the release of Radiant Shadows and Melissa Marr's Radiant Shadows Book Tour, I am hosting a giveaway for one copy of Radiant Shadows!  The contest will run until midnight on May 15th (the last day of Melissa's tour).  I have included the updated tour schedule and also her appearances at BEA, ALA National, and RT.  This contest is open to US and Canada only.  Just fill out the form at the bottom of the post to enter.  Check out Melissa's tour stops below- you wouldn't want to miss an opportunity to meet such an awesome author would you?!

RADIANT SHADOWS BOOK TOUR:
April 22 at 7 pm: Tattered Cover, Colfax Avenue location, Denver
April 23 Joseph Beth Lexington
, KY.
April 24 at 7 pm: Puddn’head Books/St. Louis County Library event

April 26 at 7 pm: Harvard Bookstore/Cambridge Public Library
April 28, 29, 30, May 1, 2: RT Convention ***SEE BELOW (VERY END OF POST)

MAY 3-9—AT HOME w family. NOTE: I will not be replying to email or online this week.

May 10 at 7 pm Borders Fredericksburg VA
May 12 at 7 pm: Joseph Beth, Cleveland
May 13 at 7PM  B&N, Fearless Hills PA (Philly area)
May 14 at 7 PM Chester County Books (Philly area)
May 15 at 2 pm: The Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, VA

MAY 26-27: Book Expo America (in NYC)
Wednesday 11am panel
Wednesday 12:30 IndieNext Luncheon
Wednesday 4-5 PM signing  in the Author area

JUNE 25-27: ALA National (in DC)
Signing (Time TBD)
YALSA Speed Dating (Time Unknown By Me So Far)

PLS NOTE: Kansas City was replaced with Kentucky for reasons beyond our control.

------
RT SCHEDULE:
WHERE I'LL BE WHILE AT Romantic Times:
WED, April 28…..2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
ADAPTATION-TAKING YOUR STORY TO COMICS, MANGA, & GRAPHIC NOVELS WEDNESDAY:
Panelists: Kelley Armstrong, Holly Black, Melissa Marr… Moderator: Anne Elizabeth

THURS, April 29…10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
YOUNG ADULT: YA THAT GOES BUMP IN THE NIGHT: WRITING PARANORMAL AND URBAN FANTASY YA
Captain: Mari Mancusi Panelists: Holly Black, Heather Brewer, Stacey Kade, Jackie Kessler, Melissa Marr

THURS, April 29…6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
BOOKSELLER: NOT SO SWEET SIXTEEN PARTY BOOKSELLER: NOT SO SWEET SIXTEEN PARTY
Hosted By: Kelley Armstrong, Jennifer Barnes, Holly Black, Heather Brewer, Jackie Kessler, Caitlin Kittredge, Stacey Klemstein, Mari Mancusi, Melissa Marr, Richelle Mead, Michelle Rowen, Rachel Vincent

FRID, April 30…10:00 AM – 11:00 AM “GETTING” THE MARKET AND THE READERS: Panelists: Kelley Armstrong, Holly Black, Melissa Marr

FRID, April 30….11:15 AM – 12:15 AM
URBAN FANTASY: URBAN FANTASY GOES TO HOLLYWOOD
Captain: Richelle Mead Panelists: Holly Black, Jim Butcher, Charlaine Harris, Melissa Marr… Moderator: Carolyn Crane

FRID. April 30….1:30 PM – 2:30 PM
READER AUTHOR CHAT-YOUNG ADULTS Be prepared for anything in this improptu discussion about life, love and books.
Hosted by: Kelley Armstrong, Holly Black, Ally Carter, Melissa Marr

FRID…April 30….2:45 PM – 3:45 PM
PARANORMAL: THE MELTING POT
Captain: Patrice Michelle Panelists: Anna DeStefano, Jeaniene Frost, Melissa Marr, Lucy Monroe, Vicki Pettersson

FRID…April 30…4:00 PM – 6:00 PM
E-BOOK, INDEPENDENT PUBLISHER, MULTIMEDIA AND GRAPHIC FICTION EXPO & E-BOOK & INDY AUTHOR
(Manga Book Signing)

FRID…April 30…6:00 PM – 7:30 PM
AVON'S DUSK TO DARK MIXER
Hosted by: Avon Books

SAT…April 31….11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
GIANT BOOK FAIR : Over 300 authors will autograph books,posters and bookmarks, and you can bring your favorite "keeper" books to have your fav author sign them!! For those bringing collectibles and "keeper" books, we will clearly label the books for you, so as not to
mistake them for new books! This event is open to the public for a small fee of $5.00 at the door. All registered attendees will enter 15 minutes prior to the public opening.

 

Monday, April 19, 2010

Interview with ARSON's Estevan Vega!

I am so excited to introduce all of you to Estevan Vega.  If you haven't heard his name yet- you will!   He is the super talented author of Arson.  I recently read and reviewed Arson and it was fantastic!  He has been traveling around the blogosphere on a tour promoting Arson, and I am happy to say that he is making a stop here today for an interview.  Before I begin my questions, I want to provide a summary of Arson and a little background on Estevan:

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_apmdZPt_we8/S5mus9fYBhI/AAAAAAAACTY/avJ_YIOQOEw/s320/7736665.jpg

Arson Summary from Barnes and Noble:
"Arson Gable feels like a freak. He can create fire. He never asked for it. He never wanted it. But he can't shut it off. Before now, three things were true: he both loved and despised his grandmother; his life was going nowhere; and he was alone. But when a strange girl—who feels more normal behind a mask than inside her own skin—moves in next door, Arson hopes to find something he's never had: purpose. Using what he fears most about himself, Arson must face his consuming past and confront the nightmare that is his present as he walks the fine line between boy and monster. Dark, moody, and breathtakingly relevant, Arson, the chilling chronicle of an isolated boy with unimaginable ability, is sure to ignite the hearts and minds of a new generation."

 
About the Author (taken from his bio):
 Currently a college student in Connecticut, Estevan Vega has been writing since he was a teenager. Arson is his third published work, following Servant of the Realm and The Sacred SinArson holds a part of Estevan, a piece he began during a tumultuous time in his own life. With a curiosity for the supernatural, as well as a feeling of discontentment with humanity's complacency, Vega’s story-lines dwell somewhere in between fiction and reality, a place where the world is as blurred and irregular as human choice and consequence.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_9cSQx6NYzrU/S2WYbkUekBI/AAAAAAAANV4/rSctoCzQrdE/s400/chat_icon_clip_art_7491.jpg

*Thank you Estevan for dropping by today and answering a few questions for me!  I will begin by saying that Arson took me by surprise!  I was not expecting to sit down and read it cover to cover in a day!  It is definitely not a light read, but a beautifully written journey into some pretty dark and heavy issues. Many of those issues teens and adults face daily, such as family dysfunction, the pressure to fit in, divorce, peer pressure, alcoholism, dealing with insecurity, and more.  I've read that this book is very personal to you and was written during a tough time in your life.  Was writing Arson a therapeutic experience for you? And how much of yourself do you see in Arson Gable?


Wow.  I am amazed that you read it in a day.  But you're not the only one, which I can honestly say has never happened to any of my previous works, to my knowledge.  Thanks for enjoying the book.  As a writer, we need fans to support a work, or else it just falls into oblivion.  Hopefully that won't happen this time around.  I am stoked to be here with you today! ARSON is a powerful read to get through, no doubt.  And yeah, it is the most personal and intricate novel I have yet to write.  It means so much to me.  During the writing and editing process I was meticulous with EVERYTHING.  It had to be perfect before I was happy.  It's kinda crazy, because even after I had submitted the ultimate final draft, I was always, like, could that have been better?  It can definitely become an obsession, but I just wanted to make sure that this was the story that had to be told before it was okay.  I am the most honest I have ever been, the most transparent and heart-on-sleeve probably of any work. 

 So...therapeutic? It helped to be honest and real with my characters and my readers.  And it got me through a very, very painful time in my life.  Well, ask me in a few years.

*The cast of characters you created in Arson are pretty unforgettable!  Each one battled their own personal demons, and the way you conveyed their struggles stirred a wide range of emotions in me while reading.  I found my heart breaking at times for each one of them. I also felt angry, hopeful, sad, nervous, and happy at different points throughout the story - like I said a wide range of emotions. The dark beauty in each of your character's struggles was captivating.  Are these amazing characters loosely based on people from your own life or were they created from your vivid imagination?

Arson Gable is parts of me, but so is Emery.  They're like amalgams of my youth.  Their trials are things I have dealt with or things people I know have dealt with.  It was great to expose much of what was lurking beneath an angry current at the time.  And it's sorta crazy, because a lot of the stuff still exists.  Some of the characters have places in my life as well.  I mean, with anything I write there's gonna be part of me left on the page, so that sorta goes without saying.  It just happened a lot more with ARSON.

*I think that most of us can find pieces of these characters in ourselves as we experience the ups and downs of life.  Your adult characters (Aimee, Joel, Arson's Grandmother) were dealing with very adult feelings, problems and issues.  I read that you began developing the concept of Arson over 3 years ago.  Was it difficult to convey their struggles authentically at such an early stage in your own life?

Honestly, I had a lot of fun with all of those characters.  Probably of the three, I had most fun with Grandma, particularly because she's so out-there, that I could explore such a wide array of emotions and you can still accept that it's okay and part of the story because she's so nuts but yet loving.  It was a lot of fun to play with that.  I wrote for an adult audience with my last book, The Sacred Sin, and readers seemed to think it was pretty authentic, and I started writing that when I was, like, 15.  I think sometimes people tend to forget that adults are just bigger kids.  They feel the same emotions, pains, and heartbreaks as we do.  Maybe not in the same way, but they feel it just the same.  I had to just be honest with the insecurities and the struggles I was dealing with with these characters, and they just seemed to flow from there.

*It is amazing that you were publishing your first book at the age of 15 and now you are out here promoting your third book at the ripe old age of 21! Do you feel that your age has helped or hampered you while navigating the let's just say difficult publishing industry?  And what lessons have you learned through your own experiences (positive and negative) that may help the young, aspiring writers reading this interview?

Difficult? I think you mean, painfully godawful. haha.  No, it has most definitely been a journey with ups and downs.  It's true, I started writing Servant of the Realm when I was 12 and decided to seek publication when I was 15.  It came out and I was already working on The Sacred Sin.  I guess I am getting old.  I mean, it's taken me roughly 3 years between projects, but that's partially due to the lovely publishing industry.  As far as my age goes, it has proven to be a hindrance in some respects, either because people didn't take me seriously, as in I didn't have enough life experience or whatever...or I wasn't able to get a contract when I wanted because of my age.  However, I think for the most part it has been extremely positive.  When I started writing I just wanted people to read my stuff, and I figured the audience would come.  That's why I wanted to get started as early as possible, because I imagined this endeavor taking a long time, which it has.  But I'm not sure if I would have changed any part of the journey.  So, all you writers out there, stay positive and stick with it. 

 *I am dying to know the answer to this one... Is there an upcoming sequel to Arson already in the works? and if so, when do you expect it to be released? (Believe me.. people are going want to know the answer to this!!)

Maybe...and I wish I could tell you specifics, but the powers that be (i.e., my writing mind) won't let me divulge anything beyond that. 

*Do you have any idea how many books we can look forward to featuring Arson and Emery? 

Haha...isn't that kinda the same question as the one above? Sneaky, you.

*Are you planning a book signing tour for Arson? (Don't forget about NC!) 

Yes, that is definitely the plan. I am heading down to Raleigh, NC, on May 8th to hang out with teens in the local library.  But I am going to attempt to hit the East Coast.  We'll see if the powers that be will allow me.  I am gonna promote the snot out of ARSON until people tell me to stop...and then maybe promote it a little more.  This story's gotta get heard.

*Describe a "Perfect" day in the life of Estevan Vega!

Hanging out with a beautiful woman or my family.  Then heading to a movie, eating a plate of my dad's rice and beans, and shooting over to see a rock show!  Oh, yeah, that's where it's at.

*You really interact with the fans of your book through Twitter, Facebook and blog sites.  I think that is so cool!  And I'm sure your fans really appreciate it!  Have you had any embarrassing or funny fan moments yet?

I love doing that kind of stuff.  The fans who support my work mean the world to me.  Without them, these words would never be read, so it's my pleasure to drop in and let them know I'm there to talk, message, twitter, whatever.  I'm still kinda waiting for an embarrassing moment as far as fans go.  But I do have an embarrassing moment in writing... I had been corresponding back and forth with an editor of a review site.  I had checked out a picture and of this person and never noticed a ponytail.  They had a soft face, but overall, I thought this person was a guy.  So in an email, I think I was, like, "hey, dude, or hey, man," and then I found out that she was a girl.  I was, like, "oh, God help me." 

*Are you reading anything now? If not, what book would you really like to read? 

I have actually been reading a lot lately.  Jumping around between novels and not really finishing, which is terrible.  I haven't really been uber-inspired by what I've read.  I have been reading a bunch of short stories for class, which has been cool.  I read a great short story called "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas."  I loved it.  My interest has been piqued by a few books lately, particularly The Hunger Games and Day of War.  We'll see if they make it to the read pile soon.

*What is the one question you wish I would have asked, but didn't?  What is the answer to that question?

Question: Did you write parts of the Bible? Answer: Yes.

I would like to thank Estevan for dropping by!  I truly loved Arson.  I was blown away by its tragic yet redeeming story.  I predict this book is going to be big when it hits shelves on May 4th!  If you can't wait until May to get your hands on it then you are in luck!  You can purchase Arson from the publisher's website today! Just click HERE.  If you want to check out my review of Arson click HERE.

**There are still lots of stops left on Estevan's tour, so be sure to check them out every day.  Here is a list of what's to come:

Tuesday, April 20: Kate at Neverending Bookshelf
Wednesday, April 21: Melanie at  Melanie's Musings
Thursday, April 22: Amber at Just Your Typical Book Blog
Friday, April 23: Teenage Reader
Saturday, April 24: Lucy at Delightful Reviews
Sunday, April 25:  Bridget at Readaholic
Monday, April 26: Sab at YA Bliss
Tuesday, April 27: Patty at Yay Reads
Wednesday, April 28: Gina at Insatiable Readers
Thursday, April 29: Kelsey at The Book Scout
Friday, April 30: Laura at Calico Critic
Saturday, May 1: The Moody Teenager
Sunday, May 2: I Heart Monster 
Monday, May 3: Katlyn at I Just Wanna Sit Here and Read
Tuesday, May 4: John at CT Book Examiner
Wednesday, May 5: Laurie at Readergirls
Thursday, May 6: Darcy at  Library Lounge Lizard
Saturday, May 8: Cindy at Princess Bookie
Sunday, May 9: Eleni at La Femme Readers






Saturday, April 17, 2010

In My Mailbox (26)

http://www.kidprintables.com/coloring/misc/mailbox.gif
**Thanks to The Story Siren for hosting IMM**

"In My Mailbox" is a weekly meme that spotlights the new books you received for review, swapped, or bought!  Have a look at what I got!


For Review:
Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr (finished copy!!) - Thanks HarperCollins!

Goodies Received:
The Emerald Talisman bookmarks and cards signed by Brenda Pandos!!

Bought:
Knight Angels (Book of Love) by Abra Ebner

Swapped:
Thirteen Days to Midnight (arc) by Patrick Carman
Leaving Gee's Band (arc) by Irene Latham
The Rapture (arc) by Liz Jensen


 **Now you know what I got!  What did you get?**

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Friday 56 (April 16, 2010)

  1. Grab the book nearest to you right now.
  2. Turn to page 56.
  3. Find the fifth sentence.
  4. Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like).
  5. Post a link along with your post back to Storytime with Tonya and Friends.
*Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, or the most intellectual.  Use the CLOSEST!!

The closest book to me is the next book I plan on reading/reviewing.  It is a new ya vampire book by debut author, Brenda Pandos, titled The Emerald Talisman.

The Emerald Talisman (Volume 1)Page 56/ 5th sentence(and a few extras):

" I turned before I heard the angry snarl.  The noise came from just beyond the trees.  Frozen in fear, I waited and watched.  Evil green eyes appeared and stared out at me with lips curled up to reveal teeth ready to rip me to shreds."




**Sounds good!  I can't wait to start reading this one!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Review: Arson by Estevan Vega

Arson                                    
Written by Estevan Vega
Release Date: May 4, 2010                 
Publisher: Tate Publishing
[5stars.jpg]

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_apmdZPt_we8/S5mus9fYBhI/AAAAAAAACTY/avJ_YIOQOEw/s320/7736665.jpgHave you ever read a book that took you by complete surprise and kept you glued within its pages start to finish?  Well,  Arson by Estevan Vega was that type of read for me!  I seriously read this book cover to cover in one sitting (minus 30 pages)!  There are so many different ways to describe this book.  I could say that it was dark, real, and riveting.  I could say that it was beautifully written and powerful.  I could say that it was intelligent, layered, and a little twisted!  But I guess it all boils down to this... it is a really good book!!

Summary from Barnes and Noble:

"Arson Gable feels like a freak. He can create fire. He never asked for it. He never wanted it. But he can't shut it off. Before now, three things were true: he both loved and despised his grandmother; his life was going nowhere; and he was alone. But when a strange girl—who feels more normal behind a mask than inside her own skin—moves in next door, Arson hopes to find something he's never had: purpose. Using what he fears most about himself, Arson must face his consuming past and confront the nightmare that is his present as he walks the fine line between boy and monster. Dark, moody, and breathtakingly relevant, Arson, the chilling chronicle of an isolated boy with unimaginable ability, is sure to ignite the hearts and minds of a new generation."

My Thoughts:
This is the kind of book that stays with you after you read it.  To me, it was a story of the human condition at its worst and its best.  Estevan did an incredible job developing the characters in the book.  They all had more to them than the visible layer,  yet still maintained a simplicity that was so raw and human.  I found myself caring for them, rooting for them, feeling sorry for them, laughing at them, getting mad at them, but mostly just connecting with them.  Each had their own dark journey into some pretty difficult and heavy issues (family dysfunction, peer pressure, alcoholism, abuse, insecurity, wanting to fit in, and divorce). These issues are ones that teens and adults face everyday.  The character's individual struggles seemed so real and authentic that they became absolutely real to me while reading.   I loved Emery and her sassy wit and sarcasm.  She was a really cool girl and was able to see Arson in a way that no one else (including Arson himself) could.  She had a really screwed up family life and found solace in Arson and his nonjudgmetal view of her decision to wear the mask.  Arson was such a tortured soul.  He was so full of regret and just wanted a chance at redemption.  I think that he saw Emery as his chance to make up for his past.  It was fun to watch their relationship grow and I wanted it to work between them so badly.  Arson's 'talent' isn't fully revealed until you've read a good chunk of the book.  The small glimpses that you do see only fuel the suspense as to what he is really capable of.  The ending was completely unexpected!  It was a "No way- that did not just happen!" kind of ending!  It was a cliff hanger that left the door wide open and screaming for a sequel.  I can't wait to find out what happens next for Arson, Emery and the rest of characters.  As far as recommendations go.... this isn't a light read for sure and there are references to mature topics like sex and infidelity, so I would say 9th grade and up.  The content of Arson may be dark, but the skill that the ultra-talented Estevan Vega delivers it with allowed me to see past that darkness into the lives of these incredible characters that now have a place in my heart.


About The Author (taken from his bio):
 Currently a college student in Connecticut, Estevan Vega has been writing since he was a teenager. ARSON will be his third published work, following Servant of the Realm and The Sacred Sin. ARSON holds a part of Estevan, a piece he began during a tumultuous time in his own life. With a curiosity for the supernatural, as well as a feeling of discontentment with humanity's complacency, Vega’s story-lines dwell somewhere in between fiction and reality, a place where the world is as blurred and irregular as human choice and consequence.

**If you can't wait until May 4th to get your copy, then head over to the publisher's website where you can snag your copy NOW!!!  Yeah!!  Estevan is currently in the midst of a blog tour promoting Arson.  I am excited to say that he will be stopping by this site for an interview on April 19th.  Make sure that you come back and check it out!  Here are the upcoming stops on his tour:

Wednesday, April 14: The Book Vixen
Thursday, April 15: Mrs. Magoo Reads
Friday, April 16: Katie at Sophistikatied Reviews
Saturday, April 17: Sandy at Pirate Penguin Reads
Sunday, April 18: Sherry at Flippin Pages For All Ages
Monday, April 19: Jenn at Extreme Reader Book Reviews
Tuesday, April 20: Kate at Neverending Bookshelf
Wednesday, April 21: Melanie at Melanie's Musings
Thursday, April 22: Amber at Just Your Typical Book Blog
Friday, April 23: Teenage Reader
Saturday, April 24: Lucy at Delightful Reviews
Sunday, April 25:  Bridget at Readaholic
Monday, April 26: Sab at YA Bliss
Tuesday, April 27: Patty at Yay Reads
Wednesday, April 28: Gina at Insatiable Readers
Thursday, April 29: Kelsey at The Book Scout
Friday, April 30: Laura at Calico Critic
Saturday, May 1: The Moody Teenager
Sunday, May 2: I Heart Monster 
Monday, May 3: Katlyn at I Just Wanna Sit Here and Read
Tuesday, May 4: John at CT Book Examiner
Wednesday, May 5: Laurie at Readergirls
Thursday, May 6: Darcy at  Library Lounge Lizard
Saturday, May 8: Cindy at Princess Bookie
Sunday, May 9: Eleni at La Femme Readers

*My copy of Arson was generously given to me by the author, Thanks Estevan!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Celebrate National Library Week (April 11th-17th)

Neil Gaiman Web button

I just wanted to remind everyone that this is National Library Week!  What is National Library Week?  National Library Week is an annual celebration of the contributions of our nation's libraries and librarians. All types of libraries - school, public, academic and special - participate.  The theme for this year's celebration is "Communities thrive @ your library".  Neil Gaiman, author of The Graveyard Book, has been selected as the Honorary Chair of National Library Week 2010.  Each day this week features a different event: 

 
Communities thrive @ your library
 
Today is National Library Workers Day.  There are thousands of public, academic, school, governmental, and specialized libraries in the United States and they provide excellent and invaluable service to library users regardless of age, ethnicity, or socioeconomic background.  Librarians and library support staff bring the nation a world of knowledge in person and online, as well as personal service and expert assistance in finding what is needed when it is needed.  It is important to recognize the unique contributions of all library workers.  So drop by your local library and say thanks to your librarians for working hard to bring you the books we love!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

In My Mailbox (25)

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**Thanks to The Story Siren for hosting IMM**

"In My Mailbox" is a weekly meme that spotlights the new books you received for review, swapped, or bought!  Have a look at what I got!



For Review:
The Emerald Talisman by Brenda Pandos (provided by the author- Thanks Brenda!)
Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce (Book It Forward Tours)
 
Bought:
Feather (Book One) by Abra Ebner

Swap:
The Silver Kiss by Annette Curtis Klause
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery


**Now you know what I got!  What did you get?


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Update on my "MEGA-Swag and More" Giveaway!!!

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First off... I have to thank all of you awesome book lovers out there that have already entered my giveaway and follow my blog! You guys are awesome and I truly love reading each and every one of your comments, so keep them coming.  Secondly (is that a real word?),  thanks to all of the authors/publicists that donated all of the awesome prizes.  You guys have really made this a phenomenal giveaway!!

Now let's get down to business....... I just added more loot!!!  That's right ladies and gents, there are now more prizes to win!  I am including a Vampire Academy prize pack that will include the first two books in this awesome series by Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy and Frostbite).  I just started putting together all of the prize packs and swag bags.  I didn't realize how much stuff I have for this contest!  At this point, I believe I have 17 packages ready to post with more still to be put together.  If you have ever had a contest that is open internationally, then you know what kind of expense I am looking at with up to 20 packages!  Its cool though, because I LOVE sending goodies to people.  However, I am a "highly paid"(insert laugh here) school teacher that only gets paid at the end of every month.   In order for me to be able to afford the post for all of these goodies I will be extending the contest until the end of the month.  The contest will now end on Saturday, May 1st at 12:00(noon) eastern time.  It's my birthday on the 1st and what better way to celebrate then mailing out presents!!  I am also going to be adding some of my handmade bookmarks to some of the prize packs and swag bags! I have included some pictures below of whats packed up, new goodies, and one of my bookmarks.  I really hope that you guys are cool with the extension, but money rules the world and my ability to mail out your goodies!  Thanks and GOOD LUCK!


I have included another form for you guys to add any extra entries on for tweeting/blogging about the extension and new prizes.  If you have not entered yet, then please go to the original giveaway post (click on swag pic under nav bar) and use that form.  This form is only for additional entries.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday


"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Jill from Breaking The Spine,  that spotlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly anticipating.  It is always so hard to decide which books I want to feature on Wednesdays.  There are so many wonderful books coming out this year.  Waiting is such torture!  Here are a few that I am waiting for:

Empty
Written by Suzanne Weyn
Release Date: October 1, 2010
Published by Scholastic Press

EmptySummary from Goodreads:

"It's the near future - the very near future - and the fossil fuels are running out. No gas. No oil. Which means no driving. No heat. Supermarkets are empty. Malls have shut down. Life has just become more local than we ever knew it could be.

Nobody expected the end to come this fast. And in the small town of Spring Valley, decisions that once seemed easy are quickly becoming matters of life and death. There is hope - there has to be hope - just there are also sacrifices that need to be made, and a whole society that needs to be rethought.

Teens like Nicki, Tom, and Leila may find what they need to survive. But their lives are never going to be the same again."



Sapphique (Incarceron, #2)
Written by Catherine Fisher
Release Date: December 28, 2010
Published by Dial Books

Sapphique (Incarceron, #2)Summary from Goodreads:

"Finn has escaped from the terrible living Prison of Incarceron, but its memory torments him, because his brother Keiro is still inside. Outside, Claudia insists he must be king, but Finn doubts even his own identity. Is he the lost prince Giles? Or are his memories no more than another construct of his imprisonment? And can you be free if your friends are still captive? Can you be free if your world is frozen in time? Can you be free if you don't even know who you are? Inside Incarceron, has the crazy sorcerer Rix really found the Glove of Sapphique, the only man the Prison ever loved. Sapphique, whose image fires Incarceron with the desire to escape its own nature. If Keiro steals the glove, will he bring destruction to the world? Inside. Outside. All seeking freedom. Like Sapphique."


Halo
Written by Alexandra Adornetto
Release Date: September 14, 2010
Published by St. Martin's Press

HaloSummary from Goodreads:

"Nothing much happens in Tallow Beach. But when three mysterious teens enroll in the local high school, everything changes. Nobody knows the truth: that they are angels on a mission to save a world on the brink of destruction. When Beth, the youngest, falls for her classmate Xavier, she faces a frightening decision: will she defy the laws of Heaven by loving him? Things come to a head when the angels realize that they are not they only supernatural power in Tallow Beach. The unscrupulous Jack Thorn sees Beth as the easiest target to further his own dark ambitions. The angels and Xavier must use their powers to overcome darkness - but will Beth survive the battle?"


*Are these not AWESOME covers!?!?  Now you know what I am waiting for!  What books are you waiting for?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Melissa Marr is going on tour!!!

I wanted to let everyone know that Melissa Marr, author of the NYT best-selling Wicked Lovely series, is heading out on tour to promote her newest book Radiant Shadows!  During the tour, Melissa will be spilling juicy details about the book, answering questions about Aislinn, Seth, Irial and the rest of the fae, giving behind-the-scenes details about the making of Radiant Shadows, and dishing out details about the upcoming Wicked Lovely movie!!!  Check the schedule below and see if you are close to one of her stops!  If you are close, then you must come out for a visit!  Melissa would love to meet you!!  Here is her tour schedule:


Radiant Shadows (Wicked Lovely, #4) April 22, 2010: Denver, CO- Tattered Cover Book Store; 7:00pm
April 23, 2010: Lexington, KY- Joseph-Beth Booksellers; 7:00pm
April 24 2010: St. Louis, MO- St. Louis County Library; 7:00pm
April 26, 2010: Boston, MA- Cambridge Public Library, Cambridge, MA; 7:00pm
April 28- May 2, 2010: Columbus, OH- Romantic Times Convention
May 12, 2010: Cleveland, OH- Joseph-Beth Booksellers; 7:00pm
May 14, 2010: Philadelphia, PA- Chester County Book Store, West Chester, PA; 7:00pm
May 15, 2010: Richmond, VA- The Fountain Bookstore; 2:00pm

*If you do live close to one of the events above you should definitely make plans to attend!  I unfortunately do not live close enough to any of the cities she is visiting, so I am counting on you guys to go, take pictures, and blog about all the juicy details she dishes out!!!!  Radiant Shadows releases on April 20th.  That means that the wait is almost over!!  Yeah! Yeah!!  I am also very excited to say that I will be posting a contest for a copy of Radiant Shadows on the blog around April 19th or 20th!!  So keep your eyes open for this upcoming contest!! (Don't forget that my MEGA-Swag and More giveaway ends on the 10th, so if you haven't entered hurry up and do it!!!)
Check out my review of Radiant Shadows HERE!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Vlog Review: Peeps by Scott Westerfeld

Here is my first attempt at vlogging!  I decided to review one of my favorite books- Peeps by Scott Westerfeld.  Here Goes:

What did you think?  Do you like written reviews better or is this a nice change to see on my blog from time to time?  Let me know in the comment section if you don't mind!  Thanks everyone for following and for listening to me ramble and say "and ah" a million times during the vlog!! :)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

In My Mailbox (24)

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**Thanks to The Story Siren for hosting IMM**

"In My Mailbox" is a weekly meme that spotlights the new books you received for review, swapped, or bought!


For Review: 

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins  *provided by Disney/Hyperion Books
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Leviathan  *arc provided by Penguin Books
The Gardener by S.A. Bodeen  *arc provided by Feiwel and Friends
She Thief by Daniel Finn  *arc provided by Feiwel and Friends


Bought:
Epitaph Road by David Patneaude
Guardian Of The Dead by Karen Healey
Birthmarked by Caragh M. O'Brien
The Poison Eaters by Holly Black

Swapped:

Runaway Storm by D.E. Knobbe 


*Now you know what I got!  What did you get?

On My Wishlist

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"On My Wishlist" is a weekly meme hosted by Book Chick City!  If you would like to participate in this weekly meme just click on the link above.  She has a "Mr.Linky" available so we can check out everyone's wishlists!  My wishlist is loaded with books that are upcoming releases.
Here are just a few:



City of Fallen Angels (Mortal Instruments, #4)
Written by Cassandra Clare
Release Date: March 31, 2011
Published by Simon Pulse

City of Fallen Angels (Mortal Instruments, #4)Summary from Goodreads:

"City of Fallen Angels takes place after the events of City of Glass. It splits its focus between Jace and Clary and Clary’s best friend, Simon, and how he adjusts to life as a vampire, but it’s still an ensemble-cast story, and all the characters from the Mortal Instruments series appear in it: Jace, Isabelle, Alec, Magnus, Luke, Jocelyn, Maia, and many more. (It even helps to have read The Clockwork Angel before you read CoFA, because some of the characters from the ID series do show up in it. However, it isn’t required.) In City of Fallen Angels, someone’s killing the Shadowhunters who used to be in Valentine’s Circle and leaving their bodies around New York City in a manner designed to provoke hostility between Downworlders and Shadowhunters. Internecine warfare among vampires is ripping the Downworld community apart, and only Simon — the Daylighter who everyone wants on their side — can decide the outcome; too bad he wants nothing to do with Downworld politics. Meanwhile Jace and Clary investigate a mystery that has deeply personal consequences for them — consequences that may strengthen their relationship, or rip it apart forever. Love, blood, betrayal and revenge: the stakes are higher than ever in City of Fallen Angels."

I have heard through other blogs that this is a fan art cover.  It is still really cool though!!  I know it is a while until this one comes out, but when I saw it on Goodreads I couldn't resist!



Blue Bloods: Keys To The Repository
Written by Melissa de la Cruz
Release Date: June 29, 2010
Published by Hyperion Books
Hardcover, 192 pages

Blue Bloods: Keys to the RepositorySummary from Goodreads:

"Lavish parties. Passionate meetings in the night. Bone-chilling murders. Midterms. The day-to-day life of Schuyler Van Alen and her Blue Bloods friends (and enemies) is never boring. But there's oh-so-much more to know about these beautiful and powerful teens. Below the streets of Manhattan, within the walls of the Repository, exists a wealth of revealing information about the vampire elite that dates back before the Mayflower. In a series of short stories, journal entries, and never-before-seen letters, New York Times bestselling author Melissa de la Cruz gives her hungry fans the keys to the Repository and an even more in-depth look into the secret world of the Blue Bloods. Won't you come inside?"

* I like this cover!  I love the Blue Bloods series and this should be an interesting addition to the series!


**Now you know what I am wishing for!  What is on your wishlist?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Review: Twilight - The Graphic Novel Volume 1

Twilight: The Graphic Novel Volume 1 
Written by Stephenie Meyer                
Art and Adaptation by Young Kim
Published by Yen Press
Available Now!!

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Twilight: The Graphic Novel, Volume 1

I will admit that I have never been a graphic novel fan.  I do own the first volume of the Dark Hunter Series graphic novel by Sherrilyn Kenyon (cause I love me some Dark Hunters!!), but that's it.  I really didn't have any intention of purchasing the Twilight Graphic Novel- until I picked it up off the shelf and looked at it!  It is truly beautiful!

Summary from Goodreads:

"When Isabella Swan moves to the gloomy town of Forks and meets the mysterious, alluring Edward Cullen, her life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. With his porcelain skin, golden eyes, mesmerizing voice, and supernatural gifts, Edward is both irresistible and impenetrable. Up until now, he has managed to keep his true identity hidden, but Bella is determined to uncover his dark secret... Beautifully rendered, this first installment of Twilight: The Graphic Novel is a must-have for any collector’s library." 

My Thoughts:

As I stated earlier, I have never been a graphic novel fan.  That being said.... I am a fan of this book!  I read it cover to cover in one sitting.  I love all of the Twilight books and the first is my favorite.  With the movies, hype, and overall Twilight craziness, it is easy to forget how beautiful the book is!  The graphic novel brought me back to the first time I read Twilight and allowed me to revisit the feelings I felt while reading it.  I read the books before any of the movies came out and I pictured the characters a certain way in my mind.  Although I do love the movie cast, they don't really look like what I had pictured in my head while reading the books.  The graphic novel's characters look so much more like my versions of Edward, Bella and the gang (except Jacob- I didn't like the way he looked in the graphic novel).  The cool part is that on the back of the book jacket Stephenie Meyer is quoted as saying, "I've enjoyed working on this new interpretation of Twilight.  Young has done an incredible job transforming the words that I have written into beautiful images.  The characters and settings are very close to what I was imagining while writing the series."

The artist, Young Kim,  is so talented!  I thought that her use of color was striking.  She only added color a few times in the book, and it was at crucial times (the meadow, to show the amber color of his eyes, when he revealed how he looks in the sunlight, and a few other places).  The pictures are meant to tell the story and they do their job!  There is just enough dialogue to aid the pictures in telling the story, but not enough to overpower it.  This volume ends with the meadow scene and their first kiss, with the continuation of the story to be picked up in volume two.  If you are a Twilight fan, I encourage you to add this to your collection.  I know many of you may be thinking that this is just ANOTHER piece of Twilight commercialization, but I feel that it is truly a wonderful addition to the Saga.